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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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68 Responses

  1. Gordon K
    Gordon K February 24, 2007 at 10:10 pm |

    So, uh … who do the bis shower with?

  2. Rep. Bisexual
    Rep. Bisexual February 24, 2007 at 10:41 pm |

    We don’t shower.

  3. kate
    kate February 24, 2007 at 11:15 pm |

    My first thought was ‘why put up for scrutiny such over the top stupidity?’ but then, fact is, there are plenty (too many) men and woman who actually seriously think like this.

    I guess the more we have a chance to take down even the dumbest here, then when we here it on the street we’ll be able to counter it or at least not just dismiss such with silent surprise or disgust.

    Its that no one counters this kind of crap that it is allowed to metastasize in people’s brains.

  4. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl February 24, 2007 at 11:23 pm |

    Bis broke up a few years ago. They could be showering with anybody by now.

  5. mythago
    mythago February 24, 2007 at 11:47 pm |

    Doug clearly needs to be taken on an educational field trip to a gay leather bar, where he will get to meet lots of manly gay men.

  6. Bolo
    Bolo February 25, 2007 at 1:52 am |

    As a matter of fact, I have several friends that are gay. I kind of view them like dolphins; they’re fun, entertaining and creative. I truly enjoy their presence. I just don’t know what they get out of eating mullet.

    He “enjoy[s] their presence?” Wow. Doug must be a stellar guy–he views his friends as really smart animals for his amusement. Fun, entertaining, and creative, but god forbid he try to understand them and relate to them as human beings.

  7. Vincent Mastronardi
    Vincent Mastronardi February 25, 2007 at 1:56 am |

    Let me just say I just found this site and love it! Not that I’ve been actively looking, but I just stumble on waay too many conservative blogs but never find good liberal ones, and this one is excellent.

    This guy is some piece of work. He just made the mistake of reading another article in defense of the south (I guess relavancy is never an issue…just pick an issue out of your ass to comment on, huh?). He talked about the South’s “A strong sense of patriotism that protects the rest of the nation.”. The same south that succeded from the rest of the nation because we didn’t want to treat an entire race as sub-human servants anymore. Also, there is praise for acknowledging the South’s own racism. Uh, wow! I guess this sort of “writing” passes for wit in connie circles.

  8. ballgame
    ballgame February 25, 2007 at 3:21 am |

    I still don’t get it: what’s so wrong with women — you know, the women who give you those great orgasms, or the woman who went to the trouble of giving birth to you?

    Judith: Being dependent on something can breed resentment, as whatever it is you’re dependent on can wield power over you. (Or, as Jules Pfeiffer once said, “Men don’t hate women. Men need women. Men hate needing.)

    Boys’ generally competitive and oft-times violent upbringing makes men particularly susceptible, as they are compelled to renounce their human vulnerabilities as pronounced liabilities to a much greater degree when growing up than girls do. (These human vulnerabilities are misidentified by just about everyone as ‘feminine’.) Males’ transition from childhood emotional dependency on (typically) their mothers to adult ‘independence’ is more abrupt than women’s.

    So combine resentment at women for having what men need with a more unconscious resentment at women (and gays) for retaining that emotional vulnerability which the men themselves have been (often forcibly) compelled to renounce, and throw in some other things for good measure (a toxic family background or intensified workplace competition due to women’s presence in the job market, for example), and I think the phenomenon of certain men hating women becomes much less mysterious.

  9. piny
    piny February 25, 2007 at 9:49 am |

    To remedy this situation, I propose the following: how about two shower facilities: one for the heterosexuals demarked by a gigantic poster of Beyonce’s Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit cover and one for the homosexuals with a big honking 48 x 60” framed print of Ryan Seacrest wearing a chartreuse colored Speedo. There now … is everybody happy?

    Actually, no. I’m offended and I’ve suddenly developed hysterical blindness.

    Yeesh. Ryan Seacrest? At least Doug will never have to worry about being called a closet case.

  10. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte February 25, 2007 at 9:58 am |

    I love how he assumes that lesbians are lesbians because they hate men. The only people I know who exhibit visceral man hatred are non-feminist straight women, which make sense, since they are the ones who have to put up with male dominance with a smile on their faces.

  11. Norah
    Norah February 25, 2007 at 10:28 am |

    you the gay person, has got to help me out a little bit

    Ugliness AND poor syntax.

  12. Dianne
    Dianne February 25, 2007 at 10:42 am |

    Boys’ generally competitive and oft-times violent upbringing makes men particularly susceptible, as they are compelled to renounce their human vulnerabilities as pronounced liabilities to a much greater degree when growing up than girls do.

    This is why feminism is good for men too: by breaking down gender roles it helps free men from these sort of delusions. If men could feel their vunerabilities without fear then they might be more able to work through them and find ways to deal with them without resorting to violence (whether against self or others) and other maladaptive defense mechanisms. If men or most men are too afraid of facing increased competition in the workplace (due to women getting an equal opportuntity in the workplace) or the possibility of being seen as a sex object by gays to be willing to let go of traditional gender roles enough to allow this to happen, it’s probably not going to happen. Which is too bad for everyone, men and women, straights and gays alike.

  13. Dianne
    Dianne February 25, 2007 at 10:45 am |

    Actually, no. I’m offended and I’ve suddenly developed hysterical blindness.

    I’m just happy he didn’t make any suggestions of whose picture to put on the women’s shower or I might have to join you in the hysterical blindness. Why do macho men always have the worst taste in sex objects?

  14. Em
    Em February 25, 2007 at 10:53 am |

    I am much better looking than Joe Peschi, incidentally.

  15. Nick
    Nick February 25, 2007 at 10:57 am |

    Eating. . .mullet? I so did not want to know how he’d styled his pubic hair.

  16. Red Stapler
    Red Stapler February 25, 2007 at 11:18 am |

    Nick: I think he’s talking about the kind of fish called a mullet.

    In which case, what does that have to do with being gay? Oh no! Seafood!

    ::runs::

  17. elektrodot
    elektrodot February 25, 2007 at 11:23 am |

    “You’re an ugly version of us.”

    what? the most attractive guy i ever saw was a woman. hes probably just jealous they can pull of that “man” thing better than him

  18. zuzu
    zuzu February 25, 2007 at 11:57 am |

    Judith: Being dependent on something can breed resentment, as whatever it is you’re dependent on can wield power over you. (Or, as Jules Pfeiffer once said, “Men don’t hate women. Men need women. Men hate needing.)

    Interesting choice of terms there, ballgame. Something.

  19. Grog
    Grog February 25, 2007 at 12:27 pm |

    Heck, we don’t understand women. What makes you think we’ll ever understand a man who doesn’t like women yet wants to be a woman?

    *GAH*

    Not only does he infer that women are mostly bisexual, he then turns around and equates homosexual with transsexual. (and assumes that the only transsexuals are MTF)

  20. twf
    twf February 25, 2007 at 12:44 pm |

    It’s interesting how he presumes to speak for all straight guys. Because every straight man in existence loves football, hates gays, and uses the exact same line on women, uh sorry “girls,” to whom he’s attracted.

    I was going to use my husband as a counterexample, and then I remembered he was bi. Oops.

  21. ballgame
    ballgame February 25, 2007 at 1:55 pm |

    This is why feminism is good for men too: by breaking down gender roles it helps free men from these sort of delusions. If men could feel their vunerabilities without fear then they might be more able to work through them and find ways to deal with them without resorting to violence (whether against self or others) and other maladaptive defense mechanisms.

    Dianne, I agree that feminism was instrumental in opening the door to looking at gender roles for women and men. However, IME mainstream feminism (what I refer to as ‘women’s perspectives only feminism’) is often grudging at best in analysing how men are oppressed by gender, or blatantly opposed to the very notion (at least judging by blogfeminism).

    As to how ‘maladaptive’ males’ violent inclinations are, one would have to look at what happens to males who respond violently and what happens to males who respond non-violently during their development to evaluate. Non-violent males often end up being ‘prey’ to bully males and ostracized by girls while being held responsible for their own victimization by the adults in charge (“learn to defend yourself”). Even outside of bullying, our culture views boys having affectionate, nurturing relationships with each other with intense disdain. For males to “feel their vulnerabilities without fear”, this would have to stop, and that would be a MAJOR cultural shift. I do not see many feminists giving much attention — or frankly, even acknowledgment — to this issue.

    Speaking of which, zuzu, I notice that you’ve ignored my main point and focused on wording referring to dependency in the abstract to inaccurately imply that I see women as ‘things’.

    Since this seems consistent with your approach the last couple of times you’ve responded to one of my comments, I would love to know if there is anything I could do to move from your seeing me as ‘presumptively in bad faith’ to ‘presumptively in good faith’.

  22. Chris
    Chris February 25, 2007 at 2:53 pm |

    I love how he assumes that lesbians are lesbians because they hate men. The only people I know who exhibit visceral man hatred are non-feminist straight women, which make sense, since they are the ones who have to put up with male dominance with a smile on their faces.

    Hi, I’m new here! Great blog! Anyway, as a gay man, I wholeheartedly agree with Amanda’s sentiment. As a young and somehat naive college student emerging from a small town Midwestern upbringing, I must (sheepishly) admit that I clung to many of the same stereotypes. Even though I acknowledged lesbianism was due to an attraction to women and not to a rejection of men, I still thought that lesbians harbored some special, deep-seated animosity or hatred of men. In college, and in my post-collegiate life, I found that wasn’t the case (generally speaking). I too discovered that the feminists/women whom I met who could most aptly be described as “man-haters” (let’s face it, they’re a small minority, but they DO exist) were almost exclusively embittered heterosexuals. It surprised me at the time, but as an older, hopefully wiser person, and with benefit of hindsight, it makes perfect sense, as Amanda pointed out.

    I know many lesbians and count some as intimate, valued friends. They all have close male family members and friends–in fact, some of them admit that their best friends are men, in some cases even straight men. Some of them are as or even more obsessed with (male) sports as most of the straight men I know. Some of them are loving, caring, wonderfully devoted mothers to delightful sons. Oddly enough, I’ve even known a handful of lesbians over the years who confessed to having more than a passing interest in gay male porn. Among them was a lesbian couple who used gay male porn as a an aphrodisiac to get them revved up in bed; another was a former co-worker who watched it ALL THE TIME and who’d provide me with (mostly unsolicited) critiques and recommendations. Seriously. LOL! Pretty strange behavior coming from members of a group predicated on hatred of men!

    Human feelings, emotions, behaviors, desires, sexualities are all more complex, nuanced, and multi-faceted than contards like this Doug guy will admit.

  23. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne February 25, 2007 at 3:27 pm |

    Nick: I think he’s talking about the kind of fish called a mullet.

    In which case, what does that have to do with being gay? Oh no! Seafood!

    Yeah, I thought it was women who were constantly being bombarded by those “pussy smells like fish” “jokes.” Is Doug under the impression that gay guys have a vagina?

  24. Sara no H.
    Sara no H. February 25, 2007 at 3:28 pm |

    ballgame,

    Dianne, I agree that feminism was instrumental in opening the door to looking at gender roles for women and men. However, IME mainstream feminism (what I refer to as ‘women’s perspectives only feminism’) is often grudging at best in analysing how men are oppressed by gender, or blatantly opposed to the very notion (at least judging by blogfeminism).

    I’m struggling a little with how to address this. On the one hand yes, I agree with you that “mainstream” feminism could be a little more male-friendly; on the other, I want to impress that I don’t think it’s the responsibility of feminism to look out for men’s issues. Feminism was designed to address women’s issues, and while it’s awesome that some of those questions incidentally benefit men, I think it’s a bit … presumptious? privileged? … to ask that feminism divide its time more equally between women’s issues and men’s issues.

    And even if it tried to, I think it would be questionable, precisely because I don’t think women can speak for men and their issues — at least, no more than men can speak for women and their issues. If men want to speak up against sexism that hurts them and against patriarchy that constrains and confines them, we will be your allies, your supporters, your friends, but we will not lead that movement for you. It’s yours, after all.

    (I’m looking now at what I’ve just written and rather cringing, because I appear to be reinforcing the sex/gender binary that feminism is working so hard to break down … but I’m not sure how else to say what I mean to say, so there you are.)

  25. zuzu
    zuzu February 25, 2007 at 3:28 pm |

    Speaking of which, zuzu, I notice that you’ve ignored my main point and focused on wording referring to dependency in the abstract to inaccurately imply that I see women as ‘things’.

    Since this seems consistent with your approach the last couple of times you’ve responded to one of my comments, I would love to know if there is anything I could do to move from your seeing me as ‘presumptively in bad faith’ to ‘presumptively in good faith’.

    Well, you could start by thinking of women as people instead of as things (and “something” in your sentence clearly referred to women, not to dependency). And you could maybe imagine that dependency isn’t such a good deal for women, either.

    For most of the history of Western civilization, women have been forced into dependency by one means or another — either through physical means, such as childbearing or purdah or beatings; or legal ones, such as couverture laws, restrictions on the availability of education, denial of the franchise, inability to own property as married women, being barred from certain jobs, and separate pay scales; or simply through social pressure to marry and give up ambition.

    So men don’t like to feel dependent. Which goes back to the idea that men don’t want to feel like women.

  26. Marianne
    Marianne February 25, 2007 at 3:35 pm |

    If men could feel their vunerabilities without fear then they might be more able to work through them and find ways to deal with them without resorting to violence (whether against self or others) and other maladaptive defense mechanisms.

    You lost me there. Feminists are right to mobilize and fight the enormous and all-pervasive problem of male violence against women and girls, but why should I as a feminist care about male-on-male violence, or male self-harm and suicide? That’s not a feminist issue, at all. If males want to harm themselves, kill themselves, or hurt or kill other males, I say let them. I won’t lose any sleep over it. It has no bearing on the fact that women still make less than males for equal work, that 1-in-4 women will be raped in her life, or that an equal or greater number of women are battered in their homes. In fact, in most cases of male suicide or male-on-male homicides, I say good riddance. You’re talking violent, unstable, deranged, maladaptive males either removing themselves from the gene pool or removing other, similar males from the gene pool. Regardless, we all benefit. I’d say there are many millions of males in America alone who could eat bullets tomorrow and not be missed–if anything, their disappearance would be welcomed.

    This is a feminist blog, and it should be concerned with issues that are of deep importance to women and girls. And yet it, like so many other feminist blogs, has the tendency to stray into male issues with alarming frequency, often at the instigation of the male trolls who infest our sites and have to always skew the discussion to a talk about them (see ballgame’s comments above for a perfect illustration). Resist this. Males offing themselves, or offing other males, is not a feminist issue!

  27. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe February 25, 2007 at 3:38 pm |

    …we are quite happy with our sexual bent and our own little world, so leave us alone, por favor.

    Oh, con lo mas alegría. If only you would return the favor. You know, like not voting for bigoted assholes. Like not denying gays the right to marry. Like not treating them as the last minority it’s acceptable to sneer at. Like, oh, I don’t know, writing asinine columns in an asinine website.

  28. zuzu
    zuzu February 25, 2007 at 3:57 pm |

    Oh, and ballgame? You might get a little more respect if you didn’t derail threads to make it all about you.

    Which is the last thing I’m going to say on the subject, since you’ve once again managed to derail a thread. And now that you’ve gotten your answer, don’t bring it up again.

  29. Nick Kiddle
    Nick Kiddle February 25, 2007 at 3:59 pm |

    The only people I know who exhibit visceral man hatred are non-feminist straight women, which make sense, since they are the ones who have to put up with male dominance with a smile on their faces.

    Like the cartoon says.

  30. Marianne
    Marianne February 25, 2007 at 4:57 pm |

    The only people I know who exhibit visceral man hatred are non-feminist straight women, which make sense, since they are the ones who have to put up with male dominance with a smile on their faces.

    Judith Levine made this point explicitly and convincingly in her book My Enemy, My Love. I think it’s pretty common knowledge among women and feminists, it seems it’s only straight males who haven’t figured it out.

    Even though to my great regret I am sexually attracted to males (sigh), I generally despise them and think the world would be better off without them. Does that make me a “visceral man hat[er]”? I guess so. I might as well embrace the label, as I see it in a positive, rather than a pejorative sense.

    This is why feminism is good for men too

    NO. No. No. No. No. A thousand times no. Feminism should not concern itself with males in any way, except to see them as obstacles to be overcome. Feminism is not good for males, or else males would embrace it. Feminism is good for women and girls, period.

    Even outside of bullying, our culture views boys having affectionate, nurturing relationships with each other with intense disdain

    Perhaps because they’re incapable of such things?

    On the one hand yes, I agree with you that “mainstream” feminism could be a little more male-friendly; on the other, I want to impress that I don’t think it’s the responsibility of feminism to look out for men’s issues. Feminism was designed to address women’s issues, and while it’s awesome that some of those questions incidentally benefit men, I think it’s a bit … presumptious? privileged? … to ask that feminism divide its time more equally between women’s issues and men’s issues.

    More male-friendly feminism? WRONG. That would be a recipe for disaster. I don’t think that feminist “questions” are incidentally benefiting males–quite the opposite, actually. Nor should they. That’s precisely why most males oppose feminism–they have a more clear-headed appreciation of what feminism thinks about them and has in store for them than most fuzzy-minded mainstream feminists do. And asking feminism to dilute its focus to spend time on male issues is beyond presumptuous and privileged behavior–it’s obnoxious, outrageous, and patently offensive. Any male who makes such a request deserves to have his pathetic gonads kicked violently into his abdomen. I’m so sick of males who whine about feminism, “But what about us?” Feminism is not about you. AT ALL. Please don’t make me explain this again.

  31. ballgame
    ballgame February 25, 2007 at 5:47 pm |

    On the one hand yes, I agree with you that “mainstream” feminism could be a little more male-friendly; on the other, I want to impress that I don’t think it’s the responsibility of feminism to look out for men’s issues.

    Sarah no H., I respect your view here as one which is all too common — even predominant — in feminism. I think it’s a very shortsighted view, but fortunately it is not the universal feminist view.

    I think it’s shortsighted politically because the average man is not going to be supportive of a movement that seems to espouse the sentiments voiced by Marianne. It is blatantly in contradiction to the notion that “feminism is good for men too” and the avowed feminist goal of gender equality. And it is shortsighted analytically because it is precisely those social dynamics that oppress and dehumanize men which feeds the impetus for the (often violent) oppression BY men of women and gays.

    I can’t help but see the irony in your saying that feminism should focus more or less strictly on women’s issues on a post which focused on a man’s attitude towards other (gay) men, or that this feminist approach bears some rather undeniable similarities to the exact attitude for which the subject of the post is being critiqued (“segregation”).

  32. Madeline
    Madeline February 25, 2007 at 6:00 pm |

    Marianne, I have to say, I can’t respect anyone who is willing to write off half the human race. I expect better. Therefore, I think I probably speak for many people when I say that your opinions are repugnant to me. It sounds like you believe in a male/female binary and that women should only be concerned with women. But aren’t we all human? Doesn’t male-vs-male violence effect women everywhere, whose loved ones are being killed, even if the women themselves are never in any danger? I don’t think that it’s for “feminism” to take care of men. I believe that feminist groups need to focus on women’s issues. But if you, as a person, don’t care about the well-being of men — because you have been so very, very oppressed that you have lost all compassion — well, I find that sick, immoral and inhuman. And that’s the message you’ve sent in your two posts.

    Also? Your life experience is clearly not very varied if you think men are incapable of having affectionate, nurturing relationships with each other. Have you never met a committed gay couple? Or even been lucky enough to meet men who aren’t involved sexually but still have a very close friendship? I’m surprised that you haven’t had either of these experiences, and saddened. Maybe I’m just lucky, but most of my male friends have affectionate, nurturing relationships with other men, whether they’re friendships or romances.

    Just, you know, chipping in. Not quite on topic, but you struck a nerve.

  33. Dianne
    Dianne February 25, 2007 at 6:06 pm |

    mainstream feminism

    Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  34. laura
    laura February 25, 2007 at 6:10 pm |

    Marianne, why does feminism need to be a zero-sum game? The gender binary is a dialectic; it pretends that “male” and “female” characteristics are mutually exclusive (which is why the article that this post analyzes is so ridiculous). By changing what is considered “female” or “feminine” in our culture, we are AUTOMATICALLY changing what is considered “male” or “masculine.” This is good for *everybody,* because it removes rigid, pernicious stereotypes and limited options for men and for women (and for people who don’t identify as men or women, whom you don’t address).

    The only way that changing the cultural meaning of gender would be outright *bad* for men is if you assume that the constructed binary system is essentially correct–that what’s currently allotted to women is bad in every way, and that what’s currently allotted to men is good in every way. The feminism that I subscribe to is one that sees gender oppression, not men in general, as the problem.

  35. CScarlet
    CScarlet February 25, 2007 at 6:14 pm |

    Even outside of bullying, our culture views boys having affectionate, nurturing relationships with each other with intense disdain

    Perhaps because they’re incapable of such things?

    Um, wow. Boys? Little boys are incapable of affectionate, nurturing relationships with each other? That’s ridiculous. I can maybe see one make the argument that men, having been too indoctrinated in this culture, might be incapable, and I would still argue with you, but little boys? Children?

    NO. No. No. No. No. A thousand times no. Feminism should not concern itself with males in any way, except to see them as obstacles to be overcome. Feminism is not good for males, or else males would embrace it. Feminism is good for women and girls, period.

    Feminism IS good for men, if we’re referring to physical and emotional health. It is NOT good for the patriarchy, this is probably why the majority of men don’t embrace it, because power is more important to them. There ARE men who embrace feminism. Just as there are PLENTY of women who don’t.

    That’s precisely why most males oppose feminism–they have a more clear-headed appreciation of what feminism thinks about them and has in store for them than most fuzzy-minded mainstream feminists do.

    What does feminism have in store for them? This sounds really ominous.

  36. preying mantis
    preying mantis February 25, 2007 at 6:29 pm |

    “Feminism is not good for males, or else males would embrace it.”

    Some males recognize the benefits that it offers, and they do embrace it. Some females are afraid of the responsibilities or disinterested in the benefits it offers, and they reject it. People frequently fail to recognize what is best for them or refuse to embrace what is good for them in the long term because they want something they perceive as better right now. We should not confuse the judgment of emotionally damaged or intellectually stunted individuals for an objective statement of fact.

  37. Dianne
    Dianne February 25, 2007 at 6:46 pm |

    Feminism should not concern itself with males in any way, except to see them as obstacles to be overcome.

    Feminism doesn’t, and shouldn’t, concern itself specifically with the obstacles males have to overcome any more than the civil rights movement concerns itself with obstacles that whites have to overcome. Yet feminism benefits males and the civil rights movement benefits whites. For example, whites who fall in love with people from minority ethnic groups benefit from the civil rights movement because it allows them to openly express their love of their partners without worrying about harassment, cross burning, lynching, etc. Similarly, feminism allows men to become the primary caretakers of their children, if they so desire, to be the friends rather than the masters of their partners, and so on. And, of course, in the Donnian “no man is an island” sense, anything that benefits part of humanity benefits all of it.

    Feminism is not good for males, or else males would embrace it

    Some men do embrace feminism. Some don’t, despite the fact that to do so would be to their advantage overall, perhaps from a lack of understanding of what feminism is or because of fear of giving up “advantages” like being automatically considered superior. (I feel that ballgame is likely in this group, though he may strenously disagree with me.) Some have signficant things to lose by embracing feminism (ie abusive husbands who would be divorced and possibly arrested if their wives became feminist enough to feel that they had a right to not be hit.)

  38. annaham
    annaham February 25, 2007 at 6:48 pm |

    You’re an ugly version of us.

    Well, as someone who is not a lesbian, I would argue that some guys (like our dear friend Doug Giles here) already manage the “ugly” thing just fine.

  39. mythago
    mythago February 25, 2007 at 7:08 pm |

    Cute, “Marianne,” but not buyin’ it. Radical feminists don’t start off whining about how fuckable they find the males they profess to despise. The sockpuppet-feminist routine is neither original nor clever.

    ballgame, would you also agree that I can happily write off all MRAs if I find a poster who claims to be a woman-hater?

  40. Erica
    Erica February 25, 2007 at 8:33 pm |

    his writing is filled with such nebulous insults and regressive cliches that it is seems he wrote with the express purpose of stirring up some controversy. he wanted to get a rise (pun intended) out of heteros and homos alike. isn’t it lame what writers must deign to do to get some readership nowadays?

  41. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe February 25, 2007 at 8:42 pm |

    Good point, Erica. Being “controversial” is about the lamest thing to which a writer can aspire.

  42. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne February 25, 2007 at 9:04 pm |

    “Feminism is not good for males, or else males would embrace it.”

    ???

    Well, I’m glad to know that alcoholism doesn’t exist. Because, as Marianne knows, people never do things that aren’t good for them.

  43. Roy
    Roy February 25, 2007 at 9:22 pm |

    Marianne:Feminism is not good for males, or else males would embrace it.

    I do, actually.

    Even outside of bullying, our culture views boys having affectionate, nurturing relationships with each other with intense disdain

    Perhaps because they’re incapable of such things?

    I’m sincerely sorry for the things that have caused you to have this view. I can only hope that you eventually meet the sort of men that I’m proud to consider my friends- men who are quite capable of having affectionate, nuturing relationships with men and women, alike.

    ballgame: I think it’s shortsighted politically because the average man is not going to be supportive of a movement that seems to espouse the sentiments voiced by Marianne.

    They don’t have to. In my experience, Marianne’s views do not seem to be representative of the movement as a whole, or even representative of the norm. Which is okay. My experience tells me that feminism is good for all people. Well, all people who are genuinely interested being good people. I tend to think that most feminism is about being a decent human being. Being a decent human being is good for everyone.

  44. JenJen
    JenJen February 25, 2007 at 9:53 pm |

    I happen to believe that feminism is good for the human race, but that doesn’t mean I’m responsible for making it OK for men to be feminist, or for making feminism palatable for men. There are real issues in male oppression, no question, but they’re not mine to tackle. Someone upthread said it already: I am here as an ally and supporter for men who are working to change the narrow and harmful defintion of masculinity. But that’s not my work, it’s theirs. As a white het woman, I have my own work to do to comabt racism and homophobia, but it’s not the job of my sisters of color, or my lesbian friends, to make me feel OK about my blind spots, or to justify their activism because it will benefit me.

    Feminism would be important even if it were directly harmful to men. Whether or not it’s “good for men” is not the point .

  45. Marianne
    Marianne February 25, 2007 at 10:06 pm |

    I can’t respect anyone who is willing to write off half the human race

    Funny, isn’t that one of feminism’s most basic critiques of males and the patriarchal institutions they’ve created? That they’ve written off half the human race (i.e. women)? So to criticize me for writing off half the human race, you in turn vociferously support males who…write off half the human race! Wow, that strikes me as somewhat inconsistent, don’t you think?

    But aren’t we all human? Doesn’t male-vs-male violence effect women everywhere, whose loved ones are being killed, even if the women themselves are never in any danger?

    Of course males are human too in the technical sense. But when you look at all the violence, crime, war, hatred, intolerance, oppression, sorrow and more found in this world–almost ALL of which is caused or committed by males–do we really want to claim them? Or have anything to do with them anymore? Males have become steadily less necessary to human society with each passing year, and with new technological developments pointing the way to reproduction without need of sperm, we’re rapidly approaching the real possibility of continuing civilization and human life without the need of males at all. Obviously, this won’t happen overnight, but it’s a viable and foreseeable future path. So then the question becomes–if males are no longer necessary, do we want to keep them around? If so, why? Are they salvageable, or would it be better to let them fade into history and proceed to a bright new future without them? After many years of thought, the conclusion I’ve reached is that males are, in general, NOT salvageable and NOT worth keeping once they’ve outlived their usefulness. Their liabilities greatly outweigh any redeeming qualities they might possess, as it were.

    I’m not saying this is a practical or likely approach. I know my views are in the minority, even among women and feminists, and likely always will be (to my great disappointment). But they are my views, and I hold them with conviction, and I will advocate them forcefully when given the opportunity.

    Regarding your 2nd point, perhaps the solution lies in women forcing themselves to be less emotionally connected to and invested in males. The effects of male-on-male violence will clearly have less deleterious impact on women everywhere if they were to just make a reasonable effort to distance themselves from the males around them. Such a move could have many other salubrious effects too :)

    But if you, as a person, don’t care about the well-being of men — because you have been so very, very oppressed that you have lost all compassion — well, I find that sick, immoral and inhuman

    I’m sorry you feel that way, but frankly I really don’t care about the well-being of males, and it’s not because I’ve lost all compassion. My emotional reserves are quite thoroughly exercised by the myriad horrible things that happen to women and girls in this world, so that I have none left over for males (you know, the ones actually DOING all those horrible things to women and girls!) Not that I’d want to waste any of my emotions on males in any case. And as for sick, immoral, inhuman things–well, again I refer you to how women and girls are treated by the males of this world. Now that is sick, immoral, and inhuman! Perhaps the only thing that offends me as much is when women who should know better go out of their way to defend males and make them sound like cute and cuddly teddy bears rather than the beasts they really are.

    Your life experience is clearly not very varied if you think men are incapable of having affectionate, nurturing relationships with each other

    I think that inability is pretty widely noted in the culture, and among feminists. Most males are incapable of forming affectionate, nurturing relationships with their wives and girlfriends, let alone another male!

    Have you never met a committed gay couple?

    What, you mean a couple of promiscuous, porn-addicted, drug-addled, hedonistic roommates who pretend to play house for a few weeks or months until their dicks lead them to greener pastures? Oh sure, I’ve known a few, but I don’t see why you consider them to be evidence of the ability of males to form lasting, loving, affectionate, nurturing relationships!

    Marianne, why does feminism need to be a zero-sum game?

    It should be a zero-sum game, but sadly it often isn’t (just look at all the replies to my comments). Clearly superior beings can never be “equal” to clearly inferior beings, and the fact that males are inferior to women in almost any way one cares to name is as clear to me as that the sun will rise in the morning. It’s absurd and pointless to fight for “equality” in such a context. I don’t know why it would offend so many feminists to merely state the obvious–women are better humans than males are. Every committed feminist thinks that way in their core being, even though most choose not to express it for fear of offending the poor hypersensitive males. I simply have no problem with stating such an opinion.

    The only way that changing the cultural meaning of gender would be outright *bad* for men is if you assume that the constructed binary system is essentially correct–that what’s currently allotted to women is bad in every way, and that what’s currently allotted to men is good in every way. The feminism that I subscribe to is one that sees gender oppression, not men in general, as the problem.

    I’ll admit, I’m not an academic feminist who’s spent years sifting through quasi-Marxist feminist and gender theories so as to be able to discuss the “dialectic of gender.” My apologies. However, doesn’t feminism, stripped of all the academic jargon, essentially posit the reverse of what you posted? That traditional elements of “masculinity” are negative while elements associated with “femininity” are positive, and that for males to renounce patriarchy and improve in the eyes of feminist women, they need to shed much of traditional masculinity and adopt more traditionally feminine virtues–to put it crudely, by becoming in effect women with penises? Or have I missed something?

    Little boys are incapable of affectionate, nurturing relationships with each other?

    Have you actually ever been around young boys? They’re mean, abusive, selfish little bastards. True, they’re not usually as bad as adult males, but they’re well on their way–give them time.

    What does feminism have in store for them? This sounds really ominous

    Well, I can’t speak for all of feminism, I was just alluding to what most males THINK feminism has in store for them, which I gather is pretty close to what I would have in store for them if I had my way! Controlled reproduction leading to a phased reduction in male births, followed by a gradual male die-off. That would be a great start :)

    Cute, “Marianne,” but not buyin’ it. Radical feminists don’t start off whining about how fuckable they find the males they profess to despise. The sockpuppet-feminist routine is neither original nor clever

    You can buy whatever you like. I don’t care one way or another. My sentiments are sincere and my ideas are real. If you disagree with me, fine. That’s your prerogative. But don’t dismiss me as a poser. I never claimed to be a “radical” feminist. I’d probably be more rightly classified as an extreme feminist! Ha! And where did I say that I find males “fuckable”? I said that to my regret and displeasure, I am sexually attracted to (some) males, in response to an earlier commenter’s point about women who hate males being mostly heterosexual, not lesbian. So what? I don’t act on that attraction at all–I fight it. I’ve never been able to get sexually turned on by other women. Oh well. I’m completely asexual, although I do enjoy the use of an impressive vibrating dildo from time to time. As honest women will attest, it’s more satisfying than the “real” thing. Anyway, what was your point? That I lack credibility because I don’t conform to the “nice girls” feminism of most women on this blog? Ouch! Maybe I’ll go cry now! Give it a rest. If you want to debate my points with reasonable arguments, fine, but dismissive ad hominem attacks? As another commentor stated, I expect better.

  46. Peter
    Peter February 25, 2007 at 10:27 pm |

    Feminism is good for males because it actively encourages the intelligence, self-esteem, confidence, creativity, etc., etc., etc., of 51% plus of the people who live and operate in the human society.

    If there is anything at all valuable that individual men have contributed to society (and I happen to think that there are plenty of things that are), then doubling the number of people who are able to make those sorts of contributions can only benefit society, and everyone in it.

    If there is anything at all valuable that individual women have contributed to society (and again, yes, lots), then encouraging another half the population to be open to participating in areas that have historically been considered “beneath” them both frees women to participate more fully in the whole of human experience AND includes men and men’s contributions to areas they haven’t participated in.

    It is certainly true that there are plenty of individuals (often men, but also women) who stand as obstacles to the general progress and equality of women, but it is just wrong to say that all men are inherently (and should permanently be considered to be) such obstacles.

  47. prairielily
    prairielily February 25, 2007 at 10:56 pm |

    Marianne,

    My little brother, who is the sweetest little boy around, tried to overdose last night. He’s going to be ok, but to hear ANYONE say that it’s a good thing when most men commit suicide or are murdered, and good riddance to them, is the most callous thing I could ever imagine anyone saying. You’re talking about real people.

    My life is full of wonderful men; my brothers, my father, my uncles, cousins, grandfathers, etc., my friend, and my boyfriend. I’m sorry that you apparently don’t have that in your life.

    Even the crazy, woman-hating MRA-types are real people with families and friends that care about them. I don’t wish ill upon any of them. I just wish they would see the light.

  48. CScarlet
    CScarlet February 26, 2007 at 1:06 am |

    Marianne- you’re not a feminist. Feminism is about equality. Please look it up in the dictionary and stop claiming that you’re a feminist when really, you’d be up to the same shit as the patriarchy if you could, only you’d be aiming it towards the opposite sex.

  49. Roy
    Roy February 26, 2007 at 3:01 am |

    prairielily: I just wanted to say that I’m sorry you had to go through that, but I’m glad your brother is going to be okay- I lost someone to an over-dose not that long ago, and I know how upsetting/scary it can be. I hope everything turns out okay for you and your family.

  50. S.A. Small
    S.A. Small February 26, 2007 at 4:15 am |

    If you want to debate my points with reasonable arguments, fine, but dismissive ad hominem attacks? As another commentor stated, I expect better.

    Marianne, I don’t think your arguments are reasonable at all. So let me try to address them as best I can.

    1. (Several other people have made this point.) Not ALL men rape, murder, batter, etc. Men are (obviously, to most of us) socialized to be more likely to do so, but likelihood is not the same thing as 100% certainty. Speaking from personal experience, I have neither committed, nor been convicted of a violent crime…..case in point. You earlier wrote that

    Most males are incapable of forming affectionate, nurturing relationships with their wives and girlfriends, let alone another male!

    I note that you said “most” instead of “all.” I think that’s interesting.

    2. Patriarchy works on (at least) two levels by (1) socializing men to be more likely to violent and otherwise oppressive and (2)–perhaps most saliently for the discussion–socializing women to more likely to be passive and accept that oppression as it has existed over the centuries. Obviously, we have the stories of remarkable women who have resisted, who have broken the mold (Sojourner Truth, anyone?). Historically, it has been the task of feminism to foil (2). (Yay!)

    3.

    That [for feminsts?] traditional elements of “masculinity” are negative while elements associated with “femininity” are positive, and that for males to renounce patriarchy and improve in the eyes of feminist women, they need to shed much of traditional masculinity and adopt more traditionally feminine virtues–to put it crudely, by becoming in effect women with penises? Or have I missed something?

    I think your argument here presumes that there is a fixed essence at the heart of each sex, which in turn assumes a single pair of chromosomes is the most salient determinant of our destiny. But how do you account for the incredible diversity among women (so that we can have hetero, bi, and lesbian women, for instance)? How do you account for the fact that women like Sojourner Truth have asserted their power and their personhood in the face of the oppression(s) arrayed against them. The objective facts of diversity within society and individual agency are logically incompatible with notions of man and women that make each out to be mutually exclusive and homogenous categories.

    4.

    What, you mean a couple of promiscuous, porn-addicted, drug-addled, hedonistic roommates who pretend to play house for a few weeks or months until their dicks lead them to greener pastures? Oh sure, I’ve known a few, but I don’t see why you consider them to be evidence of the ability of males to form lasting, loving, affectionate, nurturing relationships!

    Snarky, homophobic (and how many times have we heard how promiscuous gays are, honestly?) remarks rarely make a point. As such, they rarely demand a reasonable response, so there.

    5.

    But when you look at all the violence, crime, war, hatred, intolerance, oppression, sorrow and more found in this world–almost ALL of which is caused or committed by males–do we really want to claim them?

    Again, you said “almost ALL” instead of simply “ALL.” (I wonder if you’re not as extreme as you would have us believe.) So if indeed the race of men* were to perish, you yourself indicate that there’d still be some serious problems in society. And I note that the ever-present problems of racism and classism (and ableism, and ageism, etc., etc.) don’t depend on binaries of gender or sex.

    (Whew!)

    *Shout out to the Tolkein fans. (Issues of phallocentric genre and narrative aside.)

  51. S.A. Small
    S.A. Small February 26, 2007 at 4:24 am |

    And I note that the ever-present problems of racism and classism (and ableism, and ageism, etc., etc.) don’t depend on binaries of gender or sex.

    Which isn’t to say separate systems of oppression can’t/don’t reinforce each other. (E-five to Feministe for the gender/”other social variable” posts, by the way.)

    P.S. I just realized how far from the original post we’ve strayed. Even Shorter Doug Giles: “I’m a toolbag. Chicks dig that, right?”

  52. Ben
    Ben February 26, 2007 at 5:35 am |

    Marianne, I am a male feminist and I see no contradiction in being male and being feminist. I do not accept that males are less equal than females, it is no more valid than accepting present misogynist society. I am a feminist because I believe that gender should not be the basis for negative discrimination. The reason that you should care about males killing males is because by and large the social forces that shape violent men who attack other men are the exact same social forces that shape violent men who treat women as accessible sexual objects. It’s fucked up for everyone.

    Males are no more inherently violent misogynist slaughterhouses than females are submissive reproduction factories. If you accept that men or boys are inherently nasty, violent, and so on, you’re basically ceding the argument to the patriarchy – boys will be boys.

    I’m not saying that it is hard to be male, or “oh wah, we have it tough too” or any such b.s., simply that there are a whole host of reasons why more men should be feminist or pro-feminist that have nothing to do with emasculation.

  53. GreyLadyBast
    GreyLadyBast February 26, 2007 at 8:03 am |

    Marianne- you’re not a feminist. Feminism is about equality. Please look it up in the dictionary and stop claiming that you’re a feminist when really, you’d be up to the same shit as the patriarchy if you could, only you’d be aiming it towards the opposite sex.

    CScarlet, it’s stuff like that that really makes me wonder if Mythago doesn’t have a point about “Marianne’s” possible sockpuppetry. “She” just reads far too much like some frightened 21-yr-old boy’s imaginary version of an “extreme feminist,” rather than an actual feminist.

    In fact, I’d go so far as to say that most of “Marianne’s” diatribes read basically like a standard misogynistic rant, only with the relevant nouns and pronouns switched around. Right down to referring to men only as “males” (how many misogynistic idiots have we seen that only refer to women and girls as “females?”) and complaining about what a trial it is to be sexually attracted to such unworthy creatures—it all reads like someone took some actual MRA crap and just changed all feminine words to masculine and vice versa.

    In short, while I was giving the benefit of the doubt, I’m becoming more and more convinced that “Marianne” is not exactly what “she” claims to be.

    Bast

  54. ako
    ako February 26, 2007 at 8:59 am |

    Controlled reproduction leading to a phased reduction in male births, followed by a gradual male die-off. That would be a great start :)

    This is basically the vampire queen’s plot from Queen of the Damned. “Marianne” is either a troll, or or a character from an Anne Rice novel.

  55. One Jewish Dyke
    One Jewish Dyke February 26, 2007 at 9:33 am |

    I kind of view them like dolphins; they’re fun, entertaining and creative. I truly enjoy their presence. I just don’t know what they get out of eating mullet.

    Aren’t women usually associated with fish, not men? And if he’s talking about lesbians and don’t get why we’d like women, then he’s not very good at connecting the dots. It’s okay for him to like women, but not other women?

    My homosexual acquaintances view me in a similar light.

    And now they’re just acquaintances. “Some of my best friends are gay” much now?

  56. Robert M.
    Robert M. February 26, 2007 at 9:50 am |

    Let me check that I’ve gotten the gist of this thread: Feministe is being trolled by an actual strawfeminist? It’s like being in a group of zoologists being mauled by a unicorn…

    * * *

    On the chance that Marianne is at all open to challenging her beliefs, I’m (yet another) male feminist–and the reason I self-identify as a feminist is that blogs like Feministe and Pandagon taught me the name for the beliefs I hold dear regarding the innate potential of all people, regardless of their gender, skin color, or sexual orientation.

    As far as the ability of both men and boys to form affectionate, nurturing relationships, the problem seems to be your lack of familiarity. Anecdotes aren’t the same as evidence, but I bet every person that’s participated in this thread can provide an example of men in their life who have formed healthy, intimate emotional relationships.

    I’ll actually go further than that: in my experience (although admittedly, I tend to become friends with men who reject the social pressures of the patriarchy), such relationships are the rule, rather than the exception.

    Your utter contempt of men is entirely divorced from reality. Take a step back, and realize that your hatred and bias are exactly as damaging to your own relationships and role in society as the views of any irredeemably bitter misogynist.

    * * *

    On the complementary chance that Marianne is some MRA troll’s sockpuppet, do the world a favor and crawl back into whatever fetid burrow of a website spawned you. Our little corner of the blogosphere is trying to discuss real problems, and you’re getting in the way.

  57. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2007 at 10:26 am |

    I’m fairly convinced Marianne is a sockpuppet (you should see the email address; it’s like an MRA’s nightmare).

    I’m going to put “her” in moderation, and discuss with Jill and piny whether we want to boot “her” permanently.

  58. piny
    piny February 26, 2007 at 12:26 pm |

    I’m going to put “her” in moderation, and discuss with Jill and piny whether we want to boot “her” permanently.

    Eh. She’s kinda entertaining, but I can understand why everyone else is nauseated.

  59. Erin
    Erin February 26, 2007 at 12:43 pm |

    prairielily, I’ve been in exactly your situation with my youngest brother, and I’m so sorry that you and your brother are going through this. If you need to talk to someone who has been there, the Feministe hosts have my permission to give you my e-mail address. I’d be glad to listen; your brother is going to need a lot of support right now, and so will you.

  60. C.Exile
    C.Exile February 26, 2007 at 1:24 pm |

    Marianne: I have a better idea than waiting for a gradual die-off.
    Why not institute deathcamps?

  61. Rockit
    Rockit February 26, 2007 at 3:17 pm |

    Yep C.Exile, I can’t imagine many people expected a literal feminazi to troll the board here. I think the best thing I could recommend to ‘Marianne’ is therapy because she seems to have a whole lot of hatred she needs to get out.

  62. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl February 26, 2007 at 7:51 pm |

    I’d second Rockit’s recommendation. I mean, if “Marianne” actually means this crap, she needs to go back on her meds. And if she’s just trolling for fun, she has some serious issues. Who finds pretending to advocate the extermination of half the species a fun leisure activity?

  63. ako
    ako February 26, 2007 at 10:04 pm |

    I think the best thing I could recommend to ‘Marianne’ is therapy because she seems to have a whole lot of hatred she needs to get out.

    And in the meantime, “Marianne”, stay away from small boys. I really don’t want their to be an incident where some little boy’s crying, slapping a playmate, or throwing his food fills you with rage against whatever masculine evil you think he incarnates and you decide to give him what you think his gender deserves.

  64. jxthree
    jxthree February 27, 2007 at 3:54 pm |

    I think that everyone is focusing on the more controversial comments of Marianne’s post and ignoring the anger that women have the right to express. And yes, this anger is towards men because it is men that have created the social conditions that keep us down. I think any oppressed group has the right to voice that anger and it should not be equated with the hateful comments of angry oppressors who fear the loss of the privilege they have lived with their whole lives with.
    Marianne has just shown that women aren’t necessarily the passive, gentle creatures we have been brought up to believe we are, so why must feminism be a passive and gentle affair?
    Why must we make our movement as man-friendly as possible? We spend our entire lives catering to men and the one thing that should solely be about us is turned into a ‘how it will benefit men aswell’ movement.

    Of course I think feminism benefits men as well as women, but that’s not the point, nd I have the right to scream at the top of my lungs at men for treating me like a lesser being, because I own a vagina.

    I’m not saying I agree with what Marianne is saying, and I happen to have a wonderful boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean that as a woman we shouldn’t be allowed to express a heartful anger towards those that have done and continue to do us so much wrong. I too hate men, because they revel in their privilege and care not for the other half of the human race. That is not to say that I do not recognise that there are INDIVIDUAL men who recognise women as human beings, but they are the exception and not the norm.

  65. S.A. Small
    S.A. Small February 27, 2007 at 7:42 pm |

    No one was saying that women don’t have a right to be angry about a lifetime of sexist discrimination, but Marianne was trafficking in bullshit. And speaking for myself….I’m allergic.

  66. Roy
    Roy February 27, 2007 at 8:49 pm |

    jxthree: I totally understand it if a woman feels angry at men, or at the oppression women have endured and continue to endure. I even understand that there are times when that anger will be directed at me.

    And you’re absolutely right:

    1. Feminism isn’t about making things easy for men, nor should feminists concern themselves with making feminism “easy for men.”
    2. A woman has every right to be as angry as she happens to be.
    3. Feminism shouldn’t be a a passive and gentle affair.

    I don’t, however, think that Marianne was expressing anger. Her tone didn’t come across as angry to me. I could be wrong, but it seemed more like a mockery of legitimate women’s feelings, to me. Her posts reads like what anti-feminist mysoginists think that feminism is all about.

    Anger is absolutely justified and understandable.

  67. Roy
    Roy February 27, 2007 at 8:51 pm |

    Gah!
    Sometimes my fingers run away without my brain.
    “mysoginists” should be “misogynists” obviously.

  68. jxthree
    jxthree February 28, 2007 at 9:13 am |

    I must apologise for all the errors in my previous post, whilst I may have a right to be angry, I don’t have the right to express it so poorly.

    Like I said, I don’t really agree with Marianne’s comments and even if her posts are just a parody of perceived feminist sentiment, I still get this feeling that even amongst feminists you are overstepping the mark if you voice overly negative remarks about men without an aside (e.g. I also know there are good guys out there).
    I guess I just want to be able to say I hate men without someone saying that I should remember there are good guys out there.

    Cheers for the replies.

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