FEMALE PRIVILEGE – A the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Patriarchy

An article appeared over at Thoughtcatalog listing various obvious forms of female privilege with a completely predictable comment section. Althought the denialism was completely predictable, some commenters pushed back.

The comments criticizing the article were a display case of hyopoagency, gynocentric special pleading, erasure and tradtional gender stereotypes. And of course there was the obligatory white-knighty non-responsive attempt at a rebuttal in a later post.

David Bryon, who posts really insightful and solid arguments all over the gendersphere where he is not banned, made some really important points about this denialism and then later a commenter named Sarah Stuart made the key point.

 You should go read the whole thread to get the context of these comments, but I think they stand alone well enough to quote here.

DavidByron • a day ago

Hysterical ad hominem attacks are exactly how you’d expect women and feminists to react if indeed women are the privileged sex. They have the power, therefore entering a debate is irrational. They know they can win by the use of force. Men’s rights advocates know they can win if the battle is of logic and an appeal to morals.

Nobody who advocates for any oppressed minority can be surprised at this sort of reaction from the entitled and privileged.

Privilege doesn’t give up it’s (sic) power just because people ask nicely.

But that is exactly what we are supposed to believe happened with feminism. We are supposed to believe that women were always oppressed and yet the first time women asked for their rights, they were simply given it. That has never happened to any genuinely oppressed group ever. Women were given extra rights because they already enjoyed power. They had the power of being the protected sex, the cared for sex, the innocent sex. Feminists simply reframed their goals in terms of a new way to protect women, and society quickly set about fulfilling those new protections. As soon as the majority of women changed their mind and saw the vote as something that would protect women, instead of seeing it as something that would harm women, male legislators GAVE them the vote. They gained more privilege, based on the privileges they already had.

If feminists had demanded that women be protected LESS (to be equal to men) they would have had a genuinely radical movement, but feminists didn’t demand that because they didn’t want equality. That is how we have feminists today demanding more and more protections for women while women are, and always have had more protections. That is how feminists can unironically claim women suffer more from violence even though men are the majority of victims.

The easiest way to demand more and more power for themselves was to create a bogeyman that would menace women. A bogeyman that they could point to and say, “See? Women need to have more and more rights because of this terrible threat!” And so feminists set about systematically demonizing men as rapists, violently “oppressing” women. They created a conspiracy theory that said all men collaborate to keep all women down.

If “patriarchy” was real then feminism would never have succeeded without a fight.

The irony is the cry of “patriarchy” only works for feminists because our society is the exact opposite of a patriarchy. Our society is dedicated to protecting women so much that even completely irrational claims of danger towards women must be taken seriously.

Feminism is the political equivalent of a woman standing on a chair screaming for her husband to crush a bug for her. It’s a completely irrational claim of danger. And it works because society has always worked to protect women.

Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Patriarchy: Then an interesting exchange developed that ended up illustrating a major claim of the MRM, that feminism is just patriarchy repackaged:

llpk • a day ago

Most of those problems are effects of patriarchy, not female privilege. Do you want to know why there are fewer resources for men fighting domestic violence? Because it it deemed unmanly to be a victim. Who created the image of masculinity in our society? Men (as a group). It is often the same men who complain about these lacking services that also degrade men for needing the services.

 

Men created the image of masculinity in our society? All on our own? Women had nothing to do with it? No gay shaming, no real man narrative; women had no hand in any of this, according to llpk.. Women don’t raise children and socialize them according to llpk. The hand that rocks the cradle does not rule the world, apparently.

 

DavidByron >llpk • 21 hours ago

The reason there are fewer resources for men in the USA is that feminists fought hard for laws (VAWA) that made it illegal to help male victims of domestic violence.

Feminists also spread the fiction that men are not often victims of domestic violence by burring the results of hundreds of pieces of research of four decades that said DV was an equal opportunity crime.

Feminists also successfully sold all DV as partner violence, thereby hiding violence against children and elders, which is mostly committed by women. They did this to spread their hateful lies that denigrate men as evil violent scum always hurting innocent women.

The VAWA was the single biggest victory of feminism in the 1990s, and it was hate.

So please stop guessing at why things happened if you don’t know the facts. It’s true that the sort of anti-male thinking that you mention probably greased the wheels for feminists to lobby for those laws. Traditional gender roles are used and enhanced by feminists in working to denigrate men.

 And the very predictable reaction – a change of misogyny and anger:

 RocketGrrl >DavidByron • 18 hours ago

You seem to have a lot of anger towards women and feminists. Amusingly. I don’t know any feminists that hate or even dislike men. Including myself. Fighting for equal treatment and respect is extremely important.

 Rocketgrrl either doesn’t know of Mary Daly, Andrea Dworkin, Jesica Valenti or Amanda Marcotte, or Adel Mercier; or else she doesn’t consider them feminists.

In any case, Code Red and Code Black aren’t working like they used to:

DavidByron >RocketGrrl • 13 hours ago

Are (sic) the classic “you must hate women if you disagree with feminism”

I have given many examples of feminists lobbying for anti-male discrimination.

I have challenged you to give even one example of a feminist program or victory or slogan that portrays men in a positive light.

And Commenter edtastic takes it right back to Rocketgrrl:

edtastic >RocketGrrl • 14 hours ago

You must have a lot of anger towards men because you set out to demonize men for caring about men. The anger toward feminists is fully justified by the attack on men’s equal rights and hateful social campaigns against men being waged by feminists.

“I don’t know any feminists that hate or even dislike men. Including myself.”

That’s your own self serving bias talking and we need look no further than things like the ‘white feather campaign’ pretending men aren’t even victims of domestic violence or ‘Don’t be that guy’ presuming all sexual violence perpetrators are males. Men needn’t be warm towards women who adopt an ideology that sets out to bash males and deny their pain.
see more

And David Byron also knows how to turn feminist jargon on them:

DavidByron >llpk • a day ago

Victim blaming.

Now comes the coup de grace. Thank you, Sarah Stuart.

 Sarah Stuart >llpk • 18 hours ago

So, it’s deemed “unmanly” to be a victim. That point of view is apparently part of the patriarchy. Feminists regularly attack men for being concerned about levels of male victims and they need to “man up” and focus on women. So feminists are perpetuating the patriarchy.

It all falls into place. Like the energy companies trying to “help” people reduce costs while boosting up prices, feminism is a monster that hurts and hurts to feed itself.

Edtastic sums up and closes:

edtastic >llpk • 14 hours ago

In that case feminism an effect of the patriarchy and clearly dependent on it to sustain it’s (sic) victim narratives through endless ‘patriarchy’ scapegoating.

” Do you want to know why there are fewer resources for men fighting domestic violence?”

Feminist covering up male victimization rates 30-40 years.

” Who created the image of masculinity in our society?”

BOTH SEXES!

“Men (as a group). It is often the same men who complain about these lacking services that also degrade men for needing the services.”

You are collectively blaming men as a sex because you don’t expect to be held accountable for your sexism against men. Meanwhile you see MRA’s keep their focus on feminists like you who engage in blatant sexism, misandry, and gender bashing to gain power over others. Who needs moral guidance on gender equality from people who can’t stop negatively stereotyping the male gender?

 It is getting more and more common to see this kind of push back and to see it in more and more spaces. It is also getting more and more common to see more and more women doing it.

Even as MRAs are derided or slandered more and more, the message is spreading. It is spreading partly due to the Streisand Effect, but mostly it is spreading because people are seeing the validity in it on its own merits and going on the spread it themselves.

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.

Reddit Repost: “Beyond The Binary Gender Structure: Biological Maleness vs. Social Masculinity”

This is a repost of an article I originally wrote for /r/Masculism and posted here: http://www.reddit.com/r/masculism/comments/16t9fa/beyond_the_binary_gender_structure_biological/

Upon a second reading, I notice one error or piece of sloppy reasoning: with respect to the “prison bitch” issue, I did not take into account that in some cases, the “prison bitch” is in fact treated “like a woman” to some extent. This makes sense as the relationship being pseudo-heterosexualized due to the fact that some of these relationships are the product of situational sexuality practiced by heterosexual men who obviously wish to maintain the ‘illusion’ that they are having sex with a female. In spite of this fact, there is also a strong number of “prison bitch” relationships which follow the template I describe in this article. This subtext seems validated by reports on the phenomenon of prison rape, for instance “No Escape: Male Rape in US Prisons.” I could cite other examples of phenomena which are consistent with my analysis, however.

In addition, this post uses a significant amount of technological terminology relating to Philosophical Methodology. I do not wish to sound patronizing, but I’ll provide a definition for these terms in advance (my thanks to Chris Sciabarra at NYU for these concepts).
Monism: Everything is understood as being “the same thing” or epiphenomena (products) of that one thing.
Dualism: Everything is understood as fitting into one of two mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories.
Dialectical: A relationship between things in which these things are defined/understood in terms of their relationship to each other. Understanding X in terms of comparing-and-contrasting it with Y.
Dialectical Pseudo-Monism: A monism which ‘masquerades’ as a dualism by outwardly establishing two categories (X and Y), yet it understands/comprehends Y exclusively in terms of its relationship with X. Y is not treated as an entity of its own, but ultimately as an epiphenomena of or response to X.

PART 1
In my article Separating The ‘Boys’ From The ‘Men’, I argued that traditional gender roles, whilst both premised on Gender Essentialism, were based on different types of Epistemological Essentialism. Traditional femininity was (and probably still is) seen as innate to female biology (probably due to the fact that a female can serve her socially-mandated function, i.e. reproduction, simply by virtue of her biological maturity (barring infertility)), in the tradition of Aristotelian Essentialism (a.k.a. Immanent Essentialism or Moderate Essentialism).

Traditional masculinity, on the other hand, has always been based on Platonic Essentialism. Men, by virtue of their innate biology or biological maturation alone, do not serve their socially-mandated functions (hunting, protecting, the extremely dangerous tasks). Rather, they must act to prove they not only can perform these functions but to show how they can perform these functions better than other males. Thus, biological males have to “earn” their “manhood” by proving they can serve society in specific ways, and the better they are at doing this the “more man” they are.

As a consequence of this Platonic concept of masculinity, not all males end up achieving the social status of manhood. There are the “real men” and there are the “not-real-men,” or as we might put it, there are “the men” and “the boys.”

I believe that this fact has been sorely missed in the vast majority of traditional gender analysis. I believe that this fact also has particularly radical implications which need to be drawn out.

PART 2
In traditional (and, with very few exceptions, feminist-conducted) gender analysis, there is a methdological dualism between masculinity and femininity – all gender classifications are seen as falling into masculine or feminine. Even feminists that aren’t of the radical-second/third-wave type have usually subscribed to this model. Even relentlessly politically incorrect feminists such as Camille Paglia have. This model is fundamentally gynocentric (or perhaps femmecentric would be a better term). It sees the masculine as based on the disownership of and revolt against the feminine (technically speaking this makes the model pseudo-monistic with masculinity defined dialectically (i.e. the not feminine, masculinity is defined in relation to the feminine) but that’s a whole different issue and for simplicity’s sake we’ll describe this as a methodological dualism). It sees the feminine as the “default” from which the masculine acts in order to differentiate itself (to be fair, this argument has some biological basis – fetuses are female until they are exposed to androgens in the womb, which masculinizes the fetus over the course of development. This leads to the situation of some feminists trying to use a biological argument to defend gynocentric analysis; a situation that strikes many as hypocritical).

As an analytical consequence of this model, anything which “falls short” of “real manhood” is classified as feminine. Thus, the bullying of men for being insufficiently macho is classified as an epiphenomenon of misogyny (see my article Primal Misogyny and Ozy’s Law over on /r/GenderEgalitarian for more). Prison rape of smaller, weaker men by larger, stronger men is seen as an epiphenomenon of male-on-female rape. The oppression of socially emasculated males is seen as no more than a consequence of the oppression of females. This attitude, which I call “Primal Misogyny,” is one of the greatest reasons why so many men involved in the gender conversation have come to the conclusion that feminism does not care about men’s issues; most of the time feminism has argued men’s issues are just repackagings of women’s issues (which, ironically enough, compounds the social emasculation of “not-real-men” by turning them into “honorary women” for the purposes of analysis).

So what are the alternative models? If we are to stick with a bigendered model, there are two alternatives; an androcentric (or masculocentric) model (the flaws of which have been admirably critiqued by plenty of feminists, and thus would be fallacious to adopt), or a true methodological dualism which doesn’t center on either side.

PART 3
But this leaves us with a problem; where would the ‘socially-emasculated’ men, the ‘not-real-men’, or the ‘boys’ fit in such a model? They’re clearly male-bodied individuals, yet socially they aren’t considered “real men.” “Real men” do not identify with them; rather, they usually hold them in contempt and often outright bully them. Nor do the “boys” receive any of the chivalry/benevolent sexism/female privilege that women can have some expectation of receiving; “don’t hit a girl” certainly doesn’t apply to “not real men” (indeed, the opposite is true).

Many feminists would argue in favor of the methodological dualism which reduces the insufficiently-masculine to the feminine by pointing at the insults thrown around various school playgrounds at less “jockish” males. They’d suggest “pussy” and “sissy” and “girl” back up their methodological presumptions, and in that they have a point. However, plenty of other insults and teases applied to the same victims are not gendered; “wimp,” “shrimp,” “loser” (especially indicative since athletic competitions are typically held between members of the same sex), “weakling,” “nerd” (which typically has male connotations) etcetera. And then, we come to a more telling set of insults; “grow a pair!” “Man up!” “You have no balls!”

This last set of insults focuses not on being traditionally feminine but rather on lacking traditional masculinity. According to the typical model, to lack masculinity is to be feminine, however if one uses these specific insults to argue for the traditional methodological dualism, one is making a circular argument. But is it possible to lack traditional masculinity without gaining traditional femininity?

The gender psychologist and androgyny scholar Sandra Bem has argued so. Bem developed a personality measure (the Bem Sex Role Inventory) which was based on the presumption that masculinity and femininity are in fact independent variables. One can be high on both, low on both, or high on one and low on the other. The result is four categories – traditionally masculine, traditionally feminine, androgynous (exhibiting both strongly masculine and strongly feminine traits) and undifferentiated (exhibiting neither strongly masculine nor strongly feminine traits). Insults which revoke masculinity without arguing for an increase in femininity (i.e. “you have no balls” isn’t necessarily saying “you have a pussy”) suddenly make a lot more sense. Insults which degender (emasculate or defeminize) aren’t to be seen as ascribing the traits of the opposite gender but rather as subtracting the traits of the current gender.

The other concept I find illuminating in this regard, apart from Bem’s androgyny model, is the concept of “Apexuality” developed by Typhon Blue. Blue begins by noting that, due to the hierarchical nature of traditional masculinity, men often lack a common social identity with each other – “real men” holding “not-real-men” in contempt, for example. The notion of “men as a class” comes apart at the seams, because many males do not perceive many other males as fundamentally like themselves.

PART 4
The above two notions lead me to make a radical suggestion. It is not enough to “try harder” at avoiding slipping into gynocentrism or androcentrism; the basic methodological reduction down to two genders is the problem.

Think about it; is a “prison bitch” (clear case of a man who, in his context, is at the (pun intended) bottom of the social hierarchy, socially emasculated and seen as something other than a “man”) treated as a woman? In the western world, most of the time women aren’t shamed if they get raped and an outcry is rightly raised if anyone suggests a rape victim deserved it; the “prison bitch” unfortunately faces a culture which lacks such sensitivities, and indeed rationalizes his rape as something he secretly wanted/deserved on account of his alleged lack of masculinity. Does the prison bitch receive any chivalry or white knighting? Can the prison bitch invoke damselling? Of course not; that would be used as more evidence that his natural place is getting raped. The prison bitch faces all the demands of traditional masculinity (as defined in prison) – his failure to meet these demands is what demotes him to an inferior status. The prison bitch incurs several of the demands of traditional feminity (having to sexually satisfy his protector/provider if he’s “claimed” by a larger/stronger inmate, for instance). Yet the prison bitch cannot access the benefits of either masculinity or femininity. Can we really claim that the prison bitch is socially considered to be of the same “gender” as either females, or the rapists of the prison bitch?

The socially-emasculated men, the ‘boys,’ the ‘failed males,’ the omega males, call them what you will but to lump them into the same analytical category as the socially-approved “real men” when they are (in real life) categorized and treated differently is a fallacy. To lump them into the same analytical category as “women” when they are (in real life) categorized and treated differently is a fallacy.

It seems to me that gender discussion needs to abandon a bigendered model. Members of the male sex do not necessarily become “real men” (socially speaking). It is time that gender analysis adopts models of gender relations which truly separate the “real men” from the “boys” – whilst they are both of the same biological sex, they aren’t socially treated as having the same gender.

To clarify, I am not suggesting there are only three legitimate analytic categories (i.e. “man,” “woman” and “failed man/boy”). What I am suggesting is that there are at least three legitimate analytic categories, and the reduction of “failed men/boys/omega males/whatever” down to “honorary women” (or to “real men” for that matter) is a mistake. Nor am I alleging anything about gender-atypical females; as a male I have more experience with the male side of the equation and I am simply limiting my comments to the field I have more experience with. Certainly the hypothesis proposed in this piece is extremely radical and controversial and thus this piece should be read as a tentative exploration of a future potential angle for the exploration of men’s issues. Nevertheless, it is submitted for your consideration.

CONCLUSION
Traditional gender analysis often sets up a gynocentric (or femmecentric) situation where the masculine is seen as the rejection and inversion of the feminine default. A consequence of this is the attitude of Primal Misogyny – seeing all disdain for insufficient-machoness as an epiphenomenon of a disdain for the feminine. This attitude marginalizes men’s issues. However, as Sandra Bem’s androgyny model as well as Typhon Blue’s concept of “Apexuality” indicate, it may prove fruitful to move beyond a bi-gendered model of gender relations by embracing a model which differentiates between those males who are socially considered “real men” and those males who are socially emasculated. This could greatly improve the discourse surrounding the experiences of men who experience persecution and prejudice due to being socially considered “not real men.”

CULT OF THE MOTHER – The Minoan Great Mother

One lobe of Second Wave feminism was the Goddess Movement. Proponents posited that there had been a stage of historical development, in Europe and the Mediterranean at least, where the dominant image of divinity had been female. It was controversial from the start and the level of intellectual rigor behind the argumentation for it basically doomed it to obscurity. But it is still worth examing for the larger lessons it offers.

A corollary to this assertion of a female overgod was that these societies had been naturally peaceful, because that’s inherent in femininity or something. One example adduced was Minoan civilization, with its Mother Goddess and cities without walls, taken as proof that warfare was so rare as to require no special defensive fortifications. (Yeah, well, Washington DC doesn’t have any walls either….)

This is a standard image of the Minoan Mother Goddess. It’s probably quite familiar by now.

 Along with the Great Mother/Snake Goddess bulls were a very important symbol in Minoan culture and religion, and a form of sport that involved jumping over bulls by grabbing the charging bulls horns. Yee hah, coming to a rodeo near you. Don’t hold your breath. At least that’s what some mural depict; it looks so difficult as to be impossible.
 Minoan culture produced beautiful statuary featuring bulls and stylized bulls horns were a standard decorative form along the tops of walls at the palace at Knossos and they always were a fixture on altars – “the horns of consecration”. Note the connnection between bulls and sacrifice.
The myth of the Minotaur reflects the importance of the bull in that religion.

Another aspect of the importance of the bull was the bull sacrifice. The story of Theseus encodes the bull sacrifice under its overlay of human sacrifice. The Athenian youths are sent to Knossos to feed the Minotoaur, yes, but after all it is still the bull that ends up dying. This is the kind of patchy reconstruction we should expect after that story has come through a span of centuries and a dark age as part of the overall Bronze Age Collapse in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Minoans prospered at the heart of a thalassocracy that spanned the Mediterranean. I have heard them credited with spreading cultivation of the olive over the entire region. Perhaps some other aspects of ther culture endure in these far reaches as well.
Oh dear – bullfighting. How barbarous and brutal! Surely the naturally nurturant religion of the Great Mother could have nothing to do with anything like that! And notice how again it’s the bull that always dies.
A much better attested female-oriented religion was the mystery cult of Adonis. Mystery cults in Roman times were the preserve of women. Christianity was a mystery cult in the beginning and this held up its full social acceptability for generations. And what do we find in this cult tailor-made for women? We find the myth of Adonis, whom Aphrodite takes as a lover when she looks down from heaven, and who dies as a result of this connection.
What a treasured teenaged fantasy – the hot young man dying for love! How romantic it all is! And the crucial part is that he has to suffer and die to give the story some juice, to give the listener someone to moon over and pine over. Country Joe and the Fish nailed this one not so long ago.
So these female religions are all nurturant and peaceful, as long as you’re not the one on the receiving end of all the fevered fantasies.
The Goddess Movement is largely forgotten in internet feminism, if it was ever known at all, but it has diffused into the gender discussion. You hear its echoes all over – the way every issue is discussed in terms of how it impacts women, the way female victims are identified as female while males are degendered and borgified into either non-males or non-victims, the way gains for women and girls are gains whereas gains for men and boys somehow always threaten women…If it seems implausible that the Goddess Movement should have such influence despite its short duration the larger feminist movement, it’s not really strange at all. It’s not at all strange because it fits so perfectly with the general gynocentric orientation of the culture, which measures a “Real Man” by how useful he is to women. So examining the Goddess Movement and its narratives is an important part of any gender discussion that hopes to be at all through.
The Goddess Movement and its assertions were controversial from the start and the level of intellectual rigor behind the argumentation for it basically doomed it to obscurity. But it is still worth examing for the larger lessons it offers.

MEN’S MOVEMENT – Feminism is a men’s issue, Part III

Patrick Brown on 2013-12-04 at 1:07 am said:

I think the MRM is quite rightly concerned with feminism, because feminism has poisoned relations between the sexes. Men are considered inherently up to no good in everything we say and do, and I put the blame for that squarely on feminists and their “theories”.

That and their cultural conditioning. Fetishizing women and demonizing men was a big part of the Romantic Movement in the Anglosphere (sorry, Patrick), and that was the cultural matrix feminism arose out of.

He goes on to point to their traditionalism and denial of their own complicity:

They rely on older attitudes like the damsel in distress reflex and the obligation on to speak carefully when ladies are present, but “patriarchy” and “objectification” and “rape culture” are all their own work, and the product of academia, not random bloggers.

“Patriarchy” and “objectification” and “rape culture” are just embellishments and extensions on the traditionalism Patrick is calling out.

Something else is going on with this terminology. It is constructed so as to shift all the blame onto men and all of it off of women. The term “kyriarchy” is now after all these decades replacing “patriarchy” but very slowly and to not enthusiastic reception. Does anyone really think that a group of rich white women, benficiaries of thier privielged status, were going to name the system they supposedly wnated to overthrow (as opposed to just gaming for thier own advantage0 a kyriarchy? Bite the hand that fed them?

And when they talk about “objectification” it is always in a very selective way. They narrow it to sexual objectification and then cast that as something that only men do to only women. “Objectification” in fact represents a much deeper and more comprehensive insight, but acknowledging this would led down all sorts of unwelcome paths, where the many ways women objectify men would be explored. the same goes for “rape culture” first it is apprpopriated from the men who identified it and then it is cast in such a way as to erase male rape victims.

Feminism doesn’t have to do anything about men’s issues.

Except maybe stop lying about actually caring about them and about how it’s really the cure-all for mens problems.

But it does need to stop spreading hate and prejudice against men and our intentions.

And it may need a lot of help stopping, probably quite energetic help. Treating men like disposable instruments is fundamental to the psychological and economic underpinnings of the culture we all grow up in.

DAMSELING – The moan about housework, again

Here we go again, another moan, this time from Annalyn Kurtz, about how men don’t do their share of household chores, all of course without any consideration of who gets to decide what chores need to be done in the first place, in other words, how many chores there actually are. But that’s another fight. This one is just over sloppy reasoning, reasoning so sloppy that only firmly entrenched assumptions can explain it. The core lazy assumption is that women have it worse, period, and facts are just road bumps to establishing this obvious truth. She starts off with a brazen declaration of dogma:

Despite gains for working women over the last few decades, two basic facts remain true: Men still work longer hours in a paid profession, and women do more of the cooking, cleaning and child-rearing at home.

Working in the home is not usually paid. But if both paid and unpaid work are combined, it’s the women who put in the longest hours.

Working at home most definitely IS paid work, at least in community property states where the couple functions as a corporation and owns everything in common, including income whatever the source. Are we to believe that a SAHM pays for room and board out of some other income and buys her clothes out of that income? Then where is all that money and that value coming from?

Of course, it simply has to be women who work the longest hours, sniff, sniff. That’s just axiomatic, if you care not to be called a misogynist wretch. Watch how she woozles this into shape:

In the United States, men and women work a nearly equal number of hours, but the women shoulder significantly more of the household burden.

Yeah, only if you surgically excise enough of the household maintenance men do. Any yardwork is somehow not part of the household burden. Car maintenance is often ignored too or explained away as some kind of fun for the man, so it doesn’t count, amirite?

American men work an average of 50.6 hours a week (33 hours at a job and 17.6 hours on household tasks). Women, who are more likely to be employed part time, worked 50.9 hours a week (23.8 hours at a job and 27.1 hours at home).

Here she can’t make up her mind. She admits to the higher percentage of women who work part time, but still says that amounts to basically the same amount of time…probably to get the end numbers to work out the way she needs them to support her damseling moan of a thesis.

Totaling it all up, the average American woman actually works 18 minutes more than a man each week, but she is compensated for fewer than half her hours. The American man, on the other hand, is paid for 65% of his work.

As I pointed out above, they are both compensated for all their work, if they are married. It’s all one income.

This is a textbook example of twisting facts to maintain a narrative, of artfully overlooking inconvenient countervailing information, of misrepresenting other information and of the use of plain old repetition in place of argumentation.

Perhaps I should be backing this all up with links to citations of how many more hours men work in jobs compared to female peers on average, or to assessments of how the tasks actually needed to keep a home running share our between the genders – I imagine there is so much overlap that comparisons are hopeless – or go into a discussion of how the overall list of chores is arrived at, who decides what needs to be done – the master of the house? That joke answers itself.

But Kurtz didn’t bother to back up any of her points with any kind of citations, because they are all just received wisdom. Her article is like a recitation of a catechism, and facts are just footnotes no one reads.

Perhaps if Kurtz had brought an argument it might deserve the effort of a rebuttal. But all her article deserves is a dismissal.

EQUALITY IS MISOGYNY – Incoherence in the female victim narrative

Robert Crayle asked:

“To ask a question…why would anyone who “genuinely” thinks they’re under attack from the “other”, that they’re persecuting, harming, even murdering the “in-group” also think that something so inane, so puerile as asking them to stop is the most effective strategy? I don’t think employed feminists or traditionalists (of the western variety) actually believe their bull – they just use the hordes of true ideological believers to hide the truth from themselves, as well as build up a sense of contempt towards those true believers. My question is, why would anyone else actually believe this – and so blindly too?”

Their narrative is incoherent, but it is so emotionally satisfying that they can’t stand to have it questioned in any way. That narrative is so central to their self-concept that it feels like an attack to hear it questioned.

This is exactly where tradcon men were in the mid-60s, having their sexual identity examined and denounced by privileged women – and let’s face it, all vanguards and social reformers come from privilege, even the ones whose revolutions turn out to actually benefit society too. These were men who had grown up under the control of women, naturally, so they were used to bowing to this kind of scrutiny. So the tactic worked.

When a man of that era quibbled with this, he was branded a sexist pig, a Neanderthal that just wanated to keep women in the kitchen and a whole barrage of other shaming language. And even now, when the MRM comes along and argues for full gender equality by way of denouncing inequalities in the family law and family law systems, denouncing disparities incarceration and the reluctance of law enforcement to charge women when they attack and injure men, to denounce gender bias in the educational system, to denounce double standards in the way female-on-male rape is handled by law enforcement and in the courts, to denounce rape hysteria, and to denounce male disposability in society in general – what is the response from feminsts? Infamy! MISOGYNY! Aaaaagggghhh!!!!

This call for equality is so painful because it confronts hypoagency, specifically the form of hypoagency in which women are the Designated Victims of society. Anything that questions women’s position as the ultimate victims in every situation throws these people’s gender identity into question. And that hurts deeply.

So whenever any harm to men is brought up, these people have to spin it so that somehow some way women have it worse:

Do men and boys commit suicide at four or five times the rate girls and women do? Well, well….girls and women attempt suicide more than men and boys do.

Are men sent off to die and be maimed in wars for the benefit of society, women included? Well, that’s not as bad as being considered too frail to be sent off to die. (By the way, how is that supposed to work? How does being too frail drive that? Why wouldn’t a society send off the weaklings? There has to be some other reason for not sending them off. But oh no….) Besides, women are the real victims in way anyway.

Are men raped and then laughed at? Well, it’s worse for a woman to be raped (because after all the demasculinatization of being raped is always so much harder on a woman). And besides, is it really rape? How could it be, when she is so much smaller and weaker, and besides he should be grateful anyway that the Wondrous Vagina has been bestowed on him and what’s wrong with him, is he, you know, gay? He didn’t want sex with that woman? He just hates the Vagina! Misogynist!!

Do men have shorter lifespans and worse health outcomes than women? Well, they are just weaker, that’s all! (Never mind that when woman had the shorter lifespans and bad health outcomes, society spent a century turning childbirth from a crapshoot with death into what looks like a perfectly natural and safe process.)

Are men judged solely by what they accomplish, so they put in longer work hours, forego time with their children, to the point that they even commit suicide for the insurance money if that’s the only path they see to make themseleves useful? Well, that’s just the glass ceiling? Don’t you see how that all discriminates against women? Don’t you??!!??

Et cetera.

Well now it’s women’s turn to have their gender role held up to the same scrutiny as men’s was. What they see as an inherent right they hold by virtue of being female, the MRM is denouncing as female privilege. Feminsts, it turns out, denounce all the same things as benevolent sexism. If they really thought they were so bad, they would launching their very effective activist resources against all these forms of inequality. That would show they were sincere. But what do they actually do?

 They denounce them on the one side and then insist of retaining those privileges on the other and cry “misogyny” if they are questioned.

They decry men white knighting them and then demand to know why men don’t have patrols out so that women can go anywhere they want at any hour in perfect safety, a safety no man enjoys.

 They say that gender is merely a construct. But then when people “constructed as feminine” display psychological traits that maladapt them to study and work in tech fields, rather than examining these maladaptive aspects of that particular form of femininity, they call for massive societal efforts to get the tech fields to accomodate that maladaptive form of femininity.

They denounce all this benevolent sexism, this female privilege, on the one side and then insist on retaining those privileges on the other and cry “misogyny” if they are questioned.

And that has been the response from most feminists, a lot of other women, and a lot of men, to this scrutiny of the traditional female role and female privilege. Equality is misogyny.

HYPOAGENCY – “Women are wonderful”

I first heard the expression “Women are wonderful” from Typhonblue as a label for the tendency to attribute only good motives for women, or to erase, trivialize or explain away anything negative a woman does. I have since heard the expression elsewhere, but it does not seem to be very widespread.

It’s really just another form of hypoagency. There are four forms I have seen it take:

Denialism – This is the flat-out denial that women do any of the heinous things men do. This is particularly common whenever Intimate partner Violence (IPV) (=domestic violence) comes up. There is flat denial that women commit PV at anything like the same rates men do, and blank denial when you also mention women initiate the majority of IPV incidents. It is also common when the subject of rape comes up. We have seen all the forms this denialism takes: women can’t rape men because men are physically stronger; that a man is ungrateful or even misogynist for calling unwanted sex rape, or the ripe old one out of the early 90s, that since rape is a crime of patriarchy, women are categorically incapable of it.

For a particularly rancid example of this kind of rape apology here is the first comment that appeared after Ally Fogg posted this very good blog post on Chris Brown being child-raped when he was eight by a teenaged girl, and later bragging about it:

1. scimaths
October 6, 2013 at 10:52 am (UTC 1) Link to this comment

“Chris Brown is here disclosing that he was seriously sexually abused at eight years old, by a girl in her mid-teens”

That girl did not abuse him. What he is actually disclosing is the abuse by the older boys and men and a culture that fed him the porn. He is disclosing the abuse *of the girl* by older boys and men who procured her for his premature porn-fueled fantasies about what women and girls are for, and how men are supposed to behave.

As usual though Ally your clueless rush to the “women do it too” schtick entirely misses the point. The girl in this story is a victim – most likely a repeat victim and from a younger age too – of men and their macho porn fantasies. The young Chris Brown, also a victim of those men and older boys. Ask yourself why that is not the story that we’re hearing ?

Eeewwww……

So no end of speculation and vituperation is marshaled to erase what this rapist girl – young woman, really – did to this boy. That’s denialism.

Extenuation – So when denialism fails, the first fallback is extenuation. This is minimization. Either it’s the claim that F>M just isn’t that serious, an F>M rape isn’t as serious as an M>F rape because male victims just aren’t as harmed as female victims – because you know, it’s so much worse for a woman than for a man to be demasculinized by rape – or it’s the claim of irrevocable male consent. He got hard, he willingly got drunk and put himself at risk, or just generally what kind of a wuss was he to get raped by a woman, or to call it rape. Because, you know, a real man would have just “lay back and enjoyed it.”

So no big deal, right?

A specialized form of this is false equivalence. A man commits the unpardonable crime of failing to satisfy a woman sexually, so she feels entitled to beat him up. A man cheats on his girlfriend, so she forces him to kneel in the street and starts slapping him in public. (At least this time the women did get arrested - the Chinese have fewer dehumanizing illusions about women’s powerlessness.) The general pattern is permission of  disproportionate violence based on false equivalences. Notice how the corresponding anti-male sexist tripe is male invulnerability.

Impunity – When denialism and extenuation both fail, the final defensive position is to simply refuse to penalize the woman for her crime or whatever other harm she has committed. And this is what is behind the female sentencing discount.

Sometimes this is a function of the Golden Uterus. There are loads of examples of mothers but not fathers being treated leniently in the courts to the point of almost complete impunity. Here’s one in a particularly sleazy shake-down of a member of the European Parliament, where the crook will spend no time in jail in view of how hard it would be on her son. I only chose this example because it was so recent. They come up regularly.

Deflection – Finding some man to blame for a woman’s misdeeds hits two traditionalist targets with one shot – it bigs men up as all-powerful and it confirms women as weak, whimpering little victims in need of men’s – some other man’s (there’s the pay off!) – protection. So: Did a wife injure her husband when she abused him? Well, what did he do to make her do it? (“Make her do it” – how hypoagentive does it have to get?) Did a woman drive her children into the Hudson River and drown them? Let’s talk about what an inadequate husband he was! Because it’s always only ever going to be about her and her needs, right?

Because finally it all comes down to that, that a woman is just a bag of needs to be met and the measure of man is how well he meets them.

Numerous women call this out for the hateful sexism it is, feminists too. This is what they call the “golden cage” and “benevolent sexism” (yeah, it’s benevolent alright, if you’re the one on the receiving end of all this leniency) but the benefits are poisoned. This is female privilege, and it cripples women. It’s a form of foot binding, and far too many women in our society insist on it, out of adherence to a toxic gender identity.

And speaking of female privilege, I had a long exchange on a Mensrights subreddit thread with an insightful feminist where we both realized that what she calls benevolent sexism, I call female privilege. So maybe in their own way feminists really have been denouncing female privilege under one name – and demanding more of it under another. We can take that up later maybe.

These four tactics – denialism, extenuation, impunity and deflection – are all deployed to maintain a cultural norm, the belief that women are inherently sweet, caring nurturing , harmless – in a word, wonderful. And if that gets in the way of their humanity, oh well…

So many of the personal stories we hear from women who grew up in the bad old days of being forced to wear skirts really come down to being gender policed into just this role – harmless, inoffensive, prissy. That’s the golden cage, benevolent sexism, the female privilege all this lying is trying to defend.