“Dear egalitarian feminists”

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  1. Those quotes sound like me from high school, I swear. I look at them and I’m like…grow up.

    But anyway, I totally agree with what you’re saying Archy.

    • Thank-you, it’s great to learn people evolve past thoughts that are limiting. I was probably in the misanthropic “I hate the world” category in highschool. Pain from being bullied, hatred of humans for letting that stuff exist and not noticing the good people had left me quite hurt n bitter. Bullying from girls made me quite misogynistic too, it’s a real shock to the system when you think of women as nice n sweet then get torn apart by them. This is probably made worse by the whole teenage experience of new hormones and not understanding the opposite gender as easily as your own. It’s so easy to hate or be bitter, a group of guys I knew reinforced each other’s (myself included) negative views of the women because sadly they had bad experiences with women and were once bitten, twice shy about them.

      Having a few bad experiences can really lock a negative thought in your mind, when I thought young women I thought of those bullies and didn’t notice the nice, sweet, intelligent young women who existed.
      But I grew up, matured, dealt with the pain better, met some absolutely wonderful young women who undid much of the pain and made me realize we’re all individuals and generalizing against a group isn’t very helpful usually. What really sucks is that I think this is a fairly common experience, a person has a few negative experiences with group x and then generalizes that group to be bad.

      Maybe we need more emphasis on teaching people to see individuals instead of groups? Pretty much all of these negative attitudes I see in people come from a place of pain, anger, distrust, and bitterness so to learn better ways to deal with those first experiences so they don’t hit as hard is probably one of the keys needed for our society to drop a lot of it’s hate. I was lucky in that I found some great people to make me question my thinking but I could have missed those opportunities and carried all of that hate today. I get the feeling many of those comments I quoted are from people who’ve had a highly negative experience or a few/maybe many with men and a bit of doctrine to reinforce the negative thought can really limit a person’s understanding, compassion, empathy especially for the people in the group they hate.

      It’s easy to say not all X are like that but much harder to actually get those people to believe it, drop their bitterness and really open their minds. Some aren’t ready, some may never change, some may change quite easily, I just hope we can all work towards not allowing that first negative experience to happen or softening the blow somehow. People aren’t born with hate, I believe it comes purely from environment and experiences in life and to me it’s probably the best explanation I can think of for why these and other commentators seem so closed off and combative.

      • Wow thanks for this comment – it kind of gave me some hope. I had a similar experience to yours, girls and women have been asses or plain ignored me since I hit puberty. Being bullied only reinforces a negative image and well, it makes it really hard to deal with women at all. I don’t know if it is hate – I doubt it, it is mostly fear of getting hurt again. How do I connect with someone without opening yourself to be really really hurt by them?

        • Sadly you need to open up and have trust to really connect with someone, it’s a gamble but believe me it can be well worth the risk. For myself I worked at strengthening my self-esteem, learning how to protect my sensitivity (the source of my empathy, a great asset) and keeping only positive people around me. This has allowed me to open up with less fear and allowed me to have some strong friendships.

          The thing to remember is there are many women who’ve been bitten too when opening up, many women who’ve had bad experiences with both genders and not all women or men want to hurt others, keeping that in mind should help stop any thoughts that might make you believe women just want to hurt you (not saying you think that though, it’s something I use to think).

    • I see a TON of women like this, feminists who don’t want men in their movement and frankly don’t want white women with class privilege (like me) or cisgendered, or straight, as leaders of their movement any longer. I read their anti-man stuff all the time when I’m reading up on the anti-Hugo pages (I don’t know why I do this to myself, you all know he’s my friend). It makes me ILL and I hate it.

      However, I see a lot of comments here at GMP that are from self-proclaimed MRAs, and some non-identifiers that are equally as anti-woman. They hate that females are involved with GMP, that we publish female writers, etc. How is this different? Some guys (ie you, Archy) get it that Lisa, Julie, me, Heather, Nicole, etc are trying to move things forward for all of us… But there are quite a few that just want us OUT. Because they believe they should be in charge of their movement.

      To be honest, I sorta get that. I mean, I hope they let me be an ally, but to some degree it is YOUR movement, not mine.

      Is there a difference? How and where and why?

      • Julie Gillis says:

        To me, being a good ally means being ready to act when asked, to be supportive and to listen, and yes to challenge and be challenged. I would never act on behalf of my gay and lesbian friends, as if I was their savior. Nor would I claim to speak for men. But I can speak as a wife to a man, a mother of boys and a friend of men. And I can listen and learn.

        That being said? Anyone willing to cut an ally off at the knees based simply on gender, skin color, or sexual identity isn’t someone I really want to do business with. If the ally is behaving offensively to the cause? Sure, but solely “men can’t be part of feminism” or “straights can’t support gay rights?” No. That’s not my way of doing social justice work.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          I’m beginning to like the “ally” thing less and less. I first came accross it in the context of LGBT rights, but there was always the assumption there that straight people were as much a part of the club as the gays.

          That said, there was an embarassing moment when the organiser of a weekend of discourse and lectures on LGBT issues for gay students was almost excluded due to some archaic phrase in the USI constitution. I think she dodged the bulled by identifying as “non sexual” or something for the purposes of the weekend.

          Lately I’ve wanted less and less to do with the term. For me, any construct that seeks to create divisions within an equality movement on the basis of gender, sexuality, race or anything else is missing the point: We’re all equal and we all have something to say.

          • Julie Gillis says:

            I concur. The place I stick with allies is that if I don’t know jack about a topic but I feel the need to “save” someone I should probably reexamine my motives. But yes, we all have a part to play, most certainly.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              Oh fair enough, if you don’t have anything useful to say its probably better to stay stum. I just don’t think that the definition of “useful insight” necessarily depends on membership of the group in question.

              It came up in particular with a discussion I had with a friend (female, feminist) of mine concerning an article written by a male feminist from a poor hispanic community in the US concerning slutwalk (he was arguing that it contributed to the objectification of women and gave feminism a bad name).

              She held that we had no right to express an opinion on the matter as we weren’t from his community, despite the fact that he was a man talking about a women’s issue.

      • Not sure how much difference there is. I know many of them flat out don’t trust feminists, I can understand but I also see the good feminists, the egalitarians especially. The fastest way to lose trust as an ally is to write an article on abuse but word it in a way that minimizes the male experience, and a really fast way is to quote stats that say far more women are raped and most rapists are male when the same report pretty much contradicts itself apart from the wording. I’ve seen a few feminists writers do this here and it’s made me facepalm (haven’t seen too many outright MRA authors so unable to comment really on them), it infuriates male victims and can be extremely offensive. If that happens quite a few times then that trust will diminish further.

        Hugo had a real knack (sorry to say it but it’s true) for writing articles that could piss off many men quickly, the comments sections were proof of that. Hopefully many new articles will be written by feminists that don’t minimize male victimization, don’t demonize men and will be better received. It’s probably something some feminist writers don’t realize they do but I can say personally I’ve literally seen red over reading some articles that had good intentions but fucked up the delivery so badly that they became offensive. Those articles will mostly be about domestic violence, sexual abuse and violence. The stats vary quite a lot and new ones show much higher levels of male victimization and many mra’s know this but articles and comments written today still use the old 99% of rapists are men line. It’s a sensitive topic and it’s really made worse due to biased rape definition that pretty much ignores most female perpetration.

        I feel trust is the big issue at play in all of these debates, some feminists find it hard to trust mra’s and some mra’s find it hard to trust feminists. I’d say they’re probably the ones that want you out, but I want you guys in! I cannot stand the fact we separate the genders when dealing with problems in life. All humans interact with both genders usually, I feel it’s extremely important to ensure equality between them and it affects ALL of us, it’s in all of our best interests to deal with the problems together.

        I have both male and female friends and family, I want all of them safe and free from the horrors of the world and it’d be silly to ignore the female issues in favour of my own gender. We don’t need gender segregation in equal rights movements, you don’t need to be that gender to write on their issues or understand them.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        “However, I see a lot of comments here at GMP that are from self-proclaimed MRAs, and some non-identifiers that are equally as anti-woman. They hate that females are involved with GMP, that we publish female writers, etc. How is this different?”

        Answer: Its exactly the damn same. :(

        • I have not seen much in the way of anti female comments. I think you are judging by the feminist standard which allows no negative critique of women by men.

      • scott mclelland . says:

        well , yes I honestly think so , one of the things that would have pushed me away from being an MRA ( and i feel no shame in admitting that my life led me to being this ) is if there was a blanket denial of injustice based on gender, in fact id go so far as to say feminist denial of male injustices , and in some cases openly mocking them is the reason the MRA exists.

        When i look at MRA discussions on dv for example , its usually described as a 60-40 split with men making up 40% of victims, so no denial that women suffer, rape accusations again there is no denial it happens , just a wish for the law to treat someone as innocent till proven guilty etc etc .
        I could write out a massive list for this but im not anti woman, id say im anti feminist and i have a right to be but the majority of my brothers in the MRA do distinguish quite clearly between an ideology and females.

  2. wellokaythen says:

    Those quotes remind me of a quote from Stokely Carmichael. In the 1960′s he was asked what the position of women should be in the civil rights movement. His reply: “prone.”

    It’s sentiments like that which made a lot of 1960′s feminists disillusioned with the African American civil rights movements and encouraged them to make their own separate groups. Now it’s come full circle. The more things change….

  3. Actually, I mostly agree with what these feminists are saying. It makes more sense to have at least two movements for gender equality – one for women and one for men, in constant dialogue with each other – than to say feminism should represent everyone.
    Feminism is about women, the men’s rights movement is about men. Both women and men probably need places where they can talk to other women or men without anyone derailing it into a discussion of the other group’s problems, as well as places where the groups can talk to each other.
    And many people who want equality support both groups.

    • It would be one thing if it were a matter of men and women being in two groups Anna but when straight up lies like this:
      “Yes, she is. The society we live in values the voices of men over women, so feminism needs to be a place where women’s voices are paramount. If men want to share their thoughts and feelings, there’s the whole rest of the world to do that in. Feminism is for women. ”
      are being told it becomes rather difficult to want to work with that movement.

      I’ve been a man long enough to know that men don’t have the rest of the world. If that were true I wouldn’t still be blogging from my tiny corner and guys like us here would not be struggling to have our voices heard. How can one possilby believe this without thinking that men are a monolith?

      • Julie Gillis says:

        Neither are women. Many women who are feminists don’t always hear about the issues men are dealing with. And those that do don’t necessarily have the platform to shake the trees. Many of us, men and women, feel individually challenged while looking across the divide and seeing what appears to be power in the other’s hands.

        We’ve got to learn how to see through that illusion and work together.

        • Oh I certainly agree that women and feminists are not a monolith. But how can you dismiss someone’s concerns by claiming their group has “the whole rest of the world” to share their thoughts and feelings? without casting that group as a monolith?

          And I agree that that those that hear issues about men don’t necessarily have the platform to shake the trees (as I say, I’ve lived as a man long enough to know that issues about men don’t get the attention that a lot of feminists have decided it does). But there is a difference between “Oh I didn’t realize this was happening.” and “That doesn’t happen. Men are in charge of everything so what are they complaining about?”

          If we are going to take down the illusions and work together then we have to take down ALL the illusions and not cherry pick, leaving up the ones that benefit certain people.

      • “it becomes rather difficult to want to work with that movement”

        Well, there are MRAs who claim women as a group are literally subhuman, and there are still feminists who realise that that fringe doesn’t represent the whole movement.
        I’m not sure the part about men having more places to make their voice heard is wrong, but in any case the person who wrote it probably believed it.

        • By all means the egal mra’s need to call out the bad mra’s as well. I think what troubles people is feminism get’s talked about in a way that is equalism and accepts both genders yet many only want it to be for female issues so there is a clash of ideals. I know I was under that impression and it really annoyed me when I talked about male issues to be cut down with insults, it’s as if there are 2 movements within feminism.

          • If any man deludes himself to believe that feminism is equally concerned about his rights, the he has nobody but himself to blame for his disappointment. What makes you still believe that feminism ever cared about the plight of men.

        • @ Anna

          A vanishingly small minority of men have the space to speak one truth, that of the powerful man. Most men have no place to speak the truth of the powerless man.

          And it’s the powerless man who needs help.

        • Well, there are MRAs who claim women as a group are literally subhuman, and there are still feminists who realise that that fringe doesn’t represent the whole movement.
          I’m not sure the part about men having more places to make their voice heard is wrong, but in any case the person who wrote it probably believed it.

          Im not sure about men having more places to make their voice heard is right or wrong but I do know that its a lot more nuanced and complicated than lumping us all together as a monolith because we share gender. If its wrong to cast feminists as a monolith then why do they do just that to other groups?

          Contrary to what the person that wrote most men have no power to voice their concerns. Its only a small few that do. Problem is a lot of feminists are too busy telling me how powerful I supposedly am in an effort to knock me back down for their own gain (and probably pleasure). There is a difference between a a man with power and man without power. And if they would come down off their high horses long enough they would see the difference rather than dictating to us what our lives are like just so we can fit into the spaces they’ve carved out for us in their precious ideology.

          And there are certainly vile MRAs who think that kind of nonsense.

          I think its a matter of experience. If you came across more nasty feminists then that’s were your complaints will lie if you came across more nasty MRAs that’s where your complaints will lie.

          I’ve come across more nasty feminists if you can’t tell.

        • Anna: “I’m not sure the part about men having more places to make their voice heard is wrong, but in any case the person who wrote it probably believed it.”

          No Anna. In my opinion, not only as a man but a male survivor of female abuse in addition to male abuse, there are next to no places for men to make their voice heard nowadays.

          Those men who do have it likely bought and paid with big money and power from their status. The majority of men lack that luxary nor are they remotely interested in it. They just want their voices to be heard, their concerns out in the open and acknoledged so they can develope as human beings. It’s hard to do it when you lack money, power and status like those men at the top.

          Especially when you’re a male survivor of female abuse. Not only do you lack a place for your voice to be heard, there are still segments of society that would rather they keep it that way for whatever reason (ignorance, prejeduice, sexism).

  4. Julie Gillis says:

    Human beings are notoriously difficult to work with ;)

    There are voices for men and for women in feminism, or equalism, or humanism and there should be. I am not a radical, nor an academic. I see value in the poles, in agitators, and thought provokers, but ultimately I seek pragmatic steady change focused on people as creative collaborators. This may make me unpopular with MRAs and Feminists (or maybe they’ll both find me interesting and I’ll have TWO dates to the prom!) but it’s who I am.

    • I think there are a lot of people that dislike labels like me, but are egalitarian at heart. Labels are so restricting and can carry a prejudice with them if the reader has had a bad experience at the hands of others in that label’s group.

      • I felt the same way about labels for a very long time- up until recently actually. Then I realized that by not association myself with things like feminism, I was allowing these negative idea of feminism persist as the dominant, and only, form of feminism that there is. I was allowing these terrible people carry the banner and tarnish the image. So, I have chosen as an individual to reclaim these labels. Yes, some people will see these labels and make assumptions about me- but I will prove them wrong.

        So Hello Mr. Archy, My name is Neko. I am a feminist, well maybe more of an egalitarian feminist according to this piece haha, and I believe that equality means fair treatment of both genders. I believe gender roles are harmful to both genders and create unfair stereotypes that are hard for many men and women to live up to. Most of all, I believe that difference between men and women are not as great as the difference among each gender. We are not men or women, but humans first- humans who deserve dignity and respect. I hope that I can be an ally to you and other men in your fights for equal rights and respect. :)

        • Hi 5 Neko, it’s what I love to hear. I’m glad others get it and are fighting for the label.

        • Good Luck Neko,
          For every Neko trying to improve the image of feminism, hundred radical feminists would rise to tarnish the image. You have taken up a lost cause.

        • Not to be a rain cloud over this “Kumbaya Moment” , but can anyone tell me one positive thing for men that’s come out of the Feminist movement? You know, one instance where men got the “short end of the stick” so to speak and now they don’t? Even if it was unintentional or incidental? As the article above says, not in the legal end of things. With only 40% (and falling) of undergrad degrees, not education. The way every politician quivers with fear of being in N.O.W.’s crosshairs ( the only way to expiain that peice of trash NVAW act) , not in politics. The only thing I see that has increased for men is the rate on suicide. It heald for years at about 3:1 (men to women), now it’s about 12:1, about 70 men a day “check out”. Hey, maybe the Dworkin -Solinas plan of a reduction of males to 10% of current levals will happen after all!

          • Alrighty I’m going to play devil’s advocate and ask how men were legally getting the short end of the stick before feminism? (In part I’m poking at you, but also I’m curious if there is something we can point to). I’m just talking legally, systematically here…..before feminism were there ways in which women came out on top?

            • Most, conscription is evil! Glad I live where there is none…I hope…*shoots leg to stay out*

            • True conscription does count…but feminism has been working toward a more equal military. In the states a bunch of positions in the military were just opened up to women. And in Israel both men and women are conscripted (I’m not sure if there are restrictions on the jobs women can fill in Israel…and I’m not sure how much feminism played a part in conscription in Israel either).

            • Heather, I’m reffering to the “hear and now” . I’m not disputing that the early feminist movement opened doors long closed for women. As a father of 3 young women, I’m grateful they have the oppurtunity to pursue carrers based on desire and skill and not have their choices restricted by their gender. Still, I also have a son and grandson. And when I see these statistics(70 men a day estimated suicides, 40% college degrees and falling, etc) I truly fear for them. I mean , I’ll be gone in a couple of years but they’ll have to survive in this new anti-male world. One would think that with all the achivements gained by women, N.O.W. might start to throttle back a little. If you read there web site and articles however, youd see thats not the case. their still pretty anti-male. I wonder if there will ever come a day when they admit victory?

            • I was just replying to your question: “Can anyone tell me one positive thing for men that’s come out of the Feminist movement? You know, one instance where men got the “short end of the stick” so to speak and now they don’t?”

              I assumed you meant in the entire history of feminism. To which my reply was that traditionally I couldn’t think of anything in which men got the short end of the stick while women came on top. Except, as Archy pointed out, conscription. But women are becoming more prominent in the military too.

              Anyway, as for ‘admitting victory,’ I think that places it in the wrong context. It shouldn’t be about winning. (I admit there are plenty of feminists out there who consider it in these terms, I’m saying it shouldn’t be like that). For victory or to win, you need an opponent…you need an enemy. And in this, feminists shouldn’t be viewing men as the enemy, because they aren’t.

              And of course NOW isn’t going to pull back. How often does a group/person become popular and gain influence to suddenly decide, hey we’ve done enough? No, now that they have influence they’ll push their agenda, just like any group would do. It’s not because their evil, and it’s not because they hate men. It’s because they’re humans…they (and other radical feminists) just need a wake-up call to rejoin the rest of us in reality.

            • Not sure on the laws of the various countries but I’ve seen stuff talked about regarding gendered laws for rape, domestic violence (VAWA gets mentioned a lot).

              But I find individual sexism/etc heavily damaging without needing to be institutional. In Australia I am not sure if there are any gendered laws, possibly rape and sexual assault? Haven’t seen conscription here unless there is some secret list:P. A SUPER ULTRA MEGA lack of awareness and government level support campaigns for male victims of sexual violence, domestic violence whilst supporting female victims does exist however, which really pisses me off since pretty much all campaigns I’ve seen were female victim, male perp and never any alternatives.

              So I guess being completly ignored and pushing a gendered approach to rape and domestic violence could be a damaging part of feminism if no effort was made to study male victims and female perps. I don’t think they could get the entire blame though since gender roles heavily restrict men speaking up on that stuff, hell it’s only been recently that we’ve started getting men to open up I believe. I really would not be surprised if history was full of men being abused in any way by wives much more than was reported in previous times, but did the “manly” thing and kept it quiet.

              That’s the problem with underreporting though, how do you prove what level it exists at? Now we seem to finally be asking the questions, the answers are coming in with quite a shock reaching and surpassing parity in some areas. All I know is that TODAY, a lot of men and women need help and society needs to change for the better. Gender-focused efforts that aren’t duplicated for the other gender are a waste of time on issues that affect both genders. If you’re going to do something, do it right and do it with 110% effort, leave no one behind!

            • Totally agreed, Archy.

            • Actually, there hasn’t been military conscription in the U.S. since I believe 1973( the year I turned 19 and was eligible) so it’s a dead issue anyway. The ratio of logistical support personel to actual combat personel is 3.4:1. so there are lots of oppurtunities for everyone in todays military.

            • The conscription issue in the US is about selective service and from what I hear, men HAVE to sign up for fear of jail and/or being refused funding from the gov. And don’t kid yourself, if a major war happens you’ll see conscription return like a desperate ex.

  5. Great commentary, Archy, you give voice to the predicament I’ve faced too at the backlash when I call myself a feminist. Some people will assume that feminist = gynocentric/radfem, to appropriate the terms you used, and shut out my comments based on that. It even led me recently to question whether I want to call myself a feminist anymore – but that didn’t feel right, because I do still believe many of the things that led me to calling myself a feminist in the first place. I just have a new perspective on it – thanks in no small part to this site, and the discussions I’ve had here. So I will continue to call myself a feminist and continue to espouse an egalitarian view of feminism, and at the same time, try to remember that not all MRA’s are “rads” either and they do have some valid points to make. That’s all I can do – the public image of Feminism, well, that’s a project for people with more influence and spare time than I have.

    In my opinion, egalitarianism is the logical conclusion of feminism (or really, of gender studies altogether). I believe gynocentrics haven’t thought it all the way through and/or aren’t seeing the whole picture. Perhaps some of them resist it because of their own suffering at the hands of men – and I suppose that’s their prerogative, to not forgive injustice, personal or historical. Unfortunately I think the gynocentric model of feminism is also the most mainstream, or at least the model that gets the most attention (but then again, extreme-ness begets media coverage), and that’s why some people assume that calling myself a feminist means I am in the gynocentric camp. They don’t *know* about the variety of opinion among feminists, but rather view it almost as a Church of Feminism whose congregants all adhere to the same misandrist doctrine. Simply not true – and we egalitarians have a long way to go in fixing that.

    • Thank-you, I try my best to over-explain the issue to reach a broad audience as many comments have said what I said but it needed to be with real-world examples to have the impact. Maybe saying egalitarian-feminist when you identify would be a way to defuse the negative associations, I’ve seen others do that here and it seems fairly successful. I find it sad that there is a need to identify which type of feminist you are but it seems the only way now to avoid conflict due to the gynocentrics and radfems.

      The Church of feminism (I like that) seems a very fitting term for the way some treat the movement and to me it seems evident when you get a zealous backlash when anyone dares to question feminism itself. It really sucks that a great movement has been hijacked so badly it seems that there is this huge rift in ideals between it’s own members where men feel unwelcome and even women who support men. I don’t think the founders realized men had issues and that years/decades later men would be in such need for help, there was a need to help women gain equality and it was a great achievement with work still to be done. But these days the men need help as well for certain issues and we’re now just learning of many of the problems men face, I’d love to know what the founders would have to say on the issues because I’d guess they’d simply be egalitarian and want everyone to be equally supported and no one left behind.

      • Again, very well said. One way of looking at it metaphorically is that the pendulum has swung from the male-dominated social structure from centuries back, towards the other extreme where women are seen as competitive with men rather than subordinate – although not in all cases exactly equal. It is my hope that before we go too far to that extreme, the pendulum will swing back again towards the center, maybe even to the other side if the Men’s Rights movement gains more steam in the next few decades, but eventually I hope that pendulum can find a final point of balance at the center – not an age of political-sexual correctness, but of mutual understanding. It will just take time, and probably even a lot more “gender-warring/posturing” before it’s all over. I can only hope the best comes out of it.

        • There’s more to it than that, KKZ.

          The pendulum has also swung so far into the region of not only competiveness but also no female agency. When a woman abuses a child or a man, society falls all over itself to find reasonings behind it while not extending the same common courtesy to male abusers. If a man ever tries to defend himself against a female abuser, he’s seen as the violent one or a woman hater in general if he spoke out. If a woman were ever arrested and charged in a court of law, the sentencing would be so leniant as to make it a waste of time compared to what male criminals receive (yes I know it varies from state system to state system, but you can’t deny the presence of sexism against men in the criminal courts). Don’t even get me started on family and divorce courts where the old stereotype of the mother being the better suited parent runs rampart in judgements with family disputes. There’s also a tendancy for some unbalanced women to throw accusations of rape around towards men not warranted just to get what they want. Meanwhile, they get off with a slap on the wrist while the accused’s reputation, career, and social status are still ruined even when the rape claim is proven false.

          Like I said, lack of female agency and responsibility in addition to society desperately searching for ways to make them less accountable for their actions. It’s like a perverted, twisted version of women empowerment that’s also reflected in media where the female protagonist is developed at the expense of her male support or the female protagonist gets every chance in the world to either insult them, berade them, or even hit them while they are reduced to emotional doormats without a chance to stand up for themselves. This is something that grates on me the most.

          Just thought I’d offer my opinion. By the way, we need more feminists like you KKZ. That’s what REAL feminism should be about.

          • Hang on, hang on…what do you mean by female agency? Women have more agency than they used to. And part of the problem with something like the imbalance of parental rights is that women have more agency than men in that area.

            Maybe what you’re trying to refer to is female responsibility?

            • Yeah I believe he means responsibility for actions, eg not being assumed as less dangerous/harmful/whatever in cases of abuse.

            • Yeah, Heather, should’ve said that instead. Makes more sense now that I reflect on the comment.

            • I really wasn’t trying to pick on you…I just pick at language sometimes. Not that my comments are always so perfectly written or anything. It’s just always easier to notice something like that in a comment you read rather than write. :)

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              I think agency is exactly the right word. The construction of women as victims both shields female criminals and denies other women the agency to engage with society (in some spheres) as fully as men.

              If women have no responsibility in some areas, then its also true that they are unlikely to attain a position of responsibility in those areas.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              Actually, not necessarily in the same areas. But the idea that women can’t really be expected to behave rationally and independantly definitely cuts both ways.

      • scott mclelland . says:

        Ummmm they didnt want to know to be honest , take Erin Pizzey , the woman who opened the first DV shelter in the world, feminists pretty much destroyed her life because she saw and stated that DV was not a male on female act alone .

        http://www.bennett.com/ptv/

  6. Thanks all for the comments, sure was a surprise to see comment of the day.

  7. so I tried to write something out but then something weird happened and it got refreshed or something and lost what I was writing.

    But that’s ok because I was struggling to make my point. My point is that it’s hard for a male to speak about the female experience which to me is what feminism is more about than anything. Embracing being a woman, fostering respect and dialogue for/with other women, and dealing with issues only women can understand. Equal rights is something that I kind of believe should be separate from that. It needs to be involved with men because if there’s something women don’t have that men do, and vice versa, each gender needs to work together to make the right attitudes and conditions happen.

    And it was touched upon a bit, but things like abuse and rape need to not only be an issue of feminism and men’s rights. It needs to be something about rape rights…because women and men both get treated poorly as a victim of it. It’s not ok that men don’t get taken seriously when they file a complaint, but it’s also not ok that women when they do the same thing get blamed for their own rapes and countless other things, which both genders can play a role in (it’s not just men victim blaming, women do it too!)

    I feel like I’ve gotten off on a tangent here. The point is that whatever people want to describe themselves should be individual in general and people should not say “oh this is what everyone means by feminism” or whatever. For example, I describe myself as a radical feminist because I teach and believe things that most women do not. It’s outside the mainstream and therefore radical…for instance, using non conventional menstrual products: who would have thought that using bits of irritating tree pulp and adhesives and chlorine on your most sensitive body parts would be commonly accepted as normal? But that’s a whole other story.

    Basically my point is that something won’t change if you don’t help people realize there are new alternatives out there, and though it shouldn’t be radical per se, it still is since it’s a drastic change from what’s commonly accepted.

    Hope this makes some sense haha.

    • Far as I can tell based on a quick wiki “Radical feminism is a current theoretical perspective within feminism that focuses on the theory of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships based on an assumption that male supremacy[1] oppresses women.”
      It’s also used in a way to describe extremist feminists, usually misandrist bigots. I don’t think when people say radical feminist they refer to someone outside of the norm using those products, ethical products etc. So maybe be mindful of that as saying you’re a radical will be misunderstood by what you mean. Of course you don’t have to change the wording at all, just trying to say what many seem to think.

      There are a few terms and definitions to go with them and without a super clear definition it’s going to cause problems I think. Ethical products are good though and I wouldn’t call that radical at all, I try to recycle as much as possible simply to avoid waste. One of the most amazing machines I have seen is single line recycling, totally gives me engineer-wood!

      Victim blaming seems to be a huge issue and both genders do it quite a bit, hopefully people will stop doing it.

    • Great post, Laura.

      There is a place for men in the feminist – or in the egalitarian / women’s rights / gender equality – movements and it’s not the sidelines.

      That said, I am struggling to think of one time when the addition of a male voice to a predominately female discussion didn’t somehow manage to divert the focus of the discussion to (a) the lone male voice, giving his contributions (good or bad) more weight than the multiple female commentors, which leads to (b) eventually a distortion of the discussion to what benefits or hurts men – almost exclusive to its effects on women, and (c) the consequential devaluaing of the female life experience that other female speakers are expressing because that just does not “jive” with what the male sees as happening (regardless of the common sense reality that he’s completely unqualified to override a female testimony on female life experience).

      Add in a conversation where one of the women has issues with needing male approval (and starts backing up the guy’s comments and suggesting that the complaints aren’t that valid “for her”) and a few others have knee-jerk negativity reactions to the inclusion of any male voice (and instead of contributing great advice as they were, go into defense mode) … and it’s easy to see where some of these complaints are valid.

      Re: MRA – most of them complaints DO address situations where the deck is stacked against men. But they overlook that the unfairness toward men is often a raging byproduct of a patriarchal society. Some mothers needed alimony / child support because of a societal expectation that men will do the important, paying jobs while women serve as free support staff for their families – necessitating their continued financial support post-marriage. Women file for 80% of divorces, but men lead the stats in infidelity, gambling, addiction, etc. – most women aren’t filing willy-nilly without good cause. Domestic Violence – tragic as it is – might have an unjust outcome because “the patriarchy” encourages a stereotype of women as fragile and nurturing, while men are predatory predators who can barely be trusted to not rape someone walking down a dark alley (both untrue stereotypes, in reality). Equality will cure almost as many alleged injustices cited by the MRA dudes as it will injustices cited by us egal feminist gals.

      I know both men and women who were violent, unfaithful, mean, petty, spiteful, bottom-of-the-barrel people in their marriages, and both have the biggest sob stories and horror stories about their ex-spouses (most of whom are still quietly cleaning up the wreckage, not just of the divorce, but of their years of marriage to these people). So I’m quite skeptical of people’s tragic tales around “abuse” in the court system – I too am an attorney and have never seen a wife-beater who wasn’t, in his mind, married to the most insane, difficult, back-talkin’, mean, unfaithful little cuss of a wife who spent her days trying to make him angry (cue the tiny, timid, half crazed from brain damage from his beatings mouse with so many emotional issues that she can’t figure out which way is up and is proud of herself for stealing $1.30 from his pocket to get her kid a pop from the vending machine even though daddy said no.) I don’t know any men who were shafted in their divorces – not that that’s representative nationwide – but they all say they were (I’ve seen the settlements). And I know so many women who are now mired in poverty from their divorces who say they’re fine with it, they’re just glad it’s over (and they were shafted).

      Male experience is a valuable portion of this discussion, but it is just a portion. And women’s life experiences aren’t something that most male voices in the discussion are qualified to hold forth as experts on – and so many seem to inevitably end up doing so (or, when male experience is not benefitted by something that would improve female experience, pull a sort of trump card with the tone that, “If you turn this against us, we’ll withdraw our male support and then you’ll just be angry, man-alienating feminists and no one listens to a fringe group,” or that’s the tone that seems to happen when any male-privileged dialogue is called out. I don’t know. It’s a hard conversation to have in the first place and it seems so often to turn into a balancing act when one is discussing it with well-meaning self-identified egalitarian men.

      • That said, I am struggling to think of one time when the addition of a male voice to a predominately female discussion didn’t somehow manage to divert the focus of the discussion to (a) the lone male voice, giving his contributions (good or bad) more weight than the multiple female commentors, which leads to (b) eventually a distortion of the discussion to what benefits or hurts men – almost exclusive to its effects on women, and (c) the consequential devaluaing of the female life experience that other female speakers are expressing because that just does not “jive” with what the male sees as happening (regardless of the common sense reality that he’s completely unqualified to override a female testimony on female life experience).
        In terms of women speaking on women’s experiences you’re right that that should not happen. However I can think of several times where the female voices in a predominiant conversation about something that affects and instead of listening to a male voice for a male perspective they dictate what the male perspective is. This also includes getting mad when a male voice comes along whose experience doesn’t “jive” with what females see as happening.

        Some mothers needed alimony / child support because of a societal expectation that men will do the important, paying jobs while women serve as free support staff for their families – necessitating their continued financial support post-marriage. Women file for 80% of divorces, but men lead the stats in infidelity, gambling, addiction, etc. – most women aren’t filing willy-nilly without good cause.
        And what bearing does that have on courts that will use biased figures to calculate support? Or how missing child support payment gets one branded as a criminal but holding out on visitation/custody has no punishment at all?

        Domestic Violence – tragic as it is – might have an unjust outcome because “the patriarchy” encourages a stereotype of women as fragile and nurturing, while men are predatory predators who can barely be trusted to not rape someone walking down a dark alley (both untrue stereotypes, in reality). Equality will cure almost as many alleged injustices cited by the MRA dudes as it will injustices cited by us egal feminist gals.
        Problem is that “patriarchy” you’re laying blame on for this is being supported by some of the very people who claim to be against it. At the least you would think that when talking about VAWA they wouldn’t take the coward’s way and actually ban critical people who have critical opinions of it (its pretty easy to brag about something like unanimous support for women when all the opposition is prevented from speaking up). And “alleged injustices”?

        Male experience is a valuable portion of this discussion, but it is just a portion. And women’s life experiences aren’t something that most male voices in the discussion are qualified to hold forth as experts on – and so many seem to inevitably end up doing so….
        Now if more women would recognize the inverse of this…

        In conclusion no as a guy I don’t expect to be a leading voice in feminism. But at the same time if feminism is going to claim that its inclusive of the male experience then it needs to put its money where its mouth is instead of just deciding what men’s experiences are and pulling the “you’re denying male privilege” trump card whenever a male voice speaks up with something they don’t like.

        At bare minimum you say that you don’t think men should be on the sidelines of feminism. I appreciate that. But when men see stuff like this:
        “The one comment that stood out the most to me is Zoe Nicholson’s that men’s ideal involvement in the feminist movement is as passive actors. “Behind,” “underneath,” “away,” men’s thoughts are irrelevant, they just need to give/raise money and stay out of the way. Is she right about this? ”
        I’m left wondering exactly where is the room for the male experience in feminism?

      • The Great Houdini trick of feminism blaming men for the plight of women and then again blaming men for their own plight using the magic wand of feminism.

      • “Women file for 80% of divorces, but men lead the stats in infidelity, gambling, addiction, etc. ”
        Care to backup these with statistics, especially infidelity?

        “Male experience is a valuable portion of this discussion, but it is just a portion. And women’s life experiences aren’t something that most male voices in the discussion are qualified to hold forth as experts on – and so many seem to inevitably end up doing so (or, when male experience is not benefitted by something that would improve female experience, pull a sort of trump card with the tone that, “If you turn this against us, we’ll withdraw our male support and then you’ll just be angry, man-alienating feminists and no one listens to a fringe group,” or that’s the tone that seems to happen when any male-privileged dialogue is called out. ”

        Can you spot it? You say “women’s life experiences aren’t something that most male voices in the discussion are qualified to hold forth as experts on ” and then go on to talk of male-privilege dialogue which is assuming to know the man’s experience. Just as men aren’t experts on female experiences, women aren’t experts on male experiences either yet I can read countless feminist articles that seem to be expert mindreaders and know everything a man is thinking.

        The thing is many discussions ONLY talk about the women’s issues, and this has been going on for so long. Team this up with white ribbon campaigns, heaps of campaigns of violence against WOMEN, and anti-abuse against WOMEN you end up with men who feel totally ignored, totally betrayed by this “equality” term that they scream out for help and for someone to listen. Who will listen if not for people who believe in equality? The word implies equal rights so a man with a legitimate complaint should discuss the issues however they quickly face the silencers of male privilege. Imagine being an abuse victim and being told you have male privilege when you discuss abuse against both men and women, have your voice invalidated because older stats say abuse against men is rare, people minimize your experience as so rare it doesn’t count because “Womengetitworse (TM)”. It’s stupid that only now we see abuse, DV stats are getting closer to parity, even female perpetration of sexual violence against men has risen dramatically and that’s in one of the first studies that bothered to study male issues.

        I’ve seen both men and women, mra and feminist derail convos but what is clear to me is that both NEED to have their issues in the open and debated, I’d say it’s more common amongst men due to the lack of concern over men in our society regarding the various MRA issues, hell you can laugh about cutting off a man’s penis on tv and keep your job but dare mention a joke about women and you’ll probably get fired. It sucks when derailment happens but there is also another thing, cross-gender issues, I’ve seen quite a bit of material that mentions both genders but minimizes the male problems so someone will post stats that show much higher level of sexual violence for instance, they’ll be accused of derailing when simply they’re trying to update the knowledge of the author. These terms can be diversionary and silencing: “Male privilege” “white cis-gender male” “derailing” “mansplaining”. It’s funny yet sad to see the mansplaining insult used by some feminists who know so much on MEN’s experience and what MEN think. Hypocrisy can be quite high in the comment sections but I guess it can be hard to see at times if you are following a popular opinion and no one else questions it.

        (I am no expert, I could be completely wrong here but so far this is my impression on internet feminist websites I’ve seen). Life is more complex than 1 side oppressing the other, kyriarchy is probably the closest to what I believe in at the moment (my knowledge is fluid and ever evolving), I can see the negatives and positives that both genders have gotten through history. What I see is a few in power oppressing the majority in many cases, even religion had quite an oppressive effect and many men were simply pawns in a big chess game. How much privilege did the average man really have? When does that privilege get balanced with the expecations and responsibility, conscription etc? How much weight does this male privilege have compared to class privilege? These are the questions that burn in my mind and most stuff I see written on it comes from a very “male = big bad oppressor” tone and the poor millions of men that die to build that society mean fuck all compared to the oppression n violence against women. It’s a tone I cannot stand because it devalues male life and focuses too much on the few at the top.

        I see a variety of people online in the comment sections. Some commentators subscribe to more than one of the following:

        The trolls, who annoy me but I ignore because replies just fuel them.

        The extremists who annoy me bigtime and don’t deserve to use the feminist or mra titles. Usually they post highly misandrist or misogynist material, radfemhub is probably one such place after the agent orange files highlighting some extreme material.

        The gender-focused feminist/mra’s, who some of which are butmygendergetsitworse, oppression olympics, quite a bit of antagonizing, minimizing goes on between these.

        The egalitarians, the ones I get along the best with, who can easily discuss male or female issues, or the area I focus mostly on which is talking about BOTH genders and not seeing life from this side and that side.

        The non-identifiers, just there to give their experience without politics. Quite a lot of them on this site and very important to hear from.

        No doubt there is derailing, trolling, and other annoying problems but there is also quite a lot of harmful use of silencing, shaming, minimization that goes on and quite a lot by some feminists. I see it used as a way to bully people who’s opinion differs, you’re wrong and I am right, don’t you dare question feminism because if you do you are a misogynist/insert another shaming tactic here.

        Hope that explains the male experience in feminism a bit more, the above has generalizations in attempt to try explain what some might feel and some of what I have felt when trying to find a safe place for my “voice”. I never felt safe or accepted in the feminist areas I tried, I hope people realize that because it does indicate a problem. There is a reason men feel feminism simply “blames men for ALL of the problems” and it’s time for everyone to really search their mind, use all of their intelligence to figure out why. Feminism shouldn’t need to have that effect but obviously something is amiss when even females are calling out feminism, even early adopters of feminism are calling out the newer version. Why do I hear from older women who are egalitarian that they feel feminism has lost it’s way?

        This isn’t to say all of feminism is bad because it isn’t, but there is a cloud of doubt hanging over the entire movement it seems and it’s leaving many of us feeling very confused at what feminism is. I know of people who are stepping away from the rights movements because of all this confusion and other issues. How did feminism lose it’s equality definition for SO MANY PEOPLE? It’s not one, two, ten people, it’s probably thousands, maybe millions, that’s a huge problem!

  8. My point is that it’s hard for a male to speak about the female experience which to me is what feminism is more about than anything. Embracing being a woman, fostering respect and dialogue for/with other women, and dealing with issues only women can understand.
    True. A person trying to speak about the experiences of someone that they are not isn’t right. And that is why while I have my criticisms of feminism I don’t want to see it undone.

    Equal rights is something that I kind of believe should be separate from that. It needs to be involved with men because if there’s something women don’t have that men do, and vice versa, each gender needs to work together to make the right attitudes and conditions happen.
    Agreed. I think the problem is most people are stuck at the point where they are trying to figure out who has what “somethings” that the other doesn’t. You can see examples of this in the many privilege posts I’m sure you’ve seen on the net.

    • “True. A person trying to speak about the experiences of someone that they are not isn’t right. And that is why while I have my criticisms of feminism I don’t want to see it undone”

      Well considering my job is to speak about the experiences of people I am most certainly not, I kind of disagree with this. I think we can…we just need to make sure to qualify our statements.

      I’m not a man, but to me it seems like…
      I’m not straight, but from my perspective…
      I’m not from Europe, but I think that…

      And so on…I think you can certainly talk about experiences that you haven’t had yourself, you just need to emphasize your perspective. Sometimes, not always, an outsider can see something that you missed because you’re too busy living it. The outsider just has to explain his/her opinion respectfully.

      • coffee_queen says:

        Hi! I am coffee_queen, lover of caffeine, and a female-bodied gender egalitarian who is stoked to have found an article that outlines her perspective and frustration with gynocentric radfem.

        I LOVED this article. So much. It was in harmony with my feelings and spirit throughout.

        In university, I was being groomed toward a gynocentric male = bad oppressors and female = innocent victims dichotomy. I cringe to think about it now. It made me so angry to be constantly faced with examples of male-on-female abuse. But then I got to thinking my final quarters there, that if the dialogue was more inclusive and focused on the myriad inequalities faced by people of both sexes and all genders that the anger that consumed me for so long probably would never have been sparked.

        One of the things that make my heart bleed now is learning just how real and sorrowful is the issue of male sexual abuse. What really gets me near tears of sorrow/anger (crying when angry is a rather unfortunate response for me, haha) is that radfems will dance around the issue, blatantly disqualify envelopment rape as rape, or call people “trolls” for daring to posit that women and men can both occupy every spot on the violent victimizer ——– vulnerable victim spectrum.

        In fact I just left a rad-fem blog on privilege because the blogger attacked and belittled and banned a few male commentators who wrote things. For the life of me I can’t figure out why she would call someone who agreed with her and said that having an attitude of “I’ll respect you if you respect me” as a misogynistic troll.

        Anyway, like a few people have shared, I think my indoctrination into radfem started with me getting bullied by boys at a young age. I was chubby, and female, so I got targeted by them and was called things like cow and cream puff and told not to jump because California doesn’t need more earthquakes. Horrible bullying. Less so from girls; at least from girls it was more subtle and less in-your-face. I was so terrified of boys in junior and high school that I thought any boy giving me a compliment and telling me I was pretty was just setting me up for a “psych! I can’t believe you’d really think that!”
        But personal story aside I’ve met a lot of wonderful men who have helped me grow beyond the anger and hurt. And as a bleeding heart generally and a newly outed-to-myself-only-bisexual in particular, I despise traditional binary definitons of gender roles and social interaction that impose limits on individuals rather than promote expansive views.

        I love menfolk and womenfolk, and seeing them hate and fight each other over perceived zero-sum differences and goals just hurts deep inside.

        So long rambling post is long and rambling. But I like sites like GMP and another site, No Seriously What About Teh Menz? for promoting dialogue and inclusiveness, rejecting zero-sum ideology and hatred and creating spaces for healing and a growing-togetherness.

        For some reason Nickleback get ragged on, but I don’t care, haha, anyway their song “That’s When We All Win” comes to mind. :)

        And now tis time I shut up. ;)

        • coffee_queen says:

          Gaa. This is what happens when I am reading and posting stuff instead of sleeping.

          I just want to say how chagrined I am that I posed this narcissistic egocentric me-me-me thing. Somewhere intending to be all “eff yeah egalitarianism! Men are awesome! Women are awesome! Humans are awesome!” got hijacked by my ego. Mea culpa.

          Is there any way to delete comments?

          • Why would you want to delete it? I think it was a good comment. Describing your feelings about something isn’t a bad thing imho. As long as you don’t forget to think…

            • coffee_queen says:

              Thanks for your kind comment. Mainly I wanted to delete so I could re-write it without all the self-aggrandizing “gee look how awesome I am hern hern” stuff in it. ‘Tis what I get for posting while my brain was not working correctly…
              In future I will definitely make sure I am awake and thinking as well as feeling before posting, haha! :)

            • It was a good post, everyone deserves a lil me me me. The sum of all the me me me’s = humanity so it can be quite important to read, and I’d rather read about how good people are vs how they hate this, n want to hurt that.

              Thank-you for your comment, it’s much appreciated.

            • coffee_queen says:

              “The sum of all the me me me’s = humanity so it can be quite important to read, and I’d rather read about how good people are vs how they hate this, n want to hurt that.”
              This! There’s so much hate flying around it’s insane. There are so many wonderful people in the world it’s a shame that so many people seem content to judge and hate based on superficial characteristics. Meeting a few such wonderful people radically re-aligned my perspective. I wonder if meeting the right person or persons would help radicals of all stripes stop and think and amend their viewpoint, or if there is a threshold of hate and fear and bigotry that, once crossed, can’t be un-crossed? That would be depressing. :(

              Anyway, thank you for your kind comment. :) Sharing stories is a way to know and be known, as you pointed out. :)

  9. Yeah, the Atlantic article was as real trainwreck with the gynofeminists like anonymouswoman, others and of course ginmar poopflinging

  10. Anti-feminist rhetoric. Unfortunate.

    • What’s anti-feminist rhetoric? Our comments?

      Is anyone else getting sick and tired of the “Anti-feminist” label just because we have a few beefs with certain segements of the movement? I can’t be the only one.

    • Questioning feminism is sorely needed, but I am not actually anti-feminist. I have suspicions on the intentions of SOME feminists but I also absolutely adore egalitarian feminists. But quite frankly I have to ask, WHAT is feminism? It seems to have different meanings to feminists themselves, it’s very confusing! Some welcome men and want them to talk of their issues, others want men to shutup and let women have their space, which is right?

      • Thanks for this article, Archy. I keep hearing about these radical feminists from commenters on this site, but this absolutely has not been my experience of feminism. Of course, I don’t spend much time reading comments sections on most websites. I’ve increasingly come to think that the reason feminism has become such a bad word is not because the majority of feminists are anti-male, but that because those whose views are most easily accessible do espouse such ideology.

        Feminism is about equality. We are in the third wave of feminism. Initially it was about advancing women’s rights, and I think at that time it was sorely needed. The second wave carried on this work, and began to transform into what feminism has become now in the third wave – a movement that addresses inequality wherever it exists. Feminism is about confronting ageism, sexism, racism, heteronormativity, homophobia, classism, and all of the other ways that different human beings are subjected to discrimination and oppression. Because privilege is fluid, it is also about acknowledging our position of privilege and the manners in which we might also be complicit in the oppression of others. I am an intellectual; I am working on a Master’s degree and I need to be cognizant that this affords me power in some situations. I need to learn to mitigate the privilege I have, just as much as I would want someone else to mitigate the privilege they might wield over me. Really, I find the term ‘egalitarian feminist’ to be redundant, as I define feminism as an egalitarian movement.

        Also, I welcome men into the feminist sphere. I adore the male feminists I know, and appreciate the work they do toward the common goal of equality. I appreciate the perspectives they can provide me of their own experiences to inform my activism in working toward gaining equality for women and men. I appreciate when male feminists listen to my perspectives and experiences to inform their goals in working toward equality as well. It’s a collaborative effort. It’s not a gender war. It’s not men against women. Working together is the only way we will achieve the equality that we desire.

        • Great post! I totally agree with all of it.

        • Really, I find the term ‘egalitarian feminist’ to be redundant, as I define feminism as an egalitarian movement.

          If feminism is an egalitarian movement then ‘it should be the change it wants to see’ – men’s voice, concerns, issues should be in it, equally heard. And there should be an equal number of male leaders. An egalitarian movement would be concerned equally with the issues of men and of women.

          Feminism is not an egalitarian movement. Feminism is a woman centered, woman focused space. Which is as it should be. It is a women’s movement to protect and advance the rights of women.

          Feminism in the best case, may be about how to establish equality, from the perspective of women (and in the worst case scenario seek female supremacy). However I consider that, very different from being centered as an egalitarian movement, where men’s and women’s voices are heard equally.

        • Thanks for the reply.

          “Really, I find the term ‘egalitarian feminist’ to be redundant, as I define feminism as an egalitarian movement.”
          Thing is not all feminists share this view, if it truly was redundant we would never be having this discussion and you’d see a hell of a lot less anti-feminism.

          It’s sad that the extremists can get such a public voice these days online but I guess you have to remember that not everyone can access a local feminist group to discuss the issues with so online comments/forums provide an easy way to converse….Especially on issues that can be very personal. So those forums and comment sections are extremely important and highly influential these days I believe, just look at how quick the hatred of Hugo spread and how many got in on the WWE cage match session on him. People have killed themselves over bullying via comments alone, so they have a lot of power in our modern digital/online world.

          I believe you are lucky to have found egalitarians and are free from the gynocentrics, I just wish that was more common so we wouldn’t have so many feeling hurt and betrayed by feminism. Quite frankly I’d rather see egalitarianism instead rise up simply as a fresh start to drop old gender politics and allow all of the issues to be tackled, I feel too many see feminism as female-orientated and this seems pretty like a pretty big issue for many I see. I’m not sure the majority of feminism is egalitarian, I can’t see egalitarians making violence against women campaigns and ignoring male violence and governments supporting that. Something still feels amiss, it really does feel like feminism is split into 2 major entities but they use the same term so it’s extremely difficult for me to identify the egalitarian areas that welcome men and women, welcome anyone.

          If anyone knows an egalitarian feminist site I’d love to hear about it, so far I know of noseriouslywhataboutthemenz which seems male friendly but it’s also male focused. I prefer areas where both men n women’s issues are discussed, especially cross over issues such as violence and how it’s not just gendered versions of the issues. It becomes tiring to never hear of male vicitimization or female perpetration, I am interested in seeing all combos. I cannot stand studies on one gender, I always like to see both genders get studies to see if it’s an issue only affecting one gender or both.

          Body image is one of those cross gender issues, for quite a while I saw only female body image problems discussed and studied but when they studied the males they saw pretty much equal levels of dissatisfaction. THAT is what we need to know otherwise we would only fix female issues whilst heaps of men are having issues (and making gyms and protein suppliment companies very rich:P). I see studies that ONLY ask women about street harassment and it annoys me because I have no idea if it’s comparable to men, is it that men get zero, a lil, do they get a different form of harassment, do they get even more but somehow ignore it? I find it impossible to identify it as a female only problem until I see studies that take into account both genders (not saying there aren’t studies, I haven’t seen them).

          Hope that explains my point of view better, I don’t want either side dominating the discussion but simply every angle to be addressed, pinpoint why x happens, who it happens to, how often, how to fix, and never ever hear again that 1 study that finally addresses male sexual violence pretty much leaves my jaw on the floor as it went from men suffering very little, to men suffering a huge amount on a scale similar to females. NO ONE should be ignored.

          • Peter Houlihan says:

            “If anyone knows an egalitarian feminist site I’d love to hear about it, so far I know of noseriouslywhataboutthemenz which seems male friendly but it’s also male focused.”

            Thats an excellent point actually. I’d love to find such a site myself.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          “Feminism is about confronting ageism, sexism, racism, heteronormativity, homophobia, classism, and all of the other ways that different human beings are subjected to discrimination and oppression.”

          If so, then why use a word that specifically refers to women? Why not just use a broader term like “humanist” or “egalitarian.” The word “feminist” has alot of baggage, and not all of it relates to egalitarianism.

        • If you wanted to “mitigate” your privilege you would drop the feminist label and become a humanist.

  11. Sorry to say it but quite a lot of feminists have tarnished the name and it’s up to feminists to fix it somehow, when SO MANY men and WOMEN start to call out feminism like I’ve seen recently, there is a big problem.
    Shroedinger’s Feminist?

    • I think the name “feminism” can not be fixed. As i have a bad feeling about “masculinism” (people with LOTS of false preconceptions), always will have the same feeling about feminism.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        There was alot of bad press and misconceptions at the birth of feminism too, but they went on to do great things (some of them) regardless. I hold out the same hope for masculism.

  12. How’z about seeing Feminism as just another collective bargaining lobby and solving problems with reasoned debates by reasoned debaters. the way it’s looking right now, MRA’s obsession with Rad-fems has hit almost sexual proportions.

    • Some of their articles expose radfem links to positions of influence, lobbyists, and even daycare workers and the like. So… that’s worrying and deserves attention.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      Except for the word “reasoned” I’d agree. Not all feminists are reasonable.

  13. I appreciated this greatly. I’ve seen the kind of debates from both sides. I experienced the problem growing up when my mother was rather abusive of my father, claiming that everything was his fault in the relationship but not recognizing or willing to work it out. Somehow coming out of it my mother and my sister refuse to accept this as a possibility, speaking of my dad as the typically emotionally distant male. This I find so untrue. My dad was one of my best friends growing up. I even preferred to live with him after he and my mother got divorced. So I can see the unjust treatment of men and women. The discussion needs to be had together of what is going on so we can move forward. Pitting one sex against the other isn’t going to accomplish anything.

    • “Pitting one sex against the other isn’t going to accomplish anything.”

      Except perhaps make us lesbians (and gay guys) a little happier. ;)

      Seriously though, your comment is so true.

      • coffee_queen says:

        Seconded! I think Noah Brand recently wrote an article on similar lines for GMP discussing how the zero-sum nature of the “gender war” leaves everyone worse for it.

        And a lol to your comment about lesbians and gay guys being happy for the gender war. :D

  14. Have any of you people SEEN what MRA’s have to say about women?? Do you know what feminists have to put up with from online woman-hating fanatics?

    “[W]hen some of you call a woman a “bitch” think about what you are saying. The word “bitch” means a female dog. So if you are going to use the word with its true meaning, you would actually be insulting female dogs, because the dogs have better behavior than many women. … I would never insult my dog by calling Gloria Allred a “bitch”. … I would call her a feminist but not a bitch. The feminist movement has made many of our women unseemly wenches”

    “Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true”

    Check it out & follow the links to the source, right here: http://manboobz.com/2012/02/04/the-case-for-chivalry-note-its-really-really-rapey/

    • I’ve had a feminist tell me she hoped I would get raped. Highlighting the bad ones and calling them out is needed. The generalizations I see there are pretty extreme though, have they never seen egalitarian MRA’s? His disparaging usage of misandry is childish though, and the antagonism leaves a lot to be desired.

      “Lauralot, you can’t be an MRA because you’re not an illogical whiny asshole.” There’s one quote, on that site where people complain of generalizations. Seems a bit hypocritical to me…

      I do hope to see the egalitarian MRA’s call out the bad ones quoted though, both feminists and the MRA need to do it to clean up the image of their movements.

      And the person in the jury comment scares me. Be bitter n angry all you want but don’t ruin the justice system over that bitterness.

      • “And the person in the jury comment scares me. Be bitter n angry all you want but don’t ruin the justice system over that bitterness.”

        Ah really? i don’t know any MRA’s who have enough power to change laws or even make them. On the other side, there are many feminists who have that power, but they don’t seem to scare you, and this point is where things start to be really interesting.

        i can discredit any forum by goin’ there, and write something nasty. Just think about it.

    • Have any of you people SEEN what MRA’s have to say about women?? Do you know what feminists have to put up with from online woman-hating fanatics?
      Unless you can prove all MRAs have that attitude about women what’s your point?

      Yes there are bad ones out there and they need to be called on their negativity. But the fact that there is negativity among MRAs doesn’t justify the negativity among feminists.

    • Yeah I’d have to agree with Archy and Danny here. Much like love, hate is a two way street.

  15. bobbt:
    Actually, there hasn’t been military conscription in the U.S. since I believe 1973( the year I turned 19 and was eligible) so it’s a dead issue anyway. The ratio of logistical support personel to actual combat personel is 3.4:1. so there are lots of oppurtunities for everyone in todays military.
    If that’s the case then what’s the deal with Selective Service.

    When a male turns 18 he has to register with Selective Service under pain of:
    1. Having applications to government funded colleges disqualified.
    2. Having applications for government funded financial aid disqualified.
    3. A five year prison sentence.
    4. A $5000 (I think) fine
    5. Possibly having immigration status revoked.

    If its not that big a deal then why is this being hung over the heads of males and males only?

    • Julie Gillis says:

      Some countries ask both men and women to sign on to service to the country. I see that it should be either all or none.

      • Agreed. I find it interesting that a lot (not all) of the men I have talked to about including women in registering for Selective Service (gotta love that name), actually don’t want women to be included. It’s something I never could make sense of.

        • Its the same reason I’ve talked to women that think men should not be the ones to tend to sick children. They are bound up in old gender roles. The men you’ve spoken to probably don’t think “women should be fighting wars” and the women I’ve spoken to probably don’t think “men should be caring for children”.

          Ideally I’d get rid of Selective Service altogether.

          • Yeah, I guess what I meant by it being something I never could make sense of…was more I couldn’t make sense of the logic behind it. Women are in the military (albeit in a limited capacity). I’d have thought we’d have included women in registering for selective service too by now.

            But yeah, as Archy says…let’s just avoid war altogether.

        • Men are raised on the heroism and self-sacrifice burden, hence why so much media is about the male putting his life on the line to protect his family/loved ones/damsel in distress. So those men most likely want to protect women and don’t want them in conscription.

          I however say F that, if men have to sign up, women better line up as well! What’s good for the gander is good for the goose ;) I don’t believe women are weak, there is a difference in physical strength yes but not everything requires that extra male-strength and women can do many of the jobs in the military as they already do. If the shit hits the fan and we need conscription, lack numbers and need a lot of human resource to fuel the defensive measure than I’d expect men and women to help out, even kids over a certain age can do some support roles such as helping with supplies, making and distributing supplies. But kids are a last resort and if it’s that bad then it’s pretty much everyone helps out or face the likelihood of defeat. Better yet, war should be avoided. War is hell!

    • Danny, your right! God, it’s so long ago I’ve forgotten the details. The selective service act was never actually repealed, just the draft was suspended. While those laws are still on the books, like our immigration laws, there not really enforced all that much. I know many young men over the last 10 years or so who just havent bothered to register, including my own son(I honestly think they didn’t realize they were suppose to). It would add some spice to the gender debate though, if the US government ever decides to enforce the law.

  16. Dear,

    I think there is something that you’ve missed. If you have inequality plus equality you continue to have inequality… So, when a group needs equality, it might need inequality. Its mathematical! 10 is diferent from 6. To have an equality you need to add 4 to the second term. You can’t get equal pretending that there is not an inequality! Men must understand that they can and need to help to fight sexism, but not talk for women. Man can tal about how machism makes them need to apper very heterosexual and have many girls, they cannot cry, they must support all the family’s problem, to have money and great cars, and all those things that you migh know better than me. Thats what you can talk about as man. Not about how it feels like to be a women everyday in a such sexist world, not about what we should do, how to talk or organise our movement, becaus it IS sexism, even if have no intention to be sexist. Be carefull. Appart of it, go forth!

    • I think the problem is that many extremist feminists are willing to trample the rights of others just to try and further themselves. I just came from a facebook group of women celebrating the mutilation, murder, and beheading of a man, because the woman who did it claimed (without any evidence) to have been raped by him. Not only did he not deserve the right to a fair trial, or the right to living, but he didn’t even deserve a moments consideration that he MIGHT have been innocent.

  17. Mr Supertypo says:

    I think there should be a special place online, a special site or group who is specialized in dialogue between MRA’s and feminists. A place much like GMP where there for every feminist article published there is a masculist. So it always balace out. And the comment/forum is heavely moderated.

    I think I would love a place like that.

    Nothing against GMP

  18. Wow. Just… Wow.

    I’ve always been one to question everything. At the age of 7 I recall telling people my favorite color was pink, just to challenge the “pink is a girl’s color” mindset.

    Now I find myself constantly surrounded by “feminists” who automatically assume that because I call myself an egalitarian I’m out to get them. Frankly I’m terrible at expressing what I feel, and your whole article has hit that nail right on the head. I’m speechless.

    • Thank-you, I only write on what I have observed and my frustrations of trying to find an egalitarian place whether that be in a feminist, mra, or mixup setting. And a year on I still notice the silly wars between MRA’s and Feminists which really sadden me because on the whole they both have very similar goals…

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