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.

SLY INVERSIONS – The “man-child” trope

We’ve all heard the jibes “The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys” and seen the commercials that show husbands as bumbling idiots with their indulgent wives looking on in amusement standing by to make sure they don’t harm themselves somehow. It’s a structural feature of modern culture. It’s relatively new. It started only in the 60s and gained momentum with the accumulating success of the Women’s Movement. It is an expression of female supremacy perhaps; at best a form of women’s empowerment, at bottom just plain old rancid gender bigotry.

This is a running theme in “literature” marketed to women (“Literature” the way action movies are “film”.) One example is the Crossfire series of novels by Sylvia Day. The form this theme takes in these novels is the very familiar “broken man saved by the love of a good woman.” At root this comes from a protective and loving instinct, but the idea that you have the right or the competence to go in and fix someone else and their life because after all you’re the adult, you understand them and their life better than they do, is distorted and objectifying.

Another example of this thinking is the recurring trope that if only women ran the world!!….. life would be a paradise of peace and sweet reason. There would be no war, there would be no evil hierarchies, the Great Recession would never have happened because that was all just testoreone poinsoning. The world would just all be peace, love and understanding.

This is the man-child trope. We see it in a thousand forms – the dopey husband, the clueless father, the overgrown boy who won’t pick up his socks – a steady drumbeat of derogatory and false images of men. Surely there is some advantage to someone that is driving all this.

Where does this come from? There are probably whiffs of it in other cultures, but no one seems to take it as far as Anglophone culture does. What gives?

One explanation is that it is simply a power grab, an expression of supremacy. But there is another possible explanation. Given the much wider latitude women have in our culture for childish behavior* – not just extravagant displays of emotion but appeals to emotion as justification or to manipulate, and celebration of forms of conversation that are really just emotional group masturbation – this man-child trope looks like it serves a real purpose, especially in light of the fact that men are generally held to and generally have to meet higher standards of mature behavior. Have you ever wondered why “woman up” doesn’t carry the same admonition to suck it up and be strong and carry on, like an adult, as “man up”’ does? Because it doesn’t have to, that’s why. Real adulthood is not part of the defintion of “woman” anymore.

 And if anyone calls bullshit on this man-child trope, well, you just smile and smirk and remind him he’s really just a woman-hating little boy with “issues”, not a Real Man, and he is supposed to just tuck tail and slink away. That’s if he knows what’s good for him.

What this man-as-child trope looks like is a defensive mechanism, psychologically necessary for those women who are the real children in the relationship. That’s why you only hear this trope out of some women. It might be interesting to see how many women actually are an audience for this stuff and how many just roll their eyes at it. This way th e women who use this trope get to go on being children, with all the indulgence that entails, and call themselves the adults in the relationship, with all the rights that accrue to that.

How does this get going in actual life, how do people men fall into accepting this and how do women learn to perform this sly inversion?

Most children grow up these days with the mother in charge of the house, even if she works the same numbers of hours outsidie the home as the father. Her word is final and her defers to her. This can take forms ranging from simple mommy-blocking to unsubtle reminders about who will get the kids if she decides to take her ball and go home. Children observe this and generalize it to gender relations, as they do with every observation of their parents’ interactions.

Outside the home the pattern is repeated at school, where the overwhelming majority of authority figures are women. Thoughout childhood boys see that female approval is the foundation of everything. Men propose and women dispose.

By the time they graduate both boys and girls are fully enculturated in this pattern. It is a cultural norm. The way it is expressed is in the man-child trope.

The man-child trope exists to compensate psychologically for the contradictions that arise out of the hyperagency/hypoagency binary, and it arises out of distorted patterns of child rearing. And all three of those things must die.

 

 

* A Checklist: 10 ways your wife is just another child
1. She’ll cry when she’s sad, or scream and carry on when she’s angry, without regard for where she is.
2. She’ll cry and whine to make you do what she wants.
3. When there’s a scary noise in the night, she’ll hide under the covers and expect you to go investigate.
4. She is adamant about foods she will or will not eat, and considers the ones she doesn’t like yucky and wonder, and even ask you, how you can stand to eat them.
5. She expects you to attend every one of her family functions, or even tag along clothes shopping with her, but has no time for your family or their events, and whines if you try to attend by yourself because “How does that make me look?.”
6. She thinks your friends are “immature.”
7. She is affronted that you think her friends are boring and takes it personally and calls you selfish or “immature.”
8. She thinks she can say all kinds of derogatory things about you to her friends but is constantly on guard and accusatory of anything you say that can possibly be interpreted or even just mischaracterized as derogatory of her.
9. She calls you unappreciative when she puts on a big birthday thing for you and invites all her friends, and you really don’t appreciate it, after you told her you just wanted a family dinner with the kids.
10. She insists on leaving the toilet seat down, and she even expects you to.

GENDER STEROTYPES – Kjerringa mot strømmen

There is a story told in various forms across northern Europe that involves a contrary old woman. The form I am (vaguely) familiar with is the Norwegian version, Kjerringa mot strømmen - The Old Woman (no good English equivalent for the Norwegian term) Against the Stream. In this version there is an old couple on their way somewhere and they fall to squabbling over whether their field should be “clipped’ or “shorn” – not clear on the difference – and one way or the other the old woman ends up in the river. So the old man goes downriver to find her to give her a proper burial, can’t find her, concludes a contrary old woman like her would be far upstream by now, and he finds her up above the rapids.

The story has been seen as a proto-feminist parable. The idea is that the individualistic old woman resisted social norms, and the core of those social norms were her restrictive female gender role.

Time roles on and the struggle continues, but now the villain looks different. The monster’s old mask was societal male domination that a kjerring would bravely rebel against, but now that mask is being torn off and the monster’s real face is being exposed. The monster is the traditional female role that these kjerringer see victimizing men and women in complementary and inter-supporting ways.

What is that traditional female role modern-day kjerringer are rebelling against? It basically comes down to hypoagency and feeding off of men’s agency, objectifying men into instruments of whatever is good for women.

Aspects of this are:

The Romance Narrative: In the West the Romance Narrative is a reflex of courtly love as it was popularized in the Middle Ages and has since then permeated the entire culture, from the elites down to us humble folk.In this memeplex the man is eternally on bended knee offering serivce to his Lady, who sits in passive glory far above the trammels of earthly existence. She is pure, he is dross; she is spiritual, he is animal; she is selfless; he is a predator; she is wise; he is thick-witted and insensitive and all his worth is derived from her approval. Oh, and he’s a naughty little boy too, and it’s her job to civilize him.

Measuring of Men: Women have always measured men as possible mates against various external criteria, just as men have women. Those criteria might be birth, might be wealth, might be breast size, success in war – whatever. In the past few generations those criteria have either become irrelevant or have been demonized, so what remains is a vague list of criteria derived from romantic fantasies, see above.

Here is an example of this thinking, a checklist of metrics to measure a man by to decide if you still find the relationship beneficial or if it’s time to trade up, a consumerist objectification of men verging on sociopathy.

There is one other aspect of this that remains, the old Moral Guardian role.This role was active not only in the White Feather Campaign – note how no men were out handing out these white feathers because they would have been beaten down - but also it has always been the preferred approach taken by feminists in gender discussion. The suffragettes made the issue of voting rights a moral issue and 2nd Wavers did the same thing with their pig-shaming language later on. The issue always is how are men oppressing women and what can men do to redeem themsleves to women – stop rape, stop rape jokes, stop keeping women and girls out of men and boys’ spaces, stop FGM, stop, stop.

Men Exist to Serve Women: The first question in any discussion of gender must be what is best for women. Any discussion of parenting must defer to the wisdom of mothers as the natural nurturers and any discussion of what is best for children really comes down to what is best for mothers because after all children are just extensions of their egos. (This is the kind of narcissistic perversion you can expect in a consumer culture.)

Engagement rings? A sign of ownership of women by men, not an exaction of expensive jewelry by women from men. Valentine’s Day and all that attendant expense? Oh there’s nothing wrong with that, women actually like that and it doesn’t make them feel objectfied or anything. Stay At Home dads? That’s a good thing because it frees women to work outside the home. Not one of these points is inaccurate or invalid, but they are all gynocentric. Everything must be assessed from the perspective of how a woman benefits from it because after all that is the only measure that matters.

So why does any woman rebel against this sweet deal? And by rebelling, I don’t mean the false rebellion of the spoiled brat who talks her parents down, i.e. she denounces the patriarchy, and then sits back and lives on their money and counts on their protection if the cops find out what she’s really been doing all this time to impress her friends. I mean women who reject all this for the golden cage it is but more than that, they reject it because they are not sociopaths and it sickens them to see men treated this way.

They are wives of husbands they truly love (as opposed to moaning about tot ehir friendsand toelrating as co-breadwinners). They are mothers of sons who are angry about they way way their sons are vilified and considered suspect or ignored in school and horrified at their lack of equality before the law if they are accused of a whole range of crimes that their female peers soemhow never get accused of. They are grandmothers of children whose mothers keep them away from their fathers and families.

These women are not traitors to women, they are the salvation of women, despite the howling derision, threats and vilification they endure from other women. They are what feminists claim to be and sometimes are – gender egalitarians. And that means swimming hard against some very strong and icy currents. They have the whole force of the “Patriarchy” and the traditional gender roles it prescribes, against them

MALE DISPOSABILITY – One Marine’s story

Read this and rage.

This is unacceptable. This is abomination. There is simply no excuse – containment of costs, fiscal responsibility, whatever bullshit lie you may think justifies this – this is unacceptable.

It must end.

“My Suicide Attempt and My Struggles to Get Help”

God damn them. God damn the wombs that bore them. God damn their floating corpses.

God damn them.

 

 

MALE DISPOSABILITY – PTSD and someone who is in a position to attack the stigma around it

Do you know why US Army Rangers wear panty hose? Supposedly they do wear panty hose, (though I haven’t gone and checked.)

Simple answer: Panty hose are the most efficient form of long underwear available.
Real answer: Because they can.

A soldier at Joint base Lewis McChord, SSG Ty Carter, is in a similar position, in this case in a position to champion sufferers from PTSD and to attack the stigma associated with it.

Do you remember that scene in the movie “Patton” where Patton is visiting a field hospital and comes across a soldier in a ward with what was then called “shell shock”? He queries the soldier about his wounds and when he finds the soldier has no physical wound, he starts slapping the kid, like he’s some kind of malingerer. He calls him a coward. Even at the time that was considered way over the line, so the next scene is him personally apologizing to every enlisted man under his command. In fact he was relieved of command over the incident, which is the most severe punishment you can inflict on someone like him. But Pattons’s behavior was of a piece with his chivalric conception of war and still a very pronounced strain in the culture of the time.

Nowadays it isn’t generals who hold such backward beliefs about male disposability, or even old blowhards at the VFW or American Legion. Maybe you still hear middle-aged women sniffing about how these soldiers should just man up and suck it up and quit sniveling, but maybe the stigma comes for something more than male disposability, come to think of it. Come to think of it, the stigma may be part of the stigma around mental illness, that mind is closer to what we are as individuals are than the body is, so mental illness is more threatening than physical illness. Whichever it is, there is a real and deep stigma around PTSD.

SSG Carter has decided to make PTSD awareness and acceptance his personal mission:

Carter hopes that while being in the spotlight as a Medal of Honor recipient, he will also focus on post-traumatic stress, and bring more awareness to those who struggle with it daily.

“I want to try and get rid of the stigma of post-traumatic stress, because there are a lot of Soldiers out there who have it, and are ashamed to talk about it or get help,” said Carter. “With my experience with it, I can take a Soldier and just talk one-on-one and explain to him that it is not going to be easy, and it will take a while. But you will improve and you will do a lot better. You just need to go get the help you need.”

SSG Carter can do this because as a Medal of Honor awardee, he can come out and say he has PTSD without anyone questioning his courage or fortitude, so maybe male disposability and the man-up meme are active enough in this to matter after all. And if that’s true, that’s wrong. If it takes a Medal of Honor to bring this out in the open and get these people treated with dignity and compassion, and shut down the loudmouth cowards, that says nothing good about this society.

MALE DISPOSABILITY – Dear Abby and thanking veterans

A woman writes to Dear Abby:

Dear Abby: Recently I took a cue from my sister and her career Navy husband. They always make it a point to thank anyone they see in military uniform for his/her service and sacrifice.

I am somewhat shy by nature. But I am so thankful to these men and women who fight for our continued freedom that I stepped out of my comfort zone to verbalize my feelings and encourage those who cross my path.

Abby, the first and second thank yous I offered did not go well. The first gentleman I spoke to gave me a scornful look and proceeded to tell me I should be thankful for all military personnel — not just him — and especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.

I felt three inches tall and very embarrassed, but I chalked it up to perhaps having said thanks the wrong way, so I tried again. This time I thanked a World War II veteran. I recognized him as a vet by the emblem on the bill of the cap he was wearing. His response was, “Didn’t have a choice — it was the draft or jail.”

Maybe I’m not cut out for verbalizing my thankfulness, or maybe I’m doing it wrong. Now my shyness has taken over again. Should I silently offer a prayer of thanks instead? — Twice Bitten In Washington

First off, neither of the men answered with very good grace at all. Maybe she did not deserve to have her head bitten ff. But maybe by the umpteenth time they had been thanked, these men had earned the right to bite some heads off.

Dear Abby shows she’s not quite tracking here though:

As to the WWII vet who entered the service one jump ahead of the law — give him marks for honesty in admitting his reason for entering the military was less than patriotic.

She is referring to an old recruiting technique where the Army would let judges let thugs  enlist in the Army as an alternative to going to jail. That’s what Dear Abby is referring to, but probably not what the man was referring to, because the fact, which a woman might tend to forget if she ever knew, was that when you were drafted, you either went to the induction center or to jail. The draft was conscription. Men, unlike women, were liable to being press-ganged into national service.

Something else is going on these two examples and it goes much deeper. Both men’s answers reveal a sense of alienation from the civilian trying to thank them. I know this feeling. It doesn’t have to be as rank as “Who the fuck are you to thank me?” it may just be a sense of the overwhelming impossibility of talking across the chasm. When the first man chides this well-meaning woman that she should be thanking all the guys who died, who actually sacrificed, he is trying to get some of his experience across to her.

This alienation is intensifying as military service is less and less and less a shared experience of citizenship and more an more just a government service that civilian/consumers pay their taxes/dues to receive the benefits of. There have always been stories of someone’s dad who served in WWII never talking much about it, but I have the sense that that is becomeing more and more common.

The second man’s response gets a little closer t this alienation. He is pointing out he had no choice, he was deemed disposable. I think anger at being deemed disposable explains the form and certainly the tone of these two responses.

Disposability is not an inherently bad thing. It’s what makes the social species model so successful – the individual sacrifices for the group and the group protects and feeds the individual. It’s a normal part of adulthood. What makes it a bad thing is when it is borne unequally, and that is the situation in our society. We hear all the time about gender imbalances in corporate governance. We never hear anything about how far we are from having our military forces 50% female. Or shouldn’t it be 52%?

Those men answered that woman ungraciously when all she was doing was trying to show her gratitude. The problem was that she happened to touch a really raw place in these two men.

We are going to be looking a little more closely at male disposability in the form of military service in the run-up to Veterans/Remembrance day. One aspect of this disposability is the thank-and-ignore pattern that society, all Anglophone societies, have developed with regard to veterans’ issues. That lady got real close to a landmine.

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.

FEMALE PRIVILEGE – Covert abuse as part of the traditional female role

Dr. Tara Palmatier had an article up about a month ago that I posted to the Men’s Rights subreddit. The article listed the specific tactics a female abuser uses:

1. Keep your Mask on at All Times
2. Damsels in Distress are Hawt!
3. Sex Bomb!
4. Rinse, Wash, Repeat and Put Him on a Long Silken Leash.
5. Let the Shit Tests Begin!
6. Escalate Shit Tests and Commence Blame Shifting and Gaslighting (Squee! Squee!)
7. The Carrot and the Whip.
8. Put the Lid on the Cookie Jar Half-Way.
9. Seal the Deal!
10. Pee on his Territory.
11. Isolate, Isolate, Isolate!
12. Crank the Dial on the FOG Machine.
13. Put the Cookie Jar Away and Only Break Out in Case of Emergency.
14. CONTROL.
15. Instill a Sense of Learned Helplessness.
16. HOOVER! Because You Suck.

Yes, this behavior is sociopathic, but that hardly means that only sociopaths engage in it. Perfectly “normal” people act lie sociopaths when sociopathy is the cultural norm. In this case the gender norms, both toxic femininity and the traditional form of masculinity that licenses it, are themselves sociopathic.

When I posted the article to reddit, this comment was typical:

[+]AlexReynard 1 point2 points3 points 11 hours ago (0 children)
I’m reading this, and thinking, ‘This is the script for basically any mainstream comedy couple.’

 

It is. So let’s look at how closely Dr. Palmatier’s list follows traditional gender norms:

1. Keep your Mask on at All Times – because women are “socialized to please people”

2. Damsels in Distress are Hawt! – because a man’s utility is measured by his usefulness to women, and the way you activate his sense of agency is by downplaying your own and damseling for you life.

3. Sex Bomb! – again, because women are “socialized to please people”. And besides, men are all mindless horndogs you can manipulate with your Vaj, amirite?

4. Rinse, Wash, Repeat and Put Him on a Long Silken Leash. – because men need some breaking in, and that takes time. But the “love of a good women” is all he needs ot make a Real man of him, so he had better knuckle under.

5. Let the Shit Tests Begin! – because the precious Vaj is the Holy Grail (how Freudian is that?) and he damned well has to earn it. Folk tales, myths and pre-modern literatures are full of these tests. The one that comes to mind immediately is Hunting of Twrch Trwyth or the test Thingol sets Beren in the Tale of Beren and Lúthien.

What would be the female equivalent of proving yourself worthy of sex and a mate? “The path to a man’s heart is through his stomach” maybe – and how deep in the past is that? Who under 50 can even remember that saying?

6. Escalate Shit Tests and Commence Blame Shifting and Gaslighting (Squee! Squee!) – and blame shifting works because Woman is the moral guardian who judges the deeds and misdeeds of men and gets to decide who is and isn’t a Real Man, so regardless of what he thinks happened, you know better than him.

7. The Carrot and the Whip. – more of the same. This is why you start making him prove he’s better than all those other losers, those less-than-real Men who couldn’t hang onto your high maintenance ass.

8. Put the Lid on the Cookie Jar Half-Way. – because now it’s time to dial back on the sex, and your perfect cover is that “nice girls” don’t really like sex that much, they just submit to men’s animal desires, which they of course are above.

9. Seal the Deal! – because a real, mature man should want to play house with you and if he doesn’t, well, he’s just an immature commitphobe.

10. Pee on his Territory. – because you’re the lady of the house right? You are in charge, even if it’s his house. Men are just beasts anyway; restrict his access to his own house down until all he has left is a man cave and if you decide he ahs fucked up, you can send him to sleep on the couch.

11. Isolate, Isolate, Isolate! – because it’s more romantic to need only one person in life. What, aren’t I enough for you? You woman-hating brute, don’t you love me? Don’t you care about my feelings, my needs? Fine, go on, go wherever you think you need to go….

12. Crank the Dial on the FOG Machine. – because a real man is measured by how well he takes care of a women, you get to quit your job and feed off of him. Hell, half the time the law will consider him responsible for your upkeep and deny him the right to throw you out.

13. Put the Cookie Jar Away and Only Break Out in Case of Emergency. – because a really “nice girl” doesn’t like sex, remember? This is when you start shaming him for beating off and looking at porn too, because after all, you have a perfect right to shame him for his filthy needs.

14. CONTROL. – because he is really just a man-child after all, isn’t he, just a simple creature with simple needs…. Didn’t Dr. Phil tell us that women understand how to do relationships better than men do, by like a factor of ten?

15. Instill a Sense of Learned Helplessness. …. So he could never really take care of himself. He needs a strong, confident woman to do all that for him, and if he balks at that, why, he is just “threatened by a strong woman.”

16. HOOVER! Because You Suck. – he may push away, but what does he really know about who is the right person for him, and who is bad….?

See how easy this is? We all grew up to think this is perfectly normal! This is how men are supposed to submit to the higher

And for a taste of how gendered this is and how traditional gender roles shape the terrain, here’s an example from that thread of all the social and legal support a man subjected to this kind of abuse can count on:

[–]TorontoMike 6 points7 points8 points 16 hours ago

Yeah that sounded too familiar, I could not finish reading it,

Moving in together she did not like my furniture so it had to go.

Cutting me off from my friends and family, because she did not like them and not fighting and arguing and I wanting peace was more important than a relationship with a friend.

Cutting me off financially;, I was a student so was not that hard getting angry and jealous if I worked overtime or got extra work, creating drama or not telling some one called so then I was “unreliable” and did not get called for an extra shift

The physical abuse was intermittent before got worse; when I was cut off from every one she did not hold back and she would destroy all my few remaining possessions .

Was openly mocked by police and domestic assault help lines .

Finally left with no money and a bag of my dirty laundry as my only possessions to stay at a homeless shelter and find an old boss / friend that I knew to borrow some money to take a bus to a another city and live on my mother’s sofa .

How does this align with traditional gender roles? Do traditional gender roles license this in women more than in men? I think the police answered that for Toronto Mike pretty well.

dungone offers some analysis in this thread:

[–]dungone 4 points5 points6 points 1 month ago*

This doesn’t apply to all women, but it does apply to feminine gender roles. At the most basic, core level, the behaviors described here are all based around the principle of sunk cost. Increasing the other party’s sunk costs, while minimizing your own, creates a power imbalance that is described in this article in one of it’s more extreme manifestations. But it can be really subtle, and it’s pretty much always there to some extent as long as the traditional dating script is being followed.

The active person virtually always has the greater sunk costs than the passive person. And that’s virtually always the man. In fact, having the greater sunk costs means taking on the greater risks, paying for things, etc., and so by definition it puts you in the active role. And by definition, the passive role puts you in the position of trying to manipulate the active person to do your bidding. You can be really nice about it, you can be completely sincere, and you can in fact even love the man with all of your heart, but the dynamic remains, no matter how subtly. And that makes it especially hard for guys who have been through a relationship with a full-tilt manipulator to cope with even a normal, loving relationship for a long time afterwards.

The active person – male hyperagency; the pasive person – female hypoagency. This is how “The bottom is always in charge.”

dungone sums up:

[–]dungone 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago

Yes, you are correct. All relationships that follow traditional gender roles do look abusive, but it’s because they really are. The main difference is that a disordered woman can turn it into a science through a dispassionate and relentless application of the female gender role. Remember, this is describing what borderline, bpd, narcissistic, or sociopathic women would do. If it hits a little too close to home with what even normal, loving women also do, then perhaps it’s a good reason to think about whether or not some of those behaviors should be considered acceptable.

 

Yes, this behavior is sociopathic, but that hardly means that only sociopaths engage in it. Perfectly “normal” people act like sociopaths when sociopathy is the cultural norm. In this case the gender norms are sociopathic.

 

MALE DISPOSABILITY – Empathy Apartheid, Part II – Deflections and Dismissals

Empathy apartheid takes maintenance. If it isn’t maintained and policed, people’s basic humanity will lead them to show empathy for the people their society has deemed undeserving of it and the system will collapse. So these same people, sadly, use various deflections and dismissals – silencing mechanisms and minimizing tactics to maintain the system. These include:

  • Anti-male shaming tactics
  • Trivialization of injuries to men
  • Victim blaming
  • Erasure by false equivalence
  • Feminism is the answer to men’s problems …and the one that drives them all, just plain old
  • Dehumanization, reducing men to emotionless lumps that can be hurt with impunity because it doesn’t really hurt.

Anti-male shaming tactics – We saw before how anti-male shaming tactics are a feature of empathy apartheid, but they are also an enforcement mechanism. Let’s list them so we can take a look at how this works:

  • Irascibility (Code Red) – calling a man angry for getting angry at being mistreated
  • Cowardice (Code Yellow) – calling a man a coward for avoiding new victimization
  • Hypersensitivity (Code Blue) – calling a man a crybaby for complaining
  • Puerility (Code Green) – calling a man a baby for refusing to be suitably useful to women, to wit, complaining about being used
  • Endangerment (Code Orange) – calling a man frightening in response to his charge that you have harmed him (TDOM expands on this below.)
  • Rationalization (Code Purple) – femsplaining away a man’s complaints
  • Fanaticism (Code Brown) – calling a man an extremist for insisting on equality
  • Gay-shaming (Code Lavender) – this is actually similar to Code Green when it comes ot trying to shut a man down and is usually expressed the same way – “Man up!”
  • Over-generalization (Code gray) – this is the infamous NAFALT (Not all feminists are like that) or some variant – “feminism is not a monolith.”
  • Misogyny( Code Black) – yes, equality is going to feel like misogyny asthe pain of having all that female privilege peeled away hits.
  • Insanity (Code White) – women are very familiar with being on the receiving end of this one, getting called “hysterical”. It works on men too, well enough.
    …and so on.

In a comment on this thread TDOM pointed out:

Trivialization of injuries to men

“Another way of doing this that wasn’t mentioned is the rationalization the perpetrators of this violence are men. So it is men doing it to themselves. This isn’t entirely accurate since the injured party did not injure himself. It is consistent with lumping all men into “class men” and treating them as if they are one person.”

Fungibility – TDOM is talking about “fungibility”, one of the forms of objectification identified by Martha Nussbaum. It is an inability to distingush between “doing it to each other” and “doing it to themsleves” because “they” are all just one undifferentiated mass. Members of some set are objectified by being considered interchangeable. Another term for this is “borgification.” It is a denial of individuality.

Anomalization – Another form this takes is to claim that every instance of harm to men is a one-off; it’s not real discrimination or oppression or whatever term you prefer because it’s not “systemic” or “institutional”. Oh, so the facts of gender disparity in incarceration rates for the same offences, unbalanced educational outcomes, rates of child custody awards, lack of services for male domestic violence victims, lack of services for male rape victims, propensity to arrest male rape victims and charge them with rape, gender disparities in homelessness rates – none of those have anything to do with the legal regime, the court system, the public education system – non e of this is systemic enough to be called systemic?

The Woozle Effect – This is simple; you just fiddle the actual numbers to make male victims look genderless, then you conflate “victims” with “women.”

TDOM continues with:

Blame the victim and make him look like the aggressor

“Another way we do this is to redefine the term “aggressor” to mean someone other than the person who committed the violence. This is what primary aggressor laws are all about. never mind who actually committed the violence, arrest the man because he is larger; arrest the man because he is stronger; arrest the man because he answered the door when the police arrived (and is the one exerting power and control); arrest the man because he is more likely to inflict a more severe injury IF he becomes violent.”

Erasure by false equivalence:

Cicero contributes an example of what TDOM is talking about:

“In the end of men Hannah Rosin mentions a trial where a woman charged with violence against her husband had a psychologist argue on her behalf that her husband made her do it by being weak and codependent, and that THAT was abuse by him and that THAT was the important abuse in the case.”

Are men overwhelmingly the ones who die in war? Well, women have it worse – they are left to mourn and live on alone. Ask Mrs. Clinton. Do young men commit suicide at five times the rate of young women? Well, look at how young women attempt suicide three to four times as often as men! Do men have to jump backwards through hoops to get noticed by women? Well, women have relationships woes too, they often have to settle for less than Prince Charming, sniff, sniff. (See ballgame’s comments on his lack of sympathy for this one.) The murder rates for men are far higher than for women, but it’s really women who are at risk on the street because they get raped. Don’t you see how women really do have it worse????

Yes. I don’t see. I used to fall for this shit, but no more.

Feminism is the answer to men’s problems

Adiabat adds:

“The only one that’s been missed is the dreaded Patriarchy Hurts Men Too (PHMT) and “feminism is already doing that!” deflections. These enable the user to *appear* to empathise with men’s issues but actually ignore the problems that have been raised. They remove the need for the user to empathise with the men affected, “safe” in the knowledge that it’s being handled by some other feminist somewhere else…”

Feminism has the analysis – all your problems are patriarchy, and feminism has the cure – we’ll destroy the patriarchy and set you free. The problem of course is that for decades feminists have been relying on the patriarchy to grant their wishes and enforce the laws and policies they advocate for, so when it comes to the parts of patriarchy that harm men – male disposability, men being valued solely for their utility to women, “what’s yours in the corporate world is mine, what’s mine in running family life is still mine” – feminists are the last ones to destroy any of that.

Simple dehumanization

Then there is simple plain old dehumanization. Judgy Bitch discusses a form of this, the notion that women are complex creatures and men are simple, emotionless robots, specifically when it comes to sex. She discusses two Daily Mail articles by a woman named Shona Sibary in which she complains that a female equivalent of Viagra is unsatisfactory because for women sex is about more than just getting it wet, unlike men, who just need to get it hard, apparently. (Judgy Bitch is a fun read anyway, someone who gets to the root of white woman entitlement princess thinking with a chainsaw.) Then she goes deeper and discusses what emotional violence sexual rejection in a marriage is, and how Sibary’s assumptions all rely on denying that men feel any of that pain at all, that this is really all about making the women feel “desirable and desired” and that’s the sum total of marital sexual bliss. She gets how this is dehumanizing and she gets why it happens, what the point is.

A lot of the Real Man Narrative comes into play here. All those admonitions to “suck it up” and to “man up” are often just a way of telling a man to ignore his own pain because it makes him less of a man to ask anyone else to pay attention to it.

This cannot be an exhaustive list. Please nominate more types of deflections and dismissals.