Why do I see this said in response to a public figure calling themselves anti-feminist, or a group opposing feminism?
It seems to be saying that we need feminism because people don’t want feminism. People are upset at feminism, and the solution isn’t to take their criticism on board and improve the feminism we have, but to simply magnify it and make the conflict worse.
It’s almost like saying that the existence of atheists justifies your belief in God. People not agreeing with feminism is not an excuse to force it upon them. If anything, it’s the complete opposite.
…is like saying you’re a member of PETA if you think animals should be treated ethically, you’re a Christian if you believe in forgiveness, or you’re a socialist if you believe in equality.
Nobody has a monopoly on these ideas. Some groups who preach them are hypocritical about it, or otherwise problematic, and so we can reject them even if we agree with these principles.
We can choose our own labels, thank you.
- Customer: Can you help me with this?
- Sally: Of course I can... sir? Madam? How do you identify?
- Customer: Sorry, what?
- Sally: Are you a man, a woman, or a non-binary?
- Customer: You're saying I look like a woman?
- Sally: It's not an insult, you only think it is because society hates women and so you think they are inferior.
- Customer: I don't think that! Besides, most women would hate it if you said they looked like men.
- Sally: Stop mansplaining!
- Customer: Can I speak to your manager?
- Later that day
- Boyfriend: You were fired? Why?
- Sally: It's the patriarchy oppressing me.
- Boyfriend: Are you sure it wasn't something you did?
- Sally: Stop victim blaming!
- Boyfriend: Sorry babe, I didn't mean to insult you.
- Sally: Just leave me alone. All men are the same.
- Boyfriend: Okay, I'll talk to you later when you've calmed down.
- Sally: Did you just tone police me? Seriously?
- Later that day
- Friend: You were fired and dumped in the same day? That's pretty rough.
- Sally: I know, I don't understand why the universe suddenly hates me. Probably because it's run by men, and they can't handle me thinking for myself.
- Friend: You've definitely been talking about that a lot lately. Maybe that's the a common denominator...
- Sally: You're right, men are the common denominator.
- Friend: No Sally, I meant you. Normal people don't talk like this. You have to realise that not everything is a conspiracy to oppress you, and learn that not everything is going to go your way.
- Sally: I can't believe you - you're just as bad as the rest of them!
- Friend: But I'm not a man? I'm a woman, and everybody I know respects me just fine. Your gender really isn't your problem here.
- Sally: You're clearly brainwashed by them, though. Get your internalised misogyny away from me!
- Later that day
- Sally: EVERYONE HATES ME BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN
There’s an argument that I’ve frequently seen lampooned in SJ circles. It’s defending Disney-style movies, based on old fairy tales, when they are criticised for having an almost entirely white cast.
“But there weren’t any people of colour in medieval Scotland!”
Immediately, SJers will jump in with “oh, so there were magic lamps and giants, were there?”. It’s a decent argument. You can’t argue for being realistic if the whole story is fantasy.
These same SJers, though, will commit the fallacy themselves where it suits them. The impractical poses and costumes of super-heroines are always branded “unrealistic”. “What, and magical powers are?” is the response that they conveniently forget.
The costumes aren’t even that impractical. Super-heroines are unlikely to match their male rivals when it comes to brute strength, due to sexual dimorphism, and so often they instead specialise in being flexible - in recent blockbusters Mystique, Catwoman and Black Widow all do this. Now, what outfit is practical for this? Clue: it’s not baggy clothes which completely cover the body. In fact, it’s more practical to have minimal coverage, and skintight clothing where it is necessary. The 2012 Olympics are going on as I type, and they allow me to test this theory. What do the best gymnasts in the world - who, we can be assured, have researched this into some depth to get an edge on their competitors - think is the most practical outfit?
Ah. But super-heroines also need to be fast. I’m sure that the fastest sprinters in the world realise that these outfits aren’t practic-
Ah. Well, there goes that argument. Tight clothing, and little of it, are actually practical. Go figure.
We’ve demonstrated two points already: that super-heroine costumes are actually often practical, and that whether they are realistically practical or not is irrelevant (by SJ’s own logic). Now to demonstrate some more.
Are women objectified in this sort of film? Yes. A lot. But not everything is related to that - as we’ve just shown, there are very sensible reasons for Black Widow or Catwoman to wear tight and revealing clothing. Their success relies on being fast and flexible, but also on being able to manipulate men who find them desirable. Such costumes help with both. It is not all male gaze.
Supporting this is the fact that male super-heroes who also need to be flexible also wear tight clothing. Spiderman’s suit, for instance, leaves very little to the imagination.
…and yes, a quick Google reveals plenty of sites obsessing over the ‘spider-bulge’. Either both are objectification, or both are practical. Either way, it’s not male gaze, because it’s almost entirely women drooling over Andrew Garfield. SJers can’t have it both ways. Personally, I think that both are both.
In fact, when I went to see the film, there were a lot more women talking about how attractive Garfield was than men doing the same for Emma Stone. It was the same for Avengers: RDJ and Hiddlestone had the looks, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth had the bodies. Even Scarlett Johansson, famous sex symbol, couldn’t compete. A large proportion of theatre-goers are female, and they objectify just as much as the men do. Film-makers know this.
Evans wore a skintight costume, Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner had their biceps on full display. You can’t deny that this doesn’t happen to men, just as it happens to women. When it comes to unrealistic bodies, of course, I’ll just point you in the direction of the Hulk.
All of the actors were physically attractive, of course. We can’t even have a realistic nerd to play Peter Parker - instead we are given the handsome and charismatic Garfield. Why? If a man isn’t attractive, we won’t want to watch him. It’s objectification all of the way.
Costumes don’t have to be tight or revealing, anyway. As this excellent post on the subject puts it:
If you threw Batman into a belly shirt and short-shorts, that wouldn’t make his character more sexually appealing by virtue of the fact that you get a better look at the skin of his rippling abs and toned legs.
Of course, Christian Bale also has plenty of chance to flash his muscles to us out of costume. The Dark Knight Rises, then, is another superhero film where the heroes are objectified. Bane’s costume is another obvious one, showing off Tom Hardy’s body as much as possible.
Anne Hathaway shows as much under tight clothing, and there’s no doubt that this is objectification, but as we showed earlier this is practical both for her physical and psychological fighting styles. It’s baffling that SJers would focus entirely on her, and ignore the clear objectification of other characters. Finally on the “super-heroines are objectified super-heroes aren’t” front, I’ll link a couple of pictures from the X-men films.
Go and count how many times Hugh Jackman gets naked or at least topless in those films.
Anyway, moving on. Comic books are usually concerned with physically perfect super-people anyway,
and usually targeted towards sexually frustrated young men, so we can expect a lot of objectification there. What about in other popular films? Twilight and the Hunger Games are both about a sullen, angsty teenage girl who gets frustrated that two of the best looking guys around are in love with her (the difference being that THG actually has a very decent plot to go with it). If we look at the films, we see very little objectification of the female character, but men showing off their muscles left right and centre. That this is blatant objectification can be seen in the fact that women and girls watching these films will speak at some length about how attractive the male characters are, and completely ignore their worth as characters.
Television programmes which shouldn’t even be about romance, such as Doctor Who and Sherlock, nevertheless are swamped by female fans obsessing over the attractiveness of their male characters. I, along with all of the men I know, appreciate such programmes for their plots. We don’t even mention how good the female characters look, because we appreciate them first and foremost as characters. Many of the women I know, though, never stop going on about the men - especially here on Tumblr, where erotic fanfiction, and spamposting of people’s faces with “unffffggg” commentary attached, and even a blog devoted the sound of Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice, are the norm. Recently I’ve watched films starring Clooney, Craig, Fassbender and Gosling, and the women around me have spent the whole time talking about how good looking they are, and the men haven’t objectified the female stars at all. Films such as Magic Mike and it’s ilk don’t require any commentary: the objectification is there for all to see. People who say that it only happens the other way are asleep and dreaming.
Romantic comedies are possibly even worse when it comes to making these same women objectify and drool, even though Hugh Grant usually keeps his clothes on. To explain this, we need to go back to gender roles. The gender binary expects men to be powerful, to protect women and children from other men, and women to be attractive, to mate with the most powerful men, and thus have successful children and ensure the long-term survival of their genes. We don’t then, objectify men on looks the same was as we do women. We like our men to be strong, influential, wealthy or famous, whilst these aren’t generally things we look for in our women. That’s why we objectify the wealthy, well-dressed male lead in these films, even though he doesn’t throw his body around. It’s just a different type of objectification.
In it’s simplest form: women like powerful men, men like beautiful women. Obviously this is a massive generalisation, and you can fill in the disclaimers concerning sexual minorities, non-binaries, and people who just have different tastes. But, if we go back to the bare essentials - how nature intended it - the simplification would work fine. It’s how we evolved to be. I’m talking about what the patriarchy wants us to find attractive, and the patriarchy intended for there to be two rigid genders in rigid gender roles and for us all to be cis and hetero and so on - that’s the context I’m speaking in, and so that’s the language I’m using. That does not mean that other genders and other sexualities, aren’t equally valid, and I can’t stress that enough. The patriarchy, natural as it may have been, does not function well in modern society. If I speak in such black and white terms in this post, then, that is not be condoning that world view. I’m just speaking in the context of that world view, because it is this system of patriarchal gender roles that have shaped our world today, and so we need to explore the past if we are going to understand the present. That’s the only reason I am using those terms. Please don’t try to call me out on it, because you’ll be attacking a strawman, and will subsequently look more than a bit silly.
Moving on. An important point is that these impossibly sexy women aren’t just shown to those interested, and neither are these impossibly strong men. In fact, most superheroes are by men, for men. Young boys are encouraged to look up to athletes, whilst young girls are encouraged to look up to models. Boys are taught that they must be powerful, and should be ridiculously ambitious, should exercise lots, should aim to accumulate wealth above all else, and generally destroy themselves chasing these impossible standards. We don’t, or didn’t use to, teach our girls these things, instead telling them that they must be beautiful, and should be self-conscious and diet and generally destroy themselves chasing these impossible standards.
Super-heroes are terrible for this: could there be a more impossible standard? Sure, girls are taught that they should be able to display both their chest and their rump at the same time on the sexy standards, but boys are taught that they should be able to throw cars about and fly. Even if we ignore the fact that men are now objectified on the way they look in these films, and are also forced to wear revealing clothing, we have to accept that superpowers are themselves a form of objectification for men. Men are historically supposed to be society’s leaders, fighters, protectors, to bear almost the entirety of society’s burdens, to own property and buy food and work twice as hard to provide financially not just for ourselves but for women who aren’t expected to work at all, to fight twice as hard to protect just not ourselves but women who aren’t expected to have to defend themselves, and so on. We are disposable objects for this function, just as women are objects for the function of sex and childcare. A superhero saving the world, then, is objectification as much as any number of revealing costumes is.
Complaining that superheroes are being unrealistically objectified, then, is futile. They were unrealistic objects from the start.
Complaining that super-heroines alone are being unrealistically objectified is, as we have shown here in several ways, wilfully ignorant.
Everyone is objectified. It’s less to do with misogyny from men, as the ‘male gaze’ commentary would like us to believe, and more to do with the gender binary forcing unrealistic standards on all of us - unrealistic standards for who we should be, and unrealistic standards for who we should be mating with. That this is so prominent is not a commentary on any gender in particular, but more an indicator of a general cultural shallowness. It is healthy and natural to enjoy looking at somebody attractive; SJers need to remember this before condemning all sexualisation. This shallowness, though, is something more. We only want to see films if the characters are attractive, and regard the overall film as somehow worse if they aren’t. Sometimes we rate this so highly that we’d rather have good-looking stars than a better plot. As gender roles are breaking down in our modern society, men are being objectified in the same way as women. In this case, however, the equality is not good. We have become equally bad.
This week tumblr social justice warriors took a fucking cake. Hope that you are satisfied with yourselves. Just hope that you know that you’ve achieved absolutely nothing.
A glaring example of institutional misandry throughout history can be found when you look at casualties of war. They’re pretty much all men. Men were seen as strong, and so they were sent by their government to be massacred. They did not have a choice in the matter and, if they objected, they would be killed just as surely by their own state.
Women weren’t allowed to fight at all. A number of contemporary feminists see this as misogyny. This isn’t justified, because neither is the use of the word ‘allowed’. Sorry, but ‘allowed to be slaughtered’ doesn’t quite fit. Try ‘expected’. Women weren’t expected to fight at all. That’s what makes this very definitely misandry - men were killed solely because they were men, and that was what they were for. They were disposable weapons. This was historical gendercide, and millions of men have been killed because of the way they were born. If that’s not systematic sexism, nothing is.
If modern egalitarians try to use this example against those who persistently deny that misandry is ‘a thing’ (almost always women, who wouldn’t know), though, they face a couple of objections. The first is that this is all in the past - ancient history with no effect on the modern man. When the US-based equalists point out that the draft is still in place - whereby men are forced to sign up for service in the event of an emergency, and women are not - they face the second objection: that such an emergency isn’t happening. It might be misandry in the past, or potentially in the future, but it isn’t misandry now - and so misandry isn’t a thing.
Both these arguments are problematic. Feminists will happily cite historical misogyny, like unequal suffrage, as supporting the idea that misogyny is a big deal today and is inherent in our culture. Historical misandry like this can serve the exact same purpose. Potential misandry, too, is still problematic. If a law discriminates against one gender, even if nobody directly suffers tangibly, it’s still a sexist law. There’s no denying that.
The big problem, though, and one that these US-centric egalitarians scarcely point out, is that this misandry is far from over.
They are always beautiful and hilarious and sexy to me.
Because the thing is, they are always in context.
Prison is perhaps the only setting on Earth where a heterosexual white male actually feels uncomfortable, powerless, and maybe even threatened.
And that, my friends, is social justice.
Despite the fact that this is a ridiculously stupid post, that men do face significant discrimination and gender related issues simply for being male, and that this person honestly thinks making people suffer will ever bring about social justice, I find it hilarious that this fucking bimbo seems to think that there is a significant amount of white males in prison, when in fact the majority of those in prison are POC, and the majority of those that experience prison rape are in prison for victimless crimes like drug use, so they aren’t actually a danger to society or women, and you’re saying they deserve rape simply because they have a penis and so do some rapists.
Keep doing your cute little dance bitch. You’re a racist, sexist, uneducated piece of shit.
Prison is perhaps the only setting on Earth where a heterosexual white male actually feels uncomfortable, powerless, and maybe even threatened.
Outside of prison, men are the overwhelming victims of stranger violence, violent crime in general, pretty much all violence, and they’re more likely to be injured or killed as a result of that violence. Men have the most right to feel threatened walking down any street in the world, and they also have as much right to feel threatened by their partner. They are also powerless and threatened by law enforcement officers, in a process of discrimination and profiling which goes all the way to the top. They can feel threatened by the media and by the state. Finally, men have the right to feel threatened by bigots like you, happy to mock them for their suffering, trigger them, erase them, and enable their rapists. Bigots like you are everywhere, on every level. You contribute to and perpetuate a system of sexism, pain, and rape apologism. You call that justice. Because I was born a certain shape, and having never met me, you are wholly in support of my rape. You think that my father, who is the nicest guy I’ve ever met, deserves to me raped. You think my future sons will deserve to be raped, from the moment they open their little eyes. You are what we human beings call a monster.
Female privilege is being able to walk around without your shirt on in public without being arrested for indecent exposure… oh, wait.
Are you feeling okay? Because that didn’t make a lot of sense.
I don’t think that anybody is trying to say that male privileges don’t exist. The existence of male privilege doesn’t negate the existence of female privileges. In fact, they feed into each other. Because male privilege is evidence of a gender double standard, the existence of male privileges such as this actually confirm the existence of female privileges. If men are privileged in being allowed into the male role, and not being expected to be in the female role, then women are privileged in being allowed into the female role, and not being expected to be in the male role. Be careful with those two words. It was a privilege to be allowed to work, but also a privilege to not be expected to work. It was a privilege to be allowed to fight, but also a privilege to not be expected to fight. They come in pairs: it isn’t an either/or situation.
Female privilege does exist, as does male privilege, and it’s silly to deny either of them simply because you haven’t personally experienced them yourself! The picture is a lot bigger than your own experience, and that’s something you have to accept if you’re going to be in this business for long. It’s not all about what you have or haven’t seen with your own eyes, and so (if you haven’t already) you really need to start opening your mind and listening to other people’s experiences. That is, after all, how privilege gets checked in the first place :)
If femininity is seen as so weak,
then why aren’t all of you guys dating, marrying, and having kids with butch, manly women.
It’s only logical.
BECAUSE WOMEN ARE ALSO SEEN AS WEAK, AND SO WOMEN SHOULD BE FEMININE
Cis men are conditioned to seek to “protect” cis women and find reasons to view women as weak in order to cultivate and justify that “protection.” It’s benevolent sexism.
They’re not supposed to see masculinity as in needing protection, so women exhibiting masculinity are not as desirable to them.
It was a joke, I wasn’t being completely serious.
But it isn’t sexism, it’s survival instinct. Women are more important to reproduction than men are, while men are more disposable. In harsher civilizations and in dangerous circumstances, it’s pretty damn stupid to allow women to put themselves at risk if reproduction is at all important to men. Even in societies like ours, where women are safer and can live independently, men are still going to have that instinct, whether it’s necessary or not.
Stop calling it ‘benevolent’ sexism when men suffer from it. Sure, it’s benevolent for you, but only because it sucks so much for them. If it hurts men but is ‘benevolent’ for women, then it disadvantages men and privileges women. Don’t then call it ‘benevolent sexism against women’, but instead call it ‘normal, bad sexism against men’. Call it by its proper name: misandry.
The whole idea of benevolent sexism is the worst re-framing of the issue that I have ever seen. It’s bad enough when you’re pretending that these examples don’t exist, or trying to suggest that somehow women are the only real victims (because these men are being tortured because they are seen as strong, which must be a good thing, and not being seen as strong has made the women who weren’t ‘allowed’ to be tortured feel bad, and so men are clearly the privileged ones here). But when you find an example of something disadvantaging men and privileging women that you can’t just ignore, you say “this still isn’t bad sexism against men, it’s just good sexism against women!” This just goes to show that there are some bigots who will never be persuaded, no matter how much evidence we produce, because they will always be able to re-frame it.
Observe Flew’s Parable of the Invisible Gardener:
Two people return to their long neglected garden and find, among the weeds, that a few of the old plants are surprisingly vigorous. One says to the other, ‘It must be that a gardener has been coming and doing something about these weeds.’ The other disagrees and an argument ensues. They pitch their tents and set a watch. No gardener is ever seen. The believer wonders if there is an invisible gardener, so they patrol with bloodhounds but the bloodhounds never give a cry. Yet the believer remains unconvinced, and insists that the gardener is invisible, has no scent and gives no sound. The skeptic doesn’t agree, and asks how a so-called invisible, intangible, elusive gardener differs from an imaginary gardener, or even no gardener at all.
Your theory of sexism, with no misandry, is unfalsifiable. Dogmatic. You will never accept any evidence of misandry because, like the believer in the Parable, you can always find a way to ignore it. Once you’ve got to that stage, there is no hope for you. Your mind is closed for business, and you will never use it - let alone let in new ideas. Once you’ve got to that stage, you shouldn’t even be showing up for debate, because you already know what the conclusion will be.
Okay, feministsaresexist, I needed more context.
And, again, misandry as a concept is not necessarily fake but the constant comparisons to misogyny and the treatment like it is a part of sexism the way misogyny is is just incorrect and we’ve had this conversation before yadda yadda yadda. I don’t deny misandry exists but I don’t believe in its presence as much because what is termed misandry is often just the implementation of patriarchal ideals. Being weak and needing protection is not a privilege; patriarchy invented the standards that see women as victims, which is something mainly upholded by men who who complicit in those thoughts. Women didn’t choose to define themselves as weak, it is something pushed onto them.
Plus comparing feminism to dogma is just wrong and suggesting that my mind is closed makes me laugh because it’s exactly the opposite since feminism actually goes against most of what I thought about gender and gender differences since when I was a kid and so my mind has actually been “opened” for a while, buuuuuuut personal assumptions aside, it’s still not a good comparison.
“I don’t believe in its presence as much because what is termed misandry is often just the implementation of patriarchal ideals”
Yes. Yes it is. That’s what we’re claiming it is. Misogyny is the implementation of patriarchal ideals on women, misandry is the implementation of patriarchal ideals on men. That’s what we’ve been saying. ‘Ah, but it mostly comes from patriarchal ideals’ is in no way a refutation of anything, unless you have a circular view of what ‘patriarchal ideals’ means (i.e. if you’ve already assumed that they are along the lines of ‘men good, women bad’, when the science says otherwise).
“Women didn’t choose to define themselves as weak, it is something pushed onto them”
Yes. Yes it is. That’s what we’re claiming happens. The female gender role is pushed onto women, the male gender role is pushed onto men. Feminine stereotypes, including ‘weak’, are pushed onto women. Masculine stereotypes, including ‘strong’, are pushed onto men. Nobody chooses these things, it’s the subconscious enforcement of a natural binary which we’ve had since before we were human. The binary assigns roles based on these stereotypes, and our average physical capabilities. We are sexually dimorphic. Women have the ability to carry and feed children, and so it makes sense that they were given the task of looking after the child, because they are the parent guaranteed to be there at its birth and through its infancy, as well as the one it will be most familiar with. Men are significantly bigger and stronger than women on average. Men do not have the burden of child-bearing and caring. Men are therefore given most of the other social burdens. Men have to protect the women and children, fight each other to the death, lead the group, hunt food, work themselves into injury. This division was evolved naturally, because it was efficient and so increased the chance of the group surviving. These are duties that were forced on men, just as they were forced away from women. Men did not ‘choose’ to be seen as strong. Men did not ‘choose’ to be killed because of it. Men are privileged to be allowed to fight and work and lead, women are privileged not to be expected to fight and work and lead. These things worth both ways. It is the enforcement which is institutional and systematic, and so both of the ways are institutional and systematic. Misandry and misogyny are intimately connected, and yes: they both come from the enforcement of a patriarchal gender binary.
‘Patriarchal’, by the way, just means that men got the leader role. We have to call different systems of gender roles something, and using this one role to define them is as good a way as any. It just means that this one role, out of the thousands, comes under the male section in our species. Men are still forced into and expected to take this role, just as much as women are forced not to. ‘Patriarchal’ doesn’t mean that men have chosen this role. It doesn’t mean that men have chosen the other roles. It doesn’t mean that an evil conspiracy of men got together and invented the system. This was a system that evolved independent of our desires. Nature chose this system, simply because it was the one which fitted best to our surroundings and our physical anatomies. It is the system which helped us survive. Nobody created it. If anything, it is what created us. We started developing it when we first became social animals - before we were human - and, as the system which helped us survive, there is no denying that it has shaped us. So no, ‘patriarchal’ doesn’t mean ‘made by men’ or ‘men get it better’ or ‘men good, women bad’. It just means that one particular role, by which we arbitrarily decided to name the system, happens to be in the male role - because that is what nature found to be the best fit.
Everybody still has the binary forced on them, nobody has a choice, nobody is favoured. The patriarchy likes masculine men and feminine women, and hates feminine men and masculine women, because it wants everyone to fit its system. It doesn’t have a favourite between men and women, though, because at some point a similar process of natural selected decided that it was best to have two distinct genders. Both men and women are needed for the patriarchy to work. It loves both of them when they are in their place, and hates both of them when they are out of their place. The patriarchy prefers men and women to non-binaries, but it certainly does not prefer men over women or vice versa. It relies on both of us to even exist. Likewise, there is no favouring of masculinity over femininity or vice versa. Both are wonderful in their place, and an abomination out of it. All ‘patriarchy’ means is that it is men’s place to make decisions about the group’s survival, because somebody had to do it, it would be more efficient if this role was pre-assigned, and a combination of physical strength and lack of other commitments meant that men were the best fit. Men make the decisions about survival, they do not make the decisions about gender roles. The gender roles are what put men in that position in the first place, and that decision was not made by a human at all. It was made by natural selection.
“Plus comparing feminism to dogma is just wrong”
Yes. Yes it is. I am a feminist, and I don’t find it dogmatic. What I am calling dogmatic is the old-fashion model of how gender roles work. Written decades ago. By women. After listening to only women’s experiences. Without the science we now have. Without the statistical evidence we now have. Without the accounts of men and non-binaries which we now have. What I am saying is that the modern model, which takes these things into account, is much better. It explains all of these things. What I am saying is that defending the old model, by first assuming its validity, is bigoted. I’ll illustrate using Theory T and Process P:
- There is evidence for P
- T doesn’t account for P
- We can be certain that T is objectively true
- P must not exist, because T says it doesn’t
- The evidence can therefore be dismissed as invalid, even if we cannot explain why.
- There is evidence for P
- T doesn’t account for P
- We can’t be certain that T is objectively true
- T must be false, because it doesn’t fit the evidence
- We can be proper scientists about this and maybe the academic community will start taking us seriously.
The issue is with premise 3. People don’t realise, or don’t care, that they’ve assumed it.
“The model (written from the perspective of women) says that sexism is only against women”.
“But look: these statistics show that men are discriminated against for being men!”
“That can’t be right. The model says that sexism cannot be against men, so that’s not a thing”.
How do we know that the model is correct? There is no evidence against it.
How do we know that this evidence isn’t valid? The model says it is.
Circular Logic 101:
1. Assume women are victims of gendered oppression and men are not.
2. Discount evidence that men are victims of gendered oppression, because only women are victims of gendered oppression.
3. Conclude that only women are the victims of gendered oppression, because there is no evidence to the contrary.
If it’s not circular, it’s simply unfalsifiable.
How do we know that the gardener exists? There is no evidence against it.
Can there be any evidence against it, that can’t be twisted or ignored? No. So it’s as good as circular, because it’s impossible to disprove. It’s dogma.
How do we know that the gardener exists? There is no evidence against it.
Can there be any evidence against it, that can’t be twisted or ignored? No. So it’s as good as circular, because it’s impossible to disprove. It’s dogma.
Dogma means that you can’t change your mind. You can’t, therefore, believe strongly in dogma and not be narrow-minded. It’s irrelevant what you believed before the dogma convinced you, because that belief won’t have been dogma, and so proving that you had an open mind then (when you didn’t believe in dogma) doesn’t prove that you have an open mind now (when you do).
But go on, tell me that misandry is part of the patriarchy or linked to misogyny. Tell me that not all feminists are man-haters. Patronise me more by saying something that I completely agree with. Misunderstand and assume your way into completely misrepresenting my position. That’s cool, right?
No. No it isn’t.
There’s this one term that’s on a few occasions been applied to me that’s always bothered me; pussy whipped. If you really give this term any thought at all, you’ll find that what it really is an insult for a man who does nice things for his girlfriend/wife. You’d think that feminists would be all over a word like that, since it’s quite obviously a sign of a culture that’s abusive to women. But, to my knowledge, it hasn’t ONCE been talked about over any feminist campfire I’ve ever even heard of. Not long ago I heard a feminist (who I greatly respect) laugh with her feminist friend (who I ALSO greatly respect) about feminist number 2’s “whipped” boyfriend. The reason he was “SO WHIPPED LOLOLOLOL” was because she asked him to go get ice cream for her and he did. I later pointed out to feminist number one how feminist number two just used that word to shame her boyfriend for doing something nice for her, and she immediately saw that word for what it was. So I wonder why it is that no one’s ever talked about “pussy-whipped” before. It seems to me that it’s a term that’s quite easy to explain why it’s bad and how it’s a sign of a misogynist culture; a perfect little gem of feminist thought. I imagine after being passed around a while on tumblr a clever feminist would come up with a way to sum up the idea in a very powerful way with less than 20 words. This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that the feminist community on tumblr LOVES. The reason no feminists before me noticed it? It shames MEN and even puts women (momentarily) in this place of power. The woman gets to assert her dominance because he’s being servile to her. How ironic right? A man being servile to a woman is totally backwards!
So let me reframe this issue for a second; men are being shamed for being nice. Because REALLY. We are. That comes straight out of not being allowed to feel. See how menz being allowed to feel is relevant to your interests, tumblr feminists? So maybe it’s time you stop shaming men for having “fee fees”, and since you’re apparently blind to the times when our interests are aligned how about you just leave us alone when someone cares more than you do “about teh menz”? This isn’t the first time men have been shamed for being nice, being called the term ‘nice guy’ made my stomach turn even before tumblr feminists got their hands on it. That’s right, just after I made a point that you’re happy to hear (since it supports your belief structure, not because you’re masochists of course) I’m abruptly segueing to things that you’re going to disagree with before you read about Nice Guy Syndrome.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that the guy that thinks if he patiently listens to you and is “nice” to you, will then feel like you owe him sex is totally a real guy, but let me just highlight some of the rhetoric that feminists are using to talk about “Nice Guy Syndrome”. First thing you need to know is when you’re talking about a man with nice guy syndrome, you can, at your convenience, drop the syndrome part and just call him a “Nice Guy”. Put it in quotation marks though. Or don’t. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. Second thing you need to know is that all nice guys feel entitled to having sex with you, so if a man is being nice anywhere within like 30 feet of you he’s probably objectifying you, too.
Let me just clear something up real quick. Just because a man is complaining about not being able to find a date, or a girlfriend, or says he’s in the friendzone or something DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean that he feels entitled to your body or that he feels entitled to a date. It COULD simply be an immature way of handling loneliness. It COULD be his way of joking about a really painful case of unrequited love. Several months ago my friend Katie was interested in me. She had a lot going on; she was really cute, really nice, and had a good sense of humor. But when we went out there was a problem; for whatever reason, the whole time I just felt really awkward. Despite her having a bunch of qualities I really like, we just didn’t fit together. Like so many posts about the friendzone have said, you can’t force a connection. So I stopped seeing her. Now she hates me and I can see it on her face every time I see her or try to say something to her. She’s angry at me for not dating her. OH. MY. GOD. WHY DOES SHE FEEL SO ENTITLED TO MY DICK?! SHE HAS NICE GIRL SYNDROME AND HATES MEN! MISANDRIST! Katie’s response isn’t an uncommon one. I see women respond to rejection this way all the freakin’ time, but is it a sign that misandry is running rampant in our culture? Is it inherently a sign that she felt like all she had to do was insert niceness tokens and sex would fall out of my butt? NO. STOP BEING STUPID. This is more likely an immature reaction of SELF DEFENSE. I mean that, so often when people are rejected they feel like it’s because there’s a problem, and the problem is either you or them, so the mind places the blame on the other person instead of burdening itself. I see where this gets hazy though; where this could start to blur the line from being angry with one woman to being angry with all women. Sometimes that happens. Just like it sometimes happens with women. And assuming that an immaturely formed “I hate this guy” really means “I hate all men” is just as ridiculous as interpreting “I hate this woman” to mean “I hate all women”. Frankly most of the times I see men talking about the friendzone happen after a woman says something like “All men are dicks”. No, we get it, you don’t want to date us. But just because you put you aren’t into someone doesn’t mean he’s not a man.
Which makes me think of this post I’ve seen that distinguishes between the “nice guy” and the nice man. Granted this post supports men being nice and distinguishes the difference between false kindness and genuine, it further muddles the term “nice guy”, which will ALWAYS be tied to men who are nice. But what really troubles me about this post is how people are defining someone else’s gender, and not respecting the idea that gender identity is determined on an individual basis.
I’m not against talking about the asshole who feels entitled to you in any way. What I’m really against though, is this term “Nice Guy Syndrome”. I see this term as a way to shame men for being nice; I feel like this term is making men feel a greater repulsion towards being seen as nice. Please PLEASE don’t use the word nice to describe these men, even if that’s how they’re trying to portray themselves. Even if that’s how they think about themselves. And I get it, REALLY. But OP, It’s the syndrome, we’re not shaming men who are actually nice! Just the ones who pretend to be! But just look at how every time a tumblr feminist is referring to a man with Nice Guy Syndrome she calls him a nice guy, and that’s just so fucking inevitable. So what should you call him? I don’t care. Wait yeah I do. I bet you could come up with something more destructive than Nice Guy Syndrome if I left you to your devices. So how about we call him what he is? Entitled Ass Hat. Then all I’ll have to fight is the individual morons who misuse this term. If you want to be tumblr-hip and have that badass IDGAF tude’ and add the word syndrome, or a TM sign, be my fucking guest.
After all this I know that many people will still think, as damaging as it may be, “Nice Guy Syndrome” is still the best descriptor for this “condition”. For those who think that, I would simply ask which do you think is more damaging? Go ahead and keep thinking about how this affects women exclusively, but consider the side effects of a version of masculinity EVEN MORE hesitant to treat women with kindness. Just keep in mind women have things at stake here too.
I think I might have found an adequate paradigm for what the Nice Guy Syndrome does. I’ve seen many a “feminist” shame men for being inadequate. This is bigger than just Juilienne Smolinski’s piece-of-trash-body-shaming article about penis size and all of the “feminists” who agreed with her, or debated with her on what size made the best penis. Nor is this even just about the thousand feminist run misandry blogs that also shame men for having bodies that aren’t to their liking. This is about every time “feminists” shame men for not knowing what to do in bed. We’ve all seen this stuff before, and it’s always bothered me when a “feminist” talks about someone, maybe an ex-lover, who “couldn’t get the job done”. This is a “feminist’s” easy button; if they feel like making a man feel like shit or look like shit they talk about his sexual “skills”. I’m here to say it though; if a man can’t make you orgasm that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with him. Just because he is a man and you are attracted to him does NOT mean his body owes you a god damn thing. It’s one of two things; you haven’t explained what you want well enough, or you have and he doesn’t want to do that. A man’s purpose is not to please you, and if what you want him to do makes him uncomfortable and he doesn’t want to do it, as a decent human being I would think that you wouldn’t want to pressure him into doing it. I would think you wouldn’t want to shame him for not doing it. And that should go double for someone those who assert the importance of enthusiastic consent. This is rudimentary objectification, a concept that is quite widely recognized as a feminist one, so maybe for women who pressure men into doing things for them (sexual or otherwise) by means of shaming them or their bodies, and refer to themselves as feminists, we should start saying they have Feminist Syndrome. For short, we’ll call them “feminists”. With or without the quotation marks. Maybe we should dirty up the term feminism a little more. “The reason I like it is because it describes who they think they are!” It fits SO perfectly, doesn’t it?
I really REALLY Feel a strong urge to start doing this, but I know it’s wrong so I’m NOT going to. That’s the fucking difference I guess. I mean the difference between a legitimately good person, and someone who claims to be a good person. Even though right now I’m angry and so it would feel SO gratifying to disgrace feminism as a whole, a good person WOULDN’T do that.
srsly though, having to remind feminists of these things makes me want to flip a mathing table. Y’ALL FUCKING TAUGHT ME THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE. It’s just like. WAT. If I could only just make things explode with my mind, you know? or maybe I should just get homeowner’s insurance and then throw my fist through this wall.
But OP! Men do this to us too! And I thought you became a feminist because you thought it was wrong to pressure someone into sex, and because you understood the importance of enthusiastic consent. I would think this isn’t some service you would extend to only the people who “earn it”, but that you just wouldn’t want to pressure someone into sex or shame someone for not servicing you as well as you’d like because it’s disgusting behavior.
I’ve spoken about Friend Zones and Nice Guys, and I agree with the problem, but I’ve always been keen to point out that this isn’t just men. Tumblr is full of girls who have adopted Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’ as their theme song, screaming ‘she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts’ and complaining that men always go for the airheads when really they should go for a Nice Girl (on my dash the other day, actually). Feminists will criticise these girls, calling them ‘Special Snowflakes’, but they won’t notice the parallel. They’ll still talk about Nice Guy Syndrome as something that only men do. In fact, it isn’t even exclusive to relationships: this feeling of entitlement due to some self-professed quality can turn up in a friendship group or a work environment. It’s not that gendered an issue at all.
Even certain ‘feminists’ will complain that men don’t go for them because they’re scared of empowered women, that they should stop liking the anti-feminist self-hating women who want to stick to traditional roles and instead go exclusively for the decent women who deserve their love and respect. There doesn’t go a day without a self-described ‘feminist’ posting about how much they hate all men, often because of a love affair that hasn’t worked out for them. This is what provokes Nice Guy syndrome in the first place! If a girl goes for guys that a third party can see are just going to hurt her, and then lashes out against all guys, it’s only logical self-defence if a guy says “actually, nice guys do exist, you shouldn’t go out with nasty guys if you don’t want to get hurt”. That’s how a lot of this started. That then gets taken out of context by our angry man-hating ‘feminist’, and bam. There is a problem with entitlement, but not all people who think they are entitled are men, and not all people who call themselves nice guys think that they are entitled.
Moving on to the point about sex, I’ve also seen ‘feminist’ posts about how a man must be sexist if he doesn’t want to go down on a woman. There are variations on this: a man must be misogynist if he isn’t comfortable with a woman dominating him and so on. Then they go and talk about how women shouldn’t be pressured into doing things they aren’t comfortable with, and how consent is the most important thing in the universe.
This post deals with a lot of issues within the SJ community which aren’t talked about much, and so it’s worth a read.
I’ve seen so many posts about misandry during my time here, and most of them over-simplify it, not to mention failing to understand what the word does and doesn’t mean. This is me trying to make it a little bit clearer.
To begin, it’s always nice to bring out a dictionary definition. The standard one you’ll find will be:
Misandry: The hatred of men
Recognise it? Good. So this means that if you don’t openly hate men, you can’t be misandric. We can also conclude that, as feminists want gender equality, no true feminist can be misandric.
Likewise, you can’t be misogynist if you don’t actively hate women and, as men’s right’s activists want gender equality, not true MRA can be misogynistic. Right?
Well, no. You don’t have to explicitly loathe women to be a misogynist, even though the dictionary definition you will find is stunningly similar. For the record:
Misogyny: The hatred of women
You see, you don’t have to knowingly hate women to slut-shame a few of them, but that’s still misogyny. You don’t have to hate them to expect them to conform to a gender role, but that’s still misogyny. You don’t have to hate them to treat them like sex objects, but that’s still misogyny. You can think that you love women, and still be a raging misogynist. It’s a subtle thing, and the dictionary definition really doesn’t tell the whole story.
We can all imagine the old imperialist who is perfectly in favour of ethnic minorities - in their proper place. Thinking them inferior is not hating them, but our character here can still be racist as hell. Speaking of which, the same goes for over-zealous Christians who might pray for trans people to be ‘cured’. They don’t act out of hate. If anything, it’s for love. But that doesn’t mean that their views aren’t problematic, offensive, and cissexist.
So yes: you can be a misandrist and not know it. You can be a misandrist and not think that you hate men. Like any other form of prejudice, it can be much more subtle; so subtle that you don’t even notice it. With that common sense established, let’s move on to feminists. Can feminists be misandric? Yes, of course. Not all of them are (and I hope I can count myself in that number) but there is no reason why it shouldn’t be possible. Firstly, I have been unfortunate enough to encounter a number who genuinely and unashamedly hate men. So yes, feminists man-haters exist. Are there many of them? No. They are a vocal minority, but a small minority nonetheless - thank goodness. But feminist misandry is a whole other kettle of fish. As we’ve seen, misandry can be subtle, and you can find it hiding in all sorts of places.
Let’s return to our example of the religious bigot, because it and the feminist bigot form a lovely parallel. Not all feminists are bigots, by the way: just as not all religious people are bigots. Most of them just believe passionately in a good cause based around love and helping over people. Unfortunately, this means that a surprising number of them feel the need to share this cause through hate and violence. It also means that they often reject evidence for faith in their ideology, becoming dogmatic. Both are prime examples of how good ideals can be twisted and selectively ignored to fill personal preferences.
We’ve all marvelled at the headlines after a natural disaster hits an area: “it was god punishing the gay people who lived there”. Well, I certainly have, and even if you haven’t you can instantly recognise that attitude as heterosexist (homophobia without the phobia). But why is it? Let’s break it down. Firstly, it’s showing clear prejudice against gay people. Like dictionary definition misandry, this is pure hate, with no subtlety. Secondly, it’s heterosexist because it shows no care for the gay people’s suffering, and even acts as if they deserve it. Thirdly, it’s heterosexist because it unfairly blames the gay community for pain they didn’t commit, and even suffered from themselves.
Now, the thing is that the first part isn’t necessary. You don’t have to outwardly hate gay people to have anti-gay prejudice. You could be just as heterosexist just doing the second and third bits. If you were part of charity caring for that stricken region, you would be horribly heterosexist if you said that you had nothing against gay people, but that you weren’t going to help them as you didn’t recognise them as real victims - and you’d be even worse if you explained that this was because you thought the disaster was their fault. You don’t have to hate gay people, and you might even pray for their souls vigorously, but you still have a massive and unavoidable prejudice.
The point I’m getting at is this: if you’re in an equality movement, self-proclaiming to be the only equality movement necessary, you damn well better be handing all equality.
If you refuse to help men because they’re men, you’re a misandrist feminist. If you ignore evidence of male suffering because it’s an inconvenient truth to your ideology, you’re a misandrist feminist. Ignoring male suffering from a natural force they can’t control is not more justified than withholding help from gay earthquake victims.
If you blame men for sexism and patriarchy, you’re a misandrist feminist. If you ignore evidence that it evolved naturally in pre-human civilisations because it’s an inconvenient truth to your ideology, you’re a misandrist feminist. An evil conspiracy of men invented sexism just as much as gay people are to blame for earthquakes; and your prejudice shows just as much when you say either.
If you speak over men’s experiences, as a woman, you’re a misandrist feminist. If you refuse to even consider that you might have some privileges, you’re a misandrist feminist. If you use double standards when discussing gender issues to suit your own agenda, you’re a misandrist feminist. Hating men does not even come into it.
I said this with more words here and here, and a basic introduction to misandry and the counter-arguments can be found here (my first impressions, which have changed slightly since) and here respectively. No more excuses.
If you’re a third or second wave feminist, listen up.
You probably know about male privilege. Allow me to summarise:
- Men aren’t women
- Therefore they don’t experience misogyny
- Therefore they cannot be experts on misogyny
- Therefore they cannot comment on the extent of misogyny
- Therefore they cannot speak over or invalidate the experiences of women on misogyny
- Therefore they cannot know whether misogyny exists, and how significant it is
- Therefore they also cannot say whether male privilege exists, and how significant it is
- Therefore it is possible for misogyny to exist without them noticing
- Therefore it is possible for male privilege to exist without them noticing
So, what happens when men are talking about misandry? Are they allowed to do that? Many female feminists don’t think so. They have intervened and told the men that their experiences aren’t valid. But look:
- Women aren’t men
- Therefore they don’t experience misandry
- Therefore they cannot be experts on misandry
- Therefore they cannot comment on the extent of misandry
- Therefore they cannot speak over or invalidate the experiences of men on misandry
- Therefore they cannot know whether misandry exists, and how significant it is
- Therefore they also cannot say whether female privilege exists, and how significant it is
- Therefore it is possible for misandry to exist without them noticing
- Therefore it is possible for female privilege to exist without them noticing
That’s only logical, and it’s the sort of thing fourth-wave feminists accept. They don’t want a double standard, they don’t have an ulterior motive, and they just want progress and equality for everyone.
Unfortunately, the previous waves don’t agree. They’ll come back to this with comments like ‘but misandry isn’t the same as misogyny, so you can’t just substitute it in’. But that’s something that we’ve established as being potentially affected by female privilege. It’s speaking over men’s experiences on misandry. It’s commenting on the extent of misandry. It’s not okay.
So that objection is akin to just saying ‘well my claim that misandry doesn’t exist is valid, because misandry doesn’t exist’. You’re using your conclusion as a justification for your premise, and you’re arguing in circles. It would be just as valid for a man to say that misogyny wasn’t a problem, you to object that he was privileged not to see that it was, and him to justify it by reaffirming that it ‘doesn’t work like that’ and that it isn’t a problem. That is exactly what you are doing with misandry.
The same goes for objections that ‘female privilege doesn’t exist’ - if it did exist than you may very well not notice it, and so saying that you don’t notice it does nothing to disprove its existence. Again using the counterexample, a man could just as validly state that male privilege doesn’t exist because he hasn’t noticed it. You can see how that it again circular, and again nonsense.
When he starts erasing women’s experiences with his privilege denial, it becomes a big problem. That is exactly what you are doing with your privilege denial, which is only as valid as his. You are talking over men’s experiences on male suffering, and making blanket statements about something which, by your own logic, you know nothing about. When your only justification to being called out is ‘but you can’t say that they are the same, because they’re different’ or ‘but you as a man can’t say that men are oppressed, because as a privilege woman my viewpoint is that they’re not’, a justification which you would yourself find offensive if it was pointing the other way.
This is why we need the fourth wave. A new generation of people who are more accepting to the suffering of others, and who are prepared to move with advances in the study of how the patriarchy formed naturally and enforces gender roles equally and oppositely on both men and women (something which evidence from biology, psychology and history all support). People who don’t have a hidden agenda, don’t just want to harass people or cling on to a victim monopoly, and actually care about working from a place of love rather than a place of hate. This is about making the world better for everyone, rather than getting revenge on a group which you have a personal grudge against. This is feminism for the 21st century, and it is a feminism which welcomes people from all races, creeds, genders, sexual identities, abilities, and so on and so forth.
If that sounds good to you, then sign up. If it doesn’t, and you’d prefer to incorporate patriarchal double standards and biases in your work, then please don’t do so whilst calling yourself a feminist. With Chris Martin, you’re going to have to ask yourself: are you part of the cure, or are you part of the disease? If you’re not prepared to apply the same logic and standards to yourself as you do others, then have a good think about whether the equality business is right for you.
…and once again I see the term ‘victim blamer’ being carelessly thrown at anybody who doesn’t toe the line.
Don’t like abortion? Well then, you must support rape. Call somebody a slut? You’re rape’s #1 fan. Question the validity of treating all men like rapists? Somebody phone the police - this man is indirectly guilty of every rape ever. He practically invented it.
No, fauxminists. This is a serious, serious issue and that’s a massive and offensive accusation. You simply cannot claim that somebody supports rape, or thinks that rapists aren’t to blame, unless they explicitly say so. Please do not use rape as some sort of ideological tool, because that is abhorrent. It’s offensive to the individual whom you have just wrongly verbally assaulted, but you also can’t imagine how this propoganda and trivialisation must seem to those who have genuinely been affected by rape - and the two may well overlap. Respect and dignity are valued for a reason.
The truth is that not everybody is a victim-blamer. Let’s illustrate the distinction:
If I’m burgled and the police say “it’s your fault for not locking your door”, that’s victim blaming. It’s not my fault; it’s the burglar’s.
But if I’m just going out and somebody tells me to lock up so that I don’t get burgled, that’s not. That’s just somebody giving common sense, true advice that will help me and prevent harm.
If my child gets abducted and people say “it’s your fault for not keeping a closer eye on them”, that’s victim blaming. It’s not my fault; it’s the kidnapper’s.
But if somebody tells me that it’s a rough area and I should keep my child in sight, that’s not. That’s just somebody giving common sense, true advice that will help me and prevent harm.
If I get hit by a speeding truck on a designated crossing and people say “it’s your fault for not looking where you were going”, that’s victim blaming. It’s not my fault; it’s the driver’s.
But if somebody tells me to look both ways before I cross the road, that’s not. That’s just somebody giving common sense, true advice that will help me and prevent harm.
Do you understand? One is helpful, one is not. One adds insult to injury, one aims to prevent injury in the first place.
So advising me against getting drunk with somebody who has previously abused me is not the same as saying that, when they do rape me, it is ‘my fault’. The two are worlds apart.
Unless they actually say that it’s the victim’s fault, they aren’t saying that it’s the victim’s fault. What they are probably doing is prescribing a course of action which has been proven to lower the risk of there even being a victim in the first place. If your doctor prescribes you some medicine to prevent your condition getting worse, they aren’t saying that it’s your fault if it does get worse. If your friend prescribes you a lock to prevent you getting burgled, they aren’t saying that it’s your fault if you do.
They are doing the polar opposite. They are looking out for you, as all good humans should. They realise how horrible rape is, and are trying to prevent it from happening to you. They aren’t saying that it’s okay if it does, or if it would be your fault. They aren’t trying to get rapists off the hook. They are trying to stop the rapist before they manage to hurt you, which from your perspective is a lot more helpful than letting it happen and then sorting it out afterwards - which is what fauxminists seem to suggest. This isn’t the logic of somebody who supports rape, this is the logic of somebody who hates it, and who is trying to prevent it from happening in the first place. This is the logic of anybody with a heart. This is the logic that fauxminists are condemning as rape apologism. That tells us a lot about fauxminists.
If you’re not persuaded by the fact that this caring logic works with every other crime/advice (is ‘don’t keep all of your money sticking out of your back pocket’ in support of theft, or trying to prevent it? Is it victim blaming, or victim helping?), then let’s have a look at your one comeback.
“But if it’s not my fault, I shouldn’t have to do anything about it”.
It isn’t your fault if you get raped, it is the rapist’s. So why should you have to limit your activity? Surely it is they who should be being told not to rape?
In some cases, naivety is cute. In others, it is dangerous. Here it is the latter: your idealistic view of the world means that you are putting people at risk. You are telling them to ignore common sense and advice which has been proven to work. You are saying “you shouldn’t have to take the medicine, because if your condition worsens then that’s not your fault, it’s the fault of the pathogen. We shouldn’t be making you take medicine, we should be telling the pathogen to stop being nasty.”
Here’s a newsflash: the pathogen doesn’t care. It will hurt you anyway, and so advising people not to medicate on these grounds is downright dangerous. The same goes for rapists: do you honestly believe that these are moral people? We already do ‘tell them not to rape’ in the strictest terms: it is against the law, and faces a severe punishment. These people have been told, and they haven’t listened. We have as much chance at persuading them against it as we do with the pathogen. Instead of wasting our time being naive, we are forced to actually lower the risk of us coming to harm. The only sensible thing to do is to make their job difficult.
We tell people not to steal or abduct or run people over, but you will still lock up, you will still worry about your kids, and you will still follow the green cross code. If anybody didn’t do these things, because of a naive ‘not my fault if bad things happen’ mentality, that would be highly dangerous for them. They would probably be taken into care. If they left their children alone in the city at night because ‘it’s not my fault if somebody hurts them, we should be telling people not to abduct rather than telling me to look after them’, they might well be arrested for negligence. This sort of naivety really can be harmful, and just doesn’t work in real life. It’s barely acceptable if you live your own life in such a way, but please do not try to enforce your stupidity on others. Please do not attack sensible people for locking up, or for telling others to do so. Please do not harrass them and call them ‘theft apologists’ for caring for each other and their belongings.
In an ideal world, yes, it would be nice if pathogens and thieves and rapists didn’t hurt us. It would be nice if they were moral. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and they aren’t. So it is pretty damn impractical to act as if they are. Maybe lions shouldn’t be vicious. Maybe if they bite your head off it’s their fault, and not yours. Maybe instead of saying ‘don’t put your head in their mouth’, we should be telling the lions ‘don’t bite their head off’. But the thing is, the lions won’t listen. So if I care about you, I will tell you not to do the risky thing and stick your head in there. That doesn’t make me in support of lions crushing human skulls, it means that I don’t want you to come to harm. Okay? So don’t put your head in their mouths, and don’t tell others that it’s okay to put their head there because it’s ‘not their fault’. Blame is not the only important factor here.
So you’re being naive, you’re being irresponsible, you’re not living in the real world, and worse of all you’re leading others to harm. But why stop there, when you can also be selfish and solipsistic? In spouting the ‘not my fault’ speil in a context where nobody has said that it is, you sound like the incredibly spoilt adolescent who says “why should I give to charity? It’s not my fault that people are starving”. Whether or not it is your fault is irrelevant. The misuse of the term ‘victim-blaming’ assumes that blame is the only possible motivation. But it is trumped by common sense, and trumped again by compassion. If you care about others, you will give to charity, and you will give advice to lower the risk of rape. If you want to reduce suffering, you will do these things. ‘Who’s fault it is’ is really not important here, unless you are no more than a petulant child. What is important is that you actually care about other people.
The average person would rather have their friend happy and alive, than have them die as an innocent martyr. They would rather prevent their friend from being raped, than knowingly allow them to increase their chances of rape just so that they can be a blameless victim. The net prevention of suffering is, and always will be, more important than bickering over whose fault the suffering would have been. That is the common sense principle that every person who cares for another person understands, and that is why they will give advice such as that listed earlier. They care more for their friend’s wellbeing than they care about creating the perfect victim.
Fauxminists, living in their imaginary world, care only for the latter. They would rather we suffer as pure and innocent martyrs than live as flawed but happy humans. Their advice supports rape more than any of our caring prescriptions do, because they would choose a perfect victim where we would choose none at all. We understand that it is important to make clear that rape victims are not to blame, but it would be infinitely preferable to not have any rape victims at all. That is something that they, out of touch with reality, have yet to grasp - and that makes their violent preaching incredibly dangerous. They can be given the role of carer, but only once they begin to care about the wellbeing of human beings, rather than furthering their perverted idea of dignified suffering. Dignified suffering seems beautiful in a fantasy world, but on Earth no suffering at all is always to be preferred.
“The truth is, women are still required to be “nice”. To be unthreatening. You can show me all the token examples of assertive modern women, but the fact still remains that more often than not, I hear women deflecting their seriousness, their cleverness, their interrogative spirit, via a systematic persona of infantilising niceness…”
— Hila Shachar, read the rest here.
(You know me.) I have to add that men have this too, but it’s in a different realm—the court. Women have to be nice and men have to be “not rapists.” I agree though. It’s infuriating. I don’t like being mean to people, but it’s just—I’m not going to smile 24/7. I have depression, dammit, lemme alone.
ROFL. Assuming a rape case gets to the courts, to be “not rapists” all men have to do is be white and middle/upper class. It has nothing to do with whether or not he’s nice. It all has to do with his race and class.
Okay. Race and class are grounds for prejudice, absolutely, but that’s no excuse to just throw a big tarp over white middle-class white, cis guys and label them “this would-be rapist will never be prosecuted.”
How many cases have you seen in court where those who beat/rape men are prosecuted? Those who are beaten/raped by women? (And yes, while much fewer in number—that we know of—they most certainly exist.) Virtually none. Why? Because women are seen as weak and easily victimized while men are seen as powerful and invulnerable, which discredits all of our individual experiences.
This isn’t to imply that rape is not a heinous crime where victims are shamed into hiding. It is. I think we all remember that cheerleader, God love her, who was kicked out of school for not cheering for the guy who raped her. My point is that in court, the man is guilty until proven innocent. He could be innocent. He could be a raping scumbag. We assume one all the time without giving credence to the other, when we truly don’t know.
Holy crap, FS. Men in violent environments (such as war and prison) are 70% more likely to be raped. And let’s not conveniently forget that we’ve all heard other of women who’ve dropped the R-bomb on an innocent guy to ruin/blackmail him. We should be kicking their asses, too, since nothing hurts the cause more than false reports. This happens. Sweeping it under the rug doesn’t make it any less true and, quite frankly, it makes us look like bigots ourselves. There’s a lot more going on here than just race and class.
You don’t have to be nice, but you do have to be fair.
You wouldn’t expect it, but everyone with ‘bitch’ in their name seems to be a hostile and mocking bigot. “I don’t want to check my privilege, so if I’m being sexist and get called out I’ll just laugh at their suffering”. Look at yourself.In that case I REALLY don’t understand why you used that logic. If everything is shit for everyone, why are the few men who think that men are more oppressed so much worse than the vast majority of people with power in gender equality believing that only women are oppressed? I was just confused as to why you were singling men out, and why their being men meant their opinion was worse less than if they were women (if everything sucks for everyone). I agree with your beliefs, and respect you for them, but I just don’t understand where you’re going with this. Sorry if I’m being dense.
Every single one of them has been a white, heterosexual, wealthy or middle class, cisgendered man.
Men do face problems, but it’s actually a common phenomenon. At least, that’s what my sociology professor…
White, privileged, cis, hetero men crying about oppression = hilarious.
Things don’t “suck for everyone.” That would indicate that our culture of oppression is chaotic. There is a very clear beneficiary from oppression, and they would be “oppressors.” You know, white, cis, hetero, privileged men.