“Feminists don’t want to hear me out unless I agree with them.”

This is a comment by Danny on the post “What About the Womenz?

“I think one of the biggest misconceptions about feminism is that addressing the rights of women will automatically address the issues of men. It is only half true.”

The problem is feminists themselves are putting up that illusion. Its not as feminists are saying that they don’t want to work with men, they openly advertise that they do. It becomes a misconception when people that want to work with them on men’s stuff realize that most feminists only want to work with men who pretty much start off agreeing with them and don’t challenge/question the ideology of feminism too much.

The mindset of a lot of feminists is “help women first and foremost which will either fix everything else or we’ll just get to it later”. This is how you end up with issues that affect men being twisted around to make it about women. Take child care. A lot of them don’t want to talk about how fathers are stigmatized as child molesters and thus people don’t trust them with children but if twist it into how women are stigmatized as child care givers and thus people expect them to be good at child care (to the point of thinking something is wrong with a woman that doesn’t want to care for children) and all of a sudden its a worthwhile topic.

A lot of feminists simply don’t like the idea of men being the primary focus even on topics that primaraly harm men and will simply deny men rather let us speak up out of fear that we might disagree with them.

I don’t identify as feminist or MRA but I’ll say this. There’s a lot of hatred among MRAs and I’m trying to get away from that. Feminists don’t want to hear me out unless I agree with them. As far as I’m concerned neither side is coming up smelling like roses. (And it also doesn’t help that a lot of feminists seem to want to excuse the negativity in their own movement by going on about how they aren’t “as bad as MRAs” like JK is asking about below. As if the existence of bad MRAs excuses the existence of bad feminists…)

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Comments

  1. I won’t believe true equality has arrived until women can choose to allow fathers primary custody without being judged by other women.

    • Look, I don’t want to seem like I’m jumping on you, because I agree with what you’re saying here, but the fact you used the word “allow” sort of underlines the problem.

  2. Amen to this!

    • Copyleft says:

      It’s a good point. Many feminists welcome men’s participation… in working on women’s issues.

      That’s really not the same thing as working on equality, much less addressing men’s own issues. And that distinction is often overlooked.

  3. Concerned says:

    Some great stuff gets posted on this site – so it is a real shame that every time feminism gets discussed it loses its way so badly and often repeats stereotypes peddled by those who think feminism is some sort of plot against men.

    First of all, lumping all feminists together like this makes it sound as though “feminism” is some sort of club that admits members and has particular rules, the characterization is faintly ridiculous. There are a diversity of feminisims and feminist voices out there. A woman claiming the label feminist does not automatically speak for all women who also identify as feminists.

    Secondly, putting “feminism” up against MRA and saying ” neither side is coming up smelling like roses” is a bit like saying “well there are those who feel the end of segregation was really hard on white folk and those who fought for black civil rights. I can see both sides.” To pretend these “sides” are on the same footing when one is about progress and recognising structural oppression of minority and disadvantaged groups with the aim of advocating for equality, while the other is reactionary, denies structural oppression even exists for minority and disadvantaged groups, and instead claims that dominant groups are actually hard done by, is again, faintly ridiculous.

    If you find that feminists you have interacted with don’t like it when you disagree with them, then I’d suggest using the opportunity in future to take a deep breath and listen. You never know, you might even learn something.

    • “First of all, lumping all feminists together like this makes it sound as though “feminism” is some sort of club that admits members and has particular rules, the characterization is faintly ridiculous.”

      There is a reason people ID as “feminists” and not something else. The only reason to ID as a “feminist” is if one agrees with the base ideologies, philosophies, and arguments – otherwise they would refuse to ID as feminists.

      “Feminists” are obviously comfortable enough in being associated with the most radical man-hating feminists that they voluntarily identify themselves with them. If they truly opposed the views of other feminists they would not belong to the group.

      • I disagree. Not all feminists share the same ideologies, philosophies, and arguments just like not all republicans or democrats do. Even as a democrat I know that not all republicans are women-haters though certain radical conservatives come off that way, so why must so many men continue to see feminists as a unified group when that so clearly is not true?

        I am a feminist. I don’t agree with all other feminists. In fact, the very origins of feminism and feminist theory have never truly been unified in anything other than a movement for women’s rights. I’d love to see a post on this blog that actually acknowledged an understanding of essentialist vs. social-constructivist theories, and though most discussions of feminism on the GMP have had activist rather than academic leanings, where’s Butler, Sedgwick, Kristeva, or Rubin? Feminism is so much more than than this site, and, more frequently, its commentators, acknowledge.

        • Not what I said. Sure, they disagree on minor details just like a married couple does. But, what I was “BASE (core) ideologies, philosophies, and arguments”, which is factual. Otherwise they wouldn’t all call themselves “feminists.” Otherwise they would call themselves an MRA, humanist, equalist or something else.

          “why must so many men continue to see feminists as a unified group when that so clearly is not true”

          Because they act as one group in anti-male ideologies, philosophies, and arguments. There is no point choosing a group to belong to if one does not accept its base ideologies, philosophies, and arguments. That is the whole point in being a democrate, republican, feminist, MRA, etc.

          • The base ideology of feminism is women’s rights (because they’re still not equal), NOT man-hating. Arguing differently just exposes ignorance of the movement.

            I grant you that there are anti-male feminists (though they don’t make up the majority), but the “anti-male” aspect is sexism, not a central tenet of feminism. Just like men, women can be sexist. I’m not saying that’s right, I just think it’s important to realize that sexism occurs in all genders and that feminism does not inherently imply sexism.

            • The mainstream feminist influences on our legislature and in popular culture are anti-male, are sexist against men and boys.

              The tired trope of “many kinds of feminism” is a weak elision away from addressing the bigotry inherent in mainstream feminism.

            • The base ideology is marxist class warfare applied to gender. The anti-male aspect of feminism, is central to that -women appear as the always good proletariat, and men are typecast as the bad and privileged bourgeois.

              It may appear from the inside of the ideology that you are vastly different groups, but in reality feminists are all in the same group with the same underlying ideology and the differences are minor.

              Feminism is also multi-layered, for example most feminists do not even know that their movement is marxist at its core.

            • Along with Egohan’s very accurate comment, feminism is not an equality movement although they like to use that word. It is a women’s advancement/empowerment movement, which has zero concern for men’s rights or concerns, and certainly no concern for equality.

              That is why, no matter how much preference and superiority women have in a given area, they “argue” that women are “not equal”, just as you have done here. The reason they can all feel comfortable in calling themselves feminists is because they have the same world-view (as Egohan explained).

              Anyone who joins an organization/group that (admittedly) includes sexism, discrimination, and/or bigotry endorses such, and is evidently comfortable enough with it to be a part of it.

            • If “arguing differently just exposes ignorance of the movement” then why are so many specific examples of misandry evident across western culture as a whole?
              I gave up keeping records of misandry, not just as exhibited by radical femenists, but in the media and even in the interactions of friends and people generally.
              I threw my research into the recycling bin because there is so much negativity towards males it seemed futile to attempt to keep track of it.
              My point is that this all pervading attitude came from somewhere, it didn’t create itself.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            Why do women who don’t believe in the feminist movements ideologies, why do they continue to identify themselves as feminists in any way. Why do all these bleeding hearts that claim they was to level the playing field continue to label themselves as any kind of feminist. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck …. The truth is, they are feminists and really not interested in doing anything for men. Ya’ll burned your braws years ago, how about stepping up and burn your “I’m a feminist” card?

        • Is there a website that academic feminists hangout? I’ve been trying to find an egalitarian feminist hangout, and one that will discuss both males n females as well. The most common feminist I seem to find is focused on women’s issues with little discussed of mens, and things like rape are discussed as women’s issues instead of human issues. Seems to be a lot of victim mentality which i feel undermines the discussion, it gets to the point it minimizes rape against men for instance and really confuses me on their intentions since they profess to be all about equality.

          Can you fill in the names fully too, I’m interested in who they are and what they study as it’s the first time I’ve heard of it. I’ve been exposed mostly to “internet feminist”, or the blogs and websites with comment sections that discuss various issues but haven’t had much experience with academics. The only academic I know of would be Jasmine who writes and comments here and she too tells of a feminism that is egalitarian in nature but sadly it’s one that can be hard to find especially for newcomers and those away from the colleges I’d guess.

          • Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a particularly good academic feminist blog that deals with both men’s and women’s issues. Discussions of the two together, at least on the internet, is sadly wanting. I’m in the liberal feminist mecca of grad school, so I find that most of my discussions of feminism happen in real life in classrooms, at bars, with friends, with strangers, etc.

            The writers I mentioned are Judith Butler (who’s pretty philosophical and most famous for her work on gender performativity), Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (who generally writes about men), Julia Kristeva (who identifies several types of feminism), and Gayle Rubin (who’s article “The Traffic in Women” is great, and she also has an interview with Butler discussing the failures of marxist feminism). I admit, it’s problematic that all of these feminist writers are women, but they have all proven to be very influential in the newer field of queer studies which has a lot of men writing about feminist and queer issues.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            Egalitarian doctrines tend to maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status All you who claim to be this, how can you call yourselves a feminist in any way shape or form. It’s BS, you so called “egalitarians” on here are in my opinion, feminists.

            You won’t find an egalitarian feminist site in that having “feminism” as part of it means that it’s not egalitarian. At least that’s what the definition says. I wonder if the so called egalitarian movement is no more than a Trojan horse?

        • and though most discussions of feminism on the GMP have had activist rather than academic leanings, where’s Butler, Sedgwick, Kristeva, or Rubin? Feminism is so much more than than this site, and, more frequently, its commentators, acknowledge.

          instead of naming dropping in an attempt to silence, why didnt you instead use their work to add to the discussion on this thread.

      • TheUglyGirl says:

        A quote from Betty Friedan, founder of the National Organization for Women, and considered one of the founders of the feminist movement.

        “Womens’ resentment was being manipulated into an orgy of sex hatred that would vitiate the power they now had to change the conditions they resented. I’m not sure what motivates those who viciously promulgate, or manipulate, man hate in the women’s movement. Some of the disruptors seemed to come from extremist groups, some seemed to be using the women’s movement to proselytize lesbianism, others seemed to be articulating the legitimate and long-buried rage of women into a rhetoric of sex/class warfare, which I consider to be based on a false analogy with obsolete or irrelevant ideologies of class warfare or race separatism. The man-haters were given publicity far out of proportion to their numbers in the movement because of the media’s hunger for sensationalism. But that man-hating rhetoric increasingly disturbs most women in the movement, in addition to keeping many women out of the movement.”

        Even prominent, well known feminists disagree with the man-hate rhetoric. There are many feminists (indeed most I know) that disagree with the extremist ideologies of some members. But if you don’t spend much time reading feminist literature; you won’t be exposed to it because the extremists (in other words, the loudest and most sensational) get all the attention.

        Kinda’ the way MRA’s are considered misogynists by people who’ve never bothered to read MRA literature. It goes both ways.

        • Even prominent, well known feminists disagree with the man-hate rhetoric. There are many feminists (indeed most I know) that disagree with the extremist ideologies of some members. But if you don’t spend much time reading feminist literature; you won’t be exposed to it because the extremists (in other words, the loudest and most sensational) get all the attention.
          The problem is that the man hate rhetoric isn’t so much man hate as man disregard.

          Sure you won’t see too many feminists say they want all men killed but its not too hard to find some that will say that denial of male privilege is the only reason people disagree with feminist ideology. There’s no shortage of feminists that actually do think male privilege washes away the harms that men suffer (or at least makes them a lower priority than what happens to women). You can easily find ones that support the idea that female against male sexism does not exist. And I know I’ve been to a community where its apparently okay to say that all men are rapists.

          So while the overtly extreme ways aren’t very common the people that did used to spew managed to leave behind enough that it still influences the ones that are running around here today.

          • TheUglyGirl says:

            **”The problem is that the man hate rhetoric isn’t so much man hate as man disregard.
            There’s no shortage of feminists that actually do think male privilege washes away the harms that men suffer (or at least makes them a lower priority than what happens to women). You can easily find ones that support the idea that female against male sexism does not exist. And I know I’ve been to a community where its apparently okay to say that all men are rapists.
            So while the overtly extreme ways aren’t very common the people that did used to spew managed to leave behind enough that it still influences the ones that are running around here today.”**

            What you have written is sad but true. Which is the reason I won’t give up the feminist moniker. Extreme ideologies need to be tempered, and that’s more easily done from the inside.

            • “Extreme ideologies need to be tempered, and that’s more easily done from the inside.”

              As long as there is a desire to “temper” extreme ideologies, they will persist because a desire to temper them means that they aren’t unacceptable, just not ideal. Tolerating misandry, in essence, endorses it. If you want to rebrand feminism, exorcise/rip-out any and all vestiges of persons who promote misandry.

            • TheUglyGirl says:

              You misinterpret what I mean by “tempering ideologies”.
              Yelling across the room at some one does nothing but harden resolve. The Socratic method works better to permanently change ideologies.

            • I don’t believe in tempering hate, whether it be misogny or misandry, racism, whatever. I believe it must be rejected. Period. No excuses.

              To temper it is to not absolutely reject it. Not the way I roll.

            • TheUglyGirl says:

              You and I are using different definitions of “temper”.
              Temper
              verb (used with object)
              1. to moderate or mitigate: to temper justice with mercy.
              2. to soften or tone down.
              3. to bring to a proper or desirable state by blending or admixture.
              .
              I believe you are using definition #1 or #2, while I am using definition #3. “Tempering”, the way I’m using it, means to change by a slow additive process, hence my reference to the Socratic method. Telling someone to “quit hatin’ cause it’s wrong” does nothing to bring about permanent change in attitude. Asking someone to explain why they feel that way, offering counter examples, and forcing them to question their own beliefs is the most effective way to get people to rethink, and permanently change, their positions.

            • “Asking someone to explain why they feel that way, offering counter examples, and forcing them to question their own beliefs is the most effective way to get people to rethink, and permanently change, their positions.”

              Agreed. And that can be done from the outside.

              Voluntarily joining a group where hated is tolerated and even sponsored indicates some level of agreement/concurrence to those within the group because by one’s presence, s/helends support to their cause, and indicates agreement/concurrence to those outside the group – especially those who are their targets.

              Perhaps you can imagine how difficult it would be for that group to believe that some part such a person doesn’t deep down agree with them in some way, at some level, knowing that it’s entirely possible (and done all the time) to reason, argue, and correct without providing aid, comfort, and support to those who are anti-.

        • Quadruple A says:

          I would like to write an article about Betty Friedan. I think she has some ideas that could unite MRA’s and Feminists. The fact of the matter is that Betty Friedan is marginalized by the dominant discourse. She is even called an anti-feminist. When men complain that extremist feminists are in the mainstream what they mean isn’t that feminism is a monolith what they mean is that feminists who are not extreme are not given the priority that they should and that criticism of extremist feminists is non-existent at least on the internet. You wont find any feminist sites on the internet with Google that criticize how extreme Amanda Marcotte is. But when people like Amanda Marcotte have a dominant voice within feminism then other feminists who are not extremists are completely alienated from the feminist movement.

      • ““Feminists” are obviously comfortable enough in being associated with the most radical man-hating feminists that they voluntarily identify themselves with them. If they truly opposed the views of other feminists they would not belong to the group.”

        That is certainly not true. Feminism is a big thing; it has “waves,” for example, which differ in their various viewpoints. You are the one identifying any feminist with those you perceive as man- hating. No one else is doing that for you.

        • Feminism has one name. People join a movement because they identify with, agree with, and support its core philosophies, tenets, policies, and people within the movement – otherwise they would stay out. If one does not support the movement they would not be a part of it. If the movement did not tolerate elements of misandry, such could not exist in feminism but it does. It’s possible to steer clear of being tainted by, being associated with any elements of misandry by staying out of the movement.

          • “It’s possible to steer clear of being tainted by, being associated with any elements of misandry by staying out of the movement.”

            Does this disassociation also apply to Conservatism? Should Fiscal Conservatives steer clear of being tainted by being associated with any elements of the misogyny of Social Conservatives by staying out of the Conservative movement?

            • “Birds of a feather flock together. . .”

              If a person is exclusively fiscally conservative (but not socially conservative – and believe that there is misogyny permitted within it, and they abhor that), why would they get involved in the conservative movement when it is largely about social issues, and they disagree on core social issues and policies of the movement?

              So, in answer, yes, if one disagreed with many of the Conservative movement’s core ideologies, they would logically steer clear of it. Out of all the ideologies and movements, people specifically select the one(s) that they feel represents their views. No one is forced to be a feminist or anything else.

    • “Secondly, putting “feminism” up against MRA and saying ” neither side is coming up smelling like roses” is a bit like saying “well there are those who feel the end of segregation was really hard on white folk and those who fought for black civil rights. I can see both sides.” To pretend these “sides” are on the same footing when one is about progress and recognising structural oppression of minority and disadvantaged groups with the aim of advocating for equality, while the other is reactionary, denies structural oppression even exists for minority and disadvantaged groups, and instead claims that dominant groups are actually hard done by, is again, faintly ridiculous.”

      Do you know how offensive it is to liken women’s issues to racial issues? For one, women are the majority gender in the world, two, they’re different issues completely. It’s ridiculous for you to assume just because the dominant party has a few in power that none of them suffer, have you even bothered to research what the mens issues are? They actually have a lot to do with women’s issues, both genders have issues that cross over into each other such as abuse, violence, health, gender roles, etc.

      “If you find that feminists you have interacted with don’t like it when you disagree with them, then I’d suggest using the opportunity in future to take a deep breath and listen. You never know, you might even learn something.”
      Well I for one listen, but I find SOME feminists do not listen and will toss out silencers like male privilege to reject and deny the validity of an opposing opinion. Both sides/everyone needs to listen to each other, and say what is on their mind to discuss the issues but both sides are guilty of generalizing heavily against one another.

      The biggest shame is when some feminists remain blind to the other feminists who muddy the name, push men out of the movement, portray feminism as egalitarian whilst enforcing a gynocentric view of it. When you have comment after comment, many commentators discussing how they were pushed out of feminist spaces then obviously there is a problem don’t you think? The fact that anyone can use the feminist title means there can be bad ones that use it, so the good ones need to call them out on that, invite the men, the mra’s in to discuss the issues if they want it to be an inclusive movement.

      It’s absolutely ridiculous though to portray women as the victim, the minority, try to use racial issues as an emotional way to make women’s issues seem worse whilst trying to paint men as the dominant always where their issues are meaningless or less worthy than womens issues. I find this behaviour extremely offensive and wish people would stop it, just because the majority of the senate is male doesn’t mean there are a hell of a lot of men who feel and are quite powerless, doesn’t mean laws can’t oppress them, don’t mean they can’t suffer terrible amounts of violence (4x more deaths than women overall from last studies I saw).

      You can say the “advocating for equality” line all you want, but ignoring issues where males aren’t equal just to push female issues which are perceived to be more numerous towards equality DOES NOT = Equality. If both genders don’t get adequate awareness and representation, you’ll just have 1 side left behind unless you want to lower the standard women receive on some issues down to the male level to compensate.

      God, it’s such a shame when some people come in with the stereotypical womengetitworse and we can’t compare them to men cuz women are really like the blacks with the level of oppression they get. Yeah, no. Racial and gender issues are different, quit conflating them.

    • thehermit says:

      ” by those who think feminism is some sort of plot against men.”

      The feminists are the ones who think there is a worldwide plot against women called “partiarchy”.

    • Some great stuff gets posted on this site – so it is a real shame that every time feminism gets discussed it loses its way so badly and often repeats stereotypes peddled by those who think feminism is some sort of plot against men.

      First of all, lumping all feminists together like this makes it sound as though “feminism” is some sort of club that admits members and has particular rules, the characterization is faintly ridiculous. There are a diversity of feminisims and feminist voices out there. A woman claiming the label feminist does not automatically speak for all women who also identify as feminists.

      Secondly, putting “feminism” up against MRA and saying ” neither side is coming up smelling like roses” is a bit like saying “well there are those who feel the end of segregation was really hard on white folk and those who fought for black civil rights. I can see both sides.” To pretend these “sides” are on the same footing when one is about progress and recognising structural oppression of minority and disadvantaged groups with the aim of advocating for equality, while the other is reactionary, denies structural oppression even exists for minority and disadvantaged groups, and instead claims that dominant groups are actually hard done by, is again, faintly ridiculous.

      If you find that feminists you have interacted with don’t like it when you disagree with them, then I’d suggest using the opportunity in future to take a deep breath and listen. You never know, you might even learn something.

      All this comment shows is that this seems to be the only thing you’ve ever read from me here at GMP about feminism. I’ve commented that not all feminists are the same (In fact I did so in the submission “Treating the Hate” I did here a while back).

      Please don’t waste time with the “comparing men to women is like comparing whites to blacks”. The imbalances of the black/white dynamic are nowhere near as one sided as the man/women dynamic. Unless you can show me the part where I’ve saying men and women are on equal footing or that I’ve said that they both have it equally bad. I try to avoid that because just as you are trying to do here that plays into the “who has it worse game”.

      And you last bit there really shows you haven’t interacted with me much.

      In short quit grand standing like you know all there is to know about me just because you read this one post. Who knows if you go read more of my stuff you might learn something.

    • Copyleft says:

      Tip for feminists: If you find that men who favor equality still disagree with you, then I’d suggest using the opportunity to take a deep breath and listen to them. You never know, you might learn something.

    • KC Krupp says:

      First of all, lumping all feminists together like this makes it sound as though “feminism” is some sort of club that admits members and has particular rules, the characterization is faintly ridiculous. There are a diversity of feminisims and feminist voices out there. A woman claiming the label feminist does not automatically speak for all women who also identify as feminists.

      You’re right, not all feminists are the same, and at the same time I heard a quote the other day that answers this statement perfectly: “How many times a day does this have to happen before we start to consider this a systematic problem and not just a bad apple situation.”

      This quote was originally part of a video by TJ (aka the Amazing Atheist) talking about Police Apologists where he is rebutting the tendency for the tendency that when people start to speak against improper or abusive police behavior ‘police apologists’ turn around and say “It’s just a few bad apples. Not all police are like this.”

      So with that same perspective answer this? While yes everyone here will likely agree that not all feminists are abusive, anti-men, or disregard men’s rights, when so many men have described their experience with feminists negatively and this experience is the same in my own personal experience and my friends’ experience, how long do we wait before we consider these experiences as evidence a systemic problem with feminists?

      This is the same reason that I do not identify with the MRA movement; there is so much hate and anger in that community that, in my opinion, it is systemic of the MRA movement.

      • TheUglyGirl says:

        That’s rife with confirmation bias. The feminists (who identify themselves as such) have culminated in negative experiences for you. But you don’t know how many feminists you meet everyday that do not identify themselves to you.

        You can’t assume that every woman that treats you like crap is a feminist rather than just a nasty tempered person. And you can’t assume that any woman who is nice to you is not a feminist solely on the basis that she is nice to you.

        • KC Krupp says:

          @TheUglyGirl

          I’m not talking about “every woman that treats you like crap” I specifically said “feminist” and I am specifically referring to “feminists” and people who openly identify as “feminists.” I’m also not saying that they have treated me poorly; on a personal level, as a human being, I’ve never had a feminist treat me like crap, I’m talking from an ideological level or in attempting to create a working relationship. The experience I’m talking about is when I am actively working with feminists or when I have attempted to engage with feminist organisations and communities.

          The funny thing is I make a living through training in networking and interpersonal skills and rapport building, so when I work with these communities it is usually for building

          The interaction I have had generally goes like this (I’m paraphrasing):
          Feminist community member 1 (FCM): We want to get more men involved. How do we get more men involved.
          Me: Well the approach you are currently taking with this, this, and this campaign is actually turning men off. In many cases you are coming off too strong and men are feeling ostracized and offended.
          FCM 1: Not all feminists are crazy man hating bra burners.
          Me: I don’t believe that all feminists are crazy man hating bra burners, I’m saying that approaching something in the way you have done makes them identify you as part of the stereotype.
          FCM 2: Well that thing was a truly awful thing and *insert frequently repeated incorrect statistic about how bad the thing is.*
          ME: And I’m not saying that it is a good thing, I’m saying that the approach you are taking towards addressing the issue is working against you. To bring more men to the community we need to approach them at their level first and build them up to understand things from your perspective.
          FCM 1: But the Men should just believe we are better.
          FCM 2: Society should just fix everything and be better.
          ME: And you’re right, society is in the wrong, and unfortunately society isn’t going to just be better because the wrong thing has worked for society for so long. It’s our responsibility to demonstrate to –
          FCM 1: *cuts me off to complain about another women’s issue or to again talk about how not all feminists fall into the stereotype*

          It doesn’t matter how much I specify that I’m not talking about them or their ideals and that I am rather addressing the question of how to add men to their organization. Time and time again when what is being said doesn’t display everything they do is golden sunshine and rainbows they shut out the message and turn it into “me attacking them.” The conversation usually goes down to the road of saying that to bring more men into their organisation they either need to 1) start addressing men in terms of their concerns and issues or 2) telling men that they are valuable and integral parts of your organization, and then it devolves into them spitting out male privilege rhetoric, which I always tell them talking to men like that will just shut them out…and down the rabbit hole we go.

          This has not been once.

          This has not been twice.

          This has been EVERY time I have engaged someone who is openly feminist or any feminist organization. And I do networking, people skills, rapport building, and organization recruitment for a living.

          Does that mean I believe every feminist is like this? No. Does it mean I believe the feminists have some crazy world domination subjugation of men agenda? No. Are feminists some evil boogey-(wo)man? No

          I’m all for your concept of “tempering.” I call it “meeting someone at their level.” The problem is that, in general, when I have worked with feminists there is complete shutdown on the listening end or there is a pre-programmed response about male privilege/patriarchy, and believe me I’ve done my fair share of listening – for hours only to be told that the person I’m talking to “thinks that I don’t know as much about gender issues as I think I do” and points me into the direction of articles and books to “educate myself” which I politely inform them I’ve already read.

          I have many very good friends who are feminists. I purposely do not talk about rights issues with them because anytime I mention something I read about some group of people it turns into a “well women are worse off because of …” discussion.

          The reason I call it systemic is because the disregard for male perspective is so pervasive in every encounter I’ve ever had with a feminist when rights issues were the topic of discussion.

          A perfect example is how several of my feminist friends celebrated the new definition of rape. When I mentioned in conversation with them (we were at an event and talking excitedly about the change) it’s exciting to see progress and I’m looking forward for the definition to cover all male rape victims they looked at me puzzled. I then said, well the new definition doesn’t cover men raped by women or many women raped by women. There was dead silence and they quickly changed the topic. Just before that they’d been talking about some issue (I don’t remember what now) where there had been a small improvement within the local community in regards to women’s rights and they chittered like mad about how “it just wasn’t enough,” “we have a long way before we’ll finally reach equality,” “do they really think that is good enough?”

          From what I’ve seen the problem really comes into the fact that many feminists are afraid to openly admit that feminism isn’t about equal rights; it’s about equal rights as it pertains to addressing concerns of women. And that’s fine. I don’t think feminism needs to be about pursuing men’s rights at all. If a feminist or group of feminists decides they want to pursue men’s rights issues as well that’s awesome, and I support it.. The conflict in my mind is that the women I meet are so passionate in their own mission that they don’t pay attention to when pursuing the missing starts infringing on the rights of others. Because they’re so passionate about the mission when men start speaking up and saying “hey, this is damaging to us” it conflicts with the mission and so is seen as a direct attack on what this feminist person/group is so passionate about. I see this very frequently with activist groups (I’ve been chewed out when I told a pro-life group that I was in fact pro-life and believed the best way to eliminate abortions was not by making them illegal, but rather by focusing energy and money on more effective education programs and alternative aid programs that give women who feel desperate more options…the pro-life camp can then say that they’re pro-choice as well and in fact pro-more-choices than the pro-choice group, but anyway I digress)- with many activist groups they’ve dug themselves so deep into the trenches they can’t see over the walls anymore, and they can’t tell if the person shouting down into the trench is an ally or an enemy.

          • TheUglyGirl says:

            Thanks for the clarification.

            I wish I could tear apart your narrative piece by piece and tell you all the ways that you’re wrong…. but I can’t. I’ve witnessed these things as well.

            I don’t know what its like to be a man facing down a group of feminists; but as someone who often openly disagrees with the rhetoric, I find that if I stand my ground, they will eventually listen to me. Maybe that’s because I have a vagina and so they feel I deserve to have a voice.

            • KC Krupp says:

              It is refreshing to hear that you are actively attempting to make these changes from within the community itself and I commend you on the fact that you are willing to accept the criticism to a movement that you believe in and that you believe (and I will agree with you) has the best intentions at heart. I know that sort of experience isn’t easy; I work with a lot of fraternities where alcoholism and violent sexism are systemic problems that many, many people are working eliminate. I have to regularly deal with criticism being lobbied at fraternities as a whole, and it is tempting to respond with “well the chapters I work with aren’t like that!” or “but there are many good things that fraternities have to offer.”

              I believe that most feminists really do want gender equality, and that the problem really comes more to a disconnect of seeing what is relevant criticism and what is an attack; they are so deep in the trenches fighting the good fight that they can’t see that the army they are lobbying shells at are Brits not Germans.

              From when I’ve worked with feminist groups in the past the source of this seems to come from the types of conversations that occur in terms of taking theory and turning it into practice and political activism. Gender is a very personal thing and once you add politics to something that’s already very personal…well, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate what is morally just, and at what point is something a right, at what point does it become a privilege, and where sacrifices need to be made to make sure that everyone’s rights are respected. It’s a complex myriad between many different intersecting ideals: individuality, personal security, personal responsibility, respect, social stability, etc, etc.

              I must also thank you because due to this interaction, I do need to correct my previous statement; I have to change “EVERY” to “ALMOST EVERY,” and I hope that over time that will eventually change to “NEVER.” I have also seen a fair share of feminists here on GMP that are listening or starting to listen, Julie is a good example.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        I’m sure you, as with many in here, have never been active with MRM but have plenty to say about them. We LOVE women, all shapes and sizes. We HATE “feminism” and it’s so called movement. We hate what it’s done to men and fathers. If ya’ll knew anything about MRM’s you would know that we attack issues such as child custody, a court system that’s more interested in drop kicking men into jail then helping men, male abuse. VAWA hasn’t changed in years yet men are abused but who cares? Because women are abused more, screw the men, who cares? MOST battered shelters will not allow adolescent males, even though they were abused as well. There are no battered men shelters. These are the kind of issues we’re working on. We continuously observe situations where men are discriminated against simply because they’re men. Little boys expelled from school for sexual harassment because the small child made a comment that his teacher was pretty? But to hear people on here talk about MRM’s as though all we do is slam feminists, you’re way wrong. Yeah, feminism is what brought us to this point. But as the article says, ya’ll aren’t interested in hearing what we have to say.

        • TheUglyGirl says:

          First you start with “you”- meaning ME personally- and then proceed to lump me in with “ya’ll”… meaning “all those feminist who don’t give a shit”. I’ve had plenty of loud, adamant disagreements with those “ya’ll”s your lumping me in with.

          **“VAWA hasn’t changed in years yet men are abused but who cares? Because women are abused more, screw the men, who cares?”**

          I care! My mother not only abused her children, but my father as well. It wasn’t even a matter of money; he made all the cash and could have walked away, but doing so meant he would have to leave his kids. He couldn’t report it because female on male DV wasn’t even recognized. He put up with it because he’d have to leave his daughters in the hands of a seriously unstable and abusive woman. No matter what he did, the system was stacked against him, so what choice did he have? He stuck around, and in the end, it destroyed him.

          So yeah…. I care…..Child custody and abused men are something I care very deeply about! And anyone who says those things don’t matter, feminist or not, is going to get an earful from me.

          Please don’t lump me in with all those “ya’ll” s who think MRM issues don’t matter. Give me the benefit of the doubt and assume I’m here because I do care.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            I have to LOL when I read your response that I was lumping you personally into what I say. I work in a residential facility with 38 adolescents. There are occasions that I have to address the entire community because of their overall behavior. Of course when someone is addressing a group, some may not be part of the issue. We have an old saying, “if it doesn’t apply, let it fly” If what I was saying doesn’t apply to you specifically, then why respond?

            That being said, I very much appreciate your view.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      “Secondly, putting “feminism” up against MRA and saying ” neither side is coming up smelling like roses” is a bit like saying “well there are those who feel the end of segregation was really hard on white folk and those who fought for black civil rights. I can see both sides.” To pretend these “sides” are on the same footing when one is about progress and recognising structural oppression of minority and disadvantaged groups with the aim of advocating for equality, while the other is reactionary, denies structural oppression even exists for minority and disadvantaged groups, and instead claims that dominant groups are actually hard done by, is again, faintly ridiculous.”

      Sorry, but there’s so much wrong with that. First you object to the depiction of feminism as being opposed to an equal discussion of men’s rights, which is fine, but that is a very common argument within feminism and needs to be dealt with. Then you do exactly the same thing and charactarise the MRM/masculism as reactionary and anti-progress. Which is it, do you think these groups are monolithic or not?

      At any rate, gender isn’t directly comparable to race in this sense, it’s not a case of women being opressed and men being empowered, it’s both. Both genders are simoultaneously privileged and oppressed by their gender. In order to believe that only women suffer significantly it becomes necessary to ignore an awful lot of statistics and structural oppression.

  4. Why does Danny care whether feminists listen to him or not without him agreeing to them. He is yielding the position of authority to them which they should never have. The harsh cold fact in this world is that no movement ever works for equality and only works for the welfare of in-group. Equality is just a state of equilibrium where all sides have more or less same leverage.

    • Oh no its not a yeilding of a position of authority. Its shaking my damn head over the bait and switch.

      • Why are you shaking your damn head over the bait and switch. Did you not expect it by now?? I hope you know the fable of frog and scorpion. It is their nature and they cannot change. So many feminists have posted on this site about how great is feminism and it is all about equality. But when I asked them what has it ever done for men, none of them could ever give me a straight answer. The reason is that feminism is all about women and nothing to do with equality or men. There logic is so twisted that you have to stand upside down and completely twist your brain to see any rationality in them. I wonder whether they are insane or do they think others are idiots.

  5. Actually I’m glad my first comment is in moderation because I want to say things a bit differently. Hopefully whoever sees it will just delete it after seeing this one.
    Concerned:
    Some great stuff gets posted on this site – so it is a real shame that every time feminism gets discussed it loses its way so badly and often repeats stereotypes peddled by those who think feminism is some sort of plot against men.
    I don’t recall saying its a plot against men. I am saying that there are feminists out there that pull a bit of bait and switch where they say in one breath they want men to work with them (even to the point of saying that if you don’t ID as feminist then it means you hate women and are against equality) but then the next shut men out of the conversation the moment we disagree agree with them. And just like any other stereotype there is truth to this.

    First of all, lumping all feminists together like this makes it sound as though “feminism” is some sort of club that admits members and has particular rules, the characterization is faintly ridiculous. There are a diversity of feminisims and feminist voices out there. A woman claiming the label feminist does not automatically speak for all women who also identify as feminists.
    Oh no they aren’t all the same but wouldn’t you say that telling people they need to join “their” movement or they are against women is a bit ridiculous? And I never said that any random feminist speaks for them all. However to invoke Schroedenger’s Rapist for a bit doesn’t it make sense that when one has a bad experience with anyone operating on that label that when then meet others later they will hold them in suspicion? Or let me guess feminists are the one group of people in all the land where they can actually deflect all criticism with “but we aren’t all like that”?

    Secondly, putting “feminism” up against MRA and saying ” neither side is coming up smelling like roses” is a bit like saying “well there are those who feel the end of segregation was really hard on white folk and those who fought for black civil rights. I can see both sides.” To pretend these “sides” are on the same footing when one is about progress and recognising structural oppression of minority and disadvantaged groups with the aim of advocating for equality, while the other is reactionary, denies structural oppression even exists for minority and disadvantaged groups, and instead claims that dominant groups are actually hard done by, is again, faintly ridiculous.
    Well considering the only mention that I made of MRAs in that post was to say that I’m not one of them but you managed to pull all of this out that one mention I wonder what your angle here is. Have you read some of my other stuff here and are just being dishonest about it?
    But more importantly don’t try to pull that “women are like black people” bit. The imbalances of white/black are no where near as one sided as male/female. Women are not like black people, gay is not the new black, and the things that are happening to men are not the new Jim Crow. And as long as you want to keep trying to use the black/white dynamic in an attempt to say that men don’t have it as equally bad as women (which I honestly don’t recall sayin) then you my good person are the one that is being ridiculous. Who cares who has it worse? In the end the only way to truly address any of the inequalities is to address them ALL.
    The things that happen to women should not be used as the measuring stick that the things that happen to men is sized up against. In fact its my understanding that doing that would be to the effect of comparing oppressions. Pretty sure there is a term for that…
    The same reason people call out Republicans that claim to care about family values but then shut women out of family issues like birth control or that big corporations use slogans like, “we are here to serve the customer” but then do everything but care about the customer feminists that pull this non sense should be called on it too. And in that last sentence did you manage to think that I was talking about all Republicans or all big corporations?
    In the vein of feminists that tell men, “If its not about you then don’t make it about you.” I tell you the same thing. If you aren’t one of those feminists that pulls this kind of stuff then don’t make it about you.

    If you find that feminists you have interacted with don’t like it when you disagree with them, then I’d suggest using the opportunity in future to take a deep breath and listen. You never know, you might even learn something.
    I have actually done that and have managed to find a few that I can find common ground with. However all feminists aren’t that reasonable, or let me guess despite there being how did you put it,”a diversity of feminisims and feminist voices out there” we’re supposed to believe that they all have something valuable to add and none of them are dishonest right?

    So which is? Do we interact with those different voices and form opinions about them or do we treat them all the same? You seem to want to treat them all the same when its something good but then want to split them apart when it something bad.

  6. So this is a general response to many of the comments posted here.

    I understand that many MRAs and men who don’t identify as such are frustrated with women who call themselves feminists, and then, for example, adhere to gender roles and expect the man to pick up the tab at every date. You have, I believe, a right to be frustrated. In fact, as a feminist, that frustrates me, too. What these women are doing is believing in feminism on a macro-level, but not on a micro- or social level. They, consciously or not, adhere to gender roles because feminism still has not completely succeeded in making every woman aware that expecting certain privileges and behaving in strictly gendered ways is not equality. If you go back and read almost any foundational feminist text, it is not about gaining previously withheld rights and then behaving as spoiled princesses. So, I think feminism still has work to do, maybe less politically than socially, until people (women included) and institutions – schools, governments, parents, etc. – finally stop expecting certain genders to behave in certain ways.

    I’m a feminist who’s interested in men’s rights – I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive – and I know many feminists (men and women) who feel the same. I am sorry that so many of you have encountered anti-male feminists, but I would appreciate it if there was at least some acknowledgement that when you are talking about “all feminists” you are generally referring to “many feminists” or “some feminists.” Feminists clearly do not all agree on everything, and, yes, despite that, we all still identify as feminist. There are, perhaps, problems with that, but I for one find the term more useful and empowering than not.

    And, Eric M, you say that feminism is about women’s empowerment and not equality, which is true, but you have to admit that up until very recently power has almost exclusively been in the hands of men. To say that feminism is not concerned with men’s rights, however, is an unfair overstatement. Again, I am a feminist who is concerned with men’s rights. I know I’m not the only one. Please stop universalizing when counter-evidence is readily available.

    • First, I want to agree with you on the “do you want equality or not” piece. If feminists insist on claiming they want equality and then support, expect, or even demand inequality, that invalidates their claim. So, I’m with you on that.

      Obviously women’s and men’s rights aren’t mutually exclusive but feminists have historically handled them in a zero-sum way; the fewer rights men have and more rights women have the better since women are the “oppressed class” and all men enjoy “male privilege.”

      If you are going to call yourself a feminist, know that the term comes with 40 years of anti-male baggage that you will have to carry. I never said that all feminists were anti-male but clearly their anti-male views and philosophies are acceptable enough to not move you to disassociate yourself with them. Do you not see how that implies consent – especially when such persons are not called out publicly and and put out of/shunned/banned from the movement? It’s entirely possible.
      “And, Eric M, you say that feminism is about women’s empowerment and not equality, which is true, but you have to admit that up until very recently power has almost exclusively been in the hands of men.”
      “Exclusively?”

      When were black men more powerful than white women?  What year did that stop? When white women could vote in 1921 or when black men could vote in 1964?

      “To say that feminism is not concerned with men’s rights, however, is an unfair overstatement.”

      Please provide a link with the “counter-evidence” that feminism is concerned with men’s rights – addressing unfairness in areas that men believe to be unfair (not to be confused with what feminists want for men – such as being stay at home dads)

    • Thanks for stopping by A.S.

      A.S.
      What these women are doing is believing in feminism on a macro-level, but not on a micro- or social level.
      I’m more of a mind to say they support breaking down the gender roles only when it suits them.
      They, consciously or not, adhere to gender roles because feminism still has not completely succeeded in making every woman aware that expecting certain privileges and behaving in strictly gendered ways is not equality. If you go back and read almost any foundational feminist text, it is not about gaining previously withheld rights and then behaving as spoiled princesses.
      I’ve actually been talking with an older feminist (as in she’s been doing it since the 60s-70s) and this does seem to be the case.

      So, I think feminism still has work to do, maybe less politically than socially, until people (women included) and institutions – schools, governments, parents, etc. – finally stop expecting certain genders to behave in certain ways.
      Amen to that. And it should be mentioned that its done good work so far. Yes rape and domestic violence are problems today but they aren’t anywhere near as bad as they were 50 years ago.

      I’m a feminist who’s interested in men’s rights – I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive – and I know many feminists (men and women) who feel the same. I am sorry that so many of you have encountered anti-male feminists, but I would appreciate it if there was at least some acknowledgement that when you are talking about “all feminists” you are generally referring to “many feminists” or “some feminists.”
      That’s a fair distinction to ask for. If you go back and read the first post I submitted here (called “Treating the Hate”) I’m actually trying to get back to this point. (I had not gone full on anit-feminist but it had gotten bad).

      Feminists clearly do not all agree on everything, and, yes, despite that, we all still identify as feminist. There are, perhaps, problems with that, but I for one find the term more useful and empowering than not.
      Fair enough. But, at least for me, its the label is the problems I’ve explained. There are reasons that some feminists are talking to the folks here while others turn their noses up at the GMP. (And it seems that the more vocal ones that have bigger “reputations” in the feminist communities are the ones that are staying away.)

      And, Eric M, you say that feminism is about women’s empowerment and not equality, which is true, but you have to admit that up until very recently power has almost exclusively been in the hands of men.
      The problem is A.S. is that “almost exclusively” has been spread across all men when that is not the case. And even worse a lot of them take it to the point where they simply declare things do not exist (such as saying female against male sexism does not exist). So which is more important, sorting out “who has the power and who has it worse” or making the world a better place for everyone?

      • First of all, I’m very glad this conversation has been so civil and that good intentions have been assumed on all sides.

        Secondly, Danny and Eric M – I think you’re both misconstruing my comment that ” up until very recently power has almost exclusively been in the hands of men.” As you will note, I did not say “all men.” Of course in the US that power has been in the hands of white men, but I was trying to make a more global, non-US-centric statement specifically about gender and its relation to power. What I was getting at is that globally power has been and, to a large extent, still is almost exclusively in the hands of men, not women. There are obviously exceptions and a few matrilineal/matriarchal societies, but – on the whole – women have historically been subordinate to men. Of course considering multiple identities complicates a simplistic statement like that, but I do think we can agree that generally throughout history a particular group of men (what that group is depends on the society) has had more power than a racially and socio-economically similar group of women.

        I also just want to point out that the kind of feminism I’ve been supporting and espousing on this message board is very much in line with that of most feminists (of all genders) that I know and talk with. And I spend a lot of time studying and talking about this kind of stuff! I’d like to suggest that what you perhaps view as the majority stance of most feminists is more likely a position of a vocal minority. Calling it a minority is not to say that a lot of people don’t share those views – I’m sure they do – but I want to emphasize that, in my experience, the majority of feminists are not anti-male, though they are, perhaps, less outspoken than those who are.

        • First of all, I’m very glad this conversation has been so civil and that good intentions have been assumed on all sides.
          And I am glad as well.

          Secondly, Danny and Eric M – I think you’re both misconstruing my comment that ” up until very recently power has almost exclusively been in the hands of men.” As you will note, I did not say “all men.”
          Correct you did not say it unfortunately it has been heavily implied by many others, others who have louder voices. Heavily implied to the point that the things I pointed out happen. I’m sure you agree that not all men have some sort of institutional power which somehow reduces the things that happen to us to a “yeah that sucks but it doesn’t compare to what women go through”. In my experience the some of the main people who are trying to make comparisons between what happens to men and women are the ones that constantly chirp that they don’t compare. If they don’t compare then why try to use an attempted comparison to downplay what happens to men?

          And I will say that its good that you folks that don’t cut bait and run the first time a man disagrees with you are out there. Folks like you are literally one of the few things that saved me from turning against feminism altogether.

          More than like yes its a matter that the ones I’ve experiences at a sort of vocal minority but it doesn’t help that that vocal minority has the loudest voice and dare I say most influence.

        • ” As you will note, I did not say “all men.”

          “almost exclusively” means “almost all men.”

           “What I was getting at is that globally power has been and, to a large extent, still is almost exclusively in the hands of men, not women.”

          There, you said it again. Do you understand what the word “exclusively” means? “Not divided or shared with others”; “Complete; undivided.”

          Your comments reflect that old familiar feminist gynocentric world view. Few people have much power to speak of, gender irrelevant.

          A few facts to consider; more women than men are managers at companies in 2012. More men than women are unemployed. More girls than boys (by a wide margin) graduate from high school. More women than men (by a wide and widening margin) graduate from college. 3x more men are murdered, assaulted, and finally commit suicide than women. ~6x more men are incarcerated than women, and get longer sentences for the same conviction. Men die 5-7 years younger, whereas 100% of the government funded gender specific healthcare services are for women. 0% of the gender specific healthcare serves are for men. 0%. There is no way to substantiate the argument that men almost exclusively hold power.

          “I also just want to point out that the kind of feminism I’ve been supporting and espousing on this message board is very much in line with that of most feminists (of all genders) that I know and talk with.”

          Agreed. It’s that very same gynocentric view that is espoused by most feminists, no matter what kind they claim to be. With very few exceptions, there is relatively little that distinguishes one feminist from another. Same arguments, views, and philosophies.

          “I want to emphasize that, in my experience, the majority of feminists are not anti-male, though they are, perhaps, less outspoken than those who are.”

          The arguments you made here are anti-male in that they disregard the very existence of the vast majority of men, who have no power over anyone. This world view disregards even the most disenfranchised males, minorities. They have no power. So, they don’t even count.

          Your comments have served to validate and provide evidentiary support for my earlier comments about feminism.

          • I think you are, again, intentionally twisting everything I say, Eric M.

            My only response, because I don’t want to engage with someone who refuses to consider my point of view as valid even though I am doing that for you, is that when I say “power” – and when most people talk about power in terms of politics and feminism – it is not about individual or personal power, but rather power in the structural and Foucauldian sense. I suggest you read up on that.

            • I will chime in here that yes, that’s generally been my impression of the disconnect. There are millions of disenfranchised men in the world. Men in prison, men in economic straits, men who feel/perceive no control. And that is part of the intersection of economic oppression (which also affects women). There are though, many rich and powerful men in government and business, land owners and shareholders. More women, too, are moving into those ranks, but that doesn’t mean that the women in poverty are any more in personal power than the men. There are structures in place that I would actually argue at this juncture are class and economic focused rather than gender or race, though gender and race are entwined there.

              It’s a huge area for tension when discussed. Hard to (and frustrating in both directions) discuss structural and Foucauldian issues of power theory, when your conversational partner is speaking of pragmatic individual issues and need of solutions. Theory is important but can be a tool of silencing (however unintentional), and a focus on individual and practical problems (while vital to address) ignores systemic issues.

              Either way, I’ve seen more conversations than I can count come to a screeching halt with this very dynamic.

            • Julie: “Either way, I’ve seen more conversations than I can count come to a screeching halt with this very dynamic.”

              Can you blame them, Julie?

              I, as a survivor of serious female abuse along with males, certainly don’t want to be lumped in with those men at the top. So whenever that conversation starts veering close to it, I quit the conversation and take my business elsewhere

              Julie: “and a focus on individual and practical problems (while vital to address) ignores systemic issues.”

              Really? So I guess the systematic oppression of those girls and women who bullied and hurt me as a youth matter more so than the pain and hurt it caused me. Thanks for caring.

            • Birdie-El says:

              Eagle, I was bullied by the most “important” woman in my life, my mother, growing up. It was severe.

              I was also bullied by a “Mean Girl” in college. It’s hard to take the high road when you’re in that situation. While I couldn’t say whether your bullying was like mine, take comfort in the fact that I do know how you feel.

              I am personally angered by the majority attitude in this country, whereby mothers are always love and want their children. This mentality is so pervasive that I was chewed out and mocked for asserting MY opinion to the contrary on a so-called men’s rights site, of all places. The woman who chewed me out was apparently deeply offended by the fact that some women actually hate their children and want to cause them harm. She told me that child abuse is just corporal punishment, and that my views were both faulty and in the minority. Since her online persona depended so much on being patted on the head for being a Golden Uterus and a perfect Mommy, it took everything in my power not to sink to her level and say something like, “I hope your kids get taken away from you.”

              It’s thanks to people like her that fathers still have to fight so hard for custody, even when the mothers are beating the shit out of their children. My parents divorced in the early 90s, when NO dads got custody, and let me tell you how fun it was for me, as a young teen, to be subjected to four years of court battles.

              Likewise, female relational aggression needs to be called out for what it is. I’ve seen the Mean Girls grown up and gone to work, to disastrous consequences. While I’ve been the target of sexual harassment, wage discrimination, and bullying due to being female in a male-dominated field, I also held one job at a company with all female execs and managers. Those women targeted the men for abuse and firing, and it was awful. Fortunately, the lead aggressor of this absurdity was finally fired herself, but not before doing tons of damage to a dozen men’s careers.

            • Can it be said that the men in power are there mostly because of gender, or because of their family, finances, etc. I am wondering if gender is the big “privilege” or if wealth is the bigger one, since so many men feel disconnected there does appear to be a divide between rich man, middle class man, lower class man, and poor as hell man. It seems strange to just say men are privileged when they dominate the top AND dominate the bottom of the ladder, if it was just the top I could see how the theory works but atm I am unconvinced due to so many at the bottom.

            • Theory is important but can be a tool of silencing (however unintentional), and a focus on individual and practical problems (while vital to address) ignores systemic issues.
              The problem is there seems to be a tendency to choose what is systemic and what is personal/individual based on gender.

              Men get painted up at child abusers. – Personal
              Women get painted up as child caregivers. – Systemic

              What the world?

              Sure it might be unintentional but when it gets to the point where its clear that folks are saying that what happens to men cannot be systemic then it makes perfect sense people will get mad.

            • Do I think the painting of all men on airplanes or in schools as potential child molesters as systemic. Yeah, I do. I think it’s a fear based and liability based system created by bureacracies to protect themselves and it has an personal effect on individual men.

            • @A.S.,

              “I think you are, again, intentionally twisting everything I say, Eric M.”
              Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean your view is “invalid.” That’s for you
              to decide.

              If your argument is not understandable by most people, how can you complain about it being twisted when it’s not even clear what you’re saying?

              You chose to use an esoteric socio-psycho-theoretical definition of “power” used by feminist academics and their students but which is not otherwise well known or accepted by the vast majority of women or men.

              This is a perfect example of what I have been trying to explain to you. The arguments and philosophies you continue to use are the exact same gender-studies views expressed by many other feminists, including those who are overtly (and often unapologetically) anti-male.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      What the heck!?!?! Where are all these MRM’s???? I keep hearing things that would lead me to believe that MRM’s are this big movement with many factions. I’ve been involved in the MRM for more then 25 years and heck if I know of all these MRM’s. Please tell me so I can be in contact with them?

  7. Birdie-El says:

    I’m curious to ask the MRAs on here a question – as a woman who has left the feminist movement due to all the inane rules, double standards, and general misanthropy (many modern feminists seem to have a low opinion of men and women, for opposite, but equally annoying reasons):

    When a person is facing gender discrimination on the job, how would you address that? I think it’s safe to say that men and women both face gender discrimination on the job, and obviously while you guys aren’t concerned with women’s standing, I assume that you’ll need to address discrimination as part of your platform since men are more and more likely to endure it now too. As someone said upthread, women are taking more and more management roles, and are now more likely than ever to hold the power to discriminate as much as men.

    My idea re: exposing discrimination is to make good use of online tools like Glassdoor.com and Google reviews to shed light on the cockroaches at various companies, whether they’re racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, or what. That way, the market and the people can decide what companies are fit to patronize and which are not. But I feel my strategy doesn’t go far enough in addressing pervasive discrimination (such as the case of the female manager I mentioned upthread who kept firing the men), and was wondering how you would specifically address this and stop or reverse it.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      The best person for the job, It doesn’t matter the gender. If you think that men have a snow balls chance in hell of being able to win a sex discrimination case. A man is hired over a women and we run the chance of having to justify it. If a women is hired over a man, no question that it was right. Affirmative action is alive and well.

      What would I say? If it’s discrimination, then it is what it is but men are not listened to. We can’t stop it. We have a main focus on general human issues like father’s rights, overwhelming incarceration of men, false accusations of abuse that men being discriminated against in the work place is low on the list. I work at a residential treatment center for males (38 bed adult unit, 38 bed adolescent, 14 bed adolescent recovery home). All three coordinators of the men’s unit, adolescent unit and recovery home are women. Family therapist, a women. Three of the four Sr. Counselors are women. Personnel director is a women, principle of the two on site schools is a women. School superintendant of all our alternative schools is a women. Intake coordinator, a women. Only 40% of the counselors are men. Our other facility which is a 38 bed adolescent male residential facility … 30% counselors are men, director, asst. director and coordinator are women. BUT the maintenance crews are men, the van drivers are men.

      We have three counselor positions open and the only candidates are women. Ya think I have even a remote chance of voicing my opinion as to our need for male staff? Men have no outlet! That’s the reality that men have to deal with. Yeah, the truth is that men are better equipped to deal with men. We are men and that within itself is reason. I wouldn’t even think of working at a female facility simply because I can’t relate. Yeah, there are plenty of issues that females have that I can work with but I’m not the best fit. Issues like females not having a dad in their lives and how a solid male image could help them.

      Just heard this morning that there is a clear shift in women becoming the primary income earners in families. All I can say is that ya’ll asked for it, now you got it. Now maybe we’ll, strike that, we are now seeing the negative affects on women in the work world that men have experienced for many years. Only difference is that although heart disease was #1 in for men’s deaths and we never heard anything other then the stats, women now have groups like the American Heart Association campaigning to educate women with “Wear Red for Women” month. Didn’t matter much when it was men.

  8. Birdie-El, that’s exactly the attitude I faced in the early days when I turned 32 years of age and found out just how far-reaching the damage those women and girls did to me. Nobody wanted to hear it, very few acknowledged it, and even gynocentric feminists had their glee in minimising my pain because I was a “Priveledged White Male”

    Even when I wrote my article, the ONLY FREAKIN’ ARTICLE, to address girls bullying boys I still had ignorant people come in and claim I was for women’s oppression, that I should’ve supported positive female role models, and that my experiences are an anomoly compared to what women and girls go through. Thank goodness the majority understood.

    Yet it still comes down to women having it worse for people.

    • Exactly.

      I’ve written a post in a space that says its for all people but its pretty clear that when it comes to gender the only time you can talk about men is when they are doing something bad. The post in question was about men and body image issues. First two comments out the gate were about how “yeah it sucks for men but when it comes body image issues women still have it worse”. Submitted another post recently to that same place talking about Too Short’s “fatherly advice” and how it was damaging to boys to be taught a sexuality that encourages getting forceful with girls. Sure enough people out of the woodwork to accuse me of making false equivalencies and declaring that teaching boys unhealthy sexuality like that does no damage to boys.

      You would think that for people that want so badly to help “everyone” they would be able to recognize that boys/men are shamed over our bodies without whining about how “women have it worse” and how teaching boys unhealthy sexuality actually does harm boys without people whining about how that stuff really doesn’t harm boys.

      • ht tp://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/06/body-image-concerns-men-more-than-women
        More men than women are concerned over their body image :P though it’s very close in number. One day people will realize both genders are very concerned without the pissing contest of who gets it worse….

      • Birdie-El says:

        My husband taught me something crucial to our marriage, which is that many men actually wish they could be noticed for their looks and be thought of as sexy. I never thought of things from that point of view, because feminism teaches women that Being Sexy is Bad (Because You Are Objectified), but it gave me something very, very important to think about.

        As a result, I’ve been complimenting him a lot more and telling him he’s sexy over the past 18 months. And it’s led to a much stronger bond and sex life for both of us.

        I think I may be more sensitive to men’s body image issues than the average person because a) I was a pre-professional ballet dancer as a teen, b) my husband used to model, and c) my almost-stepdad (don’t ask…it’s complicated, and my mom is nuts) had a son who suffered from anorexia.

        The most critical component of understanding body image issues, or any so-called gender issue, from the other side, though, is LISTENING. While I’ve taken on many roles in my life that were traditionally considered “male,” fact is, I am not a man, and I’ll always lack certain perspectives men who live life as men have. Just as my husband can’t truly understand what it feels like to be passed over for male applicants over and over again during my fruitless and frustrating job search unless he listens and puts himself in my shoes, I can’t understand what it feels like for him to be frustrated at not feeling sexy or attractive in a society that values only women for those roles, unless *I* LISTEN and put myself in his.

        The pressure on men to be buff and tuff is so ridic. It’s pervasive in the advertising industry now, and just like most men want women to know that they don’t want to date a runway model, I’m sure we women would like men to know that most of us aren’t after Mr. Atlas.

        • Birdie-El says:

          Oh, I forgot to mention: In my male-dominated workplaces, the guys have been a little more relaxed in discussing their fears and worries than the average mixed-gender workplace. So imagine my mild surprise (I was not shocked – just fascinated by the pervasiveness of it) when I discovered just how much the men I worked with worried about their builds, weight, abs, figures, etc.

          From my boss dieting to make a splash at his 25-year HS reunion to the guys I managed eating salads because they felt less-than-fit, I was surprised over and over again by how much pressure men feel to maintain a perfect appearance when (most) women aren’t around. I worked with only 1 or 2 other women at those jobs, and we actually talked about appearance and looks far less than men, primarily, I think, because there’s as of yet no good model for women’s behavior in STEM fields, and we didn’t want to be seen as “girly or “frivolous.”

          Likewise, I was amazed at the pervasiveness of mental-health issues, and more importantly, the degree to which men felt comfortable discussing them, at those workplaces. Hopefully, the guard is changing for the better, because while I did work with a few foolish “Old School” guys whose responses to depression and bipolar disorder were, “Man UP!” most of the men were very reasonable about things, and a good number were current or former MH patients themselves.

          One guy on my team attempted suicide when I was managing him, mainly because he was being stalked by his ex-GF and it got to be too much. I honestly thing the only way we can prevent things like this from happening is to make it ok to talk about and seek help for depression and such (and in my teammate’s case, to raise awareness of relationship violence being a two-way street). I’m not a guy, and even I feel the pressure to keep depression bottled up inside and to pretend I’m happy when I feel like dying, so I couldn’t imagine being a man and dealing with that, esp. in the USA.

          • Thanks for hearing me out Birdie-El.

            My husband taught me something crucial to our marriage, which is that many men actually wish they could be noticed for their looks and be thought of as sexy.
            That’s probably a matter of a the idea that men are sexy not because of how we look (like with women) but rather because of how useful we are. The whole being cut, buff, and muscular thing? Pretty much centered around the “fact” that being so indicates that such a man is strong and can do lots of physical things. Also notice how fat guys are often portrayed as lazy.

            Oh, I forgot to mention: In my male-dominated workplaces, the guys have been a little more relaxed in discussing their fears and worries than the average mixed-gender workplace. So imagine my mild surprise (I was not shocked – just fascinated by the pervasiveness of it) when I discovered just how much the men I worked with worried about their builds, weight, abs, figures, etc.
            I imagine so. In fact I bet that among women there are things that you are willing to talk about more freely among yourselves than in a gender mixed environment.

            I’m not a guy, and even I feel the pressure to keep depression bottled up inside and to pretend I’m happy when I feel like dying, so I couldn’t imagine being a man and dealing with that, esp. in the USA.
            Its not pretty. With the way things like depression are talked about these days its like the rule is women have it because they emotional creatures and thus need systems of support whereas men are not emotional creatures (except for rage, lust, and happiness) and thus don’t need such systems. Look at anti-depressant ads. Its very rare that I’ve seen one with a male in the ad.

  9. Tom Brechlin says:

    Where are the large, coherent organizations that stand up for men’s rights, and speak up about how the male gender role affects men negatively? Wikipedia has a list of women’s organizations, but the list of men’s organizations is conspicuously absent.

    Million man march, Promise keepers and father’s rights groups are the only visable MRM’s we’ve had for many years. Have not heard much from Million Man march, Promise Keepers fizzled because it was too faith based for our society and in so far as father’s rights? Constant battle that isn’t making much headway.

    So I would appreciate if ya’ll, would stop referring to MRM’s as some big group out there because it’s NOT.

  10. Not Guilty says:

    I agree and disagree with this post. I do think that there are some serious concerns for men, one being the all-men-who-like-kids-are-molestors mentality. It stinks. I think gender stereotypes are just as harmful to men as they are to women. The problem that many feminists have, sometimes including myself, is that the conservative men who are engaged in the war on women with respect to birth control and abortion access, often enact the bills under the guise of helping women. The vaginal ultrasound bills Or the bills that require doctors to read government mandated scripts about fetal development, are enacted under the auspices of giving women more information and “helping them understand”. It is condescending and totally useless. So you have to forgive women who get their backs up when men offer their opinion on women’s issues. The most fervent attacks on women have been from men. You need to have just a little respect for the fact that we get defensive when men start discussing women’s rights because it usually results in an attack on our bodies with the guise of ‘helping.’

    • Not Guilty: “I agree and disagree with this post. I do think that there are some serious concerns for men, one being the all-men-who-like-kids-are-molestors mentality. It stinks. I think gender stereotypes are just as harmful to men as they are to women. The problem that many feminists have, sometimes including myself, is that the conservative men who are engaged in the war on women with respect to birth control and abortion access, often enact the bills under the guise of helping women. The vaginal ultrasound bills Or the bills that require doctors to read government mandated scripts about fetal development, are enacted under the auspices of giving women more information and “helping them understand”. It is condescending and totally useless. So you have to forgive women who get their backs up when men offer their opinion on women’s issues. The most fervent attacks on women have been from men. You need to have just a little respect for the fact that we get defensive when men start discussing women’s rights because it usually results in an attack on our bodies with the guise of ‘helping.’”

      You just contradicted your philosophy right there.

      So on the one hand, you sympathise. Yet there you go lumping those conservative men who you should be focusing your ire on with all the men on this planet as if it justifies being spiteful towards them.

      Men who offer their opinions are NOT going to attack your bodies in the guise of helping. That’s an assumption with no evidence aside from the erronous connection with the conservative men and other men because of what’s between their legs.

      You have an issue with those conservative men, then take it up with them. Don’t lump me in with them nor any other man you see for they likely didn’t vote for them.

      So your saying that we have to forgive women who get their backs up is an excuse that enables society to look the other way when men, whom have been hurt seriously, have legitmate issues to talk about.

      Constantly we are asked not to lump all women as a single entity. Maybe you should start doing the same with men.

    • I agree and disagree with this post. I do think that there are some serious concerns for men, one being the all-men-who-like-kids-are-molestors mentality. It stinks. I think gender stereotypes are just as harmful to men as they are to women. The problem that many feminists have, sometimes including myself, is that the conservative men who are engaged in the war on women with respect to birth control and abortion access, often enact the bills under the guise of helping women. The vaginal ultrasound bills Or the bills that require doctors to read government mandated scripts about fetal development, are enacted under the auspices of giving women more information and “helping them understand”. It is condescending and totally useless. So you have to forgive women who get their backs up when men offer their opinion on women’s issues. The most fervent attacks on women have been from men. You need to have just a little respect for the fact that we get defensive when men start discussing women’s rights because it usually results in an attack on our bodies with the guise of ‘helping.’
      I notice that you went from talking about how conservative men are waging war on women to the most fervent attacks on women have been from men. Just as people who are critical of feminists should be mindful of where the attacks are coming from shouldn’t they being doing the same?

      I do respect the fact that you get defensive and by the same token I hope you understand why folks like me get defensive when we are told that feminists want to discuss men’s rights. Because it usually results in the declaration that they already know how it all plays out and they don’t want to hear from those of us whose realities play out differently from their theories.

      I’m having to relearn that respect but the reason I lost it in the first place was because it wasn’t shown to me.

  11. Tom Brechlin says:

    Christian womens group. As with the attitudes towards the men’s movement where feminists don’t really care to hear what men have to say, ya’ll don’t care to actually hear what men have to say about this issue. We automatically think that conservative men are Christian.

    June 2010 “The woman, who was three months pregnant, told Charleston police who responded to the scene that she wasn’t feeling well, and police called an ambulance, the complaint says. Staff at Women and Children’s Hospital originally found a heartbeat from the fetus, but the baby died the next day. Police charged Burdette with first-degree murder under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act”

    “The Unborn Victims of Violence Act (Public Law 108-212)”

    Just google “man charged with murder of fetus” and you will find more of these stories. Women want this lump of tissue to be a lump of tissue when they want and they want it to be a baby when they want. Setting aside my being a womb to tomb pro-lifer, as a man, men are yet again screwed with respect to abortions.

    I’ve talked to men who have point blank said that they would pay for all the medical costs of having the child and will be glad to raise the child on his own. But it doesn’t matter.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      Maybe I missed something somewhere. I don’t think I said that pro-choice groups supported it. In fact they didn’t simply because they give a rats ass about the unborn. Their interest in opposing the law was that it may cause a women NOT to abort. It had nothing to do with men being behind the 8-ball. I simply pointed out where men are screwed no matter what. And the other reason pro-choice was upset, it placed a human value on the unborn which to them was the proverbial slippery slope.

      • That’s a bit of an oversimplification. They want the pregnant woman to be able to hire a doctor to kill the fetus since it is merely, as has often been said, a “clump of cells.” On the other hand, they want anyone that kills a fetus against the pregnant woman’s wishes to be charged and prosecuted as if s/he killed a human, not just a clump of cells, and not just a single assault against the pregnant woman.

        So, they actually like the outcome of the Unborn Victims Act (that the killer of the fetus can be charged seperately, just as if s/he killed anyone else) but don’t like what it implies about abortion. So, they had to oppose it but did so weakly enough so as not to defeat it.

  12. Doing a quick Google search, I find no evidence that any pro-choice groups supported The Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Can you refer me to such a group?

    Women want this lump of tissue to be a lump of tissue when they want and they want it to be a baby when they want.

    Of course people are free to refer to their wanted fetuses as babies, but that’s not the same as saying those fetuses should be granted personhood.

    • It’s a quandary for them. They generally agree with concept of punishing killers of fetuses as if they are “human” but disagree with any terminology that implies that they are human – which would counter their own argument. That’s why you hear strong pro-choice opposition to the terms used but not the penalties given. They want it both ways.

      In early 2004, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced The Motherhood Protection Act, an alternative bill which sought stiffer penalties for injuring or killing a pregnant woman and allowed prosecutors to make a double, but not separate, charge — all without attempting to define when life begins.

      So, they want a killer punished as if s/he killed a human but don’t want to the killed “thing” to be legally considered human. So, the easiest thing to do is feign enough objection to the law but not actually fight it so as to overturn it, thereby accepting its benefits and protections without appearing to actually agree with it. It’s a very delicate balance.

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