Link Farm and Open Thread #16

As usual, feel free to post anything you’d like in the comments, including links to your own stuff.

Angry For a Reason: The Eleventh Carnival of Feminists!
Hooray!

Blac(k)ademic: April 22nd is Blog Against Heteronormativity Day!
Go and leave a comment if you’d like to participate.

UPDATE: And check out Twisty’s comments, too. “Not coincidentally…because I am against practically everything…I am totally against heteronormativity. Heteronormative againstness oozes from my every pore.”

Rad Geek: Today is the 95th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
(For a stunning mural depiction, see Pen-Elayne).

Written World: Interesting Discussion of Sexism and Wonder Woman
When Ragnell posted the announcement for the 12th Carnival of Feminists, she illustrated it with a drawing of Wonder Woman and some other residents of Paradise Island (she scanned the image from a DC comic book). The unplanned-for result was a discussion of how women are presented for the male gaze in mainstream comics.

Activists Demand That “American Doll” Line Add Asian Characters

With its characteristic emphasis both on diversity and independent female role models, American Girl – which is owned by Mattel – added Addy, an African American doll from the Civil War era, to its historical collection in 1993. Josefina, a Mexican American doll from the early 1800s, appeared in 1997, followed by Kaya, an American Indian doll from the 1700s, in 2002. [...]

But where’s the Chinese American doll with the story line set in San Francisco at the turn of the century? Or the Japanese American doll? Or the Vietnamese American doll? [Curtsy: Angry Asian Man]

Findlaw: The Reality of Polygamy
Marci Hamilton discusses the real-world misogyny, child abuse and poverty that Big Love de-emphasizes.

Audio File: A Conversation Between damali ayo and Tim Wise
Interesting conversation between two anti-racism activists (one black, one white). I thought Wise’s point about the race division in American elections – that racial voting patterns explain much more than red state vs. blue state – was spot-on. Curtsy: Blac(k)ademic.

Den of the Biting Beaver: Rape By The Numbers
How many rapes do there have to be before our society commits to addressing the problem?

VeganKid: I Wanna Dance Naked
VeganKid is thrilled by a photo of fat women dancing – and then distressed by the context in which it was presented. Great post.

Mamita Mala: Racism at Parent Teacher Conferences

“Your son should be reading at B level and he’s reading at A level. You don’t speak English so obviously no one can sit down and read the books I send home every Monday. If no one can help him read in English then I don’t know why I should bother sending the books home with your son who is going to have to repeat kindergarten anyway”. The teacher began and then looked at me to translate.

Angry For A Reason: Paying Rent With Sex

FBI: One In Three Missing and Kidnapped Children Is Black
That’s hugely disproportionate, and disturbing. And it makes the media’s preference for focusing on missing white children, always inexcusable, even more appalling.

Professor Kim: Questions Journalists Should (But Don’t) Ask Opponents Of Hate Crime Laws

Written World: Men With Breasts
A discussion of (generally sexist) comic book fans complaining that some female superheroes are “men with breasts.” One thing I found odd about this post was the apparently unquestioned assumption that it is always a bad thing if you can’t tell a character’s gender from the way they act; but there really is a ton of overlap between how women and men behave, and not everyone exhibits gender-typed behaviors.

The Headpiece For The Staff Of Ra: Answers to 20 Questions For Pro-Choice People
Noumena answers a challenge issued by a pro-forced-childbirth ethicist.

Diary of a Goldfish: Sexism and Disablism

Unfortunately, the effects of being a little less of a man or a woman in a sexist society is not to free you from the constraints of gender, but to reduce your value as an individual. Gender remains so important in our lives that if you do not fulfil your assigned gender role, you are a little less of a person.

Ilyka Damon: What Do You Think Feminism Is?
Interesting discussion in the comments.

Ilyka Damon: Blogging Against The Strawfeminists
A series of posts, likely to be of interest to “Alas” readers, refuting and discussing the various strawfeminists conservatives like to attack. The “main entrance” (above link) is hilarious and a must-see intro, but here’s a different link if you want to get right to the strawfeminist posts.

Feministe: 90 African Women Die Every Day From Unsafe Abortions
Is there any example, anywhere, of “pro-lifers” attempting to do something about this tragedy they’ve caused?

Legal Affairs: Debating No-Fault Divorce
The pro-no-fault side wins by a large margin, at least in this debate. Curtsy: Family Scholars Blog.

Bitch | Lab: What Does “The Personal Is Political” Mean, And How Is It Misused?

Online Film Critics Society: The Top 100 Overlooked Films Of The 1990s
The most surprising entry? “Babe: Pig In The City.” Curtsy: The Countess.

Doctor Science Knows: Refuting “pro-life” arguments against contraception

Persephones Box: Little Boy in a Skirt (Adventures in Feminist Child Rearing)
I love this anecdote, although it has a sad ending.

Red State Feminist: Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Critiqued

Grand Mental Station: Pro-lifers Create Nude Statue of Brittney Spears Giving Birth
No, really. Satire may not be dead, but it’s becoming pointless. For more comments, see Women of Color Blog and A Womb of Her Own.

Chris Uggen: Does it seem strange that students convicted of rape remain eligible for federal financial aid but students convicted of misdemeanor drug possession are ineligible?

Bad Feminist: Catholics, Please Get Out Your Writing Stationary
“The Arlington, Virginia Catholic diocese has lifted its ban on girls and women serving as altar servers, leaving Lincoln, Nebraska the only diocese in the country to continue the prohibition.” Bad Feminist is trying to start a letter-writing campaign to encourage the Lincoln diocese to mend its ways.

Feminist Law Professors: Women Should Be In Politics Because They’re The Good Gender
The Democrats try to spin sexism in their favor, or something. I was reminded of how some suffragettes made similar appeals to women as the morally pure, uncorrupted gender, as an argument in favor of letting women vote.

See Culturekitchen for more comments on this story.

Rad Geek: More on Slavery Apologists

Figleaf’s Real Adult Sex: Why Statuatory Rape of a Willing 14-Year-Old Boy is Wrong

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34 Responses to Link Farm and Open Thread #16

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  6. 6
    Kristjan Wager says:

    Relating to the Triangle Fire, I would also recommend Katharine Weber’s op-ed in the NY Times:

    The Factories of Lost Children

    (full dislosure: I know Katharine from several online book communities, but that’s not why I am pushing her op-ed).

  7. 7
    tekanji says:

    Thanks for the link to Ragnell’s post on the Feminist Carnival. You sent a defender my way. ^_^ I’m actually gearing up to write about my experiences there; I wasn’t actually expecting people who frequent her blog (one that does a lot of image critique and also gender critique) to not see what I saw in that image. Just goes to show how normalized the objectification of women really is.

  8. 8
    pdf23ds says:

    I’m pretty sure the Britney spears statue is intended as satire by the sculptor. Pandagon had a couple posts about it.

  9. 9
    BStu says:

    Yeah, from the past works of the Spears sculptor, there is no question that it is intended as satire. Its not even subtle. I mean, a nude and pregnant Britney Spears on a bear-skin rug? How did anyone think that was for reals, y’all?

    Oh, and I’m really having a hard time understanding Vegan Kid’s hostile response to the name of Nimoy’s exhibit or its context in his previous photography. I think VK is mistakenly attributing a negative motive to the name that I don’t think is really supported. I’m frankly surprised at just how strongly Nimoy has come out on this issue. I sort of just assumed he was doing the whole diverse subject photography thing, but he seems to feel quite strongly about reclaiming beauty fo fat people and is going about it in a way I can hardly take issue with. I doubt he believes everything I want people to believe, but he’s no enemy, that’s for sure.

  10. 10
    carlaviii says:

    Overlooked Films of the 90s:

    I can’t speak for all of them, but I’ve seen about 10 of them and loved 8 of them and would recommend 7 of them to anybody (Twin Peaks being the exception – a love of the TV series is a prerequisite).

    My Greencine list is already gigantic, but I guess I’ll be adding more…

  11. 11
    Elayne Riggs says:

    Thanks for the link, Amp! I think that mural is amazing, and I try to post it every year.

  12. 12
    Noumena says:

    I was wondering why our number of visitors had quadrupled … thanks for the link!

  13. 13
    figleaf says:

    Thank you for including me in such wonderful company, Ampersand. I’m honored.. flattered… blushing! Thank you.

    figleaf

  14. 14
    Sage says:

    Wow, some excellent reads up there!

    Thanks for including me, but I do want to address the “sad ending” of my post, Men in Skirts. I think one of two things might have led to this label.

    If it’s the way I address my guy, my intent was to reclaim the homophobic words that get used against him (and many others) by using them lovingly and, at the same time, satirically. I believe we can actively alter the connotation of words. If someone calls me a bulldyke, I’ll use the term myself in a positive way (e.g. I love all my bulldyke friends!) in order to take away the negative power of the word. I’m sorry if that’s offensive to anyone, but I’ve seen the technique have very good results diminishing the harmful use of slurs.

    If the sadness was from the last line, by “He bagged me,” I meant he “caught” me or otherwise got me interested in him enough to stick around a while. On second reading I can see that the term might have some strange, unintentional connotations, but I don’t think it’s sad that we hooked up.

  15. 15
    Ragnell says:

    Hey, thanks for the link. I think you’ve sent me most of my traffic today.

    Sorry about the regulars, Tekanji, but I can’t say I’m surprised by them. It’s possible that some of the people arguing with you realized you had a point, but were resisting it because it was directed at an image drawn by a favorite artist (Darwyn Cooke has a lot of fans among my readers). Creator Apologists take any criticism of a favorite’s work as personal criticism against the writer/artist and their fans. I suspect the man who argued so much on the “Men with Breasts” thread linked above (the one who deleted his arguments) was mostly arguing because Ron Marz is his favorite writer.

    But what Ampersand said in the commmentary over there is very valid — There is so much T&A in comics we get desensitized to it. Even those of us who make it a point of analyzing the art will mentally edit out the sexualizing unless it’s really bad or really obvious. I think I’ve only really analyzed cheesecake once before, and any other time I’ve pointed it out has been to make fun of it. Again, I didn’t see a problem with the picture I chose until you pointed it out.

    So I’m looking forward to seeing what Tekanji writes about the image, and what anyone else might write about it. In fact, I’ll go one better than just reading it, if any of the Alas readers want to critique the picture featured on my submissions call (or any of the other images on the blog) and email/submit the post, I will link them on my blog for my regular readers, and on When Fangirls Attack for comic-book readers who don’t care about my personal ramblings but are still following the issue.

    Even if I can’t fit it in the regular Carnival, and even if you call me nasty names.

  16. 16
    Ampersand says:

    Thanks for including me, but I do want to address the “sad ending” of my post, Men in Skirts. I think one of two things might have led to this label.

    I wasn’t meaning to criticize you at all. I just think it’s sad that you had to tell your little boy not to wear skirts to school anymore!

    I don’t disagree with your decision – it would obviously be unfair to your son to set him up for a fight against his teacher – but it’s sad that the teacher was so close-minded.

  17. 17
    Daran says:

    Thanks for including me, but I do want to address the “sad ending” of my post, Men in Skirts. I think one of two things might have led to this label.

    I took his ‘sad ending’ remark to refer to the effective suppression of the revolution you and your son were inspiring.

    If it’s the way I address my guy, my intent was to reclaim the homophobic words that get used against him (and many others) by using them lovingly and, at the same time, satirically. I believe we can actively alter the connotation of words. If someone calls me a bulldyke, I’ll use the term myself in a positive way (e.g. I love all my bulldyke friends!) in order to take away the negative power of the word. I’m sorry if that’s offensive to anyone, but I’ve seen the technique have very good results diminishing the harmful use of slurs.

    I understood your intent. I have a friend of mixed race (part African, part white, part Asian) whom I call such things as “bloody mongral” as part of the repartee that takes place between us. (She has some choice words for me too.) I would never use such language to her if I wasn’t certain that she felt secure in my respect for her.

    If the sadness was from the last line, by “He bagged me,” I meant he “caught” me or otherwise got me interested in him enough to stick around a while. On second reading I can see that the term might have some strange, unintentional connotations, but I don’t think it’s sad that we hooked up.

    Again, I doubt that anyone, least of all Ampersand, would see it that way.

    I do have one issue with what you wrote, though:

    If all the boys started wearing dresses, who would it hurt? I’ll tell ya. It would hurt the pride of their dads and maybe their mums (if they’ve been sucked in to that crap). But this is only because dad still thinks there’s something wrong or inferior if men do what women usually do. And isn’t that a silly thing to believe.

    Why “their dads and maybe their mums”? Why not “their mums and maybe their dads”? It seems pretty damn sexist for you to assume that the complaints are coming mainly from men, and pretty damn arrogant of you to assume that you know why.

  18. 18
    Sage says:

    Ampersand,

    Well, that’s different then, isn’t it.

    Nevermind.

    (He kept wearing skirts for a few years after, just not to school. Gotta choose my battles.)

  19. 19
    Ampersand says:

    Darran wrote:

    It seems pretty damn sexist for you to assume that the complaints are coming mainly from men, and pretty damn arrogant of you to assume that you know why

    Actually, it’s commonly believed by social scientists that fathers are more concerned with gender-norming their children than mothers are. For example, from “The Male Role and Avoiding Femininity,” by Donald R. McCreary, published in the journal Sex Roles in 1994:

    Parents, especially fathers, reward boys more than girls for displaying gender congruent forms of play. They also tend to punish boys more harshly than girls for deviations from prescribed gender role norms.

  20. 20
    Daran says:

    Actually, it’s commonly believed by social scientists that fathers are more concerned with gender-norming their children than mothers are. For example, from “The Male Role and Avoiding Femininity,” by Donald R. McCreary, published in the journal Sex Roles in 1994:

    And is commonly believed by social scientists that concern with gender-norming of boys is an essentially male characteristic, which women only exhibit if they are “sucked into that crap”? Because that’s a very different proposition.

  21. 21
    epi says:

    great links! just one comment on the use of “suffragette” – although it might have been reclaimed at this point, i think it’s interesting to note that “suffragette” was a term one used by those opposed to woman’s suffrage to label those who were in favor of such suffrage by belittling their concerns through the “ette” label (rather than using their chosen label, “suffragist”). anyway, just something that i found interesting about the power of words in previous progressive battles (credit to penny eckert and sally mcgonnel-ginet in their book “language and gender”). keep up the great work : )

  22. 22
    BStu says:

    Concerning the overlooked films of the 90′s, I’m utterly pleased to see “The Hudsucker Proxy” in the Top Ten. Its my personal favorite movie of all time and I really think its the Coen Bros. master opus. Its brilliantly reinvents the screw-ball comedy in such an anachronistically wholesome manner. I’m forever annoyed that the poster and box art give away one of the funniest running gags in the history of cinema. I was lucky enough to see it as a rental on VHS and never had it ruined, because it absolutely sells the experience and makes the reveal half-way through one of my favorite reveals in a movie ever. The comic timing of all involved is the stuff that should be studied in any reputable film school or drama program. Can’t recommend it enough.

  23. 23
    Sage says:

    Darran, I don’t know how I missed your post when I last responded!

    I was clearly making an assumption based on my limited knowledge of specific couples. And me with a social science background! When I discussed the skirt dilemma with friends, the guys almost all thought it was disgusting that I would EVER let him wear a skirt. The women all thought it was just fine. From this very small, and potentially skewed, sample I generalized to the population and concluded that guys have a problem with it much more so than women. And I can only speculate why that is. (Their reasoning was, for the most part, “It’s just sick.”) I believe that they wouldn’t find it so offensive they didn’t undervalue women. I’d love to hear a different analysis.

  24. 24
    Daran says:

    Sage:

    From this very small, and potentially skewed

    Unquestionably skewed

    sample I generalized to the population and concluded that guys have a problem with it much more so than women. And I can only speculate why that is. (Their reasoning was, for the most part, “It’s just sick.”)

    Which isn’t a reason. In my experience, when people say “it’s sick”, they don’t have a reason, just an emotional reaction.

    I believe that they wouldn’t find it so offensive they didn’t undervalue women. I’d love to hear a different analysis.

    I see it as being percieved as emasculation. Objecting to the (perceived) emasculation of boys no more implies that women are views as inferior than objecting to the (percieved) defeminisation of a girl implies that men are viewed as inferior.

    I saw your analysis as reflective of the mindset hegemonic in feminism which views all the world’s problems as being caused by men in general, and those that adhere to traditional masculine roles in particular. I regard that as a prejudicial and bigotted point of view.

  25. 25
    Sage says:

    Daran,
    Do you have a blog (I can’t link to you here)? Just wondering. I edited my original post to remove the sexism, by the way.

    On “unquestionably skewed,” I think my small sample might actually be representative of the larger population. Why are you so certain it’s not?

    On “it’s sick” as not a reason, I realized this so developed my own analysis of the situation. I still think it’s an accurate analysis in most cases.

    On emasculation and defeminisation, typically little girls who wear dirty jeans and a baseball hat and play with trucks, etc. are seen as cute. They can get away with this behaviour at school scott free. But boys who wear dresses and play with dolls at school are seen as a troubled. Their behaviour gets them a phone call home. Furthermore, in the work world, from what I’ve seen (but I could probably dig up a study on this), women who work in construction or other male-dominated areas are congratulated for breaking barriers. But men who work in daycare are seen as doing it until they find a real job, or, at worse, seen as protential perverts.

    My point is that we typically *don’t* object to the defeminisation of girls. Why do we *only* object to males being emasculated? Perhaps because women’s roles are seen as “lesser than” by too many men and women. If they weren’t, then boys would be more free to take on traditional female dress, mannerisms, and careers free from harassment.

    Further views?

  26. 26
    Ampersand says:

    I see it as being percieved as emasculation. Objecting to the (perceived) emasculation of boys no more implies that women are views as inferior than objecting to the (percieved) defeminisation of a girl implies that men are viewed as inferior.

    But, as Sage points out, we as a culture don’t object to the “defeminisation” (good word innovation, btw) of girls nearly as much as we object to emasculation of boys. And the desire of fathers to “protect” boys from emasculation is hardly an advantage for the boys, either; on the contrary, for boys who are unable to live up to “masculinity,” the knowledge that they disappoint their fathers can be a major trauma.

    I saw your analysis as reflective of the mindset hegemonic in feminism which views all the world’s problems as being caused by men in general, and those that adhere to traditional masculine roles in particular. I regard that as a prejudicial and bigotted point of view.

    The fact is, fathers worry more about this stuff than mothers (on average), and they worry about it more regarding sons than daughters (on average). It’s mindless feminist-bashing to say that if a feminist points out this fact, she’s saying “all the world’s problems [are] caused by men.” Sage didn’t say any such thing; you made it up and shoved those words into her mouth.

    And by the way, some problems are caused by traditional masculine roles in particular. Every time some boy gets beaten up in a schoolyard by other boys, that’s a traditional masculine role being enforced. Every time a gang-rape like the one in Duke happens, that’s traditional masculinity. And yes, every time a father (or, more rarely, a mother) blows a gasket because their son is playing dress-up with makeup or dresses, that’s traditional masculinity, too.

  27. 27
    Robert says:

    Every time a gang-rape like the one in Duke happens, that’s traditional masculinity.

    Not my tradition.

  28. 28
    Daran says:

    Ampersand:

    But, as Sage points out, we as a culture don’t object to the “defeminisation” (good word innovation, btw) of girls nearly as much as we object to emasculation of boys.

    It’s not a word innovation, as a quick google will demonstrate.

    (Percieved) degenderisation (which probably is a word innovation) is what happens when someone steps (or is forced) outside their normal gender role. But when that stepping outside becomes a mass movement, then the role itself adapts to accomodate. Sage give the example of “dirty jeans and baseball caps”. Have you not noticed? Women wear jeans and baseball caps too, these days. It’s not unfeminine to do so. In fact, there’s very little of the traditional female dress code left, and nothing that an infant girl could violate. Women may not casually bare their breasts in public, but infants don’t have breasts, so that norm isn’t violated when a girl bares her chest. Some women feel that they have to wear make-up before going out, but we don’t generally allow or make children of either sex to wear make up, so it’s not a violation of any norm for them not to do so. Women are not allowed to have visible facial hair, even though many are capable of growing it, but children can’t, so that doesn’t apply.

    We don’t ‘object’ as a society to the defeminisation of girls or women because it’s nigh on impossible to do so in today’s culture. It hasn’t always been so, and many of the objections made in the past to what is quite normal for women now, were that it was ‘unfeminine’.

    And the desire of fathers to “protect” boys from emasculation is hardly an advantage for the boys, either; on the contrary, for boys who are unable to live up to “masculinity,” the knowledge that they disappoint their fathers can be a major trauma.

    Um, this does not appear to be responsive to anything I’ve said, as I’ve suggested neither that the objection was motivated by a desire to protect, nor that it was an advantage to boys.

    I saw your analysis as reflective of the mindset hegemonic in feminism which views all the world’s problems as being caused by men in general, and those that adhere to traditional masculine roles in particular. I regard that as a prejudicial and bigotted point of view.

    The fact is, fathers worry more about this stuff than mothers (on average), and they worry about it more regarding sons than daughters (on average). It’s mindless feminist-bashing to say that if a feminist points out this fact, she’s saying “all the world’s problems [are] caused by men.” Sage didn’t say any such thing; you made it up and shoved those words into her mouth.

    I’m familiar with the “mindless bashing” that happens to people who point out inconvenient facts – I was subject to it here for days after I pointed out the lack of evidence to support feminists claims that false rape accusations are rare. Of course this happens to feminists as well, in places where the mindless bashing of feminists is permitted.

    But not by me. For a start, I don’t agree that your cite stands for the proposition that fathers “worry” more. But even if I did, it was your cite, not Sage’s, and I have not “bashed” you for making it. I did not put words in Sage’s mouth. I did not say that she said “all the world’s problems…”, only that her remarks reflected that point of view, and that the point of view is hegemonic within feminism.

    I have no desire to continue to argue the demerits of her words, given that she has acknowleged this herself, and amended them. The demerits of hegemonic feminism are another matter.

    And by the way, some problems are caused by traditional masculine roles in particular. Every time some boy gets beaten up in a schoolyard by other boys, that’s a traditional masculine role being enforced. Every time a gang-rape like the one in Duke happens, that’s traditional masculinity.

    As Robert said, not my tradition.

    And yes, every time a father (or, more rarely, a mother) blows a gasket because their son is playing dress-up with makeup or dresses, that’s traditional masculinity, too.

    The passage you cited didn’t say that women enforced traditional masculine roles on their sons more rarely than men.

    I was bullied by children both sexes at school, but it was the girls whose comments about my inadequacy as a male were the most painful, and which caused the longest lasting damage. Rape may well be overwhelming perpertrated by men, but I have cited a case which, though perpetrated by boys, was orchestrated by girls, apparently to enforce the local tradition that said that fourteen year old girls should not be virgins. I suspect that this happens more than is generally recognised. Outside the realm of bullying and rape, it’s frequently observed that traditional heterosexual males rarely have difficulty in attracting a partner, while less-traditional, but still heterosexual males are often relegated to the ‘omega’ end of the spectrum. This is a reward for male normativity that only women can give.

    Yet aside from the grudging bracketed admission in the last sentence of your paragraph, you attributed the problem of enforcing male roles solely to men. Isn’t that what I just ‘mindlessly bashed’ feminists for?

  29. 29
    Daran says:

    Sage:

    Daran,
    Do you have a blog (I can’t link to you here)?

    I don’t. I may have something else to link to soon (or not so soon), but I’m not ready to publish the URL.

    I edited my original post to remove the sexism, by the way.

    Thank you, more for acknowledging my point, than for making the edit.

    On “unquestionably skewed,” I think my small sample might actually be representative of the larger population. Why are you so certain it’s not?

    I’m surprised that someone with a social science should even ask that question. For a sample to ‘represent’ a population, it needs to be drawn at random from that population.

    On emasculation and defeminisation, typically little girls who wear dirty jeans and a baseball hat and play with trucks, etc. are seen as cute. They can get away with this behaviour at school scott free. But boys who wear dresses and play with dolls at school are seen as a troubled. Their behaviour gets them a phone call home.

    I worked in daycare for a while. There was no objection to boys playing with dolls or dressing up in femle clothing in the dressing up room. For a boy to arrive dressed in girl’s clothing, I’m sure would have raised eyebrows.

    Furthermore, in the work world, from what I’ve seen (but I could probably dig up a study on this), women who work in construction or other male-dominated areas are congratulated for breaking barriers. But men who work in daycare are seen as doing it until they find a real job, or, at worse, seen as protential perverts.

    I never encountered that from parents or other staff. There were occasional and I suppose inevitable moments when something would happen, and I’d think “Jeez, that could look bad”, but the only comment I ever got from anyone else, was from a ten-year-old girl who didn’t think it appropriate for me to be toiletting the younger girls. I immediately solved the problem by delegating the task to her. Ha, take that!

    As for women being “congratulated for breaking barriers”, I think that is a consequence of feminism.

    My point is that we typically *don’t* object to the defeminisation of girls. Why do we *only* object to males being emasculated? Perhaps because women’s roles are seen as “lesser than” by too many men and women. If they weren’t, then boys would be more free to take on traditional female dress, mannerisms, and careers free from harassment.

    I think that what we don’t typically object to, is the non-defeminisation of girls. The cause of the disjunct is the difference between what you think is the female role, and what the female role actually is in today’s society. Women get congratualted for breaking down barriers, because it is now a female role to break down barriers.

  30. Robert & Daran:

    I am curious: When you say that the masculinity enacted by rapists, etc. is “not [your] tradition,” does that imply that there is a traditional (or tradition of) mascculinity to which you do subscribe? And, if so, I am curious not merely about how you would define it, but also how and how far back you would trace its lineage.

  31. 31
    Ampersand says:

    I was bullied by children both sexes at school, but it was the girls whose comments about my inadequacy as a male were the most painful, and which caused the longest lasting damage.

    Sorry to hear that. Yes, obviously, girls and women can be cruel too. As for bullying, I’ve read enough research on it to be convinced that my own experience – which is that little boys who are bullied are, most of the time, bullied by boys – is typical. Girls who bully boys exist, but they’re the exception to the rule. (If you have some research suggesting otherwise, I’ll give it a look.)

    Rape may well be overwhelming perpertrated by men,

    “May well be?” Sheesh. What next – “The sky may well be above the ground?”

    but I have cited a case which, though perpetrated by boys, was orchestrated by girls, apparently to enforce the local tradition that said that fourteen year old girls should not be virgins. I suspect that this happens more than is generally recognised.

    Truly, all the world’s problems are caused by women!

    Outside the realm of bullying and rape, it’s frequently observed that traditional heterosexual males rarely have difficulty in attracting a partner, while less-traditional, but still heterosexual males are often relegated to the ‘omega’ end of the spectrum. This is a reward for male normativity that only women can give.

    Oh, please – this is just a variation on the “nice guys finish last” complaint.

    The truth is, guys who combine not being too shy (or too afraid of rejection), with being reasonably attractive (or at least moderately well groomed), tend to find partners, no matter where they fall on the Bem Sex Role Inventory. Nearly none of my het male friends are conventionally masculine, but nearly all are married (and, as far as I can tell, happily so).

    That aside, are the enforcement mechanisms we’re talking equally objectionable? I don’t think so.

    As far as I’m concerned, every child is entitled to life without fear of being beaten up by bullies. Every child is, or should be, entitled to play dress-up or in some other way be gender-nonconventional without daddy or mommy blowing a gasket.

    However, no one is entitled to the girlfriend (or boyfriend) they want.

    These things are just not comparable.

    Yet aside from the grudging bracketed admission in the last sentence of your paragraph, you attributed the problem of enforcing male roles solely to men.

    I didn’t attribute the problem solely to men; I wasn’t even addressing the question of who enforces male role models.

    It’s obvious that the male role model is passed on by the entire society, including both men and women. (Ditto for the female role model). However, I think some parts of the male role are, on average, enforced more by boys and men. But “more” doesn’t mean “entirely.”

  32. 32
    Daran says:

    Richard Jeffrey Newman:

    I am curious: When you say that the masculinity enacted by rapists, etc. is “not [your] tradition,” does that imply that there is a traditional (or tradition of) mascculinity to which you do subscribe?

    I do not subscribe to any view of masculinity, other than that it’s a generally positive thing, as is femininity, as are any alternatives to the two that some people have been able to create for themselves. I am best described as a secular humanist liberal with libertarian leanings. I think people should be free to be whatever they want to be, provided they are not abusing, harming, or violating the rights of others, and, in the case of children, not harming themselves. It’s not inherently harmful to a boy for him to wear a skirt.

    And, if so, I am curious not merely about how you would define it, but also how and how far back you would trace its lineage.

    It would be foolish to pretend that I have not been influenced by the male role models in my life, and the cultural images of masculinity that surround me. Those images show men protecting women, often at the expense of their own welfare. Moreover none of the few male role models I had abused women, to my knowledge, and I can be reasonably sure that, in the case of my father at least, ‘to my knowledge’ is reasonably accurate.

    Regardless, accurate or not, what I was never exposed to can not have influence my view of masculinity. For these reasons I can say that the abuse of women is “not my heritage”.

    The family lineage can be traced back to my grandparents, who observed the traditional gender roles of their era. I never knew my great grandparents, so can trace it back no further. Tracing the lineage of images of masculinity in general is a task for the social historian.

  33. Daran:

    I do not subscribe to any view of masculinity, other than that it’s a generally positive thing, as is femininity, as are any alternatives to the two that some people have been able to create for themselves.

    Ok, then let me rephrase my question: What do you think masculinity is? How would you define it?

  34. 34
    Daran says:

    Amperand:

    Girls who bully boys exist, but they’re the exception to the rule. (If you have some research suggesting otherwise, I’ll give it a look.)

    I don’t, and I’d be interested in seeing your research.

    Rape may well be overwhelming perpertrated by men,

    “May well be?” Sheesh. What next – “The sky may well be above the ground?”

    George Bush may well be President, but he’s still a moron.

    The “may well be … but” doesn’t question the factual truth of the clause, but it’s significance. Furthermore your ‘interpretation’ contradicts what I’ve said previously on precisely this subject.

    I say that (outside of prison) male on female rapes are the huge majority of all rapes committed. If jaketk wishes to dispute that, then the burden is upon him to demonstrate a genuine controversy, either by producing new evidence of his own, or by rebutting our evidence, or otherwise by showing that it is insufficient. Just saying “it ain’t so”, or even “it might not be so” doesn’t cut the mustard…. You have to show me a genuine controversy.

    You may have missed that post first time around, or forgotten it, but I trust you will not again take a phrase (not even a compete sentence) out of context and construe it so as to contradict my stated position on this matter, unless there is no other way to construe it.

    but I have cited a case which, though perpetrated by boys, was orchestrated by girls, apparently to enforce the local tradition that said that fourteen year old girls should not be virgins. I suspect that this happens more than is generally recognised.

    Truly, all the world’s problems are caused by women!

    That of course is the hegomonic antifemininist mindset. I guess it’s inevitable that people who don’t know me very well will pin the MRA label on me, and just assume that I think like them. You know me better than that.

    I’ll respond here to the remark you made in your more recent post:

    As I recall, that was my sarcastic response to your utterly unsubstantiated claim that (paraphrased from memory) rapes caused by women egging on men to rape were actually a lot more common than we might think. Sorry if you failed to follow the nuances of that.

    Here’s the link. Itwas a bit more than mere “egging on”. The girls, in my opinion, were full particpants in the gang rape.

    As for my claim being unsubstantiated, can you substantiate the contrary? Can you point to any surveys which would have been able to detect this aspect of rape, but didn’t? Certainly the Koss survey questions would evalute this as a case of rape of a female by males.

    If neither of our views can be substantiated, then I don’t see what makes your so much more reasonable than mine that it warrents a sarcastic response.

    Outside the realm of bullying and rape, it’s frequently observed that traditional heterosexual males rarely have difficulty in attracting a partner, while less-traditional, but still heterosexual males are often relegated to the ‘omega’ end of the spectrum. This is a reward for male normativity that only women can give.

    Oh, please – this is just a variation on the “nice guys finish last” complaint.

    The truth is, guys who combine not being too shy (or too afraid of rejection), with being reasonably attractive (or at least moderately well groomed), tend to find partners, no matter where they fall on the Bem Sex Role Inventory.

    Those qualities (not-shy, good-looking and well-groomed) are at least orthogonal, and possibly slightly negatively correlated to being a ‘nice guy’.

    Look, Ampersand, without beating about the bush, I am a nice guy. I’ve never been violent or abusive towards women and never will be. I don’t bash women or make sexist comments verbally either, (except deliberately where it’s part of the repartee that passes between me and close friends who are secure in my respect for them). I also have positive nice-guy points. I’ll help anyone I know who asks for it, or offer help if it seems to be needed. Most of the people I help out are women, because it’s mostly women that want the kind of help I can give. I don’t know for sure why that is, and I’m not drawing any sexist conclusions from that, though Jake Squid might have an idea. At least part of it is probably that most of the people I know are women. So I go to the shops for them, babysit, take their children out, lend them money when they need it, visit them in hospital, give free, private drumming lessons, write appropriately assertive letters letters of complaint to companies that rip them off, and visit them in hospital. I lent one woman, S, my car for several weeks after hers had been written off in an accident., and I was the one she turned to for emotional support and practical advice when she was subject to racist harassment at work. I was happy to do this, because she was in need and because it’s in my nature to do so, without any real thought about getting anything in return.

    Except that recently, I have been thinking about that. For two years, to be exact I’ve been asking myself, at what point does it become exploitive for me to be continually meeting other people’s needs when my own are left unmet? At what point does it become abuse?

    What happened two years ago – to cut a very long story short – is that I left the community band that I had spend eight years building up, because I was being bullied by one of the others there. Three other people, including my friend S, also left in protest at the same time. The rest, over a dozen of them, mostly women, either supported the bully, or sat on the fence (which was as good as supporting him.) I’ve since learned that a fair amount of conniving had been going on behind my back.

    That was a catastrophe for me, a total personal disaster, and one of the worst experiences of my life. I had put my heart and soul into that band. A fifth of my life had gone into it. My entire social network collapsed, and I had nothing else to fall back on.

    But I learned some important, if bitter lessons: that “nobody likes a bully” is a lie, and that it doesn’t matter how good you are to your friends, they can still turn around and crap all over you.

    Mr Bully had no shortage of sexual partners, many of them in the band (at least until he dumped them. Yep, we lost quite a few members that way).

    Meanwhile S, who is a good friend and whom I love dearly, keeps a physical distance from me that she doesn’t from other men. I don’t know why that is, but it hurts.

    I am shy – desparately – and not good looking. I also have Asperger’s syndrome. Normal social skills are learnable to a degree but it’s like a foreign language to me. No amount of grooming is sufficient to overcome these handicaps.

    That aside, are the enforcement mechanisms we’re talking equally objectionable? I don’t think so.

    I do. Being bullied, even beaten up at at school wasn’t as bad as that betrayal.

    Besides, when did they raise the bar on objectionability? According to feminists, I abuse women just by looking at them with my ‘male gaze’.

    As far as I’m concerned, every child is entitled to life without fear of being beaten up by bullies. Every child is, or should be, entitled to play dress-up or in some other way be gender-nonconventional without daddy or mommy blowing a gasket.

    However, no one is entitled to the girlfriend (or boyfriend) they want.

    There’s a problem with the concept of ‘right’ to something if there’s no corresponding obligation upon anyone to provide it.

    Yet aside from the grudging bracketed admission in the last sentence of your paragraph, you attributed the problem of enforcing male roles solely to men.

    I didn’t attribute the problem solely to men; I wasn’t even addressing the question of who enforces male role models.

    All your examples were male.

    It’s obvious that the male role model is passed on by the entire society, including both men and women. (Ditto for the female role model).

    It’s obvious to me; It doesn’t appear to be obvious to feminism. [i]Men[/i] are responsible for rape, dontchaknow? That includes non-raping men. That includes [i]you[/i].

    However, I think some parts of the male role are, on average, enforced more by boys and men. But “more” doesn’t mean “entirely.”

    Well, they certainly seem to be enforced in different ways, which don’t seem to be comparible. But the proposition isn’t inherently objectionable. What is objectionable is the way that feminism takes every such statement and draws a wider, invariably negative negative conclusion about men, masculinity, and maleness in general. You don’t do that about any other biological or psuedo-biological group with involuntary membership. Moreover, when other do it, whether it be white supremicists to non-whites, or religious nutters to gays, you recognise it for the prejudicial bigotry that it is.