The Obama Administration Helpfully Provides Example Of How The Kyriarchy Hurts Men

 

If you’ve ever wondered how exactly the kyriarchy  hurts men, you’re in luck! The Obama administration has given us a clear-cut example.
http://www.juancole.com/2012/05/how-obama-changed-definition-of-civilian-in-secret-drone-wars-woods.html
The article is about drone attacks in general, but the key paragraph reads as follows:
“Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”
In other words, if you’re a male who happens to live in a country at war with the U.S. (heck, even if the U.S. considers your country an ally), the U.S. reserves the right to kill you. Of course, if you’re innocent they’ll say “our bad,” kind of like women accused of witchcraft were let off if they didn’t float.

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

Comments

  1. That’s NOT whatever-archy.

    • Why not? It is a sexist policy based on patriarchal assumptions – that men, as potential combatants, are valued less than women or children.

      The point was a) it’s a bad policy and b) it can’t be blamed on feminism.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        A) I don’t think anyone would disagree with that.

        B) No, but it does rely on an element of sexism which feminism (as a body) hasn’t exactly rushed to condemn.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          That was directed at Monkey, these comments aren’t nesting for some reason.

        • But why should women be the ones to spearhead the movement against the draft? I think that this (and the combatant policy, which I was originally writing about) is something men should try to change.

          I find little evidence that feminism is specifically hurting men in this case.

          • For me monkey its not that feminism started, its clear that it didn’t.

            However a lot of feminists have a perchant for declaring that there is no such thing as institutional discrimination against men (or “there’s no such thing as sexism against men”). When the main representative of the institution himself embraces the idea of presuming that all military age males are combatants I think that’s pretty institutional.

          • Andrew Richards says:

            “I find little evidence that feminism is specifically hurting men in this case.”

            Not intentionally anyway as that would require them to recognise that men suffer socialised oppression in society, and thanks to the fallacy of patriachy, that’s one giant blind spot for feminism.

            Unintentionally is another story. The problem has always been with feminism not that it has been about advancing women, but that it has been about doing so regardless of the impact its approach might have on issues of oppression which men face.

            It’s too late at night/early in the morning to get into the nuances of this, however the situation faced by men in Australia in the 1940s was a classic case of advancement for women without regard for addressing the wider and intrinsically complex systemic concerns directly connected to the oppression being addressed at the same time – which is a large part of the reason why feminism alienates itself from many. Again this is something which needs the word limit of a post-graduate paper to properly do justice to.

            In this case though, on one hand, if women want to increase their agency by buying into the “dying for fatherland” BS indoctrination which has been forced on men and tricked them into seeing value in degrading themselves to nothing more than meat puppet chess pieces on a board to expand corporate greed (yes there are certain exceptions such as WW2, but they are the exception rather than the rule for the Western World), then more power to them – just don’t be surprised when you’re potentially tripping over your own intestines on the battlefield.

            However at the same time, let’s not pretend that this approach isn’t harmful to masculinity. The fact is that the epitome of masculinity is the notion of dying on the battlefield for “the fatherland” and so when you make that an aspect of femininity as well as femininity, you essentially still force that image of masculinity on men as its epitome, while diminishing masculinity at the same time.

            So of course the logical response would be that the obvious answer would be to challenge notions of masculinity being defined by expendability to the point where you make room for women’s aqency, while redefining manhood so that doing so does not threaten masculinity. However before doing so you need to make people aware of and care about the fact that compared to women’s issues; men’s issues are simply “quietly assumed and accepted”. Yet neither has happened and if feminism’s track record is any indication (as compared to gender studies academics who are slowly waking up to a more complex reality), it’s not going to happen any time soon either.

    • Let me count the ways:

      1. It assumes that ALL men are combative and will either join the military, or want to. (Or they’re terrorists.)

      2. It assumes that women will never, ever serve in combat roles, or want to.

      3. It ignores the fact that terrorists these days can be ANY age, including young children and the elderly.

      4. Because this only applies to countries that are currently at war with the U.S., there’s some bonus, “You don’t like us, therefore your society must be structured entirely around Hating America”-level xenophobia in there.

      So yeah, sexist, xenophobic, and completely contrary to all common sense and common decency.

      • Oops, forgot ageism! Because of the whole thing where children and the elderly are never used as weapons!

        • Good point. My main point is that the idea that men are good for cannon fodder is not a feminist idea at all. I don’t know whether mainstream feminism would ever do anything about this, but it’s definitely due to patriarchal/kyriarchal attitudes than feminism.

          • Nah I wouldn’t say they started this idea of men being cannon fodder. Downplay it, minimize it, pretend it doesn’t exist or that it’s not that bad maybe. But definitely not started it.

          • YES!

          • Even if they didn’t start it, they might very well downplay it. Probably under some form of “there systemic gendered violence against women in this war zone”, when really its men being targeted. (See the Obama drone program)

          • “My main point is that the idea that men are good for cannon fodder is not a feminist idea at all. I don’t know whether mainstream feminism would ever do anything about this.”

            Well…feminists have tried to get women included in the draft, and the kyriarchy has halted that. Feminists have constantly been trying to make it so that women can serve on the front lines, and it’s traditional gender norms that have made that a huge fight. So yeah, mainstream feminists are trying to change this…it’s the traditional “men are better fighters” attitude that’s the problem.

            • Andrew Richards says:

              All that does is give women the opportunity to be expendible. It does nothing to actually challenge the social norms of men as cannon fodder and other types of fodder where there is a high attrition rate (such as high risk jobs and remote infrastructure building). So let’s stop pretending that feminism has been about egalitarian traditional gender role change and call a spade a spade- that feminism is only interested in the advancement of women, regardless of how much the actions it takes not only neglects to address, but in some cases even further entrenches, the plight of men.

            • It makes the use of people as cannon fodder no longer gendered. If both men and women are being treated as expendable, then being expendable is no longer a gendered problem.

              Now if you’re against treating people as cannon fodder, full stop, then what you’re really talking about is changing the way we use the military and treat blue collar workers. I’m all for that.

            • Andrew Richards says:

              On the contrary, things like primary aggressor laws, gaps between men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and women’s health issues, the number of men in high risk jobs compared to women etc, all still make men the expendible gender.

              Even if you followed your train of thought here, you are still in a situation where a value of expendiblity remains with men.

              Furthermore I would completely agree with a universal abolishment of values of expendability, however in the case of gender; when you dismiss the irrational fallacy that is patriarchy and examine gender issues in terms of male expendability and female protectionism, you come to a place where it becomes clear that while women certainly need to have issues affecting their agency addressed (which ironically the patriarchal model completely obstructs), removing values of expendability placed on men is what lies at the heart of men’s gender issues.

              I could elaborate at length, however I’m actually planning on doing a doctoral dissertation on this very subject and sadly, the length of a message board post is does not allow the opportunity to do the subject justice.

              I probably should prempt something here, even if it means taking things slightly off topic. If I was categorised as anything in relation to feminism, it would be anti-Patriarchal model. Currently that does mean opposing feminism, but PURELY on the grounds of the Patriarchal model being at its core- be it radical or “mainstream” feminism, to the point where I truly believe that feminists have taken Mary Shelley’s great legacy and changed it from the wonderful force for good which it originally was and turned it into a malignant social cancer. I’d compare it to a crucial piece of infrastructure which has become so dilapidated that it needs to be torn down and rebuilt. As much as moderate feminists would like to wish that they were different to the most ultra radical feminists out there, the differences are minimal. Ultimately both share the same core ideology, only the radical feminists take that ideology to its core conclusions – a core ideology which only works in some twisted and superficial version of reality. The moment you start to examine not only hegemonic masculinities, but hegemonic femininities, that becomes blatantly apparent. This is why women have been deserting feminism for a while now- the premise of equality for women is sound, but there was a “wrong turn at Albuquerque” taken a while back, to paraphrase that old Looney Tunes saying and it’s completely stuffed-up the entire feminist movement. The best thing that could happen for women’s rights is if the archaic feminist movement died out and was replaced with a much more enlightened neo-feminist movement – a movement which could quite easily coexist and mutually benefit from the more zeta male elements of the men’s movement.

  2. I’ve been saying for years that when it comes to war men are presumed to be combatants/terrorists.

    Its nice to hear some confimation of what a lot of men (and frankly MRAs as well) have been saying for a long time.

    But my money say that in the eyes of some people this still doesn’t count as sexism.

  3. Powerful men have used less powerful men as cannon fodder since time immemorial.

    That said, I have this theory that imposing a draft on both men and women, with no waivers or deferments, would pretty much stop America from getting involved in wars. Because most congressmen/women and presidents don’t want to send their 18 year old sons and grandsons into combat and they definitely would freak completely at the idea of sending their 18 year old daughters and granddaughters into combat. When they are sending mostly anonymous lower class kids off to be maimed and killed, they disconnect from the horror of it.

    • …and they definitely would freak completely at the idea of sending their 18 year old daughters and granddaughters into combat.

      I think this is one of the few times where taking advantage of the idea that a woman’s life is more valuable than a man’s (strictly in the measurment of sending people off to war) might be a good idea. Want to overthrow that dictator? Sure. But you’re gonna have to be willing to throw men and women into that meat grinder.

      I think there is more to that disconnection from the horror that it being “someone else’s kid” or “a low class kid”. I think the fact that they want to send “someone’s son” but not “someone’s daughter” factors into it to.

      Hell this post is about how our administration seems to have no problem presuming that any male over a certain is a combatant. When you’re thinking that innocent male civilians don’t exist on “the other side” it can’t bode well for men on “your side” either.

      • A really great book about how the way the U.S. wages war has changed, and how we’ve drifted further and further from the “citizen-soldier” paradigm that the system was originally set up for is Rachel Maddow’s Drift. Mind, she doesn’t come at this from a gender angle. However, you could take a lot of what she’s saying and sort of come to the conclusion that even if women were to be included in the draft, it wouldn’t do much. The country is too separated from it’s military for it to have much of an effect.

        • Not familiar with the book. Even with that in mind I’m not sure that including women in the draft would serve only little effect. It is true that war is becoming much more impersonal (and I think that is what the developers of war related video games like Metal Gear Solid get the depersonalization from). However even for as impersonal as it’s getting there is still the attitude of “women are precious to send off to die” (not to say that the preciousness protects women from all harms but when it comes down to who to send to war, it certainly does).

          In fact look at how the coverage of civilian casualties/injuries are reported. You’d think there were no adult male civilians in the war torn areas of Africa and if you went by mainstream media men are simply not raped.

          As far as depersonalization in general it does seem like we (the US) is intent on investing more into figuring out how to kill people without endangering lives than figuring out how not to kill people and save lives.

          • When I’m talking about the depersonalization (well when Maddow is talking about it) she’s not talking about figuring out ways to keep soldiers safe when they are at war. She’s talking about how most of the population at home in the U.S. doesn’t feel it. Unless you’re in a military family, the war doesn’t have any direct impact on your day to day life. Whereas before, the entire country felt it when we were at war. Whether we’ve more women in the military or not won’t change that.

            I agree it’ll have some impact…but I just don’t think it’ll be the big change that was implied.

            • I see. Looking at the American population during WW2 versus, pretty much every war the US has been involved in since seems to back her point.

              Now on that point I’ll agree adding more women the front lines women make much difference.

              (But I still stand by my first point of how if women were on the front lines more people would suddnely care more about keeping American troops out of harms way. It just so happen that isn’t what you meant.)

            • I”m cynical enough to believe that if anyone was on the front lines, the powers that want people on the front line would help us all adjust culture to make it acceptable. They seem to have no problem killing young poor men.
              Look at the culttastic starship troopers. Both genders kill, all a class issue to get to be citizens.

              Also, FWIW as a feminist I’m also very pacificistic and have protested every war in my life cycle. I dislike the disruption of families, the use of men as cannon fodder, the use of war as an economic stimulus as well as using some evil other to increase nationalism and the disenfranchisement of men (and women) that are casualties of war.

            • I’d have to agree here, and here I think Maddow’s book sort of overlaps this idea. War used to be a big political upheaval. Over the decades, the people in power (usually the executive) have done what they could to make it less of a political problem taking the country to war. It’s the idea that it’s too important to debate it in the public sphere and suffer political backlash. It still happens (Bush suffered for taking the U.S. to Iraq), but consider the fact that the U.S. is now in the longest war in its history, and yet we’ve basically gotten used to it.

              Regardless of who is on the front lines, I think the ‘powers that be’ will do what they can to ensure the country just gets used to it. I don’t think it’s out of some nefarious motives…I think it’s because the people in power often think that these wars are just “too important” to worry about the political fallout. And that’s messed up.

            • Then I suppose I’ll have to disagree on this one.

              I think we can agree that the attitudes of women and men when it comes to war are a part of the reason why even now you have high end politicians that go against the idea of even having mixed combat units as well women on the front lines or mixed submarine crews. The excuses are certainly sexist and they are tired. But they still hold onto them even at a time when it would probabaly be advantageous to support these measures.

              This arguing is why I think at least some people would suddenly care more. I agree that the powers that be ultimately would feed anyone into the War Machine. But for now they still have a lot of support from the “women shouldn’t be fed into the War Machine” crowd (at least not fed in as front line soldiers). Someday (hopefull) it won’t make a difference but in the here and now I think it would.

            • Andrew Richards says:

              Then you may want to rethink identifying as a feminist Julie. ALL feminism is built on the premise of patriarchy, which effectively reduces men to a singular all-powerful, victimhood-immune, all oppressing zeitgeist, while reducing women to perpetual poor helpless pathetic damsels in distress, locked in a big impenetrable stone tower, guarded by a big scary dragon, waiting for a knight in shining armour to save them – to draw on both stereotypes.

              There is no room in the Patriarchal model for examining female oppression as a result of protectionism and male oppression as the result of a doctrine of expendibility.

              In short, calling yourself a feminist before going on to demonstrate highly intelligent gender insights, really does you a disservice.

              Perhaps the term neo-feminist (which is where i foresee feminism once masculinism and men’s lib has eradicated traditionalism and the ugly core of patriarchy from both society and feminism) is a more appropriate fit.

            • At work Late but cannot wait to speak with you more.

  4. This is hardly new. For most of history, war meant executing the male civilians and then raping and/or enslaving the women. (Occasionally, raping them and then killing them.) The treatment of children was mixed and depended on the level of cruelty involved – sometimes spared, sometimes killed, occasionally enslaved and/or raped. It may have been toned way down, and the justifications may have changed, but those things still happen in wartime even among the so-called civilized peoples. Perhaps not so much the enslavement part, but detaining civilians indefinitely under the suspicion of terrorism has a similar effect on the society being targeted.

  5. M L Roberts says:

    This is nothing different than what we did during World War 2

Speak Your Mind