Struggle against "masculinistes" / "mens' rights" activists

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Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Some of post-structuralism and third wave feminism (I'll leave off queer related studies as I claim no expertise) have elements that I certainly embrace - but there are also times when I find them both overly mushy.  Some analyses seem to amount to "it can mean anything you want it to", and that doesn't seem very useful to me.

Slumberjack

Neither do I claim any expertise.  Queer theory, basically understood, or in other words as I understand it, can provide for zones of engagement where politically demarcated gender identities merge to facilitate political indistinction.  The more constructive discourses acknowledges the core elements of second wave struggles as being necessary to the evolution of social dialogue.  It opposes non-evolutionary ways of thinking that are cemented in the past.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

At the same time, though, some principles need to be cemented, at least to some degree.  Evolution is good, but remember that actual evolution includes dead ends, too.  And old ones that continue because they work. 

IOW, change is good, but you don't necessarily have to reinvent the wheel just for the sake of the novel.

6079_Smith_W

Of course men having an obsessive seige mentality and forming boys clubs to protect what they see as their turf - the subject of this thread - is a revolutionary new idea that isn't at all rooted in the past.

And making a big righteous stink as the icing on a flounce cake. Never seen that before.

 

 

Slumberjack

Principles and advances are good.  Anything that hinders evolutionary discourse, not so much.  Binary logic opposes much of it, and for human social evolution to proceed, certain cemented ways of thinking will need to be challenged and overcome, just like all of the other barriers to progress, all of the other forms of demagoguery of the past, and quite frankly, of the present.

mersh

I encountered "social justice warrior" for the first time this year and was at first confused as to how that could be an insult. Wow, though, there is such an intensity to this form of online misogyny. I spent a morning trying to understand the contorted positions held by those who support that hateful hashtag, but really, Timebandit's explanation above is probably the best summary I've read so far.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Principles and advances are good.  Anything that hinders evolutionary discourse, not so much.  Binary logic opposes much of it, and for human social evolution to proceed, certain cemented ways of thinking will need to be challenged and overcome, just like all of the other barriers to progress, all of the other forms of demagoguery of the past, and quite frankly, of the present.

Re: "hinders evolutionary discourse" - Well, that depends.  Change for change's sake isn't necessarily positive.  And again, inherent in evolution is the occasional rabbit-hole that you might not want to go down.  Challenge away, but sometimes challenge results in the conclusion that you actually got that bit (or part of it) right the first time.  Change does not always equal progress.

6079_Smith_W

And while it all sounds nice in theory, it's not quite the same when it is guys whining about how hard their lives are because of nasty, intolerant women.

 

Slumberjack

Timebandit wrote:
 Change for change's sake isn't necessarily positive. 

Who said anything about 'change for change sake.'  To begin with there has to be a method to that madness or it wouldn't make sense to contemplate.  It's not like "hey everybody, lets change for change sake."  That would be silly wouldn't it?  No, social discourse seems more constructive when it encompasses broader objectives and aims toward better outcomes.  I think what frustrates some people is when history passes them by.  They feel overtaken by events as new and better ideas supplant the old ones.  They feel unequal to the challenge of adaptation and are often reduced to thrashing about at real or imagined threats alike as we might expect from the proverbial mastodon in a swamp.

Quote:
 Change does not always equal progress.

In certain respects we can plainly see enough examples of that to know it for sure.  Understanding why is key imo.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I don't think anyone actually says so, SJ, but there are times when mushy post-structuralism and/or third wave ideas don't stand up to asking "Why?" and it becomes a pointless exercise.  But not one without drama and accusations of fogey-ness.

Wondering, tho, what this has to do with MRAs?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Brachina wrote:

@Krop how can a movement like feminism be for equality of genders and exclude men from its ranks, its a contradiction in terms.

That is what is known as a strawman argument. You have attributed to me an unsustainable idea. If feminism as a movement excluded all men from its ranks that would be a contradiction. I never said men are excluded from feminism.

 If feminist women call you a feminist man then you have been invited into the club because they get that you are committed to gender equality. If feminist women call you an asshole then you get excluded but gender would have nothing to do with it.

Slumberjack

Why don't you pose a queston with the word 'why' in it then, and we'll see how we fare?  As to your question about MRAs, I wouldn't know about that.

Ok then, I'm out.

lagatta

Yes, there is more than a bit of a whiff of ageism in this as well.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Why don't you pose a queston with the word 'why' in it then, and we'll see how we fare?  As to your question about MRAs, I wouldn't know about that.

Ok then, I'm out.

Oh, I do.  I also ask "How does that follow?" when encountering arguments that amount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  Evolution, you will note, involves incremental change following from what went before.  Post-structuralism is often reactionary and seeks to "overcome" as you put it, rather than evolve.

6079_Smith_W

lagatta wrote:

Yes, there is more than a bit of a whiff of ageism in this as well.

Except that the whiff is just smoke. Most of these propagandists aren't spring chickens, and the line they are spinning is as old as the hills.

Speaking of which, AVFM seems to really like Chrissie Hynde's bio - particularly the part where she said getting raped was "all my doing".

Now this:

http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/books/chrissie-hynde-no-one-was-partic...

Apparently he had no choice but to kill her because he was an addict, but she had all the choice in the world to shut up.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

The ageism isn't so much on the guy side.  They're not interested in "women of a certain age".  They all see themselves as virile and deserving of younger partners.  Any objections that we older feminists might raise over their worldview is because we are utterly shattered that they wouldn't desire us because of our age and unattractiveness.  We're bitter, you see.

ETA: The Chrissie Hinde thing makes me so sad.  She's really absorbed the old cultural line that women are responsible for the violence against women and men just can't help themselves. 

lagatta

I wouldn't be interested in that type of men even if they were 20-year-old hunks. Come to think of it, I'm not interested in the cute and progressive 20-year-old guys I actually know; just at a different life stage.

Indeed, often such men are putting down women of their own cohort as "out of touch", just because we don't agree with their misogynist crap.

I'm going out now; have been working since early this morning and am having something of an anxiety attack. A bit of fresh air and exercise should help...

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Timebandit wrote:
They're not interested in "women of a certain age".  They all see themselves as virile and deserving of younger partners.  Any objections that we older feminists might raise over their worldview is because we are utterly shattered that they wouldn't desire us because of our age and unattractiveness.  We're bitter, you see.

My favourite example in pop culture of this is Hitchcock's North By Northwest. Cary Grant stars, obv. His mother is played by Jessie Royce Landis who at the time claimed to be one year younger than Grant. It turns out she had been disguising her age (a necessity in Hollywood), but was still only seven years older than Grant. HIS MOTHER.

6079_Smith_W

While we're taking a bit of a tangent, I always recommend J.G. Ballard's short essay Alphabets of Unreason, essentially about how megalomaniacs and psychopaths (and their philosophies) always have the public image of being youthful and cutting edge.

Quote:

The psychopath never dates.

Hitler's contemporaries - Baldwin, Chamberlain, Herbert Hoover - seem pathetically fusty figures, with their frock coats and wing collars, closer to the world of Edison, Carnegie and the hansom cab than to the fully evolved modern societies over which they presided.

Not calling anyone a psychopath or a fascist, of course, but it is easy to portray any philosophy or system which actually has a history of dealing with issues, as tired and in need of reform. Not so ideas which are just theory, and don't stand up quite the same in the real world.

That bitter old guys can portray themselves as oppressed and some sort of new wave is both surprising, and not surprising at the same time. That swindle has happened time and time again.

 

lagatta

An alert at University of Toronto after a blogger called for the killing of feminists at that institution.

I first read this while perusing Le Devoir:

http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/justice/449862/l-universite-de-toronto-s...

http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/1095387/threats-made-against-wom...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/university-of-toronto-subject-of-o...

quizzical

never ending story.....

lagatta

Alas non. And the MRA crap that has infested even this progressive, historically feminist forum, is the ideological underpinning of a view of women as disposable, and fair game for misogynist murder if we step out of line from our assigned role as helpmates and sex toys. It is really terrifying that there are men out there who want to emulate Marc Lépine, calling us feminazis, "authoritarian" and whatever crap they come up with to silence us, when they don't resort to fists and weapons.

MRA stalking must not be allowed here or anywhere.

quizzical

agreed. like being called "festering sludge..." is unacceptable.

lagatta

Of course it is. That is why these people hang out at the sex workers' forum. Yes, that forum should exist, but has become something far different from a safe place for actual sex workers. Rather, a redoubt where MRAs can hurl insults about feminists unchallenged (including something about C-36, which I've never supported - moreover I've been an enemy of Harper for decades, and it is reciprocal).

I may be mistaken, but I remember only one board member who (critically) supports C-36.

I'm very proud to be radical, and to be a feminist (and an ecosocialist) but from perusing so-called "radical feminist" boards, my outlook is very different from theirs.

quizzical

i've never been to a radical or even just a feminist board, i don't think anyway. well maybe to read a quick linked article.

my gma was an eco-feminist.  i think her experience as a child watching the hemp wind breaks burn and seeing their land turn to dust and blow away framed her life as an environmental activist.

lagatta

Yes, I've always been involved more in ecosocialist stuff, though of course I took part in defending abortion clinics here in Montréal, and in organizing unions (where there were feminine job ghettos in the case of where I worked, but later also racial job ghettos as well). And even in cycling activism, we'd come up against this kind of misogynist crap: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/26/bike-women-cyclist-...

 

 

 

quizzical

ohhhh.....reading it made my heart sad.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Here's an interesting opinion piece from Amanda Marcotte :

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/09/the-weird-woolly-and-now-dangerous-fanta...

I haven't watched the embedded video - not enough brain detergent on hand today.  But there are some interesting points about straw feminists and the links between Gamergaters and the MRA groups.

quizzical

hfbm, i'd no idea....not going to watch the video. just yet anyway trying to get my mind around this stuff.

Gustave

lagatta wrote:
And even in cycling activism, we'd come up against this kind of misogynist crap:
">http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/26/bike-women-cyclist-...

If I may intrude for one post, IMHO the Guardian story you link to does not depict misogynist crap. It’s about a pedestrian taking revenge because an exasperated cyclist told him his attitude on the street increased her risk as a cyclist, which is true. When you cycle in town, you cross this type of idiots all the times and half of them are women. Sometimes you react, and when you do, they sometimes fight back. It happened to me on incalculable occasions, less today then in the 1970, however.

This guy did not fight back because she was a woman. The article points to no evidence of it, nor does the video. He fought back because he was angry at what a cyclist said to him. The gender of the cyclist is irrelevant in the story. It could have been a trans, a gay, or a male cyclist. The story would have been the same.

What I feel in your post is your disgust for someone showing no respect to a woman (and cyclist and could also be an elder and crippled). The guy obviously lacked such respect. But this is not de facto misogyny unless you characterize all violence against woman as misogyny. It’s misogyny when the gender explains at least part of the violence. It would make no more sense then pretending that all violence against women by women is automatically misogyny or that all violence against men, by men or by women, is misandry. 

I remember very well Claire Morissette, the founder of cyclo feminism at Le monde à bicyclette. She used to get angry at guys who would propose to repair her bike. But I doubt she would have associated the road conflicts with gender conflicts. We, girls and guys, were all talking about the same types of road conflicts. The only difference between her and us was that we were not cat called once in a while. But that’s an other story.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Gustave, you are correct in that it was a cyclist-pedestrian conflict. However, you can't discount that a woman in that situation is often treated differently than a man would be. Would the pedestrian have gone after a man physically? Maybe. But juxtaposing myself - female and on the small side - and my partner - tall, male and looks like a Viking - the guy would likely behave more violently because the risk of getting pounded for it is lower. Or would appear to be. It doesn't have to be purely misogyny for misogyny to colour the situation.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Its like the term anti-union animus in labour law. Screwing the union does not have to be the bosses main motivation to be anti-union animus.  Nasty gender focused behaviour doesn't have to be the primary motivation to be misogeny.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Can I just say that If-I-may-intrudes is pretty much a textbook play of the feminist dudebro or manarchist?

Gustave

Catchfire wrote:
Can I just say that If-I-may-intrudes is pretty much a textbook play of the feminist dudebro or manarchist?

Not at all, Catchfire. It's a textbook polite way to ask permission to intervene in the feminist forum after being thrown out of an other discussion by you, be it for good or bad reasons. Thanks for the "dudebro" but it's a compliment I do not deserve. Manarchist? Really? I'm neither masculnist nor anarchist. I think my post was polite and that Timebandit's respose was also polite and intelligent. So I'll take the opportunity again.

Timebandit wrote:
However, you can't discount that a woman in that situation is often treated differently than a man would be. Would the pedestrian have gone after a man physically?

I think women are indeed treated differently than a man in such circomstances and that the overall consequence is most probably better for women because of it. The culture within which we live, and patriarchy may indeed be an explanation, teaches us that it is less permissible to hit a woman than a man. The sentence "you never hit a woman" has a specific sense, different than "you never hit anyone". I have no statistics to back this up, but I believe a man in the same situation is more likely to get an aggressive response than a woman. Your example is most probaby true: the pedestrian is likely to suffer more severe consequences if he hits your partner instead of you. That's true. But the chances he decides not to hit you anyway because, among all things, you are a woman, are high enough to classify the even an exception to the rule. It's a discrimatory attitude, it may even be a protective patriarcal attitude, but it's not misogyny.

I can't imagine a situation where I would hit someone in the exception of necessary self defense in which case I would not discriminate. But there is some ideology stronger than my capacity for rationalisation: gender, I think, is one reason among others not to hit someone. The case discussed by the Guardian tells us that this happens to a women, in the the sense that "it happens to women also". 

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Screwing the union does not have to be the bosses main motivation to be anti-union animus.  Nasty gender focused behaviour doesn't have to be the primary motivation to be misogeny.

The point of the post was precisely that the article does not show such gender focused behavior, neither such misogyny. It may be in the guy's head. We just don't learn such information in the article. We know the victim is a woman. We ignore if she was targetted because, among other things, she was a woman. The point is, more simply put: being a woman victim does not suffice to call the aggression an act of misogyny.

Slumberjack

You're not doing it right Gustave.  To gain provisional acceptance, you'll need to be puckered up and down on all fours.  And silent pretty much...that's the key element.  You're permitted a gesture, which is to nod up and down like a bobblehead.  Use smith for inspiration.

quizzical

what a piece of work you are sj...

lagatta

It strikes me that there are a couple of men here who haven't quite mastered the concept of a feminist forum.

As for cycling, I highly doubt they had their boobs grabbed, or the inevitable "I'd like to be in the place of the saddle". But I also think a lot of macho males simply like to threaten and terrify women who affirm their right to the road.

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

You're not doing it right Gustave.  To gain provisional acceptance, you'll need to be puckered up and down on all fours.  And silent pretty much...that's the key element.  You're permitted a gesture, which is to nod up and down like a bobblehead.  Use smith for inspiration.

Really?

I don't know if you have visited A Voice For Men, but they sure seem to have the whining, grovelling and victim-playing down. Have you seen their "Why don't you trust us" posters and the compassion one with the guy rolled up into a ball of self-pity?

It is the only note they seem to know how to play.

And Catchfire: Maybe this guy:

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I don't know if you have visited A Voice For Men, but they sure seem to have the whining, grovelling and victim-playing down. Have you seen their "Why don't you trust us" posters and the compassion one with the guy rolled up into a ball of self-pity?

It is the only note they seem to know how to play.

No I haven't, and no plans to do so either.  It's like saying 'anarchists like to throw petrol bombs at the police,' when there's obviously many who would prefer to not engage in that type of activity.  When something like "feminists demand your silence' is stated, it repeats a common mistake imo, one that makes rounds all too frequently in discussions of this nature imo, in that, such a position doesn't account for a wealth of variance, and to avoid genealization, it has to be assumed that the entire range of feminism doesn't require something like that.  It's such a ridiculous thing to say that it cancels itself out of consideration as the product of logical thought processes.

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

When something like "feminists demand your silence' is stated, it repeats a common mistake imo, one that makes rounds all too frequently in discussions of this nature imo, in that, such a position doesn't account for a wealth of variance, and to avoid genealization, it has to be assumed that the entire range of feminism doesn't require something like that.  It's such a ridiculous thing to say that it cancels itself out of consideration as the product of logical thought processes.

But Slumberjack, you just said exactly that about me:  that my role here is just ass-kissing, and being silent except to bobble my head in agreement.

And if you haven't gone there, perhaps you should do so and inform yourself about the subject of this thread. It is THEIR posters which show up on the street here, as much as some like to pretend that they aren't connected to that organization.

 

 

Slumberjack

But I'm being specific in referring to the evidence at hand.

6079_Smith_W

Considering you just said you don't know, and don't want to know anything about what we are talking about, I am not sure you have any basis for anything at all. Someone is telling me to be silent, and I am supposedly kissing someone's ass?  I have been accused of lots of things; being a silent yes-man is kind of a first.

Anyway, speaking of guys who aren't doing the right thing by ass-kissing and being subservient to women, this has been making the rounds on facebook. I guess these poor oppressed white guys with the chiseled features, and fashionable haircuts aren't playing the victim card right (although they do whine a lot on their rather thin website).

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/white-students-union-posters-torn-...

And I noticed that women don't seem to be welcome in Valhalla.

... and that that tower looks like it is tucked in his pants.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Gustave wrote:

Catchfire wrote:
Can I just say that If-I-may-intrudes is pretty much a textbook play of the feminist dudebro or manarchist?

Not at all, Catchfire. It's a textbook polite way to ask permission to intervene in the feminist forum after being thrown out of an other discussion by you, be it for good or bad reasons. Thanks for the "dudebro" but it's a compliment I do not deserve. Manarchist? Really? I'm neither masculnist nor anarchist. I think my post was polite and that Timebandit's respose was also polite and intelligent. So I'll take the opportunity again.

You're dangerously close to becoming a Sea Lion. 

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sea-lioning

Quote:
Sea-Lioning is an Internet slang term referring to intrusive attempts at engaging an unwilling debate opponent by feigning civility and incessantly requesting evidence to back up their claims. The term was coined in September 2014 by anti-GamerGate Internet users to mock perceived online discussion tactics employed by GamerGate supporters.

My hope was that you'd take the gentle rebuff and go away.  This is why I'm not a chronic optimist.

Quote:

Timebandit wrote:
However, you can't discount that a woman in that situation is often treated differently than a man would be. Would the pedestrian have gone after a man physically?

I think women are indeed treated differently than a man in such circomstances and that the overall consequence is most probably better for women because of it. The culture within which we live, and patriarchy may indeed be an explanation, teaches us that it is less permissible to hit a woman than a man. The sentence "you never hit a woman" has a specific sense, different than "you never hit anyone". I have no statistics to back this up, but I believe a man in the same situation is more likely to get an aggressive response than a woman. Your example is most probaby true: the pedestrian is likely to suffer more severe consequences if he hits your partner instead of you. That's true. But the chances he decides not to hit you anyway because, among all things, you are a woman, are high enough to classify the even an exception to the rule. It's a discrimatory attitude, it may even be a protective patriarcal attitude, but it's not misogyny.

I can't imagine a situation where I would hit someone in the exception of necessary self defense in which case I would not discriminate. But there is some ideology stronger than my capacity for rationalisation: gender, I think, is one reason among others not to hit someone. The case discussed by the Guardian tells us that this happens to a women, in the the sense that "it happens to women also".

It doesn't matter if you, personally, cannot imagine hitting a woman - it's not about you, personally (please google "#notallmen").  I can assure you that a sufficient number can, and do, imagine hitting women, and that some of those will even do so.  It doesn't matter that you "believe" men get more physical threats than women.  You could likewise "believe" a golden llama causes the sun to rise every morning and it wouldn't hold any more true.

Also, "benign" sexism is still sexism.  It's also still misogyny because it diminishes women as weaker, less capable and intelligent than men. And as you've already pointed out ("I have no statistics to back this up"), you've no real idea what you're talking about.  "As a woman", I can tell you that women are subject to overt and subtle physical intimidation far more than men are, whether it ends in a blow or not.

I'd appreciate it, too, if you could stop defining what is or is not misogyny for us.  Clearly, lagatta, quizzical and I have more direct experience with the idea and its practice, so I think we have it covered.  IOW, please stop "helping" us.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hi Slumberjack. Love you as always. It's a pity you don't agree with the way the feminist forum is run, but your attempts to explain why you can do so and still hold the moral high ground are tiresome and stale. Please keep them out of this discussion from now on. Gustave, your concern is also less welcome than you may think.

 

lagatta

While I know there is a casual violence among men, and I think we can say that is one of the ways patriarchy and "masculinity" hurt boys and men - especialy as this is often priming for organized violence, i.e. war, we must not underestimate the number of women who are subjected to violence by their fathers (or other older male relatives), brothers and other males we have to encounter or deal with. Yes, of course women may play a part in patriarchal violence as well (the most extreme examples are older femailes taking part in fgm and in dowry murders); there is no oppression without some of the oppressed joining in the oppression, not even slavery nor concentration camps.

I was slammed around (and worse) by my much larger older brother for years and left home at 17 for that reason. No, no poor little lagatta; I know countless such examples. Many of them far more severe than what I experienced. And the worst I've encountered - no surprise - were from dysfunctional Indigenous communities. And more than one of these women I knew have died...

By the way, brother was and is utterly "asexual", hence sexual assault was not among his many forms of machist violence... He systematically destroyed my "juvenilia"; the paintings, drawing, poems, plays, stories and essays "creative" kids write, which may be cringeworthy later on but are essential for our creative development.

Masculinism is all about intimidation by other means, and stripping away the progress we have made and the agency we have achieved. Analogies are awkward, but several forms of racist "enforcement" have arisen as a backlash to victories won by racialized people and groups...

Pondering

I wrote a comment yesterday but then thought better of it and didn't hit post. I came across articles a few times that I was going to start a thread on and then thought, nah, not worth it. This isn't a place to discuss feminism or feminist issues it's a place to defend feminism. It's depressing so I rarely participate in this forum. 

If this were the racism forum we wouldn't be debating whether or not racism is involved in the murders of black men by police or the incidence of FN men and women in prisons. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thanks for that fresh take, SJ. Consider your point well made. Now just get on with it, please.

lagatta

I started this thread because there was an echo chamber between statements made on the sex work board and others on the "why sex work isn't work" thread on the feminist board.

Obviously, people who don't see the sex trade as a job like any other can't take part in the sex work board and conversely, those who don't agree with the title statement of that thread on the feminist board might well not want to either. And this is my personal opinion; I have seen a deep current of masculinism and several references to MRA figures (male and female) being misleadingly referred to as "feminists", or "better feminists than those at rabble" (!!!!) and yes, it pissed me off that there was no way to respond to such sniping.

I can't say "I'm not afraid of you" because I'm terrified of masculinist stalkers. But I refuse to be silenced by such fears. We've confronted them a long time ago when fighting for abortion clinics, and again, in the shadow of Polytechnique.

Slumberjack

Catchfire wrote:
Now just get on with it, please.

The shutting up part?

6079_Smith_W

Catchfire, you are nothing if not cruel. Are you going to make him beg for it, with no satisfaction?

(actually, I'd kind of like to see that; he did bring up the whole power play thing, after all)

But we are drifting.

 

 

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