Around the web

Just some things I have seen recently around the net:

David Zirin wonders if the recent spate of IPV incidents in the NFL can be traced back to head injuries.
http://www.thenation.com/blog/181695/are-head-injuries-bridge-between-nfl-playing-field-and-domestic-violence
It seems a stretch to me. Unless head injury is contagious, his thesis does not explain why Janay Rice came at Ray Rice like a rabid dog and initiated the incident that got her knocked out cold.

I think he comes a lot closer with this:

“Some of these factors are high rates of stress, a culture of entitlement for sports stars that predates their life in the NFL, and an inability to turn off the violence of the game once the pads are off. This is when we see the most toxic part of the sport’s hyper-masculinist culture poison the relationships between the men who play the game—as well as the men who own teams—and the women in their lives.”

..but again, none of that explains Janay Rice’s behavior. Only entitlement to commit physical violence, or rabies, can explain that.

 

Okay, next – The Feminist Pimp Hand:  http://mr-cappadocia.tumblr.com/post/97960766962/i-couldve-told-him-sjws-wont-stop-because-they#

A black game developer dared to post a tweet on #notyourshield. For this unforgiveable breach of solidarity with people who just want to use him, SJWs called his boss, who promptly fired him.

Let me quote Mr. Cappodocia directly:

“But so long as it’s just a black male game developer that actually exists.. well, he’s a traitor to the SJW movement.

And sure enough the fucking Feminists found out where he worked, called his brimming with integrity female boss, and had his ass shitcanned.

Just, you know, in the event you were under the illusion SJWs gave a shit about freedom of speech, or… I dunno… black people… you can cut that shit out right now.

Incidentally, want to know what his grave sin was? He made a tweet with the hashtag #notyourshield.”

 

Let’s see….

Here’s one from the Volokh Conspiracy: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/09/22/c-b-w-has-two-daddies-even-in-houston-and-the-gay-one-gets-custody-says-the-jury/

….in which a Houston jury refused to overturn a California award of custody of a child to the non-paternal gay male parent. (The two men were married at the time the paternal parent’s sperm was used to impregnate the mother.) The now ex-gay paternal parent had sued to get the California award overturned.

Two things stand out for me in this. One is that it shows how stupid it is to generalize about entire regions as being traditionalist or retrograde or bigoted. That’s just bigoted, really.

The other thing is, as strange as this decision may seem, it has the advantage of being strange, and when it comes to custody awards, strange is good. Strange is gender equity and an end to maternal privilege in custody awards. More strange, please.

 

And finally, a new blog to watch and support! OirishM, familiar form commenting in all the best places, announces his new blog http://oirishm.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/he-for-she-and-she-for-he/ in a thread at Feminist Critics. Y’all go visit now, y’hear?

 

 

 

IT’S SHIT LIKE THIS, FEMINISTS: On women’s natural insight, a misogynist trope

In this post: http://www.genderratic.com/p/4543/male-privilege-why-do-women-assume-they-know-about-men-or-mens-lives/  we discussed the cultural trope that women understand men better than men understand women, that women know men’s lives, sometimes better than men do, and can comment knowledgeably on them in a way that men cannot comment on women’s lives.

First he identifies a common assumption in a lot of feminist argumentation, that men favor other men over women in the patriarchy in parallel with the way women favor other women over men.

Theodmann
Submitted on 2014/09/05 at 4:30 pm

Seems like the feminist idea of what men are like is partly based on traditional gender stereotypes and partly on an unnoticed assumption that all men will act toward other men the way feminists tend to act toward women. Since they will put women first always, and work to make things better for women at the expense of men (they may not always seek to tear men down, but they don’t hesitate to do it if they think women might gain from it), they assume men work to benefit men at every turn, paying no attention to whether women are harmed. The frustrating thing is that this assumption is both false and impervious to any attempt at disproof.

This is simple projection. The observable facts of the “patriarchy” are male disposability expressed erasure of male victims, obligations to protection and provision at the cost of personal safety, to which women are not equivalently held; and the hyperagency/hypoagency dyad underlying male disposability, in which men are held to standards of exertion and responsibility women are not held to, and women are excused from responsibility for their actions. An inverse equivalent to this dynamic is seen in churches, where older women exercise power through a façade of male front men to direct slut-shaming and other kinds of misogynistic policing at younger women. That model does not operate across society however, where in the main older men instrumentalize younger men as described above.

He goes on to the meat of this post:

I was told as I was growing up that girls were the more empathetic of the sexes, that they had a special intuition inaccessible to boys like me, and that they had a rich inner life to which my wildest imaginings could only pale in comparison. I bet these feminists heard that message too, and have assumed it to mean that they have a natural insight into everyone that men lack. I notice a lot of feminists say that anyone who disagrees with them just lacks knowledge or understanding of feminism. One is reminded of the teenager’s complaint that nobody “gets” them.

I never thought that I’d been born in the wrong body or anything, but sometimes I wished I was a girl, because it seemed so much better and more interesting. I wonder what it’s like for women who have been told all their lives both that they’re better than men in all these deep ways and that “society” still likes men better. I wonder if it makes them angry…

There is a persistent meme in Western culture that credits women with insight, intuition and psychic access to deeper things, and men with reason, clarity – and conversely denies that either is endowed with the other set of attributes.

So it goes against the gender norms for men to have much of an emotional life, and if they do, any subtlety or complexity in that emotional life is played down and policed. That kind of thing is for sissies. Likewise if a girl shows an interest in any of the physical sciences or math, that’s dry and boring, not really feminine, and unless she has someone encouraging her, she will quickly get the message and back off.

The misogyny and misandry of this scheme is masked by the approval for one or the other, and this approval has shifted back and forth over the centuries. The ancient Greeks valued reason and self-control very highly and though those were properties of men, while women and barbarians (Middle Easterners mostly) and animals could never really reach that level of function. Their art focused on ideals of male beauty. By the way, the Romans adopted this attitude and it was a major impediment to the spread of Christianity – it was something for women and the lower orders, but not for real men.

Meanwhile further north the Celts, working off the same basic schema, flipped the approval nozzle to women. In Irish literature the social penalties for offenses against druids and noblewomen were pretty much the same, and they were severe. Both groups had the same social and legal status. Warriors would be described in glorious, beautiful detail, but real ethereal beauty was always feminine. And this attitude has persisted into modern times, with all the conventions for the genre of songs known as aislinge reflecting this.

Moving forward a few centuries, we started to flip back and forth on this faster and faster. Coming out of the blood-soaked enthusiasm and murderous high-mindedness of the reformation, Europeans touted Reason as the panacea for every ailment that assailed mankind. Classical models of everything were preferred. Everything emotional, spontaneous, sentimental – “feminine” – was disdained. Voltaire said he had never “made ha ha.” The backlash against that came in the form of Romanticism, when everything natural, spontaneous, authentic – “feminine” – was celebrated. The music was stormy, literature reveled in Byronic heroes and desperate damsels and everything was all drama, all the time.

Every backlash spawns a backlash. Industrialization and the progress in science and technology it funded made the emotionalism of the Romantic era seem silly and outdated, not suited to modern society. Frilly ornamentation was shouldered out by the hard, clean lines of the Deco movement. Even women’s fashion was not exempt. Coco Chanel stripped women’s clothing down to hard, clean  – masculine – lines. Modernism steamrolled Romanticism into absurdity, but not before Romanticism got in a few last lethal licks in the form of toxic nationalism – romantic woo about “national genius” and master races and national destiny. With the total defeat of that ideology Modernism was the only thing left standing. The hideous, world-destroying absurdities of ethnic mythology and idealistic zeal were derided and enounced. The way forward was decency and reason. WWII had driven gigantic advances in technology and that process sped up under the demands of the Cold War. The Space Age became a marketing gimmick - does anyone else remember that disgusting industrial waste called Tang, fake orange juice that had one thing to recommend it - the NASA astronauts drank it in space. Women retreated into the kitchen wore those weird Doris Day skirts that made them look like spinning tops and were expected to look like arm candy when they were out in public. Once again logic and hard edges were what was hot and poppin’…

….until the inevitable backlash came in the counter-culture of the 60s. Suddenly every kind of woo was cool (No matter how reasonable it might actually be. If it was sufficiently exotic, then it was wooful.) Modernist anything was out. Grocery store factory food was suddenly uncool. Modernist furniture was rejected in favor of antiques. Getting back to the land, to roots, to a more authentic way of living was all the rage. (And it has to be said, one of the sad things about Modernist furniture is how easy it is to make absolutely cheesy knock-off crap. It just had to die.) A corollary of this was a swell of interest in anything medieval or just pre-modern. An example of this was a surge of popularity for Tolkien’s novels. The modern environmental movement caught fire in this period, and science had been the instrument of the rape of the planet. This turn away from modernism affected every corner of the culture and if you were living in that period this was very obvious.

Now this is where this “intersects” with feminism. (“My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit!”)

2nd Wave Feminism came of age in this setting. If we look carefully I bet we will find that most of the failures and flaws of feminism – its tribalist female chauvinism, its misandry, its faux-intellectual anti-intellectualism, its dogmatic zealotry  – they would all lead back one way or another, or perhaps just directly, to the anti-rational tropes of romantic thinking. Tribalism, xenophobia, anti-rationalism, zealotry have dogged every other romantic movement. Why should 2WF be exempt?

And when we inventory all the core doctrines of 3rd Wave Feminism – rape culture, rampant ambient cultural and institutional misogyny, “benevolent” sexism, and the whole Social Justice Warrior frenzy when contradicted on any point of doctrine – we see all the same misandry, female chauvinism, anti-intellectualism and dogmatism. They have learned nothing.

In all the recent angst about women’s participation in STEM courses and occupations and their exclusion from it, it seems to me the elephant in the middle of the role is a gender role that privileges intuition and emotionalism over logic and that polices logic as unfeminine. And it also seems to me that if socialization is what drives and perpetuates gender roles, then we should be hanging at least some of the responsibility on the socializers and the police – mothers and peers. The hand that rocks this particular cradle needs to kick the bucket – or maybe get her ass over to the coalface where it belongs.

Well, every backlash spawns a backlash, with the period of each backlash getting shorter and shorter and shorter. I have just sketched out how that has been happening with this meme in the culture, this misogynist and misandrist meme. The pendulum loses momentum until it finally reaches equilibrium. It cannot happen a decade too soon.

The “women’s intuition” trope is misogynistic, foot-binding bullshit. The robotic man of logic meme is misandrist bullshit. If feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings, then it should be insisting on respect for women’s full humanity.

Symantec and slanders against MRM sites and others, and stepping on their wing-wang at last

Well lookee here.

Remember when Symantec, that internet Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, over-reaching, intrusive “who will think of the children!!!!” Moral Guardian of the Universe, decided either on its own or at the prompting of radfem elements, to block access to MRA and other gender blogs as porn sites? Here’s the list of MRA and other sites they blocked:

http://therightsofman.typepad.co.uk/the_rights_of_man/2013/02/the-48-mens-human-rights-sites-feminists-seek-to-censor.html

The common thread was not that these sites were MRA sites but that they were all critical of feminism. The other common thread is that branding them as pornographic sites was not only a slander, but a very telling slander.

Well now it seems they have touched a third rail and been zapped into climbing down on another group of websites they labeled as porn sites. This time they slandered people who cam slam back and rub their noses in their whorish, entrepreneurial pandering to pressure groups that poses as sanctimony.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/09/16/3381932_ap-newsbreak-web-filter-lifts.html?rh=1

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A popular online safe-search filter is ending its practice of blocking links to mainstream gay and lesbian advocacy groups for users hoping to avoid obscene sites.

For several years, top Web-filtering services have been resolving a security over-reach that conflated gay rights websites with child porn, blocking both from web surfers using safe-search software. Now Symantec, one of a handful of key players in the content-filtering market, is joining the push.

Online security firm Symantec told The Associated Press that while customers can still set their search to block offensive websites, there will no longer be an option to block websites just because they relate to sexual orientation.

“Making this change was not only the right thing to do, it was a good business decision,” said Fran Rosch, executive vice president, Norton Business Unit, Symantec in a Tuesday announcement. “Having a category in place that could be used to filter out all LGBT-oriented sites was inconsistent with Symantec’s values and the mission of our software.”

Symantec’s shift, which came after customers at an Au Bon Pain cafe and bakery blogged in January that the free Wi-Fi was blocking access to advocacy groups, is the latest in a series of Internet-filter revamps prompted after frustrated Web searchers found human rights campaigns and gay advocacy groups were being grouped together with child porn sites by some Web-content monitors, which then prevented users from clicking on them.

Let this be a lesson to all of us on how far these market-appointed Moral Guardians can be trusted with other people’s civil rights to free speech. They can be trusted as far as the leash attached to that
This time of course it wasn’t radfems behind the blocks. This time it was:

“Analyst Bryan Fischer at the conservative American Family Association said some people consider websites advocating gay rights as dangerous propaganda and should be allowed to block them.”Symantec is simply wrong to deny their customers this option,” he said.

…someone with identical methods and identical attitudes towards other people’s rights, someone who also thinks branding something as pornography is the most damning accusation one can sling.

When it comes right down to it, they are all basically indistinguishable under their various ideological white sheets. They are all puritans – dominionistic*, high-minded, SJW totalitarians. For a time they were able to ride a wave or parental hysteria and high moral purpose and bend hucksters like Symantec to do their will, but the tide is finally turning. The tide is turning at last.

 

*http://www.publiceye.org/christian_right/dominionism.htm

 

Male Privilege – Why do women assume they know about men or men’s lives? – Part II, Eagle 35′s answer

Ginko, I have another feminist you can rip to shreds. Or rather, another idealogue who typifies the empathy gap I mentioned to them.

After listing privileges males have and detailing what women struggle with, I had this to say in response:

“Yes, you have struggles and areas in life that aren’t respectful to your basic humanity.

But in all of this, you realize there is one thing you have that no man on this earth will ever have, and likely never will judging by our long storied history.

Empathy.

Let me lay it out for you:

Every single problem in that list has programs, support groups, and media attention addressing it. Especially in terms of violence against women. I can count beyond my two hands the number of PSAs and coverage violence against your gender receives, not to mention the level of funding bank rolling it from the government.

Now what does a man like me have in regards to empathy?

1) Get hit/abused by a woman

Empathy: “How can you let a woman hit you?”, “HA HA HA, what a wuss!”, “You’re bigger than her, capable of handling such a frail petite little girl like that”.

2) Get hit/abused by a woman than retaliate in self-defense before it escalates.

Empathy: “Oh my god, you monster!”, “Never hit a woman!”, “You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent…” and so on.

3) Get falsely accused of rape or domestic violence by a vindictive woman with a grudge

Empathy: “She’s right.”, “You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent…”, “We don’t want your kind around here.”

4) Speak out against women slanderously insulting men.

Empathy: “Oh quit your whining!”, “What about the MENZ!”, “It’s not about YOU! Stop making it so!”, “Check your privilege!”, “Men have all the power. Consider yourself lucky!”

5) If, as a boy, I am physically bullied and hurt by a girl/group of girls.

Empathy: See #1

6) If, as a boy, I am physically bullied and hurt by a girl/group of girls then defend myself physically.

Empathy: See #2. “NEVER. HIT. A. GIRL!”

7) I am a boy being left behind in education.

Empathy: “Only minority boys. White boys fair better.”, “It’s not an issue”, “Stop taking attention away from the girls”.

8) I am a boy/man getting told my gender is responsible for war, violence and general damage being done to the world then express my hurt.

Empathy: Well, see #6 with an additional “It’s only fair. Now you know how it feels after girls and women were oppressed for thousands of years!”

Get the idea?

You talk about male privilege but don’t even bother to delve deeper and see that men are in the same boat with items on your list in a different way.

With the ultimate difference being: Empathy Apartheid.

Now you’re a feminist, right? Why is it that the movement, when faced with the severe level of empathy dolled out towards your gender compared to the expired scraps dumped from the garbage bin to men, didn’t address this? And when those who did, why did the movement write them out of existence?

Answer that. Because from my end, you lack basic awareness of how much empathy and support you’re given compared to someone like me regarding your problems.

And when men attempt to address their needs as a collective, they get misinterpreted and labeled sexist. Some even have their careers threatened and reputations slandered.

Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?

And you know what’s worse: This empathy gap is never going away any time soon. Because it’s a part of mankind. Men and women are more empathetic to women. Period.

And the feminist movement, or at least some segment of it, used this empathy gap for their selfish gain with not a single protest from others.

I know this sounds harsh but if you step into my shoes for a just a brief minute, you’d understand just how much this slap in the face, this empathy gap, makes me so depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts if I spare more than my burdened train of thought can muster.

Yet here I am in the world, putting on my sunday best, pulling up my bootstraps and being a model citizen. Just like many tell me. “Hey, just count your blessings. Find a hobby, an interest, get involved.” Just another way of telling me to be another mindless drone. Even my current psychiatrist recommended we focus less on what has happened to me in the past and on the present. “Don’t dwell on it too much.”

See what I mean? You get the programs, the support, the media backing, the mucho denaro, a nice little Department for Women and Girls in The White House.

What do I get? A mask to wear, just my size, for the betterment of the community.

That’s all.

There’s my opinion. Take it for what it is.”

And this is the idealogue’s response.

“First of all, as far as empathy is concerned, I mentioned several times in most of my comments in this thread that I believe it is horrific and cruel that men anywhere have to undergo circumcision. I am the sort of feminist that believes there is a place in feminism that addresses men’s rights, but as a whole, I am a feminist because I am interested in addressing the ways in which women specifically are disenfranchised in the society we live in.

I was asked to provide a list of ways I and many feminists believe men are privileged. Your comment is so full of hostility that in all honestly it makes it difficult to take seriously. You seem to be operating under the impression that I have no interest in extending the same empathy I am shown to men, and if that is in fact the case, it is because I was not asked anything that would have required me to discuss those opinions of mine.

I think men should have as much access to recovery and trauma care as women have, and believe there is no excuse for why such centers don’t exist.

Also, I know of zero instances in my personal life where a woman falsely accused a man of raping or assaulting her when it in fact did not happen, but I know of several friends of mine, let alone acquaintances who have actually been raped. Has it happened to you/do you know of one man who has been falsely accused of rape? Do you have any idea how much more frequently women are actually raped in proportion to the number of men who have to endure false rape accusations? Or that a very small proportion of men who are raped are actually raped by women? The U.S. Justice Department estimates that false rape accusations occur at a rate of less than 2%. I’m guessing you aren’t a part of that two percent, in which case that instance of disenfranchisement does not apply to you. If you have in fact been falsely accused of rape or sexual assault, then I am genuinely sorry you ever had to deal with that. I think it is wrong that women falsely accuse men of rape because I believe it takes the focus of of women and men who were actually raped.

Along the same lines, I fully understand and admit that domestic/violent abuse at the hands of a woman against a man is something that happens, and is something that should be put to an end. Are you someone who has endured such violence at the hands of a significant other? I don’t say parent or familial member, since I think girls and boys endure physical abuse at statistically insignificant equal numbers. As wrong as I truly believe it is that anyone endure domestic abuse from their significant other, about 7.4% of men in the U.S. reported being physically assaulted by a partner. On the flip side, about 22% of women have reported being physically abused by a spouse. Yes, men are subject to experience physical violence in large numbers, but they are less likely to be physically hurt than women. That being said, as many as 1 in 5 women report attempted or acts of rape, and as many as 48% of assault cases go unreported. Do you still think women have too many shelters to go to when they feel in danger?

(Again, I am not saying that men shouldn’t have shelters to go to, but empathy doesn’t seem to be doing much to stop women from getting raped does it?)

As far as your 4th point is concerned, I hate sexism wherever it appears, and personally, I regularly call out anyone that I feel is unfairly insulting someone based on gender alone, whether they are a man or a woman speaking out against men or women. At the end of the day, I hear more people calling each other bitches, pussies, cunts, and little girls more than anything else as a means of insulting (playfully or no) another person. You have the privilege of not having your entire gender used as a set of common slurs which equate with inherent weakness. Yes, there’s dick, but even I still think that’s wrong and that gendered slurs are bad. As a dude, you probably have no idea what it’s like to hear so many people around you use your own gender as a slur.

In regards to your 5th and 6th point, WHY IS IT NOT FUCKED UP TO HIT ANYONE AT ALL?? Whenever men point this out, I can’t help but think that they are just pining to nail a woman in the face because that’s a threat they have to deal with, a threat that is imposed BY OTHER MEN. As I mentioned in a previous comment, my boyfriend was an infantryman and a goddamn sniper in the US Army for 4 years, and even he never responded with violence when that’s what he was met with before joining the army and being flung into combat (what he called the most aggressive, testosterone-fueled environment in existence). Why is physical violence necessary, ever, against anyone? I don’t think anyone should be hit, period.

In regards to your 7th point, what mechanism, exactly, is it that is disadvantaging you at the educational level? Women are receiving 56% of college degrees in the U.S. Do you really think it’s unfair that men are no longer getting the most degrees?? 85%+ of the U.S. Congress is made up of WHITE MALE AMERICANS. Would you dare to tell me that women aren’t being left behind in our COUNTRY’S legislature?? College attendance is the most equal it has ever been.

For your #8, as a feminist and logical human being, I disregard such overwhelmingly generalized terms, and think that thousands upon thousands of years of warfare ingrained into our very species is what is responsible for so much chaos and war. I personally do not blame it on one gender or the other, so you can count me out of that discussion. Have you personally had to fight in a combat zone? Have you personally had to endure what it’s like to send a loved one or a significant other to war for a year? If you can respond yes to any of that, then my god, I am so sorry you had to endure that, ever. I cohabit with someone who has given years of his life to combat and did nothing but support him in ever way I could while he was overseas. The forces that lead us as a species to go to war against each other are much, MUCH more complex than mere gender, and I will fucking argue that point every time.

I as a feminist address issues the men in my life (who are willing to open up) face every time I discuss my own issues. You are coming into this discussion accusing me of ignorance, and assuming you have me pegged. You do not understand the first tenet of feminism if you believe it means to be automatically anti-male. I think men should have just as much access to trauma care as women, but at the core of my feminist beliefs, I believe women and men should be regarded as equals and that women are inherently equal not better than men, they just aren’t treated as such in the ways that matter the most economically and socially. You are talking to me as though I have placed women on a pedestal of greatness that men can’t touch, but it is people like you and comments like yours that try to pigeon-hole me into a corner I was standing nowhere near in regards to what I believe. I as a white woman understand fully that I belong to the most privileged race that has ever existed, and yet am able to observe that privilege because I actually want to use it to help advance those whose voices don’t have as much resonance as mine in this society. Unlike you, I am actually willing to and in this discussion have list the ways in which I am privileged as a woman, I just happen to believe that, when it comes to my personal dreams and goals, life would be a bit easier if I was a man.

You ask me to step in your shoes as if I have never had a profound discussion with the men in my life that I love so much about their struggles, and as if I don’t as the men around me about what makes their life hard. If you are a man who has experienced any one of the issues you have dealt with on a daily basis, then I wish you nothing but the best, and hope beyond hope that you can get the help, or access to the help that I believe you deserve. You wear the mask you accept. I refuse the one I am told to wear every day just so that I can try to reclaim my confidence every day. The literal image of a perfect woman is plastered everywhere for me to study, especially on this website. I volunteered for nonprofits that benefited both abused men and women, and did what I could to ensure that everyone felt welcome no matter what their circumstance. When is the last time you did something tangible to help men, besides write tirades against feminists you claim to know so well?

Do you blame me for responding so aggressively when I’m met with so much aggression? Jesus.”

Let’s go through the list of stereotypes they fit:

1) Claiming they emphasize while throwing bogus statistics in the critic’s face. Aka “I know this is an issue but women have it worse…”

2) Believing False Rape is not a big deal since they know men who have never been falsely accused of rape. Aka (False Rape Accusations is not a big deal because…well it doesn’t happen in my world)

3) Blaming men and emphasizing men as the problem. AKA (“It’s done BY MEN!”)

4) “People shouldn’t be hitting each other”. Yup, always brings this out when there’s still “Boys don’t hit girls” and girls allowed to get away with physically abusing boys.

5) And the cherry on top: Bragging about what they do in real life, all the good deeds for men and women, as if it absolves them of of their dishonest, ignorant bias. Then snarkily asking what the critic has done in equal measure in their life.

Gingko, do another feature on this like you did the previous one. But unlike last time, I’m not going to fold. Just take a break and post less often.

LADIES’ AUXILIARY OF THE PATRIARCHY – Patriarchal feminism

Please discuss, with examples and analysis

John Markley on 2014-08-21 at 9:59 pm said: Edit

“The average feminist’s entire construct of the concept of “men” is built of a foundation of the very gender stereotypes which they claim to be fighting.”

Patriarchal feminism indeed.

Also examples and discussion of feminists who resist and defy this tendency are more than welcome.

Male Privilege – Why do women assume they know about men or men’s lives?

Commenter Eagle 35 posted the text of a Reddit exchange he had with a feminist as a comment. (He prefers not to link to the actual exchange.)

The feminist in the exchange exhibits a behavior that is a recurring problem in the discussion of gender, the assumption that women fully understand men and our lives and can make meaningful comparisons. This typically is expressed in statements such as “Men have X privilege because men can Y and women cannot”.

These statements usually suffer from two defects. One is that very often the statement that men can do X is simply false and the speaker is simply unaware of the relevant facts. The feminist below exhibits this in her reference to the threat of street violence when walking home from class. This is sometimes acknowledged by denial, in the form of some kind of bogus, supposedly extenuating or mitigating factors around the threats men face and the harms they suffer. The typical form is “Yeah, but that’s inflicted by men!” as if that effectively discredits the claim. (Didn’t you just list a harm to women that is also inflicted by men? So is that now discredited too?)

The second and more problematic defect is the erasure, sometime to the point of appearing sociopathic, of a particular disadvantage men have, usually by false equivalence. To answer a point about the rate at which men are murdered with a statistic about female rape victims is to equate rape to murder, which pretty obviously erases the seriousness of murder. I am going to spell this out in detail: saying the rape of a woman is equivalent to the death of a man devalues his life fundamentally.

We see this particular form of misandry all the time. When men’s suicide rates are mentioned, a response that rests on women’s rates of attempted suicide devalues actual suicide. When the removal of the entire foreskin is discussed, there is inevitably a reminder that the removal of a portion of the clitoris in incalculably worse. When the deaths of men in war are mentioned, we have Hillary Clinton telling us that “Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat. Women often have to flee from the only homes they have ever known. Women are often the refugees from conflict and sometimes, more frequently in today’s warfare, victims. Women are often left with the responsibility, alone, of raising the children.” – in other words, they survive, unlike their men.

Please add your own examples.

Ah, one of my own – K R Suryaprakash was chased down and physically attacked in the street for “eve-teasing” – flirting with his attacker – and Matthew Champion of the Independent applauds this, as if a physical attack is a mete response commensurate with flirting.

Here is Eagle35:

I’ll supply you the Male Privileges she lists instead.

“Male privilege is not walking down the street and being singled out and verbally harassed by different groups of men on a weekly basis.

Male privilege is being visually harassed by blatant sexual displays on the street on a daily basis and being called a misogynist for daring to “dictate to women” when it comes to dress by calling this what it is, visual harassment.

Male privilege is not having to explicitly plan out your walk home from class every evening by carrying bear mace or holding your keys in your hand because you’ve been approached by men/people who are 1.5 times your size and demand you ‘sit your purple lips on their nose’.

Male privilege is being the overwhelming majority of actual, not just feared, street violence, violence that results in injury and death, not just a sense of affront. Male privilege is being the target of actual physical violence rather than mere speech.

The society you live in doesn’t teach you that your primary value is in the sexual pleasure you are capable of providing to the opposite sex.

The society we live in teaches men that their primary value is their usefulness to women, and that if they want intimacy with a woman, they have to pay for it one way or another. it may be performing three feats to win the princess, it may be spending six months income on a piece of jewelry, it may be staying in a job for a lifetime that kills your soul and keeps you from raising your own children.

(With that said, wouldn’t life be easier for dudes if they were as objectified as much as women are in the media? If women were told that men were to be primarily valued for how they look and for their sex, maybe more women would see men as sexy things to do sex on!

Yes it would. It would be like sexual equality. But before that can ever happen, women are going to have to stop choosing to see male sexuality as predatory and male genitals as some kind of weapon that they can mutilate at will and then laugh about. (You don’t know what I’m talking about? How convenient.)

Unfortunately(?), our society perpetuates the notion that men are to be valued for many things other than their sexuality.)

Unfortunately our society values men only for their economic profitability and usefulness to others, primarily women, and their willingness to risk their lives to protect women.

Male privilege is failing at something, anything, and not qualifying your entire sex as a failure. Example: girls are bad at math. (Really, I can’t count how many times in my life I’ve heard ‘girls can’t do x’ or ‘only boys can do y’).

Male privilege is being told by elementary school teachers, while you are young and defenseless and gullible, that girls are naturally smarter, that they are better behaved, and that men cause all the wars and problems in the world.

The society you live in equates logic and academic prowess with masculinity, even though most college graduates are female and those numbers are increasing.

So obviously that society does not equate academic success with masculinity, it equates it with femininity, and privileges femininity in granting access and opportunity to education.

Male privilege is being able to meet friends for drinks at a bar and not having to preemptively think about how you’re going to peacefully make it to the bathroom when you have to piss without someone trying to stick their hand up your skirt.

Male privilege is having women grab your crotch – not your ass, your actual genitals – and being called a misogynist or gay if you’re not all flattered and cool with it, or getting thrown out by the bouncer if one of them objects to your reluctance.

Female privilege is being able to meet friends at a bar and not having to worry if you are going to be attacked by the boyfriend of the woman who has come over to flirt with you, or attacked when you leave the bar. Hell, female privilege is having strangers buy you drinks based on nothing more than your gender.

In the same respect, male privilege is talking to a person without uncomfortably trying to cover your chest as a means of maintaining a person’s attention on what you’re saying. The society you live in doesn’t teach the opposite sex that you are to be treated as something that is another’s right to consume.

Male privilege is not having the majority of acquaintances you run into on a daily basis ask you if you’re sick because you’re not wearing makeup. Society doesn’t tell you that you’re ugly without it.

Male privilege is risking your life on the street if you wear make up.

Male privilege is having society deem you unattractive, ugly even, for not presenting a female face. Male privilege is having your genitals deemed ugly, ugly enough to require mutilation at birth, before you can possibly consent, to make them esthetically acceptable to some shallow sociopath. Male privilege is having all depictions in art be of female bodies and no male bodies.

Male privilege is not being interrupted or having your opinions dispelled immediately by your opposite-sex peers because you’re considered biologically ‘illogically inferior’ and ‘professionally incompetent’ (in other words: ‘because what do you know?’).

Unless you happen to be talking about raising your own children or trying to watch them at  public park. If you dare try that, you can count on some officious matron giving you the stink eye and even accosting you or reporting you to the police.

Interrupted? You mean like having your every comment in the discussion of gender policed or silenced with “what about the menz?” or accusations of misogyny or of whining or the simple resort to “male privilege”? Ooops, like just above.

The society you live in does not tell the opposite sex that they inherently know more than you because at some point thousands of years ago they had to fight to fuck a person and they killed animals for food while you merely built homes and raised the next generation.

The society you live in says women get to make all reproductive decisions because you “create life”. The society you live in says women have a special feel for the arts and anything to do with design in the home, so her man had better just shut up, pay the bills and sit in his designated chair, and go sleep on the couch if she takes a notion.

Male privilege is actually having male masturbation depicted in media of any kind or referenced in popular media with regularity.

Okay, this is so false as to border on willful blindness. Depictions of male masturbation? This part is a straight up lie. Can she show me even one, or is she just perving on gay porn sites?

The fact is that male masturbation has been the object of cultural hysteria for centuries. There are even films on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Ribbon

Anonymous feminist is apparently unaware of the shaming language directed at men who masturbate – “wanker”, “jerk”, “jerk off” – and how this language equates male masturbation with being worthless.

Anonymous Feminist is almost certainly ignorant of the fact that the prevention of male masturbation was the infamous Dr. Kellogg’s reason for popularizing mass male genital mutilation in the US.

How often do you think young girls and women get to see female masturbation or even remotely accurate female desire depicted in popular media? (I’ll give you a hint: never.)

Then why don’t they get up off their asses and develop some content that does show it? Popular media is market driven, and young girls and women sure have a lot of disposable income for it to chase; why so passive?

Male privilege is not having to shave your legs or armpits if you don’t want to and not expecting to be treated as a deficient man.

Female privilege is not having to shave your face every day and not being considered some kind of a boor or a peasant or worse yet some kind of unclean pervert if you don’t.

I have very little leg hair and don’t shave. My boyfriend still fucks me harder than ever and even licks my legs while he does it. I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked to justify why I don’t shave. How many times a day are you asked about the hair that occurs naturally on your body?

Asked? If it even gets that far. Male body hair is execrated and derided: http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2014/aug/20/hairy-back-wax-grooming-men

And then there is all the sneering and opining and femsplaining about beards.

 

I mean, make some attempt to know something about the society and culture you are criticizing. You say you live in it? I think you have shown you really don’t.

 

Eagle 35 wraps up:

This is a very rudimentary and possibly sloppy list, but would you like me to go on? I can and will, but it’s late, and I’ve been drinking.”

Granted, someone requested the list but that’s what started it all.

Besides, Tamen did a great job fighting back with actual evidence posted. I think Tamen and I would make a great team, me using emotion and Tamen the technical.

DISCUSSION – Gendering Class, Part IV – “Ladylike” and policing femininity

It’s been a while since we have look at the gendering of class. Something that occurred to me recently was how in many stories women had of being gender-policed as girls that policing was framed in terms of “ladylike” behavior. Were you prevented form climbing trees or wearing certain types clothing of clothing because they weren’t ladylike, or did you hear girls who did act ladylike praised for being so feminine?

First point of discussion: Women, please tell us your stories of being expected to behave like ladies, regardless of your social class.

It seems a natural consequence of framing proper feminine behavior as ladylike that it will contrast male behavior as being crude, brutish, lustful, stupid – all the derogatory stereotypes people through the ages have aimed at low-status people.

So this would position women as the natural authorities on manners, matters of esthetic judgment such as clothing and design in the home, the arts and similar refinements.

Second point of discussion: What examples of this dynamic have you seen ? And since this is going to apply across the gender spectrum, anyone regardless of gender will have something to offer.

Another corollary of this is that the less a woman presents as a upper class, a lady, the more people are going to degender her – the less she is going to benefit from displays of chivalry, the less female sentencing discount she is going to get, the less the “Women Are Wonderful” effect is going to apply to her. And the lower she ranks socially, the likelier she is to come in for derogatory appraisals of her femininity. Slut-shaming seems to disproportionately be a female-on-female form of gender norming, and it seems to be directed at low-status women disproportionately. 

Third discussion point: Have you seen or experienced examples of this dynamic? it’s obvious how it reinforces class hierarchy, but note also how it is a form of gender norming.

Finally, if you think of any other aspects of this I haven’t, I’d be glad to talk about those too.

 

 

 

IT’S SHIT LIKE THIS FEMINISTS: What bell hooks got right and what got right past her

We have commenter log to thank for this post. Thank you, log.

For discussion:

I picked up a copy of bell hooks’ Feminist Theory since I’ve seen her name come up repeatedly. I’m only about halfway through, but I feel like I’ve seen what I needed to see.

Her own criticisms of “white feminism” are pretty biting, and I have to say it sounds applicable even now, thirty years later. She notes the dogmatism in feminism, the hostility toward men, the lack of definition for the word “feminism”, and so on. I would find her recommendable for that, at least. Hey, she can’t be dismissed as easily as dissident feminists are.

However, this book also establishes her very clearly as a “Patriarchy Hurts Men Too” feminist. It’s kind of funny how some of the issues she has as a black woman relating to white feminists sound a lot like non-feminist men relating to feminists, yet it’s not apparent whether the parallel occurred to her. I mean, I realize explicating that would not go over well today, let alone the mid-eighties, but it still falls short of inspiring.* Oh yeah, and she totally quotes Carol Hanisch’s “Men’s Liberation” with some approval, to the end of suggesting that men do not need or should not have a movement outside feminism. It seems like she basically just wants to recruit men to be feminist foot soldiers who possess no intellectual autonomy.

I also have a copy of Millett’s Sexual Politics, which I haven’t read. Good god, she devotes as many pages (60ish) to D.H. Lawrence as she does to the eponymous subject of the book! This is not promising.

*It reminds me of FC’s Daran once categorizing his interactions with Tigtog of finallyfeminism101 as a “win” insofar as receiving basic courtesy from e-feminists is a coup.

HIATUS

I’m going to be busy for the rest of this week and most of the next two weeks, so posting from me will be light if there even is any.

Time for some vacation and for me to get vacant.

GENERAL – New terms

Time for some new words and expressions. Those that promote the discussion get taken up and used, the others just fade into obscurity on some server somewhere.

Tit swinging – This is the direct equivalent of “dick swinging”. Dick swinging refers to competitive, macho boasting. Tit swinging is the swarming you see in feminist spaces to shower sympathy on someone who has just told a story of pain, and frankly it is comforting to see. It isn’t really a competition at all, it is just about belonging – making that person feel surrounded by support, and reaffirming their own worthiness to belong, which we all need to do from time to time. In this it is a lot like dick swinging. Dick swinging is competitive and tit swinging is not, but the competitiveness of dick swinging is all about belonging, all about making the team, so at bottom they are both quite alike.

Cave fish – A cave fish is someone who has lived in their own dark little world for so long that they have finally gone blind and can’t see the reality that other people live in, also known as “your privilege blinds you”. Tumblrfems are a common form of cave fish. Some of the more extreme corners of the manosphere harbor cave fish too.

Female chauvinist pig – This is a woman who thinks women are more moral, more caring than men because men cause all the violence and oppression in the world and control everything, that women’s concerns should be centered and that men should just suck it all up because after all they already control everything, that the metric of a good man is how well he takes care of a woman or how much he “respects” them…and you know all the other attributes and attitudes.

She values females over males and thinks a woman’s suffering requires more and better attention than a man’s. This comes out in various ways. Either she downplays the suffering of a male, as in trying to explain away women’s rapes of boys – the rapists weren’t really doing any harm, the boy really wanted it anyway, the little perv – or she tries to equate it to some lesser suffering that women experience – equating rape of women to the murder of men for decades is a common example. She can erase the male any number of ways – simply omitting the gender of the majority of war victims is common, or else dismissing male victims by saying it’s all just men doing it anyway (a form of objectification).

There are some sub-categories:

Princess Fish Sauce – This is a woman, generally young, who thinks men’s bodies are icky but hers is the Ultimate Prize for which all men should strive, and must prove their worthiness through many trials and perils and shit tests, or else they are misogynists trying to marginalize women.* (MGTOW is misogyny!) She’s very clear on insisting that every real man she goes with is going to go down on her, fish sauce or not; or else he’s a misogynist asshole, but she thinks fellatio is eewwww and a form of patriarchal submission, and besides, penises are just icky, m’kay? Squeeeee!!!!

Phallophobe – This is someone who believes in the Evil Penis – that the phallus is a threatening weapon rather than something that can easily be injured, that it is just axiomatic that rape is something men do to women, that any display of masculinity is suspicious. This is someone who uses “phallic” and “testosterone-fueled” as derogatory terms or says someone is “testosterone-poisoned”. This is someone who is phobic about phalluses.

Foaming feminist – as opposed to a feminist who actually does want to dismantle traditional gender roles rather than exploit them for victimhood, who actually see all people regardless of gender as full human beings with rights and hurts and the whole load, who really makes her feminism about gender equality. A foaming feminist on the other hand is motivated by a sense of moral superiority over men, and who derives her ideology from a sense of rather Victorian outrage at the brutishness of men.

Moving along:

Gynophile; gynophilia – and this is the male reflex of the Female chauvinist pig. Like a pedophile who “loves” children, but in a bad, predatory way, he “loves” women, but in a bad, pedestalizing, bigoted way. Both are perversions, since bigotry is a perversion. This is the man who thinks Women Are Wonderful and that little girls are made of sugar and spice while boys are made of snails and whatnot. what a wonderful word it would be if woman ran it! No more war or hunger or over-consumption or consumerism, no more competition, no more homeless puppies…. Of course there might still be plenty of inhumanity to man, but so what? Men deserve most of it, right? And there would still be plenty of homeless men, but hey, what about all the women forced to wear high heels?

That’s it for this installment. Nominate some more!
 

*As Carol Hanisch, founding member of the New York Radical Women, 1967, said:

“Men’s liberationists always bring up ‘confronting their own feelings about men’ by which they mean homosexuality. Male homosexuality is an extension of the reactionary club (meaning both group and weapon). The growth of gay liberation carries contempt for women to the ultimate: total segregation. The desire of men to ‘explore their homosexuality’ really means encouraging the possibility of homosexuality as a reaction against feminist demands. This is the reason the movement for “gay rights” received much more support only after women’s liberation became a mass movement.”

So basically her claim is that men ignoring women is contempt. Even when we do nothing we are guilty of harming women, because we owe them attention and it is violence when we “deprive” them of it. Talk about a rape culture – they are entitled to our sexual attention.