Words Are Not Fists: What the Twitter Blow-Up Tells Us About Men, Women, and Anger

“One of [the] childish things adult men must put away is the need to deflect, belittle, or exaggerate women’s anger.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was originally due to run on December 19. In fact, we posted it for a short while, pulled it down, and Hugo Schwyzer ultimately resigned when we couldn’t come to an agreement over his perceived censorship of this post and his role moving forward. The post first ran on his blog under the title “Why I Resigned From The Good Men Project.” We are publishing it now with Hugo’s knowledge and permission.

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One of the most popular articles of the year (and certainly one of the most-viewed here at GMP) is Yashar Ali’s now thoroughly viral Why Women Aren’t Crazy. Referencing an old film, Yashar coined the simple term “gaslighting” to describe the way in which men undermine women’s self-confidence through subtle (and not so subtle) insinuations that women’s feelings are unreasonable. I’ve thought about Yashar’s piece quite a bit as I’ve reflected on the recent Twitter blow-up between GMP founder Tom Matlack and a number of well-known feminist writers. (For more, see here, and here, and here.)

I’ve also remembered an incident from a women’s studies class of mine many years ago. It was a typical course: perhaps 30 women and 6 men. Most of the guys had been quiet all semester long. But one (there is often such a one) was a talker. “Kevin” liked to stir the proverbial pot; a member of the college’s forensics team, he was a skilled debater who liked to argue. Many of his female classmates argued back, not infrequently getting the better of him, which spurred Kevin to try even harder to instigate arguments.

One day, Kevin came to class with a duffel bag. I thought little of it, until—in the midst of a discussion about men and feminism—he reached into the duffle and pulled out a football helmet. “I know I’m gonna get killed for what I’m about to say,” he announced dramatically. “I brought some protection.” Kevin then strapped the helmet on as his classmates and I stared in shock. I told him to cut out the cheap theatrics, but not before he’d made a powerful point, though I’m confident it wasn’t the one he intended to make.

Kevin’s gag with the football helmet was designed to send a signal about women and anger. The message he wanted to send was, as he told me later, that “feminists take things too seriously and get too aggressive.” The message he actually sent was that men will go to great lengths to try and short-circuit women’s attempts at serious conversation. The helmet was an effort to label those attempts as “male-bashing” or “man-hating.” The hope was that it would shame uppity feminists into biting back their anger; of course, Kevin only ended up inflaming the situation. In less dramatic ways, I’ve seen men use this same tactic again and again.

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What bothered so many of us about the Twitter conversation about feminism was that Tom Matlack trotted out (as so many men do) that same tactic of attempting to silence women’s anger by suggesting that it poses a threat. Tom tweeted at Jenn Pozner that some men are afraid to speak up out of fear of female reprisals. Kind of being proven right here. Now Jennifer Pozner is a well-known feminist media critic, but she’s hardly in the position to carry out “reprisals” against anyone for speaking out, not that she would if she could. Nor was Jenn (or Kate Harding, or Amanda Marcotte) engaged in throwing stones, which didn’t stop Tom from describing the “pelting” he was taking from feminists.

A short while later, Tom tweeted I really thought the MRA guys were crazy until I engaged the wrath of the feminists. Insane. Though I doubt Tom thought this through clearly, this is the textbook “gaslighting” to which Yashar refers. No feminist had called Tom a name equivalent to the names he (and I) are regularly called by MRAs (“mangina” is the epithet of choice from the Basement Boys); it didn’t matter. Jennifer and Amanda were “insane.”

Seemingly innocuous words often have a profound charge depending on how and by whom they’re used. Tom knows, surely, how problematic it is to use the word “boy” to refer to an African-American. It’s not a curse word in most contexts, but when used by a white person to refer to an adult black male, it’s steeped in the long and painful history of racism in America. What many men fail to understand is that accusing a woman of being insane or of engaging in reprisals merely because she’s expressing forceful disagreement has an equivalent ugliness. If that seems hyperbolic, google the word “hysteria.”

All of this behavior reflects two things: men’s genuine fear of being challenged and confronted, and the persistence of the stereotype of feminists as being aggressive, wrathful, “man-bashers.” The painful thing about all this, of course, is that no man is in any real physical danger on the internet—or even in real life—from feminists. Women are regularly beaten and raped, but I know of no instance where a man found himself a victim of violence for making a sexist remark in a feminist setting! “Male-bashing” doesn’t literally happen, in other words, at least not as a result of arguments over feminism. But that doesn’t stop men from using (in jest or no) their own exaggerated fear of physical violence to make a subtle point about feminists.

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There’s a conscious purpose to this sort of behavior. Joking about getting pelted (or putting on the football helmet) sends a message to women in the classroom—and online: “Tone it down. Take care of the men and their feelings. Don’t scare them off, because too much impassioned feminism is scary for guys.” And you know, as exasperating as it is, this kind of silencing language almost always works. Time and again, I’ve seen it work to silence women in the classroom, or at least cause them to worry about how to phrase things “just right” so as to protect the guys and their feelings. It’s a key anti-feminist strategy, even if that isn’t the actual intent of the men doing it—it forces women to become conscious caretakers of their male peers by subduing their own frustration and anger. It reminds young women that they should strive to avoid being one of those “angry feminists” who (literally) scare men off and drive them away.

This doesn’t mean that a “good man” is always in the wrong when he’s arguing with a woman. It does mean that when men and women argue about gender justice, women are more likely to have insights that men have missed. Here’s the basic axiom: power conceals itself from those who possess it. And the corollary is that privilege is revealed more clearly to those who don’t have it. When a man and a woman are arguing about feminism—and the women involved happen to be feminists and the man happens to be an affluent white dude—the chances that he’s the one from whom the truth is more obscured is very high indeed. That’s as true for me as it is for Tom Matlack.

I’ll say it a thousand times. I respect and admire Tom Matlack for what he’s done to start this conversation, even as I disagree with him about the degree to which men and women are really different. I disagree with his take about being “attacked” by feminists, as I don’t see the evidence of animus towards him that that word implies. But the real disagreement we have is, I think, a bigger (though not necessarily insurmountable) one.

This is the Good Man Project, and as I’ve said a time or nine, I think the opposite of “man” is not “woman”, but “boy.” At the heart of the reason I joined GMP was because I believe we live in a culture where too few adult males assert the grown-up virtues of self-control, responsibility, and manifested empathy. Being “manly” is less about traditional machismo than it is about what the Apostle Paul calls the putting away of childish things. And one of those childish things adult men must put away is the need to deflect, belittle, or exaggerate women’s anger.

Read Justin Cascio’s interpretation of the events here:

Can Founders Be Criticized on The Good Men Project?

—Photo Self-portrait Girl/Flickr

About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website

Comments

  1. wet_suit_one says:

    Hmmm…

    Hugo, I agree with you.

    Bad Tom!

    As for you ladies, bring it on! I’m ready for ya!

    Not that I comment much on hear anymore, but still. Bring it!!! I’ve got no ego on the line (I hope…).

  2. “Yet when Matlack tried to do that, the response he got from feminists was hostile. They did not just take issue with the way he wrote his article, but with the content of the article itself. They dismissed that men faced any discrimination, sexism, or bigotry. They treated men’s complaints about being blamed for everything as whining over losing power and privilege. In other words, feminists engaged in “gaslighting.” They are trying to convince men that men never experience any sexism or misandry, that feminists never bash or insult men, that it is all in men’s head, and it is actually men who are causing all the problems.”

    http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/nobodys-listening/

    i will just put this here.

    • Actually, just the phrase “men complaining about being blamed for everything” sounds like the phraseology of an eight-year-old fighting with his little sister. It is precisely whining about losing power or privilege. When women complain about men in a feminist context, it is not about “man-hating,” it is about male blindness to their own power and privilege and dismissal of women’s anger. Men experience sexism the way white people experience racism. To call the male experience of sexism or the white experience of racism the same as their female and African-American corollaries implies a total blindness to history. Sexism is lifelong and systematic and conditions women to feel that they always have to be “nice” and worry about men’s feelings. Some of us are done with that, thank you very much.

      • “. When women complain about men in a feminist context, it is not about “man-hating,” it is about male blindness to their own power and privilege and dismissal of women’s anger. ”

        When men complain about women in a masculinist context. its not about misogyny, it is about woman blindness to their own power and privilege and dismissal of man’s anger.

        “. Men experience sexism the way white people experience racism.”

        No they don’t. This blinkered idea has to die. Racism and sexism behaves in completely different ways. You won’t find black people disproportionately represented in universities, you won’t find black people getting paid more than white people in their twenties You won’t find many areas at all where black people do better than white people.

        But to find areas where women do better than men is easy. You only think that privilege is one way because you have never measured what happens to men. Comparing the experience of white upper class women to black people is obnoxious.

        • MorgainePendragon says:

          “you won’t find black people getting paid more than white people in their twenties”

          You won’t find women in their twenties with the same education levels and experience in the same fields getting paid more than MEN, either.

          Same old unattributed lies and misinformation.

          Although many right-wingers (and to be fair, now some from the “liberal” left– especially about sexism and racism) believe that repeating lies often enough makes them true, they’re still lies.

          “Comparing the experience of white upper class women to black people is obnoxious.”

          And comparing the experience of (MOST) white abled heterosexual MEN to that of ANY marginalised group (women, POCs, GLBT and disabled persons) is simply ludicrous and MRA propaganda.

          • “You won’t find women in their twenties with the same education levels and experience in the same fields getting paid more than MEN, either.”

            The only way that works is if you insist all bachelor degrees are equal. Getting an engineering degree will likely get you are better paying job that an arts degree. Its not sexism. It is really hard to prove sexism is the cause of the pay gap. It has not been done.

            “Same old unattributed lies and misinformation.

            Although many right-wingers (and to be fair, now some from the “liberal” left– especially about sexism and racism) believe that repeating lies often enough makes them true, they’re still lies.”

            As opposed to feminism which is always accurate?

            “And comparing the experience of (MOST) white abled heterosexual MEN to that of ANY marginalised group (women, POCs, GLBT and disabled persons) is simply ludicrous and MRA propaganda”

            I would never say that white abled hetereosexual men have it worse than any marginalised group. But to say that men don’t experience sexism or its not significant enough to mention is ignorance and erasure. To pretend that women don’t have privileges that men don’t have at least sometimes is wilful ignorance. Racism and sexism don’t work the same way. Hiding your misinformed arguments by suggesting woman is like being black is wrong. Stop minimising racism.

            • MorgainePendragon says:

              “The only way that works is if you insist all bachelor degrees are equal. Getting an engineering degree will likely get you are better paying job that an arts degree. Its not sexism. It is really hard to prove sexism is the cause of the pay gap. It has not been done.”

              What part of

              “in the same fields ”

              were you unable to comprehend?

              http://www.wageproject.org/

              http://www.ijull.co.uk/vol7/2/thomson.pdf

              “But to say that men don’t experience sexism or its not significant enough to mention is ignorance and erasure.”

              Cut and paste where I said that.

              “Racism and sexism don’t work the same way. Hiding your misinformed arguments by suggesting woman is like being black is wrong.”

              Hmm, not according to Dick Gregory, Alice Walker, and other Persons of Colour who have argued that it IS similar (but of course not identical, which I never said).

              “Stop minimising racism.”

              Cut and paste where I did THAT.

              Racism and sexism are EQUALLY insidious (equal does NOT mean “the same”) and both are the result of white male privilege (I leave out the other qualifiers b/c according to your comments, heterosexism and ablism don’t even come into it).

              WHO, in fact, is being either wilfully ignorant or (more likely) deliberately mis-interpreting and mis-representing what I’ve said?

            • What part of

              “in the same fields ”

              were you unable to comprehend?”

              Both people could be in mining. a person has a marketing degree another has a engineering degree.
              Both people are equally educated. They are both paid different.

              The first website you show suggests that discrimination is the reason of the pay gap. This has not been proved. It provides no evidence to support its case apart from just just asserting it.

              The second website actually says the feminist perspective is extreme. And places a large portion of wage gap not on discrimination but on womans choices. It has no evidence that the gap is caused by discrimination. It even says it. It simply says that they can’t prove that choice explains all of it.
              Consad is far more precise and collects data from a wide variety of sources.

            • MorgainePendragon says:

              Well, the first website DOES provide evidence, and the second DOES NOT say “the feminist perspective is extreme”.

              Again, lies and misrepresentation.

              I should’ve known better than to bother.

            • “Well, the first website DOES provide evidence”

              where? it suggests unequal outcomes but provides no proof that discrimination is the main component of that. It asserts it but i can’t find any proof that it is.

              the second site
              from Thomson.pdf

              “Such explanations are perhaps a little extreme ”

              it says this in regard to the discrimination theory “they ignore that while this may be a contributing factor the individual choices may play an important factor.”

              All it is is that its suggesting discrimination might be a factor. Differing outcomes does not mean discrimination which is why i mentioned that women have situations that they are advantaged. It suggests that sexism is not unidirectional or as simple as you assume it is. And thus talking about sexism against men and women is not in any comparable to racism.

              Unless you have proof of discrimination that explains the wage gap rather than just a theory what i said is true.

            • @MorgainePendragon

              As a matter of Courtesy and Good Netiquette – rather than posting links to various documents in their entirety, could you and others even point to specific pages within those documents where key issues are highlighted?

              It is a bit rich to assume that people have all the time in the world to read all web content and associated linked documentation.

              Myself and many others have found it does progress debate and even the resolution in differences if Good Faith is shown combined with Good Practice.

              As an example – when the CDC report was published ( all 124 pages of it ) I did read it and then pointed to two specific pages which highlighted issues – that is pages 18 and 19. Page 18 provides the definitions used by the CDC – one set relating to women and the other to men – and then page 19 provides data which can then be interpreted.

              It does allow focus on issues, rather than assuming people have the same knowledge and treating differences as a matter of contempt or bad faith!

          • “And comparing the experience of (MOST) white abled heterosexual MEN to that of ANY marginalised group (women, POCs, GLBT and disabled persons) is simply ludicrous and MRA propaganda.”

            I see that that language had to be modified with (MOST) – so it is quite rational to also reverse the language and see if it scans and of those addressed agree with it.

            “And comparing the experience of (MOST) white abled heterosexual WOMEN to that of ANY marginalised group (men, POCs, GLBT and disabled persons) is simply ludicrous and FEMINIST propaganda.”

            As a disabled, gay, ethically, diverse male I may be better placed that some to look at how language is and has been historically used to marginalize and subjugate others from a presumption of Privilege.

            I have found it comical that in seeking information and facts I have been called MRA. I have taken it as a compliment as a “Medaling Rational Archivist”.

            So now do I need to be re-branded and self identify as a “Ludicrous Medaling Rational Archivist”?

            It just gets better every turn P^)

      • When women complain about men in a feminist context, it is not about “man-hating,” it is about male blindness to their own power and privilege and dismissal of women’s anger.
        So when parts of that women complaining in a feminist context includes dictating to men what their experiences are instead of letting men talk for themselves is that also about male blindness? I see. Men are so privileged that we actually cannot be trusted to actually tell our own stories and call them what they are? “Man-hating” may not have been the original purpose but unfortunately it does happen.

        Men experience sexism the way white people experience racism.
        No they don’t men experience sexism the way men experience sexism. And white people experience racism like white people experience racism. I don’t like it when men’s activists try to liken the plights of men to the those of black people and I don’t like it when women’s activists try to liken the plights of men to the plights of white people. There’s too much intersection and generalization going on to do that.

        To call the male experience of sexism or the white experience of racism the same as their female and African-American corollaries implies a total blindness to history.
        Other than the few extreme men’s activists that try to make them out to be the same the only people who think we are trying to say they are the same are the people that are afraid that “same” means “take seriously”. There’s nothing that says anti-male sexism has to be the exact same as anti-female sexism. By the very fact that damn near everyone on all sides of the gender discourse agreeing that men and women live different experiences there is no way for anti-female sexism can be the same as anti-male sexism. In fact I’d go as far as to say that people who have this expectation have bought into the idea that sexism can only be male against female. All that does is give rise to the idea of “reverse sexism”.

        A man and woman apply for a job. The ______ because they are a _____. I don’t care how you fill those blanks in its sexism. Not “reverse sexism” and damn sure not “gender discrimination”. No running a gender check before defining it. Its sexism. Trying to insert instituational power into the base definition of sexism doesn’t cut it. Oh and speaking of calling things childish how childish is it to change the rules of the game so that you are never called on your wrongness?

        Sexism is lifelong and systematic and conditions women to feel that they always have to be “nice” and worry about men’s feelings. Some of us are done with that, thank you very much.
        I totally agree that women being conditioned to be “nice” to men even to the detrament of women themselves is wrong, is sexist, and needs to be stopped. However…

        One form of Sexism is lifelong and systematic and conditions women to feel that they always have to be “nice” and worry about men’s feelings. Some of us are done with that, thank you very much.

        ….as long as people keep thinkig that that is the only way sexism flows the people in the gender discourse better get ready for a never ending haul.

        • One could argue feminists are completely blind to the privileges women have in society as well, but they will shoot back with male privilege whilst failing to balance it with male responsibility.

      • Seriously people stop comparing black people and white peoples experience. Sexism and racism are very different, it makes you look like you’re grasping at straws. Males can experience sexism and negatives based on their gender, the draft for instance, I know of no negative a white would experience that a black would not.

        Do you not see that men have systemic and social sexist stereotypes to push them into defending their country, sacrificing their life, being the breadwinner, doing dangerous jobs?

      • “Actually, just the phrase “men complaining about being blamed for everything” sounds like the phraseology of an eight-year-old fighting with his little sister. It is precisely whining about losing power or privilege.”

        I do find it fascinating that some commentators have to always reduce male thinking and language to that of a child for a comparator.

        One has to wonder if these commentators lack the capacity for a more mature capacity and world view to stop seeing everything from such childish perspectives?

        If a male commentator was to say that women’s conduct was like that of a child he would be called Misogynist, and yet it is seen as Misogynist for anyone male of female to call such abusive framing of males as children as Misandrist.

        Such odd privilege claimed and misused. The fallacies involved are astounding.

        It is essentialism++ as in bigotry, concretism and resulting stereotypes.

        It is the equivalent of some female child standing in the play ground in pig tails, ribbons and a frilly dress screaming – “I’m sugar and spice and all things nice – boys are slugs and snails and puppy dog tails – Oh I hate boys! “.

  3. David Deida suggests that to truly be a man in relationship with a woman, you need to be able to face her anger square without flinching. Easier to say than to do, of course, but that is the goal I am working towards.

  4. Hugo,

    Have to disagree with you on this one. You’re making this a gender issue when it shouldn’t be. Did you read Emily Nussbaum’s article in NY Mag about the new, old feminism? She writes about today’s feminists exhibiting the in-your-face, fiery, fuck-you qualities of previous waves because, although alienating to some, it gets the attention of many. I find fault with the approach of many of these ladies – they often come off as sounding snarky, rude, elitist, condescending, and belittling. This was nowhere more apparent than in my Twitter debate with Amanda Marcotte, which I chronicled in an article for Good Men Project: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/when-feminism-flames-a-twitter-conversation-gone-wrong/.

    I know you disagree with Marcotte’s tactics, even though you agree with her ideas, because you told me so. I’d love for you to come out with a piece asking for more respect from both sides of the aisle and from both genders. Both men and women are allowed to have passionate opinions, of course, but respectful debate is crucial. Feminists should be held to this standard too.

    Also, curious, and I ask this in all seriousness: Since you are man, are there any male equivalents for “insane” or any other words that women should be wary of using to describe men?

    With respect,
    Neely

    • “Since you are man, are there any male equivalents for “insane” or any other words that women should be wary of using to describe men?”

      That’s like asking white people what equivalent racial slurs like “n*****” black people should avoid. There are none.

      • “Since you are man, are there any male equivalents for “insane” or any other words that women should be wary of using to describe men?”

        Psycho, anything to do with testosterone and aggression, violent, neanderthal/caveman type insults, creepy, etc. Probably anything linking men with criminal acts as well. Schizo is also a slur but many of the insults aren’t gendered, even crazy isn’t gendered 100% as I received a lot of that word especially during my depression.

        “That’s like asking white people what equivalent racial slurs like “n*****” black people should avoid. There are none.”
        No, it’s not. Very different dynamics at play.

      • Bullshit. White trash is exactly as loaded and it is used with wanton abandon by people who would never tolerate n*gger. Blatant hypocrites.

    • “Feminists should be held to this standard too. ”

      This is the thing that makes me just shake my head whenever I debate feminists. For years feminists have quite rightly complained about a stereotype of women not being in control of their emotions. For all that work to then not hold feminists to the same standard because of a view that men should just tolerate angry women because they are fighting against “privilege” is just patronising rubbish. For years I have seen attempts by writers from feministcritics.org attempt to debate feminists ideas only to be met with dismissive insults. If they won’t argue in good faith anywhere and constantly demand that opponents who have different views must accept the central tenants of feminism before even a possibility of debate to unfold simply reinforces a perception that feminists and by extension women are not capable of rational debate.

      It reminds me of the death threats a few muslims made against a cartoonist that suggested that islam promoted violence.

      But instead of treating men and women as equals men are told that “when men and women argue about gender justice, women are more likely to have insights that men have missed.” It suggests that men don’t have any unique insights about themselves as if women have some special power that makes them understand everything.

      The only way you can justify saying women have unique vision and men don’t have anything unique from their point of view is to say that men are privileged and women are not.

      But how do you debate the idea that women are privileged in some ways as well?
      You can’t because to enter the debate because you are forced to concede that women have insights and men do not. Circular arguments don’t help push the idea that women are rational.

      Maybe It is time to realise that just as men are flawed women are as well. And just like how MRA’s are seen as angry, feminists who behave exactly the way that they complain about will equally be seen as angry. Gaslighting is not something that is unique to men, the fact that that hugo can’t see that confirms that hugo is not impartial, there is no “Clear-Eyed Lesbian Gaze” here.

    • Neely – thank you for two points you have made.

      1) Twittergate was not an Insular matter but related to a web of communication between parties.

      2) That language keeps on being used in gender specific ways and without balance.

      There are both overt and covert modes of communication, and multiple levels of communication with subtext abounding.

      I love the Football helmet story – it’s all reported as how Women are being communicated too – It just dismisses the possibility that the person wearing the helmet was communicating valid thoughts and feelings in return. When I read it It just reminded me so much of patterns of abuse where one party is repeatedly told their experience and feelings are not valid – they are demeaned – reduced – and have their world view altered and distorted. It’s a pattern of mind control – just as is Gaslighting.

      Don’t Gaslight – but allow yourself to be Gaslighted ?

      Such an odd message and peculiar world view.

    • Tom: “I really thought the MRA guys were crazy until I engaged the wrath of the feminists. Insane.”
      Hugo’s characterization of Tom: “Jennifer and Amanda were “insane.””

      Notice what Hugo did there. Maybe he didn’t mean to, but Hugo claimed that Tom called Jennifer and Amanda insane, which Tom never did. Tom called the situation insane. It’s like saying the price of gas is insane, or the weather was insane. He’s not calling anyone mentally ill.

    • DavidByron says:

      Funny twitter conversation with Marcotte. It certainly did her no credit. You said she is a leader of the feminist movement and she acts like a child. But I wonder if she ultimately has any choice. I certainly do not want to be in her shoes having to defend the indefensible.

      Somewhere in those articles you asked what feminism would have to do to draw in men. That is a very good question for comprehending exactly where the lines of distrust and contention are at. My answer would be that feminism would have to firstly apologise to men for creating so many sexist attacks on men for so many years and helping to create a huge amount of anti-male discrimination in our society today. Secondly the movement would have to disband.

      I think you might get a less drastic answer from others, but I believe that would be a mistake. You can’t pour new wine into old wine skins. One of two things happen, neither what you want.

    • MorgainePendragon says:

      “I find fault with the approach of many of these ladies – they often come off as sounding snarky, rude, elitist, condescending, and belittling.”

      Maybe because we’re not “ladies” and have no intention of being so. That’s such a condescending term– and classist.

      I’m so sure that women would have the rights they have today (that are being dramatically and viciously whittled away amidst the hand-wringing “C’mon ‘ladies’, let’s be NICE” rhetoric of people like Neely) if Emmeline Pankhurst, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, and all the others of the First, Second and Third Wave feminist movements had just spoken softly and asked nicely.

      NOT!

      • Morgaine,

        I must say, I feel you are looking for something to be angry at. I meant absolutely nothing derogatory by using the word “ladies,” and your knee-jerk reaction accusing me of doing so is unfair and mean-spirited. The fact is I am a writer, and writers like to use synonyms sometimes for fear of repeating the same word. It’s a cardinal sin to some writers. This has been ingrained in me, and my use of the word “ladies” as a substitute for the word “women” was just my brain on autopilot using a different word to describe females (there, I just did it again). I didn’t realize its usage was so disturbing to others.

        I’m not gaslighting you, just making an honest observation. I apologize in advance if that offends you.

        Neely

        • Neely

          It is a factor of the world that some will take offense where none is intended. They seek out anything they can be offended by, as a way to express power and even seek control due to personal experiences and resultant world views.

          There is an old saying “Some can pick a fight in an empty room”.

          Some believe the best way to manage such people is to lock the door and throw away the key. Personally, I believe the better option and far more human one is to entice them from the room so that they can see and experience a bigger world where fighting and offense occurs far less than they perceive.

        • MorgainePendragon says:

          Well, Neelie, I am a writer too. As a writer, I try to be as accurate as possible in my terminology.

          I seriously doubt that any of the feminists you accuse of being “snarky, rude, elitist, condescending, and belittling” is striving to be a “lady” and I also bet you know that. You achieve condescension in both your content and your delivery.

          My comment was returning the favour (and I HAVE posted in threads written BY YOU before that the term “lady” is offensive, classist, and rejected by many if not most feminists).

          But nice derail from my point. which is that if “Emmeline Pankhurst, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, and all the others of the First, Second and Third Wave feminist movements” had simply ASKED NICELY, in a LADYLIKE way, for equality, they would’ve achieved nothing.

          Women/Feminists (just as persons of colour– as well as all men of ‘lower’ classes) have had to scream, fight, claw, demand, engage in huge protests, chain themselves to fences, make themselves targets of assassins, and SET THEMSELVES ON FIRE in order to be heard by the dominant power structure and achieve even the smallest increments of change.

          I’m sure you’re well aware of this, however. People who want real change know very well that the powers that be aren’t going to hand it over if we ask nicely. And anyone with any social awareness also knows this.

          Which makes me question the motives of someone who asks me to express my dissatisfaction with the inherent injustices in mainstream society in a “lady-like” fashion.

          • @Morg, question, would you suggest MRA’s should start screaming louder and acting less nice since their requests for support on male rights aren’t being taken seriously? Do they need to “scream, fight, claw, demand, engage in huge protests, chain themselves to fences, make themselves targets of assassins, and SET THEMSELVES ON FIRE in order to be heard by the dominant power structure and achieve even the smallest increments of change.” ?

            “I find fault with the approach of many of these ladies – they often come off as sounding snarky, rude, elitist, condescending, and belittling.”
            Personally I believe anger itself is different from those, you don’t have to be a lady, but you also shouldn’t be an asshole about it either. Being angry about your treatment is pretty normal, but belittling male victims for example whilst being angry over what female victims get is pathetic. That’s what is getting to people and bugging them I think, I’ve seen so called feminists belittle the suffering of male “Bawww what about the menz” and start to give a speech on the suffering men face as trivial matters. If simply they were angry that they were oppressed by government, or angry about wage disputes then they wouldn’t be the above but when they act like jackasses about it, they need to check their behaviour and not belittle others (goes for both mra’s and feminists).

            • MorgainePendragon says:

              “would you suggest MRA’s should start screaming louder and acting less nice ”

              is that even possible?

            • “is that even possible?”
              Congrats on proving Neely’s point on “they often come off as sounding snarky, rude, elitist, condescending, and belittling”
              How about….Is it possible feminists could scream louder and act less nice?

            • @ Morgain

              ““would you suggest MRA’s should start screaming louder and acting less nice ”

              is that even possible?”

              Actually YES. It is the attitudes and comments that you make, along with others, which are a factor for men like myself who have spent a life time dealing with Equality having to look at if there are not good and sound reasons for Affirmative Acton and Partisan Support, until some semblance of balance and equality is returned to gender issues.

              I say that very bluntly as a Gay Man – A Disabled Man – Abuse Survivor – and Due to a Rather Interesting Ethic Heritage and Diversity. I have reason to be concerned about the abuse of gender by some many times over!

              I have stood very publicly and spoken out against many Equality Abuses – and I’m not afraid that It takes time to get results! You don’t even know the track records of people you so publicly abuse and snipe at!

              You have a very shrill voice – be careful it does not cause many to seek it’s silence, along with many other such shrill voices, that are not productive on the Issue of Equality! Shrill has little value when a great whisper can go further and actually be more audible.

              There is a reason why Fog Horns play a Bass note and not a shrill Soprano – The Bass travels further and it gets people’s attention!

              Your open contempt and shrill sarcasm is no tribute to the likes of Emmeline Pankhurst, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker… and so many more!

              I would venture, given a recent post as to the nature of wolves, that you have a Big Black Wolf to deal with, and you only come here seeking food to feed it with!

              Maybe you should try a different diet?

              Which wolf will you feed?

              http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/the-wolves-within-us-all/

          • @Morgaine

            It’s spelled Neely.

            Not going to sink to your level. Nice try though.

            Best wishes,
            Neely

  5. “One of [the] childish things adult men must put away is the need to deflect, belittle, or exaggerate women’s anger.”
    I’d say everyone needs to stop with the belittling, deflection and exaggerations against anyone’s experience. The generalizations Tom did weren’t a great idea but Hugo even you generalize heavily in your articles at times, you get mad at Tom for it whilst doing similar stuff.

    In the above you didn’t state SOME adult men must put this away, you just said adult men. He said “Why do men get blamed for everything?” Would it be better if he said Why do some men appear to be blamed for everything? He generalized, and guess what….you did too Hugo. So why are Tom’s generalizations called into question by people who do the same thing?

    “Women are regularly beaten and raped, but I know of no instance where a man found himself a victim of violence for making a sexist remark in a feminist setting! “Male-bashing” doesn’t literally happen, in other words, at least not as a result of arguments over feminism. ”
    Men are regularly beaten and raped too, even by women, so what is the point of dropping this into the start of your sentence? Is it to evoke emotion and empathy? Pity? Protective instincts?
    Let’s try this – Men are regularly beaten and raped, but I know of no instance where a woman found herself a victim of violence for making a sexist remark in a masculist setting! – What’s the point? That you don’t know of a time where men received actual physical violence by a feminist? (Andy Warhol could beg to differ) or only in regards to saying something sexist in a feminist setting? Aren’t you pretty much deflecting when you drop the line on abuse women face?

    “The painful thing about all this, of course, is that no man is in any real physical danger on the internet—or even in real life—from feminists.” – I could say no woman is in any real physical danger on the internet or even in real life from masculists. Does this mean anything when Tom was referring to nonphysical attacks?

    When you speak on manbashing, do you understand he is referring to the sense that language and culture can be used to “bash” and degrade the idea of a man? I’m sure you realize plenty of misogyny exists which womanbashes, but he’s suggesting there are those who manbash. Doesn’t have to mean they’re punching the guy, but it can mean they’re beating up on him metaphorically hence the theatrical usage of a helmet. Or are you trying to twist his intentions around? Something to me feels awfully deceptive in your explanation.

    If you want to talk about silencing behaviour, how about checking your own behaviour in ignoring statistics showing an equal level of rape between males and females in the last 12 months and then trying to suggest the recent influx in female rapists was unfounded. I really do not understand how you can miss Tom’s point on when he mentions being attacked, talk about the generalizations whilst doing the same, and then criticize a line on rising levels of female rapists in an article about the very stats which basically proved it.

    If you want others to stop behaviour you deem as bad, then you need to also refrain from the same behaviour.

  6. Nor was Jenn (or Kate Harding, or Amanda Marcotte) engaged in throwing stones, which didn’t stop Tom from describing the “pelting” he was taking from feminists.
    Pause. So Marcotte’s early posts this year when she opened with calling PUAs a bunch a guys that are pissed because they don’t get as much pussy as they should and that MRAs are a bunch of whiners that are pissed because they aren’t allowed to treat women like doormats, those weren’t stones? When she spoke of how much she favors banning MRAs (with no quantifying whatsoever) that wasn’t stone throwing? Must be one of those things where its not a stone unless certain people are throwing (ie as long as the thrower is feminist then its not a stone I guess). I have my past grudge with Harding’s past work but as far as I can tell she wasn’t spitting any nonsense around here.

    This doesn’t mean that a “good man” is always in the wrong when he’s arguing with a woman. It does mean that when men and women argue about gender justice, women are more likely to have insights that men have missed.
    Pause. So does that “greater insight” mean greater insight about all gender justice or gender justice in relation to women? Yes there is a difference.

    Here’s the basic axiom: power conceals itself from those who possess it. And the corollary is that privilege is revealed more clearly to those who don’t have it.
    Yes and notice how neutral that statement is. Meaning that it doesn’t always go one way. Like the various powers and privileges in society. But when it comes to having male/female differences the power divide is always “men have it women don’t” isn’t it.

    I’ll say it a thousand times. I respect and admire Tom Matlack for what he’s done to start this conversation, even as I disagree with him about the degree to which men and women are really different. I disagree with his take about being “attacked” by feminists, as I don’t see the evidence of animus towards him that that word implies. But the real disagreement we have is, I think, a bigger (though not necessarily insurmountable) one.
    Not the first time a feminist has swept in and dictated a man’s experiences to him. And not the last I bet. I can’t speak for Tom but if I were in his shoes I don’t think respect is what you call it when you declare that he wasn’t attacked in that exchange.

  7. A Hugo Schwyzer article? That may have been the shortest “retirement” in blogging history.

    I find it highly ironic that while Hugo is in full denial mode about feminist bullying, in the “feminist blogosphere” he’s under full attack by the mob. Check out Feministe or do a Google Blogs search for “Hugo Schwyzer” and you’ll see what I mean. So, more than a little bit of denial here.

    And while, yes, angry words in the blogosphere rarely add up to physical attack (something that’s true in general, not just vis a vis feminists), blogswarming and generalized campaigns against one’s reputation can be damaging. And while sometimes some people’s reputation deserves to be damaged, you can hardly blame the targets of such attacks for being defensive, merited or not. I’ve seen plenty of cases where blogswarming campaigns were quite intended to intimidate or silence people, and at least partly succeeded.

    I also find it quite rich that this “Words are not fists” post comes just a month after #mencallmethings (an event amplified, predictably, by The Guardian), which consisted of a string of feminist bloggers claiming outright victimization over angry words, often justifiably, but often over angry words that don’t amount to nearly the intensity of some of the campaigns these same bloggers dish out on others.

    And believe me, I have seen a few cases where the line from angry words and blogswarming has escalated, and yes, including from feminists. A certain particularly nasty clique of radical feminists centered around Radfem Hub and the fringes of the YouTube ultraleft are notorious for this. The worst incident I remember is when one of these charmers decided to drive home her opposition to an advocate of the decriminalization of prostitution by making the “argument” that if he believed prostitution was a regular job, why doesn’t he start grooming his infant daughter for it by fucking her in the ass. And to drive the point home, one of these charming radfems made an OK Cupid “dating” webpage with the infant’s picture and the same language about fucking her in the ass. Of course, the web page was soon taken down and the police were called, but it was a vicious, outright criminal attack nevertheless. So don’t try and tell me feminists are automatically pure as the driven snow in this regard.

    I will also note with some irony that another member of the above clique called Hugo a “rapist” in a YouTube video, and Hugo threatened a lawsuit. The combination of Hugo’s blanket defense of feminist bully tactics when they’re not directed at him, and his behavior over the video about him sends a clear message. Hugo is special and his feelings are to be respected and taken seriously. The rest of us little people just have to sit back and take it. That kind of hypocrisy leaves a very bad taste in my mouth, and in many others as well, which is why I think he’s getting it from several different sides of the gender politics spectrum simultaneously. I’m amazed at how many people with otherwise very different perspectives are seeing so many of the same things.

    Ultimately, this isn’t all about Hugo, or at least, it shouldn’t be. This is about mob rule, demagoguery, and some seriously problematic cults of personality that have arisen in the feminist blogosphere. And about over-privileged self-proclaimed “experts” and “leaders” talking all over everybody else’s voices. And that, of course, is not a good thing for women, men, or anybody else.

    • D’oh – missed the fine print about this being written “pre-retirement”. My other points stand, of course.

    • Interesting set of comment and insights as to how some are using the net in ways that are antisocial and manipulative and even dangerous in so many ways.

      Just as it took many years for people to wake up to the issue of grooming and sexual predation, wider issues of misuse and even criminal versatility are still awaiting the same attention.

      Social Networking has its plus side, expect when it’s being used in anti-cocial ways and even to extremes.

      “And about over-privileged self-proclaimed “experts” and “leaders” talking all over everybody else’s voices. And that, of course, is not a good thing for women, men, or anybody else.”

      That takes it all into the realms of politics and even propaganda.

      I can’t remember who said it, but some one once made comment about Those In Politics Only having Second Rate Minds – They Only Deal With The Possible. It Takes A First Rate Mind To Do The Impossible.

      Chimes in with the old insult to teachers – Those Who Can Do, Those Who Can’t Blog! P^)

  8. Thank you for discussing this difficult subject….I have found over the years (I have known my husband for over 20 years) that a man feels like he has to win every conversation (like some of his friends) or if confronted with some bad behavior, my husband gets all defensive and exits the room hastily….face-to face conversation with my husband, I think, feels too confrontational to my husband and therefore, we have avoided even talking about some of the most critical issues ( I have been dangerously silent on several issues and try a more subtle, indirect approach to get my point across…which, of course, sometimes doesn’t sink in with him)….in my experience, I text him (very brief, very business-like) when I need to communicate with him on something urgent or upsetting…amazingly, he answers his text-messages right away and pays attention to the messages (much more effective than face-to-face time oddly enough)….

    So…let’s keep the tone of discourse civil….let’s acknowledge that we don’t know everything about the other person’s viewpoint or life experiences until we hear them out….my 11 year old son is listening and he is a sweetheart….he loves his dad and he is trying to learn to be a good man…he needs to hear and see the adults discussing things in a level-headed manner….he gets turned off when people start yelling at each other and start calling each other bad names…he finds it unfair to paint all men a certain way as if they were all inevitably guilty of something…he loves me, too, so I guess he is a feminist, too….Please try to love your enemy…you can agree to disagree….you can also be more specific in your stories and relate things on a more personal level….generalizing about an entire gender washes individuals out….you don’t need to win every argument…

    • “.I have found over the years (I have known my husband for over 20 years) that a man feels like he has to win every conversation (like some of his friends) or if confronted with some bad behavior, my husband gets all defensive and exits the room hastily”
      Sounds like many women I have known. Did you mean to generalize men here? or did you mean some men? “that a man feels like” sounds to be assuming most/if not all men are like this? Seems to clash with your last sentence if that is what you meant?

    • So…let’s keep the tone of discourse civil….let’s acknowledge that we don’t know everything about the other person’s viewpoint or life experiences until we hear them out….
      After getting quite uncivil myself this is something I’m trying to adhere to. My problem is when folks come along like this and act like all the fire is coming from only one side. Hell the way Hugo is acting here you’d think that no feminist in the history of the entire movement has ever held any hostility towards anyone therefore any hostility towards any part of the movemnt is made up.

      I’m all for ending the hostilities. And by that I mean ALL the hostilities. Not just the ones that are coming directly at me while giving a free pass to the hostilities coming at other people.

    • “Thank you for discussing this difficult subject….I have found over the years (I have known my husband for over 20 years) that a man feels like he has to win every conversation (like some of his friends) or if confronted with some bad behavior, my husband gets all defensive and exits the room hastily….”

      That describes my ex-wife to the letter. Leia, you are quite ignorant about women.

  9. The Privilege Argument got thrown around a bit….

    Privilege wasn’t being used as it was written in the dictionary….

    I did a write up on how to cope with that at my blog….
    —–

    Well, next time you are at a blog and someone says “you are so privileged.” Just fire back like this:

    How do you know? Have you ever walked a day in my shoes? I doubt I can use my so called “privilege” to buy an expired soda at the 99 cent store. Is there an official criteria you are using or are you just making this up as you go along?

    This is the definition I found on an online dictionary:

    a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor : prerogative; especially : such a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office

    Really I don’t know what definition you are using but I suspect that it is not in good faith and you are only engaging in “Identity Politics” as a way to discredit my words. I am here to debate ideas, not to be trampled on.

    If they don’t like it, F*ck ‘em….

    And if you like this, feel free to cut and paste it as a response, just remember to give me some link love 😉

    http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/the-privilege-argument/

    • Don’t bother bringing up the dictionary. Look at how they selectively redefined sexism…

      • I will bring up the dictionary….

        why let someone else–who probably despises you-control the conversation, I’m only fighting for an equal footing…..

        • I myself have been wondering about the so-called “male privileges” frequently decried by feminists for a long while. I guess that most of us are living in a free and democratic society and not some feudal society. What exclusive rights and immunity do I have as a man which women do not have. Feminists usually complain that men comprise majority in politics and top management in business enterprises. I do not understand why feminists cannot accept the fact that the men who control the political and business establishment have achieved it though hard work. There are also many women who have succeeded in politics and business. Nobody gives you anything you have to take it yourself. Can anybody please list at least 5 privileges enjoyed by men.

          • They are no longer legal privileges in this country, although there were such legal privileges up until very recently- say the 1960s and even 70s, but there are subtle social messages all the time that women are expected to do everything, while any man who helps with housework is an exceptionally good husband. When was the last time you saw a commercial for laundry detergent or floor cleaner that featured a man (other than Mr. Clean)? Maybe you as an individual are an exceptional man who does (or did in the past or will one day in the future) share completely equally in the house work and child rearing while still earning a living. You don’t know what male privilege is because you’ve never had to live without it. Instead of insisting that there is no such thing, have you ever asked a woman what she thinks?

            • I do object to the use of the term “male privilege” when none exists. The television commercials are full of stupid prejudices towards both men and women. That is why television is called idiot box. I assure you that I am no exceptional man but fully take care of my housework and job. Yes I don’t know any male privilege, would you kindly enlighten me of any which exist.

            • Have you ever asked what a man thinks, oh wait they are privileged and blind to it so their opinion is meaningless on the matter. Seeing as many feminists deny female privilege, is it safe to assume they are blind to their own privilege?

          • MorgainePendragon says:

            Although I’m sure you’re QUITE aware of what male privilege is, I’ll just post this for you and others so you can’t claim not to know. And BTW, it’s written by a MAN:

            http://www.xyonline.net/content/unpacking-male-privilege-jockstrap

        • Good point. And I have to admit that despite that selective redefinition of sexism (and I quite literally think it was redefined with the purpose of granting women immunity to being called sexist or having their words/actions/etc… called sexist) I still take the occasional moment to respond to such claims.

          Its nice little combo really. Redefine a word so that it can never be applied to you and then when someone calls you on it accuse them of gaslighting. That way you never have to run one of those “privilege checks” you spend so much time telling other people to run on themselves.

      • Danny

        That’s why some feminists are able get away with fooling ignorant people.. Statements they make like “feminists are opposed to all forms of sexism” is usually taken at face value.

        • True Beste. I was rereading some of the stuff here this morning and just had to drop a new tumblr post.

          Feminist Equality…..?

          Purpose – Eliminate all forms of sexism.

          Step One – Deny the exist of all forms of sexism that aren’t male against female.

          SMH

          Its real easy to claim progress in getting rid of something when your starting point is the denial of nearly 50% of that something ain’t it?

  10. Hugo – “Referencing an old film, Yashar coined the simple term “gaslighting” ”

    Coined? – ERRRRR? NO! The term has been in use for quite some time! I was familiar with the term over three decades ago whilst studying at University. I hope that there is not yet another Internet Myth being created!

    “Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.”
    Albert Einstein

    Gaslighting is in fact a well known and well documented form of Mental Manipulation and Thought control Technique. It is in fact sex/gender neutral. I have noted for some time that certain people keep attempting to make it new language and only about one group.

    AS for people and helmets – It is interesting that there is only one dynamic ever mentioned, how Males Get it wrong and females always right. This whole resignation was just more of the same old same old – men wrong feminist right!

    As I have observed else where “Twittergate” has been exploited. Anyone who actually looks beyond the end of their own blog and twit stream can see whole patterns of human conduct, and as I have seen all too often in the past some will use that for personal advantage.

    “Being “manly” is less about traditional machismo than it is about what the Apostle Paul calls the putting away of childish things. And one of those childish things adult men must put away is the need to deflect, belittle, or exaggerate women’s anger.”

    Paul or Saul of Tarsus is a most interesting character, and his conversion of the Road To Damascus has even entered common language. He started as a persecutor of those he despised and saw as wrong – and then did a 180 and a dramatic conversion.

    Saul did put aside childish things and was a great Critic of moral and linear superiority. He was a great thinker and teacher:

    “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

    Some THINK they are very well informed – yet they would benefit from not conforming to the rigid mindsets they display and deploy. They would benefit from a little “Renewing Of The Mind” and not just with a fresh lick of paint!

      • AG – I’m very familiar with the films ( both the 1940 version and the 1944 one) . I had to study them twice at University over 30 years ago, Once dealing with Film, Theatre and Media – and the other Under Psychology. We even studied the original stage script too.

        We even had in-depth to discussions of the nature of “Gaslighting” featuring if Shakespear’s Hamlet.

        It did lead to very interesting discussions across the two academic disciplines! We used the term Gaslighting all the time, especially when studying psychology that dealt with abuse and emotional – psychological – social manipulation.

        Hamlet the man being gaslighted centuries before the 1938 stage play that was used to create the two films around the stage play. It was domestic abuse too – given that it was perpetrated by his Step-father/uncle and his mother colluded. Gives a whole new edge to that question “Was Hamlet Mad or Feigning Madness?”. Some tried to drive him mad – and then he caught on. At that point he feigned supposed madness to seek revenge.

        Misrepresentation and manipulation of reality to induce aberrant psychological states for manipulation was even touched upon ion ancient Greek theater.

        I’m not sure why you posted that link to wikipedia?

        If it was in response to my concerns as to Original Attribution of the term “Gaslighting” to the wrong source, the link you provided does not address that issue. I’m not claiming that I coined the phrase – But I’m wondering if I need to track down some now ancient professors to see if they still have course notes – and even if they know who first started to use it in either subject.

        I am concerned that some just jump on a “Jargon” bandwagon and use terms in new and novel ways, claiming supposed ownership and associated power, when really they don’t know the language and jargon at all – and just how Gender Neutral it really is!

      • Oh and as a follow up – I was asked via a different channel – are there any Film portrayals of Women employing Gaslighting?

        One that springs to mind immediately would be “Hand That Rocks The Cradle” – 1992.

        One of the strap-lines for the advertising at the time sums it all up quite nicely “Trust is her weapon. Innocence her opportunity. Revenge her only desire.”

        There are many other examples too.

  11. Honestly, it feels like anyone on this website is afraid to criticize Amanda Marcotte and her cohorts. Are they funding this website in some way and you people are afraid of losing that funding? It’s like when Game Informer gives ridiculously high ratings to video games that clearly don’t deserve high ratings because they don’t want to lose the money from those gaming companies. Game Informer gives it a 10, yet the vast majority of consumers give it a 3.

    What Amanda Marcotte and them did to Tom was WRONG. Plain and simple. Words are not fists in the literal sense, but if words had no affect, why would we speak them in the first place? Because words do affect, and this is something people constantly like to dismiss. What Marcotte and her cohorts were doing was plain bullying, dismissing Matlack’s comments, cornering him, picking apart every little thing he said until all Marcotte could be met with was unintelligible babble. Tom wasn’t perfect, but he also wasn’t being given any room to express his opinions. One can have a respectful debate while still getting the point across, and there was no respectful debate what-so-ever. It was the debate of a bunch of children, not adults.

  12. I’m of the same mind Amber and I’ll offer evidence in support:

    Go take a peek at Pandagon and review the Flying Monkeys post. Take note of a poster “Funky Horns” and how he/she is treated on their home turf for simply disagreeing with a portion of the author’s premise.

    “Funky, your assumption that your p!nis makes you more knowledgeable than a professional humorist on what makes a joke funny has been noted, and rejected.”

    You simply can’t disagree in good faith if you have a penis, so it seems…and if you do, it’s only because you have a penis. That’s one circular p!nis of a circle.

  13. “Honestly, it feels like anyone on this website is afraid to criticize Amanda Marcotte and her cohorts.”

    I’m not! Where would you like me to start! P^)

    As a Blogists and person who makes a living from the net, one would expect her to have some appreciation of both the capacities of systems and also the limitations.

    If she does not – she’s foolish and one has to wonder if her comments and views are tainted with that issue.

    If she is aware of the limitations – that raises issues of deliberate manipulation, exploitation and much else including such issues as Cyber Abuse and Bullying.

    I even have to joke that Mimicry is the most sincere form of flattery – else it shows a lack of imagination and originality.

    What did she write? “The Good Men Project I Used To Know.”.

    Ironic aint it? P^)

  14. “All of this behavior reflects two things: men’s genuine fear of being challenged and confronted, and the persistence of the stereotype of feminists as being aggressive, wrathful, “man-bashers.”

    This is just deeply dishonest. The first is not even a generalization, it is just projection, Hugo. You have shown that this is true over and over again. The second is also a complete lie. feminist worked long and hard to develop their reputation for man-bashing and gender bigotry. Amanda Marcotte is Exhibit A.

    • JIm

      Amanda Marcotte is Exhibit A.?

      Naaah – to my mind she’s a rather small bullet. It’s the peeps who developed the guns I would focus on! P^)

      • Small bullet nothing. To continue your analogy she’s a gun toter. And while going after the guns is important allow me to make another analogy. Would you expect Al Queda to just stop if the people who made AK-47s suddenly stopped making them? No they would continue with their acts of violence and terror, just with different weapons.

        By the same token even if you take away the damaging, shaming, generalizing and projecting language from feminists like Hugo and Marcotte they would find some other language to continue on with.

        • Danny – I agree with your expansion of metaphor and analogy!

          I just hope that some don’t start reading up on IEDs!

          No matter the limits some have placed around them, they will seek ways to Transcend those limits and continue with their own peculiar and highly focused activity. If they judge personal success by how many page views and comments they get, they will seek ways to do that.

          As Warhole said “I’m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning”.

          Some have been looking at their own screens so long they only see meaning in what comes back out of them! P^)

          … in the end they will even lose that!

          Mortality is Short, Internet Immortality Shorter!

  15. PursuitAce says:

    “And one of those childish things adult men must put away is the need to deflect, belittle, or exaggerate women’s anger.” He left out ignore. Life’s too short to waste on someone’s rant. Unless of course you’re giving someone an outlet for venting. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of being involved? Problem solving? In my experience, that is not what is desired.

  16. Rapses:
    I myself have been wondering about the so-called “male privileges” frequently decried by feminists for a long while. I guess that most of us are living in a free and democratic society and not some feudal society. What exclusive rights and immunity do I have as a man which women do not have. Feminists usually complain that men comprise majority in politics and top management in business enterprises. I do not understand why feminists cannot accept the fact that the men who control the political and business establishment have achieved it though hard work. There are also many women who have succeeded in politics and business. Nobody gives you anything you have to take it yourself. Can anybody please list at least 5 privileges enjoyed by men.
    Well to be fair I can agree that male privilege does exist. Yeah there are situations where being a man is favored over being a woman. Such as:
    1. Some cases when a guy that’s highly sexually active is praised and a woman that’s highly sexually active is scorned.
    2. Some cases when a man and woman go for a job interview and the hiring manager favors the guy just because he’s a guy and regardless of his actual qualifications.
    3. When it comes to being the victim of a sex crime (mind you as recent studies seem to be showing while this may be true the gap isn’t as wide as others would have us believe).
    4. Some cases when a man is physically violent he is given a pass on it that a physically violent woman would never get.
    5. The Wage Gap (and by that I’m talking the portion that can actually be attributed to sexism against women, not the entire up to $0.30 that’s been mindlessly parroted for the last 20 some odd years).

    HOWEVER.

    Notice my frequent use of the word some and also bear in mind that there is a flip side to every single one of those five items. Both sides exist but according so a lot of people only one side is every acknowledged when brings me to my problem. My problem is that so many of them will admantly argue that male privilege exists, and have no problem pointing out how men are blind to said privilege while at the same time admantly denying female privilege and somehow the mechanisms that result in a man being blind to male privilege magically do not exist among women. No we are supposed to believe that there is no situation where being a woman is favored over being a man.
    And this is what really makes my soul burn with a firey passion that surpasses even the Power Cosmic. They talk about how there are so many systems of oppression and how they intersect and how people can possibly have privilege in one area but be disprivileged in another and how people of different groups have various plusses and minues….until we get to gender at which point men have all the upsides and women have all the downsides. Let’s look at those again. According to their dialogue of privielge:
    1. Cases in which before these two became sexually active the man was shamed and the woman wasn’t doesn’t come into play.
    2. Cases in which the hiring manager favors the woman over the man just because she’s a woman and regardless of her actual qualifications doesn’t come into play.
    3. Cases in which male victims of sex crimes have their experiences denied on the sole basis of “but you’re men” don’t come into play.
    4. Cases in which a woman doesn’t get physically violent and gets a free pass that a man not getting physically violent would not get don’t come into play.
    5. The Life Expectancy Gap doesn’t come into play.

    No the guys in those five item just get a, “Dude I know it sucks but its not sexism.”

    No one is going to get very far trying to claim only one set of those forces is acting upon us.

    • 5. The Wage Gap (and by that I’m talking the portion that can actually be attributed to sexism against women, not the entire up to $0.30 that’s been mindlessly parroted for the last 20 some odd years).
      I know that sounds weird but on the real I’ve seen people quote that as 73, 75, 78, and 80 cents over the last year or so. Meaning either someone is recalculating it every 2-3 months or there are a lot of people out there that went to the School of Anal Mathematics (as in pulling numbers out of your ass).

      • I disagree that any of the points you have mentioned related to so-called male privilege. I would like to refute them point wise.

        1.A guy that’s highly sexually active is praised and a woman that’s highly sexually active is scorned. You have to take this issue in stud/slut and loser/virgin paradigm. In the soccer team, the best forward player is the one who scores maximum goals while the best goalie is the one who saves the most goals. It has nothing to do with players. It is the nature of game.
        2. Preference of one sex over another in job interviews is discrimination which I think is illegal. The personal bias of any hiring manager cannot be considered a privilege. The real privilege is affirmative action.
        3. In case of sexual violence, ladies certainly have upper hand. A female victim of sexual violence receives sympathy, counseling and her identity is protected while male victims are usually ridiculed. Female pedophile get much lighter sentences than male pedophiles. Women also have the privilege of falsely accusing a man of sexual assault without any consequences.
        4. A physically violent man will go to prison while a physically violent women gets to some mumbo-jumbo counselling. Sentences for women are usually lighter.
        5. Wage gap: Equal pay Act of 1963 states that “No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs[,] the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex ”
        If men are earning more than women then they are meritorious, and productive than women

        • Rapses:
          1.A guy that’s highly sexually active is praised and a woman that’s highly sexually active is scorned. You have to take this issue in stud/slut and loser/virgin paradigm. In the soccer team, the best forward player is the one who scores maximum goals while the best goalie is the one who saves the most goals. It has nothing to do with players. It is the nature of game.
          The difference is the goalie and the forward work under those premises because that is the nature of their jobs in the game. In other words the goalie is supposed to save goals and the forward is supposed to be the lead scorer. When it comes to sexual activity ideally men and women should not be bound to such rules just because he is a man and she is a woman. It would be apt to say that a goalie that lets too many goals is a bad goalie and a forward hat doesn’t score is a bad forward becasue they don’t score enough. Men and women should be held to such standards. One’s sex life (or lack thereof) should never be used as basis for calling someone a bad man or bad woman.
          Of course the issue is with the stud/slut and loser/virgin paradigms however those paradigms play out in ways that CAN result in one gender being favored over the other solely because of their gender.

          2. Preference of one sex over another in job interviews is discrimination which I think is illegal. The personal bias of any hiring manager cannot be considered a privilege. The real privilege is affirmative action.
          Yes its illegal (or at least its on the books as being illegal) but its pretty damn hard to prove. The personal bias of the hiring manager does play out as a privilege once that manager crosses the line between, “I really like him/her.” and “I really like him/her. I’m going to just hire him/her regardless of the qualifications”. The bias of the manager CAN result in a person being overlooked becasue of their gender.

          3. In case of sexual violence, ladies certainly have upper hand. A female victim of sexual violence receives sympathy, counseling and her identity is protected while male victims are usually ridiculed. Female pedophile get much lighter sentences than male pedophiles. Women also have the privilege of falsely accusing a man of sexual assault without any consequences.
          Now this is a tough one. One can easily find cases in which sex crime victims of either gender are mocked because of their gender (implying that a woman that was raped really wasn’t because how she was all over that guy earlier that night or that a man that was raped really wasn’t because he had an erection). Just as you can find sex criminals of either gender that are treated harshly or possibly get away with their crime.
          Now I do have to conced the part of false allegations to you. Its only been in the last year or two that people have actually been taking them seriously enough to actually start prosecting them. The only reason Crystal Mangum is in trouble now is because she allegedly killed someone, otherwise she would still be known to most of the world as a “rape victim”.

          4. A physically violent man will go to prison while a physically violent women gets to some mumbo-jumbo counselling. Sentences for women are usually lighter.
          While that does happen the reverse also happens in which people that get physically violent are called names, told they are being whiny, and of course reminded that its so “unlady like” to get physically violent.

          5. If men are earning more than women then they are meritorious, and productive than women.
          If anything its the result of the gender roles dictating that men are supposed to go outside the home and work while women stay inside the home and work. As a result men were demanded to put in the ungodly hours to climb the company ladder while at the same women that tried to climb it had the rungs pulled out from under them. All under the idea that “Men are supposed to be out in the world working (to prove they are real men) so they should get paid more.” and “Women aren’t supposed to be out in the world working (well real women aren’t supposed to) so why pay them the same?”

          Believe me when I say its f’d up all around.

          • Men and women should be held to such standards.

            Should be:

            Men and women should not be held to such standards.

            While that does happen the reverse also happens in which people that get physically violent are called names, told they are being whiny, and of course reminded that its so “unlady like” to get physically violent.

            Should be:

            While that does happen the reverse also happens in which women that get physically violent are called names, told they are being whiny, and of course reminded that its so “unlady like” to get physically violent.

            • I would like to focus on the frequent misuse of the term “male privilege.” Privilege is something which is carved in stoned and is not circumstantial.
              1. Men and women are have different reproductive functions. Therefore they should have totally different dimensional units of standard. You argue whether 1 meter is longer than 1 kilogram, because they are two different dimensions, length and weight.
              2. In a job interview, I cannot claim as a matter of right to be preferred over a female candidate. Hiring managers prejudice is not privilege, though I agree it might be skew the results. A privilege holds everywhere and every time. For example, diplomatic immunity is a privilege. Diplomats are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country’s laws. It is absolute and does not depend on the host country’s law or government.
              3. Social prejudices in the matter of sexual violence work in all directions, cannot be categorized as privilege.
              4. In the matter of violence. men get the rough deal and name calling does not have same weight as judicial sentences.
              5. Gender roles evolved as the strategy for the survival of the group. Men were physically stronger than women therefore they went out and took risk for the group. While the role of women in reproduction was greater than men, they were kept in home. In primitive times manpower was valuable and women’s reproductive value was higher as they gave birth to children. In my opinion gender roles were not there to suppress anybody but survival of the social group. If women cannot get out of their gender-role mind frame, then they have nobody else to blame but themselves. trust working for a living is real drudgery

              BTW I still have not come across any real privilege for men which is enforced.

            • Okay now we are getting somewhere.

              1. They may be different units but that doesn’t mean they should be held to unreasonable and ultimately arbitrary standards. Would you say that a given meter stick or scale are not a real meter stick or scale because neither can be used to measure time?

              2. So you’re saying that that it should hold up every time in every circumstance. I certainly agree that this does not pan out that way every single time in either direction (which is why I kept using ‘can’).

              3. Same as two.

              4. Oh no not trying to say that one is on par with the other. That’s Oppression Olympics territory. My only point was that they are both unfair.

              5. That may have been true in the past (and frankly at best since we can’t alter history to experiment with it we really can’t see how things would have turned out if say women did take part in the roles that men took up) but at this point with a world population of several billion its no longer necessary.

              Fair enough.

              But just to make sure we do agree that there are things f’d up on all sides of this right?

  17. What’s the difference between feminists calling someone a rape enabler because, in their ignorance, they said women should be careful when they get drunk, and an MRA who says all women are prostitutes because they expect men to pay for dinner? Aren’t they both inflammatory slurs?

  18. I’ve always been interested in the reported 75 cents for every dollar wage gap debate. I just have had a hard time believing that there is that much of a gap. I was enlightened when I read this eye-opening and thought-provoking article by Kay Hymowitz: http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_3_gender-gap.html.

    READ IT! Here’s an excerpt:

    “Let’s begin by unpacking that 75-cent statistic, which actually varies from 75 to about 81, depending on the year and the study. The figure is based on the average earnings of full-time, year-round (FTYR) workers, usually defined as those who work 35 hours a week or more.

    But consider the mischief contained in that “or more.” It makes the full-time category embrace everyone from a clerk who arrives at her desk at 9 AM and leaves promptly at 4 PM to a trial lawyer who eats dinner four nights a week—and lunch on weekends—at his desk. I assume, in this case, that the clerk is a woman and the lawyer a man for the simple reason that—and here is an average that proofers rarely mention—full-time men work more hours than full-time women do. In 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27 percent of male full-time workers had workweeks of 41 or more hours, compared with 15 percent of female full-time workers; meanwhile, just 4 percent of full-time men worked 35 to 39 hours a week, while 12 percent of women did. Since FTYR men work more than FTYR women do, it shouldn’t be surprising that the men, on average, earn more.

    The way proofers finesse “full-time” can be a wonder to behold. Take a recent article in the Washington Post by Mariko Chang, author of a forthcoming book on the wealth gap between women and men. Chang cites a wage difference between “full-time” male and female pharmacists to show how “even when they work in the same occupation, men earn more.” A moment’s Googling led me to a 2001 study in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association concluding that male pharmacists worked 44.1 hours a week, on average, while females worked 37.2 hours. That study is a bit dated, but it’s a good guess that things haven’t changed much in the last decade. According to a 2009 article in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, female pharmacists’ preference for reduced work hours is enough to lead to an industry labor shortage.”

    Neely
    Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NeelySteinberg

    • Neely – lies, damned lies and statistics!

      The dictionary needs to be updated to deal with emergent forms of Mythology that are engendered, created and spread at high speed due to the use of the Internet.

      It’s either that, or make advanced stats compulsory eduction for all citizens. Should improve the situation in about 50 years.

      • As a matter of Courtesy and Good Netiquette – could you point to the pages which most succinctly support any point that you may wish to make.

        The rate of words generated via the web on a daily basis do make it unreasonable to assume that others should read some 95 pages and be able to discern your point from that.

        If you could provide even page numbers which guide the reader, it may well advance debate and reduce such things as assumption, presumption and transference of frustration.

    • MorgainePendragon says:

      Official US government (not exactly a feminist conspiracy) story/stats on the wage gap (from 2004, but since the economy has worsened, it’s a reasonable assumption that things haven’t gotten better for ANYONE):

      “Women make only 75.5 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to a new release by the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 2002 and 2003, median annual earnings for full-time year-round women workers shrank by 0.6 percent, to $30,724, while men’s earnings remained unchanged, at $40,668. The 1.4 percent decrease in the gender wage ratio is the largest backslide in 12 years (since 1991). The 2003 Census data also show the first decline in women’s real earnings since 1995.

      ” “No progress on the wage ratio has been made since 2001, and women actually lost ground this year. Falling real wages for women indicate a decline in the quality of their jobs. The economic recovery continues to disadvantage women by failing to provide strong job growth at all wage levels.”

      Dr. Barbara Gault, IWPR Director of Research, stated, “To address the continuing disparities in pay between women and men, we need to raise the minimum wage, improve enforcement of Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, help women succeed in higher-paying, traditionally male occupations, and create more flexible, family friendly workplace polices.”

      “The new Census Bureau release also documents rising rates of poverty and numbers of women without health insurance. According to Dr. Vicky Lovell, IWPR Study Director, “The poverty rate for female-headed households increased to 28 percent in 2003, and poverty among adult women rose to 12.4 percent. Over 17 million women have no health insurance. Our systems for ensuring health care and economic security are failing America’s women.”

      Women (and more often than not, children) have gotten POORER and are WORSE OFF than most men. How is this good for ANYONE in US (or any other) society?

      Australia has recently announced an initiative to close the gender wage gap (thank you PM Julia Gilard) which has been met with support ACROSS gender lines, and across the Tasman, 62% of New Zealanders support doing the same.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/election-2011/6067294/PSA-wants-pledge-to-close-gender-pay-gap

      WHY, oh WHY do US men want women (any women) and children to live in poverty?

      WHY, oh WHY does it hurt men for women to be paid the same (or compensated equally, which does NOT mean the same, but of equal value, ie, more flexible work hours, etc– which could also be for men) as their male counterparts with the same education and experience?

      There is no logic behind it; it is pure viciousness and retaliation from MRAs who are angry at losing their privileges.

      • MorgainePendragon says:

        Apologies, forgot the link to the first part of my comment (US Census information):

        http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/censusandstatistics/a/paygapgrows.htm

      • PursuitAce says:

        So what occupations is the wage disparity greatest in? And if you take out government, military, and higher education jobs which are all paid at the same rate, wouldn’t that mean the disparity among all other jobs would be even greater than 24 percent?

      • Is that US study simply a tally on annual earnings, or is it balanced according to working hours? It could be 1, men may work longer, 2, men may be in more dangerous and higher paying jobs (hazard pay) or simply just jobs that earn big money like mining in Aus, 3, men may work more overtime and their salary reflects that?

        I dont think I’ve ever seen an MRA against paying women equally for equal time worked, I think they simply question the validity of the stats if the stats aren’t taking into account the many variables such as industry pay etc. Where I am, working in computers will get you barely any cash but if you are a “tradie” you’ll rake in far more, if you goto the mines you will earn HEAPS but you’ll also work heaps.

        I want everyone to be paid fairly, I don’t want anyone to be left behind and promotions should be solely on merit and nothing else. It’d be nice to say ok, let’s pay hairdressers more so they can be paid as much as engineers but that requires the public paying more for haircuts (are you prepared to pay heaps more for a haircut?), etc. What we can do though is encourage women to be tradies, engineers, which does happen but there are gender role problems + also I’ve heard many places are BEGGING for women and not many want to do those types of jobs. So we need to figure out why they don’t want to join, is it gender role assumptions? Sexism on workplace? is it that the jobs are uncomfortable? Do men do labour-type jobs more? Do women do office-type jobs more?

        • MorgainePendragon says:

          Yes, Archy, it’s often sexism and misogyny in the workplace that causes women not to go into those professions– but also the fact that women are rarely shown in those positions and girls aren’t encouraged to go into them while in school.

          You talk about Oz (I lived there for 10 years) and it’s honestly not as bad there as it is in the US. Or in NZ where I live now. My ex works in the mines. The ration of women to men in his mine is @ 1:3-4, which is not ideal but is not bad either. And those women make equitable wages.

          But then, almost everyone in Oz who works makes a living wage. NOT so in the USA.

          What we can also do is to push for professions (that are JUST as important as mining, engineering, nuclear physics, etc) such as teaching, child-care, nursing, and other “social” or “humanist” areas that have many more women than men to be paid as well as those I listed (plus investment banking, stock brokering, weapons-making, etc, not ONE of which is necessary for human survival or even comfort in the world).

          I say pay stock-brokers $15 an hour and pay teachers $40 an hour.

          Finland’s education standards currently SOAR above those in the rest of the “developed” world because they pay their teachers on a similar scale to other professionals (and I’ll bet the gender balance of teachers is much better, too).

          Men who got into nursing in the 80s (when women’s wages were rising in comparison to men’s, and “women’s” professions were beginning to gain on “men’s” in terms of wages) have been leaving, and few men now go into it because the wages just don’t go up.

          I’m sure there are many, many other professions that are considered “gendered” where wage inequities exist– I can’t come up with them off the top of my head right now, and I can’t be bothered to research it considering how my last research was mis-represented and lied about– but the fact is, both women AND men benefit, in the long run, from women making living wages.

          But study after study also shows that women with the same education and experience in the same fields ALSO make less than men for the same number of hours work.

          Women also can expect to lose up to $1 MILLION in earnings over their lifetimes if they choose to have children. NICE way to punish us!

          I’m with President Hugo Chavez, who got elected (by huge margins every time) by promising that ALL work (including stay-at-home parenting, child-care and “housework” would be PAID– and then keeping that promise.

          “Who suffers most, who works most when health services are privatised? Women, mothers… The highest participation in the Missions: women . . . Social security for housewives is a constitutional mandate.” –President Hugo Chávez

          (and just as an aside, here’s another quote from Chavez: “When I hand over the presidency I would like to hand it over to a woman,” he told his party last year. “Sorry gentlemen.”)

          • Morgaine,

            Thoughts on the below stats from Sweden and Norway? It’s from the article I referenced. Here is the article again for further review: http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_3_gender-gap.html.

            Also, As Hymowitz points out: “In 2009, the CONSAD Research Corporation, under the auspices of the Labor Department, located the gap a little lower, at 4.8 to 7.1 percent.”

            And then…

            “Sweden, in many people’s minds the world’s gender utopia, also has a de facto mommy track. Sweden has one of the highest proportions of working women in the world and a commitment to gender parity that’s close to a national religion. In addition to child care, the country offers paid parental leave that includes two months specifically reserved for fathers. Yet moms still take four times as much leave as dads do. (Women are also more likely to be in lower-paid public-sector jobs; according to sociologist Linda Haas, Sweden has “one of the most sex-segregated labor markets in the world.”) Far more women than men work part-time; almost half of all mothers are on the job 30 hours a week or less. The gender wage gap among full-time workers in Sweden is 15 percent. That’s lower than in the United States, at least according to the flawed data we have, but it’s hardly the feminist Promised Land.

            The list goes on. In the Netherlands, over 70 percent of women work part-time and say that they want it that way. According to the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, surveys found that only 4 percent of female part-timers wish that they had full-time jobs. In the United Kingdom, half of female GPs work part-time, and the National Health Service is scrambling to cope with a dearth of doctor hours. Interestingly enough, countries with higher GDPs tend to have the highest percentage of women in part-time work. In fact, the OECD reports that in many of its richest countries, including Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S., the percentage of the female workforce in part-time positions has gone up over the last decade.

            So it makes no sense to think of either the mommy track or the resulting wage differential as an injustice to women. Less time at work, whether in the form of part-time jobs or fewer full-time hours, is what many women want and what those who can afford it tend to choose. Feminists can object till the Singularity arrives that women are “socialized” to think that they have to be the primary parent. But after decades of feminism and Nordic engineering, the continuing female tropism toward shorter work hours suggests that that view is either false or irrelevant. Even the determined Swedes haven’t been able to get women to stick around the office.”

            Thoughts?

            Neely

            • MorgainePendragon says:

              My thoughts are that most of your comment doesn’t address any of the issues I bring up in my post.

              My thoughts are ALSO that in most of Western Europe (and several of the former Soviet Bloc states), people make a living wage, and full-time is rarely 40 hours per week (it ranges from 35-38). 30 hours per week is often considered full-time. And in fact, people can actually live on part-time wages– in part, because they have national health care and a social welfare safety net.

              Without a doubt women in the US are the most disadvantaged of any in the Western world–the UK comes a close second.

              You don’t post the percentage of men who would also like to work part-time. Or who do.

              And your comment (as posted, seemingly a conclusion based on the preceding information, but which is in fact not related) “it makes no sense to think of either the mommy track or the resulting wage differential as an injustice to women” I find to be specious.

          • I agree it’s sad that women get put with the burden of raising kids, I do wonder though is there a benefit to spending more time with their kids in bonding, etc that could offset some of that 1million dollars lost? I think many men now would love to be the stay at home parent but still feel obliged to provide for the family, work many hours and they see that as their contribution + the nighttime/weekend daddy time.

            Women would benefit from a living wage, and men would benefit from increased empathy, socializing, bonding with their kids I think.

            Are they same field, same job type? Ie, are they comparing cleaners in mining to someone deep underground? Or do they compare simply by cleaner, driller, driver, etc. Also is it same time worked? eg no dropouts for a year for kid? Not trying to be annoying with this but I find there would be many variables and not sure if the studies take them into account. Most studies I’ve read on gender recently have been so biased, it’s hard to imagine how they call themselves academics which has made me a bit cautious on believing any study at face value atm.

            U.S.A sounds like a….bad place to be, Australia seems ahead in income, etc. We also don’t have VAWA messing us around, although the violence against women campaign and none for men was quite annoying. Where I live in Aus though, teachers earn probably above the average wage here. If I recall teachers get 54k to start? Average here is 40k, but teachers also work long hours and have very stressful jobs (teaching kids without adequate discipline measures basically).

            You mentioned on men leaving due to wages, that’s one of the 3 main reasons they aren’t getting into teaching (“women’s work” and pedophile hysteria are the other 2). We push men in our society to earn earn earn, they gotta earn biggg moneyyy, I’m not sure if women get such a demand on them to earn so much. Could this possibly make men more likely to ask for raises, or seek higher paying careers vs balancing work/life and doing the more “humanity” careers? I still hear from some of the women here on how much they want a man to earn, has to be equal or higher than she is earning so it feels like there is still a major stereotype and push for men to earn as much as they can.

            • MorgainePendragon says:

              “I agree it’s sad that women get put with the burden of raising kids”

              Not sure who you’re agreeing with here, Archy– I didn’t say that. Nor do I think it sad that ANYONE who wants to rear children has a burden or that it’s sad that someone has to: Women OR men. Of course someone has to. It’d be better if we all felt a responsibility toward the rearing of children in healthy, safe, gender-balanced environments. I like the old adage, It takes a village to raise a child.

              “Women [and their children] would benefit from a living wage, and men would benefit from increased empathy, socializing, bonding with their kids I think.”

              Absolutely agree, no questions. When I lived in Oz I remember seeing/hearing (on SBS maybe?) a story about stay-at-home dads and how beneficial it was for children. Several of the dads suggested that part of the benefit was b/c they had made an active choice to do so, that they hadn’t felt forced into it like many moms had, and that the kids picked up on that.

              “I do wonder though is there a benefit to spending more time with their kids in bonding, etc that could offset some of that 1million dollars lost?”

              Could be– for men too. But do we really have to choose? And I wonder how elderly women (the single highest demographic living in poverty in the US) feel about that choice when they’re living in rat-infested slums eating cat-food.

              (sorry, seem to be jumping around a bit here)

              Yes, I know about the decent wages Aussie teachers make– I was flabbergasted when I first heard. My cousin has been teaching for 10 years in the US and he doesn’t even make $40k yet.

              As for your last point about women wanting high-earning men– well, those women almost certainly aren’t feminists. I think this would fall under Amanda Marcotte’s list of problems for which the solution is “More Feminism”.

              (as would the push for funding for male victims of DV– which is equally unacceptable as DV against women, and I don’t (personally) know any feminist who doesn’t think so.)

            • Trouble with “more feminism” is that often when a man tries to speak in some of the feminist spaces, he’ll be shutdown, “whataboutthemenz”, etc. I’d say they’re both feminist and MRA ideals, both needing to work together to make it happen.

              Seems the U.S is bad for women and men, most MRA stuff I hear about is problems in the U.S (eg selective service, vawa and male abuse help). I hope Australia is much more sane in their approach to all of these areas. One of the biggest annoyances I have is the pedophile hysteria in Aus, makes it a real pain to do any sort of photography around children and I couldn’t even take pictures for a cousins sports event over hyperfear. It’s that culture too that is making it difficult for men to enter the stay at home father role properly, I hear many fathers talk about the looks and comments, interogations when they take their kids to the playground for instance.

              So bring on more feminism, plus more masculism/mra. Get both to speak together and quit the fighting and we might get somewhere.

          • PursuitAce says:

            Ahhhh…You were doing so well until you mentioned Hugo. One booboo line can destroy a thousand lines of credibility.

            • MorgainePendragon says:

              (A) No, if my points are logical and resonate, then their credibility can’t be destroyed by other comments with which you don’t agree.

              (B) Along the same lines, just because you don’t agree with someone’s political positions or status (or more likely, you read only US-based propaganda about Chavez) doesn’t mean he can’t have good ideas and be right.

              Mussolini made the trains run on time. The USSR built some amazing public underground transportation systems.

      • “(from 2004, but since the economy has worsened, it’s a reasonable assumption that things haven’t gotten better for ANYONE):”

        When an economy worsens and enters recession, wealth measured in fiscal terms and assets is not lost but transfered across the population within that economy.

        This is illustrated by how a minority gain wealth and a majority loose wealth relative to each other.

        So the claim that ” things haven’t gotten better for ANYONE” is not supported by standard economy modeling supported by repeated observation over repeated economic systems for around the last 400 years.

        Gross Generalizations do not make for good argument, only discord.

        • MorgainePendragon says:

          Fine. Way to nitpick. Things have gotten better for the 1% (or even the top 5%?).

          But I don’t think (I may well be wrong, but here goes) that many of the 1% or even 5% are worried about their ability to make a living wage.

          • Sorry – did you just accuse people of Nitpicking?

            I’m sure the date of your post was 31 December and not 1 April!

            I had better check the calendar again.

  19. PursuitAce says:

    At the bottom of page one it says the wage gap is 4.8 to 7.1%. A little different than 23%. Thanks. Now we know.

  20. PursuitAce says:

    Why is my comment awaiting moderation? Is it because I typed % twice?

  21. PursuitAce says:

    The more literature I read the more I want to move towards gender segregation.

  22. tom matlack says:

    With regard to the why this piece was initially pulled back, why Hugo resigned, and why it is now running I would like to add the following.

    Hugo and I exchanged emails on the afternoon of December 19th about the difficulty of the exchanges that had transpired. I urged him to move on and write about other things having already written once about me and my perceived lack of understanding in “Serious Discussion is Not “Wrath of Feminists””. I didn’t feel we needed to continue the mud slinging any more since it was, in my view, personal about me and not about him, Amanda or any of the folks who so passionately disagreed with my views.

    His response at the end of the exchange was:

    “Fair enough, Tom. My next few pieces will NOT be on feminism, I promise…

    A very Merry Christmas to you.

    Hugo”

    Five hours later, the piece “Words Are Not Fists: What the Twitter Blow-Up Tells Us About Men, Women, and Anger” showed up in which he equated me to a college student wearing a football helmet having a temper tantrum. To me those are not ideas, those are personally attacking my intellectual integrity. And they came on top of his promise to stand down and be constructive going forward. So I asked Lisa to take the piece down and talk to Hugo about his intentions. She tried and ultimately he refused and resigned. Now she has posted it after a cooling off period.

    I stand by my belief that the language was demeaning and the fact that Hugo had told me he was done hours before posting another inflammatory piece dishonest.

    That doesn’t take away from his right to a POV that at times is radically different from mine and our willingness to allow him to articulate that view. In fact my greatest critic Amanda Marcotte, was allowed to write and we published her very direct criticism on our pages, in which she pretty much says that her boyfriend is a much better guy than I will ever be. That’s fine. I am very willing to take one for the team but at some point we have to just step back and try to call out some rules of the road.

    • She sounds about as mature as any 5 year old. Any man that doesn’t self-flagellate is probably thought of as bad in her books.

      • And you sound as mature as a middle-school girl who talks about other girls behind their backs in order to gain brownie points with the group you’re currently surrounded by.

        I’m going to take offense to calling someone immature and making hyperbolic comments about someone who is not here to defend herself and without any reference to specific comments that make you think that “any man that doesn’t self-flagellate is probably thought of as bad in her books.”

        • Artemis, at the time of writing I believe she was still an active author here and I fully believed she may have read that. I wanted her to defend it, and the assumption which may be a bit extreme was based on reading her articles here which I found to be dismissive of male issues, and from other stuff I’ve seen. There is a reason she is seen in a negative light by quite a few people (google her name and various sites talk about it), but I actually all but forgot about her in the last few months and even forgot this comment was here. Being that it’s been months, I’m unsure exactly what I was referring to so the mods can delete the comment and this if they wish as the moment for the discussion passed. I will try quote specific comments next time though to justify? the comment if I make them, thanks for pointing it out. I was most likely in a highly annoyed state as the whole situation was annoying the hell out of me, I remember there was something that bothered me but can’t remember exactly what it was. Hooray for bad memory recollection, so it’d be a great idea to post the quotes to know even for myself. The only thing I remember was something to do with self-flagellation and the tone of her articles, but that thought has long passed. It also could have been a major misunderstanding (which is why I wanted to provoke a rebuttal to find out, although I was acting like a 5 year old myself).
          Apologies for the offense, wasn’t my best moment.

  23. ““But to say that men don’t experience sexism or its not significant enough to mention is ignorance and erasure.”

    Cut and paste where I said that.”

    You minimised and dismissed any claim that men experience sexism by suggesting that any mention of their sexism is the same white people complaining about racism.

    “Hmm, not according to Dick Gregory, Alice Walker, and other Persons of Colour who have argued that it IS similar (but of course not identical, which I never said).”

    I can mention plenty of POC who disagree as well.

    “And comparing the experience of (MOST) white abled heterosexual MEN to that of ANY marginalised group (women, POCs, GLBT and disabled persons) is simply ludicrous and MRA propaganda.”

    That is simple minimising and shame language to try and silence any discussion about sexism against men.

  24. Well yes the irrational female anger is a threat.
    Let me explain.
    As long as the women continue to blame men for everything it’s implied we are guilty of it.
    When men get silenced for speaking out,the changes that need to be made in the courts will never be made.

    This monopolization of the conversation insures that the injustice is never corrected,shoring up misandrist law and female supremacy.

    Men really need to talk MORE about false accusations and the lack of recourse in conversation and in the courts.

    Otherwise we would be helpless.
    That is the goal of those using anger and false hurt to shut down our voices.

    Ya know what,we ain’t guilty,the voice will be purely male,get used to it.
    Women can’t speak for men, they have no clue how it is to be a man.Team woman isn’t interested in getting a clue either,they just want to consolidate and lock in unjust power.

    • I do not know what life is like to be a man. I can only try to imagine. Yet, in the same ‘breath’, you tell me, as ‘Team Woman’ what I think, what my agendy in life is, and what I am out to get. Thereby, I feel I you have dismissed me outright, baby and bathwater. I would love to have a discourse about real issues with both sides choosing to put away the mudslinging and the sweeping accusations and dismissive generalizations. Humanity can hurt. Human excell at hurting other humans. Some hurts take place on larger, more systematic scale, some take place in small, dark closets. Hearing others. Listening. Choosing based on compassion rather than fear. That would be a wonderful miracle.

    • Freebird, to me that sounds like a misogynistic rant.

    • “Well yes the irrational female anger is a threat.”

      Why is my anger irrational and yours is so rational?

  25. Am I the only one, when discussing this concept of privilege left wondering. If I as a man is unable to see my own privilege. How is it that women are able to determine that women have no privilege?

    • It was once explained to me as “Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall, …” P^)

    • You can actually have your privilege pointed out to you. If you go through life never having a social sciences class or talking to people from different backgrounds, you won’t be aware of your privilege, but you can be made aware of it. Apparently, as a woman, I have privilege when it comes to keeping my children in a family court. I… Well, I guess that’s it.

      • Female privileges would probably extend to overall lower death-rate for violence (WHO 2004 Death statistics), possibly lower incidents of violence overall too although I haven’t got those stats handy and it also varieson type of violence. AFAIK most violence reported is usually stranger based attacks, which favours male-male conflict, females usually receive higher rates of violence amongst people they know. Although with recent stats on bullying, IPV, Sexual abuse, I’m completely unsure of who gets more violence and I’m learning towards more even numbers of victims with the potential for varying incidents per person.

        ht tp://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2008/06/08/female-privilege/ that’s one article I’ve seen on female privileges. As for the idea of privilege it leaves me wondering where responsibility comes in, eg if I have privilege regarding pay then does the expectation to earn more than my partner overrule it? Are they privileges if they come with some terrible negatives? From what I have seen of racial privilege it’s far easier to understand, but gender privilege to me is much more murky and in discussions of privilege I have seen for some reason it feels like they take the negatives women get, compare it to the positives men get without also including the positives women get and the negatives men get.

        It also becomes murky when men are at the top of some areas, but also the BOTTOM, eg Males dominating politics, or CEO positions but also the jail population. Does the negative of being more likely to be jailed offset the positive of the more likely to get a CEO position? Or are the privileges meant to just point out very focused areas such as problems in employment? Eg men are privileged in access to the top ranks of careers but women are privileged in avoiding (or being smaller in representation for) highly risky jobs?

        Then there is the problem that some feminists use the male privilege line as a silencing tool to dismiss the opinion of a man, control his speech, shut him up and push him out of a discussion. It can be very much that the feminist line of thought is the only acceptable line of thought which causes major resentment amongst quite a few men and women in the feminist spaces, infact the majority of anti-feminist or just feminist-critic commentators I’ve seen will talk about this.

        I myself am a critic but I am critical of both sides, I am a major fan of egalitarian feminists but I really dislike gynocentric feminism and androcentric masculism when they become so gender-focused that they ignore and dismiss the others concerns. I’ve tried talking in some feminist areas that I had THOUGHT were basically egalitarian, or both genders in focus, I raised serious concerns I had of men in our society and got blasted out. Apparently there is a major desire in a few feminists to have female-only spaces, but the space wasn’t clearly defined as such so when other feminists say they want to work on mens issues too then confusion sets in because people like me mistake (and reasonably so) what a feminist space is. I use to think it was just equalism, raising awareness for gender equality issues for both genders, racial, size, etc but they only use the word feminism which does indicate if it’s ok for men to talk, or not.

        Not trying to be all feminism is bad, but wanted to explain how privilege can be used badly and how many men and women I’ve seen are confused as to the goal of feminism. Maybe internet feminism in part is causing problems for academic feminism as I’ve seen a few academic feminists show absolute shock when others tell them of their experience with feminism, women like Jasmine who assure us feminism is egalitarian in academia but many of us aren’t in academia, we read the websites with the expectation they know what they’re on about, we comment and get treated like shit with other feminists remaining painfully quiet to calling out the bad feminists. It’s resulted in the privilege term being an antagonistic word, instantly it causes defensiveness n anger, can easily make a decent article be dismissed over 1 word and I find that to be sad.

        On gender based privilege, I am completely unsure on the level it exists, or if other privileges overpower it.

  26. I originally posted this comment on a Facebook page but was persuaded that it might be better posted here:

    An interesting discussion that seems to repeat itself far too often. I founded GenderAgenda in 1987 at Middlesex Poly and it was still active about 10 years later. But in my short experience of it, and in contributing to Carol Lee’s book The Blind Side of Eden, I noticed a great many similarities to arguments concerning race in my time as chair of the Black Employees Support Group in Watford: namely, that the more powerful groups, politically and socially, often feel as if they are being victimised by the very groups suffering from the abuses of that power. Members of GendaAgenda, all men, owned up to violence – verbal, physical and sexual and many of our stories were passed to the Middlesex Poly Womens’ Group for discussion. Yet, even as those stories unfolded, there was an extraordinary outpouring of resentment against the victims – as strong as the contrition and shame felt as perpetrators. Racist and sexist culture is so strong, so virile, so overwhelming and so entrenched in our culture, religions, society and economic forms that both victims and abusers can start to blame the victims. We have to show this for what it is and come to terms with our own complicity. Since reading bell hooks and Edward Said, many of these issues have come into focus for me but the essential message should be that every man and woman, black or white, is capable of further entrenching racist and sexist attitudes; that is one of the meanings (for example) of the phrase, ‘every man is a potential rapist’. For ‘new men’ to write about the wrath of feminists is to deny their own part in the prevailing culture of power and abuse. I am starting to get a handle on this but, men, realise we are just starting to address these issues while women have been dealing with them for centuries.

    • I can appreciate the “women have been doing this for ages” sentiment in fact on some fronts I have the same sentiment towards women. However that sentiment doesn’t excuse my holding hostility to women that are starting to get in on the issues that harm men. Isn’t the same true?

      For ‘new men’ to write about the wrath of feminists is to deny their own part in the prevailing culture of power and abuse.
      Which is why this does not hold. There is some wrath among feminists. I agree its not fair to try to paint the entire movement as such but trying to act as if writing about the wrath of feminists goes hand in hand with denying our own part in the culture of power and abuse is a cop out. Men having a part in the way the gender norms play out does not excuse the kind of negativity that some feminists have taken up (and that others give them a free pass on).

      • Danny, you say; “Men having a part in the way the gender norms play out does not excuse the kind of negativity that some feminists have taken up (and that others give them a free pass on).” But it is not necessary for the members of a victimised group to have excuses for their anger at their victimisation when they have, instead, good reason. We are not discussing whether or not one individual is rude to another, that should always be avoided when possible because civilised discourse requires restraint. We are discussing men and women not merely as individuals but as historical forces and political gender-positions. When I write ‘as a man’ I am thinking about the personification of the power-structures that support sexism. I am complicit in many, many ways and strive to be less so; yet making the political personal is not to confuse individual responsibility with historical perspective but to take responsibility for history in the making.

        • Are you also angry at the power structures that attempt to force you into self-sacrifice roles via selective service/draft (If you are from U.S.A)? Also society, culture play a very large role and many gender-roles would leave a man in a bad situation at times, do these get talked about in your group? You can’t talk about privileges without talking about the responsibilities behind them.

          • Archy, I’m not from the U.S.A. and have no military background. But, in the group I was in for a few years in the 1980s, we talked about all of those issues – particularly the place of class and gender in carrying out the dirty work: those issues are not mutually exclusive from seeing oneself as a political agent for either complacency or change. When I was growing up in rural England in the 1950s and 1960s, many family atlases still showed half the world in pink and the pressure to conform to the needs of Empire were very strong indeed. But, rather than think about the responsibility of priviledge, I found myself identifying with the victims; particularly after UDI in Rhodesia, Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech and reports of the Sharpville masacre.

        • But it is not necessary for the members of a victimised group to have excuses for their anger at their victimisation when they have, instead, good reason.
          Even when that anger results in negative behavior? Even if it results in some of the very same behavior they are fighting against? There is a difference between a feminist getting angry over the concept of male privilege and a feminist getting angry over the concept of male privilege then setting out to actively deny the experiences of men that don’t line up with the concept of male privilege. Anger in and of itself isn’t the problem, its what is done with it.

          We are not discussing whether or not one individual is rude to another, that should always be avoided when possible because civilised discourse requires restraint.
          Agreed its more than rudeness and anger. Its about the courses of action that one engages in based on how they choose to use that anger. That’s what I meant by “negativity” above. A female feminist being angry over being sexually assaulted as a child and never getting justice is one thing. A female feminist being angry over being sexually assaulted as a child and never getting justice then moving on to basing theory on the idea that male children are not sexually assaulted or that male children that are sexually assaulted are hurt as bad female children that are assaulted or male children that are assaulted need to run some sort of privilege check before being “allowed” to talk about their experiences. That’s not just rudeness. That’s very counter-productive sexism.

          Its going to take more than restraint and civility to deal with the attitude that sexism against men does not exist or that female privilege does not exist or that women who are raped have it worse than men who are raped.

          There is no amount of good reasonable anger to justify doing stuff like that.

          We are discussing men and women not merely as individuals but as historical forces and political gender-positions. When I write ‘as a man’ I am thinking about the personification of the power-structures that support sexism. I am complicit in many, many ways and strive to be less so; yet making the political personal is not to confuse individual responsibility with historical perspective but to take responsibility for history in the making.
          But the problem is (as I say above) is that people try to twist those historic forces an political gender-positions in order to shut out individuals.

          And if its not individual responsibility then why is individual responsibility held up as a barrier of entry into some feminist spaces? Why the expectation (borderline requirement) of a man to accept (notice that I didn’t say “pay fair consideration to…”, “open his mind to the possibility of…”, etc… no as in “if you don’t accept this then you are a part of the problem”) ideas that run contrary to his own experience?

          • Danny, I would agree that anyone, regardless of gender, can take extreme positions that make no sense. That can be infuriating. And as we all have our own positions on many issues there are bound to be bust-ups, inconsistencies and unecessary agression in heated discussions. Yet those confrontations are certainly not unique to discussions about gender issues and happen within single-sex groups all the time as well as between them. But I have to say, in 40 years discussing these issues I have never personally encountered a woman who has (for example) denied the suffering that male rape victims endure. In fact, after the recent revelations concerning the Catholic Church I would say the reverse is true. Here in the UK awareness of sexual assults against boys is pretty high. Nevertheless, if in some places some people are denying those issues all one can do is present the data and the testimony on an individual basis. I personally would always try and avoid phrases like ‘wrath of feminists’ (or similar) because such phrases are not representative of the majority and, in my view, tend to undermine some very considerable achievements by feminists on all our behalves.

            • Lisa Hickey says:

              Hi — I want to jump in here. The “Wrath of the Feminists” — when used as the title of the post — was first used by Jenn Pozner — one of the feminists in the Twitter discussion. We had simply reposted what she had posted — title and all. In fact, I had talked to her about reposting it and she had said, “make sure to put quotes around the title” (since it had first been used within the twitter conversation) and make sure to link back to her original post. Both of which I did.

              It has been my experience that we can’t get to the root of these problems without being able to talk about them honestly. Regardless whether “the wrath of the feminists” is a statement that has truth or not, it it obviously a perception. If it is a perception that needs to be changed, then lets talk about it. But talking about these really important, really polarizing issues by saying “Don’t talk about it THAT way, you MUST talk about it THIS way” is — to me — not conducive to honest discussion and true change.

              I’d love if someone who feels strongly about that could write another post on it, maybe one that gets it out of this particular example. Thanks all.

            • Lisa, I agree that “we can’t get to the root of these problems without being able to talk about them honestly.” It seems to me that that is what we are doing here. It is still my preference not to use phrases that apply to some people in contexts that allow the phrases to be perceived as representative of a much broader group. I think that’s a reasonable position. I don’t always succeed, but who does?

            • Danny, I would agree that anyone, regardless of gender, can take extreme positions that make no sense. That can be infuriating. And as we all have our own positions on many issues there are bound to be bust-ups, inconsistencies and unecessary agression in heated discussions.
              Agreed.

              Yet those confrontations are certainly not unique to discussions about gender issues and happen within single-sex groups all the time as well as between them.
              Agreed. I think its just a matter that since most of the discussion in this space is about gender that’s why these confrontations happen around gender.

              But I have to say, in 40 years discussing these issues I have never personally encountered a woman who has (for example) denied the suffering that male rape victims endure. In fact, after the recent revelations concerning the Catholic Church I would say the reverse is true. Here in the UK awareness of sexual assults against boys is pretty high. Nevertheless, if in some places some people are denying those issues all one can do is present the data and the testimony on an individual basis.
              That’s your experience and I can’t say your experiences didn’t happen just because my own didn’t go the same way (in fact I’ve met plenty of women who take on the “he should be glad” mentality when it comes to males being sexually assaulted by females).

              I personally would always try and avoid phrases like ‘wrath of feminists’ (or similar) because such phrases are not representative of the majority and, in my view, tend to undermine some very considerable achievements by feminists on all our behalves.
              I know how titfortat this sounds but frankly if feminists would avoid that very same behavior then maybe they wouldn’t get it coming back at them as well. We know that the majoirty of men aren’t rapists but that doesn’t stop some of them from defending the “all men are rapists” or “all men are potential rapists” lines of thought. We know that the vast majority of men don’t enjoy the privileges of the ones at the top but time and time against its “men have the power and women don’t”.

              Yes they have made considerabel strides but they are going to hit a dead end if they think they can get men to work with them while at the same time doing the very things to us that they wouldn’t dare stand for if men were doing such things to them.

              For example how much support do you think I’d get from feminists if I were running around declaring that sexism against women doesn’t exist? Or that there is no such thing as male privilege? Or tried to hold young girls responsible when they are sexually assaulted? Wouldn’t get far with that would I? So why am I expected to put up with it from them?

              (More than likely you do not engage in that behavior but please bear in mind you share a title with folks that do.)

    • What would you say to the male victims who their harm is minimized and treated like it is so rare it’s “statistically irrelevent” as one anti-rape campaigner put it I believe. It’s all well n good to say the ones who cause the pain feel a sense of victimization from the other, but what of the actual victims who get treated like dirt from the very people who scream how much they are for equality?

      I think for women to take part in this wrath without listening to the other side shows quite an ignorance, and whilst Tom did say some stuff which can be taken many ways he did raise some good points in how a male feels after reading so much feminist media. Eg, talking bout the male perps, female victims so much and rarely if ever talking about male victims, female perps can leave people feeling blamed unfairly, especially with new stats showing both situations are now very common for abuse.

  27. Karen Bice says:

    Although I have read several recent posts on this site, this is my first time to comment so please bear with my ignorance of the issues and personalities that are addressed in this post. I don’t belong to any feminist groups nor have I kept up with feminist ideology or personalities over the years, although I’m familiar with Naomi Wolf. I came of age in the 60s-70s and delivered my English high school thesis on Germaine Greer to a class of mainly, (excuse the term) “rednecks”, in a rural Texas community. You can imagine how the subject went over, given the time and place.
    I’m not going to delve into the rights and wrongs about feminist issues in this comment, but will just make a few statements and ask a question.
    “Gaslighting” is not a new term for what men, or women, do to other women (or men) to delegitimize their behavior, goals, speech, etc. In the 80’s, I remember thinking my ex was gaslighting me when I did something he didn’t approve of, like my supporting the ERA. I’ve since seen the term written about many times.
    What bothers me most about gender differences and feminism in general today is that it appears that nothing has really changed and that we’re still arguing about who is right and who is wrong, who has been insulted and who hasn’t, who the angry male in the room is, who the hostile feminist in the room is, etc. This can go on into infinity.
    So, I guess what I’m wondering is, is it possible to get beyond all this crap, and actually do something positive for others whether male or female, instead of feeling one has to prove their feminism, or lack thereof, by talking and writing about all the wonderfulness of some and the neanderthalness of others?
    PS I was having trouble with commenting on the site and accidentally posted this same comment on the link that was given for gaslighting. Oh well.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      No problem about the multiple comment, and thank you for joining in the conversation. I’m the publisher, and well aware of what seems like a bottleneck in terms of advancing the discussion.

      We are looking at how — as a community — we can get beyond this. We all agree that the conversation is important, the issues need to be discussed and that some of us want to actually create social change. (Others simply want to tell stories or create art, and that is fine too.) A big part of the problem is that we are taking on polarizing issues and allowing both sides to contribute. Right now it’s feminism and men’s rights. Other times it’s race or class or education or prison. None of those topics is particularly easy to talk about. And we always have a mix of voices, some who are just getting into the conversation and some who have been talking about these issues.

      So we could take the “only enlightened can speak” route but that’s not what we’re about. What we really want is for people to find their own voice. And together — as a community — figure out a way to work through the most polarizing of issues. Because if we can do it on a small scale, perhaps we can do it on a large scale.

      • “A big part of the problem is that we are taking on polarizing issues and allowing both sides to contribute. Right now it’s feminism and men’s rights. Other times it’s race or class or education or prison.”

        If I may be so bold, what about the issue of sex worker rights? Because specifically, you ran an incredibly problematic piece on “human trafficking” a couple of weeks ago:

        http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/sex-trafficking-on-google/

        In this article, *all* prostitution was conflated with sex trafficking, and more or less the underlying idea that sites like Google should be pressured not to allow sex worker advertising of any kind. However, what was worse is that the article referred to the “good work” of International Justice Mission, an NGO that advocates *very* coercive rescue strategies in poor countries, and has been responsible for driving a policy of mass imprisonment and police brutality against sex workers in Cambodia.

        As far as I could tell, the main reason you ran the article was that the author, Raymond Bechard, is a self proclaimed “Human Rights Advocate” (capital letters his) and therefore a “good man”. I think many people who are more aware of the issues at play are pretty offended you’d run an article like this, which is the equivalent about running an article about gay men written by somebody in the far religious right. What I find truly offensive, however, is that you’ve never offered equal time to sex worker rights advocates.

        I’m hoping this is just an oversight, and that you would you take submissions by sex worker rights activists to balance this out.

        • Iamcuriousblue:

          I would ask if you are yourself a sex worker asking this question about sex worker rights. And yes, the answer would create a different set of judgements for me.

          I have known sex workers personally, not as a client, nor a counselor, nor a rescuer. Some of the sex workers I knew liked the work. Yet all of them abused themselves through drugs and other means of perceived self hate. All of them which I knew had been sexually abused as children. I personally didn’t see their sex work as one of choice as much as self abuse, allowing other people to continue their sexual exploitation and abuse in exchange for cash up front.

          Are the a number of sex workers who are doing the job because they truly value it? I am sure there are. Are there many who are doing the work because they feel they have little choice? Sure. Are there plenty of nonsex workers who feel trapped in their current positions, jobs they hate, exploited wage slaves rather than empowered, dangerous jobs which can ruin their health and their self esteem? Absolutely.

          Thus the issue at heart is about treatment of the human condition, not one particular subset being singled out. As has been evidenced in other sex worker rights situations, or any workers rights, regulation does not have the power to change working conditions in any particular degree. Only respect for other humans seems to have that affect. And, personally, I don’t think most people purchasing the services of sex workers respect them as people.

          • First, no I’m not a sex worker, I just try to be an ally of that movement (and I have to ask what your problem is with sex workers having non-sex worker allies), and more generally, of social movements from below that are steamrolled over by the kind of blindly class-privileged authoritarian do-gooderism represented in that article. I’ll also say that I could care less about your “set of judgements”, since I have no idea who you are or what puts you in any position to judge me.

            I think sex workers exist in a huge variety of situations, interpersonally, socially, and in terms of social class and place in the world. And many of those situations are far from rosy. That said, the picture you paint – as “all” drug abusers, and especially “all” survivors of sexual abuse re-enacting that abuse – I think is a very harmful stereotype, even if true for a minority of sex workers. If you really want to address what motivates sex workers, I think we need to look beyond rote psychobabble – “empowerment” vs “exploitation” – and look to the socio-economic situations and motivation of those who do sex work. I think it’s clear when looked at from that point of view, the answer is in destigmatization and offering options rather than “rescue” and “recovery”.

            Now nothing you’ve said so far addresses the main point of my comment above, which has yet to be addressed by Lisa Hickey or anybody else from GMP. Questions about editorial balance, and who gets to speak for marginalized groups. It’s a bit like having articles on racism that are written only by white people. And in the case of sex workers, the problem is even worse, because from the perspective of a certain kind of exclusionary middle-class “feminist” or “social justice” mindset, sex workers seem very much people to be talked about or talked over, and having them speak from their own perspective is actively condemned. A socially conservative, male, “rescuer” type like Raymond Bechard is treated as having more credibility on this issue than, say, a sex worker activist like Furrygirl or Melissa Gira. And the product of that mindset is invariably toxic, as was displayed clearly in Bechard’s article.

            • Lisa Hickey says:

              Hi iamcuriousblue,

              We are a community site, which means that our “editorial balance” is created by what our community submits to us. Although some of what is sent in is just not right for us, we work with everyone who wants to be a contributor. So in terms of “who speaks for marginalized groups” — it’s anyone who wants to. If you, or Furrygirl, or Melissa Gira want to contribute, all you have to do is submit a post, either online, here, http://goodmenproject.submishmash.com/submit or to me by email lisa at goodmenproject dot com

            • I am saddened that you chose to attack my comments rather than read them. I said ‘judgements’ because I choose to own that the words I was going to say were not fact, nor commonly held, but were my own thoughts and conclusions. I also never used the word ‘all’, only that of the sex workers I knew, this was the case. I was offered the opportunity to be a sex worker. I was poor, and knew people who were working four days a week and making more money than I was, and was very tempted by the money and the circumstance. Yet, I chose to work three part time jobs rather than go that direction with my life. So, socio-economic arguements only go so far with someone who has been on that side of the street and decided the grass really was greener on the opposite. That was my choice. I blame no one, nor condemn anyone, even though your words seem to want to place me in the category of middle class ‘feminist.’ Which, I know a number of middle class people who became sex workers so ‘class’ is not a factor, and to indicate that insinuates that only poor people become sex workers and so need rescued from their plight. I have found that marginalized people speak quite well for themselves, when they are actually listened to. I do not claim to speak for anyone, only myself and my experiences.

            • I would say read your own comments back. You chose to lead it off with “set of judgements” and demands to know where I was coming from. In fact, I have no idea why what I initially wrote was so triggering to you.

              As for the last paragraph, that was not directed at you and I suggest you go back and re-read that. That was directed at the editorial slant and class bias I saw at work in GMP’s choice of articles (though I do take Lisa Hickey’s point in good faith that GMP depends on uninvited submissions, and I will encourage sex worker activists I know to submit writing here), and more generally, a certain kind of activism that I see at work among all to many academic and NGO folks that is oriented to talking *about* marginalized people rather than helping give them a voice. (Getting back to the original topic of this thread, I would say elevating somebody like Hugo Schwyzer to the go-to expert on young women’s self esteem is very much part of that problem.) It’s a very real problem that I wish white/middle-class/otherwise-privileged social activists would take far more seriously than they do.

              As to class issues, yes, of course there are middle-class sex workers, and in fact, the stereotype that all sex workers are the poorest of the poor, uneducated, etc is a stereotype that really needs to be fought. At the same time, I think when you look at much of what drives many of the problems within sex work, and the fact that poor people are disproportionately represented in sex work, I think looking at bread-and-butter socio-economic and structural issues is far more productive than the kind of psychoanalyzing/recovery-oriented approach we see so often in these discussions. In fact, I think the latter is often used aggressively to push stigmatization and as a way of silencing people, and that’s a real shame.

            • I find it revealing that you state that I demanded, when in fact I requested to know your relationship to the issue you had posed. Also, ‘I I have no idea why what I initially wrote was so triggering to you,’ appears to be a dismissive statement. I think these are good examples of the term ‘gaslighting’ in action. Gaslighting is not always as overt and can be used in more subtle ways to undermine another person’s credibility with whom one disagrees.

              I acted in integrity by stating that I was having judgements, because I accept that I will create a judgement based on a person’s point of view rather than pretend to be completely open minded without acknowledging how human bias and personal history will influence the way I view issues and situations. To do otherwise is, to my mind, disingenuous and hypocritcal. I realize it makes me more vulnerable to attack than if I make a stand under the pretense of creating open dialogue when in fact I might have my own agenda, albeit one aobut which I am attempting to be honest with myself.

              The last paragraph not being directed ‘at’ me does not preclude me from commenting on the content of that paragraph. Again, implying that I was out of bounds in discussing them. I think that women’s anger is not the only aspect of personhood which is often routinely dismissed. And I strongly agree that this dismissive attitude is far too common among both genders.

            • ***Gaslighting***?? Oh, for fuck’s sake! I guess some people have learned a new word, and can self-servingly invoke it to paint themselves as some kind of victim when an argument isn’t going their way. If there wasn’t a general policy against inflammatory language, I’d tell you exactly what you can do with your cheap accusations. But needless to say, you are *way our of line* and this conversation ends here.

            • I agree that this conversation ends, but not because via your attempt to silence me. Via your own comments, you have revealed your nature.

  28. correction to this comment from the OP: “Referencing an old film, Yashar coined the simple term “gaslighting” to describe…”

    no, yashar ali did not coin this simple term. he even makes this clear in his original post. the term has been around since the 1970s. florence rush used the word in a book she wrote in 1980.

    please make the correction – this is a pretty misleading error.

  29. He did not coin the word.

  30. The word gaslighting was coined back in the 1940’s from the movie….just google y’all!

  31. Phil Henderson says:

    What Schwyzer doesn’t seem to realize (or refuses to admit, more likely) is that on the whole, men’s anger and women’s anger are quite different. I know this quite well myself, having been intimate with both men and women. Men’s anger is sharp, controlled, and directed. Women’s anger is loud, disorganized, and vicious. Case in point: Amanda Marcotte. Her knee-jerk reaction to Tom’s article (in which she attacked him for something that he not only didn’t say, but didn’t even imply) is a prime example of the feminist mindset of labeling anybody who disagrees with you as a misogynist. If in doubt, just look up a study in which the effects of testosterone on women were measured.

    • “Men’s anger is sharp, controlled, and directed. Women’s anger is loud, disorganized, and vicious.”

      Thanks. Thanks for that. I’m sorry if my anger is too loud, disorganized, and vicious. It must be all that estrogen making me moody.

      But I have deep respect for your controlled and directed anger.

    • Explain how the anger differs more? I’ve seen both genders lash out uncontrollably, and both use quite directed anger with restraint.

Trackbacks

  1. […] have since decided to run Hugo’s original post unedited, here. Below is Justin’s post, also […]

  2. […] – “Words are Not Fists” BY HUGO SCHWYZER […]

  3. […] Words Are Not Fists: What the Twitter Blow-Up Tells Us About … “One of [the] childish things adult men must put away is the need to deflect, belittle, or exaggerate women’s anger.” … from their own perspective is actively condemned … […]

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