Sunday, November 4, 2007

From Googling "What Is Feminism"

I said before that I would post what I’ve found on the internet about the definitions of feminism. Following is a partial list. I tried to include only those definitions from feminist for feminist-friendly sites, to try to be as fair as possible. I did not include those I found – and there were many – that rambled on and on and never came to a point.


For the record, I have to say that what I found relied quite a bit on ideological ideas that are presented as fact, with nothing to back them up. The two major ideas from this category are “oppression of women” and the “media presentation of feminism as a negative thing”.


Note: The quotation marks I used above do not indicate that I have taken these expressions verbatim from something I found, but rather are names I have assigned to broad ideas I saw over and over again.



FEMINISM 101 -- WHAT IS FEMINISM?
Feminism is not a monolith, nor is it a dogma. The only thing you have to believe in order to call yourself a feminist is that ensuring women's freedom and equality of opportunity in all spheres of life is a crucial priority. That's it.


Feminists all work from that basic axiom, but aside from that we are an incredibly diverse group. We are diverse in five ways:


1) We come from every conceivable background and life experience. There are feminists from every country, every socio-economic class, every religion, every sexual orientation, every profession, every race and ethnicity.


2) We are diverse in terms of style and personality and lifestyle.


3) We are diverse in terms of emphasis. Some of us focus on fostering equality in the realm of sex. Some of us are concerned with the equality of opportunity for professional women. Some of us care most about cultural attitudes regarding the proper roles and characteristics of men and women. Some of us criticize organized religion, while others work for reform from inside faiths such as Catholicism or Mormonism or Islam. Some of us stress the issue of violence upon women. Some of us are primarily concerned with reproductive rights. Some of us point to gender apartheid in places like Saudi Arabia, while others criticize inequities in comparably more "liberated" societies in the West.


4) We are diverse in terms of the conclusions we draw from our feminism. Feminists often disagree with each other on all sorts of things. For example (and this is a gross simplification, by the way) some feminists believe that pornography is inherently degrading to women whereas others may believe that participation in pornography is potentially empowering. The point is that both camps are looking at the issue in terms of how pornography affects women's freedom and equality. Both camps are feminist even though they reach diametrically opposed conclusions. As another example, I believe strongly in the equality of opportunity for women in business, but I would be very much opposed to the United States imposing a quota like Norway's where companies are legally required to have a 40% female board of directors.


5) We also have other things we care about that aren't about feminism. My husband is one of those maddening people who will say, "I don't think I'm a feminist. I'm a humanist because I am not ONLY concerned about women's equality." But I haven't met too many feminists who are concerned about women's equality and nothing else. For me, I care very deeply about ending the death penalty, ending the corporal punishment of children, protecting our civil liberties across the board, and ensuring equal treatment for men, gays, people with disabilities, people of different races, etc. etc. etc. among many other issues that are not specifically feminist.


I suppose people may be inclined to say that my definition of feminism is so broad as to render feminism irrelevant. People often ask, well, doesn't everyone think that women should be free and equal? Sadly, the answer is no. There are whole nations devoted to a system of crushing gender apartheid. And in our own culture -- remarkable though our progress has been over the last three or four decades -- limiting assumptions about women's proper role run rampant and highly influential organizations like Focus on the Family are doing what they can to turn the clock back for women.


The Happy Feminist




In many ways, I suspect my feminism is fairly bourgeois. I don't want a revolution that doesn't allow me to dance, flirt, and buy shoes. On the other hand, my feminism is fairly absolute in that I will not allow myself (or others) to demonize "radical feminists" or to ignore poor women or women of color, and I object very strongly when I see women fighting with each other over crumbs. I'm sure I do it too, sometimes, but I try very hard not to. My feminism is material in the sense that I believe that the body is irreducible (more and more so, as I age, and more since becoming a mother). I do not believe that there are no differences between men and women; but I believe that what differences there are have been vastly exaggerated by social conditioning, and I reject essentialism. My feminism likes men, and is sympathetic to the ways that they, too, suffer from narrow definitions of gender. My feminism insists on being heard, and will not give up a fight, and will not back down. On the other hand, my feminism deplores unfairness, meanness, and insensitivity. I believe in principles, including the principle that people matter. I believe in forgiveness and second chances, and in teaching, and in learning; and I also believe in having high expectations and firm boundaries. My feminism is polemical but embraces ambiguities. My feminism is aggressive and protective.


Bitch Ph.D.




feminism: (a) a range of contemporary theoretical perspectives (political, sociological, legal, psychoanalytic, literary, philosophical) in which women's experiences are examined in relation to actual and perceived differences between the power and status of men and women; (b) a social justice movement in which issues of particular importance for women (e.g. domestic violence, pay equity, globalization) are analysed, understood, and addressed from feminist perspectives. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the term was often used in compounds such as "lesbian feminism" and "eco-feminism."


Family Pride Canada




feminism
The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.


From an Art History course out of Auckland, NZ




Feminism is both an intellectual commitment and a political movement that seeks justice for women and the end of sexism in all forms.


From The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy




"Feminism - I myself have never known what feminism is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat." -Rebecca West, 1913


"Feminism--the belief that women are full human beings capable of participation and leadership in the full range of human activities--intellectual political, social, sexual, spiritual, and economic." -Pearl Cleage, Deals with the devil, p.28. (New York: Ballantine Books, 1993.)


"Feminism is the political theory and practice that struggles to free _all_ women: women of color, working-class women, poor women, disabled women, lesbians, old women--as well as white, economically privileged, heterosexual women. Anything less than this vision of total freedom is not feminism, but merely female self-aggrandizement." -Barbara Smith (reprinted in Gloria Anzaldua's Making Face, Making Soul, 25.)


"Feminism is an assertion that women as a group have been historically disadvantaged relative to men of their race, class, ethnicity, or sexual identity; and a commitment to changing the structures that systemically privilege men over women." Journal of Women's History


"I define a feminist as a self-empowering woman who wishes the same for her sisters. I do not think the term implies a certain sexual orientation, a certain style of dress, or membership in a certain political party. A feminist is merely a woman who refuses to accept the notion that women's power must come through men." -- Erica Jong, Fear of Fifty, p.286


"I define feminist consciousness as the awareness of women that they belong to a subordinate group; that they have suffered wrongs as a group; that their condition of subordination is not natural, but is societally determined; they they must join with other women to remedy these wrongs; and finally, that they must and can provide an alternate vision of societal organization in which women as well as men will enjoy autonomy and self-determination." -- Gerda Lerner, The Creation of Feminist Consciousness, p. 14


All from the Linda Chapman – Feminist Therapy website




1. The belief that women and men are, and have been, treated
differently by our society, and that women have frequently
and systematically been unable to participate fully in all
social arenas and institutions.
2. A desire to change that situation.
3. That this gives a "new" point-of-view on society, when
eliminating old assumptions about why things are the way
they are, and looking at it from the perspective that women
are not inferior and men are not "the norm."



from the soc.feminism FAQ file (http://www.cs.uu.nl/wais/html/na-dir/feminism/info.html)




What is feminism?



British suffragist and journalist Rebecca West famously said, "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." In other words, feminism is a commitment to achieving the equality of the sexes. This radical notion is not exclusive to women: men, while benefiting from being the dominant sex, also have a stake in overcoming the restrictive roles that deprive them of full humanity.



From Red Letter Press




There have been three major “waves” of feminism thus far, the first rising as recently as the 19th century. Feminism is an awareness that dawned openly as a response to the Abolition Movement in the mid-nineteenth century and it has matured over the last century. Currently, there are many different expressions of feminism, but the core value of feminism remains. To be feminist is to actively recognize the need for, and work to create equality for women. By definition, there is no dependence upon female superiority, man-hating, or other negative approaches toward equality. Feminism is simply a movement intending to enlighten people with a goal of improving the quality of life for women and their society. However, many people possess images of feminism that fit into the previously mentioned destructive patterns. The confusion about feminism is a result of many factors.


Women have been oppressed for as long as history. This oppression is a very similar tragedy to the oppression that occurs daily towards all kinds of minority groups, but women are not a minority group. There are actually more women on Earth than there are men. Women are not defined by skin color, by spoken language, or by class. Since women are not a minority group, their unequal treatment has gone unnoticed by many. Once talk of feminism is uttered people easily may interpret it as just another reason to complain, due to their blindness to the inequality. It is difficult to publicize an issue and expect change when that issue does not appear to exist.




Another factor that interferes with the appropriate publicity for a controversial cause is the press. In the mid-twentieth century, when mass communication boomed with the invention of the television, the media designed the public’s image of feminism. The way that people learned about this movement was through the filter of journalism. Unfortunately the media’s motives are not solely based on clear, unbiased reports of news. The influences of ratings, public interest, and the government’s economical goals caused the portrayal of feminism on television to focus on scenes that were not the feminist norm. Images of mean, angry and violent women flashed before television viewers and they attracted attention. The general public witnessed feminism as a negative force while watching the evening news.


A concluding point, which is very powerful, is that women are not always actively oppressed, and for the most part women are part of a lot of the actual oppression. The unequal treatment of women in society originates not in men, but from underneath the obvious surface, where social structure dwells. It is difficult to determine exactly where female oppression began; so many people interpret feminism as a movement that blames men. This interpretation of feminism is incorrect, yet popular.
It is important to know that feminism is about equality, not anger. To involve oneself in the feminist movement is to search for a higher quality of life for all people. The misconceptions that commonly arise out of the lack of understanding of feminism can be and must be easily cleared away in order for the truth about feminism to surface.


From >>essortment.com




Declaring a person is a feminist is like declaring a person is religious. It’s a vague title.


Consider this for a moment: How would you react if someone said, “I am religious?”
You wouldn’t really know what they practiced. All you would really know is that they have a spiritual belief system.


This is the same with feminism. All you can really know is that they believe in equality between sexes.


Consider that for a moment: Equality between sexes.


Does that seem so radical? Just like religious people, there are radical feminist, which people seem to be more familiar with.


From Southern Methodist University’s women’s studies definition page




Throughout history, women have always struggled to gain equality, respect, and the same rights as men. This has been difficult because of patriarchy, an ideology in which men are superior to women and have the right to rule women. This ideology has permeated the social structures of societies throughout the world and as a result, even in the new millennium, women are still struggling for rights that most men take for granted. The struggle was even more difficult for women of color because not only were they dealing with issues of sexism, but also racism. In order to fight patriarchy, feminism and feminist theory was born.



From “What is Feminism?” by Kathy Henry




I think that's a pretty broad assortment of sites. Does any of it ring true to those of you who call yourselves feminists?

76 comments:

Steve said...

A lot of talk about equality. That's nice. Notice the definition that defines feminism as "freedom and equality of opportunity"

This is where the sleight of hand occurs. Freedom means "freedom from oppression" which means "freedom from the patriarchy". In this view, inequality is socially constructed, it is a "false consciousness" that causes men and women to sub-consciously oppress women.

Because patriarchy cannot be observed, the proxy measure is equality of outcomes (rather than the espoused equality of opportunity). No equal outcomes means no freedom.

But what if the patriarchy does not exist? What if outcomes result from free choice rather than oppression? How could one ever know if the only measure of oppression is equality of outcomes?

For instance, women make up nearly 60% of college graduates but somehow they are still oppressed because 50% of full professors are not women. Feminism has no way of determining (or I would argue no interest in determining) if these outcomes are a result of choice or oppression.

literarycritic said...

1. The belief that women and men are, and have been, treated
differently by our society, and that women have frequently
and systematically been unable to participate fully in all
social arenas and institutions.
2. A desire to change that situation.
3. That this gives a "new" point-of-view on society, when
eliminating old assumptions about why things are the way
they are, and looking at it from the perspective that women
are not inferior and men are not "the norm."


Now, this, I could stand behind.

I don't like the word "oppression." I don't like the word "patriarchy." I believe they're too vague and, at this point in our culture, too loaded to communicate what is really meant. I understand what is meant, but I read it differently than many people. I was a philosophy major in college -- I'm accustomed to (and actually prefer) using terms in the way they're meant by the user, and not what they originally meant to me (before I understood where the user was coming from). This is crucial to actually understanding a particular school of thought -- accepting redefinition, for the purposes of understanding another mindset. However, I fully realize that the majority of people do not do this and should not even necessarily have to. I'd like to see it happen, as I believe there would be a lot less misunderstanding, but I understand the reasons why it's difficult.

That's why I like this redefinition, or this new way of explaining the same basic idea: "The belief that women and men are, and have been, treated
differently by our society[.]" This is, to me, what is meant by the shorthand term "oppression." If the different treatment/views/etc. of women (in contradistinction to men) results in women not being seen as fully human in some areas -- like the crime example I brought up, or the old-as-time arguments about inferior female mental capacity, or the portrayal of men as "active doers" and women as "passive be-ers" -- then, as far as that applies, the different treatment isn't positive; it's negative. It may be positive in other ways -- women make better mothers, women are naturally cleaner, women are more sensitive, women love more deeply -- but that positive treatment doesn't really make the negative treatment suddenly not exist. And the specifics of the old dialogue confined women who didn't want to be in the home, wanted to go to school, wanted to fight in the military, didn't want to have children, and so on. They may not have been the majority, but social conditioning is awfully powerful. I think it's telling that, as society opened up (for reasons other than feminism, as well as feminism itself -- I'm not denying that!), a slow but steady influx of women into previously demarcated areas began. And it continues.

"... and that women have frequently
and systematically been unable to participate fully in all
social arenas and institutions."

See above.

literarycritic said...

P.S. KellyMac, do you think you could put the definitions under a jump or something? It's a very long scrolldown... just a request, no hard feelings if you don't. :)

KellyMac said...

Re: jumps...

I'm not the most computer literate, but have bookmarked a site showing me how to do it, so it's coming.

literarycritic said...

KellyMac,

Thanks, and good luck. :)

Anonymous said...

As a man who very respectfully and very politely tried to participate in a debate at BitchPhd's site and had my comment deleted for absolutely no reason,
I can not believe BitchPhd says the following about herself,

"... My feminism likes men, and is sympathetic to the ways that they, too, suffer from narrow definitions of gender."

BitchPhd was absolutely not sympathetic to my having to wait over half an hour while an overly zealous female teacher was checking my id on the phone with God knows who.
She was convinced I was there to kidnap a kid - even though I gave her all the id - with photos - and information she asked for!!!
I was simply picking up the kid of a friend who had an emergency and could not be there on time.
The kid knew me well, anyway you get the idea.

I was a victim of narrow gender definition ( all men are rapist pedophiles... ) and was simply telling my story.
BitchPhd deleted my comment without explanation but every other comment that was telling of women being victims were left untouched.


And BitchPhd says ,

"... On the other hand, my feminism deplores unfairness, meanness, and insensitivity. [...] I believe in forgiveness and second chances,"

but Bitch Phd was unfair, mean and definitely unsensitive to me.

And when I asked her why she deleted my comment, she simply deleted that comment too without explanation...where was my second chance? where was her forgiveness?

I was simply telling my story of being treated unfairly and she treated me unfairly.

She can pretend she believes in all those great things but I'm living proof she does not.

She did not apply any of those principles, values or whatever
to me - a man -
She simply treated me like I was nothing.

PS; My first language is French, so please understand writing a comment such as the above is a lot of work for me.

KellyMac said...

anonymous:

Je ne connais pas que l'Anglais n'est pas ta langue premier. C'etait beaucoup plus meilleur que je parles Francais. Merci bien pour l'effort :)

literarycritic said...

Anonymous, good job writing all that in English. Very well-put together.

As for your comment itself -- BitchPhD is under no obligation to post yours or anybody else's comments. There is no way you can know if she deleted your comments because of your sex. I sincerely doubt it, as I have seen numerous comments from men over there. If you are an MRA, perhaps her patience is lower if that allegiance is made clear. That's her right; it's her blog.

I'm actually pretty shocked that you seem so personally offended by one of your comments being deleted on a blog that's not even your own, but someone else's. It's just a comment! It's not a blogosphere-wide conspiracy against you because of your sex! This is what people like Mike mean when they talk about "whining"...

KellyMac said...

literary critic:

Don't you find it odd that the only comments that were kept were about women being victims?

I agree with you that I don't think she deleted his comment because he was a man. I think she deleted his comment because it was about a man being treated unfairly.

You are correct that it is her blog and she can delete whatever she wants to. I just find it extremely hypocritical to announce that you are all about fairness, when what you mean is that you are all about fairness towards one sex.

literarycritic said...

Don't you find it odd that the only comments that were kept were about women being victims?

KellyMac, neither of us have even seen the thread Anonymous is talking about. He didn't provide a link. We also don't know what the comment he left was actually like -- we know the story he says he told, but we don't know anything about his tone, his choice of words in the original post, or what kind of response could have been reasonably expected considering the forum he was posting in.

I agree with you that I don't think she deleted his comment because he was a man. I think she deleted his comment because it was about a man being treated unfairly.

My statement that I was reasonably sure BitchPhD did not delete his comment based on his sex was based on evidence, i.e., posts by other men are all over the blog, so bias based merely on the sex of the poster is not apparent. Your statement that you think his comment was deleted because he was a man complaining of being treated unfairly is an assumption with no evidence to back it up.

Please don't take this as a personal attack on you or your viewpoint. I'm just trying to clarify what we know vs. what we don't, in order to delineate appropriate vs. inappropriate context.

literarycritic said...

Your statement that you think his comment was deleted because he was a man complaining of being treated unfairly is an assumption with no evidence to back it up.

I'll go one further: I've seen posts on BitchPhD made by men who were complaining of being treated unfairly. One was a man complaining about the high incidence of public sexual harassment/assault against him in foreign countries. I've also seen comments get through moderation that were complaints by men about their female partners being violent against them. So there's actually evidence that comments from men about being treated unfairly do get posted on the website. There is some other reason at work here.

Mike said...

Yeah, come on. Anonymous anecdotes without links?

Ampersand said...

I hope you won't mind if I quote a definition from my blog. This is just the definition I use; I’m not claiming that I can dictate my definition to anyone else. What I try to do with a definition is to exclude as many clear non-feminists and feminist-bashers as possible, while still maintaining a “big umbrella” definition that can include feminists with wildly disparate views.

A feminist:

1) Advocates for the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

2) Believes that there is current, significant, society-wide inequality and sexism.

3) Doesn’t believe that men are the primary victims of inequality and sexism.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kellymac, and your french is 95% good!

Literarycritic,

I do not have a link or anything because it was many months ago and I never thought I should keep some evidence of what had happened.

why would I have kept any proofs?

I have not thought about that incident since it happened until yesterday when I visited this site for the first time and saw that statement by BitchPhd.

I understand anyone can say anything on the internet - especially when they remain anonymous, but I have no reason to make this story up.

I do not have a blog, I am not part of any group or anything, I am just a man who likes to read blogs and write his opinion or experiences.

And maybe I was not clear but I do not think she deleted my comments because I am a man,
she left many comments there from other men who were agreeing with her that women are victims.

I was the only man there with a personal experience of being treated unfairly because of gender stereotypes.

I understand it is her blog and she can do what she want, but then why when I asked why she deleted my comment did she delete that one too?

She never said "it is MY blog."

She just acted like she could not care less about a man's expereince.

So all her great statements about fairness and blablabla I know they are just a mask, a facade.

And just take a minute and think,

there might be a reason why she calls herself Bitch...

literarycritic said...

I do not have a link or anything because it was many months ago and I never thought I should keep some evidence of what had happened.

why would I have kept any proofs?


You completely misunderstand me. You're the one who brought up the BitchPhD thread. We're all on the internet here, and BitchPhD is still up. You found the thread once; you can find it again, if it's worth it to you.

But as of now, you're making repeated statements about what (you say) happened on the BitchPhD thread, and failing to provide a link that would allow other people to come to their own independent conclusions as to what happened.

I can't believe I have to explain this to you. The proof that your interpretation is right should be relatively easy for you to get. You've obviously comprehended that a link would be useful, as you came back and wrote a lengthy post about how/why you don't have one, and yet you did not bother to even try to find the original thread.

Why should anybody believe your overpersonalized interpretation of BitchPhD's actions (i.e., according to you, her actions are all about you) over what they know to be generally true about BitchPhD? You're going by "Anonymous"; no one knows you from Adam, whereas BitchPhD has a good blog that's publicly maintained and a reputation to protect. So at this point, no, I don't believe your story. Sorry.

literarycritic said...

And furthermore...

I understand it is her blog and she can do what she want, but then why when I asked why she deleted my comment did she delete that one too?

She never said "it is MY blog."


She doesn't have to. She doesn't have to explain herself to you.

She just acted like she could not care less about a man's expereince.

And you're acting like she owes you an explanation of what you see as her mean, rude behavior, but she wasn't mean, and she wasn't rude. She just didn't let your comment through.

So all her great statements about fairness and blablabla I know they are just a mask, a facade.

You don't know anything of the kind. Get this through your head: No meanness was done to you. You were not treated rudely. She just didn't let your comment through. That she's a great big unfair faker is your (unsubstantiated) opinion.

Anonymous said...

literarycritic,

If I find the tread and there is absolutely no trace of me ever leaving comments there,

How is this going to make you believe my comments were deleted without explanation?

You may as well ask me to prove to you I never was at lake Michigan!

Would photos of lake Michigan without me on them be a proof to you?

It is strange how you are so agressive on defending Bitchphd.

From the start you already were making excuses for Bitchphd that it was her blog, or that I was making this up!

it seems without knowing anything about this incident you had your mind made up that I was wrong or lying and Bitchphd is innocent!

and it is strange how you seem so convinced Bitchphd is " above" doing what i know she did,

You have no trouble believing I am a bad person trying to destroy Bitchphd with lies,
but you can not for a minute believe Bitchphd could be wrong on this one.

You seem to think it is impossible that a woman treated a man unfairly.

Could you be the type to have a narrow view of gender?

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the tone of my comments,

I am not agressive at all,

then take a look at yours literarycritic,

you are agressive and you are belittling me.

telling me " get it trough your head" and things like that is very agressive and impolite.

Maybe I should keep proofs of this for when I discuss it on another site next year?

Anonymous said...

I know I am killing a dead horse but I just want to add that I find it funny that as I am telling of an incident where a woman refused to accept that me a man could be a victim,

I again am in a situation where a woman refuses to accept i was a victim of a woman!

I can not prove what Bitchphd did but I guess without trying I have just showed that some women see men with narrow gender views...

what do you call it?

Irony?

literarycritic said...

Anonymous,

I should not have taken a condescending tone with you. I apologize. I did not feel aggressive, and I don't think I was aggressive, but I was irritated with you. Perhaps that is what you see as "aggression."

If I find the tread and there is absolutely no trace of me ever leaving comments there,

How is this going to make you believe my comments were deleted without explanation?

You may as well ask me to prove to you I never was at lake Michigan!

Would photos of lake Michigan without me on them be a proof to you?


It is this kind of commenting that DOES irritate me, to the verge of anger. Please read my comments again. I am not claiming that she did not delete your comments! I am not asking you to prove a negative. That's stupid and I never said anything even approximating that.

You have made the claim that the only comments she left up were those by women, complaining against men. It's within your power to prove your interpretation is right. Well, prove it!

it seems without knowing anything about this incident you had your mind made up that I was wrong or lying and Bitchphd is innocent!

and it is strange how you seem so convinced Bitchphd is " above" doing what i know she did,

You have no trouble believing I am a bad person trying to destroy Bitchphd with lies,
but you can not for a minute believe Bitchphd could be wrong on this one.

You seem to think it is impossible that a woman treated a man unfairly.

Could you be the type to have a narrow view of gender?


There is nothing in my comments to back up your interpretation of what I'm saying, and your accusing me of "having a narrow view of gender" simply because I find your story less-than-credible is confusing me greatly. This has nothing to do with your gender. It has everything to do with what you're saying.

The problem here is that you are ascribing motivations and feelings and thoughts to BitchPhD that you have no evidence for. You're reading into her motivations in a way that is unwarranted because there is no evidence, and your interpretations of her motivations are negative. This is unfair behavior on your part, and I have every right to object to it. I wouldn't want it done to me, but you're free to use me as an example of a woman who "treated you unfairly," as you so kindly threatened.

literarycritic said...

How are you a victim, Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

I understand you think I have no proofs, but then if you tell me yesterday a man grabbed your butt at Walmart you do not have a proof either.

Would I automatically tell you I doubt your story is true?

Why are you so sure I am a bad person telling lies?

...

Just like I had no bad intent when I tried participating at Bitchphd's site because I thought there were intersting discussions there,
I have no bad intent here by telling the incident.

But you have made your opinion of me in a split second; I'm bad and Bitch phd is innocent.

Bitchphd claims she is about fairness and understands narrow gender views,
but she did not apply any of that with me.

I do not know why Bitchphd did that,
and you certainly know even less why as you were not there.

still you chose her side from the start.

That is why I say that again I am a victim although the word is a bit strong.

I was trying to tell Bitchphd me a man had suffered from a woman with narrow gender view who was convinced I was a child rapist or something even though she was holding in her hand every ID in my wallet!

then Bitchphd treated me badly by deleting within about five minutes of posting the details of that incident, and then deleting within about one minute my comment asking why...

then you treat me badly by being completely convinced I am a bad man and it is completely impossible that Bitchphd was ever wrong once in her life.

You admit I enrage you.

Why is it enraging?

Maybe Bitchphd was enraged too because she thought I was making it up?

If every time I try telling - calmly and respectfully - my story an angry woman either deletes my comment or gets angry at me, then yes I am a victim.

And the more women refuse to admit this is happeneing the more they prove it is true.

Now I have to go to bed, it is past midnight here in the Montreal region

KellyMac said...

literary critic:

Your behavior here is eerily reminiscent of a conversation I remember where someone was attacked when she was not taken at her word about an incident that she says happened to her.

I believed you then, and I believe anonymous now. Having read some of bitch's blog, and having read his comments here, he is by far the most reasonable of the two.

I am frankly shocked that you would act this way.

KellyMac said...


A feminist:

1) Advocates for the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

2) Believes that there is current, significant, society-wide inequality and sexism.

3) Doesn’t believe that men are the primary victims of inequality and sexism.


Ampersand, it is amazing how closely your definition of feminism resembles my definition of men's rights activism.

literarycritic said...

KellyMac. Seriously. There is a difference here.

I do not doubt his original story (about being treated badly by a woman who assumed he was a pedophile or dangerous to children). THAT would be analogous to what you are referring to. I haven't done that.

I do not doubt that BitchPhD deleted his comments.

I have never said that I do.

I take issue with his interpretation of BitchPhD's motives in deleting his comments.

I take issue with his characterization of the thread on which this occurred.

I have made clear why I take the stance I do. A simple link could clear up the second problem, but I will not agree with his statement that BitchPhD does not care about men being treated badly by women. She has stated to the contrary, and there is no evidence that that is the reason that she deleted his comments -- except Anonymous's comments here.

We are talking about an event on another website, here on the web, accessible by all, not an event that happened off-the-web, in real life, that I can know absolutely nothing about beyond what Anonymous tells me and would therefore have no justifiable reason to doubt.

On the web, his interpretation should be easy to prove, by providing links -- for example, to pages or threads where BitchPhD said "I don't care about men who are treated badly by women." He hasn't done so. I'm really not sure why, and I haven't made any statements as to why, and I'm really not sure why you and he seem to be jumping all over me for asking for a link so that I can look at the thread for myself when it would be perfectly easy to do so.

literarycritic said...

Here's a possible explanation of why BitchPhD would delete Anonymous's comments from her space:

"No one's drawing any comparisons, sweetheart. We're just dealing with these women's issues right now, you see, and if you'd like to help us solve these problems, please do."

"When feminists get together online or in person to talk about our problems, the focus is on us. If we decide to deal with a different or more specific group's problems, you can bet straight white men's problems are not on the emergency to-do list."

"When men derail a conversation about feminism, they are not interrupting a conversation in which privileged little girls are sitting around bitching to hear our own voices or even to solve our own problems, necessarily. They are often interrupting a conversation in which we are concerned with the least fortunate among us, the ones who have to struggle to get through a day because of who they are."

"Is it that hard for men who don't care about women's problems to just let us talk?"

http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/2006/03/why-i-write-not-of-men.html

It may not be couched in language you can identify with or agree with, but I hope that you can at least see the logic behind her stance.

literarycritic said...

There's this as well:

"Women who are abusive. Nothing much to say about this; women who treat their partners and / or kids like crap suck, just the same as men like that."

http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/2005/07/nice-guys-and-bitchy-women.html

KellyMac said...

2. I am not going to moderate comments at this time, nor will I censor them. However, I would like to see this discussion remain civil. Personal attacks are a no-no. If you have a problem with someone's position, address the position, not the person. This goes for everyone.

lc: The comments you quoted from the other blog just prove my point. She has no problem with men being treated badly. That's obvious from her clearly contemptuous tone. The fact that you don't see that shows that you feel much the same way.

When you take such an antagonist stance, you are not doing anything to help keep the discussion civil. Even after I tried to point out that your attitude is one of double standards, you refused to reign it in.

I am resetting my comments options so I have to approve comments, and yours will no longer be getting through.

Steve said...

KellyMac:

I, for one, would like to see LiteraryCritic remain part of the conversation.

I think there has been some hurt feelings about what LC said even though I think she was making a point about the nature of evidence rather than denying Anon's "lived experience".

Of course, it is your blog and you can do what you like, but I sense a desire to protect the victim when there hasn't been a victim here.

KellyMac, I think LC would agree that the comments on keeping men off the blog "Is it that hard for men who don't care about women's problems to just let us talk?" provides some strong circumstantial evidence that BitchPhD is willing to silence men's voices in the context of feminist discussion.

Can we all kiss and make up?

Anonymous said...

The above comments simply illustrate how a feminist thinks - men are not allowed to be victims of women, and women are not allowed to be abusers...

Anonymous Frenchman(AF) has no evidence to prove his encounter at Bitch's blog, but this could be the second time he has experienced feminist judgement and both times he was dismissed without a chance. The conviction with which LC comes in to defend Bitch and to ignore AF is shocking... - nowhere did she give a balanced viewpoint, isn't there the slightest of possibility that the Frenchman could be right ? And what Bitch did was wrong ? Or is it that femifascists can't be wrong ?

For feminists : When men are abused, they 'deserved' it, and when women are abusive, it was because they were provoked by men, or were acting in self-defence...and more excuses for bad female behaviour.

As for Bitch, she commits the same mistake that most feminists do - ignoring men while discussing women - this exclusivity is what renders feminism a minority.

Bitch : My feminism likes men, and is sympathetic to the ways that they, too, suffer from narrow definitions of gender.

Seriously ? Or is it that female sufferers deserve more 'feminist sympathy' than male sufferers ?

Anonymous said...

lc said,

...On the web, his interpretation should be easy to prove, by providing links -- for example, to pages or threads where BitchPhD said "I don't care about men who are treated badly by women." He hasn't done so. I'm really not sure why,

You are not sure why?

A link to where Bitch Phd says she does not care about my story does not exist.

I can not provide words that Bitch Phd never said.

You can not judge my comments or her reaction to it as there is nothing to show you.

She did not say anything, she simply deleted my comments that were very similar to the ones I'm writing here.

and you know perfectly well that I never said Bitch Phd said she did not care about men,
although she does say some things that contradict her statement on understanding gender bias and being fair,

here is an example,

back then Bitch Phd had another piece in which she was saying she was really afraid if she let her little boy watch a cat catch a mouse or a bird it would turn him into a serial killer.

If you were reading Bitch Phd then, maybe you remember that piece?

I did not try to comment on that, but if that is not a narrow gender view of male I do not know what is.

in this case I could provide a link and provide excerpts.
but
I am not going to spend five hours going trhough archive at Bitch Phd to provide this either.

it would be ridiculous for me to work that hard, I am not here to destroy anyone.

All of this happened many months ago

It happened and then I forgot about it.
I was an occasional reader and did not take note of dates and titles of stories.

and one more thing Lc,

I was not threatening you by saying maybe I should keep records of what you are saying to use it later on another site,

I was using irony to show you that you were acting in a way similar to the way you refuse to accept Bitch Phd acted with me.

Maybe I should keep proof of these things to show them to people who refuse to admit those things do happen?

and I was also using irony to show you that I am really not into keeping record of every thing that happens to me on the internet.

literarycritic said...

KellyMac, I don't necessarily expect you to let this through, but I'm willing to explain myself, if you'll let me.

I think LC would agree that the comments on keeping men off the blog "Is it that hard for men who don't care about women's problems to just let us talk?" provides some strong circumstantial evidence that BitchPhD is willing to silence men's voices in the context of feminist discussion.

I do admit this. I would even go so far as to say that it's unfair to men who want their voices to be heard when they've been treated badly. However, I think Anonymous made much the same mistake I made at EF's blog: not every forum is the appropriate place to post your own views/experiences; sometimes you can expect your comments not to get through if you don't meet the standards for that space. BitchPhD clearly is less willing to post comments from men who are complaining of unfair treatment by women than she is to post the opposite, but I am familiar with her comments policy and I do not think it is outside her bounds to take that stance. She wants to provide a forum to talk about women's issues. So while she clearly says that she is concerned with men's issues and narrow gender definition treatment of men, that is not the point of her blog, and I don't think it has to be in order for her to be a good person and a good blogger. Anonymous was saying that he was evidence that BitchPhD did not care about men's negative experiences at the hands of women -- that's not true, she just doesn't want to talk about them on her blog, and she's made that clear. That's all the quotes that I posted here were meant to illustrate. I never said I agreed with everything she said, because I don't. Honestly.

If you choose not to post this, I will simply go on my way, but I really hope that I can continue to engage in this discussion, as I think it's a worthwhile one to have. (Maybe not the one about Anonymous and BitchPhD -- I'm sort of burned out on that one -- but if you were to put up a new post, I would love to join in a new discussion.) Whatever you choose to do, I thank you for being so open prior to this, and for allowing me to join in the discussion for as long as you have.

Another soldier said...

Kelly, it's your blog so by all means ban LC, but I think she was arguing in good faith and her presence here was overall a positive one.

To be honest, Anonymous Frenchman seems to be missing the point. We know he can't show us proof his comments were deleted. That's fine. No one wants to see that proof - I believe him, a comment was deleted.

The thing is though, is a comment deletion ever justified? If a person is deleting a comment that shows a man experienced victimisation in a thread about women experiencing comparable victimisation, then no. The deletion was not in good faith and shows BitchPHD is indeed lying about her concern for male victims of equality.

But suppose the thread is about, I don't know - say female students being sexually harassed by teachers. Now, if a man were to post that he had also been harassed (by a male or female teacher, doesn't matter) that is relevant to the discussion and an important point. Deleting his comment would be bad and prove a bias towards female victims.

But say Anonymous Frenchman made his comment in that thread. Although what happened to him is certainly evidence of prejudice, and it happened at a school, it's not relevant to a discussion about students being harassed by teachers. It's a distraction and a blog owner would be justified in removing the comment so as not to derail the conversation everyone else is having.

So THAT'S why we want to see the thread this happened on. If it was to do with women being treated suspiciously when they collect children from school, then absolutely your comment should have gone through. But if it WASN'T to do with that, it just may be that BitchPHD deleted the comment not because she doesn't care about your story, but because she felt it didn't have anything to do with what everyone else was talking about.

I would like to see the thread in question to judge for myself. If you don't want to bother digging it out, fine, but without it you are basically saying we should trust you on blind faith. Remind anyone of the courts that expect us to believe rape 'victims' based on their say-so and nothing else? I don't believe a man should be jailed for rape on no evidence and I don't believe you should call someone a liar without demonstrating why either.

Factory said...

One more thing strikes me in this comment thread, other than the obvious vindication of my opinion that a "feminist is a feminist", is the emphasis on empirical evidence. People ask for evidence. When a commonly experienced theme emerges (ask Glenn Sacks about receiving nearly identical letters day after day), the request for studies or supporting data comes out. Except once again, this is a double-bind.

Without "sanctioned" studies, personal experience is nearly all that exists to support some MRA claims, which is then dismissed. When an academic is stupid enough to trash his career by actually studying one of these subjects, he's dismissed as having an "axe to grind"...therefore invalid. This assumes you can even convince someone to study men's issues on a campus filled with take back the night activists, and repressive "harassment" policies.

So, feminists dominate the research/academic circles into submission, then demand evidence of thier dteractors, knowing full well that men's issues have been deliberately starved of funding.

So, "prove it" can't be proven because your opponent has to let you prove it, and they don't want to.

Just FYI...you know you've won when they start to focus on the minutiae, rather than the argument itself.

Factory said...

Actually, the real point is simple. This guy said a feminist who espouses concern for men, showed none to him. This was an example, not a condemnation as even AF said he was simply passing through. I believe there's more than a little too much suspicion cast on his story, especially given the plausibility of it. I've experienced this too, and I am the father of the kids I was there to get. It happens, even if it is "just anecdotal".

AF pointed out that the blogger showed no concern for him. There was no moving of said post to more appropriate thread. There was no "please keep this to relevant topic" reply, no explanation to further correspondence either. You know, maybe a suggestion it would make an interesting topic on this discussion...

Then LC jumps in with identical behaviour of derision and suspicion, demanding proof that can't be produced (seeing a trend yet folks?). Seriously, what the hell is wrong with just saying "That's terrible, that kind of thing should never happen", or "It's sad that sometimes in our desire to protect kids, we hurt others"...neither one of these responses would even mean you believe men are persecuted in many ways in society. Hell, it'd even allow you to maintain that plausible deniability thing.

I guess the desire to defend the woman at all costs overcame your self interest. Are you a guy perhaps?

Anonymous said...

As I have said I am not going to spend hours digging for the tread when it was so long ago that I do not even know what month ( I think it was not even last year but in 2005 ) or remember the title of the tread,

But for what it is worth,

the thread BitchPhd had started was about the fact she believed men have no idea what it is to live unfair situations as women do.

I was definitely on topic with my personal story, but I was not supporting her view of women exclusive suffering.

although I never said she was wrong or anything, I simply told my story.
I was polite and respectfull as I am here,
and definitely on topic
( unless to her being on topic means I should agree with everything she says...),
the only thing "wrong" was that I was not supporting her view.

If that is enough for her to have a strong and quick reaction ( delete the first comment and then the one asking why within a couple minutes is a strong and quick reaction by any standard )

and if she felt I did not deserve an explanation then
she does not really believe in this,

"... My feminism likes men, and is sympathetic to the ways that they, too, suffer from narrow definitions of gender."

It seems she just wanted to make disapear anything and anyone not agreeing with her that women suffer exclusively.

I do not have a link it is true
but I do not have any audio or video of the incident where a woman holding all my ID in her hand could not trust me for a second with a child who knew me well.

I do not even have proof that I am a man, or that my first language is french

but at one point you have to stop and ask,

what would I gain from lying?

I do not have a blog to draw people to,
I do not have a law suit against Bitch Phd,
I do not have a book to sell,
I am not going to be on Oprah for this,

why would I fabricate all this?

what would I gain from it?

I just caught a feminist doing the opposite of what she says and I am telling the story here, that is it.

Another soldier said...

Sigh. Kelly, I'm really enjoying the latest incarnation of your blog, it's doing something new and interesting and, dare I even hope, productive.

But now the dicks are swinging and we apparently have to play whose meaner than who? Factory, for someone criticising people getting into minutae you've delved pretty deep yourself.

No one is undermining Anonymous Frenchman's story, and indeed I DO think that what happened to him was quite a shame and indicative of a wider problem in society (hardly the worst case of misandry I've ever seen though).

But AF wasn't telling his story looking for us to give him hugs and kisses. He was using it to criticise a feminist blog - and we're discussing how genuine feminists who claim to be interested in helping men are. He needs to back stuff up - how hard is it even to freaking TELL us what the thread was about, and how long ago it was, and WE could try to find it? But no, apparently he's too busy and was only interested in drive-by character assassination.

HE IS PROBABLY RIGHT. But without the smallest detail to back up what he said about BitchPHD, this isn't an incident any of us can ever use in further discussions and arguments as proof against her. That sucks. I WANT people who pay lip service to gender equity and then stab men in the back to be outed. But this isn't outing. This is worthless to us.

What is it? When a woman claims rape, I expect her to back her shit up. When anyone claims they've been discriminated against, I expect a bit of proof too. He CAN provide it, at least all anyone's said they want - he can show where it happened.

Imagine a woman claimed she'd been raped by a guy, and refused to even show people where it had happened. For fuck's sake, police'd probably press charges anyway, but they fucking shouldn't. Same principle applies here.

literarycritic said...

the thread BitchPhd had started was about the fact she believed men have no idea what it is to live unfair situations as women do.

I was definitely on topic with my personal story, but I was not supporting her view of women exclusive suffering.

although I never said she was wrong or anything, I simply told my story.


This sounds totally credible. That's all I was really asking for. Anonymous, given what you've just said, and taking you at your word as to the content of the post you tried to comment on, I have no problem with admitting that BitchPhD was unfair to you. She was.

It's another ball of wax, though, to state as fact that her treating you unfairly means she doesn't care about men in general. I would similarly argue against a statement from a feminist that KellyMac doesn't care about women just because she's an MRA, or because she deleted one of my comments about being treated unfairly as a woman, because it wouldn't be a fair statement and I think that KellyMac has the right to not be attacked on that level, same as BitchPhD.

flint's gunner said...

"Imagine a woman claimed she'd been raped by a guy, and refused to even show people where it had happened. For fuck's sake, police'd probably press charges anyway, but they fucking shouldn't. Same principle applies here."

You are asking this man to show you a thread from which his comments were deleted. How would this prove anything? The guy could simply randomly choose from among the nearly unlimited threads on the Internet and say, "Yup, right there it is!" Since there is no evidence to be gleaned in this manner, in what way would you be any further ahead? It seems to me all this demand for proof is indicative of a mindset which intends to disregard his story no matter what is produced. As for comparing an anecdote about misandry with rape, well, the less said about THAT the better.

Speaking for myself, I require proof for extravagant claims which fall well outside the experience of my own life. If you tell me you keep a pet centaur called Ned in your back pocket, I am going to demand proof; whereas if you mention you had a bagel for breakfast last Tuesday I would accept that without comment. I see evidence of misandry all around me, and therefore I believe this man when he tells me his bagel was deleted. At worst he's lying; what then? We can easily move right on to tilted DV laws and VAWA, with very little loss of time. We're creating an entire mountain RANGE out of this molehill.

And while a lot of you seem to feel Literary Critic has brought value to the thread, I am going to have to disagree. She is all sound and fury, signifying the kind of meandering, time consuming sophistry exemplified by the 'Show me your deleted thread, that I may believe!" variety. It seems apparent to me that she has no intention of listening to men, and every intention of bogging the discussion down with a never ending litany of condescending red herrings couched in vaguely academic terms. This strategy was already employed by the Feminists of the 60's, and here we are. Your mileage may vary wildly, but it seems to me that anyone unprepared to admit that Feminism has become a destructive ideology is not actually willing to discuss the matter at all, although in some cases they are prepared to not discuss it with a perfect avalanche of verbiage.

Anonymous said...

Flint's gunner,

I really enjoyed reading your comment not only because you make sense but because you are damn funny!

Thanks, I needed to laugh.

...

Literarycritic,

Thank you for now believing me but for what it is worth ,

you say because it happened once to me it does not mean Bitch Phd is like that in general with men ,

ok

let me try with a fictional example,

If me - a caucasian male - take time to read all emails I get from women on a dating site as long as they are caucasian,
but the second I get an email from one black woman I delete it instantly without any explanation,

and then when that black woman ask me why I did that, I instantly delete her question - without explanation and without any consideration for her.

No one could be 100% sure I always do that to black women
but
Would not any witness to my instant
and strong reaction ( instant and strong as an uncontrollable reflex, you know like throwing in the air the shoe in which you just found a spider in? ) be very tempted to think I absolutely do not want to date black women?
or maybe even that I am a racist?

It is not that Bitch did it to me that makes me think she does it always,
it is the way she did it.

Bitch Phd did not know me,

it was my first comment there,

I was no one in particular,

I was the average man.

I was a man in general
(or a generic man if that is good english ) and Bitch Phd threw me away instantly like a shoe with a spider in it.

The way she did it says more about her than how many times I have caught her doing it.

literarycritic said...

She is all sound and fury, signifying the kind of meandering, time consuming sophistry exemplified by the 'Show me your deleted thread, that I may believe!" variety. It seems apparent to me that she has no intention of listening to men...

That might hold water, were it not for the fact that no one asked for evidence of the deleted posts; or that, in my last post, after Anonymous finally said what the content of the original thread was, even though he didn't offer "proof," I took him at his word and said I believed he was treated unfairly. So I'm really not sure what the problem is.

I'm not an MRA, and I don't see evidence of misandry all around me, so it was naturally harder for me to accept Anonymous's story on face value than it was for the MRAs here. Maybe it doesn't take the form you want it to, but I do try to listen.

literarycritic said...

It is not that Bitch did it to me that makes me think she does it always, it is the way she did it.

The way she did it says more about her than how many times I have caught her doing it.

... that's a really good point, actually.

Another soldier said...

"You are asking this man to show you a thread from which his comments were deleted. How would this prove anything? "

Flint, this has been explained about three times. Seeing the thread in question would help us decide from ourselves whether or not Anonymous Frenchman's contribution would have been valid, or a distraction. We DO believe that a comment was deleted. We just want to see the context, so that we can draw our own conclusions about her motives.

Honestly, I'm actually finding myself less persuaded than LC by the 'the WAY she did it argument'. I post on plenty of blogs, and (no offense to Kelly, as I said before I think you're doing something very interesting here and it's great) not all blogs are small-sized ones like this where the owner closely monitors each thread and responds to every comment (not that you respond to every comment Kelly, but you do respond to every statement directed at you). Some blogs are just too fucking big for the owner to pay that kind of attention to things. Anonymous Frenchman seems to think he's entitled to have everyone kiss his boo-boo, but if BitchPHD was too damn busy to, I don't think it proves she hates men.

Of course, if he got off his ass and decided to SHOW US THE FUCKING THREAD, this would not be quite so fucking academic and might actually prove moderately useful. But surprise surprise, HE'S too busy to do that for us.

KellyMac said...

For gods sake, what does all of this bickering over whose opinion is right contribute to this discussion? All FA did was mention his perception of something that happened to him. You believe him? Fine. You don't believe him? Fine.

Personal pot shots are not allowed on this blog. It's enough. No mas. End of discussion.

Pete said...

"Your actions speak so loudly that I can't hear what you are saying."

When I hear feminists protest that they are not about bashing men, and then giggle, titter, and defend male-bashing lines of clothing, their actions speak so loudly that what they have to say gets drowned out.

When feminists talk about how much they abhor ALL forms of sexism, and only offer - at best - weak objections to such things as the male-only draft, their actions speak so loudly that what they have to say gets drowned out.

When feminists protest that they want to get rid of all forms of "constructed" discrimination, but support legislation which addresses women's concerns differently from men's, their actions speak so loudly that what they have to say gets drowned out.

When feminist sufferers from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) raise hell that even terrorists deserve their day in court, but support limiting the defenses an accused rapist can offer, support Collegiate Star Chambers, etc., their actions speak so loudly that what they have to say gets drowned out.

When feminists bemoan the lack of involvement of fathers, and design, construct, and implement social policies designed to make it easier to drive fathers from the lives of their children, their actions speak so loudly that what they have to say gets drowned out.

When a so-called "Men's Activist" begins woman bashing, talks about truly oppressing women, begins excusing bad behavior by men, and such like, the movers and shakers of the men's movement can't distance themselves from him fast enough, and "Pull His Card" toot-sweet. When feminists have women speak such things, and continue to fete them, cite them, and have their works studied in women's studies classes, their actions speak so loudly that what they have to say gets drowned out.

You get the pattern here by now, I trust.

Anonymous said...

What is feminism?

Well please just read this excerpt from a David R Usher piece ,

...David Salazar's wife gave birth to a child 14 months after the couple separated. The mother contacted the Division of Child Support Enforcement and informed them Salazar was not the father. Naturally, the State of Missouri declared Salazar the father, ordered him to pay child support, and convicted him of criminal nonsupport.

That is what feminism is today.

A tyranny of men.

another soldier said...

"When a so-called "Men's Activist" begins woman bashing, talks about truly oppressing women, begins excusing bad behavior by men, and such like, the movers and shakers of the men's movement can't distance themselves from him fast enough, and "Pull His Card" toot-sweet."

There is an MRA (MikeeUSA) whose blog repeatedly calls for feminists to be murdered, and discusses how he believes himself entitled to rape 12 year old girls. Kelly doesn't link to him but a worrying amount of 'mainstream' MRAs do (Luke Skywalker, An Irishman Against Feminism..)

I agree absolutely with your points Pete, but I really think we need to be doing more about lunatics like him, who are truly dangerous and delusional, and only hurt the movement.

(Not trying to start a fight Kelly, and I understand if you don't want to host an argument about other MRAs. Just this needs to be said and nobody seems at all interested in sorting this wacko out. If you don't want to post the comment as is, I'd appreciate it if you'd edit out the names rather than delete it altogether).

KellyMac said...

Another Soldier,

I think there are radicals in any group. It's human nature. For whatever personal reasons, misandrists and misogynists do indeed exist.

I am very much against revoking their freedom of speech. We start shutting down blogs of people we don't agree with, and where does it end? That's a dangerous precedent to set.

I don't know the answer. I think the best we can do is distance ourselves as much as possible from the extremes of our respective movements. I can't imagine the radicals ever changing. It's up to the moderates to find middle ground, and try to resolve this thing as sanely as possible.

I have to be honest, though. What I've seen so far doesn't make me optimistic about the chances.

another soldier said...

I don't think our response should be to 'shut down' such a blog - I mean, it's not like that's even a possible response since we're in no way in charge of the blog or host it or anything else.

But I do think we have a responsibility not to link to blogs that advocate murder and rape. I mean there is a post where he speaks totally approvingly of how Warren Jeffs forced a 14-year-old girl to marry a much older man, and oversaw his rape of her. This is what he views as an ideal, pro-men society! To be honest, I almost got the feeling he was a sabotage agent at the point, trying to make other MRAs look bad. What MRA could honestly see polygamous Mormonism as a society good for men? When Jeffs wasn't raping the teenage girls, he was ostracising the boys so they wouldn't be competing with him. He ruined dozens of young mens' lives, casting them out of the only home they knew so they turned to drugs etc.

But elsewhere Mike talks - I mean, plans how to kill feminists at places like Planned Parenthood and NOW. This is just insane. And there was a post a couple of months ago that was really fucking wierd, where he spoke about wanting to marry a specific 12 year old girl he had met. What the hell? The kid still had braces on her teeth for fuck's sake.

I agree with what you say about distancing. Outcast Superstar, for example, always had lots of disclaimers against the use of violence. I never liked them, because it doesn't give a good vibe - I mean, someone just seeing it immediately thinks 'Why, are some MRAs such nutters they use violence?' and no one wants that. But unfortunately, there are enough lunatics out there - Mike and Malestrom just in the last few months - that have latched on to Men's Rights as an outlet for some serious sociopathic tendencies (I really think that at heart, they couldn't care less about men's rights. It's all about anger and destruction), and we do need to take a stand or else our movement will be further marginalised when it needs to be gathering steam.

Pete said...

I agree absolutely with your points Pete, but I really think we need to be doing more about lunatics like him, who are truly dangerous and delusional, and only hurt the movement.

Short of doing the "This man is not a part of what the MRM movement is about" (And pointedly NOT inserting the omnipresent "but" which femherroids always append to their weak and lame denunciation of the extremists they celebrate, what would you suggest? Sending out MRA death squads?

another soldier said...

I suggest not linking! And I appreciate that that doesn't need to be said here, but lots of MRAs like the ones I mentioned above link to Mike, and let him post comments that advocate rape and murder too. The only thing Luke from Siberia Rocks said to him was to 'tone it down' - not because he disagreed with Mike but because he was afraid of getting in legal trouble. We should have no hesitation in telling him to fuck right off. We are not so desperate we need the likes of him involved.

literarycritic said...

another soldier,

Another thing you can do is leave comments at the offender's blog saying that you strongly disagree with him on propositions/ideas X, Y, and Z, and that you do not think he should be using the label "MRA" if he is going to advocate X, Y, or Z. Leave something for future viewers, especially lurkers, feminists, or those who are curious becoming a part of the movement, to see that "Okay, so this guy is not an MRA? All right, then, nothing to see here but crazy talk. Next!"

And if you're lucky, they'll see your comment and say to themselves, "Hmm. I wonder what this commenter thinks MRAs are?"

And everybody wins.

Pete said...

Hmmm.

A lot of us do. We don't invite the nutbars to men's conferences, we don't ask them to march with us, link with them, etc. etc. etc.

Feminists turn next?

Oh, yeah. Ya'll can't even define it coherently - or won't, because if you did, you wouldn't be able to move the goalposts when you got criticized.

Kathy said...

Men can not be feminists any more than I, as a white person, can be a black power activist. Men do not experience being a woman, therefore, they can not be feminist.

It is one thing to be sympathetic to a cause that undermines your own position of privilege, quite another to live and fight against oppression from the fucked-over position.

Name just one famous feminist man (or one white black power activist) and maybe I'll revise my position. As I see it, men can be "pro-feminist," "anti-sexist," "anti-patriarchal," or even better, "dissidents against masculinity." However, they can no more be "feminists" than I can transform my whiteness to blackness.

Men who are anti-patriarchal should join groups like Meninist (who at least discuss men's troubled relationship to feminism:

http://www.feminist.com/resources/links/men.htm

I've had it with feminists who constantly seek men's approval, stamp, legitimation for their simple request for a more feminine, life-oriented, and sustainable world. These women need to remember that capitalist patriarchy is a zero sum game.

KellyMac said...

Kathy, why in gods name would a man be a feminist? And what made you think this is a feminist site?

Women have so many privileges - without the responsibility that an adult would expect to take along with them - that they have to make up oppression to keep up their movement.

"How dare you assume that I like to shop? Oppressor!!"

Please.

Pete said...

Capitalist Patriarchy?!?!?!?!?!

Jesus Heironymious Christ .. in the twenty-first century do people actually still use such terms?

literarycritic said...

Women have so many privileges - without the responsibility that an adult would expect to take along with them - that they have to make up oppression to keep up their movement.

"How dare you assume that I like to shop? Oppressor!!"

Please.


Wow, KellyMac. That's not insulting.

I saw on Antimisandry that you blamed me and the other feminists for the disagreement that erupted on your site, as well.

I obviously didn't understand that if things didn't go well here with what you were trying to do, everything that happened would be my fault.

I don't see any reason for me to ever come back here.

Which I'm sure you don't think is a great loss, considering that after all I've posted here, you still believe that no feminists are open to honest debate.

You can go ahead and take down the statement that you "are trying to work with feminists" now.

See ya.

KellyMac said...

Believe it or not, literary critic, not everything is about you.

KellyMac said...

Furthermore, literary critic, did you even read what Kathy wrote? Let me copy it here for you.

Men can not be feminists any more than I, as a white person, can be a black power activist. Men do not experience being a woman, therefore, they can not be feminist.

Again, I ask, why would any man WANT to be a feminist? And even if he did, how does this address the question? So, am I to understand that Kathy doesn't really know what feminism is, only that men can't be it? Does it follow that women can be nothing else? How is that not insulting?

It is one thing to be sympathetic to a cause that undermines your own position of privilege, quite another to live and fight against oppression from the fucked-over position.

Here she assumes that men have the position of privilege, and that women are in the fucked-over position of oppression. As a woman who is able to reason (perhaps because of my LACK of women's studies classes, or should I say brainwashing), I find that very insulting indeed. Tell me, how have you, personally EVER been oppressed? And by oppressed I mean how have you ever had your civil rights denied because of your sex? Being offended is not the same as being oppressed.

Name just one famous feminist man (or one white black power activist) and maybe I'll revise my position. As I see it, men can be "pro-feminist," "anti-sexist," "anti-patriarchal," or even better, "dissidents against masculinity." However, they can no more be "feminists" than I can transform my whiteness to blackness.

Men who are anti-patriarchal should join groups like Meninist (who at least discuss men's troubled relationship to feminism:

http://www.feminist.com/resources/links/men.htm


Read what I said above.

I've had it with feminists who constantly seek men's approval, stamp, legitimation for their simple request for a more feminine, life-oriented, and sustainable world. These women need to remember that capitalist patriarchy is a zero sum game.

I am no feminist, and it shows very clearly that Kathy never read the original post. I also have to sincerely wonder what her definition of feminine is, given the rest of what she wrote.

I have to admit this little experiment of mine was a dismal failure, given that you cannot even define your own movement. There is no way to have a dialogue about something that changes every time you try to grab on to a part of it.

And for the record, I wasn't trying to work with feminists. I was trying to find some common ground.

Anonymous said...

Like I said ...in this comment.

Pete said...

You can go ahead and take down the statement that you "are trying to work with feminists" now.

So much for your good faith, you mendacious twit.

See what you get with these slippery doubletalkers, Kelly?

literarycritic said...

Yes, Pete, KellyMac, and all of the rest of you:

It's all the feminists' fault.

There. Do you feel better now?

Yes, you still don't know what feminism means. That's not your fault for failing to listen; that's our fault for failing to explain it in a way that you personally liked and were comfortable with.

Yes, Kelly, I've made it all about me. That doesn't have anything to do with my being the only feminist who was bothering to post here regularly at the time you made your comment about feminists not being open to honest debate; that's my fault for being so self-centered, like all feminists.

Yes, Kelly, you saw a fight happen. You even chose to moderate the comments. That's not your fault for allowing MRAs to walk all over the feminists who were posting here, including calling us names and accusing us of holding beliefs we didn't hold and ascribing us motivations we didn't have; that's our fault for being here. (By the way, who started the ad hominems? Must've been the feminists.)

On behalf of all feminists: Sorry!

KellyMac said...

literary critic, if you had read my post you would have seen that I was responding to Kathy.

As far as defining feminism, you still only told us how you feel. That's no definition. Furthermore, you admitted yourself it's impossible to define. Except that somehow the phantom patriarchy has its boot on your neck. How convenient.

And as for dialogue, some of the definitions I found sounded very nice, very egalitarian, very reasonable. However, I judge people by what they do, not by what they say. And so far, I haven't seen any of those pie in the sky ideals being promoted, much less achieved.

literarycritic said...

And KellyMac, if you had read my post, you would've seen that I was responding primarily to the comment you made on Antimisandry, and only secondarily to your insulting characterization of feminism as a whole in your response to Kathy. You put the response up for everyone to see; the comment was not "just" to Kathy, even if you wrote it to her.

As far as my failing to define feminism, I suppose I never made this comment. And I suppose that this comment is just totally and completely false, because feminism being "pinned down" is a totally and completely rational pursuit, if only because you think it should be able to be pinned down, not because it's actually achievable in the real world -- forget the real world, it should be achievable! Anyone who says it isn't is lying and avoiding the issue!

"And as for dialogue, some of the definitions I found sounded very nice, very egalitarian, very reasonable. However, I judge people by what they do, not by what they say. And so far, I haven't seen any of those pie in the sky ideals being promoted, much less achieved."

If you judge people by what they do, not what they say, why'd you even ask feminists to talk to you about what they think? It doesn't and can't matter to you, anyway. You'll just continue to return to the "but feminists don't do that" line, and nothing will ever stop you from responding with that line to anything that's said to you.

You haven't seen any of those "pie-in-the-sky ideals" being promoted because you refuse to see it that way. Not because the efforts don't exist. You just categorically deny that feminism has actually worked to achieve equality in any way, shape, or form because you personally don't see it working out that way. Sure, you have reasons for your beliefs, but you are working to deny other people their reasons for their beliefs. You just deny that what they see is what they see, while asserting that what you see is what everyone should see. It's hypocritical, Kelly, and it's not reasonable, and it's insulting to those who try for any length of time to dialogue with you.

Pete said...

Yes, Kelly, you saw a fight happen. You even chose to moderate the comments. That's not your fault for allowing MRAs to walk all over the feminists who were posting here,

And here we have it in a nutshell.

You didn't moderate the comments.

You didn't make the Mean ol' MRA's treat us with kid gloves.

You made us have to actually respond to arguments instead of silencing the MRA's.

You didn't let us dictate the tone, terms, and definitions.

Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah. Unfair! Unfair!

literarycritic said...

And here we have it in a nutshell.

You didn't moderate the comments.

You didn't make the Mean ol' MRA's treat us with kid gloves.

You made us have to actually respond to arguments instead of silencing the MRA's.

You didn't let us dictate the tone, terms, and definitions.

Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah. Unfair! Unfair!


No, Pete. You fundamentally misunderstand.

A fight was the logical and inevitable consequence of what happened here, and KellyMac could've put a stop to it at any time, but she didn't have to. I never said she did.

What I find funny is that after the fight happened, she blamed the feminists for the entire thing. As if the MRAs hadn't been posting at all. As if they'd been saints throughout the whole thing. It flies in the face of reason, and in this case, reality.

Pete said...

No, LC - you misunderstand.

Feminist doctrine is no longer being accepted, uncritically, at face value anymore. And when feminists start in with their snotty "I don't have *TIME* to teach Feminism 101 to you people" routine, or give the slippery "Well, feminism is different things to different people depending on what "is" is" dodges, they are being blown off.

Because the house opposite WILL teach Men's Rights 101, and WILL give a solid definition of what they believe and don't believe.

And it cheeses feminists off.

literarycritic said...

No, LC - you misunderstand.

Feminist doctrine is no longer being accepted, uncritically, at face value anymore. And when feminists start in with their snotty "I don't have *TIME* to teach Feminism 101 to you people" routine, or give the slippery "Well, feminism is different things to different people depending on what "is" is" dodges, they are being blown off.


And you immediately change the topic back to something you think you can argue about (because you don't want to talk about the comments issue anymore, so you'll just act like I never replied to you about it). As if I wouldn't notice.

I'm being given the same message by all the MRAs I talk to: "We don't have to be nice. We're mad (roar!), and no matter how nice you personally are to us, we'll still treat you like shit -- insult you, change the topic, call you names, reword your arguments any intellectually dishonest, uncharitable way we want, and in general just try to piss you off, because you're an eeeevil feminist and our goal is therefore to piss you off as much as possible, because we enjoy it. Oh, and because we're mad at you for no reason other than that your group makes our group suffer, which is the same logic used by today's blacks for being angry at whites about slavery, which DOESN'T MAKE SENSE -- HOW DARE THEY. And by the way, you're responsible for our being angry in the first place, so it's your fault we're mean to you, even though you personally haven't done anything to make us angry except be yourself. So suck on that."

All right, that's it. I get it. I finally get it.

I'm turning off my subscriptions to your posts, Kelly. It's too bad, really, because I wanted to get an email dialogue going with you about women and violence, but you never responded. And now you've managed to justify getting pissed enough at me that I'm sure you won't even bother. Great.

Pete said...

You still don't get it.

It's not about women.

It's all women, all the time, in almost every other stinking arena.

You have plenty of places to talk your "Violence against women" crap. It's on every other channel.

KellyMac said...

LC, It took me a while to get your email, and in the meantime I wanted to have a wider dialogue here. I was sincerely hoping to find some common ground, but it looks like that may have been a little too ambitious. I think we're all just so used to fighting and not trusting that maybe it's just not possible at this time. Everyone's on the defensive, and if someone lowers their defense, they take some hits. This happened on both sides of the "aisle". It's a shame, but maybe we all learned something, anyway.

I did finally get your email, and I'll use it.

Pete said...

I'm being given the same message by all the MRAs I talk to: "We don't have to be nice. We're mad (roar!),
(Nonsense Snipped)
So suck on that.


The whole idea of a feminiost crying intellectual dishonesty would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic.

Here's an age old Challenge, first posited by The Gonzman a few years back: Two columns. Number them one to ten. List in the first ten things that are not optional, that you have to be for, to be a (-------------). In the second, ten things you must oppose to be a (-------------). No duplicates, you can't just be for (A) and against (!A).

Somehow anybody but a feminist can do this. Libertarians. MRA's. Catholics. Hell, even Klansmen. Somehow, though, feminists get all huffy and refuse to do it. They say they "can't."

Well, why the fuck not?

There is absolutely no rational explanation for it short of being ashamed of what one believes in, or fearful that someone will hold you intellectually accountable to be true to your professed beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm late to commenting but I did see this post when it first went up. I think it is wonderful that KellyMac was considering taking this blog in a new direction (i.e. taking out the "against feminism" part) and trying to engage in more productive dialogue with feminists. This post was a wonderful start, and it really warmed my heart.

Of course, I now see that Kelly has reinserted "against feminism" in her blog title. That's fine. It still really makes me happy though that Kelly was willing to provide FAIR and REPRESENTATIVE quotes from current feminist bloggers about what they believe feminism actually IS. My respect for Kelly has increased as a result of this post.

-- Margaret, a feminist

Anonymous said...

Pete asks:

Here's an age old Challenge, first posited by The Gonzman a few years back: Two columns. Number them one to ten. List in the first ten things that are not optional, that you have to be for, to be a (-------------). In the second, ten things you must oppose to be a (-------------). No duplicates, you can't just be for (A) and against (!A).

Somehow anybody but a feminist can do this. Libertarians. MRA's. Catholics. Hell, even Klansmen. Somehow, though, feminists get all huffy and refuse to do it. They say they "can't."

Well, why the fuck not?


I think the Happy Feminist explains it best when she says that feminism is not a "dogma." What you or Gonz are asking is to turn feminism into a dogma like Catholicism, a list of non-negotiable positions that are not subject to question. I don't think I would especially like feminism if it dictated certain positions I HAD to take on issues. To me, it is a far more appealing and productive movement because it is based on the very general principle of women's equality and dignity in all spheres of life. Of course, it is up to us as individuals to argue about what that looks like and how to get there. When I am arguing with another feminist about pornography, I may radically disagree with him or her but at least we are arguing within the same frame of reference, i.e. wanting to ensure social dignity and freedom for women, even if we disagree about tactics.

That having been said, however, I do believe that being a feminist leads inexorably to certain conclusions on certain specific issues, such as: (1) Societal and family roles should never automatically be assigned based on sex; (2) Women should have the absolute right to use contraception and abortion at least to the first trimester; (3) Gender apartheid under such regimes as Saudi or the Taliban is an absolute evil; (4) However, we should listen to the women suffering under such regimes as to which aspects are most problematic and as to what should be done about it; (5) Individual women are generally rational actors who are capable of determining what is best choice for them in their particular circumstances (thus, we should not leap to the conclusion that a woman is acting irrationally under her circumstances when she takes a step that may seem self-destructive, such as getting pregnant young or engaging in prostitution or getting breast implants or returning to an abusive mate, rather it is often the woman's circumstances that are the problem, not her decision-making ability); (6)Non-consensual sex is a crime regardless of whether the victim is married to the perpetrator, or is wearing provocative clothes, or agreed to the sex and then changed her mind immediately beforehand or during the act itself; and (7) Rape shield laws are necessary.

(I would like to address rape shield laws in particular as Pete made a reference to feminists wanting to limit rape defendants' defenses. I would point out that rape shield laws do not place any special limitations on the defenses a rape defendant can raise. They operate to place rape cases on the SAME footing as other cases. Irrelevant evidence is excluded from all other categories of criminal cases. However, historically rape defendants were permitted to introduce highly degrading information regarding a victim's dress or past sexual history -- even if it was completely irrelevant to the rapist's guilt or innocence. Today, a rape defendant can still introduce evidence of dress or past sexual history but only if it is somehow RELEVANT to the issue of whether a rape occurred. Thus, rape defendants are not limited in their defenses. They simply do not enjoy the freedom they had in the past to introduce certain information for the sole purpose of smearing the victim as a slut.)

I would also note that some groups like Feminists for Life claim that favoring restrictions on women's right to choose abortion is somehow a feminist position. The vast majority of feminists would disagree, as would I, but a person is free to call herself anything. I suppose I could call myself a "Feminist Against Women's Opportunities" if I wanted to even if it doesn't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

The comment about listing non-negotiable feminist beliefs was from me, Margaret.

I'll shut up soon, but I also wanted to address the issue that came up in this thread about whether men can be feminists. A feminist named Kathy said that men can't be feminists any more than white people can be black power activists. According to her, men can only "pro-feminist." To me, this is largely a question of semantics. Like a lot of other feminists, I am happy to use the term "feminist" to describe like-minded men. I know many men who embrace the label. There are also many men whom I consider to be "feminists" even if they themselves have never thought to use that label to describe themselves.

Kelly asks why on earth any man would ever be a feminist. I think that question presumes that feminism is anti-male. Certainly, feminism does criticize certain advantages (i.e. privileges) men have enjoyed in society at the expense of women, so I suppose you can call feminism contrary to male interests in that sense. But then the same criticism can be applied to MRAs, i.e. why would a woman be an MRA if being an MRA means fighting against female privilege?

To me, it seems to me that a lot of so-called gender privileges have a dark side that is bad for both sexes. As a woman, I suppose I have the privilege of being able to expect that a man pay for dinner. But it is really better to do away with that so-called "privilege" so that my date doesn't resent me and so that I can have more input on where we go and what we do on the date. A man historically had the privilege of being able to expect dinner on the table when he got home from work. But a lot of men prefer to sacrifice that for the satisfaction one gets in a more egalitarian relationship and for being liberated from the taxing role of sole breadwinner.

Also, just as we women have men in our lives about whom we care, plenty of men care about their mothers and sisters and daughters and wives and girlfriends and other women in their lives. Men don't become feminists with a "what's in it for me" attitude but rather because they value the women in their lives.

-- Margaret

Anonymous said...

M : Of course, it is up to us as individuals to argue about what that looks like and how to get there. When I am arguing with another feminist about pornography, I may radically disagree with him or her but at least we are arguing within the same frame of reference, i.e. wanting to ensure social dignity and freedom for women, even if we disagree about tactics.

That explains the pathetic state of feminism. Choose what you like and what you don't and behold - a new genre of feminism is born. Criticize this and they take a different form. But, they are never, never wrong !

Since men and women are different, absolute equality is never going to be achieved; in other words, feminists will always find new ways of being victims and the Patriarchy/men will always be blamed. And you know what, feminists don't care for women; they only want women to stay in a constant state of victimhood, so that the need for feminism is justified. As soon as women accept that they are not men, and change their priorities, feminists will be jobless.

Casalina said...

Well, i'm a feminist because i believe that gender roles and gender stereotypes are bad for men and women and that they should therefore dissapear and that men and women can be whoever they want to be.

I want men to have the right to be nurses if they want to, i want men to have the right to cry without being called a sissy because it's " a woman thing"

likewise i want women to have the right to be a scientist or have a career.

Of course men and women already have these rights, the thing is that the culture is preventing them of fully enjoying this rights. Careerwomen are being looked down upon for chosing to have a career for example and because of this a lot of women won't dare to have a career even though they have the right to have one. Same for men, they can be humiliated and laughed at just because they chose to do a traditionally female work.

By the way, i also want all things feminine to be valued just as much as masculine things. Boys are taught since childhood that they have to reject their "feminine side" like they may not cry, they may not feel compassion and empathy, they have to be strong and protect as if they didn't have any feelings themselves. Why? Because feminity is undervalued, "woman" can even be taken as an insult for some men. a masculine lady (a tomboy) is often seen as fun and people look up to them while feminine boys (tomgirls???) are looked down upon and being called "gay". Rejecting and undervaluing feminity is machismo, machismo is harmful to both men and women because it forces men to reject a part of who they are in order not to be humiliated and portrays women as weak beings who're supposed to be looked down upon and definately not followed.

So i personally believe that thanks to feminists, we did achieve political and economical rights, women can own property, they can do politics, they ARE paid the same for equal work contrary to some beliefs, they can vote, etc...
But the only inequalities are social and cultural and they have to be eradicated so that women and men can be who they want to be regardless of their sex.

I haven't seen any article about cultural inequalities so i'm asking you, could you please write one? What do you think about gender stereotypes and gender roles? Should we keep them? Should we fight them?