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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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241 Responses

  1. Tamara
    Tamara July 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm |

    Oh lord. I tried to read these and only managed Joel Stein’s one before giving up. Did you know baby boys are hard-wired to sleep with matchbox cars?

    Thanks for your comments, spot on (based on my limited reading of course).

  2. SophiaBlue
    SophiaBlue July 12, 2012 at 11:48 pm |

    I’ve got a lot of thoughts whirling about in my head that I’m having trouble articulating, so for now I’ll just say: what a steaming pile of bullshit.

    (Other than the two pieces Jill linked above, both of with are pretty good)

  3. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm |

    And manliness is never racialized either, I’m sure, with some types of men just “naturally” performing it better than others. *dies*

  4. Henry
    Henry July 13, 2012 at 12:08 am |

    You know what I could use a manicure after fixing my car engine. Joel Stein should see what that does to my nails, as I can guarantee you he’s never changed his own car oil, what with that nice column he has at the Times earning the cash to pay someone else to do it for him. Humanity invented all the tools the modern age has because we got tired of living in smelly caves – I see no reason to return to them to prove I have balls. And if anyone over at the Times wants to “man-up” I have a pile of “man-chores” for them to flex their muscles at, that would give me some more time to spend with the kids – after all male parenting is on the list of ball shrinking gender-bending activities in this mindset.

  5. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 13, 2012 at 12:17 am |

    My brother always wears his “real men wear pink” shirt, which still gives me a smile. My son has seen his uncle in the shirt, and therefore feels like a tough guy when he picks pink things. “Psh, green popsicle? No thanks, I want pink.”

    It would be lovely if men could feel manly doing whatever it is they love to do, be it getting a pedicure or skull tattoo, playing football or dancing in a ballet. Better still if we can get to a place where things don’t need to be manly or womanly, just enjoyable things one does/likes.

  6. Sulyp
    Sulyp July 13, 2012 at 12:20 am |

    When Mr Sulyp stepped on the Man-O-matic scale this morning, it almost punched him in the face.

    Going down the list, I guess I should have seen this coming:

    Eating copious amounts of red meat while grunting -FAIL
    Sniffing clothes from the dirty pile and putting them back on -SORTA FAIL
    Blowing off chores to watch Manly Sports and Drink Beer -FAIL
    Telling sexist jokes among douchebag friends -FAIL
    Pretending to be too cool to head bop our purring cats -FAILED SO HARD

    I’ve gotten so used to his unManliness, that I do double takes when I accidentally bump into his balls. Everyday.

  7. SophiaBlue
    SophiaBlue July 13, 2012 at 12:41 am |

    OK, I thought of what I wanted to say. Most of the pieces here have a playful, joking tone, like “Look at the football player getting a pedicure, LOL!” or “A real boy will only play with a doll if it has an internal combustion engine, amirite?” There’s no acknowledgement that in fact boys who play with dolls DO exist, and because of their choice of toys they are shit on by their parents, or their peers, or their teachers, or just society in general.There’s no acknowledgement of the fact that people get hurt and killed because they don’t do a good enough job of playing the gender roles society thinks they should. There is, of course, no acknowledgement of trans women and the way trying to enforce “manliness” can hurt us, especially during childhood (I was actually pretty lucky in that regard). Nope, let’s just chortle at the idea of men waxing their eyebrows!

  8. suspect class
    suspect class July 13, 2012 at 12:48 am |

    There is a little boy in my neighborhood who pushes his elmo doll around in a baby stroller. I have seen him out doing this with (adults i assume to be) both mom and dad, and it makes me very happy.

  9. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps July 13, 2012 at 1:12 am |

    My Hello Kitty iphone case is manly and adorable.

  10. karak
    karak July 13, 2012 at 2:15 am |

    Being a good man and being good at being a man are two different things.

    One is a genuine expression of competence, hard work, empathy, humanity, and strength. The other is a performance.

    One of these is clearly more important than the other. Be a man, man, and don’t be a shill for society stupidass standards of bullshit.

    (And to note–the qualities that make you a good man are the same ones that make you a good woman–or a good whatever you identify as, because you’re a good fucking person).

  11. Sam
    Sam July 13, 2012 at 2:39 am |

    Jill,

    The whole thing is fucked up. It doesn’t present any real “debate.”

    well, this article series may be fucked up, but that doesn’t mean there’s no “real” debate about what manliness/masculinity means today. A lot of my female friends talk about it “all the time”, and usually in the frame expressed by former feministe contributor Clarisse Thorn, over here (http://clarissethorn.com/blog/2009/10/18/questions-i-want-to-ask-entitled-cis-het-men-part-1/) – although they usually don’t use the gender theory slang.

    ‘A male friend once wrote to me, “I think you personally find expressions of masculinity hot, but you also have no patience with sexism. You’ve caught on that it’s tricky for men to figure out how to deliver both of these things you need, that you don’t have a lot of good direction to give to fellas about it, and that neither does anyone else.”’

    “Do what seems good for you” doesn’t make for a particularly inflammatory New York Times article, but it’s a nice way to live.

    It is, most certainly, but it’s, alas, not taking account of the effect that most people look to gender roles not only as something that stifles their individualism, but also as something that sometimes *allows* them to express themselves at all, especially in inter-gender interactions. I don’t think anyone would want rigid gender roles back, but I believe a lot of people would love to be able to rely on such formal aspects of behaviour as a way of reducing the complexity of interactions without rules. Without gender roles, communication (especially mating/dating communication) would be a true Habermasian “ideal speech” situation, and that is something far too complex for all but very few people to handle. What we have to figure out is how to give people who need them their crutches without limiting the freedom of those who feel the crutches are a straight-jacket.

  12. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 13, 2012 at 2:41 am |

    Ever since I forever eschewed my desire to be exclusively masculine, I’ve become remarkably more serene. For instance, I love how I can now wear my Arabic scarf just as how some women wear shawls (draped across the back and shoulders) without worrying about whether I’m looking manly enough or whatever. It’s just a small thing, I know, but it means a lot to me. I just wish that my family would accept that I don’t want to be 100% masculine.

  13. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 13, 2012 at 2:53 am |

    Without gender roles, communication (especially mating/dating communication) would be a true Habermasian “ideal speech” situation, and that is something far too complex for all but very few people to handle.

    I don’t get it. If anything, a lack of gender roles would make everything much less complex. Why do you think otherwise?

  14. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 13, 2012 at 3:09 am |

    Without gender roles, communication (especially mating/dating communication) would be a true Habermasian “ideal speech” situation, and that is something far too complex for all but very few people to handle.

    And yet gay people manage to get together all the time… unless you’re arguing we have some special skillz, of course. Or that one of each same-sex couple is “the man” and the other “the woman”.

  15. Kristen J
    Kristen J July 13, 2012 at 3:18 am | *

    Without gender roles, communication (especially mating/dating communication) would be a true Habermasian “ideal speech” situation, and that is something far too complex for all but very few people to handle. What we have to figure out is how to give people who need them their crutches without limiting the freedom of those who feel the crutches are a straight-jacket.

    So we need hierarchical gender roles because otherwise conversations would be Too Hard? (Only with ablist mixed metaphors! Woohoo!) I’m all for interrogating masculinity…but the final answer is never Let’s keep it how it is so we don’t have to learn to relate to one another as human beings!

  16. librarygoose
    librarygoose July 13, 2012 at 3:26 am |

    I always arbitrarily assign the roles “Man” and “Woman” to people I’m talking to, it makes life so much easier. How else am I going to use my assortment of fake mustaches? Halloween is only once a year and people say I can’t pretend to be a magician 365. I admit it gets awkward when I tape one to a stranger but what else can I do?

  17. unacomplished
    unacomplished July 13, 2012 at 4:32 am |

    I’m all for interrogating masculinity…but the final answer is never Let’s keep it how it is so we don’t have to learn to relate to one another as human beings!

    Isn’t the goal to also allow people who don’t want to do all that “relating” in order to get laid to do so without feeling weird?

  18. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 13, 2012 at 6:14 am |

    I couldn’t even wade my way through those ridiculous articles, the sexism was just more than I could stomach.

    Seriously though, I now am mothering four little boys, and negotiating all of the sexism and societal expectations that come along with that is really frustrating. I’m not going to get all, what about the poor menz and boys, that have it so bad, because in many ways they still have it better than the women and girls. But I see every day how sexist expectations can stifle both girls and boys who are still just trying to figure out who they even are and how to get comfortable in the skin they have.

    Nonsense like this NYT series just reinforces a ton of stupid sexist stereotypes. But that seems to be standard operating procedure for them these days, which is to publish a bunch of tripe in the hopes of stirring up traffic and buzz, and forget about integrity in journalism.

  19. Matt
    Matt July 13, 2012 at 6:59 am |

    Why do people insist on saying “figure out who they are” as if its predetermined as to how a given person should be? Insofar as its not all random, its more like deciding who you are.

  20. theLaplaceDemon
    theLaplaceDemon July 13, 2012 at 7:17 am |

    but I believe a lot of people would love to be able to rely on such formal aspects of behaviour as a way of reducing the complexity of interactions without rules. Without gender roles, communication (especially mating/dating communication) would be a true Habermasian “ideal speech” situation, and that is something far too complex for all but very few people to handle.

    I have no idea if this is true for “a lot of people” as you say, but for me personally I couldn’t disagree more. Pre-coupling up (with someone who takes a very critical look masculinity, and strives to express it only as he wants to) gender-based rules made dating awkward as hell. First, because I find a lot of gendered expectations uncomfortable and sexist, and I work hard to eschew them from my life (for example, dude always picking up the tab, or the whole idea of men as pursuers/women as gatekeepers…yuck). And second, because people would often ignore what explicitly, clearly said I wanted in favor of what they thought women wanted.

    (it should be noted that I eventually got better at screening those people out early, but when I was younger dear god…the things I put up with)

  21. theLaplaceDemon
    theLaplaceDemon July 13, 2012 at 7:19 am |

    I also couldn’t get through the first two paragraphs of the article. Self-reliance is just for men? Really?

  22. Princedavid
    Princedavid July 13, 2012 at 7:20 am |

    Jill, someone should shake your hand, that was an intelligent point of view. I myself can be a bit adroginus(can’t spell) at times. Its true, true, people are people, go with the flow. They say alot of gender role sterotyping was imagined by hollywood, but in real life people are not all factory made.

    Really, if you want to meet the butchyess man, their in prison. I also do not believe a woman must be bottom(sex roles), but a man can be top or bottom and a woman can be a top or bottom.

  23. timberwraith
    timberwraith July 13, 2012 at 7:35 am |

    I couldn’t bring myself to read the linked articles because I haven’t the stomach for such gender bullshit. However, whenever articles related to “You aren’t manly/womanly enough!!!!!!” come up, I always remember Feminism 101. Masculinity and femininity can not be understood when looking at individual behaviors and traits. One has to “zoom out” and see the overall social structure that those two categories help form. Masculinity is designed to foster a body of behaviors which establish and maintain power and hierarchy. The system is meant to favor men as a group. Femininity is designed to lead people into behaviors which encourage one to live as a subordinate within that hierarchy. The system is meant to treat women like chattel. We also position femininity and masculinity as sexy and desirable, thus linking intimacy and desire with an oppressive social structure.

    It doesn’t get more basic than that. So, in my humble opinion, both masculinity and femininity suck and they suck rather badly. The question for me is how do we disarm this system that is so good at reproducing itself? How do we dissolve a system of social parameters that encourages one half of the species to behave as tyrants and the other half as serfs?

  24. Nobody
    Nobody July 13, 2012 at 8:59 am |

    It’s not exactly new. “Masculinity in crisis” is an old chestnut.

    I vaguely recall reading that back in 1926 the Chicago Tribune ran an article complaining about Rudolf Valentino*. Apparently his popularity with female moviegoers was somehow threatening to feminize American men.

    Plus la change.

    *Valentino apparently wanted to challenge the writer of the article to a duel.

  25. Sid
    Sid July 13, 2012 at 9:15 am |

    While both are constricting archetypes, I think masculine is still defined much more broadly than feminine is. After all, a beer-swilling, lazy, schmo (Jeff Bridges’s “The Dude”) is often portrayed as masculine as orc-slaying, untamed-beard king (Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn).

  26. Nobody
    Nobody July 13, 2012 at 9:24 am |

    After all, a beer-swilling, lazy, schmo (Jeff Bridges’s “The Dude”) is often portrayed as masculine as orc-slaying, untamed-beard king (Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn).

    Actually, I believe The Dude favors white russians.

    I’m not sure what Aragorn drinks.

  27. Shigekuni
    Shigekuni July 13, 2012 at 9:25 am |

    What always puzzles me about the masculinity debate, and maybe this is a wrong impression, but the cultural definition of “masculine” has been remarkably stable, and people who identify as men have adhered to that to a far larger degree, I think, than people who identify as women have adhered to the cultural definition of “feminine”. What I mean is that you can look at a mainstream 1960s movie and immediately see that most women do not behave, dress etc. like, say Doris Day, but 1960s positive cultural depictions of men would not be out of place today. I think the onus on changing in a changing world has been overwhelmingly on women, which is why, as we found in that thread a few days back about women, men and housework, women increasingly do paid work AND housework, while a majority of men doesn’t change anything and are upset and angry about even being asked to change. To get to the point I believe that this whole “crisis of masculinity” stuff is a recurring phenomenon by (largely male) writers to deal with the demands on both genders and to try and save/conserve the ‘masculine’ role intact for a few years/decades more, with made up studies and nonsense facts.

    I hope this makes sense.

  28. thinksnake
    thinksnake July 13, 2012 at 9:41 am |

    Also both with the untamed beards. Clearly we have discovered the core of masculinity!

  29. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 13, 2012 at 10:20 am |

    Why do people insist on saying “figure out who they are” as if its predetermined as to how a given person should be? Insofar as its not all random, its more like deciding who you are.

    Do you mean from a gender identity standpoint, or more generally?

    Because I used that terminology to be a pretty broad catch-all, not just gender identity stuff but all of the other, I’m really interested in this but not that, that all kids go through in their formative years.

    Gendered expectations get in the way of kids otherwise normal developmental pathways in numerous ways. My kids regularly come to me perplexed by gender stereotypes and expectations and how they are supposed to deal with them (take them at face value and integrate them into their identities or ignore them completely? What about my friends, be they girls or boys?) We try to be as open as possible with our kids and eschew gendered things before the kids themselves have decided, for themselves, what is or isn’t comfortable for them personally.

    Maybe we are going about it all wrong, but it’s important to both me and my husband that we not project or otherwise coerce our kids’ gender identities.

  30. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 13, 2012 at 10:27 am |

    Sorry, hit post too soon.

    I think gendered expectations go far beyond just personal identification too. What sort of interests they can have and aspirations they may hold are also affected by the macho, are you man enough nonsense spewed in those NYT pieces. Does being a man mean one must enjoy sports and acting like a neanderthal? Does it also mean that those things traditionally coded as feminine (crafting or childcare/baby related stuff) are off limits to boys and the men they will eventually become?

    Because my kids ask me about this stuff all the time. One boy so far really wants to do something involving taking care of babies when he grows up. But he’s already expressed worry that it won’t make him “boy enough.” Of course we’ve told him that’s crap and he should do what he wants. The point being that kids assimilate and take all of this business in at a very young age, and it really matters how they do so.

  31. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated July 13, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    If Mr. Man is not on stage, on set, or on the job, he can pick out whatever parts of the role he damn well pleases. Not all men have mechanical ability. Not all mechanics have dirty fingernails, either: my cousin keeps his coveralls and nails clean for the ladies, thank you.
    What this dudebro wants, I suspect, is permission to put on an act, so he can be dishonest in his relationships. That, sir, ain’t cool.
    From redneck to refined, please, please allow these guys to be their real selves. Being someone they are not makes them mean, stressed-out, and/or addicted, attributes which are not sexy at all

  32. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

    sophiaBlue–

    There’s no acknowledgement of the fact that people get hurt and killed because they don’t do a good enough job of playing the gender roles society thinks they should.

    Nope, let’s just chortle at the idea of men waxing their eyebrows!

    Non-cis and/or non-heterosexual men and women who don’t perform masculinity or femininity to society’s expectations do indeed have it much worse than straight cis men men who may be given a hard time for waxing their eyebrows. My non-cis friends who got the shit beat out of them in high school (one, for wearing a tie, the other for wearing “girly” tees) certainly had it worse than my stereotypically-masculine quarterback friend who got hassled by his teammates for wearing nail polish.
    The degree of disapproval from society is much, much harsher (and even lethal) for non-cis, non-heterosexual individuals. But the root of disapproval in both cases is a direct result of society’s fixation on gender roles and homophobia.
    Perhaps if it becomes more acceptable for cis, heterosexual men to *fill in any stereotypically feminine activity* there will be less judgement on non-cis/non-hetero men for doing the same, and ultimately less judgement for being anything other than straight and cis.

  33. Katya
    Katya July 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    Actually, I believe The Dude favors white russians.

    I’m not sure what Aragorn drinks.

    Probably beer, but he might be a mead-drinker.

  34. yes
    yes July 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |

    Elven wine.

  35. konkonsn
    konkonsn July 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm |

    Really, if you want to meet the butchyess man, their in prison.

    I…what? Can you clarify this? I read this as you saying the most masculine of men are in prison, and that’s just not true, and I’m not even sure what it contributes to the conversation.

  36. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

    Elven wine.

    Bow chicka BOW– oh, you didn’t mean that as a euphemism. Nvm. :D

  37. SophiaBlue
    SophiaBlue July 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    Cherrybomb, I don’t want to diminish the real suffering that straight cis men go through because of gender policing. When I did ballet as a kid I saw a lot of the bullshit male dancers had to go through. The point I was trying to make was that most of the writers acted like their gender policing was no more harmful than making fun of airline food, without acknowledging the ways that people are hurt by gender policing.

    Perhaps if it becomes more acceptable for cis, heterosexual men to *fill in any stereotypically feminine activity* there will be less judgement on non-cis/non-hetero men for doing the same, and ultimately less judgement for being anything other than straight and cis.

    I think (and hope) this is true.

  38. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

    I read this as you saying the most masculine of men are in prison, and that’s just not true

    Many men who perform a particularly toxic type of masculinity are in prison, I suppose. Perhaps that’s what ze meant.

  39. LotusBecca
    LotusBecca July 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm |

    Not to make this a Note From Jill’s Boner, but note to men: You do you. Have fun figuring out what “you” even is. . .in a totally self-interested way, men breaking down gender stereotypes is great for women and great for society. So, you know, go on getting your pedicures.

    I’ll go a step further and say that ALL men should get pedicures so that the wedding bands and watches on their hands look more striking. But they should avoid “really hideous necklaces” at all costs.

    Oh sorry. I’m bringing up the distant past here. I forgot that everyone else had accepted Jill’s apology on that.

  40. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm |

    The point I was trying to make was that most of the writers acted like their gender policing was no more harmful than making fun of airline food, without acknowledging the ways that people are hurt by gender policing.

    Point taken. I think the writers had a cis, hetrosexual audience in mind. I’m so used to adjusting for the intended audience or writers (which often doesn’t include me) that I don’t even think about it sometimes. Ah, the effects of patriarchy.

  41. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm |

    I’ll go a step further and say that ALL men should get pedicures so that the wedding bands and watches on their hands look more striking. But they should avoid “really hideous necklaces” at all costs.

    Oh sorry. I’m bringing up the distant past here. I forgot that everyone else had accepted Jill’s apology on that.

    I hadn’t, I just didn’t want DLL marching in here calling me a talkative woman again.

  42. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm |

    Perhaps if it becomes more acceptable for cis, heterosexual men to *fill in any stereotypically feminine activity* there will be less judgement on non-cis/non-hetero men for doing the same, and ultimately less judgement for being anything other than straight and cis.

    Word. This is what I’ve always believed.

  43. Sam
    Sam July 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm |

    mxe354,

    I don’t get it. If anything, a lack of gender roles would make everything much less complex. Why do you think otherwise?

    how so? Roles are a specific system of signs and signals that – if widely accepted, tend to help deciphering other people’s intent and behaviours. I don’t really understand how you can believe that people speaking different languages will have an easier time communicating than people speaking the same language. Sometimes, people don’t *want* to speak the same language or cannot speak the same language and that’s totally fine, but it’s certainly more complicated to communicate in this situation.

    macavitykitsune,

    And yet gay people manage to get together all the time… unless you’re arguing we have some special skillz, of course. Or that one of each same-sex couple is “the man” and the other “the woman”.

    Not man or woman, but I see lots of gay people behaving to certain gender roles, performing a chosen behavioral pattern.

    KristenJ,

    So we need hierarchical gender roles because otherwise conversations would be Too Hard? (Only with ablist mixed metaphors! Woohoo!) I’m all for interrogating masculinity…but the final answer is never Let’s keep it how it is so we don’t have to learn to relate to one another as human beings!

    you seem to make a couple of implicit assumptions – where did i say anything about “hierarchical” when making the point about easier communication? And relating to *one another* is great, and will often work without gender roles, but in the specific context I mentioned (mating/dating aka *the* main gendered area) that will usually not be sufficient. Necessary, but not sufficient.

    theLaplaceDemon,

    I have no idea if this is true for “a lot of people” as you say, but for me personally I couldn’t disagree more.

    I think it is true for most people – the mainstream. Personally, I needed to learn how to perform masculinity and become successful with women who expected it in order to gain the confidence that allowed me to let go of things that annoyed me about it without becoming generally less successful with women again.

  44. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

    I don’t really understand how you can believe that people speaking different languages will have an easier time communicating than people speaking the same language.

    That’s exactly what I don’t believe. If there are no rigid gender roles – or none at all – then there is much clearer communication between, say, men and women because no one is trying to figure out “what men are like” or “what women are like”. There is simply open communication devoid of silly gender stereotypes.

  45. Chataya
    Chataya July 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm |

    Not man or woman, but I see lots of gay people behaving to certain gender roles, performing a chosen behavioral pattern.

    Yeah, macavity is obviously mistaken. Everyone knows that gay couples pair up as a trucker guy with a fashion guy.

  46. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm |

    Not man or woman, but I see lots of gay people behaving to certain gender roles, performing a chosen behavioral pattern.

    -_- I say potayto, you say potahto. Also, as to your observations, PERCEPTION BIAS PERCEPTION BIAS PERCEPTION BIAS. Which is not to disappear butch-femme couples, but it’s hardly the norm.

    Everyone knows that gay couples pair up as a trucker guy with a fashion guy.

    Yes, of course, my mistake. And if two trucker guys fall in love one of their penises falls off, dontcha know.

  47. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm |

    And relating to *one another* is great, and will often work without gender roles, but in the specific context I mentioned (mating/dating aka *the* main gendered area) that will usually not be sufficient. Necessary, but not sufficient.

    I don’t mean to sound to presumptuous, but it probably only seems that way because it’s difficult to envision mating/dating without rigid gender roles. But I see no reason to believe that a lack of gender roles would make mating/dating between men and women very difficult unless it is truly the case that men and women have inherent differences that are so profound that some specific gender roles are necessary for clear communication in that context. And I think that’s an absurd notion.

  48. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte July 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm |

    On the other hand, we’re all deeply interested in the thoughts of Jill’s Boner, so if you ever feel like starting a Tumblr recording Boner thoughts, I’m sure it would get great traffic.

  49. Sam
    Sam July 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm |

    mxe354,

    …unless it is truly the case that men and women have inherent differences that are so profound that some specific gender roles are necessary for clear communication in that context. And I think that’s an absurd notion.

    I don’t think the differences have to be profound. In fact, I believe that tiny aggregate differences in desire and sexual strategies, regardless of their biological or cultural origin, will make *some* gender performance more successful some other less successful, which, in turn, will create a behavioral trend that is likely self-reinforcing, thereby institutionalizing the orginally tiny difference and making it appear bigger than it actually is. Sadly the institutionalization and de-institutionalization of such trends is not very well understood.

  50. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 13, 2012 at 9:53 pm |

    I don’t think the differences have to be profound. In fact, I believe that tiny aggregate differences in desire and sexual strategies, regardless of their biological or cultural origin, will make *some* gender performance more successful some other less successful, which, in turn, will create a behavioral trend that is likely self-reinforcing, thereby institutionalizing the orginally tiny difference and making it appear bigger than it actually is. Sadly the institutionalization and de-institutionalization of such trends is not very well understood.

    I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think that institutionalization would go very far in a society with very marginal or very flexible gender roles. There will be trends, but if gender roles are flexible or almost non-existent, then those trends will most likely not be seen in a gendered light. So even if they are self-reinforcing trends, they would not perpetuate gender roles in the context of mating/dating. And I think that this applies to everyone, not just straight cis-men and cis-women.

  51. rayuela23
    rayuela23 July 14, 2012 at 4:15 am |

    I actually think the ‘notes from Jill’s boner’ are pretty important. Basically, there are two assumptions implicit in a lot of these conversations about ‘masculinity’ – or, of course’ ‘femininity’:
    1. Everyone should chose behaviours that maximise how attractive they are to the opposite sex.
    2. Stereotypically masculine behaviours are what women find most attractive in men (and vice-versa).
    Now, of course it is awesome to challenge assumption 1 – it’s horribly heteronormative and very reductive of our humanity to boot; we all have more to offer to the world than sexual appeal. But I think it’s also cool to challenge assumption 2 – that is, point out that desire is much more complicated than a lot of our social scripts acknowledge. Dudes who go weak at the knees for kittens are totally hot! As are ladies who box! Etc.

  52. Steffie
    Steffie July 14, 2012 at 7:37 am |

    Thats actually bad. If many women want men “the way they used to be” feminism stalls and we might end up with a society “the way it used to be.”

    If women see it as bad to be the primary breadwinner where a husband is involved and crave traditional gender roles, what does it say about the prospect of feminism?

  53. Sam
    Sam July 14, 2012 at 8:02 am |

    mxe354,

    So even if they are self-reinforcing trends, they would not perpetuate gender roles in the context of mating/dating.

    I think the only question in that respect would be whether some performances are sexually/romantically more successful than others, in other words, whether there are “preference clusters” for certain behaviours. You’re certainly right to note that it’s hard to say in the abstract, because we’re all embodying current gender roles to a degree, and are thus biased. But based on the reality I perceive, the answer to the question “do preference clusters” exist (in heterosexual women, in my case), the answer would be a resounding, resounding “yes”.

    rayuela23,

    1. Everyone should chose behaviours that maximise how attractive they are to the opposite sex. … Now, of course it is awesome to challenge assumption 1 – it’s horribly heteronormative and very reductive of our humanity to boot; we all have more to offer to the world than sexual appeal.

    I don’t think choosing behaviours that maximise how attractive one is to the desired sex implies that humans don’t have more to offer to the world than their sexual appeal. But I don’t think choosing those behaviours is about offering anything *to the world*, it’s about achieving personal validation and, potentially, sexual and romantic happiness. I don’t think there’s any contradiction at all in what you say.

    2. Stereotypically masculine behaviours are what women find most attractive in men (and vice-versa). … But I think it’s also cool to challenge assumption 2 – that is, point out that desire is much more complicated than a lot of our social scripts acknowledge. Dudes who go weak at the knees for kittens are totally hot! As are ladies who box! Etc.

    I think that 2 is – as a bell curve, of course, people are individuls, by and large, correct, for whichever reason. However, I believe I have a different understanding of masculine performance than you do. I don’t think that liking kittens is reducing masculinity, or that boxing is necessarily contradicting femininity. Real men can wear pink ;). Although I believe that simple pseudo-rules like the ones you mention may be helpful to some people, I believe that the core of masculine and feminine performance is happening in the mating process, and I believe it’s much more nuanced than what you suggest.

  54. rayuela23
    rayuela23 July 14, 2012 at 9:05 am |

    @Sam, yes, absolutely I agree with you that masculinity and femininity are more complicated than the examples I gave – which is why I used the word ‘stereotypical’ in my comment.

  55. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 14, 2012 at 11:18 am |

    Thats actually bad. If many women want men “the way they used to be” feminism stalls and we might end up with a society “the way it used to be.”

    If women see it as bad to be the primary breadwinner where a husband is involved and crave traditional gender roles, what does it say about the prospect of feminism?

    Cultural norms are certainly amenable to change, so I doubt that patriarchy would return easily in a truly egalitarian society.

  56. Mike
    Mike July 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

    If women want “Manly” men who are the primary breadwinners, then we do not live in an egalitarian society. We live in a society where people have equal rights, but the society, even today, is not that war away from what we had in the 50s, albeight by choice and if women turn away from feminist lifestyles and crave manly men who are the primary breadwinners and see men who stay home and take care of the children as effeminate and undesirable, then feminism is a subculture in the mainstream that closely reflects the 50s and whatnot, with the difference that women have options they did not have back then, options they do not pursue though, because when they have to chose between being married to a man with a good job and being the one with the good job and being supported by hubby, many still prefer a setup where they feel “womanly” and can feel to have a “manly” husband.

    Wall of text I know.

  57. samanthab
    samanthab July 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

    No, the definition of masculinity has *not* been remarkably stable. 1960 isn’t going back very far. Historically, men have generally dressed just as elaborately as women, for one thing. Class distinctions enter into this, of course. But the divisions of masculine and feminine have fluctuated pretty dramatically throughout history.

  58. Mike
    Mike July 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

    And womens preferences are expressed in various statistics. How is the gender gap when it comes to pay and career to ever close if women feel a man who is below her in status and/or income does not fulfill the traditional manly roles she craves? In a society where men are pretty much only allowed traditional gender roles, gender gaps will persist.

    On the one side you have women who do not build a career for themselves, for the same reason they do not hit the gym to build big strong muscles. They do not want their muscular wallet to make his look smaller. They see a gap in income where the partner is of higher income and status as a desirable male trait.

    On the other hand you have men who do not feel comfortable to be feminists, because they do not feel like feminist men are accepted in this world and rather feel that their one and only option is to build a live for themselves where they fulfill traditional gender roles. Therefore they will be more competitive when it comes to compete for a spot of prestige, such as advancing their career. I am sure if I would be just a burger slinger a woman who would have built a career for herself would have not given me the opportunity to become a stay at home dad.

  59. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm |

    It’s true that a lot of people still regard patriarchal relationships as ideal, but gender norms have been changing a lot recently. I recall that a recent post here showed a study that suggested that men are more interested in well-educated women than ever before.

  60. Mike
    Mike July 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

    What does changing mean? 1% of the population? Many feminists tend to stick within their own feminist circles so to speak. But how widespread is feminism? It is associated with academia, there are not that many people who have the potential and the possibility to get a good education for themselves. Lets look outside academia. Where are the female mechanics, female plumbers, female welders etc. . Outside of Academia little feminism is to be found.

    Do feminists have any way to keep track how widespread feminism really is? How many women want a man that challenges traditional gender roles? If you look at your friends, it might be many, if you look at the country, men might have a better bet to find happiness in life if they focus on fulfilling traditional gender roles and stay away from feminism.

  61. Mike
    Mike July 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    And I say all that as a man who would be very comfortable with strong women. I wouldnt mind a woman being taller, having bigger muscles than me having a black belt. Taking the “male” role wherever she wants. I would have no problem with staying home either while she earns the money for the family.

    Now a lot of you might get all excited reading that and I bet you can think of many friends out of your circle who would feel the same, but I assure you most women are rather traditional. And if they grow, they NEED at least a partner who grows as much as her, but ideally more, meaning a lawyer woman oftentimes needs a man with a job that is in status and income comparable to hers even the self proclaimed feminists.

  62. Mike
    Mike July 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

    To sum it up, too many people are around who throw words like feminism around for the sole purpose to get the best in life for themselves, not because they care, or even know about feminism.

  63. grampmk
    grampmk July 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm |

    As an old man , I admit I know nothing about feminism. I know some things about women, but am no expert, even though I have 3 grown daughters and 3 granddaughters. I want them all to succeed. I have never known a feminist in the real world. I’m not saying some of the women I’ve known aren’t, I just can’t say for sure.

    I expect women to know themselves better than any man could possibly ever know. But I think it rather disingenuous for a woman to claim to know more about men than men themselves know. Thee was an old song years ago “Walk a mile my shoes” Well that’s only a song, it is not possible for any of us to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

    So how about women stick to defining themselves and let men define themselves. Fair is fair. It’s equality. Right?

  64. Kyra
    Kyra July 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm |

    What (else) annoys me about this debate is how it pretends that a person’s location in the gender spectrum is static and unchanging and precise. Like a man is at some level or another of manliness, and that’s exactly how manly he ever and always is, and if it’s too low he’ll never do anything but “shrivel clitorises.”

    We live in a world where gender is a performance art mixed up out of clothing, grooming, actions, behaviors, and the resonance of gendered activities which themselves have multiple avenues of attraction—lots and lots of room for nuance and change. Simple changes of clothing or activity or posture or mood can put together an entirely different performance, and most people manage at least something of an array of them. Not to mention that we view attractiveness on a lot of scales incidental to straight-up masculinity/femininity.

    The same guy can wear a polo shirt and khakis and play with his kids, or put on jeans and work boots and go out and split some wood. Or just shift into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and that’s possibly a bit of a masculinity shift, but it might be a significant attractiveness shift from a woman’s perspective.

    Point is, nobody who gets the facial and the manicure is limited to that or limited by that—stupid country songs aside, “creamy lotiony hands” don’t prevent you from gripping a tackle box until your manicure wears off. A guy who puts on a tutu to play Pretty Pretty Princess with his daughters isn’t stuck in that tutu for life. A guy who likes knitting isn’t going to have a smothering cloud of Essence of Great-Aunt Muriel wrapped around him when he goes out on a date.

    My appearance regularly runs the gamut from flowery dress with high heels and jewelry to overalls or men’s work pants, steel-toe construction boots, safety goggles, and a spattering of engine grease or motor oil, and all manner of stuff in between. Suit with pencil skirt, heels, scarf, sunglasses, jewelry; pantsuit with those same construction boots because I don’t feel like heels today; tank top with jeans; tank top with floaty silky tunic, miniskirt, leggings, heels, and feathered earrings; Renaissance bodice and circle skirt; Renaissance peasant shirt over breeches and boots; 19th-century locomotive engineer’s overalls.

    If somebody says they like how feminine I am, I laugh and laugh and laugh. Because it’s only chance that they aren’t telling me that I’m not feminine enough, or that I look like a sensible girl instead of a fashion victim, or that I look like a fashion victim, or wonder how I’ll ever catch a husband dressing like that.

    Not everybody has comfortable access to a wide array of the spectrum of gendered appearance and behavior, but nobody is really all that limited by the “lowest common denominator” of what they’re willing to be caught dead wearing or doing.

  65. LuckyLady
    LuckyLady July 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm |

    @Mike – It’s sad that you feel this way. I have never taken a women’s studies course. Does this lack of exposure to feminism in an academic setting invalidate my desire to see my daughter get a fair shake at whatever she wishes to pursue without being constrained by gender-based cultural norms? Whether individuals label it “feminism” or not, I know there are lots of us. I certainly didn’t need a class to know that a marriage relatively free of traditional gender roles was what I wanted (and got.) Equal partners bring more to the table and the relationship is not tainted with the specter of one partner having to stay because of options limited by outside factors.

  66. Mike
    Mike July 15, 2012 at 7:33 am |

    It’s sad that you feel this way. I have never taken a women’s studies course. Does this lack of exposure to feminism in an academic setting invalidate my desire to see my daughter get a fair shake at whatever she wishes to pursue without being constrained by gender-based cultural norms?

    If your daughter just wants to pursue her goals, without taking into consideration what comes with it, there is a good chance she will not find happiness, if it turns out he goals oppose each other.

    Let me elaborate. A woman who does not care that much about feminism only sees what she would enjoy doing in life and the good money it brings. But in the end she is no feminist. Now she is a lawyer, a job she loves and makes good money. Now she wants to find love. Because she is not a feminist and pretty much still harbours traditional expectations, she needs a man “she can look up to”. In her quest for love she eliminates all the men who are not at least equal in status and income. Because she is no feminist, she realizes that at this point in her life, having her knight in shining armor is more important to her than the job that has become routine and she really wants a family now.

    A family with traditional gender roles, so a man who earns less than her is out of the question.

    The tragedy here is that by achieving what she wants earlier on in life, she severally diminished her chances to find what she wants later on in life at that point it would be better for her if feminism never happened, because all the affluent career women would be men and potential partners she could pick.

    However if she would be a feminist she would be open to the idea to readjust traditional expectations towards a mate and then feminism wouldnt get in her way.

  67. Mike
    Mike July 15, 2012 at 8:36 am |

    Not to mention that the lack of equality in divorce courts for example means men do not live in an environment where it is safe for them to be feminists, but live in an environment that encourages men to be rather traditional and discourages them to be feminists.

  68. Chiara
    Chiara July 15, 2012 at 8:40 am |

    I actually think mike made a good point up the thread:

    on here people defend that women have to marry up to a more wealthy and higher status guy on the basis of its choice and preferences and there’s nothing wrong with having standards for relationships. Which I agree with.

    but then of course the pay gap has to exist. If women are only going to marry guys who make more money… then guys are going to make extra sure that they are making more money than women.

  69. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

    Not to mention that the lack of equality in divorce courts for example means men do not live in an environment where it is safe for them to be feminists, but live in an environment that encourages men to be rather traditional and discourages them to be feminists.</blockquote

    That's got to be one of the most ridiculous MRA bits of silliness I've ever seen in a comment here on Feministe.

    The notion that men don't have "equality" in divorce courts is just not borne out by reality. Please, do us all a favor and acquaint yourself with non-biased, published sources on the topics of public policy and the family court system. Up until 30 years or so ago, the family courts here in the U.S. heavily favored divorcing husbands in property distribution and child custody. There have been efforts to address these entrenched inequalities, and some of them have been successful, for good reason, because they were deeply necessary.

    If your going to try and push the notion that men get shafted by the court system in favor of their money grubbing and spiteful wives who are on a mission to take their husbands to the cleaners and alienate them from their children, you most definitely are in the wrong place.

  70. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm |

    I have block quote fail, I apologize.

  71. LuckyLady
    LuckyLady July 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

    How does feminism “get in the way” of one’s expectations concerning a potential partner? This sounds as if you’re suggesting that one has a better shot of finding marital bliss by being less than they are to ensure there is more above them.

  72. DonnaL
    DonnaL July 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm |

    Up until 30 years or so ago, the family courts here in the U.S. heavily favored divorcing husbands in . . . child custody.

    Really? Up until 1982?

    I agree with you in general, but please, this is completely false. The preference for mothers in child custody decisions began in the late 19th century (more like 130 years ago than 30), and was a legally-mandated presumption in every state by the 1920′s. It’s only in the 1970′s and 1980′s that the trend in the other direction towards joint custody, etc., began.

    (I have no idea how old you are, but people talking about the early 1980′s as if people reading aren’t going to remember them, or notice when people say things about them that are wildly untrue, makes me feel ancient! After all, I was married myself by the late 1980′s.)

  73. Comradde PhysioProffe
    Comradde PhysioProffe July 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm |

    This is the same Joel Stein fuckebagge who is/was a “men’s columnist” for the LA Times? If so, he is basically the male equivalent of Katie Roiphe: he makes a living being “controversial” and “politically incorrect”.

  74. Mike
    Mike July 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm |

    Lolagirl when it comes to things like custody there is bias against men. Telling men they should try harder at home if they want that to change is like telling women they need to finally start working as hard as men if they want the wage gap to close.

  75. Mike
    Mike July 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

    How does feminism “get in the way” of one’s expectations concerning a potential partner? This sounds as if you’re suggesting that one has a better shot of finding marital bliss by being less than they are to ensure there is more above them.

    If a woman is not a feminist, then that is the case, yes. I am glad it sounds like that, because thats what I was saying.

  76. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm |

    men do not live in an environment where it is safe for them to be feminists, but live in an environment that encourages men to be rather traditional and discourages them to be feminists.

    o_O The patriarchy hurts men too, my friend.

  77. Mike
    Mike July 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm |

    The patriarchy hurts feminist men.

  78. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

    The patriarchy hurts feminist men.

    Right. The draft, treating men like dispensable beings, writing laws to enshrine the ideas that men are incapable of NOT raping/killing/harassing women, shaming men for moving even a little bit away from the MANLYMANLYMANLY lockstep, forcing men to spend less time with their children by declaring househusbands/SAHFs “emasculated”, brutalising and murdering men who aren’t absolutely heterosexual and cis: all of those things the patriarchy does only affects feminist men. The other ones are just fine! Which is why they’re never depressed, stressed, angry or hateful, why they never commit crimes of passion, commit suicide, go bankrupt, feel alienated and disconnected or get PTSD –

    Oh wait. That happens to all men. It’s almost like the patriarchy hasn’t benefited them!

  79. Mike
    Mike July 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

    Yes, but lets say I am a feminist man. I share in 50 50 with my wife so we can advance our career at the same rate and make about the same money. If we should divorce, then in court there is still bias against men when it comes to primary custody, so she ends up being the one receiving custody and child support. And god help me if I was the one staying home and dont have a job to begin with at that point.

    So if I am not a feminist man and focus on my career and at home just pitch in here and there a little bit, then I make more to begin with if we should divorce.

  80. Mike
    Mike July 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

    So being a feminist adds more bad stuff for men on what they already endure. They face the same hardships all other men face and they are not rewarded for being feminists either, by getting a fair shake at receiving primary custody for example.

  81. A.Y. Siu
    A.Y. Siu July 16, 2012 at 10:14 am |

    Mike, I think the only thing I agree with you on is that there are feminist hetero women out there who are quite accomplished by external standards (career, income, education) and then expect to find a man who is equal to or above her in the same areas, which cannot lead to a healthy balance for either gender among heterosexuals.

    But I don’t think men should deny feminism just because traditional systems of sexism against women are still hurting men. You dismantle the whole system, and it’ll work better for everybody. Yes, a lot of fathers lose out in custody battles, but in the larger cultural context, that all comes from BS about men needing to be bread winners and women needing to be childcare givers (in other words, give the kids to the mom—women are “naturally” nurturing anyway).

    While I don’t believe every discussion about feminism should come back to “what about teh menz?” any feminist serious about fixing sexism-against-women issues has to realize how intricately entwined they are with sexism-against-women-that-also-badly-damages-men issues.

  82. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 10:23 am |

    The problem is men have little interest to create feminism. They are quite content to work in what they have now. If joining up with feminism is a stupid thing to do for men, then they dont. They focus on their career instead. So its up to the feminists, male or female, to ensure both genders are comfortable with being feminists, if particularly men are fine either way.

    Maybe if men had the same chance, to leave an unhappy marriage WITH their children they would feel more comfortable to become feminists.

  83. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 16, 2012 at 11:25 am |

    Maybe if men had the same chance, to leave an unhappy marriage WITH their children they would feel more comfortable to become feminists.

    Individuals have only themselves to blame for not putting the work in that is required of a primary care parent.

    Primary Care Parent comes with a job description. You either meet it or you do not. If you’re content with letting someone else do the bulk of the work, then you’ve given them the position of primary care parent. Those duties continue on even after you’re not with that person. You chose the action, you chose the consequences.

    The consequences of not being a primary care parent- you don’t leave with the children you haven’t been raising.

  84. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 11:27 am |

    So being a feminist adds more bad stuff for men on what they already endure. They face the same hardships all other men face and they are not rewarded for being feminists either, by getting a fair shake at receiving primary custody for example.

    -_- It’s like you have exactly one thought in your head, Mike, (for example, “refrigerator monkey”) and everything just loops back around to it, no matter refrigerator monkey, because eventually everything is about refrigerator monkey and so feminism is refrigerator monkey because feminism. And men.

    Or something.

    Seriously, your posts make just about this much sense.

    Just in case you’re actually serious: more men are choosing to be SAHFs than ever before. More men are getting primary custody today than at any point since feminism started up. Oh, and btw? Judges favour the SAHP for custody, whether said parent is male or female. Just saying.

  85. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 16, 2012 at 11:31 am |

    I agree with you in general, but please, this is completely false. The preference for mothers in child custody decisions began in the late 19th century (more like 130 years ago than 30), and was a legally-mandated presumption in every state by the 1920′s. It’s only in the 1970′s and 1980′s that the trend in the other direction towards joint custody, etc., began.

    You’re right, Donna, I realized after the fact that I was misstating to some extent. Although I do recall reading in LS specifically that some states were still holding on to presumptions that favored divorcing men up until the 1960′s and into the 1970′s. Even in the last 10 years or so I’ve seen old-school judges (in IL and IN where I both used to practice) who have leaned on the best interests of the child language in the family law statutes to favor abusive men in custody and divorce situations. Especially since abused women are more likely to be at an economic and social disadvantage to their male counterparts it can’t be surprising that it still happens.

    Bottom line, the point still stands that Mike is being a dishonest windbag with his whining about (cis/hetero) men getting shafted by the family court system in favor of their meany ex-baby makers.

  86. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 16, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    Yes, but lets say I am a feminist man.

    Let’s just say, for the sake of discussion. Oh, wait, but you’re not a feminist man, so let’s just throw that part of your hypothetical out the window.

    I share in 50 50 with my wife so we can advance our career at the same rate and make about the same money. If we should divorce, then in court there is still bias against men when it comes to primary custody, so she ends up being the one receiving custody and child support. And god help me if I was the one staying home and dont have a job to begin with at that point.

    Wrong.

    For the most part here in the U.S. family law statutes and their jurisprudence allow for joint physical and legal custody. Once either or both sides starts contesting that and arguing over sharing these then the courts may very well step in and give one of the two sole legal/physical custody. And the law also tends to favor the SAHP of either sex because the presumption is that the best interest of the child(ren) is to have stability maintained by their primary care giver remaining in that role even after divorce.

    Really, Mike, do yourself and ladykind a favor and step away from the MRA boards.

  87. Shigekuni
    Shigekuni July 16, 2012 at 11:49 am |

    Mike, I have a feeling you are pulling up weird hypotheticals to bolster your obsession with custody laws. You realize that instances where the children are sent to the mother even though they might have been better off with the father (rare occurrences though they likely are) are due to patriarchal stereotypes, as well. This is what macavitykitsune meant, quite apart from all the other problems they mentioned.

    I’m pretty sure that being a patriarchal man hurts more men than being a feminist man, even if one accepted your absurd hypotheticals. Because it’s currently an issue for me: the rate of successful suicides is way higher in men than in women and part of that difference is due to an unwillingness of men to ask for help or be perceived as weak. I spent some time on a forum where so many men’s biggest fear was that their attempt could be perceived as “a cry for help”. Accepting and supporting traditional gender roles and expectations hurts men. How about stress and stress related illnesses in the workplace? Accepting and supporting traditional gender roles and expectations hurts men, and EVEN IF I ACCEPTED your silly hypotheticals, I am pretty sure it hurts more men than being “a feminist man”, to use your term, would hurt them.

  88. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

    Individuals have only themselves to blame for not putting the work in that is required of a primary care parent.

    So women will earn the same as men then, if they finally start working as hard as men?

    I said there is a bias against men in the divorce court when it comes to custody. Think about what that means.

  89. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

    It isnt just the custody laws. I mentioned other examples as well, such as that women are not lining up for feminist men to begin with. Wanting a partner that makes tons of money AND does at least 50% of the chores is not the same being with a feminist.

  90. Shigekuni
    Shigekuni July 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm |

    such as that women are not lining up for feminist men to begin with

    Right. I forgot about the serious problem of “bbbuuut I caaaan’t get laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaid”

    Let me call the whaaambulance for you.

  91. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm |

    *Bottom line, the point still stands that Mike is being a dishonest windbag with his whining about (cis/hetero) men getting shafted by the family court system in favor of their meany ex-baby makers.*

    Okay so much for your rant. Now for some facts.

    68-88% of the time, fathers receive primary custody 8-14%, and equal residential custody is awarded in only 2-6% of the cases.

    As seen in an article of the huffington post of 2011. Do you still think my talk about the bias is just because of my hormones and because I am being emotional?

  92. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm |

    *Right. I forgot about the serious problem of “bbbuuut I caaaan’t get laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaid”*

    The only problem I had in getting laid was when I did not fit the mainstream. When I acted all misogynistic and arrogant, Pussygalore (am in a reltationship now though). So I know what I am talking about. What I said a couple of posts above this one, a feminist woman might know a lot of women who are feminists, but that does not mean that there are many feminists in a country.

    And if I do meet some women who are feminists, it does not mean I connect with any of them. The woman I might actually want might not be a feminist and prioritize other things in a man than his views on feminism.

  93. Chiara
    Chiara July 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

    68-88% of the time, fathers receive primary custody 8-14%, and equal residential custody is awarded in only 2-6% of the cases.

    and what percentage of the time is mothers the primary care giver and what percentage of the time is fathers the primary care giver? it would probably be not far off those stats you give for custody.

    so what solution is there to that? well not having stigma against stay at home dads would be a start… oh wait, that’s something that feminism is already supportive of.

    you keep saying theres no benefit for men to embrace feminism and more benefits for men to avoid it. well if men avoid it I assume they go down the high powered career path with a stay at home wife (im not saying this set-up is necessarily anti-feminist but this is probably how it is for most non-feminist men) and so the woman is the primary care giver and she gets primary custody. So yr argument is circular: men don’t wanna be feminists cuz they don’t get custody, but women get custody because men aren’t the primary care giver cuz they reject feminism.

    so what’s the solution u wanna see? simply give men custody in 50% of all cases.. even when they aren’t the primary care giver in 50% of all cases? that hardly seems in the best interest of the children

  94. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

    When I acted all misogynistic and arrogant, Pussygalore

    I guess if you prefer sex with women you don’t respect/ women with low self esteem you gotta do what works for you.

  95. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm |

    When your own misogyny bites you square in the ass, don’t expect me to cry for you.

    It’s your own damn fault.

  96. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    *I guess if you prefer sex with women you don’t respect/ women with low self esteem you gotta do what works for you.*

    Well excuse me if I dont spend my life going through the handful of feminists hoping that one of them is a feminist that I connect with as well. If feminism becomes mainstream, then maybe more men will be feminists.

    But as it is the roles are clear, women are for baby making and men for money making and generally being manly.

    From the huffington post

    *Across a wide range of jurisdictions the estimates are that mothers receive primary custody 68-88% of the time, fathers receive primary custody 8-14%, and equal residential custody is awarded in only 2-6% of the cases.*

    I am pretty sure people who need to choose between promoting a woman or a man to a better paying position know about these kind of statistics and whom after the divorce will be available and whom not. I am having the impression, many women see the fact they stand better than even chances that an unhappy husband will have to leave the children behind if he wants out of the marriage as a win. But what if this win gets in the way of the goals of feminism?

  97. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm |

    Also if women want primary custody after the marriage, what makes you think they wanted a man who pitches in more with the chores and the children to begin with? If they want to be the primary caretakers when the marriage ends, isnt it reasonable to assume they wanted to be the primary caretakers during the marriage as well and were therefore not that interested into how much of a feminist a partner is?

  98. mxe354
    mxe354 July 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

    Across a wide range of jurisdictions the estimates are that mothers receive primary custody 68-88% of the time, fathers receive primary custody 8-14%, and equal residential custody is awarded in only 2-6% of the cases.

    No, it can’t possibly be because mothers are viewed as the primary caretakers of children and that decisions usually side with SAHPs, who are mostly female. That’s just silly. It’s obviously a misandric conspiracy.

  99. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

    You mean just like the reason that one demografic group on average earns more is because that demografic group works harder on average than the other?

  100. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

    Why do you assume women “want” to be the primary caretakers during or after marriage?
    I personally would have loved it if my ex had been a 50% of the work($), 50% of the chores, 50% the childrearing kinda guy. Instead he was a 20% of the work, 50% of the chores, 2% of the parenting kinda guy.
    After we parted ways, I ended up with sole custody because he didn’t WANT it. He didn’t even want half, he wants 2%. A weekday or two every few months. I’d love it if he wanted to split custody (or pay child support, for that matter). But those things don’t interest him, and so I ended up sole caretaker, which I have been since my child was born.

    Somehow, though, this custody business has little to do with how “manly” he, or any other men are. It seems as relevant to the OP as refrigerator monkeys, actually.

  101. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

    If feminism becomes mainstream, then maybe more men will be feminists.

    It’s all our fault, ladies*! We’re just not cool enough to have rights.

    *I know there are gentlemen and others, but Mike clearly doesn’t.

  102. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm |

    *It’s obviously a misandric conspiracy.*

    So if more women than men want to be SAHP how many women actually have a need for a feminist man? Thats exactly the problem outlined in the article. There are not enough feminist women who have any desire for a feminist man. But worries that there are not enough manly men to go around run high among the womenfolk.

    If at least women would become feminists, that would be a start. But if not even women become feminist, whom are men supposed to become feminists for?

  103. mxe354
    mxe354 July 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm |

    You mean just like the reason that one demografic group on average earns more is because that demografic group works harder on average than the other?

    How in the world does this relate to my comment?

  104. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm |

    *Why do you assume women “want” to be the primary caretakers during or after marriage?*

    I said that, the statistics indicate they seem to take little objection to being the primary caretaker after the marriage ends. Custody battles are usually about who GETS primary custody, not about who is STUCK with it. I have not yet heard women complain about the inhumanity that women are slatted with the children after divorce. So if the VAST majority of women wants to be the primary caretaker AFTER marriage, what reason is there to assume they wanted hubby to do more during marriage?

  105. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    *I know there are gentlemen and others, but Mike clearly doesn’t.* Well I am sorry, but I rather be not a feminist and not lonely than being a feminist and lonely. I guess I am not as hardcore as you all.

  106. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |

    Well I am sorry, but I rather be not a feminist and not lonely than being a feminist and lonely.

    Because we’re all cat ladies sobbing into our kerchiefs at the absolute lack of men who think we’re equal human beings.

    I guess I am not as hardcore as you all.

    Oh, you’re hardcore something all right.

  107. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm |

    So if the VAST majority of women wants to be the primary caretaker AFTER marriage, what reason is there to assume they wanted hubby to do more during marriage?

    If you know your partner has little experience with caring for their child, you recognize it is not in your child’s best interest to be with the person who hasn’t been raising him/her. It’s why I didn’t try to “force” childrearing on my son’s father during or after the relationship– he was so disinterested in taking care of him that it could look to some like neglect (I refer to it as minimal effort). I love my son too much to put him in a situation where he isn’t getting the care and attention he’s used to. (Though loving him doesn’t mean that my ideal situation is being a single parent. That’s just how it worked out.)

    And society tends to frown on women who complain about motherhood, seeing as it is supposed to be the end-all, be-all “womanly” experience, so if a woman says *gasp* it’s not, she’s automatically labeled a “bad” mother. So there are reasons women don’t complain about being “stuck” with child rearing.

  108. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm |

    *Because we’re all cat ladies sobbing into our kerchiefs at the absolute lack of men who think we’re equal human beings.*

    Well excuse me, but we are discussing an article with much complaints about the lack of manly men for the womenfolk and by my own experience I can confirm that women do not seem be lining up for feminist men, but are indeed more concerned about their level of manliness. Is he still taller when I wear high heels? Does he have a manly and prestigious job. Does he make more money than me, or will I be shamed by being with a man who earns far less than me?

  109. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

    Well excuse me, but we are discussing an article with much complaints about the lack of manly men for the womenfolk and by my own experience I can confirm that women do not seem be lining up for feminist men, but are indeed more concerned about their level of manliness.

    The actual focus here in the OP and majority of comments (prior to yours) has been along the lines of “heteronormative gender roles are damaging to men, too,” not “oh noes! The men just aren’t tall and manly anymore! I’ll never be able to wear high heels again!!!!!”

  110. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm |

    So you are saying it isnt women who expect men to meet these gender roles? Who is it then in your opinion?

  111. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

    Well excuse me, but we are discussing an article with much complaints about the lack of manly men for the womenfolk

    Wooooow. That is so much the exact opposite of the post (on Feministe) and the comments that I honestly don’t know what teh fuck you’re talking about.

    So you are saying it isnt women who expect men to meet these gender roles? Who is it then in your opinion?

    …the patriarchy…which is constantly reinforcing that men SHOULD act in such a way…

    I don’t know why I’m talking, it’s all refrigerator monkeys from here on out, isn’t it?

  112. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm |

    And because I just had to address this:

    by my own experience I can confirm that women do not seem be lining up for feminist men

    Women with self-esteem do not go for raging misogynist asswipes, whether they identify as feminist or not. We tend to be able to see the thin aura of resentment and hatred and run far, far away.

    So no, Mike, it’s not that women don’t line up for feminist men. It’s that they’re not lining up for YOU when you claimed you were a feminist, because (spoiler!) you’re not.

  113. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

    …the patriarchy…which is constantly reinforcing that men SHOULD act in such a way…

    Ah of course. The patriarchy. And women cant be part of the patriarchy then. If women cant be part of the patriarchy and harbour patriarchal expectations towards a man who is the patriarchy? The military? All the rich men?

  114. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

    Did you read the articles linked, and the OP, and comments 1-56? Or even skim them? Just a little?

  115. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |

    Yes I did. The linked “article” was a personal account the author had with his son, whom is very fond of cars as it seems. But otherwise the article is pretty vapid with little actual content.

    The article Jill wrote decrise the fact that men who break stereotypes are given a hard time. And I am contributing my own accounts about that.

    They are given a hard time by people, among which divorce judges who feel that children belong with the mother and women who harbor a picture of manliness that must be about as old as recorded history and pick a partner accordingly. And of course other men too, who probably think it would be funny for a guy to shave his legs or get a pedicure and again by women, to whom such a break in gender roles is a major turn off.

    Now you say it is the patriarchy. So if it is the patriarchy, who is it? Is it even humans?

  116. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

    They are given a hard time by people, among which divorce judges who feel that children belong with the mother

    ….Mike, I can’t help but think you’re going through some child custody issues. I can’t imagine why else you’d be so fixated on that topic, even after people here have explained “why” women often end up with custody. If this is the case, perhaps it’s time for a new lawyer? Spamming a feminist blog is unlikely to change the immediate outcome of your particular case.

  117. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

    Now you say it is the patriarchy. So if it is the patriarchy, who is it? Is it even humans?

    THE ALIENS ARE COMING (AND THEY WANT TO REINFORCE YOUR GENDER NORMS)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  118. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

    I am not going through some child custody issues. I am giving examples of how gender stereotypes negatively affect men, or at least make it a tough cookie for a man to be a feminist. And you seem to think its my emotions or my hormones.

    How would you feel if I said the gender pay gap will close as soon as women will start working as hard as men? Not to mention that you did not touch on the other points I made.

    I gave you even the awfully skewed numbers when it comes to child custody and you just brushed them off, like you are not even willing to consider there might be bias against men when it comes to child custody. One would get the impression, you do not mind bias too much if you feel it benefits you.

  119. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

    I am not going through some child custody issues. I am giving examples of how gender stereotypes negatively affect men, or at least make it a tough cookie for a man to be a feminist. And you seem to think its my emotions or my hormones.

    How would you feel if I said the gender pay gap will close as soon as women will start working as hard as men? Not to mention that you did not touch on the other points I made.

    I gave you even the awfully skewed numbers when it comes to child custody and you just brushed them off, like you are not even willing to consider there might be bias against men when it comes to child custody. One would get the impression, you do not mind bias too much if you feel it benefits you.

    Also how come a comment of mine is awaiting moderation and immediately thereafter one can post?

  120. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

    I am not going through some child custody issues… And you seem to think its my emotions or my hormones.

    I just got that impression because you keep harping on one topic… You seemed rather personally invested in it. People who are personally invested in something usually have emotions about their investments. Your hormones I’m not all that concerned with, though the keepers of your “pussygalore” might be.

    like you are not even willing to consider there might be bias against men when it comes to child custody.

    Bias against men resulting from…. Societal expectations? Gender norms? Sometimes patriarchy has some negative side effects for men. Go figure. You said it yourself “gender stereotypes negatively affect men.”

    One would get the impression, you do not mind bias too much if you feel it benefits you.

    Yes, as I stated above, I love love love doing all the work of raising a child. Granted, custody laws don’t actually benefit *me* as I never even had to go to court. I was lucky enough just to be told to move out and take the baby with me. But sure, a court would probably not force the care of a child onto someone with no interest in raising said child.

    tough cookie for a man to be a feminist

    Sorry if feminism isn’t easy for you?

  121. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm |

    I am giving examples of how gender stereotypes negatively affect men, or at least make it a tough cookie for a man to be a feminist

    Dude, feminism is trying to eradicate those gender stereotypes.

    HOW DOES THAT MAKE IT TOUGH FOR A MAN TO BE A FEMINIST WHEN THE GOAL ALSO WORKS IN HIS FAVOR?????

    Feminism says- End gender stereotypes. This will allow more men to be primary care parents. THIS LEADS TO MORE DIVERSITY IN CHILD CUSTODY.

    So..what’s the fucking problem? I have clearly shown how feminism helps men in regards to child custody. It’s a simple concept.

    Ending gender stereotypes means more men can apply for the position of primary care parent.

    There’s actual work involved though. It’s not a free ride. You have to do the job to get the title.

  122. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm |

    THE ALIENS ARE COMING (AND THEY WANT TO REINFORCE YOUR GENDER NORMS)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just so long as they’re sexy girl aliens from the planet sexstarved, amiright?

  123. Nobody
    Nobody July 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm |

    Early on, I thought this thread was going to develop into a debate about whose beard is more manly, The Dude’s or Aragorn’s.

    Now there’s a question that is crying out for a critical feminist perspective on masculinity.

    Oh well…one more missed opportunity.

  124. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

    Feminism might be looking to eradicate those stereotypes, but most women are not feminists, many are just women who want to do something they enjoy and makes them a lot of money. They still want their gender stereotype, although ideally they want one who does half the chores as well, that is not feminism.

  125. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 6:28 pm |

    *So..what’s the fucking problem? I have clearly shown how feminism helps men in regards to child custody. It’s a simple concept.*

    So by allowing women to work as hard as men, this will lead to a closing of the pay gap? There is no need for quotas, things like the qual pay act?

    Why not a quota for child custody as long as there not a reason to NOT give primary custody to the father?

  126. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm |

    I mean I said there is bias against men in divorce court and all you have to say is men should try harder?

    How about we remove all the laws that helped feminism along, like title IX, the qual pay act etc. and tell women its up to them and they should just try harder?

  127. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

    *head desk*

  128. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm |

    What head desk? If women need that kind of help, what makes you think its enough if “men just try harder?”

  129. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm |

    My son has a friend who says “why” after everything you say. You can explain “why” all the way down to the most minute detail (his mom is a science teacher, she can get really detailed) and he will still ask “why” when the explanation is done. He doesn’t actually care about your answers, he just does it to be annoying, to provoke an exasperated “because,” and to get as much negative attention as humanly possible without actually doing anything *wrong.*

    I don’t know why he came to mind all of a sudden….

  130. snorkellingfish
    snorkellingfish July 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm |

    [Mothers received primary custody?] 68-88% of the time, fathers receive primary custody 8-14%, and equal residential custody is awarded in only 2-6% of the cases.

    You know an interesting thing? Most family law cases don’t end up in court. Most of the time, the parents agree on what’s best for them and their child. For example, when my parents divorced, I spent equal time with both of them, because that was what they agreed on (and because it was what I wanted). However, obviously cases like that don’t end up in your statistics because there’s no judicial order involved.

    Most of the cases that go to court do so for a reason. For example, family violence is disproportionately a factor in the cases that go to court. In other cases, bitterness between the former spouses makes shared parenting impossible because they’d be unable to agree on how to raise the child. In some cases shared custody isn’t practical in the first place – for example, because one or the other parent wants to move to a different city, state or country – although in such cases a court might make an order prohibiting the move (which actually has a disproportionate negative impact on women, not that you’d appear to care).

    However, custody battles aren’t about the fathers. They really aren’t. They aren’t about the mothers either. They’re about the children. The standard isn’t which parent deserves custody. The standard is what’s in the best interests of the child. Where I live, we’ve actually moved away from the word “custody” for that very reason – custody implies that a child is property who’s won by one parent or the other and centres a question of which parent “wins” the child as opposed to who it would be better for the child to live with.

    I don’t know about law in your jurisdiction. I can tell you that where I live, the law is framed in entirely gender-neutral terms. There are presumptions in favour of shared parental responsibility and equal or substantial and significant parenting time for both parents. It’s presumed that it’s in the best interests of the child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents (unless that would expose the child to family violence). These are only moved from if there’s a good reason.

    In practice, children might still end up with their mothers more often. This can be for a number of reasons. Some fathers don’t care. Some fathers are unwilling to adapt their work hours to spend time with their children. Some fathers are violent (family violence is disproportionately caused by men, even when the victims are boys and men). Some children have been predominantly raised by their mothers and it would be harmful to the child to change this status quo. And these are just reasons that, in our society, might be seen to favour women (though all could support granting a father custody in specific cases – they’re gender neutral in term). There are also a lot of less gendered factors that could influence a specific case.

    Why not a quota for child custody as long as there not a reason to NOT give primary custody to the father?

    How much a person gets paid is about the work that person does – accordingly, equal pay is fair for equal work. Who a child lives with isn’t about the parents – it’s about what’s in the best interests of the child. Accordingly, a quota is inappropriate because that would centre something other than that child’s interests.

    This kind of discussion makes me angry because it’s been used in the past to justify having kids live with parents who have a history of violence. Fathers groups in Australia are challenging recent amendments to the law that aimed at protecting children from family violence – because apparently they care more that a violent father might be denied custody than that a child might be exposed to violence. There have been judges who appear more worried that an innocent father might be denied time with his children than that an innocent child might be placed with a violent father. There have been judges that have ordered mothers who have experienced violence at the hands of their ex-husbands to consult those ex-husbands in parenting decisions, even though they might use that opportunity to continue the abuse.

    Basically, rather than throwing statistics around, I’d suggest you do a little more research into why those statistics are true. But I guess you’re more interested in fathers being given custody of children than you are in protecting the interests of the children themselves, let alone the mothers of those children. At least, that’s what I’m getting from your arguments.

  131. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm |

    It would help women too. Employers can no longer assume that in the event of a divorce, the man will be the one who has all the time in the world and the woman the one who has to balance her career with her role as primary caretaker.

    And men will be more willing to pitch in at home if they know they get a fair shake at getting primary custody if they want to leave the marriage, to be with another woman, or the wife wants to leave the marriage, to be with another man, or just a single parent.

    The percentage of men getting primary custody is very low and if you consider that in many cases the mother probably agreed to cede primary custody, its even lower for cases which were in litigation.

    At the same time the percentage of households divorced where both parents work is far greater.

  132. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm |

    And women cant be part of the patriarchy then.

    Let’s play “Find the Feminist Who Thinks That Women Can’t Perpetuate the Patriarchy”!

    0 feminists so far.

    What a shame.

  133. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

    Okay now you are just trolling.

  134. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm |

    Okay now you are just trolling.

    *giggledeath*

    Cherrybomb, you have so much patience with the refrigerator monkeying that I don’t know whether to admire it or just be baffled by it.

  135. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

    Refrigerator monkey is not an argument. Glad you all enjoy your bullying and trolling ways.

  136. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm |

    But lets try to bring this back on track

    I mean I said there is bias against men in divorce court and all you have to say is men should try harder?

    How about we remove all the laws that helped feminism along, like title IX, the qual pay act etc. and tell women its up to them and they should just try harder?

    It would help women too. Employers can no longer assume that in the event of a divorce, the man will be the one who has all the time in the world and the woman the one who has to balance her career with her role as primary caretaker.

    And men will be more willing to pitch in at home if they know they get a fair shake at getting primary custody if they want to leave the marriage, to be with another woman, or the wife wants to leave the marriage, to be with another man, or just a single parent.

    The percentage of men getting primary custody is very low and if you consider that in many cases the mother probably agreed to cede primary custody, its even lower for cases which were in litigation.

    At the same time the percentage of households divorced where both parents work is far greater. Quotas helped create a majority of households where parents work, maybe its time quotas help the courts to get with the times. It will help both, men AND women to break out of their gender roles.

  137. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm |

    Mike, feminist women are already doing their part in fighting gender stereotypes. Men have to do their part as well, so they can’t just wait for feminism to be more mainstream. It’s not a matter of trying harder; it’s a matter of taking the initiative to fight patriarchy along with other feminists.

  138. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm |

    Well fathers for rights group are doing that, at least when it comes to tackling the bias in divorce court. How do you feel about them? I know the national organization of women opposes them, a group which sees itself as feminist I would guess.

  139. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm |

    Refrigerator monkey is not an argument. Glad you all enjoy your bullying and trolling ways.

    LOL they know it’s not an argument. Don’t pull a dungone here and tell us that their name-calling and personal attacks are ad hominem.

  140. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm |

    Well fathers for rights group are doing that, at least when it comes to tackling the bias in divorce court. How do you feel about them? I know the national organization of women opposes them, a group which sees itself as feminist I would guess.

    Unless they’re actually trying to fight the stereotypes that lead to this injustice in the first place, I don’t care about them. They also tend to oppose feminists, so I can’t say that I have a positive view of them.

  141. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm |

    How do fathers for rights groups exactly oppose feminism? If you feel fathers for rights groups are going all wrong about it, wouldnt it be better if feminism fought for things like quotas in divorce court, so men get a fair shake at getting custody when both parents work and both parents spend time with the children?

    Because basically I have been told here men just need to try harder and they will be treated fairly in divorce court (yeah thanks) and it isnt the job of feminism to fix the bias in divorce court. So if men want to tackle that particular point they need to get with fathers for rights groups, not feminist groups but if those groups oppose feminism, that cant be good for feminism. And if men find UNequality elsewhere and it is an issue feminism wont pick up, again they have to team up with whatever people are adressing the problem.

    Wouldnt it be better if feminism helped men achieve equality in divorce court and take into consideration the bias men face in general, so it is all steered in a feminist way?

  142. LotusBecca
    LotusBecca July 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

    But lets try to bring this back on track

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This is precious. Yes, let’s try to bring this back on the track of the derail you’ve been leading for the last 60 comments. Great idea.

  143. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 16, 2012 at 8:06 pm |

    wouldnt it be better if feminism fought for things like quotas in divorce court

    They’re doing that by attacking the stereotypes that lead to injustice.

    Because basically I have been told here men just need to try harder and they will be treated fairly in divorce court

    No, no one here has said that men “just need to try harder.” What people are saying is that men need to be feminists as well in order to have these problems solved.

  144. PM
    PM July 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm |

    Jesus Christ, Mike.

  145. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm |

    you have so much patience with the refrigerator monkeying that I don’t know whether to admire it or just be baffled by it.

    I felt like the refrigerator monkeying was something I could work around to get to the veggie gumbo I had waiting for me at the back of the fridge. Now I see that it’s a hopeless cause. I guess I could work harder, but at this point I’m tempted to either go hungry or have a manly man* come shoo the monkey away for me. I’m obviously not very committed to feminism when the going gets rough.

    *My ideal manly man waves brooms at monkeys while shouting “shoo! shoo!” and has neither a The Dude or Aragorn beard.

  146. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 8:29 pm |

    *No, no one here has said that men “just need to try harder.” What people are saying is that men need to be feminists as well in order to have these problems solved.*

    So fathers for rights groups are male feminists? Because they are looking to fix the bias in court. Also many of the feminists here do not seem to be too excited about the idea that there is a bias to fix and many even went on with the trolling.

    If feminist women go as far as opposing fathers for rights groups, like the organization N.O.W. are you saying men should become feminists on their own and do their own thing? So you would have male feminist and female feminists? Or just different groups of feminists?

    Can we then agree that fathers for rights groups are feminist groups, although they do not have an agenda nearly as broad and farreaching as female feminists (yet)?

  147. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm |

    Also yes, somebody said men just need to try harder.

  148. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This is precious. Yes, let’s try to bring this back on the track of the derail you’ve been leading for the last 60 comments. Great idea.

    Are you joking? For the last 60 posts I have been trying to make the point that, like Jill observed, men DO face gender stereotypes and that it is hurting men, for example in divorce court, when the judge decides that the berries are for moneymkaing and the children belong with the cherry.

    You must confuse me with the people who were trolling me.

  149. Milquetoast
    Milquetoast July 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

    LotusBecca:

    I think it’s meant to bring us back to the original derail, the derailing within the derail. It’s sort like the Inception of MRA derailing.

  150. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm |

    The article is about how men face gender stereotypes and how it is hurting men and women.

    How is discussing the gender stereotypes men face and how it is hurting them and women and feminism a derail? Care to elaborate? So you say I am derailing the thread, care to say how, or are you just trolling.

  151. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm |

    For the last 60 posts I have been trying to make the point that, like Jill observed, men DO face gender stereotypes and that it is hurting men, for example in divorce court, when the judge decides that the berries are for moneymkaing and the children belong with the cherry.

    Uh, yes. Yes, they do face that. I’m just bewildered that this is somehow the fault of feminism.

  152. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

    And where did I say its the fault of feminism ??? I said one feminist organisation is fighting men who try to change that, the N.O.W it does not mean I fault ALL of feminism.

  153. shfree
    shfree July 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm |

    Criminy, this whole thing is irritating. First off, aren’t most custody arrangements these days joint custody? So there really isn’t a case of one parent “winning” over another. And if I recall correctly, one of the reasons why the numbers are so skewed as to women getting custody of children when they file suit for sole or primary custody, is because men frequently opt not to contest those suits. So to say that men are being denied their rights in droves in the court system, or WILL be denied their rights, “because feminism!” well, ha hah.

  154. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

    I never said because of feminism. Because of gender bias outlined in the article.

    And no only a tiny minority of custody is joint residential custody.

    So by the same analogy women need just to ask for a raise more often to close the wage gap, is that so? There is no need for quotas and new laws to help fight bias and inequality?

  155. Mike
    Mike July 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm |

    Here are the numbers again from a huffington post article from 2011.

    Across a wide range of jurisdictions the estimates are that mothers receive primary custody 68-88% of the time, fathers receive primary custody 8-14%, and equal residential custody is awarded in only 2-6% of the cases.

  156. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm |

    Mike,

    Are those numbers from divorces in general, or ones where both parents wanted full custody?

  157. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm |

    Because of gender bias outlined in the article.

    Which feminists want to end. Gender bias leads to parenting being seen as a womans job. Not a mans. So more women are stuck by default with that job. So more women get custody, because they’ve been doing the job before and during a custody case.

    I mean I said there is bias against men in divorce court and all you have to say is men should try harder?

    Yes. Primary Care Parenting means the person the CHILD looks to for meeting their needs because that person is the one who has been.

    So essentially, it’s the CHILD’s perspective of which parent has been the primary care parent (ie the one who stays home when the child is sick, takes the child to the doctor, is responsible for bathing, changing, feeding and clothing the child, takes the child to and from school/daycare, is the one who attends conferences with the childs teacher/daycare workers, takes the child to buy clothes, takes the child to the dentist, takes the child to birthday parties, takes the child to school functions, outfits the child for school functions, helps with homework, knows what vaccines the child has had, when the had them and when the next are up, registers the child for school/daycare etc etc etc)

    All the things I just listed define the primary care parent.

    The court asks ” who is the primary care parent”.

    If more fathers were the primary care parent (because they stopped holding onto the gender stereotype that says mothers by default are and child rearing is the shit work only suitable for females) then more fathers would have custodial rights.

    Again-custodial rights are determined by who the primary care parent is.

    You have to do the work to meet the definition. Women do, men are no exception.

    Unlike wage gaps, men aren’t being asked to do more than women. Unlike wage gaps, men AREN’T doing the same job (primary care parenting).

    It’s a specific job. It requires specific things. It reaps specific rewards. Failure reaps specific consequences.

  158. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm |

    htttp://www.coloradodivorceinfo.com/child-custody/residentialcustody.htm

    Many parents assume there is a gender bias in the courts favoring mothers in issues of allocating parental responsibility. While there is bias in society, perhaps even in the minds of some judges, the law seeks a level playing field when allocating parental responsibilities between parents. Judges do favor consistency in addressing parenting issues, i.e., judges favor continuing an existing division of parental responsibilities, unless there is an apparent need for change. One result is that mothers may be given a larger allocation of parental responsibilities, or may be determined to be the primary care parent, more often than are fathers. This is not usually the result of bias. Rather, many parents divide parenting responsibilities early in their marriages and continue those divisions throughout the marriage. Most likely due to societal pressures and traditional divisions of labor, mothers often tend to assume more parental responsibilities than do fathers. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to this pattern. The result, however, is that when a divorce arises, a judge, in an attempt to provide consistency for the children, may order a continuation of the pre-divorce practices the couple had assumed. Thus, the issue of who will be the primary care parent may not turn on bias, rather, it will likely turn on consistency.

    The parent doing the bulk of child raising pre divorce is the one who does it post divorce.

    If you want to be the one doing the bulk post divorce, or even equally post divorce then you’d better damn well do it pre divorce.

  159. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm |

    Yes, Pheeno, but Who’s on first?!

  160. snorkellingfish
    snorkellingfish July 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm |

    Across a wide range of jurisdictions the estimates are that mothers receive primary custody 68-88% of the time, fathers receive primary custody 8-14%, and equal residential custody is awarded in only 2-6% of the cases.

    I have a comment at 131 questioning this, but are these statistics about all divorces or just the ones that go to court? There are a bunch of reasons why the cases that don’t involve court determinations (i.e., the majority of divorces) are more likely to be the ones where joint custody is appropriate.

  161. TMK
    TMK July 17, 2012 at 1:49 am |

    Snorkelingfish,

    (family violence is disproportionately caused by men, even when the victims are boys and men).

    That’s arguable. According to NISVS, tables 4.7 and 4.8, lifetime percentages are somewhat higher for women, but past 12 months are somewhat higher for men.

    That’s for short, because it’s even more complicated – severe violence having much more female victims, violence in general having much more male victims, psychological violence having much more male victims. (domestic violence only of course)

    And the lifetime vs. last year discrepancy is constant. Take your guess what causes that. Men forget or redefine their experiences? There was cultural change so that women are victims less often nowadays? No idea.

    Oh, and apparently women love to kick their spouses while men prefer to slam them against things. I guess it’s biologically determined, because, hunting mammoths was done by slamming them to death into a ravine and raising kids was done by kicking them around.

  162. Sam
    Sam July 17, 2012 at 6:09 am |

    I’m not quite sure about Mike’s point, to be honest, but I’d like to mention three things regarding this quote from somewhere above -

    Right. I forgot about the serious problem of “bbbuuut I caaaan’t get laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaid”

    Let me call the whaaambulance for you.

    Firstly, I suppose it’s a good thing this has been brought up only once in the thread.

    Secondly, and irrespective of the use in this specific case, I’d like to mention that it’s a classic shaming tactic for men who are engaging in discussions on feminist sites, one that actually plays right into the problem against which the thread has positioned itself: if you can’t get laid, you’re not manly enough. In that respect it is an “argument” that reminds of the stereotyping of feminists by someone who famously argued that feminism was invented to integrate ugly women into society (since they could not get laid/married).

    Thirdly, that being said, “not being able to get laid” may not constitute a social problem as long as it is an individual phenomenon. It is, however, certainly a most serious individual problem – one that also affects women, btw, who may have an even harder time speaking about it than men, since they are socially supposed to be able to get laid all the time, being the gatekeepers.
    So I believe it is entirely unfair to question someone’s ability to contribute to a gender debate or a priori discredit his or her experiences as invalid whether “not being able to get laid” is his or her motivation to get involved or not.

  163. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 6:20 am |

    Employers and instotutions of learnin swear up and down they do not discriminate either. Trust is good, quotas title IX etc. is better. Same for bias elssewhere.

  164. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 6:31 am |

    Ive shown you the skewed numbers and many tried to explain them away and maybe there is a good explanation on the skewed numbers. If there are skewed numbers at the expense of women, would you accept somebody explaining away the pay gap, the allocation of funds in college sport (hey football gear, mens favourite IS expensive) and subsequently do away with Title IX or the fair pay act or any of the other measures and quotas?

    If there is no foul play in divorce court, there is no reason to fear quotas.

  165. Shigekuni
    Shigekuni July 17, 2012 at 6:57 am |

    Listen, Mike, why is it not entering your skull that a lot of people here said that women are getting the children more often because in the relationship they were the primary caregivers. What facts do you have that support the idea that if/when men are the primary caregivers that they would not get a fair shot at custody? Because that is the only question, isn’t it. Surely you are not asking that men get custody although women were the primary caregivers in the relationship?

  166. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 17, 2012 at 6:59 am |

    The bias begins before there’s a custody case. The bias is against women. The bias says that mothers are the ones who stay home and care for sick children. The bias says that mothers take more time off work to care for children. The bias says that mothers end up with more child care work. This works for men in employment. It bites you in the ass in custody.

    The root of the problem is bias against women. Until you recognize and work to fix that, you’re screwed custody wise. You state that men don’t see how feminism works for them, I counter with the idea that they DO but they’re not willing to equalize the employment playing ground nor are they willing to do the bulk of the childcare because they have more advantage with the status quo.

    Equality only opens doors of opportunity. It doesn’t do the work for you.

    And that’s what fathers rights are wanting. They want to maintain the employment bias in their favor and have mothers still do the bulk of the childcare. Unless you’re suggesting that they want employers to view them as liabilities time wise because they spend more time at home with children and less at work. Which is the excuse given by employers when asked to justify paying women less.

    This, incidentally, is why more men do not take advantage of paternal leave. They fear the same work related consequences women face.

  167. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 7:02 am |

    Listen, Mike, why is it not entering your skull that a lot of people here said that women are getting the children more often because in the relationship they were the primary caregivers.

    I dont know, why isnt it entering womens skulls, that men earn more because they work harder/longer or better or both? Whats wrong with quotas all of a sudden? If there is no foul play there is no reason to fear them.

  168. Shigekuni
    Shigekuni July 17, 2012 at 7:05 am |

    men earn more because they work harder/longer or better or both?

    Because this is not true. The facts do not support it.

    The other thing is true. I ask again: What facts do you have that support the idea that if/when men are the primary caregivers that they would not get a fair shot at custody?

    If you want facts that women do not get a fair shot at pay despite working hard, try google. There are like a billion studies. It’s an uncontroversial fact except in some fringe circles.

  169. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 7:10 am |

    Look at the divorce rates. Many of the homes which divorce are homes where both parents work. You would think that at least in half of these cases, the man gets primary custody, yet this is not the case. For a man to get a shot at custody he has to be pretty much the stay at home parent and even then he might not get custody because being out of a job he cant afford the chldren an anology that does not apply to mothers it seems, or he is being told that he is not a positive role model for the children, for not fulfilling the traditional male role and again he does not get primary custody. “I have never seen a calf go with the bull” thats an actual thing a judge said.

    Again if you are so sure there is no foul play, what is wrong with quotas to end bias and gender stereotyping. Title IX and quotas and the fair pair act did not crash the economy, why shouldnt quotas be used in divorce court to try end bias and break up gender roles?

  170. Shigekuni
    Shigekuni July 17, 2012 at 7:16 am |

    why shouldnt quotas be used in divorce court to try end bias and break up gender roles?

    Because as you were shown before, there is bias before a divorce, but I’ve yet to see any evidence that there is real, problematic bias in custody hearings; I have yet to see evidence that there is real, quantifiable bias. I am inclined to believe that in the vast majority of cases, all other things being equal, the primary caregiver is awarded custody. What facts, I repeat, do you have that challenge this? The divorce things is nonsense, because even when both parents work, this does not mean that both parents are equal caregivers during the relationship. As I said, yes, in relationships and before them, in the way society is set up, major bias. During custody hearings? No. I don’t see evidence of that. So, no bias, no quotas.

  171. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 7:18 am |

    Because you dont believe there is bias there shouldnt be quotas? That is a weak argument. If there is no foul play, there is no reason to fear quotas. So even if you think there is no bias, quotas should be implemented to be on the safe side. If there is no bias to begin with, then nothing will change. If there is bias, more men stand a better chance to leave the unhappy marriage to move in with the new woman AND their children.

  172. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 7:22 am |

    And I mentioned the facts, the numbers where both parents work the same outside the home and the numbers of men getting primary custody do not match up. Not to mention that many stay at home father do not get primary custody either, because a judge feels the calf belongs with the cow.

    But if you truly believe there is no bias you should NOT be opposed to quotas when it comes to child custody, just like somebody who does not believe that there is discrimination at the workplace, should NOT be opposed at quotas to help fix discrimination at work.

    Only reason to be fearful at quotas is to believe there is a bias, a bias you are afraid that those quotas will end.

  173. Shigekuni
    Shigekuni July 17, 2012 at 7:41 am |

    If there is no foul play, there is no reason to fear quotas.

    Yes. Yes, there is. If there is no foul play it means that in the vast majority of cases the primary caregiver is given child custody regardless of gender. What kind of quotas do you want to have? Quotas that do NOT give the child to the primary caregiver? Why would anyone want to do that? It’s a dangerous idea that might/will harm a lot of children. Children should go to the primary caregiver. You can’t possibly disagree with that.

    And I responded to your spurious divorce argument.

  174. Chiara
    Chiara July 17, 2012 at 7:44 am |

    No you moron. There IS bias but it’s not in the court it’s in the home. Men are not primary caregivers 50% of the time. So if you put a quota in the court to give men primary custody 50% then in many cases children would be going home with a parent who isn’t their primary care giver and might not know all that much about all the work that needs to be done to be a primary care giver. Putting a quota in the court would be a very bad idea for the children.

    If you want to put a quota it would have to be at home to make sure 50% of the time men are the primary care givers. However I think as everyone can tell this would absolutely go against freedom of choice, since most men these days will choose not to be primary care givers and most women want to be the primary care giver because they see it as a woman’s job and won’t tolerate a man attempting it.

    So that gets us back to… Changing societal views on men’s and women’s roles in home/workplace. Which fathers rights groups would be more than welcome to challenge along with feminists. However fathers rights groups, at least in my experience in this country, seem to be more interested in denigrating single mothers and going with a whole father-knows-best thing…

  175. Shigekuni
    Shigekuni July 17, 2012 at 9:26 am |

    If you want to put a quota it would have to be at home to make sure 50% of the time men are the primary care givers.

    THIS.

  176. roymacIII
    roymacIII July 17, 2012 at 9:31 am |

    Not to mention that many stay at home father do not get primary custody either, because a judge feels the calf belongs with the cow.

    Christ.

    Look at the divorce rates. Many of the homes which divorce are homes where both parents work. You would think that at least in half of these cases, the man gets primary custody, yet this is not the case.

    Why would you think that, though? You’re missing a very important aspect: how often do men seek primary custody?

    The last study I read on the subject is pretty old, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Gender Bias Study of 1989 found that men were more likely to receive custody than women in contested cases. As the Liz Library notes:

    this study indisputably found that when fathers contest custody, mothers are held to a different and higher standard than fathers,” and that “many judges and family service officers do not consider violence toward women relevant.” Consistently with these findings, this study verified that men were obtaining custody at far higher rates than women, without regard to the mothers’ claims of abuse. The study found that fathers who actively sought custody received joint or primary physical custody 94% of the time (29% received primary physical custody and another 65% received joint physical custody). In contrast, mothers received primary physical custody only 7% of the time. The same report also cited other studies finding over 70% success rates for fathers. See 24 New Eng.L. Rev. 745, 747, 825, 831-832, and 848.

    Certainly, it’s possible that things have changed since then–two decades is a lot of time for change to happen. That being said, it doesn’t follow that we should necessarily expect to see custody divided evenly, since there’s no evidence (that I’ve seen) that men seek custody at the same rates that women do.

  177. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 17, 2012 at 9:56 am |

    You would think that at least in half of these cases, the man gets primary custody, yet this is not the case.

    You would think so, unless half those men still aren’t doing the majority of childcare. Just because the mother works outside the home does not mean the childcare is divvied up equally at home.

    why shouldnt quotas be used in divorce court to try end bias and break up gender roles?

    Because we’re dealing with CHILDREN not possessions. It doesn’t adversely affect a recliner if it goes to the person who’s ass wasn’t in it the majority of the time. It DOES adversely affect a child to be handed off to the person it is not used to having as the caretaker.

    Child courts are more concerned with fairness to the child and the childs best interest. And rightly so. If either parent feels that is unfair, they shouldn’t raise a pig much less a child.

  178. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 10:01 am |

    Quotas did not fill the workplace with unqualified women and crashed the economy. Quotas in the workplace do not mean that an unqualified women is to be given the position over a qualified man. I dont see why quotas would give primary custody to hapless men. Also the sole existence of quotas encouraged more women to try and apply for a larger variety of jobs, because they felt like they had support now. The existence of quota will encourage MORE men to try harder at home too.

    If both parents work and both parents spend time with the children, men who seek it should be given custody until such time that in half of ALL cases men get primary custody. If indeed the woman was the stay at home parent and the father the one who spent most time at work and far less with the children than the mother, then the mother would still get primary custody despite the quota, just like a better qualified man will get the job over an unqualified woman despite the quota.

    Quotas do not doom the economy and they do not ruin the children.

  179. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 10:06 am |

    Also its quite funny to see how the same reasons are given that were brought up to deny quotas for women. Employees judge fairly, women do not want those jobs to begin with, women just need to try harder etc. .

  180. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 10:23 am |

    “Even the 80% to 95% maternal preference documented by these studies and others understates family court discrimination against fathers by identifying many coerced child custody arrangements as “uncontested.” The vast majority of divorces involving children are initiated by women, and women are usually granted temporary custody of the children. Judges are reluctant to switch children from the custody of one parent to another. Fathers, left to fight an uphill battle to gain custody and often out of both money and hope, sometimes give up. Others spend their life’s savings trying to obtain joint physical or sole custody so they can remain a part of their children’s lives. Devastated financially and with little hope of winning, they often sign consent orders granting custody to mothers. In both of these common scenarios, the child custody arrangement is “uncontested.””

  181. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date July 17, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    for example in divorce court, when the judge decides that the berries are for moneymkaing and the children belong with the cherry.

    I’m stuck on this sentence. Does the judge also decide what the peaches, watermelons, and tangerines are for? What if tomatoes, peppers, and squashes are involved? What about spinach, lettuce, and kale? What about carrots and rutabagas?

  182. mxe354
    mxe354 July 17, 2012 at 11:01 am |

    And I mentioned the facts, the numbers where both parents work the same outside the home and the numbers of men getting primary custody do not match up.

    Do you really care about reading our arguments?

    Even in households in which both the mother and the father work, the mother still generally does the majority of caretaking. So what really leads to the lack of fairness is the fact that mothers are not only viewed as the primary caretakers but also usually are due to patriarchal norms.

  183. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 17, 2012 at 11:02 am |

    Maybe my computer’s messed up again, but has the tagline for Feministe been changed to “Feministe commenters must answer for Mike’s issues regarding child custody cases”?

    How any of you have managed to tolerate his MRA bullshit for so long is beyond me.

  184. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 11:03 am |

    “I have never seen a calf go with the bull” thats an actual quote a judge used when he gave custody to the mother. Albeight it was probably in a red state, where men belong in uniform, gays are evil as is abortion and women are for babymaking and changing diapers.

    Also nobody has given so far good reasons to NOT implement quotas, except for the same strawman arguments that were given to fight quotas for women.

  185. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 11:09 am |

    Even in households in which both the mother and *The father work, the mother still generally does the majority of caretaking. So what really leads to the lack of fairness is the fact that mothers are not only viewed as the primary caretakers but also usually are due to patriarchal norms.*

    How do you know that? There is no way to keep track of that. If it turns out that what you say is true, that men do not want to take care of the children to begin with, then the quotas wont change that.

    There are quotas in fields where women are underrepresented. They are not removed, just because women keep staying underrepresented because less women than men sign up. If men want to, quotas are going to help them. If men do not want to, then quotas are not going to change that for the men who do not feel encouraged by the existence of quotas.

    So again there is no reason to NOT have quotas.

  186. mxe354
    mxe354 July 17, 2012 at 11:12 am |

    Also nobody has given so far good reasons to NOT implement quotas, except for the same strawman arguments that were given to fight quotas for women.

    Because it’s in the best interest of the child to be with the parent who is the primary caretaker. That you don’t see that boggles my mind.

  187. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 17, 2012 at 11:15 am |

    How do you know that?

    You said so yourself: “‘I have never seen a calf go with the bull’ thats an actual quote a judge used when he gave custody to the mother.

    There are quotas in fields where women are underrepresented.

    Quotas are illegal. Maybe if you learned how affirmative action really works, somebody might decide to be nice and answer your question.

  188. mxe354
    mxe354 July 17, 2012 at 11:15 am |

    How do you know that? There is no way to keep track of that.

    There are countless studies that show that women tend to do the majority of caretaking. You don’t even need a study to know that this is true simply because of cultural norms.

  189. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 11:18 am |

    Because it’s in the best interest of the child to be with the parent who is the primary caretaker. That you don’t see that boggles my mind.

    In many housholds there is no primary caretaker when both work. The role is assigned POST divorce. In many households both work and both spend time with the children, that is NOT reflected in the decision of the divorce courts. They did NOT go with the times, with judges justifying their rulings in favor of mothers with god and nature.

    And like I said before, quotas will not deny the children the primary caretaker. If the mother was indeed the one who spent far more time with the children, because she worked way shorter hours or was at home, then she gets custody despite the quota, just like a boss can hire a qualified man over an qualified female despite the quota.

    Quotas do not crash the economy.
    Quotas do not ruin children.

    Quotas help women to break gender stereotypes.
    Quotas would help men to break gender stereotypes as well.

    That is good for feminism, good for women, good for men and good for the children.

  190. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 17, 2012 at 11:28 am |

    In many housholds there is no primary caretaker when both work.

    Bullshit. When both parents work, the wife is still usually the one who provides the food, clothes the children, and cares for them when they’re sick.

    … just like a boss can hire a qualified man over an qualified female despite the quota.

    Again, not how affirmative action works because QUOTAS ARE ILLEGAL.

  191. Chiara
    Chiara July 17, 2012 at 11:28 am |

    There are quotas in fields where women are underrepresented. They are not removed, just because women keep staying underrepresented because less women than men sign up. If men want to, quotas are going to help them. If men do not want to, then quotas are not going to change that for the men who do not feel encouraged by the existence of quotas.

    What exactly are these quotas going to do? Simply give men custody in 50% of cases, 25% of cases? How does this address the underlying problem of men not being the primary care giver in these cases? Quotas is not some magical solution to everything especially when you don’t give a clear definition of what it would involve.

    In this women underrepresented in employment example you’re so fond of… the solution is not in ‘quotas’ but in education, schools and in the media where we have to remove the stigma of science for girls. Look in fields which have a male feel that is off-putting to girls like computer science for example — women are still highly underrepresented here, quotas or no quotas. The issue is in challenging cultural attitudes.

    This means removing the stigma for men being stay at home dads. Get rid of that bs on the tv like CSI where the stay at home dad is emasculated and resorts to BDSM and murder. Get rid of bs that says guys are no good around kids or just naturally inept at doing housework or whatever. Wives need to let there husbands do housework without getting all ‘wah men just are useless at housework’ cos yeah if you don’t let them do housework they’ll never learn…

    There’s also stuff that women need to challenge as well I don’t buy into the bs that women’s choices are always perfect. For example women only go for guys who are richer and more intelligent than they are… Sure they chose there choice yada yada but in the end this is only going to drive more men to the higher paying jobs and increase the pay gap which in turn will reduce the amount that men spend with the kids which will in turn reduce there chances of getting custody. See all this shit is linked and we need to get it at the roots.

  192. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 11:31 am |

    Affirmative action is a whole package of measures that can include quotas. Quotas are only illegal if the man is not hired despite being better qualified. Quotas where the woman must be hired untill parity is reached, IF both are qualified are legal.

    Bullshit. When both parents work, the wife is still usually the one who provides the food, clothes the children, and cares for them when they’re sick.

    Well again if it turns out that men do not want primary custody anyway, then quotas wont force them to take it, so again, there is no reason to be against quotas.

  193. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 17, 2012 at 11:48 am |

    Affirmative action is a whole package of measures that can include quotas.

    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke ruled that quota systems were unconstitutional.

    Know your shit before you try to use it as a foundation for an already weak argument.

  194. JC
    JC July 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

    I just had to come in and clarify this for Mike. Please read about affirmative action rules, regulations and compliances under the US Department of Labor. Specifically the Goals, Timetables and Good Faith Efforts provisions that specifically prohibit quota and preferential hiring and promotions under the guise of affirmative action numerical goals.

  195. JC
    JC July 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm |

    http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/aa.htm

    Forgot the link to the DOL site.

  196. mxe354
    mxe354 July 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm |

    Mike, if you allow the quota (assuming that quotas are legal, which they aren’t) to be ignored when one parent is the primary caretaker as opposed to the other parent, then it won’t fix shit. It will lead to the exact same situation if gender roles are left unchallenged and most mothers are still the primary caretakers.

  197. roymacIII
    roymacIII July 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm |

    If both parents work and both parents spend time with the children, men who seek it should be given custody until such time that in half of ALL cases men get primary custody.

    Uh-huh. I don’t think that’s how job quotas are supposed to work. I’ve never heard of a quota system that said “you can only hire women until the workforce make-up is 50%.”

    But, let’s pretend that they do for the moment:

    When you hire someone, you’re looking at the applications and resumes of a bunch of people (the last job I had to do a hiring action on had about a 100 applicants). You’re trying to do the best you can to figure out who to hire. When you take race or sex into consideration with hiring–using a quota, perhaps–the idea is that you use it as a deciding factor because you might have a bunch of random candidates, all of whom are equally qualified.

    When a judge is looking at a custody hearing, the goal is to do the best thing for the child. Quotas don’t make sense at all in this situation. It’s not about trying to acheive some kind of parity for men and women, it’s purely about what is in the best interest of the children involved.

    If it’s true that men don’t seek custody as often as they’d like, the solution to that is for lawyers to do a better job at advocating for their clients, but, as it stands, I haven’t seen any actual evidence that men are somehow getting shafted on this.

  198. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

    The existence of quota will encourage MORE men to try harder at home too.

    The existence of child support doesn’t. The existence of maternal custody doesn’t. The existence of divorce because he’s a lazy ass doesn’t. The fact he’s the goddamn parent doesn’t.

    Do you even give a crap about these kids you’re treating as things to be divvied up?

  199. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

    quotas wont force them to take it, so again, there is no reason to be against quotas.

    So a good father won’t get custody of his children because the quota has been met, while a mother takes custody because she wants to hurt the father.

    And a good mother won’t get custody of her children because the quota hasnt been met yet while the father takes custody because he wants to hurt the mother.

    You realize quotas won’t always work in your favor right?

    And parents often use children against each other during custody battles, not because they want the kids.

    But you think it will be fair to men and that’s all that’s important right? Certainly not what’s good for the kids or fair for the kids. You’re putting the adults desires over what’s best for kids.

    THAT is why quotas are bad.

  200. Mike
    Mike July 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    Quotas arent illegal in my country. On the downside, I dont get to shoot the firearms we sell in America either :-/ . I did not say quotas are the only thing, anymore that they are when it comes to womens issues, but they did help women, in Europe at least. I am sure they would help men too.

  201. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

    You left the most important person out Mike.

    The kid.

    In a custody case THE most important person is the child.

    Not the mother.

    Not the father.

    The child.

  202. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

    I call shenanigans on Mike.

    Mike, when you get called on your shit about affirmative action and quotas you say that the quotas are legal in your country. Yet, in order to try and bolster your argument you’ve referenced Title IX several times, and use stats from a HuffPo article about child custody cases in Arizona.

    Either you’re a major dumbass or you think we are.

    And I’m no dumbass.

  203. Caperton
    Caperton July 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm | *

    Mike, maybe you’d be helped by a more graspable working definition of primary caregiver. The primary caregiver is the one who spends the most time looking after the kid. The one who does the bathing/feeding/dressing/playing/reading. The one who knows the names of all the kid’s teachers. The one who gets called away from work whenever the kid gets sick. The one who gets home from work and immediately starts cooking dinner. The one who selects and purchases the majority of the kid’s clothes. The one to whom the kid goes first to ask permission for something. The one who looks after the kid on Saturday and doesn’t call it “babysitting.” The one who is expected to drop everything when the kid needs something, even if both parents are in the room. If you’re thinking, “Hey, I think the mom usually does that,” you’re right! And if you’re thinking, “No, the dad totally does that at least 50 percent of the time,” we’ve identified the block in your thinking.

    The thing about child custody is that it’s less about who gets the kid or who is owed the kid but about what’s best for the kid. Generally, the court is trying to avoid further disruption in a child’s life during an already stressful time, so they assign custody to whomever is already caring for the kid the most anyway. Now you could, if you were a total asshole who was more interested in scoring points than in the kid’s welfare, demand that the kid be uprooted and placed with someone who hasn’t been responsible for his care most of his life, changing all his patterns and habits and rituals because it’s “fair” to Dad. Or you could place the kid’s emotional wellbeing above the dad’s feeling of entitlement and try to keep the kid at least marginally stable while his parents’ marriage is in shambles.

  204. roymacIII
    roymacIII July 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm |

    Caperton: A thousand times, yes.

  205. Pseudonym
    Pseudonym July 18, 2012 at 3:21 am |

    Child custody decisions are skewed, but there is an a priori skew in the gender of primary caregivers and the amount of time each parent spends with children. Wages are skewed even after taking into account differences in education levels, years of experience, hours worked, etc. Quotas (in theory at least) are designed to counteract and rectify the demonstrable gender bias present in hiring decisions. As far as I have seen (and others surely know better) there is no such demonstrable bias in family court decisions that causes a posteriori decisions not to reflect a priori circumstances. That is the difference. (The other difference of course is that children are not rewards like jobs or money, they are people with their own interests at stake.)

  206. Pseudonym
    Pseudonym July 18, 2012 at 3:29 am |

    Getting back to the original topic, to what extent do people have the responsibility to question their own romantic attractions in the light of gender stereotypes? For example, in heterosexual dating situations, would a woman have a responsibility to act assertive in taking the initiative and asking out men? Is it problematic for a man to have stereotypically masculine preferences (e.g. for young, thin, physically attractive women) or for a woman to have the converse (e.g. for tall, successful, socially dominant men)?

  207. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 18, 2012 at 8:30 am |

    Now you could, if you were a total asshole who was more interested in scoring points than in the kid’s welfare, demand that the kid be uprooted and placed with someone who hasn’t been responsible for his care most of his life, changing all his patterns and habits and rituals because it’s “fair” to Dad. Or you could place the kid’s emotional wellbeing above the dad’s feeling of entitlement and try to keep the kid at least marginally stable while his parents’ marriage is in shambles.

    Oh, Caperton, there you go with all of your logic and well-reasoned explanations.

    All of this is clearly sailing right over Mike’s head. Or maybe he’s just trolling for the lulz.

  208. JC
    JC July 18, 2012 at 9:18 am |

    Quotas (in theory at least) are designed to counteract and rectify the demonstrable gender bias present in hiring decisions

    I think there is a confusion with the word “quota”, it is not a quota but a numerical goal set forth by defined organizational policies. Quota is not the same as a numerical goal. If a company contracts through the US department or is required to set forth a policy due to prior discriminatory hiring and employment decisions, they put forth numerical goals, timelines and good faith efforts in their hiring and employment decisions. If they hire only based on gender, race, etc until they reach a certain number or percentage, then they are putting forth a quota which is illegal. A goal is a number they set forth they would like to attain by a certain timeline and may have incentives applied if they meet that goal. There is a difference.

    As defined on the US Department of labor: “The numerical goals are established based on the availability of qualified applicants in the job market or qualified candidates in the employer’s work force. Executive Order numerical goals do not create set-asides for specific groups, nor are they designed to achieve proportional representation or equal results. Rather, the goal-setting process in affirmative action planning is used to target and measure the effectiveness of affirmative action efforts to eradicate and prevent discrimination.”

    In relation to court decisions in terms of child custody, I agree with all that have previously stated this is not a good solution. There is a difference between adverse employment decisions and equal opportunity employment when compared to the actual physical and emotional well-being of a child. I can understand how one can attempt to make a comparison when considering the right to gainful employment based on qualifications and not on biases or stereotypes, however, when in consideration to the welfare of a child there is so much more involved and the comparison is extremely poor and in bad taste.

  209. Mike
    Mike July 18, 2012 at 9:24 am |

    Oh, Caperton, there you go with all of your logic and well-reasoned explanations.

    Because there can always only be one? Zhe Hapless men can not take care of the children? Way to reinforce gender stereotypes. If both work both spend about the same time with the children. I am not saying to give custody to fathers who dont want to have custody, but if both work and both take care of the children both should get a fair shake at getting primary custody.

    But just out of curiosity, how do you feel about fathers who were not involved coming around and getting more involved? Lets assume the couple does not split up, is there a point in time where it is too late for the father to come around and be more involved in the raising of the children, if he hasnt been 50 50 from day one?

    And if it is never too late for the father to mend his ways while the couple is toegether and neither damaging to the child, why is it “too late” when either one of them wants out of the marriage? Why is there no point in time where it is too late for the father to get more involved during the duration of the marriage, but its “too late” and “harmfull to the child” if the couple splits up? Does not make any sense and neither do you.

  210. Mike
    Mike July 18, 2012 at 9:33 am |

    The point being seen as there is bias against men in divorce court, nobody keeps track of who the primary caretaker of the children actually is, how many children end up with whom actually was the primary caretaker and how and if it affects children who end up with a mother who got primary custody but was not the primary caretaker.

    In some instances judges even saw no issue to give primary custody to a woman like Mary Winkler, who has shot her husband in his sleep, after she lost it to the childrens grandparents.

    Now would a man convicted of manslaughter get custody of his children? No, he would not.

  211. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 18, 2012 at 10:18 am |

    Because there can always only be one? Zhe Hapless men can not take care of the children? Way to reinforce gender stereotypes.

    “Primary caregiver” is a gender-neutral term, you clueless chucklefuck. Also, love that you couldn’t quote anything from Caperton herself – did it make too much sense? Did it hurt your widdle brain?

    I am not saying to give custody to fathers who dont want to have custody, but if both work and both take care of the children both should get a fair shake at getting primary custody.

    Shared custody is a thing, you know. My kid has several friends who spend three days a week with one parent, four with the other, then reverse that for the next week.

    Lets assume the couple does not split up, is there a point in time where it is too late for the father to come around and be more involved in the raising of the children, if he hasnt been 50 50 from day one?

    Yes, there is. It’s called adulthood. You’d be surprised how many men don’t get that memo until their kids move out.

    And if it is never too late for the father to mend his ways while the couple is toegether and neither damaging to the child, why is it “too late” when either one of them wants out of the marriage?

    Renegotiation of initial divorce terms: it is also a thing. If a father who wasn’t very involved pre-divorce makes a sustained and sincere effort to be involved with childcare for a significant amount of time, and then applies for shared custody, it would be perfectly acceptable. Christfuck, for someone who has a giant bug up his ass about custody rights, you sure don’t know much about custody realities.

    Also, Mike, I say this as someone who did in fact come from a 50/50 childcare split family: you’re full of shit. I can think of exactly one other family where the parents haven’t split and the childcare actually gets split 50/50, and that’s my father’s brother, who stays home with the kids half a month every month and travels for work the rest of the time, and as someone who’s been tutoring and volunteering kids pretty much her entire adult life, I see a hell of a lot of variety family structures. Sometimes the father does more work, sometimes the mother does more work, sometimes they’re both fucking assholes and the grandparents or aunts or siblings handle things, but a perfect 50/50 childcare split is not as goddamn common as you want to try to make it out to be.

    You. Are. So. Full. Of. Shit.

  212. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 18, 2012 at 10:26 am |

    And I should add that even in my case, the 50/50 split was more like shared responsibilities that my parents divvied up based on which one did what better. Had they split, a judge would have granted my mother primary custody, not because she’s the parent I have a better emotional connection with (she’s not, but only by a thick hair), but because my father has to travel for work and taking, say, a 10yo kid on 15-day trips across the country to stew alone in hotel rooms for 14 hours a day would have been about as feasible as letting me stay home alone. Logistics: there are more involved than just “who makes more money”.

  213. JC
    JC July 18, 2012 at 11:10 am |

    Mike, there is alot of history behind this and I think it is helpful for some perspective. Let’s start with English Common Law. There was a time when women didn’t even have a right to their own children. Father’s used to have rights to sell their children and enter them into enforced labor. They were considered property of their father. Up until the mid-ninteenth centry, fathers had absolute right to custody. However, in the 1800′s, with the onset of the industrial revolution, child’s welfare started to come into consideration as we began to see a drift and more established family responsibilities of “wage earner” and “nuturer”. This is where we see maternal preference taken in lieu of paternal as a child was in need of the mother for nuturing until such time they could be turned back to the father. Now, in the early 1900′s we see such things as research into mother-child relationships adn that motherhood is what is most crucial to the child’s development. Let’s jump ahead to the 60′s and 70′s, divorce rates go on teh rise and we see father’s begin to put forth sex discrimination claims in custody determinations. Here we also see states then put forth the standard of “best interests of the child” over the previous “tender years” presumption. It was this time when joint custody began as many father’s wanted a greater role in their child’s lives post divorce and with more participation in the child upbringing which can have some influence attributed with changing gender demographics over the decades and with more women entering the job market and higher percentages of both parents in the workforce.

    This is a broad generalization and explanation behind the history that has been parental roles and child-rearing and doesn’t take in effect individual cases or different state laws. I doubt you want a research thesis. Anyway, there isn’t just one determining factor in court decisions of child custody and there is alot taken into consideration: primary caretaker, emotional/financial/intellectual support, safe environments for example but not to forget what is best for the child. Statistics are a funny thing, you also need to consider that some of your data and statistics you are looking at (that may or are printed through biased news sources and authors) may be random or non-random samplings and studies or even not even the court records themselves. Food for thought.

  214. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 18, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    Because there can always only be one? Zhe Hapless men can not take care of the children? Way to reinforce gender stereotypes.

    Slow clap

    Mike, you’re killing me over here, but thanks for the giggles anyway.

    Either your just effing with us all, or you have zero reading comprehension skills. Caperton, Macavitykitsune and others here have made a good faith effort to explain how the family courts look to the best interests of the child, not the mother, when it comes to custody and so on. We’ve explained until we are blue in the face that there is no reverse sexism or misandry or any other sort of gaming of the system to disfavor men in USian family law statutes.

    Your the one who appears insistent in misinterpreting and misunderstanding, such that it has become clear that you are not arguing in good faith. I am now chucking tomatoes your way because it’s utterly pointless to even continue playing nice with you.

  215. roymacIII
    roymacIII July 18, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    Now would a man convicted of manslaughter get custody of his children? No, he would not.

    Really? Because John Ward received custody despite admitting to second degree murder of his first wife. Which, you know… is actually worse than manslaughter.

    Or maybe you could talk to Linda Sacks. She’s been granted a mere two hours a month of supervised visitation with her children while her husband has custody of them. This, despite her concerns that her husband is sexually abusing them (which is what led to their divorce).

    Because there can always only be one? Zhe Hapless men can not take care of the children? Way to reinforce gender stereotypes.

    Nothing has been said that indicates men cannot take care of children. What has been said is that the only thing that should be considered when deciding custody issues is the well being of the children. Not some absurd quota notion so that you can feel good that men get custody 50% of the time.

    If both work both spend about the same time with the children. I am not saying to give custody to fathers who dont want to have custody, but if both work and both take care of the children both should get a fair shake at getting primary custody.

    Well, actually, you said that fathers should get custody 100% of the time until it’s all evened out.

    But just out of curiosity, how do you feel about fathers who were not involved coming around and getting more involved? Lets assume the couple does not split up, is there a point in time where it is too late for the father to come around and be more involved in the raising of the children, if he hasnt been 50 50 from day one?

    It depends on what you mean. I don’t think it’s ever too late to want to be involved in your child’s life, but if you’ve been a lousy father for years, and after a decade you realize “Wow, I wish I’d been more involved in my child’s life” and want to start acting like a father, you may find that your child doesn’t necessarily want to have anything to do with you. Which, you know… tough shit for you. The longer you wait before deciding to accept your responsibilities as a father, the harder it’s going to be to pick up those pieces. And that goes whether you’re divorced or not. Being divorced adds another layer to that difficulty, of course, because, assuming you aren’t the custodial parent (which, if you’re a disinterested father, one would hope you’re not), you have the disadvantage of not only being a terrible father, but of not seeing your children every day.

    I think it’s supremely arrogant to assume that you can be a completely shitty parent for an extended period of time, but then just decide one day “You know what, I’ve decided I want to be a part of this whole parent thing” and that your children and former spouse should go out of their way to let you back in. It’s great to want to make amends and to be involved in your children’s lives, but if you spent an extended time being a shit parent, you need to accept that you fucked up and you need to figure out how, if at all, you can be a part of their life on their terms and in ways that are healthy for them, not just in ways that are convenient for you.

    When you’re talking about the custody of children and fitting into their lives, the important part isn’t what you want, it’s what is best for the children.

  216. Caperton
    Caperton July 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm | *

    If both work both spend about the same time with the children.

    Incorrect. See above in re: who feeds/bathes/clothes/plays with/reads to/shops for/knows the teachers of/leaves work for the kid. If the parents both get home from work and one starts in on the childcare and the other doesn’t; if one spends the evening having “me time” and the other spends it having “we time”; then no, they aren’t “spending about the same time with the children.” It’s not a proximity thing, it’s a childcare thing. Being in the same house for the same number of hours does not a caregiver make.

    Of course, none of this is to say that never, in any household, has a father taken a 50-percent (or more) share of the childrearing responsibilities. And when that’s the case, it seems that evenly shared custody would be the least disruptive for the child, yes? But if you’re telling yourself that such a situation is the norm and not the exception, you’re kidding yourself.

    But your talk of “get[ting] a fair shake at getting primary custody” makes me think that once again, you’re missing the this is about what’s right for the kids, not what’s “fair” for the parents angle.

  217. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

    Lolagirl,

    I totally agree that at this point I just want to chuck tomatoes at Mike. Therefore,

    Because there can always only be one?

    THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!!!

    http://beaut.ie/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/HIGHLANDER..jpg

  218. Sam
    Sam July 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

    Pseudonym,

    Getting back to the original topic, to what extent do people have the responsibility to question their own romantic attractions in the light of gender stereotypes? For example, in heterosexual dating situations, would a woman have a responsibility to act assertive in taking the initiative and asking out men? Is it problematic for a man to have stereotypically masculine preferences (e.g. for young, thin, physically attractive women) or for a woman to have the converse (e.g. for tall, successful, socially dominant men)?

    I think the problem is that one cannot choose what one is attracted to. It may change over time, but it’s not something anyone can choose. So, no, I don’t think individual preferences are problematic, and I don’t think people should ever be shamed about their preferences. But, of course, in the aggregate, certain preferences can be problematic, and certain preferences *are* problematic. And I believe, that a general understanding that one’s attraction is the consequence of a myriad of factors and, in itself, contributing to the re/construction of the system that contributed to my own preferences in the first place, would be a level of awareness I wish more people had – I think this can be compared to being aware of one’s privilege to a degree.

    But – again – no person should ever be shamed or called out for their sexual preferences. No woman, no man. Sadly, I believe, that this is something not all feminists agree with.

  219. mxe354
    mxe354 July 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

    But there are problematic individual preferences. Racial preferences, for instance, are emphatically racist, and they are harmful both individually and collectively.

  220. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

    THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!!!

    ROFLMAO!

    That about sums it up, doesn’t it?

  221. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

    Lolagirl,

    It really, really does. Mike knows – KNOWS I TELL YOU – that he will never get custody until all the women, ever, are beheaded.

    I wonder why

  222. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl July 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm |

    I wonder why

    A great mystery, indeed…

  223. Sam
    Sam July 19, 2012 at 7:59 am |

    mxe354,

    “But there are problematic individual preferences. Racial preferences, for instance, are emphatically racist, and they are harmful both individually and collectively.”

    when a black girl would tell me, “sorry, dude, white guys don’t do it for me, I’m really only into black guys…” I should call her a racist? What about the real chance she’s just telling the truth that white guys don’t have an erotic effect on her. I wouldn’t call that racist. People have preferences.

    I, for one, like female faces that are “ecto-mesomorphs”, among other things (from match.com – “Women express this type in two ways. One version has a rectangular face shape that is long and narrow. The other type’s face shape is often compared to a diamond or a heart, because it is wide at the cheeks and then has a sharply angled jaw. Ecto-Mesomorph women have either delicate pointed chins or chins that are slightly squared-off or rounded at the base.”).

    Of course, I’m not exclusively interested in that facial form, but women who have such a face are more attractive to me. Am I an ecto-mesomorphist? Why shouldn’t skin colour have a similar effect for someone else? Why should that be considered racist?

    Thus, I believe a skin colour preference would only become racist when the hypothetical black girl mentioned above actually *were* into me regardless of my skin colour, and then would rationally decide she does not want to be with a white guy *despite* her attraction to a white guy.

    Of course, collectively, such preferences would likely still be problematic, but that’s no reason for individual shaming at all.

  224. roymacIII
    roymacIII July 19, 2012 at 9:44 am |

    when a black girl would tell me, “sorry, dude, white guys don’t do it for me, I’m really only into black guys…” I should call her a racist?

    I’m not sure that anyone was suggesting that’s the best way of dealing with it. When my friend told me that she just “isn’t into black guys”, though? Yeah, we had a big conversation about why that might be, and why it might be ultimately rooted in racism. I didn’t just say “Wow, you’re racist.” Attraction is complicated, but if someone tells me that they’re only attracted to a particular race, or tells me that they’re flat-out not attracted to a particular race? Yes, that raises red flags to me.

    What about the real chance she’s just telling the truth that white guys don’t have an erotic effect on her. I wouldn’t call that racist. People have preferences.

    Of course people have preferences, but those preferences don’t form in a vacuum. Saying “white guys don’t do it for me” isn’t actually the same as saying, for example, “pale skin doesn’t do it for me.” Not all white people are pale, and not all pale people are white. And those preferences come from someplace.

    Of course, I’m not exclusively interested in that facial form, but women who have such a face are more attractive to me. Am I an ecto-mesomorphist? Why shouldn’t skin colour have a similar effect for someone else? Why should that be considered racist?

    Because you weren’t talking about skin color, you were talking about race. Speaking for myself: saying “I’m not really into dark skin” or “I find very fair skin attractive” isnt’ the same thing as saying “I’m really into black people” or “I just don’t find Asian men attractive.” You’re conflating physical traits with race; they’re not the same thing. People of all races can have fair skin or dark skin. Further, as others have been discussing, at length, in another post on this site, there’s often a lot more tied into the idea of being attracted to (or not attracted to) people of a particular race. It fetishizes people.

    Thus, I believe a skin colour preference would only become racist when the hypothetical black girl mentioned above actually *were* into me regardless of my skin colour, and then would rationally decide she does not want to be with a white guy *despite* her attraction to a white guy.

    Obviously, I don’t agree with this at all. I don’t think that racism is always intentional or overt in that way. I think it’s entirely possible to hold racist beliefs without intending them. I think that we have a culture that leaves people with some pretty fucked up ideas about race and romance, so it’s not surprising when it comes out that people end up holding some… questionable (at best) views about what is or is not attractive.

    Further: in the example you’re giving, I think that there could be very significant socio-political or personal reasons for her decision not to date a white guy she was attracted to. Given power dynamics in this country, and the ways that women of color are treated, I’m not super comfortable with jumping to criticism there.

  225. roymacIII
    roymacIII July 19, 2012 at 9:45 am |

    Ah, stupid formating. Bolded instead of blockquoted.

  226. mxe354
    mxe354 July 19, 2012 at 10:32 am |

    when a black girl would tell me, “sorry, dude, white guys don’t do it for me, I’m really only into black guys…” I should call her a racist? What about the real chance she’s just telling the truth that white guys don’t have an erotic effect on her. I wouldn’t call that racist. People have preferences.

    If you know the definition of racism yet insist that a racial preference isn’t racist, then you’re pretty much doing special pleading here. Just because there’s a possibility that she doesn’t intend to suggest that she hates white people doesn’t mean that she’s not racist for saying that white guys don’t do it for her.

  227. Sam
    Sam July 19, 2012 at 11:39 am |

    mxe354,

    no, I’m saying that racial preference as a part of sexual attraction is not in itself necessarily racist. It *could* be the consequence of institutionalized racism, of course (hence the preference being a *collective* problem), but it could just as well be simply a matter of sexual preference. Most guy’s lack of sexual interest in men is not matter of homophobia, you know, it’s just a lack of sexual interest in men. Would you tell straight guys they’re homophobic just because they’re not interested in men?

  228. tmc
    tmc July 19, 2012 at 11:54 am |

    I think that there could be very significant socio-political or personal reasons for her decision not to date a white guy she was attracted to. Given power dynamics in this country, and the ways that women of color are treated, I’m not super comfortable with jumping to criticism there.

    Uh, yeah. I don’t fuck white cis guys even if I’m attracted to them because the last several have all managed to say something really fucked up (“My lips are thick like yours, my family’s nickname for me was Nigger Lips! Hahaha!”), fetishizing (“Wow, I’ve never fucked a black chick before!” *checks imaginary list in the air with a finger*), or just plain flat-out racist (“I could never date you, I think that black people and white people are just too different for that to ever work”) after I fucked them.

    Am I attracted to white cis dudes? Yeah, sure. I even crush on them sometimes. But if a white cis guy wants to seduce me, then “intersectionality” and “anti-racism” and “white privilege” needs to be a part of his regular vocabulary, and not sarcastically.

    I’m differentiating between cis and trans dudes because I’ve not had this problem with white trans dudes. All of the trans guys I’ve met have been pretty aware of (if not actively involved with) social justice and issues of privilege and oppression, while a lot of the white cis dudes I encounter on any given day just are not.

  229. tmc
    tmc July 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm |

    Would you tell straight guys they’re homophobic just because they’re not interested in men?

    This comparison would only make sense if the definition of “white guy” is “a dude that is only sexually attracted to white people.” Which it’s pretty clearly not.

  230. Sam
    Sam July 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

    RoymacIII,

    thanks for your thoughtful reply.

    You’re conflating physical traits with race; they’re not the same thing.

    I suppose I am. Although I’m not sure what other cultural? characteristics you’d include in your definition of “race” then?

    I think it’s entirely possible to hold racist beliefs without intending them. I think that we have a culture that leaves people with some pretty fucked up ideas about race and romance, so it’s not surprising when it comes out that people end up holding some… questionable (at best) views about what is or is not attractive.

    I agree, which is why I would call such attraction patterns a collective problem, while I don’t think that individual attraction patterns should be used to shame people for their attraction to certain physical features (at least as long as it’s not clear that they’re not actually caused by, say, racist beliefs).

    Just to mention the original context, above “Pseudonym” asked whether people have an obligation to question their own attraction. I said questioning is fine, but shaming is not, even if the attraction patterns may be socially problematic.

  231. roymacIII
    roymacIII July 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

    I suppose I am. Although I’m not sure what other cultural? characteristics you’d include in your definition of “race” then?

    I’m not sure I understand your question. My point was that you were talking about physical traits–skin color, facial morphology, etc–but you kept saying “race”. The two are not the same thing. If you were to say that you find, for example, dark skin attractive–that’s a physical trait. But you can find that trait in people of any race. If you say that you’re only attracted to “white people,” what traits would you be saying you find attractive? Because “white people” aren’t all the same–they come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. So, it sounds like you’re saying you’re attracted to some kind of socio-cultural thing, maybe?

    When you say you’re only attracted to or not attracted to a particular race, it ends up sounding like you’re talking about stereotypes, then.

    Which happens a lot.

    Which seems… you know… racist.

  232. Sam
    Sam July 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm |

    roymacIII,

    “I’m not sure I understand your question. My point was that you were talking about physical traits–skin color, facial morphology, etc–but you kept saying “race”.”

    well, yeah, I did, as mxe354 talked about racism. But still, I have to say that I wasn’t aware of the importance of differentiation between physical features traits commonly associated with “race” and the use of the term race as such.

    If you were to say that you find, for example, dark skin attractive–that’s a physical trait. But you can find that trait in people of any race.

    Interesting. You’re right – eg, in Brazil, I’ve seen people with more European ancestry with the same skin colour as people with more African ancestry, yet the “Europeans” still considered themselves socially “white”. But even so, these people were exceptions, as far as I understood, and I was under the impression that certain physical features – like skin colours – are usually what people use to distinguish themselves from other racial groups.

    If you say that you’re only attracted to “white people,” what traits would you be saying you find attractive? Because “white people” aren’t all the same–they come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. So, it sounds like you’re saying you’re attracted to some kind of socio-cultural thing, maybe?

    Honestly, if I heard that, my initial assumption would be that someone saying it would be attracted to “white” skin. But you’re right, given that the concept involves a lot more than the cluster of skin colours that may be classed as white, it seems not unlikely that there’s more behind it than a mere preference for a certain type of skin.

  233. mscln365
    mscln365 July 23, 2012 at 1:35 am |

    i grew up with a lot of females in my life. My mother let (and wanted) me to play with barbie dolls. All my life I was ridiculed as beng gay. I graduated highschool and did not want to attend college to avoid the same incidences as highschool in the event that people I went to school with attended my highschool. Five years later I am happily married for two years with a beautiful daughter. Being masculine has nothing to do with sexuality. I know my car is four cyllinder and i would like an eight cyllinder. Beyond that i don’t know much despite having three uncles that are mechanics. I don’t need to know about cars because I have them. I do know enough however to change my oil and filters. Anything else they handle. So what does masculinity have to do with sexuality? Nothing. Even the man that seems to be gay can be straight. I can attest for that.

  234. Sam
    Sam July 24, 2012 at 6:44 am |

    mscln365,

    So what does masculinity have to do with sexuality? Nothing. Even the man that seems to be gay can be straight. I can attest for that.

    you’re right that masculine performance isn’t highly correlated with sexual identity (very masculine gay guys, quite effeminate straight men), yet when it comes to sexual attraction – attracting heterosexual women, making them want to be sexual – masculine performance has – statistically, on average, all people have different things that get them going – *a lot* to do with sexuality. So it’s a signal strength vs. pool size trade off – when someone doesn’t want to or cannot perform the mascuinity most women are looking for, he’s also signalling something about himself pretty clearly to those women who are looking for someone like him. But of course, the pool of such women is much smaller than the general pool of available heterosexual women, so it may not be easy to find them despite the relatively clear signal.

  235. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 24, 2012 at 11:27 pm |

    But of course, the pool of such women is much smaller than the general pool of available heterosexual women, so it may not be easy to find them despite the relatively clear signal.

    I’m not convinced that this is true. Unless things like “confident” or “good sense of humor” must code masculine, women like a lot of non-”manly” traits.

  236. EG
    EG July 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm |

    But of course, the pool of such women is much smaller than the general pool of available heterosexual women, so it may not be easy to find them despite the relatively clear signal.

    Yeah, it’s a hard knock life. There are lots of people in the world who aren’t attracted to me, too. Yet I stagger on under such an unbelievable burden, and I still manage to get laid every so often.

  237. Sam
    Sam July 25, 2012 at 10:27 am |

    Bagelsan,

    I’m not convinced that this is true. Unless things like “confident” or “good sense of humor” must code masculine, women like a lot of non-”manly” traits.

    as I said above, I believe most *cultural* markers of masculinity are proxies because it’s so hard to deliver *actual* masculinity in a mating/dating context. And yes, that does, to a higher degree than for women, imply that “confident” is a masculine marker, because the initiation/escalation is mostly still required from men.

    EG,

    Yeah, it’s a hard knock life. There are lots of people in the world who aren’t attracted to me, too. Yet I stagger on under such an unbelievable burden, and I still manage to get laid every so often.

    good for you, EG. Seriously, I believe that the perceived difference between what is perceived as a satisfactory sex life and sad reality is larger for most men than for most women, whatever the reasons for that. And thus, I don’t find it objectionable that men are trying to optimize their performance in ways they believe to be most promising – even though that does partly include reinforcing partly problematic notions about masculinity.

  238. Chiara
    Chiara July 25, 2012 at 11:03 am |

    as I said above, I believe most *cultural* markers of masculinity are proxies because it’s so hard to deliver *actual* masculinity in a mating/dating context. And yes, that does, to a higher degree than for women, imply that “confident” is a masculine marker, because the initiation/escalation is mostly still required from men.

    yr totally blind to the other side of the picture. yes women are only interested in manly men because for women to go after non manly men would require them at least some of the time to take the lead which surprise surprise men find unattractive.

    do you make any effort to combat this dynamic Sam? do u laugh at women and call them slags when they come on to guys? chances are you play a part in perpetuating these standards yourself. how come its just womens job to date ‘non-manly’ guys and not the other way round too?

  239. Jellyfish
    Jellyfish July 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

    And thus, I don’t find it objectionable that men are trying to optimize their performance in ways they believe to be most promising – even though that does partly include reinforcing partly problematic notions about masculinity.

    I don’t either. But I really wish these men would stop complaining on the internet when said women dump them for not being as ‘alpha’ as they pretended to be on the first date. Seriously, what did they think would happen?

    I’m not mocking their feelings- it sucks to be lonely, I get that. I feel that often as a single woman. But by reinforcing these ‘notions’ these men are making a rod for their own backs. I can’t find it in my heart to care about the sex life of the kind of person who’s willing to sacrifice their self respect and perpetuate social attitudes they know can be damaging in order to ‘optimize their performance’ and coax another person (whom they probably have next to nothing in common with and see as just a walking set of genitals anyway) to date or sleep with them.

    When I read their comments I get the strong impression that women are interchangable to these guys. There’s little to no information on the kind of personality, beliefs, hobbies, values, interests, sexual kinks and so on that they’d want in a partner. Success (to them) is judged on the quantity of relationships or sexual encounters, not on their quality or how long they lasted. Many of us adjust our personalities in different circumstances. However this is less about them putting forward their best traits to make new friends and more about them playing a role they deep-down resent (that of the ‘manly man’) but assume the greatest number of women will be receptive too.

    I don’t judge these men for being lonely. I don’t look down on them for being frustrated and having sexual needs. As I said, I’ve been there. Heck, I am there. But I’m not impressed with the method they’ve chosen to tackle their problem or the obvious misogyny and entitlement they display whilst doing so. As far as I’m concerned they’ve earned their misery.

  240. Sam
    Sam July 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm |

    Hey Chiara,

    yr totally blind to the other side of the picture. yes women are only interested in manly men because for women to go after non manly men would require them at least some of the time to take the lead which surprise surprise men find unattractive.

    do you make any effort to combat this dynamic Sam? do u laugh at women and call them slags when they come on to guys? chances are you play a part in perpetuating these standards yourself. how come its just womens job to date ‘non-manly’ guys and not the other way round too?

    well, if it hadn’t been for a woman who initiated, I might still be unkissed. And I did find her taking the lead attractive, so I’m the wrong guy to complain to about men not liking women who are proactive in that respect – I certainly do. I’ve had women in clubs ask me for sex in the bathroom and we became friends (not a couple, though, for different reasons), and even though I rarely witness slut shaming, when I do, I call guys *and* girls (women do it far more often than men, although for different reasons, in my opinion, the effect is still the same, though) on that, because that’s one of the things that makes live for all of us unpleasant.

    That said, maybe this anecdote will help illustrate what I mean with respect to female attraction to “masculinity” – maybe you’ve seen the much talked about tv series “girls”. Among the scenes my female friends talked about most was a scene in which an artist comes on to “Marni” with the words – “The first time we’re gonna sleep together you’re gonna be a little scared, because I’m a man and I know how to do things.” He leaves, she goes to the loo and masturbates because she is just *that* aroused. And my female friends, who are mostly a bit older than the cast of “girls”, and usually wouldn’t mind saying “hello” to a guy they like (although they would likely expect him to move things from that point on, romantically), were all excited about that display of masculinity and could identify with Marni’s arousal.

    Jellyfish,

    However this is less about them putting forward their best traits to make new friends and more about them playing a role they deep-down resent (that of the ‘manly man’) but assume the greatest number of women will be receptive too.

    I think it *can* be about putting forward their best traits, but, yes, it will usually involve culturally masculine behaviour they themselves resent, *because* women *are* receptive to it.

    Heck, I am there. But I’m not impressed with the method they’ve chosen to tackle their problem or the obvious misogyny and entitlement they display whilst doing so. As far as I’m concerned they’ve earned their misery.

    Yeah, I reckon that’s a common source of disagreement between feminists and non-feminists – feminists appear to focus changing the world, so everone can have great sex in a post-patriarchical utopia, which sadly, certainly for men, often involves being less effective in today’s dating environment, while non-feminists tend to be more concerned about being more effective in a more immediate future, even if that implies reinforcing social patterns they may not even like themselves.

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