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.

Link: “A Safe Space for Thee but not for Me” – WendyMcElroy.com

http://wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.6066

This post is from the blog of Wendy McElroy; a Canadian Individualist Anarchist-Feminist. It was posted by her husband, Brad.

I have written a lot about the plight of nerdy/geeky men under traditional gender roles. In this article, Brad points out how (as I have pointed out before), male nerds are a victimized group. He points out how the “safe space” thing has only really applied to certain victimized groups rather than all victimized groups.

As for McElroy, because she’s an Individualist Feminist, she’s virulently against the establishment feminist movement and has written some of the most brilliant critiques of that movement and its methodology ever penned (indeed, her book XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography is published on her website and represents a fantastic attack on anti-porn, anti-sex feminists like MacKinnon and Dworkin).

Geeky men’s safe(r) spaces… video gaming, comics and the like… have been under siege. Not by women (geeky women have been part of geek culture ever since the beginning, although they have been a minority within it), but by feminists and “normal people” generally. I’ve written extensively about this in my article “Complaining About ‘Fake Geek Girls’ Is Not Misogyny.” I’m all for reducing the technological barriers to accessibility, but the remaining question is where will the real geeks go when ’geek’ culture becomes reflective of the mainstream norms which they do not relate to?

Anyway, please read the linked article. Comment if you’d like.

My next piece for GendErratic has made substantial progress as well.

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.

SLY INVERSIONS – “Snatching oppression from the jaws of privilege”

There is a very common sly inversion that interprets every benefit society confers on women as some form or other of oppression. I think what drives it is a gender script that casts women as fragile victims so that people who subscribe to that meme think that failing to identify this victimhood defeminizes a woman somehow. I think it goes this deep for two reasons. One is the vehemence of the defense of this meme people who call “benevolent sexism” female privilege are attacked as woman-haters. Look at the resistance and twisting and turning we see when the subject of F>M rape comes up. It simply challenges this meme too hard.

The other reason is its ubiquity, as evidenced by the way it is so seldom challenged. look for this meme and watch to see how often it is called out as opposed to being challenged.

And chivalry! How could I forget chivalry?

This particular sly inversion is so common that it should have a name – “snatching oppression from the jaws of privilege.”

Some examples are:

The argument that the draft is actually misogynist because it presumes women are unfit to serve, (and that’s totes worse than actual death and injury in combat, and the life disruption even if you never are in combat).

Another is the analysis of the dating script as misogynist because it “forces” women to wait for men’s advances, because that is so much worse than being the one designated to brave rejection in every advance.

Another is the assertion, in the face of the fact that men are the overwhelming majority of victims of violence, both at the hands of men and very likely of women too, that women are “more afraid” to go out in the dark, in unfamiliar places, out of the street… and that constitutes a greater restriction on their movement than what men encounter.

Another is the recasting of prison officials’ reluctance to use female prisoners as pharmaceutical guinea pigs with the same frequency in the same scale as male prisoners as some kind of neglect on the part of the medical profession of research on women and how pharmaceuticals may affect them differently. (This is important research and it needs more attention, but one has to ask why those calling out this “neglect” are not clamoring for more clinical tests using these female prisoners. That’s the point here.)

Please nominate some more examples of this particular sly inversion!

And here’s the first one:

The Real Peterman on said:

95% of people who do the dirtiest, most dangerous (yet low-paying) jobs are men. But this isn’t men being told they must earn a living no matter what, it’s women being barred from entering these fields! Not that they ever fight to be allowed to enter them of course.

And:

Alex on said:

Women use kids as hostages to extract resources from men who have been alienated from their kids. The threat of prison rape hangs over men who fail to pay child support.

This is turned into women being left holding the baby!

And Commenter dungone contributes two more:

There’s the one where they explain that women initiating the vast majority of divorce is because neglectful husbands are too lazy to do it themselves (as opposed to women having far more power in family court)?

…and:

Or the one where they say that men paying for dates is misogynistic because the men later feel entitled to sex (as opposed to women being able to get men to perform favors for nothing in return)?

EDIT:

Chivalry! How could I forget chivalry? The claim is that the conventions of chivalry reinforce female dependency, that they form a Golden Cage. There is a superficial validity to this, except that women can opt out at any time nowadays yet still opt back in on a whim and whine when men fail to show the expected solicitude.

The sly inversion is in portraying gestures of deference as exercises of oppression. guess what – when a captain holds a door for a general, that captain is not oppressing that general. When that enters the room and the soldiers all jump to their feet, they are not oppressing him either or asserting some kind of privilege or any kind of dominance over him.

There are good reasons for women to argue against this form of chivalry, and they will if have any regard for men, but this whine about chivalry being a form of oppression against women is so ludicrous that the fact it is even countenanced at all is another example of chivalry.

 

Not only are these sly inversions a smokescreen in the discussion of gender issues, but they also reinforce hypoagentive cultural norms and are dismissive of women. It’s a form of misogyny to employ them and feminists should be ashamed of themselves.

GENERAL – New Words

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.

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. 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, or else they are misogynists trying to marginalize women in their lives. http://www.genderratic.com/p/912/misandry-feminist-gay-bashing-edited/ 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, amirite? 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!

 

 

FEMALE PRIVILEGE – What #Yesallwomen tells us about white female privilege, and the privilege discourse in general

In an open thread over at Feminist Critics*, Commenter AndreaK quotes with disapproval a question she saw somewhere

“The #YesAllWomen thread raises an important question: Why do so many men behave so poorly?”

That question is itself a sly inversion. Quite a lot of the “poor behavior” is exactly the kind of sexual aggression young men report at the hands of women. They report women running their hands along their shoulders – absolute strangers – they report women grabbing their crotches, making lewd comments, report that they are expected t be grateful for all this, that they get all kinds of gay-shaming and accusations of misogyny if they demur – and absolutely none of this is called harassment. They report that they get no hearing at all, they get laughed at and told they should feel lucky.

So the question is, what does #Yesallwomen tell us about [white] female privilege.

Sexist Double Standards: What does it tell us about sexist double standards as to what constitutes harassment, what does it tell us about women’s sense of sexual entitlement to men’s bodies, what does it tell us about women’s claim on sympathy and protection that men do not have?

Empathy Apartheid: What does it tells us about the superior position of women in this society that women feel safe talking publicly about their victimization, where men will be shouted down, gay-shamed, privilege-silenced and have their gender identity called into question if they even try to speak up?

When you are in actual fear of someone, do you go around broadcasting that fear? No, because you know the person you fear will use that information against you, that information will tell that enemy how effective her efforts are so far, and she can ramp them up. So you hide that fear, if it is real, unless you expect help and protection from some other quarter. And if you can expect no help and protection, you hide that fear.

I wonder how much a black woman can expect in the way of sympathy when she gets harassed on the street, how likely she is to go public with that information. I wonder how recently the police and prosecutors in this country started investigating rapes of black women and actually prosecuting them, and how these women’s experiences with that differ from those of white women.

You don’t breathe a word to anybody, and everybody goes around saying that if there really is a problem, why are they not hearing anything about it? And at that point you are in the world of sexual violence statistics and research and cultural conventional wisdom about who the victims of sexual harassment and violence are and are not.

Misandry and objectification of men: The standard deflection is that this is just the workings of the Patriarchy, so it’s self-inflicted pain. So there’s the objectification of men right there, the borgification of men into a single entity inflicting patriarchal oppression on itself. The patriarchy hurts men too. And when a feminist deploys this line of rebuttal, she shows she is complicit in the patriarchy. I have yet to see it used as a rallying call for women to start defending men against women’s sexual violence.

White Lady Tears: There is another question that hashtag brings up. It would be interesting to look at the demographics of the women posting there. Are they really “all women” or are they the usual over-privileged young white women who see oppression everywhere and bewail their victimization to support their privilege? Is this just yet another effusion of “white lady tears”? It this yet another instance of white feminism’s recurring problem of racist erasure of non-white women, or of young white women presuming to speak for all women? I wonder how this trust that an appeal to the pity of society would look to anyone who is not a white women of a certain income level, or someone whose whole gender identity revolves around cherishing and defending white women’s well-being?

 

The privilege discourse: Does anyone really think any of these so-called privileges these women enjoy are really privileges? Aren’t they really rights? Isn’t this how members of a community are supposed to be treated when they are harmed or even just feel harmed, that they can get a sympathetic hearing and some help? What these are is male “disprivileges” if you insist on the p-word, rights that are denied males.

This is the problem with the whole SJ version of “privilege”. It conflates simple advantages, inherited advantages (Yes, I am going to care about my kids more than you and pass what I have to them, not yours – get over it. No, I am not going to treat all children equally.), basic civil rights, such as the right to what you earn, that all citizens should have but some are denied, and finally what can fairly be called privileges. i.e advantages granted by some external power. “Privilege” conflates all of these and is so sloppy a concept that the sloppiness look almost intentional.

 

*http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2014/04/11/an-open-thread-full-of-huskies-and-hoops-noh/

THIS IS WHAT SEXUAL ENTITLEMENT LOOKS LIKE… White men , Asian women and the white women who hate them

In a post from a long time ago, unrelated to the actual topic of the post, a very interesting discussion of sexual ownership developed. (This is why I cherish thread drift, by the way.)The issue was the way white women treat – judging, sneering, accusing – white men who are in romantic relationships with non-white women, especially Asian women.*  Fairly late in the thread Mike explains:

Mike on said:

……..“It’s funny, because when my friend offered to introduce me to a “nice Cambodian lady”, I told him that she should be “at least” 35, so we’d have some kind of continuity in terms of age. I initially met Jen online and she told me she was 35. Over a webcam it’s often hard to tell, but I had no reason to doubt her.”

“As for the looks my wife and I get in public, it’s been an eye-opener. Yes, I always knew that there were people who found time to care about this stuff but being the recipient of their attention wasn’t something I’d had a lot of direct exposure to.

The sneers we get (well, that *I* get) are almost palpable, lol. Eventually after several months I mentioned this to my wife; she was mostly unaware of it, but after I mentioned it she started seeing it too. The “up-and-down” look done at the same time as the lip curls into an expression of mild-to-blatant disapproval.

Some of it is a built-in prejudice based on a combination of age difference and apparent attractiveness. Let me be honest: I’m no damn movie star, and GQ is *not* going to be breaking down my door for a photo shoot anytime soon. I mean, I don’t have to sneak up on a mirror, but I’m no hunk. My wife, on the other hand, is way more beautiful than I deserve. And somehow, this seems unfair to them- because the fact is that there is no white, American woman anywhere near as cute as my wife who would ever date, let alone marry, a guy like me. (I’d be lucky if I could get them to spit on me.) So they look at us and they’re like “WTF??”

This condemnation of white men and Asian women in romantic relationships is nothing new. I remember this attitude from my childhood, the sense that these men were preying on these women, exploiting them in some way. Nowadays this is often expressed in accusations that these men are looking for a “subservient Asian woman” as a form of sexist dominance. That accusation is simultaneously sexist and racist.

It is sexist because it presumes the white men are making all the moves and making all the choices, and then condemning them for it. It trades in hyperagency and hypoagency.

It is racist because iIt is a plain expression of white supremacy, in two ways. First, it casts the whire men as some kind of all-poweful predators, and second, it casts white women as the default object of white men’s attractions, so that if a white man is attracted to an Asian woman there must be something nefarious power or deviant about it.

Mike was following up on an earlier comment:

 Mike on said:

The whole “mail order bride” syndrome you mention, is still open for criticism and comment.

Oh, tell me about it. :(

As if I selected her from a catalog and paid for overnight shipping (so she’d still be fresh when she got here!) It’s astoundingly offensive, and honestly, I think a lot of the “mail order bride” comments stem from jealousy (although some probably come from simple ignorance).”

As far as I am concerned the ignorance comes out of jealousy, because it is obviously self-serving.

 Some other comments in the discussion: 

Paul on said:

“You know, I look at all these women who are yelling about “yellow fever” and I honestly wonder how many of them have (or have had) black boyfriends.

I used to have this friend when I was a young’un (as in middle/high school) who was… well, proud, frankly, about the fact that she refused to date white men. (She herself was blonde’n’blueyed) Her ahem “preference” was for latino men (and she did eventually marry a man who is latino, never met him though) although I seem to recall her saying she’d be willing to date black men as well.

It just goes back to the whole “men have nasty ‘fetishes’ women have ‘preferences’” thing.”

And also:

Paul on said:

“Actually, now that I think of it, this applies to a lot more things than just race.

Society apparently tells women that the “pinnacle” of beauty is a white woman, preferably blonde and blue-eyed, who’s skinny with big breasts and somewhere between say 5’3 and 5’6 give or take an inch.

Women say that this being seen as the end all and be all of beauty is wrong (and you’ll get no argument from me on that point)

And yet… apparently if any man expresses any desires that *do* fall outside these qualities… he’s told he’s “fetishizing” and “objectifying” How exactly do they expect to widen the scope of “attractive” when every time men tell them that we don’t believe in that ideal any more than they do, we’re told to “stop fetishizing”?

 The stink of sexual ownership and sexual entitlement and sexist double standards hovers over this entire issue. Of course their sense of sexual ownership of white men is covered up and presented as white women protecting their non-white sisters. they still expect people to fall for that, even though POC feminists and womanists can tell you all about white women’s solicitude for non-white women.

And the final comment on the matter sums everything with the voice of humanity and clear, sweet reason. and it also happens to employ “flip the genders” and “flip the races” to show how offensive this sense of sexual ownership is:

Jo on said: Edit

as a mixed race woman (black/white) I prefer white men with brown hair. Always have since I was a little girl. I don’t know why I just do. Men are free to prefer whoever they like, its neither racist nor sexist, its a preference. I am open to other experiences and have fallen in love with different types but it just so happened that I married my preference. Black people have said that I was racist. Black men in particular have been offended by me and my preference, they said that I thought I was ‘too good for them’ etc. I don’t object to personal preference. I object to the only value of women being placed on their youth, skinniness and blondness as a cultural NORM/IDEAL. It is not. I hate that men and women are ridiculed for finding other types attractive. And funnily enough the men I am attracted to are the cultural NORM/IDEAL (tall, dark) If I was a man and prefered skinny blonde women I’m sure the venom would be profound. It doesn’t make it wrong, it makes it wrong that there is a cutural NORM that is forced upon us by the media. There should be a better representation of everyone, it would take the heat off us all and allow us to like who we damn please.

I am very familiar with being who I could be attracted and much worse, being told who I could not be attracted to, and I have to litle patience with that bigoted, self-serving idiocy to engage with it even to the point of bothering to answer it. It doesn’t deserve an answer.

Matha Nussbaum identified ownership explicitly as a form of objectification. That’s what this herd-tending and moral judginess is on the par tof these white women. It is objectification.

 

*I have learned to clarify for our non-US readers that in the US “Asian” means “East Asian”. Desi don’t register as ”Asian” for most Americans.

DOUBLE STANDARDS – Feminism’s sorry record on the subject of rape

It’s not unusual in the gender discussion to hear someone claim that feminism is horribly understood, that it isn’t man-hating or gender-biased at all; it’s really all about equality – see, it even says so right here in the dictionary. How valid an objection is this?

Let’s take one example, rape. Let’s look at feminism’s on the subject of rape. It turns out that the feminist handling of the subject of rape is one example of feminism’s opposition to an egalitarian discussion of gender. Domestic violence has been another, but that a discussion for another day

First, back in the 90s the standard feminist line of rape was that it was patriarchal violence to maintain the power system that governs gender. This developed put of Susan Brownmiller’s thesis which she enunciated in 1975 in Against Our Will. A logical extension of her position males, by definition, could not be rape victims. (The extension was logical but of course the proposition is not, being based on an illogical premise.)This was operationalized in rape victims services, where male child rape victims were often treated and lectured as if they themselves were rapists, to the point of being told they were the rapists, that they had really raped the woman who raped them. Toy Soldier experienced this and has written about the phenomenon in general.

Then later as consent became settled as the standard for defining rape – a very sane definition and a very good development – a new theoretical problem reared its head. What about men who didn’t consent to sex? Weren’t they rape victims too?

There were several responses to this challenge:

Agreement
One was acknowledgement of this and a refinement in the theory – basically there were feminists who said damn straight that’s rape and those men are rape victims. But they became an embattled minority….

Doubling Down with Rape Culture of Their Own
They were even called misogynist – apparently a woman has an absolute right to sex, however she likes it, from a man for these people and it’s misogynist of him to refuse. It’s like insulting her or something. When people talk about “feminist rape culture, this is the kind of thing they are referring to. Feminsts themselves have identified this problem.

Denial
By far the most common response was denial – “Well maybe women do rape men, but it’s a vanishingly small percentage of rapes.” This was a widespread response; there was advocacy research to back this up that did what it could to erase male victims. Mary Koss stands out particularly in this connection, both because of her insititutioanl influence over the discussiion and the voluminous discussion of her and her position. Google it if you care to see how voluminous it is. Or sometimes the feint was that if women did rape men, then somehow those men pressured their own rapists into raping them. The “erection as consent” canard got thrown in quite a lot.

Deflection
Another form this took was to deny that raped men suffer from the rape as much as women do, based on who knows what information or analysis. Another was a retread of the Patriarchy narrative above, where when a man was raped, or even a boy, it wasn’t the same, it wasn’t really rape, because of the power differential (You have to be a real believer to believe some boy has a power differential over a grown woman.) Hugo Schwyzer had a post several years ago to this effect, though he may have taken it down by now.

Deflection by accusation of deflection
A common attempt at deflection was to claim that talk of female rapists was intended only to deflect attention from the real problem, male rapists. No real evidence was ever offered to back up this mind-reading. The same accusation is often made of attempts to discuss false rape accusations.

Rape denial and rape apology
Everyone one of these responses were forms of rape denial, and one thing feminists have taught us is that rape denial is a part of rape culture. When people talk about “feminist rape culture, this is the kind of thing they are referring to.

Double standards
The sexist double standards – there literally two standards for what constitutes a rape victim, two standards for the degree of harm rape inflicts and two standards for when rape apology gets called rape apology, and a bitterly entrenched anti-egalitarianism in all these responses.

The feminist handling of the subject of rape is one example of feminism’s opposition to an egalitarian discussion of gender.

I doubt this is an exhaustive list. Please help expand it.

SUMMA GENDERRATICA: The Anatomy of the Gender System

Author’s Note: This is a summary of my entire theory of how our society’s gender system operates and how it originated. It is intended to be a ‘road map’ of society’s norms about masculinity and femininity. I believe that it can explain all gender norms in our society. The MHRM requires an integrated, consistent theory about gender in order to successfully compete with Radical Second Wave and Third Wave Feminism – this theory is an attempt at providing one.

The following does not mention every single aspect of our society’s gender system, but I believe that any unmentioned aspects of the gender norms can be successfully explained by this theory (feel free to propose “Explain This Norm As A Product Of The Gender System” challenges in the comments).

Note that whilst I called this post “Summa Genderratica” I do not wish to imply that the theory below is accepted (in its entirety) by anyone other than myself. I am only illustrating my theory here, and it isn’t meant to be taken as the “official philosophy” of GendErratic as a whole. The reason for the title is because I am a pretentious douche and as such I enjoy the self-important connotation/reference towards the works of Aquinas.

Onto the theory!

PART 1
The First Premise: The Purpose of Social Norms
Why do social norms arise?

This theory will take it as axiomatic that social norms arise for survivability and practicality reasons. Social norms arise as responses to the challenges of physical existence.

The Challenge
The gender system arose in the early days of our species. During these days, food and resources were scarce, accumulating them was a difficult and failure-prone task, and it was manual labor which performed these tasks; physical labor was the primary source of improvements to survivability and the standard of living (unlike today, where technological capital and knowledge work provide this (it is telling that the first challenges to the gender system only arose with the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution… periods during which the economy became less labor-dependent and more capital-dependent owing to technological advances. It is also telling that challenges to the gender system arose first amongst materially well-off groups in society)).

Because physical labor was the primary means of production, importance was placed on the means of producing physical labor, i.e. reproducing and growing the population. However, only a minority of children survived to reach adulthood, and as such much higher birth rates were required to grow the overall population size.

But only one half of the population could bear children.

The Response
Biology combined with the necessity of aggressive breeding essentially forced women to “specialize” and devote large amounts of their time to being knocked up and producing children (and when pregnant they are less mobile and thus more vulnerable).

Since males could not perform this important task, they provided protection and resource-provision (in essence, all the ‘rest’).

Social norms arose to push people towards their sex-mandated tasks. The “good female” and the “good male” were the female and male who contributed to their society by fulfilling their assigned role; the “good female” was the fertile mother, the “good male” was the strong warrior and productive hunter. These social norms were reflected in all of society’s institutions, including religion (see the warrior gods and the mother goddesses for more).

Summary 1
1. Social Norms arise as responses to the challenges of living and thriving
2. Low technology societies are dependent on physical labor to survive
3. Very high birth rates were required to increase the supply of labor
4. Only one half of the human population could give birth
5. Gender Roles emerged to encourage specialization on the basis of sex

PART 2
Maturity and Gender
As stated before, the “good female” and the “good male” were understood in terms of those who contributed to society by fulfilling their sex-assigned tasks. However, children of either sex are physically unable to do this.

A woman needs to be post-pubertal in order to bear a child. Young males are on average significantly less physically developed and thus generally lack the necessary strength to even have a chance at successfully performing their sex-assigned task.

As such, there is an association between maturity and gender-compliance. A female needs to undergo a process of biological maturation in order to perform the feminine contribution to society, however this process is essentially automatic and is basically assumed to occur over time, with mensturation serving as a clear biological indicator of fitness to perform the task.

With males, things are more tenuous. Proficiency or even ability to perform the male function, let alone perform it well, is not biologically guaranteed. Additionally, there is no single clear “he’s ready” indicator delivered by male biology.

Whilst females “grow into” being women, males do not automatically grow into being “real men.”

Aristotelian Femininity, Platonic Masculinity, and the Subject-Object Dichotomy
A young female just becomes a woman automatically, due to the innate properties of her biology. Her mensturation evidences her maturation. Her womanhood simply is. She is assumed to be gender-compliant and thus socially contributive by default.

A young male has to demonstrate, through action, the ability to perform masculine tasks successfully. A young male must prove he has “grown up” and become a “real man.” Males are not assumed to be gender-compliant (and thus socially contributive) by default; by himself he is just another mouth to be fed by the work of “real men.” A man must validate his manhood by action, otherwise he is not a real man but rather a “boy” (i.e. immature, not-an-adult male).

As such, one can correctly understand traditional gender roles as premised on epistemological essentialism, however different kinds of epistemological essentialism underpin each role. Femininity is mostly understood as innate to female biology, as an immanent essence, whilst masculinity is mostly understood as an ideal to aspire to, a “form” which one “participates in” in order to gain an identity.

It is a particular quirk of human psychology that we tend to perceive moral agency (the capacity to do things) and moral patiency (the capacity to have stuff done to you) dichotomously, even though human beings are in fact both. As such, the association of agency with manhood combined with the innatist understanding of womanhood (as well as, perhaps, the fact that pregnancy does render a woman less mobile and more resource-dependent) led to the association of womanhood with moral patiency. Men are seen as actors, and women are seen as acted upon. This is the traditional subject-object dichotomy.

The Disposable-Cherishable Dichotomy
A gender-compliant person of either sex is seen as valuable to society (since they are acting in ways which conform to survivability-oriented norms). However, females are assumed to either be (or will be) gender-compliant; naturally infertile women are the exception rather than the rule and thus the assumption is that any given female is (or will be) capable of bearing children due to their biology.

As such, females are ascribed an innate value simply for being female. Females are seen as inherently cherishable because they are the incubators of the future.

Males lack this. Their gender-compliance is not seen as an inevitable feature of their biological maturation but rather an ideal to live up to. Males neither are nor will become “real men” by default. As such, they have no innate value. The value of a man is exclusively contingent on the consequences of his agency and by himself, he is ultimately disposable.

Because men are valued not for properties of their biology but the outcomes of their actions, the death of one man is ceteris paribus a smaller tragedy to society than the death of one woman. After all, when tragedies happen, the death counts typically specify the toll taken by women and children (i.e. the future).

Our society may lionize its male heroes who go and die so that others may live, but as stated before, social norms arise to push individuals to perform socially beneficial tasks; the worship of heroic male self-sacrifice is a way to encourage men to see their deaths for noble causes as a worthy contribution to society, and thus to make men more willing to die for others.

The Gender Norms In A Nutshell
As a consequence of all of the above, males are innately disposable subjects, females are innately cherishable objects.

All gender norms ultimately are reducible to this.

Summary 2
1. Maturity, for each sex, is conceptualized as gender-compliance
2. Female maturity is seen as a natural result of biological development
3. Male maturity is not seen as guaranteed, but rather something proven/earned
4. Men do, women are, because manhood is about doing and womanhood just “is”
5. Because gender-compliance is seen as valuable and women are seen as innately gender-compliant, women are seen as innately valuable
6. Because men are NOT seen as innately gender-compliant, men are seen as innately expendable
7. Ergo, the subject-object dichotomy is overlaid by the disposable-cherishable dichotomy, casting males as innately disposable subjects and females as innately cherishable objects

PART 3 – Some Advanced Implications
Agency and Feminine Power
Everyone derives a sense of power – used here to mean efficacy or competence – when they successfully perform a task which has the end result of providing for their needs. This makes evolutionary sense – if survival-enhancing things did not give pleasure and survival-diminishing things did not cause pain, an organism would be significantly less likely to survive.

But the performance of tasks was typically assigned to males; femininity was not associated with agency and due to the innate reproductive utility of women, women were kept safe and away from potential danger where possible (which in turn generated a self-reinforcing (and perhaps somewhat self-fulfilling) presumption of diminished female competence – a presumption which was somewhat true during pregnancy (and may be somewhat true on average with tasks that require very high upper body strength) but clearly got exaggerated and overgeneralized).

However, every human being has material needs for survival, and these material needs must be satisfied through action (food must be acquired, shelter must be found). So how would a woman, someone culturally perceived as and encouraged towards remaining deficient in agency, acquire these needs?

The answer is that women are encouraged to rely upon men, and not merely in the passive sense, but to actively enlist the agency of males to provide for their survival. Masculine power is thus equated with anything which enhances successful/competent agency (e.g. big muscles), and feminine power is equated with anything that enhances enlisting successful/competent agents. Masculine power is that which augments agency, feminine power is that which augments the acquisition and preservation of agency by proxy.

The gender system, therefore, always contained a form of feminine power – i.e. ways in which women could act to service their material needs. Whilst it reserved direct acquisition through agency to men, the system also reserved agency by proxy for women.

Male Hierarchy
Society’s understanding of manhood as a Platonic ideal to aspire towards explains the fact how there can be “better men” and “worse men” (as men), as well as how biological males can be “not real men” – the use of “real” to mean “ideal” is telling.

Because manhood is demonstrated by performing certain tasks, men are ranked in accordance with how well they perform these tasks. Men are ranked by other men and by women – their gender identity is heavily subject to social validation and revocation. This means “real manhood” is an earned social status which is collective-dependent, hierarchical and competitive, and men can be socially emasculated at any time. Male identity is made contingent on competing with each other to prove oneself a “better man.”

As stated above, maturity is linked with “real manhood” but male maturity is again socially validated due to the fact that masculine task-performance isn’t biologically guaranteed – this means male elders (particularly fathers) are placed in a position of evaluator where they judge prospective males to separate the “boys” from the “men.”

The male hierarchy can be effectively divided into three basic categories (from lowest social status to highest social status)

1) Males who are “not real men.” The socially emasculated. “Boys.” Omega males.
2) Males who are “real men” but who aren’t able to revoke another male’s “real man” status. Beta males.
3) Males who are “real men” with the ability to revoke another male’s “real man” status. Alpha males.

The division between statuses 2 and 3 is contextual and often dependent on other institutional arrangements as well as the surrounding males – someone can in fact be Alpha in one hierarchy and Omega relative to another.

This setup ironically enough compels that a Beta be submissive to his Alpha so as to avoid being rendered an Omega. In other words the male gender role isn’t entirely about dominance but rather demands submission to “better” men.

Social Genders
Typically, “gender” is taken as a binary – as a reference to masculinity or femininity. However, this is hard to reconcile with the above situation – males who aren’t “real men” aren’t regarded as possessing manhood (i.e. they do not contribute masculine value). They are “boys” rather than men, according to the gender system.

They do not receive many aspects of ‘male privilege’ because much ‘male privilege’ is in fact ‘real-man’ privilege. And whilst they are socially emasculated they receive no female privilege either, because due to their biology they cannot perform the essential feminine task of bearing children.

In short, socially emasculated men are not seen as masculine or feminine but rather they are perceived, treated and categorized as a third gender. They are neither a man nor a woman (socially speaking rather than biologically speaking).

PART 4: Challenges
There are several classic problems in gender studies which any prospective examination of the gender system needs to explain. Below, I take several of these phenomena and reconcile them with the theory proposed above.

The Promiscuity Double Standard
The Promiscuity Double Standard (henceforth PDS) of our culture is well-known; a man is seen as a worthy and virile stud for sleeping around, but a woman is seen as a degraded and self-cheapening slut for doing the same thing.

Typically, the PDS is treated as a unitary construct – as if the PDS’s gendered imperatives arose from the same source. This is counter-intuitive because the imperatives of the PDS are in conflict – men are encouraged to sleep around and women are discouraged from doing so, thus meaning men cannot comply with the system without women failing to comply with it (and vice-versa). The PDS certainly isn’t in the interests of men, since it encourages women to prevent men from being studs (through the withholding of sexual access).

Typical feminist analysis sees the PDS as a male construct invented to control female sexuality. The fact that men’s interests are not served by encouraging female chastity complicates this explanation, but it is further complicated by the empirical fact that most slut-shaming is perpetrated by women against each other. If men created and enforced the PDS, one would expect men to be the primary shamers of sluts.

As such, it may be more accurate to see the Promiscuity Double Standard not as a single construct, but two different constructs, proposed and enforced by different parties for different purposes.

An interesting thing about the concept of “slut” is that women who are sluts are seen as “cheapening themselves” or “debasing themselves” – they are seen as giving sexual access far too easily (i.e. giving away a good without getting enough in return). Let’s look at the transactional framing here: a market exists, women are the suppliers of sexual access and men are the demand side of the equation. Women are encouraged to not give away sex “too easily,” i.e. they are encouraged to receive something in return for sex. It is mostly women who shame other women for giving sex away.

From an economic perspective, we are seeing cartel behavior; sellers colluding amongst themselves to raise the price of sex by restricting the quantity of sexual access that is immediately avaliable.

So what is the ‘price’ of sex? As explained above, women are encouraged to enlist male agency in their service, since the gender system discourages them from developing their own. Thus, the ‘price’ of sex is male agency, typically framed as a committed relationship. When women are sluts and thus ‘put out too easy,’ competitive pressure lowers the price of sex and thus damages (traditionally-understood) female interests.

The implications here are quite depressing; because women are encouraged to experience power through enlisting male agency, “sluthood” is opposed to traditional feminine power by eroding women’s bargaining position. Women are encouraged by the traditional gender system to experience their sexuality as being defeated and being conquered, rather than getting something they desire (i.e. sexual satisfaction). Women are also encouraged to see men as adversaries, and to see male advocacy of female sexual liberation as threats to their material security (i.e. “they just want cheaper sex, the cads!”).

In conclusion, the PDS wasn’t invented “by men” – at least half of the PDS is a mostly female-maintained standard intended to sustain traditional feminine power through preserving the value of sex and thus maximizing the agency women can enlist in return for granting sexual access. The imperatives of the PDS conflict with each other, and the PDS’s implicit sexual transactionalism sets up an adversarial situation that sabotages sexual fulfillment for both sexes.

The Childhood Gender Conformity Double Standard
A common double standard in our society is one relating to gender conformity amongst children. Look at the ease with which our society accepts female children going through a “tomboy phase.” Compare this against the worry and concern that accompanies any male child that may want to play with dolls. It is “normal, she’ll grow out of it in a few years” for a young girl to want to play with the boys, but if a boy confesses liking pink he’s immediately suspected of being homosexual or a gender failure.

This is an obvious consequence of the fact that female biological maturation (and thus gender compliance) is seen as an automatic process which “simply happens.” Because womanhood is seen as biologically innate, a woman’s actions are not seen as the primary source of the value she can contribute to society.

Male biological maturation, on the other hand, is not a guarantee of being able to perform the socially-mandated male tasks. Being a “real man” (i.e. able to contribute masculine value to society) is not biologically guaranteed. Since a male’s gender compliance is evaluated not on what he is but rather what he does, a male’s actions place his entire social value at risk.

Many gender theorists argue that society worries more about males because our society allegedly values masculine traits above feminine traits; this conflicts with the fact that feminine traits are praised when they are exhibited by women (it also conflicts with the fact that historically, societies have sacrificed men to protect women; societies don’t sacrifice higher-valued members for lower-valued members). Biology means that a man who acts feminine cannot perform the socially-mandated “core” feminine task (bearing children), and thus for him to be feminine represents wasted potential (but when a woman acts feminine it isn’t a threat). Thus, a man who acts feminine isn’t perceived as a social woman, but rather a social neuter (an Omega Male).

However, since both men and women are (in fact) agents and masculine value is dependent not on what someone is but rather what someone does, females can in fact contribute masculine value to at least some degree (and the feminist movement has influenced people to accept the reality of female agency, and even to celebrate when women transgress gender roles). As such, women can “value-add” through gender nonconformity, whilst men cannot; females can be socially androgynous whilst men (due to their inability to perform the core feminine task under the gender system) can only be social neuters.

Thus, it is the Subject-Object Dichotomy (and not any alleged valuation of masculinity as superior to femininity) which forms the basis for the Childhood Gender Conformity Double Standard.

The Madonna-Whore Complex and Gendered Evaluations of Moral Character
Our gender system has influenced the ethical standards which are placed on both sexes. In the case of this problem, whilst men are subject to normal ethical standards, women are not; questions about a woman’s character are entirely centered around whether or not she is chaste.

This is an obvious product of the subject-object dichotomy, which casts women as moral patients. As women are not seen as moral agents, they are not treated as subject to moral standards or as possessing capacity for great moral virtue (or vice).

Slut-shaming under the gender system is explained above, however it is obvious that religious norms have influenced the Madonna-Whore Complex (look at the name!). Religion is a separate system to the gender system (although the two clearly interact), and Abrahamic monotheistic religions condemn promiscuity in both sexes (not just women). Women, however, are slut-shamed under both traditional gender norms and religious norms, whereas men are shamed for sleeping around under one set of norms but praised for doing so under the other.

This confluence of gender norms and religious norms, coupled with the objectification of women under the gender system, explains why chastity/sluthood is so heavily emphasized in discussions of women’s character: women are typically left off the hook with standards relating to other issues (minimizing both their virtue and vice), so the Madonna-Whore standard fills the vaccum.

PART 5: Conclusion
The above is a summary of my entire theory of gender as expressed in all my previous articles. I believe it to be a superior explanation of the gender system, for both sexes, than the status quo theories accepted in most gender studies departments. Feedback, commentary, suggestions and critiques are encouraged.

The feminist crusade against fatherhood

Feminists will tell you that “Patriarchy” is the reason fathers are discriminated against in criminal court, via the presumption that women are better caregivers. That assertion is on a list that is being circulated and repeated by grassroots feminists in “debate,” without ever questioning its validity. A little research into the history of changes in custody standards debunks the claim.

The legal presumption that women are naturally better caregivers, used as a determining factor in the decision of child custody, is rooted in 19th century feminist activism. At that time, divorce was much more rare, and subject to strict rules. There was no no-fault divorce, and the reasons accepted for requesting one were limited to circumstances like adultery and neglect. If there were children from a marriage, they were considered to be in their father’s custody, not the custody of the couple. Whether the couple separated or divorced, they remained in their father’s custody.

This was the situation faced by Caroline Norton after separating from her husband, George Norton. The end of her marriage to her husband was not brought on by circumstances that were approved reasons for divorce. Because of this, when Norton separated from her husband, he had complete control of her ability to see their children. Norton looked for legal means to counter her husband’s alienation of her from her children, and found none. With no legal recourse, she began fighting to change the law.

When Caroline Norton wrote the bill which would become The Custody of Infants Act of 1839, followed by her “plain” letter to the Lord Chancellor regarding the bill, she probably had no idea that her writing would end up as the inspiration for a court doctrine which would cause for fathers in multiple nations to suffer exactly the indignities she was trying to eliminate in her own life and the lives of other women, but that is what occurred. The Custody of Infants Act was the start of what is now referred to as the Tender Years Doctrine, the basis upon which it became traditional to place custody of children in divorcing families with the mother. The argument that mothers are better caregivers is put forth in Mrs. Norton’s “plain” letter, in which she stated that fathers have to hire nursemaids to replace their wives’ involvement in the lives of children during their “tender years,” and therefore it is natural that the child should be placed in the custody of the mother. Over the years, this doctrine, originally intended to prevent divorce from keeping women from their children, has been pushed and twisted into an every-case imperative, making maternal custody the default in divorce cases.

Objections to the bill included the prediction that with the ability to gain custody of their children, women would be more likely to divorce their husbands, and dire warnings of maternal kidnapping to keep children from their fathers.

The result of her effort was the passage of the Custody of Enfants act of 1839, the basis for the Tender Years doctrine, which was used for much of the 20th century as the standard on which custody decisions were based. The tender years doctrine has since been abandoned for the nicer-sounding “best interests of the child” standard, but the determination of the child’s best interests includes presuming true the beliefs laid out in the tender years doctrine, namely, that young children are best off with their mothers.

In 1910, the Uniform Desertion and Non-Support Act was proposed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and passed with modifications by 24 states. It was intended to address abandonment of the family by the husband and father, who at that time was generally their sole means of support. The unmodified version stated:

This was due to the far lower earning capacity of women at that time, as women considered less productive employees and were paid lower wages. The child support system, in other words, is a factor of traditional gender stereotypes.

In the United States, custody is awarded to mothers over 80% of the time. This also results in mothers receiving child support awards much more often. Even when fathers receive support, they receive less.

Child support law has evolved over time since then, with broader and often senseless application, greater strictness, and greater government involvement in enforcement. One of the issues which men’s rights activists have with existing child support law is that changes in it have not kept up with changes in women’s circumstances. The conditions which child support law was written to address are no longer a factor; women can work, and earn a living the same as a man. Not having a man in the house doesn’t automatically need to translate into poverty.

Feminists argue the implication of custody and child support statistics are debatable, claiming that fathers who file for custody get it most of the time. That claim is their basis for the assumption that fathers don’t get custody of their children because they don’t want it.

However, for a father to file for and be granted custody, he must first amass the funds for a lawyer and court costs. If his income is moderate (or low) and is already being reduced by a child support payment, he has little or no ability to fund any legal action.

Further, when feminists claim that fathers get “custody” of their children whenever they ask for it, they’re including joint custody agreements. These are nothing more than maternal custody/paternal visitation rewritten to recognize the father as a legitimate parent and afford him the ability to make decisions regarding the child’s medical care and school attendance. The living arrangement of the child is the same as when a mother has full legal custody, so the difference is mainly on paper.

This situation means that women do not have to be financially stable to be awarded custody of their children, while fathers have to have enough money to pursue legal action before the court will even consider awarding them custody.

The result has been an increase in single mother households living under the poverty level, eligible for and collecting government assistance. According to the latest data from the U.S. census bureau, custodial mothers are more likely than custodial fathers to:

  •     Not have jobs and not have enough non-employment income to be above the poverty level without being employed
  •     Earn low income even if employed
  •     Have custody of four or more children
  •     Combine joblessness with multiple child custody
  •     Become custodial parents as teens.

Single fathers report more income from employment (wages and salaries or self-employment) and savings and investment (interest, dividend, rental, and other property income), while single mothers report much more income from assistance sources (for example, unemployment, workers’ compensation, public assistance, alimony, and child support). This difference is in part due to the requirement that fathers prove themselves fit parents in order to obtain custody, while mothers do not face such expectations unless custody is contested in court. Social attitudes also play a role in this; a mother living in poverty is considered a victim of abandonment and financial neglect by the estranged father of her children. A father living in poverty is considered a deadbeat who won’t man up and take care of his family. Even though both parents have the same capacity to obtain employment and earn a living, only one is held responsible for doing so.

Cutting fathers out of their children’s’ lives can have significant negative impact on the child.

Research by Sara McLanahan at Princeton University suggests that boys are significantly more likely to end up in jail or prison by the time they turn 30 if they are raised by a single mother. Bruce Ellis of the University of Arizona found that about one-third of girls whose fathers left the home before they turned 6 ended up pregnant as teenagers, compared with just 5 percent of girls whose fathers were there throughout their childhood. A study by Mary Corcoran and Roger Gordon of the University of Michigan shows that receipt of welfare income has negative effects on the long-term employment and earnings capacity of young boys. That study also found that both boys and girls were twice as likely to become unwed teen parents if raised in a fatherless home.

Fathers’ rights groups have sought to remedy the courts’ senseless handling of child custody by introducing and advocating for legislation to change the standard custody arrangement following an uncontested divorce. These laws, introduced in the United States, Australia, and Canada, would ensure equal time with each parent. This would also change how child support is handled, as equal time between the parents would mean that neither should be faced with a greater share of the child’s living expenses. This would limit reasons for assigning a child support obligation to factors like differences in income or other personal resources.

Feminist groups have opposed the introduction of laws related to equally shared parenting using writing that uses a dishonest representation of the law as an every-case imperative, and demonization of fathers as deadbeats and abusers to argue against the proposed standard.

Feminist groups state that if shared parenting were ordered, fathers would not provide their share of the daily care for the children. The National Organization For Women and the  American Bar Association also question the motives of those promoting shared parenting, noting that it would result in substantial decreases in or termination of child support payments.

Feminist arguments include claims that equally shared parenting laws would force judges to place children in abusive homes, and that men only want custody of their children to get out of paying child support. However, proposed laws would not make the equal time standard a set-in-stone requirement, but merely the default in uncontested cases. If a parent does not want that arrangement, he or she can contest it in court. If both parents agree that they want a different arrangement, they can sign a contract to that effect, as well.

While feminists accuse fathers of being deadbeats who have abandoned their children, available information shows that to be untrue.

  • 40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the non-custodial father’s visitation on at least one occasion, to punish their ex-spouse
  • Between 250/0 – 33% of mothers denied visits
  • 90% of the violence and kidnapping we have seen are in sole custody situations in which the sole custodial parent fears losing his or her custody status, or the parentectomized parent kidnaps the child away from the sole custody parent who possessively blocks the visiting parent from access.

    - Frequency of Visitation by Divorced Fathers: Differences in Reports by Fathers and Mothers – Sanford H. Braver, Ph.D., Sharlene A. WoIchik, Ph.D., Irwin M. Sandler, Ph.D., Bruce S. Fogas, Ph.D., Daria Zvetina, M.Ed.

  • Unilateral abuse of parental custodial power is more common in court ordered sole custody situations.- Child Custody and Parental Cooperation – Frank Williams, M.D., Dir. Psychiatry
  • Overall, approximately 50% of mothers “see no value in the father’s continued contact with his children- Surviving the Breakup – Joan Berlin Kelly and Judith S. Wallerstein
  • The former spouse [mother] was the greatest obstacle to having more frequent contact with the children

    - Increasing Our Understanding of Fathers Who Have Infrequent Contact With Their Children – James R. Dudley, Professor, University North Carolina

  • 70% of fathers felt they had too little time with their children.
  • Very few of the children were satisfied with the amount of contact with their fathers, after divorce.
  • Few men can afford to legally contest every infringement of the visitation agreement.

    -Visitation and the Noncustodial Father – Mary Ann P. Koch, Carol R. Lowery, Journal of Divorce, Vol. 8, No. 2, Winter 1984)

That’s not fathers abandoning their children, but mothers refusing to allow their children time with their fathers. This puts fathers in the position of having to take legal action, or tolerate being evicted from their children’s lives by custodial mothers.

While feminists accuse fathers of being abusive, data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that the majority of child abusers are women.

The above list of links does show a decline in percentage, but some of that can be accounted for by an overall decline in child abuse in the U.S. over the past 5 years.

Study: Child abuse on decline in U.S. (CBS)

Child Abuse Rate In The U.S. Drops For 5th Straight Year (Huffington Post)

Statistics showing that women are more than half of abuse perpetrators in the U.S. directly contradict NOW’s inference that routinely assigning custody to mothers following divorce would prevent children from being placed in abusive homes. One could even come to the conclusion that routinely assigning custody to mothers puts children at greater risk, yet nobody is proposing that mothers be cut out of their children’s lives to eliminate that risk.

Baseless accusations and conditions which aren’t gender specific are not legitimate reasons to oppose instituting equally shared parenting as the applied custody arrangement in uncontested divorces. As a society, we’ve seen the negative effects of cutting either parent out of the child’s life. Wouldn’t it be most beneficial to the child to ensure that he or she receive the benefit of both parents whenever possible?

If the best interest of the child really is the standard feminists embrace, the most sensible way they can show that is by ceasing to oppose equally shared parenting initiatives. That opposition is not rooted in concern over abuse, but self-serving bigotry against men.