Why I Believe Men Belong in the Feminist Movement

Emily Heist Moss believes that creating a culture where women are complete members of every facet of society means enabling men to be complete members of every facet of society as well.

Feminism is a tricky word to nail down. As frequently as I find myself aligning my beliefs with men and women who eschew the label, I find myself meeting self-identified feminists with whom I share very little ideological ground. It’s a big, problematic, often contradictory tent.

Given the online company I keep, in the last few weeks I’ve read many a piece on whether or not there is a place for men in the leadership circles of the “Feminist Movement” (as if it were such a monolithic thing). Some very smart people think the answer is no. The extremists among them believe allowing men to affect the trajectory of feminist activism is nothing short of fraternizing with the enemy. Among the more moderate bunch, there is a very strong belief that the progress of women needs to be controlled exclusively by women; supportive men are welcome as foot soldiers, but should not exert influence. Ceding leadership positions that could be filled by females to even the most progressive men is viewed as fundamentally problematic for the upward mobility of women. On this issue, I disagree with both cohorts.

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There is a commonly cited comparison between men leading feminist battles on behalf of women, and white supporters leading Civil Rights battles on behalf of African Americans.  Men and white people, respectively, are viewed as patronizing influences that undermine the very people they’re trying to assist. When it comes to race, I see the merit in this worldview. In the Civil Rights movement, white people are not advocating for their own advancement, so they inevitably end up having to speak for someone else, which leads to accusations of condescension.

To me, this is where the comparison falls apart. I don’t want men speaking for me, because I would find it patronizing if they assumed to know my experience. But, I do believe men have their own very real, very significant stake in equality between the sexes. They don’t have to speak on behalf of women to be involved; they can just speak for themselves.

My feminism (and like I said, it’s a big tent and I don’t speak for anyone but myself) is about abolishing heteronormative and sexist gender assumptions to allow people to reach their full potential, both inside and outside the workplace, as diversely talented, multi-faceted human beings. By my definition, men and women can both benefit from a feminist agenda.

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I believe our current societal structure oppresses women. I believe it’s significantly worse in other parts of the world, but even in the United States, I believe that women are often viewed and treated as emotionally ill-equipped people that require protection, prizes to be coveted, or objects to be used.

I do not believe our society oppresses men, but I do believe it restricts them. We see these restrictive views in commercials that portray fathers as inept idiots or emotionally stunted cavemen. We see them in laws that all but automatically grant custody to mothers, even when fathers are present and involved. We see them in pornography that shows teenaged boys that being manly means being aggressively and exclusively heterosexual. The Good Men Project attempts to expand our definitions of goodness and of masculinity, and the fact that we need such a forum only emphasizes how unfairly pigeonholed men really are.

The dichotomy that man equals provider and woman equals caregiver is damaging to both men and women. Historically, this dichotomy has done more and greater damage to women, since the sphere of female influence has been smaller and more tightly monitored than that of men. But, if we feminists want more and more equal access to the world beyond the home (which we do), part of that means breaking down the barriers to men’s involvement in the home. Some of those barriers are cultural relics (the emasculation of stay-at-home dads), and some of them are legal (how do we expect men to take an equal role in infant care when most companies don’t offer paternity leave?).

Progress towards creating a culture where women are full and complete members of every facet of society means enabling men to be full and complete members of every facet of society as well. I don’t want men standing up in feminist circles and beginning sentences with “Women feel like… “or “Women should always….” But I do want them in those circles speaking for themselves. I, for one, am very interested in what they have to say.

photo montage: centralasian and stephen sheffield

About Emily Heist Moss

Emily Heist Moss is a New Englander in love with Chicago, where she works at a tech start-up. She's a serious reader and a semi-pro TV buff. She writes about gender, media, and politics at her blog, Rosie Says. (Follow her: @rosiesaysblog, find Rosie Says on Facebook). 

Comments

  1. Julie Gillis says:

    Thanks Emily, I’d love to see some discussion even of the meanings of words “oppression” and “restriction.” Sometimes I wonder if everyone is on the same page of understanding when charged words like these are bandied about.
    What looks like restriction can feel like oppression and vice versa. Individual experiences and systemic issue are often experienced really differently.
    We can get knee deep in arguments before we know it!

    • Great point, Julie. How a particular cultural standard impacts an individual is such a private phenomenon. It’s hard to measure how damaging something like that is. Clarifying terms is always a good idea!

    • I think men are oppressed as men and that calling it something else is par for the course in denial, minization of problems men face as men (not as gay men, poor men, men of color or something else – just as men).

      • Julie Gillis says:

        Which is why I want to talk about definitions. I’m thinking it’s more that men and women both are restricted in gender roles and norms but that people in general are oppressed through class and fiscal means. I think much of this men/women thing is diversion on a meta scale, though that doesn’t help any individuals of course. That suffering is just as real.

      • Completely agree with you Schala, and it is always good to see you posting

    • Good point Julie.
      While emily says men cannot know the female experience she does make a judgement that she knows the male expericen and that what they face is not discrimination and oppression.

      Maybe Emily would feel differently if she was married to a man who was forcibly removed from his kids lives by a vengeful ex (with court approval) for no good reason. (From what I have read many of the members of advocates for fathers and families are 2nd wives who see the systemic bias and oppression against men in family courts).

      In my opinion both men and women have historically been oppressed and objectified (whereas women’s has been reduced, men’s has been intensified in many ways). But, whereas women have historically been objectified in a way that kept them safe from harm (their choices were curtailed because they were seen as too precious to risk), men seem to have had greater choices (or the semblance of choice–work this dangerous job or starve) they were often treated as disposable cogs.

      If you had to be objectified, would you rather be treated as a pricey fabergee egg, or a hammer that is used and abused until broken?

      Gender equality cannot be achieved by exclusively centering on improving things for one gender.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        The playing field is not level in any way shape or form. When women start to feel the same inequities as men, then I’ll listen to this garbage. Great point with respect to fathers losing their kids. It’s real and is something that women seldom experience. IMO, “feminists” are out for women only. Show me ONE time that the feminist movement did anything for men much less fathers?

        • John Anderson says:

          If you mean that feminists have not advanced the situation of men, you are wrong. Look at the FBI definition of rape. It now recognizes that there are male victims, but this was done as a consequence of helping women. The feminist lobby had also managed to gender rape, hiding the fact that women are perpetrators. It is my belief that the hoped for increased funding will almost solely benefit female victims even though much of the count will be comprised of male victims. Who believes that this will result in the creation of even shelter for men when many feminists are on record as saying that if men want shelters, they should build them as if men don’t pay taxes and that these taxes haven’t gone to fund women’s shelters. Feminists have accomplished nothing with the sole intent of assisting men with the exception of a very small number of supportive voices in feminist circles and in fact have taken positions in direct opposition to the best interests of men and children. The interference with visitation crime enacted in Illinois was vigorously fought against by the feminist lobby here and as a result of their lobbying efforts, the consequence for interfering with visitation is equivalent to receiving a parking ticket and this only if someone is willing to move Heaven and Earth to get it charged.

          It is important to recognize and encourage those feminist voices that are truly supportive of men to continue to challenge their movement to strive for the ideals of equality.

        • Tom,
          I’m willing to say that the oppression of both genders is as in pre-1940 is an apples and oranges comparison. When talking about evidentiary claims of men or women having it worse, I’m willing to say that (in terms of evidence) it can’t really be said as the oppression was DIFFERENT.
          While women were largely told YOU CAN’T YOU CAN’T and restricted in their choices mostly to keep them safe, men were told YOU MUST YOU MUST and turned into disposable cogs. 28,000 men died building the panama canal for something as intangible as world trade.

          My personal opinion is that the oppression of men was worse, because they were socialized to be agents of their own oppression, and also because the shame and castigation they got when they were broken cogs and could no longer function was much more severe than anything applied to women:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZJcAeJ8YRo

          However, in the interests in pushing forward a conversation. I am willing to state that both genders were oppressed and that this factiod totally blows apart feminism’s bs commandment patriarchy theory.

  2. I’ve often labeled myself a reluctant feminist because it seems that feminism has no use for men. Especially men like myself (large, athletic, beer swilling, hetero “guy guys”) who despite all outside appearances are pretty committed feminists. I’m glad to see that there’s some diversity of opinion that allows for the idea that men can do more for feminism than be cheerleaders.

    • John Anderson says:

      Consider calling yourself an MRA. If you believe in equality for all, it is most likely what you practice anyway.

    • I have encountered many feminist men, and I feel the feminist movement overall appreciates the contribution of men.

      At the very least, it makes me feel less alone and it is nice to know that men can empathize with feminism.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        You guys have obviously drank the Kool-Aid. As I said in an earlier post, show me ONE thing that the feminists have done for men. Men are still looked at as thugs. I too am a guys guy with a full time job, raised my kids and have been married for a very long time. I also keep my head out of the sand and resent the stereotype of men. Name ONE thing that the feminist movement has done for men? Ya’ll know what VAWA is? Did you know most battered women shelters will not allow male teen children in them? Did you know that there are no battered men’s shelters yet men are also abused? Take a look at the rate of fatherless kids …. And then look at the stats of how fatherless kids are affected/ WAKE UP feminist men, feminists are leading you off the cliff. baaaaa

  3. Hi Hill,

    Thanks for your comment. I would never doubt your commitment to feminism just because you’re a “guys guy.” In fact, I think it’s that much cooler! I hope you know that there are a lot of feminists like me that believe in a big tent approach and welcome input from big, beer-swilling macho guys like you.

    Emily

  4. You believe US society ‘oppresses’ women. I think it’s an obnoxious sentiment. From my view there’s not much discussion to be had beyond that schism and that’s why I will never identify as a feminist.

    • Spoken as a man who does not ‘belong’ in the movement…

    • Actually denying the existence of the oppression of women is an obnoxious sentiment.

      If it’s just a matter of using the word “oppression,” then there’s room for debate/discussion. Words like “oppression” can and do have meaning beyond their definitions, in this particular case I don’t mind the use of the word oppression because it carries with it (IMHO) the threat of physical force that I think accurately reflects women’s plight.

      • And yet, it’s okay for the author to deny the oppression of men?

        I remember seeing this blurb being posted on a different thread from a female reader:
        “Men have to learn that his stake in equality as a man relies upon his willingness to advocate for women.”

        However, the return sentiment that “women have to learn that her stake in equality as a woman relies upon her willingness to advocate for men.”

        When men face oppression they are largely on their own. That is why fathers win sole custody 6% to mothers 80% and that rate has been frozen for the last 40 years.

        Quite frankly men and women are hugely turned off by men seeking assistance in anything. When men are depressed, suicidal, oppressed, homeless or marginalized they are often seen as weak or losers.

        You can’t create gender equality by centering on the problems of only 1 gender.

        • Edit:
          However, the return sentiment that “women have to learn that her stake in equality as a woman relies upon her willingness to advocate for men” is RARELY or never seen from women.

        • Tom Brechlin says:

          “Gender equality” … no such thing and that’s where the feminists have tried to make it look as though there should be such a thing. As a man, I know women are different, as a man who is totally against feminism, I know there is a difference. Feminists and feminism want them to be the same. Women are women and men are men. Equality as in equal “value” is fine. Equality as in “sameness” is not. Four quarters have the same value as a dollar bill …same value but different. I can put a dollar bill in a banking machine but not four quarters. Same value but can do different things with it. Men and women have the same value but are able to do different things. Feminists have devalued men and still nurture stereotypes of men. When the feminists hold true to their beliefs such as mandating the government to have gild sign up for selective service at age 18, when they demand that 50% men (fathers) have primary custody of his kids, when they demand that men have equal access and funds for battered men shelters, maybe I will start to listen.

          • Tom writes:
            “As a man, I know women are different,”

            It’s funny you mention that. Because I’ve noticed that feminists embrace gender differences when they want, and claim they don’t exist when they want too.
            Follows is the typical feminist party-line I have observed.

            Child custody? Women are better nurturers.

            CEO’s? There are NO gender differences–women do not shy from the back-stabbery and boot-licking environments, or put family over work more often. legislation must be passed to make 50% of CEO’s women regardless of qualifications or if they work a 39hour week to a male ceo’s 60hour week.

            girl “crisis” in education 1990: no gender differences, teaching methods are to blame.
            boy crisis in education today? there are gender differences (and boys are f*cked up), and the teaching methods are NOT to blame.

            Women in stem fields? No gender differences, women are being held out of these college departments and careers, and we need legislation.

            military? No gender differences. Women are just as good soldiers as men–unlock combat roles for women now!

            violent crime? Of course men are more violent! They suffer testosterone poisoning! (You are directed to NOT MENTION the contradictory stances on violence and soldiering, as you will be called a harrasser for mentioning such broken logic)

      • Of course it’s a matter of the word “oppression”. It’s not exactly a flexible concept when you’re talking about large groups.

        Any man who enters the feminist movement under that pretence takes on the role of de-facto oppressor. That’s the feminist narrative. I refuse to submit to that world view.

      • John Anderson says:

        So you deny the existence of the 50% of DV victims that are men or the 30% of the victims of severe DV that are men or the physical trauma that is only experience as a rule by one sex that is circumcision. Let me guess, when men are victims of physical violence they are not oppressed because they weren’t man enough to protect themselves. I was wrong. You don’t practice gender equality. Feminism suits you just right.

  5. There is a commonly cited comparison between men leading feminist battles on behalf of women, and white supporters leading Civil Rights battles on behalf of African Americans. Men and white people, respectively, are viewed as patronizing influences that undermine the very people they’re trying to assist. When it comes to race, I see the merit in this worldview. In the Civil Rights movement, white people are not advocating for their own advancement, so they inevitably end up having to speak for someone else, which leads to accusations of condescension.
    Honestly I think the comparison fails from the get go because the imbalances of the male/female dynamic are nowhere near as one sided as the black/white dynamic (at least the States it isn’t).

    I do not believe our society oppresses men, but I do believe it restricts them.
    I appreciate you not trying to say that men don’t issues but I have to strongly disagree with the idea that men are not oppressed in our society. And whether you mean it or not when you try to say that we aren’t it usually ends up coming off as trying to say “women have it worse therefore gender oppression can only apply to women”. And this is an extremely common stance among feminists (the belief that men are not oppressed).

    And this is why some men have problems with feminism. On one hand women feminists say they don’t want to speak for men’s experiences for us but then turn around and define men’s experiences for us. Its like you’re saying, “I don’t want to tell men how their lives are but I know for sure that its not oppression.”. So you want us to talk about our stories ourselves but want to keep the veto decision on what gender oppression is to yourselves and save it for women? Bait and switch.

    • Wow, thank you for putting it so plainly, Danny.

    • “Honestly I think the comparison fails from the get go because the imbalances of the male/female dynamic are nowhere near as one sided as the black/white dynamic (at least the States it isn’t).”

      This is so very true. I think it’s part of why working toward gender equality is so smegging difficult. In other civil rights/human rights/equal rights struggles, the oppressor/oppressed relationship is often much clearer.

  6. This opinion piece is complete oxymoron. The author does not want male feminists to speak about the needs and experiences of women, then what should these male feminists do?? Probably move heavy furniture in feminist gatherings, distribute pamphlets and curse themselves for being males. If she wants men to speak for themselves, then she certainly does not want men in feminism and neither men should be in it.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      Sometimes you are so silly, Rapses. It’s like you just make up these incredible fantasies about what actually happens with people.
      Men and women both need to be involved in the push for equal and civil rights, humanitarianism, and more. To think otherwise is simply being an agitator here.

      • Huh! What has feminism got to do with equal and civil rights, humanitarianism etc. etc. etc.

        • I think that’s what Emily here is saying…her feminism (and my feminism, and Julie’s and Joanna’s, etc) is about gender equality. And what she’s saying is that she thinks it is necessary for men to discuss their own experiences in feminist circles. As she says in the last line:

          “But I do want them in those circles speaking for themselves. I, for one, am very interested in what they have to say.”

          • Problem here Heather is that the likes of you, Emily, Julie, and Joanna are SEVERELY outnumbered by feminists who have largely clearly shown they don’t want men speaking for themselves unless those men start off agreeing with them. If nothing else look at the reaction of a lot of the feminists in the last few months. Basically throwing a hissy fit because feminism isn’t held on the highest pedestal (and this really showed when Hugo left).

            I’ve seen how feminists that want to be inclusive of men (or anything that may go against the precious ideology) are treated by other feminists.

            In their eyes I’m an evil male oppressor, aka just the enemy. Feminists like you that actually want to let men speak up, you’re the worst of the worst, you’re traitors.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              I’m a heretic, I suppose, and I’ve always been so. I think ideologies always should be examined, even ones I hold dear. I’m quite sure that I might at one point be considered a traitor and if so, I guess I’ll deal with it. I’m also pretty sure that I won’t be trusted by most MRAs either. I find plenty to disagree with on that far end of the pole as well. I certainly have read some ugly stuff on AVFM and Spearhead.

              At this point, my goal isn’t to be trusted so much as it is to understand. Were I to be hired as a consultant or conflict mediator, then I’d have to earn respect and trust on both sides, modeling what I’d hope to engender in the client.

              Peace doesn’t mean agreeing. I’m actually a believer that points of view can be wrong and I hold beliefs that I firmly believe are true… (global warming is happening, different races aren’t superior to others, gay people are human beings and their marriages won’t ruin mine, everyone has the right to bodily autonomy, reproductive rights, and to know how their body works). I’m more than willing to look at varying systems of getting to the results though.

              Peace and peace work means realizing that the other person you disagree with is still a human being and as such, worthy of basic rights and respect. Then you move forward to figuring out the rest. There will still be fighting. But at the minimum you have to acknowledge that your “enemy” is human.

              Like I said, mostly people want to be heard and seen. Even when we are heard and seen it’s not always interpreted as such. If that makes me a traitor or a heretic, I suppose that’s what I am.

            • I think ideologies always should be examined, even ones I hold dear.
              Agreed. Problem is that with feminists and MRAs tend think that their ideologies are immune to question and examination. Or at best they think that they have done all the questioning and examining that needs to be done so outsiders that try to do the same are only showing their “ignorance” (where ignorance basically means “how dare you question me?!”).

              Yeah we’re all human and it will be a great day when all the people on all the sides recognize that.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              I’m involved in MRA’s and welcome any questions. Feel free to contact me or any other men in the MRA’s. May want to check out the “The World Council 2011 and the International Women’s Summit (IWS) … of violence against women (VAW) at the community, national and global levels.” Then oresent the same questions to NOW (National Organization of Women) See who answers.

            • Don’t worry, they can’t take my feminist hat away….at least I’m not having sex, or goddess forbid, a _relationship_ with the oppressors. 😉 lol

              Other then that silliness, I will, again, have to agree with Julie here. :) Also, I want to mention that I get that there are feminists out there who don’t want to hear men’s side of things…I was just trying to explain to Rapses where Emily’s article fits into it.

            • @ Julie and Heather

              Thanks for hoping that you would ever be able to show me how great feminism. Let me clear my stance once for all. When you adopt any -ism, you see the reality from the lens of ideology of that -ism. As for feminism, you have to see everything from the gender lens where it should fit the ideology that men are the oppressor and women are the victims. Anything that does not fit the formula has to be ignored or reasoned away by tricky logical gymnastics. I am a pure egalitarian who desires that everybody should be treated fairly in life, that is all no -isms, no dogmas. Now you can decide for yourself whether you are egalitarian or feminist.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Rapses, you have me at my word that I would never presume to change you, your stance on anything, or your value system. I might rabidly disagree with you on 95% percent of topics, but I’d never ask you to change.

            • Rapses…I’m really not trying to make you change your opinions or ideas. I do try to explain my own opinions in such a way so that other people can understand my perspective. But then, I always try to understand other people’s perspectives too. But no…you totally don’t have to agree with me.

              As for what you’re saying about how being a feminist means you _have_ to view men as oppressors. Well, I’d say no. My feminism (and Emily’s, and Julie’s, and Joanna’s, etc) does not view men as oppressors or women as victims. We are egalitarian (in that we believe in equality) and we are feminist (in that we are focusing on women’s issues). Or at least, that’s how I define it.

              Words, like feminism, Democrat, Republican, etc, have all sorts of shades of meaning. Feminism is a philosophy, a political movement, a set of opinions, of beliefs, and ideas. And it’s existed for decades and has gone through all sorts of re-definitions in that time. And so there are those of us who are creating an egalitarian feminism, adding yet more shades of meaning onto the word.

            • “My feminism (and Emily’s, and Julie’s, and Joanna’s, etc) does not view men as oppressors or women as victims.”

              If only. . . If that were that true, there would be a rejection and denunciation of the oft feminist used term “male privilege” (as but one example), or at the least, the term “female privilege” would be used with equal frequently. Of course,sadly, neither of those are true.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              You know what I don’t denounce Eric? Acadamia. Study. Theory. Examination of ideology and intellectual curiosity. I may decide to disagree with ideology, but that doesn’t mean the theory or study has less meaning or usefulness in the world. I’ve already stated many times that I believe in multiplicity of oppressions and intersectionality when it comes to how privileges work. I don’t see things in a black and white way, but am pretty sure these things are far more complex and systemic than individuals can often pick up.

              I don’t engage in hyperbole or dramatics about such things, but look at them for things to learn. I find your continued dismissal of the people here learning and listening, and actually trying to have conversation really frustrating and disheartening.

              What I reject and denounce are people snarking each other’s heads off to score points. We don’t have to agree Eric, but you can’t define my experience any more than I can define yours. I’d never ask you to become a feminist, or to admit etc that men oppress women, but I also expect that if I offer something in good faith it is at least considered.

            • “I’ve already stated many times that I believe in multiplicity of oppressions and intersectionality when it comes to how privileges work.”

              I apologize if I’ve missed it, but please point me to where you have just as often argued that “female privilege” or “white female privilege” exists.

              “I don’t see things in a black and white way, but am pretty sure these things are far more complex and systemic than individuals can often pick up.”

              It’s pretty black and white to imply that a male illegal immigrant Mexican farm worker who lives in fear of deportation every day enjoys more privilege (male privilege) than my six figure earning, private school educated white female coworkers. Come on, really?

              “I find your continued dismissal of the people here learning and listening, and actually trying to have conversation really frustrating and disheartening.”

              I’m all for learning and listening but I find the dismissal of struggling, disenfranchised males because they supposedly enjoy “male privilege” extraordinarily disheartening. Why must the learning and listening be a one way street?

              “I’d never ask you to become a feminist, or to admit etc that men oppress women, but I also expect that if I offer something in good faith it is at least considered.”

              Why must it always be a zero sum situation? Why must feminism always cast men as the evil oppressors and women as their helpless victims? Do feminists not know what is happening to young men, especially boys/men of color? Or, do they not care? I hope it’s the former but fear that it’s the latter.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Heather didn’t say that, Julie did. It isn’t a zero sum game, that’s my point. I’m extraordinarily aware that men and boys of color are disproportionatly in jails, education and resources for both are limited, bias is everywhere and that means that YES they experience far less privilege than middle to upper class (and some might argue even of the same class) white women.

              As for your example about the immigrant boy and the white administrator? That’s the intersectionality I am talking about. I’ve never ever said that child was better off.

              I’m not dismissing ANYONE, Eric. I haven’t. I don’t post things like…wow, all men are all oppressive and the same! I don’t.

              Good god, there are feminists of color all over the web, and white feminists too arguing, focusing, fighting and figuring out kyriarchy, issues of oppressions and facing the fact that boys, girls, women and men of color are getting treated like shit.

              And that gay teens in places like Texas are being abused. And that the jail system is wretched and run by people who want to make money. And that sex ed needs to has to include boys and girls.

              But you go on thinking that I want people without money or resources to suffer, or whatever it is you think Eric. I don’t. I never have and I’ve had an open ear and open heart about all these issues my whole fracking life.

              But I’m a feminist so I guess that means I’m lying.

            • Ah see I think here is a fundamental lack of understanding of the term “male privilege.” I’m not trying to argue for or against it, at the minute, just describe it.

              The idea behind it is that, by virtue of being male, there are certain ways in which men have the upper hand. So traditionally, that would mean something like men having complete control over the finances of a household. It doesn’t matter whether that household was poor or rich, the point was that the man was in control of it. It’s the idea that if you take two people in the exact same economic, ethnic, etc situation…and one of them was a man and the other was a woman, the man would have it better.

              So to say, there are rich women out there who have it better than poor men, doesn’t fit with the idea of “male privilege.” Because there you’re arguing about people from different economic situations. Same goes with white women versus African-American men…then it’s different ethnic backgrounds. Etc, etc.

              Now…whether “male privilege” is valid or not, is another question entirely. I’d say yes, but then so is “female privilege.” I am an educated, middle class, white, woman. In many ways I have advantages over middle class, white, educated, men…I have privilege. But in many other ways I am at a disadvantage, by virtue of being a woman…which points to male privilege. (I hope I’m being clear).

              What I think Julie is arguing for, and what I know I’m arguing for, is to look at oppression and discrimination as a product of intersecting social systems. To simply point to male or female privilege as the root cause of all evil is to think of things too simply. The reality is that the vast majority of the word’s problems (especially with regards to equality) are about all sorts of social systems working together to screw the pooch, so to speak.

            • To Julie –

              I’m not saying you’re a bad person, I’m not. I do not doubt that you are sincere. Perhaps try looking at it from another perspective.

              “It isn’t a zero sum game, that’s my point.”

              I will give you some examples that suggest otherwise.

              “I’m extraordinarily aware that men and boys of color are disproportionatly in jails, education and resources for both are limited, bias is everywhere and that means that YES they experience far less privilege than middle to upper class (and some might argue even of the same class) white women.”

              So, why the constant use of the term “male privilege”, which includes these very individuals whereas the the term “female privilege” is virtually never used? That’s zero sum.

              “As for your example about the immigrant boy and the white administrator? That’s the intersectionality I am talking about. I’ve never ever said that child was better off.”

              The constant use of the broad-brush, all inclusive “male privilege” term implies precisely that. That’s zero sum.

              “I don’t post things like…wow, all men are all oppressive and the same! I don’t. “

              Julie, you JUST said, “I’d never ask you . . . to admit etc that men oppress women.” Your words, right there.

              You said “men” (not “some men”) oppress “women” (not “some women”). Likewise, you did not say that even one woman oppresses one man. That’s the zero sum, one way street kind of thing I am referring to.

              Minority males are clearly at the bottom of any privilege rung and sinking lower every day, however you want to slice it. Where is the feminism movements acknowledgement about them specifically? Instead, it’s male privilege, rape culture, guy code, street harassment, etc. all day every day.

              I am not saying you’re lying but the movement’s views and arguments sure are very close to zero sum based on the above.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              I’ve said this before and I’ll say it one more time. I think human beings have a very ingrained trait of enjoying dominance. I’m not sure it matters at all if it’s male/female, female/male, male/male etc colors, heights etc.

              I do think people oppress other people, or try, or justify it when they can get away with it, or create systems that do it for us.

              I think the idea of privilege is that the people oppressing the other people have (for mere moments sometimes, for whole generations others) power, resources, privileges over each other. And that the examination and study of that is valuable.

              Individual women have restricted and manipulated individual men. Men to women. Men to men. Systems of men to women, yes I believe that. Class, gender, race, power. And perhaps we are entering a generation or eon or cusp of a period of time where women as a system, as a group has equal to or more power (especially individually) then men. I don’t know. It’s not a global thing, surely, and as I am not a leading academic in the field I can’t tell if that is true. I can tell you that there are individual women who feel restricted. There are individual males, gays, blacks, impoverished people who feel restricted.

              We each have lenses with which we see things, and often vastly differently. We disagree on many things, you and I.

              But I disdain the idea that you or anyone would think I don’t see that there are groups of human beings being treated horrifically in this country, and being treated so by other human beings.

              There are intersections, that’s what I see, and one of the reasons I’m hear is to listen and learn and continue to advocate for the furtherence of equality.

              I’m going to bed because I’m disheartened and really don’t want to talk about this anymore.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Tonight anyway.

            • To Heather –

              So, “male privilege” is the idea that if you take two people in the exact same economic, ethnic, etc situation…and one of them was a man and the other was a woman, the man would have it better.

              Really? Who told you this?

              Why not do some of your own research on things such as male vs. female 1) high school grades and graduation rates; 2) college attendance and graduation rates; 3) death rates; 4) unemployment rates; 5) homelessness; 6) suicide rates; 7) victims of felony violence rates; 8) rates of murder; 9) incarceration rates; 10) drug addiction rates; 11) depression; 12) alcoholism. The list goes on. These are not subjective. These are real life facts that fly totally in the face of the “male privilege” theory you were taught.

              If you were the compare men of color vs. white women the delta is even wider.

              “Now…whether “male privilege” is valid or not, is another question entirely. I’d say yes, but then so is “female privilege.”

              Why, then, do feminists never use the term female privilege? Some claim to believe it exists, but only when challenged. But, in normal discourse they never use it. Why not?

              “To simply point to male or female privilege as the root cause of all evil is to think of things too simply.”

              Except that is how feminists often use the term “male privilege.” Well, that and patriarchy.

            • Oh my goodness gracious. All of those things you listed are not things I would classify as belonging in “male privilege.” In my description I wasn’t arguing for or against it, I was merely describing it. Male privilege: in society men have certain benefits by virtue of being male. That is the definition. But when you start adding ethnicity and economic situation into it, you’re talking about intersectionality. And then you can’t point to male or female privilege alone as the main force for inequality. So….the definition of male privilege necessarily excludes discussing men and women from different economic, ethnic, etc backgrounds.

              Traditionally feminism has been focused on middle class white women, so often it will point to male privilege without realizing that the issue is actually more complex (involving other social systems). That is changing, and even us white middle class women are trying not to frame feminism from a purely white middle class perspective.

              Feminists DO use the term female privilege. That’s what I’m doing right now…and I’m a feminist. That’s what Lisa’s article here at the GMP did. I am saying that both male and female privilege exists. When it comes to holding political office, there is male privilege. When it comes to family court, there is female privilege. However, in both of those cases economic and ethnic labels also provide privilege. Again…it’s called intersectionality. No one classification exists in a vacuum.

            • Heather –

              “Oh my goodness gracious. All of those things you listed are not things I would classify as belonging in “male privilege.”

              Obviously not, since men are the losers and in the case of minority males, catastrophic losers.

              “Male privilege: in society men have certain benefits by virtue of being male.”

              Like what? Being able to stand up to urinate – or measurable things that matter in life, such as murder victim or unemployment rates?

              “So….the definition of male privilege necessarily excludes discussing men and women from different economic, ethnic, etc backgrounds.”

              Assuming 100% identical backgrounds, males are still come in last on those issues.

              “That is changing, and even us white middle class women are trying not to frame feminism from a purely white middle class perspective.”

              That would be nice because, when you consider the actual data on the issues above, and similar issues, white women are doing better than any other group, including white men.

              “Feminists DO use the term female privilege. That’s what I’m doing right now…and I’m a feminist.”

              Would you be using it had I not brought it up?  I haven’t seen all of your posts, so maybe you refer to “female privilege” just as often as “male privilege.”  The only feminist I have seen use that term voluntarily (i.e., not in response to someone asking why they don’t use it or an article) is a feminist who is also a masculist.

              Women are elected at the rate in which they run for office.

            • Eric, It’s getting really difficult to continue this conversation…because it seems like you’re not really listening to me. It looks like you’re just trying to tear everything I say apart. I do it too, sometimes…but yeah, it’s frustrating. But I’ll try again.

              I don’t use either female or male privilege, actually, unless the subject is brought up. Both of those terms tend to piss people off, and both of them are problematic in that they only address one level of inequality. So I use both equally, in that I really don’t use either.

              Alright let’s take a look at Hilary Clinton’s run for the presidency back in 2008, as an example. When she was stoic and on-topic, she was called an icy bitch. When she showed a bit of emotion by daring to shed a tear, suddenly it was all about how she’s over-emotional. Throughout the entirety of her campaign, I heard plenty of people (both in the media and in everyday life) suggest that a woman couldn’t be President, because everyone knows that for one week every month she’d go a bit crazy and emotional. Why were all of these things said? Because she is a woman.

              Or how about Michelle Bachman? When she was running, her husband’s profession and opinions became a huge news story. And yet how often do you hear about the opinions of the other candidate’s wives? You don’t. And why was Bachman’s husband’s opinions so newsworthy? Were they so very different from hers? No…they were exactly the same.

              Or how about this…apparently when you ask kids in kindergarten what they want to be when they grow up, something like an equal number of boys and girls will say “President.” But apparently by the time they’re 10-12, the number of girls who say President drops significantly. Do they just lose interest? Well maybe, or maybe it’s because our society very subtly suggests that girls either can’t (or shouldn’t want) to go into politics.

              I’m not trying to say us women have it so bad. I really think that both men and women are equal (and unequal) in different ways. But in the case of politics, men have a certain advantage. There are certain obstacles that women (such as Clinton and Bachman) have to overcome or work around in order to be electable. That is male privilege.

            • “Eric, It’s getting really difficult to continue this conversation…because it seems like you’re not really listening to me.”

              I feel precisely the same and will explain why.

              “I heard plenty of people (both in the media and in everyday life) suggest that a woman couldn’t be President. . .”

              Who in the media said that?

              “It looks like you’re just trying to tear everything I say apart.”

              I am analyzing and responding to it. At least I am not totally ignoring most everything you say.

              “I don’t use either female or male privilege, actually, unless the subject is brought up.”

              Fair enough. Good in fact. Both terms are absurd, IMO – since almost nothing applies to every man or every woman.

              Please name a politician who has not been brutally insulted and criticized in any possible way. If and when women choose to enter politics, they can’t expect to be treated gentile-ly any more than men are. It’s politics, not the PTA.

              No one knows why fewer women choose to go into politics, but they are just as free to make that choice as men are.

              “I’m not trying to say us women have it so bad.”

              Sorry, that’s how it sounds.

              I listed 12 very real issues that affect millions of men: suicide, unemployment, not graduating high school, not graduating from college, higher death rates, higher murder victim rates , etc. Your response? Apparently those men’s issues don’t merit discussion when we can always discuss the lack of a female president.

            • “Apparently those men’s issues don’t merit discussion when we can always discuss the lack of a female president.”

              They do merit discussion…but you are asking me to explain/defend the existence of male privilege, and those issues do not fall into male privilege. I have agreed with you that those are issues where men come up short. These are, hopefully, short comments. I’m trying to keep things brief by staying on topic.

              “Please name a politician who has not been brutally insulted and criticized in any possible way.”

              And again…I think you are missing the point. All politicians get totally screwed over whenever the opposition can manage it. Because it is, as you say, politics. Flip-flopping on policy and messed up personal lives are the two big ones. But those apply to both men and women. Male privilege with regards to politics isn’t saying that men are treated like kings in politics and women are treated like shit. It’s saying that women have EXTRA shit they get to put up with….like the things I mentioned.

              I’m not saying we need to start a protest about it or something. It’s not institutionalized…it’s a social issue. It’s about the social narrative we tell with regards to female politicians.

              “Both terms are absurd, IMO – since almost nothing applies to every man or every woman.” – and here we are again back at square one. Female and male privilege doesn’t have to apply to every man or woman for it to exist. It is something that the men (or women) in certain social classifications have by virtue of being men or women.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              So in reality, feminists are NOT interested in what men have to say? What’s been presented is what men really feel and experience but again because it doesn’t fit the mold, the bad man isn’t playing nice.

            • “They do merit discussion…but you are asking me to explain/defend the existence of male privilege, and those issues do not fall into male privilege.”

              As I have explained at least twice now, those issues prove that if privilege exists, there is far more tangible, measurable, publicly recorded evidence of female privilege than male privilege, particularly white females. That IS the topic.

              Such merits far more discussion than Hillary Clinton because they cause damage and death to millions, not just the select few that might choose to pursue the presidency.

              But, this conversation illustrates precisely why men will never get more involved in the feminist movement. They are determined to stay on the topic of male privilege because more men than women choose to pursue the presidency of the United States (which affects a few dozen people) but can’t see any of those other issues I listed (which impacting millions) as more than “oh well, men come up short . . . now, back to male privilege.”

              Amazing but eminently predictable.

            • Now hang on a moment, here, Eric. You made a comment where you mentioned “male privilege” and “female privilege.” You then started a dialogue with Julie. I hopped in to clarify the definition of “male privilege,” because I felt you were using the term incorrectly. If I had thought you had been using the term “female privilege” incorrectly, that’s where this conversation would have been focused. Our point of disagreement is where the conversation was focused…not because I don’t care about female privilege, or because I think male privilege is more important…but because that is where the point of contention is.

              I am not saying one group or the other has it worse. I’m not comparing a presidential campaign to homelessness. You argued that male privilege doesn’t exist – so I explained the definition and gave you an example. The end. Full stop. That’s all I was doing.

              If we were to discuss gender issues with regards to suicide, homelessness, etc…that’d be an ENTIRELY different conversation…and a separate conversation.

            • Entirely inaccurate. You made the following statement, which started this particular dialogue (I will quote you):

              “”So, “male privilege” is the idea that if you take two people in the exact same economic, ethnic, etc situation…and one of them was a man and the other was a woman, the man would have it better.”

              I provided clear data points that show that not the be true.

              I cited homelessness, unemployment, victims of crime, victims of murder, suicide victims, premature death, on and on. Those data points clearly disprove your statement. Your response? A launch into a discussion of more men running for president than women, illustrating that unemployed, homeless, suicidal men enjoy male privilege. If only society would allow more women could somehow reach their level of privilege. . .

              Again, this pattern is one reason why they shouldn’t expect men to want to get involved in feminism – the claim to be for equality but the consistent pattern of ignoring/minimizing/disregarding, thus taking a zero sum approach to issues where women are the advantaged group.

            • I think we are reading our dialogue differently, Eric. When I wrote that bit you quote, I wasn’t saying I was for or against it, I was saying that is the definition. You then responded with examples of issues that aren’t of male privilege. I responded with yeah…those issues aren’t male privilege.

              But I thought you were still denying that in some areas male privilege exists. So I gave you an example…in the area of politics, men have privilege. (Just like in the area of family law, women have privilege). You denied it, so I tried to explain more fully.

              The fact that in areas of homelessness, unemployment, etc men do not have privilege, doesn’t mean that in _other_ areas men do not have privilege. Just like the fact that in politics women don’t have privilege, it doesn’t mean that in every other way women are getting the shaft too.

              I’ve stated this elsewhere, and maybe you haven’t seen it…but when it comes to gender equality its a much more complicated issue than saying one side has it worse than the other. Men and women both get shafted in different ways.

            • “You then responded with examples of issues that aren’t of male privilege.”

              No, I responded with examples that show that there is no such thing as male privilege in very key and substantive areas of human life in the US; that if anyone has privilege in such important areas, it is female, not male privilege. If anything, it shows female privilege is such existed.

              “But I thought you were still denying that in some areas male privilege exists.”

              The term “male” or (for that matter “female”) privilege is silly and untrue because it implies that ALL men have certain advantages over all women, which is clearly not true.

              If you want to use a more accurate term, use “white middle/upper middle class female privilege”, which is the most advantaged group of humans there is. Or, to a lesser degree “white middle/upper middle class male privilege.” And, even that may not be inaccurate because there are many variables. For example, some of those people may be blind, sick, or otherwise disabled. This whole thing idea is a ridiculous sexist stereotype.

              “but when it comes to gender equality its a much more complicated issue than saying one side has it worse than the other”

              I agree but unfortunately, that is the key/core message of feminism: men are the privileged oppressors and women are the underprivileged oppressed victims. As evidence is their constant use of the term male privilege but “female privilege” ONLY when asked why it’s not also used, as in this case.

              If you disagree, if I am wrong on this, please point me to the many, many instances where they have used the term “female privilege” just as often as they used the term “male privilege.”

            • “The term “male” or (for that matter “female”) privilege is silly and untrue because it implies that ALL men have certain advantages over all women, which is clearly not true.”

              And we have come all the way back around to why I first commented on your post. Because that is NOT the definition of male or female privilege…not anymore. Male and female privilege is valid in certain contexts. That is what I was trying to point out this entire time. You have to pick a specific context, social sphere…and ask about privilege in that specific context. That is how it works.

              There is no single accurate term to discuss over-arching privilege in society…because in society different classifications have privileges in different situations. Intersectionality – ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, etc all interact to create different levels of inequality in different contexts.

              And your definition of feminism is exactly what Emily, Julie, Joanna and I (and others whose names I am forgetting, apologies) do not believe. And I will again point out that the only reason I started using the term “male privilege” is to clarify the definition of it.

            • “And we have come all the way back around to why I first commented on your post. Because that is NOT the definition of male or female privilege…not anymore.”

              When the definition change? Which feminist overlord(s) are in charge of defining male privilege? Why is it that feminists are the only ones who use the term? As I have Googled the term and come across various feminist cites that discuss it, I have found no similar explanation and claim that there is also a “female privilege.” Why is that?

              To me, words have meanings. “Male” has a meaning as does “privilege.” I’ll go with the dictionary’s definition, thank you.

              “And I will again point out that the only reason I started using the term “male privilege” is to clarify the definition of it.”

              And, in the process defended it. Which is your right.

              At the end of the day, feminists will believe in and defend the “male privilege” concept. I say its feminist psychobabble (no offense intended).

              “And your definition of feminism is exactly what Emily, Julie, Joanna and I (and others whose names I am forgetting, apologies) do not believe.”

              I haven’t “defined” feminism, just described what has been observed by many women and men. There are reasons that most women refuse affiliation with feminism. They’ve had plenty of time to make an informed assessment as it’s been around for many decades. If they can’t even get the majority of women on board, the chance of getting any substantial number of men are pretty low.

            • “To me, words have meanings. “Male” has a meaning as does “privilege.” I’ll go with the dictionary’s definition, thank you.”

              The thing is, words have layers of meaning that shift and change over time. Take something as uncontroversial as the word “peruse.” Dictionary definition? To read carefully. Common usage? To glance over. Language is constantly changing…and the entire point of my responses has been to show this.

              So when I learned about “privilege” in my gender studies class 6 years ago, we weren’t talking about male or female privilege…we were talking about the concept for privilege in sociology and how it can be applied to various circumstances and social groups. No “feminist overlord” has changed the meaning…people who are having conversations about privilege and inequality have realized the flaws in the original definition and have worked to fix it.

              Feminism is another one of those words with layers of meaning. You _did_ define a version of feminism when you stated that the core message was to view men as oppressors. That _isn’t_ the core message of the feminism a lot of us espouse.

              I think you went into this conversation with a few assumptions about me. That I was a feminist, and therefore gynocentric. That I thought women had fewer advantages in society than men. That I thought all men were privileged when compared to all women. – the problem is I don’t believe any of those things. But regardless of how much I say that, you won’t believe me.

            • “Language is constantly changing…and the entire point of my responses has been to show this.”

              True, but the meanings of male and privilege have not changed. Anyone can make a term and then claim that’s what it means. That’s what this is.

              “No “feminist overlord” has changed the meaning…people who are having conversations about privilege and inequality have realized the flaws in the original definition and have worked to fix it.”
              It doesn’t really matter. Only feminists use the term anyway.

              “You _did_ define a version of feminism when you stated that the core message was to view men as oppressors.”

              That’s not a definition; it’s an observation based on listening to their messages and arguments here.

              “That _isn’t_ the core message of the feminism a lot of us espouse.”
              “I think you went into this conversation with a few assumptions about me. That I was a feminist, and therefore gynocentric.”

              “That I thought women had fewer advantages in society than men. That I thought all men were privileged when compared to all women. – the problem is I don’t believe any of those things. But regardless of how much I say that, you won’t believe me.”

              Sometimes the message one espouses sounds very different to the hearer. For example, you have worked tirelessly to defend the male privilege term and those who coin and evidently control it. Yet, that some committee or whatever it is does not discuss female privilege as it does male privilege, which makes it very hard to believe the above. Perhaps this discussion was not a good barometer.

            • “True, but the meanings of male and privilege have not changed. ”

              The term “male privilege” or “female privilege” is not just a combination of the terms “male” and “privilege” or “female” and “privilege.” Again this is not how language works. Those two terms (“male privilege” and “female privilege”) have taken on their own meaning separate (though related) to the meaning of the words used to create them. And there isn’t any committee…it’s society. Society uses words, and in using them changes the meaning. And in that way people who are using the terms “male privilege” and “female privilege” have changed how they are used and so the meaning is changed.

              So why have I been defending the term “male privilege?” – because that’s the point we disagree on. I agree with you about female privilege. I agree with you that the terms are problematic. But where we disagree is on the idea that male privilege doesn’t exist at all in any situation. So instead of spending these comments telling you where we agree – I have focused on the bits we disagree on. It doesn’t mean I am ignoring female privilege; it just means that this _particular_ conversation isn’t focused on that.

            • “So in the case of male privilege – when you take two people from the same class, economic situation…..etc etc etc. the man is on top.”

              Can you give an example where this is always the case?

              “there are plenty of issues/privileges that exist that we aren’t discussing…but that doesn’t mean we don’t care. It just means we aren’t discussing them in this one conversation.”

              Feminism has a long history of not caring at all about the issues on the list I mentioned.

            • Alrighty this is ultra-nested. So I’m starting a new comment thread thing.

            • “Male privilege” hasn’t “taken on” any meaning other than that created by feminists (not to be confused with general society). The feminist movement created the term (but, to no surprise, does not use a term called “female privilege) and is the only segment of society that uses it.

              If you are going to argue that male privilege exists, you are obliged to use it as those in charge of the definition intend, which is that there is not a female equivalent to “male privilege.” The feminist movement argues that what others argue is “female privilege” is actually “male privilege.” See the write-ups on “finallyfeminism101.com” and “feministlawprofessors.com” on “female privilege.”

              According to feminism, “male privilege” it is not limited to certain narrowly defined situations. According to the “male privilege” theory, ALL males (zero exceptions) enjoy privilege over and above ALL females (100%), based on their gender, no matter how debased their life circumstances.

              finallyfeminism101.com puts it this way: “EVERY MAN, by virtue of being read as male by society, benefits from male privilege.”

              Yes, according to feminism, “male privilege” is a birthright of male children of illegal Mexican immigrants and sons of impoverished and abused single mothers in inner city drug and crime infested neighborhoods. Your defense of male privilege is defending that. If you disagree with that, you don’t believe that “male privilege” exists, according to how it is defined and the meanings of the words.

              “It doesn’t mean I am ignoring female privilege; it just means that this _particular_ conversation isn’t focused on that.”

              Your ignoring female privilege is completely consistent with the feminist movement’s treatment of it.

            • Okey pokey…I’m not sure if you’re unwilling or just unable to understand what I’m trying to say. Maybe I’m just not explaining it well enough. If anyone else who is reading this would like to hop in and help me out here, that’d be great. I don’t just mean people who agree with me…I just mean someone who might be able to say what I’m trying to say, but better. Anyway…I’ll give this one more go:

              Alright let’s move off of these particular terms, because they do cause such high emotions. I’m just going to start out by discussing language, in general. So no one owns a word…no one dictates what a word will or will not mean. People use a word, and every time they use it they contribute to the meaning of it. This is particularly true when we’re talking about social paradigms and concepts…words and terms that aren’t just identifiers of physical objects. A word like, say, democrat. You can’t look at someone and say “that is a democrat,” because that term is used to describe a whole set of ideas. And those ideas change…a democrat from the 1950s is not the same as a democrat from today. The ideologies associated with that term have changed over time.

              Alright so let’s move back to the terms “male privilege” and “female privilege.” These are two terms that are often used incorrectly (and I include a lot of feminists in that). Finallyfeminism101.com is using that term incorrectly. The first definition of male privilege was that all men were privileged because they were men. However, various people (including feminists) have realized that is an entirely inaccurate statement…and so the definition has changed, the use of the term has changed. And the term female privilege was coined to indicate that women also have privilege. The terms evolved. They changed. Not everyone uses the new and improved definitions (finallyfeminism101 obviously doesn’t use the accurate definition)….but none-the-less there are new, better, definitions for male and female privilege.

              I didn’t just pull these definitions out of the air, either. In my intro to gender studies class, at my liberal university, taught by my feminist, lesbian professor, we discussed the problems with the old definition of male privilege. We were given new definitions (which took into account context, and the intersectionality of ethnicity, class, etc), and we were introduced to the term female privilege. Not everyone is using these definitions….but they are the accurate ones.

              “Your ignoring female privilege is completely consistent with the feminist movement’s treatment of it.” – in our entire conversation neither one of us has mentioned cis-gender privilege…which is a much more overarching inequality than either male or female privilege. That doesn’t mean that you or I don’t believe it exists…and it doesn’t mean either one of us devalues it. It just means that this specific conversation wasn’t addressing it. Likewise…the reason I wasn’t focusing on female privilege was strictly because it was not part of the conversation we were having. You and I agree that female privilege exists…where we differ is in discussing male privilege. And so that is where I focused the conversation.

            • “I’m not sure if you’re unwilling or just unable to understand what I’m trying to say. “

              I understand the words you’ve contradicted yourself a few times and your logic and arguments haven’t been at all consistent. That’s one reason I quote you.

              “Alright so let’s move back to the terms “male privilege” and “female privilege.”

              These are two terms that are often used incorrectly (and I include a lot of feminists in that).” Finallyfeminism101.com is using that term incorrectly. “

              So, now you’re the authority on “male privilege”? I thought it was society?

              “The first definition of male privilege was that all men were privileged because they were men.”

              That’s precisely what you said. I will again quote you as saying essentially THAT.

              “It’s the idea that if you take two people in the exact same economic, ethnic, etc situation…and one of them was a man and the other was a woman, the man would have it better.”

              This is an example of you contradicting yourself. I am not trying to be mean or unkind but simply pointing out that it’s hard to discuss this with you because you don’t seem to have a clear view of even what you want to believe. I truly mean no offense.

              “And the term female privilege was coined to indicate that women also have privilege.”

              It was created in response TO the feminist male privilege, not BY feminists.

              Perhaps you don’t realize it but the views of some gender studies “feminist, lesbian professor” mean nothing to most people in the real world (outside of the gender studies / feminism world)

              “in our entire conversation neither one of us has mentioned cis-gender privilege…which is a much more overarching inequality than either male or female privilege. That doesn’t mean that you or I don’t believe it exists”

              This is not meant to be but is going to sound harsh. That’s “gender studies feminist, lesbian professor” psychobabble and means nothing to people outside the gender studies / feminism world.

              “Likewise…the reason I wasn’t focusing on female privilege was strictly because it was not part of the conversation we were having.”
              Yes it was. I mentioned it several times but you continued to ignore it. I am/was part of the conversation as well.

              “You and I agree that female privilege exists…where we differ is in discussing male privilege.”

              It’s really hard to agree or disagree with you because you have been inconsistent in what you say you believe. But, no, I don’t acknowledge either of those. But, if someone is going to insist that male privilege exists, I will point out that in 2012 females have more of it than males.

            • “This is an example of you contradicting yourself. I am not trying to be mean or unkind but simply pointing out that it’s hard to discuss this with you because you don’t seem to have a clear view of even what you want to believe.”

              Alrighty, I see where the confusion from those two quotes is. And yes, it’s my fault for the way I phrased it. I did not write it to contradict myself, but I do see how it could be read that way (though that is not how I meant it). I have a very clear understanding of what I believe…but it’s explaining it in a way you will understand that is causing problems. – so let me try this – that quote you pulled where I said something long the lines of ‘if you take two people from the same economic, class, etc and one is a man and one is a woman, the man will be on top.’ – that is what I mean by male privilege. But what I failed to explain is that it doesn’t exist to the exclusion of female privilege.

              So in the case of male privilege – when you take two people from the same class, economic situation…..etc etc etc. the man is on top.

              In the case of female privilege – when you take two people from the same class,…..etc etc – the woman is on top.

              Both exist in our society, in different contexts. I have problems with the terms, but not with the concepts.

              My point in mentioning the whole ‘lesbian feminist professor’ thing, was to point to the fact that there are feminists out there who are talking about female privilege. I’m not saying a feminist created the term…I’m saying there are feminists who use it. I’m also not saying I’m an authority on the definition of either. I’m saying those definitions are changing, because people are using the terms differently. Not everyone – but there are people out there who are using them differently.

              And talking about cis-gender privilege is most certainly NOT some sort of feminist psychobabble. – our society very clearly privileges people whose gender identity and biological sex conform to what is expected. Plus, many feminists don’t concern themselves with it, actually. Most people don’t concern themselves with it, full stop. – but it’s tangential to our conversation, which is why I’m not focusing on it. My only point in mentioning it was to indicate that there are plenty of issues/privileges that exist that we aren’t discussing…but that doesn’t mean we don’t care. It just means we aren’t discussing them in this one conversation.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Men speak up and because we don’t say what they want, then we’re arguing. “I want men to give their input” is nothing but smoke and mirrors and a way to draw men into their web. Then the brain washing begins. Take a look at gender studies in schools … Look at some articles where men and some women have questions the studies and the responses they’ve experienced. If feminists are truly interested in the rights of men and women then there would be no feminists, there would be people interested in human rights. Quick education of what I experienced in the 70’s and feminism. Equal rights for women in the work place!! YAY … Good idea. Affirmative action helped did its job. But back then my wife was shunned by feminists because she was told she SHOULD NOT put her kids first and that her “value” was her career. Women were fighting for her “career.” But what they didn’t understand then and deffinately don’t understand now is that my wife chose to be a stay at home mom. The intent wass to help the women who chose to be career over being a stay at home mom that women have a level playing field. It wasn’t intended that women have to do both. 50% of kids these days are with single parents (women). Fast forward to three years ago. My wife, after being a stay at home mom went back to the business world. The name plate on her office door was orderred and said “Ms.” She went to her boss and asked that it be changed in that she is a “Mrs.” The boss said no in that “Mrs” may offend some women … she had to go way over HER (boss) head and got the administrator to order a new plate. Feminists are only interested in furthering their own causes, they aren’t interested in men much less women who don’t think the the way they want to.

            • “But back then my wife was shunned by feminists because she was told she SHOULD NOT put her kids first and that her “value” was her career. Women were fighting for her “career.” But what they didn’t understand then and deffinately don’t understand now is that my wife chose to be a stay at home mom. ”

              That is a very old version of feminism. Us egalitarian feminists (perhaps post-third-wave feminists) are much more inclusive. The idea that a stay-at-home mother is doing it wrong is outdated. A lot of the ranting you see on websites is quite gynocentric and radical…but that doesn’t mean that the majority of feminists believe these things. Most of the feminists I know don’t believe that a family is any less important than a career.

              Same thing goes for the Ms. versus Mrs. issue. I don’t know when that happened, but it sounds like a relic from past versions of feminism. There is an egalitarian feminism, and we reject a lot of what radical feminists are saying.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Damage is done. We have moved from shunnung the stay at home moms to moms having the career but are now doing it alone without a husband. Either way, the feminists got their wish … reached their goal to have single parent homes eliminating the men. By the way, NOW would kick you to the street for the things you say.

            • Well some women can do it on their own. And some women end up failing at it. Plus…there are single fathers out there too (don’t forget them!). And some of the succeed, and some of them fail. As they say, “it takes a village,” so yeah healthy multi-parent households are set up to be more likely to succeed in our society.

              I don’t know many non-radical feminists who actually think “eliminating the men” from a home is a good idea. NOW might be very politically active, but it’s a bit of a relic itself. These times, they are a-changing….and NOW is stuck in the past along with all the other gynocentric feminists.

              Feminism’s gone through all sorts of changes already – and all sorts of divisions based on differing ideologies. So we’re at a point where I think that’s happening again (hence the post-third-wave comment) – plenty of us who use the label ‘feminist’ have less in common with NOW, than we do with a man who calls himself an egalitarian.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              “It takes a village?” Thank you Ms. Clintgon. NO, it doesn’t take a village. It takes a family. If you think that NOW is dated, you are way wrong. They are in bed with one other sect called planned parenthood and between the two of them, they are barn storming all over the world.

              I believe that feminism has also damaged women but not as much as men. Feminism, no matter how you paint it, is still out to benefit women. May I ask if you even know how VAWA has screwed men over? 10 years running and it’s all the same.

            • I didn’t actually mean it takes a village to raise a child. I just meant that a household/family with more than one parent is set up to be more likely to succeed in our society.

              And by NOW being dated…I’m talking about it’s ideologies, not it’s political influence. And yes I’m aware of VAWA…and it’s another thing I’d call outdated. It’s still being used, but the feminism that created VAWA and organizations like NOW is, in my experience, out of touch with new feminists. I don’t know anyone around my age who is part of NOW, for example.

          • John Anderson says:

            Men should speak to feminists. Women should speak to the MRM. Dialogue is how we get to understand each other. I don’t know that the man has to be a feminist to speak to feminists. In fact, you probably get a more accurate picture of his experiences if he isn’t, since they haven’t been filtered through the lens of feminism.

            • Honestly John, part of the reason I visit this site is to understand the MRAs. So far, I have no had a very good impression of them.

            • John Anderson says:

              This site is actually a good site to look at if you’re looking to dialogue. It tends to be very middle of the road. That’s why I enjoy it. An impression is sometimes tricky to control. Why do you have a poor impression of MRAs from visiting this site? I’ve learned quite a bit from feminists and am not averse to having you teach me more. MRAs have an obligation to police their movement just as much as feminists theirs. I’ve just recently started to wonder if I rejected feminism too quickly and maybe should have tried changing it.

            • I’d have to agree with Artemis…though actually I have had some good experiences here too. It is a very middle-of-the-road site…if only because it’ll publish everything from the hardest rhetoric to the most centrist views. :)

              But as for what bad experiences I’ve had…well just proving to people that I wasn’t a man-hater was a task in-of-itself. I joined GMP and made the mistake of immediately announcing I was a feminist and then BAM!, it was like I had to prove that no…I wasn’t _that_ kind of feminist. Which, you know, fair enough…but it’s the same sort of experience a lot of men complain about when joining feminist websites.

              And, well, it seems like a lot of the time men in the MRM are talking about what it means to be a woman. As much as men decry feminists for drawing conclusions about men’s experiences….I think the MRM does the same thing with women, sometimes. (Not always, and not all MRAs). It’s a bit like…hey now, don’t go telling me that being considered a fragile protected thing is actually a benefit. Some women might like it, but I know a hell of a lot who don’t.

              And finally…I feel like a lot of the time whenever I mention something like, “I’m agreeing with you but I think on this issue it’s not as one-sided as you think…” I get hollered at for trying to bring women’s issues to the table. Not all the time, just sometimes and just by some people. If the MRM wants to be an egalitarian movement, it’ll have to listen to women’s issues too. (Just like if feminism wants to be egalitarian it’ll have to listen to men’s issues).

              I’m not trying to start a fight or something, by the way. But you asked about why Artemis has a poor view of MRAs, and so I figured I’d step in and give some of my own opinions. I just want to emphasize that what I’m saying is about a sort of general impression of some MRAs…and I am by no means saying this applies to every MRA out there.

            • John Anderson says:

              I’ve seen MRAs pile on feminists on this site. I will put in a word of encouragement when I think it’s undeserved. I’ve been concerned with politeness on the web myself. I often times refrain from posting to give women their space. I also will let one sided posts go by without commenting. I don’t know that every post has to acknowledge every victim for it to be valid. I think GMP should construct an etiquette guide to posting and commenting. Julie should do it, since she’s the least hostile.

              I’ve recently spent time on feministing. Another thing I noticed is that they don’t actually converse. I’ll see 20 responses to the article, but none to a comment. I prefer the discussion at GMP even if you do run the risk of a rude remark. I’ll try not to be so suspicious of feminists in the future, a failing I’ve freely admitted, at least until I’ve identified the type of feminist they are.

            • There is a commenting policy. :)

              http://goodmenproject.com/commenting-policy/

              And by no means does every post have to acknowledge every side of an issue…this is the GMP, after all…men is in the title. It’s not an MRM site anyway…it’s not a feminist site either. It’s a site about being a good man, whatever that may be.

              But yeah this is one of the few sites I’ve come across where everyone will discuss the issue, instead of just comment on the article. I like it. :)

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Yes, we do have one and we do our best as mods to allow discussion to happen. It’s often hard not to snark. I get angry and frustrated at times and it would feel really good to lash out, but I know it doesn’t help at all. More important to just say, that comment made me angry and frustrated. The glories of trying to be mature about things. 😉

              I’m rarely hostile, that’s true, but it doesn’t mean I don’t get upset.

          • @Heather

            Show me a feminist circle which would allow men to speak about their life experience. First make such a circle then ask men to speak. Practice what you preach.

            • That’s something a lot of us are working on at the moment, actually.

            • I hope you know the saying “first deserve then desire.” There is no feminist circle which would allow men to speak about their life experiences. Under these circumstances, the author asking male feminists to talk about their life experiences is a big joke.

            • Well…there wasn’t a space for women to discuss politics back in the early 1900s either, until they made one. There wasn’t a space for the LGBT community to tell their stories back in the day either…until they made one. Etc…I hope you see where I’m going with this.

              I think the author is saying that we all need to find and create space for men to discuss their experiences in feminist circles, because their lives are important, and their issues are important. It’s not a joke…it’s a call to change.

            • Who will make that space for men to speak in feminist circles? And why on Earth would men want to speak in feminist circle???

            • John Anderson says:

              Wasn’t GMP started by feminists? I haven’t been here long, but I gather from the comments I’ve read that this was a fairly extremist feminist site until the misandrists started drifting away. Not my assessment, just what I’ve surmised from other’s posts I’ve read. I’ve known about this site less than two months.

            • Alright I’ll reply here, then I’m calling it quits on this line of dialogue. Who will make that space, you ask? I already said…there are some of us (feminists) making that space right now. This site is part of it really…it’s a men’s site that I, as a feminist, have joined. And I’ve read and discussed a lot of men’s stories. It’s not a feminist space…but it is a space that welcomes everyone to join in the discussion about being a man.

              And why would men want to speak in feminist circles? Well Rapses, you can’t have it both ways. Either current feminist websites are doing it wrong by excluding men….and so they should include them. Or men don’t want to talk in feminist circles, so it doesn’t matter that they exclude men. But you can’t condemn feminist sites for not including men, and then say “screw it,” once they start including them.

              But as to actually why? Well probably because there are men out there who would like to work with women in making the world a more equal place. And feminism can be part of that.

  7. Uncle Elmer says:
  8. I left my full-time job back in the ’70’s to share childcare and consider that one of the best decisions I ever made. I’m now a grandfather and both my son and son-in-law are involved and loving fathers. I’ll take some credit for that but the fact is, childcare is a reward in itself when it is shared by both parents. (That’s a secret that a lot of women have always known and coveted, despite the battering that motherhood took during the early feminist years). Anyway, thanks, Emily, for reaching toward a third way and reframing the gender wars so that the interests of both men and women are furthered by policies that ensure equality while recognizing difference. The public/private dichotomy you refer to (women at home; men in public) is one place we have to work. As women move out of the home, men will find great rewards for staying in it–at least part of the time.

    As for your distinction between “oppression” and “restriction,” it is useful, but I think that Danny has a good point. Many men have experienced painful oppression in the home. I think it is unwise to get into the old “my-pain-is-worse-than-your-pain” argument. There is plenty to go around. Let’s just get beyond comparisons of that sort and move ahead with the agenda of genuine equality and respect.

  9. The average man has about as much interest in taking an active part in the feminist movement as the average feminist does in taking part in the MRA movement. That is to say,very little to none.

    • if that’s the case, then it’s a real shame…and it’s something we should work to change, which is what this article is trying to do.

      • “February 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm
        if that’s the case, then it’s a real shame…and it’s something we should work to change, which is what this article is trying to do.”
        If feminism were not so inhospitable to men there wouldn’t even be a need to discuss this issue.  Men would just get involved, as they do many other causes. 

        But, as long as the feminist movement espouses anti-male/male-hostile theories and arguments (e.g., rape culture, male privilege, guy code, accidental rapist), those active within the feminist movement will continue to be exclusive to a small minority of women and very, very few men.  And those who do try to get involved, as we have heard here, often discover tolerance, support, and even defense of outright misandry, which turns well meaning men off and away.

        • Well there are feminist movements, I’d say. It’s not some single-celled movement. And that’s what a bunch of us feminists here at GMP are trying to do…be hospitable to men. Well not just be hospitable to men, but seriously examine and work for their rights too, because gender equality means working for all genders’ rights.

          • John Anderson says:

            @Heather
            “Well there are feminist movements,”
            I think that sums up why I rejected feminism and identified as an MRA. No one wants to be in the smaller more ostracized group, but feminism didn’t seem to have fundamental tenets. Feminists accepted the empower women screw the men as a type of feminism or as you say a feminist movement. If equality for all was a tenet of feminism, it would not be accepted.

            I took the easy way out. I bailed and maybe I shouldn’t have. Maybe I should have called myself a feminist and fought for what I thought the movement should have been when I first looked into it. It’s hard though when feminists are willing to accept almost anything that’s not anti-woman as feminism. I even saw an argument over banning trans people at a feminist gathering for women. The ban wasn’t lifted.

            I think that there is common ground between many MRAs and many feminists and advocated for cooperation on these positions. Even when there is fundamental disagreement, there is a middle ground that can be accepted by both groups.

            • Yeah but…there’s not a single anything movement. Take the civil rights…we’ve got Malcolm X on one side and Martin Luther King Jr. on the other. How about the LGBT movement…in the early days we had the Mattachine Society trying to conform to a heteronormative world on one side, and then the Stonewall Riots where a bunch of drag queens decided enough was enough. Even today within the LGBT rights movement(s) you have different groups that are using different tactics or focusing on different issues…and they don’t always get along with each other. (As an example: Dan Savage was glitter-bombed).

              I’m sure even within the MRM you have groups that are more radical than others. Maybe the divisions aren’t as solidified because it’s newer than feminism.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              As a member of MRM’s, I can see how you would struggle with any of them. Every group I work with are fighting for some basic HUMAN rights. Like fathers rights, rights where they relate to spousal abuse and major inequities across the court system.

              Out of curiosity, why is it the “feminist” playgound the place we all have to come together? This is the “Good MEN project site yet countless blogs, articles are being presented in a “feminist” arena? FEMinism … FEM= FEMALE????

            • Ah you probably haven’t seen one of my other comments on here where I mention that wherever we all end up coming together, the name is going to have to be gender neutral. It can’t be called the MRM and it can’t be called feminism. If/once we do actually stop trying to out-victim each other, maybe we’ll be able to have an actual egalitarian movement.

              Anyway, my point with the above comment is that within all civil right movements, there is disagreement. Both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. were fighting for basic human rights…but there was disagreement with how to go about it. Same with LGBT rights. Same with feminism. Same with MRMs. There are more inclusive feminists, and there are more separatist/gynocentric feminists. There are more inclusive MRAs, and there are more radical and misogynistic MRAs. (Back to the civil rights movement: Malcolm X was more separatist, Martin Luther more inclusive.)

              You can’t look at a movement and say that there is _one_ single method/definition/ideology.

            • Oh and the bit I totally forgot to comment on. Yeah I think there is a lot of middle ground between a lot of feminists and MRAs. I think it just gets drowned out by all the rhetoric being thrown at each other.

        • I don’t know if you understand that rape culture is harmful to both men and women. So I wouldn’t say that is an anti-male sentiment.

          And privilege is not inherently anti- anything. As a white woman, I would say I do have white privilege, meaning I am more valued in our society than members of other races because I am white. That doesn’t mean people who point out racial privilege are anti-white people. It just means that privilege does exist and should be addressed and understood. It needs to be taken into consideration when discussing experiences.

          I will just say: I became a feminist when I realized that the society I belonged to had thoroughly destroyed my ideas of what men and women are. Most significantly, I became a feminist because I realized our society only has room to portray one stereotypical male and the stereotypical female who caters to him. I realized that both of these gender stereotypes were wrong and hurtful.

          • John Anderson says:

            @Artemis
            ” I don’t know if you understand that rape culture is harmful to both men and women. So I wouldn’t say that is an anti-male sentiment.”

            Unfortunately, I have first-hand knowledge of this. I also know that the construct male perpetrator/female victim is only part of rape culture. I know that if someone taught me not to accept drinks from strangers you met at a club, I might not have first-hand knowledge of how rape culture is detrimental to both sexes. I’ve posted links before where some feminists have minimized and celebrated the rape of men. I don’t blame all feminists for those posts just the ones that made them. I’ll not relink them now because thinking of it makes me sad and extremely pissed off.

            “privilege does exist and should be addressed and understood”

            I don’t have a problem with people calling it privilege or inequities. We disagree over their origin and therefore the best approach to correct this. I believe that the gender constructs initially were mutually negotiated between the sexes based on biological necessity or logic; however, you might explain it. It made more sense for the person who could feed the child to stay with the child and the physically stronger to do the hunting/gathering. That’s why many women support patriarchy. They helped construct it. It is important to understand that these gender constructs are no longer relevant. When that is understood, we can make progress toward addressing the privilege at least between men and women.

    • John Anderson says:

      Most people are fair minded. Most people have someone of the other gender that they care about. People don’t necessarily reject the goals of the movement, but the label. When I first brought up the gender gap in higher education to my class, I was the only person to see this as a problem. Within a few months, even the women started seeing that under educating half the population wasn’t wise. They rejected the idea that it was institutionalized discrimination. I pointed out discrimination in the field of nursing, about 40% of male nurses reported experiencing discrimination from faculty or nursing staff while in school and about 90% of all nurses, male and female, reported hearing anti-male comments from their instructors in the classroom,. This led to men dropping out of nursing school at twice the rate of women. I also pointed out that the patient’s bill of rights provides an economic incentive for female nurses to prevent male nurses from entering the field as hospitals could argue gender as a BFOQ to provide men with services under the patient’s bill of rights. Even the women began to accept that in at least certain educational fields there is institutionalized discrimination against men.

  10. Emily, if I may offer my perspective on your opinion.

    While it’s great that you believe men should be welcome into the feminist movement and able to speak truthfully about their experiences, the fact is there are feminists in the movement who’d rather stick their fingers in their ears than listen to an “Priveledged Oppressor” speak their viewpoint.

    That’s what happened to me when I shared my stories of being bullied and hurt by girls and women as a youth in addition to the boys and men.

    Apparently, these feminists still believed:

    -I had de-facto priveledge so my pain didn’t count compared to women.

    -That these girls and women had no agency (then they offered all sorts of excuses to minimise the fact that the bullies HURT ME!)

    -That girls and women have it worse.

    -That boys bully boys and girls, girls bully girls, and that’s all. I was an anomoly.

    You might want to read “Bullied by Girls and Women: One Man’s Account” on this publication to really get an idea of how much toxic bile that spewed from the “Feminists” mouths I had to endure.

    While you, Julie, Joanna, and other egilatarian feminists actually accepted me, I am still hesitant to be under the feminist tent because those “Feminists” who shut the door in my face due to their Gynocentric bias still have a place there since Feminism isn’t monolithic. Which means they’re allowed to be in the same space as you. As you go on about supporting me, one of those gynocentrics loom in the shadows and shakes their head, saying “Don’t listen to that oppressor. He should check his priveledge and quit whining”

    I’d rather not come within ten yards of those “Feminists” who treated me like garbage. So, sorry, but I’m still keeping my distance from the tent.

    No offense.

  11. By and large feminists have made it clear that men are not wanted in the movement. (or rather, men might be okay, but male opinions that contradict the established orthodoy are not.) Why else would phrases “whatabouttehmenz” and “mansplaining” be in such heavy usage? Not to mention the fact that I’m rather sick of having *my* experiences dictated to me by women You don’t know me, you have no right to dictate how “privileged” I really am on the basis of my chromosomes.

    So, thanks, but no thanks. That ship has sailed. You want us back? Talk to your sisters-in-arms.

    • Transhuman says:

      I see no benefit for a man to be a feminist. It is a movement for the advancement of women; it would benefit a man more to be part of a movement that advances the cause of men.

      At some point there needs to be a third movement, one that advances the cause of people. It isn’t feminism and it isn’t the MRM. Both serve their purpose, to oppose each other and, as such, they cannot have common ground.

      • John Anderson says:

        I agree that there are misogynistic elements in the MRM especially early in the movement and I admit that I haven’t visited a “hard core” MRM site since I’ve discovered GMP, but from what I’ve seen, the MRM tolerates misogyny much less than feminism tolerates misandry. Not to say that it’s not there. I’ve seen articles where every third or fourth post was removed or blocked by the moderator because of misogyny. I’ve even seen moderators chide “MRAs” for misogyny. I put MRAs in quotes because I reject that label for them even if they claim it for themselves. You can’t be an MRA if you hate women, period.

        I don’t know if it’s because the MRM is so small that it has to hold the moral high ground in order to survive or if it is because it is so new that it could see where feminism has failed and corrected itself. It could even be that men are more aggressive and less tolerant of dissent. Some people believe that the MRM is a counter feminism movement, while others see it as a movement which attempts to address the issues that feminism ignored essentially a movement that believes in equal rights for women and equal rights for men.

        I’ve never seen an MRA advocate rape. I’ve never seen an MRA claim women should be paid less for equal work. I’ve never seen an MRAS claim that fathers should be given automatic custody in child custody cases to remedy past discrimination. I’ve never seen an MRA advocate legalizing FGC again. I don’t know what the MRA position on abortion services is because I haven’t encountered a discussion on it yet. In my opinion the MRM doesn’t seem to be anti-woman at all. I think that you have your third movement.

        • If the MRM wants to be the third movement it’s going to have to drop the name, for starters. And it’s going to need to take a step back from demonizing feminists. I know…a lot of the feminists movements have totally screwed over men, and totally demonize the MRM. But, if it wants to be a movement that advocates for people…then it’ll have to accept that feminists will be joining. And a feminist trying to join an MRM group is about as welcoming an experience as a man trying to join a hardcore feminist group.

          To be clear, I’m not against that happening. In my perfect ideal world of unicorns and rainbows, the MRM and feminist movements all join together to create an egalitarian movement. Whether the MRM or the feminists spearhead that is really not important to me…just that it happens.

          • John Anderson says:

            I’ve had an interesting exchange with a feminist on another post. She mentioned the use of inflammatory terms getting in the way of making progress. Personally, I don’t care if something is called patriarchy or socially engineered gender constructs. I’m not even concerned with terms like male privilege or having everything blamed on men. I wish it was all my fault. Then I could exercise control over the one person I can, which is me and fix the world’s problems. It wasn’t the terms or finger pointing that caused me to reject feminism. Although I have begun to wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to try and change feminism into what I originally thought that it was.

          • Then y’all need to drop gender from the movement’s name totally. No fem-, mas-, men’s, women’s, or anything else that alludes to either gender. There would be much more to make it a movement for all not just one but if you can’t agree to that very simple, basic thing, forgot about it. It’s DOA.

            • Yeah that’s what I was saying with my “change the name” bit. If the MRM wants to be the third movement Transhuman was mentioning, then it’s gunna have to drop the ‘men’s’ from it’s name. And if feminists want to be that third movement, it’ll have to drop the fem. I think it’s unlikely either of those things will happen.

              So I’m hoping we can actually make a third egalitarian movement with people from both groups.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              We should all order some pizza and have a meetin’.

            • The Bad Man says:

              They tried that with “gender studies” but it’s still just the same old “women’s studies.”

              Change the name to whatever you want, it doesn’t change the ideology.

            • Um…not in my gender studies classes. The first place I ever discussed men’s rights was in my gender studies classes.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Nice to see that some guys are getting it. Feminists are trying to draw us in. If there was a true interest in helping men, identifying their issues, then it wouldn’t be a camp fire being held in the “faminist camp.”

              As you all can see, there is no interest in hearing what men really have to say. No more then the words come off our keyboeards, feminists get defensive and want to put out the camp fire and tell us all to go home.

            • Factory says:

              To date, not one single MRA has spoken in a ‘gender’ studies classroom.

              Men’s issues, as defined by feminists. Interesting. Would women put up with the reverse, one wonders…?

  12. John Anderson says:

    I know that there is a great variance among feminists, but shouldn’t there be some constants within feminism? Even man hating “feminists” are accepted into the feminist movement. Feminism as currently practiced is more a political party or religion than an equality movement. At times, I feel that the whole feminism is an equality movement advocated by some feminists was accepted as a means to get more votes by the remainder. It was a means for feminism to stay relevant after having made huge strides for women.

    Reality shifts for feminists based on the narrative. They say that men commit most of the physical violence in a relationship, but when faced with facts, alter their statement to say yes, but women are most often severely hurt. They don’t mention that men are 30% of the victims of severe DV. That is not a small number. They’ll say that most rapes are not reported, but fail to see how mandatory reporting of DV will increase the number of female victims. Will a male stabbing victim actually be asked if he’s a victim of DV in an emergency room and if male victims aren’t injured severely enough to go to an emergency room, will they even be counted? Could societal expectations be preventing severely injured men from even going to emergency rooms or causing them to deny the cause of the injury?

    Most feminists oppose male infant circumcision personally, but I haven’t found any who support banning it. It would make sense if they opposed it as unnecessary, but they oppose it on the grounds of bodily autonomy. How do you not support preventing someone from committing what you believe to be an injustice on someone else? Since one male already has no choice, it’s not to preserve choice for men, but to preserve choice for women even of feminists would almost universally not exercise that choice. Female circumcision is treated differently. They’ll say that it’s more damaging than male circumcision so it should be banned. Then when the American Pediatric Association considered the idea of type 4 FGC, which is a symbolic nick of the vagina and significantly less traumatic than MGC, feminists fought it. Female genitals are sacred.

    I feel that before feminists can debate the role of men in feminism, they must decide on what feminism actually is.

    • “Female circumcision is treated differently. They’ll say that it’s more damaging than male circumcision so it should be banned.”

      Yeah, you’re not going to make any friends among the feminists when you suggest male and female circumcision are comparable. Just because they have the same name, does not mean they are the same thing. Male circumcision is a cosmetic and/or health decision of the parents. Female circumcision is a control of female sexuality designed to inhibit sexual pleasure (hence why some forms of female circumcision involve a removal of the clitoral head or a closing of the majority of the vagina so sexual experience is impossible without significant pain).

      They have completely different motivations and are different physically. A male circumcision that is analogous to female circumcision would be a removal of the head of the penis. A female circumcision that would be analogous to a male circumcision would be a cosmetic surgery like labiaplasty.

      I don’t take a stand on male circumcision because I do not have a penis and so I do not feel like I have the appropriate experience to make a decision. If I were to have a son, I would defer to the father for his opinion. And I do not hear complaints from circumcised men which is why I haven’t taken a stand either way.

      • Evidently you don’t know that there is no such thing as rape culture.  Feminists created that term to demonize men. The evidence is that that the one and only crime for which they claim there is a “culture”, despite the fact that there are many other crimes that are far more prevalent, and for which victims and potential victims are constantly admonished as to how to reduce the likelihood of them being victimized.

        THIS is the kind of anti-male, hateful stuff that keeps almost all men away from getting involved in feminism, as we are all assumed to be rapists.

        • Typo

          The evidence is that rape is the one and only crime for which they claim there is a “culture”, despite the fact that many other crimes are far more prevalent, and where victims and potential victims are constantly admonished as to how to reduce the likelihood of them becomized victimized (again).

      • But at the end of the day the one thing that does link the two is the fact that its a violation of bodily autonomy. Whether its a teen girl held down or a baby boy tied to a table its people being cut against their will. That’s the only reason I even think about the two together now. And this is also why when I see people condemn one and defend the other it bothers me because it comes off as saying the bodily autonomy of one is more important than the other.

        • Julie Gillis says:

          While I agree with Artemis on the issues of difference between the two types of circ (histories, dynamics, physical changes all not quite comparable), I am against circumcision for boys at birth. No need for it, it’s painful and traumatic, denies males a piece of their sexual health/pleasure. When they come of age and if they wish to alter their body (or if there is a health related issue-extremely long foreskin, infections, phimosis), then they should have that choice to have the surgery.

          But I think it’s a ridiculous thing to do to children at birth and my husband and I were in full agreement on that when we had boy children.

          • John Anderson says:

            They aren’t comparable, but type 4 FGC is significantly less traumatic than a normal, successful MGC. It’s not comparable because it’s significantly less traumatic then MGC and also non-permanent. I suppose that type 4 FGC can be opposed as being unnecessary, but people could make the same argument over ear piercing, which I wouldn’t oppose banning until a certain age either.

      • John Anderson says:

        You ignore type 4 FGC entirely and you only consider successful male circumcisions. If you google botched circumcision, you’ll get more. Women can feel ashamed to talk about rape, but a man should have no problem discussing issues with his circumcision. Did it even occur to you that he doesn’t complain because he has nothing to compare it to? I remember reading a story of a girl who thought incest was fine until she grew older and discovered that this wasn’t how most families were. By that logic as long as a drugged woman doesn’t know she was raped then that’s OK. I leave you a sad video. I know I should feel sad for the mom, but I only feel sorrow for the boys.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GhbVFjIaN0

      • “Male circumcision is a cosmetic and/or health decision of the parents.”

        This is rubbish, of course. The foreskin is part of the sexual organs. It’s not just an extra flap of skin that can be removed for ‘cosmetic reasons’ only. Men who were circumcised at birth will never know any better because they have been denied something fundamental to their sexual experience.

    • Artemis is right, female and male circumcision are different aren’t comparable at all. The belief that cutting the foreskin reduces sexual pleasure in males is not supported by science at all (most studies say there is no difference with or without it).

      • I’d personally say that whether it affects sexual pleasure or not is sort of irrelevant to a discussion of whether MGC should be legal. For me, the problem is that it is a medically unnecessary act that forever alters a child’s body. Male and female circumcision do come from very different cultural and social backgrounds, yes. But I think that’s a different discussion than whether it should be legal or not. (At least in the U.S.)

  13. Anthony Zarat says:

    “My feminism (and like I said, it’s a big tent and I don’t speak for anyone but myself) is about abolishing heteronormative and sexist gender assumptions to allow people to reach their full potential, both inside and outside the workplace, as diversely talented, multi-faceted human beings.”

    This makes you a Men’s Rights Activist, and very much an anti-feminist. Feminism is the exact opposite of what you say. Feminism is about marginalizing men, boys, and fathers from every facet of human dignity and human achievement.

    Here is an example. Find out what the powerful feminist political lobby has to say about shared parenting, and come back to tell me more sweet lies about inclusion and compassion.

    Feminism is the most heartless and cruel abomination in modern Western culture. Feminists have all the “compassion” for men that Alabama plantation owners felt for African slaves. This includes both the heartless norm, and the very very infrequent exception.

    • Except…except….why can’t us centrist, egalitarian feminists reclaim the word/movement/philosophy? (That’s rhetorical). I think we can reclaim it.

      I’ve seen your comments and I would imagine that you probably have had some very personal, and horrible experiences with feminists. I do not know your story so I’m not trying to make any assumptions about you, but I do understand having very strong negative emotions and reactions directed toward anyone who takes on a specific label. I totally understand the rage that seeing someone use a certain label can bring about.

      But I think it’s important to try to move beyond that…to try to understand that no label is monolithic. There is not one kind of feminist, or MRA, or Christian, or Democrat, or Republican, etc. We need to listen to each other, and try to work toward making lives better….and try really hard not to get caught up in which label someone chooses to identify with.

      • Anthony Zarat says:

        There is a group called “ifeminists”. I support them 100%, as do most MRAs. Like all movements, ifeminists is composed of hundreds of different shades and tones — but the predominant colour is “equal protection under the law, equal protection of government.” This is the colour of the flag that I want to fight for.

        Sadly, I don’t think that “equity” feminism has any chance to “reclaim the word/movement/philosophy”. The traffic of “ifeminists.com” (as measured by alexa.com) is 74 times less than the traffic of radical sites like feministe and feministing (0.000039 to 0.0029, to be exact).

        I see no path back to redemption for feminism. I hope I am wrong, but the numbers are hard to argue with.

        You are right about the personal stuff, BTW. You can read about it here, if you want:

        http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/01/13/comment-of-the-week-a-reader-reveals-the-horror-of-feminist-upbringing/

        • Julie Gillis says:

          Mangina? Really?

          • Anthony Zarat says:

            That is me, talking about me. Are you going to be offended by a name that I call myself?

            • Julie Gillis says:

              I’m Never a fan of people insulting themselves or others on gender based terms. May email you, but am going into a meeting.

            • Anthony Zarat says:

              No need. I don’t like the term either.

              I used it over a year ago, when I was trying to “fit in” with the MRM mainstream. I don’t like it because it is counter-productive to the movement, not because it offends people. For me, offending people is a central part of our strategy. Every successful civil rights movement in history has begun with an impossible to ignore, offensive, in-your-face phase (including feminism).

              Why is it counter-productive? Because it defines our male reality in female terms. It would be like calling our movement “masculism”, the mirror of our (current) enemy and (eventual) adversary.

              Before we can get to adversary, we have to get to respect. And before we can get to respect, we have to inflict pain. That is how civil rights movements work.

            • “Before we can get to adversary, we have to get to respect. And before we can get to respect, we have to inflict pain. That is how civil rights movements work.”

              Ah see…personally I think this is where feminism has gone wrong…in turning men into enemies and by inflicting pain on men (intentional or otherwise). Yeah it meant they’ve gotten their message across, but it also means that when their message hurts men, it still gets listened to.

              And the fight for gender equality isn’t like any other civil rights fight, I don’t think. In every other case I can think of, there are clearly defined oppressors and oppressed. LGBT, ethnicity, economic class, caste…all of these issues are pretty straightforward, when you think about it. One side is benefiting and the other is being stomped on. With gender equality it’s a lot more intertwined…in some cases men are totally be stomped on, but in others women are the ones who are getting the shaft.

              Also, I’m actually much more likely to respect someone who discusses issues with me as a human being, rather than assuming I’m the enemy.

            • Exactly.

              We are all getting stomped on in different ways yet men and women keep each other at arms length under the notion that “they” don’t have it as bad as “we” do. Some feminists abide by the idea that the oppression is totally one-sided against women with just a few bits of collateral damage being inflicted upon men every once in a while (“patriarchy hurts men too” and all that).

            • Well put, Danny. As men, we do tend to collude in some feminists’ belief that men don’t hurt, however, every time we refuse (or are unable) to express what we are actually feeling–other than anger. We can help to change that misperception by working at understanding and expressing our more tender feelings more readily. While there are plenty of angry women out there, it is my experience that the last thing that most women want to do is be responsible for causing anyone pain, and that includes men. But first they have to know it when they do.

            • “As men, we do tend to collude in some feminists’ belief that men don’t hurt, however, every time we refuse (or are unable) to express what we are actually feeling–other than anger. ”

              This is a myth that goes back much further than feminism. It’s actually quite a traditional belief that men aren’t emotional.

            • In response to Larry Daloz,

              One of my favorite shows is Supernatural. It seems to be the typical sci-fi fantasy show, but there is a subtle undercurrent of a father’s love for his sons and the two brothers love for each other.

              Those moments are far and few between, as most of the allowed emotions are typically anger and violence (against monsters).

              Every once in a while there is a powerful scene in that show:
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSst6I6q2Xs&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLA712B33C38843BEC

              It’s too bad that as men, we have to remain so emotionally cutoff and bury our feelings.

              It seems the only time in media that male hurt can be displayed is if there is something abnormal going on.

              I saw the film Chronicle last week which while being sci-fi actually makes very important points about dysfunctional families (and male pain) and universal health care.

              There seems to be more and more growing chinks in the armor in mainstream media of what emotions men are allowed to show.

            • John Anderson says:

              @Anthony Zarat

              “Every successful civil rights movement in history has begun with an impossible to ignore, offensive, in-your-face phase (including feminism).”

              I thought that was odd because I’ve never done this, but I’ve been able to change minds. Sometimes it’s been in one conversation. I was kicked off Fox News because when responding to a question about George W. Bush’s legacy, I brought up the fact that legacies are difficult to gauge because they could be different things at different times. I brought up the fact that though credited with ending the cold war, the Reagan/Bush administration in the 80s accomplished this in part by funding the mujahedeen fighters in Afghanistan, who were at the time fighting the Soviet Union. These fighters were the fore fathers of the group that would attack us on 9/11. I also pointed out that if George Bush had acted through moral conviction rather than political expediency, he would have instituted a draft instead of sending a force 33% smaller than his general recommended. When comments from conservatives started coming in critical of two conservative icons, I should have known my access would be cut. I haven’t been able to post since.
              I convinced my master’s class that the gender gap in education is a concern and even convinced them that men face institutional discrimination in at least particular fields of study such as nursing. It took time and got an unexpected assist from an African American, female instructor. I noted that an unexpected effect of the gender gap was that many women were forgoing marriage rather than “marrying down” or supporting an unemployed husband. It wasn’t well received until she pointed out that if you overlay race into that scenario, it is a trend that is already affecting some communities in the United States. She personally knew 9 college educated women in their 40s and 50s, who were never married.

              I don’t know if simply being confronted with truth constitutes the pain that you believe is necessary, but that’s all I’ve actually had to ever do. I don’t know if it’s just me though. I’ve had weird astrological readings before like you’ll overcome the mighty by showing your weakness and been described as gentle and ferocious. I guess each person has a way that suits them best.

  14. Um, yes, this.

  15. “My feminism is about abolishing heteronormative and sexist gender assumptions to allow people to reach their full potential, both inside and outside the workplace, as diversely talented, multi-faceted human beings.”

    I agree with all of those goals, and I’m an anti-feminist. Which suggests that feminism doesn’t have any particular claim to those ideals, and also that some other term–perhaps “egalitarianism”–is a better descriptor of the above. “Feminism” has too much non-equality baggage associated with it, in addition to reflecting skewed gynocentrism by its very name.

  16. The Bad Man says:

    Sorry boys, but you will always be second class citizens amongst the male auxiliary. You may find some egalitarians, but it’s mostly about women’s power. You’ll be accepted if you are submissive.

  17. Heather (and Julie too)

    I can’t reply to this comment directly because there is no button, but I hope you see it.

    “Now…whether “male privilege” is valid or not, is another question entirely. I’d say yes, but then so is “female privilege.” I am an educated, middle class, white, woman. In many ways I have advantages over middle class, white, educated, men…”

    Thank you. Thank you for not brushing this aside as “benevolent sexism” or some freak anomaly of “The Patriarchy,” some glitch in the Complete Oppression of Women that accidentally worked out in your favor. (heh.. C.O.W. ahem… anyway…)
    I can’t speak for the other guys here, but for me personally? That’s all I want. Not some platitude like “Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.” designed to placate and shove my issues away. Just simple acknowledgement that women do benefit from the ways things are too. Not because they’re white, or wealthy, or educated, but because they are women.

    It’s not something you really see in regular feminist spaces

    • Um, your welcome I guess. :) It’s just the way it is. lol.

      But yeah, that’s why gender equality is so difficult….we’re all unequal in equally different ways. Or maybe we’re all equal in unequal ways.

  18. Heather:
    “As men, we do tend to collude in some feminists’ belief that men don’t hurt, however, every time we refuse (or are unable) to express what we are actually feeling–other than anger. ”

    This is a myth that goes back much further than feminism. It’s actually quite a traditional belief that men aren’t emotional.
    Its not that feminism started the myth. Its that feminists have no problem letting certain myths go unchallenged when it suits them. Which is why you’ll see some feminists go on about how they “know” the majority of female abuse/rape victims are suffering in silence and not speaking up but when it comes to make victims all of a sudden its, “why aren’t they speaking up?”.

    • I agree, Heather, that the belief that “men aren’t emotional” goes way back. Anger is about the only emotion that men are allowed to express in many macho cultures like ours. But that has not always been the case. Odysseus, for instance, regularly expresses profound grief, and men in war famously can be amazingly tender with a wounded buddy. It’s just that it takes more to drag some of those other emotions out of us. But they are there. Never think men do not “have” emotions. We are just less adept at expressing them (or perhaps such a wide range of them) as women. The reasons are probably a combination of evolution, brain wiring, and culture.

      And I think Danny has it right when he notes that some women are very adept at using this knowledge to their advantage. Note, though, that he did not say “all feminists.” I’m married to a woman whose feminism goes back to the 60’s and the never fails to remind me that even though I choose not to live in it, the feminist tent is large and diverse.

      • Actually Larry I’m not sure if your mention of Odysseus and tender moments with an injured buddy are remnants of the past. These days people don’t have a problem with the sight of men hugging each other, crying, and trying to comfort each other in times like that. If anything such a display of tenderness is treated as exception regards to the range of emotion men are allowed to have.

        A guy can cry over a limited set of things before people start laying into him and questioning his manhood. And its pretty much limited to death/injury of loved ones, his favorite team losing/winning a big game, and getting hit in the testicles.

        Oh but a man breaking down over a really hard break up? People will line up around the corner to call him all sorts of things.

        • OK, Danny, I’m busted. I’m 71 years old and a grandfather. My son and daughter keep reminding me that things are changing. And when I was in a men’s group in 1972 (we did it because our wives were all out in their “consciousness-raising” groups but it never worked well), I distinctly remember feeling pretty edgy when we would hug each other. It was rare for men to hug in public at that time. Obviously that has hugely changed, as has the degree of emotionality allowed us. My kids are right as usual.

          But here’s my question: is the change really all that broad in the culture or is it predominantly among liberal, white, college-educated men?

          And a second question: if society actually does allow, or encourage us to express our emotions more broadly, will (or should) we ever show the same range and quality of emotionality in public as women? We are, after all, a different sex, regardless of how you want to define gender. And that makes a difference. The question is what kind of difference?

          • Danny: Yeah it is true that a lot of feminists do let the myths that suit them continue.

            Larry: Um…well I’m not a man, but I’ll comment on your second question. I don’t think that men inherently feel or express a smaller range of emotions than women. I only say this from personal experience. I am someone who actually doesn’t tend to express much emotion in public, and I’m a woman. And I’ve had friends who are guys (like traditionally masculine guys) who will cry in movies all the time. I, personally, think it’s mostly a cultural thing. But then…I think almost everything is cultural. Almost. 😉

            • Heather,

              As a man who finally after 40 years and some significant personal pain learned to cry in movies (and now does all the time), I would like to believe you are right that there is no “inherent” difference in how males and females feel (that’s one thing) or express (that’s another) emotion. But we do have different challenges as men than women. For one thing, as sons of mothers rather than daughters of mothers, our developmental trajectories are significantly different–more on that if you are interested. For another, our brains really are structured differently from before birth. The male brain is soaked with far more testosterone in utero, and that makes a difference, like it or not. In fact, it’s one of the major factors that causes the male fetus to differentiate itself from the default female, never mind firing up an intrinsic tendency toward aggression.

              You mention that you think “almost everything is cultural.” Current estimates are around 70% unless you include the universal fact that mothers are women as part of “culture,” in which case it could be higher. Still, the new brain research is devastating to the early claim of radical feminism that any biological differences between males and females are insignificant. To at least some degree, biology really is destiny. We must treat one another as equals, but this does not mean that therefore we must be the same. It is generally best not to conflate same with equal. All kinds of trouble lurks down that road. Most guys don’t mind being equal, but we tend to get very uncomfortable with the idea that we are really just the same as women–or vice versa.

              For the brain research, see The Male Brain, by the neurophysiologist, Louann Brizendine. She earlier wrote The Female Brain. It is a scientifically responsible, impressively documented, but very readable book.

            • My ‘everything is cultural’ reference was a bit of a throw away….a slightly self-depricating joke about how I tend to argue for the cultural explanation of things. I do, actually, recognize that there are biological differences between males and females. I just don’t think they are as striking or as polemic as we might think. And I do know plenty of women who dislike the idea that women are the same as men. (So that works both ways).

              With regards to the whole male brain vs female brain…I’ve read articles that both support and discredit this idea. It’s not my field….so I’m no expert. What I do know, is that in order to figure out exactly how much of our gender is pre-determined by biology, we’d have to perform some very unethical, and highly illegal experiments on pregnant women and newborns. And I’m really against that.

              Anyway, I’m not saying men and women are the same. I’m just saying I think we’re more similar than common wisdom would have us believe. I’ve just met too many people who fit outside the norm to think otherwise.

              I think, instead of considering the emotional differences of each gender as a binary, it’d probably be more helpful to think of it as multiple scales with some overlap.

          • But here’s my question: is the change really all that broad in the culture or is it predominantly among liberal, white, college-educated men?
            I think the change is broad in culture but don’t let that fool into think its totally wide spread.
            Here is a post I did a while back on a picture of two black guys with one resting on the the other (http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/2010/08/downtime.html). Even among other black people this picture (and the guys in it of course) was called every bad thing under the sun.

            if society actually does allow, or encourage us to express our emotions more broadly, will (or should) we ever show the same range and quality of emotionality in public as women?
            Given how problematic the range of emotion and quality of emotionality that women face I hope not. I agree its cultural as Heather says. And culturally speaking at best there is a need for both men and women to be granted full range of their emotions without being bound to gendered connotations.

            It will be a good day when a man can cry publicly for reasons outside the “approved” and not have his manhood questioned list and a woman can get angry without having her womanhood questioned.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Men have all the emotions women have but are unable to let them out. One emotion that feminists will capitalize on is “anger.” Look at thiose bad men and their anger. I work with adolescent male and anger is right up front with them but after months of work, they realize the anger is actually secondary to another emotion that society, influanced by feminists, don’t want to surface. You mean a man in a divorce is more then just “angry?” You mean these men want more then just pay back? Let’s take a look at society and how they out and out promote single mothers? You mean these fatherless boys just happen to turn out “angry?” Who is your daddy? Feminists response? WHO CARES? Women attempt suicide more then men .. women tend to set up their attampt in a way they can be found. On the other hand, men succeed far more then women.

  19. The poor standard of writing among feminists never seizes to amaze me. Even more shocking is the total lack of quality control from within the movement or even from outside. You don’t even notice direct contradictions within one single article.

    “I don’t want men speaking for me, because I would find it patronizing if they assumed to know my experience. …I do not believe our society oppresses men…”

    Hypocrisies like this are the reason why no self respecting human (male, female or other) should support feminists.

    First you tell us in your title that men belong in “The Feminist” movement. But then you move the goalposts by saying you’re only speaking for your own particular interpretation of feminism. So which is it now? Are men supposed to join “The Feminist” movement or not? And if so, then which bloody version are we supposed to join? And when we do join it, will its members stand up for us when other feminists try to put us down or deny us a voice for being men?

    I think this goalpost shifting is quite intentionally designed to keep men on the defensive at all times. Whenever we point out that feminists just see us as enemies (and there’s a Himalaya of evidence for this), people like Emily will come and say that it’s not a monolith and we’re being prejudiced and generalizing. However, as soon as that has been established, the Emilys will go back to talking about men belonging into mainstream feminism.

    Women are “oppressed” but men are only “restricted”. Talk about blatant hoarding of victim status. You love that little word “oppression” don’t you? Like hell are you gonna let men use it. Then it would lose its main purpose – which is having a convenient excuse for failure and inadequacy.

    How can any self respecting independent woman not be offended by this? Modern feminism is the single most misogynist movement in current western nations. Fortunately, more and more people are waking up and seeing through this dogmatic cesspit of self hatred and inferiority complexes.

    • Alright so because I am so very very opinionated…I’m going to comment on this.

      Here’s the thing, Emily wrote a piece where she’s saying she thinks men should join feminists. She writes an article saying she recognizes men are treated unequally and that she would like men to join her (and other feminists) in the fight for true gender equality. I will admit that her use of the terms “oppressed” and “restricted” are problematic. Perhaps it would have been more accurate to use them in the way Julie did in a comment here…..both men and women are “restricted” by gender roles in different ways. Also, though the title might say “the feminist movement,” she clarifies that in the article by saying there is not just one, single movement. She is effectively separating herself from the man-hating, gynocentric, radical feminists that are so destructive. It’s a call to change…for men and women who value gender equality to join together and fight for it.

      But here’s the thing…it’s difficult to keep a positive outlook when there are replies which are so full of anger and sarcasm. It is possible to disagree with the article and yet still maintain some measure of civility. A comment that is laced with negative emotions will likely do little more than inspire negative emotions in those who disagree with him/her. And that doesn’t help create a constructive dialogue.

      Sentences like “You love that little word “oppression” don’t you?” and “How can any self respecting independent woman not be offended by this?” are put in there to insult and undermine the author and her supporters. Or at least, that is how they are read. My reaction, when I see sentences like that, isn’t to consider what you write next. My reaction is to say “hell with it,” and move right along. Not because I disagree with you, and not because you don’t have a valid opinion…but because what those phrases have managed to inspire in me is frustration and annoyance.

      I’m not trying to call you out. I’ve just been seeing a lot of comments that use sarcasm, anger, vitriol, etc. and I felt the need to comment on them. Getting angry at someone who is making an attempt to meet you halfway doesn’t help things.

      • @ Heather

        While I admit that my wording was harsh and perhaps insulting, uncivilized it was definitely not by any stretch of the imagination (otherwise I invite you to spend some time entirely without civilization to get some perspective). However, none of that has any bearing on whether or not my statements were accurate or not.

        “A comment that is laced with negative emotions will likely do little more than inspire negative emotions in those who disagree with him/her.”

        Anyone who cannot put truth before their immediate emotional reaction to some strong criticism isn’t going to contribute anything constructive anyway. I would hope you are confident in Emily’s professionalism as a writer and ascribe to her the maturity to deal with harsh criticism since you are apparently one of her supporters.

        “Sentences like “You love that little word “oppression” don’t you?” and “How can any self respecting independent woman not be offended by this?” are put in there to insult and undermine the author and her supporters.”

        I admit the first of those quotes was put there entirely for spice. Coming to think about it now, I could probably make an honest case for a feminist love affair with the word “oppression” but I’ll let it be. The second quote, however, was not intended as an insult. I do sincerely believe that an independent adult woman would feel insulted by an activist group that relentlessly perpetuates the myth of female inferiority by clinging to exclusive victimization. Hell I even feel insulted for the women in my life and how it rubs off on them. It’s painting all women as helpless infants and, while I know that excites a lot of people sexually (male and female alike), I’m not one of them. That sort of fantasy might be fun in the bedroom but it does not belong in political activism.

        “Sentences like … undermine the author and her supporters. Or at least, that is how they are read.“

        Hive mind response. So you know what the author and her supporters think and how everyone will read my sentences. You apparently agree with me that feminism is anything but diverse. Or perhaps you aren’t a feminist?

        “Getting angry at someone who is making an attempt to meet you halfway doesn’t help things.“

        But that’s my whole point. Emily is NOT attempting to meet me halfway and that is precisely what I was saying with my comment. My irritation is with the fact that this is the umpteenth time I’ve seen such a fake attempt at a dialogue. And the funniest part is, you even agree with me to some extent.
        The difference is only that you think putting “oppression” of women against “restriction” of men (while denying oppression) is “problematic” while I consider it a deal breaker.

        You would not negotiate a financial contract with a party that insists you use US dollars while they use Monopoly money, would you? Think I’m exaggerating? Then consider this: As long as one side has exclusive rights to be designated as the “oppressed” group, this will always be the ace they can play whenever it looks like they might have to make a concession. Male suicide? “But we’re oppressed, not you”. Male discrimination? “You’re not oppressed so don’t complain”. Misandry? “You don’t know what it’s like to be oppressed”. It’s a universal response that can shut down any dialogue at any time for any reason.

        Sure, I’m willing to make concessions, but no way will I enter a dialogue that will only consist of me making concessions. Why would I?
        That’s really the crux of this entire discussion:
        What’s in it for men?

        • “Anyone who cannot put truth before their immediate emotional reaction to some strong criticism isn’t going to contribute anything constructive anyway.”

          Yeah but my point is that your immediate emotional reaction triggers other emotional reactions, until eventually we’re left snarking at each other. Really sitting down and considering the perspective and comments from someone I disagree with takes a bit of work…some effort. Having to first remind myself not to get pissed off at mean comments just makes it tiring. I am perhaps a sensitive person…but that’s sort of my point. In an anonymous internet exchange you (and I) don’t know the personality or baggage that the people we are talking to carry around. So erring on the side of caution can only benefit the discussion.

          So okay, my “at least that’s how it is read,” comment was put in there to acknowledge that you might not have meant for those statements to be read as snarky, but that is how they came across. Yes, technically, I do not know whether other readers have read it that way. But I have had many conversations with people about tone in writing – so yeah I bet there are people that didn’t read it as snarky, but I also bet there are other people out there who, like me, did read it as snarky.

          I think, Adi, you are getting too hung up on her use of the terms “oppression” and “restricted.” That is an area to have a discussion about, certainly. Like I said, I disagree with her use of the terms. It does make it seem like her essay is trying to say that women have it worse off – but I don’t think that was necessarily her intent. Sometimes when we say things (_particularly_ when we write) our words have meanings that we didn’t intend. So that’s something to have a discussion about – ask Emily, hey did you really mean to suggest that women have it worse? And if she says, “yeah,” then you have your answer. If she says, “oh crap no, that’s not what I meant, let me clarify,” then you can go from there. But having a discussion about her intended meaning is different than jumping to conclusions.

          I am a feminist, actually, but I’m an egalitarian feminist. Long and short of it – men and women are both restricted by gender roles. Men and women are both unequal in different ways. We should fix it. – the loud, gynocentric, radical feminists might be trying to hold onto a victim status and the word “oppression” but there are plenty of us out here who reject those ideas. Personally, I think using those words at all with regards to gender is problematic. There are no clear or overarching oppressors or victims when it comes to gender – because one side does not always have it easier than the other side. Not to mention, using the word victim suggests a lack of agency…and women have always had agency (just in different social spheres and circumstances).

          I think (now I could be wrong)….but I think that sometimes when people see the word “feminist” they assume all sorts of things about whoever is donning that label. And all of those assumptions can color how we then read anything else the self-proclaimed feminist writes.

          And finally…what’s in it for men? Well somewhere among all these comments we were talking about the idea of feminism and the MRM sort of coming together or spawning a third movement or something…where it’s not just about men’s rights or women’s rights, it’s about actual gender equality. (And we’d really have to include non-cis-gender people in there too). That is what this article is a jumping off point for.

          • “I am a feminist, actually, but I’m an egalitarian feminist.”

            Had to chuckle at this. You do realize that this statement includes the assertion that feminism is, by itself, not egalitarian, don’t you? Never mind, I’m sure it was just a blip and won’t try to suggest it was a Freudian slip or use it against you. Just having some fun – of which there desperately little in gender discussions.

            “I think, Adi, you are getting too hung up on her use of the terms “oppression” and “restricted.””

            Well one has to be pretty deliberate to think of a new word separately for men. But that’s not as significant as her explicit statement that men are not oppressed coupled with the “men should not make assertions about women’s experiences”. It’s a slap in the face to any egalitarian. While one might persuade me that it was just an accident, it would take quite a lot of intellectual contortion. It’s not like “women are oppressed and men are not” leaves any room for interpretation.

            “loud, gynocentric, radical feminists might be trying to hold onto a victim status and the word “oppression” but there are plenty of us out here who reject those ideas.”

            Are you a free-time feminist or a professional feminist? Because one thing that stands out in all this “good feminist” vs “bad feminist” is that the egalitarian feminists tend to have a life. They have families, a job and simply support the egalitarian feminist stance. They don’t tend to have any political influence on mainstream feminism let alone mainstream media or politics. Meanwhile the radfems have dedicated their lives to their cause and made sure that everyone hears them. They are the ones with all the influence. It’s nice that some feminists are egalitarian like you, but those who have the leverage are almost never egalitarian. In my country there was one and she was kicked out as soon as she raised a men’s issue. By calling yourself a feminist, you are passively supporting those radfems who we hear in the mainstream media.

            “There are no clear or overarching oppressors or victims when it comes to gender – because one side does not always have it easier than the other side.”

            At least in terms of living standard there is a very clear cut loser. Every statistic that connected to it (life span, education, safety, death rate, illness and unsheltered homelessness), overwhelmingly favour women. Even feminists are starting to see this – hence the “lets stop comparing the genders” call we hear more and more of. They know all too well that an unbiased comparison would take their reasoning ad absurdum.

            And lets not forget that this comparison of who has it worse, was instrumental in feminist activism for decades. After so many accomplishments, to now suggest not doing so is just as cynical as the western industrialized nations demanding from developing countries to cut back on their emissions.

            “And finally…what’s in it for men? Well somewhere among all these comments we were talking about the idea of feminism and the MRM sort of coming together or spawning a third movement or something”

            Great idea, I’m the first to be onboard for a new movement with a new name. Only I’m not the one calling myself a feminist so if that’s what you think then, by all means, lead the way. Just one question though: how will you get rid of the radfems?

            As for the whole tone of voice issue, I’d like to remind you that feminism has relied for decades on extremely hostile, sexist and even violent behaviour – more so than the MRM has ever demonstrated. The only reason there has been some mellowing down is because of the mass of success. It’s no longer necessary for feminists to be aggressive as there is plenty of legitimate support in the mainstream. This was not always so and for the MRM it is still not so. When you actually argue for men’s rights, you are up against a kind of bigotry that feminists have never had to deal with. And some of that was on this very website!
            So, no, I think anger is not only appropriate, it is necessary for gaining attention – which is all we can do at this point.
            I invite you to see for yourself. Perhaps stop by at manboobz as a non-feminist male and suggest that David Futrelle perhaps also mention misandry once in a while and not just misogyny. Be as civil and polite as you suggest I be. Let’s see how far you’ll get and what responses you get. Nearly everyone there is a feminist and some consider themselves gender egalitarians too.

            • With regards to tone of voice: here’s the thing..GMP isn’t a feminist site, it’s not an MRM site either. It’s a place where, theoretically, everyone (whether you associate with those groups or not), can come and discuss what it means to be a good men. And, because feminism is not nearly as gynocentric as it once was, that includes some discussion of feminism. Hopefully, though, this could be a space where we all treat each other civilly and politely. I always attempt to do that…I always attempt to leave any annoyance or frustration I have out of my comments. I don’t always success…but I do try.

              On whether anger is appropriate – yeah maybe it is. I’m not a man, it’s not a personal issue with me…so I won’t answer that. But is it useful? Well that depends on what your goal is. Do you want to get as much attention as possible so that you can push your agenda to the limits? Then anger will get you that. Do you want to provide a coherent argument and foster discussion that will create a better understanding of how the genders interact in our society? Then anger will only hurt you.

              With regards to feminism: I qualify my label as “egalitarian feminism” because there are so many versions. Radfems are the loudest…but like I mentioned somewhere else, the radicals from pretty much any movement are often the loudest. The middle of the road Republicans aren’t in the running for President right now. The Easter/Christmas Catholics aren’t the ones who eventually become archbishops. But just because they’re the loudest and they’re the ones who are often put in charge doesn’t mean that’s a good thing.

              Take feminism for example – yeah the gynocentric feminists have managed to push a lot of their legislation through. Women benefit…and men were totally screwed (particularly with regards to paternal rights). So instead of the MRM shouting from the rooftops, and possibly swinging everything around so that it’s all misogynistic…why don’t we try to work for actual equality this time around.

              “Great idea, I’m the first to be onboard for a new movement with a new name. Only I’m not the one calling myself a feminist so if that’s what you think then, by all means, lead the way. Just one question though: how will you get rid of the radfems?”

              I could be part of a new egalitarian movement and apart of an egalitarian feminist movement. Egalitarian – working for equality between all the genders (and I include non-cis-genders as well)….and feminist in that I focus on women’s issues. (Not to the exclusion of men’s issues…but just that that is where I focus). Sort of like…I’m social scientist, but I’m an archaeologist. Social science is the general field – and archaeology is my focus – and then even further on to the Near East…etc. Why couldn’t the new movement be shaped like that – an overarching goal of true equality, with different groups focusing on different issues…not battling each other over them.

              And why don’t I start it? Well I dunno…lemme get my Betty Friedan persona out and I’ll hop right on that. Ha. I’m working on it…actually a whole heck of a lot of people here at GMP are working on creating an egalitarian movement and egalitarian space. So, you know, instead of saying how impossible it is…why don’t you join us? :)

            • I apologize that is long.

            • I think if you are really serious about egalitarianism then you must be prepared to ditch words like feminism because they cannot be reconciled with each other anymore than the idea of an “atheist belief system”.

              If you want to focus on specific areas where egalitarianism is lacking, then you can always add that description without resorting to labeling. That way you underline that your ultimate goal is egalitarianism despite specialization.

              My other problem with that concept is that, in order for it to work, there must be common ground among those various groups but in order to find common ground, we must negotiate and we’re back to the problems of patriarchy or male privilege.

              And there is yet another. “Meeting in the middle” for feminists and MRAs can’t work they way you probably believe it will. You see, the MRM is microscopic compared with feminism. Feminists have all the leverage and all the power. Having them meet in the middle will, in practice, be indistinguishable from having the MRM become feminists. Why?
              (Analogy alert)
              Did you know that the earth also revolves around the moon? Actually they revolve around each other. Only the earth is so much more massive that the center of rotation is inside the earth itself and close to it’s own center of mass. As a result, it appears as if the moon is revolving around the earth and the earth is not moving realtively. That is what will happen if feminists and the MRM actually agree with each other. That is why every place that it has been attempted has resulted in just another feminist place with an ever so slight touch upon men’s issues (not talking about GMP now as that’s different). There is just such an astronomical power difference between the two movements that any kind of negotiations on equal terms is impossible.

              Now I realize that this conclusion assumes a largely adversarial relationship between feminists and the MRM. But that is exactly what observation has taught us all. In fact, many MRAs are former feminists who kind of defected. One could even make the case that feminism created the MRM just as the patriarchy created feminism.

              Me join the GMP? You mean as an author? I would be kind of flattered and I would promise to behave myself too 😉

            • “Me join the GMP? You mean as an author? I would be kind of flattered and I would promise to behave myself too ”

              I’m actually on my way to sleep at the minute or I’d comment on the rest of this. I just wanted to clarify. I don’t have any authority to offer something like that, sorry for the confusion. I meant – why not join us in creating an egalitarian movement. Like…as in instead of tearing the down, why not try some constructive suggestions. :)

            • Oh oh but I’m pretty sure anyone can submit an article via this page: http://goodmenproject.com/about/

              At the bottom of the page it provides you with links if you want to submit an article or an article idea. 😀

            • Julie Gillis says:
            • I just lost an entire freaking reply. Hot damnit I do not like this refresh. :(

              Anyway…here’s the gist: Huzzah, I look forward to reading your first article. :)

              I get that not all feminists would be willing to join an egalitarian movement. Us egalitarian feminists are a small group already, so it’s not like the MRAs would end up joining an already huge group of people. The earth and moon analogy is pretty cool (I was way in astronomy as a kid). But it’s inaccurate, because like I said, egalitarian feminists aren’t some huge group…and we’re the ones who’d be joining with the MRAs.

              So yeah – egal feminists and MRAs could join together to make their own third movement. We might end up fighting against radical feminists, actually….and fighting against radical MRAs. But mostly, instead of focusing on who our enemy is – we should actually focus on changing things. Demonizing one group (feminists, or men, or whoever), serves as a great rallying point, but it doesn’t fix anything. It just confuses things and we end up fighting _against_ each other, instead of _for_ change.

              I get that there’s an adversarial relationship between the MRA and feminists, and I’m saying that’s a problem. It distracts us from actually changing anything….instead we end up bickering about who has it worse. – Ooooh us poor women, ooooh us poor men. Look what you evil feminists have done to us. Look what you evil men have done to us. – it doesn’t get us anywhere, except more entrenched in our respective sides.

              I totally get that Emily here used some problematic terms, and there should be a discussion about that…but hopefully it would be a productive discussion about why they were problematic. Not an angry rant at how all feminists are pretending to want to listen to men when really we’re just luring you into a false sense of security so we can shut you down the moment you open your mouths. – cuz I really doubt that is what Emily was doing. I know I’ve never tried to do that.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Feminist (women) mhave had the benefit of spouting off at themouth for 30 years as to how they have been treated. Men have had NO platform. Yeah, damn straight we’re yelling from the roof tops as to how we’ve been screwed over. Yet it’s still not being heard. Many men have their head up their behinds and are clueless. It’s not until they lost their kids, their job, their money and are looking at being locked up that thay may start to listen. They need to know what’s going on and it’s for darn sure main stream society isn’t goung to tell them. We aren’t whinning, we are trying to educate.

              A few years ago a wife of a local doctor drown her kids. Ya wanna know what the media focused on? Why didn’t HE know what was happening. This poor excuse for a women much less a mom murdered her kids (more then one – methodically) yet the medias focaus was on the husband/father. Did ya see the article in this forum about the guy who because he was abused as a child and the judge allowed his personal journal, he lost his kids? It’s not whinning …. it’s educating.

        • Great points Adi.
          What is in it for men. This tiny minority of manhating bigots seem to be driving the whole damn ship with zero opposition from the much larger group of kinder equity feminists–at least when we look at the political arm of feminism. The women are passing some very bad laws that have demonstrable harm to millions of men and their children.

          Sometimes the cynical side of me thinks it is an unspoken win win agreement: the kinder feminists don’t interrupt the bigots from doing their work of institutionalized pedestalization of women into laws, and the kinder feminists give cover to the “bad apples” by running a few blogs here and there were they talk about men being harmed. Maybe when there is a mutiny and the manhaters no longer drive all political decisions of the largest feminist machinery there will be a place for men.
          Or maybe when there is more than a handful of famous feminists who call out bad feminist policy (like Cathy Young and Kathleen Parker do) or more than a handful of authors who call out bad feminist policy (like Paglia and Hoff-Somers).

          I see almost no self-policing among well-known feminists about the terrible harm the movement is doing because the haters drive the ship. The fight seems to be all done at the personal level by women who have nothing to lose by speaking out against feminism. And even some of these have to remain anonymous (like girl writes what) for fear of retaliation (which says A LOT, that fact says A WHOLE LOT).

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Waaaa. <— sarcastic and rude comment. She wrote aqn article that has nothing to do with men and their issues. She wrote an article to make her look like "meathead" in All in the Family. " Ohh look at me, I care, I'm reaching out. She wrote this on a MEN'S site where MEN would read it. Did you honestly think tghat non-feminist men would fall for this? Nonetheless, it did allow a platform for you and other feminists to look like these glowing angels who are trying to reach out to these poor men. Feminist tent is aq FEMINIST tent. I'm not interested in camping out in that tent. Come over to the men's tent and we'll talk.

        I'd like to add something. What I don't see are the women who have been screwed over by feminism. Maybe the feminists should do some pan handling over at "Conserned women of America" tend. You know why they don't? Because these secure women, will show them the door. These are people of the same gender (women) who have been screwed over as well and KNOW the feminist game.

        Yeah, this article was a feminist way of reaching out with an olive branch. Ya don't reach out to MEN, real men, and represent feminism in any way.

  20. Tom Brechlin says:

    Maybe you should open your tent to these GUYS? In western countries the large majority of homeless are men (75-80%), with single males particularly overrepresented.

  21. Personally as a left of center progressive and a believer in compersion; I support the rights and equalities of all people. There is discrimination of all sort in our society, some of the worst being between the classes; something that our society doesn’t even recognize as we are brainwashed to believe that we live in a classless country. I work for a fortune 100 company. We have women in upper management, but they are definitely in the minority. Do they get paid the same as their male counterparts? I don’t know for sure, but highly doubt it. In the industry I work in, there are almost no women CEOs.

    So yes, you may call me a feminist and I can assure you that my balls are still firmly attached to my body. I am also a strong supporter of the liberation of female sexuality. I am tired of the disparity between the words stud and slut. They mean exactly the same thing. And I am also tired of reading the ramblings of insecure men such as in the post, “Does It Matter How Many Partners She’s Had?” Guys worrying that a woman might have experienced a bigger dick than theirs in her slutty past. No wonder the penis enlargement industry is booming even if most of them are total scams. Come on guys, grow up and get over it! Quit watching so much porn; the majority of men in real life don’t have donkey dicks. Remember the old cigarette commercial? “It’s not how long you make it, it is how you make it long,” or as a woman friend of mine once said when a man propositioned her and then when onto brag about his huge penis, “What do you think I am, a horse?” :)

    • I don’t ID with any political direction as they are both rudderless and lacking in repeatable principles necessary for success. As a result, we have a mess on our hands co-created by both sides.

      I too work for a Fortune 100 company in the sales division, with basically runs the place. That is, no sales, no revenue, no paychecks. The top VPs are mainly female. No idea how much they make, but it’s probably way into the hundreds of thousands, and over a million for the boss lady. Do they earn as much as their male counterparts? I don’t know but I do know that publicly traded companies are highly risk averse. So, if there is a disparity in earning based on actual discrimination, they have an exposure, which they don’t want.

      What you apparently don’t realize that is that about 90% of VP’s of HR in Fortune 100 companies are women, not men. So, if there is organized anti-female discrimination taking place, a woman is responsible for it. What you may not know is that one of the VP of HR’s primary responsibilities is Risk Management, preventing the very thing you claim is taking place. So, if your claim is correct, not only are women actively discriminating against other women, they aren’t even doing their jobs.

      It’s fine to support female sexuality but perhaps you are not aware that the term slut is used more by women than men. There are plenty of men who have no problem taking easy sex.

      Further, it’s really none of your or anyone else’s business to tell a man or woman what they should or should not prefer in a mate. If I want a person who’s been with 1,000 men, that’s my prerogative. If I want a virgin, that too is my prerogative. You preferences are yours. Mine are mine.

      Similarly, some women may not want a man whose been married or engaged 3 or 4 times. That’s her prerogative, and she has the right to ask about his past. He is free to not share those details, just as she is free to not share her sexual history and other history. But, they each have the right to have a preference and ask if such things matter to them.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Obviously none of us on here are CEO’s. CEO’s of Fortune 100 to 500 companies are generally selected based upon their performance with their current company or others that they worked with. Board of directors are looking for their return on investments and if it happens to be a man that can give them the best bang for the buck, then so be it. I really don’t believe that it’s their “plan” to keep women out. In so far as women making less than men, studies do show that they do but not for the reasons that the feminists put out there. In truth, and studies show it, women “settle” for less. In my glory days in the corporate world, I negotiated my employment package. Women simply settle for less. I too was in the sales and development arena and you’re right about that part of the business being the life blood of a company. And although my salary was really good, the money that’s made isn’t salary but more so bonus and commissions. That’s based upon performance and companies are willing to pay dearly for good performance. Being elevated to a sales management level in a Fortune 500, I know in fact that the bonus and commission schedule was the same across the board. The only variables were in base salary. Women did in fact settled for less. When I put a package on the table to a prospective sales associate, more often than not, women would accept what was put in front of them, men on the other hand negotiated.
        Watch the TV show Shark Tank and you will see women fold like a deck of cards and the investors tend to get turned off and at times even insulted when these people don’t even try to negotiate.
        With unemployment what it is, and the reality that there are so many people either unemployed or underemployed, negotiation is much harder UNLESS you have an amazing track record and / or you’ve been sought out by a company.
        But rather then looking at the job market realistically, feminists go directly to the “it’s unfair” platform without consideration of what the company needs or is looking for.

    • “you may call me a feminist and I can assure you that my balls are still firmly attached to my body. ”

      Apparently you felt the need to point that out. Interesting.

      “Do they get paid the same as their male counterparts? I don’t know for sure, but highly doubt it.”

      Why do you doubt it? From the perspective of the company it makes no sense to hire more expensive employees if you can get the same value for a lower price.

      “I am also a strong supporter of the liberation of female sexuality.”

      How about male sexuality? Are you not a supporter of its liberation?

      “I am tired of the disparity between the words stud and slut.”

      There will always be this disparity so long as the challenge to get laid is as different as it is for the sexes. No amount of activism will ever change that.

      “They [slut and stud] mean exactly the same thing.”
      They do not – at least not any more than the word “hunger” means the same thing in Switzerland as it does in Somalia.

    • Nice caricature of a male who might have a complaint about feminism. Your ridiculous argument doesnt even address any of the many women who post on this sight who acknowledge or complain of feminism. How about you rebut things people have actually said instead of creating imaginary arguments/opponents?

    • John Anderson says:

      “So yes, you may call me a feminist and I can assure you that my balls are still firmly attached to my body.”

      That’s why it hurts when she squeezes.

    • “Guys worrying that a woman might have experienced a bigger dick than theirs in her slutty past. No wonder the penis enlargement industry is booming even if most of them are total scams. Come on guys, grow up and get over it! Quit watching so much porn; the majority of men in real life don’t have donkey dicks. ”

      Your post is loaded down with contempt for men. The misandry in you is great. Men can be insecure because they are human beings. When women complain about body image you show your support. If a man does this you lash out at him. These double standards show the kind of sexism feminist have permitted and encouraged over the years. Resentment and hatred of men is not the road to equality. Men have no reason to support those who openly hold such a low opinion of them simply because of their gender.

      The sexual liberation of women amounts to adults wanting to chase orgasms instead of priortizing meaningful intimate relationships. The historic basis for the rejection of “sluts” is the issue of paternity and at least today we have the technology to know who the father really is. Men should select more chaste women because they have proven they have self control and don’t hop into bed with every man that makes them tingle. Wanting a partner that values you, and treats a sex partner as something special isn’t asking too much.

      Feminist like you are exactly why we have a Men’s Rights Movement. Your post was mean spirited and highly disrespectful of men.

  22. Random_Stranger says:

    There is no room for the male perspective in feminist circles and men well never be served by such a group.

    I feel we talk a lot of semantics about what feminism is, with some feminists imagining the movement serves the liberation of all under the gender binary. But no; a movement whose very language enshrines bigoted division (“FEMinist” vs. “PATriarchy”) and celebrates naked hostility to a target group is specifically designed to exclude that target group from the conversation.

    Men shouldn’t lend it credibility by enjoining feminist discourse.

  23. Random_Stranger says:

    “I do not believe our society oppresses men..”

    Of course you don’t .In feminism dogma, men have never had to struggle for their place in society and have enjoyed unabashed privilege since time immortal. This is the narrative feminism needs to provide it the moral authority and ethos to pursue an agenda that is uniquely gendered and distributive among similar freedom movements.

    News Flash, Men HAVE historically struggled for their place in society. But we don’t call such movements “masculinism”, we call them the protestant reformation, the enlightenment, the democratic revolution, the anti-slavery movement, the labor movement, the communist revolution, the anti-war movement and the civil rights movement. Those revolutions all consisted of men struggling for a place of dignity in society. They may have been incomplete revolutions, but each was a marginal advancement of individual freedoms. And in contrast to feminism, none of them explicitly attempted to reduce the status of a particular gender, or group of people. That honor belongs to feminism.

    Feminism is no longer a progressive movement, if it ever was. It needs to be torn down and replaced by a gender movement that represents the advancement of ALL people

  24. ” I don’t want men speaking for me, because I would find it patronizing if they assumed to know my experience. ”

    Some feminist never considered their conspiratorial rationalizations of male behavior to be patronizing. I for one would welcome women like GirlWritesWhat to speak for men in the Men’s Rights Movement along with other sympathetic women. Men are so constrained by the new gender normative behavior rules created by feminist that any complaints they have about women’s behavior are likely to be seen as misogyny.

    “I do not believe our society oppresses men, but I do believe it restricts them. ”

    My god women what are you saying? What is the difference? It would appear you are trying to monopolize superior victim status even though you are arguably coming from the rather privileged classification of White Female, whom we know to have shared the benefits of White Male cultural dominance throughout history. In the history of oppression being expected to care for one’s children is hardly a ranking event. Having neither you, your husband, or your children being sold at auction would be a ranking event. To turn things around and count yourself today to be among the truly “oppressed” takes some real mental gymnastics. When we look at oppression historically there is no such reference to anything as benign as the realities facing women today. People in the future would be hard pressed to figure out what women were complaining about in 2012 after reading about the Holocaust, Slavery, or our us having the worlds largest prison population mostly consisting of minority males.

    In my mind you wish to exploit men for your own gains. You don’t respect their concerns outside of trying to pay lip service to issues whose importance was routinely dismissed by the feminist movement you would have men join.

    There is a deep seated distrust of men in your perspective that wreaks of misandry. The culmination of spending a long time trying to figure out how men are to blame for women’s woes instead of recognizing he role of personal choices in differing outcomes. Men have not been blaming women for their over representation in prisons but women have been blaming men for their not running for political office.

    I find the offer to join a movement whose goal is to restructure society with the goal of benefiting only women and homosexuals to be too narrow in scope to be worth our time. It fails to be humanistic and it’s hostile towards straight men and white men in particular. This bigoted approach to equality is untenable.

  25. The author of this opinion piece claims that men belong in the feminist circles and they should only speak for themselves in those circle. I would like to ask the so-called egalitarian feminists as to how feminism has ever directly benefited men? Why should a man put his trust in feminism? Men’s Right Movement is the love-child of feminism born from feminism f-ing numerous men.

  26. I would like to ask the so-called egalitarian feminists as to how feminism has ever directly benefited men?

    Feminism helped me let go of some dumb shit, like the idea that I always had to put together the Ikea furniture. I find it an annoying bore, but my wife loves it so that’s a household chore she takes care of. Before I became a feminist I was bound to the idea that there were some things that I “had to do” simply because I was a man, now we split up the work by who’s best suited to/most interested the task at hand.

    • LOL! You needed a feminist to tell you that?! Sorry but my father knew that over 50 years ago (he never put never put anything together), and he’s definitely no feminist.

  27. @Eric: Alrighty examples of male privilege – politics (like I already mentioned), the mainstream view of the LGBT community, modern conceptions of beauty, the tech industry, the military, the corporate world. It’s not a matter of looking at the numbers, strictly. It’s more about the perception of those categories both within and without those specific contexts. I have to go out at the moment, but I will be back to elaborate a bit more on the LGBT example because frankly that’s the one I’m most familiar with.

    And yeah the feminist movement hasn’t done much with regards to female privilege…but I think that should change. And I think that this article is saying that should change too.

    • “Alrighty examples of male privilege – politics (like I already mentioned)”

      How can there be female politicians if men always comes out on top as a result of male privilege?

      And sorry, your theories and examples are not backed up by any data.

      • How can there be female homeless people if if the case of homelessnes, women are privileged? To say that women are privileged when it comes to, say, child custody, isn’t to say that women will always 100% of the time get custody. It says that the system in place favors women. So with politics, there are female politicians…but the dialogue that surrounds people who are running for office favors men. The tech industry – there are women who work in the tech industry, but to do so is very much an experience of walking into a man’s world. LGBT community – obviously there are many women within that community, but the public image of gay rights is that of a gay man. Beauty – obviously a lot of pressure is put onto both men and women with regards to their physical appearance. But there are still societal messages told to women and girls that the entirety of their worth is wrapped up in how they look.

        “On top,” doesn’t mean that one group is doing well in a context and another is totally screwed. It’s not about absolutes like that. It’s not about saying that in a particular issue men (or women) have it easy, and the other group has it tough. It’s about saying that in a particular context sometimes men are more likely to be screwed over by virtue of being men, and sometimes women are more likely to be screwed over by virtue of being women.

        • “the dialogue that surrounds people who are running for office favors men.”
          In what way? What is your evidence?

          “there are women who work in the tech industry, but to do so is very much an experience of walking into a man’s world.”

          As a result of women’s choices. Feminists especially choose to take gender studies and then blame their lack of jobs in engineering and tech on men and society.

          Why don’t feminists acknowledge personal choice with their male privilege theory?

          • “In what way? What is your evidence?” – I am not retyping my whole Clinton and Bachman discussion. That is what I was referring to.

            “Why don’t feminists acknowledge personal choice with their male privilege theory?”

            The question of personal choice impacts statistics. For example – are there more women who are nurses, than men, because of personal choice? Maybe. But then we have to ask ourselves why? Is it just a meaningless statistic? In this case the answer is no…it’s because in jobs which entail a caregiving role there is female privilege. Personal choice exists, it’s just that people’s choices are made within certain cultural contexts.

            • The experiences of two politicians not being treated like little old ladies is not evidence of male privilege. Anybody, male or female, young or old, who wants to run for office better have thick skin and be prepared for no-gloves-on treatment, not special gentle treatement reserved for ladies.

              Women and girls are more willing and interested in voluntary (no charge) caregiving for friends and/or family. Thus, it stands to reason that they would be mroe likely to pursue jobs in caregiving. This is not any sort of privilege; it is reality.

              This conversation is precisely the kind of thinking that keeps women out of feminism.

            • With regards to the politics – it’s not that they weren’t treated nicely. Obviously politics is a tough and dirty game. It’s that their gender was a source for attacks and ridicule.

              With regards to the nursing example – again it’s not that women are encouraged to engage in caregiving work, it’s that men are discouraged. Male nurses have to contend with all sorts of stereotypes about their sexuality….and that they’re just failed doctors. They are often seen as less masculine because of their profession.

            • Let me explain how this works: Obama’s big ears, McCain’s T-Rex arms, Hillary’s cankles, Bush’s stammering and inarticulateness, etc. Whatever people can use they will use. It’s not about ears, arms, cankles, gender. it’s politics, not a Sunday picnic. If they were mean to the women and nice to the guys, then you would have a point.

              How many little boys say they want to become a nurse or daycare worker? You don’t hear that. Nothing to do with sexuality. You are ignoring the reality that men and women are simply not the same, and make different choices as a result.

            • And yet none of the examples you gave are at all what I am talking about. I think you’re seeing this as a very black and white situation. As if for you, in order for there to be male privilege, the men have to be treated amazingly, and the women like shit. And vice versa with female privilege. But the reality is that it’s a much more subtle situation. So in politics – everyone gets attacked for different personal things. But when Obama had to suffer attacks that were based on his ethnicity, that indicated ethnic privilege. Because those attacks weren’t about Obama, they were about his ethnicity. Similarly, when Clinton was attacked for being unemotional, and then for being too emtional – those weren’t attacks on Hilary, they were made because of her gender. Bush’s stammering being ridiculed wasn’t because hew as a man, or because he was white…it wasn’t because of any social category he was part of – it was all about his individual way of speaking. _That_ is the difference.

              There _are_ boys who want to become nurses. There are men who want to become nurses…which is why we do have male nurses. It’s not about statistically whether women are more likely to want to become a nurse. It’s about the social pressure put onto boys to _not_ become nurses. (And as a side note – I wasn’t saying it had anything to do with sexuality. I was saying that male nurses often have to contend with stereotypes regarding their sexuality).

            • I disagree Heather. I don’t think the game of politics is either male privileged or female privileged.

              I think the press is likely to attack either a man (seeming to) fail at his gender role or a woman (seeming to fail) at her gender role.

              Look at Edmund Muskie who essentially lost a presidential bid because he appeared to cry when reporters claimed his wife was a drunk.

              As Eric M said, the politicians detractors will latch onto ANYTHING they can use.

              I simply think that many women smartly stay out of politics. What needs is there for a woman to enter politics when male politicians overwhelmingly enact laws favoring women?

              Content people do not make great advocates or politicians. This could be a very important reason why there is a lack of female candidates: there is nothing to be gained (that male politicians are not already giving women) and EVERYTHING to lose.

            • “Look at Edmund Muskie who essentially lost a presidential bid because he appeared to cry when reporters claimed his wife was a drunk.”

              Okay, but if that was the case, why then was Hilary also derided for showing emotion…she is a woman after all. There is a heteronormative bias in politics, certainly. Both men and women are expected to adhere to certain gender standards – the women wear make-up, but the men most certainly don’t. The women have long (ish) hair, and the men keep it short. The men are expected not to show tears. etc. etc.

              But for a woman to go far in politics, she is expected to not show certain traits that have been traditionally seen as feminine. The big one being emotion. She behaved in a traditionally masculine way (just like all the other candidates) by not showing emotion and suddenly Hilary is an ice queen. When she does show emotion (a traditionally feminine behavior) she was derided for that. – again, I’m not saying that male privilege is like the deciding factor in who gets elected or something. I’m not saying it’s the biggest problem with our election system or anything. I’m just saying it’s there…along with a lot of other privileges (class and heteronormative privilege are the big ones I can think of)…it’s there.

              And what you’re saying about women not going into politics because all the men are fighting for their issues is insulting. Really quite insulting. As if women all have the same issues…and as if all women’s issues are about being women. Why do men go into politics? Is it to further men’s issues, specifically? No…it’s because they have an entire range of issues they care about, some of them without gender at all. Why then would you assume that women in politics would only care about furthering women’s issues?

            • Well, whatever reasons women may feel inspired to go into politics, it seems that women choose that those things they wish to fight for are not worth the intense scrutiny.

              In other words, you seem to be falling into the standard dynamic that disparity equals discrimination that many feminists fall into.

              I see women (smartly) staying out of politics as it could be very damaging for ones soul. You see an anti-woman environment.

              Also, in your discussion with Eric I think I see where the miscommunication lies.

              Eric makes very good points that when we take the metrics which show wide-spread black disenfranchisement and apply them to gender, it is overwhelmingly shown that THE WORST aspects of bias (which gender gets helped the most when we look at destitute, depressed, or vulnerable, disabled, dysfunctional persons) men fall far lower in the safety net.

              A very large subset of men suffer more of the very worst institutional bias which leads to the loss of life and limb (destitute homelessness, suicide, on the job deaths etc..).

              However, women’s oppression seems to be more cultural. I have read of women stating there nearly daily harrassment by men on the streets with just total disbelief. But, after reading more studies about street harrassment I have to admit that a great deal of women, have to deal with a great deal of harrassment.

              I can see where a lot of the oppression women face is soft cultural oppression. I can see what Eric is stating about male privilege. Certainly male privilege exists, but it only exists for white men (I was going to say straight white men, but actually I think gay men can ladder climb just as well as any others, straight/gay isn’t the same as a skin pigment).

              It also pretty much only exists for white men who SUCCESSFULLY navigate the male success role. There are more white men who are imprisoned, depressed, disabled, dysfunctional as any other group of men who are the “washouts” at the male success role. IN many ways the male role (even for white men) is much more of a craps shoot than the female role is for women.

              However, I would agree with your theme that a lot of men have male privilege who are 1) white and 2) successfully navigate the male role. IN those instances I agree that these men will get more accolades thrown at their feet basically just for being the right person standing in the right spot at the right time.

              While the female role may be safer, and if you were to plot the female results on a curve against male results, you would see a softer curve (fewer women fall to the same depths of powerlessness as men, but also fewer women rise to the same heights as the many male elites) there are definitely cultural pitfalls to the female role.

              While there are negative consequences of men always having to pursue, there are negative consequences to women of being the pursued:
              rebuff a man too hard and she’s a bitch. rebuff him too softly and he has false hope something could emerge.

              I see you’re point in politics that the female tight-rope that she must walk is much tighter. She can’t seem too slutty, OR too ice-queen.

              I think these are flipsides of the same coin. Political advocacy might help the plight of men, but what would help everybody the most is empathy and seeing the other side as hurting human beings.

            • Holy crapple apple…that was long. lol. I guess I can’t complain considering I write such long posts too.

              So no, I’m not saying that fewer women in politics equals discrimination. My discussion of women in politics wasn’t about the numbers…I was _purely_ talking about the tight rope you referred to. That’s all. A discussion of the numbers would be a completely different one. (I only got annoyed at the implication that women would defer to men in politics unless there was a specifically feminine issue they cared about). – I’m actually a bit of an anti-statistics person…I mean not really…but sort of. Numbers can be manipulated to mean just about anything…so they don’t mean much without context…without figuring out what caused those numbers. Anyway, that’s another conversation.

              As to cultural vs institutional discrimination between the genders…yeah I definitely think we’re at a point where most of the crap women have to put up with just for being a woman is societal, not institutional. And there is institutional privilege for women (with regards to paternal laws, domestic violence, access to homeless shelters…etc). I personally think that’s another issue to discuss…where these privileges come from and how they are expressed is a different conversation than just showing that they exist. But yeah…I could see where the confusion might lie. I am not saying men have institutional privilege anymore.

              “Certainly male privilege exists, but it only exists for white men.”

              Sure I could see that. Again, my point of the whole discussion about male and female privilege wasn’t to say that all men or all women had it. It’s to say that in certain situations/cultural contexts…one or the other can exist.

              And as for ‘soft’ cultural discrimination…well I dunno about calling it soft. I mean yeah in some ways it is…like it’s not about the system screwing you over. But then it’s also a bit more difficult to change…a change in a policy or law can completely alter institutional discrimination. Social discrimination is a tougher nut to crack. (Which isn’t to say all female privilege is institutional, or that men don’t also come across cultural discrimination). And I’m not saying that changing an institutional policy is like easy as pie or something. I’m just saying – they’ve both got their hurdles.

              “Political advocacy might help the plight of men, but what would help everybody the most is empathy and seeing the other side as hurting human beings.”

              And yeah this exactly.

        • Tom Brechlin says:

          “How can there be female homeless people if if the case of homelessnes, women are privileged?” I sited information on the ratio of men vs women and the overwhelming majority are men.
          “”To say that women are privileged when it comes to, say, child custody, isn’t to say that women will always 100% of the time get custody. It says that the system in place favors women” Which means that women are privileged when it comes to child custody.
          “ So with politics, there are female politicians…but the dialogue that surrounds people who are running for office favors men.” You assume that men are not feminist and don’t favor feminism and their platform? Feminist point of “view is to label a male politician as favoring men simply because he’s a man. The if you believe that, you must also believe that a women would only be interested in female rights?
          “The tech industry – there are women who work in the tech industry, but to do so is very much an experience of walking into a man’s world.” Not being familiar with the industry so I can’t say one way or another but something you don’t care to take into consideration as many feminists don’t is the reality that men’s brains work differently than women.
          “LGBT community – obviously there are many women within that community, but the public image of gay rights is that of a gay man”. But everything they fight for and accomplish is for men and women in their movement whereas in the feminist world, it’s for the benefit of women only.
          “Beauty – obviously a lot of pressure is put onto both men and women with regards to their physical appearance. But there are still societal messages told to women and girls that the entirety of their worth is wrapped up in how they look” Perhaps because you’re not a man you wouldn’t notice the increase in the fashion industry which is targeting men. Focus may not be as much on clothes and makeup but definitely in others areas. Take a look at an article on WebMD “Exercise Addiction in Men When exercise becomes too much”. So to say what you did is simply wrong and false but is typical of the “I think I understand men” kind of attitude.

          • “I sited information on the ratio of men vs women and the overwhelming majority are men.” – That was a rhetorical question in response to Eric’s question about women and politics.

            And yes, women are privileged when it comes to child custody. That is what I am saying. Women are privileged, but any privilege doesn’t ensure being favoured 100%.

            As for politicians – I’m not talking about whether male or female politicians favour feminist agendas or not. I was purely talking about the obstacles they face while trying for election – in which women are attacked based on their gender.

            With regards to the tech industry – I’m not talking about the number of men or women in the industry. I am referring to the way in which the industry is inhospitable to women who want to enter it (which is based on what I’ve been told by a couple of friends).

            With regards to the LGBT community – again I’m not referring to the rights that they are fighting for (which is actually very lgb biased and often fails to address trans issues). I am referring to the way the LGBT community is viewed and represented in the mainstream. Gay men are the face of it; they’re getting the press, so to speak. I mean not completely…it’s not as if there aren’t any famous lesbians or anything. I’m just saying generally, LGBT experiences are being told to the rest of the world through the lens of gay men.

            Beauty – I totally understand what you are saying, and I am not saying that I understand how men feel with regards to how they’re told to feel about their bodies. I am not discussing the emotional impact of the pressure to look good. What I’m saying is that although there is an increase in targeting men, the focus on women to make sure they look good has been around for a long time, and it isn’t going anywhere.

            • Which I’d just like to add, that what you’re picking apart here is sort of beyond the point. Or maybe it serves to prove my point. – Male and female privilege exists, but it’s all reliant on a contextual approach. Not everything has a gendered privilege…but for those aspects of society in which they do, the way to understand it is by looking at a specific context.

              So the actual rights that LGB people are fighting for, no male or female privilege. The actual policies put in place with regards to paternal rights, female privilege. The discourse surrounding the personal and political lives of our elected officials, male privilege.

              And yet other privileges do exist. Within the LGBT community, it’s a cis-gender privilege (which exists in mainstream society too). With regards to family custody, economic privilege is also at work. With regards to politicians – there’s heteronormative privilege and ethnic privilege.

            • “Male and female privilege exists, but it’s all reliant on a contextual approach.”

              It’s a useless feminist concept used almost exclusively to hammer males, but you disagree. Fine. Have at it.

              Regardless, what will happen is that the feminist movement will continue to use the term “male privilege” and continue to not use the term “female privilege.” Let me know when the movement discovers female privilege and uses it just as often as male privilege. But, I won’t hold my breath.

            • I think you’re sort of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It gets used to blame men, yes…but that’s a problem with who has been using it and how it has been used…not with the idea itself.

              And there _are_ feminists using the term female privilege (and plenty of other privileges as well). I’m a feminist who is using it. Rachel Goodchild is a feminist who used it to write an article for GMP. My professors at my university who were feminists also used it. The more political groups like NOW might not be using it…but that doesn’t mean that no one else is.

            • The only professed feminist that I have ever heard use female privilege in writing without being prompted by someone noting that they don’t use it (e.g., in this case) is Rachel Goodchild. But, of course, she is also the only feminist that I know of who is also a masculist. So, she would be able to see both sides, not just one.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Thing is, there are lots of feminists out there writing, commenting, blogging that you may not know about. Like who knows how many. There is much I mention in my FB or conversations you’d never see. Lots and lots and lots of liberal humanist feminists see both sides. You don’t have to believe me, and there isn’t anyway to prove it, but I see them. Heather sees them, my friends see them.

            • I have no doubt that there is writing, blogging, and commenting happening – but about what? I do realize that not all professed feminists are gynocentrists, but do these writings denounce them as actually anti-feminists, not feminists at all – calling them out because their views are incompatible with equality? I hope so.

            • Eric writes:
              “I do realize that not all professed feminists are gynocentrists, but do these writings denounce them as actually anti-feminists, not feminists at all – calling them out because their views are incompatible with equality? I hope so.”

              Color me dubious.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ HeatherN

      I don’t know if I’d include politics. Women make up about 53% of the voters. Some estimates have women controlling more of the country’s wealth than men, mostly widows. Hillary Clinton had a strong political machine and was backed by a former President. It’s true that harmful gender constructs could be held by the gender adversely impacted, but I think that the country was looking for an outsider when Clinton ran and even feminists wouldn’t back Palin or Bachmann.

      I voted for Clinton in the primary and Obama in the general election. There was no democratic primary this year. People could have crossed over to vote for Bachmann had they chosen to and she ran against a field of about 8 guys. I think a large part of it is the caliber of women running or in Clinton’s case it was bad timing. Women may also avoid politics because their husband’s are politicians. Clinton ran for the senate after her husband left or shortly before he left politics.

      • “Women may also avoid politics because their husband’s are politicians.”

        How many men would avoid politics because their wives are politicians, I wonder. And I’d argue that women being 53% of voters doesn’t actually factor into it. Men are part of perpetuating female privilege, just like women are part of perpetuating male privilege.

        As for the military…yeah I put that in there, then took it out, then put it in there again. But I’d argue that when African-Americans weren’t allowed in the military that was part of white privilege. And the same for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and heteronormative privilege. So I think limiting the role women can have in the military is part of male privilege….it’s just a really complicated aspect to it considering it’s to do with risking lives.

        • John Anderson says:

          @HeatherN

          “How many men would avoid politics because their wives are politicians,”

          I’ve been trying to think of some, but haven’t come up with any. Sarah Palin’s husband wasn’t a politician. He ran a construction company. Gifford’s husband I believe is an astronaut. It seems to cut both ways. When you look at it from a macro level, you can say that women are disadvantaged because their voices aren’t being heard, but on a micro level, it’s generally the husbands that take the risks in politics while the wives get to enjoy the advantages. By risks I mean that there are certain expectations of behavior that politicians must engage in to raise the funds necessary to remain a viable candidate. This might be why both partners don’t go into politics at the same time. These sometime put them at risk of losing their freedom. It may seem like male privilege on a macro level, but I’m not sure on a micro level, within the political family.

          “So I think limiting the role women can have in the military is part of male privilege”

          I would agree with this if I knew that men had a choice on whether to enter combat positions or not. My guess is that they don’t because women are barred from it. The restrictions probably limit both genders. I would think they were differently privileged rather than strictly male privilege.

          • With regards to the military – “I would think they were differently privileged rather than strictly male privilege.”

            Yeah that is probably a better way to say it. Really my whole point in all of this is to just explain what male and female privilege is and to explain that both exist. The terms might be problematic, but the concepts are real.

            With regards to the expectation of behaviour within a political family – yeah but a politician’s wife and children are expected to behave in certain ways too. Could you imagine a tom-boy type of politician’s wife? Or an eccentric, hippy-looking politician’s wife? That’s something I think cuts both ways – the expectation of conforming to certain behaviours.

        • Tom Brechlin says:

          Heather said “So I think limiting the role women can have in the military is part of male privilege….it’s just a really complicated aspect to it considering it’s to do with risking lives.”

          Yeah, it’s a male privilege to have to sign up for selective service at the age of 18. Like I challenged many of you before, go to NOW and ask that they campaign to include females in selective service mandate. Consider how you would feel living in the late 60’s and early 70’s and making a decision to enlist in the military because you’d have a better chance of surviving Vietnam. Think of how you would have felt wondering if your lottery number was that which would swoop you up out of your world and send you to the front lines. Male privilege? While women were burning their bras, men and often boys were being sent off to get killed. While women marched against the war, men went to war. Now to the reality, MEN are better equipped for the military.
          Male privilege is the high rate of male suicide in the military?
          As a women, you have no clue as to how think and operate. You can only assume. Military is yet another arena where feminists want to make women the same as men when we know that although they have equal value, they are not the same.
          If men have such a privileged existence why is Suicide the 11th leading cause of death among adults in the United States making it a major public health problem. More than 30,000 suicides occurred in the US statistics show females attempt suicide at a rate three times more than males, but males are four times more likely to succeed at suicide. In those aged 15-24, suicide has increased and is the third leading cause of death for this age group.

          • I said it was complicated, and I didn’t include selective service. I also didn’t discuss suicide in the military. I was specifically referring to the fact that women are not able to hold the same positions as men.

            • Heather,
              Regarding the military. I don’t think what feminists are doing should necessarily be taken at it’s face value.

              I have seen a lot of advocacy from feminists centering around sexual harassment and rape of women in the military. I haven’t seen a lot of this advocacy lately, but from about 4 to 8 years ago I remember a lot of articles and feminist press releases centering on this: remember the tailhook scandal?

              In other words, feminists seem to be fighting for women to be a “protected” class of soldiers whithin the army.

              This is problematic. The army is built upon the more or less guarantee that when a soldier is given an order he/she WILL obey. The soldiers who make general are NOT the best at exercising personal discretion or morality in which orders they will obey. They are the soldiers who obey every order no questions asked, and accomplished missions no matter how many soldiers die to do it.

              The military needs to break you down, so they can rebuild you into a cog that will do the insane (like charging a machine gun nest with a 50lb pack to slow you down).
              The idea that female soldiers can tip this environment on it’s head and merely THREATEN to start a sexual harassment claim destroys the cohesiveness of the military.

              In other words, while individual female soldiers may be fighting for the right to fight for their country and risk their lives, what feminists are fighting for is the right of a female private to trump her commanding officers orders at any given time with a false sexual harrasment claim (or threat of one) or false rape claim (or threat of one).

              I have talked to friends in the military, and they say that women sleeping with the CO to get easier lighter duties is a HUGE problem in the military.

              So, things are not as cut-and-dried as you make them seem.

              Also, I would like to point out that the Israeli army abandoned female front-line policies. The reason was that it was too traumatic and demoralizing for men to see the female soldiers die violent deaths. This leads me to believe that the urge to protect women over men is genetic in both men and women.

            • I don’t mind women fighting in the military, or even on the front line. Although I think there needs to be some research to show this won’t increase soldier deaths.

              Anybody who knows the story of Jessica Lynch knows that the reason they were 100’s of miles behind enemy lines in the first place was because either Jessica or the other female soldier wanted to get to a phone and call their parents. Jessica is a very pretty girl, I can easily see how the male soldiers would pretty much agree with whatever she wanted to do.

              While I am not blaming Jessica for the male soldiers poor judgement, I am saying that OBVIOUSLY this was a destabilizing element. If a male soldier said he wanted to call his parents I am sure the squad would have told him to shut up.

              All the men in that squad were executed.

              So, once again I don’t have a problem with women fighting for their country on the front lines, as long as there is a study done to show this won’t destroy unit cohesiveness or lower morale when female deaths do happen.

              If such a study DOES show that unit cohesiveness is impaired significantly, or female deaths contribute substantially to combat readiness due to lowered morale/trauma
              then feminists need to own up to reality and put stop banging this particular drum.

            • “If such a study DOES show that unit cohesiveness is impaired significantly, or female deaths contribute substantially to combat readiness due to lowered morale/trauma then feminists need to own up to reality and put stop banging this particular drum”

              Wow…that sounds so familiar…wait a moment…where have I heard something like that before….oh yeah…with regards to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. (That was sarcastic. Sorry).

              Look with regards to filing sexual harassment and rape charges…I think that should be something that is advocated for regardless of gender. So I don’t think feminists should stop discussing it…so much as they should stop gendering it.

              Samantha Bee had a great little bit about women in the military right here. But I’d like to point something out here – you’re arguing that advocating for women to be able to bring up rape charges is trying to make them a protected class. But then you also say that the need to protect women is biological, meaning that just by virtue of being women they already are a protected class. So which is it? Are men destined to try to protect them? Or are they destined to try to sleep with them? And what the heck does that say about men, if they can’t control themselves?

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              “So, once again I don’t have a problem with women fighting for their country on the front lines, as long as there is a study done to show this won’t destroy unit cohesiveness or lower morale when female deaths do happen.“

              Do ya really think that a male solder would have any chances in the military if he said anything regarding his concerns with having females on the front lines with him? Whereas gays had “don’t ask, don’t tell” men in the military today have the “don’t say and shut up.” Nonetheless, solders adjust to their environment and make the best with what they have.

              ” If such a study DOES show that unit cohesiveness is impaired significantly, or female deaths contribute substantially to combat readiness due to lowered morale/trauma
              then feminists need to own up to reality and put stop banging this particular drum”

              There are no studies that I’m aware of but it would be a study that the feminists and most of Washington (one in the same) would have a kanipshin fit. It’s damn sure that it wouldn’t be a study condoned or financed by the government.

            • Heather writes:
              “Wow…that sounds so familiar…wait a moment…where have I heard something like that before….oh yeah…with regards to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. (That was sarcastic. Sorry).”

              Good point. However, I have some counter-points. From what I remember, the military brass never authorized (or if they did quoted) any statistical evidence regarding gays serving openly in the military. In essence all they did was kept saying “nuh uh”. I mean even a survey of soldiers about how they felt would have been good.

              I think there would be a lot more factual evidence of the proof of disharmony (and potential loss of lives) for female front-line soldiers (versus openly gay men) simply by talking to different militaries around the world who have tried female front-line soldiers.

              Also, I don’t remember the military commanders complaints (about repealing DADT), but consider this. During the debate process of DADT review I remember gay advocates kept saying that gay men have no interest in straight men.

              Now, has it been your experience as a gay women that men who knew you were a lesbian would stop oggling you?

              From the number of complaints I have seen on feminists boards, even when a lesbian openly declares her status, she is still hit upon/oggled by men.

              So, human nature dictates that people (particularly men) will lust after the target person of their lust regardless of that persons approval.

              If straight men are to shower in front of openly gay men, this opens up a hygiene activity to sexual undertones.

              Many straight men may be uncomfortable showering in front of an openly gay man. If you’re going to subject straight men to this, then why not just have open communal showers for both sexes? It would be just as unfair to women to have to put up with this as it would be for straight men.

              I think it’s interesting that society runs ROUGHSHOD over a mans uncomfortableness with being potentially oggled (by gay men) while bathing, but women’s right not to be oggled by men is protected.

            • I meant a single shower coed shower for both sexes to bath together.

            • Heather writes:
              “So which is it? Are men destined to try to protect them? Or are they destined to try to sleep with them?”

              Those two are only mutually exclusive if sleeping with a woman is defined as some kind of harm.

            • Yeah okay. The reply where I put that in was a bit more of an annoyed rant than a rational argument.

              But all of that still points to this idea that for some reason, men are unable to overcome their biology. It doesn’t even matter than I don’t think either protecting women or sexual harassment are part of men’s biology. The point here is the idea that they’re stuck with it. Which is just…demeaning to men, I think.

              If women can overcome their (supposed) biological impulse to be protected and actually join the military…why don’t we expect men to overcome their (supposed) biological impulse in protecting women? You get what I’m saying?

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              “Cohesiveness” … good word. For years society has and continues to stereotype men as unfeeling and the claim that one reason MRM’s struggle with gaining strength is their inability to be cohesive. Yet when we look at the military and men in the military, you find the epitome of where men work together and bond. Let’s strip down the military of men so as to accommodate women. How I act with my male friends is different from the way we act when their wives are present. That’s not to say when they’re not around we become “men behaving badly” but the truth is that there is a bond between men that women don’t understand yet want men to bond the way THEY want us to. The same applies to the military. Whereas when guys are with guys they tend to be less inhibited because they are comfortable that they won’t be judged and criticized. My buddy may do something dumb and I’ll tell him “that was dumb” but a women wouldn’t leave it at that … she’d have to then give advise. How can I say that? Because I’ve lived longer than most of you and have experienced it. Even my own wife … she’ll ask that something be done around the house and that’s cool. But she doesn’t leave it at that, she has to go into this long explanation. When I’m with my buddies, we get things done when they need to be done the way we know how to do them. Enter wives …. Work comes to a halt.

              If you’ve ever been in the military, you’d know what I’m talking about.

            • John Anderson says:

              @JohnD
              “I have seen a lot of advocacy from feminists centering around sexual harassment and rape of women in the military. I haven’t seen a lot of this advocacy lately, but from about 4 to 8 years ago I remember a lot of articles and feminist press releases centering on this: remember the tailhook scandal?
              In other words, feminists seem to be fighting for women to be a “protected” class of soldiers whithin the army.”

              You might want to phrase this a little differently. I would think not getting raped by your own soldiers is a pretty basic necessity to doing one’s job.

            • I also went on to say the destructive impact simply threatening a FALSE allegation could do between a private and a higher up.

              I think I explained my point, but there was one omission.

              My understanding of feminist advocacy regarding rape and harassment in the military is this:
              Feminists want to port over civilian work-place sexual harassment rules to the military.

              Considering how powerful a false rape allegation is in civilian life (Duke 3), this would transform the lowest female private into a queen bee in which no rules would apply to her.

              Under such rules a drill sergeant who wanted to show he was tough on everybody equally and didn’t treat the female recruits with kid gloves, if a female private didn’t like it she could file a sexual harassment complaint which (if feminists had their way) would have female-bias rules of evidence and spell the end of this sergeant’s career.

              So, my point remains the same: while soldier women may be fighting for the right to serve their country on the front line, FEMINISTS are fighting for women to be a PROTECTED CLASS within the military.

              In other words military rank would be meaningless for women. A female private would have this finger of death ability over even a general who was stupid enough to be alone in a room with her for five minutes.

            • With regards to women in the military and being uncomfortable about possible oggling – here is where I’m going to break away from many of my fellow feminists and say – suck it the hell up. Usually I avoid that phrase, but in this case, I’ll use it. In the case of actual sexual harassment or rape (by a man or a woman, to a man or a woman), I totally believe that soldiers need to be able to report it and have it dealt with.

              But with regards to showers, and living space, and bathrooms etc…yeah coed makes sense to me. Mostly because, I actually have a pretty high opinion of most guys. I really doubt that straight men would be so overcome with lust in the presence of their naked female co-workers that they couldn’t help but oggle. Just like I seriously doubt that gay men would be so randy at the sight of naked male soldiers that they couldn’t just get on with their job. – if our society didn’t place such a freaking taboo on nudity this wouldn’t even be a discussion to be had.

              Plus…what about all the lesbians serving in the military. Why the heck is it straight women aren’t coming out saying they’re worried about being oggled in the showers? Oh yeah…because our society over-sexes men. Seriously…we need to recognize that men are freaking adults and that they aren’t actually, literally, being led around by their penises.

              As for the bit about DADT and a survey…yeah before they’d make any decisions they did do something like a survey asking soldiers how they felt about it. I don’t remember the results exactly, but it was enough in favor of banning DADT that it was used as evidence that the military was ready to let gays serve openly.

            • Alright I also don’t want you guys to think I’m trying to speak from a man’s perspective or something…but most of the guys I know are kind of tired of being seen as being so unable to control themselves are women.

            • “But with regards to showers, and living space, and bathrooms etc…yeah coed makes sense to me.”

              It certainly makes as much sense as heterosexuals and homosexuals cohabiting. It’s outright discrimination to bar men and women from sharing showers and quarters while at the same time insisting that heteros and homosexuals share.

            • “It’s outright discrimination to bar men and women from sharing showers and quarters while at the same time insisting that heteros and homosexuals share.”

              Right well now I’m again talking about this topic from a LGBT perspective…but here we go. Kind of, yes…except…our society has separated living spaces based on biological sex for a long time. So for all that time gay guys and gals were sharing living space with straight guys and gals. As much as it might make some people uncomfortable…the easiest counter argument is that – hey it’s been happening for centuries. It’s nothing new.

              With regards to women and men sharing living space – well that’s something that’s a newer idea for the military, and so it’s more difficult to argue for it. As I said, I am personally of the opinion that men and women are capable of showering together without it turning into an orgy. But the issue is that it is going against a traditional practice whereas allowing gay guys and straight guys to shower together is actually keeping in line with a traditional practice.

            • Eric M. says:

              “As much as it might make some people uncomfortable…the easiest counter argument is that – hey it’s been happening for centuries. It’s nothing new.”

              It’s a weak argument. Blacks were segregated for a very long time. The arguments are essential identical: it would and does make some people feel uncomfortable.

              If segregation is wrong because some people are uncomfortable with the person’s homosexual orientation or race, it is just as wrong to be segregated based on gender. Segregation is either discrimination or it’s not.

              You will notice that all I ask is for consistency.

            • when you talk about men being lead around by their penises it reminded me of something.

              I remember seeing this very funny online video that I haven’t been able to find. It was of a relatively young (mid 20’s) man and women flirting (in presumably one of their homes/apartments).

              The guy’s about to get undressed and asks her to be gentle with his….. because it’s his best friend.

              Then it’s revealed that his best friend (penis) is actually a miniature guy who talks. It’s super funny. Astoundingly the woman doesn’t lose interest. The guys is very surprised. Then the miniature penis-guy puts on a john mccain hat and THAT was the dealbreaker for the woman that the guys penis was a john mccain fan.

              Oh god that was funny.

            • @Eric – with regards to separation based on gender versus sexuality: Naw I’m not saying that either actually makes more sense. What I’m saying is that I think the reason military was more willing to suggest that separation based on gender was alright (but separation based on sexuality wasn’t) was because so much of our society already separates living spaces based on gender.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ JohnD

              I understand. I just wanted to make sure that we don’t do the same thing that the feminists do and equate accusation with false rape. There was a 64% increase in rape reports and feminists took that to mean that rape increased by 64%. They instinctively equated accusation with guilt. I pointed out that in 2009, the rules changed for pregnant women. In addition to being transferred out of combat zones, they would be court martialed along with the men who impregnanted them. Of course my comment was met with silence.

            • John Anderson says:

              I forgot that I mentioned one other thing to them and that is that when a person makes a rape claim, they are transferred out of their unit. Could it be that there are more rape claims because women can no longer get out of combat by getting pregnant? That is a possibility, but we shouldn’t just assume it. I want the MRM to not just be an alternative to feminism, but for it to be a better alternative than feminism.

      • So voting indicates level of oppression? Man, 20 year olds must be REALLY oppressed….

    • John Anderson says:

      @ HeatherN

      I’m not sure I’d include the military either. The vast majority of combat deaths are male. The ban on women in combat does seem to reduce their risk of being killed. I tend to say that I’d rather have a choice than not, but I don’t know that all the men in combat positions had the option to not be there. I hesitate calling getting killed a privilege.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Why should women have to hold the same positions? Again, men are hard wired differently and built differently. It’s that simple. What happen to the same value but different?

        • They don’t _have_ to hold the same positions. That’s not the point. If it was simply about the fact that _most_ front-line positions were being held by men, that’d be a different discussion. The point is that, regardless of their qualifications, women are banned from holding certain positions in the military.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            You just contradicted yourself. “They don’t have to hold the same positions …” “… women are banned from holding certain positions.”

            • Nono…what I’m saying is that it’s not about whether women actually do hold the same positions as men. As in…it’s not about looking at some sort of statistical breakdown of which positions are held by men and women, and then trying to equalize it. That would be ridiculous.

              The problem is that women are banned from holding certain positions by virtue of being women. Doesn’t matter whether they’re qualified or not. It doesn’t even matter if they’re more qualified than a man who is in that position. The fact that they are women means they can’t hold it. That’s discrimination.

    • John Anderson says:

      @Heather

      “Alrighty examples of male privilege – politics (like I already mentioned), the mainstream view of the LGBT community, modern conceptions of beauty, the tech industry, the military, the corporate world. It’s not a matter of looking at the numbers,”

      The interesting thing about the tech industry is that scientific evidence indicates that women can succeed. It may be a confidence gap that causes them to avoid the tech industry. I can’t find the citation, but Dr. Linda Sax did research comparing student’s grades in math with student performance. She found that girls scored higher than boys, but consistently under rated their performance. Boys on the other hand believed their skill level to be higher than their grades reflected. She proposed that this confidence gap contributed to girls not entering the hard science fields.

      • Okay,
        It’s time to break out a pet peeve of mine.

        This pet peeve is this. When companies (voluntarily or under laws like in sweden in which 50% of ceo’s must be female) try to generate good PR by expanding their female presence in various departments where women are currently under-represented, it’s (more likely than not) actually BAD for the women who are hired, BAD for the men near them, and BAD for the company and much more likely to get them a multi-million dollar sexual harassment lawsuit.

        Here is my theory. Let’s say for the sake of argument that 10% of IT grads are women.
        So, let’s say Cisco starts a new program in which they state their IT professionals will be female. They will be hiring 100 men and 100 women. Now, since women are 10% of IT grads, let’s say that Cisco gets 1800 male applicants and 200 female applicants.

        What does this mean? It means that the 100 men that Cisco hire are the top 5.5% of the candidates. It means that the 100 women Cisco hire are the top 50% of the candidates.

        See the rub? There is a HUGE difference between somebody who is in the 51st percentile of skill and dedication and intelligence versus somebody who is the 94th percentile of skill dedication and intelligence (both the lowest performing brackets of the male & female representatives).

        This means a supervisor who TREATS EVERYBODY FAIRLY will NECESSARILY give out more negative reviews and hold back promotions for those women (51st percentile of ability to 90th percentile of ability) then the higher performing men AND WOMEN.

        But the supervisors action of FAIR TREATMENT will LOOK just like bias as the woman will be downgraded much more often than the men around her. If she starts a sexual harassment suit, the only record will be her performance review (versus the men’s reviews in the same department).

        A manager will have a hard time explaining how the female employee was doing much worse than everybody else. Since most sexual harassment lawsuits are settled out of court the evidence probably won’t matter.

        In essence, we should leave companies alone to make their own decisions and hire the best candidates. If that’s 90% men (in IT) or 90% women (in nursing) so be it.

        If a worker has a greivance, they can take it to court. But, if companies were smart they would not be making these PR stunts and government should not be mandating the number of workers by sex or race to employers. The logic dictates that this is actually worse for sex/race relations and opens the company up to liabilities.

        • Oh guys…no I’m not talking about the number of people in an industry. I am completely, 100% against hiring women to fill a position just because you want to appear to have more of a female presence. That aspect of affirmative action might have been needed to get the ball rolling, but it’s totally unhelpful now and should totally high tail it out of here. In all cases, the main concern should be about hiring the best person for the job (ideally), regardless of anything else.

          What you say about the confidence gap, John Anderson, is really quite interesting. I wonder how it ties into this other survey I saw (and I can’t remember where) that stated that although the U.S. isn’t the top in any actual academic subject, they are the top for confidence. It’d be worth looking into, I think.

          Anyway…with regards to the tech industry…I was mostly talking about the atmosphere. Things like ‘booth bunnies’ at conferences…and the way my guy cousin (who is in university) is getting all kinds of job offers while his girlfriend (who is just as innovative and gung-ho) is getting like none. – and then if we take a look at like, the video games industry (which I sort of consider part of the tech industry, or at least related to it), then it’s even worse…because the assumption is still that the main audience for their product is male (and a teenager). – but again this is just based on personal observations and stuff friends have told me. I’m not actually part of the industry.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            “Observations” at this point are not enough. Hard facts are needed. “just as innovative” isn’t enough in this care. Could it be that because the video game industry, because it caters to the male, is enough of a reason to select a male over a female? It’s a feminist view that because she may have equal qualifications that they should consider her and not him? Yeah, maybe a guy is who they want, what’s wrong with that? Do you know the inner workings of the companies that are contacting HIM over HER? You have observations and assumptions and not facts. And no two CV’s are exactly the same.

            Not sure what a “booth bunny” is.

            • Booth Bunnies (also called Booth Babes) are (mostly) women at gaming related conferences that basically hired as eye candy to draw (mostly) male attendees to their booths to show off their products. They often dress up as game characters or are just in branded clothing which is usually skimpy (imagine things like tiny halter tops, daisy dukes, and bikinis that are covered in game company logos).

              Personally I think they distract from the actual reason for the game conference (you know, the games) and perpetuate the idea that in order draw in guys one needs sex.

            • Very much agreed Danny. They also have the unwelcome side effect of making it so that other hot women at a booth are sometimes ignored, even if they are actually part of the company trying to sell their games. I’ve caught myself making a b-line toward the nearest guy to have a discussion, assuming that the attractive women around were probably hired as eye candy.

              Tom – here’s the thing…I didn’t bring up all those examples of male privilege to start a contest of who has privilege where. The point was just to show it exists. It’s there. That’s all. It’s there, and female privilege is there. They both exist.

              And the tech industry and the gaming industry act as though their audience is male, and yet it isn’t. The majority of my tech-savvy, gaming friends are actually women. And yes I know two CVs aren’t exactly alike…my point was just that they’re both doing really well in the field, and yet he is getting job offers.

              “Yeah, maybe a guy is who they want, what’s wrong with that?” – Hey maybe it’s a white guy is who they want…what’s wrong with that? That’s discrimination, mate. It’d be just as bad as a school wanting to hire a woman as a teacher instead of a man because of a preconceived idea of what men and women are like.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Where do I start?

              @Danny .. Thanks for the clarification of the “booth bunny” I figured that was what it meant but I wasn’t sure. Having had to do many conventions, I’ve seen more than a few of them. So basically it’s marketing and a way to bring people to your booth? Oh, what horror? Years ago, I had a female manager where we had a booth for our company. We had several female reps. The female manager had t-shirts made which had the company logo is small print strategically located right at the end of the boobs. To say the least, potential male customers took a closer than normal look to see what the t-shirt said. I guess because it was a female manager, it wasn’t an issue.

              “ And the tech industry and the gaming industry act as though their audience is male, and yet it isn’t.”
              What stats do you have to prove what you just said. With all the women in my life, NONE of them play video games. Or are you again basing what you say on your observation? The in that case, I’m right because of my “observation.”
              “ And yes I know two CVs aren’t exactly alike…my point was just that they’re both doing really well in the field, and yet he is getting job offers.” Let’s take it past the CV and add personality and the way the person carries him/herself? There are a lot of factors when looking to hire someone but you’re making an assumption that it’s just because he’s a man or that she’s a women.

              “Hey maybe it’s a white guy is who they want…what’s wrong with that? That’s discrimination, mate. It’d be just as bad as a school wanting to hire a woman as a teacher instead of a man because of a preconceived idea of what men and women are”
              Then affirmative action is/was nothing but discrimination shielded by laws. Forcing companies to hire minorities and women was no more then forced discrimination. I was subjected to that discrimination years ago and it went beyond the hiring process. Years ago, I was bidding for business with the Chicago Board of Education. The RFP (request for proposal) part of the bidding process required us to document the % of minorities and females in management as well as the same % relating to the health care delivery system I was contracted with. We were “required” to show a mix that was acceptable. How many law enforcement agencies are still required to adhere to some kind of requirement?

              How about not calling it discrimination but simply allowing people who own their own businesses have a preference of who they hire? And this kind of forced hiring makes me want to hire men only.

            • “Then affirmative action is/was nothing but discrimination shielded by laws.” – Yes. I am against affirmative action. I can see the logic behind it back in the day…but _if_ it was ever valuable, it has long outlasted it’s welcome. It should have been done away with decades ago.

              At the same time, though, someone shouldn’t be able to not hire someone _just_ because they aren’t the preferred ethnicity, gender, etc. We shouldn’t _force_ a company to hire a minority. But we also shouldn’t allow a company to not hire a minority _just_ because s/he is a minority. Get what I’m saying?

            • “So basically it’s marketing and a way to bring people to your booth? Oh, what horror?”

              The problem isn’t the existence of the sex sells mentality…because yeah it does sell. The problem is what results from it. So, like I said, it perpetuates the myth that the gaming and tech industries are only for teenage guys. I’m not saying do away with it altogether…I’m not saying we need to take sex out of video games or something ridiculous like that…I’m saying it’s so pervasive that it risks alienating a whole bunch of potential customers (and employees). Hell I know people, some of them straight men, who purposefully ignore booth bunnies because they know they won’t know a damn thing about the product they’re selling. And, like I said, sometimes actual female employees end up being ignored for the same reason.

              It’d be like if a wedding dress shop hired some really hunky guys to be eye candy, and then they also had a nice looking guy as an actual employee along with a woman who was an employee. And then the poor guy who is an actual employee keeps getting confused for eye-candy, so no one actually consults him about buying a wedding dress…because everyone assumes he doesn’t actually know anything.

              That’s not the best example…but it’s the best I could come up with at the moment. Which all of this is a bit off topic…because my point wasn’t to try to come in here and discuss the intricacies of gender in the gaming industry.

          • Heather writes:
            “and then if we take a look at like, the video games industry (which I sort of consider part of the tech industry, or at least related to it), then it’s even worse…because the assumption is still that the main audience for their product is male (and a teenager)”

            About 10 years ago I used to play everquest which was excellent. It was just like playing a table-top rpg like D&D. You had all the classic races like elf, dwarf, hobbit. You fought all the classic monsters like kobolds, orcs, trolls and ogres.

            About 7 years ago I left everquest for world of warcraft because everquest was bleeding members so bad, it was impossible to get a group.

            In the next warcraft expansion they are going to have a panda bear race. Come on! I’m 45, not 13! I refuse to play in a game that has a panda bear race!

      • John Anderson says:

        According to Joslyn 19% of the fortune 400 charities are women. If we assume that these charities are more “family friendly” than corporate America as they are not profit driven, then we can say that they are more favorable to the “mommy track”. If we further assume that the “mommy track” does not impact women working for charities, we can determine that only 1 in 6 women can overcome the mommy track so based on women’s proportion of participation in the workforce, we can calculate about 7% representation as CEOs in corporate America. If there is some impact of the “mommy track” on women working for charities, let’s say that only 1 in 2 can overcome the “mommy track”, then we can expect only 4% or so female representation in corporate CEO positions.

        Research into women’s earning potential shows that women under 30 without children earn more than similarly situated men. It appears that it is not discrimination per se that causes women to achieve less at work, but child care. That’s not to say that this does not constitute “male privilege”, since society views women as the primary caregivers, but provides an explanation. Before people start jumping in talking about father’s rights, which is an important topic in itself, I want to point out that Heather was talking about “male privilege” in corporate America.
        Reference

        Joslyn, H. (2009). A man’s world big charities overwhelmingly run by white males, a Chronicle survey finds. The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved November 30, 2011 from http://philanthropy.com/article/A-Mans-World/57099/

  28. Whenever there is a discussion on the relationship between men and feminism, the debaters are stuck in definition and jargon missing the central issue.
    1) The author claims that men belong in the feminism.
    For a group do belong in any kind of movement, it should have a stake in the cause of that movement. Feminism addresses none of the men’s issues; therefore men do not have any stake in feminism. Then, how men belong in the feminist movement?
    2) The author claims that her feminism (whatever that means) is about abolishing heteronormative and sexist gender assumptions to allow people to reach their full potential.
    No heteronormative and sexist gender assumption which favours men exists in any law book in the Western world. Only those assumptions that favour women exist and feminism would never try to abolish them, then how both men and women can benefit from feminism
    3) Author believes current societal pressure oppresses women.
    She never elaborates how.
    4) The author wants men to do more domestic chores so that women can work outside home.
    That is the family matter of the couple and it not a public issue.

    • #3 is an excellent point.

      We keep getting inflicted with this narrative that women are oppressed. However, the best examples they can come up with is examples of individuals behaving badly: in other words women are oppressed by culture (i.e. slut-shaming, street harrassment).

      These are things a person can get over if they have a thick skin.

      The issues oppressing men are SYSTEMIC and institutionalized by the governing elite. It is impossible to fight them except to make yourself a martyr and risk imprisonment. If family courts are so female biased that custody is given to toxic mothers over loving fit fathers (as by simple logic MUST be happening quite often if mothers get 80% sole custody to fathers 6%) then the father can NOT just persevere. He may or may not have the legal means to fight this injustice (read: $$$$$). If he does not have legal means at his disposal, simply taking the kids will not achieve anything as it will only land him in jail and leave the kids with even less protection.

      I really would like a listing from the author of the ways she believes women are oppressed. If the narrative that women are so oppressed is so self-evident, she should be able to provide lots of evidence.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      #4 … Funny you brought this up. I was married in 1970’s and one of the big issues was that women did all the work in the home. It went so far as to place a dollar figure on what a wife was worth. Back then, best I can recall was that a women was worth as much as 50K per year breaking down each function she performed around the house. What they didn’t do was place a dollar amount on what husbands did in the home. I did the plumbing, painting, mechanics on the car, the landscaping and misc. repairs around the house.

      In truth, my mom taught her sons well and to be self-sufficient. Men who were not, were generally a mommy’s boy who had a mom who did everything for them. Accordingly they looked for wives to take their mom’s place. Mommy as in women who made the so called daemon that feminists (women) hated.

      BTW Rapsas, I agree with the rest of your reply

  29. Heather, I want to ask you a question. I assure you there won’t be any sarcasm or vitrol, except for an honest expression of my feelings. So hear me out.

    In one of your comments towards the person who’s wife was shunned by feminists because she chose to raise a family over a career, you tell him that was a very old version of feminism and that your feminism is part of maybe the post-third wave umbrella.

    My question for you is this:

    Why did it take three waves for certain feminists to finally question just how far off course the gynocentic radicals took the movement?

    Looking at things, I would at least have thought that some feminists in the first wave would have a problem with the likes of extremists such as Andrea Dworkin’s theories and Maralyn French having a character say “All men are rapists and that’s all they are” (yes, I know she didn’t say it herself) in “The Women’s Room” along with big groups like N.O.W.

    Yet, it took three waves for people to have a problem with this mentality?

    I can tell you that a lot of people were impacted by what happened between the first and post-third wave. And it wasn’t good.

    As you can see, you have commentators like the person who said his wife was criticised by feminists for choosing to raise a family. You also have commentators who were hurt by someone they knew who took the Andrea Dworkin and Marlyn French mentality to heart. Especially men here who were young boys at the time.

    You also have commentators like me who were shut out and called “Priveledged Male” with their stories of hurt and abuse being dismissed, minimised and validated because the people who hurt them were women as well as men.

    You also have the daughter of Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple”, coming out and harshly criticising her mother for choosing her ideology over being a mom amongst other things.

    Don’t you think it would’ve been better if the first wave actually took one look at some of these gynocentrist theories and say “Hmm, I think that’s taking it a little too far here” since it not only excluded men, it downright belittled and insulted them? I don’t know, that’s what I would’ve thought.

    I heard someone tell me once “Yes, it was harsh. I had a problem with it. But it needed to be said” because of the times back then. While I understand times were tough, were they so tough that every single man, including the commentators who were hurt by their feminist mothers or loved ones, deserved to be thrown under the bus? Even men who weren’t at the top and benefited not one iota from the men in power?

    Because this is where the anger is coming from. It’s a shame that it took three waves to now realize that feminism back then utterly failed men with the way it accepted all those gynocentrist radicals or at least gave them leeway under the umbrella due to the “Non-Monolithic” label.

    I commend you for speaking out. However, please understand that not dealing with this problem until three waves later is too long and the casualities too great. Good luck.

    • I agree with what you’re saying, Eagle! Completely! For my mind, one of the great tragedies of the history of feminism is how it has rail-roaded right over men’s issues in the past. It created a perceived enemy, men, and often has refused to view men as anything else. I think it’s important to discuss it and acknowledge that history, warts and all. But most importantly…I think it’s essential we don’t repeat it. And please, just hear out what I’m about to say:

      I see a lot of the anger and rage that a lot of the most gynocentric feminists espoused mirrored in what a lot of the angrier MRAs are saying. Only this time, the enemy is feminists…and the injustices are perceived as being so great that rail-roading over all feminists and all feminist ideas is viewed as the only way to fix things. (Not by every MRA obviously…but by plenty).

      I have often heard/read that the difference is that feminism is such a huge ideology, that the MRAs need to use anger just to be heard. But when feminism first started, it was small and ignored. It too used divisive rhetoric and radical ideologies as a way to be heard and get their message across. And now it’s in the very tough position of trying to scale it’s rhetoric back…to try to realign itself with reality and to stop demonizing a perceived enemy in men.

      I see a potential for the MRM to end up in the same place and swing the pendulum all the way back around…I worry that 50, 100 years from now people will be talking about how evil the MRM is because it ignored feminist ideas and women’s rights….and then there’s a demonizing of the MRM…and the cycle continues. It’s like a less violent version of gang retaliation – you hurt me so I’ll hurt you back, which leaves you no choice but to hurt me, which leave me no choice but to hurt you…etc. I worry it could turn into something like that.

      And I think the way to avoid that is to focus on fixing the societal problems that perpetuate gender inequalities, and to avoid playing the blame game, or the victim game. Which is part of why I spent so much time harping on and on about privilege. I think it exists (in many different forms) and I think it needs to be addressed….not to say women have it worse, or men have it worse. And not to say – see men caused this privilege, or feminists caused this other privilege…but to say, okay here is where an inequality exists, how do we fix it?

      • Heather,
        I simply doubt your supposition could ever happen.
        You will NEVER see the MRM advocating and GETTING 80% of fathers getting default sole custody to mothers 6% (as the reverse is happening currently) and fathers able to deflect mothers custody with impunity, or move the kids 1000’s of miles away against the mothers wishes.

        You will NEVER see the MRM advocating and GETTING a huge $1 billion dollar package on male-centered DV in which the law would state that shelters that help women would be ineligible for funds, and a Office for Violence for Men which would create primary aggressor laws that would lock up thousands of women for shouts or slaps, or lock up women when the men were the aggressors as is currently the case with the $550million budget Office Violence against Women now.

        Women in peril injects too much of a knee-jerk reaction from the average woman AND MAN. Whether it’s social or genetics doesn’t matter. The point is that women in peril GETS ATTENTION. Men in peril gets revulsion. How do you think feminists got so far, if it didn’t already align with the way many people think, believe, feel.

        As girlwriteswhat says. Feminism isn’t a reversal of patriarchy. It’s patriarchy on nitro. Feminists were so largely successful, because their beliefs align so neatly with the perceptions of millions of Americans.

        We have SO MUCH consciousness building that to talk of the dangers of the MRM, just seems like somebody complaining about water-damage to the building when we’re trying to put out a fire to save 100 children.

        Seriously, I think you’re fears are not credit worthy.

        • Edit:
          4th line should have said:
          mothers 6% (as the reverse is happening currently) and fathers able to deflect mothers visitation with impunity

          Edit:
          2nd to last paragraphs should have stated:

          We have SO MUCH consciousness raising to do that to talk of the dangers of the MRM, just seems like somebody complaining about water damage to the building when we’re trying to put out a fire to save 100 children.

          • “As girlwriteswhat says. Feminism isn’t a reversal of patriarchy. It’s patriarchy on nitro. Feminists were so largely successful, because their beliefs align so neatly with the perceptions of millions of Americans.”

            This is where we disagree. I think that the aspect of feminism that focuses on women domestic abuse victims, and some aspects of maternal rights, are patriarchy on nitro…but not the all the rest of it. There are parts of feminism that have worked to make women viewed as equal (getting the right to vote, in the workplace, in the military)…those are not about perpetuating the view of women as victims. Quite the opposite – it’s about saying _stop_ protecting me; let me do what I will. Just take a look at the history of how hard it was to pass policies and laws regarding _some_ feminist issues, and it’s clear that they didn’t always align with what the majority of the U.S. thought at the time.

            And I’d like to point out I was talking about a potential future. I’m not saying that the MRM right now is going to screw over women right now. I’m saying it could. The feminist movement didn’t set out to screw over men…but it’s managed to do that in some pretty profound ways, in part because it focused on laying blame on one group of people (men). I don’t see how MRAs who focus on laying the blame on one group of people (feminists) can help but perpetuate the cycle. Which is why I think the most important part is what I said at the end there:

            I think it exists (in many different forms) and I think it needs to be addressed….not to say women have it worse, or men have it worse. And not to say – see men caused this privilege, or feminists caused this other privilege…but to say, okay here is where an inequality exists, how do we fix it?

            • Heather writes:
              “The feminist movement didn’t set out to screw over men…but it’s managed to do that in some pretty profound ways, in part because it focused on laying blame on one group of people (men). I don’t see how MRAs who focus on laying the blame on one group of people (feminists) can help but perpetuate the cycle.”

              I need to try and respond to this in a succinct way. What you’re not observing is that feminists blaming men, and MRA’s blaming feminism are two different animals.

              Feminists blaming men is largely a form of bigotry. What has followed from feminist political leaders blaming men are advocating for (AND GETTING) lesser rights (based on rage for perceived slights against women in the past) for a group that is different by birth (men). That’s textbook bigotry.

              How can MRA’s blaming (and advocating against) a politically-active subset of women who attempt to pass misandric laws “continue the cycle”? The simple fact is that if feminism would evolve and become what it claims to be (a stalwart guardian for equal rights for both genders) the MRM would disappear.

              When blacks opposed the Klan was that also continuing the cycle? Stating that feminism’s political advocacy (disregarding what the makeup of the movement is, because it’s clear the haters have the reins) has ON BALANCE been destructive to men and OPPOSING more bigoted feminist laws is not “continuing the cycle”.

              Like I said, it’s like we’re trying to put out a fire to save people and you’re complaining:”you better watch out for water damage! This is going to come back and bite you in the a$$!”

              No way, no fricking way. Society has a knee-jerk reaction when they hear women are in peril. Men in peril gets revulsion for a reaction from most people.

              You will never see the MRM morph into what feminism has become AND HAVE THE POWER TO REDUCE WOMEN’S RIGHTS as feminism does to men now.

              It’s not going to happen, the over-riding nature of society to jump through hoops to protect women is just too strong. If the MRM became anything like NOW and the AAUW you would see it HUGELY opposed by other chivalrist men.

              This
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2HhTFQMOEU
              is what happens when women are seen to be in peril.

            • “those are not about perpetuating the view of women as victims.”

              This is not what is meant by patriarchy. Patriarchy is the gender division of labour and allotment of responsibility based on the inherent risks involved in those labour divisions. Seeing women as victims has nothing to do with traditional patriarchy, only patriarchy theory and much of feminism.

              ” let me do what I will.”

              And you don’t think this very part of what you said doesn’t play into patriarchy in some way?

              “The feminist movement didn’t set out to screw over men”

              First wave feminism did not, but first wave feminism had a goal, and once achieved, faded away. Second wave feminism very much did begin with a hate-on for men. It’s clear in the comments and beliefs of the early leaders of the second wave feminist movement. Bra burning was “to do away with the shackles of male oppression”, very anti-male that is. Second wave feminism set out with men as the enemy, right from the start.

              ” I don’t see how MRAs who focus on laying the blame on one group of people (feminists) can help but perpetuate the cycle.”

              Because one group villianized another group based on biological factors (gender), the other bases it on ideological factors (which are a choice) and the outcomes wrought by those ideological beliefs. while similar, they are not the same thing.

              More importantly, feminism does not equal women, so women (who aren’t feminists) have no reason to fear these MRA’s (though, unfortunately, there are MRA’s who blame all women, and those need to be spoken out against, and I very much do when I see them). 2nd+ wave Feminism earned the backlash they are experiencing (even if not all individuals within it did), you can not equate that as the same as blaming all men, regardless of their collective beliefs.

            • “This is not what is meant by patriarchy. Patriarchy is the gender division of labour and allotment of responsibility based on the inherent risks involved in those labour divisions. Seeing women as victims has nothing to do with traditional patriarchy, only patriarchy theory and much of feminism.”

              Yes I am aware of this. But the discussion of feminism and patriarchy and how apparently patriarchy made it so that women could play the victim, etc….that all goes back to a discussion John D and I had on GirlWritesWhat’s Patriarchy Shamtriarchy article. I wasn’t saying patriarchy was the victimization of women….I was referring to how, according to GWW, patriarchy somehow made it so that women were valued higher than men, making it so that women could use that to play the victim.

              Aaaaanyway….there’s this: “Because one group villianized another group based on biological factors (gender), the other bases it on ideological factors (which are a choice) and the outcomes wrought by those ideological beliefs. while similar, they are not the same thing.”

              I didn’t say they were exactly the same. I said I saw a pattern…I think it’s similar, and I worry. But just because one group is demonizing another for idiological differences, doesn’t make it more justified. There was a great discussion of this here at GMP.

              http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/the-new-bigotry/

            • point 1: my point was that playing the victim, while a potential outcome allowed by patriarchy norms, is not a direct consequence. a woman is not a victim because of patriarchy, she can manipulate others using victim status because of protectiveness for women. your comment came across otherwise. furthermore, that is not the limit, and allowing women to do what they want (the part of my comment you didn’t address) is also included. In other words, even calls for being treated equal, to some degree, manipulate patriarchal beliefs.

              point2: but it is the differences that prevent a repetition. if Feminism disappears (not the same as equality disappearing), the is no more villian to the MRM. If feminism openly changes it’s views to include men’s issue (on a large scale, not just the occasional individual), and embraces the MRM (and takes responsibility for it’s actions to this point), that villian can again disappear. The ideology that is being demonized can change or go away, the male gender never could.

              ” But just because one group is demonizing another for ideological differences, doesn’t make it more justified.”

              But it does make it less dangerous. And you go on as if the ideology is not deserving of being demonized. Do you feel one should not demonize the KKK ether? Or the Nazi’s? Or the Taliban? If an Ideology is brewed in hatred of a group based on biological factors beyond the control of the target, is that ideology not more deserving of being villianized then the targeted groups?

            • With regards to point one – yeah I see how it came across, I was just clarifying it. It was sort of reliant on having been part of that other conversation I had with John. (I’m just hoping that he didn’t read that wrong too). – Okay so do you mean specifically because the call is for women’s equality as opposed to just gender equality? Yeah okay I can kind of see that…but it’s like…look feminism is going to focus on women’s issues, cuz…well it’s in the name. Some of the earlier feminist stuff does say that men oppressed and thus women are victims, yes. But trying to change those social norms was trying to say women would no longer be victims…which failed to recognize that they weren’t all victims in the first place. A complicated mess of trying to change things, and yet still being somewhat stuck in their own cultural norms…yeah. But I don’t think it’s as simple as saying – patriarchy made it so women could call themselves victims, and all feminism is doing is perpetuating that myth. It’s a bit more of a complicated relationship to that word and idea. Anyway, a call for women to be able to do what we want should be echoed by men to be able to do what they want, if you get what I’m saying.

              Point 2 – well yeah except…as feminist who has branched over and opened dialogue with MRAs and acknowledged how feminism has screwed over guys…I haven’t exactly been welcomed by all with open arms. So although the ideology can change, the perception of that ideology can be permanently hampered. Ya know what I’m saying?

              Point 3 – the bit about demonizing an ideology. Well…you’re probably going to totally think I’m nuts for this…but I actually don’t think that demonizing the Nazis or the KKK, or the Taliban is needed. I understand the desire to do so, obviously…and is it more deserving of it? Yeah. But I still don’t think we should. Because at the end of the day, the people who espouse that hateful ideology are still people. They have reasons for thinking the way they do, which I actually think we should attempt to understand. I don’t think we should excuse it, or ignore it…I think we should fight harmful and hateful ideologies (with violence and force if absolutely necessary)…Which is why I am vocal against gynocentric feminism. However…I don’t think we should demonize the people who were/are part of it. – And no I’m not just being stubborn on this issue…this is actually something I have thought a lot about…specifically with regards to some of the more hateful ideologies in our history.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              “Well…you’re probably going to totally think I’m nuts for this…but I actually don’t think that demonizing the Nazis or the KKK, or the Taliban is needed.”
              Say what? I suppose you needed to say this to justify your saying
              “ Yeah. But I still don’t think we should. Because at the end of the day, the people who espouse that hateful ideology are still people. They have reasons for thinking the way they do, which I actually think we should attempt to understand.” I don’t think we should excuse it, or ignore it…I think we should fight harmful and hateful ideologies (with violence and force if absolutely necessary)…Which is why I am vocal against gynocentric feminism. However…I don’t think we should demonize the people who were/are part of it. – And no I’m not just being stubborn on this issue…this is actually something I have thought a lot about…specifically with regards to some of the more hateful ideologies in our history.

              I tried to break this down but the entire message is so crazy, I can’t. Let’s get together and sing songs around the campfire? Bring in the Nazi’s, KKK, Teliban and have a love fest? NOT!

              I’m still shaking my head in disbelief

            • Sorry for the length:

              “Okay so do you mean specifically because the call is for women’s equality as opposed to just gender equality? Yeah okay I can kind of see that…but it’s like…look feminism is going to focus on women’s issues, cuz…well it’s in the name.”

              Look at the title of this article. Tell me what it is about, then read what I just quoted. Can you not see how these are actually contradictory? Far too many feminists claim feminism is about equality for all, and insist men concerned for men’s rights should join the feminist movement. But it’s not equality for all, and it’s not going to address men’s issues (if they don’t profit women’s interests), as you acknowledge right here, it is a focus on women’s issue’s cuz… well, it’s in the name.

              If it was acknowledged as such, and allowed for a men’s movement, I think a lot of MRA”s would just ignore the feminist movement and work to their own issues. But it doesn’t. it rails against the MRM, it insists on a monopoly over equality activism, and it shames and attacks anyone who dares challenge that notion.

              ” patriarchy made it so women could call themselves victims, and all feminism is doing is perpetuating that myth.”

              Not perpetuating the myth, abusing the motive. And I never said that’s “all” feminism is doing. But can you deny a great deal of feminist power/influence comes from playing the victim? Rape culture and domestic abuse, sexual harassment and discrimination, these are what drives virtually every feminist inspired law or goal. Women dominate family courts because of their ability to play victim to domestic violence, and the governance that says that is unacceptable. An unscrupulous woman can threaten rape or sexual harassment to extort money or favors, again, by threatening to play the victim and setting against the man that some governance that deems this unacceptable, and feminists point to yet more (alleged or hypothetical) victims to oppose any kind of protections for men against those unscrupulous women, lest more women become victims.

              “Anyway, a call for women to be able to do what we want should be echoed by men to be able to do what they want, if you get what I’m saying.”

              Yet it’s not. For example: The call to allow women to have casual sex as desired and get to choose the consequences of that as they deem fit (in particular, rights to abortion) are not only NOT mirrored for men, it is actually opposed (male reproductive rights) because it would victimize the woman and child (with poverty. doesn’t matter that the current system very much does that to men, and rarely actually helps a woman avoid poverty ether).

              “as feminist who has branched over and opened dialogue with MRAs and acknowledged how feminism has screwed over guys…I haven’t exactly been welcomed by all with open arms.”

              Because you remain a feminist and many feminists have paid lip service, but end up showing their strips when prodded. So while you as an individual “may” be different, the ideology itself hasn’t changed based on your actions alone.

              “But I actually don’t think that demonizing the Nazis or the KKK, or the Taliban is needed.”

              I said nothing about “need”. We’re discussing whether it is justified/deserved.

              ” However…I don’t think we should demonize the people who were/are part of it.”

              I know I personally hold the current feminist ideology responsible for perpetuating or exacerbating many of the issues men encounter, but with very few exceptions, I have not directed my focus to an individual (the few I have, have been demonized by their own actions, not their choice to identify as feminists). That said, I don’t see being weary of a person who chooses to identify with a group I find hateful to be out of line, so long as they are given a chance to prove themselves (not the same as being given a clean slate).

            • @Tom – to me the difference is whether you’re fighting against a harmful ideology or whether you’re hating a person who is apart of that ideology. Look, Hitler didn’t think he was doing anything evil. He thought he was actually solving a problem for Germany and making it stronger. He was wrong; his ideology murdered and imprisoned millions of people…it was hateful and discriminatory and needed to be stopped. In the case of the Nazi’s, a peaceful protest wouldn’t have cut it…they were invading other countries for crying out loud…war was the only answer.

              But so then, are all Nazi’s evil? Were all Nazi’s out to cause harm? No…they didn’t think so. It doesn’t mean excuse it; it means understand it. They were still people….Hitler was, after all is said and done, a human being.

              Now I’m not arguing that you need to agree with this viewpoint because it is totally different to the norm. I’m just saying that’s my logic…and I’m just hoping you can possibly understand what I’m trying to say. It’s cultural and moral relativism…it’s about understanding it first, and combating it if necessary, and punishing people if necessary…but not about demonizing the people involved. (self plug, see my article: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/headscarves-and-men-holding-hands-coming-out-as-a-cultural-relativist/ )

            • Mark, we are again nested to the end, so I’ll start this again.

            • Heather writes:
              “The feminist movement didn’t set out to screw over men…but it’s managed to do that in some pretty profound ways, in part because it focused on laying blame on one group of people (men). I don’t see how MRAs who focus on laying the blame on one group of people (feminists) can help but perpetuate the cycle.”

              I need to try and respond to this in a succinct way. What you’re not observing is that feminists blaming men, and MRA’s blaming feminism are two different animals.

              Feminists blaming men is largely a form of bigotry. What has followed from feminist political leaders blaming men are advocating for (AND GETTING) lesser rights (based on rage for perceived slights against women in the past) for a group that is different by birth (men). That’s textbook bigotry.

              How can MRA’s blaming (and advocating against) a politically-active subset of women who attempt to pass misandric laws “continue the cycle”? The simple fact is that if feminism would evolve and become what it claims to be (a stalwart guardian for equal rights for both genders) the MRM would disappear.

              When blacks opposed the Klan was that also continuing the cycle? Stating that feminism’s political advocacy (disregarding what the makeup of the movement is, because it’s clear the haters have the reins) has ON BALANCE been destructive to men and OPPOSING more bigoted feminist laws is not “continuing the cycle”.

              Like I said, it’s like we’re trying to put out a fire to save people and you’re complaining:”you better watch out for water damage! This is going to come back and bite you in the a$$!”

              No way, no fricking way. Society has a knee-jerk reaction when they hear women are in peril. Men in peril gets revulsion for a reaction from most people.

              You will never see the MRM morph into what feminism has become AND HAVE THE POWER TO REDUCE WOMEN’S RIGHTS as feminism does to men now.

              It’s not going to happen, the over-riding nature of society to jump through hoops to protect women is just too strong. If the MRM became anything like NOW and the AAUW you would see it HUGELY opposed by other chivalrist men.

              This
              ht tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2HhTFQMOEU
              is what happens when women are seen to be in peril.

            • Heather writes:
              “The feminist movement didn’t set out to screw over men…but it’s managed to do that in some pretty profound ways, in part because it focused on laying blame on one group of people (men). I don’t see how MRAs who focus on laying the blame on one group of people (feminists) can help but perpetuate the cycle.”

              I need to try and respond to this in a succinct way. What you’re not observing is that feminists blaming men, and MRA’s blaming feminism are two different animals.

              Feminists blaming men is largely a form of bigotry. What has followed from feminist political leaders blaming men are advocating for (AND GETTING) lesser rights (based on rage for perceived slights against women in the past) for a group that is different by birth (men). That’s textbook bigotry.

              How can MRA’s blaming (and advocating against) a politically-active subset of women who attempt to pass misandric laws “continue the cycle”? The simple fact is that if feminism would evolve and become what it claims to be (a stalwart guardian for equal rights for both genders) the MRM would disappear.

              When blacks opposed the Klan was that also continuing the cycle? Stating that feminism’s political advocacy (disregarding what the makeup of the movement is, because it’s clear the haters have the reins) has ON BALANCE been destructive to men and OPPOSING more bigoted feminist laws is not “continuing the cycle”.

              Like I said, it’s like we’re trying to put out a fire to save people and you’re complaining: ”you better watch out for water damage! This is going to come back and bite you in the butt!”

              No way, no fricking way. Society has a knee-jerk reaction when they hear women are in peril. Men in peril gets revulsion for a reaction from most people.

              You will never see the MRM morph into what feminism has become AND HAVE THE POWER TO REDUCE WOMEN’S RIGHTS as feminism does to men now.

              It’s not going to happen, the over-riding nature of society to jump through hoops to protect women is just too strong. If the MRM became anything like NOW and the AAUW you would see it HUGELY opposed by other chivalrist men.

              This
              ht tp://ww w.youtube.com/watch?v=z2HhTFQMOEU
              is what happens when women are seen to be in peril.

            • “When blacks opposed the Klan was that also continuing the cycle?”

              Well firstly, were there anything but radical Klan members? Because there are non-radical feminists (such as myself). Also, the Klan actively went out and murdered people…feminism (as a group) has not gone out on murderous rampages. Whether the policies they’ve advocated for have caused deaths is another issue…I’m saying they aren’t taking guns and killing people.

              Also, opposing and demonizing are two different things. Advocating against feminist ideologies that hurt men, okay I understand. Vocally opposing feminists and feminist organizations that advocate against men, alrighty no problem from me. – But when it becomes such a knee-jerk reaction to oppose feminists that even one who is actually for men’s rights gets treated like an invading army…then there’s a problem. Do you see where I’m drawing the line?

              And like I’ve said…I understand where this reaction comes from. Seriously…stick me in a room with a bunch of right-wing Christians and chances are I will either be quietly seething, or I’ll end up challenging every single one about their views on LGBT rights. Actually on the few occasions that’s happened to me, I usually ended up quietly seething until someone said something like, “that’s so gay,” and then I went into challenge-mode. Anyway, point is I do understand.

              But at the same time one of my very best friends is an evangelical Christian. Tuns out she’s actually for LGBT rights…and if I’d treated her hostilely when we first met (as was my first inclination) we probably wouldn’t even be friends right now.

              It’s like, John when we first started commenting on the Patriarchy Shmatriarchy article…a lot of what I was saying at first was just to prove to you that I actually am sympathetic towards men’s issues. And you heard me (well read me) and realized (I hope)…oh yeah she is sympathetic. And while it’s a bit frustrating on my side to have to do that, I do understand. – But there have been occasions where no matter what I say, I can’t convince people that I am sympathetic, and all because I am a feminist. See what I’m saying?

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              @ john d …. video is clear, it happens all the time in the USA where a women can beat the crap out of the man and it’s defended but the moment a guy slaps back (note “slap” because one punch will take her down) he’s a jerk but as the video shows, men will also step up and protect / defend her.

              In general, men are not out to take anything away from women, we simly want back what we’ve lost in the past 30 years.

              @ Heather .. You’re right, Feminists didn’t kill men as the KKK did. Feminists were much better at it and all so subtle. Take a look at the male suicide rate and reasons for suicide. In the years that I’ve been involved in men’s rights, I can, without going back to my archives, count no less then 22 men who killed themselves because they lost their family. The court system sees fathers as cash cows and no more. Pay the child support and STFU. The there are the countless men who are the walking dead who continue to live with no lives. You’re right, feminists didn’t murder as the KKK but they sure as heck did the job without blood on their hands.

              BTW, I’m a right wing Cathoic conservative … glad to meet you. And, love ya to meet my wife, a female Catholic right wing conservative and a Mexican to boot!

            • “BTW, I’m a right wing Cathoic conservative … glad to meet you. And, love ya to meet my wife, a female Catholic right wing conservative and a Mexican to boot!”

              Okay…right…and I’m guessing that the reason you pointed that out was because you were a bit peeved at my comment regarding right-wing Christians? Yes? Because, my anger at an entire group of people that you belong to is something you feel is unjustified yeah? Because you’re a human being, you have values, and being a Catholic conservative is just you adhering to your values and beliefs. (I’m just guessing here. Don’t mean to assume).

              Right but I could argue that there are all sorts of laws that right-wing Christians have pushed through that hurt LGBT people. Like, why isn’t sexuality included in federal anti-discrimination laws? Who pushed through DOMA? And DADT? Whose pushed through state anti-gay adoption and anti-gay marriage laws? It was right-wing Christians. Then there’s the religious-exemption from anti-bullying laws. I saw a study once that suggested that 30-40% of LGBT teens will attempt to commit suicide – and all of this institutionalized discrimination doesn’t help to combat their internalized homophobia.

              Now – before you respond to all of that…just read the rest of what I’m going to write, please. My point in mentioning all of that wasn’t to argue for LGBT rights, though that’s how it probably sounded. My point was to show you how an ideology you are part of has hurt me and people like me. I’m not saying _you_ have hurt me…I have no idea what your opinion on LGBT rights is. (I’m not asking you to give me that information either, because that is beyond the point). – I’m saying, take all of that and replace conservativism with feminism and LGBT rights with Men’s rights, and hopefully you’ll see what I’m getting at…not the same, obviously, but really similar.

              So for me to know all of that, and then to assume that any right-wing Christian is somehow my enemy, is a mistake. And for someone to know all the stats about feminism and feminist policies, and then to assume that all feminists are their enemy is also a mistake.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              “Okay…right…and I’m guessing that the reason you pointed that out was because you were a bit peeved at my comment regarding right-wing Christians? Yes? Because, my anger at an entire group of people that you belong to is something you feel is unjustified yeah? Because you’re a human being, you have values, and being a Catholic conservative is just you adhering to your values and beliefs. (I’m just guessing here. Don’t mean to assume).”

              No, I mentioned it to prove to you that the so called “right wing conservative” are not what you assume. If you took some time to KNOW who we are, you may not have the perceptions you have. Be honest, main stream media paints an ugly picture of who we are. I won’t bother going into detail the countless misrepresentations main stream media paint.

              “Right but I could argue that there are all sorts of laws that right-wing Christians have pushed through ……….. and all of this institutionalized discrimination doesn’t help to combat their internalized homophobia.” “Now – before you respond to all of that…just read the rest of what I’m going to write, please. My point in mentioning all of that wasn’t to argue for LGBT rights, though that’s how it probably sounded.”

              That was exactly what you wanted …. C’mon, at least be honest. I can’t count the number of times you’ve mentioned LGBT in your replies.

              “My point was to show you how an ideology you are part of has hurt me and people like me. I’m not saying _you_ have hurt me…I have no idea what your opinion on LGBT rights is. (I’m not asking you to give me that information either, because that is beyond the point). – I’m saying, take all of that and replace conservatisms with feminism and LGBT rights with Men’s rights, and hopefully you’ll see what I’m getting at…not the same, obviously, but really similar.”

              Unfortunately feminism has targeted men who are grounded in their conservative religious beliefs. Feminism has exaggerated those beliefs and made them into something they are not. And they did it by slamming conservatives (men) and pegging them as some kind of religious nut cases. Years ago I attended Promise Keepers in Chicago. More than 50,000 men coming together so as to refocus dads, husbands and men in a spiritual way. For two days these men of all denominations came together. And what did I experience outside the gates? Women screaming at us, saying things that I’m sure you can imagine.

              One of the differences in the men’s movement is that men have lost whereas the LGBT is fighting for things that they never had. Feminists include lesbians, Men’s movement include gay men and accordingly, gay men are at risk as well. Lesbians have shelter for domestic violence, gay men don’t. VAWA protects females, not males.

            • “If you took some time to KNOW who we are, you may not have the perceptions you have”

              No right that’s kind of my point. We can make certain generalizations about an organization, but when it comes to the individuals within that organization…well they’re individuals.

              The reason I continue to bring up LGBT rights isn’t because I’m trying to push them…it’s because that’s where I see parallels. In trying to relate to and empathize with what you, and the other men here, are saying…I go to the most similar thing I can think of, and that’s it. I’m seriously not trying to push an agenda…though I suppose I am assuming that you would agree that the lgbt movement as a civil rights movement.

              “Unfortunately feminism has targeted men who are grounded in their conservative religious beliefs.”

              Okay right…but see that’s why I keep making a comparison with lgbt rights. Because political right-wingers use religion as a justification for a lot of the lies they spread about lgbt people. I didn’t say I actually blame the Christian right for all the problems I mentioned…I’m saying I could. There are elements of the Christian right that back all those discriminatory policies I mentioned. But to lump everyone together and hate everyone who is Christian and conservative would be wrong…because not all Christian conservatives are actually anti-gay.

              Which, to use it as an analogy…is why I’m saying being immediately suspicious of all feminists is also problematic, especially if they are attempting to empathize and understand. I’m not saying the two issues are the same, I’m saying they share similarities.

              And really…if we can’t agree that the men’s movement’s relationship with feminists is roughly similar in tone to the lgbt movement’s relationship with the Christian right…then we aren’t going to get anywhere. Because all I’m trying to do is draw parallels.

            • Tom writes:
              “In the years that I’ve been involved in men’s rights, I can, without going back to my archives, count no less then 22 men who killed themselves because they lost their family.”

              That doesn’t surprise me, and I sympathize with their families. In the past 8 years or so, I have read about 5 or so fathers who either executed self-imolation on court-house steps or some other form of suicide and left a note blaming the family court.

              I have never seen these stories go to the national level.
              As I told Heather in a different article comments, I believe that a lot of left-leaning paper editors are not reporting news, but rather SCREENING it for what they want people to see. And this is just awful.

              The MRM has a lot of consciousness raising to do. Most men don’t even think about helping other men until they’ve been railroaded by a narcissistic woman utilizing anti-male laws. Add to that, the simple fact that stories which display harm to men and children from feminist-driven laws get (seemingly deliberately) buried and we have an uphill battle for sure.

              Just for the record, I consider myself an arm-chair MRA. I participate in every action alert from Sacks and F&F, but other than that most of what I do is b1tch and moan online and try to change public opinion.

              Honestly, I should probably do a lot more, but we all have our human failings.

          • “I heard someone tell me once “Yes, it was harsh. I had a problem with it. But it needed to be said” because of the times back then.”

            I just wanted to point out that quote from Eagle. That was the justification for a lot of the anti-man rhetoric back in the day. It was necessary. It needed to be said. We had to raise awareness at any cost. They couldn’t worry about how it might affect men, because they had to make people aware of how bad it was for women at the time. They couldn’t possible topple the behemoth that is patriarchy, anyway. They needed to say the most outlandish and extreme things just to get their message out there…just to get people to start paying attention. Etc.

            And then there’s your quote:

            “We have SO MUCH consciousness raising to do that to talk of the dangers of the MRM, just seems like somebody complaining about water damage to the building when we’re trying to put out a fire to save 100 children.”

            Which sounds to me a lot like the same thing: They can’t worry about the possibility of what the MRM might do with it’s anti-feminist rhetoic. They need to raise awareness of how feminism has hurt men. They need to get the message out there and change minds…and there is no way they could ever become powerful enough to topple the feminist power structure. They are so small in comparison; they need to yell twice as loud just to be heard. Etc.

            I’m not saying it’s exactly the same…I’m saying there are some parallels. I’m not comparing the MRM to feminism today…I’m comparing it to feminism 50+ years ago. Do you see what I’m saying? I’m not asking you to change your mind….just hoping that you can see where I’m coming from with this.

            • Heather writes:
              “And then there’s your quote:

              Which sounds to me a lot like the same thing: They can’t worry about the possibility of what the MRM might do with it’s anti-feminist rhetoic.”

              Heather, false equivalency. Why? Because I don’t see statements of bigotry starting from the top-down in politically active MRM groups.

              Andrea Dworkin wrote a fictitious novel in which the female character said: “I would like to see a man beaten within an inch of his life and a high heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig”.
              Now, everybody clearly knows that what Andrea was doing was protecting herself by writing a novel and have the lead female state things she wanted to state.

              My question to you is: What do you think would have happened to fathers and families if any of the male directors wrote a novel in which the lead male character said: “I’d like to see a woman beaten to within an inch of her life, and a workboot heel shoved in her mouth like an apple in the mouth of a pig”.

              You know as well as I do, that as soon as MRM politically active orgs begin expressing anti-woman sentiment or advocating anti-woman laws, that they will lose sponsors and members–they would essentially be shut down.

            • “You know as well as I do, that as soon as MRM politically active orgs begin expressing anti-woman sentiment or advocating anti-woman laws, that they will lose sponsors and members–they would essentially be shut down.”

              I’m not suggesting they do advocate against women…I’m saying they advocate against feminists. Which in of itself wouldn’t be a problem….it’s the addition of _demonizing_ feminists that causes the problems. _That_ is where I see the similarities, and that is where I see potential problems.

            • “the addition of _demonizing_ feminists that causes the problems”

              While I’m not an MRA, I would like to point out that feminism’s reputation with many average people is essentially the same as it is with MRA’s.

            • Yeah but I think that’s indicative (at least in part) with how much feminism was going _against_ traditional societal norms. A lot of the criticism of feminism wasn’t expressed in a rational and cohesive argument. A lot of it was more along the lines of bashing them…and hurling the wonderful insult of “lesbian” on all feminists. Oh yes…feminists are so unfeminine that they’re actually lesbians – how very insulting.

              It’s also interesting…on the one hand I hear arguments that feminism is so bad that the majority of people actually disagree with it. And then on the other hand I hear that it is so bad because it is so freaking powerful…and that it’s powerful because it is keeping in line with traditional gender norms. Well how the heck is that possible? – can’t have it both ways.

            • It doesn’t take a lot to be powerful. any wealthy person or politician can tell you that. Feminist groups can lay claim to having a lot of support because they are well organized with (until recently) very little opposition, plus a tendency to play upon gender norms (as you’ve already acknowledge) to inspire guilt or shame or feelings of protectiveness. If just 1 in 5 women claimed to be a feminist, even if 3 in 5 openly hated it, that 1 in 5, being more organized, with political positioning they garnered when they were more popular, can hold a LOT of power. So the two concepts are not contradictory.

            • Yes my use of the word “powerful” there was inaccurate, sorry. I meant more…on the one hand I hear that it’s widely supported, and then on the other I hear that it’s widely hated. Specifically…that it has influence because it is so popular, and that it is so popular because it is in line with traditional gender roles. But then on the other hand, that it is wildly unpopular, which gives justification to why MRAs are openly hostile to feminism. – that is where I find the contradiction.

              I’m not saying that power=popularity…I’m saying that is the argument I hear a lot.

            • “Oh yes…feminists are so unfeminine that they’re actually lesbians – how very insulting.”

              They brought/bring that on themselves . . . intentionally.

              Even in 2012, it is very common for gender studies feminists to reject (with enthusiasm) traditional feminine grooming habits such as shaving.

            • “They brought/bring that on themselves . . . intentionally.”

              Sort of. Kind of. Not really…and now I’m coming at this from a LGBT history perspective rather than a feminist perspective. There was a small subset of feminists who eschewed men and became political lesbians…but they were relatively small. As for the whole, not shaving or wearing a bra thing…it wasn’t about trying to say ‘we aren’t feminine,’ so much as it was trying to say ‘feminine is what we say it is.’ It’s like a lot of the discussion about masculinity here at GMP…men redefining the word to include things that weren’t traditionally seen as masculine. They aren’t saying – we’re so unmasculine you could call us gay – they’re saying that masculinity is not just about the traditional tropes.

              And except for that very small number of political lesbians – my understanding of the history of lesbians in the feminist movement is that the two were at odds for quite awhile. The butch/femme culture of lesbians in the 1950s and 1960s was very much at odds with feminist rhetoric. And the lesbians that were part of the feminist movement in the 1960s were often pushed out – precisely because of all the bad press feminists were getting for being too unfeminine.

              It’s a freaking complicated history – feminists were trying to redefine femininity, but at the same time trying to garner support (so they didn’t want to appear too non-heteronormative). (Yeah that word didn’t exist at the time…but you get what I’m saying).

            • I’m pretty sure there would be a variety of explanations for their behavior, which (by the way) is not at all rare. Regardless, feminists themselves were/are the ones who reject(ed) traditional femininity.

            • Yes well now we’re getting into a bit of an off topic discussion…but rejecting traditional femininity is not the same as rejecting femininity, full stop. – anyway, my point in mentioning the insults levied against a lot of feminists was to say that feminism was, in some ways, going against cultural norms.

            • Heather writes:
              “It’s also interesting…on the one hand I hear arguments that feminism is so bad that the majority of people actually disagree with it. And then on the other hand I hear that it is so bad because it is so freaking powerful…and that it’s powerful because it is keeping in line with traditional gender norms. Well how the heck is that possible? – can’t have it both ways.”

              Heather. You have to understand that feminists have been nearly unopposed writing anti-male legislation for the past 40 years. So, the anti-feminist sentiment you’re seeing on the street is AFTER the disastrous affects of feminist lies and laws have had 40 years to bloom.

              If it took 40 years for people to wake up, then feminists are doing something RIGHT.

              And that is the packaging of their laws as helping women and children.
              Hitler once said that (roughly paraphrasing): “the state must always be seen to be operating for the children. People will stomach any injustice if the law is said to be operating for children”.

              When law-makers tack on “women and children” (or press tack it on to reports) it GETS ATTENTION (even stating “helping women” gets attention the way mentioning “helping men” never would).

              Look at this video of the governor of Maine talking about his new anti-DV protocols:
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzfEzXY-Erg

              My understanding is that bail will now be denied to those who have ALLEGATIONS of dv against them. The feminist steamroller just keeps going ON AND ON. And the governor of Maine is REPUBLICAN.

              Mentioning “Women and children” in politics (or for that matter much of the time just “Women”) is like the money shot in porn.
              Grunt grunt “**WOMEN AND CHILDREN!**” oh god, there’s advocacy all over your face, what a mess.

              Do most people agree that women should be more protected than men? ABSOLUTELY.
              Are millions waking up to the fact that feminist laws weren’t pro-women, but anti-man? Absolutey. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, because what you are seeing is the difference between the way feminist package laws and what they actually said (additionally you are seeing the anti-feminist sentiment after the living proof of the destruction the rads have left in their wake).

            • And now this is nested into oblivion…so I’ll start a new thread for this, John. :)

            • This I agree with. I’m finding far too many similarities between the MRM and feminism for my personal liking, and when I speak out against it, I get attacked. It’s truly disheartening.

              but society has never stood to protect the average men (only the elite), while, despite much of feminist teaching, feminism was asking society to do more of what it already did, the MRM is asking society to go against it’s nature long enough to fix the damage done. and more importantly, while feminism may have had to rail against ages of built in tradition, the MRM has an active, concious, organized opposition that has the benefit of social norms (help women, men fend for themselves), a few decades head start and the societal guilt it has been so effective in instilling against speaking up for men or challenging women.

            • Well somewhere around here I was trying to point out that while some of what feminism was doing (advocating against domestic violence and rape against women) was perpetuating the idea that women need to be protected…a lot of it wasn’t. Fighting for a woman’s right to vote, for example, is the exact opposite. It’s saying that women are equally able to use reason and logic…don’t protect us from the political sphere, let us join. Same thing with regards to having a career, joining the military, etc.

              And when feminism was fighting for those things they also had an opposition that benefited from social norms. Not evil men…just traditional people (both men and women)…who saw a woman’s place as protected in the home.

              I agree that there is social guilt placed on anyone who speaks up for men. I’ve dished it out myself when I was an angry high school kid. I just don’t think the way to chip away at that social guilt is to get angry and try to shout feminists down. If you do that…you’ll only end up looking like big angry oppressors. Just giving fuel to the fire.

            • “And when feminism was fighting for those things they also had an opposition that benefited from social norms.”

              But that opposition was not organized or conscious. And it most certainly didn’t have the past experience to know better.

              And most MRA’s, from my experience, don’t need to shout against feminists. we throw facts at them. The belief that disagreement equates to shouting down is part of the problem with feminism (not saying you’re saying this now)

            • “But that opposition was not organized or conscious. And it most certainly didn’t have the past experience to know better.”

              True, true. Which is why I’m not saying the two situations are exactly the same…just similar. I tend to notice patterns in things…to make analogies and draw parallels. So, yeah…I notice some similarities and it worries me.

            • “And most MRA’s, from my experience, don’t need to shout against feminists. We throw facts at them.”

              Well from my brief experience with MRAs…I don’t have facts thrown at me so much as I get them hurled at me…like boulders. And then my own facts (or my own interpretation of facts) gets torn down unless it’s in agreement with theirs. (And I also am not saying that is what you have done, not at all. And I’m _not_ saying that is how most of my conversation on this article has been either. Mostly it hasn’t been like that).

              Perhaps it’s mostly about a different approach to discussing disagreements. For the most part, whenever I have these discussions, my aim isn’t to change anyone’s opinion or to make them stop believing what they believe. Usually…it’s more about convincing the other person that what I’m saying is valid…to have them acknowledge – ah okay I understand why you see things the way you do. The goal is to have the other person acknowledge an attempt at empathy, or something. You know what I mean?

              I usually try very hard to empathize with people I am talking to…that’s part of why I always end up bringing up LGBT rights. It’s the most personal thing I can go reference to try to relate to what a lot of the men here are talking about. So if you talk to me about, say, how men are represented in the media…my first thought will be to think about all the ways LGBT people are represented in the media that piss me off. And then hopefully say – ah okay yes…I get what you are saying. I understand why seeing guys constantly portrayed as bumbling fools would piss you off. It’s the same reason why having gay characters portrayed as tragic victims pisses me off.

              But them maybe I might disagree with you about men in the media (I don’t, by the way…I’m just using this as a hypothetical). So maybe I might say something like…yeah I get what you’re saying, but I think that it’s not about portraying men as bumbling fools so much as it’s about trying to find something comical. The women in these shows are often shown as extremely uptight, after all, so then gender stereotypes are used all across the board. – Right so a disagreement of opinion, yes, but coming from a common place…or at least an attempt to start from an empathetic space. (Again I’m not saying that’s my actual opinion about men in the media…just a hypothetical).

              Right so like…not all feminists do this or whatever…I’m just saying…that’s sort of where my brain goes when I’m discussing disagreements with someone. And often I feel like when an MRA (or another feminist even) disagrees with me…they’ll frame those differing opinions as an attack. Sarcasm, snarkiness, angry rhetorical questions, personal insults, general insults….these are all used not to foster discussion, but to shut it down. – You are wrong! Agree with me because I am right! – It feels like there is no attempt at empathy, just an attempt to force me to agree with them and to insult me when I disagree.

              Phew, this is a long reply, and a bit stream-of-conscious than I usually go…but there it is.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              I’m still waiting to hear what MRM’s you’re familiar with? I know of no MRM that has anywhere near the exposure influence feminist groups have. I say “groups” because organizations like Planned Parenthood is a feminist group. You just said you’ve had limited exposure to so where do you come off sounding as though you’re well versed with MRM’s.

      • I see where you’re coming from, Heather.

        Especially with this part:

        “And I think the way to avoid that is to focus on fixing the societal problems that perpetuate gender inequalities, and to avoid playing the blame game, or the victim game.”

        You’re right. I would get behind this in a heartbeat. In fact, I do anyways.

        However, let me address a few points:

        “I see a lot of the anger and rage that a lot of the most gynocentric feminists espoused mirrored in what a lot of the angrier MRAs are saying. Only this time, the enemy is feminists…and the injustices are perceived as being so great that rail-roading over all feminists and all feminist ideas is viewed as the only way to fix things. (Not by every MRA obviously…but by plenty).”

        Where do you think this anger comes from, though?

        As I’ve said before, most of the anger comes from people who are seriously hurt. Worse, they have found no support for their situations. And even when they did, society ridiculed and laughed at them while turning all their attention towards the plight of women and the gynocentric theories espoused by the loud feminist voices that have dominated the movement.

        I don’t agree with attacking all of feminism unlike the more radical MRAs. But I do know that within that voice of contempt lies the following:

        -A father who has lost his kids to the bias of the family courts favoring the mother even though he has shown that he’s the capable parent. In addition, losing everything he worked for with his hard earned money.
        -A man who, maybe in the past or even in the present, has been falsely accused of rape and dragged through the court system kicking and screaming in protest.
        -A man who has been sexually or physically abused by either his mother, spouse or other close female with no place to turn to. Who has been ridiculed, scorned, and invalidated not just by society by those same gynocentric feminists still touting the “Men are oppressors, women are victims’ placard as they scream “Men can’t be raped.” and shove statistics in his face.
        -A man who, when he watches TV or movies, is sick and tired of seeing male or boy characters being kicked around by the female protagonist undeservingly and portrayed as bumbling, one-dimensional louts in the name of ‘Grrl power’ (Pixar’s “Brave”, I’m looking at you).
        -A man who is treated like a potential predator or molestor when looking to work with kids or care for them in his life. Especially by women and mothers.
        -A man who is sick and tired of government organizations like the census labeling him a “Babysitter” and the mother “Parent”.

        There are more examples, but these are the main ones. Society, and even strands of feminism, have seen to it that these concerns are at the very bottom of the list compared to women’s concerns. I’d be pretty angry too. In fact, I still carry tinges of anger for what those gynocentric feminists said to me about my story.

        “I have often heard/read that the difference is that feminism is such a huge ideology, that the MRAs need to use anger just to be heard. But when feminism first started, it was small and ignored. It too used divisive rhetoric and radical ideologies as a way to be heard and get their message across.”

        Because society is more concerned with women’s issues, which feminism has brought to the forefront at the expense of men’s issues. Or rather, the previous waves did.

        “And now it’s in the very tough position of trying to scale it’s rhetoric back…to try to realign itself with reality and to stop demonizing a perceived enemy in men.”

        Three waves later, I might add. Not to sound snarky, but the reason people react so harshly is because this should’ve been taken care of from the start. Instead, feminism was allowed to proceed along the path of hatred and divisiveness with little repercussions for years and years. Now, we have really wounded men, and even women since we’re talking about examples like that wife who was condemned for choosing family over career, who didn’t deserve such condemation in the first place thanks to the previous waves. So you shouldn’t be too shocked when people harp on it for waiting too long to scale its rhetoric back and stop demonizing a perceived enemy in men.

        “I see a potential for the MRM to end up in the same place and swing the pendulum all the way back around…I worry that 50, 100 years from now people will be talking about how evil the MRM is because it ignored feminist ideas and women’s rights….and then there’s a demonizing of the MRM…and the cycle continues. It’s like a less violent version of gang retaliation – you hurt me so I’ll hurt you back, which leaves you no choice but to hurt me, which leave me no choice but to hurt you…etc. I worry it could turn into something like that.”

        I wouldn’t want that either. But Heather, feminism does bear responsibility for this retalitory reaction. Three waves and years of misdirected rage will do that. It’s good you acknowledge it.

        I’m not really a Men’s Rights advocate just so we’re clear. I’m only a male survivor who wants a world where my concerns aren’t invalidated or dismissed due to stereotypical tropes around gender. Feminism in the early days offered NOTHING like that until egalitarians like you came forward. Thank you.

        Hope you aren’t offended as I play devil’s advocate.

        • Oh I’m totally not offended by what you’re saying, by the way. I’m sensitive to sarcasm, yes…but reasoned discussion and criticism don’t offend me. :)

          “As I’ve said before, most of the anger comes from people who are seriously hurt.” – I totally acknowledge that a lot of the MRAs who give voice to their anger are coming from deep personal wounds. And I actually think that there should be a forum for them to voice that anger. I totally get it. Not to harp on about my own personal life…but having safe LGBT spaces where I can bitch and moan about the ways in which I have been personally affected by heteronormativity is essential. Without it I’d be a much angrier person. But that anger needs to be set aside when actively trying to effect change.

          Also, I’d like to add that a lot of the anger you hear from feminists also often comes from a personal place. (And again, this is probably especially true when you’re talking about the early feminists). And I think they made the mistake of letting their personal anger dictate the political movements. As much as the three waves of feminism bear responsibility for the retaliatory nature of the MRM….the strict traditional gender roles of the 19th century west bear responsibility for the retaliatory nature of the feminist movement. – which isn’t to try to excuse it, but to say it also didn’t spawn from a vacuum.

          • “As much as the three waves of feminism bear responsibility for the retaliatory nature of the MRM….the strict traditional gender roles of the 19th century west bear responsibility for the retaliatory nature of the feminist movement.”

            Except one is a concept/habit that affected both genders in different ways, while another is a concious ideology that should know better, due to their own experiences, but continues to promote opposition.

          • Heather: “I totally acknowledge that a lot of the MRAs who give voice to their anger are coming from deep personal wounds. And I actually think that there should be a forum for them to voice that anger.”

            But there isn’t. That’s my point.

            Years ago, there used to be places where men could go and talk about their issues. You know what happened? Society and the gynocentric’s pressurised them to include women. Those that didn’t were forced to disband/shutdown.

            Now, when there’s even a hint of maybe starting a space for men, society screams out that it’ll be at the expense of women and set the clock back to a misoganic society. Take a look at what happened to the people who wanted to start a “Men’s Studies” course in colleges/universities. The backlash was tremendous and galling, with people accusing them of being wife beaters and saying there are already areas where men are focused on, they don’t need a course devoted to them. Don’t even get me started on some of the below the belt remarks some of the more radical gynocentrists made in their commentary towards the founders.

            Society doesn’t want a place for men to express their problems. For three waves, feminism didn’t either, though they’d like to play politics and praise such a venture just so they could gain some brownie points before stabbing them in the back.

            Heather: “Also, I’d like to add that a lot of the anger you hear from feminists also often comes from a personal place. (And again, this is probably especially true when you’re talking about the early feminists). And I think they made the mistake of letting their personal anger dictate the political movements.”

            Too bad nobody bothered to address it back then. Look at the damage it’s done now.

            Heather: “As much as the three waves of feminism bear responsibility for the retaliatory nature of the MRM….the strict traditional gender roles of the 19th century west bear responsibility for the retaliatory nature of the feminist movement.”

            And not all men were responsible for those strict, traditional gender roles. Yet, those early feminists set their target sites on them anyway.

            • “But there isn’t. That’s my point.”

              Well then I’m all for making them. And the internet has something for everyone…I’m sure there are more man-only sites than GMP where men can rant a bit more. And if there aren’t…then someone should make one.

              “Too bad nobody bothered to address it back then. Look at the damage it’s done now.”

              Agreed. But I think it’s important not to dwell on the past (funny considering that’s what I do for a living. lol). But really…I think the best way to move forward is to do just that…move forward. Acknowledge the past, and learn from it…but if we dwell on it we don’t go anywhere. It’s like this Irish friend of mine who has an aunt who blames the British for the potato famine. It’s like yes, the British did fail when it came to helping out Ireland during that time…but it’s not worth actively hating the British now.

              “And not all men were responsible for those strict, traditional gender roles. Yet, those early feminists set their target sites on them anyway.” – True. Actually those strict gender roles were created by and perpetuated by both men and women. This is why demonizing a group of people is the problem. It doesn’t address the actual social issue, just lays blame.

            • Yeah, I agree with your overall point Heather.

              Moving forward is the only way to proceed.

              It’s just really hard when you’ve still got feminists living in the past dictating things. That’s why people focus on the past because these relics are from the past and society is still influenced by them.

            • “It’s just really hard when you’ve still got feminists living in the past dictating things.”

              This is something I completely and totally understand. And that’s why I think spaces for a sort of cathartic expression of all those frustrations are necessary. So that you can vent your anger, and rant and rave in a safe space…and maybe be a bit more willing to focus on the future when having discussions with people who might not agree with you.

              That’s the general you…not you specifically.

            • Heather: “This is something I completely and totally understand. And that’s why I think spaces for a sort of cathartic expression of all those frustrations are necessary. So that you can vent your anger, and rant and rave in a safe space…and maybe be a bit more willing to focus on the future when having discussions with people who might not agree with you.”

              You just summed up where my own self-development is working on at the moment.

              I’ve still got a ton of anger about not just what happened to me in the past but towards that strand of feminism which invalidated and minimised my story. There are times when I’ve moved the anger to the side and actually engaged with others who disagree.

              But there are still times when triggers happen when debating. Like here for example: http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/jezebel-wants-you-to-be-less-creepy/comment-page-1/#comments

              The triggering comment is on page two of the comments.

              Basically a commentator believed that men had nothing to fear from women. So I requested he read my Bullied By Girls And Women article then get back to me on that.

              I doubt he did because then he looked at the subtitle “One Man’s Account”, told me that yes men can get bullied by women but men bully other men, women are bullied by men.

              That set me off so much because I’ve encountered the same bigotry from those gynocentric feminists and ignorant masses of society when expressing my story. So I wrote a rant chiding him, which is in moderation and I doubt it’ll be taken out.

              But you see what I mean? This is what I have to deal with on some occassions. And I hate it with every fiber of my being.

              People like this with such belifes. Saying I’m an anomoly, “Women have it worse, blah blah blah”.

              You can’t blame sometimes when I have myself having suicidal thoughts (mild ones though) afterwards. It takes time for me to recover.

            • Would somebody please get me off moderation? I’m getting irritated here.

            • Ah moderation happens to everyone based on language used and also length of the post, I think. I don’t think it’s you…so much as that you’re posting long bits. I get posts on moderation too that are wicked long.

              “Told me that yes men can get bullied by women but men bully other men, women are bullied by men.” – as if women don’t bully other men or other women. He should go watch Mean Girls.

              On a more serious note…no of course I don’t blame you for ranting at something like that. Sometimes people make jacka$$ comments, and then I think like – rant away.

              It’s just tough when you try really hard to make a more sensitive comment, only to have it treated like an attack, is all. (Which is obviously not what that guy was doing…I’m just talking about in general).

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        I worry 100 years frrom now that men will be eliminated
        The first and second wave feminism MADE the issues that men are confronted with today. Feminist groups that want a level playing field and be the platform for change is like saying that the KKK should coordinate civil rights activities and be the platform to make changes.
        NOW may no longer overtly promote career over staying at home but they also don’t nurture it. With the exception of promoting things like VAWA (which includes education on spousal abuse) the stay at home mother doesn’t have NOW in their corner.
        Feminism had taken on a more subtle approach. With the exception of situation comedies who depict the stay at home mom as an idiot, It’s hard to find a women on TV that’s not working. First wafe feminism still influences society.
        Go to a movie and see a women slap a man and ya hear things like “you go girl” “Beat that SOB.” Watch a scene where a man slaps, hits or shoves a women, you hear the audience gasp. Men are bad, women are victims.
        I keep hearing about the MRM’s MRA’s as though they are this big national movement that are on the same level as groups like NOW. Heather, without doing a google search, list 5 MRM’s. I keep hearing about these organizations and I’m part of some of them. Heck, I’ll be happy if you can name 3.

        • Tom writes:

          With the exception of situation comedies who depict the stay at home mom as an idiot,

          You must not watch tv, because every stay at home mom seems to be superior to the working man in almost every category of human behavior.

          Look at Everybody Loves Raymond. Debra is depicted as smarter, more organized, of stronger will, more empathic, a harder worker the list goes on and on.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            Actually I watched that show which has been off the air for a while but I watch the reruns. There were a lot of episodes where she was made out to look like an idiot. Even an episode where she tried to go back to work. I have to be honest, I don’t watch alot of TV, what I do watch is TIVO’d.

        • Tom writes:
          “Go to a movie and see a women slap a man and ya hear things like “you go girl” “Beat that SOB.” Watch a scene where a man slaps, hits or shoves a women, you hear the audience gasp. Men are bad, women are victims.”

          Exactly. The feminist movement was so successful at passing laws against men, because their sentiment dovetails so nicely with the national mentality of male disposability and female protection.
          Men requiring protection creates revulsion in both men and women.

          Look at all the images of women on male violence that are so readily tolerated in society (and there are hundreds). The reverse would never be tolerated.

          There is a huge mountain of visual evidence that society readily accepts men being dominated or attacked by women as humor. But the reverse can only be shown if it is to be drama or horror.

        • @Tom

          You do not have to worry that men are going to be eliminate 100 years from now. As far as I can see that as the present legal inequalities favoring women increase, men would evolve dissociate themselves from the society which would be really frightening for the government and women. Men are the pillars on which the civilization stands. Women need men as much as virus needs to infect a host to live. Men just have to take a bold and unified stand that they are no longer going to tolerate these injustices.

          • “Men are the pillars on which the civilization stands. Women need men as much as virus needs to infect a host to live.”

            Well see now this is the type of rhetoric that makes it difficult for me to engage in a conversation about these issues. You seriously just compared women to a virus, Rapses. And to say that ‘men are the pillars on which civilization stands,’ is as bad as what some of the more gynocentric feminists have said…that ‘women are the pillars of civilization.’ Neither is true…people create and maintain society, not just men or just women…both.

            • Nobody is none so blind as those who won’t see. Just make a list of all the great pioneers in various fields, and you will find only men in those lists. It concludes that men have almost been sole contributors to the civilization. Most of the time the only contribution of women to civilization has been making babies. As for the conversation on the topics of relation between me and feminism, the only problem is that feminist take ha high stand and try to preach men instead of listening to their problems.

            • Right, well…that’s something I haven’t heard argued in a long time. Instead of rebutting it here, though, I’ll just point you to another GMP article.

              So I am really curious, now, as to where you’re from…what sort of job you have…who you are, really. Not in some sort of snarky sort of way. I am just actually curious. Like…I don’t expect you to necessarily answer that…because I realize I’m asking personal questions. But I’m curious.

            • Well I think your cultural relativism has failed you as you are interested in knowing the background of commenter to form judgment. If I remember correctly you did the same with another commenter from Canada with two advanced degrees. To satisfy your curiosity, I would like to inform you that I originally from South Asia, born in former aristocratic family, did my Masters and PhD in mathematics from a very prominent U.S. university and am currently working in North Europe.That is all that I wish to reveal without compromising my anonymity and hope it satisfies you well.

            • Thank you very much for sharing that. I’m not asking to pass judgement (just like I didn’t ask the Canadian guy about his personal life to pass judgement). I was actually just trying to get a feel for where you are coming from…trying to put your comments and opinions into some sort of context, is all. I hope I did not offend you by asking.

              Which yeah, that kind of is what cultural relativism is all about – understanding the cultural contexts that people are coming from. Again, not to form a judgement…but just to understand.

            • @Heather

              Since you are playing for Team Feminism on this thread, let me put a straight and simple question to you. What does feminism offer to men???

            • Heather writes:
              “Well see now this is the type of rhetoric that makes it difficult for me to engage in a conversation about these issues.”

              Agreed. In order to stop the feminist juggernaut it is going to be necessary to underscore man’s humanity, not play the blame game with the feminists.

              Just for the record, it seems a lot of men are so very angry at having injustice thrust upon them (I don’t know if rapses is one of them) that they can’t see straight.

              To put a (possibly undeserving spin) on what rapses is saying, when it comes to gender roles the worst oppression (the kind that robs men of life and limb and horribly castigates those men who don’t comply) was done to men when you look at restrictive gender roles 1901 to 1950. Society is literally built upon the sweat, tears, and blood of blue-collar men. Look at any great suspension bridge, skyscraper, highway/railway tunnels through mountains, dam or other great work and you will see EXCLUSIVELY male deaths.

              I understand THE SENTIMENT rapses is trying to say, but to make traction against the ever-present oppression of men from rad fems, it will be necessary to underscore man’s humanity, not play the superiority games of the feminists.

            • Alright yeah I get what you’re saying about the actual, physical building of the infrastructure of our current society. And, ya know, if that’s what Rapses was trying to say…then okay.

              But from where I’m sitting, it sounded a bit more like saying that all of civilization in the history of ever was created by men. Not just the west today, and not just physically….but that women didn’t contribute in any way except to pop out kids and cook meals.

              Which is not only offensive…but inaccurate.

            • Heather,

              I’m not sure what rapses was saying. However, I do understand the sentiment.
              I think this is part of the problem is that the only allowable reaction from men who face true injustice is anger.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Allowable and/or construed? At my facility we do and exercise where clients (the boys) deal with their feelings. Most of them are very familiar with “anger” and they see everything they feel ass “anger.” The client is to fill out a slip that starts with “I feel _____ ‘ toward a behavior or a situation with a peer and is presented in group to the peer whom they are addressing. We have an open discussion as to the “feel” part and what these guys learn is that they have more feelings then “anger.” It also teaches them assertiveness skills in dealing with their peers.

              Feminism want have have successfully brainwashed society that any time a man brings an issue to suface, they’re angry and nothing else. So on one hand I work with young men to learn that what they feel is not always anger and to learn and be okay with other feelings, I come here and “You’re an angry man” is shoved down my throat. No, I an many mrens rights advocates are not angry!

            • “Feminism want have have successfully brainwashed society that any time a man brings an issue to suface, they’re angry and nothing else. So on one hand I work with young men to learn that what they feel is not always anger and to learn and be okay with other feelings, I come here and “You’re an angry man” is shoved down my throat. No, I an many mrens rights advocates are not angry!”

              Um no…what I’m saying is that I read a lot of these posts and it sounds angry. Or rather, it reads angry. I’m not trying to brainwash anyone…I’m just saying that’s how it looks to me.

            • Another tactic I have seen employed by feminists (or maybe not a tactic so much as just throwing themselves out there) is for a feminist pundit (say at a rally) to say something like:

              “They say we’re a bunch of angry women! Damn right we’re angry! We’re angry because of A, B, C, D reasons!”

              But, when feminist bloggers talk about MRA anger, it’s always painted as 1) unjustifiable (we’re angry about LOSING PRIVILEGE rather than the concept that our civil rights are being stolen) and 2) the idea that MRA anger is DANGEROUS or violent which is a ridiculous contention.

              Yeah, feminist anger can NEVER be violent:
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qodygTkTUYM

            • @John D – right okay. I wasn’t trying to say any of that. I’m saying that cool heads and rational discussion is the way forward, for everyone. There should be a space to express anger (or any other emotion) regarding any injustice (for anyone and everyone). But if you’re trying to have a conversation with someone who you disagree with, and the attempt is to try to meet in the middle and come to some sort of shared understanding…then leaving as much emotion at the door as you can is useful. (Now you, individually…you in general. And I include myself in that ‘you). – anyway, that’s what I was saying.

          • Rapses writes:
            “Women need men as much as virus needs to infect a host to live.”

            I think making an analogy that compares women to viruses is a bit much. Your comparison may be accurate for the type of toxic dysfunctional women who are most likely to use female-biased laws to forcibly remove a man from his children and try to keep him out of the children’s lives permanently (all while he has the pleasure of paying the courts and his wife for injustice of course) you have to remember that the women who do this are a minority (although quickly growing % wise).

            You are correct however, that if women want to fall into the TYPICAL gender role (go to college, meet a guy, marry, quit college/work, have kids, live happily ever after) women do in fact need men more than men need women.

            Feminists have stabbed themselves in the foot and made long term live-in relationships with women such a mine field that many men are doing the prudent thing and opting out (a few percentage points, but still enough to have affect).

            Millions of men are settling into lives of becoming life-long adolescents. They are no longer ladder-climbing, over-time working, family-building men.

            From what I am seeing this is scaring the sh1t out of feminists and conservatives alike. The books and articles just keep coming about “man down” “peter pan syndrome” and other narratives that say these men are childish and irresponsible.

            These men are simply pursuing the safest route to fulfillment. If agents of society have a problem, then they should cure the underlying cause instead of trying to treat the symptom and shame these men into doing “their duty”.

            Millions of men are beginning to think like a great deal of women and unlearn sacrificing themselves for the family, the woman, the greater good. They realize they only have a duty to themselves. Good luck to them I say.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Well put and I agree … good luck to them. It scares me what society will look like in 50 years or even less. Men have lost so much in themselves and it’s not getting any better. If you even have a chance, read something that I have shared with many guys through the years. On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs – Dave Grossman. Amazing.

            • Tom,

              I read part of the essay you mentioned. I understand the sentiment, but it sounds a lot like people are supposed to tolerate the encroaching destruction of civil liberties.

              Let’s take 1 example about soldiers in airports. The 911 hijackers didn’t even try to get any fire-arms onto the planes.

              What that tells me is that screening was not the problem. If all this money spent on $200k xray scanners per airport was spent on expanding the air marshal program instead we would be much better off.

              In many or MOST instances governments shout alarm to further intrusion into the private domain and destruction of civil liberties.

              The essay is a little simplistic, and paints ANY rebuttal to the encrouchment of government as an emotional response.

              Just for the record. I would call myself a national libertarian. I am for whatever benefits the most citizens as long as it doesn’t stomp on any persons rights.

              I’m pro-union, pro-protectionism, I can’t stand Israel (the US govt being their toady is the #1 reason 911 happened), pro-national health care (although obamacare isn’t the answer), believe in minimizing illegal immigration and deporting the ones who are here, I am against the patriot act, against the govt unrestrained spying on the citizenry, and am against water-boarding (if we expect to wear the white hat and call ourselves the good guys, then we can’t just talk the talk). I think Bush lied to get us into Iraq, and I think man-made global warming is a fraud.

              I don’t follow a party-line ticket on anything, and most of my beliefs are after fact-finding and contemplation rather than knee-jerk like many people (not that you are).

              I understand and appreciate the link, but I think the implied idea in the undertone that those who resist the encroaching martial law are just being emotional is totally inaccurate.

              Look up the reichstag fires regarding Hitlers rise to power. People have a lot of GOOD reasons to fear soldiers on every door step.

        • “The first and second wave feminism MADE the issues that men are confronted with today. ” Actually no. First and second wave feminism made many of the issues that men are confronted with today…particularly with regards to parental rights and reproductive rights. However, your mention of female-on-male violence as something that feminism made acceptable is forgetting a lot of history. Traditionally women were seen as physically weaker, and therefore unable to hurt a man. So a woman hitting a man is viewed as funny because conventional wisdom says that women can’t hurt men. Feminism was remiss in not addressing this issue…but they didn’t create it.

          “Feminist groups that want a level playing field and be the platform for change is like saying that the KKK should coordinate civil rights activities and be the platform to make changes.”

          Again, I would say no. The struggle for gender equality is different to other civil rights issues. Men and women both benefit (and are harmed) by gender inequality in different ways. It is not a clear division between oppressor and oppressed. It’s more – society restricts and oppressed _both_ men and women.

        • Oh and you asked me to name MRMs. I can name one…A Voice For Men. But then…I can only name one political feminist organization…NOW. I’m not part of any political feminist organizations, so yeah I don’t know their names.

          Also, asking me to name something is a bit…well it’s not a good litmus test for anything. I am appallingly bad at remembering the names of people or things. Like, I can remember entire movies that I haven’t seen since I was a child…but ask me to tell you what they were called and I’m at a loss. It took me months to remember the names of my housemates…even though I would talk to them daily.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            Although I enjoy this platform, I wouldn’t call it an MRM. It’s simply a platform for men to voice their views. It takes no position other then to allow men AND women to vent.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Here is what society has taught males. A couple years ago I had a teen client, he was 17 at the time. He disclosed that “he bagged is first babe when he was 11” It was his teenage babysitter. He in no way saw that he was sexually abused. MRM’s … we’re fighting to be heard about things like this. Whereas you see women being manipulated by “what beauty is” through the cosmetic and fashion industry, I see men and boys being taught that all they are is dudes out for a quick lay. My concern with feminists in these groups is that they tend to derail our efforts. We know what we need, we know what we want to accomplish.

        And I ask again, why do the MRM’s have to go to the feminist camps? Why are you all going to the MRM camps and LISTENING to what we have to say? Not what you want us to say. Become a court watcher and go to these custody courts and see how men are treated.

        • “And I ask again, why do the MRM’s have to go to the feminist camps? Why are you all going to the MRM camps and LISTENING to what we have to say?”

          Personally, I think it should go both ways. Men belong in the feminist movement, women belong in the MRM. And yeah just like men in the feminist movement shouldn’t be restricted in what they say, women in the MRM shouldn’t be restricted in what they’re saying. We should all of us listen to each other more (which I always try to do, but don’t always succeed).

          But a few years ago I briefly dipped my toe into men’s rights sites (and no, I cannot provide names. I’m sure A Voice For Men was probably one of them, but other then that…no idea. I already explained about me and names. I’m not trying to make an excuse…it’s actually sort of embarrassing). – Anyway, I didn’t stay long. There was just a lot of hostility toward feminists, in general. Which, like I said elsewhere on here…I comprehend…I understand where that comes from. But it made me not want to stay. So yeah…I think both sides need to listen to each other more…and both sides need to be more hospitable to the other.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            You have changed your tune. This all started with men going to the feminist camp. Now you want to ride the fence and have us all go to each others camps. Won’t happen. Personally, I don’t need to listen to their side. I’ve heard it for 30+ years and hear it every day in the courts, at work, in the shopping center … everywhere. Turn on the TV, watch a movie … it’s all there all the time.

            Not related to this string but I need to mention something that pertains to the perceived notion that men in MRM’s are angry because they’ve been hurt. I need to tell you that in my life, I really haven’t been nurt in a way where I feel any anger and that’s why I can say a lot of the things I say knowing it’s not motivated by some crap that’s happen to me directly.
            I married a women with the same values that I have. I wanted and got an educated women who wanted to be a SAHM and feels that it’s the greatest honor in the world. I’ve worked my way up the corporate chain and opted out of it. Many of the men I work with in MRM’s are in similar positions where they have no reason to be angry but do see the inequities and where men are headed today. That’s the true MRM where they can look at society and see what needs to be done. It’s not payback to the feminists, it’s a matter of wanting men to get back on the right track … it’s that simple

            • “You have changed your tune. This all started with men going to the feminist camp.”

              Well firstly, if I had, then wouldn’t that be something to be commended instead of criticized? I hate it when people have this discussion with differing ideas and then if one person actually changes their mind, they’re derided for it. What the heck man.

              But in this case, I actually haven’t changed my opinion. This particular article was about men joining feminism, and so my replied have been centred on that. Just because I was talking about men joining feminism, didn’t mean I was excluding the idea of women joining the MRM. Somewhere around here in these old comments I was talking about feminists and MRAs all coming together to actually work toward true gender equality. There’s just too many comments for you to have seen everything I’m saying.

              And what you’re saying – come listen to me but I don’t have to listen to you. That doesn’t work…it just pisses people off. That’s the very sentiment that drove me away from actually joining an MRM group or site in the first place. That’s exactly why men often feel driven away from feminist groups. You can’t enter a dialogue by telling the other side to shut up and listen to you – that’s what the worst radfems do and people are rightly pissed off at them.

              And alright, so you weren’t hurt personally…the tone of what you say still sounds like it’s coming from a very angry and frustrated place…something you are emotionally invested in…Something that you believe very strongly. Or at least that is how I am reading it. – and that makes discussion difficult.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              Yeah, if you went to a “mens” group to listen, then why didn’t you “listen?” Coming from the corporate world of business to business sales, “listening” is a key to success. Being in the industry that I’m in now “Listening” is a key when working with these kids. I have a feeling you went into those groups to try to change them. Years of men working in these men’s groups and dealing with countless issues, do you honestly think you could come in with an “I have a solution” to your problems approach. Personally, my impression is that you were angry and remain angry that they didn’t listen to your every word.

              You can enter that dialogue when you’re willing to listen first. And I give a rats ass what the “redfems” feel. Do you know what they promote? Or perhaps you’re referring to radical feminists which in comparison to the redfems are kittens. It does concern me that if you are aware of “redfems” that you may be an actual feminist and not the middle ground supporter of all you come off as.
              “And alright, so you weren’t hurt personally…the tone of what you say still sounds like it’s coming from a very angry and frustrated place…something you are emotionally invested in…Something that you believe very strongly. Or at least that is how I am reading it. – and that makes discussion difficult.”

              Again, shoving the “angry” stuff down my throat. I think I made it perfectly clear, if you were open enough to actually listen, that I am not angry. I am emotionally powered just as I am while watching the Greenbay packers. (no comments needed) … Frustrated place? Yes But that’s all.

            • “I have a feeling you went into those groups to try to change them. Years of men working in these men’s groups and dealing with countless issues, do you honestly think you could come in with an “I have a solution” to your problems approach.”

              Assume much? I didn’t make a comment or say a thing to any of these groups, actually. I did, actually, go into them to listen. And what I heard was a lot of generalized anti-feminist rhetoric. It put me off. It wasn’t about them listening to me, because I didn’t say anything. It was purely about me hearing what they were saying and not liking it. Not with regards to specific issues…but with regards to their treatment of feminism.

              Just like a lot of men who go into feminist groups end up feeling the same way. I’m sure plenty of them are actually going to listen. And I’m sure plenty of them doing start off with a “I can fix it,” approach…and yet they still get torn down and get to hear anti-male rhetoric. So they leave.

              “Again, shoving the “angry” stuff down my throat. I think I made it perfectly clear, if you were open enough to actually listen, that I am not angry.”

              I am not trying to shove it down your throat. I am just saying that is how I read it. I am listening (reading) and it sounds angry to me. Just because that is not how you intended it, doesn’t mean that my reading of it is invalid.

              ” It does concern me that if you are aware of “redfems” that you may be an actual feminist and not the middle ground supporter of all you come off as.” – yes I am a feminist spy sent here to infiltrate the GMP with lies about my centrist leanings, all so I can explode into a ball of feminist rhetoric just when they have their guard down. (That is sarcastic and so totally untrue). Mate, if the radfems are anything more than a shortening of the words radical and feminist into one word, then I apologize. That’s all I was doing, shortening the words.

              But look…so what if I was aware of some crazy radical fringe to feminism that is worse than radical feminists? Being aware of the radical fringe doesn’t mean I belong to it.

  30. This article demonstrates even moreso why men do NOT belong in the feminist movement. You acknowledge the very view that many feminists do not believe men belong, and that alone should be reason enough. A movement that claims to be about equality, but openly rejects half the population, will not serve the interests of that half equally.

    But moreso, despite claiming to feel men belong in the feminist movement, you still demonstrates the very behaviours that promote the idea’s of the feminists you disagree with about men’s place in leadership. You still feel men speaking for anyone’s interests but their own is “patronizing”. Inadequate I could see, but patronizing implies a motivation on the part of the male (Which is, ironically, itself speaking for men), and takes offence where none should exist (do you really see someone trying to promote your best interests as insulting? Do you not see how such a view says more about you then the person speaking for you?), thus demonstrating a negative, even hostile view of males.

    Furthermore, despite your claims of equality, you take pains to maintain the feminist victimhood and dominance over it. You repeatedly tell us how women have it worst, because of how people perceive women vs the frivolous complaints of laws actually working and discriminating against men. This demonstrates and unwillingness to allow men equal footing in the conversation, IE, men’s place must always be measured against women, and women must always be seen as having it worst… and such a position is not helpful for establishing true equality.

    So overall, while what you say of both men and women holding leadership positions within a social/civil movement rings true, you make it ever so clear that that social/civil movement is not feminism.

  31. Okay there are so many comments on here, I’m worried I might be failing to respond to something someone said. If I did fail to respond to something from someone, then don’t think I’m ignoring you. Please just e-mail me at [email protected] if you want to continue some part of the discussion I have stopped talking about. For some reason the gravatar link thing isn’t working for my picture…so that’s why I’m posting my e-mail here. :)

  32. @JohnD – I actually don’t think women should be more protected than men. I think kids should be protected. I think groups which suffer discrimination should be protected against that discrimination. But I don’t think that one gender should be more protected than the other.

    And as for what you’re saying…I think you’re forgetting the bits back in our other conversations where I’ve acknowledged that feminist policies have done a lot to hurt men. But that wasn’t what I was referring to in that comment. I was just saying (in a somewhat frustrated tone) that I hear what sounds to me like two opposing arguments.

    One the one hand: feminism is big and popular and so totally in line with patriarchal traditions that it’s managed to pass all sorts of legislation. (Which ignores the difficulties a lot of feminist policies initially faced…no I’m not including domestic violence policies). On the other hand: most women aren’t even feminists because they hate it so much. Feminism has been widely hated for decades.

    That is where the disconnect is for me….it’s so popular everyone hates it. Say what? I’d say it’s much more complicated then that. Part of it worked within the patriarchal view of the world (with regards to domestic violence and parental rights)…and part of it really didn’t (with regards to voting, careers, military, etc). The bits that everyone eats up like candy are the bits that do stick with traditional ideas of women as being protected…which is why I think we see so much support for women’s domestic violence issues and maternal rights. But the bits that people hated and railed against where the bits that went against it – again, voting, military, etc.

    Also, loved the porn analogy cuz it was pretty damn funny. :)

    • Julie,
      Hindsight is always 20/20. What we’re seeing now is the results of feminism (from rads being at the wheel) after 40 years. In other words: we can all look back NOW and say Galileo was in the right. We can all look back NOW and say the klan was messed up. But, the church’s persecution of Galileo may have resonated with people. It was a common belief that mankind was god’s children and we were the center of the universe. The concept that we were on this mudball hurtling around the sun may have been scary for lots of people.

      There was also a time when the Klan was very popular and every politician had to be a member to get elected.

      My point is that since feminist largely package laws differently than what the laws ACTUALLY STATE what you are seeing now is the hindsight of most Americans that feminism is destructive. Feminism WAS popular, but not so much anymore.

      Additionally, you paint the picture that feminism used to be a good movement, but morphed into something bad. I disagree with this. I will agree that there were issues of restriction of women’s choices that feminism did address in the beginning (like workplace harassment).

      However, I do not believe that feminism morphed into something worse. From what I can tell the manhating radical feminists are the core of feminism (not a fringe) and they have been since nearly the inception.

      I don’t know if my post that’s been in moderation for a couple of days got out or not, but here it is again:
      ht tp://www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/newreadings/2001/feminist_hate_speech.ht m

      Look at these hateful quotes by the founding mothers of feminism. There is valid proof that the haters were always present in feminism since the 60’s. Also, I think there is a BIG difference between openly hating a specific birth-group, and a birth-group opposing a POLITICAL ORGANIZATION which blatantly attempts to destroy the birth groups rights.

      I will agree that what is needed is a third movement that sees everybody as human. However, until that day comes men are going to have to put their eggs into the MRM as even this article makes very blatantly evident.

      Emily wants men to join feminism with the caveat that SHE gets veto power of what constitutes oppression (and it CAN’T be men which seems to be one of the pillars of VERY NEARLY *all* the strands of feminism).

      THIS. SIMPLY. IS. NOT. ACCEPTABLE. as a solution to men’s issues. This article falls very very short of the mark when we talk of equality.

      Once again thanks for letting me bend your ear and for the interesting conversation.

      • Holy crap.
        Sorry heather. I tagged a reply to you with Julie. I have a lot of errands to run right now, and a lot of things on my plate today, and I haven’t had any coffee.

      • “Additionally, you paint the picture that feminism used to be a good movement, but morphed into something bad.” – Yeah I do paint it that way. But I suppose really I see it more as something that spawned from a good idea, and became mired down in it’s own beliefs. Because as Chris Rock said in Dogma – “You can change an idea, changing a belief is trickier.”

        “There is valid proof that the haters were always present in feminism since the 60′s.” – Yeah but the 60s isn’t the beginning of feminism. I think the radical version of feminism is sitting in the political sphere right now…but the majority of people I know who call themselves feminists are much more egalitarian and centrist. Not all of them…the the vast majority. That’s where I see the problem at the moment – somehow politicizing egalitarians.

        “Emily wants men to join feminism with the caveat that SHE gets veto power of what constitutes oppression (and it CAN’T be men which seems to be one of the pillars of VERY NEARLY *all* the strands of feminism).”

        Yeah her use of the terms ‘oppression’ and ‘restriction’ are quite problematic. The devil is in the details, as they say. I think that the general sentiment of what she’s saying is valid – that men should have a voice in feminism. I think where there are problems in how she’s depicting that role, yeah. Which, eternal optimist that I am, is something I think should be discussed and worked out. I don’t think we should chuck the whole idea, though.

        And I like chatting with you too. :) And no worries about calling me Julie, I’ll take that as a compliment. 😉

        • Emily gets points for trying to be inclusive.

          Remove the qualifier that men have to agree that they aren’t oppressed to have a voice in feminism and you’re on to something good.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      One quick comment … Men should “protect” women. We are hard wired to do so.

      • Alright I was trying not to make the assumption that what you wanted was to return to strict gender roles, but that’s what it sounds like.

  33. Tom Brechlin says:

    @Heather <— cool, I just figured that out.

    So, you really don't know anything about MRM's? In some of the groups I'm in, we can smell a feminist a mile away and accordingly, will more then likely put them on blast. The smallest hint that someone may be of the feminist persuasion, tghe red flag is thrown. If I look at many of the things you've said, and this is not to offend, you would appear to be a feminist. The fact that you have such astrong opinion and view of what an MRM is, without actually knowing them, draws some concern on my part. From what I can tell, you appear to be a wonderful kind hearted person with everyones best interest in mind but it's sad to say that you have to take the rose color glasses off and see what's happening in real life. I would appreciate people not addressing MRM's unless they know of what they speak. Last note for the moment … ya'll are pretty cool people and I'm enjoying this platform. But for now, I have dinner on the stove.

    • Mate, I only ever am talking about things from my perspective. I apologize if I don’t always put in “from my experience with MRMs…” but that is always what I mean. From my experience and from the experience of other people I know with regard to MRMs…that is where I draw my conclusions. I’m not claiming to be an expert, I’m just discussing what I’ve observed and what I’ve discussed with other people.

      “The smallest hint that someone may be of the feminist persuasion, the red flag is thrown” – which is exactly in line with my experience with MRMs. Like I said, I dipped my toe and immediately found that the water was ice freaking cold, and I left. I am a feminist, but I’m sympathetic to men’s issues….and the anti-feminist atmosphere made it so I’m very unlikely to ever attempt to actually join a group.

      And you know…any time I’ve made a generalization about MRMs based on my experiences and it’s been wrong…I apologize. But at the same time, I’m reading all sorts of generalizations about feminism that aren’t entirely accurate either. Yet again I’d argue it’s a two way street.

      • Re: 2nd paragraph. that was my same experience with the feminist movement. Except the reason for hostility against me was due to how I was born.

        “But at the same time, I’m reading all sorts of generalizations about feminism that aren’t entirely accurate either.”

        Not entirely accurate, or just not applicable to 100% of the feminist population? there is a distinct difference. Because, to be honest, I’ve seen a lot of generalizations about feminism from feminists that are also not applicable to a great measure of the feminist population.

        • “That was my same experience with the feminist movement. Except the reason for hostility against me was due to how I was born.” – yeah and for me it was because of a perceived ideology that I do not actually espouse. My point is that hostility based on assumptions is bad all around.

          “Not entirely accurate, or just not applicable to 100% of the feminist population?”

          Well I don’t know all feminists. 😉 But in my experience, the more hardcore political groups do not actually represent the feminism of the majority of the people I talk to. Now, I dunno…maybe that’s just because I am not particularly friendly with radical feminists…but then, my extended group of friends and acquaintances is pretty damn diverse…so I’d think that if there are that many radical feminists actually out there, I’d have befriended one at some point. My own experiences leave me to believe that seriously hardcore radical gynocentric feminism is a dying ideology….at least numbers wise. Politically it’s still roaring and doing whatever it can to make itself felt.

          • Mark Neil says:

            “Well I don’t know all feminists. But in my experience, the more hardcore political groups do not actually represent the feminism of the majority of the people I talk to…..”

            this largely sounds like you’re saying “it’s not 100% applicable”, as opposed to actually being inaccurate. This is an important distinction.

            Furthermore, even you admit that the “radical” feminism is still politically “roaring” and doing plenty, to which many of the criticisms are accurate. So most peoples views of feminism will be formed by those politically active radical feminists. More importantly, it is those feminists who are shaping the laws and policies that are hurting men. So when people say feminists are hurting men, it actually IS accurate, regardless of how much you don’t like it. While it may not be accurate to all feminists, it is accurate to those people see.

            “my extended group of friends and acquaintances is pretty damn diverse…so I’d think that if there are that many radical feminists actually out there, I’d have befriended one at some point.”

            Not true. There is no reason to believe that you would ever befriend someone with conflicting core beliefs, especially given you likely would not spend time in the same circles. Furthermore, most feminists, even the radicals, still put on an egalitarian face. I don’t know how often I have been told “feminism is about equality” in response to my assertion feminism is about female empowerment (to what degree varies by the individual, and the opinion of men also varies by the individual), and when I asked what feminists have done for men’s issues (anything all all, that wasn’t just a side effect of helping women, or an attempt to make men more like women (IE men should be able to express emotions like women)), I inevitably get one of two answers: 1) men don’t have any real issues. or 2) why should feminists help men. Nether of these answers truly represent the “feminism is about equality” assertion originally made (though do fit the feminism is about female empowerment). So while most feminists may say, and even think they believe, that feminism is about equality, very few will actually be able to stand behind that assertion when push comes to shove. Even you have said feminism focus’s on women’s issues because, well, it’s in the name (but you haven’t claimed feminism i about equality, and instead say there is a place for the MRM, so you’re not being contradictory.). The point of this is to say, you may very well be friends with several of these types and nether you, nor they, realize it because their beliefs have yet to be challenged.

            “My point is that hostility based on assumptions is bad all around.”

            But it’s not based on assumptions. Feminists have caused men a lot of damage. At least the feminists most in the public eye, and with the most influence (and thus, identified as the most common, even if that is no longer true, which is hard to determine). Furthermore, you identify as a feminist, with no way to distinguish you from the other type. And believe me, there are plenty of bigots on the internet, and you admit you’re relatively isolated from it, so you need to consider that as well. Sure it’s not nice, but nether is fearing to be alone with someone due to rape or false rape alligation concerns.

            • “Furthermore, even you admit that the “radical” feminism is still politically “roaring” and doing plenty, to which many of the criticisms are accurate.”

              I just think it’s important to make direct these criticisms toward those who are actually causing the problems. When I hear about how all feminists are doing such-and-such…or about how feminism as an idea has cause this or that problem, it makes me less likely to want to hear the rest of what is being said. Now if I hear about how political feminists have cause a problem, or about how radical feminists have caused a problem…well then okay. It’s like the difference between hearing how “men are horndogs,” versus hearing “some men are horndogs.”

              “Furthermore, you identify as a feminist, with no way to distinguish you from the other type.” – I identify as an egalitarian feminist, actually. And hostility is based on assumption…it’s assumed that by identifying myself as a feminist (even an egalitarian feminist) I’m actually a man-hater. It’s like…this comment that I made right here. – it is assuming that a label that has all sorts of different connotations and meaning associated with it, is actually just the worst aspects of that label and that’s it.

              With regards to my friends – yeah when I say diverse I include in that some people with completely different core beliefs than mine. This is particularly true when you take into account my acquaintances. Like for example, one of them actually is a staunchly conservative Catholic…we aren’t great friends but we are acquaintances, and actually a lot of our conversations centre around our different world views. I guess it’s possible one of them is more radical but is hiding it (regardless of the fact that one of the things I discuss most with friends is differing ideologies)…but I doubt it. The basis for most of my friendships and acquaintances is discussing our different beliefs. (My closest friends usually share certain ideologies with me, yes…but that doesn’t hold for the rest of them).

            • Mark Neil says:

              “When I hear about how all feminists are doing such-and-such”

              Are you sure it’s not you sometimes adding the word “all” into the equation (I see this far too often). Sometimes yes, but more often than not, i see generalizations stating feminists are doing such and such…. if even a few femnists are in fact doing such and such, the statement is not wrong, and to inject “all” into it so you can feel justified in defending against it only places yourself as a shield for those very feminists doing that act. you end up putting yourself between them and the criticism they deserve, simply because they didn’t put the unnecessary quantifier “most” or “some”.

              There was one woman on youtube that claimed to be an egalitarian feminist, that, when I challenged her assertion that feminism was about equality, and pushed (because she kept evading the questions) actually ended up telling me she thought every (and yes, she did use that quantifier) man would eagerly rape an 11 year old girl if they thought they could get away with it. So saying you are egalitarian is not a valid response to “there is no way to distinguish”.

              And among all my friends and acquaintances, I don’t actually know any feminist activists (and only, maybe, 1-2 that even identify as feminist. and I’ve only been active in men’s rights a few years, so it’s not like they are just avoiding telling me). does that mean feminist activists are a myth, or exceptionally rare?

            • “Are you sure it’s not you sometimes adding the word “all” into the equation (I see this far too often).”

              This is a case where it’s all about the interpretation of the words being said. Because even if the word ‘all’ isn’t used it can be implied. I don’t inject “all” as a means to defend the feminists who actually do espouse ideas I think are harmful, though I’m sure there are those who do. I, personally, interpret it as meaning all because without a signifier, it _can_ mean all. It’d be like saying – lesbians are masculine. It is implied that it means all lesbians are masculine, which is false. It is true that some lesbians are masculine, but without that qualifier the exact meaning of what is being said is difficult to determine.

              The use of language is extremely important, and I’m not saying I don’t fall into similar traps myself. But when we are having discussions about such personal opinions and ideologies, it is crucial that we all be as specific and careful in our word choices as possible. So if someone is talking about political feminist groups specifically, it’s important to qualify that.

              On that same note about language – your example of an egalitarian feminist with that opinion about men and 11 year old girls brings up the problem with any label…and that is that individuals within any label will vary. I’ll again go back to lgbt labels cuz I’m familiar with them. A butch lesbian, for example, encompasses a fairly wide range of attitudes, behaviours, and aesthetic styles. No label would have any meaning at all if we were to invalidate it based on every single outlier. – instead we agree upon certain general meanings as a short hand to express our ideas.

              So feminism – ideology about fighting for women’s equality and rights. Egalitarian feminism – fighting for actual gender equality, but focusing on women’s rights. You will get people within either label that don’t actually fit…and yet we still continue to use those labels. Now, if you were to tell me you came across a few egalitarian feminist groups online that all spout rather radical rhetoric (oo alliteration), then that would be a point to re-examine the definition and use of the term.

              “Does that mean feminist activists are a myth, or exceptionally rare.” – look…there isn’t any sort of national (or international) survey of feminists or MRAs to determine who is part of which subgroup and who exactly believes what. So all we have to go on are personal experiences. Even if we were to look at the number of people who donate for NOW or something that still wouldn’t tell us much. It’s easy to write a check for an organization you sort-of agree with. So…in my personal experience is that while there are many political and radical feminist groups out there…they are not the majority.

            • Mark Neil says:

              ” I don’t inject “all” as a means to defend the feminists who…”

              Never said that was a means, just a result. Let me give you an example. If someone said “feminists are pushing through anti-male laws” and a feminist jumps up and says “that’s not true, feminism isn’t anti-male, it’s about equality for all” and proceeds in a back and forth about what feminism is about, does one of the results of this exchange not appear to be the shielding of the feminists who are pushing through anti-male laws? May not have been the original intention, but it is one of the results.

              ” interpret it as meaning all because without a signifier, it _can_ mean all.”

              It _can_ also mean a few. But then again, when you identify as a feminist, people might be hostile towards you because you possibly _can_ be a man hating radical.

              ” It’d be like saying – lesbians are masculine. It is implied that it means all lesbians are masculine, which is false.”

              No, it implies that most – the magority – are masculine (not agreeing with the statement, just using the example you provided). Without the quantifier “all”, there is room for exception, even a significant quatity ofexceptions. When “all” is injected into a statement, it removes the potential for exceptions, and makes a generalization into an absolute. This is a dishonest debate tactic by painting the original commentor as extremist and irrational (and when I see someone say “all feminists are such and such”, that’s how I see that commentor, as an extremist).

              Furthermore, I would like to note that your original comment spoke of “doing such and such”, not “being such and such”. Accusations of what feminists “are” is a little more open to the “all” interpretation (though I still disagree with the use or injection of all even here) than accussations of what feminists are “doing”.

              Now, if you hear someone talking about what feminists are, and you don’t aggree that it fits even the magority, then take it from there, but injecting the “all” accusation distorts their original comment into something far easier to debate, and is both unreasonable, and dishonest. And doesn’t promote the very “listening” you espouse.

              ” it is crucial that we all be as specific and careful in our word choices as possible.”

              And it is equally important not to inject words specifically not used as well. If there is room for multiple interpretations, it is better to get clarification than to make assumptions of their intent. And that itself is a bit of a test… if you would feel stupid asking someone if they meant “all”, then chances are, they didn’t.

              “and that is that individuals within any label will vary.”

              Are you suggesting that thinking all men want to rape 11 year old girls is just a variance of egalitarian feminism? or is it instead a radical cloaking themselves within the egalitarian label in order to hide their bigotry? I saw no other feminist speak out against that comment.

              “No label would have any meaning at all if we were to invalidate it based on every single outlier.”

              No label has any meaning if we accept such extreme variances to the point we dilute it’s very meaning. What is an egalitarian feminists, if we are to accept such a person who believes all men will rape an 11 year old girl if given the chance as being within that label? So ether claiming the egalitarian label is meaningless because it’s meaning is too diluted to mean anything substantial, or else it’s meaningless due to the ease in which others can claim it to mask themselves. My poont is, claiming to be egalitarian isn’t enough to stem the hostility, many bigoted feminists hide behind the egalitarian label. If you don’t like that, perhaps you should speak with those bigots tarnishing your label?

              “Now, if you were to tell me you came across a few egalitarian feminist groups online that all spout rather radical rhetoric”

              Not groups, I can’t find any egalitarian feminist groups online (which says a lot for how common or not they are). But I do find a lot of people claiming to be egalitarian that, when pushed, show their bigotry (youtube comments often have these types). I was simply using the most egregious example that came to mind. Others here have also encountered these types, and I believe have said so within these very comments.

              “So all we have to go on are personal experiences”

              and yet, even your experiences tell you that the most visible, politically active feminists are of the radical/bigoted variety, but still feel compelled to insist those who base their opinions on feminism based on those same visible/politically active feminists don’t have the know of it. Your saying “most feminists aren’t like that” is even more aggregious then others saying most feminists are, because you need to rely on what you know to be personal experience to counter what is clearly visible to all. That’s what I’m trying to point out. You seem unwilling to accept the possiblility that it is your group of feminists that are the anomoly, not the political bigots.

              It really comes down to this… just as you feel if bigoted feminists were more common, they would be better represented within your social sphere, others believe if egalitarian feminists were more common, they would be better represented within the political sphere…

            • “Does one of the results of this exchange not appear to be the shielding of the feminists who are pushing through anti-male laws?”

              Ah yes, I see what you are saying. And I would say that the problem with both those statements is that they are not specific enough…because at face value neither of those statements is quite true. Or at least…neither of those statements manages to express the whole truth.

              I think our disagreement about the use of the term “all” or a lack of any qualifier is really just all about the very subjective aspects of reading and interpreting a text. I honestly do not interpret a “feminists are…” comment to mean “all” as a means to attack the commenter. That is just how I read it. And I believe that you interpret it to mean “a majority.” – are there people who construct a comment (and a response) as a way to take advantage of the ambiguity of a statement without a qualifier such as “all”? Certainly. But for you and I….I really think it’s just a matter of the two of us reading a text differently.

              And yeah with the feminist with the 11 year old rape example – I was suggesting it was a radical cloaking herself in egalitarian feminism (perhaps subconsciously, or perhaps purposefully).

              With regards to youtube comments – those are a pile of pants anyway, most of the time…regardless of the subject. Not that it invalidates them…just that they tend to show the worst side of people. And not that it excuses it…I’m just saying, gotta look at them in their context.

              And as for labels and having their meaning diluted because anyone can claim them. Well…yeah but it’s the internet. I could go onto any website and claim to be any label I want and then say something completely insane. It’s the anonymity which makes it troublesome…which is why I’m liking GMP so much. It’s the internet, yes…but people are having serious conversations exploring these issues.

              Anyway – yeah actual egalitarian feminists aren’t exactly organized around a rallying point. But then, how often is the centre of any issue organized into a cohesive group? Rarely. It’s something that a few of us are actually working to fix…but it’s not like we can just pop up one night and BAM all the egal feminists in the world will join a website or something. :)

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              “Like for example, one of them actually is a staunchly conservative Catholic…we aren’t great friends but we are acquaintances”
              Whereas you have an acquaintance who is a “staunchly conservative Catholic”, two of my oldest friends is a gay couple whom I’ve known for 35 years. One of my business partners is gay. And let’s add this to boot, I work with a group that provides meals to people with AIDS (some women, mostly men) where I personally deliver meals to the home bound. Ya know what? MOST of the volunteers in this group are from the local church goers. Maybe you need to listen to these people more?

            • I actually know plenty of gay Christians too…because obviously being gay and Christian is not mutually exclusive. And Christian feminists. And gay conservative Christians…well one. etc. etc.

              My whole point in bringing up the Christian conservative right, was to say that making generalizations about the people who are part of it is inaccurate. That is my point.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            “My own experiences leave me to believe that seriously hardcore radical gynocentric feminism is a dying ideology….at least numbers wise”
            How about this then?? “(WOMENSENEWS)–More than 50 women’s rights organizations will be using
            March 1, the first day of women’s history month, to announce a
            voter-major mobilization effort for the 2012 elections”
            Women’s rights? 50 organizations???? Men’s rights are struggling with keeping a handful together. “Women’s history month?”

  34. @Mark – I think a lot of the problems in our dialogues are about the period of time we’re talking about. I treat this article as something that calls for a change in the future of feminism. I see it as someone who acknowledges some of the failings of feminism (although she uses problematic terms), and is saying it’s time to change that. I think either MRAs or feminists ignoring each other isn’t an ideal solution either…working together would be best. Which, I’d like to highlight that I’m not suggesting that it’s likely to happen…I’m just saying that it should be the goal.

    Somewhere else on here I mentioned something about feminism and patriarchy. I’ll quote it: “Part of it worked within the patriarchal view of the world (with regards to domestic violence and parental rights)…and part of it really didn’t (with regards to voting, careers, military, etc). The bits that everyone eats up like candy are the bits that do stick with traditional ideas of women as being protected…which is why I think we see so much support for women’s domestic violence issues and maternal rights. But the bits that people hated and railed against where the bits that went against it – again, voting, military, etc.”

    So that’s how I see it – yeah some parts of feminism played into traditional views of women and their needed protection, and others haven’t. Unfortunately just at the minute, the big issues of domestic violence and reproductive rights are bits that play into those traditional views.

    And like, with regards to the fact that a similar call for men to be able to do what they will, and define masculinity as they will, isn’t really happening…well yeah and I think that should change. Again, a lot of what I’m saying isn’t about what is, but about what I think should be.

    And thanks for not making personal attacks on feminists…I really didn’t mean to suggest you did. I was just saying it’s a lot of the reaction I have felt.

    • Mark Neil says:

      “I think either MRAs or feminists ignoring each other isn’t an ideal solution either”

      Perhaps not the ideal, but for the moment, it is likely the best we can do. There is too much hostility on both sides. If the MRM could be left alone to establish itself and do what they felt was needed, without the constant shaming and attacks, possibly even with the occassional support, it would go a long way towards bridging that gaps. but so long as feminism attacks the MRM, the MRA’s will point out how damaging the political feminists have been as a counter. I point you to an issue in Juneau Alaska (a few years back) with regards to a social club called Men’s Crisis Center (based on a song) that had adopted a section of highway and put a sign up. Feminist groups took offense to having a Men’s Crisis Center sigh on the highway, attributing it to a website (unrelated) with jokes on stereotypes of both genders, and calling it offensive to women. At no point during an investigation did anyone actually speak to any members of the club to get clarification. This is what men’s groups face (and this was nothing more than a social club, not active in any advocacy)

      http://juneauempire.com/stories/120508/loc_364003458.shtml

      “I’m just saying that it should be the goal.”

      I prefer to deal in acheivable goals, and adapt and adjust my goals as things change. I think this is a distinct difference in these conversations, that is causing some conflict. What “should” be is nice to think of an all, but really, the world doesn’t work in “should”‘s and “ideal”‘s.

      “But the bits that people hated and railed against where the bits that went against it”

      I don’t see so much railing (with the exception to women in combat) as just a confusion and lack of support/appathy. Because the desire to help and please women part of patriarchy still drove them to want to help, but where the end’s didn’t align with patriarchal norms, the momentum stopped. only when it actually went against patriarchal values did anyone actually rail against women’s issues (specifically, combat). There are no women’s issue’s I can think of that steps have not been taken to address. perhaps not to the satisfaction of some feminists (but as we can see, anything short of totalitarian domination is short of what “some” feminists will be satisfied with), but that isn’t the point, the point is where help was provided or railed against.

      • “I prefer to deal in acheivable goals, and adapt and adjust my goals as things change.”

        I’m more of a…have pie-in-the-sky goals, and then create achievable goals as stepping stones to that ideal. But always keep that ideal in the back of your mind, or else you might forget the point of it all. Just different world views and personalities, I suppose.

        “I don’t see so much railing.” – well this is an oldie but a goodie…women’s right to vote wasn’t exactly helped along by traditional gender norms. The narrative at the time was that politics was too rough and tumble for ladies. It was a fight to achieve it. So I think there have been a few issues where there has been active dissent against equality.

        Alright that being said…at the moment the only issue I can I can think of that falls into that category is with regards to women in combat. In part, because I personally see that as one of the final ways in which institutionalized discrimination against women still exists. Everything else has been kaput (sometimes too far, as in the case with affirmative action). – and you are right that every women’s issue has had steps taken to sort it out. Which is why I think feminism needs to shift to reflect this. The rah-rah make a sign and start a protest, form of feminism isn’t the way forward. Neither is the political lobbying, I don’t think. That’s now how you change society – and it’s social constructions of gender that should be focused on now…not policy (not for women anyway).

        So yeah…I sort of get what you’re saying about letting the MRM do it’s thing. Feminists could take a chill pill with regards to policy and let the MRM come in and fix things where they went astray. But really…who ever gives up political power willingly? So like either the MRM could try to shove feminism out (and in the process alienate more centrist and egalitarian feminists)…or it could be sneaky and try to figure out a way to include it somehow. (I’m just brainstorming here…thinking this up as I write it really). Hmmmm.

        • Mark Neil says:

          Re: pie-in-the-sky… I just find it more difficult to adapt to changing circumstances when I reach too far ahead. But as you say, this is just personal preference.

          “women’s right to vote wasn’t exactly helped along by traditional gender norms.”

          Lack of support is not the same as opposition. railing against something is opposition. Strong opposition. My point was that, with the exception of combat, when feminists goals didn’t line up with patriarchal values, the worst that happened was it canceled out the patriarchal drive to support and help women, leaving apathy, not railing against. the only exception being military service, and even that women have been granted all the benefits of military service, just without being aloud to join in combat duty (they are still able to get the same ranks and pay as those men going out on patrol, just without the same degree of danger).

          “But really…who ever gives up political power willingly?”

          What happened to that pie-in-the-sky and what should be/what is ideal attitude?

          “So like either the MRM could try to shove feminism out (and in the process alienate more centrist and egalitarian feminists)”

          How is shoving a form of feminism that does not represent the interests of centrist or egalitarian feminists, out of political power, alienate those egalitarians or centrist feminists, unless you feel more aligned with their beliefs, goals and policies then with equality? I would think that if you truly believed in equality, you would want those out that hurt men AND women in their drive for feminist supremacy, which you have acknowledged on a number of occasions are who run the political feminist movement. I would think egalitarian feminists supporting the MRM with removing these bigots from power would actually do a lot more towards establishing a balanced gender discussion then opposing the MRM (and thus helping to silence them) by demonstrating some feminists really aren’t like that and don’t support those attitudes, as well as ensuring once the feminist bigots are out, there remains some (balanced) feminist ideals within the discussion.

          It is this instinctive resistance to outing any feminist, regardless of their ideals, that makes it hard for MRA’s to accept egalitarian feminists even really exist.

          “or it could be sneaky and try to figure out a way to include it somehow.”

          As implied above, how can the MRM hope to include egalitarian feminists when those feminists still seek to protect the bigots in power, as you suggested (by saying outing those bigots would alienate centrist/egalitarian feminists)?

          • “Lack of support is not the same as opposition.” – True. My use of the term ‘railing against’ is problematic. I know there was opposition to the idea, but I don’t know how much of it was an organized opposition. Anyway…the point still stands that there are multiple aspects of feminism that aren’t in line with traditional gender norms. Exactly how much they deviate is a variable. (And yes there are also aspects that are in line with traditional norms, such as gender-based protection against domestic violence).

            “What happened to that pie-in-the-sky and what should be/what is ideal attitude?” – Nice. 😉 I mentioned having more grounded goals as a stepping stone…and this is sort of where I think that fits.

            What you’re saying about egal feminists helping the MRM…well yeah…except for the problem that often a feminist who actually uses that label feels extremely unwelcome when trying to approach the MRM (or at least I did, and I’ve heard it from others too). Not because they won’t agree with us…and not because they aren’t doing what we want…but because of the general anti-feminist mood and rhetoric often used. That’s what I mean when I say the MRM would need to find a way to integrate feminists…not that they need to bend over backwards to welcome radical feminists. (And the same could be said of feminists and the MRM. For those egal feminists who do want men and the MRM to cross over…then they (well really, we) need to recognize and respect men’s points of view. (So like this essay…except that it managed to really miss the mark with it’s use of the term ‘oppression.’)

            Outing radical feminists as anti-men is not what I’m saying would alienate centrist bigots. It’s the difficulty, and sometimes flat out inability, to be seen as separate from these radical bigots that causes the alienation. It’s the general hostility that causes the problem. Or, as you say, the fact that some MRAs won’t even accept that egalitarian feminists exist…so we end up spending time just proving we’re real. It’s not a welcoming environment. Do you get what I’m saying?

            • Mark Neil says:

              “Nice. I mentioned having more grounded goals as a stepping stone…and this is sort of where I think that fits.”

              Sorry. just needed to point out consistency helps in discussion. When you are always looking from an ideal “should be” perspective, suddenly switching to a more practical, achievable goal (without clarification) causes problems.

              “except for the problem that often a feminist who actually uses that label feels extremely unwelcome when trying to approach the MRM”

              Except there is no need to approach or get approval from MRA’s to speak down of the radicals and gynocentrist. It shouldn’t matter what the MRA’s say about you, that should have no impact on your own need to stand up the radicals that smear your ideologies name. After all, only a small portion of those who dislike feminism are actually MRAs.

              PS, Christina Hoff Sommers (amongst others) identify as feminist, yet is highly respected amongst the MRM due to her willingness to speak out against the bigots within the feminist movement. Furthermore, she is reviled by many feminists, and is even identified in the anti-feminist section on the feminism page of wiki (An exile no radicals need endure).

              You also keep speaking like it is the MRM that must make the first move towards being balanced, but the MRM IS a response to feminism, is it really reasonable to ask the response to level itself so as not to reflect the severity of the cause? More importantly, the MRM balancing itself to what you would like to see will do absolutely nothing to repair the femnist reputation. So it’s actually in your (egal feminists) best interest to act against the radicals, be damned what the MRAs think. Perhaps then, once it can be seen egal feminists are standing up against radicals, you will begin seeing MRA support, much as Christina Hoff Sommers does.

              “It’s the difficulty, and sometimes flat out inability, to be seen as separate from these radical bigots that causes the alienation.”

              Again, Christina Hoff Sommers has no issues being seen as seperate from the bigots. And really, if you can condemn the bigots, instead letting them go about their hatred unopposed in your name, why should you be seen as seperate?

              “Or, as you say, the fact that some MRAs won’t even accept that egalitarian feminists exist”

              Not quite true, most MRA’s won’t accept claims of egal feminism on face value. CHS is a perfect example of an egal feminist, and holds a great deal of respect among the MRM.

              “so we end up spending time just proving we’re real. It’s not a welcoming environment. Do you get what I’m saying?”

              Yes I do, what I don’t understand is why it needs to be a welcoming envirounment, right now, at this very moment (again going back to long term pie in the sky vs short term achevale goals). We’re not asking you to join the MRM, we’re asking you to prove what you claim to be, and condemn the radical portion of the feminist movement, such as the links I provided, you did acknowledge it here as being harmful rhetoric, but as far as judy’s overall comment goes, you just let it slide, and Jasmine actually defended her.

            • “Sorry. just needed to point out consistency helps in discussion.” – I didn’t mean that ‘nice,’ sarcastically…I meant it genuinely. As in, nice catch…cuz yeah the use of language is important, and I sometimes fall into the trap of not being clear or specific enough.

              Well the reason I didn’t comment on Judy’s comment is because I didn’t read it until you provided the link. I didn’t ‘let it slide,’ so much as I just didn’t see it. And I’m not saying the MRM needs to be welcoming, exactly…I mean I’m not expecting a parade and a welcome wagon. I’m saying it’d be helpful if it were less hostile…yes some feminists do end up supporting the MRM…but then there are also men out there who support radical feminism. Which is to say…the hostile environment doesn’t turn everyone away, just a lot of people.

              And as for why some of us egalitarian feminists would like a less adversarial relationship with the MRM…well because working together achieves more. That’s the main thrust of this article…let’s work together. Instead of creating an environment that pushes people away in the fear of allowing a falsely egal feminist in…why not accept the egal feminists who come, but just be aware of the potential. It’s like the difference between and optimist and pessimist outlook on pretty much all relationships. Do you push everyone away so that you know only the people who really care join? Or do you let a wide range of people join, but be on your guard? I’m more for the second one.

              I’m not a political person, I’m not a leader of any community…I am doing what I can to promote and ‘prove’ all of my values, including egal feminism. I have joined GMP (which, although not an MRM site, is a site concerned with men) and made comments defending men’s rights. I have expressly condemned radical feminism and the ideologies espoused by radical feminists. I have attempted, though not always successfully, to show that I do actually empathize with men’s issues. I am doing what I can to ‘prove’ my egal feminism…and yet I still get told by a couple of people that they don’t think I’m actually an egalitarian feminist, or that they don’t even believe egal feminists exist. (Not saying that’s what you’re saying).

              It is frustrating, and a bit tiring…and I haven’t even been part of GMP that long. And, as I’ve said, I understand where that comes from. I comprehend the need to have people who claim to be egalitarian feminists show that they actually do believe it. But…again not saying it needs to be welcoming…but it is extremely difficult to defend the ideas from a group of people who are hostile toward you. Perhaps more egal feminists would vocally support MRM ideas if they didn’t feel as though the MRM was against feminism completely.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “And as for why some of us egalitarian feminists would like a less adversarial relationship with the MRM…well because working together achieves more. ”

              It most certainly would, but again, small steps vs pie in the sky. But I need to point out again, Speaking out against the radical viewpoints isn’t about supporting the MRM, it is about helping to repair feminists reputation, so that people (not just MRA’s, but including MRAs) are less hostile.

              “That’s the main thrust of this article…let’s work together.”

              But as even you acknowledge, it is a “lets work together under my authority”. Quite a few of the MRM are former feminists who have already tried that, others are not willing to join under those circumstances/conditions, particularly given how pervasive the radical viewpoint is, even amongst some of those calling themselves egalitarian (such as this author or Jasmine).

              “Do you push everyone away so that you know only the people who really care join?”

              Oh, believe me, I do have an issue with how quickly many MRA’s strike at people, lashing out in anger. I have spoken up about it and had Paul Elam tell me to “get the fuck off his site”. But that said, the odds are not in favour of being open to those who claim the feminist label. Very few of the very many who have claimed the egal feminist label ever actually stand by it, and most try to suggest the idea of abandoning the MRM for their egal feminism, which is destructive when done subtly from within.

              ” I am doing what I can to ‘prove’ my egal feminism…and yet I still get told by a couple of people that they don’t think I’m actually an egalitarian feminist,”

              I’ll admit, I was one of those that have said I don’t believe you are truly egalitarian. You have since convinced me otherwords (you may notice I haven’t used the “alleged” qualifier recently). Part of my confusion was with your difference from many other egal’s, which didn’t come to my attention until this very thread… You see egal feminism as about equality for all, but with a focus on women and an openness towards the MRM… Whereas most egal feminists I’ve encounter say egal feminism is about equality for both genders… full stop. There is no focus on women, there is no place for the MRM.

              But you admit you haven’t been here long, and I suspect you receive far less hostility now then when you first began. As you prove yourself, we become more open to rational discussion. Perhaps this need to prove yourself isn’t ideal, but it is what it is.

              “or that they don’t even believe egal feminists exist.”

              Easy answer to this is point them to Christina Hoff Sommers. Her Wiki and all her bio’s says she identifies as feminist.

              “but it is extremely difficult to defend the ideas from a group of people who are hostile toward you. ”

              But you’re not defending the ideas of the MRA, you’re defending the ideas of your own egalitarian feminism. You don’t even need to acknowledge the MRM exists and there is still plenty of reason to take a stand against the radicals, and doing so would end up proving egal fems do exist, and in larger numbers then what is visible in the political sphere at the moment.

            • “But you’re not defending the ideas of the MRA, you’re defending the ideas of your own egalitarian feminism.”

              No right…but I’m just saying I’d like to be able to point to different parts of the MRM and be like – yeah I support this too. Because, particularly with domestic violence and the definition of rape…I am very much on the side of the MRM. Being an egal feminist and supporting the MRM are two different things…but it’s like…maybe there are egal feminists out there who would call out more radical feminists on their crap if they thought it was worth it. But if you think that the only place for you in the fight for gender equality is with feminists, then maybe you’ll put up with more crap from them. I’m not saying that’s a good thing (cuz it’s not). It seems to me the MRM would have a vested interest in positively promoting egalitarian feminists.

              And I just don’t see egalitarian feminism as something that needs to exist completely separate from the MRM. This sort of goes back to my really-freaking-unrealistic dream of like this egalitarian movement that has feminist and MRM branches, or something. (Now it’s time for the group hug and the bongos).

              “But you admit you haven’t been here long, and I suspect you receive far less hostility now then when you first began.” – From some people most certainly, but not from others. Thanks for the Christina Hoff Sommers name-drop though…I’ll keep her in my back pocket. :)

              As for the differing definitions of egalitarian feminist, even…I think that’s a misunderstanding of the language. Any of my friends who actually take on the label of egalitarian feminist see it more like I do…because well yeah, like I said…it’s in the name. (Just like the MRM…it’s in the name).

            • Mark Neil says:

              “maybe there are egal feminists out there who would call out more radical feminists on their crap if they thought it was worth it.”

              This is where I’m getting stuck, why do you need MRM approval for this to be worth it? Wouldn’t promoting a more balanced, equal outlook, that helps both men and women, make it worth it? wouldn’t combating the very real negative views of feminism, and making crystal clear that not all feminists are like that, to the general populace, to the politicians and to the media… wouldn’t that make it worth it? Wouldn’t preventing harmful policies like VAWA be worth it? If the only reason one deems it worth it to oppose radical feminism is to get on MRA’s good side, there is a serious problem, because that should be on the bottom of the list for someone who claims to be an egalitarian feminist.

            • “This is where I’m getting stuck, why do you need MRM approval for this to be worth it?”

              Alrighty lemme take a step back because I’m beginning to say things that are being read in ways I don’t mean. Maybe it’s because I keep replying so early in the morning for me (its 4:30am now lol).

              Okay so we have been focusing on egal feminists calling out radical feminists, and I’m trying to say that for an egalitarian feminist to do that sort of on his/her own is a bit daunting. If you think that the only option you have in the fight for equality is to become part of feminism, then you might put up with more crap from feminists…cuz it’s the only shop in town (or at least the only shop that’ll open it’s doors to you). I suppose a more organized egalitarian movement would work to create the sort of, network that supports people who take on the label.

              But see I also got bogged down in discussing a point and sort of lost focus a bit…which is to say that I don’t think calling out radical feminists should be the top priority. We should all do it, obviously…just like she should call out radical anythings on their hateful speech. But I think the priority should be in fixing the problems…fixing the policy and the social norms that have been created that harm men (and any other category of people, but specifically here we’re talking about men). So that is where the desire for less-hostile environment of MRMs really comes in.

              Egal feminists and MRAs working together to fix shit…which would be made easier if egal feminists did actively separate themselves from radical feminists…but it would also be made easier if MRAs weren’t so hostile toward anyone who takes on the label of feminist. Which, again, isn’t to say that one side needs to go first.

  35. Tom Brechlin says:

    This quote was recently posted on one of the groups I’m part of. I assure you that it wasn’t prompted by me or anyone … “When you love a woman, you love the smell of her hair, the taste of her neck, hearing her voice and feeling her soul. By Steven Iavarone” And the gentleman that posted it is VERY active in men’s rights, more specifically, fathers rights. Does this sound as though the is anger toward women? Many are assuming that MRM’s are all about anger and revenge, they aren’t !!

    • I don’t think MRMs are about anger and revenge on women (though I have seen that in a couple people). I think a lot of the rhetoric and discussion I have seen shows anger toward feminists. Not all women…but toward feminists. And I’ve already discussed why I think this is problematic.

  36. Mark Neil says:
    • I think I’m the only feminist left commenting on this article. lol.

      And I think my reply would be pretty obvious…le sigh. (not at you, but at those comments). That is precisely the kind of rhetoric I’m against.

      • Nope, I keep checking in and continue to be amazed by the amount of comments this article generated.

      • Mark Neil says:

        And yet, Jasmine defended the views of Judy. She presumed they were coming from a place of balance, equality, and justified her words based on the presumption, but as you could see, it was not a place of balance. when those claiming to be about equality wil still stand behind (or in front of, shielding) those with this type of rhetoric, it becomes very difficult to tell one type of feminism from the next. Please understand, this is why so many are hard pressed to accept claims of being egalitarian feminists from people such as yourself, because others doing the same clearly don’t stand by their claims. That was the point I was hoping to make by pointing to those comments. You have noted a few times that you don’t understand why you encounter such hostility despite claiming to be egalitarian.

        • Eric M. says:

          Mark, you have here explained far better than I have the point I was inarticulately trying to make to Jasmine, except I didn’t have a specific example involving her to point out.

        • “You have noted a few times that you don’t understand why you encounter such hostility despite claiming to be egalitarian.”

          Ah. It may have sounded like I don’t understand why…but I do, at least on a cerebral level. I do comprehend – it’s all well and good for someone to say ‘no I don’t think men are evil,’ but then when that same person defends a comment made by someone who essentially said ‘men are evil,’ it’s difficult to trust what anyone says. I get ya.

          But here’s where my pie-in-the-sky attitude comes back – I hope we can figure out a way to all move beyond that. Actual egalitarian feminists need to call out radical feminists when they say such harmful and hateful things. And the MRM needs to be able to recognize that not all egalitarian feminists are such enablers. At least that’s my opinion…that it works both ways.

          At the risk of pissing people off by again mentioning lgbt rights…I’m going to. It’s the one example I can use to show that I do understand what you are saying on a personal level. One area of contention between me and one of my best friends (a liberal evangelical Christian youth minister), is with her defence of certain televangelists. She supports lgbt rights, and yet she also supports a couple of televangelists who are vocal in their opposition of lgbt rights. (It’s somewhat different because she’d never defend what these guys are saying about lgbt rights…but she does defend a lot of the other stuff they say. She just sort of ignores what they say about lgbt people). And I also get that it’s different because I’m talking about an individual who is one of my best friends – but again I’m only trying to illustrate that I do empathize and understand.

          • Mark Neil says:

            “Actual egalitarian feminists need to call out radical feminists when they say such harmful and hateful things. And the MRM needs to be able to recognize that not all egalitarian feminists are such enablers.”

            And you don’t see the later as being a potential result of the former, when talking short term/achievable goals? why must these both be done simultaneously, or the MRM make the first move (IE, to accept, based on nothing but your words and the promise of actions not yet taken, your claims to egalitarianism (and by “your” I mean egal feminism, not you specifically))?

            • I do see the latter as being a result of the former, yes. But just because it’s the result, doesn’t mean it’s not problematic. Because…when I get called out for being a feminist (in any sense of the term), and when I get told by someone that they don’t actually believe I’m an egalitarian feminist…that makes me want to circle the wagons, it makes me feel a bit defensive. Just like, I’m sure when someone who takes on the label of egalitarian feminist defends someone who says such harmful things, it probably makes you feel like battening down the hatches, not to make assumptions. But then…the result is that when two people try to have a dialogue (a proper egalitarian feminist and a reasonable MRA)…both come to the party already on the defensive. (I’m trying to think logically about emotions and then explain it here, which doesn’t always work well…)

              I’m also not saying the MRM needs to make the first move…I’m saying someone does, and that when someone does the other side needs to be able to see it as the olive branch it is. Ya know? Otherwise it turns into a cycle…it’s like the classic trope of two people in a fight and giving each other the silent treatment, and neither one is willing to speak first.

            • When you claim to be egalitarian, which means supporter of equality for all, the what is the purpose of adding the term feminist to it???

            • Because I personally have focused on women’s issues. So egalitarian (I believe in equality) feminist (I focus on women’s issues)…not to the exclusion of men’s issues, and not to say that men’s issues are less important…but that’s just where my focus is.

              I suppose to be more accurate I could call myself an egalitarian, centrist, feminist, lgbt-rights advocate, sex-positive person. But seeing as we’re talking about gender here, I’m simply shortening it to egalitarian feminist.

            • My objection to the term “egalitarian feminism” is that you cannot play for a team (feminism) and be the referee (egalitarian) at the same time. I hope you know the term “conflict of interests.”

            • Mark Neil says:

              Heather’s acknowledged that here definition of egalitarian feminism is equality for all, but a focus on women and support for the need for the MRM (though the hostility she experiences makes this part difficult). Unlike many other egal feminists who feel the MRM should be subsumed into feminism, she believes there is a place for the MRM, not within feminism, but within the gender discussion, alongside egal feminsm. At least, this is how I understand her position.

            • When feminism and MRM are most often on the collision course, then using the term egalitarian feminism seems more like a Trojan horse.

            • Mark Neil says:

              and this is clearly where you missed the bulk of the discussion. There are two types of feminism, most fit into the feminism you’re speaking of (gynocentrism), some use the egal fem term like a shield (or as you put it, a Trojan horse), but some, like Christina Hoff Sommers, actually do promote the beliefs in equality they espouse.

            • Yeah Mark, that’s pretty much my position, thanks :)

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              I’m more apt to go with the Trojan horse idea … not at all saying the Heather herself has any ulterior motive but this “come to our camp and let’s talk” is, in my view a Trojan horse. Nonetheless Heather, you said it yourself, your focus has been on women’s rights and that’s what the feminists have and continued to do. No true interest in leveling the playing field. And I can honestly tell you, real MRM’s though there are a few fringe groups that don’t fit the mold, men are simply interested in getting back what they have lost, interested in getting a break where it comes to fatherhood. I’ve been involved in two groups that have been around for more then 20 years, these are the groups that I’m talking about. Heather, you have a good heart but you are naïve and I would suggest you take the rose collar glasses off and see 2012 feminism for what it is, not what you would like it to be. You have a long battle within the feminist ranks you have to get over before you can begin to settle into what MRM’s are all about.

  37. HidingFromtheDinosaurs says:

    I will find no truce with feminism until its adherents see fit to acknowledge the harm they have done and to make reparations for that harm. The characterizations presented in this article are childish and spiteful, reeking of stale rhetoric and designed to silence opposing viewpoints, especially the male viewpoints it claims to invite, rather than fostering discussion. As a male victim of systemic child abuse by women (unlike most feminists, I can use the word “systemic” correctly. In this case the abuse was perpetrated over a period of more than ten years by social workers in the employ of the public school system with the knowledge and consent of its administrators), I have found nothing but silencing and re-victimization at the hands of feminists (“can’t you see how absolutely terrified that group of grown women who routinely held you down and beat you for hours before you were old enough to shave must have been?”, “But don’t you see, they had no choice but to file false reports of misconduct and put you on medication that destroyed your mental well being”). Why should I or any man align with a movement preeminently concerned with continuing to further restrict our accepted gender roles, deny us equal legal protection in cases of abuse and rape and erasing our sufferings, experiences and points of view from discourse?

    The pillars of feminist belief are founded on lies, refuted by pile upon pile of reliable data. They have gotten it wrong, and gotten wrong from the start. If they now refuse to pay for it because “Don’t you see? We’ve always been about equality, never mind all those influential writers and highly placed leaders advocating legally enforced sexism and sometimes even the systematic murder of men”, I see no reason why anyone should humor them in their delusions.

  38. A man’s involvement in feminism is most needed in speaking to other men, just like whites folks were most needed to influence other white folks in the civil right movement.

    Women want rights. There aren’t too many women out there who don’t want an equal piece of the pie. It’s us dudes’ turn to get in on spreading the good word to other guys that being nice to women is where it’s at. Most of the guys out there who have a hard time getting on board with that idea are a lot more likely hear that message if it comes from another guy (particularly an older one). It’s an important thing for us men to talk about. What effect do we want to have on the world: increasing suffering or creating happiness? It’s a good question to start with for just about any interpersonal sticky wicket.

    Sure the ‘where do we go from here?’ conversation will go on simultaneously and after we’ve straightened out us menfolks, but this is one area where the division of labour among the sexes makes sense.

    One love, hippies.

    p.s. I probably won’t check up on this again, so I’d like to preemptively say that the men’s conversation isn’t supposed to be among themselves abut the future of feminism, but rather about promoting willingness to work with women and take their wants/needs as seriously as we do our own.

    • Mark Neil says:

      “Sure the ‘where do we go from here?’ conversation will go on simultaneously and after we’ve straightened out us menfolks, but this is one area where the division of labour among the sexes makes sense.”

      The problem is actualy the assumption, by feminists like yourself, that menfolk don’t respect women and put their needs on par with their own, or that think us “menfolks” need to be “straightened out”. Perhaps if you could stop projecting malice onto us long enough to take an honest look, you’d realize the problem isn’t men (not women ether). The problem is the preconceptions that you yourself are perpetuating.

      “p.s. I probably won’t check up on this again,”

      Not surprised. Race in, tell men how they should behave (of course, that being in a manner subservient to women’s needs/desires), use shaming language and broad brush accusation against all dissenting opinion, then race off so you don’t need to face those challenging your views.

      “so I’d like to preemptively say that the men’s conversation isn’t supposed to be among themselves abut the future of feminism, but rather about promoting willingness to work with women and take their wants/needs as seriously as we do our own.”

      And may I ask, who’s taking men’s needs seriously as they are wrapping a noose around their necks or pulling triggers against their temples because their children have been stripped away from them? Certainly not feminists. When Dr Farrell tried to speak about those kinds of issues, feminists attacked him and barricaded his event http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iARHCxAMAO0&feature=share&list=FL6fHSPERiljq-R3axj9289Q.

  39. Okay, I just read some of the other posts, and most of those guys are exactly the folks that need a nice sit-down chat with a buddy who can help them put down some of their hang-ups (e.g. women are trying to brainwash me, women wanting to take all your stuff and leave you with no well-defined role and so on…).
    Great examples guys.
    Oh, one other thing, it sucks that that guy got beat up a ton by social workers when he was young. But, it’s certainly not hard to do a little research and find out that the vast majority of violent crimes are perpetrated by men, whether the violence be against other men or women. I get that it’s easy to focus solely on your own history. Who doesn’t, right? But take a second and try to think about percentages here. Let me stop you before you say it. Yes, I’m sure lots of abuse goes un- or under-reported by boys and men who are embarrassed (by restrictive masculine ideals, one might add) and coerced into silence, but no more than girls and especially women. You want reparations? You better have your wallet handy too.

  40. Hi Mark,

    I figured I wouldn’t return to this because the most recent post before mine was from March. But, I’m glad to see that you took the time to respond.
    I’m not attacking men. I am one. My best friend is one. So’s my dad. There are tons of great guys out there. But, there are also a bunch of guys who have trouble seeing women as people with boundaries that need acknowledgment and respect, much like they themselves have. Much of what I am saying, and I should have made this clear, is about folks treating each other decently on a day-to-day basis and affording each other freedom in a space that lets them grow and be their best selves.
    There are of course the big Patriarchy questions out there that get really murky really quickly, but for the intents and purposes of this post I’d like to put those aside.

    “And may I ask, who’s taking men’s needs seriously as they are wrapping a noose around their necks or pulling triggers against their temples because their children have been stripped away from them?” Okay, a couple things here.

    1) Sure it sucks if your ex gains custody of your kids if you would have been an equally good choice. I’m sure it happens often. However, just because custody is awarded to a woman doesn’t necessarily mean that the decision was made because she was a woman. It’s the flip side of the same idea that MRAs use when challenging the gender bias when it comes to hiring (sometimes the man’s hired because he’s just a better candidate). When parents split up, the kids have to go somewhere, and the mom getting them just because she’s a girl is as bad a reason, as a guy getting a job because he’s a man. I’m with you on that one. BUT, just because there is sometimes an inequality here doesn’t mean that the women getting harassed on the street or in their workplaces have it coming to them. Treating all women as a group that shares each member’s trespasses, and extending your gripe with one segment of that group as a reason to condemn them all is bad. We’re not trying to make sure that everyone is equally harassed, we’re trying to get everyone as happy as can be.
    *it’s also worth noting here that the default position of ‘woman gets custody’ is an artifact of patriarchal thinking (i.e. women are all homemakers and child raisers).

    2) No, a person in the role of feminist isn’t going to be the one dealing with the suicidal estranged father. (Although are there really that many of them? You’ll probably have some number for me here). But that same feminist in his or her role as brother or sister are going to be taking that individual’s needs seriously, no?
    Maybe you’d be good at it. Maybe the answer should be you. Not by yourself, but if you’re passionate about suicide prevention, you could volunteer at a hotline or drop-in center. The point is that everyone has their own battles, and just because feminists aren’t fighting yours doesn’t mean that they’re not doing good work with theirs. And on that note, they have plenty of battles, not just ones with unhoused fathers.

    ‘The problem is actually the assumption, by feminists like yourself, that menfolk don’t respect women and put their needs on par with their own, or that think us “menfolks” need to be “straightened out”.’
    I’m not assuming anything here. Girls get yelled at on the street all the time. I’ve seen it plenty of times, and you probably have too. I know lots of women who have been sexually harassed and who have had that experience normalized in their day-to-day life. I wouldn’t put up with it; why should they have to? I’m not talking about all men all the time are wrong about everything, I’m just saying that a noticeable population of men are used to thinking of women not as equals to engage with on equal social footing, but as objects of their desire. I’m certainly not advocating a sexless society, it’s more an issue of learning about other people’s comfort zones and improving your timing (e.g. don’t yell at strangers, don’t grope strangers, don’t intimidate people…). On paper, we probably can all agree on this, I hope.

    And no malice here. Honestly, I’m friendly. If we met we’d probably get along well.
    Have a good one Mark.

Trackbacks

  1. […] a writer, Danny, wrote about me in a comment on his post, Treating The Hate, and in this post Why I Believe Men Belong In The Feminist Movement by Emily Heist […]

  2. […] Why I Believe Men Belong in the Feminist Movement […]

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