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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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367 Responses

  1. BHuesca
    BHuesca October 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm |

    Understood! I started dating Dear Husband when he was out of college and me in. And it confused the shit outta my friends why he couldn’t come over and do improptu kegstands on days before work :).

  2. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte October 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm |

    First words out of my mouth when I walked into my now-boyfriend’s apartment: “Oh wow, you’re a grown-up!” He had furniture and everything.

  3. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

    It’s funny because although I haven’t dated in 20 years, and didn’t date ‘boys’ or ‘men,’ this piece really resonated with me as well. I suppose I never really dated at all because I met my wife in college and I you can’t really call the mating rituals of the high school/college student in the US ‘dating.’

    However, what I do really relate to is the way I had to make the change from ‘boy’ to ‘man’ because, to paraphrase Mindy, it doesn’t just suck to date one at 30, it pretty much sucks to be one at 30. I mean now that I’m 40, I don’t fall into all of Mindy’s man stereotypes nor did I her boy stereotypes at 21. But when I read her description of both I had to reflect on the huge differences between the 1993 me and the 2011 me, because in many ways I am the same, but she really hit this indefinable change that I strongly identified with.

    Thanks Jill, for passing this on.

  4. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin October 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm |

    It’s just a phase in development, I think. I used to date people who had nothing resembling direction in their lives. Now, I guess I’ve grown up. Some people reach this stage sooner than others. Being that I turn 31 next month, I want someone who is currently paying down their student loans, plus their credit cards, and even beginning to save for retirement.

  5. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 October 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

    Comrade Kevin:
    I want someone who is currently paying down their student loans, plus their credit cards, and even beginning to save for retirement.

    What are you going to do if you meet someone who excels in every other category but s/he is bankrupt?

  6. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm |

    Marksman2010: What are you going to do if you meet someone who excels in every other category but s/he is bankrupt?

    If you declare bankruptcy you get all your debts forgiven, so not only will her credit cards and loans not be an issue, she is at a perfect point to start saving for retirement as she will no longer have all those monthly bills.

  7. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm |

    Jill, I would like to thank you for introducing me to the new love of my life, Mindy Kaling.

    (No, I don’t watch The Office. Sue me.)

  8. reluctant alchemist
    reluctant alchemist October 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm |

    Knownig what sort of charictaristics you want and don’t want in a potential partner is really awesome. But to say that people with charictaristics you like are adults and people with charictaristics you don’t want in a partner are children is really gross. Also calling people who save money by getting free haircuts or buying used clothing children strikes me as really classist. Maybe he’s poor. maybe he’s frugal. Maybe he has different priorities when it comes to spending money. All perfectly fine reasons not to date someone, if those qualities are unappealing to you, but calling such people boys instead of men is messed up.

  9. Sid
    Sid October 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm |

    Err, wha!? Wasn’t something ridiculously similar to this a NYT Modern Love article?

  10. Anny
    Anny October 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm |

    I agree with reluctant alchemist. Of all the possible measures of adulthood out there, most of these seem pretty superficial. Calling them children is out of line.

  11. stonebiscuit
    stonebiscuit October 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm |

    Fat Steve: If you declare bankruptcy you get all your debts forgiven, so not only will her credit cards and loans not be an issue, she is at a perfect point to start saving for retirement as she will no longer have all those monthly bills.

    I’m pretty sure that student loans are not covered under bankruptcy.

  12. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm |

    reluctant alchemist:
    Knownig what sort of charictaristics you want and don’t want in a potential partner is really awesome. But to say that people with charictaristics you like are adults and people with charictaristics you don’t want in a partner are children is really gross. Also calling people who save money by getting free haircuts or buying used clothing children strikes me as really classist. Maybe he’s poor. maybe he’s frugal. Maybe he has different priorities when it comes to spending money. All perfectly fine reasons not to date someone, if those qualities are unappealing to you, but calling such people boys instead of men is messed up.

    This is not about economics or class, there are plenty of ‘boys’ with trust funds and inheritances. And yes I think you can judge ways of spending money as more mature than others.
    For example, if one lives on a subsistence income and receives $5000 unexpectedly, one could save half of it and use half to make home/personal improvements, or one could blow it on a weekend in Vegas with coke and hookers. I don’t think it’s incredibly judgemental to say one of those options implies a lack of maturity that the other doesn’t.

  13. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm |

    stonebiscuit: I’m pretty sure that student loans are not covered under bankruptcy.

    I’m pretty sure I was making a flippant comment.

  14. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 October 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm |

    Fat Steve: I’m pretty sure I was making a flippant comment.

    Then you’re as bad as I am–yet more subtle.

  15. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm |

    This is not about economics or class

    Fat Steve, you seem to have forgotten Feministe rule #1: Fun post cannot be fun!

  16. reluctant alchemist
    reluctant alchemist October 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm |

    But Fat Steve, even if we accept that behaviors which increase or preserve monetary wealth are inherantly more mature than behaviors which squander (I don’t), then surely paying full price for haircuts and clothing when one can get them free or for cheap is the less mature option. I have saved plenty of money over the years by getting fabulous haircuts from my roommate for free and getting used clothing for cheap or free. What is immature about that? Even if it wasn’t classist, saying that spending more money than you need to is always better or more mature is silly.

  17. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm |

    reluctant alchemist:
    I have saved plenty of money over the years by getting fabulous haircuts from my roommate for free and getting used clothing for cheap or free.

    Yes, and when I was a child, someone who I lived with (my mom) cut my hair, and I used to have all my clothing given to me for free. It’s lovely having no responsibilities.

  18. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte October 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm |

    I think some folks are eagerly reading way too much into this. There’s buying used clothes and then there’s buying used clothes. I’m frugal and buy mostly used clothes, but I put care into it. It’s fine not to want to date someone with a slovenly approach to clothes. It disturbs me how much pressure there is on women to date—and have sex with—men who turn them off in order not appear “shallow”.

  19. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus October 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm |

    If the various degrees of disorder and insecurity in my life keep a woman from dating me, the silver lining is that I’ll have one less distraction from, you know, addressing those issues.

    At least that’s what I can tell myself. :)

  20. Matt
    Matt October 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm |

    The problem isn’t that people don’t know how to have fun. The problem is who gets to decide what constitutes “fun”. I am reasonably confident that everyone in the world has a sense of humor and makes jokes. This is the oldest and most intractable consequence in all ethical debates, generally everyone agrees that we should all treat such and such type of person with respect, but no one ever agrees on what constitutes respectful treatment.

    Here is a little favorite feminist 101 lesson of mine:
    So, if one make a “fun” post and someone gets really offended, is it their fault they are offended or one’s fault that one offended them? And the consensus is always that its one’s fault for being a bigot.
    For instance if one made [insert joke that generalizes a certain group of people here] would you not call one out for that?
    So you see, what you are doing with your comment is claiming that you possess the objective capability to determine who should be offended by what. Problematic no?

    FashionablyEvil: Fat Steve, you seem to have forgotten Feministe rule #1: Fun post cannot be fun!

    Anyways, the way I think of the issue being described is this:
    People have different priorities at different ages. For instance adolescents are biologically programmed to be more obsessed with peer opinions, sex, risk taking, and short term rewards.
    As you get older, not only are their biological factors, but there are cultural factors and economic factors affecting your priorities. Parents tend not to pay for all the things possessed by their 40 year old child. You literally have to get a job once you get beyond a certain age, what this age is is unique to a given person, its not a choice. People don’t choose behaviors on a whim. No one says hey, I want to get a job. They might say, I want to get a job so I can meet people, learn skills for later jobs, earn money to buy things, impress parents/peers/SOs.
    There was a survey done asking if you didn’t have to get that job at the sewage plant or pull the green chain, would you have done it? The resounding answer was no.

    I would say that Mandy should have said, as my priorities change, I like to date people who have similar priorities. But of course that doesn’t get retweets, cross blog posts, or any sort of media attention. That article reads like a cosmo article only the nouns are changed around. The format is the same.

    Just fyi, I was not offended by this article, although I do fit a middling number of the parameters for “boys”. I just don;t see how that people who constantly critique the fluff pieces of other news outlets get so defensive when people critique their fluff pieces.

    I would say that this article is somewhat classist, but mostly just judgmental, the writer probably though the “men” she prefers to date now were stodgy old codgers back when she liked to date “boys”.

  21. Iam138
    Iam138 October 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm |

    This offends me to the extent that I may Never Come Back To This Site Ever Again.

    Good. Now this is real thread.

  22. Alyssa
    Alyssa October 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm |

    I think a better word for “boys” here would be “hipsters.”

  23. D
    D October 5, 2011 at 7:13 pm |

    There’s a big difference between not wanting to date someone and calling them children.

    Just saying. No one is objecting to the former.

  24. Mr. Kristen J.
    Mr. Kristen J. October 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm |

    Excellent. Last week I was carded when buying beer. Yesterday, someone said I was too young to be married. Now if these grey hairs would stop coming in I could rock the disheveled 20-something look for a few more decades.

  25. EG
    EG October 5, 2011 at 8:02 pm |

    Hmm. I felt that same way throughout my twenties, actually. I wanted to date a grown-up, someone who had his shit together, because I had plans! I had priorities! I wanted children!

    Now I’m in my mid-thirties, and have a professional job, and make my own money (though not enough), and have decided that in a few years, provided I get what I plan/hope to get in those years, I’m gonna have myself a kid, man or no man.

    And I have begun to notice that many young men in their 20s have smooth skin, full heads of hair, a sort of endearing energy combined with awkwardness, and, um, nicely shaped bodies. And that’s OK, sweetie, I’ll pick up some beer or wine on my way home; I’ve got the cash.

    In other words, with a bit of independence, emotional, financial, and social, I find myself being drawn to exactly the same thing in younger men that men my age seem to find attractive in young women. Draw your own conclusions.

  26. andie
    andie October 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm |

    Meh.. I usually end up dating somewhere in between.. Guys, rather than Boys or Men.

    Oh, did I say guys? I meant motherfuckers.

    (okay, I’ll stop running with that now)

  27. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm |

    Here is a little favorite feminist 101 lesson of mine:
    So, if one make a “fun” post and someone gets really offended, is it their fault they are offended or one’s fault that one offended them? And the consensus is always that its one’s fault for being a bigot.
    For instance if one made [insert joke that generalizes a certain group of people here] would you not call one out for that?
    So you see, what you are doing with your comment is claiming that you possess the objective capability to determine who should be offended by what. Problematic no?

    Wow, Matt, I really appreciate being lectured with the 101! That’s just awesome! I’ve never thought about ANY of that before.

    Oh, did I say guys? I meant motherfuckers.

    FTW.

  28. Sam
    Sam October 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm |

    Jill,

    as a 30+ year old guy who’s still having serious problems initiating kissing, partly due to feminist indoctrination about his supposedly toxic sexuality, notions about never “pushing girls”, and the usual feminist arguments in favour of explicit, not merely assumed, enthusiastic consent, I really don’t know what to think of this.

    I mean, apart from the implicit role reinforcing nature of the quote, it would be easy to dismiss it with a simple “welcome to the real world.” But I don’t think dismissing would be appropriate, because I don’t understand how you (general you) can constantly demand more explicit “yes means yes” communication about sexuality, and at the same time consider guy’s attempts to get a better idea about the state of consent by, possibly clumsily, being explicit about their wish to kiss as childish, inexperienced, and unmanly. Possibly amusing as long as you have sufficient time because you don’t need to read an alarm clock, but not the real deal.

    Of course, I don’t know your personal preferences on this matter, and not just since HughRistik has done some exploratory empirical research on the matter for a discussion in one of Clarisse Thorn’s manliness threads, it’s pretty clear that most women appear to not like to be asked for a kiss, but want guys to move in without asking.

    But that’s the opposite of what I – and I think a lot of guys, particularly those reading blogs about gender matters – are perceiving to be the dominant feminist argument: respect boundaries, always be expclicit, don’t assume, know positively, when in doubt, ask. And when is there no doubt at all?

    What is it then? I think this question is one of the core elements of guys seeing women, including feminists, to say one thing, and do another. What is it then? What is better? What is the grown up thing? Take the risk of being kissed without being asked for the surprise and excitement, to make him show what he wants, to see whether he can read body language? The allegedly grown-up version? Or not take that risk and be stuck with the Antioch “boys” from above, as I understand most feminists to be recommending in public/on their blogs, since consent should never be assumed, even if only for a kiss.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’d love it if more women would prefer the second version. Problem is, they don’t, and now apparently, even some feminists are admitting as much. And not even Amanda Marcotte is calling it “creepy”.

  29. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm |

    EG: Now I’m in my mid-thirties, and have a professional job, and make my own money (though not enough), and have decided that in a few years, provided I get what I plan/hope to get in those years, I’m gonna have myself a kid, man or no man.

    And I have begun to notice that many young men in their 20s have smooth skin, full heads of hair, a sort of endearing energy combined with awkwardness, and, um, nicely shaped bodies. And that’s OK, sweetie, I’ll pick up some beer or wine on my way home; I’ve got the cash.

    In other words, with a bit of independence, emotional, financial, and social, I find myself being drawn to exactly the same thing in younger men that men my age seem to find attractive in young women. Draw your own conclusions.

    As to the first two paragraph, it sounds like you have a very clear objective and an equally clear plan on how to achieve it. Had I not read further I would have suggested that you are exactly the sort of partner that Comrade Kevin @4 described in his comment above, and perhaps a Feministe romance would ensue, but alas this is not to be.

    As to the last two paragraphs, well I don’t normally get insulted and angry the way some people around do, in fact this may be my first time, but I’m just sitting here mouth agape at your defense of men finding ‘young’ women more attractive than women their age, merely by saying that you yourself feel the same. However I’m not going to draw you out into a long argument as happens on here constantly.
    I will merely say that my wife is 42 years old and I think she’s fucking beautiful. Beautiful and amazing in so many ways that I could spend all night listing the ways if I had any interest in sharing them with you. And if some fucking 50 year old shallow shithead doesn’t think she’s as ‘hot’ as a 21- year old, well he can go fuck himself.

  30. EG
    EG October 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm |

    it’s pretty clear that most women appear to not like to be asked for a kiss, but want guys to move in without asking.

    That’s interesting. I’ve always much preferred to be asked…I find it so endearing and sweet when some guy is like “Um…I’ve been thinking about kissing you…and…wondering…if that would be OK…maybe?”

  31. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. October 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm |

    Sam: feminist indoctrination

    You had me (chuckling) at feminist indoctrination.

    Re the OP: Reservations are BORING. Reservations means you can’t stop at that place that doesn’t have a sign, or stop by that random food stand you saw on the way to a show. Sure the food may be shit or it may be awesome, but you won’t know unless you try. In either event you’ll have something interesting to laugh about for the next 20 years.

    All of which supports my premise that while lots of things should be planned, romance, joy, and love are best when they are spontaneous.

    Also, who the fuck has an alarm clock any more? Its called a cell phone, people.

  32. Sam
    Sam October 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm |

    EG,

    you apparently like “boys” then, not real men ;)

    BTW, here’s Hugh Ristik’s breakdown (http://clarissethorn.com/blog/2011/04/18/guest-post-detrimental-attitudes-of-the-pickup-artist-community/#comment-49381) of the lenghthy discussion on this dating forum thread that served as his source data (link in the comment) -

    - 142 women gave an answer
    - 98 (69%) preferred that men not ask
    - 11 (7.7%) preferred that men do ask
    - 31 (21.8%) were fine either way, liked both, or said it depends. (Though many of these women still leaned towards men not asking.)
    - 2 (1.4%) preferred to make a move themselves

  33. Sam
    Sam October 5, 2011 at 9:05 pm |

    Kristen J.,

    I can assure you it wasn’t fun to be part of it.

  34. kb
    kb October 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm |

    Sam-asking is sexy. I’ve never preferred anyone kiss without asking, and have never actually heard this whole-”I wish he wouldn’t have asked” from a live woman. That’s my $.02

  35. kb
    kb October 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm |

    also-anyone from the pickup community is intentionally choosing tactics that damage a long term relationship, since they actively discourage that. so you know, keep that in mind. They’re giving you bad advice, because they consider long term mutual relationships to be a bad outcome.

  36. EG
    EG October 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm |

    As to the last two paragraphs, well I don’t normally get insulted and angry the way some people around do, in fact this may be my first time, but I’m just sitting here mouth agape at your defense of men finding ‘young’ women more attractive than women their age, merely by saying that you yourself feel the same. However I’m not going to draw you out into a long argument as happens on here constantly.

    I’m genuinely sorry; I didn’t mean to be offensive. I meant it in a fairly facetious, tongue-in-cheek way, and also partially as a response to people like my grandfather, who are always claiming that men are “naturally” attracted to younger women, while women are, universally, “naturally” attracted to older, more established men , and this is just hard-wired, blah blah blah, while I think such preferences are cultural and personal adaptations to material circumstances.

    Anyway, to set aside the facetiousness and resentment of my grandfather, I absolutely think that older women are quite beautiful and attractive and that older men who can’t see that shallow. Similarly, I can definitely look at men my age and older and note that they’re very attractive. It’s just that at the moment, I’m in a phase of life when they’re not drawing my eye. That could change, honestly, at any moment. Or when/if I meet the right guy my age. I did not intend to make excuses for shallow assholes or to insult your wife, and I’m sorry that I came across that way.

  37. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus October 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm |

    Also, who the fuck has an alarm clock any more? Its called a cell phone, people.

    I use the alarm function on my watch (yes, I still wear a watch) because I like to turn my phone off at night when I go to sleep. I could program it to turn on and sound an alarm, but sometimes I like to wait a bit in the morning before I take calls.

  38. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm |

    EG: I’m genuinely sorry; I didn’t mean to be offensive.I meant it in a fairly facetious, tongue-in-cheek way, and also partially as a response to people like my grandfather, who are always claiming that men are “naturally” attracted to younger women, while women are, universally, “naturally” attracted to older, more established men , and this is just hard-wired, blah blah blah, while I think such preferences are cultural and personal adaptations to material circumstances.

    Anyway, to set aside the facetiousness and resentment of my grandfather, I absolutely think that older women are quite beautiful and attractive and that older men who can’t see that shallow.Similarly, I can definitely look at men my age and older and note that they’re very attractive.It’s just that at the moment, I’m in a phase of life when they’re not drawing my eye.That could change, honestly, at any moment.Or when/if I meet the right guy my age.I did not intend to make excuses for shallow assholes or to insult your wife, and I’m sorry that I came across that way.

    I must admit it did seem rather unlike your other comments, so apology certainly accepted, and as I said, I don’t want to turn this into a derail…so we shall never speak of it again.

  39. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm |

    What is it then? I think this question is one of the core elements of guys seeing women, including feminists, to say one thing, and do another. What is it then? What is better? What is the grown up thing? Take the risk of being kissed without being asked for the surprise and excitement, to make him show what he wants, to see whether he can read body language? The allegedly grown-up version? Or not take that risk and be stuck with the Antioch “boys” from above…

    Sam, my eyes were glazing over and rolling, at the same time, because we’ve been over this before. I’m going to be blunt. You, Sam, if your posts are the truth, appear to be worse than the average person at reading nonverbal communication. Since this is the case, you are much better off being explicit and asking, rather than assuming. People vary widely on both their ability to read or communicate nonverbally, and in the latitude they give others in regards to nonverbal communication. Since this is a weak spot for you, you can remedy that by making explicit communication your strength.

    Mind you, I’m not making a judgement call. There’s nothing wrong with not being good at nonverbal communication. Everything ain’t for everybody. But your frustration at not being able to read nonverbal communication, coupled with your reluctance to take the one surefire remedy—doesn’t seem to be working for you. Trying to tie this in to something Feminism did is ridiculous. You alone can fix this problem.

    Women are not the Borg. Some of us prefer partners that are skilled at nonverbal communication. Some of us couldn’t give a rat’s ass. If you want to come into contact with the subset “couldn’t give a rat’s ass about nonverbal communication”, then speak.up. Be frank. Ask. It won’t kill ya.

  40. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm |

    Also, who the fuck has an alarm clock any more? Its called a cell phone, people.

    Oh please. Like cell phones have the decibel rating to wake anyone other than a chronic insomniac who’s already awake up. You know who has an alarm clock? I have an alarm clock. And it wakes me up, as long as I keep it across the room, turned up full blast, where I have to physically get up out of bed to go shut it off. My daughter is even worse when it comes to waking up. I’m seriously considering getting her one of those alarm clocks that buzzes really loud before rolling off the nightstand and zooming around the room (you have to chase it down and catch it to shut it off). *smile* Cell phone. *snort*

  41. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm |

    Linnaeus: but sometimes I like to wait a bit in the morning before I take calls.

    Ooh. I put mine on silent and turn on the alarm. This has the problem of noticing a call when hitting snooze and getting hit by a guilt trip/a round of “ahh fucks.” Maybe I should get a watch.

  42. Sam
    Sam October 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm |

    La Lubu,

    yeah, we have been there. But if you remember that, you may also recall that I am a lot better at nonverbal communication than most guys. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s not that I don’t understand the communication, it’s just that I’ve got that “what if I’m wrong” in my head and that couples with the “male sexuality is toxic” and “never push a girl” that I was brought up with. So you’re quite right that I’m better off asking… here’s some of my thoughts about that in a bit more detail, http removed due to spam protection – charlieglickman.com/2010/10/sex-tips-for-men-how-to-ask-for-sex/comment-page-1/#comment-6122

    But that’s not really the point, is it? The point of the OP was to designate “asking about this” to the “boy” or “not really man” sphere. And the point of my comment was to say that I find it odd for feminists who keep talking about explicit consent to say that “real men just know”.

    You know, as I said above – and if you’ve read my comment linked to above you’ll understand even better – I do understand why a lot of women appear to prefer not being asked – what does it tell you about the guy’s emphatic abilities in general if he can’t seem to read whether you’d like to be kissed?

    It’s not that I don’t understand that. It makes perfect sense. But stating – endorsing – something like that – as in the quote in the OP – must feel exceedingly cynical and painfully unfair to guys who have been debilitated by the notion of their sexuality, who aren’t able to initiate *because* they were told about their toxic sexuality, particularly if such an endorsement comes from the people who they perceive to be those constantly reiterating the benefits, in fact, the need for verbal consent.

    So, basically, my point is, if moving in directly for a kiss is apparently preferred by so many women, and if it’s even taken to be “manly” as opposed to “boyish” by feminists, then why do consent debates about this always state “guys, be positively sure, remember Antioch rules!” and not “if you can reasonably assume she’d like you to move in, that’s cool, but you can also ask directly, some women prefer that.” My 15-27yo self would have had a much better time if *that* had been the message I had internalized, and I’m really not the only one.

    Why call “boyish” and “unmanly” what is usually called for as feminist ideal? And why keep making sweeping general claims if preferences are known to be partly different and contradictory behaviour is even inadvertendly endorsed in different contexts?
    That’s my questions.

  43. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. October 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm |

    La Lubu: Also, who the fuck has an alarm clock any more? Its called a cell phone, people.Oh please. Like cell phones have the decibel rating to wake anyone other than a chronic insomniac who’s already awake up. You know who has an alarm clock? I have an alarm clock. And it wakes me up, as long as I keep it across the room, turned up full blast, where I have to physically get up out of bed to go shut it off. My daughter is even worse when it comes to waking up. I’m seriously considering getting her one of those alarm clocks that buzzes really loud before rolling off the nightstand and zooming around the room (you have to chase it down and catch it to shut it off). *smile* Cell phone. *snort*

    Bah! My phone is louder than M’s snoring and I assure you he could wake a blacked out ogre…2 miles away.

    [But mostly it was a reference to this survey that shows that a significant number of millennials sleep with their phones because alarm clocks have become obsolete.]

  44. Alison
    Alison October 5, 2011 at 10:51 pm |

    Jill:
    As a side note, this comment thread is a perfect illustration of WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.

    The sad thing? You could just copy/paste this into like 98% of Feministe threads and it would fit PERFECTLY.

    Also I am a woman who sometimes has dated women and thus I am monstrously offended by this post for not talking about lesbian relationships.

    And really, currently I am celibate and single-not-looking and thus I am monstrously offended by this post for…uh, existing at all.

    Jill is awful.

  45. D
    D October 5, 2011 at 10:54 pm |

    @Kristen J

    Cell phone? Bah. You can have my alarm clock when you pry it from my chilled, soundly-asleep fingers.

  46. Alison
    Alison October 5, 2011 at 10:55 pm |

    Kristen J.:

    [But mostly it was a reference to this survey that shows that a significant number of millennials sleep with their phones because alarm clocks have become obsolete.]

    “Sleep with their phones”.

    Whoa. Guess this dude was right http://nyti.ms/r9WzK3

    :P

  47. evil fizz
    evil fizz October 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm | *

    As a side note, this comment thread is a perfect illustration of WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.

    It’s not our fault you keep forgetting feminists are humorless and your efforts at levity mean you are DOING FEMINISM WRONG. Fail, fail, fail.

    Why call “boyish” and “unmanly” what is usually called for as feminist ideal? And why keep making sweeping general claims if preferences are known to be partly different and contradictory behaviour is even inadvertendly endorsed in different contexts?

    “You see, I’ve been thinking all night about Milton and college lacrosse players and how we’ve grown up the children of privilege and yet were never once entitled, even when we scheduled the people we sat next to at the lunch table [additional 7 minutes of hipster monologue] and I’ve really been thinking about kissing you, but I wanted to wait until Valentine’s Day, but you know how overtly commercial that is, but I wanted it to be real and [additional 4 minutes of faux anti-capitalist rhetoric], but kissing, man, that’s just deep, you know?” cannot be meaningful compared to “Would it be all right if I kissed you?”

    Just saying.

  48. Sam
    Sam October 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm |

    Jill,

    “A long preamble about how they’ve been thinking of kissing you =/ actual discussion or asking permission.”

    I’m not looking for a fight, I’m merely trying to raise a point I think is worth making – explicitly. Unfortunately, you apparently can’t see my problem and I can’t explain it better than I have above.

    And you can have all the nice things you want, they’re just not that nice for everyone. I’m sure you’re not asking for everyone to share your sense of humour or contextual background. This thing isn’t nice for me. Sorry. I wish it were.

  49. evil fizz
    evil fizz October 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm | *

    And you can have all the nice things you want, they’re just not that nice for everyone. I’m sure you’re not asking for everyone to share your sense of humour or contextual background. This thing isn’t nice for me. Sorry. I wish it were.

    Dude, you’re asking for a Sam-centric diversion that’s (at best) tangential to the original post and shellacking it in existential angst? What is going on around here?

  50. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 11:24 pm |

    Sam:
    Jill,

    “A long preamble about how they’ve been thinking of kissing you =/ actual discussion or asking permission.”

    I’m not looking for a fight, I’m merely trying to raise a point I think is worth making – explicitly. Unfortunately, you apparently can’t see my problem and I can’t explain it better than I have above.

    No, not a fight. What you’re looking for is an excuse. You want to blame feminism for the fact that you’re afraid of rejection. Is the real reason you’re afraid to go in for a kiss all these ‘consent debates’ you witnessed, or are you just worried the woman might reject you?

  51. Bloix
    Bloix October 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm |

    I have an alarm radio set to NPR. It comes on and I lie in bed listening with half an ear to Garrison Keillor reading some random stuff his administrative assistant copied from wikipedia for him and then John Boehner or Mitch McConnell or some asshole from the Wall Street Journal comes on to tell me that social security is a scam and bankers deserve to get all my money and I have to jump out of bed and smash the off button before I start to scream.

    And then I’m up. Time to do last night’s dinner dishes!

  52. Opheelia
    Opheelia October 5, 2011 at 11:49 pm |

    Wait, if we don’t have furniture we’re not adults? Shit. I’ve only had a couch for two years. (The futon doesn’t count, nor does the floor pillows I sat on for a year after it broke.)

    But I guess my brother only had a Coleman camping chair, a TV, and a bed while he was in law school, which even he acknowledges is totally creepy. At least I had a coffee table.

  53. Sam
    Sam October 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm |

    Fat Steve,

    not sure you’ll believe me, but I’m not that afraid of rejection. It sounds like a bad joke, but I literally have women ripping my shirt off (ok, that was *one* women earlier this year… ;)). Given my significantly delayed psycho-sexual development I’m doing (relatively) phenomenally with women now, and I wouldn’t if it weren’t for women who initiate themselves, because I don’t, I can’t, and a significant part of that problem has been my feminist upbringing, although it is more complicated than merely anticipated feminist guilt, which is why I’ve said the problem was *partly* caused by that.

    I think it’s a discourse that has – unintentionally, I admit that, but still – limited my ability to express myself romantically, and is still limiting myself. It may be too late to fix me, and I’ve learned to work around it bit by bit, but I keep mentioning the issue for younger guys in my situation.

    I don’t think adjusting rethoric in such debates to reflect what is apparently actually supposed to be said instead of keeping a discourse of general overreaching that is an unreasonable suggestion.

  54. Bloix
    Bloix October 5, 2011 at 11:56 pm |

    I just read Mindy Kaling’s article – for those who know the lyrics to Guys and Dolls:

    “You have wished yourself a Scarsdale Gallahad, the breakfast-eating Brooks Brothers type.” “Yes!”

  55. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 6, 2011 at 12:08 am |

    Sam: Fat Steve,

    Those are the last two words (and comma) that I am going to read from you on this thread.

  56. Sam
    Sam October 6, 2011 at 12:16 am |

    Fat Steve,

    excuse me for thinking you were actually asking… should have known better.

  57. Mr. Kristen J.
    Mr. Kristen J. October 6, 2011 at 12:33 am |

    Sam,

    First, I’m fairly well educated about the feminist movement and unless you’re defining your “sexuality” as the desire to rape someone, I’m not sure how you are getting the message that your sexuality is toxic from mainstream feminism. If being told you must gain consent “limits your sexual expression”, then its your sexual expression you need to interrogate not the concept of consent.

    Second, this is not a serious post that is digging into the concepts of how masculinity is defined and the harm caused by social reinfoced boundries. This is a joke for people dating men. Are there stereotypes? Yes. Could we spend decades debating them? Certainly. Is it mission critical to tell this group of people – feminists who think a lot about gender – how *hard* it is to live in a society that has such rigid standards for gender performance? I’m going to say no.

  58. Georg
    Georg October 6, 2011 at 12:42 am |

    boys

    Uh huh. Please remind me of this article the next time someone pretends to be HUGELY OFFENDED because a woman over the age of 18 is referred to as a girl.

    Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you.

    Interesting. I thought seeking explicit verbal consent was the good, mature, feminist, women-are-people thing to do? Simply assuming consent based on things one has unilaterally decided are nonverbal cues implying tacit concession, wasn’t that something cavemen and frat boys did?

    Funny how doing what you are ostensibly supposed to do always ends up getting you ridiculed. While we’re at it, can we heap some scorn and derision on men who fail to be dependable breadwinners and buyers of expensive gifts?

    Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before.

    There we go.

  59. Sam
    Sam October 6, 2011 at 12:59 am |

    Mr Kristen J.

    “If being told you must gain consent “limits your sexual expression”, then its your sexual expression you need to interrogate not the concept of consent.”

    I’m sorry, did you read anything I wrote above? Because if you did, and you’re still making that quip, then I wonder how you can be surprised that anyone could get the concept of toxic masculinity from “mainstream feminism”…

    “Second, this is not a serious post that is digging into the concepts of how masculinity is defined and the harm caused by social reinfoced boundries.”

    You’re right. Having fun with stereotypes is something feminists are usually very tolerant about… ;) The other question is – should I have brought it up? Probably not, but i occasionally find it hard to not mention things I consider problematic, even if there’s only a small chance of making people see another perspective, and even if I’m not particularly successful doing so. And the kissing thing was triggering for me.

  60. shfree
    shfree October 6, 2011 at 1:02 am |

    See, now I feel all sorts of sad because as a terminally aggressive woman, because I can’t remember the last time I didn’t initiate a “first kiss”. I usually did all the first smooching, because I can usually read body language, and if I can tell if someone’s interested, and if I’m interested, I’m usually too impatient for them to make the first move. (I know with my current boyfriend, he was never EVER going to do anything, as he thought it was a lost cause.) That could take FOREVER, and life is not a Korean Drama romance series.

  61. llama
    llama October 6, 2011 at 1:41 am |

    Arriving at 30 and still being immature is not limited to males. Many women also choose to avoid growing up. Some even see it as step towards equality.

    Another attribute that you can add to the list: Men don’t date girls. So if you haven’t dated a man recently perhaps your not ready.

  62. igglanova
    igglanova October 6, 2011 at 2:21 am |

    This one post: magically has the power to invalidate all feminist critique ever made, everywhere, that focuses on the common use of ‘girls.’ You heard it here, ladies.

  63. Georg
    Georg October 6, 2011 at 3:39 am |

    igglanova:
    This one post: magically has the power to invalidate all feminist critique ever made, everywhere, that focuses on the common use of ‘girls.’You heard it here, ladies.

    If it was this one post I wouldn’t even have noticed.

    Girls become women automatically upon reaching a certain age. Boys remain silly children until they can prove they conform to the necessary minimum of conditions stipulated on society’s requirements checklist. It’s an interesting double standard not just because it’s very, very old but also because people are obstinately refusing to examine it.

  64. machina
    machina October 6, 2011 at 3:43 am |

    shfree, why do you feel sad? That seems like good behaviour.

  65. chava
    chava October 6, 2011 at 3:57 am |

    Seriously? You haven’t noticed that we’re only “women” when we (among other things):
    1) have vaginal orgasms
    2) bear a child and accept self-sacrificing motherhood
    3) get married
    4) reach some unattainable standard of gravitas

    I think you’re picking up on the fact that “womanhood” is often framed in terms of biological destiny. Which is a Bad Thing, yo.

    So…I’m sorry that you’re upset about the construction of masculinity, but this isn’t a lopsided issue wherin men have the shit end of the stick, mmmkay? I’m totally willing to give you that the man/boy distinction is often very harmful, but it’s all part of the same continuum placing “man” on the top and “girl” on the bottom.

    Georg: If it was this one post I wouldn’t even have noticed.

    Girls become women automatically upon reaching a certain age. Boys remain silly children until they can prove they conform to the necessary minimum of conditions stipulated on society’s requirements checklist. It’s an interesting double standard not just because it’s very, very old but also because people are obstinately refusing to examine it.

  66. chava
    chava October 6, 2011 at 4:03 am |

    I’m not crazy about the definition of masculinity in the article, either. But I *do* understand the impulse to date men, or really, ADULTS.

    A man accepts his responsibilities and doesn’t try to run away from them or shove them off on others. He realizes that there is more to life than his own personal gratification. And perhaps most importantly, he is old enough to know what he wants and to go about getting it in an ethical and efficient fashion.

    You could say the same thing about a woman, just swap out the pronouns. As far as the basic money thing–some degree of fiscal responsibilty is part of being an adult, male or female.

  67. Mark Turner
    Mark Turner October 6, 2011 at 5:39 am |

    chava:
    A man accepts his responsibilities and doesn’t try to run away from them or shove them off on others.He realizes that there is more to life than his own personal gratification.And perhaps most importantly, he is old enough to know what he wants and to go about getting it in an ethical and efficient fashion.

    You could say the same thing about a woman, just swap out the pronouns.As far as the basic money thing–some degree of fiscal responsibilty is part of being an adult, male or female.

    We were all – men and women – put on this earth for the same reason: to be happy. It’s so elemental that it is written into the Constitution. And it follows that each and every one of us gets to decide what it is that makes us happy and how we want to pursue that happiness. No person – man or woman – is obligated to stay with someone who doesn’t make them happy or to enter into a relationship with someone who doesn’t make them happy.

    I think a certain population of women define certain men as ‘boys’ because these so-called ‘boys’ refuse to accept certain responsibilities AS THE WOMEN DEFINE THEM. If a man is holding down a job, paying his bills, and at the same time doing whatever he wants with his free time, how is that immature? Immature is expecting other people – who are total strangers – to have to live up to your stereotypes and expectations of ‘acceptability’ and ‘responsibility’.

    If a rock star is in his 50s and has a bevy of 20-somethings following him everywhere, as long as he obeys the law and pays his bills, it’s no skin off my nose what he does with his life.

    I also think a lot of women want men to be ‘mature’ and ‘responsible’, live up to their ‘responsibilities’, because its a subconscious control mechanism…if women obligate all men to ‘live up to their responsibilities’ and ‘grow up’, it opens the door to women being able to demand a lot more from a man in a relationship, without necessarily having to give anything in return. It’s a power play.

  68. machina
    machina October 6, 2011 at 6:05 am |

    chava, this paper is interesting. It’s on the idea that masculinity is harder to keep hold of than femininity.

    http://thedadshow.net/library/Precarious_Manhood.pdf

  69. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 6, 2011 at 7:17 am |

    Girls become women automatically upon reaching a certain age. Boys remain silly children until they can prove they conform to the necessary minimum of conditions stipulated on society’s requirements checklist.

    From Kaling’s original post:

    OK, maybe men aren’t exactly like this. But this is what I’ve cobbled together from the handful of men I know or know of, ranging from Heathcliff Huxtable to Theodore Roosevelt to my dad. The point: Men know what they want, and that is scary.

    I guess I just don’t see what’s so troubling about this: Here’s a list of things that real men are, but maybe not, and maybe they’re just people who know what they want in life.

    Also, what Chava said. One of the saddest blog posts I’ve read was written by an Orthodox Jewish woman who felt abandoned by her god and her community because she was 40, single, and childless and therefore not a real woman. She had no definition for womanhood that didn’t entail marriage and childbearing.

  70. Brian
    Brian October 6, 2011 at 7:57 am |

    No, not a fight. What you’re looking for is an excuse. You want to blame feminism for the fact that you’re afraid of rejection. Is the real reason you’re afraid to go in for a kiss all these ‘consent debates’ you witnessed, or are you just worried the woman might reject you?

    It’s generally taken as axiomatic in feminist spaces that you honour people’s experiences, rather than talk down to them like an ass. It’s worth trying.

  71. samanthab
    samanthab October 6, 2011 at 8:15 am |

    Really, no one objects to how hyper-normativizing the piece is? Who decided that it’s impossible to have a toe in both worlds? I know these are norms of late 20th c. American capitalism that were all supposed to be clinging steadfastly to, but I actually know a lovely 60-something gentleman who plays music festivals, yet has worked steadily for over forty years. And does it occur to no one that the hyper-structured nature of contemporary “adult” lives is actually kind of fucked up? Or that there are legitimate reasons that one might not be eager to enter into it. I’ll defer to Malvina Reynolds here:

    “And the people in the houses
    All went to the university,
    Where they were put in boxes
    And they came out all the same,
    And there’s doctors and lawyers,
    And business executives,
    And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same.

    And they all play on the golf course
    And drink their martinis dry,
    And they all have pretty children
    And the children go to school,
    And the children go to summer camp
    And then to the university,
    Where they are put in boxes
    And they come out all the same.”

    So if Mindy Kaling wants us all to crawl right into our confining little boxes, great, but I would point out that she’s a member of a class whose boxes are actually pretty big? As best I can tell, she’s written a manifesto for the 99% from the 1%. That’s new! I’ve never heard that before from a major media outlet. Well, actually I have about a bizillion times, but you’ve put a thin veneer of feminism over it, and that changes everything. Thanks much, Mindy!

    Long live personal “responsibility,” and fuck the arts, the environment, and communality. I guess having your life defined via a “commitment to things” is probably a little more fun when you’re in the 1%, and the things are super shiny. But honestly, fuck her if she’s going to tell me that’s how “adulthood” is defined for us all. I’m 38 year old woman who works seven days a week, and yet I sure as hell am not interested in defining my life by my “commitment to things.” Defining your life via a “commitment to things” does not, as far as I’m concerned, make you an adult; it makes you a soulless, consumerist asshole. If your terms say that Siddhārtha Gautama, Jesus of Nazareth, and Muhammed are all boys, but that George Bush is a “man,” something’s gone very awry- morally, emotionally, and intellectually.

  72. Soullite
    Soullite October 6, 2011 at 8:26 am |

    IF you’re over 18, you’re a man or a woman. Anyone who calls you a ‘boy’ or a ‘girl’ is a douche and you probably shouldn’t listen to anything they have to say.

    And really, it’s no great shock that the people here are hypocrites capable of rationalizing things that have to do with other groups of people that they would never accept when it comes to their own. Anyone who really thinks that feminists – or anyone, really – have any kind of enlightenment is probably an idiot. People never change and we never learn; we only stay the same worthless shit-and-meat bags we’ve always been.

  73. igglanova
    igglanova October 6, 2011 at 8:42 am |

    Brian: It’s generally taken as axiomatic in feminist spaces that you honour people’s experiences, rather than talk down to them like an ass.It’s worth trying.

    No, it really isn’t. We’re pretty far from consensus on that, actually.

  74. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 8:46 am |

    People never change and we never learn; we only stay the same worthless shit-and-meat bags we’ve always been.

    Speak for yourself.

  75. raya
    raya October 6, 2011 at 8:49 am |

    So since he couldn’t afford a haircut on a regular basis, new clothing, or taking us to a restaurant that accepts reservations, my siblings and I were actually raised by a single-parenting boy? It all makes sense now.

  76. igglanova
    igglanova October 6, 2011 at 8:50 am |

    Ok, two points…

    1. The original article is douchey and I don’t like it. The overall tone is sneering contempt for people who don’t conform to the author’s preferences.

    2. The hyperbolic butthurt reaction in this thread is pathetic. Whatever -isms or douchiness the author is putting on display, it is not sexism against men, so for god’s sake find somewhere else to fondle your pearls.

  77. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 9:05 am |

    so for god’s sake find somewhere else to fondle your pearls

    I’m gonna probably wake up at 3:00 a.m. in a cold sweat with that image intruding in on my dreams. ;)

  78. EG
    EG October 6, 2011 at 9:24 am |

    Come on, you meanies. Men are so oppressed. Sometimes ladies make fun of them! This is totally just like when a real-estate agent my age called my mother a “girl” last year! Have you no sympathy for the poor men?!

  79. Crys T
    Crys T October 6, 2011 at 10:01 am |

    igglanova RULES this thread!

  80. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 6, 2011 at 10:11 am |

    EG:
    Come on, you meanies.Men are so oppressed.Sometimes ladies make fun of them!This is totally just like when a real-estate agent my age called my mother a “girl” last year!Have you no sympathy for the poor men?!

    Jill: Right. And oh god, sometimes professional female comedy writers make fun of men, in what is actually a pretty tame way, but she didn’t account for every single social justice issue and so let’s all freak out!

    What shocks me the most about the black-named male attitude about this (by ‘black-named’ I mean as opposed to ‘red-named’ ie the ones with who don’t have a link to their pages and change their names on every thread,) is, that I totally identified with this piece as a man, the OP sings the praises of ‘men’, and it is as relevant to men as it is to women.

    Why is it so hard for these people to just appreciate a piece for it’s general theme and tone rather than having to dissect every word? I guess obviously I only identify with it because I’m just a middle class douchebag and don’t recognize how class-ist it is.

  81. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 6, 2011 at 10:35 am |

    Oh, and I didn’t mean to dismiss the class-ist argument. I thought samanthab and igglanova made some very good points about how normative the OP is. Unfortunately, the few thoughtful well written criticisms of the OP get drowned out by the petty long-winded diatribes taking umbrage with one single phrase (i.e. ‘men go in for a kiss,’) and using that as a stepping stone to complain about how their entire sex life has been ruined by feminist blogs.

  82. EG
    EG October 6, 2011 at 10:41 am |

    their entire sex life has been ruined by feminist blogs.

    Ha! The longstanding agenda of the Feminist Conspiracy is now completing its final objective! Mwa ha ha!

  83. machina
    machina October 6, 2011 at 10:44 am |

    Well it’s certainly funny to see feminists saying lighten up, it’s just a joke ;)

    Anyway, being positively stereotyped is still annoying because the stereotype fits like a bad suit. It’s all grabby in places and hanging loose in others. And it feels limiting. I’d expect women would also hate an article saying that they fit into two categories for these reasons.

  84. chava
    chava October 6, 2011 at 10:46 am |

    Ummmmm, two things.

    1) Did I say being a rock star was immature? Or that doing whatever you want with you free time (or life) is immature? My father is a full-time musician. He’s also a man.

    2) Way to pull out the “women only want to controooooool men so that we have to give them MONEY” card. Yes, some PEOPLE (men and women) cling to a bougie ideal of “how adult life should be,” and then try to force their partners into that box.

    Mark Turner: We were all – men and women – put on this earth for the same reason: to be happy. It’s so elemental that it is written into the Constitution. And it follows that each and every one of us gets to decide what it is that makes us happy and how we want to pursue that happiness. No person – man or woman – is obligated to stay with someone who doesn’t make them happy or to enter into a relationship with someone who doesn’t make them happy.

    I think a certain population of women define certain men as ‘boys’ because these so-called ‘boys’ refuse to accept certain responsibilities AS THE WOMEN DEFINE THEM. If a man is holding down a job, paying his bills, and at the same time doing whatever he wants with his free time, how is that immature? Immature is expecting other people – who are total strangers – to have to live up to your stereotypes and expectations of ‘acceptability’ and ‘responsibility’.

    If a rock star is in his 50s and has a bevy of 20-somethings following him everywhere, as long as he obeys the law and pays his bills, it’s no skin off my nose what he does with his life.

    I also think a lot of women want men to be ‘mature’ and ‘responsible’, live up to their ‘responsibilities’, because its a subconscious control mechanism…if women obligate all men to ‘live up to their responsibilities’ and ‘grow up’, it opens the door to women being able to demand a lot more from a man in a relationship, without necessarily having to give anything in return. It’s a power play.

  85. DouglasG
    DouglasG October 6, 2011 at 10:48 am |

    Ms Kristen – Taking my inspiration from golfer Fred Couples (who once said to an interviewer that he hated answering the telephone because somebody might be on the other end), I have managed to avoid getting a cell phone on the grounds that people would call me on it.

  86. Sam
    Sam October 6, 2011 at 10:50 am |

    EG, Fat Steve,

    should you ever wonder why actual inter-gender communication doesn’t usually work on feminist blogs, return to this thread.

  87. chava
    chava October 6, 2011 at 10:54 am |

    Oh, lovely. Thanks for enlightening us as to the purpose of human existence. You know, there exist such things as obligations to and ties with your fellow man. Ignoring those makes you, yes, childish. There is a difference between the effervescent “happy” capitalist culture has us chasing and real fulfillment. What shape that fulfillment takes in an individual’s life is going to vary (making music, art, raising children, running Apple)–but it isn’t about being “happy” every second of every day.

    Mark Turner: We were all – men and women – put on this earth for the same reason: to be happy. It’s so elemental that it is written into the Constitution. And it follows that each and every one of us gets to decide what it is that makes us happy and how we want to pursue that happiness.

  88. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 10:56 am |

    Jill: I agree — because some men feel the need to turn entire conversations into discussions About Their Personal Issues, and demand that everyone focus on them and their very very special feelings and beliefs, instead of talking about what everyone else actually wants to talk about, and then they stomp their feet and blame Feminism when people are like, “Actually you should work that out with a professional and not in a blog comment section.”

    WIN.

  89. EG
    EG October 6, 2011 at 11:00 am |

    EG, Fat Steve,

    should you ever wonder why actual inter-gender communication doesn’t usually work on feminist blogs, return to this thread.

    Because on feminist blogs, men have to deal with 1/100th of the crap that women deal with every minute of every day, except that for women in the real world that crap has material consequences? And that men are so unused to not having their every word honored and taken seriously, especially by women, that they act like big babies who can’t handle even a bit of teasing?

    Yeah, I already knew that. But thanks, anyway.

  90. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 6, 2011 at 11:08 am |

    Sam:
    EG, Fat Steve,

    should you ever wonder why actual inter-gender communication doesn’t usually work on feminist blogs, return to this thread.

    EG (female) and I (male) managed to have a disagreement, an apology and a metaphorical handshake all in one tenth of the time it took you to explain what your ‘point’ was. Things don’t work if you don’t want them to.

  91. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 11:11 am |

    “Also, who the fuck has an alarm clock any more? Its called a cell phone, people.”

    Don’t own and probably will never in the future, own a cell phone. I did at some point, too costly (over time), useless. It was 1997.

    So I wake up with a good old alarm clock, out of my bed’s reach (Because once I’m physically up, I won’t go back – the plausible deniability to my own self being gone).

    I was born in 1982, so I’m apparently a “millenial”, or really Generation Nintendo or Y (much prefer those terms, and I’m one of those who actually hit 18 in 2000). I’m part of the ever-resisting Gaulois (Asterix joke), who resists the empire of cell phones and all it’s consumerist bs.

    “What shocks me the most about the black-named male attitude about this (by ‘black-named’ I mean as opposed to ‘red-named’ ie the ones with who don’t have a link to their pages and change their names on every thread,) ”

    Maybe some people don’t have a blog they update, or a desire to have and maintain one. Personally, while I comment a lot in places – I wouldn’t know what to blog about in my own space. I’m always Schala, and there is a real, functional email, associated with it. The admins can easily verify.

    “is, that I totally identified with this piece as a man, the OP sings the praises of ‘men’, and it is as relevant to men as it is to women.”

    The praises of patriarchally-defined “real men TM”. Not exactly progressive.

  92. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 11:18 am |

    “Because on feminist blogs, men have to deal with 1/100th of the crap that women deal with every minute of every day, except that for women in the real world that crap has material consequences?”

    I didn’t know I had it so easy before transition, and now it must be sooo hard. And no material consequences ever as someone perceived to be male, for sure. Taken at the word, not beaten up, not ostracized, not shunned, not made suicidal and dissociative.

    It’s amazing how much of this doesn’t happen now that I’m perceived as female. People don’t think they have a right to punch my face, even if I said something possibly offensive. I can say sorry and move on (and keep in mind, I don’t intentionally do assholish things, but I didn’t before either).

    Let’s not bring the myth that men don’t have to deal with stuff they actually do deal with, and I only dealt partially with it – because I was only perceived to be a man, my identity wasn’t affected (since you can hardly shame me for not being manly). My empathy and sympathy however, has been turned to 11, because of it.

  93. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 11:33 am |

    People don’t think they have a right to punch my face, even if I said something possibly offensive.

    I’m glad you haven’t been assaulted after transitioning to a female body. Please know that many female-bodied people ARE assaulted for offending someone, not giving a man the attention he feels he deserves, or for anything else. “Don’t hit women” is more of a myth than a fact.

  94. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 11:44 am |

    ““Don’t hit women” is more of a myth than a fact.”

    Don’t hit men is not a myth, it’s a joke.

    And if he’s a head smaller and half your weight wet? Well, tough luck for him.

    I haven’t been assaulted post-transition mainly because I’m not visibly trans, and the places I lived had have been extremely feminist as compared to others. Don’t hit a girl is pretty much a rule here, not a myth.

  95. Esti
    Esti October 6, 2011 at 11:48 am |

    Mr. Kristen J.: Second, this is not a serious post that is digging into the concepts of how masculinity is defined and the harm caused by social reinfoced boundries. This is a joke for people dating men. Are there stereotypes? Yes. Could we spend decades debating them? Certainly. Is it mission critical to tell this group of people – feminists who think a lot about gender – how *hard* it is to live in a society that has such rigid standards for gender performance? I’m going to say no.

    And Mr. Kristen J wins the thread.

  96. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 6, 2011 at 11:50 am |

    Sam, we’ve had civil conversations in the past, so please take that into consideration when I tell you that right now, you are sucking all the air out of the room. I have no doubt that your upbringing has caused you difficulties, but you need to understand that your experience was idiosyncratic. It is not typical among feminist mothers to raise their sons with the belief that male sexual desire is toxic and/or equivalent to rape. And even amonst the statistically insignificant (but yes, still harmful) number of feminists who are inclined to do so….most are unable to shield their sons from exposure to popular culture, which caters to and extols the virtue of male sexuality (the het version, natch), often at the expense of female sexuality (again, the het version, although a little faux-lesbian performance art by straight women is acceptable provided the women are appropriately young, thin, and totally only doing it for their male audience).

    Ahem. Now where was I? Oh yeah….most people do not find intergender communication difficult. (and frankly, I’m giggling at the concept of “intergender communication” because for most of us, that can be abbreviated “communication”).

    How you came to the conclusion that one woman’s opinion piece at a national magazine’s website is somehow indicative of the “feminist” viewpoint is beyond me, particularly when you had to breeze by the several feminists *on this thread* who took issue with her assumptions, and the author of the post is noted for her ironic posts. Shit, I’m irony-deficient and still saw it.

  97. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 6, 2011 at 11:56 am |

    Also…I didn’t mean to be all US-centric with “national magazine”; I’m just unaware if it is published elsewhere. Even the podunk B&N here carries foreign versions of Vogue and such, but only the USian version of Glamour.

  98. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

    Schala, do not erase the experiences of women who HAVE been assaulted. Gender doesn’t protect them, it actually makes them more vulnerable. And contrary to popular belief, it’s actually quite the joke to hit women, or rape women as well.

    How about you turn some of that empathy to those women? Or do we not exist?

  99. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

    “which caters to and extols the virtue of male sexuality (the het version, natch), often at the expense of female sexuality (again, the het version, although a little faux-lesbian performance art by straight women is acceptable provided the women are appropriately young, thin, and totally only doing it for their male audience).”

    Popular culture says that men *take* something from women, and that women *give* it away. If you take something, but never give, won’t you feel your touch is considered toxic (you have to ‘pay’ to ‘get something’ – your own touch has 0 value, this says).

    Thankfully, while I had the same hang-ups as Sam growing up (feeling my attention would always be unwanted), I wasn’t a man, and not very sexually enclined either. So I could wait to be approached reasonably, and being shy or cautious doesn’t mean I have no social contact, as a woman.

  100. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

    “How about you turn some of that empathy to those women? Or do we not exist?”

    I didn’t mean to say they don’t exist, but that the climate in all cities I’ve been in (in Quebec province, Canada) is one where I was at little risk. Even transphobia is lesser socially than elsewhere here. And we don’t have guns easily (and I never saw one not in a police person’s holster).

    I was countering the notion that men don’t suffer even 1% of what women do in real life. So they have nothing to complain about. Which is false, of course.

    We should have empathy (and services) for all victims, not just the ‘right groups’.

  101. igglanova
    igglanova October 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

    Are we reeeeally going to argue that people don’t hit women in this culture? Reeeeeally. The taboo is against hitting women in public. Our society doesn’t seem to care too much about DV or sexual assault. Check out the rates sometime.

  102. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    “The taboo is against hitting women in public. Our society doesn’t seem to care too much about DV or sexual assault. Check out the rates sometime.”

    And tell me how popular it is for a man to go to the police station to explain that the black eye he has was caused by his girlfriend or wife. He’ll be laughed out of the station, a therapist will say “you should listen to her more” (victim-blaming wee) and he probably won’t get any kind of support from social services, because he’s not homeless, and he’s not a battered woman, he’s a battered man.

    This also goes for trans men and women, who will both be laughed at rather than helped, probably both for the same reason to boot – he’s a man, he shouldn’t be a victim. Same reasoning for the trans woman as the trans man, because they’ll say the trans woman is “really a man” and the trans man “chose to be a man”.

  103. nathan
    nathan October 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    I just want to second SamanthaB’s comment at 72. Kaling’s definitions of “adulthood” are highly superficial, and heavily marked by capitalistic notions of what maturity means.

  104. Gary Templeton
    Gary Templeton October 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

    Great Post. As a male in his 30′s this struck me hard especially the last about careers and boys. Once i hit 30 I knew it was time to grow up. I am a drummer in a band. I knew a music career would not be realistic for me inasmuch as it is difficult for a musician to have an income. So I went to Law school got a Law degree and am now a corporate attorney. However, I still want to be a boy and just forget about my responsibilities and jam all night with my band buddies. It is difficult for a man like me, and some of my male friends to grow up. We like to be boys. So I had to finally cut my long hair for corporate America and grow up.

  105. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

    We should have empathy (and services) for all victims, not just the ‘right groups’.

    Isn’t it lucky that no one here said that only certain people who are targets of violence deserve empathy! What was said was that the mansplainers here yet again turned a thread on a feminist site into a whinge fest about MEN and their hang ups about women, and ignored the fact that yes, women do have a lot of shit to deal with in comparison (not that men have nothing to deal with, FFS). You can check out the actual statistics about the pay gap, violence against women, the glorification of sexual violence against women (and violence against women in general) in entertainment, the very low percentage of women in executive, political, or judicial positions, etc. IOW: We’re getting really fucking sick and tired of mansplaining dudes coming here and pissing all over the comments threads about their personal issues while dismissing what women go through every day.

  106. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    If you take something, but never give, won’t you feel your touch is considered toxic (you have to ‘pay’ to ‘get something’ – your own touch has 0 value, this says).

    Understood. But Sam is postulating that attitude as representative of the feminist attitude toward (heterosexual) sex, rather than the mainstream sexist, gender-essentialist view that it is.

  107. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm |

    My solution to DV and rape is to have support for everyone and to degender and destereotype it. You don’t have to be the “right type” of victim to be a victim. You don’t need to have avoided dressing a certain way, or drinking at that party, or forgetting to buy milk on the way home. You’re a victim who should be listened to, period.

    The current gendering paradigm where only female victims are even counted, is very patriarchal, like the FBI definition of rape “carnal knowledge of a female, using force” (only using a penis). We need to change that.

  108. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

    “the very low percentage of women in executive, political, or judicial positions”

    Look at the very low percentage those people are, compared to all men.

    % of men who are executives? % of men who are lawyer/judge? % of men who are Obama?

  109. Brian
    Brian October 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm |

    Of course then men who hang around feminist spaces are going to push back against someone re-enforcing gender norms (as Jill was doing).

    Feeling attacked is reasonable, but pushing back in a way that minimizes how gender oppresses women isn’t. It shouldn’t be done, and when it happens, you should apologise – even when you’re right to be upset about being attacked.

    It isn’t a zero-sum game, don’t treat it like that.

  110. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm |

    “If you take something, but never give, won’t you feel your touch is considered toxic (you have to ‘pay’ to ‘get something’ – your own touch has 0 value, this says).

    Understood. But Sam is postulating that attitude as representative of the feminist attitude toward (heterosexual) sex, rather than the mainstream sexist, gender-essentialist view that it is.”

    Well the mainstream narrative is “men get sex, women give it”

    and the feminist narrative seems to be “therefore, men, be sure to ask for consent” (it’s nearly always addressed as if women never ask for consent, and the mainstream attitude that men always consent by default – because it’s sex with a woman, only gay men would say no to that, donchakno /sarcasm)

    That’s the gist I got growing up, and as a kid/teen you don’t get the nuances or that it’s “not about you”.

    As a kid and teen, I was implicitly told that I was sexually dangerous *because I owned a penis*, not because of any attitude I supposedly possessed. Or any behavior I might have.

    So I was unsafe in the same bedroom as any female peer (in a platonic context like siblings, cousins, step-siblings etc), because the subtext is that given the chance, I’d rape her.

    Fun stuff.

  111. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

    “Feeling attacked is reasonable, but pushing back in a way that minimizes how gender oppresses women isn’t. It shouldn’t be done, and when it happens, you should apologise – even when you’re right to be upset about being attacked.”

    Then I apologize.

    I’m bad at apologies, never had any directed my way sincerely. It always sounds sour “daddy made me say I was sorry” or “you shouldn’t really be offended by THAT, you freak”.

    I do apologize for sounding defensive. Apparently a trait I got and I will be defensive about way too many things – without meaning bad things. It still probably hurts, and I’m trying to work on that.

  112. shfree
    shfree October 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

    machina:
    shfree, why do you feel sad? That seems like good behaviour.

    Oh, it doesn’t really make me sad. I was kidding.

  113. chava
    chava October 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

    Oh, dear lord.
    YES, hitting your partner is morally reprehensible. YES, men are faced with an overwhelming amount of day-to-day violence (largely from each other). But for God’s sake, can we retire the “no one caaaaares if my girlfriend hits me” argument? Or can you at least try to see why it irritates the shit out of many women?

    Plenty of men in your “scenario” would tell the man to “hit the bitch back” or “get her in line,” etc. Yes, the expectation that a man would have to do that to avoid being hit is STILL fucked up.

    Plenty of women are battered and then told that they should shut up and take it, that they deserved it, etc, etc. There is not a magical DV fairy protecting women, ok? Women and children tend to be a victimized population wrt DV and thus have eked out a few–a FEW–protections, which don’t always work that well or at all. I’m really happy that you haven’t been assaulted. Your experience–especially for a trans woman–is not the norm.

    Schala:
    “The taboo is against hitting women in public. Our society doesn’t seem to care too much about DV or sexual assault. Check out the rates sometime.”

    And tell me how popular it is for a man to go to the police station to explain that the black eye he has was caused by his girlfriend or wife. He’ll be laughed out of the station, a therapist will say “you should listen to her more” (victim-blaming wee) and he probably won’t get any kind of support from social services, because he’s not homeless, and he’s not a battered woman, he’s a battered man.

    This also goes for trans men and women, who will both be laughed at rather than helped, probably both for the same reason to boot – he’s a man, he shouldn’t be a victim. Same reasoning for the trans woman as the trans man, because they’ll say the trans woman is “really a man” and the trans man “chose to be a man”.

  114. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

    The current gendering paradigm where only female victims are even counted

    This is not true. Women and men have been arrested and charged for assaulting their male partners.

    The current gendering paradigm where only female victims are even counted, is very patriarchal, like the FBI definition of rape “carnal knowledge of a female, using force” (only using a penis). We need to change that.

    And feminists have been pushing for the FBI to broaden their definition (and have been greeted by overly-defensive d00ds as man-hating and turning everything into rape).

    % of men who are executives? % of men who are lawyer/judge? % of men who are Obama?

    This makes no sense. How about this–far more men are now and have historically been executives (and wealthy), judges, and congressional representatives and governors. 100% of the US Presidents have been men.

  115. Wendy
    Wendy October 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

    andie: Meh.. I usually end up dating somewhere in between.. Guys, rather than Boys or Men.Oh, did I say guys? I meant motherfuckers.(okay, I’ll stop running with that now)

    Now THAT was funny!

  116. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

    You know, I’m so glad to see that YET AGAIN on a feminist blog we get a chorus of WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ with a side of erasure of misogyny.

  117. Esti
    Esti October 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm |

    samanthab: Long live personal “responsibility,” and fuck the arts, the environment, and communality. I guess having your life defined via a “commitment to things” is probably a little more fun when you’re in the 1%, and the things are super shiny. But honestly, fuck her if she’s going to tell me that’s how “adulthood” is defined for us all. I’m 38 year old woman who works seven days a week, and yet I sure as hell am not interested in defining my life by my “commitment to things.” Defining your life via a “commitment to things” does not, as far as I’m concerned, make you an adult; it makes you a soulless, consumerist asshole.

    You do realize that Mindy Kaling actually works in the arts and thus is probably not saying that being an adult means giving up on fields like that? And that when she talked about a commitment to “things” it was explicitly not about buying shit but rather about being settled somewhere, and having commitments to a job and a neighborhood and a home?

    Mindy was obviously stereotyping and using overly broad language in her comedy book. But I like that she’s saying that it’s okay to want commitment — to want to be with someone who is settled somewhere, someone who has put down roots, someone who has figured out what they want to do with their career and is doing it, someone who has an emergency fund instead of spending their last $100 on concert tickets. As she points out, people tend to hear “commitment” and assume “marry me right now and have many babies!” and so women spend a lot of time combatting that stereotype by trying to be okay with men not committing — not to them, not to a job, not to basic financial responsibilities.

    And if that’s how you want to live, that’s totally fine — I don’t think everyone needs to go to university and put on a suit for work every morning and buy a home and have a 401k. But wanting those things doesn’t mean that you’re superficial or materialistic or soulless. It’s okay to not want to support your boyfriend through his fourth grad degree in ten years. It’s okay to want to put down roots somewhere. It’s okay to want to hang pretty things on your walls.

    And frankly, I think the idea that those are only concerns for the 1% is pretty offensive. My parents are and have always been pretty damn far from the 1%, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t care about owning a home, or about wanting it to look nice, or about being part of a community, or about the work that they do. You don’t need to be rich to have the kind of priorities Mindy is talking about. You don’t have to stop caring about the environment or the arts to think that at some point a mattress on the floor and no steady job is not a situation you want to be in forever.

  118. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm |

    Sheelzebub:
    You know, I’m so glad to see that YET AGAIN on a feminist blog we get a chorus of WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ with a side of erasure of misogyny.

    Ironic, as the post is all about them.

  119. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    So I was unsafe in the same bedroom as any female peer (in a platonic context like siblings, cousins, step-siblings etc), because the subtext is that given the chance, I’d rape her.

    And you feel that attitude originated in or is perpetuated by feminism? (and shit…that’s a lot more toxic than average, Schala. I’ve never seen/encountered any families where male children were sequestered from their female relatives who were also children. That seems really odd to me, even given The Patriarchy™.)

  120. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley October 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    Schala:
    “the very low percentage of women in executive, political, or judicial positions”

    Look at the very low percentage those people are, compared to all men.

    % of men who are executives? % of men who are lawyer/judge? % of men who are Obama?

    Really the % of men who are Obama really? So men have it just as bad as women because they’re not all Obama?

    No one has said that Men all have it great, but it is not debatable that Men as a class have it better then women as a class!

  121. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm |

    “This makes no sense. How about this–far more men are now and have historically been executives (and wealthy), judges, and congressional representatives and governors. 100% of the US Presidents have been men.”

    It’s cold comfort to those who are not in those positions. It’s not like the men on top even care about the men at the bottom.

    “(and shit…that’s a lot more toxic than average, Schala. I’ve never seen/encountered any families where male children were sequestered from their female relatives who were also children. That seems really odd to me, even given The Patriarchy™.)”

    Well, I don’t have a sister, but my father’s girlfriend has a daughter born before they met, 5 years my junior. When my parents separated, I lived with my father, and given I had no room once he sold the house, I lived on the floor of her’s – she had a double bed, I had a mattress on the floor.

    I remember that I was allowed to get the bed if she slept elsewhere, and ONCE was able to sleep in the bed at the same time, provided we weren’t on the same “sheets level”.

    I was 19, she was 14. I hadn’t come out as trans, but everyone in my family thought I was gay, because I didn’t show interest in women, didn’t date them, was still a virgin, and didn’t think that was that much of a problem. She was lesbian, but hadn’t come out (she did so after I did as trans, given the not-that-negative reaction I got).

    But given I had a penis, they had to make sure I wouldn’t “be tempted”.

    “And you feel that attitude originated in or is perpetuated by feminism?”

    It’s not just one thing. It’s the “men are sex-horned beasts” Victorian meme, and a “protect the women!” Victorian and feminist meme, where only men can be rapists, and only men need to obtain consent (because they “obviously” want it more than women – that’s the Victorian thing, and the sex-negative thing).

    It’s hard as a kid to disentangle those two things. It can be confusing if Grrll Power and the pinkification of everything can be mistaken for feminism by adults, it surely can by children.

  122. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

    As far as I know, I never slept in any relative’s house (always came back home, even if it was 2 am).

    Even if it only applied to teens and onwards, I would still find that double-standard to be bad.

    It’s ironic that the more puritanical a society is, the more it will attribute motives for practically anything to sexuality. And if it’s patriarchal, it will also say that only men have agency in those regards (women being not-dangerous and not wanting sex, of course).

    For a more wide (and less anecdotal) application of the standard, see university non-coed dorms, and those people are adults. And there’s also school outings in hotels. It will pretty much always be neatly divided by assigned-at-birth sex.

    The stereotype that says gay men are child rapists and that trans women want to prey on little girls in the bathroom…are also cut from the same clothe. They’re just more obviously vicious (because not enough people care).

  123. llama
    llama October 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

    Strange the only thing I got from the article was that Mindy Kaling had finally become a woman (rather than a girl). The fact that a man (rather than a boy) was willing to date her was proof of this.

  124. zuzu
    zuzu October 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

    Jill: Is it written into the Constitution, though? You might want to double-check that one.

    Let’s, for shits and giggles, pretend that our boy there got the right founding document. What he seems to miss is that a) just because the Founders said it doesn’t mean that it accurately summarizes what we were “put on this earth for,” and b) in any event, all anyone’s promised there as part of natural rights is the pursuit of happiness.

    As for Sam, well, part of growing up is learning to take responsibility for your own issues rather than blaming the all-powerful feminist collective.

  125. zuzu
    zuzu October 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

    Why is it the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS humor posts here always attract commenters who want to treat Funny Blog Post as therapy group?

  126. Catherine
    Catherine October 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm |

    Can we maybe make an allowance here for the fact that Kaling seems to have pretty clearly set up “man” as an idea and a category she created from her own experience, and not her attempt at describing some ontological truth about a fully-matured human male?

    Thx.

  127. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm |

    “Why is it the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS humor posts”

    The Onion is blatantly humor

    Cracked is blatantly humor

    I don’t know how to distinguish this when there is nothing explicitly saying so though.

    If The Atlantic posts about The End of Men, I’ll think they are serious.

  128. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm |

    Can we maybe make an allowance here for the fact that Kaling seems to have pretty clearly set up “man” as an idea and a category she created from her own experience, and not her attempt at describing some ontological truth about a fully-matured human male?

    What? Where’s the fun in that?

  129. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

    So because not every man is President or in Congress or rich, is totally worse than how women have it.

    Oh, good lord. My bad for taking certain commenters seriously. :::Rollseyes:::

  130. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm |

    Schala: The Onion is blatantly humor

    Cracked is blatantly humor

    I don’t know how to distinguish this when there is nothing explicitly saying so though.

    Did this paragraph give you any clues?

    OK, maybe men aren’t exactly like this. But this is what I’ve cobbled together from the handful of men I know or know of, ranging from Heathcliff Huxtable to Theodore Roosevelt to my dad. The point: Men know what they want, and that is scary.

  131. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos October 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm |

    You know, I’m so glad to see that YET AGAIN on a feminist blog we get a chorus of WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ with a side of erasure of misogyny.

    Well, we deserve it. You see, we RUINED Sam’s sex life! We NEVER EVER take seriously male victims of abuse, assault, etc. We go on and on about how low the percentage is of women in positions of power whilt COMPLETELY IGNORING that every man on the planet doesn’t have the entire dessert cart of life reserved just for each and every one of them. Fuck the feminization of poverty! There’s a DUDE somewhere who DIDN’T GET TO BE PRESIDENT!!!!!!

    STOP THE PRESSES!!!!

    We’re horrible, selfish, victim-hating, sex-destroying harpies.

    DUH.

  132. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos October 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm |

    We’re seriously now saying that “funny thing written by a famous comedy writer” needs to have a “BTW you all, this is intended to be humorous!” tag?

    Next time, Jill, start off a funn post with: I LOVE MEN! HOW CAN I HELP YOU GET LAID MORE OFTEN? HOW CAN I HELP YOU BECOME PRESIDENT? HOW CAN I HELP YOU FOCUS EVEN MORE ON YOURSELF?

    And then leave a link to an e-mail address or a complaint line.

    Maybe then they’ll spare us the self-obssessed whining for five fucking seconds.

  133. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |

    We’re horrible, selfish, victim-hating, sex-destroying harpies.

    And that’s just in our free time!

  134. llama
    llama October 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm |

    @Sam, If you think feminism has fucked your life over, why are you here?

    If your are here out of a genuine desire to establish (as you say) “inter-gender communications” then you can probably do this more efficiently almost anywhere else.

    If you insist in posting on feminist sites, can I suggest you find one that considers the enemy to be gender stereotypes and gender-specific roles rather than men? I am sure you will find the experience far more constructive.

  135. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley October 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm |

    Sheelzebub:
    We’re horrible, selfish, victim-hating, sex-destroying harpies.

    And that’s just in our free time!

    If only we could get paid for that, how awesome would that be?!

  136. samanthab
    samanthab October 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm |

    I will say that A)I don’t find the piece to be at all funny. (Filled with well-trod cliches, sure!) I’m not seeing that. I don’t get the logic that we’re obligated to find the piece funny because she’s a well known comedy writer. B)She actually says that the piece is *not* reflective of her own life, and that she lives her life irresponsibly on a number of levels. And something else I don’t feel obligated to do is validate every fucked up logic a person has because it’s part of her “experiences.” Misogyny may be part of someone’s experience, but I don’t feel obligated to validate it.

    Nevermind that she is also unquestionably seeking to define societal terms and not speaking only to her own experiences. That’s just disingenuous doublespeak, the idea that she’s only addressing her own “experiences;” it’s a blatantly false characterization of the piece.

  137. zuzu
    zuzu October 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

    Lara Emily Foley: horrible, selfish, victim-hating, sex-destroying harpies

    We’d still only get paid 70% of what men do for being horrible, selfish, victim-hating, sex-destroying harpies.

  138. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm |

    “…seriously? How about “most people would interpret this as funny”? We’re seriously now saying that “funny thing written by a famous comedy writer” needs to have a “BTW you all, this is intended to be humorous!” tag?”

    Because it didn’t pass when Dilbert’s writer said it.

  139. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley October 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm |

    zuzu: We’d still only get paid 70% of what men do for being horrible, selfish, victim-hating, sex-destroying harpies.

    Then we’ll just have to work twice as hard at it! Destroy more sex, be even harpier, hate even more victims, be super duper self selfish XD.

    YES WE CAN!

  140. llama
    llama October 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm |

    zuzu: We’d still only get paid 70% of what men do for being horrible, selfish, victim-hating, sex-destroying harpies.

    But this is not a case of equal pay for equal work. Being a harpie is historically a female dominated profession. The low pay would simply be a result of market segmentation.

  141. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley October 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm |

    llama: But this is not a case of equal pay for equal work. Being a harpie is historically a female dominated profession. The low pay would simply be a result of market segmentation.

    Then I think we need a grass roots movement to encourage more men to become interested in a career in the Harpy field.

  142. cabochon
    cabochon October 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm |

    Wow, I think I need to get some computer smarts so that I can start Blog of the Butt-hurt. I will mine Feministe for all the gold nuggets* to repost. Jill, my sincere sympathies.

    *maybe I should drop the adjective

  143. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm |

    zuzu: We’d still only get paid 70% of what men do for being horrible, selfish, victim-hating, sex-destroying harpies.

    We need a union, dammit.

  144. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig October 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

    La Lubu: My little sis and I shared a bedroom in our childhood home, while my little brother got a room to himself. I can think of two reasons besides Schala’s reason for this: li’l sis and I were closer in age, and he was a toddler and needed to be close to the bathroom.
    Schala: I’m not sure if you remember your primary school days, but girls and boys tend to sort themselves into groups of the same sex. Teachers just find it easier to cater to that preference. As for college dorms, I actually prefer single-sex dorms. I can’t think of anything more disgusting than sharing a bathroom with a college age male, let alone a pack of them. I’d rather sleep in the howler monkey enclosure at a zoo than at a co-ed dorm with drunk men- the howler monkeys would be quieter.

  145. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm |

    I can’t think of anything more disgusting than sharing a bathroom with a college age male, let alone a pack of them. I’d rather sleep in the howler monkey enclosure at a zoo than at a co-ed dorm with drunk men- the howler monkeys would be quieter.

    I didn’t have any problems with co-ed dorms or co-ed bathrooms in college. The only really disgusting thing about the bathroom was the girl with long black hair who would leave hair all over the showers.

    Plus, I ended up marrying the guy who lived next door to me (seven years later). So, no complaints.

  146. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm |

    “Schala: I’m not sure if you remember your primary school days, but girls and boys tend to sort themselves into groups of the same sex. Teachers just find it easier to cater to that preference.”

    Parents, teachers and even the church reinforce this notion, it must not have patriarchal origins, right?

    If it’s not explicitly because “aaah, rape!”, it will be because “lust is sinful, and being with women causes lust, therefore being with women is sinful”.

    But I’ve rarely seen it that it was “see, kids themselves prefer that!” Because kids also prefer to bully the fat, the weak, the disabled, the wheelchair-bound, the brace-wearing, the glass-wearing, and otherwise others who are not being exactly like them.

    If you tell them that girls are different from boys on an essential level, it’s the equivalent of making teams for them. And given the big deal parents make out of (their kid) being correctly identified as being which sex, it IS the conclusion kids get.

    If the sex of the kid was as important as what their favorite color is, or their hair color (and it changes in time), maybe sexism wouldn’t be as rampant. And pinkification of toddler toys and clothing would die off, since useless.

  147. Catherine
    Catherine October 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |

    samanthab:

    Nevermind that she is also unquestionably seeking to define societal terms and not speaking only to her own experiences. That’s just disingenuous doublespeak, the idea that she’s only addressing her own “experiences;” it’s a blatantly false characterization of the piece.

    I assume you were referring to my comment, so I’ll clarify. I don’t think I said anywhere that we have to agree with/allow something just because it’s part of someone’s “experience,” my point was that it seems fairly clear that the conspicuous use of “MEN” as a concept in this piece refers to a mythos created in her life, on some level. I think it would be a really wrong reading of this to walk away saying: “Mindy Kaling thinks a fully actualized human male looks like XYZ,” and yet we seem to be talking about this as though that’s exactly what she said.

  148. Chuchundra
    Chuchundra October 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm |

    zuzu:
    Why is it the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS humor posts here always attract commenters who want to treat Funny Blog Post as therapy group?

    Because, as we all know, “Why are you getting so upset? It’s just a joke! Don’t you have a sense of humor?” is an argument that most Feminist bloggers hold in high regard.

  149. Charity
    Charity October 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

    “It’s not just one thing. It’s the “men are sex-horned beasts” Victorian meme, and a “protect the women!” Victorian and feminist meme, where only men can be rapists, and only men need to obtain consent (because they “obviously” want it more than women – that’s the Victorian thing, and the sex-negative thing).”

    This is fundamentally a distortion of what feminism is. If those who instilled this in you called it feminism, that is not feminism’s fault, it is theirs. I am not sure I understand your argument with feminism. Also, of course, children can conflate things and have difficulty making sense of them, so might believe something is “feminist” if they are told so, even when it’s incorrect. Also not feminism’s fault.

    “The stereotype that says gay men are child rapists and that trans women want to prey on little girls in the bathroom…”

    Also not feminist. I could be misunderstanding, but I am really confused as to what you are arguing.

  150. fire
    fire October 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm |

    This is a really sad, classist article. The comments on here have gone in a really strange direction, but the reality of patriarchy doesn’t change the fact that this is just a reification of fucked-up attitudes about gender and money and really has no place on a “feminist” website. It makes me really uncomfortable as a poor person seeing articles like this and I’m upset at the editors for including it.

  151. Computer Soldier Porygon
    Computer Soldier Porygon October 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm |

    I think I might be a boy.

  152. EG
    EG October 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm |

    Wait, someone is seriously on here claiming that men as a group suffer no more than women as a group? Someone is saying that gender is not a category of oppression?, because not all men are upper-class? It’s like talking to my dad back when he was young: class trumps gender!

    Awesome.

    Also…the only way this commenter can tell if a post is meant to be funny is if it appears on a website that is 100% completely and totally dedicated to humor? That must make everyday life very difficult, as most people, books, movies, plays, and TV shows have a variety of modes, ranging from farce to tragedy.

    Jeez, Jill, make up your mind! Are you a Serious Feminist Thinker, or are you going to crack jokes sometimes? You can’t have both, you know.

  153. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm |

    “I wish I had been born a girl instead of this mess of a man.”

  154. DouglasG
    DouglasG October 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm |

    All this talk of Harpies is reminding me of Mai Valentine.

  155. Sam
    Sam October 6, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    Jill,

    Jill: I agree — because some men feel the need to turn entire conversations into discussions About Their Personal Issues, and demand that everyone focus on them and their very very special feelings and beliefs, instead of talking about what everyone else actually wants to talk about, and then they stomp their feet and blame Feminism when people are like, “Actually you should work that out with a professional and not in a blog comment section.”

    to be honest, there was only La Lubu whose answer came close to what you suggest was the gist of all replies to my initial comment. See, it usually takes at least two people to talk past each other, so yeah, I shouldn’t have posted my comment – not because it’s not right, but because the echo-chamber reaction was sadly predictable: Whatever I wrote was irrelevant as either “mansplaining” or “individual pathology” – either way, nothing to even consider as a contribution worthy of actual consideration, even among those who did refrain from entirely uncalled for ad hominem attacks. I can take it, don’t worry. But it honestly saddens me that the current state of discourse is that a guy raising a very personal point with a very possible connection is laughed out of the room. I’m not denying that such a reaction is entirely unreasonable given people’s experiences blogging and commenting on such issues. It’s just sad to see that this even happens on a thread that, however much it was supposed to be funny, or was funny to some people, wasn’t that funny to me.

    You know, it is this kind of reaction to admitting concern and weakness, in addition to the post itself – that makes it hard to believe it when feminists say feminism is the way for guys to get “their full humanity.” Because if that humanity actually involves being hurt or feeling unfairly treated, possibly even by feminists, feminism, that’s dealt with in the manner we’ve all been able to witness right here. If you ever wonder why so many guys consider feminism as some sort of postmodern “shit test” for male dominance (you know, “the *men* who know what they want” even with resistance, as opposed to the boys who are listening and being concerned about what is said), go back to this thread and taste the dismissiveness like you would do with a glass of good French red.

    Oh, and zuzu’s comment being a real man instead of blaming the feminist collective? That’s some funny individualism for a feminist… I’m gonna take that one out and look at it whenever I come across a feminist post complaining about the destructive social influences women are constantly confronted with with respect to their bodies and their sexuality. I always thought that’s a difficult place to be in, but really, they should just get over it instead of complaining about that old patriarchical collective, don’t you think? End irony.

    If you don’t think that it’s ok for a guy to comment on a post about men that triggered a reaction in him, well, ok. I replied to your initial comment that I think it’s too bad you can’t see my point, but I can’t make it any differently.

    I probably won’t do it again. But I don’t think that’s a good thing. It’s reinforcing the echo chamber instead of trying to understand each other.

  156. fire
    fire October 6, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    Two more things:

    The people I know whose friends cut their hair and who don’t spend all their time working high-end jobs so they can buy new clothes and new furniture are the most feminist people I’ve ever met–and I mean genuinely feminist, not snide bloggers with graduate degrees who don’t understand that not being able to afford certain things doesn’t make you a child.

    Second, the comments on here about how we should all just “learn to take a joke, because this is obviously a humor article” are so transparently inappropriate…if you can’t figure out why, i suggest you google “Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay.”

  157. Sam
    Sam October 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm |

    La Lubu,

    La Lubu:
    Sam, we’ve had civil conversations in the past, so please take that into consideration when I tell you that right now, you are sucking all the air out of the room. I have no doubt that your upbringing has caused you difficulties, but you need to understand that your experience was idiosyncratic.

    To be honest, it is less idiosyncratic than you think, but sure, and when I admitted that, I suddenly wasn’t just mansplaining, but also using the thread as therapy. Although, in this case, I’ve really only looked at only a tiny part of the entire toxicity discourse – moving in for a kiss without asking explicitly.

    Maybe you don’t consider this to be a big issue, just my idiosyncrasy, and to a degree that’s probably true. But I still don’t think – as I said above – suggesting to adjust the usual rethoric to reflect what is apparently actually supposed to be said instead of keeping a discourse of general overreaching is an unreasonable suggestion.

    And even if, as you may believe, it’s a suggestion that could have been rebutted without a single ad hominem attack, as you attempted to. Thanks for that, by the way.

  158. nathan
    nathan October 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm |

    Sam158 – I was speaking in somewhat similar terms as you are now on a stretch of threads here about nine or ten months ago. I struggled then, and sometimes still struggle now, to digest some of the comments made about men (as a group) on here. In fact, after that string of posts, I didn’t comment here for several months, and still only will occasionally comment.

    However, one major difference between my statements on those old threads and yours here is that I really did my best to not blame feminism or say things that sounds like generalized blame of feminism. Because it’s not really about feminism, but about how individuals choose to use theories and views from feminism. I actually believe there are many feminisms, and many kinds of feminists. The people you see commenting here are only a tiny sample of what’s out there, and that’s important to remember when dealing with something like dismissive comments.

    I already wrote above (at 107) that I disagree with Kaling’s narrative, even if it was just supposed to be funny. And I say that as a person who thinks Kaling is often funny, it’s just that this piece fails in my opinion. But Sam, I the bigger point I’d like to make is that if you’re going to arrive on a feminist site and make critiques of feminism as a whole, you really best be extremely specific and focused in your approach, have ample support for your statements, and then be ready for challenges anyway. Furthermore, you need to figure out if your intent is to help strengthen feminism(s) or to tear them down, because if any of the women here at all get a whiff that you might be wanting to tear it all down, they’ll pounce and I can’t blame them for doing so. I’m honestly not sure, having read all of your comments, where exactly you stand.

  159. Darque
    Darque October 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm |

    “Also not feminist. I could be misunderstanding, but I am really confused as to what you are arguing.”

    You ever been to any rad fem sites lately? Julian Real’s place? Go there, and then tell me with a straight face that feminists can’t be wrong.

    Of course, I suppose in some people’s magical universes, any feminism that they disagree with isn’t *really* feminist, and everything that they agree with is a perfect example of what is right about feminism.

    Maybe if y’all were viewing things from the outside, you would see that your movement isn’t the shining city on the hill “fix everything” group that it is made out to be.

    On a good day, you’re a beacon of hope to oppressed groups, and on a bad day, you’re half of the problem.

    The only reason this post was called “funny” was because the stereotypes it traded in about male laziness and male uncleanliness are things that I think all of you buy into at a certain level. The only reason that Sam got berated repeatedly was because his criticism was dismissed as “whinging” – because nobody likes a man who is a “whiner”.

    If I had a quarter for every traditional male stereotype that the frequent commenters of this blog (and contributors) have reinforced rather than trying to critique – I’d be a millionaire.

    Now, please commence a.) : the personal attacks. b.) the “I can’t hate men, because I have a boyfriend/husband/male friend.” c. You have no sense of humor.

    I do have a sense of humor. It’s just that your comedy routine sucks and is sexist.

  160. Mu
    Mu October 6, 2011 at 9:07 pm |

    I’m a 26 y.o. female, I’m feminist, and I’m poor. I think that blanket statements like “this makes a man” are just as bad as “this makes a woman” comments that feminists rail against. I think that saying “it’s all just a joke, calm down” is just as bad as when men make awful sexist comments about women and try to pretend there isn’t any meaning behind it.

    If you think this isn’t classist, you’re not acknowledging the privilege it takes to have a job in this economy, to not have to go next-door for your haircuts, and to wear new clothes. You have your preferences, that’s great. Those don’t define men for everyone, they define men for you, and maybe you should keep those thoughts to yourself if you still want to be seen as an egalitarian feminist.

    I am offended. I am offended by many of the comments here, I am offended by the flippant tone the author has taken in some of her comments, and I am offended that something like this was even allowed to be posted here. This is not egalitarian. This is sexist, classist, and bullshit.

    This site does not offer so much that my RSS feeds will seem lacking for feminist content. And to all that say we should just relax, it’s all a joke, I give you Moff’s Law and say adieu.

  161. Sam
    Sam October 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm |

    Nathan,

    thanks for your last comment. As I said in the comment you’re referencing, I’m to blame for believing that I would be given the benefit of the doubt. I am usually very careful about commenting here, as you mention for yourself, and I shouldn’t have assumed that, but somehow I figured “it’s about guys, maybe a guy’s perspective will actually be listened to even if it’s not entirely following the party line”. You know, I’ve read a lot about feminist theory and philosophy, a lot more than most feminists I know offline and online. And for all the differences between feminisms, there are also a lot of similarities. Which I won’t go into, as it would be considered mansplaining ;). I guess my optimism was influenced by the extremely positive experience I had in a mega discussion about manliness over at Clarisse Thorn’s blog – which I highly recommend to everyone interested in the subject of manliness and feminism.

    As for your question about where I am standing with respect to streghthtening feminism or wanting to tear it all down, I think that’s an odd question given what you said before about the plethora of different feminisms. I am very much concerned about gender justice, and despite my considerable theoretical disagreements with the philosophical and epistemological basis of feminism, I fully agree with the basic “equality” part of the movement. It gets tricky in detail, as, not least, this thread, or the manliness discussion at Clarisse’s, have demonstrated, but I want to move ahead and nor backwards, if that’s what you mean. But that, in my book, also implies being willing to listen to personal narratives one may find uncomfortable or difficult to align with one’s self-concept. In those cases, far too few feminists are willing to check their own discoursive privileges, most of all, the fact that they *own* discoursive the gender-turf, and as such, the territory on which masculinity is being renegotiated on their terms, which I don’t think a lot of feminists are aware of.

  162. Anonymous
    Anonymous October 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm |

    Men are squares.

  163. Anonymous
    Anonymous October 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm |

    Mu:
    I’m a 26 y.o. female, I’m feminist, and I’m poor. I think that blanket statements like “this makes a man” are just as bad as “this makes a woman” comments that feminists rail against. I think that saying “it’s all just a joke, calm down” is just as bad as when men make awful sexist comments about women and try to pretend there isn’t any meaning behind it.

    If you think this isn’t classist, you’re not acknowledging the privilege it takes to have a job in this economy, to not have to go next-door for your haircuts, and to wear new clothes. You have your preferences, that’s great. Those don’t define men for everyone, they define men for you, and maybe you should keep those thoughts to yourself if you still want to be seen as an egalitarian feminist.

    I am offended. I am offended by many of the comments here, I am offended by the flippant tone the author has taken in some of her comments, and I am offended that something like this was even allowed to be posted here. This is not egalitarian. This is sexist, classist, and bullshit.

    This site does not offer so much that my RSS feeds will seem lacking for feminist content. And to all that say we should just relax, it’s all a joke, I give you Moff’s Law and say adieu.

    Heck yeah

  164. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm |

    Mu:
    I am offended. I am offended by many of the comments here, I am offended by the flippant tone the author has taken in some of her comments, and I am offended that something like this was even allowed to be posted here.

    Well, here you go, then…

  165. Charity
    Charity October 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm |

    Glad you read me as saying, “Feminists can’t be wrong,” since that’s not at all what I actually said, and since I was responding to something specific, in a context completely distinct from your examples. It’s a convenient mind-fuck when feminism and the kyriarchy are essentially being conflated, as if THAT’S no big deal. If you have an axe to grind with women, don’t pick up someone else’s unrelated torch out of convenience in response to what was actually quite a restrained comment on my part.

  166. EG
    EG October 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm |

    I really will never understand the mentality that considers members of subjugated groups making fun of the dominant group to be just as bad as members of the dominant groups making fun of subjugated groups. It’s as though one group of people has been shooting another group of people for years, and then when the group that’s been getting the crap beaten out of them throws spitballs back, it’s considered just as bad.

    As a Jew, I feel perfectly within my rights to make fun of Christians as a group, because, you know, that group, on the whole, has a history of expelling, oppressing, and, oh yeah, murdering people like me. As a white person, I wouldn’t make fun of black people as a group, because, well, that dynamic is quite the contrary. As a woman, I see no reason whatsoever why I shouldn’t make fun of the group that, on the whole, disenfranchises, rapes, makes more money than, and excludes people like me from positions of power.

    If men don’t like it, I propose we simply switch places. Reorganize society so that women consistently make more money than men; make it so men have not only to fear for their personal safety around women but are conditioned to think that it’s their own fault when the women assault them; reserve owning property, attending school, legal recognition of personhood for women; take away all control over reproduction from men but force them to take almost all the responsibility for the results of reproduction.

    In return, I solemnly swear that feminists will stop making fun of you.

    How does that sound?

    Feminism is not group therapy for men. Feminism is not about everybody being nice to you. Feminism is not about helping you understand women. Feminism is not about making men’s problems and concerns front and center; it may be the only thing in western culture that isn’t. Feminism is about the disproportionately negative effects of thousands of years of patriarchal rule on women and gender non-conforming people of all sexes/genders, and how to undo it.

    If you want to look at studies of the real dynamics of inter-gender conversation in the real world, you’ll find the following: men interrupt women far more often than they interrupt other men and far more often than women interrupt men; women’s contributions to conversations are often ignored until they’re restated by a man, and then the man gets credit for them; and women disproportionately throw out little conversational hooks and encouragements to keep things going. Women on a feminist blog are far less likely to play by those rules.

    In other words, the reason some men get their feelings hurt on feminist blogs is because they don’t get the privilege they’ve come to expect from conversations.

  167. zuzu
    zuzu October 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm |

    Chuchundra: Because, as we all know, “Why are you getting so upset? It’s just a joke! Don’t you have a sense of humor?” is an argument that most Feminist bloggers hold in high regard.

    Good thing I didn’t make that argument, then, isn’t it?

    Because you seem to have trouble following along: pointing out that some people use the humor posts on this blog as a form of free therapy and expect everyone to drop everything and deal with their rather deep and complicated issues =/= “Can’t you take a joke?”

  168. zuzu
    zuzu October 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm |

    fire:
    Two more things:

    The people I know whose friends cut their hair and who don’t spend all their time working high-end jobs so they can buy new clothes and new furniture are the most feminist people I’ve ever met–and I mean genuinely feminist, not snide bloggers with graduate degrees who don’t understand that not being able to afford certain things doesn’t make you a child.

    Second, the comments on here about how we should all just “learn to take a joke, because this is obviously a humor article” are so transparently inappropriate…if you can’t figure out why, i suggest you google “Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay.”

    Good lord, I can see your lower lip quivering through the fucking internet.

  169. EG
    EG October 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm |

    somehow I figured “it’s about guys, maybe a guy’s perspective will actually be listened to even if it’s not entirely following the party line”.

    OK, you’re making two mistakes here.

    1) You’re assuming that feminists are not living in a culture absolutely saturated with guys’ perspectives on themselves. We are. Are we ever.

    2) This was not a post about guys; this was a post about women’s experiences dating guys. That is very different from a discussion of the construction of masculinity.

  170. zuzu
    zuzu October 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm |

    Sam, I’m gonna have to bust out the bingo cards for your comments to keep track of all the buzzwords you’re using that you seem to think will stop people from criticizing you. Like “triggering” and “check your privilege.”

  171. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. October 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm |

    EG: In other words, the reason some men get their feelings hurt on feminist blogs is because they don’t get the privilege they’ve come to expect from conversations.

    Yes! times infinity.

  172. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm |

    Ugh you fuckers. I have a first date this weekend and I’m going to get drunk enough to mention this really long thread.

  173. Sam
    Sam October 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm |

    Zuzu,

    zuzu:
    Sam, I’m gonna have to bust out the bingo cards for your comments to keep track of all the buzzwords you’re using that you seem to think will stop people from criticizing you.Like “triggering” and “check your privilege.”

    No, actually, I was expecting more criticism because of that. It *was* triggering. And I used “check your privilege” because it’s true and I figured using “benevolent sexism” would have been rightly construed as merely provocative.

  174. Sam
    Sam October 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm |

    EG,

    “If you want to look at studies of the real dynamics of inter-gender conversation in the real world…”

    and you think the way to change that is by making fun of those concerned about the stereotypical nature of the post, those exposing their vulnerabilities? Well. ok then.

  175. Sam
    Sam October 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm |

    Pretty Amiable,

    “Ugh you fuckers. I have a first date this weekend and I’m going to get drunk enough to mention this really long thread.”

    now I think *that* is actually funny. See if you want to go there and then use it to steer the conversation to the kissing matter… ;) Good luck :)

  176. igglanova
    igglanova October 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm |

    It’s disingenuous to bring up the views of a bunch of fringe group feminists as if they’re accepted feminist opinions. Ok, sure, they’re ‘feminist opinions’ inasmuch as some people who call themselves feminists have these opinions, but don’t conveniently elide the fact that those positions would be shredded by the vast majority of the feminists in the centre. In fact, lots of mainstream feminist sites with stricter moderation than Feministe would outright ban you if you insisted on those talking points.

    (…SAY ‘FEMINIST’ AGAIN. I dare you.)

  177. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm |

    ““The stereotype that says gay men are child rapists and that trans women want to prey on little girls in the bathroom…”

    Also not feminist. I could be misunderstanding, but I am really confused as to what you are arguing.”

    I wasn’t arguing it was feminist, I was saying it comes from the same place. It’s the same argument: men want sex, men can’t control themselves, men rape target (target being women, men, children, animals). It’s just very blatant with gay men and trans women.

    The one against trans women comes from conservatives and radical feminists both. The rather vocal faction that is anti-trans, on both sides. Those same radical feminists and conservatives also think men are inherently violent and irredeemable, just for different reasons (both being unavoidable though).

  178. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm |

    “I really will never understand the mentality that considers members of subjugated groups making fun of the dominant group to be just as bad as members of the dominant groups making fun of subjugated groups. ”

    Except that we’re pretty much all subjugated groups. Unless you think the men on the top of the chain make other men immune to oppression.

    “It’s as though one group of people has been shooting another group of people for years, and then when the group that’s been getting the crap beaten out of them throws spitballs back, it’s considered just as bad.”

    Yeah, consider thousands of years that you were not born. Not. Consider your lifespan, not before because you shared a characteristic with people. Or I can claim kinship with antique Egyptians because I think cats are awesome too – is that a superficial characteristic enough?

    Both men and women have been oppressed, by it’s own government, or tyrant, or emperor, for thousands of years. Unless you happened to be very rich (and let’s not kid ourselves, the lottery is unforgiving), you were oppressed in myriad of ways.

    To say it was only one way, or that some group was The Borg and able to have a sort of collective conscience, fails the reality test. It all depends on what measures (health, happiness, income, freedom, visibility, etc), at what time, in what place.

    If you ignore half of it, because “But but, Julius Ceasar had a dong! That’s all we need to know about men” You’re being blind to things, many things, oppressive things. Being expected to be the warrior or die trying is oppressive, as is being expected to be a baby machine (and I’m not trying to rank them, just saying it’s not as one-sided as you make it to be).

  179. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm |

    “Feminism is not about making men’s problems and concerns front and center; it may be the only thing in western culture that isn’t.”

    Don’t make me laugh. Men suicide a ton, and people treat it as a trivia fact that you can throw during a game, not a big issue. Or tell me when Obama mentioned specifically-male issues (or created commitees to fight that, like suicide, homelessness, prostate cancer), as in trying to help them, not shaming deadbeats dads on father’s day.

  180. Schala
    Schala October 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm |

    “In other words, the reason some men get their feelings hurt on feminist blogs is because they don’t get the privilege they’ve come to expect from conversations.”

    Nah it’s because if you want to have the impression of talking to a wall, you talk to a wall. If you talk to someone, you expect not to talk to a wall, even if they’re not all that interested in what you have to say. And I expect nothing at all from conversations – except that they be conversations.

    Throwing insults right and left is highly unproductive, however emotionally charged the discussion gets. Trying to shame your interlocutors, like the above “quivering upper lip” (because men never cry, it’s feminine, or babyish, not sure – so that makes him not-a-man or something, and he should be ashamed of that…because patriarchy says so).

  181. Darque
    Darque October 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm |

    EG:
    I really will never understand the mentality that considers members of subjugated groups making fun of the dominant group to be just as bad as members of the dominant groups making fun of subjugated groups.It’s as though one group of people has been shooting another group of people for years, and then when the group that’s been getting the crap beaten out of them throws spitballs back, it’s considered just as bad.

    As a Jew, I feel perfectly within my rights to make fun of Christians as a group, because, you know, that group, on the whole, has a history of expelling, oppressing, and, oh yeah, murdering people like me.As a white person, I wouldn’t make fun of black people as a group, because, well, that dynamic is quite the contrary.As a woman, I see no reason whatsoever why I shouldn’t make fun of the group that, on the whole, disenfranchises, rapes, makes more money than, and excludes people like me from positions of power.

    If men don’t like it, I propose we simply switch places.Reorganize society so that women consistently make more money than men; make it so men have not only to fear for their personal safety around women but are conditioned to think that it’s their own fault when the women assault them; reserve owning property, attending school, legal recognition of personhood for women; take away all control over reproduction from men but force them to take almost all the responsibility for the results of reproduction.

    In return, I solemnly swear that feminists will stop making fun of you.

    How does that sound?

    Feminism is not group therapy for men.Feminism is not about everybody being nice to you.Feminism is not about helping you understand women.Feminism is not about making men’s problems and concerns front and center; it may be the only thing in western culture that isn’t.Feminism is about the disproportionately negative effects of thousands of years of patriarchal rule on women and gender non-conforming people of all sexes/genders, and how to undo it.

    If you want to look at studies of the real dynamics of inter-gender conversation in the real world, you’ll find the following: men interrupt women far more often than they interrupt other men and far more often than women interrupt men; women’s contributions to conversations are often ignored until they’re restated by a man, and then the man gets credit for them; and women disproportionately throw out little conversational hooks and encouragements to keep things going.Women on a feminist blog are far less likely to play by those rules.

    In other words, the reason some men get their feelings hurt on feminist blogs is because they don’t get the privilege they’ve come to expect from conversations.

    Go ahead and justify your sexism as some kind of brilliant liberation from patriarchy. I have a feeling you wrote this much because you felt your argument was hollowed out, like a sad rotten pumpkin.

    I don’t really care how an article talking about “childish” men is so funny – I don’t see the humor because I’ve seen the same tired, unfunny, sexist stereotypes trotted out from places like here, to faux news. The subtext is that men are emotionally stunted, lack intelligence, lack organizational skills and planning. Not only that, there is the “wonderful” smell of tripe about what it takes to be a “real” man. As if there is an authentic version of manhood that you must obey.

    and hey, if your argument boils down to “But they’re worse!”, then you have elevated your argument to the level of 1st grade. As part of my winter reading list, may I recommend the wonderful tome “See spot run.” ? May I also share the pearl of wisdom, that, despite the fact that I belong to multiple minority groups as well, I don’t find the time in my day to be a sexist asshole toward half of the world’s population?

  182. igglanova
    igglanova October 7, 2011 at 12:24 am |

    I read ‘sad rotten pumpkin’ and lol’ed for real. Can we point out what, precisely, is so sexist against men in this comment section, the article or the one referenced within? There’s a lot to unpack, but there’s no sexism there. You all probably felt personally stung by the piece, but that doesn’t mean it was sexist.

  183. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 12:25 am |

    EG: It’s as though one group of people has been shooting another group of people for years, and then when the group that’s been getting the crap beaten out of them throws spitballs back, it’s considered just as bad.

    You mean like Israel and the Palestinians?

  184. rae
    rae October 7, 2011 at 12:26 am |

    I sympathize with some of the general feelings of the OP. It’s frustrating to always have to be the grown up; nobody wants to be baby-sitting their dates. It’s hard to sustain a relationship with someone who has no sense of direction, no furniture (people, you can get couches for free on Craigslist or by the dumpster! even an ugly ratty couch is better than the floor), never does laundry, and spends all their money getting trashed to the exclusion of stocking their kitchen with the mere basics like silverware and a pot to cook with.

    It is okay for women to look for a partner who has goals and can manage money reasonably! It is also okay for men to look for that too! You are affected by the finances of any person you are in a relationship with, and it makes perfect sense not to put yourself in a position where you’re being dragged down by someone else’s irresponsible spending. Further, the living by the seat of your pants attitude eventually gets tiresome. The constant instability is wearing. Unless you’re both into the adventuresome minimalist living, in which case, go for it!

    That said, I think people are right to criticize this as classist. It is obviously based on middle-class expectations in a wealthy Western nation. There are many reasons a person might involuntarily wind up in a state of poverty in which they can’t meet the criteria outlined for “being a man,” and that doesn’t make them irresponsible or unmanly. Still, that is different from choosing to manage your finances like a college kid (all immediate gratification, no longer-term perspective). While rebellion against capitalism is important, intentionally setting yourself up to work shit jobs and live in your car will not transform our society. Thinking it does is the same old capitalist individualist nonsense; we’d be better off talking about how to productively organize than maintaining the illusion that giving up your spot in the middle class changes anything.

    The biggest issue is definitely presenting this as some kind of universal standard of manliness though. Presenting this as a more particularized “women have a right to hold standards, including as they relate to finances, without being money-grubbing gold diggers” is probably a more productive conversation. The issue of voluntary perpetual adolescence can be more delicately handled. I’ve dated the hipster who romanticizes poverty and it ends up meaning I just have to pay for everything. That sucks and I’m not interested. The unspoken history of the hippie drifter boy “dropping out” of the capitalist rat race is that there’s usually a woman whose money and shelter he relies on when things get tough (whether this is a mother, sister, or girlfriend). The guy I’m currently dating is in grad school and lacks basic furniture, and I find this annoying but understandable; it works because we are both at a similar life stage. I can see how a woman who is well into pursuing her career would find this a major frustration, though. Struggling with unemployment in this economy or being a student are one thing; being a 40-year-old wannabe Jack Kerouac is quite another. Ultimately a woman’s judgement of whether a potential partner’s financial decision-making and expected standards of living align with hers is fundamentally just a question of compatibility.

  185. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 12:34 am |

    EG: reserve owning property, attending school, legal recognition of personhood for women;

    EG so what parts of your country don’t have these rights for women?

  186. igglanova
    igglanova October 7, 2011 at 12:35 am |

    Schala, these are really 101 level questions. The reason men’s issues are rarely addressed as gendered is because the male perspective is dominant and therefore default. So, problems that are primarily male are just seen as ‘issues,’ e.g. violent crime, whereas problems primarily affecting women are ghettoized as ‘women’s issues’, like abortion rights or access to birth control. Men’s issues are the opposite of marginalized. Hell, take any university / college class sometime and keep a running tally of the discipline’s venerated famous people, and see how many you hear about who are women or men. Again, the history of men is just ‘history’ – female figures get little attention outside of specialty women’s courses; it’s ‘women’s history.’ The special mention of femaleness is due to the ghettoized status of women. We’re not being idolized or given special treatment. Without this so-called special attention, we wouldn’t get attention at all.

  187. EG
    EG October 7, 2011 at 12:37 am |

    I have a feeling you wrote this much because you felt your argument was hollowed out, like a sad rotten pumpkin.

    Then you haven’t been hanging around much. I just write long. Always have. But I do like the image of a sad pumpkin. Don’t be sad, little pumpkin! Cheer up! Halloween is coming soon!

    The subtext is that men are emotionally stunted, lack intelligence, lack organizational skills and planning. Not only that, there is the “wonderful” smell of tripe about what it takes to be a “real” man.

    And as soon as those stereotypes are used to justify keeping men from full participation in public and private life, deprive them of legal rights, and/or justify women attacking them, I will do my level best to care. But again, feminism is not about women comforting you because of your hurt feelings. We are not your support group.

    despite the fact that I belong to multiple minority groups as well, I don’t find the time in my day to be a sexist asshole toward half of the world’s population?

    Oh, you’re totally missing out. Try using a datebook. I usually fit in my misandry just after lunch, with my first cup of strong tea.

    Men suicide a ton, and people treat it as a trivia fact that you can throw during a game, not a big issue.

    Actually, my understanding is that women attempt suicide at higher rates than men. Men, however, make up the majority of those who commit suicide because they are more likely to use guns in their attempts. If you’d like to use that, therefore, as an argument for restricting men’s access to guns, be my guest. But it’s not exactly an example of the oppression of men.

    Or tell me when Obama mentioned specifically-male issues (or created commitees to fight that, like suicide, homelessness, prostate cancer), as in trying to help them, not shaming deadbeats dads on father’s day.

    You know why there’s no “Men’s Studies” department, right? Same reason.

    Except that we’re pretty much all subjugated groups. Unless you think the men on the top of the chain make other men immune to oppression.

    That is an example of class hierarchy. If you would like to make fun of the ruling class, that is a lovely idea. I too enjoy it. But men making fun of women is actually the equivalent of the rich making fun of the poor. Again, just as being a woman does not topple a rich person from the top of the class hierarchy, so too does being poor not negate a man’s gender privilege. Men are often disenfranchised because of their class standing or race or any other characteristic. Men are not disenfranchised by virtue of being men.

    Yeah, consider thousands of years that you were not born. Not. Consider your lifespan, not before because you shared a characteristic with people.

    You’re…actually advancing the argument that history doesn’t matter? So…the Holocaust had nothing to do with 19th-century antisemitism? Jim Crow had nothing to do with slavery? Slut-shaming today has nothing to do with Victorian ideologies of sexuality? It’s…what, just coincidence that the same certain groups of people keep fucking over the same other certain other groups of people in remarkably consistent ways?

    Sure, that’s convincing.

    If you ignore half of it, because “But but, Julius Ceasar had a dong! That’s all we need to know about men” You’re being blind to things, many things, oppressive things.

    If we’re going to discuss Ancient Rome, I wouldn’t bother with that. I would start by noting that if you had to be a woman in the classical world, and you knew you weren’t going to be a slave, you could do a lot worse than Ancient Rome. I would then go on to look political and economic power, not just on the level of the Republic, but on the level of the household. I would look at what kind of violence was accepted and what was not. I would look at what options men and women had in terms of interacting with each other and among their own (to take an example, the men’s public changing rooms and baths were far more elaborate and beautiful than the women’s), and at customs governing marriage and divorce (in Ancient Rome, women could get divorced). But it’s been…jeez…almost ten years since I last studied gender in Ancient Rome, so I’m afraid I’ve forgotten a lot of it.

    You have a strange bee in your bonnet about pretending that the only kind of power that matters is which individual is the top political potentate. John Stuart Mill, however, noted that part of what makes sexism so popular and entrenched is that unlike aristocracy, every single member of the male sex either exercises or expects to exercise his share of the power over the women in his life. It really has very little to do with who’s wielding supreme executive power (as the Pythons might say)–sexism in England, for example, did not decline dramatically when Elizabeth I was in power. I’m really not sure why you keep returning to this idea when nobody else has advanced it.

  188. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 12:41 am |

    zuzu: As for Sam, well, part of growing up is learning to take responsibility for your own issues rather than blaming the all-powerful feminist collective.

    Exactly, you could replace all-powerfull feminst collective with almost any group.

    Prime examples would be: parents; church; wall street capitalists; and men.

  189. EG
    EG October 7, 2011 at 12:46 am |

    Can we point out what, precisely, is so sexist against men in this comment section, the article or the one referenced within?

    Jeez, igglanova, don’t you even remember the part where this one guy wanted to talk about his difficulties in sexually interacting with women, and then a whole bunch of women weren’t even interested in discussing his problems? That is totally sexist. Also, the woman who wrote this piece is saying that she doesn’t want to date a whole category of guys. That is so unfair! Who is she to have preferences about that kind of thing? It’s totally like when rich people have all the power, or something.

  190. machina
    machina October 7, 2011 at 2:04 am |

    igglanova,

    Can we point out what, precisely, is so sexist against men in this comment section, the article or the one referenced within? There’s a lot to unpack, but there’s no sexism there. You all probably felt personally stung by the piece, but that doesn’t mean it was sexist.

    Personally I didn’t feel stung by the piece. It’s endearing in it’s self-depreciation. It’s just that any time Adam Sandler could reasonably play a part in a dramatisation with characters based on a story there’s an easy inductive proof that it relies on tired, boring stereotypes.

  191. Saurs
    Saurs October 7, 2011 at 2:51 am |

    Schala, if feminism is so personally offensive to you, perhaps you oughtn’t to be reading and commenting on a feminist blawg? Or are you under the misapprehension that Jill’s gonna shut down this website in light of your brilliant, totally heretofore unheard-of objections?

  192. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 3:20 am |

    EG: Actually, my understanding is that women attempt suicide at higher rates than men

    I am not trying to support Sam’s argument but you do have some misconceptions about suicide rates.

    First attempt suicide =/= suicide. You responded to a comment about suicide not a comment about attempted suicide.

    It is a simple fact that three to four times as many men die from suicide than do women:

    For the US
    http://www.who.int/entity/mental_health/media/unitstates.pdf

    For Australia
    http://www.responseability.org/site/index.cfm?display=134569

    EG: Men, however, make up the majority of those who commit suicide because they are more likely to use guns in their attempts.

    The number of men that die by suicide in the US were no firearm is involved still greatly exceeds the number of women that die by suicide http://www.suicide.org/suicide-statistics.html#2005

    In Australia where we don’t have free access to firearms the differences between the proportions of women and men that choose any given method of suicide are much closer yet the suicide rates for men is still 3-4 times higher than that for women.

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.health.gov.au%2Finternet%2Fmain%2Fpublishing.nsf%2FContent%2FF5B8C66A112B4165CA2571EA00212A8A%2F%24File%2Fagemeth.pdf&rct=j&q=firearms%20suicide%20australia&ei=YbSOTte6GoausAL55bSTAQ&usg=AFQjCNGtrBJjnNAFUZQY01X90ijdfQNwaA&cad=rja

    So unless women are less successful then men when using the same methods (why should they be?) it is highly unlikely that your statement that more women attempt suicide than do men is true.

    I sure would like to hear what you think the reason for this is?

  193. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 3:23 am |

    EG: Oh, you’re totally missing out. Try using a datebook. I usually fit in my misandry just after lunch, with my first cup of strong tea.

    That’s why women are so far behind the eight ball, a dedicated misogynist starts when he expects his wife to make breakfast.

  194. raya
    raya October 7, 2011 at 6:54 am |

    EG: I really will never understand the mentality that considers members of subjugated groups making fun of the dominant group to be just as bad as members of the dominant groups making fun of subjugated groups.

    I guess most people on this thread who aren’t trolls agree that this post isn’t ‘sexist against men’.
    So why can’t we talk about the classism pointed out? I mean, when being broke (which implies not having a job etc.) disqualifies you from being an adult, that’s pretty classist.
    I really don’t buy that this isn’t offensive because it’s supposed to be a joke. I don’t even think it’s funny/well written; it’s not mocking the meme that all that women are interested in men is their money or something like that, it’s just funny because LOL POOR MEN.

  195. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 7, 2011 at 9:04 am |

    Sam. From your first comment on the thread:

    as a 30+ year old guy who’s still having serious problems initiating kissing, partly due to feminist indoctrination about his supposedly toxic sexuality, notions about never “pushing girls”, and the usual feminist arguments in favour of explicit, not merely assumed, enthusiastic consent, I really don’t know what to think of this.

    …..I don’t understand how you (general you) can constantly demand more explicit “yes means yes” communication about sexuality, and at the same time consider guy’s attempts to get a better idea about the state of consent by, possibly clumsily, being explicit about their wish to kiss as childish, inexperienced, and unmanly.

    So, from the start, you made this about you and your anxiety about kissing on the first date (which is going to be an automatic disconnect for most women; at least in my conversations with women….we don’t really put any import on the first kiss. That’s a Hollywood movie thing). Then you mention “feminist indoctrination” (sure, no bias there) on male sexuality being toxic (a great surprise to feminists like myself who really dig fucking men), a comment on “pushing girls” (perhaps a reference to Wall Girl from your comments on Hugo’s blog? The one you heard from a second-hand conversation lost interest in you because you didn’t push her up against a wall and aggressively make out with her, because she expected you to read her mind?), and then mention feminist insistence on explicit conversation as the only path to show consent? And you are seriously taking issue with the fact that on a feminist blog, people are not jumping on board with you?

    How many blogs are you going to take this argument to? The “why don’t women all want the same thing, all the time, from every man they deal with” argument? Do you expect all men to want the same thing, all the time, from any woman they deal with? No? But you do expect that from women, as a class (as you said, “the general you”). Interesting.

    You have a history of making this complaint about women, as a class, preferring nonverbal communication—-as if men, as a class don’t also prefer partners who know how to read their nonverbal communication! As if men never use terminology like “chemistry” or “we just click” or “it seems like we’ve known each other forever.”

    Nonverbal communication is risky. It can be misinterpreted. You can screw it up—particularly when dealing with someone who doesn’t share the same cultural and/or socioeconomic nonverbal language(s). Most grown folks get around this by asking. Being forthright. Your complaint is that when you do this, sometimes you get rejected for not being a mind-reader (hey, it happens). That is not your fault. You have still done the right thing.

    So, your complaint is, “I’ve done the right thing, and still didn’t get laid last night!” Take this complaint to feminists, and most of them (just as we did on the Wall Girl thread) are going to say something along the lines of “lucky guy! you dodged a bullet! avoided a toxic person with drama issues! high five!”

    And yet, you’re still thinking….but…I didn’t get laid. Because you’re open to getting laid by toxic women with drama issues. Most feminist women are seriously trying to avoid ending up in bed or anywhere else with toxic men with drama issues. Particularly those with contradictory opinions about sex (otherwise known as the Madonna/Whore syndrome).

    FWIW, I didn’t “get” the humor in the cited article, because it was too wrapped up in brand names from another planet. But I did get the unfunny narrative behind it—which is being the only adult in a relationship. Having your shit together, but dealing with someone who doesn’t have their shit together, and isn’t interested in getting their shit together—because that’s what you’re there for, to do all the mundane TCB shit for them that they’re too precious to do.

  196. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    Obvious trolls are obvious.

  197. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 7, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    La Lubu: But I did get the unfunny narrative behind it—which is being the only adult in a relationship. Having your shit together, but dealing with someone who doesn’t have their shit together, and isn’t interested in getting their shit together—because that’s what you’re there for, to do all the mundane TCB shit for them that they’re too precious to do.

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    Thanks so much La Lubu, for bring us back on topic and being one of the few people who seems to get what I got about this article (as I noted in comment #3) and why I found it so powerful (hence didn’t mention the humor aspect.)

    What a shame that all this nonsense made it take 193 comments to make that connection….

  198. EG
    EG October 7, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    So why can’t we talk about the classism pointed out? I mean, when being broke (which implies not having a job etc.) disqualifies you from being an adult, that’s pretty classist.

    I agree and I don’t agree. I know the kind of guys to which Kaling is referring–and they’re not broke because they can’t get a job. They’re kids from middle-class homes who don’t get full-time jobs because they’re finding themselves–I dated a guy like this who was 33 several years ago, and had never held down a full-time job. He didn’t have to. And that’s fine in and of itself, as far as I was concerned. But all he wanted to do was sit around play X-box. He didn’t have an interest in arts or something non-paying that he wanted to pursue–he essentially didn’t have any drive to do anything. And yes, his bed was a mattress on the floor, and he didn’t have a bookcase, but just stacked his books on the floor, and it was a stark contrast to the way his roommate had furnished the rest of the apartment. I’ve also known working-class guys like this, and it manifests in different ways–on the one hand, the reason they’re living at home is because they don’t make enough to move out, and that sucks. On the other hand, what they do make they spend on pot and beer and then have to call in sick to work the next morning, and that’s about a level of maturity and planning that they don’t have, and feel ambivalent about having.

    I think Kaling should have left out the bit about second-hand clothing and haircuts–I think it fogs the emotional issue about being able and willing to take responsibility for yourself and to make strong decisions instead of drifting.

  199. Schala
    Schala October 7, 2011 at 9:34 am |

    “Men, however, make up the majority of those who commit suicide because they are more likely to use guns in their attempts. If you’d like to use that, therefore, as an argument for restricting men’s access to guns, be my guest.”

    Wrong, because they also make the majority in countries where gun control is superior and not everyone owns one. Like say, Canada. They’re likely to hang themselves or throw themselves in front of a moving train, then. Still lethal means, but not guns.

    It’s much much more likely to be due to how we construe masculinity (as a society) as being devoid of weakness, thus depression, losing your long-time career, or getting divorced is a huge failure, and admitting to it is weakness. So you suck it up, or you die out of being unable to suck it up anymore. If you make a cry for help, you’ll be told you had it coming.

    “Schala, these are really 101 level questions. The reason men’s issues are rarely addressed as gendered is because the male perspective is dominant and therefore default. So, problems that are primarily male are just seen as ‘issues,’ e.g. violent crime, whereas problems primarily affecting women are ghettoized as ‘women’s issues’, like abortion rights or access to birth control. Men’s issues are the opposite of marginalized. ”

    Okay, find me a male DV shelter, or a rape crisis center for adult male victims of rape (not only male victims of childhood rape). Now, if you managed to find even 1, how many are there for only female victims? And don’t tell me other “more mainstream services” take care of that.

    Men’s issues are ignored because men are expendable. Patriarchy tells men to protect women. No one is told to protect men, besides themselves (and if you failed/died/got beaten, it’s your own damn fault, too). So I doubt Big Daddy government is going to care one iota about tackling male issues until it decides the vote. Zero empathy.

    Feminism succeeded in large part because part of the mandate of patriatchy IS to help women. Feminism only expanded on what it means to help women. And defined helping women as progressive and “a good way to get the women’s vote”.

    “Hell, take any university / college class sometime and keep a running tally of the discipline’s venerated famous people, and see how many you hear about who are women or men. Again, the history of men is just ‘history’ – female figures get little attention outside of specialty women’s courses; it’s ‘women’s history.’ The special mention of femaleness is due to the ghettoized status of women. We’re not being idolized or given special treatment. Without this so-called special attention, we wouldn’t get attention at all.”

    Yeah the fact that some history figures like George Washington has a penis is going to solve suicide issues, and reduce men’s homelessness (they’re about 3 more times homeless than women), right?

    Also read the TV trope: Men are generic, women are special.

    “And as soon as those stereotypes are used to justify keeping men from full participation in public and private life, deprive them of legal rights, and/or justify women attacking them, I will do my level best to care. But again, feminism is not about women comforting you because of your hurt feelings. We are not your support group.”

    The beauty industry’s unrealistic standards are a concern for women, even if it doesn’t keep them from full participation in public and private life or deprive them of their legal rights, or justify violent assault against them – yet it’s a feminist issue.

    Double standard much?

    “You know why there’s no “Men’s Studies” department, right? Same reason.”

    Because people think men can (and should) suck it up if they have any problem?

    “You’re…actually advancing the argument that history doesn’t matter? ”

    I’m advancing the argument that you can’t claim thousands of years of being oppressed…unless you have lived thousands of years. Claim your group’s always been oppressed, but not you. So retribution is not just desserts, you can’t give back thousands of years you never received.

    “You have a strange bee in your bonnet about pretending that the only kind of power that matters is which individual is the top political potentate.”

    It’s not me who brings up the argument of “But CEOs and congress people are mostly men!” I’m only responding to it.

    “John Stuart Mill, however, noted that part of what makes sexism so popular and entrenched is that unlike aristocracy, every single member of the male sex either exercises or expects to exercise his share of the power over the women in his life.”

    Everyone who can do that and has a rather lower level of morality than the optimal level (basically nearly everyone) will take advantage of power they have over others. This includes men, women, and LGBT people to name only a few.

    Ever heard of the 70s huge attack against lesbians in feminism, followed by THEIR attack against trans women? I mean, we never learn as a group. We do the same mistakes. We give back the same violence we just received, to someone else lower on the food chain.

    And you’ll have to do more than say “it is so” to convince me that men and women are The Borg and all men qua men (before class etc) are above all women qua women. It’s more of a M>W>>w>m where M and W represent the very rich, the powerful, the politically influential, and w and m represent Joe Blow and Jane Doe, your everyday man and woman.

    Warren Buffet is more likely to be rich, while Joe Blow is more likely to be sent to his death, because the army is one of the only jobs he can take, and tough luck, we have a war. Not that the discrepancy between the higher class M and W, and the lower class is not much higher than that between w and m at the bottom.

    “Also, the woman who wrote this piece is saying that she doesn’t want to date a whole category of guys. That is so unfair! Who is she to have preferences about that kind of thing?”

    It’s not just a preference, it’s universalizing it. Same as Amanda Marcotte who goes “eww beards, they’re gross, any man who grows one is ugly”. Say you don’t like it, that YOU think it’s gross, but it’s not objectively so, and trying to make it like that is just fishing for nods and approvals from others, who will obviously agree that beards are icky.

    “Schala, if feminism is so personally offensive to you, perhaps you oughtn’t to be reading and commenting on a feminist blawg?”

    Feminism is not offensive to me, for proof, NSWATM blog is doing wonderful, with many feminists. Who actually care about equality as well as women (and don’t think the two are the same).

  200. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig October 7, 2011 at 9:34 am |

    As an aside, who pays $100 for a concert? I went to a gig at my town’s hoity-toity high-end music club last Monday.. for $22 a ticket. I’m not going to one concert this weekend because they’re charging $20 a head, and a band I like better is playing closer to my home and the cover charge is $5. Or I could save the money, and take my sis out to see their lead guitarist a week later- and I’d probably pay only two dollars more.
    Maybe it’s just that I live in an absurdly music-friendly area, but seeing concerts on a minuscule budget is totally possible.

  201. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. October 7, 2011 at 9:46 am |

    Lol, now that’s trolling gold. I think we have a FNTT contender!

    Dude, if you seriously believe that load of shit you just dumped on this comment thread, I suggest you go talk to someone because your misunderstanding of the feminine experience is EPIC.

  202. Sam
    Sam October 7, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    Hey La Lubu,

    thanks for a critical comment I can work with :)

    It wasn’t just the the Wall Girl thing, this has happened more often in a couple of variations, which is why, from my conversations with women, I can really only say that they put a lot of import on the first kiss, it’s not just a Hollywood thing, in my experience. But that aside, you correctly identified what annoyed me so much about this particular article. Can’t you see that I read the article as the exact opposite of what you suggest feminists would say – “you dodged a bullet, you did the right thing?” – and thus more of a statement like Wall Girl’s statement: We say we’re concerned about safety, but really “real men just move in” as opposed to “boys” who talk about it. Is that reading really so far out?

    And *that* is the moment where my comment really isn’t about me personally and my issues anymore. It’s about a disconnect in feminist discourse as perceived by a lot of men, and a very modest proposal how to fix that by admitting in consent discussions that it’s ok to move in for a kiss (what is proposed as manly here) instead of constantly pushing for explicit verbal communication only (presented as boyish, and less attractive here).

    “Nonverbal communication is risky. It can be misinterpreted. You can screw it up—particularly when dealing with someone who doesn’t share the same cultural and/or socioeconomic nonverbal language(s). Most grown folks get around this by asking. Being forthright. Your complaint is that when you do this, sometimes you get rejected for not being a mind-reader (hey, it happens). That is not your fault. You have still done the right thing.”

    See, that statement I fully subscribe to. But it’s the opposite of what I read in the quote in the OP – in the quote in the OP it says: “grown folks just know”. And that coming from the people who I usually perceive to be not just not saying “grown folks just know”, but what you do – “Most grown folks get around this by asking. Being forthright.” And often there’s also a warning about how being wrong in such cases is likely sexual harrassment, or even sexual assault… so reading this seemed like either a rather bad oversight (which I doubt since it was a quote) or an at least implicit endorsement of “grown folks just know”, which, in turn, coming from feminists, sounds pretty much like the Wall Girl statement. And you just reminded me of what you said about that communicative style – “dodged a bullet.”

  203. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 9:53 am |

    Schala, do not come on to a feminsit blog, spout off a bunch of shit that claims that men and women face the same level of oppression and discrimination, and expect to be taken seriously.

    If men want men-only DV shelters, they could work with the feminist women who got the shelters off the ground–it’s not as if these things were granted by the fairy shelter mother. But that’s not what misogynist antifeminists like you want–no–a lot of those folks want to see those shelters closed, period. These were started, from the grassroots, by women, and it’s not as if they were getting any public funding when they were started (and many still aren’t; they are funded by charitable donations). But instead you seem to prefer that we spend our energy on MEN (because heaven forbid that women actually address the discrimination they face).

    Warren Buffet is more likely to be rich, while Joe Blow is more likely to be sent to his death, because the army is one of the only jobs he can take, and tough luck, we have a war. Not that the discrepancy between the higher class M and W, and the lower class is not much higher than that between w and m at the bottom.

    And Jane Doe, the pink collar office worker or Walmart cashier, is completely erased in your rant. I mean, not every man is as rich as Warren Buffet, so the fact that the vast majority of the ranks of c-level executives, politicians, judges, and other people in powerful positions are White men means women aren’t as oppressed as the men who aren’t as powerful as those dudes. OR something. As is the fact that those men who are so oppressed by fighting wars are often completely against the idea of women fighting in combat (and then in a fit of passive aggressive asshattery, complain that we don’t have to fight in wars when they continue to be against that). Not to mention the fact that most feminists think the draft and selective service is bullshit, that women should be able to fight in combat, and that automatic move to go to war is not the way to go. . . but you’re too intent on pissing all over the comments thread and making everything about the menzand parroting misogynist MRA talking points to consider reality.

  204. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 9:58 am |

    @Sam please please please stop. I get it that you want an answer but you are not going to find one here. If you are so dense that you can’t see that, then you had better stick with your explicit consent method, because you clearly don’t have the skills to read any other clues.

  205. Schala
    Schala October 7, 2011 at 10:08 am |

    “obnoxious comments about how feminism oppresses men and men are the REAL victims in patriarchy”

    About how feminism ignores men’s problems (claiming society already takes care of them), and how both men and women are victims of the kyriarchy, worthy of concern, services and help.

    Thanks for not distorting what I say.

  206. Schala
    Schala October 7, 2011 at 10:11 am |

    Also, it’s not a zero-sum game. If I claim I want attention for all oppressed groups, because it’s about equality, and forgetting the LGBT, or men qua men, is a glaring omission – it does NOT mean I want the movement to forget or leave women behind.

    If a woman of color comes and says her issues about racism are ignored within feminism, we don’t tell them they want it to be all about them, we help them too (not just them, or only them, or mostly them), because that’s the right thing to do (obviously, I’m an idealist, because they founded their own parallel movement – womanism – because this didn’t happen).

  207. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 7, 2011 at 10:12 am |

    Politicalguineapig:
    As an aside, who pays $100 for a concert? I went to a gig at my town’s hoity-toity high-end music club last Monday.. for $22 a ticket. I’m not going to one concert this weekend because they’re charging $20 a head, and a band I like better is playing closer to my home and the cover charge is $5. Or I could save the money, and take my sis out to see their lead guitarist a week later- and I’d probably pay only two dollars more.
    Maybe it’s just that I live in an absurdly music-friendly area, but seeing concerts on a minuscule budget is totally possible.

    Dude, try going to see The Book of Mormon! My wife mentioned wanting to see it, and I couldn’t find any seats available except on scalping sites with the non shit ones going for $600 a piece. One of my best friends used to write for South Park, and she and her girlfriend are in NY for 2 weeks and had seen Book of Mormon. Since her GF was there for work and my friend had f-all to do, she and I had lunch several times these weeks. My wife kept hinting that I should ask her about how she got tickets (by hinting, I mean she kept saying ‘did you ask Karey about the tickets’? every time I got back from hanging out with her.) When I finally remembered to ask yesterday during lunch, I find out she got them through her agent (who pretty much represents everyone involved with the show,) and though she got good seats for a sold out show, she still had to pay ‘like $500′ for two tickets.

    P.S. The ‘Dude’ was a joke. I remember ;)

  208. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 10:13 am |

    @Schala WTF women aren’t actually the problem. The problem is gender specific roles, stereotypes and expectations. You seem to think because women have made some advances in combating the ones that effect them that they are in some way responsible for the ones that effect you.

  209. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 7, 2011 at 10:14 am |

    Sheelzebub:
    Obvious trolls are obvious.

    And also, it would seem, oblivious.

  210. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 10:15 am |

    I await the efforts of men and MRA’s to take discrimination against women as seriously as they expect us to take supposed sexism against men seriously.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    But anyway–obvious troll is obvious. And when you parrot MRA talking points and expect women to drop everything to tend to men on a feminist blog, when you decide that because every man isn’t wealthy it negates the fact that the vast majority of power brokers ARE men (and erase the lack of women in these positions while you’re at it, while claiming to be for “equality”), when you insist that men are oppressed because they fight in wars (and won’t allow women to fight–and ignore the fact that most of the power brokers who declare war are MEN) and that feminists are bad because of this (while ignoring the fact that a lot of feminists are fighting against that bullshit), yeah, you’re trolling.

    Obvious MRA is obvious.

  211. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 10:21 am |

    Also, it’s not a zero-sum game.

    That’s the way you’re treating it. Men are oppressed by other men, so let’s go on a feminist blog and scold the women for not tending to the men. While you fucking ignore and belittle institutional misogyny.

    If a woman of color comes and says her issues about racism are ignored within feminism, we don’t tell them they want it to be all about them, we help them too (not just them, or only them, or mostly them), because that’s the right thing to do (obviously, I’m an idealist, because they founded their own parallel movement – womanism – because this didn’t happen).

    Holy fucking shit. Men are not facing the type of oppression or the LEVEL of oppression that women of color are. That you would equate the discomfort that men feel when women are doing things for themselves with the institutional racism and White supremacy that women of color have to deal with is beyond ridiculous.

    You have just shown yourself, in all technicolor glory, to be an irrelevant troll.

  212. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  213. igglanova
    igglanova October 7, 2011 at 10:25 am |

    Schala:

    About how feminism ignores men’s problems

    Why do you expect feminism to give a shit about men’s problems? It’s right there in the name, that we’re advocates for women.

    I mean, aside from the fact that feminists actually do care about men’s problems. We just don’t place them front and centre of every conversation like every other fucking movement on the planet.

  214. Schala
    Schala October 7, 2011 at 10:25 am |

    “But anyway–obvious troll is obvious”

    You do know what is the definition of troll right? I want discussion, a troll doesn’t.

    “and won’t allow women to fight–”

    Come to Canada, where women can go on the front line. And where the SSS (or anything similar) doesn’t exist.

    “Obvious MRA is obvious.”

    Anyone who has empathy for men is evil, check. Because men are only whiners, or macho oppressors, or Julian Real…or something.

    For the record, I don’t identify as MRA, or as feminist – both those terms are tainted by vilification and stereotyping. They are not useful as a personal descriptor for me. So I don’t take any. That way I hope to avoid having equality itself vilified.

    As a trans woman, I experienced being tossed aside, with people telling me to suck it up, because I obviously deserved it…I don’t want it to happen to more people.

  215. Schala
    Schala October 7, 2011 at 10:29 am |

    “Holy fucking shit. Men are not facing the type of oppression or the LEVEL of oppression that women of color are. That you would equate the discomfort that men feel when women are doing things for themselves with the institutional racism and White supremacy that women of color have to deal with is beyond ridiculous. ”

    We can’t compare anything unless they’re EXACTLY the same, I see.

    The similarity here is that: both are ignored by a movement that claims to be for equality, EVERYONE’s equality, not just women’s (women’s relative to whom if we only look there anyways?).

  216. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 7, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    Sam: We say we’re concerned about safety, but really “real men just move in” as opposed to “boys” who talk about it. Is that reading really so far out?

    YES YES YES YES YES YES FUCKING YES THAT READING IS WRONG WRONG WRONG

    It could not be farther out if it had traversed a wormhole to a multi-dimensional reality, where it would still sound like a load of multi-dimensional horse shit.

    Putting aside the obvious joke aspect of her role models (e.g. Teddy Roosevelt,) even if she were serious, in no way is she suggesting ‘real men just move in.’ She could just as easily be suggesting that ‘real men’ are sensitive and empathetic enough to know when a woman wants to be kissed. HINT: if you have to ask, it probably means she doesn’t.

  217. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 10:35 am |

    We can’t compare anything unless they’re EXACTLY the same, I see.

    Jesus. So let me get this straight–women don’t count for shit because not every man is rich. But men are just as oppressed as women of color.

    You lecture us about tossing people aside and showing empathy. Well, you’ve done quite a lot of the first and shown very little of the second.

    And no, your actions here haven’t shown that you’re posting in good faith or looking for a discussion as much as an opportunity to scold feminists for not protecting the men.

  218. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 10:36 am |

    Seriously, Jill. This asshole is Dawn all over again.

  219. igglanova
    igglanova October 7, 2011 at 10:37 am |

    We’re such selfish bitches for advocating for our own issues.

  220. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 10:39 am |

    Fat Steve: It could not be farther out if it had traversed a wormhole to a multi-dimensional reality, where it would still sound like a load of multi-dimensional horse shit.

    That just about describes the bulk of this thread!

  221. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 10:39 am |

    IKR? WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? THEY ARE JUST AS OPPRESSED AS WOMEN OF COLOR.

  222. Schala
    Schala October 7, 2011 at 10:48 am |

    Well, I give up, walls will remain walls. At least I tried.

    You do know that even trans feminist bloggers have given up on Feministe and Feministing, for causes of echo-chamber and ignoring them (and often being blatantly cissexist)?

    I’m trans, and I care about trans feminist issues, but I’m not one of those bloggers (since I don’t have a blog). Just heard from them.

  223. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 10:51 am |

    Yet you parrot MRA talking points instead of talk about trans rights. Which makes me think you aren’t so much for trans rights as you are for scolding women for having the gall to fight against institutional misogyny.

  224. Sam
    Sam October 7, 2011 at 11:06 am |

    Fat Steve,

    “She could just as easily be suggesting that ‘real men’ are sensitive and empathetic enough to know when a woman wants to be kissed. HINT: if you have to ask, it probably means she doesn’t.”

    which would present the exact same problem, in my opinion.

  225. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 11:13 am |

    Sam,

    I will mansplain for you

    Sam: which would present the exact same problem, in my opinion.

    Yes so you stick to asking. OK ?

  226. zuzu
    zuzu October 7, 2011 at 11:16 am |

    raya: So why can’t we talk about the classism pointed out? I mean, when being broke (which implies not having a job etc.) disqualifies you from being an adult, that’s pretty classist.
    I really don’t buy that this isn’t offensive because it’s supposed to be a joke. I don’t even think it’s funny/well written; it’s not mocking the meme that all that women are interested in men is their money or something like that, it’s just funny because LOL POOR MEN.

    I’m not seeing in the piece mockery of poor men, I’m seeing mockery of broke boys who are broke because they choose not to work. Because they have “gigs” and can pick up and move anywhere and can spend the wee hours at the diner because they don’t have regular work hours. Yes, she’s describing a pretty specific urban hipster type, but honestly, you can’t swing a dead cat in Williamsburg without hitting a hipster with a college degree who describes himself as a filmmaker or writer or musician but who spends a lot more time hanging around coffee shops and vintage stores than he does drumming up business. I understand it’s even worse in Portland, because at least in Williamsburg, the cost of housing requires some kind of effort at finding work (or parents who are willing to foot the bill).

    Someone like that is broke because he romanticizes a lifestyle that for most people is unsustainable in the long term.

    And let’s not forget the first thing she said about men and why they scared her before she was 30: Men know what they want. If you consider the men she’s describing as hipster boys who realized they were tired of being broke and having a rootless life and they really weren’t going to make that indie film or write that great novel, and decided to figure out what they really wanted instead of wallowing in angst, then it makes more sense.

    Also, she’s not describing all men everywhere, mostly the ones she’s dated or considered dating.

  227. zuzu
    zuzu October 7, 2011 at 11:20 am |

    La Lubu: How many blogs are you going to take this argument to? The “why don’t women all want the same thing, all the time, from every man they deal with” argument? Do you expect all men to want the same thing, all the time, from any woman they deal with? No? But you do expect that from women, as a class (as you said, “the general you”). Interesting.

    Perhaps Sam, who bears all the signs of being a Nice Guy™, would prefer a PUA blog, where his viewpoint about women is catered to.

  228. zuzu
    zuzu October 7, 2011 at 11:24 am |

    Fat Steve: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    Thanks so much La Lubu, for bring us back on topic and being one of the few people who seems to get what I got about this article (as I noted in comment #3) and why I found it so powerful (hence didn’t mention the humor aspect.)

    What a shame that all this nonsense made it take 193 comments to make that connection….

    Yes, definitely.

    I will also point out that she said she avoided men before she was 30 because they were grown up and she wasn’t, but after 30, she avoided boys because she was grown up and they weren’t.

    Really, it does suck to be the adult in the relationship, but it sucks to be the child-role partner and to be aware of that.

  229. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 11:28 am |

    zuzu: Someone like that is broke because he romanticizes a lifestyle that for most people is unsustainable in the long term.

    I have to admit to a little schadenfreude today. I visited a hitherto hipster of the type zuzu just described. He only today moved into a house he and his girlfriend have bought . He had invited me over for coffee (to show off his house) yet had no milk and no sugar and no fridge. His small pile of possessions sat in one corner of one room and he had suddenly come over all anxious that he would never have freedom again.

    At least he has made the first step.

  230. igglanova
    igglanova October 7, 2011 at 11:34 am |

    I don’t see why the trans* thing is relevant here, but whatever. Feel free to accuse us of bigotry for not agreeing with your insipid anti-feminist drivel, even though nobody was talking about trans* issues in the first place.

  231. zuzu
    zuzu October 7, 2011 at 11:36 am |

    Sam:
    Fat Steve,

    “She could just as easily be suggesting that ‘real men’ are sensitive and empathetic enough to know when a woman wants to be kissed. HINT: if you have to ask, it probably means she doesn’t.”

    which would present the exact same problem, in my opinion.

    Sam, since you seem to have trouble with hints, here’s a direct statement: the problem here is not feminism, is not women, but is you. You are consistently having a problem in coming off as creepy. Go get some professional help, in person, and stop asking blog commenters to sign on to your whining about how FEMINISM ROOOOONED YOUR LIFE.

  232. llama
    llama October 7, 2011 at 11:43 am |

    zuzu: would prefer a PUA blog

    I am somewhat embarrassed, I had to look up what PUA stood for. Surely, surely that shit doesn’t get any traction?

  233. petpluto
    petpluto October 7, 2011 at 11:59 am |

    Schala: “Okay, find me a male DV shelter, or a rape crisis center for adult male victims of rape (not only male victims of childhood rape). Now, if you managed to find even 1, how many are there for only female victims? And don’t tell me other “more mainstream services” take care of that.Men’s issues are ignored because men are expendable. Patriarchy tells men to protect women. No one is told to protect men, besides themselves (and if you failed/died/got beaten, it’s your own damn fault, too). So I doubt Big Daddy government is going to care one iota about tackling male issues until it decides the vote. Zero empathy.

    Here’s something that comes up a lot: the existence of shelters for women who have experienced domestic violence, the existence of rape crisis centers for women. You know why women have these things? Because women of the previous generations worked hard and long to get them, to set them up, to get funding, to garner public support, to create the system, to get the word out, to support women.

    I’m all for men having these things. I’m all for men having places to go when their homes are violent places. I’m all for men having places to go when they’ve been raped – by men or by women. I’m all for men having societal support in every aspect they need it – be it shelters or be it time off of work. And I want those things fully supported.

    But you know what? Men are going to have to work for it. Just like women did and still do. Men are going to have to fight to get the general society to recognize that domestic violence affects men, and they deserve a place to go as well. Men are going to have to fight to get the general society to recognize that men can get raped, do get raped, and that those men deserve a place that deals with those issues exclusively as well.

    And you know what? Men can have allies. I’m not saying every feminist is going to line around the block to help men get these structures in order. I’m not saying if you head to a feminist blog and then comment on an article that is emphatically not about men specifically or even domestic violence in general and complain about the lack of structural support for men, you’re going to get a large amount of sympathy. Because, honestly, you’ve chosen the wrong place to relay that particular message.

    BUT! If the grouping of men who see this as a problem; recognize the disparity of community support; decide to actively work toward changing that the same way the feminists before them have; and work to reach out to the people who run/help create/help fund/help get public awareness of these services for women, I can’t see how those men wouldn’t garner some help.

    However, what I generally see is this: complaining about these social services for women as if they’ve always been here and as if certain groups of women didn’t work tirelessly for those services. These things did not pop up out of thin air. These things have not always been around.

  234. Mark Turner
    Mark Turner October 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm |

    chava:
    Ummmmm, two things.

    1)Did I say being a rock star was immature? Or that doing whatever you want with you free time (or life) is immature?My father is a full-time musician.He’s also a man.

    2) Yes, some PEOPLE (men and women) cling to a bougie ideal of “how adult life should be,” and then try to force their partners into that box.

    chava, :-)

    1) I didn’t mean to sound as if I was attacking your opinions or putting words in your mouth. I was just attempting to offer an alternative viewpoint. I brought up the rock star example in relation to the idea that live-and-let-live is arguably a more mature attitude to other people’s lives.

    2) Then we are in agreement.

  235. Mark Turner
    Mark Turner October 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm |

    Jill: Is it written into the Constitution, though? You might want to double-check that one.

    Oops, I stand corrected….Declaration of Independence, not Constitution.

  236. XtinaS
    XtinaS October 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

    zuzu:

    Really, it does suck to be the adult in the relationship, but it sucks to be the child-role partner and to be aware of that.

    Word.  I was in that kind of a relationship once, where I was the young’n and he was older than me, and it didn’t work out, much for that reason.  (I was still figuring out what I wanted from anything, and he had already settled into his chosen career and was in the middle of settling down.)

  237. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

    Sam. The author did not say that men are mind readers. She said that “men know what they want.” Men know what they want. Are are ready to take action towards getting what they want. And are willing to deal with the consequences of working toward what they want. See the difference? Take out the word “men”, insert the word “women”, and the statement reads the same (at least, in my world).

  238. Mark Turner
    Mark Turner October 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm |

    chava:

    Wow. There are so many ways this comment can be deconstructed, I don’t know where to start. But I’ll give it a try.

    I think you are drifting away a little bit from the original theme of the article. Which was, the author claims that men need to stop being ‘little boys’ and accept their ‘adult responsibilities’. It’s a thesis that is problematic on several levels.

    First of all, who is to say what ‘adult responsibilities’ or ‘mens responsibilities’ are? It’s an entirely subjective viewpoint. Yes, everybody does have some responsibility towards the greater society…to obey the law, to participate in the political system of the country, to not do harm to one’s neighbor except perhaps in self-defense. But I submit, beyond this, who is to say that men have certain inherent responsibilities based on their gender? If you polled the majority of men in any country, you would not get a consensus on what male responsibilities are anymore than you would get a consensus on say, ‘black responsibilities’ or ‘Jewish responsibilities.’ Why should anybody get to say there are certain social responsibilities that accrue based on gender?

    Suppose we turn the argument around. Suppose we argue that women need to ‘grow up’ and accept their responsibilities as women…to bear children, to raise them, and to help be the backbone in a strong, stable marriage? After all, women are the ones who bear children…they have an inherent responsibility to support the species and raise the next generation.

    No one would take the above argument seriously, because we all acknowledge that women have the right to take on the responsibilities of childbirth and motherhood IF AND ONLY IF it’s what they want. If it’s what makes them happy. So-called social obligations be damned.

    No one is OBLIGATED to take on responsibilities that are unrelated to their own happiness, no matter what some members of society may think. And claiming that men have certain inherent responsibilities to society is a double standard.

    Second, another problem with this kind of reasoning is that it’s a shaming tactic. The kind of shaming tactic that men have put up with for thousands of years, in order to force men to conform to certain allegedly-desirable behavior patterns. A Spartan woman tells her husband, ‘Return home carrying your shield or lying upon it.’ In World War I women went around handing out white feathers to men not in uniform, calling them cowards for not signing up to be slaughtered at the front. And then women turn around and have the nerve to say it’s men that have caused all the wars over the centuries.

    Third, the argument is rather pointless because it falls on deaf ears. Any man who holds down a job, is happy doing what he does and what he likes in his spare time, is just going to shrug and chuckle at any argument they need to ‘grow up’, ‘man up’ and do what society expects of them. For the simple reason that the ‘obligation’ is unenforceable.

    Fourth, the argument is rather hypocritical when the people making the argument – some women, obviously not all – often don’t do very much themselves to live up to the standard of maturity they expect men to set. If men are the ones who are committment-phobic, then why is it that 75% of divorces are initiated by women?

  239. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

    I have a feeling you wrote this much because you felt your argument was hollowed out, like a sad rotten pumpkin.

    That’s the funniest analogy I’ve read in quite some time.

  240. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

    BUT! If the grouping of men who see this as a problem; recognize the disparity of community support; decide to actively work toward changing that the same way the feminists before them have; and work to reach out to the people who run/help create/help fund/help get public awareness of these services for women, I can’t see how those men wouldn’t garner some help.

    THIS. It’s the difference between whining that women aren’t doing stuff for men (because it’s not like we aren’t expected to do all sorts of shit for them and sacrifice our own well-being for everyone else), and men doing it for themselves and reaching out to the women who’ve done this and asking what worked and what didn’t. The first one is just bitterness and anger at women for not catering to men, and turning it into a zero-sum game. The second is approaching feminists as good-faith allies and opening up a conversation and a partnership.

  241. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm |

    Good lord. It’s like the roach bait of trolls, this post.

  242. Mark Turner
    Mark Turner October 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

    EG:
    I really will never understand the mentality that considers members of subjugated groups making fun of the dominant group to be just as bad as members of the dominant groups making fun of subjugated groups.It’s as though one group of people has been shooting another group of people for years, and then when the group that’s been getting the crap beaten out of them throws spitballs back, it’s considered just as bad.

    The problem with the argument that equality should be based on correcting ‘historical injustices’ is that there is an infinite number of ‘historical injustices’ in the historical record. It’s a never-ending progression of injustices that disappears back into the mists of time. But somehow some people think they have figured out which ‘historical injustices’ are relevant to modern life and which ones aren’t, and expect all the rest of us to go along with their biases. When actually what they have really done is made an arbitrary value judgement based on unexamined and often not very logical presuppositions.

    Not only do they assume that their subconscious value judgements are universal, they often simplify their chosen allegedly relevant ‘historical injustice’ in order to magnify it’s apparent importance. All males should apologize to all females for the way they have been treated by men in the past…an argument so simplistic it would lead us to the bizarre conclusion that even Black males should apologize to White females for ‘historical injustices’, when any sane, detailed reading of the historical record would lead to the opposite conclusion.

    The US government should apologize to Japanese-Americans for their internment in World War II. Whites should apologize to Blacks for the slave trade. Spain should apologize to the indigenous peoples of the Americas for their slavery and genocide. Germans should apologize to the Jews for the Holocaust. Romans should apologize to the Gauls, the native Britons, and the Iberians for annihilation of their culture, and for expelling the Jews from Israel. The Israelis should apologize to the Philistines for destroying and annihilating their religion…

    …on and on it goes, back in time. An infinite number of historical injustices, some of which are ‘relevant’ and some of which aren’t. Which of these historical injustices are ‘relevant’? It’s an arbitrary value judgement, whichever one you choose.

    But some people – yayyy – seem to have figured this all out for us. And when we haven’t ‘figured it out’, we get berated for not ‘getting it’. As if there was only one “it” to get.

    Have you ever noticed how a great deal of sturm und drang is placed on what whites and males have done to females and non-whites in the past, but things that nonwhites and white females have done to others doesn’t draw as much notice? The US government should apologize for what was done to Japanese-Americans during World War II…but things that Japanese people did in the Philippines, in Korea, in China, etc., doesn’t seem to draw as much attention. Apparently men have to should apologize and feel guilty for what was done to women over the centuries…never minding the fact that the KKK and the NSDAP had women’s auxilliaries. Quite popular ones with very enthusiastic members.

    Or so the historical record shows.

    If your ideological mindset allows you to see them.

    It gets really interesting when, arbitrarily, more value is placed on injustices that took place in the past than on ones taking place in the present. “We have to treat men unequally now because of the way women were treated in the past.”

    Well…the problem with this is that it is the nature of time and physics for the past to be unchangable. The past is the past. Time moves in one direction, we can’t go back and change it.

    This emphasis on ‘correcting’ a selected set of historical injustices is a self-serving illusion. It MIGHT be relevant today, if we could go back in time and prevent the Holocaust, or bring the dead back to life. But we can’t. It’s in the nature of physics for the past to be unchangable.

    This arbitrary value judgement that past injustices are paramount in the discussion of equality, or that we “have to take into account the historical context” leads to the bizarre, illogical, and frankly immoral belief that selected person-on-person injustices committed today are “justifiable”. It’s okay for a wife to cut off her husband’s penis because he wants a divorce “because of the way women were treated in the past”. It’s okay to falsely accuse a man of rape “because so many men got away with rape for centuries.”

    This is…bad thinking, faulty reasoning, infantile posturing, take your choice. But it is at the very least, immoral and inhumane.

    Equality should first, and foremost, be based on a principle. An arbitrary value judgement that all human beings, regardless of biological or cultural aspects (male, female, black, white, asian, gay, straight, Catholic, whatever) and their current circumstances (rich, poor, university-educated, whatever) should be treated equally.

    We start from there, go forward, historical record be damned. We shed all the historical baggage, start from that principle, and keep to it.

    It keeps things simple, it has the most chance of success because everybody can relate to it at an intellectual and deeply personal level. I can’t be equal unless the person next to me is also equal.

    Whomever he or she might be.

    REGARDLESS of whoever she or he might be.

  243. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    Mark Turner: I think you are drifting away a little bit from the original theme of the article. Which was, the author claims that men need to stop being ‘little boys’ and accept their ‘adult responsibilities’. I

    It so fucking wasn’t. ‘The original theme’ of the article was a young woman’s dilemma about growing older, gaining life experience, and a set of changing values; and how it reflected in her dating choices. This is Mindy Kaling’s way of saying ‘maybe I should stop dating men because they have the same CD collection that I do, and date ones who have the same life goals as I do.’

    Simple, huh? Not unless schmucks like you have to complicate it, by a combination of taking certain parts literally and making up stuff that isn’t even there.

  244. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

    It’s okay for a wife to cut off her husband’s penis because he wants a divorce “because of the way women were treated in the past”. It’s okay to falsely accuse a man of rape “because so many men got away with rape for centuries.”

    Not one person on this blog has said that. But it seems that in your mind, it’s okay to lie about what people on this blog have said.

    Kee-rist. As I said, this post seems to be so much roach bait for trolls.

  245. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

    Mark Turner: The US government should apologize to Japanese-Americans for their internment in World War II. Whites should apologize to Blacks for the slave trade. Spain should apologize to the indigenous peoples of the Americas for their slavery and genocide. Germans should apologize to the Jews for the Holocaust. Romans should apologize to the Gauls, the native Britons, and the Iberians for annihilation of their culture, and for expelling the Jews from Israel. The Israelis should apologize to the Philistines for destroying and annihilating their religion…

    You should apologize for being such a massive ‘See You Next Tuesday’!

  246. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

    Just read my last comment and realized I spend too much time in the UK. As a male on a US-based feminist blog I realize that even directing a hint of that word towards another man has implications towards women that I did not consider, so I apologize in advance if I offended anyone.

  247. zuzu
    zuzu October 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

    Mark Turner: The US government should apologize for what was done to Japanese-Americans during World War II…but things that Japanese people did in the Philippines, in Korea, in China, etc., doesn’t seem to draw as much attention.

    They sure as hell draw attention in the Philippines, in Korea, and in China.

    It’s okay for a wife to cut off her husband’s penis because he wants a divorce “because of the way women were treated in the past”.

    Lorena Bobbitt was arrested and tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity, not by reason of history.

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  248. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos October 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm |

    If men are the ones who are committment-phobic, then why is it that 75% of divorces are initiated by women?

    *facepalm* LOL obvious troll IS obvious.

  249. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

    Mark Turner: Equality should first, and foremost, be based on a principle. An arbitrary value judgement that all human beings, regardless of biological or cultural aspects (male, female, black, white, asian, gay, straight, Catholic, whatever) and their current circumstances (rich, poor, university-educated, whatever) should be treated equally.

    I’m sure it eats you up inside that in terms of wages, access to healthcare, and political influence non-white non-males are not treated equally. That must be why you’re on here moaning about them treating you unfairly. God, you are such a dick!

  250. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos October 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

    Anyone else get a giggle out of the MRA’s position they they need mommy to start, run and fund shelters for Male victims of rape, abuse, etc.? Why can’t they do it themselves?

    Interesting that the master of the universe (because they have penises) need women to do this for them, isn’t it?

    It’s almost as if MRAs don’t give a flying fuck about these men, they just want another reason to whine about how all women aren’t interested in being their mommies.

  251. Miss S
    Miss S October 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm |

    So I just read this entire thread, and I’m trying to figure out if some of these commenters are for real, or trolling.

    I particularly liked this:
    Yeah, consider thousands of years that you were not born. Not. Consider your lifespan, not before because you shared a characteristic with people. Or I can claim kinship with antique Egyptians because I think cats are awesome too – is that a superficial characteristic enough?

    So, sharing a characteristic, like race, which has lead to the oppression/ slavery/ genocide of the people who you happen to share said characteristic with, has no material impact on your life? It’s no more significant than thinking that cats are awesome, like Egyptians? Am I reading this right?

    I’m trans, and I care about trans feminist issues, but I’m not one of those bloggers (since I don’t have a blog).
    People aren’t mocking and dismissing you because you’re trans. They’re mocking you because you’re determined to make everyone stop and think about the men and their feelings, their issues, their problems. Which is kind of silly to do on a blog like this.

    Seriously, Jill. This asshole is Dawn all over again.
    So I’m not the only one having flashbacks? Good.

  252. chava
    chava October 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

    Wow. There are so many ways in which you are a condescending dick, that I don’t know where to start. And I don’t care to try.

    Mark Turner:
    chava:

    chava, :-)

    Wow. There are so many ways this comment can be deconstructed, I don’t know where to start. But I’ll give it a try.

  253. Matt
    Matt October 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |

    Re: Sam;

    I do have to say that I get the feeling that feminists would not have executed Guinivere, as long as she was a feminist.

    or as they liked to yell at Arthur and Merlin around the table that day:
    “You said we were doing away with ORFTRAFTR!!!”

  254. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley October 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm |

    Schala:
    Well, I give up, walls will remain walls. At least I tried.

    You do know that even trans feminist bloggers have given up on Feministe and Feministing, for causes of echo-chamber and ignoring them (and often being blatantly cissexist)?

    I’m trans, and I care about trans feminist issues, but I’m not one of those bloggers (since I don’t have a blog). Just heard from them.

    Do not for one second use being trans to deflect from the criticism your words are drawing here, not for one fucking second. This place has been fairly trans inclusive (it has faulty times just lime most places) but this is not a case of you being ignored for being trans.

    And I’m telling you this as a Trans Woman (blah I hate having to use this blog cliche of identifying my identity to give it more weight but fuck it it seems necessary here.)

  255. Charity
    Charity October 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm |

    Schala, I am truly sorry for what it appears you have been through. But really, your worldview, and your perception of what “feminism” and “patriarchy” are, which appears based on some distorted things you were told growing up, are really, really fucked up. Like, inside out and upside down fucked up. It’s not fair what you went through, but as adults, we still have responsibility to gain accurate, factual information about the kinds of concepts we may have been lied about as children, so we can speak about those concepts accurately. And as adults, we are also responsible for not conflating our own personal family dynamics, with EVERYONE ELSE’S REALITY and broader social and cultural phenomena.

    Also Darque, if you are going to cite radical feminism’s transphobia, you might want to accurately represent what kind of transphobia it is (there is no excusing transphobia, but again, accuracy matters). It is not, “trans individuals are child molesters and murderers”. It is more along the lines of, “trans women have not lived the full spectrum of misogyny because they, at some point, had male privilege…trans women’s gender performance is a parody of partiarchally prescribed femininity, yadda yadda awful, awful awfulness.” Again, this is an oversimplification and is not in any way an excusable position in my mind, and erases the other dimensions of violence and marginalization experienced by trans men and women, but let’s be clear: it is not radical feminists who are raping and murdering trans men and women or staking out their homes and accusing them of molesting children. Those would be primarily the hypermasculine men who are acting out of their own fear and rage.

    Some of these comments, whether deliberate trolling or not, have so little coherence and so little basis in reality it is frightening.

  256. Charity
    Charity October 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm |

    And, in case it’s not clear in what I said, not every radical feminist is transphobic. Some are working really hard to counter transphobia within their circles. And in case this wasn’t clear either, I am not trying to excuse one form of transphobia as “better” than any other, or as not contributing to the broader structural oppression of trans individuals. I am pointing out that the individuals perpetrating the kinds of abuses that seem close to what Schala was speaking about, do not appear to have embodied feminist values, and there are other groups that those kinds of abusive and violent behaviors ARE actually associated with.

  257. Donna L
    Donna L October 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm |

    Schala:
    Well, I give up, walls will remain walls. At least I tried.

    You do know that even trans feminist bloggers have given up on Feministe and Feministing, for causes of echo-chamber and ignoring them (and often being blatantly cissexist)?

    I’m trans, and I care about trans feminist issues, but I’m not one of those bloggers (since I don’t have a blog). Just heard from them.

    Gee, I know a number of trans feminists (including myself), and I never heard anyone suggest that any issues they have with feministe — and feministe has certainly had a reputation for a very long time for ignoring, silencing, and being dismissive of trans women’s concerns — have anything to do with being “mean” to men. And, yeah, the objections to Schala’s words here have nothing to do with her being trans.

    Not to mention, I don’t get how Schala can say at the same time she isn’t a feminist, but *is* a trans feminist. What?

    It may have been difficult for me to identify as a feminist 30 or even 25 years ago, when being virulently anti-trans was the mainstream feminist viewpoint, and reading almost any feminist author carried a substantial risk of coming across something that would make you feel like killing yourself. That’s just not the case anymore. (Although it does seem to be the case that anti-trans feminism is still a lot closer to the mainstream, and that anti-trans sentiments are publicly expressed by self-identified feminists far more often, in the UK than in the USA.)

    Finally, the exclusion of trans women from rape/domestic violence shelters — something that isn’t as common as it used to be anyway — derives from the refusal to accept that trans women are women. The solution isn’t to suggest that such places should extend the scope of their services to cover men. To make that argument seems to me to be almost accepting of the argument that trans women are men.

  258. Donna L
    Donna L October 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm |

    Charity:
    it is not radical feminists who are raping and murdering trans men and women or staking out their homes and accusing them of molesting children.

    The first part of that statement is entirely true. The second, not so much. There are lots of so-called “radical feminists” who very much accuse trans women of being rapists and child molesters. That sort of thing has been common for decades. (With the rape accusation being both literal and figurative, as in the Janice Raymond-type assertion that the very act of “constructing” a female body is a form of rape.)

    Not to mention that the first part of your statement sounds *exactly* like the defense of transphobia one often sees on trans feminist websites: no matter how foul and repulsive our words — like the recent notorious thread on one well-known radical feminist site, replete with comments by women claiming that you can always tell a trans woman even after surgery because their vaginas smell like rotten meat — we aren’t the ones who murder trans women!

    Sticks and stones, right?

  259. EG
    EG October 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm |

    It’s okay for a wife to cut off her husband’s penis because he wants a divorce “because of the way women were treated in the past”. It’s okay to falsely accuse a man of rape “because so many men got away with rape for centuries.”

    I believe that what I said was that it was perfectly fine for women to make fun of men because of the way men have treated women for centuries. How you got from mockery to mutilation and false accusation is your own problem.

    I do have to say that I get the feeling that feminists would not have executed Guinivere, as long as she was a feminist.

    As I recall, what Guinivere did was to fall in love with and have sex with a man who was not the husband that her family had chosen for her. I’m going to speak for all us crazy radical feminists here when I say that no, indeed, we would not execute Guinivere for that. Neither, by the way, did Arthur. Guinivere retired to a convent.

  260. Charity
    Charity October 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm |

    Donna, I attempted to clarify that I do see the abuses as interconnected, in my second comment. I also attempted to clarify that I was speaking directly to a particular example cited by the person i was responding to.

  261. zuzu
    zuzu October 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm |

    EG: I believe that what I said was that it was perfectly fine for women to make fun of men because of the way men have treated women for centuries. How you got from mockery to mutilation and false accusation is your own problem.

    Oh, come, come! You know mockery is literally emasculating.

  262. igglanova
    igglanova October 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm |

    Fat Steve: I’m sure it eats you up inside that in terms of wages, access to healthcare, and political influence non-white non-males are not treated equally. That must be why you’re on here moaning about them treating you unfairly. God, you are such a dick!

    I think I love Fat Steve.

  263. Donna L
    Donna L October 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

    Charity:
    Donna, I attempted to clarify that I do see the abuses as interconnected, in my second comment.I also attempted to clarify that I was speaking directly to a particular example cited by the person i was responding to.

    I understand what you’re saying. Still, part of your comment simply wasn’t accurate.

  264. EG
    EG October 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm |

    Oh, come, come! You know mockery is literally emasculating.

    If only!

  265. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig October 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm |

    Schala: Yeeesh, projecting much? You either really hate yourself, or you have a lot of issues. Not surprising, since your family is really setting off the Humbert meter…
    Anyway, kids, as a rule, suck at the whole empathy thing. I think we can both agree on that. That said, it isn’t surprising that the people they choose to hang out with are.. the same as them. Boys generally aren’t going to understand the thrill of dressing up one day, and the next day, going out in one’s old torn-up clothes to jump in a mud puddle or owning a team at softball or soccer. Girls generally don’t get the appeal of farts and burps. Girls would die of embarrassment at discussing menstruation with any male, let alone one they aren’t related to. Boys don’t really want to discuss the embarrassment of an unruly body with girls. It isn’t, as you insist ALL ABOUT SEX, it’s about trying to find allies and common ground.
    I was also going to say something about how you should stop whining and maybe think about setting up those services for men that you lament the absence of, but other people said it better.

  266. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig October 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm |

    Fat Steve: I hear ya. I’d love to go to the Book of Mormon, but that’d only happen if I won the lottery and a trip to New York. I refer you to my Grand Philosophy of Concerts: you go to the gigs/plays you can afford, and have the time and energy for, and never mind the rest.

  267. zuzu
    zuzu October 7, 2011 at 9:48 pm |

    EG: If only!

    No kidding. You wouldn’t be able to walk down the street without tripping over a penis if that were true.

  268. Darque
    Darque October 8, 2011 at 12:04 am |

    @Sheelzebub

    “Holy fucking shit. Men are not facing the type of oppression or the LEVEL of oppression that women of color are. That you would equate the discomfort that men feel when women are doing things for themselves with the institutional racism and White supremacy that women of color have to deal with is beyond ridiculous. ”

    What, you haven’t heard of men of color? Do you think prison is like one of those jokey, fun places where men go to lift weights and eat crappy cafeteria food? (and make shivs out of household implements.)

    This blog is the biggest genderfail I’ve seen ever. God, you’re all so oppressed – some dudes don’t own a home, and a car, and have boatloads of cash. Heaven forbid you might end up dating someone who has less money than you.

  269. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig October 8, 2011 at 12:31 am |

    zuzu: Thanks, now I have that image stuck in my head. Coupled with a disturbing image from a couple of weeks ago, that’s never gonna leave..

  270. Matt
    Matt October 8, 2011 at 1:47 am |

    Guinivere was saved by Lancelot, they were actually executing her right then. Maybe you read a different version of the story. Also my main intention was to point out orftraftr.

    EG: I believe that what I said was that it was perfectly fine for women to make fun of men because of the way men have treated women for centuries.How you got from mockery to mutilation and false accusation is your own problem.

    As I recall, what Guinivere did was to fall in love with and have sex with a man who was not the husband that her family had chosen for her.I’m going to speak for all us crazy radical feminists here when I say that no, indeed, we would not execute Guinivere for that.Neither, by the way, did Arthur.Guinivere retired to a convent.

  271. Matt
    Matt October 8, 2011 at 1:49 am |

    the pursuit of happiness is not writter anywhere. the third right is property.

    Jill: Is it written into the Constitution, though? You might want to double-check that one.

  272. Matt
    Matt October 8, 2011 at 2:09 am |

    I just want to tell you that I love you. The blatant hypocrisy all over this site, and the vast majority of feminist sites is scary. In another thread I made a king Arthur reference about Guinivere and ORFTRAFTR. I’ll spell it out this time: One rule for the rulers, another for the ruled.
    “What? Feminists don’t rule the world!” Not now, but I’m not worried about now, I’m worried about if the kinds of feminists on this site ever do come into power.
    As someone said, if it don’t fly when the Dilbert writer says it, it don’t fly here. If I don’t find blatant gender bias funny, I must not have a sense of humor. Another argument feminists complain about, but here they are using it. I understand the reference the comedian, lol, was making. Its just not original, or interesting. 10 year old episodes of everybody loves raymond are funnier than this. I understand why this particular collection of cliches amuses feminists, but i’m not a feminist so, the affect isn’t the same.
    This is just another example of feminist irony/hypocrisy. Just like when feminism used to ignore and still does ignore poc, trans, pretty much all of quiltbag. People only care about issues that affect them. Feminists are all like we are middle class/upper class women so duh we care about middle class/upper class white women’s issues. And then they splash their bigotry everywhere. This is not only gender biased against cis/bi men, but its massively classist, neurotypicalnormative and so forth. its not really heteronormative in a bad way though, at least they managed that, its better than they usually do.

    Darque:
    “Also not feminist. I could be misunderstanding, but I am really confused as to what you are arguing.”

    You ever been to any rad fem sites lately? Julian Real’s place? Go there, and then tell me with a straight face that feminists can’t be wrong.

    Of course, I suppose in some people’s magical universes, any feminism that they disagree with isn’t *really* feminist, and everything that they agree with is a perfect example of what is right about feminism.

    Maybe if y’all were viewing things from the outside, you would see that your movement isn’t the shining city on the hill “fix everything” group that it is made out to be.

    On a good day, you’re a beacon of hope to oppressed groups, and on a bad day, you’re half of the problem.

    The only reason this post was called “funny” was because the stereotypes it traded in about male laziness and male uncleanliness are things that I think all of you buy into at a certain level. The only reason that Sam got berated repeatedly was because his criticism was dismissed as “whinging” – because nobody likes a man who is a “whiner”.

    If I had a quarter for every traditional male stereotype that the frequent commenters of this blog (and contributors) have reinforced rather than trying to critique – I’d be a millionaire.

    Now, please commence a.) : the personal attacks. b.) the “I can’t hate men, because I have a boyfriend/husband/male friend.” c. You have no sense of humor.

    I do have a sense of humor. It’s just that your comedy routine sucks and is sexist.

  273. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 8, 2011 at 4:50 am |

    My God, you trolls are so fucking full of it. First one of you equate men who have male privilege and women of color who don’t. Then another one of you completely ignores the retort about how that is a really fucked up comparison by trying to deflect yet again. And when you class men–who, by virtue of their gender, have a certain amount of power–as being in the same boat as women of color, yes, you are a fucking dumbass and the generator of fail.

    some dudes don’t own a home, and a car, and have boatloads of cash. Heaven forbid you might end up dating someone who has less money than you.

    Yeah, and a lot of women don’t have those things either, yet you’d rather whine about how unfair the bitches are in your dating life. I mean, hey! Let’s not talk about institutional racism or sexism or homophobia EVER because Whites and men are not all rich (even though they make up the majority of the economically and institutionally powerful). Because not every man is rich, we should all just STFU and tend to your bruised fee-fees.

  274. Sam
    Sam October 8, 2011 at 10:13 am |

    Zuzu,

    “Perhaps Sam, who bears all the signs of being a Nice Guy™”

    you know, I think I’d like to thank you here, because that statement actually clears up a lot for me, which is good, since I, as you know, can’t take a hint ;). Calling me a “Nice Guy ™” based on what I’ve declared about myself in the thread is actually ridding the term of any specific definitional clarity it may have once had and confirming that it’s basically nothing more than a feminist insult for “guy who complains about something somehow related to gender and sexuality”. Thanks for setting that straight. As such, thank you as well for making it clear beyond that “taking a hint” is important when parsing feminist statements, which, of course, logically implies “don’t take what we say at face value”.

    Too bad.

  275. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 8, 2011 at 10:22 am |

    Darque: Now, please commence a.) : the personal attacks. b.) the “I can’t hate men, because I have a boyfriend/husband/male friend.” c. You have no sense of humor.

    a) You’re a douchebag, you smell like farts and your parents probably hate you.

    b) I hate men like you.

    c) When I was in school, I failed math so many times, I can’t count.

  276. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig October 8, 2011 at 10:36 am |

    God, it’s like if toddlers learned how to type. We’ve got the whines, the footstomping, the wails of ‘yoouuu doooon’t unnnnderstaaaanndddd’ and the ‘la-la-la I can’t hear you.’This is one of the many reasons I don”t date, I’m worried that most of the guys in my age range are like Sam or Darque.

  277. EG
    EG October 8, 2011 at 10:51 am |

    llama, I didn’t see your comments yesterday, either because they were in moderation or because I was reading too quickly. Having seen them now, I’m rather irritated.

    Are you assuming that because I’m a Jew, I’m pro-Israel? If so, that’s your own problem. If not, I’m afraid the point of your comment is unclear.

    As to where women in the west are denied education, property ownership, etc., I’m referring to not-so-distant history. Surely you don’t think just swapping the way things are now would be fair play?

  278. Mr. Kristen J.
    Mr. Kristen J. October 8, 2011 at 11:01 am |

    Matt,

    Let me spell it out for you: if feminists get into power that doesn’t mean men will be oppressed. Other than a few outliers, most feminists are seeking equality, not domination. Humor at the expense of an equal is not oppressive. Lawyers making banker jokes – not oppressive. The humor Scott Adams used was part of the oppression of women. The stereotypes in this joke are about middle class white men who avoid responsibility and are therefore undateable children.

    The vast majority of middle class white men have signficantly more institutional power than women in the US. Certainly, this group of men in particular has more institutional power than many of the women who comment on this blog. These women making fun of this group of men – not oppressive.

    We could have a discussion elsewhere about the preceptions of adulthood and masculinity, about the rigidity of gender roles for men, about how society (including parents and dating partners) contribute to those standards, or even how that rigidity impacts the continuing struggle for equity in childrearing and household maintenance. In fact, these conversations have occurred on this blog from time to time with the commentors here being extremely supportive of breaking down the rigidity of masculinity.

    But you have come here to demand those conversation apparently without recognizing that men have controlled the discourse around rights and equality for a very long time. Women have had to create spaces like this one to have a voice at all. To come into these spaces and insist that people discuss this from a male perspective is to rob this space of it initial purpose and to engage in the very oppressive behavior that made this space necessary.

    There is a whole wide world out there where your voice matters most, go use it.

  279. zuzu
    zuzu October 8, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    Glad I could be of help! Off to the PUA sites with you now. Ta!

    Sam:
    Zuzu,

    “Perhaps Sam, who bears all the signs of being a Nice Guy™”

    you know, I think I’d like to thank you here, because that statement actually clears up a lot for me, which is good, since I, as you know, can’t take a hint ;). Calling me a “Nice Guy ™” based on what I’ve declared about myself in the thread is actually ridding the term of any specific definitional clarity it may have once had and confirming that it’s basically nothing more than a feminist insult for “guy who complains about something somehow related to gender and sexuality”. Thanks for setting that straight. As such, thank you as well for making it clear beyond that “taking a hint” is important when parsing feminist statements, which, of course, logically implies “don’t take what we say at face value”.

    Too bad.

  280. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 8, 2011 at 11:48 am |

    EG:
    llama,I didn’t see your comments yesterday, either because they were in moderation or because I was reading too quickly.Having seen them now, I’m rather irritated.

    Are you assuming that because I’m a Jew, I’m pro-Israel?

    Good Lord, no, it seems far more sinister than that- he/she seems to imply that as a Jew you are responsible for the actions of Israel.

  281. EG
    EG October 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

    Good Lord, no, it seems far more sinister than that- he/she seems to imply that as a Jew you are responsible for the actions of Israel.

    Now, see, that’s just so not fair! Why, at the last Secret Underground Meeting of the International Zionist Conspiracy, I voted against continuing our depredations on the Palestinians. I made a speech and everything! Sadly, it was truncated, as we had to get on to the next item in our Agenda, which was destroying the world economy (obviously).*

    *I have been heartened by the fact that this recession didn’t seem to be triggering, at least in the US, a significant uptick in anti-semitism. When I went down to the Wall St. protests last weekend, there was one guy standing a top a bench and proclaiming that the Jews were to blame, because the Jews control Wall Street, etc (his message was rather confused though, because the sign he was holding compared Wall Street bankers to Nazis, and whatever else Jews have been blamed for, I don’t think anybody has accused us of secretly being in charge of the Nazis). However, he was surrounded by a crowd of protesters shouting him down and emphasizing that he represented nobody but his loathsome self. I suspect that he was not a well man.

    My mother looked at him and after a while said to me, “You know, when we were all young, your father or uncle would have jumped up there and beaten him up.”

    I thought about that for a minute and said, “I’m OK with that, actually. I’d post bail.”

  282. EG
    EG October 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

    By the way, I’m not saying that because he was an anti-semite, he had to be mentally ill–I’m basing that judgment on his affect and tone and ability to deal coherently with what was going on around him.

  283. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 8, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

    EG:
    By the way, I’m not saying that because he was an anti-semite, he had to be mentally ill–I’m basing that judgment on his affect and tone and ability to deal coherently with what was going on around him.

    And I’m sure you weren’t suggesting that mentally ill people deserve a beating, though will no doubt be accused of that.

  284. DonnaL
    DonnaL October 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm |

    EG: there was one guy standing a top a bench and proclaiming that the Jews were to blame, because the Jews control Wall Street, etc (his message was rather confused though, because the sign he was holding compared Wall Street bankers to Nazis, and whatever else Jews have been blamed for, I don’t think anybody has accused us of secretly being in charge of the Nazis).

    Given that the international Jewish conspiracy has historically been accused of simultaneously being in charge of international banking (the Rothschilds!) and international Bolshevism, the argument isn’t really such a stretch. And it so happens that there are those out there who accuse “the Zionists” (always as a collective entity, of course), of deliberately collaborating and cooperating with the Nazis in order to achieve their nefarious goals.

    (Not that it’s a topic for this thread, but I should make it clear that although I’m strongly against the policies of the present government of Israel, and think they’re the worst possible policies not just for Palestinians but for Israel itself, I am also very much pro- the continued existence of Israel.)

  285. EG
    EG October 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |

    Ugh. I should have remembered not to put anything past a neo-Nazi. What is it Calvin Trillin wrote decades ago? It is beyond the scope of a writer to make fun of a right-wing position, because by the time the piece is published, somebody, somewhere, will have put the joke into practice.

  286. petpluto
    petpluto October 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

    Sam:
    Zuzu,

    “Perhaps Sam, who bears all the signs of being a Nice Guy™”

    you know, I think I’d like to thank you here, because that statement actually clears up a lot for me, which is good, since I, as you know, can’t take a hint ;). Calling me a “Nice Guy ™” based on what I’ve declared about myself in the thread is actually ridding the term of any specific definitional clarity it may have once had and confirming that it’s basically nothing more than a feminist insult for “guy who complains about something somehow related to gender and sexuality”. Thanks for setting that straight. As such, thank you as well for making it clear beyond that “taking a hint” is important when parsing feminist statements, which, of course, logically implies “don’t take what we say at face value”.

    Too bad.

    Ok, Sam, here’s the thing: You’re asking a bunch of women who haven’t said they like guys to just haul off and kiss them without any preamble why women claim that they want men to get consent before hauling off and kissing them, but really don’t want or expect men to get that consent. That right there? Problem number 1.

    Also, unless all of the women you’re citing who expect you (or guys in general) to kiss them spontaneously are feminists, I’m not really sure what you’re looking to get out of this conversation.

    Let me just make this clear: not all women are feminists. Not all women subscribe to feminist thinking. Some women still respond to the “romantic” notions of things like Hollywood films. That’s really the only explanation I can give you for why feminists say you should do one thing, but “women” expect something else. Along those lines, women are not a collective force. Women don’t follow the Women Rules for How to React to Sam Wanting to Kiss Us. Some women will want you to kiss them. Some women will not want you to kiss them. Some women will want to kiss you. Some women will want you to get consent from them before kissing them. Some women will apparently reject you for not shoving them against the wall and kissing them senseless. It takes all kinds.

    So, what’s the take away from all of this? That the only thing you can control is how you personally choose to behave. The only thing you can do is decide what ethical stance you want to take. If you think that feminists have something regarding that whole, “Hey, dude, it would be nice if you figured out if that girl wants to get kissed before you do it”, then you should follow that standard because it’s the right thing to do, and it will weed out anyone who doesn’t feel as if that’s the right thing to do. If you’re following that standard because you think it’s going to help you get laid? Then you’re a Nice Guy ™ straight up.

    And not for nothing, but how you’ve laid out your problems – which seem mostly to be along the lines of, “I try to follow what you feminists say is the proper behavior and it’s not working for me in the getting laid department” – is very Nice Guy ™ behavior.

  287. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |

    I know y’all are on the edge of your seat about how drunkenly telling my date about this thread went, so I wanted to update that the date has been postponed. I will let you know who kissed whom and whether there was asking for consent/preamble to kissing.

    (Notably, I don’t date people who I don’t want to kiss, so I tend to be less upset with spontaneous kissing, but I know most people tend to use dating as a kissing audition, so I’m in a slightly different boat, I think).

    (Also notably, I never have patience to wait for kissing, so I initiate – but I usually look at the dude and say, “I’m going to kiss you now” with a sufficient pause for him to go “EW WTF GROSS GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY FACE”)

  288. igglanova
    igglanova October 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |

    I doubt anything is going to get through to this exhausting dumbass parade, but here goes. I’ll keep it real simple for you.

    If you’re going to set up a comparison of two people with the aim of invalidating the idea that men are a privileged class, you need to minimize your extraneous variables. Effective comparisons include: middle class white man and middle class white woman; rich black man and rich black woman; poor queer man and poor queer woman; etc. Stupid comparisons include: poor black man and rich white woman; poor queer man and rich straight woman; poor white man and middle class Asian woman; etc. If you use the stupid comparison model, the multiple different social signifiers are going to make it impossible to tell which one(s) grant the person an easier or harder life in this country.

  289. llama
    llama October 9, 2011 at 12:33 am |

    EG: llama, I didn’t see your comments yesterday, either because they were in moderation or because I was reading too quickly. Having seen them now, I’m rather irritated.

    @EG My posts end all end up in moderation. It should probably teach me something about privilege and being silenced. It does however have the upside that I get to put comments on record that go unchallenged due to lack of scrutiny.

    EG:
    Are you assuming that because I’m a Jew, I’m pro-Israel?If so, that’s your own problem.If not, I’m afraid the point of your comment is unclear.

    I was providing an example to backup your point. The state of Israel regularly kills 50-100 times as many Palestinians as Palestinians kill Israeli’s. Yet the world sees the Palestinians as being just as bad.

    I don’t see how your being a Jew would have any bearing on what I said. I assume you live in the US and are not doing any of the killing?

    EG:
    As to where women in the west are denied education, property ownership, etc., I’m referring to not-so-distant history.Surely you don’t think just swapping the way things are now would be fair play?

    I think you should be arguing in context. How many women that have legally been denied the opportunity to vote are still alive in the US? By my calculation they would need to be about 110 years old by now (i.e, at least 18 years old in 1920).

  290. llama
    llama October 9, 2011 at 12:45 am |

    Fat Steve: Good Lord, no, it seems far more sinister than that- he/she seems to imply that as a Jew you are responsible for the actions of Israel.

    llama: You mean like Israel and the Palestinians?

    @Fat Steve so explain if you can how the sentence above makes any mention of EG being a Jew? It doesn’t even mention Jews.
    It talks about Israel a country which is about 20% non Jews. It makes no personal mention of EG’s religion or background.

    She was talking about people fighting injustice who when they make a small impact are considered as bad as the oppressors. I provided such an example. If you don’t see that the situation in the middle east is an example of that then feel free to argue why it isn’t but do refrain from calling me an anti-Semite without actual evidence. Not everybody that disagrees with what the state of Israel does is an anti-Semite and not everybody is incapable of separating the state of Israel from the Jewish peoples.

  291. Darque
    Darque October 9, 2011 at 2:28 am |

    Mr. Kristen J.:

    We could have a discussion elsewhere about the preceptions of adulthood and masculinity, about the rigidity of gender roles for men, about how society (including parents and dating partners) contribute to those standards, or even how that rigidity impacts the continuing struggle for equity in childrearing and household maintenance.In fact, these conversations have occurred on this blog from time to time with the commentors here being extremely supportive of breaking down the rigidity of masculinity.

    Oh, right, last week was “productive conversation week”. This week’s theme is: “Respect my right to say stupid shit, because this is a feminist blog damnit! – week”.

  292. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 9, 2011 at 6:32 am |

    llama:
    @Fat Steve so explain if you can how the sentence above makes any mention of EG being a Jew? It doesn’t even mention Jews.
    It talks about Israel a country which is about 20% non Jews. It makes no personal mention of EG’s religion or background.

    She was talking about people fighting injustice who when they make a small impact are considered as bad as the oppressors. I provided such an example. If you don’t see that the situation in the middle east is an example of that then feel free to argue why it isn’t but do refrain from calling me an anti-Semite without actual evidence. Not everybody that disagrees with what the state of Israel does is an anti-Semite and not everybody is incapable of separating the state of Israel from the Jewish peoples.

    So, you’re claiming it’s just a coincidence that this retort comes shortly after she says the whole thing about being a Jew and feeling that allows her to criticize Christians (which I’m not sure I agree with, but thats another argument for another day,as if this wasn’t enough of a derail,) and basically says to the entire commentariat. “Hello, Jewish person here.”?

    She was “talking about people fighting injustice who when they make a small impact are considered as bad as the oppressors.” rather than agree, and draw a comparison between the situation in Israel and possibly a few others, you just come back at her with:

    You mean like Israel and the Palestinians?

    Which, I’m sorry, sounded to me like ‘aha, I bet you hadn’t considered how analogous the situation is to the to the one that YOUR people are supporting right now. Huh, Jew?’

    I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and admit I could have interpreted it wrongly, but you must understand that in an exchange like that, what you don’t say is as important as what you do say.

  293. llama
    llama October 9, 2011 at 7:54 am |

    Fat Steve: Which, I’m sorry, sounded to me like ‘aha, I bet you hadn’t considered how analogous the situation is to the to the one that YOUR people are supporting right now. Huh, Jew?’.

    Okay I see your point, However I am a little more sophisticated than to assume that following Judaism, being a Jew, being a Zionist or being an Israeli are all the same thing. The one thing I do know about this woman is that she is a feminist which kind of leads me to think that killing women is not something she would support.

    BTW I am an atheist which is why I don’t much classify people into religious groups, to me they are al about the same.

    Fat Steve: I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and admit I could have interpreted it wrongly, but you must understand that in an exchange like that, what you don’t say is as important as what you do say.

    I have found that saying as little as possible is one way of avoiding too much flak on this website (either that or post references for everything said). Perhaps I could have been more expansive in this case.

  294. petpluto
    petpluto October 9, 2011 at 8:12 am |

    llama:
    I think you should be arguing in context. How many women that have legally been denied the opportunity to vote are still alive in the US? By my calculation they would need to be about 110 years old by now (i.e, at least 18 years old in 1920).

    Completely off topic, but the voting age in 1920 was 21.

  295. llama
    llama October 9, 2011 at 8:24 am |

    petpluto: Completely off topic, but the voting age in 1920 was 21.

    Thanks petpluto. That makes these women even older at around 112.

  296. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 9, 2011 at 9:26 am |

    llama: BTW I am an atheist which is why I don’t much classify people into religious groups, to me they are al about the same.

    Funny. I’m an atheist, and I respect the differences in how people worship if they so choose. I’m pretty sure that’s not the cause-and-effect relationship you were looking for.

  297. EG
    EG October 9, 2011 at 10:46 am |

    It should probably teach me something about privilege and being silenced.

    Eh, or not. All my posts were going into moderation for a few weeks. Not everything is personal. But I didn’t learn anything, except, perhaps, patience.

    And yes, I interpreted your comment the way Fat Steve did. Your being an atheist has nothing do with it. I’m an atheist. I can also acknowledge that my ethnicity puts me in a category of people who have consistently been the target of hatred and violence from another category of more powerful people.

    As to arguing in context, history is context. In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf makes the point that the reason the women’s college at which she is speaking is so much poorer than the men’s university is because historically speaking, women had then been able to own their own property for only a few decades. So generations upon generations of women had been denied the ability to generate wealth by being denied access to professions that would have allowed that, and then denied the ability to keep what they did make, because married women in the UK couldn’t own their own property until the 1880s or so, and so could neither will such property to the person/institution of their choice or donate it. That difference has not been undone by a mere hundred years or so.

  298. EG
    EG October 9, 2011 at 10:49 am |

    Oh, right, last week was “productive conversation week”. This week’s theme is: “Respect my right to say stupid shit, because this is a feminist blog damnit! – week”.

    Nah. Every week is “men don’t get to demand that we talk about what they want to talk about on a feminist blog and then throw shit fits when we decide not to because they’re big babies and then think we should care” week.

  299. Sam
    Sam October 9, 2011 at 11:03 am |

    Hey Petpluto,

    Ok, Sam, here’s the thing: You’re asking a bunch of women who haven’t said they like guys to just haul off and kiss them without any preamble why women claim that they want men to get consent before hauling off and kissing them, but really don’t want or expect men to get that consent. That right there? Problem number 1. Also, unless all of the women you’re citing who expect you (or guys in general) to kiss them spontaneously are feminists, I’m not really sure what you’re looking to get out of this conversation.

    Honestly? Feminist stated preferences for male behaviour with women only apply when it’s about interactions with feminists and are not general ethical statements? I don’t think that’s the case… and really, I don’t think it should be, as if appropriate behaviour towards someone else should depend on their politics. But see, on the other hand, one of the things I said above was that the point you’re making above about different preferences among women is *not* reflected in most feminist statements about this matter. That’s *exactl*y the point I was making with respect to the rethoric usually used in consent discussions – it doesn’t allow individual reactions to – in your words – “Some women will want you to kiss them. Some women will not want you to kiss them. Some women will want to kiss you. Some women will want you to get consent from them before kissing them. Some women will apparently reject you for not shoving them against the wall and kissing them senseless. It takes all kinds.” – it’s always about how *one* strategy, asking for explicit verbal consent, is not noly the best best but the only one. Now, as you say above, that’s already something constantly contradicted by reality and the plethora of different female preferences. However, it’s still maintained, and reiterated, as the right, and really, only thing to do, for men who want to be moral sexual beings.

    And now here’s a post on a feminist blog, saying: “real men don’t have to ask, they know”, which, I think, is a basic contradiction of what is usually said, so even *if* feminist statements only applied to feminist women, it would be a contradiction.

    “So, what’s the take away from all of this? That the only thing you can control is how you personally choose to behave. The only thing you can do is decide what ethical stance you want to take. If you think that feminists have something regarding that whole, “Hey, dude, it would be nice if you figured out if that girl wants to get kissed before you do it”, then you should follow that standard because it’s the right thing to do, and it will weed out anyone who doesn’t feel as if that’s the right thing to do. If you’re following that standard because you think it’s going to help you get laid? Then you’re a Nice Guy ™ straight up.

    The nice guy thing aside, I agree with the notion of having to pick one’s own moral standard. And really, I don’t think that “Hey, dude, it would be nice if you figured out if that girl wants to get kissed before you do it” is a fair representation of how the feminist position on this is usually articulated in conversations with men. It’s a much “weaker” demand than what is usually articulated, but it’s still only implicitly allowing for mistakes. And that is important – what is usually said is not “be reasonably sure”, but “be positively certain”, and the latter is a standard that’s hard to obtain even by explicit asking, given matters generally complicating consent, like alcohol, or, for radical feminists, patriarchy as such.

    And not for nothing, but how you’ve laid out your problems – which seem mostly to be along the lines of, “I try to follow what you feminists say is the proper behavior and it’s not working for me in the getting laid department” – is very Nice Guy ™ behavior.

    Just briefly on the nice guy thing – really? Well, I always thought “nice guys ™” were guys who are trying to woo a woman by being explicitly non-sexual, doing things for her, being emotionally available, pretending to be merely friends while actually only wanting sex? Now, I’d agree if you suggested that certain contradictions in feminist discourse about male sexuality, including the ones I laid out above, have contributed to some guys’ misunderstanding of appropriate flirting behaviour, and that this misunderstanding has/can contribute to “nice guy ™” behaviour. But that’s a different thing, in my opinion, and would actually underscore the importance of making sure feminist messages are in line with reality instead of overgeneralizing, that they *can* be taken at face value instead of having to be parsed with a “now what do they really mean”-algorithm.

  300. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. October 9, 2011 at 11:08 am |

    llama: Thanks petpluto. That makes these women even older at around 112.

    Could we possibly refrain from conflating white women’s suffrage with “women’s suffrage”? Many women were effectively denied the right to vote up to the 1960s.

  301. zuzu
    zuzu October 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

    Darque: Oh, right, last week was “productive conversation week”. This week’s theme is: “Respect my right to say stupid shit, because this is a feminist blog damnit! – week”.

    Hey, your right to say stupid shit remains rock-solid here.

  302. zuzu
    zuzu October 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

    llama: I have found that saying as little as possible is one way of avoiding too much flak on this website (either that or post references for everything said).

    This is “saying as little as possible”?

  303. petpluto
    petpluto October 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm |

    Sam:
    Honestly? Feminist stated preferences for male behaviour with women only apply when it’s about interactions with feminists and are not general ethical statements? I don’t think that’s the case… and really, I don’t think it should be, as if appropriate behaviour towards someone else should depend on their politics. But see, on the other hand, one of the things I said above was that the point you’re making above about different preferences among women is *not* reflected in most feminist statements about this matter. That’s *exactl*y the point I was making with respect to the rethoric usually used in consent discussions – it doesn’t allow individual reactions to – in your words – “Some women will want you to kiss them. Some women will not want you to kiss them. Some women will want to kiss you. Some women will want you to get consent from them before kissing them. Some women will apparently reject you for not shoving them against the wall and kissing them senseless. It takes all kinds.” – it’s always about how *one* strategy, asking for explicit verbal consent, is not noly the best best but the only one. Now, as you say above, that’s already something constantly contradicted by reality and the plethora of different female preferences. However, it’s still maintained, and reiterated, as the right, and really, only thing to do, for men who want to be moral sexual beings.

    Here’s where I think you’re messing up – I said it takes all kinds, and that’s true. I’m of the mind that if a girl wants you to instinctively know she wants you to shove her against a wall and kiss her senseless and takes it out on you that you don’t because you’re being a good guy, then that’s not the kind of person you want to date. Maybe you did before she started putting forth unreasonable demands like, “Read my mind and know when/if I want you to ignore my bodily autonomy and when/if I don’t don’t want you to”, but after that, that’s pretty much a no-go for me. Now, I’m a girl so I very rarely have these sorts of things happen, but I know that the guy who violates my bodily autonomy by shoving me against a wall in an attempt to kiss me senseless automatically gets moved to my “do not interact with EVER” list.

    So, when I say, “it takes all kinds and some women aren’t feminists and therefore don’t follow feminist thought”, what I’m saying is you have to decide what kind of girl you want to date and if you want to deal with the fact that women do not have the same criteria for dating and kissing across the board; or if you want to complain that you got some advice from feminists about how to go about ethically engaging in kissing/other sex stuff and how it’s totally not working for you across the whole of womankind.

    Feminist ethics in regard to dating behavior is not a dating “strategy”. It’s not meant to be an infallible way to get you laid. It’s meant to be a way to ensure Party A (boy or girl) is not violating Party B (again, boy or girl) by kissing Party B without checking first.

    And now here’s a post on a feminist blog, saying: “real men don’t have to ask, they know”, which, I think, is a basic contradiction of what is usually said, so even *if* feminist statements only applied to feminist women, it would be a contradiction.

    I think you’re reading too much into this one line. My takeaway? “Real men” are succinct in verbally addressing what they want. “I’m going to kiss you now” as opposed to, “I’m standing here, watching the sunlight glitter playfully in your hair, and it’s brought my attention to your beautifully full lips, and I’m thinking about maybe potentially kissing you sometime soonish?” All while leaning in and back (or just further and further in) over a 5 minute span. Also? One of the author’s prototypes for “real men” is Theodore Roosevelt. I would say that there are some exaggerated aspects to this article, and the really it’s about how scary someone can be if they have their life together and know what they want when you’re floating along and still don’t know if you want to be kissed or what-have-you.

    And really, I don’t think that “Hey, dude, it would be nice if you figured out if that girl wants to get kissed before you do it” is a fair representation of how the feminist position on this is usually articulated in conversations with men. It’s a much “weaker” demand than what is usually articulated, but it’s still only implicitly allowing for mistakes. And that is important – what is usually said is not “be reasonably sure”, but “be positively certain”, and the latter is a standard that’s hard to obtain even by explicit asking, given matters generally complicating consent, like alcohol, or, for radical feminists, patriarchy as such.

    Yeah, figuring out whether you have consent to do X,Y, or Z to a person is more difficult than not figuring out if you have consent. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s the right thing to do. The alternative is not great, in terms of how the other person’s night is now going. And – potentially – your own.

    So we’re back to “what kind of person do you want to date?” Is it someone who is going to laugh at you because you wanted to make sure they wanted to be kissed/sexed up before you went ahead and did it? Or is it someone who appreciates the fact that you did take the time to check on those pertinent factors? Only you can answer those questions. And if you want to date someone who’s a “laughs at you for asking” kind of person? Then what are you doing here?

    Just briefly on the nice guy thing – really? Well, I always thought “nice guys ™” were guys who are trying to woo a woman by being explicitly non-sexual, doing things for her, being emotionally available, pretending to be merely friends while actually only wanting sex? Now, I’d agree if you suggested that certain contradictions in feminist discourse about male sexuality, including the ones I laid out above, have contributed to some guys’ misunderstanding of appropriate flirting behaviour, and that this misunderstanding has/can contribute to “nice guy ™” behaviour. But that’s a different thing, in my opinion, and would actually underscore the importance of making sure feminist messages are in line with reality instead of overgeneralizing, that they *can* be taken at face value instead of having to be parsed with a “now what do they really mean”-algorithm.

    That is one aspect of the Nice Guy(tm) yes, the guy who hangs out as the “friend” and doesn’t get laid because he’s a friend and is angry about it and blames all women for not wanting to date Nice Guys(tm) like him and instead go for assholes.

    There are several other features of Nice Guy(tm) behavior, and I’ll explain the one you’re exhibiting on this thread:

    “Hey, women, I tried that strategy for how to date women you women laid out and it didn’t work for me. You women must not want what you say you want, so why don’t you women tell me how I can get women?”

    You may not be trying to say that, but the above is basically what your comments boil down to: asking women on this thread whom you’ve probably never met/tried to kiss why feminist ethics isn’t working as a way to kiss other women and complaining about how women don’t want what they say they want.

    The first red flag of this form of Nice Guy(tm) Behavior: Complaining to women you haven’t tried to kiss that doing the ethical thing is not getting you kissed.

    The second red flag: Demanding women you haven’t tried to kiss explain to you how to have a greater success rate in your quest to kiss women.

    The third red flag: By asking women you don’t know and haven’t tried to kiss what’s up with the women you’re interested in not responding well to the feminist “strategy” of asking before kissing, you’re acting like all women think alike and we can immediately pinpoint what you’re doing/you’ve done wrong in the past.

    The fourth red flag: Treating feminist ethics as a strategy for kissing bliss with all women you’re interested in.

    So, here’s the deal: I can honestly see how all of that occurs because you’re just blowing off frustrated steam and you want to be all, “Women! They do not want what they say they want!” HOWEVER, that is a very Nice Guy(tm) sentiment. Because women? Are people. And that means that a lot of times they want what they say they want. But Woman A may want a guy who is going to shove her up against a wall and kiss her because he intrinsically knows she wants him to do that but doesn’t want his friend to do that. And Woman B may want a guy to have more to go on before that kissing thing happens.

    Which takes us back to: what ethical standard do you want to follow? Because no ethical standard is a surefire way to get women. So you have to decide, independent of who you want to kiss, what you believe is the right course of action. Some girls aren’t going to want to kiss you because your ethics don’t match up to their own. And some girls aren’t going to want to kiss you no matter what standard you decide on. That’s okay. For both you and for them.

  304. petpluto
    petpluto October 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm |

    “So, here’s the deal: I can honestly see how all of that occurs because you’re just blowing off frustrated steam and you want to be all, “Women! They do not want what they say they want!” HOWEVER, that is a very Nice Guy(tm) sentiment.”

    I missed a step here, and that’s “Women! They do not want what they say they want! Which is nice guys like me (attaining consent before doing X)!”

    In fact, I missed a big step in the complaining process, which is, “I’m a nice guy trying to do right by gaining consent before kissing, and all the women aren’t going for it! Why am I not getting kisses when I’m being such a good guy?”

    It’s the emphasis that women should be kissing you because you’re a good guy by doing X that really makes it a Nice Guy issue. Acting like X should automatically lead to Y because X means you’re a good/nice guy is a rather large part of the problem.

  305. EG
    EG October 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

    It’s the emphasis that women should be kissing you because you’re a good guy by doing X that really makes it a Nice Guy issue.

    That, and thinking that his personal kissing problems deserve the attention of a website of feminists.

  306. petpluto
    petpluto October 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

    EG: That, and thinking that his personal kissing problems deserve the attention of a website of feminists.

    Doesn’t everyone’s kissing problems deserve the attention of a website of feminists? I think we as a group missed our true calling of Dealing with Kissing Problems when we decided to focus on that whole gender equality thing. Kissing is obvs the larger concern of the two.

  307. zuzu
    zuzu October 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

    Feminism is not a dating service, Sam.

    YOU’RE WELCOME.

  308. Darque
    Darque October 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

    EG: Nah.Every week is “men don’t get to demand that we talk about what they want to talk about on a feminist blog and then throw shit fits when we decide not to because they’re big babies and then think we should care” week.

    Oh, sorry, I forgot. Feminism (TM) is serious business. I’ll let you distinguished people decide what a “Boy” and a “Man” is. Be sure to get back to me when you’ve narrowed down the definition. I’m dying to know.

  309. machina
    machina October 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    petpluto, the thing is that I don’t think that asking to kiss, or whatever, is intrinsically ethical. It’s a matter of meeting people’s preferences. So I guess that’s why there are so many “what do you women want?” questions.

  310. petpluto
    petpluto October 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm |

    machina:
    petpluto, the thing is that I don’t think that asking to kiss, or whatever, is intrinsically ethical. It’s a matter of meeting people’s preferences. So I guess that’s why there are so many “what do you women want?” questions.

    As someone who has been surprise kissed, and who has had unauthorized touching happen to varying degrees of “gahness”, I’d have to say that whether or not to confirm consent before attempting any sexy time is fairly ethical behavior. Because otherwise you’re putting a serious damper on my night/the next 3 to 6 months of my life, depending on the situation at hand.

    The other aspect here is the “what do women want” question is patently unfair. To women. To men. To you. To me. Because. There. Is. No. One. Answer. To. That. Question.

    So, since there is no one answer to that question and there is no way to engage in bliss with every woman you find attractive whilst single (or not, I don’t know your life), the ONLY question you can successfully answer is “what do I want?” And that includes, “What behavior do I want to do/feel comfortable doing/believe is ethical?”

    This is the reason I don’t ask, “What men want?” I ask, “What do I want/feel comfortable doing/feel is ethical?” And then I go from there. There are some guys who are ridiculously attractive who I would never, ever date because their requirements are at odds with my own. Because I know my requirements. There are guys who would never, ever date me because my requirements are at odds with their own. Sometimes, these are the same guys. The key is, we both know what we want.

    Sometimes that means not dating that person who’s into you because he likes to surprise kiss you when you’re just sitting around having a discussion about juggling or whatever and you aren’t into that. Sometimes that means not dating that guy you’re totally into because he wants carte blanche permission to sleep with other people and you won’t have that.

  311. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm |

    Sam: And now here’s a post on a feminist blog, saying: “real men don’t have to ask, they know”, which, I think, is a basic contradiction of what is usually said, so even *if* feminist statements only applied to feminist women, it would be a contradiction.

    First, I’m not sure Mindy Kaling identifies as a feminist. I tried googling it, but searching for those two things pretty much guarantees its a feminist fawning over her because she’s fairly badass in the comedy world and comedy is still a pretty new venue for women.

    Second, Jill is not the deciding factor on feminism (though is still badass, no disrespect). She can post something that many (most? some?) women who identify as feminists can disagree with in whole or in part. Anything posted on this blog is not part of feminist doctrine (until we vote on it at our super secret weekly Skype meeting).

    Third, even if Kaling is a feminist and if Jill only posted things in accordance with our weekly vote, feminists aren’t a monolith.

    Just treat women like we’re people, and you’ll be fine. K? K.

  312. llama
    llama October 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm |

    zuzu: This is “saying as little as possible”?

    No it is not.
    Thanks for backing up my statement with a demonstration.

  313. Sam
    Sam October 9, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

    Hey Petpluto,

    thanks for your reply.

    “what I’m saying is you have to decide what kind of girl you want to date and if you want to deal with the fact that women do not have the same criteria for dating and kissing across the board; or if you want to complain that you got some advice from feminists about how to go about ethically engaging in kissing/other sex stuff and how it’s totally not working for you across the whole of womankind.

    This is the “you dodge a bullet” narrative presented by La Lubu. And even if that may be the case, it’s effectively saying that there is no ethical way for a guy to kiss a large, very large number of women – those who prefer to not be asked in advance.

    “Feminist ethics in regard to dating behavior is not a dating “strategy”. It’s not meant to be an infallible way to get you laid. It’s meant to be a way to ensure Party A (boy or girl) is not violating Party B (again, boy or girl) by kissing Party B without checking first.

    Well, in my understanding, what’s that but a (useful) dating strategy? And that is all fair and good. But, and you knew there would be a but – it usually *doesn’t* balance risk and potential reward of flirting interactions in a reality based way. Getting to know someone is a mutual process of exploring the other persons boundaries in, usually, appropriately small, steps, hardly any of which require explicit consent, usually because the risk of having one’s boundaries infringed in that way is considered insignificant by most people, even if most are an infringement of the other person’s bodily integrity that are not explicitly cleared beforehand. People hug, in some cultures people exchange kisses on the cheeks, people touch each other while telling each other stories – very likely all infringements of bodily autonomy in the theoretical sense. Can you see my point? When the Antioch College explicit consent policy was analysed after the College was closed, the former director said that one of the huge problems of “explicit consent for each step of escalation” was that there was no way to define all that in advance, and as such, it was constantly routinely ignored. My point is, it may well be useful to have commandments in this respect, but with every set of commandments necessarily comes a secondary level of “scripture” making sense of what they’re actually supposed to mean.

    I think you’re reading too much into this one line. My takeaway? “Real men” are succinct in verbally addressing what they want.

    But really, when you say too much, you mean, “something I don’t read into it”, don’t you? Having a takeaway means that there’s ambiguity and the interpretation depends on contextual variables that will differ among people. My interpretation likely wasn’t one very common among feminists, but that makes mentioning it useful, if there’s ever going to be some sort of understanding about such matters.

    Yeah, figuring out whether you have consent to do X,Y, or Z to a person is more difficult than not figuring out if you have consent. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s the right thing to do. The alternative is not great, in terms of how the other person’s night is now going. And – potentially – your own.

    Yeah, totally agree.

    So we’re back to “what kind of person do you want to date?” Is it someone who is going to laugh at you because you wanted to make sure they wanted to be kissed/sexed up before you went ahead and did it? Or is it someone who appreciates the fact that you did take the time to check on those pertinent factors? Only you can answer those questions. And if you want to date someone who’s a “laughs at you for asking” kind of person? Then what are you doing here?

    Again, this suggests that it’s impossible to ethically date a certain kind of women, those with a different set of preferences from those prescribed in feminist dating ethics. I find that a rather strange idea. I mean, as a matter of simple incompatibility of personality, sure, that’s ok. But, honestly, if neutrons are faster than suggested by Einstein’s theory of relativity, and it’s not a measuring mistake, then Einstein’s theory of relativity is incomplete. Similarly, if the preferences of the apparent majority of women are not reflected in feminist ethics, I’d say that feminist ethics are incomplete, or are, at the very least conceptualising some core aspects too narrowly.

    “It’s the emphasis that women should be kissing you because you’re a good guy by doing X that really makes it a Nice Guy issue. Acting like X should automatically lead to Y because X means you’re a good/nice guy is a rather large part of the problem.”

    Actually, I’ve never said anywhere that women should be kissing me because I’m doing something prescribed by feminists. I’m not complaining about the women, I’m complaining a) about the hypocrasy that you think I read “too much into that line”, and b) about the problems that come with strict reading of feminist ethics, and the fact that feminists apparently prefer to be rather lenient with respect to what’s happening out there (as in the case of “men” vs. “boys” as long as the theroy is not challenged, instead of attempting to adjust their ethics and according.

    “I think we as a group missed our true calling of Dealing with Kissing Problems when we decided to focus on that whole gender equality thing. Kissing is obvs the larger concern of the two.

    I don’t think that’s as funny as you think. Whereever you turn in the gender realm, you’ll get back to matters of dating and matters of preferences in masculinity and feminity, dominance and submission, performative, or real. The political is personal, very personal in this respect, in my opinion. Something Zuzu apparently is not agreeing with ;)

  314. Sam
    Sam October 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

    PrettyAmiable,

    “Just treat women like we’re people, and you’ll be fine. K? K.”

    Sure :). Thanks for treating me as people here, too. And good luck for your date ;)

  315. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. October 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm |

    @Sam,

    For the love of FSM, this is not rocket science. Ethics of kissing or other personal touching: In case of doubt, ask.

    The OP does nothing to undermine that perspective. At most it implies that if you have to ask (because you are not sufficiently adept at reading her body language) she’s not into you.

    This has nothing to do with the ethics of dating or with “feminist theory.”

  316. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm |

    Again, this suggests that it’s impossible to ethically date a certain kind of women, those with a different set of preferences from those prescribed in feminist dating ethics. I find that a rather strange idea.

    You are finding it strange because you are the only person on this thread that is coming to the conclusion that the only ethical stance on kissing is to verbally request consent to be kissed from the “kissee”. No one else on the thread has said this. Many people (including myself) have said when in doubt, ask; no one has said that nonverbal communication is never sufficient.

    Personally, I’m always open to a man asking if he can kiss me. I can either say yes or no, and as long as he’s cool with my answer, no harm no foul. If I’m sexually attracted to the man, and it’s clear from our mutual body language/touch that it’s ok if he kisses me (ex.: we’ve been walking down the street with our arms around each other)—I’m totally cool with him interpreting that as nonverbal consent to be kissed—because if I’m not sexually attracted to him, I’m not going to be doing any touching—I’m basically going to keep the same level of touch as the Average USian dudebro (which is to say, preferably none). If I’m keeping strategic space in between us, that’s a nonverbal message (but again—if the man is in doubt, there’s still no harm or foul in asking). And if he reads the nonverbal communication wrong and moves in for a kiss anyway, I’m going to rebuff him.

    But, that’s me. Other women (including other feminists) may have different practices. Comfort zones or time spent with one another before moving further into various stages of intimacy (not necessarily sexual intimacy, either—just interpersonal) is both cultural and individual.

    Frankly….I’m not familiar with your Antioch reference. I’m not sure if that’s a system of negotiation or not—and if so, that’s not where my baseline assumptions come from. I assume that boundaries are not negotiated—they are set and respected, period. But…I come from a background where people have a vast repertoire of nonverbal communication and put it to use on the regular. As I tend to date folks from similar backgrounds, interpreting that nonverbal communication (or having mine interpreted) hasn’t generally been a problem. (also, I have a strong preference for men with the same communication style; if our styles are too different, there’s no sense in taking it further….but again, that’s my opinion, not The Last Word on What Women Want. Different strokes and all…)

  317. zuzu
    zuzu October 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm |

    Sam: The political is personal, very personal in this respect, in my opinion. Something Zuzu apparently is not agreeing with ;)

    I definitely don’t agree with you there, because you’re a dumbass. Who really needs to learn what that phrase means.

    Once more, with feeling, Sam: a plain reading of Kaling’s piece leads one to the inevitable conclusion that she did not say that men kiss women without asking for consent. She did say that boys go on for a long time prior to kissing, while men just ask and proceed accordingly.

    “I’d like to kiss you” is one way to ask. Leaning in close, giving her a chance to respond, then either leaning in closer, step repeat, or withdrawing if she turns her head away is another way to ask.

    So what if a large, very large number of women don’t want to be asked? What’s the harm in asking? Even if they would drop you for the sin of asking for their consent, there are a large, very large number of women who *do* want to be asked.

    And whether we’re talking women who want to be asked, or women who don’t, you can’t kiss ‘em all, Sam old bean.

  318. zuzu
    zuzu October 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm |

    Are we going to have to go through this whole thing again when Sam starts wanting to touch a tit?

  319. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm |

    Are we going to have to go through this whole thing again when Sam starts wanting to touch a tit?

    mmmgffppfftt! This needs a trigger alert for screen protection….

  320. Sam
    Sam October 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm |

    Hey La Lubu -

    first off, here’s some research on the Antioch policy I’ve conducted in the course of ClarriseThorn’s manliness thread, it’s much more comprehensive than Wikipedia, for example, and yet it’s probably not sufficient to actually understand what life there was like -

    clarissethorn.com/blog/2009/12/09/manliness-and-feminism-the-followup/#comment-6900

    Secondly, your example above is spot on, because it happened last night (ex.: we’ve been walking down the street with our arms around each other)—I’m totally cool with him interpreting that as nonverbal consent to be kissed). We were walking hand in hand from a party to a club, later we did Eskimo kisses and, then, because she didn’t initiate and I neither asked nor moved in, the attraction faded a bit. When I went to talk to a friend she stayed on the dance floor and five minutes later she came to the lounge with someone who another minute later kissed her and made out with her. I’m not blaming her. I’m blaming me.

    So that’s where what you say above becomes relevant -

    “You are finding it strange because you are the only person on this thread that is coming to the conclusion that the only ethical stance on kissing is to verbally request consent to be kissed from the “kissee”. No one else on the thread has said this. Many people (including myself) have said when in doubt, ask; no one has said that nonverbal communication is never sufficient.

    I don’t know, I don’t think I’m the only who perceived the discourse to present that argument. Because I have learnt that this -

    “And if he reads the nonverbal communication wrong and moves in for a kiss anyway, I’m going to rebuff him.”

    is morally close to sexual assault (in theory for both genders, in practice for the man) – which makes being ready to make honest mistakes to create happy outcomes a lot more difficult. Because I’m among those who are wondering – how can anyone ever be 100% certain of someone else’s consent? And how that can, if constantly reiterated as “be certain of enthusiastic consent”, an emotionally wonderful standard, lead to a situation of constant doubt – like in my case – and not just last night. I assumed she would not like being asked, but I also didn’t move in because I was only reasonably sure, not 100% certain. Of course all the signs were there, but really, does that equal 100% certainty?

    Apparently, that question is considered disingenous by a lot of feminists, but I remembered an attempted answer that sort of clarified a lot of the problem for me, and which I would think would be a much better version for the “always make sure” aspect for any consent discussion – from the same thread, Clarisse Thorn -

    This question comes up a lot in these conversations …. I think a lot of us on the “enthusiastic consent” side find it to be kind of disingenuous. Sure, it’s impossible to be 100% certain of someone else’s desires — but I guess the point isn’t so much to be 100% sure of what they’re thinking, as it is to be 100% sure that you are doing your best at giving them space to communicate their consent or nonconsent. The concern is not so much initiators who legitimately mistake an unhappy partner for a happy partner (which, you’re right, can often happen, particularly in a society where subtlety is traditionally taught more to one side of the fence than the other). The concern is initiators who use this kind of legalistic argument to gloss over their attempts to get partners to do something that the initiator suspects their partner doesn’t really want to do. And not necessarily overtly, either — even within their own minds. I imagine someone thinking, “Well, I’m not really sure my partner wants to stop, but I’ll never be 100% sure of hir consent, so I might as well continue …”
    (clarissethorn.com/blog/2009/12/09/manliness-and-feminism-the-followup/#comment-6579)

    Now that, to me, seems like much more balanced ethical argument, allowing for mistakes, including the logically inevitable level of uncertainty. Why isn’t that the standard argument? I may be particularly picky about this subject given my personal history, but last week, in Jezebel, a feminist writer wrote an open letter of advice to her college-bound brother, telling him to look for explicit “yeses” as expressions of enthusiastic consent. When criticised on a different blog, she admitted that she didn’t only mean explicit “yeses”, other forms of enthusiastic consent would be fine, too. So, again, that’s what I’m saying.

    And again, I’m wondering – why usually use (over)generalizations in the discourse when what is actually asked for appears to be much more reasonable, real-world based, acceptable by everyone, particularly if the added induced insecurity is (men vs boy, per above) less appealing to women, including, apparently, those making the generalizations? (Here’s my reply from 2010 to ClarisseThorn’s quote from above – that part of the thread came about as a discussion of an interview of Jaclyn Friedman about ‘dating as feminist’, which, unsurprinsingly, brought about similar issues – clarissethorn.com/blog/2009/12/09/manliness-and-feminism-the-followup/#comment-6582)

  321. Alison
    Alison October 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm |

    zuzu:
    Are we going to have to go through this whole thing again when Sam starts wanting to touch a tit?

    Just imagine if he wants a threesome. How will he possibly confront the concept of having to navigate the minds and wants and signals of TWO WOMEN AT AT THE SAME TIME and what if they aren’t EXACTLY THE SAME!! Which one will be the liar, I wonder, and what if they both call themselves feminists? I have an image of a robot losing control of its synapses and sending out sparks and smoke.

  322. Sam
    Sam October 9, 2011 at 10:18 pm |

    Zuzu,

    “Are we going to have to go through this whole thing again when Sam starts wanting to touch a tit?”

    that’s actually funny :) And, honestly, thanks for that -

    “I’d like to kiss you” is one way to ask. Leaning in close, giving her a chance to respond, then either leaning in closer, step repeat, or withdrawing if she turns her head away is another way to ask.

    because it’s really not what I perceive the “standard” ethical feminist argument to be in writing, although I believe it to be right. It’s not an unusual argument for feminists to make in person, but not in writing. So thanks for that :)

  323. Sam
    Sam October 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm |

    Alison,

    “I have an image of a robot losing control of its synapses and sending out sparks and smoke.”

    me too… so to date I’ve declined such offers partly based on those concerns… ;)

  324. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 9, 2011 at 10:29 pm |

    We were walking hand in hand from a party to a club, later we did Eskimo kisses and, then, because she didn’t initiate and I neither asked nor moved in, the attraction faded a bit. When I went to talk to a friend she stayed on the dance floor and five minutes later she came to the lounge with someone who another minute later kissed her and made out with her. I’m not blaming her. I’m blaming me.

    Sam. See that bolded part there? That’s a big clue. I mean, look…your scene is completely different from mine; your social circles are completely different from mine. But that? That’s universal. If she were interested, by that time she’d have been initiating. And it’s entirely possible that the reason she showed up and made out with another guy right in front of you was to drive home the message.

    is morally close to sexual assault (in theory for both genders, in practice for the man) – which makes being ready to make honest mistakes to create happy outcomes a lot more difficult.

    If a guy makes an ‘honest mistake’ by not being savvy enough to read my nonverbal I-like-you-as-a-friend-but-not-sexually nonverbal language and attempts a kiss without asking, and I move away or rebuff him, to me, that’s a happy outcome. Not being kissed when I don’t want to be kissed? Happy outcome. Not having physical contact when I don’t want physical contact? Happy outcome. Capisce?

  325. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. October 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm |

    Sam: because it’s really not what I perceive the “standard” ethical feminist argument to be in writing

    Then that would be more a problem with your perception than with reality. Perhaps the disconnect is that generally feminist theory is a theory and thus speaks in generalities. Rather than dating advice for dudes.

  326. Sam
    Sam October 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm |

    La Lubu,

    “If she were interested, by that time she’d have been initiating.”

    nah. Possible, but unlikely. Chances are she’ll tell a common friend she may have wanted to kiss me and I let her down… happened before. Last time this happened (in July, with a different girl), we got a quiet minute afterwards at the place and I asked her if I had read the situation completely wrong, and she told me she thought I wasn’t interested since I didn’t kiss her before, and she wanted to make out so she picked someone else who kissed her, but she didn’t initiate the kiss herself.

    “that’s a happy outcome”

    sure. But you know what I mean, don’t you?

  327. ch
    ch October 9, 2011 at 10:45 pm |

    La Lubu, not necessarily– I read it as her being into him but not making the move because of shyness or not wanting to appear forward or slutty or whatever, and then making out with the other guy because it had become clear (in her mind) that her first choice for making-out-times wasn’t interested. I’ve certainly been in that situation many times. But yeah, not initiating could also be a sign of non-interest. Which is why, once again, it’s good for both parties to show interest by asking/saying they’re attracted/moving in slowly enough that there are opportunities to be rebuffed.

  328. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm |

    nah. Possible, but unlikely. Chances are she’ll tell a common friend she may have wanted to kiss me and I let her down… happened before.

    I stand corrected. I was under the impression that you were well into adulthood, and were dating women who were also well into adulthood.

  329. shfree
    shfree October 10, 2011 at 12:13 am |

    Man I’m glad I’m out of high school. I just don’t have time for that shit anymore.

  330. machina
    machina October 10, 2011 at 3:32 am |

    petpluto, great comment, and I’ve thought lots of those thoughts, but…

    The key is, we both know what we want.

    I think the key is that you both know what each other wants. That’s the tricky part because a lot of standard dating situations are shit when it comes to talking about sexual preferences. Online dating is better though.

  331. chava
    chava October 10, 2011 at 4:30 am |

    Women are people. People want different things. In general, blathering on about something rather than getting on with it is Not Sexy, but YMMV.

    I have to wonder if these guys actually HAVE any of these problems, or if they just want to see how far we’ll tap-dance to explaaaaain the ways of women to them.

  332. petpluto
    petpluto October 10, 2011 at 8:07 am |

    Sam:
    This is the “you dodge a bullet” narrative presented by La Lubu. And even if that may be the case, it’s effectively saying that there is no ethical way for a guy to kiss a large, very large number of women – those who prefer to not be asked in advance.

    “Gaining consent” does not always equal “May I kiss you?” Sometimes it is eskimo kissing, with the understanding that if a girl doesn’t want you to kiss her, she’s probably not going to be shoving her face in your face. There’s generally some nonverbal stuff going on is what I’m saying, but because I’m (a) not the girl, (b) not there, and (c) incredibly bad at social interactions of any kind, I’m not going to be able to help you dissect the minutiae on that front. And now we’re getting back to where this is a feminist blog and not your personal dating advice column but I will give you this advice:

    if you’re sure a girl wants you to kiss her? Like Eskimo Girl? Move in slowly and stop a couple of millimeters before full lip contact for a second. If she moves away or turns her head so you get cheek? She doesn’t want you to kiss her. If she rocks forward or holds her position, it’s generally a go. Don’t hold that position for too long, though, because at some point it’s just awkward. You can also try leaning in and saying, “I’m going to kiss you now”, but wevs. Dating can be tough (I ran away the first time my boyfriend tried to kiss me, so I know tough), but it isn’t exactly rocket science.

    Again, there will ALWAYS be a wide swath of women who are not open to dating you. And whom you will not be open to dating. Them’s, as they say, the breaks. That is why it is about YOU, Sam. All about YOU! Decide how you want to operate! Decide what kind of dude you want to be! But understand that no matter which branch of the road you choose to go down, there are going to be wide swaths of women who do not want you to kiss them. Because that’s how the world works.

    Well, in my understanding, what’s that but a (useful) dating strategy? And that is all fair and good. But, and you knew there would be a but – it usually *doesn’t* balance risk and potential reward of flirting interactions in a reality based way. Getting to know someone is a mutual process of exploring the other persons boundaries in, usually, appropriately small, steps, hardly any of which require explicit consent, usually because the risk of having one’s boundaries infringed in that way is considered insignificant by most people, even if most are an infringement of the other person’s bodily integrity that are not explicitly cleared beforehand.

    Apparently, a useful dating strategy is one that opens up the largest group of women to your kisses.

    Seriously though, I think of a dating strategy to be a little more in depth than “Make sure you don’t kiss someone if they don’t want to be kissed”. Aside from the ethical part (and I think there are probably ethical dating strategies out there), it seems more like a life guideline than an out and out “do this and you’ll get women” strategy. It’s what to do (or not) when you’ve already gotten the interest of the person you think is cute.

    But really, when you say too much, you mean, “something I don’t read into it”, don’t you? Having a takeaway means that there’s ambiguity and the interpretation depends on contextual variables that will differ among people. My interpretation likely wasn’t one very common among feminists, but that makes mentioning it useful, if there’s ever going to be some sort of understanding about such matters.

    Um, no? I am saying that one line in an article meant to be a funny-funny account of someone’s fears of dating an actual honest-to-goodness together guy is probably not the fatal wound of this thing called “gaining consent beforehand”, and reading it as a complete rebuttal to all feminist thought about the subject beforehand may be going a little broad.

    Again, this suggests that it’s impossible to ethically date a certain kind of women, those with a different set of preferences from those prescribed in feminist dating ethics. I find that a rather strange idea. I mean, as a matter of simple incompatibility of personality, sure, that’s ok. But, honestly, if neutrons are faster than suggested by Einstein’s theory of relativity, and it’s not a measuring mistake, then Einstein’s theory of relativity is incomplete. Similarly, if the preferences of the apparent majority of women are not reflected in feminist ethics, I’d say that feminist ethics are incomplete, or are, at the very least conceptualising some core aspects too narrowly.

    Women aren’t particles! Just because we don’t all react the same way to the same circumstances doesn’t mean a theory is flawed! The whole reason to have actual human interaction and dance the dance of “Is this person the kind of person I want/wants me?” is because it isn’t as easy as woman + Sam = kisses!

    Whew! Now that I’ve had a slight moment, I’m back. Here’s the thing, Sam. Feminists are trying to change the script. That’s why there are campaigns like “yes means yes”. Because the script at this moment kind of sucks. If you don’t get where I’m going with this and you’re interested in learning more, please please please read some stuff on feminist thought about consent. It’s not meant to make men feel their sexuality is toxic, but it is meant to demonstrate how a lot of our current dating dance is. And what ramifications that has.

    Actually, I’ve never said anywhere that women should be kissing me because I’m doing something prescribed by feminists. I’m not complaining about the women, I’m complaining a) about the hypocrasy that you think I read “too much into that line”, and b) about the problems that come with strict reading of feminist ethics, and the fact that feminists apparently prefer to be rather lenient with respect to what’s happening out there (as in the case of “men” vs. “boys” as long as the theroy is not challenged, instead of attempting to adjust their ethics and according.

    And yet, you’ve been detailing some of your interactions with women and going with a “See? I was good and it didn’t work!” approach. Which is, on the whole, framing the discussion about how this most affects you. Which is cool, but again, this isn’t group therapy.

    And again, one woman out there saying “Men do X, boys do Y” does not destroy feminist thought. Just like Jill liking this article didn’t automatically mean everyone here liked the article.

    Also, the line is “Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you.”

    Let’s look at that for a second. The part that catches MY eye is “long preamble”. The part that seems to be catching your eye is “go in for a kiss”. But regardless, the line isn’t “men grab you and shove you against a wall and kiss you without any indication you want that to happen”. The line isn’t “men kiss you without telling you they’re going to”. The line isn’t “men kiss you without figuring out if you want to be kissed”. If it were any of those and it was linked here without comment, you would have a point in the “Feministe community? What is up with that? Don’t you see how that’s problematic?” category, but not in the “See how this calls into question a strict reading of feminist ethics because someone on the web who is (apparently?) famous said this thing here?”

    And that’s my problem with your arguing about the apparent hypocrisy of at the very least my point, which is: you’re reading an indictment of an ethical principle that isn’t being addressed here. And that this somehow indicates that Dating While Feminist is an undue burden that not even feminists want.

    I don’t think that’s as funny as you think. Whereever you turn in the gender realm, you’ll get back to matters of dating and matters of preferences in masculinity and feminity, dominance and submission, performative, or real

    I think, like a fine wine, it gets funnier and funnier over time.

    And yes, that is all true. However, that doesn’t mean we talk about it as how it relates to you specifically and your dating problems, specifically. You seem to be concentrating on how your dating pool shrinks when you make a choice on how to behave, and how that’s unfair? Am I reading that wrong? And my point is, yes, every stance you take will shrink your dating pool. That’s the whole point of taking stances. So your dating pool shrinks to the people you’re actually going to want to date.

    Also, again, you don’t seem to be getting into the masculinity or femininity of an issue. You’re getting into the “how do I get the most women I can to kiss?” area. And that’s not why we’re here. Previous advice on how to kiss aside.

  333. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 10, 2011 at 8:32 am |

    Jesus H. Christ.

    I am struck at how we’re supposed to provide therapy for a man with dating woes on a feminist blog. If there’s one thing that feminism should concern itself with, it’s cis straight men’s romantic quandries.

    Your entitlement would astound me, Sam, except I’m well familiar with your posts and the mindset they demonstrate.

  334. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 10, 2011 at 8:47 am |

    So your dating pool shrinks to the people you’re actually going to want to date.

    THIS. Absolutely, this. This succinctly sums up the disconnect I’m having with Sam. He casts his net as wide as possible, and wants advice on how to keep all those prospects “in the net”. That’s the polar opposite approach to the one I take, which is to target solely those men I’m actually compatible with. To me, that’s the whole point of the dating process. And most of it takes place long before there’s any date.

  335. Jenna
    Jenna October 10, 2011 at 9:30 am |

    haha I love this post because it is so true! I am in my twenties and I am completely intimidated by the guys that are older or more mature for our age. I always end up picking the immature boys, who don’t know what’s going on in their life but they are sure as hell living it. And yes, that hasn’t gotten me anywhere serious… but again, I’m in my twenties, I don’t really care. haha

  336. groggette
    groggette October 10, 2011 at 10:13 am |

    petpluto & La Lubu,
    You mean you only want to date people you’d actually be interested in?!? This strategy confounds me. Newsletter, sucscribe, et cetera et cetera.

  337. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 10, 2011 at 10:51 am |

    You mean you only want to date people you’d actually be interested in?!?

    Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Look—I’m 44 years old. This isn’t my first rodeo. I know what I want, and I know what I don’t want. I know what my dealbreakers are; I also know what traits I find necessary in a partner, what traits are desireable, and what traits are neutral. I’m also a single parent who works two jobs and has a life on top of that as well (hence, not really keen on the idea of spending babysitting money on an evening of “well, this ain’t goin’ anywhere”). I don’t go out on *dates* to find casual platonic friendships—-and frankly, neither does anyone else I know. Maybe that’s an age thing, maybe it’s regional (I’m from the rust belt), maybe it’s socioeconomic (I’m working class)—but it is what it is.

  338. Sam
    Sam October 10, 2011 at 11:01 am |

    Petpluto,

    thanks for your reply and your kind advice :)

    ““Gaining consent” does not always equal “May I kiss you?” Sometimes it is eskimo kissing, with the understanding that if a girl doesn’t want you to kiss her, she’s probably not going to be shoving her face in your face.”

    See, that’s my point exactly, and like Zuzu’s comment above it’s a reality based ethical approach. But again, that’s not the what I perceive the general feminist message about this matter to usually be, and, if my experience in threads like this is any indication, I think most other guys who are concerned about this matter don’t perceive it that way either. If we did, really, there’d be no reason to argue at all.

    … and reading it as a complete rebuttal to all feminist thought about the subject beforehand may be going a little broad.

    Fair. But I still maintain that it is indicative of a rethoric that is overly general, while favoring a specific approach that is apparently neither the only one wanted nor the only ethical one.

    And yet, you’ve been detailing some of your interactions with women and going with a “See? I was good and it didn’t work!” approach. Which is, on the whole, framing the discussion about how this most affects you. Which is cool, but again, this isn’t group therapy.

    Right, but I’m in a bit of a double bind there, too – if I’m making general points, I’m mansplaining, if I’m detailing how I’m personally affected, I’m trying to get group therapy. It’s not that easy to get one’s position accross in that situation either.

    The line isn’t “men kiss you without figuring out if you want to be kissed”. If it were any of those and it was linked here without comment, you would have a point…

    Well, actually, I perceived it to be about “real men don’t worry about whether they’re right, they just “know”, or they just take the risk of being wrong.” So, yeah, that interpretation is close to what I read.

    you’re reading an indictment of an ethical principle that isn’t being addressed here. And that this somehow indicates that Dating While Feminist is an undue burden that not even feminists want.

    Yup. That’s pretty much how I read the post.

    Also, again, you don’t seem to be getting into the masculinity or femininity of an issue. You’re getting into the “how do I get the most women I can to kiss?” area.

    While I can see where that impression is coming from, I’m not sure how to avoid it, as a) it *is* a triggering thing for me personally, and b) the problem I outlined above with respect to “mansplaining vs therapy group”. I invite you to have a look at some of the things I said in the bible length thread about masculinity and feminism over at ClarisseThorn’s blog if you’re interested in my opinion on a broader range of issues (clarissethorn.com/blog/2009/12/09/manliness-and-feminism-the-followup) and a generally great discussion on this and other matters that is taking place in a much less aggressive and thus much more productive atmosphere. But I do believe that dating/mating is the persistent core of all gender problems.

    And thanks for being critical but fair :)

  339. zuzu
    zuzu October 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |

    No, Sam, we’re not going to read your long, agonized comments on another blog.

    Consider yourself lucky we’re indulging your tl;dr ass over here.

  340. petpluto
    petpluto October 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

    groggette:
    petpluto & La Lubu,
    You mean you only want to date people you’d actually be interested in?!? This strategy confounds me. Newsletter, sucscribe, et cetera et cetera.

    Yeah, it’s this crazy thing that’s worked for me in the past, so I thought I’d keep trucking along!

    Sam:
    See, that’s my point exactly, and like Zuzu’s comment above it’s a reality based ethical approach. But again, that’s not the what I perceive the general feminist message about this matter to usually be, and, if my experience in threads like this is any indication, I think most other guys who are concerned about this matter don’t perceive it that way either. If we did, really, there’d be no reason to argue at all.

    I mean this sincerely: if that’s not how you perceive the general feminist message, then you’re perceiving the general feminist message wrong. I’m not going to get into exactly where I think the breakdown between “general feminist message on kissing” and “guys who don’t get it” lies, but I will say that the general feminist consensus requires you to think about the girl you’re with as an individual.

    Fair. But I still maintain that it is indicative of a rethoric that is overly general, while favoring a specific approach that is apparently neither the only one wanted nor the only ethical one.

    What are you saying here? Are you saying that a lot of people here were like, “Damn straight I want a man who’s going to kiss me without getting a yes from me”? Are you saying that you are surprised to learn that there are girls out there who want guys to be able to read their minds and kiss them senseless? Because if you’re saying the first one, I haven’t seen that here. If you’re saying the second one, then, yes, women are surprising creatures who’s beliefs and feelings run the gamut. Which is taking us back to the “how do you want to behave around women and if you want to kiss someone if they don’t want to be kissed” portion of our conversation; and if you want to be mutual kissing buddies with someone then I don’t see a clearer way to do that without gaining consent.

    Also, I don’t see how “make sure you’re engaging in a mutually pleasurable activity instead of one just pleasurable for you” is overly general. It seems just general enough.

    <blockquote?Right, but I’m in a bit of a double bind there, too – if I’m making general points, I’m mansplaining, if I’m detailing how I’m personally affected, I’m trying to get group therapy. It’s not that easy to get one’s position accross in that situation either.

    Here’s the deal, Sam. Your conversational style, on here? Has come across as, “I have this problem. What can I possibly do?” Is that fair, if that’s not what you’re trying to accomplish? Maybe not. Is it happening? Yes.

    I don’t know how to help that. I suspect part of it rests in not throwing out anecdotes like the Eskimo Girl story with no real analysis on your end for how things went so wrong for you so quickly.

    Well, actually, I perceived it to be about “real men don’t worry about whether they’re right, they just “know”, or they just take the risk of being wrong.” So, yeah, that interpretation is close to what I read.

    And what I’m asking is how you got “Men don’t gain consent before kissing” out of that line. Because that line doesn’t say anything about hauling off and kissing someone out of the blue. Just that Men don’t stand there and lead you through how they arrived at the point where they’d maybe like to kiss you.

    I had this teacher who said something really profound to my 10th grade self, and that was “Half of what you get out of a piece of writing is what the author puts in. The other half is what you bring to it.” And then failed anyone who didn’t come up with his exact interpretation of the piece, but I digress. Sam, I think you’re bringing some things to that piece that are on the whole separate from the piece itself. And that may be informed by what you are seeing in your real life, with Wall and/or Eskimo Girl? But isn’t wholly supported by the sentence itself.

    Yup. That’s pretty much how I read the post.

    Ok, well, I don’t think it is. I’m not saying this is the best piece of writing by a long shot, but what I see is a woman who is coming to terms with what she was comfortable dating when she was younger – unattached “boys” who didn’t have plans past the next 2 or so days of their lives, sometimes less – because she ostensibly fell into the same camp. But as she got older, she started to date guys who were more together, who thought about things in 5 year plans and who went to bed at a reasonable hour.

    Hopefully this won’t be wasted on you getting bored with my frankly novel sized comments (or my insulting you in any way over the course of them), but you know what I see as the main difference the author seems to be describing in kissing methodology? The “boy” prioritizes his experience (long preambles about how he’s thinking about kissing the girl, usually containing what brought him to this point, and usually an attempt at being poetic) and having the girl swoon at his thought process, how “sensitive” he is, and how poetic he is. The “man” doesn’t do that; instead, it becomes a shared experience, because it is no longer centered entirely around the “boy” and what brought him to that point. In other words, it’s the difference between a soliloquy and a dialogue. That dialogue can contain the phrase, “I’m thinking about kissing you” and the return of (a) a kiss, (b) I wish you would, or (c) please don’t – but doesn’t have to if a head tilt/eskimo kissing is doing that nicely on its own. The soliloquy? Unless you’re really truly in love, that gets really boring, really fast. Because as a girl, now you’re a prop in some guy’s idea of a kiss.

    I would have described it as “douche” versus maybe “menche”, because The Boyfriend has never monologued and he’s younger than the guy I know who actually does do that sort of thing, but I suppose that doesn’t mean much in the way of maturity.

    And thanks for being critical but fair :)

    Hey I try. And I’ll attempt to read that thread.

  341. groggette
    groggette October 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

    La Lubu: Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.

    Ha, no I completely agree! I was more poking fun at some people (Sam) evidently needing that simple concept explained to them.

  342. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm |

    Ha, no I completely agree! I was more poking fun at some people (Sam) evidently needing that simple concept explained to them.

    Hee! Yeah….I’ve just been around more than one block with more than one person who wanted to argue with me on that point. As in, “but you’re sin-gle. And he’s not an axe-murderer. And he’s clean. There’s nothing wrong with him; just what do you want anyway? You’re too picky!!”

  343. groggette
    groggette October 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm |

    La Lubu: “but you’re sin-gle. And he’s not an axe-murderer. And he’s clean. There’s nothing wrong with him; just what do you want anyway? You’re too picky!!”

    Oh god, you just reminded me of the time my mother tried to set me up with a waiter at a restaurant we’d never been to before, when I was visiting my parents from out of town.

  344. Sam
    Sam October 10, 2011 at 9:57 pm |

    Hey Petpluto -

    happy world kissing day. It’s already started in my timezone…

    “I mean this sincerely: if that’s not how you perceive the general feminist message, then you’re perceiving the general feminist message wrong.”

    And I’m happy if that’s the case, honestly. Thing is, though, statements like Zuzu’s or yours or LaLubus about how there are different ways to gauge consent, statements like Clarisse’s about how honest mistakes are ok, really aren’t that common, in fact, I have a hard time rembering when such things were said in consent-discussions. Usually – that’s how I perceive it – it’s about getting explicit enthusiastic consent in the form of a verbal “yes”. Again, it was my impression that that is, as you and the others have outlined above, not what is actually asked for, yet it often appears to be that way – and not merely to me. So, well, your question about sender and recipient bring us back to who’s writing/talking about this in which way – and that was my point way up there – and how mutual understanding can be increased by being more explicit (sic!) and not asking people to work too hard to understand possible contextual variables. So no one perceives “the other side” in such debates as your old teacher…

    Sam, I think you’re bringing some things to that piece that are on the whole separate from the piece itself. And that may be informed by what you are seeing in your real life, with Wall and/or Eskimo Girl? But isn’t wholly supported by the sentence itself.

    Fair. I think I already admitted as much by saying how this kind of thing is triggering for me.

    Hopefully this won’t be wasted on you getting bored with my frankly novel sized comments (or my insulting you in any way over the course of them)

    Don’t worry…

    The “boy” prioritizes his experience (long preambles about how he’s thinking about kissing the girl, usually containing what brought him to this point, and usually an attempt at being poetic) and having the girl swoon at his thought process, how “sensitive” he is, and how poetic he is. The “man” doesn’t do that; instead, it becomes a shared experience, because it is no longer centered entirely around the “boy” and what brought him to that point.

    Well, I can see that as a valid possible interpretation, but it was not what I read.

    Hey I try. And I’ll attempt to read that thread.

    I hope you’ll find it interesting. It was certainly an eye-opening experience for me to have such an in-depth discussion that lasted from late 2009 to Spring 2011.

  345. Saurs
    Saurs October 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm |

    Sam, as much as it will probably pain you to read again, not only is this thread not about feminist “theory,” but feminist theory is not about making it easier for straight dudes to gain access to straight women by co-opting the language and philosophy of their political movement. You are trivializing the fight to end women’s oppression by continuing to imply that Feminism must address your personal failings.

    The armchair sex-doctor cum life-coach that lives inside my head begs to inform you that your behavior on this thread is probably indicative of your behavior in real life: you’re boring, you’re long-winded, and you don’t take no for an answer.

  346. La Lubu
    La Lubu October 11, 2011 at 6:46 am |

    not only is this thread not about feminist “theory,” but feminist theory is not about making it easier for straight dudes to gain access to straight women by co-opting the language and philosophy of their political movement.

    It’s probably also worth mentioning that the only name-checking you tend to do around feminist theory is that of middle-class white women radical feminists—which, without going into specific critiques of that, is a pretty limited perspective even within feminism. That’s another of our disconnects—when you think of feminism, you’re thinking of specific theoretical works written by certain PhD.’s—-and when I think of feminism, I’m thinking of everyday working women without any pedigree, advanced education, or theoretical background finding a way to put feminism into practice without any structure or guidance….often because the structures offered are unhelpful or bear little resemblance or relation to what is needed, RIGHT NOW. To me, feminism isn’t a theory—it’s a practice (praxis). A work in progress, and would be irrelevant if it didn’t meet everyday needs.

    ‘Nother words, you need to expand your definition of feminism. Your insistence that feminist acceptance of nonverbal communication as another avenue of consent “isn’t common” doesn’t jibe with my reality—and that has a hell of a lot more to do with our different locations on identity axes than anything else.

  347. Sam
    Sam October 11, 2011 at 9:48 am |

    LaLubu,

    “that has a hell of a lot more to do with our different locations on identity axes than anything else.”

    that is certainly possible.

  348. zuzu
    zuzu October 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

    Sam, weren’t you talking about your partner on another thread?

    So why all the angst over kissing?

  349. Sam
    Sam October 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm |

    zuzu,

    no, no (longterm) partner… yet. I’m not sure what thread you’re referring to, but I guess “Sam’s” not too uncommon a nickname… this is the only thread I’ve recently commented in on feministe.

    Just in case you’re actually asking about the angst bit – as I already mentioned (way) above – my personal kissing angst (kissing as the usual starting point of physical intimacy, not friendly kisses on the cheek) is a consequence of religious and feminist messages I internalized about toxic (male) sexuality and a certain (OCD) tendency to overthink stuff and that’s me. I’ve managed to work through most of the stuff that caused my about more than 10-year involuntary celibacy, and today I’m actually pretty “good with women”, and, as opposed to Saur’s hypothesis above about my assumed conversational dullness, I’m usually a fun person to be around, and people who only know me casually usually think I’m getting laid left and right because they see me with a lot different women. My best female friend scolds me for being unfair to women who wait for me to kiss/initiate, but I guess I’ll never be relaxed about kissing/initiating… so I usually rely on women to kiss me and initiate, well, actually, pretty much always. And only few women do that… Again, here’s some more thoughts I had on “how to do explicit asking and initiating” in a comment in this thread –

    http://www.charlieglickman.com/2010/10/sex-tips-for-men-how-to-ask-for-sex/comment-page-1/#comment-6122

  350. llama
    llama October 12, 2011 at 2:40 am |

    PrettyAmiable: Funny. I’m an atheist, and I respect the differences in how people worship if they so choose. I’m pretty sure that’s not the cause-and-effect relationship you were looking for.

    I think the worship of make believe gods is very wasteful of time and can lead to even greater problems (for instance terrorism).

    The differences in how they follow these wasteful and sometimes dangerous pursuits is irrelevant to me.

    Why should I respect these differences when from the outset I think they are wrong headed?

    It is just like I wouldn’t much respect a woman’s right to be a domestic slave.

  351. EG
    EG October 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

    Why should I respect these differences when from the outset I think they are wrong headed?

    So that you know what you’re talking about when you criticize religion. If you don’t respect differences among religions, you will end up saying things like “What’s so special about Sundays?” to observant Jews, and they will laugh at you, and they will be right to.

  352. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley October 12, 2011 at 7:06 pm |

    llama: I think the worship of make believe gods is very wasteful of time and can lead to even greater problems (for instance terrorism).

    The differences in how they follow these wasteful and sometimes dangerous pursuits is irrelevant to me.

    Why should I respect these differences when from the outset I think they are wrong headed?

    It is just like I wouldn’t much respect a woman’s right to be a domestic slave.

    Wow what?

  353. littlem
    littlem October 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm |

    Sheelzebub:
    Also, it’s not a zero-sum game.

    That’s the way you’re treating it.Men are oppressed by other men, so let’s go on a feminist blog and scold the women for not tending to the men.While you fucking ignore and belittle institutional misogyny.

    If a woman of color comes and says her issues about racism are ignored within feminism, we don’t tell them they want it to be all about them, we help them too (not just them, or only them, or mostly them), because that’s the right thing to do (obviously, I’m an idealist, because they founded their own parallel movement – womanism – because this didn’t happen).

    Holy fucking shit.Men are not facing the type of oppression or the LEVEL of oppression that women of color are.That you would equate the discomfort that men feel when women are doing things for themselves with the institutional racism and White supremacy that women of color have to deal with is beyond ridiculous.

    You have just shown yourself, in all technicolor glory, to be an irrelevant troll.

    Quite frankly, that’s why I keep wondering why people keep responding to that person as opposed to ignoring zie completely.

  354. armillaria
    armillaria October 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm |

    i’m not reading this long-ass argument but i am really uncomfortable with the capitalist career/property accumulations that the author uses to measure maturity.

  355. Esti
    Esti October 13, 2011 at 9:36 am |

    Sam,

    I know a lot of stuff has been said on this comment thread, but please, please, take away just this one thing: you, personally, are probably not good at reading people’s signals and figuring out if and how a particular woman would want you to kiss her, so you, personally, should say “would it be okay if I kissed you?” before doing so.

    That’s it. Nothing else. Next time you are eskimo kissing with some girl you want to actually kiss, just say exactly that. Not a long explanation to her. Not an internal dialogue about whether or not you should ask. Just say those eight words to her.

    Stop thinking about the ethics of kissing. Stop thinking about Feminists Want This. Stop thinking about World Kissing Day (seriously, that’s a thing?) and about that girl you could have kissed who went off with another guy and about how much play your friends think you get and about comment threads on Clarisse’s blog.

    Because what this comment thread has made very, very clear is that (and I mean this as nicely as possible) you are not very good at understanding people’s thoughts on this issue. You fixate on things you once read, or on tiny portions of things people are saying to you, and you want to discuss these issues ad nauseum in inappropriate places and you don’t seem to get what women here are telling you. I know this stuff can feel complicated, and it really does sound like you are honestly confused. But these long internet conversations about what Feminism thinks about kissing are not helping you or anyone else.

    Yes, some women want guys to just kiss them. And some guys are able to kiss a woman without asking because they are good at reading whether she wants them to do so. But you are not those guys. Maybe you think that’s unfair, but it is reality. And so your best course of action is to just ask.

    You will never go wrong by asking. Maybe some tiny number of women will go “well, I really wanted to kiss him, but then he said that eight-word question, and now I don’t want to,” but even if they do, in exchange for missing out on a few kisses, you will have saved yourself thousands of hours of time of worrying about this issue. JUST ASK.

    “Would it be okay if I kissed you?” That’s it. Just do that.

  356. Sam
    Sam October 13, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    Esti,

    I guess I’m better at communicating in body language than most guys, but I’m prone to overthinking everything, so I keep wondering “what if” (a literal quote from a girl was “stop thinking and kiss me already”). So yeah, I’ll keep asking if she doesn’t initiate. But I doubt I’ll be able to stop worrying…

    Thank you for your kind advice! But, again, my personal issues were merely intended to illustrate my more general point, which I apparently spectacularly failed to convey…

  357. Esti
    Esti October 13, 2011 at 11:03 am |

    I don’t think you failed to convey your general point. I think that you just don’t agree with the response people had to it, and think that the reason they responded that way is that they don’t understand what you are saying rather than because they think you are wrong and/or missing the point.

    Which is why I suggested that you just stop thinking about your general point because you, in your own life, can act in a way that does not risk kissing people who don’t want to be kissed and which avoids you needing to create a universal unified theory of kissing.

  358. Sam
    Sam October 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

    Esti,

    “I don’t think you failed to convey your general point. I think that you just don’t agree with the response people had to it, and think that the reason they responded that way is that they don’t understand what you are saying rather than because they think you are wrong and/or missing the point.”

    Well, I can’t really be wrong about *my* perception of a discourse. But I may be wrong about the intent of the discourse I’m perceiving that way. If that is the case, as I said in reply to those who told me that “the general feminist message” is not intended to communicate what I perceive it to communicate, then, as petpluto mentioned, that’s good. But there’s always a sender and a receiver involved in the miscommunication, and I’m not the only one perceiving it this way, and that’s not a good thing, and it’s easy to fix by saying some of the things said in this thread more often – and that’s the one thing I’d like “the sender” to take away…

  359. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig October 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm |

    armillaria: i’m not reading this long-ass argument but i am really uncomfortable with the capitalist career/property accumulations that the author uses to measure maturity.

    How is furniture capitalist? I’m sitting on a chair I got for free. Yeah, not the best, but it’s a chair. Every few weeks I see couches free for the scavenging outside various places in the city. And even in Cuba, people probably have chairs and tables and couches.
    There’s a lot to be said for gauging someone’s maturity level by their ability to strike out on their own, feed themselves and create a well maintained living space.

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