JUST FOR FUN – the Italian “naked man” orchid

Mother Nature is an MRA!

Orchis italica is known as the naked man orchid. Orchidaceae is a gigantic family, one the largest among land plants, with around 25,000 species in 890 genera. It certainly has something for everyone.

The name of this genus and of the family in general is based on the Greek for “testicle.” Apparently this genus forms tubers that tend to grow in pairs, so they look like a pair of nuts if you dig them up. And people think God has no sense of humor.

Oh, look, a variety that you can decorate a fabulous wedding cake with!

Best wishes, guys! Congratulations!

 

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.

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.

A Question For Discussion: Are Female MRAs The Ultimate Gender Rebels?

Hello!

I’m YetAnotherCommenter from Reddit. After posting this question to /r/LadyMRAs, Typhonblue extended an invitation for me to join this fine blog as a contributor. Needless to say I consider this an honor and for my first post I will simply copy the post which led to this opportunity.

In the future, I will be uploading my theoretical articles from Reddit (they were mostly posted on /r/Masculism) and place them here. Another work – a basic summary of my gender theories (which of course have been influenced by the work of Typhonblue and GirlWritesWhat as well as other thinkers like Sandra Bem, Roy Baumeister, Warren Farrel and other thinkers in the alternative gendersphere.

Anyway, on to the post!

—–

I just wanted to float the idea – are female MRA’s the ultimate expression of rebellion against the gender system?

The gender system sees men as actors and women as acted upon. The gender system sees men as inherently expendable and women as inherently cherishable.

A female feminist, at least one who is theoretically radical-second-wave or third-wave, demands the government or other people change themselves for her benefit. She argues she’s a victim of the system, that the system was imposed upon her, and that it was created by men. She argues that the State or some other authority needs to fix things on her behalf. She’s just like a woman who says she needs a man to fix her lightbulb – she embodies hypoagency and the enlistment of male agency. Look at the Redstockings Manifesto – it claimed that the solution was for men to change.

A male feminist, of the radical-second-wave or third-wave variety, takes the role of white knight and protector of women. He wins female approval through the deployment of his agency in the service of the interests of women. He rescues his women from the cruelty of internet trolls and thus lives up to the traditional male gender role. Through his agency he protects the innately precious-yet-vulnerable females and thus demonstrates his status as a real man.

A male MRA is a man who employs his agency to advance his own interests. That’s pretty much in line with gender stereotypes (not that there’s anything automatically wrong with that).

A female MRA?

She employs her own agency. She treats men as having an innate value which society is denying. She acts for their interests. She rejects the feminine role of passivity and acts on premises which contradict male disposability. She doesn’t accept that she’s more innately worthy than anyone else. She willingly assumes agency and responsibility and pursues teleological action for the benefit of someone else (primarily, although arguably she herself benefits as a consequence by weakening the gender system).

In short, female MRAs act against pretty much the entirety of the traditional gender system. Compare this to the neo-traditionalists of today’s “official” feminist movement – Karen Straughan certainly comes off as far less gender-conformist than Anita Sarkeesian after all.

MISANDRY – Masturbation Hysteria

Masturbation hysteria is a bit of history that isn’t really history yet.

The moral panic around boys masturbating back in the late 19th, early 20th centuries was profound and it manifested in many ways. One was a market for what can only charitably be called chastity devices, since the sex they were aiming to prevent wasn’t going to result in inflicting someone else’s baby on anyone, and so was otherwise pointless.

This masturbation hysteria was general in the western world. Note how the inventor of one of those devices above was Hungarian. I get the sense there was a general fear of demasculinzation in this era – the popularity of Annie Oakley-type women shows just how much bully-boy masculinity was celebrated – and I think this played into fears of loss of vigor and sanity, all due supposedly to the supposedly enfeebling effects of masturbation.

The German film “The White Ribbon” explores another aspect of this hysteria. From the wiki:

The puritanical pastor leads confirmation classes and gives his pubescent children a guilty conscience over apparently small transgressions. He has them wear white ribbons as a reminder of the innocence and purity from which they have strayed. When his son confesses to impure touching, the pastor has the boy’s hands tied to his bed frame each night.

Then there routine circumcision as preached by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg to prevent masturbation. The quick spread of the practice speaks volumes about the dread the public felt in the face of this threat to the health of their boys.

Not content to be a sexual obsessive, Dr. Kellogg was also an early eugenics advocate, unsurprisingly. This was a man truly zealous for social reform!

As a side note, when people insisting that MGM in no way compares to FGM, saying that only FGM is intended to curtail sexual activity and satisfaction, they are just ignorant of the facts.

As I said, this history is not really history yet, because this attitude persists. It is encoded in slurs like “wanker” and “jerk”. Interestingly, while female masturbation is only recently celebrated as empowering, and often by people who sneer at male masturbation, it has never excited the frenzy to stamp it out that male masturbation has. I think the hyperagency/hypoagency binary is at the root of this. A woman who “fails”’ to get laid is not failing at anything because there is nothing here for her to succeed at, whereas a man who fails to get laid is a loser, a weakling, (and by the way this is where a lot of the energy in homophobia comes from.)

We still see this attitude expressed as virgin-shaming and gay-shaming. It is a common slur aimed at MRAs in feminist spaces, for instance – because they are progressive and gender egalitarian like that.

So masturbation hysteria is not history yet until we finally kill it. Grab your axes.

Caitlin Moran’s Feminism Box

A few weeks ago, Caitlin Moran was part of a group debate organized by CBC in Canada on the subject of whether or not men are obsolete. Hanna Rosin’s book The End of Men was part of the premise. Rosin participated in the debate on the “yes they’re obsolete” team; Moran was on the “no they’re not” team.

A stream of the debate is posted at this url:
http://www.cbc.ca/player/AudioMobile/Ideas/ID/2419577032/

There was also a discussion between Hanna Rosin and Caitlin Moran in advance of the event. It was hosted by CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi.

Hanna Rosin restated what was in her book, and I thought it was generally clear. Moran’s point of view–not just about men ending, but towards feminism in general–is limited in scope.

Moran says she’s an “old fashioned Marxist,” not seeing things as “pro-woman or anti-men,” but “peasants vs. the ass-hats in private jets.” Her historical view is that the past has been “100% male” over a time-frame of 100,000 years.

In the video, she half-jokes: “We realized the patriarchy is ruling the… space because no woman would ever design a set with…stools for women to sit on.” Expectations for the Oscar awards were outlined in a similar way. Female celebrities agonize over their appearance and endure painful footwear.

The above gives a feel for the kind of lens Moran uses to define patriarchy in terms of oppressor and oppressed.

She’s attracted some negative PR for not being too intersectional. Over twitter, Moran “didn’t give a shit” about something race related. Her 2011 book How to Be A Woman likened belief in an afterlife to a “destabilizing mental illness” and used a term insensitive to trans people.

It’s kind of a personal brand of Marxist feminism.

For the closing statement of the debate, Moran said if men become obsolete, then “we will be doing everything.” This referred to women ‘retaining’ roles of “homemaking and child raising” while ‘triumphing’ in “work… education and policy.”

The prescience of this dilemma presupposes a certain set-up, e.g. a hetero nuclear family. Opting-out or not having access to either children or a domestic sphere isn’t in Moran’s spectrum.

Hanna Rosin said her team won the debate in 11/27′s Slate Double X Gabfest podcast.

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.

GENDER STEREOTYPES – Bronies, gender policing and an effective counter-tactic

Bronies challenge the gender norms for men on several levels and they come in for a lot of shaming, as Typhonblue points out.

When her piece on bronies was posted to the MensRights sub-reddit, it generated a very telling discussion. The nature of that discussion proved Typhonblue’s point.

Here is one way to counter that form of creep-shaming – turn around and accuse the shamers of being the perverts they want to accuse others of. In this case the shamer was attributing all kinds of perversion to bronies that no one else had even mentioned. Where did all that come from? It obviously sounded a lot like projection to at least one other commenter.

[-] fefsyfusky -34 points-33 points-32 points 23 hours ago

Uh. Because bronies are creepy paedophiles. No self respecting adult, male or otherwise, should have dolls and shit from a toddler aged girls show.

 

[–]dummbatzen 13 points14 points15 points 22 hours ago

Not knowing anything about My Little Pony, I still object to your statement; some children books like Winnie Pooh are really good (and kick most adult books butts) and similarly for some children’s movies.

 

[–]fefsyfusky -22 points-21 points-20 points 22 hours ago

Well, books aren’t toy pony plush toys with fuckholes cut in them. Slight difference.

 

[–]blueoak9 9 points10 points11 points 20 hours ago

You have some really creepy fantasies. CPS should be tracking you.

 

From another branch on that comment trail:

 

[–]Vegemeister 18 points19 points20 points 22 hours ago

Er, I’m not quite sure you know what pedophilia is. Pedophiles have sexual interest in little kids, not regular interest shared by little kids.

 

[–]fefsyfusky -26 points-25 points-24 points 22 hours ago

I do know what it is, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find a brony who doesn’t want to diddle a child.

 

[–]blueoak9 17 points18 points19 points 20 hours ago*

Keep your filthy fantasies to yourself and stop trying to accuse other people of them.

 

[–]fefsyfusky -20 points-19 points-18 points 20 hours ago

Right.

 

[+]blueoak9 7 points8 points9 points 17 hours ago (0 children)
Good. So we agree.

 

Creep-shaming men is an old tactic and her we see fefsyfusky wielding it in the expectation that it will be devastating. He/she folded and disappeared two comments after someone turned it around on him/her.

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

“And so since feminism is tradcon, it is going to be part of the target package for the MRM.”

 

A post over at the Mensrights subreddit consisted of this question alone:

What does it mean when feminists say men’s issues are feminist issues?

 

This is one lobe of that discussion:

[–]bladesire -16 points-15 points-14 points 1 day ago

OP, please, please, PLEASE ask Feminists this question – not because they will provide the “right” answer, but because many of the answers you’ve gotten here are definitely wrong.

Many of the responses shown here are filled with loaded language and thinly-veiled hate (not of women, but of feminism).

Feminism doesn’t discuss men’s issues as something that they’ll “eventually sort out” – it discusses men’s issues as gender inequalities that, through the application of feminist ideals, will also be eliminated. They work for gender equality, but because women were clearly the more disadvantaged when the movement developed, it’s focused on women’s issues. And I think that’s fair – they don’t need to concern themselves with dude issues just because they acknowledge them. I wouldn’t expect the MRM to be organizing rallies for Planned Parenthood, though I would expect it to understand the gender issues that make a PP rally a priority for feminists and women.

Nowadays, as Feminism has made some great strides, it is more difficult to decipher “inequality.” This happens with racism, too – people think PoCs are “equal now,” that women are “equal now,” when really, the theories behind these ideas point to a much more pervasive, systemic influence that doesn’t quite disappear so easily as people think. there’s a “new”-issh buzzword that’s been floating around: Kyriarchy. It’s this idea that there are many different axes of oppression and that simplifying it based on one aspect of a given person is highly problematic. Though this kyriarchy thing picked up steam mostly from internal struggles regarding PoC, I think that it can be applied for men’s rights as well.

Finally, I recommend that you actually do some scholarly reading on Feminism and not just use Reddit (or the internet) as your source. The actual theory behind feminist thought is well-thought out and actually makes a lot of sense – but “armchair feminists” that like to shout from atop their blogs and “identity feminists” (those who cling to Feminism due to their experiences in oppression ONLY and not to work towards gender equality).

P.S. – /u/seenloitering had a few good criticisms of feminism, though it’s important to remember that “feminism” is a BROAD category, and no one opinion on “what feminiss wants” will ever actually be right – even if it’s a feminist that’s telling you what Feminism wants.

Response:

[–]blueoak9 5 points6 points7 points 1 day ago

“Finally, I recommend that you actually do some scholarly reading on Feminism and not just use Reddit (or the internet) as your source. The actual theory behind feminist thought is well-thought out and actually makes a lot of sense – but “armchair feminists” that like to shout from atop their blogs and “identity feminists” (those who cling to Feminism due to their experiences in oppression ONLY and not to work towards gender equality). ”

This is a huge problem in feminism. The feminism of gender equality and uplift for all of us has been co-opted and then drowned out by the female chauvinists who want to increase the privileges patriarchal society grants women, IOW they are tradcon as hell, destroy the ones it gives men, and call it egalitarianism.

Very often it is clear their motivation is psychological rather than ideological, as in having a lot of emotional issues they ascribe to gender, and try to address throguh feminism and you see this in the way they argue – logic is useless in debating with them because they are not speaking from a logical but rather an emotional basis, and debating with them is experienced as an attack on their pshohological reality rather than an attempt to explore the issue. So to the extent logic undermines thier positions, they denounce it as more patriarchal oppression etc.

Response:

[–]bladesire -4 points-3 points-2 points 20 hours ago

“This is a huge problem in feminism. The feminism of gender equality and uplift for all of us has been co-opted and then drowned out by the female chauvinists who want to increase the privileges patriarchal society grants women, IOW they are tradcon as hell, destroy the ones it gives men, and call it egalitarianism.”

I think that this is mostly for “Internet Feminism.” Once Feminism leaked out of academia and into the rather inept hands of, well, everyone else on the internet, minority opinions became louder, miscontrued theories more pervasive, and “armchair” analysis the norm. I think that this is a relatively recent development, and that Feminism is in the process of sorting out its own meta.

“Very often it is clear their motivation is psychological rather than ideological,”

While I agree with this, I also have to admit that I’m not a psychologist – so I can’t rightly say whether I can truly dismiss an argument given by such a person. Additionally, I think it’s important to focus on the end result of these more “emotional thinkers’” ideas – though they may be spewing passion-driven drivel, perhaps their ideas do deserve merit.

“So to the extent logic undermines their positions, they denounce it as more patriarchal oppression etc.”

In threads like this, a lot of “us and them” comes up – I just prefer to not make this about the fight between two movements. I just see no reason why two ideologies who claim to want gender equality have to fight with each other – let feminism work for women and the MRM work for men, ya know? Avoid the “them and us” entirely. I’m not sure why anyone but a feminist should be arguing about feminism to a feminist. Even in areas where one might suggest they are in opposition (parental rights, for example), I don’t believe arguing is necessary – state the stakes, and come to a compromise based on each sides’ concerns. Though I suppose if anything were ever that easy, there’d be world peace already.

Response:

[–]blueoak9 2 points3 points4 points 20 hours ago

“I think that this is mostly for “Internet Feminism.” Once Feminism leaked out of academia and into the rather inept hands of, well, everyone else on the internet,”

I think that is largely true except that academic feminism has some poo-poo on its hands too. Standards of scholarship have been lax and some really distorted memes have grown legs in feminism – Susan Brownmiller’s pronouncement about the 2% incidence of false rape accusations being on well-known example.

But the distinction you seem to be making is true as far as this goes – you do get the sense of some kind of actual seriousness there, as opposed to the foam-flecked true believer certainties you see on the internet.

“and that Feminism is in the process of sorting out its own meta. ”

If the feminists who post here – post here as opposed to just swooping in to downvote – are at all representative, you may very well be right. We shall see.

I am not at all encouraged though by most feminists’ reception of the MRM or their treatment of it or their apparent need to lie about it and mischaracterize it, as a prelude to declaring it unnecessary because these matters – men’s issues – are better left in their hands anyway. That is not at all an encouraging sign. That is not self-examination and self-assessment in the movement, that is defense of turf, cliquishness and partisanship.

“perhaps their ideas do deserve merit. ”

You evaluate an idea on its merit, regardless of its source or the method by which it was reached.

“In threads like this, a lot of “us and them” comes up – I just prefer to not make this about the fight between two movements.’

I see how my comment would sound like that, of course it might, but I only referred to feminists here because we were talking about feminism. Don’t get me started on exactly the same dynamic in the man-o-sphere! It’s one source of the divide between the man-o-sphere and the MRM.

Response:

[–]bladesire -3 points-2 points-1 points 19 hours ago

I am not at all encouraged though by most feminists’ reception of the MRM

Personally, I think the real issue with the reception of the MRM is its own lack of the 40+ year history of theory. The only reason I separate myself from the MRM is because, well, it just seems filled with hate. Those Identity Feminists we were talking about? It feels like most self-confessed MRA’s I’ve encountered fit the bill EXACTLY, defensively responding to a perceived usurping of “rights men are entitled to.” The most voiced complaints from MRAs seem to be circumcision and custody battles, with “hitting women in self-defense” as a distant third. Compare this to feminists who have a body of literature that is entirely focused on womanhood, discussing what it means to be a woman and examining structures of privilege. Even assuming the MRAs are right and these violations are equal in scope and severity to Feminism’s list of complaints, they’re missing out on the theoretical exploration of power structures and kyriarchy. From what I’ve seen, the MRM has a higher percentage of “squeaky wheels” than Feminism does – that is, a higher percentage of individuals who have the basic idea, but are too defensive (and as a result sometimes OFFENSIVE) and lacking in a basic philosophical foundation for their beliefs.

Feminism says women are not viewed as equal by society, and then has hundreds of years of practical evidence and decades of theoretical exploration to back it up. The Mens’ Rights Movement says women are equal and Feminism is hurting men, and then pulls out the Intro to Semantics 101 syllabus as they read the last internet article they’ve found.* Note how, in this example, Feminism is about women, and the MRM is about Feminism.

*This is not how I actually view the two movements, but it IS how I feel the MRM is represented by its squeaky wheels. That the MRM has a higher percentage of squeaky wheels (in my observation) means that the movement is discrediting itself inadvertently.

TL;DR – The MRM doesn’t have the historical or theoretical mass that Feminism does, and until it does, the perception of MRAs at large will be butchered by those who feel the most defensive and thus shout the loudest.

Response:

[–]blueoak9 -1 points0 points1 point 53 milliseconds ago

‘Feminism says women are not viewed as equal by society, and then has hundreds of years of practical evidence and decades of theoretical exploration to back it up.”

If a lack of theory is what is holding the MRM, then a track record of lies and distortions of this sort is what has discredited feminism. Almost every instance feminists cana show of these inequalities is either a misrepepresentation of an benefit to women (at the epxense of men) as an inequality or else is the result of dependency chosen and perpetuated by women fomr the very beginning, so ancient it has even resulted in physical dimorphisms.

“From what I’ve seen, the MRM has a higher percentage of “squeaky wheels” than Feminism does – that is, a higher percentage of individuals who have the basic idea, but are too defensive (and as a result sometimes OFFENSIVE) and lacking in a basic philosophical foundation for their beliefs.”

This criticism comes up regularly. One reason for this is that there are far meore men in society who are genuinely wounded, as opposed to imagining they are wounded in accordance with a toxic gender role that mandates victimhood, than there are women. So a lot of MRAs are quite strident.

But you must not be looking very closely at feminism if you don’t see the same thing in its formative years, when genuinely wounded women were crying out and people were listening.

“That the MRM has a higher percentage of squeaky wheels (in my observation) means that the movement is discrediting itself inadvertently.”

How much of a problem that actually is depends entirely who it is that is seeing the MRM as discredited. IOW, the opinion of some people matters and of some not so much.

“Note how, in this example, Feminism is about women, and the MRM is about Feminism.”

Refinement on that, if I may? Feminism may be about women (I think in the beginning it had much higher goals, more universalist, but it has indeed degenerated into chivalrous, patriarchal female advocacy and female chauvinism), but the MRM is about upending traditional gender roles entirely. And while feminism claims to be about the same project, in effect it builds on and reinforces those gender roles and expectations. And so since feminism is tradcon, it is going to be part of the target package for the MRM.

 

 

Recursion: SPLC Sourcing Manboobz, ABC Sourcing SPLC

Last year, Southern Poverty Law Center’s Spring “Intelligence Report” exposed hate groups, focusing on “patriot movements.” The same ‘Issue 145’ profiled online spaces for Men’s Rights Activism as “woman hating,” and it’s posted to SPLC’s website.

It references Manboobz.com as a source, which accounts for why pick-up artist urls are next to MRA websites and the term “manosphere.” Manboobz.com is a self-described site for mockery. In April, posts about MRA website A Voice for Men used images of the KKK and Nazi symbols.*

In saying Manboobz.com is a “resource” (with a url), SPLC puts their organization’s endorsement on the content. Southern Poverty Law Center is an organization of legal professionals, backed by lawyers. In effect, content for mockery in one space is turned into information.

A blog can now cite Southern Poverty Law Center as a credible source. KKK and Nazi associations–which also appear on SPLC’s “Hate and Extremism” page–are in a new context.

Ryan Holiday, in his book Trust Me I’m lyingcalls the cross-referencing of links recursion. Now other blogs, like in this piece from The Good Men Project, use SPLC in their coverage of Men’s Rights Activists.

A consequence of this kind of loose association is the language of a protest group who clashed with MRAs in Toronto last month. Through a megaphone, they shouted ”Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay!” and accused MRAs of being a “front group for white supremacists.”

At a new level of recursion, ABC’s 20/20 is sourcing part of its news story about MRAs and A Voice for Men to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Description of an “underbelly” alludes to SPLC’s “underworld.” (There’s a quote.) The editor-in-chief of SPLC’s “Intelligence Report,” Mark Potok is quoted as an “expert.”

The promo video shows an anchor woman wearing a distressed facial expression questioning A Voice for Men‘s Paul Elam. With a Southern accent, he talks about “a change in the world in the last 50 years…”

Mark Potok was interviewed in 2012 by Abby Martin on Breaking the Set. She asked:

“When you juxtapose these groups… when you characterize them as groups that one should be watching out for… put them under this blanket next to hate groups… Do you think this does any damage?”

*(Manboobz.com also used KKK and Nazi associations prior to 2012.)