Anger at the Patriarchy

People ask feminists why they’re so angry. But shouldn’t a sober look at how we treat each other tick us all off? 

Editor’s note: Following Twitter conversations between me, Sarah Beaulieu and Anne Thériault, I asked Anne if she would express herself on the topic of female anger. This article is the result. The piece is courageous, sincere and important as both an expansion of and counterpoint to Sarah Beaulieu’s How I Stopped Being an Angry Feminist, and Started Loving Men; it presents one woman’s emotional and intellectual experience in a way that has implications for all of us. I understand that some men, perhaps especially those who have been hurt by women or believe women get a free pass to express whatever emotion they desire—this while men’s issues are pooh-poohed—will take exception. My advice is to go ahead and take exception but to also remember that Anne Thériault is a human being. She is, like Sarah Beaulieu or any other writer who tells intimate stories, taking certain risks and leaving herself vulnerable. Logging in to harass the author will only strengthen the point she’s making.

You might wonder what this post has to do with marriage. Sarah Beaulieu’s piece was about lessons in love she learned from her husband. Anne’s response, if it isn’t obvious, speaks to what we must overcome as a society if we’re to strengthen our institutions. And ourselves.

-Gint Aras

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When Gint first asked me to write this post I was, well, hesitant, to put it mildly. I know that it will generate a lot of angry comments, some of which will likely feel quite personal. And as much as I wish that I could say that I don’t care, and that the comments won’t bother me, I do (perhaps pathetically) still care, and the comments do hurt, sometimes.

I know, I know, somebody call the wahmbulance and all that, but I figured things would be easier if I started out by being totally honest with you guys.

Anyway, Gint and I talked about how important this topic is, and although I’m not 100% convinced that I’m the best person to address it, I’m going to give it the old college try. So let’s get started, shall we?

I’m an angry feminist.

You know what, though? I don’t think that being angry and being a feminist are terrible things; in fact, I believe that the contrary is true. And I feel frustrated by our media and culture constantly representing angry feminists as psychotic, man-hating bitches. So when the Good Men Project posted an article with the title, “How I Stopped Being an Angry Feminist, and Started Loving Men,” I was upset. I felt that this just furthered the idea that angry feminists are Bad Women, and, honestly, I’m tired of reading stories about ladies who used to be angry feminists and then found redemption through the love of a good man.

I’m angry at the way that society treats women, angry at all of the big and little examples of casual misogyny that I see every day. I’m angry that our culture still puts so much value in a woman’s appearance, rather than focussing on her brains or personality.

I’ve since chatted with Sarah Beaulieu and understand that this wasn’t her intention, but still—intent isn’t magic, you know? And as much as I appreciate what she was trying to say (that anger wasn’t helping her heal from her multiple sexual assaults—love was, in the end, what gave her peace), and as much as I understand that she’s speaking about her personal experience (although she does make a few broad generalizations as well), I do think that the title and content of her article are problematic, even dangerous.

♦◊♦

I’m not angry because I hate men. I’m not even angry at men. I’m angry at the system that, for the lack of a better term, most people refer to as the patriarchy. As far as defining the patriarchy, I don’t think anyone has ever done it better than Ashley Judd, so I’m going to use her words here:

Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it.

I have participated in this system. I still do, really, as much as I try not to. I participate in it when I work hard to make myself sweet, smiling and non-threatening, even in the face of blatant sexism, because I know that that’s the easiest way to get through life. I participate in it whenever I tell a man that I’m a feminist and then feel the need to follow up by telling him that I don’t hate men. I participate when I shave my legs, put on makeup or wear a cute dress, because I am helping to further the idea that there is one narrow definition of how women should look. And sure, I like doing these things, but I also realize that I want to look a certain way because the idea this is what my appearance I should be has been pushed on me for my entire life.

I participate in the patriarchy when I write for the Good Men Project, trying to make my feminism safer, more palatable, in an attempt to convince you that I’m not like those other feminists, the feminists that some of you hate so much. And just to be clear, these posts have been my own choice to write, and I have come up with both the content and the subject matter, so don’t think that I am trying to obliquely criticize the project or its editors. I chose to try to sugarcoat feminism, and now I regret it, and I have to own that.

But make no mistake, I am an angry feminist. I’m angry at the way that society treats women, angry at all of the big and little examples of casual misogyny that I see every day. I’m angry that our culture still puts so much value in a woman’s appearance, rather than focussing on her brains or personality. I’m angry about lack of easy access to birth control and abortion, and the way that some conservative politicians seem to view women as nothing but a uterus on legs.

Anger is transformative, and can mean the difference between passively accepting oppression and waiting for someone else to deal with it.

I’m angry at the people who have told me that no one will respect me because I call myself a feminist.

I’m angry at the people who have told me that I’m too reasonable, caring and compassionate to be a feminist.

I’m angry that when I do call someone out on their misogyny, I end up being castigated for coming across as too outraged, too abrasive, just because I’m not always willing to kindly, sweetly educate.

I’m angry that the onus is always on women to explain, to be patient, to understand, when the person you’re being asked to educate could just as easily educate themselves, should they want to.

I’m angry at how often I find myself stroking men’s egos, promising them that promoting women’s rights will be a benefit and not a detriment to them.

I’m angry at how often I find myself excusing my actions and words based on the grounds that I’ll catch more flies with honey.

I’m angry at how often I feel obligated to be nice, because I feel that people won’t take me seriously otherwise.

I’m angry at the fact that there are tons of people who won’t take me seriously anyway, whether I’m nice or not, just because I’m a woman.

I’m angry at the way the patriarchy ingrains a deep-seated self-hatred in women, a hatred that begins at a very young age.

I’m angry whenever women feel the need to behave in a certain way just because they’re women.

I’m angry whenever other women happily take advantage of all the rights that they’ve gained thanks to the feminist movement, then turn around and say that they’re not feminists.

I’m angry whenever people talk about how good women had it a century ago, because social codes dictated that men had to be more polite to them or some bullshit. As if having someone feel obligated to hold the door open for you totally makes up for not being able to own property, vote or have any kind of bodily autonomy.

I’m angry when people say that women were “given” the vote, as if suffragettes didn’t fight tooth and nail, enduring prison, physical violence and sometimes death just so that we could have this right.

I’m angry about a lot of stuff, but I think that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. I think that anger can be a good way, sometimes the only way, to fuel change. Anger at injustice is often the spark that ignites political and social movements, and anger can keep you fighting the good fight even when all your other resources feel used up. Anger is transformative, and can mean the difference between passively accepting oppression and waiting for someone else to deal with it, and suddenly realizing that if you want to see change, real change, you have to be the one to stand up for your beliefs.

And yes, sometimes I am angry with specific men, when they’ve done or said something that’s sexist, misogynist or just plain hurtful. Sometimes I’m angry with specific women for the same reasons. But that doesn’t mean that I hate men or women as a whole. And sometimes it can be hard to maintain this perspective, when I’m faced with an onslaught of negativity about women and feminism, but still, I manage to separate the individuals from the group.

So my hope is that, while reading this, those of you who have had negative experiences with individual feminists will try to understand that the unfair actions of one particular person don’t mean that you should write off the feminist movement. Please don’t conflate your anger at things that have been said or done by people who label themselves as feminist with anger at feminism in general – because I promise you that no one single person (or even group of people) is representative of the whole.

Instead, maybe you could join me in directing your anger outward, to all the injustices that both men and women deal with in the face of the patriarchy and its desire to impose strict gender roles on all of us. Because I can tell you from personal experience that the patriarchy hurts men, too. Because I don’t want my son to grow up believing that being a boy means that he can only like certain things or behave in certain ways, in the same way that I don’t want to feel constricted by my gender, either.

Because honestly I think that if we were able to stop fighting with each other and instead use our anger to fight oppression, everyone would win.

Photo by painteverything

About Anne Theriault

Anne Theriault lives in Toronto with her husband and young son. She spends her days teaching yoga, reading in cafés, and trying to figure out how to negotiate in toddler-ese.

Comments

  1. Thank you, Anne.

    • Anne Thériault says:

      <3

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Love you both! Great work, Anne.

        Today I was RIPPED TO SHREDS for thinking most of Seth MacFarlane’s act last night was funny (took exception with 2 jokes, but for an “edgy” comedian, that’s pretty good).

        I mean, it was so over-the-top, being told I’m not a feminist, that I don’t belong in feminism, that I’m an idiot, that I”m harming women, that I need to “go back to feminist school”, etc.

        Ridiculous.

        • Pigtail pals, Achilles heel on facebook are currently ripping Seth’s work to shreds. I laughed at some of the jokes, some were half disturbing, half funny, disturbing that a 9 year old gets sexualized, funny that Clooney was the joke though. Not sure it’s really appropriate for prime time viewing though, I’d expect it to be more on the comedy channel late at night?

  2. Annie, thank you so much for writing this important piece. I’m glad you did it, and I’m glad you are doing so in this forum. Kudos!

    I could (also) write a long piece about feminism that would make some of the same points that you did and some different ones as well. I absolutely consider myself a feminist, perhaps one of a slightly different bent than you. But for me, feminism is not the issue that wakes me up in the morning. The issue that wakes me up is reducing the shame and stigma around sexual violence. And I believe that we need to find new ways of talking about sexual violence outside of a gendered frame.

    There were many things that played a role in my recovery from sexual violence. The love and friendship of men was just one of them. Women, children, animals, walks in the woods, music are among others. Anger was another. Believe me, I’m human. I get angry. But I think that in today’s world, sometimes we get stuck in unproductive anger, rather than anger/passion/energy that can move us to a more hopeful place. What I agree with the most is that anger can spark social justice movements – I just think that you also need love to keep them going.

    I hope this leads to a robust discussion about men, women, anger, love and how we can make it all work in the world!

    With respect and gratitude for this piece/Sarah

    • Anne Thériault says:

      Thank you! I did really appreciate your piece on sexual violence & healing through love, and I hope that that came across!

      I think that for sure everyone has their different things that get them out of bed in the morning. I talk a lot about feminism and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, but I know that that’s not everyone’s pet cause.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to read & comment. on this.

      Thank you, Sarah <3

  3. Same old, same old. Men are responsible for the behavior of other men. Feminists are not responsible for the behavior of other feminists.

  4. I think that definition of patriarchy may be the source of a lot of anger that goes on (from all sides):

    Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it.

    This definition implies that the harms that befall men/boys is only collateral damage in an effort to hold girls/women back. An implication that then springs up in the way feminists go about working against the system (or how they size the system up). Maybe that’s why it’s “Patriarchy Hurts Men Too” instead of “Patriarchy Hurts Men”.

    Or at the very least it explains part of why some feminists respond with anger at even the slightest hint of bringing up men or at the slightest hint of trying to make real change outside of feminism (because I have honestly come across many feminists who literally think that merely working for gender equality outside of feminism inherently harms women).

    Now I could respond to other several points in your post here as to where some of the anger towards feminists comes (especially that paragraph that ends with “….representative of the whole”) but I’ll just leave that be for now.

    • “Or at the very least it explains part of why some feminists respond with anger at even the slightest hint of bringing up men or at the slightest hint of trying to make real change outside of feminism (because I have honestly come across many feminists who literally think that merely working for gender equality outside of feminism inherently harms women).”
      The whole “there’s no need for the MRA, feminism caters for male issues” mentality. Too many equate feminism with the egalitarian movement and don’t realize gender equality needs more than feminism to happen with the current state of affairs. I see a mentality of feminism focusing nearly everything on women’s issues, men’s issues put more to the backburner and “we’ll get to it after women are equal to men”. Problem is if you only address one issue it’s like treating lung cancer whilst ignoring the infection on the foot growing n growing, by the time you get the cancer killed off the infection of the foot has grown so much that a small issue is now an epic battle to fix. This is happened in schools at the moment where boys are falling behind, we had a focus on helping girls (which was needed) but the “doctors” weren’t paying attention to the boys where they were slipping behind (the infection). If I have 2 jars, jar 1 has 50 jelly beans, jar 2 has 70, if I add 3 per day to jar one and 1 per day to jar 2 then by the 12th? day they both reach 80, by day 30? the first jar has 134 and the second has 98. The analogy is to show that accelerating the education of girls whilst not doing a proportional amount for the boys can lead to the girls passing them n leaving them far behind which I believe has happened now to some degree although far far more complex than simple jelly beans.

    • Anne Thériault says:

      I think it’s often phrased as “patriarchy hurts men too” because the dominant narrative tends to be that patriarchy is only harmful to women.

      I mean, I obviously can’t speak for anyone else, but I think that some of the frustration that comes about with discussion of working towards gender equality outside of feminism is that pretty much all of us feel that feminism IS about gender equality. And when someone (especially a woman) says that she’s not a feminist but believes in gender equality, it can be hard to take. Because I often feel that that woman a) is turning her back on all of the things that feminism has won for her and b) doesn’t want men to think that she’s one of THOSE women who doesn’t shave their legs or burns their bras or whatever. To me it seems hypocritical to happily take advantage of all the gains that have been made for you while decrying the movement that helped win you those gains.


      • I think it’s often phrased as “patriarchy hurts men too” because the dominant narrative tends to be that patriarchy is only harmful to women.

        Exactly. So when dealing with people where the dominant narrative is that the system is only harmful to women its not hard to see where the “what happens to men/boys is collateral damage of a system setup to hurt women/girls”. It effectively downplays the things that harm men/boys and encourages putting those things on the back burner on the premise that we will get to them later or that when girls/women are freed it will automatically free boys/men as well.

        And also it’s a bit hard to both say that feminism is the place for men’s issues to be addressed and that trying to bring them up inside of feminism must be done in a careful way so that it does not speak over women’s voices (where the bar for “speaking over women’s voices” is set so low that merely talking about men’s issues is considered speaking over women’s voices).


        I mean, I obviously can’t speak for anyone else, but I think that some of the frustration that comes about with discussion of working towards gender equality outside of feminism is that pretty much all of us feel that feminism IS about gender equality.

        I’m sure it is frustrating. But surely the answer isn’t to label them as bad because they don’t operate under the banner of feminism? This leads people to believe that feminists are not in it for the change but rather that they have more nefarious motives.


        And when someone (especially a woman) says that she’s not a feminist but believes in gender equality, it can be hard to take. Because I often feel that that woman a) is turning her back on all of the things that feminism has won for her and b) doesn’t want men to think that she’s one of THOSE women who doesn’t shave their legs or burns their bras or whatever.

        Those aren’t the only reasons you know. Personally I don’t ID as such because c)when I tried to work with them they spit in my face and when I pointed that out instead of actually acknowledging the negativity in the movement (much less do something about it) my experiences were denied and minimized.

        And as for it being hard to take. I’m sure you’re familiar with Shroedinger Rapist right? Well as a guy it bothers me a lot that women would consider me a possible rapist just because I am a man but when I talk about that I’m told that the onus is on me, as a man, to do something so that women won’t feel threatened by a male presence. Why is it so wrong for feminists to hold themselves to that same standard? How is it progress for men to hold each other accountable for each other’s words and actions but its somehow oppressive for feminists (or women for that matter) to hold each other accountable for each other’s words and actions.

        You are correct that feminism has done a lot of good things but it’s not like people own some sort of favor to feminism or something like that and those good things surely don’t erase the bad things that are coming from it.


        To me it seems hypocritical to happily take advantage of all the gains that have been made for you while decrying the movement that helped win you those gains.

        About as hypocritical as saying you can’t generalize all feminists as bad but then feeling free to generalize other groups?

      • Anne…The Civil Rights movement gave ALL women in the US the legal means to express freedom, not feminism. The Civil Rights Act is the legal backbone for freedom for ALL disenfranchised groups in America and it is used as a model for the world.Without the Civil Rights Act and movement, women would still be in the kitchen. This is simply a historical fact. How could you not know this?

        • ogwriter – are you being sarcastic? Because I’ve seen this comment about the Civil Rights Act a few times on GMP now without anybody responding to it and I can’t tell if you’re serious or not.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            I think he’s serious.

            I mean, first and foremost, feminism predates the Civil Rights Act by decades.

            I could go on…

            • You do realize he is talking about black women not being included in anything before the civil rights act? (or so it seems?). White women getting the vote doesn’t mean all women got the vote.

            • I don’t know what ogwriter means, which is why I asked.

              He’s right that the Civil Rights Act provides a critical legal framework for sex equality, particularly Title VII and Title IX. However the 14th Amendment is also a vital legal backbone for several significant victories for women – first and foremost reproductive freedom. From Griswald through Roe and Casey, SCOTUS points to a “penumbra” of privacy within the substantive due process of the 14th Am. that protects women’s rights to contraception and abortion. In addition, the equal protection clause of the 14th has been used in a myriad of cases to defeat sex inequality like in US v Virginia in 1996, which struck down the Virginia Military Institute’s exclusion of women.

              There’s also whole sections of employment law outside Title VII that protect women – starting in the early 20th Century with minimum standards legislation that set working hours and wages for women all the way to the Family Medical Leave Act in 1993.

              As for black women, the Voting Rights Act was equally, if not more, important for securing their political access.

              As for the role of feminists, the NOW Legal Defense Fund has been on the forefront of pursuing litigation under Title VII and Title IX. It has also been instrumental in preserving women’s reproductive freedoms and played a crucial role in getting VAWA passed.

            • Anne Thériault says:

              There have for sure been racism, homophobia and transphobia present throughout the history of feminism. And even as much as we strive for intersectionality today, those things are still present. But feminism (like any movement, hopefully) grows and evolves and tries to be better, more inclusive. No one is saying that the feminist movement or prominent feminists have never made mistakes. I mean, a big one off the top of my head is Betty Friedan referring to lesbians as the Lavender Menace (she later apologized for her homophobia).

              What I find odd is that so many commenters here (not you specifically, just a trend I’m noticing) seem to want every feminist article to start out with a long list of apologies for every wrong feminism has committed (or has been perceived as committing). And that’s pretty weird.

            • What I find odd is that so many commenters here (not you specifically, just a trend I’m noticing) seem to want every feminist article to start out with a long list of apologies for every wrong feminism has committed (or has been perceived as committing). And that’s pretty weird.
              That probably seems odd to you because unlike yourself (and most of the ones here) you are not trying to hold men to a set of predefined conditions that they must meet in order to be considered a valid and contributing person to equality for all people.

              I’m willing to bet that you:
              1. Don’t shut men out of the conversation just because they are men (and I don’t mean “this is particular space shouldn’t have any men in it” but “men have no business trying to have a say in any space”)

              2. Don’t accuse men of denying male privilege at the smallest hint of disagreeing with you.

              3. Don’t say that speaking up for the sake of men inherently silences women’s voices.

              4. Don’t say that “it doesn’t matter who has it worse” in one breath then say “women have it worse in the next”.

              5. Don’t claim that the only place where work towards equality can be done is under the banner of feminism. To the point where instead of listening to why someone doesn’t ID as feminist you just presume that their reasonings are wrong.

              6. Don’t start off with the presumption that damage that is done to men/boys is a side effect of the damage done to girls/women.

              7. Don’t have a very noticeable inability to show concern for males in any measure without nearly always having to throw in a “but female suffer from this more”.

              Unfortunately there are a lot of feminists that do. So in retaliation people strike back at feminists with similar behavior.

              I’m sorry that those of you that don’t do the stuff I listed above get caught up but I do think that’s where at least some of it comes from.

            • @Joanna Schroeder..

              And the post Civil War struggle for African American predates feminism by over a 100 years.

              Even before the Civil War, there was the case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford (1857). The US Supreme Court ruled that the slave, Mr. Scott, was chattel. Thus, the Federal government cannot make laws regulating personal legal property.

              I too could go on Joanna. And I will.

              The Civil Rights Act gave a legal basis for various minority groups to belong to a protected class. Initially, the protected class was based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin. So, Black, Native Americans, and Hispanics were the protected races. Now, everything other than white men (unless they are gay, – sexual orientation s now under the umbrella or disabled…) is a “protected group.”

              Remember the Equal Rights Amendment? It failed. So, women have indeed had to rely on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to advance many of their causes. It is just a fact.

              It really should not matter Joanna. The bottom line is things are a better for women in America today than 50 or 100 years ago. That is really what matters I would think. I hope they continue to get even better!

      • “And when someone (especially a woman) says that she’s not a feminist but believes in gender equality, it can be hard to take. Because I often feel that that woman a) is turning her back on all of the things that feminism has won for her”

        I’ve always found this idea to be problematic. If labeling oneself a feminist is not just about conveying a belief in gender equality, but also showing respect to the past feminist movement, then for how much longer will the label be necessary? Who decides? It sounds like your essentially saying that it doesn’t matter how egalitarian society becomes if we ever discard the feminist label then we’d be turning our back on the activists who originally made this possible. If those writers at Slate.com are to be believed, “The end of men” is upon us and a more female dominated society is coming. At that point how relevant will the feminist label be?

        I just feel like as long as we teach our children about the people who made our current society possible, then we haven’t turned our back on them. Not wanting to label yourself as they did doesn’t imply any ingratitude for what they did for you.

        • Good point.

          Maybe this demand for homage to be paid to feminism is some manifestation of fear that feminism may be lost in history some day?

          Not wanting to label yourself as they did doesn’t imply any ingratitude for what they did for you.
          Exactly. Should we still call ourselves Revolutionaries instead of Americans in order to not convey ingratitude to what the people from the 1770s did? Should we still be calling ourselves civil rights activists in order to not convey ingratitude to what those who came before us did? In fact in a quick mental search I can’t think of any other effort or movement in history whose members actually call for future generations to take on a specific label lest it be considered disrespect/ingratitude for what those who came before them did….besides feminism.

          Honestly when feminists do this they come off sounding like they didn’t fight for equality for the sake equality but rather so that they could someday call in a massive IOU from entire future generations.

        • Anne Thériault says:

          It’s not so much the fact that women don’t want to label themselves, as much as it is that they decry the feminist movement, while at the same time reaping its benefits. I probably wasn’t very clear on that. It’s just that when women say that they’re not feminist, there’s a certain tone they usually take, like, oh, no, I’m not like THAT.

          Wouldn’t you find it weird if a person of colour decried the civil rights movement?

          • “It’s not so much the fact that women don’t want to label themselves, as much as it is that they decry the feminist movement, while at the same time reaping its benefits”

            I think this is a very important distinction to make then, but even with this in mind I find that many women avoid labeling themselves as feminists to distance themselves from the current feminist zeitgeist. They look at the most popular feminist bloggers and activists and have too many issues with some of their viewpoints or their approach to the issues to ever want to be grouped together with them. For some women its not that they are decrying the movement that gave them rights, but the current movement that they don’t want to be associated with. So when some women say, I’m not like THAT, I don’t think theres any confusion whatsoever as to what they’re saying. There are a few women in this very comments section who have expressed similar sentiments.

            As far as black people decrying the civil rights movement, I’m black myself, and some do decry parts of it (Black Panthers, NOI, etc). But the civil rights movement refers to a specific period of history where various groups and figures were all working towards common goals and distinctions are easy to make. Feminism is a much more loaded term that can be applied not only towards various movements, but also ideological positions and views. For some it has become their very identity. With all that in mind, I think some people just don’t want all the baggage and when they are told that this makes them cowardly or disrespectful of their ancestors it likely just makes them distance themselves further.

            You said in your article that you hate having to stroke men’s egos by letting them know that womens rights aren’t bad for them, but I think theres a reason MLK’s message of unity and inclusiveness was more effective then others that were more staunchly black power. King worried that the phrase “black power” promoted separatism and said as much. I say this because feminists on the internet are often quick to jump on women who, in their mind, are playing it too safe. When Melissa Leo explained why she didn’t think the feminist label was useful to her, many people ignored her actual reasons and simply decided that she didn’t want to upset the wrong people. Now whether that was apart of Leo’s reasoning or not, I guess what I’m getting at is that some feminists seem to have decided that any level of tact is a bad thing. I think people like MLK understood the importance of the language we use and how to create a more inclusive environment without compromising your beliefs.

      • Anne, I’m one of those women. I support equal rights but I disassociated from the label of feminism, a long time ago. I’ve never called myself a feminist, just a hard worker in support of equal rights. If women need a feminist label in conjunction with equal rights, I respect their choice.

        Women and men have made tremendous gains, I thank those who have taken responsibility to ensure people receive fair treatment. However, there are women (and some men) under the women empowerment labels who give lip-service to equal rights. They say unsubstantiated things like women should rule the world, men are oppressive, or we live in a patriarchy. Or use the label to advance their unique female-centric cause or call others hypocrites if 50% of people do not call themselves feminists. Moreover, the feminist agenda has had pockets of racism and anti-religious sentiment associated with it, which has further tainted the label. I’d prefer disassociating with groups that turn a blind eye to the negatives.

        If they were truly about equal rights, we would have been working together this whole time and we wouldn’t have an imbalance in homes, schools, and work. We wouldn’t have lower literacy and attendance rates in colleges for men than women. We wouldn’t be medicating young boys with ADHD treatments 3-4 times faster who show aggression, extra energy, or distraction in class. We know women tend to dominate childcare, single mother households, and the teaching profession. Is it possible the home and classroom is female-centric? Home and school are critical areas of development and belongingness that require a balance. Where are the men’s voices?

        If we live in a patriarchy it would be reflected in the state of marriage and family: the largest influence in our lives. Yet there is a global trend for men to return to fatherhood and leading families. Why aren’t men allowed to challenge motherhood and the role of a wife? If one even suggests a signal mother may be ill-equipped to parent we are blasphemers, but we can talk about the Dead-Beat Dads without objection. It should be obvious the family and marriage is female-centric.

        If we are really in support of equal rights, why is the US Selective Service Registry still only required for men? It’s mandatory for men, but a choice for women. Don’t all women want to protect our rights and freedoms? In 25 years, we implemented AND reversed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell legislation. Gay men have been required to register all along and gay people can fight for our rights legally, but women are still not required to register. As a footnote, I’ve already served 10 years the military and there are pros and cons to women in the military.

        I know there are plenty of women that are dealing with problems or stuck in low paying stereotypical jobs, over 90% of clerical and secretarial positions are still filled by women. Women still need help. But, there are plenty of men stuck in low paying stereotypical jobs too, over 85% of manual labor jobs are filled by men today. They need help.

        If some of THOSE feminist schools are still talking about oppressive men, shaving legs, and bra-burning they need to retire, because they are living the dark ages.

        • @Joan

          Well said and TRUE.

          I have nothing against mainstream feminism. It is when it become “men are dangerous, heartless, rapist,….” where I draw the line.

          Rape deserves some attention here. According to the FBI crime stats, reported rape is down over 80% since 1980. Yet, I continue to read about all these rape articles here on GMP. What is that all about?

          • Jules. I got your back. It’s hype and unsubstantiated hysteria. I see this R-word, stalking, assault, sexual violence, and misogyny all over this male-oriented site and elsewhere making all men sound like Jack the Ripper. When in reality 99% of the men are decent guys.

            These words put men on the defense and it’s as if men are guilty until proven innocent…for some other man’s crime.

            I’m not afraid to question people if they use the term out of context, because rape and violence are serious and should be reserved for real situations…not to false hysteria.

            Joanna has caught me on couple stupid things I’ve said and I thanked her for smacking my hand, but I’m big girl can take correction.

            • So very strange how I, a feminist also believe that the majority of men don’t commit assaults. There are real issues out there Joan, and feminists don’t believe all men are Jack the Ripper. I know a lot of feminists. A whole damn lot. I’d say 75% are partnered with men and happily so. That statement in and of itself is hyperbole. You don’t like it when you see it in the fem=o-sphere? Don’t use it either.

              There are lots and lots of real situations out there Joan, ones that don’t get reported.

    • I just feel like we shouldn’t believe that men are “over” because of an article on Slate.com.

      But that aside there’s plenty of work left for feminism, and feminism is turning more to intersectionality to explore the power relationships that exist everywhere in society. There is power disparity between racial minorities Feminism epistemology need not be discarded it’s one lens of a dimensional history.

      • The reference to Slate.com was somewhat sarcastic, but it was meant to convey a larger point. I’m not talking about the ideas of feminism here, but the label itself and its continued relevance. When I ask feminists why they still refer to themselves as such I usually get 2 answers:
        1. We must call ourselves feminists so as not to turn our backs on the activists who gave us our rights.
        2. Women still are not equal to men in too many areas and there we still live in a patriarchy.

        So lets say 2 no longer applies. Should the term “feminist” still be used? The ideas of feminism may carry on, but if women are no longer disadvantaged as a class then why would we still use a word that points to them? And in the case of no. 1, how long will we be required to call ourselves feminists to pay respect to past activists?

      • I just feel like we shouldn’t believe that men are “over” because of an article on Slate.com.
        Damn straight. Men aren’t ending, we are changing. There are people that don’t like that (which is that really surprising?)

        But that aside there’s plenty of work left for feminism, and feminism is turning more to intersectionality to explore the power relationships that exist everywhere in society. There is power disparity between racial minorities Feminism epistemology need not be discarded it’s one lens of a dimensional history.
        There’s plenty of work for everyone to do, not just feminists. They don’t have to act like they are in this all alone (in fact I wonder if they react so negatively to those that are doing the work outside of feminism for that very reason, they don’t want to lose the illusion that they are “the only ones” doing it).

  5. “Instead, maybe you could join me in directing your anger outward*snip*”

    Are you angry with extremists in the feminist movement that are full of hate, write hatespeech, who celebrate the S.C.U.M manifesto, etc? Are you mad at the “Jezebel.com” style feminists that so often belittle male issues dismissing them as worthless, who write about hitting their bf’s with little to no remorse? Are you angry at the feminists who introduced and those who supported the absolutely terrible duluth model for domestic violence? Are you mad at feminists who deny female privilege exists? (if you need a pointer, 80% of men born in 1923, Russia died in WW2).

    I am mad that I regularly see feminists stating feminism is the movement for egalitarianism, where both male n female issues are catered towards yet so many feminists regularly ignore the male issues and will dismiss them as “MRA”, will use the terms privilege n “whatabouthemenz” to shame n silence those who raise male issues in feminist spaces that were meant to be for both genders issues anyway (yes I am aware derailing is rife, I don’t mean that since those are legitimately annoying). Not to mention the failure of feminism to really address male concerns otherwise why would the male rights movement even need to exist? Oh do show me to the large protests feminists hold against selective service for instance.

    I am mad that it took so long to get gender neutral Domestic violence laws and yet Australia still has plans for women n children whilst ignoring the men for a new law n support structure. I am mad that I see feminists still say 99% of rapists are men even though it’s really about 80% in the US, and I am mad that people still don’t realize that the majority of rapists OF men are FEMALE. I am mad that about 1/3rd of DV and about 1/5 or more of rape victims are men yet nearly all campaigns seem to show a female victim, male perpetrator. I am mad that we have 1 billion rising campaigns which is fine but NONE that I’ve ever seen for men when the male version is probably 2billion rising…hell men die 4-6x more from violence yet I am yet to see a white ribbon campaign or large campaign to address this violence.

    Actually what really bothers and absolutely confuses me as to the logic is this absolute lack of campaigns for male victimization in violence? Why wouldn’t an intelligent society tackle all aspects of violence especially since violence is cyclic where some of those ignored male victims go on to perpetrate violence themselves. What really shits me off is the level of care asked of men by society towards women’s victimization when men makeup the majority victims of violence yet society isn’t pushing the agenda to give a damn about them.

    I am annoyed that pretty much every article I’ve read about anti-feminist reactions from feminists tends to skirt around the issue and pretty much say “not all feminists are like that”, feminism isn’t a monolith when people criticize feminism. I find it strange that so many feminists will say feminism has done great things for humanity (which has happened) but yet get very annoyed if someone says that feminism has also brought in negative issues such as harmful laws (Earlier versions of VAWA with the duluth model harming male victims n failing to support female perpetrators in recovery). Will I see an article address these concerns? Or just another NAFALT?

    “Because honestly I think that if we were able to stop fighting with each other and instead use our anger to fight oppression, everyone would win.”
    Agreed. Trouble is feminism is a general label, there’s no qualifier to separate each sect, each belief, feminism is a catch all ranging from awesome egalitarians to extremists who speak hate, threaten and inflict violence on people. Oh so many times I’ve seen men comment that they heard feminism = egalitarianism, they go in to some feminist spaces n talk about male issues and quickly get kicked out, banned, belittled, insulted, whataboutthemenz n privilege shaming slapped in their face. I’ve had this myself, it’s fucking annoying, it’s REALLY fucking annoying to have A LOT of feminists tell me shit about we don’t need the MRM because feminism addresses male issues and then to be told to stfu, this is a woman’s only space, feminism is for women by other feminists with no big label saying “Gynocentric feminism here, Egalitarian feminism there” you have to take a wild guess n hope you’ve come across a site or area men are welcome n not treated hostile. This issue alone does an EPIC amount of damage to feminism’s reputation, I guarantee many have been turned off to feminism because of this behaviour alone, and even more so by those that belittle male issues and assume for instance MRA’s are white middle class men who only whine….because circumcision of infants, selective service n conscription (should we ever have another world war), violence, etc are really issues that are “whining” and not bad eh? /sarcasm.

    Personally I am glad feminism exists but also cautious of it, I am glad for the good it has done but I hate the bad it has done. I love the ideology which can make people more egalitarian but hate that some spaces exist full of negativity n misandry where they just reinforce each other’s hate. I love egalitarian feminists, I’m ok with gynocentrics (but please label the area or something so men don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s the male+female area), I hate the extremists though especially since they do so much damage to the reputation, and I hate that many of the good feminists stay so silent on these issues.

    I’m not anti-feminist, I’m not a feminist, nor an MRA, I am just someone who is egalitarian minded and has watched stupidity unfold where MRA’s n feminists, anti-feminists have so many fighting when most actually have the same damn beliefs with a different label. All that anger unchannelled, just festering in huge debates in comment threads that quite often devolve into bigotry on all sides. What is clear though that many in both movements are in pain, they have anger, both are angry at sexism done to them, that anger ends up keeping them apart since so many fear the other.

    Quite frankly if I were a very powerful being I would readily delete the words feminism, and MRA/MRM in modern days and change it to the egalitarian movement. The name alone, the label causes so many to have ignorant views of the other, even I am suspectible to being triggered by the labels themselves, and I see many just close off their ears n eyes. So much anger, so much distrust, remove those 2 words/entities and change it to egalitarianism where both genders issues are worked on and I guarantee there’d be more progress. I just hope people on each side, everyone, drops their anger for a while n works together. Wanna stop rape? Setup campaigns with posters of all combinations of relationship, male raping female, female raping male, M on M, F on F, old, young, black, white, green, blue, and that would remove one argument against feminism I commonly see whilst doing wonders for raising awareness. It’s so simple that I am shocked it hasn’t already happened, this hyperfocus on a single gender in activism is causing a rift between the genders and that scares me bigtime. Patriarchy, Kyriarchy, society, whatever label the result is the same…a fucked up system in need of a major change.

  6. Fine, you’re worked up and passionate and angry about your cause. Question: why should men care?

    The notion that men have an obligation to DO something about it when women are angry is itself a toxic and sexist old attitude. Men need to shake it off and learn to shrug and say “So what?” the next time a women declares how very, very upset she is.

    You’re angry about a problem? Good–go solve it yourself. Not our problem.

    • Anne Thériault says:

      1. It’s not just women’s problem – it’s everyone’s problem. Constrictive gender roles harm men, too.

      2. Is this your attitude when it comes to any injustice? Do you tell people of colour to go solve their own problems? Gay people who are faced with homophobia? Poor people who are screwed over by the government?

      3. This is gross:

      “The notion that men have an obligation to DO something about it when women are angry is itself a toxic and sexist old attitude. Men need to shake it off and learn to shrug and say “So what?” the next time a women declares how very, very upset she is.”

      I would hope that if anyone I cared about what upset, I would try to help them, instead of “shrugging it off”. WTF. That’s how you treat other people who are hurting?


      • I would hope that if anyone I cared about what upset, I would try to help them, instead of “shrugging it off”. WTF. That’s how you treat other people who are hurting?

        That comes from being mistreated by people and the system and then when something comes along that brands itself as the solution either engages in the same mistreatment, ignores it, or uses that mistreatment to its own advantage.

        It’s bad enough to get spit on by the initial problem, it’s quite another when the supposed solution doesn’t address it either.

      • You’re right that repressive and unreasonable gender roles and expectations affect everyone. Feminism, however, is concerned with addressing the problem as it affects women, and for the benefit of ONLY women. Thus the indifference from men, and the birth of the men’s rights movement–which proposes to address these problems from the male perspective for the benefit of men.

        “I would hope that if anyone I cared about what upset, I would try to help them, instead of “shrugging it off”. WTF. That’s how you treat other people who are hurting?”

        And yet, this is exactly what happens when men who are upset with their lives and roles express THEIR dissatisfaction with the system; feminism tells them to sit down and shut up because it’s not about us, it’s about women. We say ‘so what’ because that’s exactly what men are told every time we talk about our own problems and issues.

        If anyone chooses to take up the banner and join your cause, fine; more power to them. But quit pretending that YOUR cause is necessarily OURS… because actions have spoken louder than words on that front. Feminism is female advocacy, period.

        • do you not understand that female advocacy is important in gender EQUALITY?

          I’m guessing no.

          • Do you understand that male advocacy is just as important in gender equality?

            If so, you’d be one of the few.

            • you don’t need male advocacy *as much* as we need female advocacy, dear.

              granted, it is important to advocate for *both* sides, but until you understand that women kiiiiinda need it more than men do right now, there’s no point in discussing this with you because you obviously don’t get it.

            • Wow! “dear?” Condescending much?

              I would LOVE to hear all the ways that women need it MORE right now, and then we should prioritize, because from what I can tell while sexual assault by men against women ranks really high up there in the list of “Bad things in the world” the priority I see is that dealing with “The wage gap,” women in education (which is NOT a problem right now FYI because women are dominating attendance in college) fall in higher priority than sexual assault of men by women.

              So is sexual really ‘the worst thing ever’ or does it become considerably ‘less bad’ when it happens to men, because the whole “women are always priority” shtick is a really really ridiculous view of the world.

              I don’t get it? You want to disassemble gender roles, but don’t make a point to disassemble the male side. Women’s rights will be benefited by addressing male issues because by disassembling both genders you effectively eliminate the vestige of the traditional role. A campaign raising awareness of how men are raped by women is the sort of thing that really shakes up gender roles, not another Take Back the Night redux. There are few things that get someone to think about the negative stuff they are doing to others than to get them to realize that it can happen to them.

            • So there are issues that affect men but the advocacy for them needs to be monitored so that there isn’t too much of it? By chance who decides how much is too much?

              And Copyleft didn’t mention anything about who needs help more or whose advocacy was more important.

              You can’t simutaneously expect men to “do it themselves” but then try to have a say over how much they do or how passionate they are about it.

            • Thank you for illustrating why men are disinclined to play your Oppression Olympics game and accept a backseat role in fixing society’s gender issues.

              You go ahead with your feminism–just don’t expect men to care very much. We’ve got our own problems, and we’re working on them just fine without you.

            • Martin Nash says:

              Wow, the addititon of the word “dear” better have been tongue in cheek, coz at least that way it was just a poorly timed joke rather than a perfect example of “mansplaining” that guys get accused of

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              ” you don’t need male advocacy *as much* as we need female advocacy, dear.

              granted, it is important to advocate for *both* sides, but until you understand that women kiiiiinda need it more than men do right now, there’s no point in discussing this with you because you obviously don’t get it.”

              Wait a moment, patriarchy oppress also men you know? Men and women are ruled by oppressive rule THAT OPPRESS both of them, not ONE of them, my dear 😉

              Anyways If you are a feminist, then your words, just confirmed the critics. Congratualtion.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              I have a message in moderation

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              The problem with the whole “patriarchy hurts men too/feminism is good for men” line of reasoning advanced by feminism is (as Danny has eloquently pointed out on numerous occasions) is that at best it’s seen as collateral damage of the more important harm caused to women.

              Worse, it seems that feminists are telling men that they’re only allowed to deal with their issues if they put women first. Help women out, and if we’re nice, we’ll allow you to then work on men’s issues.

              (which, of course, involves “checking your privilege”)

      • Mostly_123 says:

        “3. This is gross: ‘The notion that men have an obligation to DO something about it when women are angry is itself a toxic and sexist old attitude. Men need to shake it off and learn to shrug and say ‘So what?’ the next time a women declares how very, very upset she is.’ –   I would hope that if anyone I cared about what upset, I would try to help them, instead of ‘shrugging it off.’ WTF. That’s how you treat other people who are hurting?”

        One may consider it “gross” but is it also not a rejection of older, parochial attitudes as well? This, too, is independence.   

        There is a difference between compassion and validation. 
        Every person is entitled to their own sense of outrage – moral, ethical or otherwise. If a person feels slighted or outraged for reasons that seem valid to them, I may or may not disagree with them- but I would hope I would always respond to a person with compassion (and hopefully, wisdom as well).  

        Someone once said ‘What we love shows us what we value’ – Many of the people in my life that I know and love, I love because I value what they stand for. It’s difficult to validate a person’s belief or opinion when you don’t agree with it. We can (and do) validate the people we care for, as people, unconditionally; both when we agree with them and when we do not. But this is not the same as the unconditional validation of a person’s ideas, ideals, beliefs, philosophies or ideologies.

        We all want and need our feelings to be validated- especially by those we respect and hold most dear; and in the end, I don’t think that’s too much to expect from most of us, for most of us. But we must also accept that this does not necessarily equate to a requirement to validate all the beliefs, opinions, and subjective experiences that led to those feelings: There’s a big difference there. One can respect another persons’s opinions, while still without validating or endorsing them. But -and it’s hard to quite articulate it here- there’s point where the expectation of validation becomes an expectation of control; the notion that empathy will equate with efficacy.        

        Every day I’ve been alive on this earth only serves to reinforce the notion of how little we really have ‘control’ of, and ‘power’ over anything: This is not necessarily a bad thing (one gains a greater appreciation of the wonder of complexity and diversity), but it also stifles one’s sense of efficacy in the face of, well, most everything. In short, a person who want to be angry, is going to be angry. Say what you will, the rest is mostly semantics. Though it may seem harsh, ‘So what?’ is a moral and ethical question to ask and answer. I might posit that when anybody’s liberties are impeded or imperiled because of their gender (or any other arbitrary characteristic)  that an answer to the question ‘So what’ is “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” to quote Martin Luther King. So yes, it’s valid to ask the question, even rhetorically: But one has to accept that we may not always like or agree with the answers- Your sleights are not necessarily mine, and mine are not necessarily yours. What I love and value are not necessarily what you love and value. And our ability for one to influence the other is, ultimately, finite- patriarchy or no.    

        To outside ears, to one who is ambivalent, or at the very least, deeply skeptical of most ideologies, whatever they may be – whenever I hear people start talking about ‘the patriarchy’ to me, it’s like George W. Bush talking religion, or Morpheus talking about the matrix in “The Matrix”: I never believe for one second that they don’t absolutely believe everything they say. But what I believe, however, is another affair. Correlation and causation are not always linked – and faith bridges that gap; but it’s difficult to challenge another person’s faith. Try as I might, I just don’t see the world in the same colors as Ashley Judd or Anne. That’s infuriating too.    

        What struck me most about the original article was that despite agreeing with the broader, overall motives and goals, it still made me angry. I’m angry that the entire article never addressed the bare fact that (whether we justify our anger or not, to others or to ourselves), on a profound level, it just feels GOOD to be angry; especially the righteous anger we feel when we see its source as something quantifiable, and something that is external to ourselves. It feels GOOD to have that adrenaline rush of moral indignation; when we KNOW with perfect clarity that we have been wronged, or that we have witnessed wrong. One may laud the “transformative” power of anger (Fred Rogers once said: “When those things we care about so deeply become endangered, we become enraged. And what a healthy thing that is! Without it, we would never stand up and speak out for what we believe.”) but it still pales in light to the fundamental lure of anger; which is not its desire for change, but rather, its need for gratification.   

        The narcotic appeal of anger is not a tool that is directed outward- it’s a need to be fulfilled inward. It may (or may not) indeed take outward constructive expressions, individually or collectively, but it’s a fallacy that anyone can alleviate it’s appeal externally; the appeal of anger, its gratification, is intense and personal- like most any other narcotics. There is nothing that one can offer externally to compete with that. Alleviating, mitigating or minimizing a source of anger doesn’t alleviate the appeal of anger. A person may be right or may be wrong about the source of their anger; but ultimately that matters less. It’s the appeal of anger (not the revulsion of it) that engenders, nurtures, and sustains anger- in the end, anger cares less about justice or injustice, than for its own appetite. Deny it as we might, if anger were not so appealing, so compelling, it would be much easier to let go of: No one ever considers it a small sacrifice (or anything but a sacrifice) to let go of their anger. I don’t think we should censor our anger (far from it), but nor do I think anger (‘righteous’ or otherwise) elevates or enhances the integrity of a moral plateau.  

        Whether I’m angry for something, angry with something, or angry against something, the ‘angry’ comes before the ‘something.’ As compelling as it may or may not be to everyone else, anger is most compelling to the person who is angry: So anger always seems to have the vague taint of vanity about it- that’s not gender dynamic, but a human one. Anger never has the gravitas of compunction or introspection, so it’s less effective as a persuader. People may argue and advocate because they’re angry; but they argue deeper and more effectively when they’re not. Funny thing.  

        • I think what you are describing is an addiction process. From my understanding, when the brain is persistently in a specific emotional state, the receptors distribution and density for the neurotransmitters involved increase. When the neurotransmitter drops, the functions that were entrained by the action of the receptors, diminishes, and anxiety increases, even extending into physical manifestations. This is so for nicotinic and dopamine receptors.
          Its not my field specifically, but I`ve been told that for women, low serotonin and high epinephrine produces an angry state, and in men, high dopamine levels and high epinephrine produces rage.
          I suspect if one is locked into an angry state, this receptor effect can lead one to seek stimulus to replicate the neurotransmitter levels that restores the previous functioning. Particularly given that there is some evidence that learning is in part a state dependent process.

          I was told by a psychologist that sometimes people seek evidence to match their existing understanding of the world as confirmatory that they hold a valid stance to the world. I think that is a neurotransmitter based thing. It can be unlearned, it simply is not a small matter of seeing a cogent rational rebuttal of that view. It requires that one addresses the neuro state.

          AS I said, this is not my field (though I have occasion to make enquiries) so this is probably inaccurate, and certainly over-simplified.

          • Hmmm, in case its not clear, this is not intended as descriptive of Anne. I am quite sure that there is sufficient events/circumstances to justify Anne’s feelings on the matter.

          • “I was told by a psychologist that sometimes people seek evidence to match their existing understanding of the world as confirmatory that they hold a valid stance to the world. I think that is a neurotransmitter based thing. It can be unlearned, it simply is not a small matter of seeing a cogent rational rebuttal of that view. It requires that one addresses the neuro state.”

            It’s called confirmation bias. For example after high-school I had fresh wounds from bullying, I noticed bad people more than good and thus I thought people were mostly bad.

            • Yup, that’s it Archy

              See I think it is a combination of the neural network and neurochemical state. You form an impression of something that you think has some explanatory power for something you have experienced. It gets reinforced as you seek out similar material – this is basic learning. But it is in fact an actual physical configuration of neurons, dendritic connections, and gating voltage levels at synaptic clefts. Which is what I mean by the neural network.
              When you encounter a new stimulus – a news story, an article, a conversation with new facts, those that don’t fit are not processed in any effective way and get discarded, those that DO seem to fit, reinforce the bias. Complicating this are any emotions that get stimulated by that part of the neural network, be it depression, anger, joy… Learning has a state dependent element to it, so that re-entering a specific state, anger for instance, tends to reactivate that part of the network.

              My point in re-framing the psychologists’ term of confirmatory bias is this. It is very hard to unlearn this stuff, and to retrain the emotions away from it. Those gating voltages have to be retrained. The dendritic connections have to be pruned. New neurons have to be grown (plasticity). The older one is, the relatively fewer stem cells there is in the brain for such re-learning. And it is very tiring work, evidently. People with mild acquired brain injury from auto accidents, or sports injuries, report exhaustion and massively increased need for sleep, for as much as six months after the injury, depending on the scope of the problem.
              It takes more than simple rational explanation, it takes a lot more than discussion on a blog, it takes more than a book, it takes more than a movie.

              Some of the troubling conceptions of some branches of feminism, with respect to the nature of men, the structure of society, and the history of civilization, have been reinforced over and over for some 40 years (I date it from about 1972…). I don`t see it changing any time soon. And with the best will in the world, I just cannot see how even a lot of Julie`s together with a bunch of Lisa Hickey`s, can accelerate that.

              It is best unlearned by a real life experience, preferably one that gets reinforced repeatedly. I am reading here and there, mostly on education blogs, that some mothers are reconsidering their ideology when they see the impact on some of their sons experiences. I am seeing it from some of the grandmothers, who either are shut out of their grandchildren’s lives, from some of the grandmothers who see first hand the impact of family law stances on their sons.
              `If you prick us, do we not bleed?”
              Perhaps it takes seeing the figurative (or real) blood of real people you know.

              This is why the various men’s sites are unlikely to be able to effect change. Too much of the population simply cannot see the blood, and the words and stories will not change the already learned powerfully enough. I am not certain that this site has an audience or community that has seen the blood, either. Lip service, yes, unlearning – jury is out on that to my view.

              Anyway, just musing I guess.

  7. AnonymousDog says:

    I think you’re wrong when you assert that the onus is always on women to explain, educate , etc.,

    When men express anger, or frustration, etc., at “the system”, they are often dismissed as ‘entitled’ ‘misogynist’, etc.

    • The onus is on everyone to educate themselves. There’s a difference between asking a woman, or LGBTQ person, or POC, or _____ to elaborate on their own experiences living in an extremely patriarchal, cisgender-centric, white-centric society, coming from a base of knowledge that YOU have gained from YOUR work on the matter, and then listening–not mansplaining, not qualifying, nothing, just listening–to their answer; and railing about how these things all affect YOU.

      • The onus is always on the person who WANTS the change to influence society to make the change, not the other way around. You cannot expect society to take the on themselves? Why should society make the effort to change when society has been working “just fine” that way for a while now.

        If you want to change something YOU need to educate them, YOU need to figure out how to get them to listen, YOU need to figure out how to get them to understand and discard their previous experience, and YOU need to motivate them to move forward in making the change happen.

      • Mansplainer says:

        How is the term “mansplaining” not reverse sexism?

        • The idea of reverse racism actually feeds into the idea that racism actually does flow only one way.

          • Mansplainer says:

            Point well taken.

            How is the term “mansplaining” not sexism?

            • Okay as far as I see there are actually some cases where mansplaining (men trying to “tell women” like it is or basically talking over them on the premise that as men they are inherently more knowledgeable and/or as men their voices matter more) happens. And based on that I would not say that mansplaining in and of itself is a sexist term or that using it is an act of sexism.

              HOWEVER……

              What can happen is that this word, which as I said has some perfectly legitimate uses, ends up getting taken way out of context to the point that the original context is either lost or forgotten. Or at the least the context is so ruined that it becomes a word that as soon as one says it all civility and reason cease and chaos reigns.

              The beauty of it is that those that use it out of context (such acting like a man disagreeing with a woman in and of itself is mansplaining) have the luxury of hiding behind that proper context I mentioned above and use it as a shield to protect their outrageous use of the word.

              In summation I would say that manplaining CAN be sexist depending on who is using it and how they are using it but not inherently sexist. And while some people have been using the term femsplaining in retaliation I think there may be a more fitting word that’s already in use, nag. Yeah is MIGHT be used out of context as a way to dismiss a woman’s voice, but sometimes the woman in question is actually wrong or talking out of the side of her head or trying to speak over the voice of a man based on nothing more than she is a woman.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              Good points, Danny.

  8. PastorofMuppets says:

    “I’m angry whenever women feel the need to behave in a certain way just because they’re women.

    I’m angry whenever other women happily take advantage of all the rights that they’ve gained thanks to the feminist movement, then turn around and say that they’re not feminists.”

    This seems a bit contradictory. First, you’re angry that people expect women to behave a certain way because they’re women. But then you’re angry that women don’t act the way you think they should (because they should, as women, act a certain way).
    If feminism is ultimately about women having equal freedoms and opportunities to choose who and what they want to be (a truly laudable goal), shouldn’t that also include the freedom to define themselves?

  9. I quite liked this piece and think it goes quite well with the earlier article. I think you both are using the word angry to mean different things. Its possible to stop being an (Sarah) angry feminst whilst
    still being an (Anne) angry feminist. Anne never was (Sarah) angry (possibly), while Sarah used to be but isn’t now.

    Nitpicking time
    (You don’t directly deal with the points that I am about to make but i think it is important.)

    “those of you who have had negative experiences with individual feminists will try to understand that the unfair actions of one particular person don’t mean that you should write off the feminist movement. Please don’t conflate your anger at things that have been said or done by people who label themselves as feminist with anger at feminism in general – because I promise you that no one single person (or even group of people) is representative of the whole.”

    Surely people can have problems with ceratin aspects of feminism in general. I do. I am (Anne) angry at some aspects of feminism in general. Of course I am (Anne) angry at actions of a lot of individual feminists as well.

    “Instead, maybe you could join me in directing your anger outward, to all the injustices that both men and women deal with in the face of the patriarchy and its desire to impose strict gender roles on all of us.”

    I think looking at men’s issues through the lens of patriarchy(I am using your definition) is not the best way to move forward. I think there is a problem if you are looking at mens issues as some sort of side effect of the greater system to disadvantage women instead of analysing the problems separately on their own merits.

    What I am trying to say is that any concept (patriarchy, privilage etc) isnt omnipresent. Talking about patriarchy makes sense when we are discussing lack of women in leadership positions but is ridiculos when we are talking about the decreasing number of tigers in India, or say me picking my nose . So the relevence of the concept depends on the discussion taking place. Looking at the world through feminist lens can highlight some problems men face doesn’t mean it can highlight all.

  10. Joanna Schroeder says:

    I’m angry that I just had a conversation with a beautiful, slender friend of mine who has an 18 month old and is trying to lose all her baby weight. I told her that when I went on that mission, I went too far, because my body was never the same after. Trying to get my pre-baby body back was ultimately destructive to me, and so now I’m embracing my body as it is, and trying to be healthy and love my new slightly rounder shape.

    She was really mad at me for even saying this. Because she wants me to join in on this dialogue of “You look great, I look bad.” met with, “No, YOU look great, I look bad!” and I won’t do it.

    And I’m angry and annoyed that this bullshit is so pervasive because of a system that tells women that self-love is bad and disgusting, and that dieting and talking shit about your body is good. I’m pointedly NOT mad at men about this, I”m mad at the system. But I know it comes across as being mad at men.

    Okay I’m done ranting. Love you, Anne. We’re all in this together, men and women, against a system that keeps all of us locked in dangerous and oppressive boxes.

    • Anne Thériault says:

      OHHHHH don’t even get me started on the pressure to get your pre-baby body back. I can’t believe that I’ve seen magazine covers with celebrities who are six weeks postpartum and already “bikini-ready”. At six weeks postpartum, I still looked pregnant. And that’s okay, because it’s normal. Bodies are normal at any size. And childbirth often fundamentally changes the shape of a woman’s body.

      I’m glad you’re working so hard to accept your body & help your friends accept theirs.

      I really, really appreciate your voice in this fight <3

    • “And I’m angry and annoyed that this bullshit is so pervasive because of a system that tells women that self-love is bad and disgusting, and that dieting and talking shit about your body is good. I’m pointedly NOT mad at men about this, I”m mad at the system. But I know it comes across as being mad at men.”

      And therein lies the problem. That “system” you speak of is women themselves. In Australia, it is women that drive the problem. Women are the editors of all the major women’s magazines in Australia, women are the ones that get all the air time here on morning shows and such setting whatever fashion/life trend is all the rage at the moment. I’m not going to generalise and say most men don’t care, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find a large amount of men pressuring their wives to get the baby weight off.

    • PursuitAce says:

      I have been told over and over again that women dress right and try to look good for other women. So this would seem like an intra-gender issue. Now what I’ve learned as a man is to never make comments about a woman’s appearance. It can always be misinterpreted to they negative. Any other men out there have a similar take on the whole women’s appearance issue? I’m not sure how the male gender is going to help you on this one.

      • Anne Thériault says:

        This goes back to the idea that women also participate in the patriarchy.

        Women are trained from a young age to compare themselves to other women, they’re taught that other women are the enemy and that the only way to succeed is to cut down and belittle other women. This is why you get people saying that girls are so catty, that they hold grudges, that they’re meaner to each other than boys are. Women are set up by our culture to compete with each other in very toxic ways, and that’s one of the things that holds us back.

        • Here’s just one example of where I have a big, big problem with “the patriarchy” as an epithet referring to our culture. It’s entirely too facile; calling the entire system “the patriarchy” implies that everything in and about our culture is defined by, and everything about it flows more-or-less directly from, the patriarchal aspects of it.++ (And from there it’s a small jump to the conclusion that everything is the fault of men and their oppressive nature.)

          I gotta call you out on the passive voice: “Women are trained from a young age…” The passive voice conveys action without an actor. Who trains women these things from a young age? Primarily other women! Yes, of course, the culture/society influences women and provides them with certain models of behavior. But how does that model of behavior develop uniquely from a patriarchal society? How is it that a matriarchal society would inherently prevent such behavior? I just don’t see it.

          ++ Also, there’s a definitional problem, because our society and culture are not and have never been utterly dominated by men and male roles, women have always had a certain level of influence, so if we apply “the patriarchy” as an epithet for a system that results from both male and female roles and influence, that breaks the denotative connection between patriarchy and men. Then the whole discussion just runs off into the weeds because nobody can agree even on the meaning of the words used.

        • Do you have any insight into what the competition is over? What does the winner get?

          Who is doing the training?

          How does this amount to women participating in the Patriarchy?

    • Why would you be mad at men? Pretty much every instance of “get your baby body back” I’ve ever seen was either spoken by women, or put in women’s magazines. Most men unless they’re a real asshole understand women’s body’s change after childbirth and shouldn’t harass women over losing weight. I’d say this is a system largely produced by women in hopes of being more attractive to what they THINK men want, they’re hardly able to just blame men for it. Quite frankly I think women do a lot of this shit just to impress other women, everything I’ve learned about the genders growing up suggests to me women are hypercritical of women’s looks, far more than I’ve ever seen a guy do, and especially critical on their own looks. Women are tearing each other down in their media and the industry of beauty which is supported mostly by women contributes hell to a woman’s self-esteem.

      Although sadly the men are joining in on this with shit like Men’s Health photoshopped ads, the body shaming men do to each other at times in regards to how muscley they are. But I’ve never seen anything even remotely close to the shit that goes on with many women. So I kinda find it fucked up to even mention men as someone to blame for this, hell there are studies showing men wanted “thicker” women than what women thought men want. When women are trying to reach an ideal that seems more about pleasing other women than it does about trying to attract a man I start to call bullshit on this.

      Sure it’s fun to play the blame men for all the problems game (or so it seems) but really? I use to read my mothers women’s mags and the ones at the doctors surgery, 1 minute in and I MYSELF felt like a fat piece of shit with how many fucking adverts n articles were about weight-loss. That shit is TOXIC, not to mention most of the weight-loss tips were fad diets and not even decent fucking advice.

  11. Anne, you got to sell the issues. Repetitive statements like “I’m angry at/because” give the impression of being frustrated, but yet to find solutions. And we need solutions. Plenty of problems out there, lots of frustrations. I want to hear how you’re moving it along. This is a rant and there is enough anger in our lives. I want to see you occupy a position of experience with compassion and an unwavering core, provide the answers, as people listen to folk who are know they know what they know and have moved through anger. Can’t say I’m there yet, but that’s where we all need to be headed.

  12. @Joanna 12:45 pm
    “We’re all in this together, men and women, against a system that keeps all of us locked in dangerous and oppressive boxes.”

    Perhaps we should be…. To my perception we most certainly aren’t in this together.

    Feminist organizations advocated hard against the addressing of boys in education – AAUW, Jackie King @ ACE, Wellesley Center for Education Equity, people like Sara Mead and Caryl Rivers.

    Feminist groups consulted with the FBI to change rape definitions for reporting purposes, and advocated against including rape by envelopment as rape.

    Feminist groups promoted a model of domestic violence that sited IPV in the “inherent” brutishness of men, rendering male and female victims of IPV unseen and underserved.

    Many feminists promote the demonization of men as an ideology, and when they are reluctant to base it in male biology or hormone balances (testosterone poisoning anyone), they cite it in gender role enculturation.

    Feminist organizations have advocated against the rebuttable presumption of share parenting, and have launched allegations that abusive men are routinely granted custody.

    This is where most people exist – home, family, education, employment, freedom from imprisonment, freedom from demonization The aspects of these policies, when written into law, become very difficult to overcome by any given individual male.

    Nor do I see ANY significant effort on the part of any recognised feminist to call-out those policies in their advocacy. Perhaps a few words on a blog, or a comment, but actions scream while words whisper.
    ___________________

    I am a feminist. I have been one since I was 14 – close to 40 years now. There is no place for me in the movement that now exists. My concerns for my sons’ and nephew’s interests are irrelevant and unaddressed.

    I am sure you are all very fine people, that you contribute to your community, promote good in the world, care for the males in your lives…. but ideology trumps everything. The human tendency to abstract people into groups, and build system analysis on top of those groups, has a very bad history. It’s really rather depressing.
    SO, I tell the next generation of men in my life to take steps to protect themselves – self-educate, seek to become self-employed at least to some degree, maintain your own safe place, place clear boundaries on relationships until you have fully evaluated the risk profile, and never, never depend on a societal institution to treat you fairly – cops, courts, social workers, the health system, and employers. I tell my daughter and niece the same, but at this time, they are at far smaller risk of imprisonment, firing, mental health and drugs, and suicide.

    So when someone says they are an angry feminist, and that they love men, but are angry at the patriarchy… I have no way to help, none whatever. I cannot help you change your perception of the world, I cannot alleviate the pain you feel that flows from your understanding of the world and its drivers, and I cannot stop the support system that surrounds you that encourages these belief systems.

    • rezam –
      This is such a great comment. It makes me sorta sad and a bit curious.
      Sad because your world view seems so stark to me, especially doing “risk” assessments on relationships!? and not expecting fairness. It reminds me of one of my cousins, whom I love dearly, who has been hurt and beaten down and who is always on guard and it breaks my heart to see.
      Curious because after all that, you still say “I am a feminist.” What does that mean, in your eyes, such that you can still claim the label? The first half of your comment gives pretty clear reasons why you don’t feel included in today’s movement, so I’m left wondering what elements you do identify with?

      • Stark…. well the world is messy and somewhat chaotic. When you draw back and view things from a bit of a distance, trends are sometimes easier to spot. The description can be a bit stark. The stressors in everyone’s lives have become chronic. I think it is unlikely that a beneficial solution is at hand.
        The risk assessments are needed, because young men, without some experience, and lacking sufficient knowledge of societal institutions, do not see any risk at all. To be clear, in their relationships, the risk comes not primarily from their partners per se, but from the stance of societal institutions – in education, IPV, and particularly, family law. Combine that with various strands of ideology, and you can have a lethal combination. In those contexts, risk profiling is essential. I came close to losing a nephew over the past two years. And no, I am not saying that women do not also face risks – they do.

        As to fairness, I do not expect fairness. Individuals within those systems – a cop, a teacher, a judge – may very well be inclined to fairness. The policy and process of those systems are susceptible to politics and ideology – as institutions, you simply cannot expect fairness. Hmmm…. My brother-in-law is a developmentally challenged individual, with what appears to be Angelman syndrome. His operating IQ might be 60 or 70, he has ataxia, limited verbal skills and weighs perhaps 110 pounds.
        He was thrown on the ground and sat upon by a cop weighing almost 3 times his weight, taken to jail, refused contact with his parents, or a lawyer while he was interrogated for ten hours. Why? A young girl of perhaps 9 or 10 was lying on the ground in a park, crying. The inattentive parent saw him standing over her and concluded that he had attempted to sexually assault her. She called the cops. He was trying to help her after she had fallen and skinned her knee. It took him months to get past that. Fair. Not notably.

        The first part of my comment is a delineation of what feminist activists have in fact done. Feminist theory is fine, and one is free to hold what views they choose. When it enters law, regulation, and policy of institutions, then it is a different matter. Feminist activists, when making these changes appeal to a political power base to persuade holders of power to act. That power base is NOT just feminists, it is also traditional women, and many men. However, other feminists did not push back against those changes, nor did women generally object to such changes as they thought might benefit them. Hence my comment that I do not see that we are all in this together. I suspect that Joanna and I are in this together, but not “we all”. Thing is, changes were needed, and change can be messy and replete with unintended consequences. Pretending that those unintended outcomes are not very real, is to me, delusional.

        Finally… I am in most ways a feminist. I will continue to hold that both (all) sexes and all genders are absolutely equal in human dignity, need to be accorded the same opportunities and treatments, and experience equivalent ranges of humanity. The face of the movement as it now stands, both online and off, includes so many constructs that are premised on a rejection of that sentence – constructs I cannot subscribe to – that I would not be accepted as a feminist by the movement as presently constituted. I cannot in good conscience, lend my support to the movement as such. So i act locally instead – one on one.

  13. Jonathan G says:

    Succinctly: Context is key. Anger at the system and a desire to change it, I understand. However, if I react badly when you exercise your anger on me–as if I am the system personified, because I am a man–that’s not an instance of the system oppressing you because you’re female. It’s me judging you because you’re an asshole.

    (NB: I use “you” as the indefinite third-person pronoun, not in direct response to Ms. Theriault.)

  14. Although those positions of power are dominated by a very few men, feminists fail to see the powerlessness and lack of privilege for most normal men as well as the dominance of men at the bottom of all social suffering.

    All men are not privileged over all women. Patriarchy theory is nonsense in assuming male privilege.

  15. “Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it.”

    Can someone please give me an example in western society, i.e. Canada, US or UK where society, government OR law, privileges the interests of boys and men over women and girls especially when it comes to body autonomy. After all in the western world we have a large amount of MGM vs FGM (which is rare at best), men have ZERO reproductive rights, even though men die from virtually every major disease at higher rates than women, women receive the lions share of donations and gov money to their health. Men have 0 mens only hospitals in Canada (where I live) , women have a large number. There are offices of womens health in the federal gov. There are laws specific and essentially only designed to combat crime against women even though they are in the minority of crime victims.

    I am sorry OP but I just don’t get your idea of patriarchy.

    • The recent debates in the House of Commons surrounding motions 312 and 408 are fabulous examples of government officials trying to remove a woman’s bodily autonomy.

      That Roe v. Wade still seems to be “up for debate” among the more social-conservative camps of the Republican party is another fantastic example.

      Hell, the fact that damn near *every* male body type can be seen readily on TV, but the overwhelming majority of women you see on TV all seem to conform to roughly the same body type is another fine showing of western society privileging the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity of girls and women.

      Motion 312: http://www.stephenwoodworth.ca/canadas-400-year-old-definition-of-human-being/motion-312
      Motion 408: http://www.markwarawa.com/media_/mark_in_the_news/mp-mark-warawa-introduces-motion-to-condemn-discrimination-against-females-via-sex-selective-pregnancy-termination

      • Matt, thank you very much for your comment.

      • Matt @ 3:49 pm

        I am pro-choice.
        Your first example was a backbencher motion to establish a committee to consider the question of when life begins. It was not government policy. It was not a piece of legislation. The Prime Minister voted against the motion. Canada has no legislation governing abortion.
        The second motion that you object to was titled ” Motion to Condemn Discrimination Against Females Via Sex-Selective Pregnancy Termination”, and again, was neither proposed legislation, nor government policy.
        Backbencher motions in a whipped parliamentary system such as Canada’s are purely political posturing, and very rarely pass, let alone have any impact whatsoever. To advance the claim that this amounts to “government officials trying to remove a woman’s bodily autonomy” is stretching the point rather far, don’t you think?
        As for “up-for-debate”, should we refuse people the freedom to give their views on issues, when we disagree with them? Does this amount to government officials stripping women of autonomy and bodily rights?

        As for the representations of male bodies – sure, and all those fat dirty unkempt slobs that you see on TV are intended to privilege the interest of boys and men. That is interesting reasoning.

        • The Conservative party is notoriously whipped, to the extent that it’s become a common understanding that Harper controls 100% of the messaging that comes out of Tory MPs. Those Motions weren’t just backbenchers bringing up a couple of mortally stupid and patently offensive ideas, they were very specific tactics by the Tory caucus to, in the first case, tell non-Tory voters, “see, we don’t agree with these terrible things either,” but also to keep these ideas in mind. If it was as simple as the Conservative party not agreeing with these ideas, then the Motions would never have made it out of the caucus meetings.

          I wrote quickly, and didn’t properly articulate my point of view–the backbenchers who presented these motions may not have been actively attempting to do this, but to bring it up at all demonstrates a belief, on the part of the party, that upon implantation of an embryo, that a women should no longer be fully in control of what happens to her body.

          My line of thinking with respect to how certain Republican congressmen want to keep talking about re-criminalising abortion is twofold: first of all, suggesting the removal of legal avenues for people to practice family planning–as we’ve seen in State bills in the southern states, particularly Arizona, though I can’t recall the exact bills–is quite literally an attempt on the part of government officials to remove a woman’s bodily autonomy, because it’s an attempt to dictate what she may or may not do with her body. In particular, I’m thinking about the bill to declare abortion to be *evidence tampering*, which is a felony, and in turn strips the convicted felon of significant rights.

          Second of all, the continued pursuit to debate the legality of abortion in North America stands in stark contrast to even the Conservative party’s acceptance of same-sex marriage in Canada, following a Supreme Court case (albeit, one that modified the Charter of Rights and Freedoms). The Tories clearly don’t consider same-sex marriage as being up for debate, but they’re happy to use their stooges to keep Canadians talking about whether abortion should be criminal or not.

          Finally, TV and films presentation of the male form… Yeah, I think it’s beneficial to boys and men. You can look like Steve Buscemi and have a career in film if you’re a good actor. But in North America, you never–never–see average-looking women on TV. The standard “unattractive” actress on TV is heavily made up to appear so, and the scripts are constantly reminding you that she’s unattractive, just in case you forgot. America Ferrera, when she’s not playing Ugly Betty, is an attractive woman… she’s only “ugly” behind the horn rims, braces, bad hair and questionable style applied by Wardrobe and Makeup.

          • I see plenty of unattractive women on TV, movies, yes even those who look similar to Bucemi. Difference may be that makeup can make an ugly woman more attractive whereas Bucemi is SOL.

          • Matt;
            I doubt this is interesting to anyone, so I will keep it short… Whipping and messaging are 2 completely different things. A backbencher can bring a motion wether their caucus likes it or not, by filing a Notice of Motion in the daily Notice Paper. And since 1986, private motions are moved forward using a random selection process that is under the Speaker’s control. Harper is clearly and unequivocally against re-opening the abortion debate. I guarantee you that while the vote was not whipped by either the Liberals or the Conservatives, the PMO made certain that the motion would fail.
            This is 100% political. In no way was a government official (ie a member of the executive branch, including cabinet ministers) trying to take away women’s reproductive rights.
            I understand that you would prefer for your opponents to never have the chance to be heard in Parliament, or anywhere else, but that backbencher’s constituents also have the right to be heard. Heard, and DEFEATED.
            I doubt very much that you like abortion, I certainly don’t… but the alternative is far worse, at least in my view. Sometimes it takes others much longer to come around.
            ______________
            I still find your assessment of women and men on TV a little, ummm… skewed, but likely you watch different material than I do.

      • Except Matt you forget , MEN have no body autonomy right now. Yes, the rights of women might be under attack, BUT that is because they actually have rights to lose, whereas when it comes to reproduction men have no rights. Not even the right to say NO.

        Rosanne, Mike and Molly actress, Oprah, Lisa Lampenella (sp?), Ricki Lake are just few of the examples of those outside the ‘standard body type’.

      • Matt: So then, what about BEFORE Roe v Wade, weren’t there people who fought to get what Roe v Wade has given them. Were those people wrong because “that was the law back then”. This is what a lot of people forget, laws change over time, especially when you consider that Roe v Wade was merely an opinion by unelected officials (Supreme Court Judges) who were appointed by the government of the day most because of their views. That is how the system works.

        Your points to refute what I said were extremely weak and frankly seemed as though you were grasping at straws. I noticed though you completed ignored the fact that MEN have no reproductive rights whatsoever by law OR by society.

        • To your last point, I was at work when I made my first comment, and had only a brief window to point out a few examples. Those sprung quickly to mind, but I really only had long enough to look up the specific motion numbers, rather than getting into a deep explanation.

          As far as the social climate leading up to Roe v Wade goes, I never suggested that those fighting for legal reform were wrong. They fighting to save the lives of women in a very desperate circumstance, by making abortion something that could be procured legally and safely. Trying, and even discussing options to take this option away is reckless, and suggests that the suggesters believe that the women in question are incompetent to make good decisions (particularly as pertains restricting access to abortion on the grounds of preventing sex-selective abortion).

      • MATT…just how do you know definitely that all men even like what is considered an attractive women by pop culture standards? The truth is men have liked heavier women in the past-look at images of American women at the turn of the century- and like them now too.Remember, we are in the midst of a weight gain epidemic in America. The other annoying thing about this body image business is that it based upon an ideal that is WHITE and then that ideal is applied to all men and women without thinking. What an egregious abuse of power and privilege. It is insensitive, lacks empathy and intersectionality too. So much for the more progressive, more open minded feminist.

        This is really fucked up and says that only one opinion matters in this conversation-the white one.So white women want to be disrespectful and demeaning to me and my views on beauty, yet demand respect and attention for theirs. Why I should I care that some white woman who doesn’t even think my opinion on beauty matters to her, thinks!?In my view, this kind of woman WANTS to be held prisoner to an aesthetic that she can’t meet and constantly complains about ;even though there are options available. Even though there are other formulations of beauty out in the world.What does this say about white women who behave in this way?
        Black men like women with big hips and thighs, but since the opinion of black men doesn’t matter to mainstream culture concerning white women, white women only see one image of themselves as acceptable and they take every opportunity to wallow in it . That is entirely their fault. This entire conversation is so racially exclusive it is nauseating!?

        • You’re right; I failed to consider social pressures of body type toward women of colour. That was foolish and inconsiderate of me, and I apologise.

          So, in what other ways does western pop culture work against the dignity of women’s–all women–appearance? By constantly reinforcing appearance, above everything else, when paying compliments. By perpetually dissecting women’s appearance in magazines. By constantly passing along the message to women that they are being judged, and analysed, and their worth being determined based on their appearance, and their primary and secondary sex characteristics. When CBS (was it CBS?) establishes rules about what women could wear to the Golden Globes. When a Big Screaming Deal is made about who ignored those rules, and how they did so.

          I don’t think it’s just white women who want to be considered on the basis of their intelligence and their arguments, rather than their appearance. I’ll grant that this is a sweeping assumption, but it’s based on the fact that it would sure piss *me* off if I knew, for a fact, that in a boardroom full of women, that if I wasn’t attractive enough to someone in that room, that they were likely discounting everything I had to say.

          You say that white women wallow in one image of themselves being considered as acceptable. The next time you go grocery shopping, flip through any of the tabloid and fashion magazines at the checkout while you wait, and consider how much variety there is in women’s bodies that are presented there. Western society is *constantly* bombarding us with very specific expectations about what is considered attractive, and then tearing to shreds with incredible vitriol anyone in the public eye that doesn’t satisfy those expectations.

          I think that if that was what I grew up with, constantly seeing these messages about what society thought of my physical appearance, I’d probably deeply internalise it too, so that the notion of “well, I’m off to work, so I’d better even out my skin tone, colour my lips, and make my eyes pop” would become as much second nature to me as it is to the overwhelming majority of women.

          And if you’re offended that your culture’s perception of beauty isn’t adequately represented in the media, that probably has something to do with the cultural makeup of those in control of it… Rich white men.

          • With the internet beauty is far more than what is shown on TV. Everyone now can play a part in portraying beauty. When women talk about each’s other beauty especially on public platforms like website comments, facebook, etc they are playing a HUGE role collectively in continuing adding to the culture of beauty. The power “rich white men” have in regards to media is dwindling fast, even governments fail to control media 100%.

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            Who controll most of the womens magazines? rich white women 😉

            • That’s a cop out, if white people are the majority party then why would they not promote their own likeness as the ideal. It’s ridiculous to throw the “Rich White Men” line every time a minority party feels under represented.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              I agree, the reality, is actually much more complex than that. But for some its easier to fall into the myth, menVSwomen (women good and men bad, who actually is also a cultural construct) but that is more a sign of poor intellectual work and poor feminism. Overall is a sign of laziness.

      • So men are afforded more body types, but how does that compare to the fact nearly all death, violent death that is has a male dying? By the time someone is an adult they could easily have seen the onscreen death of maybe 100 women and 10,000 men. Wouldn’t that show them that males are disposable? Privilege starts to dwindle when you do more than just look at the negatives women face and compare them to the positives men face. You need to look at the negatives men face and positives women face for the full view, but quite frankly how do you really compare them at all when they’re both of different issues? Women tend to be there for a lot sexuality, men tend to be there a lot for violence, women nurture, men destroy.

    • Aspire –
      “Can someone please give me an example in western society, i.e. Canada, US or UK where society, government OR law, privileges the interests of boys and men over women and girls”

      Here’s a few examples from my neck of the woods:
      – Ideal worker norms that essentially require everyone in upper management to have a full-time stay-at-home spouse. The *intent* of these norms is to maximize employee contributions, the *effect* of the norms is to make it much easier for traditional family structures to reach the top of society. While there is some movement (some great examples here: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-cant-have-it-all/309020/1/) the current structure continues to disproportionately favor men, which is why the percentage of female CEOs is still well below 50%.
      – A corollary and consequence of these ideal worker norms is the wage and wealth gaps. The number varies depending on who you to talk and who you talk about – age, class, race, etc. all being factors that shift the numbers (some good examples here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/10/24/an_honest_conversation_about_the_wage_gap_between_men_and_women_why_is_it.html). And again, this is not necessarily something government or the law is *doing to women* rather it is a structural bias that disproportionately disadvantages women.
      – A corollary and consequence of the financial disparities is the campaign finance structure that disproportionately disadvantages women in both giving and receiving money, thereby directly impacting the ability of women to run for office or influence public policy. (here’s a little snapshot from the 2008 race: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/06/women-still-lag-behind-men-in.html) And, again, although the laws don’t *intend* to make it harder for women, their *effect* is to maintain the existing old-boy-network political power structures that favor rich white men in disproportionate numbers.

      These three examples aren’t overt efforts to keep women down, they are norms and laws that perpetuate structural inequalities which disproportionately favor men and disadvantage women.

      • Kari: you are conflating, SOME men with ALL MEN, How many men are there in North Americia and how many CEOs are there. The ratio of ALL men to CEOs is so small as to make them statistically insignificant.

        BTW, you giving an opinion NOT a fact.

      • When talking about the wage gap: Notice they leave out a whole of things that influence it, they only use same degrees and enter the same industry: They don’t seem to use hours worked, difficulty of the job, are there breaks in experience etc. Same old wage gap and btw, they even say “It is hard to nail down”.

      • Aspire –
        Sorry for not giving more specific facts in the text of my comment. Although I’m skeptical that these will make a difference in this conversation, here they are:

        – Women comprise 50.8% of the US population, but only 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
        – Women comprise over 60% of auditors and accountants, but only 9% of CFOs.

        – If you look at ALL men and ALL women the wage gap is 23 cents.
        – If you look at the *adjusted* wage gap (which takes into account all those variables like hours, breaks, difficulty, etc.) it is 6 cents.
        – If you look at ALL men and ALL women, women own 36% of the wealth men own.
        – Never-married women own only 6% of the wealth of never-married men.
        – Widowed women own 59% of wealth owned by widowed men.

        – Of US adults, only 31% of women gave $200+ in campaign contributions in 2011-2012, compared to 66% of men.
        – Of all donations given to candidates/parties, only 35% were given by female donors.
        – Of all donations given to PACs, only 23% were given by female donors.
        – Of the top 24 House and Senate candidates who raised the most money in the 2012 cycle, 8 were women.
        – Of the top 24 House and Senate candidates who got the most money from PACs, 3 were women.
        – Of the top 24 self-funders in the House and Senate, 3 were women.

        • Hmmm…
          Kari, there is some math in play here. The fundamental issue is the problem of segmentation. The assumption made behind most of these stats is that the target population under study is homogenous. It isn’t.

          If you break the population into cohorts, say by demographic age, ethnicity and so on, you get a far more accurate picture. At present the sample is challenged by outlier effects from baby boomers and their parents, in which the pattern of wealth and income and career position is quite inconsistent with that of baby boomers offspring. By the time one acts to correct the overall descriptive stat, the situation will have changed, but you are left with a policy that addresses yesterday’s problem, but has caused tomorrow’s.

          The stats on wage gaps tried to include all variables, but it does not. Amongst these are sectoral involvements, personal behaviour in the workplace (notably family demands), and negotiating behaviour. Even the CONSAD study was deficient. These are complex problems, and statistics is a weak tool for their resolution. Again there are segmentation problems.

          Money is only one of the components to election success. Politics is in some ways, a high risk undertaking. Some people are more inclined to take those risks, others less so. Evidence from many fields – education, finance, athletics, indicates that women have a different calculus for embracing risks. When the risks include damage to important relationships, women might well reach a different decision.
          Networking for money requires a certain level of accepting some less than optimal sources. It is quite possible that women are less accepting of those kinds of ethical sacrifices. It is also possible that older cohorts of women had fewer opportunities to make those networks, and younger women have had more. It may well be a transitional thing. Gillebrand and Haley have had better networks, for instance. Don’t forget that many women have access to those networks through male figures, be they family (Clinton, Murkowski) or mentors (Gillebrand -Schumer).

          I am careful with what statistics claim, as they frequently occlude meaning and reality. But otheres hold different opinions, so…

          • rezam –
            I basically agree with everything you said and tend to be pretty careful with statistics too, which is part of why I didn’t include them in my original response to Aspire. We could spend all day dissecting each one, which would be interesting, but doesn’t really change my original three “examples.” In addition, as you point out, there are a thousand-and-one factors that go into *why* these structural inequalities exist. And I’m curious about all of them, actually, but it doesn’t change my original response.

        • Hi Kari,

          I want to make sure I’m understanding your numbers properly (not because I disagree with them, just to make sure I understand what they are actually measuring.)

          If you look at ALL men and ALL women, women own 36% of the wealth men own.
          What does this mean exactly? This wording is really bizarre. Is it saying that if we were to look at the total, 100% of wealth, men own 73.52% and women own 26.47% of all wealth? Is it saying that if we take 100% of the wealth owned by men, 36% of that wealth is shared and thus also owned by a woman? Those are two drastically different stories.

          Also, how is ownership defined? How is wealth defined? This things make a big difference when it comes to statistics.

          Never-married women own only 6% of the wealth of never-married men.
          Similarly strange wording. Is this saying that looking at the wealth of never-married individuals, 94.34% of that wealth is owned by men and 5.66% owned by women?

          Please note when these statistics are dated, where they are coming from (source,) and the sample (are we talking globally, the United States, Europe?). I will agree that when you consider the statistics for never married men and never married woman by census population data you find that between the ages of 20-44 the numbers are about equal (56% men to 44% women,) so the statistic upfront s about startling. What I do want to know is how this plays out among each age group, because the disparity in the number of never-married men to women increases with age; 60% of unmarried 40-44 year olds are men. When you consider that the 40-44 year old crowd holds immensely greater wealth than the under 30 crowd (this is where the number of billionaires begins to spike continuing up to the 50 and dropping again among the 60 and 70 crowd) and that there was far greater bias and discrimination against women in the work place a very large amount of that wealth distribution is locked up into the older unmarried crowds, while I bet if you looked at the under 30 crowd you would find the wealth distribution very close to equal (in fact there was an article recently that revealed that especially in metropolitan areas women in the under 30 crowd were out-earning men.)

          This is not to say that I don’t believe your numbers, more that I feel just seeing numbers like that without additional information explaining how we got there are not enough for a definitive argument about wealth distribution between women and men, although my guess is that yes there is a huge disparity, most likely in the older generations that were more tightly tied to old gender norms.

          Widowed women own 59% of wealth owned by widowed men.
          Again, to clarify, is saying out of the wealth of all widowed individuals, 62.9% of that wealth is owned by widowed men and 37.1% is owned by widowed women?

          Is this talking about single widowed women and men? Does it take into account widowed men and women who have re-married and are now sharing income with new spouses? I ask this for clarification, because for example, say they were counting widows who have been re-married they may be attributing wealth by widowed women that is also owned by widowed men. These sorts of details change what your statistics mean.

          If you look at the *adjusted* wage gap (which takes into account all those variables like hours, breaks, difficulty, etc.) it is 6 cents.
          I’m not saying I don’t believe this, as I do believe that the wage gap exists; I believe it is the product of expectations of gender norms rather than systematic and purposeful discrimination. True, no matter how you slice it there is still a wage gap. The problem comes in with your assertion that the amount is 6 cents? Politifact released a recent note on this during the election and came to the conclusion that while there is a wage gap there are too many factors at play to accurately determine just how big that gap is. http://www.politifact.com/georgia/article/2012/oct/30/obama-and-romney-womens-issues/

          • KC Krupp –
            “If you look at ALL men and ALL women, women own 36% of the wealth men own.”
            Sorry the wording was confusing. I mean women own 36% as much wealth as men, so if all the wealth owned by men was $100, all the wealth owned by women would be $36. Same with the other wealth statistics. If all the wealth owned by never-married men was $100, all the wealth owned by never-married women would be $6. And so on.

            We can slice and dice statistics all day, which is fun for sure, but not particularly useful in the comments section of an online media site. (And ultimately doesn’t change my original response to Aspire.) One thing I will add about the wealth data is that usually wealth is measured by household, not individual, so comparisons between single men and single women are easier to make than married men v. married women.

            The wealth data came from sociologist Mariko Chang at a talk she gave at Standford (here: http://gender.stanford.edu/news/2011/shortchanged-women-and-wealth-gap) and the Race, Poverty and The Environment section of Urban Habitat (here: http://www.urbanhabitat.org/node/2815). The sample details, etc. would have to be tracked down.

            The wage gap data is complicated, for sure. Which is why I said “wage and wealth” gaps. I was intrigued by this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-hoff-sommers/wage-gap_b_2073804.html which quotes a study done by American Association of University Women (AAUW) (feminists, no less!).

            And the campaign finance stats came from http://www.opensecrets.org which is run by the Center for Responsive Politics.

            • That should say “Stanford” not “Standford” !

            • Thanks for the follow up. I wasn’t interested in changing your answer more clarification on where your facts came from. Statistics, facts, and assertions without a clear, credible source are something that drive me nuts because it’s hard to distil down what is actually going on without it (and statistics are so easily manipulated.)

              I would disagree with Aspires original assertion as well, personally. There are clear areas where there is still gender bias against women. There are clear areas where there is still gender bias against men.

              This is one reason why I assert that both women’s and men’s rights are best served by addressing social pressures against both genders, openly, happily, and without placing a “priority” on either party. We want women to not feel pressured to leave the work place to take care of kids? Let’s encourage women to continue working and simultaneously remove the pressure on men to have to be the primary income earner or remove the stigma against men in child-care positions. We want to decrease sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence? What if we focused on helping male victims of sexual violence and drive home that, no it’s not just “getting lucky” and we actually focused on real genuine discussions about male sexuality that stop pressuring men to just “hit it;” my bet is that that sexual assault against women would also decrease.

            • KC Krupp –
              “rights are best served by addressing social pressures against both genders, openly, happily, and without placing a “priority” on either party”
              Yes! Yes! Yes! I wholeheartedly agree – unraveling the binary requires working on both ends. And it doesn’t have to be a bitter competition for scarce resources, we can find paradigm shifts and holistic/systemic (creative!) ways to break cycles in lasting ways. Yes!

            • Kari, Kc Krupp( and The Sunshine Band?0…”And it doesn’t have to be a bitter competition for scarce resources,…” I swear , if you actually believe that I don’t see how feminism,no matter the elusive shading and coloring, is consistent with that ideology, In fact, it has done nothing but continue to encourage the kind of factionalism that the actual power brokers depend upon to blunt any efforts to make change.

              As a political entity, feminism is an elitist endeavor, and it has all of the warts to prove it. It acts like the emperor who had no clothes, insisting that it has on clothes, not realizing that everybody could see his unattractive parts. Racism was, even in the seventies and eighties and nineties a problem as was,homophobia and class ism; for god sake it sounds like the good old boy’s network -in drag – to me. Yet they have the audacity to pose as victims and as leaders in the fight for equality. REALLY. how does that work? I want that job!

        • “- If you look at ALL men and ALL women the wage gap is 23 cents.”
          And if you look at ALL men and ALL women, men work quite a bit more in a place of employment than women AND do more harmful jobs, hold more fulltime positions that tend to pay more (engineer vs teaching, etc).

          “- If you look at ALL men and ALL women, women own 36% of the wealth men own.”
          Is there a report where you take the 1% and remove them from the list? What is the difference between the average Joe n Jane? I suspect the 1% skew numbers severely.

          “- Never-married women own only 6% of the wealth of never-married men.”
          Women 20-30, childless earn more than men of the same, things be changing.

          As for campaign donations, you realize there are 8million more female voters right? The majority vote is actually women. So those women largely voted in the new president but didn’t provide much campaign contribution, what is the point here?

          Why such a hyperfocus on the top jobs? There can only be 500 CEO’s in the Fortune 500. Over 90% of on the job deaths are male, where is the feminist activism there? Where are the feminists trying to gain 50% gender equality in jobs like garbage disposal, mining, logging, dangerous jobs? Pretty much alllllll I see is feminist action to try get less then 1% of the population into the “pretty” jobs, the high paying CEO positions and upper management, politics whereas all the shitty jobs still have their gendered separations with little discussion. Want equality in the top tier of jobs? Then bring in equality at the bottom rungs too, lemme see 50:50 men n women working oil rigs, logging, mines, underground, etc.

          What are the numbers for people who are NOT a politician, not in a fortune 500 upper-management, you know…something relevant to 99.5% of the population?

          • Archy –
            First, I focus on top tier because part of the definition of patriarchy is “control by men of a disproportionately large share of power.” Corporate elite, wealthy, and political leaders are were the power is. At the other end of society, women are also more likely to live in poverty.
            Second, personally, I’m very interested in disparate *negative* impacts on men as well – like incarceration and violence and child custody and health and any number of issues brought up on GMP – but Aspire was asking for examples where society, government or law “privileges” men.

            • The problem with the CEO example is that, in my opinion, more women CEOs will not result in greater social justice. The focus on female CEOs only serves to replace one group of the elite with a new group of the elite, and I see no reason to expect that the new elite of women CEOs will necessarily be any more compassionate and willing to share than the current male CEOs. I highly disagree with the idea that women as CEOs will somehow make things more “equal” and believe that continuing to focus on the elite rather than the average joe and jane just furthers the gap between the rich and the poor, which is a greater disparity in power than the gap between men and women is, was, or ever will be.

              If your issue with “patriarchy” is that it places more men in power than women and thus infringes on equal rights, I highly doubt just adding more women to the upper echelons of power will do what you want it to. Really you should be against disproportionate amounts of power being held by the wealthy class.

              This tends to be where I have my issue when I run into feminists. I am totally on board for the overall vision of equality; we both want the same end game. The problem is we have fundamentally different opinions on what the root cause to those problems is and then everything breaks down. I think we need to just agree to drop feminist theory and the MRA’s evolutionary psychology jibber-jabber and focus more on steps we can take to fix the problem. Yes there is a fine line, to a certain extent you need to determine if the cause of the wage gap is due to discrimination or a lack of proper negotiation skills, but does it matter if the cause of the lack of those skills is because patriarchy/evolutionary design for social balance yadda yadda, or does it matter that we teach women these skills? Does it matter that society erases male victims because of patriarchy/male disposability or is the issue that society erases male victims and we need to start talking about that?

              If you have a pair of statues and destroy one of them, there is a good chance you can figure out what the other statute looked like before it was destroyed, but if you destroy both statues, then all you have is powdered remains and your imagination to help you dream up what you think those statues should look like to future generations.

              Let’s stop focusing on dismantling one gender, we will never get equality that way; you have to dismantle the gender norms for both men and women at the same time.

            • KC Krupp –
              There are studies out there on whether and how women change (the process and/or outcomes of) decision-making when they have equal representation. The UN is looking at this here: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/forums/leadership/ and here: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/eql-men/docs/EP.7_rev.pdf. The second piece in particular warns against making assumptions until there is more evidence gathered.
              There’s also a study here: http://economics.mit.edu/files/6500 about the quota system imposed on company boards in Norway (must be 40% women) that found these companies were more employee-centered and less profit-centered. And these are just a couple examples of the research that’s out there.

              And if you asked me what the biggest social problem in the US is right now, I would definitely say the income/wealth gap, not gender inequality.

  16. Anger is an emotion which you feel irrationally, not the outcome of a logical thought process.

    It can be very hard for me to work out why I am angry. Especially when the cause is something big like sexual assault. One neat way of avoiding dealing with my anger is to stop being angry at the specific woman who abused me, and instead be angry with women in general. I can get all Men’s righty, and rant about ignoring male rape victims (which is a problem). But that doesn’t help, and it stops me from having positive interactions with the women in my life. I have to remind myself that most women aren’t child molesters, and being ignorant about men’s issues is different to being a child abuser.

    The problem with setting up a system that re-enforces anger is that people who aren’t self aware can get trapped because working through your anger by being angry at abstract concepts doesn’t deal with the root cause. It also means that activists attack people who could be friends and allies with the same energy that should be reserved for the rapist.

    • I totally understand. Instead of dealing with disappoinment with my own personal failings and secure with the person I am, I rant and rave that Teh Patriarchy is oppressing me.

    • “I’m angry whenever other women happily take advantage of all the rights that they’ve gained thanks to the feminist movement, then turn around and say that they’re not feminists.”

      I’ve said this on this website before, but I find it very strange that people think we need a label to let others know that we believe in gender equality. The African American civil rights activists formed an entire movement battling institutionalized racism that went back to the very founding of this country and beyond, yet at no point did they create a label for themselves and demand that others refer to themselves. The movement was given a name based on what they were after, but that was it. Creating a label to demonstrate that you are against a specific form of human inequality is strange to me and in the case of feminism, the label will only be useful until women as a class are no longer considered disadvantaged. The way in which we measure this however is going to vary from which feminist you’re talking to. For how long is this label needed, if at all? Theres no clear answer and this idea that women need to pay proper homage to their ancestors who fought on their behalf by labeling themselves as they did would be like insisting that I owe Christianity something for the rights I gained due to certain Christians.

      What I find even more bizarre is this idea that the belief in gender equality is now the intellectual property of the feminist movement. That one cannot logically hold this value and still prefer not to be labeled in that way. And in this belief often lies a denial that the label feminist has taken on other connotations that people would rather not associate with. There are certain theories and viewpoints that have become apart of the feminist “zeitgeist” that are problematic for some. Some, like myself don’t like to be labeled into any one ideological movement and I think its absurd that a value any decent person should hold belongs to any one group.

      • What I find even more bizarre is this idea that the belief in gender equality is now the intellectual property of the feminist movement. That one cannot logically hold this value and still prefer not to be labeled in that way.
        This here right here.

        I can’t believe how many feminists I’ve talked to that literally think that feminism has ownership of the concept of equality (and not just gender equality but equality for all people). To the point that if you believe in and work towards equality but don’t call yourself a feminist you are actually biting off of feminism.

        Is that what that movement has become? Where it’s more important to recognize that the people of today owe feminism some sort of debt that can only be cashed in my taking on that label or something. (And quite frankly I find it real insulting when this gets invoked on my by feminists that might be no more than 2-5 years older than I am and in some cases even younger than me.)

        It’s feminists like that that simply need to get over themselves and learn that one does not simply call “dibs” on equality. If we are all to embrace then it must be welcomed from ANY source, not just a short list of preapproved sources. Either that or start providing proof of copyright/trademark/patent on the concept of equality.

        I am so f’n glad that they really aren’t all like that.

    • That first comment wasn’t supposed to be a reply to you Mike, but I did want to respond to what you wrote here:

      “The problem with setting up a system that re-enforces anger is that people who aren’t self aware can get trapped because working through your anger by being angry at abstract concepts doesn’t deal with the root cause.”

      I agree. I’ve had people tell me that we mustn’t stop calling ourselves feminists until the patriarchy and rape culture have ended. The problem with this is that these are very abstract concepts and if you want to try hard enough you can attribute almost anything to them. I also doubt the explanatory power these broad terms actually have. Its the old, “wielding a single hammer, everything is a nail”.

      What I find most disturbing though is the feeling I get that some people are so caught up in “fighting the good fight” that they have in interest in making things look even worse then they actually are. I’m referring to things like the incredibly dubious way in which many feminist studies have gone about getting rape statistics or measuring the wage gap. If you try pointing out that these numbers may be misleading you’re often instantly labeled a misogynist or else someone who is downplaying women’s issues. People often aren’t interested in really taking a long look at these statistics and how their actually measured. They look for the numbers that suits their agenda and run with them while willfully ignoring anything else.

      The same problems arises when you try and challenging any of the ideological theories that have become synonymous with the feminist movement (or really any movement for that matter). Like people once did with the theories of Freud, certain feminist ideas are now treated as the gospel truth and criticizing even parts of them can instantly cause you to be shunned.

      This is why I don’t like to be tied to any single ideological or philosophical movement. It becomes akin to religion and creates an “us vs them” mentality that isn’t always helpful.

      • I also doubt the explanatory power these broad terms actually have. Its the old, “wielding a single hammer, everything is a nail”.
        Raise your hand if you’ve heard feminists talk about how they are out to “smash patriarchy” and relate it to the use of hammers?

        What I find most disturbing though is the feeling I get that some people are so caught up in “fighting the good fight” that they have in interest in making things look even worse then they actually are.
        Because sometimes people get caught up in trying to justify their purpose. Anti-viral software companies engage in this behavior where they try to hype up the threat of viruses and malware, and then turn around the hype their solution as the way to eradicate the threat.

        Otherwise known as a solution looking for a problem. Yes viruses and malware are a threat to computers. But for anti-viral software companies to overhype the issue just so they can push themselves as the solution? And when confronted on this they have the fact the very real threat of viruses and malware to justify their tactics.

        Sound familiar?

        If you try pointing out that these numbers may be misleading you’re often instantly labeled a misogynist or else someone who is downplaying women’s issues. People often aren’t interested in really taking a long look at these statistics and how their actually measured. They look for the numbers that suits their agenda and run with them while willfully ignoring anything else.
        True. Speaking of I’m sure you are familiar with the One Billion Rising efforts right? I wish I could give you a link but I came across an opinion piece a few days ago that pointed out that the way they got that one billion may not be as sound as one may think. If that is the case again I’m left wondering. If the rape and abuse of women is such a serious issue (and of course when you question their numbers they will fall back to “the exact numbers don’t matter) then why use fudgy and questionable stats?

        And speaking of selective numbers I’m reminded of the World Gender Gap Report (I think that was the name of it) where the only inequalities that were counted where measurements where men were better off than women.

        Like people once did with the theories of Freud, certain feminist ideas are now treated as the gospel truth and criticizing even parts of them can instantly cause you to be shunned.
        Yep.

        This is why I don’t like to be tied to any single ideological or philosophical movement. It becomes akin to religion and creates an “us vs them” mentality that isn’t always helpful.
        I can agree to that. Once you start thinking that your movement is beyond question that’s when the real problems start. There are plenty of movements throughout history that eventually got to the point where they became unquestionable gospel and a lot of the them (maybe even most) didn’t end well.

        • Because sometimes people get caught up in trying to justify their purpose. Anti-viral software companies engage in this behavior where they try to hype up the threat of viruses and malware, and then turn around the hype their solution as the way to eradicate the threat.

          It’s not just AV software companies, the phenomenon you’re talking about has a much more general formulation used by cynics and libertarians everywhere: “The first priority of any organization/agency is to perpetuate the organization/agency.” There’s even a colorful metaphor for such such organizations/agencies: “self-licking ice cream cones.” The corollary that shakes out of this notion is that if an organization, agency or political identity is devoted to eradicating a problem, it therefore has a vested interest in perpetuating the problem. It does this by any of various means: fighting the problem with ineffectual-but-lucrative tactics, re-defining the scope of the problem, trumping up residual problems as vital issues, or just plain making stuff up. The simple expedient breathlessly hyping the problem is also very common.

          The federal Drug Enforcement Agency is a prime example of that first approach. Drug prohibition has led to the erosion of civil rights, the dangerous militarization of domestic police forces, corruption of government, and a near-civil war in Mexico that’s claimed over 70,000 lives. Yet, the worse it gets, the more they treat it as proof that we need the services of the DEA. Everybody knows that the anti-virus software companies breathlessly hype the threat, and some people even suspect that they’re behind some of the virus threat as a means to justify their business. I’m not so sure about that, since that’s an ultra-high-risk gambit for those companies, but it certainly has worked for the FBI. Every foreign “terrorist cell” that the FBI found and busted in the last 10 years is a “terrorist cell” that the FBI created by finding disaffected, not-too-bright people on the margins of society, goaded them into a terrorist plot and then provided them the weapons. Heck, in one case, the “terrorists” complained to the undercover FBI agent, “I don’t want to blow anything up!”

          I could go on and on with examples. So it’s really no surprise that when we look at the feminist movement, we see a lot of similarity to a self-licking ice cream cone; it’s not at all unique in that respect. The movement has given people identity, a purpose, a world-view, and even lucrative careers. You don’t let something that valuable lapse into history simply because you’ve achieved so many of your initial goals.

  17. So, speaking as one of those women who is uncomfortable adopting the label Feminist and identifying with it, I’ll just offer up this little womansplanation:

    To be an “-ist” – to be a member of any “-ism” – indicates, to me, active participation. When it comes to feminism, I don’t feel right calling myself a feminist because I’m not an activist. I have egalitarian views about gender and am always challenging myself to broaden those views, but I’m not the one writing letters to Congress, lobbying, educating, working for social justice, or doing anything on the social level. I talk to friends and family about it (I actually helped my mom come around to more enlightened views on rape and victim-blaming) but I still don’t consider myself an activist, and thus not quite a feminist.

    The same thing happens to me with other -isms, too. For a long time I was wishy-washy calling myself a Buddhist because while I am very much aligned with the teachings and beliefs of Buddhism, I don’t practice regularly. So for a long time I identified as quasi-Buddhist, or Buddhitarian. And then this past weekend I was a guest at the Susan B. Anthony Luncheon for the Cincinnati League of Women Voters, and got cornered at the end for a recruitment speech (being as I’m Gen Y and they desperately want young blood). And I felt so very, very uncomfortable standing there smiling and nodding and begrudgingly giving up my contact info, after having listened to 2 hours of speeches on the importance of the League and what they do, and feeling in my heart of hearts… “This is not me. This is not for me. I respect these women enormously and want nothing to do with this organization.”

    What I feel separates me from feminists is not my views, but my passion – or rather, lack thereof. Like someone up the thread said (Sarah B?), it’s not what gets me up in the morning. And just like the League of Women Voters, I trust the women – the passionate women – who are actively in the feminist movement already to bear the standard and carry the movement forward without my participation. Does this make me disloyal? Ungrateful? Disrespectful? I resent the implication that it does. I’m grateful for all the work done ahead of my time and simultaneously feel no obligation to take up that work myself.

    One could look at a summary of my views on gender and call me a feminist, but I don’t have to call myself that. If I must be labeled, I prefer the more neutral label of gender egalitarian, but really, I don’t see the use in the labels at all. It creates camps, it creates boundaries, it creates allies and enemies, and I have no use for that in my life. I am KKZ; that’s all the identity I need.

    • KKZ –
      Great comment. I totally appreciate what you are saying about lack of passion regarding active participation. For a very long time I eschewed the word “feminist” – initially because of my Catholic upbringing and then later because I thought it was passe. Joining a women’s advocacy organization is not what gets me up in the morning either. In fact, the only public work I’ve done on gender was advocating for working fathers. But gender equality is an essential element in my identity – from my academic interest in feminist theory to the division of labor in my household. Here at GMP I’ve found myself embracing the label more and more. Maybe because it is such a dirty word around here and needs friends, I don’t know. Or maybe because there isn’t a readily accessible alternative that adequately articulates my commitment to equality. In any case, I sympathize with much of your comment but tend to come out the other way.

  18. When its all said and done, men and women are 2 separate special interest groups vying for government subsidies, health programs, tax benefits and civil rights in general. I think I’ll stick to advocating for my own gender.

  19. So Anne –
    My direct response to your article is mixed. While I agree, to some extent, that anger can be good fuel for activists. And I agree that being angry about something shouldn’t brand you a bad person. And righteous anger certainly can be a powerful force for change. In the end, I feel a great sadness that there is so much anger about gender. From all sides. Maybe it’s just because I’ve felt handcuffed to the bitter, repetitive, and highly personal “yoga pants” brawl for the past week. (btw – how do I un-follow a comment thread??) I came to GMP because it seemed to offer a positive space for thoughtful and thought-provoking content about gender in general, and modern manhood in particular. But I gotta say, after following just a handful of article threads, I’m dismayed by how much anger lives here. There are worse places on the web (run by both sexes) for sure, but I my thoughts keep returning to Dr. King’s message that only love can drive out hate. In the end, I just don’t think anger gets us very far.

    • btw – how do I un-follow a comment thread??
      no idea, thats one of the reasons i never subscribe to thread. i dont want my mail box flooded, or to receive a straggler reply, a week or six months later.

      i bookmark the threads i want to follow for a day or two, and then move on

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      Hi Kari thats easy. Go to your inbox and right below the message, there is a link where you can click and manage the subscription.

      I show you:

      : Message XYZ

      Blablablablab, bla, blabla. BLAAAA.

      See all comments on this post here:
      [link]

      To manage your subscriptions or to block all notifications from this site, click the link below:
      [link]

      I understand, the dissapointment. And I appreciate your efforts, but this is what happen when the expectations meet reality (lot of guys had the same harsh awaking visiting, some web sites or speaking to some people). I like this place, because there is not so much ideological/doctrinal pollution enforced from above. So IMO this place is between the best. Generally people here are always skeptical when somebody force a ideological view and claiming dogma/Ipse dixit. And that also explain the negative reactions, when somebody try (again) to squeeze ideology on their head.

      Love is good, but nowadays, I think more than that is needed.

  20. Random_Stranger says:

    …you know Anne, I don’t think you’ll find the issues men face to be fundamentally different from women under the gender construct. Many men are angry about the narrow, oven contradictory, expectations of masculinity. We too, have a finite and prescribed dress and conduct expected of us. We have a host of colorful euphemisms and colloquialisms to remind us what “real men” should and shouldn’t do at any point in time.

    Many of us are also angry about a culture that dispenses justice and punishment, and demands from some and provides to others under a palpable gender differential. A differential that is met with half-bored indifference among the men and women who tacitly endorse it.

    Many of us are angry that we live with a fabled past where men and boys lavished in privilege while we ignore a record of regular, periodic, mass androcide that this and all cultures universally indulge to preserve and expand itself. We’re angry that our gender was spent in the trenches, suffocated down the mineshaft and crushed on the factory floor -blood extracted by a culture to privilege those selectively exempt from those hardships.

    I’m not angry at feminists, I understand what the world might look like gazing through your lens. I do resent however, the inflexible myopia that pervades the movement; an insistence that the gender construct, you defined as patriarchy, conspires to monotonically and universally privilege one gender at the expense of the other. I insist, there is a mutually exploitative system of control imposed on the individual by his or her peers that uses gender as a means to direct and limit the thoughts, actions and behaviors of the individual to the collective privilege of the whole.

    We really are in this together.

  21. Bay Area Guy says:

    So my hope is that, while reading this, those of you who have had negative experiences with individual feminists will try to understand that the unfair actions of one particular person don’t mean that you should write off the feminist movement

    Sorry, Anne, but I grow a little weary at hearing this line of reasoning from feminist apologists.

    On the one hand, whenever men point to examples of man-hating feminists, we’re always told that “they don’t represent true feminism. Feminism is about equality and challenging oppressive systems, not hating men. Don’t judge the group based on a few bad apples.”

    And yet at the same time, self-described feminists always claim that “feminists” are about equality, respect, egalitarianism, feminism is good for men, etc.

    So when feminism’s bad apples are exposed, it’s rendered a phantom. But when feminists want to highlight the positive aspects of their movement, it suddenly transforms into a monolith.

    Feminist theory doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Feminism is what you make it. And most feminists make it a man bashing, modern day version of Puritanical norms (ie. “objectification” just sounds like the feminist version of “the sin of lust”). I don’t care about what “true feminism” is. I care about the behavior of most self-identified feminists.

  22. Feminism is about gender equality in the same way the NAACP is about racial equality – they aren’t. Feminism is about women’s issues, the NAACP is about black people. Feminism doesn’t care about men and the NAACP doesn’t care about white, or asian, or hispanic, or Arab, or native american, or pacific islander, or indian people.

    Now that’s not to say that women’s issues aren’t important or black people’s issues aren’t important. Just don’t advocate for one group, ignore all the others, and claim you work for ‘equality’. Its disingenuous.

    • “Rights” and “Equality” are two different things. When a group wants things to be a little more equal than others, it turns into “_____ Rights.”

      • Men are consistently given longer and harsher sentences for the same crimes.

        Are feminists demanding that this inequality be rectified? Are they pounding on the doors of local prisons demanding entry?

        Or do they only want “equality’ on issues where women are disadvantaged, and are happy to allow inequalities on issues where men are disadvantaged?

        • John Anderson says:

          Here’s an old joke. Define minor surgery. Surgery performed on someone else. When I speak with some feminists, it seems that they are concerned with injustices faced by men. It’s just not a priority because women’s injustices take precedence. Will they ever get around to addressing injustices against men?

          On the rare occasion I hear feminists talk about incarceration, they usually focus on decriminalizing drug use/possession, providing alternate methods of judicial oversight to female offenders like women with children, complain that women are dragged into incarceration by men like defending themselves against DV, decriminalize prostitution but not solicitation, and of course the ultimate decriminalize false rape accusations. Is it a coincidence that two of the crimes they want to decriminalize are thought to be primarily committed by women, prostitution and false rape accusation?

          There are other things they say that are incarceration related. Some oppose the death penalty, which ironically increases the incarceration rate, but I don’t think the prisoner minds in most cases. Many want to attack the “root causes” of incarceration like poverty, preventing DV (at least male perpetrated), and providing access to education. They are significantly (on the whole) less enthusiastic about providing boys the support they need to stay in and excel in school.

  23. If I were you I would be most mad at the in-your-face man-hating feminists you try so hard to not be perceived as, but only to advance the cause of feminism, not because that’s who you really are. For me that is where most if not all of the reason lies in why feminism is a total turn off to a lot of people. It’s not like it fell out of the clear blue sky one day, or that the patriarchal boogie man is out to get you. And yeah, why is this even in GMP? If I wanted to learn more about why feminists are so angry all the time I would’ve joined a feminist site.

    I know, I know, you didn’t say all feminists hate men and all that jazz, but all it takes to make that statement true is for 1 out of a million feminists to not hate men (which is pretty much how it seems to be anyway) so it doesn’t really mean much more than a sparrows fart in the wind.

  24. John Anderson says:

    Here is the first reason many people don’t take feminism seriously.

    “Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women”

    In many discussions feminists will accuse men (specifically MRAs) of making things all about men. It’s funny that feminists create a theory that makes things all about women. If only you would stop subjugating me (and me myself) we’d all be equal.

    As I told a person on another discussion. Female attributes are not necessarily undervalued, but differently valued. Men don’t face bias in family court because raising children is beneath a man, who’s there because he wants to raise his children, but because women are considered superior. There may also be a vestige of children being women’s property..

    I think one of the first steps to joining forces to correct injustices is deciding that it’s more important to correct the injustice than win the victim Olympics. The second thing is to recognize that it isn’t men oppressing women or the reverse.

    • “There may also be a vestige of children being women’s property..”

      How in history is this? Women and men were defacto property of the husband/father for centuries. Marriage was a contract and often women didn’t have much choice in a “good match” and children took the father’s name, not the mothers.

      http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/wes/collections/women_law/
      http://books.google.com/books/about/From_Father_s_Property_to_Children_s_Rig.html?id=oaKWlzjD1D0C
      http://family.jrank.org/pages/247/Children-s-Rights-Historical-Roots-Children-s-Rights-Movement.html

      I don’t bring this up as a who had it worse situation, but to point out history. Children shouldn’t be considered “property” or pawns in divorces period. They are human beings and need special protections that ease as they age, but looking at children as property is a step in the wrong direction.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        ” Women and men were defacto property of the husband/father for centuries.”

        I agree, marriage was also a negotiation that resemble modern day international diplomacy forwarded by families, where status, religion and economy was paramount for the ‘pater familia’, not personal preferences.

        “Marriage was a contract and often women didn’t have much choice in a “good match” and children took the father’s name, not the mothers.”

        True, but also in reverse, guys didnt have much to say either. The entire negotiation was forwarded by the families. If a guy was in love with another woman, they only had one choice…run (or die ala Romeo and Juliet). Without mention gays, lesbians etc.

        “I don’t bring this up as a who had it worse situation, but to point out history. Children shouldn’t be considered “property” or pawns in divorces period. They are human beings and need special protections that ease as they age, but looking at children as property is a step in the wrong direction.”

        I agree, but we need to focus at the whole history, not just a portion of it. And this is paramount to disrupt the social myth woman good, men bad. So omnipresent to day in gender debates.

        I agree on the rest.

        • I”m not saying women=good. only that children as as vestige of property rights has centuries of male ownership. No better than female ownership. Children don’t need to be owned.

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            I know, I just wanted to reinforce your point, highlighting a social meme far to omnipresent and far to invisible. Not saying that you fall for the myth. :-)

          • Julie:
            I might point out that men in most of the middle age marriage regimes (up until about 1850 to 1900 or so) had more responsibility as well.
            If a woman couldn’t own property she often also could get her husband sent to jail for her own debts and other crimes.

            I’m not going to get into marriage laws in the USA up until 1950 because I’d have to write a book and they’d be all over the place. But I will mention it is a myth that it was ever legal to beat one’s wife.

      • Not true. Google the Tender Years Doctrine and you will find that Mothers were given preference for the past hundred years.

        • Tender Years Doctrine has been thrown out the window, and instead, young children (and sometimes older children too) are being forced to live full time with a parent proven to be a liar and abuser, while the protective parent, who dared to bring the child abuse to the court’s attention, is stripped of all custody.

          It’s a crisis that’s in the midst of being exposed now, but it will take some time to fully expose the judges and lawyers allowing the perjuries and crimes to continue.

          • “Tender Years Doctrine has been thrown out the window, and instead, young children (and sometimes older children too) are being forced to live full time with a parent proven to be a liar and abuser, while the protective parent, who dared to bring the child abuse to the court’s attention, is stripped of all custody. ”

            In the vast majority of cases this happens whne that abusive parent is the mother. That’s who gets custody. She may well claim the father is the abuser, to get custody, all without any evidence, and then go right on abusing the children.

      • @ Julie : 8:46

        The history you cite is correct, provided you also give the context that men were held responsible for the other family member’s actions in respect to society generally – debts, liabilities, behaviours, crimes…

        But not all history is reflective of that.
        More recently, particularly in the wake of WWI, the development of attachment theory by Bowlby et al came into play. Their experiments to determine the failure to thrive of kids orphaned by war, led to the initial understanding of the importance of consistency and availability of a caregiver. Their initial conclusions were that for a mother to be away from the child for as little as 1 day, was damaging to the child – longer separations, they claimed, caused avoidant attachment, together with a spectrum of neuroses. Really long absences, caused failure to thrive and death.

        For a time, there was hysteria around such absences, and mothers were blamed for being away from their children at all. Eventually this was softened into the idea of the “good enough mother”. This is the weight behind the tender years doctrine.

        They never, never studied FATHERS as attachment figures. Hence the strong preference for maternal custody in children pre-puberty. This is still seen today, in the insistence by some feminists for primary caregiver preference in physical custody arrangements.

        IN my experience today, even male primary caregivers are still not given the analogous preference.
        So history changes, and it is legitimate to make the claim for “children are perceived to be owned by their mothers”.

        If you add in the differential levels of oxytocin in women and men 48 hrs prior to birth, through to say, seven days after birth, you get an even more complicated pictures. Particularly since the role of oxytocin in men at these times (theirs does rise, depending on their level of involvement) , together with changes in vasopressin and testosterone, is pretty understudied.

        I guess one could say you are both correct, to some degree.

        • They may be perceived as that, and given that breastfeeding is usually the singular role of the mother, and given 20th century psych (much of which has been debunked ala mothers causing schizophrenia) I understand your point.

          I’m a big supporter of fathers, personally.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Julie

        I’ll go with what you said with just a slight distinction. I think children born to a married woman were at least at one point considered the property and children of the husband, who was not necessarily the father. Father’s only recently got the right to challenge paternity for children they fathered with another man’s wife in Michigan.

        • John Anderson says:

          Edit: Not sure if you meant to include that in husband/father. Apologies if you did, but in cases like this, the mother would have some rights (at least access) to her child and the father would have none. Up to I think last year, this was the case in Michigan.


        • Father’s only recently got the right to challenge paternity for children they fathered with another man’s wife in Michigan.

          And they are ahead of French men at that. French courts recently upheld laws stating that the only way a man can get a paternity test done is with a court order AND the consent of the mother.

      • “There may also be a vestige of children being women’s property..”
        How in history is this?”

        It’s not history. It’s the present. This is exactly how child custody works in this country. This is exactly hoa father’s access to his won children works in this country – atthe pleasure of the mother. You knw, the “natural nurturers.”

      • soullite says:

        Why does any of that matter?

        Women have a privilege in this area. The reason why is irrelevant to the fact that they do have this privilege. To me, it sounds like you’re throwing up a lot of irrelevant data in order to cloud the issue — to make it sound ‘ok’ to discriminate against the men currently alive in order to make up (somehow) for the discrimination women suffered a hundred years ago (a time when no mother currently in a custody dispute was alive during).


  25. In many discussions feminists will accuse men (specifically MRAs) of making things all about men. It’s funny that feminists create a theory that makes things all about women. If only you would stop subjugating me (and me myself) we’d all be equal.

    Yeah I find this odd myself.

    They get upset over the idea of making things all about men and then turn around and make anything and everything all about women.

    Male abuse/rape victims aren’t afraid to speak up because they are men and as such their vulnerabilities are denied. No its because they are afraid of being likened to women.

    When dads are mistreated by family courts its not because men are presumed to be inferior parents. No its because “women are burdened with parenting”.

    When adult male civilians deaths in war torn areas are left out it’s not because male lives aren’t valused. No its because women and children are so badly oppressed their situation needs to have more attention.

    When men are falsely accused (and imprisoned) for rape it doesn’t harm the men that are accused. No but it is a waste of police resources and and it shouldn’t be prosecuted because it might scare women (and it usually says women not victims) who have been raped from coming forward.

    So when dealing with a movement that will twist things to the point that male victims are left hanging while being told they need to help female victims, dads are mistreated while being told they need to “step up”, adult male civilians almost literally don’t count when it comes to reporting civilian deaths, and women are allowed to almost freely falsely accuse men and damage their lives because it might hurt women is it really any wonder that people might not be in a rush to align with them?

    Does that kind of behavior sound like equality for all people?


    I think one of the first steps to joining forces to correct injustices is deciding that it’s more important to correct the injustice than win the victim Olympics. The second thing is to recognize that it isn’t men oppressing women or the reverse.

    Yes.

    Its funny when people say “it doesn’t matter who has it worse” but when encountered with men’s issues their response is to say that those thing are less important than women’s issues and to merely talk about them distracts from women’s issues (and no those encounters are not always derailing and thread jacking).

    Or how about how they are not accusing men but then turn around and call men an “oppressor class”. They simultaneously say that they are not saying all men have male privilege but then turn around and declare that a given man is benefitting from male privilege when they literally know nothing more about him than the fact that he is male.


    As I told a person on another discussion. Female attributes are not necessarily undervalued, but differently valued.

    This is certainly true and I think speaks to the heart of why people have problems with feminists. To feminists its not that we are all under a system that oppresses everyone by doing whatever it can to keep people in their assigned places for the sake of the system itself (or at best the VERY precious few that have a hand in runnig it). No to them we are all under a system that oppresses women by doing whatever it can to keep them in their assigned place for the sake of the system and in the event that men/boys are harmed it’s only because its a side effect of the oppression of women.

    To them the damage that’s done to boys/men is a bug in the system, not a feature. We are just acceptable collateral damage in the plan to oppress women/girls.

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      Good points Danny.

      If you read what CRB wrote in this topic [citation]

      ” you don’t need male advocacy *as much* as we need female advocacy, dear.

      granted, it is important to advocate for *both* sides, but until you understand that women kiiiiinda need it more than men do right now, there’s no point in discussing this with you because you obviously don’t get it.”

      It also indicate that the gynocentric view in a good portion (maybe the majority) of feminism is still present and alive. If this wasnt confirmed by a simple click on 99% of feminist sites around the web, we could dismiss this as a lonely wacko. But since the wast majority still hold view like this as true its no wonder that when some good feminist comes around, they are treated with extreme skepticism (im also skeptical). And I find it sad, really. But my words is not the exclamation of a “lonely angry dude” this is the reality, boys and girls. Go empirical if you dont belive me. Visit feminist websites/forums/blogs there you can see 99% is about women, men issues are barely mentioned (usually with dismissive tones) and generally male users walk on eggs there (often silenced unless they dont agree at priory with the user base). And dont come with the mantra, good feminist are offline because, first it confirm my words 99% of feminist sites are “evil” and second, this is 2013 not 1996, if it isnt online, it doesent exist.

      But to everything there is a exception, there are good feminist here. Maybe because they with time they learned that reality is a little bit different than what they tough or because they already knew, it doesent matter. We can only hope, one day, they will become the mainstream.

    • On the subject of feminists making everything about women as opposed to MRAs making everything about men…there is, actually, a very big difference.

      Aside from the truly hateful crap at places like RadFemHub, you will be hard pressed to find a feminist who doesn’t acknowledge how the patriarchy/kyriarchy/whatever-they-call-it screwed over men too. They may minimize this to a degree, but they will all acknowledge it. Now the minimizing of this, particularly online and particularly in comments sections, is a problem.

      However, from what I’ve seen, the MRM doesn’t even acknowledge that the current status quo screws over women, on the whole. The general narrative seems to be that somehow women are sitting pretty, eating bon bons and watching as we manipulate men into working hard and fighting wars and what-not. So the problem isn’t that MRAs focus on men…it’s that very often they seem to be saying women have somehow got it made.

      So there is a difference between saying “women are screwed over more than men,” to saying, “men are the only ones screwed over.”

      (And of course there are individual feminists and MRAs who go against the grain of what I’m saying. I’m just talking about the various movements narratives in general).


      • Aside from the truly hateful crap at places like RadFemHub, you will be hard pressed to find a feminist who doesn’t acknowledge how the patriarchy/kyriarchy/whatever-they-call-it screwed over men too.

        The “too” is the key Heather. Most feminists will acknowledge it but only on the express condition that the damage that is done to men is a bug in a system that is designed to hold women back. Meaning that the system is meant to hold girls/women back but any men/boys that get harmed by it is just collateral damage or a side effect.

        And this can be seen at Feministe just as it can be seen at RadFemHub so its not like its a limited phenomenon.


        So there is a difference between saying “women are screwed over more than men,” to saying, “men are the only ones screwed over.”

        No its more of “the only reason men are getting screwed over is because women are getting screwed over” to “men are the only ones screwed over”.

        And frankly put its no wonder that its so easily to pick the side that denies the pains of one instead of the side that only talks about the pains of one in a severly limited and selective context. Not saying its right but I can understand it. (And certainly no wonder that a lot of people will refuse to choose one side or the other).

        • Not exactly, Danny. The current and most common feminist narrative isn’t that men only get screwed over because women get screwed over. Rather, it’s that we all get screwed over because of a devaluing of the feminine…and this devaluing of the feminine affects men and women differently (and generally affects women in worse ways than men). Women expected to inhabit the feminine, yet the feminine is less valued than the masculine. So it’s a bit of damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Inhabit the feminine, but have all that femininity devalued…or attempt to inhabit the masculine and have those attempts derided. And men are generally fine unless they don’t inhabit the masculine adequately and/or end up inhabiting the feminine. That’s the narrative at it’s most basic. (I’m not, at the moment, arguing whether that’s true or not…just saying that’s a lot of feminism in a nutshell).

          But when I use the terms “masculine” and “feminine,” they aren’t synonymous with “men” and “women.” They are a collection of traits we very closely associate with one gender or another…and they are traits we often assume are inherent to one gender or another. It’s like, okay, remember my article about feminism and manning up? That’s kind of what I was talking about…”manning up” is part of the masculine. It’s highly valued and men are assumed to be able to inherently do it. So, as a woman, I am assumed to be unable to do it…but society places pressure on me to do it anyway if I want to be highly valued. As a man, you are assumed to be able to access it, but that also means that you are punished if you can’t “man up.”

          And so, as I said, there is certainly a problem of the minimizing of the ways in which men are affected by the devaluing of the feminine…but that is entirely different to pretending they aren’t affected at all.

          As for the MRM…the problem is that a lot of their narrative is just flat out wrong. The more familiar I become with their running narratives, the more inaccurate I find them. They might notice and point out an actual problem (the number of men in prison, for example), but their analysis provides no critical thought and is often full of really old gender stereotypes that get trotted out as new ideas.

          And finally, I don’t get how it’s easier to choose the side that completely denies the pains of one, rather than the side that acknowledges but minimizes the pain of the other. It’s not a one side or the other, type of debate. If it is detrimental for feminists to minimize the pain of men, then it is even more detrimental for MRAs to deny the existence of the pain of women.

          • This is a great summation, Heather. “Rather, it’s that we all get screwed over because of a devaluing of the feminine…and this devaluing of the feminine affects men and women differently (and generally affects women in worse ways than men). ”

            Yes. And I’d add that our whole culture devalues people who aren’t money makers or following empire correctly too. Which I suspect could be looked at as a masculine culture through that lens-greed, achievement, money etc.

            I don’t believe it’s patriarchy hurts men…too…oh yeah those men, but more patriarchy and kyriarchy hurts pretty much everyone but whoever is top dog (and would include women hurting others if it was a matriarchy) and so long as we live in a way that preferences hierarchy over collaboration we are gonna have this mess. Feminism, how I’ve understood it (and gender studies) looks at how to revalue things and yes men are part of that.

            • Yeah, that’s another good way of putting it….trying to examine ways of revaluing things. There is this really weird book (that I cannot remember the name of) written by a woman who was trying to write and use language in a way that reflected a culture in which the masculine isn’t more highly valued. But of course the problem with that is that since she’s born into this culture, her work is still framed by a culture that values the masculine…so she’s obviously directly responding to it by writing the opposite. Right, like, that whole probably of being unable to ever really remove yourself from your culture.

              That’s a bit of a tangent…but yeah, you can look at greed/achievement as part of the masculine. But yeah, we tend to divide into binaries and then value one half. So rich/poor, black/white, man/woman, masculine/feminine, cis/trans, gay/straight, sane/crazy…etc, etc. Some would argue that the common use of binary systems is symptomatic of the masculine/feminine binary, and everything else stems from that…but I tend to think that’s taking it too far.

            • HeatherN, excellent posts and thoughts.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Julie

              I’m usually smart enough not to argue with you, but that doesn’t mean we can’t disagree. I agree with Danny that sometimes the injustices men face are caused by society devaluing the feminine, but sometimes it’s caused by devaluing the masculine or differently valuing the feminine if it makes it easier. I’m not convinced that all gender related injustice can be boiled down to don’t devalue the feminine.

            • I don’t disagree John. I was, probably awkwardly, trying to agree with Heather’s context. I think that masculine and feminine and everything else on the continuum should be valued and valued well.

              I’d like to ask though, what do you mean by “I’m usually smart enough not to argue with you”…have I hurt your feelings or done something in my discussions with you that has been detrimental? I’m in a bad place today and somehow that phrase struck me as perhaps I’d done something that limited discussion.

            • John Anderson says:

              “have I hurt your feelings or done something in my discussions with you that has been detrimental? I’m in a bad place today and somehow that phrase struck me as perhaps I’d done something that limited discussion.”

              No, not at all. I didn’t mean to make you feel bad. You usually see things very clearly, with very well thought out arguments. I also concede that you’re a lot better than I at not reacting emotionally or out of a feeling of being attacked. Because of this I’ll sometimes assume that there is a gap in my reasoning that I haven’t fully discovered.

              I even suspect and concede that you are a lot closer to being “good” than I. It’s respect and admiration that causes me to hesitate to argue with you, not fear, shame, or intimidation. An acquaintance once told me that Hell will freeze over twice on the day I’m intimidated. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I’m sorry.

            • You didn’t hurt my feelings John, and in fact you’ve made my day. Thanks much for always being willing to talk with me.

            • “Yes. And I’d add that our whole culture devalues people who aren’t money makers or following empire correctly too. Which I suspect could be looked at as a masculine culture through that lens-greed, achievement, money etc.”

              That an interesting characterization, narrow but interesting. If I change the indicators I can come up with a completely different view. If I say that divorce often increases as a direct result of unemployment and is initiated more often by women, can I also say that the marriage is based on greed, achievement and money or is the divorce based on greed, achievement and money?

              If I say I have never known a man to divorce his partner based on her ability to earn, could I then say that the masculine culture is based on greed, achievement and money.
              If I were to say that the occurrence of stay at home fathers being supported by their partners is so small as to be negligible to consideration and that the same conditions extended by men for centuries is representative of a masculine culture of greed, achievement and money.
              If I balance my perspective beyond a gynocentric determination could I say that even suggesting greed, achievement and money is based in a masculine culture; even knowing that most single men do not engage in over achieving but would rather sit in mom’s basement and play video games that my predisposition to assigning a moral binary is myopic and self serving. Or would I just be interrupting a comfortable narrative of bigoted hate.


          • (I’m not, at the moment, arguing whether that’s true or not…just saying that’s a lot of feminism in a nutshell).

            I’ll leave it be for now but I do have a bit of a disagreement with that narrative.


            And so, as I said, there is certainly a problem of the minimizing of the ways in which men are affected by the devaluing of the feminine…but that is entirely different to pretending they aren’t affected at all.

            Not just devaluing the feminine but (which I do agree happens) but also problems of minimizing the ways the masculine is devalued. But that goes into my small disagreement so I’ll leave for now as well.


            As for the MRM…the problem is that a lot of their narrative is just flat out wrong. The more familiar I become with their running narratives, the more inaccurate I find them. They might notice and point out an actual problem (the number of men in prison, for example), but their analysis provides no critical thought and is often full of really old gender stereotypes that get trotted out as new ideas.

            Funny thing is there is truth to this. But I’ve also noticed that between MRM and feminism when it comes to critical analisys I find myself being able to think more freely among MRM than with feminism.


            And finally, I don’t get how it’s easier to choose the side that completely denies the pains of one, rather than the side that acknowledges but minimizes the pain of the other. It’s not a one side or the other, type of debate. If it is detrimental for feminists to minimize the pain of men, then it is even more detrimental for MRAs to deny the existence of the pain of women.

            Because that minimizing is done in a way that is laden with lip service, double talk, hypocrisy, double standards, shaming tactics, and denial. Once you’ve been slapped around by those things that other side starts looking pretty good. Now yes there are those that took to that side because they wanted a place to rant about women and its horrible.

            But considering that most feminists would rather just pretend that is all there is to the MRM (and simply ignore those of use who would like to get some big conversation going) I honestly feel safer among MRAs. (And of course most feminists won’t take that as a sign that maybe, just maybe there might be something up with the way they treat people if said people feel safer showing extreme MRAs that women are harmed than with feminists that won’t give them the time of day because said people don’t always define harms in terms of how it affects the feminine first and foremost. Nope its always gonne be “they didn’t give feminism a chance”. Yes it’s nice that some of you don’t roll that way Heather and I wish you luck.)

            And even though it should not be a one side or the other debate it has become just that. A rift has formed and borders were drawn. I would very much like to have a single all inclusive conversation where EVERYONE would have a seat at the table.

            • The question that comes to my mind is which group seems more open to contradictory views as expressed by a member of their group (ie a man disagreeing with MRM and a woman disagreeing with Fem) compared to contradiction from a member of the opposite sex? And how much does age of the movement play a role – I mean, Feminism has gone through a lot of in-fighting and backlash and fractionalization already simply because it’s been around a while and had multiple generations come and go, whereas MRM is still relatively new and only maybe one generation deep. So a man challenging the views of MRM might not be as problematic because it isn’t seen as a threat to group cohesion (yet)??

            • The question that comes to my mind is which group seems more open to contradictory views as expressed by a member of their group (ie a man disagreeing with MRM and a woman disagreeing with Fem) compared to contradiction from a member of the opposite sex?
              Truthfully I can only give you two parts of that equation, a man disagreeing with MRAs and a man disagreeing with feminists. And in my experience while there are feminists that have been open my my contradictory views I have still had a less trouble with MRAs that I have differences with.

              And how much does age of the movement play a role – I mean, Feminism has gone through a lot of in-fighting and backlash and fractionalization already simply because it’s been around a while and had multiple generations come and go, whereas MRM is still relatively new and only maybe one generation deep.
              I would agree with that for sure. One thing I’ve noticed is when the comparison is made its usually today’s feminism to today’s MRM, and seemingly ignoring the age difference of several decades.

              So a man challenging the views of MRM might not be as problematic because it isn’t seen as a threat to group cohesion (yet)??
              Maybe. But that would go against the idea that male feminists get so much crap when they challenge MRAs though. If that were the case wouldn’t I also get a bunch of crap? I think it comes down to what the challenge is over and just as (if not more) importantly how that challenge is raised.

            • Kari… I am not sure that we are actually understanding each other. My point is to encourage the idea of working together-which apparently neo- feminists;in all the 100 shades Leia spoke of (who can keep track) want to do, by underscoring that feminism didn’t, by it’s lonesome-dove self, ascend to its lofty heights

              .Feminism seems bereft of the kind of humility it so demands of others and that is needed to work with others. The reality is that in a complex society such as ours,we are codependent in function. This complexity and co dependence has existed in societies for quite some time.

              One’s reality is affected, either directly or indirectly, by another: Or wasn’t the financial crisis enough to remind us of the efficacy of that notion? The entire world in connected.
              Rosie the Riveter and the thousands of women entered the war economy doesn’t happen if Hitler doesn’t get a bug up his ass.
              Millions of white women don’t explode in record numbers in to the job force unless the race riots,the preaching of Malcolm X, the actions Fannie Lou Hamer, Thurgood Marshall, and Mlk and the thousands of nameless people who made sacrifices that led to the signing of the CRA doesn’t happen.
              Having said all of that whites were critical in this struggle too. Which brings me back around to my main point. Co dependence is unavoidable.
              I have read 3000 posts on this site and I have never read a post by a woman,claiming to be a feminist, that shared credit for any of the historic accomplishments of women. Moreover, they seldom seem to take responsibility for the abuses of feminist powers and of women in general. This is a troubling combination of characteristics for a power broker, or a person(s) to have.

              Women working in the war economy,working on machines of war, machines that killed millions of men.women and children. If that were the simplistic conclusion that everyone believed how productive would that be? How much damage would that cause in society? How would women feel if they were blamed for all of those deaths?

              This kind if criticism is valid, warranted and should be a a normal part of what any power structure in a society should have to endure; without the privileged bellyaching. You want to lead,then learn to shut up and listen to criticism. Criticism is one of the only forms of power the powerless have in the face of power. Without criticism there is no accountability and without accountability there is tyranny. That is what many men feel about feminism, that it is tyrannical and unyielding, hovering above the moral constraints it places on everyone else. Feminism has a major credibility issue with the very men who are most likely to be supportive of women’s issues in general:And they are too damn proud and egotistical to see or admit it.

            • ogwriter –
              I am not sure that we are actually understanding each other.
              Who’s the “we” in that sentence – you and me or MRM and Feminism or something else?

              This kind if criticism is valid, warranted and should be a a normal part of what any power structure in a society should have to endure
              What’s the “this” in that sentence / what kind of criticism – pointing out the (racist) flaws of feminism or feminism being more pluralistic or humble or something else?

              Criticism is one of the only forms of power the powerless have in the face of power.
              I totally agree (with this and nearly all of your comment). My view of feminism really centers on the idea that it is just one of many lenses with which to look critically at the world. It is a question, not necessarily an answer. The question of *whether* and *how* gender is a factor. Questions of race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. are all equally relevant and important lenses for criticism, as is the intersection of these factors. But I tend to swim in the realm of feminist theory as opposed to activism, so that might be a big difference between me and many of the feminists you’ve encountered.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              “Criticism is one of the only forms of power the powerless have in the face of power. Without criticism there is no accountability and without accountability there is tyranny. That is what many men feel about feminism, that it is tyrannical and unyielding”

              I agree, but what many people fail to understand (certan feminist, civilians etc) is that criticism is actually a tool that help to improve. Now we are speaking of feminism (not talking about the users in this topic) I see lot of feminists and supporters taking offense at the criticism. But why? listening to criticism is the best way to improve. Critic are the best friends of feminism, because they expose the weak points of the movement. Not listening to criticism is a disservice to the movement. Even if somebody disagree its still healthy to give a ear to the “humans” because you can learn about the perception and the impact the movement have to the masses. Criticism is a gift, denial instead leads to the highway of failure.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Danny

              “I honestly feel safer among MRAs.”

              So do I and you know why that is? It’s because MRAs give other MRAs the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure this is true with feminists too. You see it all the time. I’ll read a feminist post and find an offensive word, point it out and feminists will circle the wagons and essentially try and justify it, say that’s not what they mean, or I’m misinterpreting or mischaracterizing the whole of what they said.

              We saw it here with the Jay Smooth thing where he was dismissive of men’s issues. MRAs were up in arms. Feminists ranged from defending it to telling MRAs that we’re over reacting or missing the point. I actually got into it with some feminists over an article on DV murders. It pointed out that 30% of women killed are killed by intimate partners, but ONLY (emphasis mine) 5% of murdered men are killed by intimate partners.

              I took exception to the only as minimizing male victimization. The use of the word was defended by the other feminists on the board. I kept suggesting that he simply change the wording to something less diminishing. He refused but did and admitted to having edited other posts. At what point do you just accept that this is what they believe and it’s not just an unfortunate choice of words?

              Ironically as is usually the case, when feminists diminish male victimization it is untrue and easily pointed out. Since men are killed at four times the rate of women, about 40% of all DV murders (30% and 20% adjusted for 4 times the size makes it about a 3 to 2 ratio). Even faced with this, the only remained.

              I think we need to give feminists some leeway and they us, but I also think that everyone needs to understand that they’re not always right and don’t need to be to be a good person. Accept your failings, work to change and become a better person.

            • So do I and you know why that is? It’s because MRAs give other MRAs the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure this is true with feminists too. You see it all the time. I’ll read a feminist post and find an offensive word, point it out and feminists will circle the wagons and essentially try and justify it, say that’s not what they mean, or I’m misinterpreting or mischaracterizing the whole of what they said.
              That’s my experience for the most part as well.

              We saw it here with the Jay Smooth thing where he was dismissive of men’s issues. MRAs were up in arms. Feminists ranged from defending it to telling MRAs that we’re over reacting or missing the point.
              Oh god don’t remind me of that post. I was the one the wrote it. Some of the finest examples of “MRAs deserve to be dismissed and disrespected and they are the ones that have to prove themselves to feminists.” I ever had to deal with.

              At what point do you just accept that this is what they believe and it’s not just an unfortunate choice of words?
              I don’t know. There are reasonable ones out there that are willing to at least talk things but after a while I get that same feeling as you describe here (I’m still waiting to here from some feminist, any feminist, as to why calling someone a bitch is always wrong but calling someone a dick is always right).

              I think we need to give feminists some leeway and they us, but I also think that everyone needs to understand that they’re not always right and don’t need to be to be a good person. Accept your failings, work to change and become a better person.
              Agreed.

            • Not sure where my other post went but….
              “It’s not a one side or the other, type of debate. If it is detrimental for feminists to minimize the pain of men, then it is even more detrimental for MRAs to deny the existence of the pain of women.”

              I doubt it. Feminists actually HAVE power, influence laws, see the early versions of VAWA and the duluth model of domestic violence which caused harm to men. When some feminists minimize the pain of men we get gendered laws that are harmful, when ANY MRA’s do it we have a bunch of internet comments. You can’t compare the 2 groups like that because feminism has a shitload more influence n power in politics.

              I don’t fear the bigots in the MRM, I DO FEAR the bigots in the feminist movement because they DO have power and DO influence law, Australia for instance has a new law on the books which is gendered and doesn’t help men and I believe it’s similar to the gendered version of VAWA.

          • “….Rather, it’s that we all get screwed over because of a devaluing of the feminine…”

            …..which still makes it about women. It’s all due to misogyny, that’s the line we are told. That is the exact opposite experience of most men, and then we are told our experiences are irrelevant and invalid because of male privilege.

          • John Anderson says:

            @ HeatherN

            “The current and most common feminist narrative isn’t that men only get screwed over because women get screwed over. Rather, it’s that we all get screwed over because of a devaluing of the feminine… – ”

            I am disagreeing with you on this as this being the most common feminist narrative. I’m saying that the narrative itself is incorrect or at least isn’t always correct. Men aren’t screwed over in family court because women are devalued. They’re screwed over because women’s parenting ability is considered superior to men (over valued) based on their sex. In other words the masculine and feminine are differently valued.

            And of course the masculine is valued so highly that society feels the need to mutilate the very symbol of it while girls genitals remain intact.

            • Good point John.

              Even in the framing of “we all get screwed over because of the devaluing of the feminine” it takes the devaluing of the masculine and still turns it into a side effect of devaluing the masculine.

              Male/female, woman/man, masculine/feminine.

              Whichever way the different sides are labeled or described when the framing is that both sides are screwed over because one side is devalued it serves to ignore the way in which the other side is being devalued. If anything it pays nod to the idea that if we only concentrate on that one that is devalued then everything will be fixed. Or the idea that if you are not working on correcting the devaluing of that one then you are hurting that one. Or that merely trying to talk up and work on the other inherently undermines efforts to correct that one.

              This is the kind of framing that creates the “us vs them” mentality.

              And of course the masculine is valued so highly that society feels the need to mutilate the very symbol of it while girls genitals remain intact.
              Even though I don’t like the idea that the penis is regarded as the very symbol of manhood/masculinity/whatever there is still the matter of how that body part, symbolic or not, is not offered the same protections as the female equivalent body part.

              Cutting one is a crime, cutting the other can be claimed on insurance.

          • John Anderson says:

            @ HeatherN

            “It’s not a one side or the other, type of debate. If it is detrimental for feminists to minimize the pain of men, then it is even more detrimental for MRAs to deny the existence of the pain of women.”

            Except that MRAs don’t deny the existence of the pain of women. Some people may think that because it’s not always specifically acknowledged. When almost every mass media article concerning male rape or victims of DV qualify themselves by saying that most victims are women and/or most abusers are male, does it have to be specifically acknowledged? When nearly every NGO highlights the suffering of women often to the exclusion of the suffering of men, does women’s suffering still have to be specifically recognized? Even the PSA for 1 in 6 devoted to the 1 in 6 boys who are sexually abused took the time to say that girls and women have it worse.

            When MRAs ask where is the violence against men act, that’s all people hear. They don’t hear the implied there is already a violence against women act. I’m certain that there are misogynists masquerading as MRAs. They aren’t MRAs. The problem with many MEAs is that they feel that equality as more important than utility. They feel that If men aren’t protected from DV than neither should women.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        My opinion about the MRM is to open a official dialogue with them. That will De-estremize them and soften up on more moderate positions. Marginalization have the only result to increase the extremism. How do I know? because dialogue and openness worked with the Red Brigades in the 70-80’s and it will work also with them.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ HeatherN

        “However, from what I’ve seen, the MRM doesn’t even acknowledge that the current status quo screws over women, on the whole”

        There are a lot of people in the MRM who feel that women don’t have it easy, but I think that you get this feeling because the MRM will often focus on inequality of legislation or inequality in the application of legislation, while many feminists will look at inequality of outcomes.

        For instance, a man and a woman apply for a job with the FBI. The man is required to perform 30 untimed pushups and the woman 15 untimed pushups to meet the physical requirements. Because men have more upper body strength, feminists find this fair as it equalizes the number of male and female applicants. MRAs would find it unfair because men are required to do twice as much. The real question is how important is upper body strength to an FBI agent.

        We just had an article on GMP concerning VAWA. As I understand it, the STOP program specifically earmarks money for fenale victims of DV. It’s not just the LGBT who are ineligible for the assistance, but also straight men. I don’t think MRAs would have a problem with more VAWA money going to female victims if they needed more. The problem is that the legislation and society with the attitude at least perpetuated by feminists say that women need it more so men get none.

        http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/house-gop-pushes-own-version-of-vawa/

    • John Anderson says:

      “When men are falsely accused (and imprisoned) for rape it doesn’t harm the men that are accused. No but it is a waste of police resources and and it shouldn’t be prosecuted because it might scare women (and it usually says women not victims) who have been raped from coming forward.”

      I wrote an article on false rape accusations for GMP. I’m not sure were it’s going, but it does dispel several myths like women don’t repeatedly cry false rape. I found half a dozen or more instances were this happened. It also dispels the myth that if a man isn’t wrongfully convicted, he didn’t experience any harm. For some an accusation amounts to a jail sentence if they can’t make bail. There have also been males who were suspended from school or were forced to transfer, committed suicide, etc. I even found a video showing what a forensic examination would entail.

      Part of the first section is very labored, but I would consider creating a blog and putting it there if it’s too toxic to post here.

      • ht tp://www.news.com.au/world/woman-jailed-for-falsely-claiming-rape-has-history-of-lying-to-police/story-fndir2ev-1226586607131?from=public_rss

        • Archy,

          I never trust anything that seems to originate from TheDailyMail; they’re basically a tabloid. Apparently though there was an Elizabeth Jones who’s case was heard on 2013 Feb 22 at Southampton Crown Court and the sentence matches the one given in the article, so without figuring out how to get the details into the case itself it seems safe to take this article as true.


  26. And dont come with the mantra, good feminist are offline because, first it confirm my words 99% of feminist sites are “evil” and second, this is 2013 not 1996, if it isnt online, it doesent exist.

    I wouldn’t go as far as to say “if it isn’t online it doesn’t exist”. I’m perfectly willing to get down with the idea that there are a lot of feminists that are doing good work and are not online. The problem with that is with the way that mantra is tossed about we are basically being expected to believe not only that good feminists aren’t online but that the bad feminists that are online either aren’t “real feminsits” or that there is some sort of separation between what they are doing online versus what they are doing offline.

    Let me mention Julie Gillis as an example. Yes after talking to her many times I am pefectly willing to believe that she is one of those feminists that is doing good work but is not online that much. But am I supposed to then also believe that the venom that Marcotte spits is somehow limited to the online world?

    Analog Marcotte and Digital Marcotte?

    • Well, I’m online a lot. I’m not “known” was my point. I don’t have an online career.

      • Yeah I made my analogy wrong. Your presence is not as directly in your face as others. I suppose a proper comparison would be a feminist that does have an online career and manages to not sling mud for a living to one that does.

        Even among those that do have an online career and are quite angry (and use it in negative and uncivil ways) can we really say that it’s because they are online as if being online is what caused them to be negative and when they are offline they are different?

        • Well it’s hard to know what they are like offline, honestly. I might be a right bitch in real life and nice online. Eh.

          • Certainly true (about it being hard to know what they are like offline). It just bugs me that with that being true we are still being asked to just “know” that there is some huge difference between offline and online feminism.


            I might be a right bitch in real life and nice online. Eh.

            I know you’re just giving an example but I must say I find that hard to believe.

        • I also think that online careers are driven more strongly by polemics, provocative language and headlines, and controversy and I don’t do that in either direction. Were I to write articles with much stronger points of view (pro or against) I’d probably wind up being retweeted more, commented on more, with more angry people after me (no matter which pole I took). That’s how online media seems to work right now.

          • Yes. You don’t engage in that style offline nor do you engage in it online. Consistent. (But not to beat a dead horse I think my issue with pleas that they are not the same is that we are expected to believe that they are all fiery, polemic, provacative, and controversal when online but then are not when offline.)

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      “I wouldn’t go as far as to say “if it isn’t online it doesn’t exist”. I’m perfectly willing to get down with the idea that there are a lot of feminists that are doing good work and are not online. The problem with that is with the way that mantra is tossed about we are basically being expected to believe not only that good feminists aren’t online but that the bad feminists that are online either aren’t “real feminsits” or that there is some sort of separation between what they are doing online versus what they are doing offline.”

      I know Danny, I believe that people online are more honest than offline, and this is simply because they can enjoy the anonymity of the internet. All people offline are more respectfull face to face, but also because they may fear repercussion. You remove their faces, you render them anonymous, and here we go, the “party” starts. Off course there are good feminist offline (and online), but I hear this argument far to much lately, and this is a double edge sword. Because they may shut a argument with this. But on the other hand is also a admission that the online feminists are either posers or a congregate of poor imbecilles, the scum of the scum of the feminist universe. So maybe there is some grain of truth with our observation, since they need to retreat with ‘ go look offline there you find the good feminist ‘.

      Anyhow I already made clear with

      ” But to everything there is a exception, there are good feminist here. Maybe because they with time they learned that reality is a little bit different than what they tough or because they already knew, it doesn’t matter. We can only hope, one day, they will become the mainstream.”

      that Im not speaking of the known feminist’s of the GMP (Julie, Heather etc)


      • I know Danny, I believe that people online are more honest than offline, and this is simply because they can enjoy the anonymity of the internet.

        I think what gave me pause is that such nastiness can and does come from people who don’t work behind the mask anonymity of the internet. If they aren’t hiding their identities when they say and do such things what’s there to say that they are being different online than offline?

        So maybe there is some grain of truth with our observation, since they need to retreat with ‘ go look offline there you find the good feminist ‘.
        I think what I’m having a hard time with is that on one hand that retreat message is happening at the same time they are trying to equate feminism with good itself. So we need to go offline to find good feminists but all people should be aligned with feminism because that is where the work is being done? Like they want us to believe that they are a positive monolith but at the same time we have to pick go to certain spots to find the good ones? If they are such a positive monolith then should we be able to find good ones whereever feminists are found?

        Which is midly related to the “if you aren’t a feminist you are against equality” attitude. They want equality for all people and for all people to have the freedom to make their choices but if someone chooses to work for equality outside the umbrella of feminism they are judged as bad because feminism is the only place where the good work can be done?

        And then (going even further off topic) if one decides that all those odd signals are too much and go off on to find another space then they aren’t giving feminism a fair chance and its so sad that they “feel” hurt by feminism?

        A confusing mess, I’d say.

  27. Thank you for sharing, Anne.

    I find myself being angry quite often, too.
    For a lot of reasons that are strangely similar, yet often totally opposite to yours.
    But I have yet to find a way that is mutually agreeable, to join in with a group of people who at times are more likely to see me as a person as part of the problem, and not my potential contributions as part of the solution.

    (I wrote this yesterday but didn’t post it then. Someone else has probably said the same thing in much better words by now…)

    • John Anderson says:

      “But I have yet to find a way that is mutually agreeable, to join in with a group of people who at times are more likely to see me as a person as part of the problem, and not my potential contributions as part of the solution”

      You don’t even have to be an MRA to feel that way; just a man during white ribbon month or a slutwalk. The big difference is rarely and to a much lesser extent does society recognize that you even experience the problem. Not that you necessarily experience the problem to a lesser extent or a significantly lesser extent. Society just won’t recognize it or will barely acknowledge it.

  28. If this is feminism, then it has to improve!

  29. Thank you so much for this piece. Wonderful and so relatable.

  30. There is a lot to digest in Anne’s piece, and I do not want to take up all the space here doing that. What I will address her idea that “anger can be a good way, sometimes the only way, to fuel change.”

    I agree that anger can motivate people to act, however, when anger is the motivator it often is the only thing fueling the person’s actions.

    What begins as anger at a specific thing soon becomes anger at an abstract concept. And because the concept is so loosely defined, there is always a reason to be angry. “The Patriarchy” is such a concept, and Anne’s list of complaints is an example of there always being a reason to be angry.

    Letting go of anger is the first step to actually making change. It allows you to see past the hurt and see the real issues at play. Yet the most important reason to let anger go is because anger often begets anger. Anger does not exist in a vacuum, and no matter how justified one feels in being angry, the more angry one feels, the more it will taint how one views and treats others, which in turn affects how people treat you.

    I frequently tell feminists something: you are dealing with other people. Not caricatures, not “men”, and not the doctrinal conspiracy theory of “The Patriarchy”. People. People with feelings, emotions, and experiences you know nothing about, and people who have done nothing to you. No matter how justified you feel in your anger, you are dealing with other human beings who have the same emotions as you. If you would not want anyone treating you with contempt or as a scapegoat for their anger, you should not do it to them. And the best way to make sure you do not do it is by not holding onto your anger.


    • I frequently tell feminists something: you are dealing with other people. Not caricatures, not “men”, and not the doctrinal conspiracy theory of “The Patriarchy”. People. People with feelings, emotions, and experiences you know nothing about, and people who have done nothing to you.

      Agreed. This is something that most people on all sides of the gender discourse should pay attention to. All to often people are denied their own identity and reduced to a generic class identity and judged based solely on that (which would explain the “i don’t know what kind of life you have had as a man but i do know that you benefit from male privilege” attitude that is common among feminists).

    • John Anderson says:

      Sa Bam Nim taught us to turn anger into spirit. Part of it is that the anger will be there and it has to be dealt with. Turn it to a constructive not destructive end.

  31. Most rapes are perpetrated by men on women, children of both genders, and other men. Most war, which kills men, is started by other men too.

    Where women aid and abet the injustice, is when a mother turns a blind eye to her boyfriend* molesting her daughter (or son), and then, if a child is brave enough to go against the perp and tell, the mother (or the authorities) don’t believe the child – a re-rape.

    * Better scenario: Have children only when you’re assured the bio-dad and bio-mom can provide a loving and intact nest. Work hard to love and cherish your partner, so that nest stays intact for your children.

    That said, some victims lie about being abused. (A recent phenomenon, especially since we live in a world in which women are stoned to death for being raped, while their rapist goes completely unpunished.)

    I call for at proof of first lie, the liar (or his or her parents), automatically must pay 100% of the other side’s legal fees + restitution for pain and suffering + the publishing of an exoneration. If the perps are poor, then the debt follows them, and is attached even to welfare payments. The lawyers are also sanctioned for allowing their clients to lie.

    All of a sudden, the lying dries up.

    (It’s lying, rape, and tyrannical behavior that’s at the root of so much of this dysfunction, and continuing pain. And, there’s lag times to everything. It will take some time for today’s world to make right the eons of wrong perpetrated against women, children, and poor men.)


    • Where women aid and abet the injustice, is when a mother turns a blind eye to her boyfriend* molesting her daughter (or son), and then, if a child is brave enough to go against the perp and tell, the mother (or the authorities) don’t believe the child – a re-rape.

      But no mention of the injustice that women commit themselves, especially against children?

      Now while what you say may technically true I’ve noticed something.

      For now I’ll agree with the idea that those that talk about fale rape accusations* are overhyping the problem (I don’t but we’ll leave that for later). That still does not explain the dismissal that is faced when bringing up male victims of these crimes.

      The overhyping of false accusations doesn’t explain why its still debatable if a woman can rape a man .(say what you want about the shaming that female go through when speaking up about being raped but how many times have you ever seen, “That can’t have happened because a man can’t raped a woman.”? The shaming is almost always based on what types of woman she is but not so much on the mere fact that she is a woman.)

      The overhyping of false accusations doesn’t explain why when male victims are brought the immediate response is to say that it was most likely to have been done by a man as a way to shut down that mention. (Yes there are SOME cases where that may be the proper response but not always.)

      The overhyping of false accusations doesn’t explain why when women (mostly women) are actually caught making a false accusation they are spared prosecution because “it might scare women from speaking up” or when the press release comes out its said that false accusations “scare women from speaking up and wastes police resources” with absolutely no mention of what the falsely accused went through.

      At best thost that are supposedly overhyping false accusations would be ignored and those that are trying to reach out to male victims would be acknowledged. But they aren’t.

      (* – Let’s be clear we are not talking about accusations that cannot be clearly proven to be true. We are talking about cases where the story the supposed victim gave is straight proven to be impossible. Conflating these to is smokescreen employed by those on both sides of that conversation.)

    • Most rapes are perpetrated by men on women, children of both genders, and other men. Most war, which kills men, is started by other men too.

      Before we continue this conversation, let’s first define what you mean by rape. Is it:

      1. The carnal knowledge of a woman against her will.

      2. The forcible penetration of someone against his or her will/consent.

      3. Someone having sex with another person when he/she didn’t really want to have sex.

      4. Someone having sex intercourse with another person without his/her consent or under threat of violence.

      I ask this because the degree of truth in your assertion changes. If you pick door number 3 what you will find is that yes, most rapes will be committed by men, and the degree of most may, based on a recent survey by the CDC, come out to close to 60% men and 40% women.

      Wait a second?! You mean if you go with what most reasonable people will pick as the definition of rape 2/5 of the perpetrators may be women?

      So yes, most is correct, and your degree of what most means is alarmingly misleading.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Women are much more complicit and actively engaged in war and violence than this message suggests. They participate in far more ways than just turning a blind eye to family abuse. For one thing, women are themselves often perpetrators of family violence.

      Societies go to war, and women are part of those societies. In America, women have for a century voted for political leaders who have launched military operations against others and then gotten re-elected by those same voters because of/despite these operations. Women have helped build the weapons used to kill millions of people. Rosie the Riveter was making weapons, not refrigerators. Women were instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb. They assembled the bomber that dropped the first one on Hiroshima, from a plane named after someone’s mother, who felt very honored by the gesture. Now they are actively in wars using weapons to kill people. It’s just a matter of time before a woman President launches a war against other people somewhere in the world. I suppose when she does so, people will still blame patriarchy for her decision.

      • Whoever voted for Obama also voted for a president who has no qualms about using drones to kill, drones which regularly kill civilians and even have perpetrated the sickening “double tap strike” sending a missile in a few hours later to the first missile explosion site, killing anyone there including rescuers.

        Female leaders have started wars, females in command do send men n women into war, this idea that war is a male construct is a fucking myth. War is a HUMAN construct and I find it sickening to see women especially try to deny this, trying to act superior and act like no blood is on women’s hands. The responsibility lies with those that sit idle as war n violence happens, how many women spoke up against torture of enemy combatants? How many women speak up against drone strikes, civilian deaths? Did Hillary Clinton speak up against it?

    • “Most rapes are perpetrated by men on women, children of both genders, and other men. Most war, which kills men, is started by other men too.”

      The only thing this formaulation accomplishes is to erase rapes women commit. The only thing is does is to erase their victims.

      This does nothing but give rapaists cover.

      This is rape apology, Danna. You are a rape apologist, Danna.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Danna

      “Most rapes are perpetrated by men on women, children of both genders, and other men. Most war, which kills men, is started by other men too”

      Although this is probably true, there is a large element of dishonesty to it. A large part of the dishonesty is based on the lie perpetuated by many feminists that forced envelopment is not rape. Once you include that, things get a bit different. Men are still probably the primary perpetrator of rape, but there is strong evidence to suggest that they are also the primary victim of it as well and if you looked simply at cross gender rape, there is evidence to suggest that women rape men and boys more often than men rape women and girls.

      The 2010 CDC NISVS showed that about 40% of rapes (rapes and forced to penetrate) were committed by women against men. The DOJ’s report to PREA showed that women *staff and prisoners) committed about 50% of the rapes in adult prisons and that men were about 80% of the victims so about 40% of all rapes both inside and outside of prison were committed by women against men. The BJS stats on rape in juvenile detention showed about 95% of staff rapes were committed by women against boys. The only number reaching 90% perpetration was women raping boys in juvie.

      As far as women and feminists being complicit in rape, we can look at the feminist majority foundations website, rape is rape campaign.

      http://feminist.org/nomoreexcuses/rapeisrape.asp

      They push for a change in the definition of rape that would eventually excludes the vast majority of female perpetrated rapes and male victimization (over 40% of all rapes) with the knowledge that as the website quotes and uses for justification for the change in definition

      “Misclassifying sexual assaults creates “a perception that this is not a real problem and so resources would not be allocated to training and investigation”

      Is it a wonder that male victims of DV are legally barred from receiving STOP assistance?

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Danna

      When it comes to the murder of ones own children. Mothers more often kill their children than fathers. When you factor out instances where the mother and father both killed their child, mothers are more than twice as likely to be culpable for the death of their child and yet they are awarded custody much more often.

  32. Kari…No I am not being sarcastic. Kari it takes laws and more importantly the enforcement of said laws, not just movements, to make change. Without the CRA disenfranchised groups ;like blacks, women, gays, transfolk, disabled,,etc would have no rights.Why? Because unless a law is enforced it means nothing: Political Science 101.
    This is why blacks weren’t actually free until 1964 when the Act was signed into law.. Until then blacks, had nothing to protect them.And in politics making laws often makes for incompatible bedfellows. For instance, white women sided with uber racist Southern Democrats to get the vote for themselves and then famously turned their backs on black women who wanted the vote also.This is simply a fact. Black men helped black women get the vote, a point not often discussed since most assume that a sisterhood existed between black and white women. Blacks were from freedom but it means nothing without laws and protections.

    • ogwriter – I agree with you that the CRA was absolutely pivotal, especially the creation of protected classes. And I agree that enforcement is crucial. That was sorta my point – enforcement of the laws for women was spearheaded by feminists, like the lawyers at NOW, just as enforcement of the laws for blacks was spearheaded by the NAACP legal defense fund.
      And my other point was that for women the CRA wasn’t everything – the 14th Am. and a myriad other laws have played vital roles in combating sex inequality too. That’s all. (and btw I’m with you on the history of racism within the women’s movement)

  33. budmin…My point isn’t to ask for inclusion of black people in to the body image affairs. We dealt with that issue many years ago and are doing fine. Sure there are some black women who have fallen prey to the victimization of the process, but it is not the problem it is for black people that it is for others. That my friend is the point. That white women could actually learn something from the struggles of others around acceptance of things one cannot change.

    So what is left is what one change. And the power that comes with that. Again, white women act as if they invented body image reactions to societal pressures and seem to have much in the way of ego invested in the beliefs. For hundreds of years, black people labored under the idea that they were not beautiful. In fact, it wasn’t until recent memory that a black man who looked like Wesley Snipes-broad nose thick lips- was considered mainstream handsome.

    This is something that white women don’t usually think of wallowing in their own ego about body image. Black people internalized this shit and hated the way they looked;worse no one cared. They didn’t have at their disposal an army, talk show hostesses, personalities, therapists, all speaking on their behalf. And in the ultimate demonstration of self hat they tried, as delusional as it was, to look more white. They straightened their hair,still do, got surgery,and lightened their skin.So, blacks had to develop internally a strength of character about themselves to beat back the sickness that was thrust upon them and they erupted in the sixties.’Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud screamed and intoned James Brown and they screamed back and they changed and things changed. Just a thought, maybe someone will learn something from someone else’s troubles.

  34. *fistpump of awesome* Hell’s yeah.

    Love this article.

  35. “I’ve since chatted with Sarah Beaulieu and understand that this wasn’t her intention, but still—intent isn’t magic, you know?”

    I’ve noticed this used by feminists before – and then they usually equate disagreement with misogyny. Intent isn’t magic, until a feminist projects intent onto you. Perhaps you do not engage in this behaviour, but that phrase is pretty loaded, frankly. (And it’s rather silly to deny the importance of intent – being mistaken is far better than actually being hateful, but feminists seem to think the two are one and the same an awful lot).

    “I have participated in this system. I still do, really, as much as I try not to. I participate in it when I work hard to make myself sweet, smiling and non-threatening, even in the face of blatant sexism, because I know that that’s the easiest way to get through life. I participate in it whenever I tell a man that I’m a feminist and then feel the need to follow up by telling him that I don’t hate men.”

    That isn’t solely patriarchy. That is in part a legacy of feminism. Yes, Not All Feminists Are Like That, but when talking to people who have been severely burned by feminism, as many of this blog’s readership have been, it’s not entirely irrelevant to point that out. It may not be necessary, true, but it’s hardly irrelevant, and you aren’t just being oppressed by the patriarchy here.

    “I participate in the patriarchy when I write for the Good Men Project, trying to make my feminism safer, more palatable, in an attempt to convince you that I’m not like those other feminists, the feminists that some of you hate so much. And just to be clear, these posts have been my own choice to write, and I have come up with both the content and the subject matter, so don’t think that I am trying to obliquely criticize the project or its editors. I chose to try to sugarcoat feminism, and now I regret it, and I have to own that.”

    I can’t say I’ve read many of your contributions here, but honestly, tone is one thing. The feminists I most despise are the ones utterly blind to their own hypocrisy – who insist that their experiences of discrimination be treated as sacrosanct while erasing the experiences of men harmed by the same system they claim to be fighting. Maybe the article you were responding to mishandled the usage of the word “angry”, but honestly, the anger isn’t really the problem. Many of us chaps are angry too, so we’re hardly going to judge on that, although we may concede that it’s not always as effective as people want. Feminist anger may be shamed, but male anger can easily be written off as aggression.

    “I’m angry that the onus is always on women to explain, to be patient, to understand, when the person you’re being asked to educate could just as easily educate themselves, should they want to.”

    Well….for one thing, it’s good to ask the people making the claim to justify their own claims – not least because so often in the past I’ve looked into particular claims and found them looking more like they’re actually false. And in general, when people make claims, the onus is on them to back it up. I’m sorry that women have problems, but there is no issue that gets you a free pass on this. To do so would be profoundly inegalitarian.

    “I’m angry at how often I find myself stroking men’s egos, promising them that promoting women’s rights will be a benefit and not a detriment to them.”

    That isn’t stroking egos. It’s basic respect to benefit people and not cause them harm. And in many cases, as already mentioned – it’s consistent with accepting their past experiences. Again, it may not be necessary, but it is hardly irrelevant.

    “I’m angry at how often I find myself excusing my actions and words based on the grounds that I’ll catch more flies with honey.”

    Well, because you probably will? Again, the same is true for everyone. I can’t say I’m wild about feminism, but the times I’ve discussed gender? Every time I’ve refrained from giving the person I’m disagreeing with both barrels because they’re pissing me off, and they’ve done the same – guess what? People actually listen and make progress, and compromise. You seem to be conflating the idea of not indulging your anger for practical reasons with the idea that you’re not allowed be angry at all. That’s not what the objection about catching flies with honey is about – it’s about finding the most expedient path to equality. Is that what you really want, or do you want to indulge your anger?

    I know that feminists are angry. I get that. For all this talk that they’re somehow held back from engaging in it, I’m all too aware of it. I would actually love to hear some solutions – and in a broader context, I’d like to be clear how they stand on gender issues that do not directly affect them. They don’t have to give men’s issues lip service, but it would be nice to know that they’re not going to be an obstacle like feminists frequently can be.

    “And yes, sometimes I am angry with specific men, when they’ve done or said something that’s sexist, misogynist or just plain hurtful. Sometimes I’m angry with specific women for the same reasons. But that doesn’t mean that I hate men or women as a whole. And sometimes it can be hard to maintain this perspective, when I’m faced with an onslaught of negativity about women and feminism, but still, I manage to separate the individuals from the group.”

    As do anti-feminists. The problem is not that all feminists are the same, it’s that there is too little done to face up to the harms done to equality in the name of feminism, especially where men affected by the patriarchy are concerned.

    There is also the issue that writing off feminism, or not wishing to identify with it, does not equate to writing off seeking equality. Feminism is one particular label associated with pursuing that end, and it isn’t a requirement to identify with it. I’ve personally learned a lot more from ignoring labels and going case-by-case instead of thinking, say, feminism=good, MRA=bad (binary thinking of the kind a lot of feminists seem to use). I don’t identify with either movement, but I will say that in the process I’ve realised that feminism isn’t the solution it claims to be, and the MRM isn’t the demon from hell many feminists would have you believe it is.

    “So my hope is that, while reading this, those of you who have had negative experiences with individual feminists will try to understand that the unfair actions of one particular person don’t mean that you should write off the feminist movement. Please don’t conflate your anger at things that have been said or done by people who label themselves as feminist with anger at feminism in general – because I promise you that no one single person (or even group of people) is representative of the whole.”

    What is “feminism in general”? Whose view is representative? Yours? The feminists who write off men’s issues?

  36. Solution: Don’t have sex with someone whom you’re not in a committed relationship. That goes for women, too.

    The liars win – both male and female. It’s truly disgusting.

    However, going with lag time effects, it’s undeniable that rape as a method of oppressing women – the only gender that can be forcefully impregnated, and therefore disabled from fleeing – has been used for eons. Even today, marauding gangs of rapists in India….or in Steubenville Ohio….are terrorizing women.

    There’s 1000s of rape kits sitting in warehouses, not even tested – that’s how little our culture considers trauma to women, still.

    And, in many parts of the world, women are killed for reporting their rapes, so this lying about rape is a new…..and looking at the total numbers, a relatively rare, phenomenon.

    Men focusing on the relatively low incidence of women lying about rape, is, in itself, an illustration of patriarchal thinking.

    When men and women work hard to greatly reduce rape as a first step, then the rest of the problems will evaporate.*

    * I already wrote about much needed reforms to rein in perjury, which would mitigate the lying, greatly.

    • Danna: False accusations of rape are not rare at all. The most feminst friendly numbers put it at between 2 – 8 % , and in the real world, 2 – 8 % of something is NOT RARE.

      Let me put it this way for you that perhaps might clear this up.

      Lets say a new study comes out that shows that between 2 – 8% of women who report rape are killed for reporting the rape. Would YOU (or anyone else) say it was rare OR would you and a lot of other people focus on those women who are killed.

    • Rape is often used as a weapon of war, dehumanizing both women AND MEN. Thing is not many people bother mentioning the absolutely huge amount of rape of men in the Congo, and the level of rape against boys in India which in one report for one area was double that experienced by the girls (under 18’s).

      “Men focusing on the relatively low incidence of women lying about rape, is, in itself, an illustration of patriarchal thinking.”
      First, it’s not that rare, getting hit by lightning is rare but the 2-8% stat above would leave quite a lot of people affected by it. Not as many as people raped of course but still it’s a significant risk but the problem is the fear is really only against men because it’s nearly always men who are sent to prison on false-rape charges, as evident by the innocent project I believe it’s called exonerating quite a lot of men. Seeing as this mainly harms men it’s only reasonable that men would be far far more afraid of a false-rape accusation than a woman would be, so quite frankly I don’t think many women truly appreciate the fear of it. At the very least a false-rape accusation could seriously fuck up my reputation, and it would be a death sentence for a career involving children since mud sticks, and the worst is being sent to prison as a sexual offender which means sex offender registry for life (goodbye career with children, hello a lot of stigma), much higher risk of being beaten n RAPED in prison by white-knights since many people HATE rapists especially rapists of women. Do you think it’s possible a woman could be sent to jail by a man falsely claiming rape against her, especially at the rate men are sent to jail?

      The other issue is most people are clueless as to the recent stats on rape, there are a huge amount of male rape victims (probably the majority of adult males raped by women) and so many men are in the dark at their vulnerability yet many men know about false accusations and with the gendered talk about rape I’d say most men think they won’t be raped, they won’t rape someone else so for them the only major risk is rape in prison or a false accusation, hence it’s high level of consideration by men.

      Where is the patriarchal thinking there?

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Danna

      Eugene Kanin’s study found that 41% of reported rapes were false. This was the only study that I am aware of that looked at every reported rape as possibly being false. For the math challenged, if I only look at 10% of rapes as possibly being false, the highest percentage of false rapes I could get is 10%. To get a true number, we’d need to look at all reported rapes as possibly being false.

      The thing with Kanin’s study was that police were not allowed to assume an accusation was false. For an accusation to be ruled as false, the complainant had to ADMIT that the accusation was false. Kanin’s 41% could actually be low as some liars may not have retracted, but it may have been proven to be false had other evidence been considered or it had gone to trial. It would be interesting to find out how many convictions were secured during that time.

      The main criticism of the study was that the police department requested that complainants take a polygraph, which some advocates claim was coercive. So in their opinion requesting a polygraph was sufficient coercion to compel someone to admit to committing a crime, but convictions won based on a plea bargain absolutely prove guilt (Brian Banks case ring a bell). So in the case of the accused, the threat of 10 or 20 years in prison is not coercive.

  37. wellokaythen says:

    First, where I agree. I don’t being angry and being a feminist are inherently bad things. There’s this silly split personality in American culture when it comes to anger. Anger is either this totally crazy, dangerous thing that you should be ashamed of, or else anger is a sign of righteousness and gives you the authority of a moral high ground. Why can’t anger just be anger, not the end of the world and not an instrument of righteousness, just a common feeling. Why do we have to label angry people as either totally crazy or totally justified? Perhaps an angry feminist could be a mixture of both….

    These generally sound like perfectly valid reasons to feel anger towards social inequality, on the macro level and on the personal level.

    Where my eyes start to glaze over is when I get through a long list of things that this vast impersonal force does to women, without much mention of women’s own complicity in the system. Even when Judd mentions that women take part, her quote suggests that they have been duped somehow. Her quote suggests that women who think they aren’t supporting patriarchy are the most brainwashed of all.

    That’s powerful, thought-provoking language, good for polemical mobilization, but intellectually creates a dead end. By that logic, there will never be an end to patriarchy. You can’t ever get rid of it, because if you think you’ve left it behind, that’s still patriarchy talking. Does this mean that any challenge to patriarchy is simply doomed? I mean, Judd is saying if you think you’re working against patriarchy you’re probably fooling yourself.

    The intellectual danger here is in making patriarchy seem too big and too devious and too inevitable. Seriously, if you take a step back and look at it as a human creation, patriarchy is the most powerful, most successful, most ingenious institution ever created by human beings. At least the way it is commonly defined. It looks virtually indestructible, and the more radical the brand of feminism the more omnipotent patriarchy seems to look.

    For example, shaving one’s legs. If you do it because you like the way that it looks and feels, then maybe it’s patriarchy talking, maybe not. Patriarchy may be part of the origin of the custom, but to say that women do it today because of patriarchal aesthetic conditioning? I find that hard to swallow, that women who consciously decide for their own reasons to shave their legs today are still trapped in some sort of false consciousness. Give women some credit.

  38. “When I’m faced with the onslaught of negativity about women and feminism, but I still manage to separate out the individuals from the group….”

    Excellent point…!

    I was at a conference honoring Anita Hill at Hunter College that featured different forums on various women’s and feminist topics: sexual harassment, street harassment, workplace equality, racial prejudice, etc. There were so many feminists in the auditorium: men and women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, including Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler, and Emily May (among so many others)….and we all argued about various topics…. there was not just one opinion on each of those explosive topics….

    Maybe some of us shared the same experience of being grabbed by a male mentor or employer in the workplace or got groped in the subway, but many people differed on how they felt about Slutwalk and about streetwalkers….

    I think that’s too simple to say that everyone in that auditorium was exactly the same kind of feminist, because the truth is we were 100 shades (or maybe more) of feminism…..

    • I think that’s too simple to say that everyone in that auditorium was exactly the same kind of feminist, because the truth is we were 100 shades (or maybe more) of feminism…..(Leia)

      And this pretty much says it all.

    • Leia.
      I think that pretty much sums up the problems a lot of folks have about feminism.
      Becuase as an organisation or a movement, it is mostly very quick and very vocal in taking credit for anything resembling progressive development in society.
      Yet, any criticism, fallout or any sort of misconduct is always filtered down to individual opinions that have little to no support and are shared by only a precious few in the overall movement.

      • I’ve seen a version of this point several times now – that feminists can’t have it both ways by taking credit for individual opinions that improve the image of the movement and discount individual opinions that detract from that image. But why not? Isn’t it human nature that any group is going to be selective about what “counts” for the group and what doesn’t? How many times has some spokesperson for some organization come on TV to say, “that person(s) who did or said that hideous thing doesn’t represent the rest of us” even when it kinda looks like they do. Why should a social movement have to take an all or nothing approach to individual opinion? Which brings me back to a question I’ve raised on other threads – what is any movement supposed to do about the extremists within? Why should those on the edge overshadow the importance of work going on in the middle? What if instead of guilt by association we just dropped the generalizations altogether and focused on the content of the individual opinion?

        • John Anderson says:

          @ Kari

          “How many times has some spokesperson for some organization come on TV to say, “that person(s) who did or said that hideous thing doesn’t represent the rest of us”

          The funny thing is MRAs wouldn’t have a problem with this. Feminists might say they don’t represent the rest of us, but they don’t say that the position they espoused is inconsistent with feminism. It’s just not consistent with their version of feminism. When a movement considers even hurtful or negative things as a valid extension of the movement, it loses the right to distance itself from those views.

        • “Which brings me back to a question I’ve raised on other threads – what is any movement supposed to do about the extremists within?”
          Take a page from muslim clerics? after 9/11 n call out the extremism, put qualifiers in the feminist name so you know who is what, know where the egalitarians are, know who the gynocentrics are. Everytime you see it mentioned, call them out, call out the hate.

  39. John Anderson says:

    @ Danna

    Here are the rape stats for those who don’t want to hunt them down.

    Let’s look at the CDC stats. Table 2.2 page 19 shows in the last 12 months an estimated 1,2670,000 men were forced to penetrate. That’s government fancy talk for they were raped. 80% of these rapes, over 1,000,000 were perpetrated by women.

    Table 2.1 page 18 women raped last 12 months 1,270,000. Higher by about 2% not quite the ifference you think it 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%).”

    http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf

    Here’s the DOJ and BJS stats.

    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/svrfsp08.pdf.

    Page 5

    “An estimated 9.6% of former state prisoners reported one or more incidents of sexual victimization during the most recent period of incarceration in jail, prison, and postrelease community-treatment facility.”

    “About 5.4% of former state prisoners reported an incident that involved another inmate.”

    “About 5.3% of former state prisoners reported an incident that involved facility staff.”

    Page 6

    “Among victims of staff sexual misconduct, 79% were males reporting sexual activity with female staff.”

    So about half the sexual abuse was staff on inmate and 80% of that was female staff abusing male inmates, which is about 40% of all rapes.

    Here are the stats for Juvie

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reviewpanel/pdfs/panel_report_101014.pdf

    Page 2

    “The BJS Juvenile Report found that of the estimated 26,551 adjudicated youth held in state facilities or large non-state facilities in 2008-09, about 12.1% (3,220) reported experiencing sexual violence.6 About 2.6% of these reported incidents involved other youths, whereas about 10.3% involved facility staff members.”

    Staff perpetrated about 80% of the sexual abuse in juvie.

    “males were more likely than females to experience sexual activity with staff; females were more likely than males to report forced sexual activity with other youth;”

    Page 3

    “For youth reporting staff-on-youth incidents of sexual victimization, 95% reported that the perpetrator involved a female staff member.16”

    So between men and women, women committed 95% of the rapes of incarcerated children.

  40. The Wet One says:

    For my part, I’m generally disgusted with my species and wish them nothing more than extinction. This article did little or nothing to relieve that point of view.

    So it goes…

    • There are days …

      Other days, I just wish that I was extinct, so that my eyes would get some rest from some of the things I read… Having them bug out in incredulity gets tiring after a while !

      • The Wet One says:

        Yeah, I can sympathize with that. Still though, I figure why should I die when it’s the rest of the world that’s so effed up?

  41. John Anderson says:

    @ Danna

    Here are the stats for parent killing their children.

    Children killed by father and other 19. Children killed by mother and other 108. Children killed by male partner of parent 34. Children killed by female partner of parent 0. I’m assuming that all couples are heterosexual. Fathers killed 198 children, 19 with another person and their partners have killed zero for a total of 217. Mothers killed 337, 108 with another person and their partners have killed 34. for a total of 479.

    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm10/cm10.pdf#page=70

    Page 60 table 4.7

    So women can be as bad and sometimes worse than men. This exercise accomplished what? Sometimes I think that feminists have this victim scoreboard where every time a woman rapes a man it cancels out an instance of a man raping a woman so if victimization along gender lines is equal, we what; ignore it. Why can’t we just work to end it?

    • Jennifer J. says:

      John,

      “Children killed by male partner of parent 34. Children killed by female partner of parent 0. I’m assuming that all couples are heterosexual. Fathers killed 198 children, 19 with another person and their partners have killed zero for a total of 217. Mothers killed 337, 108 with another person and their partners have killed 34. for a total of 479….So women can be as bad and sometimes worse than men.”

      Just curious: Why did you group children killed by male partners in with women and those killed by female partners (that is, none) in with men, while assuming that all the couples were heterosexual? Are women to blame when stepfathers or boyfriends kill their children, while those men who *do* the killing don’t count ?

      • John Anderson says:

        It actually is to illustrate who a child is safer with when it comes to custody. Even if we were to look at only those instances where a father or mother are at least partially, directly culpable for their child’s death. It would still be 217 to 445 or still over 2 to 1.

        The big point is there are instances where male perpetration is higher. Men commit 90% of the murders in the U.S. There are instances where the level of perpetration is the same among men and women. There are even a few instances if we look at specific segments, that female perpetration is higher.

        As a general rule, I believe the generally accepted reasoning is that it is a function of power and access. In a interpersonal relationship, men are statistically larger and so statistically would subjugate women more or to a greater degree. In prison the power belongs to the guards. Men make up a larger part of the prison population (90%) and though women make up a smaller population of guards, many rapists have multiple victims. The last I heard was an estimated average of 6 victims. Women have power and access.

        If it’s an issue of power and access, why then do people insist on making things a gender issue? It should illustrate why there is a need for equality.

        • You’re ignoring something pretty fundamental about the numbers you mention, and that is that they are not adjusted (as far as I can tell) against the total number of single parents of each gender caring for children, which makes them pretty much meaningless. Meaningful numbers would be the respective percentages of children in the care of single parents of each gender who are murdered by that parent. In other words, percentage of children raised by only fathers murdered by fathers; percentage of children raised by only mothers murdered by mothers; and then two additional numbers, percentage of children raised by two parents/partners killed by fathers and percentage of children raised by two parents/partners killed by mothers.

          As they are, I think the only thing your numbers truly reflect is the reality that there are far more women raising children alone and raising children period than men.

          Also, could you cite where you’re getting your stats from? Just as a matter of curiosity/enlightenment.

          • Should you get those studies to review, try to bear in mind that the studies often group fathers, step-fathers, and father figure, into one number – look for the breakdown.
            I say this because the biological fathers in conventional relationships have higher oxytocin levels, and higher vasopressin levels, which have also facilitated bonding and entraining of the father with the child.
            Step fathers do not have this boost with respect to step-children (and I am not slamming step-fathers), and mom’s new boyfriend does not either. In fact, as a rule, the most common source of danger, IS from mom’s new boyfriend, from what I read.

          • John Anderson says:

            The stats on fatalities were taken from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. It took forever to find stats broken down by parent gender of course when I found them I immediately thought the government was trying to bury them as suspicious as I was, I didn’t anticipate the link dying. I try to find government sources or sources linked from government websites. Here is what I can find now.

            https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/fatality.pdf#Page=5&view=Fit

            Page 5

            “No matter how the fatal abuse occurs, one fact of great concern is that the perpetrators are, by definition, individuals responsible for the care and supervision of their victims. In 2010, parents, acting alone or with another person, were responsible for 79.2 percent of child abuse or neglect fatalities. Almost 30 percent (29.2 percent) were perpetrated by the mother acting alone.Child fatalities with unknown perpetrator relationship data accounted for 8.3 percent of the total. There is no single profile of a perpetrator of fatal child abuse,
            although certain characteristics reappear in many studies. Frequently, the perpetrator is a young adult in his or her mid-20s, without a high school diploma, living at or below the poverty level, depressed, and who may have difficulty coping with stressful situations. Fathers and mothers’ boyfriends are most often the perpetrators in abuse deaths; mothers are more often at fault in neglect fatalities.2”

            There were more neglect deaths than abuse deaths 32% to 22%. but 40% were multiple so that doesn’t really help.

            So what we have is 29.2% of deaths are caused by mother acting alone and 50% of deaths by adding father acting alone, father and other, mother and other, and both mother with father. From what I remember on the dead link stats, which is never a good thing to trust, is that deaths involving both mother and father were the second most common. The stats also did covered a recent year so probably around 2010 or so.

            I did find another study from the Department of Justice which covers multiple decades. The only break down I saw by parent’s gender was for children under 5. It involved only homicides (I don’t know if neglect deaths are included) and showed that father killed slightly more often 33% to 30%.

            http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf

            Of all children under age 5 murdered from 1980 through 2008—
             63% were killed by a parent—33% were killed by their fathers
            and 30% were killed by their mothers (table 3)
             23% were killed by male acquaintances
             5% were killed by female acquaintances
             7% were killed by other relatives
             3% were killed by strangers.
            Of children under age 5 killed by someone other than their parent,
            80% were killed by males (not shown).

            It could be just me, but there seems a reluctance to break data down by gender of parent. The MRA in me finds this highly suspicious. If you find better stats, let me know.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ S.Hammer

              “As they are, I think the only thing your numbers truly reflect is the reality that there are far more women raising children alone and raising children period than men.”

              Two things. One, read the comment you’re responding to.

              “As a general rule, I believe the generally accepted reasoning is that it is a function of power and access.”

              The possibility has already been acknowledged, however, the second thing is that it assumes that people will eventually offend, which is something that I don’t agree with. People are people. They’re fallible. They get angry. That anger may eventually cross the line. They get tired. The exhaustion might make them neglectful, a much more likely possibility I’ll grant, but I hesitate to say that either is an eventuality.

              For example if you look at mothers (mostly neglect cases) in total we get 29.2%. If we look at children under 5, historically we get essentially the same thing 30%. Why haven’t the deaths dropped off significantly after mom has the “break” of the kids starting school?

              I think power has a lot to do with it. I think access also has something to do with it. Gender has something to do with it when it involves sex crimes. Why don’t male staff rape male prisoners at the same rate as female staff? They have the same power and possibly greater access.

              If we assume that people will eventually offend, how do we correct it?

            • “could be just me, but there seems a reluctance to break data down by gender of parent. The MRA in me finds this highly suspicious. If you find better stats, let me know.”

              I know what you mean by this. I find it very odd that the CDC report on Child Maltreatment 2010 does not have a breakdown of maltreatment type to gender or relationship of perpetrators to the child. The CDC clearly has this information as they have the relationship of the child to the perpetrator, the gender of the abusers with only 1.2% of perpetrators’ of “unknown” gender. It seems strange to me that they don’t display that data of the number of perpetrators and the maltreatment types either by relationship to the child or by gender.

              Now, considering how often father’s are depicted as being abusive or that men are the abusers, and this is where the uncomfortable and cynical part of me is talking, if the study had found that number of male abusers, especially in terms of sexual assault, was substantially higher than female abusers I would expect people to be shouting those numbers from the rooftops. Their convenient omission suggests to me that this is very likely not the case and that either sexual assault and physical violence abusers are either equally male and female or that there is a greater number of female abusers than male abusers. But now I’m starting to talk conspiracy theories, so I’m going to stop here, rewind my brain, and tell myself that the CDC just didn’t feel that information was relevant for some reason or another.

          • John Anderson says:

            @ S. Hammer @ KC Krupp

            So I found them again. You can either click on the link I gave in my initial post, then click the child maltreatment 2010. link or you can jump to

            http://archive.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm10/cm10.pdf

            On Page 82 Table 4.7 it gives the fatality rates.by perpetrator relationship

            Father 198
            Father and Other 19
            Mother 337
            Mother and Other 108
            Mother and Father 253

            Mother and Father is the second largest at 253 so memory isn’t that bad.

            If I have the energy, I’ll try to find the partner of parent citation.

            • Sorry, I should have been clear. I was referring to the fact that they don’t have a breakdown of type of maltreatment to perpetrator relationship for the non-fatalities.

              For example they never give the numbers for the number of mothers who were perpetrators of neglect or the number of child-care workers who committed sexual assault. They will say that the mother was responsible for 265,022 incidents of maltreatment and they give a breakdown of whether it was adoptive, foster, or biological parents by state, but they never give a full breakdown of perpetrator relationship to maltreatment type so we don’t know the % of sexual assault cases committed by women vs men, mothers vs fathers vs other relatives.

      • Actually JENNIFER yes, I would because the children when with a stepfather are in the care and custody of the mother when they are killed.

        You will notice btw, that a fair number of studies include step fathers, moms new boyfriend, mom one night stand under the heading of “FATHER”.

  42. I appreciated this entry. It’s thoughtful and thought provioking. I find the discussion interesting and sometimes disappointing, but that’s part of what makes it interesting I guess.

    The last decade or so most people’s exposure to feminism has been on-line, as has been mentioned. Is there any topic discussed on-line that isn’t made uglier and more polarizing in this context? The internets pretty much harden and nearly spoil most things they touch. I think that has a good bit to do with feminism’s PR problem.

    Having said that, I think the system sucks for everyone, and it eithers consumes people or twists them into barely recognizable shapes as a condition of not being consumed. Men and women, women and men. I try not to get all “what about the men” when women are discussing an issue as it pertains to women, and I hope that women here can let men talk about issues that are or seem uniquely applicable to men without making men’s concerns step-concerns. They are so often the same issues approached from only slightly different perspectives

  43. Most war, which kills men, is started by other men too.

    I find this framing extremely offensive. Men fight wars so women don`t have to. Wars arise because of conflict over resources and land and the fear of both women and men on either side is that they will ultimately die unless they fight for land and resources. Women have supported most wars through the vote and so are fully responsible for them. Women in tribes shame men who don`t go to war and deny them sex. Women have every bit as much responsibility for wars as men do. Women should be extremely thankful that men have been willing to sacrifice themselves by fighting in wars so that women did not have to.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Some truth to this, but it seems awfully reductionist when you consider all the reasons people THINK they are going off to war. There are leaders out to show they aren’t “wimps” (George H.W. Bush), because there’s a bad guy who tried to kill my dad (George W. Bush), there are ideological crusaders (Wilson), there are people who just refuse to relinquish something of deep symbolic value (a war over the Falklands? Seriously?), and even humanitarian operations. Did the U.S. really send troops into Somalia in the 1990’s to secure the country’s abundant natural resources? Seems extremely cost-ineffective.

      Unless we’re saying that resource competition is the only reason wars happen, and everyone who thinks they are motivated by other things are just deluding themselves. That’s a stunning indictment of thousands of years of military recruitment campaigns. I guarantee the guys in the foxholes are not thinking about international resource distribution.

      In a way, I wish warfare really was that rational, that it always boils down to cold calculation about resources. War is often about much less rational things than that, things like love and hate. It would be so much easier to conduct foreign policy if every government behaved rationally. We’d probably have fewer wars if it was all about resource competition.

      I’m also unclear how men go to war to protect women in a society in which women also go to war. Do those women become men somehow?

    • Anne Thériault says:

      “Men fight wars so women don`t have to.”

      Until recently, women weren’t allowed in combat.

      “Wars arise because of conflict over resources and land and the fear of both women and men on either side is that they will ultimately die unless they fight for land and resources.”

      This is a very reductionist (and uninformed) view of why we have wars.

      “Women have supported most wars through the vote and so are fully responsible for them.”

      Women have had the vote for less than 100 years. And not all wars are decided by voting.

      “Women in tribes shame men who don`t go to war and deny them sex.”

      What tribes? And for that matter, what votes? You’re saying an awful lot here without backing it up.

      “Women should be extremely thankful that men have been willing to sacrifice themselves by fighting in wars so that women did not have to.”

      I am thankful to all veterans, but not because they’re male. And it’s not as if women have only recently joined the front lines – women have died in wars too, fulfilling the only positions that they were allowed to take on, i.e. nurses, etc.

      • http://ncfm.org/military-conscription/

        If you are saying men are responsible for war and women would not have caused wars had they had the power to that is a clear cut example of hatred of men. One is in fact then saying that the cause of war, the most destructive activity humans engage in, are caused solely by evil inherent in men and that the superior goodness of women would prevent that.

        • Anne Thériault says:

          Nope, I wasn’t saying that at all. I was simply refuting your points.

          Wars are caused by a few people at the top, and the common men (and women) pay the price.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        “This is a very reductionist (and uninformed) view of why we have wars”

        Since you disagree on the cause of wars being socio economical. Can you tell us what is your take? thank you.

        • Anne Thériault says:

          I do agree that the causes of wars are socio economic and political. However, the crux of what the commenter above was saying seemed to be: “Men fight wars so women don`t have to.”

  44. Kari…The invention of intersectionality is such a shell game,someone should be arrested. What a joke.If I walk into a plate glass window that I,for whatever reason,didn’t see doesn’t mean I discovered glass.What a bs rationalization for racism,classism,etc.

    • ogwriter… Intersectionality is the inquiry into how two (or more) different factors combine and is designed to root out racism within sexism or vice versa (or any other combination of factors). Like when you brought up race within the discussion of beauty standards.

      • Ummm, this is what I understand the problem as being.
        Lets say you set up a matrix of some intersectionality factors. Sex or gender, SES, race, micro-culture, and belief system (religion, atheist…). There are five variables. You can run statistical tests for independence, and then various regression approaches to attempt to isolate the most dominant or influential factors. You can even come up with a pseudo equation to rank the power of the various intersection elements.

        You made an assumption in doing this. You assumed that they are either independent factors, or not. Unfortunately, in reality, sometimes factors are contingently dependent, sometimes they are intermittently independent. Accordingly, the entire analysis is deeply flawed.
        Fine you say, we are not going to do it with math. Well of course not. We will use a delphic oracle approach, where we will decide these things on the basis of asking a broad range of people, or asking a group of experts. However, since those judgements are not based on a causal analysis, they are also very unlikely to be valid either.

        Multiple independent variables in any setting can very quickly approach a chaos situation – unpredictable outcomes within some boundaries, where the outcome is over-governed by the assumed initial state. Think weather, fluid mechanics, Brownian motion, or global markets.

        Not even considered yet ( i crudely sketched this out using some of the factors that a social justice advocate might include) are ideology, alternative paths of education, government policy, legislation and regulation, or any form of individual characteristic at all.

        Absent such, intersectionality is prone to become a simply more sophisticated form of binary prejudice, where people will argue endlessly whether being female is more of a handicap than being African American and whether being poor is more influential than being Sunni.

        Its a tough challenge – so tough, that it can seem, like a shell game, and that the game is rigged.

        One thing I am reasonably sure of, and that is that white able-bodied straight males will still be vilified !!

  45. Kari…Well,thank you but I obviously know what it is and have for 43 years understood that people don’t live in complete cultural vacuums.Which is one of the reasons I tried to start a thread about how minorities have dealt with body image that really didn’t get picked up.I have for months tried to get all of these forward thinking intersectionists to view body image from the minority lens,there is no interest. They don’t have to care.

    • ogwriter – I’m sorry to hear that. Was this a thread on GMP? Can you post the link?
      I think one of the problems with postmodern criticism is that it ends up getting too fractionalized to the point that every individual person is a unique data set because they are a unique combination of factors. So there’s a chilling effect on the conversation because people who don’t match the exact same set of factors don’t feel qualified to discuss how they intersect. I think people care, they just know what to say.

      • sorry, that should read “they just *don’t* know what to say”

      • Kari…I just remembered that Julie, in her infinite wisdom, did ask Jules to write about an African American male’s views on body image. Nonetheless, your point that perhaps the reason white people don’t comment on or include black perspectives on many issues is due to fear of insulting black people.

        I have heard this many times and certainly on the surface, that reasoning seems valid. But if one were to peel back the onion skin just a bit something else comes clear. Let me ask you something, how does someone like myself or Jules,both African American men of some vintage, know and understand the differences between “white” views on aesthetics that seem to contribute to body image issues and that of blacks? Do we not have the same fear of offending white people?
        And wouldn’t there be even more risks associated with offending said white people if one were black? Trust me, there are a host of things I know I can’t write on GMP about white people.

        Yet, Jules and myself often engage, comfortably if not fluently, in conversations on GMP that are essentially white in delivery and context. What’s wrong with this picture?
        In a word, privilege. White people don’t have to know about the lives, feelings, concerns, and point of view of others;so they don’t know about them.
        Therefore, white women only see what their beauty looks like through white eyes even though there are available multiple value systems around beauty one can choose to assume.

        The fear you speak of that white people use to excuse themselves from the real work of democracy and inclusion- intersectionality?- is a luxury others can’t even consider as an option. I have spent most of my life learning about white people and white culture and I speak white people well. I have absorbed thousands upon thousands of movies, school books, novels, religious, political texts,poems, myths, legends and I have had hundreds of relationships with whites. It’s funny that whites have this fear of insulting blacks because by ignoring black voices they already have.

        • Thank you for this. “I have spent most of my life learning about white people and white culture and I speak white people well. I have absorbed thousands upon thousands of movies, school books, novels, religious, political texts,poems, myths, legends and I have had hundreds of relationships with whites. It’s funny that whites have this fear of insulting blacks because by ignoring black voices they already have.”

          Yes we have. For decades on end. To our great shame and loss. Racism is a toxic river that whites swim in too, unaware that they are being poisoned. They don’t have to be aware, yeah? Thanks, Ogwriter.

        • ogwriter –
          perhaps the reason white people don’t comment on or include black perspectives on many issues is due to fear of insulting black people
          The cynic in me says it’s worse than that – maybe white people aren’t so much afraid of insulting blacks as they are of being called racist. Personal example – I lost a bunch of weight a while back and was about 20 lbs away from my “goal” (as determined by a healthy BMI) and started getting a noticeable increase in attention from black men. I was flattered, for sure, since up to that point I had received no attention. But as a white woman it also sorta confirmed for me that I still had 20 lbs left to lose. Now, is that thought just an awareness of different beauty standards on my part or racism or both (or something else)?

          The whitewashing of western culture is an absolutely devastating legacy. And you’re right that study (of history and contemporary culture) can bring awareness of the “other” and different perspectives and values. That’s why I’m here at GMP, afterall. :-)

          • ogwriter says:

            Kari…Perhaps I am being unclear: I don’t personally care whether white women are flattered by attention from black men.Not in the least. The main-thrust of my comments was meant to the challenge the dominant narrative that -white women are the standard of beauty one should identify with and try to emulate in western culture– by broadening the parameters of the discussion by including another narrative.
            It is interesting that feminists, after three reformations, can’t even seem to follow their own values,yet they demand, they scream, they cry foul, and rail and get angry at others who fail at the same tasks.

            Some women are so far up on the pedestal that they don’t even get nosebleeds anymore, blood just oozes from their pores.

            Using fear of being called a racist as a reason for not picking up a book, going to a movie, or in some way educating oneself about a group of your fellow citizens before one offers an opinion about them, and in that way demonstrating that one is indeed inclusive and willing to share power is cowardly.

            Feminism tells men in no uncertain terms that they must know and understand every single interconnected detail of all 2,000,000 shades and varieties of feminism that seem to change shape, color and tone faster and more frequently than an agitated giant squid. And feminism pretends not to see just how powerful and controlling this behavior is.

            And they want to lead!? They haven’t even mastered themselves and they have the audacity to want to tell some-else how they should live life! They have the unmitigated gall to criticize someone else’s values! Why should I as a black person (or should anyone) have trust and faith in a system that admits to not seeing me, but wants to tell me what to do?
            Well, that’s never happened in American culture before.

            Anne… Feminist’s like Anne, will have plenty to say and be angry about when they think they are not being heard.when their issues and fears about their status and place in society isn’t being represented. However, when asked to apply the same standard of analysis and achievement to the failures of feminism and we get a much different response from Anne. She tells us that feminism, like all movements (not true) grows and presumably gets better with maturity and therefore should be given a free pass concerning its inability to be free of the kinds of inequalities it says it is against-After reading this post,I don’t believe that at all anymore.

            Again the CRM, as flawed as it was, set the modern standard of excellence for how a movement’s participants should conduct themselves, in part to avoid being legitimately called a hypocrite. One could not be in the movement if one didn’t live up to two primary creeds set by the leaders;one must be non racist and nonviolent:No exceptions!
            In my view, you excuse feminism on these excesses, shifting your values to fit the situation; setting up two very different value systems, a relaxed forgiving one for women and a much harsher, less flexible system for men. Men must be perfect now,men must change now,men and everybody else must listen to our angst. Even though we don’t listen to the narratives of others,even though we don’t calculate into our thinking what we know of the experiences and opinion’s of others, even though we fail now and have failed in the past to walk the talk. Damn and you want me to follow you. The truth is standing next to you white women, I don’t exist and you don’t even know it -or care to.

            • Anne Thériault says:

              “She tells us that feminism, like all movements (not true) grows and presumably gets better with maturity and therefore should be given a free pass concerning its inability to be free of the kinds of inequalities it says it is against-After reading this post,I don’t believe that at all anymore.”

              I sure didn’t say that feminism gets a free pass concerning inequalities within the feminist movement! There is a real debate within the movement right now regarding lack of intersectionality, and the dearth of white feminists who spoke up in the wake of The Onion’s tweet (I linked to my take on it in a response to you below).

              Here’s the problem: every time feminists want to discuss feminism with non-feminists, the main things that people seem to want to talk about are the failings of feminism. And it’s frustrating to be put on the defensive as soon as you try to open up discussion. I mean, hell, I was on the defensive before I even wrote this article.

              And YES, I agree the feminist movement isn’t perfect, and it isn’t wholly intersectional yet by a long shot. The feminists with the greatest platforms and the widest reach are all white and most of them are cis-gendered, and that is a serious problem. There are lots of serious problems within feminism.

              Honestly, though, this is not a safe space to discuss those problems. Because very few people here are interested in trying to solve those problems within the framework of feminism or interested in helping the movement be more intersectional, more accessible – most people here are more interested in using the ways that feminism fails women of colour (for example) as a reason to talk about why feminism is terrible. Which is, obviously, not something I am super interested in discussing. I’d rather talk to someone who wants to work with me to solve these problems than someone who wants to work against me.

              And no, I don’t think men need to be perfect. In the same way that I’m sure that black people don’t think white people need to be perfect. All that we want is for men to listen and try to see things from our viewpoint and try to understand.

              And YES the fact that a very specific form of white femininity is the standard for everyone in the west is a problem that needs to be discussed. The ways that racism and misogyny intertwine need to be discussed. These are huge problems that we need to tackle.

            • Here’s the problem: every time feminists want to discuss feminism with non-feminists, the main things that people seem to want to talk about are the failings of feminism. And it’s frustrating to be put on the defensive as soon as you try to open up discussion. I mean, hell, I was on the defensive before I even wrote this article.
              My first response to this was about to be, “Welcome to our world.”. A world where when we want to talk to feminists we are put on the defensive about how bad we are because we aren’t feminist.

              Because very few people here are interested in trying to solve those problems within the framework of feminism or interested in helping the movement be more intersectional….
              Let me ask. What is your view point on working with people who are interested in solving problems outside the framework of feminism?

            • Anne Thériault says:

              I may have worded that wrong – I meant more so solving the problems within feminism, and I’m not sure that those can be solved outside of the framework of feminism, short of dismantling feminism. And that’s what I worry about when discussing shortcomings within the feminist movement here – that those shortcomings will be held up as reasons why feminism is terrible, rather than being seen as problems we need to fix in order to salvage the whole.

              Does that make any sense?

              But for all other issues, I’m happy to work with people who are interested in working outside of the framework of feminism. I’m just not really interested in helping people take down feminism.

            • I think Anne is articulating a distinction between “fixing” the problems of the feminist movement itself versus “fixing” social inequalities in the real world.
              In the case of the first, there’s hesitation to work on the failings of feminism when those failings are used only to disparage the movement and not to foster constructive conversation about how to improve the movement.
              In the case of the second, there is little or no hesitation (as least from Anne and me and other Fems at GMP) to work with people who don’t identify as Feminist on issues of social inequality in the real world – including how sex-linked rules/norms/laws/ etc. work to the detriment of men.

            • ogwriter says:

              Anne and Kari…For me, at this point in our history as a people, I am not interested in discussing how the next great movement is the answer to how badly we treat each other;it is not and It is illogical to think otherwise.

              If what you wrote about the feminist movement being, “,,, imperfect and,” isn’t wholly intersectional yet by a long shot.” is true, I have no idea why feminist act as if they are only victims! What makes you any better morally than the men you rail against? I believe that is flat out hypocritical. When leaders are hypocritical they loose creditability;but you expect to loose none! Feminism has a big public relations problem and they are too privileged and arrogant to see it. In fact, so out of touch are feminists with the darker side of a woman’s human nature they can’t see themselves as arrogant.

              I also believe that the answers we need can’t be found in traditional factional political solutions. Until we can begin to discuss how the relationship between men and women works ecologically, with each part taking full responsibility for having and using power and the consequences there of, nothing Little will improve.
              Criticism is the price of leadership and one doesn’t get to hide in one’s room until it is safe before one submits to accountability to those they serve;everyone they serve;one doesn’t get to plat victim. I for one am weary of those who profess to be worthy of being followed, complain when they get called on the carpet. for not living up to the standards to say that they believe..grow up, woman up

              .Feminism has a public relations problem that it chooses to ignore that is one or two major stories from blowing up in their faces. Leaders get increased scrutiny and at some point someone is going to, in full view, expose the very problems that I and you have underscored about feminism. When that national conversation happens and feminists have to answer for their failings to the nation, not just a few academics in the thin air of elite liberal circles,maybe then feminism will have the death and resurrection it so sorely needs.
              But to have real connection to say a black person or any one of a different cultural experience than yours, it takes work. The kind of work that , in my opinion, can’t possibly be done if one is always saying that the only way to solve our problems is if everyone adopts my philosophy. You really think that the voice of the educated middle class white woman isn’t heard over that of others?Wow. Maybe you should take your own advice and put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s voice isn’t as privileged as yours.
              Julie acknowledged that white people are privileged enough so that they can avoid having to learn about the trials of others less fortunate.like moi. If you really want to intersect with people first understanding one’s own advantages would be a good start.
              Asking me or someone else how being left out of most the discussions culturally on GMP, a site that says it is the new masculinity feels to us might also help.Don’t tell me that one has to be black to know of the struggles black people go through, that’s just more bs.

            • “In the case of the first, there’s hesitation to work on the failings of feminism when those failings are used only to disparage the movement and not to foster constructive conversation about how to improve the movement.”

              Trouble is this becomes a cycle to reaffirm the initial statements of feminists failing to address the extremists in their movement for instance.

            • Anne- respectfully, what are your real concerns about dismantling feminism? Why would men need to fall under feminism, says who? This is not an attack just honest questions.

              Some men are suggesting creating masculism counterpart, I don’t agree with that either.

              I believe the solutions are in partnership approach with men and women working together, instead of a partisan approach. Building camps only delays progress.

            • “Here’s the problem: every time feminists want to discuss feminism with non-feminists, the main things that people seem to want to talk about are the failings of feminism. And it’s frustrating to be put on the defensive as soon as you try to open up discussion. I mean, hell, I was on the defensive before I even wrote this article.”

              That would be because of the major lack of discussion on issues such as how VAWA in the early days actually harmed males, thus is one failure (which hopefully has been saved). How will we stop feminism fucking up again in the future? In Australia I am worried of this happening with the gendered domestic violence laws on the books at the moment. It’s damn annoying to see these mistakes happen and so much silence on the issue save a few people debating it and the discussion usually ending in some MRA vs feminist pissing contest of who hates who more.

              There exist a lot of people whom are quite cautious of modern feminism because of these fuckups, they don’t get reassured much when so many feminists will pass the buck saying “not all feminists are like that” and from what I’ve seen a lack of influential feminists saying Hey, we fucked up, how can we avoid this in the future? It saddens me for instance that discussions of getting more men in feminism usually have something to do with telling the men to stfu over their privilege, sit down n listen to “The word of the alighty femininist teaching” yet rarely that I’ve noticed feminists saying “Hey, some of our sisters are realllly fucking up bigtime with misandry, some of the law’s introduced are a problem, maybe we’ll get more men in the movement if we you know started to really show men we care about their issues with ours ( I could be very wrong here and just not been introduced to the articles). Hell I’d probably die of shock on the day I see a bunch of feminists really say “We want men to care about our reproductive rights? We should also care about their right to opt-out of parenthood”.

              I understand it’s frustrating, even I find it annoying to see so much caution of feminism (especially when people are blind to the good it’s done). But I find it equally frustrating to be invited in by feminists who say feminism = the egalitarian movement, only to be told by other feminists on the same fucking site that feminism isn’t for male issues. The discussion of feminisms failings happens a lot, but for a damn good reason, because it HAS to happen, we NEED feminists to read it and think “Fuck, feminism has a bad name, what can I do to fix it” instead of bullshit dismissal of “not all feminists are like that” and acting like feminism is a bed of roses n rainbows that will save the world without even acknowledging the utter misandry that grows within some parts of the movement.

              The number 1 creator of the anti-feminist is another feminist, one of the extremists or even just your basic misandrist feminist. The number 2 creator is badddd implimentations of laws, like trying to make domestic violence a gendered issue and creating advertising campaigns that pretttty much deny male victims exist even though males are a significant portion of victims. The “focus on the majority” mentality is a bigggg problem because the other groups in the issue rarely if ever get a mention creating an disproportionate level of awareness that causes harm via reinforcing stereotypes. Not every feminist needs to advocate for men, Some need to though (if feminism is really how I am told it is by many), both male n female issues need their proportionate level of coverage. Issues like violence should have brother/sister campaigns or one major campaign to address ALL domestic violence instead of the nearly every damn time typical picture of a woman cowering and a big angry man standing over her.

              Feminists should be asking WHY there are so many anti feminists, why there are so many MRA’s when feminism was supposed to be a movement for men too by how soooo many feminists tell me. One of the saddest things is I know QUITE a few women who do not want to be feminist, who have literally said “feminism has gone too far”, even women who grew up during the 70’s for instance where sexism was worse than now. Feminism is scaring off women, the CEO of Yahoo! doesn’t want to be called a feminist even though feminism helped her be ABLE to get her job. Yes feminism gets a bad word, but if anti-feminism is rising whilst many of the anti-feminists or simply even just women who refuse to label themselves feminists ACTUALLY have egalitarian views that match with what a lot of feminists have then shouldn’t the feminist movement take a major look at wtf is going on?

              “If you aren’t a feminist, you’re a bigot” “If you aren’t a feminist, you hate women” “If you aren’t a feminist you can’t be egalitarian”. I’ve heard this from some feminists as if feminism as a monopoly on equality, yet I’d say most people I know don’t consider themselves feminists but DO have egalitarian views.

              My views to some people are considered: Equalist, feminist, masculist/MRA, all the same view. The most frustrating thing I find is that the majority of MRA’s and feminists I see actually have many of the same damn views with a different set of words, some call it patriarchy, others just say society, some beliefs too differ but on the whole most are egalitarian. It’s kinda like watching 2 people battle it out because they have a different language, 1 tries to shake the others hand but the other’s culture it means it’s a threat…so they fight over some of the dumbest shit I’ve ever read on the net. Too many of the egalitarians are too busy fighting over different belief structures towards the same goal, hell I am guilty of it myself a bit as I still have distrust over both MRA and feminism mainly because it’s so damn hard to spot what TYPE of mra or feminist someone is until you’ve wasted quite a few words debating with them. I made the mistake 2 days ago commenting on what I thought was a typical feminist youtube but ended up being some very extremist stuff, no joke this person advocates gendercide yet has a petition to label the MRA as terrorists?? But some of the MRA’s saw this person and used it for confirmation bias to state “feminists are bad zomg!” when it was the opinion of a few questionable people….same shit in reverse happens over at manboobz!

        • I’ve done some learning on aboriginal culture, I was fortunate to have aboriginal friends as a child and learned some from them but also some from school, we went on school trips to a learning center which was pretty much a place in the bush where they had the lil aboriginal hut/tent/forgot the name of them, we threw some spears with a woomera (the lil notched wood that helps throw spears further with leverage?), threw boomerangs. One of my friend’s mother use to make and paint aboriginal artifacts too, she made me a bullroarer (long distance calling device), a killer boomerang, and a didgeridoo and they were painted in traditional aboriginal artwork. It was interesting seeing them made too.

          Thing is I do feel reluctant to talk about issues affecting black people mostly because I haven’t got too much of an idea of what their lives are truly like. I grew up in a very Australian culture but also my area was heavily Mediterranean, I live where a lot of the sugar cane farms are and many of the immigrants from Italy, Sicily (grandparents came off the boat from Sicily, stepped off the train into knee deep water because it was flooding at the time), Greece, etc. There are also a lot of aboriginals around here too, the Mamu tribe lives here. (google Mamu tribe, johnstone river). At school we regularly had tribal dancers (Google tjapukai) at formal events so we learned some of their culture from that such as how they dance n mimic various native wildlife like kangaroo, etc.

          I saw lots of racism growing up, even was racist at a time because it was “cool to do” until I mentally grew up more n realized racism is a pile of bullshit since we all bleed red, no major difference in our bodies apart from small cosmetics and some genetics, realized my aboriginal friends were just like others and equally capable of anything. Undoing the racism took time, and I think people are getting much better at reducing racism. But speaking up on their issues I just don’t feel qualified and unsure if I am allowed to? I try to keep privilege in mind and don’t want to fuck it up, I don’t want to sound racist but also wouldn’t want to mess anything up, I guess I’d rather listen and try learn more? At best I can guess what the issues are but I haven’t lived many of them personally, I only saw what happened to my friends and hearing of racial taunts at school, etc.

          I’m guessing quite a lot of white people feel that way too and are unsure of how to even discuss the issue without pissing people off, even in this comment I wonder if I am going to piss someone off and if I even have the right to talk about it.

          • ogwriter says:

            Archy…Using your logic should I, because I am black, not speak on so called white issues? I mean if I can know enough about white culture to make reasoned commentary without generally insulting someone over race, why can’t the same expectation be had of you and of others? Are you saying that there is no chance of me being caled a racist by a white person for giving my opinion? Of course, we all know that white people are far more reasonable than others and that would never happen. Racism is not an inevitable conclusion. Even at the height of slavery there were people who were not racists in America, there were people who simply refused to drink the kool-aid, there were people who rose above the temptation of ego

            • I guess I’ve just seen the “privilege” used as shaming style of discussion way too much that it’s made me nervous to even dare say the words “black person” for fear of someone thinking it’s racist and somehow fucking up the discussion. What are your thoughts? Are white people ok to speak about it? Basically I don’t want to step on toes and end up pissing off people of colour.

            • Anne Thériault says:

              This is my viewpoint as a white women (from part of a larger piece regarding the lack of intersectionality in feminism) on why we don’t speak up, but also why we should:

              “Is it because we worry that we’ll be co-opting women of colour when we speak out against something like what happened to Quvenzhané? Is it because we’re worried about making a misstep, about somehow accidentally being racist in our fight against racism?

              I would wager that the answer to this is yes, yes and yes. I’ve heard this same argument from several women as explanation of why they didn’t speak out against The Onion, or why they primarily focussed on the misogynist aspect of The Onion’s tweet and not the racist aspect. White feminists mentioned again and a again that they felt that women of colour should take the lead in this discussion, the rationalization being that white women speaking for others’ experiences was, in itself, a racist act.

              And yeah, I guess if you’re a white feminist speaking FOR women of colour, that’s racist, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t call out racism when you see it. Like, fuck, I don’t want men speaking for me, but I sure as hell do want them to stand up against sexism. We complain so often about having to educate men with regards to feminism, and yet we (white feminists) do so little to educate ourselves when it comes to racial issues.

              We make comments like, Well, I don’t even know what to call them, like do you say black or Black or women of colour or Women of Colour or minority or non-white or what? I don’t want to accidentally say the wrong thing.

              We make comments like, They can write about the issues they face, and I can write about the issues I face. What’s wrong with that?

              We make comments like, I thought we were all in this together.

              For a group of people who are so hell-bent on (rightfully) pointing out male privilege, we sure as hell don’t like to be reminded of our white privilege, do we?”

              I think it’s a tricky balance between talking about race and co-opting the discussion. The best answer I can think of is: do your homework on how to talk about race, learn from people of colour, learn the terminology, and then add your voice.

            • This comment is spot on, Anne.

            • ogwriter says:

              Kari…So I am to understand that you think and or believe that feminism is egalitarian in how and who it gives considerations to policy objectives? If this past election was any indication, the women’s agenda In practical political terms, is still about white women and their world view,it is not about men and certainly not about men of color. Unless they drink the kool aid.
              If those groups and others are not represented in feminists policy agendas why do they continue to say that they are inclusive? How does one have that cake and eat it too? I do not understand this idea that we can’t speak, on some fundamental level for the other. Stop being white for a moment and remember that all of the fears that you describe white women have, nonwhites have also.
              Do you not see how there is such a power imbalance in this context favoring you and the culture you come from? And yet I hear about fear.! You are not the only one’s who are afraid!? I get very impatient when I hear a woman utter the word fear. Why? Because her fear , at least in her mind, becomes all that is important.
              Where is the courage of conviction?
              Do you imagine that I was born with intimate knowledge of white culture? Do you imagine that I was born with detailed knowledge of feminism? Do I not have fear of white culture? Do I not have fear of saying the wrong thing? Do I not have fear of losing control and letting the anger that over?The big difference is this; your fear matters more because you are white and a woman

              I mean at what point is it time to just piss or get up off the pot? For real.

      • Kari…I meant to write that Jules and I understand the differences between white and black aesthetic values. Lastly, the idea that someone has to come from a specific culture before one can speak knowledgeably about that culture is false, If that were the case there would be no need for the study of history.

  46. Kari..my point is that the feminists discovery that the lives of people intersect is not a discovery at all but is a long overdue admission of cultural realities.

  47. HANDS. DOWN. The best opinion piece on feminism by a feminist ever written in the 21st century! This really made my day. And to the naysayers, Anne Theriault is NOT a “feminist apologist.” Anne’s piece here is the most insightful avenue into the mindset of most feminists and/or feminist thinking/leaning women, who by the way, DO NOT HATE MEN! Patriarchy hurts men, especially. Anne summed it up best with the following statement:
    “Because honestly I think that if we were able to stop fighting with each other and instead use our anger to fight oppression, everyone would win.”

    • Anne Thériault says:

      Thanks. That is really kind of you to say :)

    • Anne’s piece here is the most insightful avenue into the mindset of most feminists and/or feminist thinking/leaning women, who by the way, DO NOT HATE MEN!

      Anne’s piece does not show that most feminists and feminist-leaning women do not hate men. All it shows is that she does not think she and those like her hate men. The views she expresses, however, can be construed as hostile towards men.

      As for feminists hating men, that really is not hard to find. There are dozens of feminist articles on GMP alone that clearly express hatred towards men, most of which garnered support from feminists. I would argue that if one is consistently hostile towards a particular group and makes gross generalizations about that group based on limited or no evidence, one likely hates that group of people. All feminists may not be like that, however, plenty of them are, and it is common enough that one cannot claim most feminists are not.

      “Because honestly I think that if we were able to stop fighting with each other and instead use our anger to fight oppression, everyone would win.”

      That is not proof of a lack of hatred. It is simply an argument that if people agreed with and accepted feminist ideals everything would be “fine.” Sure, if everyone thought the way I want them to there would be no problems between us, but that does not mean I do not despise those people. That is just me wanting my way.

  48. Kari…I have no expectation or concern that privileged folks will actually ever do what they need to do to be inclusive in their worldview and actions; white women,for the most,expect to come first.

  49. Kari…I have no expectation or concern that privileged folks will actually ever do what they need to do to be inclusive in their worldview and actions; people of higher rank in society,for the most part,expect to come first.

  50. Kari…I meant as a thread inside a post. I have asked why do white women choose to view themselves through a lens they don’t like when other options are available?One woman shared that she never even considered how blackmen might view her beauty. How does that happen in 2013?

  51. Kari…I guess my point is that all of the crying about not being appreciated falls flat in the light of a broader context. Through this lens having a body image problem is the result of making a poor decision and having an inflated ego.

  52. Because honestly I think that if we were able to stop fighting with each other and instead use our anger to fight oppression, everyone would win.
    The only way this is going to happen is if everyone stops the fighting amongst ourselves. It doesn’t do much good for people on any side to call for everyone else to lay down their arms while at the same time firing on them.

  53. I have a question. Why is this filed under “Marriage?” That seems like a pretty weird place for it to be.

  54. Annie..the Civil War was for south especially,a war of honor and shame was used frequently as motivation to get men to fight. In WW2 and WW1 sex, shame and fear of “our” women being raped by Germans was used in British war propaganda posters.These poster are easy to find.

    • Anne Thériault says:

      Right, sentiments like honour and devotion, and scare tactics about Germans raping American women were for sure used to manipulate men into signing up. But those reasons weren’t the reasons WHY those wars were being fought. That’s what I’m pointing out.

      I also want to know what “tribes” he’s referring to.

      • ogwriter says:

        Anne …They certainly weren’t fought because a group of men decided to get together a have a war. One could argue quite convincingly that German women had as much to do with fermenting and growing the seeds of superiority that so greatly underpinned the German ideology, without which there would have been no 3rd Reich and no war.
        America got into the both wars as a last resort and tried every avenue available to avoid getting involved in both wars.
        Over the course of human history some women have used sex to both deny men and in the gifting of sex to men to either encourage then to fight or discourage them not to fight. Actually, the use of rape propaganda and overt racism was much more prevalent by the British. Since in America ten years of depression was wiped away with the war economy,America men signed up by the droves-14,000,000- because they needed money. For many men throughout history, simply feeding one’s family was reason enough to fight. On a personal note,my brother was picked up at home by military authorities and forced to go Viet Nam.

  55. rezam…actually I am arguing against villifing anyone.

  56. John Anderson says:

    One of the other major problems I’ve had with current feminist thinking and I concede that the problem may be that I misunderstand it, is this concept of intersectionality. I mostly agree with their concept. I think that these differences we have do affect the amount of “privilege” we have. My main disagreement and here is where I might misunderstand, is that privilege within a specific section is absolute. A woman can never be privileged over a man. A minority can never be privileged over a white and from an Asian standpoint, another minority. CIS people can never be privileged over LGBTQ people, which might be true, but that has more to do with current society than the theory. The sad thing is that feminists see the injustices done to men, but instead of changing this idea that victimization has to be absolute with a specific section, they create this concept of benign or benevolent sexism. Even the term they use reeks of sexism. It’s good because it benefits women.

    Hispanics, growing up bilingual, may have advantage over whites early on it their job search. Many low to mid level jobs favor bilingual speakers. Feminists will counter that white people can learn Spanish. True, and black and Hispanic people can learn math, science, and engineering, but it’s racism and that is exactly why Asians dominate these fields and earn on average more than whites. I’m not saying that a white engineer won’t be paid more than a black or even Asian engineer in a particular company. I’m not saying racism is not a problem, but it is situational just like sexism. Feminists will never intersection the situation because it counters their absolute oppressor/victim classes.

    I’m half Asian and I know that racism affects minorities differently. A Hispanic will gain points on admissions tests because their considered a minority and discriminated against. This gives them an advantage over an Asian who has also been discriminated against. People sometimes refer to Asians as the “ideal” or “perfect” minority because they “overcame” racism. I’m still not sure how they’re not being discriminated against even in the income, Asians make on average more than whites in the U.S., but why shouldn’t an Asian engineer, who spent 4 years in college and had to score 10 points higher with better high school grades just to get there, not make more than a white file clerk? I suppose feminists would call this benevolent racism. If you were never discriminated against, would you gave worked so hard and achieved so much?

    Parts of the MRM already understand this. I’ve toyed with the idea that this could be 4th wave feminism, the understanding that the victim/oppressor class system is not absolute. Although I’ve seen some feminists acknowledge the existence of female privilege, the concept didn’t emerge from feminism nor is it generally accepted as feminist. There’s also been so much fighting with feminists that I’d have difficulty thinking I was a 4th wave feminist. 2nd wave masculism doesn’t sound right either. 2nd wave men’s activism, but this seems like something the MRM always understood.

    • Anne Thériault says:

      “Feminists will never intersection the situation because it counters their absolute oppressor/victim classes.”

      You should read up on some current feminist theory. Seriously. There is a lot of talk about how to resolve the lack of intersectionality within feminism. I can give you some links if you’re interested.

      • I wonder though. Will the inclusion of intersectionality acknowledge how being male can work against someone on an institutional level? (I ask this because I’ve seen too often how feminists seem to want to separate maleness from other factors when talking about such things, as if being male can never be a factor.)

        • Anne Thériault says:

          I guess it depends on what you mean by how being male can work against someone on an institutional level. Do you mean in terms of custody?

          • Yes custody (namely the wishy washy ways in which women basically allowed to dictate what role a man will have in his child’s life).

            Being victims of rape/dv.

            The Success Myth

            The damaging lessons and ideals we are raised with (such as having lots of sex being a defining part of being a man and the idea that might actually does make right).

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Anne

        If you could provide some links, I’d be interested in reading them. I know that some feminists had brought up the concept of female privilege. I thought it was just a few and nothing influencing main stream feminism. I have no issue with doing my own searching. I’m just curious if our understanding is the same.

  57. ogwriter says:

    John…I suppose you are right in that racism works differently for Asian men than it does for other men.But what is gained from that realization?I submit that what is gained has minimal impact on affecting change. All the realization does is create another multilayered, elitist, sudo intellectual exercise that is designed at the end of day, to enhance the reputation of academics and to provide fodder for another set of useless theories, write another series of useless books and to give lectures that only academics understand or attend.
    There is no secret to dealing with isms. People around the world, with little education or money, know how to treat the “other” equally. We have somehow come to the place where we belieive that racism sexism, classim can be only be solved by using the next great theory. Democracy, socialism, communism, Jesus, Allah can’t save us from our worst selves and neither will intersectionality. These are just delusions bandaids, d

    • John anderson says:

      I wonder how much racism is actually a cultural bias. I’ve dated two black women before in my teens and early twenties. The relationships didn’t last long. Yes, I did have people wondering why I would date a black girl and societal pressure may have had something to do with us breaking up. I’d assume that maybe she had some pressure of her own, but I think ultimately we weren’t compatible enough or mature enough to work through those incompatibilities.

      What drew me to the first was her love of Van Halen and rock music. I remember being perplexed. Wait a minute, you’re black. Shouldn’t you be listening to disco or something “black”. The other was gorgeous with soft feathered hair. I think she was probably “mixed”. The first had straight hair also. Both were slender. Simply put, they were what I was attracted to.

      I don’t think coming from a “mixed” heritage made it easier to date someone of a different race. Many of the people close to me came from “mixed” heritages too and had a problem with it. A white guy I know in a mixed marriage complains about the meals his wife cooks. So he grabs a bucket of chicken or something on his way home from work. He’s your stereotypical MRA, a hard ass, tough as nails, pull yourself up by your boot straps kind of guy.

      He also has a heart of gold. Guys joke about his harem because he took in his wife’s mother, sister, and two nieces. He has a daughter making him the only male in the house. God help him. He went overseas once with his wife and daughter so they could visit family. You should have heard how he spoke about them. They took the children shopping and gave each $10. The kids didn’t spend it on toys or candy, but on stuff they needed or needed for school. he was impressed.

      He said they provided food and people would just start streaming in. They never seemed to have enough food and many people couldn’t eat. He said no matter how much they bought it was never enough. His wife and daughter still go, but this tough as nails ex-military man won’t because he can’t stand it that people have to live in poverty.

  58. ogwriter says:

    Archy…You speak of women’s issues,yet you have no vagina;not speaking on “black !ssues because your white or afraid is stupid.

    • Anne Thériault says:

      There has actually been a lot of discussion surrounding this point in the fallout of The Onion’s tweet regarding Quvenzhané Wallis. White feminists have been shamefully silent, and women of colour have been angered by that silence. I wrote a bit about it here, if you’re interested:

      http://bellejarblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/on-race-and-feminism/

    • I spend quite a lot more time around other women though which gives me a better idea of women’s issues than I do with black issues so it’s more guesswork. I see your point though, thanks for the comment.

    • soullite says:

      I don’t blame him. I used to comment on racism a lot on left wing blogs, but the moment I refused to vote for Obama again (because, let’s be honest here, the man is a monster. He claims the right to summarily execute his own people. He fought for the right to perform cavity searched for even the most minor infraction — a clear forerunner to using sexual based punishments against dissenters), I was called a racist repeatedly.

      So **** racial issues. I don’t blame anyone for turning a blind eye anymore.

  59. ogwritwr says:

    John…Racism is a cultural construct:and like democracy,one can choose to beleive in it or one can choose not to.

  60. ogwriter says:

    Anne…As I have argued and will continue to argue, until something else disproves my view that feminism isn’t in a position to criticize and dictate to others considering how unrealized they are.

    Yes,sexism is a social construct like racism: what now do we do with the information? Do we continue to view these problems that are interconnected in isolation or do we x change our tactics. If white women don’t even understand the needs of white men or women of color, how they then be trusted to understand the needs of men of color? For real? How does that work? The idea that feminism is by it’s very existence and definition naturally, organically inclusive is simply not true. Feminist don’t share or admit to having power easily.. In this way, this failure to be inclusive, feminism is no different than democracy.
    The only reason they get away with this kind of behavior is because they are relatively privileged and have yet, after the third try, to get it right. MLK couldn’t have gotten away with this kind of thing, making these kinds of mistakes, being consistently intolerant.

    • ogwriter- I understand the frustration and many of the issues for men, especially men of color…it is a unique situation here in the US. (places like Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, NY, Detroit, DC…) I never walked a mile as a black man, but I do have ears and a brain which function most days. I see how many women fail to recognize the patronizing and condescending tone to even suggest men solve problems the umbrella of feminism. This tone trickles down to daily life.

      There are a few of us moving forward. We can wait for women to find a leader and establish a platform but history tells us we may be waiting awhile. In the meantime, I have some ideas that focus on men, women, family, and schools that could be useful in places like Chicago. This is not the site to discuss those things. Peace be with you.

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