Saturday, November 04, 2006

Oh, yay! New toy!!

Via Bitch Lab, a shiny bouncy crumply thing dangling just so at the end of the string, just -asking- for it: some terribly earnest dude Explains It All For You. Feminism, that is.

Disaffection with the male sex is distributed along a continuum that we will call the misandric axis. This axis ranges all the way from white-hot animosity at one end, to mild dissatisfaction (barely worth a mention ) at the other. Between the two lies every shade you can imagine. The Misandric Axis should not be visualized as a line; the term “axis” is conceptual only, meant to suggest a transitional spectrum.

Misandric axis refers strictly to disaffection with men, of whatever degree. That and nothing else. It has no reference to any other phenomenon that might be arrayed on a continuum.

In our present system, we make concession to the popular understanding of “radical”. When most people say “radical feminist”, they are talking about a hateful, extreme person who is “way out there”. We shall adopt the identical meaning in our own analysis, even though feminists themselves adhere to a different usage.

However, while sanctioning the common manner of speech, we also employ the etymological sense of “radical” as denoting root - in this case, the root of feminism itself. The exoteric meaning of “radical” just happens to coincide with the esoteric truth about feminism, and we shall make use of this happy conjunction.

Radical feminism, then, means exactly the same as thing “man-hating feminism”. Man-hating is the quintessential core, or root, of feminism. A radical feminist, being “of the root”, is ipso facto a man-hating feminist. And the more man-hating she is, the more radical she is...

(more ganked at BL's).

Etymology! Ipso facto! He's usin' Latin! Dude, he -must- be serious.

no, wait, though, actually, "radical" derives from "radish," which he doesn't mention; this is why so many feminists are vegetarians. I can't believe he doesn't know this. I question his methodology. I suspect, in fact, that he may not be who he says he is. In fact...

Ann Bartow, is that you?! I KNEW it!!!...

Seriously (folks), this reminds me: you know, I never really did tackle the curious phenomenon of MRA's (Mens' Rights Activist, not Meals Ready to, Assmunch? no, that's MRE. and MRI is the head-scan thing. never mind) much, did I? Maybe a little, obliquely, but not a lot, and not for a long while. You'd think I would, wouldn't you? i mean, at least as much as the wackier feminists out there i love to hate on, i mean if i -really- cared about Women, right? (hey, maybe i -am- one of Them after all!) But I don't. Usually.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Mostly it has to do with, unlike (with) the feminists in question, i just never figured i had anything remotely in common with these d00dz in the first place. Therefore, fascinating in an anthropological and repellent sort of way, sometimes, but doesn't really get me -angry- per se so much. Or, well, most of the time--obviously if someone's being directly hurtful and i happen to be reading it it's another story. viz: mullet-boy the horrible transphobe who was being talked about at feministe a while back. and of course, occasionally people whom i -do- actually read unearth and put before us a piece of steaming garbage about how I don't know the Duke lacrosse team victim (yeah, i haven't been writing on that much lately either: reason: it's too fucking depressing) basically abjured all her rights and humanity when she decided to become a stripper (supposedly it was because she wanted herself and her kid to, like, eat, but -we know better, don't we-), and REVERSE RACISM, and those poor persecuted Bret Easton Ellis-worshipping, Glen Ridge-esque, entitlement monsters who might actually have to break out in a cold sweat a few times as they wait for the whole thing to be dismissed without a backward glance, -and- of course the lacrosse season went all to hell, and so on, ad nauseum (literally)...yeah, okay. The ones who think there's no such thing as "date rape," maybe even rape, period, not really; the ones who think men are the biggest victims out there; the ones who think all American women are castrating bitches and delicate little Oriental flowers are so much better for -real- men, really; the ones who think child custody is all about their rights as a Father and their need to defend themselves against the ev0l women who only want to bleed them dry...Those people. Those men. Yeah, they're out there, and they suck.

but i can't make a steady diet out of seeking out and reading -those- people without, like, wanting to go all Hothead Paisan or Sylvia Plath; and frankly, neither one is so hot for my health, you know.

But mostly, though, it'll be more like, I'll wander over to Hugo Schwyzer, and he'll be trying to seriously engage these angry dudes, and simultaneously trying to placate the angry women who just want to get over there and smack the hell out of them; or I'll go over to The Countess or Red State Feminist and they'll have whacked a nest of 'em at Stand Your Ground or something, and they'll be going all Thunderdome, and i'll just be like...*blink* *blink* *blink.* I mean, I just want to poke them with a stick or something. I dungeddit. Maybe I should.

but so like THIS* guy particularly is entertaining me because, unlike the majority of the rootin'-tootin' MRA types (that i know of, at least; admittedly, as i've said, not my field of expertise), he seems to be openly advocating the mirror-image of the "political lesbian"-separatist solution:

Once more, men must play hard to get. They must learn to exercise the very same option which has historically been the province of women, namely, the power to say NO.

Saying no lies coiled at the very heart of playing hard to get. Saying no signifies a withdrawal which generates a vacuum along its line of retreat, and this vacuum by its draft draws the other into a pursuit by default. To pursue rather than invite pursuit assigns (again by default) a superior bargaining power to the pursued. Every little no constitutes a little victory; a bigger no constitutes a bigger victory. Every such victory augments bargaining power, both individually and collectively, and this elevates value. By playing hard to get, you create scarcity, which drives the price up. Gold is scarce, therefore it is valuable. If they seek gold -- in other words, if they seek what is genuinely valuable -- they may dig for it. Or in the vernacular, they may learn to "dig" it. Remember, you are the standard-bearer of value. You are the alchemist who decides what "gold" really means, so make your transvaluations wisely....

I shall clarify once more what I made clear above, since it can hardly be clarified too much: Sexual activity, in hetero-normative male society, would become purely optional. Celibacy, virginity, or relative inactivity of any degree, would constitute no bar to full acceptance in male society.

That's right, my brothers: in this brave new world, the Pope might actually finally get some power. Sounds crazy, but -it just might work.-

No, no, he's right, he's right. Ask the experts:

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Uh, Jack, Jack, listen, tell me, tell me, Jack. When did you first... become... well, develop this theory?
General Jack D. Ripper: Well, I, uh... I... I... first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
General Jack D. Ripper: Yes, a uh, a profound sense of fatigue... a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I... I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
General Jack D. Ripper: I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women uh... women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I, uh... I do not avoid women, Mandrake.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No.
General Jack D. Ripper: But I... I do deny them my essence.

(ed.--yes, that last bit is from Dr. Strangelove)

of course, unlike the political lesbians, this dude (that i am seeing at the moment, at least, in a quick skim) does not suggest that (uh-oh) sex with -each other- might be another (entirely optional, of course) solution to the eternal gender war. You'd think he would; after all, men get the URGE. but you know: brotherly bonding in this culture is much more vulnerable to the dangers of homoeroticism (which is as we know FEMINIZING) than is the sisterly equivalent.

well, thank god for radical solutions, eh? Now all we have to do is put this guy and Sheila Jeffreys and a bunch of the loopier folks from the Margins and Genderberg and Stand Your Ground on a Very Special edition of "Survivor." between the feminist intranecine battles and the mens' homophoic paranoia -and- of course the Hatfield/McCoy thing, i figure give 'em a week, tops.

and any survivors we can safely leave to their own devices, with each other, even; because lord knows the -last- thing they'd do is -breed.- Right? I mean, there's no erotic charge to this eternal hatefest, of course. Nonono.

*link is here; cut -n- paste. Be vewy, vewy quiet. Heheheheheheh.


Sara E Anderson said...

This is almost as good as that dude who said the way for men to assert their dominion over women was to get women off. Don't throw me in that briar patch!

belledame222 said...

haw! missed that one; where -is- Dr. Smoov? i am all eager to hear his sage sex-u-ell advice. well, kindasorta.

ballgame said...

Ahh, belledame222, I'm sorry to see you post this, because you are perpetuating the popular feminist meme whereby the label "MRA" becomes functionally equivalent to accusations of being a "Communist." It is the ultimate ad hominem smear which permits the accuser to dismiss anything the accused says, no matter how cogent, and regardless of whether the accused is, indeed, a member of the MRA squad.

That there are some hateful and bigoted folk marching under the MRA banner is undeniable, but I think the same can be said for some people gathered under the feminist umbrella as well. (If someone wants to assert that there's a higher percentage of such folks in the MRA camp, well, I won't argue with them because I simply don't know and don't move in those circles.)

The fact is, I think mulletboy (assuming this is who I think it is) and g*n*r both hold some pretty appalling views, but there have been times when each has said things that are cogent and on point. I also don't think it's fair to use either person as a totemic representative of the group to which they avowedly belong.

What I DO know is that not ALL MRA — and certainly not all people labeled "MRA" — are "freaks".

SOME folks who are genuinely interested in gender egalitarianism are not universally embraced by feminist blogs because they have the temerity to raise legitimate criticisms of the simplistic, team-based conception of "patriarchy" that is so popular in this realm. Sometimes they even talk about the Privilege That Dare Not Speak Its Name. And I think the MRA label is invoked to denigrate such people and ward off the need to deal with complicated, uncomfortable thoughts that don't neatly fit into the conventional wisdom some feminist bloggers hold dear.

belledame222 said...

You know, I'm sure you're right wrt yeah, no doubt some people under the banner are decent human and capable of reasonable, and so forth.

otoh g-m-r is not just a feminist but a particular subgenre of feminist; and i've been known to do my share of bashing at them as well. as with the MRA's, perhaps? that branch of feminism, while it does have sane lovely people under it, and yes i've been a bit more careful about sweeping statements since; yah, i think it's fair to say that it, too, has more than its share of...well, dogmatists at best, hateful crazy people at worst.

I've never flung the label "MRA" at anyone who didn't directly claim it himself; and I did actually think that some of the dudes who get/got regularly complained about on certain boards (who may or may not actually be MRA folk; in a couple of cases i am pretty sure that they are not) are more reasonable and lucid than say g-m-r. certainly i've not been impressed with the people who screamed at Hugo and especially Amp to do this that and the other thing to make it a "safe space" for them; it wasn't their space to begin with, and frankly as far as i'm concerned they themselves made the place pretty damn not-safe feeling also.

that said, the mullet guy in question, if it -is- the same one--I'm sorry, but he was not only being appallingly bigoted but actually saying violence against TG folk was pretty much A-OK. which makes hom decidedly -not- A-OK in my book, no matter how personable he's capable of being in other circumstances.

believe me, g-m-r on my permanent "do not engage" list as well, but at least i'm fairly certain i've never heard her make any remark like -that.- Batshit insane, bigoted in her own ways, and verbally abusive, yes; actually giving the nod to tranny-bashing (or anyone-bashing), no.

I don't doubt that the MRA and maybe even FRA movements fill real needs for some men that wouldn't otherwise be filled. What I've seen of these groups suggests strongly to me that 1) yes, there really is a need for a men's movement 2) this one(s) feels way too toxic, because way too invested in upholding traditional gender roles and privileges.

i will look again and reconsider my wording for the sentence you're finding problematic. it's just possible i might be alienating someone who might otherwise be worth reaching, i expect. i...well, yeh, i won't say any more about my impressions thus far.

whether i decide to change it or not, though, my bottom line, however, still stands: -this- guy is freaking hilarious.

belledame222 said...

okay, changed the word; meen or otherwise, it probably isn't entirely -accurate- for my actual impressions.

as for any serious reconsideration of the guys waving that banner, though; y'know, -maybe- one day i'll try popping back in at Hugo's or something. on the whole, though, based on everything i've seen thus far? i gotta say, not really feelin' it.

you know what would really interest me (and there are some men actually making moves toward this): a mens' movement that seriously reconsidered the problems with the male role for -their own- sake; embraced gay men as well as straight men and did active outreach and bridge-building (homophobia is really huge, i think, actually); actually went out and created services for abused men.

belledame222 said...

a couple of books that i've liked: "Male Myths and Models" and "Masculinity in Crisis" by Roger Horrocks. or Susan Faludi's "Stiffed." I'd rather see guys engaging with that kind of stuff, not so much the Warren Farrell, you know. otoh i don't think it's really any better to go all John Stoltenberg either, it's true. even Robert Bly'd be an improvement over either of the latter two as far as i'm concerned; at least drumming in the woods is more constructive than the constant -whining- and/or ragefests. as far as i'm concerned a good old fashioned circle-jerk, i mean the -straightforward- kind, could be a lot healthier than some of the more contorted versions i've been seeing...

ultimately it ain't up to me, though, so...

Taihae said...

I get this hilarious mental image of this pale, trembling guy, rubbing his hands together and muttering about women being out to drain his "essence"...

Elizabeth McClung said...

What is strange is, didn't I see that last conversation in Dr. Strangelove? Or was that another way to lose male "vital essense" - as for that - preach on dude! The more men buy into that the less sleazoids annoying me, I presume.

The essential difficulty I have the with the MRA, Hugo, etc is that Women's rights and movements first have to break out of the shackles and restrictions imposed (by men) before finding the diversity of being female before trying to get society to accept that - men's movements are trying to.....break out the molds and shackles men.

I just have a hard time comparing recent legal decisions like forcing women to wear certain levels of jewelry, cosmetics, etc as decided by male management to present a "proper feminine image" in order to keep a 20 year job to.....what? Having people not appreciate your full intellect and potential if you deviate from male norms (so the thing males are opposing is when other males treat them with as little respect as women?)?

Honestly, I would be interested in examples of "imposed masculinity" in the same way women are "required" to wear skirts, or special little hats (think WPC), etc in order to be employed.

belledame222 said...

oh, that IS Dr. Strangelove--forgot to attribute, duh.

Alon Levy said...

However, while sanctioning the common manner of speech, we also employ the etymological sense of “radical” as denoting root - in this case, the root of feminism itself.

I bet this person is also a Randroid. That would explain the obsession with etymologies that twist words into shapes that will baffle even the topologists at my department.

I just have a hard time comparing recent legal decisions like forcing women to wear certain levels of jewelry, cosmetics, etc as decided by male management to present a "proper feminine image" in order to keep a 20 year job to.....what? Having people not appreciate your full intellect and potential if you deviate from male norms (so the thing males are opposing is when other males treat them with as little respect as women?)?

My own take here is that there really is no comparison. As Ampersand noted, "Men are harmed by the patriarchy; women are oppressed by it."

Culturally, misandry is almost as strong as misogyny. But socially and economically, the wage gap and employment gap and dominant view of parenthood work against women. MRAs don't accept this; this is why I'm not a men's rights activist.

I also happen to think that injustices that specifically affect men can and should be fought either as part of an existing movement (e.g. the "don't act gay" imposition) or as part of no overarching movement (e.g. circumcision, funding of prostate cancer research). At least here there's a self-evident reason why the left's rush to create a social movement for everything is misguided here.

belledame222 said...

here's a site which looks more promising:

and here's one that really kind of doesn't.

Tom Nolan said...

That bit about playing hard to get - it appears to be "The Rules" for men.

R. Mildred said...

That there are some hateful and bigoted folk

Well yes, but they're the people leading the movements, and leading the movements so that they can fuck with the court system - not to actually change it so that it's fairer mind you, but to change it so that primary care givers have even less rights becuase sexually confused middle aged misogynists need to get some petty revenge on their wives for daring to complain about being beaten.

And that's the ones who aren't forever dressing up as All Star Pederastman And The Conspicuously Absent Boy Lover and scaling large phallic buildings.

If the MRAs don't want to be godwinised they need to actually kick the fucking crazy nutcases out of their movements.

Chuckie K said...

I really like, "a withdrawal which generates a vacuum along its line of retreat, and this vacuum by its draft draws the other into a pursuit by default." An entire order of magnitude beyond General Ripper. (Aside: You said 'Feed me,' Jack, and I fed you.)When he denies them his essence, they beg him for it. By default! I wish he had cited some case-history here. "She wants me. I can tell by the way she's not looking at me."

hedonistic pleasureseeker said...

I think this guy posted on my Man Laws thread last spring. Something about the tyranny of equality. Meh?

JackGoff said...

First off, what RM said.

Second, ballgame, if you want to complain about the label "MRA" and the stigma attached to it, please tell me what happens at MRA websites when someone mentions the word "feminist". What does that do for the majority of MRA followers? Look to your own first, mon frère.

Every little no constitutes a little victory; a bigger no constitutes a bigger victory.

Um, okay. This guy thinks he's the male Lysistrata apparently...heh

JackGoff said... did that happen?

belledame222 said...

I mean, they're not talking about a mens' -movement;- that, okay, i see the need for; but no; they're saying mens' -rights.-

which well, for the most part -at best- i tend to lump together with the white folks who are convinced affirmative action has made them the most discriminated-aginst people in the room.

Alon Levy said...

Again, two different things here. One is a sexist backlash against feminism. The other is a mostly cultural way of redefining masculinity à la Hugo and to some extent Ampersand. The racial equivalent of that isn't whining that affirmative action discriminates against white people but the discussions on Unfogged about white identities.

prosphoros said...

Wtf? I mean, seriously, wtf? How do people get this myopic to power dynamics? I mean, it's not like you have to read dense French theory to be able to take a look at yourself and your environment, and yet... so many people walk through life as a member of the majority (power and/or numbers) and still cloak themselves in the mantle of the oppressed and put upon. It alternately blows my mind and makes me want to throw up.

FoolishOwl said...

I'd have to oppose a "men's movement" as such.

That is, I always say that sexism harms both women and men, and is best opposed by women and men together, but it harms women much more than men, and that it harms women much more should be abundantly clear to anyone who takes sexism at all seriously.

So, I may be able to see the use of groups of men speaking to each other about how sexism harms them as men. But I can't see how any good would come of this by addressing that problem as a movement separate from that of how sexism harms women. And my experience has been that even such discussions between men that I've been part of usually also had women women present, or immediately followed a discussion of the struggle against women's oppression, and in any case had as a precondition for the conversation an acknowledgement of the difficulties women face.

As for "men's rights advocates," my every encounter with such people has reinforced my sense that it is a movement closely modeled on fascism, if not actually fascist.To begin with, their fundamental political point is that men are systematically oppressed by women, which is absurd. They're arguing *specifically* against the all-too-few gains of the women's rights movements on the grounds that women have too much power, and that men should organize to destroy those gains.

MRAs make political arguments much like the ones raised by white supremacists: they start with "reasonable" criticisms about family courts, etc. But that functions as cover, and as soon as they believe they've got a foothold, out comes the blatant hatred of women. It's much the way white supremacists start in with "illegal immigration," before proceeding to insist on white racial purity, or Nazis with questioning the number of people who died in the Holocaust.

In any case, the key thing about MRAs is they're clearly in favor of oppressing women, and that is unconscionable.

ballgame said...

(This comment cross-posts a bit with what prospheros and foolishowl just wrote … it took me a little while to write. Heh.)

OK, I'm going to have take this one at a time, because I really don't have time to roll this into one overarching analysis, and my little 'soundbite' responses here are probably not going to be as compelling as I'd like, but, in no particular order:

belledame: yes, I totally agree with you about mulletboy, and what he said was definitely beyond the pale, but (and this might be a bad thing under the circumstances) he's not stupid and he has on occasions said some pretty cogent things. Your 'don't engage' response is probably wise, and yes, I have great respect for your not being shy about 'calling 'em like you see 'em' regardless of which side of the fence they fall on (which is frankly why I responded with my 'et tu, belledame?' in the first place).

What I DON'T know is to what extent mulletboy represents the MRA contingent, and to what extent he and his ilk are actually just a vocal and disturbing minority of it. What I HAVE experienced, though, is that there is a very significant part of blogFeminism that is all to ready and eager to drop the MRA bomb on anyone who raises objections to 'party line', no matter how reasonable, respectful, or insightful said objection might be.

Which brings me to…

JackGoff: I am detecting a certain level of, uh, animosity in your comment. What, exactly, is making you angry at me? I don't know what happens to people who use the word "feminist" at "MRA blogs" because I don't visit those blogs (for the most part, with a recent exception). In general, this whole identity/team concept thing? Not a fan. I do not self-identify as an MRA. They are not "my own", and I would appreciate your not implying that they are. I've been a feminist (in the original 'feminism is about equality between the sexes' sense) since I was a young man, and it's only lately since getting into blogville that I've discovered the prevalence of what I think of as 'women's perspectives only feminism' which has compelled me to refine my definition to 'gender egalitarian feminism', a label I still happily embrace.

It's not because I have anything against criticisms of WPO feminist points themselves. I thought Francis Baumli from way back when was genuinely humane, and his book, Men Freeing Men contained some pretty valid insights about how male gender expectations were oppressive and that feminists tended to ignore or belittle these concerns and tended to opt for a rather one-sided evaluation of gender issues. I even briefly subscribed to his organization's newsletter. I stopped, though, when 'criticism of feminist analysis' evolved into 'criticism of feminism' and then 'criticism of progressivism and the oppressive nature of the Swedish welfare state' — we should be so lucky to have to endure such 'oppression'! When not-always-unreasonable male venting of anger against women started sliding towards excusing violence against women, I was out of there, even though there were still humane voices who were part of the publication.

Perhaps these early toxic trends I noticed were the leading edge of something which has since taken over, uh, blogMasculinism. Perhaps some very shrewd rightwingers have picked up on a vulnerable market to turn them against the left. Perhaps that, is, indeed, what most of the MRA is about today (I'm not sure that it is) and that is what has some of blogFeminism so on-guard and ready to swarm and gang-tackle anyone who is Suspected of Said Affiliation. That would be sad, because ultimately I think feminism is much stronger when it's rational, insightful, humane, and tolerant. I think shouting down people who have valid points could easily drive them into the other camp.

Alon: Men are harmed by the patriarchy; women are oppressed by it is a wonderful soundbite. It is also ambiguous and not falsifiable and sheds little light on the exact nature of each gender's privileges and penalties. These privileges and penalties are highly asymmetrical and therefore not easily weighed against each other.

You may say men need no group movement, but I have to tell you that when you're in the middle of being shouted down on some point you know is valid, I can well understand why someone would want to feel a part of a group that is 'on his side'. (BTW, that experience has made me much more sympathetic to the idea of 'women-only' spaces and POC spaces than I had been. On some level, though, I think I agree with you, as per my not being a big fan of the whole identity/team concept thing.) There are some wonderful feminist bloggers with whom I disagree but who are nonetheless extremely fair and openminded about dealing with analysis contrary to their own. There are some others with whom I probably agree on 80%-90% of the non-gender political stuff (and hell, probably more than half of the gender political stuff in terms of policy), but who are not so happy to entertain analytical contradiction.

Which brings me to…

R. Mildred: If the MRAs don't want to be godwinised they need to actually kick the fucking crazy nutcases out of their movements. But what, exactly, constitutes an "MRA"? Certain feminists seem all too happy to accord membership in this special group to folks whether such membership is desired or not. One would wish they would cease to be so generous. (Also, you'll have to excuse me if I am reluctant to subscribe to your wholesale categorization who is doing what and why in the legal system strictly based on your say-so. The latest legal analysis that I saw produced ambiguous results at to whether the assertion that courts are tilted against fathers and towards mothers is true, and I certainly think there are individual cases where men have gotten screwed over.)


OK, so those are my 'soundbite' responses. belledame, just be thankful I wasn't feeling long-winded!

Renegade Evolution said...

the mind boggles...

FoolishOwl said...


For the record, I have, from time to time, criticised the concept of "patriarchy" on feminist blogs, and generally I'm not accused of being an MRA for doing so.

I cannot treat MRAs as innocent, however. There are organized groups of MRAs, and their hatred of women is quite close to the surface, and easily recognized. Likewise, they're easily recognized when their comments show up on a feminist blog, because their arguments are nearly always identical. Honest disagreement is quickly sorted out, and MRAs are not honestly disagreeing.

Also, while I'm not happy with Alon Levy's formulation, I don't see how it's not being falsifiable makes it unacceptable. Karl Popper's accounts of science don't hold water with me.

JackGoff said...

I am detecting a certain level of, uh, animosity in your comment.

That would be because I am very well acquainted with numerous MRA blogs. I even get trolls from them. The majority of these people think "mangina" is the equivalent of a substantial argument.

JackGoff said...

feminists tended to ignore or belittle these concerns and tended to opt for a rather one-sided evaluation of gender issues.

In my experience, this has never occurred to me. I routinely hear feminist talk about the need for a men's movement centered around destroying the masculine stereotypes. In fact, I've written a couple of posts about it. They aren't really worth reading, but they do stem from feminist blogs I read and what they have been calling for in the way of a men's movement.

I want the destruction of the "male" = "not female" idea. MRAs (I am not saying you are one of them) do not agree with me, from what I have been able to see.

belledame222 said...

ballgame: google "Stand Your Ground." that's one hangout. this dude i just linked to may or may not be representative; he has links to some of the guys i think Jack tangles with.

FO: i guess my idea of a mens' movement would be one that dovetails with the varying, movements...consciousness raising? general. i don't see it as about legal rights. but i think real, serious critical assessment about the ways in which the traditional male gender role affects -men- is needed; and while related to feminism, i think ultimately it kind of has to be something the guys do on their own time. i also think that integrating straight and -gay- men is crucial, for a number of reasons; i really think that a lot of straight men do not tweak just how much homophobia acts as an enforcer for them; it's a stick to keep 'em in line roughly equivalent to the way the "slut" or "fallen woman" is used to keep women in line. and of course, in both cases, some people get to be the desginated role all the time, so that the "proper" people of their respective genders can exist...

belledame222 said...

to be fair, i do kind of see what ballgame is talking about in certain quarters. it is true that "What About The Menz?" has become a standing joke, because so many feminists experience this as a troll or derailment. and often it is; but -sometimes,- i will say this, i think it's just possible that the constant talk about abuse, rape, etc. as though it were all fitting into one particular paradigm...

well. i know from my end i've found it alienating because heteronormative. and yes, i think there is a problem in that straight men--hell, all men, but gay men, while doubly marginalized in their own right, have developed their own resources/community to a certain extent--but, they're not supposed to be vulnerable at all, is the thing. so they do deal i think with their own problems if they've been abused as children, have been sexually assaulted or otherwise attacked (as adults), have been abused in domestic -is- true to a certain extent, i think: mainstream society on the whole says that this doesn't happen, or if it does, it's not really worth taking seriously; if the guy's REALLY hurt (as opposed to mad-as-hell-and-not-gonna-take-it-any-more, which is how the MRA's that i've seen usually come off), he's, well, weak; something's wrong with him; "whipped," whatever.

so then i think -maybe- some of the potentially less assholian guys might come hanging around the feminist communities because they're having their own vague rumblings of consciousness, something's not right with this picture; and here are some people who are -kind of sort of- talking about stuff that resonates; but if they do try to bring it back to themselves in that context, well, as you say: kneejerk reaction is often ridicule, because the guy is assumed (again, not without reason) to be not in good faith, to be trolling or at least invading on a womens' space to, once again, make it all about HIM.

in other words, as with a lot of the radical feminists, i do actually think that a lot of guys probably come to such movements because they're struggling to make sense of (actual) abuse.

but the problem with the MRA types is that ime they're rabidly homophobic as well as misogynistic and stuffed to the gills with macho defensiveness. from cultural shit already floating around, from their own socialization (which there really isn't a terrific tool for deconstructing, unless they use the various feminist paradigms, which may or may not resonate--and frankly i gotta say that the male radical feminists i've encountered squick me out as much as some of the MRA's, if not more so, in a couple of cases).

i dunno how one gets around it. i mean, i am here just talking about the ones who are approachable at all; i do see some people who just seem, well, how to put it: unevolved to the point of actual fossilization? but i mean, it is true, going to a room full of angry women who are just feeling like they're starting to find their voice after having had to cater to men for yonks: probably not gonna work out so well, no.

but if the only alternative is people like the Fathers' Rights gurus; if it becomes about not so much addressing real hurts and genuine consciousness raising but some sort of nasty "Falling Down" taking-back-what's-rightfully-mine crap, which frankly it does look like an awful lot of the time...well, yeah, that's not so hot either, is it.

belledame222 said...

or, here, look, here's some d00d who's an MRA Revolutionary! with loads o'links to similar pals. let us know what you find.

ballgame said...

belledame, I think your 11:09 comment nails it.

belledame222 said...

okay, i'm now glancing at your Toy Soldiers guy. very -very- quick impression: yes, he's talking about abuse; he's got links to a few sites that sound like i might want to check them out; he also links to mulletboy and Dr. Helen and (agh) Men's News Daily. right away, not loving the odds; but i will give it a closer look when i'm less tired, i guess.

FoolishOwl said...

Part of what I've got in mind was how I heard the struggle against the British National Party in the 80s described. That is, there was a nasty recession, lots of (white) workers were unemployed, and the BNP offered an outlet for their anger, by explaining that their troubles were the fault of non-whites.

What was necessary in the circumstances was both to directly confront the BNP and its racism, isolating the diehard racists and fascists, and to offer a genuine explanation of the difficulties workers faced and why solidarity between all workers was a better way to organize struggle, appealing to the workers on the margins.

I think that something similar would be necessary when dealing with MRAs -- not that they are (yet) a problem the way the BNP was in the UK a few years ago.

While I haven't been painted as an MRA, I have been bashed by sectarian radical feminist separatists, but they don't trouble me the way that MRAs do.

belledame222 said...

I think that's spot on. tbh, i've thought that of the fringier radical feminists as well: try to address the genuine needs, keep individually talking to people who demonstrate humanity, only write off the people who are clearly diehard ideologues and/or consistently crazy-mean. and from the latter, don't take any crap. which is where i think a lot of the come-let-us-reason-together people fall down, sometimes. it makes sense to -start- conversations as though everyone is acting in good faith, i think; but if someone in particular demonstrates again and again and again that they can't or won't get it, consistently cause disruption, leave wakes of bad feelings and chaos wherever they go, then, well...

belledame222 said...

>While I haven't been painted as an MRA, I have been bashed by sectarian radical feminist separatists, but they don't trouble me the way that MRAs do.>

Is that mostly because the MRA's are representing more "real-world" power (if not personally, then structurally)? Or do you think maybe it's also because you're a guy and feel it more personally, somehow? because that's definitely how i feel wrt the crazy sectarian feminists. like i say: the MRA's just seem like total aliens to me. it's somehow more upsetting when people that i -thought- i'd be on the same page with, maybe even was up to a point (rape and domestic violence, sure; pro-choice, you got it; this administration sucks, well, no shit; "sexbot/pr0nstitution/examine your choices to wear lipstick and shave or snipe snipe snipe, scree, wait a second...)

and in the latter case, again, it's not even the ideology so much (well, up to a point; obviously ideology's driving it, but), it's the -way- people go about it. I mean, i stuck around Twisty's for months, even after i noticed that, you know, there are times when i feel like i don't speak this crazy moon language...ultimately it boiled down to, say! these people are being -real- assholes! buh-bye.

R. Mildred said...

But what, exactly, constitutes an "MRA"?

Well every whiney guy who isn't actively part of an organised FRA group is basically just a "Nice Guy(tm)", and nice guys are just obnoxious, easily slappable and defined by their behavior.

the FRA associated MRAs are however found within organised groups (F4J for instance), which as foolishowl says are facist in nature, both organisationally and methodology wise, and if their cause is to be taken seriously they need to get rid of the crazies who run the groups as small heteronormative misogyny (which is to say, their homophobia is misogynistic and their misogyny is often homophobic, so they have the twin fun of being "men are icky gross" all the time while at the same time being "women are icky gross" - which is problematic because 99% of all FRA's memberships just need a good fuck up the ass basically) mills.

Or bascially FRA orgs need to become feminist.

unevolved to the point of actual fossilization?

Well it's like with some of the childless groups' obsession with the great evils of breeders - you just wnat to take them by the shoulders and shake them while screaming "JUST STICK SOME PLUGS IN YOUR TUBES AND HAVE SOME FUN YOU CRAZY PERSON! THERE'S A WORLD OUT THERE! A WHOLE FUCKING WORLD! ENJOY IT GODDAMMIT, GET THE FUCK OVER IT AND ENJOY THE WORLD!" because they've gotten ridiculously co-dependent with their oppression, so they never actually bother going out there and dealing with their problems effectively, because wallowing, sweet sweet wallowing, is less risky than getting over their problems.

Every Radfem group really needs one professional, non-homeopathic, grief counsillor to make sure hte damn things don't get bogged down in a shit load of navellingus.

With you on the validity of "men are oppressed to" for feminists, male oppression from the patriarchy (which makes no sense unless you either posit false conciousness or...) pretty much underscores female oppression by the patriarchy, both by producing a reason for men to displace their frustrations by lashing out at women in lieu of dealing with their real problems (which can be anything from the class system, racism, latent homosexuality in a hyper masculine heteronormative society or just plain old patriarchy wiht out extraness), and also by oppression men in a misogynistic way and making it so that oppression tends to take a misogynistic bent, regardless of who is getting screwed over by whom.

Toy Soldier said...

okay, i'm now glancing at your Toy Soldiers guy. very -very- quick impression: yes, he's talking about abuse; he's got links to a few sites that sound like i might want to check them out; he also links to mulletboy and Dr. Helen and (agh) Men's News Daily. right away, not loving the odds; but i will give it a closer look when i'm less tired, i guess.

Well, for one I am not a "MRA," though I happen to link mostly to there sites. My primary concern is for male victims. As only the men's movement is invested and interested in addressing those issues, I link to them. I make no claims to any particular movement or political position as such things strike me as divisive and unnecessary.

I should note that despite the criticism of the men's movement, no one involved in it has ever treated me as feminists have. Specifically, I have yet to see any of them mock, ridicule or dismiss the experiences of male victims.

JackGoff said...

TS, a few questions. Why is male victimization in rape a cause that needs to be championed by womens' groups? Where are the active, well-formed men's groups that specifically try to help male victims of sexual assault?

Also, I would say the discrepency in the representation comes from the fact that women are victimized on average around 7.5 times more often than men. (go to )

Who exactly are perpetrating these crimes? I have had a hard time finding statistics on who the perpetrators are.

Alon Levy said...

Toy Soldier, where did feminists mock the experience of male victims of rape? I'm asking because this blog has been very much against any such trend, and for recognizing that not all rape and abuse is male-on-female.

Ballgame, I promise to respond to what you said about the harm/oppression distinction later today or tomorrow, either here or on my blog. Alas, I have to run now...

ballgame said...

Well every whiney guy who isn't actively part of an organised FRA group is basically just a "Nice Guy(tm)", and nice guys are just obnoxious, easily slappable and defined by their behavior.

I think you just validated a basic point that belledame, toy soldier, and I have been making, r. mildred. Thanks.

… directly confront the BNP and its racism, isolating the diehard racists and fascists, and to offer a genuine explanation of the difficulties workers faced and why solidarity between all workers was a better way …

Your model of how to disentangle genuninely hurting men from the lures of the fascist pied pipers is appealing, foolishowl, but it won't work until feminism (and feminists) stop responding to wounded men with dismissive sneers of being "whiney," "obnoxious," and "easily slappable," and can offer actual insight and validation of what these men are suffering from. Right now classic feminism's simplistic and even inaccurate conception of patriarchy cripples its ability to do that.

Alon Levy said...

Okay, ballgame, oppression is usually understood to be about economic inequality, social marginalization, or legal exclusion. In a trivial sense, the statement that the patriarchy only harms men then immediately follows: the patriarchy privileges rather than discriminates against men.

On the other hand, there's a more sophisticated formulation of the idea that men are being oppressed. Basically, it's that the patriarchy oppresses some men while privileging only a select minority. Amanda says she likes the term patriarchy because it implies rule by patriarchs rather than all men; the idea is then that the alpha males who win out are alright, but the rest are oppressed.

But what really oppresses lower-ranked men isn't sexism, but predatory capitalism. Gay men and male rape victims are something completely different, but they're not what most people are talking about when they say that the patriarchy oppresses men.

So the soundbite makes a specific falsifiable prediction: predatory capitalism isn't part of the patriarchy. I'd say evidence confirms that prediction - for a start, capitalism tends to stand in opposition to sexism - but your mileage may vary.

belledame222 said...

Hi, toy soldier, welcome. Thanks for the clarification. I'll check out your site at more leisure later. Meanwhile, you're welcome to look around here and (if you like) there's an introduction thread in the sidebar.

belledame222 said...

I think part of the problem is the whole "personal is political" business, which, as i've noted a number of times, already makes for a whole pile o'muddiness among feminists, let alone introducing other interests into the mix.

But you know, I think that while it's inevitable that this shit's gonna be volatile, i still think there are different -kinds- of discussions. Whatever the gender, it's sort of exasperating (at the very least!) when some people are sharing incredibly painful, personal shit, and next thing you know other people are using it to fap them over the head with, countering and throwing statistics and "mirror mirror on the wall, who's the most oppressedest of all..."

I don't know how often it happens that a man comes into a feminist space and says, you know, i was raped, or a victim of incest, or of domestic violence, and the women mock or dismiss him. that would really really suck, certainly. maybe it does happen; or maybe men don't speak up because they feel intimidated or unsafe or unwelcome (and of course all kinds of internalized shit as well goes with the territory).

what does seem to happen more often are these stupid as shit arguments where some guy comes in and throws out some very generic statement that boils down to "but men hurt too, blahblah," and inevitably there'll be at least one woman like g-m-r who'll turn on the flamethrower, and then either there's whining or flaming right back; and then it's all, men DO TOO suffer as much (or MORE than) women, didja read this study? huh? what about these stats? and the feminists (often as not joined by a man or two going, YEAH, here i am, chivalrous charlie come to save the day!) go outside! not our job to educate you! fuck off, troll! (more insults).

and the worst part is when there'll have been at least one woman who'd thought she was in a (hahaha) 'safe space" and had shared something rather sensitive, and now instead of a nice quiet group session in a cozy room this has turned into WWF...yeah. not pretty.

ballgame said...

belledame: you really know how to crush all of the romantic mystery out of these kinds of encounters.

alon: I appreciate your good faith effort to come up with a falsifiable way to justify the 'oppression vs. harm' meme, and while I'm tempted to play Internet Dictionary with you, at the end of it we'd still be left with, "So what?"

Even if I were to concede your point (and I'm most emphatically not doing so), I think for many WPO feminists the phrase is partially used to set precedence on whose suffering is important: "Hah! YOU'RE merely harmed. WE'RE oppressed" etc., and partially to fudge the agency of what is harming men ("You know, you guys should really stop doing that to yourselves, doesn't it hurt?") I think the philosophical conclusions promoted by the skewed phrasing are debatable both tactically and sometimes strategically as well.

Can't respond to your capitalism/patriarch distinction right now; out of steam for the evening.

Closing note which I know may not be logically justifiable but which is heartfelt nonetheless: if there's a god, I hope for all of our sakes she delivers at least one house of Congress to the Dems tomorrow.

Toy Soldier said...

Jackgoff: Feminist groups claim to want to eliminate all forms of sexual violence, so one would assume that male rape would be included. There are many organizations that offer support to male victims. Look at the Male Abuse Resources links on my blog. You can also type “male survivor” into a search engine and get dozens of organizations spread across the US, Britain, Canada and Australia.

RAINN’s statistics are based on a questionable study that used different methods of interviewing males and females and also included attempted rapes in the final statistic for women to obtain that rate, which I addressed on my blog (see the Denial of Male Sexual Assault post). There are many studies and statistics concerning who assaults males. Check the bottom of the page of the above link or you can also visit

Alon: One can find such comments on Alas, a blog, Pandagon, Feministe (on occasion) and a host of other popular feminist blogs. I include such comments as “PHMT” and other claims about the “patriarchy” as mockery as those theories blame male victims for their own abuse (by virtue of also being male). However, one can find more explicit statements ridiculing male victims if one hangs around such sites long enough. It is sadly a common occurrence.

Belledame2: Thank you for the welcome.

In my experience, when male victims speak about their experiences in feminists spaces they are attacked more often than not. I am reminded of an incident last year on Alas in which a person mentioned that a woman abused him and the following 40+ posts attacked him for those four words. They attacked him for his lack of clarity, for claiming he was abused, for claiming the rapist was female, for lying about the abuse, along with a host of other claims, all of which was defended by the site owner who then banned that male victim.

Speaking as someone who experienced abuse and watched others be abused, I do not think it is fair or accurate to pretend that males cannot be abused as badly or worse than females or that our society does not treat male victims differently from females. But when is suggested that the issue be addressed by conducting more research and providing more support, forums and conferences for male victims many feminists fight against it, often throwing around statistics as justification for ignoring, dismissing and diminishing the experiences of male victims.

I do apologize for the wordiness.

antiprincess said...

even Robert Bly'd be an improvement over either of the latter two as far as i'm concerned; at least drumming in the woods is more constructive than the constant -whining- and/or ragefests.

whatever happened to Robert Bly? has he published anything of note since Iron John?

duffer said...

Alon - you state that "Culturally, misandry is almost as strong as misogyny"

i think you're totally misguided here - there is no requirement for men to either be pro- or anti-woman; to be the latter does not necessitate any sea change in the way men have always viewed women (disagree? look at any given day's news headlines...)

IMHO unless a woman can extricate herself from straight society, she simply cannot afford, emotionally, to be a misandrist

an ex lover of mine was straight; it wasn't until she was involved with a woman that she realised the massive amount of misogyny that exists everywhere; being straight meant that she blocked all but the most extreme examples
being a dyke meant that she felt able to acknowledge the fact that for most men, misogyny is a way of life, in much the same way as for most white south africans, during the days of apartheid, racism was a way of life

belledame222 said...

belledame: you really know how to crush all of the romantic mystery out of these kinds of encounters.>


belledame222 said...

per misandry: well, again, as with the guy noted in the OP here, it seems pretty obvious that a number of dudes infinitely prefer the idea of being "hated" to the notion that feminism/women may simply may not put them at the center at all.

indifference being the true opposite of love and all that.

belledame222 said...

PMHT? WPO? Forgive me; I'm not good with acronyms. What do these mean?

belledame222 said... know what I'm thinking? That what really isn't addressed nearly enough is the fear/anger -men- have toward -men.-

which is why i think a real "men's movement" would be useful; in a way, in some cases, i think actually women have nothing to do with it; or they aren't what it's about. sort of in the same way that a goodly chunk of feminism really has nothing to do with men at all. and that never really gets addressed enough either, of course, as i've been saying lately: women's relationship to -women.-

dunno what happened to Robert Bly. he's distantly related to the horrible head of my grad school department, i do know that, which so horrified me for a while that i couldn't really focus on anything else about him.

JackGoff said...

I think WPO is "Women's Points Only" or something along those lines. PMHT, no clue.

ballgame said...

I believe PMHT was supposed to be PHMT ("Patriarchy Hurts Men Too"), which typically works as a quick and easy sneering dismissal of a comment about how sexism adversely affects men.

belledame: my "romantic mystery" comment was an ironic way of saying you cut through all the bullshit and got down the essence of these things … meant it as a compliment.

WPO = "women's perspectives only", as a qualifier to the word "feminism", meant to distinguish it from GE or "gender egalitarian" feminism … my own neoligisms.

belledame222 said...

'k, thanks. i figured it was probably ironic but it's hard to tell on the Internets sometimes.

how'd you find your way to the feminist sites originally, ballgame? i mean, where were you coming from?

R. Mildred said...

"Men are harmed by the patriarchy; women are oppressed by it."

Which is bullshit, men and women are both oppressed, the difference is that women are socially and culturally depowered so they don't have much choice in the matter - a true masculinist movement would acheive more of its aims than a similar feminist group because they don't have the history of political irrelevence, nor the political and cultural baggage that works to marginalise them.

Also: Patriarchy has little to no defence against anything that works to undermine the "freemasonry" (as asimov called it) of men that enables their auto-oppression.

Culturally, misandry is almost as strong as misogyny

Which is also wrong, because cultural misandry, and even specific linguistic or ideological misandry is indistinguishable from misogyny more often than not, and tends to involve homophobia and all sorts of other things, unless someone can parse out exactly whether a hatred of femme men (who, despite being femme, are still men) is a hatred of men or a hatred of women, or whether the deep seated fear of butch women is misogynistic or misandrist, or whether mne being turned into "bitches" through the act of ritualised prison rape is misogynistic or misandrist...

Pretty much all social, cultural or psychological oppression of women by men also tends to be oppressive to men as well - it's only physical violence that really is markedly and explicitly misogynystic in nature, and adversely affects women over men.

WPO = "women's perspectives only"

For those just tuning in - there's been several huge fights over the Othering nature of portraying non-white women primarily as victims, by white feminists.

Women cannot speak from a man's persective on the oppression of men by the patriarchy, sorry, that one is impossible, and anyone trying to billmon it to prove that they're so smart that they can do it really is going to be met with a lot of people groaning and smiting their foreheads in embarassment.

men need to liberate themselves because htey're the only ones who can do it.

Popess Lilith said...

Sorry to join this conversation late, but "radical" and "radish" both derive from the Latin "radix", root. However, the meaning of "radical" has evolved far from its etymology, and Mr. Chew Toy (or whoever he is) has substituted actual analysis for mental masturbation--which, if he really is a Rand follower, as Alon Levy suspects, is a foregone conclusion.

Sorry, no feminist/gender analysis on my part this time. Hi, everyone!

Alon Levy said...

RAINN’s statistics are based on a questionable study that used different methods of interviewing males and females and also included attempted rapes in the final statistic for women to obtain that rate, which I addressed on my blog (see the Denial of Male Sexual Assault post).

You mean the National Crime Victimization Survey? That one consistently puts male sexual assault at 10% of all sexual assault. So does the British Crime Survey. The other major study is due to the CDC, and gets that about 25% of rapes in the US are on men, and of these about a third are perpetrated by women. But that study gets an overall figure of 400,000, which is way out of line with the consistent figures produced by the NCVS.

ballgame said...

belledame: just answered your question about how I got into feminist blogs over at your 'introduce yourself' thread.

men and women are both oppressed

Well, r. mildred, it's refreshing to see that at least we have some common ground.

Not on the same page with you about your 'separate paths to liberation' statement, although I realize that idea is widely embraced by folks from all parts of the spectrum. I agree that there's a risk — inevitability, actually — of misunderstandings from folks not having experienced life as a member of a particular socially constructed identity, but I think the consequences of such misunderstandings are sometimes exaggerated.

More importantly, I think the insularity and in-group dynamics that comes from separatism tends to breed its own misunderstandings by destroying the empathy required for productive relationships with people in the 'out groups', and tends to foster 'out group' scapegoating, which I think is precisely the problem with the toxic elements of both feminist and MRA groups.

BTW, I'm not sure what you mean by your "freemasonry" reference; I'm curious and wonder if it's conceptually similar to what I refer to as "wolfpacking."

Toy Soldier said...

You mean the National Crime Victimization Survey?

No, that study was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, the NCVS study has a host of problems with its methodology, which was discussed by Warren Farrell in the Myth of Male Power, foremost being that the study was redesigned to achieve a lower the rates of domestic violence and sexual against males. One should note that other studies specifically addressing male victims give a much higher rate of sexual assault, typically 26% to 30% of males. One should also note that independent studies generally get much higher rates, which suggests that studies such as the CDCP and the NCVS suffer from potential political motivation.

belledame222 said...

tangentially, i had a roommate who worked as Farrell's assistant, before he made it big--research, you know. she said he was a real pill. exploitive, patronizing. of course she was no spring onion herself, as it turned out, but i believed her stories.

belledame222 said...

ultimately i guess i'm not so interested in statistics, either way. if you've been hurt, you've been hurt--it doesn't take a certain minimum percentage of the population backed up by scientific study to make it so. I don't think. certainly for the purposes of online discussion; but also, since when is it a contest?

belledame222 said...

--hi, Lilith!

Toy Soldier said...

I would not frame it as making it a contest. It is important to present accurate and balanced information. When statistics are used to disprove the occurrence or frequency of an act, it implies that the act is trivial and unworthy of attention. This is an unfortunate consequence of using statistics in this fashion.

belledame222 said...

Well, yeah, that's what i mean: "using them in this fashion."

but i don't know: this is such a personal thing. maybe in tems of policy it matters; but when it comes to you know listening to someone else, why do the stats factor? how many other people do i need to have had my exact experience to be validated and heard?

belledame222 said...

it sort of reminds me, you know, of the "gays are ten + percent of society/nuh-uh only 1.4%" riff that goes on.

i mean, it's the mentality behind the tendency to minimize that sucks; if people exaggerate figures on the other end it's a way of defending against the people who're saying "you don't exist, and don't matter" in the first place. Accuracy (such as it is) would be nice for scientific purposes; but for the purposes of discussion, -especially- when someone is saying "look, this is -my- experience," frankly? that ought to be enough.

"Well, that hardly happens to anyone else, so it doesn't matter, and you don't deserve your basic rights:" just, no. Doesn't fly. Shouldn't.

Cassandra Says said...

You know, I tried to engage with these guys in a reasonable manner. I really did. But they're crazy. Sorry, defender of the MRA's, there may be a few sensible ones out there, but most of them are absolutely batshit. If one were to see them as a mirror of the feminist movement (which they aren't), it would be as if there were a million Mary Dalys and maybe one or two Betty Freidan's or Gloria Steinems. The crazy people are steering the ship, and if the non-crazy people would like the rest of us to stop dismissing them as bitter, socially impaired wackjobs they really need to step up to the plate and start talking a bit louder.
The real clue to sussing out where these guys are coming from lies in watching what happens when anyone disagrees with them. Up until that point they may have seemed reasonable, but contradict them, no matter how politely, and watch as the personal insults and sweeping proclamation about how (Western) women as a whole suck come pouring out. Everything bad in the world is women's fault. Men are always the victims. We're in funhouse mirror world, and reality is completely irrelevant.
I have to admit that the whole idea of punishing/retraining women by withholding sex is rather amusing though. Yep, there's a great recruiting idea - "Hey guys, come join our movement and never get laid again, at least until after the revolution!Hey wait, why are you running away? Don't you see what a genius idea this witholding sex thing is, and how women everwhere are rushing to change their ways at the mere threat? Guys?"
(Sound of millions of male feet running frantically in the opposite direction, crickets chirping)
Yep, that's a good plan, and see how beautifully it's working so far?
From elizabeth mcclung "I just have a hard time comparing recent legal decisions like forcing women to wear certain levels of jewelry, cosmetics, etc as decided by male management to present a "proper feminine image" in order to keep a 20 year job to.....what? Having people not appreciate your full intellect and potential if you deviate from male norms (so the thing males are opposing is when other males treat them with as little respect as women?)? "
That pretty much seems to sum it up, really. The problem I have with the MRAs isn't that they don't have some valid points (not many, but some) so much as it is that they seem to have no sense of proportion. When someone starts arguing that being accused of rape is far, far worse than being raped...are you nuts? Want to talk to my (male) ex, who actually was raped, and see what he has to say about that?
That and the fact that even when they identify valid problems their proposed solutions to those problems are so idiotic (see the arguments about the draft over at Hugo's page). That and the idea that every single problem men face must be because of feminism. Because clearly men had no problems to deal with at all before feminism came along. War, famine, plague, expectations of "masculinity" that crush the soul of boys who just aren't wired that way? Clearly none of those things ever existed before "The Second Sex" was published. Nope, it's the fault of those nasty feminists.
Of course Foolish Owl stated the same thing much more calmly and cogently, but I enjoy making fun of these guys far too much...which is part of the point really. Part of the reason they're so pissed off is that no one is taking them seriously. I sent my Dad to SYG, and he thought they were a bunch of nutters (and commented that whining is not generally considered to be a masculine virtue). My boring, somewhat conservative, works for an oil company (bastions of traditional masculinity that they are) Dad. If they can't convince him their movement is going nowhere.

belledame222 said...

Well, exactly: they may have a few points about the -symptoms- of the problem, but then they go running back to the very source of the problem! clearly, son, the problem is that you just aren't enraged and one-sided and homophobic and femme-phobic and out of touch with your feelings and unempathic and unable to take care of yourself emotionally ENOUGH. that's the ticket!

and, all of your problems are womens' fault; clearly they are the ultimate authors of the whole sinister corrupt system.

...and of course, like this doof (of the OP), they go into projection mode and put it in terms of, no, it's THEY who hate US. damn those feminists and their obsession with the menz!

and of course, -as- it happens, straw-filled though this putz makes his enemies, there are -some- feminists who -do- seem to be rather insanely focused on the evol that men do (possibly it'd be more fair to call the MRA's mirror images of a certain branch of radical feminism, but with the additional toxic charge of millenia's worth of institutionalized sexism behind them; trouble is there's no corresponding general men's movement to mirror all the other schools of feminism)

...and in turn those feminists are basing -their- focus on too many real-life encounters with exactly this sort of putz to begin with;

and so it becomes an endless projected hall of mirrors.

best to just leave 'em to it, tiptoe away and close the door behind, maybe

belledame222 said...

Ultimately where i have the most sympathy is in the area of abuse, because i do think that that is where there is the most truth in the suggestion that men do not have enough resources. Again, though, I'm not sure that the men who talk seriously about abuse (I listed some of the links that looked most promising from your roll, Toy Soldier) and the MRA's are at all synonymous; the latter seem to define their victimhood at least as often in terms of, o i don't know, having to pay too much money in child support, affirmative action taking away all the good jobs, the -humiliation- of it all, and other ways of effectively saying they've been denied their rightful status as MEN. Which is to me very very different from the much more legitimate complaint of having been denied their status as HUMAN, which is what abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) does.

And one could even go that one better and blame (*sigh*, but in this case...) the patriarchy, because of course a good chunk of these mens' problems, the MRA's i mean, come from unrealistic expectations and deficits in empathic training. The rest of it comes from the sort of thing that most (as i've seen it) would run screaming from the very idea that this is a -problem:- homophobia, fear of the feminine, of softness, of vulnerability. The idea that strength can be something other than stereotypical masculinity.

but getting back to abuse: one can also blame the very same set-up that feminism protests, in that it -is- true that there are special problems for male victims of rape or physical abuse, in that traditionally, -this isn't supposed to happen at all.- It's true that female victims are invalidated in a number of ways--i.e. she asked for it, she's lying--but for men, it often becomes a joke, or just plain invisible. And yes, this is one area where i do see traditional feminism sometimes falling down as well. It's not that i think that (all) women need to bear the burden of going out of their way to accomodate male victims; it's more, I do see a lot of discussions where it's like, you'd have no idea this even exists. At all.

I come at this orthoganally, because I've had the same problem/exasperation with the -heterocentricism- of such discussions: female-to-female abuse is similarly near-invisible. In that instance, it's not so much that people don't want to sympathize with the victims, it's that they a) don't want to see women as aggressors, some people don't, yes, as it goes against their ideology and b) are so locked into a heterocentric worldview that you can actually see the strain as they try (or not) to shift around to "oh, yeah, you guys. too. right."
And gay men...just don't seem to exist at all, I often think. It irks. Particularly when I bring it up and get accused of "derailing," as though one thing had -nothing to do- with the other. Try to explain that, gee y'know, for me, queer activism and feminism go together like chocolate and peanut butter, and particularly when you're talking about things like -abuse- and -rape-...

but they can't or won't seem to hear it. fuck knows why. sometimes i have had the thought that it feels like the same sort of knee-jerk defensiveness when WOC complain about feeling invisible or used or misrepresented: how dare you accuse me of being a bigot! i am not a bigot! why must everything be about you! can't we have this teeny tiny space to talk about mainstream white het feminism for our very selves without you constantly interrupting with your own barely relevant problems?...Why do you hate women so much?...

belledame222 said...

>and commented that whining is not generally considered to be a masculine virtue

Ha! fucking EXACTLY.

honestly, for the most part as i've sen it they seem to overlap with (shudder) places like Free Republic, lgf, that sort of thing. the whining about womenz seems like only part of a whole bunch of whining in general. Whining + total lack of empathy + lack of social skills + a whole lot of hostility= charming!

and you know, yes, there are a number of feminists (most, but not all, falling under the "radical" banner; and I've encountered some lovely sane radical feminists, well...a few) who also fit that "charming" model pretty well.

as i've said, they seem to be the ones to get into it most often with the MRA's. it's like matter and antimatter or something. i understand the exasperation and (some of) the zeal for engagement on the part of women who represent women and children in court, say (and thus are public enemy #1 to the Glenn Sacks crowd, without even trying)

but for the most part, personally i'm sort of at the point where it's mostly just, o, there they go again. pass the popcorn....okay, bored now. -click-

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