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81 Responses

  1. anne
    anne November 26, 2012 at 11:12 am |

    Okay we need male allies, but I’m not going to blow sunshine up their butts; white heterosexuals have been making a big show of vocally supporting equal rights for gay and non-white men for a long time now and nobody throws them a parade for it. I don’t know why any different should be expected for their *long-overdue* advocacy for the fair treatment of the female half of humanity; we’ve certainly been on the back burner of the progressive cause stove long enough. Just look at what the men who run the Democratic party have allowed to happen to our reproductive rights these last 30-40 years. And it’s not like sexual assault conviction rates have gone thru the roof either. If dudes want to get in on this, great, it’s about damn time they did.

    1. Comrade Kevin
      Comrade Kevin November 26, 2012 at 11:42 am |

      It’s the way feminism has been branded that keeps men away from the cause. “Feminist” has become a dog-whistle in some corners for women wresting rights and privileges away from men.

      And part of it is the company one keeps. Men individually might stand up for gender equality, but it still takes lots of courage to speak this truth around other men. Peer pressure and societal expectations about being male keep the status quo in place.

      It only takes one voice willing to shame another man for expressing feminist views for opinions and convictions to be completely silenced. No one wants to be left out as the least masculine person in the room.

      1. anne
        anne November 26, 2012 at 11:48 am |

        Go get yourself some tits and a dress and tell me about being left as the least masculine person in the room. Cry me a river.

        1. Comrade Kevin
          Comrade Kevin November 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

          Ann,

          You have to see these things in proper perspective. Have you ever been socialized as a man? Unless you can honestly say yes, your view of masculinity is limited.

          I recognize fully that I will never know what it is like to be a woman. As a male ally, I have sought to listen before I talk and that skill has done me lots of good.

        2. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan November 27, 2012 at 11:34 am |

          Kevin (not Comrade yet, frankly) if you know anything about feminism you should know how bogus the “nuh-uh you don’t know men!” argument is.

      2. rain
        rain November 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm |

        It’s the way feminism has been branded that keeps men away from the cause. “Feminist” has become a dog-whistle in some corners for women wresting rights and privileges away from men.

        So? This post is about male allies, and the men you’re talking about are not allies.

        1. Comrade Kevin
          Comrade Kevin November 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

          Try to see the forest through the trees, if you can. I’m trying to draw a contrast for the sake of comparison. It’s a very commonplace rhetorical device.

        2. rain
          rain November 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm |

          Huhwhat?
          Some guy that needs to be chased down and coaxed into supporting feminism because “women are people” and “it’s fair” is not enough, and he needs some kind of incentive/ “what’s in it for me” to come on board? Not an ally.

          And “wresting . . . privileges away from men” ? Is pretty much what feminists try to do. Guys that think they can be feminists or feminist allies and retain male privilege same as before? Again, not allies.

      3. Donna L
        Donna L November 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

        No one wants to be left out as the least masculine person in the room.

        Except for all the people who couldn’t care less. Maybe you should change that from “no one” to “no straight cisgendered man who isn’t secure in his masculinity.”

        And I was socialized as a man — not very successfully, fortunately — and somehow managed to call out misogyny and homophobia when I saw it, and to advocate for abortion rights, from the time I was in high school. And didn’t really suffer any negative consequences for it, either. It’s not that hard.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 27, 2012 at 2:34 am |

          Well clearly you have transness-derived superpowers. Other male-socialised humans can’t be expected to think or have principles or integrity or basic compassion! I think you’re bigoted against men for expecting common decency towards humanity from them. Tsk tsk.

          Personally, I think your trans-derived-power is super-patience-on-the-internet, lol

        2. anne
          anne November 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

          “secure in his masculinity.”

          Masculinity, just like femininity, is socially-imposed toxic horse shit.

    2. Comrade Kevin
      Comrade Kevin November 26, 2012 at 11:44 am |

      It’s a paradox of the human condition: we want badly to be vulnerable around others, but we’re simultaneously terrified of displaying that vulnerability. The first person willing to make the first move often frees up others to truly speak their mind.

    3. Anon21
      Anon21 November 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

      Okay we need male allies, but I’m not going to blow sunshine up their butts; white heterosexuals have been making a big show of vocally supporting equal rights for gay and non-white men for a long time now and nobody throws them a parade for it. I don’t know why any different should be expected for their *long-overdue* advocacy for the fair treatment of the female half of humanity; we’ve certainly been on the back burner of the progressive cause stove long enough.

      The timeline posited here really confuses me. White (male, presumably) heterosexuals have been vocally supporting gay equality and racial equality for “a long time,” but are just now (or just recently?) starting to support women’s equality?

      At least for the U.S., your timeline seems basically backwards. Some limited, halting male political support for gender equality began in the 19th century, while racial equality had to wait until the mid-20th century to attract significant political support among white men. Gay equality is an even more recent development, although the pace of its success has been incredible.

      But I agree with your overall point, which is that support for gender, racial, and gay equality is baseline decent human conduct, not some noble sacrifice for which us white dudes deserve a cookie.

      1. anne
        anne November 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

        Oh I’m sorry, is that the word “female” in the 14th Amendment? Are those liberal dudes like Sean Penn at the Oscars talking seriously about women’s rights while he can’t name more than one non-white or non-straight male actor he likes? Or Bill Maher saying things like “we owe women a lot more than we owe black people” as if these are mutually-exclusive categories? I must’ve been living upside-down.

        1. tomek
          tomek November 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

          woman have had rights and respect for much longer than gay man. woman dont need white man to speak up for, because woman can do this themself. this is problem of comparing feminism with gay movement or black movement.

          100% of gay is for gay rights
          100% of black is for black rights
          20% of woman is for feminism.

          you see problem? if woman and 100% of woman on board with feminism, complete equality would had already.

        2. anne
          anne November 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm |

          And btw, tomek, don’t think it’s gone unnoticed that I’ve listed several substantiating examples and you haven’t.

      2. anne
        anne November 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm |

        …or was that a justice of the Supreme Court recently saying – regarding his dismissal of one of the largest class-action suits in history – with a figurative shrug that the Constitution doesn’t protect Black or gay men from discrimination?

      3. anne
        anne November 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm |

        Riiiiight, there are zero misguided right-wing Gay or Black men thinking they can buy cache by being “one of the good ones.” No Log Cabin Republicans, no Roy Cohn, Allen Keys, Herman Cain…

  2. anne
    anne November 26, 2012 at 11:14 am |

    …and by non-white men I mean Black.

    1. AverageNon-WhiteNon-BlackGuy
      AverageNon-WhiteNon-BlackGuy November 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm |

      Not really sure why you even felt the need to “clarify” the non-white statement. Because stopping racial discrimination of any kind of not as noble as “black” equality? Or did you want to say that lack of equality a US-localized issue?

      Honestly, Rain, you might find that you really don’t need to blow sunshine up anyone’s ass. The only thing that anyone should ever need is an open-mind and removing any impulse to judge.

      Let me ask you which you think will get change happening faster: trying to educate through the message of “you’re either 100% with us or 99% against us” or nurturing the 1% into 25, 50 and eventually 100%?

      Functionally, feminism won’t change the minds of those men who profit most from patriarchal structures. True change with the men who actively seek to maintain the status quo will happen when moderates become allies; they help educate radicals who become moderates themselves; who, in turn, become more allies who help weaken the inequality-perpetuating machine. But the type of replies Kevin is getting is no worse than the patronizing attitudes displayed towards women who fight for change and certainly only helps validate the stereotypes created by men who want to discredit the feminist movement.

      True, it’s not about understanding “the guy’s side” – no, that just draws the attention towards the wrong people. But accepting that people generally don’t react in binary ways but, instead, in analog ways is a good place to start. Kevin’s just asking to not dismiss the analog effort it takes to men to challenge their own social programming because ultimately, isn’t the whole point to change that programming?

      Sadly, close-mindedness happens on both sides of the fight for equality and though it creates islands of rhetoric, one side finds strength from this isolation while the other just weakens itself.

      Wouldn’t it be nicer if you didn’t have to feel you had to fight against those who are intrinsically-motivated to make the world a better place for all?

      1. anne
        anne November 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

        oh blah blah blah

  3. rain
    rain November 26, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    The reason I vote is because I’m a father to a daughter. My number-one job is to protect her, . . .

    I’m a mother to a daughter. My number-one job is not to protect her, and that’s not her father’s number one job either. It’s to teach her to be a strong, independent person. One who can protect herself, and doesn’t have to wait around for Dad or some other man to do it for her.

    1. EG
      EG November 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm |

      Depends on how old the daughter is. For quite a few years, yeah, the number-one job is to protect her. Because no matter how strong and independent a five-year-old is, she still can’t protect herself, especially politically.

    2. EG
      EG November 26, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

      Hell, I’m 36, and my father still donates to abortion clinics, and when they thank him for his “support,” he tells them his donation is thanking them for supporting his daughters.

      1. rain
        rain November 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

        “Supporting” I don’t have a problem with. But “protecting”, in a culture where there’s a sexist double standard, with parents being more protective of their daughters, and giving more freedom to their sons? Might be a nit-pick, but talk of protecting girls makes me twitchy:
        Stay in the Kitchen

  4. Andie
    Andie November 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm |

    I just want to add one thing that guys can do – listen to women. Listen to our stories. Listen when we describe our experiences. Let us speak. Listen and believe us.

    I’m totally on board with guys needing to speak up for women and call out other guys on misogynist bullshit, mainly when no woman is there to speak for herself. Otherwise though, we need you to speak with us, not for us. We can speak for ourselves. Speak with us, not for us, not at us.

    And listen.

  5. Lamech
    Lamech November 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm |

    And there was Obama’s performance at the first 2012 debate, where he failed to mention “woman” or “female”… at a debate on healthcare, unbelievably.

    Two things here, according to transcript, that the linked article linked to.
    1) Yes he did. You can control+f for woman.

    2) He only mentioned “man” thrice. Two of those times it was in the phrase “middle man”, however it was in reference to “banks and lenders”, which are not male or even human. The third reference was to himself. (The first page I linked to.)

    So this leaves me with to conclusions.
    a) The English language is a bit sexist.
    b) Barrack Obama brought up women specifically just as much as men. Which is to say, almost never. This is neither anti-woman or anti-man.

    P.S. Mitt also mentioned a woman.

    1. Saurs
      Saurs November 27, 2012 at 3:26 am |

      Your second point is a bit disingenuous. There’s precious little need to mention men as a class because there’s no (colloquially speaking) war on men, men’s rights aren’t being eroded or targeted or otherwise used for political football, and men are considered the default human and not a demographic niche that must be semi-regularly catered to when votes are at stake.

      1. Lamech
        Lamech November 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm |

        men’s rights aren’t being eroded or targeted or otherwise used for political football

        Are you fucking with me? The government funds programs to cut up the penis’s of baby boys. There are states where they fail to recognize someone putting a gun to ones head and forcing said person to have sex as rape if that guy happens to be male. Or the blatant discrimination in the legal system with more men being in prison several times over? Oh, or the states that make men give money to their rapist because they got raped?

        Seriously? Males aren’t having their rights targeted? The government just pays people to slice up their genitals.

        1. anne
          anne November 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

          There are states where they fail to recognize someone putting a gun to ones head and forcing said person to have sex as rape if that guy happens to be male.

          Name one.

  6. tomek
    tomek November 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm |

    i think men have not motivation to be empathy of womans problem and become feminit man because it very difficult to be this and still for be sexy for woman. it more easy for man to put on misogynit persona in order for have more success with woman.

    if feminit want to have change in such area, then it is be for woman and men to change. not just men.

    1. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve November 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm |

      What’s with all the nits?

    2. EG
      EG November 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm |

      OK, for serious. Here we are back to the claim that men are misogynists because otherwise we won’t sleep with them. Can we ban him now?

      1. tomek
        tomek November 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm |

        no thats not really what i say. i mean women have advatange on dating, yes? the amount men which is attractive to woman is very much small than the number of woman which is attractive to man. so man have to work much stronger than woman in workplace and social situation so he have asset (money and social confidence) to impress girl.

        so he begin to become resentful of woman and he realise that man in workplace need money more than woman. and that feed to misogyny of man. he resent that woman need to work none in dating to get guy and woman can be who themself.

        1. Andie
          Andie November 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm |

          No..

          1) the only reason men “have a harder time dating” is because of the expectation to be the pursuer. In other words, patriarchy. Besides, plenty of women have a hard time dating, says the woman who was single for the better part of the last ten years

          2) when women complain about not getting a date, if in an online sphere, we’re either assumed to be too ugly/fat to date, or we’re told to lower our standards. Guys who complain about not getting a date get told that women just don’t like nice guys and that we’re bitches anyway.

        2. tomek
          tomek November 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm |

          well you can say dating expectation of men is due to patrirchy. but expectation is enforced by woman. so men still not going to be looking to become feminist man.

          also i still think it such that woman are more attractive than men to other sex. when i am out on street, maybe 75% of woman i see what are my age i think they pretty. however for woman they go out on street they say such 1 in 30 man they see even pass for attractive to them.

        3. Andie
          Andie November 27, 2012 at 10:02 am |

          Last week my significant other and I went for coffee. As I went to pay for mine, dude behind the counter looked my SO in the eye and told him “A gentleman always pays”.

          I told the guy I was quite fine paying for my own coffee, thanks.

          But you keep telling yourself that it’s women enforcing this stuff.

          I’m done engaging with you.

        4. EG
          EG November 27, 2012 at 10:36 am |

          however for woman they go out on street they say such 1 in 30 man they see even pass for attractive to them.

          I can only assume that comes from the same scientific survey indicating that parents have only 30% of the fun of non-parents.

          Seriously, banning? Please?

        5. shfree
          shfree November 27, 2012 at 11:03 am |

          Last week my significant other and I went for coffee. As I went to pay for mine, dude behind the counter looked my SO in the eye and told him “A gentleman always pays”.

          I told the guy I was quite fine paying for my own coffee, thanks.

          Damn. If coffee wasn’t such a dire necessity, I would have set my cup down right there and refused to buy it because of that jackass. But I for real would have something to say to the person in charge about that dude.

          And I am all done with Tomek too. It’s hard enough to parse out his sentences, and I don’t think it has anything to do with the language barrier.

        6. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve November 27, 2012 at 11:26 am |

          Last week my significant other and I went for coffee. As I went to pay for mine, dude behind the counter looked my SO in the eye and told him “A gentleman always pays”.

          He should have said ‘actually, I’m a lady, and I find your attitude extremely rude.’

        7. J
          J November 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |

          Well, I’m not a guy, but I am a lesbian and I don’t find most women my age attractive. My twin sister is straight and finds most men with a pulse very sexy.

  7. Faithless
    Faithless November 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm |

    I’m kind of curious what constitutes the line for being not a “decent human being”. I mean obviously if your harassing people or a rapist or something your probably on the “bad guy” side of the bar but what about people like me, who have no real living female relatives or friends to speak off. People who’s hobbies are largely solitary in nature and work with no women or perhaps very few if any other people at all.

    If a single man has zero contact with women, and does not engage with women who are strangers in order to respect their boundaries, where do they fall on the good vs bad moral scale according to the feminist community?

    1. EG
      EG November 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm |

      If a single man has zero contact with women, by living, I guess, in a monastery, why would any of us care?

      1. Faithless
        Faithless November 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm |

        Ill admit that “zero” contact was a bit of an exaggeration but there are millions of men who stand to not be affected by feminism at all due to their limited involvement in the lives of women.

        my question was not weather or not feminists might care one way or the other about these people or their problems, but rather if “feminist” is a synonym for “being a decent human being”, is somebody who does not go out of their way to interact with women in a “feminist fashion” still a “decent human being”?

        Ill use myself as an example only to hopefully illustrate what I’m talking about.

        – I can’t “treat women at work with respect” because I work largely alone and do not report to an office
        – I have no significant other to “treat with respect”
        – I have no women siblings, cousins or close relatives to “listen to” as Andie said
        – There are no children around me to influence (either positively or negatively)
        – I do not initiate contact with women strangers or women who have mutual social connections with me

        in essence, if doing all of those things is a requirement to be a “decent human being”, is it impossible to be one without being involved with women enough to do those things?

        1. librarygoose
          librarygoose November 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm |

          Why are you fighting this fight so hard? Are you looking for an excuse to be an asshole? I don’t often interact with LGBT people (or any people) but I still don’t have any trouble being a decent human. You don’t have to go find a gal-pal to be serious and respectful towards to be a decent person. But when you see one one the street or wandering aimlessly through a store, don’t be a dick. When there’s a vote about whether or not half the population is too stupid to make their own medical decisions, don’t be a dick.

        2. EG
          EG November 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm |

          there are millions of men who stand to not be affected by feminism at all due to their limited involvement in the lives of women.

          Then why do they care what feminists think of them?

        3. Faithless
          Faithless November 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm |

          Why are you fighting this fight so hard? Are you looking for an excuse to be an asshole?

          No, I’m asking if its possible to be a good person without ever having the opportunity to actually do anything “good”

          Then why do they care what feminists think of them?

          In my case, I have several reasons.

          That being said, what DO you think of people like that?

        4. EG
          EG November 27, 2012 at 12:07 am |

          I am always suspicious of men who take such pains to avoid interacting with half the human race.

        5. Donna L
          Donna L November 27, 2012 at 12:24 am |

          Yeah, if you were just your basic hermit who basically never interacted with anyone at all — as I’ve been at different times in my life, for varying lengths of time, when I’ve felt unable to deal with the world — I’d say, well, it happens. But it does seem a little suspicious if it’s only women you just never seem to interact with. I don’t necessarily buy that this is something that has just “happened” to you, without any exercise of choice on your part. I also don’t believe that you never have any opportunity to do anything good, such as speaking up in the face of sexist and other offensive jokes and comments, or simply treating everyone you encounter, even for a minute when you buy something in a store, as human beings, and with respect.

        6. librarygoose
          librarygoose November 27, 2012 at 12:35 am |

          No, I’m asking if its possible to be a good person without ever having the opportunity to actually do anything “good”

          Nope. Impossible. But be neutral instead. There’s nothing wrong with simply coexisting with people. You don’t have to be good person, just not a bad one. That is the basic level of human decency that can be achieved through no effort.

        7. Faithless
          Faithless November 27, 2012 at 1:06 am |

          would you care to elaborate on what you all mean by “suspicious”? Is avoiding a type of person considered a type of disrespect? There are many people whom I assume are avoiding me, should I also assume those people are disrespecting me by doing so?

          But it does seem a little suspicious if it’s only women you just never seem to interact with. I don’t necessarily buy that this is something that has just “happened” to you, without any exercise of choice on your part.

          As I mentioned previously, I do not initiate contact, that doesn’t mean I am unwilling to interact. Is it so illogical to assume that due to social paradigms like Schrodinger’s rapist, racial profiling, the prevalence of date rape, PUA ideology, or a lack of respect for female professionalism in the work place, that typically women will not seek to include themselves in the lives of men but rather wait for men to do so to them?

          I also don’t believe that you never have any opportunity to do anything good, such as speaking up in the face of sexist and other offensive jokes and comments, or simply treating everyone you encounter, even for a minute when you buy something in a store, as human beings, and with respect.

          I typically only encounter people in non social contexts, when buying things in a store, typically I am given a price total and asked a series of yes or no questions. I guess if you were to call simply answering those questions and leaving instead of choosing to make some rude comment treating people with respect then I guess I do that but I suspect you meant something more socially involved.

        8. EG
          EG November 27, 2012 at 1:12 am |

          Is it so illogical to assume that due to social paradigms like Schrodinger’s rapist, racial profiling, the prevalence of date rape, PUA ideology, or a lack of respect for female professionalism in the work place, that typically women will not seek to include themselves in the lives of men but rather wait for men to do so to them?

          Whether or not it is illogical, it is not true. Women interact with men all the time under their own steam.

          would you care to elaborate on what you all mean by “suspicious”? Is avoiding a type of person considered a type of disrespect?

          What I mean is, women and girls make up over half the world. If you are interacting with men but not with women, there are two options: 1) you are actively avoiding us, in which case, I have to wonder about your reasons for doing so, rather than interacting with us in a human way 2) we are avoiding you, in which case I have to wonder why we, as a group, are doing that, and given that by your description, it’s all women who avoid just you, I must suspect that you are doing something to put us off.

        9. mxe354
          mxe354 November 27, 2012 at 1:37 am |

          Speaking from a virtue ethics perspective, I’d say that it’s possible to be respectful even if you never have the chance to treat people with respect in the first place; that you are inclined to respect others when you are with them is a sufficient reason to call you respectful. Whether you have any contact with people is irrelevant.

        10. Faithless
          Faithless November 27, 2012 at 3:01 am |

          Whether or not it is illogical, it is not true.

          it is for men with whom women do not initiate contact with.

          1) you are actively avoiding us

          not avoiding, just not initiating interaction with.

          2) we are avoiding you

          not avoiding, just not initiating interaction with.
          @mxe354: Thank you for your response
          @librarygoose: would you consider turning neutrals good to be a goal of feminism or simply turning the evil to not evil?

        11. EG
          EG November 27, 2012 at 10:43 am |

          Rephrase it how you want. I’ve given you an answer. It is impossible to just “accidentally” never, ever interact with a woman, and women initiate interactions with men all the time. You may not like the answer I’ve given you, but that is yours to worry about.

        12. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia November 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

          “– I do not initiate contact with women strangers or women who have mutual social connections with me”

          This indicates, to me, that you do initiate contact with male strangers, otherwise you wouldn’t need a qualifier, you’d just say:

          “I do not initiate contact with strangers”

          If this is correct, then yes, you are treating women differently (lesser than) than you men.

        13. Faithless
          Faithless November 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm |

          This indicates, to me, that you do initiate contact with male strangers

          I almost never initiate contact with strangers, but yes it would be fair to say that as a rule I feel more comfortable initiating contact with men than women.

          If this is correct, then yes, you are treating women differently (lesser than) than you men.

          why is not initiating contact considered lesser treatment in this context? By not initiating I avoid being Schrodinger’s rapist or being one of the many bothersome men that women often complain of who “wont just let them be at piece in a public place”. As I understand it, some women are triggered by the mere act of being approached by a male bodied person, Is it not polite to respect this paradigm by giving women the option of contact at all times?

        14. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia November 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

          Yes, I can see how you think women don’t deserve the same treatment as men.

          WE DON”T NEED YOU TO PROTECT US.

          If you can’t understand this, you have no place in a feminist discussion.

        15. Faithless
          Faithless November 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm |

          Yes, I can see how you think women don’t deserve the same treatment as men.

          Very confused how you got that out of what I wrote. I thought the whole point of concepts like Schrodinger’s rapist was for men to realize that by merely attempting contact with women, they may cause her to fear for her safety.

        16. Briznecko
          Briznecko November 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm |

          I thought the whole point of concepts like Schrodinger’s rapist was for men to realize that by merely attempting contact with women, they may cause her to fear for her safety.

          Wrong. The idea is to teach men to be aware of themselves physically when interacting with or being in the vicinity of strangers who happen to be women. You’re taking it to the extreme of OMFG I’m a man and therefore I scare ALL WOMEN with my towering manliness!

          Walking behind a woman on a deserted dark street late at night? That will set off her internal alarms and explain why she would cross the street/hail a cab/pull out her phone/walk faster. Don’t try to catch up with her and chat or call her a bitch when she makes a move to distance herself.

          Waiting in checkout line behind a women at a bookstore? Stand at a reasonable distance so she doesn’t feel crowded. Perhaps she is purchasing a book you read and loved? Casually mention it’s a great book, you really liked x, y, and z in it. Keep it short and simple unless she shows interest and adds to the conversation. Shockingly, she won’t run away screaming.

          Be a decent human and be aware. Not that hard.

        17. Faithless
          Faithless November 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

          but why does saying nothing make me an asshole?

          It’s not like her day is going to be lacking in any way because she didn’t get to hear my opinion of some book is it? I’m not saying its totally impossible to interact with women strangers without freaking them out, I’m saying If I say nothing I avoid the risk all together.

          Is there something misogynist about that?

        18. Briznecko
          Briznecko November 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm |

          Yeah, I’m with everyone else on this thread. This is not the place to debate the moral intricacies of not interacting with women and misogyny. To me personally, this reads as derailing and “Woe is meeee” pity-partying.

          Just in case you are posting in good faith, go and read everything here. It’s primarily focused on dating, but the interactions he discusses will be helpful for you.

        19. Faithless
          Faithless November 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

          I’m aware of the DNL blog, I have never seen anything written on it that proclaims saying nothing is somehow offensive or considered “protection” but as others have pointed out, one can simply prepare to “not be a dick” without having been in situations to do so. I guess ill take that as my answer.

    2. Mr. Kristen J.
      Mr. Kristen J. November 27, 2012 at 2:22 am |

      Assuming for the moment this is a serious question, I would argue that the most important work of being a male ally to feminists doesn’t require deep and meaningful conversations with women. Talk to men. Tell your friends you don’t want to hear sexist jokes, that you won’t participate in street harassment, that it isn’t okay to use sexist language to describe someone who pissed you off. Sexism isn’t hiding. It is pervasive. Go do something about it.

      1. Faithless
        Faithless November 27, 2012 at 3:07 am |

        I find myself in social situations where I witness those things very very rarely. As I mentioned, my hobbies are largely solo pursuits and the majority of my occupation is carried out alone.

        1. EG
          EG November 27, 2012 at 10:40 am |

          So basically, you want to know if you can be a feminist without actually doing feminist things. If a tree falls in a forest without anybody hearing it, blah blah blah. As somebody who has never had any interest in philosophical queries, I can only say that I don’t much care.

        2. Faithless
          Faithless November 27, 2012 at 11:36 am |

          So basically, you want to know if you can be a feminist without actually doing feminist things.

          not exactly, but that’s fine, if you don’t care, you don’t have to answer

    3. librarygoose
      librarygoose November 27, 2012 at 3:47 am |

      @librarygoose: would you consider turning neutrals good to be a goal of feminism or simply turning the evil to not evil?

      Personally? Stopping the evils would be the bigger goal for me, I’m not really interested in prodding people who feel no need to move past starter level humanity.
      If your approach to feminism is “I see no reason women should earn less than men.” We’re cool. But if it’s followed by, “But I don’t see why they need me to help,” you’re useless. We’re still cool, but I wouldn’t really go out of my way to engage you.

    4. Faithless
      Faithless November 27, 2012 at 11:33 am |

      It is impossible to just “accidentally” never, ever interact with a woman

      I interact with them in a non social context occasionally (i.e. store clerks, staff at restaurants, etc)

      , and women initiate interactions with men all the time.

      At no point did I suggest otherwise, what I said was they do not initiate interactions with me

      I’ve given you an answer.

      you just said it’s impossible to arrive at this crossroad without causing it in some way and your answer would be dependent on my motivations for doing so. (which I am not doing so I can’t answer that) but that’s ok, obviously you don’t have to engage with the question any more than you feel is plausible.

      1. Bagelsan
        Bagelsan November 27, 2012 at 11:42 am |

        Faithless, it sounds like you’re approaching the “Unfuckable John” myth; oh, I don’t know why, women just don’t like me! I can never (consensually) interact with them!

        Just…don’t go there. It’s a bad place to go. And it’s probably what’s getting people’s backs up about your question, because no one likes an air of vague, manly self-pity.

        1. Faithless
          Faithless November 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |

          I have no reason to assume women “don’t like me”, my question was asked from the basis of having almost no interaction, not having negative experiences.

          Also when I said I was asking about where people thought the bar was for “decent human being” that’s what I meant, that wasn’t code for “women wont fuck me”.

    5. Li
      Li November 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

      Faithless, you are interacting with women right now, on the internet. And the sum total of that interaction appears to be throwing a pity party for yourself in an attempt to get those women to reassure you personally that you’re morally in the clear. And let me tell you: being the dude that derails discussions of feminism to centre himself, as you are doing, isn’t actually going to convince people that you should be placed in the morally good (or even morally neutral) zone with reference to women’s rights.

      1. Faithless
        Faithless November 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm |

        to be fair, I take the position of “you never really know who you’re talking to on the internet” and I don’t know anybody here personally, but I did not mean for the question to turn into a derail, I just didn’t expect it to be met with more questions and got stuck explaining myself. A such, it has now been answered by several parties and wish not to derail the thread any further, thank you to all who chose to answer.

  8. Stella
    Stella November 27, 2012 at 7:43 am |

    I dont trust political feminism. The creeps seem only to ever be on the opposing party. Not just in America but in other countries it can be observed as well. The women are used to call men in the other party creeps, while they are silent if there are creeps or misogynists in their own ranks or even shield them.

    And as for the binders full of men, yeah thats what we need, men taking over feminism and steer it in the right direction q.q .

    1. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia November 27, 2012 at 8:15 am |

      “Why male-identified advocates need to speak up isn’t because women need men to speak for them, but because men’s voices influence friends, and families.”

      How is this “Binders full of men taking over feminism”?

    2. EG
      EG November 27, 2012 at 10:20 am |

      Is there a such thing as non-political feminism?

      1. Andie
        Andie November 27, 2012 at 10:38 am |

        Yeah, that confused me as well.

    3. Tony
      Tony November 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

      I think Stella means feminism as used in electoral politics.

    4. Foxy
      Foxy December 2, 2012 at 9:15 am |

      Liberals have no problem with an alleged rapist like bill clinton

  9. MaMu1977
    MaMu1977 December 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

    I have a couple of issues to bring up

    1. As noted in the third link, 41% of all doctors under the age of 40 are women. This matches up with my own experiences in healthcare as a patient and a provider. When I’ve guest lectured (nothing major, usually a 5-10 minute chat to prospective doctors about field medicine), the gender divide has almost always been about 55:45 male:female (80:20 female:male for any other medical doctrines).

    2. Obstetrics/gynecology are dying specialties. The older practitioners are retiring in droves and the new students are turning their backs on both specialties (women included.) The most common reason given for avoidance (IME) is the fact that the field is a malpractice/lawsuit landmine, even in scenarios that are lose-lose from the start

    An example from the civilian facility that served as an adjunct at my second base.
    Woman in her 36th hour of labour shows up in a facility. When questioned, the provider is told that the mother wanted her labour to progress “naturally”. Patient is then revealed to be bleeding from her vaginal walls. A portable sonogram reveals that the baby has turned sideways in the womb. If the baby is turned towards the proper direction, the mother’s vaginal haemmorhage may prove to be fatal and will lead to a lawsuit. If a C-section is is the optimal course of action, the patient may reject it outright, leading to the death of both patients and a lawsuit. If the patient is anesthesised and the C-section is performed, the patient may proceed to file a “birth rape” lawsuit or forego the lawsuit altogether and create a web presence for the obstetrics provider detailing him as a rapist. In this case, the doctor has the mother put under, performed the C-section and saved both patients. For his decision, his patient filed a punitive lawsuit against him charging malpractice. When the suit was dismissed, she became a vocal proponent of the criminalisation of birth rape and spent the better part of 2007-summer 2009 naming her “birth rapist” in as many places as possible. As a foreign doctor (Germany) his reputation didn’t suffer. An American doctor wouldn’t have been as fortunate.

    All things being equal, an alarming percent of prospective doctors would rather enter into “easy” fields (dermatology, plastic surgery, etc), than pursue a financially deleterious field (entaerology/internal medicine, oncology, OB/GYN, etc.)

    1. Jill
      Jill December 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm | *

      Ok… but in what other scenario would a doctor take a patient who was conscious and able to consent (or not) to medical procedures and put her under anesthesia with the explicit purpose of performing a C-Section on her without her consent, because she “might” have refused it if given the option? I don’t want to totally derail this thread, but it seems like the problem there is the doctor not allowing a patient to make her own medical decisions. I would be extremely unhappy (to put it lightly) if a doctor anesthetized me and performed an invasive surgical procedure without my consent, because he thought it was the best route but didn’t want to actually ask my permission.

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