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Author Topic: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.  (Read 3798 times)

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Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #75 on: March 20, 2014, 03:29:50 PM »
And this displays the point I was trying to make that if I do not completely agree with your PoV then I obviously must be your enemy that gets us no place. So we are going to have to agree to disagree here because there are a lot of issues on this point I will never see your way. As another example for years (it has since been changed) the Susan Kohlmen group did not allow men to participate in their Mother's Day run against breast cancer. If a mens group tried to have an all male Father's Day run against prostate cancer I suspect the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the injustice would me mighty, but I digress. And I doubt anyone will be calling the Kohlmen group radical anytime soon because they are not, but it still displays a double standard.
Believe it or not, I don't subscribe to a with-us-or-against-us mindset. I do, however, reserve the right to challenge the statements and positions of anybody, regardless of where they might be on issues I hold dear. Komen is actually a great example - they're nominally feminist, and I'm sure they'd agree with me on a lot of key issues. But they're also highly problematic given your example, the low level of funding that actually makes it to their cause, and their attempt to defund Planned Parenthood (averted, I'll note, by a loud feminist outcry). Similarly, I prefer AMD products to Intel - but I started giving Intel my money when they drew a line in the sand and refused to fund organizations with a policy of anti-gay discrimination.

It's legitimate to reject someone as a possible ally if they stand against you on significant issues. It's also legitimate to point out when a nominal ally has serious problems, or to contrast the label of 'ally' with the actual actions taken. Most feminists agree that there are men's issues that need addressing; where we tend to disagree is when people start talking about equal attention, or on the notion that there is no room for a discussion limited to women's issues, or on campaigns of harassment.

Denying that such things exist does not mean they do not exist and it is a problem for all people. Weather it be feminism or "rights that affect all humans" or pick your cause. For example I let my life long membership in the NRA lapse oh about 8 years ago because they were pushing some things I simply could not get on board with. However by and large I still support their stance, but that does not mean I refuse to acknowledge the inherent flaws.
Exactly what flaws am I refusing to acknowledge here? You'll note that my first post in this thread disavowed the positions of some rather famous nominal feminists. I am not saying that extremists don't exist; what I am saying is that the entire damn movement shouldn't be treated as though it is comprised of nothing but extremists, any more so than gun-advocacy groups should be treated like every one of them is a backwoods militia stereotype plotting to bring down the government and ignite a race war. Extremists exist everywhere, so why is it only when it comes to women's issues that people pretend the vast, overwhelming majority of reasonable people don't exist?



You are correct in a lot of the points, and I'm not going to address most of them, for either I concde, or it's irrelevant to the discussion. Though I will have to note that Jezebel's discussions are anything but respectful if you pay attention to what's going on there. There are better feminist sources. Really.
I appreciate the acknowledgement. And yes, I admit that there are better sources - a huge number of them, really. As I said, it's not particularly good - but it's still better than any MRA org I've ever seen. This article strikes me as a respectful if superficial look at the gendered nature of domestic violence, so yes, I thik respectful discussion does happen. (I speak to Jezebel as an organization; I'm sure, as with anywhere on the Internet that discusses gender issues, it took all of ten seconds for a commenter to say something horrible.)

1.Word feminist suggests one's femininity -- by pledging allegiance to womankind, not synonymous with equality.
So underprivileged groups aren't allowed to be proud when fighting for their rights? Their allies aren't allowed to declare themselves allies of the oppressed group?

2. Only 24% of women surveyed in this study identified as feminists and 17% thought the word was an insult. The word carries a lot of negative meanings with it, alienating people from the idea. Many find it to promote feminity, rather than promoting equality.
Is that because of the word itself, or because of how it's been used as a slur in attempts to discredit and attack feminists? Again, you ignore equally-plausible explanations for your data.

3. Feminism, by dictionary definition is "advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men." While this is perfectly fine, it completely dismisses all mens rights whatsoever in the description, and this is what many will go by when describing themselves as feminists. Even if this wasn't how 'mainstream feminists' would describe themselves.
Um. No it doesn't. It specifically acknowledges men's rights in the last five words - this definition actually defines women's rights entirely in relation to men's rights.

4. Feminism alienates men from the conversation. Not because feminists want to alienate men from the conversation, but simply because the name feminism alienates them. There is a deeper psychological issue here than. "Well that's just an excuse for someone who didn't want to know in the first place.) Here. If it was named 'maleism', and it was a men's movement to make everyone's life better, and it would mostly concentrate on women's problems, since they are more numerous, I'm pretty sure women would feel rather sceptical about it, just saying.
Which is why there's a sizable contingent of male feminists and allies? Their existence rebuts your claim.

5. If I go somewhere and just say I want equality for all, that's what normally people will understand me to want. If I say I support feminism, people will automatically think I'm mainly concerned with women's rights. I am equally concerned with everyone's issues even if I spend more time with women's issues, as they are more numerous.
If you define yourself as an egalitarian as opposed to a feminist, I for one would be extremely skeptical of just how "egalitarian" you actually are. I support equality for everyone, everywhere - and feminism is a significant part of that, though not all-encompassing. I don't define myself solely as a feminist, but I certainly won't reject that label or pretend feminism isn't an important part of the cause.

Women's rights are not a "feminist" issue — they are a human rights issue with enormous global ramifications.
And when feminism is no longer the primary motivator of every iota of progress on women's rights, maybe it'll be a bit more believable that other groups give a damn.

Offline KaneTopic starter

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #76 on: March 20, 2014, 03:55:12 PM »
Quote
So underprivileged groups aren't allowed to be proud when fighting for their rights? Their allies aren't allowed to declare themselves allies of the oppressed group?
Women aren't underpriviledged in western society (Except where religion has a say, but that's a case for secularists to solve.) The issue is the attitude toward women. I can't find a single law or regulation that works against women in any way in any western country, but if someone shows me one, I will stand corrected. But you have a point here, so I'll give this one to you.

Quote
Is that because of the word itself, or because of how it's been used as a slur in attempts to discredit and attack feminists? Again, you ignore equally-plausible explanations for your data.
It doesn't matter how and why the word has gotten its reputation when it has one.

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Um. No it doesn't. It specifically acknowledges men's rights in the last five words - this definition actually defines women's rights entirely in relation to men's rights.
I give this one to you too.

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Which is why there's a sizable contingent of male feminists and allies? Their existence rebuts your claim.
So the number of males who don't subscribe to feminism, or even oppose it which is even greater, rebuts yours? Nope, it doesn't and neither does your assertion rebut mine.

Quote
If you define yourself as an egalitarian as opposed to a feminist, I for one would be extremely skeptical of just how "egalitarian" you actually are. I support equality for everyone, everywhere - and feminism is a significant part of that, though not all-encompassing. I don't define myself solely as a feminist, but I certainly won't reject that label or pretend feminism isn't an important part of the cause.
I am not egalitarian as opposed to feminism. I think I've made it abundantly clear in multiple occasions that most of what feminism stands for is good. I am simply not a feminist, because I don't think the term is descriptive of what feminism is, or should be. I do not oppose feminism.

Quote
And when feminism is no longer the primary motivator of every iota of progress on women's rights, maybe it'll be a bit more believable that other groups give a damn.
Secularism is the primary motivator on women's rights issues that relate to religious oppression. Humanism is the primary motivator on the front of women's rights in third world countries. Just saying there are other primary motivators.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #77 on: March 20, 2014, 05:48:34 PM »
Women aren't underpriviledged in western society (Except where religion has a say, but that's a case for secularists to solve.) The issue is the attitude toward women. I can't find a single law or regulation that works against women in any way in any western country, but if someone shows me one, I will stand corrected. But you have a point here, so I'll give this one to you.

I... um. I'm kinda boggling at this one. You can't think of a single law that works against women in any way, in any western country? Are... are you sure you're as well-educated on women's issues as you think? Because I can give you 22 examples in the US alone off the top of my head.

It doesn't matter how and why the word has gotten its reputation when it has one.
Which is why nobody talks about gay people any more, right? Or can words be reclaimed and hatred pushed back?

So the number of males who don't subscribe to feminism, or even oppose it which is even greater, rebuts yours? Nope, it doesn't and neither does your assertion rebut mine.
Your assertion is that men are alienated and driven away by the term. It's a blanket statement, so any man who accepts and rallies under the banner of feminism pokes a hole in it.

I am not egalitarian as opposed to feminism. I think I've made it abundantly clear in multiple occasions that most of what feminism stands for is good. I am simply not a feminist, because I don't think the term is descriptive of what feminism is, or should be. I do not oppose feminism.
I chose my words poorly here. I didn't mean you stand against feminism, I mean that you call yourself an egalitarian specifically to distance yourself from feminism.

Secularism is the primary motivator on women's rights issues that relate to religious oppression. Humanism is the primary motivator on the front of women's rights in third world countries. Just saying there are other primary motivators.
Which is why it's been secular non-feminist groups primarily pushing back against religiously-motivated abortion laws in the US? Which is why the secular movement doesn't have a huge problem with anti-feminist screaming MRA types? I would disagree. Yes, there are other motivators, but feminism is the one that's been starting and, to a large degree, driving these pushes. Hell, contrary to your statement, feminism has been one of the things driving to help make secularism safer for women.

Offline kylie

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #78 on: March 20, 2014, 05:50:32 PM »
         As usual a few (hopefully) good intentions and a lot of mess.  Personally, I don't follow a lot of the groups or authors, particularly lately.  Even when I was reading theory and research, I was usually more interested in people writing on sexuality per se than gender (apart from some studies of what seems to be happening more presently with discrimination, violence or trans/queer issues).  I don't even know peanuts about men's rights as a movement(?) or with reference to specific groups.  So I am not going to toss many names.  And I'm not very interested in the back and forth and quote-squinting, which others are certainly doing sometimes neatly and sometimes more crassly.  So just a couple cents on the general situation.

        Placing sneer quotes around an -ism or a group, and then trying to use that quoted version to disparage certain elements over and over can get ugly.  Try to stop at some point and put words to just what you're talking about.  Then use those, but tell us what you mean by them and try to stick to your own labeling.  For example, certain authors (Dworkin is a good example) and some groups have often been called -- or maybe said to be influenced in certain respects, on certain issues by -- radical feminists or separatist feminists.  There may be a world of difference between what these strains say and what others say on points of interest.  So why not pick a label that you think speaks to exactly what you are criticizing, rather than sticking with sneer quotes over and over when the target (I think?) is not the entire movement.  Maybe the "-ism" actually targeted there is more separatism within feminism.  And you might say the "-ism" being argued for (maybe?) is more egalitarianism generally.  The quotes and new words, it may get a little overdone without adding things people have not already been arguing over. 

         Hmm.  Can I agree with everyone ?  (Ducks presumed barrage of vegetables from most for asking that way. Giggles.)

          Women often suffer real domestic violence, particularly domestic violence -- particularly once again non-reported or non-prosecuted violence, and I'd be surprised if it's actually found to be an even split.  That is, unless people are using a very broad definitions of violence and perhaps also of self-defense.  So it's hardly surprising that women's shelters get some publicity. 

         Men are largely expected to "tough it out" or "suck it up" when it comes to a string of particular, difficult things.  Including for some, having really awfully limited -- if not downright piggish -- rules about what to talk about, and what to say about gender in horribly narrow masculine communities.  Some of which, I am gathering from a lot of hearsay I haven't really investigated yet, go about calling themselves loudly, "men's rights" (do they not?). 

         But that's not all.  Men are often expected to limit and discipline themselves such that they "suck up" rather frequent application to specific kinds of hard work, monotonous or ugly routines, OR  for some, harsh violence...  And while we can still find quite a few men who will only be satisfied with a woman taking care of house, kids, and his ego even IF she might have a day job too...  We can also still find women who are only happy with "a real man" meaning one who never cracks, who rarely cries, who never looks too feminine, and who doesn't bother her about all the petty, sick, annoying shit he goes through in the day and maybe he better be able to protect her physically from every other pig out there too. I don't say all these things to deny anyone seeking particular types of relationships for the sake of it...  But how "normal" has it become for many people to assume one kind and to start demanding it such that everyone is pressured to subscribe to it to a degree? 

         We aren't in the 1970's anymore; more of the jobs are service and office.  More of the jobs aren't great paying, which means more women are working and not making enough for what they do -- before we even get into women often making less for the same (I think, more particularly for professional jobs?) ...

          .... And what about entry level office jobs, service jobs?  The brawny, mechanical, greasy, long hours of manual work factory jobs are pretty much gone and have been for some time.  If a man doesn't grow up with the particular training in grooming and soft - soothing - yielding language, quiet group maneuvering, and technical skills education already being pushed at him all such that he fits those jobs, what happens?  Do women expect him to be able to get those jobs and love them, all the same?  Does he become less of a "real man" and not eligible to be a good partner (which brings with it, less chance to be in a long-term romance with her, if both are led to believe everyone can only have one long-term partner for love and sex and household and everything, no room for more) all because his chances of making what scant money such jobs afford, are rather less?  If he feels that to "develop" himself to compete for those jobs amounts to a feminization or to a contradiction with those women who demand that he otherwise continue to play the emotional "rock" at home, then what?  Is it his personal problem to solve, or is it an education and cultural problem?   

         Just some men, particularly those with higher education, wind their way through this and perhaps aspire to the very masculinized veneer of "technical manager" sort.  They manage to adopt the middle-class image of perhaps, better-paying jobs for higher professional levels women are still often kept below glass ceilings in.  ('What, she might ask for maternity leave!  No way she can be on management track and get the same pay as a guy who might later be eligible for that.'  The more things change, the more they stay the same.)  For those who make it, they'll be given a good chance to elbow women out of the running for a real living wage.  Wage and  even simply, employment disparity continues there and it all favors those men.

           But for too many men -- and many of these are now angry white men filling out the ranks of various more virulent politicians and groups -- success at the white collar jobs was never a "manly" option or an economically obvious option that could be attained...  And where these happen, it's often both at the same time.  You end up with working class males going to underfunded schools in depressed regions among a general recession, being pressed to do something to be hero-provider even for their birth families first, where they can't see what the hell to do.   And they often end up being told by their parents essentially not to focus on school or (even if they aren't strict gender police) polite business language and expensive grooming, but instead to find some reliable, low investment work the minute they graduate if not much, much sooner.  But the wages are getting depressed, contract work is in -- lifetime is out, etc...  Life is tough for many of those jobs and quite a few of these guys end up kicking around ranting about how the women, and so many other minorities have "stolen" all the opportunities from them through affirmative action and how they lack "respect" or "appreciation" for the limits and struggles of more "tough" masculine life.

            There is also the little matter that women's roles are roles taught to enjoy and be aware of aesthetics, relationships, soft power.  Which do not exactly get most women more money or status wholesale.  But they do provide it for a select few (who probably, granted, work their butts off to keep "the right stuff" to do that as long as possible)...  And more important, soft power provides a measure of comfort and perhaps some more basic security to women...  Many shops won't pay much, but having one slot to fill -- how many would want or would prefer the "decorative" or "soft speaking" girl figure, which when times get tough well many women basically know how to be without necessarily compromising every edge of what they consider their personal gender ideal.  Offbeat example: Even the brooding goth chick or say totally earthy, no-makeup vege eco-activist nearly androgynous girl type...  Either often has smoother accessories and washes her hair more often by routine than quite a few of the working class guys? (Though for some it's totally unacceptable of course.) 

           Beyond that, women more often get to enjoy talking to each other for support and seeing inside relationships in ways maybe men aren't "supposed" to, and they get to play with how colors and appearances and fashions can be used to manipulate emotions and relationships -- it's something of a sport for some.  While it's true some would prefer more stereotypically "masculine" things, I would be surprised if women were all happy to trade that in completely for equal work access.  Just as men are not always quick to trade in prestige and wages that are supposed to go with being "reliable providers and leaders" for ready access to cozy but boring and frilly (sometimes grossly humiliated) assistant sort of office jobs. 

            And how many women would be happy if all men leaped headlong to embrace as much personal femininity in sex and performance as possible?  I think there would be a surprising amount of disturbance, even a few more separatist claims seeping around mainstream culture that men should not be allowed to because surely they would do so with "the wrong intentions" or saying that could only be leading to a situation where more women would somehow or other be abused by some "false equality" there. 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 06:32:20 PM by kylie »

Offline KaneTopic starter

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #79 on: March 20, 2014, 06:05:02 PM »
I... um. I'm kinda boggling at this one. You can't think of a single law that works against women in any way, in any western country? Are... are you sure you're as well-educated on women's issues as you think? Because I can give you 22 examples in the US alone off the top of my head.
Which is why nobody talks about gay people any more, right? Or can words be reclaimed and hatred pushed back?
Ah, I sometimes forget that the US is considered a civilized country. I do know about the US anti-abortion laws, of course.

Quote
Your assertion is that men are alienated and driven away by the term. It's a blanket statement, so any man who accepts and rallies under the banner of feminism pokes a hole in it.
I clearly did not mean all men are alienated by it. Many are.

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I chose my words poorly here. I didn't mean you stand against feminism, I mean that you call yourself an egalitarian specifically to distance yourself from feminism.
I might have described something wrong, but I don't essentially distance myself from mainstream feminism, I distance myself from the term 'feminism.' I don't like it, I've told you why I don't like it, and that's unlikely to change.

Quote
Which is why it's been secular non-feminist groups primarily pushing back against religiously-motivated abortion laws in the US? Which is why the secular movement doesn't have a huge problem with anti-feminist screaming MRA types? I would disagree. Yes, there are other motivators, but feminism is the one that's been starting and, to a large degree, driving these pushes. Hell, contrary to your statement, feminism has been one of the things driving to help make secularism safer for women.
Non-feminist secular groups are pushing back against any religiously motivated laws, in addition to pushing back against the abuse of women by religion, that happens against the law, or in a 'grey area'. Feminism has started a lot of the pushes, true, but not all of them, I was simply disputing that. Again, I'm not saying feminism isn't a good movement.
Anyway, can you elaborate on how exactly is secularism, that almost without exception a humanist movement, largely concerned by the victimization and rights of women, not safe for women?

Anyway, I keep my stance on having a feeling that terms feminism, men's rights, women's rights and henceforth pit people against each other, categorizing them into neat little boxes. Equal rights does no such thing. However good or bad any of the movements I mention might be.

Quote
Positive Ideals behind the secular society:

Deep respect for individuals and the small groups of which they are a part.
Equality of all people.
Each person should be helped to realize their particular excellence.
Breaking down of the barriers of class and caste.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 06:08:21 PM by Kane »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #80 on: March 20, 2014, 06:15:07 PM »
Ah, I sometimes forget that the US is considered a civilized country. I do know about the US anti-abortion laws, of course.

It was only last year we equalised the line of succession over here.  Was that the last remaining holdout then?

Offline consortium11

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #81 on: March 20, 2014, 06:17:11 PM »
And movement that targets one problem is naive because all problems are interconnected?  Is that really your argument because it doesn't make a lot of sense.

You may not think it makes much sense but intersectionality, the idea that all forms of oppression are interlinked and one cannot effectively combat one without combating all of them, is a pretty well established idea and I'd suggest is actually the mainstream view within groups focusing on "isms". After all if a disabled, lesbian, black, Muslim, immigrant is abused (using the term widely) does it matter if they were abused due to racism, sexism, ablism, their sexuality etc etc?

That said, perhaps there is a deeper question there... is (or perhaps better phrased as should) feminism be interested with dealing with the issues women suffer because they're women or with dealing with the issues women face in general?



In truth that leads on to yet another point. In an earlier discussion on rape and the horrific "rape prevention advice" that pops up, the matter of victim blaming appeared and the point was made that in the sort of situation normally envisaged in well-meaning but ineffective advice (night out, walking alone, drunk etc etc) a man who is beaten up isn't blamed in the same way a woman who was sexually assaulted. Whether that's true or not (and I think it is, but the degree is somewhat overstated) the argument appeared to be that victim blaming wasn't wrong because it was wrong in-and-of itself but it was wrong because men didn't face it to the same degree. I hope we can all see the flaw in that argument... if the issue with victim-blaming isn't the act itself but the disparate way it is used then blaming male victims in the same way female victims are would solve the issue.

Is that a good thing?



Again, it touches on the above point about the nature of feminism, just rewritten slightly. Is it about improving the lives of women? Or is it about making the lives of women equal to the lives of men?

And that becomes an issue because if it's the first then claims that feminism is simply egalitarianism/humanism in a different outfit struggle to hold up. And if it's the second then many of the goals could be solved not by directly improving the lives of women but by negatively impacting the lives of men. I've already used the victim blaming example but one could look at disparate rates of pay (don't increase women's pay, simply pay men less), slut shaming (abuse men who enjoy sex), rates of domestic abuse (get more women to hit men) etc etc. Now, that's clearly a pretty ridiculous position... but if we hold the second view on what feminism is to be true then logically it holds water... it is making women's lives the same as men's.



One quick point on "mainstream" feminism. Who are the feminists I'm most aware of (at least with regards to regularly commentating and writing articles)? Suzanne Moore and Julie Burchill because both regularly wrote for the Guardian (the UK's largest left-leaning/progressive newspaper/news website) and in general are two of the "go to" commentators on feminist issues in the media. They are by pretty much any definition mainstream. They also happen to be transphobic... especially so in Burchill's case... and would quite happily fit into the the whole TERF scene.

Now, of course, I'm not going to argue that feminism is intrinsically transphobic or that the majority of feminists follow such an ideology. But Burchill and Moore weren't given their high profile media roles because of their transphobic views and the attention that would generate, they were given their high profile media roles because they were high profile feminists, albeit largely of the second-wave mentality, and the transphobia came out later. Ignoring the strong current of transphobia that some strains of feminism carry seems to me to be somewhat willfully obtuse... especially when you have other high profile feminists like Bidisha saying that feminists such ignore their differences in ideology and make sure they're always on the "girls team" (although some would dispute who gets to join such a team...)

Offline KaneTopic starter

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #82 on: March 20, 2014, 06:20:11 PM »
It was only last year we equalised the line of succession over here.  Was that the last remaining holdout then?

Equalised the line of succession of what..? You lost me. And don't get me wrong, I personally don't consider the US a civilised country. :P

Offline Kythia

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #83 on: March 20, 2014, 06:23:39 PM »
Over here, for me, is the UK.  The same as you, to judge by your Location box.

The line of succession is the line to the crown.  Previously younger males were privileged over older females.  A clearly sexist law.  I'm asking if you feel that that was the last remaining such law in civilised countries.  Be careful, it's a trap.

Incidentally, Ephiral, did you guys ever get that sorted?

Offline KaneTopic starter

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #84 on: March 20, 2014, 06:37:51 PM »
Over here, for me, is the UK.  The same as you, to judge by your Location box.

The line of succession is the line to the crown.  Previously younger males were privileged over older females.  A clearly sexist law.  I'm asking if you feel that that was the last remaining such law in civilised countries.  Be careful, it's a trap.

Incidentally, Ephiral, did you guys ever get that sorted?
UK resident. And well, the whole monarchy thing is an entitlement thing, not a women's rights issue. No one should have the right to be the head of a nation on the basis of 'they were born as one' so the issue isn't so much that someone wasn't allowed to be the monarch, but that someone is.

When we are speaking of women's, men's, or anyone else's rights, clearly the issues we should speak of aren't issues that concern the most self entitled family in the world, and that family only.

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #85 on: March 20, 2014, 06:40:29 PM »
You "can't find a law that works against women in any western country."  US anti-abortion laws don't count because the US isn't civilised (astute readers will notice that formed no part of your criteria, facetiousness aside).  Line of successions don't work because you don't think we should have a monarchy. 

Is there any law you would accept?

Offline KaneTopic starter

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #86 on: March 20, 2014, 06:41:18 PM »
You "can't find a law that works against women in any western country."  US anti-abortion laws don't count because the US isn't civilised (astute readers will notice that formed no part of your criteria, facetiousness aside).  Line of successions don't work because you don't think we should have a monarchy. 

Is there any law you would accept?

The comment was tongue in cheek, of course I accept the anti-abortion law as an example.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #87 on: March 20, 2014, 08:00:58 PM »
As before, anything not quoted is either resolved or conceded.

Non-feminist secular groups are pushing back against any religiously motivated laws, in addition to pushing back against the abuse of women by religion, that happens against the law, or in a 'grey area'. Feminism has started a lot of the pushes, true, but not all of them, I was simply disputing that. Again, I'm not saying feminism isn't a good movement.
Anyway, can you elaborate on how exactly is secularism, that almost without exception a humanist movement, largely concerned by the victimization and rights of women, not safe for women?
Ask Rebecca Watson, who two years ago casually suggested that maybe guys shouldn't proposition a total stranger in a confined space with no witnesses at 04:00 in the morning after she'd publicly announced her intent to go to sleep. She's still getting rape and death threats from avowed secularists. Richard fucking Dawkins threw her under the bus.

Ask Jen McCreight, who was actually driven offline by a concerted harassment campaign.

Ask Justin Vacula, who danced on McCreight's grave and went on to launch a campaign against Amy Roth, up to and including posting her home address with a photo on a known hate site, and writing an article detailing his "case" against her at A Voice For Men. His reward: A prominent position in Secular Coalition for America (which he resigned due to his, erm, controversial history).

Ask the Slymepit, where campaigns like these are sometimes orchestrated and often cheerlead.

Ask Scientific American, who silenced Karen Stollznow when she finally raised the subject of a years-long pattern of sexual harassment against her, despite her taking pains to avoid her harasser.

Don't ask DJ Grothe; according to him, there is not and never has been a problem, at least not that he's heard about, despite having been personally informed repeatedly.

Ask the female con regulars, who have a list of predatory men, including prominent speakers, who should be avoided at secular conferences. Several of the men I mention here were on that list for apparently good reason.

Ask Michael Shermer, Ben Radford, and Lawrence Krauss, who were on that list. All of them have a rather sizable list of accusations of sexual harassment and assault levelled against them - enough that it's looking really credible, and a number of which are trusted by sources I'm willing to believe.

The list goes on, but I trust I've made my point. This is a problem, which is exactly why there is now a countercampaign to clean house - and it's making progress. Look at the recent proliferation of con harassment policies, for example.

Offline consortium11

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #88 on: March 20, 2014, 08:38:51 PM »
The "secular scene" (for lack of a better term) seems remarkably hostile to women from someone on the outside looking in. If one has the time (and rage) to spare a look at the way Atheism Plus was attacked is an interesting (and dispiriting) way to spend a few hours.

Perhaps worst of all is the almost "cover up" like atmosphere that some seem to extend towards sexism in the atheist community. The argument seems to be that because people believe the same things about secularism/religion and are "allies" in a cause they shouldn't criticise or attack other secularists in the "scene" for being sexist, threatening or offensive because it would make the movement look bad. Which rather misses the point that it would be a lot better if people weren't sexist, threatening or offensive not just because it makes the movement look bad but because it's wrong.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #89 on: March 20, 2014, 09:38:18 PM »
Honestly, while I've painted a pretty grim picture, it's... not quite as bad from the inside looking out. It's not good, and there's still a long way to go, but... well, the misogynists and their allies are losing this battle. Broad-based support is firmly on the side of A+ and other progressive social justice types. We're nowhere near as good as John Scalzi and his ilk have been in SFF fandom, but... things are moving in the right direction.

EDIT: That said, I fear this is drifting off-topic rapidly.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 09:39:26 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Sabby

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #90 on: March 21, 2014, 02:32:25 AM »
Saying that the 'secular scene' are anti-woman because they are vocally against certain groups that identify as Feminist is exactly the kind of grievance I suspect lead Kane to starting this thread,

I'm an Atheist and I agree with Atheism+ on paper, yet I disapprove of the way it is being run. Are you going to call me anti-woman as well?

Offline Florence

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #91 on: March 21, 2014, 03:44:43 AM »
I can't speak for anyone else here, but I've personally tried to make it clear that I support feminism in the sense of equality, not the sort of anti-men fringe lunatics that run around calling literally every man who even suggests the idea that a woman might be wrong about anything a misogynist.

I'm just going to throw this out here. I fully and completely support feminism.

I also think Rebecca Watson is a smug bitch. To which I'm sure she would reply that I think she's a smug bitch because I'm an evil sexist. It couldn't possibly be because she never wipes that smug grin off her face long enough to say anything of substance.

As for Atheism Plus, I frankly find the idea a little baffling. I mean, I'm all for anyone standing up for social justice and equality, and I'm an atheist myself, but... why do we need some special movement specifically designed for atheists supporting these things? Why not just be an atheist who's already a part of movements working with those goals in mind? I admit, I don't have the greatest base of knowledge on them, so I can't really judge too much, but most of what I have heard does seem to paint them in negative light.

For the record, I consider myself an atheist, a humanist, a Buddhist, a feminist, and a strong advocate for social equality in all its forms. (Well, rational forms at any rate. Sorry NAMBLA, but we just don't see eye-to-eye on a few key issues.)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #92 on: March 21, 2014, 07:51:06 AM »
I can't speak for anyone else here, but I've personally tried to make it clear that I support feminism in the sense of equality, not the sort of anti-men fringe lunatics that run around calling literally every man who even suggests the idea that a woman might be wrong about anything a misogynist.

I'm just going to throw this out here. I fully and completely support feminism.

I also think Rebecca Watson is a smug bitch. To which I'm sure she would reply that I think she's a smug bitch because I'm an evil sexist. It couldn't possibly be because she never wipes that smug grin off her face long enough to say anything of substance.

As for Atheism Plus, I frankly find the idea a little baffling. I mean, I'm all for anyone standing up for social justice and equality, and I'm an atheist myself, but... why do we need some special movement specifically designed for atheists supporting these things? Why not just be an atheist who's already a part of movements working with those goals in mind? I admit, I don't have the greatest base of knowledge on them, so I can't really judge too much, but most of what I have heard does seem to paint them in negative light.

For the record, I consider myself an atheist, a humanist, a Buddhist, a feminist, and a strong advocate for social equality in all its forms. (Well, rational forms at any rate. Sorry NAMBLA, but we just don't see eye-to-eye on a few key issues.)

Yes, the distinct tone of know-it-allism, smugness and "I've got the right to tell you guys just why you're talking and thinking like you do, but you don't have the same right on me and my pals" are a real put-off factor for me too with some parts of contemporary feminism. Especially the kind that plays it  loud in the media - any kind of media, social media as well.

Plus the tendency (or the rethorical trick) of rolling all kinds of oppression, harsh, minor and just suspected signs of oppression and antipathy into the same big puffing cigar. If people are saying that forced marriages, genital cutting and outright killings of women in e.g. Sudan or Uzbekistan are no different in kind, in how they operate, from the lower rate of women directing major films or running big record companies, then it's not credible in my eyes, I can't take that kind of talk seriously. It's just a ploy to create an image of a worldwide gender war where every woman could in a sense risk being raped and killed with impunity. But I get to hear that kind of thing regularly, and it's never questioned with any force or incisiveness in the media. if you do, you're branded a misogynist or (if female) a traitor or a gender house n****r.

A big part of current feminism has shifted emphasis, over the last dozen years or so, from social/gender equality, equal baselines and fighting sexism to publicizing/idolizing of "strong women" in showbiz, politics, business corporations or the media. People such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Julie Burchill, Sheryl Sandberg, Yingluck Shinawatra, Naomi Campbell...I've even seen Anna Wintour called a "feminist pioneer". ;)  Maybe even Sarah Palin would have fit the list? It’s often sold as part of this line of thinking that the networking of these strong and gutsy - and phenomenally rich -  women (and their flash sex appeal) together with millions of rear troops, in the media and in society, will help get more female politicians and business leaders up to the top. To me that’s really a kind of trickle-down model, and perhaps more pointedly, you don’t ever see Angela Merkel, Margaret Thatcher, Rebekah Brooks or Golda Meir invoked as model strong women who owed their success to this kind of woman-to-woman networking plus rising from nowhere, or to highlighting their female/feminine qualities. To me that absence really nails it. It brings out that what really matters in that kind of “punchy woman” argument is those people in the media, “pop feminists” getting to appear associated with someone they admire, perhaps for reasons that don’t have anything much to do with feminism or gender injustices.

I hasten to point out that I still count myself as a feminist and this matters to me, but I don’t want anything much to do with this new brand of pseudo-feminists who are all too keen on piggybacking on other people’s grievances and conflicts to boost their own slogans, and who are so fond of declaring what other people are allowed to think, or have to think, I order to fit the feminist bill.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 08:09:41 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #93 on: March 21, 2014, 08:34:45 AM »
Saying that the 'secular scene' are anti-woman because they are vocally against certain groups that identify as Feminist is exactly the kind of grievance I suspect lead Kane to starting this thread,

I'm an Atheist and I agree with Atheism+ on paper, yet I disapprove of the way it is being run. Are you going to call me anti-woman as well?

For fuck's sake, Sabby. You've already made this mistake once in this thread. Please quote the post where anybody except you (and me, now, in this post) has used the term "anti-woman".

You, um, might have a hard time with that.

Further, it's not just "vocal disagreement", unless you mean to stretch that term into uselessness by lumping organized campaigns of rape and death threats, not to mention actual patterns of sexual assault by prominent figures, under it. The objection is not, and never has been, to dissent - there are some people who are highly critical of A+ who are on board with making secularism a reasonably safe space. The objection is to continued and escalated harassment of women, who were already struggling for equality and voices.

It's also not "certain organizations that identify as feminist". Off the top of my head, McCreight, Benson, Zvan, Thibeault, and Myers aren't part of any such organization - and yet all of them have been prime targets for one hate campaign or another because of their feminism. It's pretty generally targeted at anyone who speaks too loudly about the need for the exact kind of reform the MRAs demonstrate a profound need for.

Offline KaneTopic starter

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #94 on: March 21, 2014, 08:57:33 AM »
The list goes on, but I trust I've made my point. This is a problem, which is exactly why there is now a countercampaign to clean house - and it's making progress. Look at the recent proliferation of con harassment policies, for example.

Some of the cases you mention there I take with grain of salt, especially after reading further to them. Some of them are valid, and I'm sure there are even more cases that are valid than listed here. One thing that connects them all is that they are isolated incidences, or orchestrated by troll sites like 4chan and Slymepit (Please, oh please do not confuse slymepit with mainstream secularism.)

I could compile a similar list of things that have been done in the name of feminism. Only to be countered. "But that is not true feminism."
This isn't a secular issue, this is a societal issue. This happens everywhere, ranging from secularism to even the feminist movement. If secular movement is not a safe place for women, then the same arguments may be used to claim feminist movement isn't a safe place for a man. (Luckily, it is not so.)

Secular movement doesn't have an institutional issue here. There is an issue that is apparent anywhere, in any movement, in any part of our daily lives, and affects everything we do. In secularism, these incidents are better documented than in most other cases. Which is a good thing, not a bad thing. The reason it is so frustrating when it comes to secularism, is not that it's so prominent, it is because everyone who upholds what secularism stands for, knows that we should know better.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 09:14:14 AM by Kane »

Offline Sabby

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #95 on: March 21, 2014, 09:09:03 AM »
For fuck's sake, Sabby. You've already made this mistake once in this thread. Please quote the post where anybody except you (and me, now, in this post) has used the term "anti-woman".

Quote
The "secular scene" (for lack of a better term) seems remarkably hostile to women from someone on the outside looking in. If one has the time (and rage) to spare a look at the way Atheism Plus was attacked is an interesting (and dispiriting) way to spend a few hours.

Also.

Quote
Further, it's not just "vocal disagreement", unless you mean to stretch that term into uselessness by lumping organized campaigns of rape and death threats, not to mention actual patterns of sexual assault by prominent figures, under it.

Do you have any citation for this? Rebecca Watson getting nasty Youtube comments doesn't equal an organized campaign of death and rape threats.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #96 on: March 21, 2014, 09:17:49 AM »
Some of the cases you mention there I take with grain of salt, especially after reading further to them. Some of them are valid, and I'm sure there are even more cases that are valid than listed here.

I could compile a similar list of things that have been done in the name of feminism. Only to be countered. "But that is not true feminism."
This isn't a secular issue, this is a societal issue. This happens everywhere, ranging from secularism to even the feminist movement. If secular movement is not a safe place for women, then the same arguments may be used to claim feminist movement isn't a safe place for a man. (Luckily, it is not so.)

Secular movement doesn't have an institutional issue here. There is an issue that is apparent anywhere, in any movement, in any part of our daily lives, and affects everything we do. In secularism, these incidents are better documented than in most other cases. Which is a good thing, not a bad thing. The reason it is so frustrating when it comes to secularism, is not that it's so prominent, it is because everyone who upholds what secularism stands for, knows that we should know better.

Um. I doubt you could point to a prominent, well-respected feminist who has a dewmonstrated pattern of sexual assault and harassment against men. So no, the same accusations cannot be easily reversed. As to the no-true-Scotsman: No, my response would be "Yeah, that's a problem, and we're working on it." Again, I cite the example of trans-exclusionary radical feminism, and the strong pushback they're getting from more mainstream intersectional feminists. If no-true-Scotsman is your defense... are you really arguing that Lawrence Krauss isn't a secularist? Ben Radford? DJ Groethe? Richard fucking Dawkins, who has repeatedly made some pretty strong statements against these attempts at housecleaning and doubled down on them when confronted?

I call bullshit to that.

If the secular movement doesn't have an institutional problem, why was there such strong resistance to anti-harassment policies? Why are the people who do these things so routinely elevated to positions of importance and prominence? Why does it tend ot have little impact on their careers when this shit comes out? Most importantly, where the hell are all the women?

Even if it were no worse than society at large, which I find unconvincing, that's not an argument that secularism doesn't have a problem, or that it's actually a safe space. That's an argument that society in general has a problem, and that safe spaces are the exception, not the rule.

You say the reason it's frustrating is not that it's so prominent, but that we should know better. I say it's both. We should know better - but there are some big damn names on that list, there are more big names whose bad behaviour hasn't yet come to light, and there are men exercising their positions of power to actively dismiss these concerns and sweep them under the rug. That is the very definition of an institutional problem, and it is hurting both secularism and women who want to contribute to it.

Offline Sabby

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #97 on: March 21, 2014, 09:21:39 AM »
If the secular movement doesn't have an institutional problem, why was there such strong resistance to anti-harassment policies?

Probably because they were unnecessary. Hard to herd a group of Atheists with emotional pleas. What they needed to do was show that the problem exists, not spout nonesense like "If you disagree with our new rules your as bad as the people who break them". That's not the way you sell a proposition, so of course it's being resisted.


Offline KaneTopic starter

Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #98 on: March 21, 2014, 09:41:00 AM »
Um. I doubt you could point to a prominent, well-respected feminist who has a dewmonstrated pattern of sexual assault and harassment against men.
Not exactly, no, but I can point to a prominent feminist who preaches man hate and harasses men who disagree with her. Her name is Gloria Steinem. One of the most decorated feminists on the planet, having received the medal of freedom for her work. I could point out more, but I'm not going to make this a "Who can point out more wrong doers in which movement." Issue.

Quote
If the secular movement doesn't have an institutional problem, why was there such strong resistance to anti-harassment policies? Why are the people who do these things so routinely elevated to positions of importance and prominence? Why does it tend ot have little impact on their careers when this shit comes out? Most importantly, where the hell are all the women?
I don't know, my wife is the head of a secular organization. She seems to have the opinion there are no issues that have required any special attention. Go figure.

Quote
You say the reason it's frustrating is not that it's so prominent, but that we should know better. I say it's both. We should know better - but there are some big damn names on that list, there are more big names whose bad behaviour hasn't yet come to light, and there are men exercising their positions of power to actively dismiss these concerns and sweep them under the rug. That is the very definition of an institutional problem, and it is hurting both secularism and women who want to contribute to it.
Legitimate issues with any substance have rarely been swept under the carpet. Either way, my point wasn't whatever went on inside the secular movement, my point was what work they are doing to better the situation of women.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism, Mens Rights and Other Nonsense.
« Reply #99 on: March 21, 2014, 10:25:44 AM »
Still waiting on the quote accusing anyone of being anti-women. "Hostile" is not "anti", necessarily.

Also.

Do you have any citation for this? Rebecca Watson getting nasty Youtube comments doesn't equal an organized campaign of death and rape threats.
Okay, I may need to walk back my assertion of "organized" as solid truth, because I can't find the references I thought I had. "campaign of rape and death threats" is absolutely valid, though. Nice of you to pretend that it's only Watson getting it, though, despite my other examples upthread. No, I'm not going to repost the vileness here; it's not hard to find. Also nice of you to completely ignore the multiple, documented incidents of sexual harassment and assault, which are kind of a bigger deal under any circumstances than words. Not surprised you're ignoring that, though, because that leaves it in the realm of words, which can be dismissed without concern. Right?

Probably because they were unnecessary. Hard to herd a group of Atheists with emotional pleas. What they needed to do was show that the problem exists, not spout nonesense like "If you disagree with our new rules your as bad as the people who break them". That's not the way you sell a proposition, so of course it's being resisted.
Oh! Right. DJ Grothe's excuse. I remain skeptical. Why would skepticism be the one subculture whose conferences don't need anti-harassment policies, exactly?



I don't know, my wife is the head of a secular organization. She seems to have the opinion there are no issues that have required any special attention. Go figure.

Um. Not to insult your wife, but... again, we've got numerous, well-corroborated cases of outright assault by prominent figures. This isn't an issue requiring attention? What is?

Legitimate issues with any substance have rarely been swept under the carpet. Either way, my point wasn't whatever went on inside the secular movement, my point was what work they are doing to better the situation of women.
Last thing I'm going to say in-thread on the subject: If these issues aren't being swept under the carpet, why do known predators continue to hold prominent positions?