Ask me anything, tell me anything, ignore me if you like. Friday open thread


The moderators of the Men’s Lib sub on Reddit asked me if I’d be willing to do an Ask Me Anything thread for them, and I was happy to agree.

I’m assuming I’ll be fielding questions about my thoughts on gender politics, activism & theory and I’ll be disappointed if there’s not at least one about fighting a hundred duck-sized horses.

The Men’s Lib Reddit, in case you’re confused, is not the same as the notorious Men’s Rights Reddit It describes itself as follow:

This is a community for discussing men’s issues in a way that promotes men both as individuals and as a group, without demonizing women, feminists, or proponents of social justice. We advocate for constructive solutions to problems men face, including promoting personal wellness, developing healthy relationships, and directing efforts to social and legal obstacles to male health and actualization. We recognize that men’s issues often intersect with race, sexual orientation and identity, disability, and socioeconomic status, and encourage open discussion of these considerations.

So even though I’m not much of a fan of the term ‘men’s lib’ (might take a question on that too, I guess) I think it is safe to say we’re in a pretty similar place.

The AMA is between 8-10pm GMT this evening, which is 12-2pm PST / 2-4pm CST, for the benefit of anyone not in a Black Friday consumer riot in Walmart at the time. If you have a Reddit login (or are prepared to get one) do please join in or have a loiter.

But since not everyone will be around on a Friday evening I figured I could start a new Friday open thread which can be used for all your free-floating thoughts, links, observations, arguments and indeterminate wibble, but as a special bonus, why don’t I extend an invitation to you to Ask Me Anything? Just start your comment with the letters ‘AMA’ so I notice. I think it is only fair that I don’t start answering AMA questions here until after I’ve finished over there, but do feel free to leave them for me and I’ll get back to them later.

UPDATE 7,30pm 27/11 – Thread now live here 

Comments

  1. Lesbian Catnip says

    AMA

    You often cover misrepresentations of child sexual abuse statistics. What are your favourite (i.e. most reliable) sources that you think report on CSA accurately? What do they do differently from other CSA reports?

  2. 123454321 says

    AMA – If you were on a sinking ship and could only save one of two people: an elderly lady or a young lad in his late teens – both of whom appeared able-bodied – who would you save and why?

  3. StillGjenganger says

    AMA
    In the society you would like to see (where gender is “never a burden” etc.) what differences will there be between the average behaviour, expectations and outcomes for the two genders? And how much targeted social pressure will it take to maintain that result?

  4. Marduk says

    Self promotion: Can someone look at my post about the DV figures at the end of the last open thread?
    Just want to check I’m not going crazy. re: “male victims less likely to suffer repeated violence”.

  5. Paul says

    AMA

    Do you agree that chivalry is an outdated concept in any society which is striving for equality between the sexes ? And that women who’re either verbally,physically and emotionally abusive towards men or women who instigate violence between men can’t complain if/when they get a taste of their own medicine ?

    Personally i think that mutual respect should underpin the relationship between the sexes in an equal lsociety and that it should be as unacceptable for women to be abusive to men as vice versa.And whilst i believe a man should never hit a woman first i agree with Whoopi Goldberg in the following link that women who’re the perpetrators and instigators of violence towards men should never assume that just because they’re women a man won’t retaliate .And just because they’re women they’ll be viewed as being victims of male violence if a man does retaliate.

  6. Jose says

    [quote]The Men’s Lib Reddit, in case you’re confused, is not the same as the notorious Men’s Rights Reddit[/quote]

    Two things:
    1) You forgot the dot;
    2) If feminists hadn’t been so stupid and unfamountably traitorous towards those pro-feminists which would later found the MRM since 1971 (when the first NOW chapters started opposing shared parenting), they would be one and the same.

  7. Ally Fogg says

    And…. out.

    I’m knackered after that, so going to switch off for a bit. Will come back and answer all your questions [yes, even yours 12345…] in the mornin.

  8. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally
    You surely have too much on your plate to get much into secondary discussions, but I’ll give some feedback to your reddit for you to ignore anyway.

    I firmly believe that the male-gender-specific politics I argue for and advocate are entirely complementary to feminist ideals and objectives. I think men’s and women’s welfare and wellbeing are inextricably interlinked and combatting injustice for one gender has the effect of combatting injustice for both

    Interlinked, yes. But is the lack of (perceived) conflict because you have considered male interests and found empirically that they happened to coincide completely with female ones (everybody want and need the same things – a truly remarkable coincidence)? Or is it because you started out with feminist theory, and deliberately or accidentally excluded any male interests that could not be accommodated?

    It looks to me like over the past 50 years, men’s gender roles have changed significantly, but men’s gender scripts have not kept up.
    What that means is that we live in a world where men are very unlikely to have a life that is the old-fashioned breadwinner, protector, provider, warrior etc etc, and yet we are still growing up with strong and deep beliefs that these are the things we should be doing.

    Well, yes, but until we come up with some new things we should be doing that are NOT just imitating women (without having the biology so we cannot keep up anyway), I find it hard to see a solution.

    I’m pretty sure we have a biological imperative to perform gender, that is to differentiate ourselves along lines that roughly correspond to biological sex. Exactly how that will manifest itself is almost entirely socially constructed.
    (And yes, there are some traits that are obviously connected to specific hormones etc. Those will play out somehow but what that how is….)

    Definitely. Which makes the lack of a positive male script that differentiates us from the women a bit of a problem.

  9. says

    Aw man, I overslept and missed it ;-; Oh well. You got some very thoughtful questions and gave some very thoughtful answers from the Reddit thread, I’d say it was a success 😀

  10. Lucythoughts says

    #13 StillGjenganger

    “I firmly believe that the male-gender-specific politics I argue for and advocate are entirely complementary to feminist ideals and objectives. I think men’s and women’s welfare and wellbeing are inextricably interlinked and combatting injustice for one gender has the effect of combatting injustice for both

    “Interlinked, yes. But is the lack of (perceived) conflict because you have considered male interests and found empirically that they happened to coincide completely with female ones (everybody want and need the same things – a truly remarkable coincidence)? Or is it because you started out with feminist theory, and deliberately or accidentally excluded any male interests that could not be accommodated?”

    I know this is intended for Ally but I’m perplexed. How can it be otherwise? We don’t live in solitary splendour; our lives are fundamentally interlinked so how can our welfare not be? What benefits one gender will not necessarily benefit the other, filling public spaces with Ladies toilets isn’t going to help men very much for example, but the converse is not true: what hurts one gender does hurt the other. There may very well be individuals or groups who will benefit but they will be serving their own specific interests not the interests of the whole of their gender and even within their own gender I’m inclined to think their will always be more losers than winners. I can think of many examples of this, but more to the point I can’t think of any situations where it is NOT true. Can you elaborate on this one?

  11. WineEM says

    A.M.A. Ok, so two things…

    1. Do you think that having one debate in Westminter Hall in a year can really compensate (in terms of formalised, institutionalised gendered discrimination), for having the ‘women-only’ discussion in Parliament (i.e. having the Women’s Minister, Women’s Questions, women-only Commissions and Committees etc.) which happens throughout the rest of the year in politics? If not, what structures in parliament need to be put in place to create more of a balance (apart from the suggestion you once raised here of a Commission into boys’ education, which at the moment seems highly unlikely to become manifest, given the culture of politics right now).

    2. Having taken an interest in your various writings on sexual politics for many years, I have a vague recollection of you describing how you first became interested in the politics of gender all those years ago. If I remember correctly (course you can correct if this is wrong), this interest took off in a big way when you started to attend various feminist and women’s consciousness raising groups at university. Would you have described yourself as a feminist back then in those early days, and did those experience of attending feminist consciousness raising groups have a big influence on your understanding of the ‘phenomenon of ‘patriarchy’ and its effect on society?

    Thanks! 🙂

  12. Ally Fogg says

    ThatGuy [2]

    Salt and vinegar or salt and sauce?

    Salt and vinegar, unless I’m in Edinburgh, where it has to be salt n sauce.

    If you try to do salt n sauce anywhere except Edinburgh you get the wrong kind of sauce – it is too thick, like HP or something similar.

    I was recently driving through Jedburgh (in the borders, about 30 miles south of Edinburgh) and thought I might be close enough to procure proper, Auld Reekie style salt n sauce, but it was wrong wrong wrong.

    Basically Edinburgh sauce is brown sauce thinned out to the exact consistency of gravy. Nowhere else in the world can deliver the precise required consistency, for reasons that remain a mystery to science and philosophy alike.

  13. Ally Fogg says

    Lesbian Catnip [4]

    You often cover misrepresentations of child sexual abuse statistics. What are your favourite (i.e. most reliable) sources that you think report on CSA accurately? What do they do differently from other CSA reports?

    Accurate CSA statistics are, by their nature, incredibly difficult to generate and report and unfortunately in the UK there is not a body that even attempts to produce them.

    With most crime statistics, the most effective approach is random victimisation survey (like the Crime Survey of England and Wales or the NCVS in the US). But for good ethical reasons they can only be applied in very limited ways to juveniles and children.

    So there are statistics that are fairly accurate about lifetime incidents (basically you ask a thousand adults whether [insert crime here] happened to them over the past 12 months or over their lifetime, including when they were children but it is immensely difficult (often impossible) to use those stats to show whether CSA is becoming more or less common.

    For annual statistics and trends, researchers tend to either use police reported crime figures, which are largely dependent upon the efforts and effectiveness of police forces to identify and prosecute CSA, or else they use proxies – so for example there is reasonable evidence that child homicides (for which there are very good hard numbers) tend to follow similar patterns to other child abuse, including sexual abuse. If numbers of child homicides are falling, it is a reasonable assumption that so to is CSA. You can do similar with hospital admissions, social worker caseloads, charity helpline calls etc etc etc. All of those have limitations and problems, but put them all together and they can create a reasonably robust panorama view.

    There are a couple of sources I linked to in my blog this week that I think are good, in that they are quite clear about their own limitations and restrictions. One is the Children’s Commissioners’ report that sparked the blog, which does have some fairly carefully considered statistics. Or from the US, the paper from New Hampshire University which draws on CDC stats and police recorded crime and various other sources, and does make a reasonably convincing case that CSA is on the decline in the US at least. http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/CV203_Updated%20trends%202011_FINAL_1-9-13.pdf

  14. Ally Fogg says

    12345 [5]

    AMA – If you were on a sinking ship and could only save one of two people: an elderly lady or a young lad in his late teens – both of whom appeared able-bodied – who would you save and why?

    Genuinely have no idea. If I had to make a guess as to what I would do under those circumstances, I think the most likely thing is I would do something daft that tried to save both of them and would end up with all three of is drowning. Because I’m a complete fuckwit when it comes to making sensible decisions.

    Or at a very emotional level, I think it is possible that my decision as to which side of the boat to throw the life-saver ring would depend whether the lad looked more like my son or the woman looked more like my mum. Why? Because human beings are silly like that.

  15. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger [7]

    In the society you would like to see (where gender is “never a burden” etc.) what differences will there be between the average behaviour, expectations and outcomes for the two genders? And how much targeted social pressure will it take to maintain that result?

    Honestly do not know and would not want to guess. Differences between genders are relative anyway. If we lived in a society where differences between genders were tiny and marginal, they would still look really big, because we don’t have another reference point.

    But the crucial point here is that I am not interested in applying targeted social pressure to achieve a given result. I am interested in removing the current prevailing social pressures that are already applied to make our gender-based behaviours as they are.

    I would like humanity to experience gender as an opportunity and a gift, not as an imposition or a prison. I’m much less concerned about how humanity would express that given the opportunity.

    My hunch ix that the consequence would be that gender would become less important to us as a driver of personality traits and behaviour, but don’t really mind if that doesn’t happen.

    Radfems argue that gender is a system of oppression, nothing more, nothing less. I disagree. I think gender is used as a tool of oppression, but it needn’t be.

  16. Marduk says

    AMA
    Can a high quality journalism of gender actually exist?

    Admittedly that is a leading question (I’m implying it doesn’t), my real issue is about a lack of critical thought and critical use of data vs. reporting from press releases, reporting from ‘fact sheets’ that don’t attribute statistics and generally not reading the reports cited (e.g., the UNWoman/Broadband commission report that was widely welcomed throughout the media and turned out to be filled with utter nonsense so ludicrous its writers and panel walked away from it and it was withdrawn and a completely different 2-page summary making different arguments from different data issued in its place. But this happens all the time and there were no consequences within the profession for basically 90% of writers being caught out not doing their jobs).

    What is it going to take to get the standard improved? Is this because gender issues are relegated to “opinion”?
    You are a thoughtful writer about these things, do you ever come under pressure not to be?

    Thats about five questions, go with whichever one (if any) makes sense 🙂

  17. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts15
    Possible examples of different gender interests? Off the top of my head:

    – Men: equality of opportunity, choosing the person who presents as best qualified for a job. Women: quotas and equality of outcome. Also – women: special career bonuses to make up for lack of experience due to part-time work or maternity leave.
    – Men: Maternity leave freely shared in a couple: Women: Each member gets a single use-it-or-lose-it chunk of time.
    In rape cases: Women: Men: High weight on ‘innocent until proven guilty’. High weight on trusting the accuser.
    – Men: Some areas and jobs seen as masculine (which gives men some areas to feel home in). Women: All jobs strictly promoted as unisex (childcare and nurturing is a safely female field anyway, so nothing to lose here).

    Also the question of which interaction style should be seen as normal in public spaces. Male culture tends to be based on friendly competition for status, which gives you lots of training in holding the floor and competing for space. Female style tends to be more about maintaining harmony and avoiding discord. The kind of work interactions that suit one group is not the same as what suits another (My usual source (the writings of Deborah Tannen).

  18. Ally Fogg says

    Marduk [8]

    Can someone look at my post about the DV figures at the end of the last open thread?
    Just want to check I’m not going crazy. re: “male victims less likely to suffer repeated violence”.

    I’ll confess I haven’t repeated anyone’s analysis, but on an eyeball I’d say you are correct.

    That whole business about the cap was odd. It never really stacked up. My principal problem with it was that it was saying ‘if you remove the cap the number of incidents of VAW would look proportionately greater than the number of incidents of VAM.’

    However nobody really uses numbers of incidents as a measure of anything. It is not really a meaningful measure. If someone is in an ongoing, violently abusive relationship, it doesn’t often make much sense to say “is this abusive relationship totalling 50 violent incidents per year or 250 violent incidents per year?” because the whole point about a coercive controlling abusive relationship is that anything and everything becomes part of the abuse. Just a thunderous look across the breakfast table can be terrifying, and questions about ‘threats of violence’ for example become almost meaningless because everything carries a hint of threat of violence.

    For what it is worth, I would have absolutely no problem with the ONS raising or abolishing the cap, but I suspect the reason they retain it is precisely because of that issue above – once you get above a certain frequency of incidents it is better thought of as an ongoing abusive relationship than a series of isolated, discrete events. I could see how it would serve to muddy the analysis rather than clarify it. But that is a dilemma for the official statisticians.

    What is clear from the available CSEW stats is that even in the top end categories (more than x incidents per year) and ‘severe violence’ there is a significant minority of male victims – a large enough proportion of the whole that they cannot be dismissed as irrelevant or a statistical outlier.

    That would be in keeping with the sums you have done.

  19. Ally Fogg says

    Paul [9]

    Do you agree that chivalry is an outdated concept in any society which is striving for equality between the sexes ?

    Yes, absolutely. What traditionalists and conservatives call ‘chivalry’ I would call benevolent sexism, and I’m totally on board with those feminists who argue that benevolent sexism plays as much a part as hostile sexism in preserving gender inequality and oppression.

    In answer to the question “should I hold open a door for a woman” the answer is “you should hold open a door for anyone.”

    “And that women who’re either verbally,physically and emotionally abusive towards men or women who instigate violence between men can’t complain if/when they get a taste of their own medicine ?

    Not sure that follows. From a moral philosophy (and political) perspective I would argue that retaliation for its own sake is never an especially good idea. Self-defence is of course legitimate, and there might be arguments about the deterrent effect of the possibility of retaliation, fair enough. My own operating principle is that violence invariably makes situations worse, not better, and more violence makes violent situations worse, not better.

    So as a general principle I think “Person A punches Person B therefore Person B is entitled to punch Person A” is fairly infantile, playground ethics. It might be understandable, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right. (Nor necessarily make it wrong either, of course)

    I would, however, entirely discount gender as a factor in that. “Never hit a woman” is also infantile, playground ethics. It can also have the effect of leaving male victims of female violence unable to defend themselves, which is unreasonable and undesirable.

    On balance, I don’t think Whoopi Goldberg was operating at a very high level of moral philosophy , but I don’t think she was a million miles off beam either. If you accept the use of violence as an interactional operator, it has to cut both ways.

  20. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger

    Interlinked, yes. But is the lack of (perceived) conflict because you have considered male interests and found empirically that they happened to coincide completely with female ones (everybody want and need the same things – a truly remarkable coincidence)? Or is it because you started out with feminist theory, and deliberately or accidentally excluded any male interests that could not be accommodated?

    Neither. It is a deduction from a core ideological principle (that is basically socialist/ humanist / humanitarian / Rousseauvian) that human beings are a pro-social, interdependent species that thrives more upon cooperation than upon conflict. Once that premise is in place, it is really easy to find both actual and hypothetical examples of it happening. It is in both men’s and women’s interests to live in a society with less inequality, less oppression, less violence, less suffering, less injustice.

    Well, yes, but until we come up with some new things we should be doing that are NOT just imitating women (without having the biology so we cannot keep up anyway), I find it hard to see a solution.

    Sorry, don’t follow this at all. Many of the most positive and welcome examples of changing gender scripts of the past 50 years have involved women becoming “more like men” (in traditional gender terms) – having independent careers & education, sexual freedom etc etc etc, Some others (lagging a bit behind, but ongoing) involve men behaving “more like women” (being more involved parents, reduced use of violence etc etc etc)

    But in practice (again) I think those changes are largely two sides of the same coin as genders tend to define in opposition to each other. So, for example, more women going out to work and having fulfilling careers is directly connected with more men being the main childcarer in a household. In my utopia, couples (including separated parents) are able to work out the best combinations of responsibilities for everyone involved, especially the kids, without either men or women worrying about failing to meet society’s expectations of them according to gender.

  21. Ally Fogg says

    WineEM [16]

    1. Do you think that having one debate in Westminter Hall in a year can really compensate (in terms of formalised, institutionalised gendered discrimination), for having the ‘women-only’ discussion in Parliament (i.e. having the Women’s Minister, Women’s Questions, women-only Commissions and Committees etc.) which happens throughout the rest of the year in politics? If not, what structures in parliament need to be put in place to create more of a balance (apart from the suggestion you once raised here of a Commission into boys’ education, which at the moment seems highly unlikely to become manifest, given the culture of politics right now).

    I entirely reject the premise of this question. There is absolutely no need to compensate anyone for women-only (or more accurately women-focused) debates in parliament. Compensation is what is needed when an unjust harm has been done. It does men no harm for women-specific issues to be debate.

    There are a number of male-specific issues that desperately need socio-political intervention (so including but not restricted to MPs) – suicide obviously, but also provision of specialist support to male victims and survivors; underperformance of boys in education; failingss of family court & child support systems etc etc etc.

    However none of these are made any more or less pressing and important because there are already opportunities to discuss women’s issues. You might as well talk about men’s issues being debated as compensation for all the time spent talking about badgers or roaming rights for ramblers. .

    Framing the issues in those terms is actively harmful. Some of us are trying to make the case that these issues need to be debated because they are desperately important issues in their own right. Arguing “women get this attention so we want it too” is just whiney, kindergarten me too-ism and it makes it look very much like the case for discussing men’s issues is not so much about men and boys in need and just resentment that women are getting some attention which men are not.

    2. Having taken an interest in your various writings on sexual politics for many years, I have a vague recollection of you describing how you first became interested in the politics of gender all those years ago. If I remember correctly (course you can correct if this is wrong), this interest took off in a big way when you started to attend various feminist and women’s consciousness raising groups at university. Would you have described yourself as a feminist back then in those early days, and did those experience of attending feminist consciousness raising groups have a big influence on your understanding of the ‘phenomenon of ‘patriarchy’ and its effect on society?

    Not really ‘consciousness raising’ the way you mean. I have never attended a ‘consciousness raising workshop’ in my life. I’ve just read a few books, I’d recommend it.

    MRAs tend to think patriarchy is some kind of weird cult conspiracy thing. Its not. It is absolute basic sociology. Understanding that society can work in patriarchal ways is an inescapable conclusion of reading (and understanding) Weber, Marx, Gramsci etc. If you don’t think humans are influenced by the society around them, and don’t understand that human society is functional and instrumental, then you’ve really not understood the fundamental building blocks of social science.

    People who try to argue sociological points without understanding hegemony are as frustrating and annoying as those who try to argue about evolutionary biology without understanding how natural selection works.

  22. Ally Fogg says

    Marduk [22]

    I think the answer to your question is yes, it could exist, but no, it is not likely to happen.

    Why? Because what you describe is not restricted to gender politics, not by a long shot. If you read Nick Davies’s Flat Earth News, it is full of examples of the exact same thing happening across all subject matters. Basically about 90% of everything in the media is significantly untrue or a misrepresentation of reality somehow. You only have to look at media presentation of any controversial topic – immigration say – to find countless examples of the media regurgitating arrant nonsense for no other reason than an organisation with a respectable-sounding name has told them it is true.

    We are long past the days when journalists would check the veracity of sources, and I’d probably accept that issues of gender politics have some of the worst examples of this, but it really does happen in all contexts.

  23. Lucythoughts says

    #23 StillGjenganger

    Ah, I see. This seems to be a case of us having different ideas about what constitutes issues of welfare. I tend to see most of the things on your list as cases of wrangling over the fine details. I’m not even convinced that the details are necessarily ones that most men/women would agree about; what constitute optimal maternity / paternity / parental leave options seems like something that would vary more between different couples rather than different genders for example. Also, most of the women I know who are going back to work after having children want shorter hours and are willing to take the hit when it comes to career prospects, salary and responsibility. To be frank most of them wouldn’t be going back at all if they could pay the bills any other way.

    Predictably given previous debates, the one item on your list which I think is a welfare issue and on which I think you have it completely and utterly wrong is the issue of rape. Men and women have exactly the same desired outcome and that is that justice should be served in as many cases as possible. How this is best achieved is up for debate but to imply, as you did, that the interests of men are better served by making it harder to convict and women’s by making it easier seems perverse. Anyone can be raped; anyone can have a loved one raped. Our interests are the same.

  24. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts 30
    Well in a way all gender politics are fine details, by now. Inequality, unemployment, climate change and the middle east count for more. And within gender politics there is room for a lot of agreement (fortunately). But the leading voices within feminism (the women’s trade union, as I see it), seem quite strongly in favour of quotas, equality of outcome, and mandatory paternity leave (all of which would indeed help female job prospects). Is this really just minor niggles?

    On rape, men and women certainly have a shared interest in avoiding rape and in justice being served, whenever it is possible to determine what the right outcome is. But very often it is not. So the justice system, like the consent norms and the general courting procedures, has to make a trade-off, between punishing the guilty, deterring crime, not punishing the innocent, and leaving people free to achieve happiness (and sex) without tying the process up in knots. Here men and women, have different starting points, different priorities, and might be expected to prefer somewhat different trade-offs.

    Most obviously, a woman who gets involved in a rape case is most likely to be the accuser, whereas a man is more likely to be the accused. It is not surprising if men argue hotly for the principle of ‘guilty beyond reasonable doubt’, and women are more exercised by the need to believe and protect the victim. After all, a measure is always more attractive if you feel that the benefits fall mainly to you and the costs fall mainly on someone else. Similarly you might expect both sexes to favour consent rules that puts most of the burden on the other party. Men can be happy with ‘no means no’ because they are traditionally the ones doing the pushing, and it becomes the other person’s responsibility to make sure the communication works. And women can be happy with demands for mutual enthusiasm, explicit permission beforehand, etc. because they have a higher chance of getting their needs met anyway. As you pointed out, mere sex is something women can easily get and are often pestered for, and there is a fair chance that men will generate the missing enthusiasm on demand if it means that they can (finally) get some.

    Surely it is possible to reach some mutually acceptable solutions – I am a great believer in compromise and many interests are shared. But you have to start with each side defining, and openly proposing what their particular interests are. And while women have their respected and influential trade union, feminism as it were, there is no one to negotiate on the other side of the table. I really miss any group who can formulate a thought-out and well-reasoned idea of what men’s particular interests would be. Or who can get anyone to listen seriously to the idea that those interests deserve a hearing at all.

  25. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 26.
    Sure, men and women have the same interests on most important issues (‘Weil der Mensch ein Mensch ist’ as Brecht said). But I thought that gender politics was exactly about those issues where the needs and interests of the two genders did not coincide?

  26. WineEM says

    From Twitter

    ” /r/MensLib is a community to discuss men’s issues in a way that promotes men both as individuals and as a group, through a pro-feminist, intersectional lens.”

    Ah, I see, so it’s not so much that they simply reject anti-feminism, it’s more that they are actually pro-feminist. Fair enough, each to their own. Amazing how varied people can be, especially in the U. S. of A! 🙂

    I entirely reject the premise of this question. There is absolutely no need to compensate anyone for women-only (or more accurately women-focused) debates in parliament.

    I think this would be a stronger argument if this was the way it was actually put forward and presented. In reality, what we have is a lot of exclusively women-focussed discussion under the general heading of ‘equality’ – or ‘equalities’, to use the present Westminster jargon. So, for instance, we see that Maria Miller is the Minister for Women and Equalities.

    Now, that ‘Equalities’ bit tagged on at the end hints, rather tantalisingly, at the possibility that men will be included within this agenda too (you know, I’m sure there are men who would quite like to have equality as much as the next person, complete weirdos that they are).

    In fact, this is not how it pans out at all, and if you look at Ms Miller’s work over the years, the very pressing issues mentioned such as boys’ education and male suicide have been quite deliberately ignored, fairly consistently over time.

    Occasionally, Ms Miller will turn up on Radio 4 and will be asked why she is not going further and faster with the pursuit of women’s empowerment – for naturally, this is what ‘equalities’ means in this context – and will then apologise abjectly for not doing enough in this regard (but then spell out all the wonderful programmes and measures that the government does currently have in place to meet such targets).

    So, in other words, the reason why the discussion is so skewed is because men’s concerns are not really part of the current establishment’s agenda (i.e. the current media establishment and the political establishment). So it’s all very well, then, to say, ‘ooh, I’d rather like such and such to happen,’ such as, for instance, a commission on boys’ education, without recognising that this prevailing establishment culture makes that extremely unlikely. In the end, what we are left with is relying on a rather unpalatable, maverick right-winger like Philip Davies to get men’s voices heard in parliament at all(like once a year ), while the rest of the year they can apparently go hang, both figuratively and literally. Not just this, but we have seen Jeremy Corbyn, supposedly a progressive left-winger, deliberately blank Davies’s request for a men’s issues debate, only to then hold up a big placard saying ‘I am a feminist’ (to go along with his ‘women’s-issues-only’ gender manifesto.)

    Until these problems are actively challenged and taken on in the political realm, it all looks utterly desperate as far as striving for men’s equality is concerned.

  27. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 26
    I think I understand better where you are coming from on the genderless future. This AMA format is really great – thanks for putting in all the work. But I have several problems with your views – if you are up for the argy-bargy (you might not be).

    First of all, the idea that gender makes no difference for any important purpose is still a social gender norm (much like atheism is still a worldview). And it will be transmitted and policed in the same way that the current gender roles are: Children imitate the words and actions of those around them and identify with the underlying norms. Children that propose wrong ideas (like boys being different in kind form girls, with different norms for appropriate and expected behaviour) are gently but firmly corrected by the adults around them. And people with ideas that do not fit (like gendered stereotypes or a preference for single-gender environments) are made to feel uncomfortable in polite society. Any social norm needs to be defended and maintained if it is to last, much like the Odonians in LeGuin’s ‘The Dispossessed’ firmly rebuke anyone who might reintroduce power, property, or self-aggrandisement into their Utopia.

    If I understand you right, you see gender as becoming something between race, eye colour, and the football team you support. You can choose to hang your identity on your gender like you can attach great importance to being a Spurs supporter, but it has no social importance, and makes no real difference. I doubt whether that could actually work, though. Can you really get people to see gender as irrelevant and unnoticed, given the difference in looks, reproductive biology, hormones (with related consequences), the genderedness of sexual attraction, and, most of all, the biological drive to ‘differentiate ourselves on the basis of gender’ that you yourself acknowledge?

    I could imagine two variants: If you do it properly, gender would basically not exist, as far as society is concerned (much like your football team). Everything would be unisex: locker rooms and loos, sport, behaviour, jobs, pronouns, education, because ‘we are all just people’. At most there would be shops selling clothing for people with tits, much like there are shops today for the sporty or the overweight. That would solve the trans problem: if gender is pretty much ignored as far as society is concerned, it would all be unconstrained individual behaviour. The question is whether people would be willing to go along. And, interestingly, how you could guard against discrimination in a society that does not acknowledge the existence of separate groups? In today’s France I gather there is racial discrimination but no statistics on it, because France does not acknowledge the existence of racial differences between Frenchmen. If it turned out that people with penises still got the lion’s share of the top jobs in your future, would there be any way of seeing that as a problem, let alone fighting it, when there is no official gender distinction?

    More realistically, maybe, we would keep the separate locker rooms and pronouns, the feminism and gender quotas, the sense of belonging to one of two essentially distinct groups, and the signalling of group membership through clothing etc. That would mean, though, that we did have different and well-policed gender roles, they would just have to be carefully defined so that differences were only allowed in specific defined areas, and any differences in role, expectations or treatment that was deemed to be detrimental were rooted out. In short, gender would not matter, except when it did matter; and gender roles would be furiously debated and policed, and thought about continuously. Trans people would again be a problem, and we would again have militant groups campaigning for their particular group views.

    So, your ‘gender is never a burden’ society would be either totally alien to all we know (and possibly incompatible with human nature), or a conflicted society heavily policing gender roles even as they were claimed not to matter. That is all I can see. If you can see more clearly (and can be bothered with this discussion, which is probably too much to ask) I should be glad to hear it.

  28. Lucythoughts says

    #31 StillGjenganger

    I don’t consider modern feminism to be my trade union I’m afraid. I am not anti-feminist of course, it would be arrogant and stupid to pretend to be opposed to a movement of which I’m the primary beneficiary, but I think there are still substantive gendered issues affecting women and too much of the debate space is taken up with the kind of stuff on your list. If modern feminism was a trade union it would be a trade union that spent 80% of its time advocating for the workers on the top 10% of the pay scale. The most powerful and prominent platforms on women’s issues are occupied by affluent, well educated, career-orientated middle class women and they are overwhelmingly preoccupied with issues that pertain to, you guessed it, affluent, well educated, career-orientated middle class women. Seemingly they believe that by giving increasing amounts of good stuff to those who already have the most there will be a trickle down affect that will ultimately help everybody. I didn’t buy it when the neo-liberals were selling it and I’m not buying it from the feminists.

    A real trade union might concern itself with those of its members who are the most marginalized and under represented. For example, a trade union might look at the two million or so people employed in the adult social care sector, which has made quite a name for itself for its incredibly poor rates of pay and exploitative working conditions. In my view, this is a gender issue not only because most people working in care are women but because I firmly believe that the unbelievably crap conditions under which they work, which not only make it impossible for them to earn a half way decent living but actually prevent them from doing their jobs properly, is strongly linked to the fact that care is seen as women’s work. Women have been looking after elderly relatively for ever without being paid or trained right? So anything is better than nothing. Well actually women were being trained; they quietly served out their apprenticeships in their homes and the homes of their parents, Grandparents and in-laws. And let me be clear, the problem is NOT that these jobs are mainly done by women and not men, I actually don’t care about that one tiny little bit, the problem is that care roles are persistently seen as unskilled and menial and paid and treated accordingly. Feminism seems to have nothing to say about this, I suspect because deep down they believe it too. So care workers continue to try to look after vulnerable elderly and disabled people, who often have complex needs and communication difficulties, on minimum wage zero hours contracts with no holiday pay or sick leave, while their supposed Union representatives bitch to one another about the lack of female CEOs in the FTSE 100.

    Okay, that was a bit of a rant but perhaps that is what a Friday open thread is for. It got it off my chest anyway.

  29. Ally Fogg says

    Gjen [32]

    But I thought that gender politics was exactly about those issues where the needs and interests of the two genders did not coincide?

    No, I wouldn’t understand gender politics by that definition. That implies (as do some of your other comments) that gender politics is a zero sum gain so that one gender’s gains are another gender’s losses.

    I do not accept that or agree with it.

    Gender politics is about the ways in which the construction of gender and the application of gender impact on society, and the ways in which those could be changed to make society better. It is not, in my view, necessarily about conflict or competition between genders.

  30. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts 35
    No disagreement there (though as a middle-class man it is not an issue I can push too hard). What I meant by the ‘trade union’ comment is that feminism quite legitimately looks after its members and disregards the rest, much like the printer’s union never had much desire (or obligation) to take responsibilty for the interests of care workers, journalists, or society at large (let alone newspaper owners).

  31. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 37.

    Gender politics is about the ways in which the construction of gender and the application of gender impact on society, and the ways in which those could be changed to make society better

    Got me there. You are right.

    I would not say that gender is a zero-sum game. Just that the choices you need to make may sometimes (far from always) benefit one gender at the expense of the other. Would you say that the optimal choice for one gender is always the optimal choice for the other gender too? Or that for ideological reasons you refuse to contemplate trade-offs between the interests of different genders?

  32. Ally Fogg says

    WineEM

    There’s a lot there which I don’t particularly disagree with. It is quite true that current and previous Ministers for Women & Equalities and the departments which they head have shown little or no interest in men’s issues.

    However there is a very important point which I think you are missing (or wrong about)

    You are assuming that efforts to address male-specific gender issues would be, should be or must be delivered by the Department for Women and Equalities. This is simply not true.

    Even if someone were to wave a political magic wand tomorrow and deliver all the policy initiatives we’d like for men and boys – an education commission, a male suicide strategy, an end violence against men and boys strategy, provision of domestic violence services, a commitment to the need of male survivors of sexual violence etc etc etc.

    Not one of those would be delivered by the Dept of Women and Equalities.

    The Commission on boy’s education would be delivered by the DoE
    Male suicide strategies would be delivered by DoH
    DV services would be delivered by Home Office

    etc etc etc.

    Now, I would willingly agree that it would help to have Maria Miller or whoever else on our side in lobbying for those things. But in practise, as any feminist political lobbyist would tell you, the DWE is pretty fucking useless anyway. She’s not the one making decisions to fund women’s shelters or to close them. She’s not the one making decisions on the tampon tax.

    You could put up a pretty good argument to say that men and boys won’t get any of the policies they need because not enough MPs give a shit, and I’d be inclined to agree with you. But again, it has nothing to do with an institutional structure that is notionally sympathetic to women’s issues.

    You could abolish the DWE tomorrow, sack Maria Miller and replace her with nobody, and it would make not the slightest difference to the prospects of men getting the policies they need.

  33. Ally Fogg says

    Gjen [34]

    First of all, the idea that gender makes no difference for any important purpose is still a social gender norm (much like atheism is still a worldview). And it will be transmitted and policed in the same way that the current gender roles are:

    Let me just stop you right there and say no. No no no no no.

    First of all, I have never said gender ‘makes no difference for any important purpose.’ Gender plays an incredibly important, dynamic and reflexive role in shaping the type of society we live in, while society plays an incredibly important, dynamic and reflexive role in shaping gender.

    Changing gender roles will always play a significant role in changing society and vice versa, whether for better or worse. Liberating gender roles plays a significant role in liberating society.

    Second, it is not the actual specific gender roles that I am objecting to – many of those are rather arbitrary and trivial anyway.. It is the existence of, policing of and enforcement of gender roles that I am concerned about. I would be just as opposed to enforcing Mao-suit style conformity to a static, unitary gender script. So your very first sentence there is completely upside down and back to front.

    I could imagine two variants: If you do it properly, gender would basically not exist, as far as society is concerned (much like your football team). Everything would be unisex: locker rooms and loos, sport, behaviour, jobs, pronouns, education, because ‘we are all just people’.

    Some of those things but not all. Nobody (certainly not me) is suggesting we have a world without sex, sexuality, diversity, gender expression etc etc etc. I like to think we’d end up with a much more colourful, diverse range of gendered divisions and gendered expressions than we have at the moment.

    You seem to be of the idea that I’m averse to gender, want to abolish it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    I don’t want to banish gender. I want to banish gender-based oppression, gender discrimination, gender injustice etc.

    That is not the same thing at all.

  34. Ally Fogg says

    [39]

    Would you say that the optimal choice for one gender is always the optimal choice for the other gender too?

    Not sure what you mean by ‘optimal choice’ but if you mean ‘a policy which is best for one gender’ then yes, I would say a policy which is optimal for one gender will, in the vast majority of cases, be beneficial not harmful to the other gender.

    We’ve had this discussion before, but for instance, you could see this really clearly in an extreme Taliban-style society where women are not allowed to work, leave the house, have their own money etc might be superficially benefiting men , as they have all the money and all the power, but I would suggest that in such societies men have completely miserable lives, as of course to women.

  35. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 42
    Looks like I have found the limit of your pragmatism, then. It does mean we cannot talk meaningfully on this particular subject: to me any decision is about weighing up the pro’s and con’s for various groups. And claiming that some decision is in everybody’s interest without first determining what those interests are and how the decision affects them sounds more like wilful ignorance (or sleight-of-hand) than wisdom. I am not trying to insult you, but you are so impressive to talk to in general (fact-oriented, open-minded, informed, illuminating, you name it) that I find it very hard to dismiss you as ‘ideologically unwilling to consider alternative opinions’, even on this very specific subject. But I guess there is no choice. To you, as I understand you, anything that improves the lives of women, must by definition also improve the lives of men. So be it. I shall endeavour to avoid coming back to this particular point, and enjoy learning from you (and sparring with you) on so many other subjects.

  36. StillGjenganger says

    OK. You would like “a much more colourful, diverse range of gendered divisions and gendered expressions ” than we have at present. And at the same time you want to avoid any “ policing of and enforcement of gender roles “. The problem is that those two things taken together do not make sense, AFAIAC. The proposition is incoherent. That is why I find it so hard to understand what you are on about.

    Gender is social, not individual. The kinds of gender roles available are determined by the collective, not the individual. For the known roles, everybody knows more or less how to identify people in a given role, how to deal with them, what to expect from them, who can fill what roles. That is how a social role is defined. And by their very existence those roles serve to police people’s behaviour. People who fit within the preset roles are easier to deal with. They match our expectations, we can do the right thing on autopilot. That is what the roles are for, actually. Someone who choses to go against the known roles is unpredictable, more demanding to deal with, continuously surprising us. He will therefore be met with some stress and disapproval, and will find life harder than it would be if he conformed. As for children: they pretty much read from the environment what the right roles are, and actively learn to fulfil one. The long and short of it is that just by being there, roles serve to reward people who conform, and discourage people who do not. They are policed, in short.

    Of course, if they were not policed, there would be no roles. Any behaviour would be equally possible, equally welcome, and equally likely. You would deal with everybody like they had just arrived from an unknown country. Because if you did not, you would be pushing people to conform to the local rules, and thereby policing their behaviour. So, if gender roles are important and non-empty, there will be pressure on people to conform. If there is no pressure, it means that there are no roles, just an infinite individual variability.

    Unlike the point on gender interests and trade-offs, I think it ought to be possible for us to get our definitions clear enough that we can at least put into words where it is that we disagree. But I sure cannot see any way to do it for the moment.

  37. 123454321 says

    #19 very politically correct answer, Ally, and I agree it’s hard to not let the chivalrous obligations and cultural pressures get in the way. Personally, I’d save the young lad as he still has his life to live (I’d do the same if it were a young girl), but regardless of that, he is more likely to have the strength and fitness capability to join forces with you to save someone else (as might a young teenage girl over a more elderly gentleman). Also, those saved, if younger, could potentially go on to have children (the old lady is more likely to have done her bit and had hers). This is a question which determines whether you value female over male or young over old. And it’s a question which determines how much value you attach to the evolutionary cause rather than the choices you believe would fit in with other people’s expectations – it’s a bitch of a question. Not many people are comfortable thinking about the scenario, let alone answering it, and I understand why. Like you, I’d have a hard time making choices under those conditions but the fact that you gave a politically correct answer (i.e. you didn’t answer properly) does indicate you’d struggle with overthrowing certain concepts in your own mind. In my mind, saving the young over the old is the right way to go.

  38. StillGjenganger says

    @123454331 45
    It is surely hard to imagine properly. Unless you are a surgeon on a transplant committee you are unlikely to have leisure to think it through. Do you help the one least likely to make it unaided? That is the old lady. Do you decide for certain that you can save maximum one and go for the youngest? Or do you go by sympathy and emotion?

  39. 123454321 says

    To my mind, anyone who leaves the young lad stranded sees men as disposable or are highly influenced by cultural expectations. The same people choosing that option are likely to save a young lass over an elderly gentleman for the same reasons. I would always save the younger person, but that’s me, nothing to do with sympathy or emotion, it’s just the right thing to do.

  40. Paul says

    Thanks for your reply Ally.

    I don’t fundamentally disagree with anything you wrote.I do however believe strongly that the narrative on the issue of violence in our society needs to change.For it’s currently dominated by those who tend to play down or ignore the extent to which women are not only violent and abusive themselves but also actively encourage a belief that there are times when a ”real man” should be violent.

    You mentioned that many feminists also believe that chivalry is an outdated concept which can disguise deeply sexist attitudes and i fully agree with that .But i also wonder whether those same feminists are prepared to acknowledge the full extent to which women are complicit in violence,abuse criminality etc.

    @ Interesting posts about whether an old lady or young man should be saved first on a sinking ship.I agree that from an emotive point of view you’d want those you love to be saved first. However as a matter of principle i believe saving the most vulnerable of both sexes-the children,the elderly,pregnant women and the sick and disabled -should be the priority.And that parents and carers of both sexes should be allowed to accompany their children and any sick or disabled people.

    I certainly don’t believe in the adage ”Women and Children first” so in the event of a ship sinking able bodied women of working age without dependent children and without other caring responsibilities shouldn’t assume they should automatically get any preferential treatment over men.Interestingly i remember reading about some American feminists in the the early twentieth century being highly critical of many of the women on the Titanic who took advantage of the ”Women and Children first’ policy which saved their lives when the liner sank in 1912.And feeling quite irritated by the response from some British suffragettes who stated they were quite happy in principles for men to die for them but didn’t want them to control their lives in other ways.Such an attitude-variations of which prevail with SOME women to this day- reeks of wanting their cake and eating it.Or of not wanting true equality with men but rather wanting the best of both worlds as and when it suits them.

  41. Lucy says

    123whine567

    “AMA – If you were on a sinking ship and could only save one of two people: an elderly lady or a young lad in his late teens – both of whom appeared able-bodied – who would you save and why?”

    Quite why you think Ally Fogg is in a position to save anyone whilst wimimming for his own life is a mystery. Perhaps the old lady is a better swimmer. There’s an 80 year old swimmer at my pool who is an ex Olympic swimmer and a young man who flops about on his back like a demented otter.

    But anyway, let’s put the chivalrous myth of men saving women and children in sea disasters to bed shall we?

    – The code “women and children first” went down with the Titanic 100 years ago, says a new study.
    – Women and children die to a much larger extent than men in maritime disasters.
    – Women fared worse in shipwrecks involving Union Jack ships.

    The chivalrous code “women and children first” appears to have sunk with the Titanic 100 years ago. Long believed to be the golden standard of conduct in a shipwreck, the noble edict is in fact “a myth that has been nourished by the Titanic disaster,” economist Mikael Elinder of Uppsala University, Sweden, told Discovery News.

    Elinder and colleague Oscar Erixson analyzed a database of 18 peace-time shipwrecks over the period 1852 – 2011 in a new study into survival advantages at sea disasters.

    Looking at the fate of over 15,000 people of more than 30 nationalities, the researchers found that more women and children die than men in maritime disasters, while captains and crew have a greater chance of survival than any passengers.

    Being a woman was an advantage on only two ships: on the Birkenhead in 1852 and on the Titanic in 1912.

    Indeed, it was the sinking of the troopship HMS Birkenhead off the coast of South Africa in 1852 that inspired the tradition of “women and children first.”

    The story goes that the soldiers’ commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Seton, ordered his men to help get the women and children on board the three lifeboats as the Birkenhead began sinking in shark-infested waters. Not a single woman or child lost their life, thanks to the soldiers who stoically stood on deck as the ship went down.

    Going down in maritime history as the Birkenhead Drill — women and children first — their sacrifice deeply influenced the behavior on the Titanic.

    When the luxury liner sank in the North Atlantic on April 14, 1912, the captain E.J. Smith admonished the men to “Be British,” letting women and children leave first.

    In the best romantic tradition, he did go down with his ship. Overall, 1,496 of the 2,208 people aboard died as the 46,000-ton vessel plunged to a depth of 12,400 feet.

    “Women had a quite remarkable survival advantage over men, 73.3 percent compared to 20.7 percent. First class passengers had a survival rate of 62 percent, second class 41.8 percent and third class 25.4 percent. Children had a higher survival rate than adults,” Elinder and Erixson wrote in a paper titled “Every man for himself!” published by the Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    It was the last time that women benefited from the Birkenhead tradition.

    Continuing their investigation, Elinder and Erixson found that women had a lower chance of survival in 11 out of 18 shipwrecks. Women fared worse also in recent times, during the sinking of the Russian river cruise MV Bulgaria in 2011. They had a survival rate of 26.9 percent, opposed to 60.3 percent of men.

    Overall, children appear to have the lowest survival rate.

    “Women and children first was a very patchy, uneven goal in 19th and 20th century shipwrecks. It had strong class, nationality and ethnicity elements, which meant that ‘ladies first’ was more often practiced,” Lucy Delap, fellow and director of studies in history at the University of Cambridge, UK, told Discovery News.

    Delap, who was not involved in the research, noticed that the migrants and pilgrims of low socio-economic status who traveled by ship were very often not given the dignity of being divided into men and women.

    “They were simply regarded as mobs, crowds or ‘cargo.’ You very rarely had women and children of this class and racial background being given precedence in shipwrecks,” she said.

    Elinder and Erixson also found that the crew and the captain had the best odds of survival on average — a rule confirmed by the recent Costa Concordia disaster.

    “Only seven out of 16 captains went down with their ship,” said Elinder

    The study dismissed previous theories according to which selfish behavior dominated on fast sinking ships, while socially determined behavioral patterns were more likely to re-emerge on slowly sinking vessels.

    “We found that women have a disadvantage independently of whether the ship sinks quickly or slowly,” the researchers said.

    What really seems to matter is the behavior of the captain, who has the power to enforce normative behavior.

    “His policy, rather than the moral sentiments of men, determines if women are given preferential treatment in shipwrecks. This suggests an important role for leaders in disasters,” the researchers wrote.

    Indeed, the “women and children first” order was given for only five times out of 18 sinkings.

    Also, women would have been better off if they had avoided British ships. In contrasts with the notion of British men being more gallant than men of other nationalities, women fared worse in shipwrecks involving Union Jack ships.

    “Based on our analysis, it becomes evident that the sinking of the Titanic was exceptional in many ways and that what happened on the Titanic seems to have spurred misconceptions about human behavior in disasters,” Elinder and Erixson concluded.”

  42. Lucy says

    Paul

    “And that women who’re either verbally,physically and emotionally abusive towards men or women who instigate violence between men can’t complain if/when they get a taste of their own medicine ?”

    Yeah and featherweights should fight heavy weights, and tigers.

    What did the Romans ever do for us?

    And women, kids, old and disabled people wanting equal rights without the equal opportunity to be beaten up. What’s that all about?

  43. Lucy says

    StillGjenganger

    “As you pointed out, mere sex is something women can easily get and are often pestered for, and there is a fair chance that men will generate the missing enthusiasm on demand if it means that they can (finally) get some.”

    Mere sex is a damn sight easier for any man to get than women. You just have to pretend to care 50% of the time and you’ll get it; or google anything at all and be presented with escorts and lonely housewives eager for your company. There’s a whole industry geared up to providing men with mere sex.

    Any woman who is over a certain age or who doesn’t look as society dictates she should, have to be willing to run the gamut of sneerers, social shamers and psychos to find somebody willing to do them a favour.

  44. Lucy says

    Paul

    “I agree with Whoopi Goldberg in the following link that women who’re the perpetrators and instigators of violence towards men should never assume that just because they’re women a man won’t retaliate .”

    A) straw woman, no woman who’s been alive for more than 5 minutes assumes that.
    B) whoopi goldberg also said that Polanski’s crime wasn’t “rape rape”. And she was in Sister Act. The woman has poor judgement.

  45. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger [44]

    Let me see if I can explain it this way.

    Do you think women in 2015 are tied to the same gender scripts as women in 1955? DO you think they are as tied to as strict and rigid a gender script as they were in 1955?

    I don’t.

    In 1955 a woman was heavily pressured to remain virginal until she was married, and afterwards give up working to become a housewife and mother. In appearance she would be tied to quite a narrow and uniform representation of femininity and have a very predictable, restricted life, all that Betty Friedan stuff.

    What has happened over the past 60 years? The restrictiveness of their gender scripts and gender policing has been lifted by social / political / cultural agreement. A woman can present as a woman in all sorts of different ways. It is much more accepted that young women will have active and diverse sex lives without being excessively shamed. She can follow a career as an engineer or as a nurse or a lawyer or doctor or a shop assistant and – while some might still be more common than others – no one would consider her to have been defeminised. She can go out to work with a male partner who stays home to look after the kids and they won’t be considered the scandal of the village. She can dress and style herself in a traditional dress or a short skirt or a trouser suit or jeans, She can be demure or flamboyant or formal or punky, according to occasion.

    Etc etc etc etc etc.

    Now, what I think has happened over the past 60 years to women is that they have liberated themselves, to a certain extent, from the strict oppressive conditions of their gender scripts. Does this mean that when we look around at women in 2015 they are not performing gender? Of course not, they are doing it all the time in all sorts of interesting and diverse ways ,they are actually performing gender in more interesting, liberating ways than they were before and (collectively and individually) are coming up with new and interesting ways to perform gender all the time.

    What I am proposing to you, what I would like to see, is for the type of liberation from gender scripts that we have seen for women over the past 60 years continuing for women (because it is an unfinished job in progress and will probably always be so) and a similar kind of liberation happening for men.

    It seems to me that you are imagining my politics to be some kind of utopian (or dystopian) science fiction fantasy, it is all much more mundane than that. Basically I advocate that we look at everything we’ve been doing for the past few decades and do it some more.

    Is that so hard to understand?

  46. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 53
    Yes, it is very hard to understand. Because that last years have not liberated women from their script – it has just changed the script. The gender roles may be less all-encompassing and less rigid, but they are definitely still there.

    Seemingly innocuous expectations do disadvantage those who do not share them – as female pilots, ethnic minority lawyers, or aggressively competitive women would all rush to tell you. So, if you want complete freedom from constraints in some area (as you seem to do) you have to get rid of roles completely in that area (as you say you do not want to do).

  47. redpesto says

    Fogg: #40

    But in practise, as any feminist political lobbyist would tell you, the DWE is pretty fucking useless anyway.

    That’s because any specific measure to improve things for women would be delivetred by another department – that’s why Osborne’s misfiring idea of allocating the money from the ‘tampon tax’ to women’s charities wasn’t annoucned by Nicky Morgan.

    The thing to watch is the Women and Equalities Select Committee, which might be more useful in terms of cross-departmental oversight (assuming it has good chair and membership.

  48. Holms says

    #43 StillG
    Looks like I have found the limit of your pragmatism, then. It does mean we cannot talk meaningfully on this particular subject: to me any decision is about weighing up the pro’s and con’s for various groups.

    The assumption you seem to be making here is that a pro for one group, say women, is necessarily a con for the other. To put it mildly, I find this dubious.

    #45 1234
    it’s a bitch of a question. Not many people are comfortable thinking about the scenario, let alone answering it, and I understand why.

    Because it’s a tiresome and shallow ‘gotcha’ question.

    #52 Lucy
    A) straw woman, no woman who’s been alive for more than 5 minutes assumes that.

    Just a massive load of balls. There truly are women that believe they get to slap their partner, or even random men, in the expectation that the man is somehow not allowed to retaliate. I have had women tell me this in person.

  49. Holms says

    #54 StillG
    Yes, it is very hard to understand. Because that last years have not liberated women from their script – it has just changed the script. The gender roles may be less all-encompassing and less rigid, but they are definitely still there.

    Uhhhh ok, to continue this increasingly stretched analogy, this gender script is still totally present, it’s just less prescriptive, less script-like. There are increasing areas on this script where people can just improvise and do whatever they want, and the ultimate goal is for the script to eventually just say ‘fuck it, do whatever you want as a woman / man’ at which point it ceases to be a script in any meaningful sense.

  50. StillGjenganger says

    @Holms 57.
    I am not assuming that what is good for women is bad for men. All I am saying is that the interests of men and women will sometimes be in conflict, and therefore we should determine what the interests of men are, so we can decide where the interests are aligned, and where trade-offs need to be made. Since this is pretty uniformly rejected, I conclude that according to Ally (and you) the interests of men and women are always aligned. I can see that this is a comforting thought. It would mean that you do not need to ask men what they want, because whatever women think is good will suit them as well. And it would mean that you can be 100% solidaric with men and women both, because you know on principle that their interests can never conflict. I just do not think this idea has any place in the real world.

  51. StillGjenganger says

    @Holms 58
    Exactly. You are saying that the ultimate goal is for gender roles to disappear, and leave just private, role-less freedom. Which is what I thought Ally meant, but he said ‘no’. Since roles are socially determined you would still need to police this ‘gender-blindness’, though. lest gendered expectations crept back in again.

    If you do not want gender roles to disappear, as Ally says he does not, we are back to my question of which gendered expectations you will tolerate and which you want to get rid of. Which I cannot get an answer to either.

  52. Ally Fogg says

    Gjen [54]

    Because that last years have not liberated women from their script – it has just changed the script. The gender roles may be less all-encompassing and less rigid, but they are definitely still there.

    They are still there, partly because it is a work in progress as I stated, but also partly because you are correct that a gender role does have some kind of collective, social dynamic.

    But I am trying to explain to you what I mean when I talk about making gender less of a burden, less of a prison.

    Another way of thinking about the same thing is that in 1955, it would have been a cruel and hurtful thing to say to a woman that the way she looked or behaved is not very feminine. That would have been a really big deal.

    I would suggest that large numbers (not all, but many) women would now react to being told that they’re not being very feminine by either laughing or shrugging. It doesn’t matter to them that much whether they are seen as feminine or not. Or they would disagree, and argue (and believe) that wearing Doc Marten boots, having spiky hair or working in the construction industry does not in fact make them less feminine. They feel perfectly feminine despite those details.

    I am suggesting to you that this is true and that this is a good thing. I am suggesting that this is a good thing that we should do more of for women, and much more of for men (where being accused of not being masculine is still a much bigger deal).

    Where do you disagree?

    Seemingly innocuous expectations do disadvantage those who do not share them – as female pilots, ethnic minority lawyers, or aggressively competitive women would all rush to tell you. So, if you want complete freedom from constraints in some area (as you seem to do) you have to get rid of roles completely in that area (as you say you do not want to do).

    No, you are being absolutist again.

  53. Ally Fogg says

    [59]

    I conclude that according to Ally (and you) the interests of men and women are always aligned.

    I have never said this, and what’s more I have explicitly told you that this is not what I believe.

    I’m sure we could all come up with hypothetical examples where it is not true. But they are sufficiently rare and unusual that we don’t really need to worry about them in terms of broad principles. If they arise, they are arising as anomalies and can be addressed as such.

    The over-riding principle is that men and women, individually and collectively, are best served and best helped with social and economic justice, and that injustice – such as discrimination, inequality, oppression etc – makes both women and men less happy, fulfilled, safe, secure etc etc etc in the big picture.

  54. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 62.
    OK. You think that the interests of men and women arefor all practical purposes always aligned. And hence it is futile to spend time looking for cases where they might be in opposition. That is a more reasonable point of view – I withdraw my comment about being “ideologically unwilling to consider alternative opinions”. But it still leaves us with a number of things that we cannot sensibly discuss, our prior assumptions being too different.

  55. Ally Fogg says

    But it still leaves us with a number of things that we cannot sensibly discuss, our prior assumptions being too different.

    Hmm, don’t see why. It might leave us with a number of things we cannot totally agree on, but I don’t see that there is anything which isn’t up for discussion and debate.

    What did you have in mind?

  56. Marduk says

    The principle is more important than the trade-offs. We’re in a transitional time that throws up lots of contradictions. This is to be expected really. Yes, its still frustrating that even committed feminists are not immune to shaming men who don’t follow traditional roles. Well, more irritating than anything but like I say, times are strange and shit happens. There are a lot of people running about trying to square circles or ordering dry water on the rocks. In the world of dating this is causing utter carnage but like the man said, I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.

    Some of the more eccentric turns feminism has taken in recent years are all about trying to accommodate contradictions. They don’t work and they get found out eventually (e.g., remember ‘choice feminism’?) but this is all part of the process. I don’t think you’re going to find a grand tectonic theory of equality of gender where everyone gets everything they want all the time, the better thing to do is to insist on the principle of freedom and leave things to evolve and find their own fit on a micro (rather than macro) scale.

    Its not like intra-gender these changes make everyone happy. You’ve got women in the workforce who’d really rather not be and you’ve got men outside the workforce who’d really rather be in it. There are also some situations right now that just don’t really work with the best will in the world (cuts aside one of the reason for a shortage of midwives is the rate at which midwives themselves take maternity leave…the people most affected are the least likely to object). The Equalities Minister (aka the Education Minister) basically stabbing herself in the back every time she switches between her portfolios is a comic case in point and a sign of the times. But solutions and accommodations will be found, its just going to take time.

    Its all too early to say really.

  57. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 61.
    Not sure which one of us being absolutist. I am saying that any established role will make some behaviours easier than others and thereby condition people’s behaviour. If you say that this is true, but the effect can be so small that it does not matter much, we can agree. If you say that you can have social roles that have no limiting effect on people’s behaviour, you have lost me.

    ‘Feminine’ is a bit ambiguous, here – it suggests pretty girls in dainty dresses. I would say that your women in Doc Martens feel securely and happily female, whether they are ‘feminine’ or not. The way they dress is just irrelevant for their gender, and a way of expressing their individuality.The thing is, it works because being a woman is seen as reflecting your nature. You ‘are’ a woman, and that says certain things about you. Team Woman is a good place to belong. Its members have their own (slightly) distinct culture, it is the team that makes the babies, looks after people, are nice and considerate, are sexually in demand, and its members can be as tough and successful any member of Team Man. ‘Women rock!’
    How about team Man? Well, it is the team with the muscles – which is only a fashion accessory now the sabretooth tigers are extinct and machines do the lifting. It has its own, (slightly) distinct culture, and too much testosterone, which together makes it the team of criminals, rapists and soulless competitors. Men are particularly good at – nothing that women cannot do as well. And no matter how gentle and sensitive men become, they are still second to team Woman who bear the babies and look after the new life.

    So: the two teams only work if there are some acknowledged differences between them, You would not get the same effect if you divided people by lottery into ‘Team Octopus’ and ‘Team Crane’, where the two groups are manifestly identical. So, if you want to get rid of any conditioning influences at all, you would have to get rid of the idea of teams, and have everybody be just another individual. That is probably not going to happen. Realistically we would be stuck with ‘Team Woman’ and ‘Team Man’. And, as I show above, Team Woman has some advantages that they are always going to keep, for reasons of reproductive biology. Team Man has none, except the superfluous muscles, and the remains of former dominance that we are busy dismantling as we speak. I do not want myself or my son to be stuck on a second-rate team, so I am looking for something that can make Team Man a proud place to be, too.

  58. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 64
    Well, any time I argue that ‘for men, this is not a good thing’, I am likely to get ‘it is better for women, so it is better for every one’. In fact I do it again in my last post. If you take it for granted that the same things that are better for one gender is automatically better for the other, everything I say is by definition irrelevant. In fact I must apologise in advance – with the best will in the world I shall find it hard to keep running into this same argument repeatedly.

  59. Ally Fogg says

    ‘Feminine’ is a bit ambiguous, here – it suggests pretty girls in dainty dresses.

    I’m not so sure about that. It certainly used to suggest pretty girls in dainty dresses, but I am not sure it does any more.

    Although I guess what has happened (and I suspect you and I are saying the same thing here) is that the notion of ‘femininity’ has lost much of its repressive, restrictive obligation.

    And yet somehow, in 2015, it would still be ludicrous to suggest that women ‘do’ gender less than they used to or less than men do. They just do it in far less oppressive, restrictive and uniform ways.

    And again, I repeat, I think this is a good thing and exactly what I want to see more of.

  60. Ally Fogg says

    Well, any time I argue that ‘for men, this is not a good thing’, I am likely to get ‘it is better for women, so it is better for every one’. In fact I do it again in my last post. If you take it for granted that the same things that are better for one gender is automatically better for the other, everything I say is by definition irrelevant.

    Don’t be like that. What you say is never irrelevant, at worst some of us might not agree with it. That is not the same thing.

    But I would be genuinely interested in examples, because I honestly don’t know what kinds of instances you have in mind.

  61. WineEM. says

    @40 Thanks, Ally, y’know complete saddo that I am, I actually did some reading up on how the Government Equality Office works, and it turns out it’s not really quite like that. Last time I looked at their website (no idea if it’s changed much since then), the Equalities Office was openly bragging about how it works in conjunction and through the big offices of state (the departments of education, justice, ect.). In other words, what it embodies and represents is the ‘gender agenda’ of the government executive, which then feeds through and is taken up by these other departments. So the idea that if Maria Miller was replaced – or complimented – by a figure like Philip Davies or Glenn Poole (left of right, doesn’t really matter as long as they were speaking up for guys), that this would make no difference, is an idea I reject, because you would at least have a front-bench presence speaking out on areas where men/boys are falling behind, something which is not happening now in the slightest.
    Ironically, some fairly similar points to yours were made to Philip Davies when he proposed the IMD debate: people said stuff like ‘oh no, you don’t need a men’s day debate. If men have problems, just raise queries in general Health Questions or Education Questions etc.’ However, Davies quite rightly countered that this wasn’t all that easy (because of the ballot system in the commons etc.) and that we needed a definite structure, like a debate within parliament, to focus people’s minds on male specific issues.
    All in all, I believe structures, then, do matter. For it’s not so much that most MPs are misandrist, it’s more that they are career driven, and tend to take the line followed by their own front bench. Setting up new initiatives and structures, such as Committees and Commissions into boys/men’s interest would help strengthen the hand of independent minded backbenchers like Philip Davies (and others who think a bit differently on these things), though ideally the lead would come from the top, and men’s issues and concerns recognised right at the heart of government.

  62. Paul says

    Lucy

    @50 +52

    Might be an idea to remove your rad fem blinkers and start engaging with the real world.

  63. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 70
    Thanks for the nice comments. As for examples of different interests, the best I can do for now is my post 23. Plus my post 66, which I guess could be summarised that both sexes have an interest in having a field where their ‘team’ is different and preferably superior – but that women have one guaranteed by reproductive biology, whereas men have to scrabble for something else.

    There is also the obvious interest in your group having most of the power etc. Unlike you, I do not think that equality is necessarily a gain for both sides – but since there is no morally acceptable case for one group monopolising the power, that does not really make a difference in practice.

  64. Marduk says

    #68

    I think I’m trying to say you can’t really work out what anyone’s interests are in a changing situation.

    To take one bit of ephemera (which, yes, says men’s narrowing life chances are primary a problem for Bridget bloody Jones, but none the less…):
    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/10/dating-gap-hook-up-culture-female-graduates
    We got what we wanted! Whoops, we didn’t get what we wanted at all. Who wins here(?), you can’t make a calculation but all you can really do is say that men and women both have the right to do what they want to do (or not do). Is this going to cause problems? Certainly but its hard to track there where the power even is at this point. All you can conclude is it is just going to have to be different, and some people aren’t going to like that, but that is how it will be.

  65. Ally Fogg says

    OK, let me go through them.

    – Men: equality of opportunity, choosing the person who presents as best qualified for a job. Women: quotas and equality of outcome.

    Both genders benefit when the best person for the job gets the job. Quotas and enforced outcomes can sometimes be effective as a way of remedying unjust employment and appointment situations, where historically one gender is unfairly excluded, but nobody thinks quotas are an ideal, they are (sometimes) considered the last resort strategy to address an unjust situation, but the real solution to the problem you identify is greater justice, less discrimination, less gender prejudice etc.

    Also – women: special career bonuses to make up for lack of experience due to part-time work or maternity leave.

    Not sure what you are referring to here. WHat sort of bonuses? Has this ever happened or even been proposed by anyone? But if you’re suggesting a pure hypothetical, I am a man who has benefited enormously from my (female) partner being able to return to work and excel after having children. She didn’t have any help of the type you describe, but had she had, the beneficiaries would have been not just her but me and my two sons, her (male) employers etc etc etc. It is plainly untrue that it is only about her. The best thing for men and women in these situations is that women are given as much help as possible to balance family and career, and the exact same thing is true of men.

    – Men: Maternity leave freely shared in a couple: Women: Each member gets a single use-it-or-lose-it chunk of time.

    No, the first scenario is clearly better for both men and women. How could it not be? Again, men and women in that situation are bringing up a family together and what is good or bad for one is good or bad for the other.

    In rape cases: Women: Men: High weight on ‘innocent until proven guilty’. High weight on trusting the accuser.

    You do realise that almost certainly many, many more men are raped or sexually abused than are ever falsely accused of rape? But that aside, it is absolutely in the best interests of men and women that justice is done, that offenders are convicted and innocent people are not.

    – Men: Some areas and jobs seen as masculine (which gives men some areas to feel home in). Women: All jobs strictly promoted as unisex (childcare and nurturing is a safely female field anyway, so nothing to lose here).

    This does far, far more harm to men than it brings advantages on both sides. The presentation of childcare and nurturing as “women’s work” has done more harm to boys and men than perhaps any other gender narrative (not least in the role it plays in issues like family court settlements).

    And the business from [66] about “teams” is way off beam in my view. This is precisely the problem. The bottom line is that the welfare and wellbeing of my female partner has a far bigger impact on my own wellbeing and welfare than anything to do with the man next door, down the road or on the other side of the world.

    Women have boyfriends and husbands. Men have daughters, mums, sisters. All the other combinations. The idea that I am somehow competing for wellbeing and happiness with the women in my life is utterly unfathomable. Those things are not limited resources that need to be fought over. They are cultivated and grow from social co-operation and that includes between genders.

  66. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally. Thanks. We disagree and are likely to keep disagreeing, but I feel much happier to have my ideas dismissed for cause than to have them dismissed because conflicts of interest are supposedly impossible in principle. I have already taken enormous amounts of your time (and my boss just told me I need to be more efficient in my time management), but I’ll give a couple of remarks.

    – What does it mean ‘the best person for the job’? If one person has more attainment, presence and relevant experience, and the other has done more maternity leave but possibly has more innate intelligence, which, of several plausible candidates, should you choose? And that is before you take into account whose personal style will fit better into the existing team. There is not one logically obvious answer. You might legitimately have different opinions on this point, depending whether your ‘team’ tends to take more maternity leave, or to present better at interviews.

    – Freely shared maternity leave is certainly better, I agree. But in todays’ world mothers are likely to take a much larger share. I have seen feminists push for ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ maternity leave for fathers, specifically to convince employers that men take maternity leave too (and so improve women’s job prospects).

    – More men are raped than end up in court for rape? Surely true. Than are informally accused of rape? Maybe, but not as quite as obvious. I think it is an observational fact that when presented with a case where A pushes for sex and B is too flabbergasted to come up with a ‘no’ before it is too late, men are much more likely to worry ‘what if it happened to me and I was accused of rape afterwards’ and less likely to worry ‘what if it happened to me and I ended up having sex against my will’. Do they really all suffer from false consciousness, or does that reflect who is more likely to accuse, who is more likely to be accused – and who is more willing to take risks in the pursuit of sex? The choice is a matter of compromising between conflicting interests: deterring crime, punishing the guilty, not punishing the innocent, and making it easy for people to pair up and have fun if they want to. Again, there is not a single obvious answer, and there is nothing strange in people with different situations having different preferences.

    – The idea that in return for women getting the great chance of working in society, same as men, men should enjoy the great chance to work in the home, same as women, was something I first read over thirty years ago. It did not convince me, then or now. Men now have greater freedom to be closer to their children, yes. I enjoy that too (hopefully so do my children), and I am certainly doing a lot more, at home and with the children, than my father did. Men have the possibility to be the primary caregiver, as you seem to be. That is a very good thing. But I never saw a strong inner desire from men in general to be allowed to change nappies, comparable to the strong desire from women to get out into paid work. I suspect this is not a coincidence. As many have pointed out, children mainly go to mothers on divorce because it is mainly mothers who are the closest caregiver. One reason is surely that men often do not compete strongly for the position. Another reason is surely that if both want to be closest, the mother can always win the argument, simply because pregnancy and breastfeeding start her out in a more intimate relationship which is hers to keep or let lapse. A third might be that women, growing up with a womb, are more likely to see motherhood as a life project that fulfils them, than men who knows that they will need someone else to produce the children and hopefully let them get close It would take the widespread use of mechanical wombs to change that equation. Giving up a career in order to be a child-carer is a tricky decision for both sexes, but I do think that fewer men than women will welcome it.

    We probably should not keep on, but we both presented our side, at least.

  67. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally
    One more, because I think this is important.

    The idea that I am somehow competing for wellbeing and happiness with the women in my life is utterly unfathomable. Those things are not limited resources that need to be fought over.

    Unfortunately in a sense you cannot avoid it. Not that you need to get the better of them, and I do not deny that their happiness is also yours. But the things that they need are not always the things you need. Some things that make them happy may also make you happy, or may make you quite unhappy indeed. And in order to manage this, the first thing you need is to know clearly what your own needs and desires are. If you do not know these things, and say them, who can do it for you? Only then can you see how to manage the whole to the benefit of everybody – including yourself – what you should ask and do to fulfil your own needs, and what you should give to fulfil those of the others.

    We are going from the political to the personal here, but I know from personal experience how it works when you stop trying to find out what your own needs and feelings are, and instead try to want and feel the things that make the people around you happy. You can do it, but it is not the best way to a harmonious life for everybody. And it is not, not, not healthy.

  68. 123454321 says

    Lucy #49 –

    “– Women and children die to a much larger extent than men in maritime disasters.”
    and
    “Looking at the fate of over 15,000 people of more than 30 nationalities, the researchers found that more women and children die than men in maritime disasters,”

    Loving the way women and children get lumped together as a group in order to ‘out-stat’ the men. Cool trick often used but rarely noticed.

    “Being a woman was an advantage on only two ships: on the Birkenhead in 1852 and on the Titanic in 1912.”

    Yep, another cool trick: downplaying the significance of the Titanic and Birkenhead and removing the stats despite the fact that they constituted a significant percentage of the overall stats where more men died. But, hey, let’s just wipe those examples out in order to manipulate the remaining stats and arrive at the desired outcome. Neat. Just looking at titanic alone 75% of women survived where as only 19% of men survived. in total 110 women died where as 1357 men died.

    Anyway, I don’t know what you’re trying to say. All you’ve shown is that men are more capable of out-surviving women and children under such harsh, life-threatening conditions, probably even when trying to save women and children, and the reasons are obvious i.e. they can run faster, they are physically stronger such that they can avoid debris and obstacles easier and aren’t constrained by awkward clothing. For similar reasons, women out-survive children who have the lowest survival rates. So lumping the two lowest surviving groups together, despite those groups having valid reasons for their low rates survival, and then combining the stats of women and children to then compare with men is COMPLETELY FUCKING UNFAIR, inherently misleading and smacks of an agenda because if you strip out the children the stats show a very different story. Also, the studies you are referring to conflates the surviving male passengers with the crew (who were all male in the ‘women and children first’ era) and compares this with the female survival rate, all of whom were passengers, thus artificially skewing the stats in favour of the desired outcome of the study which is easy in this case because a ship’s crew has a much higher survival rate than its passengers. So if you remove the crew and the children from the stats the picture becomes VERY different because the survival rate of male and female passengers becomes almost identical. This is DESPITE all the factors I mentioned earlier relating to the constraints women endured with respect to clothing and physical strength.

    So women did pretty well all said and done and on 5 occasions from the 18 shipwrecks accounted for in the study women were granted privilege over men along with the children, whilst men were deemed the disposable sex. How many times did men enjoy such privilege? And conveniently we forget about all of the men who gave up their lives on warships and submarines whilst protecting their country – stats which would completely dwarf any of these so-called studies you refer to!

    I’ve rushed this big time….but same answer is always more men are murdered, stabbed, abused, homeless etc and MORE MEN THAN WOMEN DIE ON SHIPS AND MORE MEN HELP WOMEN THAN WOMEN HELP MEN…. unless you cherrypick your stats, that is. FFS.

  69. Carnation says

    @ Ally

    You did say ask me anything, so here goes.

    One minute you’re a hedonistic Scotsman, presumably more concerned with the quality of soapbar than you are with gender politics, and now you’re a journo, an authority on gender politics and despised by RadFems and their MRA gender equivalent opposites.

    Excuse the wanky wording, but describe the journey?

  70. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger, I’m going to let it drop because I think we are back at the ‘agree to differ’ point, but just as an observation, I think we are slightly talking across each other in that I am talking more about the pros and cons of different structural / political organisations of society, and you are talking more about what individuals want or need in the immediate short term.

    So at an extreme, I could quite agree that many/most men might *want* a society where men are expected to go to the pub on a Friday after work and stay there until the pubs closed or the week’s wages have been spent while their wives stay home and look after the kids.

    However at the same time, most of us would probably agree that appealing though it may be, in the long term it would be quite damaging to our relationships, to our health, to our families etc, and won’t make us happier and better off in the long term.

    That’s a pretty good crystallisation of our dispute, I think.

  71. Ally Fogg says

    Carnation [79]

    No, it was never the case of one minute this, the next minute that…

    I’ve always been both. And would continue to be both if one could score a decent quarter of crumbly soapbar in this godforsaken skunk-addled century..

    When I was about 14 and listening to Whitesnake and Iron Maiden I was also picking up my mum’s copies of The Female Eunuch, the Second Sex and Fear of Flying off the bookshelves and reading them (mostly to find the dirty bits admittedly.)

    When I was a student and doing the 80s leftie thing, I was reading Dworkin and stayinh up all night smoking Dundonian soapbar and arguing about the feminist sex wars. I was also heavily involved in stuff like Amnesty and Latin American solidarity campaigns. I did quite a lot or reading and thinking about the sorts of John Stoltenberg / Robert Bly men’s movements and all of that, but to be honest none of it struck me as very useful – either abject self abasement or going out into the woods, stripping naked and howling at the moon, neither of which appealed much.

    In the 90s, I was doing a fair bit of hedonism and partying, but I was also very involved in the politics of that (Freedom Network / Adcance Party/ anti-CJB stuff etc) and also the associated eco-warrior stuff (roads protests, Reclaim the Streets etc.) Even then, most of my activist friends were women, mostly anarcho-feminist types, and we would stay up all night smoking soapbar and talking bollocks about eco-feminism & stuff like that.

    By the time I was proper growed up and becoming a dad it was about the same time that Web 2.0 was really coming into its own and since I wasn’t allowed to squat in trees anymore, I took to online politics instead. I ended up writing about male gender issues primarily because there was stuff there that needed saying and it seemed to me that nobody else was saying it. That seems to still be largely true 15 years later, so I guess that explains why I’m still doing it!

    Does that answer your question?

  72. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 80

    I am talking more about the pros and cons of different structural / political organisations of society, and you are talking more about what individuals want or need in the immediate short term.

    That is true up to a point, but it raises a small philosophical niggle. I guess I am asking ‘would we want to live under that system?’ If the question you are asking is ‘Once people have lived for six generations under a completely different culture and adapted to it, which system will make them happier?’ you can pretty much disregard what people think today. But what is left, given that people can be surprisingly happy with the society they have been brought up to see as normal? Even at this very abstract level I still think that biology and the human need to identify with a team means that some societies will be a bit better for men and others will be better for women..

    But yes, this is a good place to stop.

  73. Marduk says

    I don’t know if you’ve seen the show “Drunk history”, but perhaps we should have “Stoned feminism” in which men are handed a bong and asked to explain some esoteric and theoretically complex variant of feminist thought (anarcho- eco- radical- inter-sectional- etc). I predict it would be a huge hit.

  74. Lucythoughts says

    #76 StillGjenganger

    – “I think it is an observational fact that when presented with a case where A pushes for sex and B is too flabbergasted to come up with a ‘no’ before it is too late, men are much more likely to worry ‘what if it happened to me and I was accused of rape afterwards’ and less likely to worry ‘what if it happened to me and I ended up having sex against my will’. Do they really all suffer from false consciousness, or does that reflect who is more likely to accuse, who is more likely to be accused – and who is more willing to take risks in the pursuit of sex?”

    Are we back here? After all the time on the other thread spent thrashing this out, after achieving what you, yourself, called a consensus on the subject of how people can know when they are in a consenting sexual situation or not? Yet here you are once again saying that accidentally raping someone is a professional hazard for a man wanting sex. Honestly, it makes me feel tired and a little despondent. You’re belief simply isn’t supported by the realities of what happens either in rapes or in consensual sex. What really happens isn’t a case of not coming up with a “no” before it’s too late, it is a case either of having your “no” ignored or else being jumped before you even had a the chance to realise that there was a question. The truth is that you know what a “no” looks like and you know what a “yes” looks like; if you didn’t you’d probably have inadvertently raped several people by now. But we’ve been though this, if you didn’t really believe it after the pages of discussion and formally writing it down yourself then I guess you never will.

    You are certainly right that men feel under attack whenever the subject of rape comes up and women feel vulnerable. Imagine a scenario in which you hear that someone that you have never met in your life has been accused of a crime by someone else that you have never met. Only if that crime is one of sexual violence could we possibly all take it so personally.
    But just because there are tremendous levels of paranoia in relation to this one very emotive subject doesn’t mean that the interests of men and women are not the same. Men may fear being accused of rape more than they fear being raped but it doesn’t mean that their risk is actually greater; it is probably less. And the odds of someone they love, a wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister or mother being raped, and the devastating effects that would have on them and their whole family, are greater still. How we achieve a better prosecution and conviction rate for the guilty without further jeopardizing the wrongfully accused is obviously very difficult otherwise we would have done it already but I don’t think it’s helpful to look on it as a conflict of interests between men and women. Personally I don’t think a change in the law is what is needed but rather some modifications to the context in which the law operates. I could expand on that but we’re not on the “is this rape” thread anymore so I’ll leave it there.

    -“More men are raped than end up in court for rape? Surely true. Than are informally accused of rape? Maybe, but not as quite as obvious.”

    I really don’t think very many people are informally accused of rape; on the whole people are very unwilling to label anything as rape, even when it clearly ticks all the boxes. We generally see “rapist” as the equivalent of “monster”, often as bad or worse than “murderer”, so it’s no wonder we find it hard to accept that a real normal person could also be a rapist. We try to escape the dissonance by saying “well, maybe it was a mistake…” The fact is that the vast majority of people who actually rape someone are never accused or confronted with it, formally or informally. It seems to be very hard for people to actually say “I was raped” to anyone face to face, let alone say it to the person who did it to them.

  75. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts 84.

    I understand you got frustrated there, but I am not saying that men cannot know if they are in a consenting situation or not. As you said, we sorted that out on the last thread. I am saying that lots of men are afraid that they will be accused even if they did intend to commit a crime. And that fear is an observational fact, baseless, well-deserved, or (un)reasonable as it may be. As you yourself put it: “men feel under attack whenever the subject of rape comes up and women feel vulnerable.” It may be that I have not completely digested the results of our last thread. But even on second thoughts, I still think that there are some differences remaining. For one thing I think that a man are more likely to be accused of rape for something he does to a woman, than a woman who does the exact same thing to a man. That a man is less at risk of being raped than a woman is. And that men quite reasonably feel more need to be proactive to get to sex, what with the current mating game rules and the fact that, as you said, ‘most women can fairly easily get a one-night-stand, if that is all they want’ while men cannot.

    If (as I think Ally would do) we imagine a society where the two sexes were equally likely to get accused, equally likely to get raped, and had an equally easy time to pick up a bedmate, then the two sexes would have the same interests here. But that is not the society we live in. That does not mean that men and women have an interest to push the dividing line as far as they can manage in one direction or another. It did not prevent us coming to some kind of consensus either. But it does mean, for instance, that using ‘negative consent’ as a minimum standard would make more sense for men than for women, while using ‘enthusiastic consent’ would make more sense for women than for men.

  76. Lucythoughts says

    Fair enough, I withdraw my frustration 🙂

    I agree with you on all of those points and it is the reason the debate into improving outcomes in rape cases goes in increasingly heated circles without getting anywhere. Although I think it is largely paranoia that makes men believe they are likely to be accused of rape even when they are doing everything right, I have some insight by now into where that paranoia comes from (another result of the last thread) and I can sympathise. There’s a cultural predisposition to see male sexuality as inherently controlling and selfish and I think I’d be a little defensive as well if that was the message I’d been being force fed. That is one of the things that absolutely has to change if men and women are ever to meet on the middle ground on these issues, but it’s a pretty ingrained narrative and no concerted effort seems to be being made to shift it.

    Just to clear up a slight misunderstanding, I didn’t quite mean “most women can fairly easily get a one-night-stand, if that is all they want”. Or rather that wasn’t what I intended to communicate. It is true and it isn’t true. If sufficiently determined most women could find a stranger willing to have sex with them, that is true (although it gets harder with age etc of course). But really, what is the good of that if the experience is as likely to be a misery as a pleasure? No one wants to have sex with just anyone, we want someone we want, and that is not easy for a women to find I’m afraid. Sex is just more vulnerable for a woman and you have to have some confidence in your partner, so unless you are lucky enough to really hit it off with someone straight away, then even if you went out specifically looking for sex the chances are you’re going home alone.

  77. Lucythoughts says

    #75 Ally

    1. Also – women: special career bonuses to make up for lack of experience due to part-time work or maternity leave.
    Not sure what you are referring to here. WHat sort of bonuses? Has this ever happened or even been proposed by anyone? But if you’re suggesting a pure hypothetical, I am a man who has benefited enormously from my (female) partner being able to return to work and excel after having children. She didn’t have any help of the type you describe, but had she had, the beneficiaries would have been not just her but me and my two sons, her (male) employers etc etc etc. It is plainly untrue that it is only about her. The best thing for men and women in these situations is that women are given as much help as possible to balance family and career, and the exact same thing is true of men.

    I’m not sure this one will fly. I don’t know exactly what proposals are in question either but it seems to be about giving women who have taken time off to have a family career advancement disproportionate to their experience. Effectively putting them into the position they would have reached if they’d been working the whole time, so they can compete with men and childless women of their age. That just seems patently unfair to the people who have put in the extra years. And you can’t really say, “Well, it helps the husbands and sons of the women as well” because you could just as easily say, “if we gave the job to a man it would help his wife and daughters.” Employment opportunities have to be seen to be based on merit, and that includes experience. I don’t actually believe that women want or expect this kind of preferential treatment anyway, they simply want not to be disadvantaged, e.g. to be able to take time for young children and go back in at approximately the level they left rather than have to drop down a level.

  78. Marduk says

    I was waiting for this to happen:
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/02/labour-mps-deselection-threats-syria-vote-stella-creasy-diana-johnson

    Is it my imagination or is some of this “abuse” actual legitimate speech, political action and campaigning?

    Quick, pull a sad face and claim you feel threatened. Its strange because the only person from Walthamstow I actually saw making threats of violence today was Stella Creasy.

    Is this how its going to be in future, are they all going to start pulling this shit from now on? Great. I knew this would happen. Once a powerful way of refusing to hear criticism was invented, it was inevitable that after it spread from activists to journalists, politicians would be next to hammer on the doors of the ‘safe space’ demanding entry. Presumably the Estate Agents aren’t far behind. Odd how its the people who most need to hear criticism that are the most averse to it (or perhaps it isn’t). Of course they normally contain puppies and colouring books, but I imagine Creay’s to look more like this.

    In fairness I’m aware Creasy is facing shenanigans in her constituency and has done for some time. But then again, this tends to happen when you are parachuted into a safe seat, the more you thumb your nose at the native oiks, the more restless they become. Its almost as if they would rather they were represented by someone they know who listens to them.

  79. mostlymarvelous says

    Gjenganger

    All I am saying is that the interests of men and women will sometimes be in conflict, and therefore we should determine what the interests of men are, so we can decide where the interests are aligned, and where trade-offs need to be made.

    The important thing here is that very often, as Marduk points out, people don’t have a good handle on what exactly men’s and women’s interests might be. We are all, to some degree, prisoners of our circumstance and experience.

    Long, long ago, 70s and 80s, I was a union rep in a public service organisation where it was an obligation for people who wanted advancement to get tertiary qualifications in law, accounting &or economics. The union at large was advancing the cause of of allowing part time work within the then very rigid public service employment conditions. All the blokes I worked with were wildly enthusiastic. They studied part time under reasonably generous provisions that allowed them time off during the day to attend lectures and tutes, but they were stuck with spending most of their nights and weekends studying, completing assignments and preparing for exams. For years. Doing a 3 year degree on a part time basis took 6 or more years. They had shining visions in their minds of having a couple of years less of this grind by doing more units per year and they were keen to get on with it.

    However, very few other agencies had similar requirements. I’d go along to union meetings and have all the old male fogies, and more than a few young fogies, laugh at the idea. They thought that part time work was strictly a women’s issue, proposed so that women could “abandon their children” and go to work instead. (I kid you not.) When I reported back to my own members, they were mystified. What’s it got to do with women? they wanted to know. This is about my career!! (Many positions were available on the basis that you were studying towards qualifications, but there was a barrier to further advancement in many areas if you didn’t have a relevant degree, additional or advanced degree. So the sooner you got that magic certificate, the sooner you could apply for those positions.)

    The people who saw a conflict between men’s and women’s interests simply didn’t have a comprehensive view of the variety of employment situations – of men – that the union represented.

    There’s a different lack-of-perspective argument about maternity leave. This was resisted at first, then dismissed or denigrated after its introduction, by many of the men I worked with back then. I have to say that, at the time, I saw it as simply a fairness issue. Women should be able to continue with a 20+ years career and have children just as men did, and maternity leave was one important way to make this possible. Men got a couple of days of paid paternity leave back then, and they were pleased about that. Some of them would have liked more – usually they took a week or so of their annual leave to have more time if they seriously wanted it. Looking back at that time, and looking at shared parenting leave arrangements now, it’s easy to see that the provision of maternity leave for women was just the first necessary step in civilised work arrangements allowing parents to combine family and working life more easily. But only the first.

    By the time we got to the 90s, we had a provision for something called Carer’s Leave for people with very sick, disabled or dying relatives – partners, children or parents – to have arrangements that allowed them to continue working. I remember we finished up at one stage with a team of women union reps representing a man who needed to care for his elderly, terminally ill sister (or brother, I forget the details). Neither of them had ever married and they’d lived together all their lives. (Apparently, this was a step too far for a manager to comprehend. The relationship didn’t fit into any prescribed tickable box so they were resisting the claim, and considered it perfectly reasonable to demand that this bloke retire early for the sake of 6 to 12 months of reduced working hours for family care.)

    I’d strongly resist any hard and fast decision based on “determining” what the interests of women and men are at any given time, because, either we’re not really cognisant of the whole variety of ways of working for men or women … or … we can’t be certain about how work and family roles intersect for a whole range of women or men, now or in the future .

    I’d think the difference between you and Ally is not, at its core, about gender roles and the like. The biggest difference is in attitudes about certainty and predictability as against flexibility or the absence of well-defined paths to follow.

  80. Lucy says

    123457789012345678901234567890 2

    “Anyway, I don’t know what you’re trying to say. All you’ve shown is that men are more capable of out-surviving women and children under such harsh, life-threatening conditions, ”

    What I’m trying to say is that your silly Straw Chivalric moral conundrum was silly.

    A) Men don’t save children, let alone women, on sinking ships. They clamber over them to save themselves.
    B) Ally Fogg can’t save either an old lady or a young man on a sinking ship. He’d be lucky to save himself.
    B) Your assumption that old ladies are waiting around for Ally Fogg to rescue them from sinking ships instead of drop kicking him on their way out is stupid.

    Ergo. Think of a better moral conundrum to trick Ally Fogg into justifying your hatred of grasping sinking females sucking the life force out of Bouyant, yet self-negating men.

  81. StillGjenganger says

    @Marduk
    No, you have that wrong.

    ‘Safe spaces’ is a matter of banning any opinions (no matter how expressed) that people (pretend to) find upsetting. As for criticism, you can criticise people without using violent language (there is a difference between ‘Abortion is wrong!’, or even ‘Abortion is murder!’, and ‘We know where you live, you child-killing bitch!’

    What they are talking about here is an organised campaign of verbal intimidation and threats to your job, used as a power move. The parallels are more with Anita Sarkeesian or Brendan Eich (who was campaigned out of his job for having the temerity of giving a discreet donation to an anti-gay-marriage campaign). Or even the anti-vivisection campaigns targeting specific individuals. You can argue whether politicians should simply take that in their stride, when taking part in controversial debates – Churchill would surely have reacted with a series of withering put-downs rather than complaining. But it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that these bands of organised attack dogs should not be permitted as a feature of intra-party debate.

  82. Ally Fogg says

    Marduk / Gjenganger

    I think Marduk is closer to being right. I’ve been tweeting about this a lot over the past couple of days, there is definitely a new phenomenon in British politics where politicians talk of being ‘bullied’ ‘intimidated’ or ‘harassed’ when as far as I can see the overwhelming majority of incidents they are talking about are people going through usual political channels, whether writing messages by whatever medium or organising political protests and pickets.

    Now I do not doubt that some of those messages include people being very rude, in whatever way. I do not doubt that having a few hundred people holding a demo outside your workplace shouting slogans at you is quite unnerving. But it i absolutely part and parcel of the job. That is politics, always has been.

    However there is this thing that seemed to start during the Indy referendum in Scotland and has now spread to Westminster politics, where lobbying politicians or protesting against their decisions is categorised as bullying and intimidation. A lot of it seems to be just disingenuous tone policing – if you call someone a bully or a troll or insist that they only speak to you respectfully and nicely, you have instantly absolved yourself of having to acknowledge and respond to large proportions of your critics.

    But the most bizarre thing about this phenomenon is that if there is any suggestion that local activists use the existing democratic structures of their own parties to hold their MPs to account, suddenly they are “bullying” them into voting one way or another.

    The Labour party has deselection and reselection rules in place. The reason they are in place are so that if a sitting MP starts voting against the wishes or failing to represent the interests of their own local parties, then the local parties can decide no, we do not want you to be the candidate for our party.

    This is a perfectly legitimate political structure. It is very rarely used, because MPs tend to make a lot of friends locally and activists tend to be loyal, but noneheless the option is there for a good reason.

    Now, the recent silliness is partly down to MPs now having much bigger platforms to mutter their grumbles (once upon a time if an MP was called a cunt by voters he would tut tut and grumble to his campaign manager, now he can turn on Twitter and grumble to millions, making it a much more prominent issue). But the real problem is not that MPs are grumbling, it is that journalists have decided that MPs grumbling is a story.

    Yesterday morning the stuff around Stella Creasy was utterly surreal. There was all this stuff buzzing around Twitter about an angry mob outside her home terrifying her and her children. Then it slowly emerged that it was a quiet, peaceful candlelit vigil of about 150 people outside the Walthamstow Labour office, which was unoccupied, Stella Creasy was not there because she was elsewhere and her kids weren’t there because they don’t exist.

    Meanwhile the New Statesman ran this piece about Creasy being deselected which was genuinely one of the worst pieces of political journalism I have ever seen in my life. It was screaming that Creasy is about to be deselected by the local Labour party. What was their evidence? That there had been a Stop the War demo in her constituency, and that apparently one local Labour councillor had said something about how any Labour MPs who vote for war might have to worry about being deselected. This councillor had an Asian name, so of course his comment couldn’t be a general point of political principle, no, they had to mention that his sister was a local politician and so assumed that his comments were all about him manoeuvering to get his sister the job;. Oh and I’m sure it is entirely coincidental that he has an Asian name. The dogwhistle racism was shocking.

    This has been rumbling for weeks and there is not a shred of evidence that anyone in Walthamstow is organising to oust Creasy. Those alleged to be involved have categorically stated that they do not want to deselect her and have no plans to do so. The reason the NS had no evidence that there is a local coup going on is because there is not a local coup going on. You only have to talk to local members, ask them, they all say the same. Not that the NS reporter actually took a moment to do that, of course.

    However the anti-Corbyn media have built up this utter lie that the Labour Party is being destroyed from within by an army of Trotskyite infiltrators, and are now repeating it endlessly on the basis that if you repeat a lie often enough it will start to become true.

    It is bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

  83. Marduk says

    How long before people notice Hilary Benn’s speech was the same argument John Bolton infamously failed to win with against his own father on Newsnight? Admittedly Bolton didn’t help himself by suggesting that the erstwhile Spitfire pilot was ‘the kind of person who’d have appeased Hitler’.

    Still, I’m glad Stella Creasy was aided in clarifying her position on fascism after 38 years of apparently being on the fence about it.

  84. Marduk says

    What do people think of ‘horrific imagery’? The Telegraph seemed to be particularly upset about this and I think most people would say it is particularly unpleasant trolling. I find myself unconvinced however. I’ve always been with William Burroughs on this. You enter the moment of the “naked lunch” when you realize just what that is quivering at the end of your fork. Should we (and particularly decision makers) actually have a right to avoid this stuff? In a world awash with imagery, it is actually surprising how easy it is to avoid exposure to it. This applies to war, we look down on the US for banning footage of military coffins being returned to US soil, but at the risk of making myself even less popular, I’ve never been impressed with specific ban on depicting abortions either.

    If I thought there was a just war to be fought I’d have no reason explaining why standing in front a massive powerpoint slide depicting the horrors of the war. I’m actually beginning to think that anyone who wants to argue for a war should have to do it that way by default. If you genuinely believe the ends outweigh the costs, you should have no problem with this.

  85. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally
    You do have a point that politicians in highly controversial positions should maybe not expect a total bland politeness from their opponents (though the comparison with ‘safe spaces’ is still totally misplaced). Still, I notice that you are not generally in favour of people calling each other Blairite Scum or child-killers on your own blog. Do you think it is good for debate in the Labour party but bad for debate here? For that matter, does your tolerance of vigorous debate extend to people you do not agree with? If skinhead types start chanting ‘Terrorist-loving Traitors!’ after Corbynites, is it still, normal political debate that they have to live with? Is Anita Sarkeesian dishonestly “absolv[ing herself] of having to acknowledge and respond to large proportions of [her] critics” by complaining about their tone?

  86. StillGjenganger says

    @Marduk 95. Yes, it is hard to be convinced that death and horror have no place in a discussion on whether to start a war. So you could say it is legitimate to send pictures of dead children to those who vote for bombing – just like it would be legitimate to send videos of Daesh beheading and burning alive their enemies to those who vote against bombing. You might say, though, that it does not contribute to having a fruitful debate or reaching the best decision.

  87. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger

    Still, I notice that you are not generally in favour of people calling each other Blairite Scum or child-killers on your own blog. Do you think it is good for debate in the Labour party but bad for debate here

    I think there are two separate questions here.

    One is what is the most fruitful and constructive (not to mention good-mannered) way to conduct a political debate. I’m actually pretty relaxed about the specific examples you give, but particularly when it comes to wishing violence upon people or really extreme hatefulness, the type of stuff being thrown at Jess Phillips the other week, I have no problem condemning individual comments or commenters who cross a line.

    However, what we are seeing at the moment is a kind of establishment consensus (coming from politicians and media, mostly the latter) that because someone has said something hateful or stupid, the whole of mass participation / grassroots politics can be considered a vulgar mob and marginalised, dismissed or ignored.

    I sense that there is a concerted effort at the moment to corral political engagement amongst the genteel, educated classes who know the correct manner with which to address each other. I think it has happened because first the Scotland referendum and then the Corbyn campaign had the effect of bringing in large numbers of people from outside the usual game who don’t necessarily know how the game is meant to be played and what the rules are.

    For example, this morning Twitter was getting all aerated over one Tweet that had been sent to Creasy that said “I hope you get bottled in Walthamstow.”

    Now, that is not acceptable, it is not fair on SC, she should not have to put up with that. However scrolling through the author, she was obviously a young (I think teenage) girl who was incredibly angry and upset about the vote last night and was saying to an MP what she’d normally say to someone she hated at school. Despite this she was being used as an example of how the Corbyn side of the argument was a feral mob.

  88. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 98I’m actually pretty relaxed about the specific examples you give,Well, I can sure not get upset about that attitude ;-). And you have pretty much convinced me that there is not that much to get upset about in the current debate. I think the general point is a bit more tricky – how far can a movement with a shared goal and a more or less shared campaign disclaim responsibility for its more excitable members? On the anti-immigration right it generally considered that even one anti-Semitic apple is enough to discredit the whole barrel if it is not removed (quite rightly, too!). Relax the rules too much, and you end up at plausible deniability.

  89. StillGjenganger says

    @mostlymarvelous 90

    I’d strongly resist any hard and fast decision based on “determining” what the interests of women and men are at any given time, because, either we’re not really cognisant of the whole variety of ways of working for men or women … or … we can’t be certain about how work and family roles intersect for a whole range of women or men, now or in the future .

    I’d think the difference between you and Ally is not, at its core, about gender roles and the like. The biggest difference is in attitudes about certainty and predictability as against flexibility or the absence of well-defined paths to follow.

    You make two good points here: That it is very hard to determine interests of different groups, especially when conditioned by the present and planning for a different future. And that the biggest difference between me and Ally is likely in temperament. I cannot speak for him, but I do believe that you need good reason to change but none to stay were you are. Specifically on social roles I see them as good things that help us structure our lives and make us what we are, whereas other people inexplicably see them as something that prevented them from being someone entirely different.

    But for all the difficulty, I cannot see any sensible alternative to trying to determine interests and consequences. Even quite imprecise knowledge has to be better than determined ignorance. How can you possibly say that some hypothetical future is better for someone – if you refuse to consider what his interests are, let alone how the new state of affairs will serve them? At that point there is nothing to deliberate or discuss, only ideology and belief to help you decide, and naked power struggles to help you win.

    In fact I suspect that one reason to refuse looking at people’s interests is that people are ideologically committed to promoting some group or principle, and close their eyes lest they might discover something that argued against what they have already decided.

  90. ASDFGH says

    @ Ally

    You’re obviously right about the meaningless furore about constituency parties simply doing what constituency parties should be perfectly free to do in terms of threatening to deselect MPs they don’t agree with, but I don’t think I agree with this:

    I sense that there is a concerted effort at the moment to corral political engagement amongst the genteel, educated classes who know the correct manner with which to address each other.

    I’m not sure that’s fair to anyone. Being calm, reasonable and polite isn’t some trait that middle-class people learn at Russell Group universities, it’s something that virtually everyone in the UK does in virtually every interaction with other people they ever have. In a recent article in The Atlantic there was a decent point made in that a lack of civility in political discourse discourages a lot of people from getting involved, particularly those from marginalised groups. That is, surely, a bad thing.

  91. 123454321 says

    #91 Lucy, I do hope that made you feel better writing that sweet little post right there cuz it sure sounds like you realise you lost the argument……. again.

  92. Lucythoughts says

    StillGjenganger; mostlymarvelous

    I’ve found this very interesting. Personally, from an ideological perspective I don’t think that diffuse gender roles are necessary for a society to be happy and stable. I find myself thinking of accounts of Amazonian tribes who live a modified hunter-gatherer lifestyle; they have clearly distinct gender roles and people who visit them always comment on the fact that they have incredibly high levels of personal wellbeing. Gender equality does not necessarily mean genders doing the same things, it can be in the other sense of being distinct but equally valued and equally well formed. I can think of three good reasons this works so well for them but doesn’t work for us: 1) They are very small tight-knit communities so the roles are socially supported all the time. 2) Work isn’t compartmentalised into different people with their own specialisms, but rather there is a wide range of skills which are usually divided along gender lines and learned in childhood by imitating your own gender group. 3) These core skills don’t change much with time, so your role is very stable.

    The kind of society we have doesn’t lend itself to a strict gender division anymore; work and skills have become increasingly specialised and various and more and more tasks which we once did for ourselves are outsourced to other specialists (everything from looking after sick people to mending shoes). So is this better or worse? Maybe just different, but it is a result of the kind of society and economy we live in. The problem with having strictly defined gender roles in our type of society is that work and lifestyles are too variable and too fluid, so restrictive gender roles tighten like cords around a larger and larger number of people who’s lives don’t fit into the pattern.

  93. Marduk says

    Dear Liberal Left,

    Hello, its me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet to go over everything. Theres such a difference between us, and a million miles.

    It didn’t used to be like this. Remember protesting against wars and the bomb? Saying “the unsayable” in defence of the weak and vulnerable? Looking for new ways to be? We were happy then, where did it all go wrong?

    I’m not sure exactly when but where you used to be passionate you’ve become abusive and scolding. Everything was free and fun and then it got dark and tight. I couldn’t breathe for your rules and they seem writter in riddles the answers to which change daily anyway. All that walking on eggshells made you hard to be around. You don’t want to hear it, but then you never want to hear it, you want quiet obedience and I can’t do that (remember again how we started, how could you ever think that could be the case?). Its not hurting you to say I disagree with you, but you say that it is (and somehow you’ve got your entire family to go along with this and your aunties and uncles are very threatening people, especially Uncle Bob in the Met). Although we were on the same side, it seemed like I was always the enemy and somehow I got the worst of it because I was closest to you. You’ll rant and rave and spit and scratch at me and it seems to be without consequence. But I’m the person who wanted the best for you, and its really your boss that is making you angry, not me, why not take it up with her instead?

    You were too hard to live with and now I’ve gone, I tried to hold on but you’ve driven me away. I can’t say I’m especially happy in my new relationship with Milo and Brendan Bloody O’Neill but at least they are here, and you are not, I’ve not heard from you in years in fact.

    Hope to hear from you in 2016 if you’re still alive?
    Me.

  94. Lucy says

    12345

    “91 Lucy, I do hope that made you feel better writing that sweet little post right there cuz it sure sounds like you realise you lost the argument……. again.”

    Lost what argument? You haven’t made an argument.

    However, I have won my argument: that men do not rescue women in shipping disasters. The figures speak for the themselves. Men survive, women and children die.

  95. Lucy says

    LucyThoughts

    “I find myself thinking of accounts of Amazonian tribes who live a modified hunter-gatherer lifestyle; they have clearly distinct gender roles and people who visit them always comment on the fact that they have incredibly high levels of personal wellbeing.”

    Which people who visit them?

    The Yanomami people have a history of acting extremely violently not only towards other tribes, but towards one another. Men generally initiate this violence, and women are often victims of physical abuse and anger. Inter-village warfare is common, but does not too commonly affect women. When Yanomami tribes fight and raid nearby tribes, women are often raped, beaten, and brought back to their shabono to be kept in their tribe. During the raids, Yanomami men capture and bring back the other women in hopes of marrying them. Wives are beaten on a regular basis, so as to keep them docile and faithful to their husbands. Sexual jealousy causes a majority of the violence.

    “Women are beaten with clubs, sticks, machetes, and other blunt or sharp objects. Burning with a branding stick occurs often, and symbolizes a male’s strength or dominance over his wife.”

    Is that your read name?

  96. Lucy says

    Still Gjenganger

    “51: I totally disagree with you.”

    Why?

    And what makes you think you’re in a position to?

  97. Lucy says

    Holms

    “Just a massive load of balls. There truly are women that believe they get to slap their partner, or even random men, in the expectation that the man is somehow not allowed to retaliate. ”

    I didn’t say they didn’t have the expectation that men shouldn’t somehow not be allowed to. I said they didn’t have the expectation that men somehow wouldn’t.

    “I have had women tell me this in person.”
    She was flirting with you.

  98. Lucy says

    Paul

    “Might be an idea to remove your rad fem blinkers and start engaging with the real world.”

    The real world being, your opinion.

  99. Lucy says

    Still Gjenganger

    “51: I totally disagree with you.”

    I totally disagree with you.

    Steps to mere sex for woman who is not 22 year old model:
    Save up money
    Wax legs and bikini line (£45)
    Consult Internet forum on how to flirt
    Consult google images on how to dress for your age/body-fruit shape/desired reputational angle
    Drive to work (£14)
    Park in safe multi-storey car park (£15)
    Go out shopping after work
    Trawl shops for clothes
    Choose something from shop with dark mirrors (£85)
    Buy tights and shoes to match dress (£85)
    Go home
    Try on dress in dark
    Try on shoes with dress
    Go back to town another night to take back dress and shoes
    Buy dress and shoes on Internet (£200)
    Try on dress and shoes
    Send dress and shoes back (£12)
    Find dress and shoes in cupboard
    Go on diet
    Get hair done (£45)
    Get legs and bikini line waxed again (£45)
    Consider going to bar alone
    Dismiss idea as too risky
    Think of plausible reason to go to bar
    Call up married friend with plausible reason to go to bar
    Persuade married friend of plausible reason
    Buy makeup (£100)
    Put on makeup
    Add safety features to home as intend to bring complete stranger back to sex contrary to all misogynistic social conventions
    Consider using public transport to get to bar
    Dismiss idea as too risky
    Take prebooked taxi to bar (£15)
    Consider going into bar alone to wait for friend
    Dismiss idea as too embarrassing and stigmatising
    Text married friend that you will meet outside
    Wait for friend outside
    Go into bar
    Try to get drink
    Wait for all the men to be served
    Get drink
    Stand with married friend hoping to get noticed
    Married friend gets noticed
    Married friend redirects noticer to woman looking for mere sex
    Noticer looking somewhat disappointed redirects notice to woman looking for mere sex
    Woman looking for mere sex assesses if man is likely psycho
    Decides to withhold judgement
    And ignore married friend’s disapproval
    Talk to noticer
    Persuade married friend to stay out after 9pm to allow more time to decide if noticer is a psycho
    Notice 22 year old model enter the room
    And potential psycho’s eyes swivel towards her
    Feel ennui overtake
    Say goodnight to married friend
    Catch pre-booked taxis home (£30)
    Have key ready to get in front door with no delay
    Text married friend that home in one piece

    Steps to mere sex for man who is not 22 year old model:
    Call escort
    Put tic tac in mouth.

    Make up excuse

  100. Adiabat says

    Yet another professional “victim” making up death threats: http://evolvepolitics.com/tory-mp-should-resign-after-faking-death-threat-email-from-constituent/

    This time it’s a Tory MP. This one was even more blatant than the Labour MP who posted a heavily downvoted comment on an obscure voat thread as an example of someone “harassing” her on twitter.

    I’m tired of the increased use of this tactic. It’s becoming necessary to disbelieve any claims of serious harassment or threats without some verifiable evidence accompanying the claim.

  101. Marduk says

    #110

    This is ultimately where ignoring everything men say gets you. Neuroticism aside, you’ve wasted just under £600 there in the belief that men are women with willies (the no.1 dating mistake of course but I’d have had you down as having a more critical eye than that).

  102. Holms says

    I didn’t say they didn’t have the expectation that men shouldn’t somehow not be allowed to. I said they didn’t have the expectation that men somehow wouldn’t.You continue to be wrong on this point, due to an apparent belief that you know the inner thoughts of all women despite any distance, physical or political between yourself and other women.

    She was flirting with you.

    You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. You have no idea who told me this (nor even how many), you are again just assuming that you are plugged in to some sort of Female Hive Mind shit.

    Lucy, you are just the obverse side of the 12345 coin.

  103. Adiabat says

    123454321 (78): RE: The women and children first (WCF) study. A couple of additional points:

    When you actually look at the study a few things jump out in the earlier sections that don’t get reflected in the Discussion. Firstly they state that in a situation without WCF men would have better survivability for a variety of reasons. So they should consider that situations where survivability was equal as supporting the claims of WCF as a norm. This means that it was actually 7/18 wrecks, and not 2/18, where women were advantaged over men going by their own hypothesis in the study. That’s a minimum of 40% of wrecks which the study finds WCF in practice (going by their own hypothesis). The authors ignore equal survivability in their Discussion section to push the political point they want to push, yet this logically follows from their own assumptions.

    Secondly, the study shows that where the captain gives an explicit WCF order, along with crew with guns enforcing it in some cases, the survivability of women drastically increases (obviously). This explicit order was given in 5 of the cases looked at in the study, yet in 3 of those 5 men still had greater survivability overall. This discredits their first assumption that in a situation with WCF that women would have better (or even equal) survivability in cases of WCF, as they have shown in their own paper that even with WCF being enforced by the captain and crew men still have greater survivability in 60% of cases. This fact alone discredits the entire paper, as the assumptions the study is built from are wrong. Basically their method isn’t measuring what they claim to be measuring. This means that the cases of WCF being a norm on a sinking ship may be higher than even the 40% that was mentioned before.

    Finally, the second hypothesis regarding lower survivability of crew if WCF was true is a joke. Notwithstanding the fact that we’re comparing civilians to trained seamen*, who will usually always have survival equipment to hand (or at least know where the closest is and how to use it), it’s commonly accepted that even in a WCF situation they would take the last place in a lifeboat as the chances of survival for the whole boat increase with a trained crewman being present.

    * And a quick google search hints that a 3rd of adults can’t swim the length of a swimming pool. I suspect all crew on a boat can do this.

    The study is here if you want to read it: http://web.archive.org/web/20120417020732/http://www.nek.uu.se/Pdf/wp20128.pdf

    P.S I also can’t find out if this was ever published in a journal. It looks like it was self-published online, I suspect because the quality of the work is so low.

    TL:DR The assumptions used to form the hypotheses that the study uses as it’s basis are wrong. The results of the study also discredit its own hypotheses.

  104. Marduk says

    #115

    It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS…the most triggering of academic journals).

    From a quick glance its actually a Bayesian problem isn’t it.

  105. WineEM says

    Ha, ha, this is a great debunking of the paper by Joel et al., which Deborah Orr cited as demonstrating there were
    no real psychological differences between the sexes:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sexual-personalities/201512/statistical-abracadabra-making-sex-differences-disappear

    To quote:
    “Logically, the Joel et al. (2015) view on real sex differences would even argue men’s and women’s faces are not really different from each other because not all men’s faces are entirely masculine and not all women’s faces are entirely feminine (and not all facial attributes perfectly co-vary together). ”

  106. WineEM says

    Holy cow, just flicked through onto BBC Parliament and they were having a debate entitled “Women and the Economy”. Didn’t realise it was possible to fit so many lies and so much misinformation into a short space of time. Quite extraordinary. This is another reason, I’m afraid Ally, as to why feminists are not some benign element who can simply be ignored. Their need to compete socially and economically with many through the telling of bare faced lies is a real, unavoidable problem.

  107. Lucythoughts says

    #106 Lucy

    You know, I was just about to launch into a reply to this, maybe refer to some sources, point out that levels and nature of violence vary widely between tribes, make some reference to the particular tribes I was thinking of (there were two in my mind when I was writing that comment as it happens) and perhaps generally expand on these cultural differences in relation to social and gender roles and well being….

    …. And then I realised that your entire post was just a block quote from Wikipedia. Frankly, that makes me doubt that you have any real interest in the subject. So I won’t bother.

  108. StillGjenganger says

    @WineEM 117
    That paper seems quite convincing – serious, consistent, and with references galore. And his comments about effect sizes and how a big difference can be built from lots of smaller differences are spot on.

    Still, in such a controversial field you can not really judge the overall conclusion on gender differences without first reading at least all his references and all Joels references. Is there anyone about who has already done that kind of reading, and who can give us a steer as to how much we can rely on this?

  109. Adiabat says

    Marduk (116): Thanks, I’ve found it in PNAS. Here it is: http://www.pnas.org/content/109/33/13220.full

    It appears I was right about the low quality. You can tell it was torn apart in peer review; large parts of it were re-written, caveats have been added (but then forgotten again when they state their conclusions); though in my opinion it wasn’t torn apart enough. The number of hypotheses tested has also gone up from 6 to 8 during the peer review process, which I find a bit weird.

    Probably as a result of a reviewer pointing out their quite glaring logical error in their first hypothesis, they’ve added a part about equal survivability in hypothesis 1: “A small survival disadvantage for women is difficult to interpret, as it can either indicate that the WCF norm has helped women from a potentially larger disadvantage or that the norm has not been upheld”. Actually no, it can’t indicate that “the norm has not been upheld”: they acknowledge, based on earlier research, in H1 that men are more likely to survive even without WCF and the whole point of the study is that they think a very large disadvantage is evidence that it wasn’t upheld, they can’t have it both ways. The authors also forget this added caveat by the time they get to their discussion section, forgetting that they found that in 40% of cases there was a either a survival advantage for women or not much difference. They apparently still interpret this 40% “as evidence that compliance with the WCF norm is exceptional in maritime disasters”. I wouldn’t call 40% (minimum) as “exceptional”.

    Also in the discussion they say “we also find that crew members have a higher survival rate than passengers” yet their own results state that in 50% of cases there was no difference in survival rate between crew and passengers, even though they were relying on a difference to disprove the WCF norm and so no survival advantage should be taken as confirming that there was a WCF norm, by their own reasoning. It seems that they are using an average of all of the cases to hide the fact that in over half of cases a WCF norm is suggested by their results. The discussion section in general is just awful, they seem to miss some quite glaring findings mainly because they don’t support the agenda they are pushing.

    And judging by the date of the article Lucy referenced it appears that the article was written based on the un-peer reviewed paper (news article/press release published April 2012; paper began peer review in May 2012, approved June 2012). I think it’s irresponsible and unprofessional for the author to be giving out press releases pushing his agenda based on an unreviewed paper, which was later heavily edited after review. Now that news story is there for posterity, constantly referred to by ideologues to support their views as though it’s credible research.

    From a quick glance its actually a Bayesian problem isn’t it.

    Yeah, though I’d say that most problems in the social sciences seem to be Bayesian problems. Most seem to be inverse problems where you see the end result and need to find the conditions that give rise to those results.

  110. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    “It’s becoming necessary to disbelieve any claims of serious harassment or threats without some verifiable evidence accompanying the claim.”

    Aw… You’re a cutie x

  111. WineEM says

    @121. I’ll admit I haven’t gone through all the references for each body of work, though if you compare the central arguments of both, the psychology today piece does seem much more convincing. As the author hints at, you could use similar statistical sleights of hands to claim that height is not a gendered phenomenon, which is clearly preposterous.

    Further to @118., just to give an example of what I’m talking about re: the “Women and Economy” debate, in her winding up speech, Seema Malhotra claimed yesterday that eighty-one per cent of the burden of the government’s tax and benefit changes have been borne by women.
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151209/debtext/151209-0004.htm
    I mean, we really are talking about Donald Trump levels of idiocy here. What’s so depressing is that Parliament is providing a forum in which such odious propaganda is not only challenged but actively encouraged, and the theme of “Women and the Economy” merely offers an excuse for feminist MPs to join forces in spreading the most outrageous falsehoods. Turning a blind eye and pretending all is fine is clearly not the answer to this.

  112. Marduk says

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/dec/11/how-do-i-get-into-star-wars-the-force-awakens

    “A straw poll of my young colleagues suggests up to 55% of muesli-addled Guardian journalists have never seen any Star Wars film”

    It all makes sense now, if only they’d informed their readers of this sooner a lot of trouble could have been avoided as we’d have known all along we were dealing with people lacking in any kind of education or the commonly shared moral framework dominant in society.

    I just assumed they might have watched a few if only for the social justice implications.

    As Marx says, history is doomed to repeat itself, first as comedy and then in unironic Tumblr posts.

  113. Marduk says

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/11/france-votes-cut-tax-tampons-sanitary-towels

    “Several countries, including Britain, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands, have cut the tax after online petitions collected hundreds of thousands of signatures.”

    No, Britain cut the tax fifteen years ago after a campaign by then Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo. The link in the article for that sentence leads to a Change.org petition that is a few months old.

    In other places they are still insisting that razors are VAT free, which they aren’t, they are taxed at the higher rate.

    I’ve yet to see a single article on this subject where they get their facts straight. Which is baffling really because there is still a good case for reform etc, nobody needs to make anything up in this particular instance.

    My real point:

    I know they don’t really want comments anymore (Milo is probably right frankly) but they clearly don’t have the subeditorial resources to maintain even the basics of factual accuracy in their reporting.

    Comment was about the last thing that could save them, I’m sure we’re all aware of numerous Graun pieces that have suffered correction after a BTL commenter did the research they are too lazy to do and before anyone really noticed (or sued).

    By running away further from their readers, they are actually hurting themselves in the long run. Its seems now not surprising they have so much sympathy for Labour MPs who aren’t interested in the values or views of their own party members, they are doing the same thing.

    Comment is free, but you are increasingly rarely Free to comment.

  114. Marduk says

    Holy shit!

    Re: #125. Melissa Harris Perry just went on MSNBC and made the same claims. Unironically, for real.

    2015 was the year that it became impossible to satirise the social justice community.

  115. WineEM says

    AMA: Ally, I notice that J.C., the socialist messiah himself, has retweeted the 80% claim, from his own personal Twitter account. (Specifically this one here https://twitter.com/NiaGriffithMP/status/674637093063286784). He, in concert with other luminaries, such as Kate Green.

    Following up on Marduk’s comments about the liberal left deliberately playing fast and loose with statistics, to what extent are you going to be happy just to sit back and let his happen? If someone with a slightly more MRA mindset in a position of prominence, like Philip Davies, were to come out with divisive and misleading figures in Parliament (like say, claiming that men pay 95% of income tax, then you and other leading figures on the left would surely be the first to condemn this), but what I see is this mentality being turned into virtue for many with prominence in the Labour Party.

    Like Marduk, I feel completely at a loss here, for growing up, I lived in quite a left-wing household, where it could usually be taken for granted that the socialist left were the tellers of truth, and Thatcher and her ilk the capitalist unscrupulous liars.

    Yet these days, it seems to be parts of the left who are increasingly those with forked tongues, the gameplayers.

    “Straight talking, honest politics”. That was JC’s slogan during his leadership campaign. Which leaves two possibilities in him regurgitating this rubbish.

    1. That he is mind-numbingly, hideously dense – not an attractive idea in itself.

    or

    2. That he is quite content to tell lies.

    So which is it, and why is nobody on your part of the political spectrum condemning any of this?

  116. Ally Fogg says

    Tamen [128]

    To be honest I find both positions set out in that blog to be faintly ridiculous.

    The idea that we should make a blanket statement that we either do or do not support “feminist campaigns for gender equality” is absurd.

    It entirely depends upon which feminist and which campaign.

    That said, I do agree with Glen’s point that we need gender politics to be ideologically diverse and must not be seen as the exclusive preserve of feminism.

  117. Ally Fogg says

    WineEM [129]

    I am not an economist but from what I can gather the reason no one seriously challenges the claim that 80% of negative tax and benefit changes are being borne by women is because nobody serious disputes that they are true.

    The counter argument is not whether or not it is true, but why it is true. It is a long list of “Yeah, buts…”

    “Yeah but that’s only because women are the ones looking after the children…”
    “Yeah but that’s only because women are more likely to be in part time / low wage work…”
    “Yeah but that’s only because women live longer and pensioners are the largest recipients of social care…”
    “Yeah but that’s only because women were by far the biggest recipients of social benefits before the cuts…”

    etc etc etc

    Any of which can be responded to with:

    “Yes. And your point is?”

    None of it changes the fact that the raw statistics are (broadly and simplistically) fundamentally true.

    Feel free to point to links that show me otherwise.

    But in general terms, I don’t know what you expect me to say. Politics, the media, journalists, commentators, activists, bloggers all come out with dodgy slanted quasi-facts constantly. On this, the left is no better than the right in general terms, but certainly no worse. Show me one page of the Daily Mail and I will show you a smorgasbord of half-truths, distortions and outright lies.

    What do you expect me to say or do?

  118. WineEM says

    On this, the left is no better than the right in general terms, but certainly no worse. Show me one page of the Daily Mail and I will show you a smorgasbord of half-truths, distortions and outright lies.

    Yes, but the difference is that you would expect it from parts of the right, who often have no moral values at all, yet when the left starts doing it, not inadvertently necessarily, not simply as part of ‘churnalism’, but for some kind of political gain, then it undermines confidence that leftists are the ones standing up for honest and heartfelt values.

    People who would otherwise be on-board become estranged and alienated. What could you do? Well you could agree that is has indeed become part of the culture of liberal-left journalist that needs to be tackled if socialist values are to triumph and win public confidence.

  119. Marduk says

    I’ve never thought the left was “good”, that is a straw-man put about right-wingers in my experience.

    My point is really that the left used to be liberal, most of its gains come from social liberalism and speech.
    Lets make something that used to be illegal legal because the legal system is bullying people and hurting them. Lets talk about things we aren’t allowed to talk about because they matter. Lets shine the light of truth on this other thing. Lets extend rights to more people. Lets get rid of labels for things where we can. Lets help people who are suffering.

    Today it seems to be about making as many things illegal as possible, bullying and shaming anyone who disagrees with virtually anything (e.g.,even just an obscure theoretical point) and silencing discussion. “Political horseshoe” style it is now the identity politics mongers who can’t think of people or judge them outside their race, creed, gender etc. That is exactly what I was against!

    I don’t mind bad statistics in themselves, what upsets me is a climate where asking questions about them isn’t really allowed.

  120. WineEM says

    131: “Yeah but that’s only because women are the ones looking after the children”

    Yes, but women are not the only ones looking after the children, are they? This goes to the very heart of one aspect of how this figure has been calculated. If we look at the Labour press release from their website:
    “This includes changes to universal credit, childcare support and child benefit”
    http://press.labour.org.uk/post/133986248394/women-are-still-being-hit-three-times-harder-than

    But then those last things are simply because, in the UK, where you have a hetrosexual couple raising a child, child support is only ever payed to the mother not the father. If we had a parallel universe where child support and child benefit were only paid to fathers (on the assumption that women could not be trusted to spend the money in the correct manner), it would be a thoroughly dishonest and disingenuous narrative to then say that these benefit changes were being targeted at men, when they were supposed to be spending the money on the children in any case. Cor Blimey, no wonder the left has a bad rep when it comes to these sorts of things! 🙂

  121. StillGjenganger says

    Just for fun:
    – If a government significantly expanded the social care budget, would that be described as a major net transfer of money to women?
    – If the private sector shrank relative to the public sector, would that be described as a major reduction in the money available to men?

    I suspect the answer to both is no (and rightly so). Why, then are the government cuts described as specifically targeted at women?

  122. Carnation says

    @ GJGanger

    “If a government significantly expanded the social care budget, would that be described as a major net transfer of money to women?”

    Did you see Polly Toynbee’s article today?

    I think paying care assistants and support workers decent wages would benefit the whole of society, with definite (welcome) effects on the earning capacity of a lot of women and some men.

    It’s a wonder there isn’t a feminist campaign to promote this.

  123. Lucythoughts says

    # 137 Carnation

    Hello. I had a bit of an unsolicited rant on this subject earlier on this thread (#35). I suspect the reason there is no feminist campaign on this subject is that much of feminist theory started from the principle that women’s work, caring responsibilities included, was unrewarding and even essentially degrading, and the way to help women was to stop them doing it as much as possible. Caring was lumped in with “housework”, so it didn’t so much become a matter of personal choice as an article of faith that women who devoted their energies to caring roles were wasting their potential; I can’t help feeling that the feminist movement has helped propagate this view rather than counteract it. But the problem is that those caring jobs still need doing and if women are not doing them in their own homes they are generally paying other women to do them instead and the pay and conditions still reflect the idea that women’s work is unskilled and lacks value.

    That is my perspective but I’d be interested to hear yours.

  124. Carnation says

    @ LucyThoughts

    Interesting.

    I’d posit that feminists in general don’t want to acknowledge that there exists a huge sector of jobs that are badly paid, hard-work and generally carried out by men and women – care is obviously one of these, but so too is hospital portering (paid less than nurses, for example). Cleaning is also done by bot hmen and women, though probably more women. Most nurses are women, they are badly paid for what they do, but it is still a wage that your average support worker (probably more women thant men but not dramatically so) but when it comes to social care, as in disabled or elderly people, it does seem to be mostly women.

    Why don’t feminists get involved? I’d say it was a mixture of three things:

    1/ It’s a class issue rather than a gender one (I’d apply this to most actual real life issues).

    2/ It’s pretty overtly sexist to agitate for better pay for social care workers because they’re women and, arguably, it isn’t patriarchal attitudes keeping their pay low, it’s late capitalism.

    3/ Most prominent feminists (as in online or journalistic) are middle classes and simply don’t know what it’s like to be on that rung of society. It’s far easier, and enrages the easily enraged clockbait massive, to launch ridiculous and counterproductive campaigns about “banning bossy” than costing campaigns to redress class imbalances by paying part-time care workers more, to ensure a decent standard of living for the worker’s children, who will then lead better lives, who will then probably be more aspirational etc.

    Feminist activists have done fantastic work for women victimised by men, Women’s Aid for example, and in achieving greater equality in the workplace generally (and have brought about several social revolutions that benefit everybody), but have done nothing towards creating a better lot for workers in genera. Maybe it’s not their job.

    I wrote far more than I planned and I’m not sure I answered your questions.

  125. Lucythoughts says

    #135 WineEM “In the UK, where you have a heterosexual couple raising a child, child support is only ever payed to the mother not the father”

    Just to be clear, either parent can apply for child benefit. It is mostly mothers who do but the benefit will be paid to whichever parent fills in the form and puts down their bank details, there’s no rule about it. I don’t know what proportion of families have the child benefit paid to the father rather than the mother but I really doubt that it is none at all, so “only ever” seems pretty misleading. It is something couples can decide between them and I would guess the fact that mothers usually claim probably reflects the fact that the mother isn’t going to be earning for a while at least, because you normally fill in the application when you register the birth of a baby. Twenty quid a week for a first child and thirteen for subsequent children makes a bigger impact if your income is very small, and so new mothers are more likely to need it to cover day-to-day costs than new fathers but it’s up to them to decide who receives it.

  126. Carnation says

    @ WhineEM

    “But then those last things are simply because, in the UK, where you have a hetrosexual couple raising a child, child support is only ever payed to the mother not the father. If we had a parallel universe where child support and child benefit were only paid to fathers (on the assumption that women could not be trusted to spend the money in the correct manner), it would be a thoroughly dishonest and disingenuous narrative to then say that these benefit changes were being targeted at men, when they were supposed to be spending the money on the children in any case.”

    This is a classic example of MRA myths damaging men. It’s right up there with “family courts will steal your children” and “divorce courts with steal all of your money.” The simplistic and those prone to conspiracy theories are unduly affected by such nonsense, but doubtless some men also buy into these myths (generally supported by cultural artefacts) and they are damaged by them – the myth, not the reality.

    Lucy is correct, the parent applying gets the money.

  127. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 137.
    A campaign to increase pay for the lower-paid (women)? Yes. But the current debate seems about the idea that cutting the state sector is an anti-women move. And here I would say that the state sector is there to do neded work, not just to provide jobs for the sisters.

  128. Lucythoughts says

    I can only half agree with you on this. First I’d say cleaning jobs, as in domestic cleaning, office cleaning etc, are overwhelmingly done by women as well as child care and social care jobs. All are badly paid and frequently exploitative and I’d say only childcare has any respect attached to it at all. The social change isn’t that women aren’t doing that work any more, it’s that one lot of women are paying another lot of women to do it while they themselves are being paid to do something else. I think that is the giant elephant that feminists don’t want to acknowledge. Social / class inequality and gender inequality don’t just insect, their roots are inseparably entangled and if you are going to ignore one you are going to ignore a huge amount of the other. Maybe all of it.

    Capitalism powered the drive to get women into paid work in conjunction with feminism. At times I think feminism was more the spin doctor than the driver. And now capitalism keeps the pay low and working condition appalling because it can, because women will still take those jobs, because any money is better than no money, and because, actually, in those few rare golden minutes when you get to do your job properly, you know you’ve made a real difference. That is why I’m frustrated by this, because caring isn’t unskilled work, it isn’t like working in a factory or call centre, it is more like a skilled trade which requires training and experience and I still think that the reason it is treated as unskilled is because women do it and have always done it.

    So yes, feminism has campaigned on women’s victimisation and long may they continue to do so, but while the prominent feminists take the stance that “class has nothing to do with us” they increasingly look to me like an irrelevant elite who have nothing to say that reflects my life, experience or ambitions and their self proclaimed mandate for representing “women” looks pretty hollow.

  129. Marduk says

    #141

    The 1975 Child Benefit Bill was introduced explicitly as a feminist measure to support women, to transfer a payment out of tax relief given to fathers over to mothers, not as a neutral measure to support families or even children. It was connected to the “wages for housework” movement of the time. This is neither a myth nor a conspiracy theory and is the whole reason that cuts to it today are represented as ‘gendered’.

    You can read Barbara Castle’s speech here, its pretty clear:
    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1975/may/13/child-benefit-bill

  130. Marduk says

    #143
    I don’t think feminists ignore class as such, its more that they integrate other issues as subordinate to their paradigm.
    Thus late capitalism is just an aspect of patriarchy, ‘interesectional feminism’ (in practice if not in terms of theory, seminal authors claim not to recognise its present incarnation) deals with race, and then of course you have kyriachy which basically covers all power relations but is of course generally reduced to the patriarchy wearing a false mustache.

    Feminism as theory at least is not just a pressure movement or a single issue thing, its an integrative world view that covers everything in the world.

  131. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    Things have changed quite dramatically since 1975. You must have noticed?

    Interestingly, thanks to feminist inspired social revolutions, men can now claim child benefit.

    Strange how that works, isn’t it?

  132. Marduk says

    #146

    Not as much as you believe. Child Benefit is paid out in terms of rules establishing priority of entitlement. In the case set out by WineEM, all things being equal, the wife has priority of entitlement on the basis of her gender. You will also note that the rules establish an order of precedence, the wife has priority of entitlement over her husband even if she is a step-mother.

    Its in the HMRC Child Benefit manual.
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/cbtmanual/CBTM08030.htm

    This is important because CB is a gateway benefit.

    Not seeing how this is a conspiracy theory (you have Barbara Castle’s own description of her intent) or a myth.

  133. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    Interesting – however, since it’s only usually likely to be contested in the event of parents splitting, is this anything other than a hangover from overtly patriarchal assumptions?

    The original claim was (not by you, of course) was that “child support is only ever payed to the mother not the father”

    This is demonstrably false. Equally demonstrably false are claims of feminist influence in family and divorce courts.

    And they are all damaging to men already stressed about family breakdown and disputes.

    The truth is that most couple consist of couples earning wages within approximately the same strata and therefore one half of the marriage won’t be beholden financially to the other ad infinitum.

  134. Marduk says

    Well not really, you can contest it whenever you want. Lots of systematic inequalities go away if people voluntarily cede their rights and powers but the rules are the rules. It is always paid to the woman unless she voluntarily decides otherwise.

    I’m actually disagreeing with the poster above in as far as CB or Family Allowance gets represented as a payment for children and that women’s claim on this is a historical mistake that should be rectified. This is not true. It was always intended as a payment to women for women. Its a gendered benefit by design not by accident, it was even triumphantly referred to as “wallet to purse” back in the day.

    As to the actions of courts, there is a distinction to be made between gender bias and feminist/patriarchal influence. Claiming feminist influence is a bit of a straw man, the most advantageous outcomes result from outdated assumption and “chivalrous” judges (aka chauvanist pigs in any other setting).

  135. Lucythoughts says

    #136 and 142 StillGjenganger

    As far as I was aware the debate was about cuts to benefits, not cuts to public sector jobs. Even in the debate on benefits I don’t think anyone said they were “targeted” at women, just that they disproportionately affected by them.

  136. 123454321 says

    From HMRC website:

    “Husband and wife
    Where a husband and wife are residing together the wife has priority of entitlement.”

    ….and Carnation promptly has the gumption to suggest this blatantly sexist order of enforcement coming from the Government is “interesting” and then blames the patriarchy. Yeah, way to go, Carny, Happy Christmas and don’t forget to stick your tree up.

  137. Lucythoughts says

    #145 Marduk

    Okay, I think I take your point, in that feminist theory incorporates class inequality into a more general theory of oppression. And yes, on a more practical level feminism is a big umbrella term and the major priorities of feminists vary hugely from country to country and over time and I acknowledge that the debates covered in the UK press aren’t exactly a precise measure. But still campaigning happens and what is being campaigned on, and crucially what isn’t, says a lot. I think in the case of working class women and the undervaluing and underpaying of what has traditionally been women’s work the silence reflects social values that run contrary to the principles of freedom of self-expression and equality of opportunity that are at the core of feminist theory.

    Here’s another example, feminist campaigns are focussing heavily on increasing free childcare entitlement. Free actually means paid for by the state of course, because nothing is actually free. The problem is that when the state pays for childcare it wants to pay the lowest possible amount, usually less than the actually costs of providing it. By increasing state funded childcare you create a situation that can only worsen the pay and working conditions of childcare workers and drive down standards of care. By expanding the earning potential of one group you reduce the earning potential of another, and actually both groups are mostly made up of women. So is exploitative pay and working conditions a feminist issue? Or is it only an issue for some women?

    I’d be interested if anyone would like to take the bait and discuss any of this with me 🙂

  138. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    Very genuine question – do you understand what is meant by patriarchal assumptions? I mean, do you literally understand what the words mean individually, and then mean when applied in the context that I did?

    Because your comment suggests that not only that you’re incapable of nuanced discussion, but that you don’t understand fairly simple language.

    @ Marduk

    “It is always paid to the woman unless she voluntarily decides otherwise.”

    No, I’m afraid that’s easily refuted nonsense. When parents are not cohabiting, it goes to the main resident parent.

    This from Gingerbread:

    “Can I get child benefit?

    Child benefit is often paid to the mother when children are born, but if your child lives with you most of the time you may be able to claim instead. The quickest way to transfer child benefit is if both for both parents to agree to the change. If the mother agrees to the transfer she should call HMRC to explain the change in circumstances and end her child benefit claim. You can then make a new claim for child benefit. If your child’s other parent does not agree to give up child benefit you can still contact HMRC to make a claim if you are the main carer of your child. If child benefit is already being paid to the other parent HMRC call this a rival claim. When a rival claim is received HMRC must contact the parent who is currently getting child benefit to ask if there has been a change in circumstances. If the parent receiving child benefit does not agree that you are now the main carer of the child HMRC will make a decision. When deciding who provides the main care for a child, HMRC looks at how many nights your child sleeps at each parent’s home and who organises day to day care such as taking the child to school, arranging medical appointments and buying clothes.

  139. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythiughts 153
    I cannot lift the weight of a proper debate (way too busy). And I do see the point that professional child care of any sort shifts the burden from one woman to another, mainly. But I would be interesting to hear what other arrangements you favour and why they are better. Salary inequalities are separate from gender inequalities. And with a time-intensive job like childcare you run against the problem that paying the same salary you get yourself, with tax and all, means that the thing qickly becomes unaffordable.

  140. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321, Marduk; @152
    The question of which parent gets the child benefit may be important in principle. But in practice, for actually existing families, it surely matters relatively little which of two cohabiting parents get the money. How many have shared children but separate economies?

  141. Carnation says

    @ GJGanger

    I’d agree that it’s important in principle. I’d also suggest that it makes general sense for it to go to the mother, until such time as the percentages of mums and dads being primary caregivers equalise (or approach equalisation).

    I have to say, though, that I’m surprised that such overtly sexist legislation still exists – but I also support the institutional sexism of it. That probably makes me a bit sexist, but hey ho. For similar reasons, I think that stimulating male dominated industry should be an immediate and crucial government priority.

    @Lucy

    I would generally disagree that the care sector is one load of women paying another load of women, though that does happen. Mostly, it’s the government subsidising one low-paying sector to look after the children of other low-paid workers, who are at least partially shamed into working by a compliant and devious media that has stripped the dignity of child-rearing from many women.

  142. Lucythoughts says

    My problem isn’t with the burden of childcare being shifted from one woman to another. In fact, I don’t really think of it as a burden, I think it can be a rewarding experience for a parent and a rewarding vocation for a childcare worker. It can also be hard, tiring and frustrating at times but then I’ve never had a job that wasn’t. In fact the “burden” aspect is kind of at the heart of my point about the undervaluing of women’s work: there is a deeply ingrained idea that childcare, in fact all care, is burdensome and therefore the burden should be shifted onto the poorest in society because, hey, their lives are always pretty shit anyway.

    My problem is not that the job has shifted from (mostly) women in the home to (mostly) women who are paid to do it; my problem is that the exploitation has shifted with it. I still cannot agree that it is none of feminism’s business if the consequence of removing oppressive expectations from one set of women means placing them on another, just because the other happen to be poorer.

    I have no perfect solution but if really we want the state, through taxation, to pay for childcare then the state should pay the true cost of childcare, including a reasonable expectation of decent wages that progress with experience and qualifications, and in work benefits like pensions etc. These should be a minimum standard anyway in nurseries that receive state funding because without them you end up with only inexperienced staff and high staff turn-over which means that the care needs of the children, especially the more vulnerable ones won’t be adequately met.

    Then we’ll all have to pay more tax to cover the costs. But really, what other choice is there? “Free” childcare is a myth, someone is always paying the financial cost whether it’s a family with a parent at home which has lost a salary or the individual from their own earnings or the taxpayer. If we choose the taxpayer we need to be honest about what we’re doing and what it costs.

    In social care the problem is so much more extensive that I can’t see any solution other than to bring the whole damn thing into the NHS where staff will get proper training which they don’t get now, a sensible salary scale and specialist training and career progression if they are dealing with complex care needs. Again, we’ll have to pay for it but I don’t think that closing our eyes and waiting for all the elderly and disabled people to disappear is working very well.

    That ended up a bit longer than I expected!

  143. 123454321 says

    #156 StillG

    For cohabiting couples the “couple” should be able to choose via a simple tick box with corresponding twin signatures as to who gets the money. That would be fair, not sexist, unlike the practice HMRC currently adopts. Not rocket science.

    Carny – you said “overtly patriarchal assumptions” and yes thank you, I do know what each individual word means but please feel free to clarify your position based on your intended context. I have to say judging by this:

    “That probably makes me a bit sexist, but hey ho.”

    …that I can only expect the worst possible explanation and set of excuses.

  144. Lucythoughts says

    #157 Carnation “Mostly, it’s the government subsidising one low-paying sector to look after the children of other low-paid workers, who are at least partially shamed into working by a compliant and devious media that has stripped the dignity of child-rearing from many women.”

    I actually completely agree with this, and the shaming is quite cynically directed at the poor once again. For affluent parents staying at home to care for children might be considered a valid and meaningful choice but when poor parents do it, it’s because they’re work shy. There was a time when mothers were shamed for going out to work, now the pendulum has definitely swung the other way. It’s a social engineering project with a two-pronged attack: one is increasing subsidies for childcare and the other is the cutting of benefits that parents of preschool children used to be able to claim if they were at home. It is sold as promoting women’s “choices”, but there’s only one choice that the taxpayer is expected to pay for so as the cost of living goes up it becomes easier and easier to “choose” to go out to work and harder and harder to “choose” to stay at home.

    Where I would guess I differ from you once again is that I think the feminist movement is also culpable in this narrative. It tends to be female politicians with feminist credentials that are the most vocal of increasing subsidies for working parents but show no interest in measures to support parents at home. The Women’s Equality party is advocating funded childcare for babies from 9 months old. Here is a quote their website: “Of course lots of mothers and fathers want to spend time at home with their young families. But at least 600,000 stay-at-home parents would prefer to work if they could afford to do so.” Do you suppose they have even asked themselves how many working mother and fathers would prefer to stay at home if they could afford to do so? When you fund one choice and not another you place a value on that choice and the feminist movement has clearly placed the highest value on the choices of parents who perfer to work.

  145. Lucythoughts says

    #160
    I have filled this form in twice in the last six years and I can honestly say I had no idea that the mother had priority until I read this discussion. I very much doubt anyone would know it unless they’d looked into it in detail, such as if they were in the middle of a particularly complex dispute or were unusually interested in that sort of thing. It certainly doesn’t say so anywhere on the form; as far as I remember it was pretty standard stuff, “name”, “address”, “relationship to the child” etc.

  146. Marduk says

    @Lucythoughts

    I think this is a transitional issue again, not as such a structural flaw in feminism, just something that will have to be worked through. Some sort of settlement will have to be reached, I don’t think it should be funded from taxation but it might have to be for a while (a next level feminist issue should surely be reducing women’s dependence on the state, in much the way they sought to reduce their dependence upon husbands in the 1960s… swapping who has power over you cannot be the end goal in itself surely). This is entirely the sort of thing I was talking about back in the mists of time (…comment #65 of this thread).

    There is no point torturing your mind with trying to make sense of it, and a lot of people look pretty silly trying to explain it all as if there were a masterplan they know about, its contradictory and its messy. Some sort of accommodation will emerge eventually, but it may not be something we (at the present time) would imagine or even particularly like. Most likely to me would just be further declines in the rate of childbirth.

  147. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    If you understand what overtly patriarchal assumptions are, why did you make the comment that you did? It is braindead MRA bullshit to accuse someone of “blaming the patriarchy.”

    You either don’t understand what I am talking about because you haven’t taken the time to learn, or you’re incapable. Either way, you just make an arse out of yourself with such juvenile wittering. Grow up.

    @ Lucy

    “I still cannot agree that it is none of feminism’s business if the consequence of removing oppressive expectations from one set of women means placing them on another, just because the other happen to be poorer.”

    This is where the conflicting theories and activist nature of feminism come into play. Like I said before, Guardian columnists won’t get the necessary clicks and comments by constructing a carefully worded and costs costs/benefits analysis of the care sector. And it’s again clouded by the fact that a high level of immigrants work in that sector. So should it be trade unions, anti-racism campaigners, or feminists trying to bring about chance?

    My hunch is that elements of all three are doing on the ground work to ease the burden so to speak, but what feminist organisation has the reach and influence to take on the monolithic service providers exploiting so many people?

    “In social care the problem is so much more extensive that I can’t see any solution other than to bring the whole damn thing into the NHS where staff will get proper training which they don’t get now, a sensible salary scale and specialist training and career progression if they are dealing with complex care needs. Again, we’ll have to pay for it but I don’t think that closing our eyes and waiting for all the elderly and disabled people to disappear is working very well.”

    I’ll rejoice the day that that happens, as it surely must.

  148. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts 158
    What you say makes a lot of sense. I would argue that this is an inequality problem rather than a gender problem. It is a women’s problem, yes, and feminism should make it a priority, yes. But an ‘inequality problem’ in the sense that the problems and trade-offs are the same as for any other low-paid group. Which is mainly that the total tax take is limited not just by political considerations but also by which tax mechanisms are efficient, and by how much you can take before the resultant distortion (or the tax avoidance of creative people) becomes prohibitive. And that one way or another you get into the problem of who or what to take the money from. I am not agitating for a minimal-state, low-tax country (I grew up in Scandinavia, unlike Osborne). But there are constraints that you need to at least consider.

  149. 123454321 says

    Elsewhere in the HMRC website, this one covering rival claims and order of priority entitlement.

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/ccmmanual/ccm18015.htm

    …and guess which sex is granted automatic priority! Clue: not the one with the penis. Presumably there is some kind of investigative committee employed within HMRC to double check that these automatic priority entitlements are ethically aligned to follow their own scrupulously defined moral compass, after all this is the UK Government we are talking about and we all know how hot they are on equality these days.

  150. Lucythoughts says

    Thanks for all the replies on this, much appreciated 🙂

    #163 Marduk

    I’m not certain what you mean by this being a transitional time; as far as I can see the last three hundred years or so have been characterised by a series of transitions, with a lot of complexity and mess at every stage. Do you think we’re nearing some kind of period of stability? I’m not sure what would bring that about. Do you see this as just a transition in terms of gender roles / gender equality but not other arenas? If so, I can’t agree because as I’ve said I think those things are inextricably linked to socio-economic factors. The wishes and choices of the more privileged will continue to determine the social conditions which limit the choices of the less privileged, and the constraints on them will still be highly gendered.

    “a next level feminist issue should surely be reducing women’s dependence on the state, in much the way they sought to reduce their dependence upon husbands in the 1960s… swapping who has power over you cannot be the end goal in itself surely”

    I’m not convinced that it is better to be dependent on the whims of an employer who can cut your hours down to zero at a moments notice that to be dependent on the state, which may also decide to impoverish you but will usually give you more notice. Someone always had power over you unless you are possessed of an independence and the people who are most reliant on the state are also the ones most vulnerable to exploitation at work.

    #164 Carnation

    You make some very good points. I don’t expect feminism to save the situation, as you said, how could it? And I don’t really blame columnists for ignoring these issues either, their job is to sell copy after all; I blame feminist politicians rather more because if they don’t have the platform to at least make a push then no one does.

    #165 StillGjenganger “But there are constraints that you need to at least consider.”

    Indeed I do consider them and in fact I’m not in favour of endless increases in childcare subsidies at the taxpayers expense, although the political consensus seems to be moving in that direction. If the state pays the true costs then it’s prohibitively expensive and if they don’t then you get the consequences I described before. Aside from that, I’m uncomfortable with it because it seems to me a divisive mechanism for placing a high social value on one set of parenting choices over others, not based on outcomes for children or increasing choice for parents but solely based on the virtue of economic activity. If a family has an income that can support its own childcare costs, I can’t see a case for the state paying them instead. If paying for childcare isn’t economically viable because your wages don’t do much more than cover your costs then I also question whether it is the states responsibility to make it viable. There are lots of things that people would prefer to do but can’t afford to and the state is not expected to step in and cover the costs. As a general principle I think that state support should be given on the basis of financial need, not on the basis of rewarding the “right” choices.

    On social care again, I’m fairly flexible about how it would be funded. Taxation would be essential but it could be supplemented, for example, by bands of prescription charges based on the level of care required, like NHS dentistry is.

  151. 123454321 says

    “I blame feminist politicians rather more because if they don’t have the platform to at least make a push then no one does.”

    Yes, but they know that women care more about women than they do about men, and men care more about women than they do about men. So their political agenda is slanted in favour of what they think get votes. And that makes money. Same as columnists, who also have to tread very carefully.

  152. Adiabat says

    Lucythoughts (158):

    In fact the “burden” aspect is kind of at the heart of my point about the undervaluing of women’s work

    Do you have a good source for the idea that women’s work is undervalued? Specifically the claim that it’s undervalued because it’s women’s work. I’ve read reports by both the EU and UN but they were both high on assertion and low on reason or facts.

    When I look at areas such as Nursing, Midwifery or Teaching, I find that the starting salaries are higher than average than the starting salary for graduate jobs, with fixed and guaranteed pay progression that ensures a higher salary than the national average within just a few years (much higher for midwifery and if they progress past basic nurse or teacher). On a social level they are all highly respected careers, conveying ‘social status’ on those who do them. “Good Middle Class Jobs” in other words. On a personally fulfilling level, they are all social jobs that puts you in contact with a wide variety of people, with a share of desk based work and physically active requirements, and have a ‘feel good’ factor.

    #167:

    [RE: childcare subsidies] If paying for childcare isn’t economically viable because your wages don’t do much more than cover your costs then I also question whether it is the states responsibility to make it viable

    It isn’t the states responsibility, but long term it’s beneficial to the state that the parents stay in work. A 5/10/15 year career break means less tax revenue not just for those years but for the rest of the parents’ life due to the lack of career progression during that time. Paying for early year childcare subsidies practically pays for itself.

    If it also helps some people who want to work but can’t, then that’s an added bonus that they’ll sell to the newspapers to appear as though they care.

  153. Lucythoughts says

    #169 Adiabat
    “When I look at areas such as Nursing, Midwifery or Teaching, I find that the starting salaries are higher than average than the starting salary for graduate jobs,”

    First of all, nursing, midwifery and teaching ARE all graduate jobs now. Nursing was the last one to require a full three year undergraduate qualification I believe (up from an intensive two year course), about 5 or 6 years ago I think? I’m remembering these details off the top of my head so I might be slightly off. In fact, nursing and midwifery degrees are far more demanding than most undergraduate degrees because they require extensive on the job placements which can involve shift work. Teaching, I’m not convinced was ever really considered women’s work, it’s always been a job that required qualifications and women only really dominate the profession in primary.

    When I talked about “women’s work” what I meant, which I guess wasn’t clear, was not professions which have traditionally been female dominated but work which was traditionally done by women in the home and which has become professionalised since the equality movement. That’s why I have been banging on about care (child and adult social care). There is also domestic cleaning, which can play pretty well and be very flexible if you are self employed (and good at your job) but generally sucks if you work for an agency. Again, they have very bad practices of paying less than minimum wage by not paying for travel time, assigning less paid time for a job than it actually takes to complete it, that sort of thing. Very much like in adult social care.

    I can’t quote pay comparisons data on this if that is what you’re looking for, but these jobs are generally paid at or near minimum wage (and can come out below minimum wage because of exploitative practices) and while the pay is comparable with very low skilled work, the actual skills and responsibility actually involved deserve much higher wages.

  154. Lucythoughts says

    #169 Adiabat
    “It isn’t the states responsibility, but long term it’s beneficial to the state that the parents stay in work. A 5/10/15 year career break means less tax revenue not just for those years but for the rest of the parents’ life due to the lack of career progression during that time. Paying for early year childcare subsidies practically pays for itself.”

    I’d partially agree with this, but not entirely. If you genuinely aren’t earning enough to cover your childcare costs, so making no money or next to no money, then you won’t be reaching your personal allowance either so won’t be paying income tax. I think economic factors are part of the political motivation (job creation as well as tax revenue) but I also think it’s ideological and of course it’s a vote winner.

    Earning NO money is relatively rare I think, and to an extent you cut your cloth according to your means; child minders are much cheaper than nurseries for example. I suspect a more common situation is when you are earning a certain amount but after childcare, tax, national insurance and travel costs you end up earning about £2 an hour or something. You could say that seems unfair but your children need looking after so the choice then becomes a) is my take home pay needed to pay my bills even though it’s small; b) do I want to work because I love my job, want to keep my career moving, get some time to connect with the grown-up world to keep me sane etc; OR c) am I actually quite happy to have a socially valid reason to stay at home i.e. “it wasn’t worth me working”.

    If C), of course, your excuse is taken away by funded childcare and in part that is what it is for. George Osborne probably wouldn’t quibble with this, he’s a cynical bastard after all.

  155. Carnation says

    @ Ally

    Hi Ally, I wrote a response to your response to my question, but it didn’t upload (damn technology).

    In a nutshell – few further questions, if you don’t mind me asking:

    How did your male friends react to your initial sympathy for, or interest in, feminist issues?

    Did you ever go through a phase of strongly identifying as a feminist?

    Do you lament the total eclipse of soapy by pungent and powerful weed?

  156. says

    @Ally:
    I haven’t seen you address it, but apparently the CPS amended their VAWG-report in September:
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/docs/cps_vawg_report_2015_amended_september_2015_v2.pdf

    Are you satisfied with their changes?

    Among other things they write:

    However, CPS recognises, acknowledges and helps those victims that are not
    necessarily caught by the “VAWG” umbrella – that is, the men and the boys who can
    also be victims of VAWG crimes.

    Which comes off as some kind of newspeak considering that VAWG is an abbreviation for Violence Against Women and Girls. Exactly how is a man or a boy a victim of violence against women and girls?

  157. mostlymarvelous says

    Exactly how is a man or a boy a victim of violence against women and girls?

    Very easily in family violence based murders. The children, boys and girls alike, who are killed as some kind of revenge against their mother. The children who are killed as well as their mother in family annihilation murders. The father/ brother/ son/ uncle/ grandfather who is killed – just because he’s there when the woman is killed or specifically because the killer believes the man is supporting her.

    My former next door neighbour is regularly mentioned in parole hearings by his niece. Her father killed her mother and he apparently tells the daughter at various times that he intends to kill his brother in law when he gets out – because he had advised his sister to separate from him because of his violence. She argues against his release every time he comes up for review because of this, she’s lost her mother and she doesn’t want to lose her uncle. If her uncle, my neighbour, was harmed by this bloke, it would be because of violence against a now dead woman expanding to encompass anyone who had tried to help her.

  158. says

    mostlymarvelous: If your former neighbour is released and does kill his brother in law I would say that it is a crime highly related to violence against women/girls in that it is a crime motivated by violence against women/girls (his late spouse). But calling the case of a murder of a man “violence against women and girls” is effectively erasing the murdered victim.

    The CPS report which that quote is taken from also includes cases where a male perpetrator has sexually abused several underaged male children. How is that violence against women ang girls? Ally mentioned in a comment on one of his posts on this CPS report that if a woman or man assaults a random woman on the streets it’s not counted as violence against women and girls, but if a gay man abuse his male partner it is counted as violence against women and girls. The term is applied by the CPS in a fit a square peg in a round hole manner.

  159. mostlymarvelous says

    The term is applied by the CPS in a fit a square peg in a round hole manner.

    Absolutely.

    The gay man abused by his partner, also a man. is in nothing like the position of a father assaulted or killed by another man because he provided housing to his daughter and her children after they separated from his son-in-law. The abused gay man is in a parallel position to the abused woman in the second scenario, not to her father. But he’s not a woman by any stretch of anyone’s imagination even though he’s a victim of male violence.

    And playing silly arse with statistics obscures the real situation and the real problems that support services and police enforcement have to deal with.

  160. Lucy says

    “Do you have a good source for the idea that women’s work is undervalued? ”

    Yes. Me.

    In IT contracting it’s extremely easy to do a comparison as the daily rates are advertised. The men’s preferred roles (software and network engineers, systems analysts, test analysts, architects, ux design, programme managers) are considered highly skilled and attract daily rates of £500+. The women’s ones (business analysts, copy writing, graphic design, HR managers, PMO, delivery managers) are considered low skilled and attract daily rates of £200+. Unless of course, the women’s jobs are done by men, in which case they are given different titles, are considered right hard and skilled again and attract daily rates of £500+.

    See also, GPs. A high status job attracting gold plated salaries until it became popular with women after which people started wondering if it was all that hard after all and maybe salaries should be reviewed.

    See also teaching. Until the 1950s a high status job.

    See also politics. Until the 1980s, a high status job.

    See also the legal profession, until the 1990s, a high status job.

    As soon as women do it, the status and salaries move elsewhere. Where’s the high status profession now? Find the one where there is high pay and few women: finance, consulting, male sport.

    If a woman is told she’s doing a mans job it’s a compliment, if a man is told he’s doing a woman’s job, it’s an insult. There’s a reason for that: relative status and value.

  161. Lucy says

    LucyThoughts

    “You know, I was just about to launch into a reply to this, maybe refer to some sources, point out that levels and nature of violence vary widely between tribes, make some reference to the particular tribes I was thinking of (there were two in my mind when I was writing that comment as it happens) and perhaps generally expand on these cultural differences in relation to social and gender roles and well being….And then I realised that your entire post was just a block quote from Wikipedia. ”

    You mean you looked Amazonian tribes up on Wikipedia?

    “Frankly, that makes me doubt that you have any real interest in the subject. So I won’t bother.”

    Yes, I can relate to that.

  162. Lucy says

    Marduk

    “This is ultimately where ignoring everything men say gets you. ”
    Can you summarise everything men say and I’ll let you know if I’ve ignored it.

    “Neuroticism aside, ”
    Who’s?

    “you’ve wasted just under £600 there in the belief that men are women with willies (the no.1 dating mistake of course but I’d have had you down as having a more critical eye than that).”
    I wasn’t talking about me! I don’t do all that to get mere sex. If I want to get mere sex I just stick on my Dalmatian onesie, walk into the nearest bar and shout, “anyone fancy a shag?” And take home the first 10 grateful, undiscerning blokes who express an interest. Works every time.

  163. Carnation says

    @ Lucy

    Re contracting, I know a fair amount about this field, of course IT is male dominated, but analyst positions aren’t, nor are many legal and project management contractor positions.

    But if you’re contracting, you’re earning very significant sums of money, albeit with zero job security.

    Shouldn’t the first and indeed main priority for activists for men and women be to support and enable those marginalised and excluded from highly skilled positions?

    @ 123454321/Adiabat/Marduk

    I think you guys are really remiss. Every year, society celebrates the achievements of Santa Claus, a man who visits every child in the world with presents, whilst Mrs Claus presumably sits with her feet up eating Bon Bons.

    How can you watch this annual celebration of a Beta male’s exploitation silently? Why aren’t you picketing Grottos everywhere? Liberating elves and berating gold-digging Mrs Claus for her evil ways?

    @ 123454321 – perhaps an idea for your next incisive comparative media analysis?

    Merry Chrimbles, MRA brethren, I love you really, and I may, or may not,have woken up feeling rather merry and full of festive cheer, doubtless with a time-delayed hangover waiting to detonate.

  164. Lucy says

    Holms

    “Disingenuous to the bitter end I see.”

    I’ll tell you what’s disingenuous.

    What’s disingenuous in my humble opinion is the solid gold bollock myth that men have to work harder for the opposite sex’s approval than women do. The beauty and self-help industries are multi billion dollar ones for a reason. It’s not men painting their faces and nails, having cosmetic procedures, wearing uncomfortable impractical clothes, under eating, worrying about what they look like from behind and pouring over magazine articles.

    Men do other things to attract a mate, but they are no more onerous than the ones women do, and are much healthier and positive. At least for the mainstream.

    And contrary to that other popular myth about women being one another’s harshest critics while men are benign judges, it’s boys who torment girls at school who they deem to be ugly, not other girls. And grown men who find fun in humiliating famous women for their appearance on the Internet. It’s Donald Trump who accuses his running mates of being ugly. Gordon Ramsay who photoshopped a critical woman’s head onto a pig. Sun journalists who accused Claire Short of being jealous of page 3 models. The HIGNFY men who called Camilla Parker Bowles names. The little discussed converse of appreciative sexual harrassment in the street, is sexual insult.
    L
    It strikes me that these myths are related to the question of women’s work being undervalued. Men tend to suffer from a blindness to the complexity of what women do. It’s like Ginger Rogers said.

  165. Lucythoughts says

    #178 Lucy “You mean you looked Amazonian tribes up on Wikipedia?”

    Of course! Who doesn’t love wiki? But not everybody loves it so much they cut and paste entire passages from it and post them under their own name! My jaw hit the floor when I realised that’s what you’d done! 😀

    I have to thank you for doing it though, because I did look up the Yanomami on wiki, not knowing that much about them, and then I did a little thing I do when I’m interested in a subject, I went through their list of references (because you can’t really trust what you read on there unless you verify it from original sources) and I’ve found two books that look bloody interesting and which I’ll probably buy myself if I have any money left after Christmas. And that was really thanks to you and your cut-and-paste function! So Happy New Year! 🙂

  166. Adiabat says

    Lucythoughts (170):

    First of all, nursing, midwifery and teaching ARE all graduate jobs now.

    Yes I know, which is why I compared the starting salaries to the average graduate starting salary, showing that they were higher paid, and that’s with the additional ancillary benefits of those jobs.

    Teaching, I’m not convinced was ever really considered women’s work

    It’s listed as an example in the ‘women’s work’ page on Wikipedia. Most likely due to the surge in women teachers mid 19th century, as they were cheaper to employ (because what happens if a genuine wage gap exists is that women get hired more than men).

    When I talked about “women’s work” what I meant, which I guess wasn’t clear, was not professions which have traditionally been female dominated but work which was traditionally done by women in the home and which has become professionalised since the equality movement.

    I think you’re making a distinction without a difference. Midwifery for example was done by lower class women, or older female family members, until it became the job we know today sometime in the late 20th century. Healthcare nursing was professionalised early 20th century, but prior to this it would be hard to justify it as not “work traditionally done by women in the home”. Conversely you bring up domestic cleaning and child care which have existed as careers outside the home for centuries before in the form of house staff, governesses, nannies etc. It’s hard to justify including some types of “women’s work” in your analysis while leaving out others.

    There is also domestic cleaning, which can play pretty well and be very flexible if you are self employed (and good at your job) but generally sucks if you work for an agency.

    That’s agency work in general. Unless you have a rare and in demand skillset you get screwed while the agency takes most of your pay. This because you are dependent on them finding the work, and they have a dozen other people they can call and get to do the job.

    while the pay is comparable with very low skilled work, the actual skills and responsibility actually involved deserve much higher wages.

    I think that claim applies very much on a job by job basis, and not to “women’s work” as a whole. Typically, if there is a low paying job which require a level of skill and responsibility there are reasons why it is still low paid. Amongst other possibilities, these can be low barriers to entry, a large pool of possible staff, flexibility or a ‘feel good’ factor.

    #171: I agree with most of this.

  167. Adiabat says

    Lucy (177):

    Yes. Me

    Lol.

    You do realise that simply saying “this job gets this, but this job only gets this!” convinces no-one except idiots right? Others know that there is a difference between roles, that there are multiple factors that play into what a role gets paid. Not all contractors (who are self-employed I should add) are equal.

    The rest of your post is just assertion after assertion, none of which is true.

    if a man is told he’s doing a woman’s job, it’s an insult

    Actually I think a male copy writer would just be confused why you consider his job to be a “woman’s job”. Or are you doing that thing where you switch definitions (of what is “women’s work”) half way through your post?

  168. Carntion says

    @ Adiabat

    “because what happens if a genuine wage gap exists is that women get hired more than men”

    Well, all depends what you mean by a wage gap. It’s absolutely indisputable that men take home more a not insignificant amount less pay than women. Comparative analysis is a different story.

    But if women are taking home less pay than men, it follows simply that they either work in lower paying jobs or work less because they’re busy doing other things, like raising children, or filing false rape allegations/death threats and rinsing their husbands (if you’re an anti-feminist simpleton.)

    Raising children is still widely seen as women’s work. So is nursing. The same patriarchal assumptions (calm down 12345…) that stunt men in those spheres hindered women being taken seriously in the police, for example, and arguably still do in STEM.

  169. 123454321 says

    @ 123454321 – perhaps an idea for your next incisive comparative media analysis?

    What a marvellous idea, thanks! Here we go then….strange isn’t it, Carny, how feminists can easily align themselves with the notion that Santa Claus and God could/should be female. But you never hear those same people (who supposedly strive for true equality) promote the idea that the devil could be female. How very, very strange and completely and utterly bizarre. I wonder why that could be? Hmmm, I must ruminate for half a second….

  170. 123454321 says

    “Raising children is still widely seen as women’s work.”

    …because most women and girls (despite what Miss-leading feminist who thinks she speaks on behalf of all women says) actually WANT to do this rather than handover to their male counterparts. And it’s THEIR choice because it suits them. Good enough reason?

  171. Carnation says

    “What a marvellous idea, thanks! Here we go then….strange isn’t it, Carny, how feminists can easily align themselves with the notion that Santa Claus and God could/should be female”

    @ 123454321

    When have feminists claimed that Santa Claus could/should be female?

  172. Anton Mates says

    But you never hear those same people (who supposedly strive for true equality) promote the idea that the devil could be female.

    Why would they? Most feminist Goddess-worshippers don’t believe in the devil. Plenty of feminists talk about female deities with demonic or negative attributes, though. Lilith, Kali, the Crone aspect of the Goddess, etc.

    For that matter, I don’t think most Christians believe the devil has a true gender. Angels, even fallen angels, are usually thought to be sexless.

  173. Lucythoughts says

    #184 Adiabat

    Okay, I misunderstood you. You wrote “higher than average THAN the starting salaries of graduate jobs” when I guess you meant “than the starting salaries of OTHER graduate jobs.” Doesn’t matter, just caused my confusion.

    Midwifery and nursing and very demanding professions, I mentioned the amount of work expected during training which is far in excess of a normal bachelors degree and which earns an increased starting salary on its own as far as I can see. Once you’re employed you have to work long shifts, night shifts, weekends and, like in other professions where antisocial hours are expected there’s a pay premium for doing them. Through your career I don’t know whether nurses and midwives salaries keep up with comparable graduate jobs with all that taken into account but I’m guessing not because you probably would have told me so.

    I’m not sure that having a “feel good” factor means very much because what makes you feel good depends on your tastes. Engineers feel good when they’ve solved the problem. Financiers feel good when the screw the public presumably. I assume people who go into nursing, midwifery or teaching think it will make them feel good, but I would guess that the rates at which they leave the professions indicated that the costs outweigh the benefits or that they have a rapid burn out factor. They’re all incredibly stressful jobs for a whole lot of reasons.

    Teaching I still don’t think is women’s work, even in defiance of Wikipedia. I had a little glance of the stats though, the profession as a whole is female dominated as you might expect with the female : male ratio highest at primary where it’s 85% female. In secondary schools, private schools and FE colleges the split is about 60% female 40% male. I wouldn’t call that women’s work myself.

    Lucy wrote “if a man is told he’s doing a woman’s job, it’s an insult”

    I suspect you deliberately misunderstood her, referring to copy writing when she was making a general point. I think if you told one of the 40% of secondary school teachers who are men that they were doing “women’s work” they’d be pretty pissed off. If you made the same comment to a male nurse he’d probably shrug it off because he heard it all the time but he’d still think you meant it to be derogatory.

    The rest of what you wrote I’d like to come back on as it’s really much more what I’m interested in, but it’ll have to wait until I have some more time!

  174. Marduk says

    #181
    Put down the egg nog Carnation, I’m not an MRA. I don’t want gender roles to be maintained, I don’t even think the family is especially worth hanging onto and I can take or leave the nation state. I’m about as un-reactionary as a person can be, I believe in the project of modernity. TLDR; disagreeing with you doesn’t make someone else an MRA.

    And “Father Christmas”? Most patriarchal name ever.

    #191
    Nursing and teaching are pretty well paid these days (or at least they were up until 2010). They used to be badly paid in the 80s particularly but New Labour for their sins did actually sort this out. Nobody in those professions really complains about pay these days (we just remember they used to) its everything else about them that is the problem!

    There is a debate about whether when professions become “women’s work” pay declines or whether women tend to join professions in decline. There isn’t any convincing causal evidence for either. The truth of it seems to be that men take risks in joining either new professions or “neo-professions” in ascendancy (a good example would be finance in the 80s which was a sleepy backwater before dergulation) in more turbulent market sectors. Its not what women do that affects their relative rate of pay, its what men do that they don’t. Women tend to be more conservative. Once a profession is “corporate” pay tends to decline but employment becomes more regulated, there is a career path with forms and HR staff etc. Economically (if not financially) there is actually rough equality here depending on how you price risk and intangibles.

    The other thing people forget is then when risk enters the picture, you’re working with pure survivorship bias. Everyone wants to be Mark Zuckerberg, they ignore the fact that Mark Zuckerburg and Mark Zeckerberg, the guys either side of him in the entrepreneur’s yearbook, went broke and were homeless for a bit because most people who try stuff like that do. You should have the chance to be Mark Zuckerberg, but demanding that until you are there is “inequality” is daft, its like demanding that you should only get sold winning lottery tickets.

    If there is an interesting feminist discussion to be had here its why women tend towards being conservative (perhaps perceived pressures of family responsibility leading to over-valuing childcare, regular hours and so on?) and what could be done to make them take on substantially more risk. There will be winners and losers of course. A big question I have that I’ve never had answered is how feminism views and understands risk and whether it is prepared to accept female failure (if it won’t, I can’t see how we can ever have statistical equality). I’d love to see more thought from feminists about risk in general, or if anyone can put me onto anything, I’ve looked before and it seems totally unexplored.

    And, equipped with the above information, whether well-meaning campaigns are the most effective. IT has been a very cruel trick played on women really. It used to be female dominated back when it was corporate dominated and there was no real money to be made quickly at least. The micro-computer essentially deregulated it, then the internet was another dergulation. It got risky and dangerous and men rushed in. Now its re-consolidating, the he government is hell-bent on dragging women into IT just in time for it to fall off a cliff. Unfortunately soggy Guardian feminists are always encouraging people into traps like that. Expect an angry editorial blaming the patriarchy in 2030 when the dust has cleared if they are still going by then. Energy, materials science and the right kind of biotech would be my bets.

  175. Adiabat says

    Lucythoughts (191): Apologies for the confusion, it should’ve been ‘for’ rather than ‘than’.

    Midwifery and nursing and very demanding professions, I mentioned the amount of work expected during training which is far in excess of a normal bachelors degree and which earns an increased starting salary on its own as far as I can see.

    I agree. I’m not arguing that they are overpaid or underpaid. They are well paid professions, and rightly so.

    Through your career I don’t know whether nurses and midwives salaries keep up with comparable graduate jobs with all that taken into account but I’m guessing not because you probably would have told me so.

    It’s incredibly difficult to devise an average for a graduate job 5 or 10 years down the line. The number of extra factors gets a bit unmanageable: people move on to other roles, responsibility increases at different rates etc.

    A nurse after 7 years will be earning over £28k, more if they work in London. If they manage to progress to a senior nurse, or are a specialist such as mental health nurse then they will be looking at a lot more. A midwife will likely be closer to $34K after that time, again more if they progress to a senior role. They seem like very fair wages to me, and definitely don’t indicate that these jobs are being undervalued.

    I’m not sure that having a “feel good” factor means very much because what makes you feel good depends on your tastes….

    And it’s all taken into account in wages. If you look at just engineer jobs or programmers then the equivalent ‘feel good’ jobs get paid less. For example with the same skillset a programmer could work in the games industry, which is why many people get in the field, for very low relative pay or they can work on the next version of a dull stock management system, for example, for some corporation which will pay a lot more.

    An awful lot of people want jobs that are social and put you in contact with a wide variety of people, with a share of desk-based and physically-active work, and that fulfils some sort of Social Good. This will have an effect on the pay for jobs that fulfil those requirements.

    Teaching I still don’t think is women’s work… In secondary schools, private schools and FE colleges the split is about 60% female 40% male. I wouldn’t call that women’s work myself.

    And if you include all cleaning jobs, not just domestic cleaning, there are actually more men working in the field than women (if you remove grounds keeping from this then the figure becomes 55% women, 45% men – based on US stats as I couldn’t find UK ones). Yet you categorise cleaning as “women’s work”.

    I think its fine to use a measure that isn’t just based on the proportion of workers, but there should be a heuristic to categorise what are “women’s jobs”. Not just a ‘pick and choose’ of jobs that suit the claim that is being made. If, for example, you say that “women’s jobs” are jobs historically seen as such and would be categorised as such by a large proportion of people in our society, then you would probably have to include nursing and midwifery (and possibly teaching), but then you have to drop the claim that “women’s jobs” are de-facto undervalued. It’s a bit of a catch-22, and why I question the claim.

    I suspect you deliberately misunderstood her, referring to copy writing when she was making a general point

    I know the intent of her claim, but I understood the logic of it more than Lucy herself did. I was holding her claim to the same logic that the rest of her post depended upon: The first part of her post relied on a simple ‘proportion of women doing the job’ definition to define “women’s jobs” and argue that they are paid less, yet this definition is suddenly abandoned and instead uses a vague “work that is seen as less” circular-definition instead, so she can make the claim she did. The points made in the post aren’t coherent with each other.

    I think if you told one of the 40% of secondary school teachers who are men that they were doing “women’s work” they’d be pretty pissed off.

    I disagree, I don’t think they’d be pissed off: I think they would be confused why someone would think that and likely think the person is ignorant and a holdover from 30 years ago. This is [current year] after all.

  176. Adiabat says

    Marduk (192): Nice post.

    And, equipped with the above information, whether well-meaning campaigns are the most effective. IT has been a very cruel trick played on women really.

    The cynic in me suspects that these campaigns are promoted so much by the government and corporations out of a desire to increase the supply of qualified applicants, thereby leading to depressed IT salaries. The whole IT off-shoring trend last decade was largely considered a failure and jobs are increasingly being brought back and done in-house. They are desperate to reduce IT wages.

  177. Ally Fogg says

    Hi everyone.

    Just flying through, sorry I haven’t had time to chat to you all these past few weeks, but just had to point out that the Devil is a woman in Bedazzled (both versions – Raquel Welch then Elizabeth Hurley)

    The closest thing Greek mythology has to a devil is Hecate, who is female.

    And I definitely read a book once with a female devil but the name escapes me right now.

    And of course folk legends are full of female witches, demons, succubi etc etc, so I don’t think that really flies.

  178. D506 says

    @194 Adiabat
    You may not be far off. A bit about my own experience in IT:

    I finished a computer science undergrad about 5 years ago. My grad class was maybe 60 people; around 5 of them women. A decade ago the CS grad classes were around 500 people, maybe 25% women. Demand has not shrunk similarly.

    I took a 3 year contract in the public sector after graduation. The office was maybe 90% women as a whole, but closer to 50/50 in leadership roles and in the software development teams. Our dev teams were also short staff, and despite several attempts to hire more developers we never found anyone.

    When they offered to bring me on permanently, I asked for a modest raise. When that was denied, I rejected their offer. I was offered a private sector job pretty much the next day with twice my prior salary. Interestingly, the office is about 90% men – and so are the other firms we work with. A strong contrast with the ~50% women from the public sector developers I worked with.

    A month into my current position 2 people out of my 4 person team were fired for just generally not performing; something completely unheard of in the public sector. On top of that, the company I worked for recently sold our division. While the new owners say they’re not going to be making cuts – we could all be out of a job tomorrow for reasons well outside of our control. Had I stayed in the public sector, it’d have taken something drastic for me to ever lose that job.

  179. 123454321 says

    “the Devil is a woman in Bedazzled”

    Yes, but in virtually every other film the Devil is always male.

    “The closest thing Greek mythology has to a devil is Hecate, who is female.”

    Greek mythology has no Devil. Hekate was a Goddess.

    “And I definitely read a book once with a female devil but the name escapes me right now.”

    Well there are quite a few. But nowhere close to the plethora of books depicting male Devils.

    “And of course folk legends are full of female witches, demons, succubi etc etc, so I don’t think that really flies.”

    But the ratio of evil male characters to evil female characters in books, films, TV, comics etc. is undeniably huge, you know that. Have you started on the Christmas spirits to early or something!

  180. Holms says

    #178 Lucy
    You mean you looked Amazonian tribes up on Wikipedia?

    The impression I got was that Lucythoughts has an actual interest in the subject of Amazonian tribes, with the corresponding knowledge. You on the other hand simply googled ‘Amazonian tribes’ or similar and block posted the first thing you found that was convenient to your point. That is, my impression is that much like 1234, you do not have a good faith approach to this topic.

    Your post before that, #177, is another prime example. All of those professions coming down in salary and status, and all attributable to ‘because women entered the field’? Dear god no. Firstly, politicians and lawyers still have great salaries and income security and GPs still have great respect, and secondly because excessive salaries to the entitled elite getting pulled down to earth a bit* is a good thing. All you are doing is noting that this is occurring at the same time women are finally overcoming the historic restrictions about entering ‘male’ professions and assuming that because one has approximately followed the other, it must be caused by the other. Classic post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    *Assuming that is indeed actually happening; bear in mind that income inequality has been expanding greatly in the last 20 years or so.

  181. Holms says

    Oops, didn’t mean to end it there.

    #179 Lucy
    “Disingenuous to the bitter end I see.”
    Which bit’s wrong?

    The entire post #110 is a tour de force of dishonest comparison.

  182. Holms says

    #197 1234
    But the ratio of evil male characters to evil female characters in books, films, TV, comics etc. is undeniably huge, you know that. Have you started on the Christmas spirits to early or something!

    You’ve crunched the numbers, or have a citation? Or is this going to be another of those ‘you know I’m right so I won’t bother supporting my assertion’ assertions that you relish so? Methinks another confirmation bias is coming on.

  183. Lucy says

    Adiabat

    “You do realise that simply saying “this job gets this, but this job only gets this!” convinces no-one except idiots right?”

    No I don’t realise this. I suspect you’re a bit convinced though. Judging by your half-arsed attempt to disagree with it.

  184. Paul says

    Ally

    From tomorrow psychological abuse will become a criminal offense which i agree with in principle .For whilst i’m not exactly sure what will be classified as psychological abuse i fully accept it can potentially have as devastating impact as other forms of abuse.

    However ,and sadly predictably ,almost all the rhetoric about this change in the law views women as being primarily victims.And therefore there’s been little recognition of the extent to which men,lesbian women and children can suffer from psychological abuse at the hands of women.So i do have concerns that this new law won’t actually encourage ALL victims of psychological abuse to come forward and get the support and protection they need.I’ll be interested in hearing your views on this.

    All the best for 2016.

  185. 123454321 says

    Way to go, Holms, if you want what’s left of your already limp credibility status to take even more of a nose dive. Way to go!

    Seriously, you want empirical, factual evidence of something which is blatantly obvious to anyone with just half a brain cell? Asking for a citation/number crunching around the subject of gender depiction when it comes to evil character assignment is like asking for evidence that a bear shits in the woods. Open your eyes, Holms, and remove those blinkers! Geez!

  186. Carnation says

    @ Paul.

    Interesting comment, but I think you’re absolutely wrong, and with all due respect, I think that your confirmation bias is blinding you to the possibilities contained within the new legislation.

    As I have said before, one of the most damaging MRA myths is that a woman can “steal” children from a capable, loving father, denying access at a whim. The reality is basically the opposite, but the myth continues and is sustained by cultural artefacts more so than online weaklings and their echo chambers.

    Nevertheless, parents, mainly mothers (I would suggest) believe that they have a trump card – that they can withhold access and/or custody of children. This can take the form of threats (“if you leave me you’ll never see the children again”) or vengeance (“how dare you, you will never see the children again”). This legislation, it seems, offers a legal framework to challenge this vile behaviour and, hopefully, to open up prosecutions for parents breaking contact orders.

    My concerns about this legislation are that it seems very hard to enforce. It is, however, very welcome. I would like to see if used to prosecute parents who fail to pay child support, as well as those who use children as pawns in their disgusting games of vengeance.

    And, again, I will conclude by lamenting the total lack of credible organisations to lobby for the application of such measures on behalf of men. The narcissistic clowns that constitute F4J will be joining their half-witted, infantile MRA cousins in screaming “feminist conspiracy” instead of looking for opportunities to support vulnerable men.

    I’d be interested in your feedback.

  187. Holms says

    #201 Lucy
    “The entire post #110 is a tour de force of dishonest comparison.”

    Which bit’s wrong?

    I’ll try again. The entire post #110 is a tour de force of dishonest comparison.

    #204
    1234 impugning my credibility? Praise accepted.

  188. 123454321 says

    Carny, women have many trump cards up their sleeves and can be just as coercive and controlling as men and if you can’t see that you are blinded by your own agenda. I agree that psychological abuse should be a criminal offence and I agree with Paul that we’re highly likely to be bombarded from every corner with the notion that only women and girls can be the primary victims, never men or boys. Exploiting the “you won’t get sex tonight” if you don’t do everything I say and do it right” is just one example of a common trump card women often play, and that’s way before children arrive on the scene. I don’t know many couples these days where the woman doesn’t openly proclaim she wears the trousers and I have known many men who have suffered deep emotional abuse at the hands of a woman. But I guess women can get away with not being labelled a the perpetrator of emotional abuse, because, well, they can. No one holds them to account as men are held to account. Expectations are different. Every corner of the media bombards us with the narrative as to what men should expect and how they should behave in order to satisfy women, and to live up to the expectation or else be labelled a deadbeat scum who doesn’t know how to treat women properly. It’s always the guy’s fault, don’t you know!. The more I read your writings, Carny, the more I think you have very limited life experience. I could point you directly to a friend of mine who literally had his kids stolen from him unashamedly using the most severe and toxic lying tactics you couldn’t make up in a million years. He has his kids back now, or at least access, but lost 2 or 3 years of precious moments that he (or his kids) will never get back. The social stigma men face in society which prevents them reporting phycological abuse coupled by the fact that men find it very hard to turn against their partner makes it an impossible uphill struggle for men. The media won’t help, the fundings are vastly disparate considering the mf dm ratio split and people like you do nothing to help either. Thanks a bunch.

    I tell you what you could do to help, Carny. Why don’t you knock up yet another advertisement poster for the Northumbria Police showing yet another example of how men coerce women. Don’t forget to ignore the fact that the police are FULLY aware of the dm mf ratio and that men are highly likely to under report, yeah just forget about those little facts and keep championing all the wrong causes by lying through your milk teeth.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3378676/Police-accused-sexism-new-anti-domestic-violence-campaign-refers-male-attackers.html#ixzz3vp7ACgYr

  189. StillGjenganger says

    If the law is coming I guess that there is no help for it, but I really do not think it is a good idea to criminalise psychological abuse. Not because of any man/woman imbalance, but because it is not wise to have ill-defined crimes on the statute book. The commentators here all seem to agree that it is hard to seee what it means, or to define when it has happened. Which leaves us with a crime that many people can be said to maybe have committed, and that people in the system can use if for one reason or another they want to get someone – and ignore otherwise. And for all that I mostly respet British judges, that is not a power it is good to have around.

    Psychological abuse can be highly devasating, sure, but not all bad things are suitable to be criminalised.

  190. Marduk says

    #208
    I totally agree, well said.

    Between this and “hate speech” legislation (criminalising things where cases of merit were already illegal anyway) I’m uncomfortable about the state legislating against hurt feelings and thought crimes.

    Presumably it will really be used to “bid down” domestic violence cases in reality. Its a bad piece of legislation all around.

  191. 123454321 says

    This law will eventually expose some real truths around who the perpetrators of coercive and emotional abuse are. It will flip the feminist lobby train right off its track – just a few more stations to pass. The biggest problem is exposing liars who know that society, family, friends and the system will support them through their lies. I think it’s a good thing bringing this subject out into the public eye, and with the threat of the law behind it some people might think twice before they ruin someone else’s life with controlling behaviour, male or female. It’s the usual unfairness and refusal to acknowledge that men can be victims too that, to me, makes the whole thing grossly despicable, and yet it seems everyone is still journeying on the same old train full of fellow deluded travellers, getting nowhere fast. I wonder what 2016 will bring for men and boys.

  192. Marduk says

    My mystic meg prediction is that 2016 could be the year of backlash. After denying they existed, denying they had the views they hold and then denying they had any influence, 2015 was the year the censoring-shaming-silencing social justice “crybully” went mainstream. As Guardian writer Van Thingy triumphantly said the other day, they own the media now in its entirety and they will never give it back.

    2016 could be the year of backlash. An EU out vote, a Donald Trump nomination in the US, the world could look different pretty damn quick. This is bad news because people with real problems are going to suffer because of what priveleged people have done (twas ever thus perhaps).

    I also expect the Graun to continue to dumb down and be at more or less open war with its readers (the piece on Reddit tells you more about the mood amongst Graun commissars than it does about Reddit which has done nothing but beg its users for forgiveness since Paos disastrous tenure… The Graun naturally ingores this volte face completely).

  193. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321 211
    I do not think ot will expose anything. ‘Psychological abuse’ is too hard to define. In the end it is going to mean what the system decides that it should mean. It is much like bringing a handgun into a room. What difference it will make depends totally on who gets to wield it and where they decide to aim. Without getting into how much I might agree or disagre with yoru aims, 123454321, what happens to the ‘feminist train’ is a questoin of politics, public opinion, and poower, exactly a it would be without this law.

  194. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    “Reddit which has done nothing but beg its users for forgiveness since Paos disastrous tenure”

    Citation please?

    @ 123454321

    That is a wall of deluded ramblings that any MRA could be proud of, but this nugget of nonsense explicitly shows what an absolute fucking idiot you can be some times and suggests a lack of lived experiences that really should exclude you from commenting on anything of substance: “Exploiting the “you won’t get sex tonight” if you don’t do everything I say and do it right” is just one example of a common trump card women often play”

  195. 123454321 says

    Oh, you’re so sweet when you’re angry, Carny, but as usual you follow up a point I make about the Police campaign being one-sided with nothing more than feminist, bullshit ramblings, probably because you have no logic available to fight with. So, here are the advertisements again:

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/northumbria-police-accused-sexism-domestic-10663534

    So calmly tell me what you think of them. Are they missing something? Does it matter? Do you agree with the people who are complaining and do they have a point? If you don’t agree, why not?

  196. Paul says

    @205 Carnation

    I’d be interested in your feedback.

    And i’d have been more than happy to you give you feedback if i had a clearer idea of why your post was directed at me..

    I asked Ally what i thought was a simple and direct question concerning his views about the recent change in the law regarding psychological and emotional abuse.And you responded with a rant about the Fathers Rights Movement ,MRA’s , F4j and allegations about feminist conspiracies.

    Maybe i’m just tired but it seems like we’re talking at cross purposes here.

  197. Marduk says

    #213

    Pao was made to apologise and then left within the week anyway.

    She was replaced by a former founder who announced a set of community standards that would mean he didn’t have to purge anything, waited a bit, purged the very worst racist bits that everyone kept asking him to defend (they were never purged for actually being racist note), changed his standards again and there has been nothing since. There is a subreddit with offensive images of Ellen Pao on it still up, if that isn’t pandering what is? Despite claims at the time to continue her work, there have no been further purges or continuation of anything she did. Reddit only exists because Digg drove its users away, they aren’t stupid. Seems like a faustian pact to me, Conde Nast were never going to let the business destroy itself and make the Voat guy a millionaire.

    Content creation sites are magical really, they are the media equivalent of perpetual motion machines. They have always been frustratingly hard to sustain however because being essentially grassroots, they tend to get easily wrecked by any real hint of top-down management. Digg wanted to renovate for the future but users weren’t prepared to accept the price of disruption because they had no stake in the business itself. Its like someone who doesn’t want to be inconvenienced by road works because they are probably going to move house anyway before the new road is completed, all you’ll achieve is to make them move away sooner. Pao was trying to clean up Reddit with a view to growing its user base.

    Pao was disastrous because she didn’t communicate effectively with the users and now they have had to back off on what they really should have done. Its a mess, I don’t claim there is even a real solution but she did a very bad job even though.

  198. StillGjenganger says

    @Marduk 216
    Very nice analysis. But

    Pao was trying to clean up Reddit with a view to growing its user base.

    Was she? Or was she trying to silence some voices that as a progressive feminist she really did not like (for good reason, btw)? With her background it is very hard to be sure, which is likely one reason she got hit so hard.

    That is the problem with thiis discussion. Lots of progressives apply the same condemnation to small extreme and disgusting groups, and to just about anyone who disagrees with their principles. Most liikelly as a consciousl ploy to get theri opponents off the air. On one hand we have sites like Coontown, upskirt porn and pictures of dead women, which are condemned as hate speech sexism, rasicm, etc. On the other hand we have peoplewho dislike forcing female role models into computer games, or people like Donald Trump, who is also condemned for hate speech, racism, sexist behaviour etc. – but who could get votes in two figures in a multi-person US presidential election (alas).. Just about everybody could get together and agree that the upskirters etc.are beyond the pale and deserves freezing out. But when the same arguments are applied to what amounts to mainstream presidential candidates, many people quite rightly feel that they had better defend the upskirters because ‘once those are gone they will come for me’.

  199. StillGjhenganger says

    @123454321 215
    Two out of three of those ads I have no problem with. Yes they are showing only men as violent. And yes, they are using stereotypes. But, as they point out, domestic violence (certainly the most serious kinds) are mostly done by men. And if you want to create a vivid picture that people remember (and you do) you have to conjure up an image of real people, and you have to use stereotypes to get there. Abstract, all-inclusive, gender-neutral language can only engage the intellect, not the imagination.

    That said, they could have added an extra ad with a female protagonist, just to show that violence is not a male monopoly. And the one about using the children rather cries out for some neutrality, since bringing in the childrenb is stereotypically done more by women than by men (“<em?You do that, and you will never see your children again!“).

  200. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    I didn’t challenge you about a police ad (I haven’t even seen it), I challenged you on your steadfast belief that women “withhold” sex and that that is a form of abuse.

    If you believe that, you are either extremely stupid, or have extremely limited lived experiences and you’re very gullible. Or maybe both. But quite frankly, someone with your limitations shouldn’t get involved in complex debate.

    @ Marduk

    Your response ignored my question.

    @ Paul

    TBC

  201. Marduk says

    219.

    What is your question? Conde Nast are a corporation, they don’t tell the truth, look at what they do not what they say.

  202. Marduk says

    #217

    Nah, claiming she was a feminist martyr was Valenti’s unhelpful intervention and has more to do with the Kleiner Perkins case (which Pao lost although the Guardian wrote several articles as if she’d won and the judge agreed with her claim, in fact it still references the case as if she’d won which is really, really weird to say the least). Keep in mind Valenti’s husband is the CEO of a would-be Reddit type company also owned by a corporation, he has the same job as Pao in the same city. She shouldn’t really have been writing about it at all IMHO.

    But in the case of Reddit, Pao never did ban the racist subredits, her successor did and he didn’t ban them for being racist, he banned them because in his view they existed to disrupt Reddit. Pao got rid of FPH but not FL (which is still there) etc. The whole problem was it seemed high-handed and arbitrary. The first thing her replacement did on the first day he assumed power (or rather re-assumed as he was an original founder) was to write and promulgate a policy for what was and was not bannable. He had the opportunity then to purge Reddit and claimed he was going to but the text of the community standards meant it wasn’t actually going to happen.

    The Guardian claimed they “took on their users and won” but really they “took on their users, blinked and walked away”.

    I agree with you about a lack of proportionality.

  203. StillGjhenganger says

    @Marduk 221.
    It sounds very much like you are right – and thank you for all the useful information, BTW.

    All I would say is that she had placed herself in a position where she was never going to get the benefit of any doubt. From Wikipedia one of her first acts as a CEO was to ban individual wage negotiations as, essentially, unfair to women, which does rather suggest that she sees promoting feminism as a legitimate part of her job. As for the Kleiner Perkins case: She goes in a a junior partner, high-flyer from the start, heavily supported and mentored (as one is), in part by people in favour of gender diversity. When her mentors then lose the argument with the other mentors and she does not make partner she sues – rather like someone losing a boxing match and then suing the winner for assault.

    After all that it will only take a minimal move to damage some anti-woman group (and they are hypersensitive to start with) to trigger a general paranioa.

  204. 123454321 says

    “I challenged you on your steadfast belief that women “withhold” sex and that that is a form of abuse.”

    So you don’t believe women ever withhold sex, Carny? I think some men withhold sex. Withholding sex constitutes part of the reasoning explained within examples of the coercive abuse law. I believe a fair proportion of people withholding sex within a relationship could be female. Which part of that don’t you agree with? Please explain.

    “But quite frankly, someone with your limitations shouldn’t get involved in complex debate.”

    Complex for you maybe, Carny, but try to excel yourself on this occasion as it really is rather simple. The number of men affected by dm is larger than we ever thought before. We also know dm against men goes way underreported. No one knows the true figure but we all know it is significant enough not to be ignored or swept under the carpet. This new law is designed to expose people who abusive, not necessarily by using physical abuse, but more along the lines of emotional bullying, manipulative threats, making life uneasy and unpleasant by using coercive, controlling tactics, being financially deceptive, acting out of jealousy, maybe by preventing their partner from seeing their friends, restricting time their partners can spend with their hobbies, checking and spying on phones and emails, stopping their partner from contacting other people of the opposite sex, old friends, acquaintances etc.

    So, Carny, firstly do you agree that much of the above could be construed as coercive behaviour, and secondly do you think women are equally as capable of carrying out this type of abuse?

    Finally in that case and considering all of the above, why can’t one of the posters I linked to in an earlier post at least be aimed at female perpetrators so we can help dispel the myth that m=perp / f = victim? What is so difficult or complex about such an expectation? Please explain without using humphy mush mosh rumble ramble numpty nonsense ta very much.

  205. Marduk says

    #213

    I’m sorry but does has some sort of point here. “withholding intimacy” or “withholding affection” and so on are frequently listed as forms of coercion or even sexual abuse. Alternatively they may be discussed as things that people with “personality disorders”, “the dark triad” or even “psychopaths” do which seems to be the new way of talking about these things for some people.

    I don’t think you can just dismiss it as “fucking idiotic” when you can see many groups wrestling with the problem. Try googling the different ways of terming it, the more euphemistic the more likely. For feminists its obviously linked to issues like marital rape, bodily autonomy and ‘sex as a duty’ and so on. But there is by no means consensus on this and it seems to end up washing out as a classic gendered “men do it for darker reasons” kind of thing (after all, must be his urge to abuse is even greater than his bestial sex drive). Sometimes it seems “witholding sex” is fine but “witholding intimacy” is not, but the only difference seems to be a gender signifying going on.

    I think this is an example of a pretty awkward issue to be honest with you.

    Personally I do lean towards the feminist side on this issue but this is only possible for me because I tend to also believe that people are responsible for their own feelings (something feminists don’t generally agree with unfortunately) and that leaving someone because you aren’t happy is always 100% fine without exception. So its not easy even to agree with you.

  206. StillGjenganger says

    @Marduk 224
    Certainly an awkward issue.

    I tend to also believe that people are responsible for their own feelings

    What does that mean? That people should change their feelings by rational decisions and will-power? Or that nobody has any duty to consider the needs of anyone else? I honestly do not understand.

    As for ‘leaving someone is always 100% fine’ that is about as realistic as the American mantra ‘anyone can get rich’. With the kind of commitment you make in a family, the costs of leaving are generally very high. My own take would be that the ‘duty to sex’ is part of a general duty to consider and help with each other’s needs and wants. And at a minimum you cannot deny the ‘duty to sex’ as long as you impose on your partner a ‘duty to be faithful’.

  207. Marduk says

    Well, the issue is “he did X and it made me feel Y, so he shouldn’t do X”. You’re responsible for that ‘feel’ as 4chan would put it. Other people aren’t responsible for things that go on inside your head and getting to a point where you believe that (and worse, the other person believes it as well) is dangerous and eventually intolerable. It is a form of blackmail and it isn’t ok.

    Similarly, I don’t agree that Protein World, magazines I don’t read and websites I don’t visit get to tell me anything about how I should feel and I’m amazed at the numbers of feminists who volunteer for this. I can’t think of anything less empowered and more oppressive than to spread the idea other people have sovereignty over you. Sometimes its easier to change things between your ears because you aren’t really going to change the entire world to conform with your noodly grey matter.

    To a certain extent, yes, you do have a choice in your feelings. If Marcus Aurelius could manage it on the eve of battle (most modern mental health stuff comes from the Stoic philosophers I reckon), we certainly can. But maybe its not possible on a given occasion but that is still your issue to think about – what are you going to do about it now? Certainly we should be compassionate and kind, of course we should, but its just this contemporary meme that we suffer utter helplessness at all times that bothers me. If you don’t like it, talk about it and if that doesn’t fix it, either decide that you are accepting it (which is your choice to live with) or don’t accept it and go. Don’t fanny about making yourself into a victim of circumstance, at all times you have agency and choice, show a bit of character. Obviously there are some situations where people can’t go (financial problems, physical danger etc). but that isn’t what we’re talking about here. But again, the way we deal with that is empower them to make decisions I would hope.

    Grown-ups really need to get over the idea that there is any warranty in any relationship, there isn’t. You aren’t owed anything by anyone else is really the bottom line. The only exception to this is if you are a child. People need to grow up and stop trying to have it both ways. It is depressing to me how modern liberal people turn into Old Testament prophets as soon as their partner fills in some divorce papers,

  208. StillGjenganger says

    Well, the issue is “he did X and it made me feel Y, so he shouldn’t do X”.

    For strangers and acquaintances I can only agree. Once you have joined up a couple, it is no different from ‘He played loud music all night, and it meant I could not sleep, so he should not play music all night”. Pairing up does give you a set of mutual obligations.

    Grown-ups really need to get over the idea that there is any warranty in any relationship, there isn’t. You aren’t owed anything by anyone else is really the bottom line.

    That would work fine for pelagic sharks: They live alone anyway, eat whatever they can catch and neither give nor expect consideration from anybody. For more social animals, let alone a family, I think mutual obligationa make for a better life than solitary predation.

  209. Carnation says

    @1 2345etc, Marduk, GJganger

    I truly cannot believe that adults are writing some of the things I have read.

    Sex in relationships isn’t something one person “gives” another. It is something that requires two people wanting to take part.

    What part of this very, very, very simple fact can’t you understand?

    You all buy into the ridiculous, and misandric, trope that men have higher libidos than women and that women withhold sex from men.

    This is classic MRA foolishness and basically just confirms that what people say about those deadbeats is accurate. Or maybe that’s harsh, it just confirms that there are a lot of people without the self-respect necessary to enjoy, indeed identify, a healthy relationship. And that MRAs are overrepresented in that cohort.

    Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic.

  210. Carnation says

    @ Paul

    You said “So i do have concerns that this new law won’t actually encourage ALL victims of psychological abuse to come forward and get the support and protection they need.I’ll be interested in hearing your views on this.”

    I said: “Interesting comment, but I think you’re absolutely wrong, and with all due respect, I think that your confirmation bias is blinding you to the possibilities contained within the new legislation.”

    And then said: “My concerns about this legislation are that it seems very hard to enforce. It is, however, very welcome. I would like to see if used to prosecute parents who fail to pay child support, as well as those who use children as pawns in their disgusting games of vengeance.”

    And then said:

    “And, again, I will conclude by lamenting the total lack of credible organisations to lobby for the application of such measures on behalf of men. The narcissistic clowns that constitute F4J will be joining their half-witted, infantile MRA cousins in screaming “feminist conspiracy” instead of looking for opportunities to support vulnerable men.”

    And then asked for feedback, because I’d genuinely be interested.

    For the sake of brevity, what do you think of my thesis that the legislation has the potential to benefit men in a multitude of ways? And do you think there is a men’s organisation capable of, or indeed interested in, doing the hard work necessary to do this?

  211. Marduk says

    Well no, its specifically about feelings. If someone keeps you up, they keep you up. Where the feelings and a bit of thought comes in is in whether it was because they are trying to torture you or they just didn’t realise they were keeping you up. Its worth reflecting on this a bit.

    And seriously, people can do things for reasons other than obligation. They can do them because they want to. What I’m saying is there is no way you can enforce it on someone else. Practically everyone who has ever been dumped has hoped there might be a loophole but there really isn’t. I’m actually occupying the more positive position IMHO. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want someone to stay with me because they felt they had to. Stop and smell the roses, its a fragile and sometimes fleeting thing.

    Well I guess we just disagree but if you went to counseling, and particularly CBT/similar therapy, they’d be talking to you from the position I set out above. I know it isn’t easy swallow but its the truth.

  212. StillGjenganger says

    @Marduk 230.
    It sounds like you think I need your advice. That may or may not be correct, but could you tell up front what problem you think I have that you are trying to help me with? It is a little difficult when I have to infer it from your words.

    And seriously, people can do things for reasons other than obligation. They can do them because they want to.

    As a general proposition (again, I do not know what you think I think,…) that is a really smug and annoying comment. Do you live your life by doing exactly what you want exactly when you want it, without considering what effect it might have on people around you? If you do, it would be a right miracle if anyone ever found it worth their while to stay close. If you do not, why do you tell me, as something new and presumably important, that people sometimes do things because they want to? Realistically, people living together accept an obligation to consider their common needs at least in parallel with their own spontaneous desires. Denying it to make a debating point does not make you sound either convincing or sincere.

    As for counseling, that advises people what they themselves can do to adapt to their situation, because your own actions and attitudes is the only thing you yourself can change. You cannot change other people. If you were starving to death in a concentration camp, your counselor would presumably help you to accept your situation and die the best death you could. I am not knocking it, that is the business of counselors, and a worthy endeavour it is too, but I would not use it as an argument that ‘nobody owes you food’, and that starving to death is therefore normal and acceptable.

  213. StillGjenganger says

    @Canation 228
    OK, I am a deadbeat, without self-respect, and unable to understand the simplest facts. I am, however, sometimes willing to learn. Do you have anything to say that I might learn from?

  214. Carnation says

    @Gjenganger

    Yes, as a matter of fact I think I do. Have you ever wanted to *want* sex but not been able to do it? Or felt able to want to? Have you ever been too tired/drunk/worried/spent/medicated to perform, but at the same time had a partner who you knew didn’t just want an orgasm, they wanted to be wanted by you? Can you imagine what it’s like to know that you are simply unable to be what you know your partner wants you to be?

    How do you feel about impotent men?

    Empathy man, everyone wants to be wanted. Who would really want sex that the other person wasn’t into?

    I’d suggest that anybody in a sexless relationship, where it is an issue, leaves, because it won’t get any better and will most likely get worse. And as I have said before and will say again – it’s relatively easy for most people to find a sexual partner, despite the farrago of bullshit online about “women having it easy” – ignore PUA fools and instead consider it a shared activity, not something to be conned, bartered or purchased.

  215. Marduk says

    #228

    But I’m not talking about what MRAs say Carnation. I’ve been very specific.
    This is like that time you claimed Barbara Castle was an MRA and that the 1975 Child Benefit Bill was a conspiracy theory.

    Have you ever thought maybe you are the one with an obsession?

  216. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    Except I didn’t claim either of those things, therefore you’re a liar. Quite an easily proved liar at that.

    And you just think and write like an MRA. But you’re not an MRA. Just like UKIP aren’t racist. They’re just concerned about immigration.

    Riiighhht.

  217. Marduk says

    #231

    I don’t think you have a problem, I’m just explaining myself.

    “Do you live your life by doing exactly what you want exactly when you want it, without considering what effect it might have on people around you? … Realistically, people living together accept an obligation to consider their common needs at least in parallel with their own spontaneous desires. Denying it to make a debating point does not make you sound either convincing or sincere.”

    No, I don’t. I choose to consider the effects my actions have on people around me. You may feel burdened by obligation and that is your business, maybe the other person feels the same way, that is extremely fortunate. But you should never try and hold them to that because basically you can’t and trying to just leads to horrible situations.

    People living together “accept an obligation” right up until one doesn’t. It is also the case that lots of people don’t live up to that obligation in truth. So what sort of obligation is it that is contingent on choosing to have that obligation at all? Its bad thinking and it when it sours this is I suspect behind a fair proportion of violence, cruelty and nasty court cases when people try to punish other people non-sins and non-crimes because they feel hurt so surely someone has “done them wrong”. If you want to see what I mean look at what the brains trust at Mumsnet write about in the Relationships threads. Roughly 50% of it brainstorming reasons for trying to turn an unfortunate and sad event into something someone can be righteously angry about. He dumped you by text! What a beast – HE HAD AN OBLIGATION AND THAT IS WHY I’M UPSET AND ANGRY. As if you’d be fine with everything if he’d said it your face. Its like Christiano Ronaldo in the box with nowhere to shoot, you’re just finding a leg to trip over.

  218. StillGjenganger says

    Can you imagine what it’s like to know that you are simply unable to be what you know your partner wants you to be?

    I know that – and I do not have to use my imagination either. Not sure were you are going with it, though.

    Empathy man, everyone wants to be wanted. Who would really want sex that the other person wasn’t into?

    Everyone wants to feel wanted, yes. And you would want sex that the other person was not really into 1) because sex is actually nice (and the fact that it is no less important to feel wanted does not make sex any less nice), 2) because a willingness – or even desire – to look after my needs is one more sign that the other person wants me, even if she is less interested in the actual shagging. Just like a lack of such willingness is a sign that she does not find me attractive or worth caring for. 3) Because with sex, like the choice of movies or places to live, people can have quite different desires, and the normal way of arranging your life is to look for a mix of activities that as far as possible give both some of what they want. If you feel it is important to visit your family or live in the big city – together – bystanders do not get all sanctimonious and ask you how you could possibly want to do that unless the other person spontaneously desires it. Or tell you to walk away immediately if your partner is not giving ou everything you want.

  219. StillGjenganger says

    @StillGjenganger 237
    Oh, that was for you, Carnation.

    And while I am at it: All that stuff about ‘who could possibly want sex with someone who is not interested’ and ‘if you are unhappy, just leave’, ‘anyway finding sex is easy’ comes across more as boasting than as insight. Rather like that old chestnut “I cannot understand people who use prostitutes. If I ever had to pay for it, I would just chop it off instead” is not expressing an opinion on prosittution, but showing off that the speaker is not loser enough to need it.

  220. StillGjenganger says

    @Marduk 236.

    So what sort of obligation is it that is contingent on choosing to have that obligation at all?

    It is a perfectly normal social obligation. Anything that does not have a legal or formal sanction works like that. It makes a difference in setting people’s expectations, and in defining some of the power relations around it. And there are power relations everywhere. Consider infidelity. It is a generally accepted obligation to stick to your partner for sex. That puts a lot of moral and social pressure on anyone who transgresses, because he is seen (and to some extent sees himself) as selfish and unreasonable. In a society where free sexual expressoin was the norm, it would be the person wanting to limit the sexual activities of her partnere who faced the pressure and disapproval. That would make for a fair bit of difference, would you not agree?

    OK, so people can choose not to accept these obligations, and that is something you have to deal with as an adult. A couple is a continuous negotiation anyway, rather than a clear contractual relationship. But this is not a reason to pretend that obligations do not exist, or are irrelevant. People can also choose to break the law. In both cases there are sanctions that makes the disfavoured behaviour harder, but not impossible.

  221. Carnation says

    @ GJGanger

    It’s not boasting, it’s just a fact – in terms of opportunity, the internet has given more people far more choice, coupled with various social revolutions.

    And you’re quite wrong – most “punters” are in fact married/in relationships.

    Maybe it’s a matter of taste, and I do take your point, but it seems that you are incompatible with your partner and it’s making you unhappy. Sadly, we live in a society that creates and promotes unattainable lifestyles norms that leave most people feeling they’re missing out or doing something wrong. For celibate men, I think that society basically acts as a massive shaming device, and that’s very hard to deal with. Toxic masculinity at work.

    I guess I’m pretty short about this subject because, like you I hope you don’t mind me saying, I felt the same for a couple of years. So much wasted energy and negativity seeping into my psyche. But I challenged myself rigorously and got past it.

    Not everyone is having avocado brunches and not everyone is regularly getting laid – social media feeds and media narrative really do do damage. I’m not saying that that’s the crux of your problem but you and I inhabit the same cultural space and have the same cultural pressures. And truly and honestly, I think a bit of self-liberation would benefit you hugely.

    I’m not lifestyle guru, but I know what worked for me.

  222. 123454321 says

    So, 6 posters altogether, but not not one designed to represent male victims/female perpetrators. DV stats now show significant numbers of men are victims, many at the hands of female perpetrators and the figures are rising as the underreporting becomes more and more publicised across the internet. Yet there still appears to be no moral obligation or desire to include male victims as part of official campaigns such as this. Shocking, especially as this campaign is aimed at non-violent, phycological and emotional abuse which is highly likely to comprise female perpetrators. Shocking.

    https://i.imgur.com/6cAdIfh.jpg

  223. Marduk says

    #241

    Normally I’d think that was an oversight but it has Vera Baird’s name written on it so its probably rare case where it is completely deliberate and absolutely intentional.

  224. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 240

    it seems that you are incompatible with your partner and it’s making you unhappy.

    That is as may be. But I am reasonably on top of my own life – and I was not actually asking for advice. I do not doubt your good will and all, but would it not be possible to discuss this as a general point, which is not only possilble but might actually be inersting?, Reducing it to only ‘Ah, poor Gjenganger – cant get laid and it is messing with hsi mind;. is rather dismissive, if not disrespectful.

  225. 123454321 says

    “Normally I’d think that was an oversight but it has Vera Baird’s name written on it so its probably rare case where it is completely deliberate and absolutely intentional.”

    Yes and it sucks. I don’t agree that it’s rare though. We see this all the time. Relentless. This is why feminism is withering away and people are losing complete faith in its ideology. This is why the internet is crawling with anger and this is why the backlash has begun. Why can’t people understand? Why can’t these bigoted people see how fucking selfish and self-centred they come across to the masses when they blatantly refuse to budge an inch just because they think they are protected by a wall of entitlement. If they keep this up, things are going to get a lot, lot worse for feminism, and for everyone. What a shame as feminism could have been so powerful. Shame on these bigots who can’t see past the ends of their noses! All it would have taken is one or two posters out of 6. I guess it’s too much to ask. Shame on them for ignoring all those male victims of dv. No wonder men are fighting back. We’re going to see more and more men cottoning onto this. You’ll see. Remember where it all started and the stupid mistakes that were made. Unbelievable.

  226. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    “… feminism is withering away and people are losing complete faith in its ideology”

    Which people? In what way is feminism withering away?

    You say “the backlash has begun” and “No wonder men are fighting back”

    Except for mostly anonymous, unpleasant and easily discredited right-wing trolls emoting online, how has this backlash and fight back manifested? What policies have been affected? How have men benefited? What feminist institutes, projects or initiatives have been affected?

    And remember, to justify your comments you will need to show a definite link, not a vague “I told you it would rain” gotcha analysis.

    “All it would have taken is one or two posters out of 6”

    Really?! The angry male backlash could be bought off so easily?

    “You’ll see. Remember where it all started and the stupid mistakes that were made.”

    Sadly, for you and for the MRM, such vainglorious claims to imminent victory have been around for literally years, and have amounted to literally zero. The only beneficiary of the online MRM is feminists and feminisms. You and yours drive, invigorate and prove the need for the very people you claim to fight.

  227. 123454321 says

    “Which people? In what way is feminism withering away?”

    Read the internet, dude, and you’ll see how feminism is being eroded away. Just learn to look and read. Men are wising up to all the shit being flung their way and they’re speaking out using the only platform they have – the internet. It’s only the start. Feminism’s selfish behaviour is becoming more and more apparent as the weeks go by. For example, I saw an interview yesterday where some feminist was claiming that the labour leader should be female! Why the fuck should the labour leader be female, I ask you. Why should that matter? Surely a man or a woman is put in their political position to represent EVERYONE, regardless of what genitals they themselves possess. In any case, the majority of the labour party is female and they voted JC in so why do they complain! Whine, whine, whine. Can you imagine for one moment a male politician standing up and saying a certain position must be filled by someone with a penis in order to better represent men. FFS, the very fact that people like Harriet Harm-man has the audacity to say we need a female leader proves she is sexist and only cares about women. Can’t these people see this is exactly why they aren’t in power. People can see right through this crap. HH rides around in a pink bus and thinks women are gullible enough to see this as a reason to vote labour. Really? Geez, imagine a man riding around in a blue bus in order to capture the attention of male voters. He sits in his blue bus saying things like ” Hey, I represent the needs of MEN, and we need more male representation – people with penises who can represent other people with penises”. Everyone would think oh go fuck off you twat. And this is EXACTLY why these women are failing. Margaret Thatcher is proof that you don’t have to be so fucking dumb.

    “You say “the backlash has begun” and “No wonder men are fighting back””

    They are. They will continue to do so. It will grow exponentially this decade if this isn’t nipped in the bud.

    “Except for mostly anonymous, unpleasant and easily discredited right-wing trolls emoting online, how has this backlash and fight back manifested?”

    Carny, we’ve been through this before. Those who shout the loudest and all that. Men are learning…

    “What policies have been affected? How have men benefited? What feminist institutes, projects or initiatives have been affected?”

    Like I said before, keeping quiet and doing fuck all (just as you seem to keep promoting) isn’t going to help anyone or change anything. Ally had a win last year with the CPS and he didn’t feel encouraged to do that because of YOU and your closed mouth policy!

    “And remember, to justify your comments you will need to show a definite link, not a vague “I told you it would rain” gotcha analysis.”

    I don’t have to justify anything to you. Just go look at the recent 6 posters for coercive violence and then peruse the comments on the internet for half hour. You might learn something. Pull your head out of the sand.

    “All it would have taken is one or two posters out of 6”
    Really?! The angry male backlash could be bought off so easily?”

    Well, yes, actually, because taking the time to insert one or two examples the other way around would have avoided the backlash of comments out there which are fuelling the fire and helping to destroy what’s left of feminist credibility. It would have been so easy and yet their overwhelming desire to eradicate men from the equation by refusing to include them in the campaign cripples their vision to the point that their own objectives will become completely unachievable. And yet they remain blind. They just can’t seem to see how they will fall victim to their own bigoted attitude. When it all breaks down there will be plenty of historical mistakes to refer to.

    “Sadly, for you and for the MRM, such vainglorious claims to imminent victory have been around for literally years, and have amounted to literally zero. ”

    Things take time. Let’s pick up the same conversation in a few years time shall we – if you have the guts to face me. Doubt it!

  228. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    Feels are not evidence of anything. Your response is yet another MRA classic – emoting, projecting, lurid, based on no evidence and totally and completely lacking in self awareness.

    Some highlights for me:

    I asked in what way feminism was withering away, to which you replied “Read the internet, dude, and you’ll see how feminism is being eroded away. Just learn to look and read. Men are wising up to all the shit being flung their way and they’re speaking out using the only platform they have – the internet”

    Yes, the only platform that men have is, of course, the internet. That’s literally the only platform that men have, unlike women, who have all of the other platforms. The internet is the only platform that unpleasant, anonymous trolls have, and they constitute pretty much the entirety of the MRM, so I can see why you’re very confused about this. Also, that isn’t evidence of anything other than your total immersion in what is mostly a peculiar fantasy world of blogs and oddballs.

    You then offer up as evidence that feminism is withering away the fact that some feminists have said they want the next leader of the Labour party to be a woman. So a movement (incorrectly identified by you, but never mind) is so weakened that they have access at the very top of one of the mainstream political parties? OK man, whatever.

    I then asked for evidence of how the “backlash” has begun and how men are “fighting back”, but excluded (because they are an irrelevance) unpleasant, anonymous, mostly right-wing online trolls. You confirmed that the backlash is being “fought” by these trolls. You proved my point for me, once again. Classic.

    “Ally had a win last year with the CPS and he didn’t feel encouraged to do that because of YOU and your closed mouth policy!”

    Yes. This is the same Ally that described your beloved online MRM as a “basketcase” and two of its “leading and guiding lights” as scumbags. I think it’s safe to say that Ally made progress in spite of, not because of, or alongside of, the right-wing trolls that you correctly identified earlier.

    You then go on to describe a “backlash of comments” – you do understand don’t you, that angry trolls trolling comments sections don’t really achieve anything? You must surely understand this fairly simple premise?

    The MRM is just one example of a reactionary “movement” that is internet based and has achieved nothing. Britain First is another, huge online presence, but can muster up no more than a couple of dozen actual people to real life events. The EDL is a different beast, of course, but they have attracted numbers that the MRM can only fantasise about.

    You are a shining example of the incredibly low calibre of “activist” attracted to the MRM. You lack fundamental understanding of protest, politics and lobbying, and their respective histories. If you had a clue about any of these things, you would understand just how embarrassing your comments are.

  229. Holms says

    Carnation, I enjoyed this bit of his screed: “Carny, we’ve been through this before. Those who shout the loudest and all that. Men are learning…”
    To read 1234’s self pitying whine, one would get the impression that we poor, meek men have only just begun to learn how to express our wants. This iuggests to me that the MRM are supremely ignorant of certain realities of this world, and the last …entirety of recorded existence.

    And your comment “You then go on to describe a “backlash of comments” – you do understand don’t you, that angry trolls trolling comments sections don’t really achieve anything? You must surely understand this fairly simple premise?”
    can be answered simply: no, they don’t understand that. This was the subject of this thread, in which they argued that said angry trolling comments indeed amounted to progress, in an undefinable wheels are in motion, kind of way*. Notice how Ally’s tangible progress with that open letter has been claimed as a secret victory for the MRM!

    *Note that that clip is especially apt, as Jerry is totally ineffectual and Babu gets deported anyway.

  230. Holms says

    I forgot to mention that they retroactively claimed Ally’s success as their own, because at the time, they were deriding as being too puny to be considered a victory. But then dishonesty is a common thread amongst apologists of any stripe; recall that religious apologists have retroactively claimed to be the original patron of science due to many of those early figures being christian; never mind the fact that they were being intimidated, arrested left and right, and even burned for opposing church doctrine.

  231. Marduk says

    #244

    A suggestion. Instead of protesting on Twitter (and getting blocked) publicly ask Vera to provide details of the process for complaining about her conduct re: breaching The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

    The 2011 Act imposes equality duties on PCCs.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/85041/equality-duty.pdf

    If you look at page 4 “the equality duty” you will see where she is failing to give due regard to equality of opportunity and fostering good relations in how “they act as employers; how they develop, evaluate and review policy; how they design, deliver and evaluate services, and how they commission and procure from others”.

    Use their tools against them.

  232. 123454321 says

    My deepest apologies, Carny and Holms, I somehow missed, in amongst all that trivial, waffle nonsense (the best I have read so far this year – well done), what your actual thoughts are with respect to the Northumbria police coercive violence posters. Perhaps you would be so kind as to let us all know whether you approve/disapprove of the decision to not not be gender inclusive/neutral?
    However, if you’d rather waste even more time spouting yet more vitriol diarrhoea farty poop instead, then feel completely free cuz it’s really good for my stomach muscles as I haven’t laughed so hard since some of your other classic calamity post mishaps back in 2015, or perhaps even when I last watched Laurel and Hardy.

    So, care to share your view of the poster campaign, on share another glorious wall of shit perhaps? Hmmm, wonder what I could expect….!

  233. Carnation says

    Oh, 123454321

    How tragic it must be to be you, so deeply invested in such inane and unpleasant losers.

    @ Holms

    Lurid fantasy and anonymous trolling is really all that they can do, to be fair to them. They aren’t interested in doing anything positive, such as helping men, and feminism is absolutely untouched by their ramblings, so all they can do is be nasty and hope for some negative attention.

  234. 123454321 says

    Carny, no nastiness intended, just an expectation that you will comment on the poster campaign decision to entirely omit the male dv perspective. Or are we going to experience another infuriating and obstinate paediatrician scenario just because you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge shit happens to men! If you don’t answer, you’re kind of proving my point. Surely you don’t hate men that much. There’s still time so let’s hear your pov; I’m genuinely interested in what you think…. Also, I know you would like everyone to zip their mouths up when it comes to broadcasting men’s issues on the internet. If they suddenly decided to do just that, what would be your plans for 2016 in terms of your contribution? I assume you have a better way of tackling issues surrounding suicide, father’s rights, homelessness, education failings, circumcision, domestic violence, health spend, media portrayal and the plethora of other problems men face just because they have a penis etc. I mean, if all MRAs shut down over night and went fishing instead, what happens next, dude?

  235. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    “Or are we going to experience another infuriating and obstinate paediatrician scenario just because you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge shit happens to men!”

    No, I’m going to ignore you trying to deflect. Life is far too short to devote to your latest cause celebre, likely taken from the type of blog that I consider ridiculous. I readily acknowledge that men are unfairly maligned in many aspects of life. Where you and I differ is that you claim a tiny collection of bloggers and trolls constitute a movement doing something about this. I see them as a tiny collection of bloggers and trolls who will remain where they are; on the lunatic fringe.

    “Surely you don’t hate men that much”

    Yawn, get a grip of yourself you f*cking idiot.

    “Also, I know you would like everyone to zip their mouths up when it comes to broadcasting men’s issues on the internet”

    The type of character “broadcasting men’s issues on the internet” are a diverse bunch. The cretins that you endorse are the bloggers and commenters, the idiots, the trolls and the right-wing fruitcakes. The most prominent anti-feminist online is Melanie Phillips.

    ” I assume you have a better way of tackling issues surrounding suicide, father’s rights, homelessness, education failings, circumcision, domestic violence, health spend, media portrayal and the plethora of other problems men face just because they have a penis etc.”

    Once again, what have MRAs done to help men in any of these realms? Remember the STAR formula that I taught you. Otherwise you will look really, really stupid.

  236. Adiabat says

    Holms (248):

    no, they don’t understand that. This was the subject of this thread, in which they argued that said angry trolling comments indeed amounted to progress, in an undefinable wheels are in motion, kind of way*. Notice how Ally’s tangible progress with that open letter has been claimed as a secret victory for the MRM!

    Lol, it’s hilarious (and not a little sad) that you’re still so salty about losing a debate 3 months ago that you feel the need to bring it up and lie about what your opponents positions were. Your attempt to save face is so transparent. Maybe if you link to it enough and through blatant priming can convince enough fools that you didn’t have your ass handed to you, you might just be able believe it yourself.

    For your own sake, instead of stewing for months every time you lose an internet argument you should just do what Carny always does and pretend it never happened, do a reset, and make the exact same discredited points in a new thread.

  237. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    Ah Adiabat, the thinking MRA’s crumpet.

    It’s simply adorable how earlier on in this thread you wrote in exasperated terms about how you can no longer believe women’s “claims” of harassment until you’ve seen “evidence” – how unlike your ilk!

    You take confirmation bias to a new level of stupidity. 123454321’s constant defence of your ideological leaders/bloggers is about the same intellectual level as primary school children defending their favourite footballer.

    12345 and you remain among the marginalised few weaklings who buy into MRA blogs.

    But thanks for your steadfast defence of the MHRAnation.

  238. Carnation says

    *** NEWSFLASH!! ***

    @123454321, @ Adiabat

    I was wrong and you were right: the MRM has won.

    Peter Andre has infiltrated the panel of Loose Women.

    Things will never be the same again.

    It was a hard slog, but the valiant chairborne rangers and keyboard warriors didn’t give up.

    Be magnanimous in victory, men.

  239. 123454321 says

    Wow, thanks, Carny, so that’s what you think of the poster campaign and now I fully understand your reasoning as to why they purposefully omitted half the population from the very serious issue of coercive dv. Thanks for taking the time dude.

    Wait, what….

  240. Holms says

    #254 1234
    Or are we going to experience another infuriating and obstinate paediatrician scenario just because you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge shit happens to men!

    The answer to your query is entirely up to you and whether you pursue that pointless derail yet again. Personally, I recommend against going down that road due to the aforementioned pointlessness, but then you’ve never let the lack of a point dissuade you from posting in the past. (Your own #254 being exemplary.)

    Also, I know you would like everyone to zip their mouths up when it comes to broadcasting men’s issues on the internet.

    The things you ‘know’ are highly suspect.

    If they suddenly decided to do just that, what would be your plans for 2016 in terms of your contribution?

    Refraining from shitposts and dishonest, motivated reasoning would be a good place for you to start. As an added bonus, this would entail a sudden cessation of all posts from your good self.

    I mean, if all MRAs shut down over night and went fishing instead, what happens next, dude?

    The level-headed men’s issues advocates breathe a sigh of relief at the sudden cleaing of the skies, and set about making progress unburdened by any association to the poison that is the MRM. (Have you forgotten already that the only men’s advocates making any progress at all – the level-headed ones – have repeatedly highlighted the MRM as their biggest obstacle?)

    __________

    #257 Adiabat
    Lol, it’s hilarious (and not a little sad) that you’re still so salty about losing a debate 3 months ago that you feel the need to bring it up and lie about what your opponents positions were.

    Unironic declarations of ‘winning’ an internet argument are a major indicator that the person making said claim is unfamiliar witht he concept of logic.

  241. 123454321 says

    “Peter Andre has infiltrated the panel of Loose Women.”

    Oh that must be so much fun for those gaggle of flappy-necked old codger-women, fully willing, I bet, to infest his chest and body with their wandering hands and probably even phwoarrr over half-naked pictures of him when he was underage, swooning over his body in a way that they would (hypocritically) call out as disgusting, pervy, distasteful and deservedly reprimandable if the sexes were reversed.

    But objectification of men and boys is different, isn’t it, Carny – always different! You can only body shame women can’t you, Carny, yeah that’s right, always ok for women to act in a way that they discourage men from acting. Bring it on you Loose Women, stick your hands all over Peter and then sour your faces with serious contempt for any man who dares to even look at a woman in a sexual way let alone touch her!

    There you go, there’s a little something for you to comment on without hesitation. because you’re not going to comment on the poster campaign are you!!! I eagerly await another wall of dollop for my amusement.

  242. Adiabat says

    Holms (261):

    Unironic declarations of ‘winning’ an internet argument are a major indicator that the person making said claim is unfamiliar witht he concept of logic.

    Meh, seems like a rule invented by the losers to be honest. What else do you call it when one side showed the other side’s position to be incoherent and inconsistently applied, and that the other side used snark to avoid answering a counter-argument that discredited their position, only to use the same argument again further down the thread as though it hadn’t already been debunked?

    (Have you forgotten already that the only men’s advocates making any progress at all – the level-headed ones – have repeatedly highlighted the MRM as their biggest obstacle?)

    Lol, looks like you are pulling a Carny after all, with the whole ‘reset’ thing. We’ve dealt with this argument before. In fact, if I remember correctly, this is the point that you deflected with snark and then brought up as though it hadn’t already been countered.

    Carnation (258):

    It’s simply adorable how earlier on in this thread you wrote in exasperated terms about how you can no longer believe women’s “claims” of harassment until you’ve seen “evidence” – how unlike your ilk!

    That’s the thing though. Until recently I did simply ‘listen and believe’ when anyone claimed to have been harassed on the internet – it’s the internet! I’m practically a nobody but, as you know first-hand, I’ve been cyber-stalked and harassed by a regular commenter on this very blog so I never doubted that everyone in the public eye gets it much worse. It’s no biggie, like I said it’s the internet and it’s full of creeps and weirdos.

    Yet what we’ve seen with those MPs is that when asked for evidence they are unable to produce any, and in one case was shown to have fabricated it. It’s made me revaluate my assumption that ‘of course everyone gets harassed on the internet’.

  243. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    “I’m practically a nobody”

    I would say “literally” rather than “practically”, but yes, I agree.

    “… as you know first-hand, I’ve been cyber-stalked and harassed by a regular commenter on this very blog”

    No, I’m totally unaware of this. Please tell us more?

  244. Holms says

    #262
    Congratulations on being too silly to satirise.

    #263
    It’s not a rule, it’s an indicator. You might have noticed this by reading the words that I used? And it is based on the fact that people can declare any counterfactual thing they want on the internet, a freedom that you continue to exercise. Or in other words, declaring it so does’nt necessarily make it so.

    Your next paragraph is indicative. ‘Pulling a Carny’ for claiming what I’ve claimed all along? Sure, whatever.

  245. 123454321 says

    “You are extremely unimpressive. Continue on the other thread if you like, not here”

    What, so you can further infest this thread with yet another one of your famous splattered walls of bum gravy? Or you could finally answer the question relating to your thoughts on the coercive poster campaign. Hmmm, wonder what we’ll be rewarded with once again!!

  246. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    “answer the question relating to your thoughts on the coercive poster campaign”

    Before I commit any time to following a link sent by you, please confirm where and how you first became aware of it. Thanks

    @ Adiabat

    I’m still waiting to hear about your first hand experiences of harassment – you’re not making false allegations, are you?

  247. Adiabat says

    Holms (265): Claiming that something indicates something else is claiming a rule is in place. The rule is what is invoked to get from the input (my claim) to your conclusion (this indicates that). In the classic logic example, the rule would be: 2) all single men are bachelors.

    Or in other words, declaring it so does’nt necessarily make it so.

    My word, you are pulling out all the sophistry aren’t you? The claim that you lost the argument isn’t based on me simply declaring it as so. It’s based on the outcomes of the debate, which I outlined in my previous post.

    I would also claim a rule that someone popping up 3 months later in another thread and lying about their opponent’s position from 3 months ago is a major indicator that they not only lost the debate, but know that they lost the debate and are trying to retroactively save face.

    Your next paragraph is indicative. ‘Pulling a Carny’ for claiming what I’ve claimed all along? Sure, whatever.

    ‘Pulling a Carny’ refers to “claiming what [you’ve] claimed all along” in a new thread when the claim has already been addressed in a previous thread, and you’ve failed to address those counter-arguments. Or more accurately: you pretend that those outstanding counter-arguments haven’t already been provided when making the same claim yet again.

    Carnation (264): Oh, it’s just this sad, lifeless loser who (judging by the comments he’s made on this blog) is fast approaching middle age with, it seems, nothing better to do then troll on here. I showed him up in a few earlier threads on this blog and made him look like a fool. So, likely due to his ingrained “toxic masculinity” which means that he cannot just let it drop, plus his “toxic masculine” need for one-upmanship and to “shame” those who’ve “disrespected” him, he would bring up old obscure comments of mine he’s found on obscure defunct websites in an attempt to… shame or unnerve me I guess. I dunno for sure as the attempts are always so pathetic: they are always views I’ve expressed on this blog and aren’t ashamed of; he’s not very bright y’see.

    Despite making it clear that I do not wish to communicate with him he would, and still does, reply to posts I make with inflammatory material designed to get a reaction. These are often lies and misrepresentations about my views and affiliations, or random insults and abuse; whatever is most likely to get me to communicate with him. He would also do this in threads and discussions I have been no part of but he hopes I am likely to read; randomly posting unrelated bait directed to my username in the hope I’ll read it and respond. Like I said: a sad, obsessive, loser with nothing better to do, like all of his ilk.

    I think all that behaviour describes stalking and harassment anyway, judging by recent examples propped up in the media. Meh, I don’t take it seriously, I brought it up only as an illustrative tangent to explain an earlier post. The internet is full of creeps and weirdos, there’s no point getting worked up about them.

  248. Adiabat says

    Carnation (267):

    I’m still waiting to hear about your first hand experiences of harassment

    Jeez, your previous comment was only up for a day. Some of us have lives y’now and can’t spend all day constantly commenting on this blog.

  249. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    So, in a nutshell, you are lying about being harassed? I thought so.

    “Oh, it’s just this sad, lifeless loser” “I showed him up in a few earlier threads on this blog and made him look like a fool” “a sad, obsessive, loser ”

    Oh dear. I’ve got right under your skin. Projecting, much?

    It is still a source of amusement to me that noticing that *you* talked about *me* elsewhere on the ‘net is evidence of *me* stalking *you* – you’re a sensitive little Prince, it seems. And *oh my*, you creep shamed a man – MISANDRIST.

  250. Holms says

    #26 Adiabat
    Holms (265): Claiming that something indicates something else is claiming a rule is in place.

    No it doesn’t. (Failing at the first sentence is unusual even for you.)

    I would also claim a rule that someone popping up 3 months later in another thread and lying about their opponent’s position from 3 months ago is a major indicator that they not only lost the debate, but know that they lost the debate and are trying to retroactively save face.

    Well then stop doing that. If you know a behaviour is silly, why do it?

  251. Adiabat says

    Carnation (270): Wow, defending harassment now are you, what a hypocrite. Whatever happened to listen and believe? Did those behaviours I described as occurring happen or not? Or don’t you consider the behaviours that were described to be harassment? Have I not said before that I don’t want to communicate with you? Do you still regularly try and communicate with me?

    Oh dear. I’ve got right under your skin.

    Not really (though it is common for harassers to delight in thinking that they are causing upset and distress in their targets): you are quite evidentially a loser, like all people who get their jollies from harassing people on the internet. Unless you’re lying in your many screeds talking about yourself on here you’re nearly middle aged with nothing to show for it. You post god-knows how many posts here (I’m betting much, much more than any other poster if we bothered to do a count) indicating you have nothing better to do for most of the day, and do you even realise you’ve been making that exact same “MRA’s do nothing etc” claims repetitively in threads, even threads that have nothing to do with them and no-one mentioned them, for several years? Over and over and over again?

    It is still a source of amusement to me that noticing that *you* talked about *me* elsewhere on the ‘net is evidence of *me* stalking *you*

    Jesus Christ, you are dumb. I don’t know why I still get surprised by just how dumb you are.

    Notwithstanding the fact that all I did was describe harassing and stalking behaviour from someone I didn’t name and you recognised it as applying to you: Yes it is evidence. Look at the two actors in this scenario: which one made a single reply to a post a third party made on an obscure website and which one found that post and used it as an attempt to shame and embarrass the other? Stalking would apply to the latter, not the former.

    Then of course there are comments such as this: “Don’t pay Adiabat too much heed, elsewhere on the ‘net he isn’t as measured in his tone as he is on this blog”*. So tell me, just how often have you “just happened to notice” posts of mine?

    * http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2015/09/18/freshened-up-and-fruity-friday-open-thread/#comment-198573

    Holms (271): You’re wrong of course. The statement “Unironic declarations of ‘winning’ an internet argument are a major indicator that the person making said claim is unfamiliar witht he concept of logic” is stating a rule. Consider the fact that you could easily append the common idiom “As a rule,” to the beginning of it and it would be perfectly understood, as well as carry the same meaning and connotation: “As a rule, unironic declarations of ‘winning’ an internet argument are a major indicator that the person making said claim is unfamiliar witht he concept of logic.”

    Well then stop doing that. If you know a behaviour is silly, why do it?

    Ooooh, Zing! What a burn! I see what you did there: you took a claim about something you clearly did, and turned it right around and, however inaccurately, implied it was valid for other person. Well played! Good show sir!

    Next time I recommend arguing “I’m rubber and you’re glue”.

  252. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    “Wow, defending harassment now are you”

    No, only an imbecile would believe that.

    Did those behaviours I described as occurring happen or not?

    Not.

    “Or don’t you consider the behaviours that were described to be harassment?”

    No, only an imbecile would believe that.

    “Have I not said before that I don’t want to communicate with you? Do you still regularly try and communicate with me?”

    We both comment on the same blog. You direct comments at me. I point out when you say something stupid, like it’s commentworthy that you don’t believe women who say they’ve been harassed – dude, we know your ideology. That’s SOP.

    “you are quite evidentially a loser, like all people who get their jollies from harassing people on the internet.”

    I’ve carefully explained to you that you’re oversensitive. No harassment occurred. You’re lying.

    “Unless you’re lying in your many screeds talking about yourself on here you’re nearly middle aged with nothing to show for it.”

    Projecting much?

    “You post god-knows how many posts here (I’m betting much, much more than any other poster if we bothered to do a count)”

    I’ll take that bet. If you prove I’ve commented significantly more than any other poster, I will never comment again.

    “indicating you have nothing better to do for most of the day”

    Or that I’m self-employed and good wit technology. And you’ve got plenty of time to comment here AND elsewhere, don’t you Prince?

    “d do you even realise you’ve been making that exact same “MRA’s do nothing etc” claims repetitively in threads, even threads that have nothing to do with them and no-one mentioned them, for several years? Over and over and over again?”

    Lies again. But you defend the most ridiculously stupid MRAs and theories going, so I understand your problem with the truth. And decency.

    “Jesus Christ, you are dumb. I don’t know why I still get surprised by just how dumb you are.”

    Blasphemy!

    “Notwithstanding the fact that all I did was describe harassing and stalking behaviour from someone I didn’t name and you recognised it as applying to you: Yes it is evidence.”

    No, only an imbecile would believe that.

    “Look at the two actors in this scenario: which one made a single reply to a post a third party made on an obscure website and which one found that post and used it as an attempt to shame and embarrass the other? Stalking would apply to the latter, not the former.”

    No, only an imbecile would believe that. Just because you’re embarrassed and ashamed in general doesn’t mean that I caused it. You do it to yourself.

    “Then of course there are comments such as this: “Don’t pay Adiabat too much heed, elsewhere on the ‘net he isn’t as measured in his tone as he is on this blog”*. So tell me, just how often have you “just happened to notice” posts of mine?”

    Jeez, stalking me??

    You, my dear man, are a very, very weak individual.

  253. Holms says

    Carnation (270): Wow, defending harassment now are you, what a hypocrite. Whatever happened to listen and believe? Did those behaviours I described as occurring happen or not? Or don’t you consider the behaviours that were described to be harassment? Have I not said before that I don’t want to communicate with you? Do you still regularly try and communicate with me?

    What you described is not harassment, you simply don’t get to tell people to stop addressing you on a public forum that you both frequent; if it was your own venue, then you may have had something. Oh and your claimed request that he stop communicating with you is an obvious lie given the fact that you are continually addressing and asking questions of him.

    Holms (271): You’re wrong of course. The statement “Unironic declarations of ‘winning’ an internet argument are a major indicator that the person making said claim is unfamiliar witht he concept of logic” is stating a rule.

    Again, this is simply incorrect. Hint: the term ‘major indicator’ implies that what follows is likely, but not guaranteed. And if you start that sentence with ‘As a rule…’ it would no longer be the sentence that I wrote in that the sentence I wrote did not imply a rule but rather an association or likelihood; whereas your addition to said sentence explicitly changes it to contain a rule.

    English!

    Ooooh, Zing! What a burn! I see what you did there: you took a claim about something you clearly did, and turned it right around and, however inaccurately, implied it was valid for other person. Well played! Good show sir!

    Oh my bad, I thought your sentence couldn’t possibly be directed at me because what it said was untrue; I had forgotten about your lack of comprehension.

  254. Marduk says

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/manspreading-when-men-use-science-to-excuse-chauvinism/

    This is a bizarre piece. Reviews a very small amount of scientific evidence and then rejects it for no reason at the end.
    I know its clickbait but still. Her position is that men should experience discomfort, instability and should also block carriages with their knees or they are “chauvinists”.

    Manspreading is a remarkable meme that only persists owing to profoundly lazy thinking (we expect this is in SJWs but the “journalists” have no excuses – has a single one of them ever just asked an expert in biomechanics what is going on? I think not, there is a gap in the market here Ally). Its easily explained by physiology that anyone who has ever seen a man and a woman before should be able to notice at a glance.

    http://www.lbgmedical.com/blog/the-q-angle-is-it-real-does-it-matter/

  255. Marduk says

    Here is the sciencey piece.
    http://www.economonitor.com/blog/2016/01/manspreading-the-myth-the-math-dude-2/

    I’m horrified by the commentary on it which has frequently expressed disbelief not at the merits of the evidence but at the temerity of using science to explain something that has ideological connotations.

    Apparently we have genuinely reached a point where attempting to use facts and science to explain something is considered gravely offensive. I don’t want to over-dramatise this but I have the horrible feeling that one a future Gibbon, writing history books (assuming we can still at least read and write using rudimentary materials) will note this as the point the Great Decline began.

    But Marduk, surely it should be global warming or disease or the coming energy crisis you should use as an example of ideology being held as more important than science (aka “feels over realz”)? Manspreading is a better example precisely because it is just a stupid meme that can actually get you arrested and imprisoned.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-01/first-person-arrested-for-manspreading-in-new-york/6511362

  256. Holms says

    Well, I would suggest that that ‘cat’s whiskers’ idea in particular truly is a load of bollocks. A much simpler explanation is that that is simply the way the legs are positioned when not controlled by musculature.

  257. Marduk says

    Well of course, and it is different between men and women. If you (as a bloke) try and sit with your knees together its basically a stress position after a minute or two.

    I suppose the over-riding thing is I always thought it was a joke/troll meme, “let’s find a ridiculous way of policing men’s bodies in public spaces!” and we were being paid back for protein world or something.

    I had no idea people were actually taking it seriously.

  258. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    One of the blogs discussed is gendered and the other is not. It’s really quite straightforward.

    Oops, I just realised that they both are. I must now resign from the (Modern) Feminist Ruling Class Party and devote my life to anti-feminism “online activism.”

  259. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    Do you understand that you just posted a link to a woman who is intrinsically linked to a blog that you agreed was detrimental to positive outcomes for men? And she appears to have taken a break from harassing people on Twitter (leading to several bans) supporting Trump and laying into Muslims to write that piece.

    Do you do *any* due diligence on the people you support?

  260. Marduk says

    281.

    Men Taking Up Too Much Room On Trains – republish photograph of person having their privacy invaded in a national newspaper, reflect on the behaviour of the person photographed.

    Women Eating On The Tube – don’t republish any photographs, reflect on the the behaviour of the person taking the
    photographs.

    What is the difference between these two Tumblrs is a question we should probably ask.

    If you wanted to catch me out, you should have posted this though:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/04/photograph-strangers-train-tumblr

  261. Holms says

    Marduk, I would have considered those two examples perfectly equal too if not for the fact the women-photographed-eating blog requires the time and tube line on which the woman was spotted. That’s… fairly stalkerish.

  262. Adiabat says

    Carnation (274): Lol, this latest post is gold. You’re now engaging in the typical harasser’s response of calling their target “oversensitive” (way to support toxic masculinity by calling male targets of harassment who speak out ‘oversensitive’), and that they ‘did it to themselves’.

    “Or don’t you consider the behaviours that were described to be harassment?”

    No, only an imbecile would believe that.

    I described acts of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party towards a target. That is the definition of harassment. Dumbass.

    We both comment on the same blog. You direct comments at me.

    Show me one thread in the past year where I directed comments towards you when you hadn’t already tried addressing me, typically with a post designed to get a reaction (such as misrepresenting my views). I typically avoid engaging with you and usually do so only to correct a smear or a misrepresentation of my views. Though I must admit watching you display such astonishing levels of hypocrisy, and going through the various stages of harassment-apologia is very entertaining. The added toxic masculinity is also funny considering all the phony virtue-signalling you do on here.

    dude, we know your ideology. That’s SOP.

    You think nearly everyone on here who disagrees with your ridiculous views is an MRA, because you’re obsessed with them. You’ve been going on about them endlessly and unprompted for what must be 3 years now. Claiming that people are MRA’s when they have clearly said they aren’t is a systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying action of yours.

    I’ll take that bet. If you prove I’ve commented significantly more than any other poster, I will never comment again.

    No, if I prove it you would pull a Carny. You’d make a ridiculous comment which doesn’t address any of the arguments then leave the thread, and then pretend it never happened. It’s what you always do when you’re shown to be wrong.

    Or that I’m self-employed and good wit technology.

    So unemployed and can’t do simple html quote tags, then?

    And you’ve got plenty of time to comment here AND elsewhere, don’t you Prince?

    You literally just chased me for a reply less than a day after you made a post. Seriously, what is wrong with you? You seem to lack even the most basic ability to draw reasonable conclusions from the evidence in front of you.

    (No idea if ‘Prince’ is some slang or mode of address I’m unaware of, or if it’s some handle you think I comment under elsewhere. If it’s the latter then you’re even more deranged than I previously thought.)

  263. Adiabat says

    Holm (275):

    What you described is not harassment, you simply don’t get to tell people to stop addressing you on a public forum that you both frequent

    So, by the same reasoning, you’re saying that all those feminists claiming that they were harassed on twitter (some even get PTSD from it y’now) weren’t really harassed? That the weeks’ worth of twitter messages that Anita Sarkeesian uses as evidence of her harassment doesn’t count? I’m struggling to see how someone getting repeated and unwanted messages on one public forum is considered harassment by you guys (so much so that no-on is even allowed to doubt it without getting abuse) yet someone getting repeated and unwanted messages on another public forum is not.

    Is it a case where, once again, you apply different standards to people you support vs those you don’t?

    Oh and your claimed request that he stop communicating with you is an obvious lie given the fact that you are continually addressing and asking questions of him.

    I extend the same challenge I made above regarding looking at who has been addressing who in the past year. In addition, are you claiming that if a target of harassment ever feels the need to address their harassers’ lies and taunts then they are lying about not wanting to be harassed? Because not only is that another example of common harassment-apologia, but it is also usually deemed victim-blaming when it’s been pointed out that one of the “approved” targets has done this.

    (RE: Rules.)Again, this is simply incorrect. Hint: the term ‘major indicator’ implies that what follows is likely, but not guaranteed.

    Yes, and the definition of “rule” includes: “a (1) : a usually valid generalization”, and “c : a regulating principle”. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rule. So it doesn’t have to be guaranteed.

    A rule can be applying a principle or generalisation to a situation: in this case, ‘that someone saying they won a debate indicates that the person making said claim is unfamiliar with the concept of logic’. It’s wrong, because it seems to be a rule invented by losers, but you were still trying to apply a rule. You appear to be getting hung up on the word ‘indicator’ when it’s the application of that indicator which is the rule. For example, Godwin’s Law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a rule that is applied when something occurs in a conversation, and indicates that the thread is finished.

    I’m not sure I can explain this any simpler for you.

    Oh my bad, I thought your sentence couldn’t possibly be directed at me because what it said was untrue

    You could of course simply provide a quote where someone made the point that you claimed they were making, instead of creating this diversion about rules, but you haven’t. How about we stop this back and forth, and leave anyone still reading to draw their own conclusions? I’m happy to do that.

  264. Carnation says

    Oh, Adiabat, if you’re going to bandy around phrases, please ensure that you understand them – otherwise you look *very* stupid. I’d usually conclude that attempting to shame someone whilst chiding them for their toxic masculinity is some type of hipster approach. But, sadly, when you do it, it’s merely your ignorance shining through.

    Interestingly, if you reflect on our exchanges, you will note that I *never* insult you personally, only the things that you have written, whereas you prefer a personal attack, don’t you Prince? And, like all internet fantasists, you have constructed a persona for me that simultaneously infuriates and fascinates you. Are you going to describe how you’re richer, better looking and could beat me up next, Prince?

    Just a wee note, you first came to my attention as the guy who couldn’t get his head around the concept of a meal for two costing £59. The *average* meal for two, then, was £55. Only a rather unimaginative mind couldn’t grasp such a thing. Or an extremely joyless one. Or both. I genuinely have concerns about how happy Ms Adiabat is.

    Over to you, Prince x

  265. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    What do you think about the poster detailed in this link:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-35364979

    I haven’t bothered to look at the link that you gave, but that doesn’t matter. I’ll answer your question all the same.

    I couldn’t care less if a poster presents person of gender A abusing person of gender B. The posters are directed at the victim and, to a lesser extent, the abuser. And only the overly sensitive, the delusional and the stupid would see it as attacking that entire gender.

    I’d, again, urge you to actually study media analysis.

  266. Marduk says

    So this “fuck off fund” story is doing the rounds pretending to be “empowering”.
    https://thebillfold.com/a-story-of-a-fuck-off-fund-648401263659#.wvnkyxfv3

    Ally retweeted this:
    https://www.girlonthenet.com/2016/01/21/something-better-than-a-fuck-off-fund/

    Its not wrong about implied victim blaming and the base facts of poverty but I think even that critique misses the point somewhat.

    This would have been a nice piece to write in 1956 but gender roles have long since changed.

    Today its as ludicrous as “Bic (for her)” pens.

    The advice any small child responsible for their own pocket money should have a handle on, the sums are too small (for an the affluent professional the article is aimed at) and there is no strategy, no plan. I hate capitalism as much as the next person but one of the main reasons I hate it is because it requires you at some level get involved in the system or you suffer.

    Its also too gentle with its wittering about leather skirts and drinking champange in “fancy hotels”. Most people can’t afford those things and if you are reading that article and finding it a revelation, you definitely can’t and you probably never will.

    30% rent/mortgage, 30% living expenses, 10% you can spend and 30% you save. If anything falls outside those parameters, guess what, you can’t actually afford it and you can’t have it. Some may say that is a bit harsh but its the facts of life. Admittedly there are times when you just don’t earn enough and, say, the rents too high and there really isn’t much you can do about it. But you want to at least aspire to get out of that situation.

    There are plenty of financial guides written for grown-ups, read one of them instead of this bullshit with its unstated assumption that sooner or later someone else will come along and make up for your lack of discipline. Either way, marriage is not a debt-management solution, a boyfriend is not a financial strategy. If it looks like its going to be, you probably can’t afford that either in all sorts of ways that go way beyond money. Perhaps this is why the article sucks so much, its opening premise is wrong.

    See, we talk about changing gender roles and difficulties like its one sided, what that article tells me is that it isn’t just men who don’t hoover who haven’t got the memo yet.

    I would agree with Girlonthenet that this stuff isn’t easy but its a hundred times more difficult starting off with pink, fuzzy ideas about it “for her”.

  267. Adiabat says

    Carnation (288): Meh, as is typical there’s very little content in your last reply. Mainly just the usual evasions and misrepresentations we’ve all come to expect from you.

    Like the Medway thread where you were shown to be a fool with your circular reasoning and attempts to avoid being tied to a definition, and you just claimed that people don’t understand without provide any kind of argument or explanation. Everyone sees through this bluster and posturing, y’now? It’s an extremely weak form of argument.

    Interestingly, if you reflect on our exchanges, you will note that I *never* insult you personally, only the things that you have written

    The saddest part is that you’ve likely convinced yourself that this is the case. It would be great if you addressed what other people actually write. Instead all we ever get from you appears to be taken straight of this illustrious text: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CV94b_EWIAAx8Zl.jpg

  268. Marduk says

    Every. Single. Time.

    Look at the BTL comments.
    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/31/im-unhappy-with-my-wife-of-30-years-should-i-leave-mariella-frostrup

    Has there been a content analysis done on these columns? If it was a woman she’s be getting “hugs” and “go girl!” Eat, Pray, Love advice. Our friend gets called a selfish prick and a liar, with the moderators sitting on their hands.

    I think things like this expose a great deal about social attitudes.

    This seems like a huge double standard and now gender roles are gone (or at least dying) there should be no more room for this. I’m surprised feminists don’t point this out.

  269. Carnation says

    Meanwhile…

    A few dozen internet dwelling weaklings decide to troll international feminism.

    The whole thing is depressing.

  270. Marduk says

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/ons-suicide-statistics-10-ways-we-can-stop-men-killing-themselve/
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/the-male-mental-health-crisis-is-real–so-why-is-it-still-being/

    Both pieces are good. The first is by Glen Poole and while I’d expect most here to have read his points before elsewhere, this doesn’t diminish its merit.

    The second is particularly worth a read and agrees with what Ally and others have said before.

    “I’ve been offered funding in the past from organisations with money to give to charitable projects working with women only. I turned it down because not only did I consider it fist-knawingly unfair to exclude young men from a much-needed conversation, I also find working with teenage boys infinitely rewarding, simply because they are a greater challenge.

    In seeking to create a mental health class that is engaging for boys, I’ve been astounded by the lack of decent resources and research created specifically to address their needs. I’ve learned that men need and deserve a unique, tailored approach when it comes to mental health and it’s about time the Government recognised that, too.”

  271. WineEM says

    Well this is the question which everyone seems to be asking themselves, but no-one has the answer to.
    How on earth did Twitter decide it was a good idea to put Anita Sarkeesian in charge of their ‘Trust and Safety Council’?
    It’s this segment of the authoritarian left which is giving social justice a bad name and alienating people left, right and centre.

    http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/09/twitter-forms-a-trust-safety-council-to-balance-abuse-vs-free-speech/

    Still, on the plus side Ally you won’t need to be bothered by those nasty MRAs and their Milo videos any longer by the looks of things 😉

  272. WineEM says

    Ok, correction, she’s not in charge but a member of this group. Still pretty bad, considering what happened to Thunderf00t, etc. RIP free speech on Twitter.

  273. Carnation says

    @ WineEM

    “How on earth did Twitter decide it was a good idea to put Anita Sarkeesian in charge of their ‘Trust and Safety Council’?”

    Why *isn’t* it a good idea to put her on the council?

  274. WineEM says

    Carnation, Anita’s high level of ethical integrity and complete absence of double standards are described pretty well here:

  275. Marduk says

    More concerned about the role of Jonathan McIntosh tbh, Sarkeesian has always been his front woman. She has a long history of being a front woman for various pyramid schemes and graphology scams. If you are obsessing about Anita, you are missing the point. When I tell you that McIntosh is a trustafarian Nathan Barley (“Pop Culture Hacker”) and who used to be a fundamentalist Christian before he moved into Social Justice, I think it all becomes clear what is going on. He wasn’t enlightened as much as he just changed religions.

    Sarkeesian probably came to prominence through her involvement in that UN report farce, and to be fair, her public profile is mostly as victim. McIntosh on the other hand has a long history on Twitter of bullying and insulting people.

    Anita is just a way for a white male 1%er to tell women what to think. Feminist Frequency is just mansplaining on an epic level, I endorse it as art project but as a political one its obviously a joke.

  276. Carnation says

    @ WineEM

    I asked *you* why *isn’t* it a good idea to put her on the council – unless you made that video yourself, it’s a waste of your time to suggest I watch it. I don’t watch paranoid, juvenile nonsense, which it most likely is.

    Now, why shouldn’t a woman with experience of media analysis and first hand experience of the misuse and abuse of Twitter be on the council?

    Why do you care about this so much?

    @ Marduk – any evidence to back up what you say?

    Weak people see conspiracy theories everywhere, and really stupid weak people posit feminists/feminism as the most powerful conspiracy that can’t be seen.

  277. Marduk says

    Once again I fail to see the conspiracy theory. You’re not batting at a high average on this are you.
    What do you want evidence of specifically?

  278. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    “What do you want evidence of specifically?”

    That Anita is a puppet for this other guy, that this other guy is as sinister as you say he is, that he bullies in the manner you’ve accused him of etc.

    Pretty straight forward really.

    I assumed, because I’m not laded with hefty conspiracy theorist, dullard, Reddit, baggage that Anita was chosen because if her well documented vilification, shaming and bullying via social media, including Twitter. Dimwitted goons can’t accept this blatantly obvious truth so instead try to fabricate a conspiracy theory.

    So I’m asking you to prove it.

  279. Marduk says

    “I assumed, because I’m not laded with hefty conspiracy theorist, dullard, Reddit, baggage that Anita was chosen because if her well documented vilification, shaming and bullying via social media, including Twitter.”

    But Carnation, that is exactly what I said in #300. I’m not asserting that there is a conspiracy, just that the role of JM isn’t very clear in all this. Twitter didn’t appoint Anita, it appointed Feminist Frequency. He isn’t listed as an officer of Feminist Frequency 501(3) or an employee but this is in itself odd given his presence as writer, director, producer and presenter. Is FF 501(3) the same as FF? I don’t know. Which did Twitter actually appoint?

    In terms of the other things you want to know, its really not that difficult or especially hidden. Most of that you can get answered by reading his homepage, @radicalbytes and just watching Anita’s videos that include credits. I’ll see if I can pull together a digest if its really necessary.

    There isn’t anything to really speculate about. He has written a lot about his background and often complains about the internet on his father’s private island(!). My take on it is that they are a kind of Sonny & Cher, Ike & Tina type operation. That isn’t in itself particularly unusual. Its just a bit odd if you never mention it.

    And ultimately, shouldn’t I doubt someone who claims to be “pop culture hacker” or think he might be a bit shady? He is self-defining himself as trickster. Who knows which bit is real and which bit is the “culture hacking”.

  280. Carnation says

    OK, just did a bit of looking.

    Feminist Frequency list it’s “team” as simply Anita. I did a search for “McIntosh” within the FeministFrequency site and it seems he is a “producer” of some of the photos.

    “More concerned about the role of Jonathan McIntosh tbh, Sarkeesian has always been his front woman. She has a long history of being a front woman for various pyramid schemes and graphology scams”

    Any examples of these “scams” and “schemes”?

    I won’t bother to comment on your idiotic comment about “social justice” being a “religion” and instead ask for some evidence of McIntosh bullying on Twitter?

  281. Marduk says

    Well no Carnation, look at their actual annual report as a 501(3), its there linked to the webpage you didn’t read properly (it also says “more bios coming soon!” although the webpage is two years old). The section you want in the report is “who we are”.

    Anita’s previous career, its fairly well linked and includes a video. You don’t have to believe anything written, use the links to Anita’s old homepage etc.
    http://guardianlv.com/2014/11/anita-sarkeesian-unmasked-feminist-icon-or-con-artist/

    McIntosh bio (“dissident detective”, “jammer”, “info warrior”, “guerilla artist”… again why should I trust anything he says or does?)
    https://web.archive.org/web/20040803032816/http://www.capedmaskedandarmed.com/about.html

    As to his behaviour, read it yourself. He deletes tweets so you’ve gotta be quick. You could search google images or go to ED which I won’t link to here. Or get someone else to explain it to you, I think maybe you share a certain problem in expressing yourselves. Sometimes you get snaps where he says something and Anita’s account says the same thing a minute or two later (not a retweet). They have nothing to do with each other obviously. The difference is Anita never responds, McIntosh always lashes out. But Twitter wouldn’t want the guy that lashes out would they.

  282. Carnation says

    @Marduk

    I’ll concede that JM is part of FemFreq but there is literally nothing in what you have typed that in anyway suggests FemFreq should be excluded from Twitter’s Council.

    Just lots of innuendo and nonsense.

    From the link you sent:

    “Soon I found myself buried beneath a small mountain of books and articles by Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Arundhati Roy, Howard Zinn, Robert Fisk, Michael Albert, Gregory Palast, Kalle Lans, and Eric Schlosser. Having been brought up immersed in the doctrine of the ultra-conservative Christian Right, as I gained some inkling of the atrocities and injustice being carried out in my name across the globe, I was shocked. I felt betrayed by not just my government but by the media, my education and my family. I had been systematically misinformed, deceived and lied to all my life. So as someone born and raised in the United States of America I decided to make some changes. Today, two years later, I am an activist, a jammer, a vegetarian, a dissident detective, an info warrior, and a guerrilla artist. I ride a bicycle everywhere. I shut off my TV. I no longer buy things I don’t need and I built this web site.

    It is dedicated to resisting war, injustice, inequality and empire through art, creativity, humor, fun, learning, mischief and disobedience. It is part of the growing rebellion!”

    If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll understand that you have bought wholesale into the myth that having an interest in social justice is indicative of anything other than having an interest in social justice.

    You and yours *need* an enemy to justify your bitterness and marginalisation. It seems that Twitter has realised, perhaps too late in the game, that disgusting, cowardly, infantile trolls are not only worthless humans but bad for business. I’m just speculating here, but I doubt the anti-feminist dollar is a strong dollar, as Bill Hicks might have said. Immaturity and a penchant for conspiracy theories aren’t good life skills.

  283. Marduk says

    I didn’t say it should be excluded from Twitter’s council.

    Twitter’s council is a weak PR move by a corporation on the turn.
    It would be more interesting to ask why FF are lending their name to it, not the other way round.
    Suspect they are joining only so they can storm out again if they have any sense.

  284. Carnation says

    Or maybe FF just want to do what they can to prevent the public sphere being tainted by aggressive, puerile trolls and buffoons ruining it for others?

    I’m pretty sure that Twitter will weather the storm.

  285. Adiabat says

    Carnation (308): “worthless humans”

    Wow…

    Marduk (309):

    Twitter’s council is a weak PR move by a corporation on the turn.

    Pretty much. The stock price has tanked over the past year, particularly since October where it was double what it is now, and twitter is losing users and not gaining new ones at a fast enough rate (which in the past has signalled the beginning of the end for social media sites). This drop in value has coincided with Jack Dorsey becoming CEO again in June (after he was previously removed in 2008 for lack of leadership skills, lack of experience running a supposedly-professional company, and leaving work early all the time to attend yoga and craft groups) and with their more overt political partisanship (which is a sign of unprofessionalism by the staff and those in charge –investor ‘garlic’).

    So they did what any sensible company would do in this situation: they looked at the complaints people are making and tried to appease them. In this case the loudest voices with complaints, supported by the media, are those harassing everyone all the time about what a problem harassment is on the platform. The problem is that twitter lacks the leadership to realise that the “harassment on twitter” narrative is being grossly exaggerated by these people for political purposes, and that most of what is being deemed harassment is either criticism or simple ridicule i.e. why most users are on there. So we can expect more users to leave, and the stock price to keep going down (until it’s low enough to be bought out on the cheap by a larger tech company).

  286. Adiabat says

    Is anyone else following the various protests at Milo’s tour of US universities? They are hilarious.

    At one “social justice” types responded to a claim that they are intolerant of others’ views, and are incapable of debating rationally, by smearing red paint representing menstrual blood over themselves and screaming so no-one can hear what’s being said by the speaker. Then progressing to walk out of the room while flipping everyone off.

    The latest one involved progressives using klaxons and silly chants to make their arguments, while their targets chose the much more ridiculous approach of articulating a case, inviting questions and having a discussion.

  287. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    What worth would you attach to “disgusting, cowardly, infantile trolls”? Perhaps you could estimate a monetary and moral worth?

    You’re a big Milo fan, huh, Prince? Does he give you a voice?

  288. Marduk says

    #311

    Indeed. The problem is that they are really just a neutral carrier being asked to regulated behaviour and now tone.
    Nobody really knows what this should look like but so far it seems hard to get right. Behaviour is ok, a telephone company would get involved in someone was making lots of ‘heavy breathing’ calls or the mail would get involved. But tone… that is a bit like getting disconnected every time you tried to call someone with a heavy cold or swore in a letter to your friend.

    This is very similar to our earlier discussion of Reddit really. What Twitter (and Reddit) really wanted doesn’t and can’t exist – a sort of corporate communication channel that has billions of users who really like to enthusiastically read messages posted by PR professionals. This is where a lot of the pressure they’ve listened to has come from, not from the whiners who are just being used as cover, but from corporate suits who wanted Twitter to be a “digital platform for professional business messaging as part of a 360 marketing strategy”.

    This is fine, but it doesn’t interest 99.999% of their other users.

  289. Marduk says

    #312

    I’m mostly amused that they don’t know why they don’t like him. They literally have so few comebacks, and his personal habits undermine their lazy go-to armoury, they are reduced to alleging he is a bad person for unspecified reasons. The reason they don’t like him is because he brutally attacks them at every turn, its no secret, the problem is their tactics require them to find a way of alleging he is actually dangerous to them in some manner so they can start the ‘crybullying’. So far they’ve failed to work out a way of doing this — his homosexuality is clearly very inhibiting for them — so he just goes on dishing out the torture.

    #313

    Milo says nearly all his fans are left-wingers who don’t like the SJWs (authoritarian left/regressive left/crybullies, whatever name you want to give them) for traducing their beliefs. He gets very little interest from conservatives because they can’t tell the difference. I think this is probably true.

    Personally I’m in it mostly for his glorious mane. I would identify as straight but…it asks questions of a man, y’know?

  290. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    I think you’re dramatically overstating the importance and effect of Milo. He’s a clown, and he winds up idiots looking for offence. From my point of view, he’s a good thing – he’s utterly eclipsed the online MRM and ensures that it maintains zero credibility.

    He’s a Trolls Rights Activist, nothing more, nothing less. Feted by MRAs, he’s living proof that they’re nothing but a bunch of right-wing reactionaries. And they’re easily to manage, and of little consequence. For a while it looked like a tiny minority of MRAs might attempt some activism or lobbying, but they haven’t – they’ve became sad little Milo fanboys.

    Roosh and Milo… Anti-feminists really have it going on!

    You guys should be proud…

  291. WineEM says

    What Milo offers, which is actually a bit new, is the combination of speaking truth to power (slightly tricky, for SJWs and the ‘progressive left’ don’t even like to admit that they enjoy any power) but also the access to online media, and a huge network of contacts, to gain traction by putting that truth out there on a large scale. Rather amusingly, I recently tweeted this Milo clip to one of the leading lights of Britain’s progressive left (titled “Milo Yiannopoulos’s glorious rant about liberal media alienating the public and moderate liberals”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eClLiuKqoQE and this figure, whom I’d hitherto regarded as being a relatively rational and open-minded person, launched into a furious tirade, saying that such a clip was irrelevant and ‘arbitrary,’ that Milo followers and supporters were loathsome and ‘deserved to be despised’ , and all in all that such input was most certainly not welcome.

    So it’s a bit of a strange, self-perpetuating circle. The ‘progressive’ liberal media don’t want to admit that they have much power, they don’t want to admit that they regularly and cynically abuse that power, and then they throw a fit (as Mard alludes to in 104.) when such tendencies are pointed out to them, even when it comes from some ultra self-deprecating, self-proclaimed narcissist like Milo. Desperate, really: how are they going even to stand a chance of changing and mending their ways, if they cannot even acknowledge some of these basic, unwelcome truths?

  292. Carnation says

    So the Great White Hope of the Alt Right collection of online dwellers is Milo?

    And you think this is a good thing?

    He’s a poor man’s Richard Littlejohn. Clarkson, for millenials.

  293. WineEM says

    Carnation, I don’t want to affect a patronising tone or nuffin’ – but if you had been following this conversation, you might have realised that this doesn’t break down along race, or simple left vs. right, lines (that is to say most of the hardline SJW contingent probably would self-identify as being on the ‘progressive left’, but those objecting to their conduct are from all across the spectrum. I mean, you just have to look at Steven Pinker’s Twitter account for instnace to see that he has been expressing unhappiness about this politically correct stifling of free speech by such people for some while https://twitter.com/sapinker He hardly fits with your sad- sack reactionary loser stereotype, does he now (not least since many people claim he’s one of the greatest public intellectuals of our time alongside Chomsky. What would I know, I just like some of his ideas, but a Jeremy Clarkson figure clearly he is not!)

  294. Carnation says

    @ WineEM

    Oh dear… Great White Hope is a boxing term, used here to point out the racist undertones (and outright overtones) of the wretched “alt right.”

    Actually, all I have to do is continue ignoring the nonsense about “hardliners SJW” because it’s of no substance. It rather seems to me that all the emoting about feminism has been exposed for what it is: the preserve of the weak, stupid and bigoted. The attempts at othering failed, so a new all powerful enemy is needed… enter the *shudder* SJWs and their assault on freeze peach.

    @ Marduk

    Nah, you’re alright. The only thing less rewarding than watching a CHS video is watching one with her and Milo. And on that idiotic website too.

    Stay classy guys x

  295. Lucythoughts says

    #320 Marduk
    Butting in on your conversation but I actually watched this video a couple of days ago on youtube, mostly because I know very little about Milo and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It was enlightening; obviously it wasn’t a debate because no one was prepared to debate him, so instead it was an entertaining double act with Milo doing style and Christina Hoff Sommers doing substance. Add to that the fact that the entire audience were there because they agreed with the speakers and the extended Q&A was basically an exercise in self-congratulation.

    Having watched two hours of him I feel like I’ve got the gist and it would be a waste of time to see any more. He can be genuinely funny at times but he’s extremely intellectually dishonest. He started off claiming that no one would debate him because they can’t argue with the facts and stats and then didn’t present any at all but instead stuck exclusively to opinion and over-stated rhetoric. Frankly I was disappointed. It seemed to me like a more stylish branded version of what his opponents do, which is to seek to persuade with inflammatory generalisations rather than with any sort of nuanced or balanced interpretation of evidence. I may be too demanding but I don’t want to be persuaded, I want to be convinced and he had nothing for me. I couldn’t even be convinced that he believed what he was saying, in the terms in which he was saying it, only that he thought he could sell it to the audience that way.

    #315 “Milo says nearly all his fans are left-wingers who don’t like the SJWs (authoritarian left/regressive left/crybullies, whatever name you want to give them) for traducing their beliefs. He gets very little interest from conservatives because they can’t tell the difference. I think this is probably true.”

    This may well be right and it seems problematic because it appeared to me that when you strip away the common ground of anger and frustration what you have left is probably quite extreme right wing libertarianism, which is just possibly the least humane political ideology on the market. If you were left-leaning to begin with then that is not a team you really want to be on.

    As far as the conservatives go, it’s possible that they can’t tell the difference, but if they’re seeing what I’m seeing then I’d expect them to run from right wing libertarians like they were the hounds of Hell.

  296. Ally Fogg says

    WineEM [317]

    I recently tweeted this Milo clip to one of the leading lights of Britain’s progressive left (titled “Milo Yiannopoulos’s glorious rant about liberal media alienating the public and moderate liberals”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eClLiuKqoQE and this figure, whom I’d hitherto regarded as being a relatively rational and open-minded person, launched into a furious tirade, saying that such a clip was irrelevant and ‘arbitrary,’ that Milo followers and supporters were loathsome and ‘deserved to be despised’ , and all in all that such input was most certainly not welcome.

    I suspect this is a reference to this little exchange here.
    https://twitter.com/equalityscoutUK/status/696296055969861632

    You have alluded to it several times in recent weeks and you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about it. So let me explain why it elicited an angry reaction as it appears you don’t get it.

    When you initiate an @ conversation with someone, you are invading their space. When you do so from an anonymous twitter account towards someone who doesn’t even follow you, using a grey egg as an avatar, your approach will be met with scepticism at the best of times.

    Had your tweet been an on-topic response or reply to a tweet of mine, that would have been absolutely reasonable. I would have continued to believe the video to which you linked was ahistorical, fact-free bollocks, but would have respected your right to point me towards it. I would certainly have thought you were insulting my intelligence to imagine that there was anything in Milo’s rant that would be in any way persuasive, interesting or useful to me, but hey, that is your problem not mine.

    As it was, my annoyance was nothing to do with Milo or the specific content of the video and everything to do with the fact that you were arrogant enough to crop up in my timeline uninvited with a condescending ‘sorry but…’

    I repeat the question to you here that I presented you with at the time. Why were you apologising to me and why did you think I would give a fuck what that preposterous wanker has to say?

    I wasn’t annoyed with you because you were doing some dangerous speaking truth to power. I was annoyed with you because you were fucking rude and you didn’t even have the grace and self-reflection to recognise that you were being fucking rude even when it had been pointed out to you that you had been fucking rude.

    That is all.

  297. Ally Fogg says

    [OK not quite all] and just to add one more thing about that Milo video that I forgot to mention. This was the point when I stopped listening and just laughed in despair….

    He rants on an on and on about how the mainstream media lies to us and constantly misrepresents the truth (so far so good) and then says there are one or two notable exceptions, such as Fox News.

    And that is the point at which Milo collapses into a hilarious puddle of piss.

  298. WineEM says

    You have alluded to it several times in recent weeks and you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about it.

    Hey, come on Ally that’s not quite the case is it ? I was teasing you about it in a very indirect way in 295. and that’s been the only other mention.
    As for this thing about “to crop up in my timeline uninvited”, you only appear in someone’s timeline surely if they respond to your tweet, and since historically you’ve ignored the vast bulk of tweets I’ve ever sent your way (which I’ve always been absolutely fine with, incidentally), it’s hard to see how this might be so great an issue.
    But moving on from the concept of ‘safe spaces,’ you appear to be suggesting a list of guidelines for how you wish people to address you on Twitter. And from this one may surmise that

    1. You sometimes get annoyed by people sending you Tweets if they are not individuals you are following already.

    2. If people do send you Tweets, then they should not just be relevant to your general stated interests (media ethics, etc.) but to the specific ideas you’re exploring on your main page.

    3 It’s rude to apologise on Twitter, if you know that the message you’re sending might cause some (understandable) irritation and you want to alleviate the effects of doing so.

    So no, that’s great, I suppose, if you’re consistent with those rules, I guess that’s fine. I certainly won’t be risking tweeting again ever – far too complicated for me I’m afraid! 😉

  299. Ally Fogg says

    You are perfectly at liberty to do what you want, WineEM, but some free and unsolicited advice for you.

    1. If you don’t want people to assume you are a fly-by-night troll, make a token effort to choose an avatar, don’t just use the default. I honestly didn’t know that I had declined to respond to you on occasions in the past, if that is true it is 99% certainly because when I get tweets from eggs I ignore them 99% of the time because experience teaches that 99% of the time they are from disingenuous trolls.

    2. People (well me, for sure, but I suspect it is almost universal) will tend to be grateful and appreciative when you send them things that you think they might be interested in or find useful for one reason or another, even if it is unsolicited from a stranger. Virtually nobody will be grateful or appreciative when you send them a link to something that they will find stupid, offensive or disagreeable. When you randomly send someone something of that ilk, they will not think you are trying to be helpful or friendly, they will think you are trying to start an argument out of the blue and/or they will think you are a twat.

    3. When you send someone something with the express purpose of being argumentative or being a twat, don’t then get butthurt and whiny when that person calls you a twat and tells you to fuck off. That is *really* not a good look.

    Hope this helps.

  300. Marduk says

    #322

    I didn’t say it was impressive or even any good, please don’t confuse me with Carnation’s attacks upon me. He is an agent provocateur at best, he doesn’t make any bones about it, nobody considers him a sage or even someone with any particularly new ideas. I believe him when he says he going to try to move into entertainment reporting.

    I was asking why it needed to be banned or protested at because it was so wrong as to constitute a physical threat to people. That event was talked about like it was a Numerberg Rally revival. I didn’t hear anything especially shocking (or even all that controversial really) even until right until the end (re: migration) and Hoff Sommers expressed disagreement anyway so you could argue two sides were at least heard.

    Milo is to left-wing journalism and Donald Trump is to US political establishment. You can say he is contemptible, and you’d be right, be he only exists for another day because you’ve failed miserably to do your jobs and uphold the duties you told society you were taking on in exchange for special license. You’ve left a vacuum and he is tapdancing and jazz-handing around inside it.

    Every damn time I see a left wing hack laying into him, I just have to shake my head at their utter lack of a sense of shame.

  301. Lucythoughts says

    I have no argument with that. As I said, I approached that video from a position of relative ignorance and given the protests against him I suppose I was expecting someone more… substantive. I wasn’t expecting to like him but I was expecting to see what people were bothered about. The only thing I could see was that it must be frustrating to hear someone who opposes your views trying to win support for their position by lying outrageously with rhetoric, but then that is what you get if you won’t engage your serious critics, silly ones come along who can get away with saying anything they like. Lesson to be learned, don’t be so damned arrogant in the first place.

  302. WineEM says

    @326 Ok , Ally it appears that I did inadvertently transgress some sort of code of cyber etiquette and if that upset you then I am sorry, for although I do find some aspects of your politics a bit shit, I do generally quite like you as a persona/personality, whatevs.
    Where I think you were reading this wrong though is in talking about wanting to send stuff in order to be disagreeable or offensive, or of wanting to being argumentative for the sake of it. The reason why many of us frequent forums like this, is because we have some fairly passionate beliefs about media ethics and the democratic process and how we think the world could (or should be) a better place. When institutions representing the liberal left show deep seated corruption and abuse their power on a mass scale, this generates no delight at all. There are some of us out there – as has perhaps been mentioned – who used to identify as being on the liberal left ourselves but who have felt repulsed and pushed away by the awareness of self-serving and vested interests. You may not like Milo or Hoff Sommers but in many ways they’re speaking truths that others won’t say. You might not like the message, but don’t shoot the messenger(s)!

  303. Carnation says

    @ WineEM

    “You may not like Milo or Hoff Sommers but in many ways they’re speaking truths that others won’t say. You might not like the message, but don’t shoot the messenger(s)!”

    No, you and yours love to *believe* that they’re speaking “the truth”, but they are actually just regurgitating your version of “the truth”, and your truth is laughably stupid to many.

    Therefore, trying to impose your version of “the truth” on other people smacks of delusional arrogance and entitlement. It’s like the glorious Mike Buchanan posting avfm videos like they’re manna from heaven. All you do is posit yourself as an easily led halfwit.

    It’s frankly bizarre watching an assortment of right-wing fruitcakes treat Milo like he’s some kind of rampaging visionary, instead of a narcissistic buffoon claiming victory from the reactions of a pathetically small number of protesters, who are themselves clearly of zero importance.

  304. Ally Fogg says

    Look. Milo thinks that the only mainstream media outlet which speaks the truth is Fox News.

    This conversation need continue not one single word further.

  305. Ally Fogg says

    I HAVE NO IDEA!

    I think once upon a time I was involved in a silly conversation about people being Blocked by Cheggars and then before I knew it I too was #blockedbyCheggars. I genuinely don’t think I said anything particularly rude about him and certainly not to him.

    For years he was blocking thousands and thousands of people, and then yesterday has apparently granted us an amnesty and unblocked us all.

    It is most peculiar.

  306. Carnation says

    That is very strange – he seems a pretty lighthearted guy, except for the very public confessions of alcoholism.

    I wonder if he had a social media manager who was a bit zealous/fond of the Columbian marching powder or something.

    I love the idea of Cheggars granting an amnesty – and I forecast widespread trolling…

  307. Ally Fogg says

    No, pretty sure it was all his own work. The background was that in the early days of Twitter he had been tweeting one-liner jokes on a daily basis and then various professional comedians started pointing out that he was posting their jokes / tweets and passing them off as his own. Then people started taking the piss out of him for it and his response was to go on this unprecedented blocking spree. And then of course being #blockedbyCheggars became a Twitter badge of honour so people started trolling him just to unlock the achievement.

    Same applies to George Galloway. If you’re not yet #blockedbyGalloway you have failed in life.

  308. Carnation says

    What did you get #BlockedByGalloway for?

    How intriguing…

    Twitter, like Facebook/social media in general, just seems to pass me by.

  309. Ally Fogg says

    Oh I gave Galloway both barrels over his pronouncements to the effect that getting consent before you insert your cock into a sleeping person is some kind of unnecessary bourgeois affectation.

  310. WineEM says

    @331 Holy Moses, Ally, Fox News is bad, therefore everything Milo has to say must be invalid? Flippin’ heck, that is not your usual level of debate. I don’t think Milo ever claimed that Fox always tells the truth, merely that it was one of the few broadcasters which might question certain untruths from what in some ways has become a dominant cultural narrative. It’s a bit like Russia Today, a thoroughly disreputable broadcaster, but it’s not impossible that it may occasionally spell out certain realities about Western countries’ bad behaviour – criticism which may be entirely valid – and which those countries would wish to see covered up. Or Julian Assange – he may be shady, he might not always tell it as it is, but there’s no doubt that he puts things out there which others would wish to see obscured from view.

    But really that’s neither here nor there, we would generally expect Fox News and RT to behave badly, but when supposedly liberal left progressive institutions start throwing their weight around and acting like utter tyrants then we should all be worried.
    Just take a quick survey of what’s been happening in recent years. The BBC does a Reggie Yates documentary in which it lazily caricatures and belittles anti-feminists (whilst going against its commitment to impartiality by putting tons of pro-feminist material out there every day), and then the film company it does this with uses DCMA to censor public videos responses.
    The BBC organises an ‘all female’ audience for the J4MB election hustings in Nottingham, when Buchanan was debating feminist ‘Women’s Minister’, Gloria de Piero, who had just stepped straight off the Labour ‘Women to Women’ bus. (This was despite BBC election regulations making it crystal clear that the selection of audiences during elections must not favour any particular individual or party). A complaint is pursued vigorously against this, and the BBC gleefully tears it up and throws it straight in the waste-paper basket.

    Same with a Newsnight piece on domestic violence, which depicts the problem as being entirely male-on-female. In rejecting the complaint, the BBC said it merely wanted to focus on this aspect of DV, and there was no implication that the phenomenon was entirely in one direction. But the clip is here, it is quite simply a lie : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_arobNtUyU

    Then according to Thunderfoot, a gang linked to Sarkeesian abuses the complaints procedure to temporarily shut down his account, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTSQbLt9DS8 and now they wish to have her as a consultant for ‘Trust and Safety.’

    These are just a small few examples. Essentially these people are degrading the democratic process by abusing their power for their own ends. It’s really that simple.

    And if you don’t start taking a stand against this now, Ally, you may find you don’t have a leg to stand on when immensely powerful public institutions ride roughshod over your own favoured political causes. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

  311. Carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg

    Ah yes, I remember him saying that on a video. He’s also became chummy with the head of F4J.

  312. Carnation says

    @ WineEM

    “The BBC does a Reggie Yates documentary in which it lazily caricatures and belittles anti-feminists”

    Unless you’re an idiot, you’ll understand that what happened was Yates allowed them to air their views, for better or worse.

    “(whilst going against its commitment to impartiality by putting tons of pro-feminist material out there every day)”

    … I must have missed that. Or else you and 12345 are watching the BBC with the same fanatic persecution complex glasses.

    “Then according to Thunderfoot, a gang linked to Sarkeesian abuses”

    Grow up.

    “Essentially these people are degrading the democratic process”

    The only thing that you have demonstrated with this instant MRA classic is that you literally don’t understand what is meant by democratic process.

    “And if you don’t start taking a stand against this now, Ally, you may find you don’t have a leg to stand on when immensely powerful public institutions ride roughshod over your own favoured political causes.”

    I can’t speak for Ally, but within hardline SJW circles, it’s well known that Milo and the online MRM are poised for imminent victory. The day of reckoning draws near.

    The Trolls Will Win! The Trolls Will Win!

    You’ve got my creative juices flowing…

    Ode to the MRM

    Deep in the internet is where they dwell
    Imminent victory is ours, they so often tell
    Despite the dearth of evidence
    There’s never a frown
    You just can’t keep such good men down.

  313. Ally Fogg says

    Whiney, dude, really.

    Go read Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent.

    Read Raymond Williams’s Culture and Society.

    Read Walter Lippmann. Read George flipping Orwell. Then come back to me and we’ll start to talk about media ownership and influence, propaganda models, establishment bias and the abuse of power and all the rest.

    The stuff you are talking about is not even undergraduate 101 level stuff, it is utterly decontextualised, anti-intellectual, sixth form stoner material, like “whoa dude, has it ever occurred to you that all that stuff in the newspapers is like totally biased, man? They lie to us all the time…”

    It’s just laughable. Laughable.

  314. Carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg

    Re #341

    Can I be so bold as to respectfully ask that you don’t associate “sixth form stoner material” with the likes of WineEM? My adolescent inner self got quite upset.

  315. Carnation says

    Mars Bars are for stoner girls. Haggis supper for the boys. That’s literally what happened. Oh, the early 90s. I was about to say I missed thee, but it’s a lot more complicated than that.

  316. Marduk says

    Context.

    1. Rutgers is 30 minutes from Fox News assuming the tunnel is ok.
    He was going over afterwards and it was something the protesters were shouting about.

    2. The reason Milo didn’t give his speech (and was therefore a bit fact free) was because he relies heavily on ‘borrowing’ people’s work, not because of the protesters, that was a bit of a lie I think. The person who he most relies on was sitting next to him on the stage. You can actually see him start to rip off a chunk from Who Stole Feminism, sweating a bit and then deciding “I’m sure you’d prefer Q&A”.

    Even I’m astounded we’ve had this much to say about Milo tbqh. Unless anyone knows what hair products are at work and wants to share.

  317. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    Why does Milo mean so much to you? Why do you defend him so?

    How serious an “enemy” do you think those that you term SJW are?

    Isn’t this all a bit of stupidity? A narcissist getting narcissistic supply from online idiots by winding up in-person idiots?

  318. Marduk says

    So, a (female) judge hearing a contractual case between two corporations ruled recently that courts dealing with contract law don’t adjudicate on allegations of assault because they don’t. What we can conclude from this is requesting an injunction in a lengthy contractual law case is not the optimum way to first report an offense against your person. I think most people would understand this and also understand it has no bearing on anything else either way.

    This childish word-twisting bullshit is unhelpful to every possible degree.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/22/ruling-against-kesha-free-kesha-dr-luke-woman-told-her-body-isnt-her-own

  319. WineEM says

    @341 My goodness, Ally, y’ know it’s sometimes claimed that the liberal intelligentsia’s contempt for ordinary people is just a myth, and yet I couldn’t think of anything more symbolic of this than to say that someone’s view on the BBC breaking the terms of its Charter won’t be taken seriously until they’ve read “Manufacturing Consent”. I mean, crikey! Well just you wait until the BBC organises a Jeremy Corbyn elections hustings with an audience made up entirely of members of the Tax Payers Alliance and Migration Watch. See if you feel it’s fine and dandy then when they all break into rapturous applause about ‘cracking down on scroungers.’ 😉

  320. Ally Fogg says

    [350]

    No, I don’t expect you to have read Chomsky before forming an opinion on the BBC’s election coverage.

    I expect you to have read Chomsky before you attempt to lecture me on propaganda models of hegemonic media function (whether or not through the medium of Milo).

    But since we’re about it, I read the complaint to the BBC about their coverage of J4MB and also read the ruling in the bulletin last week and there is no doubt in my mind that the BBC were behaving comfortably within their charter.

    As I’ve said before, J4MB actually get far too many media platforms proportionate to their size and influence. J4MB had fewer candidates and gained fewer votes than:

    The We Are Reality Party
    The Whig Party
    Class War
    The Pirate Party
    The Workers Revolutionary Party
    The Monster Raving Looney Party
    The Above and Beyond Party

    …and about a hundred other parties, although you can take some consolation from the fact that it appears they scored slightly more votes than The Al-Zebabist Nation of Ooog. Well done chaps.

    The bottom line is that Mike Buchanan has used his idiosyncratic talents to secure himself rather more media attention than his political achievements, support base or democratic voter interest would ever merit and the idea that his party deserves anything more than a bit of gentle mockery can be attributed to nothing else but his rampant sense of entitlement.

  321. WineEM says

    Oh I see, it can’t just be called media dirty tricks and corruption, it has to be called “propaganda models of hegemonic media function” – it’s all right then, Ally, I take it all back! 😉

    As for the J4MB thing, it’s not just the Charter, it’s the specific set of regulations they have for election coverage
    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/guidelines/editorialguidelines/pdfs/2015_Election_Guidelines.pdf

    which state:

    5.4 Audience Programmes

    Any programme covering elections and planning to use a live audience should consult the Chief Adviser Politics to discuss the selection of the audience and
    how to achieve due impartiality. All such procedures must stand up to public scrutiny.

    If you think due impartiality was maintained in the circumstances I have described, that’s fine, but I would certainly beg to differ.

  322. WineEM says

    @347. Ha, ha, this bit is good:

    “it is also heartbreaking that the most, it seems, women – even powerful women in the music industry – can do is tweet. That is, seemingly, the extent of their agency in a system that doesn’t just fail to trust women, but also fails to see them as equal, whole beings whose words have enough merit to even be evaluated for the ascription of trust”.

    But yes, it looks like an interesting case. I mean, obviously there a problems with automatically believing someone just because they’ve made an accusation, but perhaps there should be some legal means for someone to break a contract in these kind of circumstances, which might be fair to both parties. Doubt the money from Taylor will go a miss. Small change to her presumably!

  323. Marduk says

    The judge didn’t ‘disbelieve her’, all she was saying is that you can’t resolve a case concerning corporate contract law on the basis of an out of the blue allegation that wasn’t raised at any time prior. Irony is, the judge in question was actually taking a fairly liberal position, she was saying if there was something else someone could show her (like the outcome of a criminal case) she’d have been willing to consider it.

    Misrepresenting what the judge said isn’t a feminist act whatever anyone wants to say, its unhelpful to all concerned. Claiming it sends a message “you won’t be believed’ is positively evil because you are creating that message and publicizing it when it isn’t there.

    Well, she can break the contract, she’d owe Sony 2 million dollars that they’ve invested in her on the basis of her signing the contract in the first place. Taylor Swift (basically a hereditary banking aristocrat) or Lena Dunham could find that down the back of the sofa so we’ll see.

    This case does expose something interesting about music at the moment, for years now there have been only two songwriters of note cranking out pop music – Dr Luke and Max Martin. The faces change but its the same people the whole time. If you want to see how far this goes compare Ke$ha “Tik Tok” and Katy Perry “California Gurls” (its the same song underneath, presumably Dr Luke sent them the same demo track… its kind of funny when they both protest about spending hours in a garret pouring over their harpsichords by candlelight like ‘Amadeus’).

  324. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    “The judge didn’t ‘disbelieve her’, all she was saying is that you can’t resolve a case concerning corporate contract law on the basis of an out of the blue allegation that wasn’t raised at any time prior. Irony is, the judge in question was actually taking a fairly liberal position, she was saying if there was something else someone could show her (like the outcome of a criminal case) she’d have been willing to consider it.”

    Interestingly, and you’ll deny that this is the case, it’s the exact same with family/divorce courts. An allegation simply isn’t enough – official/statutory acknowledgement is required.

    It’s amusing to see you suddenly able to understand the mechanics and background to a sensationalist headline/story – and unsurprising that it takes a woman saying she was raped to delve so deep.

  325. Marduk says

    Carnation, I’m getting a bit fed up of this, please stop. I’m not an MRA, I’m not anti-feminist, I’m not your strawman.
    Please stop it, you know exactly what you are doing and you are only being like this towards me because I corrected you on a matter of fact some time ago.

    Grow up and move on.

  326. Adiabat says

    Ally Fogg (331):

    Look. Milo thinks that the only mainstream media outlet which speaks the truth is Fox News.

    His only mention of Fox News in that video was as an example of one outlet (not “only”) that hasn’t been ‘completely colonised’, implying that it is an outlet that’ll report on things which the rest of the mainstream media are lying about. It’s not possible to infer from what Milo said that he doesn’t think Fox lies about other things when it suits its own agenda*.

    It’s obvious that you’re reading what you want into his comment so you can claim to have an excuse to dismiss his actual arguments. You’ve demonstrated what he said in the other video linked above: the left seek to delegitimise speakers, so that anything they say can be dismissed out of hand, rather than provide a decent rebuttal.

    * besides you think that tweeting at someone is “invading their space”, so perhaps you’re not the best person to be pulling the old “they said one ridiculous thing so I’ll ignore everything they say” card.

    (341): How is telling someone to read Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent any kind of rebuttal when they have just pointed out examples where privileged elites are, through domination of mass communication, manipulating and deceiving the “stupid majority”? It supports WineEM: you just have the wrong idea of who the privileged elites actually are**.

    Again, you aren’t providing rebuttals; you are merely trying to delegitimise the person you are talking to.

    ** Probably because you’re relying on 30 year old books to tell you who they are. Look at who are and aren’t getting censored on places like twitter recently, and for what, for a modern up-to-date idea of who are todays’ elites. Look at who’s ridiculous claims, such as the “wage gap” and “rape culture”, just will. not. die. and are regularly propped up by the mainstream media against all reason and sense.

  327. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    What’s the difference between you and an MRA?

    I must have missed when you corrected me about something.

    @ Adiabat

    Only MRAs say that the gender pay gap is a myth. Why would the ONS lie about such a thing?

    Hint: they wouldn’t. Only juvenile, hamfisted dullards would.

    Oh, Prince. I wish I could give you a great big cuddle sometimes.

  328. Marduk says

    I have directly answered that question several times before now. Given that there is only one real rule here and you are still breaking it (as you have done constantly for weeks on end now) I don’t see why I should have to go on answering you.

  329. Adiabat says

    Carnation (358):

    Only MRAs say that the gender pay gap is a myth.

    You only think that because you categorise everyone you don’t like as a MRA: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CV94b_EWIAAx8Zl.jpg

    Why would the ONS lie about such a thing?

    The reason you are confused is simple to understand but your behaviour on this blog, the constant abuse and harassment, make it seem pointless answering any post you make. For the benefit of anyone lurking I’ll outline the answer:

    Different groups use the same or similar terminology for different things and laypeople often conflate them all together (sometimes on purpose): The terms are used, by different groups, to describe differences in the outcomes that men and women achieve in the labour market [1] (what is more appropriately called “the Earnings Gap”), differences in median hourly wages irrespective of career choices [2], and of course to claim that women aren’t paid equally for the same work i.e. wage discrimination (see Obama’s State of the Union address for the most high profile example of this [3], but there are many more examples – see most feminist sites such as everyday feminism [4])

    The ‘Wage Gap Myth’ refers to the final one, the one pushed by special interest groups and activists and supported by the media.

    Gender on its own has next-to-no direct impact* on wages so really the term ‘gender pay gap’ should be retired. What affects wages are career choices, and they affect anyone of either gender that makes the same choices i.e anyone, irrespective of gender, taking an 18 month career break will not progress in their career as fast as someone working all that time. This stuff isn’t hard to understand, which is why I’m always amazed that it is so openly pushed by the establishment.

    * A case can be made that ultimately it is gender socialisation that is responsible: different genders make different choices based on upbringing, environment etc but the cases made are often weak: cherrypicked examples with little empirical backing, and often presented in such a way to make one gender appear “oppressed” (it’s partly due to the nature of the problem, and partly due to natural biases in people – there’s a reason why epistemology is a thing). It also doesn’t explain why the same people making this case argue for things like quotas and positive discrimination (which is simply regular discrimination against those missing out). These approaches contradict the socialisation argument.

    [1] http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GenderGap.html
    [2] The ONS: http://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/annualsurveyofhoursandearnings/2015provisionalresults#gender-pay-differences An excerpt: “It should be noted that the figures do not show differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs”. And another: “In fact, in the 22 to 29 age group, women are paid on average slightly more than men.”
    [3] https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/28/president-barack-obamas-state-union-address Excerpt: “But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong. And in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work. [They get it already]”
    [4] http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/07/what-78-cents-wage-gap-means/ Excerpt: “It’s been over 50 years since women were guaranteed an end to wage discrimination. Yet, since then, we’ve come less than halfway to closing the gap.”

  330. Carnation says

    Since this is the open thread, and keeping in mind the civil liberties discussion that Ally’s latest article generated, I’m genuinely curious about commenters POV on this.

    Is the 35 year sentence in the Rotherham case excessive? Can such a lengthy term of imprisonment be justified for an offence that isn’t murder, or even for murder?

  331. StillGjenganger says

    @Adiabat 360

    Yes, very good.

    It is not quite a no-brainer, though. Women do make different choices, among other reasons because they are the ones who get pregnant and who are more likely to do the infant child care thing. You can legitimately argue that they should be to some extent protected from the consequences: 1) Because as a man I am quite happy with that division of labour, and so cannot come afterwards and punish women for having done the child-rearing. 2) Because while it might be positive discrimation to force employers to give equal treatment to a group of people who are likely to absent themselves on paid maternity leave, you cannot have a situation where half the population cannot get a good job because everybody wants to avoid paying for the maternity leave.

    Another point that you cannot quite dismiss is that ‘male’ jobs and ‘female’ jobs can come with somewhat different rates of pay, for reasons that are not always obvious.

    What you definitely canot do, of course, is to ignore all the reasons why and claim that women have an inherent right to earn the same as men, regardless of what choices they happen to make.

  332. Marduk says

    #361

    I don’t believe so. Firstly it was a large number of offences over a long period of time and secondly, Arshid Hussain was presented as the organiser and the orchestration of crime over a long period removes any mitigations or doubts. Sexual assault alone could carry a life sentence, in this case there were many assaults and many other distinct crimes going on (esp. concerning involving minors in prostitution).

    A concern for civil liberties and the rights of both the accused and actual offenders is not the same as being soft on crime. This rigour is actually what safeguards and facilitates being tough on crime both morally and practically, and if nothing else, means a jury might actually convict someone. Typically if there is any hint of mucking about with evidential or process standards, jurys have a habit of refusing to convict even fairly clearly guilty people.

  333. Lucythoughts says

    #360 Adiabat: “[2] ONS… And another: “In fact, in the 22 to 29 age group, women are paid on average slightly more than men.”

    I’d like to clarify this because it is slightly misleading, the ONS figures show that women ages 22-29 working full time are earning slightly more than men working full time (0.8% more in fact, pretty close to parity). Women working part time are earning more than men working part time by a larger margin (2.8%). BUT when you add everyone together, men are earning more per hour than women (4.2%) because more women are working part time in lower paid work and earning less per hour as a consequence. It’s slightly counter-intuitive but two negative columns actually add up to a positive column.

    I’ve looked at this data before and I think what it adds up to is this: childless men and women are earning broadly the same; men working part time are mostly doing crappy jobs whereas for women there is more of a spread; a large number of women with young children are working part time and many of them are doing poorly paid jobs.

    #362 Gjenganger
    I agree. It is just a bit silly and childish to say that women earn less than men because of generic, unspecified discrimination but that doesn’t mean that the differences in earnings aren’t real or aren’t a problem. There are a lot of reasons which are not simple to unpick but I think one aspect of it is this: women’s lives tend to follow a different pattern to men’s and a free market economy takes advantage of that by paying less for work that is available on a part time or flexible hours basis. Women often enter lower paid work when they have children to get the short hours that fit in with their other commitments. Once their children are older they have to stay in the same kind of work because after a few years it’s what they can get with the experience they have. The employer can get away with paying a low hourly rate because women with young children will take it, because it’s better than nothing. This means that even experienced staff working full time in the same jobs have poor pay because wage competition keeps pay low.

    I suspect this is at least partly responsible for the phenomenon of “female” jobs paying less than “male” jobs for what might be thought similar skill levels and certain other trends in pay. I don’t think that this is the whole picture though, there are probably other social and historical factors at play but that is mostly speculation.

  334. Marduk says

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/29/chuggers-charity-fundraisers

    No, not the stupidity of the article which is adequately dealt with BTL.

    I read this shit and I wonder how the hell it happens.
    So I had a look and found this…

    http://abiwilkinson.tumblr.com/archive

    What I see is an ambitious young woman who is clearly pitching clickbait like a machine.

    A clickbait professional in fact:
    http://usvsth3m.com/post/author/abi-wilkinson

    This isn’t her fault, ‘bait sells and we know they pay virtually nothing at this point so you’ve got to hustle.
    What makes it sad is that it is also very clear that she aspires to loftier things.

    But that portfolio really doesn’t look like the kind of thing on which sustainable careers are built.
    At least when the Mail encourages a Samantha Brick to become a national hate figure they pay properly for it.

    If the Graun wasn’t itself exploiting young women like this, they’d be the first to call it out. I very much doubt Polly was made to live like this. If there can’t be proper careers for young journalists, there should at least be some sort of code of conduct. The exploitation that concerns me is less about the sweat-shop rates as the reputational damage these women are sustaining by being encouraged to act like this. I’d like to see commissioning editors recognising that they have some sort of duty of care, and ideally, that they should be mentoring young talent rather than egging it on like this.

    And the evidence is, it really is just young women who get treated like this. Owen Jones clearly got tapped on the shoulder pretty quickly for example. I don’t know why this is, I suspect possibly its not sexism as much that far, far more left-wing young women coming from a blogging/tumblring/livejournalling background which they then try to parlay into a career journalism and the left-wing press is basically broke at this point.

    If nothing else, nobody can write to a sustained level and do it well when they are writing that much “opinion” in a month. You just can’t, nobody is an expert on everything to the degree required to write strong national journalism at that kind of rate.

    I’ve said all this before I know but it keeps happening and seems to be getting worse. Its not OK and nobody will say it for the obvious reason that the only places that would care in other circumstances are at least complicit if not actually the worst operators. Yes, I’m aware that Laurie Penny survived this route in but I also doubt that it would work twice, especially for people from less well connected and wealthy backgrounds.

  335. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts 364
    Your explanation souns very reasonable. We do have to ask, though: Is this a problem – which implies that it can and should be solved? Or is it just the way things are – so we need to accept it and perhaps mitigate it a bit?
    Maternity leave is one thing, because someone has to make the babies, and because any discrimination hits young women as a class whatever their actions. But what you describe can be summed up as 1) the law of supply and demand, 2) the fact that most employers prefer full-time and non-flexible workers (sounds legitimate to me), and 3) that once you take a few years break or move to a different (and lower paid) job your lack of experience will count against you. As long as women tend to choose staying with the children more than men do the rest more or less follows. You cannot reasonably claim the right to equal lifetime pay and promotion if you choose to take large chunks out of your main career to do something else. It would be a bit like claiming equal right to win the marathon if you choose to train half as much as the other runners.

    So, first of all I think we should give this the right name: It is not a problem of make versus female, it is a problem of part-time versus full-time, and of staying home to look after babies. Which is in principle gender neutral. Next we should admit that while we can, and in my opinion should, give some degree of positive discrimination (career-re-entry fellowships, maternity leave, facilities for career breaks, …) we simply cannot (and should not) avoid the basic fact that people who choose to give rather less of theri time and determination to their career will not get as many rewards. The rest is a question of child care: well-supported child care can make it easier to choose full-time work. Making jobs more flexible can help, but only up to a point, and only for some jobs. Removing social obstacles to males becoming the main child carers might have some impact (though I doubt it would get you far). But ultimately we have to respect people’s choices of how they want to organise threir lives – and people have to accept the consequences of their actions.

  336. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    I’m in the perhaps unusual position of being concerned about a [prison term imposed upon somebody I consider to be the scum of the earth.

    The severity of the offences committed is extreme high tariff. But I think sentencing people to multiple decades imprisonment diminishes society as a whole, ditto for the death penalty.

    In summary, I have concerns about ending up like some states in America.

  337. Marduk says

    Its the extended, sustained nature of organised offending that clinches it for me. This wasn’t an egregious misunderstanding, it wasn’t someone who made a bad decision, this wasn’t someone out of control on drugs, it wasn’t even someone who had a bad couple of years when he fell prey to his demons. This was callous, entirely deliberate and the result of much effort and planning.

    He probably won’t serve 35 years anyway but I’d say its deserved. Note his brothers got lesser sentences.

    I do agree with you that overly harsh sentencing is more dangerous for society than almost it is for the person on the end of it, but in this case it genuinely seems fair to me.

  338. Lucythoughts says

    #Gjenganger
    There are a number of points here, so I’ll try to take them one at a time although I might not get through them all at once.

    To answer your question, yes I think it’s a problem because it causes problems like high levels of in-work poverty and poverty in old age amongst women. It also leads to an under-utilisation of women’s skills which must impact negatively on society. Solving the problem is not so easy however but IMO the reasons to look at the gender pay gap should be to examine which aspects of it cause significant personal and social costs and trying to tackle those, not simply to try to make the numbers come out even.

    One point I was making which slightly got lost is that the circumstances with lead some women to accept low paid part-time work which fits in with their child care responsibilities doesn’t just affect them, it has an overall depressing affect on wages in those sectors. So if you are a woman or a man working in a sector which has a lot of female staff and a lot of part-time posts, you will be paid less even if you never have children and never work part-time in your life. That may be a result of a free market on wages but it hardly seems fair.

    Also, lifetime earnings are affected. If it was, as Adiabat suggested, that an 18 month career break puts you 18 months further behind in your career then I think we would all say, fair enough, but that is very far from the case. Women’s earnings and career trajectory stalls when they have children and never recovers (this is more true in some areas than others but is broadly true). Children aren’t young forever and women have many years of useful working life after they are old enough to need less constant attention. Those years shouldn’t be being squandered in low paid non-progressing work when they have the potential and desire to do more; it is a loss to the women themselves and a loss to society. Adult education used to go some small way to giving women a route back in but the funding has been cut and cut again and there isn’t much else out there.

    Next, why is it that certain sectors, such as clerical/admin, the care sector and service industry manage to function perfectly well with a large proportion of part-time staff but it is impossible for other sectors to do so? Is it necessity or habit? It isn’t quite as obvious as it might seem that part-time is worth less (per hour) to the company than full-time. For example, in the professions there are a lot of people, mostly women, working part-time and yet they have a pretty small gender pay gap and a relatively small difference between full and part-time earnings.
    (If you want to see some data on this there is some here
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/295833/Analysis_of_the_Gender_Pay_Gap.pdf
    you can skip down to pgs 11-12 and look at Figs 4 and 5 and table 4)

    There are two other points I think should be considered here, one is how much do we value childrearing as socially valuable work? After all, you are producing a high quality product from which society as a whole will benefit. One way to shrink the pay gap would certainly be to shove all children into some form of institutional care for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year from infancy until they’re old enough to look after themselves but most parents, male and female, don’t want that for their kids. I suspect that they are right and that is not the way to produce the best adults.

    The second point is that society should exist for the benefit of its citizens and there is a legitimate case for saying that if work and parenting are not compatible, we should take steps to make them more compatible, because most people do both in their lives. And yes, that might mean forcing employers to make flexible working more available in the sectors which have so far resisted it so that both men and women have the option of earning a decent living and spending time with their children. They might not like it much but I reckon they’d get used to it.

    The last thing I’d like to add is that I am staggered at the statements that both you and Adiabat have made to the effect that childrearing has nothing to do with gender. I mean, seriously? It isn’t a coincidence that women do most of the childcare, it’s because of their gender and is directly linked to their biological sex, as the baby-producers. I can’t think of any area where the differences between men and women are more clear or cause more divergence in our lifestyles and habits and modes of thought. So how can anyone (and I realise this was Adiabat not you) say that childbearing and childrearing should be simply discounted from the analysis when it comes to looking at outcomes for men and women when it comes to employment and poverty? Society is made up of both men and women and it should be structured in such a way as it works for both men and women and even in such a way as it works for children too.

  339. StillGjenganger says

    @LucyThoughts 370
    I did not (intentionally) say that childcare does not have anything to do with gender. You presumably meant “So, first of all I think we should give this the right name: It is not a problem of make versus female, it is a problem of part-time versus full-time, and of staying home to look after babies. Which is in principle gender neutral.” The point is that if we ask ‘should women earn less than men’ we can only say ‘of course not’ or try to argue that it is the wrong question. Which it is.If we ask ‘should people who prefer to work shorter hours earn the same as people who accept to work longer hours’ or ‘should wages be set independently of supply and demand’, we would find, equally obviously, that the wage inequalities are justified. Where it starts to make sense is if we ask ‘how should the (necessary and important) function of looking after children impact on your position in the labour market’. Here there are things to do and discuss. Undeniably this will be mostly about women. But the relevant statistic is not comparing women to men, but comparing people who take breaks for childcare (whatever their gender) with people who do not.

    I need to think about the rest, but I wanted a quick answer on that one.

  340. Adiabat says

    StillGjenganger (362): I don’t have a problem with paid maternity leave personally, though I prefer it when it is shared parental leave able to be claimed by either parent, or a mix of the two, as it is in the UK. This maximises the choice available to the parents.

    I’d say the main impact isn’t from paid leave but from the time away from work though, particularly during prime career-forming years. This impacts anyone taking extended periods of time away from work and isn’t a gender gap as much as a parental gap, because it’s not the gender that is the factor here. It could even be categorised as a wider ‘taking long periods away from work gap’.

    Another point that you cannot quite dismiss is that ‘male’ jobs and ‘female’ jobs can come with somewhat different rates of pay, for reasons that are not always obvious.

    This topic was discussed in a recent thread here and the claim couldn’t be substantiated, at least by any of the information I looked at. Nurses, midwives, teachers are all paid above average for their level of training and receive various other perks that would normally lower wages.

    Lucythoughts (370):

    It also leads to an under-utilisation of women’s skills which must impact negatively on society.

    Women don’t owe society their labour. If they choose not to work as much as men then that is their choice. The consequences, such as having less money for old age, are also on them as adults capable of making decisions for themselves. If they were somehow being forced to make certain decisions the various issues you bring up would be more valid as problems, in my view.

    Also why is the problem, in your view, the earnings gap when it could just as easily be seen as a ‘work-life balance gap’? Why are you considering the choices leading to the predominantly male outcome to be the ideal, and the female one to be substandard? Is that not a “Patriarchal” way of looking at the situation?

    Adiabat suggested, that an 18 month career break puts you 18 months further behind in your career

    No, I said someone taking an 18 month career break will not progress as fast as someone who doesn’t. Careers tend to have compound interest.

    So how can anyone (and I realise this was Adiabat not you) say that childbearing and childrearing should be simply discounted from the analysis when it comes to looking at outcomes for men and women when it comes to employment and poverty?

    I never said that.

    I said that the effect on earnings isn’t caused directly by gender, and so questioned pushing it as a ‘gender gap’. The ‘parental pay gap’ is caused, in part, by not working for extended periods of time and impacts anyone of either gender who takes that break.

    Now, a meta-discussion can be had regarding the cause-of-the-cause of the ‘parental pay gap’. That is: why women are making different choices to men, which may touch on gender differences (We could also have a discussion on the cause-of-the-cause-of-the-cause, which may include the reason for those gender differences). I often find these discussions to be full of cherrypicking, speculation and bias though (e.g are women ‘socialised’ to focus on childcare over work, or do they have a socially acceptable way out of the daily grind that men don’t have, or do they have a ‘connection’ to the child that the father doesn’t, and so on? Who knows? And it doesn’t help that the academic discipline nominally tasked with looking at this stuff is of such a low standard it causes more issues than it solves).

  341. Lucythoughts says

    #Gjenganger; Adiabat

    I believe that various different analyses of the gender pay gap have always found that the major effects are caused by family related factors, quite a bit by type of work / career choice, some other bits and bobs and a bit left over which could never be accounted for. That said, I am not overly interested in the gender pay gap as such, I am interested in picking it apart and seeing what can be done to improve things for parents and children and create better opportunities for people in low paid work to get out of it. If there are also issues of gender discrimination in some areas of work, then that fairly obviously should be tackled too.

    #Adiabat
    “Another point that you cannot quite dismiss is that ‘male’ jobs and ‘female’ jobs can come with somewhat different rates of pay, for reasons that are not always obvious.

    This topic was discussed in a recent thread here and the claim couldn’t be substantiated, at least by any of the information I looked at. Nurses, midwives, teachers are all paid above average for their level of training and receive various other perks that would normally lower wages.”

    I believe I was involved in this discussion and had to pull out part way through because Christmas arrived. I apologise. There is some data here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/annualsurveyofhoursandearnings/2015provisionalresults#earnings-by-occupation
    If you click on section 9. Earnings by Occupation (Fig 18) it gives broad categories of occupation which you can cross-reference with the report I linked in my last post, Fig 5 on gender by occupation. Or you can take my word for it that the occupations where women predominate are: administrative and secretarial occupations; care and leisure and other services occupation; sales and customer service occupations. Men massively predominate in process, plant and machine operatives and skilled trades. In elementary occupations there are similar numbers of men and women. These are broadly the non-graduate occupations, although there will be graduates in clerical, and the female dominated ones do come out quite a bit worse paid than the male dominated ones. There are a lot of women in the professions as well and the differences in earnings are much smaller there. I have some more detailed raw data on earnings by occupation/gender but I’m afraid it’s in an excel file and although I just had a look I can’t seem to find it on ONS anymore.

    I realise you made various other points and asked other questions but I’ll have to look at those another time.

  342. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts
    Your mails and links deserve a very thorough reading, and I may not have time for that for a bit. So another temporary answer.

    I actually think we agree about most things (and I plan to take your analysis on board – be prepared to hear your words echoed). The general need to organise child care in society, especially, and to try to compensate for the career setbacks that child caring brings (up to a point, at least). I suspect that we get more antagonistic because when I hear someone claim that women as a class are disadvantaged in the job market it echoes various ad-hoc argument to advance women regardless. A bit like the anti-porn argument that could be summarised as ‘we must ban disrespectful pornography in the UK because women are being raped in the Congo’ – huh? And likely you hear in what I say the echo of people who deny the (quite real) disadvantages that go with childcare and accrue mostly to women.

    Where we might still disagree is in the weighting of group benefits versus individual rights and choices. Good jobs are not in infinite supply, so much of this discussion is not about everybody getting better conditions, but about more women getting some good jobs instead of the men who have them now. So one consequence of giving preference to childcare experience will be that some individual men might see themselves rejected in favour of women who have less experience and less capacity for the job (in the short term at least) – but who have done childcare. And here I would put some emphasis also on individual choices and their consequences, and on individual qualifications.

    But, again, we mostly agree. Hopefully I will get time to give a properly thought-out answer later.

  343. Carnation says

    Regarding the gender pay gap…

    My understanding of the various takes on it are:

    The ONS show that men earn more compared to women. Feminists hold that this is the result of structural discrimination in workplaces across the UK.

    Anti-feminists say that this is a myth and that in comparative jobs, women earn the same as men, and there is no structural discrimination.

    Feminists would contradict this by saying that in an equal society, there should be no difference in tax receipts between women and men.

    As ever, for me, the class debate is far more important than the gender one. Feminists are just far, far better organised, resourceful and pro-active than virtually any other campaign group in the UK and get results.

  344. Lucythoughts says

    #372 Adiabat
    “Women don’t owe society their labour….”

    No they don’t, but the pay gap pertains to people who are working, not people who are economically inactive, so they are already giving their labour to society. If they are taking work which is below their potential because they can’t get work which is more appropriate and which fits in with their childcare responsibilities, then it is society’s loss as well as their own. It makes sense therefore to consider mechanisms, not for keeping women or men in the workforce against their will, but for allowing them to maintain their position at work without having to work 9-5 Mon-Fri. Not progressing as rapidly as colleagues who work full time certainly, but not slipping back or stalling permanently either. Also, re-training and career re-entry opportunities would help to ameliorate lifetime effects as I discussed in a previous post. This isn’t an easy problem to solve but it shouldn’t been seen as granting women a special favour either.

    “If they choose not to work as much as men then that is their choice. The consequences, such as having less money for old age, are also on them as adults capable of making decisions for themselves.”

    Well yes, everything is a choice but in my experience people tend to emphasis choice when confronted with problems they don’t want to address. Choices are contingent on circumstances. If you are a professional woman on a permanent contract with a good salary you might well be able to negotiate to do your job part-time pro-rata and live perfectly comfortably on the income, or leave work and be supported by your partner, or stay on full time and pay for really good childcare. That is what I would call a nice set of choices. However, if you are on a temporary contract in a low paying sector your choices are likely to be very limited; you may need to work for the money but be forced to take a cut in pay and responsibility because you have no leverage with your employer. Choices are not equal. Where they are heavily constrained, a choice between two evils, it is a bit smug to talk about adults having to accept the consequences of their choices, especially when they are choices you are never likely to face.

    “Why are you considering the choices leading to the predominantly male outcome to be the ideal, and the female one to be substandard? Is that not a “Patriarchal” way of looking at the situation?”

    I never actually said or even implied that men’s outcomes were optimal, you must be mistaking me for somebody else. It seems fairly obvious however that poverty is always sub-optimal. If there is one aspect of this whole debate that is “patriarchal” it is the unquestioned assumption that a linear career trajectory, such as men tend to have, must be inherently more valuable than a staggered one, such as women tend to have, to such as extent as to justify the permanent flat-lining of women’s earnings after childbearing.

    “I said that the effect on earnings isn’t caused directly by gender, and so questioned pushing it as a ‘gender gap’. The ‘parental pay gap’ is caused, in part, by not working for extended periods of time and impacts anyone of either gender who takes that break.”

    I understand your position but I think it is a lot stickier than that in practice. Personally I think there is a compelling social case for making work and family life more compatible for men and women. However, the factors that produce the gender pay gap (grit your teeth and bare it for now 🙂 ) are complex and interacting. There is every reason to think that childbearing and career choice for example are directly and indirectly linked, that pay and gendered types of work are also linked, that employer expectations about what they can expect from women or mothers are a factor and that there are areas of direct discrimination. Also, there are always employers trying to break the rules, for example replacing someone while they are on maternity leave and then only offering them more junior roles when they come back. Some take it to court but many swallow it, especially if they can’t afford the legal fees. The problem is that you can’t cleanly separate the childcare / motherhood effects from the other interacting effects. People will assume women will have children, often including the women themselves, even if they ultimately don’t. People will assume that women with children will prioritise childcare even if they don’t. People will assume that fathers will prioritise work over parenting, even if they don’t. As I’ve already said, I don’t think eliminating the gender pay gap is a sensible goal because some of it certainly is the result of legitimate choices freely made by both men and women but you can’t actually eliminate the gender angle from the debate. I advocate a more nuanced approach and, as I said before, I think we should more broadly question the social context in which the penalty for bringing up children is lifelong poverty for a lot of people.

  345. Lucythoughts says

    #Gjenganger

    Yes, I always suspected that we agreed more than we disagreed. Either way it is always nice to discuss things with you and even when we disagree I certainly never think of you as an antagonist 🙂

    I am as uncomfortable as anyone with the idea that less experienced or qualified candidates should be offered jobs in preference to better qualified ones. I think though that the choice doesn’t have to be between bad positive discrimination policies and leaving things as they are. More creative solutions can be sought to these tricky problems and the very polarised nature of the debate around gender issues can only inhibit that process to everybody’s detriment.

  346. Marduk says

    Ghostbusters trailer out.

    Features crude racial stereotyping that was out of fashion by the time the original came out (the original Eddie Murphy/Zedmore was written as the competent intellectual amongst three deluded incompetents, when there were problems making it happening the role was reduced but is still better than this). The three white women are geniuses, the black woman talks about not understanding science, ‘the streets’ and hits someone.

    Tumblr having a stroke. Early-doors many, having been pre-assured of its credentials as SJW cinema made real (and Feig did stoke this) are finding that their privilege detection skills aren’t so hot after all. Its interesting that so many really have to be told by someone else what is ok and what isn’t, left to their own devices they have in reality all the media analysis skills of a fratboy. All kinds of backtracking, wriggling and accusations of intersectional insensitivity ongoing.

    Its cruel to laugh but I knew this wasn’t going to go smoothly. Feig is an idiot, didn’t he get any advice on this? Ivan Reitman knew this kind of thing was offensive and played out in 1986.

    Monitoring Spike Lee for incoming nuclear denouncement.

  347. Adiabat says

    Sorry for the delay in making a reply. I don’t get much free time and your posts were very long.

    Lucythoughts (373): RE: ‘male’ jobs and ‘female’ jobs

    Yes, different occupations pay different amounts. Yes, women tend to make career choices that means going into these areas. What you haven’t shown though; the entire crux of that issue, is that they pay less because they are ‘female’ jobs’. (And any argument that it is because they are ‘female’ jobs also has to account for all the ‘female’ jobs that aren’t affected, such as Nursing, Midwifery and Teaching.)

    And again, there is nothing forcing women into careers that pay less; there is nothing forcing women to study gender studies instead of engineering (then complain about all the women not doing engineering), and there is nothing forcing women to apply for safe, clean city centre jobs in administration over dirty, riskier, jobs as a machine operator on some god-forsaken industrial estate in the middle of nowhere.

    Without this structural discrimination forcing certain decisions I fail to see the problem except that women have different priorities and aren’t making the decisions that you want them to make.

    Lucythoughts (377):

    No they don’t, but the pay gap pertains to people who are working, not people who are economically inactive, so they are already giving their labour to society

    Who mentioned people who are economically inactive? Not me. The provision of labour isn’t a binary condition.

    Your claim was that the parental pay gap was an under-utilisation of women’s skills which impacts negatively on society. I said if women choose not to maximally utilise their skill in service of society that is their choice, irrespective of how bad that is for society. Do you disagree with this?

    As for the rest of the paragraph: sure, help parents (parents, not just women) get back into work if they take a long break. We agree on this. The limit is when we start discriminating against the people who haven’t taken long breaks. This is all gender neutral.

    Well yes, everything is a choice but in my experience people tend to emphasis choice when confronted with problems they don’t want to address

    And in my experience people who don’t want to accept that there is a choice will immediately go worst case scenarios, where the decision is harder, and try to present that as typical.

    However, if you are on a temporary contract in a low paying sector your choices are likely to be very limited; you may need to work for the money but be forced to take a cut in pay and responsibility because you have no leverage with your employer.

    Then don’t have children until you are in a better position? Or find a partner who is willing to look after the children? The problem you present here isn’t that it’s “a choice between two evils” but that the choice they really want to make has downsides. It’s also a choice that would affect either gender in the same situation.

    I never actually said or even implied that men’s outcomes were optimal, you must be mistaking me for somebody else.

    When you look at different non-discriminatory outcomes between men and women, such as that given by the earnings gap, and decide that the outcome for women is a problem because it’s not the same as for the men, then you are clearly ‘privileging’ the male outcome.

    If you don’t believe that the predominantly “male” outcome is preferable then your arguments about women being disadvantaged fall down. If neither outcome is preferable then on what basis is the outcome for one group a problem? It’s like accepting that all colour M&M’s taste the same then complaining that you’re being disadvantaged because your bag doesn’t have as many orange ones as someone else’s.

    It seems fairly obvious however that poverty is always sub-optimal.

    And people dying early from stress-induced heart conditions is also sub-optimal. Or having to have hip operations earlier than average because of how much manual labour they’ve done in their lives. You’re being very selective in your “nuanced gender analysis”.

    If there is one aspect of this whole debate that is “patriarchal” it is the unquestioned assumption that a linear career trajectory, such as men tend to have, must be inherently more valuable than a staggered one, such as women tend to have, to such as extent as to justify the permanent flat-lining of women’s earnings after childbearing.

    There is no “flat-lining of women’s earnings after childbearing”, there is an impact on pay for anyone who has taken extended time away from work. You present the parental pay gap as something that only affects women. It’s not gendered.

    As for what’s “patriarchal” that’s a major problem with the whole theory: it includes whatever the activist wants it to include. There’s no applicable standard that anyone can use which ensures the same result. ‘No repeatability’ in other words. Inasmuch as there are “rules” however, I would say assuming the male as the norm is ‘patriarchal’.

    (And that “unquestioned assumption” was never unquestioned by me. Linear career trajectories mean, among other things, more time working and gaining experience. I don’t think the fact that the answer is obvious necessarily means that it has been overlooked.)

    the factors that produce the gender pay gap (grit your teeth and bare it for now)

    Do you mean the earnings gap? Women aren’t being paid less for the same work, they simply aren’t earning as much due to choices they make. Or do you mean the parental pay gap, which affects anyone of either gender making the same choices? I don’t think asking people to use accurate terminology is being unreasonable.

    I’m reluctant to address the gish-gallop in your final paragraph bit by bit, as it will be too time intensive, and make this post even longer than it already is. If there’s any one point you feel strongly about please can you single it out and I’ll address it.

    In general though your points are either that women make different decisions, and are affected by those decisions (in the same way a man would be if he made the same decisions), or your points are about some bad employers treating women badly, while glossing over the fact that they also would treat men badly who were in the same position and wanted the same things. The third category are claims like:

    People will assume women will have children

    Yet we don’t actually see a gap until after they’ve had children (we even see a gap in the other direction). So what exactly is the effect this assumption is having? Time to put this myth, wrt it affecting careers, to bed I think.

    &

    People will assume that women with children will prioritise childcare even if they don’t

    Then they won’t see a parental pay gap…

    So your last paragraph contains either issues that aren’t gender issues; they are issues surrounding being a parent, particularly ones who take a lot of time away from work, or are a gender issues (about people ‘thinking stuff’) but aren’t applicable to the question at hand and, if true, don’t seem to have any measurable affect anyway.

    The place where you might actually get a gender angle is the reason why women in general make different career choices to men, and so are overrepresented in the group that is affected by the parental gap, but that is a different question to the cause of the earnings or parental pay gap. The problem you seem to have is not that a pay gap is created by people making different choices, but that people are making different choices.

  348. Adiabat says

    Marduk (379): I saw the Ghostbusters trailer a couple of days ago. I think the biggest issue with it was just that it wasn’t funny: “The power of pain compels you!”. C’mon.

  349. Marduk says

    #380

    The troubling empirical fly in the soup is that ‘mens work’ and ‘womens work’ appears to be a western construct based on wealth and privilege. You don’t find these distinctions in poorer countries where, if anything, you find more women than men in STEM.

    This is anecdote obviously but I was thinking earlier that I know very few couples where the male partner earns more than the female partner, and in fact, very few couples with children where the dad isn’t the primary carer. Women have “fulfilling careers” that seem to involve going to lots of meetings, men just have jobs if they are fortunate. Is this a post-industrial northern thing? Is London washing out the true picture in the rest of the country?

    Growing up I could see the ubiquitous ‘Jerry and Margo’ model but I see it less and less in real life.

  350. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    Interestingly, I have worked in two female dominated sectors – once (social work), the managers were exclusively male, the social workers mostly women (and the men were mostly openly gay). The second sphere (eight years later) was a quango, I was the male “boss” in that with seven women acting as local managers. At least four of them were the top earner, that I knew of, in their marriage/relationship, and I only know for sure that one wasn’t. I remember thinking that perhaps there’s something to it.

    Just an anecdote, but interesting I think.

  351. Marduk says

    Ello ello. London has a higher paygap than the regions.
    http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/mstewart/regional_gpgs_v3.pdf

    This is interesting because in other countries, there are lower paygaps in the metropolitan centers apparently.
    http://statusofwomendata.org/app/uploads/2015/02/EE-CHAPTER-FINAL.pdf
    http://ftp.iza.org/dp4231.pdf

    I think the difference is that Germany and US this is agricultural/rural vs. the city, whereas in our case its deindustrialised vs. the city.

    This may also explain why some people felt “The End of Men” was recognisable and others didn’t. The people she spoke to were in deindustrialised areas, that was a clear bias in her approach.

  352. WineEM says

    @379 Ah but will there be a black, female marshmallow-woman? That is surely the key, essential question, here.
    ———————————————————————————

    Oh dear, today a Plaid Cymru MP, supposedly from a ‘left-wing party’, set in motion a private members Bill which intends, amongst other things, to make the collection or downloading of several photographs of the same person (without good reason, mind) an offense.

    https://www.partyof.wales/news/2016/03/09/bill-to-tackle-surge-in-online-abuse-and-cyber-crime-launched-in-parliament-by-plaid-mp/

    Bloody hell, do they not realise there is presently an epidemic of violence, overcrowding and suicide in our prison system? Does it not occur to them that passing frivolous motions like this may make such a situation worse? Does it really make society any better to invent such ‘thought crimes’, to crush the infatuated and the lonely to smithereens?

    I suspect that our media will be completely asleep (yet again) at the wheel over this, and just nod it through. Legislation as spin, and legislation as virtue signalling, appear to be the order of the day.

  353. WineEM says

    Oh yes, sorry, should also add that the bill will make it an offence to post anything which is
    ‘discriminatory, threatening’ or ’causes distress.’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-35753317

    It’s pretty clear what that concept of ‘discriminatory’ is intended for here, since Saville Roberts has been banging on about ‘online misogyny’ in recent days especially. Extreme forms of discrimination are already illegal, but of course what they want really is to outlaw opinions which might threaten politically correct sensibilities.

    You would hope such vacuous nonsense wouldn’t get very far, but we’re told it already has ‘cross party backing’, plus the support of big figures, such as Lammy and Edward Garnier.
    Really grim times. Who, anywhere, is going to speak out against it?

  354. Marduk says

    The things they are using to argue for this are already crimes under the Malicious Communications Act and have been since the telephone was invented. I agree with you, looks like an authoritarian move. The people who drafted the legislation have lots of pictures on their websites, women always the victims, men always the perpetrators. Its not exactly subtle but representative of a rather dangerous body of belief that is getting more prominent – they see online as a sub-form of DV (as per the redacted UN report).

    Its also incorrect, for cybercrime against people (as opposed to hacking for fraud or commercial espionage) specifically the rates lean slightly towards women being more often perpetrators, particularly of more serious crimes.

    Nobody will speak out because they have no idea what they are doing or talking about.

  355. Lucythoughts says

    #380 Adiabat

    Well, you appear to have misrepresented quite a lot of what I said here but I will stick to a few main points.

    1) The occupational pay data I linked shows that the three main occupations that are female dominated, in fact where most women are employed, are also three out of four of the lowest paid sectors. You say that is irrelevant unless it can be proved to be “because they are “female” jobs”. I honestly have no idea what kind of smoking gun you are looking for here. I can’t even see how such proof could exist; the low pay in female sectors wasn’t planned and orchestrated leaving a convenient paper trail. It came about because of the ways gender, work and family life have interacted since before the industrial revolution. I doubt somehow that it is a coincidence however.

    You ask why midwives and nurses are not badly paid (I’m going to ignore teachers because unless you are specifically talking about primary school teachers it isn’t really a female sector, it is split 40/60 so hardly an ideal test case for looking at gender and pay). The answer is that they were; there was concerted pressure about it over decades and the problem was finally rectified when New Labour brought in the “Agenda for Change” pay scales as part of public service reform.

    2) I said “It seems fairly obvious however that poverty is always sub-optimal.” You replied “And people dying early from stress-induced heart conditions is also sub-optimal. Or having to have hip operations earlier than average because of how much manual labour they’ve done in their lives. You’re being very selective in your “nuanced gender analysis”.

    No, not particularly selective as the debate was about earnings and not about occupational health. We could talk about occupational health and gender, but why would we? I assume that you see it as simply a matter of choice and gender related factors as therefore irrelevant.

    3) “There is no “flat-lining of women’s earnings after childbearing”, there is an impact on pay for anyone who has taken extended time away from work. You present the parental pay gap as something that only affects women. It’s not gendered.”

    Women’s earnings peak in their early thirties, a bit later if you’re a graduate, a bit earlier if you are a non-graduate. The same may be true of men who do the majority of childcare at home; I can’t find any data on that but if you have some I would happily look through it. The point I was making about a staggered career trajectory is this: women tend to work for several years, then reduce their hours when they have young dependent children, then increase their hours again. You might reasonably expect to see their earnings following a similar pattern: climbing steeply, levelling off, then beginning to climb again at a slower rate. You don’t see this; there is no second peak. As far as patriarchy goes, I never brought it up, that is your bugbear not mine.

    4) I’m reluctant to address the gish-gallop in your final paragraph bit by bit, as it will be too time intensive, and make this post even longer than it already is. If there’s any one point you feel strongly about please can you single it out and I’ll address it.

    Thank you, I also consider your style to leave something to be desired but I wasn’t going to mention it. I will, however, give you the essence of that paragraph in a simple, easy-to-understand format. Here it is: The earnings gap is not simple and easy-to-understand. It sure as Hell isn’t just “women have babies / men study engineering” as certain anti-feminists like to pretend. Neither is it simply discrimination as certain feminists like to claim. It is the result of complex interacting factors, which is essentially what gender IS. You can say gender is irrelevant; everything is choice. Fine. Stop debating gender issues then.

    And finally… Me: “People will assume that women with children will prioritise childcare even if they don’t”… You: “Then they won’t see a parental pay gap…”

    Apart from…they probably do. I am sure you know that there is a part of the gender earnings gap (your preferred term) which is not adequately explained by any known factors, such as human capital or career choice. The same is true for the “motherhood penalty” which compares women with and without children. Mothers earn significantly less even when all known factors are controlled for. Explanations vary: some say “Mums must not be working as hard even though it looks like they are” others say “people assume Mums won’t work as hard and act accordingly”. So far the evidence seems to be leaning towards the latter explanation.

  356. Marduk says

    Does anyone know why the Daily Mail is hammering Prince William and his wife at the moment? Historically their record on his family (granny excluded) isn’t great, in recent years this has not been the case and it seems very out of character. And its only recently started but has been daily ever since. Just having trouble figuring out what the agenda is supposed to be.

  357. Adiabat says

    Lucythoughts (388): 1) Just look at the categories you linked to in figure 18 though (https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/annualsurveyofhoursandearnings/2015provisionalresults#earnings-by-occupation). You are pointing out that Admin, elementary occupations (categorised as simple and routine tasks), Sales and Caring and Leisure are getting paid less than Directors, Professional Occupations, Technical occupations and Skilled Trades… I don’t know what to say to that… The reasons are obvious! Aren’t they? You don’t need a coincidence to explain it, and I find it strange that you seem to think that ‘a coincidence’ is the “null hypothesis” of your position.

    I’m not after a smoking gun, I’m just wanting a decent case for your position. Right now all you have is that different occupations pay different amounts, of course, and some vague allusion that it’s because they’re considered “women’s work”. You base this solely on the fact that more of the lower paid jobs are predominantly done by women, but ignore sensible, tangible reasons why those different careers pay different amounts. You also ignore, in fact it seems you weren’t even aware of it until I pointed it out in the other thread, that some “women’s work” occupations are very well paid. Needless to say this isn’t very convincing, and I don’t think it’s fair to insinuate that I’m expecting an unreasonable amount of evidence just because I’m not convinced yet.

    You ask why midwives and nurses are not badly paid… The answer is that they were; there was concerted pressure about it over decades and the problem was finally rectified when New Labour brought in the “Agenda for Change” pay scales as part of public service reform.

    Agenda for Change mainly removed regional differences in pay (where nurses would get paid very differently in different regions), but didn’t have much effect on the median percentile wrt average salary. AfC was brought in in 2004, nurses were in the 72 median percentile for public sector hourly pay distribution in 2000 and were 75 in 2010 (Table 3.1 here: http://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/comms/r97.pdf). The biggest improvement in Nurse pay was in the Eighties, mainly due to the higher educational qualifications that were suddenly being demanded. And the pay rose commensurably with the qualifications as you’d expect. I’m not seeing some sort of “women’s work” effect taking place.

    (I’m going to ignore teachers because unless you are specifically talking about primary school teachers it isn’t really a female sector, it is split 40/60 so hardly an ideal test case for looking at gender and pay).

    “Women make up three-quarters of registered teachers”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14748273. But even if you were right, historically this was considered “women’s work” so should be subject to the same effects (the “the ways gender, work and family life have interacted since before the industrial revolution”) that you claim are responsible for the low pay in other areas. You should still account for this in your model.

    2) We have to include occupational health because it’s linked to the issue in exactly the same way as your concern about earnings. We have two different, non-discriminatory, outcomes and you’re favouring one (the higher earnings) by claiming it’s an issue without considering that those higher earnings come with health and work-life balance issues. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t only focus on the negatives of one outcome and claim that your approach is adding nuance to the issue; it’s making our understanding of it worse.

    While we agree on measures that can be taken to help people earn more without being unfair to those who don’t make the same career-limiting choices, you are never going to balance earnings between those who take long career breaks vs those who don’t. And I don’t really think it is fair to so: don’t people who dedicate everything to their career (as sad as I personally think that is) deserve higher earnings than those who don’t?

    3)

    The same may be true of men who do the majority of childcare at home; I can’t find any data on that but if you have some I would happily look through it.

    Don’t you think you should’ve looked into this before deciding that there is a gender gap? Don’t you think all these “academics” in gender studies courses should’ve investigated this before pushing this ideologically charged issue that, if they are wrong, is going to amount to widespread discrimination against men?

    I ask because actually looking to see if there is actually a gender difference seems like a rather obvious thing to check before you decide if it’s a “gender issue”.

    A google scholar search found nothing useful, which is what you’d expect from Gender Studies fields (the people supposedly tasked with looking into this stuff at an academic level), and a regular google search found this: http://www.theguardian.com/money/us-money-blog/2015/jun/21/stay-at-home-dads-fathers-day-work-life-balance which has anecdotal evidence from fathers who say they experiences the same issues trying to re-enter work. One even says that he avoided the problem by having a second child, which is common for mothers as well. And another left engineering as he fell behind on the curve too much to continue doing the work.

    You might reasonably expect to see their earnings following a similar pattern: climbing steeply, levelling off, then beginning to climb again at a slower rate. You don’t see this; there is no second peak.

    Do you mind clarifying your position? There are many people who take extended time off work, come back and after a while end up being paid more per year than they did before the time off. Others don’t for a range of reasons: priorities change, people have other commitments etc. We both seem to agree that there is a justifiable impact on pay for anyone who has taken extended time away from work but I don’t agree that this impact means that such a person can never again earn more than they did before the break.

    4)

    Thank you, I also consider your style to leave something to be desired but I wasn’t going to mention it.

    Feel free to do so. I have a very to-the-point style for these longer-form discussions, which comes across as rude and abrasive even when I don’t mean it to be, so I apologise if that’s the case. It’s mainly to keep post length short. I actually like a lot of your posts on this blog, even when I disagree.

    I also have a thing for aside comments, when they are necessary, the rule of three, and the Oxford comma. 🙂

    You can say gender is irrelevant; everything is choice. Fine. Stop debating gender issues then.

    We’re not debating a gender issue, we’re debating whether it should even be considered a gender issue.

    We agree that things like environment, upbringing, socialisation (eg things which also determine gender) can influence the choices we make and our behaviour, and so can sex, brain chemistry, genetics etc. And of course any difference in outcome by gender is going to have a gender influence on some level but that alone doesn’t make it a “gender issue” unless the opportunity by gender is different. In this case we have equal opportunity, but different outcomes due to choices people make. If you have a problem with the outcomes then your issue isn’t the outcomes per se but that you don’t like the choices people make. If there is one at all the ‘gender issue’ here isn’t the gap, which is neutral, but gender itself. Welcome to Radical Feminism, Lucythoughts. 🙂

    Also, in the absence of discrimination, it’s generally seen as dehumanising to single out one of the above factors that influence our behaviour and push that as the reason why people are not “really” making choices. Going down that path just leads to the ‘free will vs determinism’ debates that have been going on unproductively in philosophy for centuries. Part of holding the ‘”radical” belief that women are people’ is believing that women make their own choices.

    Besides, you only choose to believe that this is a gender issue because of your upbringing and socialisation. You don’t “really” believe it’s a gender issue. Belief in the gender-caused gap is itself a gender issue./sarcasm 🙂

    (But seriously, now I’ve made that joke I actually would like to debate whether ‘belief in the gender gap’ is itself a gender issue if you’re up for it? I think it would be a useful thought experiment to highlight the issues with current standards of ‘gender analysis’ and its application.)

    I am sure you know that there is a part of the gender earnings gap (your preferred term) which is not adequately explained by any known factors, such as human capital or career choice.

    Yes, the “God of the Gaps”. The general view is that, while they won’t rule out discrimination, there’s some factor that they simply haven’t thought of, or is hard to take into account in an analysis. It could even be lots of little things that add up to that 0 – 2%. It would be wrong to try and claim that this remaining gap is evidence of discrimination.

  358. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts, Adiabat

    I am nowhere near as well infomed and on top of things as either of you. But I happened across a relevant article in a serious Scandinavian paper:

    It was claimed, citing a recent study, that while the effect of having children and the gender imbalance in director jobs had their importance, the biggest cause of the wage ‘gender gap’ was differences in educational choice. In brief women tended towards public sector jobs and working with prople, and men tended towards private sector jobs and working with things.And the latter are paid better than the former. Getting into some details:

    For skilled trades the three best paid areas were IT and control technology, production and development, and mechanical trades, and here 45% of the men but 5% of the women go. Health, social care, and teaching is the worst paid skilled area, and here 20% of women but only 1% of men go.

    For medium long studies, 33% of men but only 4% of women are in the ten best paid areas, which include business economics, electronics, and machines, A third of women here work inn teaching, which is the worst paid at this skill level. For graduate jobs 47% of men but only 39% of women have a degree that lead to the ten best paid professions (such as political science, business economy, and mechanical engineering).

    So the question becomes:
    – Should teaching become much more highly paid because it is a mainly female field?
    – Should we put as an overriding goal (gentle nudges are fine, but we do those already) that mechanical engineering and kindergarten teaching must get to a 50%-50% gender balance?
    – Or should we say that people are free to choose and presumably know and accept the lower salaries when they opt for kindergarten teching over political science or IT?

    The same stuudy, btw. said that boys did clearly worse at school and were overrepresented among rough sleepers, suicides etc. It is less clear that this is the result of a free choice.

  359. Marduk says

    Cruel I know but I can’t help being amused that Jezebel’s and Kotaku’s parent company has been fined 120 million dollars over posting revenge porn and refusing to take it down. Oh the hypocrisy. Denton’s lawyer says he is ruined as its 30 million more than the company is worth and the court have yet to impose extra fines as punishment (typically between 1/3rd and 2/3rds of the compensation award so call it 200 million). I guess that will give him more time for his social justice tweeting. Oh my aching sides.

  360. Lucythoughts says

    #Adiabat
    This will probably be my last contribution as I’ve lost interest by now I’m afraid, but I’ll try to address your last post so as to at least clarify where we disagree (most things in fact but still).

    “You are pointing out that Admin, elementary occupations (categorised as simple and routine tasks), Sales and Caring and Leisure are getting paid less than Directors, Professional Occupations, Technical occupations and Skilled Trades… I don’t know what to say to that…”

    No, I did not make those comparisons, because they are silly comparisons. You can re-read my post #373 but I shall repeat. Female dominated sectors: Care, Leisure and Service Occupations; Sales and Customer Services; Administration and Secretarial. Male dominated non-graduate sectors: Plant, Process and Machine Operatives; Skilled Trades.

    Elementary Occupations, which are all the unskilled jobs basically, are split 50:50 male and female. And no, I don’t think it is obvious why people in the care sector or in sales are paid at the same rate (fractionally less) than people in elementary occupations. I don’t think it is obvious why machine operatives are paid more than secretaries. It isn’t about skills or education certainly; the ONS SOC hierarchy roughly ranks its major occupation groupings according to skills, education and training requirements on a scale of 1 – 9, where 1 = Managers, Directors and Senior Officials and 9 = Elementary occupations (http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/HTMLDocs/dev3/ONS_SOC_hierarchy_view.html) “Plant, Process and Machine Operatives are Major Group 8 yet in pay are just below skilled trades (Group 5) and above admin (Group 4); Care, leisure etc is Major Group 6 yet is the lowest paying sector of all. I’ll copy this out to make it easier to compare:

    Major occupational groups:

    1) Managers etc
    2) Professions
    3) Associate professional and technical
    4) Administration and secretarial
    5) Skilled trades
    6) Care, leisure and service
    7) Sales and customer services
    8) Plant, process and machine operatives
    9) Elementary occupations

    When you rank pay it looks like this:

    1) Managers etc.
    2) Professions
    3) Associate prof and tech
    4) Skilled trades
    5) Plants, process, machine etc
    6) Admin etc
    7) Elementary
    8) Sale etc
    9) Care etc

    No surprises in the top three but in the bottom half pay does not tally at all with training, responsibility, skill level etc. There are certainly other reasons but they are not simple or obvious and they do, I suspect, have a lot to do with gender.

    On nurses pay: This is an interesting document, thank for linking it, I might have a better look at it sometime. Yes, it appears that the hype of AfC may have outstripped the effects, although getting rid of the regional differences was a good thing in itself. The rise between the 1980’s figures and current ones is remarkable though, from 48th percentile to the 75th is very substantial indeed. The reasons for the rises were probably more than just changing qualification requirements though, nurses pay had been a perennial issue that was wrangling over for decades.

    “Women make up three-quarters of registered teachers”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14748273. But even if you were right, historically this was considered “women’s work” …”

    Firstly, I think I am right with my figures here, I looked them up at one point and it was approximately 60 / 40 female to male in secondary schools, private schools and FE colleges. The big gender bias was in primary schools. Secondly, no, you are mistaken, historically teaching was never considered a female specialism, let alone “women’s work”. What it was considered was “work suitable for a woman” which is a very different thing. There have always been male and female teachers; in private education this usually took the form of female staff in girls school and male staff in boys schools, plus female governesses and male tutors in private homes. Both men and women taught in state schools and church schools. Teaching was one of the very few professions open to educated, unmarried women but it was never a female profession.

    I’ll try to get to some of the other stuff you wrote tomorrow.

  361. Lucythoughts says

    #Gjenganger
    These data sound about right to me but in Scandinavia, depending which county, there might be one or two salient differences. For example, kindergarten teaching probably doesn’t have a precise analogue in the UK because it is somewhere between school teaching and what we would call childcare work. In Denmark for example where most people use state funded childcare, childcare workers are trained to a higher level and better paid than the ones over here and because the school starting age is later (6 instead of 4 I believe) they are caring for children for longer and so presumably having more educational input. It’s a more pedagogical system of care as well I believe. The other difference (I think) is that a higher proportion of women go back to work immediately following maternity leave and work full time, again linked to the free childcare system, so it may be that the effects of family arrangements may be a more significant contributor here than there.

    “The same study, btw. said that boys did clearly worse at school and were overrepresented among rough sleepers, suicides etc. It is less clear that this is the result of a free choice”

    I’m not particularly informed on this subject but I would guess that when women and girls find themselves sleeping rough there is one fairly obvious mechanism for them to make money and so they are more likely to find themselves in some form of accommodation. Some men and boys will take this route too, but not in the same proportions. I strongly suspect that the closer you get to the sharp end in terms of poverty, poor education and desperate circumstances the more gendered your options become and this is the very extreme end.

  362. Lucythoughts says

    #Adiabat
    Back for a brief second instalment.

    “2) We have to include occupational health because it’s linked to the issue in exactly the same way as your concern about earnings. We have two different, non-discriminatory, outcomes and you’re favouring one (the higher earnings) by claiming it’s an issue without considering that those higher earnings come with health and work-life balance issues. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t only focus on the negatives of one outcome and claim that your approach is adding nuance to the issue; it’s making our understanding of it worse.”

    On the whole I think that although gendered, occupational health issues are separate to the issue of pay. If bad health outcomes were linked to high earnings, then yes, but they aren’t really. The opposite is usually true in fact. The sector with the highest levels of work-related illness is the health and social service (including social care) sector; about half of the effect is caused by mental illness resulting from stress and the other half by skeletal/muscular conditions. They also have a higher than average number of work related injuries and a sizable proportion of those are from being attacked (possibly linked to the stress problems?). So low pay and bad health risks in this sector unfortunately. The highest rates of work-related injury are in agriculture, which comes under the “plant, process etc occupations” heading but has the lowest pay in that occupational group and in fact drags the median down. So again, hard work, low pay, worse risks. I don’t think this is the way it should be, but I see it as a separate problem, and although I think there are issues here which could be addressed, the problem of work related risks can’t be infinitely reduced and we have come on massively in bringing them under control.

  363. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts

    I can understand why you might be losing interest in this discussion (and I regret that I do not have the time and information to produce some more interesting comebacks to your contributions). But, briefly, would it be fair to say that you think that skilled tradesmen and machine operators are overpaid relative to the value of theirr skills and contribution? And that an imporrtant part of dealing with the gender pay disparity would be to reduce their relative pay – for skilled tradesmen to below that of secretaries, and for machine operators to beolow that of care workers?

  364. Lucythoughts says

    #Adiabat
    Last go: the rest of your last post seems to cover closely related ideas so I will attempt to clarify what I believe you are saying and where I disagree before I sign off on this one.

    “ We’re not debating a gender issue, we’re debating whether it should even be considered a gender issue.
    We agree that things like environment, upbringing, socialisation (eg things which also determine gender) can influence the choices we make and our behaviour, and so can sex, brain chemistry, genetics etc. And of course any difference in outcome by gender is going to have a gender influence on some level but that alone doesn’t make it a “gender issue” unless the opportunity by gender is different. In this case we have equal opportunity, but different outcomes due to choices people make.”

    You are saying that if opportunities are not limited by direct discrimination then gender-based outcomes are self-imposed and therefore not really gender issues at all. I disagree with you here, in fact I think your definition would rule out pretty much every gendered issue that exists in our society. For example, can we really say that the high rates of male suicide result from discriminatory differences in opportunity? When women behave like men too often do in this area, by concealing their mental state until they execute a successful suicide, their outcomes are the same as men’s. Equally, I have no reason to believe that men have less opportunity to access mental health services, inadequate as they are, than women do. Yet I think this is a hugely important gender issue which calls for male-gender specific strategies. If you limit you’re definition of “gender issues” to those which are caused by direct discrimination then you rule out of consideration some very serious issues.

    So, specifically on pay, if men behaved like women, by entering female sectors and doing the majority of childcare, they certainly might have the same outcomes as women do*, but I absolutely do not agree that this would make it “not a gender issue”. As far as I am concerned, a gender issue is an issue that disproportionately and negatively affects one gender because of their gender; not one that exclusively affects one gender or affects one gender specifically because of discriminatory practices. Suicide and other issues affect men disproportionately, low wages affect women disproportionately, and the reasons are gendered, that makes them both gender issues in my view.

    * If little or no data exists on this issue (and neither of us have found any) then I have no doubt that the reasons reflects female orientated priorities related to what constitutes a “gender issue”. In fairness though, the number of main-carer fathers has historically been so low than it may be very difficult to conduct longitudinal studies, in which case the research may start to appear as the numbers are now increasing. I definitely think that the outcomes of men who do the majority of childcare should be properly assessed but not because I think it will prove or disprove whether it is a gender issue (I think it is one for the reasons given) but because I think they may face different and possibly worse challenges to women which might need to be targeted separately.

    The other bit is about choice and determinism. Frankly, I think this is a bit absurd. You have implied repeatedly that it is women’s choices that I don’t like and that is simply not true. I don’t want to see women exit the poorly-paid care sector in droves, it desperately needs dedicated staff. I want to see wages and standards of training go up. If the net result was that more men entered the occupation, so much the better. I don’t want to see women stop prioritizing child-rearing either, I believe that in a humane society we should all be prioritizing child-rearing and making sure that parents have the best chance to do that important job without sinking into poverty. I am realistic enough to know that the gender work distribution we have is unlikely to change very much or very quickly and we should deal with the problems as they exist, mostly affecting women, not get into a stupid debate about whether it is dehumanising and deterministic to try to help people out of a hole.

    BUT and there may be room for some agreement on this part at least, I do believe that just because the issues are gendered doesn’t always mean that the solutions have to be, contradictory though that may sound. For example, the biggest factor in reducing the gender gap in the bottom percentiles has been the minimum wage. I strongly believe that employers should be pushed to make available more part-time, flexible, school hours, job share etc to allow for better work/life balance for both men and women. We should create more adult education and re-training programs with bursaries and opportunities to study part-time to help put people back onto a career path. Tackling poverty wages in general would disproportionately help women because they are disproportionately working at those pay levels. I also believe that if the state genuinely wanted to tackle the issues of the pay gap it would start exercising it’s power as a consumer by only giving contracts to companies which fulfilled certain minimum requirements, such as paying the living wage, eliminating unwanted zero hours contracts, providing continuing training and professional development for staff, reporting on how all requests for flexible work arrangements were handled… Although I personally believe that adult social care would be better off in the NHS I think it could be transformed beyond recognition by those sorts of expedients if local Government was given some ring-fenced funding and a wish list to work with. Strategies that will benefit women and shrink the pay gap don’t have to come at the expense of men as you suggested, many should benefit men as well or at least increase the options available to them. More men might choose to work in female sectors if they were better paid and a lot would like to spend more time with their kids.

    At the other end of the pay scale of course there is the row over directorships and quotas and all that… Cards on the table, I don’t give a flying fuck what they do. If it is a problem, it’s somebody else’s problem. Probably my total lack of interest is because in the whole course of my life I have never even met anyone who would be directly affected by those issues and the people who are affected are well placed to look after themselves.

  365. Lucythoughts says

    # Gjenganger
    Ouch. No I don’t think they are over-paid, I think that care workers especially are grossly underpaid. I would like to see the relative positions change, I can’t see any justification for carers earning less than people in elementary occupations for example, but I would be happy if they earned comparable amounts to machine operatives. As far as admin/secretarial versus skilled trades goes, it is very difficult to place a relative value on those things until your secretary goes off sick or you car breaks down or whatever. The skill levels involved are over a big range, from really expert craftsmen or experienced legal secretaries at one end, down to general office staff and the people who can basically skim a wall with plaster and that’s about it at the other end. I would imagine that admin / secretarial staff probably deserve a pay rise though.

  366. StillGjenganger says

    I don’t want to see women exit the poorly-paid care sector in droves, it desperately needs dedicated staff. I want to see wages and standards of training go up. If the net result was that more men entered the occupation, so much the better.

    Again, I realise you will shortly leave this discussion. But what confuses me here is presenting the low wages in the care sector as a problem of women getting less money. It comes across as saying that ‘female jobs’ must be paid more because they are being done by women, and that women have a right to the same salary as men regardless of their career choices. If you put the same point by saying that these jobs are being shamefully underpaid, and that the skill level and importance deserves a higher salary, we could discuss that, and maybe agree. If the solution does not have to be gendered, does the problem definition have to be?

  367. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts 399
    Admitted, I was a bit mean there. But I do not think you can completely avoid looking at who should get less – espcially when you are using relative wages for your main argument. If nothing else becuase the total pot is at least finite. As an example, there was a judgement a while back that certain (mainly female) work categories should have their salaries increased because they were being paid less than (mainly male) garbage collectors without justification. One effect of that judgement will unavoidably be that garbage collectors will be paid less in the future, because their salary setting is now coupled to that of other groups. That may actually be justified – I have no particular opinions on how meucvh garbage collectors deerve to be paid – but it is a consequence you cannot really swqeep under the carpet.

  368. Lucythoughts says

    Gjenganger
    #400
    Not so much “they should be paid more because they are done by women”, rather the inverse, I am fairly convinced that they are currently paid less because they are done by women. To put it as briefly as possible, working class women are inured to low pay. Their mothers, grandmother, aunts, neighbours and friends have all been in low paid work; it is what they expect, it is what women have always had. That norm is changing but is hasn’t gone away. When we talk about career choice and gender it is tempting to present it as a case of intelligent adults making there own informed decisions, and sometimes it is, but the truth is that most of the choices that determine what type of work we end up in are made while we’re kids at school. Kids conform to expectations and take their lead from the people they know. Expecting working class girls to choose to train as plumbers or boys to train as childcare workers is unrealistic. Even if it occurs to them as a possibility and even if they really want to, most would be too scared.

    I can understand that removing gender from the way the problem is stated makes it less divisive but I don’t think it reflects reality very well. The earnings gap doesn’t represent a problem, it is an indicator for a range of problems and as a tool to help identify and highlight those problems it’s quite useful. Statistics are a good servant but a bad master; getting hung up on equalising the numbers is unhelpful but looking at the trends, trying to understand why they are happening and where they are really causing social problems makes sense to me.

    #401
    Yes, it was a good point and needed making. I have no wish to make working class women better off by making working class men poorer, the relative wages data was to illustrate a much contested point about the pattern of low pay in female sectors. I do think that there should be greater equalisation of earnings at the bottom end brought about by pushing wages up in what I believe are underpaid female sectors. That might make men’s wages less in relative terms but wouldn’t bring them down in actual terms. There are plenty of people being over-paid for the value of their contribution, but they aren’t skilled tradesmen or machine operatives; the pot of money might stretch a bit further if it wasn’t so top heavy.

  369. Marduk says

    #402

    I go back to the idea though that cause and effect are being mixed up.

    “I am fairly convinced that they are currently paid less because they are done by women”

    The problem is this isn’t an explanation and while I agree with you about the influence of culture and expectation, neither is that. You aren’t articulating a cause, you are just restating the facts you are seeking to explain.

    I also take issue with some of the stuff above, for example whoever drew up that ‘hierarchy’ is apparently stuck in the 1950s in their view of what different trades are actually about and require. There is a great deal of difference between being a ‘machinist’ in 1950 and being a Numerical Control expert in 2016. That the latter replaced dozens, possibly hundreds, of the former isn’t in dispute, its lazy to think they have the same skills and aptitudes because they ‘do the same thing’. Furthermore, it always was the case that you could get paid more on the factory floor than ‘upstairs’ especially early on but that earnings top-out earlier usually. This was the case when factories, ship-yards etc. were men only zone throughout and was actually much warned-about by careers advisors so it isn’t a new or radical idea or evidence of fresh injustice either.

    As to the putative cause, there are other differences between the groupings of jobs you list other than who does them.
    Primarily: ready availability of part-time work vs. expectation of full-time/shift-work/over-time patterns and, more acutely I believe, corporate vs. self-employed/SME. I think this about risk and I think the ‘pay gap’ is real but represents a transaction. In other words there is a pay gap but less of remuneration gap where what is received is of equal value (i.e., there is more you exchange your labour for than pay alone).

  370. Lucythoughts says

    #403
    Just to clarify, the hierarchy is the ONS Standard Occupational Classification hierarchy, and the “hierarchy” actually refers to how they have coded the classifications, so that occupations are broken down into sequentially finer sub-classifications. I actually think it’s a great tool and has been very carefully put together. Within it CNC is actually classified under “skilled trades and occupations” and sub-classified under “skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades” which is further sub-classified… It really is a great piece of kit, definitely not stuck in the ’50s.

    I’m not quite sure what to do with the rest of what you have said. Like this: “Furthermore, it always was the case that you could get paid more on the factory floor than ‘upstairs’ especially early on but that earnings top-out earlier usually. This was the case when factories, ship-yards etc. were men only zone throughout and was actually much warned-about by careers advisors so it isn’t a new or radical idea or evidence of fresh injustice either.” I am very tired admittedly but I don’t fully understand what you’re trying to say. Factories were never male only zones to the best of my knowledge, they always employed men and women, usually doing different parts of the process, whatever it might be. And if factory operatives earnings top out earlier then wouldn’t that re-bias the median pay levels back in favour of the “upstairs” people again? I really am knackered and probably not being very bright but I don’t get your point here. Also, after careful consideration, I don’t think I have ever attempted to identify fresh injustice anywhere, in fact I feel a bit slandered there.

    The next bit I do understand however, and in a way it brings me full circle because at the beginning of this now incredibly long discussion I was kind of making the point that the availability of part-time and family-friendly hours, and the inverse-premium that comes with, is one of the reasons why women often take badly paid work after having children. This is also one of the reasons that career choice and family responsibilities can’t be completely separated as contributors to the pay gap in my opinion.

    I think I must be a bad communicator because, having written more than I care to remember on this topic by now, I still get the impression everyone believes I am saying something that I am not. I am not saying that the pay gap is the result of terrible discrimination against women. I am not saying that women are paid less because they are women and society doesn’t value them or their contribution. I AM saying you can get away with paying women less for a whole variety of reason. One is the need to get hours that fit with childcare; another is the historical view that a women’s income was a supplement to the family income, not its mainstay, so it didn’t matter so much if it was low; another is, again historical, that the better paid working class jobs that men do often have a long history of unionisation which women’s occupations don’t have (for lots of reasons, again); I am fully aware of the complexity of the reasons why the pay gap exists and I don’t particularly blame society and certainly I don’t blame men for the situation being what it is.

    What I dispute, and have all along, is that the pay gap is not a problem, or not a problem that is to do with gender. As I have said already, I think it is not actually ONE problem, I think it is a problem-identification tool. The problems it makes apparent, in my view, are: 1) that the ability to balance work and child-rearing effectively doesn’t exist across a wide enough range of jobs; 2) that certain skilled sectors are unfairly badly paid which cripples the earning prospects of the workers (and can also compromises the quality and safety of the service they provide); 3) that once child-rearing has taken someone out of the workforce or into low paid work for a period of time, it is very, very difficult for them to ever regain their losses.

    I am going to try to state my position so that it is absolutely clear: I don’t think these problems should be tackled BECAUSE they affect women; I think they should be tackled because they are problems. And, I think the problems exist in the first place because of gender-related factors and cause gendered effects and that is what makes them “gender issues”.

    Am I finally being clear? I hope so.

  371. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts. You are very clear, and I fullly share your analysis, gendered effects and all (that I why I dropped out of this for a bit – I cannot contribute at that level). But I think there is a flaw in your position, as you present it. Consider these examles:

    Is it a problem where black people are disproportionately likely to be shot by the police? Most people would say ‘Yes, of course!’

    Is it a problem that people with high IQ earn a lot more money than people with low IQ, or that JK Rowling earns a lot more money than most writers? Most people would say no, those things come about for good reasons, and it is not something we can or should ‘solve’.

    Now: Is it a problem that women earn less than men? If we say yes we are implying that we can and should ‘solve’ this problem, by getting to a situation where the two sexes earn the same. And so people start arguing that the difference is there (at least in part) for good reasons that we cannot and should not ‘solve’, like individual choices, a trade-off for higher flexibility, supply and demand, etc. Recasting it as a ‘problem-identification tool’ does not really change the equation. As long as you present the pay gap as a problem in itself, you imply that we must achieve a no-pay-gap situation, either by making the preferences and behaviour of the sexes identical, or by making sure that their pay outcomes are the same regardless of their choices.

    One way to avoid the rhetoric would be to drop the ‘identification tool’ once it has done its job, stop talking about pay gaps, and say e.g. that the scandalously low pay for the caring professions is a problem in itself, that happens to hit mostly women. What would be the downside of that? That antidiscrimination is such an effective argument, politically, that you do not want to give it up? Or that you do not quite believe that the pay gap is not a problem in its own right?

  372. Carnation says

    @ Gjganger

    “One way to avoid the rhetoric would be to drop the ‘identification tool’ once it has done its job, stop talking about pay gaps, and say e.g. that the scandalously low pay for the caring professions is a problem in itself, that happens to hit mostly women.”

    That isn’t too far from my position – there are occasions when feminism can and should join forces with left-wing political movements/unions/pressure groups to effect change. Alongside, of course, robust challenges to the Godfrey Blooms of this world and their silly worldviews.

  373. Lucythoughts says

    Gjenganger
    I happen to agree with you in fact. I think that the data is not “bad data”, it is quite capable of being useful and illuminating; I think the rhetoric around it is excessively ideological and harmful on both sides. Honestly, the first time I ever came across the pay gap as a concept, I was extremely sceptical; like many people I thought “well, isn’t that just women taking time to raise families? And if so, why is that a bad thing?” Then I looked at the data in some detail and formed a different opinion of what it signifies.

    As I have said repeatedly, I don’t think it is necessary or desirable to try to eliminate the pay gap, but equally, what I will not accept is the argument that everything is fine here because people are entitled to “choose” their own problems, no matter how serious they might be or how narrow their range of realistic options. That is why I have stuck with this discussion for so long. If the substantive issues that I think are hidden in the pay gap data were on the agenda on their own merits, I would be happy to see the whole debate dropped off a cliff. I’d be happy to see that happen in any case to be honest because I think it does no good in its current form.

  374. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucythoughts
    I think we understand each other and more or less agree. Any further discussoin would have to be on specific proposals – if we ever get that far. It will not be on this thread, though.

    And, BTW, thanks for sharing yoru knowledge.

  375. Adiabat says

    Lucythoughts (394):

    This will probably be my last contribution as I’ve lost interest by now I’m afraid

    So have I tbh, but it always feels rude to not reply when you seem to put so much effort into your posts. Since you’ve said you’ve lost interest though I’m happy to leave it as it is and agree to agree or disagree on the various points. I think we all pretty much agree with Gjenganger in #405.

    I will say though that in post #407 you said: “what I will not accept is the argument that everything is fine here because people are entitled to “choose” their own problems” and I think this is a misinterpretation you’ve had of my position from the beginning. Just because I don’t think something is a ‘gender’ issue doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s an issue at all, or that “everything is fine”.

  376. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    “This is excellent and entirely correct. But what do you do about it?”

    I wonder what Mike Buchanan’s answer would be? Most of the “poor, white kids” talked about would be male.

    But anyway, back to the real world. State subsidised heavy industry, in the old mining communities and ship-building cities Basic Keynesian economics. It would cost a lot to start, then far less as the state stopped treating and jailing the people that failed economic policies penalised.

  377. StillGjenganger says

    @Marduk 410
    Glad you brought that one up – I had seen that too. It sounds true and important, but I think there are other factors he does not mention, that makes it harder to go back to where we were. In random order, for discussion:

    – Other countries did not have Thatcher, but have had many of the same developments. The shipyards and mines did not disappear because of Thatcherian vandalism, but because of new working practices, technology, and competition from other countries.

    – Things have moved from where education and culture was something that workers had been denied a chance to get and (some of them) wanted, to something that ‘people like us do not do’.

    – It may make a difference that if the smartest and most motivated get a degree, they, or their children, are no longer part of the working class community they started with. You do not become less Asian because you go to university.

    – You notice that in some countries Labour has gone from having working class leaders (who often got up through the trade unions) through having leaders with degrees who grew up in working class homes, to having leaders with degrees, progressive ideas, and an Islington background.

    What do you say?

  378. says

    That Guardian article does not say anything about what the definition of “nude or partially nude” is. I highly recommend taking the effort to dig up the actual study and examine it’s measures and definitions before using it to make a point.

    The report linked from the Guardian article wasn’t the primary source though. It again cited another study. So let’s look at that study: http://www.annenberg.usc.edu/pages/~/media/MDSCI/Inequality%20in%20700%20Popular%20Films%2081415.ashx

    The measure had three levels: Full nudity, partial nudity and no nudity. However the tables and most of the text in the study collapsed this into two categories: “No nudity” and “some or full nudity”.

    I can’t help but wonder if this interesting fact (which is only found in a footnote) about the full nudity findings had anything to do with that decision:

    A total of 46 instances of full nudity were observed across the sample of films, with 63% (n=29) of those depictions involving male characters and 37% (n=17) involving female characters.

    Which if I remember correctly was the gist of 123454321 assertion: Fully nude men are more often depicted in media than fully nude women.

  379. Marduk says

    411

    Nah, it goes a lot deeper than that, this is cultural capital we’re talking about in so many words. Its the form of capital nobody talks about and the people who value it the most pretend it doesn’t exist most strongly (i.e., the sharp-elbowed middle class).

    Its very different to be George Osborne folding a towel on a zero hours contract than it is for someone from a council estate folding a towel.

    I feel this lack of cultural capital is what both left and right completely overlook. The right don’t understand why people can’t sort themselves out so concludes they have only themselves to blame, the left gamely pretend that large numbers of people in this country don’t have crazily disordered lives and sink lower and lower.

    The right says if you give more money to people in welfare, it will stop them aspiring. This is clearly nonsense.
    The left says if you give more money to people in welfare, it will help them build more orderly lives. This is clearly nonsense.

    Its the same thing absent in all those accounts and so we go round in circles.

  380. Marduk says

    411. cont.

    PS. Keynesian economics in the (true and accurate sense) sense you mean it is illegal under EU law so its a non-starter.

    Well, its illegal for the UK anyway where it would have to be direct as we have privatized industries. Where there are state business you can push as much money into them to offer subsidies and that is fine (e.g., Germany subsidises heavy industry through cheap electricity and logistic and so on, we can’t do that because our electricity production is owned by French public sector pension funds who have no obvious interest in spending profits on allowing British industry to compete with French industry… I reckon a good chunk of Tory euroskepticism is wishing they could do undo some of Thatcher’s bad strategic decisions without admitting to them).

  381. Carnation says

    @ Tamen, #414

    Well, whatever, the actual point is that it’s a truly stupid thing to care about, given what actually happens in the world.

    But 123454321 gets extremely wound up about nudity.

  382. Marduk says

    412.

    I think what was different here is not Thatcher but Thatcherism.

    The (real underlying) critique of capitalism is not about unfairness or anything else, its about the consequences of one factor of production redefining the others. In feudalism, you have labour (serfs) and you have capital (taxes, tithes) if you owned the land. The elite were structured into a pyramid scheme of people who owned other people through owning estates, duchies, and ultimately nations. In capitalism, and Thatcherism is an extreme form of this particular view, land and labour are defined only in terms of how they can be bought. To complete the set, in socialism, land and capital are owned and defined by labour.

    Its actually coming to believe this financial capital view of the world is (a) true and (b) desirable that is the real curse of Thatcherism. Other countries have addressed economic imperatives without actually buying the t-shirt. They are doing a lot better.

    We’re suffering over what is basically a meme when it comes down to it. As defined above, there is no particular reason to think its really how the world should work, its just a perspective like several others and what I’m implying here is that actually, the underlying reality doesn’t require you to strongly pick any specific option because its all fictional.

    The Labour Party itself, what do I know, but I think Ed Milliband had it right actually. Before he was got to and became part of the machine, at the original leadership hustings he gave quite a good speech about how Labour had turned from politics to the idea of being technocrats without any particular beliefs at all. That was certainly how I felt about them, its not so much about social class as buying into the idea of being “managers” rather than leaders or workers.

  383. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    Well, yes, which is why party politics is essentially a giant con. Sure, the Conservatives care less about the many than Labour generally do, but neither party can claim anything like a radical agenda.*

    This is why we need the EU so badly – it prevents the worst excesses of the business and political class.

    * Although Corbyn has shaken up all of that

  384. says

    Carnation:

    Just a little tip. If you think something is stupid to care about then I’ suggest that you don’t care about it rather than posting a link to a newspaper article about a study on the subject. Doing so makes your assertion that it’s stupid to care about it sound a bit hollow. Even more so when the study (despite “burying” that fact way down in footnote 12) turned out to support your designated opponents assertion rather than dispove it as the newspaper article suggested.

    PS! I won’t tell Mount Saint Mary University, The Media, Diversity, & Social Change (MDSC) Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and various newspapers like The Guardian that you think they care about a stupid thing 🙂

  385. Marduk says

    The Guardian’s crackdown on free speech continues.

    “Liberal voice” my arse, the Chinese government would get cold feet at what the Guardian’s SJW commissars are proposing.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/11/women-online-abuse-threat-racist

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/apr/08/the-guardian-wants-to-engage-with-readers-but-how-we-do-it-needs-to-evolve

    Mistakes made in the above:
    (1) Deliberate conflation between specific interpersonal stuff (i.e., persons know to the victim), internet trolling (persons not known to the victim) and free speech (i.e., mere disagreement or negative reaction) on the internet.
    (2) As we saw with the UN report, a bit of ideological en passant based on equating things that happen online with (false and falsified) theories of domestic violence. The UN report in now redacted form doubled down and of course claimed that online disagreement was AT LEAST equal than physical violence.
    (3) As per SJW rules, if someone, like for example several Guardian journalists in good standing, says that they want to murder [unprotected group] or else calls for the mass harassment of an ideological criminal, a complaint made about this will be equated to “tone policing” and consequently be regarded as a “microaggression” against [protected group]. Thus it should be clear that claims to the contrary, behaviour is not actually what anyone is concerned about, rather it is politics.
    (4) Conceptual drift around concepts of “abuse”, “bullying” and PTSD that makes them worthless labels at this point (I’ll dig something out on this, its very interesting).
    (5) Representation of this as a gendered issue (see above points on the Guardian’s social construction of the issue) when we know that this is not the case: http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/10/22/online-harassment/

    This is when these people are genuinely dangerous. They don’t understand what they are talking about, make no efforts to understand what they are talking about and certainly have no idea of the repercussions of what they are arguing governments and service providers should enforce either in terms of what it would mean for private individuals living in dictatorships and police states, what it would mean for disadvantaged people who aren’t white middle class women, and what action would be taken by the people they should really have a problem with to circumvent all the above.

    For people who bleat about intersectionality they are very cavalier about the torrent of torture and murder they’d be unleashing across the globe based on the extensive record keeping and political interference in speech they complacently call for.

  386. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    ““Liberal voice” my arse, the Chinese government would get cold feet at what the Guardian’s SJW commissars are proposing.”

    The Guardian is a business, and trolls drive customers away – they’re scumbags, you see, and they abuse the platform that they’ve been given.

    It’s very interesting that someone who frequently uses the term “SJW” sees actual threats to free speech coming from “them.”

    Break it right down, what on earth are you talking about? A rape threat is a rape threat is a rape threat. The person receiving it doesn’t know if it’s a stereotypical bedroom confined social reject, or a damaged person about to actualise long held fantasies of violence.

    The conflation is in your paranoid head. You’re a cliche.

  387. Marduk says

    Don’t you think its a bit ironic that I’ve repeatedly asked you to stop with the personal insults and still you carry on now?
    You tell us what it would take, you’re the practitioner of this sort of behaviour. Tell me what I should do after asking repeatedly and very politely for you to desist?

    Anyhow, I’m talking about their “Web we want” campaign.
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/series/the-web-we-want

    In previous iterations the Guardian has advocated a range of incredibly dangerous measures including pervasive permanent record keeping and the use of persistent identity servers (i.e., everything you do on the web is tied to a full record of your identity permanently, no anonymous posting/downloading/uploading etc.). In the UK they’d merely chill dissent and police speech. In less salubrious climes it would mean internet companies handing people over to be put in camps. As Apple pointed out in this FBI decryption case recently, if we do it for you, we can’t say no to China, Burma, Laos etc. Its fine to say don’t disagree with Black Lives Matter or else, but in China criticism of Mao falls into the same deeply offensive category.

    There exist more than adequate laws to deal with people who harass and make threats. They should be used more. There is certainly a problem with policing (mostly resource and expertise based) but there is no problem with the law and regulation. But the issues are all being mashed together. We know this because of what they are publishing under the same heading.

    If you read the UN report you’d understand what this is going to turn into because it already has once, this is not paranoia.

    I don’t give a shit about “Opinion” (they’ve admitted “comment is free” is not a Guardian value at this point) I do find their Pulitzer a bit of a joke given their values are opposed to the journalistic basis of the story it led to and I wish they’d stop advocating things they don’t understand.

  388. StillGjenganger says

    @Marduk 423

    I share your worries on points 1-5 (and I would pay attention to your opinion even if I did not worry about these things already), but the specific links you give here do not seem to be particularly smoking guns.

    I can tell you what I try to do about insults:
    – Ignore them. If there are interesting things in the post to discuss, reply to those. If not, do not reply.
    – Never discuss who is or is not an idiot (etc.). Do not accuse and do not defend. That keeps the argument short.
    As they say, ‘Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty – and the pig enjoys it.’ So do the other pigs, who watch. Hopefully the people you actually want to talk to will pay more attention to you than to the other guy.

    @Carnation. I am not trying to have a dig at you – these are the things I apply in general. OK, there are things in your posts I would ignore if they were directed at me, but since they are generally not, I have no call to even ignore them.

  389. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    “Don’t you think its a bit ironic that I’ve repeatedly asked you to stop with the personal insults and still you carry on now?
    You tell us what it would take, you’re the practitioner of this sort of behaviour. Tell me what I should do after asking repeatedly and very politely for you to desist?”

    I’m guessing you either don’t understand what is meant by irony, or by personal insults. In almost all cases, I play the ball rather than the person. You used the language of a paranoid reactionary (SJW commissar) so it is fitting to describe you in that manner. I haven’t seen you condemn those who use personal insults against me.

    Don’t you think the leap from a business trying to protect itself from the odious presence of abuse to “internet companies handing people over to be put in camps” is a bit, I dunno, paranoid?

    Oh, by the way, your hero, @Nero, says that people should just “man up” instead of complaining about abuse and threats online. Should you do the same about your concerns?

  390. Marduk says

    425

    Once again, there is nothing paranoid about this because it has already happened.

    http://www.polygon.com/2015/9/25/9399169/united-nations-women-cyber-violence-anita-sarkeesian-zoe-quinn

    Unusually it was (eventually) recognised that something had gone badly wrong and a serious committee had been captured by activists writing gibberish about boys turning into “killer zombies” and making ridiculous tumblresque arguments (CyberVAWG anyone?).

    https://medium.com/@KingFrostFive/citation-games-by-the-united-nations-cyberviolence-e8bb1336c8d1#.8anga8eud
    http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/09/uns-cyberharassment-report-is-really-bad.html
    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/10/un-agency-backtracks-expresses-regret-over-cyberviolence-report/

    I’ll leave you to guess however which well-known British media outlet, out of step with most media in the liberal west, had nothing but utterly effusive praise for the original “censor and spy” report.

    There is unfortunately a general direction of traffic to this shit.

    Cameron is using “think about the children” arguments around pornography to force identity servers on the nation (something the Chinese don’t think they can make happen but want for themselves, this is not hyperbole) and of course Theresa May wants to be able to leaf through everything you’ve ever done at a computer and lies about what it is she is going to capture by repeatedly claiming she doesn’t understand it (the spooks who wrote the internet act certainly do).

    Its not OK and there are massive risks to people around the world from this. We’re going to end with an internet that is only useful for reading approved quality newspapers and ordering shit we don’t need on Amazon.

  391. Marduk says

    Actually forget reading newspapers and ordering stuff on Amazon, I don’t want Theresa to be able to spy on my political interests and what books I read.

    I give up, I have no idea what you could possibly use it for.

  392. Marduk says

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/series/the-web-we-want

    Well now there are a few more pieces notice how everything from serious offences to Jessica Valenti’s feelings about being told she is a lazy writer producing poor quality inflammatory churnalism out of keeping with the history and traditions of the paper she writes for. Thus “abuse” starts to mean anything you want it to mean, including mere disagreement or dissent from a political view.

    “We need better laws and we need better enforcement. Government needs to stop allowing internet providers from hiding behind arguments about the protection of free speech,” she said.

    In other words, the government needs to make it clear there is no free speech online.

    The unexamined assumption behind all this:
    Who gets to say what the web we want is? It seems to me corporate and institutional interests seem to think its up to them, I disagree, there is no rule or requirement for it to become a corporate safe-space hugbox primairly for commerce, marketing and the promotion of media professionals (I made the same argument wrt Twitter specifically above). The internet was actually developed for second-strike nuclear reprisal against the Soviet Union facilitated by redundant path-routing communications array. This architecture, when carrying other communications is simply not designed for the restrictions of freedom unless you want to make a walled garden AOL style or carry out shocking intrusive monitoring of individuals. The analogy here is the Acts of Enclosure, the corporations seem to think they get to build a wall round the whole thing and charge us for the pleasure. Given it was all our land to begin with this is not OK and more anarchic or simply open uses of the internet are no less legitimate than the Boots homepage or Amazon.com. If you want a different internet, build one, lay your own cables and form your own Tier 1 organizations to handle the traffic. The one we’ve got wasn’t made for you however much you to try to appropriate something that isn’t yours, the architecture itself as much anyone’s actions is always going to defeat you but not without a lot of harm being done.

    The Guardian needs to be honest about this, they are a business who have gone “all in” on digital. They are not neutral players in this space however much they pretend otherwise.

  393. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    “In other words, the government needs to make it clear there is no free speech online.”

    There isn’t free speech anywhere, in the way that you describe it. As a concept, it doesn’t exist in the UK.

    Your puerile fixation on Jessica Valenti’s “feelings” is telling. The internet has given voice and platform to almost everyone in the developed world, sadly, quite a large number of those people are repugnant and have realised that they can get a rise out of people by misusing this tool. And a percentage of them use it for quasi-legal or illegal abuse and/or stalking.

    So what do *you* propose should be done about the proliferation of abusive trolls, threats, doxxing and so on that takes place online?

    Should they just “man-up” like Milo says? As a fan of his, I’m guessing this is your ultimately doomed strategy.

  394. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 429

    Here is my take:

    As a principle, you should ban only things that have direct and demonstrable ill effects – the usual libel, divulgation of confidential information, contempt of court, threats, … There is no right to prevent others from saying things that make us uncomfortable; there may be a right to not be forced to listen to them.

    – Police the actions, not the opinions. Threats, doxxing, and lies with intent to intimidate you can try to ban – doxxing could count as an implicit threat. For the rest, you should have to prove persecutory intent before you could prosecute people for what they say to each other. It should be legal to say e.g. that blacks are less intelligent than whites, that the holocaust never happened, or that trans people are cis people with a mental problem – as long as you put it reasonably politely.

    – Beyond that, let people say what they want, including gross insults, as long as it is in some kind of specialised forum. You should not be forced to look at messages that tell how other people want to dismember you, or to have all your friends exposed to them. But what happens on the subreddit stays on the subreddit; after all nobody has to go there if they do not want to. The government would have a role in policing a select set of highly public media. Just like it should be possible to live a normal life without being forced to look at hard-core pronography, it should be possible to to read mainstream media without being exposed to toxic attacks. And we do need a public space for debate that people can share without being drowned in filth.

    – Beyond that, let the forum owner decide what his forum should contain. I find the things you read on most of FreeThoughtBlogs (or in Charlie-Hebdo) profoundly offensive, but as long as I can read something else instead that is not their problem.

  395. Carnation says

    @ StillG

    Not much I disagree with there, alls I’m sayin’ is calm down on the Soviet imagery, at the end of the day, it’s a liberal business trying to clamp-down on vile internet scum being vile internet scum.

    And speaking of vile internet scum… I’m somewhat shocked at the benign take on the vile internet scum of “The Red Pill” sub-Reddit that’s featured in today’s Guardian.

  396. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 431

    Unfortunately I think this is a little too optimistic. Much like if someone said that McCarthyism was just ‘private democratic businesses (i.e. Hollywood) trying to clamp down on treasonous scum being treasonous scum,’. Without getting into exactly who is part of exactly what, it seems undeniable that there is a campaign to block certain opinions from the internet, and that many progressives have a very hard time distinguishing threatening retoric, from vigorous disagreement, from simply stating opinions they do not like.

  397. Marduk says

    Carnation.

    Dealing with the easy stuff:
    1. Jeopardy!: “What is the Human Rights Act of 1998 implementing Section 10 of the ECHR?”

    2. I don’t agree that even a large minority of people in the western world with internet access are “repugnant”. I believe most people are basically good. Perhaps that is the big difference between us.

    3. As you ask me, it depends.
    (a). In cases of harassment, threats and abuse worthy of the name, the police should prosecute the people involved. The main problems here are expertise and resources; the police also leave a lot of people who have been harassed, assaulted, threatened etc. in the “analogue world” as well. What we need is an end to austerity. Another suggestion for increasing expertise might to copy what the Royal Signals Reserves have done to create a cybersecurity group that the police could mimic through their Special Constables programme (essentially create volunteer “indoor police” who are sworn offices who have technical expertise and are excused other duties etc).

    (b). Some prob