A Post For the MRA Apologetics and Rebuttals

There are a lot of off-topic comments in this thread. Or rather, there were. But I’m now moving them to this thread. Or, rather, I will. If the plug-in I downloaded works.

UPDATE: I think it worked!

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273 Responses to A Post For the MRA Apologetics and Rebuttals

  1. 201
    chingona says:

    And another thing. I don’t even know why I’m bothering because Amp already wrote it and apparently it made no impact, but … debating you is just not that interesting to us. Perhaps you haven’t noticed but only a handful of the people who comment here are even participating in this thread. It’s a boring thread! The most interesting thing about it (in a disturbing way) is to ponder how we got from men who justify Sodini’s vile acts as a fair “tax” on women for not sleeping with them to feminists are so mean (and weak! but mean!) because sometimes they delete comments from MRAs. The only reason I’m still here is that I am (much to my husband’s dismay) a “someone is wrong on the Internet” kind of person.

  2. 202
    chingona says:

    Here’s the first paragraph of the post out front on the Nice Guy site:

    I’m NiceGuy. Why did I make this site, if I’m Nice? Because: Ameriskanks (mostly) Suck*. (“Ameriskanks” means “North American females” obviously.) And yes, they ‘re horrible beyond imagination. Don’t shoot the messenger. It’s actually a good thing for me to come out and say this- our biggest critics are our truest friends because they show us how to improve ourselves. In this case, I’m giving an entire gender the criticism it needs to improve itself.**

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  3. 203
    Mandolin says:

    Ameriskanks? Fuck you.

  4. 204
    Ampersand says:

    I’m NiceGuy. Why did I make this site, if I’m Nice? Because: Ameriskanks (mostly) Suck*. (”Ameriskanks” means “North American females” obviously.) And yes, they ‘re horrible beyond imagination. Don’t shoot the messenger. It’s actually a good thing for me to come out and say this- our biggest critics are our truest friends because they show us how to improve ourselves. In this case, I’m giving an entire gender the criticism it needs to improve itself.**

    Solaris and Yohan,

    Having read through your site and forum, it seems overwhelmingly hateful, misogynistic, and also occasionally homophobic. And fat-hating, as well. But mainly, misogynistic.

    I do think reading criticism is important, and I’ll continue reading intelligent critics of feminism, and welcoming many of those folks to post comments here, if they like.

    However, the category “intelligent critics of feminism,” I’m sorry to say, excludes both of you, and anyone who’d be associated with your forum.

    In short, your services on this blog will no longer be required. Please don’t try to post comments again.

  5. 205
    Mandolin says:

    Well, that forum is charming. By which I mean, really, really fucking stupid.

    Jeff Fecke is a mangina too, I’m sure you’ll all be glad to know!

    Anyway, I’ll take MRAs of this stripe seriously about the same time I decide it’s worthwhile to have lucid conversation with the white supremacists about racism. You’re both ridiculous hate groups. I’m sure our lack of bothering to chat with the dining room tables will become great evidence in the furniture store that their wooden arguments have real substance, but since I fail to give a fuck about the opinions of inanimate, flat surfaces on four legs, this shall simply have to remain the case.

    So, many thanks to the representatives of this hate site, but I’m afraid your embassy will be sent home now. Adieu, Yohan, Solaris, may you enjoy yourselves as you chat with the natives back in the land of dining tables about the strange customs of the people over yon hills.

  6. 206
    joe says:

    The site is hilarious as unintentional satire. My best guess is that it’s written by people who never go over their first bad break up. There’s a stage in the breakup where you universalize the from one unpleasant experiences. Most people get past that. Not all women/men will dump you in a cruel and urtful manner, or snub you publicly for being too low status or ‘lead you on’ for ulterior motives. And it’s understandable if you spend the weekend or so convinced that all //blank// are //blank//. But wow. What a monument to lack of perspective.

  7. 207
    Doug S. says:

    I’ve not seen an aggregate figure for Russia’s sex ratio before, so I’d appreciate it if you could give me a citation for that.

    I saw a few different things when doing a Google search, but this Google Books result was where I got the 150 to 100 figure. I do not know how accurate the source is.

  8. 208
    DaisyDeadhead says:

    Daran:

    Since you mention it, I do think it a bit absurd to demand that women should have the same right as men to stand in a pulpit and preach 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

    Ampersand, just in case you didn’t know, that one was addressed to me.

    Daran doesn’t believe in God, but still believes the Church should have the right to discriminate against us uppity gals who would dare do a priest’s job. Since he finds it “absurd”–he upholds the right of the Church to discriminate. Can’t allow those absurd bitches in the pulpit, after all!

    So, he is seriously committed to the inequality of women–even within an institution he admits he doesn’t even believe in!

    Thus, I find his multiple posts here, supposedly advocating gender equality, to be disingenuous in the extreme.

    (If you want to moderate this, feel free. I won’t take offense.)

  9. 209
    Daran says:

    Ampersand, just in case you didn’t know, that one was addressed to me.

    Although I’ve had this discussion with you in the past, he remark was not addressed to you.

    Daran doesn’t believe in God, but still believes the Church should have the right to discriminate against us uppity gals who would dare do a priest’s job. Since he finds it “absurd”–he upholds the right of the Church to discriminate. Can’t allow those absurd bitches in the pulpit, after all!

    You are correct that I don’t believe in God. You are also correct that I agree that churches should be allowed to discriminate on matters related to the practice of their religion where so mandated by the doctrine of the religion. That is a simple consequence of my support for freedom of religion.

    It has nothing to do with me viewing women in general as “upperty”, “absurd”, or “bitches”.

    So, he is seriously committed to the inequality of women–even within an institution he admits he doesn’t even believe in!

    Thus, I find his multiple posts here, supposedly advocating gender equality, to be disingenuous in the extreme.

    I am committed to freedom of speech, of association, and of religion despite knowing that some people will use these freedoms in ways which go against gender equality. As far as I can tell, my views on this are not discernibly different from many other people’s here, including Ampersand’s.

  10. 210
    Daran says:

    If you, even for one second, took away your prejudices and preconceptions and looked at my blog, you’d realize that it is full of people who do not agree with my opinion. Have you even noticed that I’m letting you post here, for example?

    Not any more, which I suppose lends weight to his point.

    In any case, my argument which gave rise to this particular subthread was that MRA/antifeminist forums tend on the whole to be less restrictive in what is allowed to stand than feminist forums, and that consequently, more extreme views will be visible, even if the underlying populations of participants were comparable in the extremeness of their views. That you permit participants to disagree with you does not mean that you don’t restrict what can be said.

    I also provided you with a link to an MRA forum, where I wasted my time posting many detailed responses to MRAs on their own territory.

    Obviously it’s for you to decide how your time is best spent, but I do not agree that what you did there was a waste of time even if you were not able to persuade any of the other participants. It is a better that falsehoods be challenged by the truth, than that they be allowed to stand unchallenged.

  11. 211
    Daran says:

    Do the folks on your site respond to rebuttals with the kind of insults just quoted, or do they constrain themselves to facts and logical argument?

    I realise this was not addressed to me. I’ll respond to it as though it were, nevertheless.

    Of course I cannot guarantee that no guest will ever respond with insults, or that abusive comments will invariably be sanctioned. FCB, like Alas, is retro-moderated by fallible humans.

    I can guarantee, though, that we aspire to a forum free of insults, that we’ve worked hard to come as close to it as we can. In my opinion, we’ve been reasonably successful in that regard.

  12. 212
    Daran says:

    Modern war is not about fighting against men and protecting women, it is about destruction of materials as quick as possible. It’s not about humans, but about objects.

    There is an airfield, destroy it, there is a pipeline, destroy it, there is a bridge, destroy it, there is a factory, destroy it…if carefully done, life there is a hell, for men and for women too, no difference.

    Different wars are “about” different things. In the Balkans, for example, the wars were about people and territory. The aggressors wanted the defending people gone. “Gone” did not mean the same thing for men and women. For older boys, and men except old men, “gone” meant “dead”. For everyone else “somewhere else”, was sufficient and in some ways preferable. There are indications that similar patterns of “ethnic cleansing” have taken place in Iraq.

    That male direct casualties hugely outnumber female ones in most wars is an objective fact. There is not “no difference”.

    I agree that it is not always about “protecting women”. Different players will have different agendas. Again the Balkans provide an instructive example. In 1993, the UN Protection Force evacuated 12,000 people from Srebrenica in an operation from which fit men under the age of 65 were excluded. The attacking Serb forces were happy to allow this operation to take place – it accorded with their war aim, after all. The evacuations were eventually halted by the Bosniac government, who presumably recognised that women were a significant contributor to the defence of the city. When the Serbs overran Srebrenica two years later, they “evacuated” (in reality, forcibly expelled) the women and children, and made a determined attempt to kill every single man. About 8000 were murdered.

  13. 213
    Daran says:

    Wouldn’t the US-as-invaders have the same women-and-children first policy that people in Middle-East and other countries, and humanitarian organizations have?

    Yes.

    That is, if they invaded Vietnam, they probably treated Vietnamese men as potential threats a lot more than women.

    That’s a different norm from “women and children first”. I haven’t studied the Vietnam war in detail, but my understanding is that a significant minority of Vietnamese combat troops were female. The American GI will certainly have adapted to that reality very quickly.

    At least common sense tells me that. Don’t hit girls is a very pervasive notion, extremely strong here in North America (Canada as well). It might be weakened in war or towards enemies, but then, like belligerents in that report Daran linked, wouldn’t US army men be worried about the image of them massacring poor defenseless innocent women, even from Vietnam (during the war I mean), if it ever became known?

    Image is more of a concern to those in the higher echelons than those at the front line. Also Vietnam was, I understand, the first “mass media” war. The military wasn’t used to dealing with that kind of coverage.

  14. 214
    Ampersand says:

    I am committed to freedom of speech, of association, and of religion despite knowing that some people will use these freedoms in ways which go against gender equality. As far as I can tell, my views on this are not discernibly different from many other people’s here, including Ampersand’s.

    Like you, I think churches should have the legal right to discriminate when it comes to the sex of their officiants.

    But I still see daylight between our positions, because I wouldn’t write this:

    Since you mention it, I do think it a bit absurd to demand that women should have the same right as men to stand in a pulpit and preach 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

    1) I’m an atheist, but I acknowledge that religion is a central institution in many people’s lives, and it would be better if that institution were less sexist.

    2) I don’t have to agree with someone’s goals to think that it’s reasonable (rather than absurd) for them to want to be treated equally in pursuit of their goals.

    3) The meaning of 1 Timothy 2:11-12 is not set in stone. Religion doesn’t exist in a book; it exists in the minds of people who believe in it, and it can be given more progressive interpretations.

  15. 215
    Daran says:

    Reordered for the purpose of reply.

    in case of the US-WWII firebombings and atomic bombings there was no discrimination between men and women…

    And what about bombings like Dresden?

    In those bombings more women, children, old people, Koreans doing forced labour perished than regular Japanese soldiers, and not to talk about the follow-up after the bombings, like radiation, remaining explosives etc. etc. -

    Certain kinds of attack are by their nature indiscriminate. Nevertheless, the behavior of the victim population may operate to render some demographics more or less vulnerable than others. For example, in Britain during the war, children were evacuated from the target cities.

    I have no information on how gender operated in respect of the attacks you mention. But even a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, can affect the sexes differently. According to the last census prior to Katerina, New Orleans had more women than men, but more men died than women. Of course, the hurricane didn’t discriminate. The explanation will be found in differences in the behaviour of and treatment toward men and women. Similar effects probably apply in man-made disasters such as firebombings and even nuclear attacks.

    What about the Jews in Germany in WWII? Women and children were more protected than men? I am not so sure.

    The Einsatzgruppen [death-squad] officers … could habituate their men into their new vocation as genocidal executioners through a stepwise escalation of the killing. First, by shooting primarily teenage and adult Jewish males, they would be able to acclimate themselves to mass executions without the shock of killing women, young children, and the infirm. According to Alfred Filbert, the commander of Einsatzkommando 9, the [execution] order from [Reinhard] Heydrich “quite clearly” “included also women and children.” Yet, “in the first instance, without a doubt, the executions were limited generally to Jewish males.” By generally keeping units’ initial massacres to smallish numbers (by German standards) of a few hundred or even a thousand or so, instead of many thousands, the perpetrators would be less likely to become overwhelmed by the enormity of the gargantuan bloodbaths that were to follow. They also could believe that they were selectively killing the most dangerous Jews, which was a measure that they could conceive to be reasonable for this apocalyptic war. Once the men became used to slaughtering Jews on this sex-selective and smaller scale, the officers could more easily expand the scope and size of the killing operations.

    Daniel Goldhagen, quoted in http://gendercide.org/case_jews.html . The end result was a holocide, but clearly the resistance to slaughtering men was much lower than to women or children.

    Daran: I have yet to find casualty figures for any war in which men are not the substantial, if not overwhelming majority of all casualties, and of civilian casualties.

    I have even problems to find sources about war casualties divided into men, women, children etc. I find only numbers about military, civilians etc. and no information about the gender.

    It’s not easy, in addition to Northern Ireland and Iraq, I know of figures for DRC (71% men over 15, 18% women and 10% children under 15), and for the recent Israel offensive against Gaza. Adam Jones’ Gendercide.org is a great source, as are his other writings.

    Generally, looking back in history, I agree that women in USA are best protected, as the war is not within their country, but otherwise?

    While I have only a few data points, they span the globe, and all point in the same direction.

  16. 216
    Daran says:

    I entirely agree with your points 1 and 2, so no daylight between us there.

    3) The meaning of 1 Timothy 2:11-12 is not set in stone. Religion doesn’t exist in a book; it exists in the minds of people who believe in it, and it can be given more progressive interpretations.

    I guess the religious response to that is: Religion doesn’t just exist in people’s minds, but has a tangible reality.

    I don’t believe that, of course, but I see a contradiction between asserting that the Bible (or any other religious book or corpus) is an authoritative moral guide, and imposing your own interpretation on it. If its your own interpretation, then it is you guiding the Bible, not the other way about.

  17. 217
    PG says:

    I don’t believe that, of course, but I see a contradiction between asserting that the Bible (or any other religious book or corpus) is an authoritative moral guide, and imposing your own interpretation on it. If its your own interpretation, then it is you guiding the Bible, not the other way about.

    All complex texts require interpretation. As we are seeing in the current 2nd Amendment thread, the people who insist that a text requires no interpretation actually mean that their interpretation must be the correct one.

  18. 218
    chingona says:

    What PG said. Indeed, without interpretation, I don’t know it would be possible to treat the Bible as an authoritative moral source at all.

    Nobody follows everything that’s in the Bible – not fundamentalist Christians, not orthodox Jews, nobody. Everybody picks and chooses, and those choices reflect their values, same as feminist Catholics.

    But what I came down here to say is that your statement takes a number of firm theological stances on issues that are so disputed within Christianity that they once provoked wars and still prevent people on one side from taking communion in the churches of the other side and shape considerations of who is “really” a Christian and who is actually saved.

    Seems an odd thing for an atheist to do in defense of a ban on women priests in one faction of the church. The Church has the right to discriminate, and believing women in the pews have every right to challenge that discrimination and try to build the Church they would prefer to see. I fail to see the absurdity. Certainly, it is not more absurd than an atheist telling a Christian what use they are supposed to make of a particular text.

  19. 219
    Daran says:
    …I see a contradiction between asserting that the Bible (or any other religious book or corpus) is an authoritative moral guide, and imposing your own interpretation on it. If its your own interpretation, then it is you guiding the Bible, not the other way about.

    All complex texts require interpretation.

    Then no complex text can be an authoritative moral guide.

    Observation supports my position. People cite the Bible (etc.) to support whatever position they think is right anyway.

  20. 220
    Schala says:

    People cite the Bible (etc.) to support whatever position they think is right anyway.

    That’s true. How else would fundamentalists be against a practice (abortion) that either didn’t exist or was significantly different 2000 years ago, never specifically mentioned.

    People interpret ‘life’ and ‘killing’ (Thou shalt not kill) the way they want to, based on modern data and not based on their book. Funny that people who are against abortions would support the US army going abroad to kill other people. Or that God him/herself sanctioned killing of thousands of people in his/her name in the Old Testament.

    People who call themselves Christians are able to hate other people even if Jesus said to love everyone unconditionally (not necessarily in a romantic way), even your enemies.

    And the meek will inherit the Kingdom of God. Well, meekness is still not that popular.

  21. 221
    PG says:

    Daran,

    Observation supports my position. People cite the Bible (etc.) to support whatever position they think is right anyway.

    I thought your position was that there’s something wrong — “absurd,” I think was your word? — about women who want to have an equal role in their churches with men. How does the fact that people cite religious authorities to support their own preference support your position that 1 Timothy 2:11-12 says it all and therefore it’s absurd for women to fight for an interpretation that would put them on equal footing?

  22. 222
    Daran says:

    PG @#180 (rearranged slightly, for the purpose of reply.)

    In your entire linked account of the mistreatment you suffered, females play an almost nonexistent role: boys were the ones who performed all the physical abuse, and nearly all the emotional abuse. These males had the power to hurt you; females largely didn�t.

    That’s not true. I’m not sure how you concluded that boys performed nearly all the emotional abuse. In general girls and boys were about equally involved during my preadolescence, up to the “year of hell” when I was at a boys-only school. After returning to co-education as an adolescent, I would say that the girls were worse, in general. Even today I still feel a particular anxiety when encountering young teenage girls in the street.

    Most of the violence was by boys, though I do recall being kneed in the balls by a girl when I tried to fend her off from smearing by black school jacket with chalk. (Why do you think she was doing that?)

    The post wasn’t intended to be an exhaustive account of everything that happened. Nor was its focus the gender of the perpetrators.

    I think you would find the discussion much clearer if you understood that when a feminist tells you that men are privileged, she may be talking about the fact that males were the ones oppressing you.

    I think I’m able to tell that when a feminist says “men are privileged”, she generally means to include me.

    Of course, some men are oppressed by gender;

    You say “of course”, but my impression is that this is a minority, albeit not to uncommon, view among blogospheric feminists. It is a highly marginal view within academic feminism.

    the point is that the oppression is carried out largely by men. Men higher up in the patriarchy are hurting other men who are lower down � it�s a hierarchy based on gender role compliance, so of course those who are less compliant will be further down the hierarchy, and thus abused by those higher up.

    Feminists do indeed say that. It is a common trope that any discussion of men’s experiences of victimisation be refocused onto some other subject – men as perpetrators being a favorite.

    This subthread, if you recall, began with you asking (#84) what were the bumps in my road. The sex of the people creating those bumps is irrelevant to the question of whether those bumps were there and whether they really were bumps. However the implication of feminist refocussing the discussion onto men as perpetrators, coupled with a general claim that men are privileged (which, as I pointed out above is intended to include those victimised) carries the implication that men’s experiences of victimisation are not valid because the perpetrators are (claimed to be) males.

    (Next paragraph requires a fuller response than I have time to make right now, so skipped til later.)

    I said in this particular discussion … that my references to a non-Western country got shot down by you and ballgame as irrelevant.

    I refer you to my previous replies on this topic.

  23. 223
    Sailorman says:

    Sorry I’m late to this conversation: I got held up stoning a couple of neighborhood kids for dishonoring their parents. And I’ve only got a few minutes before I have to go stone someone else, so I’ll make this quick.

    Anecdotally, I have met very few people who really truly follow the Word of God as Set Forth in the Holy Bible. And most of them they keep making relatively minor errors and putting each other to death, so there are probably fairly few of them now.

    In any case, if any of you True Believers want to talk about this more, we should so in person.

    Prepare to be tested. Prepare to test your neighbor.

    And bring some rocks.

  24. 224
    chingona says:

    I’ve done everything the Bible says! Even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!

    - Ned Flanders

  25. 225
    PG says:

    However the implication of feminist refocusing the discussion onto men as perpetrators, coupled with a general claim that men are privileged (which, as I pointed out above is intended to include those victimised) carries the implication that men’s experiences of victimisation are not valid because the perpetrators are (claimed to be) males.

    (1) It’s your opinion that the statement “men are privileged” is intended to include victimized men. You’ve offered nothing except “I think I’m able to tell” as proof that this is actually what feminists mean by that statement. This discussion has made me deeply skeptical of your ability to read feminists’ minds.

    (2) That may be the implication you get, but it’s certainly not the implication I would get. Men’s experiences of victimization are just as valid as women’s experiences of victimization. Both the experience you describe and the kinds of women’s victimization that feminists focus on are due to a patriarchal structure that mandates gender role compliance.

    Feminists do not deny that women may victimize women, that men may victimize men, even that women may victimize men; what they are pointing out by noting the nature of the victimization (in which the gender of the perpetrator is potentially relevant) is that the victimization occurs because of patriarchy, because of the social/legal mandate that Men Be This and Women Be That. If one wishes to effect change rather than just complain about how life sucks, identifying the source of problems can help.

    Gay-bashing and trans-bashing are overwhelmingly perpetrated by men, in the name of policing gender. In particular, “effeminate” men and trans-women threaten the bashers’ sense of what constitutes male identity, which sense is dependent on the patriarchal hierarchy and division of gender. Feminists favor ending this hierarchy and deconstructing gender identities. You talk about academic feminism — ever read Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble”? It’s pretty much gender studies 101.

  26. 226
    Schala says:

    I’ve been told before, that my experience of being born with male plumbing and being raised as male made me immensely privileged, to the point that my opinion in any matter regarding oppression ought to be taken with a grain of salt moreso than other women.

    I’ve been told that I couldn’t possibly be oppressed for having been born with male attributes and for being trans. That it was actually an advantage to be born in the wrong body and suffer for it, without knowing what was up for two decades.

    If I told my experiences of abuse (mainly at school), I was met with dismissal or one-upmanship. (ie If you had been born with a vagina, it would definitely have been 10 times worst, so you got it easy).

    Those who made those claims were feminists, by their words anyways.

    I don’t claim they are representative of the movement, but they are definitely a part of it. Thankfully their views on trans people are disavowed by a significant portion of the movement. Not everyone disavows their views though, and women’s shelters run by feminists will often refuse pre-op or even post-op trans women out of prejudice.

    Probably some trans people, as well as some men and some women have taken advantage of circumstances definitely unfavorable to them in a way, but favorable to them in another. For example, a trans woman who gets the chance to do university studies and be recognized pre-transition for her competence, because she was seen as male. But this isn’t everyone, and people should not be blamed for taking advantage of things that are handed to them, without directly negative effects to others (if your parents have you as only child and pay for your studies because you’re male, it doesn’t affect your non-existent siblings).

    Personally, I made it to high school, finished it, and could have gone on, but I was so psychologically messed up from two decades of bullying and loneliness that I blew it off and started working dead-end jobs. Jobs demanding more than I was capable of giving in effort often, because I was seen as male, and thus presumed to be capable of it (notwithstanding my size, which was never taken into account). I don’t see where I benefitted there, but I might have.

    I benefitted from not being born in a third world country, or a super anti-trans country (Brazil for example, most deaths per year for trans women), from not being sold in slavery or being part of sex tourism. I think most people here can also say that though.

    It’s true that men are the most trans and gay bashers though. But it isn’t only them. There is intra-gender policing on both sides of the equation, and inter-gender policing on both sides as well. Inter policing is seen as blatant sexism. Intra policing is usually ignored, part of growing up they (society) say. Women giving each other insults and competing for beauty or weight or style with each other. Men giving each other insults and competing for muscle/strength, earning power and show-offness with each other (yes made that up).

    If a man or a woman sees someone is not successful in their gender role (either willfully or not), they’ll take advantage of that (not all the time…but its tempting), in order to make it seem as if they are better, quash the competition. It’s a sign of a lack of self-esteem to bash others to elevate yourself. Individualism did nothing to elevate self-esteem.

  27. 227
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Schala is spot-on, when it comes to being trans and told how much we “benefit” from being born male, etc., blah-blah-blah. I think she’s wrong to confuse cisgender privilege with feminist assertions about male privilege — while being born with a body that wasn’t exactly the correct sex had it’s big problems, being born with a “gender” (whatever the heck that is) that was outside the norms of “maleness” (there’s a reason so many of us tell horrific stories of violence, and it’s not because our penises magically protected us) was an entirely different horror story.

    But something Schala said goes right to the heart of the matter with something else that Daran said — there is a lot of gender policing going on out there, and it isn’t just men doing it. Sure, by virtue of being bigger and stronger, men do a lot of the violence against men. Oddly enough, in much of the higher order species it tends to also be … males doing it to males. Which tells me (because I watch too much Discovery Channel) that it’s something that’s more hardwired than we’d care to admit. But if we accept that there is something Natural about male-on-male violence, we much also accept that there is something Natural about females preferring males who are capable of doing that violence. And to bring this back around to Schala’s comments, and close the loop on Daran’s remarks, if “mate selection” is at play, the violence against gender variant males IS a part of female mate selection.

  28. 228
    PG says:

    JHC,

    Your theory about evolutionary hard-wiring only works if the male-on-male violence you see among our near relatives of other species is mostly against the males who fail to adhere to gender norms. My understand is that it’s actually mostly male-on-male competition for females. These are very different kinds of male violence. It’s wholly logical as an evolutionary matter for a female to prefer the male who can win a competition with other males for her, because that’s the male that can protect her. It’s not so logical for her to prefer the male that beats up on males who aren’t even trying to compete for her. (Why go for the male chimp who’s randomly and unnecessarily beating up on the “gay” chimps?)

  29. 229
    Daran says:

    Why go for the male chimp who�s randomly and unnecessarily beating up on the �gay� chimps?

    You’re assuming that the “gay” chimp is absolutely gay and won’t ever mate, which often isn’t the case. Actually it makes sense for a male to view all other males, “gay” or otherwise, as competitors for mates, and to persecute those weaker than himself. Why “gays”? For the same reasons that “Aspies” get it. Because any non-conformity might be an indicator of biological disorder or disease, hence of weakness. Additionally individuals with transmissible diseases pose threats beyond competition-for-females.

    I regard feminist claims that there are no biological differences between men and women, other than the plumbing, to be dogma. That said, I consider the issue to be politically irrelevant. The goal of the struggle is to make a better world, not a perfect one, and in that regard it doesn’t really matter whether biology has little, much, or no effect at all. What matters is that culture has a large effect, and that we can change it.

  30. 230
    Robert says:

    Evolution probably can’t fine-tune the preference that well. (“Ooh, violence in a good cause gets me hot, but violence for selfish reasons makes me feel all icky!” – doesn’t sound all that plausible, does it?) People can make that conscious choice (and do) but I seriously doubt it’s coming from biology.

    I wonder how much violence-preference isn’t really strength-preference, and that there’s a correlation between strength and (mis)using it. So we think “oh, the ladies like the rough and tumble boys” but in fact they just like the strong boys, and the strong boys tend to do r&t more.

  31. 231
    Schala says:

    It’s not so logical for her to prefer the male that beats up on males who aren’t even trying to compete for her.

    It’s logical if you consider he’s proving his strength. Outside of wars and direct conflicts in your area, there has to be ways to prove you’re a suitable mate. This is what causes irrational fights often.

  32. 232
    Daran says:

    the violence against gender variant males IS a part of female mate selection.

    I’m not sure how wide you would allow the “gender variant” net to be spread, but it’s been my experience that this is true for abuse directed at weaker/less-conformant het cis men. Certainly women have been enablers (and I suspect instigators) of some of the abuse I’ve suffered from men, from my thirties onward. (I’ve no sense that this was true of any of the abuse I suffered before then, but I had not then developed the social-cognitive skills to recognise it.)

  33. 233
    Daran says:

    PG, I’ve no time to reply to you right now (and probably not before Monday), but see this post for a response to part of your comment.

  34. 234
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    PG writes @ 228:

    Your theory about evolutionary hard-wiring only works if the male-on-male violence you see among our near relatives of other species is mostly against the males who fail to adhere to gender norms. My understand is that it’s actually mostly male-on-male competition for females. These are very different kinds of male violence. It’s wholly logical as an evolutionary matter for a female to prefer the male who can win a competition with other males for her, because that’s the male that can protect her. It’s not so logical for her to prefer the male that beats up on males who aren’t even trying to compete for her. (Why go for the male chimp who’s randomly and unnecessarily beating up on the “gay” chimps?)

    It’s not just our close evolutionary cousins doing the male-on-male violence. Male-on-male violence for mating purposes and female mate selection includes just about every species where the female of the species does the selecting and the male of the species can go out and fight. That is, we don’t see it among corals, on account of they are kinda stuck in place, but there are fish species, which predate reptiles, birds and mammals on the evolutionary scale. The loud clashes in the woods as rutting season approaches aren’t the sounds of primates hitting each other, nor are the cries of birds and the flashes of brightly colored feathers, chasing each other in the spring something primates are out there doing.

    While feminism may (and definitely should) have as an objective getting us away from whatever Animal Kingdom hard-wiring we’ve got going, asserting that it’s all about some rational or irrational decision making processes called “Patriarchy” is to deny that we very much ARE members of the Animal Kingdom, and not purely rational beings. The male who defeats another male in some conflict very much is more attractive to females. Inserting “except for homo sapien” is the fallacy of Special Pleading.

    Patriarchy has been around for at least the past 8,000 years or so, very likely dating back to animal and crop domestication and the decline of Fertility Cults. Having gone from a species numbering less than a million, to nearly 7 billion with footprints on the Moon says (to me) that Patriarchy is not evolutionarily disadvantageous. It may (very definitely) suck, but I think Science (which trumps political ideology every time) is firmly on the side of “males and females have some rewiring to do” and not at all on the side of “it’s all the fault of males.”

  35. 235
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Daran writes:

    I�m not sure how wide you would allow the �gender variant� net to be spread, but it�s been my experience that this is true for abuse directed at weaker/less-conformant het cis men. Certainly women have been enablers (and I suspect instigators) of some of the abuse I�ve suffered from men, from my thirties onward. (I�ve no sense that this was true of any of the abuse I suffered before then, but I had not then developed the social-cognitive skills to recognise it.)

    If men are calling you a “faggot” or “pussy” or “whimp”, they definitely aren’t doing it because you fit the male stereotype.

    Not all gender variant men wear dresses, are gay, or run off and change sex. The further you are from the male ideal (Capt. Kirk, more or less …), the more you’re not gender normal. Congratulations.

  36. 236
    Daran says:

    If men are calling you a �faggot� or �pussy� or �whimp�, they definitely aren�t doing it because you fit the male stereotype.

    Not those specific terms, that I can recall. (“Faggot” is an Americanism anyway. “Gay”, “queer”, and “homo” were the preferred sexuality slurs of my childhood.)

    I did face the demand to “prove that you’re male!”, (How? Get my willie out?), but only from girls, that I can recall.

    Not all gender variant men wear dresses, are gay, or run off and change sex. The further you are from the male ideal (Capt. Kirk, more or less �), the more you�re not gender normal. Congratulations.

    Captain Kirk is not someone I have any aspiration toward being like. I did rather warm to Barclay in TNG, though he irritated the hell out of me to start with.

  37. 237
    chingona says:

    The male who defeats another male in some conflict very much is more attractive to females. Inserting “except for homo sapien” is the fallacy of Special Pleading.

    I don’t need any special pleading. Any study of higher order primates finds that both males and females use … wait for it … a variety of behaviors in mate selection. Some males beat up the other males to prove how strong they are. Other males are solicitous and bring tasty treats the females and offer extra grooming. And there are other strategies as well, but the book that brought all these studies together is in storage so I can’t quote chapter and verse. But males have breeding success with all of these methods, with the degree of success depending on a variety of factors, including intersimian dynamics within the troop (which in people I’m pretty sure we’d call culture).

    Additionally, studies done in lab and zoo environments that separated males from each other but allowed the females to go to each male individually whenever she felt like it during her estrus found radically different mate selection behavior than occurred in natural environments where the males have access to each other – either just to beat up on each other or to prevent the female from mating if another male approached. So … shockingly … female mate selection in the wild may not be a 100 percent accurate reflection of female preference for who to mate with absent threat of violence.

    And even more additionally, DNA studies on chimp troops (in which the males display a lot of dominance and will act out violently against the females to keep them in line) found that up to a third of the offspring in the troop were not fathered by the males in the troop that were displaying all this dominance and beating every one up. Researchers watching the troops had not observed the females sneaking off. They have no idea who these other males are and why or how they are fathering these offspring, but whoever he is, the male displaying the most dominance in the social group to which the female belongs is not actually as successful at passing on his genes as researchers had thought just by watching the troop.

    So … it’s complicated. Yes, violence certainly plays a role. Some women are attracted to men who display their dominance over other men. But it’s not nearly so simple as saying this is the only way mate selection works in nature or to say that the success of violence necessarily reflects female preference.

    Sure, science trumps ideology, but only if you’re not letting your ideology fuck up your science.

  38. 238
    chingona says:

    This bit from figleaf also is good on the subject.

    Also, what the fuck kind of strawfeminist says “it’s all the fault of males”? Twisty Faster herself, radical feminist extraordinaire, has a tag line called “Women hate you” for female enforcers of gender essentialism and other patriarchal crap.

  39. 239
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Chingona,

    I was trying to tie comments made by both Schala and Daran together. If we were talking about why men offer “Dinner Out”, I’d probably have touched on species where yummy bugs and other tasty morsels are offered to woe the female of the species.

    And while “30% of the chimp babies weren’t the big bad chimp bully’s”, that 70% WERE, speaks volumes. And I’m also not swayed by “but they’d do it differently if placed in carefully controlled (by humans) environments. We did not evolve in an environment which was carefully controlled by (modern) humans — we evolved on the savannas of Africa.

    As for Twisty Faster, yes — definitely.

  40. 240
    chingona says:

    And I’m also not swayed by “but they’d do it differently if placed in carefully controlled (by humans) environments. We did not evolve in an environment which was carefully controlled by (modern) humans — we evolved on the savannas of Africa.

    I’m not sure what you’re not being swayed of. The female baboons mated less with the bullies when the bullies couldn’t stop them from mating with the non-bullies. This actually happened. It’s not my opinion. It’s not what my feminism-adled brain would like to think a female baboon would do. It’s what the female baboons did.

    Your comment @234 spends considerable time trying to make a case that females choose violent males, that those are the males that females prefer, and that therefore we are hard-wired to choose those violent men. But you present no evidence of how you know what it is that female apes prefer. Your only evidence is that some primate species the violent (or simply stronger) males succeed in mating more often than the non-violent (or simply weaker) ones. You are taking that and saying that proves the females primates prefer the males that beat up other males. And I’m saying we have no idea what the female primates prefer because among many primates, if they were to try to mate with the loser from that fight, the stronger male would attack them. When researchers took a group of baboons who lived together (so the social order is already established) and created a situation where the female wouldn’t be attacked, the females mated with all the males at about equal frequency. If she was so “hard-wired” to want the biggest bad-ass, she would have stuck with the bad-ass.

    And while “30% of the chimp babies weren’t the big bad chimp bully’s”, that 70% WERE, speaks volumes.

    Certainly, displays of dominance play a significant role in mating success. I never suggested that they didn’t. And we are closely related to chimps. We’re just as closely related to bonobos, who have significantly different mate selection behaviors in which violence plays a much smaller role. Gorillas and orangutans and gibbons each have different mate selection behaviors. Baboons have different mate selection behaviors than the apes and from other monkeys. And even within species, mate selection behaviors vary from troop to troop.

    Yes, we evolved from chimps. Yes, we are animals. But we are not the same as chimps. If chimps and bonobos, who are as closely related to each other as to us, don’t have the same mate selection behaviors, why would “science” tell you that in a state of nature we’d have the same mate selection habits of chimps?

  41. 241
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    chingona @ 240:

    No, I said absolutely none of what you’re trying to pin on me, and I clarified my position in the prior post.

    At this point, I see no sense in having this conversation with you. I’ve not made any statement that would indicate you have a “feminism-adled” brain, and my experience is that when someone makes that kind of comment, they are usually asking their friends for a pile-on. Sorry — not interest.

  42. 242
    chingona says:

    Okay.

    I’ve re-read your comments, and I guess I still don’t know how else to interpret it, particularly this part:

    The male who defeats another male in some conflict very much is more attractive to females.

    But if I’m misreading you, I apologize. I’m not here to argue for its own sake.

    As for calling my friends for a pile-on, that wasn’t my intent. Furthermore, I haven’t really experienced Alas as a place where that happens or as a place where I have those kinds of friends. I was a little irritated with your response (that I presented a set of facts and you said you “weren’t swayed” without really addressing my point), but I wasn’t calling for reinforcements.

    It seems like people’s appetite to participate in this thread is pretty limited after 200+ comments. Mine, too, to be honest.

  43. 243
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    chingona @ 242:

    It really wasn’t intended to be a broad-scoped statement. It was just a “in this instance, here’s why I think that happens”.

    If this was about “The Dinner Date”, I’d have been arguing using animal species where bringing a tasty morsel to the female of ones desires is a common trait.

    Anyway, yeah, thread seems to have run out of steam.

  44. 244
    Daran says:

    As for calling my friends for a pile-on, that wasn�t my intent. Furthermore, I haven�t really experienced Alas as a place where that happens or as a place where I have those kinds of friends.

    I don’t know about “calling friends” for the purpose, but pile-ons have happened here. One lead directly to the creation of the blog that would eventually become Feminist Critics.

  45. 245
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Daran @ 244:

    I don’t know about “calling friends” for the purpose, but pile-ons have happened here. One lead directly to the creation of the blog that would eventually become Feminist Critics.

    I actually remember when Feminist Critics came about, and I even posted over there a couple of times.

    Feminist Critics seems to mostly be made up of MRAs and anti-feminists. What I’m talking about with pile-ons isn’t when someone has an obviously anti-feminist / anti-woman agenda, and then gets shown the door, but when someone doesn’t like a feminist argument and then asserts the other person is a big evil meanie and gets his or her posse’ to show up.

    There’s a huge difference between, say, the radical feminist versus liberal feminist versus third wave feminist versus iFeminist, etc. pile-ons that happen on Feminist blogs, and telling people who just aren’t feminists that they are just plain wrong.

    A lot of what I read on Feminist Critics sort of has the “What about us men?” theme. As in, this argument against feminism –

    The nub of this issue comes back to the schizophrenic nature of feminism’s rhetorical existence: 1) It’s a movement for gender equality. 2) It’s a women’s movement. These definitions can be simultaneously true only under one condition: namely, that today’s gender roles only (or, I suppose, overwhelmingly) disadvantage women and not men. Otherwise, a women’s movement will result in an inegalitarian society, as the penalties for being female are removed and the penalties for being male left in place.

    No, that’s not at all why the question of “feminist men” or “men’s feminist credentials” come into play. The question is much more about not allowing men to do what men generally wind up doing — pulling focus onto their own set of issues to the exclusion, or detriment, of other groups.

    The idea that only women are adversely affected by sexism is demonstrably false. As I and many others have shown, men are disadvantaged as well, and not merely in trivial or cosmetic ways. As someone who is not a traditionalist, but who is in favor of gender liberation for all — and who believes in the ‘radical’ proposition that women (and gays, and transfolk, and, well, men) are people — I’m a feminist. Period, full stop. My membership in ‘the club’ is not subject to some rhetorical strip search and cavity investigation by ‘gender security’ gynocentrists who claim authority to render me over to some blogospheric Guantanamo just because my attitude is deemed insufficiently deferential.

    But see, that’s the problem — it isn’t a question of being “insufficiently deferential”, it’s usually a question of being deferential AT ALL. As in “Wait — there are no men’s shelters! I want men’s shelters! Gimme my men’s shelters!” Not “Okay, what are the limitations? What needs to be done? How can =we= work this problem, without women getting the shaft?”

    Moving men from the center to the “sides” is not about “‘gender security’ gynocentrists” it’s about learning to approach problems without pushing and shoving back into the center, back into the spotlight, and back in charge.

    Allowing men into the “Feminist Inner Sanctum” is NOT NOT NOT permission for them to engage in more up-down posturing. And if you don’t understand that, you just don’t understand Feminism, and more than that — you don’t understand at all what Feminism can legitimately offer men. Like, not always having to have all the answers, not always having to fix the problems, not always having to be in charge, not being expected to fix every single last thing that’s broken. And getting away from that socialization will go a long way towards liberating men. Feminism is just not at all about letting men keep running the show.

  46. 246
    Daran says:

    PG @ #180:

    It seems like someone who genuinely considers gender enforcement to be the underlying evil would want to ally with feminists who think the same, rather than paint all feminists as un-empathetic and unhelpful to men�s equality.

    My full reply to the paragraph this was taken from is still pending, but I want to pick up on the “un-empathic” point. I think feminists are unempathic to many men, particularly victimised men. This includes male feminists who are unempathic towards other men.

    PG @ #225 (quoting me):

    However the implication of feminist refocusing the discussion onto men as perpetrators, coupled with a general claim that men are privileged (which, as I pointed out above is intended to include those victimised) carries the implication that men�s experiences of victimisation are not valid because the perpetrators are (claimed to be) males.

    (1) It�s your opinion that the statement �men are privileged� is intended to include victimized men. You�ve offered nothing except �I think I�m able to tell� as proof that this is actually what feminists mean by that statement. This discussion has made me deeply skeptical of your ability to read feminists� minds.

    I’ve already linked to my coblogger’s reply to this in which he quotes the following definition from a popular feminist blog:

    a set of privileges that are given to men as a class due to their institutional power in relation to women as a class. While every man experiences privilege differently due to his own individual position in the social hierarchy, every man, by virtue of being read as male by society, benefits from male privilege.

    There’s also this:

    Although not all men perpetuate sexism, virtually all men benefit from sexism. Virtually all men have in some way gotten gains that we donâ��t deserve, at the expense of women. And that means that even though weâ��re not to blame, all men have a special responsibility to support feminism and fight sexism – because we owe women for our unjust gains.

    The first of these makes an absolutely universal claim. The second admits just those infinitesimal exceptions that can exist outside the scope of “virtually all”. Neither exempts male victims from the claim, and I have never seen a feminist definition of privilege that did.

    Finally, pretty any male who engages with feminists from a critical point of view for any length of time will be told at some point to “check your privilege”. I have never seen any prior enquiries by the feminist into the man’s victim status.

    It is your claim that feminist don’t mean to include victimised men in their that lacks evidence. In general, I am unconvinced by defenses of feminism which posit that feminists don’t mean what they say.

    (2) That may be the implication you get, but it�s certainly not the implication I would get. Men�s experiences of victimization are just as valid as women�s experiences of victimization.

    An argument I have seen (and participated in) time and time again, goes like this:

    1. Feminist: Men are privileged.
    2. Objector: Men suffer disproportionately from XYZ, because of their gender.
    3. Feminist: It’s men who are doing the victimisation.

    XYZ may or may not be something the Objector has suffered personally.

    Point 2 is a rebuttal of point 1 – that men suffer more than women in certain ways does indeed tend to undermine the notion that men are generally privileged. Setting aside the question of whether Point 3 is actually true or not, it is on its face a non sequitur. Rhetorically, it appears to function as a rebuttal. Certainly, the Feminist never seems to be persuaded that the Objector has made a convincing argument.

    If it is not intended to be a rebuttal, then what is the point? How does it pertain to the argument at hand?

    If it is intended to be a rebuttal, then in what way does it rebut point 2? It seems to me that there’s an unstated premise here: that intra-gender victimisation is invalid. How else could this be a valid argument?

    Finally, even if you are right, and the Feminist does not intend to suggest that men’s experiences are invalid, that’s still what male victims hear. It’s a bit like responding to a female rape victim’s disclosure of that fact with a non sequitur about false accusations – the victim is likely to feel like her experience has been denied, disbelieved or invalidated even if her interlocutor didn’t intend to imply this. There’s a clear failure to empathise on both sides here. In particular, it illustrates the kind of empathy-failure I remarked on above.

  47. 247
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Daran @ 246:

    Point 2 is a rebuttal of point 1 – that men suffer more than women in certain ways does indeed tend to undermine the notion that men are generally privileged. Setting aside the question of whether Point 3 is actually true or not, it is on its face a non sequitur. Rhetorically, it appears to function as a rebuttal. Certainly, the Feminist never seems to be persuaded that the Objector has made a convincing argument.

    It’s not at all a non-sequitor.

    Many of the things that harm men are things that Feminists are trying to end because they also harm women. But women don’t have control over men. If every woman on the planet woke up tomorrow and decided not to batter a man, whatever men woke up that same day and decided to go out and assault some man is still going to be doing it. And there is absolutely nothing at all that Feminism can do about that.

  48. 248
    Daran says:

    Julie:

    I actually remember when Feminist Critics came about, and I even posted over there a couple of times.

    Yes. I remember.

    Feminist Critics seems to mostly be made up of MRAs and anti-feminists.

    Please distinguish between the bloggers, who are hand-picked, and the commentariat, who select themselves. None of the bloggers identify as MRA nor (I think. I’m not entirely sure about TS) do they identify as antifeminist. ballgame does identify as a feminist.

    What Iâ��m talking about with pile-ons isnâ��t when someone has an obviously anti-feminist / anti-woman agenda,…

    I object to any suggestion that I or any of my cobloggers are anti-woman.

    I don’t self-identify as antifeminist or MRA for three reasons: 1. I absolutely disown, disavow and disassociate from the execrably abusive behaviour of many of them, including, but not limited to, their misogyny. 2. I have serious disagreements with many orthodox antifeminist positions. 3. I agree with many feminist positions. I particular, I strongly support its purported core values. Indeed the gravamen of my criticism of feminism is that it fails so spectacularly to live up to them.

    A forth reason for objecting to the MRA tag is that my principle (online) activity is criticicing feminism, and not pursuing a positive agenda for men’s rights, which is what MRAs (ought to) do. Obviously I think pursuing such an agenda is a splendid thing to be doing, and that men deserve a lot better than the MRA movement as currently constituted. Equally obviously pursuing such an agenda is compatible and to an extent ancillary to Feminist Criticism (as is criticising MRAism/antifeminism) so these elements do appear in the posts and comments on FCB.

    But as far as my personal contribution is concerned, I’m good at systems analysis, not so good (pretty damn appalling in fact) at organisation and activism. So I play to my strength.

    The beneficiaries of my real-life activism, such as it is, are children and women much more than men, who are much harder to reach. That observation has lead me to the concept of “accessibility privilege” – those invisible systems which tend to connect certain groups of people-in-need to social services, while excluding others. This is a female privilege (consequently ignored and denied by feminists), but it also operates on other axes.

    I’m trying to keep my comments focussed on a single point, so I’ll stop here, and respond to your further remarks in a separate comment.

  49. 249
    ballgame says:

    But women don’t have control over men.

    *sigh*

    Men don’t have control over (other) men, either.

    (Strictly speaking, of course, these are simplifications. Women do have considerable influence on other women and men, and men have influence over other men and women. But in the ‘gender conflict’ sense in which JHC’s comment was written, my Xall-capsX rebuttal is equally valid.)

    [Lapse in decorum corrected.]

  50. 250
    Daran says:

    What I�m talking about with pile-ons isn�t when someone has an obviously anti-feminist / anti-woman agenda, and then gets shown the door, but when someone doesn�t like a feminist argument and then asserts the other person is a big evil meanie and gets his or her posse� to show up.

    While my position in the thread was that of a dissenter, it wasn’t my dissent to the substantive discussion which triggered the pile-on, but my objecting to a verbally abusive comment directed at a former commenter who wasn’t even a participant on the blog at the time. The posse show up, and the fact that I immediately got the hell out of the thread did not stop the torrent of nastiness.

    There�s a huge difference between, say, the radical feminist versus liberal feminist versus third wave feminist versus iFeminist, etc. pile-ons that happen on Feminist blogs, and telling people who just aren�t feminists that they are just plain wrong.

    Setting aside the begged question of who is just plain wrong and who isn’t, “telling someone they are just plain wrong” is not what happened to me in that thread.

    I totally get that this happens to feminist dissenters as well as objector to feminism. I reject the implication that what happens to objectors is somehow different, or that it’s more justifiable.

  51. 251
    Daran says:

    MEN DON�T HAVE CONTROL OVER (OTHER) MEN, EITHER.

    There’s no need to shout.

  52. 252
    ballgame says:

    JHC@245, since you quoted my post, I feel compelled to respond, although I have to say quite frankly that since I’m a feminist and not an MRA I’ve become less comfortable commenting on a post entitled “… MRA apologetics …”; it’s rather like being forced to walk next to someone wearing an “I’m With Stupid” t-shirt or something.

    Your comment seems to deftly summarize the gynocentric feminist position, which strikes me as being somewhat akin to, “My friends and I are FIRM believers in democracy … as long as we’re the only ones who get to count the votes.” (I’m using a bit of hyperbole for illustration.) Now, in some cases gynocentric feminists DO ‘count the votes’ fairly — fears about losing abortion rights always seemed pretty well-founded to me — but in other cases, not so much. Sometimes you end up with idiocies like (one of my personal faves) being labeled a rape apologist for defending the practice of serving wine with dinner. And in far too many cases the same shade of grey will be determined to be either “black” or “white” depending on whose ox is getting gored.

    Egalitarian feminism isn’t about shoving men’s issues out of the spotlight … it’s about being empathetic and respectful to both men’s and women’s issues, and not prejudging their validity based on the genitalia of the person affected. Contrary to what your comment implies, being female is no guarantee of empathetic objectivity, nor does having a penis make you a part of the The Ruling Gender.

  53. 253
    Daran says:

    It�s not at all a non-sequitor.

    ‘Tis so.

    Many of the things that harm men are things that Feminists are trying to end because they also harm women.

    That’s also a non sequitur. Neither the fact that feminists are (monolithically? ) trying to end some of the things which harm men, nor their alleged reason for so is in any way responsive to the point that those things operate to disprivilege men, and consequently undermine the notion of universal male privilege.

    I would like to end all of the things that harm women in particular (and not just because they harm men too), but my desire and limited activism has no bearing upon the fact that women are harmed and oppressed by these things.

  54. 254
    Daran says:

    All of my comments are being CAPTCHAed, and any attempt by me to edit them results in consignment to spam limbo. Could a mod please close the italics in the above just after non sequitur.

  55. 255
    Daran says:

    fears about losing abortion rights always seemed pretty well-founded to me

    In the US. In some countries abortion rights are entrenched. In others they are non-existent. In neither case is there a well-founded fear of losing them.

  56. 256
    Daran says:

    JHC@245, since you quoted my post, I feel compelled to respond, although I have to say quite frankly that since I�m a feminist and not an MRA I�ve become less comfortable commenting on a post entitled �� MRA apologetics ��; it�s rather like being forced to walk next to someone wearing an �I�m With Stupid� t-shirt or something.

    LOL. I think our participation here can be justified on the grounds that we have the MRA label pinnen on us, even though we do not choose to wear it.

    In other words, we really are positioned by feminists right next to “stupid”.

  57. 257
    Ampersand says:

    Daran, do you have any idea why your comments are turning apostrophes into ugly computer gibberish?

  58. 258
    Daran says:

    Daran, do you have any idea why your comments are turning apostrophes into ugly computer gibberish?

    Yes and no.

    No because only about 0.01% of people understand the mysteries of character encoding, and I’m not one of them.

    Yes, I do know about a big change in my setup that it certainly the proximate cause here. I’m using a temporary Linux installation while I search for the store receipt that will allow me to return a defective hard drive for a replacement, whereupon I will recreate my what I had before, which didn’t do this.

    I had, however, assumed that this was a rendering problem that only I could see, instead of a coding problem that affected others who read me. I’d noticed other people also garbling the apostrophes, for example Julie (#235). But those were my apostrophes. She quotes PG’s (#234) just fine.

    Clearly there’s a privilege system at work here.

  59. 259
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Amp,

    If this shows up with ugly blobs it’s your fault. If it doesn’t show up with ugly blobs, it’s Daran’s fault –

    ‟I hate computers!”

    (And I think that means Daran needs a new browser or something like that)

  60. 260
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Daran, ballpark,

    If I needed proof that y’all (and Feminist Critics in general) are MRAs, anti-Feminist AND anti-Women, you really couldn’t have made my job easier.

    And the post about why that chef should be considered a potential rapist — your failure to grasp why D) is the correct answer, but C) maybe if one is being charitable — shows me that in addition to being MRAs, Anti-Feminist and Anti-Women, you’re also just not Feminists.

    ballpark writes:

    JHC@245, since you quoted my post, I feel compelled to respond, although I have to say quite frankly that since I’m a feminist and not an MRA I’ve become less comfortable commenting on a post entitled “… MRA apologetics …”; it’s rather like being forced to walk next to someone wearing an “I’m With Stupid” t-shirt or something.

    You might want to avoid any possible confusion and just move on to the “I am Stupid” t-shirt. Since you missed why D) is the correct answer, you might trying “I’m with Stupid” and have the arrow pointing into your pants. Because missing C or D as the answer, means that the only head doing any thinking in your body, is the lower head. All the upper head is doing to trying to make excuses for the lower head’s earlier decision.

  61. 261
    Daran says:

    If this shows up with ugly blobs it’s your fault. If it doesn’t show up with ugly blobs, it’s Daran’s fault â��

    �I hate computers!�

    I’ve not seen it affect double quotes. Let’s see…

    In any case I’ve already acknowledged that it’s an issue with my computer set up. (Declaring it to be “Daran’s fault” seems unnecessarily personally judgemental.)

    (Incidentally, I just erased and retyped the apostrophes in Julie’s first sentence. Let’s see if that has any effect.)

    (And I think that means Daran needs a new browser or something like that)

    Or something like that.

  62. 262
    Daran says:

    Shorter Julie:

    “The correct answer is D because feminists say so, and if you don’t understand why, you’re stupid”.

    What a stunning example of feminist racionation!

  63. 263
    Schala says:

    I’m not at all for the pick-up no-strings-attached dating market thingy, never been either, though I can understand some people might like that (to have “some fun” without necessarily being in a long term relationship).

    My answer is E) None of the above.

    He’s a guy hoping to get lucky but not using coercion (unless you drug the wine with some powerful stuff that knocks her out, she’s still choosing to drink – and he’s also drunk).

    Some people (maybe even that guy) might need that to be less shy, speak more frankly or something. I know I talk a lot more, and without necessarily thinking it through 50 times before saying things, when I’m drunk.

    This guy could have used this “method” to get to know future relationship prospects as well, and I mean outside the bedroom of course. Getting wine over dinner at a restaurant that serves some seems pretty standard, not a crass act. And what to say of parties where booze flows and everyone’s very drunk? People going to parties aren’t all after cheap sex.

    In other words, making it all about sex and “scoring” might not be the best way to put it when alcohol inhibits a lot more than sexual apprehensions. It’s used in most social gatherings, where sex is not permitted or possible. It helps people be more social when used in moderation.

    Me and my boyfriend have taken to have chats in our weekends when we both drink rhum. We then speak more frankly and honestly. If something’s bothering him, he’s gonna tell me, and vice-versa, we get the bad stuff out there in plain sight and work on it that way.

  64. 264
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Schala @ 263:

    Please stay out of the booze and sex discussion. I promise I’ll call you a rape apologist if you don’t.

  65. 265
    Schala says:

    Call me a victim of consensual rape too, since I was drunk and gave a blow job to a guy more or less because I was drunk at the time (I was single, and it wasn’t my current bf). I agreed to it, do not regret it and there was no violence or coercion involved.

    Edit: Don’t mean to say it’s the same for everyone, just that alcohol = rape is a bit too simplistic.

  66. 266
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Daran @ 262:

    Shorter Julie:

    “The correct answer is D because feminists say so, and if you don’t understand why, you’re stupid”.

    What a stunning example of feminist racionation!

    The correct answer is “D” because the chef in question insured that the questions should be answered “D”. It has nothing to do with feminists saying so, and everything to do with the setup to the question and the logical outcome of that setup.

    Here’s the quote –

    “When I first started cooking, it was an easier way to get a girl to my house. Instead of taking them out to dinner I could get’em home. Food’s an aphrodisiac, then you pour a little wine on to that, then you move on to the next (pause) level. (smile)”

    1). What’s the purpose of cooking at home?

    “When I first started cooking, it was an easier way to get a girl to my house.”

    2). Is the intention to have sex with the woman?

    “Instead of taking them out to dinner I could get’em home. Food’s an aphrodisiac,”

    3). Is the intention to make the woman more willing by giving her something that will reduce her inhibitions?

    ” then you pour a little wine on to that, then you move on to the next (pause) level. (smile)”

    The man is a rapist and anyone who excuses his behavior is a rape apologist.

  67. 267
    Schala says:

    People reduce their own inhibitions willingly. Consuming alcohol is something the world over has done for I don’t know how long. Some people don’t and some people can’t due to medical issues.

    Your 2) is foggy to me. Inviting someone home is not inviting someone to have sex with me or me with them. Inviting someone home can have a myriad of reasons. I might invite my mom over for supper, and she doesn’t sexually interest me in the least. And yeah, we might have wine over supper.

    I already covered 3). People drink alcohol willingly, of their own accord, to inhibit social restraint and sometimes to have fun (in ways not tied at all to sex). If you drink way too much, you should refrain from that, and your body tells you so with a hang-over.

    The purpose of cooking at home is not necessarily the one he mentioned either. It costs much less and is usually more tasty than pre-made food. Since he assumes he’s going to foot the bill anyway if he goes to the restaurant, he makes it cheaper for himself, while allowing for more taste. You also have the advantage of heightened privacy.

    As long as there is no use of any method of coercion or force, I say there is no rape. Being threatened, blackmailed, physically forced or even injured (with implied threats of more to come – which is what violence usually does) are all valid reasons to call it rape though.

    I just don’t think being reasonably (capable of judging a situation) drunk (and awake of course) constitutes rape. This is especially true if both parties are drunk.

    To me, being offered a drink is like being offered a bungie cord. I can jump, or stay up there. It’s my choice. If it’s not my choice then something else (coercion, blackmail, physical force) was involved.

    I did stay a virgin for 26 years. My bungie cord, I didn’t jump til a few months ago. I stay sober most of the time as well. I’m certainly not an alcoholic. Before I met my boyfriend, I would drink 2 beers per year and maybe enough wine to get drunk at New Year’s. Now I drink more, but I also chose to, it was never forced on me. Drinking alone with no one else is also pretty boring. You get all talkative and no one to talk to.

  68. 268
    Daran says:

    Heâ��s a guy hoping to get lucky but not using coercion (unless you drug the wine with some powerful stuff that knocks her out, sheâ��s still choosing to drink – and heâ��s also drunk).

    I can think of three circumstances that would make it rape:

    1. If he spiked her food or drink with additional intoxicating substances, whether of a kind normally present (such as alcohol) or otherwise, and as a result she did consume more or other intoxicants without her knowledge to the point of affecting her judgment.

    2. If, in her intoxicated state, her ability to resist his sexual advances was impaired, and he took advantange of this to force himself upon her.

    3. If she was so intoxicated that she was unable to consent – that is to say, unable to form a mental state of willingness and to communicate the same, and he went ahead and had sex with her anyway.

    2. and 3. are rape according to the standard lack-of-consent criterion. In case 1 it is mind altering drugs which were administered without her knowledge or agreement, rendering any purported “consent” she might express not freely given.

    But there is nothing in the Chef’s description to suggest that he does any of these things.

  69. 269
    Daran says:

    Food�s an aphrodisiac,

    Yes. Food and alcohol are aphrodisiacs. So are candles, soft lighting, and romantic music. So are short skirts and low-cut necklines Is every woman a rapist, who exposes a little cleavage with the intention of enticing a man into having sex with her?

  70. 270
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Well, it’s an MRA threads, so I guess the MRAs and rape apologists are going to be here.

  71. 271
    Schala says:

    1) Men’s gender role pushes them to take initiative in pretty much everything related to approaching someone.
    2) Women’s gender role pushes them to not take initiative in pretty much everything related to approaching someone.

    That is, who makes the first move, tries for a first kiss and first asks for sex. For sure if that burden is imposed on them, they’ll find creative ways to “win” and/or to minimize their losses.

    That’s human nature, give them an exploit and the next day you’ll need to wipe the server. Everyone is tempted by an easy way if it’s consequence-free.

    Want people who try less “sneaky” ways to get something? Make it easier to do it in a straight-forward manner and with less losses.

    I know feminism tries to work against gender roles like that. Trying to pin the blame on the guy as if he willfully did this in a deceitful way and not constrained by circumstances practically forcing him to initiate contact for would-be relationships is a bit wrong-headed though.

    We’ll say a woman must have had mental issues, couldn’t have willfully murdered someone. We’ll say that it wasn’t her fault if she raped her student, he must have seduced her. Why are men not afforded corcumstantial clemence like women are? If you can ask yourself of a woman if she is really to blame because of the patriarchy, you can also ask yourself that of men living under that patriarchy, they’re not immune to its effects by any means.

    He definitely did it, he should not do it anymore, but it’s not entirely his fault either.

    I’m not saying his behavior is correct, I’m saying it’s understandable given circumstances. Much like a poor man in the street would find understanding (not necessarily empathy or clemence though) in why he would steal to feed himself and/or his family.

  72. 272
    Julie Herds Cats says:

    Schala,

    Not living in some kind of Feminist Utopia is not an excuse for rape because that Feminist Utopia isn’t going to exist until rape is abolished.

    Just call the guy a rapist, explain why what he did is wrong, explain that there are other ways to get laid, and move on.

    And yes, women who play hard-to-get do bear some of the burden. I know I’m going to be accused of blaming victims, but the system, on both sides, needs work. Women who play stupid “hard to get” games are stupid, they harm other women, and the guy is still a rapist.

  73. 273
    Ampersand says:

    1) I don’t think what the chef was describing, assuming his description is honest, gives us enough information to say categorically that it does or doesn’t describe rape, because the most important elements are left out of his description. I could imagine circumstances following the description he gives which would be rape, but I could also imagine circumstances following the description which would not be rape.

    As such, I wouldn’t accuse the chef of being a rapist, but in my heart, I’m don’t feel certain he’s not. So sue me.

    2) Regardless, however, I think the chef’s attitude, as expressed in the quoted comment, is complicit in rape culture. It treats women as the sex class, and men as the class which tries to get sex out of women. That attitude about sex roles, when it is shared by many people in a society, makes rape more likely.

    (I also think that discussing his comment along these lines would be far more productive that discussing if we think he’s a rapist or not.)

    3) I entirely disagree with Schala’s implication that because men live in a rape culture, men who rape are less blameworthy. The large majority of men in our culture never commit rape; those who do should be fully blamed for their own acts.

    4) This is a less important point, but I also think that Schala’s implication that feminists in general say that women can’t commit murder, or that a teacher who sleeps with an underage student can’t have committed rape, is untrue. “No woman can ever be blamed for any of her actions” isn’t what real feminists believe. It is, however, an attitude often falsely attributed to feminism by anti-feminists and their fellow-travelers.

    5) I also disagree that a man committing rape is in any way akin to a starving person stealing food to eat.

    6) I disagree with much of what Julie has said on this thread, most importantly the verging on blaming the victim in her most recent post. But I agree that Schala’s comments amount to rape apologetics.

    7) Schala, you may consider yourself banned from further commenting on “Alas.” Please do not attempt to post comments here again.

    8) This thread is now closed.