People, Let’s Stop Waging War on One Another

Joanna Schroeder hopes men and women can become allies in the war against inequality, without too many casualties on either side.

This post is in reply to Nicole Johnson’s post: Ladies, Let’s Stop Declaring War on Men.

Dear Nicole,

I really wanted to love your article, Ladies, Let’s Stop Declaring War on Men, a response to Meghan Casserly’s Forbes piece, because I really agree with your title! We need to stop fighting the people who should be our allies. But I’ve re-read yours and Meghan’s articles each three times in the attempt to find the connecting (and disconnecting) fibers. I’m still sort of perplexed.

First, let me say I am a guy’s girl. I love me my men. My writing partner is a guy, two of my best friends are guys, my brother made me a feminist, my uncles and my dad and stepdad are my cheerleaders, my grandfather thinks I’m bananas but brilliant. My husband is a tower of pleasure and an intellectual challenge to me. Seriously, I love men.

But I also love women. I’ve never once felt I had to choose sides. Interestingly, I think both you and Meghan agree with me. There is not actually a *war*. No one wins when the sexes battle. By pointing out that when women gain power, power doesn’t necessarily get taken from men, I think she’s agreeing with you.

But Nicole, who are these women who are waging war against men? It’s not Meghan, as far as I can tell. Feminists? Some feminists? Not me, not any feminists I know in real life. A vocal minority of feminists perhaps, are trying to wage war against men. And maybe Hymowitz, whose book gets a lot of press, but I’m not sure represents the opinions of the vast majority of women.

Also, perhaps, a vocal minority of whiny, woe-is-me, embittered women who have failed at dating and in the workplace? Sure, probably. I too, HATE statements like, “All men are dicks.” or “All men want is sex.” Annoying, abusive, untrue, ugly, make-you-ugly things to say. I equally hate the assumption that women are gold-diggers or bitches, which sometimes happens when guys are heartbroken or have failed at dating.

Both sexes have their annoying, whiny, woe-is-me minority. But please, don’t say this is what “women do” when confronted with challenges or inequalities. Not fair.

I ask for what I want, and I’ve gotten (or am getting) almost everything I’ve asked for. And I am just an average woman. You pass me on the street every day and you don’t think, “Now there’s the woman who is the rare exception to the rule!” No, I am the average, strong-minded, pretty-enough, hard-working woman. The whiny women are the minority, just as the women-hating men are the minority.

What if I wrote a piece on GMP wherein I said, “To further illustrate my point, here are additional examples: if a man has become unsuccessful in the dating marketplace, suddenly all women are bitches. If a man has not received a raise at work, he unequivocally has been suppressed by the feminist anti-man takeover. When a wife doesn’t ‘pull her weight’ at home, men perceive her as lazy and gold-digging?”

People would jump on my shit faster than I could reply! They’d say, “You cannot generalize men like that!” And they’d be right!

Why can you say that about us? Because you’re one of us? No way, dude.

Call us to arms! I love that! Call us to be brave, to be strong, to ask for the raises and promotions we deserve. But don’t say that’s *the* reason the vast, vast majority of CEOs are men. The reasons for this disparity are so profound that the word “plethora” doesn’t even quite reach it. First, of course, there’s the education rift for those generations (CEOs tend to be over the age of 45) that funneled women into different course paths and didn’t encourage them to pursue these types of careers. Second, there’s the good-old-boys-club in some of the corporations with these older male CEOs. Third, there’s the burden (and gift) of childbirth and motherhood and society’s expectations of how a woman’s work performance will change once she is a mother as opposed to what we expect from men once they become fathers. I could go on and on. And on.

These aren’t excuses. These are partial explanations. And times are changing, as Meghan pointed out. Women are earning more higher degrees than men, men are staying home more with little ones (there’s a dad at our school who picks up his first and third graders with a two year old on his shoulders and pushing a baby in a stroller while his wife goes to her gnarly high-paying job). But, as Meghan says, that doesn’t make men less manly or women more like men. She cites this great quote from HuffPo’s Marcia Reynolds:

“We are all evolving. It’s the labels and judgments we place on each other that are not evolving.”

Don’t de-volve us by saying that women are “this way” or “that way”. The war, of course, isn’t a real war. Obviously there is no bloodshed. But generalizations like these are a form of knocking down an opponent.

Also, am I naive to think that she’s making a joke with her snarky thanks to science? I could be wrong, but I’m thinkin’ she’s not actually pissed that science hasn’t given men, or maybe test-tubes, uteruses (uteri?) and vaginas.

Finally, it is not anti-man to point out inequalities in the workplace or anywhere else. I think she’s just saying that the premise to Manning Up is inherently faulted due to the fact that women are still far from equal in the workplace. We can’t be “defeating” an opponent if we are barely even on the same playing field.

We should all, as a united front, look at the inequalities in the workplace and accept individual responsibility for our roles in how they became this way. We should work as a team to even them out. I think you, me, and Meghan all agree on that.

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is the type of working mom who opens her car door and junk spills out all over the ground. She serves as Executive Editor of The Good Men Project and is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on sites like xoJane, hlntv.com, and The Huffington Post. Joanna loves playing with her sons, skateboarding with her husband, and hanging out with friends. Her dream is to someday finish her almost-done novel and get some sleep. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Julie Gillis says:

    Well said.

    • Joanna, thank you for your feedback. I truly appreciate your professionalism and position. As I mentioned to Julie Gillis, I would love to have an in-person round table discussion with you, Julie, Lisa, Tom, Hugo, and Meghan Casserly on this topic. I sincerely believe that every writer at The Good Men Project is helping everyone (including each other) grow and evolve on a personal and professional level. I feel blessed to be a part of a company that allows us to challenge ourselves and each other on a daily basis. Thank you once again for sharing your perspective!

  2. Julie Gillis says:

    “Finally, it is not anti-man to point out inequalities in the workplace or anywhere else.” Yes. Nor is it anti woman, to discuss honestly the things we do that men find frustrating.
    What’s “anti” is summing up groups of people in a simplistic way (in either direction). Things can seem simple but have a complex background.

    • What Julie said. :-)

    • Julie

      It is anti-male to blame men for inequalities in the work force that are created by women’s personal choices.

      • edit to that

        Its anti-female too, because it denies female agency.

        Women have to stop projecting onto men, its time to grow up and leave the patriarchy. Feminism and feminists, have to stop with their patriarchy thinking, men are not here to service women, men are no longer to be to blame for the actions of women.

        • I agree, Ron, but feminism has mutated to the point that it is no longer concerned with equality and responsibility. It’s become a professional victims’ society, and they won’t let go of their universal excuse for all of women’s problems.

          Fortunately, women’s cooperation is not needed for men to reject the responsibility of making women happy.

  3. This is not even close to an issue in general society. Where do you ever hear tell of “gender war” outside of the involvement of feminism and/or masculism/MRA? That gender war is the domain of the feminist and masculist movements is evidence that they stir them up where they do exist.

    One problem I have observed is that because these movements seldom if ever see any side other than their own. When is there only one side?

    • So true.

    • Eric when it come to a good war there are always three sides – everyone knows that!

      There is your side!

      There is their side!

      And there is The Truth!

      The first casualty of war is always The Truth.

      When couples fight, it’s always the outsider in the “Ménage à trois” that gets thrown to the wolves! P^)

    • Correction:

      One problem I have observed is that these movements seldom if ever see any side other than their own. When is there only one side?

      • This myth of feminists and MRAs being equivalent is utter nonsense.
        It is a delusion deriving from looking at the situation in a superficial way, in terms of opposing teams with differing beliefs and subjective opinions. It simply does not hold up to scrutiny. If I identify myself as an MRA it is almost by default because it is closer to the truth to describe myself as an objectivist in that I pay attention to the evidence of my senses and simple observations more than ideology. Facts are not mine or anyone’s side, they are merely facts.
        Because feminism is inherently concerned with women it is innately subjective, masculinism, even though it is concerned about men, is based fundamentally on facts rather than ideology. Put simply, feminism filters reality through ideology, masculism is an ideology based on taboo observations of facts people invest a lot of energy into denying.
        Feminists for this reason either avoid direct debate or stubbornly persist in percieving reality through a distorted lens and generally cannot grasp objective reasoning, most debates between the two demonstrate this clearly. This is why political correctness exists in the first place, to avoid direct, open debate, facts and reasoning.

        MOD EDIT: Please avoid negative generalisations of either feminism or masculism.

        • Eric M. says:

          Note to MOD:

          Trying to understand this policy. This applies only when feminism is included in a generalized negative statement, not to all negative generalizations (e.g. all men), correct? Quite a few other sites have the same policy, and it’s within your rights to have whatever policy you choose. But it would be helpful to have clarity on it.

          MODERATOR’S NOTE:

          We do not allow negative generalizations against men either, but they are much harder to flag and moderate. Those are often caught only when a commenter has made repeated negative generalizations against men, at which point we flag that commenter, explain the problem, and as a last resort, block them.

          • Eric M. says:

            Dear MOD:

            A recently posted article said that, “The North American male is obsessed with violence.” Not just a comment, an article.

            By contrast, what are the odds of an article getting posted that stated that, “The North American feminist is obsessed with violence?”

            As I said, many sites’ policy’s allow such generalizations about men and other groups but disallow them about feminists. I’m not challenging your right to have that policy as well; just pointing out that that is what it appears to be.

  4. Joanna: “But Nicole, who are these women who are waging war against men? It’s not Meghan, as far as I can tell. Feminists? Some feminists? Not me, not any feminists I know in real life. A vocal minority of feminists perhaps, are trying to wage war against men. And maybe Hymowitz, whose book gets a lot of press, but I’m not sure represents the opinions of the vast majority of women.”

    Why are they allowed a voice in the movement then?

    It’s because your movement doesn’t want to be known as a monolith so it’s a variety of viewpoints, which includes those minority feminists you speak of. So the umbrella welcomes everyone of every stripe, including those feminists who believe men are the problem and not part of the solution to gender inequality.

    These same feminists also told me that my pain didn’t count since I was a pure, white heterosexual male whom the system allocates a wealth of priveledges and ensures that I’m well taken care of. They also say I benefit from oppression against women and that any protestations are a form of “ignoring priveledge”. Yes, even when they’ve heard my story about what happened in the past with girls and women; all the hurt, the pain, invalidation. That means NOTHING to these vocal minority of feminists.

    If you want allies, then having these feminists under the umbrella just may be detremental to your goal of gaining support from the opposite sex. Do you agree? Or is it not much of a concern since the rights of women trump the bad apples spoiling the whole bunch?

    • And I would say the same thing to the Men’s Rights advocates and their extreme, right-wing, traditionalist members.

    • Jun Kafiotties says:

      I think people would respect modern feminism more if we had more women such as the author calling out the bad ones, actually talking about Female responsibility instead of blaming men 100% and also not dismissing or discounting male suffering. Even if men only have 10% of the issues women face, that’s still 3.5 billion who are potentially affected, who suffer abuse and CAN add to the abuse cycle, who suffer in silence because we have a hardon for focusing only on the bigger loser so to speak. It’d also help if some/more feminists respected the REAL MRA/masculist movement instead of belittling it at every chance they get, LAUGHING over such “petty” issues, laughing at “whataboutthemen” whilst crying “omgwomengetitworse” on every topic that dares to suggest men suffer abuse.

      It really feels like with equal rights movements, if they were in charge of medicine research then we’d cut all funding to everything except heart disease because it kills the most (even breast cancer would get cut).

      The other thing is pointing out inequalities at the workplace, people focus solely on the CEO’s it seems, how many of the population can be a CEO? 0.005%? It ignores the vast PLETHORA of males in highly risky jobs where they suffer the majority of injury and death, or the problems of the bottom rungs of society where both get paid pittance for hard work, where gender roles are stopping men in childcare and women in STEM fields, etc.

      When you talk of the power males have, so much of it is about CEO’s to the point the men in “shitkicker” jobs feel like you’re talking about another species. The men out there working hard every day, have relatively little power and power that is most likely more equal with women if anything who have female bosses, feel the power women have over topics such as childcare and the domestic duties (if I had a dollar for every time I heard women degrading men over their ability to clean, or raise kids…).

      Males may have more power in the outside and work-life, but child rearing is an EXTREMELY important role and the primary carer has immense power. Parental alienation syndrome is an example of how power can be abused, there are so many cases of people getting screwed over by family courts and they have horror stories that I am convinced you can have a very high level of power with childcare (men more commonly seem to suffer from this, but some women get messed over by it too).

      I hate the gender wars in the equality movement, there is even a major rift between people of colour and white feminists, the equality movement needs a good shakeup and to stop using privilege as a silencing tool (very common in debates of male abuse), whilst also listening to ALL humans and allowing everyone a fair chance to speak. I hate the shaming that goes on, the blame being passed around, I REALLY HATE studies on abuse or equality issues that only get 1 gender’s version, and then trying to act like the other gender gets none when they didn’t even bother to study it without bias (Basically all of DV stats, some scholars write about this and how we need to redo the stats).

      I don’t even know where I fit in, I feel equalist but everywhere I go and read either has misogyny, misandry, privilege used as a shaming and silencing word instead of having ANY benefit, oppression olympics, closed minded and heavily biased attitudes. I simply want every person to have full access, coverage, acceptance and support in all matters of equality. I’d like people to drop the myth that women can’t hurt men physically, can’t be raped, can’t be trusted around kids, ability in childcare all of the myths men face and also all the myths that women face such as clothing in relation to rape, ability in STEM, etc. We have to work together or we’ll simply all be turning it into a battle for attention.

      • Jun,

        Males are definitely discriminated against in the family courts! I have friends who are going through the same horrible fights to get custody of kids whose mothers have proven records of neglect, substance use, even verbal abuse, that my friends’ father went through back in the very early 80s. The courts just assume women are good mothers and that is such bulls***! I know kids who were physically abused by their mother, but not until one ended up in the hospital with her bloody teethmarks in her 8 year-old’s back, did the father finally get custody. Sick.

        I must say this about privilege. One doesn’t usually recognize they have privilege until they are suddenly faced with a problem they’d never considered. This happened a few years back when my husband first met a transgendered F2M man. He kept saying, “does he have a penis?” and I kept saying, “it doesn’t matter, he is a man because he identifies as a man and lives as a man.” And my husband said, “But I can’t just declare myself a woman, I’m a man. This guy can’t just declare himself a man if he has a vagina. Makes no sense. Just not logical.” Now let me say here that my husband is a wonderful, open-minded man who had truly just never been confronted with transgender issues. I pointed out to him that he came from a place of privilege in having born a man and identified as a man and fit into that category straight-down-the-middle. He didn’t like having his privilege pointed out to him but over time has come to understand the nuances of sex vs gender and after learning more about trans people, he fully accepts the whole thing and is cool. Because of his privilege he had just never been forced to think about the possibility of maleness being any other way. He says it now, “I just had never had to think about what made a man ‘a man'”

        I say this because pointing out someone’s privilege doesn’t have to mean dismissing hurt, fear, anxiety, or wrongs done to the person in any way. People abuse that word, they take it and they wield it like a weapon with the intent to avoid facing complicated issues or addressing people’s feelings and questions with respect. Facing privilege, to me, is more about recognizing where you come from and seeing that you can’t know things until you’re confronted with them. I can’t know what it’s like to be a woman of color, if I claimed I did I’d be dismissing the authentic experience of women of color. I recognize the privilege that being a middle-class, moderately-attractive white woman has afforded me, but that doesn’t mean I cannot empathize. It also doesn’t mean that I cannot be hurt, that I cannot be discriminated against, that I don’t know what it’s like to be poor, to struggle or to not fit in. But I know I don’t face the same challenges *in general* as a woman of color does.

        No one should dismiss a man for being a white male. But it doesn’t hurt to look at white maleness and see what that affords one in general society. These two things are NOT mutually exclusive. Men who are abused, by women or by other men, have pain that is REAL and should never be dismissed.

        Also, I agree about the CEOs being such a teeny proportion of the workforce. However, as we’re learning more through the Occupy movements, the highest-paid members of the workforce have massive amounts of power and disproportionate wealth. Women and men of color should be getting a piece of that, to diversify that power too. But as I said, I believe this will be changing rapidly, very much to the credit of my own mother’s generation of feminists (and my grandmother’s – my grandma was among the women who fought to be allowed to keep their teaching jobs during the Great Depression, when women were systematically fired in favor of hiring males). These groups of feminists have always included both men and women.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          Discussing privilege doesn’t and shouldn’t mean dismissing the arguments of others, but from what I’ve seen it usually does. Fundamentally its an ad hominem attack, a claim that an opponent’s ideas stem purely from their particular blindness, rather than dealing directly with the ideas themselves.

          Ad hominem arguments can be correct, they can even be relevant to a debate. But they’re very very rarely constructive and even when they’re intended to be they usually have the opposite effect and cause the target of the ad hominem to become defensive and less likely to listen to counter arguments, however relevant they might be.

          Within equality movements, victimhood is a privileged status. The more victimised a person is, the more they have a right to speak. Its not entirely unreasonable: if we want to free oppressed people we should be willing to listen to them. But that shouldn’t mean treating their words as 100 karat truth, or dismissing other voices as privileged (and therefore irrelevant). On this basis I’d argue that calls to check privilege are fundamentally toxic and should be avoided.

          As for occupy… I’d love to think they’re achieving something, but I don’t think they’re steering the debate, or raising awareness. I can’t speak for the US, but there was plenty in the Irish media about inequality in society before occupy dame st. showed up. And any coverage the occupy protest has managed to attract has mostly about their methods (appropriating a public space) rather than their message, which isn’t exactly clear to begin with.

          • “Within equality movements, victimhood is a privileged status. The more victimised a person is, the more they have a right to speak.”

            Oh that is so true! It’s been a factor in race, gender, sexuality, disability – in fact when minority becomes the issue the “victimhood as privileged status”, gets trotted out and enshrined. It’s easier to make a river run up hill than get some to drop even one grain of the Victim Status.

            I’m not just saying that – I live with two minority statuses and have been dealing with Human Rights and Equality for 30 plus years. There are too many who claim to be politically active who love the victim status and the inertia it allows them to create. It can be seen as power but all too often it’s power to make issues stand still and not change.

            Why give up Victimhood and the power it gives you over others? Be the change you want to see is the biggest enemy of those who thrive on Victimhood because they have nothing to change – in their own eyes.

            They see the change from Victimhood has to be a 100% change – and until the social and cultural changes are in place to allow that 100% leap, the Victimhood is the most powerful possession they have.

            It also allows all evils to be externalized – so oppression is made to exist even when it does not. It’s seen as the only reasonable and rational view of the dynamics created.

            It’s also fascinating to deconstruct the whole victim status and it will even get people fired up to achieve change – but all too often as soon as possible individuals revert ever so quickly to the Victim Status and will even twist and re-rationalize it into a new concrete form.

            I have even seen that one used as the excuse that no matter how rational the arguments against the Victim Status and for empowerment, there is no value in any attempt to move forward as there will always be more obstacles to over come.

            It’s even funnier when Polices, Practices and Procedures are developed and employed to deal directly with and protect the minority status, and even allow redress. That just allows many to claim that they still have Victim Status – because they need protection and are not seen as Human Beings but always as the minority or the oppressed. It’s 100% global change or nothing – there is no road ahead – they demand teleportation and beam me up Scotty.

            You can’t win with some folks. The only way they see as winning is to hold onto the Victim Status. They are always victorious and loose so much else. The classic Pyrrhic Victory, which of course means any further loss or perceive slight is just more reason to be the Victim.

            As I have been told “If You Don’t Want To Do Something One Excuse Is As Good As Another – And A Good Excuse Is Very Valuable – It Can Last A Life Time.”.

        • “I say this because pointing out someone’s privilege doesn’t have to mean dismissing hurt, fear, anxiety, or wrongs done to the person in any way. People abuse that word, they take it and they wield it like a weapon with the intent to avoid facing complicated issues or addressing people’s feelings and questions with respect. Facing privilege, to me, is more about recognizing where you come from and seeing that you can’t know things until you’re confronted with them.”

          Bingo!

          It’s really a word that I try to use very sparingly, and only with people that know exactly precisely what I mean when I say it and aren’t likely to misconstrue what I mean in whatever context. It’s a loaded word, and it is very capable of shutting down discussion even when it’s not meant to at all. And in dialogues like these, I think it’s just best to go out of your way to spell out everything you mean instead of resorting to buzzwords anyways. (Is it just me, or does ‘bigot’ not even have hardly any meaning anymore?)

          • It’s amazing that “privilege” and “bigot” are on the same level in their capacity to shut down a conversation, but I believe, L, that you’re correct in equating them. I do believe “bigoted” is mostly used in regards to race, but of course that isn’t the technical definition and it can be a useful term if you don’t mind nobody actually listening to you after you say it.

            But yes, “privilege” is just too misunderstood to be constructive in most conversations of these types. People are so hurt to think that they don’t know EVERYTHING and can’t understand EVERY person’s perspective. The world changes, it becomes better for everyone involved, when you release the expectation that you really know it all. But it’s a fearful process, the letting-go of that belief.

            What would it be like to admit, ‘You know what? I don’t know what it’s like to be you.”? For some, I think they’re terrified to discover culpability. But, man, there’s a lot of freedom to saying, “I was wrong” or “I didn’t know that”.

            • Jun Kafiotties says:

              Admitting privilege can be useful, admitting one benefits from privilege is something I don’t see much in women. Eg women benefit overall from less violence towards your gender then men (WHO stats showing men suffer up to 2.6x more violence overall). Women also generally are not conscripted into war and having to defend the nation, you may say this treats women as weaker and is sexist towards them but it’s also sexist in assuming male life is worth less, having to sacrifice for women and children and that men are disposable whilst women are afforded a special protection like children get.

              The thing with many privileges is that they assume the men benefit, but fail to realize what goes on around such benefits. The perception of men being stronger comes with the EXPECTATION of them defending all others and throwing their lives on the line, any male that fails to live up to this expectation receives heavy criticism and their manhood is in question.

              Women are ALLOWED to be victims of abuse, there is an entire industry telling women it’s ok to seek help, we care about you, we’ll at least attempt to put your attackers in jail (more needs to be done of course). As for men…well the amount of fights over domestic violence statistics are incredible, scholars show many of the studies are biased in showing 1 side as a victim, 1 side as perp. If we have men speak up as victims, plenty of men and women will pander the line that men do more damage and that their injuries won’t be as bad, completely ignoring the fact that emotional injuries are often very serious and can be every bit as bad as physical ones. The high rate of alcoholism of men is probably due largely to abuses suffered from men n women. Women get the privilege of being accepted as a victim.

              This is what makes men so angry hearing about privilege is when they aren’t the 1%, they’re in highly dangerous jobs or being paid quite poorly, work very long hours, never harm a woman but hear how bad men hurt women whilst male violence is glorified and victims are ignored. Both men and women have every right to be angry, both men and women have privileges and whilst men may have more, if women aren’t willing to admit they have some then pushing out the patriarchy and privilege talks will simply push many men AND women from the discussion due to perceiving the other as having their head in the sand.

              This gender war will continue until people can accept males can suffer, even when some have power. Men make up the top and bottom quite a lot, intelligence tests show more genius and more morons? whereas women are more toward the middle, achievements vary wildly from CEO to homeless, leader to prisoner. Judging them ALL as being the TOP simply ignores and dismisses the bottom, we portray men as having the power but fail to realize how many male “peasants” get screwed over on the way for a few to keep that power. I don’t think many on this page want us to focus more on men in society than women, simply to focus enough on each that both have their issues highlighting, discussed and taken care of.

            • Well said, Jun! The notion of a “patriarchy,” as evidenced by all the men occupying positions of supreme power, is swiftly undermined when you notice all the men occupying positions of extreme poverty, danger, and death.

              If there were a true ‘male privilege’ in our society, then men at ALL levels would be better off than the women in those same demographic strata. But they’re not.

        • DavidByron says:

          By claiming the title of feminist you nullify everything male positive you have said.

    • I think they’re “allowed a voice in the movement” because feminism’s not really a card-carrying club. It’s a philosophy with many branches. I choose to call myself a feminist because I believe in equality for men and women. I like to think we can help each other regardless of gender. Someone else may call themselves a feminist because they want to help only women.

      There are a lot of labels in the world we can choose to apply to ourselves. I’m also a humanist. Why do I still use the word feminist? Because at it’s roots, feminism is about equality. And I won’t cowardly detach myself from a cause whose roots I believe in just because some people are misrepresenting it and twisting it to support their own agendas.

      Hymowitz, whose work I haven’t read, is allowed a voice because we all are. No one can stop her from calling herself a feminist. It’s not a club she can be kicked out of.

      I know some people on this site really think feminism is evil and anti-male, but that’s not the feminism I know and subscribe to. Just as some MRAs are about bringing equality to areas where equality is lacking, and some are about vindication and hate. Some feminists may hate men. I don’t. I stand by the original intention of feminism, and I value equality, and that means I value it for both men and women.

      That said, democracy needs radicals. I forget where I heard that quote. It means that in order to have a truly democratic and egalitarian society, there need to be many moderates, and some insane shrieking voices to speak loudly about fringe issues so we can see many different viewpoints in support of and dissent of our own. It lets us get a look at the bigger picture so we try to understand as many peoples’ realities and perceived realities so we can become smarter, more compassionate and understanding, and more aware of the worlds outside our own.

      And DavidByron, I am sorry to hear that you perceive feminism as evil, but I want to try to explain to you that I don’t hate men, but I am a feminist. I love men. I am pansexual, but engaged to the man who is the love of my life. I have plenty of male and female friends and colleagues who I respect (and some who I don’t, of course—I think we all have some of those in life). I want to see women and men enjoying income parity, equality in the courts, and I want everyone to be able to be safe and secure, and to find their own joys in life, regardless of gender. This is my interpretation of feminism. For me, feminism means equality. Some feminists have a different interpretation of the philosophy. Just as there are varying attitudes towards women in the men’s rights movement. I won’t hold you responsible for a men’s rights activist who says something anti-woman. I just want us to stop being angry at one another based on gender. I truly believe that people are inherently good, and people use their minds to come to varying conclusions about how to make the world a better place. Your interpretation of feminism is at odds with mine, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get along. It’s just a label, and less than that, it’s just a word. Let’s let our actions and the way we treat each other define our relationships and interactions. I won’t renounce feminism. I won’t change my attitude toward men and women, and I won’t change my belief in the possibility of real equality. But I will listen to you. I will always want to listen to what others have to say, even if it isn’t in complete agreement with my own ideas. It’s the only way I’ll learn.

  5. “…dismissing or discounting male suffering.”

    So over rated!

    “discounting male” is usually enough – the discounted suffering is optional and at management discretion!

  6. Peter Houlihan says:

    If it is only a vocal minority of feminists, then they’re certainly overrepresented and highly placed. Think about the kind of damned lie-, sorry, statistics produced by groups like the American Women’s Council, or the Irish Women’s Council. Think about the arguments they make. Think about the solutions they propose and the language they use. I suspect that average jane on the street doesn’t buy into it hook line and sinker, but feminism is very often an extremist movement.

    Even theoretical constructs like “patriarchy” and “rape culture” which are used by the majority of feminists, moderate or extreme, are quite biased. Not that masculists aren’t, I’ve seen as much polarised crazies among MRAs as anywhere, but I think the article above skips over a very real problem: There is a gender war. Not everyone buys into it, not even most people, but the ones framing national policy and marching on the streets do, and that has an impact.

  7. This is nice debate and I agree the arguing back and forth doesn’t help. What would help if women took care of ourselves first. We are so socialized to care about everyone but ourselves all day and it’s physically and emotionally draining. I get frustrated and then I snap and become numb. I just can’t have empathy for everyone at one time. I do better when I take care of myself first.

    • Uncle Woofie says:

      Miss Valerie,

      You may be assured that EVERYONE (god, I wish I could use italics to emphasize a word in here) does better when they take care of themselves first.

      I have witnessed the almost “martyr-driven” complex some women have about living exclusively by the creedo of “Others First” as well as the damage is does. I often compare it to the male mantra of success being driven by “never quit, never surrender”. I’ve seen the damage THAT does too….

  8. Yes! This!

    Or.. more of this. More of understanding that saying problem still exists doesn’t mean I hate men or blame all men or something. More of understanding that women can express their anger (yes! anger! there are things to be angry about!) over the bias they face in their own lives without being called a man-basher. More understanding that, even if something (e.g. the Patriarchy) harms you, you can still benefit from it – and you can still work from inside that to change it – and me saying that doesn’t mean I am blaming you for it.

    One thing these posts made me think, time and again, is would anyone expect a black person to pause in the midst of being angry over the racism they still face, and say “hey, you know I don’t mean all white people, right? You know I don’t mean you personally, right? You know this is social commentary and not personal, yeah?” I know I wouldn’t – I know racism still exists. Tell me how, where, when, why – and let’s work.

    That said. There is this underlying bigger picture here that both Julia and Simone have touched on. There are underlying narratives in *all* of these posts that are hard to see. One thing Simone and I have talked about is our reactions (ok, mainly mine) to those narratives, when really, getting at those underlying things is the interesting thing here. The place where we all learn something…

    Plus, again – I am just gonna say this: It’s nice to talk about how white, upper-middle-class peeps in America feel about this. Our opinions and our experiences matter. But. I know that the vast majority of people I talk to are a lot like me – and think like me too. Can we break out of this at all?

    • The reason that there is no gender war outside of the feminist/masculist movements is that most people realize that we are in this together.  They see society as a whole, in proportion with reality, not through a fun-house-mirror prism, which make things look out of proportion.
      I think that feminists will begin the road to getting a listening ear among the general populace when they recognize and candidly and openly acknowledge that:

      1.       Humans in general are struggling, not just women.  Helping women and girls helps men but helping men and boys also helps women.  Ignoring (or disproportionately considering) the problems/issies of either hurts everyone.
       
      2.       Simply being male does not automatically grant one “privilege.”  There is no such thing as general “male privilege”, as men and women are privileged in different ways.  And, some sets of men and women have very little or no privilege comparatively.
       
      3.       White women, on average, have more privilege than any other demographic, with highly privileged white men being the only possible exception.  This, considering most measurable factors, such as unemployment rates, educational attainment, percentage of victims of violent crime and murder, incarceration rates, and similar measurable and reported factors.
       
      4.       Considering all those same factors, boys and young men are significantly more disadvantaged, and in the cases of minority boys even  disenfranchised, than are white girls and young women.
       
      When feminists begin acknowledging these facts and speaking about them candidly and openly, it will be clear that they have begun to see the world as it is, not through the fun-house mirror-lenses which causes them to see things out of their true proportion, such as concluding that maleness = privilege.
       

      • I know that we are in this together, and that helping women helps men and helping men helps women, and that there are other groups that have it hard, that we are all struggling . But – these things do not mean the end of a patriarchal system, or that “male privilege” doesn’t exist. Moreover, this isn’t a pissing contest of who is most disenfranchised (i.e. upper class white lady vs. inner city black boy – if we don’t like labels or pitting group against group, don’t do it).

        Augh. This is what I’m trying to talk about. The underlying idea that we can’t talk about the problem because people who aren’t experiencing it don’t think it’s a problem. Or that saying there’s a problem means we’re missing everything I just said or that we see the world in black and white. Or that “hey, me and my friends are all trying to help you, isn’t that enough?” when I say there’s still a problem. Or telling me I live in a fun house.

        I can use statistics, in the US and across the globe. I can tell you about my experience, and the experience of other women around me. I can tell you I don’t hate men, that I don’t think my problems are the only ones. I can tell you I would actually prefer we work together on equality for all instead of picking sides. I can tell you that I agree – simply reacting to the specific language someone else uses gets us nowhere.

        But I can’t have a conversation with someone who has decided my experiences, and those of millions of women all over the globe, aren’t valid, and will spend time explaining to me why not instead of engaging me on what I have to say. Telling me I actually hate men/might be crazy and/or what I’ve said makes them upset/feel guilty, instead of focusing on the fact that, as a Women, I am telling other Good People this. isn’t. over, and my experiences are valid and do matter. I’m not going to argue with you about that. It gets us nowhere.

        • Does the Mexican immigrant fruit picker have “male privilege?”

          If so, what does the white suburban late-model SUV driving soccer mom have?

          Do you believe that “white female privilege” exists?  If so, why don’t feminists ever acknowledge it?  If not, how do you explain how the Mexican fruit picker has privilege but the white SUV driving soccer mom who graduated from William & Mary doesn’t?

          “Moreover, this isn’t a pissing contest of who is most disenfranchised (i.e. upper class white lady vs. inner city black boy – if we don’t like labels or pitting group against group, don’t do it).”

          Do you truly believe that “upper class white women are disenfranchised?” In what way? Compared to whom?

          Feminists are making it black and white (no pun intended) by using the term “male privilege” (as if all males are) in reference to black inner city boys but never using the term “female privilege” (as if no females are), including upper class white women.

          “Or telling me I live in a fun house.”

          Feel free to point out anything I said about YOU personally.  I try not to do that.  If I did, it was inadvertent and I apologize. 

          I am happy to read any statistics you care to cite, as long as they are from a US government source.  Those tend to be the most objective.

          “But I can’t have a conversation with someone who has decided my experiences, and those of millions of women all over the globe, aren’t valid, and will spend time explaining to me why not instead of engaging me on what I have to say.”

          Where did I ever use the term “valid” or “invalid”?

          Everyone’s experiences are valid including bit not only yours.  Boys and men exist too. 

          Does this mean that you aren’t planning to address whether there is “white female privilege?”

        • When I hear a feminist say “male privilege” without saying what she means, I know I have a bigot on my hands. So what exactly, and I mean EXACTLY did you mean by that? because what I heard is “fuck all men”.

      • Eric, can we agree that perhaps it is dicey to try to measure who is “most” privileged in a general sense? The nature of identifying privilege is that it is unique to the situation. As Peter said, in an equality movement, “victimhood” gives privilege in that it offers “credibility” to the movement.

        Privilege is an important term to be able to discuss, but you cannot say someone has “privilege” without qualifying what that privilege is. You do that when speaking of white women having it, when you qualify what you’re basing this upon. But even this sort of blanketing of the term can be dangerous, even if it’s just in making white women reject you as reactionary and therefore lacking merit.

        Again, I’m not saying YOU are lacking merit or your argument, but one has to be very specific about which privilege they are referring to (as you were).

        • “Eric, can we agree that perhaps it is dicey to try to measure who is “most” privileged in a general sense?  “

          “The nature of identifying privilege is that it is unique to the situation. “

          “Privilege is an important term to be able to discuss, but you cannot say someone has “privilege” without qualifying what that privilege is.”

          I agree with all of the above, which is why I have tried to point out the absurdity of the term “male privilege.”   The facts show that “male privilege” does not exist in any broad sense in the United States, based on reported data.

          • Eric, I note how the feminists get tetchy and dont want to discuss who has more privilege in your country. The average white middle-middle class and above, american woman? Or the average underclass african american man?
            Excellent work Eric

          • Their attempts to silence you Eric fail. Good stuff fella

          • I’m glad you guys were able to agree on that. This isn’t meant to be directed at anyone in specific, but one of my least favourite things is listening to people argue about who’s more hard done by.

            You know those people who you can’t tell you had a cold, because they’ll say “oh man, I had a FLU! And it was the worst ever! And my car is in the shop! And I’m in debt!” Even though they know you had a cold, don’t even have a car, and have a jillion dollars of student debt? That’s what I hear when either feminists or men’s rights activists try to out-suck each other. Women make so much less money!/Men lost so many jobs in the recession! Men abuse women!/Women abuse men!

            And I’ve been in discussions like that myself (recently, on this site, in fact). I realized it was incredibly unproductive, though. While we’re having a pissing match about whose life is harder, nobody’s life is being improved. We only create hostility.

            Yes, awareness of disparity is important, but with so much conflicting informaton available online, we’ll always manage to throw one study or another in each other’s face as rebuttals. Maybe we don’t need those studies to know what’s in our hearts: that men and women deserve to be equal, to enjoy safety and security, and to have happiness.

        • DavidByron says:

          It’s hard to measure male privilege because it doesn’t exist.

          It’s not at all hard to measure female privilege. Define your metric, look up the statistics. Do you want to look at quality of life indexes (as used by the UN to compare people in different countries)? Look up the figures. Find women are better educated than men, live longer than men etc. It is not hard. Or perhaps the topic is something less objective. Still it can easily be named.

          Not so male privilege. Male privilege cannot be measured, cannot be described. It is a will o the wisp. Chase after it and it disappears.

      • DavidByron says:

        There is a gender war in the larger society. It is there because of feminist hatred of men which is the dominant social view of gender. Even though most people reject it at a conscious level many women assume it unconsciously. Its enormously destructive.

    • NikkiB: “More understanding that, even if something (e.g. the Patriarchy) harms you, you can still benefit from it – and you can still work from inside that to change it – and me saying that doesn’t mean I am blaming you for it. ”

      No but you basically invalidate the harms that were done to me by girls and women along with boys and men by saying I benefit from Patriarchy.

      If you read my article I contributed, you’ll understand why I find “you still benefit from Patriarchy” invalidating, hurtful and irksome to deal with.

  9. Uncle Woofie says:

    It’s interesting for me to note how many wonderful, compassionate women have been attracted to write here. I would like for you, as the women who write here, to know how ingratiating it is that so many of you, no matter what you have to say, have one common thread.

    That thread is your mutual wish to cheer men on as we all, regardless of gender, pick our way through the mine field modern life has become.

    The delightful irony of this is that it causes me to generate a fantasy in my own head of a swanky cocktail party filled with warm, intelligent people dressed in designer suits and cocktail dresses that they earned with their compassion & intellect.

    Over drinks, we all compare the maps of how we’ve negotiated that mine field; we reach across to the opposite gender with advice & suggestions on avoiding the nasty mines & tiger traps we’ve encountered, many of which our gender opposites may have been blind to for many reasons that can easily be no one’s fault individually.

    We also look out a window this oasis of a cocktail lounge has, at a sometimes nasty gender conflict in the public thoroughfares that can look like the intellectual equivalent of a bloody street riot at times, thanks to shrill, extreme voices that have lost the capacity to realize that this is one war that will be won at a negotiating table, not a battlefield. They seem incapable of seeing this. Their scars and bloodied faces due to hurts they’ve endured blind them to seeing what we offer here. We’ll get the REAL battle won in here, and leave all that sound and fury that signifies nothing but hurt, out there.

    I honestly believe that thanks to how many women write here as well as men, figuring out the sphinx-level riddle that is becoming a good (or perhaps just a better) man is made easier, and more worthwhile by your participation.

    Thanks again, good women…and may I say, that cocktail dress you all earned under the conditions of my little analogy, looks smokin’ hot, and I hope the men in YOUR life appreciate that fact.

  10. “I don’t even know where I fit in, I feel equalist but everywhere I go and read either has misogyny, misandry, privilege used as a shaming and silencing word instead of having ANY benefit, oppression olympics, closed minded and heavily biased attitudes. ”

    This really speaks to me. The gender war has killed all the peace makers and all we are left with is people who hate each other and have no compassion left for half the population.

    On the bright side, I hear NASA has discovered another habitable planet!

    • Uncle Woofie says:

      Allan,
      I can certainly sympathize with your sentiments, however…

      The peacemakers you mentioned are alive and well, not dead. Many are “undercover” in daily life. On top of that, many of these undercover, pan-gender peacemakers assemble here in the GMP Cocktail Lounge. They shed their trench-coats & slouch hats, and regale us with their thoughts, experiences & observations on how we can make the struggle for a better world for both men & women something that leaves less bodies on the floor and in the streets.

      Hopefully you’ve had occasion to notice how many of those “undercover” peacemakers write here. It’s why I posted my oddly worded compliment to the women who contribute not only title level articles and postings, but those who post comments behind those articles.

      Much of what we read, hear or say seems to be tempered to “trends” analyzed for sensationalist points of view, rather than food for constructive thought. Especially concerning gender issues.

      Hang out here, I’ve found that its a great place to shed the “male siege mentality” that gender issues so often incite.

      • “male siege mentality”? The trouble is my experience doesn’t fit with a lot of peoples pet notions. I get attacked. I’ve been attacked.

        GMP harbors both the gentile party and the street fighters. I feel attacked here. And, you guys just watch out the window while people throw bottles at me.

        Sign me up for that shuttle flight.

        • Uncle Woofie says:

          First, I hope you realize I have no intent of lobbing even imaginary beer bottles at you or anyone else in here.

          Frankly, (and feel free to interpet this any way you want) I was expectin’ a helluva lot more of them imagniary beer-bottles here inna comments section than I’ve actually had. As far as the “street fighters” in here goes….

          …the best defense is being “street-WISE”…..

      • Transhuman says:

        Even in this site, supposedly for Good MEN, we are supplied an endless stream of women’s opinions, women’s issues and women’s needs. Scan over some of the articles and they read like a Cosmopolitan, the only article I haven’t seen yet is Hugo agonising over whether his bum looks big in his pair of strides. No wonder there is a male siege mentality.

        Yes, I confess I once held a job which required me to read Cosmo and other assorted garbage. I am over it now….mostly.

        • DavidByron says:

          Isn’t that the point of this site? A feminist ghetto for attacking men endlessly in a patronixzing way? How we should all try harder to not be such rapists and so on? Its sick.

        • I hope you’re not upset by my commenting here. I comment on this site because I see so much potential for discussion. There are some fantastic people here. And anytime we discuss gender issues, I think it’s helpful to see both sides of the coin (or the complete spectrum, more accurately).

          I think we can only learn from each other, regardless of gender. I thought the GMP was about learning and sharing, and I am under the impression that women are welcome to join the discussion. At times, I disagree with other commenters, but I certainly won’t try to force them to accept my point of view, or verbally attack them. I think all individuals deserve a voice when we discuss gender in our society. It’s a complex bundle of issues, and without each other (men, women, trans men and women, and every other subset under the sun) we can too easily get lost in our own perspective. It’s eye-opening to be able to share and learn more about each other.

    • Thanks for saying this. It’s hard to find a community where the commenting readers are on the same page. Of course everyone has different ideas about what will make the world a better place, but on both feminist, men’s rights, and humanist websites, you can always find hostility. The kind of hostility that keeps us from helping our fellow human beings and moving forward. I really wish I could find a place where people genuinely wanted to share and cooperate, without having to read through veiled or outright hostile comments that just feel so unwelcoming, and distract us from what we could accomplish with open communication.

  11. So well-said!! I’ve been guilty of that, and it’s out of that frustration of hearing it from the ‘other’ side. I too, am a man’s woman (I’m far closer to my male friends than I ever have been to a female), and my partner is even more feminist than I consider myself. Ironically, I never thought there was a war until I stumbled upon MRA sites and started seeing all the vitriol against women. When I start to going into the offensive or getting ‘woe is me’ myself, my partner makes sure to remind me that they’re just a very small, but vocal minority, and that the VAST majority of men aren’t going around whining about alphas, gold diggers, and western women all day. I understand that there are serious issues men face, especially in terms of child custody, suicide rates, stereotypes about masculinity and about thinking with their dicks. The angry, whiny men on MRA sites do not do the movement any good. The same goes for angry and vindictive feminists. There are a lot of things women around the world face and that we need to deal with, particularly in terms of sexual control. I doubt that too many men think that it’s ok to remove the clitoris, labia, or tie a woman’s genitals up until marriage. The vast majority of men also think that ‘honor’ killings, not allowing women to drive because of the threat of promiscuity (Saudi Arabia), forced dress codes, rape as a weapon of war (Bosnia, Libya), and purity balls where a daughter pledges herself to her father (the States), and slut-shaming are wrong and disgusting. The women (a minority) who do claim that all men are pigs and assholes do not do the movement any good.

    I’ve always thought it was important to hear all sides of an issue without dismissing anyone due to ‘privilege’ or something like that. That’s why I like this site. There’s usually a discussion instead of an exchange of insults, even when people don’t agree and are very passionate about something.

    • Uncle Woofie says:

      Well Miss Aya,

      I guess if we continue my GMP Cocktail Lounge analogy as my sincere complement & gratitude for your kind words….

      …can I buy you a drink…?

    • I have no clue why this concept of “slut-shaming” is even a term, let alone (in the context of the problems in this country) one that is such an enormous feminist issue – particularly where adults are involved.  How can someone be shamed for their own choices, unless they believe they have done the wrong choices?

      I have a few basic tenets, which I teach my daughters, which (among other things) will prevent them from being subject to any kind of “shaming.”

      1.       Think for yourself.  Don’t be a follower.  (Even if you’re not a natural leader, you don’t have to be a follower)
      2.       If you want the respect of others, respect yourself.   If they still don’t respect you, it’s THEIR problem, not yours.
      3.       Educate yourself.  Based on that, do what you know to be the right thing for yourself.  
      4.       Be proud of who you are and your choices, since you know they are the right choices for you, based on your education. 
      5.       If you’re convinced you’ve done what is right for you, the opinion of others about your choices are irrelevant. You do not need validation from other people.

      People who live by these tenets cannot be shamed for their choices. My kids are learning this, and are not controlled/manipulated by what the crowd at school does or does not do.

      We teach them to not look down on other people, even if (in their opinion) they are making poor choices.  Instead, they are to show compassion and try to help if possible.  But, they are also told to learn from the mistakes of others, as further validation that their choices are the right ones.

      • Fixing typo.

        How can someone be shamed for their own choices, unless they believe they have made wrong choices?

        • It’s wonderful that you’re teaching your daughters to respect themselves, and grow up to become strong, independant, confident women. The point about “slut shaming” is that no matter how well your daughters carry themselves and life their lives, there will be some people, some times, male and female, who will decide to disrespect their autonomy. It could be over nothing at all. Say one of your daughters wears a skirt to a pub. Some women who might be jealous or just mean might call her a slut. Some guy who’s been rejected too many times might make a joke about “asking for” rape because she’s having a beer while wearing a skirt. She won’t deserve that. (I apologize if this is difficult to read, and let me say I in no way want to offend you or disrespect you or your daughters, but I am saying this to make a point about slut shaming) Should your daughter (God forbid) be subjected to an assault, someone who doesn’t like her, male or female, friend, classmate, colleague, or acquaintance, might say that she was “asking for it.” That person is full of shit, because as you know, your daughter is a good person who did all the right things, and enjoyed her life and was being perfectly responsible. She has every right to wear whatever she likes, especially since she’ll be a woman of good judgment, and she has every right to drink within her limits (and in college, probably beyond those limits a couple of times). She has every right to be safe throughout all that.

          She may be strong and confident enough to let such criticism roll off her back. But what if a defense lawyer in court vilifies her for her perfectly natural choices to try to get the person who assaulted her off the hook? What if people read the papers and say “oh, well she was wearing a skirt.” The point is that your beautiful daughters don’t deserve any of that judgment. If anything, as children of our society, we owe it to them to keep them safe. We must all protect them. Men and women. We must all feel grief if someone hurts them. Anyone who would say disparaging things about one of your daughters, especially in a time of crisis or need, does not deserve to call themselves human. It’s horrendous.

          In a less dramatic vein, either a male or female hiring figure might decide that the knee-length skirt and top and jacket she wore to her job interview is “slutty” based on your daughter’s figure if she’s very fit or very unfit. They might decide she’s dressed inappropriately because of their personal bias, insecurity, or vindictiveness, even if she looks perfectly professional. The problem with “slut shaming” is that a woman doesn’t have to be a slut to be slut shamed. It’s a way men and women both sometimes marginalize and hurt women. It’s based on nothing, and it hurts.

  12. Eric–these are great things to be teaching your children, and you should be very proud of your parenting skills and techniques. I’m definitely not a natural leader, and as a young woman, it’s sometimes not the easiest thing to not let what people say and do get to you (be they other girls, men, parents, bosses, societal norms, etc..). At some point you just have to not give a fuck, become an adult, and realize that people will always judge no matter who you are and what you do. At that point, it’s on them and their own insecurities.

    “How can someone be shamed for their own choices, unless they believe they have made wrong choices?”

    You’re right. Thank you. :) There’s quite a difference between someone attempting to shame you and you letting yourself be shamed.

  13. The Bad Man says:

    I think feminists need to take the first step since they started this war against boys and men.

    Admit your academic fraud and expose your sisters.

    • While you’re at it, why don’t you ask Congress to admit all the under-the-table deals they make for corporate contributors. Sigh. Pipe dreams….

      • DavidByron says:

        It’s not realistic for sure but that doesn’t matter. It is an honourable response. It’s saying we see the shit you are pulling and we reject it. If you want to be taken seriously when you pretend you are not perpetuating anti-male hatred then act like it.

        Of course they won’t. That’s part of the point.

    • I won’t ask you to answer for fringe men’s rights activists who’ve distorted your cause if you don’t ask me to answer for fringe women’s rights activists who’ve distorted mine. I’m not responsible for their words and actions, I can’t possibly know what they even all are, and I’d have no idea who to offer up for sacrifice. Instead, why don’t you and I discuss things productively instead of starting a witch hunt?

  14. DavidByron says:

    Feminists in the US declared the war on men at Seneca Falls in 1848. Recognised since then as the “birth place” of feminism, the convention declared war on the male gender and characterised for ever after the relationship between men and women as one of war. Naturally they said men started it and women were the innocent defenders.

    The convention adopted the language and form of the US Declaration of Independence, which was of course a declaration of war against the British empire by the revolutionary colonists.

    So don’t tell me feminists haven’t declared war on men. They did so over 150 years ago.

    If this author calls herself a feminist then she’s in the war against men. Nobody drafted her. She’s a volunteer and could lay down her arms at any time. But she will not do so.

  15. Joanna:
    However, as we’re learning more through the Occupy movements, the highest-paid members of the workforce have massive amounts of power and disproportionate wealth. Women and men of color should be getting a piece of that, to diversify that power too.
    So should those all those white guys that are at the bottom of the barrel be getting a cut too or is does their white maleness mean they’re living fine? I ask this because often when talking about gender/race the presumption is “white men have power” and “anyone who who is not a white man doesn’t”. That leaves far too many white goes out of the equation for my tastes.

    But yes, “privilege” is just too misunderstood to be constructive in most conversations of these types. People are so hurt to think that they don’t know EVERYTHING and can’t understand EVERY person’s perspective.
    If only the problem were peopel misunderstanding it. Its amazing how hurt someone can feel when they are told that some supposed privilege they have actually DOES nullify whatever pain/oppression/discrimination they were trying to express.

    Jun @ December 14, 2011 at 12:00 am :
    On the money. That’s one of peeves when it comes to talking about gender privilege. It seems when it comes to men anything and everything that can be seen as a positive for any number of men is a privielge no matter baggage may come with it. But when it comes to women anything that can be seen as a positive for women can be isntantly shot down with even the smallest bit of baggage.

  16. So who or what is responsible for rape culture, inequalities, and the patriarchy?

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