Toward Equality (For Everyone): A Response To ‘The End of Feminism (As I Knew It).’

Jasmine Peterson is a feminist who believes in men, and believes in equality for all. And she wants Valter Viglietti (and other men) to understand this.

This post is in response to The End of Feminism (as I Knew It)

I am a feminist. I love men. And as a feminist, I take deep offense to the insinuation that feminism is anti-male, or that its goal is only to advance the rights of women. That is not feminism as I understand or practice it, and as a member of a feminist organization, as a feminist who runs in feminist circles, and as a reader of feminist literature, this is not representative in any way of the feminists I know. Of course, that is not to say that there are not feminists who hate men, or who think women are superior beings. As with any heterogeneous group of people, beliefs will be held to varying degrees and may be expressed in a myriad of ways.

I agree with much of what Valter has said – men and women both have the capacity to be wonderful human beings, but we’re all fallible. As a feminist, I don’t think that women are superior in their morality, in their ability to nurture or to love, or in any other capacity. I don’t think men are superior in their ability to perform, to earn a living, or their ability to parent (I’m not trying to play into the gender binary with these capacities; just examples of how many people do femininity and masculinity, respectively).

Now, here is where our opinions seem to diverge. I want to understand men, and I want to support men. I want to help men to grow to their full capacities (outside of the ‘man box’), and to free men from oppression that they, too, face. And, as an activist, I engage in activities that are meant to address issues men face, in addition to women’s issues, so it really rather hurts me, and then kind of makes me angry, when I hear men suggesting that feminism is anti-male. Just like Valter really likes women, I really like and respect men (and women). In fact, I just have a huge respect for people, in general, which is why I work so hard in addressing inequalities wherever I see them.

♦◊♦

As a feminist I have been on the receiving end of a lot of anti-feminist backlash. A lot. My own partner, for a time, assumed the role of a masculinist in his opposition to my feminist ideology (we’ve since arrived at common ground, it seems, on the issue of feminism). The biggest concern seems to be that feminists assume that all men are guilty. Perhaps men have felt attacked by feminism. I get it. Acknowledging one’s own privilege (both male and female privilege) is a daunting task, because once acknowledged, if someone is concerned with equality, it means trying to let go of that privilege in creating a more equitable society. That can be pretty terrifying. And perhaps the discussions of privilege were initially quite heavily focused on male privilege, and this felt like a sentence of guilt. I get that, too. But in my experience, these discussions of privilege aren’t charging individual men, or women, as guilty parties; it’s merely about recognizing power structures in culture and how they contribute to inequalities so that we can find ways to empower marginalized groups. It’s not about blame. Similarly, talking about patriarchy, because of its perceived association to maleness, seems to make men cringe. Again, suggesting that patriarchy is a root cause of inequality is not an attack on men. Feminists, or all of the feminists I personally know, aren’t suggesting that the converse – matriarchy – is desirable. Patriarchy is as oppressive to men as it is to women. We’re not resisting men when we’re resisting patriarchy; we’re resisting inequality.

♦◊♦

What I’m curious to know is the type of feminists Valter has encountered, because they don’t seem to be anything like the numerous feminists I know. I’m not sure what kind of feminism it is that subscribes to the assumption that “To be a good man you need to always please (or never displease) women”. That doesn’t sound like any brand of feminism I’ve ever heard of, read about, or encountered. In fact, that’s decidedly not feminism. Feminists, in fact, want men to be free to be who they are, and to feel less encumbered by constructions of masculinity that might impose restrictions on how they express themselves. Feminists want men to feel free to express themselves in constructive ways. Feminists want men to be free to be their authentic selves. That doesn’t mean never displeasing women. People are certain to displease others, and no reasonable person would expect otherwise.

♦◊♦

I agree that not being able to own your thoughts is a terrible thing. I didn’t read the story to which Valter alludes, about the man who felt that his wife’s breasts were ‘ruined’, but I would assert that he should have the right to express his innermost thoughts and feelings without attack.

Women attacking this position isn’t akin to feminists inhibiting men’s authenticity. Firstly, Woman ≠ Feminist. And secondly, I think men and women should be able to freely express themselves. That doesn’t mean that upon doing so they’re not going to offend somebody, and won’t face reprisal. That’s part of authenticity – owning what you articulate. I have been subjected to tremendous amounts of reprisal simply for being feminist. That doesn’t mean I will stop being a feminist, or that I will dissociate myself from or call out an entire group who tend to engage in anti-feminist discourse. I have acknowledged that not everyone is feminist, that not everyone will agree with feminism, and that anti-feminist sentiment is deeply embedded within our culture. And it doesn’t mean that I think men should never displease women or should always make them happy. That’s not feminism.

Feminism is egalitarianism. Some people have even suggested that because of the many goals of feminism, it is time to change the name. I disagree (for a number of reasons that would make this more into a dissertation than a brief reply to Valter’s piece, so I won’t go into that here). Let me tell you, however, that feminism hasn’t changed from seeking equality to seeking ‘world domination’. In fact, feminism has grown into a movement that has accomplished great advancements in the status of women (although there is still work to be done), and has spread its reach to address inequalities of a number of marginalized and minority groups. Feminism is concerned with inequality, wherever it exists, and these goals are not in the slightest anti-male. Feminist researchers were the first to address masculinity as a health detriment in health research, out of concern for men’s health and greater morbidity. Feminists are concerned that young boys are subjected to gender policing more than young girls are, and the detriment this can have on their development. Feminists are concerned with men’s issues. That doesn’t sound anti-male to me. And let me just say, I absolutely love and appreciate every single male ally. Really.

Valter said: “In the end, I think this feminism’s “bias” might be its biggest failure. If you really believe in equality, then you care about everybody’s equality—not just for you or your kin.” The trouble is, this bias that you speak of doesn’t exist, except for perhaps among extremists, and it seems silly to generalize a prejudice against (or to dissociate yourself from) a whole group of people because of extremist factions.

photo by aklawstudio / flickr

About Jasmine Peterson

Jasmine Peterson is a feminist and an activist. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Her research has examined social constructionism, self-objectification, and, most recently, conceptions of health and their impact on males and females.

Comments

  1. not buying it says:

    The statement ” feminism is the radical notion that women are people”
    had lost all it’s value & legitimacy in western countries for the most part due to realities of women & the power that they hold in these countries, not the rest of the world before any body jump into conclusions, and since feminism has been losing some grounds when it comes to pushing it’s gynocentric agenda, it has been camouflage it’s goals as humanist movement which is far from the truth,the movements actions & words speak louder then it’s claims,
    the real statement is ” feminism is the radical notion that women are for ever victims”
    to feminism the only real solution is gynocracy full stop.

  2. thehermit says:

    “I have and do listen. A lot.”
    You don’t, only act like that. That’s not the same.

  3. I’m sure females do comment that women get raped to when there are male rape groups who speak out. Is this ok? I never said it was. Men do need to feel comfortable and supported to report such things.

    However to say men are raped in the world as much as women is simply false. Nor are they beaten as much. Go to Afghanistan, Africa, etc, this is a global problem. Women are sexually trafficked more, are child prostitutes, strippers, etc, far more than men. There are issues that affect women on a far greater scale and awareness needs to be spread. How this threatens or diminishes that is does happen to males as well is not the issue.

    As far as pornography. The violence is subtle and so accepted as to be invisible. The top 50 best selling porn videos were coded for violence against women, for how many times she was given oral, vs a man, To how often she was called names vs being called beautiful or pretty, etc, How often she was gagged and hit/slapped. You will be surprised how often this happens.

    This video is a bit boring with a long introduction but shows the study here. Which is very eye opening:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4489853897776743667

    As far as what an abuser thinks I was slightly quoting Jim Lundy who is a male and has been a male abuse counselor for over 15 years. He asks when you make disparaging remarks towards women to ask yourself what an abuser thinks and how it validates his belief women are less than human and he is entitled to abuse them. He also points out how saying it happens as much to males is simply a tactic to divert the issue from the fact that overwhelmingly domestic violence is against women.

    His book is here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Does-He-That-Controlling/dp/0425191656

    And finally Gail Dines which breaks down the history of porn culture and consumerism and why likely many of you think women issues are not a problem.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5003155114018800220

    Your comment oh raped or attempted rape. Again, diminish, diminish the issue. Anytime a woman speaks out and defends against rape or abuse there comes the comments to try and marginalize it. This is part of the problem of why it occurs in the world. This complete lack of awareness. Many men do fight for women’s rights but not enough. There is not enough done in the world and the porn media wants to silence us. We’re exaggerating, we’re trouble makers, cutting in on a man’s fun, femi-nazis. Yes who wants to be associated with such a group? I can see why the pressure to leave like the author of the original story is hard to deal with. Feminism is not a bunch of radicals. It is a self-imposed statement that I will fight for the rights of the abused, the downtrodden, the hurt, the women of this world who suffer. Many who still cannot own property or vote. The issues are real.

    I also do work with a holocaust survivor group and help those who are poor in impoverished countries. People have a lot of stupid ideas of why people are poor in third world countries and I explain the history, economy and facts and day to day life of those in these countries when I hear absurd comments. Maybe I am against rich people and hate them? This is as absurd as saying I am anti-male because I am a feminist. That fighting for women’s rights diminishes male rights. People have a lot of wrong ideas about feminism. Not wanting rape and abuse is hardly imposing on your rights as a male or trying to take over the world or lock you in a cage. But standing up for it is the rhetoric of why I do this, that I constantly must hear for spreading awareness of such issues. There are radicals in every group everywhere. That this is focused on to destroy women and men from speaking out on women’s issues is part of the multi-layered problem.

    Rape statistics are from RAINN.

    http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims

    • Factory says:

      What about da wimminz?

      • To the egalitarian feminists, read the above comment and reverse the genders and you’ll get an idea of when people say “whataboutthemenz” and the insulting nature of it.

        “Your comment oh raped or attempted rape. Again, diminish, diminish the issue. Anytime a woman speaks out and defends against rape or abuse there comes the comments to try and marginalize it. This is part of the problem of why it occurs in the world. This complete lack of awareness. Many men do fight for women’s rights but not enough”
        How is the issue diminished, it’s actually reinforced because it shows men TOO are raped so their is much more awareness needed. Why focus on one? I’ve seen this “diminish” tactic used way too much to dismiss the severity of male rape victimization in favour of female rape vicitimization (and actually on other issues too). It’s pretty much “butwomengetitworse”. The CDC stats show pretty close to equal levels of rape between the genders, yet you dismiss this by bringing in the “but women here get it worse” argument. Different area, different culture, very hard to compare! How about we focus on certain areas and tailor make solutions for them because what is needed here could be different somewhere else, BUT we should do it for all areas.

        “However to say men are raped in the world as much as women is simply false. Nor are they beaten as much. Go to Afghanistan, Africa, etc, this is a global problem. Women are sexually trafficked more, are child prostitutes, strippers, etc, far more than men. There are issues that affect women on a far greater scale and awareness needs to be spread. How this threatens or diminishes that is does happen to males as well is not the issue.”
        There are issues that affect men on a far greater scale. Violence as a whole has 4-6x more male deaths, it disproportionally is used against men. Rape, sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse happens at great levels against both genders worldwide, many issues affecting women actually affect men so advocating JUST for the women without advocating for the men as well is only half the effort. Quite frankly rape statistics seem to suffer quite a lot of bias, are the stats you are using including men being forced to penetrate?

        As for the porn issue, every man and woman I know who look at porn DO NOT pay for it. There may be quite a large market for it but there is also a huge amount of pirated material, and free material made. So to compare porn tastes we’d have to study a very large portion of people from those who buy it to those who don’t. You generalize about pornography and speak of it in a way that treats it as quite similar but the existence of some bad porn doesn’t mean ALL of it is bad. I totally agree and hate the bad stuff, which is why the good stuff needs to be spread so people can get off in a respectful manner. Slapping, gagging, namecalling, etc is such a huge turn-off, the pro industry has a lot to answer for and hopefully the amateurs will really push a more decent experience through without the problems as much as possible.

    • Jasmine says:

      I think any reasonable person, whether they identify as feminist, MRA, or anything else, would agree that sexual violence, mental, emotional, or physical abuse committed by any person against any person is not okay. For Jody, or anyone, to be particularly concerned with violence against women doesn’t mean she’s not sensitive to or concerned with violence against men. The wonderful thing about feminism is that it’s not merely about elevating the status of women to a state of equality, but about deconstructing cultural institutions that maintain inequality – of males and females, of racial minorities, of the gender nonconforming, of the poor and homeless, of the LGBTQ community. As a woman, I may sometimes have more insight into inequality women face, but it doesn’t mean I ignore or don’t appreciate the ways in which males are also subjected to systemic oppression.

      Mark – I don’t know why you are blaming feminists for not wanting fathers to be with their children? I’m a feminist and it certainly isn’t my position nor my experience that this is the case. I’m very immersed in academia, and I’ve not once encountered a feminist text that suggested fathers shouldn’t be permitted involvement with their children. Quite the contrary.

      I think what happens in these conversations a great deal of the time is that people become mired down with their perceptions of feminism (much of which is fueled by an anti-feminist cultural discourse). I’ve seen it time and again that men (and women) become defensive and then miss some valid and reasonable points made by feminists because they’re so busy being defensive. The anti-feminist backlash has done its work well, creating division and mistrust. I admit that I also sometimes get my back up when talking to MRAs, and spend so much time focusing on elucidating the fallacies they’re espousing or the issues they’re overlooking that I miss opportunities to engage in a discussion about the things we do agree on and perhaps arrive at a consensus that every human being deserves dignity and respect, that any violence against any person is bad, and that in search of equality we all need to work together and listen – really listen – to what the other is saying, ratheyr than diminishing or one-upping their experiences.

      In terms of pornography, we live in a very pornified culture. It isn’t that objectification itself is inherently bad, but when images of women (and increasingly men) are presented in such a unidimensional manner, it becomes problematic. And in pornographic film specifically, I would suggest that a lot of the more mainstream porn is focused in a male point of view, and can be (but isn’t necessarily) very demeaning to women. Oftentimes women in porn look like they’re in pain, rather than enjoying the intimacy. At the same time, there is also sex positive porn, feminist or female-centered porn (although sometimes I wonder who has decided what constitutes “female-centered”, but that’s a lengthy discussion for another day) that presents alternative perspectives within pornography. I don’t think that porn or sex work (like prostitution) are inherently bad. But, we need to be cognizant of how portraying women consistently and pervasively as sex objects impacts not only women’s self-perceptions, but males perceptions of women, women’s desires, and how to relate.

      If you come forth to conversations about feminism with the notion that feminists hate men, never shave, are anti-children, lesbian, and intend only to elevate themselves to rule the world, then you’re going to miss out on important things that are being said and on the opportunity to calmly and rationally foster discussion from an alternative perspective because you’ll be so busy arguing instead of conversing.

      • Eric M. says:

        “I think any reasonable person, whether they identify as feminist, MRA, or anything else, would agree that sexual violence, mental, emotional, or physical abuse committed by any person against any person is not okay.”

        Except that feminists don’t take that position on a consistent basis. We can all cite hundreds of feminist sponsored websites that equate domestic violence with violence against women, which evidences a tolerance for violence against men. I haven’t found a single feminist sponsored website that denounces the fact that men are far more likely overall to be victims of violence in general or the fact that female on male violence is encouraged, defended as often deserved (based on something he said or did), excused (as if her reasons were justified), and considered comedy (tens or hundreds of thousands of examples of this on TV and in movies)

        All of this is clear evidence of feminist lack of concern about violence against men.
        I have heard feminists make such comments many times but have not once seen any evidence of what they’ve done that men were complaining about needing done (not to be confused with what they wanted to do to men)

        These are not inaccurate perceptions of feminism. These are easily seen and publicly documented facts.

        “The anti-feminist backlash has done its work well, creating division and mistrust.”
        Not even close to accurate. The majority of women see if very differently, which is why they reject being associated with feminism. I respect women as intelligent and able to make informed choices, not ignorant and helpless victims of propaganda.

        “If you come forth to conversations about feminism with the notion that feminists hate men, never shave, are anti-children, lesbian, and intend only to elevate themselves to rule the world, then you’re going to miss out on important things that are being said and on the opportunity to calmly and rationally foster discussion from an alternative perspective because you’ll be so busy arguing instead of conversing.”

        I have read dozens of male-bashing articles here and elsewhere and have seen their arguments supported, agreed with, and defended by feminists, rather than denounced and rejected, even by the so-called egalitarian feminists. I’m not sure how bashing someone can possibly be expected to create an environment conducive to productive discussion.

        • Jasmine says:

          This is not evidence of feminist’s lack of concern. This is simply evidence that the sites you’ve seen that proclaim to be feminist have contained information that you’ve interpreted thus. Stop generalizing. This would be like me saying that because I’ve seen a lot of vitriol on MRA websites, that any man or woman who proclaims to be an MRA is clearly hateful toward women, anti-feminist, a jerk, and doesn’t care about women’s rights. But I’m not going to say that because even if that may be true of some MRAs I’ve encountered, to generalize is not productive, does not lead to productive situations, and isn’t going to instigate the kinds of conversations that need to be had.

          You seem to have missed the part where I suggested that coming to these conversations with that anti-feminist lens that causes you to interpret everything a feminist says as somehow anti-male is not very conducive to the types of conversations and communication that needs to occur in order to move forward.

          • Eric M. says:

            This is simply evidence that the sites you’ve seen that proclaim to be feminist have contained information that you’ve interpreted thus.”

            Sorry. No interpretation involved. Noting a clear and long established pattern of behavior, with abundant evidence is not generalizing or interpreting. Supporting, expressing agreement with, and/or defending hateful views is evidence that the supporting and agreeing individual holds those views. I can point you to hundreds of examples right here. (I would be happy to provide examples)

            I came to the GMP with an open mind and have seen enormous evidence of feminism’s anti-male views, philosophies, accusations, arguments, and polices; some of them totally over the top in their overt misandry.

            “You seem to have missed the part where I suggested that coming to these conversations with that anti-feminist lens that causes you to interpret everything a feminist says as somehow anti-male is not very conducive to the types of conversations and communication that needs to occur in order to move forward.”

            Wrong again. If something it anti-male or anti-female, I will note it. If feminism would stop with its anti-male views, it could repair its reputation over time but it continues to reinforce it instead.

            • Jasmine says:

              You’ve clearly come to the conversation from a place of bias, and therefore the manner in which you interpret things IS coloured by the lenses you’re wearing. If it were veracious that you were not biased or anti-feminist, you wouldn’t have come to the conversation on the defensive. You are STILL generalizing, and you are still speaking in reductionist terms.

              • Not at all. As I said, I can provide many examples of feminist written articles of anti-male prejudice right here. That’s not bias. That’s the sad reality.

                • That actually is a type of bias. We tend to seek out information that is consistent with our worldviews. Bias isn’t inherently a bad thing. It only becomes potentially bad when we can’t/don’t/won’t recognize the biases we have.

                  You keep saying you’re not biased, yet you continue to remain on the defensive. Nothing shall get accomplished from this conversation, because you’re arguing something that isn’t there. Can you provide me statistics on my feminism? On my daily interactions and the proportion of times I’ve helped males and females? If not, then it’s not really relevant to what I bring to the table. Statistics are all well and good, but one must critically consume them, and one must know when they’re not relevant.

                  • Observing prejudice and discrimination and noting that it’s prejudice and discrimination is not bias; it’s noting a fact. There’s nothing defensive about noting facts. If anything the prejudice that has been documented is Offensive, not defensive.

                    • Circular argument. Extricating myself to get something more productive done.

                    • Please. Thank you. I’m disturbed by the support and defense of prejudice and discrimination.

                    • The worst part is when someone is espousing prejudice but refuses to acknowledge it. It makes moving forward more than difficult.

                    • True. Hence, the problem with feminism/ts

                    • Of course. It must be the feminists. In your interactions with people, who’s the common denominator? Perhaps try being more receptive to others, and you might find that your preconceptions are quite inaccurate indeed.

                    • Perhaps try listening and thinking about the facts. And looking in the mirror.

                      I am far from alone. I am part of a very large majority who have observed feminism and it’s anti-male bias and prejudice.

                      The writer of the article this was a response to walked away from the feminist movement. That had nothing to do with me.

                      Most women refuse to even be associated with the feminist movement, let alone be involved at any level. That’s got nothing to do with me.

                      Even fewer men want any association with feminism. Again, that’s got nothing to do with me.

                      The problem is not with the vast majority of women and men who reject feminism. The problem is feminism itself.

                    • I have and do listen. A lot. The author of this article (me) did not walk away from the feminist movement. I’m still feminist. As feminist as I was the day I wrote this article. 🙂

                    • Ms. Jasmine, you wrote in response to a gentleman who dropped feminism for the same reasons I and most women and men never get involved in the first place.

                    • I know which article you’re referring to. I was elucidating your prejudice. If you were not anti-feminist, as opposed to anti-prejudice, then you might have come to this post with a more receptive attitude. You cannot tell me that I do not work for equality, that I do not concern myself with the issues of people in general, or that I am some man-hating misandrist. We might have had a very productive conversation about the issues people face and what equality might look like, how we might work together to achieve that. Instead, you are stuck on the mantra ‘feminism is bad’. That’s not productive, and frankly it’s shortsighted.

                      I have had some volatile interactions with MRAs who were hateful to feminists and women in general. That hasn’t turned me against MRAs because I know that these are all just people, that people differ, and that I cannot define everyone who self-identifies as MRA by the behaviour of others I’ve encountered.

                    • “I was elucidating your prejudice. If you were not anti-feminist, as opposed to anti-prejudice, then you might have come to this post with a more receptive attitude.”

                      Sorry, I cannot and will not be receptive toward bias and discrimination, even if it’s just lending tacit support to it by silent acceptance.

                      “You cannot tell me that I do not work for equality, that I do not concern myself with the issues of people in general, or that I am some man-hating misandrist.”

                      I never said anything about you personally. I spoke of the feminist movement and prejudice and discrimination that many feminists support. I will give an example below.

                      I have heard many, many feminists claim to be for equality, but then go on to espouse the same prejudiced views and philosophies of the so-called extremists, possibly somewhat muted. I can give examples here.

                      Very significantly, I have never, ever have I heard a professed “egalitarian feminist”, the ones who claim to love men, denounce a so-called extremist for their biased views, and publicly state that they aren’t feminists at all – that they don’t belong, that their hatred will not be tolerated. Their hate is met with silence,
                      understanding, and/or defense and justification. If feminism were about equality, they wouldn’t be welcomed in the movement. But, they are.

                    • I’m not asking you to be feminist, or to even stop being anti-feminist. I’m merely asserting that conversations are more productive when you set your biases aside (or at least recognize and mitigate them) so as to have productive conversations.

                    • I have watched this and many exchanges similar on GMP (and other blogs with other people) and I always wonder how the conversation would go in person. Would there be more good humor? Would there be more of an ability to back up, translate, come to understanding. I love dialogue, but don’t understand how some of the conversation can just be repeats of “new information” “no”
                      “questions and clarification” “No” so forth and so on. No common ground is sought, not just with “feminists” cause I’ve seen conversations like this in other spheres, but other groups. It’s so strange to me.
                      I’ve been willing in many places in my life to examine my own confirmation bias, clarify my own thoughts, realign beliefs when new information comes in….I don’t relate.

                    • Eric M. says:

                      Jasmine, I’m not asking you to stop being feminist, just recognize the current and historic bias and misandry in within the feminist movement, stop pretending it doesn’t exist, and denounce it. The rest of the world sees it. Denying it is reminiscent of the emperor in Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

                  • Jasmine says:

                    I didn’t think nor state that you’ve asked me to stop being feminist. What I am suggesting, and have been suggesting, is that rather than argue about what you think feminism means or what I believe it means, focus on productive conversation. My experience of feminism has been anything but what you proclaim it to be, and when I do see such things I do and will speak out against them. As I’ve suggested before, perhaps the milieu is different here in Canada. However, when others point out to me ways in which they feel that feminism is misandrist, I acknowledge and work with that. But this isn’t a one-sided effort. We live in a culture full of misogyny. I’m also going to recognize that and point it out. The misconception that feminism is about women in its third wave is particularly frustrating sometimes. Feminism concerns itself with equality of human beings. It’s not about gaining freedom for women at the expense of men. Some of the commenters here at GMP have opened my eyes to the different ways in which feminism is perceived, and some issues I’d not considered before, because I don’t allow my biases to inhibit the intake of new information or my communication with those with whom I might not agree. Rigid adherence to one’s position without consideration of another’s viewpoint is not going to lead to any growth or change.

                    My point was, this whole discussion that ensued between the two of us was not at all productive. Spending all of that time and effort on telling me how awful or wrong feminism is could have been much better spent on action-oriented discussion. I’m merely pointing out how our biases (and I’m not suggesting I don’t have my own, because we all have biases) can sometimes cloud our perceptions and inhibit discussion conducive to change.

              • Mark Neil says:

                Pot, meet kettle.

          • Eric M. says:

            You’er missing the point. The argument was that it’s not true that men, as a rule, are “dropping out of fatherhood”.
            Do you not realize that creating a strawman is actually lying about someone? You continue to claim I said something I did not and then argue against what is, in fact, a lie.

            YOU used the term “dropping out of fatherhood”, NOT me. Children of single parent households are at a disadvantage in building a strong relationship with both parents, especially the non-custodial parent, which is most often the father. Hence, the changes your advocate, whatever advantaged they may have, have also created a situation where fewer children than ever have regular contact with their fathers. Congratulations.

            • Jasmine says:

              Your argument lacks cogency, and I’m not following where you’re getting these bold assertions from. When and where did I say anything about men dropping out of fatherhood?

              And still you’re missing the point (but illustrating my argument well). When you come to these discussions without a critical lens but rather with an anti-feminist lens, you’re likely to spend your time arguing, being defensive, and missing the entire point of the conversation. This is counterproductive.

              • I accidentally posted this here.

                I’m not anti-feminist, I’m anti-discrimination and prejudice. That is my issue with the feminist movement. I can provide examples here.

                • Jasmine says:

                  Ah, I see. I couldn’t figure out where the fatherhood argument was coming from. 🙂

                  If it were true that you’re not anti-feminist, you wouldn’t expend so much energy on your anti-feminist sentiment. I am being candid – when I hear MRA, I do have a lens through which I then begin to interpret everything that person says to me. I acknowledge this, and attempt to mitigate its effect as much as possible so that I can listen to the person, rather than getting caught up in vehement debate about MRA as a whole. You are relying on generalizations and your argument is reductionist. I am a feminist. I don’t identify with any of the things you’ve accused feminism of representing as yet. You are definitely coming off as anti-feminist, not anti-discrimination (an ironic statement you’ve made, given that you are discriminating against an entire group of people in your sweeping generalizations about feminists).

                  • I am not against any group unless they/it adopts discriminatory and prejudiced views, which feminism has a history of.

                    If feminism denounces its anti-male views and philosophies and truly embraces equality, it would have my support.

                  • Is it ok to make positive generalizations? I’ve seen many made for feminism and have wondered if it’s any more or less helpful than negative generalizations.

                    What I see isn’t so much as anti-feminism, but anti-gynocentricfeminism the most, there truly does look to be 2 major mindsets in feminism and one of them causes major distrust (being female focused only) as the other is basically another word for egalitarianism.

                    These 2 clashing views seem to cause the world of confusion, it’s sad but I truly now do believe egalitarian feminists need to separate themselves by a label in order to be listened to as egalitarian. Feminism has become a trigger word to quite a few, and also a very confusing word. I’m not sure anti-feminists are truly to blame mostly for the backlash, quite frankly I think backlash is caused from a few radicals with loud voices mixed in with a gynocentric view of equality to the point of ignoring male issues. That seems to be the most common thing I see, men feeling ignored by many “feminists” and even copping scorn for mentioning male issues.

                    I see 2 clearly different feminist mindsets to the point it’s a split group. There are just way too many comments online, offline, by people who question the egalitarian aspect due to seeing too much of the gynocentric aspect. I will admit that when I hear feminism, I wonder which version that person is because I find only one really listens and is helpful whilst the other too often will do the womengetitworse speech and dismiss male issues. I do not trust gynocentric feminism to handle male issues in the least because it really looks like any scrap of attention to male issues is just the after-thought of female issues. How could any male feel welcome there? It doesn’t feel very balanced and I can’t see how heavy focus on one gender will really do much for the world when focusing on both together I feel could REALLY do major difference.

                    I see another facebook post on white ribbon campaign, and yet I ask myself where is the attention to the male victims? Why do we so often only look at half of the issue? I just had a conversation with someone tonight of the ways a young woman was emotionally and physically abusive to her partner, yet the consensus seemed to be that the guys are led to believe they actually need to ACCEPT that abuse as part of a relationship, accept being hit, and like it’s no big deal. I see females hitting n slapping their partners around others quite openly, joking about it, yet a guy initiating would cop an earful and possibly a fist or 3.

                    All that after quite a few very public campaigns of violence against women, Australia says no/white ribbon campaign/etc. Violence against men, Australia doesn’t give a fuck seems to be the appropriate title. And what appears to be small and insignificant hitting, slapping, and the emotional manipulation it actually amounts to quite a bit of control. “Pussy whipped” might be a sexist term against women but instead of automatically seeing the harms it has in women, how about we also look at the harm the men suffer? It’s pretty much psychological abuse, it’s controlling behaviour, and I’ve seen how that can tear a man down.

                    I don’t mind when people talk about issues women face, what I do mind is the absolutely deafening silence of men’s issues, ESPECIALLY by some who call themselves feminists and throw in the equality line. How about some balance because how are we going to end abuse if up to half of it goes unnoticed, unspoken about, unreported, treated as an anomaly and thus insignificant? When’s the last time you saw an ad on TV where it told women to stop raping men, stop hitting and abusing men? I cannot remember 1 single god damn tv or newspaper ad, and only know of 1 website (oneinthree.com.au) that actually talks about it which took a lot of digging around to find!

                    I love the fact you know of egalitarian feminists Jasmine, I’d high 5 each one. Thing is, they are not visible enough, the gynocentrics have a heavy presence and the one-sidedness, dismissal of male issues is creating a lot of anti-feminism because feminism = gynocentric in many eyes it seems. I may be totally wrong but I am fearful I am right, publicity and public image are extremely important! The MRA’s have quite a negative public image because of the few misogynists, but feminism has that same negative public image because too many people run into the ones that harm the egalitarian image. A very basic comparison could be islam after 9/11, people that didn’t have much of a clue probably were informed by sensationalists, terrorism became extremely well known and I noticed quite a lot of anti-islam sentiment was born. There are most likely A LOT of great muslims who are awesome, but there publicity was overpowered by negative publicity.

                    The most common anti-feminist comment I see on this site is basically this – Male (and sometimes female) goes to feminist area, brings up a male issue which ends up copping flack from gynocentrics and belittled, the egalitarian view they might have had of feminism cops a negative hit. It can sometimes take 1 incident like this, or quite a few and it’s enough to piss all over the good name of feminism. I believe feminists also see this in some of the mra areas, so when both go and find their like-minded fellows the generalizations and scorn can really build up! I’ve had this experience and it really pissed me off bigtime, the place I went talked about egalitarianism and that feminism was egalitarian and we didn’t have to rename the movement to include men. Sadly the kind of feminist I found there were mostly gynocentrics, 1 egalitarian would speak up but get drowned out by “this is a female space, men have the entire world” + “womengetitworse” mentality. I felt about as welcome as a the devil in a church.

                    Thankfully I saw quite a few egalitarian feminists speak out here on the GMP which showed me these 2 versions of feminism, I really hope more people can meet the egalitarians because I 100% believe they are the ones along with egalitarians, and egalitarian mra’s, and whatever label that means the same damn thing pretty much will be the ones who totally combine forces, go voltron and bring in major change. Simply addressing male victims of violence AND the female victims I 10000% believe will do a massive amount to lowering the cycles of violence between generations, lower crime and mental illness and creating a safer society.

                    That’s my dream, everyone getting along and working together because we have fusion power generation to discover and perfect, we have to make extremely cheap energy, extremely cheap safe drinking water, raise the living standards around the world and especially the education levels because we have to stick together as a species to survive decently in the future. How much energy, resources, time is wasted on the issues we have at the moment? What good does all this damn fighting, suffering do anyone?

                    • Jasmine says:

                      A resounding yes to your very last paragraph!! I don’t care if people disagree with me, or even if they have reasons to mistrust feminism. My only desire is that when talking with individuals of any orientation, we attempt to set our preconceived notions about what terms like ‘feminism’ mean aside and attend to the person and what the person is saying. I know I have a bias against MRAs and tend to become slightly defensive, so when talking to MRAs, I try to be cognizant of that and step back so that the conversation can be a productive one. Because in the end, nothing gets accomplished when we’re spending time hung up on arguing.

                      And I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll just briefly iterate it, I’d never seen before this two sides to feminism that you speak of. All of the feminists I know, have worked with, and the feminist texts I’ve read have all been about equality (for every human being), concerned with all marginalized groups and all forms of inequality. However, through discourse on GMP, I have come to understand that some people’s experiences with feminism and feminists is different. I’ve yet to meet one of these ‘radical’ feminists, but I do concede that others’ experiences with feminism may have been drastically different from mine. Which is why I can understand coming to the table with biases. What I don’t understand is when an individual allows those biases to supercede productive conversation.

                      So thank you, Archy, for participating in productive conversation. I think that we’ve both benefited from being able to listen to the other. 🙂

                    • Thank-you, hopefully your feminism wins out vs the gynocentrics. The thing I see the most is many voices desperate to be heard but unsure of where to go to speak. I truly hope they find their space, and hope I find that egalitarian feminist website one day:P

                    • Archy, there’s no use pal. She doesn’t even admit the existence of fgynocentrist feminists.

                      According to her estimation, all of feminism is “wonderful.” Her word.

                    • Are there manboobz style blogs for calling out the radfems?
                      Google for the “Agent orange files” Jasmine if you want to see a taste of some of the radfems.

                    • Mark Neil says:

                      Not that I’m aware. As anti-feminist as many MRA’s may be, I don’t think we are so much so as to dedicate our livelihoods to exposing what is so easily found. Plus, it really is a sad thing, to dedicate yourself to one big ongoing ad hominem attack upon a movement.

        • Look at the jezebel article in which the team of contributors at jezebel laugh about beating their boyfriends.

          It’s pretty clear what is going on. Feminism teaches men can’t be victims because it applies class-warfare labels to the genders: oppressor and victim. Therefore because men’s pain isn’t “systematic” it doesn’t matter.

          Even when it can be shown by factual evidence that in fact 50% of DV is female inflicted and men are 4 times more prone to stranger violence even when you include rape.

      • Mark Neil says:

        ” For Jody, or anyone, to be particularly concerned with violence against women doesn’t mean she’s not sensitive to or concerned with violence against men.”

        Are you prepared to argue that claiming women have it worst and that means it’s ok to completely ignore male victims, and should anyone even mention male victimization within the conversation, it should be deemed an attack against women… are you prepared to argue that this isn’t being insensitive or lacking concern for male victims? Are you seriously going to defend the idea that not letting men speak without interpretting it as an attack is somehow demonstrating a concern for male victims?

        “The wonderful thing about feminism is that it’s not merely about elevating the status of women to a state of equality, but about deconstructing cultural institutions that maintain inequality ”

        Such as VAWA? Or the ministry for the Status of Women Canada? Or the woman only health councils throughout most western nations, that lack a male equivilent? Or affirmative action? Or the feminist march that just ran through Toronto demanding that women (and only women) should be granted special protections against losing their jobs in the current economy? Your assertion of what’s so wonderful about feminism doesn’t stand up to the reality we live in.

        “but it doesn’t mean I ignore or don’t appreciate the ways in which males are also subjected to systemic oppression.”

        And yet you stand up and defend someone who claims that, pointing out talking only about women when discussing a non-gendered issue results in, and perpetuates systemic discrimination against men, is some kind of attack against women. Do you not see how your actions can make your words seem nothing more than lip service?

        “I don’t know why you are blaming feminists for not wanting fathers to be with their children? ”

        But that isn’t what I said, is it…

        “Are you aware the united nation and many other constitutions actually say it is a childs right to know and have a significant relationship with both parents, but many feminist groups oppose given children any such rights to their fathers?”

        Feminists aren’t opposed to fathers being with their children, they are opposed to fathers and children having a legally binding right, that suppercedes the mothers wishes. Feminist actions promote the idea that a father is perfectly entitled to a relationship with his child (and vice versa) up to and not further than what the mother is willing to allow. Feminists support a mothers unilateral control over to what degree that relationship is allowed to develope.

        Opposition to a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting, promotion of ever looser domestic violence laws, opposition to consequences for intentional and malicious misuse of those laws, opposition to the concept of parental alienation, calling fathers rights groups abusers lobbiests and men who want more power to abuse their ex’s, opposition to visitation enforcement laws. These all promote granting a mother the power to deny a father/child relationship if she so wish’s. It isn’t that feminists are opposed to father child relationships, it is they are opposed to denying mothers the ability to control and gatekeep that relationship.

        As to the remainder of your post, it is nothing more then trying to make feminism itself into a victim, to garner some sympathy as wrongly accused and targeted with slander. Feminists (those in power anyways) have earned the reputation feminism has. That reputation is based on, and supported by, the actions of prominant feminist organizations, including NOW and the women’s bar assocciation. If you think the reputation is unfair, perhaps you should stop defending those like judy, who perpetuate anti-male rhetoric, and instead start acting like the egalitarian you claim to be.

        “If you come forth to conversations about feminism with the notion that feminists …”

        I’d say the same applies to those like yourself who think feminism can do no wrong, except one is based on truth’s and actions, while the other on rose coloured glasses.

        • Jasmine says:

          I’m not going to do any more of the back and forth. I’ve heard your points (repeatedly) and am not interested in arguing about whose conception of feminism is right and whose is wrong. I’d love to have a productive action-oriented conversation, but otherwise this is counterproductive and I am not interested in doing any more of the back and forth. Every point I address you will have a rebuttal. That’s not a productive mode of communication.

          • “not interested in arguing about whose conception of feminism is right and whose is wrong.”

            Really? Why did you write a article defending feminism? Sorry, but the rest of the world’s perception of feminism is based on the history of the movement and the views and actions of feminists themselves.

            What is not productive is refusing to see what most people see and not even being willing to open mindedly analyze why feminism has a solid reputation for being anti-male, among women and men.

          • Mark Neil says:

            ” I’ve heard your points (repeatedly) and am not interested in arguing about whose conception of feminism is right and whose is wrong.”

            Then don’t come wincing and complaining when people trash feminism for what they see it to be. If you wish to make the choice to ignore peoples reasons for disliking feminism and seeing it as a largely hateful movement, to deem such a conversation as non-productive, then you have relinquished any right to claim others are wrong (without being a hypocrite, after all, for you to claim others are wrong is to deem that point important enough to discuss).

            “Every point I address you will have a rebuttal. That’s not a productive mode of communication.”

            I’m not following you? are you suggesting that because I can defend my position (with a rebuttal to each point you seek to address) better than you can, that it is not a productive conversation? Are you suggesting that in order to have a productive conversation (with you), I must ignore reality and submit to your views for no other reason than to let you feel important or correct? Personally, I’d suggest saying ” I am not interested in doing any more of the back and forth” is far more damaging to productive conversation than providing rebuttals to your points. Is this an example of feminist debate?

            • Jasmine says:

              The conversation has been not at all productive, and so I extricated myself from it. I am not ‘wincing and complaining’ about people trashing feminism. What I am doing is elucidating that there are many misconceptions that have lent to the anti-feminist sentiment espoused by many. Those who see feminism as a hateful movement aren’t seeing feminism for what it is. They’re seeing a conception of feminism that isn’t accurate. I’ve looked into some of the assertions made by commenters about how feminists have limited men’s rights, and what I found was that it was a simplistic and reductionist assertion that overlooked a number of other important factors that contributed to the issue.

              I am not suggesting that there should not be discussion, but when the discussion turns into a persistent argument without any attempt at listening or understanding the other side, it becomes counterproductive. And that is the key – the lack of listening. It’s not even the rebutting that would in itself impede this conversation, but the fact that the rebuttals would have been at the expense of any real attempt to understand or to listen. And, knowing exactly how this conversation would go, I decided not to engage. I don’t the time, energy, or desire to do so. If there was desire for productive communication, I’d be far more likely to set aside time to engage.

              • Mark Neil says:

                “What I am doing is elucidating that there are many misconceptions that have lent to the anti-feminist sentiment espoused by many.”

                No, what you are doing is telling people the anti-feminist sentiment people feel, the view of feminism as hateful, is based on misconceptions and not lived or witnessed experience. And you are failing to provide any evidence to support this claim, nor are you acknowledging any evidence to support their claims are valid (instead claiming to not want to go back and forth, but coming back anyways to once again state your opinions as truth (elucidating ?) and once again ignoring others opinions as “misconceptions”).

                “They’re seeing a conception of feminism that isn’t accurate.”

                According to you, with no evidence or reason to accept your view as truth, except your insistance that you are correct and your refusal to see others arguments, full stop.

                “I am not suggesting that there should not be discussion, but when the discussion turns into a persistent argument without any attempt at listening or understanding the other side, it becomes counterproductive.”

                And you don’t see how this is precisely what you have done, by refusing to even acknowledge the reasons people see feminism as hateful? You insist everyone elses opinions is based on misconceptions, and when anyone points to a supply of actual events, policies, councils, actions, oppositions, etc etc etc that demonstrate where their views are coming from, you ignore those points, claim they are being counter-productive, and claim your going to stop talking. Pot, meet kettle.

                ” And, knowing exactly how this conversation would go, I decided not to engage.”

                Then don’t engage, but that goes for the future as well, which is what I meant when I said don’t come wincing and complaining. Otherwise, all you’re doing is opening yourself up to ignoring another group of peoples assertions on why they feel the way they do, so you can ignore them and claim you know better based on nothing more than your faith.

                ” If there was desire for productive communication, ”

                Define productive communication as you see it, because from your last few posts, it seems to me you define a productive conversation as one that conforms to your beliefs, and does not challenge those beliefs.

                • Jasmine says:

                  You’ve just illustrated my point nicely. You’ve taken pieces of what I’ve said and used them to evidence something that is not there. For me to talk about misconceptions of feminism is not at all to deny that some people have had negative experiences with feminists. In fact, I have repeatedly acknowledged those experiences when they have been mentioned by commenters here. I would anticipate the same amount of decency from others, to acknowledge that my experiences differ from that.

                  A productive conversation is not defined by agreeance. I’ve never suggested that (of course, you have taken my words to mean that, which was why I had no intention of engaging with you). A productive conversation, as I’ve highlighted several times already, is one where both sides listen. I’ve listened, and acknowledged, that there are people who have had experiences with feminism that inform their negative views of it. I have felt heard by Archy, who was able to acknowledge and listen to my own perspective and my experiences of feminism. Archy and I don’t agree on everything (which illustrates that it is not agreement that makes a productive conversation), but we have been able to listen to what the other says, in spite of our own biases. Listening and being able to traverse to a place of common ground is productive. This strain of conversation is not.

                  • Mark Neil says:

                    “For me to talk about misconceptions of feminism is not at all to deny that some people have had negative experiences with feminists. ”

                    But for you to claim that anti-feminism (as a whole) is based on misconceptions (rather than the lived experiences of a large number of individuals) IS to deny that those experiences are noteworthy. Sure you can acknowledge that some people have had negative encounters with feminism (in fact, a great many people, given the general hostility gaining ground in the general population), but by claiming that anti-feminism is based on misconceptions, you ardently refuse to acknowledge those experiences are (or even can be) the norm, instead presenting your own experiences as superceding all others. That isn’t listening.

                    Furthermore, you have defended Judy’s position, injecting your own optomistic view of feminism onto rather hateful rhetoric (rhetoric another egal feminist on this site was capable of seeing and admonishing**), meaning you aren’t listening to her ether. This then calls into question your own experiences… after all, if you can’t see hateful rhetoric right in front of you, here, when we’re pointing it out, why should we believe you’re cappable of seeing it elsewhere? And if you are blind to the hateful rhetoric of the feminist movement, then of course your experiences are going to be all rainbows and blue skies.

                    **http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-i-believe-men-belong-in-the-feminist-movement/comment-page-2/#comment-117066

                    Finally, you’re repeated avoidance when specific examples of large scale, political activism that demonstrates where negative views of feminism begin, is again making the choice to not listen. The destructive actions of feminists against fathers rights are an experience you too can witness, if you so choose. As is the greater feminist response to male domestic violence victims (such as demanding mankind innitiative in the UK, a privately funded men’s shelter (because they can’t get government funding) adhere to screening criteria no feminist lead, government funded women’s shelter has ever needed to even come close to adhering too, or the continued insistance that men are a marginal proportion of victims, based on feminist studies that as often as not don’t even examine male victimization, like a current study granted $5 million in Canada by status of women Canada). These are things that “SHOULD” exist within your experiences as well, because they’re virtually global in scope (perhaps not the specific examples, but the general gist of it all). But somehow, they don’t seem to be, you seem as cappable of ignoring it in general as you were with Judy, again, even when we point you to it. So, I need to ask, are you really listen (and I don’t just mean listening to me), or have you closed yourself off from hearing the hate within your own movement?

                    • Jasmine says:

                      You are entirely ignoring what I am saying and what I have said, selectively taking pieces that you wish to hear, and then interpreting them in ways that fit your vision of what I am saying and what feminism means. When I’m not being heard, I don’t care to continue a conversation.

                    • Mark Neil says:

                      You’re claiming I’m not listening doesn’t change anything. You still refuse to hear and see the hateful rhetoric within your own movement, even when it is pointed out to you, instead defending it as a misconception, as benign or ignoring it altogether, as if we never mentioned it. You still refuse to accept that, by claiming anti-feminism is based upon misconception, you are claiming your own experiences outweigh all others, and that this is a denial of all others who’s experiences conflict with yours, and who’s experiences are NOT misconceptions. And you still choose to run and deflect with accusations of not listening and ignoring what you’re saying, trying to take the moral high ground, when the truth is far more likely that I hear you all too clear, and you don’t like being so exposed.

                      Therefore, if you don’t want to engage, then don’t. But don’t pretend it is because I won’t listen. Know that it is because you can’t stand to hear what we have to say.

                    • Jasmine says:

                      I am not pretending anything. I have disengaged precisely because you’re not interested in hearing anything outside of your already formed notions of feminism. And I’m not interested in having a circular and unproductive conversation.

                      I assert that anti-feminism is based on misconceptions, even if it stems from experiences. Not because those experiences are not legitimate, but because those experiences inform a limited view of feminism. I have had some negative experiences with MRAs, but I’m not so reductionist or limited in scope to then assert that the MRA movement is in its entirety harmful to women and complete and utter crap. That’s the difference.

                    • Mark Neil says:

                      I should also point out that you have been attempting to dismiss me as “not a productive mode of communication” right from my very first comment to you. You have yet to even acknowledge, let alone address a single point I have made, instead trying to pretend you are above me. Hows that for not listening.

                    • Jasmine says:

                      My intent is not to be dismissive (although I do see how it comes off thus). However, the conversation is not productive. It is accusatory, circular, reductive, and unilateral. I’m not here to defend all of feminism. I cannot speak for self-identified feminists who behave in an oppressive manner. I cannot speak for the experiences of anyone else. I can, however, speak to my own experiences with feminism, working with a feminist organization, and my own goals as a feminist. I have dismissed this conversation because it was evident to me that your intent was not to empathize or come to common ground, but to assert that feminism is awful, bad, and anti-male. Anything I had said to address your points would have received a rebuttal. And my point here is that that is not constructive. That is not listening. Your rebuttals would then elicit rebuttals from me, and would result in neither side feeling heard, both sides on the defensive, and nothing is accomplished from such conversation. So, I do apologize that you have felt dismissed, but there is a legitimate reason I have chosen not to engage in such a conversation.

                    • Mark Neil says:

                      ” Not because those experiences are not legitimate, but because those experiences inform a limited view of feminism.”

                      Are you aware this is the first time you have actually acknowledged a point I have addressed to you, at least in this thread begun by Judy?

                      But I need to ask, where do you get off claiming it is everyone else whose experience informs a limited view of feminism? Is it not possible it is in fact you who has a limited view of feminism? Was it not you who said your experience with feminists outside your local group and GMP was fairly limited (honest question, I could be mistaking you for someone else on this)?

                      This is my point. You are juxtaposing your experiences with those of everyone else and dismissing everyone else’s as limited or incomplete. That’s not listening, that’s telling us how it is.

                      ” I have had some negative experiences with MRAs, but I’m not so reductionist or limited in scope to then assert that the MRA movement is in its entirety harmful to women and complete and utter crap.”

                      “In it’s entirety”… This would suggest that you do feel it is in some ways harmful to women and/or complete and utter crap. Would it not then be offensive and/or dismissive of me to tell you your experiences with the MRA are limited and your view is based off misconceptions promoted by anti-MRA elements? Would this not be especially be offensive/dismissive if you could then point to example after example of large scale MRA activity (not just the rantings a few hostile individuals) that was harmful to women, and I proceded to try and take a moral highground and dismiss/end the conversation? because this is precisely what you have been doing.

                      But the fact is, I suspect you would be hard pressed to show any large scale political activism/policies that were harmful to women, instigated by the MRM, let alone in the same numbers we are able to produce for feminist activim. So you are comparing apples and oranges. This also ignores the utter smear campaign many feminists perform on the MRM (I can point to several examples on this very site if you so wish), so while you personally may or may not be doing so, your feminist movement most certainly is.

                      Next post:
                      “I’m not here to defend all of feminism. ”

                      But that is precisely what you are doing by claiming it is based on misconceptions. It is not a misconception if it is true and applicable, even if it may not be applicable to all.

                      ” I have dismissed this conversation because it was evident to me that your intent was not to empathize or come to common ground,”

                      Based on what? My first post was largely questions, and were virtually all based on your reaction to judy, your claims to feminism as a whole, and factors that flew counter to those claims.

                      “but to assert that feminism is awful, bad, and anti-male.”

                      I actually don’t believe that though. I have stated repeatedly within GMP that I believe feminism is about female empowerment, nothing more, nothing less. It is not about equality, but does not preclude one from being about equality. But I do believe the bulk of feminists, particularly the large scale feminist organizations (NOW, Women’s Bar, etc) focuses around a Dworkin/MacKinnon brand of feminism. I believe due to this bulk, that the negative reputation of feminism is well deserved, and not based on misconceptions, but on facts prevelent to the larger portion of the feminist movement.

                      “Anything I had said to address your points would have received a rebuttal. And my point here is that that is not constructive. ”

                      If my providing a rebuttal is not constructive, that takes a position that determining who’s position is correct/accurate/more likely/etc is not constructive. And by saying that it is ME providing the rebuttal (and you’re just saying things to address my points), and that it is MY rebuttal that makes it non-constructive, you are placing your position as superior to mine, or mine as insignificant overall. THAT is not listening.

                      Furthermore, these are all presumptions of how the conversation would have gone, presumptions based on nothing more than a single post initiating a conversation, and your own biases.

                      “but there is a legitimate reason I have chosen not to engage in such a conversation.”

                      Perhaps legitimate to you, but it is nothing more than a dismissal and trying to claim the moral high ground to me. The fact you keep coming back, despite you insistence you do not wish to engage, just so you can attempt to maintain that moral high ground, further reinforces my opinion.

                    • Jasmine says:

                      I wonder how this conversation might play out in person. As it stands, I find you to be reinforcing all of my assertions about its nonproductivity.

                    • Mark Neil says:

                      Likewise, you reinforce my assertion that feminism is largely an exercise in psychological projection.

                      And the fact you have repeatedly stated you do not wish to engage, yet here you are, needing to get the last word in, time and again. This (plus your repeated attempts to claim moral high ground) suggests the conversation in person would likely look like you talking over me so that I wouldn’t get my say, and if I asserted myself to get a chance to speak, I would be accused of being abusive or “mansplaining” (perhaps even using my large size to promote a bully perception of me), and you would once again claim the moral high ground (yes, I’ve had these discussions in person with feminists too, not just on forums). But this is all just speculation based on what I’ve witnessed here.

                    • I’ve been watching this go on and while I’m sure there are things in both your arguments I could agree with, if we were in person, I’d stage some kind of humorous intervention like a shot drinking contest or a knitting circle.

                      You both seem to be talking past each other (in my opinion) and I bet that if the convo was a personal/in person one it wouldn’t have gone this long this far.

                      The internet has it’s limits, I always say (even though Lisa disagrees with me 😉

                      I’ll do a shot now if you will! I’ve got me some bourbon!

                    • Jasmine says:

                      This is part of the reason I refused to engage in a discussion of the issues with you – you are equating your perception of one person with the entire movement, reinforcing my opinion that you take a reductionist position. Anything I would have said would have been positioned within that frame. If you had come to the conversation from a place of genuinely wanting to hear in addition to wanting to be heard, I would have felt far more compelled to engage in the discussion. Instead, you’ve employed thinly veiled insults, generalizations, and circular arguments.

                      You clearly have a disdain for feminism, and it appears that you are unable to separate my feminist identity from my personhood. I am more than willing to have conversations with people who really want to hear and learn from my experiences, as well as share theirs from which I can learn. My initial assertion (based on a presumption given your previous commenting style) has been affirmed throughout this conversation that ensued. Had I responded to each of your points, you’d simply have gone through, quoted me out of context, and asserted why I was ‘wrong’. I want to converse about the issues, but I want to do so in a productive manner. I have set boundaries for myself in which I don’t put myself in situations where I know I will not be heard or acknowledged. If you wanted to approach this conversation differently, from a mutual desire to understand one another and discuss issues without making sweeping generalizations about a group of people, from a place of desire to understand, I’d be more than happy to do so. I just don’t have the energy to put forth in a conversation that isn’t leading to some greater understanding.

                    • Jasmine says:

                      In fact, I invite and welcome just such a conversation – one where both participants genuinely wanted to listen and learn from the others’ viewpoint. There was a time when I would have fully participated in a conversation revolving around circular arguments. However, I’ve learned that it is entirely unproductive, and nobody walks away from such conversations feeling as though they’ve accomplished anything.

                    • I responded to Mark below, but my shot offer still stands.

                    • Jasmine says:

                      I concur, Julie, that the internet has its limits. 🙂 And I also concur that there has been some talking past each other. It’s difficult when two people are staunchly rooted in a position to always be sensitive to the other.

                      If I weren’t in the process of attempting to finish up my 3-hour lecture to be given tomorrow, I’d certainly take you up on the shot offer. 🙂 If I finish it any time this evening, there will be a glass of vodka in my future. Cheers!

                • What Mark said.

  4. My “poor white male” comment refers to anytime a woman speaks out about issues affecting women the rhetoric is oh some guys get beat/raped by women to. The point is to dimish the realities for women by these comments. No one should be raped or beaten and by all means start a mans group to spread awareness. If you did and females were commenting oh women get raped to. You can clearly see the purpose would be to undermine your cause.

    The facts are 1 in 6 women will be raped. Domestic violence is perpartated more towards women as well as kidnapping and forced prostitution. Female strip clubs outnumber male strip clubs 10 to 1. Pornography is only a woman doing whatever a man says with little concern for her pleasure and is filled with names like sl*t, b*tch, etc,

    There are many feminists fighting against rape, violence, and for women and childrens rights. Your media fantasy created by this patriarcial society is part of the problem. What about those handful of radicals eh? What about the thousands of feminists that do good work fighting for victims? Much of which is fueled by societal factors and the objectification of women. The attitudes and beliefs of society create these tendancies to objectify and abuse women.

    Your an abuser what do you think when you hear feminists are scum? A conversation quickly shut down with no thought as to any of the issues? It is so accepted to use and lie to women for sexual objects, many men believe the myth their genetics control them taking no responsibility. There are may dysfunctional beliefs against women that need to be heard and changed. We need to all be seen as the people we are.

    Regardless my opinion will fall on deaf ears.

    • “If you did and females were commenting oh women get raped to.”
      Quite a few comments like that happen here on the articles discussing male victimization, it’s quite weird to see but I’ve seen quite a bit of it over the various feminism/masculism sites with comment sections, even Hugo Schwyzer and a few other feminist authors would do it in their own article!

      “Your an abuser what do you think when you hear feminists are scum? ”
      Something others and I have tried to do is show people there seems to be 2 feminism mindsets, 1 is gynocentric and only focuses on female issues whilst the other is egalitarian and simply wants to help all of us in society.

      “The facts are 1 in 6 women will be raped. Domestic violence is perpartated more towards women as well as kidnapping and forced prostitution. ”
      ht tp://1in6.org/ – Seems 1 in 6 males are sexually abused in childhood, team that up with the CDC stats showing fairly equal rates of rape (if you include both forced penetrated and forced to penetrate) for a 1 year time period alone then I would suggest both genders probably are much much closer to parity in victimization than previously thought.

      A wide variety of studies even suggest domestic violence is fairly equal between the genders in the rate it happens, but do show females get injured more due to size differences. I believe a lot of damage is done psychologically so focusing on the physical damage isn’t a great idea, the most debilitating parts of the abuse and bullying I suffered weren’t the physical alterations but the psychological abuse. Words can REALLY tear someone apart and whilst physical abuse injuries will probably be higher for women due to the extra strength men have, neither gender seems to have an edge when it comes to psychological abuse so I view that as very serious.

      I’ve been reading up quite a bit on abuse, the various statistics, trying to figure out my own experiences but on that path. Based on what I’ve read, seen, talking to various people, reading lots of these comment areas, I believe the rate of victimization for domestic violence is closer to parity than most realize. I’m not sure if it’s simply reported more now or if something in society changed the balance, I also think it varies quite a bit on culture and area. I truly wouldn’t be surprised that some areas might have more male victims and more female perps, and others the reverse.

      Everything I thought I knew about abuse has been changed recently especially with new stats like the CDC report in interpersonal violence. But even so I actually dislike the whole oppression olympics that occurs when people discuss abuse, and I wrote this comment simply to point out that abuse against men, even by women seems to have increased to the point of parity in some cases. So when I hear people say DV, rape is mostly towards women I can’t help but wonder if that is really the case since there seems to be a lot of evidence now against it. I can see in the past that it was very much a gendered issue, but it really does look like it’s changed in U.S.A, Australia, the U.K.

      I truly believe we need to drop the gendered look at some of these issues, start advocating against it in all forms. That means to not show rape as JUST men raping women, but men > women, men > men, women > men, women > women, etc. The campaigns against domestic abuse, sexual abuse have really failed in showing all combinations and it’s left a hell of a lot of victims unhelped. In Australia we have violence against women, Australia says no campaigns yet nothing for females abusing males. What good does that do? Seeing abuse ONLY as a gendered issue just ignores those who don’t fit that stereotype.

      Tl:dr version, seeing abuse and violence as gendered is harmful especially as studies are showing it’s much closer to parity than many think.

      “Pornography is only a woman doing whatever a man says with little concern for her pleasure and is filled with names like sl*t, b*tch, etc,”
      Have you watched much pornography? Pretty much everything I watch doesn’t use those terms and both the male and female are extremely interested in each others pleasure, quite a lot of videos are focusing on the males only, AND the females only. Pornography varies WILDLY, there are so many genres, so much variety that it’s impossible to define pornography as “only a woman doing whatever a man says..”. Amateur porn also shows a lot of real couples both enjoying sex, both get pleasure and many don’t have any difference in pleasure, power, etc. I’ll admit there is quite a lot of bullshit in the pro-porn but even pro-porn varies quite a bit as I’ve seen quite a few videos without the negative language and all the combinations of who gets pleasure, who has control, including a 50:50 everyone gets their benefits (not sure what else to call it, they seem pretty equal at least).

      Haven’t seen many stats on trafficking for sex and kidnapping so I can’t really comment on that. I have read that human trafficking for labour was higher in number than sex trafficking and that it affected both men and women, do you know if that is true or not? I tried to find the stats for it but failed since most I could find would only talk about sex trafficking and focused heavily on females.

      Many are listening, many might have different opinions though. I try my best to listen to both sides of the gender debate, all I see is both have it bad in various areas and these days I can’t say for sure which is worse and quite frankly it might be impossible to say which is worse. All I know is a lot of humans are suffering and that bothers me, and I want everyone to be supported.

    • Mark Neil says:

      “My “poor white male” comment refers to anytime a woman speaks out about issues affecting women the rhetoric is oh some guys get beat/raped by women to.”

      The problem is that when people speak out against rape/domestic violence, it is framed in a gendered way that suggests only women suffer it. This is false and needs to be corrected. The fact that even our LAWS have gendered these problems shows what damage this causes. by law in the US, a man is not capable of being raped by a woman unless she uses a tool. Is this right? Is it wrong for me to note this is unfair? Is it wrong for me to point out that, when someone says women are raped more often than men, that the very definition of rape plays a significant part in making that true (after all, if a man being forced to have sex isn’t rape, how can we expect the numbers to be the same?)?

      The fact is, our laws an society already look to address these issues for women. But they still ignore the issues for men. Your “poor white male” comments are doing precisely what you claim others are doing. Pointing out that men are victims too does not reduce the severity of the issue unless you actually believe men are undeserving of support and assistance. Is that what you believe? If not, then explain to me how acknowledging men are victims too in any way distracts from the problem?

      “by all means start a mans group to spread awareness.”

      People have. These groups not only get people like you saying “what about the women”, but also get attacked as discriminatory against women, and are denied funding unless they help women too.

      “The facts are 1 in 6 women will be raped.”

      Raped or sexually assaulted? they are not the same thing, but are used interchangeably by dishonest feminist activists. And how many men raped or forced to penetrate? Can you even give a value, or do you believe that just looking at how bad it is for women somehow makes it a woman’s issue?

      “Domestic violence is perpartated more towards women”

      This is highly contested by many, MANY studies. The fact you aren’t even willing to acknowledge that some studies don’t support your view demonstrates who has the deaf ears.

      “as well as kidnapping and forced prostitution”

      This too is contested. Furthermore, forced labour is a far more common act than forced prostitution, and that is perpetrated against boys moreso than girls. By choosing only to concern yourself with prostitution, you are 1) making kidnapping and forced anything into a gendered issue 2) actually burying the instances of male suffering.

      Your views on female sexuality in strip clubs and porn show you for a hateful radical.

      “There are many feminists fighting against rape, violence,”

      No, they aren’t. they are fighting for more power for women. If they were fighting against domestic violence and rape, they wouldn’t be gendering it now that evidance shows it isn’t a gendered issue.

      “and for women and childrens rights”

      Are you aware that VAWA STOP funding guidelines in many states actually forbids the funding of programs and services that exclusively help children of domestic or sexual violence? Are you aware the united nation and many other constitutions actually say it is a childs right to know and have a significant relationship with both parents, but many feminist groups oppose given children any such rights to their fathers? So no, feminist groups aren’t working towards children’s rights, they are actually working against them. They only use the claim to helping children to garner support and empathy.

      Your last full paragraph (starting with “Your an abuser”) is very much the anti-male rhetoric this articles author claims feminism isn’t about, and ironically contradictory. You paint men as domineering sex fiends who see women as sexual objects, then claim we need to be seen as the people we are… do you feel only women are people?

    • Jody writes:
      “Female strip clubs outnumber male strip clubs 10 to 1. Pornography is only a woman doing whatever a man says with little concern for her pleasure”

      I thought feminism was about respecting women doing what they want with their body?
      what pure unmitigated drivel.

      Feminism is about the total infantalization of women. That is why feminism has to hold onto the victim label for women exclusively–feminists (like Jody) want equal rights for women, but not equal responsibility.

      When a women is to be held accountable for her actions, feminists want available a legal definition as victim (read: child) so that anything bad she does can be blamed on the nearest adjacent male (even when she is 35 and he is 13, as in boys who are statutorily raped having to pay their rapists child support).

      PLEASE grow up and realize women are not de factor victims due to their gender anymore (and probably less) than men are.

  5. I read through most of the comments. The reactions to the word feminism is exactly as I suspected. We’re back in the 50s with women’s rights. It is the same reactions towards race in backwards time. Change feminism to racism and you will see the same reasoning. If you wanted equality for races, well you must hate white people or be a fanatic. What about those crazy civil rights people who cause trouble? Those goofy liberal teachers. What about the poor male white guy?

    Rape and domestic violence is overwelmingly forced upon women vs men. To say otherwise tries to distracts from the issue. It says some uncomfortable things about men and society that we often don’t want to look at. So what do we do? We blame the woman. She dressed wrong, she was talking back so got smacked, she must like to get beat up she’s staying with him. We don’t need to even ask why men are doing this, the responsibilty falls back to the women. This porn culture, this dehumanizing culture is so normal, is so accepted towards women most people are blind as a bat to it.

    We’re not on our hands and knees in the kitchen anymore, we’re on our hands and knees sexually, each image of a woman just as demeaning, just as objectifying.

    If you speak out. If you want real equality, rights, awareness, yes FEMINISM then you’re labeled a femnazi. Women shouldn’t have rights and shouldn’t even complain about it. In fact we’re already equal, just turn a blind eye to statistics, to the experience of almost every woman who has been objectified by most men she meets, by women who are pressured into sexual acts she doesn’t like by her boyfriend, husband, ect, who unconciously can’t see her body as her own right, because he learned about her sexuality from porn.How a girl has to be sexy more than smart or she is invisible. The human trafficing of girls, not to mention what goes on in all the world for so many many women. Poverty and abuse, honor killings. But these aren’t real problems right? How dare you speak up for their rights? Call yourself a feminist. You must be a man-hating lesbian. Some ugly girl who doesn’t want to sex it up for us red-blooded American men just having a little fun. Maybe you just need to get laid? Yeah. We know how you think about feminism and women’s rights. It will be a long journey and much soul-searching to see the truth your privilage blinds you from seeing, and to discover the how’s and why’s you feel so threatened you feel by real equality.

    • That’s truly how it is when viewed through a feminist gynocentric anti-male prism.

      • yup. She uses the standard shaming tactics of “if you are against feminism, you must not women to have rights” as if that’s the only possible reason to be against feminism, and it’s methods (such as the denial of male victimization she uses in this very post, or the constant use of just this kind of shaming attacks) and anti-male theories (like patriarchy theory or the very objectification theory she puts forth, again, in this post) play no part in opposition to, or dislike of, feminism.

        • Neither the theory of patriarchy nor objectification theory are anti-male (although there are many misconceptions about each theory that might lend to an anti-male interpretation). In fact, objectification theory also applies to the objectification of male bodies, an increasing phenomenon in our media and culture.

          • Perhaps at their core, most academic levels, they are presented in more gender neutral tones, but they are still presented in the context of a female victim centric ideology, which leads many, including a great deal of feminists, to accept them as male blaming, female victim theories, and very few, if any, feminists will ever correct another feminist (never in my experience) when it is used incorrectly, in this male blame (IE, anti-male) manner. As such, at least as far as I’m concern, academic patriarchy theory and objectification theory’s “may” be gender neutral, but in the way feminism so often champions, they have been redefined for feminism into anti-male theories. In other words, regardless of the academic definitions, feminist patriarchy and objectification theories ARE anti-male.

            The very fact you choose to challenge me, and fail to point out to Judy her flawed interpretations (as she uses both theories in anti-male ways within her post) only demonstrates my point.

            PS: If objectification theory was truly gender neural, it would also acknowledge the male financial/success objectification (which it may academically, but never in feminist discourse, except to occasionally claim it isn’t anti-male, and then gets firmly ignored). Same applies to patriarchy theory and the negatives men suffer and the advantages women benefit from that are far too often ignored, except for the occasional attempt to deny the anti-male perception.

            • Your perception of feminism doesn’t ring true for what I have experienced and the work that I do as a feminist. To suggest that feminism is anti-male is as generalizing and reductionist as it is to suggest that men’s rights activists are anti-female and anti-feminist.

              • I have to agree, why is it so rare, actually I can’t remember anyone calling out gynocentric feminists like Jody?

                “What about the poor male white guy?” How is this not shaming and insulting language? It infers that being male and white with problems mean’s the problems are trivial.

                • I mean, have to agree with Mark on

                  “The very fact you choose to challenge me, and fail to point out to Judy her flawed interpretations (as she uses both theories in anti-male ways within her post) only demonstrates my point.”

              • I’d also say it’s only some parts of feminism, it appears to be 2 separate monoliths if anything. 1 gynocentric and the other is egalitarian based on what I’ve experienced.

                • I haven’t seen an egalitarian “part” of feminism where there is no subscription to many of the same classic feminist tenets.

                  • Ironically, the truly egalitarian feminists are often ostracised and deemed anti-feminist by other feminists, such as with Christina Hoff Sommers (see wikipedia, where she identifies as a feminist on the page specifically on her, but is deemed anti-feminist on the feminism page). But they do exists, albeit rare.

                    • Thanks for your comment/correction. Ms. Sommers does seem to be for equality. She rejects many of the unequal, anti-male theories and philosophies that many so-called egalitarian feminists embrace, support, and defend.

                      I can see why feminists call her anti-feminist. She’s pro-equality.

                    • What’s more, despite the fact many feminists openly reject her as a feminist, claiming her to be anti-feminist, they rarely do the same for radicals, whom they identify as fringe or a separate branch of feminism. IE, radicals, while not the same, are still feminists, but Ms Sommers, who is egalitarian, clearly is not. Says a great deal, that does.

                    • Mark – very strong and valid point. I hadn’t thought of it that way. They, in essence, try to kick Ms. Sommers out of feminism thusly but refuse to do the same for even the most ardent man-haters.

                      Says a great deal indeed.

                    • It’d be good for every feminist to see that Eric and Mark. If Christina cops so much flack whereas radicals are ignored then there is a major problem. I see christians, muslims, etc call out the radicals and denounce their actions, it would be quite heartening to see some feminist leaders call out the radfemhub stuff and any other misandrous bullshit.

              • Yet, it rings true with what I have experienced, as well as with what many others here as well. Furthermore, it rings true with Judy (based on her comments), whom I was replying to, yet you don’t feel the need to correct her on what feminism is about, thereby accepting and validating it.

                Perhaps you should take a critical look at your own house, see if the ideals you claim to have are truly represented by the visible, vocal proportion of the feminist movement, and acknowledge the failings, and the perception/reputation that wing has garnered the movement and ether work to FIX it, or move on to a movement more appropriate to your ideals. I am tired of those like you, claiming feminism is not hateful, standing as shields to the truly bigoted.

          • Feminism has built its reputation of being anti-male over several decades. It’s well known. There’s been ample opportunity to prove what it’s about.

            If feminism was not anti-male and truly an equality movement it would be supported by more than a small minority of women and an even smaller minority of men.

            • Actually, that statement overlooks a lot of issues that complicates the position of feminism as an egalitarian movement. The reason it may not be widely supported at the cultural level has less to do with it being egalitarian or not and more to do with the fact that the anti-feminist backlash has painted feminism as some male-hating monolith that is out to destroy families so that women can take over the world. Anti-feminist rhetoric is everywhere, and there are a lot of myths of feminism that are promulgated. You ask people who don’t know much about feminism what it is and you hear the same things every time – bra burning, man-hating, child-hating, lesbians who want to take over the world. So there is this giant misconception that prevents people from identifying as feminist, even if they do espouse feminist ideology.

              I really appreciated a post that was put up a few days ago about setting aside the hate, and listening to one another. Sometimes we need to look past those knee-jerk reactions of distrust or anger and listen to what the other side is saying. The men’s rights movement needs female allies just as the feminist movement needs male allies. Because the goal of equality cannot be achieved with one gender pitted against the other, or without including all persons in pursuing equality. It means we have to listen to one another, really listen.

              • I think it’s time someone made a true egalitarian feminist website. Would be very helpful as a goto place to understand it all better, I’ve tried n tried to understand it but I keep coming across radicals and gynocentrics and it’s annoying as hell. I hope I just suck at finding stuff:P

                • I haven’t seen much of either type of website – egalitarian feminist or the radical/gynocentric version (but I don’t have a lot of time to peruse the world wide web, which might be why). If I had the time and the know-how I would create such an internet space. Perhaps in a few years when I’m done with graduate school I will undertake such a task. 🙂

                  • It’s definitely needed as the online world is now many peoples first introduction to feminism, even just facebook groups and the commenting on them has quite a lot of activity. I don’t goto university myself, and I don’t think our Australian universities would have egalitarian gender studies (I may be wrong but it sounds like most are women’s studies) so I haven’t been exposed to the academic feminism you speak of, just internet blogs and articles and picking up bit by bit via them + comments.

                    This is the only site I can think of where I can discuss both male and female issues in the comments and not get moderated out of existence, and seems to have all sorts of people commenting from all walks of life.

                    • I get the sense that academic feminism differs slightly from other forms of feminism, probably in part due to its focus on theoretical paradigms. I am a social constructionist, so I tend to focus on power structures and social constructs that are oppressive to a myriad of groups. Perhaps it is because of my social constructionist lens that I tend toward an egalitarian feminism (every time I see this term, it just seems so redundant to me, as I view feminism as an egalitarian movement).

                      However, I’m also beginning to wonder if the difference isn’t necessarily academic versus lay person types of feminism, but that there are cultural differences. I am Canadian, and the more I read comments here, the more I begin to think that perhaps my experiences differ so drastically from what I hear other people saying of feminism because of the cultural clime in Canada. I’m not sure.

                    • Yeah cultural climate could affect it. It seems U.S.A has a lot of questionable laws, and Australia also raises my eyebrow with it’s highly gender focused DV campaigns (my jaw will drop if I see Australia have a campaign that mentions female abusers and get significant airtime/publicity).

                      There seems to be a real sense of female victimhood in some feminists which talks about men in a much more powerful light, and women in a weaker and more vulnerable light. This is something that tends to really bug me as I see it a lot in anti-abuse campaigns and usually studies on women that get publicized have it. Such a major focus on how women suffer, and where men benefit/or aren’t suffering in that particular issue, seems to really ignore when men suffer in the same issue (DV for example), or other issues where women don’t suffer as much as the men do. That was confusing to say, so I’ll give an example.

                      Anti-violence campaigns tend to get worded as a huge problem of violence against women, yet men dominate violence deaths 4-6x more than women (2004 World Health Organization statistics on causes of death, if you need a link just ask). From what I’ve seen of local Australian crime with violence if I remember correctly it was 400,000 reports by women to police, 800,000 reports by men (this stat will take me a while to find, it was on a government site I came across randomly:S).

                      There are various studies showing domestic violence levels reaching parity between the genders, however injuries tend to be more so for women due to size and strength I’d guess. The psychological aggression and abuse though can easily be done by both genders and both can be injured greatly since physiological differences don’t create disparity.

                      Add the CDC stats showing in the 1 year period the level of forced penetration or forcing someone to penetrate was pretty much equal numbers of victims between genders, 40% female and 60 male perpetrators. Now why say all of this? Because I do not recall any major campaign to address the violence men suffer, the closest would be an alcohol related one about fighting which played the typical male perpetrator role. I don’t recall seeing a single female perpetrator in any campaign against violence, yet we have statistics proving there is a significant amount of female perpetrators, and male victims.

                      My biggest question to many feminists is why is there a major focus on female victims, male perpetrators, why is violence so often deplored when it’s against women yet damn near ignored against men when men are suffering the vast majority of violence it seems.

                      I have no issue with people rallying against violence against women, because it’s horrible, what I do have an issue with though is society forgetting the men. What makes me question how many egalitarian feminists there are is that the campaigns barely mention male victims, and usually it’s male perpetrators against those male victims. If I was an anti-violence campaigner, my egalitarian mind would kick in when I saw 1 group’s rate of victimization rising dramatically and the other’s perpetration also rising dramatically.

                      I am totally at a loss to see how the CDC stat in the 1 year period wasn’t broadcast and reported on, I didn’t see a single mention of that particular stat. I feel that is a huge news story regardless of which gender rose so dramatically, I expected a heap of feminists to be out there telling people of it to show rape needs more attention brought to it and to end it.

                      I want to believe there are a lot of egalitarian feminists, I truly do. It’s just I am unsure of where they are, it all seems extremely female-focused and an attitude of fix women’s issues first, then we’ll get around to helping the men. I honestly hate the focus on who suffers more, if both sides have victims even if 1 side is 10%, acknowledge it. If both sides have perpetrators, even if 1 side is 10%, 5%, acknowledge it, show all of the combinations of perp and victim. To me that is the egalitarian way of handling the gender issues. I am sure there are many out there hoping egalitarians outnumber the gender-centric people but it’s quite hard to find them or indications of them being the majority.

                    • I absolutely agree that any victim needs to be acknowledge, and I am equally uncomfortable with the positioning of females as victims and males as perpetrators. However, in my own work against domestic violence, I’ve seen the feminists I’ve worked with not only acknowledging that violence against women is an issue of power, but that this also impacts men because men are more likely to be victims of violence in general – especially at the hands of other men.

                      I’ve done dating violence prevention workshops in high schools, and I try to maintain very gender neutral language so as to convey that any violence against any person is not acceptable, and to normalize the notion that females can be perpetrators of sexual assault as well. I hate that we live in a culture that often overlooks males as victims of sexual assault perpetrated by females.

                      For me, feminism isn’t a gender war. It’s about really getting down to the root causes of serious social issues and attempting to eliminate oppression where it exists, and about acknowledging the lived experiences of people along the way.

                    • Thanks for ensuring the gender neutral language, I feel that will really help especially with the highschools. The earlier on that people can learn anyone can be a victim, or a perp I think the more we will see support for everyone as it undoes the current biases in society. It’s very encouraging to know there are those who see all of the angles and not just the stereotypes!

              • “The reason it may not be widely supported at the cultural level has less to do with it being egalitarian or not and more to do with the fact that the anti-feminist backlash has painted feminism as some male-hating monolith that is out to destroy families so that women can take over the world.”

                If feminism were an egalitarian movement, after several decades of existence, there would be abundant clear, non-subjective, measurable, compelling, incontrovertible evidence to prove that it is egalitarian.

                No such evidence exists. If such evidence existed, it would make it impossible to “paint” feminism in any untrue way, as you claim it has been.

                “So there is this giant misconception that prevents people from identifying as feminist, even if they do espouse feminist ideology.”

                Sorry, I respect women far too much than to contend that the majority women’s rejection of feminism is due to their ignorance, that they are so clueless as to be easily duped by propaganda, such that only feminists are intelligent and aware enough to figure out the truth. That’s preposterous. Most women are intelligent and informed, and have made their decision based on what they have personally observed over the decades of feminism’s high profile existence.

                “Because the goal of equality cannot be achieved with one gender pitted against the other, or without including all persons in pursuing equality. It means we have to listen to one another, really listen.”

                Do you not understand that to the rest of us (including the majority of women who reject it) their theories (as presented) are, in fact, “one gender pitted against the other. . .”, not actual listening, just ranting and railing against men, boys and their oppression of women, patriarchy, rape, rape culture, objectification of women’s bodies, male privilege, on and on.

                People would respect feminism more if they admitted what feminism really is, a women’s advancement movement not an equality movement.

                • I’m not going to engage, Eric. I understand you’re coming from a place of mistrust of feminism. The things you’ve described feminism to be just aren’t feminism in my experience in feminist circles.

                  • My comments are based on experience in discussion and reading feminist views, theories, arguments, and perspectives. It’s experience not mistrust.

                    I don’t doubt that your experience is different. As I said above, those inside feminist circles see things very differently than men and women in general do.

                    • And I am also speaking from experience, and your assertions don’t match my experience. I’m merely suggesting that you’re applying a very general and reductionist view of feminism to a movement that is not at all monolithic.

                    • Of course they don’t. As you said, your experience is inside the feminist circle, where that the rest of us consider clearly unjustified anti-male views are considered benign or righteous indignation.

                      Just as the Tea Party has some variety within its ranks, there are certain core principles they hold in common, lest they are all Tea Party members.

                      Likewise, feminists must share certain core ideologies, otherwise they would refuse to call themselves feminists, as most women do. That they choose to ID with the movement is evidence of common views. Thus, it largely is not totally but certainly largely monolithic.

                      For example, I haven’t found any feminists who reject feminist concepts such as male privilege and rape culture and who truly spend equal time in discussing and working to address issues that men want addressed (not to be confused with things feminists want changed about men) as female issues.

                    • “I’m merely suggesting that you’re applying a very general and reductionist view of feminism to a movement that is not at all monolithic.”

                      Aren’t you doing the same in your denial of his assertions and experiences?

                    • Whether it’s a monlith or not doesn’t make much difference since even the most ardent man-haters are welcome in the movement.

                  • So much for really “listening” to what others have to say. if what they say doesn’t fit your preconceptions, then dismiss it as uninformed, based off mistrust (never actually self criticising to determine if that mistrust is justified), etc.

                    You yourself have admitted you don’t know a lot of feminist sites because you don’t spend much time on the internet (and you refuse to be self critical of feminism, despite many feminists and ex feminists jumping ship for precisely the reasons being described to you), yet you feel justified speaking on behalf of all of feminism, and claiming those of us who have had these experiences are wrong. And then you have the gale to tell us we need to listen better?

                    • I’m not speaking for all of feminism. I’m speaking to my experiences of feminism and how it manifests itself in my life and my work. I do not refuse to be self-critical of feminism. I will assert AGAIN – feminism is not a monolith. There are inevitably going to be things that different feminists do not agree on. That is the nature of any group of people.

                      I have not said that anyone who has had any experience is wrong. And yes, I do think you need to listen better (because if you really read what I was saying, none of the things you’ve just asserted are things I’ve said). But we all need to listen to one another, better. We can become clouded by defensiveness (myself included) and then are not effectively reflecting on what the other is saying.

                      I’ve also not at all denied Eric, or any other commenter, his or her experiences. I’ve acknowledged them repeatedly.

                    • And yet you refuse to acknowledge the factions of feminism that create the very perception we are discussing. You have claimed that feminism is not male-hating, yet let Judy’s comment that “Rape and domestic violence is overwelmingly forced upon women vs men. To say otherwise tries to distracts from the issue” go unchallenged, despite you claims of acknowledging male victims in your own work. When she claims “If you speak out. If you want real equality, rights, awareness, yes FEMINISM then you’re labeled a femnazi.”, why do you not tell her that what is needed is for both genders to listen to each other, and stop blaiming the other as she did throughout her post. Why is it my comments that point out the anti-male attitudes found in her post that you felt the need to address, and not the anti-male commentary that prompted that response?

                      This is what I mean by being self critical. If anti-male attitudes can be freely spoken without egalitarian feminists challenging them, why should anyone believe the alleged egalitarian feminists don’t just see those that are hateful as doing the dirty work.

                      “I will assert AGAIN – feminism is not a monolith.”

                      And yet, when it is pointed out to you that there are feminists that have earned the very perceptions that you rail against, you deny it and claim it is more likely false propaganda and myth’s that create those perceptions, and not feminists outside your influence. When prominante 70’s feminists spoke openly that traditional nuclear families must be destroyed before women can be “free”, does this promote an anti-family perception of feminism? Can it be said that acknowledging these types of comments, which I have never seen another feminist challenge (who didn’t then get ejected, as C H Sommers did), is promoting a false myth?

                      “But we all need to listen to one another, better.”

                      Then I sugest you start by listen to others when they say the reputations feminism has garnered, while perhaps not applicable to all, are not undeserved. And that, perhaps, it is best that you find out why those perceptions exist, and judge for yourself if the movement you believe you exist, is truly what is being represented by and large. And if it isn’t, what you wish to do about it. Burying your head in the sand, refusing to acknowledge the reputations aren’t just false propaganda and hatful, uninformed myths, and choosing not to engage with anyone who promotes those perceptions will not serve you well, and only goes against the very “we must all listen” assertion you are making, from up on high your pedistal.

                      “I’ve also not at all denied Eric, or any other commenter, his or her experiences.”

                      The bellow quote actually is a denial of other’s experiences, in your attempt to suggest that anti-feminism is not based on experience and evidence, but propagation, myths, misconceptions and lies.

                      “The reason it may not be widely supported at the cultural level has less to do with it being egalitarian or not and more to do with the fact that the anti-feminist backlash has painted feminism as some male-hating monolith that is out to destroy families so that women can take over the world. Anti-feminist rhetoric is everywhere, and there are a lot of myths of feminism that are promulgated. You ask people who don’t know much about feminism what it is and you hear the same things every time – bra burning, man-hating, child-hating, lesbians who want to take over the world. So there is this giant misconception that prevents people from identifying as feminist, even if they do espouse feminist ideology.”

                    • People tend to seek out information that is congruent with their worldview. It matters not what I say or how I say it. You will find a way to perceive it in a manner that is congruent with your view of feminism.

                      What I said does not at all negate an acknowledgement of Eric’s experiences. I didn’t say that there are never legitimate concerns about feminism. To refuse to acknowledge that there has been an anti-feminist backlash that is not entirely based on a resistance to some ‘anti-male’ agenda would be as remiss as me saying that Eric’s concerns regarding feminism are invalid.

                      However, this is becoming a divisive argument, and that is not my intention. I’m not going to go back and forth in an unproductive manner, because that’s not really accomplishing anything.

                    • Doing the same thing seldom yields different results. As long as the anti-male agenda feminists are welcomed, supported, and defended, those who choose to identify with the movement are making a statement of support and agreement with their ideologies. Hence, their anti-male agenda will continue to define the movement.

    • @Jody
      RE: Domestic violence and rape. In the last year of the recent CDC report, male and female rape (forced to penetrate and being forcefully penetrated) had pretty much equal numbers of victims of male and female, with 40% female perpetrators and 60% male perpetrators. Many many many domestic violence studies show it to be a major problem for both genders, some saying equal levels, even the CDC report showed neck n neck for psychological aggression alone if I remember correctly.

      I do like how you said ignoring statistics because that is what quite a lot of people are doing, we have statistics showing female perpetrated violence against men is on the rise to the point it’s becoming equal in some cases.

      “We don’t need to even ask why men are doing this, the responsibilty falls back to the women. ”
      We need to ask why WOMEN and men are doing this, the responsibility falls back to both genders.

      Most of the anti-feminist talk I see on this website is anti-gynocentric feminism, see how you used snark and degrading talk about the “poor white male guy”? Well, even white men have rights issues and gendered issues to deal with, gender issues are NOT comparable to racial issues, they’re 2 very separate things. Many of the anti-feminists are PRO-egalitarian, and I see many of them desire to see more egalitarian feminists instead of the gynocentric feminists and radicals who LOVE to insult men, act as if men have no issues of importance and do the whole “butwomengetitworse”/oppression olympics routine. It’s tiring and it does so much harm to the name of feminism because it treats feminism as a sexist entity, makes men feel extremely unwelcome and pushes them out. Funnily you get others asking why aren’t there more men in feminism? If I wanted to see self-flagellation and talk of male sin I’d reach the bible.

      Feminism is 2 very clear and distinct entities to many people, 1 is gynocentric and through ignorance and promoting gendered laws seems to actually harm men, the other is egalitarian and simply wants everyone to be equal. I’ve rarely seen an anti-feminist that didn’t agree with and want more of the latter!

  6. I don’t have the time to argue. Saying that many people hold beliefs that are promulgated at the cultural level and that are not necessarily accurate is not to say they are ignorant. I would suggest some Foucault for a deconstruction of what I’m getting at with that implication (discursive constructions of knowledge). I don’t sit down a woman who has negative views about feminism in some condescending manner, and it doesn’t necessitate a discussion. However, if feminism comes up, it’s already evidently a discussion, and often a conversation ensues in which I divulge the tenets of feminism to which I adhere, to which many feminists adhere, what it means to me, and the several myths about feminism. And what often comes from these conversations is that women (and men) say “Oh, well I believe in those things, too.”

    I don’t disagree that knowledge shouldn’t be so inaccessible to the average person. It is a huge contention of mine about the way in which knowledge production and dissemination works. However, given that I spend the majority of my time reading academic materials, I cannot point you to internet materials because I don’t know where they reside.

    • “Saying that many people hold beliefs that are promulgated at the cultural level and that are not necessarily accurate is not to say they are ignorant.”

      IF they (we) are not ignorant, why would we need to have feminists sit us down and explain anything?

      “And what often comes from these conversations is that women (and men) say “Oh, well I believe in those things, too.”

      Of course there are things that most women and men agree with feminists on. Similarly, there are things that far left wing democrats and far right wing republicans agree on. However, common ground issues are not the reasons that most women and men reject involvement in feminism. It’s feminism’s anti-male theories, such as “male privilege”, “patriarchy”, “rape culture”, critricism of masculinity/maleness, and a prevailing anti-male outlook on a variety of other issues that cause them to reject association.

      “I don’t disagree that knowledge shouldn’t be so inaccessible to the average person.”

      As I said, feminism has been around for decades, and what feminists have said/say, and have done/do are well documented. The issues they lobby about, their key agenda items, and their theories and arguments are in the public domain. Whatever information you are referring to must be something brand new if it can’t even be Googled.

  7. Peter Houlihan says:

    Thank you for writing, and I’d like to see more egalitarian feminists on here.

    The trouble is that just as much as your feminist aims include men and campaigning for their rights there are many other feminists who don’t. Some of them think of gender as some kind of scales, and that if either side is privileged, they are privileged in every way and that the other side is oppressed in every way. Others think that men deliberately created this system in order to benefit them and oppress women. Others again think that men are the root of all evil and need to be wiped from the face of the planet.

    I might as well claim that no MRA hates women and we all work as hard for women’s rights as we do for men’s. Sounds good, but its just not true. There’s some real crazies out there calling themselves masculists just as there’s some absolute nutjob feminists. Acknowledging their existence is the first step towards dealing with them.

    • Peter, I don’t disagree with you. Where it becomes problematic is when we make sweeping generalizations – so if I were to say that men’s rights activists are misogynist and therefore should not be taken seriously, then I’m defining a group by those on the margins, and that’s not fair to the movement or to the people in it.

      And this is not directed toward you Peter, but I just received an email with a response from somebody, and I don’t have the time to sift through the comments to find it (my thesis draft is due Monday, and I really need to get it written). So somebody wanted to know about how feminism helps men. Here are a few examples:

      Feminist researchers were the first to draw attention to men’s health issues, and to the impact that some aspects of masculinity have on men’s health.
      Feminism has encouraged men’s role as father (this may be seen as a by-product of women entering the workforce and asking men to assume equal responsibility in the home, but I don’t see that as a negative thing)
      Feminist researchers are at the forefront of recognizing the constrictive nature of gender roles for males and females, and working toward eliminating these constraints, or finding ways to overcome these inhibiting gender roles
      Feminist researchers and psychologists are very concerned with differences in rates of mental disorders in men and women – some are higher in women, some higher in men – and in addressing the social issues that might be at issue in these discrepancies
      Feminists work alongside MRAs (those who are looking for equality) in their goals
      Many men feel that fathers who get divorced get the short end of the stick, but the reality is that most parents get the arrangements that they want (that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some who are treated unfairly, but making sweeping generalizations is unhelpful and ignores data)

      Now, I’ve made this response, and I’m sure there are going to be a number of reasons why it’s all wrong, why I’m a terrible feminist who hates men, but I’m offering what you asked, and the reason I’ve not been responding isn’t because I don’t want to engage in these conversations, but because I’m a graduate student, and responding here was taking up too much of my time, to the detriment of my coursework. I’m not shirking the conversation or my role in it.

      I have suggested to others that if they have these questions they ought to seek out the information, and there is a very specific reason I say that. I say that because if you really want to find this information, it is out there, and it is accessible. Those who really, genuinely are curious to know would go look such things up (I did provide a few references, previously), because as people we have a tendency to seek out information that maintains our worldviews and biases, and discard that which contradicts them. So it was actually my knowledge of psychology that led to my providing a starting point, but not to giving you all of the information that was asked for.

      And now I shall be silent again – not because I don’t care about this conversation, or don’t want to engage, but because I have deadlines to meet (and my thesis is yet unwritten).

      • “Feminist researchers were the first to draw attention to men’s health issues, and to the impact that some aspects of masculinity have on men’s health.”

        I haven’t seen any concern about men’s health from feminism. Feel free to point to a feminist group or organization’s website that has made men’s health a key agenda issue. What I have seen and continue to see from feminism is blanket criticism of and negativity toward maleness/masculinity.

        “Feminism has encouraged men’s role as father (this may be seen as a by-product of women entering the workforce and asking men to assume equal responsibility in the home, but I don’t see that as a negative thing).”

        I can point you to major feminist organizations that are anti-father’s rights. They want men to have more than equal responsibility but less than equal parental rights.

        “Feminist researchers are at the forefront of recognizing the constrictive nature of gender roles for males and females, and working toward eliminating these constraints, or finding ways to overcome these inhibiting gender roles.”

        Those are feminist concerns, not most men’s.

        “Feminist researchers and psychologists are very concerned with differences in rates of mental disorders in men and women – some are higher in women, some higher in men – and in addressing the social issues that might be at issue in these discrepancies.”

        I have only seen evidence of feminists having concern over differences based on their concern for women, not men.

        • I’ve answered what you’ve asked. I’m not sure if you have access to academic journals, but if so, I can provide you with a wealth of citations with which to explore the ways in which feminists has addressed these issues.

          I am a feminist, and I do all of these things. So you HAVE ‘seen’ feminists concerned with such matter. This brings me back to the fact that we often seek information that maintains our worldviews and biases to the detriment of taking in any other information which might not be congruent with your own beliefs.

          In addition to academic journal articles of feminist research, I am a feminist, and my current research is focused on health, with the goal of informing a biomedical model that more efficiently addresses health of males and females, specifically attending to reducing the gap in health information, knowledge, and behaviours in males.

          • “I can provide you with a wealth of citations with which to explore the ways in which feminists has addressed these issues.”

            No doubt, in their own ways that come of as anti-male, in the views of most men and most women.

            “I am a feminist, and I do all of these things.”

            I have no idea what you mean by “all of those things.” We’ve discussed a number of things. Further, we see these issues very differently. For example, the feminist version of equality and concern for men is usually very different from what men are concerned about, and how most men and women see issues. The feminist “patriarchy” theory is a good example of that.

            All I have ever seen or read from feminists about masculinity/maleness is criticism of it, blaming “male behavior” on a wide swath of social issues negatively affecting women in one way or another.

            • Instead of: “No doubt, in their own ways that come of as anti-male, in the views of most men and most women.”

              No doubt. Feminism has addressed these issues in ways that come off as anti-male in the view of most men and women.

            • You don’t seem interested in shedding your misconception of feminism (“No doubt, in their own ways that come off as anti-male…”). I’ve provided you with exactly the information you asked for. And now back to working on my thesis I go.

              • “You don’t seem interested in shedding your misconception of feminism.”

                I was hoping that you would provide factual information to support your arguments. If I have any misconceptions, factual data could easily prove it. However, all you’ve shared is your opinion that men dominate everything, have all the money, male behavior causes problems, etc.

                By the way, my perception of feminism is shared by the vast majority of women (and men), which is why most women reject being with it.

                • I offered to provide you with scholarly articles; you dismissed this with your statement, which is why I didn’t bother.

                  Feminism is largely misunderstood at the cultural level. I am aware that many women do eschew the term feminism. However, when you actually speak to these women and get down to their actual beliefs, it’s not feminism that they’re rejecting but the misapprehensions about feminism.

                  • “I offered to provide you with scholarly articles; you dismissed this with your statement,”

                    I did not dismiss the posting of any feminist scholarly articles that show true concern for males, for their sake, not based on how issues regarding them may affect females. Feel free to post any such links.

                    “Feminism is largely misunderstood at the cultural level.”

                    Women reject what they see and hear from feminists themselves. I personally respect the intelligence of women, and therefore don’t for a second believe that after decades of feminism’s existence that they are too dense or ignorant to understand it.

                    • I’ve not even remotely implied that women who reject feminism are ignorant. My experience has been that women often think they’re rejecting feminism, but when you sit down and converse about it, it’s actually the culturally held belief about what feminism is and how it functions that they’re balking at. Their ideas are congruent with feminist ideals of equality, and they’re often shocked to discover that feminism isn’t about burning bras or misandry.

                      Also, I don’t have links. As I mentioned, these are articles in scholarly journals. I can provide you a list of references, if you so desire.

                    • If they are not ignorant, why is there a need to “sit down and converse about it. . .?”

                      If you are not claiming they are ignorant, why are they subject to (according to you) a wrong “culturally held belief about what feminism is and how it functions. . .” That, in fact, claims that all of us (non-feminists) are ignorant. We need feminists to sit us down and explain to us how things really are, because after decades of historic evidence, we still can’t figure it out on our own.

                      Feminism is not new. It’s been around for decades. If feminism was about equality and absolutely rejected misandry, after all these decades, the evidence of that would be overwhelming and indisputable, clearly evident to women and men.

                    • This 2012. If there is evidence to support your argument, at least something to point to would be available on the Internet. It wouldn’t all be locked up in text books.

  8. Hello Jasmine,

    the way I see it, I would say there are three different kinds of feminists. We have the radicals, but there is no need to talk about them now (even though they kind of help to poison the well). We have the egalitarians and you seem to be a prime example of an egalitarian feminist with your stance on privilege and your view that there is a female privilege.

    Now, let me introduce you to gynocentric feminism -> http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/
    —————————————————————————
    Feminism: The advocacy of women`s rights on the grounds of sexual equality (OED)

    Given the historical and continued imbalance of power, where men as a class are privileged over women as a class (see male privilege), an important, but often overlooked, part of the term is that sexism is prejudice plus power. Thus feminists reject the notion that women can be sexist towards men because women lack the institutional power that men have.

    Don’t women have “female privilege”? Short answer: No, what is commonly called “female privilege” is better described as benevolent sexism.

    As to why feminism requires a distinct agenda within the equalist movements? The special and distinct problem of misogyny both oppressing and directly harming women, pure and simple. Unless misogyny is directly addressed and acted against, general equalist activism will not be enough.

    No one is saying that discussions on men and masculinities shouldn’t go on. It is absolutely important to have dialogue on men’s issues, including discussions on violence done towards men. The thing is, a feminist space — unless the topic is specifically men’s issues — is not the place to have that discussion and neither are spaces (feminist or otherwise) in which the topic is specifically focused on women’s issues.
    —————————————————————————

    The very same discussion you and Valter are having has happened many many times. The problem is mostly a misunderstanding. The feminist critical view is actually a critical view of “gynocentric feminism”. So he isn’t even talking about your kind of feminism, the egalitarian one.

    What always irks me is that often egalitarian feminists, the ones that say that feminist = egalitarianism, pretend that gynocentric feminists do not exist at all. It is mind boggling. Every time you read an article of Hugo Schwyzer or Marcotte here, that is a gynocentric feminist point of view. Every time a feminist makes sure to tell us that there really is just a tiny tiny tiny minority of male DV / rape victims and we should care for the real victims, that is a gynocentric feminist point of view. And there are quite a few places on the net that I would consider gynocentric. Among them, feministing, feministe, NOW, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Shakesville and quite a few more.

  9. empathologicalism says:

    The point where feminism went wrong was when they crossed over from attempting to rectify codified things, laws etc., and go forth with the mantra “though there is still mush to do” applying that to western society. Its crazy making, and no, there is nothing left to do except live a life of excellence, above reproach. I see feminism against things like attitudes and feelings, good luck, there will be bad actors with weird feelings, along with killers and theirs and rapists and hookers and you name it. You will not stamp out what you perceive as wrong thinking, just as racist thinking will never be stamped out and efforts to accomplish same foster same.

    What about women intentionally attracting attention saying “treat me right” is hard to understand as silly? In the micro, sure, be around folks that treat you right, in the macro, live a life of excellence above reproach, then see the benefits accrue. No one gets more liked by whining about intangible slights.

    Again, once the legal thresholds were breached and feminism entered the realm of policing peoples feelings and perceptions, it went wrong. Whats REALLY worse is that feminists would, if they could, attack intangibles like attitudes etc., though codified legal solutions, hence female superiority.

    This is gender science (cough) not rocket science

  10. Gee whiz, I wish I could retract that last post as both the mens sites listed DO allow women to speak.

    I done stepped into it in my vigor for mansplaining.
    Apologies given

  11. Jasmine, Joanna, Lori et all.

    I have a haven up specifically for you guys because I feel you’re doing your best to understand the other side.

    Please look up “Circle Of Fire” and go there. I’ll make sure a discussion between us is possible.

    Thank you.

  12. Mark Neil says:

    “I engage in activities that are meant to address issues men face, in addition to women’s issues,”

    Then it should be equal to provide examples? And I mean examples of addressing men’s issues, not just happening to improve things as a side effect of helping women. Furthermore, I ask if you believe your individual participation is sufficient to counteract opposition to men’s rights, such as from NOW’s President’s opposition to shared parenting http://www.nownys.org/fathers_resp.html (amongst other feminist organizations)
    Or explain Tory Shepard’s current attack on the men’s rights movement as extremists (http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/shepherd-mens-rights-extremists-go-online/story-fn34ojzj-1226240201714) while simultaneously (and hypocritically) promoting women and children first (http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/women-and-children-first-or-every-man-for-himself/), which clearly sends the message “men don’t matter” (men should be the ones to die in a shipwreck, but still aren’t allowed to complain about injustice while they live).

    Perhaps, too, you can explain why I have been called a misogynist every single time I have raised my concern over my Canadian government having a minister for the status of women and not one for men? A minister that has a mandate to be gender biased, and a budget to promote that mandate. A minister that has ministries, offices, councils and departments for women all throughout federal, provincial and municipal levels of government, never with an equivalent male counterpart. Why does my raising concern over this consistently raise feminist hackles and incur the inevitable accusations of woman-hater, lonely basement dweller, hurt angry man and threats I will never be loved by a woman with this attitude?

    “we’ve since arrived at common ground, it seems, on the issue of feminism”

    One might ask, is he still a masculinist, or was he required to give that up in conformity?

    “And perhaps the discussions of privilege were initially quite heavily focused on male privilege, and this felt like a sentence of guilt.”

    The issue has never been about examining male privilege, it is the utter failure to examine the responsibilities attached to those privileges, nor the privileges women experienced. It is the “only look at the good men get compared to the bad women get” that gets tiring. But worst still, is now people (MRA”s) are trying to point out these other factors, the responsibilities men endured and continue to endure without the corresponding privilege (eg: the legally enforced provider role without the corresponding paternal respect that came with it) and the privileges women have and continue to benefited from (the recent Costa Concordia has demonstrated the continued expectation that men should give up their lives for women they don’t even know, simply due to their gender), and the greatest opposition to these acknowledgements come from people (both men and women) who claim to be feminists (you can deny they are, but they or others can equally deny your idea of feminism. Given most feminist definitions specify it is for women only, true equality (which can’t be for women only) is not supported by those definitions).

    • Mark Neil says:

      “ Firstly, Woman ≠ Feminist”

      And yet, the number one accusation made against any man who speaks up for men’s rights outside of the feminist discourse, let alone is critical of feminism itself, is to call them a misogynist. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not justifying saying a woman should be assumed to be a feminist, or that any bad behavior or responses by/from women should be attributed to feminism. I don’t agree with this (Though, admittedly, my views of feminism are less critical then many other MRA’s, I’ll elaborate at the end**), but when a person (of ether gender) uses feminist rhetoric and/or theory to try and silence an MRA, I hold feminism accountable for this, ether by encouraging this behavior, or at the very least, failing to impress a more balanced, open-minded interpretation of those rhetoric/theories.

      “Some people have even suggested that because of the many goals of feminism, it is time to change the name. I disagree”

      I would be interested in reading an article that justifies naming an (allegedly) egalitarian movement for both sexes after the attributes of only one of them. Particularly when, even you have admitted, at least parts of that movement have been twisted into a supremacy movement.

      “feminism has grown into a movement that has accomplished great advancements in the status of women (although there is still work to be done), and has spread its reach to address inequalities of a number of marginalized and minority groups”
      I notice men aren’t amongst those listed who have benefited, despite your claims above.

      **my view of feminism is that feminism is a movement for the empowerment of women (and only women). To what degree (and this is where I deviate from many MRA’s) varies from feminist to feminist. Some are about only empowering women to the levels men have (but not disempowering them where they have advantage). A small subset of those actually agree with empowering men as well, but this is not a tenant of feminism, but rather, a side belief that happens to work in line for these individuals. Yet others believe in empowering women till they have everything they want and need. Others still want to go beyond that, empowering women into a totalitarian matriarchy. All of these different potentials have feminist activists that one can point to as examples, all of them fit under the definition I have interpreted the movement to be about. That is my biggest problem with your definition of “feminism is about egalitarianism”, not all (recognized) feminist fit that definition, yet they remain feminists, if your definition was correct, that couldn’t be.

  13. Perhaps this answer might help:

    1) Nobody denies that anti-male feminists exist. Only their number is under debate.
    2) There are no anti-woman feminists as that would be a contradiction in terms. It’s a logical impossibility.
    3) There are feminists who are genuinely for equality. Here too their number is not agreed upon.
    4) Irrespective of the numbers, there must be a general anti-male tendency on average because there are no anti-female feminists to balance them out.

    Hence, feminism is anti-male. The only thing left to argue about is the extent to which it’s anti-male. The radicals are of course far more vocal and active so their number might seem a lot greater than it is. The only way to really get an idea would be to study it.

    Even more interesting would be to find out if the percentage of sexist man haters is greater or smaller among feminists than it is among non-feminists.

    Just because YOU genuinely want equality (I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt) and call yourself a feminist, does not make the feminist movement about equality. And you being offended doesn’t change anything either.

    Even the terms “male privilege” or “patriarchy” undermine men’s human rights at the core by justifying counteraction in advance. Feminists almost never mention female privilege and often men are denied a voice in the equality discussion because of their male privilege. It’s even added that they’re not aware of their own privilege. The fact that the concept of “unaware privilege” works just as well on women has never been brought up by a feminist to my knowledge.

    • Adi:
      1) Nobody denies that anti-male feminists exist. Only their number is under debate.
      2) There are no anti-woman feminists as that would be a contradiction in terms. It’s a logical impossibility.

      Hold on based on the claims of many feminists the movement is about equality for all people. If that’s the case then wouldn’t anti-male feminists also be a contradiction in terms, also a logical impossibility?

      Even more interesting would be to find out if the percentage of sexist man haters is greater or smaller among feminists than it is among non-feminists.
      I recall about 2 years ago there was this study done that actually compared the anti-male sentiment of feminists and non-feminists. People on both sides were asked a series of questions about men and then the results were measured. Turns out it the study showed non-feminists showed more anti-male sentiment that feminists did. Oh they propped this study up like it was the vindicating proof to shut up all the nay sayers once and for all…..

      Until you looked at the study and saw that the sample size was a total of (meaning both sides combined before being divided into feminist/non-feminist camps) a little over 400 people.

      • ” If that’s the case then wouldn’t anti-male feminists also be a contradiction in terms, also a logical impossibility?”

        No, because the claim that feminism is for equality is just that – a claim. And also the truth of that claim is what we’re disputing so a contradiction must be possible. Meanwhile, the term “feminism” by itself implies a pro-female stance which makes anyone who identifies as feminist, by definition, not anti-female. The existence of one single anti-male feminist already tips the balance of the whole movement against men (though very slightly).

        The only thing open for dispute then is the extent to which feminism is anti-male. Just counting how many anti-male feminists there are is not enough as it depends on how active they are relative to the rest. It also depends on how many political and societal changes implemented are anti-male to some extent.

        I put forward that the very fact that a publicly funded ideology that calls itself “feminism” exists while its counterpart “masculinism” does not receive public funding (provided it even exists), is evidence that the whole society (and not just feminists) is anti-male.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I don’t mean this with any offense toward you, Adi, but your logic is off.

      If you don’t know the ratio between man-positive and man-negative feminists within the community, then you cannot come to any number in order to determine whether Feminism is “man positive” or “man negative”. If you could quantify it, perhaps you’d assign the man-negative members with a negative number and the man-positive with a positive, then at equal, you’d have a 0. I personally believe man-positive feminism is let’s say at 80%=8 of the population, and man-negative is at about 10%= -1 of the feminist population. That would land us at a 7.

      Thing is, you’re right, we can’t quantify it. And I’m going to regret this, but how the heck does “male privilege” undermine men’s human rights? By justifying counteraction? In what way? In what way am I trying to hurt you by pointing out privilege—especially if I speak of my privilege?

      And I know people have said this a BILLION times but I’m going to say it one time more:

      EVERYBODY had privilege. Every single person. Me, you, my kids, the gardener who mows my lawn, the waiter who made my coffee today. Privilege is ever-shifting, it is formless and borderless and changes based upon situations.

      If you deny you have any privilege, then you don’t understand the word.

      Here are my privileges:

      1. White
      2. Female
      3. Upper Middle Class
      4. Hetero
      5. Married
      6. Physically attractive (enough)
      7. Tall
      8. Blonde/Blue Eyed
      9. Thin
      10. College educated
      11. From a highly-educated family
      12. Have never been abused
      13. Employed
      14. A mother

      And that’s a short list. These things matter sometimes, other times they don’t. Sometimes these features actually make me have less privilege.

      Does having this many privileges make me a bad person? No. They are out of my control, for the most part.

      And I am a pro-man feminist. I wish to advance men’s causes (otherwise why would I be a contributing editor at GMP?) as well as women’s causes, but most I want to discuss gender and how it is at play in society.

      Feminism is neither pro-man or anti-man. It is merely pro-women. It is not a zero-sum game. When I advance in my job, I am not hurting you. I am not asking for you to give up anything. If you can come up with any way in which my job as a copywriter for a product development company harms men, go for it. But my grandmother would not have had this opportunity because this was a man’s job in her time.

      My grandmother was fired from her job as a teacher because she was a woman in the Great Depression. They had a policy that was totally legal wherein men were hired and women were fired, because they didn’t feel women needed the jobs.

      My grandmother, great aunts, mother and aunts were a part of the women’s movement because they wanted the future generations to not be fired based upon sex. That is what I believe too.

      Tell me how that hurts you? I’m not asking for men to be fired to make room for women. I’m asking for them to have an equal chance.

      • Schrodinger's Rapist says:

        “Tell me how that hurts you? I’m not asking for men to be fired to make room for women. I’m asking for them to have an equal chance.”

        Out of the 7 resume’s I have forwarded in the past 2 months to people in charge of hiring for my field (all men), 5 were returned with the recipient saying their company had an internal hiring quota and could only higher men once their female ratio was back up.

        I am routinely told that my accomplishments at work “would be so much more meaningful if only I were a woman” by my boss (who is male)

        I have missed a particular highly touted conference within my field 6 times because I have been unable to afford going. All 12 of my female co workers have been twice, each, due to contests and incentives that allow women in to attend for free.

        I have had a previous female co worker tell me in confidence that the sexual misconduct and subsequent dismissal case of another male college of mine “was funny to her, because she made the whole thing up and nobody checked her story”

        I have been told by a superior at a previous job that I should not feel bad for not getting assigned to a project I prepared for over a year because “there were only 3 slots and if we needed 3 women to balance things”. I was then told to train 2 of the 3 because of their lack of experience with the subject shortly after.

        I have had 2 speaking engagements canceled and my previously provided travel expenses retracted at the cost of self paid cancellation fees because a woman responded to a CFP after I did and they wanted to attract more woman speakers.

        … Many feminists say instances such as these are not the intent of feminism. They claim that feminism does not seek to cause these ugly indiscretions. But even though I believe that, to say that feminism is not used to hurt men is something I simply do not believe.

        • Wow, that is terrible. Quotas seem sketchy to me, especially in some industries where they cannot get women to goto. Do they at least wait say 1 month and then hire a man if there are no female applicants?

          I don’t agree at all that women should get their conferences paid for whilst men foot the bill if it’s required for work, why put a man out just to get women ahead? He’s paid his dues and worked hard too, send them both, especially if 1 gender has been twice and the other hasn’t been once.

          I found it interesting to here the quota system is starting to work for men and people were up in arms about it because universities became female majority and men could use the assistance to get in.

      • Hi Joanna,
        first of all, I would never be offended by you pointing out flaws in my reasoning. In fact I appreciate it.

        Now to your point:

        You bring up man-positive feminists vs man-negative feminists and make a convincing case that, so long as we don’t know the number, we cannot tell from that how anti-male (or not) feminism is. That is correct, only I didn’t attempt to make that judgement. You left out an important (probably much bigger) portion of feminists: namely the woman-positive and woman-negative feminists. Now lets look at the four types of feminists in those terms:

        1) man-positive
        2) man negative
        3) woman-positive
        4) woman negative

        Number four cannot be feminists because, like I said above, that would be a contradiction (though I used the wording “anti-female” – if you don’t approve of the change in terminology, then feel free to revert to my original terminology). All others can and do exist. Nobody disputes their existence and we can easily find examples of all three. So this leaves us with the following possible descriptions of a feminist

        1) man-positive
        2) man negative
        3) woman-positive

        As you can see, there is no woman-negative but there definitely is a man-negative. This, irrespective of how many there are of each, makes feminism man-negative. What we don’t know is how much.

        Now, it is of course more complicated. For example, groups 1 and 2 cannot intersect, while both can and do intersect with group 3. Also, you might argue that man-positive ‘neutralizes’ man-negative but this ignores the nature of activism and public attention (negative always gets more attention than positive). The very fact that man-negative is discussed as a possibility at all amongst feminist makes it man-negative (just as anti-racist activists discussing black-negative as a possibility) group on the whole.

        Probably the largest group of feminists are those who belong to group 3 but neither to group 1 or 2. They are simply not concerned with men at all. They neither want to help nor harm men. But this, one could say, by itself makes them man-negatve. Simplified, this is as if you only try to balance a scale by adding weight to one side. You’re inevitably heading for that side to become too heavy and since anyone older than three can see that result, the ultimate goal of that approach must also be man-negative – even if not directly stated.

        Now you could argue that it isn’t like a scale, and one side doing better doesn’t mean the other will do worse. True, but this very notion is precisely what feminism uses and has used repeatedly. Numbers are always pitted against each other – take the pay gap, the political representation, the victims of rape etc. It’s always men vs women at the heart of the matter. Never do you hear feminists adding that, men earning more might be beneficial to women – perhaps more beneficial than women averagely earning more.

        So gender not being zero-sum game doesn’t hold so long as feminists use zero-sum in their own activism.

        Now to your other questions:

        “how the heck does “male privilege” undermine men’s human rights? By justifying counteraction? In what way? In what way am I trying to hurt you by pointing out privilege—especially if I speak of my privilege?”

        I’ll answer by giving an example which is representative as it is very typical:
        In my country, we have “equality representatives” on a political as well as institutional level. In all cases, men cannot vote such a representative – neither can they be elected to such an office. When I talked to one, pointing out the hypocrisy of such a law, she justified it with the existence of male privilege. In other words, denying men a voice in equality because of their genitalia was a counteraction of male privilege. There is no such counteraction of female privilege as this is publicly not recognized to exist – at least not by feminists ore equality representatives.

        That is one example of how the term “male privilege” hurts men.

        “And I know people have said this a BILLION times but I’m going to say it one time more:
        EVERYBODY had privilege. Every single person. Me, you, my kids, the gardener who mows my lawn, the waiter who made my coffee today. Privilege is ever-shifting, it is formless and borderless and changes based upon situations.”

        Exactly! And your list isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, there is no particular reason to draw a line through the middle of the entire population, sort them out by their genitalia and declare one side universally privileged. That is exactly what the concept of male privilege, as it is used by feminists, does however.

        I’ll give you another example:
        Men might have an easier time becoming CEOs than women on average. But this is not true for men who get discriminated against themselves (transvestites, short men, bald men, black men etc) So trying to counter that overall gender balance with women’s quota, make it EVEN HARDER for those men who are already discriminated against. Such laws are almost universally supported by feminists though.

        “When I advance in my job, I am not hurting you. I am not asking for you to give up anything.”
        That depends on your job and how you got it. My friend was denied a position in a university because they specifically wanted a woman in that position. She advanced literally at his expense. They openly said they wanted a woman because they’d get more public funding.

      • Hey Joanna,
        I had read before that women were fired during the great depression, but I thought this was only in male-type jobs (like factory settings). I didn’t realize this even trickled down to female “safe” jobs like teacher.
        I’m not trying to nitpick, or deny that this was sexism or oppression, but in some ways this was somewhat defensible.

        You have to remember that during the great depression there was little social net, and homelessness was rampant. When women worked it was (somewhat correctly) seen as a superflous income for her. In a time where many families had no income and were homeless as a result of it, it was logical to say that a single woman was keeping another family from having any income at all. If she was married, then that family was stacking up two incomes and (for lack of a better term) reveling in excess, while another family starved.

        In the past (especially the first part of last century) both sexes were harshly oppressed with very restrictive gender roles. This is the view I adopt, compared to the patriarchy theory which says all women were horribly oppressed and men all had it peachy (or at least the majority of men had it better than the majority of women).

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Yes, but even if that were justifiable for *some* women, as their incomes were superfluous, but the problem with these en masse firings of women is that you never knew what a woman’s income was for or her situation. There could be a man working whose family had tons of money, and there could be a widow working to feed her children, or a daughter whose father is out of work.

          Systematic oppression ignores individual stories, and therefore individual rights. Gender equality or nothing.

          • Peter Houlihan says:

            I’m sure there’s plenty of examples of individual suffering cause by such decisions. But they were desperate measures for desperate times. I’m sure if it had been possible to micro-manage such rules to ensure only the women who didn’t need jobs were fired they would have. I don’t think its any accident that the most “patriarchal” societies are usually the most threatened ones and I find it hard to conceive of gender roles as anything more than a survival tactic.

        • Patriarchy doesn’t suggest that all women are oppressed and men are not. It recognizes that power lies in the hands of few men, and that privilege of those over whom this power is held is transient. It varies on when and how we experience privilege and oppression. And it is certainly not theorized to be a phenomenon experienced only by women!

          • Just to amend that, it’s not to say that those who are oppressors are only men; there are some women in positions of power. As a social constructionist, discussions of power are really complicated, because I want to convey my thoughts in a manner accessible to all, but it’s a highly convoluted relationship. Power is transient, and it functions through complicity. Patriarchy isn’t about individuals (which means that no, we’re not blaming men or excluding men from discussions of oppression); it’s an institution.

          • Power does not only reside in the hands of “few men.” Hence, the feminist patriarchy theory is wrong. There are plenty of women with power, and many women have more power than men, increasingly so now. For example, in the United States, there are more women managers than men. Women have lower employment, are victims of crime and murder less often, and receive better and more education.

            Hence, the feminist term “patriarchy” and how it is applied is wrong and misplaced; hence, it is just an attack on maleness.

            • That statement belies a misunderstanding of what is meant by power. As I said, it’s a really complicated theory, and it’s hard to convey it so as to be accessible. I think you’re thinking of privilege, not power.

              I did mention that there are women who hold positions of power. However, I also mentioned that power inherently possesses a component of complicity. Patriarchy isn’t about accusing individual men of holding and wielding power; it is referencing an institution. Government is dominated by men; CEOs are predominantly men; those who hold a vast preponderance of a nation’s wealth are men. This isn’t to say that men are wielding power; power is institutional. Which is why I alluded to the transiency of privilege. It is not at all an attack on maleness. The term patriarchy has nothing to do with individual human beings, or individual men.

              • ”I think you’re thinking of privilege, not power.”

                I quoted you using “power”, not privilege, and thus responded to that. Managers have more power than subordinates. The employed have more power than the unemployed. The educated often have more power than the un- or less-educated. (you know, the “knowledge is power” thing). There are millions of women with more power than men in those areas.

                “Patriarchy isn’t about accusing individual men of holding and wielding power; it is referencing an institution.”

                Who is in charge of this institution? Why is it called patriarchy not matriarchy?

                “Government is dominated by men;”

                Not true. Women are the majority of voters. Hence, women, not men choose who is in government. Secondly, women are elected at the rate that they run for office. So, women dominate who is in government by a) running relatively seldom, and b) voting more often for men.

                “CEOs are predominantly men.”

                And, there are very few CEOs but there are hundreds of thousands of managers, where women not dominate. Also, anyone can be a CEO. I am a CEO because I started my own company. There is no sex/gender test.

                “Those who hold a vast preponderance of a nation’s wealth are men.”

                Again, not true. Women spend as much or more money than men, even if they don’t earn it all. Very few unmarried men have extraordinary wealth. One thing is that revealing about feminism is its blanket generalizations about males. For example, very few men are in government, very few men are CEOs, and very few single men are extraordinarily wealthy. Yet, they cite these things as relevant, as if they applied to all men.

                “It is not at all an attack on maleness. The term patriarchy has nothing to do with individual human beings, or individual men.”

                It is just another attack on maleness because it fails to acknowledge that those things are irrelevant in the lives of average men. If patriarchy did not have everything to do with criticizing males, feminists would have chosen a gender-neutral term.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      Adi, sorry, but that doesn’t work. You’ve used your axiom of some elements of a group having one characteristic to prove that all of the group shares that characteristic.

      By your logic you and I, as MRAs, are misogynistic because some MRAs are.

  14. Hey Jody, you know when i first realized “feminism” was a crock? It was my Eighth grade year when my classmate, we’ll call her “Katie,” Was given an A for her (completely unironic) report entitled “Why Girls are Smarter Than Boys.” I, of course, objected to this characterization of the male gender as sexist. You know what I got for my trouble? Detention.

    My teacher was a feminist. She talked all the time about “patriarchy” and “rape culture” and the rest of that crap. I knew something was wrong about what she was teaching us, but I didnt say anything because I figured… well, she’sa the teacher, after all. That and basically every teacher in our school was a woman. Except one, i think.

    She also had us read feminist articles. So yeah, i have actually read a feminist article in my lifetime.

    • Also, speaking of reading feminist articles… do you know how many so-called “feminists” I’ve encountered who don’t even know who Andrea Dworkin, Mary Daly, or bell hooks even *are*? They’re only peripherally aware of the likes of say Gloria Steinem either.

      I guess it’s sorta like the atheist who knows what the Bible actually *says* better than the Christian.

  15. Feminism is a man-hating movement – and if not, feminists have to hurry to distance themselves from people like late Valerie Solanas and her admirers, but as far as I can see this is not the case.

    I wonder how Jasmine justifies the feminist ideology of Valerie Solanas and the supportive statements of NOW and similar feminist organizations, which consider a convicted violent criminal as a ‘heroine of the feminist movement’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Solanas

    After murder attempt
    According to Robert Marmorstein in 1968, “[s]he has dedicated the remainder of her life to the avowed purpose of eliminating every single male from the face of the earth.”[37] Feminist Robin Morgan (later editor of Ms. magazine) demonstrated for Solanas’s release from prison. Ti-Grace Atkinson, the New York chapter president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), described Solanas as “the first outstanding champion of women’s rights”[15][38] and as “a ‘heroine’ of the feminist movement”,[39][40] and “smuggled [her manifesto] … out of the mental hospital where Solanas was confined.”[39][40] Another NOW member, Florynce Kennedy, called her “one of the most important spokeswomen of the feminist movement.”[20][38] Norman Mailer called her the “Robespierre of feminism.”[15]

  16. Most feminists are good people. feminism is twisted and biased. Both of these can be true at the same time. I am not saying feminists are sexist i am saying that feminism itself is biased and relies on assumptions that aren’t true. Anyone who challenges those assumptions is silenced. I have seen this happen. Most feminists don’t understand that the assumptions they base their politics on is biased. This is why feminism is biased. Any challenge to the basic tenents of feminism is dismissed.

    Feminism posits the belief that men in power benefits men. It doesn’t both men and women regard men as disposable. Its why conscription of men is fine its why men dying doing dangerous work is regarded as of no consequence.
    In political terms there is no gender battle. Class is FAR MORE IMPORTANT. The only people who once given power benefit one gender over another is feminism. MRAs don’t have power.

    This is a fundamental aspect of feminism that isn’t true. Men in power doesn’t advantage men. Let me repeat that MEN IN POWER DOES NOT ADVANTAGE MEN. Rich people in power advantage rich people. That is true.

    • John Anderson says:

      The most dangerous aspect of feminism is its’ credibility. Feminism has done some much good in the past that it is deserving of its’ status as standard bearer in the gender equality movement. Consider the highly gendered FBI definition of rape pushed by many feminist organizations. It excludes nearly all female perpetrated instances of rape, even against females. I think feminist leaders did this for political purposes (and maybe some misandry. I’m not completely ruling out the possibility) and used this credibility and women’s justifiable fear of rape to convince over 100,000 people that this is what the definition of rape should be.

      In feminist speak in the arena of gender equality, feminists are privileged. Label yourself a feminist and many people will believe you favor gender equality. When feminists complain about MRAs attacking feminism, they don’t realize that MRAs are attempting to tear down the matriarchal structure that allows specific feminists to take anti-male positions and claim to do so in the name of gender equality. We need to get rid of the feminist equals good mentality and hold people and organizations accountable for what they do and organization in particular for what they don’t do.

      I’ve seen that in my master’s class. I’m sure most if the people at the start of the program would have identified as feminist. They were unaware of the gender gap in education and didn’t see it as a problem when initially informed, even with 70% of the class female. They wouldn’t acknowledge that men could face institutional bias in nursing school because all institutions were patriarchal. I spoke out under intense opposition. Many people are reluctant to give up their beliefs. I showed them proof and the attitudes started shifting.

      People started talking about discrimination against men in nursing. An instructor was shocked into silence when she asked the class if women were under represented in higher education and got a unanimous no. Two women even took on addressing the gender gap as a class project. Feminists are people and most people believe in fairness and justice. I believe that most feminists are decent people and that there is a lot of common ground between feminism and the men’s rights movement.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        “I believe that most feminists are decent people and that there is a lot of common ground between feminism and the men’s rights movement.”

        This!

  17. David Byron says:

    Thanks to Jasmine for responding to all the comments and so on. I know how frustrating and difficult it can be to do that from my time on traditional feminist boards.

  18. Jasmine says:
    January 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    ….. I’m not intending to be dismissive. I’m suggesting that rather than attacking feminism, listen to what the person is saying.

    It would be good for you to check out what moderators of feminist websites are usually doing when receiving any comment – even those perfectly polite and constructive written – from MRAs.

    Those comments will be immediately deleted and the user banned.

    Feminist websites are mostly attacked for their ignorance and arrogance against any comment from men, reasonable or not, because they do not want to acknowledge that men have problems too.

    I recommend you to try it out and tell your feminist sisters and brothers to listen what men are saying, even if the comment is MRA-related stuff. – I wonder what reply you will receive from them…

  19. Jody says:
    January 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm
    Where did people first feel feminism is bad?

    I think, it was in this moment where feminists started to demand special privileges and rights, because ‘women are different’. – It’s about men and women are equal, but we women are even a little bit more equal than you men…

  20. The male patriarchal society and porn culture has been responsible for the witch hunt against feminism. Now it is a dirty word, discarded, a joke, a caricature. Where did people first feel feminism is bad? Where did the idea form in the male mind? Can they even pinpoint a point? Many feminist haters haven’t read a feminist article in their entire life. Where oh where do these ideas come from? I can see why those who have to live with a false stigma would want to run instead of standing for truth and justice. If they’re that weak minded then let them go…

    • “The male patriarchal society and porn culture has been responsible for the witch hunt against feminism. Now it is a dirty word, discarded, a joke, a caricature. Where did people first feel feminism is bad? Where did the idea form in the male mind? Can they even pinpoint a point? Many feminist haters haven’t read a feminist article in their entire life. Where oh where do these ideas come from? I can see why those who have to live with a false stigma would want to run instead of standing for truth and justice. If they’re that weak minded then let them go…”
      I read one the other day that talked about male victims of sexual abuse by females whilst saying only men can stop rape. If you can work that logic out, let me know.

    • The male patriarchal society and porn culture has been responsible for the witch hunt against feminism. Now it is a dirty word, discarded, a joke, a caricature. <
      That’s not the entire case and only a person that thinks feminism is a perfect picnic of sunshine and rainbows would think that.

      Where did people first feel feminism is bad?
      Truthfully I used to buy into some of the media hype. Then I started interacting with actual feminists to give them a fair chance. That’s when I learned that media hype wasn’t wrong, it was just unfairly generalizing about the nastiness of some of the folks in that movement.

      Where did the idea form in the male mind?
      In my male mind it formed after coming across feminists that fit some of the stereotypes I had heard, and some were worse than that even. And how did I learn this? Same as above.

      Can they even pinpoint a point?
      Yes.

      Many feminist haters haven’t read a feminist article in their entire life.
      You got proof of that?

      Where oh where do these ideas come from?
      Like I said above. A mixture of myth and learning that the myth has basis in truth.

      In short there’s no need to act like feminism as a whole is entirely innocent in the bad image it currently has. Its certainly wrong to generalize all members that way but let’s not act like none of them act this way.

    • Feminism is responsible for its own reputation. After several decades, if feminism truly was about fairness and equality, there would be abundant evidence to prove it. There isn’t. I have asked repeatedly for evidence of feminism being an equality movement, and all I have ever been given are repeated unsubstantiated claims. By contrast, there is plenty of evidence of feminism being anti-male, including here.

      • Eric M. says:
        January 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm
        Feminism is responsible for its own reputation. After several decades, if feminism truly was about fairness and equality, there would be abundant evidence to prove it.

        In Europe for sure, feminism has nothing to do with ‘equality’. Feminism is used to create so-called ‘gender-neutral laws’ which benefit mostly women.

        Obligatory military service – for men only – comes to my mind. But also regulations about alimony which makes it possible for females to claim support even 40 years after divorce from the ex-husband, guidelines to sentence female criminals who are getting away with lenient sentences, different retirement age but receiving the same retirement allowance despite working at least 5 years less than men, quota regulations for female CEO despite missing qualification, prostitution laws, which allow to sell sex but make it a crime to buy sex, child-support for the mother even if she is in jail using the money for something else and the children are living with their father and so and so on….

    • David Byron says:

      I can see you will be very popular here Jody 🙂
      Welcome.

    • John Anderson says:

      Well Jodi, it could possibly be from these posts concerning male rape victims.

      http://subterfusex.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/hes-asking-for-it/

      http://www.feminisms.org/386/can-a-man-be-raped-by-a-woman/

      http://thecurvature.com/2010/10/29/justice-department-repot-on-sexual-assault-in-juvenile-detention-minimizes-violence/

      Unfortunately they took down the first example, but the post was about the “silver lining” surrounding the rape of men. It argued that as more men got raped, men would take rape more seriously. The second post the author minimizes male rape victims as suffering less. The third one was an excellent post, but the only comment was essentially rape apology. I didn’t see comment calling her out, even the author, nor did I see comments in support of the author’s suggestion to end cross gender supervision. It is unknown whether the author would have only suggested ending cross gender supervision of girls if the numbers were reversed. Does that mean that feminists care more for the employment rights of women than preventing the sexual abuse of boys? In the first post, the author retracts her post later, but she states that she tried to say what toysoldier said, but failed. MRAs know that she didn’t try to say what toysoldier said. That statement was untrue. If she said I was wrong and now agree with toysolder or something to that effect, the MRAs shouldn’t be that hard on her. In the second post, the author doesn’t completely retract her theory.

      Note: the first post was actually reviewed by feminist editors of the site and still got posted.

    • John Anderson says:

      Sorry Jody, I misspelled your name. They could have also got it from the change in the definition of rape pushed by feminists, which granted is an improvement over the old definition and I may be just a bit too cynical, but did anyone else notice that it specifically exempts the vast number of female perpetrators.

      Mew definition

      Penetration no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by the sex organ of another person without the consent of the victim.

      It seems that a woman who rapes a man with her vagina or forces him to perform oral sex on her or if she performs oral sex on him, is exempted because he has penetrated her and not the other way around.

      So how did the feminists react to this? Did they view this as a step to victory? Let’s look at the quotes.

      “Now that we have accurate data, we need resources appropriately allocated to fight this hideous crime”, said Carol Tracy Women’s Law Project Executive Director.

      http://www.womenslawproject.org/press/PR_FBI_Mueller_ChangesRapeDef.pdf

      Eleanor Smeal, the Foundation’s president, said: ‘It’s a great victory. This new definition will mean that, at long last, we will begin to see the full scope of this horrific violence, and that understanding will carry through to increased attention and resources for prevention and action.’

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070956/Womens-rights-advocates-hail-FBIs-new-definition-rape.html

      In an article in The Hill on Monday, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) wrote: ‘In the coming months, we face a tough fight to preserve funding for critical programs that aid victims and help put their
      assailants behind bars.

      ‘The UCR data plays a key role in the allocation of vital resources for prevention, treatment and enforcement.

      ‘With so much hanging in the balance, it is imperative that the FBI move swiftly to adopt the proposed changes.

      ‘By taking this simple step and updating the Bureau’s definition to include all types of rape, we can make a real difference in the fight against this horrific crime.’

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070956/Womens-rights-advocates-hail-FBIs-new-definition-rape.html

      Doesn’t look like accurate information, the full scope or all types of rapes to me. Jody, you think this could be another reason?

      • I wrote an article on the redefinition of rape and how it excludes men as victims of females; not all feminists overlooked the work that still needs to be done, and those victims excluded by this redefinition.

        And I am a feminist. Advocating for men’s rights and addressing issues that affect men are feminist issues.

    • “Where did people first feel feminism is bad? Where did the idea form in the male mind? Can they even pinpoint a point?”

      For me, it started when a now ex-friend of mine said she became a feminist and wanted to be referred to, in print, as a “womyn” since “woman” has “man” in it, which she found offensive.

      Now where, oh where is the “patriarchal society and porn culture” in that, hmm? Can you even pinpoint it?

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      So valerie solonas was patriarchal misdirection?

      I think it would be more honest for feminists to acknowledge their demons, even if only as a first step towards exorcising them. There are examples of men and women (porn obsessed or otherwise) unjustly dismissing feminist arguments in the name of religion, conservatism or whatever you may care to mention. But there’s also plenty of examples of people who call themselves feminists who claim that I am, by my very nature, a murderer and a rapist.

      Their arguments deserve dismissal, by feminists and non-feminists alike. The failure of the feminist movement to come out in strength against misandry (and in some instances mysogeny) within feminism implies support, and is a major reason for the blackening of feminism’s name.

      • Mark Neil says:

        I think it goes further than that. Christina Hoff Summers is a (self defined) feminist that does just what you are suggesting. She is critical of the negative elements within feminism, and calls for it’s “exorcism” (as you say), and for feminists to take up men’s issues as being as serious as women’s issues. For this, she is defined as anti-feminists by feminists themselves. She is openly ejected from the movement by other feminists, yet the radical supremacy type feminist only get dismissed as unimportant or “not-all-feminists-are-like-that”, but remain acknowledged as feminists. Radical feminists, but feminists none the less.

        So one must ask, why then are the equality driven feminists the ones being ejected (successfully or not, it is the attempt to do so I am addressing) and not the supremacists?

  21. If one doesn’t/can’t see the anti-male and misandristic attitudes, theories, and views that are common within feminism apparently is in agreement with them. There are thousands of examples of such right here in comments and articles, including, for example, the many claims that all men are somehow complicit in rape, and that virtually all married men are rapists of their own wives (Accidental Rapist).

  22. Jasmine, to be fair, you seem like a good person and sound like you are coming from a good place.

    I just think you have bought into an image of feminism the same way many people in my neck of the woods were pushed into christianty from a young age.

    There is a certain level of denial that we all have to move past when we discover that something dear to us isn’t what we thought it was. Feminism isn’t the champion of justice and equality that we all believed it to be, but we can take those values of equality we believed in and use them just the same.

    Which is why I still don’t get why you want to be known as a feminist. You CAN support equal rights without being linked to misandry and hate, which lends much more credibility to your opinions as far as most people are concerned.

    • I’ve stated elsewhere why I identify, and will continue to identify, as a feminist, regardless of the vitriol levied at me for it. I have not bought into an image of feminism; I am immersed in the movement. I think that I could say the same to you – that you have bought into an image of feminism that is not voracious. Feminism is not synonymous with misandry. That would be like me asking why any man would want to identify as MRA, why they would want to be linked to misogyny and hate. (I don’t think this; I’m illustrating my point). And that’s where the danger in defining a group through generalizations becomes dangerous. You have a feminist before you extrapolating on my ideas of egalitarianism and equality, and people insist that I cannot exist. I tell you that I can, and I do, and I will not be defined by the actions of a few.

      Someone else asked me to direct them to feminist websites – I don’t spend my time on feminist websites, so I couldn’t direct you to one. My experience of feminism comes from interactions with real live human beings. Which is why I’ve made the comment elsewhere that I’m beginning to suspect that online feminism is where all of the anti-male feminists seem to be hiding out (given the perceptions of feminism that have stemmed from this, and other, posts).

      • *Veracious. Must remember to edit my comments BEFORE posting!

      • Mark Neil says:

        ” Feminism is not synonymous with misandry. ”

        Now I personally will agree with you on this one, contrary to many MRA’s and others. That said, feminism is not synonymous with equality ether, as you posit. The one consistent factor found throughout all types of feminism is the drive for female empowerment. This is not to say one can not also have a drive for male empowerment. Or that this drive for female empowerment is to be taken to any drastic or unreasonable level, though for some feminists it very well could. But it must be acknowledged that ensuring the male place in equality is in no way a part of feminism. Many have argued this point, so I shall simply leave you with a question: Solanas (of SCUM manifesto) is typically referred to as a radical feminist, but still a feminist none the less… How does she embody and promote the feminist ideal of equality for all, man and woman? Remember, if feminism is about equality, then it should be a consistent ideal throughout all who call themselves feminists. And if you don’t like Solanas, feel free to pick any number of other radical or dedicated gender feminists. Please explain how these feminists can not only not embody the very core of feminism as you define it, but actually run counter to it, and still remain feminists?

  23. Why not list some websites featuring self proclaimed feminists who share your brand of feminism? I think this would be much more helpful than constantly saying so many commenters here are wrong in what they’re telling you about feminism.

  24. Isn’t it nice that at the same time Jasmine is saying that feminists do like men, do listen to men, and are concerned about the rights of men, she’s dismissing every point men make and ignoring the evidence we present to back up our claims as ‘anecdotes’?

    On one hand, I can understand her staunch, knee-jerk defensiveness. She’s seeing feminism attacked and feels attacked herself since she considers herself a feminist. It’s only natural to defend yourself when attacked. But in doing so, she’s doing exactly what she’s claiming feminists don’t do.

    • I am listening. And I’ve been very adamant about honouring the stories that have been brought forth. I have acknowledged repeatedly that I lament that anyone has been subjected to any such treatment by any human being, whether it be woman, feminist, men, or MRA. I’m not intending to be dismissive. I’m suggesting that rather than attacking feminism, listen to what the person is saying. I make assertions about my position on equality and all people seem to be hearing is “She’s a feminist. She’s a feminist”. Yes. I am. And that means I respect all human beings, and work toward equality for everyone.

      I’ve been very clear, I believe, that I don’t condone in any way the oppression of men. But at the same time, I will not be told that simply because I identify as feminist, I am an oppressor of males. I am talking about feminism as I know and practice it, to elucidate that the feminism that men have come for fear isn’t the only, or even the most pervasive, face of feminism.

      • “I’ve been very clear, I believe, that I don’t condone in any way the oppression of men. But at the same time, I will not be told that simply because I identify as feminist, I am an oppressor of males. I am talking about feminism as I know and practice it, to elucidate that the feminism that men have come for fear isn’t the only, or even the most pervasive, face of feminism.”

        And we have been very clear too…don’t just tell us…SHOW us.

        We aren’t simply telling you we think feminism is a bad thing, we’re SHOWING you WHY we think feminism is a bad thing. If you’d really like to bring your point home, SHOW US where feminists are doing something positive for men. SHOW US why you think feminism isn’t as bad as we’re saying.

        Are feminists working to make women-only colleges in America co-ed with the same fervor they did with men-only colleges? Are they working to disprove the notion that sexual assault or domestic violence is more than just male-perpetrator/female-victim? Where is the feminist boycott on The Talk where a great time was had joking about Catherine Becker drugging and mutilating her husband because he wanted a divorce? Where is the feminist denunciation of New York City banning men from playgrounds because of their perceived danger to children? Or British Air banning men from sitting next to children for the same reason? Show us where feminists in Germany are standing up against the ridiculous campaign to ban urinals because men standing to pee is “triumphing in his masculinity”, a “nasty macho gesture” and “degrading to women”. Show us a followup on the story I presented where feminists in Sweden are trying to get affirmative action reinstated because men being left behind in education is a bad thing.

        If you could do that, it would go a long way to prove your point.

        • LBC, it will be a cold day in hell when Jasmine responds to your points with specific examples and citations. She made it quite clear in an earlier post that she feels she has no responsibility to engage in evidence-based argumentation, merely assertion-based argumentation, leaving it to those of us who disagree with her to come up with the evidence to prove her point, or search in vain for a long, long time.

          Lisa, I hate to say it, but I think you’ve been the victim of a con.

      • wavevector says:

        > But at the same time, I will not be told that simply because I identify as feminist, I am an oppressor of males.

        I don’t think anyone is saying that *you* personally are an oppressor of males. It’s not personal! We think it’s nice that you are so egalitarian, but we don’t think that represents certain feminists that we oppose – the ones who are the anti-male, pro-female variety.

        What I and others would like from you is an acknowledgement that there is indeed this anti-male aspect of feminism, that it is often found in the politically powerful feminist organizations, and that it’s a problem. Because your denials make you appear either uninformed or an apologist for injustice. (That last bit is a personal criticism.) I am sure you don’t want to be an apologist for injustice, but that’s what you are as long as you deny or remain ignorant of the deficiencies of the feminist movement.

  25. I am a feminist. Make no mistake about that. Leading feminists do not blame ALL men. Slutwalk isn’t about blaming men in the slightest. It’s about stopping victim blaming. I have worked with victims of sexual assault, and I have seen victim blaming. It is harmful and hurtful, but addressing this issue is not at all the same as blaming men. Women blame victims just as much as men blame victims. Slutwalk is about addressing the culture that allows such victim blaming.

    Feminist literature is NOT directed at blaming, denigrating, demeaning, or otherwise disadvantaging men. Perhaps some of the feminist literature has, but it seems to me you’re reading a selective bit of literature. I’ve got an entire feminist bookshelf, and it does not house books that promote male-bashing or inequality for men. Not one of them. So I’m also reading a selective bit of feminist literature – that which promotes equality for everyone. And it does exist.

    Instead of blaming feminism, or women, it might be fruitful to listen to a woman who is a feminist saying that feminist can be and are allies of men and men’s rights, and take them to task, instead of spending so much time and energy trying to tell them they are somehow not at all doing just that. It would be more productive.

    • DavidByron says:

      You seem to be certain there’s no anti-male sentiment in the feminism you know. Do you think you are as good at spotting anti-male sentiment as a men’s rights advocate would be?

      If some minority group came to you and tried to explain that some of what you were doing was prejudicial against the disabled or whatever, would you react by angrily saying they were wrong? Would you insist that there was no such prejudice in anything you or your friends did?

  26. Jasmine: I refuse to take on the guilt of what others have done just as I don’t expect men to take on the guilt of things other men have done.

    In this case you cannot consider yourself to be a feminist anymore.

    Leading feminists consider all men guilty and organize large campaigns to blame ALL men.
    This might be for ‘rape’ or otherwise violence, see slutwalk in USA, white ribbon actions in Australia up to even demanding a men’s tax (because men are more violent than women) in Sweden.

    Feminist literature was always directed against all men regardless their race, age, income… even against boys and old or sick men.

    I do not recall any case, where feminists were acting quickly, actively and protective on the side of a man, defending him against a woman even in case of serious wrongdoings by her side.

  27. When reading this article I cannot help but to presume, that Ms. Jasmine Peterson is simply said a ‘happy person’ – she made obviously good experiences with all women around her and also with all men around her. Good for her! Enjoy your life!

    I think however she has NO IDEA AT ALL, how badly men are treated by some women but even entire governments in the name of feminism and equality.

    I ask myself where are my privileges? Which privileges? I was badly treated by women next to me when I was a child, I was badly treated by female class-mates when I was a student, I was badly treated by women when I was a young man…

    I moved away and I will never go back to my own native country – I will always fight against feminism as an MRA – but this does not mean I am hating women.

    Feminism did nothing for me, and openly said, why should it?

    Feminism is acting as an interest group fighting for advantages for certain women only and not even for all women. This means feminism will never consider anything regarding equality or men’s problems.

    Feminism proclaiming equality can be compared with an employer association, insisting it will take care of all needs of the workers and therefore employees do not need any labor union.

    • I have experienced some horrific things. Both at the hands of women and men. That doesn’t mean I will then generalize and hold an entire group of people culpable for the actions of a very few. That’s prejudiced, a nd frankly nonsensical, to me. Both men and women, and every gender in between, have the capacity to do good things and the capacity to do terrible things. While I lament that you’ve been treated poorly by women, I don’t own responsibility for that. I can work at advocating for men’s rights and speaking out against inequality when I see it, but I refuse to take on the guilt of what others have done just as I don’t expect men to take on the guilt of things other men have done.

      • @Jasmine

        You you proved that you can say nice sounding things.

        Where do you stand of feminism covering up abuse data and lying about abuse being mainly gendered?

        Where do you stand of feminist jurisprudence’ on going attack on fathers and civil rights via VAWA?

        • Here’s the thing – those are loaded questions. You are saying that feminists are covering up abuse data. I’ve seen some pretty appalling data produced by MRAs, as well. The thing here is thinking critically. When you see data, look at the source, look at how the data was collected, and how the data was analyzed. Any researcher with integrity will talk about the limitations of their data set, the interpretations, and will recognize and acknowledge potential biases. So I’m not going to engage in a question that is based on the presumption that ‘feminism’ is responsible for covering up abuse data. Who’s collecting such data? Is it feminists? Sometimes. But there are many sources for data on violence and abuse, and oftentimes this data comes from police reports. Are you going to suggest the police force, then (comprised mainly of males), is selectively reporting their data?

          The issue is more nuanced then ‘us’ against ‘them’ (with ‘us’ being men and ‘them’ being feminists, and vice versa). I’m sorry that so many men on this site seem to have had negative experiences with feminists, feminism, or even women, but you know, I’ve had negative experiences with some MRAs, and some men. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to label all MRAs as using false data (although I’ve seen it), or that all men are clearly misogynist. These are fallacies. Just as it is a fallacy to assert that feminism, even the preponderance of feminism, is about male oppression. It just simply is not. Not to suggest that those experiences don’t occur, but that’s not representative of feminist ideology.

          What I’ve noticed is that these issues are extremely divisive. If I came here writing a piece about the ways I support males and females without identifying as a feminist, the tone would be very different. And that’s the sign of a prejudice.

          • @Jasmine – I’ve seen some pretty appalling data produced by MRAs, as wel

            Don’t tell lies Jasmine , the mens movement does not produce studies and data.

          • I understand how you feel it’s a prejudice, my experience is that it’s only with some feminists. What I fear though is those some feminists, actually are in positions of power and have a lot of weight which seems evident based on the various accusations others have said here on NOW and the stimulus money, anti-rape and anti-abuse campaigns where bias exists, reporting on stats with a biased view and supporting those biased stats which is what I dislike.

            “Are you going to suggest the police force, then (comprised mainly of males), is selectively reporting their data? ”
            Firstly, rape is worded in a way that excludes male victims especially of females in most cases (envelopment/forced to penetrate isn’t rape). Secondly, there are social barriers to men reporting on abuse by females and stereotypes where police can come into a home where a man is being abused and arrest him from thinking it’s always men doing the assaulting (fights can leave injuries on both victim and perpetrator as I’m sure you’re aware of). So you need to have these men report the crimes and the police to judge them appropriately free from prejudice themselves.

            Surveys can gather results that aren’t reported to the police, the recent CDC-The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) uncovers a heavy level of abuse that no one has known about male victims that I can think of, my jaw hit the floor when I read them ( ht tp://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/index.html – Read under sexual violence, last 12 months, about page 17 onward in the full report) .

            Men can also oppress/treat other men like dirt or simply be selfish and want votes. If feminist organizations have power then thee men may pass laws that harm men simply for more power. They could also be under the impression abuse is heavily gendered against women, a stereotype that still persists today and this can mean they are trying to protect women (I guess that’s quite honorable) but doing so at the expense of male victims who they may think don’t actually exist in significant numbers (which isn’t honorable).

            Look up a law called Stop Online Piracy Act, anyone with a clue in IT knows its bad news and proves the people in power haven’t got much clue when it comes to Information Technology. If they can attempt to pass that pos act, does it surprise you they could pass a law on abuse against women without fully understanding how it could harm men?

            The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and unless you are an expert in those fields you probably won’t even find the bad in them. What politician wouldn’t want to stop abuse against women? Who wouldn’t want their wives, daughters, etc safer when they think women are far far more at risk of abuse than men. Hell they probably think men are tough n can handle themselves and women are weak so they need a law, many possible reasons why men can make silly laws that ignore men.

          • wavevector says:

            > Are you going to suggest the police force, then (comprised mainly of males), is selectively reporting their data?

            It is very naive of you to overlook the social conditioning that these male policemen have to see women as victims and males as perpetrators. And the feminist supporters of VAWA have done nothing but exploit and re-enforce those social biases. So yes, the police are selective in who they choose to arrest, the prosecutors are selective in who they bring to court, and judges and juries are selective in who they convict and sentence, and there are anti-male and pro-female biases at each of those steps.

          • thehermit says:

            You’re playing stupid, that’s not very nice from you.

            There are feminist organisations out there, what have enough power int their hands to push through laws. I can’t name any MRA organisation with such a power. Now, these organisations have a clearly anti male agenda. They call themselves feminist—> you indentify yourself a feminist—> you’re an ally of them, not mine. Plain and simple. Generalisation? Common sense.

            I hear you scream “But they don’t represent me!” Who they represent then, me? I closed my eyes and have seen thousands of moderate feminists marching on the streets with banners saying “not in my name!”–but then i realised it was just another slut walk, and suddenly woke up.
            Yes they speak and lobby in your name Jasmine, deal with it. The truth is, moderate feminists- as any other ones- don’t give a damn about mens’ wellbeing or civil rights. You’re not an exception (until you prove the opposite).

  28. Look feminists definitely come in all shapes and sizes, and as you said, there are different ones. I can’t think of anyone who has a problem with a true equal feminist. What most egalitarians have a problem with are radical feminists, who believe that men inherently are problematic. See Amanda Marcotte’s writing for an example.

    • I am sure Amanda Marcotte loves men and believes in equal rights for any gender. But her passion and focus is first and foremost advancing justice for females…maybe this is where she sees the most need??? And where a decrease in gap between the genders will profoundly help eradicate social injustices and sexism?

      Anyway men dominate positions in government, law, policing, media, corporations, even fashion industries and so on — if men have this much power and resources at will, my theory is that: men can easily allocate resources, bring more awareness and advocacy to help abuse men and boys at the drop of a hat! Why haven’t they? Well I would suggest reanalyzing the Penn State case and look in the mirror. The answers are all there.

      Stop picking on feminists; they are doing a good job of advocacy and gaining the support they need. Good for them. I’m not here to pit one gender against another or feminists against MRAs, but I believe MRAs more or less are wrongfully attacking feminists because they are looking for blame and for a face that does not resemble theirs. Like I said, this world is dominated by men – if you want change, hell if anybody can do it, you guys can. Let’s put the onus where it belongs!

      • Zorro

        Mra’s attack feminism mainly of because of unfair legislation that has been put in place by feminism because of lies about gendered abuse that are told by feminism.

      • See, Jasmine…. Zorro provides the QED for my prior remark: Men expected to be women’s allies in the fight for women’s rights; while movement feminists and their institutions say to men at the same time: you’re on your own buddies!

        • Nobody is saying your own your own. But what is misinterpreted in my post above, is that: you’re more likely to move mountains if you stop attacking feminists, AND work on getting more support from men, especially those men in power positions to do something about it – you need their compassion and resources.


      • Zorro says:
        January 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm
        I am sure Amanda Marcotte loves men and believes in equal rights for any gender.

        I am not so sure, especially when reading her comments about innocent men related to a certain criminal case. I am still waiting to hear some comments from her about the ‘victim’, who is now in jail, facing murder charges in another not related crime.

        I think, Amanda Marcotte NEVER did anything for men – if you know about such a case please let me know. Thank you.

        • I’m sure Amanda Marcotte supports men in her personal life and circle and I believe that’s her business, this goes for any other feminist (male or female ally). Some of us have causes close to our hearts for whatever reason which drives us to speak out and to make a difference, usually to help others not go through the same horrible experience or to bring awareness to these plights.

          Did you know some men experience breast cancer as well? (I learnt about this just recently).

          – “Breast cancer is more than 100 times more common in women than breast cancer in men, although males tend to have poorer outcomes due to delays in diagnosis.”

          – “The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2010, nearly 2,000 cases of male breast cancer were diagnosed in the U.S., and though that represents only a fraction of the 200,000 total new cases last year, male breast cancer resulted in nearly 400 deaths. It also left many patients and survivors feeling isolated and embarrassed.”

          Although the breast cancer movement is greatly associated as a female cause and generates a lot of attention and money towards its research, we can see from the stats above that men are affected by breast cancer as well…but clearly breast cancer is still a GENDERED disease/issue. I am usually in the know about most things, so I’m concern for men and questioning why the public, especially men, aren’t more educated that breast cancer also affects them? I may know why…I think I can draw parallels with men affected by breast cancer and men/boys who are abused at the hands of men/women. I think for one, there is some shame attached to both scenarios; two, breast cancer and abuse would cause affected men to feel less manly/macho, so they would less likely seek help; both of these points add to three: shame, embarrassment and feelings of emasculation keep men from speaking up and “advertising” themselves and their problems in the same manner as their female counterparts. Perhaps these issues showcase men having many SIMILARITIES to women (suffer some of the same problems) and that scares men? So instead of addressing the real issues at hand, this fear is projected onto women and they become the scapegoats, and so these men think they have the upper-hand on the situation – trying to control what these feminists say and do and make them take up their cause as well. Sometimes it looks to me, the MRAs are trying to ride on the hard-work and coat-tails of these feminists who have spent decades to get to where they are today.

          • I agree with you on the breast cancer thing (although I think its worth pointing out that somewhere in all that hard work and coat tails those feminists, folks who supposedly are “the ones” who are true champions of equality, would be able to at least mention that breast cancer isn’t gendered.

            I’m sure Amanda Marcotte supports men in her personal life and circle and I believe that’s her business, this goes for any other feminist (male or female ally).
            But wait a minute I thought that there was some thought that the personal was political and all that. And besides would we be so quick to say that “I’m sure (random MRA) supports women in his/her personal life and circle and I believe that’s his/her business, this goes for any other MRA (male or female ally)” in the face of said MRA having a history of expressing anti-woman sentiments?

          • “Sometimes it looks to me, the MRAs are trying to ride on the hard-work and coat-tails of these feminists who have spent decades to get to where they are today.”
            I’d say it’s more a case of hearing the equality line and seeing men were left out in the debate, so they feel betrayed. “We help you but you don’t help us whilst you say it’s for equality” would be 1 way to sum it up.

            It’s important to identify male breast cancer, men should be doing breast/pectoral/nipple exams because by the time men identify it…it’s often very late. It’s ok to have most of the focus on women as long as they give a lil bit of focus to men as it’s 1/100, but for rape and abuse it’s been shown it’s 1/2 up to 1:1 which warrants equal levels of awareness for both. I’ve seen for a while now men have wanted feminism to listen to their complaints, but not many listen. I’m not sure where I am spose to comment to get people to listen about the CDC stat bias, I believe Soraya had access and could talk to those in charge (I live in Australia so communication for me to them is very hard apart from email) .

            I am no expert in the field, I’d like to know if the experts spot bias because it seems from that report they didn’t and that worries me, I am completely at a loss to understand why a bias would still pass through and the top contender for an explanation is that the researchers themselves were biased from the start and expected more women to be harmed and that affected their reporting. The cliffnotes edition they showed the writers for newspapers should have mentioned the last 12 month stat, it’s impossible to read them and not be completely shocked at that level. It’s one of the biggest headline makers imaginable for rape reporting, it’d rake in so many reads simply because it shows a level that I don’t think has ever been shown.

            This is why MRA’s question those people who reported on it, because it does feel like it was buried and it really feels like there was an agenda behind it. It’s a bit worrying that the “conspiracy theory” starts to have weight and impact, I had thought the Mra’s were posting conspiracy theories before but I’m actually starting to wonder how much of what they say is right. I’ve torn my head out trying to get my head around the many reasons it could happen, but it’s starting to look like a duck….

            I don’t like when people blame ALL of feminism, but it does really look like there are a few feminists or organizations who have a fair bit of power and influence. I don’t think RAINN? even said anything about the last 12 month stats (correct me if I am wrong), what reason is there to ignore stats which shows high levels of rape and abuse by both genders against both genders? It clearly would mean it’s a bigger issue and needs far more focus than before since it appears to be getting worse. Start telling people about it and they actually might start worrying more about rape and abuse.

            And I agree that there are similarities and it conflicts with macho ideas, those ideas which silence men in the first place need to be challenged (along with anything that silences either side really). Fear seems to be the motivator in a lot of bad….I think it’s time we teach our kids how to handle fear in more productive ways.

            • I must admit I had expected more discourse around the 12 months figures in feminists circles. I have wondered if it some kind of confirmation bias at play which has the effect that things contradicting one’s belief system simply does not register or if it’s a conscious effort to overlook and disregard those findings. The reluctance to engage when those findings are pointed out in comments to articles and blog-posts sadly strengthen the latter option.

              Anyway, the cat is out of the bag and walking about. And I doubt that the CDC will be able to put it back into the bag by for instance excluding the “being made to penetrate someone else” category from future NISVS surveys. Hopefully other researchers will follow suit and include men and male victims when designing future studies on rape and DV. I predict that the amount of evidence for a much more parity between genders in both victims and perpetrators than currently believed will be too large to simply ignore. Then feminism and feminists will find themselves at a crossroad and willl have to decide whether some of the axioms of the movement must be discarded in order to be the egalitarion feminism Jasmine describes and defends in this article or if they should keep those axioms and, well, be the gynocentric feminism MRAs considers enemies.

      • Excellent points, Zorro. I think rather than denigrating feminism as anti-male and oppressive, it’s important to consider the fact that men are overrepresented in positions of power. So feminists have only got so much power to incur the change they want to see, and it takes time. Sometimes a lot of time. Rather than playing the blame game (Oh, you’re a feminist, so clearly you can’t be about equality for men, or Oh, you’re an MRA so clearly you hate women), we need to take responsibility and work engage in activism to make the changes we want to see happen.

        • You know what happens every time those men in power try and actually help other men (who aren’t in power)? Feminist organizations step in and start screaming sexism. I can think of two examples posted on thsi very thread that you have either ignored or completely dismissed as “well, I don’t agree with that.”

          N.O.W lobbied for relief funds to be diverted from failing (but male dominated) industries like construction to industries that were actually growing (but female dominated.)

          Affirmative Action for Men in college. Suddenly, when we need it, the idea of “affirmative action” is sexist and immoral.

          So you know what? You can say “well men are in power, why dont they try and help themselves?” all you want but you’re ignoring the fact that Feminist organizations like N.O.W have politicians ear, because they care about the female vote, and those organizations literally do not give a shit what happens to men.

        • DavidByron says:

          Well do you want to avoid blaming or do you want to take responsibility? Which? Because in a sense this entire conversation is about taking responsibility. It is about what responsibility you take, as a feminist, for the actions of the wider movement.

          You know that the MRAs have a very negative view of feminism. You agree with that view in some small part, disagree in other parts. But you recognise that they have that view. So far so good. But then you don’t really put two and two together. From their point of view anger and distrust is rational and reasonable. Isn’t it? Think about what this all looks like from their point of view.

          You complain about vitriol towards feminism and distrust about your own position. That only makes sense from your point of view. Why should their experiences have to make sense from YOUR point of view?

          I understand that you are frustrated. I understand that you are just trying to help and that you are one of the good guys. But the issue of distrust here is kind of your fault. You knew ahead of time that claiming to be a feminist was going to cause trouble, right? If you wanted to avoid all that distrust all you had to do was just call yourself something else. Egalitarian, humanist whatever. Now to you the label of “feminist” has some value that I confess I just don’t understand. Yet. But are you not responsible for the confusion and mistrust that you knew ahead of time would be created when you come here and decide to say, “I am a feminist”?

          I know you think it’s unfair. I know you think we just don’t get it. But there’s two sides to this story.

          Even if EVERYTHING you’ve said here is right and everything your critics said is wrong, you bare some responsibility for the mistrust. But stop and try and look at it from the other guys point of view. Ask how much responsibility you bare if everything THEY say is right. If you do that maybe you will understand the problem here.

      • Gee Zorro, you couldn’t have picked a worse candidate to highlight for that argument (not worse as a person, but for this argument her previous history goes against what you are trying to highlight). Amanda has so much hatred against her for a hypocritical stance on the Duke Lacrosse case, really really one of the worst choices you could make. I won’t fault you for it but try someone else, I’m sure there are plenty who simply focus on the women and aren’t questionable to men.

        It’s true men dominate positions of power and resources in government which makes it more of a slap in the face when laws are brought in that ignore or harm men, and it doesn’t help when they seem to be based on heavily biased stats. Many men were brought up not knowing of all this abuse, I only found out last year that abuse was so high against men…before that I thought it was like 90% women 10% men at best but we get biased reports, biased articles even written by feminists that don’t even report on huge groundbreaking increases of male sexual abuse.

        Are you really surprised there isn’t any trust when we have commentators on this site who are more unbiased, who factcheck and actually found that statistic showing heavy increases of abuse against men, especially by females, and not a single news article, feminist article that I saw even tried to mention it after it was pointed out. The same report showed a heavy increase of physical violence against men, did I hear feminists saying how bad it is women are treating men AND how bad men treat women in relationships? If you can find these articles, please do show me, but my faith in feminist reporting is diminished at the moment and it’s heavily 1 sided like many mra articles.

        “I believe MRAs more or less are wrongfully attacking feminists because they are looking for blame and for a face that does not resemble theirs. ”
        I think you need to read their words more carefully Zorro, it sticks out plain as day to me why the mra’s are mad and it has nothing to do with raising awareness for females….It’s raising awareness for females at the expense of males, the redirection of funds by the NOW organization is questionable, the lack of pointing out bias in reports is questionable, advocating for campaigns that only men can stop rape is downright insulting and evil in my book. I don’t think these mra’s are annoyed at all for pointing out how women suffer, but they’re annoyed that feminists use the privileges men get without balancing with the harms men face, as a way to compare to women.

        Pointing out where women get it bad = fine, pointing out where women get it bad without where they get it good = bad, n same goes for men.

        By the way, last I checked women have the majority of vote by 8million in America, so let’s start dropping down the level of how much influence men have in politics because women have a hell of a lot of power. It’s time to start telling women they have power, they have the majority vote, but please do be responsible with that vote. This men have most of the power routine is getting old and starting to drop fast, the average man has less voting power in numbers for America. Correct me if I am wrong but those in power also have a lot of money so there is a class issue, when you say men have power it ignores many men who have little say over politics apart from their vote which is less than that of a woman if the numbers are correct.

      • wavevector says:

        >if men have this much power and resources at will, my theory is that: men can easily allocate resources, bring more awareness and advocacy to help abuse men and boys at the drop of a hat!

        The goal of patriarchal culture has never been about advancing male interests over female interests, despite what feminist patriarchy theory claims. Patriarchal culture has always been about increasing the wealth, power, and influence of the society, nation, or organization, and exploiting all the human resources, both male and female, to the fullest extent in order to accomplish that. The minority of men who have that power and resources are doing what those type of men have always done, which is exploit the rest of us for power and wealth.

        MRAs are opposed to being exploited, both by traditional male gender roles which demand service and self-sacrifice, and by those non-egalitarian feminists who exploit those same gender roles (when they are favorable to women and unfavorable to men) to obtain special treatment, benefits, and privileges at men’s expense. A good example of this is feminists who oppose shared parenting laws painting women as perfect maternal angels in need of protection, and the men who contest custody as abusers seeking control of their prey.

  29. “To be a good man you need to always please (or never displease) women”.

    I know that kind of assumption by some men is taught to men by some dating/relationship books; one that comes to mind is “Straight Talk, No Chaser” by Steve Harvey. “The 10th commandment is Thou Shalt Always Take Her Side”, but you need to read the description (below) to decipher what it really means. Hint: It’s not to be interpreted in a selfish sense, but rather akin to “I rub your back, you rub my back”; it’s about supporting each other.

    10 commandments of pleasing a woman by Steve Harvey:

    1. Thou Shalt Give Her Free Time.
    Make the time for her to be able to take a class or pursue a hobby that she’s been putting off because she’s too busy with work and the kids to spend quality time doing something she loves.

    2. Thou Shalt Remember the Small Things.
    Rub her back and feet, run her bathwater and give her quality “alone time,” without obligation to give you some cookie for your troubles.

    3. Thous Shalt Consistently Find New Ways to Say I Love You.
    Love notes go a long way. Slip one in her wallet, briefcase, or lunch bag just because; she’ll appreciate that you were thinking about her and told her you love her without prompting.

    4. Thou Shalt Chip In.
    Wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, clean the bathroom, or do some other chore she usually handles. If you can’t or don’t want to handle it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. That’ll be one less thing she’ll have to do, and she’ll be grateful for the help.

    5. Thou Shalt Help with the Kids.
    Offer to put them to bed a couple nights a wee or run them to their extracurricular activities. She could probably use the help.

    6. Thou Shalt Embrace the Art of Foreplay.
    If candlelight and soft music used to get ehr in a romantic mood but you haven’t used either of them in years, get back to romancing her. She’ll appreciate the effort and respond in kind.

    7. Thou Shalt Respect Her Schedule.
    Sure, you should be able to get in a little overtime at work or go for a three-day golf weekend with the guys without being hassled about it, but it’s better for everyone involved if you coordinate your schedule with hers instead of assuming that she will just handle the house, the kids, and whatever else is coming the family’s way while you’re out having a good time.

    8. Thou Shalt Send Her Roses, Just Because
    Don’t wait for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays to shower her with the things she loves. A simple bouquet of flowers or a pack of her favorite candy is a kind gesture that will show her you were thinking about her.

    9. Thous Shalt Remember the Golden Rule.
    You can be happy or you can be right.

    10. Thou Shalt Always Take Her Side.
    Of Course, your mother taught you that she’s always right. The woman you sleep with at night must feel like you’ve got her back, no matter who she’s going up against. She’ll give you that same support, too.

    • pillowinhell says:

      So where’s the Thou Shalts that men would enjoy. I mean hell, anyone of those things might make me happy as a woman, but how do I reciprocate? Secondly, isn’t this article sexist in that the underlying assumption that men are clueless, lazy or unwilling to help a partner out? I know plenty of men who take care of the house and kids without having a woman telling them to do so. As far as they are concerned, this is just something that goes with the territory of being an adult. Same goes with making sure a woman has time to pursue her own interests. Not many men I can think of (though a couple I’ve known spring to mind) who want a woman who’s glued to them as her sole provider of entertainment and socialization.

      Any thou shalts the men care to post?

    • Steve Harvey is a sexist idiot who mixes some common sense together with some really stupid sexist gender essentialist crap. One example in particular (aside from the fact that there are “rules”) is rule #9: Thou shalt remember the golden rule. You can be happy or you can be right.

      I am pretty sure that always having to cede to secure “the house peace” will make you unhappy. And wrong to boot.

  30. Actually feminism has helped men immensely.
    The eight Presidential Councils For Women all got together and voted 4 councils to be given to men in the interest of equality,and for men to have their right to due process in the courts restored to them.

    No wait, that never happened.

    Just as likely, or more likely those eight Presidential Councils For Women conspired to fund more womens shelters to advocate more unjust laws and processes Against men.

  31. Lay feminists just make it difficult to deal with the extremists that run their movement with their endless “not all feminists are like that” speeches, and they generally passively and more directly support or defend the extremist polities, rhetoric and laws, they also know very little about big feminism, feminist jurisprudence, the academic fraud in feminism and the how their movement is run by extremists and then often attack and accuses people that do know whats going on and where the problems are of having it all wrong, because “I’m a feminist and I’m not doing that”.

  32. thehermit says:

    If you want to know one’s true colors, look at what one’s doing instead of saying. This is how men work, Jasmine.

    Generally, men are not pleased about feminism.They will never be. Deal with it.

    Your article is a tired NAFALT(Not All Feminists Are Like That) piece, nothing more. We’ve heard it a thousand times.
    Feminism has nothing to do with egalitarianism. I’ve never heard feminists adress male homelesness or workplace deaths as a problem. Oh wait, that is not a problem for them! Nor the family court bias, parental alienating, and so on.

    See? That’s how feminists are creating MORE inequality, instead of equality.

    • Perhaps you’re not listening when feminists do talk about these issues. Because I have many a time. Feminism is about egalitarianism.

      • Citations please, Jasmine. Preferably to a Women’s Law Center or DV advocacy group or NOW website that specifically talks about how bad men have it in a certain situation, and what that group has done to actually address the problem (regulations adopted, legislaiton passed, $$$ spent). You have been speaking about your personal viewpoint, and that is ok as far as it goes. But I want to see real world examples of where women in feminist organizations actually went to bat for men.

        • hey JAM

          Upthread I posted an example of a situation in which men were failing and women succeeding, and what does NOW do? Divert funds to help the women succeed more. And this wasn’t something relatively trivial like college athletics or something. This NOW playing with people’s livelihoods to serve their own egos. Because thy couldn’t stand the thought of burly construction workers being helped before women who really didnt need the help in the first place.

          Predictably, the feminist contingent has been silent in response.

      • @jasmine” Perhaps you’re not listening when feminists do talk about these issues.”

        Average feminists have zero influence in the movement, the nice sounding things that they say, and idealistic things that they believe in, have no bearing on the extremist and radicals that control the movement and feminist jurisprudence.

        What the average feminist says, is irrelevant.

      • You’re right, i rarely listen to what they talk, and often what they do.

      • wavevector says:

        Jasmine, while I applaud your sentiments as far as they go, your understanding of the issue suffers a serious deficiency. It’s wonderful that you and your grad school friends are so egalitarian, but you are not the feminists that we care about. We care about the leaders of NOW, AAUW, FMF, NWLC, and others, who have the organization, funding, and political clout to enact their decidedly un-egalitarian and misandrist policies into law.

        Here is what you need to do if you want non-feminists to take your arguments seriously: take a long, hard look at what the major feminists organizations actually stand for and lobby for. You will see that they are either dismissive or openly in opposition to any action on behalf of men. Until you understand and acknowledge the inequalities against men that are propagated and supported by these organizations, don’t expect a warm reception from men who have.

        • Factory says:

          Feminists never…and I DO mean never, admit that Feminism (ANY kind of Feminism) is directly responsible for suffering endured by men. Feminists never take personal responsibility for their actions, and NEVER advocate for women to have to grow up and be adults, and be responsible for their own choices.

          Feminism infantilizes women, and demonizes men. Individual feminists might SAY they don’t do this, but as for evidence Feminists are anything but anti-male gynocentrists???

          There is none. Just personal anecdotes.

          But you know, ‘Feminism is about equality’….for women. Men can go hang.

  33. I sense your good faith and I may be repeating things already said but I have to say a few things.

    But in my experience, these discussions of privilege aren’t charging individual men, or women, as guilty parties; it’s merely about recognizing power structures in culture and how they contribute to inequalities so that we can find ways to empower marginalized groups. It’s not about blame.
    I’m glad your experience went the way it did but unfortunately in my experience discussions of privilege are often (but not always) used as a way to shut people out of a conversation. When privilege is being used to bar people out of the conversation or used to invalidate a person and all they have to say or used as a bar of entry into the conversation (as in, “you must agree with our concept of privilege or nothing you say matters”) then there comes a time when the concept is poisoned.

    Similarly, talking about patriarchy, because of its perceived association to maleness, seems to make men cringe.
    The reason for the cringing is that despite all the damage that this system does to men the system is still being labeled as if it actually benefits men as a class. It clearly does not. The handful of privileged men at the top don’t represent the whole lot of us. But time and again they are painted up that way.

    Feminists are concerned that young boys are subjected to gender policing more than young girls are, and the detriment this can have on their development.
    I’m sorry but I’ve never seen this sentiment. I’ve seen acknowledge that boys are subject to gender policing (and some just ignore it) but as with nearly every type of harm and suffering it seems that girls/women always have it worse than men/boys.

    Perhaps men have felt attacked by feminism.
    More like men have been attacked by feminists or men have been attacked by variations of feminism.

    And perhaps the discussions of privilege were initially quite heavily focused on male privilege, and this felt like a sentence of guilt.
    The discussion of male privilege isn’t the source of the guilt/anger. That comes from when page upon page of material is written on the privileges males have but nowhere near as much on the pains of males (or at least acknowledging the pains). And to add a twist of hypocrisy for some reason the pains that males suffer doesn’t negate male privilege but the pains that females suffer does negate female privilege.

    • “I’m sorry but I’ve never seen this sentiment. I’ve seen acknowledge that boys are subject to gender policing (and some just ignore it) but as with nearly every type of harm and suffering it seems that girls/women always have it worse than men/boys.”

      This is an illustration of the dynamic that can show feminism becoming biased without any of the participants of feminist discourse noticing. I have had the same experience many times.

      Article shows research that “bad thing” happens to women. All participants assume women have it worse than men even though no measurement was actually taken of men or it was just ignored.
      All participants persist with bias because they don’t know any better. The bias only becomes noticed when such article and assumptions are presented to a mainstream or skeptical audience.

      Then this usually happens .Some annoying bastard (sometimes me mostly not these days) asks if they have bothered to measure “bad thing” happening to men. Several things then happen. Some feminists will dismiss questioner as a “what about the menz” advocate and should be ignored. Others will say this is not being looked at and should only be looked at in a separate article even though the inference is its worse for women and it actually isn’t proven or even measured and no opportunity for discussion about it happening to men is ever actually happen. After this if there is a persistent annoying bastard who is good at math and reading studies available he may produce evidence that actually shows men experience similar amounts of “bad thing” or even “bad thing” happens to men far more often than to women. Then some feminists who are really biased will then say its okay to ignore it because men are privileged. Then annoying bastard asks how they can come to the conclusion that men are privileged if they never bother to test how bad it is for men compared to women.

      At this point feminists either say wow we are biased and change but much more commonly say “misogyny on the internet is so common”. What really should of happened though is when someone produces research or suggests that “bad thing” is a feminist issue (which means ignoring it happening to men) someone should actually ask if this is really justified long before it is assumed true by “egalitarian” feminists. Except no one does ask and the bias is propagated and all participants don’t realize it is happening and it is only really questioned when it appears on mainstream site or before skeptics. By that time the meme has spread out across the blogisphere or sometimes even taught at university as fact.

      It happens over and over again. No one holds these proponents of “advocacy research” accountable.

      why? because feminism is assumed to be egalitarianism and never actually tested.

      • OMFG ^^^ THIS x 12billion. I have seen so much of this, tried to point it out and had my head chewed off. Trying to compare women to men without studying men is my biggest pet peeve of advocacy stats. If I could I’d force people to study both without bias, no single gender studies unless it’s specifically about a single gender (eg pregnancy, but not post-natal depression which happens in men too that I’ve read).

        Bias abounds in advocacy and I’m tired of it being used to compare the genders experiences, YOU CANNOT COMPARE WOMEN TO MEN IF YOU DON’T STUDY BOTH GENDERS!!!

      • Oh you mean something like the Global Gender Gap Report? (http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2011.pdf)

        I really like this paragraph on page 4.
        Our aim is to focus on whether the gap between
        women and men in the chosen variables has declined,
        rather than whether women are “winning” the “battle of
        the sexes”. Hence, the Index rewards countries that reach
        the point where outcomes for women equal those for
        men, but it neither rewards nor penalizes cases in which
        women are outperforming men in particular variables.

        So they want to see if the gaps between men and women in the chosen variables has declined, but the only gaps they count are ones where ones where men are outperforming women (which costs points) and gaps that have closed (which awards points).

        Can someone please tell me how you’re going to talk about gender equality when you are literally starting off ignoring certain gender equalities?

        • They don’t want the results of the health care to upset the overall rating I’m guessing, which show the men worse off.

        • wavevector says:

          In the Global Gender Gap Report, inequalities only count when they happen to women. Inequalities against men literally do not count.

          This is a prime example of the feminist “one-sided inequality”, where only inequalities suffered by women are considered. “Equality” will be reached when women are equal or better than men in all things.

  34. Jasmine, you say that Feminism IS egalitarianism, and while many feminists do ascribe to this, there is certainly a subset of those who identify as feminists who do not act for the benefit of all persons. You mention that some have suggested changing the movements name and you disagree. Although this may be too much to get into in the comments section, my question is why not change it?

    Or, why not create a separate movement for gender-neutral Sexual Egalitarianism?

    I see no need for Feminism to be the catchall movement for sexual freedom and liberty. Given the movement’s history and (I believe correct) inherent struggle for female liberty, there are certainly times where I (male) have felt that supporting feminism didn’t feel like supporting myself. That is, although I see the movement’s mission as valid and will continue to lend my aid, it does not represent my interests.

    Recently, I’ve noticed more and more divisiveness of opinion among people who all identify as feminists. I guess what I’m asking is why can’t those of us who truly work for egalitarianism simply say only that? I’ve noticed statements that (and I’m paraphrasing) sum to: “Oh, I’m a feminist and that means I believe in sexual liberty and equality for all without regard to gender”. But I see no reason one can’t identify as BOTH a feminist (working for woman’s rights) AND an egalitarian (working for all persons rights).

    I guess what I’m saying is that names have great power. They should be used to bring clarity. There is no reason to force Feminism to represent the struggle against all forms of sexism. And if it does try to take on that struggle, well then frankly I think it SHOULD change it’s name, if only to honor the historical significance of “feminism” or to make it’s brand more accessible to all.

    • The answer is quite complex for why I would stick with feminism, but I’ll try to draw out some of the most important reasons for me. Firstly, feminism has historically been about obtaining equality for women because women were clearly not afforded the same rights as men. This dynamic has definitely shifted, but women are still subjected to some pretty serious inequalities – we are underrepresented in government, CEOs of companies are mostly males, males are more likely to possess the largest amounts of a nation’s wealth, childcare issues that affect a woman’s capacity to work (because women are still predominantly responsible for childcare)… As women have gained equality, however, the feminist movement has begun to construct a theoretical understanding of the power structures in culture – the fluidity of these structures where the oppressed can move into position as oppressor in some circumstances and vice versa – and the fact that institutions of power are created and maintained through a reciprocity between oppressed and oppressors, and discursive constructions (like the biomedical discourse, gender constructions, hegemonic masculinity and femininity, etc.). These are all important concepts in addressing inequality, and changing the term ‘feminism’ to ‘egalitarianism’ doesn’t at all change what is being done. Even if you change the name, there are going to be factions who envision a different type of egalitarianism or who fall at extreme ends of the spectrum and create a bad image of what is now called ‘egalitarianism’ as a whole. Changing the name doesn’t change the problems, and it doesn’t change the intention behind the movement. For me, it detracts from the poignancy, from the advancements that have been made (for women, men, and minority groups). And it suggests that all along feminism hasn’t been championing rights of ALL people. And this just isn’t true.

      At the same time, I don’t lament individuals who wish to call themselves egalitarian. I understand the anti-feminist backlash and how it has influenced how feminism is perceived, which makes it a real struggle to be a feminist sometimes because you have to spend so much time defending and explaining (conversations that go something like this “No, I don’t hate men. No, I don’t think women are superior to men. No, I don’t think men are responsible for all of the ills in the world. No, I am not a lesbian. No, I do not burn my bras. No, I do not want to tear down patriarchy and build up a matriarchy.” And so on). So I definitely get why some are reticent to latch on to a title that brings with it a great deal of animosity and anger. However, I do prefer to adopt the term feminist. It is what I am.

      I understand why so many people think that feminism is solely about addressing women’s rights, but feminism encompasses so much more than that. It addresses all of the isms – racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cisgenderism, ageism, etc. And this includes inequalities that men face. There are plenty of men who identify as feminist, and these are also often allies who let us know if something we’re saying or doing is excluding men or creating inequalities. I love having male allies that can provide us with insight that we might not possess. If male allies want to call themselves egalitarian, I’ve got no problem with that, either. But, what I would hope is that they can look past the word ‘feminist’ and recognize that myself, and most other feminists (according to my own experiences) are allies of men and champions of men’s rights. Feminism and egalitarianism ARE synonymous.

      • As women have gained equality, however, the feminist movement has begun to construct a theoretical understanding of the power structures in culture – the fluidity of these structures where the oppressed can move into position as oppressor in some circumstances and vice versa – and the fact that institutions of power are created and maintained through a reciprocity between oppressed and oppressors, and discursive constructions (like the biomedical discourse, gender constructions, hegemonic masculinity and femininity, etc.).
        Perhaps but from what I’ve seen there seems to be a small set of static declarations in these structures namely the declarations that men are not oppressed because they are men (oh it can happen if he’s gay, of color, transgender, etc…but never because he is a man) and that women cannot be oppressors (oh it can happen if she’s white, cis, straight, but never because she’s a woman).

        I understand the anti-feminist backlash and how it has influenced how feminism is perceived, which makes it a real struggle to be a feminist sometimes because you have to spend so much time defending and explaining.
        That backlash isn’t the only thing influencing how feminism is perceived. There are a lot of people who perceive it as they do because of first hand experience of dealing with members of that movement. Sure its not fair to paint the entire movement the same but let’s not pretend that that backlash is totally unjustified.

        There are plenty of men who identify as feminist, and these are also often allies who let us know if something we’re saying or doing is excluding men or creating inequalities. I love having male allies that can provide us with insight that we might not possess. If male allies want to call themselves egalitarian, I’ve got no problem with that, either. But, what I would hope is that they can look past the word ‘feminist’ and recognize that myself, and most other feminists (according to my own experiences) are allies of men and champions of men’s rights.
        I read this and think about how feminists are currently raking Hugo Schwyzer over the coals and one of the things being used against him is the fact that he is a male calling himself a feminist (not to be confused with the folks talking about how its wrong for a male to try to take up leadership in feminism). One regular question that comes up is “can men be feminists”? If the women in this so-called egalitarian movement don’t want men taking on their title then what kind of shot does a guy have with them?

        • I’ve read some rather vitriolic sentiment about Hugo, and I was very disappointed. But just because some feminists behave that way, doesn’t mean most do. The internet allows such quick access to information, and dissemination of information, so the negative type seems far more accessible. I never have these types of conversations in my daily life with feminists. We love our male allies. We even have male allies who personally feel they should participate peripherally because of power dynamics. So I think we need to stop confusing the word feminist with woman.

      • “Feminism and egalitarianism ARE synonymous.”
        I have to disagree, I haven’t seen a single feminist space that welcomes men talking about male issues. Whataboutthemenz is a popular insult for a reason, there is huge backlash against any man daring to raise his issue and it becomes a fight about men trying to invade women’s spaces. It’s a core belief that I’ve seen, or at least seems to be, and very few feminists seem willing to debate it fairly. If you know of a feminist space that doesn’t belittle and laugh at men for suffering I’d love to know.
        ht tp://jezebel.com/5873726/what-should-you-do-when-someone-you-love-becomes-a-mens-rights-activist – Take a look at that for example, utterly shameful behaviour and if feminism is to become synonymous with egalitarian you’d probably have to kick those people out or find a way to tell them to quit trampling on the name of feminism.

        Personally, I do not trust feminists 100% being spokespersons for male rights, especially female feminists. You need MEN to speak for men, and women to speak for women, there are life experiences that neither really can understand 100% and it’d be as insult as me trying to speak on behalf of women. They can help of course, stand side by side, but you need someone from the same gender the issues are about to lead. An egalitarian movement however needs a wide variety of leaders, whereas the gender movements are more specialized.

        Champions of a rights movement also have a duty to ensure the others in the movement are not harming others, there is great controversy over heavy bias in studies, genderizing of abuse and there are many feminists involved in those groups which leaves me personally not sure who to trust. The fact I don’t recall a single feminist mentioning the shocking last 12 months stats of the CDC report apart from a few here who replied to men, makes me really question how much of an ally many feminists are. If they truly are egalitarian and care about the men I would expect them to have written on the terrible increase for those stats, put responsibility on men and women instead of just men. I am desperate to find these egalitarians who talk on all issues, so load me up with websites if you know them people. I’d much rather be reading good than the radfemhub types!

        • I disagree that men should speak for men and women for women. We’re all human beings, and we often share many of the same concerns. I think it’s wonderful when men champion women’s rights and vice versa (although there are feminists who feel chagrined when men speak about women’s oppression, just as you’ve expressed that you don’t necessarily trust a woman speaking about men’s rights). I don’t have the same reserve. I think that because men’s rights and women’s rights translate into human rights, I don’t give a damn who’s talking about them.

          And I just want to mention that sometimes the problem isn’t that women aren’t champions of men’s rights, but one feminist can’t be an expert in all issues. I speak about men’s issues that I become aware of when I become aware of them, but that means there are plenty of issues that I’ve missed along the way, simply because it’s not been brought to my attention. I think that men can find allies in feminists by saying to feminist friends – hey, here’s this issue of men experiencing inequality. What do you think? I know I’d appreciate that. As a graduate student and a feminist activist (one who doesn’t have cable, nonetheless), a lot of the time I’m not going to know about issues unless someone draws my attention to them, which means I’m often battling the small inequalities in daily life, rather than the large ones, unless they come to my attention.

          • You are right that you can’t expect feminists to be advocates for everything but it would be nice if they didn’t assume they know everything and a man complaining about anything isn’t to be automatically ignored. Or taking any issue that affects men and saying “women are the real victims”. Things like “homophobia is really misogyny”. When it clearly fucking isn’t and the most obvious “women are the real victims of war”. Feminists aren’t the experts when it comes to men so why are they so confident in completely ignoring an issue and declaring it a non issue for men and that no one should bother with it? Feminists frequently silence issues that happen to men. Even though when they admit they aren’t experts.

            • A lot of the statements I see here are generalizations. Some feminists may do that. That doesn’t mean all feminists ignore men’s issues, or subvert their complaints to fit a discourse on misogyny.

              The irony that I’m seeing here is that many commenters here seem to have rejected feminism, and feminists in general, based on a presumption that feminism is somehow insidious to men. All the while, many of these comments are laced with vitriol toward feminists. I understand that there is discontent with factions of feminism that have participated in the oppression of men, but aren’t you doing the same thing you’re accusing feminists of in making this broad, sweeping generalizations? Just like you have heard SOME feminists make comments that all men are rapists or oppressors, you’re suggesting with these assertions that one brand of feminism represents the entire movement. I refuse to accept that, just as you would refuse to accept it if i stated all men are guilty or that all MRAs are misogynist. Some are, hut I haven’t let that affect how I define the group as a whole.

              Because i identify as

              • Whoops, on the bus and it jolted, prematurely adding my comment.

                Because I identify as feminist doesn’t negate that I am an ally of men, or an advocate for men’s rights.

              • I think it’d be good for an egalitarian feminist space to be around, I’m currently looking for one. I desire one to undo the annoyance I felt in a gynocentric feminist space? Not sure the right term but it was basically full of radfems spending more time antagonizing men and was full of trolls :S I’ve written it off as a place to visit for sanity.

              • “The irony that I’m seeing here is that many commenters here seem to have rejected feminism, and feminists in general, based on a presumption that feminism is somehow insidious to men.”

                You are acting as if i don’t know or understand feminists. I do I have seen this actually happen i am not “misinterpreting” I SAW IT HAPPEN. Do you understand?

                ” All the while, many of these comments are laced with vitriol toward feminists. I understand that there is discontent with factions of feminism that have participated in the oppression of men, but aren’t you doing the same thing you’re accusing feminists of in making this broad, sweeping generalizations?”

                No one stops the feminists who do this. No feminists dont anything much at all to stop other feminists from making domestic violence gendered when the stats have been shown to be gender neutral FOR YEARS. Not a recent discovery but decades at this point. Feminists didn’t do shit about it at all except propagate the biased message that dv only happens to women.

                “Just like you have heard SOME feminists make comments that all men are rapists or oppressors, you’re suggesting with these assertions that one brand of feminism represents the entire movement. I refuse to accept that, just as you would refuse to accept it if i stated all men are guilty or that all MRAs are misogynist. Some are, hut I haven’t let that affect how I define the group as a whole.””

                Feminism has been spinning a story for DECADES that isn’t true. It doesn’t matter that most feminists aren’t sexist because none of them did anything to stop the sexist feminists who did harm. That is the problem i have with feminism. I think most feminists aren’t sexist but since they haven’t stopped the feminists who are sexist it really doesn’t mean anything. Most people in political parties are good people but i can still call certain parties names. I am not making a baseless claim this is years of experience at this point. Most feminists are good people. Feminism itself is twisted and biased.

          • I can see your point. Maybe we need to ensure more men are champions for men, and more women for women so that we have more people with direct experience as the lead roles whilst still accepting others at times to help. I saw a lot of backlash over men speaking as a voice of authority for women and found that it wasn’t helpful, I guess my comment was about that and how do you address that divide where women will be annoyed of a man speaking for them, and a man annoyed by a woman speaking for them? But I do see people like Christina Hoff Sommers as champions for male and female rights, I guess I spoke too soon so thank-you for pointing that out.

            I can see there are feminist allies of men n vice versa, it’s GREAT to see and hope more people merge to that. I currently dislike quite a bit that is going on in either side, oppression olympics is the worst along with dismissing the other side. I truly believe both sides need to come together somehow to address the issues, especially when many of them affect us both (rape n abuse for instance).

            • I see a lot of male feminists doing just that – working alongside feminists as allies for the equal rights of women, but also communicating with other feminists about issues that affect men. I have seen this work well. As a feminist, if I’ve overlooked an instance of male oppression, and a male ally points it out to me, I’m all over it. Working together makes the goal of equality feel far more attainable. 🙂

              • Schrodinger's Rapist says:

                yea, I hate to be general downer but I’ve never nor have I ever seen anybody have a positive experience with this. Never in my life have I witnessed or have been a part of a conversation about an issue with a generally held feminist opinion that hasn’t ended in at least 3 – 4 “what about the menz” silences being dished out to men. Also the majority of feminists whom I have interacted with have all been quite clear that “in order for things to be equal they do not have to be the same, and thinking they do is ignorant”. An overwhelming majority of the comments made on places like feministie or feministing are very clear about feminism’s goal being to end oppression for woman, but as a by product it might fix some stuff for men too and that all men should be allies because its morally wrong for them to not be.

              • Jasmine said

                “I see a lot of male feminists doing just that – working alongside feminists as allies for the equal rights of women, but also communicating with other feminists about issues that affect men. I have seen this work well. As a feminist, if I’ve overlooked an instance of male oppression, and a male ally points it out to me, I’m all over it. Working together makes the goal of equality feel far more attainable”

                Provide proof that you are not making this up as you go along please Jasmine.

          • The men’s rights movement began by trying to talk with feminist groups about male issues. We were laughed at, had our issues dismissed (the best response was ‘well get to that when women don’t have any issues to worry about’). We were rebuffed repeatedly, and all of it is cached on google for you to read.

            We spent a decade trying to get you to listen, and instead you redoubled your efforts to dehumanize men. You deserve the reputation you have, and here’s a hint: you actually need to do something other than complain about your rep for your rep to change.

            Narcissist.

            MODERATOR’S NOTE: This comment is an ad hominem attack and not allowed under our commenting policy. This is a warning. Further comments that are in violation will be removed. See complete commenting guidelines here.

            • The comment by ‘Factory’ was written somewhat hasty and angrily.

              Feminism was never willing to listen to men and their needs.

              I think, as MRAs we have no other choice but to fight it out somehow, as any pro-male comment will be dismissed quickly not with good arguments, but with scornful and derogatory remarks with arrogance and ignorance.

              The question for MRAs is how to fight it out – men’s needs and men’s rights are different from country to country. There are various concepts about what to do and what better not to do as MRA.

              For sure the men’s movement is growing and feminists are truly worried about it.
              Men are angry. For good reason.

            • As sad as this comment contains stuff that gets moderated, there is an element of truth to it.

              Here’s a test, goto your favourite feminist hangout and talk about a male issue. Read the comments you get, I’ll be surprised if you get zero whataboutthemenz insults and accusations of derailing, etc. Every experience i’ve had in a feminist space is completely different to the egalitarian feminism I keep hearing of, I have no idea where to find these egalitarian feminists except for here. Some feminists I recently commented with said they helped male issues like rape definitions, but they’re the same feminists who earlier had did those feminist chase-out tactics. They get angry when men try to talk about their issues, accuse men of having everywhere in the world and a feminist facebook page for instance is the one last place for a women’s space.

              Men are not welcome unless you speak the party line, that’s been the most common exposure to feminism I’ve had and that’s basically this is a women’s only area, only mention the bad men do or you’re not welcome here. I know there are egalitarians out there, I’ve found them here, but this can’t be the only place they are popular? I so want to know an egalitarian feminist space and masculist space as I really cannot stand the other types much due to the fighting.

              • David Byron says:

                Way back in the day the feminists were up for talking to critics but after a few years of it noticed that after I got banned from places they often changed their comment rules after the fact to say that no critics of feminism or MRAs would be allowed to post. After about ten years of it there were very few if any feminist web sites that even claimed to be OK with critics and probably none at all that actually were OK. The movement as a whole on-line just got paranoid about anyone who wasn’t 100% on board with their agenda. It wasn’t a gendered bias though; any woman who spoke out against feminism got the same treatment.

                Seems like there might be better options these days. I wonder if it is generational. Jasmine seems pretty young.

                • Julie Gillis says:

                  “It wasn’t a gendered bias though; any woman who spoke out against feminism got the same treatment.”

                  Though the result of shutting up dialogue is the same, and makes feminism look bad, I wonder if it isn’t more of a generational “power of the internet” groupthink issue. don’t know that for sure but I wonder. As a 42 year old who came of age without much tech at all, the conversations were different.

  35. “Now, here is where our opinions seem to diverge. I want to understand men, and I want to support men. I want to help men to grow to their full capacities (outside of the ‘man box’), and to free men from oppression that they, too, face. And, as an activist, I engage in activities that are meant to address issues men face, in addition to women’s issues, so it really rather hurts me, and then kind of makes me angry, when I hear men suggesting that feminism is anti-male”

    Just had an anti-male moment in a discussion with feminists, not a single one of them could identify the bigotry against men and I found that very very sad. A man can bring up a genuine issue and a few antagonistic radfems will speak up, throw “whataboutthemenz” as an insult, a silencer, a way to say hey man, your issues aren’t worth anything. Immediately after that another talks on how feminism addresses the issues of men but wait a minute, they didn’t call out the anti-male part and actually agreed with it. My experience with talking to feminists is limited, but there is a good portion who are anti-male from what I can tell.

    “Patriarchy is as oppressive to men as it is to women. We’re not resisting men when we’re resisting patriarchy; we’re resisting inequality.”

    “I have been subjected to tremendous amounts of reprisal simply for being feminist. That doesn’t mean I will stop being a feminist, or that I will dissociate myself from or call out an entire group who tend to engage in anti-feminist discourse.”

    “Feminism is egalitarianism.”
    “And let me just say, I absolutely love and appreciate every single male ally. Really.”
    Egalitarianism has no male allies (they’d be apart of it), it’s men and women together, feminism has egalitarian elements for SOME of their members but as a whole it is not.

    “The trouble is, this bias that you speak of doesn’t exist, except for perhaps among extremists, and it seems silly to generalize a prejudice against (or to dissociate yourself from) a whole group of people because of extremist factions.”

    What happens though when there is clear bias and no feminist speaks up over it? When there is clear bigotry? I just came off a page full of bigotry towards men, full of vitriol n hatred, antagonism and men being insulted if they dared to speak up. Where are these feminists calling out the anti-male ones, the manboobz of misandry? The ones who will crack down on highly insulting and invalidating whataboutthemenz attacks. The ones who can actually see male suffering fully, the ones who talk about bias in stat reports fully without pushing misandrous statements like “Only men can stop rape”. The ones who acknowledge the increasing level of male victimization at the hands of females, who will call out the bad women along with the bad men.

    I’ve tried to find them recently but I am coming up stumps, I can only find a few of them in the comments sections here at the GMP so I desperately want to see these good feminists who welcome men with open arms and aren’t bigoted.

    I totally agree that we shouldn’t judge the whole based on the few, I know there are great feminists out there and know of a few. I want to find more of them because lately I’m finding more of the bad ones, I want to find those who will call out the bad in the group and tell the extremists and radfems not to act so bigoted.

    I desperately want to know where they are because when you start seeign just the bad it can influence your idea of what the whole is like, I feel like feminism isn’t a safe place for men to discuss their problems and from that I do not agree feminism can handle at all, dealing with problems men face. Any man I have ever seen speak up on their issues has been cut down by radfems, and the other feminists have allowed it to happen.

    What’s important to understand here is that peoples exposure to feminism can be wildly different. The authors has been postive, but mine has been a mix of highly negative and positive. Many of these men were faced with the bad feminists, and worse didn’t see the good feminists really call out the bad ones except a small Not all women are like that, not all feminists are like that cliche. Unless someone of that group really picks apart the bad I’m not sure much trust is going to be there, and in the MRA/MRM the same needs to happen for people calling out the bad MRA’s.

    Thank-you for the article, it’s good to see more positive feminist articles and look forward to reading more.

  36. “The trouble is, this bias that you speak of doesn’t exist, except for perhaps among extremists, and it seems silly to generalize a prejudice against (or to dissociate yourself from) a whole group of people because of extremist factions.”

    It does exist and it doesn’t need to be enforced by most feminists for it to continue to exist. All that is needed is some feminists to be biased and other feminists (perhaps the majority) doing nothing to stop it. The bias has become endemic and unnoticed that is why it continues. Any person who points out that it is biased is silenced by some feminists and other feminists do nothing (or have no power) to stop them. If you want i can provide many examples of this happening in media. I can point out how this made domestic violence centers anti male even though most feminists probably are egalitarian.
    I can even show how this made rape a gendered crime when it really isn’t .

    You don’t need most feminists to be man haters you only need other feminists not stopping them or recognizing it is happening.

  37. Generally I solve the problem by identifying myself as a misanthropist. I hold the view that the majority of people are stupid, stubborn, pigheaded, and selfish at any given time, and if given the chance, would revert to illegal or violent activities. Andrea Dworkin definitely fits this description, and so does the owner of Spearhead, both major American political parties, and most religions on the world stage.

    Under that framework, it’s difficult to care about rights for anyone. We live in a dog-eat-dog, everyone for themselves country, and everyone cares primarily about their own agenda. My “fellow” Americans don’t care about me – why waste my energy worrying about them? Let the stupid people come together, and whether they fight or hug and sing kum-bay-yah, I really won’t care either way. I’ll just focus on what I want. It’s only “the American way,” after all.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      There is a lot to relate to in that comment. In my most cynical moments I’m right there with you.

    • Max,

      It’s funny because I have been “solving the problem” by holding the exact opposite view: that people are capable, rational individuals that are responding to the best information that they have available. When someone like Andrea Dworkin exists, it’s simply because she’s responding to the incentives that she has been handed (namely a fan base hungry for a particularly angry brand of ideology).

      People are self interested, that’s why they respond to incentives. But this is also the greatest blessing of our society: we know that people will respond to incentives out of self interest, and so we can make improvements by changing incentives. Public policy like the GI bill works because people, left to their own devices, will make the best choices they can given the information they have (if people were stubborn and irrational, the GI bill would have had no effect on college attendance).

      Of course, this is also why I usually write-off feminism, because it’s too focused on the oppressor/oppressed framework, rather than the idea that we are all individuals making our own choices.

      • You have to do whatever works for you, Mike. When I operate from the notion that people are basically selfish and irrational, I find I am able to avoid unpleasant people and situations, and not get hoodwinked. When I operated from the view you hold, I got taken advantage of regularly. To each their own.

  38. Feminism is egalitarianism.

    The National Organization for Women (NOW), the Feminist Majority, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and the National Women’s Law Center turned a $787B shovel ready projects bill into a $47B infrastructure bill diverting the rest of the funds into benefits targeted at women, even though 75% of the jobs lost in the past recession were men’s.

    Search the term “stimulus” on the NOW website and witness the victory dance. Its examples like these that keep me from buying the feminist are not against men and its not a zero net sum gain arguments.

    I’m sick of the binary arguments too, but I just don’t see any compelling evidence that if this situation happened today the women’s lobbies would not gladly divert 90% of any effort aimed at men if they could.

    • http://www.now.org/news/blogs/index.php/sayit/2010/01/28/women-working-u-s-out-of-the-recession

      “Women have been more likely to stay employed during the recession then men. According to current population surveys, jobs more often held by men in construction and manufacturing have decreased by 39 percent since 2007. Meanwhile, jobs in health services where women are employed at a higher rate have actually increased by 4.5 percent. ”

      So, NOW states that women were more likely to stay employed than men were, and in fact in female-majority industries jobs have actually *increased*

      fast forward to the end of the article…

      “If it weren’t for the efforts of NOW and other women’s rights advocates, billions of dollars would have gone primarily into “shovel ready” projects, meaning financial support would have been funneled to construction jobs where women only make up less than 15 percent of the industry. NOW’s goal in helping shape the stimulus package was to encourage investment in efforts and projects that would put women back to work and jump-start the economy.”

      So, despite the fact that female industries are actually doing *better* NOW just couldn’t stand the thought of men being given any help, despite the fact that their industry is -struggling-

      “Through the stimulus package, U.S. families will continue to be positively effected thanks to NOW’s lobbying efforts.”

      ….Unless your family depends on a construction job for income. Then NOW says screw you.

  39. @Jasmine:
    – First, I like your post very much and I enthusiastically agree with most of what you say. And I fully believe you’re a friend and ally of men. Your sincerity shines through.
    – Second, the argument in my post was against SOME feminists, NOT ALL of them. I thought I said it loud and clear, but it’s worth repeating. 😉
    I never meant to talk about the whole feminism movement (about which I, admittedly, don’t know really much).

    @Jasmine: “What I’m curious to know is the type of feminists Valter has encountered, because they don’t seem to be anything like the numerous feminists I know.”
    Canada and Italy have a very different culture, so having different experiences is pretty likely. Italy, in particular, is often suspended between the modern and the past. Thus, meeting women who demand equal rights and, at the same time, don’t want to let go of traditional female privileges, is quite common. They just don’t see the contradiction.
    But I don’t want to go into autobiographical too much here.

    @Jasmine: “I’m not sure what kind of feminism it is that subscribes to the assumption that “To be a good man you need to always please (or never displease) women””.
    To find that, you can just read some article by Hugo Schwyzer here (he’s not writing here anymore, though). His articles were always brilliant and insightful, yet skewed towards putting the blame on men (he got much flak for this). He seems to put women on a “pedestal”. Obviously, he was pretty popular among female readers. 🙂

    @Jasmine: “Feminists want men to be free to be their authentic selves”
    Mhh. Tell me, is this still true when I…
    – Look to a woman and all I want is having sex with her? (mind you, I don’t go around saying it, it’s just part of my thoughts)
    – Like porn very much? (I do, and I see no harm in this)
    Since you seem so intelligent and open-minded, it’s probably ok with you; but do you think it’s ok with every feminist? Even with most of them?
    My (limited) experience says it’s quite the opposite.

    • Thank you for responding here, Valter! I appreciate your input. I do understand that you were referring to a pocket of feminists, and it was clear. However, I think that at times, it became less clear, which made it sound like feminism, as a whole, was what caused you discomfort (I’m thinking most particularly the last few lines of your piece).

      I assumed that some of this might be coming from cultural differences. Being Canadian, I certainly can’t speak to feminism and how it is embodied in Italy. But, I do want to suggest that traditionalism and feminism can be compatible, and still man-friendly (I don’t know that this is how it plays out, but it is possible).

      Anyone who purports to be a feminist, but suggests that men need to inhibit themselves isn’t truly engaging in feminism (or at least not engaging in an honest form of feminism). And I think sometimes people slip up and will say things that are oppressive, or anti-male, or anti-female, just because we’re humans and we’re susceptible to such errors. Even given my beliefs in equality and my desire to see men’s rights fully addressed also, I can’t say that I’ve never silenced a man, or been an oppressor (as much as I’d like to be able to say so, it wouldn’t be honest; we’re all fallible).

      And finally, about supporting men in being their authentic selves, I answer that it is still true under each of these conditions that you’ve listed that this is what feminists, or the kind of feminism I have experienced, is supportive of. There are even feminists who like porn! 🙂 There is nothing out of the ordinary with seeing a woman and being sexually attracted to her (women often do the same thing with men). There is nothing wrong with enjoying pornography. And there is nothing wrong with feeling that you cannot relate to feminism as you have experienced it. I just wanted to put out there what feminism can look like, and does look like, for many people. 🙂 Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

  40. David Byron says:

    I don’t have any particular problem believing what Andrew said about different kinds of feminists. I just don’t think it excuses the rank and file feminist.

    There’s the lay feminist, the one who wants equality for all genders. I am one of them. They know of feminism as an egalitarian framework.

    There’s the movement feminist. These are the ones that MRAs dislike because they “actively harm men.” They call men fighting for custody rights abuser’s lobbies, or (in the case of NOW, a feminist organization) fight against presumptive shared custody. They play with statistics something fierce, too, which has been used in the past to indict men. In my opinion, a huge percentage of these people are scared of losing the fruits of the hard battles they’ve fought over the decades.

    And there’s the academic feminist, the one who really, truly, honestly believes in the wilder Women’s Studies theories. Like separatism. Or any lovely Susan Brownmiller quote, like “[Rape] is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.”

    See my problem is that this is the same sort of pattern that you’d expect from a popular hate movement. Now again I am talking about a popular hate movement. Not the modern KKK types who know that society sees them as racist asshole cranks and do it anyway. I mean like the KKK was back in the 1920s when “all the best people were in the clan” (as one former member explained it). When it was sold as being all about saving the country by preserving the christian religion and the 100% white identity from all sorts of alien forces that were dangerously threatening America. The movement when it was popular enough to have political candidates fighting to win support of the Klan. When there were millions of members and when most of the rest of the country had generally supportive views of the Klan and racism was perfectly acceptable. When the people on the fringes were the ones saying racism was wrong. THAT is a popular hate movement.

    Are all the people in such a movement riding around on horses and burning crosses? No. Mostly they took part in processions and they held pic-nics. Maybe they helped to boycott companies that opposed the movement. Maybe they wrote a letter to the editor. Maybe they tut-tutted about “extremists” burning crosses, or lynching people, but my guess is they didn’t unless someone outside the Klan challenged them. Maybe they would explain, “Oh no the Klan is about protecting good christian values”.

    How do you tell one thing from the other? How do you make that determination?

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I don’t think Andrew’s implying that it “excuses” any sort of discrimination or oppression.

      You could determine what type of feminist they are by listening to them and paying attention to what they have to say. People are individuals. Give us a chance.

      So let’s say you don’t know me (you probably don’t!). You hear I’m a feminist, you might immediately have a bad taste in your mouth based upon past experiences with non-equity feminists. But give me a chance. If you see me on Twitter or here, you can click to my blog, or you can Google me, or search my author page here. My blog doesn’t speak about Feminism, but you can hear my voice and get to know me.

      You’ll see a mix of stuff rom me, but I hope you’ll give me a chance by seeing my response to Neely or my Why I Can’t Write What’s Good About Masculinity. If you throw me out with the bathwater (as they say), you might miss a chance to make an ally who wants to join with you and work toward mutual goals.

      • Joanna

        When you say “work towards mutual goals” – what pull and influence do you have in feminism and will you speak out against bad policies, laws, misandric ideology and the inequality that feminism is creating?

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          I have very little pull, Eon. I’m not “in the feminist community”.

          I am one person. I have one voice. I have the readership of the Good Men Project. That’s about it. I am actually a copy writer and fiction writer on top of what I do here. So no, I don’t have a platform to speak out against bad laws other than that.

          However, does that mean I should shut up? Should I pretend I don’t believe what I do? Should I stop calling myself a feminist so the few of you here and on other anti-feminist sites might like me more?

          Nope. I don’t care if you don’t like me. I care that some people spew hate against a massive group of people. Be it feminists, MRAs, or anyone else who identifies as “something”. That makes me really mad. I used to hate MRAs for all the same reasons many of these commenters hate feminists. I think there is a population of people within the MRA movement who are outright woman-haters masquerading under a cause that makes them feel righteous.

          But you know what? I now know that’s not what *all* MRAs are, and I hear the MRA causes about abuse especially as well as the education of boys. Now that I can hear that, I accept the diversity within the movement and I’m better for it.

          Why don’t feminists deserve the same respect?

          • I absolutely feel the same way. I have experienced some serious denigration and hatred coming from MRAs but have not characterized then as an entire group, just because some have treated me poorly. I would hope men, with whom I consider myself an ally, could give me the same respect.

            • A clear case of feminism working against men (in this case, college bound men) is presented and it’s dismissed as just an ‘anecdote’. I’m just supposed to stop seeing these injustices and believe that feminism is all about equality because you say so?

              And I’m also supposed to believe that feminism attacking men via legislation, systematically taking away men’s rights with not a peep from so-called “good” feminists who supposedly like men is on the same level as MRA’s calling you names?

              I would say this is unbelievable, but it’s only unbelievable to those who have never dealt with feminists before.

          • Joanna

            “why don’t feminist deserve the same respect”

            Because feminism is judged on what it produces, not the nice sounding idealistic words of followers and true believers, also the average feminists are problematic for many reasons – average feminists protect and make excuses for the misandrists and extremists in their movement, and support their problematic legislation. Average feminists chose to speak for all of feminism. Average feminists cover and deny that feminism is manipulating data on abuse for decades. Average feminists support civil roll backs and attacks on father rights like VAWA. Average feminist take whatever bullshit stats that radicals that run the movement at face value. Average feminists minimise deny abuse and pedophilia when its female perpetrated.

            Look at the OP here Jas, how dishonest she is, how she wont answer straight questions or provide any evidence of her claims …

            And not all feminists are lumped in together just the mainstream and radical extremists are. Dissidents and exceptions aren’t, see Chrsitine Hoff Sommers etc.

            • edit

              “Average feminist take whatever bullshit stats that the radicals that run the movement give them at face value.”

              ADD -Average feminists put a wall of protection up between us and radical extremists that run the movement, produce lies about men and reality and are changing the legal system.

      • There is absolutely no reason we SHOULD give you a chance. What do you do for men? What do you DO, except provide cover for the hateful ideologues? I mean, it’s not like you actually listen to men…you simply tell us what is acceptable.

        Sorry, until I see actual concrete VICTORIES in men’s rights, fought for by ‘egalitarian’ feminists, then I will continue to put you, your friends, and Andrea Dworkin In exactly the same basket.

        Moreover, I’d be justified doing so.

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          I guess that’s your loss, Factory.

          When I hear such generalizations, I know I can’t really dialogue with you and that shuts off the opportunity for you to educate me as to your causes, concerns and interests.

          You don’t want to hear me, but I want to hear you, and your wall of generalization keeps me (and almost everyone else) out.

          And, by the way, I do listen to men. Have you read anything I’ve ever written? No? Oh yeah, you won’t give me a chance.

          Oh well.

  41. http://jezebel.com/5873726/what-should-you-do-when-someone-you-love-becomes-a-mens-rights-activist

    Give that a read, Jasmine. The comments too. That should give you a good idea of what feminists commonly think of men and their problems.

    I had a very similar experience growing up as the author here that your article is responding too. I think at some point, we just need to realize that feminism has changed. You can still be pro-women without being a feminist. But people here hold a stigma to the word for a REASON.

    • I read this article a while back and was greatly disappointed with it.

      Just to be clear, I’m not pro-women. I am a feminist. I have no intention of changing that label. And I will assert again and again and again that what that means is that I am for equality (which is why I’m not ‘pro-woman’).

      • I meant pro-women as in supporting them and their rights. As in, it is possible to support women’s rights without being a feminist.

        Anyway, you’re missing the point. We get it. You’re one of the good ones. And all of your pals are the same way too! So far as they tell you anyway, but whatever.

        Your views are in the minority, as shown in my link. And Jezebel isn’t some radfem fringe site either, it is a pretty good finger on the pulse of mainstream feminism.

        That you’re disappointed with their article is great and all, but that doesn’t change anything. If you want to share the same label as those people, that’s your choice. I don’t.

        • Which is also your choice. But lumping feminists into one pile because you’ve had negative experiences or heard negative rhetoric is essentialist and reductionist. My views are not in the minority. Popular feminist media isn’t representative of the entire movement. It might reach the most people, but it’s not necessarily an accurate depiction of the ideology of feminism. In fact, it just isn’t an accurate depiction.

          • Richard Aubrey says:

            Jasmine,

            A few years ago, a friend of ours,whom you would consider a feminist, got married in our church. She asked some women she knew who had a chamber quintet to play for her wedding. I noted the name of the group was long on the women part and not so much on the music part. I was helping get set up. They brought several problems with them your average, standard-issue chamber quintet does not. Between ignoring me or requiring me to, in effect, abase myself when I asked what they needed, and me persevering, I did eventually find that, yes, they needed a second extension cord and, yes, cello had certain seating issues most cellos don’t, so other things would have to be changed, and so forth. If I had gotten up on my hind legs, then, obviously our church would have been unwelcoming.

            You, Jasmine, or my lying eyes.

          • Do what you like, I’m just trying to give you some context and reasoning behind why people think what they do about feminists.

            If identifying as a feminist is that important to who you are, I say jump in with both feet sister. Just don’t pretend to not understand when people roll their eyes when they hear it.

            That’s my only issue here. If someone says that they don’t identify as a feminist, I think we can all understand why at this point.

      • Then don’t complain when you are painted with the same brush as Andrea Dworkin. You can choose to take on the label…you CAN’T tell others what that label means.

        And Feminist is becoming more and more synonymous with “female supremacist hate-monger”. Contrary to popular belief, this view of feminism isn’t a construct of the Mens Movement….but a general societal view…

        Hmmm, wonder why that is….?

  42. Richard Aubrey says:

    It may be correct to say that some men have been hurt by man-bashing feminists. But I would suggest that far more men are annoyed, exasperated, perfectly willing to ignore, than “hurt”.
    Who needs that crap?
    But anybody who’s been paying attention is going to be a tough sell for the “we’re not all like that” pitch.
    In some cases, I’m reminded of Bill O”Reilly quizzing the assistant to the guy who wanted to build a mosque on the 9-11 crash footprint. He’d say, “Did Bozo really say….{something awful]?” She’d say, “I don’t agree with that.” Not, of course, answering the question. Not directly, anyway. But clearly admitting Bozo did indeed say a number of awful things. But O’ Reilly let her get away with it. So here we find feminists saying…”I don’t believe….” with the implication that we’re supposed to think none or hardly any feminists have said one or another horrid thing. Tough sell.
    BTW. Egalitarian feminists eschew gender-normed physical requirements for cops and firefighters and suchlike, right? Right?

  43. Tom Matlack says:

    I decided to write a response to this conversation here:
    http://bit.ly/Man-Talk

  44. John Anderson says:

    Jasmine, I appreciate your post. Many feminists won’t even use the term female privilege. Feminism and the men’s rights movement share a tremendous amount of common ground. I’ve recently learned quite a bit about street harassment from feminists. Having been a weightlifter and kick boxer in my youth, I’ve received some unwanted attention from women on the street. I would waive them off and that would be the end of it. I thought that it was no big deal, but I started reading stories about women being followed for blocks and continuously harassed and I can see that it isn’t the same thing based on severity. Yes, I’ve been groped so don’t go there because most times it was in the upper body doesn’t make it OK, but even then the quantity, about 6 times, might be less severe as compared to the experiences of most women.

    Read the comments section and don’t take it personally. Being a man, I’ve had to learn this skill. You can’t read a story about abused males without the disclaimer that most rapes or most domestic violence or most sexual harassment, etc. is done by males. Many men here have valid points. If you’re truly concerned about equal rights, educate yourself and be prepared to stand up for your men because we could use a voice in feminist circles. Keep this in mind. Misandry is our enemy. Misogyny is our enemy. Inequality is our enemy. Women (men) are not our enemy.

    • Thank you very much for your comment, John! I greatly appreciate it!! I completely agree that feminism and the men’s rights movement share common ground and common goals. And I fully agree that it is misandry and misogyny that we need to focus our energy on eradicating; not tearing down men, women, feminists, or men’s rights activists. My goal is always to work toward equality.

  45. “I explain that maybe some feminists are involved with creating that inequality, but the heart of the movement is about addressing these issues… and it continues in a circular pattern.”

    What you, as a feminist, consider to be the heart of feminism may be in direct contrast to what non-feminists perceive it to be.

    If you choose the same label as a group of loud, hateful, and influential misandrists, you can hardly complain when people associate you with them.

    • I’d be careful with that last sentence. Every social movement, or any movement or group for that matter, has some nutcases to deal with. You can’t just group everyone together by the worst common denominator. Now, if they support the nutcases, we have a different story.

      • Its different when the nut cases run the movement and have their hands on the leavers of power.

        Lay feminists and followers and true believers repeating nice sounding rhetoric means absolutely nothing, what counts is the misandric ideology, the problematic laws and the lies about abuse and corruption the people that run the movement are involved in.

        Its the actions and the outcomes that count, followers saying “Im a feminist and I’m not doing X, Y and Z” means absolutely nothing when the core of the movement is actually doing X, Y and Z

      • But from what I’ve observed, the *majority* of feminists *do* support the radicals. If not directly, they support the radicals through their silence. The mainstream feminists silently support the anti-male propositions the radicals put into law.

        Worse, it seems feminists who are against the anti-male radicals never actually speak up about it until pressured to do so. They never seem to call out the extremists on their own initiative.

        • David Byron says:

          Correct. Look at which people are kicked out of the movement. It is not the radicals but the “dissident” feminists. It is people like Tom who get pounded on Twitter not a feminist making a joke about “hey lets kill all the men”, or a woman joking about castrating men.

          • Julie Gillis says:

            Well I”m quite sure I’m not all that welcome to write anywhere but here at this point. And I’ve had a number of interesting conversations with friends here.

            • “Well I”m quite sure I’m not all that welcome to write anywhere but here at this point. And I’ve had a number of interesting conversations with friends here.”
              That really says a lot sadly. The extremists are pushing out the egalitarians and that is wrong. I saw muslims denounce extremists very quickly in regards to terrorism, trying to keep their name pure and hating those who did horrible acts in their name. Same needs to happen with feminism and mra’s.

  46. One of the arguments made in favor of feminism and how its still relevant, even today, is how much injustice women around the world still face. Let’s take a look at this in action, shall we?

    ___________________
    Sweden to abolish affirmative action at universities

    (AFP) – Jan 12, 2010

    STOCKHOLM — The Swedish government said Tuesday it would abolish affirmative action at universities since the practice has resulted in male students being given admissions priority for several popular programmes.

    “The education system should open doors — not slam them in the face of motivated young women,” Higher Education Minister Tobias Krantz wrote in an article in Sweden’s leading daily Dagens Nyheter.

    The government has allowed universities to practice affirmative action since 2003 in order to encourage an equal number of men and women at the country’s universities.

    Criticism has raged in Sweden recently after male students have been given priority to popular programmes where men are under-represented, in particular the medicine, psychology, veterinary and dentistry faculties.

    For those programmes in particular, there are more women applicants with top grades than men, yet the men are admitted because of the affirmative action rule.

    Women represent about 60 percent of university students in Sweden, a pioneer in gender equality.

    “The current regulations yield a totally unfair result. Last year it was almost only women, 95 percent, who had worked hard to get into their dream programme but who did not get in because of their gender,” Krantz wrote.

    A Swedish appeals court recently ruled in favour of 44 women who were not admitted to a veterinary programme because of their gender, awarding them damages of 35,000 kronor (5,000 dollars, 3,400 euros) each.

    In another class-action lawsuit currently in the courts, 31 women have sued Lund University in southern Sweden for discrimination for giving male students admissions priority to the psychology programme in 2008.
    ___________________

    So, in essence, Swedish feminists had their government put affirmative action in place to give women priority in college admission because, in their view, women were underrepresented. Fast forward a few years now and women in college far outnumber men in college…so much so that affirmative action began to favor men. Suddenly, feminists assert that affirmative action was a bad thing and had it abolished.

    This is feminist “equality” in action. Of course, I don’t expect those in favor of feminism to anything other than to find a reason to dismiss this as not-real-feminism or something like this, I just hope that there are some out there that look at the evidence and won’t get fooled by the rhetoric.

    • A feminist wouldn’t dismiss this as not a real feminist issue. It IS a real feminist issue.

      Let me be clear: Feminist IS Egalitarianism.

      So I think that it is definitely problematic to not use affirmative action to create equality for males in this situation.

      Here’s the thing that I find happens a lot on discussions of feminism: I assert that feminism is about equality. Others bring up anecdotes about how feminism creates inequality. I explain that maybe some feminists are involved with creating that inequality, but the heart of the movement is about addressing these issues… and it continues in a circular pattern.

      • David Byron says:

        What would it take for you to think maybe feminism was NOTabout equality?

        For example if the major accomplishment of the entire movement in the 1990s was to pass a sexist law? Or if the major accomplishment of the movement in the 1980s was to pass a sexist set of laws? Both are true of course but you’ll just say oh well, that’s not “my feminism” and only my perspective counts for anything so your experiences are invalid.

        (btw what the heck did feminism get up to in the last ten years?)

      • Actually, Jasmine, there WAS affirmative action to address the imbalance for men.

        Then the feminists over there campaigned for “Affirmitive Action” it to be abolished afterwards once it was applied for men.

      • I remember there was going to be a scholarship in Australia to address the imbalance of women and men in teaching. The main opposition were feminists.

        Feminism doesn’t mean egalitarianism. You can’t generalize feminism to be man hating or egalitarian both of those things exist within feminism.

        • Amen to that, some are for and some are against. It’s up to the egalitarians to take back the name of feminism and truly fight for it or they will be lumped in with the bad ones. Same thing happens in the MRA, maybe feminism needs a split because I see 2 types at odds with each other.

          Let’s just all start equalism and drop the old terms:P they cause polarity too much.

      • “Let me be clear: Feminist IS Egalitarianism.”

        No to be clear your version of feminism is egalitarian. You already said it was a leaderless movement that varies with individual practice and as such we can judge it by yours or the practice of anybody else who claim to be adherents. To be fair we would judge it by it’s most mainstream representation and I think the passage of laws and media activity fit the bill.

        You have not answered the key questions raised by that comment, if you were a politician I would call that a dodge.

    • “For those programmes in particular, there are more women applicants with top grades than men, yet the men are admitted because of the affirmative action rule.”

      That is disgusting to want to abolish it because the dynamics change, and it sounds more like political idealism of women always being worse off than simply addressing an equality issue.

  47. Jasmine wrote:

    ‘But in my experience, these discussions of privilege aren’t charging individual men, or women, as guilty parties; it’s merely about recognizing power structures in culture and how they contribute to inequalities so that we can find ways to empower marginalized groups. It’s not about blame. Similarly, talking about patriarchy, because of its perceived association to maleness, seems to make men cringe. Again, suggesting that patriarchy is a root cause of inequality is not an attack on men. Feminists, or all of the feminists I personally know, aren’t suggesting that the converse – matriarchy – is desirable. Patriarchy is as oppressive to men as it is to women. We’re not resisting men when we’re resisting patriarchy; we’re resisting inequality.’

    I think she is wrong. The concept of patriarchy does allow feminists to blame individual men for the wrongs in the world. Look at ‘rape culture’ discourse which tells individual men – ‘don’t be a rapist!’ ‘As a man it is possible/likely that you will rape a woman! Don’t!’

    Look at the name of this site ‘The Good Men Project’. Is there a ‘Good woman project’? do women have to work hard to be ‘good’ in our society?

    I was a feminist for 40 years. But in that dogma I could not love men fully or accept them as my equals. I do now.

    • Rape culture discourse does not say that all men are potential rapists. In fact, in talking about rape in a feminist organization, the main iteration was that not all men are rapists. That most men are good men. Some of the literature that has been cited as labelling all men as rapists is outdated. Perhaps some feminists think that way, but that is not something I have encountered. In our discussions of rape and power, we talk about how most men are good and nurturing and kind.

      There are notions of ‘good’ women. There are discourses on bad mothering and shaming mothers. Women in the spotlight are almost never good enough – they’re too emotional, too docile, too strong, have too many opinions.

      Patriarchy isn’t about assigning blame to individual men. Perhaps it once was. I think part of the confusion stems from the fact that some people have difficulty distinguishing between different waves of feminism and different models of feminism (there are a number of factions within the feminist movement). This confusion results in a fear and animosity, and I think it’s misdirected. I am immersed in the movement. I work with feminists. I have many friends who are feminists. I do feminist research. Patriarchy is harmful to men and women. How is that blaming men? It’s suggesting that the current patriarchal structure is something that inhibits both men and women alike.

      P.S. I am a feminist. I love men. Fully and wholly. I admire men. I admire aspects of masculinity and femininity alike. You can be a feminist and love men.

      • I am a feminist. I love men. Fully and wholly. I admire men. I admire aspects of masculinity and femininity alike. You can be a feminist and love men.

        Jasmine,For what it’s worth, I don’t think anyone doubts you about being a feminist or about loving men. In fact, I don’t think anyone doubts that a person can be and do both. The issue here is that many, many people who identify as feminists demonstrably don’t love men, subscribe to and espouse worldviews which cast all men in the role of aggressor and oppressor, and support programs which demonstrably lead to inegalitarian outcomes. Many of your co-commenters have encountered such people, and that’s precisely why they have come to believe that whatever feminism really is, it at least does not seem to be incompatible with anti-male sentiment and discrimination.When you say that feminism isn’t really like that, the people to whom you are speaking perceive that you are minimizing or erasing their experiences. Also, in the face of the concrete examples provided by several commenters here, it begins to sound much like a no true Scotsman objection.The most parsimonious explanation seems to me to be that while feminism encompasses the kind of egalitarianism you espouse, it encompasses a lot more than that– including the anti-male examples cited by some of the commentariat. If that is the case, why shouldn’t people (men especially) hesitate to adopt the label or to extend the benefit of the anti-male doubt to people who do?I really wish “feminist” were equivalent to “egalitarian,” but the evidence seems to suggest that they are coterminous at best.

        • Sorry for the awful formatting in the above post. I tried to do html line breaks, but evidently they didn’t take.

        • Right, I agree but am trying to bring the two together. I am not unusual or an outlier. Of the dozens of feminists I know, I am representative of that brand of feminism. I really truly have never met a feminist who hates men. So I think that it’s certainly an issue, that perhaps there are women out there who profess themselves to be feminist who engage in activity that is in no way feminism. But these are exceptions, in my experience. Rare exceptions. People tend to take the worst (or, sometimes conversely, the best) examples of an entire group and apply a certain set of ideas or values to them. Unfortunately, at the cultural level, feminism has been defined by a very few, and this is unfortunate because it’s subjected many good feminists to a lot of negative feedback. The real problem, for me, is that people have tried to define the entire movement based on these anecdotes, and of course personal experience informs our lives, our opinions, and our biases, but what I am expressing here is that I’m not outside of the norm with my views on feminism and men, and I wanted to articulate them so that people could perhaps envision the side of feminism that they’re not accustomed to seeing.

          • David Byron says:

            Do you think you are better at seeing women’s privilege than a man is? Do you think you can see anti-male sentiment better than a man? You have men here saying it exists and you are busy telling them their experience is invalid.

          • I agree that you are not unusual or an outlier. However, I don’t believe that those people who you call “exceptions” are as rare as you say. Please allow me to share an anecdote with you from just last week, between me and a few peers. I am reproducing it here as close to verbatim as my memory will allow.

            Person A: (clearly not being serious and probably trying to bait me) Well, I for one just hate all men.
            Person B: (clearly being serious) I know, right?
            Me: Wow, that’s a very naked assertion of prejudice.
            Person B: Whatever, you can’t be prejudiced against the hegemon.
            Me: So, are you proposing that every man is “the hegemon”?
            Person B: (changes subject)

            Now, I recognize that this is a mere anecdote and further (Person A will laugh when she reads this) that my own experience is not authoritative. However, I think it is worth noting that Person B was, or at least thought she was, asserting a tenet of orthodox feminist theory. The fact that Person B can make a statement of universal hatred for men under the banner of feminism is, frankly, a huge problem for feminists like you– at least, if you want to continue using the “feminist” label.

            Unfortunately, at the cultural level, feminism has been defined by a very few, and this is unfortunate because it’s subjected many good feminists to a lot of negative feedback. The real problem, for me, is that people have tried to define the entire movement based on these anecdotes…

            I agree with you that this has happened, but I think it is important to realize that this has happened in large part because the people who say such extreme things are in many cases people who have been selected as the leader of publicly feminist organizations. So, for instance, I don’t believe that most members of the New York chapter of NOW hate men. However, NOW-NYS’s president, Marcia Pappas, says outrageous things with a fair degree of regularity, and presumably the members keep paying their dues. In short, I don’t think people conceive of feminists as anti-male because anti-male feminists are so numerous, but rather because those anti-male feminists are so readily visible and seem to be tacitly supported by other feminists.

            I appreciate that you’re not like that, and I’m glad of it. The point I am trying to get across is that those people who do not think that your feminism is “the real feminism” have good reasons to so believe.

            • I iterate that I still have never heard this type of negative sentiment espoused by a feminist that I know. I’m not denying that it happens, but given the extent to which I engage with feminists, it would stand, if it were common, that I would have encountered it at least once. I’ve heard anecdotes; I am not denying it exists. It’s just not the norm. And I guarantee you that if this were something that was said in front of me, I would be the first and most vociferous to speak up and suggest that it is entirely inappropriate. It’s just not feminism, and it’s not representative of feminism.

              I understand where a lot of people are coming from. Anecdote and experience have a huge influence on how we think of the world and inform our knowledge. I get it. But I think that it can get in the way of hearing what feminists who want equality for men are saying, and trying to do. I am telling you that I work toward equality for men whenever I see inequality. I call it out, I have the difficult conversations, I think of ways I can help address the issue, and I engage others in the process. So to hear so many men suggesting that feminism is anti-male or that its inherently prejudiced against men is contrary to feminism as I, and many women, know it.

              • I appreciate that you are responding a large number of interlocutors at the moment, but I think you haven’t quite responded to the points I am actually making. They are, briefly:

                1. I believe that you are sincere about your concern for men and men’s issues. Nothing I say about anti-male feminists is meant to pertain to you personally.

                2. One does not have to look far to find examples of anti-male bias in feminist media. This at the very least suggests that it isn’t vanishingly uncommon.

                3. Orthodox feminist theories are, at least in some ways, compatible with anti-male bias (viz. “women can’t be sexist against men”).

                4. Radical, often anti-male leadership of feminist organizations gives the impression that mainstream feminists at the very least do not object to radical positions and anti-male bias.

                5. Given points 2-4 above, a lot of people are hesitant to accept feminism, writ large, as a good thing– and their hesitancy is justified.

                One of the top posts here on GMP is entitled “Why Women Aren’t Crazy.” I humbly submit that the commenters here who are skeptical of feminism’s claim to be on their side aren’t either.

                • Okay, your point about media – I concur. There can be some very negative, anti-male sentiment in feminist media. However, there is also a great deal of anti-female sentiment, and anti-feminist sentiment in mainstream media. It’s rampant. Neither is right.

                  I have read a lot, and I mean a lot, of scholarship on feminism. I have never once read any contemporary work that suggests that women cannot be sexist against men.

                  As I’ve said, I still have yet to meet a feminist who is anti-male. If/when I do, you can bet that I would object to that position. Vociferously. Vehemently. Volubly.

                  I understand where much of the hesitation to feminism comes from, but as a feminist, I receive a lot of animosity, and a lot of this animosity toward me stems from a place of misinformation. So I’m informing. And in doing so, I would hope that men who have experienced anti-male rhetoric, sexist discrimination, or unequal treatment as a result of feminism will hear what I’m saying and understand that that isn’t representative of all feminists, or even the vast preponderance of feminists.

                  • …I would hope that men who have experienced anti-male rhetoric, sexist discrimination, or unequal treatment as a result of feminism will hear what I’m saying and understand that that isn’t representative of all feminists, or even the vast preponderance of feminists.

                    I think you would have to look hard indeed to find a man on this site who was unaware of the professed goals of feminism, or who failed to comprehend them. These men hear, they understand– they just don’t believe. The points I cited above are the reason why– and they’re also what would have to change in order to get those men on board.

                    Incidentally, they are probably also the things that would need to change in order for people to stop confronting you with the feminist-as-anti-male trope.

                  • ‘As I’ve said, I still have yet to meet a feminist who is anti-male. If/when I do, you can bet that I would object to that position. Vociferously. Vehemently. Volubly.’

                    You probably have met the feminists who are anti male but you didn’t notice they were. This is because there is wildly different meanings of certain words. Patriarchy for instance means one thing for some feminists and another thing for others. You end up talking about patriarchy and not realizing you completely disagree with each other. The same occurs with sexism some mean discrimination based on sex others need a power system behind it to consider it as sexism (which neatly excludes men from being victims of sexism from women). Feminism for you means “egalitarian” others mean it is about helping women to achieve equality (and not helping men at all).

                    There have been occasions where i have had a discussion with 2 feminists who appeared to be in lock step with each other but on further questioning actually couldn’t be further apart in beliefs about equality and feminism. This sort of thing happens a lot.

              • Well, it looks like 3 is the magic number of links which will get your comment thrown into moderation. Jasmine, I have a response to you out in the ether.

      • David Byron says:

        Patriarchy is harmful to men and women. How is that blaming men?

        If you don’t know the answer then how can you say that you and your friends never say anything anti-male? How would you know? For that matter, why don’t you know the answer if your feminism is about men as much as women?

        • Patriarchy is a social system and a power structure. So to talk about patriarchy isn’t to suggest that men are to blame. People hear the word patriarchy and they seem to think that what this means is that every single man is now being blamed for all issues of inequality, but that is not what is being said. It is a system. What is recognized when talking about this system is that it maintains inequality for males and females. It doesn’t deny inequalities males face, and it doesn’t suggest that all men are responsible for the oppression of women (or other men). Because people associate the word patriarchy with maleness, perhaps it feels like an attack on men. I assure you, it is not. But one cannot argue that our governments are run disproportionately by males, that CEOs are disproportionately males, and the holders of a nation’s wealth are disproportionately males. This doesn’t mean I have something against these man. It means that there is a disproportionate representation, and disproportionate representation is a form of inequality, and leads to inequality. I don’t want to see a matriarchy. I don’t want to see a patriarchy. I would like to see equality. It’s really that simple. And I’d like, when I work so hard considering issues of both men and women, for males to stop accusing me, automatically because I identify as a feminist, of being anti-male. It’s simply not the case.

          • Julie Gillis says:

            Thank you so much for your eloquent comments and explanation of your position. It’s the way I’ve always felt about feminism and patriarchy as well, and you’ve expressed yourself wonderfully. I find your words and positions familiar. I prefer kyriarchy as a construct myself, but that’s just me.

            • Thanks Julie! I actually do agree that kyriarchy is perhaps a better term and construct than patriarchy. And perhaps would raise less ire.

          • Lisa Hickey says:

            This is a great explanation of your beliefs Jasmine, thank you. I would like to see equality too. Maybe part of the problem is we don’t really know what that would look like.

            I really appreciate all of your continued responses to our commenters. Some of them really have seen the dark side of feminism, so I hope you can acknowledge that they might have seen something you have not.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              “Maybe part of the problem is we don’t really know what that would look like.”

              Yeah, I don’t think we do know what it would look like. I really don’t.

              • Joanna Schroeder says:

                You know, so many experts in different fields will tell you that the only way to really work toward a goal is to detail out what it will look like. Of course, you can never know exactly how it will come out, there are pleasant surprises and detractions, but in order to start working toward it you need a very firm vision of the future.

                It would be awesome if we could have a post where an author details his or her vision of equality between the sexes and we, as commenters, could add to the vision. Cool, huh?

            • I absolutely appreciate that many readers have had different experiences of feminism (and I hope that it has come across that I understand, acknowledge, and appreciate their positions, and how their views have been informed by said experiences). I think I do have some idea of what I mean when I say equality, but it’s not static. And Joanna, I think yours is a fantastic idea! I think it would be interesting to see, because my idea of what equality will look like might not be congruent with what someone else would feel to be representative of equality. Which is why these conversations are so important!

      • Jasmine, regarding Rape Culture, there’s a fellow here by the name of MediaHound who has provided eye-opening information on the term.

        If he could come into this thread and respond, he’d tell you that Rape Culture doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  48. @ Andrew

    “MRAs don’t make these distinctions. Feminism is bad, full stop. So when the lay feminist like you or me hears that, we get offended. I think we all need to be a little more honest with our terms as we discuss these things.”

    Lay feminists just get in between us and problematic feminists and say, “well I’m a feminists and I’m not doing that” while supporting the academic extremists and their laws.

    At the end if the day, because of the protection that lay feminists give the hate at the core of feminism, and take it misandrist ideology at face value, they become bigger problem than that extremists they support and protect.

    This is why all feminists are lumped in together. There is no other way.

  49. PursuitAce says:

    I would like to know what else needs to be done. There is again the ubiquitous phrase of ‘more needs to be done’. So what’s left for feminism?

    • PursuitAce says:

      I’ll just keep the conversation between myself I guess. From Wiki…”Patriarchy is a social system in which the role of the male as the primary authority figure is central to social organization, and where fathers hold authority over women, children, and property….Feminist theory typically characterizes patriarchy as a social construction, which can be overcome by revealing and critically analyzing its manifestations.” So this means we talk about it enough, and patriarchy goes away. Or the other option I see is move toward a unisex society and end gender inequality and patriarchy with it. How are we doing so far? Don’t worry. I’ll answer this too.

  50. The truth is that feminism has done good, its truth is also that feminism is often wrongheaded doing bad.

    For example, the feminist lobby groups that designed and stand to profit from the new rape definitions, chose to exclude many of the male rape victims. There is plenty of feminist legislation, academic fraud and ideology that is harming men.

    This OP has been asked repeatedly for sources, yet she just talks around it so I don’t take this person seriously at all. Feminists get a reputation for being intellectually dishonest and manipulative because of intellectual dishonesty and manipulation.

  51. I’ll say it: I’m an anti-feminist. We can play the game that feminism is concerned with equity forever despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary. Anti-feminists will give you concrete points backed by data. Feminists give you rhetoric and a reading list. Captain Picard summed up the anti-feminist position best when he said, “There are four light!!” :o)

  52. Generally I find good in both Valter’s and Jasmine’s writings. However, I do find it difficult to call myself a feminist, not because it’s hard to acknowledge a privilege I may or may not possess, but because the whole notion of privilege and standpoint theory doesn’t seem to explain well the way the world operates. I think if many feminist dropped the buzzword “privilege” the conversation might go farther.

  53. “The trouble is, this bias that you speak of doesn’t exist, except for perhaps among extremists, and it seems silly to generalize a prejudice against (or to dissociate yourself from) a whole group of people because of extremist factions.”

    The problem with that, Jasmine, is it doesn’t just apply to extremists. Mainstream, popular, widely-linked feminist websites regularly run hateful anti-male articles. In fact, I have yet to see a single popular, mainstream, widely-linked feminist website which doesn’t run at least occasional anti-male articles, that isn’t infested with misandrist comments, and which doesn’t apply strict censorship to people critical of feminist positions. Not one.

    Who are the feminists passing laws and influencing public policy, past and present? Catharine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, Susan Brownmiller, Harriet Harman. I’ll spare you the usual quotes, but suffice to say, these individuals are extremists. These extremists are the very core of the feminist movement. They are the ones getting things done.

    Mainstream feminists have consistently failed to criticize or distance themselves from the extremists. Why? Considering some of the hateful bile these feminist icons have espoused, remaining silent is unconscionable if wish to share the same label.

    • Considering some of the hateful bile these feminist icons have espoused, remaining silent is unconscionable if *you* wish to share the same label.

  54. You’ve made me break my silence on this site and comment. Congrats.

    This has always helped me understand gender and “the gender wars”: the three feminisms.

    There’s the lay feminist, the one who wants equality for all genders. I am one of them. They know of feminism as an egalitarian framework.

    There’s the movement feminist. These are the ones that MRAs dislike because they “actively harm men.” They call men fighting for custody rights abuser’s lobbies, or (in the case of NOW, a feminist organization) fight against presumptive shared custody. They play with statistics something fierce, too, which has been used in the past to indict men. In my opinion, a huge percentage of these people are scared of losing the fruits of the hard battles they’ve fought over the decades.

    And there’s the academic feminist, the one who really, truly, honestly believes in the wilder Women’s Studies theories. Like separatism. Or any lovely Susan Brownmiller quote, like “[Rape] is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.”

    MRAs don’t make these distinctions. Feminism is bad, full stop. So when the lay feminist like you or me hears that, we get offended. I think we all need to be a little more honest with our terms as we discuss these things.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      Great comment. Great breakdown. I am a “lay” feminist, I suppose. I can see what you are referring two in the other two branches. As for this, “In my opinion, a huge percentage of these people are scared of losing the fruits of the hard battles they’ve fought over the decades. ”
      Yeah, fear is a huge motivator in any movement. Things lost can be gained. Things gained, lost. Makes people do that ends justifying the means thing.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Andrew, thanks for this comment. I do think this breakdown makes sense. And — it’s interesting — I think that there are a whole lot of people who call themselves feminists — what you are calling the “lay feminists” — who believe in equality but aren’t actively doing much to “work” towards it. They may be doing “something”, don’t get me wrong — they may be doing the small, individual things, bringing it up in conversations, fighting a small battle in a human resources department, or blogging or writing about it. But although they believe in equality, they aren’t actively going out and changing laws or “fighting the fight” for it.

      And yes, I agree people are scared of losing the fruits of the battles they fought. That’s why we’re talking so openly and honestly about it hear. There’s no one truth that everyone wants to hear, and we don’t know how to solve the problems of the world in one fell swoop. But we do know there is something of value in looking at things from a man’s perspective. It doesn’t mean we’re trying to negate what’s been done for women (although there may be some people here that disagree with that.) But it seems to me that feminists can be our ally’s the same way we can be feminist ally’s as long as there really is that intention of equality right from the start.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Interesting distinction, Andrew. As a former academic feminist and current lay feminist, I agree!

      And thanks for breaking your silence! We’re working at making the comments section a place where people can bring their thoughts and theories and feel relatively safe.

    • David Byron says:

      But then if a feminist admitted to what you just said they’d also have to admit that they should quit being a feminist because it was just helping give power to bigots. So instead we get the runaround and the “Oh no feminism is all about equality” rubbish.

  55. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

    I’m not associating myself with a movement that has those feminists who dismissed my pain and concerns in the same space. Forget it.

  56. @LBC I don’t know one feminist that says all men are rapist or they want to castrate them :S And I’m not a feminist by any means. Sure some may say that but you can not judge all feminists the same because of a few bad apples. That would be like saying all men are scumbags because a few million out of billions are rapists and deadbeat dads. Not all men fall into the same categories just as not all feminists fall into the same categories.

    • Ah yes…NAWALT, or in this case, NAFALT…..and as a kicker, it ends with a variation of “would you like it if we say all men are like that”?

      Thing is, I HAVE heard “all men are like that” on a number of subjects (Yes, ALL men are pigs). And any women in the discussion would laugh and agree wholeheartedly….this is true with women I’ve seen on TV, or dealt in person and in classrooms (and this wasn’t even a women’s studies class…it was an accounting class! And then there’s the subject of my sister’s much loved “All men are idiots” t-shirt…)

      The only time I’ve ever seen a woman/feminist say “not all men are like that” is when women try to dismiss men when they finally have their say…

      • LBC, I can go you one better. I’ve had women, who were supposedly my friends, say “all men are pigs” *to me* with the obvious hope that I would sympathise with whatever problem they were having with their boyfriend or whatever.

        • Even worse, guys, was the fiasco involving those t-shirts with the sentence “All boys are stupid, throw rocks at them”.

          Those who supported them, including some feminists, reasoned “Hey, we have shirts that degrade women and girls.”

          Oh really? That gives them carte blanche to endorse such sexist and misandric garbage?

          • I remember those “All boys are stupid, throw rocks at them”. I recall more than a few times seeing responses like:

            “It’s sexism…against girls. It doesn’t take the violence girls commit seriously.”

            Its a sad day when someone looks at an attacker/target situation and concludes that the ATTACKER should get sympathy because they “aren’t being taken seriously” instead of the TARGET whose victimization becomes something to laugh at and put on a t-shirt.

        • David Byron says:

          Has any man NOT had that? on a daily basis pretty much?

      • Women and feminist are not the same thing. You can be a woman and be misogynist and/or misandrist. You can be a man and be a feminist. Generalizations aren’t overly helpful.

        I am a feminist. I have NEVER said “All ______ (insert group of people here) are _____ (insert negative stereotype/generalization here)”, because to generalize is really to stereotype. Just because your sister has a shirt that is insulting to men, doesn’t mean that feminists are anti-male. So let’s just make that distinction. And let me be clear – I do not find denigrating t-shirts, whether they’re demeaning to males or females, to be even remotely funny. I do not think jokes about men as screw ups are at all funny. I don’t think television depictions of fathers as bumbling idiots are at all funny. That trope is harmful and reductive and I don’t appreciate it. Just like I don’t think the pervasive objectification of the female body is amusing.

        Your experiences, while legitimate and obviously strongly influential in your worldview, are not representative of feminism. Why, when I’ve just written in the article above about how much I love and support men to be free from oppression, would you find it necessary to provide examples of all the women in your life who may not have done so? These examples that you provide are not examples of how feminists oppress men, but examples of negative experiences you’ve had with women in your life. That doesn’t mean that feminists don’t want equality for males. And while I acknowledge your personal experience, and understand that women in your life may have espoused hurtful sentiments, I don’t own that. Feminists, as a group, don’t own that.

        Sometimes it’s tiring having to fight all of the anti-feminist backlash that has depicted feminists as a group of man-hating, power-seeking women. This is an image of feminism that is highly inaccurate. I have to this day never met a feminist who meets these cultural ideas of what feminism is. And I’ve met a lot of feminists. (Again, not implying they don’t exist, but they’re not at all as pervasive as they are made out to be; they are the exception, not the rule).

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          I do agree with Jasmine. We know that there is a lot of pain out there, but it is also important that those who have been hurt hear what we’re saying when we say positive things. Listen to Jasmine when she writes something positive like this.

          There are a lot of extreme feminists who are hate-filled on the Internet, especially in discussion boards. But they are such a small minority of the real-world feminists out there doing good for men and women as equals.

          • Jasmine, your article is validating at certain points.

            But there are still issues.

            Jasmine: “Feminism is concerned with inequality, wherever it exists, and these goals are not in the slightest anti-male. Feminist researchers were the first to address masculinity as a health detriment in health research, out of concern for men’s health and greater morbidity. Feminists are concerned that young boys are subjected to gender policing more than young girls are, and the detriment this can have on their development.”

            When you say address masculinity, what masculinity are you talking about? Because from how it’s written, you seem to believe that masculinity itself is a health detriment. Is this true? Or are you talking about the dark side?

            See, this is what happens when you use general times like that. You need to be more specific in your language. That’s my pet peeve. Some feminists are never, EVER specific in their language and employ loaded terms such as that one. It’s only when they’re called out on it, do they say what they really mean.

            That’s terrible communication if you’re looking for people to sympathise with your cause. You tell them what you REALLY mean, not wait for the backlash AND THEN make it clear. Because it would be too late.

            Now, about gender enforcment. Again, what do you mean by it? Does this only include boys enforcing gender on them? Or do you also include girls there as well? Because, let me tell you, girls can take sexist messages like “Boys don’t hit girls” and use it to their advantage in the later stages where they can hurt them and won’t get so much as a consequence for it. That’s gender enforcement right there from girls. Do you include it in your definition?

            Related to girls and women hurting boys. Nowhere in your article did I see the following points:

            -Feminists are concerned that men are getting abused by their spouses and have nowhere to turn too. That they’re going to face ostricisation and ridicule from men AND women alike should they even speak out on it.

            -Feminists are concerned that the men continue to be dimissed as legitmate male victims of sexual abuse from females from all circles of society, from men and women.

            -Feminists are concerned that men are assumed to be prideful when not even addressing their feelings of hurt, that they’re speaking the language of machismo. (This is something I really loathe and I want done away with once and for all because it indirectly blames the male victim or survivor for his fear of speaking out)

            -Feminists are concerned that men are easily labeled pedophiles when wanting to care for children, that their every action is judged with sexual intentions behind it.

            -Feminists are concerned that when men care for children, they are criticised for not doing it right from their spouses.

            -Feminists are concerned that boys are unfairly being blamed in certain segements of society for the problems girls face, are subject to ludicrious amounts of ridicule (ie, “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” t-shirt fiasco) and whenever anyone speaks out, they’re told that it’s only fair since girls are degraded in culture as well.

            You get my point? If you’re for equality then you need to include these maybe in a point form list. Not exactly word for word but just the basic stuff.

            These are the only issues I have with your article.

            Apart from that, you’ve convinced me so far.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              As a woman, feminist and humanist, I see nothing at all wrong with supporting the points you make here Eagle.

              • I suppose that’s a start. I’d be more encouraged if I started to see self-identified feminists raise these issues on their own inititative.

            • The only trouble is that writing about such a huge subject in 1200 words necessarily means that some points are not going to be extrapolated on, and that some parts of the conversation are going to be left out.

              To clarify about masculinity – I am not saying that masculinity is bad or good, but that constructs of masculinity can lead to health detriments (for example, masculine discourses often preclude illness; male participants in qualitative research studies often brag about having never been to a doctor, a behaviour that can limit access to preventative medicine, or brag about being ill but ‘toughing it out’).

              Let me also clarify that I consider many gender constructions to be harmful to males and females. These constructs can lead to harmful beliefs (I’m not sure if you read my article that I posted about sexual assault and the manner in which male sexuality is constructed such that it often precludes males as victims of sexual assault by women because of the expectation that males always want sex, especially from older women or women in positions of power or authority).

              So, I will reassert that as a feminist my concern is equality. And the issues you raised are important ones. If I had unlimited space, you would have gotten a dissertation on the way gender can be detrimental to males and females, and how those gender dynamics play out.

              • Jasmine: “The only trouble is that writing about such a huge subject in 1200 words necessarily means that some points are not going to be extrapolated on, and that some parts of the conversation are going to be left out.”

                Then this is the responsibility of the author. If you have a subject that’s touchy, you need to find a way to address it from all corners. When you’re dealing with word limits, then there has to be a way to include universal resonance. If it means trimming the fat on certain things, then do so. Resonance shouldn’t come with a price tag.

                I’m not just saying this for feminist authors, by the way. This applys to all authors in any subject.

                Here is an example of what I mean:

                “To clarify about masculinity – I am not saying that masculinity is bad or good, but that constructs of masculinity can lead to health detriments (for example, masculine discourses often preclude illness; male participants in qualitative research studies often brag about having never been to a doctor, a behaviour that can limit access to preventative medicine, or brag about being ill but ‘toughing it out’).”

                That’s what I’m talking about. This is what you needed in the original article. And if it’s an issue of word count, just “Certain constructs of masculinity” is better.

                Like I said with the others, you don’t need to increase the word count. There’s a way to include the points I’ve listed that were missing and do so on a limited budget so to speak.

                If you can do that in your next article, then that’s growth right there.

                You’re on your way.

          • Like the leadership of NOW?

        • “These examples that you provide are not examples of how feminists oppress men, but examples of negative experiences you’ve had with women in your life. That doesn’t mean that feminists don’t want equality for males. And while I acknowledge your personal experience, and understand that women in your life may have espoused hurtful sentiments, I don’t own that. Feminists, as a group, don’t own that. ”

          So men need to die to ‘decontaminate the earth’ wasn’t an example? The video advocating the murder of men to promote the SCUM Manifesto wasn’t an example? Going as far as to say men standing to pee degrades women and they should be forced to sit isn’t an example?

          In that case, then, I guess no example would ever be good enough. Then again, that is the point, isn’t it?

          • Julie Gillis says:

            I’ll be the first to say I disagree entirely with points of view relating to killing, maiming, torturing or other terrible things to individual men or men as a group, humans of any category as a group. All feminists do not write, speak, or advertise the things you listed in your first email. To say all of us do is generalizing.

            I’ve visited many sites focused on Mens Rights, from Spearhead to Reddit (subreddit Men’s Rights). I”ve seen posts stating men should make robot women, divide the nation in half, that women are literal vampires, so forth and so on. Should I believe all MRA believe such things? I don’t believe all MRA believe such things.

            There are people on the poles that say very difficult things, things that don’t cast their movements in a good light. This is true of gender, race, class, Occupy, Right/Left, Atheist/Evangelical and so forth.

            I think it’s important for me to be pragmatic and to find allies, even if we are from different sides, to fix problems. The other stuff seems like nightmare territory to me.

            • “I’ve visited many sites focused on Mens Rights, from Spearhead to Reddit (subreddit Men’s Rights). I”ve seen posts stating men should make robot women, divide the nation in half, that women are literal vampires, so forth and so on. Should I believe all MRA believe such things? I don’t believe all MRA believe such things.”

              This is a false equivalence.

              First, feminist extremists DO have the power to pass laws and the media platforms to alter public perception. Men’s Rights extremists do not.

              Second, I’ve genuinely never seen a popular feminist website clearly and directly disavow the radicals or misandrists within their ranks. Prominent MRAs do it all the time. Take this, for instance:

              http://www.avoiceformen.com/a-voice-for-men/time-to-piss-off-a-few-brothers/

              I’d love for someone to point me to something the equivalent of this post on a popular feminist website. Seriously, it would be interesting to see.

            • David Byron says:

              Actually it kind of just males sense for men to try and have as little to do with women as possible given the way things are right now. That goes double for any woman calling herself a feminist of course. Mothers should be warning their sons to avoid “those women”. It’s dangerous to be a guy these days, around women.

              • Julie Gillis says:

                I realize saying that your statement here makes me sad, will only gain me derision, but it makes me sad. Not personally, because I have great relationships with men and always have, and I believe the men I know have had great relationships with women. It sounds hopeless and, in a way overdramatic (though I believe the sentiment, it just hits me that way) Just as if I hear women saying, women are better off without men, we don’t need them, they are dangerous to be around etc.

            • Julie, ht tp://www.reddit.com/r/masculism – Try this one, seems to be decent and have a good moderation system from what I’ve found.

        • David Byron says:

          Jasmine — oh btw thanks for writing the article and getting down in the comments. Better get that in before I take another whack at you 🙂

          All that you’ve just said could equally well be used to dismiss a black person who is complaining that society is racist. It’s a 100% generic argument that could fit any situation. So how can it be legitimate unless it’s legitimate against every possible complaint of prejudice? At some point don’t you have to look at the facts on the ground?

      • I actually find that women who subscribe to a more rigid notion than I do as a self-identified feminist are more likely to come out with statements such as “ALL men are pigs” or “men are just that way.” Usually that conversation continues with me pointing out that just because they have had that experience with SOME men doesn’t give them the right to generalise in that way. I find that self-identified feminists are way more likely to be believers of the idea that we are all individuals and that SOME men are pigs, but so are some women. Often, being a feminist means that you reject any gender essentialism and therefore all stereotyping frustrates you no end.

        • More rigid notion of gender roles, it should say in the first sentence, of course. Apologies.

        • David Byron says:

          If that was all true how do you think it came about that no men believe that? And might it have something to do with eg. “Men are all rapists and that’s all they are” being a favourite slogan of feminists a few decades ago?

    • David Byron says:

      Why do nice feminists insist that there’s nothing odd about an equality movement being run by sexist bigots? Why do they pretend to themselves that all movements have factions within them that are 100% against the movement’s fundamental goals and run the movement?

      Like the vegetarians – they’re run by cannibals. Right? Nothing odd there.
      Like the NRA – run by anti-gun nuts aren’t they? it’s normal I tell ya.
      Greenpeace — well known that they are run by the business interests of the gas companies and all the members are cool with it.

      NO.
      It does NOT happen in any other movement.

      • Julie Gillis says:

        It’s probably because the nice feminists believe in the tenets of feminism that support equality, egalitarianism, and equity between sexes, see a way for men to also, perhaps ephemerally but maybe also in concrete ways, benefit from equality, while not having another “movement” such as an Equalist movement to move to.

        A very cursory search:

        There is an Equalist Movement on FB with 9 members, an Equalism movement there with 8 people, an Equality Movement page on the web I found focused on police brutality,

        If you know of a more formalized website, I’d love to see it.

        • David Byron says:

          So you stick with a movement that hates men because there’s no equality movement?
          And that actually makes sense to you?

          I am not being sarcastic. People are often irrational. Driven by emotion and feelings of loyalty regardless of the facts. Look at the way Progressives keep voting Democrat when that party is far right wing. But in that case the argument is “lesser of two evils”. It’s not like if people don’t support feminism something worse will happen. Feminism already is the worst. And too at least Progressives try to “take over” the democratic party. What have “nice” feminisst EVER done to “take over” the feminist movement?

          • Julie Gillis says:

            I know you aren’t. I’m trying to figure out if there is a movement that fits me, or if I need to (and I realize this sounds egotistic) make a movement to fit me. I”m a progressive as well and understand your point about Democrats etc.

            There is so much money and power in place and I have little of either at the moment. It’s daunting. Take it offline and email me if you like. I’m sure we could have some good conversations about it all. I don’t feel like placing it all here.

      • Nobody is insisting that “there’s nothing odd about an equality movement being run by sexist bigots”, because that’s an entirely fallacious statement. Feminism isn’t run by sexist bigots. Feminism doesn’t have a leader; it’s not run by any one particular person. My partner was staunchly anti-feminist for a time. He espoused many of these same ideas – that feminism is oppressive to men, that feminists blame men, that feminism is about women’s superiority. Through a lot of discussion about what feminism means to me, what the feminist circles I run in believe, work toward, accomplish, and envision, he came to realize that feminism really wasn’t out to get him. I have not once heard a feminist say that all men are rapists. Not once. This may have been an ideology espoused in decades past, but people evolve and movements evolve, and it isn’t fair to judge a group of people by its history (we might have some pretty vile ideas about Christians, for example, if we held them accountable for a history they are not responsible for). I am saying positive things about men, positive things about what I believe feminism to be, and positive things about the direction of feminism (in relation to men and men’s rights). But many of the comments here have run off in a unidimensional attack on feminism.

        I am not suggesting that men haven’t been harmed by some feminists. I’m not suggesting that women are people who never harm men or other women. That’s not at all the case. However, it concerns me that these conversations are so often derided based on ideas of what feminism represents which aren’t at all veracious. I literally know dozens of feminists. Dozens. Not one of them has ever espoused anti-male sentiment. Not one of them has ever said that all men are rapists. Not one of them has ever said that men are inferior in any way. And I recognize that that doesn’t mean those women or feminists don’t exist. Try talking to some feminists you might know. You might discover that they are as supportive of the rights of men as they are of the rights of women. And of racial minorities. And of homosexuals and transgender folk, and of polyamorous folk, and of the elderly, and of the young, and of the poor, and of any other minority group who faces inequality in their lives. Feminism isn’t about just women.

        • David Byron says:

          Listen to yourself. Your defence against my saying feminism is run by the bad feminists is to say it isn’t run by anything. You don’t even try to say it is run by the good feminists. So if nobody is running the show how do you explain the big lobbying successes of the movement?

          I’ve talked to hundreds, maybe thousands of feminists on-line and my experience does not match yours. So I am just wrong? And all these other guys are all just wrong? And any attempt to appeal to what feminism has actually achieved is just invalid? and history is just bunk?

          Not one of them has ever espoused anti-male sentiment. Not one of them has ever said that all men are rapists.

          Do you think you would be able to detect anti-male sentiment better than men or worse than men?

          You mentioned that you worked with a shelter on the phones I think. I asked if your shelter takes male victims. I asked if 50% of the callers you get are male. Maybe you are not seeing anti-male sentiment for the same reason a fish doesn’t see water?

          • The Occupy movement is somewhat similar. It’s got no specific leader. It’s not run by one person, or an identifiable group of people. It’s comprised of people with a common goal. That’s similar to feminism – it is a group of people with a common goal and that goal is equality.

            I answered your question on a previous post. I’ll briefly answer again. The problem with comparing is that females are victims of sexual assault in larger numbers of men. Males don’t comprise 50% of victims. They do call the line, whether it is in small percentages (I’m also from a rather small city; and the line receives something less than 200 calls each year). But the sexual assault crisis center does far more than just take calls. We run dating violence prevention workshops where we go to high schools and talk to adolescents. There is the Man to Man project, where a male ally delivers curriculum to students in schools; there is an equivalent for females at elementary schools. Where is the anti-male sentiment in that?

            There are shelters for males in the city. And, as feminists, we encourage and support men in creating such centers for males. It seems, however, that the men don’t want to take us up on that.

        • i don't believe you says:

          “I have not once heard a feminist say that all men are rapists. Not once.This may have been an ideology espoused in decades past, but people evolve and movements evolve.”

          Care to explain what the contemporary phrase “MEN CAN STOP RAPE” means then? I thought things have changed. Excuses, Excuses

          • Julie Gillis says:

            IDBY, when you hear that phrase do you assume the voice of the poster (the message) is saying to you, Hey You, Rapist, Cut It Out. Or do you hear, “Hey You, If You See Something Crappy Going On, As A Man, Intervene.”

            I hear the second message. Just like when I was pregnant and I saw posters about not drinking, I didn’t think they were referring to me, but people who might not know that drinking is a bad idea while pregnant. There are “don’t drink while pregnant” posters everywhere, signs in bathrooms of bars etc. I don’t assume when I read that that All Women Drink While Pregnant.

            That’s the problem with PSAs and marketing I guess. The better slogan would have been, All Of Us Can Stop Rape. That would have been inclusive and made it an “us” against the rapists, us being the good men and women who speak up and defend each other, have each other’s backs etc AND it would include a pov that includes any gender combination of rape situations.

            I’m asking this not to get into an argument about whether you were reading it correctly or not-how you read it is how you read it, I’m asking because the marketing team may very well not had any idea it would cause those reactions, making a strategy in good faith that alienates people who might want to help.

            • i don't believe you says:

              Julie,
              What I hear (and you should too) is that rape is a man’s fault any way you look at it. Women are neither included in the role of rapist, nor the role of intervention. Do you understand now? Regardless of how the marketers intended the slogan to be interpreted, the undeniable fact is that the target audience is ONLY men. Real big problem!!!!

              • Julie Gillis says:

                Dude I am NOT arguing with you. I”m asking you questions. And did you even read my response about a better marketing strategy?

                • i don't believe you says:

                  Yes, I read your response about marketing intentions and it just added fuel to the fire. How can I not think you are arguing? Look at the ads.

                  http://mystrength.org/8.0.html

                  Do you really think that racist rape posters (note the couplings) that target ONLY men is good faith? Is a misunderstanding? Isn’t an accurate reflection of those who paid for the spots?

                  The point I am trying to make to Jasmine is that despite what she professes…a modern, popular, feminist approved ad is decidedly man hating.

                  Why can’t you get on board with that?

                  • Julie Gillis says:

                    I AM on board with that, IDBY, read my post again.. That a better marketing/advocacy position would be, All of Us can Stop Rape. Or Rape is Really Terrible, Let’s End it Together. That the first one alienates people. I said that. I’m saying that people do things in good faith and don’t always realize the ramifications of the action due to all manner of limits-budget, audience, etc. It’s not always an evil conspiracy, it really isn’t.

                    And I”m also pointing out that as a pregnant woman, I wasn’t offended by ads telling “Women” to be better mothers by not smoking or drinking. I could easily have taken offense at every ad I saw targeting “mothers” me being one at the time, but I realized what they were doing, albeit a shotgun approach, was telling everyone that health is better than not health, and sadly no, people don’t always know that. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome ain’t no walk in the park.

                    Would it be better if the ads said, “Hey men and women, don’t drink prior to pregnancy cause it might affect sperm and egg.” Probably. Cause it might affect sperm. But the group, whoever the heck they were, figured let’s start where we can make the biggest impact.

                    So I get it. I do. And I see the impact a better campaign can make. I don’t run an ad agency though.

                    Jasmine, how do you feel about this particular comment thread? Do you see the benefit in a campaign focusing on everyone working together to have each other’s backs, no matter the gender combination? I’m sure there have been instances of college lesbian date rape, though I don’t have stats.

                    • i don't believe you says:

                      Julie,

                      Yes, I realize that people do things in good faith, but I don’t think targeting ONLY men in a rape ad counts as good faith, nor naivete… quite the opposite. That’s the lesser reason that I mentioned it to Jasmine. The greater reason is that it’s a blatant example of feminist man hating .

                      I also don’t think the pregnancy ad is a fair comparison. Men don’t get pregnant, but women DO rape.

                      Finally is a “We can stop rape” campaign really that much of a resource drain than a “Men can stop rape” campaign?

                    • Julie Gillis says:

                      Well, obviously I don’t think so IDBY. If the health signs were focused on men’s sperm and tobacco or alcohol (because intake does affect sperm albeit in different ways) would men like that or hate that?

                  • Julie Gillis says:

                    And we’d need to ask them directly, if it was an accurate reflection. Let’s write some letters, yes?

                    • I posted about that on various feminist and anti-abuse sfacebook page a few times over the last year on a campaign like that, guess who told me whataboutthemenz. I’m not entirely convinced the campaign will listen but it’s worth a shot, I’d rather a woman suggest it first however since it’s less likely to invoke the whataboutthemenz response. Pointing out the cdc stats would be the best way to get them to listen, it’s the most up to date stat and shows heavy level of abuse on everyone by everyone. None of that 99% of rapists are men bias can be allowed to go on so they’d need to be informed of envelopment.

              • Julie Gillis says:

                I”m talking about how we hear what we hear based on who we are and where we are at. I’m not disagreeing with you, can you see that?

                • i don't believe you says:

                  Julie,

                  I understand what you mean about perspective, but this is not about perspective. This is about audience, exclusion/inclusion and blame.

                  Men can stop rape:

                  Interpretation 1; “Hey You, Rapist, Cut It Out.” = Men don’t rape.
                  Interpretation 2; “Hey You, If You See Something Crappy Going On, As A Man, Intervene.” = Men should intervene.

                  Men don’t rape+Men should intervene = Rape is men’s fault.

                  The problem is women are not

                  • i don't believe you says:

                    Edit: The problem is women are not included.

                  • Julie Gillis says:

                    Well, men should intervene. So should women. They should have made additional posters too. Yes. I see that. I find it flawed. I’ve said that. If I saw you getting mugged I’d intervene. If I saw you getting roofied, FFS I’d intervene. And if you saw it happen to me you, as a person, as a man, should intervene.

                    Let’s write some letters!

                    • Julie Gillis says:

                      And you know what else I”ve done? I”ve had these conversations in real life with real people who work for DV centers. All about how the framing is incomplete and could be done much better. So I”M ON BOARD. God.

                    • Julie Gillis says:

                      And I’ll keep doing it, the work, even though my commentary seems to get nothing but disdain from you. This is the issue here. No one is able to freakin’ trust anyone at this point but we’d better figure out how to start or nothing will get done.

                    • i don't believe you says:

                      I truly believe you, but then Jasmine doesn’t even realize there is a problem.

            • Put it into context Julie, A single poster of men can stop rape isn’t that bad but when you couple it with the fact rape is heavily portrayed as by men against women it becomes a reinforcement to a harmful stereotype and quickly turns into “only men can stop rape” (something I recently read a feminist say in an article). Can you blame these guys for hearing conflicting messages? Imagine if we only put black people on the face of you can stop robbery posters, or women only on the child abuse ones?

              These campaigns sicken me, I saw it for violence against women, Australia says no. IT literally made me angry and sickened, not because it’s highlighting women as victims which is what we need, but because they NEVER ever in my entire life have I seen one of women being the perp and men as the victim. The public toilets in a city hear have posters of anti abuse against women and that men have to stop abusing women, nothing about if the man is a victim of that abuse, the female toilets I’m guessing do not show posters telling women to stop abusing men (for that campaign I didn’t see any online material for it proving there are).

              It’s the same stuff the white ribbon did, asking men to pledge never to hit women and speak up on abuse against women, it’s offensive to men especially men like me who have been hit by women. If it was a campaign with everyone pledging to speak up on abuse, men and women pledging to not hit and work out their issues in a non violent manner I’d be 100% for it.

              The argument I’ve heard for them is they’re trying to reach a majority audience, yeah but how does that help? Especially when new stats are quickly showing it’s a majority by a SMALL margin, equal, or even more females abusing men for some stats. This is why men get offended, this is why men think of such campaigns as misandry, because they are. They add to a stereotype that silences male victims, doesn’t allow female perpetrators to get help either and keeps us blind to the problems that aren’t in a narrow field of view.

              Context is everything.

  57. Tom Matlack says:

    Jasmine THANK YOU for taking the time to write a response to this piece. It really helps move the ball forward.

    I swear sometimes it FEELS to me like we are dealing with the Middle East peace process here. I agree with you that a small number of extremists steal the limelight because of what they are willing to say which generally does not reflect the vast majority on either side of the debate.

    I also just keep asking myself what is in it for any of us to stick to these labels. I am thinking about sitting down with my daughter (who is 17 and President of both the gay/straight alliance and women’s issues clubs at school) and asking her to define feminism for me in her own words. It just seems like we have completely lost track of the actual underlying issues when we get into these discussions about what is and is not a certain category of people or beliefs.

    One thing I personally do believe is that, in general, men and women are different. That opened me to this whole essentialism criticism but it is my experience. In dealing with the women I adore in my life I have had to accept the fact that they are not like me in some fundamental ways. Which is why I love them so much. And why they frustrate me so much.

    The thing about some of my writings that seems to have been such a lighting rod is my talking about how I have witnessed men in my life try to navigate this difference with the best intentions but really struggling to get it right. These are men who with their whole hearts want to good husbands and fathers and yet there is the fundamental stumbling block they have to get over.

    And sometimes that includes discussions about what men think about that might piss some women off. Like the guy who asked me about his wife’s breasts (BTW see this piece I did about breast enhancement which I am not sure is primarily male or female driven: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/is-fake-really-better/) or the guy who always speaks to his wife in a differential tone in an attempt not to fight.

    But you can’t criticize anyone for having the thoughts they do. If a heroin addict is thinking about using and confides in you that his brain keeps telling him that would be a good idea, do you start yelling at him that he is a bad and evil person? Of course not. You try to help him reason through it and take the right action that is least self-destructive.

    Same with a lot of the conversations I report in my pieces. I am not saying that the thoughts are RIGHT or that they should lead to inappropriate or disrespectful action. What I am saying is we can all pretend that men, or at least the guys I know, don’t think that way but that doesn’t change the reality that they do and have to sort out how to be good men and have healthy relationships with women despite the stuff that comes up.

    I don’t know if I am a feminist anymore. But it doesn’t really matter IMO. I love women–my wife and daughter. And I want to be the very best father and husband I can be. That is literally my #1 goal in life. Call that what you will.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Tom — thanks for this. I love that you recognize that we have to be able to speak our feelings, our fears, and our failings in order to figure out where we stand, with others and ourselves. We also need to hear the critiques of others.

      Feminism is driving me crazy lately. I’m hanging onto the label because it is my legacy, and because I don’t want angry man-hating feminists speaking for me. They do not speak for me. I am with Jasmine 100% on this piece, and I’m rarely with anyone 100%.

      Feminism should be about equality. It comes from a time when prescribed gender roles were damaging people, damaging families, damaging individual freedoms. Now things have changed, but we still have a need to find equality. There is much to be grateful for in our developed world and much to fear for women in the developing world.

      For the men: Feminists like myself, like Julie Gills and (if I may speak for her) Jasmine hear how much the angry feminists have hurt you guys. We hear how you’ve felt attacked. I can’t blame you for being reticent, though I hope that the men who think we’re all like that are able to see us as the individuals that we are.

      Anyway, Tom, yes talk to your daughter about her feminism. That’s what it really should be, *hers* and that conversation will probably be really empowering for her.

      Love where all this is going!

      • Julie Gillis says:

        Yes, Joanna. Thanks for saying that. This is important stuff, this whole conversation, this site and the people on it.

      • We (feminists) seem to spend so much time defending ourselves against the feminist-as-man-hating-woman idea that it gets in the way of actual progress. I can understand that some men have been hurt by women, or by feminists. Because of the nature of human beings, any group of people is going to have persons that have the capacity to hurt others (but it wouldn’t be fair to say that all men are abusers, that all women are manipulators, that all elderly people are rude, that all adolescents are disrespectful, or so on). Men often feel that feminism is about blaming them for the oppression of women, but that’s not at all the premise of feminism. Just as men wouldn’t want us to place the weight of some men’s actions on all men’s shoulders, I, as a feminist, refuse to take ownership of feminists who have exhibited poor behaviour.

        I think these conversations are important, and good. Tom, I can appreciate that you are uncertain of your status as a feminist, and that you can see problems in conversations about masculinity and gender. That’s excellent! I disagree that women and men are different (we have differences, but much research has shown that there is greater within gender than between gender difference). But I think that’s the wonderful thing about such discussions – we can respectfully disagree and acknowledge differing viewpoints, and in the process of doing so inform how we practice feminism.

        Joanna, you have spoken perfectly for how I feel. And when men talk about having been hurt by feminism or feminists, it hurts me. Because that’s not who I am as a feminist, and that’s not how I want to be characterized.

        Julie, I actually think you saying such things here is tremendous. These things seem small, but when they’re articulated and put out into the world, even if it’s just the minutest of steps, it’s one step closer to realizing such a transformation.

        • David Byron says:

          This is an invalid argument:

          Just as men wouldn’t want us to place the weight of some men’s actions on all men’s shoulders, I, as a feminist, refuse to take ownership of feminists who have exhibited poor behaviour.

          Blaming men for the actions of other men is bigotry. Blaming people in a political movement for the actions of that movement is just common sense. Men don’t all get together and plan how to screw over women. Feminists really do get together and figure out how to achieve their political objectives. The most frequent contribution to any political movement is simply to express support for the movement and its goals by identifying with that movement. The power that feminist lobbyists have depends on ordinary feminists identifying with the movement.

          When the political objectives of a movement are sexist and immoral it really does make sense to blame the members for the behaviour of the movement.

      • We haven’t ‘felt’ attacked. We HAVE BEEN attacked, for decades. And what makes you think we don’t still have ‘gender roles’? Men are far more constrained now than they ever have been. Sure, women enjoy more freedom…but they did this at the direct expense of men. You can deny it all you like, but its true. It’s a good portion of why the mens movement exists.

        Furthermore, if YOU PERSONALLY are a great person…well then great. But Feminism, and Feminists, are not ‘you’. And we look at what is being done in Feminisms name, and by Feminists themselves. Your personal feelings don’t enter the picture at all, unless you happen to be writing new legislation.

        But the big thing, the REALLY telling thing, is how the ‘good feminists’ do absolutely NOTHING about the issues men really care about. In fact, many outright support the most egregious wrongs against men, because they ‘mean well’.

        All the good intentions in the world mean exactly squat. If you don’t deserve the same label as the rest of feminism, you can demonstrate what you’ve done to help men *with the issues those men actually care about*. If you cant do that, then you really are ‘like that’….and I don’t care at all how bad that makes you feel.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      Tom, I love this comment. And Jasmine, thank you for this piece.
      It does feel like a Middle East process doesn’t it? Peace is messy work.

      One thing that strikes me about all the back and forth is some amazing core of fear. Fear about ruined tits. Fear of not being loved. Fear of not having success. Fear of change that leads to loss of something indefinable. Fear is something that gets us into a place of wanting control. I mentioned this to Valter, too, “You know what about the ruined tits thing? It was a great example of a lot of things. And women did react. Mostly out of fear, I think, that the men they love might think that. I know I felt fear, and a kind of primal fear as well. I won’t list my feelings here, but that fear was at a core of it. Men feel fear such as that too, perhaps for different reasons, but I imagine they feel it. I think fear seems to be something that drives people to try to control each other. Do I see problems with factions of feminism? I sure do. Do I have some kind of global leadership power to change that? No, I don’t. Is there a current “equalism” movement? I don’t think so. Perhaps I should start it. Now that’s something to get emotional about!”

      One of the issues is that there isn’t a very popular feminist site akin , run by national leaders in the equalist movement types speaking on CNN, Newsweek, getting equalist candidates in office and making equalist policy etc.

      Me saying that here doesn’t mean much to people reading it. My influence, such as it is, is small.

      So until I am a national speaker, leader, writer and lecturer on equalism, sexuality and equity and so forth, or until some many of folks are, we are still going to have more discussions.

      And, I’ll be slightly cynical here, even if there was such a movement with policies, candidates, etc there would probably still be infighting between camps. We humans do seem to love a good fight 😉

      Thanks for the comment though. I think most of us truly want to be good people. I’m trying to focus on that as I speak with people here. Everyone wants good things in their lives. We often just speak different languages around it.

  58. I have to say, I agree 100% with the author of this article. I mean really, just because feminists have said that all men are rapists, have put billboards up on college campuses with the names of every male student and listed them as potential rapists, have put billboards up on busses in Texas saying little boys will grow up to beat their wives, make literature promoting mutilating men (Society for Cutting Up Men), laugh uproariously when a man *is* mutilated (the Catherine Becker case…Hi Ms. Steinberg!), hold castration parties, make videos about said SCUM Manifesto that promotes women murdering men, advocate for the wholesale death of men as a way to ‘decontaminate’ the earth, flat out say that hating men is a good thing, that falsely accusing men of rape is ‘beneficial’, that women being romantically involved with men are gender traitors and would even go so far as to say that men standing to urinate is degrading to women so certain public buildings must get rid of urinals in men’s bathrooms, in no way means that feminists hate men!

    I mean really, you have to wonder where men get this stuff from.

    /sarcasm

  59. What has feminism done for men? It has allowed women to end unwanted pregnancies by both parties by helping to legalize abortion, it has helped prevent unwanted pregnancies by helping to not only make birth control legal but also make it easier accessible, and finally it has allowed women the vote, to vote for men to run our countries, even if they aren’t very good. That is what feminism has done for men, or just a few examples 🙂

    • Actually, what feminism has given is the ability for women to end pregnancies that the women dont want. Please don’t pretend the men have any say in this.

      But, thats actually fine wth me. I actually dont believe a man should get a say in wether a woman gets an abortion. Her body, Her choice and all.

      However… after the baby is born is another matter entirely. Where is the feminist support for a man’s ability to walk away from the baby after the child is born? (an ability women legally posses, in the form of both Safe Haven and Adoption and can exercise against their partner’s will, I might add.)

      Where is the feminist outcry against a women’s unilateral ability to decide to put *their* baby up for adoption, without his consent?

      Why don’t feminists seem to care when a woman can hide the fact that she’s had a child with a man, and then come find him several years later and demand (and then get) all the “support” he didnt pay because he didnt know the child even existed?

      Why is a man forced to pay child support to a woman who raped him? even (especially) if that rape was statutory?

      Please, don’t pretend feminism has given men reproductive rights. Men don’t have reproductive rights. And feminists ironically parrot the arguments of the Pro-Life crowd, because we men are frequently told to “keep it in our pants if we don’t want the responsibility of a baby”

    • John Anderson says:

      It stopped pregnancies unwanted by women. Granted, some of these pregnancies were also unwanted by men, but I ask how has given women the sole power to choose and thus shifted the power dynamic in the relationship to women, really benefitted men? If abortion were illegal, both sides would know precisely where they stand and would be equal.

      Currently, I support unrestricted abortion rights based on principles of bodily autonomy. I also support the rights of the father after birth. This is where I break from most feminists. Currently, women have the ability to place children for adoption without the consent of the father. How does giving women the right to terminate someone else’s parental rights just? When I suggest to feminists that women failing to identify or get the consent of the father for an adoption should be required to pay child support to minimize malicious instances of this, they don’t offer alternative solutions, they simply disagree that this is not an injustice or not one worthy of being redressed.

      The best response I ever got from a feminist concerning the abortion power dynamic was that it’s wrong and unfortunate, but it’s the best solution possible. Every question won’t have an answer and I accept the answer I don’t know. The problem that I and I believe many men have with feminism is in these circumstances where either through imperfect solutions or limitation of resources, feminists have in my experience, consistently opted for injustice against men. Even in the adoption scenario I stated above feminists were more concerned that a woman may need to financially support a child they didn’t want than that a father would lose the opportunity to raise a child he wanted.

    • David Byron says:

      So (1) abortion – a right only women have and (2) votes for women – a right only women have — those are what feminism has done for men?

      Perhaps you didn’t comprehend the question….

      • you know whats funny? Men don’t even have the automatic right to vote the way women do. All a woman has to do to be granted the right to vote is turn eighteen. Men? We have to sign a piece of paper declaring ourselves government property just waiting to be claimed. Because if we don’t sign that piece of paper, it’s a felony. Felons can’t vote.

        • David Byron says:

          In addition men in the US vote less for the following reasons:
          (1) conviction of a crime
          (2) ineligible due to recently relocating (men move more than women)
          (3) politicians routinely ignore the male vote

          I think there’s something like two million men lost from voting compared to women and its getting bigger.

          • Julie Gillis says:

            1) does that mean more men commit crimes or are convicted of crimes at a level of felony? If a woman is convicted as a felon, doesn’t she lose her vote. Should felons keep their vote, or should more women be convicted? Do more women commit those crimes?

            2) If men move more than women, doesn’t that still mean women who move have to re register? Wouldn’t that be more of an issue of finding a national registration policy? Should women move more, or men move less?

            3) How are they ignoring the vote? Will you elaborate for me, David?

            I’m not trying to be provocative here, I’m just wanting to break this down more. Curious is all.

  60. @Jasmine
    What has feminism ever done for men? I would be really grateful if you answer point wise without any rhetoric.

    • Feminism has done a great deal for men. I could provide you with a point-by-point list, but I REALLY need to focus on my funding application now, so I encourage you to search for the answer yourself. 🙂 A really quick, easy read about feminism that dispels some of the myths is Kaufman and Kimmell’s A Guy’s Guide to Feminism. It talks about the ways in which feminism is good for men, as well. There are also innumerable articles about feminist scholarship that has focused on ensuring equality of males in health, academics, parenting, etc.

      • @ Jasmine
        I wish you best luck for you for you funding application.
        Does you reply mean that you would provide me with a point-by-point list at a later date, or I would have to satisfy myself with the book written by Kaufman and Kimmell? I find your reply to be somewhat offending. As a member of academia, I would like to remind you that posting an opinion piece on media is not like teaching to a group of students where you can give them book list for further reading. It is more like defending your thesis in front of the Board of Examiners. Never underestimate the knowledge of examiner on the subject. If you post comments totalling more than 6000 word on the original OP of which it is a response and writing the response with over 1200 words, then I would not be too much for me to expect you to at least give me 4-5 points relevant topic. Whatever you have presented in your OP belongs to you and not to either Kaufman, or Kimmel, or any other feminist scholar. You can either defend it or apologize for anything you regret having stated. Author Valter Vigleti has presented his case and tried to defend it as well. Pardon me for saying that you have cut a sorry figure by giving ambiguous reply to the very first comment on your OP. Perhaps you have internalized that only men are answerable and feminists are not.
        Best regards.

        • I have not internalized any such notion that men are accountable and not feminists. I am accountable for everything I say and do. However, I think that men who want to know more about the positive sides of feminism should seek out such information on their own. The reason I suggest this is because the process of seeking out such information is in itself a positive step – it means you’re taking the time to acquaint yourself with a different understanding of a subject. My providing you with all of the information is faster for you, sure, but there is value in finding the information on your own. Kaufman and Kimmel are a starting point. (And, I did list at least three different areas of men’s health and status that have been addressed by feminist scholars). Nobody gave me a list of such literature when I wanted to find the positive aspects of feminism. I found resources on my own, because I didn’t rely on anyone to spoon feed me the information I sought. As an academic, when I encounter something I don’t know much about, I always look it up. On my own. So forgive me for projecting my own independence onto you.

          • Lisa Hickey says:

            Hey Jasmine,

            First, I want to thank you for this post and I know that you got thrown into the fire of our comments section, held your own, stayed up really late writing this and now you simply don’t have time to follow through with research. I get that. However, the problem, in this case, in asking men to do research on the male-positive side of feminism is that you are asking people to prove YOUR argument. It would be as if I walked into a room, said “I believe the moon landing was faked”, give you a very passionate spiel about why I personally believed that, but then when you asked for proof I said “there’s plenty of research that proves men never made it to the moon, go find it yourself.” It would make no sense, even though I can find tons of research to support that belief.

            So I guess what I’m asking for you, or any feminist that comes here, is just to realize — these guys are disbelievers for a reason. Not because they are stubborn, or not open-minded or dismissive of you personally. It’s because they have been given a reason to disbelieve. And we’re asking for help — help us believe. If you are really a big believer in feminist ideology, and you personally don’t have time, then maybe you know someone who does, that might write for us? Someone who wants a platform of over a million pageviews a month? Someone who could really help us understand some of these very real issues guys have?

            • I provided a starting point (and I do believe the book I’ve suggested also indicates other sources that provide such information). So I provide this starting point, but then am demanded to provide an entire reading list, or a list of examples. I could do that, but I think that sometimes we need to do things for ourselves. I think it’s excellent that there is interest in having that information – so go forth into the world and find it. In the information age, it’s quite easy to do.

              When I want information on a point that is contrary to mine, I research it. So I get what you’re saying, but I think that it is fair to suggest that if someone wants information, they can be responsible for seeking that information out. I’ve given a starting point. 🙂

          • Pardon me for stating that you have still not answered my original question as to what feminism has ever done for men. I want YOU to take a stand and defend it if you can, and not hide behind Kimmel, Kaufman or anybody else. If I have intellectual differences with them, I would solve personally with them without your intervention. I again remind you that it is your thesis, defend it or it goes to garbage bin. Again I say to you never underestimate your examiners. I wish to congratulate you for having mastered the usual feminist diversion tactics of taking attention away from the original point.
            Best regards.

            • I am not hiding behind anyone. I am not diverting your attention (I find such accusations to be offensive and demeaning to feminism, and this is why I wrote this response – because generalizations about feminism irritate the heck out of me). I’ve given you a starting point. This isn’t my thesis. It’s simply a reflection that I have written. In writing, I am defending my position.

              • “I find such accusations to be offensive and demeaning to feminism, and this is why I wrote this response – because generalizations about feminism irritate the heck out of me.”

                You seem to be really angry, then shut me up with your logic, reason, argument and facts. Till now you have not addressed the point, and only made excuses and giving reading list to the readers. In debates you make arguments and quote notable things and never ask people to first go and read books. You made really very bad impression

                • I didn’t shut you up at all. I encourage you to express yourself. That is, after all, what these forums are about. However, I provided you with information so that you could go forth and read about exactly what you asked me about. I may, in the future when I don’t have funding application deadlines, thesis draft deadlines, and a three-hour lecture to prepare write an entire piece on how feminism benefits men. Until then, the reading material I have recommended answers your questions.

                  As much as you accuse me of being angry and trying to shut you up, you have used several phrases which are very readily interpreted as insulting. For example “Perhaps you have internalized that only men are answerable and feminists are not.”
                  “I wish to congratulate you for having mastered the usual feminist diversion tactics of taking attention away from the original point.”

                  I’m not insulting you. I am simply directing you to a source form whence you can get answers until I can take the time to respond accordingly. There is no need to be derogatory.

                  • My humble advice “stop caring for feminism and concentrate on you studies”.
                    Sorry for causing you mental anguish.

                    • You’ve not caused me mental anguish. I’m not going to stop being a feminist. I am, however, going to focus on my studies.

                    • Also, I’m going to unsubscribe from this thread so I can concentrate. 🙂

          • David Byron says:

            The last time I looked into it the only stuff I could get feminists to suggest that feminism had done for men was,
            (1) to sue over the all-male draft. I did check that one out and it seemed legitimate
            (2) getting baby changing units put into men’s bathrooms

            I was impressed that you came up with a list single handed like that which seems to exceed what a hundred other people I’ve asked managed to come up with cumulatively, so I was wondering how exactly you came up with it all? Is the book you mentioned the source? According to Amazon it only came out a couple of months ago.
            http://www.amazon.com/Guys-Guide-Feminism-Michael-Kaufman/dp/1580053629

          • “I think that men who want to know more about the positive sides of feminism should seek out such information on their own.”
            I’ve done so recently but I’ve been finding a lot of vitriol, antagonism and hate (radfemhub, ugh). I have to agree that a point by point would be helpful, I think many people have seeked out feminism and found the extremists first and foremost, and probably quite a lot of them. I personally haven’t found many egalitarian feminists, most I’ve found actually were in the comments sections of the gmp. It has been discouraging to find so much hate so easily…

            • I did suggest A Guy’s Guide to Feminism, which is a quick, easy read that addresses a lot of the myths about feminism, and the manners in which feminism has been good for men’s equality as well. It’s not perhaps the best resource, but it does also include some references to other such literature, and it’s a good starting point as a frame of reference.

              • Thank-you, having a look now. Any websites in particular to look out for? Jezebel seems pretty extreme at times :S.

              • ht tp://guysguidetofeminism.com/excerpt-of-the-week/
                This is strange, considering I watched a 1 hour doco on sex workers and how they actually enjoyed their work. Generalizing all love it or all hate it seems wrong.

                • There are definitely parts that I also problematized – and I think that’s an essential part of feminism is being critical. Just because a feminist is saying it, doesn’t mean it represents an overall feminist ideology. 🙂

                  I avoid a lot of the sites, because I find that a lot of the comment threads are full of vitriol, and sometimes the articles themselves are quite hateful. When trying to really engage with feminism, I would suggest turning away from the internet, and going for some feminist literature at the bookstore (or library). I appreciate Michael Kaufman (although some here don’t agree, but he is a leading men’s rights activist, as well as a feminist – and I actually first encountered him in a class on Men and Masculinity), and Michael Kimmel (who has been criticized as being misandrist, but who is considered a leader in research on men and masculinity). There is a lot of stuff I’ve read, but usually I’ve accessed it via PsycInfo (and I don’t know how much of it is readily available to average people who don’t have access to a university library). I read a lot of literature in psychology by feminist scholars meant specifically to address issues males and men face.

                  Also, Jeff Perrera is a feminist ally who works with the White Ribbon Campaign; he has a blog, and he has written beautifully about being a man. One of my favourites: http://thescaleoflife.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/fist-of-cuffs-a-response-to-toronto-city-of-sissies/

                  If you can access it, I rather appreciated an article by Caroline New “Oppressed and Oppressors? The Systematic Mistreatment of Men”.

                  Gender theorists have also extensively addressed the ways in which hegemonic masculinity can be harmful to men (which doesn’t mean that masculinity is bad, but that the rigid enforcement of masculine qualities can sometimes inhibit men in their natural inclinations for fear of reprisal).

                  I hope that you can access some of these suggestions (I know that articles in journals are accessible for a fee to the general public, which is rather a pain).

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