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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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447 Responses

  1. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune October 1, 2012 at 9:49 am |

    Jill, I just wanted to get in ahead of the inevitable assfluence from the MRA types (because yeah, I can SEE the wank coming on this one) and give you a big THANK YOU for posting this. It’s brilliant and lovely.

    1. Jadey
      Jadey October 1, 2012 at 10:07 am |

      +1

      This article (the original and your synopsis of it) manage to talk about women’s and men’s issues without downplaying or mocking either or the long history of inequality. Fantastic.

      1. khw
        khw October 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm |

        + 1 too!

    2. ullrich fischer
      ullrich fischer October 4, 2012 at 10:23 pm |

      Excellent post. I remember in 1987 or so after I had been married for a few years, my (male) boss saying I was “letting down the side” by taking care of our daughter instead of going out for drinks with the guys. Hopefully we are moving past that mindset. A big part of the progress in women’s equality is tied to the decline of the influence of religion. Despite the ongoing kerfuffle about “men’s rights atheists”, I believe the underlying basis for all discrimination be it by race, religion, gender, religion (or lack thereof) is ultimately religious dogma. All the major religions are divisive and discriminate against “the other”. Those self-proclaimed “atheists” or “skeptics” who reject their religious upbringing but still rail against “extreme feminists” have just failed to shrug off the last remnants of the religious dogma with which they were raised. Ok, maybe a few are just incorrigible assholes, but I suspect the majority aren’t. :)

  2. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl October 1, 2012 at 9:57 am |

    I read this article yesterday after Blue Milk posted a link. I think it’s extremely insighful and thoughful take down of ” the ascendancy of women must be equated to men losing out” nonsense that is getting thrown around these days. It doesn’t have to be about men v. women, and improving circumstances for one group neither does not nor must not equal the other group getting shafted in the process.

  3. Sam
    Sam October 1, 2012 at 10:45 am |

    Of course, it’s not the end of men. And it’s absurd to claim that, but given the way the media works, if there’s something of relevance, it needs an attention grabbing headline. But it’s not all good either, and that should be remembered as well. And not all solutions to male problems can be found in feminist theory.

    I believe there’s two main layers to the problem of “liberating ourselves fromt the man-box/masculine mysthique”.

    One, I think men generally have trouble believing they can be *truly wanted* (at least not to the extent to which they desire women), so they cling to a world in which they are *needed*. Will that change? I don’t know. Of course, patriarchy is affirmative action for men. Question is: can we do without at least some sort of it? I hope so, but I’m not sure – here’s an interesting radical feminist analysis of the question – particularly in the comments – and the answer isn’t that clear either ( reclusiveleftist.com/2006/05/07/the-origin-of-male-dominance ).

    Two, and this, kind of, follows from the first point, even disregarding all homosocial pressures to conform to the masculine mysthique, there’s pressure from women, sometimes subtle, sometimes very noticeable, to perform masculinity. Maybe this is an aspect that feminists find harder to understand, because they are, on average, more likely to question gender performance, but I’d sa it’s – by and large – even true for the female feminists I’ve met. And I’ve rarely seen this phrased better than by former feministe contributor Clarisse Thorn, at the beginning of her bible-length series about masculinity and feminism ( clarissethorn.com/blog/2009/10/18/questions-i-want-to-ask-entitled-cis-het-men-part-1 )-

    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.””

    Personally, I believe the answer to that question – whether as an abstract argument or, over time, as changing reality – will be an important aspect with respect to what’s happening to the man-box/masculine mysthique.

    1. EG
      EG October 1, 2012 at 11:05 am |

      Of course, patriarchy is affirmative action for men. Question is: can we do without at least some sort of it?

      Who’s “we,” here?

      1. Sam
        Sam October 1, 2012 at 11:17 am |

        EG,

        humanity. The article I linked to notes the female centrality for any community, given the importance of reproduction. “Magical” societies thus came up with some kind of “male jojo” to balance the female centrality. As communities grew, it became an institutionlised structure, and to a non-trivial degree, no longer even did what it was potentially invented for. But from that perspective, patriarchy could be seen as an over-the-top attempt to balance gender relations. And the question is, can we do without. Yes, maternity is less important in most women’s lives now than it was in magical societies with shorter lifespans and a lot more children, and a lot of people live fulfilled lives without children. So, it’s conceivable, that female centrality is no longer that important. But still, this is the flipside of the Shulamith Firestone’s arguments, and, I think it’s a question that hasn’t been really answered. One that, possibly, can only be answered over time.

        1. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 11:32 am |

          In that case, yes, I can do without affirmative action for men. I’m not the slightest bit worried about it. I think I’d be fine–no, I think I’d be better off in every conceivable way.

          But more than that, I have no time for speculative “how male dominance began” just-so stories. It’s not a question that needs to be answered unless there’s some evidence for its legitimacy in the first place. Why do men dominate? Because they can–they’re generally bigger and stronger and rarely have the vulnerability of a small child on their hips. The anthropologists in that link note various correlations, but the idea that you kill baby girls in order to raise more warriors and hunters? Makes no sense unless patriarchy has already been instituted. Otherwise, you could just…raise girls to be warriors and hunters.

          They’re just-so stories. I mean, look at this quotation: “Peggy Reeves Sanday adds to the foregoing theories the corollary that full-blown male dominance is not an automatic result of stress, but seems to depend on the existing world-view of the group in question. If the group already has a strong role for males in its mythos, it is more likely that male dominance will be the response to stress. But if the group has a very strong female orientation or a thoroughly gender-balanced outlook, the outcome may be different.”

          So…if the group starts out by leaning toward male dominance, then stress will cause it become…male dominant? What’s the cause of male dominance? Male dominance, apparently.

        2. Sam
          Sam October 1, 2012 at 11:48 am |

          EG,

          no one said it’s an easy question to answer. And given the prevalence of male dominance in human history, I think it is an important question whether it started out as a well-intentioned cultural response to certain basic anthropological conditions that got out of hand, or whether it just happened “because men can.” I understand that the latter is a convenient option, particularly from a feminist point of view, because it simlifies the question significantly. But I’m sure it’s the case, and I believe it’s a socially relevant question to ask.

        3. Sam
          Sam October 1, 2012 at 11:50 am |

          Freudian slip or not ;), the last sentence of my last comment was supposed to read

          But I’m *NOT* sure it’s the case, and I believe it’s a socially relevant question to ask.

        4. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

          Why do you think it’s an important question to answer?

        5. matlun
          matlun October 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

          That sounds like a fairly strange theory for the development of patriarchy. I do not think there is any “reason” beyond that it was the model that worked best in primitive society based on the nature of mankind (as it evolved in the pre-civilization world). Debating whether it was “well-intentioned” seems to be missing the point, since it happened for complex reasons beyond the control of any single actor or group.

          Also, it matters very little for the current discussion why it originally evolved. We now live in a very different type of world and most of those reasons will be obsolete.

        6. mxe354
          mxe354 October 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

          Just chiming in here, but I believe that the question is important because the answer can inform us about how to abolish patriarchy.

        7. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

          See, I don’t really think it can. Conditions now are so radically different from prehistoric conditions, no matter what the evo-psych MRAs want to believe, that if we’re going to dismantle male dominance here and now, we have to address it here and now, not millennia ago.

        8. Donna L
          Donna L October 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

          You mean we’re not going to rewind and start all over again?

          By the way, I don’t have an issue with reclusive leftist herself, but anyone who has a problem with transphobic assholes being given pretty much free rein might want to be careful about the comment section there. In my position, one quickly learns those things.

        9. matlun
          matlun October 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

          Hmm. Being in perma-moderation is somewhat annoying. EG has now had time to make my point before me…

          I am not convinced that whining about it will make a difference, but I am going to try anyway: *whine* *whine* *whine*, woe is me, *whine* some more…

        10. Sam
          Sam October 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

          EG,

          Conditions now are so radically different from prehistoric conditions, no matter what the evo-psych MRAs want to believe, that if we’re going to dismantle male dominance here and now, we have to address it here and now, not millennia ago.

          of course here and now. But if, and that’s a big if, of course, there are anthropological constants/factors that led to the appearance of such a social order as an attempt to balance things between the genders, and such constants are still relevant for primal human reactions, then the social system will undoubtedly react differently from when it’s merely “because men can” and they merely need to learn to do stuff under different conditions over time. I believe, and this is what ties the both aspects of my initial comment together, that some things aren’t easily reductable to “because men can”, especially with respect to human sexual attraction and sexual selection. But just to make sure – I don’t think that any version of patriarchy is an inevitable social response to the challenges of male peripherality, should it still exist. I’m just saying that it would be interesting to know if patriarchy happened because women are perceived to be more socially relevant than men or for some other reason, and what we could learn from such knowledge about possible anthropological constraints, possibly within ourselves, for creating a better and actually equal society today.

        11. mxe354
          mxe354 October 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm |

          Well said, Sam.

          However, I think that the theory of male peripherality is implausible due to the existence of egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies. The gendered division of labor was largely – if not completely – non-existent in those times. Even in societies in which some significantly distinct gender roles existed, men were not peripheral to women at all.

        12. Donna L
          Donna L October 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

          the existence of egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies

          One problem I’ve always had with arguments about human prehistory made from contemporary (within the last 100 years) so-called “primitive” societies is the assumption that such societies necessarily constitute evidence of what human societies were like 10,000 or 50,000 years ago. Who knows? Yes, there’s a certain amount of archaeological evidence, but in the end the answers to questions like this are always going to be largely speculative.

        13. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm |

          But if, and that’s a big if, of course, there are anthropological constants/factors that led to the appearance of such a social order as an attempt to balance things between the genders, and such constants are still relevant for primal human reactions, then the social system will undoubtedly react differently from when it’s merely “because men can” and they merely need to learn to do stuff under different conditions over time

          I disagree. Many behaviors are developed in response to various conditions. Most, I would say. But in order to correct them, once they become dysfunctional, you need to learn to do stuff under different conditions over time–no “just” about it, by the way, it’s a big task.

          And it will always come down to “because men can.” There are a variety of responses to any kind of social pressure. Why didn’t women take advantage of this supposed centrality to oppress the fuck out of men? Why weren’t men involved with child-rearing? These are options too. And the answer is that men tend to be bigger and stronger and not worn down with child-bearing.

        14. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm |

          One problem I’ve always had with arguments about human prehistory made from contemporary (within the last 100 years) so-called “primitive” societies is the assumption that such societies necessarily constitute evidence of what human societies were like 10,000 or 50,000 years ago.

          Agreed. I actually find that ssumption to be deeply racist. Oh, our society changes drastically in just a handful of decades, but their society has not adapted, changed, or advanced in any way since the dawn of time? No.

        15. mxe354
          mxe354 October 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm |

          One problem I’ve always had with arguments about human prehistory made from contemporary (within the last 100 years) so-called “primitive” societies is the assumption that such societies necessarily constitute evidence of what human societies were like 10,000 or 50,000 years ago. Who knows? Yes, there’s a certain amount of archaeological evidence, but in the end the answers to questions like this are always going to be largely speculative.

          Good point. However, I think the most significant implication of the existence of such societies is that patriarchy is not inevitable. Whether they came first is irrelevant. A similar point could be made by talking about the Kibbutzim in Israel, which were largely egalitarian.

        16. Partial Human
          Partial Human October 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

          @EG – All of this.

          Evo-psych nonsense and invented historical anthropology to explain why men neeed to be “masculine” is just tripe. Boring. Tripe

          @Sam – Why does humanity need men? Apart from the production of semen (which there’s gallons of, enough to last a long-ass time) what exactly can men do that women can’t?

          Being the sexual partners of women doesn’t count BTW.

          So away you go, jobs, roles, tasks or whatever that women cannot ever perform.
          .

        17. Partial Human
          Partial Human October 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

          Oh and WRT semen I’m referring to cis men.

          Sorry for erasing trans women and trans men there.

        18. Sam
          Sam October 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

          Partial Human,

          @Sam – Why does humanity need men? Apart from the production of semen (which there’s gallons of, enough to last a long-ass time) what exactly can men do that women can’t?

          that’s precisely the original point about the precarious, non-central nature of men/masculinity in the community. You’re making (sort of) the original point of the argument in the reclusiveleftist-post. Men can do a lot of things because they’re bigger and stronger and they did, which is how patriarchy came about, the question is – why did it happen? Was it because of a lack of balance that is apparent from your quote? Is that still relevant? If so, what other options than affirmative action for men are there? (And no militant lesbian separatism doesn’t count – you said being sexual partners of women doesn’t count, so…)

        19. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm |

          Men can do a lot of things because they’re bigger and stronger and they did, which is how patriarchy came about, the question is – why did it happen?

          Well this is an easy question to answer, at least insofar as Western Civilization in the last 2,000 plus years is concerned. Christianity is built upon the patriarchal worship of a male father figure. As Christianity has experienced its ascendancy so has the sort of social and political patriarchy that goes hand in hand with worshipping the Christian God.

          Which is why as religion lost its footing in the modern world in the last third of the 20th century women found greater freedom. We now see Christian religious groups desperately seeking to regain the ground they lost in controlling women and their bodies. That right there is patriarchy and religion working hand in hand to support and reinforce one another.

        20. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie October 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

          @DonnaL, that’s pretty shocking. I really like RL and haven’t noticed transphobic commentary. I will definitely have to read more carefully!

        21. Sam
          Sam October 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm |

          Lolagirl,

          I don’t think it’s that easy, and I don’t think Christianity has a lot to do with it. Even today most of the few remaining indigenous societies are patriarchical, not all, though, and I think it’s a very important question to understand the variables that lead to such different social structures, and which practices are used to reconstruct the structures over time. I belive patriarchy in the common understanding, that is as institutionalised, partly codified, social structure started right after humans settled down, came up with agriculture, and division of labour allowed bigger clans, and eventually statehood, from about 10,000 BC on in the fertile crescent…

        22. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm |

          I don’t think it’s that easy, and I don’t think Christianity has a lot to do with it.

          Well, you’re wrong.

          The very cornerstone of patriarchy is that men run things and make all the rules and that women go along with little to any say in how things work in all areas of life, eg political, social and familial.

          The very cornerstone of Christianity is that men run things and make all the rules and that women go along with little to any say in how things work in all areas of life, eg political, social and familial.

          Denying that there is any connection between the continued existence of patriarchy and Christianity, or that they prop up and provide support for one another is disingenuous in the extreme. The entire history of Christianity has been about forcing women to submit to the rule of men, both inside and outside the church. From how they dress, or wear their hair, to who they marry and what they do with their body and their own reproductive life, Christianity is all over controlling what women are allowed or forbidden to do. And all of those rules and mores are firmly based in patriarchal notions.

        23. DonnaL
          DonnaL October 1, 2012 at 8:46 pm |

          @DonnaL, that’s pretty shocking. I really like RL and haven’t noticed transphobic commentary. I will definitely have to read more carefully!

          Not usually, thank goodness, but anytime something remotely trans-related gets discussed, people like Kitty Glendower (or whatever name she uses these days) show up and start using the wrong pronouns and spouting the usual party line for that kind of viewpoint.

        24. librarygoose
          librarygoose October 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |

          I belive patriarchy in the common understanding, that is as institutionalised, partly codified, social structure started right after humans settled down, came up with agriculture, and division of labour allowed bigger clans, and eventually statehood, from about 10,000 BC on in the fertile crescent…

          Gah this bugs me. People got fucked into agriculture. There was no big sudden “OH, we can totally just plant shit and raise animals.” People were starving so they had to rely on less nourishing foods. If people never had run into food shortages they pretty much would have stayed hunter gatherer.

        25. Partial Human
          Partial Human October 2, 2012 at 3:17 am |

          @Sam – OK, so apparently you either can’t read, or you’re deliberately ignoring what I asked you while pretending not to have said what you did, or your poor fluffy manbrain isn’t used to being challenged, so it’s stuck in a loop.

          Again:

          post. Men can do a lot of things because they’re bigger and stronger and they did

          No Sam. In response to your “Society needs men” I asked you why. Apart from semen production what can men do that women cannot do? Make the case for why we need you now

          what other options than affirmative action for men are there?

          Matriarchy’s looking sweeter by the minute. We’ll live like African elephants.

          militant

          Just showed your true colours right there. Oh for some pointy tusks.

          lesbian separatism doesn’t count – you said being sexual partners of women doesn’t count, so

          Nooo, I said you can’t claim men are necessary in order to live with women. The nuclear family is a wholly artificial construct. Women do not need live-in man company to survive. There are all kinds of other women that could help with companionship, child-rearing, domestic chores etc.

          One last thing, you keep acting as if patriarchal and patrilineal culture is universal, who are you trying to convince of this, men or women? Men, to prop up your own sense of worth and necessity, or women, as if to say “That’s just how it has to be, I don’t make the rules”.

          History was replete with matriarchal and matrilineal culture, goddess worship, and collectivist or communal non-nuclear family groups. Western imperialism and Christian missionary campaigns ensured that the majority of these were replaced with patriarchy, compulsory heterosexuality and Christianity, as tribes and whole societies were either “educated” or annihilated. Patriarchy is not inevitable or only natural, it’s not the default. Aboriginal peoples in North America (such as the Iroquois) and Australasia, and societies in the Pacific Islands (eg. the Trobriand Islanders, Africa, and Asia (like the Mosuo) had plenty of examples of successful cultural traditions that were not patriarchal.

        26. matlun
          matlun October 2, 2012 at 6:09 am |

          @Partial Human

          Apart from semen production what can men do that women cannot do? Make the case for why we need you now‘

          Apart from working as baby factories, what can women do that men can’t?

          I fail to see how these are productive questions.

          Other problems with the above thread:

          – The idea of pre-Christianity utopian society is just a version of the Noble Savage fallacy.

          – Whether patriarchal societies are the natural default is also fairly irrelevant. Believing that question has some kind of moral relevance to current society is an example of the naturalistic fallacy.

          History was replete with matriarchal … culture

          AFAIK there is not one single established historical example of a matriarchal society. (Obviously, this depends on how you define the concept)

        27. Partial Human
          Partial Human October 2, 2012 at 11:57 am |

          Jesus wept…

          OK matlun, I’ll say this simply so your fluffy manbrain can grasp it, as you don’t seem to be following things well.

          I don’t have to justify anything, because it was Sam who stated that men are necessary to do all of the things that they can do that women can’t.

          Look at my name, see how it isn’t “Sam”? Alrighty.

          Sam stated that patriarchy is the default. It isn’t. Frankly,your “Can’t say that about Christianity erasing and replacing cultures blah blah noble savage fallacy” is as expected as it is ridiculous.

          I pointed out examples of either matriarchal, matrilineal, or communal cultures that have existed pre-European colonisation or influence. I did not ever claim that they were “utopian”, just that they e x I s t e d.

          If the mere mention of non-patriarchal cultures leads you to imagine things that aren’t there, then I recommend backing up and considering why.

          Are you claiming, btw, that colonisers and missionaries did not eradicate the customs, culture and spiritual traditions of their victims, or are you just insinuating (via your “myth of the noble savage” bit) that it was no great loss? Because you can invoke Noble Savage/naturalistic fallacy if someone says “African women give birth without drugs and then get right back to work, so medicalised pregnancy in developed countries is wrong”, but it’s another thing entirely to invoke it purely at the mere suggestion that perhaps genocide and colonisation wiping out whole cultures was a a bad thing.

          So once more, if the mere suggestion that maybe, just maybe, there were societies that weren’t patriarchal and monotheistic with binary gender roles, patrilineal descent and nuclear families, makes you all hurty-pants, then again, check your privileges and preconceptions at the door, and consider it again.

          Oh, and just because you don’t know of any matriarchal or matrilineal cultures, that doesn’t mean they did not and do not exist, or are you claiming omniscience now?

          I don’t know any Buddhists, I don’t know of any shops in my area that sell Excel rabbit food, I don’t know of a single man who does not try and mansplain things that I actually know more about than they do.

          I bet they all exist, even the last one.

          So again, I am not Sam. I do not have to defend my challenges to his bizarre, privileged, evo-psych, anthroLOLogical assertions, because I’m not making ridiculous claims and talking in circles to avoid defending them
          .

          I didn’t claim that society needs men to help out the poor ickle women, that patriarchy is inevitable because, that there are special man-tasks and woman-tasks (apart from spunk-spurting and childbearing, respectively), and that men cannot do anything about that because they’re all Nice Guys trapped into performing machismo for women who are simultaneously incapable of desire, and desiring He-Men, thus oppressing the Nice Guys who desire them, but cannot flex their biceps.

          My kingdom for those tusks… For stampy feet… To be a happy elephant, who isn’t only a Partial Pachyderm based solely on chromosomes or assigned sex.

          No bullsplanations, no whiny Nice Bulls, no Bulls Rights Activists or AVoiceForBulls. Awesome.

          And it goes without saying that I shouldn’t even have to bloody say this, but yes, I am aware that being an elephant is not easy, but I am only foxing and being silly. I’m blowing off steam through my pretomd trunk, otherwise the stupidity and special pleading up in here would cause me damage.

        28. matlun
          matlun October 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

          I am not really interested in taking this level of antagonistic flaming any further, but I will make one more response and try to keep it short.

          I don’t have to justify anything

          True

          because it was Sam who stated that men are necessary to do all of the things that they can do that women can’t.

          False, as far as I can see. I believe you are misreading his posts. Regardless of that, however, it is still a ridiculous question.

          Sam stated that patriarchy is the default. It isn’t.

          How do you know?

          And what do you even mean? It certainly appears to have been the norm in most known cultures throughout history. Does that make it the “default”?

          I pointed out examples of either matriarchal, matrilineal, or communal cultures that have existed

          With the “or” there, the statement is true in the literal sense. Whether a matriarchal culture has ever existed is not that clear, though. For example, according to wiki “Most anthropologists hold that there are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal”. That is not any kind of proof, of course. It is possible that I and the referred anthropologists are wrong and you are correct, but I will not take your unsubstantiated word for it.
          (Btw: A matrilineal culture can still be patriarchal)

          I will repeat my above point: Whether a patriarchal society is the “natural state” may be an interesting anthropological and sociobiological question, but when discussing feminist issues in current society, it is mostly irrelevant.

        29. msgd
          msgd October 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm |

          Partial Human, have you ever considered that you might tend to see the most ridiculous of possible interpretations to statements so that you can feel good shutting them down, instead of trying to see the reasonable potential interpretation of statements and having to address them?

          I didn’t claim that society needs men to help out the poor ickle women, that patriarchy is inevitable because there are special man-tasks and woman-tasks, and that men cannot do anything about that because they’re all Nice Guys trapped into performing machismo for women who are simultaneously incapable of desire, and desiring He-Men, thus oppressing the Nice Guys who desire them, but cannot flex their biceps.

          Boy, those sure do sound ridiculous. Of course, no one is claiming those things, but they sure does sound ridiculous.

          I’m not saying you should waste your time responding to trolls. But if you’re going to respond at all, maybe try actually responding.

        30. Partial Human
          Partial Human October 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

          msgd – have you ever thought that your privilege blinds you to the effects of the constant microaggressions that women (and other marginalised people) face constantly?

          I assume you’re a man, because you only seem to comment in sympathy with the privileged. If you are a woman, then you must be carrying a serious load of internalised misogyny.

          I also need to ask why men descend on feminist spaces, whine about how misunderstood they are, and try to back up their spurious complaints with discredited “science”, and then get huffy when they receive pushback? Why do you get so defensive when women throw off the years of socialisation that insists that we make nice, defer to men, keep our mouths shut?

          Do any of you go to sites dedicated to equality for POC and complain that white people are getting a raw deal?

          If not, then why is it ok to come here and tell women that their gaining parity with men would hurt you too much, that you need the affirmative action that patriarchy gives you? That it’s up to us to help you?

          When the day comes that I can be a Full Human, along with every other woman and girl, then I’ll care equally about women and men.

          While men are the default humans, the real humans, then I reserve the right to treat your whinging with contempt. It’s patriarchy that’s hurting men too, not women, not feminism.

          While you support and excuse patriarchy, then your complaints have no merit, because by railing against feminism you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.

          Put up or shut up.

        31. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm |

          Shorter thread:

          Partial Human: There have been lots of matriarchal societies (also only Christian societies are patriarchal and before the year 0AD everyone lived in perfect egalitarian harmony)!

          Everyone else: Interesting, that conflicts with what I’ve read. Can you name an example?

          Partial Human: MANSPLAINING!

          That pretty much covers the important points, right?

        32. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie October 2, 2012 at 11:11 pm |

          @Lolagirl, it is my experience that the cornerstone of religion is misogyny. There’s no equality in religion. Even religions that are trying to include women in positions of authority and decision-making, and religions that are rolling back the absurdity of different “religious” rules for men and women, are still just “trying.” UU churches are probably pretty good about it by now, as well as Quakers, but we live in patriarchy, so our institutions, even the ones that are TRYING to be better, will still reflect patriarchy.

      2. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie October 2, 2012 at 11:58 am |

        @DonnaL, I’ll keep a lookout. Thx

      3. Alan
        Alan October 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm |

        EG, do you not feel that male dominance may have been born out of the fact that men are naturally stronger, faster, and more aggressive than women?
        By all means, in our modern society, I believe women deserve every opportunity that is available to men, but to say that men and women are identical is simply incorrect. There are certain jobs that men will always be more proficient at (e.g. manual labor involving a lot of heavy lifting).

        1. EG
          EG October 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm |

          EG, do you not feel that male dominance may have been born out of the fact that men are naturally stronger, faster, and more aggressive than women?

          For the most part, yes. In fact, I said that. More than once. I do disagree that men are naturally more aggressive than women. But bigger and stronger, yes. Which is why I said that.

          There are certain jobs that men will always be more proficient at (e.g. manual labor involving a lot of heavy lifting).

          Not necessarily. We’ve developed those activities around what men can do. We’re a resourceful species. We can use different materials and different sizes of objects as well.

    2. Past my expiration date
      Past my expiration date October 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |

      Of course, patriarchy is affirmative action for men. Question is: can we do without at least some sort of it?

      Yes. Ooo, ask me another one!

      1. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie October 2, 2012 at 11:58 am |

        Double-LOL

    3. rain
      rain October 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

      The reclusive leftist link:

      First let’s deal with the issue of men’s peripheral role in the natural scheme of things. The male biological role in reproduction is minimal, and in all known societies the male role in child-rearing is insignificant compared to the female role. Women are primarily responsible for child-rearing the world over. This seems to evoke a compensatory response in men, because in all known societies there are artificially constructed roles and rituals for men that seek to claim a male space that is at least equal in importance to the female role in life.

      This struck me as kind of whiny: “Women get to raise the children. We need something to validate us too.” Why can’t they also raise the children? Why do they have to find something else? I think that paragraph, while initially making a distinction between child bearing and child rearing, ends up conflating the two and considering child rearing to be a women’s thing because biology.
      In other words, that layer of the problem is entirely self-imposed and is closed to the possibility of men redefining masculinity by nurturing their children.

      And the Clarisse Thorn quote sounds an awful lot like expecting women to fix things for men. It’s not like anyone was giving women “good direction” on redefining women’s roles.

      1. EG
        EG October 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

        And the Clarisse Thorn quote sounds an awful lot like expecting women to fix things for men. It’s not like anyone was giving women “good direction” on redefining women’s roles.

        Agreed.

      2. Sam
        Sam October 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

        rain,

        It’s not like anyone was giving women “good direction” on redefining women’s roles.

        fair, but still, it seems like a good idea to build on that collective experience instead of considering men talking about their problems as an attempt to steal women’s thunder. But part of the fixing will have to come from women, because to the extent that this is a matter of “economics of attraction”, it’s really not just up to us.

        1. rain
          rain October 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |

          seems like a good idea to build on that collective experience

          Right, so women have already done their part. The hard part, at the beginning, when there was no collective experience to build on or to copy. Men can feel free to adapt feminist principles to their own struggle to redefine masculinity. The groundwork’s been done for you.

          instead of considering men talking about their problems as an attempt to steal women’s thunder

          I don’t know what this means, but it sounds insulting. And it sounds like those Clarisse Thorn “creep” threads, where dudes were going, “We men want to talk about male sexuality, now leave us be,” and where they eventually concluded amongst themselves that the answer to problems associated with a toxic masculinity/sexuality was that chicks should be nicer to the men who hit on them. IOW, it’s not men who have to change, it’s women.

          But part of the fixing will have to come from women

          Nope. Doesn’t have to.

          because to the extent that this is a matter of “economics of attraction”,

          Sez who? I reject your attempt to limit this discussion.

        2. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

          But part of the fixing will have to come from women, because to the extent that this is a matter of “economics of attraction”, it’s really not just up to us.

          Nope. It is just up to you. And I reject your assertion that machismo displays are for women; if that were the case, men would do things that were attractive to women, rather than things that are about impressing other men with their straightness/machoness/assholeness.

        3. Sam
          Sam October 1, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

          EG,

          if that were the case, men would do things that were attractive to women

          well, they do. Not all women have politically correct tastes. At least in my experience, guys mostly care about homosocial status because of how it affects their level of attractiveness to women. But of course, that’s a chicken and egg matter, at least to a degree.

        4. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm |

          It’s not a question of politically correct tastes. It’s a question of finding street harassment attractive. It’s a question of finding a refusal to wash dishes or vacuum attractive.

          Men may say they do things because women find them attractive, but in that case, why are the most macho atmospheres the ones from which women are excluded? What people admit to and what they do are two different things. Men are actually performing for each other.

        5. Sam
          Sam October 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm |

          EG,

          Men may say they do things because women find them attractive, but in that case, why are the most macho atmospheres the ones from which women are excluded?

          I think we may have a different understanding of what classic masculine behaviour is.

        6. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

          Didn’t you quote one of Thorn’ readers as saying he had a hard time being masculine without being sexist? I assumed we were talking that conflation, not just a tendency to eschew jewelry and have short hair.

          If you feel that sports is not an area in which men act macho in locker rooms and suchlike without the presence of women, you are contradicting everything every other man has ever told me about sports culture. But go ahead.

        7. Chingona
          Chingona October 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

          Exactly, EG. Homosocial pressure to fit in with other men, to be like other men–by disparaging women, by employing coded, sexist language–is hardly about women. That women in some cultures are encouraged to find this behavior sexually appealing does not mean that the behavior itself originates with women, or with a desire to appeal to women. Male infighting and peacocking is not a problem women can solve by just by deciding to be with Nice, Deserving Guys, which is generally what this discussion is reduced to: how women’s desires are hurting men. What a disingenuous distraction.

        8. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm |

          I think we may have a different understanding of what classic masculine behaviour is.

          Actually, I’m really curious what your explanation is. It seems that most arenas where men act most macho is peacocking purely for male benefit (the military, sports, etc). I mean, if it were to increase their status among women these overly macho types wouldn’t be so keen to exclude them from that area, would they?

        9. Sam
          Sam October 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm |

          macavitykitsune,

          well, I think it’s a complex relationship between strategies for in-group and out-group status (out-group, being, in this case, the group the in-group is sexually interested in). Locker room talk, macho behaviour is, usually a display to the in-group, but it can build in-group status, and the resulting in-group status hierarchy is often used by members of the out-group to preselect potential mates – and, well, while not the only reason for in-group status competition, it’s a very important one. It can, of course, also work the other way around: Status with the out-group infers status within the in-group. Someone who’s “good with women” will automatically have status among men, it’s just that the latter version is not particularly common in the way social interactions are structured in school/during puberty. The latter variant is likely more common in less rigid environments, like universities, among artists, or certain kinds of, likely, more urban professionals.

          What I generally refer to with respect to classic male behaviour is that women (while generally being critical of standard scripts, just as men) expect and respect men who are performing according to those scripts. Say, with respect to initiating and escalating romantic interactions. There often seems a disconnect between what – progressive, and/or feminist women say they want in this respect – and what they actually appear to respond to. My feminist friends, with whom I’ve discussed this, weren’t really aware of that tendency until we explicitly talked about it. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just that it means that it’s occasionally difficult to decide what their nominal and what their actual preferences are with respect to male behaviour in one context or another.

          Chingona,

          Male infighting and peacocking is not a problem women can solve by just by deciding to be with Nice, Deserving Guys, which is generally what this discussion is reduced to: how women’s desires are hurting men. What a disingenuous distraction.

          Sure, women’s desires are certainly hurting certain men, just as men’s desires are hurting certain women. That’s really not particularly surprising, but what I think is disingenous, is to say that these desires, certainly in the way they are perceived, are not influencing the other group’s behaviour. I mean, there’s (rightly so) a lot of feminist discussion about how cultural narratives about male desire are responsible for creating unrealistic media narratives about female bodies. But at the same time, bizarrely, a lot of feminists have a tendency to claim that female behaviour has no influence on men, which I find rather odd, to be honest.

        10. Chingona
          Chingona October 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm |

          It may suit your larger purpose, Sam, to swiftly move from the general to the specific (now we’re only discussing “certain” men and women?), but it’s a rhetorical tactic that remains disingenuous. You’re veering dangerously close to suggesting that men have male privilege because women have burdened them with it. Part and parcel of women’s oppression is the daily chore of having to succumb and adapt to their oppressor’s desires and expectations, whence the ever-changing feminine model for behavior. Male power and freedom are not checked in that fashion, and certainly not by women. As things female are marked as Other, or opposite to the male, this is hardly within the purview of women. Individual men may feel obligated to engage in male performance to meet the expectations of other men and to attract women who are also reared in that same binary system. But those women are not the benefactors of it. Far from it. A docile woman remains safe, while an obedient man receives far greater rewards.

    4. A.Y. Siu
      A.Y. Siu October 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

      Two, and this, kind of, follows from the first point, even disregarding all homosocial pressures to conform to the masculine mysthique, there’s pressure from women, sometimes subtle, sometimes very noticeable, to perform masculinity. Maybe this is an aspect that feminists find harder to understand, because they are, on average, more likely to question gender performance, but I’d sa it’s – by and large – even true for the female feminists I’ve met.

      This definitely follows from your first point. Whether this belief is rooted in fact or not, many het men believe they are not physically or sexually desirable to most het women and so don’t necessarily have to confidence to do what they know to be right in terms of gender roles instead of performing masculinity in a way they think will appeal to het women. The entire PUA subculture is built around this Nice GuyTM ideology of “women aren’t attracted to nice guys, so I’m going to be an asshole to attract women.”

      Funny how second- and third-wave women feminists (even het ones) were far more concerned with figuring out who they wanted to be and have the freedom to be than whether that might attract a man or not.

      Even still, women will face social pressures (sometimes from male feminists) to perform femininity in ways they don’t want to, and likewise men will face social pressures (sometimes from female feminists) to perform masculinity in ways they don’t want to. It’s a complex process to break all this gender BS down, because if someone’s pushing you into a door way, sometimes you struggle so much not to be pushed that you don’t even remember whether you wanted to go in that doorway or not in the first place.

      1. Sam
        Sam October 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm |

        A.Y. Siu,

        Funny how second- and third-wave women feminists (even het ones) were far more concerned with figuring out who they wanted to be and have the freedom to be than whether that might attract a man or not.

        I don’t find that surprising at all – I mean, it’s a narrative that’s not without its problems, and it’s certainly not true for all women, but given the notion that men desire and women are desired, and that it’s both unacceptable and impossible the other way around, it seems pretty normal that women, in the aggregate, weren’t so concerned about attraction, while that seems to be the most important thing for men with respect to gender debates.

        1. Partial Human
          Partial Human October 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm |

          but given the notion that men desire and women are desired, and that it’s both unacceptable and impossible the other way around, it seems pretty normal that women, in the aggregate, weren’t so concerned about attraction,

          What? Please try and break this down because I literally cannot parse meaning from it.

          Also, just as a heads up, homosexuality exists. Plus, have you ever considered that there are woman. who do not wish to be an object of the male gaze, of their “desire”, regardless of their sexuality?

        2. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm |

          given the notion that men desire and women are desired, and that it’s both unacceptable and impossible the other way around

          You realize that this notion isn’t accurate, right?

        3. Sam
          Sam October 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

          EG,

          yes, I realize that it’s a notion that (luckily) doesn’t hold up in every individual instance, but I do think, that, even in th exaggerated, condensed form, there is something to them when it comes to social narratives about sexuality. Here’s where I “stole” the phrasing…

          realadultsex.com/archives/2009/01/bogus-two-rules-desire-aka-shorter-no-sex-class-paradigm

    5. AMM
      AMM October 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

      @Sam:

      … there’s pressure from women, sometimes subtle, sometimes very noticeable, to perform masculinity. Maybe this is an aspect that feminists find harder to understand, because they are, on average, more likely to question gender performance, but I’d say it’s – by and large – even true for the female feminists I’ve met. And I’ve rarely seen this phrased better than by … Clarisse Thorn …

      Your mistake is generalizing from the likes of Clarisse Thorn to “women” (= women in general.)

      If you were to ask, say, Hugh Hefner or Mitt Romney what they want from women (and they were honest), I’m sure you’d get a very different answer from what men like me would say.

      Clarisse Thorn may be considered feminist, but she also (based on what she says in her blog) has difficulty responding to men who treat her respectfully and as an equal. I would not take her preferences in male behavior as typical for feminist women.

      1. msgd
        msgd October 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

        I took Sam’s point to be that even many self-aware feminists know that they prefer performances of masculinity from potential partner’s.
        Especially when we’re talking about social behavior generally, it’s going to be important what most women respond to, when we’re talking about how mostmen are deciding how to behave. You could take some path to deny that most women respond to masculinity, but that seems like it’s going to be pretty implausible.

        1. Sam
          Sam October 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |

          msgd,

          you’re correct about what I wanted to say.

        2. AMM
          AMM October 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

          Especially when we’re talking about social behavior generally, it’s going to be important what most women respond to, when we’re talking about how most men are deciding how to behave.

          And how do you know what most women respond to? If it’s just your impression (which is what I suspect it is), then it’s more likely that you are seeing what you expect to see, which is to say, what Patriarchy has trained you to expect.

        3. samanthab
          samanthab October 2, 2012 at 5:52 am |

          Well, then we’re trapped in the patriarchy, if we’re forever bound to perceptions of what “most” men and “most” women want. You’ve made the assumption that perceptions of masculinity are innate and static. History and anthropology show that this is not the case. You’ve also neglected to define your term- what is masculinity? It’s hard to take your argument seriously until you do.

          As a straight woman, of course I’m attracted to masculinity; that’s sort of fundamental to being a het lady. But that doesn’t mean I want a he-man, which is what you seem to be suggesting I’m supposed to want.

        4. msgd
          msgd October 2, 2012 at 10:50 am |

          I don’t mean to imply that the current situation is inherent, unchangeable, correct, or anything else. Just that it is the current situation. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t say anything about he-man or anyone being “supposed” to want anything.

          I think that all we’re saying is that we can’t evaluate the behavior of men without reference to the behavior of women. Masculine behavior is rewarded and reinforced by women. It is important to address that as a cause of behavior as much as it is to address any other cogent factor.

        5. doberman
          doberman October 2, 2012 at 11:34 am |

          You’ve made the assumption that perceptions of masculinity are innate and static.
          [...]
          As a straight woman, of course I’m attracted to masculinity; that’s sort of fundamental to being a het lady.

          How does this make any sense? Obviously masculinity must be innate and static for you to be attracted to it, otherwise you’re basically saying you’re attracted to anything?

        6. samanthab
          samanthab October 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

          Doberman, you’re failing to make a distinction between “perceptions of masculinity” and “masculinity.” If you can’t see a difference between the two, then you probably need to head back to Gender Studies 1O1. When you block quote someone’s comment, you might want to doublecheck that you’ve actually read it first.

        7. rain
          rain October 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

          msgd

          Masculine behavior is rewarded and reinforced by women. It is important to address that as a cause of behavior . . .

          First thought: Haha. Didn’t you get the memo? You’re supposed to dance around truths like women’s responsibility for men’s actions. Like the fact that women cause men’s, uh, lust by not dressing modestly. You don’t want to be saying this out loud on a feminist site, no matter how obvious it is to a thinking, rational person. Now go practice some more in front of the mirror until you can pretend better.

          Second thought: As has already been pointed out, masculine behavior is rewarded and reinforced by men just as much, if not more so, than women.

          Third thought: Why am I bothering?

        8. doberman
          doberman October 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

          As has already been pointed out, masculine behavior is rewarded and reinforced by men just as much, if not more so, than women.

          Maybe it’s reinforced by men because they believe that they are helping other men to be more attractive to women? Just a thought.

        9. doberman
          doberman October 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm |

          Doberman, you’re failing to make a distinction between “perceptions of masculinity” and “masculinity.” If you can’t see a difference between the two, then you probably need to head back to Gender Studies 1O1.

          Believe me I’ve been directed to read ‘Gender Studies 101s’ since the beginning of time and it doesn’t make this any clearer.

          I just wish that feminists would come out and admit that they would still prefer if men would conform to traditional gender roles. Then we could finally move on from this silly tap-dance around the truth. Then we might have a productive discussion?

        10. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm |

          I just wish that feminists would come out and admit that they would still prefer if men would conform to traditional gender roles.

          To which traditional gender roles are you referring? The ones that equate masculinity with copious amount of loud bodily emissions, or perhaps the ones that involve the drive to kill small animals and drive around in monster trucks, or maybe the ones that involve not knowing how to operate a washing machine or how to find the milk in the refrigerator?

          As long as you still kill all the bugs and get all the hard to open jars I’m good.

        11. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

          I just wish that feminists would come out and admit that they would still prefer if men would conform to traditional gender roles.

          Evidence? Clarisse Thorn is hardly representative of all of us.

        12. doberman
          doberman October 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm |

          Evidence? Clarisse Thorn is hardly representative of all of us.

          Well Clarisse Thorn is representative of a very sexy kind of feminist (at least as far as I can tell from her writing) so men are going to be more motivated to act like how she wants. (Not that I’m saying you’re not sexy, but it’s difficult to tell on here.)

        13. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm |

          Then say that, not that more feminists should “admit” we want men to occupy traditional gender roles. Say that you wish more feminists were like Thorn. Then we can get rid of this nonsense about how men act this because we want them to, and you can acknowledge that men are active agents in choosing this type of gender role.

        14. msgd
          msgd October 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

          The flaw in this whole line of argument is talking about “feminists.” It doesn’t matter if all feminist women prefer something different than the mainstream. When we are talking about social behavior, the mainstream is what matters.

          No one on this site has to identify with any of this, or admit to any of this, in order for it still to be true. Many, if not most, women in society generally, still prefer displays of masculinity when choosing partners. That is the only relevant point.

    6. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan October 2, 2012 at 11:58 am |

      And not all solutions to male problems can be found in feminist theory.

      Name one.

      1. deadleaf
        deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |

        Male suicide propensity
        Paternity legal issues
        The fact that envelopment is still not considered a form of rape by the federal government
        Gobs and gobs of social patriarchal stereotypes (manly things vs girly things, men have to chase, be the bread winner, etc)
        Male virginity (or lack of sexual experience in general) is highly stigmatized.
        The Schrodinger’s rapist problem
        The social reluctance to shield men from physical abuse or violence in general
        Lack of employment opportunities due to social stigma
        The prison industrial complex
        The list goes on

        Men have lots of problems feminism has no interest in fixing, which makes sense since feminism was created to solve the problems of women. that doesn’t mean there anything wrong with feminism or that men don’t have problems of our own.

        IMHO the sooner we find a place that isn’t the MRA spaces and also doesn’t try to be “feminist first” and “for the mendz” 2nd like GMP or NSWATM to discuss and address our problems we will be better off, but that time is a long way off.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

          The Schrodinger’s rapist problem

          Do explain how this is a problem for men, please.

        2. deadleaf
          deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

          You don’t see how walking around in a world where half the population is terrified of you by default can cause problems?

          Just a few examples:

          1) It’s the middle of the night, at a buss stop and you want to ask a woman for directions on routes. As you approach, she pulls out a can of mace

          2) You offer to drive or walk a woman home from a bar, she declines for SR reasons and goes home alone, [insert bad thing that happens here], your friends detest you for letting her leave alone.

          3) you walk down the street, slowly approaching a woman waiting on the same side of the street, she has no idea if your approaching her or simply passing by, as you draw near, fear takes over and she tasers you.

          4) sitting alone in a public area, a woman approaches a passing police officer and asks them to investigate your presence because “she doesn’t know what your doing over there”

          5) you attempt to pick up your younger sibling from a day care center and are denied access to do so even tho you are on the emergency contact card.

          I could go on…

        3. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

          Male suicide propensity

          Rates of attempted or successful? If it’s the latter, then yes, it’s pretty easily explained by feminist analysis.

          Paternity legal issues

          Also easily explained: be the primary caretaker, and you’ll be the default custodial parent.

          The fact that envelopment is still not considered a form of rape by the federal government
          Gobs and gobs of social patriarchal stereotypes (manly things vs girly things, men have to chase, be the bread winner, etc)
          Male virginity (or lack of sexual experience in general) is highly stigmatized.

          How are any of these not addressed by feminist gender theory? Answer: they all are.

          The Schrodinger’s rapist problem

          Schrodinger’s rapist is a problem for women. Far less so for men.

          The social reluctance to shield men from physical abuse or violence in general

          To “shield” men? As opposed to the special laws protecting women? If you’re talking about the effects of gender roles, again, this is addressed by feminist thought.

          Lack of employment opportunities due to social stigma

          What on earth are you talking about? The social stigma of being male?

          The prison industrial complex

          For this, I would look at womanist and black feminist thought.

          Your ignorance is not the fault of feminism.

        4. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan October 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

          Lol, you’ve been tazered for walking near a woman? Tell me another one. 9_9

        5. deadleaf
          deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

          @Bagelsan this isn’t the place or the thread to get into my problems, but to answer your question, no I was able to successfully defend myself.

      2. deadleaf
        deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm |

        Rates of attempted or successful? If it’s the latter, then yes, it’s pretty easily explained by feminist analysis.

        Yes, I’m aware of the “don’t be surprised men kill themselves when you tell them to bottle their emotions for a lifetime” theory. There are many more non feminist ones out there, Would it not be prudent for men to discuss such ideas in their own space?

        Also easily explained: be the primary caretaker, and you’ll be the default custodial parent.

        Most men see this issue as much more nuanced than you have described it, yet another reason we should be talking about it in our own space.

        How are any of these not addressed by feminist gender theory? Answer: they all are.

        In most feminist spaces these issues are addressed in how they oppress women and by proxy limit men. Obviously feminism does not provide a male centered perspective and analysis on them, and its not it’s responsibility to do so, so why should it.

        Schrodinger’s rapist is a problem for women. Far less so for men.

        At no point did I place a value judgement on who has it worse. Talking about something in male centered context does not detract from women doing the same.

        To “shield” men? As opposed to the special laws protecting women?

        No, this statement was in reference to groups of people who will violently (if need be) intervene to protect women from harm yet cheer on as a man is beaten.

        What on earth are you talking about? The social stigma of being male?

        Yes, it exists in some spaces. (experienced typically by male nurses, massage therapists, teachers, and an increasing number of other fields and social environments)

        For this, I would look at womanist and black feminist thought.

        The prison industrial complex affects men in ways that are not strictly bound (although are influenced obviously) to race. As such, men should have a place to discuss those effects in a space that centers them and not women. Again this takes nothing away from women discussing how it affects them.

        Your ignorance is not the fault of feminism.

        I did not blame feminism for anything

        1. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 5:39 pm |

          Yes, I’m aware of the “don’t be surprised men kill themselves when you tell them to bottle their emotions for a lifetime” theory. There are many more non feminist ones out there

          No, that’s not what I was thinking of at all. I’m not aware of any studies showing that stoicism is linked to rates of suicide. Again, your ignorance is not the fault of feminism.

          Most men see this issue as much more nuanced than you have described it, yet another reason we should be talking about it in our own space.

          Gee, most men see the issue as “more nuanced” than having to give up their privilege? What a surprise. People in power always think that problems are “more nuanced” than that. Tell you what, try the “being the primary caretaker” solution, and then let’s see if the problem still exists.

          In most feminist spaces these issues are addressed in how they oppress women and by proxy limit men.

          Not really. There’s a shit-ton of stuff out there on male gender roles and the government’s definitions of “rape.”

          Yes, it’s very sad that a woman made sure you saw that she could defend herself when you wanted to ask her for directions at night. And pre-emptive tasering? How often does this happen?

          No, this statement was in reference to groups of people who will violently (if need be) intervene to protect women from harm yet cheer on as a man is beaten.

          Evidence? Because it’s funny how often women I know are harmed by men, and these benevolent protective groups that MRAs rabbit on about never seem to be nearby.

          Yes, it exists in some spaces. (experienced typically by male nurses, massage therapists, teachers, and an increasing number of other fields and social environments)

          Nope. The glass escalator effect, whereby men in largely feminine professions are promoted to higher-ranking roles is a well-documented phenomenon, and definitely something I saw firsthand in my mother’s graduating MSW class a decade ago.

          The prison industrial complex affects men in ways that are not strictly bound (although are influenced obviously) to race. As such, men should have a place to discuss those effects in a space that centers them and not women. Again this takes nothing away from women discussing how it affects them.

          Yes, goodness knows that womanist thought couldn’t provide any analysis of the prison industrial complex that would be useful to white men.

          You do not know what you are talking about when it comes to feminist analysis and thought.

        2. deadleaf
          deadleaf October 3, 2012 at 12:05 am |

          No, that’s not what I was thinking of at all. I’m not aware of any studies showing that stoicism is linked to rates of suicide.

          http://ultimo167.wordpress.com/articles-on-men/country-men-laud-stoicism-and-suicide/

          But in all honesty that comment came me trying to generalize research that I’ve red in the past, I don’t really have a wealth of proof on hand to be honest.

          Again, your ignorance is not the fault of feminism.

          Again, nobody is blaming feminism, why you insist on defending it to me I have no idea.

          Gee, most men see the issue as “more nuanced” than having to give up their privilege? What a surprise. People in power always think that problems are “more nuanced” than that. Tell you what, try the “being the primary caretaker” solution, and then let’s see if the problem still exists.

          I get it, you don’t think its a problem, some of us do, hence the need for our own conversation place.

          Not really. There’s a shit-ton of stuff out there on male gender roles and the government’s definitions of “rape.”

          And I would like a place to discuss said “stuff” without a women centered lens, is that a problem?

          Yes, it’s very sad that a woman made sure you saw that she could defend herself when you wanted to ask her for directions at night. And pre-emptive tasering? How often does this happen?

          that’s not what happened and my experiences are not the subject of this thread, or my comments.

          Evidence? Because it’s funny how often women I know are harmed by men, and these benevolent protective groups that MRAs rabbit on about never seem to be nearby.

          Personal experience, again I don’t expect to be able to prove it to you, I just want our own space to discuss, I’m actually quite confused why your so against it. Less men trying to talk about their problems in feminism means lest “what about the menz” poisoning legitimate feminist discussion

          Nope. The glass escalator effect, whereby men in largely feminine professions are promoted to higher-ranking roles is a well-documented phenomenon, and definitely something I saw firsthand in my mother’s graduating MSW class a decade ago.

          Both exist, they are not mutually exclusive, I agree to getting rid of both of them though ;).

          Yes, goodness knows that womanist thought couldn’t provide any analysis of the prison industrial complex that would be useful to white men.

          At what point did I say white men needed a place to speak? I said men, period, and for the record, I’m not white

          I’m not denying any of the premises you put fourth, women have problems, it’s why feminism was invented, men also have problems, we should invent our own space in which to solve them, should we not?

        3. EG
          EG October 3, 2012 at 12:20 am |

          Personal experience, again I don’t expect to be able to prove it to you, I just want our own space to discuss, I’m actually quite confused why your so against it.

          I’m confused about why you feel the need to evangelize about it on a feminist website instead of actually starting the space you find to be so needed.

          However, yes, I am against it in the way that I am against all exclusive gatherings of people with disproportionate power. All-white, all-male, all-rich, all-cis, it’s never a good idea. It just allows people with privilege and power to reinforce the supposed “legitimacy” of that privilege and power for each other.

      3. deadleaf
        deadleaf October 3, 2012 at 5:01 am |

        I’m confused about why you feel the need to evangelize about it on a feminist website instead of actually starting the space you find to be so needed.

        I didn’t, I just mentioned it, then you attacked the idea. I’m responding to criticism not advertising.

        However, yes, I am against it in the way that I am against all exclusive gatherings of people with disproportionate power. All-white, all-male, all-rich, all-cis, it’s never a good idea. It just allows people with privilege and power to reinforce the supposed “legitimacy” of that privilege and power for each other.

        Wow, well obviously your entitled to your opinion but I think its pretty unbelievably cruel and unempathetic to say a group of people identified by their sex, gender or skin color, without exception, have lives so perfect they don’t deserve a place to talk about their problems that centers them

  4. matlun
    matlun October 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

    men were the beneficiaries of some major gendered affirmative action through a “patriarchal dividend”

    I am not sure about this phrasing. Are you using “affirmative action” as a synonym for “discrimination”?

    A bit of a nitpick, admittedly, but I find it somewhat problematic.

    1. samanthab
      samanthab October 2, 2012 at 5:57 am |

      It comes from the piece, not from Jill.

      1. matlun
        matlun October 2, 2012 at 6:58 am |

        You are correct. Very kind of you to not point out that this pretty muched proved that I had not carefully read the linked article.

        I guess that makes it even more of a nitpick…

        1. samanthab
          samanthab October 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

          I have a hard time reading long articles on a computer screen myself. I will usually miss something somewhere.
          I was lucky enough to have read the print version on Sunday.

  5. grampmk
    grampmk October 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

    “First let’s deal with the issue of men’s peripheral role in the natural scheme of things. The male biological role in reproduction is minimal, and in all known societies the male role in child-rearing is insignificant compared to the female role. Women are primarily responsible for child-rearing the world over”

    We should be like bees, where the male bee mates with the Queen Bee and dies.

    1. mxe354
      mxe354 October 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

      You might want to work on your trolling skills a bit – they’re absolutely terrible.

    2. amblingalong
      amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 8:43 am |

      Women are primarily responsible for child-rearing the world over

      Well, that’s as it should be then.

      /sarc

  6. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin October 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

    Are we there yet? No, of course not. But we are getting closer.

    600 years ago or more, the rate of violent crime in Western Europe was much higher than it is now. All men carried a sword with which to eat and for protection. The water supply was usually very polluted, so to prevent disease, alcohol consumption was astronomical. This led to even more violent crime and murders.

    And if I, as a man, were to avoid this sort of brawling, I’d probably be seen as effeminate and cowardly. Today, men still need to come to terms with violence and how it plays into the male psyche.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L October 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

      All men carried a sword with which to eat and for protection.

      No. Not all. You are aware that some men were largely forbidden to arm themselves, right? Jewish men, for example (although there were exceptions in particular locations at particular times); also, it wasn’t that uncommon to prohibit everyone but knights and other societal elites from bearing arms.


      And if I, as a man, were to avoid this sort of brawling, I’d probably be seen as effeminate and cowardly.

      Hey, you could always have become a priest or monk, right?

      1. Comrade Kevin
        Comrade Kevin October 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

        Swords did indicate privilege, but by sword I meant “knife”. A weapon in the grand sense is one thing, but a knife for personal use is something else altogether. It’s still a weapon. And even though carrying a weapon may be banned, that doesn’t mean that people always follow the rules.

        One could become part of the church, but most men were not part of the priestly class. They weren’t landed gentry, either. They were peasants.

        1. Comrade Kevin
          Comrade Kevin October 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

          And peasants had little to no social mobility.

        2. Donna L
          Donna L October 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |

          I’m no medievalist, but weren’t there times that peasants could become monks?

        3. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm |

          By “sword,” you meant “knife”? OK, well, you realize that women carried knives too, right? A knife is a supremely useful tool.

    2. EG
      EG October 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm |

      All men carried a sword with which to eat and for protection.

      No. Noblemen carried swords. Peasants and artisans, no.

    3. Chingona
      Chingona October 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

      What does 600 year-old western Europe Long Time Ago Small Unrepresentative of the Rest of the World Place have to do with anything?

      1. samanthab
        samanthab October 3, 2012 at 8:07 am |

        Oh, don’t you go inserting logic into this discussion!

  7. Sam
    Sam October 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

    AMM,

    Clarisse Thorn may be considered feminist, but she also (based on what she says in her blog) has difficulty responding to men who treat her respectfully and as an equal. I would not take her preferences in male behavior as typical for feminist women.

    I’ve been a regular commenter on her blog for almost three years now, and I cannot imagine how you read what you say above into anything Clarisse has written in that period. In my understanding, everything she says is, in my understanding, about respect and equality.

    1. samanthab
      samanthab October 2, 2012 at 6:02 am |

      Well, clearly for a lot of us, your quote disproves that. You’re the one who brought it in as evidence, and then when people make conclusions based on your evidence, you’re upset with it?

  8. valentifan69
    valentifan69 October 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |

    Oh, and the reason why it seems like men are “doing worse”? Is because for a very long time, men were the beneficiaries of some major gendered affirmative action through a “patriarchal dividend” in which women as a class were largely excluded from public life, propping up men as a class and offering virtually no competition:

    Prison’s a good counter example. Do you think the reason more men are being imprisoned isn’t because of an end to the patriarchy dividend and things being evened things up? It’s probably because in a separate development, we’ve had a very expansive penal policy. There are other examples too, like psychological disorders in young children.

    Any generalization is going to be wrong if you look at it in enough detail. So I don’t expect the decline of patriarchy to explain everything, but there’s certainly lots of important and developing inequalities is absolutely isn’t the cause of.

    1. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl October 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm |

      Do you think the reason more men are being imprisoned isn’t because of an end to the patriarchy dividend and things being evened things up?

      No, no it’s not.

      Before you try and make such a specious argument, how about you do your homework? Because the story of our criminal justice system has a whole lot to do with institutionalized racism and absolutely nothing to do with the loosening of patriarchy’s hold over our U.S. society.

      There are other examples too, like psychological disorders in young children.

      I’m almost afraid to ask what on earth you intend to mean with this statement. If you’re trying to somehow draw a parallel between increased diagnoses of psychological disorders and any diminishing in the partiarchal dividend then your argument is also a specious one. Correlation does not equal Causation.

      1. valentifan69
        valentifan69 October 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

        I’m not sure what you mean. Sorry if I didn’t explain things clearly enough. As I understand it, Coontz is saying the reason men are doing worse is because they were the beneficiaries of a patriarchal dividend, and without this things are being evened up.

        I agree this can explain things like why some professions aren’t male dominated any more. But I think there are areas of inequality which it is hard to see the end of the patriarchal dividend being able to explain; like rising incarceration rates and rates of mental illness among young boys.

        So when Coontz says the reason for male decline is the end/decline of patriarchy; I just want to point out that there are areas of ‘male decline’ that people talk about, but which her decline of patriarchy idea doesn’t give a very good explanation of. So I’m not sure that’s the whole story.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm |

          Valentifan, don’t you think that the rising rates of mental illnesses in boys is more likely because we’re able to diagnose them with said mental illnesses instead of just shrugging them off?

          I mean, I can easily see a boy with ADHD being called an incorrigible and expelled from school, or a boy with mood disorders being dismissed as just a delinquent and simply being left on the streets to become criminal for want of other options, or a boy with PTSD who’s trying to cope through self-harm being sent to a prison for perceived “lunatics” (because make no mistake, those weren’t mental health centres) rather than therapy. Those are just off the top of my head.

          And so, because the stigma of mental illness for men is decreasing, if incrementally and too slowly, men/boys are more likely to get the help they need, which leads to a rise in perceived mental illness. Unless you’re going to argue that modern US society is more traumatic to men than, oh, I dunno, the world wars.

      2. Partial Human
        Partial Human October 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

        Exactly. America’s increasing incarceration rate is just a way to ensure that black men are off the streets.

        The “War on drugs” is crafted and utilised in a manner that disproportionately targets men of colour. Then, at the same time, the WOC left behind can then be handily stigmatised as “Welfare Queens”.

        The message is “You won the civil rights battle, we’ll win the War”.

        There’s a book by Michelle Alexander called “The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”. I haven’t got a. copy yet, but I’ve received several recommendations.

        As for “increase in mental illness” in boys, well… not quite. Women and girls have long been labelled as “mentally ill” and diagnosed with personality disorders, when the same behaviours in boys and men are categorised as “Boys will be boys” or “boisterousness” etc.

        More boys are being diagnosed now, partially due to a slight decrease in the stigma. around MI, and also in order to get access to educational and social service assistance.

        But, racism is a big factor here too. Boys (and girls) of colour are typically punished and criminalised for the same behaviours that in white children are labelled as “learning difficulties” or personal or behavioural disorders. If children commit crimes white children are. overwhelmingly sentenced to rehab, or counselling, or even a limited hospitalisation. Black and Latino/a kids? They got tossed into the same system that’s eaten most of their male relatives.

        1. TheFormerAstronomer
          TheFormerAstronomer October 2, 2012 at 8:32 am |

          There’s a book by Michelle Alexander called “The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”. I haven’t got a. copy yet, but I’ve received several recommendations.

          That sounds an interesting read – thanks for the heads-up.

    2. A4
      A4 October 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm |

      Some anti-feminists like to use prisons in the U.S. as a counter example against the existence of a patriarchy. After all, there are far more men in U.S. prisons than women.

      I don’t think these people are particularly perceptive. They do not realize that society has already been engineered by the patriarchy to severely dis-empower women as a class to the point that their imprisonment is rarely seen as necessary to effect widespread social control.

      The perspective I take is to look at the dichotomies of power and morality that we in the US justice system use to pass judgment on our fellow humans. I would define power here as the ability to effect change, and morality as the quality of the change being effected.

      If the concept of Woman is constructed as weak and passive, the spectrum of female power in both the good and evil directions is limited.

      If Man, on the other hand, is constructed as having great power and the potential for extreme virtue and righteousness, then simultaneously he is constructed as having the potential for extremely powerful evil.

      The existence of ghastly prisons based on the myth of great evil power and “brute strength” is therefore a requirement for a society whose central narratives are all tales of the almighty individual goodness of man.

      1. matlun
        matlun October 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

        Alternatively you could just point out that the “hard on crime” politics have hardly been driven by feminists.

        Personally I think the primary reasons women are under represented in prison is simply that women tend to be less violent and commit less crime.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 8:41 am |

          Personally I think the primary reasons women are under represented in prison is simply that women tend to be less violent and commit less crime.

          A little bit like saying “Personally I think the primary reasons men are over-represented in corporate boardrooms is that men tend to be more ambitious and work harder for promotions.”

        2. Athenia
          Athenia October 2, 2012 at 9:19 am |

          My SO works in a jail and he says what happens is that women charged for lesser crimes usually go free if they have kids. Not because they want to let them go, but taking away moms destablizes a community further. So, the women who are in jail are usually there for much more serious crimes, moreso than the men.

        3. matlun
          matlun October 2, 2012 at 10:18 am |

          A little bit like saying “Personally I think the primary reasons men are over-represented in corporate boardrooms is that men tend to be more ambitious and work harder for promotions.”

          So you are disagreeing with my statement above?

          Note that I was not saying anything about whether that is due to socially constructed norms or more intrinsic biological reasons. Simply that in current society it is a statistic that holds true.

          Ie I am saying that even if we had a perfectly fair justice system, you would still see a large over representation of men in prison.

      2. Athenia
        Athenia October 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

        Sing it. Not to mention that prisons don’t encapsulate men equally. For example, prisons were doing their job, rapists would be convicted at a much higher rate.

        1. XGP
          XGP October 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm |

          But if we wasted time dealing with murderers and rapists, how would we have any prison space left to deal with the most important crime of all, people smoking a perfectly natural plant?

  9. grampmk
    grampmk October 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm |

    6 million men in prison, more than in Stalin’s gulags

    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/01/30/120130crat_atlarge_gopnik

    1. Donna L
      Donna L October 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

      I think it’s actually about 3 million people (not just men) incarcerated in the USA; double that number under some form of correctional supervision. Bad enough as it is.

  10. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune October 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

    So this thread went bizarre fast :(

    More on topic, though, and away from men’s booooooners,

    And men who have ever quit work for family reasons end up earning significantly less than other male employees, even when controlling for the effects of age, race, education, occupation, seniority and work hours.

    I can attest to this. I have the privilege of being part of an immediate family where both the men (my father and his brother) have placed family – and volunteering – obligations ahead of work. Both of them are earning vastly less than they could be. My uncle, for example, is primary caretaker for his kids for 15-18 days/month, which lets his wife go to work for the scary hours she does with less worries. If he traveled for 20 days instead of 10, he’d be earning way more than twice as much. Such is life, but…WHY damn it?

    1. valentifan69
      valentifan69 October 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

      If he traveled for 20 days instead of 10, he’d be earning way more than twice as much. Such is life, but…WHY damn it?

      Isn’t it just market rates and compensation for time? It travelling for 10 days paid as much as travelling for 20, no-one would want to travel for 20 days. Jobs that involve travelling, or anti-social hours, or non-flexible hours, are going to have to pay premiums over those that don’t.

      Sucks if you’ve care-giving responsibilities. But I can’t see how you can get around that fact that employers need to pay more for jobs with special time-demands, and people with few responsibilities are going to be able to leverage this to claim higher wages.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

        Way more than. Not twice as much. Read.

        1. valentifan69
          valentifan69 October 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm |

          That’s just diminishing marginal utility, can’t see how you can get rid of that.

    2. matlun
      matlun October 1, 2012 at 2:57 pm |

      Isn’t this rather natural? People that focus more on family than work (relative to their colleagues) end up earning less, and this is really how it should be (all other factors being equal).

      Or are you just saying that the difference is larger than it should be?

    3. EG
      EG October 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm |

      And men who have ever quit work for family reasons end up earning significantly less than other male employees, even when controlling for the effects of age, race, education, occupation, seniority and work hours.

      My question is, do they earn more than, less than, or the same as women who have ever quit work for family reasons and stayed out of the workforce fora comparable length of time?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm |

        More than, naturally. But I’m not sure if that’s because of the general wage gap (which fwiw is actually pretty tiny in government/some sectors of private employment in India, by popular agreement if not law, though secondary/primary employment is a whole other story), or because this is a bigger issue for employers. Neither man quit the workforce entirely, just changed fields, so I don’t have personal experience of the effects, there.

        1. EG
          EG October 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm |

          That’s interesting; I was actually hoping that it was the same. Alas, the world never fails to disappoint when it comes to justice.

    4. konkonsn
      konkonsn October 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

      So this thread went bizarre fast :(

      A couple of MRA blogs or sites must check this place once an hour or something for updates like this. I applaud everyone who is able to argue with Sam; I read his first post and just sighed heavily.

  11. Omar
    Omar October 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm |

    While I agree that the thesis behind ‘The End of Men’ is alarmist, this response is equally unconvincing. There are too many clichéd statements and conclusions made by Stephanie Coontz:

    “The result is that many guys who would have been obnoxious husbands, behaving badly behind closed doors, are now obnoxious singles, trumpeting their bad behavior on YouTube.”

    I don’t know what this is supposed to mean.

    And this:

    “According to a 2011 poll by the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans now believe that a college education is necessary for a woman to get ahead in life today, but only 68 percent think that is true for men.”

    Having a college degree, especially now, does not guarantee upward social mobility. Nor does it have to be the standard for all young adults. There are many young men (and women) who seek other avenues (the military, trades, entrepreneurship, etc.) to get ahead in life. And there are countless number of success stories from them as well.

    All these articles and books are based on the presumption that future economic trends are predictable. They are not. Will there be a manufacturing renaissance in the United States? Is college a bubble, and if so, what other options will future young adults seek?

    1. deadleaf
      deadleaf October 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm |

      Having a college degree, especially now, does not guarantee upward social mobility. Nor does it have to be the standard for all young adults. There are many young men (and women) who seek other avenues (the military, trades, entrepreneurship, etc.) to get ahead in life. And there are countless number of success stories from them as well..

      I’m living proof of that one, I left high school with a 1.31 gpa and managed to graduate only with the help of summer school. I now make more than both my parents combined.

      Though according to Stephanie Coontz I’m a “man child”. I’m single, live alone, spend at least a few hours a day playing video games 7 days a week, only been in 1 relationship (and it only lasted a month), and by her standards am probably substituting “time I should be spending looking for a wife” with internet porn.

      1. Omar
        Omar October 3, 2012 at 12:56 am |

        I try and avoid these types of discussions because there is too much silly generalizations and subjective statements that seem to be a reflection of the author’s mood.

    2. EG
      EG October 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm |

      The result is that many guys who would have been obnoxious husbands, behaving badly behind closed doors, are now obnoxious singles, trumpeting their bad behavior on YouTube.

      What it means is that in earlier eras, when society was structured so as to keep women under the thumbs of men even more heavily, husbands could hide the severity of their assholery behind closed doors, and be fairly certain that even if it got out, nobody would really think the worse of them. Also, due to it being before the internet, it was harder to realize how widespread their assholery was. Now, women have more independence and don’t have to marry or stay married to total misogynist assholes, so those assholes are single, and as we have the internet, their assholery is not hidden.

      1. A4
        A4 October 2, 2012 at 8:50 am |

        These MRAs seem to think that “being willfully obtuse” is a good debate tactic.

  12. Dominique
    Dominique October 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm |

    To those who wonder why women didn’t do this or that 10,000 years ago, etc.: it’s more than men being “bigger” or “stronger”. Propaganda is a powerful tool. We see it every single day, especially in our workplaces. Workers are “encouraged” (when not coerced) into working 12- to 16-hour days, sometimes without overtime or even without extra pay, and management sets them one against the other for “not being part of the team”. If one worker “slacks off” by wanting a normal day or a break, the rest of “the team” has to pick up the slack. So instead of blaming the employer, the workers who are “team players” blame the workers who question the system. The same thing happens with patriarchy: when women are punished for “not doing their job”, they blame other women, instead of blaming the system. We don’t always see the water in which we swim.

  13. XGP
    XGP October 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm |

    I think part of it is the human obsession with teleology, Most things requiring immense strength have been mechanized now, and it seems like cloning and other technologies will be available either this decade or next. As such, any “unique” contributions that males could give seem to have been killed off by engineering. At the same time, the essential role of female anatomy in reproduction will still be necessary for a long time. Thus, cis-men seem to be without any “inherent” purpose whereas cis-women, many having the capacity for childbirth, still have some intrinsic meaning.

    From an objective standpoint, there is no longer anything important or meaningful that cis-men can contribute that cis-women cannot. In a sense, cis-men are useless, in that one could, in the near future, run an entire society without any males in it whatsoever.

    The whole “ZOMG teh wimminz is taking over!” panic that you’re talking about is probably at least in part due to this. Some males feel that because they are unnecessary for society to function, they might as well not exist. This bothers them and so they lash out at feminists, because they perceive feminism to be a threat to their sense of purpose and identity.

    I’m not someone who really cares about “purpose” or “meaning” anyway. I’ve always been more existentialist about it, so the thought that my existence is entirely pointless and without justification really doesn’t bother me that much. As such, I doubt I would be able to help these people.

    *BTW: I’m using “male” and “female” because I’m referring to physical sex instead of gender identification. I’m unsure if this is the standard terminology, but I’m simply making it known that the use of clinical-sounding language is an attempt to avoid transphobia.

    1. amblingalong
      amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 8:45 am |

      From an objective standpoint, there is no longer anything important or meaningful that cis-men can contribute that cis-women cannot. In a sense, cis-men are useless, in that one could, in the near future, run an entire society without any males in it whatsoever.

      …you’re not a geneticist, are you?

      1. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:48 am |

        Why would males be required for genetic diversity?

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 10:53 am |

          lololololol

        2. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 11:11 am |

          I fail to see the humor. When cloning and transgenic technology becomes available, males will simply become reproductively irrelevant. Artificial uterii, on the other hand, are probably at least a half century away. Males are, in essence, a Darwinian dead end.

          And since I’ve elected to never become a father, I’m a complete failure of evolution even before cloning becomes widely available.

          You don’t matter any more men. Get over it.

        3. msgd
          msgd October 2, 2012 at 11:53 am |

          And after that, machines will eventually just be able to create humans from scratch.

          You don’t matter any more humans. Get over it.

        4. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 11:57 am |

          If we get to the point where machines are more sentient and intelligent than humans, it would be rational to remove resources from producing humans toward the thriving of these androids. We shouldn’t kill humans at that point, but instead humans should voluntarily elect to go extinct by refusing to procreate.

        5. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

          If we get to the point where machines are more sentient and intelligent than humans, it would be rational to remove resources from producing humans toward the thriving of these androids. We shouldn’t kill humans at that point, but instead humans should voluntarily elect to go extinct by refusing to procreate.

          *applauds*

          Well trolled, sir/madam.

        6. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

          Why would males be required for genetic diversity?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Queen's_Hypothesis

          Among so many other reasons.

          To be clear, I get that you’re a troll, but I’m concerned your evolutionary biology might actually be as bad as it seems.

        7. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

          I know that sex evolved in order for multi-cellular organisms to be able to keep up with the much more rapid evolution of single-celled parasites. However, I’m working in the context where both cloning and transgenic technology are widely available, a context where we could mix the DNA of two females in order to produce a zygote without the introduction of spermatozoa. In this context, there exists no need for males in terms of genetic diversity.

        8. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

          However, I’m working in the context where both cloning and transgenic technology are widely available, a context where we could mix the DNA of two females in order to produce a zygote without the introduction of spermatozoa. In this context, there exists no need for males in terms of genetic diversity.

          Meh, sounds expensive.

        9. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm |

          Less expensive than the cost of prisons and domestic violence shelters largely necessary because of male violence.

        10. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm |

          You only like absolutely objective measures, right? So by which one of those purely objective measures is domestic violence- or any violence- bad?

          Seriously, your whole argument is predicated on the idea that human enjoyment and happiness is worthless. So why bother trying to create your ideal efficient society at all? Seriously, what’s the underlying goal behind all this?

        11. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:14 pm |

          The underlying goal would be the creation of an ideal society where “ideal” is pretty much defined in Darwinian terms. The “ideal” society is the one which survives and out-competes all other societies, a sort of civilization vs. civilization natural selection.

        12. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm |

          The underlying goal would be the creation of an ideal society where “ideal” is pretty much defined in Darwinian terms. The “ideal” society is the one which survives and out-competes all other societies, a sort of civilization vs. civilization natural selection.

          Yeah, but why?

    2. John
      John October 2, 2012 at 11:28 am |

      Hilarious… So women are collectively going to turn lesbian? I think my wife and married daughter may have something to say about that!

      1. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 11:45 am |

        As technology becomes better, we’re probably going to outgrow the need for sexuality altogether. It’s an inefficient process, anyway. Besides, romantic love is bad, because it’s selfish and individually focused. It would be much better if everyone loved everyone else to the same degree as opposed to loving family and friends more than strangers. If there were no such selfish love, and instead everyone had universal compassion, things would be better.

        Now perhaps such universal compassion is not biologically possible for humans. However, we should encourage it as much as possible, and we should discourage the selfish and anti-egalitarian alternatives of romantic and familial love which privilege some individuals over others.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm |

          Besides, romantic love is bad, because it’s selfish and individually focused. It would be much better if everyone loved everyone else to the same degree as opposed to loving family and friends more than strangers. If there were no such selfish love, and instead everyone had universal compassion, things would be better.

          I can’t tell if you’re trolling, high or just incredibly clueless.

        2. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

          Do please explain why I’m “clueless.”

        3. Past my expiration date
          Past my expiration date October 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

          I’m speechless.

        4. LMM
          LMM October 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

          I’m calling a Poe.

        5. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm |

          Besides, romantic love is bad, because it’s selfish and individually focused.

          I’ve already had this argument, I’m sure, politicalguineapig.

          It’s unclear to me whose happiness you are trying to achieve, or what the final social outcome you’re talking about is. Men are part of humanity. Romantic and familial love are parts of humanity. Differences are what make us compelling. Any “ideal” human society is going to have to take those things into account.

          I mean…ecologically speaking, it would probably be for the best if we all did ourselves in, but since I prioritize human happiness, I’m not going to advocate that.

        6. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm |

          I’m not really all that interested in happiness, to be quite honest. Happiness is an emotion that leads to complacency and thus to stalling progress. Happiness needs to be a rare commodity that is only obtained after a large amount of progress. Otherwise, there would be no motivation.

          And no, I’m not talking about capitalism. That system is flawed because it isn’t meritocratic, and it does not distribute happiness in proportion to the level of progress and achievement made by individuals.

        7. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

          I’m not really all that interested in happiness, to be quite honest. Happiness is an emotion that leads to complacency and thus to stalling progress. Happiness needs to be a rare commodity that is only obtained after a large amount of progress. Otherwise, there would be no motivation.

          Why? What’s so great about “progress” (could you vague that up for me) and achievement that they should be prioritized over happiness? Why would anybody want to live in the society you’re describing?

        8. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

          Because in a class of civilizations, mine would win out against any that prioritize happiness. It has long-term survival and competitiveness maximized as compared to more decadent and hedonistic cultures.

        9. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm |

          That was supposed to say “clash” instead of “class.”

        10. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm |

          It has long-term survival and competitiveness maximized as compared to more decadent and hedonistic cultures.

          …and? Why is the continuation of this society a worthwhile objective?

        11. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm |

          I suppose, as the best answer I could give, it’s because societies that survive “win.” Morality is largely a system for maximizing the flourishing of societies. In evolutionary terms, it was a system for maximizing the benefits to your genes through both kin selection and mutually beneficial cooperative altruism. That’s all “morality” really seems to be on any level. I don’t think any of the attempts by philosophy to ground morality on deeper “first principles” come across as convincing or, in many cases, even coherent.

        12. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm |

          societies that survive “win.”

          So what? Why is that game worth playing, let alone “winning”?

        13. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

          I suppose that’s up to the individual. If you don’t think it’s worth it, then you stop trying to survive.

          Similarly, if a society doesn’t think it’s worth it, it gives up and collapses, at least metaphorically.

          Those civilizations which survive are those that thought it was worth it.

        14. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm |

          I suppose that’s up to the individual. If you don’t think it’s worth it, then you stop trying to survive. Similarly, if a society doesn’t think it’s worth it, it gives up and collapses, at least metaphorically. Those civilizations which survive are those that thought it was worth it.

          So your argument just boils down to “societies which adopt a woman-cloning-only policy are more likely to survive?” Because that’s awfully different from all your talk of ‘progress’ and ‘efficiency’ and ‘intrinsic purpose.’ I mean, it’s really silly, since sexual reproduction is a proven technology and way more resistant to catastrophe than cloning is, but it’s also just not what you’ve been pushing for.

        15. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm |

          But I tied intrinsic purpose back to survival and reproduction, as in the absence of teleology, purpose defaults to pseudo-teleology. Thus, the “purpose” of life is to survive and reproduce, and the “purpose” of civilization is to do as close to the same thing as it can.

    3. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 11:31 am |

      You really, just, don’t get it.

      Like at all.

      People bring a whole lot more to the table then their capacity for reproduction. Men don’t become useless in some dystopian future where artifical reproduction has taken over and people no longer do the reproducing. Because they will still have brains and minds and bodies with which to do things and live life, just like women will.

      The evolution we are currently seeing in our world away from traditional gender roles is supposed to be liberating not just for women but for men as well. Also, not all women and men are cis/hetero, so throwing out the rulebook of gendered expectations will result in far less prejudice while providing them with greater freedom to be whoever they are going to be.

      Now some MRA type is going to attempt to misconstrue what I’ve said here to mean that I’m advocating for no differences between the sexes ever being expressed. Let me be clear, that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that everybody should be free to take on whatever characteristics feel most comfortable for them, regardless of what sex they were born with.

      1. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 11:41 am |

        All things that males can do are replaceable. All things that females can do are not. Ergo, males have fewer things that we can contribute, and nothing which we can uniquely contribute. Add to this the fact that males, either through genetics or through socialization, are more violent, and one comes to the inescapable rational conclusion that society would be more efficient in every possible way if only females existed.

        I’m not advocating killing males. I’m simply saying that we should use genetic technology and other techniques to bring about a future of only females. Males are obsolete.

        1. Odin
          Odin October 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

          Oh gods, where to begin.

          First of all, you’re using your quantifiers incorrectly. If all things that men do are replaceable, then it’s impossible for all things that women do to be irreplaceable, because there’s a lot of overlap between things that males do and females do that contribute to society (eg, wash clothes, build houses, fly airplanes, teach, research cures for cancer, take photos of kittycats and post them on the internet).
          I assume you mean “things that only male humans do” and “things that only female humans do”. Which is… basically only specific gamete production and gestation. But we _do_ need sperm (the gametes produced by males), because we do not yet live in a wonderful sci-fi universe where we can take any two humans’ DNA and combine it to produce a viable zygote.

          As for discouraging romantic love, well, that experiment has been tried. Ask members of the LGBT community how well that turned out for them, and the effects it’s had on their mental health.

        2. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

          All things that males can do are replaceable. All things that females can do are not.

          I can’t believe I’m going to quote Archie Bunker here, but ppphhhtttt! what a load of nonsense.

          Besides, we still must keep men around to open stubborn jar lids and reach stuff on the highest shelf in the kitchen. Oops, almost forgot, we must also keep them around to kill bugs, ’cause that’s also men duty stuff. Does your dystopian future also include handy dandy inventions to take care of these eternal problems, thus obviating the need for men?

        3. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm |

          No, by saying that “All things that female humans do are not,” I am using words correctly. The logical negation of “all” is “not all” which does not mean “none.”

          Again, I’ve made tolerances for the fact that humans might be too flawed to handle universal compassion, but these tolerances recommend encouraging universal compassion and discouraging selfish love while recognizing that current humans might be too defective to obtain this goal. It at least gives us something to aim for.

        4. Odin
          Odin October 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm |

          No, you are not using words correctly. You stated that “All things that females can do are not [replaceable].” You did not say “not all things females can do are replaceable”.

          Let M be the set of things males can do, and F the set of things that females can do. Let R be the set of things which are replaceable. Then:

          “All things that males can do are replaceable.” Means that M is a subset of R^c (the complement of R).

          “All things that females can do are not [replaceable].” Means that F is a subset if R.

          R and R^c are disjoint sets. Ergo, M and F must be disjoint sets. But there are many, many things that both males and females can do (breathe oxygen, for example…), hence we arrive at a contradiction.

        5. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

          “Not” serves an adverbial function. In standard English, adverbials which modify the action of the sentence can be transplanted in many places, at the beginning, at the very end, or right before the verb phrase. Only adverbials which modify adjective phrases need to be prefixed to that which they modify.

          The way in which I used “not” was perhaps a stylistically poor choice because it created the possibility for ambiguity. However, it was not grammatically or syntactically incorrect.

        6. Odin
          Odin October 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |

          Then why not admit to the ambiguity and clarify you meaning/correct my reading before I had to bust out the set theory, rather than assert that you’d said “not all” when you’d said “all are not”?

          Re: nature removing redundancies, you also need to clarify your meaning of redundancy and threat, if you’re going to start claiming that most redundancies are a “threat” to survival of the species. Most redundancies that have an energy cost to them gradually dwindle, yes, but there’s a huge difference between going vestigial (see the human appendix, our toes, a lot of other things) and being removed altogether. Regardless, it’s still artificial/social selection if humans try to reduce the number of male babies born, not natural selection or the other form of selection described by Darwin.

        7. Rhoanna
          Rhoanna October 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

          No, it wasn’t grammatically or syntactically incorrect. It was, however, semantically incorrect, as Odin explained.

        8. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

          1. I already acknowledged the possibility of poor stylistic choice.

          2. There is less difference between natural and artificial selection than is typically thought. The only difference which isn’t purely superficial is that one has some teleology and the other does not.

          However, even the teleology is nothing but an emergent structure coming from naturally evolved brains, so, in some sense, it’s not really that relevant either.

        9. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

          Again, I’ve made tolerances for the fact that humans might be too flawed to handle universal compassion

          Oh, I see, you’re not human. That explains it all.

          Feministe comment people, bow down before Queer Alien Jesus!

        10. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm |

          When did I ever say that I wasn’t human? I’m as much a barely-out-of-the-Pleistocene hairless ape as anyone else here.

      2. msgd
        msgd October 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

        My question is why you are even trying to engage with an obvious troll in the first place.

        1. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

          People who are too controversial are automatically trolls. Got it.

        2. msgd
          msgd October 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm |

          I am too controversial. You are a troll.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm |

          msgd I don’t often agree with you but that was beautiful. ^__^

    4. samanthab
      samanthab October 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm |

      Why do you assume that women would use cloning technology and men wouldn’t?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm |

        Because women, clearly.

        “Because women!!!eleventy!” explains a lot of XGP’s comments AFAICT.

      2. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

        I don’t. However, I would advocate tightly regulating who could use cloning technology and who could not. One regulation would be that only female humans would be allowed products. If a man wants to be cloned, fine, but then we’re going to remove the Y-chromosome and double up the X so that the child is female.

        Of course, this won’t happen overnight. However, over time, males will die out because nature tends to remove redundancies.

        1. Odin
          Odin October 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

          “nature tends to remove redundancies.”

          Um, seriously? First of all, your program of artificial selection is exactly that — artificial. If the population of men shrinks as a result of a program of selection against men, it’s not because nature is removing redundancies, it’s statistics.

          And natural selection isn’t actually all that great about removing redundancies.

        2. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

          However, over time, males will die out because nature tends to remove redundancies.

          You mean like the vast majority of our genetic code?

          Where’s Shoshie? We need Shoshie.

        3. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

          Also appendixes. And tonsils.

          Just sayin’.

        4. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

          I’m not incorrect. Nature tends to remove redundancies, because most redundancies are a threat to the survival of an organism, given that they use more resources to maintain than a system without them. However, a few redundancies which are minute enough manage to slip by because their statistical effects are too small for natural selection to breed them out.

        5. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

          Also appendixes. And tonsils.

          Just sayin’.

          Don’t forget wisdom teeth!

        6. Rhoanna
          Rhoanna October 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |

          Um, men or tonsils or appendixes aren’t redundant. They’re vestigial or unnecessary or irrelevant, or at least claimed to be. Two lungs or two kidneys or two gonads, that’s redundancy. And nature apparently favors it, at least for some things.

        7. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

          Very well, to please the more anally retentive among you, I shall refer to it as “male obsolescence” or “male vestigiality.” Happy?

        8. matlun
          matlun October 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

          Very well, to please the more anally retentive among you, I shall refer to it as “male obsolescence” or “male vestigiality.” Happy?

          Yes. Much better.

          If you are going to forward an utterly ridiculous argument, you should at least do so in a semantically correct manner.

        9. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm |

          So wait, would wisdom teeth be considered redundant or vestigial?

          Because I must continue to derail this ridiculous sidetrack until it hits the wall. Only then will I be happy, XGP.

        10. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

          This whole thread is just begging for a Vestigial Virgin joke. I’m just sayin’.

        11. John
          John October 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm |

          XGP, you should do stand up comedy…

        12. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm |

          Um, men or tonsils or appendixes aren’t redundant. They’re vestigial or unnecessary or irrelevant, or at least claimed to be. Two lungs or two kidneys or two gonads, that’s redundancy. And nature apparently favors it, at least for some things.

          Oh good, more semantic arguments :)

          The point was that arguments in which evolution is some sort of wise oracular force which works to reduce inefficiency and make everything perfect and clean are fundamentally ignorant.

          ‘Nature’ is not going to somehow realize ‘oh shit, humans invented cloning, I better stop making Y chromosomes.”

  14. XGP
    XGP October 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm |

    Oh, and I’m actually more useless than most men, because I’m not even attracted to women, so I don’t even have the secondary purpose of giving sexual pleasure and companionship to useful humans.

    It’s a good thing I don’t give a shit.

    1. A4
      A4 October 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm |

      You can still give sexual pleasure and companionship to women even if you’re not attracted to them.

      1. Bagelsan
        Bagelsan October 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

        *looks up at comment thread* Feministe is inventing a very weird dystopia right now…

      2. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

        It’s a waste of time. Sex without reproduction seems, to me, like eating food without any calories. As such, I’ve elected to remain celibate.

        On the other hand, I’ve decided not to pass my genes along because:

        1. I’m genetically defective. Being queer, autistic, and having obsessive-compulsive traits means that my genes are pretty much pure crap.

        2. Benatar’s argument that all children are better off having never been born at all, while a bit too extreme, has some grain of truth to it. I think any potential child of mine would be far better off not existing than having genes of a paranoid, neurotic, autist.

        1. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm |

          Sex without reproduction seems, to me, like eating food without any calories.

          For most of us, sex without reproduction is fun and creates emotional closeness. It may not be fun for you, but the fun is reason enough for most others.

      3. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm |

        Dude, just because you’ve internalised a heaping dose of ableism doesn’t mean autists can’t or shouldn’t have kids, fuck you very much. You were funny up to this point.

        Also, queer? Really? Being queer means you shouldn’t pass your genes on? Because queerness is genetically defective. I guess LGBTQ who reproduce are just passing on terrible defective genes to their kids and they should be sterilised, huh?

        I’m starting to see why you might have had to worry about being accused of internalised homophobia. It’s because you, uh, have some.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm |

          Damn it, that was supposed to be to XGP.

        2. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

          You tell me what any spawn of mine would have to look forward to.

          It’s not universally convincing, but I suggest you check out the arguments of David Benatar w.r.t. “Better to have never been, the harm of coming into existence.”

          Moral philosopher David Benatar makes the argument that life is more bad than good for almost everyone, and so therefore we do more harm and less good by procreating. Essentially, from the point of view of harm reduction, most people would be better of if they had never been born to begin with.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm |

          You tell me what any spawn of mine would have to look forward to.

          Well, to any other neurotic autist’s kid, I would say “all the beauty and joy and wonder of the universe and all the cool people in it, whatever their neurological quirks might be”, but in this case the answer is “several years of involuntary and sustained exposure to XGP”, so I kind of see your point. Please don’t procreate!

          But don’t for the love of all the gods tell me that I’m too “defective” to procreate, or that my wife’s kid has inherited “defective” genes, you homophobic, ableist dipshit. We’re both non-neurotypical (and so is the kid’s bio father) and queer and she’s a lovely, whole and awesome little person, thank you.

        4. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm |

          You really should check out Benatar’s work. Humans have enormous neurological biases which lead them to overestimate the quality of their lives.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

          I have checked out Benatar, believe me. I’d have prescribed him a joint of pot and some fucking perspective.

        6. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

          Humans have enormous neurological biases which lead them to overestimate the quality of their lives.

          So what? Quality of life is an experiential measure. If the person who’s living the life considers those experiences worth it, they are.

        7. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

          That’s not a very convincing refutation. Taking his work seriously, but not as inerrant, it seems highly likely that there are at least some people whose lives suck so badly that they would have been better off never having existed in the first place. After all, we can all imagine states of affairs wherein we would rather die and cease to exist than continue living, situations like terminal bone cancer where suicide may be a perfectly rational option.

          A small bit of extrapolation shows that one can have a life so terrible that living that life is worse that not existing at all. I’ve concluded that it would be so for any hypothetical children of mine, and so I’ve elected to commit suicide-by-proxy through being childless.

          And no, I don’t think all gays are defective, just the male ones. Lesbians are no more defective than heterosexual females. Both still have the obsolete capacity for sexual attraction, but at least they are not obsolete beings.

          The ranking of defectiveness from least to most is:

          1. Lesbians and heterosexual women.
          2. Heterosexual men.
          3. Gay men.

        8. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm |

          Objective measures are always superior to subjective measures, especially since subjectivity reduces to objectivity anyway, as Dennett et al can attest to.

        9. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm |

          1. Lesbians and heterosexual women.

          I’m a bi woman but I’m infertile. I guess that makes me three-fifths of a human being?

        10. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |

          The fact that you offer the possibility of sexual pleasure to females who are fertile raises you to the same level as heterosexual men. At least you’re better off than I.

        11. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm |

          That’s not a very convincing refutation. Taking his work seriously, but not as inerrant, it seems highly likely that there are at least some people whose lives suck so badly that they would have been better off never having existed in the first place. After all, we can all imagine states of affairs wherein we would rather die and cease to exist than continue living, situations like terminal bone cancer where suicide may be a perfectly rational option.

          And yet, if somebody with terminal bone cancer decides that the last few bits of life are indeed worth it, their assessment is no less valid than yours.

          Objective measures are always superior to subjective measures, especially since subjectivity reduces to objectivity anyway, as Dennett et al can attest to.

          Interestingly, you have provided no objective measures. Nonetheless, the other school of thought is that all objective assessments are actually subjective at base. Further, the utility of objective assessments over subjective is by no means clear to me. If I ask how hard it is raining, I don’t want an objective assessment. I want a an idea based on my experience of “normal” what to expect when I go outside.

        12. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm |

          The exportability of objective measures makes their inherent superiority apparent.

          “Raining hard” is not immediately transferable to everyone, but “3 ± 0.1 in/hr” is.

        13. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

          At least you’re better off than I.

          I feel oodles better.

        14. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

          It’s a simple consistency heuristic. Any classification system which makes your status the best possible one is very likely to be a manifestation of self-protective psychology. A classification system which is deeply self-critical is more likely to be an accurate reflection of reality.

        15. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

          Sweetie, I’m plenty critical of my place in reality. You, on the other hand, seem to have abdicated it.

        16. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

          It’s a simple consistency heuristic. Any classification system which makes your status the best possible one is very likely to be a manifestation of self-protective psychology. A classification system which is deeply self-critical is more likely to be an accurate reflection of reality.

          Holy shit, man, did you just take your college Phil101 class? Do you feel super duper smart?

          Because I think you’re somehow overlooking the consistency and comprehensiveness with which EG is pulling apart your arguments.

        17. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm |

          The replies to my assertions have become increasingly sarcastic and increasingly devoid of intellectual content. This is a rather troublesome turn of events.

        18. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm |

          (S)he is not “pulling apart” my arguments at all. EG is asserting that there exists no basis upon which one can say objectivity is preferable to subjectivity. I hold this to be an absurd assertion which reminds me of Wittgenstein’s plausible idea that all “philosophical problems” are nothing but the result of people confusing themselves with their own language.

          As for the assertion that I’m a Phil 101 student, I am not. I am a graduate student focusing on high energy mathematical and theoretical physics, with an emphasis on the connections between string theory and algebraic topology.

        19. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

          I am a graduate student focusing on high energy mathematical and theoretical physics, with an emphasis on the connections between string theory and algebraic topology.

          “High-energy mathematical physics?” Nice.

          And I’m sure you mean topological string theory, right? Because studying the “connections between algebraic topography and string theory” is a bit like studying “the connections between calculus and Newtonian physics.” I mean, have fun making a list of those connections, for sure, but good luck with your dissertation.

        20. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm |

          Interestingly, you have provided no objective measures.

          This is the key bit of what EG wrote. You’re substituting your subjective measures for subjective measures you like less. Nothing about ‘progress’ or ‘efficiency,’ at least as you’ve defined them, is objective.

          Show me an objective measure by which your proposed society is better than any other society, and we’ll talk. I’ll wait.

        21. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm |

          Right now, I’m actually studying the classification systems of stable D-brane cycles. Arguments show quite easily that homotopy classification leads to overcounting, as some unstable states are included.

          Homology does a bit better of a job, but Freed-Witten anomalies and non-representable cycles present big problems for reconciling these objects with world-sheet supersymmetry.

          The Sen conjecture postulates that twisted complex K-theory is the right system, but Witten has shown that this classification is incompatible with S-duality.

          It’s a tricky problem.

        22. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm |

          My assertions about a “better” society are based on how good a society will be at surviving and at out-competing other societies. I freely admit that there is a degree of conjecture to my assertions, but I don’t think that they are completely random and absurd conjecture either.

          And once again, I actually tried to phrase my original assertion in order to not be transphobic. I’m bothered that it still caused offense so I attempted to revise it, but apparently people are still angry.

    2. Caperton
      Caperton October 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm | *

      Don’t you think it’s a little selfish to withhold pleasure and companionship just because you aren’t attracted to women? What about universal compassion?

      1. deadleaf
        deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

        I’m pretty sure his premise isn’t that he would deny it from women if they wanted it from him, its that women don’t want to receive pleasure or companionship from him because he is a man.

        1. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie October 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm |

          I read it to mean because he is a homosexual man, which would make sense.

          I think XGP’s comments are very interesting, in a sci-fi sort of way.

    3. jrockford
      jrockford October 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

      Have you considered the fatal flaw in your “naturally evolved” all female world? It depends inherently on unnatural technologies. Should the technologies fail following the total elimination of men from the race, the race itself will go extinct.

      It would be like saying it was natural and proper to entirely eliminate fresh water because we have the capability to desalinate saltwater. What happens when the desalinization technology fails? Humanity dies out.

      1. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm |

        I don’t find technology to be unnatural. I don’t think anything is unnatural. Technology is a product of naturally evolved human brains. It’s made of natural materials. It functions according to the natural physical laws of the universe. What exactly about technology is unnatural?

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm |

          It’s made of natural materials. It functions according to the natural physical laws of the universe.

          Ok, so if that’s how you’re going to define ‘natural,’ please, give me an example of something that is ‘unnatural.’

          Since, you know, otherwise you’re defining ‘natural’ as an exhaustive set. Which someone as gifted in linguistics and mathematics as you would know better than to do.

        2. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm |

          That’s exactly what I’m doing. As far as I’m concerned, “natural” and “unnatural” are useless categories born out of the arrogance of humans to separate themselves from nature. Expanding the term “natural” to apply to everything makes that meaninglessness more manifest.

        3. jrockford
          jrockford October 3, 2012 at 9:35 am |

          Okay, but that doesn’t change the fact that your supposed natural evolution is a complete adaptive failure. Technology can be lost, as can access to resources. Why would a natural course of evolution lead to a situation in which the continued existence of the human race hinges on access to a recently developed technological innovation?

          Reproduction the old fashioned way is infinitely more adaptive. For several reasons, not the least of which are that the continued survival of the species can be ensured by the existence of a very small number of people in possession of the genitals to do so in any circumstance; and that it’s not restricted to those in possession of proper technology.

          There’s a reason sexual reproduction has been resoundingly successful.

          At any rate, your whole argument is a lot of half-baked sophistry, it’s amazing it’s managed to derail this thread to the tune of 100+ posts.

  15. MrRabbit
    MrRabbit October 2, 2012 at 6:27 am |

    Regarding men’s usefulness: perhaps a bit less focus on being a man and more focus on being a human. The men in my life are valued for the awesome people they are: their compassion, empathy, humour, creativity, insight, friendship and love.

    1. Dan_Brodribb
      Dan_Brodribb October 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

      I like your take on it.

      I’m a man and I do notice I’m happier when I feel useful or have a sense of purpose. I don’t know if that something that will ever change for me or even that it should change, but it’s good to reminded that there is more to being a complete person than having something to do.

      So thanks for that.

      1. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

        Just embrace the pointlessness and meaninglessness of life.

        1. Dan_Brodribb
          Dan_Brodribb October 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm |

          Done.

          *quietly dies*

        2. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan October 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

          Alright XGP, one down and 3.5 billion to go! You’ll get your all-woman world aaaany day now.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm |

          NO, DAN, DON’T DIE. I STILL LOVE YOU.

        4. Dan_Brodribb
          Dan_Brodribb October 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

          *opens one eye to stare at Mccavitykitsune with both tenderness and steely eyed determination*

          I’m sorry. We may live on the dawn of a female-only vestigial organ free clone world, but I was brought up to believe there are some things a man still has to do and committing to the flounce is one of them.

          Feel free to clone my remains. I have excellent bone structure.

          *dies again*

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

          *sobbing hysterically* I will! I will! I’ll have scads and scads of clonebabies in your memory! For generations the women will sing of Dan_Brodribb of the Feministe Flounce, and rend their clothing in heart-breaking agony!

        6. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. October 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |

          At least I loled. Providing a source of schadenfreude is a type of meaning.

        7. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll October 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

          *opens one eye to stare at Mccavitykitsune with both tenderness and steely eyed determination*

          I’m sorry. We may live on the dawn of a female-only vestigial organ free clone world, but I was brought up to believe there are some things a man still has to do and committing to the flounce is one of them.

          Feel free to clone my remains. I have excellent bone structure.

          *dies again*

          HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA

          *gasp gasp*

          AAAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAAA

          *wheezes*

          HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

          That was fucking awesome.

      2. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll October 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm |

        I’m a man and I do notice I’m happier when I feel useful or have a sense of purpose.

        I’m not a man and notice the same thing.

        omigosh..could this merely be a human trait?

        1. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon October 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm |

          Breaking: humans like to feel useful, meaningful

          news at 11

  16. XGP
    XGP October 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

    I bet the accusations of “internalized homophobia” are going to be sent my way soon.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

      No, dude, just internalised misandry. Your gayness is unsullied.

      1. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm |

        “Misandry” is a concept much akin to “reverse-racism.”

        It’s not a term any thinking person should use.

      2. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie October 2, 2012 at 11:32 pm |

        Maybe “depression”? Because that’s what I’m reading, here.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 3, 2012 at 7:13 am |

          Yes, because depressed people clearly can’t have any internalised homophobia.

          …oh wait! I don’t! Or my wife. Or a whole lot of other depressed queers. (We’re statistically more likely, etc, etc.)

    2. Patu
      Patu October 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

      I think ‘internalised pretentiousness’ would be closer to the mark.

    3. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm |

      Yes, and an internalized martyr complex to boot.

  17. deadleaf
    deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

    @XGP

    Even if men are useless at this juncture, why does that put responsibility on men to quietly die? If anything isn’t that a license to go about one’s own business as they see fit?

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

      Um, this.

    2. XGP
      XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm |

      Do they still make computers which have 256MB ram? No, of course not, because such computers are obsolete. No one needed to destroy said computers, they just don’t make them anymore, and all the ones that are still around will be scrapped once they go bad.

      Similarly, males are obsolete. You don’t have to kill any that are still around. Just don’t make any more of us.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm |

        By your completely bizarre reasoning, we should have scrapped all our knives once guns came along. Or killed off carriage drivers once cars were invented, or killed off rickshaw drivers once carriages were invented. Or, for that matter, chopped off our legs once we invented the wheel. What the actual fuck, man?

        1. Tamara
          Tamara October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

          I just don’t get how this argument for treating actual people (which men are, last time I checked) as things?

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

          Tamara, I have no idea. I feel increasingly like I’ve stepped into Bizarro World here. Of course, XGP went off about how he’d “made tolerances for the fact that humans might be flawed” upthread, so as I posited there, maybe we’re all things to Queer Space Jesus.

        3. Tamara
          Tamara October 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm |

          aargh, that came out incompetently.

          what I meant was that XGP’s entire argument rests on treating men as things rather than people. why would you ever run that argument?

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

          Tamara, you’ve got a good point there. I guess I got so caught up in trying to point out why his reasoning was borked that I never addressed the objectification in it, and then perpetuated it myself. Sorry about that.

        5. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

          If you think I’m suggesting killing or destroying anything, you didn’t read my argument sufficiently well.

        6. Tamara
          Tamara October 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm |

          mac, I didn’t mean why would “you” continue to argue with him about that (although , good point too) but why would he use that as an argument.

          I noticed EG raised the humans =/ things point downthread as well.

        7. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm |

          If you think I’m suggesting killing or destroying anything, you didn’t read my argument sufficiently well.

          Or, maybe, you have done a piss poor job of explaining your point, or of even having an actual point, in the first place.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm |

        XGP. Killed off as in made nonexistent. It’s not difficult.

        1. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm |

          Well then, carriage drivers pretty much have been killed off. They are mostly just a novelty, a “Society for Creative Anachronism” sort of thing. Either that or they appear in among certain religious circles, like the Amish.

          Otherwise, they’re mostly absent altogether.

          If the same thing happens to males, this will be a form of progress, even if absolute extinction does not occur.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm |

          Progress. Obsolete. Meaningless.

          You keep using these words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

        3. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

          Is anybody else here reminded of the old Twilight Zone episode, “The Obsolete Man”?

      3. deadleaf
        deadleaf October 3, 2012 at 4:31 am |

        Do they still make computers which have 256MB ram

        Yes, you clearly know shit about computers.

  18. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

    Deep thought of the day: there’s men here arguing that men are basically just walking sperm-givers, and FEMINISTS are the man-hating ones? Whoo-ee.

    1. deadleaf
      deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

      many men that think that way consider themselves feminists. Most people who think feminists are man haters think men are gods gift to creation. Both of them are probably wrong ;)

      1. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |

        God’s gift to creation?

        But I thought ice cream was God’s gift to creation?!

        Darn, now I must go and reconsider everything I assumed was a given on this earthly plain…

        1. deadleaf
          deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

          But I thought ice cream was God’s gift to creation?!

          and here I thought it was beer <_<

        2. John
          John October 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm |

          God’s gift to creation? No, that’s women! :)

    2. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

      And yet none of them will tell me what happens when men are no longer around to help with all the hard to open jars, Mac!

      /Pout

      1. deadleaf
        deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

        isn’t it obvious? women will ingenuously engineer a new type of container lid that does not require a “man’s” brute strength to open ;)

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

          Yes. We will. I will get to work on my Man-Handz(TM) Can Openers right away!

          Today the jars…tomorrow the world!!!!eleventy!

        2. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

          So, wait a minute, maybe this is why men are holding onto patriarchy so hard. By preventing the furthering of technology that would solve this problem manlessly for all the women out there in the world, men get to keep being wanted for their jar opening skills.

          My mind is blown.

        3. deadleaf
          deadleaf October 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm |

          and thus, the true goal of patriarchy is uncovered, sigh, guess I better start on my “will open jars for a pat on the head” sign

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm |

          When feminism comes, you will have no jars left to lose!

    3. XGP
      XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm |

      I never said that feminists are man hating. I’m not “man-hating” either. Do you “hate” the horse and buggy? How about candles, or wax record players, or other antiques? You don’t hate obsolete things, you just point out how good it is that we don’t have to use them anymore.

      Male anatomy is soon to become an obsolete technology.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm |

        *looks around her room at the many candles there*

        *watches her kid play with another kid whose parent works with horses*

        *is about to call her mother-in-law, who has multiple record players*

        But please, do go on!

      2. EG
        EG October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

        You don’t hate obsolete things, you just point out how good it is that we don’t have to use them anymore.

        Men are not things, so that’s not applicable.

        1. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

          Humans are just really complicated arrangements of particles with sufficient computational capacity to achieve self-referential awareness and therefore sentience. Humans are objects. They are objects which are also subjects, but they nonetheless retain the property of being objects because the set of subjects is a subset of the set of objects.

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll October 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm |

          Males could only be obsolete if you think the sole purpose for human existence is reproduction. What if there are multiple purposes? What if emotional/intellectual growth is a purpose? Art? (including storytelling, which requires all humans and their varying experiences) Exploration? Invention? Etc etc etc.

          What if learning to co-exist without destroying each other is, in fact, the purpose of humanity?

          If reproduction is the sole purpose, then males are already obsolete. Enough have banked sperm.

        3. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm |

          Even with multiple purposes, males are obsolete.

          Product A does a whole bunch of things. Product B does everything A does and more.

          If both products cost the same amount of resources to make, is it really wise to even bother making product A anymore, regardless of how many things it can do?

        4. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm |

          Subjects are categorically different from objects. People are not a subset of “things.” Therefore different rules and values apply.

          You keep making statements as though there can be no debate. And you’re mistaken about that. You keep locating defects in the world rather than in yourself. Your inability to value emotion does not mean that emotion is valueless. Your inability to value happiness does not meant that happiness is valueless. Your inability to value sex does not mean that sex is valueless. Your insistence on a pseudo-rationality that rests on excluding the way that most people live and want to live their lives does make pseudo-rationality valuable.

          If you take the long view, life is meaningless and pointless for everybody (which is why I like existentialism). Recognizing that means that we construct our own values. Your values are no more rational or legitimate than anybody else’s.

        5. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

          Different rules do not apply to humans as opposed to everything else. Humans are governed by the same unitary time evolution as everything else, it’s just that certain non-linearities (non-linear in the operators, not on the state vectors!) creep into the formalism, and the Hamiltonians become time-dependent to a good approximation. This makes superposition of stationary states essentially impossible, but it still doesn’t violate unitarity, nor does it violate the Heisenberg equations of motion.

        6. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm |

          XGP:

          The laws of thermodynamics are pretty clear that heat death is inevitable. Eventually the universe will be incapable of supporting life, period. So tell me, what’s your more ‘efficient’ and ‘progressive’ society really worth, in the long run? Why does anything mean anything, since the end result will inevitably be the same?

        7. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm |

          This makes superposition of stationary states essentially impossible

          Clearly a freshman philosophy/physics major is sitting in his dorm room somewhere feeling super clever.

          PS: The section block quoted is literally meaningless. You mean simulation, not superposition.

        8. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm |

          No, I mean stationary states. Given a time-dependent Hamiltonian, no such thing as stationary states exist. As such, one cannot simply expand all states of the system as superpositions of stationary states because none exist.

          What I said is completely correct.

        9. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

          Heat death may be inevitable, but this is no more to the point than the fact that a movie ends means that the movie was pointless. Is a book worthless because it doesn’t contain infinitely many pages?

        10. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm |

          Heat death may be inevitable, but this is no more to the point than the fact that a movie ends means that the movie was pointless. Is a book worthless because it doesn’t contain infinitely many pages?

          Tell me, XGP, why isn’t the movie/book worthless? By which (objective, mind you!) metric are you assessing worth?

        11. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm |

          Different rules do not apply to humans as opposed to everything else.

          Again, saying this does not make it so. You can keep repeating it, but it’s not convincing anybody here, is it? It’s not a question of physical laws. It’s a question of values.

        12. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

          Well, many books (all of which are of finite length) are certainly useful to humans, so they at least acquire inherited purpose. As for any other purpose than that, I’m not sure such an idea makes sense. The purpose of something is, essentially, the deepest teleological or pseudo-teleological reason that something exists.

          As human life itself has no teleological purpose, one must default to the pseudo-teleology of “survive and reproduce” that is induced by evolution. However, the purposes of individual human lives can be induced by actual teleology. Thus, the purpose of your individual life would be defined as the reason that your parents decided to create you.

        13. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm |

          As for any other purpose than that, I’m not sure such an idea makes sense.

          So, once again, why the insistence on an ‘efficient’ society? Why should you give a shit about what society looks like long after you’re likely to be dead?

          Also, why are you posting on the internet? Are you just triggering serotonin loops?

        14. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm |

          As human life itself has no teleological purpose, one must default to the pseudo-teleology of “survive and reproduce” that is induced by evolution.

          [emphasis added]

          Bzzz. Nope. Wrong. One has a number of options. For instance, Sartre and de Beauvoir did not reproduce, even though they agreed that human life has no teleological purpose.

          Evolution is not a plan for human life. It holds no special wisdom about meaning. It’s just the mechanism for the development of life.

        15. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm |

          I’m on the internet because of the (apparently naive) hope that I could persuade people of my position.

        16. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm |

          Evolution is not a plan for human life. It holds no special wisdom about meaning. It’s just the mechanism for the development of life.

          +1.

          As human life itself has no teleological purpose, one must default to the pseudo-teleology of “survive and reproduce” that is induced by evolution.

          You essentially are admitting that you puzzled out that the teleologies you knew of were silly and so desperately flailed around until you grabbed one you liked more. Which is fine, but don’t pretend it’s not just as fundamentally baseless as any other just-so story.

        17. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

          Richard Dawkins gave a fairly enlightening topic on “neo-purpose” vs. “archaeo-purpose” that is both worth watching on its own and germaine to this discussion. Daniel Dennett also talks about evolution as allowing for “reasons without a reasoner.”

          There is definitely a sense in which “purpose” and “reason” exist in evolution. They differ from ordinary teleology in that they need not be represented in any mind in order to exist.

        18. deadleaf
          deadleaf October 3, 2012 at 4:39 am |

          Males could only be obsolete if you think the sole purpose for human existence is reproduction. What if there are multiple purposes? What if emotional/intellectual growth is a purpose? Art? (including storytelling, which requires all humans and their varying experiences) Exploration? Invention? Etc etc etc.

          well technically speaking, women are statistically proven to be better at all of those things. Hypothetically without being oppressed resources would be more efficiently spent on women who do those things.

    4. shfree
      shfree October 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

      I know. I’m really perplexed. But I must say, he has pulled off one of the most amazing derails I’ve seen in a long time.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm |

        I know. I stand in awe. I want to stop addressing him, but I…I can’t. It’s like some sick attraction that crosses the boundaries of reality. He’s the Edward to my Buffy*! Or something.

        *yes, that Edward and that Buffy.

      2. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl October 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm |

        I’m still sort of hoping that XGP’s comments are all some kind of bizarre performance art.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan October 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm |

          Either that or someone missed a day of their meds, which I mean both literally and sympathetically. :p

  19. Things We Saw Today: A Hello Kitty TIE Fighter | Gossip Dawg

    [...] (Wired)Stephanie Coontz breaks down the idea that feminism has caused a “decline” of men, Feministe pulls out the good quotes.In a bid to restore some faith in humanity as a species, California has outlawed anti-gay [...]

  20. Donna L
    Donna L October 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm |

    At the same time, the essential role of female anatomy in reproduction will still be necessary for a long time. Thus, cis-men seem to be without any “inherent” purpose whereas cis-women, many having the capacity for childbirth, still have some intrinsic meaning.

    From an objective standpoint, there is no longer anything important or meaningful that cis-men can contribute that cis-women cannot. In a sense, cis-men are useless, in that one could, in the near future, run an entire society without any males in it whatsoever.

    I skipped most of the reductive nonsense you’ve been spouting in this thread, but I must say, XGP, that for someone who knows enough to use terms like “cis,” this is a remarkably trans-misogynist comment. Because, of course, your “uselessness” paradigm, based entirely on genetic capacity for childbirth, puts trans women in the same category as cis men. In other words, it classifies them as not-women and, therefore, useless.

    Plus, I have small hands (with Crohn’s-related arthritis to boot), so I’m not even good for opening jars!

    1. Donna L
      Donna L October 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

      I should have added that by the same token, your paradigm classifies trans men as women. And is equally transphobic in that respect.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm |

        Ugh, Donna, I was wondering if that was the case, but I got sidetracked by his whole “non-straight people are defective and shouldn’t procreate lolz” train. I’m sure you totally grasp why that made me ragefroth, haha. (And now you probably are too, sorry for exposing you to that.)

    2. XGP
      XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm |

      My point is that “males” are obsolete. “Men” and “women” may or may not be obsolete, but “males” certainly are. If females identify as “men,” then that is perfectly acceptable and is their choice (well, not really “choice” but you know what I mean). If males identify as “women,” that’s also fine, but their identification still doesn’t effect their obsolescence because being obsolete is a function of sex, not gender.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm |

        asdksakfdfdjkghsdg. XGP! Trans women are women! I don’t fucking care what’s in their pants when they’re born, I don’t care what’s in their pants when they die, I don’t care what’s in their pants at any fucking moment in between, trans women are women! OMG, you clueless fuck. Why, why, WHY can you not attain minimal Human Reasoning Standards?

        And don’t hide behind your goddamn autism, I’ve known dozens and any of them who’s as coherent and apparently educated as you are well more than able to reason their way to “women are women are women”.

      2. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm |

        You didn’t read my first post.

        “Male” and “female” were used to denote sex.

        “Man” and “woman” were used to denote gender.

        Males are obsolete, regardless of their gender identification.

        Men are only obsolete if there are male. Female men are not obsolete.

        Similarly, women who are male are obsolete, but female women are not.

        How exactly is this hard to follow?

        1. Annaleigh
          Annaleigh October 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm |

          Mercy me, won’t someone have pity on the cismen and lament their obsoleteness! *sniffle*

        2. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

          Pity is a waste of an emotion.

        3. Annaleigh
          Annaleigh October 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm |

          Actually, fuck pity, and fuck you too. Donna is telling you how clueless and hurtful you are being to her, and still you persist.

        4. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm |

          Pity is a waste of an emotion.

          EXTERMINATE. EXTERMINATE. EXTERMINATE.

        5. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

          False assertion. Due to prompting, I attempted to create a revised version of my thesis which was more precise and also, hopefully, less likely to trigger offense and other amygdala responses.

      3. Donna L
        Donna L October 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm |

        If males identify as “women,” that’s also fine

        I am not a “male” who identifies as a woman. “Male” and “female” in human beings are not the same thing as having XY and XX chromosomes. (Not that I know for a fact what my chromosomes actually are. You probably don’t, either.) Fuck you, you fucking despicable creep.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L October 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

          Why is this awful person still here?

        2. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

          I am using “male” and “female” to refer to sex and not to gender identity. Why is this so hard to grasp?

        3. Donna L
          Donna L October 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

          Do you have the least fucking idea how horrible it is to come here and see you so casually classify me as a “male” who “identifies as a woman”?

        4. Donna L
          Donna L October 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

          I am using “male” and “female” to refer to sex and not to gender identity. Why is this so hard to grasp?

          My sex is NOT MALE! Why is this so hard to grasp?

        5. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm |

          Should I instead use the further distinction between fertile and infertile males and females?

        6. Donna L
          Donna L October 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm |

          OK, I’m way too upset to say anything more right now. Adios.

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

          OMG XGP, shut up. Shut up shut up shut up. You’re adding transphobia to ableism and homophobia.

          Mods, can we please bid this fucknut goodbye?

        8. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

          OK, you know what? I’m hoping for banhammer on XGP. If his comments make this a horrible place for Donna, the game is no longer worth the candle. Fuck him.

          And XGP: feelings may not matter to you (“a waste of an emotion”–as if my supply is limited). That does not give you license to needlessly cause others emotional pain. So go fuck yourself.

        9. Annaleigh
          Annaleigh October 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm |

          I’m with Mac and EG, XGP needs to go.

          and *hugs if ok* for Donna, so sorry you’ve been subjected to this.

        10. Chataya
          Chataya October 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm |

          This place needs a report button so badly.

          XGP:
          Stop imposing your incredibly heterosexist and transphobic definitions of sex and gender on the rest of us.

        11. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

          And you, stop misrepresenting what I’m saying.

          I also find it hilarious that a gay man advocating for the phasing out of the male sex in favor of an asexual all-female society is advocating “heterosexist notions.”

        12. thinksnake
          thinksnake October 2, 2012 at 10:40 pm |

          I’m probably going to regret entering into this ‘debate’.

          I am using “male” and “female” to refer to sex

          And what do you mean by ‘sex’? Are you talking about chromosomes, or hormones, or genitalia, or secondary sex characteristics, or role in reproduction, or what?

          Many of these characteristics can and do change over a person’s lifetime. They aren’t hard and fast. Just because as a society we like to bundle up groups of them and call them ‘male’ or ‘female’ doesn’t mean that reflects any underlying reality.

          Sex isn’t something you can just point to and say “well isn’t that clear”.

          Quite aside from your treatment of intersex people as subaltern. And I don’t even want to know what you think of genderqueer and other non-binary-gendered people.

        13. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm |

          My assertion was clarified. The people who are not obsolete are those people with the biological capability to bear children. Everyone else is obsolete.

          As for what I think of non-binary people, I don’t really care. I only care about biological capacities. I have no concern for gender roles or gender identities. People can take on whatever roles or identities they wish.

        14. igglanova
          igglanova October 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm |

          Oh fuck fuck fuck this stopped being funny really quickly.

          You’ve said enough, XGP. By now, we all thoroughly understand your argument, and it’s become tiresome to keep pointing out its many flaws. Even if you won’t accept the transphobic implications of your comments, I’m sure that even you can see that you’ve spent more than enough ink to effectively state your case. You’re adding nothing new to the discussion but pain. So piss off.

      4. Alisonhh
        Alisonhh October 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm |

        Oh my god I’m also praying for a ban here.

  21. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date October 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

    At first I was hoping that Sam’s derail would go away. But now I’m actually kind of nostalgic for it.

  22. XGP
    XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm |

    Very well, I apologize that I did not phrase my argument in a way such that the minimization of emotional harm was realized. I did not factor in the capacity for my phraseology to create further offense than that which was pursuant to my argument.

    1. josielemonpie
      josielemonpie October 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm |

      dude, you’re an asshole. maybe you should start “factoring in” other people’s feelings to your “arguments”. just because you’ve decided kindness and compassion and empathy are overrated doesn’t mean the rest of us have. good grief.

  23. XGP
    XGP October 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm |

    If you wish the version of my assertion designed to be as accurate and as inoffensive as possible:

    All individuals who lack the capacities for child-bearing that fertile females possess are obsolete. Those who, in addition to lacking such capacities, also do not desire and/or pursue sexual relationships with fertile females are even lower on the totem pole.

    Ranking:

    1. Fertile females.

    2. Those who are attracted to females.

    3. Those who are not attracted to females.

    I am actually placing myself on the lowest rung of irrelevance. My system is winding up with me being much lower than probably anyone else here, as I believe most here are attracted to females on some level.

    1. XGP
      XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

      If this is still offensive then I apologize, but I am unable to make this statement less offensive without sacrificing the accuracy of my assertion.

    2. Jadey
      Jadey October 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |

      Dude, just take your one-man fap-show on the road and get it the hell away from here. You are an embarrassment to existentialism, among other things. No one is buying your self-serving fake-ass self-deprecation and pseudo-intellectual time-wasting bullshit. You are clearly more interested in masturbating to your own misplaced sense of philosophical grandeur, so get a mirror already and stop doing it in front of an audience. The front row is complaining.

      1. Jadey
        Jadey October 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm |

        Also, your premises are bad and you should feel bad.

        I cannot make that statement less offensive without sacrificing time and energy you don’t deserve being wasted on you.

      2. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm |

        This is a nonsensical response which bears no logical connection to anything being asserted or discussed.

      3. Jadey
        Jadey October 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

        Yes, that’s how I would characterize your contributions as well.

        The difference is I’m funnier.

        1. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

          Humor is a poor measure of the accuracy of assertions.

        2. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm |

          Ok, but all the other measures turned out to say you’re full of shit. So now we’ve moved on to humor.

    3. EG
      EG October 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm |

      You do realize that repetition is not actually argumentation, right?

      1. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm |

        This wasn’t an attempt at repetition. It was an attempt to recast my original assertion in a manner which minimized the capacity to cause offense, so as to avoid miscommunication. Communication tends to be hindered by the perception of offense, and when it comes to offense, perception is pretty much identical to reality. In other words, something is, by definition, offensive if it causes offense.

        1. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm |

          You do like to use the long nouns rather than action verbs, don’t you?

          It was repetition. You didn’t say anything new, or advance any new arguments or evidence that any of your assertions made sense or were correct.

        2. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm |

          But it was not repetition for the sake of “proof by assertion,” as you attempted to imply. It was for the sake of trying to cause less offense. I reacted to the word “repetition” because of the attempt on your part to tie it with proof by assertion.

    4. samanthab
      samanthab October 3, 2012 at 7:42 am |

      By your definition, every US president since Kennedy has been powerless. Your argument does not hold up, no matter how delicately you do or don’t try to phrase it. You’ve absorbed some really silly and screwed up pseudo-Darwinism. People on the conservative spectrum tend to do that! Seriously, read Darwin or one of his heirs- Stephen Jay Gould is great- before you make nonsense conclusions based on your fantasy of what Darwinism asserts.

      1. matlun
        matlun October 3, 2012 at 9:01 am |

        The main issue is not a misunderstanding of Darwinism, but a misunderstanding about its applicability.

        The fact that those who do not propagate their genes are evolutionary failures is simply irrelevant in this context.

        It is really annoying how the appeal to nature or naturalistic fallacy pops up whenever Darwinistic reasoning is used. (See: every evo psych discussion ever)

        I do not really find the argument offensive. Just stupid.

    5. LotusBecca
      LotusBecca October 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |

      I don’t know if anyone has pointed this out yet. . .but actually there are far, far too many humans on this planet. So people who don’t reproduce–far from being obsolete–are actually contributing to the potential survival of human species. Only when the human population starts going down–thanks to queer people, trans folks, cis males, infertile women, and so on–will human beings have a chance for survival on Earth. Otherwise, all human evolution will end.

      The above was basically tongue in cheek. But, I think if one accepts XGP’s fundamental, asinine assumptions about evolution/obsolescence it’s the logical conclusion. So, in other words, XGP’s bigoted viewpoint is not even consistent with his own, stupid assumptions.

  24. Jadey
    Jadey October 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm |

    On a side note, I actually find XGP kind of interesting as a case study of the lengths to which a person will go to maintain their sense of themselves as the centre of the universe, in this case by total inversion. By positioning himself as the least important person in existence (I exaggerate a little, but not much), he uses this as a means of making himself/his group the centre of attention. Fascinating! He’s basically arguing, “We’re -1!” and then using his own falsely-subverted position (because his arguments really are devoid of reality) as the basis for arguing for his own authenticity and superior theorizing. Because no one in the right mind would ever debase themselves unless it were true right? I mean, it’s not like this is a common tactic of passive-aggressive abusers, right? Guilt-trippers, etc? Oh wait…

    Transparency – XGP haz it.

    1. EG
      EG October 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

      What I find interesting, in a sort of freshman-philosophy jacking-off way, is the insistence on the irrelevance of human emotion. I’ve seen it before, and what I find mind-boggling is how irrational it is from self-professed rationalists. Because no matter how much hand-waving anybody does, emotion isn’t going anywhere. If you can’t factor it into your understanding, your understanding is flawed. If you can’t make plans or assessments that take it into account, your plans and assessments are not only flawed, but any insistence on their relevance is irrational, because it is not reality-based.

      In conclusion, it’s so weird.

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

        What I really am enjoying the most is the insistence that everything be measured absolutely objectively, combined with the (completely teleological!) assertion that what really matters is how ‘efficient’ human society is.

        1. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 8:25 pm |

          Right?

          Happiness is meaningless but efficiency is important! By this totes objective measure I have that I’m not going to tell you about. It’s secret.

        2. Jadey
          Jadey October 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm |

          We should totes team up and publish something on this.

          amblingalong, EG, & Jadey (2012). “Pity is a waste of an emotion”: Qualitative analysis of the inchoate ramblings of Sad Queer Space Jesus. The Feministe Journal of Trolling, 1(1), 45-53.

        3. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

          Jadey, that’s the most awesome idea! And now I’m giggling.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm |

          Hey! I named the guy, how come I can’t participate? *sadface*

        5. Jadey
          Jadey October 2, 2012 at 10:33 pm |

          Obviously our paper would draw heavily on your recent landmark publication:

          macavitykitsune (2012). Down the lane and into the mace: Recent explorations of absurdity in pursuit of kyriarchy, from jorge to XGP. The Annals of Ridiculous Comments, 31(2), 1118-1135.

      2. XGP
        XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm |

        I never said you don’t have to take emotion into account. Emotion is often an obstacle that you must navigate, and so it makes sense to take account of emotion in a rational plan. What does not make sense is to posit emotion as the end in itself.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 8:39 pm |

          What does not make sense is to posit emotion as the end in itself.

          Right, that’s what efficiency is for!

        2. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 8:39 pm |

          You have yet to explain why.

        3. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm |

          The emotional portions of the brain cannot process propositional logic and therefore are incapable of articulating coherent goals and plans. Thus, plans on the basis of emotion fail.

          Plans wherein emotion is the end goal seem ostensibly less problematic until one realizes that they still must involve, on some level, a plan on the basis of emotion.

        4. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 8:56 pm |

          First, I’d love to see your evidence, as my cousin the neurobiologist has never mentioned any such thing. However, it is fortunate indeed that human beings are able to engage multiple parts of the brain/mind at once, and thus most of us can integrate emotion into our plans in a reasonable way, and value it appropriately.

          You clearly cannot, but do not mistake your own failings for those of humankind in general.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm |

          EG, don’t you know that too much attachment to the Amygdala took Anakin to the dark side?

          Or something. I’m SURE I heard something about that…

        6. moviemaedchen
          moviemaedchen October 3, 2012 at 10:40 am |

          EG, don’t you know that too much attachment to the Amygdala took Anakin to the dark side?

          Or something. I’m SURE I heard something about that…

          *dies laughing*

          Mac wins the entire internet for this comment.

      3. Full of Woe
        Full of Woe October 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm |

        What I find interesting . . . is the insistence on the irrelevance of human emotion.

        All I could think, reading XGP’s comments, was, “Jesus, and I thought I over-identified with Vulcans.”

    2. XGP
      XGP October 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm |

      Yeah, I just want to abuse people. That’s totally why I’ve participated in self-imposed punishments and mutilation against myself whenever I commit actions that I deem morally and/or rationally intolerable. It’s because I just love manipulating others in a sociopathic way. The scars on my arm that I’ve never shown anyone IRL are doing a good job at that.

      No, it’s because I believe in what I advocate. I’m trying to make the world as perfect as possible and part of that perfection includes punishing myself whenever I fail at achieving perfection. I’ll tell you this, self-imposed punishment sure as hell motivated me to not to make mistakes on tests in my undergraduate years.

      I live by my assertion that happiness and fulfillment are overrated.

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 11:09 pm |

        Wow, this really stopped being funny.

        Look, XGP, I know this thread has involved a lot of hostility and derision, and frankly I think most of what you’ve written is tripe. But please, please consider this; a rational person would accept the possibility, however minute, that their own cognitive biases are leading to incorrect conclusions. To put things in your language, engaging in self-harm is a choice which indicates that, at the very least, there’s a possibility you’re choices are not perfectly aligned with your ideals of rationality and efficacy. Even if you’re pretty sure you’ve identified rational explanations for your behavior, I strongly suggests confiding in someone you trust.

        1. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 11:16 pm |

          I don’t confide in people who care about me because I find it immoral to burden them with more things to worry about, my mother especially. She already worries about me far more than is warranted. If she knew some things about me which I have kept secret from her, she could possibly lose it completely.

          I’m not worried that she’d hate me or kick me out or any of that. Her love has proved to be absolutely unconditional. I’m worried more about imposing unfair and unnecessary stress on someone who can no longer take antidepressants because they interfere with the anti-breast cancer drug tamoxofin.

          As for others, I really don’t have any. I’m not a sociable person, and I don’t really like having friends. I find them to be more trouble than they’re worth. Right now, I’m living alone and going to school.

        2. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm |

          I have to go to bed now anyway. If I haven’t been banned when I wake up, perhaps I could continue with this conversation.

        3. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm |

          Being confided in and given the opportunity to help the people one loves creates closeness and is a pleasure for many, even most people.

          More and more, you sound terribly depressed to me, complete with social isolation and the inability to take pleasure in everyday life.

      2. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll October 2, 2012 at 11:12 pm |

        Perfection is over rated.

        Also- impossible to achieve.

        Believing in male obsoletion does absolutely fuck all. It achieves nothing. Will never achieve anything. Ever.

        You’ve set yourself up for failure. Obviously that punishment didn’t teach you one damn thing.

        1. XGP
          XGP October 2, 2012 at 11:18 pm |

          What ever happened to “Ah but a (wo)man’s reach should exceed (her)his grasp.”?

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll October 2, 2012 at 11:31 pm |

          Obsolete, obviously.

        3. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm |

          What ever happened to “Ah but a (wo)man’s reach should exceed (her)his grasp.”?

          The last part of that quotation reads “or what’s a heaven for?” I don’t believe in pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die heavens. I believe in making real happiness here on earth.

          The poem itself is about the inability of technical, mechanical perfection to compete with emotional/spiritual power, and about an old man’s acceptance of his limitations and his life. It does not support the philosophy you are advancing in the slightest.

      3. EG
        EG October 2, 2012 at 11:32 pm |

        Yes, this is starting to sound truly deranged. By definition, fulfillment cannot be overrated.

        Numerous studies on education and behavior modification demonstrate that positive, not negative, reinforcement is the most effective motivator. Ignoring that evidence is not rational behavior.

        Punishing yourself for failing to be perfect does not sound compassionate to me. You are setting yourself up to fail, and then torturing yourself when you do. Nobody can prevent you from living a life of suffering if you wish to, but your discourse is the rationalization of depression. You are convinced the bleakness of your world-view is accurate; everybody in the grip of depression is convinced of that. You are not right, and they are not right. But nobody has ever been argued out of it.

        Now I realize what this conversation has reminded me of. It reminds me of the long discussions I would have in my head when my meds weren’t working, as I proved completely rationally with utter conviction in my own correctness that I had no choice but to be miserable, and that, further more, I deserved such misery.

        Now I just feel sad.

        1. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie October 2, 2012 at 11:43 pm |

          “Deranged”? I don’t know. “Deeply depressed?” As I said upthread, that is my suspicion.

          One of the hallmarks of depression, of course, is the inability to see one’s self-loathing as anything other than completely rational.

          XGP, I hope you’ll reconsider trying for some help. A med check might be a good start. In my non-expert, completely non-medical, largely irrelevant opinion, you might feel better if you got some help.

        2. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm |

          Now I realize what this conversation has reminded me of. It reminds me of the long discussions I would have in my head when my meds weren’t working, as I proved completely rationally with utter conviction in my own correctness that I had no choice but to be miserable, and that, further more, I deserved such misery.

          Now I just feel sad.

          Yeah, now I’m really wishing I’d taken a different approach to this whole conversation.

        3. EG
          EG October 2, 2012 at 11:48 pm |

          Speaking as somebody who has frequently thought in this manner, Hattie, I feel quite comfortable with characterizing such thought patterns as “deranged.”

        4. Jadey
          Jadey October 2, 2012 at 11:50 pm |

          Yeah, this whole thing is taking on the tone of using the comment thread as a therapy space. Which, you know, not effective, for anyone.

          I hope XGP does get help, somewhere more appropriate.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 3, 2012 at 7:33 am |

          Yeah, I agree he sounds pretty depressed and/or fucked up in the head for other brain chemistry reasons. I’m still not terribly inclined to be sympathetic to someone who called Donna a faker and worse, myself a defective, and my wife someone who willingly passed on “crap genes” (non-NT and queer – there’s your twofer!). But it’s nice that the straight people here are willing to feel sad and wish they’d been nicer to a homophobic, transphobic, ableist little runt, now that he’s said he haz a sad about his life. If I felt sorry for all the homophobes around me who haz sads, I wouldn’t have any time to stop them oppressing me, either, so, you know. Wev. I’m done here.

        6. samanthab
          samanthab October 3, 2012 at 7:56 am |

          Oh, I wish I’d scrolled down before commenting- it’s a LONG thread. Yeah, he’s not in a healthy place. I obsess over reasons I don’t deserve to exist when I’m depressed, too. And you really can’t be happy without some degree of community.

        7. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 3, 2012 at 8:05 am |

          XGP gets no sympathy from me either, Mac. This isn’t the space to work out his own personal issues, maybe to learn how and why he is wrong, but that’s about it. Besides, I never got the impression that XGP was truly debating in good faith to begin with (which is why I somewhat childishly took the tactic of going on and on about bug squashing and jar opening.)

        8. EG
          EG October 3, 2012 at 8:48 am |

          I can feel sad for somebody and still think he’s an asshole who hurts people and should be banned. Also, I don’t think Jadey is straight.

        9. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl October 3, 2012 at 9:08 am |

          I dunno, EG, do you really think XGP is for real? My bs meter suspects the answer is maybe not so much. I guess I can feel sad for those who feel driven to self abnegation and/or flagellation, and agree that no matter what that XGP is fifty shades of wrong in the opinions he has expressed.

        10. EG
          EG October 3, 2012 at 9:23 am |

          I think he’s for real because his circular, absurd, pseudo-logical “reasoning” really does remind me, now that my attention’s been drawn to it via the self-harm, of the kind of depressive reasoning I engage in when my meds aren’t working, or not working well enough, and because the dynamic whereby he feeds off argument, as though he’s needing to engage in this exercise of explaining just how “obsolete/defective/worthless/whatever” he is, without ever actually bringing any evidence to bear, also reminds me strikingly of my need to explain to my best friend why, precisely, I’m so worthless and doomed to the unhappiness I so richly deserve.

          I’m not saying it’s impossible that he’s faking or that his rhetorical traits don’t signify something else, but they do resonate with my own depressive behavior/thoughts; it’s possible that that’s blinding me to other interpretations, but it’s also possible that there’s a genuine correspondence there.

          Obviously, he’s still an asshole, and being depressed doesn’t excuse or explain away or make acceptable the amount of hurt he’s caused by stomping all over this thread. It might partially explain his inability to hear or contemplate his own irrationality–depression is, in my opinion, an utterly narcissistic condition (I say that not as blame for anybody who’s depressed; I say it as an assessment of how the condition works: it turns you inward.).

        11. EG
          EG October 3, 2012 at 9:25 am |

          Longer comment in mod. Shorter answer to Lolagirl: I do, though I may be biased by my own experiences with depression. Nonetheless, depression doesn’t make his behavior acceptable.

        12. Jadey
          Jadey October 3, 2012 at 10:04 am |

          FWIW, I don’t regret any of my comments to XGP, though I’m also not interested in taking it further with him. Up until the self-harm comment, which did take things to another level, he came off as just another self-obsessed pseudo-intellectualist and I didn’t buy his self-loathing as genuine. It’s still possible he is trolling and being manipulative (because hells yes self-harm or threats thereof can be used to deliberately manipulate and without knowing the guy it’s impossible to tell one way or the other), but either way Feministe threads aren’t a therapy session – if he comes back with more of the same, all he will get from me is a firm, “Get out until you can contribute without derailing and being offensive.” He didn’t get a pass on that when he said he was autistic because that wasn’t an excuse, and he wouldn’t get a pass on it for being depressed, because that is also not an excuse – it’s just a reason to seek further help from someone who is trained (and paid) to do that. Not here.

          (And ftr I am queer. But I don’t know if that was actually at issue.)

        13. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 3, 2012 at 11:11 am |

          Jadey, that was pretty much my reasoning as well, though I think he’s being genuine about the self-harm, I dunno why, gut instinct really.

          EG, I know Jadey’s queer, but I didn’t see a whole lot of sympathy in her comment. Understanding, but not sympathy. And I can see where your experiences lead you to feel sad for him; mine lead me to feel less sympathetic for opposite reasons (I’ve been there, in a different way, without being an asshat, therefore his asshattery gets no sympathy etc). Both are understandable. I guess I just feel that it’s easier to shift from anger to sympathy when you’re not being personally called shitty things by the asshat in question.

        14. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie October 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

          “Deranged” has insulting undertones, in my experience as a person who has also battled depression for decades. But, since you have similar experience and don’t find it insulting, certainly I shouldn’t presume to speak for anyone else.

        15. EG
          EG October 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm |

          Mac, in that case I apologize for making you feel abandoned. When I wrote “I feel sad,” I did not mean it to sound as though I felt my sadness was mainly for XGP; it was a general sadness about depression, and, as self-centered as it may sound, very much about feeling sad for myself, because I had a moment of realizing how fucked up and disconnected from reality I must sound when making arguments similar in tone though not in content. That probably did make me feel and express more sympathy for XGP than I meant to and than he warrants, given his wanton cruelty to people on this thread. Apologies.

        16. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie October 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

          I’m REALLY sorry, macavitykitsune and DonnaL, and everyone else who was hurt, that I didn’t suport you more. I was so tied up in … what? My own projections onto a stranger, I guess.

          You both matter to me more than some guy who comes in and spouts hate-speech, no matter how depresed he is. I’m sorry you had to go through this, and I’m ashamed I didn’t “step up.”

        17. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm |

          Eeek, tinfoil, EG, I wasn’t trying to make you feel bad at all! There’s no need for apology, I didn’t feel abandoned, just annoyed (which you have to admit I do a lot, lol). Don’t worry about it ^__^ tbh it was his comments to Donna that really infuriated me.

        18. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie October 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm |

          You’re very kind as usual, macavitykitsune, but I re-read my comments & realized I completely glossed over what you & DonnaL were feeling.

  25. Punchdrunk
    Punchdrunk October 2, 2012 at 8:44 pm |

    That’s the longest, most tortured example of a straw vulcan I’ve seen.
    http://alexvermeer.com/the-straw-vulcan-hollywoods-illogical-view-of-logical-decision-making/

    I don’t know if I should applaud the performance or cry at the misguided sincerity.

    1. EG
      EG October 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm |

      That is an awesome post!

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm |

        *applauds*

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong October 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm |

          Emotions are necessary for forming goals among humans, rationality has no normative value to humans without goals.

          Key point, here.

  26. king ten butts
    king ten butts October 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm |

    When is this asshole going to get banned? He’s transphobic, homophobic, ableist, & misogynistic. He’s even a misandrist if you think that’s a thing. He’s also derailed an entire thread with sophistry based entirely on his subjective definition of objective. It’s just getting ridiculous.

  27. Alanc
    Alanc October 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm |

    Now hold on, some of the points in the article are not really solid.

    In wealthy countries like America, there is always an “infantilization” of the populace. Rich people living in comfortable environments end up shirking responsibility, clinging to childish things. This is true of men and women, and not just in America either.

    Second, when it says women still don’t make as much, are not as represented in certain areas, that is more likely to be explained by generational effects. As in, it takes time for anyone to become a congressman/woman, a CEO, an engineer, etc. Men have historically had the lead, and the disparities seen now are just the remnants of that lead, not necessarily due entirely to oppression. If women have higher rates of graduation from college now, how will that translate in the future, say, 30 years from now?

    1. EG
      EG October 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

      Second, when it says women still don’t make as much, are not as represented in certain areas, that is more likely to be explained by generational effects.

      That’s just not so. It’s 2012, not 1973. Studies have been done comparing pay rates between sexes within age cohorts, and you’re mistaken. In the white-collar world, for example, men begin to earn more than women within a year of graduating college.

    2. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable October 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm |

      Second, when it says women still don’t make as much, are not as represented in certain areas, that is more likely to be explained by generational effects

      My incoming MBA class was ~ 30% women; I’m an analyst at an investment bank, and my incoming class here was ~ 25% women.

      Note that base salary pay at most banks does not differ until you hit the officer level (officers are minimum three years older than me at ~29/30, though typically a little older), where you find women are substantially LESS than 1/4 of the population.

  28. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan October 2, 2012 at 11:42 pm |

    XGP, find a reliable adult and tell them what you’ve been thinking about. Seriously, that’s what professionals such as counselors and therapists are for; it’s not a burden to them. But for fuck’s sake get some help.

  29. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh October 3, 2012 at 12:10 am |

    Yes, XGP, please go find a professional, Feministe is definitely not the place for this. You’re stepping on toes all over the place. You’ve hurt Donna and others, and by doing so are hurting yourself in the process because people are responding angrily and/or mocking you.

    I could swear that we have a had very depressed sounding man here in comments before who was very self-loathing and said many things like XGP has said. If this is the same person, then you really need to get off Feministe and find a good T (therapist).

  30. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune October 3, 2012 at 7:55 am |

    XGP, if you’re still reading: you’re clearly using this thread to beat up on yourself for some obscure reason. I’m not going to pretend your arguments aren’t bunk, but I do understand the sort of crazy-thought that happens during depression (fuck knows I’ve had it myself). Self-harm isn’t the answer. If you’re going to college, they probably have therapists, who, if you’re in a halfway enlightened country (I hope you are) are cheap or free to access. They have literally no other reason for being there other than to help you and anyone else who needs it.

    The reason restating your case repeatedly didn’t help is that your essential premise cannot but be transphobic and homophobic. Whether or not you intend it to be, or perceive yourself as capable of such. Please, before you express those views in public fora again, rethink the implications of your logic and how it might hurt others. Though I retaliated with mockery and anger, you offended me and hurt me greatly with your assertion that “queer genes” are defective. Please reconsider saying that in the future.

    I’m not going to engage you, or mock you further on this thread, or any other (unless I forget who you are, anyway, I disclaim because it happens). I’d feel shitty smacking you around when you’re so obviously in need of help. However, depression, however severe, is not a free pass for homophobia and transphobia and I’m entirely certain I can ever regard you as a decent human being when you’re so willing to call large swathes of the world population defectives – do you even know how loaded that word is? how it’s used as a weapon against the mentally ill, against queers, against transfolk, against infertile women, against people of colour?

    Feeling shitty about yourself is not a reason to throw others under the fucking bus, and for someone who reads as much as you clearly do, I would recommend understanding more of what you read.

  31. DouglasG
    DouglasG October 3, 2012 at 8:20 am |

    Can anyone think of a non-clunky way to distinguish husbands-of-wives from husbands-of-husbands? The paragraph about housework just really made me crabby yesterday. It’s all well and good if HOWs improve their sex lives when they double their housework, but the framework doesn’t accommodate HOHs.

    If doubling is used proportionally, then one HOH doing twice as much housework means that his husband is doing less (assuming that one isn’t comparing A’s share of a two-way split to A’s share of a more-than-two-way split, to cover cases where letting the houseboy go means that A and B both cover a larger fraction), washing HOHs out of the statistic entirely. If doubling is used quantitatively, then I submit that, whatever might coincide with both halves of a couple doing twice as much housework, Happy Time isn’t it. For HOWs and WOHs, it works differently either way.

    I know it’s all because language hasn’t caught up with history yet. But, having been excluded from some desirable things on the grounds of not being a “husband” when the meaning was always exclusive, I sometimes feel a bit of baggage attached to the unqualified word in an exclusive context. This leads to lengthy sidetracks and unnecessary crankiness, but it seems reasonable to like the occasional acknowledgment.

    Do any WOWs here have similar (or stronger) reactions to “wife”?

    I nearly posted this yesterday before The End of Men took such a literal turn, but thought it would be a derail.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

      Douglas G,

      I’ve been thinking about this since I first saw your post, and honestly, as a WOW (haha wow) I can’t say it really bothers me to call myself a wife. I rather like your acronyms as a way to distinguish, though! (If nothing else, I can think of an endless succession of bad jokes for my friends’ husbands/partners from now on…)

    2. tinfoil hattie
      tinfoil hattie October 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm |

      This is interesting, and I admit I chafe at “wife” because of the historical connotations of property that the word invokes.

      And, after 27 years with the same partner, I still feel weird saying “my husband,” because – I don’t really know why! You’ve given me food for thought, DouglasG.

      1. Kerandria
        Kerandria October 7, 2012 at 12:11 am |

        I agree, tinfoil hattie – both gendered marriage titles (especially wife) are just.. so loaded. As as a WoW-to-be, this is.. problematic.

        I don’t like ‘partner’ or ‘spouse’. I wish there was a better alternative.

    3. tinfoil hattie
      tinfoil hattie October 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm |

      … aaaand, I just re-read and realize you were asking WOWs. SORRY!

      1. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl October 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

        Despite the fact that the OP was asking HoH and WoWs, I agree with you Hattie about chafing at the terms husband and wife, somehow. I often use the word spouse, and sometimes people look at me funny, but it just doesn’t feel weirdly possessive in the way that husband and wife does.

        Sorry if this is an unwelcome derail, but I find it interesting and a bit reassuring to read someone else expressing similar thoughts on the matter.

        Love the term WoW, though, it’s actually pretty cool!

        1. DouglasG
          DouglasG October 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm |

          I liked WOW too, but WOH and HOH, which I suppose would get pronounced with a long O, seemed unfortunate. And with any luck, the usefulness of the distinction will continue to rise as the number of legal WOWs and HOHs increases, so that I’d like to be as prepared as possible.

          And the line of how the OS-wed relate to the terms also interests me; I just didn’t want to start that myself. Perhaps I won’t be around to see it, but maybe
          SSM can provide a little new spin on the nature of husbands and wives and maybe help make a shift for the better.

      2. DouglasG
        DouglasG October 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

        No problem at all. Thanks for your perspective. I do wonder if my female counterparts, the WOWs, occasionally feel excluded, but welcome any thoughts that may bubble up.

  32. XGP
    XGP October 3, 2012 at 8:28 am |

    As far as gender is concerned, Dan Abrams has published a book in which he effectively argues that women are essentially superior to men in almost every possible way.

    1. EG
      EG October 3, 2012 at 8:51 am |

      Yes, Ashley Montagu did that decades ago. There’s nothing new about that idea.

    2. jrockford
      jrockford October 3, 2012 at 9:37 am |

      Cornelius Agrippa did that in 1529!

    3. deadleaf
      deadleaf October 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

      No, he said they are better at almost everything, not superior beings. Thought ill admit after reading Man Down I kinda wanted to quit my job and give up too, some of those stats are pretty convincing.

      Heh, speaking of Ashley Montagu though “The Anatomy of Swearing” was a pretty fun read if your into how your native tongue can impact your thinking.

  33. Caperton
    Caperton October 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm | *

    Christ in a bucket. XGP is now banned, and I can’t apologize enough to all of you for not catching that avalanche of shit as soon as it crested the mountain. DonnaL, I’m so sorry you had to deal with that.

    Not that it’s anyone else’s job to moderate these posts for us, but please feel free to e-mail Jill or me if something like this comes up and it doesn’t appear to have caught a mod’s attention. Again, I apologize.

    1. matlun
      matlun October 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

      I am not sure what to make of XGP really.
      That went beyond offensive into the territory of “weird”.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |

      Thanks, Caperton. That fucknut was pretty upsetting and I hated what he did to Donna.

      1. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie October 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

        As well as to you, macavitykitsune. Major suckage, and I am so sorry you had to be subjected to it. And sorry I didn’t just say STFU from the beginning.

    3. Donna L
      Donna L October 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

      Thank you, Caperton. I never thought any of it was funny, not one word. It hasn’t been easy for me to be here recently, with this happening right after that business with valentifan69 expecting me to provide details on the exact nature of my post-GRS complications. I’ve been trying to persuade myself that I didn’t do anything wrong, or bring all of this on myself, but it hasn’t been so easy. I do know that it’s been a while since I’ve felt as embarrassingly humiliated as I did yesterday, when I found myself saying, in effect, “I am not male! So there!” I wasn’t sure I’d be able to show my face here again.

      1. Caperton
        Caperton October 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm | *

        If it helps any, valentifan69 has been banned as well. And you’ve done nothing here besides generously continuing to share oxygen with assholes we haven’t been able to filter out fast enough. That should not have happened. I’m sorry.

      2. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie October 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm |

        Good heavens, DonnaL. I cringed for you when you had to say, “I am not male!” I’m glad you came back, and I appreciate that it must have been hard for you to do so.

        I am sorry I didn’t say something before, and that I homed in on the signs of depression. That was thoughtless of me.

      3. Jadey
        Jadey October 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm |

        Donna, what has been happening to you here is awful and inexcusable. I regret not being more vocal in your defense – I’m getting into a bad habit of avoiding parts of threads that are that frustrating, but it’s much easier for me to do that as a cis person than being in your position as a trans person under attack.

        You definitely did absolutely nothing wrong and under no circumstances does anyone deserve to be treated the way that you (and mac) were treated on this thread. The rest of us also need to do what we can to make this space less potentially toxic from commenters like XGP.

        1. moviemaedchen
          moviemaedchen October 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

          I’ll second this, and also offer my own apologies to Donna and Mac for not jumping in, though I haven’t been paying as much attention to this thread.

      4. Annaleigh
        Annaleigh October 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm |

        Donna, I want to apologize to you and Mac as well, for starting off with the sarcasm directed at him and not simply doing my part to defend the both of you. I am one of the defectives he spoke of and I should have felt anger myself, but it seemed not to sink in right away. But for you and Mac the pain was clear pretty quickly and I should have said something sooner. Very sorry.

      5. MrRabbit
        MrRabbit October 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm |

        You absolutely did nothing wrong, Donna L. You did not invite or facilitate or bring on his transphobia. It is most definitely his problem, his fault. The shame is his.

      6. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm |

        Hey, Donna, it’s nice to see you back. Hugs if you want ‘em.

  34. Chained Divinity
    Chained Divinity October 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm |

    With regards to the economics of the situation, I can actually dispute the universality of the pay gap, but…you’re pretty much right.

    A point of fairness to the MRAs, however, at least when it comes to the more general stuff: In at least my personal experience, women tend to abuse men about as much as men abuse women, but women do it differently from men. Whereas men just go and beat you up, women spread rumours about you to your friends, and then they beat you up. And unfortunately, I’ve only found really unconnected stories discussing the more indirect forms of abuse that go on in this regard, and stories about women doing this to other women…
    …but there really aren’t enough statistics about this different variety of wrongdoing, and I think that just handing over total trust to the woman in this scenario is bad.

    1. samanthab
      samanthab October 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm |

      Hmm…do you know how many women die at the hand of abuse of women vs. men on an annual basis? Are you barraged by those stories in the news, of the brutal killings of women by women? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

      And did anyone suggest that the pay gap was universal, you noble foe of strawmen, you? Go re-read the piece, please.

  35. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie October 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm |

    Thanks, Caperton. The more I read, the more distressed I became at the hurt feelings he was causing. I do have compassion for his depression; and, as macavitykitsune pointed out, we can’t “excuse” hurtful behavior because someone is ill. I do hope he gets help, and I am REALLY sorry that he hurt so many people’s feelings and didn’t care.

  36. dc
    dc October 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm |

    *…de-lurks again….*

    “A point of fairness to the MRAs, however, at least when it comes to the more general stuff: In at least my personal experience, women tend to abuse men about as much as men abuse women, but women do it differently from men. Whereas men just go and beat you up, women spread rumours about you to your friends, and then they beat you up”

    -still laughing at this one.

    (good luck tho to XGP and those that got hurt on this thread.
    what a sad trainwreck it so often ends up being.please get the help you need.no-one should hate themselves so much….sigh.)http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm

    *re-lurks*

    1. Chained Divinity
      Chained Divinity October 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

      …I can’t tell if you’re laughing at my comment in agreement or just laughing at me…XD

      Also, I hope everyone realizes which “they” I’m talking about. Otherwise, my statement seems kind of stupid. XD

  37. The End of Men? | Us, Women
    The End of Men? | Us, Women October 4, 2012 at 8:58 am |

    [...] article for this week is called The Myth of Male Decline by Jill. It’s a response to an article about gender disparity from the New York Times. I [...]

  38. Datdamwuf
    Datdamwuf October 4, 2012 at 9:55 am |

    I doubt anyone will be back to this thread since it’s been a day and the hijack. My first thought when I read reports that men were harder by the recession, was a simple DOH! Of course men are being laid off first, they are paid more – so if a company is looking to downsize as little as possible while saving money on salaries of course the men get the ax. And the second thought being that construction was a big part of job losses and that field is overwhelmingly male.

  39. A4
    A4 October 4, 2012 at 11:35 pm |

    I hope I do not come off as insensitive when i say how ridiculously fascinating this whole thread was. XGPs arrival was unfortunate and I feel really deeply for all the people he victimized in his compulsion to victimize himself. But this thread really showed some people shining with insight and knowledge and good will and empathy and honesty. I think the way this group of people handled this situation was inspiring and like a real community. A lot of people wrote comments with great care and intention and I appreciated them a lot.

  40. Weekly Linkroll « M. Fenn
    Weekly Linkroll « M. Fenn October 7, 2012 at 7:55 am |

    [...] The Myth of Male Decline From Feministe. What do you know? Feminism is good for men, too. [...]

  41. TomSims
    TomSims October 12, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    “Most men are in fact behaving better than ever. Domestic violence rates have been halved since 1993, while rapes and sexual assaults against women have fallen by 70 percent in that time.”

    Very interesting. I keep reading how 1 in 3 women will be raped in their lifetimes and that domestic violence is at an all time high. So how does this square with this article this lady wrote? As Abbot and Costello once said “who’s on first?”

    1. mxe354
      mxe354 October 12, 2012 at 11:56 am |

      Not much can be said because Coontz doesn’t cite any sources.

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