How I Stopped Being an Angry Feminist, and Started Loving Men

Sarah Beaulieu wants us to stop talking about the things men do wrong, and start talking about all the things men do right.

I certainly had a lot of reasons to be angry. I was sexually assaulted. By a man. By two men, in fact. One of them was my own grandfather. The other was a high school friend. The aftermath of these experiences left me broken and betrayed, not knowing how to trust, love, or be loved.

I was angry. I listened to angry feminist folk music. I read and discussed feminist theory, patriarchy, and sexism. I was on the hunt to expose bad men, and because of that, I found signs of their bad-ness everywhere. Every look, every comment, every gesture was a sign: men were just rapists waiting to happen.

But I had it totally wrong. Even if one (rightly) assumes that men commit most sexual assaults (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/), the truth is that most men are not rapists.

Of course, I had a right to be angry at the men who hurt me. But I didn’t have a right to hold all men everywhere responsible for what happened to me. And by being angry, I was shutting down the possibility of love. As I became stronger and more whole, I opened my eyes to the love of men in my life. It was abundant.

For example, my brother steadfastly believed what happened to me and validated how much I was impacted by being molested. The simple act of witnessing me in my pain helped me heal. And so did the mac and cheese he made me when I was sad, and the hours of Nintendo-playing we did when I was too down to do anything else.

My husband taught me that love can be a constant fuel. He taught me that you can get angry, have conflict, resolve it, and love each other throughout. He taught me to love myself, and care for myself. He takes care of me despite my fierce independence. He turns up the heat when it’s cold. He walks the dog when I don’t want to go outside. He puts gas in the car. He volunteers with White Ribbon Project, a group of men committed to ending sexual violence.

My best male friend from college was by my side through the darkest days of my healing journey. After every therapy session, he helped me process what I was learning about myself. He saw me through the powerful emotions that went along with those lessons.  He told me he loved me 10 times a day. He stood by my side when I told my story for the first time in public at a Take Back the Night event on our campus. He learned that while he couldn’t “fix” me, he could love me, and that his love would help me become whole again.

Simple acts of friendship and love are powerful tools that help survivors of sexual violence trust and heal. Men love survivors of sexual violence every single day. Most men are horrified by sexual violence and its impact on those they love. They want to help, but feel powerless – and afraid to say or do the wrong thing. If we want men to join the movement to end rape and sexual violence, we have to stop talking about all the things men do wrong, and start talking about all the things that men do right.

photo by hansvandenberg30 / flickr

About Sarah Beaulieu

Sarah is the founder of The Enliven Project, a campaign to bring sexual violence out of the closet and more truth-telling to the world. Sarah has over 15 years experience in managing complex relationships and partnerships, fundraising, and systematic approaches to change. She is a sexual violence survivor and a truth teller, a poet, an intuitive, wife, mom, and a loyal friend. Views expressed here are her own. For more, visit www.theenlivenproject.com or follow her on Twitter: @sarahbeaulieu. 

Comments

  1. ScandinavianWoman says:

    I am so tired of the assumption; every feminist is a man hater. We need feminists! Just look at all the victim blaming (rape-culture). Women are the only group who constantly have to fight discrimination regardless of color, religious view, ethnicity and so on.

    I do not want to be victim, however it is devastating to read how people assume people fighting sexism are horrible people. What is bad about fighting for equality and human rights? Yes, we should talk about the good thing men does, but really, is it necessary? It should be expected. I would expect anyone regardles of their gender to treat me in a decent way. To be honest if I were a man I would be a bit insulted, like I were a creature that against all odds manage to behave in a decent way.

    • ^^^^^^^^^^ This.

    • “I do not want to be victim, however it is devastating to read how people assume people fighting sexism are horrible people. What is bad about fighting for equality and human rights?”
      If you bother to read many of the arguments against SOME feminists you will see it is not a problem with fighting sexism, it’s a problem of PERPETUATING sexism amongst other issues. Eg, gendering rape and DV so heavily that we end up with sexist laws that actually harm or discriminate against men.

      Of all the anti-feminists I’ve seen, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any that are against equality but they are against badly implimented measures for equality (though some do generalize way too much about feminism and can’t see the good for the bad). Remember there are those who call themselves feminist who love the S.C.U.M manifesto and speak utter hatred against men, the term feminist is so loose that it ranges from egalitarians to extremists, from extremely transphobic radicals to trans-supporters.

      “Women are the only group who constantly have to fight discrimination regardless of color, religious view, ethnicity and so on. ”
      Constantly? Gross generalizations and exaggerations don’t help your cause, name me a single cis-female that has had to sign up for selective service? Discrimination can be high but it is not constant otherwise with such a loose label men too are under a constant discrimination in the U.S with selective service.

      • You raise a good point, and one that, due respect, is not so good. In regards to the point that is not good, I feel like I am banging my head against a wall, so I won’t dwell on it for long.

        The good point you raise involves the issue of gendering and rape. Yes, most of the public discourse around rape focuses on women. You seem to be assuming, though, that it is women who are keeping the issue of rape against men suppressed in public discourse. I respectfully disagree. The gendering of rape defines it as something that happens to women. So if a man is raped, he is demeaned by the entire concept that rape is something feminine. That is something that we men have done to ourselves–the concept holds that a man who is raped is somehow less of a man, because only women get raped. Men have the power to change that concept.

        Yes, men get raped. Quite a bit. They get raped in prison, but “prison rape” continues to be a topic of humor. Where are the men standing up to that, challenging the idea that prison rape is not funny, the way that feminists have been challenging sexist humor for at least two generations? Those men, and the women who support them, exist, but they are few in number. (The same can be said for female-on-male rape, which much of popular culture still does not view as a crime, cf. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RapeIsFunnyWhenItsFemaleOnMale)

        Also, what organizations or people are standing up for male victims of rape? If you look closely at most major organizations that support victims of sexual violence, they actually don’t discriminate based on sex. It’s just that men don’t come forward. Why don’t they? Again, because they are unlikely to get any support from other men.

        If men are serious about fighting male-victim rape, they need to start fighting male-victim rape, not just complaining about it to feminists.

        As if to illustrate my point, a quick Google search for “male rape victim support” turned up a front page of results for organizations in the UK. American men need to get on this. Even if all you do is refuse to laugh at prison rape jokes, it is something. Here are a few resources to get you started:
        http://www.mencanstoprape.org/Resources/resources-for-male-survivors.html
        http://www.malesurvivor.org
        http://www.aftersilence.org/male-survivors.php
        http://www.pandys.org/malesurvivors.html

        The only other point I will address, even though I’ve heard it so many times and it such a ridiculous argument that it will take a miracle to talk sense to anyone, is the issue of the selective service. If selective service registration is the best example you can come up with for discrimination against men in favor of women, then we guys are doing pretty damn swell. See, there are two problems with the argument:
        1. (Assuming you live in the U.S.) we have not had a military draft since the early 1970’s, and there is less than zero political will to reinstate it. I can’t speak for countries that do have mandatory military service, but many of them require service of both men and women.
        2. Regarding combat roles being reserved exclusively for men, that is no longer true in the United States, and many men fought tooth and nail to keep women out of combat. Many women fought tooth and nail to be allowed in combat units. It strikes me as daft to claim women are privileged because they are, until recently, excluded from something some of them want to do.

        • You seem to be assuming, though, that it is women who are keeping the issue of rape against men suppressed in public discourse. I respectfully disagree. The gendering of rape defines it as something that happens to women.
          Actually you are both right. The responsibility for the gendering of rape as “something that men do to women” cannot be laid completely on the shoulders of a single group. From individual people to the organzations that say they are against it there is plenty of blame to go around.

          That is something that we men have done to ourselves….
          If women had nothing to do with it then why are there women (even feminists) that deny the existence of male rape victims?

          Men have the power to change that concept.
          Now this I agree with. We have the power to change the concept. But trying to say we dug this hole all on our own is false.

          Also, what organizations or people are standing up for male victims of rape? If you look closely at most major organizations that support victims of sexual violence, they actually don’t discriminate based on sex. It’s just that men don’t come forward. Why don’t they? Again, because they are unlikely to get any support from other men.
          From what I’ve read of accounts from male victims that doesn’t hold as true as you may think. And to say that the reason that men don’t get help is because they don’t come forward? Well why don’t they come forward? Because in a lot of cases they are actually turned away, if they are lucky enough to not be presumed to be the attacker when they seek help. This is almost on the verge of victim blaming.

          If selective service registration is the best example you can come up with for discrimination against men in favor of women, then we guys are doing pretty damn swell.
          Translation: Women have it worse. The problem with Selective Service isn’t the exclusion of women in and of itself. Its the penalties that are attached to it. Yes women have their own inequalities to deal with but at least they don’t have to face the possibility of losing citizenship status, having college applications declined, applications for goverment based financial aid, fines, and jail time if they don’t sign up for it.

          • ScandinavianWoman says:

            And who decided that women had no place in the military? Luckily more women are entering politics, although I was surprised to see the lack of women in British politics (I do not know the States too well). I don’t think it should be a case of who is worst of, men or women? However no one should rewrite history and It is just stupid to claim women and men are struggeling at the same level in for example Afghanistan (not that anyone here does) My post was not focused on the states but the world in general. (Excuse my English, it’s not my first language) And by the way I was wrong about women being the only group fighting discrimination throughout history. Homosexual and lesbians are of course another group. And I do think it is horrible that men are struggeling with rape and victim blaming as well. Sometimes it is just like it is this constant wall or competition between men and women. I think it is destructive for everyone.

        • ‘You seem to be assuming, though, that it is women who are keeping the issue of rape against men suppressed in public discourse. ”
          Where did I say it was women keeping the issue suppressed? I said some feminists gender rape, and that helps suppress it but feminism is not a term limited to women. Methinks you assume too much of what I say. I’d prefer not to have strawman arguments used against me.

          “That is something that we men have done to ourselves–the concept holds that a man who is raped is somehow less of a man, because only women get raped. Men have the power to change that concept.”
          Wrong, this is something SOCIETY has done to men. Stop acting as if women have no agency in this world, women help contribute to a society which spreads these beliefs. It’s extremely insulting to blame men and men alone for it, and excuse women. WOMEN have more power than you could imagine, they are not a powerless group in the U.S, infact women hold more voting power than men, about 8million more votes. Given the power of social media both genders have quite a lot of power since it’s near fully unrestricted as speaking out against those in power doesn’t usually result in arrest/harm.

          “If men are serious about fighting male-victim rape, they need to start fighting male-victim rape, not just complaining about it to feminists.”
          There are already many anti-rape campaigns in existance, aren’t they already dealing with the stigma and myths against men? Although I have never seen a poster showing a male victim of a female rapist so I do question how much anti-rape campaigns as they exist now want to help men. Could you point me to the major awareness posters RAINN puts out showing a female rapist? I’ve never seen any and RAINN is one of the biggest campaigns isn’t it?

          “Here are a few resources to get you started:
          http://www.mencanstoprape.org/Resources/resources-for-male-survivors.html
          A gendered campaign which continues the myth of man = rapist as there is no sister campaign in existance where women are asked to help stop rape, stop raping men, etc. Without the sister campaign, this contributes to rape culture.

          “It’s just that men don’t come forward. Why don’t they? Again, because they are unlikely to get any support from other men.”
          I’d say because rape has been gendered for so long in the discussions, the extreme lack of accountability and awareness of female rapists plays a huge role. When you have a society which teachs men to be stoic above all else + myths of rape + stigma towards males raped by females it makes it extremely difficult for them to come forward. We’re seeing some come forward about abuse though and the occasional article on male victimization for DV for instance so maybe it is just going to take a bit more time.

          “The only other point I will address, even though I’ve heard it so many times and it such a ridiculous argument that it will take a miracle to talk sense to anyone, is the issue of the selective service. If selective service registration is the best example you can come up with for discrimination against men in favor of women, then we guys are doing pretty damn swell. ”
          So basically men’s issues are not very bad because womengetitworse? Gotcha. If a man fails to sign up for selective service, is he not at risk of fines, jailtime, and refused government funding?

          Other discriminations exist too, such as duluth model style DV awareness and laws where primary aggressor from what I know has resulted in male victims being seen as the perpetrator. Circumcision still is routinely performed against boys under 18, and usually in infancy without their consent. This isn’t a pissing contest however of who gets it worse, but merely pointing out that both genders have discrimination and to say one has to fight constantly against it whilst the other doesn’t is foolish since the discrimination affects both. Now saying women have to do it MORE than men I could understand, but saying they’re the only group in existance to fight discrimination constantly is a major exageration.

          “It strikes me as daft to claim women are privileged because they are, until recently, excluded from something some of them want to do.”
          It strikes me as daft to assume women were not privileged since they weren’t actually forced to DIE for their country everytime war came a knockin. If you cannot see the privilege in that then it’s time to take a deeper look at the world. The men were privileged in being ALLOWED to fight, the women were privileged in not being FORCED to fight. Privilege is a 2 way street, sometimes men get them, sometimes women get them.

        • David…The selective service argument is valid and frankly I am surprised that you are not better informed. The fact is men who wish to go to college and get funded must sign up with the draft under strict penalties.Women don’t have to do that. This is a major difference between how the sexes are made available for the military.

          For MANY poor white men and men of color, the military is the only viable chance they have to “make it.” For black men during the Civil war and WW1 and WW2, risking one’s life in service of “one’s country” was thought to be the best way to achieve freedom. Not just for themselves, but for their entire community. When have feminists ever had to fight in wars to be free? Never! Not everyone has it that good.
          Many” women are not arguing to be allowed to fight in the military. This is just deceptive nonsense.
          The actual numbers of women who are forcefully lobbying for the right to fight are relatively miniscule;especially compared the number of women who lobby for other female issues. The NOW has never seriously considered placing a priority using military service to speed or enhance the process of freedom for women.Furthermore, the number of women who have fought for this country, as compared to men, is also relatively miniscule. And it would take generations to match what men have done. it seems to me that you might want to do some homework because your information is suspect. I would agree that men need to take the lead on this prison rape issue;women are certainly not going to do it.

          Which brings me to my most important point;as long as only women look out for themselves and men only look out for themselves, nothing will change. In a democracy it shouldn’t matter what sex one is.I should be just as vocal in my complaints about a rich white guy who gets screwed as I would be if a poor guy gets screwed

  2. Hello Sarah.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    This article is based on a problematic premise. Maybe YOU personally directed your anger about your attacks towards all men, but that’s not what feminism is about, even angry feminism.

    “Angry feminists” doesn’t even really make sense. Anger isn’t a permanent state of being. If you’re angry at sexism when it occurs, then what’s wrong with that? Anger is a normal human reaction to injustice, inequality, violence, etc. Sexism (against men or women) makes me angry. So does racism. So does poverty. I am also a perfectly happy person much of the time and love plenty of men, women, white people, and rich people.

    Because being angry at racism doesn’t mean I hate white people.

    Being angry at poverty doesn’t mean I hate rich people.

    Being “an angry feminist” (i.e. being angry at sexism) does not mean I hate men. Or blame all men for sexism.

    So I’m really glad you’ve realised what most feminists actually already know but doesn’t sexism still make you angry when it happens? I don’t really see why it shouldn’t.

    Don’t the people complaining about angry feminists ever get angry about anything, ever? And if they do, does that mean they HATE a whole bunch of people? No. It doesn’t mean that at all.

    Sorry to be so critical because your piece is very personal and brave, but seriously, it’s based on an utterly, utterly false premise.

    Louise x

  3. Jazz…you know,folks who think that only their pain and their hurt and their difficulties in life count more than that of others make things worse for everyone.

  4. What the hell are you talking about?! I’m a 5x year old blackman living in America,what do you imagine I don’t already know and haven’t experienced about pain in America? Dear lord child are you for real? I’ve been robbed at gun point and had friends raped by a white WOMAN.You are presumptious even beyond fault. Why don’t people like yourself understand the nature of abuse and life? It’s like your stuck in in groundhog day.Women abuse too! I have just as many reasons to be concerned about my personal safety as you do.Your fears are no more important than mine.

    • You have much more reason to fear for your safety as a man as men make up the vast majority of victims of violence adn murder.

      • Not that it’s a contest anyway, because men being killed hardly invalidates the importance of violence against women, but in any case… which gender is mostly committing those murders?

        Men aren’t killed, by women, because they are men, in anything like the numbers that women are killed around the world because they are women.

  5. I would agree that women could do a better job on focusing on the things men do right and giving men credit for it. I don’t think this completely fixes the problem because we still need to talk about and be open to talking about the things men may do that aren’t great. But I also think that men are very senitive to the things they do that may hurt women that they are not very open to talking directly about these things. And that is just as much a problem as women not being open to talking more about what men do right.

    • Oh right, yes, my two male colleagues were really respectful and polite all day, not groping me or insulting me, at all, and I forgot to give them a special cookie and a pat on the head for it.

      I mean they obviously didn’t give me a medal or a cookie or anything for being respectful to them, but that’s obviously completely different because.

  6. Danny…the problem is Danny that these individuals who are benefiting from the doubt,” innocent” they may be, are directly linked to the values system that groups like Amnesty International and the UN base their principles around social justice for men and women.It is because of these individuals that these groups, inside and outside of America, have constructed their failed policies about rape, sex trafficking and DV. Do you really imagine that the POTUS positions on rape and DV and gender are incidental to the UN?

    Danny a unilateral multilevel movement is underway that is designed to solidify feminism as a international authority in the world. Electing a feminist president is a part of that plan. Although the truth is we already have the first feminist president in office now.

    Over the last fours years we have seen the implementation of part of that strategy with the rise of MSNBC, and the Huff[ Post as important feminist news voices or propaganda sources-whichever you prefer- and the placement of feminists personalities like Rachel Maddow, Melissa Harris Perry on these shows(and they are news SHOWS that are every bit as unbalanced as Fox News). We saw how powerful this combination was during the election during when the feminists agenda expressed through these media outlets was made more important than unemployment-which affected the majority of the nation. This was no accident. Party platforms are formed by and reflect the most powerful voices in a given party;and feminists interests took center stage in the election, trumping everything else.This was a major demonstration of power and intent. This kind narrow gender prescription for progress will get worse when a ‘real feminist” woman;-a white middle class, upper class, highly educated woman becomes the president. You think thing s are bad now, just wait…and it won’t be an accident either.


    • Danny a unilateral multilevel movement is underway that is designed to solidify feminism as a international authority in the world. Electing a feminist president is a part of that plan. Although the truth is we already have the first feminist president in office now.

      They may not be actually trying to plan and push for it but it’s for damn sure on their wish list (mostly like because they have it in their minds that a feminist president is the only way to get things fixed).

      …and feminists interests took center stage in the election, trumping everything else.This was a major demonstration of power and intent…
      While simultaneously saying they have no influence…

  7. Danny…Do you actually believe the chronic denial of the impact of violence committed by women is accidental…STILL? Damn,no wonder this car remains stalled on the side of the road.

    • Oh make no mistake when I said ‘You’re more patient than I am because at this point I’m almost convinced that people aren’t “misunderstanding the problem” anymore. They are actively twisting the problems around to fit their own predrawn conclusions.’ I meant that on a personal, one on one level.

      Meaning that I’m sure there are individual people that may not recognize how damaging it is. I’m still still willing to give them bit of benefit of doubt.

      But large organizations that supposedly exist for the sake of helping all victims? Hell no they know better by now. At this point if the organizations like UN or Amnesty International were to suddenly pick up on male victims and try to play it off like it’s a new thing (like how people think men didn’t start having body image issues until about 10 years ago) I’d be pretty pissed.

      • How many men a week die at the hands of a female partner please? Thanks.

        • I’ll give you an answer to that question as soon as you tell me your purpose in asking it.

          • I am interested to know whether it is greater or fewer than 2 a week in the UK.

            I am interested because it’s quite important, don’t you think? You’re talking about how serious violence against men is – and I’d like to learn more about how many people die of it.

            • Just wanted to make sure you weren’t baiting me into a “but women have it worse” ploy.

              Now as to your question I don’t know the numbers. But even without exact numbers it is clear that female against male violence is happening.

              However I do notice that you mention killing when I and ogwriter were only talking violence (killing is a form of violence but not all violence is killing).

            • ht tp://www.ncdv.org.uk/maleDVweek.html According to this website it’s 1 every 3 weeks, not sure how many of those are female perpetrator.

              http://www.aic.gov.au/documents/9/C/B/%7B9CBFDFE5-F9B2-4FEB-A14A-3166810B564F%7Dtandi255.pdf
              In the AIC paper, 20% of the perpetrators were women.

              Finding the data is tricky though since most tend to focus on women.

  8. I don’t understand how focusing on all the things men do right ends violence against women. Men – and women for that matter – *should* do what”s right. That’s just bog standard human decency. We can show appreciation and gratitude to both men and women in our daily lives, but shifting our focus from the pandemic of male violence on this planet and focusing solely on all the good men do, handing out cookies for what is basic human decency? How is that going to solve male violence?

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Violence isn’t going to be “solved.” We won’t ever see an end to violence; all we can ever hope for is a reduction in violence.

      If you see the problem as solely violence by men against women then you’re misunderstanding the problem. If you think pre-judging men as violent, and treating them as such, is going to help things, you’re misunderstanding the problem. If you think only focusing on the negative is going to lead to positive change, you misunderstand the problem. If you don’t understand about male alienation, then you’ll continue to misunderstand the problem. If you think calling out men without also addressing women is going to solve violence, you misunderstand the problem.

      “Come and see the violence inherent in the system.” – Dennis, bloody peasant

      • It’s not a matter of prejudging. We are talking about violence by men against women, so we are talking about how to tackle the specific individuals who perpetrate it.

        When you say “without addressing women”, in what ways do we need to “address” women in order to stop violence against women?

        • Actually up to 50% of DV is reciprocal last I checked, and the women who hit their partner FIRST were more likely to be injured more. Basically a lot of violence starts with a woman hitting a man, he hits back, his hits are stronger (though women do a lot of damage too, especially with weapons). So one of hte BEST things we could do to reduce violence against women is tell women NOT TO HIT MEN to avoid provoking a retaliation. If all women stopped hitting men, it would drastically reduce violence against women. Note, the other 50% or so wasn’t reciprocal, this isn’t to say all women are to blame since pretty much half, or more didn’t hit first. Of those who did hit first it doesn’t excuse the retaliation strike unless that was self-defense, in the reciprocal cases both partners are victim AND perpetrator.

          Good luck at ever seeing this on a campaign poster even though it’s one of the best ideas out there, the rule of nature dictates if you throw a punch you better prepare to receive one and hitting your partner increases your risk of being hit back dramatically, it’s pretty much instinct for someone to protect themselves but often a scuffle breaks out which very very quickly can escalate. A single punch can kill, if he or she hits the jawbone right it can knock someone out, they fall back, hit their head n die. I’ve been slapped n punched by women before for no decent reason, I wasn’t threatening them, I wasn’t harming them, I laughed over a joke that wasn’t about her OR women and copped a punch by one woman. Luckily I can control my temper, but do that to another person and they may not. Hell if a guy did that to another guy chances are they’d be hit back hard. Most perpetrators of violence were probably victims at one stage and reciprocal fighting in a relationship happens quite a lot, why am I yet to see this on an ad campaign?

          Everyone needs to be taught to stop hitting, stop abusing, all genders, all ages, all races.


    • …but shifting our focus from the pandemic of male violence on this planet and focusing solely on all the good men do, handing out cookies for what is basic human decency? How is that going to solve male violence?

      Who said anything about focusing solely on all the good?

      Cookies? You know that whole “asking for cookies” thing does happen sometimes but it’s becomes such a cliche now that I’m seeing more people trying to dangle cookies over people’s heads in hopes they will reach for them (so they can then launch into preprogrammed “calls outs” about people asking for cookies) then I see people actually looking for cookies. The people that are cookie baiting need to get over themselves.

      As Nick says the it probably won’t be solved, but it can be reduced.

      But the way it can be reduced is being actually looking at the ENTIRE PICTURE of violence. Sure it looks nice to claim that the entire picture of violence is “its something that men do to women” but we know full well that that is not the case. Yeah you can argue about how “most violence is male against female” but there’s two things about that.

      1. Unless you can prove that 100% of violence is male against female you are already missing part of the picture. At the very least you are missing female against male violence and pretty must most if not all violence among LGBT couples.

      2. Even in the subset of violence that is male agaist female there’s going to be more to what’s going on behind that violence than the latest theory on patriarchal violence that basically says, “he did it because he wants to control her”.

      @Nick: You’re more patient than I am because at this point I’m almost convinced that people aren’t “misunderstanding the problem” anymore. They are actively twisting the problems around to fit their own predrawn conclusions.

      • “Even in the subset of violence that is male agaist female there’s going to be more to what’s going on behind that violence than the latest theory on patriarchal violence that basically says, “he did it because he wants to control her”.”

        Can you expand on this? Why else would someone bully, abuse, or beat their partner, besides control? Thanks.

        • I’m talking the difference between bullying someone because they want control over their relationship and bullying someone solely because they are a woman. In the former that person is going to bully and abuse no matter what gender identification their partner goes by.

          Let me ask it this way.

          When a woman is abusive to her man do we go on about how she wants to control men? Not just a generic want to control the life of her partner but actually say that she does it because she wants to control men?

          • When anyone bullies and abuses anyone it’s to control them.

            • But why are they controlling them? Is it because they belong to specific group? Is it because their victim simply exists within the abuser’s life, etc….

            • “When anyone bullies and abuses anyone it’s to control them.”
              Reciprocal fighting differs here where both are trying to control each other, both abusive to each other. Far different to the line of thought of the patriarchal man of the house controlling his wife for instance.

              • ogwriter says:

                Archy…The point I am trying to make Archy is that from the perspective of the other as it relates to dominant culture, whites are making some choices about how they approach bridging the racial divide that are hidden from view.
                These choices hide behind the mantel of fear of the black person, which instinctively many white people relate to instantly.
                You say that you are afraid of being called a racist. Why? What could possibly happen to you on an online chat venue? You can’t be sued, so whats up? Aren’t you equally afraid of being called sexist or anti woman or any of other creative descriptions feminism has used to shut up men? If so, and it seems so judging by your responses to posts, you plow ahead anyway speaking your mind.

                • Probably more confident speaking on gender issues, racial issues are still quite a mystery to me and I prefer to shutup n listen there whereas with gender I actually know quite a lot more, regularly talk about gender with both males n females. I guess I also see it as blacks being the minority so I feel I should let THEM speak more? Being called a racist would be annoying but it’s more that I don’t want to speak wrongly and end up pushing someone out because of it especially if I don’t know much about their issues.

    • Adam Blanch says:

      It wont. Nor will seeing everything men do as wrong, we’ve been giving women a free pass on their violence for 30 years and it hasn’t reduced it, it’s increased it. Violence is committed by people, and their violence has to be addresssed, but it is not committed by all people nor is it committed by a single gender. If you want to reduce violence (as opposed to just jumping up and down about it and projecting it onto the opposite sex) you need to understand what it is and what causes it, and that isn’t gender.

  9. Look, don’t get me wrong,it is a good thing that Sarah realizes that all men aren’t baseless animals,it really is. But if someone else, let’s say a recent immigrant, said to you that ,”You know I used to hate all Americans because of what one American did to me,” would you be so empathic and sensitive to them? The obvious downside to what Saran admitted is that it reveals just how desperate men have become for affirmation. It is such a low bar.

    • I think you’ve got to understand the context of patriarchy here, ogwriter. Imagine being constantly taught that all men are threats– that we need to be careful not to be assaulted, be careful not to be raped, that we need to look attractive because men have “power” inherently are our sexuality is our “power”, but if we look “too sexy” we’re asking to get hurt and we’re called bad names… Imagine constantly having to look behind you when walking, carrying pepper spray and keeping your keys between your knuckles, having to fear being stalked if you’re “too nice” to the wrong guy just once… imagine realizing that you will get paid less for the same job, that your gender predominately serves as decoration if the world runs according the media, imagine not being as strong as most of the people around you and having to be on guard… feeling a resentment towards men is a natural reaction towards trauma. Far more reasonable than Americans feeling anger at all Muslims and middle easterners after the actions of a handful of people on 9/11, and millions of Americans did just that.

      • You really think men don’t also feel they aren’t strong enough to deal with an unprovoked attack? (Most men aren’t.) That they don’t have to wolverine their keys into their fist for reassurance while walking home? I’ve done that more times than I’d care to mention. There was an article on GMP recently to that effect (specifically about the habit of improvising your keys into a weapon). Perhaps you should read it.

        Funny thing is, we’re able to deal with it without managing to demonise an entire gender or come up with some silly concept like “rape culture”. In fact, if we showed the same kind of resentment that feminists showed towards men, I suspect another double standard would rear it’s ugly head.

        So please – don’t lecture us about this stuff. We’re far more aware of it than you could ever realise.

        • OirishM

          Of course many are not aware of what men go through. The fact that a man is more likely to suffer random physical violence is lost on most females. Also, rape is a more visceral type of violence, so it seems to command more of the attention or compassion. Getting your skull bashed in with a beer mug or metal bar could definately hurt or possibly kill you but it isnt as bad as getting raped, right? I think the number one cause of death for young black men in America is murder but it sure doesnt seem to get the same attention that rape of white women gets. Im with you in that I am FAR more aware of the possibility of random violence. Unfortunately intimately aware.

          • I walk around wolverine style, especially at night. I don’t think many people really understand that the majority of random physical attacks in public are against men.

          • It’s not a matter of men versus women but since you’re framing it that way – who is doing the murdering and bashing in of men’s skulls, mostly? Women? Or men?

            You don’t think someone getting their skull bashed in would get sympathy? Really?

            I have never heard of people being blamed for what they wore or what they drank or how they acted for getting their skull bashed in with a beer mug or metal pole. Or of police being told to discourage people from reporting those assaults. Can you explain when this happens, with links, thanks.

            Oh, and – obviously – brutal violent attacks (besides rape) happen to women too. What do you think the two women a week dying of domestic violence are dying of?

            • Adam Blanch says:

              If you do your research, rather than relying on feminist propaganda sites, you will discover that over 30% of the victims of domestic homicide are men, at the hands of women. You would also discover that men are the victims of domestic violence 50% of the time – its just that men don’t report it for fear of being (1) arrested (2) laughed at (3) ignored.

              Women are also violent, to men and to each other. And if you find yourself having to report violence against you, or seeking protection against violence, you will find that it is mostly men who come to your aid. The feminist ‘women good, men bad’ polemic that you are subscribing to is sexist, self serving and false. Human beings all have the capacity for violence. Some do it physically, some do it psychologically and some get on internet sites and perpetrate social violence by villifying entire groups of people.

              • Yes I am perfectly aware of that thanks for your condescending and completely random assumption.

                So 70% are not men at the hands of women, yes?

                Yes, women are violent too. Who says they’re not?

                Who says “women good, men bad” please? If YOU do some research I think you’ll find that this is not a feminist view at all. Please quote with links all these representative feminists says women are good and men are bad. Thanks.

                If you think challenging domestic violence when it happens and criticising those who do it is vilifying all men then that says a lot about you, but people aren’t going to stop standing up for victims of violence – of all genders – just because you’re too uniformed and/or stupid to understand what people are actually doing, and why. Sorry but the victims of violence are more important than your delusions I’m afraid.

                • You do not represent all feminists. I have clearly heard from some feminists “All men are rapists” “All PIV sex is rape” “Men start ALL the wars”, etc. Why is your version of feminism correct and theirs isn’t?

                  “I have never heard of people being blamed for what they wore or what they drank or how they acted for getting their skull bashed in with a beer mug or metal pole.”
                  I’ve heard men be told they were idiots for walking alone at night, heard they were idiots for getting drunk near a woman and being raped by that woman. Victim blaming affects BOTH genders. Men who have called up a domestic abuse hotline because their wife/gf abused them have been TOLD by the hotline that THEY, the MAN was the abusive one and given the information for perpetrators and NOT victims.

                • Feminists may not explicitly espouse such views, but they insist on challenging traditional ways of valuing men while refusing to allow men to challenge traditional ways of valuing women. It is really better to be obedient to the law? More men are criminals. If you value the first, and believe the second, what does that mean? Men are not allowed to ‘make up’ for any of the ways in which they are clearly doing more damage to the world on the feminist scorecard. Actually saying, yes, men are more often criminals, but *also more often heroic* is considered sexist by most women I know. It leaves pro-feminist men in a trap where they can only feel men are worse.

        • NotQuiteRight says:

          Also, I meant to say “wear.”

        • Can I ask how much have you engaged with the topic of rape culture?

          I used to think it sounded crazy but the more I learned, the more I changed my mind.

          I’m not wild about the terminology personally, but what it refers to, I absolutely recognise. And we DO need to be able to talk about it.

      • well I don’t blame you for feeling that, but don’t blame me ( or us, men ) either for not feeling bad because of your fear of men. If a woman run away after seeing me and she think I’m a rapist, why would I feel bad? Its her problem, not me. Let her run. I know I’m not a rapist so I don’t care.

        So you women can fear men anywhere anytime you want, thinking all of us are rapist and mindless simple minded creatures, because I DON’T CARE. I’m happy with my life and with ONE woman I love, and she love me and she doesn’t think I’m a rapist, because I’m not. So I don’t care , sorry.

        No offense.

  10. First, Sarah…thank you for sharing. You not only made some excellent points. You touched on some very important issues between the lines as it were. Women who have been hurt by men and then turn angry. Who walk with suspicion of every man. Become abusers of innocent people. So many times in my life, I have been victimized by a woman remembering the ghost of another man in her memory that was not me. In doing so, you do nothing but further the damage done to you and spread it to others. I am a human being, not a born criminal because of gender. Thank you for finding your way to that idea and sharing it. It is greatly appreciated.

  11. wellokaythen says:

    No reason you can’t be BOTH an angry feminist AND love men. They are not inherently mutually exclusive. Perhaps rare in practice, but not impossible.

    • Exactly. my husband and I are angry feminists and I ADORE men, and hate seeing them hurt by patriarchal notions about how men are supposed to be. I love my kind gentle father, my flamboyantly gay (and smarter than anyone else in the world) younger brother, my gentle youngest brother who stood up to a boy who was trying to kiss a girl without her consent but worries that girls won’t like him because he’s not big and macho, my beautiful androgynous sweet as sugar and tough as nails husband. I love all these men and more.

  12. Now that you love men, do you now love your attackers? Or do you still have the same hatred for them, and the act they committed? Are you OK with it happening to someone else? Does the thought that there are women to whom the exact same thing happened to, make you happy now?

    Bad news hun, just because you love men now, doesn’t mean you get to ignore the problem. You’re husband is a better example of a feminist than you: Working toward protecting women, and ending a culture that focuses on “getting over it” and ignores the real problem. That is feminism.

    It’s good to heal, but being in need of healing didn’t make you a feminist; supporting other women who need help will.

    • Mike Russo says:

      Wow, PJ, that’s unnecessarily asinine. But yes, to answer your question, she probably does have to forgive those who hurt her eventually, because that’s a pain only she may/may not be carrying around. It’s called allowing ourselves to move on and experience the rest of life. You can’t expect the universe to always settle scores. And what would be settling scores? To have those men raped? The grandfather is probably dead or close to it. Did you forget:

      “Forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

      I’m a fervent atheist, and even I can see the wisdom in that.

      And who died and left you to inherit what words mean to everyone else? Back off. This article is really great, and I’m sure she uses her healthier frame of mind, full of love and not pain and hate, to bring positivist attitude to everyone she knows and loves.

      • Fair. I think it’s important that we have a common definition of feminist, so that we are all discussing the same topic. This is Merriam Websters definition:
        1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
        2. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

        Is your definition different? What does “feminist” mean to you personally? Would you add anything, or take anything away from this definition? How does it compare to the definition used in a majority of popular media? How does it compare to the definition used by the author? Personally I would add safty
        I didn’t say anything about settling a score, or revenge, or getting back at anyone but I can understand how my word’s could be interpreted as me being angry at her attackers

        Also, your use of the quote from a prayer is interesting. As I am not one who has studied the bible, I am not sure of the meaning of this, can you clarify it?

        The title of the article says she stopped being a feminist: So she stopped “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests” and “political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” Why? How does this affect men who are feminist? Even the earliest feminist movement included such men, who do not have a prominent enough place in the popular history of feminism.

        I can admit that in my shock over this article I took an accusatory tone in my comment, but please, let me assure you that my goal is certainly not to demonize this woman in any way, or to downplay the wonderful healing experience she had. I just think that she have misinterpreted what she was doing as being a feminist. She could still BE a feminist, by helping to council others that have been hurt like her, or otherwise doing something that benefits women. Feminism is not about hurting, or fighting, or anger, or hate, it’s about helping. It’s about caring for women that need help. It’s about bringing about understanding. I think my main point is that we need to stop associating “men hating” with feminism. It is counterproductive to a movement that in its present form, seeks to bring about change that can allow women to live there lives, in whatever way they choose, safely and happily by educating men AND women.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          I dont know, this is the second article in a relative short time of a person who turned away from feminism because negatives on the opposite gender and themselves (cant find the link of the other article). Both of them have their own reasons for doing such, but both of them in the end became wiser and outgrow their issues. In both cases feminism had a ambivalent role in their lifes and that means also a negative one.

          “1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
          2. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests”

          I agree on the second one.

          • Yeah, I haven’t fully formed my personal ideas on the first one. I was only going to include the second one only, but didn’t want to leave out part of the definition given, for fear of appearing to alter the information to fit my own point.

            I like a nice, clean debate, with honesty, and constructive points! (ノ^⌣^)ノ*:・゚✧ *:・゚✧*:・゚

            So, following that definition, do you think that, given the limited interpretation of what the author considered to be feminist, that she fits the definition?

        • Nick, mostly says:

          The title of the article is most often chosen by the editors, not the author.

          Plus, the title says she stopped being an “angry feminist,” not a “feminist.” From reading the article, I take that to mean she stopped seeing men in general as negative and started recognizing that there are a number of men who have played and continue to play a positive role in her life.


        • The title of the article says she stopped being a feminist: So she stopped “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests” and “political, economic, and social equality of the sexes”

          I think you’re the one that’s adding to the definition. It didn’t say that she stopped doing those things.

          I believe what is going on here is something I see pretty often. A bit of a shell game (where the person that’s moving the shells gets to move them around again after they have stopped and person playing has picked where they think it is).

          You quoted the definition as:
          1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
          2. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

          Now let me ask. How would the active denial of male abuse/rape victims fit into this? How would the active denial of abusive women fit into this? How would supporting measures that hurt men (or any group of people for that matter) fit into this? How would attacking people who try do these things outside of the realm of feminism fit into this?

          I ask these questions because these are all behaviors that are performed by feminists.

          Well the thing is these behaviors are performed by feminists that also do things that actually support the two definitions you quoted. What I think is happening is that there is a shifting of the shells where when a feminist does something bad all of a sudden that person is no longer a feminist, they are a rogue agent that “self identifies” as a feminis. On the other hand if a feminist does something good they don’t “self identify” as feminist, no they are full on feminist.


          Feminism is not about hurting, or fighting, or anger, or hate, it’s about helping. It’s about caring for women that need help. It’s about bringing about understanding. I think my main point is that we need to stop associating “men hating” with feminism.

          However there is hurt, fighting, anger, and hate coming from feminism in addition to the help, care, and understanding. Funny enough there’s another post here where someone recently commented that trying to focus on only the good that men do won’t solve any problems. But at the same time we are suposed to think pretending that feminism is all good will solve problems?

          The associating of “man hating” with feminism will stop when the elements among them stop doing it (or those elements are removed). Now of course this doesn’t mean that all such attempts at associations are valid, but it surely doesn’t mean that none of them are valid.

  13. Mr Supertypo says:

    Thanks for the article Sarah, nice one 🙂

  14. James Carthew says:

    “my friend crying because she was used for sex but wants something more” frankly I’ve seen women do this to men as much as men do it to women, and it has more to do with the bad judgement of the people getting into bed than it does the man trying to use the woman. Both genders are capable of forming strong emotional attachment due to sex and yeah it feels pretty crappy to be used. But that’s not a thing exclusive to women. When a guy has a new girl every week chances are he’s not going to stick around. When a girl has a new guy every week, chances are she’s not going to stick around. Getting involved with someone like that is something you bring on yourself.

  15. This started out as a feel good story of men supported women, and turned into world war 3. This whole feminism thing is an outdated white middle class uni students concept. I’m of West Indian parentage, and the strongest person I know is my mother. She worked, fought, and sacrificed, but she did not fight behind the shield of feminism, she was a mother, the strongest beings on the planet.

    Black people have been under paid, over worked and abused for many years now, but there are black doctor, lawyers, CEO and of course a Black President now, so we can’t drag the black card any more, and I suggest the whole feminist thing is as equally an old chesnut that needs to be put to bed. There are female doctors, there are female lawyers, female CEO’s, and Maggie Thatcher was one of the most powerful heads of state at her time of office, and Hilary Clinton is not doing too bad either.

    I was brought up to respect women, by a woman, a mother. My boss is woman and a mother big deal, she’s good at her job and deserves it, so let’s get back on track and celebrate the men and women working together to make this world a better place, and stamp out the bigots in this world.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      Silverfox, I very much agree with your sentiments, especially the last paragraph there.
      What’s the chartroom equivalent of ‘standing ovation’?

  16. I am so glad that you are no longer experiencing that constant anger towards all men anymore.

    Sarah, I wish you nothing but happiness in your new found freedom.

    Thanks for sharing.

  17. What a beautiful article. Thank you, Sarah, for saying what men are really about. Acknowledgements like yours are few and far between but go a long way to heal the wounds we men have suffered by our vilification. We are indeed caring and loving and nurturing. I thank your brother, your husband and your college friend for being there when you needed them and for your recognition or their caring and their love.

  18. This was an excellent article, and a perfect place for it. I like this site just for this reason, there are too few places that exemplify all of the good qualities that men have.
    It’s wonderful that you have great men in your life, and your article is definitely encouraging for those who may not have experienced such support.

  19. Hi 5 Sarah to your Enliven project, especially to see 1 in 4 women AND 1 in 6 men stat being put in, often many campaigns to end sexual violence ignore males so it’s heartwarming to see them talked about.

  20. My favorite part, “My husband taught me that love can be a constant fuel. He taught me that you can get angry, have conflict, resolve it, and love each other throughout. He taught me to love myself, and care for myself. He takes care of me despite my fierce independence.”

    Sounds like a good man, with a lot of love to give. I’m glad you let him into your heart..

  21. I love this. Thank you, Sarah, for your stand for men, particularly since you’re a woman who’d be justifiably angry and spiteful towards all men for the rest of your life (and get lots of support for your position!), and that you’re not doing that, is SUCH a gift to everyone. Men everywhere – EVERYWHERE – are devastated because women they care about have been, or are being, abused by men. These men, if they could do it and get away with it, would straighten out in these bad men in a back alley somewhere. It would help them deal with their own pain, anger and frustration at not protecting the women they care(d) about. Men are good. Men care. Men want us (women) to be (at the very least) safe. And they really want us to be happy. They’ll go to great lengths to provide that for us. I’m so grateful for your nod toward good men here. Thank you.

    • “particularly since you’re a woman who’d be justifiably angry and spiteful towards all men for the rest of your life”

      What extent of abuse would a man have to face at the hands of a woman to be angry and spiteful towards all women for the rest of his life? How much mistreatment would you accept from such a man?

      • Mike Russo says:

        That’s not even the point Drew. Kate has stopped making sense before she started. If I open a bottle of water and it tastes weird, should I assume all bottled water is bad? Of course not.

        Sometimes, you are your only roadblock. And I should know that better than anyone. I spent over 10 years of my life punishing myself for something I did, something bad, to someone I loved, before I even knew that what I did was bad. But Kate has every right to be angry, I guess. It is a free country, after all. I don’t agree with you, but I defend your right to say what you will.

        Also a bump to:

        “The problem with some men and women is that they’re unabashedly sexist – they pre-judge people because of their gender presentation. Your words appear to land you squarely in that camp.”

        And a HUGE bump to:

        “As Sarah pointed out, feminist contributed to how she viewed men and in general, to put it bluntly, screwed her over in so far as how she was to view men. Kate, as a rabid feminist, you did it again to her.”

        I thought feminism was a collective conscious line of thought distilled from discussions numerous groups of women in order to bring their concerns more to the conversations of culture, and to not let anyone prevent them from being heard. Or maybe I misunderstood what was attempting to be accomplished by Seneca Falls. But what you did was tell her that her opinion was not right, and she should fall in line with the majority, which you claim to represent, like she was having some kind of “Impure thoughts.” (Thank you Grover Norquist for this little beauty.)

        • Perhaps, perhaps not.

          If you kept on opening up bottles of water and some were fine but many were not, I doubt that even you would continue to buy the same brand. And that is the point. In history, as in now, TOO many bottles of water fail to make the cut and are unpleasant to the point that you start to assume that most, if not all, are no damn good.

          • Does the same logic apply for men, toward women? If you met a man who was “angry and resentful” toward you simply because you are a woman, would you consider him a misogynist jerk, or make allowances for his rudeness and hostility because he had been abused by other women?

            • No chances are under that circumstances said man would be told that he was taking the mistreatment he suffered at the hands of women too personally and needs to correct himself. On the other hand swap that and then you have a woman that is justifiably angry at the men who have oppressed her all her life.

              (Think I’m playing? Look at how sympathetic people got over the case of Aileen Wuornos. Has there ever been such a case where a man that went on a killing spree was offered such sympathy and compassion because of a hard upgringing? Or at least a male that because such a high profile case?)

          • Mike Russo says:

            I fail to see how most of Kate’s examples give “reasons” for Misandry. So what if someone makes a sexual comment about a person in a magazine? Those models are used to sell sex appeal. That comes with the territory. Both men and women are subject to that. Haven’t you bothered to see David Beckham all over underwear ads for H&M, or did you conveniently ignore that? I’m not looking at that advert for very long, so he’s being hypersexualized for straight women, and possibly gay men. If Megan Fox models women’s underwear, how is her plight somehow more arduous than Beckham’s? Not to mention they are paid to do so. Yes, it’s a trade-off, but still they chose that life.

            I have quite a few female friends who would be interested in being “slammed against a park bench.” They are turned on by voyeurism. That’s just a sexual preference. That’s not a judgement on them, it’s just what they like, like my favorite color being blue. I still love them as friends. I suggest you examine kink.com. That’s a feminist porn site, and one of their URLs is Public Disgrace. That’s from a feminist website. I kid you not. People’s kinks should not reflect on their personality toward you unless it involves you.

            Aww, your friend screwed someone and he left. Happens to all of us, and relationships involve risk. Sorry, no sympathy. Given some of the things I’ve seen, there are much worse things that can happen. Tell her to have a warm glass of milk, listen to Taylor Swift, and try 9pm bedtimes. Best of luck.

        • Mike Russo, I presume you comment ““I thought feminism was a collective conscious line of thought distilled from discussions numerous groups of women in order to bring their concerns more to the conversations of culture, and to not let anyone prevent them from being heard” was toward Kate? Isn’t that what Kate did to Sarah and all the others that supported her view?

        • Kate and Mike…So then because I am a black person I have the right to be angry at all white people for the rest of my life, not even close!? The point should be that no one no matter how egregiously one feels they have been hurt has the right to say or act like the world revolves around them; it is only your hurt and it is no more or less important than anyone else’s who has ever tried to live on this planet..What kind of ego believes that they are so important that their hurt is so special that they can pass judgement on another person(s) for all time?

      • Drew:
        I think its easier for women to dislike men than the other reason. Men are more forgiving I think.

    • Some of us abused before we knew what that meant, and have spent the last 11 years of our lives feeling like monsters. I tried to kill myself 3 times. I dated women who treated me like garbage because I thought I deserved to be treated like garbage. Am I just someone to condemn? I don’t want to hurt anyone any more, but if I am irredeemable as you say, what is my incentive to love , and not hurt, again?

      • Not sure I understand what you’re saying. I don’t think I’m equipped to respond to that either. Except to say, don’t kill yourself, don’t hurt anyone else and keep it together.

    • “Thank you, Sarah, for your stand for men, particularly since you’re a woman who’d be justifiably angry and spiteful towards all men for the rest of your life (and get lots of support for your position!), and that you’re not doing that, is SUCH a gift to everyone.”
      No, it’s not justifiable to be misandrist. If you do that and men harmed by women do the same you just get this stupid cycle of misandry n misogyny bouncing off each other. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

      • It’s not justifiable to be MISANDRIST..,

        It’s not justifiable to and by whom exactly? I’m feel very justified in my intense dislike of stereotypical male characteristics and behaviour.

        The day that I see a forum where men BERATE each other for their intense misogyny is the day I my dislike starts to lessen. Misogynists are often applauded in group comments. But, a woman just mentions even slight disapproval of men and she’s hounded. Now I’m not saying mine is slight disapproval – it’s full on. But I’ve seen it.

        • PatRiarchy says:

          I’m feel very justified in my intense dislike of stereotypical female characteristics and behaviour.

          The day that I see a forum where women BERATE each other for their intense misandrism is the day I my dislike starts to lessen. Misandrists are often applauded in group comments. But, a man just mentions even slight disapproval of women and he’s hounded. Now I’m not saying mine is slight disapproval – it’s full on. But I’ve seen it.

        • I’ve seen men berate others for misogyny but usually misogynists won’t berate each other for it, why would they? I’ve seen far less women berate others for misandry however.

          You can hate stereotypical male characteristics if you want, just don’t hate ALL men for it. I hate SOME of the stereotypical male characteristics, and same for females, but I do like some of them yet think they shouldn’t be limited to a gender.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      Karen Jones,

      What I really liked about your post -whether or not one sees the world & the men in it as positively as you do, or no- was that it was aspirational: When you give people the benefit of the doubt (within reason and wisdom, of course), when you set good, positive (even lofty) expectations for people, they’re more likely to want and to try to live up to them. I want to be a better person when people treat me that way. Thanks.  

      Alternatively, when someone just roles out a laundry list of ways ‘this stereotype group’ (in Kate’s case ‘men’) has failed it’s discouraging; as an individual it’s dismissive of one’s ongoing attempts to improve that haven’t yet been completed, or worse, it ignores one’s individual attempts to improve that have succeeded. 

      Agree or disagree with Kate’s worldview, there is nothing to aspire to there- just cold contempt and vitriol; rationalized and quantified. I am largely dismissive of ideologies because they often generate as much demagoguery as they do real clarity. Ideologies (most any of them) love to think that theirs is the ONLY proper path to truth, justice, righteousness, equality and freedom- but, strangely, there is never any joy there in that smug knowledge – just a lot of anger and finger-pointing on why all the other heretics are holding everything back. Never any introspection about how the underpinnings of the ideology itself might be inaccurate… But when you give people something positive to aspire to, just watch them go! In short, I think you’re a better advocate for the type of world and the just principles that Kate really wants than Kate is. Cheers.      

      • Oh my god. Boring! Talk about a lot of hot air and NO substance. I’m sorry. I just think 3 lines would have sufficed from you. ‘I agree with the writer’ ‘I disagree with Kate’ ‘I wish the world was a better place’

        I’m a MISANDRIST – that is the way I feel. And I have my reasons. I came on here to express that, have an argument or two, a discussion. You don’t have to agree with me. You have the right to be offended. But I’m just one person and an anonymous one at that. I hate men. So what?

        • You came to a masculist site, as a misandrist, specifically to express that you hate men, and to have “an argument or two”.

          And now you’re acting like an ass because the men here are actually arguing with you?

          I have an idea. Go away. Go be an angry feminist somewhere else.

        • “Oh my god. Boring! Talk about a lot of hot air and NO substance……” was Kates response to Mostly_123. Looks like a personal attack to me ….

        • Martin Nash says:

          I agree with Tom here – please ban this troll, her presence is not conducive to anything. GMP is wonderful in it’s position of allowing both men and women to dicsuss gender/social politics, but she has clearly admitted to coming here only to troll, why continue to allow a voice?

        • “I’m a MISANDRIST – that is the way I feel. And I have my reasons”

          Great- but you’re one of most ineffective and least persuasive advocates for your viewpoint that I’ve come across. Never be a martyr to your own cause. That’s boring too.

          (Or, perhaps, are you just an anti-feminist troll trying to discredit feminism by playing the feminist straw-man? I wonder…) The end.

          • wellokaythen says:

            I suspected the same thing, that this is an anti-feminist caricature, but it’s probably just what happens to most forms of sincere extremism, it turns into a parody of itself.

  22. Thank you for this courageous and important article. Rape hurts everyone: http://bit.ly/USE1Jt

    • “we have to stop talking about all the things men do wrong, and start talking about all the things that men do right.”

      this is a rediculously simplified solution to the problem. although i could agree, that we do need to applaud men more on what they do right, especially if they are doing things right, but we dont need to forget or “stop talking” about their wrongs. in fact, i would argue the opposite, we barely talk about them at all. maybe a lot of feminists are having these conversations at home with their partners, society is not having this conversation at all. and until we do, i suggest we not advertise to “stop talking” about it, before we have even started.

      • Every day in the media is talk of what men do wrong. Perhaps if the mainstream media did the same thing to women every day you would change your tune.

        • Are you serious? Mainstream media is as sexist as it gets. The issue is that it has become so ingrained into our world view, we don’t notice it.

          Little things like blonde, svelte under 30 TV presenters next to balding old males. Makeover shows – for women. Wife-swap NOT husband swap. Outcries by male film critics when Lena Durham (an average overweight actress) is seen dating a hot man. Game show clone models. Page 3 models. The limited roles for women in film – sexy being the first & foremost role they need to fulfil. Could go on but the majority of people don’t live in a bubble so would now it is.

          • Clearly your hatred of men is showing because all you can see is what you want to see. I’m not going to bother giving a whole lot of counterpoints to your examples, I’m just going to give one: the ladies on “The Talk” laughing about a man that had his penis cut off and thrown in a garbage disposal by his wife because she was “suspicious”. That they could do that and get away with a half assed apology speaks volumes.
            Now ask yourself, what would the response have been if the situation had been reversed and a group of men were laughing and joking on tv about a woman having her breast cut off by a suspicious partner.

        • Pete, the media is damn sexist against everyone.
          I agree that we need to spend MORE time talking about the good a gender does otherwise it simply leads others to believe that gender is far more negative than the reality.

  23. Thank you, Sarah, for writing this heartfelt essay… Yes, it is cathartic to get angry and be vocal about past or present offenses ( it seems like everyday there is some new person trying to do something totally sh-tty)…

    Anyway, what gets me through the days now are (1) my therapist who I give a hug to every time I see her in my doctor’s office, (2) my reformed hubby (who is making an effort not to be so self- involved and oblivious to me and the family… His ex- drinking buddy be damned!), (3) my karate Sensei ( who is maturing and struggling with newborn twins…it is always good to have a uber- masculine guy to bounce stuff on), (4) my doctor ( who is such a kind mix of Luke Skywalker and Mozart), and (4) my friends in 3-D or on FB (sometimes far-flung friends have more insight and wise words than people you see everyday…go figure…)

  24. Mark and Tom, I couldn’t agree more. When we look for love, we find it everywhere. Talking about love requires us to find the values we share, which is the start of real dialogue on hard issues like sexual violence.

    I’m not ready to discount feminism just yet though. Just like there are all kinds of men, there are also all kinds of feminists.

    Thank you both for your thoughts and comments!

    • “Just like there are all kinds of men, there are also all kinds of feminists.”

      This 1,000,000 times.

      You’ve come a long way, sister.

      • This article’s comment pages are full of wild generalities used to justify largely no constructive message or point. I think this should be labeled a logical fallacy. Maybe it is and I’m not aware of it. And make sure we remember that men and feminists are not always separate groups. For some of us are feminists, and go through the effort to challenge ourselves to be better everyday.

        Mike

  25. Thanks for an elegant and simple truth, that we grow what we focus on in the world. While we MUST continue to oppose brutality in all its forms, we have an equal obligation to grow the positive stories in our lives. Your story of your husband’s love is a simple beautiful thing. The arguments about statistics, will never end. What we need more of is stories of why and how love redeems us all.

  26. Sarah …. Thank you for giving an example of who “men” are in reality. The male support system you have is that of many women who have been in your shoes.

    What you stated shows that feminism really missed a wonderful opportunity to bring men and women together. The men that hurt you are the men who hurt you and are not representative of men in general. Whereas in reality, the men that help people in your situation clearly outnumber the perpetrators and they truly represent the norm.

    • ‘feminism missed a wonderful opportunity to bring men and women together’

      What an odd concept. Blaming ‘feminism’ (the cool new social-ills scapegoat) for separating the sexes.

      Lets see, I’m pretty sure it isn’t feminists who insist on separate roles for men and women. What feminism did achieve was equality of opportunities for women. Up until recently men did what they pleased, often at the expense of women and it was women who had to pay for it. Sexual assaults, unwanted pregnancies, giving up aspirations – these are predominantly lumped onto women.

      Feminism ensured that; left with the baby while he goes off to sow his wild oats? We’ll ensure there’s social security nets in place; raped or sexually assaulted? HE will be prosecuted and the stigma of shame will slowly be removed; too young to be married off? Laws to protect the minimum marrying age and forced marriage; left to earn the bread and raise the family while he again goes off to sow his wild oats? (boys will be boys and all that) never mind, there are many well paying jobs for women now.

      So you see, it isn’t feminists who ‘separate’ the genders. It’s men’s actions and behaviours that turn us off. Frankly, articles like this that tarnish feminism as angry, lunatic & extremist are insulting to the great work done by feminists in bettering women’s lives. Writer, it may have been men that were there for you privately, but it was the ‘angry’ feminists who ensured you could not only prosecute your assaulters without impunity but also write a public article and get taken seriously.
      In years of old when the world belonged exclusively to these ‘beloved’ men of yours you would have either been shamed into silence or sent off to some god forsaken place to not bring shame on the family.

      I have never experienced sexual assault but I am a MISANDRIST. Small actions add up everyday for me. The guy on the train reading a Zoo article with a nude woman and discussing ‘smashing her ass on a park bench’. The guys spilling out of strip clubs laughing with their ugly entitled faces. The Muslim men in Australia marrying off their 15 yr old daughter in a gender segregated ceremony. Visiting friends and watching the exhausted wife do all the serving. Hearing a friend cry because she’s being used for sex but wants something more. The sexist howls from men that a woman has become PM. I really could go on. Sure men do some wonderful things but it is so overshadowed by their bastard nature, that its easily forgettable.

      • Nick, mostly says:

        Hey, chill with the hate already. The problem with some men and women is that they’re unabashedly sexist – they pre-judge people because of their gender presentation. Your words appear to land you squarely in that camp. Surely you’re not thinking this is the way to win hearts and minds for the cause of feminism.

        I have found in the few years I’ve been on this planet that assholery is equal opportunity. It respects no gender, no color, no religion – there are assholes of all stripes out there in the world. That includes some who self-describe as feminists.

        • Yes of course there are assholes in both genders. I don’t live in a bubble. However, if I’m being honest, it’s overwhelmingly selfish, selfs serving, egocentric male behaviour that I detest.

          • Nick, mostly says:

            It is no more possible to be both a feminist and a misandrist than it is to be a feminist and a misogynist. So why are you here? Why spill your poisonous bile for all to recoil from its stench? You’re not come here to be swayed by reasoned discourse, nor to find that diamond among the dung-heap. Is it simply to lash out in a place that is populated by those you profess to detest? Or have you been so wounded that you don’t know any other way to interact? Is it not better to light a candle than to curse the darkness?

            “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you” – F. Nietzsche

            • Martin Nash says:

              While I agree with you to a point, i cant quite work out how you believe that feminists cannot be misandrists. Feminism is a single sex movement aimed only at promoting the interests of women. It is there in the name.

              I am not implying that this is necessarily a bad thing, in fact it was essential in the early day of feminism, it is just not really valid anymore when we should be pushing for global equality not just upping the rights of one subgroup.

              • Nick, mostly says:

                There are the stated beliefs of feminism and then there is how some choose to practice those beliefs. If, at it’s core, feminism is about ridding the structural inequities of our patriarchal past and promoting gender equality, it’s not possible to simultaneously hate men and be supportive of gender equality.

                It’s entirely possible to call oneself a feminist and profess misandry, just as it is possible to call oneself a Christian and believe it right to oppress the poor. If terms are to mean anything, one should at least believe in the basic tenets of whatever value system you profess to hold.

                • “Feminism”

                  Femin ism
                  Fem in ism

                  from the french Feminisme,

                  Femin from the latin Femina meaning woman
                  ism from the Greke simos

                  There is NO Equality in the word feminism

                  egalitarianims and equlaism are related to equality

                  • Martin Nash says:

                    I like “egalitarianism”, was discussing this with a friend last night. Humanism seems to be the alternative that is expressed on most occasions, but doesn’t really get to the issue.

                    +1 for Egalitarianism.

                  • Mr Supertypo says:

                    I agree on that MK

                  • Nick, mostly says:

                    Don’t be obtuse. The consequence of your argument would be that only names that include the word “equal” or a synonym or root of the same can be used to describe a movement, which is absurd. One of the principle stated goals of feminism is gender equality. A particular self-described feminist may work counter to those goals (unwittingly or not) but if you don’t believe in that goal, you’ve got no business calling yourself a feminist. It would be just as well for me to call myself a Christian when I don’t believe in God and don’t believe Jesus was all that moral, let alone divine.

      • Kate, I have to give you credit for speaking your own mind. I read what you wrote a couple of times and I have to tell ya, it truly smacks of the feminism I have commonly experienced through the years. What will be interesting is to see the so called “forward thinking” feminists respond … that’s IF they do at all. Often times saying nothing says far more then saying something.

        In reference to “‘feminism missed a wonderful opportunity to bring men and women together” There have been opportunities in years past that men and women could find common ground and used it to everyone’s benefit. Rather then simply pointing fingers … but that’s not what happen and obviously by what you stated and how you stated it, it’s still not happening.

        As Sarah pointed out, feminist contributed to how she viewed men and in general, to put it bluntly, screwed her over in so far as how she was to view men. Kate, as a rabid feminist, you did it again to her. As a women, she stated her views and her experiences and because it didn’t fit into your feminist views, she was wrong.

        In one quick response Kate, you have managed to dispel any idea on my part, that feminism is interested in changing things and that the new feminist movement as it’s often times represented here at GMP, is no more then smoke and mirrors. I can only hope that the honest women who have made an effort to try to change things, continue to do so but not under the label of “Feminism.”

        I am not only going to not go into that camp but I am pulling up my tent and moving it further away. For this, I personally thank you for being you and who you are as a feminist.

        • It smack of the feminism you’ve experienced over the years. Lets be clear, feminism is about equal opportunity for women – equal pay, status, opportunity.

          You’re confusing feminism with MISANDRIST – of which I am both, but they’re not to be confused. MISANDRIST is the hatred of men. They’re mutually exclusive.

          As far as anything else you said, I tried but couldn’t understand it. Simple rumblings. One thing I did understand is that I expressed that Sarah is wrong. So? Is this a fascism – are we not allowed to disagree?

          • Hold on one second.

            “You’re confusing feminism with MISANDRIST – of which I am both, but they’re not to be confused. MISANDRIST is the hatred of men. They’re mutually exclusive.”

            You are two things…that are mutually exclusive?

      • I still find it amazing that whenever a woman stands up and speaks truth, people immediately attempt to shut her up using various aggressive tactics.I especially find it ironic that younger women seem to have no appreciation for what their elder sisters accomplished under great condemnation and physical and emotional danger.
        Let us remember that it is the outraged, disgusted, and courageous, who change our world for the better. I am so glad that you have a decent man. But let us not allow our own personal sentiments to project falsities and obstruct the reality of our world. The global fact is that women as well as most men, are still under the control of the alpha male prototype. Look at the escalating rape of nature. The rape of our resources (Mother Nature) might very well spell the doom of all species on Earth,
        including any future offspring you and your enlightened male, plan on conceiving.

        • A voice of reason. Interestingly, not an ounce of hot air.

          • I can’t help but feel that this entire post is saying that feminism must seek out equality for women without ever making men feel uncomfortable. Not only is that not a practical goal, but it makes men in general look thin-skinned and rather spineless. Yes, most individual men are probably not especially violent or oppressive, but most feminists also aren’t even saying that. The comments here still invoke male entitlement, i.e. the expectation that women will assert their rights on men’s terms. Maybe we men could try not taking it personally when a woman speaks of her experiences, and instead consider how we can help.

            • Yes, most individual men are probably not especially violent or oppressive, but most feminists also aren’t even saying that.
              It’s not that feminists try to make all men out to be violent or oppressive, even though that can happen. The problem is that the fact that most feminists try to basically tell men who or what they are as soon as they come to recognize that one is male.

              Even here someone is pointing out and talking about the hate in Kate’s responses and you call it “entitlement” and how men are demanding comfort.

              Maybe we men well stop taking things personally when feminists stop coming at us personally, trying to tell us who and what we are, and/or trying to tell us what our experiences are with nothing to go on than the fact we are male.

              • I’m not referring to anything Kate said. The gist of the original post is that women should stand up for their rights in a way that does not make men uncomfortable. The entire concept of the “angry feminist” is based on taking a few of the most strident voices and acting as though they speak for an entire movement.

                If it seems as though feminists are “tell[ing] men who or what they are,” that might be because men (and by that I actually mean male-centered society, of which you and I, Danny, are a part whether we like it or not) have been telling women what their role should be for millennia. If we have to endure a tiny bit of inconvenience in order to make things more equal in society, yes, we are inconvenienced, but let’s put it in perspective.

                What are the vast majority of feminists asking men to do? I’m talking about real, live, breathing feminists, not the caricatures presented in this post and the comments. I would post that they are asking men to give up privileges that were never rightfully ours to begin with. That list is long, and I’m happy to provide a few examples, but try to challenge yourself and consider what “feminism” is asking you to stop doing (stop telling sexist jokes comes to mind.) In return, women get to live as full members of society, ideally not being judged for their gender, etc. The fact is, most women have to live their lives constantly aware of male privilege, while men are really only just (in recent decades) being forced to acknowledge that, while our lives can be far from perfect, the mere fact of being male confers privileges on us. I have no idea what it would be like to live like that – all I can do is acknowledge that there is much I do not know and try to learn. Some men who are finally having to confront their own privilege (voluntary or involuntary) accept it and try to make things better, while others complain that now men are the ones being oppressed. To be blunt, it sounds whiny.

                • “The fact is, most women have to live their lives constantly aware of male privilege, while men are really only just (in recent decades) being forced to acknowledge that, while our lives can be far from perfect, the mere fact of being male confers privileges on us.”

                  Bumped

                  Please find “The Pathology of White Privilege” by Time Wise online. It’s an hour or so video of a speech in the mid 2000s about privilege in terms of racism. But a lot of what he says is also an allegory to gender privilege.

                • The entire concept of the “angry feminist” is based on taking a few of the most strident voices and acting as though they speak for an entire movement.
                  The reason they come off speaking for an entire movement is because most of the other voices either don’t say anything about them or in the worst case they will defend those angry voices.

                  If it seems as though feminists are “tell[ing] men who or what they are,” that might be because men (and by that I actually mean male-centered society, of which you and I, Danny, are a part whether we like it or not) have been telling women what their role should be for millennia. If we have to endure a tiny bit of inconvenience in order to make things more equal in society, yes, we are inconvenienced, but let’s put it in perspective.
                  No it doesn’t seem as though. It is. And there is a difference between being inconvenienced and being actually attacked and/or silenced.

                  What are the vast majority of feminists asking men to do? I’m talking about real, live, breathing feminists, not the caricatures presented in this post and the comments.
                  Caricatures? I find it interesting that when it comes to talking about feminists the ones that are positive are real and the negative ones become caricatures or “self identified” or whatever label to try to deny their existence. I like the fact that there are are those among feminists that will at least acknowledge that negative feminists exists and then go on to prove that they aren’t all like that or to say that it wouldn’t be right to try to say those negative ones don’t represent the whole. But just trying to deny their existence is just boring.

                  I would post that they are asking men to give up privileges that were never rightfully ours to begin with. That list is long, and I’m happy to provide a few examples, but try to challenge yourself and consider what “feminism” is asking you to stop doing (stop telling sexist jokes comes to mind.)
                  And I have no problem with getting rid of those privileges that should not have been in place to start with. And actually I do make those considerations and and I even follow them. I would just appreciate the same considerations in return.

                  Some men who are finally having to confront their own privilege (voluntary or involuntary) accept it and try to make things better, while others complain that now men are the ones being oppressed. To be blunt, it sounds whiny.
                  Again confronting privilege is a great thing that needs to happen. But confronting privilege doesn’t mean that one deserves to be mistreated. And if women pointing out mistreatment isn’t considered whining then again, why aren’t men given the same consideration?

                  I’m not trying to say that the “whining” you speak of never happens. However it seems that a lot of folks are awfully quick to strike down valid complaints as whining simply because of who they are coming from rather than on the merit of the complaint itself.

                  • Okay, so there are feminists out there who don’t just rip on men all the time, and who work towards equality without actively suppressing men (I think we can agree on that). How about we start by showing them support and respect, rather than demanding that the “other” types of feminists be nicer to us? To put it a slightly different way, exactly how are the “bad” feminists attacking or silencing men–i.e. how are men, en masse being harmed by this conduct? Individual cases of someone getting stuck with child support are not what I mean here (and that’s a whole other issue.) I’m referring more to the quote attributed to Margaret Atwood: “Novelist Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men feel threatened by women, he answered, ‘They are afraid women will laugh at them.’ When she asked a group of women why they feel threatened by men, they said, ‘We’re afraid of being killed.'” (http://www.pbs.org/kued/nosafeplace/articles/nightmare.html)

                    I say the major complaints here sound like whining because, on average, the stakes for men are so much lower than they are for women.

                    This is not to say that all men actually constitute such a threat to women (and I suspect we agree on that, too), but no one can expect any individual woman to know that about any individual man. Our culture cautions women to be careful about what they do, where they go, and what they wear. At the same time, men act offended when women don’t trust them. These two ideas cannot co-exist in the same universe.

                    It’s great to recognize privilege and work to combat its effects. I’m still working on it, and I screw up all the time. It can be frustrating at times to feel lumped in with all the dudes who do not recognize privilege and whatnot, but I know the criticism is not aimed at me. I’ll just leave this quote here, as I must get back to work: “When a person or group does something to address the biases and imbalances in our culture, whether it be on a grand scale, in their own sphere of influence, or in themselves, this is a good thing. But doing so isn’t cause for celebration, congratulations, or a party. Why? Because it’s basic human decency. And people shouldn’t be over-praised for doing something they should have been doing in the first place. That leads to them doing the right thing for the wrong reasons — personal or professional accolades. i.e.: Cookies.

                    “This is not to say that people won’t notice when you’re being basically decent. Sadly, in our society, those who do the right thing as regards bias, prejudice, sexism, racism, etc. stand out because so many others around them aren’t doing the right thing. Still and all, your goal should not be to call attention to yourself but to the injustice that you’re now fighting against.” (http://theangryblackwoman.com/2008/04/29/no-cookie/)

                    • “Atwood: “Novelist Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men feel threatened by women, he answered, ‘They are afraid women will laugh at them.’ When she asked a group of women why they feel threatened by men, they said, ‘We’re afraid of being killed.’” (http://www.pbs.org/kued/nosafeplace/articles/nightmare.html)”

                      So she asked one male, and a group of women?
                      When I, a male, am feeling threatened by a woman I DO FEAR violence, injury and/or death.

                      From that article
                      “What had she done to strike terror in men? She had never physically hurt any of the men mentioned in the article. What she had done, they claimed, is to falsely accuse them of raping or beating her.”
                      Let’s break down this fear. Fear of being falsely accused because of the belief that he will likely be jailed for it. Jail itself is scary as hell especially since many of us hear that sexually violent offenders get RAPED more n targeted for abuse more than others (especially child molesters). So the threat they feel from that accusation is violence by proxy. Whether or not it’s realistic fear is a different story.

                      Remember that our society raises women to be afraid of men by hyper-focusing on female victims, male perpetrator style abuse whilst much of the time ignoring male victims of female perpetrators. So this causes an ignorance of the true vulnerability men have with women, and overstates the vulnerability women have with men so the fear women will feel of men is heightened whilst men are more often in the dark. Add in very deceptively used statistics which skew the rate of abuse between genders this causes even more fear in women whilst men are still in the dark. Do men know for instance 1 in 6 males have been abused? I grew up only hearing about women’s abuse and only recently started hearing about the abuse men get, especially by female perps which is rarely discussed. Would you say it’s fine for men to fear women? Women also harm each other, so women should also be nervous around other women, and men should definitely be nervous around other men. Let’s be more afraid around X group of people too since stats could suggest they’re more violent such as the 20-40 year olds, we should most definitely be afraid around our partners because 25-30% of both men and women have been physically abused by their partner.

                      “I say the major complaints here sound like whining because, on average, the stakes for men are so much lower than they are for women.”
                      Women in the U.S, their complaints sound like whining because on avearge the stakes of women in the U.S are far far lower than women in the congo (hell, even men in the congo probably have more pressing issues with the severe amount of violence there). So basically you’ve just dismissed the complaints of men because you feel women have more pressing concerns? I could say the same about western women n how their life is far better than that of their sisters in developing countries but what does it accomplish? Do we ignore the concerns of women in the west n focus on the women and men in the Congo? By your own logic western feminists would be whining vs MEN in countries of severe violence, all you’re doing it seems is playing into oppression olympics and quite frankly I find it insulting to dismiss male issues simply because of their severity in comparison with other issues.

                      Hell to break this down further women globally are whining about their violence with their 1 billion rising campaign because men are 4-6x more likely to die from violence, men are the MAJORITY victims of violence globally, so their issues surely are more concerning than women’s right? Those feminists n women must of course sound like whining compared to the higher levels of violence men face. Would you agree with that?

                      I don’t think either are whining really, these issues affect them and they are important to them. There is always worse out there but it doesn’t mean smaller issues such as the pay gap aren’t worth debating compared to the sheer scale of violence men are victim to. That line of thinking would pretty much mean we’d only focus on male victims of physical violence, only focus on female victims of sexual violence, only care about heart disease whilst ignoring breast n prostate cancers since heart disease kills more, would it be whining to talk about S.I.D.S since heart disease exists?

                      The pissing contests of who suffers more are useless, why not just proportionately address each issue? Funding for violence eradication would portion more towards campaigns to stop male issues with violence but still fund female issues with violence.

                    • Okay, so there are feminists out there who don’t just rip on men all the time, and who work towards equality without actively suppressing men (I think we can agree on that). How about we start by showing them support and respect, rather than demanding that the “other” types of feminists be nicer to us?
                      Actually I do that when I come across them. How about instead of pretending that those other ones don’t exist how about we at least acknowledge them?

                      To put it a slightly different way, exactly how are the “bad” feminists attacking or silencing men–i.e. how are men, en masse being harmed by this conduct?
                      Because they are turning men away from is supposedly a great movement and the ones that just deny their exist instead of at least saying something are basically telling us that its okay. In short they are turning away potential allies. But instead of addressing the reasons we get turned away apparently it’s more worthwhile to tell us (the ones who were turned away) that we are “not giving feminism a chance” or some other form of telling us we are wrong.

                      (But for some odd reason this logic does not apply with other groups. No when talking about other groups if there are negative people turning away potential allies then all of a sudden those groups need to clean up their ranks.)

                      Individual cases of someone getting stuck with child support are not what I mean here (and that’s a whole other issue.)
                      It’s not about individual cases and it’s not about someone getting “stuck with child support”. I’m all for men being held responsible for the children they create. What I am not for is a system that perpetuates a double standard where not paying child support can get a dad sent to jail but if that same dad tries to raise concerns over being denied visitation he’s told to take it to court. Or more generally I’m not liking this set up we currently have where on one hand men are being told to “step up” while at the same time the ones that are are being denied.

                      I’m referring more to the quote attributed to Margaret Atwood: “Novelist Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men feel threatened by women, he answered, ‘They are afraid women will laugh at them.’ When she asked a group of women why they feel threatened by men, they said, ‘We’re afraid of being killed.’” (http://www.pbs.org/kued/nosafeplace/articles/nightmare.html)
                      I say the major complaints here sound like whining because, on average, the stakes for men are so much lower than they are for women.

                      I see this quote a lot. Odd that the answer of one male friend becomes the answer for the entire male gender. For me the fear would be of having my life destroyed (physically or in other ways). But regardless I also notice that this quote often comes up as a way to assess that women have it worse. I’m not interested in trying to sort out who has it worse. I’m also not interested in trying to prioritize who should get help and who shouldn’t.

                      This is not to say that all men actually constitute such a threat to women (and I suspect we agree on that, too), but no one can expect any individual woman to know that about any individual man. Our culture cautions women to be careful about what they do, where they go, and what they wear. At the same time, men act offended when women don’t trust them. These two ideas cannot co-exist in the same universe.
                      I can agree with this for the most part. For me the “act offended” part is a matter of being expected to go out of my way to earn a woman’s trust while at the same time still being treated like a threat because I’m male. Either I have the chance to show them they can trust me or they instantly write me off as a threat. They can’t have it both ways.

                      It’s great to recognize privilege and work to combat its effects. I’m still working on it, and I screw up all the time. It can be frustrating at times to feel lumped in with all the dudes who do not recognize privilege and whatnot, but I know the criticism is not aimed at me.
                      When it’s not aimed at me that’s great. But when it is aimed in a personal matter then it can’t be all that surprising that some guys start to take it personally. If you want to talk about conflicting ideas then I would also say that you can’t expect guys (or anyone) to on one hand work on dealing with male privilege but then turn around and give a free pass when said privilege is used against men in improper ways.

                      I’ll just leave this quote here, as I must get back to work: “When a person or group does something to address the biases and imbalances in our culture, whether it be on a grand scale, in their own sphere of influence, or in themselves, this is a good thing. But doing so isn’t cause for celebration, congratulations, or a party. Why? Because it’s basic human decency. And people shouldn’t be over-praised for doing something they should have been doing in the first place. That leads to them doing the right thing for the wrong reasons — personal or professional accolades. i.e.: Cookies.
                      “This is not to say that people won’t notice when you’re being basically decent. Sadly, in our society, those who do the right thing as regards bias, prejudice, sexism, racism, etc. stand out because so many others around them aren’t doing the right thing. Still and all, your goal should not be to call attention to yourself but to the injustice that you’re now fighting against.” (http://theangryblackwoman.com/2008/04/29/no-cookie/)

                      I’m not sure about your purpose of putting that quote here. I agree with it but why bring it up?

                      I’m not in this for the attention. I’m in this for the change. But at the same time if my efforts are going to be denied (as in being told I’m not doing anything to contribute to the greater good, especially if it’s on the grounds that I’m not in with the right crowd) then people shouldn’t act offended or surprised if I’m not chomping at the bit to align myself with certain groups.

                      And the end of the day that’s just what it is for some feminists. They go on about how they are not giving out cookies. While there are guys that do that I’d also say a part of the problem is that feminists are baiting people with the cookies with the hopes that someone will bite just so they can moral grandstand a bit about not giving them out.

                • Your perspective seem to come from one that states traditionally male roles and positions are more valuable than traditionally female roles. This perspective totally ignores the privilege of women over men in traditionally female positions or positions of male “weakness.”
                  Equality would be fighting for everybody’s rights where they are not privileged not just where women are disadvantaged. This is the problem many have with feminism, because they use the “equality for all” guise.
                  Personally I don’t have a problem with this, I help men’s groups and women’s groups and don’t care that they are narrowly focused. My problem comes from when feminists surpass equality and keep pushing. Best example is getting kids into college. Feminists still bemoan girls having problems with school even though they make up the majority of HS and college graduates.

                • “Some men who are finally having to confront their own privilege (voluntary or involuntary) accept it and try to make things better, while others complain that now men are the ones being oppressed. To be blunt, it sounds whiny.”

                  Are these feminists also looking at female privilege and willingly to give up female privilege along with expecting the men to? Throughout history there have been times men were oppressed to some degree, not as much as women but conscription is extremely oppressive alone and still today there are elements of that (selective service) so I find it strange you’d think of it as whiny. Is it whiny to speak out against being given a rifle n expected to die for your country because you have a penis? Is it whiny to be forced to sign up for that register or face fines, jailtime and denial of government funding whilst women are exempt? Is it whiny to be annoyed that men’s lives are worth less than that of women in this issue, that one gender is afforded far more protections even disproportionately on issues of violence especially? (the lack of support for men with domestic n sexual abuse for instance)

                  To call it whiny sounds like dismissing real issues men face, and it’s actually very common especially for some feminists to be so dismissive of male issues….so can you guess why feminism cops a huge amount of criticism?

                  • I don’t know where you live, but in the United States there has not been a draft since the early 1970’s, and there is zero political will to reinstate it. The Department of Defense just recently announced that it will allow women to serve in combat roles, and it met with criticism from many men who do not feel women can serve in that role. So, really, if conscription is the best you can come up with for an example of “female privilege,” either female privilege does not really exist or you are not trying very hard. Or do you actually believe that women have forced men to fight throughout history, and have actively avoided serving in combat?

                    I wish everyone on this thread luck. I hope that your self-pity does not get the best of you.

                    • “So, really, if conscription is the best you can come up with for an example of “female privilege,” either female privilege does not really exist or you are not trying very hard. Or do you actually believe that women have forced men to fight throughout history, and have actively avoided serving in combat?”
                      Who said women forced men to fight? You don’t need women to force men to do so to make it a privilege. Selective-service also still exists in the U.S.A, did you not read the part about fines, jailtime and refused access to government funding if they don’t sign?

                      There are other female privileges but I suspect you are not here for actual debate but to dismiss male issues, using terms like “self-pity”, “whining”, etc. I find your behaviour quite insulting with such clear contempt for those who bring up male issues casting them aside as whining. Spend some time thinking about society and you may realize where the female privileges are, they are most likely not as much as what men have but they do exist.

                    • Mr Supertypo says:

                      “Or do you actually believe that women have forced men to fight throughout history, and have actively avoided serving in combat?”

                      If you know anything about the privilege hypothesis, then you know also how absurdity you just wrote.

                      “I wish everyone on this thread luck. I hope that your self-pity does not get the best of you.”

                      Self-pity? Im pretty sure that this was used alot in pre-femist era to shut women and men down. But good luck to you to.

        • Yeah, damn those aggressive tactics of calling out the verbal diarrhea that someone is spouting. We should all be apologising profusely for not instantly agreeing with everything the self confessed man hater is saying on a site for men. You ladies really are a joke,

        • wellokaythen says:

          “Look at the escalating rape of nature. The rape of our resources (Mother Nature) might very well spell the doom of all species on Earth, including any future offspring you and your enlightened male, plan on conceiving.”

          I never understood the “rape of nature” metaphor, because I don’t understand how humans would ever get the Earth’s consent in this scenario. Presumably every use of natural resources is without the planet’s explicit consent, so everything humans do, even breathing, is a rape of the planet. Are there some uses of natural resources that are the equivalent of consensual sex with nature but others are raping nature? If so, how does the “making sweet love to the planet” kind of economy get the Earth’s enthusiastic consent to have sex with it? It’s a very awkward metaphor. I hate clearcuts, I think they’re horrible in half a dozen ways, but it’s no more an act of rape than cutting only one tree down.

          Presumably we must all listen to Mother Nature so she can tell us when it’s okay to have a sexual experience with the planet?

      • A lot of sarcasm following, just curious if you would agree with the follow where I can take real world examples of what some women do and be both anti-feminist annndd misogynist, is that ok?

        “raped or sexually assaulted? HE will be prosecuted and the stigma of shame will slowly be removed”
        Will SHE be prosecuted or are you only caring about female victims?

        “I have never experienced sexual assault but I am a MISANDRIST.

        Wait, here you are complaining about feminism being unfairly generalized against (which is probably right), but then you go on to generalize about men’s behaviour and show your own bigotry whilst defending feminism? Are you a feminist? Because the way you speak is angry, I wouldn’t say lunatic but it does sound extremist.

        Does the existance of some bad men justify misandry? Are you also misogynist since there are plenty of women who lie, cheat, steal, have major entitlement, abuse,rape,kill men, women, and children?

        “The guy on the train reading a Zoo article with a nude woman and discussing ‘smashing her ass on a park bench’.”

        The woman reading 50 shades of grey? The woman reading Vogue, the woman’s day full of the most degrading content of body shaming imaginable helping add to eating disorders and other issues?

        “The guys spilling out of strip clubs laughing with their ugly entitled faces.”
        The women who visit manpower and other male strippers, regularly groping n sexually assaulting them?

        “The Muslim men in Australia marrying off their 15 yr old daughter in a gender segregated ceremony.”
        Because the women do not ever help or push this do they? Women have no power, they are just children to the big bad men, they never contribute to a culture or push social conditioning onto their children.

        “Visiting friends and watching the exhausted wife do all the serving.”
        Visiting friends and seeing the exhausted husband after long, hard days of work whilst she is dressed to the nines, just been to a dayspa and has her life handed to her on a platter full of spending her husbands money on jewels mined by kids in horrific conditions of exploitation, clothing made by slaves, etc.

        “Hearing a friend cry because she’s being used for sex but wants something more.”
        Hearing a guy cry because he’s in a sexless relationship where she withholds sex to control his behaviour?

        “The sexist howls from men that a woman has become PM.”
        The sexist howls of women at the park accusing a teacher of being a pedophile simply because he is a male working with kids.

        “So you see, it isn’t feminists who ‘separate’ the genders. It’s men’s actions and behaviours that turn us off. Frankly, articles like this that tarnish feminism as angry, lunatic & extremist are insulting to the great work done by feminists in bettering women’s lives.”
        You see, it isn’t anti-feminists who are the problem, it’s feminists actions n behaviours which turn so many people off feminism.

        “Sure men do some wonderful things but it is so overshadowed by their bastard nature, that its easily forgettable.”
        Sure women do some wonderful things but it is so overshadowed by their bastard nature, that its easily forgettable.

        No I don’t think all men n women are good, nor bad, I think on the most part in the west both genders are good. I think both genders are trying to work together within their culture, some are fighting to change culture for the better to end sexism n inequality between women AND men (yes men experience sexism n inequality too, shock! Horrorrrr!!!111!). But seriously, what does your hatred of an entire group of people accomplish? Do you honestly think it was men alone who setup patriarchy? Do you think all guys who read or watch porn are entitled or look down on the women? Do you think women don’t use men and leave them crying?

        Maybe you need to pay more attention to the actions of women, women aren’t an untarnished gender, they have their fair share of shit going on but what is the point in hating an entire gender? Why not hate just the bad people? Hate those who feel entitled to sex, regardless of gender but why hate only one gender?

        Feminism has done a lot of good, but sadly it has also done some bad and there are parts of feminism which teach hate towards men, where some feel utter hatred for infant males. The author clearly was hanging onto misandry for a while but let it go for the better, maybe you would do well in following her footsteps because all that anger is toxic and you will cause harm to those who want to help. I seriously would not want someone like you around me in any organization to end gender roles unless you worked on removing that anger.

        You admit to being a feminist? How can someone so sexist really be feminist? Feminists like you are DIRECTLY harming the reputation of the movement, do you not see that? You prove the the stereotype of the man-hating feminist…how will that help people see feminism as good? Hell the author pretty much describes someone like yourself. What would someone reading your comments think about feminism, hell I am yet to see another FEMINIST (hint hint) call you out for misandry.

        Questions to all, why are their misandrists within feminism? Why can someone be a misandrist and call themselves a feminist? How can you fight sexism of one gender whilst being sexist to the other gender?

        • wellokaythen says:

          And, hey, I think I have slightly above average features. I don’t spill out of a strip club with an “ugly, entitled face” anymore than I leave any place with an ugly face. I have more of an “occasionally handsome, somewhat entitled but generally just hopeful face” when I leave a strip club. Totally unfair, Kate.

      • Kate, I would be safe in saying, based upon what you said, that all feminists may not be misandrist but all misandrists are feminists. Good to know but it doesn’t negate your representation of feminism. Remove the “man hating” part of your feminist view, I then see a feminist. Man hating then appears to simply be a motivating factor for being a feminist. Accordingly, your views become “feminist” views and not misandrist. Thank you for clarifying it for me.

      • PursuitAce says:

        Two responses come to mind…
        1. It’s good that you can admit your hate. Although much like a racist, I don’t know if there is any help for you.
        2. Hey, Mark, Ralph, George, Bill, Johnny or whatever your real name is. Go back to your favorite MRA site and play. The adults are conversing here.

      • Kate…Feminism did not create equality of opportunity for women, Civil Rights legislation did. Without Civil Rights legislation women, especially educated , privileged white women couldn’t have sued for job discrimination.Something they did more than all African Americans combined.-just another bit of revisionist history from feminism. Men didn’t separate the genders either, that was done in the Constitution by elite men who didn’t feel as though all men even white men, were equal. The truth is that these handful of men-the founding fathers- representing less than one one/hundredth of a percent of all men in the US thought that only men of wealth and means and education should even be allowed to vote. These men didn’t see themselves as a part of some male monolith whose goal was to keep women down and form a mens on;y culture.

      • wellokaythen says:

        “Frankly, articles like this that tarnish feminism as angry, lunatic & extremist are insulting to the great work done by feminists in bettering women’s lives.”

        This sentence seems somewhat contradictory to the rest of your recent message. (Maybe I was too distracted thinking about breasts and sports or something. Must…fight…bastard…nature…) If the idea was to poke holes in the stereotype of feminism as an angry message, then the rest of the message seriously fails to contradict that stereotype. It is excellent anecdotal confirmation of that stereotype, in fact.

        The cynical part of me even suspects that such message was meant to be a caricature discrediting feminism, but it would be improper of me to diagnose motivations. Suffice to say as it is worded now it could serve as a caricature.

        To be fair, I don’t necessarily think of “angry” as an insult. Someone can be justifiably angry or unjustifiably angry. “Angry” is just a descriptive word.

      • But, Kate, articles like Zoo are just showing how much men love women. (sarcasm)

  27. We can certainly spend a lot of time arguing about data, and that’s exactly the point. The anger and arguing won’t change these simple facts: Men and women are both victims of sexual violence. And yes, women perpetrate sexual violence as well as men.

    I wrote this post to honor the men in my life – and men everywhere – who care deeply about the impact of sexual violence on the women (and men) in their lives. I’d love to hear from men who have helped people like me survive the impact of sexual violence.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Sorry for that. I read your post that way, and then was irked that DLZ decided to go off into the weeds about who is raping who.

    • Well, dunno if they were people like you. My first relationship was with a battered woman, including sexual assault. My daughter was sexually assaulted. What I learned was that, apart from all of the more obvious impacts, the fundamental damage came from the breach of trust, and the loss of confidence in the world and how to interact with it. Rebuilding trust takes time, patience, love, empathy and compassion. In my experience, at least, this really only happens in a dyadic relationship. Ideological structures, and analytical constructs are really of little help. In fact, to the extent that they are abstractions, they are actually self-defeating. I suppose that is why I am deeply mistrustful of ‘movements’ – I refuse to associate myself with them because they inevitably end up dehumanizing some other group.
      Sexual assault is one mechanism of this kind of trust crusher. There are many others. Injustice is a very common one, and even the repetition of small injustices can produce the same effect. In my experience, a lot of boys exhibit these symptoms.

      The sole benefit of my childhood and adolescence, after the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, inflicted by female caregivers (nanny, mother, sister and teacher), and male figures at the instigation of the females, was the ability to recognize and help some other persons in pain. My sister helped me learn this through example.

      I urge people to be very cautious at embracing movements. One on one is more powerful, and causes little collateral damage.

  28. Nick, mostly says:

    whoops, sorry about the quadruple posting. it looked like it was failing to post, but it was just my browser failing to refresh properly.

  29. Nick, mostly says:

    DLZ what evidence are you using to make that assertion? The report on page 18 says clearly:
    Rape
    Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States has been raped in her lifetime (18.3%) (Table 2.1). This translates to almost 22 million women in the United States.
    One percent, or approximately 1.3 million women, reported some type of rape victimization in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.
    Approximately 1 in 71 men in the United States (1.4%) reported having been raped in his lifetime, which translates to almost 1.6 million men in the United States (Table 2.2). Too few men reported rape in the 12 months prior to taking the survey to produce a reliable 12 month preva- lence estimate.

    • Egalitarian says:

      The “1 in 71 men have been raped” stat from the CDC survey doesn’t tell the whole story. It defines “rape” as the attacker penetrating the victim, which excludes women who use their vagina to rape a man (rape by envelopment) which is counted as “made to penetrate”. The very same survey says “1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they were made to penetrate someone else,” which is far more than 1 in 71. Also, the study says that 79.2% of male victims of “made to penetrate” reported only female perpetrators, meaning they were raped by a woman.

      The above, lifetime stats do show a lower percentage of male victims (up to 1.4% rape by penetration + 4.8% made to penetrate = 6.2%) than female victims (18.3%) although it is far more than the 1 in 71 you stated. However, if you look at the report’s stats for the past 12 months, just as many number of men were “forced to penetrate” as women were raped, meaning that if you properly include “made to penetrate” in the definition of rape, men were raped as often as women.

      • PastorofMuppets says:

        @Egalitarian
        Assuming the numbers you state are correct (citation needed), what you’re not telling is who are the perpetrators of these offenses. It seems DLZ is implying that male victim = female perp. In reality, the vast majority of sex assaults on men are committed by other men (up to 86 percent of them, according to a federal report).

        Also, the stat nerd in me feels compelled to point out that you can’t add 1.4 percent + 4.8 percent and get 6.2 percent because it fails to account for single victims who answered yes to both penetration and made to penetrate.

        • Page 24 says who rapes who n how. From memory it was 79.2% of men who were forced to penetrate someone reporting a female perpetrator. It also says the vast majority of sexual assaults on men were perpetrated by women with only the category of “rape” (meaning forcibly penetrating someone) was perpetrated by men, of course envelopment (forced to penetrate) is mostly perpetrated by women.

          “In reality, the vast majority of sex assaults on men are committed by other men (up to 86 percent of them, according to a federal report).”
          Look out for bias in these reports, often they don’t include “forced to penetrate” as rape. Also the difference between cases brought to police and those from surveys are wildly different since there are huge stigmas against male victims of female perps.

          • PastorofMuppets says:

            Actually, what’s reported on page 24 is:

            “The majority of male rape victims (93.3%) reported only male perpetrators. For three of the other forms of sexual violence, a majority of male victims reported only female perpetrators: being made to penetrate (79.2%), sexual coercion (83.6%), and unwanted sexual contact (53.1%). For non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, approximately half of male victims (49.0%) reported only male perpetrators and more than one-third (37.7%) reported only female perpetrators.”

            So, given those numbers (combined with those of perpetrators of assaults on female victim), it’s safe to say that the earlier assertions that men are the majority of rapists “only by a small margin” and “85 percent of men raped report a female rapist” are clearly incorrect, no?

            • If you don’t include forced to penetrate as rape yes but most people I have ever met consider rape to be sexual intercourse against someones will which means both forcing someone to penetrate and forcibly penetrating someone. Hence the absolutely stupid bias that masks the majority of male rape victimization and skews these stats so severely.

  30. With transformed feminsts like you, the sanctity of family is preserved; therby making this world a better place.

    Keep rocking!

  31. Actually, men are the majority of rapists by only a small margin. Men and women are raped in equal numbers outside of prison, and about 85% of men raped report a female rapist.

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