All hail the matriarchy, and a note to the dudebros

That men are more likely to drop out of school, more likely to be incarcerated, and more likely to be portrayed as a buffoon in a commercial for oven cleaner is actually a “neglected form of sexism” perpetrated by feminists, says David Benatar, head of philosophy at Cape Town University and author of The Second Sexism. He has conjecture and out-of-context statistics to prove it. And of course the Guardian eats it all up unquestioningly, delivering Benatar’s time-honored MRA talking points as if they’re established and undeniable facts.

Do Benatar and Farrell have a point? A handful of statistics seems to bear out their thesis. Not only are men more likely to be conscripted into military service, to be the victims of violence, and to lose custody of their children in the event of a divorce, but tests conducted in 2009 by the programme for international student assessment, carried out by the OECD thinktank, showed that boys lag a year behind girls at reading in every industrialised country. They work longer hours, too: in 2010 the Office for National Statistics found that men in the UK work an average of 39 hours a week, compared with 34 for women. Healthwise, men develop heart disease 10 years earlier than women, on average, and young men are three times more likely to commit suicide.

Men also get teased in commercials and sitcoms, and men are more likely to be victims of violence. And it’s all the fault of what Benatar calls “partisan feminists,” who care only about advancing the cause of women at the expense of true equality and, evidently, dominate government, business, and the entertainment industry.

Jo T at the f word and Melissa at Shakesville have excellent, thorough, fact-by-fact (or I suppose “fact”-by-“fact” would be more accurate) takedowns, and I recommend–nay, insist–that you read them. They are informed and insightful, whereas all I have is

A firm yet sympathetic open letter to the dudebros

Dudebros: When you’re a proud member of a class that has been dominant for millennia, and occasionally you find yourself not on top, that’s not oppression–that’s backfiring. It’s a side effect. No system is perfect. When you create and enforce a system of gender roles in which “real men” are strong, fearless, stoic, and violent; and “real women” are delicate, emotional, compassionate, and nurturing; you will occasionally find yourself held to those same standards. When you establish combat and money-earning as “men’s work” and childrearing and caregiving as “women’s work,” you will occasionally find yourself stuffed into an assigned role. Even when they aren’t your standards or your preferred roles, per se–when you personally want to diverge from them and are being punished for it–it’s still your system, your patriarchy, and you’re still soaking in its benefits.

And while I know I might come across as unsympathetic here, sincerely I’m not. I’m right there with you. If you want to know how damaging it can be to function under a patriarchy, ask a woman–or, for that matter, a gender-nonconforming man who probably did try to tell you about it until it became apparent that society was okay with you punching him.

So no, a delicate, emotional little flower of a woman isn’t going to be sent to the front lines in combat, is going to be automatically assigned custody of a kid, isn’t going to find accommodations in the workplace that make it feasible for her to return to work full-time, and is going to be shuttled into a career arc that assumes she’s going to bail the moment her biological clock rings. And it isn’t because feminists are rubbing their hands together and crowing, “Pack up your pants and grab your pearls, ladies! The 1950s Express is rolling in–destination: you!”

The good news is that women aren’t all fragile and emotional, and some of them want to fight on the front lines, and some of them don’t want to have kids, and some of them want to do both! The bad news is that patriarchy is your baby, so if you want any of this to benefit you, you have to stop calling other men pussies and women bitches when they don’t conform to those gender roles you love so much, and you have to stop accusing women of handing out beejers when they excel in the workplace, you have to stop committing violence against us and each other (for Christ’s sake), and you have to stop talking about “babysitting” your own kids whenever you take care of them. And that’s just to start with.*

So relax, dudebros: You’re still the first sex. You’re just going through something known to some as “marginal loss of male privilege.” Don’t panic–you still have a ton of it left.

*I have no idea what to do about the heart disease. Maybe lock your windows at night so partisan feminists will stop climbing in under cover of darkness and injecting Velveeta into your femoral artery? … Uh, which we’re TOTALLY NOT DOING.


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741 Responses to All hail the matriarchy, and a note to the dudebros

  1. Nahida says:

    I LOVE THIS POST.

    Also,

    “men are more likely to be conscripted into military service”?

    No. Fucking. Way.

  2. Nahida says:

    Maybe lock your windows at night so partisan feminists will stop climbing in under cover of darkness and injecting Velveeta into your femoral artery?

    They’re onto us.

  3. Healthwise, men develop heart disease 10 years earlier than women, on average

    If only men didn’t shame fellow men for eating “woman food” like salads and vegetables instead of that MANLY BACON-WRAPPED BACON SANDWICH WITH BACON BREAD! And bacon sauce, natch.

    Coming from somewhere where food just isn’t gendered like that, it’s frankly horrible to me to watch North American men being routinely shamed for eating vegetables/considered less manly for not eating heavy meaty oil-rich foods. And all the advertising aimed at convincing men that they have to eat ONLY foods that are linked to heart disease in order to be men-men-men-men-manly-men.

    D:

  4. Oh, and to add:

    in 2010 the Office for National Statistics found that men in the UK work an average of 39 hours a week, compared with 34 for women

    I’m guessing childcare and housework isn’t “work” in these chucklefucks’ estimation methods. Guess who does more than five hours’ worht of that a week.

  5. RenKiss says:

    Boo freakin hoo

    My goodness, women start doing better, then all of sudden we’re a “matriarchal” society. *eye roll*

  6. Mxe354 says:

    This is my favorite Feministe blog post ever. Seriously.

  7. SophiaBlue says:

    men are more likely to be conscripted into military service

    I can’t believe anyone can blame this on feminism with a straight face. Oh if only those darn feminists hadn’t forced men to be the only ones to fight in war. Then we could go back to the kind of co-ed army that beat the Redcoats, like our Founding Fathers intended.

  8. EG says:

    Personally, I think Jill should stop posting irrelevant, superficial things on a hat blog, and I shan’t be back.

  9. Chiara says:

    The idea that it’s feminists plotting to enforce these gender roles on men is pretty ludicrous.

    However I don’t think it’s as simple as just patriarchy/other men forcing these gender roles on men. I think men might also be conforming to these roles and encouraging other men to do so because they think it’s attractive to women and it’s more likely to get them laid. Men being masculine, as long as it’s like an act and not like in a dangerous way, is attractive to me, while men being not gender conforming, especially in the ways that the guy complains about, is a big turn off for me. I’m not saying I speak for every woman because I don’t but I think that’s the same for a lot of women. And I’m not saying guys should be masculine and gender conforming because that’s hot to me, they should do what they want. But they may be inclined to do what makes them more attractive to women.

    Also I think there might be a little disconnect between what we know as feminism i.e. the feminism on the internet here and the feminism that’s practised by the women in real life, working women and mothers. My mother was part of the whole feminism thing in the 70s, with all the putting the poster with the fish everywhere and everything, and I find that her views are very different from the views I hold and the views I read on here. She says girls can do whatever they want but she is still very gender policing of guys, judging there behavior on the TV and such. And she doesn’t even see the hypocrisy there even though she is intelligent and she is a feminist.

    Before I started reading feminism on the internet and things, I was very much of the opinion like ‘guys should act masculine, and girls should be given the opportunity to act masculine (in terms of getting jobs and working and being strong and stuff) too’. And I think that’s what a lot of people think of when they think of feminism, at least here in the UK, I dunno about other places.

  10. @EG: Well, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    This, I believe, is known as a “flounce.” Buh-bye.

  11. Gert says:

    I am a white, able-bodied, (mostly) straight, (mostly) cis-male, and I would like to say THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!

    Whenever I encounter “mra style” reasoning from someone who is panicking because just *maybe* the world doesn’t revolve around them *all the time*, I’m just left frustrated and seething. Thank you for articulating what I can’t.

  12. librarygoose says:

    Personally, I think Jill should stop posting irrelevant, superficial things on a hat blog, and I shan’t be back.

    Guh, Damn EG. Sometimes Jill likes to talk about things that aren’t as important as hats. Skip over this apparently far and few between post about feminism.

    • Jill says:

      Also Jill didn’t even write this post! Blame Caperton for not writing enough about hats. Clearly I’m the only one who pulls my own weight around here when it comes to covering important hat-related content.

  13. Sometimes Jill likes to talk about things that aren’t as important as hats.

    I never thought I’d read this on a hat blog.

  14. EG says:

    @EG: Well, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    This, I believe, is known as a “flounce.” Buh-bye.

    Actually, that was what is known as a “joke.” You can tell, because I referred to Feministe as a “hat blog.” I cannot even believe that I’m explaining this. Please tell me that you got it and that you were just continuing the joke?

    Also Jill didn’t even write this post! Blame Caperton for not writing enough about hats.

    Way to pass the buck, Jill! You need to step up and own your responsibility for what Caperton does.

    Awesome post, Caperton, by the way.

  15. Gert says:

    again – thanks for writing this. Posts like these are necessary for as long as people like Benatar spread their sexism-disguised-as-science. There’s one remark I would like to make and I would love to hear any thoughts about this:

    I don’t like the word ‘dudebros’. Not at all because I take it personally (I hope it’s obvious that I don’t), and I can picture the type of person you’re describing with that word, but because using any gendered language in a derogatory way is not helpful to fight sexism (and the patriarchy for that matter) in my opinion. Same with ‘mansplaining’ – I know exactly what it is, and i hate it with a vengeance, but I wish there was a gender-neutral word to describe that annoying character trait.

  16. Liz says:

    I even hate the title of his book; ‘The Second Sexism’. That’s just offensive.

    And yeah. Define work for me, kind sir.

  17. EG says:

    I wish there was a gender-neutral word to describe that annoying character trait.

    But the thing is, it’s describing a behavior that does vary by gender, just as does the identity “dudebro” refers to. For a variety of reasons, in my opinion largely a combination of socialization and power differentials, men and women manifest identity and are obnoxious in different ways. If we don’t acknowledge that, then we’re being gender-blind instead of gender-aware.

  18. Lamech says:

    and that our ignorance of the “second sexism” stems from what he terms “partisan feminists”

    Peeps, he isn’t blaming it on feminists of any kind, he’s saying that the ignorance of it comes from “partisan feminists”. He is saying that they hide sexism, not that they cause it. Which even if in the book he overestimates the effect they have on people consider this

    “…men develop heart disease 10 years earlier than women, on average..”

    I really do struggle to see how this can be laid at the feet of women, or of “sexism” against men.

    Why aren’t we just assuming that men dying earlier is discrimination like we do with the wage gap and such? http://www.cloisterstudy.eu/index-Dateien/COMMS.htm But that’s okay because when men and women have the same living conditions they have roughly the same lifespan.

    Also note, sexism is sexism regardless of the gender of the source. So saying that the sexism stems from other men, the patriarchy or where ever, isn’t a counter argument. Also as far as I can tell this book is trying to get awareness for the issue of sexism against men not go into great detail about the causes.

    Finally, please don’t use gendered insults. Especially when you’re telling others not to use gendered insults…

  19. Denise says:

    using any gendered language in a derogatory way is not helpful to fight sexism…. Same with ‘mansplaining’ – I know exactly what it is, and i hate it with a vengeance, but I wish there was a gender-neutral word to describe that annoying character trait.

    The whole point of the term “mansplaining” is to point out when a man is assuming a woman is ignorant of something for no apparent reason other than she is a woman. It is describing a gendered situation. Making it gender-neutral would erase the fact that it is criticizing a behavior that exists specifically because of patriarchy. When its not gendered, we tend to call it “being a condescending ass”.

  20. Claire K. says:

    I generally hear “mansplaining” used to refer to a particular way of wielding male privilege, and “dudebro” used to refer to someone wielding male privilege in a particular way. Waving around male privilege is not a gender-neutral trait, so there’s no need for a gender-neutral term to describe it.

  21. matlun says:

    From the OP:

    …is actually a “neglected form of sexism” perpetrated by feminists, says David Benatar…

    Where does he say this is “perpetrated by feminists”? I can not find it in the linked material.
    Most (all?) of the examples are consequences of traditional gender roles which is something that feminism has been fighting against, so it would be a strange claim.

    I think there is a lot of truth in the claims, and I also think these statistics could in fact be tactically useful. If men see that they too are limited by enforced gender roles, then this can hopefully be used to get more allies in fighting sexism.

  22. That guy again.

    I teach philosophy, so Benatar is in my line of work. He wrote a book a few years ago titled Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence. His view is that bringing new people into existence is a bad thing to do, and we should try to end the human race as fast as possible. It got a lot of notoriety and I remember people being curious about what his argument for that conclusion could possibly be. I’ve only read a review, but whatever it is, it doesn’t look like it’s very good.

    My impression is that the guy is more into saying crazy stuff that seems contrarian and provocative than giving careful arguments for anything.

  23. Joe says:

    So it was feminists who’ve been encouraging men to be more violent, dissuading them from participating in child care and trying to get women banned from combat?

    I need to start paying closer attention to this stuff.

  24. Li says:

    young men are three times more likely to commit suicide

    Aaaarghhhh. Most hated argument. Ever.

    In Australia at least (and the USA, probs elsewhere but I haven’t specifically gone out and read the stats), women are disproportionately represented in suicidality stats as a whole. The “men are more likely to commit suicide” thing is true, but it’s also only one part of suicidality statistics, because men are also less likely than women to attempt suicide, by a substantial margin. Men overwhelmingly choose more lethal means when suiciding (and there’s an issue here with men’s willingness to use lethal violence against themselves), which skews deaths massively, but they are actually underrepresented in suicidal behaviour as a whole.

    And that’s aside from the number of queer men and trans* women (cos bureau suicide stats are notoriously bad with the misgendering) who the MEN SUICIDE COS OF THE SECOND SEXISM argument completely skips over.

    That “men are disproportionately represented in suicide deaths” is widely known while “women are disproportionately represented in suicidal behaviour as a whole” is niche knowledge demonstrates exactly the opposite thing about sexism than MRAs think it does.

    /rant

  25. Megan says:

    “Men are more likely to be the victims of violence.”

    And the perpetrators of said violence, too, but I guess it’s easier to blame the feminists for it. Feminism told that guy at the bar to punch you or something like that, obvs. It’s certainly not the fault of a patriarchal culture that advocates that the manly way to solve problems is through violence, no sirree Bob.

    “Men are more likely to be conscripted into the army.”

    Damn it, if only it were almost entirely men in charge of choosing who gets in to the ar– oh, wait…

    “Men work more hours in a week.”

    According to the statistic quoted, they work an average of one hour a day (assuming a 5-day working week) more than women. Less over a 6 or 7-day work week. And I will bet you ALL THE JUBILEE HATS that if those numbers were reversed, it would still be quoted in the article as part of the Evil Feminist Plot to deprive men of an honest day’s work and their chance to be Manly Breadwinners and thus Retain Their Masculinity under the Feminist Onslaught.

  26. matlun says:

    That “men are disproportionately represented in suicide deaths” is widely known while “women are disproportionately represented in suicidal behaviour as a whole” is niche knowledge demonstrates exactly the opposite thing about sexism than MRAs think it does.

    Or it demonstrates nothing about sexism at all unless you believe that men disproportionately commit suicide because of sexism (which .

  27. matlun says:

    Posting fail.

    What I wanted to say was simply that heart disease and suicide rates are not convincing evidence of sexism unless you can at least show some plausible method of causation.

  28. Helen says:

    Pat Benatar was way better.

  29. Partial Human says:

    @19 – no dude, Sexism against men is the same as reverse racism and gay privilege – none of them exist.

    This author is co-opting the language of social justice, just so he can portray men as an oppressed class. They only have most of the control, not all of it. boo-fucking-hoo

    I’m amused that ebil women get away with four hours less work per week. That’s a lot of bonbon+Grey’s Anatomy time.

    It’s not like any woman is raising kids, caring for someone elderly or disabled, doing housework, running errands etc. Naah, we just sit around , devising plots to overthrow patriarchy.

    The answer is simple, PHMT. Dismantle it, help everyone.

  30. the_leanover says:

    A while ago, I came across an essay by the modernist writer D.H. Lawrence called ‘Matriarchy’, in which he argues that men are being edged out and emasculated by female liberation, that they are “afraid of being swamped, turned into a mere accessory of bare-limbed, swooping woman”, and that society must “let men free again”. It was all terribly familiar stuff. When your arguments precisely echo arguments of the 1920s – y’know, that decade where we finally decided that maybe it would be okay if women were allowed to vote – you might want to think a bit about the meaning of ‘reactionary’. The notion that feminism has ‘gone too far’ and taken freedom away from men has pretty much been around for as long concept of feminism has existed.

  31. DollHeart says:

    I kind of agree about the portrayal of men as buffoons in dishwasher and ovencleaner advertisments. Because it’s no fun having to be the sensible female who knows best…I reserve my right to make an ass of myself, goddammit, why should guys have all the tomfoolery and fun!

    But seriously, I’m heartily sick of the whole Judd Apatow “useless male” trope who completely sucks at anything which doesn’t involve xboxes or cars. It’s as if being able to manage your own existence and maintaining a clean house is seem as wimpy and emasculating, and is resulting in a generation of man-children who see all women as their mothers.

  32. George says:

    I appreciate what you say! I find it ironic – in my work creating and building A Men’s Project – an effort by me, a Man, to reach other men that:

    1.) 95+% – of the (nearly all positive) feedback that comes back is from women (oft times working to help us men) and:
    2.) Where men do respond – most – are actual survivors of abuse (generally from childhood) (who could very, very, very much use the support of far more of us men who’ve not been abused).

    When more of us men begin looking at our need to confront Our Issues and really work on them (with other Men) – and stop Blaming Women for Our Issues – perhaps we’ll finally have a “chance” and really confront much of the serious s**t that we really do face – and then Begin to stop the needless violence, hurt and pain we both cause and face.

  33. Angie unduplicated says:

    The usual argument is that feminism is destroying gender-conforming masculinity. This Benatar (Thanks, Helen!) argues that male gender roles which have been consistent through the 19th and 20th century have been imposed by feminists and are killing men.
    The draft has been a fact of male life since before Mary Wollstonecraft was born. Men have always worked more hours on paid jobs than women have–indeed, far more, prior to the invention of contraception. Deaths from heart attacks can be reduced by the simple expedient of curbing male indulgence in tobacco and alcohol. These, plus unsafe workplaces, account for most early male deaths. And excuse me, weren’t feminists behind efforts to increase workplace safety? Do, too, give us credit for activism to end the military draft, and the domestic and workplace violence he cites.
    Feminists are the last critters you are likely to find in brawl bars, and I can find no citation whatever of any feminist author or spokeswoman ever recommending bar fights.
    This Benatar has produced the Internet equivalent of a computer virus or a redirect. He’s programming idiots with erroneous data for malicious reasons.

  34. wriggles says:

    Chiara,

    I take your point, it’s because men aren’t trying to overthrow masculinity in the way women have tried to do with feminity. Women can’t have revolution for men.

  35. DoublyLinkedLists says:

    Benatar used to be way less whiny than this.

    You come on with a come on,
    you don’t fight fair.
    That’s okay, see if I care
    Knock me down, it’s all in vain
    I’ll get back up on my feet again!

  36. Kristin A says:

    All the Mansplaining Righteous Apologists in the world can not get me to feel sorry for them being teased in commercials. And yet some use that as a base to say that feminism is irrelevant.

  37. maggiemay says:

    @ wriggles—of course, men arent trying to overthrow masculinity—it yields way more advantages than femininity

  38. TessaMuldvarp says:

    I know this is a completely inconsequential point, but it keeps getting repeated at every outlet that’s covering this story – he works at the University of Cape Town, not Cape Town University.

    Thank you, and I’ll stop sweating the small stuff now.

  39. maggiemay says:

    @macavitykitsune—glad to hear someone besides me who thinks the whole gendered-food thing is ridiculous

  40. Louise says:

    Men are also nine times more likely to be attacked by a great white shark. Hard times.

    Source

  41. Andrew, Sweden says:

    I know, it’s so sexist against men that women aren’t conscripted.

    Oh, hang on… isn’t that because so many sulky, nervous, bigoted men in the military are terrified of women joining up? As I just commented to the person who linked me to this post:

    “Other than that, I’m all in favour of general conscription. There are a lot of nonsensical arguments against women serving in the military, unit cohesion and whatnot, but having served in a company with an above-average number of women (for the time) I’d happily share a foxhole with any of them. Seven of them were in the company’s top ten shots, for a start. Another one routinely carried a Minimi (M249) and without difficulty carried one of her squadmates too. Another was an expert radar technician, another one of our best dog handlers, and another let the medical section. And one of our officers was a woman too.

    There was never any disruption to operational efficiency (and, according to those female soldiers I spoke to at least, no discrimination against them either). They had segregated accommodation at first (largely because we men, not the women, were embarrassed about sharing showers) until they lobbied to integrate the barracks. Perhaps things would have been different in real combat, but in my experience at least the influence they had on unit efficiency was nothing but a good thing.”

  42. matlun says:

    Btw, has anyone read Benetar’s book?

    According to Ally Fogg’s review in the New Statesman it appears to be fairly reasonable.

    According to the article

    …he notes astutely that men’s groups can become “fora for self-pity and for ventilating hyperbolic views that are not checked or moderated by alternative opinions.”

    and it is not at all the normal MRA rhetoric.

    (NB: I have not read it – just the reviews)

  43. Mxe354 says:

    Why aren’t we just assuming that men dying earlier is discrimination like we do with the wage gap and such? http://www.cloisterstudy.eu/index-Dateien/COMMS.htm But that’s okay because when men and women have the same living conditions they have roughly the same lifespan.

    Because that has nothing to do with prejudice. If some difference between men and women is not a result of sexist stereotypes, then it can’t be called sexism.

    Also note, sexism is sexism regardless of the gender of the source. So saying that the sexism stems from other men, the patriarchy or where ever, isn’t a counter argument. Also as far as I can tell this book is trying to get awareness for the issue of sexism against men not go into great detail about the causes.

    No one said it’s not sexism. The claim here is that this is not some new kind of sexism, as Benatar is saying, but rather a kind of sexism that originated from the exact same source: patriarchy. Also, clearly the author cares about bringing up the causes if he’s blaming feminists for everything.

  44. Bagelsan says:

    “afraid of being swamped, turned into a mere accessory of bare-limbed, swooping woman”

    “Bare-limbed, swooping women” sounds like something most men I know would be totally into. :p

  45. unacomplished says:

    However I don’t think it’s as simple as just patriarchy/other men forcing these gender roles on men. I think men might also be conforming to these roles and encouraging other men to do so because they think it’s attractive to women and it’s more likely to get them laid.

    pretty much, and as somebody who has watched many a women walk away from him for not being “manly” enough, it’s a pretty pervasive idea.

    Men being masculine, as long as it’s like an act and not like in a dangerous way, is attractive to me, while men being not gender conforming, especially in the ways that the guy complains about, is a big turn off for me.

    this is true for almost all women who are sexually attracted to men., and for the most part, women can’t really tell the difference (or don’t care to know the difference) between “acting” and being serious.

    I’m not saying I speak for every woman because I don’t but I think that’s the same for a lot of women. And I’m not saying guys should be masculine and gender conforming because that’s hot to me, they should do what they want. But they may be inclined to do what makes them more attractive to women.

    And that’s pretty much all it takes, it’s not uncommon for dudes to be told the aren’t manly enough by SOs or intimate partners before they walk away. I guess if you consider the success of the feminist movement partially contributed to by women being who they want to be regardless of who decides not to have sex with them because of it, it’s pretty safe to say that men on the whole have yet to embrace this.

    As such, just when we get close to change, some dude “crosses the picket line” and caves into the stereotype because “well she said she thinks dudes who aren’t ripped aren’t manly and I wanted to get laid!”

    Course in the mean time there are the chunk of us who gave up getting laid a long time ago and as such manage to “magically evade” all this “female oppression” but I confess, I’m not so willing to condemn everybody ELSE to a life of celibacy in order to make a political point.

    but I guess I’d rather be a celibate but free man rather than a tool who gave up his self respect for some pink taco #foreveralone <_<.

  46. TokenGreyGuy says:

    I agree with Comment 19 by Lamech. There is a Google Books preview of the book and from my skimming of the intro there is nothing there that justifies the claim that he is attempting to cast feminism as the main source of male problems. Benatar is also fairly measured and careful in his definition of “sexism” (and in stating his views generally), and from the table of contents it looks like he responds to standard counterarguments of the sorts people here are using.

  47. Bagelsan says:

    Well, I can’t say I expected a better comment from a person called “unacomplished [sic]” but that was still pretty pathetic. Pink taco and forever alone? Are you 12? :p

  48. ch says:

    I thought men got heart disease at younger ages than women because the estrogen levels in premenopausal women prevented heart disease somehow? (Any sciencey/medical types able to confirm or deny this?) If this is the case, blaming feminism for men getting heart disease younger is like saying it’s misogynist that women are more likely to get breast cancer than men.

  49. Katya says:

    This stuff just drives me crazy–feminism opposes these stupid stereotyped gender roles, and somehow it’s feminism’s fault that men are harmed by stupid stereotyped ideas about masculinity? Sure, individual women may enforce these stupid norms against men (and against other women), but individual women =/= feminism. Women enforcing patriarchal norms still means that the root cause is the patriarchal norms.

    Women don’t reward “masculine” behavior in a vacuum. What is deemed masculine depends on your culture, and your response to masculine behavior is not only innate, but shaped by your own experiences and culture. Plus, women aren’t a monolith, and what some women find attractive, others are indifferent to or even repulsed by.

    The bottom line is that the narrow, limiting gender roles of a patriarchal system hurt both men and women, but they generally mean that men, as a sex, benefit by remaining more powerful, even if individual men suffer. (Just like they mean that women, as a sex, remain less powerful, even if individual women manage to work the system to obtain power.) It’s the price you pay for patriarchy. Don’t like it? Don’t blame feminists–they don’t like it, either.

  50. valentifan69 says:

    “I can’t believe anyone can blame [male conscription] on feminism with a straight face. Oh if only those darn feminists hadn’t forced men to be the only ones to fight in war.”

    “81 percent of Americans thought that single women should be drafted for noncombatant military service before more fathers were taken. Seventy-five percent of single women themselves endorsed this proposal… Yet despite the mobilization of support for universal conscription, labor, peace, and feminist groups organized significant opposition to it…”

    Women Against the Good War: Conscientious Objection and Gender on the American Home Front, 1941-1947, page 74.

  51. umami says:

    Women Against the Good War: Conscientious Objection and Gender on the American Home Front, 1941-1947, page 74.

    Dude. How did that escape you?

  52. makomk says:

    @Andrew: it’s not just that the big, hulking men in the military are scared of women, it’s also that the big hulking men in the upper ranks are scared of the PR consequences when they die horribly. We as a society are sort of conditioned to have more of an emotional reaction to women dying or being harmed than men. It’s an old aspect of the patriarchy used to justify everything from wars – take a good look at some wartime propaganda for example – to the role of the patriarch within families.

    @Mxe354: again, men die from heart disease because of a sexist difference in how we value men and women’s lives. For instance, there’s a lot of pressure from the media to fund increasingly expensive and ineffective treatments for breast cancer, with accusations of misogyny every time the NHS (for example) refuses to fund a treatment because it’s not effective enough to meet its (gender- and disease-independent) criteria. Meanwhile men who suffer heart attacks go untreated and even undiagnosed and the media doesn’t give a crap.

    @Partial Human: “The answer is simple, PHMT. Dismantle it, help everyone.”

    That simple answer of course means that no-one has to think about how exactly the patriarchy hurts men too – after all, by fighting sexism against women they’re dismantling the patriarchy, right? – or whether their own actions are actually helping the patriarchy hurt men. And inevitably, this means that their actions do end up helping the patriarchy, because helping the patriarchy is the path of least resistance.

    For example, feminists do domestic violence lobbying using the patriarchal idea that women are weak and need to be protected from strong men who obviously need no protection themselves, and politicians listen – perpetuating patriarchy can be very effective! – and so male victims of domestic violence find themselves being arrested by the police and told by domestic violence helplines that they must’ve done something to deserve it, all based on feminism’s own version of a generally awful patriarchal idea. But since they’re obviously helping fight patriarchy by doing this, and since obviously all men’s problems are a result of patriarchy and not them, they don’t have to think about this. Anyone who complains is obviously just a concern troll who’s trying to derail from their actual work fighting patriarchy, which in the end will benefit men more than actually listening to them ever would.

  53. Andie says:

    Every I read the headline on this post I get ‘Nation State’ by Propaghandi stuck in my head.

  54. Saurs says:

    There is a Google Books preview of the book and from my skimming of the intro there is nothing there that justifies the claim that he is attempting to cast feminism as the main source of male problems.

    Dudes at large saying roughly this same thing: Benatar has explicitly talked about “partisan feminists” and how they’ve failed men. It’s right there, in the article the OP links to above. It’s not something some paranoid lady imagined. If you can “skim” through a dude’s intro, you can read a couple editorials written by women. Just do your homework before you automatically start defending, apologizing, and making excuses for the anti-feminist, will you?

  55. valentifan69 says:

    Dude. How did that escape you?

    I don’t understand your point.

    People are saying feminists aren’t responsible for male conscription. I’m just saying there was a time (in the US and other countries) when universal conscription was a possibility, the military and public were in favour, a law was proposed, and if things had gone the other way we’d likely have had female conscripts and women would still be registering for selective service. But it didn’t happen, in part because feminists opposed it and successfully campaigned against it.

    Sure, feminists posting here have different ideas today. Part of this is time, part that it’s easier to be in favor of universal conscription if you are not likely to be conscripted. I’m not suggesting this disproves feminism or that feminism is wrong. But me this shows that the idea that feminists have had no part in shaping the law on conscription is wrong, the idea that it’s all the military’s fault women aren’t conscripted is wrong, and the idea that feminism has always been on the side of equality with respect to conscription is wrong. I think that’s worth pointing out.

  56. Tony says:

    valenti, you have one quote from 1941-47, that lists ‘feminist’ groups as one among many, that opposed conscription in one particular instance. And it wasn’t even real conscription, it was conscription for ‘noncombatant’ service. Conscription has been around since the time of Hammurabi, and modern conscription since the French revolution, which spread across Europe in the 19th century as an all-male institution. That conscription started out as all male had nothing to do with feminists.

    This whole discussion is besides the point anyway, because even if discrimination were eliminated from combat positions (which I support and which is the feminist position), there would still be a lot more men that meet the physical requirements than women, and men would still be disproportionately serving in combat units, hence disproportionately killed in combat. So it wouldn’t really even the scales entirely.

    The same goes for his arguments on things like parental custody, because he admits that men are significantly less likely to want custody in the first place, and that men who are primary caregivers (who are a minority) are more likely to receive custody, but the problem is they don’t receive custody in as overwhelming numbers as women primary caregivers. That’s certainly a valid argument, but even if the courts ended discrimination on this count, there would still be inequality in result. In fairness he does acknowledge the difference between disparity and discrimination.

    Anyway, if you read the part of the book where he talks about conscription, even though it’s conservatives that oppose women serving in military roles, when he’s talking about an argument that a small minority of feminists apparently take he uses wording like “despite the claims of the feminsts” whereas when he talks about conservative arguments against women serving in combat, he doesn’t label those arguments as coming from conservatives. In other words even when he agrees with feminists on the substantive points, he’s still rhetoricizing in his mind and writing as if they’re his opponents in this.

  57. Tony says:

    Well, I can’t say I expected a better comment from a person called “unacomplished [sic]” but that was still pretty pathetic. Pink taco and forever alone? Are you 12? :p

    Well, as a celibate and non gender conforming guy myself, I agree that those last two bits were unneeded but he definitely brings up a worthy point. Men go to extreme lengths to impress women and act the stereotypically masculine way that they think will get women into bed with them. That part’s absolutely essential to the perpetuation of gender performance.

  58. im says:

    @19 – no dude, Sexism against men is the same as reverse racism and gay privilege – none of them exist.

    This argument, on its own terms, is true. It’s pretty important, in fact. Men rarely if ever have a powerful female force directed against them, and their greatest sufferings are due to patriarchy. And they pretty much have more gains than problems. However, it is in my opinion frequently disingenuous and is often used to invalidate men’s lived experiences of misandry by taking away the language they would use to describe it. I seem to remember a conversation where a man complained about sexism against men, a feminist said that sexism (the ‘enforced by social power’ version) against men did not exist. Even though the guy was just referring to discrimination. He then started saying misandry, and that was taken from him in turn.

    I can think of only two possible things of any importance I could consider female privilege, and both of them do have costs associated. First, women are rarely seen as intrinsically threatening, violent, or dangerous on a personal level. Second, despite how much support for female victims of gendered or sexual violence sucks, the support does exist.

    Feminists are generally not to blame. They are occasionally problematic; the ‘PHMT so Fight Patriarchy, it will help you because we said so’ argument for example. But this guy is SOOOOO stupid. The main sources of misandry are patriarchy, and attempts by patriarchs to appeal to women. Feminism occasionally gets in the way when we try to fix these problems, but for the most part it is our strongest ALLY.

  59. LotusBecca says:

    Men do suffer a lot under patriarchy, not compared to women, who suffer more, but compared to how they would fair in a future egalitarian society. Everyone will be better off in an society without rigid, oppressive gender roles just like white people will be better off without white supremacy, rich people will be better off without capitalism, straight people will be better off without heteronormativity, and so on. Kyriarchy is a form of social organization that is disadvantageous to human beings, in general, because it exaggerates our most maladpative traits while attempting to suppress our most healthy impulses. So while the oppressed classes of people suffer the most (and this is an injustice and an outrage), all humans are terribly stifled under the kyriarchy.

    In my opinion, it’s good to point out how much men suffer. It’s horrible that men are butchered in military combat in such great numbers. It’s horrible that men are locked up in cages in prisons in such great numbers. It’s horrible that so many men have traditionally had to sell themselves in the capitalist wage labor system. All of this is horrible, and all of this is something that the most progressive feminists have always fought against. And all of this is defended by the reactionary, traditionalist rich (and usually white, straight, etc.) men who run the patriarchy and who run society.

    Anyone who is concerned with the hardships men face in today’s world should join forces with the most radical of feminists, and this is a point that the rhetoric of MRA types like David Benatar completely obscures.

  60. Bagelsan says:

    This whole discussion is besides the point anyway, because even if discrimination were eliminated from combat positions (which I support and which is the feminist position), there would still be a lot more men that meet the physical requirements than women, and men would still be disproportionately serving in combat units, hence disproportionately killed in combat. So it wouldn’t really even the scales entirely.

    Maybe the disproportionately male governments should stop having so many wars, then.

  61. Cagey says:

    Most frustrating about this kind of “concern” for the well-being of men is that it’s never not just a ploy to take cheap shots at feminists, which does a huge disservice to men in general since at least half the time, valid issues are brought up, usually as a result of patriarchy, not “partisan feminists”. I personally get annoyed by this because my actual job during the school year involves me sitting around with young men and talking to them about all the ways they don’t have to conform to harmful, unhealthy masculine tropes and can still be men if they want. That respecting women and being emotionally open and admitting you have emotional needs and not identifying with ridiculous hypermasculine attitudes is not unmanly.

    Guys like this co-opt entirely worthwhile ideas and corrupt them, wrap it all up in a false sense of victimhood and then blame women for their troubles.

  62. EchoSixSix says:

    @Bagelsan
    Maybe the disproportionately female electorate should start taking some responsibility of the state of affairs instead of always laying blame on “the patriarchy”. Women also control most of the private wealth in the States, so it’s not like you wouldn’t have the resources either. :) On a sidenote, I bet there were feminists who supported the war on Iraq and Afghanistan (in particular) too.

    I come from a country which regularly hits the highs in any gender equality measurements, has had female prime ministers, a two-term female president, defence ministers and where women can serve in combat roles. Conscription? Just us dudebros obviously. The rhetoric is always the same – something is 60-40 in favour of men, this is a problem. Something is 60-40 in favour of women – equality has been achieved. The main problem is that nobody never gives a fuck about us regular men being shafted (not to mention those who are really are doing bad), not women and certainly not the men who are well off. In fact, conservatives and feminists both oppose gender-neutral conscription in where I come from.

    There is really no patriarchy, there is people getting fucked and other people not caring about the inequalities. Sometimes it’s men, sometimes it’s women, and sometimes this fucking results in strange bedfellows (such as conservatives and feminists).

    And yeah, please lets not pretend that women and your expectations wouldn’t have a massive influence on the gender roles of men. The problem in my view is that a lot of liberated ladies want to be liberated but nonetheless want a traditional performance-trophy man. So this is then what men aspire to be, because it’s expected of them and improves their appeal as partners.

    My system, because I have a penis? Well Caperton, I guess sexism is cool when you do it. :)

  63. umami says:

    Sorry for being unclear, vf. I didn’t realise my point was unclear. I was highlighting the DATE.

    Feminists in the past were also against legal abortion. Does this mean that the feminist movement is to blame for the restrictions on legal abortion today, in your opinion?

    Or on learning this fact, does it occur to you: huh, maybe things have changed since then. Maybe the feminists in the past were perhaps not even the same people as the feminists who are around now. Perhaps, also, they were responding to an entirely different set of social circumstances. Perhaps they had good reasons for being against abortion at that time and those reasons do not apply any more.

    You know, perhaps it’s just really astonishingly disingenuous to talk about “feminists” and mean “feminists from the 1940s” when everyone else in the discussion is talking about versions of feminism and feminists that exist today. Even if the women’s movement in the 1940s had been the entirety of the reason that universal conscription was not introduced, it would still be the case that today’s feminists aren’t responsible for male-only conscription.

    Unless you’ve decided to blame feminists backwards in time?

  64. matlun says:

    Benatar has explicitly talked about “partisan feminists” and how they’ve failed men.

    I have now read the introduction of the book through Google Books (thanks TokenGreyGuy@47 for the tip), and he uses that term there. He explicitly talks about two types of feminists there. “Egalitarian feminists” who promote gender equality in general and “partisan feminists” who promote only women’s rights.

    It is hardly an uncontroversial term, but I am not convinced that he means what you think he means.

    As mentioned quite a bit of the text is available, so anyone could check it out and judge for themselves.

  65. QuantumInc says:

    Something that often annoys me about femminist rhetoric and is definitely present here relates to the distinction between saying “Patriarchy exists because of men” and saying “Men intentionally created patriarchy”. I suppose it’s just a semantics issue, but feminist writing should emphasize the fact that patriarchy was never really “made” but rather evolved, and continues to evolve, in a system of human beings who rely on each other to learn how to talk, think, behave, and understand the world. Human beings that 99% of the time either have penises and vaginas, and for whom most of the time the be-penised types are bigger and stronger than the be-vagined.

    There are those outside of the female vs. male dichotomy. However dichotomies make the world much easier to understand. Meanwhile shoving the round pegs into square holes is surprisingly easy albeit cruel. You just assume that those who don’t fit are “some kinda pervert” and go about your day enforcing gender roles upon yourself, assured you’ll be happy if you just play by the rules.

    My theory is it all started with a few people who used their superior strength to dominate those around them. The other people around them assumed that they had it figured out and assumed that the values and behaviors of the dominant would work for them too. Of course men tend to be stronger, and thus there were more men able to dominate with their physical strength.

    Generation after generation saw that a man was more likely to dominate than a woman, and over time this morphed from descriptive to prescriptive. Indeed the idea that cultural attitudes are passed from generation, but can also be partially altered by each generation describes the possibility of a ‘snowball’ effect. Each generation noticed that men could physically dominate when push came to shove, and added a little bit to the narrative that men were supposed to dominate, i.e. patriarchy.

  66. Nadine says:

    It is not just *men* as a category who suffer from these negative outcomes,it is Black men, Indigenous men, poor men – white middle class mras don’t care about those men, they just want to use the statistics as a prop to annoy white middle class feminists who refuse to sleep with them. Some feminists understand intersectionality applies to women but it applies to men too. The author of this book is from South Africa but somehow it doesn’t occur to him to think about race! Somebody in the comments posted about suicide in Australia and didn’t mention the statistics for Indigenous men and boys, especially in prison!

    And another thing about the attention paid to women’s health, this is because women’s bodies are treated as public property. Men are treated as mature adults who can be trusted to take care of their own health needs,women are stupid children who need to be taken care of and our bodies are a medical problem waiting to happen. I would love to see how these mras would react if doctors started treating men the same way they treat women! They would be whinging about the feminized nanny state!

  67. Nadine says:

    PS- if American men don’t like dying in wars they should stop invading other people’s countries’ to steal their resources. Nobody in America is in danger of being conscripted because killing white male soldiers loses votes. A woman can operate a drone and bombs don’t discriminate between men and women and children

  68. EG says:

    if American men don’t like dying in wars they should stop invading other people’s countries’ to steal their resources. Nobody in America is in danger of being conscripted because killing white male soldiers loses votes.

    The American men who die in wars are not the ones deciding whether or not to invade other people’s countries. As for conscription, no. It’s not that killing white male soldiers loses votes. It’s that killing white male soldiers from families with money loses votes. Not only does nobody give a shit how many poor and working-class white men die, but our media has colluded with Bush’s presidency (I’m not sure of Obama’s position on this) to avoid broadcasting news of such casualties; see, for example, the ban on publishing photos of military coffins coming home.

  69. Mxe354 says:

    again, men die from heart disease because of a sexist difference in how we value men and women’s lives. For instance, there’s a lot of pressure from the media to fund increasingly expensive and ineffective treatments for breast cancer, with accusations of misogyny every time the NHS (for example) refuses to fund a treatment because it’s not effective enough to meet its (gender- and disease-independent) criteria. Meanwhile men who suffer heart attacks go untreated and even undiagnosed and the media doesn’t give a crap.

    Due to patriarchal norms, we are more likely to sympathize with suffering women rather than suffering men. It is sexism, but it’s not a new kind of sexism that’s non-patriarchal.

    feminists do domestic violence lobbying using the patriarchal idea that women are weak and need to be protected from strong men who obviously need no protection themselves, and politicians listen – perpetuating patriarchy can be very effective! – and so male victims of domestic violence find themselves being arrested by the police and told by domestic violence helplines that they must’ve done something to deserve it, all based on feminism’s own version of a generally awful patriarchal idea.

    I know very few feminists who have championed a patriarchal idea for the sake of opposing violence against women. In particular, there is almost nothing that suggests that they’re focusing on the weakness of women. In fact, many anti-violence organizations emphasize the empowerment of female abuse victims.

    Also, the idea that men deserve domestic violence reflects yet another patriarchal idea: that men should be tough. Female abuse victims tend to receive much more sympathy because of the perception that all women are weak. So in most cases, men are blamed for their abuse, suspected of being the real perpetrator, and so on.

    • Jill says:

      again, men die from heart disease because of a sexist difference in how we value men and women’s lives. For instance, there’s a lot of pressure from the media to fund increasingly expensive and ineffective treatments for breast cancer, with accusations of misogyny every time the NHS (for example) refuses to fund a treatment because it’s not effective enough to meet its (gender- and disease-independent) criteria. Meanwhile men who suffer heart attacks go untreated and even undiagnosed and the media doesn’t give a crap.

      Fun fact: Women are significantly less likely than men to be properly diagnosed as having a heart attack. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women, and women are more likely than men to die if they have a heart attack because (1) doctors routinely don’t recognize the signs of a heart attack in women, and (2) the vast majority of research on treatment and prevention of heart attacks has focused on men. But sure, feminists run the world.

  70. Mxe354 says:

    Also, the fact that the word feminism itself – just like words such as socialism and secularism – is a dirty word these days further solidifies my belief that feminists aren’t controlling everything.

  71. Lamech says:

    This argument, on its own terms, is true. It’s pretty important, in fact. Men rarely if ever have a powerful female force directed against them, and their greatest sufferings are due to patriarchy.

    One lots of men have powerful female force directed at them. You are simply wrong about this. The most egregious and blatant would be the massive number of severely deluded women who have their sons genitals cut into. (Men are on board with this often too, however women do not suddenly lose all decision making ability in the presence of a man.)
    Then we have the 5% of men who were “made to penetrate” a.k.a. raped according to that recent CDC study (about 80% by women). And the roughly 10% who have faced reproductive coercion by a partner although, to be fair we don’t know what percent of those relationships were same sex. (Also don’t forget that reproductive coercion can easily cross over into rape by fraud land.) So no I’m pretty sure powerful female force is directed against them an awful lot.

    Two, it doesn’t matter where the sexism* comes from. Coming from “the patriarchy” (BTW does that include all the congress women who refuse to ban genital mutilation?) or other men does nothing to invalidate its existence. Benatar didn’t blame it on feminists, he said** that a subset of feminists have kept us ignorant of this flavor of sexism; while I certainly don’t think that the subset feminists are solely responsible for this ignorance, I can definitely find feminists who are trying to downplay this ignorance.

    *the normal English definition of the word in case anyone wants to use a different version:A.K.A. Different treatment based on sex.
    **According to the article. I strongly suspect that his actual book will have more nuance.

  72. unacomplished says:

    Well, as a celibate and non gender conforming guy myself, I agree that those last two bits were unneeded but he definitely brings up a worthy point. Men go to extreme lengths to impress women and act the stereotypically masculine way that they think will get women into bed with them. That part’s absolutely essential to the perpetuation of gender performance.

    Not only do men put on this performance, it’s a performance that most women demand, and those of us who choose not to perform are punished in the form of available partners. I don’t have any data to make more than an opinionated statement on the subject but it feels to me like hetero men are being encouraged to reject the conventional beauty standards of women far more than women are being encouraged not to demand the “manly man” performance.

    but … as for the feminism being the answer bit…

    Feminism may be great for women but I wouldn’t call it an ally to single hetero men, I’m pretty sure feminists at large don’t really give a rats ass if being a more emotionally fluid individual (read as less manly) helps us at all (let alone hurts our chances of getting laid), they care about weather or not they cause harm to women. Id be great if as soon as we all started acting less manly there was a contingent of hetero women lined up for “non manly” dudes but the fact is those people are a very small minority and if women want “manly men” who also don’t oppress them then those of us who are only suited to the non oppression category are just going to have to take whats offered and be happy with it.

    after all, ya can’t MAKE people like you

  73. Murphy says:

    “The idea that it’s feminists plotting to enforce these gender roles on men is pretty ludicrous.”

    “This stuff just drives me crazy–feminism opposes these stupid stereotyped gender roles, and somehow it’s feminism’s fault that men are harmed by stupid stereotyped ideas about masculinity? Sure, individual women may enforce these stupid norms against men (and against other women), but individual women =/= feminism.”

    Hmm…can anyone explain why feminist groups uniformly oppose shared parenting, in the process reinforcing stereotypical gender roles, then?*

    For example: http://www.nownys.com/leg_memos/oppose_s1349.htm

    Personally, I reckon the explanation, and the reason for this snipey article about a book that the reviewers admit to not having read, is that feminists like to play the victim when it suits them, and keep tight-hold of their privilege** when it’s threatened.

    Anyone disagree?

    *…and without leaping into ‘oh no…only in cases where the father’s an abuser etc. etc.”- type argument. Because that’s old, no-one’s talking about shared parenting where one parent’s an abuser, and mothers are statistically more likely to kill their kids anyway [sorry].

    **yeah, you do have some privilege. Every group in society does, including women.

  74. Partial Human says:

    Jill @68 beat me to it. Men and women manifest symptoms of myocardial infarction in completely different ways.

    Public awareness campaigns spread the. message that a crushing sensation in the chest, pain down one arm, cold sweats with pallor, and throbbing jaw pain = heart attack.

    Except that it’s only true for men. I’ve treated women who presented with nothing more than nausea, or stomach cramps, whose troponin * levels were off the charts.

    Men are treated as. the default, and it’s assumed that women are just men without penises. It’s the same in drug development, drugs are tested, found to work well, then rolled out. Then yellow cards** start flooding in, with reports of terrible side

  75. Partial Human says:

    Hit post by accident, will continue in a sec.

  76. konkonsn says:

    @makomk

    That simple answer of course means that no-one has to think about how exactly the patriarchy hurts men too – after all, by fighting sexism against women they’re dismantling the patriarchy, right? – or whether their own actions are actually helping the patriarchy hurt men. And inevitably, this means that their actions do end up helping the patriarchy, because helping the patriarchy is the path of least resistance.

    Wait, what? Since when has, “Dismantle the patriarchy” meant, “Fuck thinking about how that works, though”?

    Reading your example on DV, as others have pointed out, makes me wonder if you actually read or do any work in that field.

  77. speedbudget says:

    Hey, unacomplished and Tony, here is a GROUND-BREAKING IDEA: Date women who are into men who don’t present as traditionally male. There are lots of them out there.

    I found that dating men who are into traditional gender norms just didn’t work for me because I am no shrinking violet at all. So I stopped dating those kinds of guys, and guess what? I stopped having disappointing relationships that ended with someone telling me I was presenting wrong or too brash or whatever.

    It’s not rocket science.

  78. Partial Human says:

    Men are treated as. the default, and it’s assumed that women are just men without penises. It’s the same in drug development, drugs are tested, found to work well, then rolled out. Then yellow cards** start flooding in, with reports of terrible side effects, even deaths.

    Why? Because it was only ever tested on men. Rolling it out to the public at large turns female users into unwilling test subjects.

    I’m on a drug now that has never been tested in women. I had to post all over the internet to see if other women shared my symptoms, as there was no official documentation.

    WRT MRA claims that the NHS is sexist, because it allegedly spends money treating women? My initial response is laughter. Again, there’s the assumption that default humans and sub-humans have the same health needs, and follow the same treatment pathways. Which is utter bollocks.

    1) That whole trifling pregnancy and childbirth thing.

    Cis men – you do not get pregnant, you do not give birth. You have no fucking idea how much even a textbook pregnancy. costs the NHS. Pre-natal monitoring, labour, post-natal care etc.

    In the same vein, contraceptive options for cis men are condoms, and… oh, that’s it. Cheap, very cheap. Cis women, OTOH, have pills, patches, rings, implants, and uterine devices. More expensive than condoms, require dispensing, check ups, and fitting.

    2) The Big Brush-Off aka “It’s your hormones, stupid!” or “STFU FATTY!”

    Doctors write off girls and women complaining of symptoms. Things which could be caught and treated early (and cheaply) are left to progress until treatment becomes urgent and unavoidable, and more expensive.

    Quick and dirty straw poll – how many people read as female, complaining of significant symptoms, were written of (by doctors) with at least one of the following:

    a) It’s your hormones

    b) You’ll grow out of it

    c) It’s normal at your age

    d) You’re overreacting

    e) Come back in X months if it’s still bothering you

    f) Well, if you weren’t so fat…

    This dismissal not only allows health problems to progress unchecked, it also convinces cis women and girls (and AFAB trans people still read as the former) that they aren’t important, and don’t have the right to “trouble” doctors.

    So, a bit of spotting ends up as stage three cancer.
    Erratic periods turn into PCOS and full-blown diabetes.
    Skin irregularities on the breast end up as breast and lymph node cancer.
    Stomach pain turns out to be Crohns disease, coeliac disease, or ulcerative colitis.

    Can you see how the costs associated with treating these problems in their ultimate form, could be defrayed by, I dunno, maybe listening to women?

    When men are not being treated there’s almost always the same reason for it. They don’t seek help in the first place.

    I’ve seen men, dragged in by worried wives and girlfriends, who insist “She’s overreacting, typical bloody hysterical woman, I’m fine!” Yeah, if having a heart attack, or cirrhosis, or testicular cancer is “fine”.

    They get treated though, not told that it’s. their hormones, their weight, or that they’re too anxious.

    *troponin is released during cardiac damage

    ** The yellow cards allow health professionals and the public to. notify the health regulatory depts of symptoms from medication, not listed on the enclosed info sheet

  79. titfortat says:

    @Li

    The fact that our sons and fathers and brothers are 3 times more likely to be successful in their suicide attempts should be of concern to all human beings. Belittling it by stating that women attempt suicide more often totally baffles me. I guess this is what happens when people just dont care.

  80. LotusBecca says:

    The fact that our sons and fathers and brothers are 3 times more likely to be successful in their suicide attempts should be of concern to all human beings. Belittling it by stating that women attempt suicide more often totally baffles me. I guess this is what happens when people just dont care.

    What on earth leads you to believe that Li doesn’t care about men committing suicide?

  81. titfortat says:

    @Lotus

    When you have to point out that women are more likely to attempt it shows me that the concern just isnt too great for the successful ones.

  82. Li says:

    I’m actually pretty fucking concerned about men suiciding actually, since as a queer man with severe depression and personal experience of some major suicidal ideation I’m pretty aware that the likelyhood that I will die from suicide is much higher than a lot of other people’s.

    And as someone who cares about suicide, it’s actually important to me that people know their damn stats, because those stats have implications for mental health and anti-suicide practice. The common MRA argument about “men’s” suicide (and I scarequoted it because MRAs rarely actually talk about super-vulnerable groups of men like, say, young queer men of colour or gender diverse people who are statted as men and instead go with the trope of the stoic white het dude) elides details about men’s experiences of suicide as much as it completely erases women’s increased vulnerability to ideation and suicidal behaviour as a whole. But sure, take my irritation at MRAs distorting suicidality stats as evidence in a way that actually fucks up our mental health organisations (I’m looking at you, BeyondBlue) that I just don’t care about men committing suicide, because why not, this thread totally needs more jerks.

  83. DoublyLinkedLists says:

    I come back and end up reading a bunch of dudes lamenting their lack of access to women’s bodies.

    Shut the fuck up you assholes. No one here has any sympathy for straight men who can’t get laid, least of all this queer. Especially when you whine about “pink taco” like a gross misogynist entitled jackass.

  84. Li says:

    That last sentence should read:

    But sure, take my irritation at MRAs distorting suicidality stats in a way that actually fucks up our mental health organisations (I’m looking at you, BeyondBlue) as evidence that I just don’t care about men committing suicide, because why not, this thread totally needs more jerks.

  85. @Partial Human,

    a) It’s your hormones

    b) You’ll grow out of it

    c) It’s normal at your age

    d) You’re overreacting

    e) Come back in X months if it’s still bothering you

    f) Well, if you weren’t so fat…

    Heard all of it before being diagnosed with PCOS. Because you can’t get that as a teen, apparently.

    Of course, I also heard all that (just add a “and clumsy” to f) for five years before someone graciously acknowledged that my eyesight was fucked, so who the fuck knows if it was culture or gender.

  86. Belittling it by stating that women attempt suicide more often

    How is “X is a problem, Y is also a problem” belittling anything?

    Unless taking away privilege=oppression. Then, as you were.

  87. Donna L says:

    This dismissal not only allows health problems to progress unchecked, it also convinces cis women and girls (and AFAB trans people still read as the former) that they aren’t important, and don’t have the right to “trouble” doctors.

    I suspect that the omission resulted from a failure to think things through rather than any ill intent, but do you seriously believe that trans women’s health problems are taken seriously, and that their concerns aren’t dismissed, and that they aren’t subject to some of the very same health problems you list?

    There is way too much of a reflexive tendency among a lot of people to group cis women and trans men together for all sorts of purposes, and to think of trans women as “other.”

  88. Donna L says:

    ^

    I should add that it takes a whole lot of willpower to stay reasonably polite about it.

  89. Titfortat says:

    @macavity

    It is a subtle attempt to shift the focus

    @Li

    I can empathize with your concerns. I had an immediate family member with several also but unfortunately they were successful in their attempt to deal with them, as in they are dead. Being a jerk does little for anyone.

  90. It is a subtle attempt to shift the focus

    back to the menz. Of course.

    -_-

    The interesting, and more relevant, conversation is why it’s so easy for men to treat themselves more violently, and the kind of depersonalisation of the non-conforming male body that causes them to do so. Alternatively, you could listen to Li, who clearly has more lived experience of being male while depressed/suicidal than I do.

  91. Caperton says:

    I didn’t read Li’s comment as being “belittling” of men’s suicide deaths–just adding context, which is crucial when dealing with raw statistics. If all you look at is “men are more successful in their suicide attempts,” it provides no clues as to how to solve that problem. If you want to frame it simply as a men’s suicide happening more frequently than women’s, then the obvious solution would be to encourage men to use less-efficient ways of killing themselves. Then you’re even! In fact, women are ahead.

    If we want to actually do something about men’s suicide, we’d probably do well to look at the disease and not the symptoms. Why do men kill themselves? Economics–not being able to take care of their families. Harassment about homosexuality and/or gender presentation. Loneliness. Mental illness. And what contributes to these things? Reinforcement of gender roles so that men are pressured to be sole providers, barriers to work reentry that prevent women from being able to return to work and contribute to family income, strict and specific standards for personal traits that constitute “manhood” and harassment of men who don’t exhibit those traits, and pressure to suck it up and keep a stiff upper lip rather than seeking help for emotional troubles–in other words, what’s talked about in the original post. It is, in fact, tremendously serious, but there are things that can be changed that could help with that.

  92. EG says:

    Hmm…can anyone explain why feminist groups uniformly oppose shared parenting, in the process reinforcing stereotypical gender roles, then?*

    They don’t oppose shared parenting, you nitwit. That link was a brief in opposition to mandated joint custody, and the opposition is because by and large, men do not share parenting, and women are almost always primary caregivers to the children. Feminists have almost always advocated shared parenting, dating back at least to the second wave (and I can provide cites if you need them). This is such a disingenuous argument on your part that I cannot believe you think we should take you seriously.

    The whole point about suicide attempts demonstrates that the greater rate of successful suicide among men does not indicate a greater rate of suffering, but a greater propensity to more violent forms of suicide, thus negating claims that men are suffering more than women by this measure.

    The most egregious and blatant would be the massive number of severely deluded women who have their sons genitals cut into. (Men are on board with this often too, however women do not suddenly lose all decision making ability in the presence of a man.)

    So, men and women make this decision together, but somehow it’s evidence of men facing an overwhelming female force directed against them? That…makes no sense. You realize that, right?

    mothers are statistically more likely to kill their kids anyway

    Yes, because mothers are more likely to be primary/sole caretakers. Jesus, what is up with your inability to process the way statistics relate to reality?

    Id be great if as soon as we all started acting less manly there was a contingent of hetero women lined up for “non manly” dudes but the fact is those people are a very small minority and if women want “manly men” who also don’t oppress them then those of us who are only suited to the non oppression category are just going to have to take whats offered and be happy with it.

    Yeah, you know what? You’re not owed pussy because you manage not to be an asshole. Women’s bodies are not rewards. Not being able to get laid is not evidence of oppression. It’s just life. Suck it up and deal with it.

    Then we have the 5% of men who were “made to penetrate” a.k.a. raped according to that recent CDC study (about 80% by women). And the roughly 10% who have faced reproductive coercion by a partner although, to be fair we don’t know what percent of those relationships were same sex. (Also don’t forget that reproductive coercion can easily cross over into rape by fraud land.) So no I’m pretty sure powerful female force is directed against them an awful lot.

    Tell me, how do you get from 80% of 5% of men, which comes out to 4% of men being made to penetrate, to the idea that a “powerful female force” is directed against men “an awful lot.” If you want to contemplate “powerful forces” and “an awful lot,” look at the rape stats for women. If we could get them down to 4%, I’d fucking celebrate. As for your “reproductive coercion” stat, reproductive coercion is overwhelmingly practiced by men against women, and it’s not mentioned anywhere in the report you link. Would you like to provide a reliable citation?

    Two, it doesn’t matter where the sexism* comes from. Coming from “the patriarchy” (BTW does that include all the congress women who refuse to ban genital mutilation?) or other men does nothing to invalidate its existence.

    Hmm, you mean the 17% of congressional delegates who are women? Yeah, that is a serious threat to patriarchal power. And it does matter where sexism comes from. If men are screwing over their own damn selves, then go ahead and fix the problem yourselves. Men have access to far more wealth and power than women have. You don’t like circumcision? You are concerned about men killing themselves? Well, you’re the ones in power. There’s nothing stopping your gender from fixing it. God knows women have managed to make strides despite being far, far less advantaged.

  93. Chiara says:

    Id be great if as soon as we all started acting less manly there was a contingent of hetero women lined up for “non manly” dudes but the fact is those people are a very small minority and if women want “manly men” who also don’t oppress them then those of us who are only suited to the non oppression category are just going to have to take whats offered and be happy with it.

    So feminism’s only good for you if it gets you laid?

    Anyway I’m not sure how much any of this women only want manly men stuff is actually true. I know a few guys who aren’t very manly, at least one who I thought was gay, that do get laid. Because they’re funny or good looking or some attractive quality.

    What exactly do you guys mean when you say women won’t date non-manly guys, what exactly qualities do you mean by non-manly? Because in the end women aren’t going to date guys that aren’t attractive in some way — looks, humour, intelligence or just being a good laugh, you know? And that’s not oppression or women rejecting non-manly guys, that’s women rejecting boring guys.

  94. Titfortat says:

    @Caperton

    Perception is everything. You perceived it one way, I another. Oh well.

  95. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Not only do men put on this performance, it’s a performance that most women demand, and those of us who choose not to perform are punished in the form of available partners.

    So you’re owed women? Women are either a reward or punishment for certain male behavior? Women deciding to limit your access to their bodies, or refuse sexual consent are punishing you??

  96. TokenGreyGuy says:

    @ Saurs 55

    Dudes at large saying roughly this same thing: Benatar has explicitly talked about “partisan feminists” and how they’ve failed men. It’s right there, in the article the OP links to above. It’s not something some paranoid lady imagined. If you can “skim” through a dude’s intro, you can read a couple editorials written by women. Just do your homework before you automatically start defending, apologizing, and making excuses for the anti-feminist, will you?

    I’m aware that Benatar criticises partisan feminists. I had already read Elizabeth Day’s article, along with Jo T’s response, but I went back over them again anyway. As far as I can tell, the claim that Benatar is blaming feminists for most of mens’ ills comes from these two sentences in “the f word” review (and the subsequent couple of paragraphs):

    Benatar gives the game away when he says that ignorance of the “second sexism” stems from what he terms “partisan feminists”, who are interested only in the advancement of women’s rights, rather than true equality and co-operation between the sexes. Ah, so it is the feminists’ fault, after all – those awful “partisan feminists” who wish to turn the West into a matriarchy.

    So somehow Benatar’s claim that partisan feminists are responsible for ignorance of anti-male sexism (assuming that this is an accurate summary of his argument) morphs into Benatar saying that partisan feminists are outright responsible for anti-male sexism and that they wish to impose a matriarchy. Frankly I don’t see how that interpretation is defensible.

    I went to the book preview because I wanted to see Benatar summarise his argument in his own words. Perhaps his introduction is misleading and actually Melissa’s and Jo T’s summaries are correct, but I don’t really see much evidence of this in their editorials. Have they even actually read the book? If not, they are essentially 3rd hand accounts based on the Guardian article. How is reading those, instead of the book, “doing one’s homework”?

    Hell, from what I’ve seen on this thread so far Tony is the only person who has even cited the book itself instead of an enormous straw-man argument. And if editorials are fair game, why cite Melissa’s and Jo T’s instead of Ally Foggs’s review in The New Statesman?

  97. Mxe354 says:

    @Lamech

    it doesn’t matter where the sexism* comes from. Coming from “the patriarchy”…or other men does nothing to invalidate its existence.

    No one is trying to say that sexism against men doesn’t exist. Most of us are saying that it certainly exists, but only as a patriarchal form of oppression.

    @titfortat

    The fact that our sons and fathers and brothers are 3 times more likely to be successful in their suicide attempts should be of concern to all human beings. Belittling it by stating that women attempt suicide more often totally baffles me. I guess this is what happens when people just dont care.

    Please show me a single person here who thinks that no one should concerned about men committing suicide.

    @Murphy

    feminists like to play the victim when it suits them, and keep tight-hold of their privilege** when it’s threatened.

    your credibility = gone

  98. HelpMeBeaBetterMan says:

    I’m late to the party, but I just wanted to also add that I thought this post was awesome.

  99. matlun says:

    Tell me, how do you get from 80% of 5% of men, which comes out to 4% of men being made to penetrate, to the idea that a “powerful female force” is directed against men “an awful lot.” If you want to contemplate “powerful forces” and “an awful lot,” look at the rape stats for women.

    Yes. If you want to do a comparison of how many women compared to men are victims of sexual violence you do not even have to look it up elsewhere. The same CDC report covers that also.

    Since no one could seriously should be able to make the argument that men have it worse than women when it comes to sexual violence of all things, hopefully that was not what Lamech was trying to say.

    Well, you’re the ones in power. There’s nothing stopping your gender from fixing it.

    Perhaps we should bring this up at the next meeting of the male world conspiracy?

    I understand that it can get frustrating to argue against the type of MRA-ish, overblown rhetoric that has been seen in this thread, and it can feel good to blow off some steam. This type of gender war outlook is still very over simplified and problematic.

  100. Partial Human says:

    Donna I’m so sorry, my partner was coming back to discuss medical attitudes toward trans women. (mostly wrt to the failings in the AMA & APA statements focussing on the failures in healthcare for trans women, and failure in the UK to tease the T out from the LGBT) as it’s not my place really.

    Sadly a bad situation has come up, and her “ten minute ” appointment to simply officially ID a body, turned into a multi hour meeting at the coroner’s office. Sorry about that. If she’s free later I’ll see what we can do.

    I was not conflating trans men with women. Healthcare here is almost always broken down by the sex on the patient’s NHS record at the time of treatment. There’s no way to retroactively change it. Instead of ” trans men still read as female” I should have been more clear, and used “trans men who have not embarked on social or medical transition, who require medical help for conditions that occur in cis women and girls too”

    Menstrual problems and issues with ‘female’ reproductive systems seem to be almost universally written off by healthcare providers. The average diagnosis time for endometriosis, for example, is fourteen years. It doesn’t care how the owner of the body identifies, and frankly – neither do doctors, but is is. only going to occur in AFAB people, with the possible exception of some misidentified IS people.

    I am sorry, and I’ll be clearer next time. I’m sorry I couldn’t get back home earlier to explain.

  101. Donna L says:

    No problem, Partial Human. My concern was that in listing health issues with respect to which cis women and non-physically-transitioned trans men are not taken seriously, you went beyond pregnancy/reproductive system issues and included health concerns shared by trans women, and that many of the dismissive comments by medical professionals that you listed are said to trans women too. But I do understand better now what you were trying to convey.

  102. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Perhaps we should bring this up at the next meeting of the male world conspiracy?

    Congress? Please do.

  103. Sam says:

    Chiara,

    “Anyway I’m not sure how much any of this women only want manly men stuff is actually true.”

    No one knows.

    But it’s still an important argument, less so because of individual problems to get laid, more so because it is important to note that men aren’t the only ones who are responsible for establishing gender roles to structure social interactions, but that women, in particular female preferences with respect to mating, are also important. As a consequence, to the extent that this is the case, patriarchy is not only “our thing”, to that extent it’s also something promoted and upheld by women.

  104. the warren says:

    what’s really really awesome is the purposeful denial in many of the posts in response to the article. I think a few people try to point out certain facts and arguments, but then they’re shut down pretty quick. Yes, I love the hypocrisy of feminism. I’m not even sure if you gals are aware of it. Maybe it’s a collective denial/ignorance, but hey it keeps us divided which I dig. Anyways, all I can say is carry on and rock out you fabulous chick \m/.
    your dudebro-alpha
    the warren

  105. Mxe354 says:

    I think a few people try to point out certain facts and arguments, but then they’re shut down pretty quick.

    …By certain facts and arguments.

    You have no clue what denial is.

  106. unacomplished says:

    So feminism’s only good for you if it gets you laid?

    No, that’s not what I said at all.

    Anyway I’m not sure how much any of this women only want manly men stuff is actually true. I know a few guys who aren’t very manly, at least one who I thought was gay, that do get laid. Because they’re funny or good looking or some attractive quality.

    I didn’t say it was impossible, I said women who generally don’t want the “manly” variation are a small minority of hetero women.

    What exactly do you guys mean when you say women won’t date non-manly guys, what exactly qualities do you mean by non-manly? Because in the end women aren’t going to date guys that aren’t attractive in some way — looks, humour, intelligence or just being a good laugh, you know? And that’s not oppression or women rejecting non-manly guys, that’s women rejecting boring guys.

    I didn’t argue that point either, yes many of us are simply not attractive and thus doomed to a life alone.

    So you’re owed women? Women are either a reward or punishment for certain male behavior?

    No, that’s not what I said, nor is it true.

    Women deciding to limit your access to their bodies, or refuse sexual consent are punishing you??

    No, patriarchy is, by telling women they shouldn’t want non “manly” men. This is similar to the fat shaming issue, most feminists don’t “blame” men for not wanting to be with bigger women, etc but they are pretty clear about blaming the fact that men are encouraged to avoid them on patriarchy and politely encourage men to counter their social programing if only to discover that somebody who doesn’t fit the popular “beauty” model might really be a good match for them.

    This post was on some dude blaming feminism for a bunch of stuff, I’m pretty sure he’s wrong about most of it but I thought it relevant to bring up a subject where I felt feminism might be falling a tad short. Mainstream feminism as I have experienced it seems to encourage hetero men very strongly to ignore conventional beauty standards in hopes that they might be happier “widening their pool” so to speak and help hetero men AND women find what they want. I very rarely ever see it encourage the same thing in hetero women and thought I would offer a plea for it to do so.

    Hey, unacomplished and Tony, here is a GROUND-BREAKING IDEA: Date women who are into men who don’t present as traditionally male. There are lots of them out there.

    Apparently we have a very different idea of what constitutes “lots”, as is apparent since in my first comment I refer to the number of women who appear to want non “manly” men to be excruciatingly small.

    And to repeat a previous commentator, there are other factors involved in a hetero woman allowing a man to date her so it’s not really as if we get to just decide to date somebody.
    And using myself as an example, I have never turned a women down a woman in my entire life, I think it’s safe to say I’m not being picky ;)

  107. konkonsn says:

    @Sam – Please read some more Feminism/Oppression 101.

    1. Patriarchy is a social system, not a genetic instruction only coded in men. Nobody is saying that women don’t perpetuate stereotypes held in the patriarchy.
    2. Yeah, it is “your thing.” You see, even if the oppressed follow the script, someone had to write that in the first place. Patriarchy is a system set up to benefit men, and sometimes it hurts men, but overall, y’all get the most out of it.
    3. Female preference in respect to mating? The way you say that makes it seem like you think this is biological or something. It’s not.
    4. When talking about humans, it’s best to use woman instead of female whenever possible. You know, because you’re talking about humans.

  108. unacomplished says:

    Please show me a single person here who thinks that no one should concerned about men committing suicide.

    Well to be fair, feminism is about the rights of women and in the later waves the rights of LGBT individuals. Weather or not hetero “dudebros” kill themselves is more than likely excruciatingly low on the “give a shit” scale.

  109. pheenobarbidoll says:

    As a consequence, to the extent that this is the case, patriarchy is not only “our thing”, to that extent it’s also something promoted and upheld by women.

    Rape and murder threats tend to keep many a woman towing the company line. It’s not really a secret that women who do not buy into and promote gender stereotypes (for both male and females alike) are punished for it. And by punished I don’t mean ” don’t get laid”.

    Women have been fed the ” you need a strong manly man to protect you ” line, and have been shown in graphic detail what happens to them when they don’t have a manly man protector.

    It’s the perfect shake down. You need us to protect you from us. So we pay the Patriarchy Mafia to keep us safe, and when it fails, it’s our fault too. We weren’t perfect, so it’s our failure. Not pretty enough, not feminine enough, not modest enough, not sexy enough, not motherly enough, too motherly, not trusting, too trusting the list goes on and on until our daily lives are consumed with subconscious attempts to conform for safety’s sake.

    That’s not promotion of gender stereotypes. That’s blackmail.

  110. Li says:

    I think a few people try to point out certain facts and arguments, but then they’re shut down pretty quick.

    Hey, did you notice that LotusBecca and Nadine both mentioned what is actually a demonstrably serious issue faced by men and weren’t shut down? Did you notice that it’s an issue very rarely mentioned by MRAs? I mean, if I were legit concerned about men’s wellbeing (OH WAIT I AM), I probably take the time to talk about the Prison Industrial Complex and yet the incarceration rate of men of colour seems to be mentioned a whole lot more in feminist and anti-racist circles than it is by MRAs. Weird huh?

    Of course, it could because the rate at which men of colour are gaoled requires masculinity be decentred as the sole location of analysis. Which, come to think of it, is actually true of many, many of the issues faced by “men”, who are living in a kyriarchy too and who are not immune to its worst effects solely by virtue of being men. Thankfully, Kimberle Crenshaw gave us a useful analytical tool for situations like this in the form of intersectionality, but I guess as she’s a black feminist that’s tainted by her partisanship? GOSH DARN IT KIMBERLE CRENSHAW WHY ARE YOU KEEPING US DIVIDED?

  111. Mxe354 says:

    Well to be fair, feminism is about the rights of women and in the later waves the rights of LGBT individuals. Weather or not hetero “dudebros” kill themselves is more than likely excruciatingly low on the “give a shit” scale.

    I don’t think it’s nearly as low as you imply, especially when that relates to gender/sexuality issues.

  112. matlun says:

    Rape and murder threats tend to keep many a woman towing the company line. It’s not really a secret that women who do not buy into and promote gender stereotypes (for both male and females alike) are punished for it.

    Do you honestly think that women who “promote and uphold” patriarchy do so because they are scared into it by the threat of male violence?

  113. Bagelsan says:

    Do you honestly think that women who “promote and uphold” patriarchy do so because they are scared into it by the threat of male violence?

    Yes. Possibly not consciously or individually, but ultimately they are under the threat of male violence if they step out of line. They engage in a kind of magical thinking that being “good” means the patriarchy won’t hurt them — it will anyways, but they pretend that isn’t so.

  114. Mxe354 says:

    possibly not consciously or individually, but ultimately they [women] are under the threat of male violence if they step out of line. They engage in a kind of magical thinking that being “good” means the patriarchy won’t hurt them — it will anyways, but they pretend that isn’t so.

    I think the picture is more complicated than that. It seems that a lot of women support the patriarchy without worrying about male violence. It’s a matter of cultural tradition to many.

  115. Bagelsan says:

    It’s a matter of cultural tradition to many.

    …The same cultures and traditions where, often, male violence against women and girls is permitted by law (or has been historically)?

  116. Mxe354 says:

    …The same cultures and traditions where, often, male violence against women and girls is permitted by law (or has been historically)?

    Oh, just so you know, I’m not denying that the fear of male violence plays a huge role in women upholding the patriarchy. I’m just saying that at least some women espouse patriarchal norms without the fear of male violence. Personally, I know a few women who like the patriarchal family structure. For instance, they like the idea of men being their protectors. Maybe that has something to do with the fear of male violence, too, but I frankly can’t see it.

  117. Lamech says:

    @94

    So, men and women make this decision together, but somehow it’s evidence of men facing an overwhelming female force directed against them? That…makes no sense. You realize that, right?

    Yes, they could oppose it, but they support it. It a force from both males and females. Just because its a joint action with a male does not negate the female action in the least. See I have this funny notion that women are people too.

    Tell me, how do you get from 80% of 5% of men, which comes out to 4% of men being made to penetrate, to the idea that a “powerful female force” is directed against men “an awful lot.” If you want to contemplate “powerful forces” and “an awful lot,” look at the rape stats for women. If we could get them down to 4%, I’d fucking celebrate.

    So is 4 million not an awful lot? … … … … …

    As for your “reproductive coercion” stat, reproductive coercion is overwhelmingly practiced by men against women, and it’s not mentioned anywhere in the report you link. Would you like to provide a reliable citation?

    Page 48 of that study. Nor does men doing it against women negate in anyway the actions of the women doing it too men. Of course, it happens to men more often than women per the CDC.

    Hmm, you mean the 17% of congressional delegates who are women?

    Yes, every last one is capable of sponsoring bills making it illegal. Or at the very least they could not vote for such vile. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr5501/text bill explicitly supporting male genital mutilation, or “circumcision”. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/110-2008/h531

    If men are screwing over their own damn selves, then go ahead and fix the problem yourselves.

    Not a single baby has screwed themselves over with regards to genital mutilation. Perhaps you don’t know much about babies, but babies don’t choose or agree to be genitally mutilated. Indeed they are incapable of understanding the concept. The people screwing those babies over are the twisted individuals who do it to them.

    Men have access to far more wealth and power than women have. You don’t like circumcision? You are concerned about men killing themselves? Well, you’re the ones in power. There’s nothing stopping your gender from fixing it. God knows women have managed to make strides despite being far, far less advantaged.

    I’m male? Really? Are you a psychic? Or did you get congress pass a law letting you define people’s genders? Even so, I’m not part of a magic hivemind. I’m not a super majority in congress.

    *More specifically biological traits, commonly associated with male and female.

  118. fifthpevensie says:

    Mainstream feminism as I have experienced it seems to encourage hetero men very strongly to ignore conventional beauty standards in hopes that they might be happier “widening their pool” so to speak and help hetero men AND women find what they want. I very rarely ever see it encourage the same thing in hetero women and thought I would offer a plea for it to do so.

    but this only makes sense if you think that attraction/attractiveness are objective. they’re not, at least not when it comes to dating, I don’t think. there’s a huge difference between acknowledging that our culture has (often fucked-up) beauty ideals for both men and women and acknowledging that there are certain people who fit into those ideals (MRAs always seem to bring up Brad Pitt as this gold standard of male beauty?), and personally being attracted to individuals. like, one of my good friends is a police officer, and I know, theoretically, that he’s a good-looking guy. he works out a lot and is really tan and has nice teeth… but like I said, the best I can muster up is that I am aware that our society would consider him to be some kind of pinnacle of manhood. but I’m not attracted to him in the least. my Mister, on the other hand, is tall and lanky as all get out and has a beaky nose and his hair sticks out at weird angles sometimes, and when I see him I’m all hnnnnnnnngh.
    a culture having beauty ideals is not the same thing as individual attraction, because individual attraction is not a monolith. also, I feel like most women aren’t going “Is this person manly enough?” more than they are going “Am I attracted to this person and do I enjoy being around them?” you can’t define the latter for anyone other than yourself.

  119. Bagelsan says:

    For instance, they like the idea of men being their protectors. Maybe that has something to do with the fear of male violence, too, but I frankly can’t see it.

    Well, protecting them against whom? Not just bears, I presume.

  120. male voice says:

    The problem is that the supposed evidence for this second sexism is a huge bunch of different issues that has a number of possible complex causes. And in its simplicity I think it is equally wrong as “first sexism”.

    There are real issues like that boys get short-changed in the educational system that need to be dealt with (by the government) independent of what the reason is but the fact that men live shorter lives? Even if we knew the reasons for that it would be a completely different question whether we as a society or let alone the government should do anything about it.

  121. unacomplished says:

    @Mxe354

    We shall have to agree to disagree, from what I’ve seen of the feminist majority, the idea that “we as feminists don’t care about hetero dudebros, because women’s and LGBT problems are are far worse”

    I am reminded of a thread I lurked on here some time ago where somebody announced they had been a victim of a false rape accusation and the response was overwhelmingly “it doesn’t matter, you are an isolated incident if you’re even telling the truth, rape culture oppresses women systemically and that’s what you should care about if your a decent human being.”

  122. unacomplished says:

    I feel like most women aren’t going “Is this person manly enough?” more than they are going “Am I attracted to this person and do I enjoy being around them?” you can’t define the latter for anyone other than yourself.

    As somebody who has been told repeatedly he is “not manly enough to be fuckable let alone datable” I would have to say I DON’T feel like most women are asking about their “personal attraction” levels.

    and perhaps I am unable to properly decode your response but I see nothing in what you wrote that opposes the idea that when a hetero “dudebro” says “I’m not into fat chicks” feminists typically respond with “that’s because your an anti – positive body image misogynist!” and not “well if that’s not your cup of tea, don’t drink it”.

    It’s the mixed message / double standard I’m commenting on (and hopefully attempting to fix) not who people ultimately find attractive.

  123. Chiara says:

    I’m just saying that at least some women espouse patriarchal norms without the fear of male violence. Personally, I know a few women who like the patriarchal family structure. For instance, they like the idea of men being their protectors. Maybe that has something to do with the fear of male violence, too, but I frankly can’t see it.

    Well a lot of people espice patriarchal norms without being sexists, they’re just more scientific thinkers and they think that if biology says one thing it must be true for everyone. They don’t consider the variance in the human condition, or they don’t think it’s worth considering because the non-conformers are statistically less than those that fit their patriarchal model, you know?

  124. LotusBecca says:

    unaccomplished, this might be a little mean, but I’m annoyed with you, and you’ve been using yourself as an example. So let me just say that I personally would not date you, and it’s not because I prefer “manly men” to “non-manly men” (my preferences on men are actually, if anything, the other way around). It’s because you are anti-feminist, entitled, self-pitying, fatalistic, a sloppy thinker, a clunky writer, and not funny even when you’re trying to be.

    I also think it’s a red flag that you believe such an overwhelming percentage of women want only manly men. This, for me, says a lot about the women you are trying to date (probably more conventionally-minded and stereotypically feminine ones). So -maybe you should consider the ways in which you are perpetuating your own plight? It seems like you are going mainly for women who aren’t attracted to you, while also being too sexist and boring to appeal to the more unconventional women you’d hypothetically have a chance with.

  125. Mxe354 says:

    Well, protecting them against whom? Not just bears, I presume.

    That inevitably includes men but it’s not just people and animals. The women I’m referring to probably just like the idea of being cared for by men in general. I admit that the word “protector” is too narrow in this context.

    To be fair, though, one could reasonably argue that they only lack the immediate fear of male violence.

  126. Bagelsan says:

    To be fair, though, one could reasonably argue that they only lack the immediate fear of male violence.

    That, I absolutely agree with.

  127. unacomplished says:

    unaccomplished, this might be a little mean, but I’m annoyed with you, and you’ve been using yourself as an example. So let me just say that I personally would not date you, and it’s not because I prefer “manly men” to “non-manly men” (my preferences on men are actually, if anything, the other way around). It’s because you are anti-feminist, entitled, self-pitying, fatalistic, a sloppy thinker, a clunky writer, and not funny even when you’re trying to be.

    I’m not “anti – feminist” I’m just not a feminist. I don’t know where “entitled, self-pitying” or, “fatalistic” came from and I’m not quite sure what a “sloppy thinker” is but I don’t claim to be Shakespeare or Chris Rock. I guess ill just have to add you to the list of women I’ve failed to entice :)

    I also think it’s a red flag that you believe such an overwhelming percentage of women want only manly men.

    well an overwhelming percentage of women I have encountered through out my life have said so, is it not logical to believe women when they tell you what they want?

    This, for me, says a lot about the women you are trying to date (probably more conventionally-minded and stereotypically feminine ones)

    I’ve only dated women who have approached me, and she was a self identified feminist who prided herself on being self sufficient and in control of her own life. Hardly stereotypically feminine as far as I could tell.

    So -maybe you should consider the ways in which you are perpetuating your own plight? It seems like you are going mainly for women who aren’t attracted to you, while also being too sexist and boring to appeal to the more unconventional women you’d hypothetically have a chance with.

    Well I don’t think I’m sexist, and I’m not so sure why you claim to know I’m boring since you know so very little about me, but as I said earlier, ya can’t make people like you, and if I’m not the choice cup of tea for 95% of the women out there I figure it’s better to die alone and waiting rather than some destructive PUA causing others harm.

  128. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Do you honestly think that women who “promote and uphold” patriarchy do so because they are scared into it by the threat of male violence?

    They’ve been raised on images of violence their entire lives. Do you honestly think that has zero affect? Do you honestly believe people are always keenly aware of the messages they’ve been raised with?

    I’m just saying that at least some women espouse patriarchal norms without the fear of male violence.

    You don’t have to fear punches when you believe what you’re doing avoids them. And you don’t have to have that at the forefront of your mind at all times when you’ve learned certain behavior from birth and it’s considered normal, not survival.

    They’re happy to have men as their caretakers. Sure. What happens to women who don’t have good male caretakers? And their children? What happens to single, uncared for women and children? One only has to look at poverty stats for that answer.

  129. Fat Steve says:

    Please show me a single person here who thinks that no one should concerned about men committing suicide.

    I don’t. I believe that the decision to end one’s life is up to the individual and should be respected.

  130. Sam says:

    konkonsn,

    “2. Yeah, it is “your thing.” You see, even if the oppressed follow the script, someone had to write that in the first place. Patriarchy is a system set up to benefit men, and sometimes it hurts men, but overall, y’all get the most out of it.”

    I don’t disagree that men get most out of it, but that’s different from the questions how the system was instituted and how it managed to remain the dominant social mode of organisation for most of (known) human history (at least since the invention of agriculture and the institution of statehood) and which factors and who contributed to that. So, no, it’s not only “our thing” even though men do benefit…

    3. Female preference in respect to mating? The way you say that makes it seem like you think this is biological or something. It’s not.

    It certainly is to a degree. Honestly, saying that biology doesn’t have anything to do with who you are attracted to and who not brings you dangerously close to the argument of people who consider homosexuality a lifestyle. Individuals embody both nature and nurture, and I can only hope that so many feminists (usually bizarre) need to claim that biology has nothing at all to do with sexual preferences (as long as they refer to heterosexuality, as they would never make the argument with respect to homosexulity given the problem I mention above) is really only motivated by their fear that accepting it would be political ammunition for people who are attempting to turn back time to the fifties.

  131. matlun says:

    Do you honestly think that women who “promote and uphold” patriarchy do so because they are scared into it by the threat of male violence?

    Yes. Possibly not consciously or individually, but ultimately they are under the threat of male violence if they step out of line.

    I really do not believe that is the case in modern western society. In the sense that people conform out of fear, it is the fear of breaking social norms and being ostracized. And much of it is not even driven by fear, but just the normal human instinct to conform.

    Direct violence or threat as a means of oppression I do not consider a significant factor. I am very surprised that you think it is, but perhaps we have just grown up in very different environments.

  132. Chiara says:

    It certainly is to a degree. Honestly, saying that biology doesn’t have anything to do with who you are attracted to and who not brings you dangerously close to the argument of people who consider homosexuality a lifestyle.

    I think that it’s pretty definite that sexual preference is a biological thing or at least set in stone at a young age. For me heterosexuality is not a choice, and for the gay men I’ve talked to their homosexuality is not a choice.

    But I don’t agree that people who believe that sexual preference is a choice are “dangerously close to the argument of people who consider homosexuality a lifestyle” at all. There’s a big key difference between the two views “homosexuality is a choice” and “homosexuality is wrong and homosexuality is a choice, therefore people should choose not to be homosexual”.

    People who only support homosexuality on the basis of “those gays just can’t help it” are homophobic IMO.

  133. Safiya Outlines says:

    What pheeno said @111. (Guest posts please!)

    Why is there this idea that women are lying bitchez who enjoy being vulnerable victims to somehow ensnare men? This is not the case.

    Also very telling that the biggest downside of poor gender relations according to dudebro’s is not getting laid, since that would appear to be all women are good for – to them.

  134. Li says:

    It certainly is to a degree. Honestly, saying that biology doesn’t have anything to do with who you are attracted to and who not brings you dangerously close to the argument of people who consider homosexuality a lifestyle.

    No it does not. People who claim that homosexuality is a lifestyle almost always also argue that heterosexuality is biologically natural or divinely ordained. The argument that homosexuality is a socialised deviation from a biologically natural norm and the argument that all sexuality is socially mediated and constructed are completely and utterly different from one another.

  135. maggiemay says:

    @mxe354, bagelsan and pheenobarbidoll—-

    ive encountered a number of women in my life who actively shilled for the patriarchy, and it wasnt pretty—-such women can be appallingly callous toward the victims of male violence, even when they are members of their own families—i had a co-worker like this and she was downright scary

  136. Mxe354 says:

    You don’t have to fear punches when you believe what you’re doing avoids them. And you don’t have to have that at the forefront of your mind at all times when you’ve learned certain behavior from birth and it’s considered normal, not survival.

    They’re happy to have men as their caretakers. Sure. What happens to women who don’t have good male caretakers? And their children? What happens to single, uncared for women and children? One only has to look at poverty stats for that answer.

    I’ll concede your point, but I don’t understand how the latter paragraph relates to my argument about some women liking patriarchal caretakers. I’d like a little clarification.

  137. Andie says:

    ive encountered a number of women in my life who actively shilled for the patriarchy, and it wasnt pretty—-such women can be appallingly callous toward the victims of male violence, even when they are members of their own families—i had a co-worker like this and she was downright scary

    Possibly it’s that whole “if I do everything right I’ll be okay, and those women must not have done everything right so they deserve what they get” type mentality?

    It’s come up before, I can’t remember the shorter name for it.

  138. Tony says:

    Having a caretaker is always nice. It’s like half-retreating back into childhood, in a way. You give up some independence and in exchange are freed from some responsibility.

  139. Tony says:

    I really believe that if you’ve ever not wanted to grow up, you understand this mentality.

  140. maggiemay says:

    @andie—

    if i remember right, i think its called “internalized oppression”—-somebody correct me if im wrong—-im not up on all the terminology—–when i was growing up most women had that attitude in varying degrees—-myself included, til i learned better

  141. Sam says:

    Li,

    The argument that homosexuality is a socialised deviation from a biologically natural norm and the argument that all sexuality is socially mediated and constructed are completely and utterly different from one another.

    what’s so different except that you’re not using a natural default? It’s still arguing that sexually is essentially completely socially malleable. Remember those “political lesbian feminists” in the seventies and eighties, they didn’t think heterosexuality was a socialized fetish either. Honestly. Of course, a big part of sexuality is socially mediated and constructed, but *ALL* of it? That’s really just an absurd claim.

  142. konkonsn says:

    I don’t disagree that men get most out of it, but that’s different from the questions how the system was instituted and how it managed to remain the dominant social mode of organisation for most of (known) human history (at least since the invention of agriculture and the institution of statehood) and which factors and who contributed to that. So, no, it’s not only “our thing” even though men do benefit…

    See, and I don’t see how that question, how the system managed to remain dominate, is different from my answer. I’m not saying there were a bunch of men sitting in a room going, “Hehehehehe…how can we grab power now?” But men set up the system for their benefit and use fear (as other posters have been describing) to keep everyone else subordinate. Yes, there are women who play off it and benefit, but they only benefit in so far as the patriarchy benefits from their perceived rewards. It’s like, as a woman, getting told, “If you fight me, I’ll give you stale bread, but if you play along, I’ll give you stale bread AND soup.” And when you’re starving, sometimes you play along. But it’s not like women are the ones handing out the food (maybe too many metaphors here).

    It certainly is to a degree. Honestly, saying that biology doesn’t have anything to do with who you are attracted to and who not brings you dangerously close to the argument of people who consider homosexuality a lifestyle.

    Yeah, well, I believe homosexuality and heterosexuality can also be psychologically influenced (not in the “cure” way but in the “my early environmental influences may have altered my perceptions and brain chemistry” way), and I don’t necessarily feel that’s a bad thing. But what I was responding to was your earlier comment about masculinity and attractiveness where it seemed like you were going down an evolutionary psychology route, saying that women (in general) are attracted to our stereotypes of masculinity. Which is not biological.

  143. Li says:

    The difference is that one of them treats queers as pathological, which, you know, kind of has some pretty shitty outcomes for queer people and is therefore not actually comparable to presuming tabula rasa.

    Also, pet hate? Use of ‘biological’ and ‘social’ instead of ‘innate’ and ‘learned/socialised/whatever else you want to use’. Learned behaviour has a biological reality too. Your neurons aren’t just shaped by “biology” as if it is a distinct and discrete force.

    And that’s ultimately the argument here. It’s not that your attractions haven’t been influenced by non-social factors like genetics and hormones (though, to be honest, some of these are socially situated anyway since human bodies tend to live in societies) in combination with the social, but as there’s no meaningful way to separate what is social and non-social, you may as well treat everything as up for grabs. Especially when people are making claims about things like masculinity that are intensely socially meaningful and loaded.

  144. maggiemay says:

    here’s a thought—-why not revive the concept that who you sleep with is NOBODY’S DAMN BUSINESS

  145. Sam says:

    Konkonsn,

    It’s like, as a woman, getting told, “If you fight me, I’ll give you stale bread, but if you play along, I’ll give you stale bread AND soup.” And when you’re starving, sometimes you play along. But it’s not like women are the ones handing out the food (maybe too many metaphors here).

    I think it’s a lot more complicated than that, and I think it overemphasizes male physical strength way too much. There are a lot of other variables, and where you come down in that origin debate isn’t nearly as clearly established as a lot of feminists believe it to be. I think a lot of it has to do with what you believe to be the answer to the question of what is the reason for the social instituion of the (heterosexual) pair-bond – was it that women made a deal to give access to female “reproductive resources” to some males so they defended them against other males? Or was it because the pair-bond was an immense source of mutual pleasure and increased parental investment. The feminist idea of “threat of rape” as fundamental social force for the implementation of social order comes close to the former explanation, while I tend to (now) believe in the second one. Either way, a lot of other variables are important as well when it comes to establishing fundamental social systems. Btw, if you’re interested, here’s a very good thread by a radical feminist that deals with such questions, and, in my opinion, basically (though inadvertendly) explains that patriarchy was originally some sort of affirmative action for men (male juju) that was necessary to balance the central position women had in reproduction of the community but became instituted and developed a life of its own in larger societies.

    reclusiveleftist.com/2006/05/07/the-origin-of-male-dominance

    … saying that women (in general) are attracted to our stereotypes of masculinity. Which is not biological.

    Well, I’d say it’s less biological than it is cultural, but I would not want to put percentages on that question.

  146. Mxe354 says:

    here’s a thought—-why not revive the concept that who you sleep with is NOBODY’S DAMN BUSINESS

    Don’t spew such a vile, reasonable idea!

  147. Sam says:

    Li,

    And that’s ultimately the argument here. It’s not that your attractions haven’t been influenced by non-social factors like genetics and hormones (though, to be honest, some of these are socially situated anyway since human bodies tend to live in societies) in combination with the social, but as there’s no meaningful way to separate what is social and non-social, you may as well treat everything as up for grabs. Especially when people are making claims about things like masculinity that are intensely socially meaningful and loaded.

    I think we basically agree, except for the conclusion. Treating everything as “up for grabs” is, in my opinion, just as dangerous as making unsupported claims about the inherently innate nature of things. Particularly, since people who assume social construction do not usually apear to agree with you on this –

    Learned behaviour has a biological reality too.

    – and instead appear to believe that “socially constructed” means somehow “less real” and “can be changed by will power or political force”.

  148. Bagelsan says:

    Direct violence or threat as a means of oppression I do not consider a significant factor. I am very surprised that you think it is, but perhaps we have just grown up in very different environments.

    Well, I grew up as a girl…and I think you didn’t. :p

  149. Bagelsan says:

    But what I was responding to was your earlier comment about masculinity and attractiveness where it seemed like you were going down an evolutionary psychology route, saying that women (in general) are attracted to our stereotypes of masculinity. Which is not biological.

    Well, some of it’s biological; biology seems to influence how attracted cis women are to more or less “masculine” men depending on the cyclic hormonal changes in said women. But that’s like, preferring X type of guy looking slightly more or less scruffy depending on the time of month, which isn’t a really huge factor in long-term mating strategies or pair-bonding. :p

  150. Natalie says:

    Possibly it’s that whole “if I do everything right I’ll be okay, and those women must not have done everything right so they deserve what they get” type mentality?

    It’s come up before, I can’t remember the shorter name for it.

    This probably isn’t exactly right, but that makes me think of the Just-world theory. Basically if something shitty happened to you, it’s probably because you did something shitty to deserve it. Because you know “justice”

  151. Bagelsan says:

    I don’t know the term, but it’s certainly some kind of magical thinking. “Oh, if I don’t drink/wear pink/not wear pink/leave the house/work/have sex/like boys/like girls then I’ll be totally fine!”

  152. Li says:

    If someone thinks that social construction means “less real” then they are probably not a very hardcore social constructionist, since social constructionists don’t tend to think “real” is a thing.

  153. Datdamwuf says:

    So, this stat caught my eye “but tests conducted in 2009 by the programme for international student assessment, carried out by the OECD thinktank, showed that boys lag a year behind girls at reading in every industrialised country. They work longer hours, too”

    So is that study showing that girls are smarter than boys from the get go and women work fewer hours because it takes the men longer to do the same work?

    I mean I’m just askin, is that what it means? honest, is that what it means?

  154. Andie says:

    the Just-world theory

    THAT’S IT!

  155. Mxe354 says:

    @Li

    Learned behaviour has a biological reality too.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Can you clarify, please? I have the impression that you’re saying that social behavior is biological, but I think I may have misunderstood this sentence.

  156. pheenobarbidoll says:

    I’ll concede your point, but I don’t understand how the latter paragraph relates to my argument about some women liking patriarchal caretakers. I’d like a little clarification.

    The rewards outweigh the harm. Look at Sarah Palin for example. She’s a shill of the P. The Republican Party LOVED that about her, and used her to attempt to manipulate women into voting for McCain. That was her reward. VP.

    Had they won, she’d still be the Republicans little pet. But they didn’t and it suddenly became all HER fault. And much to her surprise she found herself not so favored by the very men she supported.

    That’s one example.

    Many women who do this get rewarded with ” you’re not like other women” and are told how very smart they are for seeing though these feminist lies. They’re supported and cheered and coddled.

    Others simply enjoy enough privilege that violence has never reached them. Punishment was doled out in childhood and those lessons became nature. Be nice. Sit like a lady. Don’t run. Be ladylike and delicate and you will catch a nice husband (otherwise you’re a failure as a woman). A woman stands by her man. A real woman wants/needs to have a real man. Men want to rescue and protect women (look at all the stories, myths, legends, movies, tv shows that promote this) and getting a man is the be all end all of life (Disney, I’m looking at you).

    It can be compared to religious indoctrination. Introduce people to fear at an early age and you can control them as adults without bringing up hellfire every 30 seconds. There is One True Way and straying from that path leads to Hell.

  157. Mxe354 says:

    So, this stat caught my eye “but tests conducted in 2009 by the programme for international student assessment, carried out by the OECD thinktank, showed that boys lag a year behind girls at reading in every industrialised country. They work longer hours, too”

    So is that study showing that girls are smarter than boys from the get go and women work fewer hours because it takes the men longer to do the same work?

    No, the study doesn’t say anything about biological capability. Nor does it necessarily imply that men simply take a longer time to work.

  158. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Also- desiring protection is more of a human trait IMO, than a gender trait.

    I don’t care who you are, if you’re injured and there are wolves at your door you want a wolf slayer and not a meek little mouse standing between you and the hungry pack.

  159. Natalie says:

    Glad to be of service Andie

  160. Li says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Can you clarify, please? I have the impression that you’re saying that social behavior is biological, but I think I may have misunderstood this sentence.

    I’m saying that it socially constructed traits have biological reality in that they are, on an individual embodied human level, made up of actual physical brain cells. You can’t point to a clump of neurons and decide which ones are “biological” in origin, because all parts of the brain are biological, including ones produced socially. I’m not using “biological” here in terms of describing origin, because as I’ve repeatedly said I don’t think that makes any particular sense, I’m using it to describe the fact that social traits are made of cells just like supposedly innate ones are.

  161. Jadey says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Can you clarify, please? I have the impression that you’re saying that social behavior is biological, but I think I may have misunderstood this sentence.

    I assume Li is referring to the fact that everything we do as humans is biological because we are biological beings. For instance, when we interact socially we do so with chemical processes being activated in our bodies as we go through physical and mental responses, and when we learn this influences and changes our brain structure, which is how “learning” is literally stored and re-activated as needed (although we do not fully understand all of the nuances of how this happens). There is nothing we do that doesn’t have a biological facet to it because our bodies are the medium through which we interact with the world. Li’s point challenges the typical mind-body dualism in which we lose sight of the fact that our bodies are our minds and vice versa and conflate “biology” with “things our bodies do mostly independently of environmental input within our own lifetimes” (i.e., evolved traits, like breathing, basic cellular development, etc.).

  162. thinksnake says:

    Perhaps also that our understanding of society is shaped by our underlying biology, while at the same time out understanding of biology is shaped by our social ideas.
    It isn’t that one is more essential, more ‘real’ than the other. They interact in all sorts of ways.

  163. unacomplished says:

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of the fans of at least the “courtship” based gender norms are fans of them because at least if you don’t deviate from the script, the theory is SOMEBODY will like you.

    I know on the 2 dates I’ve been as soon as a “scripted” element would come up I became instantly terrified because I had no idea how my actions would be received .


    – omg if i pay will she think I’m a chauvinist douche bag?
    – but what if I pay half an she thinks “well I’m a feminist but I still expect to be treated like a lady!”
    – what if i she takes the check first, is she just being polite and expects me to take it from her?
    – what if she gets pissed because she expects to pay for the first date since she did the asking?
    – what if she thinks I’m not really interested in her if I don’t ask if she wants me come inside when I take her home?
    – what if she thinks I’m a creep for offering to take her home in the first place?
    – what if she wants me to go home with her but doesn’t ask because she’s afraid of breaking the script so shes waiting for ME to ask but I don’t want to ask for fear of looking like a “user” and she’s waiting for me TO ask so she can say yes?

    the list goes on…

    at least if you know your partner is a “script follower” then you know what to do in order to not be a douche bag (i.e. she might still say no, but at least you’ll have a pretty good idea she didn’t think you were being a dick because you followed the script, she just for whatever reason wasn’t down, and that’s OK)

    Not that I’m saying the script by any means should make a come back, I’m just saying I can understand how fighting the script sounds like a great idea in an academic gender egalitarian debate but not so much when your lack of a road map stands to seriously mess with your love life (or lack there of)

    And I can’t be sure, having never been a hetero woman trying to date a man, but I’m pretty sure this feeling is mutual ;)

  164. Mxe354 says:

    I assume Li is referring to the fact that everything we do as humans is biological because we are biological beings. For instance, when we interact socially we do so with chemical processes being activated in our bodies as we go through physical and mental responses, and when we learn this influences and changes our brain structure, which is how “learning” is literally stored and re-activated as needed (although we do not fully understand all of the nuances of how this happens). There is nothing we do that doesn’t have a biological facet to it because our bodies are the medium through which we interact with the world. Li’s point challenges the typical mind-body dualism in which we lose sight of the fact that our bodies are our minds and vice versa and conflate “biology” with “things our bodies do mostly independently of environmental input within our own lifetimes” (i.e., evolved traits, like breathing, basic cellular development, etc.).

    Doesn’t that imply that everything we see in society now is, at least at some level, inevitable? If so, I find that to be an absurd view of human nature. Excuse me if I misunderstood your point.

  165. Jadey says:

    Doesn’t that imply that everything we see in society now is, at least at some level, inevitable? If so, I find that to be an absurd view of human nature. Excuse me if I misunderstood your point.

    Whoa, what? No. That’s not my point at all. I’m not even sure how you got there if you read what I said at all because I specifically tried to explain where the problematic assumption comes in about what “biology” means.

    What you are continuing to do is assume that “biological” = “innate and unchanging”, which is why you are jumping to the idea of inevitability. Biology is in no way inevitable. It is flexible and adaptive, not only over the long haul (evolution and the genetic imbeddedness of traits and tendencies) but in the very real immediate sense. As you read the words I am typing and think about them, chemical reactions are occurring in your brain, structures are being shaped and adapted as you process and interpret my possible meanings. If you encode and remember a version of what I am explaining, then I will have succeeded in subtly altering your basic physical state without even knowing where you are located in the world! (Seriously, science is fucking amazing.) Because you are a biological organism, how you experience the world is mediated through and reflected in your own physiological make-up, and that make-up is flexible and mutable, which is why learning can occur at all.

    Where we go wrong is in simplifying and reducing “biology” into something fixed, linear, and frankly boring. What is “biological” and what is “social” are inextricable, not because one dominates the other, but because they truly are simultaneous, reinforcing processes.

  166. the_leanover says:

    Doesn’t that imply that everything we see in society now is, at least at some level, inevitable?

    I’d say it implies exactly the opposite! You seem to be continuing to conflate ‘biological’ with ‘innate’ (and, as such, inevitable); Li’s original point, I believe, is that we always tend to talk about how ‘biology’ supposedly influences or precedes ‘the social’, but rarely about how ‘the social’ influences biology itself. To understand that learning is a dynamic biological process is to undermine the idea that ‘the biological’ is some static, eternal blueprint that never changes.

  167. the_leanover says:

    Whoops, turns out Jadey had that covered!

  168. librarygoose says:

    Where we go wrong is in simplifying and reducing “biology” into something fixed, linear, and frankly boring. What is “biological” and what is “social” are inextricable, not because one dominates the other, but because they truly are simultaneous, reinforcing processes.

    Oh, my Anthropology professors would hug you guys for this.

  169. Li says:

    My earlier clarifying comment is stuck in mod-purgatory, but Jadey has pretty much covered it with more style anyway.

  170. EG says:

    As a consequence, to the extent that this is the case, patriarchy is not only “our thing”, to that extent it’s also something promoted and upheld by women.

    Well, no shit. Women make up a little over half the adult human race. If we didn’t collaborate in our own oppression, that oppression would be impossible. That doesn’t actually make it non-oppressive.

    Well to be fair, feminism is about the rights of women and in the later waves the rights of LGBT individuals. Weather or not hetero “dudebros” kill themselves is more than likely excruciatingly low on the “give a shit” scale.

    And it’s true, of course, that all feminists care only about feminist priorities. Feminism is never part of a world-view or political outlook that encompasses other considerations as well. And…why is it that you’re assuming that the bulk of men committing suicide are straight dudebros? Given the outrageously higher rate of suicide about LGBTQ populations, I’d find a cite for that if I were you.

    I really believe that if you’ve ever not wanted to grow up, you understand this mentality.

    I will never understand that mentality, then. All I ever, ever wanted as a kid was to grow up and do things myself.

  171. Mxe354 says:

    @Jadey, Li, the_leanover

    Ah, I get it. I thought you were talking about biological determinism, so I admittedly jumped to conclusions. Apologies!

  172. Soullite says:

    Ah, the irony.

    Of course interjecting a ‘but women have a problem too!’ admonishment into a conversation is a way to belittle the problem cited by the previous poster. You all know this. You’ve developed language specifically to mock this phenomena when men display it towards women.

    What. About. The. Menz.

    What Li did was basically yell out ‘WHAT ABOUT THE WOMENZ!!!!’, when the problem for them is less severe. But hey, it’s always different when it’s you, right?

  173. EG says:

    What Li did was basically yell out ‘WHAT ABOUT THE WOMENZ!!!!’, when the problem for them is less severe.

    No. What Li did was to note that the problem was not one of a greater misery leading to suicide, but a greater propensity for violent means of suicide. Unless the only thing that concerns you about people killing themselves is whether or not they succeed, that’s a wildly relevant piece of knowledge.

  174. Alara Rogers says:

    What Li did was basically yell out ‘WHAT ABOUT THE WOMENZ!!!!’, when the problem for them is less severe. But hey, it’s always different when it’s you, right?

    It’s not less severe. In countries where women have more access to deadlier means of suicide and a cultural understanding that these are acceptable for women, the rate of female suicide dwarfs the rate of male suicide. In particular, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, favored methods of female suicide include covering yourself with flammable chemicals and setting yourself on fire, or drinking acid. Few Western men are even that hardcore about their suicide attempts.

    The reason men are more successful at killing themselves in Western societies mostly boils down to guns. Guns are masculinized. Sure, in theory there is no reason a woman can’t have a gun, but in theory there’s no reason a woman can’t have a basketball either; the fact is, that in fiction most people who carry guns are male; that when we’re presented with women with guns in fiction or imagery, they are often sexualized as if the point is not “Look at her, she can protect herself, don’t you want to be her” but “Look at her, she’s hot and she has guns, don’t you think she’s sexy?” This is less appealing to women than arguments to “don’t you want to be”, as it’s clear to women that we are not the audience for that message. Cops and military people, who are the professions where you *have* to carry a gun, are mostly men. Gun culture is mostly male.

    So men can easily imagine going out and getting a gun. They don’t feel gendered anxiety the way they would if they imagine going out and getting a set of crocheting needles or a baby carriage. Women experience gendered anxiety (the sense of “I’m doing something my gender isn’t supposed to!”) when they pursue getting guns or sporting equipment (often, sold in the same store as guns…) This means that suicidal men in cultures with access to guns are going to be more successful (unless women have come up with some even more successful suicide method, like the Afghani women… and to the best of my knowledge that only happens in places where burning to death is a better fate than living life as a woman.)

    So, you know, if you want to save men, specifically, from suicide, the solution’s probably gun control. Just saying.

    See, if women attempt suicide more often, but succeed less often, then the issue is *not* “men kill themselves more”. This would be an issue that would suggest “women are happier than men, men should emulate women.” But it turns out that’s not remotely true. Women are less happy than men but less likely to choose surefire means of killing themselves, mostly because the most surefire method, in Western culture, is a gun. So the solution is either “improve the lives of both men and women so neither want to kill themselves”, or “improve access to mental health care so suicidal men and women can get help” (which could well come with a heaping dose of “men can be mentally ill too, stop acting like depression is a female disease”, which would help men specifically), or “take away men’s guns so they can’t kill themselves with them, and then they will kill themselves less often than women.”

    Pointing out that women try to kill themselves more often than men do in a discussion about men committing suicide more often than women is not a “what about the womenz”? It’s adding more points of data to the exact same problem. Generally “what about the menz” comes up when a problem that affects *more* women is addressed (for example, “well, why are we talking about the rape of free women when more male prisoners are raped!”… answer: because the reason more male prisoners are raped is because more men are in jail, for reasons that don’t really pertain to the discussion of rape, not because women in prison aren’t raped. Also, anti-rape activists do in fact fight prison rape and the rape of men.) Now, if we were, say, talking about women being abducted by aliens, and we were talking about this as a gendered phenomenon, and it turned out that actually many more men are abducted by aliens than women are but the newspapers sensationalize it when it happens to women, then saying “But more men are abducted by aliens than women” wouldn’t be “what about the menz”, it would be “this thing you think is a gendered phenomenon really isn’t, the gendered part of it is that newspapers love to talk about women as helpless victims and ignore bad things that happen to men, which is bad for both genders.”

    So. This thing you think is a gendered phenomenon — suicide — really isn’t; the gendered part of it is that men culturally have more access to guns than women do.

    All that being said… the suicide of “dudebros” is totally a feminist issue, because mental health care and the gendering of depression such that women are understood to be “depressed” while men are expected to be stoically alcoholic, and the culture that teaches men to celebrate deadly weaponry and women to fear it, and the attitudes that tell men not to talk to each other or confide in each other but to dump all of their emotional problems on one sole point of confidant, their girlfriend/wife, and that going to see a shrink is a pussy thing to do… all these things contribute to the suicide of dudebros (meaning: men who have solidly bought into patriarchal constructs, not men who are killing themselves because of the agony of having to spend their lives fighting such constructs, such as gay men, or trans men, or, given that dead trans women are often misidentified as men, trans women who are showing up as the wrong gender in the statistics). And all these things which contribute to the suicide of dudebros are issues that feminists are actively fighting against.

    So no. The suicide of cis men who have bought into the patriarchy is not a low priority. The suicide of cis women and of trans people of either gender is a higher priority because those are to some extent directly *caused* by patriarchy, or exacerbated by it, but in Feminist Utopia cis men are open about their feelings and not ashamed to seek help for mental health problems and are not stigmatized for doing so, and also, in most varieties of Feminist Utopia there aren’t guns all over the place. (There are pro-gun feminists but they’re rarer than the ones who’d like to see fewer guns.) All of these things would help cis men not to kill themselves.

  175. unacomplished says:

    And it’s true, of course, that all feminists care only about feminist priorities.

    I never didn’t say that.

    Feminism is never part of a world-view or political outlook that encompasses other considerations as well.

    I didn’t say that either

    And…why is it that you’re assuming that the bulk of men committing suicide are straight dudebros?

    I didn’t

  176. EG says:

    See, you can say that the assumptions I point out are not inherent in the comments you made, but that doesn’t mean they’re not. But pray tell, explain how your comments make any sense without those assumptions guiding them.

  177. matlun says:

    It’s not less severe. In countries where women have more access to deadlier means of suicide and a cultural understanding that these are acceptable for women, the rate of female suicide dwarfs the rate of male suicide. In particular, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, favored methods of female suicide include covering yourself with flammable chemicals and setting yourself on fire, or drinking acid. Few Western men are even that hardcore about their suicide attempts.

    If that is true, then an alternative explanation could be that women in Afghanistan and Pakistan have it worse than the men to a much larger extent than in the west. (Statistics for those countries seem hard to find)

    If you focus just on completed suicides, then clearly it is a more severe problem for men. Depending on what kind of discussion we want to have, it is not clear that focusing just on that issue is reasonable, but the statistics seems fairly clear as far as that goes. This is not just a western phenomenon.

    The reason men are more successful at killing themselves in Western societies mostly boils down to guns.

    That does not generally explain the difference. It is true that the methods used differ quite a bit, but for example here in Sweden, suicide by gun is uncommon so while more men use that method it can not explain the difference. Statistics from the period 1995-2004 give for men the methods
    1. Hanging – 31.5 %
    2. Poison (solid or liquid) – 25.8 %
    3. Gun – 13.8 %
    4. Drowning – 6.7 %
    5. Poisoning through gas – 5.8 %

    For women the picture is rather different
    1. Poison (solid or liquid) – 48.3 %
    2. Hanging – 20 %
    3. Drowning – 13.1 %
    4. Jumping from great height – 6.3 %
    5. Poisoning from gas – 1.6 %
    (Gun suicide is at 0.8%)

    As can be seen the proportions between different methods differ quite a bit even if you do not consider guns.

    There are other strange gender differences. Women in cities are more likely to commit suicide than women in rural areas. This statistical difference does not exist for men.

    I am not sure what conclusion can be drawn from all this except that it is complicated.

  178. Mxe354 says:

    Of course interjecting a ‘but women have a problem too!’ admonishment into a conversation is a way to belittle the problem cited by the previous poster. You all know this. You’ve developed language specifically to mock this phenomena when men display it towards women.

    It’s lovely how you know that specific language used by feminists yet you don’t even know why it’s used. Hint: It’s not an attempt to belittle men’s problems.

  179. Sam says:

    hey unaccomplished,

    – omg if i pay will she think I’m a chauvinist douche bag?
    – but what if I pay half an she thinks “well I’m a feminist but I still expect to be treated like a lady!”
    – what if i she takes the check first, is she just being polite and expects me to take it from her?
    – what if she gets pissed because she expects to pay for the first date since she did the asking?
    – what if she thinks I’m not really interested in her if I don’t ask if she wants me come inside when I take her home?
    – what if she thinks I’m a creep for offering to take her home in the first place?
    – what if she wants me to go home with her but doesn’t ask because she’s afraid of breaking the script so shes waiting for ME to ask but I don’t want to ask for fear of looking like a “user” and she’s waiting for me TO ask so she can say yes?

    Dude, you need to relax. Honestly, I know exactly where you come from, because I’ve been there. And all I can tell you now is that you need to relax. I think you need to realize that there is no foolproof way of interacting with other people, regardless of their gender, but, of course, the stakes are higher if you’d like to get to know a person better and if that person is of sexual interest to you. But even when all of courtship was socially mediated and formalized, there was no foolproof way of interacting. So, here’s my advice to you: accept that you *may* do something that she may not like. Accept that you may inadvertendly do something that creeps her out for no good reason, or for a good reason. She’s another person with a brain of her own, so stop trying to do the thinking for her and instead work from the assumption that she’s a reasonable person who is probably thinking about similar stuff at the same time you are. People misunderstand each other all the time, it’s the cost of doing business, if you will. Allow yourself to be imperfect, allow yourself to make mistakes, otherwise you’ll never learn to be better at interacting with people and especially those people you are sexually interested in. Secondly, I’d say that your desire to be entirely in control of the situation is telling you something about the kind of person you should look for – someone who is similarly concerned about understanding the situation. So maybe you should look at your situation not merely as a failure on your part to perform expected behaviour, but also as a compatibility test for prospective partners… those who are also wondering about how to deal with the cheque. *And* those who would appreciate you talking about this problem and not keeping it to yourself. Of course, there will be (probably a significant number of, and including feminst) women who may consider such a question to be a sign of your lacking confidence, but there will also be women who will consider it a sign of strength (particularly if you talk about your confusion confidently). And since you’re unlikely to become a different person with respect to how you appear to process this kind of uncertainty, isn’t that actually a useful filter mechanism for potential partners?

    Just my 2 ct. – good luck with the next dates :)

  180. Past my expiration date says:

    Well to be fair, feminism is about the rights of women and in the later waves the rights of LGBT individuals. Weather or not hetero “dudebros” kill themselves is more than likely excruciatingly low on the “give a shit” scale.

    In what way is “Feminists only care about feminist priorities” not an accurate summary of this paragraph?

    Though, to be sure, I find “feminism is about the rights of women” a wildly inadequate definition, and I’m also a bit puzzled by the apparent non-overlap between “women” and “LGBT individuals”.

  181. Li says:

    Even if I agree that “but what about the womenz” is what I was doing (which, I don’t), I actually don’t think that raising women’s issues is equivalent to inserting men’s issues (SERIOUSLY WE NEED A BETTER TERM THAN THAT) into discussions about feminist concerns, because if you go back to my very earliest points in this thread, men’s suicidality is socially recognised and their subjectivities centred in a way that women’s subjectivities simply aren’t under sexism. “But what about the womenz” will never be equivalent to “But what about the menz” until women’s experiences are given equal focus. Since they aren’t, one is going to be an obnoxious tactic to reassert a sexist power dynamic and the other will be a method of redressing that dynamic.

  182. unacomplished says:

    See, you can say that the assumptions I point out are not inherent in the comments you made, but that doesn’t mean they’re not. But pray tell, explain how your comments make any sense without those assumptions guiding them.

    I don’t understand how an assumption can be objectively inherent? They are your assumptions, why don’t you tell me why you assumed them and Ill tell you where I stopped talking and you started inferring.

    In what way is “Feminists only care about feminist priorities” not an accurate summary of this paragraph

    um, in the way that the sentence “Feminists only care about feminist priorities” wasn’t in any of my posts ;)

    Though, to be sure, I find “feminism is about the rights of women” a wildly inadequate definition, and I’m also a bit puzzled by the apparent non-overlap between “women” and “LGBT individuals”.

    “in later waves”, feminism’s later waves brought much more LGBT exclusivity than the previous iterations did they not? how is this not an overlap?

  183. Pingback: ‘Egal’ vs. ‘Gyno’ Double Bill (NoH) | Feminist Critics

  184. unacomplished says:

    @Sam

    I don’t mind being rejected, but being called a misogynist weather than “not my type” stings quite a bit more, especially since I call myself putting fourth effort not to be one (not that I’ve ever had a date do this to me but fear of it happening has no doubt added to why I’ve only ever dated one person).

    I find that I can avoid the risk of being labeled as an oppressor by simply not approaching women. I’m receptive to them when they approach ME but this has only happened once. I know most hetero men are not approached so rarely and women DO approach men so I have long attributed this to me simply being unattractive.

    But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t fully aware that I’m taking advantage of the gender norm that “men do the chasing”. By simply not approaching I negate the risk of failing to eloquently convey sexual interest without making the other person feel uncomfortable or berated. Sadly it also takes a massive tole on my love life (or lack there of)

  185. Sam says:

    unaccomplished,

    of course, everyone hates to be called names that they don’t want to hear, but, as I said, that’s one of the risks involved in interacting with other people.

    You cannot avoid being labeled an oppressor by those feminists who would be ideologically inclined to call you an oppressor by not approaching women. You’re a man, that’s what makes you an oppressor in this particular world-view. If you subscribe to it, you will consider yourself an oppressor and whoever calls you that will only reiterate this (problematic) self-concept. And I suspect that you will have to not take that oppressor thing personally – which is hard, I know that, but if you’re engaging with feminists in real life you’ll also find that they differ from online feminists in that they are usually much more conciliatory as a person than they would be in an online discussion – but that’s a problem of group dynamics in online discusisons, not a feminist problem as such, even though I would say that this is a dynamic that makes it so much harder for men to talk about their issues, particularly since informed gender debate will in all likelihood take place on feminist turf.

    If you’re interested in a very long, but for you possibly very useful thread about masculinity and feminism, I recommend you check out this one over at Clarisse Thorn’s blog.

    clarissethorn.com/blog/2009/12/09/manliness-and-feminism-the-followup

  186. Nadine says:

    What about the men? What are you doing for the men in prison or the boys who kill themselves? You expect feministe commenters to solve the problem, why don’t you? Go to a prison and tell those men that the male judges, police officers, prison guards etc are really their allies and their mothers and partners are their enemy, see how your political movement works off line!

    Sam, maybe you could join a group were you will meet women who are more like you. You could join a sports club or an internet community that doesn’t hate women!

  187. EG says:

    I don’t understand how an assumption can be objectively inherent? They are your assumptions, why don’t you tell me why you assumed them and Ill tell you where I stopped talking and you started inferring.

    You believe that the statements you made are true. They can only be true if certain preconditions are met. Those preconditions are the assumptions encoded in your statements. Otherwise, the statements of yours that I quoted could not possibly be true or make any sense. Now, in my opinion, those statements are not true and make no sense whatsoever, so if that’s what you’re saying here, then we are in agreement.

  188. unacomplished says:

    Now, in my opinion, those statements are not true and make no sense whatsoever

    Which statements exactly?

    I’m not trying to be difficult here, I seriously don’t know which of the things I’ve said you disagree with. If you point them out to me perhaps attempt to clarify my position.

  189. ASH says:

    I’ll concede that men are make to look like buffoons in most modern sitcoms, cleaning/childcare commercials, and Judd Apatow movies. My response to that would be the following:

    1) What gender comes up with these sitcoms, commercials, and movies?

    2) As if a REAL Carrie or Debra would want to be with Doug Heffernan or Ray Barone. It may be insulting to them. Is it not equally insulting to these fairly attractive, intelligent women to marry jackasses? See also “Knocked Up”.

    3) Do you really think that women are flattered to be the centerpiece of every single cleaning commercial and to be oh so fucking happy about cleaning?

    I had a friend in college who did a master’s thesis on just this thing. One component that has been noted in many of those commercials where women are cleaning is that there is a patriarchal character who comes along to give us the PERFECT cleaning product to make us even happier to clean up piss stains on the floor. Think of Mr. Clean and those guys with the headsets who explain the “science” behind the product. Anyone else ever notice on those infomercials for things such as Oxyclean, there is always a man explaining, sometimes to a woman, how the product WORKS? As if we just want to clean, but here comes a man to explain to us the “properties” of the product/device.

  190. Chiara says:

    You cannot avoid being labeled an oppressor by those feminists who would be ideologically inclined to call you an oppressor by not approaching women. You’re a man, that’s what makes you an oppressor in this particular world-view. If you subscribe to it, you will consider yourself an oppressor and whoever calls you that will only reiterate this (problematic) self-concept.

    That’s a pretty absurd idea about what the feminist world view is IMO. I don’t think feminists think men are automatically oppressors.

    I’m a feminist, and I don’t use the term oppressor because it sounds silly but if we have to use it… I think misogynistic men are the oppressors. Hell I think misogynistic women are the oppressors too. People are oppressors when they’re being sexist assholes, and people are also oppressors when they’re not standing up against other people being sexist assholes. Being sexist is for example, having sexual double standards, calling women sluts and whores, showing contempt when women do things that were previously for men only, i.e. sports or maths or something, making jokes about rape, all that sort of shit.

    unaccomplished no woman is going to think you’re a misogynist because you go up to her and ask her out or something. I don’t really know how dating works in America or for upper-middle class people (I assume you’re upper-middle, right? because you’re talking about going to restaurants and stuff) but at least in my experience I’ve only gone in dates with guys that I’ve known as friends or at as least casual acquaintances for a while, not with randoms. Maybe you might get on better if you make friends with a woman and get to know each other and stuff and see where that shit goes. I dunno like I said maybe it’s different in America.

  191. unacomplished says:

    @Sam

    “The only winning move is not to play”

  192. EG says:

    Which statements exactly?

    I believe that each and every one of the statements of mine that you quoted were in response to statements of yours that I had quoted. Those ones.

  193. LotusBecca says:

    I like how this thread has become about about the dating difficulties that clueless, sexist straight guys face. This is definitely yet another form of matriarchal oppression. However do you cope, unaccomplished, dealing with this befuddling minefield that the cunning feminist harpies have laid out for you? Well at least you have your bro Sam here to offer astute insights into the secret inner workings of the female mind.

    And finally, let me add that everything I said in the above paragraph is sarcastic mockery. I don’t want to become the next target of unaccomplished’s “omg I didn’t even say that” routinue.

  194. EG says:

    I like how this thread has become about about the dating difficulties that clueless, sexist straight guys face. This is definitely yet another form of matriarchal oppression.

    Particularly because this is a set of difficulties that women never have; gay, straight, bi, or queer, we just sit back and the healthy, happy, harmonious relationships with awesome sex just drop into our laps. We never worry about whether or not to approach somebody, or whether that somebody is into us, or whether something we did/might do put/might put that somebody off. No, this is a burden laid on the shoulders of men only–how do they bear up under it, poor things. We ladies can only marvel at their great strength.

    Welcome to the world, gentlemen. You will probably find you feel nervous at some point when in the presence of someone you find attractive, but whose feelings about you are not yet clear to you. This is perfectly normal.

  195. unacomplished says:

    OK I said this blob

    Well to be fair, feminism is about the rights of women and in the later waves the rights of LGBT individuals. Weather or not hetero “dudebros” kill themselves is more than likely excruciatingly low on the “give a shit” scale.

    In which I was attempting to state the following

    1) Feminism is primarily and was originally focused on the rights of women, and through out each passing wave (as in 1st wave 2nd wave etc) has become more infused with the advocacy of rights for LGBT individuals

    2) The feminist community typically considers the societal plights of hetero men (dudebros) to be of less agency than those of women within the same contexts (i.e. fixing rape and rape culture is more important than addressing false accuser policy, anti domestic violence activism should focus on the female experience since women are more heavily limited socially by its effects. etc)

    3) All negative experiences men feel as a result of gender role conformity or societal pressure pale in severity and in agency to the experiences of women who suffer longer and harder from the same societal negatives or their female gendered counter parts than men. (this includes the idea that the societal pressures that typically push hetero dudebros to suicide do not share the same agency of importance when compared to the way the same pressures cause LGBT people and / or women to experience depression, self mutilation episodes, or depression.

    Does feminism not typically hold to these values? Because all the feminists I have interacted with, have.

  196. LotusBecca says:

    That’s all very true EG. . .and let me add that as a woman who formerly lived as a man, one of the hallmarks of my transition has been the exponential increase in dating opportunities and the newfound simplicity of the social rules I navigate when looking for potential romantic/sexual partners. I look back on my heteronormative college days and marvel that I was ever able to decide whether to buy the whole dinner or go dutch on a date without having a complete neurotic breakdown. So my violins are in full symphonic force over unaccomplished’s tragically failed quest for the “pink taco.”

  197. EG says:

    Unaccomplished:

    Even if we grant that your understanding of feminism is accurate, and that is certainly nothing if not debatable, for that to mean that feminists don’t care about the suicide of straight male “dudebros,” you would have to assume that feminists have no interests, priorities, political or philosophical outlook that are not encompassed by feminism. Otherwise, you would have to acknowledge that your understanding of feminism actually tells you nothing about whether or not feminists would consider the suicides of straight men to be something they barely give a shit about. In other words, you are assuming that feminists are only feminists.

    Now, let’s also note that the substantiated claim here is that men succeed in killing themselves at a higher rate than do women. Importantly, you, in this comment, equate “men” with straight dudebros. Those two groups are not synonymous. There is a significantly higher rate of suicide within the LGBTQ communities, with the same gender dynamic prevailing when it comes to success. So a large percentage of men who successfully commit suicide are GBTQ; therefore, you cannot accurately assume that the average man who successfully commits suicide is straight, as you do in your comment. Further, “dudebro” is slang for a certain kind of man, a Tucker Max frat boy type; plenty of men are not “dudebros,” so again, assuming that men who kill themselves are straight dudebros is faulty and unfounded.

    Becca:

    Remember that song Sarah Jessica Parker sang in that inane commercial for perfume or make-up or something? It was called “I enjoy being a girl!” I think that a significant proportion of men must think that’s what it’s really like…

  198. Donna L says:

    Remember that song Sarah Jessica Parker sang in that inane commercial for perfume or make-up or something? It was called “I enjoy being a girl!”

    The song comes from the 1958 Rogers & Hammerstein musical, “Flower Drum Song.” In other words, it was written by men. To be performed by an Asian woman.

    And, yes, there are men who think — or at least wish — that that’s how women think. Some people, of course, would tell you that it represents the sum total of trans women’s fetishistic understanding of what it means to be a woman, I would like to think that my views were always a little bit more sophisticated than the insipid lyrics of that song. Dating tip to puzzled men: just try to think of women as if they were human beings, and it should all work out.

  199. Donna L says:

    Here are those lyrics:

    I’m a girl, and by me that’s only great!
    I am proud that my silhouette is curvy,
    That I walk with a sweet and girlish gait
    With my hips kind of swivelly and swervy.

    I adore being dressed in something frilly
    When my date comes to get me at my place.
    Out I go with my Joe or John or Billy,
    Like a filly who is ready for the race!

    When I have a brand new hairdo
    With my eyelashes all in curl,
    I float as the clouds on air do,
    I enjoy being a girl!

    When men say I’m cute and funny
    And my teeth aren’t teeth, but pearl,
    I just lap it up like honey
    I enjoy being a girl!

    I flip when a fellow sends me flowers,
    I drool over dresses made of lace,
    I talk on the telephone for hours
    With a pound and a half of cream upon my face!

    I’m strictly a female female
    And my future I hope will be
    In the home of a brave and free male
    Who’ll enjoy being a guy having a girl… like… me.

    When men say I’m sweet as candy
    As around in a dance we whirl,
    It goes to my head like brandy,
    I enjoy being a girl!

    When someone with eyes that smoulder
    Says he loves ev’ry silken curl
    That falls on my iv’ry shoulder,
    I enjoy being a girl!

    When I hear the compliment’ry whistle
    That greets my bikini by the sea,
    I turn and I glower and I bristle,
    But I happy to know the whistle’s meant for me!

    I’m strictly a female female
    And my future I hope will be
    In the home of a brave and free male
    Who’ll enjoy being a guy having a girl… like… me.

    I think these words describe my life precisely.

  200. Donna L says:

    I posted the lyrics, but they’re in moderation. They’re easily found, though.

  201. LotusBecca says:

    unaccomplished:

    Everything about your post @198 is obnoxious and ignorant, from your lack of understanding what the word “agency” means, to your implication that men are more harmed by being falsely accused of rape than they are by actually being raped. And also because of everything EG said.

    EG:

    Yeah, I most definitely remember that thing with Sarah Jessica Parker. In fact, it was my favorite documentary short of 2006. A really shocking Michael Moore-style expose into how us women lap up the matriarchal privilege of, um, getting compliments from guys about our appearance? Or something.

    Donna:

    Hey, even Janice Raymond admitted that there were some trans women, such as you and I, who are more motivated by a desire to infilltrate the lesbian feminist community than by a desire to receive bouquets of flowers from knights in shining armor. So please don’t erase the complexity of perspectives and internal diversity among those within the transphobia commmunity.

  202. Donna L says:

    a desire to infilltrate the lesbian feminist community

    Hey, that’s why they call us “pretendbians.”

  203. LotusBecca says:

    Hey, that’s why they call us “pretendbians.”

    Oops, did I say “infiltrate”? I meant, like, I’m a completely real and totally harmless woman, please accept me into your community, lovely ladies.

    Either way, it’s gonna be hella dope once Michfest drops its “womyn born womyn” policy, and I can attend with my Frankensteinian breast implants (complete with cameras and wireless communication devices hidden inside them). That way, I can frolic naked in the forest while I conduct surveillance and maintain constant covert contact with Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Max, James Dobson, Herman Cain, and my other patriarchal overlords. I can’t wait.

  204. Natalie says:

    When I hear the compliment’ry whistle
    That greets my bikini by the sea,
    I turn and I glower and I bristle,
    But I happy to know the whistle’s meant for me!

    Yay street harassment! In all seriousness…. what the ever loving fuck. Men don’t actually think that’s how we feel about our lives right? right?

  205. Hey, that’s why they call us “pretendbians.”

    Jesus fuck that’s gross.

  206. unacomplished says:

    In other words, you are assuming that feminists are only feminists.

    No, I didn’t say that, what I said was that feminists usually rank the concerns of dudebros below oppressed subgroups

    Now, let’s also note that the substantiated claim here is that men succeed in killing themselves at a higher rate than do women.

    um, I didn’t make that claim, somebody else did, nor did I say I agreed or disagreed with it

    Everything about your post @198 is obnoxious and ignorant, from your lack of understanding what the word “agency” means, to your implication that men are more harmed by being falsely accused of rape than they are by actually being raped. And also because of everything EG said.

    Um I didn’t say that at all, I honestly have no idea where you pulled that from, I listed what were to my knowledge beliefs widely adopted by feminists, that’s all.

  207. unacomplished says:

    unaccomplished no woman is going to think you’re a misogynist because you go up to her and ask her out or something.

    I’ve herd some women say that a man even approaching a women for conversation without “clear non verbal signals” is being cavalier with said women’s safety and is not making a good faith effort to not appear as Schrodinger’s rapist

    but ill concede it is probably a minority of hetero feminist women who say that.

  208. Sam says:

    unaccomplished,

    “The only winning move is not to play”

    no, it’s really not. If you *want* to play, and you’re not playing because you’re afraid of losing, then not playing is losing, sorry. But, of course, you need to balance the fear of losing by playing with the certainty of losing by never having played. One can hurt, badly, of course, but the other will hurt for sure. It’s up to you to decide whether you can take the risk or not. But, as someone who has had similar concerns, I would like to mention that, at least for me, it was important to realize that the biggest problem I needed to address was my ability to interact, not feminism or social structures.

  209. maggiemay says:

    ugh—just read those dreadful lyrics—i need about an hour of iron maiden therapy now

  210. Egalitarian says:

    “If men are screwing over their own damn selves, then go ahead and fix the problem yourselves… Well, you’re the ones in power. There’s nothing stopping your gender from fixing it.”

    What if I said the following to a feminist discussing issues women face:

    If humans are screwing over their own damn selves, then go ahead and fix the problem yourselves… Well, you’re the ones in power. There’s nothing stopping your species from fixing it.

    The logic doesn’t work because it’s not humans, or men, screwing over themselves as the people “screwing” are not the same as the people being “screwed”, and the victim is not one of the “ones in power.”

    As for the issue of female-on-male domestic violence and rape, the problem is that feminists often portray these issues as exclusively, or almost exclusively perpetrated by men, reinforcing “patriarchal” stereotypes of women as inherently peaceful and sexually passive, which prevents male victims of female abusers from getting help. Male victims and their advocates are doing what they can to raise awareness of this, which is the first step.

    In either case, the feminist framework is not the best way to view men’s issues, so there is a need to discuss them in a different way, like this book does.

  211. Natalie says:

    As for the issue of female-on-male domestic violence and rape, the problem is that feminists often portray these issues as exclusively, or almost exclusively perpetrated by men, reinforcing “patriarchal” stereotypes of women as inherently peaceful and sexually passive, which prevents male victims of female abusers from getting help. Male victims and their advocates are doing what they can to raise awareness of this, which is the first step.

    Are you saying that feminists do not try and help male victims of sexual violence and abuse? Because that’s a really broad generalization that honestly I just do not believe. Do you have a citation of some sort? Didn’t feministe JUST do an article about the prevelence of prison rape?

  212. Mxe354 says:

    As for the issue of female-on-male domestic violence and rape, the problem is that feminists often portray these issues as exclusively, or almost exclusively perpetrated by men…

    No, but it is true that it’s perpetrated by men more often than women.

    …reinforcing “patriarchal” stereotypes of women as inherently peaceful and sexually passive, which prevents male victims of female abusers from getting help.

    …I have yet to hear a single feminist say that, because women constitute the majority of victims, they are peaceful and sexually passive.

    The reason male victims are not getting enough help is because of the very thing that feminists are fighting: the patriarchy. Feminism has nothing to do with the suffering of male victims.

  213. Mxe354 says:

    ugh—just read those dreadful lyrics—i need about an hour of iron maiden therapy now

    …Which album?

  214. EG says:

    What if I said the following to a feminist discussing issues women face:

    If humans are screwing over their own damn selves, then go ahead and fix the problem yourselves… Well, you’re the ones in power. There’s nothing stopping your species from fixing it.

    And if I had been claiming that species was an axis of oppression and that human beings were an oppressed class because of it, that would be an appropriate response.

    Cis men are not oppressed or disadvantaged because of their gender. Cis men can be oppressed and disadvantaged in numerous other ways–race, class, sexuality, disability–and when those axes are taken into account, indeed, oppressed men are not the ones in power, by definition, really. But if you are considering gender as the significant axis under discussion, men, as a group, are not suffering, and it is indeed that group that is in power, and so my response makes sense in the absurd context of a discussion that claims that men are oppressed according to their gender, but seems to have no insight into the interactions between, for example, masculinity and race.

  215. Natalie says:

    Cis men are not oppressed or disadvantaged because of their gender.

    this should be a billboard of some sort.

  216. LotusBecca says:

    unaccomplished, you said that feminists believe that “fixing rape and rape culture is more important than addressing false accuser policy.” This is true. This is true because the number of false rape accusations is incredibly small. . .less than 3% of all rape accusations, and below the false accusation rate for many other types of crimes. But =oOn the other hand, millions and milions of both women and men are raped and suffer horrendous trauma, but and they talk to people about it they are not believed and shamed. So it’s clear why rape is a much worse problem in society than false rape accusations, both for women and for men.

    But you said the reason feminists believe in addressing rape before false accusor policy is because they “consider the societal [plight]” of women before they consider the plight of “straight men” “in similar contexts.” So you are saying the problem of women getting raped is analogous to the problem of “straight men” getting falsely accused of rape. But it’s not. The problem of women getting raped is analgous to the problem of men getting raped, and the problem of straight men getting falsely accused of rape is not a serious societal problem.

    And if you didn’t mean what I’m saying you meant. . .I will ask you this: What the fuck did you mean, and why are you so bad at communicating your ideas?

  217. EG says:

    what I said was that feminists usually rank the concerns of dudebros below oppressed subgroups

    And is it possible for that statement to be generally true if you acknowledge that feminists have other concerns, priorities, perspectives, and philosophies than the ones encompassed by feminism?

    um, I didn’t make that claim, somebody else did, nor did I say I agreed or disagreed with it

    No, you made a claim based on that claim.

    Until you can understand the logical implications of the statements you make, you might want to stay out of debates.

  218. Sam says:

    LotusBecca,

    “…the problem of straight men getting falsely accused of rape is not a serious societal problem.”

    I’d disagree on this, although partly for different reasons than you may think – I think the fear of false accusation is such a big deal that it leads men to employ all kinds of hedging strategies, which, in turn, reinforce a lot of social phenomena commonly addressed by feminists under the label “rape culture” (which, to a degree, is itself part of the problem leading to those hedging strategies). As such it is making honest conversations about this harder, much harder.

    Here’s a great thread (including comments) about this phenomenon –

    yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/talking-past-each-other

  219. Mxe354 says:

    the label “rape culture” (which, to a degree, is itself part of the problem leading to those hedging strategies)

    Please elaborate.

  220. Li says:

    Sam, I’d suggest that fear of false accusation =/= false accusation itself. It’s perfectly reasonable to argue that false accusations of rape are not themselves a significant problem while still acknowledging that men do some stupid shit in response to the trope that ladies are out there just waiting to entrap them.

  221. Sam says:

    Li,

    well, I suppose we’d have to talk about the definition of “significant”, but, yes, the fear thereof is not particularly correkated with actual false accusations. That said, I don’t think that telling guys that they don’t have anything to fear, when fear is such an unreasonable thing itself, is gonna help. And with that, on to

    mxe354,

    “rape culture” is a term that will, in my experience, immediately create defensive reactions, and, not being completely comfortable with most definitions of the term myself, I can understand that. As I explain in a comment in the thread I linked to above, the “rape culture” narrative implicates masculinity – and thus all men – either biologically or as a means of a social superstructure to oppress women. Add this to the fact that there is practically no discussion of men as rape victims or women as perpetrators of sexual violence, which means that sexual violence is something men have very likely only ever considered as part of the assumed perpetrator collective, not even neutrally. I would say that this narrative has been internalized to the degree where many feel the need to concentrate on the statistically improbable case of being accidentally accused.

  222. EG says:

    Except that fear is not inherently an unreasonable thing. The fear that most women have experienced of not being sure of their safety is a reasonable reaction to a world that is not very safe for women. The fear of a false rape accusation, when all the evidence demonstrates that women are made to suffer for making true accusations and that false accusations are exceedingly rare, is nothing more than the whining of people who have been socialized to think that they are entitled to being presumed right all the time. I have no sympathy for the marginal loss of privilege that women being sometimes able to get redress for rape through the legal system entails for them.

    And the idea of “rape culture” makes men feel uncomfortable because they feel they are implicated in it? Well, welcome to the world, gentlemen. How do they think living in a rape culture makes us feel? Many men are implicated in and complicit with rape culture, and they shouldn’t feel comfortable about that.

  223. Natalie says:

    Sam.

    wait what? I’m sorry but I am really not seeing how you are making the logically leap from rape culture to all men being born to oppression women. Are we looking at different definitions here or something?

    To me personally I believe that rape culture means that we live in a society were A. rape/sexual assault is super common and B. we (here I mean as a culture not necessarily you or I individually) either ignore that fact or flat out blame the victim/defend said rapist. Rape culture is what leads to sexual assault victims blaming themselves for the horrible thing that was done to them and there is great psychological damage done because of that. Could you please elaborate how the hell any of this equals all men = rapist???

  224. Natalie says:

    Also please please please listen to this biological =/= predetermined okay? Yes men do sometimes biologically dominate women because our bodies our biological, our mental processes, me typing on this keyboard is freakin biology (which is pretty awesome because science is awesome). So using “biology” as an excuse for behaviors or as some sort of magically thing that predetermines everything about our lives is super lazy and super unscientific.

    /end rant

  225. unacomplished says:

    you said that feminists believe that “fixing rape and rape culture is more important than addressing false accuser policy.” This is true. This is true because the number of false rape accusations is incredibly small. . .less than 3% of all rape accusations, and below the false accusation rate for many other types of crimes. But =oOn the other hand, millions and milions of both women and men are raped and suffer horrendous trauma, but and they talk to people about it they are not believed and shamed. So it’s clear why rape is a much worse problem in society than false rape accusations, both for women and for men.

    I didn’t argue the point, I just said it’s something most feminists believe, I made no comment as to its truthfulness.

    So you are saying the problem of women getting raped is analogous to the problem of “straight men” getting falsely accused of rape. But it’s not.

    Your right, that was a poor example on my part, and I would agree that equating rape with nothing else but other rapes is a pretty staunch feminist “rule”.

    No, you made a claim based on that claim.

    No I didn’t, I made a statement about where I think most feminists rank dudebro suicide when compared to other feminist issues.

    If your saying the amount of dudebro suicides has anything to do with that ranking then that’s fine but YOU made that claim, not me. I stated I thought the rank was low, I said nothing about WHY it’s ranked so.

    And if you didn’t mean what I’m saying you meant. . .I will ask you this: What the fuck did you mean, and why are you so bad at communicating your ideas?

    You are the only person I’ve had this much trouble communicating with. I have my suspicions as to why but it would be rude of me to ridicule you, and ultimately I can’t control how others listen, only how I speak. So I shall simply have to be diligent in my efforts to communicate more clearly to you in the future.

  226. unacomplished says:

    And is it possible for that statement to be generally true if you acknowledge that feminists have other concerns, priorities, perspectives, and philosophies than the ones encompassed by feminism?

    I don’t see why not, do most feminists not rank feminist ideals above other ideals they may or may not hold?

  227. Sam says:

    mxe354,

    most fears have only a very loose statistical background and are still real and as such become important.

    “Many men are implicated in and complicit with rape culture, and they shouldn’t feel comfortable about that.”

    well, that really depends on your definition of rape culture. And, yeah, most people don’t like to be painted with that brush. If you still want to paint them, go ahead, but I wouldn’t wait for them agreeing with you. And if the idea is to reduce male fear of false accusations so it becomes easier to address rape on a social level, that’s not the best idea in my book.

    Natalie,

    I didn’t say that, I said the term implicated men and masculinity in a way that usually causes a defensive reaction (which I understand).

  228. librarygoose says:

    do most feminists not rank feminist ideals above other ideals they may or may not hold?

    Feminism actually in no way interferes with or contradicts any other ideal I hold, in fact it dove tails nicely with everything else. I guess I’m lucky? And I really hold a lot of shit as a higher priority than stuff I don’t believe. Who doesn’t? Otherwise I would join the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.

  229. Natalie says:

    Sam actually this is what you said

    As I explain in a comment in the thread I linked to above, the “rape culture” narrative implicates masculinity – and thus all men – either biologically or as a means of a social superstructure to oppress women.

  230. Natalie says:

    you said, and i’m paraphrasing here. Rape culture says that masculinity and men = oppression of women because biology. And that makes dudes uncomfortable.

    I really do not think my comments are out of line and I wish you would explain your logic behind your statements.

  231. Natalie says:

    I guess I could reword the question. What the hell is you definition of rape culture?

  232. Natalie says:

    * your

    sorry sorry sorry

  233. Mxe354 says:

    @unaccomplished

    We shall have to agree to disagree, from what I’ve seen of the feminist majority, the idea that “we as feminists don’t care about hetero dudebros, because women’s and LGBT problems are are far worse”

    I haven’t heart a single feminist say that the problems of “hetero dudebros” don’t matter because women’s and LGBT problems are worse. Rather, they focus on the latter because they are much bigger problems. And as EG has pointed out, no one is just a feminist.

    I am reminded of a thread I lurked on here some time ago where somebody announced they had been a victim of a false rape accusation and the response was overwhelmingly “it doesn’t matter, you are an isolated incident if you’re even telling the truth, rape culture oppresses women systemically and that’s what you should care about if your a decent human being.”

    Judging by the response, I think that the person who claimed to have been falsely accused of rape was exaggerating the frequency of false accusations. Otherwise, the people who responded probably weren’t really paying attention to him or her. I have to see the thread myself, though. Anyway, they’re certainly right about the fact that false accusations of rape are rare and the fact that rape culture exists.

  234. Mxe354 says:

    @Natalie

    you [Sam] said, and i’m paraphrasing here. Rape culture says that masculinity and men = oppression of women because biology. And that makes dudes uncomfortable.

    Actually, he said the following: “…the “rape culture” narrative implicates masculinity – and thus all men – either biologically

    or

    as a means of a social superstructure to oppress women.”

  235. Mxe354 says:

    @Natalie
    Sam said, “…the ‘rape culture’ narrative implicates masculinity – and thus all men – either biologically or as a means of a social superstructure to oppress women.”

    He wasn’t only talking about biology, as far as I can tell.

  236. Mxe354 says:

    X_X what an awkward double post; I didn’t mean to put block quotes around “or”.

  237. jennygadget says:

    “I didn’t say that, I said the term implicated men and masculinity in a way that usually causes a defensive reaction (which I understand).”

    The term itself does not do this – neither its name nor its definition. It is the fact that men are less likely to question the idea that the default person is male (and otherwise like them) that causes them to read an indictment of culture as an indictment of them in particular.

    If you have internalized the idea that you are part of the in group, but fail to consciously recognize this, then when people that have different cultural markers from you criticize society, you often automatically jump to the idea that they are criticizing your group in particular rather than pointing the fingers at everyone – including themselves. And all for no other reason than because you don’t really see them as centered in the definition of “society” the way you see yourself as being so – and the way they see themselves as being central to culture as well.

    It’s a conundrum, to be sure. But refraining from damning culture for the things it deserves to be damned for is hardly going to cause them to rethink the idea that they are the center of it, so…

  238. Egalitarian says:

    “Cis men are not oppressed or disadvantaged because of their gender.”

    Men absolutely are oppressed because of their gender, for example, when they are targeted for atrocities, like in Srebrenica. The UN evacuated women, children and the elderly and left the “military-age” men to die, after which the men were massacred but the remaining women were not. You could say this is because women are viewed as weak, but it also because men’s lives are considered to be less valuable. It turns out the “military-age” men were in a more vulnerable position as they are the ones who were targeted.

    Military conscription similar, and you could argue that it is “class” based oppression but it is lower class men, not women, who are forced to fight in wars.

    “The reason male victims are not getting enough help is because of the very thing that feminists are fighting: the patriarchy.”

    When a man calls a battered women’s shelter and is referred to a batterers program (as if he is the abuser) or is laughed at, or when domestic violence websites use false statistics such as saying 98% of domestic violence victims are women, or speak about it as if only men are abusers, “patriarchal” views are reinforced, but it’s feminists who are doing it.

    In order to effectively fight against biased social views, it is necessary to examine the perspectives of all who are impacted by it, including men. Feminists often say men’s issues are discussed “everywhere” but that is only true for issues that conform to male stereotypes. That’s why it’s important to have books like this that discuss sexism against men, in addition to books that discuss sexism against women.

  239. Sam says:

    Natalie, jennygadget, mxe354,

    I think the definition (using this from Wikipedia – “Rape culture is a concept used to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone sexual violence.”) of rape culture is less of a problem in itself than through the way it is normally used in the gender discourse.

    Assuming that there will always be a certain degree of violence, it is reasonable to assume that there will always be a certain degree of sexual violence. But ‘rape-culture’ is implying the use of sexual violence (against women) as a control structure, and that is the case in some parts of the world (Mukhtar Mai’s story, for example, some cultures where rape is actually a male inititiation ritual), but I (probably contrary to you) don’t think that that’s the case in “the west” these days; I believe rape is very much problematized, which is why I believe there is so much male fear of false accusations that make it much more difficult to have a social debate about sexuality that could *actually* help reduce rape.

    And the definition of the term is less important than its usual application in gender/feminist and, as a consequence, mainstream, discourse, in my opinion. If you go to, say, the yesmeansyes Blog, and click “manliness” in the category list, you’ll get a list of posts almost entirely devoted to rape/rape culture/sexual violence issues. In the words of another commenter from the masculinity thread at Clarisse Thorn’s –

    Victorian morality tells us that male sexuality is a hideous, tainted thing, and that any [spontaneous] sexual contact is clearly rape; feminism tells us that rape is Very Bad and that rapists are Terrible, Terrible People, and that there are a myriad different kinds of rape that don’t involve explicit threat of violence, so it’s really easy to accidentally stray into rape. To put more briefly, it seems like the message we’ve “learned” from feminism is Men Are Bad, and layered it above Victorianism’s Men Are Gross.

    And (to get back to the original question) since that’s not a particularly nice self-concept to live with, I fully understand why most guys are instinctively defensive when confronted with the term, since it tends to increase their fear of being wrongly accused, and accordingly leads them to reinforce the negative stereotypes usually referred with “rape culture” as a way of protecting themselves.

    It *is* a conundrum, you’re right about that, jennygadget, but I do think that a much better conversation about this could be had if there was more feminist understanding for the perspective of those guys who fear to be accidentally and wrongly being painted with that brush. But that’s just my take.

  240. Nahida says:

    but it also because men’s lives are considered to be less valuable.

    No.

  241. Nahida says:

    It’s ONLY because we’re viewed as weak.

    They’ll kill us in other ways. At least men aren’t valued less than a fucking fetus. There are a MILLION ways women’s lives are viewed as less valuable, and that’s only scraping the surface. It’s not even considering the experiences of women of color, who aren’t considered so preciously dainty.

  242. Sam says:

    Nahida,

    not from a humanist ethical perspective, of course, but evolutionary, there’s really no way around the realization that men are the expendable sex.

  243. Nahida says:

    Good thing the people abandoning them aren’t motivated by the evolutionary perspective then.

  244. Caperton says:

    No, I didn’t say that, what I said was that feminists usually rank the concerns of dudebros below oppressed subgroups

    I can’t speak for anyone but me, so I’ll speak for me: I’m a big fan of men. I have a father, a brother, a grandfather, several uncles, cousins, a kind-of nephew, a boyfriend and a roommate (which is no small feat in a 2/1 house, believe me), and a number of friends who identify as men. They’re very, very important to me. I care about their health, safety, and happiness, and I put my energies toward causes that will help them.

    But for the most part, their issues–“men’s issues”–are the default. They’re taken care of as a matter of course, and any associated “women’s issues” are an add-on that will be dealt with if we have enough time afterward. I work toward universal health care, which will cover basically all of my brother’s needs until he dies. Then I have to work toward “women’s” health care, because health services directed at women are treated as an add-on to the default package–and not just abortion and birth control but even basics like cancer screening–so his girlfriend will have the same access. Does that mean I’m emphasizing women’s health needs? Sure–because for whatever reason, those needs aren’t seen as an integral part of health care policy in general.

    I push for better services to wounded servicepeople and drawdown of U.S. military forces as an aspect of foreign policy, which will protect my loved ones who are deployed and those who have come home. Then I have to push for protection for the women who are in the shit, because my friends who have wanted all their lives to serve their country aren’t going feel the benefit of exit strategies and scheduled withdrawal while they’re being raped by their fellow soldiers and then pressured to keep their mouths shut about it. Does that mean I’m emphasizing protection of women in the military? Sure–because for whatever reason, they aren’t seen as an integral part of overall troop safety.

    I fight for anti-bullying policies in schools, which will keep my nephew from getting his ass kicked while boys are in the process of “being boys.” Then I have to fight for schools to apply those policies to GLBTQ kids, since even when bullying is frowned upon some people will still support beatin’ the gay out of a non-gender-conforming kid. Does that mean I’m emphasizing the well-being of GLBTQ kids? Sure–because for whatever reason, their well-being isn’t seen as an integral part of school policy protecting kids.

    I blog about ads that portray men as sexist boors and women as sexy eye candy, that establish women as the child-raisers and the house-cleaners and men as housekeepingly incompetent, that sexualize geeky women and poke fun at artsy men, and that reinforce the gender roles that shoehorn men and women into lives they don’t want and contribute to general misery, and people tell me I take stuff too seriously and need to lighten up and get a sense of humor.

    As a woman, I’ve been raised all my life to take care of everyone else’s needs before I see to my own. But at some point, you get tired. After seeing to men’s needs as a part of the default package and then seeing to women’s needs as excluded from that package, I need to sit down and write a post about comic books and drink a beer before I get on to men’s needs that less directly intersect with my own. Maybe it says something about me as a person, or as a woman, or as a feminist–I don’t know. Maybe it means you’re absolutely right and I prioritize feminism above men’s issues. But I’m stuck with it. I only have so much time, and some of it has to go to staring vacantly into the middle distance while Firefly plays on Netflix in the background.

  245. thinksnake says:

    Caperton, I really have to say bravo to what you just wrote.

  246. Fat Steve says:

    It *is* a conundrum, you’re right about that, jennygadget, but I do think that a much better conversation about this could be had if there was more feminist understanding for the perspective of those guys who fear to be accidentally and wrongly being painted with that brush. But that’s just my take.

    @Sam

    I think a much better conversation could be had if you would shut the f up once in a while.

  247. Kristen J. says:

    It *is* a conundrum, you’re right about that, jennygadget, but I do think that a much better conversation about this could be had if there was more feminist understanding for the perspective of those guys who fear to be accidentally and wrongly being painted with that brush. But that’s just my take.

    Or maybe they’re defensive because they are worried that their behavior won’t standup to scrutiny. I mean given that repeated surveys indicate that about a third of men would commit rape if they thought they could get away with it, and given the prevalence of rape in our society, I think any dudebro who becomes “defensive” is either woefully uneducated or frightened that they would no longer “be able to get away with it.”

  248. Egalitarian says:

    “After seeing to men’s needs as a part of the default package and then seeing to women’s needs as excluded from that package. . .”

    Well, many men’s rights activists are people whose needs were not part of the “default package.” For example, men who were physically or sexually abused by women, either as children or adults, and laughed at when they tried to get help. They do not have the same perspective you do and they should be allowed to discuss the issues that affect them and other men outside of the framework of feminist theory.

  249. Sam says:

    Kristen J,

    no, that’s apparently not the case, as I think is shown quite clearly in this thread I linked to above –

    yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/talking-past-each-other

  250. Nahida says:

    They do not have the same perspective you do and they should be allowed to discuss the issues that affect them and other men outside of the framework of feminist theory.

    Except they don’t. MRAs think they’re systematically oppressed. By feminism.

  251. Nahida says:

    Amusing story! One time, an MRA complained about why a man doesn’t get a say in whether or not the woman he has impregnated can have an abortion. I told him it’s because he’s not the one pregnant, but if he’s willing to squeeze something the size of a baby out his ass after carrying it for nine months we might be able to make an arrangement. He then proceeded to assert that I was being abusive by shoving it in his face that women have it harder in the reproductive process.

  252. Nahida says:

    And THAT, is why men are afraid of false rape accusations. They would do that shit all the time.

  253. Nahida says:

    It’s kind of like how the American Nazi Party thinks that black people will come into full power and slaughter and enslave white people, citing a history of oppression against blacks by whites as a reason.

    No, honey. YOU did that. Remember?

  254. Kristen J. says:

    @Sam,

    What is not the case? Your link doesn’t demonstrate anything related to either the point that dudebros who become defensive are either uneducated or concerned about how their behavior would be judged under a different cultural standard.

  255. Mxe354 says:

    @Egalitarian

    Men absolutely are oppressed because of their gender, for example, when they are targeted for atrocities, like in Srebrenica. The UN evacuated women, children and the elderly and left the “military-age” men to die, after which the men were massacred but the remaining women were not. You could say this is because women are viewed as weak, but it also because men’s lives are considered to be less valuable. It turns out the “military-age” men were in a more vulnerable position as they are the ones who were targeted.

    It’s because men are expected to go to the front lines and defend the homeland, unlike women, the weak side of humanity. This instance of oppression is still patriarchal.

    When a man calls a battered women’s shelter and is referred to a batterers program (as if he is the abuser) or is laughed at, or when domestic violence websites use false statistics such as saying 98% of domestic violence victims are women, or speak about it as if only men are abusers, “patriarchal” views are reinforced, but it’s feminists who are doing it.

    I don’t know how widespread those phenomena are, but I’m honestly not surprised. The idea that a man can be abused, raped, etc. is still a new idea to many people, even those who hold progressive views. I’m not saying that they should be excused, though. All I know is that very few feminists say in theory that men can’t be abuse victims, or that male abuse victims don’t deserve help.

    In order to effectively fight against biased social views, it is necessary to examine the perspectives of all who are impacted by it, including men. Feminists often say men’s issues are discussed “everywhere” but that is only true for issues that conform to male stereotypes. That’s why it’s important to have books like this that discuss sexism against men, in addition to books that discuss sexism against women.

    Of course the perspectives of men should considered in regards to the particular oppression they face. But the term “second sexism” is nothing but ignorance of the fact that their oppression stems from the patriarchy.

    And no, the discussion of men’s issues is nearly ubiquitous. It’s not only about conformity to male stereotypes. I have no idea where you got that from.

  256. Mxe354 says:

    FYI, when I argue that the misandry we observe today is patriarchal, I’m not belittling the issue. Rather, I’m countering the claim that this is some non-patriarchal form of sexism that people like feminists have started.

  257. Sam says:

    Kristen J,

    I think it does – this part –

    The gist of it is that these young men evidenced an understanding of and even a preference for nuances and diplomatic communication to refuse sex, but then when discussing rape, reversed course and began to argue that anything the least bit ambiguous was unintelligible. They framed rape as largely a problem of miscommunication, and further framed the miscommunication as a problem with women not nowing how to say the right thing.

    That doesn’t square with the research. It doesn’t square with their own discussion of communication when they’re not talking about rape. And basically it’s just self-justifying bullshit. Yet Lisak’s research and others shows that the vast majority of these guys — seven or eight out of nine — probably do not rape. What gives? Why create a social framework where rape is accidental if they don’t have to cover their own asses?

    And the answer is, I think, what I mentioned in #242 above, to which you replied initially – it’s the fear of being painted with a broad brush, the (unjustified) identification with the collective perpetrators, and *that*, I believe is (partly) a consequence of the “rape culture” discourse as it usually happens, as I attempted to explain above.

  258. Kristen J. says:

    Nope that further supports my point that these dudebros do not want their actions judged by the standard they know to be ethical.

  259. jennygadget says:

    “But ‘rape-culture’ is implying the use of sexual violence (against women) as a control structure, and that is the case in some parts of the world…but I…don’t think that that’s the case in “the west” these days…which is why I believe there is so much male fear of false accusations that make it much more difficult to have a social debate about sexuality that could *actually* help reduce rape….

    And the definition of the term is less important than its usual application in gender/feminist and, as a consequence, mainstream, discourse, in my opinion.”

    Wrong, wrong, and also wrong.

    “But ‘rape-culture’ is implying the use of sexual violence (against women) as a control structure…”

    No, actually again, too much focus on people like you and not enough centering of the people that are not. Sexual violence is is used to control people that are not sufficiently male and/or threaten the status quo, sexual relations wise. Which is why it is used to threaten not only women, but also people who are queer, gender-queer, or just aren’t following gender norms enough that day. And that’s just to start.

    Cis-gendered women just happen to be the biggest and often most privileged of those groups and so we are the most often heard, which is why the focus is so often on us. Well, that and the deniers own blindness when it comes to people that are not cis-gendered, straight, etc. Plus the fact that focusing on cis-gendered women makes it easier to make shit gender essentialist arguments. And, as I said earlier, keep this a “me against you” binary competition for scarce resources, rather than acknowledging the vast complexities of the matter.

    “but I…don’t think that that’s the case in “the west” these days”

    Based on what evidence? Wishful thinking? Putting aside for the moment the overwhelming evidence that this is the case, even you seem to be acknowledging that it does happen in certain cultures, but that you simply think that “these days” – in order words, these moderns times, in which things have progressed – it does not happen any more over here. That by itself demonstrates bad logic and lack of understanding of how cultures and societies work. (also some creepy American/western exceptionalism.) Shit like that doesn’t just vanish that quickly.

    You also seem to be implying that discrimination needs to be extreme and overt and conscious to be real discrimination. You will forgive me if I find that logic so idiotic that I simply roll my eyes and repeatedly bang my head against a wall rather than walking you through that one.

    “which is why I believe there is so much male fear of false accusations”

    Yeah, no. What Kristin J said. Plus also, this is itself part and parcel of rape culture. It is used to cast rape accusers as vindictive and lying and possibly crazy, thus discouraging victims from coming forward and TPTB from prosecuting. It is also a way of whittling down and shifting the definition of rape so as to center it on the value of men and whether they are good or bad people, not on their actions and how they affect others.

    It is also an example of that much abused and hated quote from Dworkin. Part of what is happening is that we define sex as conquest. Rape is also a kind of conquest, one in which sex is the weapon. People then have a difficult time being sure what is sex and what is rape because we have defined sex in much the same way we have defined rape. Instead of erring on the side of caution of not having rape, we instead err on the side of caution of not accusing men of it, because we center men in mainstream discussions.

    “fear of false accusations that make it much more difficult to have a social debate about sexuality that could *actually* help reduce rape.”

    How could one possibly change the discussion so as not to make such people uncomfortable and while still discussing what needs to be done?

    Again, you just keep centering men too much. They are going to be uncomfortable. That’s the fucking nature of the conversation. This isn’t the kind of topic that makes people comfortable. Men or women. (do you think the trigger warnings are meant primarily for men?)

    “And the definition of the term is less important than its usual application in gender/feminist and, as a consequence, mainstream, discourse, in my opinion.”

    * dies laughing *

    seriously, whut?

    I mean, I think feminists have done much more simply by talking than most people give them credit for, but the shit ways that mainstream discourse discusses rape culture (a term they never actually use) has nothing to do with feminism and everything to do with their love of perpetuating the idea of a battle of the sexes – and refusing to acknowledge anyone else or any other models of looking at the problem.

    And going back to gender/feminist discourse… well, shockingly, men are not centered in feminist discourse, women are.

    By which, by the way, I do not mean that we center women’s needs but since men are the ones making the problems our focus is still on changing them. Which is what many men seem to think that means. Because they just can’t fucking wrap their heads around not being centered in everything.

    I totally get that you, and a lot of other men, seem to be under the impression that we argue these things primarily to change mens’ minds – and therefore if we are not changing yours or your friend’s me are doing it wrong. It’s just that, unlike you, I also get how completely wrong and skewed that perspective is.

    Again, go back to the idea that sexism is internalized and perpetuated by women too and you may possibly have some hope of starting to get why it does not fucking matter if the term “rape culture” gets your back up, because it clarifies and sheds light on things for me and many other women. Which is a good in and of itself, but which also, I feel the need to point out ,helps me make better arguments when I do venture into enemy territory, so to speak.

    Or, you know, when certain kinds of guys wander into feminists discussions and start saying shit that boils down to “but that makes men uncomfortable, and so they don’t listen to you, so it’s clearly not working.”

  260. roymacIII says:

    “Cis men are not oppressed or disadvantaged because of their gender.”

    Men absolutely are oppressed because of their gender, for example, when they are targeted for atrocities, like in Srebrenica. The UN evacuated women, children and the elderly and left the “military-age” men to die, after which the men were massacred but the remaining women were not. You could say this is because women are viewed as weak, but it also because men’s lives are considered to be less valuable. It turns out the “military-age” men were in a more vulnerable position as they are the ones who were targeted.

    That’s… not my understanding of how things went down. Yes, the majority of the victims were military-age men, but that wasn’t because the UN “left [them] to die” but because they were separated out from the other refugees by Serb forces. And it’s not like the women and children weren’t targeted for atrocities, either. While I’m generally loathe to use wikipedia articles as evidence, there’s plenty in the article describing the sorts of horrible abuses and attacks that women and children were subjected to (huge trigger warning for that link). It’s certainly possible that your description is more accurate than Wiki’s, but I’m not sure your explanation is accurate, either way. You’re spinning it as men are left behind because they’re seen as being worth less than women, but if men are being targeted for murder, you could just as easily say that they’re being seen as the larger threat to the attacking group (otherwise, why target them for murder?). You could also argue that it’s a view that women are weaker (and, thus, less able to defend themselves) that leads to their being evacuated first. In which case it’s not that men are less valuable that leads to their situation, but the belief that women are inferior.

    It’s all a lot of speculation and hypothesizing, though.

    Military conscription similar, and you could argue that it is “class” based oppression but it is lower class men, not women, who are forced to fight in wars.

    One could also point out that:
    a. Tons of feminists do oppose conscription.
    b. That military conscription is an example of men oppressing other men, since it’s precisely because women are viewed as men’s inferiors that women have traditionally been excluded from combat duties and conscription. It’s not because men’s lives are viewed as less valuable, but because men have traditionally viewed women as weak and overly emotional.

    Well, many men’s rights activists are people whose needs were not part of the “default package.” For example, men who were physically or sexually abused by women, either as children or adults, and laughed at when they tried to get help. They do not have the same perspective you do and they should be allowed to discuss the issues that affect them and other men outside of the framework of feminist theory.

    Who is stopping them?

  261. jennygadget says:

    “It’s not because men’s lives are viewed as less valuable, but because men have traditionally viewed women as weak and overly emotional. ”

    It’s also, like the whole boys’ reading scores thing, not about all men being seen as not valuable because they are men, but about certain men being seen as less valuable than the kind of men that are centered in our definition of people. This is what the riots chronicled in Gangs of New York were about, after all – not subscription per say, but that the rich could buy their way out of it.

    Even as recently as the last time the US had a draft, young men from wealthier families were more likely to have the option of dodging it by being in college or strings being pulled to put them in safer locations. That not being enough, but the illusion of choice and equality being important to maintain, this time they’ve gotten around that in part by refusing to do the draft and focusing instead on recruiting young men (and women!) with few to no options. Whose ranks are increased due to stagnating wages and the defunding of state sponsored higher education.

    To the extent that war sees young men’s lives as less valuable than women’s, that’s only true insofar as women tended to die in childbirth quite often in pre-industrial societies and so weren’t to be wasted in battle. (The fact that women are now allowed to join the US military has as much to do with childbirth not being as dangerous as it does feminism.) But that isn’t valuing women’s lives over mens’, that is seeing wombs as a resource. Women were expected to die young too, just differently.

    “FYI, when I argue that the misandry we observe today is patriarchal, I’m not belittling the issue. Rather, I’m countering the claim that this is some non-patriarchal form of sexism that people like feminists have started.”

    This. Exactly this. Patriarchy is not about men being in charge/valued above all others. It’s about some men being in charge/valued above all others. All these disadvantages certain men have because they are men are there because of the patriarchy, not because feminists fight against it.

  262. Schala says:

    All I know is that very few feminists say in theory that men can’t be abuse victims, or that male abuse victims don’t deserve help.

    Those DV shelters that refuse to service male victims? Feminist people are there, their advocacy, stats, and VAWA funding is what makes it possible for (cis female) victims to come forward.

    Tough luck if you’re a male victim. The Duluth Model doesn’t include you (unless the perp was male, but you still won’t have a shelter). If you’re a female victim of a female perpetrator, or a trans person, tough luck, you’re not in the theory.

    Inconvenient facts that the theory doesn’t explain (indeed can’t explain) are erased, denied. Rather than changing the theory to fit the facts, as the scientifical method would suggest. Thus patriarchy theory of male dominance (and only male dominance) becomes unfalsifiable, and those forgotten victims who don’t fit the narrative just become acceptable collateral damage in the furthering of a hurtful ideology that might wins points for the cause.

    You know where else feminists are? Vancouver Rape Relief. Kimberly Nixon rings a bell? Sheila Jeffreys talking about how male privilege and being a pilot made her unsuitable to counsel female rape victims, publically because she didn’t “live a girlhood”, privately “because she looked like a man”.

    That that Jeffreys of this world actually have a hand and a word into victim services, makes me very sad. We’re not closer to having male victims services if the people handling the services and its funding are radfems. Trans women are treated horribly by them because they’re considered male, too.

  263. Sam says:

    jennygadget,

    You will forgive me if I find that logic so idiotic that I simply roll my eyes and repeatedly bang my head against a wall rather
    than walking you through that one.

    of course, I just hope you didn’t hurt yourself too much…

    It is also an example of that much abused and hated quote from Dworkin. Part of what is happening is that we define sex as conquest. Rape is also a kind of conquest, one in which sex is the weapon. People then have a difficult time being sure what is sex and what is rape because we have defined sex in much the same way we have defined rape. Instead of erring on the side of caution of not having rape, we instead err on the side of caution of not accusing men of it, because we center men in mainstream discussions.

    I agree on the conquest thing and the problematic nature thereof, but we’re erring on the side of caution of not *convicting* because in dubio pro reo is the cornerstone of a human-rights-compatible legal system.

    And going back to gender/feminist discourse… well, shockingly, men are not centered in feminist discourse, women are.

    No kidding… but you’re making it really cosy for those who are willing to participate in an uncentered discussion, thanks for that ;)

    Or, you know, when certain kinds of guys wander into feminists discussions and start saying shit that boils down to “but that makes men uncomfortable, and so they don’t listen to you, so it’s clearly not working.”

    Yeah, well, I guess that depends on your definition of working. I think the discourse could be better, but if you don’t share that point of view, then well, things seem to be working for you. Good then.

  264. Mxe354 says:

    All I know is that very few feminists say in theory that men can’t be abuse victims, or that male abuse victims don’t deserve help.

    My statement still stands. Unless you can show me that most feminists think otherwise, I won’t change my position. I’m talking about theory here.

  265. Chiara says:

    I agree on the conquest thing and the problematic nature thereof, but we’re erring on the side of caution of not *convicting* because in dubio pro reo is the cornerstone of a human-rights-compatible legal system.

    jennygadget didn’t say the problem was that we err on the side of not convicting. She said that the problem was we err on the side of not accusing in the first place. Rape victims are encouraged, in my experience most often by other women, to not accuse or file charges against their rapist because ‘it’s not his fault, guys can’t think properly when they’re like that’ or ‘it’s not worth ruining his life over’ or ‘it was probably some miscommunication, did you lead him on?’

  266. jennygadget says:

    “but we’re erring on the side of caution of not *convicting* because in dubio pro reo is the cornerstone of a human-rights-compatible legal system.”

    Bullshit.

    I did not, after all, attend a rally in college because I was worried that a guy that the justice system had already acquitted had been able to keep his volunteer, unpaid position as party monitor (the job he was doing during the alleged assault), but because he had been accused of rape, the police were in the process of investigating, and yet TPTB did not see it as dangerous or problematic that he stay in a position of trust and authority while that was taking place, even though the accusation was that he had not only dishonored that position but taken advantage of that authority to commit the assault.

    The jury that my dad was on did not convict the defendant for attempted murder but not rape because the justice system errs on the side of innocent until proven guilty. The attempted murder the defendant was convicted for was done, in part, as an attempt to to cover up the rape. The rape that he was not convicted for. There is no logic to that that does does stem from dismissal of rape and women’s voices. Several of his fellow jurors, in fact, stated extremely sexist, slut-shaming, and victim-blaming opinions throughout the deliberation. This is not a fucking coincidence.

    Greg Haidl’s first trial did not end in a hung jury because it just so fucking hard to figure out if he and his friends had raped the teen girl he videotaped himself assaulting. Not when the fucking videotape still exists and is part of the evidence.

    These are not extreme cases. This shit happens every. damn. day.

  267. Schala says:

    My statement still stands. Unless you can show me that most feminists think otherwise, I won’t change my position. I’m talking about theory here.

    I only have to show that those feminists who are responsible for victim services and their funding allocation think otherwise.

    If you and I think male victims are worthy, we have no weight at all until we riot in the streets. Governments don’t vote on issues to help male victims, it’s simply not considered an electoral issue, they’d say they wouldn’t lose even one vote.

    So, if you’re rich, or you can attract hefty donations, you can start a private shelter or other male victim service…not the majority of people happen to be rich enough, or influential enough, to do so.

    Public fundings is considered a zero-sum however. By VAWA itself where services cannot be for male victims alone in a given shelter.

    I’ve heard the argument against co-ed shelters before. So if the shelters HAVE to be single sex, and they also HAVE to include women first…well guess who will never ever have services? Men and trans people in general. They might have batterer’s services like anger management though, what a relief for victims.

    And before I’m accused of being a man, I’m a trans woman. I didn’t call myself feminist precisely because I felt it unduly excluded men in theory and in practice, from victims services and more. I’m for real equality, where we treat all victims, not just the acceptable ones.

  268. Bagelsan says:

    So if the shelters HAVE to be single sex, and they also HAVE to include women first…well guess who will never ever have services?

    Many shelters set up a service like a hotel room for men. It’s not an insolvable problem.

  269. LotusBecca says:

    unaccomplised. . .I’m pretty sure everyone here–all the regular posters anyway–has trouble communicating with you and thinks you’re an idiot. It’s not just me. And believe me, the only reason I was even talking to you in the first place was for the benefit of lurkers who might read some of your ridiculous statements and take them at face value if they weren’t challenged. I have no intellectual need to engage with someone such as you who is either a complete idiot lacking in all self-awareness and/or a completely disengenious concern troll.

  270. jennygadget says:

    “My statement still stands. Unless you can show me that most feminists think otherwise, I won’t change my position. I’m talking about theory here.”

    I have to disagree and side with Schala here. I don’t think it means that feminism is the root problem, but it is willful and destructive blindness to not acknowledge that the leaders of feminism tend to be privileged in other ways themselves. And also have internalized patriarchal ideas themselves. And that this privilege and internalized sexism means perpetuating some of the harmful ideas that they claim to be against.

    Some of it is logistical combined with privilege – dealing with a patriarchal culture and government means that one can’t always use proper theory to argue your case in the mainstream.* And when compromises (appear to be) need to be made…guess who pays the price of the compromise.

    But some of it, especially when it comes to the specific examples Schala brought up, also have to do with buying into the gender binary and the idea of a battle of the sexes.

    I remember, after all, my first reaction to the question of if trans men and/or trans women should be allowed to attend my alma mater – an all women’s college. At the time, I came to the conclusion that it would be ok to accept as students women that were going to transition to men but hadn’t yet, or men that had already transitioned to women. I thought myself very open minded and fair at the time.

    Which is bullshit. That conclusion buys into all kinds of false ideas about what gender is and how it works. It ignores the reason we were founded as all women’s college in the first place and what transitioning and being transgendered is actually like and what it actually involves. It also therefore misses exactly why and how it’s both possible and best for us to re-examine our identity as a women’s** college – and that we can do that while still challenging the assumption that people = men, as we have done for close to two centuries now.

    I have no doubt that many feminists that are in the position of deciding how shelters will be run buy into these same ideas that I used to (and still do, but I’m working on that) and therefore miss some of the better solutions available – not to mention quite a lot of the harms they perpetuate.

    This doesn’t mean that the authors of the article quoted in the post are right. Because they are Schala are making different arguments, as far as I can tell. The first is the usual bullshit about how sexism is about men and women fighting – and now the women are winning so it’s time to focus on the men again, or something. And also, blaming feminism for the patriarchy.

    Schala’s point, as I read it, was more about the fact that mainstream feminism can still perpetuate the kyriarchy, and pretending otherwise – or even just ignoring it for a moment to make a point – is just another kind of privilege. Which I think is a very good point and is one that often gets lost in the discussion.

    *Which is why Sam’s complaint against the term “rape culture” is bugging so. This isn’t really a term that’s yet commonly used to explain sexism to mainstream America – because doing so would be clearly unproductive. So saying that most people won’t get it and may be offended instead is just kinda stating the obvious. And is therefore more than a little insulting, because it implies that we are too stupid to recognize the obvious.

    **I am still uncertain about the decision to change the language of the school from assuming female to being gender neutral because having a space in which my gender was the default was an eye opening experience. But I also recognize that this was a privilege that partly came from identifying as one of the two recognized binaries to begin with. So I’m working on that.

  271. Schala says:

    Many shelters set up a service like a hotel room for men. It’s not an insolvable problem.

    Why is it acceptable as a solution for men but not women? Why not everyone have hotel rooms? Or we could just allow shelters for men to also receive funding. Make it truly gender-neutral as some people claim it already is.

    I’ve seen many claiming it was a non-problem because female on male violence just doesn’t happen even a tiny portion of the time that male on female violence happens, and that male victims are rich enough and strong enough not to have financial or fear problems. Patriarchal stereotypes if I heard any.

  272. Mxe354 says:

    @jennygadget

    I have to disagree and side with Schala here. I don’t think it means that feminism is the root problem, but it is willful and destructive blindness to not acknowledge that the leaders of feminism tend to be privileged in other ways themselves. And also have internalized patriarchal ideas themselves. And that this privilege and internalized sexism means perpetuating some of the harmful ideas that they claim to be against.

    I get what you mean. I’ll have to agree as well.

  273. unacomplished says:

    And believe me, the only reason I was even talking to you in the first place was for the benefit of lurkers who might read some of your ridiculous statements and take them at face value if they weren’t challenged.

    Well to those lurkers I would like to say “my statements were only meant to be taken at face value, I had no other discreet message.”

  274. Mxe354 says:

    @Schala

    I didn’t call myself feminist precisely because I felt it unduly excluded men in theory and in practice, from victims services and more. I’m for real equality, where we treat all victims, not just the acceptable ones.

    I don’t think it’s as exclusionary as you imply. As jennygadget said, the main problem is the privilege of mainstream feminists. In other words, it’s mostly a matter of practice, not theory.

  275. anon this time says:

    One data point about that Duluth Model.

    When I received counseling as a male domestic violence victim, whose abuser was a woman, the counselor (also a woman) started out showing me the Duluth Model chart thing. About the first thing she said was to acknowledge that the Model uses totally gendered language and that she hoped I can just let go of that and see how well it matches my experiences as a victim regardless.

    At least in my case the counseling establishment (a very prominent, mainstream organization) recognized that domestic violence doesn’t always happen in some kind of prescribed gender-locked man-abuses-woman model. It wasn’t a struggle to get them to see it. I simply made the appointment and told my story and the counselor accepted it.

    So I’m not seeing this huge anti-male bias in what you’d consider a mainstream pro-feminist institution. They were cool about it. They got it.

  276. Mxe354 says:

    I’ve heard the argument against co-ed shelters before. So if the shelters HAVE to be single sex, and they also HAVE to include women first…well guess who will never ever have services? Men and trans people in general. They might have batterer’s services like anger management though, what a relief for victims.

    I do support the idea of single sex shelters, but I don’t think that women should be included first. I don’t even know why one would want to do that in the first place. Maybe I’m just being short-sighted, but ATM I simply don’t see the reason.

  277. Mxe354 says:

    Oh, and just to clarify, by single sex shelters I’m talking about non-cissexist ones.

  278. Schala says:

    I do support the idea of single sex shelters, but I don’t think that women should be included first. I don’t even know why one would want to do that in the first place. Maybe I’m just being short-sighted, but ATM I simply don’t see the reason.

    I remember reading pretty clearly that shelters and organism funded by VAWA could not fund stuff just for men or primarily for men. It had to be secondarily for men. So even if you have men ready to do the grassroots work, and to even do volunteering stuff for it, they’re not eligible to the funding.

    This is also a problem in Canada, even without an explicit law like VAWA. Services that are for both male and female victims might be cut by some people higher up with an ideology, unless they become female only. Daran (a blogger of Feminist Critics) has experienced that himself when he worked or volunteered for such an organization. He had support at the activism level (other shelters saying they shouldn’t be disqualified from funding for servicing both sexes), but not enough to sway the grants people higher up.

    I’d like to ask who has put radfems in charge of Vancouver Rape Relief though. I’m a Canadian, and I can’t abide by the argument they used to discriminate openly against Kimberly Nixon. That they have the right to choose *which kind* of women can be employed by them (on top of having the legal right to exclude men due to an exemption to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms due to special org status). This was granted in court in 2007.

    Note that Ms Nixon is legally female, so they couldn’t just say they want to exclude males…but that’s what the Jeffreys and co there wanted to say (their site has had posts and diatribes about trans women being evil oppressors, and oh-so-male, thus oh-so-privileged, and somehow unsuited to work there due to that**).

    *Transphobia for Jeffreys’s “type” of radfem is very much seeped into hatred of all things deemed male. So it can’t be said not to be misandrous.

    I consider my fight against transphobia and misandry to be linked, as I see them used at the same time a lot. If someone knows I’m trans, they won’t mistreat me out of a sense that women are inferior, but that I am, because I’m “really a guy”. 5 minutes ago they were treating me decently. They don’t hate men, they hate men who “pretend to be women”, thus usurping a certain cherished status in the mind of some (both men and women, usually more right-wing), enough to warrant legal transphobia (because toilets and trans women makes pedophiles didn’t you know?), and also violence.

    I consider it simultaneously gender-policing (males can’t want to be feminine, regardless of how feminine the target actually is), sex discrimination (were I born with a vagina, they wouldn’t care), misandry (as I’m a trans woman and they don’t object to the female part, only to my claim to it) and transphobia, some would say trans-misogyny (they don’t target trans men similarly).

    Given my only place of post-transition employment was extremely liberal, incidents were few. But one stood out, where one made a show of using my then-legal (but not usual) name, as if it was an insult, and “fighting words”.

    **Note that they won’t ban butch women of working or volunteering there, or force them to fem-themselves up to look feminine enough not to trigger victims for there. So the claim that a trans woman that looks somewhat masculine could be triggering, could technically bar the door to hundreds of thousands of butch women who happen to have been masculinized more than average due to genetics.

  279. EG says:

    So even if you have men ready to do the grassroots work, and to even do volunteering stuff for it, they’re not eligible to the funding.

    Interestingly, that was also the case for women who wanted to set up domestic violence shelters during the early days. Men are free to do what they did.

  280. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Interestingly, that was also the case for women who wanted to set up domestic violence shelters during the early days. Men are free to do what they did.

    But it’s our fucking job to do all the footwork and heavy lifting for men, EG, have you forgotten?

    Women are never ever ever never ever allowed to focus soley on themselves, ever. And if they do, you can be sure that male privilege will try and put a stop to it with every shaming tactic in the MP arsenal. You hate men!! Selfish!! Destroyer of the world!!

    Never stops.

    It’s the same when POC dare to focus on their own issues. White Privilege rears it’s ugly head. You hate white people!! You hate white women!! (if I focus on NA issues)

    My response to both- Your Mammy issues are not mine and are not my problem.

  281. Donna L says:

    Schala, I do understand where you’re coming from, and I’m sure you’re a more generous person than I am, but the idea of conflating the exclusion of trans women from domestic violence centers with the exclusion of men from them makes me extremely uncomfortable, for obvious reasons. They aren’t the same fight, and any suggestion that they’re closely related simply invites the contention that you’re admitting that trans women are really men. Which they aren’t. There should be no need to change the definition of women’s domestic violence centers in order to include trans women.

    And I agree with you that the court decision in Canada saying it’s OK to exclude trans women was disgusting.

  282. Alara Rogers says:

    The most fundamentally obvious reason to exclude cis men from women’s DV shelters doesn’t apply to trans men *or* women — the vast majority of domestic abusers are cis men, and allowing cis men into the same shelters as women opens the door for abusers to trick their way into the shelter that their victim is staying in.

    While it is not impossible for cis women, trans women or trans men to commit domestic abuse, and as it currently stands a cis lesbian victim with a cis lesbian abuser is very much at risk for this particular stunt, the fact is that the numbers suggests that the majority of abused people are in a different category than the majority of abusers, and the best way to keep the abused people safe from the abusers, in the whole, is to keep people belonging to the two categories segregated. Trans people do not, on the whole, commit DV at nearly the rates that cis men do, but they are very much in danger of being victimized, and I would argue that on that basis, any trans person should be admitted to a DV shelter regardless of their gender.

    However, this does not mean we don’t need shelters for men. I actually think that’s crucial. But I think it’s going to be very hard to accomplish, because MEN HAVE CONTEMPT FOR MALE VICTIMS. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man say that another man couldn’t be abused by a woman because women are weaker, or that a male rape victim enjoyed being gang-raped by women at knifepoint, or that a man who is abused by a woman is a “pussy.” The people who are likely to have sympathy for a male DV victim are women… but his abuser is also likely to be a woman, so theoretically he would be safer in an environment that his abuser can’t get admittance to.

    What I see is that a lot of women have tremendous sympathy for male DV victims, because women are trained to do sympathy in general and for men in particular and because women want to believe that men are fundamentally like us. Sure, there may be some who are cruel and dismissive of male victims, but I think most people who are assholes to male DV victims are other men, not women, at least in my experience.

    Men are not going to step up to the plate, admit that men can be victims, and demand that male victims be given services until men, in general, stop policing each other’s masculinity with violence. As long as being a “pussy” means you deserved what you got and no one should feel sorry for you, men, in general, will not stand up for other men who were victimized by anyone, let alone women. And as long as men pretty much run the world, male victims will need men to have sympathy for them in order to be given help… which they won’t. Male victims are in the unfortunate position of needing help from women because men won’t help them, even though it was women who may have victimized them.

  283. Kristen J. says:

    @Alara,

    That’s just silly. Men shouldn’t be responsible for helping end the harm caused the patriarchy…that’s women’s work (which explains the pay). And if men are being harmed by the patriarchy then women are shirking their responsibilities…you know the responsibility to care for the needs of men.

  284. Schala says:

    There should be no need to change the definition of women’s domestic violence centers in order to include trans women.

    If my boyfriend or brother or father is battered, I should tell him, tough luck, you should have been born with vagina, or organized shelters for male victims yourself before you needed them?

    I think that shelters and services for victims should include everyone, no partisanship, no stupidity, no ideology, just all-out compassion for people who need help so that they receive it. So I will fight for male victims because as someone who knows oh-so-much how I could have fallen through the cracks had I not been trans, I want to do my part for those boys and men who might not be trans, but sure to suffer.

    It wasn’t even about being feminine. I’m not that feminine really. If you compare me to a magazine model, I outright look butch, because I don’t arbor face paint every day, or think fashion is the reason I breathe. Thus I look like I’m wearing clothing (and no wearing make-up) for how practical and comfortable it is, weird huh? I just happen to give a feminine vibe because I’m generally shy and well, I am feminine body-language wise, regardless of what I might like (it’s really unconscious).

    I still am seen as female much of the time. And don’t worry much about it as long as I’m not alone (then I have massive social anxiety). But why would I deny this compassion to men just because “I got mine, I can be seen as cis enough to get treatment, now suck it”. I want treatment, therapy and services to be victim-focused, not sex-divided. I’ve been raised to be compassionate about humans overall. I see no reason to apply an artificial drought tactics out of some ideological reason.

    In fact I see no reason to be in favor of an in-group and against out-groups, but that might be my aspieness talking. Shrinks consider this “undue fairness” to be a deficit, because we don’t “punish people enough” for being hostile to us (and believe me, they have been hostile).

    If I was eye for an eye, I would have destroyed a school or two. But I’m not like that, I’ll never be, even if I ever ended up super cynical about humanity as a whole. The meek will inherit the Earth he said…well not during their lifetimes. Aspie are more or less naturally meek. Faux-pas they make are usually due to not knowing it’s even one. Not a desire to punish people.

  285. EG says:

    If my boyfriend or brother or father is battered, I should tell him, tough luck, you should have been born with vagina, or organized shelters for male victims yourself before you needed them?

    Are you suggesting that what you should be able to say is fortunately, the ladies have spent years and effort and money to create shelters for you to use, even though your group did jackshit to help?

    If it’s someone you know and care for, you should give them all the help you can. That’s what I would do. And if you want shelters for male victims, you should start organizing them.

  286. Donna L says:

    Schala, we’re going to have to agree to disagree about this. If my son, God forbid, were ever a victim of domestic violence, and I couldn’t help him find a shelter for gay men or a gender-neutral shelter that would take him, I would do what was necessary to shelter him myself.* Not try to force a women’s shelter to take him.

    Do you not understand the reasons for women’s shelters? Do you not see how what you’re advocating actually hurts trans women?

    * And to have his abuser thrown in the East River.

  287. matlun says:

    Are you suggesting that what you should be able to say is fortunately, the ladies have spent years and effort and money to create shelters for you to use, even though your group did jackshit to help?

    Describing the whole “your group” concept as an actor reeks of identity politics and unfair exclusion. Using large groups in societal analysis can be useful to understand power structures etc, but It is very problematic if you start to see people as collectively responsible for the actions of the group. This hypothetical male DV victim would be no more responsible for the lack of male shelters than you just because of his gender.

  288. matlun says:

    @Donna L

    There should be no need to change the definition of women’s domestic violence centers in order to include trans women.

    There certainly is no need. The exclusion in this case was a decision taken by this specific organisation, and the basis for it was explicitly their anti-trans radfem ideology.

    At least according to old news reporting the majority of BC’s shelters do not have a problem with trans women.

    And I agree with you that the court decision in Canada saying it’s OK to exclude trans women was disgusting.

    Perhaps, but to me it seems to be correct under the law (IANAL). The law is generally written so that the same exception that gives women shelters the right to discriminate against men also gives this specific organisation the right to discriminate against trans women.

    Which illustrates that writing a law so that it perfectly manages to distinguish between good and bad discrimination is not an easy task.

  289. Schala says:

    Are you suggesting that what you should be able to say is fortunately, the ladies have spent years and effort and money to create shelters for you to use, even though your group did jackshit to help?

    My group is what? I don’t do identity politics. I don’t take credit, or blame, for something that someone else did, in all of history.

    Right now those shelters, wether they are in Canada or the US, are government financed. There is opposition to funding going to shelters for male victims. This opposition often takes the form of patriarchal gender enforcement, of the supposition that men are invincible and invulnerable and never in need of help (a pretty big catch-22 if you’re not: If you’re in need of services and male, it just proves you’re not worth it to patriarchy).

    “Do you not understand the reasons for women’s shelters? Do you not see how what you’re advocating actually hurts trans women? ”

    For ONLY women’s shelters? Nah, I don’t see the reason. We should protect and help victims, not just the politically acceptable ones. Patriarchy says women are weak and helpless and victims a lot. Patriarchy also says it doesn’t happen to men, because they’re strong…or they had it coming. Building VAWA and shelter funding based upon a patriarchal notion of protecting women more makes me sick. Taunting people who can’t get funding because they happen to not attract any sympathy from the public is even more low.

    Oh, and asking me to host anyone is like asking the homeless to throw a big party. I also can’t fund a private shelter. I’m on welfare, I don’t have a lot of disposable income.

  290. Sam says:

    EG,

    this is a bit meta, and not related to actual subject with which I am not familiar –

    Are you suggesting that what you should be able to say is fortunately, the ladies have spent years and effort and money to create shelters for you to use, even though your group did jackshit to help?

    If it’s someone you know and care for, you should give them all the help you can. That’s what I would do. And if you want shelters for male victims, you should start organizing them.

    This reminds me of the conversation with jennygadget above, and, to me, it sums up a lot of feminist conversations with men, saying:

    We’ve put a gender discourse in place, and we’d like you (men) to be a part, but *not* on equal footing, as we feel all the rest of the world is centered on you. We’re not interested in your input if it challenges this position. Even though “equality” is a fundamental belief we hold, that’s different here, because we don’t want to risk losing the hegemony we have gained over the gender discourse by being there a couple of decades before you. It’s not that we don’t realize that this is similar to the way we feel women’s issues are treated in the “mainstream”, but we don’t think we can have a discourse that is based on actual equality as long as there is patriarchy (for which there is no actual test, so just trust us, we know (as we have feminist epistemology)). And we also feel that it’s good you guys learn how things feel when you’re not treated equally and can’t do anything about it, it’s part of an educational package, if you will. And since we don’t think believe that positive reinforcement is a good idea when acceptance should be intrinsic, we don’t offer any cookies or nookie for your accptance of our beliefs. If you don’t accept our axiomatic structure then do your own thing, which will likely be discredited by us for not accepting it.

  291. EG says:

    we don’t want to risk losing the hegemony we have gained over the gender discourse by being there a couple of decades before you.

    Feminists have hegemony over gender discourse? If only. A cursory glance at at any section of the media will tell you that this isn’t so; further, feminists were not discussing gender “a couple of decades” before men. Feminists have been fighting misogynist rhetoric, its effects, and the men who benefit from it for hundreds and hundreds of years. And now we’re supposed to say “oh, yes, gentlemen, please tell us your thoughts”? Because what, we have so many reasons to give non-feminist men the benefit of the doubt on these issues?

    we don’t think we can have a discourse that is based on actual equality as long as there is patriarchy (for which there is no actual test, so just trust us, we know

    Really? No actual test? Like…political representation? Or political attempts to control and regulate our bodies? Or rape and domestic violence and how these things get handled by the legal system and portrayed by the media? Or wage gaps? It’s all just “feminist epistemology”?

    Gee, why wouldn’t we think a man who advances this argument is operating in good faith?

    And since we don’t think believe that positive reinforcement is a good idea when acceptance should be intrinsic, we don’t offer any cookies or nookie for your accptance of our beliefs.

    I mean, if we don’t put out, what reward could there possibly be in thinking critically about male privilege? It’s not like we actually ever interact with feminist men in a meaningful, thoughtful way, as equals or anything. What would the point of that be? The only true positive reinforcement we could offer would be vagina.

    If you don’t accept our axiomatic structure then do your own thing, which will likely be discredited by us for not accepting it.

    Yes, that has totally been the feminist response to men’s attempts to build shelters for male victims of violence, domestic and otherwise. That has also been the feminist response to the centers and policies developed by public colleges and community colleges to engage young black men and keep them from dropping out. And that has also been the feminist response to anti-war activism that has the saving of soldiers’ lives as part of its mission. To say nothing of the feminist response to critiques of the prison-industrial complex. Well spotted.

  292. gratuitous_violet says:

    I know, Sam, women have all the power. There’s even an all-female cheesemaking company here in Northern California; even though it’ll be oppressing you, you’ll still be able to get some tasty Cowgirl Red Hawk to go along with that whine.

    Also, I should immediately go inform all the pomo dudes at my undergrad of this hegemonic grip feminists apparently have on gender discourse. I may have stayed in the Gender Studies department had I known I was entitled to tell them to shut their traps and obey the feminist epistemological dogma!

  293. Sam says:

    EG,

    Feminists have hegemony over gender discourse? If only. A cursory glance at at any section of the media will tell you that this isn’t so;

    I don’t think the media is engaging in gender discourse, that’s why I contrasted it with the mainstream, although I do believe that the intelligent mainstream is largely based on feminist gender discourse. So, yeah, my perception may be biased by excluding easily identifiable bollocks from “gender discourse”.

    And now we’re supposed to say “oh, yes, gentlemen, please tell us your thoughts”? Because what, we have so many reasons to give non-feminist men the benefit of the doubt on these issues?

    You’re not supposed to do anything. I was explaining how I perceive feminist discourse. To me it is saying what you are saying here as well: “Feminism is about gender equality, but not when it comes to discussing it here.” I’m not saying there’s no (possibly good) reasons for that approach, I’m merely stating how I perceive it and why I think it’s not the best way to create an actually inclusive gender discourse. Again, jennygadget seems to be ok with the degree of antagonism currently involved in these debates, and so may you. I think it’s unnecessary and unhelpful.

    Really? No actual test? Like…political representation? Or political attempts to control and regulate our bodies? Or rape and domestic violence and how these things get handled by the legal system and portrayed by the media? Or wage gaps? It’s all just “feminist epistemology”?

    You’re mixing up observable problematic phenomena with their ideological classification. The epistemological problem only refers to the latter.

    I mean, if we don’t put out, what reward could there possibly be in thinking critically about male privilege? It’s not like we actually ever interact with feminist men in a meaningful, thoughtful way, as equals or anything. What would the point of that be? The only true positive reinforcement we could offer would be vagina.

    Yeah, sorry, that came out the wrong way, was too excited about the rhyming of cookie and nookie… And privilege can be a useful concept in its own right, but still, a lot of these debates really feel like – you’re doing the right thing by thinking about gender, by looking at your position and critically questioning things, now for that we’re gonna insult you and call you names, because we’re thinking you’re only doing it for cookies and nookie, once you actually crawl out of your lurker whole and let us know what you think. Interestingly, that is an *ONLINE* phenomenon. It is not the case when talking with feminists in real life. It’s really odd, but my experience is exactly what you say above – in real life, feminists I meet regularly engage with men in equal, thoughtful ways, actually value what they have to say about the phenomena under discussion, even when they disagree, and that disagreement can be amicable. Online, that kind of discourse is a *rare*, valuable exception. I have my thoughts on why that is, and it has more to do with online group dynamics than with feminism, but it’s still worth noting, as it is appears to me that these kinds of problems should be of bigger concern for a justice movement than for other kinds of online debate.

    And to your third point, feminism has done a lot of good things for men, but it is not my experience that it is supportive of men enganging in gender discourse that is not based on accptance of feminist axioms.

  294. jennygadget says:

    “This reminds me of the conversation with jennygadget above, and, to me, it sums up a lot of feminist conversations with men”

    O.o

    well, it’s nice to know you have been listening.

    You do know it is possible to not have a center, yes? And that explaining “no, sorry, we are talking about this now.” is not the same as “we don’t want to listen to you bc you are a MAN” yes?

    (well, clearly not.)

  295. Mxe354 says:

    FFS, Sam,

    We’ve put a gender discourse in place, and we’d like you (men) to be a part, but *not* on equal footing, as we feel all the rest of the world is centered on you.

    No one focuses on women’s issues because the world is centered around men. Feminists focus on women’s issues simply because they need more attention. A lot of people don’t give a shit about numerous (though not all) concerns of women.

    We’re not interested in your input if it challenges this position.

    We usually say that when, you know, their input is fucking wrong. Not because we want to maintain hegemony.

    we don’t think we can have a discourse that is based on actual equality as long as there is patriarchy (for which there is no actual test, so just trust us, we know (as we have feminist epistemology)).

    >assuming that there is no way to check for patriarchy
    >assuming that all feminists espouse standpoint epistemology
    Yeah…no.

    And we also feel that it’s good you guys learn how things feel when you’re not treated equally and can’t do anything about it, it’s part of an educational package, if you will.

    I have literally never heard a single feminist talk about making men feel oppressed as part of some “educational package.” Not even in different words.

    And since we don’t think believe that positive reinforcement is a good idea when acceptance should be intrinsic, we don’t offer any cookies or nookie for your accptance of our beliefs.

    Yes, because giving people rewards for espousing certain beliefs is beyond silly. And the idea of rewarding a man for embracing feminism by having sex with him is just…ugh. Talk about a way of keeping the patriarchy alive.

    If you don’t accept our axiomatic structure then do your own thing, which will likely be discredited by us for not accepting it.

    >discredited by us for not accepting it
    There’s usually, you know, a reason for not accepting it that has nothing to do with the mere act of acceptance.

  296. Sam says:

    A reply to EG is in moderation.

  297. jennygadget says:

    “No one focuses on women’s issues because the world is centered around men. ”

    I get the distinct impression that Sam thinks that this is kindergarten, and that what we are trying to is make him wait his turn. And he thinks that what we really don’t understand is that it is his turn! it is!

    “A reply to EG is in moderation.

    * dies laughing *

    um, thanks? We totally needed to be kept abreast of that development, I guess.

    (impatient much?)

  298. Mxe354 says:

    You [EG] are mixing up observable problematic phenomena with their ideological classification. The epistemological problem only refers to the latter.

    So, are you saying that it’s impossible to tell whether the phenomena she listed are instances of patriarchy?

  299. jennygadget says:

    “So, are you saying that it’s impossible to tell whether the phenomena she listed are instances of patriarchy?”

    I think he’s saying that he doesn’t understand how classification works. Maybe he thinks that classifications are supposed to come on high, not from observation?

  300. cherrybomb says:

    @Sam– That’s right, no cookies or nookie for agreeing with me. If you want cookies, you need to be my son or his friend, and you need to have finished all your dinner and cleaned up the mess you made in the living room. That’s the only time I give cookies as rewards. To get nookie as a reward you’d have to be…. Brown-nosing someone else, because I don’t give nookie as a reward. I only give nookie when I’m in the mood to give nookie and have a partner equally willing to give me nookie.

    (Yeah, I saw where you said you didn’t reeeeaaalllly mean sex should be a reward. I just don’t buy it, because why else would you have brought it up in the first place? Especially when on this very thread there was already a convo about men “deserving” sex?)

  301. Schala says:

    The most fundamentally obvious reason to exclude cis men from women’s DV shelters doesn’t apply to trans men *or* women — the vast majority of domestic abusers are cis men, and allowing cis men into the same shelters as women opens the door for abusers to trick their way into the shelter that their victim is staying in.

    Studies are disagreeing with you. Male victims represents a significant proportion of overall victims. Not 50%, but not the tiny 5% some claim it is. Even if we believed the very skewed arrest rates, its 15%. They have 15% of shelters? 15% of funds? Nope.

    The proportion that cis men represent as victims is 35-50% of victims. Gay men represent a very small minority of victims, but hey, they got some very specialized shelters some places. They probably don’t even get VAWA funding, but are funded by LGBT orgs.

    Co-ed shelters, like co-ed bathrooms, should exist because the whole “perverts/criminals/abusers/evil people are the other sex (I’ll never use opposite, they’re not), so we’re fine that way” gives a false sense of security, like condoms everywhere, circumcision in Africa and bike helmets for cyclists. Which leads to intra-sex abuse happening in shelters, because people think it won’t. It also leads to over-exoticization of the other sex (which increases objectification), because some people are afraid that heterosexual consensual sex acts are going to happen otherwise in those places.

    Sexual abuse will happen regardless of the victim’s sex or the perpetrator’s sex. Same-sex sexual abuse is awfully common. Just look at war-torn African countries where men are sexually mutilated…and refused rape relief services in the name of servicing only women. And their wives leave them because they’ve been emasculated.

    Sexual abuse is endemic to prisons. Mostly by staff, too. Either their actions (they’re the abusers), or their inactions (they let it happen with impunity).

    Separating them by sex didn’t do that much good. Because then using their mind to have enough surveillance wasn’t seen as necessary. Like in the radfem post-patriarchal utopia of lesbian bliss where no violence sexual or otherwise occurs, because that’s just so male you see…using their heads they’d see that maleness isn’t the cause.

    Claiming you’re “fighting against DV” and only offering shelters for women and anger management treatments for men…is not fixing the problem. It’s doing the patriarchy-approved protection of women and punishing of men…and calling the problem taken care of (thus preventing men from claiming funding, as grants-people will say that feminist has taken care of the problem, men are whining and it’s all a non-issue).

  302. Natalie says:

    Just look at war-torn African countries where men are sexually mutilated…and refused rape relief services in the name of servicing only women. And their wives leave them because they’ve been emasculated.

    Uh oh ladies looks like there is a problem in Africa, we better drop everything here and get right on that shit! In all seriousness there also is a huge problem in Africa of women who are raped as a result of war and their husbands see them as “unclean” and leave them as a result. Just sayin its not like African men are the only ones being victimized and in both instances I believe patriachy is the real problem, not teh feministz.

    Also this

    Claiming you’re “fighting against DV” and only offering shelters for women and anger management treatments for men…is not fixing the problem.

    Who exactly are you talking about here? Are there any blog posters here who have opened D.V. shelters here and refused offer services/referals to men who have been victimized? Honestly I don’t think anyone on this thread has said: Male victims of abuse: fuck’em! We only care about women victims!

  303. Mxe354 says:

    I think that, as long as abuse is tied to patriarchal norms, shelters ought to be segregated in a particular way: an abuse victim who is, for example, female should be in a female only shelter if her abuser was male. In other words, abuse victims should go to shelters that include only the sex that is the opposite of that of the abuser. The reason I am suggesting this is that I’ve heard that many abuse victims are scared around being with people whose sex is that of their abuser.

    Of course, I could be missing a few things here, but at the moment I think that this is a good reason to segregate shelters. Excuse me if I sound insensitive or short-sighted in this post.

  304. Schala says:

    Just sayin its not like African men are the only ones being victimized and in both instances I believe patriachy is the real problem, not teh feministz.

    Nah, the problem is orgs that threaten the UN to NOT treat male victims at all, or remove their funding.

    The theory that says that rape is a means of male control of females (radfem theory, circa 1970, still in usage today) just makes it impossible to recognize female perpetration and male victimhood, however. Heck just talk about rape culture.

    Rape culture is what makes prison rape jokes be jokes. Only applies to guys, too. Don’t drop the soap isn’t about woman-on-woman prison rape. Women might be told to dress less slutty or they had it coming. Men had it coming regardless of what they did – the only thing they could do to not be victim-blamed is…not be raped. They also might be high-fived for “scoring” on their 20-years-older teacher who got them booze and weed while having sex with them for years while they were 14. No place for being hurt. If they’re hurt, they’re not really men, what a filter heh? Because all men want sex with females, anytime, anywhere, in any circumstances (including forced while unconscious, at gunpoint, or any other way you can think of).

    “Who exactly are you talking about here? Are there any blog posters here who have opened D.V. shelters here and refused offer services/referals to men who have been victimized? Honestly I don’t think anyone on this thread has said: Male victims of abuse: fuck’em! We only care about women victims!”

    Ohh a strawman! I’m talking specifically about feminists responsible for shelters and for funding for said shelters, no one else. If there’s some in this thread, it’s a coincidence. I don’t need to address people in this thread.

    Do you address patriarchy itself when you have grievances? Have a direct line with the most powerful people on the planet to explain they should do something? I don’t, you don’t. We explain stuff on blog-paper.

    Don’t need to say that feminism is responsible for X for X to be meaningful.

    We should fix X because without fixing X, we won’t ever reach equality between the sexes. Not because X was caused by John or Jack. Who cares about the cause?

    Fixing the wage gap will involve changing parental leave so that it’s completely gender-neutral, removing the expectation of providership from men and teaching the new cohort of kids that raising kids and working outside the home are equally valid pursuits, regardless of the child’s sex (also probably reforming Toys R Us so that pink is no longer a “girl-only color”). It certainly won’t be about fining companies or passing laws for being discriminatory – those companies that do discriminate, do so at the highest level (the 1%) or pretty close, and represent a tiny proportion of the wage gap. Plus there’s already laws to prosecute them.

    “I think that, as long as abuse is tied to patriarchal norms, shelters ought to be segregated in a particular way: an abuse victim who is, for example, female should be in a female only shelter if her abuser was male. ”

    Too bad for female victims of female perpetrators, as shelters are only female right now.

  305. Li says:

    actual equality

    is not a thing. There are multiple kinds if equality (rule equality! outcome equality!) and they don’t all play that well with each other. Equality is not some kind of mystical discrete value just because you think there is an “actual” version.

  306. matlun says:

    @Mxe354
    I do not think it has anything to do with “patriarchal norms”. The money quote is simply this part

    The reason I am suggesting this is that I’ve heard that many abuse victims are scared around being with people whose sex is that of their abuser.

    It is a critical part of the very purpose of a shelter to be a place where the victim feel safe. If that requires keeping it women only, then that is a good enough reason. Even a false sense of security (or the absence of a false sense of fear) can be a strong argument in this case.

  307. Schala says:

    actual equality

    is not a thing

    Advocating only for women in the hopes of reaching equality, is like kicking a soccer ball against an empty goal, and hoping for a tie.

    If you don’t measure the other side, you won’t reach any kind of equality, because you can’t measure equality when only measuring one side.

    Equality of DV would have presumption of innocence be assumed until proven otherwise (as with every other crime, by law anyways, not medias), and have shelters for both sexes. They’d also have campaigns featuring every kind of victims, not just the one kind assumed to be the only one. Then we’d have equality of DV services.

  308. thinksnake says:

    Schala, could you please stop with the binary thinking? There’s a heck of a lot more than just two’sides’ and ‘sexes’. And those of us who don’t fit into the sex and/or gender binaries aren’t even marginalised when it comes to DV. The concept of us existing, let alone being allowed to have relationships that might result in DV, doesn’t even exist for many, many people.

  309. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Equality doesn’t mean equal to men. Men are NOT my default standard by which I measure one damn little thing.

    Human is.

    Equality of DV would have presumption of innocence be assumed until proven otherwise

    That shit’s nice on paper, but in my world it’ll get a woman killed faster than you can spit.

    Maybe it’s different for white folks, but NA women sure as shit aren’t believed. The man is innocent until he kicks her ass in front of an audience. Dead NA women can be found in the middle of a field, naked in -30 degrees, raped and the cops rule it suicide. God fucking forbid some guy (usually white, our predators tend to be colonizers) might not be viewed as innocent, better to just assume she was a hooker who raped and killed herself.

    A serial killer murdered NA women for years, YEARS before he was caught. Why? No one wanted to accuse a white man over NA prostitutes. And even after he was caught he didn’t get convicted for many of the NA women he killed because they went with him willingly. So if you’re suggesting that men aren’t presumed innocent, that’s a slap in the face. Many NA women would be alive today if men didn’t get that privilege.

  310. Fat Steve says:

    Advocating only for women in the hopes of reaching equality, is like kicking a soccer ball against an empty goal, and hoping for a tie.

    If you don’t measure the other side, you won’t reach any kind of equality, because you can’t measure equality when only measuring one side.

    Equality of DV would have presumption of innocence be assumed until proven otherwise (as with every other crime, by law anyways, not medias), and have shelters for both sexes. They’d also have campaigns featuring every kind of victims, not just the one kind assumed to be the only one. Then we’d have equality of DV services.

    Are you under the impression that being mind-numbingly boring is a positive quality?

  311. Schala says:

    Schala, could you please stop with the binary thinking? There’s a heck of a lot more than just two’sides’ and ‘sexes’. And those of us who don’t fit into the sex and/or gender binaries aren’t even marginalised when it comes to DV. The concept of us existing, let alone being allowed to have relationships that might result in DV, doesn’t even exist for many, many people.

    I’m a trans woman.

    I’ve been mainly marginalized for not-being-male-enough (performance), and then from the other side for not-being-female-enough (having an uterus).

    You think I don’t know about exclusion?

  312. thinksnake says:

    Then can you stop excluding us in your analysis then?

  313. LotusBecca says:

    Schala. . .I remember you from when I briefly posted on and read the “no, seriously, what about teh menz?” blog about six months ago. So I’m fully aware of the nature of your anti-feminist, MRA ideology (and yes, there can be women, such as yourself, who are virulent MRAs also). So give me a break with this BS about how men as a class are huge victims who are systematically excluded from receiving domestic violence care by the evil feminists. All social services for marginalized people, whether we’re talking about female survivors of abuse, male surviviors of abuse, or anyone else, are under attack by a right-wing that’s trying to destroy the welfare state and entrench the power of neoliberal capitalism.

    Women are an oppressed, marginalized class. Women victims of domestic violence are especially oppressed. Are you saying that they should be forced to be in shelters with men when they may have been horribly abused by a man just the day before and this would be massively triggering for them? No way. There needs to be more domestic violence shelters of all kinds. Women’s shelters, men’s shelters, co-ed shelters. We as a society need to take interpersonal abuse more seriously.

    Instead of trying to tear down one of the few things that’s helping victims of abuse, maybe you can focus on actual progress? Maybe you could advocate reducing military spending, corporate welfare, the prison-industrial complex–and re-directing some of this money to opening way, way more domestic violence shelters–co-ed ones, men’s ones, women’s ones, ones for other groups and more specific groups that fall through the cracks–the more the better.

    And maybe you could advance a discourse of real intersectionality that looks at the concrete ways that people are oppressed on the basis of being women, being POC, being disabled, being poor or working class, being queer, being trans, being children or being old, and dozens of other factors. And maybe you could not erase the oppression of women through a false equivalency of “men have it just as bad, if not worse.”

    But instead you recycle tired MRA talking points with a little feminist lingo and trans-friendly rhetoric thrown in.

  314. LotusBecca says:

    Oh and to build off what thinksnake was saying. Genderqueer people, androgynous people, many intersex people ,and others outside the gender binary are waaaay more excluded from all sorts of social services than men are. And it says a lot about your blinkered worldivew, Schala, that you are characterizing your stance here as being against gender essentialism while at the same time you use rhetoric that erases the existence of people who aren’t men or women.

    Being a trans woman, Schala doesn’t give you a free pass to dismiss the concerns of people with non-binary identities. I’m a trans woman also, and I manage to not do that.

  315. Mxe354 says:

    and yes, there can be women, such as yourself, who are virulent MRAs also

    That reminds me of this one anti-feminist cis-woman on YouTube who said that equality is bad because the extra services for women like childcare and things like maternal leave are too costly for the state. (lol what) She even cited Afghanistan as an example of a country that limits the freedom of women due to poverty issues (of course, she conveniently ignored patriarchy). In response, a bunch of MRAs applauded her for being “one of the most awesome women ever” just because she spewed MRA garbage. She was regarded as a brave soldier fighting against the nasty feminist gang.

    People these days… V_V

  316. Sam says:

    jennygadget,

    * dies laughing *

    you know, I’m almost certain that we would have had a great conversation about the same issues we almost talked about here and would have left with mutual appreciation had we met in person first. Somehow that doesn’t work online in most cases.

  317. Lara Emily Foley says:

    you know, I’m almost certain that we would have had a great conversation about the same issues we almost talked about here and would have left with mutual appreciation had we met in person first. Somehow that doesn’t work online in most cases.

    Wow what a condescending ass you are

    Don’t flatter yourself. Your points would have been just as asinine if not more so because you’d be talking right off the cuff without getting a chance to think it over like you do online (which is horrifying because you clearly don’t take advantage of that at all)

  318. Schala says:

    Schala. . .I remember you from when I briefly posted on and read the “no, seriously, what about teh menz?” blog about six months ago. So I’m fully aware of the nature of your anti-feminist, MRA ideology (and yes, there can be women, such as yourself, who are virulent MRAs also).

    Yes, it’s funny I’m accused of being a MRA when I don’t visit a single MRA blog. When I don’t identify as a MRA either, and when MRA is equated with radfem-levels of hatred and I have none.

    “And maybe you could advance a discourse of real intersectionality that looks at the concrete ways that people are oppressed on the basis of being women, being POC, being disabled, being poor or working class, being queer, being trans, being children or being old, and dozens of other factors. And maybe you could not erase the oppression of women through a false equivalency of “men have it just as bad, if not worse.””

    I’m trying to look at the concrete ways people are oppressed on the basis of being men. Because I’ve been perceived as one before, and it’s not as rosy as it’s painted to be – and wait for it – no one cares to change things.

    Not poor men, or a non-white ethnicity of men, or gay and bisexual men. Just men. Poor men are doubly oppressed, because of the intersectionality with class.

    I don’t care if they’re “just as” oppressed as women are. It’s not like it can be measured. “I’ll trade you 5 extra lifespan years for more consideration about your career” doesn’t work that way. They’re oppressed period (by the system if you’re wondering, not by women or feminists), and it must be fixed. Or we just won’t have equality, we’ll have a pissed off underclass ready to riot to get attention.

    “And it says a lot about your blinkered worldivew, Schala, that you are characterizing your stance here as being against gender essentialism while at the same time you use rhetoric that erases the existence of people who aren’t men or women.”

    Nah, I’m just using the language victim services use. Don’t blame me for their not using language that includes trans people and genderqueer people.

    Non-coed shelters will always have this issue of “where do we put THOSE people”. I suggested co-ed for other, bigger, reasons. Including say, female victims of female perpetrators, who benefit not one bit of being in a cis-female only place. But I’m being told co-ed is horrible, because it can revictimize some people. A one size fits all policy of separating by sex can also revictimize people.

    “That reminds me of this one anti-feminist cis-woman on YouTube who said that equality is bad because the extra services for women like childcare and things like maternal leave are too costly for the state. (lol what)”

    It sounds more right-wing to me than specifically anti-feminist. In the way the right is a “don’t touch my money with your evil taxes” ideology economically.

    I’m at the extreme left, probably where radical feminist purports to be (too bad it’s all the way to the right instead). I want the rich to be overtaxed (ceiling income, or very highly taxed income above that) and the poor to have guaranteed income (somewhat better than welfare). Jobs and wages on a utility and effort basis, not a demand and prestige basis.

    So I’m not against tax-financed programs, as long as they accomplish something useful. Childcare is fine, maternal leave should become neutral (parental leave), and paid for.

  319. Sam says:

    mxe354,

    So, are you saying that it’s impossible to tell whether the phenomena she listed are instances of patriarchy?

    not really, I’m saying that their respective meaning depends on the respective necessarily ideological construction of the concept of patriarchy (which is different in different feminist strands, depending, for example, on the respective answer to the question of whether there is female agency within patriarchy).

  320. gratuitous_violet says:

    Regarding domestic violence and the abuse of men, here is a handy list of things you can do to help support male victims of violence/sexual/partner abuse:

    1. Obviously, don’t abuse any men.
    2. Stand up to people in your life who joke about the following things:
    3. Abuse of Catholic boys and Jerry Sandusky’s victims,
    4. Inmates,
    5. Male students who are abused by older women (AKA “hurr, hurr, wish I’d had a teacher like that!”)

    These will help convince greater society that men can be victims too! Now, onto more nuts-and-bolts things:

    6. Network with make victims of violence to provide emotional support
    7. Reach out to your local inmate-rights/anti-incarceration group, many of which do work on sexual violence in prison
    8. Network with the survivors of Catholic priestly abuse who are already doing advocacy work
    9. Network with other sympathetic men to set up regional lists of “safe houses” for the abused men in your life (kind of like what feminists did for DV victims, and like POC and abolitionists did long before them, and HEY this idea might have something to do with where DV shelters came from in the first place!)
    10. Write letters to your representatives encouraging a more inclusive shelter policy
    And, a pipe dream of mine, but why not?
    11. Write letters/start a campaign to allocate a portion of civil payouts from the Catholic Church settlements toward DV/abuse services for men.

    You’ll notice 3 things about this list. Most of them involve talking to MEN (especially the letters to Congress part), you can already find many an activist (including but not limited to womanists, feminists, socialists, anti-capitalists, and prison abolitionists) doing at least one of the things here, and you can do most of them in the same amount of time it takes to complain on the Internet that feminists are doin’ it wrong.

    Unless, of course, you’re trying to be disingenuous. Boy, I’d be SHOCKED to find out that someone in the men’s rights movement would be more interested in scoring points against other groups than actually changing anything. Completely shocked!

  321. pheenobarbidoll says:

    They’re oppressed period (by the system if you’re wondering, not by women or feminists),

    I have a solution, but I seriously doubt you’ll like it. Colonizers rarely do.

  322. jennygadget says:

    “Wow what a condescending ass you are”

    No Kidding. This conversation wouldn’t have happened offline because I don’t engage in conversations like this in person – it’s not always safe to do so. And even when it is safe enough, it’s unrelenting and packed into a shorter period of time, rather than something I can take a break from.

    ***

    “you’re doing the right thing by thinking about gender…now for that we’re gonna insult you and call you names, because we’re thinking you’re only doing it for cookies…”

    We are telling you you are doing it wrong bc you are doing it wrong, not because we think we have some special insight into your reasons for being here. It is your reaction to being told you are doing it wrong, not your mere presence or chosen topic, that makes us suspect that praise is part of what you are after.

    “…feminism has done a lot of good things for men, but it is not my experience that it is supportive of…gender discourse that is not based on accptance of feminist axioms.”

    …you needed to test this before you realized this would happen? That’s like saying “damn those marxists, they are so biased against capitalist ideas. I don’t know why they get all upset when I argue in favor of tax breaks for corporations during their monthly meetings.”

    *******

    Mxe354 @305

    Yes, agreed. And unlike the very not likely scenario of some guy just claiming to be transitioning so he could enroll in an all women’s college and prey on the female students there, it actually is a common and documented occurrence for abusers to try to find out which shelter their victim is staying in and finish the job. Sex segregation adds another layer of protection.

    The trick is to balance this out with protecting victims that are not cis-women and abused by cis-men – and making sure the compromises are balanced and not always in favor of the same group. But I also think that’s something that needs to be flexible and done on a local level to a certain extent. Because even if 15% is better estimate than 5%, that still means you are going to have cities where there is a great enough need for a multi-person shelter for women, but not necessarily the same for men. And I don’t think that just dedicating a certain number of the beds, etc is actually always the best solution for men, because that will often mean their day to day care is being determined by the needs of the majority: women.

  323. Mxe354 says:

    Schala,

    So I’m not against tax-financed programs, as long as they accomplish something useful. Childcare is fine, maternal leave should become neutral (parental leave), and paid for.

    Oh, just so you know, I wasn’t implying that you’re necessarily like the anti-feminist I mentioned.

  324. Schala says:

    1. Obviously, don’t abuse any men.
    2. Stand up to people in your life who joke about the following things:
    3. Abuse of Catholic boys and Jerry Sandusky’s victims,
    4. Inmates,
    5. Male students who are abused by older women (AKA “hurr, hurr, wish I’d had a teacher like that!”)

    These will help convince greater society that men can be victims too!

    That’s great, though people already know that boys can be victims of priest / male coach pedophilia and of prison rape. I still agree with 4 and 5, too many jokes or high-fiving there shouldn’t be made.

    Where men are disbelieved about being victims of DV or rape is when the perpetrator is female. It’s not like only teachers and in a adult+teen context happens.

    The CDC found that 80% of male victims who were forced to penetrate their abusers, were abused by a woman. Their yearly number represents 40% of the total amount of victims. Yet no rape crisis shelter or service exists for them.

    I bet the FBI’s new definition doesn’t count them because the male victims aren’t the ones who were penetrated. Even if it does fit the legal definition of rape (sexual penetration without consent).

    For sure, if you (general you, including people doing sexual assault surveys) only count instances where the man was anally penetrated (with whatever object or body part) as rape, there will be a LOT fewer.

    I’m in Canada by the way, and not a man. So “network with other men” wouldn’t exactly work. Networking at all is already demanding much. The people I know are all online, or in my immediate family.

    I’d like to do point 10 and 11, though I’m not sure I trust the political representatives to be, well, representative. They’re tokens who are part of a party. The party line before everything else. I’d love to live in this utopia where deputies all REALLY represent the people who voted them in. We probably wouldn’t have this tuition fee crisis we’re having now in Quebec province if this was the case.

    The party in power managed to pass a special law (expiring next year) giving huge fines and restriction protest rights (like they just did in Russia, prolly copying us or something). The majority of people are against the law because it prevents right of association and right of protesting (by requiring the organizer to give info about where they’re going 8 hours beforehand, and the organizer being responsible if anything turns sour). Yet since the party in power has a majority, it passed without contest.

    You’d think true representation would change that so that dissent from what the leader wants would be acceptable.

    Nowadays, if your idea isn’t liked by the party in power who has a majority, it won’t pass. Regardless of what your deputy thinks about it.

    Would Stephen Harper listen to me if I wrote to him passionately about saving the environment? He wants to ditch every eco-friendly measure we’ve had, in favor of companies “rights” to make profit without concern for such trivial things like the environment. He has a majority. He doesn’t even care about the opposition.

    So if he’s not already in favor of male victims at all, I doubt I’ll change his mind.

    I’d love to do grass roots work, but I’m unlikely to have the charisma to start it off myself.

  325. LotusBecca says:

    Yes, it’s funny I’m accused of being a MRA when I don’t visit a single MRA blog. When I don’t identify as a MRA either, and when MRA is equated with radfem-levels of hatred and I have none.

    Schala, I’m sorry I called you something you aren’t. Still, I would characterize “no, seriously what about teh men?” as a MRA-ish blog. . .not so much because of the people who run it as because of the prevailing culture that seems to have arisen among the commenters. And I see a fair bit of ideological overlap between you and many MRAs, even if that’s not how you identify.

    I’m trying to look at the concrete ways people are oppressed on the basis of being men.

    Yes, and this is the crux of where you and I see things differently. As a general rule, men are not oppressed on the basis of being men, just as there is no such thing as female privilege. Being a man in this society provides advantages and privileges, not the other way around. And the reason for this is because men have social and political and economic and cultural power over women, not the other way around.

    I don’t care if they’re “just as” oppressed as women are. It’s not like it can be measured. “I’ll trade you 5 extra lifespan years for more consideration about your career” doesn’t work that way. They’re oppressed period (by the system if you’re wondering, not by women or feminists), and it must be fixed. Or we just won’t have equality, we’ll have a pissed off underclass ready to riot to get attention.

    It’s statements like these that made me think you are an MRA. What you seem to be saying is that unless as much attention is paid to men’s issues as to women’s issues (which BTW, is already happening because patriarchy), men will become a “pissed off underclass.” Really? Men, as a whole, are on the verge of being disadvantaged far beneath women, and ready to riot in the streets, united, across race and class lines, because women have it so much better? Bullshit. Complete and uttter, fantastical bullshit.

    But I’m being told co-ed is horrible, because it can revictimize some people. A one size fits all policy of separating by sex can also revictimize people.

    I’m not hearing many people here say that co-ed shelters are horrible. What I’m hearing people criticize is your apparent opinion that someone from on high that should ban all single-sex DV shelters, and force them all to be co-ed, regardless of the feelings or experiences of the women in those shelters. I responded by saying that there should be more shelters of all types: women’s, men’s, coed, etc. There doesn’t have to be a fixed pie for shelter resources. And you since you are on the extreme left, maybe you could advocate for enhanced public funding that allows there to be more shelters of all types, including more men’s shelters.

  326. Schala says:

    Yes, and this is the crux of where you and I see things differently. As a general rule, men are not oppressed on the basis of being men, just as there is no such thing as female privilege. Being a man in this society provides advantages and privileges, not the other way around. And the reason for this is because men have social and political and economic and cultural power over women, not the other way around.

    That’s what the theory says, not the reality.

    Victim visibility is a privilege when you need it. And a disadvantage when its turned to eleven (because it provokes much-too-high levels of irrational fear and might be a cause totally not helping to cure paternalism).

    I didn’t lose power transitioning. Either economic, social, political or cultural. In fact I’m more likely to be given a voice for my concerns (that I am facing as a woman). I was told to “suck it up” before, now people actually want to prevent bad things happening to me instead. And they want to help me if the bad things still happen regardless.

    Male privilege has to do with shooting for the top and extreme ambition, with even the middle people being given more leeway to express a prioritization of career over other stuff. The working class just take what they can. Status gained this way gives more opportunities in mating if that’s what you’re after.

    Female privilege has to do with having a safety net at the bottom so you don’t crash and burn as badly, a better presumption of innocence in actual everyday dealings (no one suspects the average woman of pedophilia the way the average man is suspected) and a lot of men willing to protect you (from anything, not just other men) at cost to themselves.

    The disadvantages of the female side are a presumption that child-rearing is your best life ambition, and that having a bio kid (and raising said kid) is what makes you a “real woman”. That your career, whatever it is (with a few exceptions), is ‘not as serious’ as a man who has a career. And paternalism and overprotection that causes social anxiety levels of fear in women who might never have personally encountered danger (fear of stranger rape and mugging is up there).

    The disadvantages of the male side are a presumption that you are violent or can be at the drop of a hat (thus are potentially dangerous in a way women are not), that you have an uncontrollable sexual appetite (which makes people disbelieve you can not-consent to sex with a woman), that you “have all the power” thus need none of the help if you do badly and fall through the cracks (especially things that are thought to happen only or overwhelmingly to women, like DV, rape, poverty, homelessness for example).

    Both sides are disadvantaged by the stance that is on the emotional register allowed. Men aren’t allowed much. Women are criticized for displaying too much (hysteria) or none at all (apathetic). Men are disadvantaged by heavy restrictions on their allowed expression (bland stuff only) without losing a ton of their social status and worth as people. Women are disadvantaged by the judgments people make due to the choices those women make as per their expression.

    Since I’m not rich, powerful, or ambitious to be so, or have a high-flying career, or even a so-so career, I don’t benefit much from a presumption that I have a lot of ambition. I also value personal expression a lot more than a stance that says I’m intimidating due to my genital configuration. And who doesn’t want help when it’s sorely needed? I’ll take the female privilege package please. Suits me better.

    It’s funny that one of the clause to transition is that you don’t do it for perceived advantages of the other sex (and it was written at a time where trans men were thought to be unicorns). I didn’t either (I was pretty suicidal half my life), but it sure sounds like a good bonus.

  327. DonnaL says:

    Schala, you really think it’s paternalism and overprotection that cause women to experience fear of rape? And you really think that stranger rape is the only kind they fear? And that there are vast numbers of women who have such fears despite never having personally experienced danger? What world do you live in? Certainly not mine, or the world of any other woman I know.


    I didn’t lose power transitioning. Either economic, social, political or cultural.

    If that’s true, congratulations. Again, it certainly isn’t the experience of most trans women I know, and, I think, most trans women, period. I transitioned more than seven years ago, and sometimes have to remind myself that I ever lived differently from the way I do now — as when I think back, say, to pre-transition vacation trips I took with my son, and remember them as if they had happened after transition. But I remember enough to be aware that even though strangers are indeed (generally speaking) nicer and more polite to me than they used to be, and that I’m far more likely to have people smile at me when I walk down the street than I used to be (while being old enough that I don’t have to worry — for the most part — about street harassment), and that my daily existence is far more pleasant than it used to be (because I’m myself, not because women have privilege over men!), it certainly doesn’t change the very real loss of the “economic, social, cultural, and political privileges” that are available to men — even if I wasn’t personally equipped to take full advantage of most of them.

  328. Fat Steve says:

    Schala, SO MANY commenters who you claim to be disagreeing with have repeatedly said that patriarchy hurts men too! Yet you are apparently expending all sorts of time and energy saying that very thing in roundabout way in order to somehow blame feminists or specifically this group of feminists for not properly grasping the problems men face. It seems ludicrous to me.

    This is not an attempt to ‘shut you up’, by any means. Your conveying of your personal experiences are certainly welcome, valid and informative, but I’m just not getting why you seem to be pressing this point about men’s suffering so hard.

  329. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Female privilege has to do with having a safety net at the bottom so you don’t crash and burn as badly, a better presumption of innocence in actual everyday dealings (no one suspects the average woman of pedophilia the way the average man is suspected) and a lot of men willing to protect you (from anything, not just other men) at cost to themselves.

    WHERE is the safety net for NA women? We don’t fucking have one.

    Not even a blip on your radar are we?

    that you have an uncontrollable sexual appetite

    That’s the Jezzebelle stereotype for WOC. We’re exotic and sex starved nymphos.

    that you “have all the power”

    You mean like p*ssy power? Women are told all the time that we have The Greatest Power EVAR between our legs.

    especially things that are thought to happen only or overwhelmingly to women, like DV, rape, poverty, homelessness for example)

    Go read up on violence and rape of NA women. They aren’t thought to happen overwhelmingly to us, they DO.

    Your words are the same as every other white privilege colonizing asshole I’ve ever read.

    Not one of them apply to NA women. Not a fucking one. Are you choosing to ignore us or are you just that fucking ignorant of us?

  330. pheenobarbidoll says:

    That man over there say
    a woman needs to be helped into carriages
    and lifted over ditches
    and to have the best place everywhere.
    Nobody ever helped me into carriages
    or over mud puddles
    or gives me a best place. . .

    And ain’t I a woman?

    Pretty fucking sad that the answer to her question is still no.

  331. EG says:

    Female privilege has to do with having a safety net at the bottom so you don’t crash and burn as badly, a better presumption of innocence in actual everyday dealings (no one suspects the average woman of pedophilia the way the average man is suspected) and a lot of men willing to protect you (from anything, not just other men) at cost to themselves.

    First of all, what safety net?

    Second of all, men’s actual everyday dealings involve the suspicion of pedophilia? When, precisely? What are these everyday dealings? Interestingly, every single study of child molesters, whether or not it’s focused on survivors or offenders who come to the attention of the legal system, finds that men far outnumber women. That’s not anti-male oppression; that’s a reflection of reality.

    The only men who have ever stepped in to help me have been my friends and family; they have not done so more often than my female friends and family (often quite less so), nor have they done so more often than was done for them. What is this bizarre fantasy of men randomly riding in to help me, expecting nothing in return?

    I, on the other hand, have often stepped into help women who were the recipients of unwanted male attention.

    things that are thought to happen only or overwhelmingly to women, like DV, rape, poverty, homelessness for example

    What world are you in where people think poverty and homelessness happens overwhelmingly to women? Perhaps you’re thinking of families headed by unmarried women, in which case the reality is that Poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, particularly if they are black or Hispanic. In 2010, 31.6 percent of households headed by single women were poor, while 15.8 percent of households headed by single men and 6.2 percent of married-couple households lived in poverty.

    Perhaps not overwhelmingly, but significantly and persistently, though, women are more likely to live in poverty than men are: Poverty rates for males and females are the same throughout childhood, but increase for women during their childbearing years and again in old age. The poverty gap between women and men widens significantly between ages 18 and 24—20.6 percent of women are poor at that age, compared to 14.0 percent of men. The gap narrows, but never closes, throughout adult life, and it more than doubles during the elderly years.

  332. DonnaL says:

    Don’t try to confuse Schala with the facts. She seems to be one of these people who knows what she knows.

  333. Mxe354 says:

    Schala,

    Female privilege has to do with having a safety net at the bottom so you don’t crash and burn as badly, a better presumption of innocence in actual everyday dealings (no one suspects the average woman of pedophilia the way the average man is suspected) and a lot of men willing to protect you (from anything, not just other men) at cost to themselves.

    …Literally all of the things you’ve mentioned are a product of the patriarchy. I hope you know that.

  334. …Literally all of the things you’ve mentioned are a product of the patriarchy. I hope you know that.

    I really, really don’t think she does.

  335. Bagelsan says:

    a lot of men willing to protect you (from anything, not just other men) at cost to themselves.

    Well thank goodness I can count on a random man to leap between me and heart disease, the greatest threat to my life! 9_9

  336. Schala says:

    Schala, you really think it’s paternalism and overprotection that cause women to experience fear of rape? And you really think that stranger rape is the only kind they fear? And that there are vast numbers of women who have such fears despite never having personally experienced danger? What world do you live in? Certainly not mine, or the world of any other woman I know.

    I didn’t say the only one they fear. But it’s the popular portrayal of “what rape is”.

    I’ve experienced danger, in the form of pretty much daily/weekly beatings and tauntings for all my childhood and teens, from strangers mainly in schools. I’ve been blamed for it too. I didn’t even defend myself, and I certainly didn’t strike first (I didn’t at all).

    But I never feared rape, neither pre nor post-transition. I fear physical assault fueled by transphobia marginally (hasn’t happened yet)…but nothing else really.

    I’ve not been told the boogeyman would jump from bushes all my teen years though.

    “when I think back, say, to pre-transition vacation trips I took with my son, and remember them as if they had happened after transition”

    Didn’t have vacation trips to speak of. My economical power has been well, to not die, and to have a roof over my head, to not starve, and to have some people to help me day to day (I’ve never lived strictly alone and I doubt I could). My father has more power than that (I had a bit more than bare minimum back then), but we’ve never been anywhere for long (as in to sleep there at all), and never more than 3 hours in car away, to family gatherings.

    Not all men are the all-powerful elite. In fact, as a rule, they’re a minority.

    “WHERE is the safety net for NA women? We don’t fucking have one.

    Not even a blip on your radar are we?”

    I finally caught on to what NA means. Native American I assume?

    So men need no safety net at all because a subgroup of women don’t have as much of one? It’s not a privilege of the majority of women to have the safety net because a small subgroup can’t take advantage of it?

    News: DV shelters are of no advantage to women, because trans women cannot access them on a 100% basis.

    If we take this view, nothing is an advantage to no group, because we can always find exceptions.

    “You mean like p*ssy power? Women are told all the time that we have The Greatest Power EVAR between our legs.”

    No I meant that males are assumed to be all-powerful, and thus to not need help. You need to re-read this part if you thought I mentioned women.

    Has someone used the excuse of pussy pass to refuse funding to DV shelters for women, to rape crisis for women, to a council for the status of women and girls? If the effect is only being trolled by a few bastards and it doesn’t affect public policy…well, it’s already less of a problem.

    As I said before “men have all the power” is the reason to not give UN rape relief to male rape victims who have been outright sexually mutilated in conflicts. It’s not just trolling. It’s also part and parcel of feminist 1970s theory. Still in use today (that men oppress women, not the system oppressing everyone and women more).

    “Second of all, men’s actual everyday dealings involve the suspicion of pedophilia? When, precisely? What are these everyday dealings? ”

    Whenever they are around children (especially younger ones), even theirs. If they are teaching, in daycares, babysitters, at parks and playgrounds, around school grounds. It mostly applies to strangers of the ones doing the suspecting (not family usually).

    A man alone at a playground might get police called up on him. A woman alone at a playground won’t.

    “Interestingly, every single study of child molesters, whether or not it’s focused on survivors or offenders who come to the attention of the legal system, finds that men far outnumber women. That’s not anti-male oppression; that’s a reflection of reality.”

    Many of such studies have outright ignored female perpetrators. In fact, before 1984, it was all but ignored. Studies were done ONLY on male perpetrators. Concluding there’s no female ones is easy when you start from the assumption that you don’t need to look. This probably also explains the whole chemical castration solution. Wouldn’t work that well on women, now, would it?

    Also, if you profile men, but not women, for it. You’ll find a lot more men. Driving while black (and male) would either tell you that black men drive really badly…or that the police focus mostly on them. A black trans man said he was arrested nine times more often post-transition.

    And using statistics to say we should only focus on one group is unproductive. Should we only suspect Arabic-looking Muslims of terrorism? Because it’s in line with suspecting men because they’re a high % of the (caught) perps.

    Your measures of poverty measure people who can’t answer surveys? People who live under bridges have no phone line usually.

    “…Literally all of the things you’ve mentioned are a product of the patriarchy. I hope you know that.”

    Including VAWA being female only.

    Patriarchy mandates to protect women. It doesn’t care about the men. Only very rich men (who need no taxpayer-funded program). So for sure Congress will be quick to pass it. It won’t be so quick to pass a gender-neutral one, or a male-only equivalent. Then it will consider the tax cost, and the productivity benefits, and the hassle of it all…and if you really really really push them about it, you might get something vaguely resembling funded DV shelters for male victims.

    Because you see, men who are in trouble pay less taxes (depression lowers productivity), dead men don’t pay taxes, but they don’t consume them either.

    If having trans women treated on tax money is so very reluctantly done (and not with public cash in the US, even many private insurances refuse), even though its proven to have much better outcomes in terms of productivity and not-needing-a-shrink-forever and less suicide…they still hesitate a crap ton before making a move. Consider every alternative, and many say they should just go ahead and die anyways.

    Men are valuable for their immediate usefulness. If they’re not useful they can be discarded. Thus if men are weak and in need of help…they won’t have it. <- Patriarchy

    Women have value besides immediate usefulness. So they're worth keeping alive and protecting. <- also Patriarchy

    Feminism is riding on the coat tails of the ideal it purports to want to destroy.

    Master's house and tools or something.

    Oh and the whole profiling for pedophilia, it made me think of Ray Blanchard.

    Ray Blanchard thinks that trans women are "really men", because they might have sexual fantasies or fetishes. And "everyone knows" that cis women don't have fetishes. He didn't even try to look if they did. He just concluded they did not. And that having some (in trans women and cis men) made someone male.

    If you don't look for it, you won't find it. Same as female pedophiles.

  337. LotusBecca says:

    I didn’t lose power transitioning. Either economic, social, political or cultural.

    As Donna said, that’s wonderful for you. Congratu-fucking-lations. I had a grandmother who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, every day of her life, for 90 years, and she lived to be 107 years old*. Guess that proves that the real problem is all these oppressive government regulations of the tobacco industry, since lung cancer is obviously like not even a problem!

    Well thank goodness I can count on a random man to leap between me and heart disease, the greatest threat to my life! 9_9

    I have this image of you casually tossing bonbons into your mouth, and a random man desperately jumping through the air, sailing between you and a bonbon that’s midflight, and catching it in his teeth before it can even touch your lips, as he then crashes to the ground in a crumpled ball of pain. OH WAIT THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN.

    *This is not a true story.

  338. roymacIII says:

    Hold on…

    By VAWA itself where services cannot be for male victims alone in a given shelter.

    Can someone, anyone, point out where the VAWA says this? I know that the original act included a lot of gendered language, and it’s a long document, but the current version doesn’t seem to suggest this. Regarding the victims, it says:

    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE- The term `domestic violence’ includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

    In fact, the only thing I can find mentioning male victims is:

    Nothing in this title shall be construed to prohibit male victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking from receiving benefits and services under this title.

    Which looks to be very explicitly saying the very opposite of what is being claimed by people in this thread.

    Certainly there have been cases in the past where men were denied funding from the VAWA, but the most recent versions of the Act have been very scrupulous in getting rid of gendered language and making it clear the funding from it is not limited to programs focused on women, but on all victims of domestic violence.

  339. Sam says:

    hey jennygadget,

    …you needed to test this before you realized this would happen? That’s like saying “damn those marxists, they are so biased against capitalist ideas. I don’t know why they get all upset when I argue in favor of tax breaks for corporations during their monthly meetings.”

    Yes and no. The question is whether it’s possible to have a debate about *the economy* while understanding that different perspectives and ideologies are permissible in that debate. Your point basically comes down to what I mentioned with respect to discourse hegemony, with the exception that you believe this is the monthly meeting of the marxist fringe, while I believe that this is an important forum to talk not only about marxist fringe ideas, but also shape how we conceptualize the economy as a whole. So, yeah, if you just want to exchange marxist ideas with other marxists, or if you’re so ideologically set in your ways that you believe that only Marxism has an answer to everything, then sure, you’d be confused when someone would prefer to talk about the economy and ways in which good marxist ideas can be combined with other good ideas about running the economy.

  340. Caperton says:

    I never

    I tend to avoid statements like “I never” when trying to extrapolate experiences. I recognize there are experiences that I’ve personally never had that have been deeply significant in other people’s lives. I certainly can–and should–testify to my own life, but I can’t make any sweeping declarations about the way the world works based on that, particularly on things that haven’t happened to me.

  341. pheenobarbidoll says:

    I finally caught on to what NA means. Native American I assume?

    That’s all I needed to know.

    WOC aren’t sub groups and there are more of us who require those “safety nets” you think exist. Massive race fail.

    Has someone used the excuse of pussy pass to refuse funding to DV shelters for women, to rape crisis for women, to a council for the status of women and girls?

    Why would they need to when they already have the effective ” it’s their own fault for being in an abusive realationship/ being raped”. Women can control everything, didn’t you hear? We are so powerful that men can’t control themselves and rape us and we are so powerful/mind readers that when men abuse us, we should have known he would beforehand and left before it happened. We’re shouldered with the responsibility of mens actions and as if that’s not enough we’re shouldered with the responsibility of fixing their issues too.

  342. EG says:

    But I never feared rape, neither pre nor post-transition.

    Well, how lucky for you. I have feared rape for decades, not because of a boogeyman in the bushes, but because men keep raping my friends. Perhaps if a close friend of my family had not been raped at gunpoint in her elevator when I was a teenager, I would be skipping around all “la la la, I’ve got nothing to fear” as well. Of course, in that case, we’d be in a world where men don’t follow women home and rape them, so we’d be in a world where no man has ever tried to follow me into my home, either. Nice world, really.

    Not all men are the all-powerful elite. In fact, as a rule, they’re a minority.

    OK, there’s this concept called “intersectionality” you might want to look up. Also “class.” In doing so, you’ll find that it’s perfectly possible for men to be poor and yet still to have all kinds of male privilege. Hell, this was obvious to John Stuart Mill in 1869. I’m not sure why, almost 150 years later, you still think “lots of men aren’t rich” is a relevant rejoinder. I mean, OK. Well, I’m oppressed because I’m a woman, so I can’t possibly have white privilege. See how that works? And by that I mean, it doesn’t make any sense at all.

    Studies were done ONLY on male perpetrators. Concluding there’s no female ones is easy when you start from the assumption that you don’t need to look.

    …did you read what I wrote? Whether studies are done on offenders who have come to the attention of the legal system or on survivors who are found by other means, men remain the large majority. That means that even when studies are done by asking people who have been abused about the characteristics of their abusers, the abuser are, the vast majority of the time, male. A little basic googling would have made this clear.

    This probably also explains the whole chemical castration solution. Wouldn’t work that well on women, now, would it?

    …why not? Are you under the impression that women’s libidos have no biological components? The many women I’ve known who’ve been on the pill would beg to differ. It wouldn’t be too difficult to devise a hormonal cocktail to destroy a woman’s libido.

    Should we only suspect Arabic-looking Muslims of terrorism? Because it’s in line with suspecting men because they’re a high % of the (caught) perps.

    That’s…not even true. No, it’s really not.

    Your measures of poverty measure people who can’t answer surveys? People who live under bridges have no phone line usually.

    If you’d clicked on the links I provided, you’d know exactly how poverty is measured. Believe it or not, one of the links I gave you was about the incidence of homelessness among families headed by single women. Do you…have any idea how studies are conducted? It is actually possible to conduct studies through means other than the telephone. For one thing, shelters keep track of who comes in.

    Tell me, do you have any evidence for your assertions? Or are you just making shit up and then telling us that our studies are wrong?

    Patriarchy mandates to protect women. It doesn’t care about the men.

    Do you have any knowledge of history at all? Do you think the wage gap is an accident or something? Who protects women from their husbands, pray tell?

    if you really really really push them about it, you might get something vaguely resembling funded DV shelters for male victims.

    As opposed to the free and easy way that, after decades and decades of feminist activism and pushing, we got VAWA? Poor men, so oppressed, it’s hard for them to get things.

    Master’s house and tools or something.

    The problem is that this is a very inaccurate quotation. Tools will work for anybody. One can indeed demolish the master’s house with his tools. Because they’re tools.

  343. EG says:

    Long reply in mod. Short version: you obviously don’t read carefully, didn’t click on the links provided, and have no idea how studies are conducted.

  344. DonnaL says:

    Thank you, EG. The ignorance is unbelievable.

  345. Mxe354 says:

    Patriarchy mandates to protect women. It doesn’t care about the men.

    The only women who are protected within the patriarchy are women who faithfully obey patriarchal norms. And if it didn’t care about men, it certainly wouldn’t posit men as the standard of humanity and the default leaders of the world. You seem to be woefully ignorant of the dynamics of patriarchy.

    Men are valuable for their immediate usefulness. If they’re not useful they can be discarded. Thus if men are weak and in need of help…they won’t have it. <- Patriarchy

    Women are seen as weak and helpless whereas men are seen as strong and self-sufficient. It’s not because they are judged as less valuable. It’s because men are the ones who are told to go out to the front lines, so to speak, and get things done. Men are the initiators, the fighters, and the doers under the patriarchy.

    Women have value besides immediate usefulness. So they’re worth keeping alive and protecting. <- also Patriarchy

    “Good” women are generally seen as weaker and more dependent on people. The value part only comes in with regards to caring for others or being a sexual outlet. They are seen as the primary caretakers, and god knows what would happen if the men didn’t have their women for sex! The women who violate patriarchal norms, however, should fuck off.

  346. Schala says:

    As opposed to the free and easy way that, after decades and decades of feminist activism and pushing, we got VAWA? Poor men, so oppressed, it’s hard for them to get things.

    This will probably be my last post in the thread as the discussion is not that productive so far.

    Feminism is for equality right? So why pass a gender-biased law, with woman in the name? We’re no longer in 1850. It’s not like a gender-neutral law with provisions for funding for male victims right off the bat would have been harder to get, from people who already were going to have it signed regardless. It’s like, why leave the T out of a LGBT bill?

    I’ll just say that leaving male victims out in the cold might produce more damage, to those victims obviously, and possibly to those they might victimize to act out (not all victims act out in response, but some do, especially if their pain is trivialized by everyone). The latter is known, about men becoming perpetrator after seeing parents being violent (it kinda denies women do this too), but it seems to be presented as an inherent failing of maleness…something we “can’t really fix”.

    We can fix the cycle of violence, by preventing and treating violence when and where it happens, regardless of the arrangements of the parties in the scenario. Man, woman, child or someone who is neither of those – doesn’t matter. You treat the issue, it makes your pet issues (women’s safety) even better.

    But if the goal is just to have everyone go at everyone’s throat and a lot of “I got mine, now go away” (seems like the response I got about shelters and VAWA), we’re no better than the 1% abusing the 99%. We’re no better than the gay and lesbian people abusing the bisexual and the transgender. We’re no better than the cis women abusing the trans women. Heck there’s a current of transsexual people abusing the transgender people, out of an image concern.

    And I could go on. It has to stop somewhere, and if someone wants the moral high ground, they need to start, preach by example sort of. It doesn’t need to be big or anything. Stopping to categorize abuse into “abuse that’s not that bad because it happens to oppressors” vs “abuse that’s horrible because it happens to oppressed” and just think all abuse is bad and needs to stop.

    I’ve been beaten up by people who were in majority boys, few were girls. And I still don’t hold onto a standard that says men are evil women are angels. It might be even extra tempting as a trans woman, as a way to cut off my past with more drama and finality. More disgust about maleness. But my sense of justice simply won’t allow me to hate people based on something they didn’t do, simply based on them sharing a characteristic with some people who might do bad stuff.

  347. DonnaL says:

    No; the response you got about VAWA was that you’re factually incorrect, and that it definitely and expressly does include male victims.

  348. DonnaL says:

    In fact, the 2005 renewal of VAWA contained this explicit directive:

    “Nothing in this title shall be construed to prohibit male victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking from receiving benefits and services under this title.”

  349. DonnaL says:

    I still don’t hold onto a standard that says men are evil women are angels

    Please show me anything anyone said here that remotely indicates that this is what they believe.

  350. LotusBecca says:

    Schala, I think I’ve been pretty clear on this thread and elsewhere that I think all abuse is bad and that it needs to stop. I think I’ve also been pretty clear here that I think men suffer a lot under kyriarchy and that this is a big problem.

    Where you and I disagree is that I think men are not oppressed specifically for being men, but are rather are privileged for having that particular characteristic. This is important to understand because everyone (including men) can be better off when there is a wider understanding throughout society about how privilege and power dynamics actually function. And I also take exception to many of your more specific statements, which seem like wild assertions that are either unsubstaniated by evidence or directly contradicted by the evidence. See what roymacIII, EG, pheenobarbidoll, DonnaL, and others have been saying to you for examples of this.

  351. EG says:

    So, you provide no responses to the critiques of your points, and no support for those points, but we’re all just supposed to take your word for it that there are hordes of men out there who have suffered at the hands of…VAWA? Right then. That’s very…not convincing at all, actually.

    It’s not like a gender-neutral law with provisions for funding for male victims right off the bat would have been harder to get, from people who already were going to have it signed regardless.

    And you know this…how? Again, if male victims and their advocates were interested in getting in on VAWA, is there a reason they weren’t active around the issue? Or were women just supposed to labor away for the good of men, because after all, they’re entitled to the fruits of our labor, as always?

    The latter is known, about men becoming perpetrator after seeing parents being violent (it kinda denies women do this too), but it seems to be presented as an inherent failing of maleness…something we “can’t really fix”.

    …really? It’s our job to fix the menfolk so they don’t beat us? Fuck that. Nobody is forced to be an abuser, and it’s an abuser’s job to control his own damn actions.

    Women are victims of abuse, so we should take care of everybody, but when men are victims of abuse, the poor widdle things just can’t help but attack women? Got it.

    We can fix the cycle of violence, by preventing and treating violence when and where it happens, regardless of the arrangements of the parties in the scenario.

    And who’s stopping you? Who’s stopping men from getting together and providing shelters and counseling for those among them who have been victimized? What, precisely, makes it women’s job, yet again, to take care of men?

    Stopping to categorize abuse into “abuse that’s not that bad because it happens to oppressors” vs “abuse that’s horrible because it happens to oppressed” and just think all abuse is bad and needs to stop.

    And this has happened here…when?

    But my sense of justice simply won’t allow me to hate people based on something they didn’t do, simply based on them sharing a characteristic with some people who might do bad stuff.

    Oh. I see. We’re manhaters. Yeah, I thought we’d get here sooner or later.

    Let me get this straight: the ongoing onslaught men have made on women’s rights, minds, and bodies over the past several hundred years does not constitute patriarchy, but when feminists establish single-sex DV shelters, that means we’re man-haters.

    Sterling logic skills, as always.

  352. DonnaL says:

    Also, Schala, I can’t even tell you counterproductive I think it is for you to continually make all these “men are to women as trans women are to cis women” analogies to try to prove your point. Thanks for nothing.

  353. EG says:

    I have a much longer response, with several quotations, in mod, but let me reduce it to three points:

    1) Schala, any time you want to provide some evidence for any of your assertions, or address any of the evidence provided by me or anybody else, please feel free.

    2) According to Schala, women need to help abused men lest they beat us, but abused men have no agency in the matter and cannot help themselves. Apparently. Because they are completely incapable of setting up their own shelters and agitating for their own laws, because…I don’t know…feminists, who are just like the top 1% of the wealthy, control all the resources and politics? Or something.

    3) Also according to Schala, the ongoing onslaught men have made on women’s rights, minds, and bodies over the past several hundred years does not constitute patriarchy, but when feminists establish single-sex DV shelters, that means we’re man-haters.

  354. EG says:

    And now my summary of my long response, which was modded because of the numerous block quotes, is itself modded.

    It’s a mod, mod, mod, mod, mod world.

  355. LotusBecca says:

    Oh my Maude EG. . .as the mods recently explained, it’s a frickin’ automated process that no one can control or understand. Stop complaining.

  356. EG says:

    Oh, I wasn’t complaining. Just noting, because I hate it when I’m talking or arguing with someone, and then I think they haven’t responded, and then, like, a couple days later, I find out that they’d responded to me, but I never went back and checked, so I missed it. So I tend to flag, in case other people have as low a threshold for frustration as I do.

  357. Kristen J. says:

    It’s a mod, mod, mod, mod, mod world.

    Bad EG! You made me snort soda out my nose.

  358. DonnaL says:

    EG, much as I look forward to reading what you had to say, I suspect that it will have to wait until morning, because I don’t think any moderators are around tonight. I’ve had a 3-sentence, entirely innocuous comment in moderation in the “think before babies” thread for the last five hours or so. (Whine, whine.)

  359. Kristen J. says:

    @EG,

    I was just modded for laughing at your mod comment. I think the mod system is really an advanced AI with an incredibly weird sense of humor.

  360. EG says:

    Oh dear–if there’s one thing I learned from the hours of my life I wasted on Prometheus, it’s not to piss off an AI! I hope I can get on its good side…

  361. Maybe it’s learning to flag the word “mod” in comments…

  362. LotusBecca says:

    OMG. . .this is just like The Matrix!! We need to unite and fight back against the modding algorithm before it enslaves us all! Men schmen, patriarchy schatriarchy. Come schala, unaccomplished, and Sam. . .I’m sorry about everything mean I’ve said about y’all. Please join us in our final stand for human freedom!

  363. EG says:

    I’m telling you, this is the first step. Today, it flags “mod”; tomorrow, Skynet.

  364. Kristen J. says:

    I for one welcome our robot overlord. I mean anything must be better than modding comments individually.

  365. jennygadget says:

    “The question is whether it’s possible to have a debate about *the economy* while understanding that different perspectives and ideologies are permissible in that debate.”

    No, you smug, condescending, self-centered, willfully ignorant human being. The question is: what are the rules and goals of this space that you are a guest in?

    “Your point basically comes down to that you believe this is the monthly meeting of the marxist fringe, while I believe that this is an important forum to talk not only about marxist fringe ideas, but also shape how we conceptualize the economy as a whole.”

    My point comes down to the fact that this is neither my space nor yours and the people whose space it is have made it clear what kind of space they want it to be, primarily.

    From the “About” page and comments policy:

    “Feministe is one of the oldest feminist blogs online designed by and run by women from the ground up…”

    Pro-feminist discussion is important to us…

    WE RETAIN THE RIGHT TO:
…
5. Make some posts feminist-only, or exclude certain types of comments and commenters.

    …WE VALUE diversity of opinions and we welcome dissent, but our primary goal is to foster a dynamic, robust feminist community. In that spirit, we ask that all commenters post in good faith, and that conservative or non-feminist commenters keep in mind that they are in our house and should behave accordingly. “

    (emphasis mine)

    Whether or not marxism or feminism is fringe or not is completely beside the point. The point is that, for example, rape culture is not a fringe idea within online feminist communities. Therefore, given the above statements by the site owners, arguments against it’s use (full stop, no qualifications given) should at least be grounded in feminism, not the assertion that it makes the boys defensive.

    Saying such things is hardly a offense worthy of bannation or even warning from the mods, but it does mean that you are deliberately straying from the purpose of the site. And that other people here are not going to judge you favorably as a result.

  366. Mxe354 says:

    It has to stop somewhere, and if someone wants the moral high ground, they need to start, preach by example sort of. It doesn’t need to be big or anything. Stopping to categorize abuse into “abuse that’s not that bad because it happens to oppressors” vs “abuse that’s horrible because it happens to oppressed” and just think all abuse is bad and needs to stop.

    If someone can show me one example of a feminist who thinks that female-male violence is okay because men are privileged, I will be absolutely shocked.

    At least in this thread, no one has marginalized male abuse victims. No one.

  367. Fat Steve says:

    If someone can show me one example of a feminist who thinks that female-male violence is okay because men are privileged, I will be absolutely shocked.

    If someone can show me how preventing violence against women in any way promotes violence towards men, I’ll be ten times as shocked.

  368. QLH says:

    I’ve been beaten up by people who were in majority boys, few were girls. And I still don’t hold onto a standard that says men are evil women are angels. It might be even extra tempting as a trans woman, as a way to cut off my past with more drama and finality. More disgust about maleness. But my sense of justice simply won’t allow me to hate people based on something they didn’t do, simply based on them sharing a characteristic with some people who might do bad stuff.

    Is there a more likely interpretation for this paragraph than to accuse feminists of being vindictive man-haters?

  369. Lara Emily Foley says:

    makes me queezy how many times Shala has compared trans women to men or implied that ideologically speaking we fall more in line with men then women. Or that the abuse of trans women is similar to that of men.

    Gross Gross Gross.

  370. Caperton says:

    And now you’re all on perma-mod for getting shirty about moderation. Boom.

    Fine. Here are your comments.

  371. DonnaL says:

    makes me queezy how many times Shala has compared trans women to men or implied that ideologically speaking we fall more in line with men then women. Or that the abuse of trans women is similar to that of men.

    Gross Gross Gross.

    Yes, very much so. And she doesn’t even seem to comprehend the implications of her continued use of that analogy.

  372. Sam says:

    jennygadget,

    …WE VALUE diversity of opinions and we welcome dissent, but our primary goal is to foster a dynamic, robust feminist community. In that spirit, we ask that all commenters post in good faith, and that conservative or non-feminist commenters keep in mind that they are in our house and should behave accordingly. “

    honestly, I think this is pretty much exactly what I (tried to) say here –

    “The question is whether it’s possible to have a debate about *the economy* while understanding that different perspectives and ideologies are permissible in that debate.”

    with the addendum that you’re given the right to call me a

    smug, condescending, self-centered, willfully ignorant human being.

    while I am not.

  373. dungone says:

    And yeah. Define work for me, kind sir.

    If I may, the statistic is not about work – it’s about paid work. The statistic given was 34 hours of paid work for women vs 39 for men. Unless one truly believes that women should get paid by their employer for washing the dishes and changing diapers then they should at least factor this in when considering the gender pay gap. Things like this matter. More often than not, deciding to spend more time with children is a choice that women are allowed to make but men are not, which not only deprives them from a closer relationship with the children, but harms them a second time in the event of a divorce where custody tends to go to the “primary” parent. If what men are saying is that they would like to take a greater role in parenting vs slaving away at work, why not take a serious look at what is getting in the way of that?

  374. dungone says:

    The “men are more likely to commit suicide” thing is true, but it’s also only one part of suicidality statistics, because men are also less likely than women to attempt suicide, by a substantial margin.

    This is very true, but on the other hand we can’t really know for sure how many men contemplate suicide. There is a great deal of stigma against suicidal men – they are typically seen as selfish and weak if they attempt a suicide and fail to complete it. An attempted suicide is, in fact, social suicide. It’s like there’s this incentive for men to either do it for real or to shut up about it and keep their problems to themselves. For what it’s worth, I was involved with suicide prevention programs in the military and have encountered numerous situations of men killing themselves. Sometimes there is very little warning. It’s a serious problem for men which is very different than the problem facing women.

  375. Andie says:

    This is very true, but on the other hand we can’t really know for sure how many men contemplate suicide.

    Same goes for women, you know.

  376. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Funny how that concern isn’t there when it’s non white dudes.

    Young Indian men and boys (even at the age of 8) have been committing suicide at staggeringly high rates for a few hundred years now.

    Now MRA’s are soooo concerned about men killing themselves. A little late to the fucking party aren’t we?

  377. cherrybomb says:

    we can’t really know for sure how many men contemplate suicide. There is a great deal of stigma against suicidal men – they are typically seen as selfish and weak if they attempt a suicide and fail to complete it. An attempted suicide is, in fact, social suicide. It’s like there’s this incentive for men to either do it for real or to shut up about it and keep their problems to themselves

    Dungone, you realize that all also applies to women, don’t you? That attempted suicide is like social suicide, that women are afraid to admit to having suicidal thoughts for the same reasons as men? And that admitting it is, for mothers, like broadcasting your unsuitability as a woman/mother to society (and risking the removal of her children). Women and men both suffer from depression, and both suffer social stigma if they admit it. I’m not saying women have it harder tahn men when it comes to depression and suicide, but they sure as hell don’t have it easier.
    Suicide is really. fucking. serious. For both genders.

  378. cherrybomb says:

    …and that wasn’t what I meant to blockquote.

  379. Mxe354 says:

    It’s like there’s this incentive for men to either do it for real or to shut up about it and keep their problems to themselves.

    That’s the patriarchy for you. I think it’s a particularly ugly manifestation of the “man up” message.

  380. I think it’s a particularly ugly manifestation of the “man up” message.

    Spot on, and probably most likely why men choose more violent methods to begin with…

  381. pheenobarbidoll says:

    I read somewhere that women don’t use guns or disfiguring methods because of the mess it would leave behind for other people and the trauma they’d experience finding the body.

  382. cherrybomb says:

    pheeno-

    That’s actually one of the things I considred when I have had suicidal thoughts. I just figured that was me and my own worrying… Perhaps it’s a result of social conditioning, if a lot of women have that same concern.

  383. dungone says:

    That’s the patriarchy for you. I think it’s a particularly ugly manifestation of the “man up” message.

    I’m not really sure if it makes a difference what you want to call it so long as the issue doesn’t written off as a secondary concern. The “man up” message is often very poorly understood because it is not the message itself that is seductive to men, but the derision and scorn that they face if they refuse to take it to heart. I think that Chiara wrote a very provocative and honest comment at #9 when she pointed out that she doesn’t find men attractive if they behave in an effeminate manner.

    Regardless, there are some suicides that we simply can’t write off as “manning up.” Men are especially at risk for suicide after a divorce, especially if they loose contact with their children as a result. A reverse situation exists for women in China, where men are likely to initiate divorce and gain custody of children, especially if their wives become a financial burden due to medical bills or the like. Statistically speaking, the worst thing that can happen to a married father in the Western world is a loss of income, which puts them in danger of having their entire lives unravel.

  384. Mxe354 says:

    The “man up” message is often very poorly understood because it is not the message itself that is seductive to men, but the derision and scorn that they face if they refuse to take it to heart.

    No, it works both ways, though I agree that the latter is more common.

    Regardless, there are some suicides that we simply can’t write off as “manning up.”

    Not all suicides are based on patriarchal norms, so yeah.

  385. DonnaL says:

    That’s actually one of the things I considered when I have had suicidal thoughts.

    Me too, actually. In fact, there was a time that that was one of the main things — along with not being able to imagine hurting my son that way — that kept me alive. But it’s obviously not always true; my ex’s sister-in-law hanged herself last summer, in a place that made it inevitable that her husband (my ex’s brother) would find her.

  386. pheenobarbidoll says:

    But it’s obviously not always true; my ex’s sister-in-law hanged herself last summer, in a place that made it inevitable that her husband (my ex’s brother) would find her.

    The concern was more that they’d find the body in a horrible messy condition, not that they’d be found by family at all.

    ( possible trigger warning)

    I’ve walked in on 3 deaths. 1 suicide and 2 drug od’s.The suicide was a shotgun to the head. None were pleasant, but the shotgun was by far the worst to see. I won’t go into detail beyond saying the sight and the smell are more nightmarish than one could ever imagine possible.

  387. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Oh and (if I recall correctly, this was some years ago I had read about the differences in male and female methods) even though it was clearly explained as women don’t want their family to find a horribly disfigured body and the trauma that would result, it was listed as VANITY on the part of the woman.

    Isn’t that just lovely?

  388. DonnaL says:

    I understood what you meant, pheeno. It’s just that hanging is kind of messy itself, you know?

  389. dungone says:

    Dungone, you realize that all also applies to women, don’t you? That attempted suicide is like social suicide, that women are afraid to admit to having suicidal thoughts for the same reasons as men?

    My personal opinion is that suicide works the same exact way for men and women alike; there is absolutely no difference when it comes to completed suicides. One of the primary culprits in completed suicide is social isolation, so there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that women who complete suicides most likely had no one to turn to, no one to walk in and save their lives at the very last minute. Social isolation is also the reason why suicide rates are very high among the elderly.

    And that admitting it is, for mothers, like broadcasting your unsuitability as a woman/mother to society (and risking the removal of her children).

    Yes there is that, but men don’t really have the presumption of being suitable fathers to begin with. Being suicidal is actually a reasonable grounds for removal of children, at least on a case by case basis.

  390. EG says:

    men don’t really have the presumption of being suitable fathers to begin with.

    Evidence? For instance, when men choose to ask for joint or sole custody, in what percentage of cases do they succeed?

    As to contemplating suicide, any clinician will confirm that there is a world of difference between suicidal ideation and a suicide attempt. If patriarchy is working to keep more men than women from attempting suicide, that does not seem like an instance of patriarchy hurting men too to me, unlike the push toward more violent forms of suicide when it is attempted.

  391. pheenobarbidoll says:

    I understood what you meant, pheeno. It’s just that hanging is kind of messy itself, you know?

    Yes. I don’t think people really understand that fact though. They think no blood= no mess.

  392. DonnaL says:

    men don’t really have the presumption of being suitable fathers to begin with.

    This is certainly not true in New York, New Jersey, and many other states as a legal matter: there’s a presumption favoring joint legal custody and shared physical custody. And I don’t believe it’s generally true as a cultural matter either.

  393. Chiara says:

    but the derision and scorn that they face if they refuse to take it to heart. I think that Chiara wrote a very provocative and honest comment at #9 when she pointed out that she doesn’t find men attractive if they behave in an effeminate manner.

    Well not finding effeminate guys attractive doesn’t mean I deride or scorn effeminate guys, some of my best friends are effeminate guys.

    While I did say that I some (many?) women don’t find effeminate guys attractive I also think there is a general societal disdain for effeminate guys and these two things probably feed into each other. (I mean look at the negative reactions to effeminate gay men, these are generally because of uptight conservative people, not because of women finding them unattractive.) I think it’s possible to make unmanly guys not discriminated against without requiring that all women find them attractive, you know?

  394. dungone says:

    @Chiara, point taken and I hope that you didn’t read my comment to mean that. But the sad truth is both men and women who aren’t attractive end up facing a lot of bullying and derision, so the fact that some (significant) subset of women are only attracted to men who can perform masculinity bodes very badly for men who try to live their lives differently. Not to mention even from a purely in a Darwinistic sense, men who can’t find themselves a girlfriend and have babies will eventually get weeded out of the population. That’s really holding something over a guy’s head: either perform masculinity or risk living a life of solitude and have everyone make fun of you and treat you like a failure. You put it in terms of wanting to get laid, but I could also put it in terms of not wanting to be socially isolated. It’s a lose-lose situation for men – in order to deserve love and compassion, they must act as if nothing is wrong. The moment they show any sort of weakness, it’s over for them anyway.

  395. DonnaL says:

    Dungone, I don’t for a moment dispute that the issue exists, and that it can be difficult for straight men who aren’t conventionally masculine, and aren’t able or willing to perform masculinity convincingly, to find partners. But there are plenty who do so; it hardly makes things impossible.

    I’m kind of an extreme example. (After all, most feminine straight men — I reject the word “effeminate” given its inherently pejorative implications — aren’t actually women!) Still, even though I was never very good at performing masculinity and never really made much of an effort to do so (I neither speak or act any differently now than I ever did), and even though I wasn’t generally considered attractive or desirable (especially being 5′ 2″ and 115 pounds and all that!), and even though I neither dated nor had sex until I was 26 and never had a long-term relationship before I got married, I realize in retrospect that there were a number of women who were interested in me over the years and made overtures to me, for whatever reason. To the extent I even perceived that interest at the time, I had no idea what to do, or how to handle my gender issues, and, for the most part, did nothing. And except for one brief period during which I met my former spouse, never took the initiative myself. But the interest was there.

    And despite all the difficulties I had, I still had a much better chance of finding a partner then than I do now, as a middle-aged woman with a trans history. Or than many cis women have. So it’s a little difficult for me to have a huge amount of sympathy for cis men who complain that women “don’t like them,” and am usually somewhat skeptical of any claim that being insufficiently masculine is the only reason.

  396. DonnaL says:

    “neither speak nor act.” If I’m going to reveal embarrassing details about my past, I might as well use proper grammar.

  397. pheenobarbidoll says:

    especially being 5′ 2″

    Hey that’s 2 and a half inches taller than I am!

  398. DonnaL says:

    Yes, well, generally speaking, that can be more of a romantic disadvantage for men than for women. It’s amazing how quickly I went from the bottom couple of percent in height to only a couple of inches below average!

  399. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Men may be romantically disadvantaged but I’d take that happily over random dudes physically picking me up because I’m so “small” and “cute”.

    “Stabby” and ” fucking homicidal” get added to the descriptors real fast.

    And once, when I was 16, I got into the circus for free because the guy thought I was under 12. Being 16 I had to inform him that I was 16 for gods sake and not some child (*snorts* god I was stupid). I was 30 before I could buy alcohol without serious ID inspection and around 25 before I could get into rated R movies without ID.

    My husband married me, I think, partly due to how very tall he feels beside me. He’s 5’10 but I’m sure he feels like a giant standing by me. All the men in my family are 6’5, and the women are short but I’m still at least 2 inches shorter than they are. I really don’t know what happened there.

    The tallest guy I ever dated was 6’9, but it didn’t last long because we looked friggin ridiculous together. Certain…ahm….romantic things weren’t easy either.

  400. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Oh and my height is also contributes to me never wearing blue, no matter what. I had a blue pair of shoes when I was young. I loved those shoes. I wore them to school once and learned my lesson.

  401. LC says:

    The tallest guy I ever dated was 6’9, but it didn’t last long because we looked friggin ridiculous together. Certain…ahm….romantic things weren’t easy either.

    My sister is a little less than an inch shorter than you and dated 6’2″ and over for years. She was so excited when she finally started dating someone 5’7″, “My neck isn’t sore from looking up all the time!”

  402. pheenobarbidoll says:

    My daughter just graduated HS, and my mom took a video with her iphone. When my 6’5 dad looked at it he said ” why didn’t you raise it higher so you didn’t get the backs of peoples heads”

    my mother- ” I DID raise it as high as I could reach. This is what my world looks like. You stare at the backs of heads and the smalls of peoples backs”

    Tall people have no clue. I’m constantly having to make them step back so I’m NOT staring straight up to talk to them, or making my presence known when I’m behind them so I don’t get stepped on. Men are especially bad at not looking where they are walking. hello? Don’t just turn around and barrel in the direction you want to go. LOOK. There may be a person under your fucking nose. Things do exist below your line of sight.

  403. DonnaL says:

    Men may be romantically disadvantaged but I’d take that happily over random dudes physically picking me up because I’m so “small” and “cute”

    I hear you. My former spouse is 4′ 9″ (speaking generously), and it certainly caused plenty of issues for her, particularly in being treated like an adult when she was younger. As being 5′ 2″ while living as a guy did for me. Basically, being short to the unusual degree that my ex is, and I was, can make life very difficult for people regardless of their gender. (Just as being unusually tall can.) Even for things like finding clothing — I can honestly say that I never wore men’s clothing even before I transitioned!

    As a 5′ 2″ woman, I no longer consider myself to be particularly short. Not that that’s why I transitioned; I don’t recommend it as a solution to short men’s problems!

  404. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Basically, being short to the unusual degree that my ex is, and I was, can make life very difficult for people regardless of their gender.

    Yes. When you hit a certain point people feel very free to joke about it to your face or insult you to your face or generally be an asshole to your face.

    Just as being unusually tall can.)

    The men in my family never had that issue. When your hands are the size of baseball gloves and you have to turn sideways to get through doorways, people tend to leave you alone.

    Until you marry a short woman and she climbs on up a chair to yell in your face.

  405. roymacIII says:

    But the sad truth is both men and women who aren’t attractive end up facing a lot of bullying and derision, so the fact that some (significant) subset of women are only attracted to men who can perform masculinity bodes very badly for men who try to live their lives differently.

    I think it’s certainly true that there’s a lot of cruelty towards people who are judged as unattractive, but I’m very skeptical of the second part there. I think that the percentage of women who are only attracted to traditionally masculine men is highly exaggerated. The policing of masculinity is definitely a problem, and it’s something that both men and women contribute to, but, in my experience, there’s actually a very wide range of what constitutes “acceptable” for men.

    Without attempting an exhaustive list, men are still well within “socially accepted” masculinity whether they’re soft and nerdy or buff and sporty. Using pop-culture to examine some of the men who are considered attractive (not a perfect way to determine it, but I think it’s probably not horribly inaccurate, either), you find all kinds of shapes and sizes for guys. The range tends to be significantly broader than for women, I think.

    That’s really holding something over a guy’s head: either perform masculinity or risk living a life of solitude and have everyone make fun of you and treat you like a failure. You put it in terms of wanting to get laid, but I could also put it in terms of not wanting to be socially isolated. It’s a lose-lose situation for men – in order to deserve love and compassion, they must act as if nothing is wrong. The moment they show any sort of weakness, it’s over for them anyway.

    I keep writing and deleting things here, because I don’t want to seem like I’m dismissing your lived experiences, but, as someone who wasn’t particularly masculine (in the traditional sense), I feel like this isn’t generally the case. Like I said, I think that gender policing is really bad, and it can really be tough on guys who fall outside the norm, but I don’t think that guys who aren’t traditionally masculine face a life of solitude.

    I guess I can only really speak to my own experiences, since I don’t have hard data, but what I’ve mostly seen and experienced is that there are actually lots of women who are very interested in men who aren’t stereotypically masculine. It’s often more an issue of not noticing interest rather than interest not being there. I’ve seen it happen repeatedly where a guy will complain that “girls don’t like guys like me” will either reject or not notice women who are interested in them.

  406. dungone says:

    @DonnaL, I appreciate your thoughtful remarks and your ability to see both sides of the issue from a lived experience. My frame of reference was more in terms of showing vulnerability, since we had been talking about suicide at the same time. So actually the discussion didn’t go where I expected.

    I realize in retrospect that there were a number of women who were interested in me over the years and made overtures to me, for whatever reason. To the extent I even perceived that interest at the time, I had no idea what to do, or how to handle my gender issues, and, for the most part, did nothing. And except for one brief period during which I met my former spouse, never took the initiative myself. But the interest was there.

    Not to offend you, but do you realize that, for better or worse, sometimes even an average looking woman might encounter as as much interest from men in a single day as you seem to have experienced in the first 26 years of your life? I actually used to feel the same way as you – used to dwell on the would haves, should haves, could haves, all of the ones that got away. This was back when I had none. I wasn’t exactly an early bloomer either, but by the time I turned 30 I had been with 30 women and at some point in my lived experience I actually stopped dwelling on the missed opportunities. So now that I’m old enough to have been with a number of women (most, in fact) who had significantly less sexual experience than I, what I can say is that in my opinion, a lot of women literally get bombarded with interested offers before they “get it” and figure out what to do. So I really don’t blame you for not knowing what to do – when the interest you felt was so few and far between.

    @roymacIII, you know, a guy can probably get away with wearing mascara as long as he doesn’t cry at the same time. For certain guys, let’s say really tall muscular guys, wearing a little pink now and again is even interpreted as a sign of his masculine confidence, ironically. For other guys, doing the same things might get them labeled as a deuschbag. I hope that other readers here can understand that, too – just because you see one guy doing something doesn’t mean that it’s a viable option for every other guy as well.

  407. DonnaL says:

    there are actually lots of women who are very interested in men who aren’t stereotypically masculine. It’s often more an issue of not noticing interest rather than interest not being there

    Definitely. Perhaps there aren’t “lots” of straight women like that in percentage terms, and they’re certainly invisible in popular culture. But it happened enough to me over the years, back when I was generally perceived as being such a person (even though I consciously avoided any kind of non-masculine physical appearance or presentation), to make it clear that such women aren’t mythical! As I explained, it was more an issue for me of either not noticing the interest, or not believing it was possible and dismissing it as my own wishful thinking, or being so shy and inexperienced as not to know how to respond.

  408. Caperton says:

    I’m interested in hearing opinions on what constitutes a “feminine” (“not masculine,” “unmanly,” etc.) man. Would it just be a smaller build? More delicate gestures and way of moving? More interest in grooming? More interest in traditionally female pursuits? More willingness to show emotion? A combination of a number of those traits?

  409. Mxe354 says:

    I’d say that a feminine man has feminine body language and a feminine personality e.g. more sensitive, nurturing, less assertive, etc. (I’m just going by the typical conception of femininity.) Of course, there are more overt signs as well, like feminine clothes, but I think body language and personality are more significant overall.

  410. DonnaL says:

    do you realize that, for better or worse, sometimes even an average looking woman might encounter as as much interest from men in a single day as you seem to have experienced in the first 26 years of your life? . . . . in my opinion, a lot of women literally get bombarded with interested offers before they “get it” and figure out what to do. So I really don’t blame you for not knowing what to do – when the interest you felt was so few and far between.

    I hadn’t thought about it in those terms, but I’m not sure what it has to do with the point I was making, which was simply that I don’t believe that it’s as incredibly difficult as you seem to think for straight men who fall outside the bounds of stereotypical masculinity — which can mean a lot of different things, as Caperton points out — to find women who are interested in them. You made it sound like a tragic situation, and I don’t think it is. Whether for someone who deviated as much from societal standards of masculinity in a physical sense as I did (being very short and slight with a high voice that never really changed at puberty like most men’s voices do, and which I didn’t have to alter in any way when I transitioned), or for straight men who deviate from stereotypical masculinity in any number of other ways.

    Also, I have a feeling that you’re including being approached (or harassed) by strangers, something many women don’t exactly consider a positive thing, as an expression of interest. Something that never happened to me prior to transition, and never, or rarely, happens to a lot of men regardless of how stereotypically masculine they are. What I was thinking of was expressions of interest from women I knew.

  411. Tomek Kulesza says:

    I’m interested in hearing opinions on what constitutes a “feminine” (“not masculine,” “unmanly,” etc.) man. Would it just be a smaller build? More delicate gestures and way of moving? More interest in grooming? More interest in traditionally female pursuits? More willingness to show emotion? A combination of a number of those traits?

    IMO, what you just said. I guess that counts as opinion? Basically, anything that’s thought as feminine and not-universal. But the combination is actually quite important. You can get away with being interested in dolls if you’re 6 feet 200 pounds supermachomegamale, but try it when you’re tiny skinny high pitch voice no facial hair guy and the reaction will be quite different.

    But the sad truth is both men and women who aren’t attractive end up facing a lot of bullying and derision, so the fact that some (significant) subset of women are only attracted to men who can perform masculinity bodes very badly for men who try to live their lives differently. Not to mention even from a purely in a Darwinistic sense, men who can’t find themselves a girlfriend and have babies will eventually get weeded out of the population. That’s really holding something over a guy’s head: either perform masculinity or risk living a life of solitude and have everyone make fun of you and treat you like a failure. You put it in terms of wanting to get laid, but I could also put it in terms of not wanting to be socially isolated. It’s a lose-lose situation for men – in order to deserve love and compassion, they must act as if nothing is wrong. The moment they show any sort of weakness, it’s over for them anyway.

    This has so much wrongness in it that i don’t even know where to begin. Just no. It’s not like that.

    do you realize that, for better or worse, sometimes even an average looking woman might encounter as as much interest from men in a single day as you seem to have experienced in the first 26 years of your life?

    Err. That’s… not true?

  412. EG says:

    do you realize that, for better or worse, sometimes even an average looking woman might encounter as as much interest from men in a single day as you seem to have experienced in the first 26 years of your life? . . . . in my opinion, a lot of women literally get bombarded with interested offers before they “get it” and figure out what to do.

    Unless you consider harassment and ogling to be “interest,” you’re just incorrect about this. It is entirely possible for a, perhaps I flatter myself, perfectly fine looking woman to get absolutely no attention, to the point that she puts up with asshole behavior from inappropriate jerks for the validation.

  413. EG says:

    It’s a lose-lose situation for men – in order to deserve love and compassion, they must act as if nothing is wrong. The moment they show any sort of weakness, it’s over for them anyway.

    This is also so bizarrely incorrect that I’m not even sure what to do with it, except to cast my mind back over the men I’ve slept with to see if any of them ever behaved in the masculine way you’re describing. I’m coming up with zero. I’m trying to factor in my my stepdad, my dad, my uncle, my friends’ partners, and I’m still coming up with zero. Enough with the melodrama already. It’s perfectly possible for men to get laid and find loving partners without being John Wayne. Most women I’ve met prefer it when they are not, actually.

  414. DonnaL says:

    Unless you consider harassment and ogling to be “interest,”

    I think that has to be what he means; it doesn’t make sense otherwise except as some sort of weird fantasy about how good women supposedly have it.

  415. unacomplished says:

    Unless you consider harassment and ogling to be “interest,” you’re just incorrect about this. It is entirely possible for a, perhaps I flatter myself, perfectly fine looking woman to get absolutely no attention, to the point that she puts up with asshole behavior from inappropriate jerks for the validation.

    well to be fair, it also seems likely that with the amount of harassment a typical “fine looking woman” receives in a day that by 1pm even the most polite dudes who simply gave a “hi, how are you today” are ending up as ticks on the “people who harassed me today” scorecard.

  416. Mxe354 says:

    well to be fair, it also seems likely that with the amount of harassment a typical “fine looking woman” receives in a day that by 1pm even the most polite dudes who simply gave a “hi, how are you today” are ending up as ticks on the “people who harassed me today” scorecard.

    perfectly fine looking woman =! fine looking woman

    The terms have distinct connotations. The former is, I believe, used for a woman who has what many call a “decent” appearance (e.g. slightly attractive appearance that is “nothing special.”) The latter is used to describe a woman who is especially sexually attractive ( “That girl is fiiiine“, as some men say).

  417. EG says:

    it also seems likely that with the amount of harassment a typical “fine looking woman” receives in a day that by 1pm even the most polite dudes who simply gave a “hi, how are you today” are ending up as ticks on the “people who harassed me today” scorecard.

    Blame the overarching threat of male harassment and sexual assault. If some strange man comes up to me on the street, ignores my signals that I want to be left alone, and starts talking to me, I don’t have the luxury of giving him the benefit of the doubt.

  418. LotusBecca says:

    I’m interested in hearing opinions on what constitutes a “feminine” (“not masculine,” “unmanly,” etc.) man. Would it just be a smaller build? More delicate gestures and way of moving? More interest in grooming? More interest in traditionally female pursuits? More willingness to show emotion? A combination of a number of those traits?

    Well, I think it’s some combination of traits like that. I also think it depends a lot on the subculture and age range of the people concerned. From my experience, it seems like the further away one gets from puberty or “traditional” culture, the fewer things are explicitly gendered. So listening to female singers or enjoying dancing was considered “girly” among the boys I went to middle school with in a Republican-leaning suburb, but among the guys at my progressive college it was considered something without any gendered connotations (I’m talking about the guys’ perspectives on it because, to me, they seemed to be the main ones who were policing/defining masculinity and its absence).

    Some stuff seems pretty reliably interpreted as feminine though. I think how a person talks is one of the biggest things. It’s very common for men to have more resonance in their voices (speak from their chest more). Also, it’s common for them to use flatter tonal inflection and a steadier pace, whereas women tend to vary their inflection and speak in short bursts punctuated by pauses. It seems to me that men who speak in the more “feminine” way get frequently read by strangers as being gay (which is synonymous with or at least closely related to being a “feminine man” in most people’s minds).

    This intersects a lot with my life personally, being a pretty feminine woman who was forced to live as a boy growing up. I felt the need to repress a lot of my natural inclinations toward feminine expression. It’s hard for me to relate, however, to what some of the commenters have been saying about feminine guys not being able to find dates. I mean–I was interested in women, and I didn’t get a lot of dates with them either, but I don’t believe it was because I was too feminine. I think it had more to do with my shyness and social anxiety. And my attempts to seem more masculine were primarily motivated by a desire to avoid being bullied, mocked, and socially rejected by the guys in my class.

    From around ages 12 to 15, I carefully observed and studied my male peers so that I could learn to emulate them better. I noticed that when they sat they didn’t cross their legs or they crossed them below the knee rather than above the knees. I noticed that their gestures tended to be more abrupt and angular rather than smooth and flowing (i.e. no limp wrists). I noticed they swung their shoulders when they walked rather than their hips. I noticed probably five hundred little things like that (fingernail length, typical patterns of blinking, preferred slang, etc.etc.etc.) and modified my behavior and personality accordingly.

  419. dungone says:

    @Caperton, what I had been trying to talk about in my comments has nothing to do with stylistic or superficial traits and everything to do with attitudes of toxic masculinity. This would include things as admitting to one’s vulnerability, asking for help, adjusting the work-life balance more towards life, not focusing on being a success object, adopting a passive or submissive role in relationships, etc. I wouldn’t even call this “feminine,” unless by “feminine,” you mean sensible – the act of not falling onto one’s own sword.

  420. Mxe354 says:

    @me

    I’d say that a feminine man has feminine body language and a feminine personality e.g. more sensitive, nurturing, less assertive, etc. (I’m just going by the typical conception of femininity.) Of course, there are more overt signs as well, like feminine clothes, but I think body language and personality are more significant overall.

    I guess that’s a form of special pleading. It probably is a combination of feminine aspects, like others here are saying, that makes a man feminine.

  421. dungone says:

    @EG, I feel that unless you personally ask those men in your life what their lived experience has been, simply looking at their lives from afar might not give you a complete picture. It’s also important to note that all of your observations seem to be based on men who, at the time at least, found themselves in successful relationships and had a support network. This doesn’t necessarily counter my point at all – that the only men who are allowed to ask for help are the ones who are the least likely to actually need it – at the time. You haven’t necessarily factored in the behavior that those men have had to engage in to get to where they were at by comparing it to, let’s say, men who behaved in less masculine ways and never even made it in the first place.

    My gut feeling is that when women think of a feminine man, someone like Billie Joe Armstrong is the first thing that comes to mind, but that’s really not what I’m thinking about. I don’t even want to call it “feminine,” because that’s very misleading here, I just mean lack of masculinity. Masculinity isn’t necessarily the polar opposite of femininity, lack of one doesn’t imply the presence of the other. I’m talking about a guy who is maybe too shy to ask a lot of girls out, or maybe he gets depressed a lot and is needy and depends on other people to take care of him more than most guys do… things like that. Usually those guys end up becoming extremely isolated whereas women with similar faults don’t necessarily become isolated to the same extreme extent. So that’s kind of what I’m talking about – definitely not talking about a rich rock star who wears mascara.

  422. Tomek Kulesza says:

    typical patterns of blinking

    There’s a difference? You got me really curious, could you elaborate?

  423. roymacIII says:

    @roymacIII, you know, a guy can probably get away with wearing mascara as long as he doesn’t cry at the same time. For certain guys, let’s say really tall muscular guys, wearing a little pink now and again is even interpreted as a sign of his masculine confidence, ironically. For other guys, doing the same things might get them labeled as a deuschbag. I hope that other readers here can understand that, too – just because you see one guy doing something doesn’t mean that it’s a viable option for every other guy as well.

    I think that these sorts of things vary wildly depending on where you live and how old you are. I’m in my early/mid-thirties now, and the older I get, the less blatant gender policing I feel like I face. The fact that I have zero athletic ability and have zero interest in sports was a problem when I was a kid, but now? Not so much. Likewise, one of my favorite shirts has pink stripes on it–it doesn’t get anything but compliments now. It might very well have drawn criticism when I was a kid. My point isn’t, however, that gender policing doesn’t happen, only that I don’t think falling outside the normal range of “masculine” dooms anyone to be alone and unloved. As others have pointed out, there are lots of men who fall outside of the John Wayne model who have very active sex lives.

    I’m interested in hearing opinions on what constitutes a “feminine” (“not masculine,” “unmanly,” etc.) man. Would it just be a smaller build? More delicate gestures and way of moving? More interest in grooming? More interest in traditionally female pursuits? More willingness to show emotion? A combination of a number of those traits?

    I use scare-quotes around the terms because I think that they’re pretty vague and stretchy (like a lot of things when we’re talking about socio-cultural traits, I guess), and arbitrary. It’s difficult because I don’t think everything is weighted evenly, either. Masculinity and femininity aren’t static, and are policed differently depending on geography, occupation, social/economic status, etc.

    Like the wearing pink thing, for example. I think that pink is generally considered a feminine color right now, but I think that the social censure for wearing pink shirt isn’t that high depending on where you are. As a librarian, nobody bats an eye when I wear a shirt with pink stripes, but if I showed up wearing pink pants? I suspect that a guy living in Southie might get a different reaction if he walked into a bar wearing a pink shirt than I do if I stop by a bar around Harvard.

    So much of it is trading in stereotypes, too. I don’t think of myself as particularly masculine in no small part because of the ways that other people react to me or talk to me. From my own observations, I don’t think of myself as particularly masculine because I’m not interested in sports, don’t have any interest in cars or fixing things, and was always more interested in things like reading, drawing, and cooking. On the other hand, I have a big old beard, which reads “masculine” I guess.

    I don’t know. It can be a useful concept for discussion purposes, but it all treats gender like a binary, which is obviously super problematic, and I end up feeling like it’s some sort of magical RPG stats system: “Well, this guy obviously took ‘likes sports’ so he gets +5 to masculinity, while this gal took ‘short hair’ so she gets +2 masc, but also took ‘loves dresses’ so she gets +4 fem.” The only problem is there’s not actually a guide.

  424. dungone says:

    @roymacIII, I agree with you to a great extent. I think that what happens as men get older, for most men, is that they become a lot more socially appealing than they were as youths – they’re wealthier, sexually experienced, and often already have wives and children of their own. It’s kind of like suddenly being 6 inches taller, know what I mean? It doesn’t mean that the enforcement is no longer there, just that you’ve already met the criteria.

    What’s interesting to me is what happens to middle aged guys sometimes when they loose a job or suffer a disability of some sort. For example, I’m a former Marine so I know a few guys who lost an arm or a leg in the fighting, one guy who sustained burns all over his body, and got on permanent disability. Their girlfriends stuck around with them for a while, but after a couple of years they ended up single and unwanted. A lot of those guys end up homeless.

  425. EG says:

    I feel that unless you personally ask those men in your life what their lived experience has been, simply looking at their lives from afar might not give you a complete picture. It’s also important to note that all of your observations seem to be based on men who, at the time at least, found themselves in successful relationships and had a support network. This doesn’t necessarily counter my point at all – that the only men who are allowed to ask for help are the ones who are the least likely to actually need it – at the time. You haven’t necessarily factored in the behavior that those men have had to engage in to get to where they were at by comparing it to, let’s say, men who behaved in less masculine ways and never even made it in the first place.

    You’re mistaken. I witnessed my mother and stepfather’s courtship. I was familiar with how “masculine” the men I have slept with were before I slept with them. I have talked to my uncle, my stepfather, my exes, my friends’ partners about their dating lives. I’m not observing these men from afar; these are men I actually know quite well.

    I’m talking about a guy who is maybe too shy to ask a lot of girls out, or maybe he gets depressed a lot and is needy and depends on other people to take care of him more than most guys do… things like that. Usually those guys end up becoming extremely isolated whereas women with similar faults don’t necessarily become isolated to the same extreme extent.

    So you’re not talking about unmasculine men; you’re talking about shy, neurotic, depressed men (men can definitely be neurotic and depressed and still be enacting a form of masculinity–the tortured genius, for example). OK. Well, it’s certainly true that shy people and people with mental illnesses that cause them to socially isolate are going to have less social support than other people…but that’s not about masculinity, and I’m not sure why you think that shy, neurotic, depressed women get more support.

  426. LotusBecca says:

    There’s a difference? You got me really curious, could you elaborate?

    Well, um, from my observations, at least, I’d say most women tend to blink more than most men. For example, people often blink a lot when they’re flustered. But most men try to be stoic and hide that they’re flustered and therefore blink less in those situations. Also, many more women than men are likely to “bat their eyelashes” expressively. Basically, I hypothesize that men tending to blink less than women is part of an overall pattern whereby most men are less emotionally expressive than most women: flatter tone of voice, more rigid body posture, blunter facial expressions, less flowery gestures, etc. As for me personally, I was actually specifically criticized and laughed at in middle school for “blinking too much.”

    Anyway, I hope no one calls me a gender essentialist here (it’s happened before when I talk about the aggregate differences I observe between men and women). Just to be clear, this is just my subjective take on all this, and I think these are broad generalities with plenty of exceptions. And furthermore, I believe much or most of these differences are culturally dependent and not innate. So yeah.

  427. LotusBecca says:

    In other words, my, um, theories about gendered blinking are based off my observations of people in contemporary Euro-American culture, and may or may not apply to people in other cultures. And the root of the differences could be entirely learned, entirely innate, or anywhere in the middle.

  428. DonnaL says:

    I’m impressed, Becca. I was never that observant. Even though I did try to avoid those standard third grade “tells” based on how boys vs. girls supposedly crossed their legs, looked at their fingernails, and looked at the bottoms of their shoes. Then again, I spent 7th through 12th grades in a school that provided perhaps the best possible “cover” for someone like me, since it was an all-boys’ school in New York City with a student body that was 85% Jewish, a great many of whom were short, unathletic boys with glasses who probably blinked a lot, and talked fast, without pausing. Very few of them were very John Wayne-like! So perhaps I didn’t have to be as observant as you did. Yes, I was teased and bullied to some extent, but not as much as I’m sure I would have been in many other environments. (And the school had other issues of the kind that have been in the news recently, but that’s another story.)

  429. Schala says:

    From around ages 12 to 15, I carefully observed and studied my male peers so that I could learn to emulate them better. I noticed that when they sat they didn’t cross their legs or they crossed them below the knee rather than above the knees. I noticed that their gestures tended to be more abrupt and angular rather than smooth and flowing (i.e. no limp wrists). I noticed they swung their shoulders when they walked rather than their hips. I noticed probably five hundred little things like that (fingernail length, typical patterns of blinking, preferred slang, etc.etc.etc.) and modified my behavior and personality accordingly.

    I noticed very few things, and misthought many even. I didn’t notice the walk thing unless it was extremely exaggerated (cowboy for men versus stripper for women, both exaggerating their movements, probably for effect). In my mind, “normal people” (people who weren’t cowboys, strippers, or trying to emulate them) walked all the same, the same way I did, a foot in front of the other (because it’s logical for distance vs effort). To this day I’m not sure how my walk comes off to others.

    I thought only girls took bubble baths, or even baths at all – so I didn’t dare tell others that I only took baths (I never liked taking showers, I will if there’s really no other option). I didn’t really notice the crossed knee thing, because there were some exceptions, and I figured it was a comfort thing.

    I was afraid anyone would learn of my being in ballroom social dancing lessons, and even of wearing shiny-finish leather shoes (I’d always pick non-shiny ones), because I thought some people MIGHT think it was girlier that way, and I’d have to justify myself, and I’d turn into a mess of red, panicking as if someone pointed a gun at my head to reveal my darkest secret. Funny enough, I had no problem with people knowing I was babysitting my brothers. I didn’t see it as gendered.

    Although I had no real outlet to let much of the repression out, I never did what is commonly referred to as cross-dressing. I played female characters in MMORPGs, as many are want to do in my generation of trans women who also happen to be videogame geeks. It cost nothing (nothing more than just playing anyways), and had no real ‘guilt factor’.

    I’m “girly” in the non-commercial way. I don’t need make-up, dresses or interests in fashion to be perceived as feminine (perceived as female is different). I just “come off” as somewhat girly at the base. I was perceived as gay before, for that reason. It’s mainly my body language.

    I’m generally considered unmasculine, because I’m shy and have very awkward social skills (unsuitable to approach people), but that’s not a problem now, especially since I’m pansexual (so I’m attracted to people who might have been taught to make the first move).

    I wouldn’t read signs of “go away”, unless someone said it outright. I also wouldn’t read signs of interest unless it was clearly spelled out. I generally tend to act with people as I would like them to act with me. Because that seemed like sensible biblical advice. Some think I should read body language or minds to be acceptable, but I’m not that good.

    My being trans affected my desire to date very negatively, besides not being particularly successful, I wasn’t particularly motivated. And I ended up dating a girl I wanted to resemble (physically) rather than one I loved. The only girl I ever dated. I dated my boyfriend later, much later.

  430. Tomek Kulesza says:

    Also, many more women than men are likely to “bat their eyelashes” expressively.

    Now that you mention that i realized that i deliberately started doing exactly that, after observing it and deciding i liked how it looked. Lol. I might need to rethink my gender performance or something

    *blinks repeatedly and blushes*

    Thanks for explaining :)

  431. QLH says:

    My gut feeling is that when women think of a feminine man, someone like Billie Joe Armstrong is the first thing that comes to mind, but that’s really not what I’m thinking about.

    It never would have occurred to me to call Billie Joe Armstrong “feminine.”

    What’s interesting to me is what happens to middle aged guys sometimes when they loose a job or suffer a disability of some sort. For example, I’m a former Marine so I know a few guys who lost an arm or a leg in the fighting, one guy who sustained burns all over his body, and got on permanent disability. Their girlfriends stuck around with them for a while, but after a couple of years they ended up single and unwanted. A lot of those guys end up homeless.

    One partner developing a disability is disruptive to a lot of relationships. Period. Especially when it’s sudden. In the examples you give, trauma and PTSD might be involved.

    Do women with disabilities have an easy time finding/keeping romantic partners?

  432. LotusBecca says:

    Gosh, I feel like I’m at my support group for “MTF transitioners” now. Should I feel guilty? Has all this been a derail? Or has this thread ever really been on the rails at any point?

    Whatevs. I suppose I might as well accept my nature as a mouthy trans woman and continue to illegitimately usurp control over this feminist space.

    So perhaps I didn’t have to be as observant as you did.

    Also Donna, I had some incentives to try and emulate masculinity. For example, I’m 6’2″ and developed a pretty deep voice with puberty. So once I managed to eliminate most of my feminine mannerisms (which took several years of intensive observation and extreme stress but became habitual and automatic), I could pass pretty easily throughout high school and college as a “regular guy.” Not especially masculine, but not unusually feminine either. Of course, this meant a life of unfulfilling emotional isolation, but at least I wasn’t getting picked on anymore and I had “friends.”

    I was afraid anyone would learn of my being in ballroom social dancing lessons, and even of wearing shiny-finish leather shoes (I’d always pick non-shiny ones)

    This will sound embarassingly stereotypical, but in college, when I first started drinking, I initially graviated to fruity cocktails and things like Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I got a few comments about this. . .nothing too mean, but not the sort of attention I wanted. I, therefore, decided my favorite drink would be whiskey! I forced myself to like not only Jack Daniel’s but even Potter’s and McCormick’s (yes, I was such a man that even the disgusting, cheap stuff didn’t phase me!) through an elaborate process that, in retrospect, I would characterize as a mixture of self-hyponosis, operant conditioning, and method acting.

    Now I prefer Sex on the Beach and Cosmos again. Just another [redacted. -C] doing her part to reify the gender binary! ;-)

  433. Schala says:

    This will sound embarassingly stereotypical, but in college, when I first started drinking, I initially graviated to fruity cocktails and things like Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I got a few comments about this. . .nothing too mean, but not the sort of attention I wanted. I, therefore, decided my favorite drink would be whiskey! I forced myself to like not only Jack Daniel’s but even Potter’s and McCormick’s (yes, I was such a man that even the disgusting, cheap stuff didn’t phase me!) through an elaborate process that, in retrospect, I would characterize as a mixture of self-hyponosis, operant conditioning, and method acting.

    Given my ease to getting drunk (especially on hormones) and lack of self-control when drinking (as in, I won’t know when it’s too much until way too late)…I prefer the hard stuff, because its less tempting to gulp all of it in one go. It’s not better-tasting though.

  434. DonnaL says:

    Becca, would you mind terribly much not using that word, even facetiously and even with asterisks? It makes me wince.

  435. DonnaL says:

    When I turned 18, back in the day when that was the drinking age, the first thing I did was walk up to a bar, pound my fist on it, and say to the bartender, “Gimme a Tom Collins”!

  436. dungone says:

    You’re mistaken. I witnessed my mother and stepfather’s courtship. I was familiar with how “masculine” the men I have slept with were before I slept with them.

    Like I said, you’d have to ask them how they actually felt about it, and have gotten an honest answer, to know for sure. You may have perceived them to not be masculine at all but that doesn’t mean that they hadn’t been brought up to perform in a masculine way and had struggled to get to that point by the time you ever met them. You may have missed ways in which they were trying very hard or had a natural gift for (i.e. tall, muscular) but maybe you took those things for granted. Also, you may have been a fluke in their overall lived existence – perhaps you allowed them to get away with not being masculine, which is generally wonderful of you, but you don’t know the women which they had to court both before and after courting you. There’s just too many variables to consider so unless you literally asked them about their experience, you can’t really comment on it.

  437. LotusBecca says:

    I apologize Donna. I won’t use it again on Feministe.

    “Gimme a Tom Collins”!

    Mmmmmmmmmm. My mouth’s watering.

  438. Chiara says:

    Masculinity isn’t necessarily the polar opposite of femininity, lack of one doesn’t imply the presence of the other. I’m talking about a guy who is maybe too shy to ask a lot of girls out, or maybe he gets depressed a lot and is needy and depends on other people to take care of him more than most guys do… things like that.

    Well it seems we’ve been working from different definitions of a ‘feminine/unmanly guy’ then.

    I was thinking more of the kind of guy is into fashion and will happily talk ‘girly’ stuff. Think people like that are often called metrosexuals, though I don’t know if this term is offensive or not — apologies if it is.

    For your definition of feminine guy, I don’t think girls that are like that — depressed a lot and needy — really get all that much action either. Unless they’re good looking, in which case they might get in relationships but will often be branded ‘high maintenance’. Although I don’t doubt that girls like that will get more relationships than guys, because some guys will see the neediness and model themselves as like a protector.

  439. dungone says:

    It never would have occurred to me to call Billie Joe Armstrong “feminine.”

    Why not? Your reasoning could be interesting, given that he is bisexual and wears makeup. He told Out Magazine that he feels that being a singer is very feminine, so it’s something that he obviously embraces. He said, “I think that feminine side has served me a lot more than my masculine side has in a lot of ways.” But why do you think that he isn’t? I usually hear girls

  440. dungone says:

    It never would have occurred to me to call Billie Joe Armstrong “feminine.”

    Why not? Your reasoning could be interesting, given that he is bisexual and wears makeup. He told Out Magazine that he feels that being a singer is very feminine, so it’s something that he obviously embraces. He said, “I think that feminine side has served me a lot more than my masculine side has in a lot of ways.” But why do you think that he isn’t?

  441. LotusBecca says:

    Actually, upon reflection, if the mods have the time and wouldn’t mind deleting the last sentence of my post @ 435, I’d appreciate it.

  442. Fat Steve says:

    Actually, upon reflection, if the mods have the time and wouldn’t mind deleting the last sentence of my post @ 435, I’d appreciate it.

    Even if it doesn’t get deleted I think we can all agree to pretend it didn’t happen. If anyone has the right to use that word it’s you, but it’s admirable how you responded to Donna’s sensitivity.

  443. Fat Steve says:

    I meant that last ‘we can all…’ as a figure of speech…not speaking for anyone but myself (and the other people in my head.)

  444. dungone says:

    One partner developing a disability is disruptive to a lot of relationships. Period.

    I guess what I was seeing is that these were war injuries that had been sustained as part of a quest to achieve masculinity. A lot of those relationships were built around that – many of these guys found their girlfriends because those women greatly admired their toughness and self-sacrifice. I guess that I wouldn’t focus so much on the reality of what dealing with PTSD and physical impairment is like, but the fact that these couples had bought into the idea that putting men into harm’s way was somehow proving something about their manhood.

    And just to be fair, I know plenty of women who would never date a Marine in the first place for the same reasons – they didn’t want to be the women burying their husbands with a baby at home. It definitely cuts both ways when it’s at the extreme end of masculinity. But I see shades of gray – women readily getting together with a successful guy only to ditch him after he gets fired from his job. I would get a taste of that now and again growing up – after winning a sporting event or performing on stage in a band – all of a sudden girls would come out of the woodwork, but when I was hunched down studying for a college degree and for years afterward as I struggled to establish myself and pay off debt, I felt like a complete nobody, was cheated on, rejected, dumped, etc. I can’t say for sure how much of it to attribute to bad choices on my part and how much of it to my ability to meet standards for masculinity, but in general I have this broad definition of masculinity as everything that a man has to do, not just some sort of codified way of getting dressed or a bunch of mannerisms.

    Do women with disabilities have an easy time finding/keeping romantic partners?

    I couldn’t answer that for sure; I think I would like to ask some women with disabilities to answer for themselves. I can only guess. I do think that women with disabilities have a greater amount of social support on some levels, at least enough of it so that they’re less likely to become homeless than men.

  445. EG says:

    You may have perceived them to not be masculine at all but that doesn’t mean that they hadn’t been brought up to perform in a masculine way and had struggled to get to that point by the time you ever met them. You may have missed ways in which they were trying very hard or had a natural gift for (i.e. tall, muscular) but maybe you took those things for granted. Also, you may have been a fluke in their overall lived existence – perhaps you allowed them to get away with not being masculine, which is generally wonderful of you, but you don’t know the women which they had to court both before and after courting you. There’s just too many variables to consider so unless you literally asked them about their experience, you can’t really comment on it.

    Congratulations on not reading what I wrote. I don’t think you understand: I have known these men. I have spoken with them about dating, masculinity, and feminism. I do know, in more than one case, the women these men slept with before and/or after me. I have spoken to them. As I said. Men are not an alien species.

  446. EG says:

    after winning a sporting event or performing on stage in a band – all of a sudden girls would come out of the woodwork, but when I was hunched down studying for a college degree and for years afterward as I struggled to establish myself and pay off debt, I felt like a complete nobody, was cheated on, rejected, dumped, etc.

    Welcome to the world. Everybody loves a winner, and people get cheated on, rejected, and/or dumped all the time, regardless of their masculinity or lack thereof.

  447. EG says:

    Also, you’re shifting goalposts. Originally you wrote that if a man breaks in his masculinity at all, the consequence is social isolation. Now that a number of people have pointed out that this is not so and provided evidence from our lives, you’re saying that no, it’s about being socialized to be masculine as kids.

    Well, right. Men are socialized to be masculine, just as women are socialized to be feminine. But that doesn’t make men privy to some kind of unique suffering.

  448. dungone says:

    @EG, I’m not here for a flame war – just saying.

    As I said. Men are not an alien species.

    I would like to understand what you’re trying to say here a little better because I actually feel a little bit like I must be an alien species to you if everything that you seem know about men goes counter to my lived experience. But hey – I’m just a man. What do I know?

    Originally you wrote that if a man breaks in his masculinity at all, the consequence is social isolation. Now that a number of people have pointed out that this is not so and provided evidence from our lives, you’re saying that no

    That’s kind of inaccurate. I admit that I didn’t dig in my heels and chose to let some things slide, but that’s not the same as moving the goal posts. I still maintain that breaking masculinity results in social isolation. For some men who cannot perform masculinity, that means total isolation. Example: I’m personally friends with a guy who is 32 years old, never had sex, went on a single date in his entire life… his main problem is generalized anxiety disorder which, among other things, prevents him from initiating contact with girls. So total isolation for him. I know two girls with GAD – both married with children. One is actually on her second marriage and she can’t even drive a car because it freaks her out to the point of having to pull over and call someone to come pick her up.

    What I have seen is that a number of people in this thread have admitted that in fact the kind of things I was mentioning do happen and that it’s a male issue, but that there’s some hope after all. I have slowly seen this morph into an argument that seems to me like, well because at least some men seem to succeed without conforming, then my concerns aren’t really valid, just a bunch of “melodrama.”

  449. dungone says:

    @EG, also, this never made sense to me:

    So you’re not talking about unmasculine men; you’re talking about shy, neurotic, depressed men (men can definitely be neurotic and depressed and still be enacting a form of masculinity–the tortured genius, for example). OK

    Masculinity is performative in nature. The entire male gender role has no place for shyness or apprehension of any sort. The vast majority of men, in order to find a mate, have to court her, must be positive, confident, upbeat, funny, etc. How often do you hear of a girl approaching a depressed looking guy, telling him a few jokes, cheering him up and making him laugh, then taking him back to her place and having sex? Doesn’t that seem kind of ludicrous, almost? But men put up with moody and depressed women constantly and it’s really important for them to be funny and make girls feel good. Why is that?

    I know that especially on a blog like this, there’s probably a number of women who ask a guy out themselves, pick him up in their fancy car if he doesn’t drive, and pay for the date if he’s broke. But I honestly don’t see that to be a sizable enough portion of women to really make a difference for the average guy. The average guy is more likely to encounter a girl who swears by The Rules and whatever else Cosmo said.

  450. Tomek Kulesza says:

    Dungone,

    While in general i agree about the normative pressures on men and their toxic effects, i think you’re overplaying the attractiveness for women part of it. In fact it seems like you’re sort of replaying it, seeing how much of that normative pressure is about how to ‘be succesfull with women’. It seems that you’re so much concerned with the plight of men who can’t conform to the (imagined or not) expectations of women that you can’t see that you’re still in the normative narration – one that puts so much of men worth on whether he is ‘succesfull with women’.

    And as ED said, the lack of interest in you in various stages of your life is not necessarily tied to masculinity. If you’re struggling with debt you’re going to be more grumply, less outgoing and friendly than when you just performed something that people admired. Whether that performance is stunning sport success or stunning Drag Queen show doesn’t matter that much.

  451. DonnaL says:

    For some men who cannot perform masculinity, that means total isolation.

    I’m not sure what your example has to do with not performing masculinity. It seems to me that what you’re saying that a man who has generalized anxiety disorder or is otherwise perceived as socially dysfunctional is more likely to end up completely isolated than a woman in a similar position, because women receive social overtures more than men.

    Even if your premise is true, which I rather doubt — there are an awful lot of isolated women *and* men — what does it have to do with non-performance of masculinity? To the contrary, being socially awkward and even dysfunctional is often seen as a specifically male trait.

  452. DonnaL says:

    Should be “what you’re saying *is* that a man,” etc.

  453. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Dude, what you don’t seem to grasp is that you’re describing HUMAN EXPERIENCES. Not just male experiences. Women get the same shit when they don’t perform femininity “right”. Nothing, not one thing you’ve described, not one situation is exclusive to men and men have not cornered the market on it.

    You don’t see it because you haven’t looked at it through any other perspective but your own. Not because it doesn’t exist. It’s all filtered through your own personal bias.

    jesus jumped up christ.

  454. Tomek Kulesza says:

    To elaborate a bit on what i said about Dungone replaying normative masculinity, since i’m quite sure i confused plenty of people again, i’ll give an example:

    For some men who cannot perform masculinity, that means total isolation. Example: I’m personally friends with a guy who is 32 years old, never had sex, went on a single date in his entire life… his main problem is generalized anxiety disorder which, among other things, prevents him from initiating contact with girls.

    See, he’s not totally isolated. What you said here is that he haven’t had a female ‘romantic/sexual relationship’ partner – that is what i mean that you are focused on “you have to be succesfull with women” part of the normative masculinity.

    He is not totally socially isolated. You just said you two are friends.

  455. Tomek Kulesza says:

    And yes, i know how empty that sounds (I am a man too, and was subjected to pretty much the same socialization).

    That’s he point.

  456. EG says:

    The issue, dungone, is that what it sounds like is that you’re taking your experiences with a very specific subculture and generalizing them to the rest of the world. You said that you spend time working with soldiers and veterans, yes? An all-volunteer army is more likely to attract men with very specific ideas of masculinity and a lot invested in them. But that doesn’t make those ideas of masculinity and their consequences generalizable to the rest of the world except as extreme examples. I and others have told you, quite clearly, that not only are there multiple models of masculinity, but that a man can be unmasculine without experiencing social isolation. I know these men. I have spoken with them. We have spoken specifically about gender and masculinity, what their models were/are, how they developed the personae they have.

    As to contradicting your experience as a man–well, you were the one making blanket statements about how easy it is for a woman to garner positive male sexual attention, so, sauce for the goose. Ask me how many men had asked me out by the time I was, oh, 25. Here’s a hint: not as many as I’d asked out.

    The problem is that your example of generalized anxiety disorder can be read in a variety of ways. Here’s one other than the one you picked: the pressure on women to marry and have children in order to prove themselves acceptable human beings is far more intense than that on men, who can choose indefinite bachelorhood with far fewer social consequences, and that the women’s anxiety and self-doubt makes them unable to resist that pressure.

    It’s also interesting and telling that you assume that marriage is a source of social support. Every study I’ve read finds that marriage benefits men at a much greater rate than it benefits women, who, according to some studies, are actually disadvantaged by marriage. Maybe the anxiety disorder is keeping these women in marriages that are not positive.

  457. EG says:

    Dude, what you don’t seem to grasp is that you’re describing HUMAN EXPERIENCES. Not just male experiences. Women get the same shit when they don’t perform femininity “right”. Nothing, not one thing you’ve described, not one situation is exclusive to men and men have not cornered the market on it.

    Quoted because it bears repeating.

    Boys are socialized to be masculine, I get it. I have seen a little boy steered away from trying to stroke his big sister’s fairy princess glittery satin-y dress and given a Mickey Mouse t-shirt instead with my own two eyes and felt bad for him.

    But men who break masculinity have social lives all the time. “Total social isolation” is melodrama.

  458. dungone says:

    @Tomek, very good points. I don’t mean to overblow certain issues, but sometimes just mentioning something that’s rather subtle in real life can come off as if it was an overt and blatant thing that happens in black and white instead of shades of gray. also, I have a comment in moderation right now which I think would clarify a couple more things.

    As far as the normative nature of my own comments here, I think you’re completely right – that’s what they amount to be at this point. I couldn’t help that, unfortunately. But you know what… I don’t feel that men are really welcome to just do their own thing without worrying about finding a mate. There are attitudes such as that of author Kay Hymowitz. She wrote an article called, “Where Have All The Good Men Gone?” in which she opined that a single guy who has a great job, 6 figure income, supports himself – but lives with a couple of male room mates and plays video games – is a “manchild” who is shirking his responsibility to woo a woman and become her provider. I think that to some extent a lot of the pushback against “geek culture” in general has something to do with conforming to masculine expectations, including what I have noticed as a very uneasy regard that many women hold for video games. Yes – lots of oversimplifications here – but I’m trying to cover a lot of territory in just a few words. So yeah, in general I think that there’s pressure on men to find a mate and to do so in a quintessentially masculine manner (i.e. not by being passive, not by having the girl “wear the pants”).

  459. EG says:

    I don’t feel that men are really welcome to just do their own thing without worrying about finding a mate.

    Multiply that pressure by about 1000, and that’s how much pressure is on women to find a mate. How to find and keep a man is pretty much the focus of every women’s magazine article ever.

  460. EG says:

    including what I have noticed as a very uneasy regard that many women hold for video games.

    Perhaps that’s because of the fairly intense objectification of women that goes on in a lot of those games.

  461. dungone says:

    Women get the same shit when they don’t perform femininity “right”.

    There’s really absolutely no need to get defensive or angry – I agree with you. Women who don’t perform femininity “right” get a lot of shit. No it’s not exactly the same shit, but there’s just as much of it, for sure. Femininity and masculinity are not exactly the same and as a result, there consequences end up being felt in different ways. So it bears to discuss both and understand their similarities and differences. I mean, in the end men don’t get punished for not performing femininity and women don’t get punished for not performing masculinity. So what do men get punished for doing or not doing, and vice versa for women? I think that as a man, I would never presume to think that whatever a woman has gone through, it’s no big deal because the same exact shit happens to me as a man. I would never think that. I guess I just don’t understand your anger and where you were going with it.

  462. dungone says:

    Perhaps that’s because of the fairly intense objectification of women that goes on in a lot of those games.

    There is that entire can of worms, sure, but there’s pushback against video games in general. In my personal life I often encounter women in my peer group as well as both men and women from older generations who claim that video games aren’t “manly.” It doesn’t matter what kind of video game – Tetris or a car racing game – just not manly, according to some. I think that the pushback against video games and geek culture in general exacerbates the focus on sexism in video games where it exists, almost as if to say as video games themselves are sexist. At least, so I feel.

  463. Tomek Kulesza says:

    @Dungone
    Yes, you’re right – of course we aren’t welcomed to do what we would like. We’re welcomed to conform, rewarded for it even if the reward is illusory and punished for not doing it. Hymowiz et al is gender policing to which i have simple response: fuck off.

    I put a lot of thought into this issue myself. I even got around to writing an article, which i consider the best thing i ever wrote. I was very frustrated because everything i managed to find and read was very unsatisfactory. Unforunately, i never got around to translating it into English. Sadly, there’s not much of valuable analysis of masculinity on he web, at least i wasn’t able to find it. But, do you know Clarisse Thorn blog? She had long series of posts about masculinity in general – and specifically about the thing we’re talking about here. It has few thousands comments many of which are very valuable and insightful, so i think you’ll find it a good read. Clarisse Thorn is pretty amazing herself, too, one of my three or four favorite internet persona.

    Here’s one other than the one you picked: the pressure on women to marry and have children in order to prove themselves acceptable human beings is far more intense than that on men, who can choose indefinite bachelorhood with far fewer social consequences, and that the women’s anxiety and self-doubt makes them unable to resist that pressure.

    Oh i was just about to disagree with folks saying that what Dungone describes is similar to what women experience (human experiences) and say that the better female counterpart is the pressure to have children.

  464. dungone says:

    He is not totally socially isolated. You just said you two are friends.

    We live 200 miles apart and we weren’t really “buddies”who did stuff together since middle school. We have kept in contact with one another largely due to the fact that he really hasn’t made any new friends ever since. So sometimes we don’t speak for months, and I oknow that during that entire time, the only other people he interacted with outside of work were his parents.

  465. LotusBecca says:

    There are attitudes such as that of author Kay Hymowitz. She wrote an article called, “Where Have All The Good Men Gone?” in which she opined that a single guy who has a great job, 6 figure income, supports himself – but lives with a couple of male room mates and plays video games – is a “manchild” who is shirking his responsibility to woo a woman and become her provider.

    LOL. What? First, you start by saying that men who aren’t masculine get rejected by the ladies. Now you’re saying that a rich professional who hangs with his bros playing video games all night (sounds about as masculine as it gets to me) also gets rejected by the ladies. Which one is it? MAKE UP YOUR MIND. I guess we should be amazed that any real men are able to have sex or get married, at all, seeing as how all women are searching for the perfect Stepford Husband.

    There’s really absolutely no need to get defensive or angry. . .I guess I just don’t understand your anger.

    Ahhh yes, the old “I don’t understand why you’re mad so therefore stop being mad” tactic. Charming.

  466. DonnaL says:

    I often encounter women in my peer group as well as both men and women from older generations who claim that video games aren’t “manly.”

    I strongly suspect that you are misinterpreting what they mean. What they’re clearly trying to convey is that it’s childish. Not that it’s feminine.

  467. dungone says:

    @Tomek, is it in Polish? If so, send it my way.

  468. EG says:

    I think that the pushback against video games and geek culture in general exacerbates the focus on sexism in video games where it exists

    I strongly disagree. As a geek, I am very familiar with the fact that geek culture is rife with misogyny and the objectification of women, and to blame it on women pushing back against geek culture is to put the cart before the horse. Back in the days of Infocom, I liked computer games. A decade ago, I tried to get back into them, but the only game with a male protagonist the guy at the shop could show me was Tomb Raider. No thanks, I said. Now there are some wonderful games out there that avoid that kind of objectification, but like the larger culture from which it comes, geek culture is still awash in misogyny.

  469. LotusBecca says:

    In my personal life I often encounter women in my peer group as well as both men and women from older generations who claim that video games aren’t “manly.” It doesn’t matter what kind of video game – Tetris or a car racing game – just not manly, according to some.

    Huh. I would like to know more about what generation and peer group you hail from because it sounds very different than my generation and peer group, as well as what I see depicted as “normal” on television. Yeah, I mean, I could see a guy who’s really into Dance Dance Revolution or Pokemon or something not being perceived as very manly. But I’m pretty sure that the jocks at my high school who got drunk every weekend and played Halo were perceived as pretty damn manly. Actually, I think being into video games like Halo, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, etc. is perceived by most people as hypermasculine. . .akin to having a passion for Hustler or monster truck rallies.

  470. Natalie says:

    Again with the whole why women tend to have issues with video games, here is a very neat video about it that I think is pretty dude/gamer friendly that might help clear some things up for you.

  471. dungone says:

    I strongly suspect that you are misinterpreting what they mean. What they’re clearly trying to convey is that it’s childish. Not that it’s feminine.

    No, it’s certainly that they mean it’s childish. Hence the pejorative, “manchild.” But does that make it any better? I don’t think femininity is a bad thing at all. I said earlier in this thread that femininity and masculinity are not opposites, that lack of one does not signify the other, etc.

    Masculinity is earned. It’s a rite of passage kind of a thing. Men have to “man up” and “become men.” You know, for the most part calling a grown man a “boy” carries a lot of stigma with it, not just in a racial context in the Deep South but generally as well. Calling a woman a “girl” doesn’t carry the same kind of stigma. When you tell a man that something that he’s doing is childish, it’s the same as telling him that he is not a man. A woman can be childish but still feminine. But a man cannot be childish and be masculine.

  472. EG says:

    Calling a woman a “girl” doesn’t carry the same kind of stigma.

    Calling a grown woman “girl” is highly insulting, which is why making that clear was part of second-wave feminism.

    Your argument was that men who play video games are chided for not being masculine enough, but being a boy is a from of masculinity. Being chided for being immature and childish is not gender policing, and it happens to women all the time.

  473. dungone says:

    @LotusBecca, over 30, or in other words, the average age at which the current generation of men finally gets to get married. So, if you want to be marriage material and play video games, I’m afraid you can’t do that yet. If you’re a 20-something college student at this point, I’m pretty sure that you’re allowed to play video games, but society doesn’t look upon you as a responsible adult so the issue is largely moot. Perhaps things will change in the next 5-10 years when the tail end of the millenials finally reach their 30’s and seek to marry themselves off (or cohabitate, or whatever the case may be), but for now it is what it is. Thus we have the masculinity police telling men that hey, if they really want to be a real man, then drop the video game habit.

  474. Natalie says:

    BECAUSE FEMALE GAMERS NEVER EXIST! Seriously?

  475. dungone says:

    Calling a grown woman “girl” is highly insulting, which is why making that clear was part of second-wave feminism.

    I reject that argument. Women routinely refer to one another as “girls.” Men don’t refer to each other as “boys.” There’s no such thing as a “boys’ night out.”

  476. DonnaL says:

    Women routinely refer to one another as “girls.” Men don’t refer to each other as “boys.” There’s no such thing as a “boys’ night out.”

    This is just wrong. You’ve never heard men talk about spending a night out with “the boys”? It’s used so much that it’s almost a cliche. And I hear “OK, boys, let’s go,” and that sort of thing, just as much as I hear women call each “girls.” At least, women under the age of 60.

  477. Chiara says:

    I reject that argument. Women routinely refer to one another as “girls.” Men don’t refer to each other as “boys.” There’s no such thing as a “boys’ night out.”

    you’ve obviously never been to wales. :P

    That’s an interesting point though, for men there’s supposed to be a big divide between manhood and boyhood. for women this kind of silly airy-fairy childishness is idealised sometimes. I mean look at those singer-songstress types with an acoustic guitar and a voice you could knock over with a feather… of course for most women if they actually tried that shit in real life they wouldn’t get very far

    on the issue of ‘girl’ I think it’s something that women can use with each other in a non negative way, but the issue is when it’s used by older guys it can sound kinda dismissive. There’s no real black and white rule, the point is really what people mean when they use it. I disagree EG tho I think that ‘girl’ can be used in a positive empowering way.

  478. pheenobarbidoll says:

    There’s really absolutely no need to get defensive or angry

    Moron.

    1) I’m not fucking defensive nor WAS I angry. (I am now. It happens when I encounter sheer wanton stupidity.)

    2) Don’t mistake contempt for anger

    3) do you have any clue how fucking boring, trite and goddamn over used your bullshit actually IS?

    I reject that argument.

    Wrong. Many MANY MANY feminist sites have long discussions and break downs of WHY calling a grown woman “girl” is insulting. Just because YOU are that ignorant doesn’t mean you get to reject an argument when you don’t know squat about it. That some women have internalized being infantilized isn’t a counter argument.

  479. pheenobarbidoll says:

    By the way, what you’re doing is just a variation of the Nice Guy Syndrome.

    You don’t mean guys who aren’t “manly” can’t get women. You mean those guys can’t get the super hawt Victoria Secret women. There are loads of lonely gaming geeky women- who do not look like models- that will give any man who so much as looks twice at them every opportunity. But they may not be super skinny gorgeous and popular so they don’t exist.

    So while you’re whining that some super hawt woman isn’t giving you the time of day because you’re not manly enough, some wall flower gamer chick is thinking the same damn thing about YOU because she isn’t pretty/skinny/feminine enough.

    Why? Because it’s a HUMAN experience. That’s why.

  480. Schala says:

    Perhaps that’s because of the fairly intense objectification of women that goes on in a lot of those games.

    Usually the excuse that isn’t by right-wing groups saying we’re all going to be murderers because we play war games, it’s people saying it’s dumb and childish and unproductive (something they wouldn’t mind about a “more adult” hobby, like golf or bowling).

    People who would say its childish and unproductive would still say that of games with compelling storylines, realistic characters and stunning graphics. Games that don’t objectify women more than they do men.

    On another note. I hope Nintendo dies soon, so videogames are no longer seen as especially childish. Sony and Microsoft make rated E games, it’s just not 90% of their game lineup. Because the average gamer isn’t 5, he or she is 35. I’m the prototypical gamer, at 29. So is my boyfriend, at 42. We “grew up with the stuff”.

  481. dungone says:

    @pheenobarbidoll, you’re a very passionate gal. Good luck with that.

  482. roymacIII says:

    I’m sorry, dungone, but research doesn’t bear that out. Over half of 30 year-olds play video games, and, according to the <a href="Entertainment Software Association, the average of a gamer is 30 years old. Spending too much time playing games is certainly seen as childish, but, then, so are tons of other things–spending too much time fucking around playing sports, reading comic books, drinking, or almost any other activity. There are definitely people who think that games are childish, but I don’t think that it’s fair to say that they’re seen as unmanly. Games are definitely still seen as being a bit of a boys club (for the reasons others have pointed out).

    There is definitely policing of gender that happens, and there’s definitely pressure on young men to conform in a variety of ways, but you’re sort of all over the place about this. You’re attributing to gender policing things that seem to be just as easily or even more easily attributed to other issues. I’m a guy who fits a lot of the things you’re talking about–I still play video games. I’m in my 30s and unmarried. I never engaged in the sorts of overt displays of masculinity that you’re talking about as necessary. And yet, I’m not withering away alone and unloved, and I’m not facing any particular censure that I’m aware of.

    I think that part of the problem is that you’re over-stating the case and that maybe you’re generalizing too much. I’m not sure. You say that you’re oversimplifying, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think that oversimplifying isn’t doing you any favors here.

  483. roymacIII says:

    @pheenobarbidoll, you’re a very passionate gal. Good luck with that.

    Now you’re just being shitty.

  484. LotusBecca says:

    @pheenobarbidoll, you’re a very passionate gal. Good luck with that.

    @dungone, you’re a very patronizing prick. Kindly go fuck yourself with a Wii controller.

  485. dungone says:

    I’m sorry, dungone, but research doesn’t bear that out. Over half of 30 year-olds play video games, and

    I never said anything which would contradict this. This would imply that half of 30 year old men are seen as immature/childish because of stereotypes about gamers. There’s this oft-repeated trope, for example, about a woman trying to speak to a man but he isn’t listening because of a video game.

    I never engaged in the sorts of overt displays of masculinity that you’re talking about as necessary. And yet, I’m not withering away alone and unloved, and I’m not facing any particular censure that I’m aware of.

    Have you ever felt that it’s your job to ask a girl out and then acted upon it? If so, you have engaged in an overt display of masculinity. Not all of it is overt and I am sure that there are many men and women who aren’t even aware of how it is affecting their behavior and the choices they make. Some research suggests, for example, that there’s a significant effect on the savings rate of entire populations of single men depending on the perceived availability of women, while women’s savings rate isn’t affected at all, only their expectations: http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2012/UR_CONTENT_370075.html In other words, there is a measurable effect caused by men conforming to masculine gender norms. I wouldn’t call this overt, but it is significant and it does have a cost, quite literally in fact.

  486. dungone says:

    Moron.

    1) I’m not fucking defensive nor WAS I angry. (I am now. It happens when I encounter sheer wanton stupidity.)

    2) Don’t mistake contempt for anger

    you’re a very patronizing prick. Kindly go fuck yourself with a Wii controller.

    I’m being shitty now? Good luck with that.

  487. Natalie says:

    @pheenobarbidoll, you’re a very passionate gal. Good luck with that.

    Obvious troll is obvious

  488. dungone says:

    This forum is extremely hostile and one-sided, I feel.

  489. Caperton says:

    Dungone –

    Yes, there are absolutely women who only go for stereotypically masculine men, and many men who don’t display those traits have trouble finding love. But that doesn’t mean that every time a non-“manly” man fails at love, it’s because of his non-“manliness.” The examples you’ve been giving ignore a lot of complicating factors in an attempt to chalk the entire thing up to a guy not being stereotypically masculine.

    Video games aren’t “manly” because they’re elements of youth, making them “boyish.” But now you’re adding a new axis into the equation: Instead of just “masculine”/”feminine,” you’re now working with “adult masculine,” “adult feminine,” “juvenile masculine,” and “juvenile feminine.” If a woman doesn’t seem interested in a man who plays video games, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t see it as masculine–chances are, she just doesn’t see it as adult, and she’s looking for an adult. (And of course this is not to mention the fact that women currently make up nearly half of the gaming population)

    Talking about injured veterans, once again you’re introducing a new axis. You’re now working with “disabled masculine,” “able-bodied masculine,” “disabled feminine,” “able-bodied feminine.” If a woman leaves an injured veteran after some period of time, she could be doing it because she no longer perceives him as strong and manly, or it could just (or mostly) be because of the emotional stress that arises in a relationship under those circumstances. And even if their injuries were sustained as part of a “quest to achieve masculinity,” men who become similarly injured as part of a “quest to drive home on an icy road” are subject to the same kind of relationship breakdown.

    As for your friends with GAD, you’re again introducing a new axis. You’re now working with “neurotypical masculine,” “non-neurotypical masculine,” “neurotypical feminine,” and “non-neurotypical feminine.” If your male friend isn’t able to connect with women, it’s not necessarily because GAD renders him “unmanly”; it could just be because his GAD manifests in ways that prevent him from making connections with strangers. And that’s a gender-neutral concept. To make it a gendered issue, you’d have to examine (among other things) how your female friends’ GAD manifests and how they were introduced to their respective spouses.

    You mentioned that when you were playing in a band or winning at sports, you got women, and when you were struggling during and immediately after college, you didn’t get women. EG said it best: Everybody loves a winner. People in general, men and women, tend to be more attracted to successful people and less to struggling people. You said, “[I]n general I have this broad definition of masculinity as everything that a man has to do, not just some codified way of getting dressed or a bunch of mannerisms.” But if it’s your definition of masculinity, it just means you’re failing masculinity by your standards–not by the standards of the women who’ve rejected you.

    And I’ll throw in an example from my own life: a friend who is very thoughtful, nurturing, well-dressed, and well-groomed, has two small dogs, and spent a lot of his young adulthood single. The easy assumption would be that it’s because he just wasn’t “manly,” and thus he was unattractive. But talking with a few women cleared it up a little–they were interested in him, but never made a move because they assumed he was gay and would thus not return their interest. Now, of course that assumption is problematic in its own right, and part of the problem is that those “unmanly” traits were immediately attached to homosexuality. However, the fact remains that his “unmanly” traits weren’t the turnoff for women. For some, the traits were a turnon.

    I talked with The Boy about this tonight, since I have no personal experience as an “unmasculine” man and I figured the guy who started training in ballet in middle school might have some thoughts on the matter. Here’s his basic perspective (and, of course, it’s just one person’s perspective): No individual is 100-percent anything. No one is completely defined by a single trait. An emotional, nurturing man who also is great with kids. The ballet dancer who also is incredibly smart. The guy who cares more about cooking and home decor than about cars and sports and also is great in the sack. The guy who plays video games (if you want to call that “unmanly”) and also makes bank at a business-suit job. The guy who’s slight of build and feminine of gesture and also is uproariously funny. Traits a woman might find unattractive are balanced by traits she might find attractive.

    The idea that a man who isn’t stereotypically masculine will never find love assumes that there is absolutely not one single other thing about him that any woman anywhere would find sufficiently appealing. And if that’s the case, being a less “manly” man is the least of your problems. If you’re rolling in money and own a shelter for orphaned kittens, but the woman you’re talking to can’t look past the fact that you’re 5’4″ and 120, you’re talking to the wrong woman. If you’re a fantastic listener and give great practical advice, but the woman you’re talking to can’t look past the fact that you cried watching The Notebook, you’re talking to the wrong woman. If you’re a great guy but have trouble getting up the nerve to approach women, you’re looking in the wrong environment. And if you’re so socially anxious that you can’t talk to women at all, the problem isn’t that you’re unmanly–it’s that you have a disability preventing you from interacting with people. That’s just mechanics right there.

    @phenobarbidoll, you’re a very passionate gal. Good luck with that.

    Or if you’re opening your heart to love, but women can’t get past the fact that you’re a patronizing asshole…

  490. Natalie says:

    This forum is extremely hostile and one-sided, I feel.</blockquote

    There is a close tab button somewhere on your screen. Feel free to use it.

  491. Natalie says:

    grrrr blockquote fail sorry

  492. Fat Steve says:

    Yeah, I mean, I could see a guy who’s really into Dance Dance Revolution or Pokemon or something not being perceived as very manly

    Dance Dance Revolution not manly? That’s one of the 3 games I have for the PS3. How about ‘Beatles Rock Band’ and ‘Get Fit with Mel B.’? Ok, how about Beatles Rock Band?

  493. Milquetoast says:

    Hell, as a fair weather gamer I’m often called, quite literally, a “pussy” because I don’t play Pokemon. I know there’s so many of them, but really I have no interesting in catching anything.

  494. Schala says:

    To make it a gendered issue, you’d have to examine (among other things) how your female friends’ GAD manifests and how they were introduced to their respective spouses.

    I have anxiety issues. Not sure I qualify for a diagnosis. I’m generally fine if I’m with familiar people. Just not alone in public (I’ll be hyperaware, at best).

    I met my boyfriend at work. He made the first move. My inability to approach (shy, anxious, neuro-diverse) is less of a problem because men are expected to make a move on me, the way a passive heterosexual man is going to be in a bind to find a woman who will initiate (they exist, but they’re much rarer).

    They happen to be labeled Nice Guys TM, if they want to decide if they’re compatible through friendship and are then unable to make a move. The way I’d never be, just as passive, just as “waiting on friendship to become something more”, yet I’m not a manipulative bastard only pretending to be a friend, because passivity is expected and seen as legitimate of me.

  495. LotusBecca says:

    LOL OK OK. . .I clearly stepped outside my zone of expertise with my DDR/Pokemon comment, and I retract it. I had been merely trying to see some sliver of truth in dungone’s viewpoint, but I should have recognized that this was a lost cause.

    And Steve, you’re as manly as you feel! Keep rockin’ out with Mel. :-)

  496. dungone says:

    @Caperton, ah, but there are always confounding factors, because masculinity is a performative trait. The vast majority of the time when a man cannot perform adequately, it is due to some unrelated factor. In other areas of life, ones which do not require masculinity for success, many of those same handicaps can be overcome readily.

    If your male friend isn’t able to connect with women, it’s not necessarily because GAD renders him “unmanly”; it could just be because his GAD manifests in ways that prevent him from making connections with strangers. And that’s a gender-neutral concept.

    Masculinity, however, is not gender neutral. The male gender role requires that men be the ones who approach strangers in order to find a mate. Not being able to perform this vital function, a man with GAD can easily become stranded.

    To make it a gendered issue, you’d have to examine (among other things) how your female friends’ GAD manifests and how they were introduced to their respective spouses

    That’s rather simple. Their spouses introduced themselves to them and approached patiently enough to build up the necessary trust. Their husbands are some of the most caring, compassionate men I’ve met. Both of these women were sought after by many suitors and got to pick men who they felt would work for them. One, in spite of having GAD, managed several affairs during her first marriage. She had a routine – without even getting out of the house much, after several conversations with men, such as her dentist, UPS guy, or the contractor, she would invite them to her house to help “hang up pictures” while her hubby was at work and somehow this always led to sex. She didn’t deviate from this AFAIK.

    EG said it best: Everybody loves a winner.

    It’s called being a success object and it’s very much a part of masculine standards. Are women held to the same standard, to the same extent? If not, then chalk it up to masculinity. Women are held more to beauty standards, IIRC.

    Also, I made a sarcastic joke in response to being called a moron. I’m sorry but I fail to comprehend the overwhelmingly one sided reaction to that. I reserve the right to gently poke fun at hostile people who use profanity and insults to try to win their argument.

  497. unacomplished says:

    Blame the overarching threat of male harassment and sexual assault. If some strange man comes up to me on the street, ignores my signals that I want to be left alone, and starts talking to me, I don’t have the luxury of giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    I wasn’t arguing with you, just commenting that by the 3rd asshole of the day, it doesn’t matter how nice they are, to that women, all dudes are assholes no matter what they do, including doing or saying nothing.

    and many dudes know that, so we do and or say nothing. So it’s probably not really accurate to say “nobody approaches me” and equate it to “nobody WANTS to approach me”

  498. QLH says:

    I was going to respond to a lot of points made in this thread, and then I came to:

    @pheenobarbidoll, you’re a very passionate gal. Good luck with that.

    Never mind.

  499. EG says:

    I reject that argument.

    And yet it is true nonetheless. You’re going to want to find some evidence beyond your rejection, as powerful as it may be.

    Look it up, and you’ll find that fighting the conflation between “girl” and “woman” was and is a tenet of second-wave feminism for precisely the reason that it is insulting and condescending to call a woman a girl.

    And yes, women may call their friends “girls,” (I don’t, but whatever) just as men will talk about going out with the boys, but you know, I have been known to tell my best friend in an affectionate to go fuck herself, and that doesn’t make it any less of an insult when some random dude says it.

  500. EG says:

    There’s this oft-repeated trope, for example, about a woman trying to speak to a man but he isn’t listening because of a video game.

    There is an oft-repeated trope of a woman trying to speak to a man but he isn’t listening because he’s watching sports or reading the paper. The trope is that men don’t listen to women. It is actually a trope about masculinity, and has nothing to do with video games.

    @phenobarbidoll, you’re a very passionate gal. Good luck with that.

    You’re a fucking asshole. If it’s any consolation, though, being a dismissive, condescending jerk who patronizes women instead of engaging with them is a classically masculine trait.

  501. unacomplished says:

    @Dungone

    “The only winning move is not to play”

    solution: don’t hit on women and be yourself, that way only women who are attracted to your non “manly” ways will approach you, sadly this will also bring your sexual activity rate to pretty much zero until you find one of the rare women who are cool with hitting on dudes and choose to hit on you.

  502. dungone says:

    And yet it is true nonetheless. You’re going to want to find some evidence beyond your rejection, as powerful as it may be.

    You haven’t even managed to convince women to stop using the word. Let’s use that as our Rorschach Test. Don’t ask men to believe that something is offensive if most women don’t see a problem themselves. So I reject the reasoning here – it’s just plain weird and unfair.

    The trope is that men don’t listen to women. It is actually a trope about masculinity, and has nothing to do with video games.

    You’re mixing things up greatly. Video games are stereotypically masculine, as are sports, and have every last thing to do with masculinity. That’s exactly why they are a part of the trope instead of just some random activity. The logical way to evaluate the trope is to recognize that “Not listening” is what has nothing to do with stereotypically male activities such as sports or video games, and in fact has nothing to do with masculinity either, beyond being a negative stereotype about it.

  503. EG says:

    You haven’t even managed to convince women to stop using the word. Let’s use that as our Rorschach Test. Don’t ask men to believe that something is offensive if most women don’t see a problem themselves. So I reject the reasoning here – it’s just plain weird and unfair.

    You mean “litmus test.” A Rorschach test is the one where a psychologist shows you an ink blot and asks you what you see, and metaphorically, it’s used as a term for something subjective, not for the final word on an issue. Now, as has been pointed out, men use the term “boys.” And black people use the “n” word. And I can call my best friend a fucking bitch. So your argument does not hold water in the slightest.

    Video games are stereotypically masculine, as are sports, and have every last thing to do with masculinity. That’s exactly why they are a part of the trope instead of just some random activity. The logical way to evaluate the trope is to recognize that “Not listening” is what has nothing to do with stereotypically male activities such as sports or video games, and in fact has nothing to do with masculinity either, beyond being a negative stereotype about it.

    You’ve become incoherent. You begin by saying that “not listening” has nothing to do with stereotypically male activities or masculinity, and end by saying that “not listening” is a negative stereotype about masculinity. Well, yes. Yes, it is. Congratulations on arriving at my point. You were the one claiming that playing video games is seen as non-masculine, which I now see you are recanting. Again, congratulations. That’s what people have been saying; you were the one arguing that they weren’t.

    Maybe you should try listening. Or in this case, reading.

  504. EG says:

    As a follow-up to a comment currently in mod, though, perhaps I will try telling my mother that she should not have been offended when a realtor twenty years younger than her called her a “girl” a couple years ago, because that’s totes not insulting. Not like calling a man “boy” is, because manhood is something you “achieve,” but there’s no important distinction between a girl and a woman–I mean, any fool can be a woman, but being a man is an achievement, and some dude on the internet can’t see why making that statement would be insulting or misogynist at all.

  505. dungone says:

    You’re a fucking asshole. If it’s any consolation, though, being a dismissive, condescending jerk who patronizes women instead of engaging with them is a classically masculine trait.

    I’m sorry, my irony meter just broke.

  506. thinksnake says:

    Just a note that ‘boy’, when used to describe a POC, can be offensive for very different reasons than purely that *he isn’t a ‘man’.

  507. thinksnake says:

    And I really don’t think EG was being ironic there.

  508. dungone says:

    @EG, like I said, if you can convince women to be offended by the word “girl” consistently enough to stop using it themselves, then you’ll have no argument from me. This happened to the word “boy” – men stopped using it to refer to one another, because it is disrespectful to them. If the only reason your mother found something offensive was because a young man had said it – and for no other reason – then there’s a degree of sexism and ageism in that.

    Not like calling a man “boy” is, because manhood is something you “achieve,” but there’s no important distinction between a girl and a woman–I mean, any fool can be a woman, but being a man is an achievement

    Calling a man a boy isn’t offensive because he “achieved” manhood. It’s offensive because it’s telling him that he hasn’t earned it, that he isn’t a man. “Achieving” manhood often requires performing numerous toxic things, such as going off to die in war or getting into a fight with other men to “defend” a woman’s honor. A man can never truly “achieve” masculinity, as it can be taken away from him at moment’s notice if he fails to perform the masculine role. Look up the White Feather Campaign if you need any further clarification on how this works against men and let me know if you’re still feeling envious.

  509. thinksnake says:

    Dungone, maybe you could address the several posters above who have pointed out that men can and do address each other as boys, in non-derogatory ways? Rather than just ignoring them?

    kthxbai

  510. Tomek Kulesza says:

    I strongly suspect that you are misinterpreting what they mean. What they’re clearly trying to convey is that it’s childish. Not that it’s feminine.

    Childish isn’t manly, either.

    Being chided for being immature and childish is not gender policing, and it happens to women all the time.

    Could we stop “But it happenz to wimminz too”, mirror-arguments? Whetever happens to women is rather irrelevent to how things affect men.

    And it amounts to trying to shut down the discussion.

    This forum is extremely hostile and one-sided, I feel.

    Well, that’s typical for feminist sites, and for good reason. Most men who start talking about men and not feminism are usually some MRA dipshits or extreme mysoginist trolls. So everyone is a bit wary and you get flak for it. That’s partly why i directed you to Clarisse Thorn.

    But now you’re adding a new axis into the equation: Instead of just “masculine”/”feminine,” you’re now working with “adult masculine”

    This isn’t a dissertation. Yes, he’s all over the place, he’s wrong in places, but it sounds as if you’re trying to say he should stop writing.

    You’re a fucking asshole. If it’s any consolation, though, being a dismissive, condescending jerk who patronizes women instead of engaging with them is a classically masculine trait.

    Instead of engaging? Because being called a moron is clearly a invitation to engage, right? :D

    On a side note, calling a woman “woman” is often insulting, so, well, there’s another angle on this particular thing.

  511. Tomek Kulesza says:

    @Tomek, is it in Polish? If so, send it my way.

    Yes, it’s in Polish. You can read Polish?

    http://polyinpoland.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/75/

    I keep forgetting that friend has slightly different meaning in English. I thought you two were closer. I wonder, do you think that changes my point? If you two were close, would it change anything about this discussion, or would he still feel isolated?

  512. dungone says:

    Just a note that ‘boy’, when used to describe a POC, can be offensive for very different reasons than purely that *he isn’t a ‘man’.

    That’s been covered and no, that’s exactly why it’s offensive to men of color. It was a word that is still commonly used to signify one’s superiority to another man, regardless of race. It just so happened that it ended up being overused to an extreme against black men, by men and women alike, to the point where it became a racial slur. But Southern cops are still known for using the word “boy”. You’ll often hear it used in popular culture by prison wardens when addressing an inmate, or by a father admonishing his son – child or adult.

  513. Tomek Kulesza says:

    Dungone, maybe you could address the several posters above who have pointed out that men can and do address each other as boys, in non-derogatory ways? Rather than just ignoring them?

    In my experience, always, always among peers and always in plural. Which makes it non derogatory, since the speaker includes himself in the group.

    But that’s side issue, and even if that’s untrue that doesn’t change the main point dungone is making aka manhood is earned and child-boy-is not a man.

  514. dungone says:

    Dungone, maybe you could address the several posters above who have pointed out that men can and do address each other as boys, in non-derogatory ways? Rather than just ignoring them?

    I have certainly addressed them already – they’re wrong and they are over-emphasizing itst use. It gets used just about as often as the word “Yankee.” The last time I heard the word “boy” used in a positive way also had the word “posse” in the same sentence. The positive usage is vintage and only the negative connotations remain by and large. Even when it was more prevalent, it was used to convey social ordering.

  515. Tomek Kulesza says:

    I think that the pushback against video games and geek culture in general exacerbates the focus on sexism in video games where it exists, almost as if to say as video games themselves are sexist. At least, so I feel.

    I agree with EG here. Video games are very often incredibly sexist (i don’t experience it myself much since there’s not much sexism possible with NATO symbols graphics wargames, lol), and the people criticizing video games are usually conservatives that couldn’t spot sexism if it bit them in the ass.

  516. roymacIII says:

    dungone, nobody is saying that men don’t face pressure to act in stereotypically masculine ways.

    But your arguments have been jumping all over the place. My issues with your arguments are that you’re ignoring a lot of the intersections that Caperton points out–we’re not just “men.” I’m a straight identified, able-bodied, middle-class, cis-gendered, college educated, neuro-typical, white, professionally employed, man. And that’s just some of my designations. There’s enormous social pressure coming from a variety of places and exerts itself in myriad ways.

    As bad as that, you also consistently make points about how men perform or are hurt by masculinity while simultaneously ignoring that your comments apply just as much to women. One of your first comments in this thread was “we can’t really know for sure how many men contemplate suicide.” While that’s certainly true, it ignores that we can’t really know how many women contemplate it, either (as well as ignoring that studies have margins of error, and that while we won’t know the exact number, we can get a very good idea). Then you went on to make a sweeping generalization that men who don’t perform masculinity “risk living a life of solitude and have everyone make fun of you and treat you like a failure.” Despite a number of people–including men like myself–pointing out that this doesn’t actually seem to the be case, and that there are actually women who prefer the sort of men who don’t feel inclined towards performances of stereotypical masculinity, you turned it into a “women have it easier than men” sort of argument, because “even an average looking woman might encounter as as much interest from men in a single day as you seem to have experienced in the first 26 years of your life”, but when you describe what you actually mean by “lack of masculinity” it’s more, as others have pointed out, about social anxiety and shyness. Which are problems that people suffer from–they don’t know sex or gender.

    I honestly don’t even know what it is exactly you’re trying to argue at this point.

    It seems to be a lot stronger than “patriarchy hurts men too.”

    I do know that you’ve repeatedly dismissed the lived experiences of people on here, even though you’re expecting people to give special consideration to the lived experiences of hypothetical people that you’ve apparently met.

    More significantly, now, you’re engaging in exactly the sort of shitty behavior that we’ve been discussing. It started with the dismissive sarcasm “But hey – I’m just a man. What do I know?” You moved on to telling women what they do and don’t find patronizing and offensive “Calling a woman a ‘girl’ doesn’t carry the same kind of stigma.” Hint: it does. When a woman tells you “it’s insulting when men refer to grown women as girls” and your response is “I reject that argument” you’re just doing the same dismissive bs that reinforces that reinforces that notion that women’s voices and lived experiences aren’t as important as men’s are.

    I have certainly addressed them already – they’re wrong and they are over-emphasizing itst use. It gets used just about as often as the word “Yankee.”

    That is flat-out bullshit. I have no idea where you’re from, but I use and hear/see “boys” used all the time. “We’re having a boys night out ” or “I was hanging out with my boys” or “you’re my boy.” Like a lot of terms, context deterimines whether it’s pejorative.

    The positive usage is vintage and only the negative connotations remain by and large.

    That’s just not true.

    Childish isn’t manly, either.

    No, but the primary issue isn’t the manliness, it’s the age-appropriateness. The point of calling someone childish isn’t “you’re not a man” it’s “you’re not acting your age.”

    Being chided for being immature and childish is not gender policing, and it happens to women all the time.

    Could we stop “But it happenz to wimminz too”, mirror-arguments? Whetever happens to women is rather irrelevent to how things affect men.

    And it amounts to trying to shut down the discussion.

    No, it’s not shutting down the discussion, it’s pointing out that the argument being presented isn’t unique to men, and, therefore, not necessarily about policing masculinity. Being chided for acting like a child happens to people who do things that are perceived as being age-inappropriate. It’s not a unique gender-policing thing. If both men and women are chided for being childish with regards to something like video gaming, why in the world should we think that the chiding is somehow about policing masculinity and not the more obvious policing maturity?

    I don’t think the dungone needs to stop writing, but I do think he needs to take some time to figure out what his argument even is, and to stop trying to oversimplify his statements. Nobody is doubting that masculinity is policed and that men face pressure to conform. What’s being contested are his dismissals of the pressures women also face, and his arguments that ignore the intersections between masculinity and other issues. Not every bad thing that happens in my life, not every break-up or lonely moment I’ve had is a result of the policing of masculinity.

  517. Caperton says:

    Yes, not being stereotypically masculine makes the dating world a lot more difficult to navigate. It sucks. It can be really discouraging. Men face pressure from women and from other men and from women to behave a certain way, and a man who doesn’t behave that way will struggle. The dating pool for women who are interested in non-“manly” men is much, much smaller than the general dating pool, and such women can be hard to find.

    That’s what it’s like being an outlier. Try being a tall, solidly built, opinionated, outspoken woman in the Deep South. It’s not a popular profile. We don’t get approached, and when we do approach, guys frequently find it off-putting. I’ve been told, on dates, to my personal face, in so many words, that I’m “weird.” (I was actually told shortly after some fairly run-of-the-mill sex that I’m weird. Super flattering, that.) The bar scene didn’t work, speed dating didn’t work, online dating didn’t work (although it was a lot of fun), volunteer work didn’t work (although it was fulfilling in its own right). Finally, a mutual friend set up The Boy and me, and we’re blissfully happy, because (as our friend recognized) The Boy actually likes the things about me that so many other guys found unappealing.

    If your “unmanliness” manifests in such a way that you can’t approach women, go somewhere you don’t have to approach women. Take a class or do some volunteer work where you’ll be interacting with women as a matter of course and always have ready-made conversation topics. Find a place where more assertive women tend to gather, and go there and let them approach you. Go online–not to online dating sites but to message boards and blogs and forums centered around your interests, so you can interact with people without having to make eye contact or come up with things to say on the spot. Talk to people you know who might be able to make the first connection for you. Go to a place where your inability to approach women isn’t a detriment. If you go somewhere where men approaching women is the order of the day, and you can’t approach women, yes, of course you’re going to go home alone.

    You might be aware of a community of people who like to dress up in adult diapers and grownup-size onesies and pacifiers and act like babies. I say this not to demean Adult Babies, because if they’re happy I’m happy, but to identify them as a subpopulation who aren’t likely to thrive in the traditional dating scene. Adult Babies find true love.* If your argument is that “masculine” women, Adult Babies, people with disabilities, poor people, and Trekkers can find happiness but “feminine” men are doomed to die lonely and alone, I have absolutely no idea where to go with this conversation.

    *And if you try to tell me it’s because they aren’t shy, I swear to God I will ban you and everyone you’ve ever met and every child you will ever have.

  518. dungone says:

    But your arguments have been jumping all over the place. My issues with your arguments are that you’re ignoring a lot of the intersections that Caperton points out–we’re not just “men.”

    It could be that, but it could also be that I am pointing out something about the nature of masculinity that requires people to start connecting the dots. I recommend you read my response to Caperton at #500, as it was stuck in mod for a while and I’m afraid that most people missed it. I have a very specific reasoning for pointing out the things that I did. I think it’s fair to disagree with my underlying reasoning, but not against the fact that I can come up with a very broad range of examples for it.

  519. dungone says:

    @Caperton, I firmly believe that the pressures and fallout of femininity is incredibly toxic in many ways. That’s why I believe that both femininity and masculinity should be discussed together. I often encounter misconceptions about masculinity – that masculinity must be a good thing, a big net positive for men, because femininity is so toxic to women. I wouldn’t have even shared my 2 cents here on this blog except that this particular post happens to be about the male experience. And really, this discussion wouldn’t have been necessary if it weren’t that various people started to imply that masculinity is something that is defined by wearing a blue shirt instead of a pink shirt. The fact that masculinity is performative, that is all that I am trying to raise some awareness about. I’m not saying that it’s worse to be a man than a woman. But it’s not the same, either. I reject all the “it happens to women too!” kind of arguments because of that. Some things that happen to men happen specifically to men, because they are men, because they are held to masculine standards. Obviously, the same is true about women’s experiences… that’s why there is feminism.

  520. EG says:

    Thank you, roymacIII. Perhaps your basso tones will penetrate; goodness knows that dungone seems unable to hear anything said by women.

    I will add only that being a patronizing asshole to pheenobarbidoll, one of the smartest, most interesting, regular commenters, is no way to win friends and influence people.

  521. EG says:

    I often encounter misconceptions about masculinity – that masculinity must be a good thing, a big net positive for men, because femininity is so toxic to women.

    Could you find an example of that on this thread that made you feel we needed your tutelage on this issue?

    The fact that masculinity is performative, that is all that I am trying to raise some awareness about.

    Well, thank goodness! Feminists have never before encountered the idea that gender is performative! It’s not like we’ve recently had a discussion about it or anything. I’m so glad that you’re here to tell us all about it.

    Some things that happen to men happen specifically to men, because they are men, because they are held to masculine standards.

    Indeed. It’s a shame that you can’t come up with any examples that fit the bill, because I certainly can.

  522. Tomek Kulesza says:

    @roymac

    No, it’s not shutting down the discussion(…)

    Yes, it happens to people in general, but there is a difference in how it happens to men specifically, and how it happens to women. You won’t find a man who constantly hears “so when i will be a grandmother” every time he visits his parents (no doubt it happens to some, but i am quite sure there is a gender difference). So, saying “but it happens to woman too” is like saying, after hearing that woman are under some pressure “but it happens to men too”. Which invariably gets the writer a lot of flak here and for good reason. Why? Because it makes it hard to focus on the specific issues and not on the general ones, and usually ends up in erasing gendered experience.

    (That said, both discussions are good. Just that they can’t exist, in practice, at the same time)

    Caperton,

    Men face pressure from women and from other men and from women to behave a certain way, and a man who doesn’t behave that way will struggle. The dating pool for women who are interested in non-”manly” men is much, much smaller than the general dating pool, and such women can be hard to find.

    I don’t really agree. Neither with you nor with dungone, actually, since as i said, i don’t think masculinity is requirement in real life. Well, perhaps in deep south, i don’t live there.

    But it still leaves the men thinking/pressured to think they have to be masculine to be “proper/good”, so many-most will struggle with that one way or another. IMO, that’s the problem which makes many men less able to live a life, not the perceived unatractiveness because, whatever. Even if they themselves think so.

    And to make an female analogy – the problem is not that a woman who doesn’t want kids can’t find a partner – sure as hell she can – the problem is that she most likely had and still has to endure the fact that if she’s ever going to achieve the great ideal of being a woman she absolutely has to do it. Even if it only exist in her mind and she cut off all people insisting on this.

  523. pheenobarbidoll says:

    @pheenobarbidoll, you’re a very passionate gal. Good luck with that.

    I don’t need luck sugar britches, I’m not the one who can’t find a romantic partner in life.

  524. Schala says:

    If both men and women are chided for being childish with regards to something like video gaming, why in the world should we think that the chiding is somehow about policing masculinity and not the more obvious policing maturity?

    Because childishness in women is considered endearing and cute (it’s generally a lot more tolerated, sometimes wanted).

    Childishness in men is considered a sign he’s unable to fulfill adult obligations. He could be paying the bills, but him playing videogames is seen as a sign that he’s unreliable in that, likelier to flake, lose his job, leave if push comes to shove – leaving his (potential) family hanging.

    If he’s playing golf as much as the other guy plays videogames, that’s fine, because golf is an adult sport. He could also watch 12 hours of TV a day.

    Lolita fashion is a fringe fashion community that either makes their own clothes (for those who can), or buys them from rather expensive mostly-Japanese stores. Although it has guys interested in it, it’s overwhelmingly women in their 20-30s (younger might want to, but it’s pretty costly).

    It’s very childish and cute. The clothing tries to get the looks of Victorian era aristocracy, in more cute tones (unless you go for the darker stuff, like Punk Lolita). The fashion is generally seen as weird because it’s way more involved than what I call “drape-like” dresses (the ‘modern’ style of dresses that hug the body), it’s more decorated than a summer dress…but not because it’s childish unless it’s over the top.

    Also: female adult babies have a much easier time having their practice accepted (by their partners, boyfriends, husbands) than male adult babies (by their partners, girlfriends, wives), who often need to pay professional services to indulge in their fantasy at all (provided it’s roughly the same fantasy as female ABs). Same for submissive men, who have a hard time even in the BDSM community. And cross-dressing men. Many have been divorced over it. Most keep it secret for years.

    Funny enough the reason to not want to stay with a sub or AB or cross-dressing man all involve some sort of seeing him as a threat to their monopoly on feminity in the relationship. A “but I wanted a masculine man to contrast to my feminity!” complaint. Those men are often seen as needy and not adding anything to a relationship. Compared to submissive women who are not seen as needy or “just taking” from a relationship. A double standard.

    I say funny enough because we always hear jokes about how men are emasculated by certain things their wives might do. Like in American Dad, the guy who got outearned by his wife had his penis drop. So Stan did everything to sink his wife’s real estate business. We rarely hear about how women feel the equivalent of emasculated for women (I don’t feel like inventing a word now, but go ahead if you have any idea) due to their male partner doing feminine stuff.

    It’s really human nature to want to feel needed, essential. And if someone duplicates your role, you might feel useless, or about to be discarded (at least in work). It’s not about oppressing women, or femmephobia. It’s just a wrong-headed attempt to keep the other out of your “area of expertise”. Maternal gatekeeping is that too.

    The solution is to not have your identity invested in a single role or task.

  525. roymacIII says:

    Some things that happen to men happen specifically to men, because they are men, because they are held to masculine standards. Obviously, the same is true about women’s experiences… that’s why there is feminism.

    Is there anyone here who doesn’t think that?

    Yes, it happens to people in general, but there is a difference in how it happens to men specifically, and how it happens to women. You won’t find a man who constantly hears “so when i will be a grandmother” every time he visits his parents (no doubt it happens to some, but i am quite sure there is a gender difference). So, saying “but it happens to woman too” is like saying, after hearing that woman are under some pressure “but it happens to men too”. Which invariably gets the writer a lot of flak here and for good reason. Why? Because it makes it hard to focus on the specific issues and not on the general ones, and usually ends up in erasing gendered experience.

    That’s certainly true about some things, but it’s not blanket-statement true. In the examples he provided, I don’t think it’s about gender. Women who spend their whole day playing video games get the same kind of “when are youg going to grow up” responses that guys do. The pressure to have children? Very different. The pressure under men to “man up”? Very different.
    But the pressure on 30-somethings to give up on the frivilous things of their youth and to stop playing video games? Eh. I’m sorry, but:
    1. I don’t actually think that there’s that much stigma against game-playing.
    2. What pressure there is, I don’t think is nearly as gendered as he’s trying to suggest it is.

    There are times when men and women face the same problems–just because something happens to a guy doesn’t mean it’s about masculinity. Some things are about age, or race, or sexual identity, etc. Sometimes there’s overlap or related issues.

    I definitely think that, for example, assumptions about men playing video games are gendered–it’s assumed that men do and women don’t. I just don’t think that it’s automatically about enforced masculinity when someone thinks that games are for children, since it’s the same result for men and women. It’s like, I don’t know… the assumption that elderly people are bad tippers. If an 80 year old man complains about people stereotyping him as a bad tipper and argues that it’s about enforced masculinity because he’s not being a good provider or something, it’s perfectly fair to point out that elderly women face the same sort of criticism, and that it’s about age, not gender.

  526. Alara Rogers says:

    Women are allowed to be childish in a “cute”, sexualized way. They’re allowed to depend on a partner to take care of them financially, to tell them what to do, to provide guidance on their path in life. They’re allowed to wear childish clothes as long as they look good in them; as soon as they’re too old to look “cute” they are laughed at for wearing this stuff. They’re allowed to talk in cutesy voices because a lot of men find that attractive. They’re allowed to be unable to support themselves financially and depend on a man. All of their “childishness” is directed toward the ends of “obedience to men” and “sexual attractiveness”.

    Men are allowed to be childish in a “boys will be boys” way. They’re allowed to waste 100% of their free time on non-productive activities as long as they’re dedicating some of their time to working for a paycheck. They’re allowed to depend on a woman *if* what they’re doing is pursuing a low-paying but artistic endeavor that’s high-risk, where either they will never make any money or they will “hit it big” and become rich. They’re allowed to play with children’s toys because the range of “play” allowed for boys and allowed for men has massive overlap (eg, sports, video games, collecting transforming robots). They’re allowed to not remember any important dates, to space out on scheduling commitments in their personal life 100% of the time and to get mad at frequent reminders even if they do space out. They’re allowed to let their ego and their personal comfort zone dictate what they can do and what everyone around them is allowed to do. They’re allowed to depend on a woman to feed them, clothe them, and, if they’re working hard at earning a paycheck, even bathe them (ever hear the story about Melinda Gates teaching Bill about taking showers?) All of men’s “childishness ” is directed to the ends of giving men freedom and comfort.

    A woman who wore sloppy clothes, hung around the house all day playing video games when she wasn’t at work, and expected her boyfriend to cook her dinner, wash her clothes, and buy her underwear when it gets nasty and run-down is probably seen as just as undesirable to men as a man who depends on his girlfriend to tell him what to do and doesn’t have a job is to women. Men actually *can’t* be cutely boyish the way women can be cutely girlish because our entire definition of what little boys are like is “just like adult men except with no sense of responsibility or boundaries and an overabundance of energy”; the distinction between “little girl”, who wears frilly, non-sexual clothing, likes sparkles, and plays with dolls and toys that represent her future occupation as a housewife, and “woman”, who wears sexualized clothing or neutral clothing and doesn’t play with toys, doesn’t exist between boys and men. Boys wear miniature man clothes and men play with the same toys boys do. So a man can’t imitate a boy, because a boy is defined as “a child version of a man”, whereas a girl and a woman are actually entirely separate entities. Becoming a man is about becoming responsible and financially independent; becoming a woman is about becoming a sex object or becoming a mother. So a man who wants to act in an exaggeratedly childish way either has to do it by being irresponsible and having no boundaries, which *is* actually just as permissible for men as wearing frilly clothes and talking in a squeaky voice is for women, or he has to adopt opposite-sex-coded behaviors that are girlish, in which case he’s getting shit for transgressing gender, not age.

  527. Tomek Kulesza says:

    Roymac, in general i agree (that some things are gendered, and some not – i’m simply not able to have strong and clear cut opinion about gaming). But consider that:

    Even if it’s gender-neutral in they eyes of bystanders (meaning, it could happen to non-man in exactly the same way), the fact that the 80yo man perceives it as gendered means, most likely, that this event triggered his assumptions/opinion about what is expected of him, because of his gender. Which sort of makes it gender issue, no?

  528. dungone says:

    @Tomek, I will read your writing soon, thanks for sharing.

    I really don’t see how men anywhere can get by without masculinity. Caperton was absolutely correct about the smaller available dating pool. If a guy doesn’t actively pursue women, chances are that women won’t compensate by pursuing him, in turn. This isn’t limited to relationships but to many aspects of life. A woman who is unable to find a job is more likely to receive sympathy and social support, while a man who is unable to find a job is more likely to become homeless. This is at least as true in the North as it is in the South.

    I’ll grant you that certain ways of signaling masculinity are losing ground faster some parts of the country – like the stigma against pink. But pink is not inherently anti-masculine, it’s just a cultural quirk for us because military uniforms used to be blue. At one point in Christian cultures, red was for men, pink was for boys, and blue was for women. Cherry Blossoms in Japanese culture are used to represent war and the warrior spirit. So stuff like that can be incredibly misleading, especially to outside observers, and we shouldn’t assume that someone who makes a fashion statement is suddenly a gender nonconformist. As a matter of fact, the performative requirements for men in the northeast is probably worse than anywhere else. In cities like New York, there is so much ground between the average guy and the billionaire overlords of our society that women’s expectations sometimes get skewed to unrealistic levels. For example, there are more single women than single men in Manhattan and within that demographic, the single women are better educated and out-earn the men. Yet, many of them still prefer men who are wealthier and more successful than they are. Moreover, they seem to compare men against one another as if each type of man was just as equally available as any other – millionaires vs average guys, 6′ guys vs 5’9 guys, etc.

  529. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Compared to submissive women who are not seen as needy or “just taking” from a relationship. A double standard.

    No, women aren’t seen as needy, they’re seen as NATURALLY, INHERENTLY submissive. As in, it’s our nature and we require domination. Same justifications are/were used for slavery of Black people. It’s NOT a positive thing by any means. Don’t even try to tell me it’s hard or a negative thing or a double standard to not be viewed as a naturally, inherently submissive person who requires domination to live fully.

  530. pheenobarbidoll says:

    A woman who is unable to find a job is more likely to receive sympathy and social support

    Aaah hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaa!

    Because Welfare Queens are given so much support and sympathy!

  531. EG says:

    For example, there are more single women than single men in Manhattan and within that demographic, the single women are better educated and out-earn the men. Yet, many of them still prefer men who are wealthier and more successful than they are. Moreover, they seem to compare men against one another as if each type of man was just as equally available as any other – millionaires vs average guys, 6′ guys vs 5’9 guys, etc.

    The nerve of those women! Having ideas about what they want even though they’re outnumbered! What bitches.

    To say nothing of the fact that you must move among an incredibly elite circle of women. None of the Manhattan women I have known behave this way.

  532. Mxe354 says:

    @pheenobarbidoll

    And even if it were true that jobless women received more social support and sympathy, it would be because it’s easier for people to feel bad for women – who are seen as naturally weak, dependent, and needy. That’s certainly not a good thing for women in the long run.

  533. dungone says:

    Because Welfare Queens are given so much support and sympathy!

    Yet they still get welfare. The chants about Welfare Queens are accompanied by equally loud chants about Deadbeat Dads being to blame. Meanwhile, a lot of those dads are homeless and in some cases, actually dead. Getting welfare and living in subsidized housing because you had a baby beats being a war veteran living out on the streets who had his baby taken away. No one chants about deadbeat war vets because they’re too busy chanting, “Go serve your country, young man!”

  534. Because Welfare Queens are given so much support and sympathy!

    Clearly, they were using a derogatory term for gay men rather than actually discussing women. Who are all given massive amounts of sympathy and support. Why, if my wife quit her job tomorrow the government might send us a new couch!

  535. dungone says:

    And even if it were true that jobless women received more social support and sympathy, it would be because it’s easier for people to feel bad for women – who are seen as naturally weak, dependent, and needy. That’s certainly not a good thing for women in the long run.

    Men don’t receive social support or sympathy because men who are week, dependent, and needy are seen as failures who don’t deserve our help or sympathy. Society doesn’t view jobless, homeless men as “naturally strong, independent, providers.” Is this what you want for women? Are you suggesting that we take help away from needy women because it’s based on them being perceived as weak? How is it a long term bad thing to be allowed to be weak and to receive help for it? That’s a long-term good thing by almost any measure of human compassion and understanding, IMO.

  536. dungone says:

    Why, if my