Men’s Rights and Feminism: Playing the Victim

MRAs and feminists both ignore how power in the sex/gender system actually works.

The Good Men Project Magazine’s recent attempt to portray the men’s rights movement in a non-judgmental fashion is a wonderful initiative that should be lauded. Unfortunately, the series of articles written thus far seem to depend on a common set of tropes when it comes to criticizing men’s rights advocates, tropes that rely on rhetorically attacking the members of the men’s movement rather than directly engaging the points its activists bring up.

What’s worse, the feminist critics of the Men’s Rights Movement and the MRAs themselves ignore a huge presumption that stands at the basis of both their analyses. This is the view—apparently rooted in Marxist thought—that any social conflict can only be structured in terms of antagonistic classes. In the traditional second-wave feminist view of the sex/gender structure, women are the oppressed class. MRAs—apparently inspired by feminism—simply flip this construct on its head and situate women as oppressors.

It is my opinion that both of these positions are essentially flawed in their perception of power and of how the sex/gender structure is maintained. Oppression in gender terms is not a simplistic equation where one finds “good folks” on one side and “bad folks” on the other. Instead of attempting to look at gender roles through the lens of patriarchy or matriarchy, it is my opinion that we should abandon these obsolete and problematic terms for a focus on kyriarchy, which attempts to understand domination structures as highly complex, contextual, shifting and interactive social artifacts.

Below, I’ll analyze some of the shortcomings of the criticisms leveled by the GMPM’s pro-feminist authors, connecting these to the general problem that both MRAs and feminists share: over-reliance on a reductionist and essentially Marxist view of social conflict to describe gender relations in the 21st century.

♦◊♦

One charge that many critics of the men’s movement bring up is that MRAs are disproportionately vocal: in other words, there are few of them, but holy Jesus are they loud! This is a complaint that can be leveled at pretty much any form of social protest in its beginning stages. When a movement arises, its supporters are few and tend to be made up of people normally understood by the rest of society as extremists. One only need reflect that the modern gay rights movement actually began with a riot to realize that it’s not at all uncommon for social pioneers to be loud, reactive, and not very representative, as a whole, of the group they claim to support.

A second charge, leveled by David Futrelle, is that men’s rights groups don’t actually do anything but complain. It seems that this criticism might be baseless, however. While Futrelle claims that MRAs are essentially passive in terms of real-world activism, both Salon and Slate are apparently alarmed at how mainstream and effective the groups are becoming, initiating changes in laws regarding custody rights and domestic violence.

I might personally think a man who’s complaining about his “bitch of an ex-wife” is full of shit, but nothing authorizes me to rubber-stamp that prejudice with the view of scientific certitude unless I gather a lot more data about his situation first.

As someone who doesn’t have an ideological horse in this particular race, I’m confused: are MRAs effective organizers or not? Are they having an effect on public policy, or are they just a bunch of grouchy guys, pissing into the wind? It seems to me that those who dislike the MRAs are willing to change their arguments at the drop of a hat on this one, depending on whether or not they want their listeners to believe that MRAs should be ignored or are a threat. The underlying point of view, however, is apparently the same: MRAs are toxic and noxious and should go away. If they don’t go away on their own (because they are simply complainers and not doers), then we need to mobilize to make them go away.

Both positions are rhetorical and neither addresses the Men’s Rights Movement’s real effect on society. Everyone seems to agree that MRAs are a relatively new and growing phenomenon. Given that, should we really be comparing their impact to that of established social movements that have been active for decades? Other nascent causes—whatever their validity—are not judged by their initial efficacy at organizing, but rather by the validity of their concerns.

A final complaint that can be leveled against MRAs’ critics is that many of them find it necessary to parody their opponents’ positions and claims instead of directly engaging with them. Typically, this takes the form of quoting an unnamed blog commentator who’s made some sort of asinine proclamation, holding him (or her) up as a reasonable representative of the movement as a whole. David Furtelle makes repeated use of this rhetorical tactic in his article.

Ironically enough, this is precisely the same sort of thing that reactionary anti-feminists do when they claim that all women who criticize male behaviors are man-hating lesbian radicals. Futrelle is quite right to point out that there are a lot of misogynists in the Men’s Rights Movement. I’m sure we can agree, however, that there are many men-haters in the women’s movement, yet this has never discredited feminism in the eyes of people who are attentive to its central demands. All movements attract cranks and loons: why MRAs should be judged by some of their more vocal fringe members is not clear to me, nor, I suspect to anyone who doesn’t already agree with the presumption that MRAs must ipso facto all be deluded or villains.

♦◊♦

In the series of articles published by GMPM, Amanda Marcotte is probably the author who most relies on openly parodying MRA positions to make her points. We can clearly see this when we compare her view on what the movement wants with regards to women and domestic work with those expressed by MRA leader Dan Moore on the same topic. Agree or disagree with Moore’s analysis, his points simply can’t be reduced to the sort of privileged whine Marcotte uses to portray them.

This is a pity, because Marcotte’s points are quite good. If men find Ladies Night offensive, why do so many of them show up for it? Obviously, it’s because they are there to bag chicks and, just as obviously, that’s why bars do Ladies Nights in the first place. Furthermore, Marcotte is spot-on when she claims that the best way to equalize deaths by dangerous work is to fully include women in said work. Feminist organizations, for example, have been fighting for years to put women on the firing line in combat. If men are still taking the brunt of dangerous labor, it certainly isn’t because feminists have fought to be excluded from it.

But the real pick of the litter, to me, is Hugo Schwyzer’s article, which seems to be less dismissive of MRAs than the works presented by Marcotte and Furtelle. Schwyzer’s work makes explicit the underlying dichotomical view of gender relations which acts as a keystone for all the other articles.

I am one of those academic “pro-feminist Men’s Studies guys, who like to question and re-imagine standards of masculinity and gender roles.” Like Schwyzer, I study and teach sex and gender issues (more specifically prostitution and sexual tourism) at the university level and perhaps that’s why I react so negatively to some of the points he raises.

My initial reaction to Schwyzer’s piece was “what is this man using here in terms of sociological theory—particularly regarding power and social change?” Not that I think Schwyzer is incompetent; it just seems to me that he—like many feminists and MRAs—is basing his analysis on what is essentially a bastardized Marxist model of social conflict and power, one which has been highly and vigorously contested in the human sciences going on four decades now.

♦◊♦

Schwyzer reduces gender to a class issue: we have two genders, neatly divided into opposing segments of society, dominant and dominated, a la Marx. Given that men are the dominant class in this formulation, they are understood to be the group that has engineered society to their best benefit, for as Schwyzer claims, “if there’s one undeniable truism about our species, it’s that the rules are made by the dominant group.”

Really? Is that what Durkheim, Weber, and Foucault tell us about power and social change? Society isn’t a palimpsest of obsolete rules and new initiatives, proposed and enforced by a vast and shifting array of differently situated agents; it’s just whatever the dominant group comes up with? And the dominant group is, of course, homogeneous in its interests, so we can expect no betrayal of these rules, once they are enunciated?

That’s not social analysis: that’s a “just so” story. Worse, it ignores any axis of social differentiation other than gender.

Let’s forget for the moment that in our sexist society almost all of men’s basic socialization—from infancy on up to middle-school, at least—is provided by women. Let’s forget that even at the high school and college level, men who deviate from gender norms are violently repressed and that female authority figures often tacitly (if not openly) approve of this repression. According to Schwyzer, men make the rules: women are forced to obey them and the rules are thus unilaterally in all men’s favor. It’s just that simple.

What’s lacking in Schwyzer’s analysis is intersectionality or a perception of what Dr. Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza has coined “kyriarchy”—the human tendency to rule and dominate, which creates complex pyramidal systems of intersecting and multiplicative social structures of super- and subordination, of ruling and oppression. Schusser Fiorenza specifically created the concept of kyriarchy as an alternative to patriarchy, because she felt that the latter concept put too much attention on the upper levels of society when it came to analyzing oppression. In fact, it’s the middle ranks of society that are more involved in the day-to-day use of power, as they attempt to scramble over one another’s heads into the top ranks.

Schusser Fiorenza’s analysis explains, for example, how a white woman can dominate a black man in a society which simultaneously has masculine dominance and white supremacy as two of its main axes of differentiation. It also explains how, in a nominally masculine-dominated society, women often do end up in positions where they can exercise power and—like all humans who exercise power—often end up using such power oppressively.

♦◊♦

By ignoring the fact that we live in a kyriarchy and by presuming that patriarchy is unambiguously the primary organizing rule of society, Schwyzer then goes on to commit what I learned is a cardinal sin in sociological research: he apparently uses his theories to organize his real-world observations rather than build his theories off of his real-world observations.

Schwyzer seems to feel empowered as a social scientist to ignore what the men he mentors, teaches, and listens to are telling him. Those men, he himself admits, are confused, angry and feeling victimized. If they are anything like the ones I mentor and teach, however, they confront real, gender-related issues in their lives. They might not always be 100 percent clear about what those issues are, but I’m certainly in no position to override their concerns and tell them that the “real” source of their problem is “the straitjacket of traditional … manhood.”

An ex-wife has run off with the kids, the guy can’t get any legal recourse, and I’m supposed to make him relax and broaden his horizons on what it is to be a man? That’s not being a social scientist, that’s being a social engineer with a political agenda. I might personally think a man who’s complaining about his “bitch of an ex-wife” is full of shit, but nothing authorizes me to rubber-stamp that prejudice with the view of scientific certitude unless I gather a lot more data about his situation first.

As a person who more and more hews to queer theory rather than feminism in my philosophical musings on gender, this is where I feel both the MRAs and feminists jump the shark. Both groups are convinced that they know the truth about gender relations, a priori. They then tend to process evidence regarding the functioning of the sex/gender system in the real world according to these prejudices. This, ultimately, explains MRAs rage against the feminists and feminists alternatively pooh-poohing or attempting to paint the Men’s Rights Movement as a threat. Both groups are locked in a view of gender as a reverse game of Highlander-like supremacy: only one gender can prevail and the loser gets to cart off the coveted crown of Victim.

♦◊♦

In this sense, then, it was with some relief that I finally got away from the boy/girl warrior crowd and read Kaelin Alexander’s excellent piece on teaching masculinities (note the plural). Of all the articles in the MRA series published by the GMPM, it was this piece that gave me the most hope for the future analysis of the sex/gender system. The concluding argument is so good that it deserves to be repeated here in full:

Men, women, and the rest of us are going to need to move gender politics beyond the blame game it has been reduced to in some corners of popular discourse, and toward possibilities of surprising attractions toward, affiliations with, and incorporations of, styles of gender that are simply too damn complicated, compelling, and contingent to be shut down as either “good” or “bad.”

Alexander is spot-on. We barely even know the true boundaries of engendered behavior and are in no ways capable of scientifically affirming that humanity is divided into two antagonistic classes based upon the shape of pee-pees. Both MRAs and feminists would be very wise to meditate on that salient fact before attempting to recruit social science into backing up their theories.

—Photo Dunechaser/Flickr

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Thaddeus G. Blanchette

Dr. Thaddeus Gregory Blanchette is an anthropologist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Macaé, where he teaches gender, race, anthropology and qualitative research methodologies to life-science students. Together with his wife and co-researcher Dra. Ana Paula da Silva, he researches prostitution, sexual tourism and trafficking of persons.

Comments

  1. “Schwyzer seems to feel empowered as a social scientist to ignore what the men he mentors, teaches, and listens to are telling him”

    That”s because for feminists such as Schwyzer, heterosexual males are the “Other”. For him feminism offers the opportunity of both liberation from the “Other”, as well as the promise of social utopia.

    That’s why he is no longer “being a social scientist” but “a social engineer with a political agenda”.

    • Yes, the poor “othered” heterosexual male. When will he ever catch a break? I’m always watching television all “where are the straight white dudes?”

      Oh crap I’m a straight white guy! INCEPTION.

      Yawn. I just popped in to say I’ll check back with Good Men Project when this “Men’s Rights” thing has cleared up. I’m not interested in a “fair & balanced” look at a “controversy” where one side has an argument & other doesn’t. Like, I don’t need to hear a debate between scientists & Creationists on whether the Earth is 6000 years old, either.

      • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

        Mordicai, I’d be interested in hearing what you find in patriarchy theory that’s anywhere near as well supported by scientific data as “old Earth” theory.

        It seems to me that you’re using a metaphor that has little basis in reality. The fact that you think that your “side” in the debate bases all its arguments on unimpeachable science rather than ideology indicates, to me, that you have little appreciation as to what science actually IS.

        Here’s one simple, well-supported scientific theory for you, from the field of gender studies. It comes from feminist-orientated researchers themselves, so you’ll like it: apparently, 6% of men in the military and in college admit to trying to coerce sex from someone. Only about 2% admit to doing it more than once and those guys have done it A LOT more than once. Furthermore, those same guys admit to engaging in all sorts of other violent acts agasinst both men and women.

        So based on the best science currently available, it very much looks like this 2% is the source of much of the grief in the world when it comes to rape and violence. 96% of the rest of men do NOT engage in this behavior.

        This is the root of one of the common misperceptions that men and women have regarding rape and gender-based violence. 96% of men are in the category of male who’s never do such a thing and they probably don’t know any man who would. Meanwhile, because these guys are so bloody active, one in six women will suffer some sort of attempted sexual assault in her life. So almost all women either have been assaulted or know a woman who has and thus, to them, is seems as if men in general are the problem.

        With regards to “rape culture”, it’s intertesting to note that these studies also revealed that the coercers KNOW what they are doing is wrong and they also know the gray areas in our culture which make it difficult to prosecute them. They search for victims with these two things in mind.

        So yes, there is a “rape culture” in the sense that these guys have a patterned form of symbolic behavior that they hew to. But it doesn’t seem as if the feminist notion of “rape culture” (e.g the idea that our society glorifies rape) is what motivates these guys. Their choice of victim kinda mitigates against that idea, because they know they need to choose victims (both for rape and for other forms of violence) who’ll KEEP QUIET. They wouldn’t be doing that, logically, if they felt society empowered their preferences.

        • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

          Whopops! Make that “94% of men do not engage in this behavior”. Sorry.

          • This, of course, depends on these college and military men “admitting” to “trying to coerce sex from someone.” I mean, who would admit to bona fide sex “coercion”? Not only does it make you seem sleezy, your street cred as a man that woman are fawning over 24/7 would take a pretty big hit if you admitted that you had to coerce women to sleep with you. Granted, this “male street cred” issue should be a men’s rights issue, and even if it isn’t, it is a feminist issue. You should watch the “man box” Ted talk, it is truely inspiring, and, if it were an argument men’s rights activists argued more often, I might be more sympathetic to them than the “Rape doesn’t really happen as much as those crazy feminazi’s claim!” argument makes me.

            And there’s the whole issue of the definition of coercion. To many people, having sex with someone when they are passed out drunk is acceptable. “Coercion” has nothing to do with it, or most rape for that matter. Coercion implies eventual consent, making an unwilling person eventually concede. If a woman is unconscious, she cannot consent, and whoever has sex with them is committing rape. We live in a culture today where consent isn’t respected, and that is a problem. Women who did not give consent often aren’t respected, and are even blamed for the attack. I don’t care if a woman is a stripper, if she doesn’t want to have sex with you, she has a right to refuse you, and you should go to jail if you don’t respect her refusal. Frat house culture in the US today is a testament to the rape culture you claim doesn’t exist (see recent USC email about female “targets” that “aren’t like real people”) . Violent rape may only be perpetrated by an active minority, as I would hope is true in the US today (seeing as it is NOT true in so many countries around the world, like South Africa for example where a recent study revealed that more than 1/3 of men ADMITTED to being rapists, appalling!) but that is not the only kind of rape that exists. And that includes men that are raped, because that happens too. Just arguing that a societal problem doesn’t exist according to some vague survey damages the movement you are trying to support, dude.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              Sure. But the study had multiple axes of questions. It was farily well constructed. And, furthermore, AFAIK, it’s results have been pretty much accepted as gospel among feminists up until now.

              Furthermore, the studies didn’t ask “hey, did you coerce somebody?” What makes them so good, from a methodological point of view, is that they asked about very specific kinds of behavior, such as “Have you ever continued to have sex or rty to have sex with someone when they told you to stop?”

              By avoiding emotionally laden terms like “rape” and etc., they were able to catch guys responding with a great deal of frankness.

              By the way, one of the specific questions asked was whether or not the guy had had sex with someone who was passed out., So that wasn’t an issue with regards to these particular studies.

              Regarding South Africa, I’d like to see the methodology of the study that breveal 1/3rd of men as rapists before I say one thing or another about it. Do you have a link?

            • To my way of thinking, the only material point in all of this lies within the realm of criminal justice procedure.

              Lacking the needful eyewitness testimony or forensic evidence, when the whole case boils down to a “he said-she said”, then the word of a woman deserves no greater credence than that of a man.

              Many rape cases boil down to exactly this. And such cases need to be thrown out of court summarily.

              —————–

              Police and prosecutorial misconduct, and feminist political pressure to reverse the burden of proof in rape cases, are subjects for another day. . .

          • I have some beef with your 94% figure. First, the survey only questioned a select group of exceptional men… men who are in the military or college who acquiesced to participate in a study. That should make you somewhat skeptical of the results…

            Secondly, its a social survey… people tend not to incriminate themselves. Now how many *actual* rapists are gunna fess up in such a scenario? I imagine they are just waiting around the block to tell social scientist how many people they raped that day. Bollocks.

            Plus, young men… many have not had kids yet. Incest and molestation, while repugnant to think about, accounts for a huge portion of sexual violence.

            If one is to believe your numbers: 2% of men are sexually violent to 16% of women. What are these guys doing, trying to stack up their rapes twice a day to get up to those numbers??? It just doesn’t pan out.

            Even if that is the case… that 2% of men rape 16% of women… how is that possible in society? What you decry as a buzzword by putting it quotation marks, “rape culture,” is what allows for this to happen.

            Take for instance… it only takes one person to push a button to drop a nucler payload on Hiroshima. But it takes the majority of a society to A.) Be in favor of or B.)indifferent to bombing the shit outta Japan. This is why feminists and allies talk about there being a rape culture. People are indifferent to the actions of these 2%. We see this is the stats of how little of any jail times those who commit sexual crimes get yet those who commit sexual crimes have the highest rates of recividism.

            So now you got MRAs who rebuke the notion that men rape and question the veracity of women who report and entirely disregard the existence of women who don’t report. They are aghast at the notion that feminists want people to be less indifferent and take rape seriously.

            Not only do they go that far… they minimize the spectre by comparing a temporary loss of financial independance post divorce to sexual violence. You hear it all the time in their rhetoric.

            Sorry, MRA and feminism are not on the same level at all. FAIL.

            Sidenote: Clearly you don’t read the news about how brazen some men can be about rape. Take for instance the case in Cleveland, TX of a group of up to 28 men and boys raping an 11 year old girl and videotaping it, then circulating it around school and the community.

            THEN… as if that was not horrible enough… the town has a meeting where they cry all kinda foul about how hard the lives of the perps are going to be and how much of a little whore this young girl was and how her parents shoulda known she was out… shoulda not let her wear short skirts… not that, maybe, they shouldn’t have raise their sons to be gang rapists? The town hall is the perfect example of rape culture… which probably is best described as ‘rape apologist culture’.

            • Dear Thaddeus G. Blanchette,

              See what happens when you feed them?

              Feminists carry out a survey, feminists stack the deck to advance their hate-agenda, feminsts conclude a ridiculously high 6% of men could potentially be violent … and even that number is not high enough for “Sara.”

              This is the reason that feminists have expanded their war on men, and now focus mostly on young boys. The idea is to criminalize masculinity itself, so that all men are by definition violent predators.

              Then the femi-fascicsts can feel good about their violence and brutality.

            • Feed them? Talk about de-humanization. Hard to take you seriously after that.

              Reporting 6% is stacking the deck? Wha…

              How is anything she said demonizing young men and boys? She didn’t say jack squat about masculinity. Not once is it discussed.

              She is calling out rapists. That a majority of rapist happen to be men… sucks. But she didn’t invent it nor did any other women.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              I need to agree with Adam here, AntZ. If you think 6% is “ridiculously high”, your math is even worse than Sara’s.

            • A survey came up with a number, and she’s bound and determined to get it higher in some way because she doesn’t agree with its results. I have to agree with AntZ, at least on that point. I don’t know about 6% being “ridiculously high” though.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              In the university study, the N represented more than 2000 men, IIRC, and a substantial portion of the male population of the campus. It’s thus statisitically significant, at least with regards to that community.

              Is it applicable to men as a whole? I don’t know. But the fact that the military study found similar results suggests that it is. That is why I said “the best evidence so far”. Until someone does a randomly sampled study of this sort of the whole male population, this is what we have to go on. Nevertheless, this is still better data than the PRESUMPTION that all or most men are rapists.

              “If one is to believe your numbers: 2% of men are sexually violent to 16% of women. What are these guys doing, trying to stack up their rapes twice a day to get up to those numbers???”

              C’mon, Sara. Surely you can do better math than that. If 16% of women are sexually ssaulted (not necessarily raped in their life time) that means these guys need to pull off far less than an average of 8 assaults in their lives. My off-the-thumb math indicates that it’s around six or so. So you’re saying that a person needs to “stack rapes twice a day” in order to conduct six sexual assaults during thier lifetime?

              I know math isn’t many peoples’ strong suite, but surely even spmeone with a third grade education in basic math can see that we’re not talking anything out of the realm of the wholly possible here.

              “People are indifferent to the actions of these 2%”

              Are they now? What’s your proof of that hypothesis, exactly?

              “Sorry, MRA and feminism are not on the same level at all. FAIL.”

              Sorry, my argument isn’t that they are on the same level. I don’t even know what “level” could mean in this context unless you’re trying to make some sort of political or moralistic argument. Perhaps you could explain…?

            • Of the 40 percent intimate rapes reported to the police, there is only a 50.8 percent chance of an arrest being made.
              If there is an arrest made, there is an 80 percent chance that the case will be prosecuted.
              If the case is prosecuted, there is a 58 percent chance of a conviction.

              If there is a felony conviction, there is a 69 percent chance that the convicted felon will serve jail time.
              What this all comes down to is that of the 39-40 percent of the rapes reported to the police, there is only a 16.3 percent chance that the rapist will see the insides of a prison cell. If you take into consideration all the unreported cases, only about 6 percent of the rapist ever does so much as one day in jail. In simple language, 15 out of every 16 rapist walk free.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              Yep. And according to those studies, those rapists are pretty much drawn from the same 2% of the population. One of the reasons that they walk free is that they are very good at manipulating the weaknesses of the system. And the following is the major weakness:

              Sex, almost by definition, is an act that happens between two people in private. So unless the rapist was stupid enough to let witnesses watch or film it like those recently busted assholes in Texas, the victim has no witnesses. If it was coerced and not violent rape, the victim has no physical evidence proving the crime occurred either. What it comes down to, at that point, is two contradictory stories.

              Western jurisprudence is based on presumed innocence until guilt is proven, so jurors can’t even vote their hearts on tha matter. If they do, absent other proof, the accused rapist has ample grounds for an appeal.

              In the college study, the most “successful” rapists made it clear that they understood these rules and understood how far to push them and also how to get around them: make sure people see you publically making out with the victim, make sure the sex act is done in private with no witnesses. Don’t use any violence that would leave a mark. Preferrentially, make sure the victim is too drunk or drugged to be a reliable witness.

              The study also gave good advice to law enforcement people trying to prosecute these crimes. Given that the guys who do this tend to be repeat offenders, investigating the guy’s past and social network will often turn up, other, similar cases and when that happens you have evidence – circumstantial evidence pertaining to the accused’s character, to be sure, but even that is better than “he said/she said”.

              By the way, Adam, do you have any stats on how many robbery reports result in arrests and conviction? It would be interesting to see where the train jumps the track, comparatively speaking. My bet would be conviction, due to the problems with evidence, outlined above.

            • You can’t jump from ‘reported rape’ to ‘committed rape’, no matter how conventient that is for producing fancy numbers.

            • This is assuming every reported rape is true, which any fool knows is not the case. I don’t doubt rape is underreported based on anecdotal evidence, but if the police don’t know about them, how do you know about all of these unreported rapes?

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              I think the figure that 1 in 6 women will suffer a sexual assault during her life (note, not necessarily rape) is pretty well supported by the evidence out there. The problem comes when “attempted sexual assault” is transformed into “rape”. I wrote about this on my blog, awhile back…

              http://omangueblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/bullshit-patrol-one-in-four-college.html

            • Sigh… and just what the hell is a “sexual assault?”

              I will grant you that the term appears unambiguous at first blush, but I know how feminist “researchers” like to play with language.

              Dirty looks, raised voices and reasonable limits on spending are routinely called “domestic violence.”

              A smile, a wink or a calendar in my office could easily be construed as “sexual harassment”

              Even rape itself can mean almost anything.

              Unless you are going to operationally define these terms using them alongside statistics has no meaning. Feminists have produced far to much junk research for me to take any study seriously without delving deeply into to how it defines terms and its methodology.

              Does no one remember the Super Bowl Domestic Violence hoax or the new Super Bowl pedophile/human trafficking hoax? 1 in 4 women are raped? Women do massively worse after divorce? Courts are biased AGAINST women? Education is biased AGAINST women? Gender pay gap in the US, “same work for less pay?”

            • I didn’t question the 1 in 6 claim, I questioned whether every single rape accusation was true. I’m not sure where you’re going with this.

            • That wasn’t what I was questioning, so I’m not sure where you’re going with this. If unwanted groping is counted as sexual assault (which it sometimes is) I really think the 1 in 6 number is very low, for women as well as men.

            • [“People are indifferent to the actions of these 2%”

              Are they now? What’s your proof of that hypothesis, exactly?]

              Read this: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2011/01/08/opinion/doc4d263a1946c08492610630.txt

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              Dear Sara,

              I don’t find that story you linked us to ro be good evidence of massive, systemic indifference to rape in U.S. culture. It is good proof that, back in 1984 (almost three decades ago, you’ll note), universities still didn’t have protocols for prosecuting violent crimes on campus. Rape was just one of the problems back then: violent assault was likewise under-prosecuted. I was a freshman back in 1985 and can confirm this with my own annecdotal experiences.

              A lot has changed since 1984 and while some universities still aren’t dealing with violence issues like they should, it would be very unusual to find a major school now that does not have a rape crisis center and whose police have not been trained to deal with issues such as these. (I’m sure that there are some smaller, backwoods schools that are still dropping the ball here, though).

              None of that, however, changes the main problem involved in these crimes, which is how to collect reasonable evidence that a rape has occurred?

              Again, based on what I’ve read and heard police officers say, a good part of the so-called “indifference” comes from the difficulties of successfully prosecuting cases in which there is no evidence and no witnesses and which generally devolve into “he says / she says”.

              Most of the proposed solutions I’ve seen to this problem ammount to destroying the corner stone of western jurisprudence: presumed innocence until guilt is proven.

              Do you have any suggestions as to how to resolve this problem in another manner?

            • This is about your side note. I don’t believe anyone’s ever told me “rape is wrong” or anything close to that effect. I haven’t ever raped anyone. Are you really suggesting we should treat boys as rapists who need to be cured of their raping tendencies? There’s something to be said for teaching your kid right from wrong, but you don’t go into it with the attitude they’re going to be devilish heathens right off the bat. This is where I have the problem with feminists’ “education” of boys, and where (many) feminists rightly get criticized for their treatment of boys (though I will say the idea they’re out to simply attack and demonize young boys is off-target, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t understand a little where it comes from when I see crap like this).

              I’d really like to see evidence of people backing up the rapists here. Most people I know get more upset over the rape of a woman than murder of a man (really, any truly violent crime, but that is another discussion altogether). I’m sorry, but I find it hard to believe.

            • Wild,

              Clearly we need to teach kids (male and female) about sex. The standard should not be:

              1.) Teach boys to ‘score’… by any means necessary even deceit aka “Game” and other tactics… which is only a step away from force.

              2.) Teach girls to keep their legs closed or else they are whores.

              This is basically the message we are sending.

              We should be teaching that good sex means enthusiastic consent from both parties. Not that one really wants to do it and the other is getting talking into doing something they don’t want to do.

              You wan’t to see evidence… look at the Cleveland TX case… its in the headlines right now.

            • I don’t ever recall learning to use “game'” or any of that other nonsense crap. That’s an excuse many guys use, not something we’re taught. As for the part about girls needing to keep their legs closed or be called “whores,” I agree that’s pretty harsh, but nobody (of either sex) really should be going out having sex with anything that moves.

              Sex education is one thing, but approaching it as if boys are rapists and girls are victims is not helping anyone out.

              People keep bringing up how this Texas case is sure-fire proof of society’s tolerance of rapists and rape and how rapists are being coddled by society. Maybe it is. I have a hard time believing it. At any rate I sure wouldn’t know because strangely nothing is posted on here about it. If you think it’s proof of a widespread conspiracy in society condoning rape, you show how it is.

            • You’ve barely scratched the surface on female game with push-up bras and make-up (which is a multi-billion dollar industry.)

              Female game has always existed and been part and parcel with female hypergamy. Pick up any mainstream women’s magazine in the last 50 years and you’ll find at LEAST one article on manipulating, trapping or controlling men.

              As usual feminists like Sara only have a problem with it when men do it. Sexism and double standards are a one way street where the issue has, at the outset, been framed as one that benefits men and harms women.

            • “So now you got MRAs who rebuke the notion that men rape and question the veracity of women who report and entirely disregard the existence of women who don’t report. “

              The factor of under-reportage, in feminist rhetoric, appears to serve little other purpose than emotional coercion of the public, or arm-twisting those who voice objection to feminist rape polemics.

              In the matter of evidence during a rape trial, the (speculated) percentage of rape under-reporting carries no legitimate weight.

              The veracity of women who report is open to question as with any other matter asserted. One is not morally obligated to take anything on faith.

        • Thaddeus

          Great article by the way, but you reminded me of something that put a smile on my face(never realized how accurate it was). Back in the day when I used to scrap(fight), I would to say to my friends 95% of men dont want to fight, 3% I probably could take, I hope I dont run into the other 2% tonight.;)

      • typhonblue says:

        Straight white guys are like… oh… a base model robot. They’re used so that any particular audience member can project their own attributes onto them.

        Sort of like a sexless, featureless mannequin. A prop with no identity of it’s own. Similarly you’ll see that most of the people doing the dying are straight white males too.

        • Wrong, white men of all races of men have the highest life expectancies. Black men, the lowest.

          • YOU are wrong. White WOMEN have the highest life expectancies. Then asian women, then hispanic women, then black women, then amerindian women. Finally, after the most marginalized group of women, we begin to get to the men … white, hispanic, black, amerindian.

          • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

            White men and black women happen to be about tied in life expectancy, Adam. Do you have anything to say about that?

            • White men: 75.7 years
              Black women: 76.5 years

              National Vital Statistics Report, June 28, 2010 (publiched by the CDC).

              This is not “about tied.”

            • I was comparing groups of men… Not women. Ie. contradicting the notion that white men had a lower life expectancy than other races of men. It wasn’t factoring in women.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              Adam, you logically think that life expectancy has something to do with the prejudices a group faces in society, correct?

              OK. So then if this is true, how would you explain the fact that even the “top ranked” white men are about tied with the “lowest ranked” black women when it comes to life expectancy?

              Either something else is going on here, or men are subjected to some severe, life-threatening problems which should be discussed.

              While you are correct in saying that you’re only comparing male life-expectancies, the fact that you bring this up as a good measure of how badly off a given group is only begs the question: why are the most supposedly privileged males as bad off in these stats as the most supposedly non-privileged females?

              Any ideas?

            • Yeah. Adam is full of crap.

              Crap, of course, being feminist indoctrination.

          • @Adam

            You are just overflowing with Ms. Information Adam.

            I suggest you try reading something that comes from outside of the feminist echo-chamber.

      • Harald K says:

        Hi mordicai, I’m a white man too. Funny that you should mention white. See, when it comes to race, I have little sympathy for people who complain about my group’s plight, and racism directed at whites I just laugh off. I’ve seen some of it, of course. Like some asian proudly asserting that his group has higher IQ than my group? Makes me think, in a somewhat patronizing way: “Even if that were true, it wouldn’t matter. History shows my group has been the best at that little game you’re trying to play, so I wouldn’t go down that way if I were you. Plus, you look ridiculous.”

        So what’s that to do with men? See, before, I would have thought much the same about people with negative attitudes towards men. Laughable, not worth my time. You can’t seriously be trying to oppress me? Don’t you know I belong to the best group of oppressors around? Here’s a tip: if you absolutely want a duel, choose a different weapon!

        But that was before. Before the divorce.

        After it, I discovered just how few rights I had with respect to my child – and that even here in egalitarian Norway, I would have had fewer rights still just a few years ago. I discovered how people look at a single man with a child in the park. I discovered that just as many women had sacrificed economic independence for the sake of being good wives fifty years ago, I had been talked into sacrificing almost everything in a bid for being a good husband – leaving me with no one to talk to short of my closest family.

        I started listening to the MRAs then. Many of them have politics I don’t care for, and a few of the things they focus on I consider petty and not the effort. But I realized that there was a deadly serious concern underlying it – just as the article writer says, you have to judge concerns on their merits, not whether you like or dislike the people bringing them up.

        Let’s hope you won’t find out the hard way.

      • I think a great feature to add to the GMP would be the ability to filter out commentators who consistently say ignorant and obnoxious things.

        Every time Mordicai posts it’s some variation on “I’m taking my ball and going home” or condescending arrogance mixed with embarrassing ignorance (if not both.) Since he’s always at the top of the comments it makes me want to stop reading them altogether.

  2. J.G. te Molder says:

    Well, you got it wrong. Men do not say we are or were oppressed by women. They men and women were oppressed by a tiny select elite few men and women, and it hasn’t changed. In the past, the elite used religion to oppress women; today it’s feminism.

    No matter how completely feminists manage to oppress and crush the average man in the streets, they’re still a bunch of weak, pathetic losers that every time they need something, they turn to the elite and beg for another scrap. And the elite taps them on the heads for being good little girls and the occasional boys, hand them their scrap, and watch as their power and control grows with evil grins on their faces.

  3. We here at the Good Womyn Project (http://goodwomynproject.blogspot.com), and be “we” I mean me, pretty much believe the parasites who have been invited to participate in the MRA discussion speaks volumes about the hostility that feminists, including pretty much all contributors to the GMP, have against the legitimate issues brought to light by MRA’s and the MRM. To invite Marcotte, who has been described (by me again) as a “rape apologist, scum sucking bigot,” to comment about a movement she deplores and certainly doesn’t understand, is reprehensible. Why bring a baffoon like Hugo Schwyzer? What is David Futrelle going to add? Every participant, with the exception of Dan Moore, is so openly hostile as to make their arguments useless. Why were none of the people responsible for the Foundation for Male Studies brought in?

    Because of the bigotry I witnessed in the MRA articles here at the GMP, I was compelled to create, The Good Womyn Project.

    • Anonymous says:

      “who has been described (by me again) as a “rape apologist, scum sucking bigot”…”

      So, you’re quoting yourself as a source? Is that to avoid libel? I know this is “just a blog” and everything, but that seems like poor journalism.

      • As Marcotte demonstrated when she was attached to John Edwards campaign she is a total lightweight with absolutely no capacity for self control.

  4. “MRAs—apparently inspired by feminism—simply flip this construct on its head and situate women as oppressors.”

    Completely wrong. The MRM situates FEMINISM as oppressors of men. An attempt to explain mainstream man-hating feminism on some kind of moral-equivalence with the feminism-hating MRM is utterly wrong.

    Feminists declared a war on men and boys. The MRM is a desperate defence against this extermination war.

  5. sky33dive says:

    I post on the men’s rights reddit. And while it is true that some men take up a marxist line of speech, I think they are the minority of the movement. Many men often emphasize that policies that stereotype men and paint them to be predators are the result of both men and women. Hence the term “white knight.”

    I myself frequently cite the conflicts in the DRC/Rwanda and Israel-Palestine as reasons for why we should not frame the issues we have in absolutist terms: such framing leads to never-ending cyclical violence and conflict. The so-called oppressed become the oppressors over and over again.

    We should focus solely on the issues and completely avoid gender politicizing them. The blog False Rape Society http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com is an exemplar of a website that advocates for a men’s rights issue without defining the issue as a men’s rights issue (the website reports on both male and female victims as well as both male and female perpetrators).

  6. I just want to make sure I understand this article, you’re arguing that just like the other professor/researcher, Feminists and MRA people alike are really no better than each other because they’re first doing the research and THEN applying it to life, instead of the reverse…?
    The Other Point: that ANYONE in power, will oppress, not specifically men (and white men at that)?
    You’re arguing for the point of Intersectionality rather than Patriarchy or a completely Feminist approach?

    Where I’m a little confused is how you’re suggesting Gender should be applied. I have a basic understanding of the idea of Intersectionality, but you speak a lot on Gender without providing much structure for a future argument. I re-read (a few times) the final paragraph and it just sounds like you’re attempting to mediate (maybe arbitrate) the discussion between both sides, countering instead with the idea that it may not be so simple as to have two extremes, black and white, good or bad.

    Is this the only critiqe? That both ideas do not adequately cover the spectrum of debate here, or is there something more to be gained? Are you arguing for the implementation of Intersectionality over the others, or for its addition?

    In both cases, I would say that Feminism and Men’s Rights, in theory, strive for some footing of equality, the bone I have to pick with the article you wrote is that it covers the loudest members. Unfortunately, as you noted, the Men’s Movement doesn’t have much gain right now, and so, just as in the beginnine with Feminism, they must be more vocal to be heard better. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as “they” say (whoever “they” may be). The irony I see is that in attempting to suggest a broader take on things, you have narrowed the focus and idea of these two movements greatly. From the standpoint of such simplicity, certainly a broader view would be ideal.

    • I maaaay have contradicted myself here: “Are you arguing for the implementation of Intersectionality over the others, or for its addition?”

      The article as I understood it was to argue for Intersectuality over the previous systems. I was doing stuff around the office and got side-tracked.

      • Dear Sam,

        I’m arguing for an intersectionalist approach to understanding the sex/gender system as a kryiarchy rather than a one dimensional, dichotomical approach to understanding the sex/gender system as either patriarchical or matriarchical.

        It`s a fairly substantial difference I`m arguing for here. It allows us to still perceive inequalities, oppression, injustice and the abuse of power, but it doesn`t allow us to determine good guys and bad guys with reference to a simple, one-dimensional metric (like gender, say).

        As for what scientists do, we SHOULD be adjusting out theories to fit the data, not ignoring data because it doesn`t jibe with our theories. As a feminist who believes in patriarchy, Schwyzer comes across as a guy who`s not really taking what his male informants say seriously – at least not in their terms. Instead, he feels that he`s better able to interpret their realities than they themselves.

        To a certain degree, that`s what social scienntists must do, because we need to synthesize indivual experiences into social models. The problem comes, however, when we presume that our models are more real than the experiences we are basing them on. To me, that`s what it appears Schwyzer is doing when he tells men to not worry, relax and enjoy a new sort of masculinity when they come to him with concrete problems regarding the in justices they feel they face. It doesn`t seem to me the Schwyzer entertains the counter hypothesis at all? to wit, “What if these guys are right and my theories are wrong, or at least inadequate?”

        • “… approach to understanding the sex/gender system as a kryiarchy …”

          It is not complicated enough to warrant “study.”

          A) The more hot air that feminists pump into their make-believe “depraved predator” male construct, the more financial and institutional support their receive.

          B) When feminists realized (A), they began an all-out war on men, boys, and masculinity in general. Feminists spend far more time demonizing men than they do addressing the real concerns of women.

          C) Men realized (B), and the MRM was born to fight against the feminist war of hate.

          You don’t need social theory to understand this. You need ECONOMIC theory. As long as feminists know that the male “bogeyman” pays the rent, they WILL continue their hate campaign.

          Feminists and MRM could eventually settle into a working relationship that is adversarial but productive. However, the feminists have their hands way to deep into the cookey jar to give up their “hate addiction.” If MRM and feminists are both equal lobbies fighting for their constituents, feminists will have to live without billions of dollars in government hand outs.

          They can’t do that. That is why they continue the war of hate. It is their life-blood.

          • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

            Ahn. ECONOMIC theory, neh, AntZ? So it would be fair to say, then, that you are a materialist? Perhaps even a dialectical materialist?

            • It is not so hard to understand.

              FEMINISTS have an economic interest in continuing their hate war against men and boys. They receive billions of dollars in federal and state money. That river of dirty money depends on the make-believe “male bogeyman.”

              MRM have no economic interest because we receive zero tax payer money.

              The feminist war of hate against men and boys pays the bills.

              For example, it pays your salary. You can defend yourself by claiming that oil money pays your salary, but you are wrong. It is blood money. The blood of boys and men. As you walk among the nouveau rich homes of Macae, do you spare a second thought for the suffering of MEN AND BOYS just a few kilometers away, in the “Zona Norte” of Rio de Janeiro?

              You study human trafficking and prostitution. Why not study human trafficking and cane cutting? Or human trafficking and the charcoal industry? Because the thousands of BOYS who are trafficked for those purposes in Brazil do not interest your pay-masters. Only the women matter. In the US, In Brazil, no different.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              Actually, AntZ, I make the point all the time to people that not only WILL we find more slave workers in Brazil’s cane fields than in it’s brothels, we already HAVE: 36,000 slaves freed from rural labor camps by the Minister of Labor over the last 10 years versus 211 convictions for “trafficking of women” over the same period of time.

              Going by the government’s own stats, rural labor slavery is about 180 times more prevalent in Brazil than anything that could be considered sexual slavery.

              The blood of boys and men. As you walk among the nouveau rich homes of Macae, do you spare a second thought for the suffering of MEN AND BOYS just a few kilometers away, in the “Zona Norte” of Rio de Janeiro?

              To tell the truth, these days I’m thinking more about the conditions of the men 200 klicks out to sea working on the petroleum platforms when I bike through Macaé. If I had a million dollar grant to study the effects of gender on men’s labor and life conditions, that’s where I’d put it to use. Why? Because those men are largely considered to be “winners” in Brazil’s economy and, from what I hear, they are subject to labor conditions that would be massively criticized, were it women doing the job.

              As for the men and boys dying in Rio’s ring cities (today, the west zone is probably more violent than the north zone, actually), it’s funny you should bring that up: I’m right in the middle of writing a piece regarding how the Brazilian government perceives male on male violence. It’s quite interesting, actually. The IBGE’s official reports classify any violent crime involving male perps and female victims as “violence against women” . Meanwhile, ALL violence involving two men is “violence BETWEEN men”.

              Violence stats in Brazil are incredibly skewed by gender. I don’t have the corretc numbers right before me here, so please don’t quote me on this, but for Rio de Janeiro, a city with a murder rate of around 80 for 100,000 inhabitants, something like 4 of those murder victims are women. This means that, if you’re female, Rio is as effectively as safe for you, in terms of murder, as bloody Belgium! MEanwhile, if you’re male, it’s worse than many countries that are actually at war.

              Interesting, huh?

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              Oh, byt the way, Macaé is about 200 klicks north of RdJ, which is quite a more than “a few kilometers”. I wish it were only a few kilometers…

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              East, I mean.

            • If you really are mis-appropirating money from MEC, IBGE, FAPESP, or wherever you get funds for women’s studies, and spending them on boys instead, then I take my hat off to you.

              The courage to work for solutions to the 2400 men who die in RJ each year (instead of the 120 women), is what is missing in most social scientists.

              The courage to work for solutions to the 10 million boys and young men who work as slaves in cane/charcoal industries (instead of the 10,000 girls and women who are sex slaves) is what is missing in most social scientists.

              The courage to put your own career on the line to fight against the modern holocaust being endured by men and boys (even though your wages come from man-hating feminists who only care about minor incovneniences and petty problems of a relatively few number of women) is what is missing in most social scientists.

              If you really do give a damn about these boys and men, I appologize to you. The MRM is working towards a future where such funds would be disbursed directly for the improvement of the lives of men and boys, so that scientists who wanted to make a difference could do so without fear of losing their employment.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              All of my research funds have come out of my pocket so far, Ant. And why would a carioca scholar be getting money from FAPESP in the first place?

              Furthemroe, unlike Dr. Schwyzer, I’m not a men’s or women’s studies specialist. I’m an anthropologist. I don’t get money to study one gender (when I get it): I get money to study human beings.

              As for your stats regarding deaths in Rio, I presume you’re talking only murder stats?

              First of all, nothing like 10,000,000 men and boys even work in the charcoal or cane industries. That would be about 1/9th of the male population of Brazil, if it were true. Here, you sound just like certain overly sincere feminists with their exagerated instistats.

              Secondly, I’ve never seen any reasonable study which shows that anything like 10,000 girls and women are sex slaves in Brazil. RdJ is certainly one of this countries capitals when it comes to sex work. My wife and I have mapped out 287 brothels in town, so far, and we’ve been personally to about 30% of those. Haven’t found a sex slave so far, which is odd, seing as how there are supposedly so many of them.

              I’d really appreciate it if you would stop tossing out these entirely made up statistics. Brazil has enough issues as it is without having to deal with gringos inventing crap just to “prove” their rhetorical points.

              Also, I have no fear whatsoever of losing my employment due to my MRA – or feminist – leanings. I’m a hell of a lot more chary of losing my job due to simple bureaucratic in-fighting and bullshit.

        • “The problem comes, however, when we presume that our models are more real than the experiences we are basing them on.”

          This is exactly where academe becomes the astrologer/fortune teller, preaching to the superstitious. It is much more profitable to tell them what they want to hear, than to tell them relentlessly, the truth.

          • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

            To be truthful, academe is guilty of this, but probably LESS guilty than the preacher, politician, or your pal Bob at the corner bar.

  7. Dear NQ,

    You’ll notice that my real problem isn’t that they see “a giant conspiracy of vaginas arrayed against them” (though there are MRAs that do indeed see tthe world this way): it’s that they see the operations of power as a two-dimensional class issue.

    Your analysis seems to me to be simply a more rarified version of the same. The feminist variant is that of the Marxist feminist who believes that class conflict is the problem, but that historically, ruling elites have used patriarchy as a sop to the poor working guys they screw over. The classic Marxist feminist position is that “Men are allowed to be kings of the roost at home and this works as a sop to their humiliation outside of the home”.

    So I think your comments illustrate what I’m talking about, Not Quite: both you and feminsts draw your analysis of power from an essentially Marxist model. That model has been seriously taken apart and criticized fairly thoroughly over the past 100 years, but neither the MRAs nor the feminists seem to notice this.

    THAT is the main point of what I wrote, Not Quite, not that MRAs fear a conspiracy of vaginas.

    • Wrong Thaddeus.

      Feminism is a Marxist ideology. MRAs are fighting AGAINST that Marxist ideology. We do not share the feminist ideology mainly because we do not HAVE an ideology to call our own. You should read my article again, you seem to have missed a lot.

      Which is hardly surprising, considering that even after TGMP asked us to write here (presumably after having SOME notion of what we’re about), nearly every article written about the MRM is an attempt to dismiss it. This is a disgusting example of feminism’s “concern” for men…placate them, shut them up, then ignore them again. But whatever you do, no substantive change….they’ll just get uppity then.

      We are rebelling against an ideology that has become The Establishment, so maybe that’s what you’re seeing (and why so many of you seem to think we should be able to do international symposiums a week after we get started or we’re “ineffective”). Feminism IS the cause of much of our problems, and yes I get that you disagree, but then frankly that’s what established interests do…deny the validity of possible challengers until they can’t anymore.

      At one time I thought there may be some value in softening our stance on you guys.

      Now I know there is no peace. You are the enemy, are determined to be the enemy, and won’t give up one single inch of ground without being beaten back first.

      Well fine. We’ll commence beating. And you deserve it.

      • You’re right, Factory: the MRAs don’t have a cohesive ideology. Neither do most feminists, for that matter, as I have discussed with John A, elsewhere.

        What many feminists have is a grab-bag of ideas centered around the concept of “patriarchy”. Said concept comes to the movement via Marx, Engels and Freud. That doesn’t mean that feminists are necessarily ideological Marxists, however. All I’ve said is that they are using a model of social conflict drawn from Marx.

        The MRAs, as far as I can see, take this same model of conflict from feminists and turn it on its head. Again, it’s nothing near as coherent as an ideology: it’s an orientation towards social conflict: to wit, there are two sides (and only two sides) to the issue and these sides are ideologically opposed and irreconciliable.

        That’s where the MRAs and the feminists have their main point in common, Factory: not in terms of “ideology”. Neither of the two groups is cohesive enough to have anything like an ideology.

        As for “so many of you thinking we need to do international symposiums a week after we get started”, you’ll note that this was one of my main critique’s of Futrelle’s piece, so I’ll kindly thank you to keep me out of that “you”.

        Well fine. We’ll commence beating. And you deserve it.

        Nossa, bofe! Internet tough guy syndrome, anyone? :D

        Factory, I find scarier shit than you in my breakfast paozinho every day, so fire away!

        I will note, however, that I’ve now been threatened by both sides of the boy/girl warrior game and it only took three days to get to this point. I would suggest that for groups that sit around constantly bitching about how different you are from your adversaries, MRAs like you and feminists like Marcotte sure seem to be reading from the same playbook.

  8. Lovekraft says:

    I am one of those academic “pro-feminist Men’s Studies guys, who like to question and re-imagine standards of masculinity and gender roles.” Like Schwyzer, I study and teach sex and gender issues (more specifically prostitution and sexual tourism) at the university level and perhaps that’s why I react so negatively to some of the points he raises.

    That’s all we need to know, fellas. He’s an ‘academic’ who knows what side his bread’s buttered on, has seen or heard the lynchings of the Feminist heretics and is keeping within the plantation.

    My wish is this: that you have a son, that he follow the rules and play fair, then when he is about to establish his career, he get railroaded either by Affirmative Action, or just disgusted by the pushy, victimhood arrogance of the typical western working woman (think of a pitbull with heels).

    If you cannot envision this, you are either too far entrenched in your tweed sweaters/conferences, or you lack basic human empathy. Because what MRAs are concerned with isn’t the kyrachy but actual attitudes and expectations on the ground. The lies that abound about men have and will continue to spread and academic poseurs are one of our main targets. Better learn a trade real soon (and not one that involves the brothels you are so fond of sticking your nose into).

    • Lovekraft says:

      note: the first paragraph was a quote by the author from the article. Sorry for the confusion.

    • You are a fool. Your “typical guy” will never live to be a man at all. The priority target of the feminist war of hate is 6-12 year old boys. These kids will be in jail, addicted to drugs, drop-out of school, or otherwise drop out of life before they ever have a chance to see adulthood. They will not have their “lives” de-railed by “pit bulls with heels” because they will never get to experience life to begin with..

      The feminist offensive is to destroy the problem while it is still helpless. And their problem is us.

    • I am sorry for calling you a fool, Lovekraft. I just examined a very unambiguous three dimensional picture of the deadly drug that feminists are pumping into our children. However, my foul mood should has nothing to do with you.

      It is hard to believe that we live in a world where it is OK to risk the lives of 6-year old boys because we consider masculinity itself to be a crime. It reminds me of Josef Mengele trying to turn Jews into “human beings” by injecting them with his chemical cocktails.

      Today’s crimes are no different. The drugs are different, the victims are different, and the victimizers are different. But in the end, it is just hate, doing what hate does. Kill..

    • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

      May your wishes for me come back to you threefold, Lovekraft, and that right quickly.

      As for me, I’m not into ad hominem attacks. Maybe you should join up with the folks of the Westboro Baptist Church and start blaming all evils on the dead soldiers in Iraq and Afganistan?

      It makes about as much sense as blaming them on academics. A group of people which I highly doubt you have any widespread personal knowledge of.

      • “A group of people which I highly doubt you have any widespread personal knowledge of.”

        Just spreading the beer-guzzling unshaven slovenly stereotype of MRM activists. Sexism and bigotry at its finest.

        • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

          Who mentioned beer-guzzling, unshaven and slovenly MRM activists, AntZ, if not you?

          My point is simple: anyone who has actually spent any amount of time inside academia will quickly discover that:

          A) Academics in general are well hated by society.

          B) Social science academics are largely considered to be a waste of air by most people.

          c) Feminist social science academics are a minority within a minority within a minority.

          So anyone who thinks academics are to blame for whatever’s going on in American gender most likely knows very few academics.

          In fact, academia is one of the few places in western culture right now where someone like me can raise the questions I do and NOT be immediately tarred and feathered as a defender of privilege. So either Lovekraft is arguing in incredibly bad faith or he simply doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

          • >In fact, academia is one of the few places in western culture right now where someone like me can raise the questions I do and NOT be immediately tarred and feathered as a defender of privilege.

            You’ve never heard of professors losing their high profile jobs and being pilloried for years for doing something so dastardly as suggest men and women have differing mathematical aptitudes? Never heard of a professor failing a student who disagrees with their ideology? Never seen the documentary “Indoctrinate U”?

            I went to University in Toronto, and I can tell you for sure that Academia is a STRONGHOLD of politically correct feminist thought policing. There is no freedom in academia except the “freedom” to parrot the Party Line.

            >So anyone who thinks academics are to blame for whatever’s going on in American gender most likely knows very few academics.

            Yeah, and ignore the fact that nearly every single “advisor” to the US gov’t is an academic….because those advisors have no power….

            There’s damned good reason that in every popular uprising I can think of, the politicians went first, the academics second. You’re about equally concerned with real world issues….which is to say, not at all. How can you be, you’ve never experienced it?

            But it’s nice to see your smug self-satisfaction has it’s limits.

            • You’ve never heard of professors losing their high profile jobs and being pilloried for years for doing something so dastardly as suggest men and women have differing mathematical aptitudes?

              Nope. And certainly not in Brazil. Source needed, please.

              Never heard of a professor failing a student who disagrees with their ideology?

              Considering that I’m about as iconoclastic as they come and that I mightily pissed off many a professor during my 13 years in grad and undergrad and yet still got excellent notes, I’m wondering how often this occurs. Though I’m sure it must happen somewhere, sometime (given the millions of profs in the world), I’ve never seen a bonafide instance of it. Most profs are scared shitless of this sort of accusation – far more than they are of, say, sexual harassment. And, frankly, most profs in the social sciences LIKE students who’re willing to argue and who disagree, as long as said students show a willingness to do so with the rules of the academic game (support your postulates with proof and whatnot).

              So no, I do not think this happens very often at all. My opinion is reinforced in the matter because most of the people who claim it DOES happen don’t seem to have spent much time in university systems.

              There is no freedom in academia except the “freedom” to parrot the Party Line.

              Not my experience at all, Factory, and I’ve probably spent 5 times as much time in university as you, in three different countries. If it were so “politically correct” as you have it, I certainly wouldn’t have space to do what I’m doing. I support prostitute rights and am working against the hysteria regarding trafficking in persons that’s currently gripping our nation. If things were even halfway as ideologically patrolled as you suggest, I’d be one of the first academics against the wall. Instead, I’m getting paid a substantial sum to write anti-trafficking materials for the city and state.

              How do you explain that, exactly, with your “Feminists run everything” rhetoric?

              Yeah, and ignore the fact that nearly every single “advisor” to the US gov’t is an academic….because those advisors have no power….

              If by “academic” you mean “holds an advanced degree”, yes. So you’re saying the U.S. SHOULDN’T be advised by specialists in the issues under consideration? But as an “advisor” to the Brazilian government, let me be the first to tell you that you’re absolutely nuts if you think being an advisor means having power. Politicans go with what’s politically acceptable, not with what’s right. On the issues I advise on, I’m a very small whell indeed. In fact, you could say that I’m invited along for the ride just so the Brazilian govt can say “hey, we asked all kinds of people – don’t call us prejudiced!”

              There’s damned good reason that in every popular uprising I can think of, the politicians went first, the academics second. You’re about equally concerned with real world issues….which is to say, not at all. How can you be, you’ve never experienced it?

              Factory, I’m sitting in the UFRJ-Macaé computer lab right now, waiting for it to get dark so that I can bike over to the bridge brothel and start drinking and talking with the prostitutes who work there and try to convince them to let me do some interviews. I’ll be there until about 3AM, if all goes well, after which I’ll bike back to the UFRJ dorms through three shanty towns, alongside six kilometers of raw sewage-filled canal. I’ll then bike 20 klicks back here tomorrow morning to teach my two classes. Then it’s five hours back to Rio and, if I’m lucky, six hours of sleep in my own bed for a change. Friday, I’ll be at BA 85 all morning collecting interviews with 19-year-old singler mothers who’re turning tricks at the rate of .50 USD a minute to keep their kiddies in beans and rice. Then I’ll bike out to Copacabana for more of the same in the evening, sprinkled with discussions with North American tourists who’ll feel bound and determined to tell me that they HAD to come to Brazil and fuck said 19 year old single moms “because feminism has ruined it for us back home”.

              And even then, instead of calling these guys “evil exploitative bastards”, I do my best to see their side of the story and explain it to my colleagues – many of whom are indeed feminists.

              Let’s talk about smug: I’ll take a huge stab in the dark here, because I don’t know what your life is like in the real world, but I very much doubt you’d be able to handle mine for more than a couple of weeks. That’s just my personal opinion, based on how most North Americans react to the places I visit on my rounds in RdJ.

              So why don’t you tell me all about the real world issues that are shaking your precious Toronto apart, friend? I promise not to laugh.

  9. typhonblue says:

    “n short, many MRAs feel the global ruling class uses feminism to take power from average men who would be a threat to them, and give it to average women who will never be a threat. ”

    I’m doing my level best, dammit!

  10. The article is spot-on about feminism and the MRM having mirror images of each other and the MRA’s sounding like the flip side of radical feminists. The stridency of some of the more vocal MRA’s is remarkably similar in tone and tactics to some of the “early” radical feminists of the 1960’s and 70’s. It’s very telling that the many of the most extreme feminist quotes (from McKinnon, Dworkin, etc.) that MRA’s use are a few decades old. It’s like a parallel 1970 universe where red is green and men are women. Often you can just change “misogyny” to “misandry” and get the same sentence!

    I’m not defending extremism per se, and I’m not saying that the MRM is just as legitimate as any other social movement, but I would point out that just because a group is strident, obnoxious, and angry does not mean that it is fundamentally wrong. Groups can use rabid language because they have no logic or proof, or because they need to get attention to real problems. I’m not sure which reason applies more to the MRM, but I’m open to the possibility there may be some substance behind the venting.

    It’s a bit of a stretch here, and the jury is still out, but I would point out there have been many successful, heroic social movements that were considered angry, dangerous, and obnoxious in their day but are now considered perfectly legitimate and are celebrated after the fact. Women’s suffrage and abolitionism come to mind. People agitating for women’s right to vote and for an end to slavery were told over and over to tone it down, don’t turn off your audience, be more civil in your language, keep the dialogue open, don’t sound so angry, etc. Many perfectly reasonable, progressive white Americans before the civil war thought that abolitionists were the rudest, most vindictive, most foul-mouthed people in the world, too much interested in shocking people with (true) stories about sex and violence.

    I’m fascinated by the fact that mainstream feminism has often responded in a “conservative” way to some of the MRM’s arguments. (Conservative in the sense of questioning the need for change, seeing critics as overly radical, calling for more calm discussion, resting on achievements that are not to be overturned, etc. You know, basically how “The Establishment” looked at feminism in the 1960’s….) A very powerful conservative, pro-status quo tactic is to focus on the anger of the opposition – if we make change and give any power or equality to “these angry people” (slaves, workers, women, men, 18 year olds) you will have a chaotic bloodbath and we’ll lose all the great things we have worked for. I’m not saying that feminist ideologues are doing that, but I can see how from an MRA perspective it could look like that.

    • “… feminism and the MRM having mirror images of each …”

      Feminism is fighting for the annihilation of men.
      MRM are fighting for survival.

      I guess you can call this a “mirror image” relationship. In the same way that a condemned man and his firing squad are “mirror images.”

      This whole discussion is a travesty. Feminists mobilize tens of thousands of publicly funded institutions and have billions of dollars in funding. MRM are nothing but a weak voice lost in the maelstrom of feminist hatred and violence.

      Maybe you should say that the Germans and Jews both hated each other during WWII, so they had a “mirror image” relationship.

      Social sciences are a waste of time and a waste of resources. No backbone. Social scientists live off of the taxpayer dime, and when the time comes to raise their voices in support of a marginalized and brutalized group, they waste time with endless academic platitudes.

      • You obviously don’t know many feminists then. Let me flip that for you:

        MRMs are fighting for the annihilation of women.
        Feminism is fighting for survival.

        See how easy it was? You concentrate on the extremists, completely ignoring the quiet ones complacently fighting for rights. MRM members are plenty loud, but all MRM members are not so ignorant as to think a simple institution such as feminism is bringing upon the downfall of mankind. Take a political science or an anthropology class to understand that male ancestors were slowly bringing upon the downfall of descendant males due to being unable to adapt to a culture that is quickly leveling the playing field for women. The thoughts that the extreme members of the MRM parrot about feminism are thoughts that have been in place well before feminism. Child custody? It’s always been thought females were more nurturing well before feminism. Feminism didn’t parrot that. The draft? Women were excluded from combat, and a court case trying to get females instituted in the draft was overturned because women were excluded from combat anyway, so there was no point bringing them in the draft. Women getting shorter jail sentences? That has always been around well before feminism. Roza Parks, a feminist and advocate for black America, wanted the same treatment as a man, and that included being jailed. So don’t blame feminism for ideas that have always been around. Feminism didn’t agitate these ideas, either. Feminism has fought against these ideas, but due to a small sect of feminism (otherwise, known as feminazis) people mistakenly and ignorantly believe this small amount makes up the balk of feminist thought and theory. I’m not saying any of the above mentioned are right. They certainly aren’t, but feminism had nothing to do with them.

        • “MRMs are fighting for the annihilation of women.
          Feminism is fighting for survival.”

          If I take this and then compare it to something some of the MRAs around here say about how feminists have declared war on young boys, you really do look like mirror images of absurdity.

          • I need to backtrack a bit. It’s obviously simplistic to say MRAs and feminists are mirror images of the other. What often is a mirror image is the tactics both sides use. It’s not all of them on either side, but quite a few do it.

        • Amber, just as a quick response, I wouldn’t argue your position on beliefs and where they originated. I may differ some what as to how they played out and continue to play out in the courts. I believe what is taking place between feminism and the mrm is not unlike a marriage/divorce. Even the statements that men no longer matter is not much different than what I’ve heard post marriage. I think the whole thing has become irreconcilable. I am seeing three generations deeply affected by it. My single interest is access to my son. I have no other venue to voice my pain. I think we need to achieve some parity regarding fathers rights primarily. As a side note, many laws were implemented by governments to accommodate feminism and woman. Those same laws have served to divide me from my children. As an added bonus the general and popular opinion in public consciousness is that I was never there for my children. This is not a civilization we are living in, it’s just organized feeding and it’s barely held together by that.

        • “Take a political science or an anthropology class to understand that male ancestors were slowly bringing upon the downfall of descendant males due to being unable to adapt to a culture that is quickly leveling the playing field for women”
          You are saying in this statement, that the playing field is leveling, many men are saying this is not the case in their experience and arguing the areas of their concern. Feminism and woman respond with “your a patriarchy and not worth listening to”. You state that there is a “downfall of descendant males”, assign the responsibility of this to “ancestor males”. So having assigned blame no remedy is required.

          “The thoughts that the extreme members of the MRM parrot about feminism are thoughts that have been in place well before feminism. Child custody? It’s always been thought females were more nurturing well before feminism. Feminism didn’t parrot that.”

          This issue of custody initially represents the removal of “ancestor males” that you hold responsible for “the downfall of descendant males”. Prior to the law implementing removal by use of family courts, removal of “ancestor males” was carried out by the sole provider role.

          “It’s always been thought females were more nurturing well before feminism.” Simply because alternatives to it were less visible, it’s no different than saying gasoline is the best fuel for a car.
          The result was that feminists did parrot this popular meme to the benefit of women. They accepted the implied privilege, which in no way represents a dogma of “equality”. At the very moment that women were challenged to be a “Rosa Parks” and strive for equality, they didn’t. They accepted the privilege that came with it and effectively told men regarding custody, access and parenting, tough shit and if you don’t like it, I have state troopers to make you like it.

          As far as the draft goes, women and feminists could have at any time lobbied for separate battle units or could have continued to press the issue they didn’t. The fight for equality ends when appropriate privilege is achieved it has no egalitarian expression or motivation. Feminism has simply supplied an ideological justification to use the system and it’s laws to garner further privilege, while throwing men and especially those who dare to call foul, under the bus.

      • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

        Let’s put it this way, AntZ…

        Over on Hugo’s blog, he’s just compared the MRA to the KKK and feminists to the NAACP.

        Here, you’rer saying feminists want to annhilate men and the MRAs are fighting for survival.

        Seems to me you both have a similar view of the world: there are good guys and bad guys and these groups are easily defined and recognized. The bad people are really evil and want to completely kill off the good people. The good people are fighting for survival, truth, justice and the American Way.

        The ONLY point you seem to disagree on is who the good people and bad people are. You say the folks in the white cowboy hats are men, he says that they are women.

        Other than that crucial point, how are your ideologies in any way different?

        Enlighten me.

        • “Enlighten me.”

          MRM: Feminists are the enemy. Not women.
          Feminists: Men are the enemy.

          “Seems to me you both have a similar view of the world: there are good guys and bad guys…”

          Correct, but meaningless. Feminists believe all men are the bad guys. MRM believe that feminists, both male and female, are the bad guys. The “mirror image” that you conjure exists only in your head.

          Check out Blixa Scotts “Why do we forgive adulterous women?” If the MRM were like feminists (a movement to dehumanize and humiliate the opposite gender) the MRM would have descended like locusts on this juicy opportunity to humiliate women. We did not. MRM did not show up for that mud-slinging contest. Why? MRM are fighting to END THE FEMINIST WAR OF HATE AGAINST BOYS AND MEN. Unlike feminists, we have no agenda to dehumanize or stigmatize the opposite gender. We do not throw around terms like “toxic femininity”, “all women are child abusers”, or “oppressive matriarchy maintained by women for the benefit of women.”

          MRM are fighting for equal rights. Feminists are waging a war of annihilation.

          • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

            MRM: Feminists are the enemy. Not women. Feminists: Men are the enemy.

            Sorry, AntZ, but a feminist, seeing that, will say the exact opposite: “MRM women are the enemy, not feminists. Feminists: the patriarchy and its supporters are the enemy”.

            All you’re doing is the same thing as Futrelle and Marcotte: parodying your opponent’s position in order to make your own look good. Your very explanation here is simply a carbon copy of what feminists would say, with the genders reversed.

            Dude, you sound like Andrea Dworkin with a dick. Sorry, man, but that’s what I’m hearing: someone who’s internalized every feminist argument out there, reversed the genders and now thinks they have lisence to yell.

            You’re much, MUCH more persuasive when you simply stick to stating the facts about the negative effects of the sex/gender system on men, rather than trying to slot them in – as patriarchical theorists do – in an overweaning and conspiratorial Theory of Everything.

            • You’re characterizing without any substance to back you up.

              Try this, it might help you.

              List all the issues you can think of that the MRM is fighting (and list them AS AN MRA would phrase it…not as Amanda Marcotte would).

              Then, list all the things you think feminism is doing to address those issues (again, AS DEFINED BY MEN, not feminists).

              You yourself said my points are not easily dismissed, then you ignored them and criticized our TONE (again) rather than our content. Feminism has agitated for (and in some cases directly installed) severely anti-male practices, laws and customs. You can’t even argue against this fact, only the relative impact of those laws.

              Yet, you proceed as if our concerns were those listed by Manhater Marcotte, rather than those listed by MRAs themselves. You are FAR more willing to engage in the same sort of character assassination you decry than you are to stick your neck out and stand up to a feminist in any way. You are a quisling, in other words, and you are trying to convince us that you’re ‘one of the good guys’.

              Here, go read Typhonblue’s essay about “One Good Man”. Internalize it. Don’t type another word about the MRM until you actually think for a while.

              Heres the link:

              http://www.avoiceformen.com/2011/03/16/the-one-good-man/

              Here’s the salient quote:

              “The politician signs into law one-sided advocacy that ignores the pain of men to help women: Domestic Violence, Rape, Sexual Harrassment, it doesn’t matter. He sees it all as an avenue to destroy his competitors and win an adoring harem, even if it’s only the myth of himself in his own mind. He is the One Good Man, good because of his influence, which he uses to advance women.

              The family judge eviscerates his rival—a father and husband—and in the woman’s approval he sees another adoring harem member. He knows that her husband has failed her otherwise why would she be here before him? But he won’t fail her. He is the One Good Man, good because of his power, which he uses to benefit women.

              The priest condemns the imperfect morality of his flock’s husbands and in their admiration he sees a harem. He knows the church women are there to hear his words and uses them to throw petty sins of their husbands into high relief. He won’t fail them. He is the One Good Man, good because of his morality, which he uses to lionize women.

              The petty bully brutalizes a smaller boy, cheered on by girls. The girls have a grievance; the boy presumed to ask one of them out, or maybe he was staring at her breasts too long? He won’t fail them. He is the One Good Man, good because of his strength, which he uses to avenge women.”

              But quit with this ‘disinterested observer’ shit. You’re not fooling anyone.

            • Sorry, Factory. While I respect Typhon Blue’s opinion, I happen to KNOW many judges. Typhon is out barking on a limb if he thinks they make their decisions because they “win adoring harems” with them. Shit, man, that sounds like a line out of a John Norman novel, or something! :D

              Judges are typically after much bigger fish to f%&* and I’ve never heard of a woman who gave it up to a judge yet because she was soooooooo impressed with his decisions.

              Get over it, man: it just ain’t so. It’s beautiful rhetoric. Pity it has nothing like real world evidence to back it up.

              As for tone versus content, I’m not arguing against your tone: I’m arguing against the underlying dichotomical and reductionist bleief that you guys seem to have picked up of of feminism as if it were a virus. I HAPPEN to think that y’all are more useful to men when you do work like the stellar article I recently saw on how the media ignored sexual violence against men in the Balkans conflict. That article was kick-ass and, if I had it in Portuguese, my students would be reading it this week.

              It’s when you follow feminists down the rabbithole of looney-toon “theories of everything” that you lose me.

    • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

      Great observations, Scott! I, too, often wonder how mainstream feminism has become so conservative these days.

  11. Thaddeus G. Blanchette

    Absolutely good stuff. Although within the hyperbole of competing structures there resides independent intersectionality, unfortunately. MRM /\ feminism /\.
    Looking from a distance seems to be the key.

    At this juncture men are seeing the third structure as bureaucratic governance, with it’s own intersectionality. Endeavoring to effect that structure with a more positive outcome for men.

    I once used this term I thought to be funny.
    Patriarchy and Matriarchy – boats built for sinking!

    I think regardless of the extent to which intersectionality may be a more accurate definition of a power structure. Negotiating the alteration of that power structure does require acknowledging privilege. Otherwise it’s a request or demand. This inherently may be the nub and the rub of oppression. Inadequately or inaccurately defining privilege.

    Feminism has spent 40+ years defining male privilege and disassembling it. It has yet to look at it’s own set of privilege, or maintains those privileges to be non negotiable. What we have now arrived at is disparaging circumstances for men.I don’t believe these can be resolved with feminism or women in the context of intersectionality. I think it is now an issue between men and governance. The further participation of feminism or women in general will only influence the degree of violence that is expressed.

    I think there is a growing contingency of men who otherwise no longer even see the intersection and in no way inclusive to them. I’m looking at the soft spots of intersectionality and questioning the degree of it’s applicability in the current social paradigm.
    Without sweeping change to legislation, any effort will be viewed as cynical and inappropriate.

    Warren Farrell has opined about a collaboration rather than direct oppression in earlier years. It was more representative of your “kyriarchy” and intersectionality. Alas, feminists responded with discrediting his work and position. It would seem the divide will deepen each day.

    By the way, do you have a website or accessible information. This article was excellent, a real turn-on.

    • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

      My blog (and that of my wife, too, who provides about 1/3rd of the material there) can be found at http://www.omangeblog.blogspot.com. I don’t update it regularly, though, and it’s kind of a grab bag for whatever interests me at the time. Also, many articles are in Portuguese. But there is some gender related stuff there that might interest you.

      Thanks for the positive feedback!

      • Thadeus, interestingly I have applied this kyriarchy intersectionalism in previous relationships and in my business. I happen to believe in it and was very surprised pleasantly by your article. I have found that it doesn’t work with dysfunction dependency types. Which may well be the vast majority of people.

        In attempting to bring dynamic circumstances to the table to negotiate a shared outcome was viewed for the most as patriarchal control. My discovery is that most people negotiate by using conflict, compromise is seldom negotiated.

  12. Have to give you credit for being fair on both sides – although I think the analysis you recommend amounts to a lot of navel gazing.

    The real issue to me amounts to a complete lack of compromise. The reality is, men and women’s interests will always be in competition. We’ve got different reproductive strategies, both geared around ruthlessly exploiting the opposite sex.

    The problem is the pendulum has swung too far. In lots of instances – child custody, financial payments after divorce, the dating world – men are getting the raw end of the deal. Right now the law and society have basically decided to be entirely one one side – defaulting towards giving women custody 95% of the time, treating fathers as if they’re optional, and doing things like enslave men for life in some states to pay alimony.

    If you’ve ever played those “tragedy of the commons” games, you learn pretty quick that trying to grab everything for yourself doesn’t work for anybody. The other side just gets pissed off, vindictive, and starts treating you like an enemy instead of a partner. The only way for things to work is to balance everyone’s interests. If you set up the laws so that men can’t win – they won’t play.

    Honestly, sites like this don’t help. Reading through the articles here, I see things about why pornography causes all kinds of problems and needs to be restricted, how guys need to settle down, and why men should cry. The common theme is: there’s something wrong with men, and with being a traditional man. It feels like an attack on the masculine – “men, if you just would be more feminine, then none of these problems would exist….” Yin can’t exist without Yang. We’ve spent the last thirty years or so trying to make a place for women at the table. Now, you read the articles on this site from the last week or so, and their goal seems to be to make sure men don’t get a seat.

  13. And what exactly is “conventional masculinity?” See, this is the root of the problem. This desire to paint all men with a broad brush, even by women, (see the “Real Men” jeans advertisements from a few years back) and claim that there is one, normative definition of masculinity is what needs to be disrupted before we can move forward. Be yourself, not a beer commercial.

    I’m a proud, queer feminist yet I think that masculinity is one of the most fragile, shallow concepts in the world. For its bluster and bravado, masculinity seems to be just an empty husk filled with old world concepts and the latest advertising claims. What’s so powerful about manhood when can be destroyed by something as simple as ordering a salad? I’d argue that masculinity’s inherent fragility leads to some of the knee-jerk misogynistic behavior, including the perpetuation of rape culture, in the face of women’s slow rise to the same level as men (although we’re not quite there yet).

    If the MRA really wants to get anywhere, they should start by deconstructing this notion of masculinity the same way feminists broadened the definition of womyn/femininity. The longer MRA sticks to the same old tired, heterosexist, blend of evo-psych and caveman ideals (men want sex. sex no bad. why woman no give sex? makes man bad), the longer it’ll take for them to be taken seriously.

    • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

      I agree. Furthermore, if you read the rhetoric from the 1900s, say, you’ll quickly discover thatproponents of masculinity have felt that it has been threatened for over a century now. Little has changed in the apocalyptic rhetoric regarding the end of the male in more than 100 years.

    • “… If the MRA really wants to get anywhere, they should start by deconstructing this notion of masculinity the same way feminists broadened the definition of womyn/femininity…”

      Like you, feminists are trying hard to criminalize masculinity itself. Why bother?

      But the hate goes deeper than that. While with one had, hate-filled feminists try to criminalize masculinity, with the other they work hard to inject sexism and bigotry into family courts and social anti-father prejudice. They want to built a tight net with nowhere for men and boys to run. No survivors is the order of the day for the feminist war of anti-male hate.

      • There is no need to criminalize masculinity… its so friggin’ fragile. Everything from salad ordering or ‘the murse’ to wearing pink button downs is potentially ‘emasculating’ or gasp! “gay”.

        • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

          LOL! :D

        • Harr harr harr, so funy to dehumanize men. Maybe all men should be forced to wear clown suits for even more laughs. Harr harr harr!

          It is no wonder that 27,000 young men kill themselves in the US each year, compared to only 7000 women. Who wants to live like this?

          Despite your hateful words, and the laughter of the sociology expert who should know better, masculinity is neither yours to define, nor is it fragile. It is up to each man to define his masculinity as he wants to do.

          The only people trying to impose their view of masculinito on others are feminists. And misandrist sociologists.

          • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

            Precisely. But apparently it IS pretty damned fragile if so many things threaten it, neh?

            • No, what is fragile is our culture’s limited definition of masculinity. We have so narrowly defined masculinity that males only have a handful of acceptable things they can do, and any male deviating from that will have his masculinity, manhood or sexuality questioned. Ironically, the people most prone to doing this are college males and feminists.

            • Are you familiar with the straw that broke the camels back?

              Men and masculinity have been under assault for so long that yes, perhaps salad dressing or a purse may be enough to destroy it for one individual man.

              We have inculcated so much guilt in males that they are often either driven to hyper-masculinity or femininity (the lack of male role models like fathers notwithstanding.. which I do blame a biased legal system for and feminist inspired ideology more than men “abandoning” children.)

              This comment pasted from WORD due to GMPM’s practice of auto refreshing to inflate the appearance of advertising impressions.

            • To the Editors of GMPM:

              In another series of comments, James asked for evidence of adult women getting off light after drugging and then raping underage boys.

              Here is a March, 2011 case from Astoria, OR. Adult woman plies kids, including a 14 year old boy with booze, gets him drunk, has her way with him, and then is sentenced to….. 30 days. Boy is too ashamed to come to the sentencing hearing.

              Question to GMPM editors — are you outraged? will you speak up? will you run a piece?

              Silence = Death.

              http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local/story/Astoria-woman-pleads-no-contest-to-raping-14-year/sp6cQmcuFESd8N8qpRgapw.cspx

            • “Precisely. But apparently it IS pretty damned fragile if so many things threaten it, neh?”

              Well said.

              And that is why many MRAs need to….re-think their own male behavior. And make it less fragile.

              This can be made to happen in plenty of crafty ways, if only they would put on their thinking caps.

          • Adam Pendleton says:

            I think you misunderstand his point. From what I’m able to gather, he, too, feels that people should be able to define their own masculinity.

            The issue is that some men DO try to impose their view of masculinity on others. I could point you to a dozen articles on typical men sites that indicate what a “real” man is or has to do. Trust me, it gets pretty ridiculous.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Blanchette,

    Have you looked at this? I think you might enjoy it.

    http://www.derailingfordummies.com/

    Regards,
    An Anonymous Reviewer

    • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

      I don’t think I need to look at it. “Derailing”, as far as I can see, given its use in rhetoric by most people on the internet, means “taking a topic In a direction I’m not familiar with and don’t want to be familiar with”.

      Any sort of “outside the box” thinking can, by definition, be accused of being “derailing”. Any anti-dogmatic postion will be seen as derailing by those who believe in dogma.

      Here’s an example: a born-again Xtian and a Muslim are arguing whose good is real. Along comes an athiest who points out that neither is real. What’s to stop the two theists from complaining that the athiest is “derailing” their conversation, even though the atheist’s point is pertinent?

      Tell me how I can identify a proper “derailing” accusation and differentiate it from someone crying that their particular hobby horse isn’t being stroked enough, and then I’ll be interested.

  15. FishyFishyFish says:

    Oh God of Earth and Alter Bow down and hear our cry
    Our earthly rulers falter, our people drift and die
    The walls of gold entomb us, the swords of scorn divide
    Take not Thy thunder from us, but take away our pride.

  16. Thaddeus, just a clarification. As I acknowledge in my piece, some Father’s Rights activists — overlapping with the Men’s rights movement, but not synonymous with it — do actually focus on real-world activism; they’ve had some influence in the real world, as Slate and Salon have noted. MRAs and MGTOWers, not so much.

    The fact that MRAs for the most part aren’t real-world activists is good in some ways, bad in others. Much of what they talk about is nonsense, and so the less effective they are in pushing most of their agenda, the better.

    But if they were to set aside their misogyny and put in some real work I think they could possibly accomplish something positive on issues like domestic violence against men, and prison rape. Of course, that’s a big “if” and I don’t expect this to happen, at least not until there are MRAs out there willing to challenge the misogyny of so many in the movement.

    • Much of what they talk about is nonsense

      Well, gee, that kinda makes sites like this superfluous, then don’t it? I mean, since men’s rights and all is mostly nonsense, according to your assertion regarding the people who started the movement that provided the impetus to create another platform that you are using to insult them.

      Seems kinda hypocritical to me. You’re benefiting from a group you disparage. Rather like when that UC Davis rape counselor was caught inflating rape-statistics on campus in order to get more funding.

      C’mon now Futrelle, this is a site about men’s rights, and you want to throw the most loyal advocates for it under the bus?? That’s just so… Feminist. (Y’know, when Feminists throw Black women under the bus. Remember Iron Jawed Angels?)

      You may not personally like MRA’s, but they *did* start the movement. You may not like everything said on The Spearhead, but it was one of the first — if not the first — comprehensive forum for men to talk about male issues.

      And while you may personally never consider yourself an MRA, MRM, or even sympathetic to the cause, you are still benefiting from a movement that you actively discourage. And personally I find that morally, ethically, and professionally repugnant.

      But hey, I’m just another angry MRA, right?

    • Funny. I feel the same way about feminists and misandry. But fair point nonetheless.

    • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

      Dear David,

      First of all, thanks for your response.

      What I’m interested in is how you parse these groups off from one another: what criteria do you use? Because it seems to me that what you’re doing here is engaging in some pretty bad tautological thinking. You seem to be saying “A defining characteristic of MRAs is that they don’t do anything, so if a group or person does something, he must ipso facto not be an MRA. Inactive, loser men are MRAs so MRAs are loser, inactive men. QED”.

      First of all, I think we can both agree that MRAs – like feminists – come in a lot of different flavors. There’s no one movement there, but several overlapping, intertwining movements.

      Given this, it’s hard for me to see what justifies you – other than your own pollitical prejudices – from setting this group over here in the “good guy” category and this other group over there in the “bad guy” category.

      To use a fairly simple comparison with feminism, you’re rather like a person in 1970 saying, “Radical feminists and abortion supporters aren’t the same crowd. Feminists just sit arround and bitch while abortion supporters are actually doing something in society”. What you fail to contemplat is the possibility of any overlap between the two groups.

  17. Wellokaythen says:

    I have another, more sinister explanation for the more extreme MRA statements. I’m surprised with all the name-calling and ideological aspersions flying back and forth that this hasn’t come up yet. Maybe what we’re looking at is an incredibly devious infiltration by radical feminism to discredit the men’s rights movement. This is what’s called “blackjacketing” – you send undercover agents into an organization to sow discord, in particular by branding innocent people as undercover agents. This creates dissension within the organization and creates an atmosphere of paranoia such that effective internal communication comes to a standstill. (The FBI did this quite effectively with the Black Panthers and tried to do the same with the American Indian Movement.)

    An even more devious infiltration tactic is to spout really extreme rhetoric as a spokesperson for a movement as a way to discredit a movement to make it look silly or extremist. I have no proof, but I assume that intelligence agencies are trying to do the same to various movements in the world today that get easily branded as terrorist groups.

    I’m reminded of _The Manchurian Candidate_ idea: an enemy agent disguised as someone who looks to be the exact opposite. Some of the more rabid MRA statements sound like pitch-perfect propaganda about what an anti-feminist extremist might say. People who present themselves as anti-feminist may thus have very pro-feminist effects on their audience. Of course no one will admit to being an undercover agent, but that just makes it even more dangerous, doesn’t it….

    I don’t believe this is a real conspiracy, but then again I don’t believe in a giant global feminist conspiracy or a patriarchal boys’ club that runs the world. It just strikes me that once you start believing in a massive, insidious network that is out to get you, how can you even trust those who seem to agree with you?

  18. Thaddeus,

    Thank you for an intelligent, insightful piece. Although the initial sentences left me concerned that this was going to be another exercise in blaming the ‘feminazis’, I’m glad I read on. Reading this was time well spent.

    Honestly, your post puts into words thoughts that have been milling about in my feminist head for some time. I first read about the concept of the kyriarchy some months ago on a feminist blog, and it stuck with me. I am a committed feminist, as I perceive it to be a prerequisite to my humanism. I simply couldn’t accept the concept of the patriarchy, that omnipotent, vast and well-oiled male conspiracy against women, because I saw all about me the ways in which society makes victims of men and boys, too. Gender and oppression are complex issues, and as you argue, cannot easily be reduced to ‘us versus them’.

    So again, thank you for posting this.

  19. Here’s a link you’ll find interesting:

    http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/extended-discussion/abusive-fathers-win-custody-battles-more-often-than-mothers/t.70265549/ (This link includes a plethora of other links within the post.)

    Apparently, father’s rights movements lie just as much as MRAs claim feminists lie. In fact, abusive fathers retain custody of their children in 70% of cases. The lesson I’m taking away from all of this is that neither MRA members nor feminists are to be trusted anymore.

    • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

      The links in that forum are so confused in makes me wonder about the research they’re quoting.

      How could anyone, using what methodology, come to the conclusion that abusive fathers win in 70% of the cases? First of all, what’s their metric for “abusive father”? That question doesn’t appear to be answered. Are they saying “abusive” is any father accused of being so, whether or not there’s proof to back the assertions up?

      It would be interesting and useful if you could look into this for us, Amber, seeing as how you brought this discussion of an article up as proof of your point.

      • Amber,
        Does the research say “abusive fathers retain custody of their children in 70% of cases” or does it say ‘that in case where fathers are accused of abuse, 70% retain custody of their children?’ The first statement doesn’t make any sense. If fathers are proven to be abusive, is it likely courts would continue give them custody in 70% of cases? However, we can also ask, if father has custody, how can the mother get custody back? One possible scenario is that she may accuse him of abuse in order to get custody for herself. This statistic, if true, may be saying more about the tactics of non-custodial mothers than it does about anything else.

      • This is exactly the sort of the ideologically guided research I was referring to in an earlier comment and your question on how the define “abusive father” is spot on. It is precisely in how we define these terms that the bias of the person conducting the research is most clearly seen.

        Typically if a woman says a man is abusive during a divorce these studies define him as abusive (as if women will not lie in general and are not massively incentivized to do so during a divorce.)

  20. Thaddeus that you for a reasoned and thoughtful article.

    I’m always surprised that opponents of men’s rights are so belligerent towards MRAs. The argument usually is that men are the privileged ruling class and it is outrageous that men demand rights, as men. Women as the oppressed class are entitled to receive privileges to redress the past wrongs. Note the obsession with class.

    Their argument hinges on patriarchy, hence the effort they will expend to defend this notion. The concept of kyriarchy that you introduced better explains the historical situation. As I see it there was no male conspiracy to dominate power for men over the millennia. While it is clear the vast majority of people in power over the course of history have been men, their Raison d’être was always personal , group or tribal power; not dominance of men. Women were considered dangerous, partly because of their ability to manipulate men sexually and partly because their life experience and education did not enable them to understand the political situation. There are exceptions of successful women leaders through history, Queen Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Empress Wu and the disaster for China: Empress Ci Xi (last Empress.) Further, given the practicalities of child birth, child rearing and contraception at the time it was impractical for a significant number of women to be in a position to get power. As a footnote to this, universal suffrage owes more to universal education than anything else.

    I also found your discussion on Marxism enlightening. It is interesting that while Marxism as such has failed, Marx has in fact set the agenda for political discourse throughout the Twentieth Century and beyond.

    I will add more later, I the mean time I need to go sailing.

    • From my crude understanding of Marxism and Dialectical Materialism;

      Marxism has set the political agenda for the last century; feminism has set the gender agenda for the last 40 years. Feminists have done this by aligning with Marxist theory. To achieve this they need a dialectic of two opposing classes. Now men and women are different classes in a biological sense, but for the dialectic to work they need to be political classes. Enter the patriarchy. With the patriarchy you have a political class. “Oppression of women” is not random acts of individuals, nor is it part of a general oppression, it is oppression by a class “the patriarchy” which basically comprises all men. Patriarchy is the thesis. In Dialectical Materialism you have a thesis and an antithesis, feminism is the antithesis. Since the thesis (patriarchy) is oppressive and unjust, the antithesis (feminism) will arise and overthrow the thesis (patriarchy). Therefore, patriarchy must be the problem and feminism and only feminism is the solution.

      There is a theory that Marxism failed because, rather than as Marx predicted, three classes formed. Marx believed that all the minor classes would combine to form two classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The proletariat were unable to overthrow the bourgeoisie because the middle class usurped the power. Why revolt against the bourgeoisie when you can work up into the middle class and get all the benefits for yourself?

      Back with feminism, we have patriarchy and feminism in a dialectic relationship. One can’t exist without the other. For feminism to succeed patriarchy must be preserved. Patriarchy must be overcome by feminism, if were to die earlier then something else than feminism would replace it. Thus the project of feminism is to retain the structures of patriarchy, gender roles and all, but instead distribute those roles according to the “dictatorship of the feminists”.

      If you accept this structure, then a men’s rights movement must be viewed as reactionary. As a defence of patriarchy is serves a purpose, but as a third force or an alternative to feminism it is a serious threat. To preserve the dialectic feminism must be the exclusive solution.

      • That’s pretty much spot on, John. The only quibble I have would be with the next to last paragraph.

        I don’t think that the true, conscious Marxist feminists want a “dictatorship of the feminists”. Most of the ones I’ve dealt with see patriarchy as an inevitable outgrowth and necessary supporting structure of the class struggle, stretching back to the foundation of agriculture and the state. Their belief is that with the end of class warfare, created by the dawning of the socialist jubilee, patriarchy will also inevitably come to an end. Thus to struggle against patriarchy is to undermine the foundations of the class system: being a feminist is ipso facto being a Marxist, in this world view.

        Most feminists who use patriarchy rhetoric, however, haven’t a clue as to its intellectual roots.

        There’s a specific foundational text in this tradition: Engel’s article “The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State, in the Light of the Researches of Lewis H.Morgan”, which all thoughtful men should read as a topical counter to some of the more florid variants of patriarchy theory.

        AFAIK, mid-19th century anthropological musings are the foundational root of almost all feminist notions of patriarchy which we hear today. This is quite ironic, because feminists have otherwise trashed such authors as Maine, Morgan and McLennan, as have anthropologists. The views of these dead white guys are today are seen as having some historical value but otherwise are understood to be hopelessly naive and prejudiced when it comes to portraying so-called “primitive” societies. But when it comes to the concept of “patriarchy”, which these gentlemen created and honed specifically to discuss “primitive” societies… well, that’s pretty much still taken as gospel in certain circles, particularly in modern feminism.

        A handful of feminists go direct to the root and get their understanding of patriarchy from these Maine, Morgan and company. Others – and they are much more commonly encountered – get it filtered through Freud and Marx and often filtered yet again through the works of the feminist thinkers of the 1960s and ’70s.. Both Marx and Freud, you’ll note, aren’t much in fashion these days anywhere else, but they are absolutely fundamental to second wave feminism. Of the two, Engels is by far the greater contributor, because he came up with the concept that patriarchy was, in fact, a historical stage of the materialist dialectic (he robbed the basic notion from Maine and Morgan and gussied it up with Marx’s historical understandings).

        Here’s a good nutshell history of the concept of patriarchy:

        http://www.bookrags.com/tandf/patriarchy-4-tf/

        Ironically, as you pointed out above, many of the women who use the Marxist notion of patriarchy (generally without any reflection at all) are far from being historical materialists. It’s just a convenient rhetorical concept upon which infinite amounts of unsubstantiated claims can be hung. As a scientific theory, it’s untestable, unconfirmable, and – like creationism – ultimately faith-based.

        In the social sciences, it’s what we call a “black box concept”. Someone who was taught and teaches in this tradition – say Hugo Schwyzer – uses the word “patriarchy” as if it explains everything. If you actually sit them down, however, and say, “Look, OK, it’s a hypothesis. So why don’t you give me a processural view of how this so-called ‘patriarchy’ actually works in practice?”, they’ll have a very hard time saying anything of substance. Usually, they’ll kite off into abstract generalities (“it protects male privileges”; yes but what privileges, how, and where? For all men, or just some?) or will cite whatever specific recent outrage is in the news as an excellent example of its fruits (the Texas rape case is currently very popular).

        What they are entirely incapable of doing is showing you how this power structure works in processural form.

        In this sense, they are actually bastardizing Marx’s tradition. Agree with the old hippy or not, he was very thorough. His understandings of the world were rooted in much observation and real life experience and when he made a claim, he could clearly show you how his theories worked on any particular level of that claim, tying them into empirical proof. His “18th Brummaire of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte” is an excellent example of exactly the sort of thing that today’s bastardized Marxist feminists (and their MRA counterparts, for that matter), are entirely incapable of producing with regards to the functioning of the sex/gender system.

        What I think is this: we live in a kyriarchy and one of the axes of orientation within that kyriarchy is androcentrism. That, I will buy. But that’s a different kettle of fish from patriarchy.

        • Thanks Thaddeus,
          To clarify, “dictatorship of the feminists” is meant in Marx’s sense, not the Twentieth Century meaning of dictator (eg. Hitler, Stalin and Mao). The “dictatorship of the feminists” is a system of government where the constitution and institutions dictate that feminism is maintained. It would probably be a democracy because most women and possibly a majority of men would support it. When you look at the legislation passed over the last 40 years and exclude pro-equality legislation, there is plenty of pro-feminist legislation that is working towards the “dictatorship of the feminists”. In the US and elsewhere, where it has been copied, VAWA is an example of pro-feminist legislation.

          • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

            When Marx was talking about the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, he didn’t mean a self-perpetuating government. He thought it would be the percursor to no government and no state at all: socialist anarchy in the best possible sense.

            Marxist feminists believe that gender only exists in order to give men rights vis-a-vis women, just like the State supposedly only exists as control rods to keep class warfare from melting down society, in effect maintaining the class system by regulating it. Thus, to forcibly eliminate masculinity would mean, necessarily, an end to the sex/gender system, given that femininity and, for that matter, homosexuality only exist as photo-negatives of masculinity: they are concepts exclusively used to NEGATE rights to certain people.

            This is why marxist feminists see no contradcition whatsoever in legislating exclusively in women’s favor. The idea goes that, by destroying or impeding masculinity, sex and gender will “wither away”, just like the state was to do in MArxist theory under the “dictatorship of the proletariat”.

            So yes, the “dictatorship of the proletariat” ideal in Marxism does indeed probably underlie the otherwise inexplicable view of certain feminists that public action that benefits one sex to the detriment of the other is, in fact, “liberatory”.

            And they are probably correct, too.

            I mean, after all, every attempt to actually install “the dictatorship of the proletariat” in power has resulted, across the board, in the diminuation or elimantion of the State, right? So there’s no reason to doubt this sort of logic when it’s abstracted from the field of class relations and applied to gender… right? :D

            This is one of the reasons the bland, absolutist affirmations of the Hugo Schwyzers of this world regarding rights, power and gender chill me to the bone. To quote the Anarchist band CRASS’ tune “Bloody Revolutions”:

            You talk about revolution
            Oh, that’s fine.
            But what are you going to be doing
            Come the time?

            Are you gonna be the big man
            With the tommy gun?
            Will you talk of freedom
            When the blood begins to run?

            Freedom has no value
            If violence is it’s price
            I don’t want your revolution
            I want anarchy and peace.

            Though Marxist feminists (at least most of them) aren’t preaching direct physical violence against men, they are preaching symbolic violence against men. One of the side effects of this is that physical violence against men suddenly becomes invisible as violence and certainly loses public recognition of any engendered component it might have.

            If Hugo is, as I suspect, a Marxist feminist, I’m an anarcho-feminist. It’s not so much that I disagree, in theory, with the MArxist feminist analysis, it’s that I believe in practice, their remedies are much more likely to worsen the situation than resolve it.

            Just like the Soviet Revolution didn’t get rid of the State, Marxist feminism will probably reify and strengthen the precise sort of masculinity Marxist feminists claim to be fighting against.

            • That leads to another point. In this discussion on TGMP, there as been little said about the growing number of MRAs that come from feminism. Warren Farrell, Glenn Sacks and even Paul Elam are disillusioned feminists. These men all worked for feminist organisations trying to seek fairness and equality for women and they were aware of the bad that men do in the world. However, the turning point is when the hypocrisy, lies and viciousness of much of feminism, becomes apparent. They became increasing aware of the bad that women also do.

              The thing that has struck me more than anything else in the months I have been involved in men’s rights is the cold callus indifference of feminists, particularly women, towards men’s suffering. While the anger and abuse of some MRAs is jarring, it is the calculated, emotionally distanced way that feminists dismiss male pain and suffering that is far more shocking. For example, when Hillary Clinton said that women suffer the most in war – I thought WTF. Okay, if a man dies in combat, his widow, mother and family will suffer longer than him. BUT, most soldiers don’t die in combat. Most are scared shitless, some are injured; some see friends die, while other become killers themselves and have to live out their days knowing they have ended lives, sometimes innocent lives. Soldiers have also spent much of their youth away from home and career serving their country. My stepfather, for instance, spent seven years serving in His Majesty’s Army during and after WWII. In that time he was deployed in a remote part of Australia and bombed by the Japanese. On leave he married, was divorced and while away, the new husband adopted his son, who he never had contact with again. If you want to argue that women have more empathy than men, you can’t use Hillary Clinton and her multitude of cheerers as examples.

              You have dealt with Hugo thoroughly in your article and comments. Michael Flood, my compatriot, deserves some attention. From the Slate article

              In this, critics like Australian sociologist Michael Flood say that men’s rights movements reflect the tactics of domestic abusers themselves, minimizing existing violence, calling it mutual, and discrediting victims. MRA groups downplay national abuse rates, just as abusers downplay their personal battery; they wage campaigns dismissing most allegations as false, as abusers claim partners are lying about being hit; and they depict the violence as mutual—part of an epidemic of wife-on-husband abuse—as individual batterers rationalize their behavior by saying that the violence was reciprocal.

              The trouble with this is that he has already assumed that the “abusers” are lying or delusional. His logic assumes what he is trying to prove. An alternative explanation is, the “abusers” could be telling the truth – he has provided no evidence or argument to refute this – just assertion.

              And this gem from the same article;

              Jack Straton, a Portland State University professor and member of Oregon’s Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, argues that Straus critically fails to distinguish between the intent and effect of violence, equating “a woman pushing a man in self-defense to a man pushing a woman down the stairs,” or a single act of female violence with years of male abuse; …

              It is equally valid to say;

              Straus critically fails to distinguish between the intent and effect of violence, equating “a man pushing a woman in self-defense to a woman pushing a man down the stairs,” or a single act of male violence with years of female abuse;

              So Jack’s ‘argument’ is clearly bullshit. He goes on;

              “… That Straus only interviewed one partner, when couples’ accounts of violence commonly diverge; …”

              When the WHO studied domestic violence in the third world they did not speak to the men and they did not ask the women about their own violence or provocation. I don’t know what Jack was trying to prove with that comment, but he goes on;

              “…and that he excludes from his study post-separation violence, which accounts for more than 75 percent of spouse-on-spouse violence, 93 percent of which is committed by men.”

              This one typically goes unchallenged. MRAs like to deny male violence, but in this case I agree that post-separation violence is predominantly male, but not for the implied reasons. My interpretation of this statistic is that in most cases of domestic violence the man is presumed guilty – this is what Straton, Flood et al are saying. What we do know is that guilty or not and regardless of provocation; men accused of battering are summarily and sometimes violently evicted from their houses and separated from their children, without due process. Often they face financial ruin and a protracted court battle to ever see their children again. Is it any wonder they sometimes take direct action? I’m not condoning post separation violence, but I question the wisdom of the authorities taking sides and escalating the conflict.

              It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, but I see the rationalization of domestic violence in particular and gender relations in general, as being the most extensive scientific fraud ever. People are manipulating facts and statistics to suit their predetermined ideological theories (Marxist Feminism and variations) – the hallmark of scientific fraud. Honest people recoil away from dishonesty, more and more of them will turn against the feminist establishments.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              Wow. That’s really cynical, given that Straus clearly states, in almost every paper of his that I’ve ever read, that the effects of male on female violence are generally worse than the effects of female on male violence.

            • No evidence, no matter how slight, can be allowed, if it challenges the Duluth model of domestic violence.

            • Straus states;

              1. There are as many, and possibly more, couples where the female partner is the only one to use physical violence as there are couples where the male partner is the only one to use violence (see, page 37; and, Straus and Ramirez, in press) ;
              2. Women initiate acts of intimate partner violence as often as men (Straus, 2005);
              3. Male and female partner violence is overwhelmingly utilized as a method of coercive control (Fiebert and Gonzales, 1997; Medeiros and Straus, 2006).

              There is one large and extremely important difference – the rate of physical injury resulting from male partner violence is about three times greater than the injuries inflicted by female partners.

              From “Behind closed doors: violence in the American family – 2006”

              This doesn’t sit well with patriarchy theory or the Duluth Model of Domestic violence.

              Note also that this analysis does not mention the psychological effects of the violence on the man or the children.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              It doesn’t even mention psychological violence, which is always brought up when the victim is a woman but which tends to be laughed off when the victim is a man.

            • Thaddeus G. Blanchette says:

              Well, just finished reading Jack Straton’s critique of Straus. To really delve into this, I need access to an American University’s database, in order to look at all the source articles that both authors cite.

              Straton’s complaints about Straus’ methodology are potentially damning, if true. However, a couple of things need to be discovered:

              1) Does Straus “cherry pick” his data more than is generally the case in geneder violence studies?

              2) Do Straus and the other researchers Straton mentions always use CTS methodologies? Straton was refering to articles written by Straus almost 20 years ago. Has he changed his methodologies since then to incorporate crticis’ claims?

              3) Is there indeed a theoretical division between so-called “common couple violence” and battering and is that division borne up by the research?

              One thing worries me about Straton: he’s a physicist by training and has come to the whole sex/gender thing through political advocacy. This diesn’t mean he’s wrong, mind you, but it does indicate that his primary focus in terms of this issue has been political and not scientific.

              Without reading the source articles, though, it’s hard to say more.

  21. namae nanka says:

    Since my previous comment hasn’t made it past moderation queue:

    http://gynotheory.blogspot.com/2011/03/eventual-outcome-of-feminism-part-ii.html

  22. Adam Pendleton says:

    A great deal of misandry has, by my observation, been conducted by other men. I would hypothesize that, indeed, the greater portion comes from men. Have we not shown, historically, how adept we’ve become at oppressing ourselves?

    Much of it boils down to perceived social norms, which are driven by a combination of existing societal belief, advertising, and other media influences. On the one hand, there are women who get the message rather frequently that tension between the genders is both expected and valid. On the other hand, you have men being told that they have to fit into a single, very exhaustively detailed mold in order to be considered masculine by their fellow men. While other factors exist, these seem to be remarkably influential in their ability to affect each gender’s behavior.

    For the women, the message seems to be that men suck, they must be fought against, and that you have to have them and be subservient to them. This is, to say the least, a complicated message. Trying to balance these perceptions can be a daunting and frustrating task, leading to the occasional outburst, nasty remark, or in rare cases more extreme expressions of distaste for the gender.

    For men, the message is that they are subject to the scrutiny of other men at all times, and that only universal approval by their gender peer group will make them masculine. Moreover, media (and particularly aggressive men) are quick to fill other men’s heads with impossibly many, sometimes conflicting stipulations on what they must be like to be approved by the pack. Examples:

    -You can’t drink light beer
    -You need to have 6-pack abs
    -You have to drink light beer to maintain 6-pack abs
    -You need to be powerful
    -Powerful men wear suits to work
    -Powerful men aren’t yuppies and only wear suits to church

    Obviously, this state of drink and dress is quite difficult to maintain. Do we mix in light beer with the regular stuff? Do we wear a suit under our flannel? No one can discover!

    The real point is that these social norms created by men are most heavily enforced, from my observations, by other men. Women certainly play a part, but the legitimacy of the Men’s Rights movement is in my mind founded by our continued oppression of ourselves.

  23. To the Editors of GMPM:

    In another series of comments, James asked for evidence of adult women getting off light after drugging and then raping underage boys.

    Here is a near-contemporaneous case from Astoria, OR. Adult women plies kids, including a 14 year old boy with booze, gets him drunk, has her way with him, and then is sentenced to….. 30 days.

    http://www.misandryreview.com/mens-activism-news/2011/03/16/woman-gets-30-days-for-rape-of-14-year-old-boy/#

    Question to regular GMPM readers — are you outraged? will you speak up?

  24. The real Thaddeus Gregory Blanchette is a hateful racist that trolls the internet attacking and harassing blacks while hiding behind mutliple fake profiles. He especially stalks young black women on their blogs.
    He spent a long time as “Fred” on Restructure’s blog, making anti-gay, racist comments to everyone, and he stalked ankhesen mie on her blog. Also banned from abagond’s for attacking other commenters and repeatedly harassing everyone.

    He paints a false picture of himself as a great educator, when he is nothing but an obsessive hateful sick person that looks for others to place his negativity on.

    Someone recently exposed him on topix.com with all the fake profiles he uses on there to spread hate against blacks in the african american forum. The post was mysteriously deleted, no doubt by Thaddeus himself because someone told the truth about him.

    If the owners of this blog think so highly of this creepster, they should advise the man to seek help, and get a life. Spending hours on the net harassing blacks and spreading racial slurs is not what an educator is supposed to be doing.

    • I feel honored that someone out there thinks I’m important enough that it’s worth dedicating time and energy to engage in a slander campaign against me. You know you’re becoming increasingly relevant in the internet gestalt when this sort of thing happens.

      My only complaint is that this time, they’ve left out the bit where my partner, Dr. Ana Paula da Silva, is actually a prostitute I’ve hired for photo ops.

      Thanks, Gringa! You’ve made my day!

  25. This article is pretty timely.

    However, to the OP: I am sure you know this already, but many feminist spaces have been using the term “kyriarchy” for years, especially those of us that are tired of the white middle-class dominance of feminism, and its lack of a queer and antiracist agenda. Check out “BitchBlogs” to see a place where kyriarchy is most definitely the frame of reference. Part of third-wave more marginal feminism’s issue with the MRM is that a lot of the discourse is blind to axes of race, sexuality, or class in its overwhelming preoccupation with a gender-war mindset.

    –And from one social scientist to another (anthropologist) I appreciate what you’ve done here to articulate that the theory should come from the data, and not the other way around. Great work!

    • Thanks, Switch, for the positive comments!

      I know that there are more varieties of feminism than one can shake a stick at and that third-wave feminism is much more friendly to queer theory and intersectionalist readings of oppression and power. I feel bad when I use the word “feminists” because it is a gross oversimplification and if I have to slap a lable on myself, it would probably be somewhere between queer theorist and third wave feminism. And you are so very right when you say the MRM is into this whole gender war motiff that they’ve picked up from second wave feminism.

      I first learned about kyriarchy through third wave feminist blogs, so I know that they are out there and that a branch of feminism has incorporated other axes of oppression into their analysis. Unfortunately, you guys are still the minority and probably will remain so – just like Emma Goldman was in her day.

  26. Peoples understanding of the gender war makes me laugh and cry at the same time. The number one mistake is assuming it was originally men vs women.

    In the beginning, and up until the recent MRA surge it was between women. Women who wanted to drive and women who want to be driven. In order to understand it you have to go back to the women’s rights movement of the 1800’s called “Mothers of the Republic” in America(not sure how this has anything to do with Europe though) that fought for the “right” to stay at home and raise a family.

    This movement began to take lasting hold when America became a more industrialized nation. In the beginning both men and women where used to working. Takes two to run a family farm after all.

    Well with industrialization more people flocked to the cities, both men and women. And both were expected to work. Back then you got payed per how hard you worked or were capable of working(Piece pay I believe the term was). So on average women made more then children and men made more then either of the two due to the physical differences.

    So around this time the Mothers of the Republic sprung up and started focusing on child labor and education. Because if the children are out of the factories someone would have to look after them.
    And this is where discrimination against women’s employment really began. Women began harassing and bugging employers and employed women. Because from their perspective it took money away from them if their husbands had to compete against cheaper workers.

    Fast forward to the 1900’s and as job’s started to become less labor intensive it became possible for women to re-enter the work force as true equals to men. Well traditionalist women where(and still are to a degree) against this. Now add in the whole “mamma’s boy” phenomenon to give force to the desires of the mother thrust upon the son and you get traditionalist men(who were labeled the “patriarchy”).

    Now fast forward to the 70’s after feminist’s failed in securing the ERA, well the feminist weren’t happy with that loss. So like any desperate party in a war they took drastic and intentional steps to end the gender war in their favor. A kind of “scorched Earth” type policy of poisoning the traditionalist woman’s well.

    And thus the war against boy’s education began. Read up on what feminist’s of that era say about Gen Y males and how they treat us as a necessary causality; almost like when Churchill kept the information about what was to happen to the city of Coventry a secret.

    With all due respects they partially messed up. Their goal was to make men disenfranchised economically so as to force women into employment. But what they hadn’t expected was for men to enter into the gender war on our own accord.

    Sure they might of expected an anti-female backlash, that would of suited their goals. But with men entering the gender war they are scared because we won’t stop until it is over. And when it is over both feminist’s and traditionalist’s will lose.

    Feminist’s will be made to answer for their very real crimes against humanity, and traditionalist’s will be made to suffer the curse of Adam(forced to work till retirement). Or atleast that is the ideal ending of this gross and inhumane shadow war(I call it a “shadow war” because it is a war that doesn’t have physical substance, but yet the actions of the war have a physical and emotional effect).

    Because even if the war was to end now it doesn’t change the human suffering caused by the feminist’s. Their actions cannot be over looked or forgiven, we are beyond that point. The actions of feminist’s when this depression began has sealed their fate. And I fear that if they escape punishment the rise of fascism will happen off of the tears and indignation of man’s suffering.

    We can never forget, we can never forgive.

  27. Gorbachev says:

    Great piece, and from the commentary: I know menelik Charles’ writing. he can be somewhat stalkerish when it comes to his pet issues.

  28. Yes Hugo……….apparently your the bastard son of feminism. I’m OK with that, how bout you?
    I think I hear some panties twisting.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Good Men Project, Thaddeus Blanchette suggests my analysis of masculinity employs “a bastardized Marxist model of social conflict and [...]

  2. [...] in point, Hugo Schwyzer offered these remarks in response to Thaddeus G. Blanchette’s criticism of an article Schwyzer wrote for The Good Men Project Magazine: fannie, I think it’s a [...]

  3. [...] A great critique of it came from Thaddeus Blanchette buried way deep in the comments thread. [...]

Speak Your Mind

*