TALES OF THE RED PILL – Feminist Allies of MRAs

Something you notice almost immediately in a space like Reddit MensRights is the number of women, often self-identified feminists, sometimes ex-feminists, who come by curious about a subreddit they have heard denounced as misogynistic, and have a look for themselves – or who are just interested in men’s issue and think that’s a good place check out.

Then they start posting comments and they sound like MRAs. They say they’d heard what a cesspit of misogyny the place was, find it’s not that at all, get suspicious about other things they heard and doctrines they’ve been fed, and start re-assessing everything. When you hear people say “feminism is the solution to men’s problems” this is what it really means, if it really means anything. There are solid branding reasons a feminist might not want to call herself an MRA, but as long as they are talking and thinking like MRAs about men’s issues, they are working for gender equality.

A while back Commenter Jupp made the following observation:

About feminists who advocate for chivalry -
The problem might be that gender roles are learned and impregnated at a very early age, while world views like feminism are usually encountered significantly later (like college). So before a woman studies feminism, she was daddies little girl, she was being expected to act like a lady and to be treated like one, she has learned the power of a girls tears. To change her understanding of gender roles she would have to reprogram herself, but this is no easy task, especially as we all tend not to see our flaws as flaws.

Then Commenter Jupp quoted me:

Jupp, that comment sums up a feminist’s journey from privileged woman to actual principled feminist.

and asked:

“But why should they make this journey? This particular kind of chivalry constitutes a privilege for women and why should a person want to lose a privilege they have? ”

Reddit Mensrights has lots of self-identifying feminists who come on asking for some introduction into the MRM and most are surprised, or else they come on saying they want to be allies. It’s these feminists I’m thinking of.

Possible reasons:

1) They actually believe and want to see feminism’s stated goals of gender equality realized. Principled people really do exist.

2) They don’t see the privilege you refer to as desirable.

3) They have men in their lives and they care about them – sons, brothers, even husbands sometimes. They have a wake up moment and they get angry. Half the time the reason they got involved in feminism in the first place was empathy. When that empathy gets turned on their men, they start to ask uncomfortable questions, and that very often leads them to examine and reject the privilege you (Jupp) are referring to.

These are what come to mind immediately. There are probably others. If you can think of any more, please share them, to advance the conversation.

I asked, and I received:

4) Logic and reason (Commenter dungone)

5) Said feminist might be a trans woman and, unlike some trans feminists, not dependent on the approval of nominally feminist cis women… in which case she can be honest about the fact that she knows what it’s like to face all of the misogyny without any of the cisfeminine carveouts, without the solidarity or the damseling, and also isn’t marinated in confirmation bias, because she’s seen both sets of gendered insults, and how easily they change based on how one is explicitly read. (Commenter Valerie Keefe)

123 thoughts on “TALES OF THE RED PILL – Feminist Allies of MRAs

  1. When one disables the unidirectionalism inherent in many feminist definitions (privilege, rape culture, patriarchy/kirarchy and so on) then feminism itself does not really come off too well when it’s own theory is applied to it. Jupp’s comment about feminist’s reluctance to give up privilege is one example, Feminists track record on male victims of rape and on female perpetrators contributes to rape culture to the extent that a feminist who in an article about rape culture wrote that “only men can stop rape”. Minimizing victims of rape is rape culture according to feminists, but apparently not when the victims minimized are male and the perpetrator female. Not believing a rape victim is rape culture with the exception being if the victim is male. The exception is perfectly exemplified by Marcotte who thinks it is much more likely that a male victim faked it and is abusing the partner by being upset about sex without his consent.

    And then Marcotte have the audacity to say that what men needs to address and solve their issues is feminism.

    Man: There is this problem that men’s consent is implied and not really respected by women. Who can address it?
    Jill: Feminism can. Men of course can say no, but if you say no to certain sex acts then I will vilify you and call you a misogynist.
    Feminist X: Oh, and this is so not like calling a woman who won’t perform a blowjob/facial for a misandrist because of power differential.
    Man: I see.

    Man: A woman had sex with her sleeping partner because she thought the movement he made in his sleep was an invitation to sex. The man feel violated and weird and won’t touch her and now the woman feel bad and is at loss as to what to do.
    Amanda: Feminism can. The man weren’t abused, he should stop being butthurt and don’t make the woman who he claim didn’t get his consent feel bad, that’s abusive.
    Feminist A: The man is an idiot for making her feel bad, if he really felt violated he should dump her.
    Feminist B: The sleeping man gave a signal that she understood to be consent and hence she isn’t a rapist for fucking him while he was asleep.
    Feminist B elsewhere on the net: There is no way there could be any mixed signals leading to a man thinking that it’s ok to penetrate a sleeping woman.
    Man: I see.

    Man: I was raped by a woman. Who can address this?
    Soraya Chemaly: Feminism can. Although individual stories without context about male victims of female perpetrators eliminated the qualitative difference between male-on-female rape and female-on-male rape. Raising the specter of women raping boys implies a false equivalence. Only men can stop rape. I am so not saying that boys’ and men’s experiences of assault and rape are in any way less relevant or horrific. It’s just that what I say means that female rapist of men don’t exist (are specters), but if they actually do the female rapists is not in any way responsible for what she does as only a man could’ve prevented her from raping. The rape experiences of boys and men are not specifically denied, ignored and hidden by feminism despite me writing as a feminist doing exactly that. This all makes sense to me.
    Man: I see.

    Man: Even though I clearly said intercourse is off the table my partner took my penis and put it in her vagina without my consent. Who can address that?
    Schwyzer: Feminism can, although I wouldn’t call that rape. Because.
    Man: I see.

    Man: A woman (nanny) in her thirties have sexual relations with her employers 11 year old son. Who can address that?
    Schwyzer: Feminism can. As the son of the employer he was privileged and hence he was a predator. The woman was disprivileged and although she shouldn’t have had sexual relations with the boy he was at least as culpable as her.
    Man: Oh, what about the 11 year old girl who initiated sexual relations with her parents employee (piano teacher)? Who can address that?
    Schwyzer: Feminism can. The onus is solely on adult men to set and maintain good boundaries.
    Man: I see.

    Man: I was raped and it took me a while to realize what happened to me and recognize it for what it was. Who can address that?
    McEwan: Feminism can. You didn’t recognize that as rape because you thought “Eeeew, that would make me a woman” whenever you started to consider that you in fact had been raped. Get rid of the femmephobia and all will become clear.
    Man: I see.

    Feminist A: I am for enthusiastic consent. If you don’t get enthusiastic consent you are a rapist. I’ll even write in an “Yes means Yes” anthology about enthusiastic consent.
    Man: A woman didn’t take no for a no and nagged her partner into sex. The man felt violated. Who can address that?
    Feminist B: Feminism can. Although I probably would call it rape if a man had nagged a woman into sex I won’t call this rape.
    Feminist C: Wait, that isn’t rape as that would make me a rapist (and my partner as well).
    Feminist A (later): In principle I am for enthusiastic consent, but…
    Man: I see.

    Man: NISVS 2010 Report showed that in 2010 both 1.1% of women and 1.1% of men reported having unconsensual sex (aka rape even though CDC decides to label it “being made to penetrate” for men). 79.2% of the men who were “made to penetrate someone else” sometimes in their lifetime reported a single female perpetrator. Who can address this?
    Feminist blogosphere (the adherents to tl;dr): Feminism can. What are you talking about? 1 in 5 women have been raped while 1 in 72 men have been raped.
    Feminist blogosphere (those who read beyond the summary): Feminism can. What are you talking about? 1 in 5 women have been raped while 1 in 20 men have been raped.
    Man: But what about the “last 12 months” prevalency numbers?
    Feminist blogosphere:
    ………………………………………..-=Ø…………………………….
    (crappy drawing of a tumbleweed blowing silently across the plain)
    Man: I see.

    For all the talk about how feminism is the solutions to men’s issues (the ones feminists are willing to acknowledge at least) I note that it seems like male victims of rape and sexual violence (in particular those with female perpetrators) are more likely to “come out” in MRA and other non-feminist areas than on the feminists blogs I follow.

    I know why, but feminists apparently doesn’t.

    I think feminism would be much more succesful at achieving what they claim to be by actually applying their own theories to themselves and change the aspects of feminism and feminists that fails rather than the current tactic of vilifying MRAs.

  2. It’s easy to go for the “if they hate me, I must be right” theory–it’s very comforting when you’re being attacked on all sides.

    But mockery alone isn’t proof that your cause is just. Remember, there ARE some real misogynists and bitter, angry people in the MRM, and they inevitably get the most publicity… just as the SCUMers and Radfem Hub-ians get the most publicity on the feminist side.

    Reasonable discussion of legitimate issues is the only way to educate the populace at large that there’s more to the MRM than just entitled whining and throwing ‘privilege’ accusations back and forth. That’s why I suggest abandoning all talk of privilege. It’s a meaningless term. Instead, we should talk about fairness, justice, and equality.

  3. Yes, I agree there are some real misogynists in the MRM (like the extremists in feminism). And Tamen’s post made me laugh very much.

  4. I think optics is everything. The fact is the optics presently say men are more aggressive and violent, true or not that is the the way it is typically viewed. So, when individuals in the MRM present themselves in a way that reaffirms that optic then obviously its message will fall on deaf ears. Tough pill to swallow but if the MRM is going to be successful with the “on the fence” feminist its probably going to have to try and alter that perception.

  5. The whole thing about which side has extremists, especially from people who have no idea how to quantify their numbers and their impact, is a complete non-sequitur. It doesn’t matter. It misses the broader point that the MRM has about the feminist movment: it’s wrong. Honestly, it’s just plain wrong. You can believe that invisible love bunnies are hopping around in your pants, but it doesn’t make your belief any more acceptable just because you’re not an “extremist” about it. At the very best the rest of us can only try to tolerate it and roll our eyes, but in the end we know that as soon as a mentally disturbed individual hears about your love bunnies and start scratching themselves raw trying to get them off, your stupid belief doesn’t do anybody any good. Turning to feminism for gender equity is like turning to psychic readers for mental health issues. If being completely ignorant actually helps make the world a better place then it’s by blind luck and nothing more.

  6. I dont think turning to feminism for gender equity is the issue. The issue(from my view) is how do you turn people towards a egalitarian perspective if the optics skew it in a negative way. The invisible love bunnies are already hopping but maybe not in the right direction.

  7. And how do you extract the supporters of equality from the toxic ranks of feminism, where many of them currently (and mistakenly) dwell?

  8. @Copy

    Good question! I never said I had the answer to that one. :)

  9. Exposure. It is simply the only cure.

    When someone has a phobia, the currently accepted treatment (AFAIK) is to expose them to their fear, in rapidly graduating increments, and not to let up. When they figure out that they haven’t died (or in this case, been raped or misogyny’d or whatever) by being exposed to the thing they fear, the fear goes away. The rational can sometimes defeat the irrational.

    The one difference, I suppose, is that typically, people with phobias are much more dysfunctional than your typical feminist, and additionally, those with phobias tend to recognize the irrationality behind their fears.

    I can tell you this: as a human, it can be easy to forget how different the arguments that others find persuasive are from those that you yourself might find persuasive. My wife uses more emotional arguments than I do, and, as it turns out, she uses them because she is persuaded by them.

    Point being, if you are familiar with the person that you are trying to supply with a red pill, think about the style of arguments they tend to use, because it is likely that those are the style of arguments they find the most persuasive.

  10. And let us remember that it is not impossible for any one person to have a bad life. Feminism offers women an explanation as to why they might have suffered their slings and arrows. It can be especially attractive because it absolves the individual in question of all blame (if any exists).

    So it is not so much that women who call themselves feminists are wrong, by definition. It is not wrong to seek an explanation for bad things that happen to you that is more comforting than, nothing in the universe gives a shit about you.* It is simply that they have chosen an intellectually lazy excuse factory to absolve them of their responsibility/role. I think we have highlighted that effect here dozens of times.

    The other issue is that, as usual, the most effective lies are those that are mixed with truth. There are aspects of the gender binary that are damaging to women, especially if they want to break out of that binary. (Of course, everyone here has seen that men are punished more strongly when they step out than women are). So that these half, or even semidemihemi-truths provide camouflage to the siren song of “you don’t have to change because you are righteous, and the world is evil”.

    * I find this the most comforting of all explanations. And I find the evidence for it overwhelming.

  11. “When you hear people say “feminism is the solution to men’s problems” this is what it really means, if it really means anything. There are solid branding reasons a feminist might not want to call herself an MRA, but as long as they are talking and thinking like MRAs about men’s issues, they are working for gender equality.”

    Feminism (the ideology) is absolutely not the solution to men’s problems. Concepts such as patriarchy and rape culture, as well as views that only men commit dv and only women are victims preclude feminism from from solving anything related to men. On the other hand, a feminist (individual woman or man) can hold male-friendly views, work towards actual equality, and support men by picking and choosing which feminist values are important and disgarding those that are harmful. Feminist ideology is part of the problem, not the solution. But individual feminists can become part of the solution.

  12. One other reason I can think of: Said feminist might be a trans woman and, unlike some trans feminists, not dependent on the approval of nominally feminist cis women… in which case she can be honest about the fact that she knows what it’s like to face all of the misogyny without any of the cisfeminine carveouts, without the solidarity or the damseling, and also isn’t marinated in confirmation bias, because she’s seen both sets of gendered insults, and how easily they change based on how one is explicitly read.

    It doesn’t hurt that while mainstream feminism went from avidly transmisogynistic to nominally anti-cissexist, they never really bothered to stop worshipping their transmisogynistic forerunners, or generally apologize or recognize all the fucked up shit they’ve done to trans women, or for that fact to acknowledge that trans women are far more numerous than the prevalence of social transition indicates… also, their expressions of misandry do seem, from someone who spent a long-time closeted, to be directed at the type of male-presenting people who are disproportionately likely to be closeted women.

  13. “Feminist ideology is part of the problem, not the solution. But individual feminists can become part of the solution.”

    Pefect summation, TDOM – one proviso – there are people who call themselves feminists who think feminism is about gender equality and not any of that other stuff, and who would say that *their* feminism is what informs their support of the MRM.

    Tit,
    “So, when individuals in the MRM present themselves in a way that reaffirms that optic then obviously its message will fall on deaf ears.”

    I saw someone call this “stereotype confirmation”. I have never heard this term before, but it’s going onto a new words post.

    dungone,
    “Logic and reason.”
    Well, yes. For me that’s a bullet under the thrid point. If yuo insist others agree with your solipsistic frameework , that’s not really repsecting them.

  14. Also, Tamen, yours is an excellent piece, but I’ve been on the side of those arguments you wish other feminists would be on the side on… and I have met other feminists who feel the same way… they just… aren’t nearly as politically powerful.

  15. Valerie,

    Thanks for that other reason. Watch for yours and dungone’s to be added.

    You are right to point out that you and other feminists make the exact same arguments as Tamen does, but you will admit that you have taken a huge amount of shit off of other feminists for doing it. Feminists like you are the salvation of the movement, as it slides into a closed church of aging, self-marginalized believers with a few emittered and marginalized recruits to make them feel them like they have a future.

  16. Point being, if you are familiar with the person that you are trying to supply with a red pill, think about the style of arguments they tend to use, because it is likely that those are the style of arguments they find the most persuasive.(EbShift)

    Exactly. This reminds me of a book called the 5 love languages. The point of it is trying to figure out the love language of the person you want to share your love with and not love them only with your love language.

    Ginkgo

    Would that not be the same as confirmation bias?

  17. “Would that not be the same as confirmation bias?”

    I think it is. I thougght right after I posted that.

  18. “Point being, if you are familiar with the person that you are trying to supply with a red pill, think about the style of arguments they tend to use, because it is likely that those are the style of arguments they find the most persuasive.”

    In the most recent case I can think of this meant “sarky ones, soaked in marxist jargon, which identify men as the root of all evil.” Wasn’t much hope there, blue piller all the way XD.

    @Valerie: “It doesn’t hurt that while mainstream feminism went from avidly transmisogynistic to nominally anti-cissexist, they never really bothered to stop worshipping their transmisogynistic forerunners, or generally apologize or recognize all the fucked up shit they’ve done to trans women, or for that fact to acknowledge that trans women are far more numerous than the prevalence of social transition indicates… also, their expressions of misandry do seem, from someone who spent a long-time closeted, to be directed at the type of male-presenting people who are disproportionately likely to be closeted women.”
    Hit the nail on the head. Just had a quick look through your blog by the way, it would seem that this is the latest in a long list of squarely driven nails. You must be a carpenter.

    “When you hear people say “feminism is the solution to men’s problems” this is what it really means, if it really means anything. There are solid branding reasons a feminist might not want to call herself an MRA, but as long as they are talking and thinking like MRAs about men’s issues, they are working for gender equality.”
    I genuinely have alot of time for the feminists who are really engaging with men’s issues. Not coming up with sops like “patriarchy hurts men too” or “sometimes women get benevolent sexism” but actually calling this stuff out. The ones I don’t have time for are the apologists. If you look at the SCUM manifesto and claim it’s satire, or that it’s justified because the 1970s were hard for women, or that Solonas wasn’t really a feminist, or that it makes some kind of sense… I’m thinking they’re not so committed to equality.

  19. Oh and: “2) They don’t see the privilege you refer to as desirable.”

    I absolutely get this. I can’t think of any gendered privilege, for men or women, which comes for free. Individual privileges might suit individual people (if they don’t mind/haven’t met the downside) but eventually the piper has to be paid and the price isn’t always right.

  20. I think the main problem now is simply declaring women can never be criticized no matter what. Its hard to do address anything, when that is the situation.

    At the end of THIS THREAD, you can see that a feminist has taken me to task for using “gendered language” to describe certain women, whom I *deliberately described* as hysterical and silly. I described them that way, because they were acting that way. Second Wavers would tell them to straighten their shit up and stop crying. Which I guess is what I did. I used the gendered language ON PURPOSE. Note: I also used “gendered language” (“bullying, harassing”) to describe men, which did not seem to bother the feminist.

    So– rather than these women being wrong for being hysterical (note: I was describing the women screaming about Warren Farrell in Toronto and blocking the entrance to his lecture… women shrieking maniacally like cheerleaders on meth)… *I* am wrong for calling them hysterical.

    This is just plain stunning to me. Really… I find this viewpoint totally incomprehensible. Seriously. I am at a loss…I responded, saying so, and clarifying my position: if you don’t want “gendered language” applied to you, the answer is to stop behaving in offensively gendered ways.

    I see the word “hysterical” as a shaming word, cold water in the face for any woman trying to be politically effective: STRAIGHTEN YOUR SHIT UP AND GET A GRIP is what it means. You are embarrassing us, is another subtext.

    But we are never allowed to criticize other women or that is sexist. This is very Third Wave, and no way it is Second Wave. The Second Wave trashed each other all the time, and you might say that is why the Second Wave imploded and sold out to the Reagan Era… (i.e/–whoever inherited whatever was left of the movement in the 80s, got jobs in the govt as social workers, lawyers, bureaucrats, people giving sexual harassment workshops and suchlike.)

    Since one’s feminist membership card can be instantly revoked simply for using a word like “hysterical”–is it any wonder that feminists are reluctant to criticize each other for these kinds of excesses? (I mean, I am sure many people here consider “hysterical” –a pretty fucking tepid word for the way those women behaved.)

    At this point, I have fully embraced my status as an outsider, but younger women who consider themselves Third Wavers, probably find that a scary thing to do, and a way to lose a lot of their social circle besides.

    Just some comments.

    And Valerie, that explains the feminist lack of responsibility for transphobia also… the reason none of the “big blogs” have addressed the epidemic of Third Wave feminist transphobia on Tumbr. They might offend their friends, so they just look the other way. I can think of no other reason… unless they are secretly enjoying the sordid spectacle? (I was honestly pretty startled when I saw how out-of-hand the whole Tumblr-feminist wars had gotten…if one only follows the big, mainstream feminist blogs, you’d never even know what’s going on.)

  21. Something you notice almost immediately in a space like Reddit MensRights is the number of women, often self-identified feminists, sometimes ex-feminists, who come by curious about a subreddit they have heard denounced as misogynistic, and have a look for themselves – or who are just interested in men’s issue and think that’s a good place check out.
    Something else I’m noticing is that this is happening in the direct face of feminists (ranging from those that haunt places like Jezebel to the ones at Shakesville to even the ones at GMP) constantly claiming that they spend so much time trying to find any reasonable MRAs but come up empty.

    Daisy:
    My bet is: the male student claimed he was the one to initiate. Which would not fly if the student was female. But we don’t have any further details on way or the other.
    That’s a possibility. Considering that boys/men are taught that having sex with women under any circumstance is a good thing (and a verification of manhood) it would not surprise me at all if he made such a claim.

    According to a post by Hugo Schwyzer a while back where an under age boy was statutory raped by a woman (she was like his tutor or music teacher or something) the responsibility that an adult has to act like, well an adult, and not harm a child can be suspended from time to time.

  22. Daisy, I just want to mention, for the record, that I hate Tumblr specifically because it disallows comments… and I think your analysis is spot on. I post two or three replies to some busted shit I see on someone’s tumblr and I have, on multiple fucking occasions, been accused of stalking them.

    My response always follows: By that metric, I also stalk Paul Krugman.

  23. I don’t remember, did I mention that time someone insisted that witch-burning was gender-specific, and I argued that historically it wasn’t originally gender-specific? I saw bad history, and wanted to clarify with better history, and got insulted and blocked for my trouble. *sigh*

    I think tumblr encourages these idiotic flamewars, in part, because instead of us going to see interesting posts and seeing various comments in the context of that post, we can just go to our dash and see these comments without any context, and in part because it’s frustrating to see these replies without their context. I read a historical comment and replied with a historical comment/correction. But they evidently intended another kind of comment and were insulted by my historical comment/digression.

  24. Marja:
    I don’t remember, did I mention that time someone insisted that witch-burning was gender-specific, and I argued that historically it wasn’t originally gender-specific? I saw bad history, and wanted to clarify with better history, and got insulted and blocked for my trouble. *sigh*
    I don’t know if it was when you mentioned it but I have seen this before. The Salem witch trials have been retconned as a attack on women. I’ve seen this on tumblrs, on blogs, and even on tv and in books (namely LJ Smith’s “Secret Circle” series).

    Apparently the men that were killed during that period were just tossed in in order to deflect future claims that it wasn’t an anti-woman campaign.

  25. I’m one of those ex-feminists. I’m not a MRA, but I am an ally of any egalitarian, regardless of their particular focus. I was always irritated by feminist hardliners, but I figured they were not representative of the majority of the movement. Over time, I got more and more annoyed that feminists rarely challenged the transphobia and blatant misandry of some of their members, and not just the hardest-core radicals like Dworkin, while at the same time excoriating the minor mistakes (or non-mistakes) of non-feminists. And denying that societal misandry even exists, despite my own lived experiences of (misdirected) misandry.

    Then a few months ago I found several egalitarian MRA or feminist blogs (including this one!) and started learning about all the stuff you guys already know about, like the sentencing gap, workplace fatalities, male victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, and so on. It would be dishonest of me to blame feminism for those things, but they have done precious little to challenge them, or any other sexism that doesn’t affect cis women. I think what finally sent me over the edge was the depraved indifference that some feminists display toward boys (and trans girls). It’s my hope that other moderate feminists will educate themselves about these issues.

  26. Well said, Harrow. In years to come, I expect that feminism will be viewed as a flawed initial attempt at equality… one that eventually got bogged down in sniping, victimhood, and overcompensation that wound up getting in the way of the TRUE pursuit of equality.

    That pursuit will have its own name (perhaps ‘egalitarianism,’) and it might be charitably described as partially inspired by movements such as feminism.

  27. “I think what finally sent me over the edge was the depraved indifference that some feminists display toward boys (and trans girls). It’s my hope that other moderate feminists will educate themselves about these issues.”

    What got to me was calling male privilege unidirectional (ie the only counterpart is benevolent sexism). My experience says otherwise as a trans girl.

    I guess I’d see less female privilege if I was always seen as trans though, and might be tempted to agree with them. But I’ve been lucky, so tough luck for people trying to convince me I have it worse overall now.

  28. Harrow, welcome. I love that screen name, very evocative.

    Wow. What an excellent comment – balanced, restrained, devastating and helpful.

    Danny,
    “I don’t know if it was when you mentioned it but I have seen this before. The Salem witch trials have been retconned as a attack on women. I’ve seen this on tumblrs, on blogs, and even on tv and in books (namely LJ Smith’s “Secret Circle” series).”

    Typhonbluie pointed a long tiem ago somewhere else that withch trials were just a piece of a larger religious struggle in which many, many more men than women were executed as heretics. Men were killed more often because heresy and religious affiliation were political matters, Focusing on witch trials and ignoring heresy trials when they were all part of the same phenomenon is simply sexist. Focusing on the Salem witch trials and ignoring the others back in the old country is pathetically Americocentric and puerile.

  29. “When that empathy gets turned on their men”

    That rarely happens. Women as a group have little empathy for men. The feminine imperative is to ensure their own needs are met and to exploit men to that end. The only semblance to empathy is observed when a woman will suffer herself as a consequence of a man’s suffering. That is why women don’t care about men’s issues until a close male relative is impacted.

    As was pointed out in a previous post, there is no female equivalent of a white knight. Women do not ride to the succour of men.

  30. Mr Wave: As was pointed out in a previous post, there is no female equivalent of a white knight. Women do not ride to the succour of men.

    Totally disagree. Totally.

    You have not recognized this when it happens, because it is done in an acceptably feminine way… usually a specifically shaming/mama way. i.e. “Leave him alone, you big bullies! Pick on someone your own size! You should be ashamed of yourselves!” etc. I know I’ve done it countless times.

    In a more masculine setting (such as a saloon) this can be accomplished by diverting attention by making fun of the bullying men/boys… another tried and true method. This is more of a bitch-method than a mama-method. i.e. laughing or making fun of the bullies… “Oh yeah, you a badass aincha?” … thus turning the attention onto yourself. (Make it all about you making fun of the bully and being an interfering bitch, thereby letting the male-victim slink off and get away quietly.) I did this a lot when I was younger and liked to fight, admittedly–not so much lately.

    Just because we don’t break in with the stereotypical Spiderman-heroic, White Knight rescue, does not mean we are not still “rescuing” to the best of our ability. You just have to pay attention. We have learned to do it without it being recognized as such.

  31. Schala: But I’ve been lucky, so tough luck for people trying to convince me I have it worse overall now.

    But you don’t seem to understand that you are not Everywoman. You are not the measure of ALL female experience. Just as Hugo Schwyzer is not the measure of ALL male experience. You seem to think that your experience is universal.

    If you were less feminine, you would not be treated as well. Some of us were repeatedly punished for so-called ‘masculine’ behavior. Just because this does not apply to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Please stop speaking categorically for all of us.

    I have never tried to convince you that *you* have it worse now… but I HAVE repeatedly tried to convince you that MY experience (and other women like me) is real and worth acknowledging. Please don’t confuse the two.

  32. Welcome, Mr. Wavevector!

    “Totally disagree. Totally. ”

    There is a very cool Scottish story of a guy named Tamlin, poet or harpist or whatever, who was coveted and finally kidnapped by the Fairy Queen for her entertainment. The only one who could rescue him was his girlfriend, who had to do it when the Fairy Host rode out on Halloween Night. It was an epic struggle because the Fairy Queen turned him into all sorts of dangerous forms to dissuade the girlfriend.

    This kind of thing is a theme in that culture. There is also the place in the Pursuit of Diarmaid and Grainne where Diarmaid is sleeping and Grainne stands guard over him. It’s enough of a high point in the stotry that it is cast as a poem she recites over him.

  33. Daisy,
    “If you were less feminine, you would not be treated as well. Some of us were repeatedly punished for so-called ‘masculine’ behavior.”

    To what extent was that behavior class-stigmatized? I have been meaning to ask about this for a while. Was it considered unaccptable because it would look too “coarse’ or low-rent?, or was it just the way boys could behave and not girls?

    I am thinking of that experience you described about the fine lady at some feminist meeting who came over and regulated on you when you got a little louder than she liked.

  34. Gingko: Typhonbluie pointed a long tiem ago somewhere else that withch trials were just a piece of a larger religious struggle in which many, many more men than women were executed as heretics. Men were killed more often because heresy and religious affiliation were political matters, Focusing on witch trials and ignoring heresy trials when they were all part of the same phenomenon is simply sexist. Focusing on the Salem witch trials and ignoring the others back in the old country is pathetically Americocentric and puerile.

    That’s true. But the flip side is that women were not considered smart enough to engage in real ‘heresy’–which was seen as coming from “learned men” who could make religious intellectual arguments, and most women could not even read back then. “Witches” were seen as gremlins or sprites, very much ‘of the earth’, like real demons. Men were seen as directing the demons/witches, so they punished them with more intense punishments, usually publicly.

    Speaking of which, I saw the play “Campion”–I can’t think of any female saints/martyrs that were (screams) drawn and quartered for an audience.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Campion#Trial.2C_sentence_and_execution

  35. “If you were less feminine, you would not be treated as well. Some of us were repeatedly punished for so-called ‘masculine’ behavior.”

    If I was less feminine looking (ie butch)? Or if I did manly stuff?

    Because last I knew I was a pretty nerdy geek, and a hardcore one, proud of it, who doesn’t cosplay or go into it because of male attention or the aesthetics (ie being pretty).

    I play videogames, enormously, 40-100+ hours a week, depending on my free time. If I’m not stranded in the middle of nowhere, I’ll have 50-75% of my awake time doing it. I watch animes to a decent extent (hundreds of episodes, a few dozens of series).

    All majority masculine stuff.

    I also have a huge interest in game mechanics, number crunching, formulas etc, in those games. The story can be interesting, and the settings stunning, I’ll still concentrate more on the mechanical aspect, to the detriment of the social aspect. In short, systemizing to the utmost, presented as “extreme male brains” (even though its more of a stereotype) by Baron-Cohen.

    I’m not shamed for it because I don’t care for anyone who would shame me for it. Don’t like it? I don’t like you either. Who has power to make me change, to shame me? Only those I let. I was very hard-headed as a kid too. It got me beaten up, because I wouldn’t yield to pressure. I wouldn’t conform. I wouldn’t compromise who I was. I kinda lost that edge in high school (I wasn’t broken, but I thought life wasn’t worth living) and only got it back post-transition.

  36. “To what extent was that behavior class-stigmatized?”

    To no extent whatsoever. It’s just special pleading begin with. Schala has a point of reference which allows her to say that she was treated better in a female context than in a male context. But Daisy thinks that she can’t really say that, because some women out there think that they have it so much worse than if they were men even though they have absolutely no point of reference besides their own speculation. We have seen how that speculation often turns out. Remember this one? ““I’d probably go out dancing at a bar — hoot and holler, have fun, dance, flirt, etc. Kiss and make out with someone and decide later if I wanted to have sex.” http://www.genderratic.com/p/1545/meta-you-dont-know-me/#comments (btw it was me who found that, not Clarence ;) )

  37. Gingko: To what extent was that behavior class-stigmatized? I have been meaning to ask about this for a while. Was it considered unaccptable because it would look too “coarse’ or low-rent?, or was it just the way boys could behave and not girls?

    That’s a good question. I honestly don’t know.

    I am reminded of the infamous “Motown finishing school” wherein the Supremes and Mary Wells and other female stars, were schooled in wearing wigs and evening gowns and ‘acting like ladies’– most were poor and had never dressed/acted like that before. They even gave some of them elocution lessons, taught them how to wear white gloves, address audiences as “ladies and gentlemen”. Etc. Likewise, you will notice the Temptations and Smokey Robinson always wore proper suits, at least before the 70s. Berry Gordy thought white audiences would easily accept poor black people as artists if they looked/acted high class or rich. It turned out to be true.

    Gingko: I am thinking of that experience you described about the fine lady at some feminist meeting who came over and regulated on you when you got a little louder than she liked.

    Well, interesting you would bring this up.

    I wrote about Norma McCorvey years ago, here: http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2009/07/on-norma-mccorvey.html

    And then here is the recent Salon piece about her: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/03/the_ever_changing_ideologies_of_jane_roe/

    What is missing? What is changed? Read them side by side, and I rest my case.

    No blame assigned to feminists or feminism for Norma’s defection. No mention of class differences between Weddington and McCorvey AT ALL. And that was the crux of my piece. That is what I think “turned” McCorvey.

    They have somebody who wrote a book on finding real estate in New York City, writing about McCorvey on Salon… need I say more?

    Take note, yall, this is a teachable moment. See? This sums up my problems with the current feminist mainstream, in a nutshell: 1) Feminists are untouchable and above criticism (unless, like Norma, they cease calling themselves feminists) and 2) Class? What is CLASS?

    (sigh)

  38. And furthermore… Remember in Tamen’s excellent anthology ™(r) when he highlights this thought pattern:

    McEwan: Feminism can. You didn’t recognize that as rape because you thought “Eeeew, that would make me a woman” whenever you started to consider that you in fact had been raped. Get rid of the femmephobia and all will become clear.

    So, I guess we could say that maybe if women just got rid of their androphobia then it wouldn’t be so darned hard to be a lady? In all fairness, both are wrong, but the Catch-22 is quite obvious to us all. Not only are men far more stigmatized from taking on any feminine traits, whereas women are comfortable dressing and behaving as men do, but when men have any sort of a problem (rape, health issues, mental health issues, etc.) it’s held against them. How can it be a “hardship” for women to not be allowed to be masculine (which is bogus anyway) but it’s blameworthy when men actually suffer in all of their masculine stoicism?

  39. Right now as compared to pre-transition, I got more freedoms in expression (allowed a ton more freedom in haircare and length and decoration, allowed more jewelry, allowed 500% more clothing choices, allowed at least 200% more shoes choices, more socks choices, more underwear choices, I can pick wether I wear a bra or not (admittedly, bras are optional for me, given my size), I can do feminine stuff, like girly stuff, without someone making a point of mocking me. I can also do masculine stuff, like manly stuff, without someone making a point of mocking me. I just have to be seen as feminine enough physically while doing it (like the Firefly mechanic girl, she’s doing a manly man’s thing…but doesn’t appear like a hairy butch woman, so she’s still accepted, won’t have her woman card revoked).

    I’m not expected to pull myself up by my boostraps, or blamed for my problems. I’m not beaten up over disagreements and lack of protection or will to fight back. I’m not beaten up for insulting someone. Some people might make a point of protecting me from danger, or people who wish me harm for whatever reason. Without expecting anything but gratitude.

    No one expects me “to be a lady”, though they generally expect my face and legs to be hairless, or with near-invisible hair. Not farting in public is simply decent behavior, not feminine behavior. Not burping is the same. Eating with the mouth closed makes people keep their lunch (because seeing people eat food can be truly disgusting).

    And I think the way that’s expected to walk is two things:
    People want a dichotomy of behavior, so even if, on average, men walk slightly larger than women because of hips, “having one foot right in front of the other” is not natural behavior, it’s the extreme end. To make it black and white, instead of two similar shades of grey.

    Proponents of complementarism will say its “natural” that men are 1 and women are -1, when most people are closer to the 0. But the expected is that men OUGHT to be 1, and women OUGHT to be -1.

    So, they want men and women to be so different they’re different species. Except that feminism has relaxed the female role obligations and restrictions to almost 100% (whatever is left depends on its male role pendant – allow/embrace/encourage male caregivers, or female caregiving won’t get a break), while male role obligations and restrictions are about as strong as they used to be.

    It’s so strong that the only allowed male things are non-female things, and that’s few things. If you’re defined by what you’re not, and what you’re not is large and extended, what you are allowed is tiny tiny.

    I don’t know how that wall of binarism can be broken, but it starts with parents and young peers. Parents are the one enforcing strict masculinity on their boys, while patting themselves on the back for letting their girls play football.

  40. Dungone, dismissing class: To no extent whatsoever

    You believe people of all classes are treated the same? I take it you do not believe classism exists, in that case?

    If not, of course you think this… but if you *do* believe classism exists, surely you understand that it effects women too?

    I am not surprised that you don’t, however… your countless comments about all women sitting at home since the beginning of time, eating bon bons (or whatever the Cro Magnon ladies ate in the caves), is totally in line with this thinking.

    Dungone: But Daisy thinks that she can’t really say that, because some women out there think that they have it so much worse than if they were men even though they have absolutely no point of reference besides their own speculation.

    Schala was never a man, she was taken to be a man who was failing at being one. Big, big difference. (Not one I expect you to understand, of course, since nuance is hardly your strong suit.)

    Leave your biological essentialism out of the discussion, Dungone. I know, it’s almost impossible, but try nonetheless. ;)

    Dungone: Remember this one? ““I’d probably go out dancing at a bar — hoot and holler, have fun, dance, flirt, etc. Kiss and make out with someone and decide later if I wanted to have sex.” http://www.genderratic.com/p/1545/meta-you-dont-know-me/#comments (btw it was me who found that, not Clarence ;) )

    ????

    Okay, I found my comments about Journey, Iggy Pop, Orson Welles, David Cassidy, Bruce Lee and David Bowie (I am getting hot just writing this!) (((fans self!)))) … but where is this quote you are referencing? Is this supposedly a quote from me?

    Um, I have been married for 25 yrs and do not go out with men and make out and blah blah. You must have me mixed up with one of the other hot young ladies here… but thanks anyway!

    And even so, *what* does any of that have to do with the subject at hand?

    PS: As I have said umpteen times: no reading comprehension whatsoever.

  41. Schala: I’m not shamed for it because I don’t care for anyone who would shame me for it.

    You are not shamed for it because (by your own account) you live in an open-minded liberal area that is very tolerant and has very few (if any) fundamentalist Christians. Not everyone has that privilege. Please do not write off the experience of those who do not have it.

  42. @DaisyDeadhead

    “You have not recognized this when it happens, because it is done in an acceptably feminine way”

    That is an interesting point. I will have to look for that type of behavior.

    In your examples the bullies are male. How would a female rescuer act when the bullies are female and the victim is male?

  43. 2) Class? What is CLASS?

    Feminism is a deviant form of Marxism to begin with, which is a subversion of common sense to begin with, so I don’t see what the problem is. This is how rich white upper class housewives such as Betty Friedan reconciled their Marxist activism with their quite fucking obvious “bourgeois” privilege. Considering that all of this went down half a century ago, I don’t see why anyone’s blaming “third wavers” for this. Class has been supplanted with “Patriarchy” a long, long time ago.

    Class itself is an utterly faulted concept and only useful for making broad generalizations about wealth. Unenlightened humans are tribal creatures who take pride in their in-group affiliations, something that you’ll find true anywhere from intra-neighborhood warfare in Ramadi and Baghdad to the Palio di Siena in Italy or the Carnival in Brazil. “Class” is a superfluous concept that only recognizes one very limited and shortsighted form of in-group bias. It was hopelessly incapable of anticipating the racism of the White Russian “proletariat” against all the other “proletariat,” the brutality and the paranoia of the Bolsheviks, and the sheer chaos and infighting that their very misguided “revolution” resulted in. Because they were dumb, ignorant fools who got taken in by an inadequate theory of human nature and blinded to their own greed.

  44. Dungone: Not only are men far more stigmatized from taking on any feminine traits, whereas women are comfortable dressing and behaving as men do,

    As I said to Schala, depends on where you live. I am surprised (um, not really) that someone who claims military service in rigidly-sexist cultures/countries, would say that women everywhere are comfortable dressing as men. In the Muslim countries you claim to have served in, women dressed as men and changed the oil in your car? Really?

    As a child, I was SPANKED (with a hickory switch and/or a belt) heartily and repeatedly for not behaving as a lady, so I will thank you (and Schala) to stop erasing my experience.

    Dungone: How can it be a “hardship” for women to not be allowed to be masculine (which is bogus anyway)

    Excuse me, but it is NOT bogus. As I said, I was punished for it. (And if I arrogantly and erroneously proclaimed that rape-of-men is “bogus” too? How well would THAT go over?)

    Again, do not erase my experience and those of the women in my family.

    “I swear Scout, you act more like a girl all the time!”

    Dungone: but it’s blameworthy when men actually suffer in all of their masculine stoicism?

    I never said it was “blameworthy”. When did I say this? I do not even use the word “blameworthy” and don’t know anyone who does.

    (sigh) Reading comprehension. Reading comprehension. … and here we go, down the Dungone Rabbit Hole. Who knows where we will end up, but it won’t be anywhere recognizable from this discussion.

  45. Dungone, does all of that mean you do or do not believe in classism as a concept? Requires a simple yes or no. If I want Antonio Gramsci’s critics, I know where to find em.

    As Trotsky would say (giggle), your “logic” contains an intrinsic contradiction: you say class doesn’t exist, then call Betty Freidan (glad you finally started spelling her name right! An A for effort this time!) “upper class”. If there is no class, then Betty Friedan didn’t belong to any class either. You know that right? How can you criticize her as upper class, if class is a false concept? This would suggest that once again, you want to have your cake and eat it too.

    You do this a lot. In every post, in fact, you contradict yourself. Want me to start pointing it out?

    Could you just answer the question without trying not to, for once? Or are you saying that class exists but classism/elitism does not? If not, what is your criticism of Friedan, exactly?

    Surely you understand that the Bolsheviks created a NEW class: Bolsheviks. The government and bureaucrats as class.

    Ask the libertarians to fill you in on that one, since you probably missed that lesson whilst living in the Eastern Bloc or wherever it is you claim to be from this week.

  46. I never said it was “blameworthy”. When did I say this? I do not even use the word “blameworthy” and don’t know anyone who does.

    You go off on some wild tangents. If you keep to the point, you’ll find it easier to see the relevance of what other people say which is, in fact, to the point.

  47. So on another blog, after an intro-level feminist post, the first reply concerned the draft, child custody, etc.

    I don’t know how to reply: on the one hand people are too dismissive of men’s issues, but on the other hand, this bordered on thread-jacking, and feminism contains a lot of ideas which can help with men’s issues, and womyn can’t really take the lead on men’s issues, any more than rich white cis womyn can take the lead on poor black trans womyn’s issues, we’ve seen how badly this can go. Lack of direct experience can lead to blunders or to generation-long catastrophes. So how should feminist allies be allies?

  48. Mr Wave: In your examples the bullies are male. How would a female rescuer act when the bullies are female and the victim is male?

    I would go for the diversion technique. Or maybe reward the male privately; help him get even without anyone knowing it was me. Still, that last one is just so risky, especially among the young, still in school. Those Queen Bee girls are fucking crazy.

    I once got a gossipy note from a female Queen Bee bully in high school, and I ‘pretended’ to have dropped it near one of the males she was terrorizing. So he could read it (had sexual details) and pass it around. He did it according to script.

    She nearly tore every hair out of my head and burned me alive with cigarettes, but it was worth it. ;) I never ever admitted I had done it deliberately. This may be the first time I have ever admitted that!

    “High school is the closest thing to fascism we have in our culture”–PJ O’Rourke

  49. @Marja Erwin, don’t you think that thread jacking is sometimes justified? I have seen a lot of blog posts about men’s rights being thread jacked by trans issues even when the bloggers and commenters were ostensibly pro-trans-issues to begin with. Does the world really need yet another “intro-level feminism” post that excludes men’s issues? Thoughts?

  50. Dungone: You go off on some wild tangents.

    Um, excuse me, but you are the one who brought up Bolsheviks.

    I hate to break this to you, but Bolsheviks hardly invented class. Ever heard of serfs? Sharecropping? Slavery? Royalty? All occurred waaaaaay before there were any Bolsheviks. Really.

    I guess you were taught differently, though, right?

    Dungone: If you keep to the point, you’ll find it easier to see the relevance of what other people say which is, in fact, to the point.

    To the point. Right.

    Here are the salient questions again:

    Dungone, does all of that mean you do or do not believe in classism as a concept? Requires a simple yes or no.

    Or are you saying that class exists but classism/elitism does not? If not, what is your criticism of Friedan, exactly?

    Cut the memos to Gramsci and just answer, please.

  51. Daisy – why don’t you take your cue? I have a limit to how much bullshit I’m willing to untangle in a single day, so we’re done here. Capish?

  52. And as usual, Dungone disgraces the Marines by surrendering. He repeatedly starts fights and cannot finish them. Every. Single. Time. (sigh)

    BTW dude, what was the meaning of quoting that old thread? Was that supposed to be a quote from me? (it wasn’t) And referencing WHAT exactly?

    Or have you forgotten already?

    Maybe HE doesn’t even know what he thinks. I am beginning to think that’s the real problem, along with the lack of reading comprehension.

  53. Dungone: Capish?

    All those languages you claim to speak? All those degrees you claim to have? Um, yeah.

    It is Italian, therefore spelled capice, capiche or capici of course.

    Glad you aren’t calling her “Betty Friedman” any more though. Progress!

  54. “Class has been supplanted with “Patriarchy” a long, long time ago.”

    Only in these circles that have heard of Patriarchy. That’s a big tranch of society, but by no menas a majority share.

    “Class itself is an utterly faulted concept and only useful for making broad generalizations about wealth. ”

    It has more explanatory power than that. It helps explain which white people get hooked up for jail and not. It’s not just money. And the concept or rather the reality is operative enough that having a name like “Reid” or “Chase” is going to get you a lot farther in elie circles than “Cody” or “Travis” will. And conversely “Reid” or “Chase” stands a good chance of having his ass beat on the wrong playground. When it comes to class, the shit definitely does not all roll downhill. I learned that as a kid.

  55. Only in these circles that have heard of Patriarchy. That’s a big tranch of society, but by no menas a majority share.

    But we were talking about “third wave” feminists, so it’s far more likely that they’ve never actually heard of Class. It’s the “second wave” feminists who started out as Marxists who actually replaced “Class” with “Patriarchy.” That was my point.

    It helps explain which white people get hooked up for jail and not. It’s not just money.

    Some would argue that this is still about money. I use the term “class” only to denote someone’s tax bracket and no more. Definitely not in the Marxist sense. The Robber Barrons were almost exclusively nouveau riche, yet they got away with mass murder and theft all the same. Something that the Bolsheviks seemed to have failed to take note of when they usurped power. That’s why “class” is a failed concept. The underlying assumption is that it’s something that follows you around like the color of your skin and makes you morally superior to those who are in the oppressor class.

  56. Dungone: The underlying assumption is that it’s something that follows you around like the color of your skin

    Well, of course it does.

    I guess you missed my Motown finishing school comment, above, directed at Gingko… if the matter was only skin-color, why did evening gowns, white gloves and saying “ma’am” suddenly get Diana Ross gigs? The “color” element effectively was neutralized (in the north, anyway) by making them “high class”… if you are correct, it should not have mattered HOW they dressed.

    Dungone: and makes you morally superior to those who are in the oppressor class.

    Nobody thinks that, except maybe somebody who came from a communist country.

    This is the USA, hon. Paris Hilton is a star, for doing absolutely nothing. That is because she *inherited* the name HILTON.

    Dungone: Something that the Bolsheviks seemed to have failed to take note of when they usurped power.

    Besides the bureaucrats, another class the Bolsheviks championed was the military. The Red Army was regarded as “the ultimate proletariat”–and as you say, therefore considered far superior to regular people. PS: It is spelled robber barons. “Barrons” is a financial magazine.

  57. This is the USA, hon. Paris Hilton is a star, for doing absolutely nothing. That is because she *inherited* the name HILTON.

    The Hilton name had to release sex videos and soil itself for people to start finding it mildly entertaining. What an amusing example, though.

  58. I guess you never stayed in a Hilton. How about a Hampton Inn? Hilton Lite.

    Why is she an amusing example, because she makes porn? Oh, okay. Naughty girl, hahaha! (I forgot, I should have used a male example for Dungone to be able to engage.)

    Truthfully, I find all rich kids equally amusing. Their whole lives are porn.

    (And I think it was Susan Sontag who said that first, but don’t quote me on that one.)

  59. There’s that thing about tangents again. I’ve stayed at a Hilton for a solid month on an extended business trip. I thought it sucked. What’s it got to do with anything? I don’t care if she was the heiress of the Oh Henry! candybar fortune and a braless wonder to boot.

  60. I knew that Hilton remark would bring out a fun story about how important you are… but I really was hoping it would be longer. Didn’t somebody rich pay your hotel bill, so you could do some important spy work or something?

    Dungone: What’s it got to do with anything? I don’t care if she was the heiress of the Oh Henry! candybar fortune

    The Hilton Empire has oppressed many millions of workers and immigrants throughout the world. And that’s as employees… doesn’t even count the local hoteliers and small businesses put out of work by their constant, continuing expansion.

    Not that I would expect you to care about all those regular MALE WORKERS who get shit on by the Hilton Empire. (As I have said before, some men rate your attention and some do not.)

    Oh Henry! was eventually sold to Nestle, if memory serves, which of course is even worse than the Hiltons. (Or were you just trying to be funny?)

  61. Didn’t somebody rich pay your hotel bill, so you could do some important spy work or something?

    If they hadn’t then I’d have demanded that Paris Hilton give me a refund for their sucky hotel with their stale fruit.

    Oh Henry! was eventually sold to Nestle, if memory serves, which of course is even worse than the Hiltons.

    It was a Seinfeld episode where Elaine got jealous of the Oh Henry! heiress and her perky boobs. Now, please go away.

  62. Marja:
    So how should feminist allies be allies?
    It would help if feminists would realize that they cannot simultaneously lay claim to being the official movement from equality for all people while at the same time limiting leading roles to women only. Essentially this is asking those who are not women to trust that women will act in the best interests of all people and to try to take a lead role is a sign of distrust of women, and the movement.

  63. Just to jump in here, haven’t read all the comments, but I see Daisy and dungone are having another quiet discussion. Due to our previous conversation, I would like to take this time to remind Daisy that my silence does not imply agreement with dungone.

    Then again, since I haven’t read all the comments, it doesn’t imply disagreement either ;)

  64. Schala:

    Naturally I cannot provide an example as extreme as yours, but in reference to treatment and policing of behavior which does not fit with societal gender norms, I have had a somewhat interesting experience with being a man and wearing nail polish. I’ve been wearing polish, mostly in bright and noticeable colors, all the time since sometime last June (I was in Japan, where I got so many looks just for being a gaijin I figured it wouldn’t matter what else I did with my appearance), and I’ve discovered that I often get compliments on it from women (especially on the application, which I credit to years of practicing brushwork), but that it makes a fair number of guys uncomfortable if their attention is drawn to it. They don’t say anything, but they become so visibly nervous talking about it that even I can tell. The only person who is outwardly hostile to it is my mother, who insists it will get me murdered in an alley one of these days. I suppose I should note that I started wearing it only after losing enough weight to go down three inches in the waist (which is now as thin as it can healthily be), putting on a visible amount of muscle, overhauling my wardrobe and spending a lot more time on my personal appearance (I used to spend fifteen minutes getting ready in the morning; now I spend an hour), so I don’t know how it would be received if I still looked the way I did in high school.

    Also, I realize this is a nitpick, but the plural of “anime” is still “anime”, because it’s a loanword from Japanese and even in English Japanese words don’t take plural affixes.

    Daisy:

    I will take your word for it that women who stand up for others like that exist. It must be nice to live somewhere that has people like that.

  65. Dungone: It was a Seinfeld episode where Elaine got jealous of the Oh Henry! heiress and her perky boobs.

    Not at all surprised you quote something like this without the least bit of embarrassment.

    Dungone: Now, please go away.

    You seem to be confused. I don’t take orders. That’s you who does that.

    If you comment here, and I feel like it, I will reply. If I don’t, I won’t. Get used to it. After a SOLID YEAR (longer) of you picking fights with me and fisking virtually every single post of mine (starting way back at NSWATM) — now you suddenly want me to go away? I repeatedly begged you to leave ME alone, and you would not. Have you forgotten? Why should I return the favor?

    Hiding… I’d love to see nail polish becoming more popular on men. Especially some artsy stuff or maybe some symbols… I saw a guy recently in Asheville with the chakra symbols on his, looked really great!

    Equilibrium, duly noted. :)

  66. HidingFromtheDinosaurs:

    I will take your word for it that women who stand up for others like that exist.

    You don’t need to rely only on Daisy’s word, I am sure many men will tell you similar stories. When I was in high school, although I was never at the bottom of the social hierarchy (I was rather outside), I was still subject to some bullying and social hostility. When girls stood up for me in some of those instances, I was pretty surprised, not that they stood up for a boy, but particularly me. The thing was not that there weren’t compassionate girls who would stand up for me, when I was put down, but rather that I rather wished they wouldn’t do this, as I preferred dealing with the unfair treatment on my own, than risking dragging them down with me. (Of course it might be essential, that my situation never got too bad)

  67. @Equilibrium_Shift:

    Just to jump in here, haven’t read all the comments . . .

    Ha! I’ve thought about jumping in on some parts of the discussion, but Tamen’s post was pretty magic, and I’m a little confused about the class discussion.

    Re: the question about why some feminists are seeking MRM spaces, I think one reason some do is that there are feminists who see the behaviors of certain other feminists and find them unacceptable, so they go seeking other alternatives even if they would otherwise agree with the espoused message. It’s not necessarily as logical (not seeing a position as bad, but loathing the actions of those who hold it, for example, and thus shying away), and it’s not necessarily empathy for men among this type, but rather the screaming, “everything is rape/rape culture,” “men are the problem,” “women always have to feel afraid,” types of extreme sentiment that go along with other messages, but just don’t agree with them, so they look elsewhere.

    In the process, some of them see positions they agreed with (equality, etc.) mirrored on the “other side” but without as much vitriol (if they look in the first place first, of course), certainly not as bad as it was made out to be, and so they find it meets their own ideals better.

    Going to Jezebel, Feministe, and Free Thought Blogs and being turned off by the hateful screeds, silencing, doxxing, etc., and then going to someplace like Genderratic or Feminist Critics could result in such a thing.

    In real life, where I’d bet such things are a bit more common (because it’s harder to screed in real life, but also much more likely to make someone flee from angry ranting), you have women who have always thought of themselves as Feminist, either by default because “women’s rights are good” or for the equality factor, go to, say, a college Feminist space for the stated goals of equality/women’s rights, but are just intimidated and turned off by the amount of hate, fear mongering and victim posturing that often goes with them in such spaces, so she turns away and has a bad impression of “organized” Feminism (or high school-esque Feminist cliques), only to have that confirmed online.

    Now, imagine a woman who had that happen and then hears Caitlin Moran say:

    “Not a Feminist? Why not? What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man that you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Vogue by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves?”

    Some women who have approached the MRM, I think, have seen what big umbrella Feminism says it is, approached it with open arms, but then seen what many of the people under the umbrella do under the label. And the infighting? Yeah.

  68. Daisy:

    Are there enough chakra symbols for that? I would have thought one would end up having to repeat them, especially when one got to one’s toes.

    Jupp:

    How wonderful that must be for them. The only protection from bullying I can remember ever experiencing when I was younger was one of my two friends (also ostracized on account of his mental condition) biting the arm of one of the children who had been holding my head underwater (naturally, we were both punished for this later). I think the nicest thing a woman or girl ever did for me when I was in a vulnerable state was to refrain from joining everyone else in laughing when I fell over and couldn’t get up because my leg was in a cast.

  69. Hiding, yeah, they did repeat, now that you mention it. (He used the crown chakras on both thumbs.) They looked great!

  70. Jupp: “You don’t need to rely only on Daisy’s word, I am sure many men will tell you similar stories. When I was in high school, although I was never at the bottom of the social hierarchy (I was rather outside), I was still subject to some bullying and social hostility. When girls stood up for me in some of those instances, I was pretty surprised, not that they stood up for a boy, but particularly me.”

    Funny you should mention girls sticking up for you.

    In high school, a girl stood up for me. Then promptly criticized me for not standing up for myself, using cursing lanugage to ward them off. Finally, she joined in with the bullied who were taunting me.

    The empress had no clothes and revealed herself to be a backstabbing bitch in the end.

  71. Edit: Should be “Joined in with the bullies who were taunting me”

  72. Just noting for the record I haven’t gotten involved in this latest Daisy/Dungone brouhaha, though I find it rather amusing. In this case, I think Daisy is holding her own.

  73. Clarence, but now you have. And remember when I told you before how you keep siding with Daisy just to take cheap shots at others? Well, there you have it.

  74. Dungone:
    No, my point was you said I did it all the time, rewriting blog history as if from some alternate universe.
    When challenged to prove your assertion, you proved unable. And here you are, lying again.
    Saying Daisy is “holding her own” is hardly taking a “cheap shot” at you. At worst it’s me tallying the score in this thread -except even then, I never assigned you a score.

    Meanwhile I still await proof from some past thread somewhere on this blog that I’ve ever sided with Daisy and bashed you.

  75. Lol, one big happy family. ;)

    “They had a meeting for functional families and only 2 showed up. They were both in Denial”.

    :)

  76. Daisy and dungone, I don’t mind derailment as such, but yu are clearly wasting oyur energy and time on each other and it has fallen below the level of discussion. Could you please just let it rest?

  77. Ginkgo, asking her to “stop” means she is going to make passive aggressive references to “some people” and then eventually just start back up. Been there, done that. Ignoring her is like giving her free reign. I tried, but then I saw that she was trying to send people from this blog over to read vile personal attacks she wrote anout me on her blog. She has made it perfectly clear in no uncertain terms that she will continue to harass me unless I give her access to my personal information. Therefore I do not consider her to be an individual worthy of any respect. If she speaks to me, or about me, then I will insult her.

  78. Please read back. Here is Dungone’s first comment about me in this thread. He simply cannot refrain from attacking me.

    I did not mention him or address him first, and I never have.

    When he stops, I always do. When he starts up again, so will I. Ball in his court and always has been.

    I am still wondering what that thread he dredged up was about, since the quote he attributed to me is not mine. (At least I tell the truth and do not misrepresent his position and make up some imaginary bullshit.)

    I do not back down from a bully. That only encourages him. When he leaves me alone, I will return the favor and not one millisecond before. Ban me if you want, but his continuing record of aggression in this thread and all others, is a matter of record. All he has to do is STFU. He is patently incapable of doing so.

    But no, I will not ignore him when he attacks me, misrepresents me or otherwise talks trash about me.

    At least his fury at me keeps him occupied and unable to dump shit/be cruel to everyone else… see my “diversion tactic” for bullies, mentioned earlier in this thread. (You’re welcome, yall.)

  79. Dungone, crying: but then I saw that she was trying to send people from this blog over to read vile personal attacks she wrote anout me on her blog.

    Oh Jesus Christ. Everything is not about you. That delusion is called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Please see a shrink.

    I wrote this post about an entire online syndrome, and he is merely one of many who fit it. I had about a half-dozen different people in mind, most of them on Facebook (one a well-known leftist blowhard). And I TOLD him that, but see? He insists on making it ALL ABOUT HIM! (sigh) Worse than a damn teenybopper.

    Dungone, sobs to the principal: she is going to make passive aggressive references to “some people”

    Actually, I do talk about “some people”… but only those with NPD think everything is about them all the time.

    Now, if Dungone will STFU, I will be happy to return the favor, but no, I will not edit myself so that poor wittle Dungone doesn’t think every single word is about him. That would require extensive therapy, as I said.

  80. Now, I came here to post about Maggie Gallagher (speaking of female bullies) and got derailed by adolescent silliness:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/maggie-gallagher-gay-marriage-column_n_2411082.html

    Maggie is quitting! Just her column, unfortunately, not ALL the anti-gay shit. But here is the money quote I thought you all would enjoy:

    Lately, as Gallagher admits in her closing column, that fight [against gay marriage] has not been going well. Since she began the column in 1995, “On every key measure, marriage is weaker,” Gallagher writes. As evidence of this trend, she cites a rising proportion of children “born out of wedlock,” and faults the lack of a “powerful ideal of masculinity that points men toward marriage and fatherhood.”

    She is blaming heterosexual men for the success of gay marriage! Weird, huh? But anyway, good going you guys! (pats on back)

  81. Daisy, you’re a fucking dolt. Anyone can click on any other thread concurrent to this one and see that you’re full of shit and are constantly harassing me. And in this thread, to, you spoke to me first. I did not speak to you. Look at the very first thing you said to me and how off-the-walls batshit crazy it was with it’s passive aggressive personal attacks. It was 100% out of line and out of proportion to the fucking *reasonable* comment I made to another person (not to you) pointing out that this thread was in danger of being derailed by way of special pleading. Just happens to be a coincidence, although not a surprising one, that it was you doing the special pleading.

  82. I think there should be an open thread to just let Daisy and Dungone go at it. No offense to you both but your squabbles are getting annoying.

    Doesn’t matter who started it or not. You’re both acting like children.

  83. Eagle35, I think there should be an open thread for people who want to tell other people not to take any offense and then proceed to make dismissive ad-hominem remarks about them.

  84. The funniest part about the Daisy/Dungone comments is how they seamlessly just occur while the regular conversation is going on. They don’t really derail (it looks to me that most of the other folks will stop and look and maybe say a word or two, and then go back their conversation).

    As odd as it might be to say but I think those two have one of the most interesting relationships I’ve ever seen in an online forum. z

    And big props to the folks running this place because let’s be honest in most other places the brains behind the place would have taken a side and declared them off limits to attack while calling open season on the other.

  85. I’m going to go back to the very first comment I made in this thread:

    Logic and Reason.

    It’s not about being persuasive. It’s not about being really super nice. It’s about saying here it is, these are the facts, so take it or leave it. Just put it out there and let people decide for themselves.

    People, perhaps especially women but not necessarily, do not take kindly to emotional appeals from men. And in a very strange way, people are actually attracted to men who don’t put up with other people’s bullshit. Which is why, contrary to many people’s beliefs, ass-kissing doesn’t work. Which is why a very loosely moderated forum such as Reddit is a far more likely to garner positive comments from feminists than, say, TGMP or FC, which both in their own ways set out to make special appeals to female readers. Sure, Reddit has a large following, but even a “hostile” website like AVfM is more successful at actually reaching out to women.

    I don’t understand what it is about equality that people don’t understand. If you keep babying women and taking their shit just to play nice with feminists, then you’re going to be a turn-off to the very kind of women that you actually want to attract – the ones who demand to be treated just like anybody else. This is why Erin Pizzey is now editing for AVfM, and not FC or TGMP.

  86. @ dungone

    Erin Pizzey wouldn’t be a good fit at FC due to the type of dialog. It’s more academic rather then in-the-trenches.

    To be quite honest I’ve become increasingly convinced that AVFM has to have a “hostile” tone just to provide shelter for everyone being attacked by the social justice types.

  87. @ Danny

    It’s mostly profound laziness on my part. I’m not even interested enough to read Daisy and Dungone’s comments to take a side. If I were inclined to take a side.

  88. @TB, I agree with you about AVfM; I made the same exact argument a few days ago on Reddit. So, I was just thinking about how the stereotype of “logic and reason” conjures up images of someone in a lab coat dissecting a cadaver. FC produces some very compelling writing, to the point where they’ve gotten referenced by the UN and I’m happy for them for that. However, their format is biased in that an impassioned MRA perspective is unwelcome whereas an impassioned feminist perspective is welcome, regardless of the reasoning and logic behind the argument being made. It’s stifling and unless you are actually one of the bloggers, it’s impossible to actually confront an unreasonable feminist in their comments section. That’s really why it’s an inappropriate format for actual activism; not that it’s academic per se.

  89. Eagle, that would be a fun thread. I would invite people to it! ;)

    Dungone: Anyone can click on any other thread concurrent to this one and see that you’re full of shit and are constantly harassing me.

    Prove it. Links, please?

    Dungone: And in this thread, to, you spoke to me first.

    Again, here is your first comment to me in the thread. You first trashed me, misrepresented my position (your favorite ‘method’), then interfered in a discussion I was having with Gingko (answering a question that he asked me, not you), and finally you linked an old thread and accused me outright of saying something in it that I did not say. (Since you now claim that you did not address me, let me ask *who exactly” was the question “Remember this one?” addressed to?)

    Can you find an earlier post in which I addressed you? I think you will be as successful at finding that, as you were in finding what Clarence has asked you to find. Link, please?

    Nice attempt at spin, though.

    Dungone: I did not speak to you.

    See above.

    Dungone: Look at the very first thing you said to me and how off-the-walls batshit crazy it was with it’s passive aggressive personal attacks.

    My first comment to you in this thread was addressing the topic of class, here. No comments before that. I asked where this comment was that you attributed to me, and you have still not replied. In fact, doing a search on that exact quote, it appears that NOBODY in the thread you linked said it, and its a totally fabricated quote.

    No “attacks” in it. Not a single one. Can you read?

    I am not passive aggressive, I am aggressive. You never have to wonder what I am thinking or if I am talking about you. I will tell you outright.

    Dungone: It was 100% out of line and out of proportion to the fucking *reasonable* comment I made to another person (not to you) pointing out that this thread was in danger of being derailed by way of special pleading.

    Whenever I comment to other people about you (as you did, in that comment I linked), you say I am passive aggressive. Does this mean when you comment to other people about me, that you are also passive aggressive?

    Interesting. I will keep that in mind.

    Dungone: Just happens to be a coincidence, although not a surprising one, that it was you doing the special pleading.

    I don’t plead, much less plead in any kind of special way. I was making a principled objection, as everyone else here does… I was not “pleading” for jack shit.

    Can you read?

    As always, you contradicted yourself within two sentences, stating unequivocally that women do not know men’s experience and therefore can’t say anything certain about it… and THEN you proclaimed that the fact of girls getting punished for not being ladylike, was “bogus”… why can you state things about our lives, but we can’t say anything about yours?

    As a feminist who has facilitated rap groups and speak-outs and all the rest of it, I happen to know that my experience (like men who are sexually assaulted by women, a comparison I made deliberately) is fairly common. Girls ARE punished for not acting feminine enough, although I think this is far less common than when I was growing up, pre-feminism. (I know it is still very common in certain cultures/religions) It was very, very common when I was young. Further, if you are paying attention, you will see this in old movies and TV, songs, fiction and literature; in my subsequent post I quoted Harper Lee, another girl famously punished for not being ladylike enough, which was a literary reference that perhaps you didn’t get. (reference to Scout) As Gingko correctly said, this type of punishment tends to be culture/class related, so the definition of what is “feminine” is changeable and intricately bound up in class behaviors, so that is one thing I was talking about. (You called this a “tangent”–but of course, I was talking to Gingko, not you.)

    Nice to get all that cleared up.

    Danny, you always say the most interesting things. But I’ve told you that before. :)

    Typhon: To be quite honest I’ve become increasingly convinced that AVFM has to have a “hostile” tone just to provide shelter for everyone being attacked by the social justice types.

    When you say “social justice types”–do you mean the left in particular? (Or just feminists?) Do you think AVFM has a rightward tilt?

    I’ve heard several people claim that it does.

  90. @ Daisy

    “do you mean the left in particular?”

    I mean the bullies who hound people for being “intolerant.”

    “Do you think AVFM has a rightward tilt?”

    No.

  91. @Typhonblue:

    “Do you think AVFM has a rightward tilt?”

    No.

    I agree. There are right-leaning commenters (mostly libertarian vs traditionalist conservative), but there are also left-leaning commenters, in addition to people who are harder to pin down. It’s difficult to peg their community into a neat little box, and I don’t know that doing so would be fruitful anyway, since “Men’s Rights” is something which neither mainstream conservatives nor liberals have really embraced, and, while I am a staunch, far-far-left-of-US liberal, I’m aghast at what liberal association has done to feminism and is trying to do to atheism.

  92. Dungone, and Daisy, please. Asking for the second time. And I’m not going to escalate my toen or any of that; it’s unnecessary.

    Daisy, That is very interesting news about Magie Gallagher. And she blames the men for not doing enough – what a toxic little appeal to chivarly that is. Well, she’s right that straight men had a lot to do with getting these measures passed, and they deserve credit for that. But it’s not straight men or women, that’s not the group; the deciding factor wa sgeneration. The Gen Xers and Millenials are fed up to the back teeth with the Boomer culture war.

    Danny,
    “And big props to the folks running this place because let’s be honest in most other places the brains behind the place would have taken a side and declared them off limits to attack while calling open season on the other.”

    Props? Here are some negative ethnic stereotypes but in my case they are true – I’m Irish on one side and English on the other, and totally Californian, so on one side I like a good fight and on the other I like to see people degraded. It’s a moral failure, but there it is.

  93. @JDCyran

    AVFM is apolitical as far as I can tell. It just doesn’t fit into the right-left dichotomy.

    Recently Paul talked about the Republicans opposing VAWA for all the wrong reasons. Dean is definitely not right-leaning. Plus there are also trans, bi and gay contributors. And traditionalism comes in for criticism as misandric as well.

  94. The “right-wing” charge against AVfM came up today deep into comments section on “Why feminism is poisoning atheism”.

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/video/why-feminism-is-poisoning-atheism/

    I left the following comment there:

    I am a recycling, kitten-loving, gay-marriage supporting, equal-rights demanding, traditionalist-defying, Prius-driving, artsy-fartsy Atheist guy who owns his own business and favors balanced budgets over both excess military and social program spending – and I use both my right and left wings to soar far away from the misandric toilet that is modern politics.

    I am only extreme in my commitment to the best parts of the MRM. AVfM is one of them.

  95. @Typhonblue:

    AVFM is apolitical as far as I can tell. It just doesn’t fit into the right-left dichotomy.

    Exactly, and I hope it continues to resist fitting in to that dichotomy. There’s already sentiment among people who shouldn’t matter but for some reason do that MRAs are hardcore, right-wing, Christofascist woman-haters, and moving rightward would make it that much harder to get a stronger foothold. On the other hand, moving leftward, especially in the sort of cliquey, college hipster, armchair activist kind of way, could bring uncomfortable comparisons to feminism. No thanks to either of those.

  96. @ JDCyran

    The charge of traditionalism in the Men’s Rights Movement has always baffled me. (As do the traditionalists who say “a return to traditionalism will solve all men’s problems.”)

    Traditionalists _have_ their own movements and communities which are, by all accounts, larger and more influential then the MRM.

    If the MRM was pushing a traditionalist message, it would make more sense to be part of the already existing community pushing that message rather then going off on its own.

  97. @Dungone:

    I’m going to go back to the very first comment I made in this thread:

    Logic and Reason.

    It’s not about being persuasive.

    Never?

    It’s not about being really super nice.

    Certainly not always. My experience has been that, for some people, it’s not the super nice that is attractive, but the horrid screeching ridiculousness that is repulsive. Some women very much do not like to go into places where there are constant screaming matches, nor do they enjoy being in a place labeled a safe space that is used to tear apart the people who are not allowed in that space.

    Logic and reason have their sway (and are often persuasive), and I think some, maybe most, women who seek out MRM spaces do so for that or in part because of that reason. However, I am positive that Feministe, Jezebel and FTB, to name a few, have driven out women who are emotionally exhausted and turned off by the deplorable attitudes and behaviors and that such driving out results in them looking at the MRM.

    One only has to look at Atheism+ (which I looked up after it was mentioned on here some time ago. I forget by who) to see that; people who, prior to the Atheism+ ridiculousness, didn’t know, potentially even know about, or talk to anyone in the MRM community suddenly are finding them, being introduced to their material, and even engaging with it because of their antics. Though he’s not a woman, Thunderf00t is a great example of this. After his experience at Free Thought Blogs, where he was banned and removed from their network after disagreeing with the sexual harassment policies they and other feminists advocated, as a direct result, he either found or was introduced to Girl Writes What’s YouTube channel and subscribed to her. Though he probably wouldn’t call himself an MRA, and is probably a NAFALT, it was the horrible attitudes and behaviors of certain feminists, not just the lack of logic and reason in the movement or surplus of his own logic and reason, which he has in spades, that resulted in his coming to some MRM material. I’d wager there are similar women.

    Perhaps that could fall under the umbrella of “logic and reason,” but I think it’s different enough.

    Now, related to Feminist Critics, super nice can be stifling, especially when it isn’t applied equally. I understand that Daran and Ballgame run their site how they like, and I respect that, but too often I’ve seen them strike out text and jump all over people for the tiniest of perceived slights in a very paternalistic way in an effort to maintain niceness and “civility” (primarily toward feminists). That’s their deal and probably meets their goals, but I definitely agree that it creates a place that isn’t good for actual activism and does have an unfortunate stifling effect on the potential perspectives of MRAs, even while I both respect their work and resist posting there.

  98. @Typhonblue:

    The charge of traditionalism in the Men’s Rights Movement has always baffled me. (As do the traditionalists who say “a return to traditionalism will solve all men’s problems.”) . . . If the MRM was pushing a traditionalist message, it would make more sense to be part of the already existing community pushing that message rather then going off on its own.

    I am with you 100%. I wonder which parts of the MRM the people who think it’s traditionalist think is traditionalist.

  99. This might be of interest considering the attacks on MRA based on a quote about incest from Paul Elam.

    First a warning: The link provided is NOT SAFE FOR WORK and it may not be safe from a legal perspective depending on local legislation so please consider that before clicking the link:

    IPCE is in their own words “a forum for people who are engaged in scholarly discussion about the understanding and emancipation of mutual relationships between children or adolescents and adults.” They are associated with NAMBLA.

    On their page they have a section with quotes supporting their view, several from feminists (or people who at the time of the quote was considered feminists):

    Kate Millet when asked “Do you think that a tender loving erotic relationship can exist between a boy and a man?”:

    Of course, or between a female child and an older woman.

    Of course, these relationships can be non-exploitative and, considering the circumstances, they are probably heroic and very wonderful;…

    http://www.ipce.info/ipceweb/Library/interv_kate_m.htm

    I’ll quote a few more from that site, although I don’t have direct links available here now – I don’t want to browse that site from my current network.

    Gayle Rubin:

    Youth Liberation has argued for some time that young people should have the right to have sex as well as not to have it, and with whom they choose. The statutory structure of the sex laws has been identified as oppressive and insulting to young people. A range of sexual activities are legally defined as molestation, regardless of the quality of the relationship or the amount of consent involved . . .

    The recent career of boy-love in the public mind should serve as an alert that the self-interests of the feminist and gay movements are linked to simple justice for stigmatized sexual minorities. … We must not reject all sexual contact between adults and young people as inherently oppressive.

    Gayle Rubin, lesbian feminist, in Leaping Lesbian, February, 1978

    Camille Paglia:

    These days, especially in America, boy-love is not only scandalous and criminal, but somehow in bad taste. On the evening news, one sees handcuffed teachers, priests and Boy Scout leaders hustled into police vans. Therapists call them maladjusted, emotionally immature. But beauty has its own laws, inconsistent with Christian morality. As a woman, I feel free to protest that men today are pilloried for something that was rational and honorable in Greece at the height of its civilization.

    Camille Paglia, activist and author in Sexual Personae (New York, Vintage Books, 1991).

    Jane Rule:

    If we accepted sexual behaviour between children and adults, we would be far more able to protect our children from abuse and exploitation than we are now.

    Jane Rule, lesbian feminist. “Teaching Sexuality” in Flaunting It, Vancouver, New Star Press, 1982.

    Pat Califia (now Patrick Califia-Rice):

    Boy-lovers and the lesbians who have young lovers are the only people offering a hand to help young women and men cross the difficult terrain between straight society and the gay community. They are not child molesters. The child abusers are priests, teachers, therapists, cops and parents who force their stale morality onto the young people in their custody. Instead of condemning pedophiles for their involvement with lesbian and gay youth, we should be supporting them.

    And not mentioned by IPCE, but nevertheless we of course have Eve Ensler’s “The Little Coochie Snorcher that Could” which is a part of her play “The Vagina Monologues”. It portrays an underage girl (thirteen in earlier performances, sixteen in the revised version) who recounts being given alcohol and then having sex with an adult woman; the incident is recalled fondly by the grown girl, who in the original version of the play calls it “a good rape.” Her abuser is also portrayed positively as someone “rescuing” her from needing men for sexual satisfaction .

  100. http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/163ili/dear_modern_feminists_so_this_is_what_youre_saying/

    Here is a case in point example of the OP, in case anyone is interested.

    @JDC, it is true that the “screeching” is a very compelling reason why people start to look outside of their ideological bounds. However, they aren’t repulsed by the loudness of the arguments in the MRM, either. Feminism doesn’t portray men’s rights as irrational hate mongering based on the worst examples of the MRM, but in order to make it out to he even more irrational than feminism. Otherwise people will actually take a look, even while knowing that just like anywhere else, it will have its share of righteous indignation as well as a few loons. My point is that as long as the logic and reason is there, countering feminism will be a productive endeavor, no matter what the tone.

    I think that what happens is that people who are looking to leave feminism aren’t actually stupid and they don’t need to be gingerly coaxed into accepting logic and reason. What they see most places is a deference to feminism, so they assume that it isn’t actually an actual alternative worldview. It’s because showing unnecessary deference to feminism in and of itself defies principles of logic and reason. These are people who have perhaps just gotten out of a tremendous argument with other feminists, but then they hit a wall of arguments that trip all over themselves to make excuses for it and say just how good and important that movement is. This is how people who get caught up in tone end up failing at their goals.

  101. @Dungone

    I think in general most people dont identify MRM or Feminist, so, the problem is if someone like that is reading or listening to a logical and rational argument but the presenter becomes shrill then odds are they wont even listen regardless of how good the information is. I think it is important to realize that change is more likely when you get those kinds of individuals on board. Remember, love em in their language not yours. :)

  102. the problem is if someone like that is reading or listening to a logical and rational argument but the presenter becomes shrill

    I don’t think this is a realistic problem. At all. More likely, getting mired in “meta” discussions about is far more likely to be damaging. It doesn’t matter if the tone is actually bad or not, the fact that people constantly harass one another about it is what makes it appear to outsiders that it is a “problem”. Feminists bring it up as an attack on the MRM for the same reasons that conservatives attack liberals as being “America-hating weak-kneed commies.” It frames the debate and you get mired in arguing with one another about how people perceive you instead of moving forward. This is especially important for a men’s movement in an environment where men’s voices are inherently viewed as shameful. Just seeing a bunch of MRA’s arguing with one another about how to put on a “respectable” appearance is enough to get people to dismiss the whole entire endeavor. Infighting about tone is not logical or reasonable.

    Just so you don’t think that the MRM is the only group to suffer this fate, a similar tragedy has befallen the atheist movement when feminist groups decided to make an incursion. Blogger Thunderf00t (just listen to the guy and tell me how in the world it is that feminists attack him as though he were a shrill retrograde) makes the same argument when he correctly points out that the sexual harassment policies adopted by atheist conferences are unfounded and, if anything, send a message to reasonable women to stay clear and make all atheists look really bad. The same is true for the MRM. People need to start realizing that the only reason it’s a problem is because people who don’t really know any better take the complaints seriously.

  103. @Dungone

    You do realize that the vast majority of people dont go online and discuss these matters. It is those individuals I am talking about. If people were to act the way many on here act, in public, then you can bet your ass they would turn and walk out the door. Of the ones who attempt to come online and read, maybe not talk(maybe linger) I would imagine many of them do the exact same thing if thing, when the shrill starts they look for the click x and go away. But what do I know, afterall I dont mind listening to you and Daisy shrill at each other………. ;)

  104. @Dungone:

    I agree with what you’re saying, to an extent, but

    Infighting about tone is not logical or reasonable.

    not with this. Tone cannot be the thing that drives an argument because it isn’t a part of its logical structure. The tone argument is also a fallacy; the tone one uses in an argument has nothing to do with its correctness. However, it can, and very much does, affect who approaches an argument, the way they approach it, and limits who will engage in a discussion (and it does this whether the tone is too harsh or too stifled). That’s why it’s so commonly discussed.

    It may seem fruitless and counterproductive to talk about it, but there’s nothing magical about the openness of a discussion where people are calling each other children, accusing each other of being drunk or drunks, labeling each other misogynists as a silencing tactic, using “cis” as a slur to silence each other, etc. There’s nothing productive or attractive about that.

    You can see this in places other than Feminism and MRA spaces, too. For example, Greg Street, one of the lead developers at World of Warcraft has said:

    A lot of devs do avoid the forums / twitter because they can be so negative. It’s sad, but also hard to blame them.

    Even in a space where people have a vested interest in listening to forums because it’s their job, tone can and does drive people away. It is definitely a realistic problem, probably a lot more than most people think. Feminism and MRA spaces are not exempt from that.

    Now, keep in mind that I’m not talking about just being critical or presenting arguments that people don’t like. Those things are part of having a real discussion. Calling a feminist or MRA or his or her bullshit is important, and I’m not suggesting that someone avoid doing that to a feminist, for example, to hand hold him or her into a discussion. However, tone can and does get taken too far, far enough that it’s distracting, and far enough that it can be pretty catastrophic to readership and activism.

  105. Tamen, very interesting quotes. I knew they were out there… keep looking and you should find a similar one by Dworkin, but damned if I can find it.

    As I said in comments on my Farrell post, this was common talk in the 70s, and Warren Farrell’s remarks about kids sexuality (or whatever he said) needs to be taken in that context. I absolutely will not condemn him for whatever he (supposedly) said… because virtually everybody was talking that way. I was closely-associated with someone who was big into “youth liberation” at the time, and this was standard-issue stuff. I remember it very well; did not know some of those particulars, though. Thanks for contributing.

    Problem is, some of those women were already run out of feminism on a rail..,. especially Rubin and Califia. They will therefore declare them anathema/perverts and not get the point. Kate Millett is simply unknown among many young feminists, and I never could figure out why she didn’t make the Women’s Studies cut and didn’t get included in the curricula (which is why they don’t know about her)… and you know–you may have just uncovered the reason! (I think her lifelong obsession with Jean Genet, an extremely controversial figure, is possibly another)

    Thanks again.

  106. Typhon: If the MRM was pushing a traditionalist message, it would make more sense to be part of the already existing community pushing that message rather then going off on its own.

    The trads are all religious and much of the young-MRM is atheist/agnostic, and that seems to be the primary barrier. Further, the frat-boy sensibility of AVFM (for instance using graphics of dog shit to illustrate posts about feminists or feminism) is offensive to the trads.

    Otherwise, I read a lot of the same anti-feminist arguments in both places.

  107. @JDCyran, what I’m saying is that there isn’t actually a tone problem. If there was a legitimate tone problem, then it may as well be worth addressing. However, there is not, so constantly having it called into question has a very peculiar effect: highlighting the “Neanderthal” brutishness that’s lurking just underneath the surface of these dastardly male-privileged yade yade yade…

    The most logical and reasonable way to present the men’s movement is to present men as they are, unabashed, without excuses. It then becomes a wager – the idea that on the whole, without being scolded, reprimanded, and otherwise told how to act – men are respectable. If they’re not worthy of consideration that way then fuck ‘em, see if I care. But I’m putting my money on the idea that it’s not really a problem.

  108. @Dungone:

    What I’m saying is that there isn’t actually a tone problem.

    At AVfM? I agree. I may have missed anyone expressing in this thread that there was (which is possible, since I mostly skimmed it and skipped quite a few posts), but my original post was about women seeking the MRM because there are “tone problems” (or, rather, flat out attacks, doxxing and nastiness) at many feminist sites (and Tumblr), and I think you’d be hard pressed to argue that there isn’t a tone problem in many of those spaces that is currently driving many people away.

  109. JDC, thanks for that link and that is as good as any other way to bring them to our attention.

  110. Daisy,

    I think Dworkin says something similar in Woman Hating. I read what Firestone said in The Dialectic of Sex, and she sees the non-sexuality of children as a consequence of the subordination of children. Firestone draws on Freud and Dworkin draws on Money.

    I gather this was a widespread idea in feminist circles until survivors of childhood sexual abuse started speaking out in feminist circles, but I don’t know whether most people turned around right away and rejected the idea right away as soon as they heard from survivors or whether most people defended it at first.

  111. Marja, I think most young feminists consider Greer an embarrassment… the British women are more familiar with her as a troublesome “Big Brother” contestant than as any kind of feminist.

    Marja: I gather this was a widespread idea in feminist circles until survivors of childhood sexual abuse started speaking out in feminist circles, but I don’t know whether most people turned around right away and rejected the idea right away as soon as they heard from survivors or whether most people defended it at first.

    Absolutely! That is why it is hypocritical to pick on Warren Farrell over it.

    I remember the sudden change (and it did feel rather sudden) as a dead, shocked silence at first. No defense offered at all.

    I believe the ascent of 12-step groups and the honesty in them, had much to do with it; one of the main reasons for the popularity of women’s AA/NA groups in the 80s was that people were starting to talk about these things for the first time. Men started having their own meetings and shared their own experiences too. (That tended to be the old-style men’s movement, meeting in the woods and all of that stuff. Lots of men’s AA retreats followed the men’s movement pattern.)

    After this, people just shut up about “kids sexuality”, etc. And it has pretty much stayed that way. In my humble opinion, we went from one extreme to the other… in the 70s, people talking recklessly about “child sexuality” as a positive without any understanding of damaging power-dynamics and ageism… to NOW… when we legally and socially regard many mature 16 and 17 year olds as “children”–when we all know they really are not. (which is not to say they are ALL mature at that age, but you know what I mean… intelligent and conscious sexual choices ARE possible at that age, and we can all offer examples we know.) As with feminism and men’s rights, I hope at some point we can reach some sane middle ground, and sort it all out.

  112. @ DaisyDeadhead

    Having been apart of AVFM I can say the primary barrier to AVFM being “traditionalist” is that they are not traditionalist.

    Furthermore most of our critique of feminism goes for traditionalism as well. The idea that women define men either through ideology or tradcon nonsense like “women civilize men.” (Which, incidentally, is also behind tradcon nonsense like “women are responsible for rape because they showed their ankles!”)

  113. Marja,
    “Also, why hasn’t Germaine Greer been run out of the feminist movement on a rail yet?”

    Interesting and illuminating question. I think the Victrola dog look you get from younger feminists, internet feminists, is telling. The fact they don’t really know her tells me how marginal she is now. Maybe she did not get run out on a rail, but she has been left by the side of the road to die.

    Daisy, can you expand a little on why she hads become so marginal? If it’s her “wackiness”, describe what makes her wacky. Aside from her wildly misandrist remarks over the years, I don’t know of anything else. So this may be that rare, rare instance we always thought never existed, of a feminist being hereticated for misandry.

  114. I think what’s being referred to is her 2003 book “The Beautiful Boy”, about, well, the beauty of adolescent boys. Compared to the American football commentator who’s currently being vilified for admiring the beauty of an adult woman, the lack of feminist criticism of this book could be considered somewhat hypocritical.

  115. “Compared to the American football commentator who’s currently being vilified for admiring the beauty of an adult woman, the lack of feminist criticism of this book could be considered somewhat hypocritical.”

    I consider it enabling of pedophilia, or ephebephilia at the very least.

  116. Yeah, for sure… also she unexpectedly joined the anti-trans Dalyoid faction, for reasons unknown. This was not really in keeping with her early work, so I will always think it was something personal. She was a very ‘emotional’ person.

    The late-70s factions (very roughly speaking) tended to be: Steinem/Millett/Dworkin/Lorde and Daly/Jeffreys/Raymond/Barry. After considerable dithering, MacKinnon then joined up with the first faction and Greer with the second; a lot of these alliances were based on friendships. Robin Morgan had friends in both factions, and although closely aligned with the second faction theoretically, had more actual buddies in the first faction. (If that makes sense.) And so (unfortunately for feminism as a whole) Morgan landed the much-coveted Ms editor job after Steinem left. Ms magazine (which Steinem had kept decidedly and deliberately very mainstream) then took a turn for the bizarre, endorsing both transphobia and satanic sexual abuse and thereby going off the deep end. (and it just got worse) Steinem took makeup advertisements, but Morgan would not. Etc. Ms magazine got very factionalized and purist, and lost all relevance for most women, when once upon a time, they were totally setting the agenda.

    I think Greer theoretically started out as close to the first faction, but Steinem made all kindsa nasty “blind item” remarks about her that were pretty obvious if you knew what was going on. So she ended up w/the transphobe faction. (Amusing aside: Phyllis Chesler, historically part of the first faction, totally jumped ship and went over to David Horowitz.)

    Greer wrote this weird thing about her biological clock, too, very odd. I don’t know how to describe it. (Its like she just figured out that there WAS one.) She wrote a series of very strange pieces… after having missed childbirth, she suddenly started rhapsodizing about it as the Alpha and Omega of female experience.

    In doing so, she alienated the last of her fans, if she had any left by then.

  117. Pingback: MISANDRY – The form the backlash is taking – feminism trying to colonize men’s issues and failing miserably because they don’t even know what they are | GendErratic

  118. Pingback: A rant that ran off | Tamen's writings

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