A Reply to Lauren Southern’s “Why I’m Not a Feminist”

Dear Lauren,

In the last couple days, I have seen your video “Why I’m Not a Feminist” pop up a few times. In the video, you describe why you are not a feminist. At the heart of your message is the assertion, “I am not a feminist because I believe both genders should be treated equally.” Setting aside for a moment the problems with your assumption that gender can be reduced to a binary of male/female (here’s a decent introduction to that if you want), I want to talk about the misinformation you offer in your video: misinformation about feminist activism and scholarship, and misinformation about domestic violence and rape. I don’t often find engaging in these types debates online to be the most fruitful use of my energies, since people that produce anti-feminist content generally are not very open to meaningful engagement with feminist thought, however I’ve been stewing over your particular video for a day. I think it’ll be under my skin until actually take the time to I address it.

So, let’s tackle some of your claims one by one. I will try to offer some specific references to actual feminist work so that you can see where my assertions actually come from. Hopefully this might also help you go out and check up on some of your claims, since it appears you haven’t taken the time to engage much feminist work before forming your argument and lambasting feminism to your wide viewership. Alright, onto your assertions…

1. You ask: “Why don’t we see equal representation [by feminists] of both gender’s issues?”

Lauren, I think if you look at the history of feminism, the answer to this question is pretty clear…Feminism emerged out of women’s rights movements. Thus, the roots of feminist scholarship and activism come from a challenge to the inequality of women. Feminism today exists as an agglomeration of past and present efforts to address forms of inequality facing women, including: the inability of women to be recognized as full citizens; women’s lack of rights over their own bodies; women’s lack of protection from violence in the homes and on the streets, and their unique experiences of violence in times of war; the restriction on women’s ability to pursue the same opportunities as men; the gendered norms that constrain women’s ability to freely express their gender, personalities and their bodies; the lack of attention and respect given to women’s voices and experiences; the devaluation of women’s labor; the lack of freedom to love who they wish and the assumption of their heterosexuality; the absence of women in the arenas of power where decisions are made about their lives; and, the pervasive inequalities shaped by race, ethnicity, colonialism, citizenship, gender identity, sexuality, ability, and language that work alongside gender. As you hopefully know, all of these issues remain deeply persistent sources of women’s inequality, and therefore addressing how they operate in the lives women remains at the heart of the feminism.

This does not mean that feminists hate men or that they do not care when men are harmed, nor does it mean that feminists themselves are somehow sexist. There are real and serious inequalities that continue to face women, and it is not unreasonable or sexist for a movement for gender equality to focus primarily on those problems. Would you tell those working to address racial inequality that they are racist unless they also work to address all of the problems facing white people? Maybe you would, Lauren, but I really hope not.

Now, that being said, I actually think that feminists do focus quite a lot on issues impacting men. As I describe in #2 below, the gender regimes that impact women also impact men, and feminists offers many tools to challenge them alongside one another. Don’t get me wrong though, this doesn’t mean that feminism is only important and legitimate when it is also useful to men. There are serious issues of security, freedom, and equality uniquely facing women, and if you are only willing support movements to confront these problems when they also benefit men, then you are missing the point.

2. You say: “Feminists remain silent” on the issues of male suicide, male workplace deaths, male combat deaths, and male homicide death.

Actually, Lauren, a long history feminist analysis of gender does give us some pretty profound insight into a lot of these male deaths. In particular, feminists demonstrate how norms of femininity and masculinity entrench ideas about appropriate male and appropriate female behavior, which deeply shape the conditions of these banana beachesmale deaths. Take the issue of combat deaths, for example. Feminists have written extensively about gender and war pointing to how norms of masculinity are deeply implicated in producing a society in which men are expected to embody sacrificial stoicism, masculine physical virility and strength, while women are expected to be weak, passive, and in need of (male) protection. To engage with a fraction of this literature, check out: Cockburn 2007; Cowen 2008; Daniels 2006; Dowler 2001, 2011, 2012; Eisenstein 2008; Enloe 1983, 1989, 2010, 2014; Fluri 2008, 2011; Goldstein 2001; Jacobs et al 2000; Mohanty et al 2008; Moser and Clark 2005; Puar 2007; Sjoberg 2013; Tickner 2001; Yuval-Davis 1997.

As a means of illustration though, feminist Iris Marion Young (2003) has written about this as “the logic of masculine protection”. She writes, “In this patriarchal logic, exposing menthe role of the masculine protector puts those protected, paradigmatically women and children, in a subordinate position of dependence and obedience” (2). Feminists have challenged this logic of protection in multiple contexts, pointing both to how this robs women of agency, and to how it shapes male participation in war, and subsequent injury and death. Cynthia Daniel’s (2006) book Exposing Men deals extensively with the way that male soldiers–and specifically, their reproductive health–are injured, and how ideas of masculinity (like that “a man should be verile, not weak”) also contribute to the lack of medical help men seek for these injuries. Trust me, Lauren, feminists are writing about this.

I’ll just add on the note of male combat deaths, though: part of the reason it’s disproportionately men is because sexist policies in the U.S. military have historically barred women soldiers from combat roles. If you want equality in solidering, you might want to check out some feminists, like Cynthia Cohn or Megan MacKenzie (among others), who have both written persuasively about the myth that women can’t fight and challenged the exclusion of women from combat positions.

To your other examples (workplace death, suicide, and murder), there are also feminists who illuminate how notions of masculinity shape labor forces and the willingness of workers to use safety equipment, such as my college Arielle Hesse who examines masculinity and worker safety in the (largely male) natural gas workforce of Pennsylvania. Or Miles Groth, whose book “Boys to Men: The Science of Masculinity and Manhood” describes how stereotypes about what it means to “be a man” impacts high suicide rates among young men. Groth argues that feminist efforts to abolish restrictive gender norms offer vital pathways to address the problem. (There are others who discuss this connection too—just google it. You can also google masculinity and crime/gangs to help think through the ways feminism could be a helpful way understand the male murder statistics. I also recommend Melissa Wright (2011), who has written about murder of both men and women in Mexico through a feminist lens).

3. You say: “Almost half of all domestic violence victims in the U.S. and Canada are men.”

Given that you do not cite your source here, Lauren, I do not know where you found this statistic. However, depending on where you look, you may find dramatically different numbers. Some will show what you describe (a relative gender symmetry) while others show that it is largely women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). So, why are there such different numbers? Actually, Michael Johnson (2011) has a pretty good article that will respond directly to most of your claims–it’s called Gender and types of intimate partner violence: A response to an anti-feminist literature review, but I’ll try to lay some of it out here. Since other people have already done this work for me, I’ll quote Kelly and Johnson (2008) on the topic:

“For over two decades, considerable controversy has centered on whether it is primarily men who are violent in intimate relationships or whether there is gender symmetry in perpetuating violence. Proponents of both viewpoints cite multiple empirical studies to support their views… These two viewpoints can be reconciled largely by an examination of the samples and measures used to collect the contradictory data and the recognition that different types of intimate partner violence exist in our society and are represented in these samples… Based on hundreds of studies, it is quite apparent that both men and women are violent in intimate partner relationships. There is gender symmetry in some types of intimate partner violence…”

So, then we break down the data! What you’ll find is there are a few important, but different, types of IPV (which are differently documented in the statistics you find):

  • Coercive Controlling Violence: This is what most people think of when they envision domestic violence. This type of IPV is routine and used to control the partner through multiple forms of coercion (economic threats, leveraging children, blaming, isolation, sexual violence, emotional abuse, intimidation, and physical violence.) This type of violence is more likely to result in serious physical injury or death. While men can be victims of this type of violence, on the whole it is overwhelmingly perpetrated by heterosexual men against their female partners. This type of DV is rooted in patriarchy and misogyny. As Johnson and Kelly describe, data obtained from women’s shelters, court-mandated treatment programs, police reports, and emergency rooms are more likely to report this type of violence.
  • Violent Resistance: This type of IPV accounts for the fact that some people respond to coercive controlling violence with violent resistance (akin to “self-defense” but that has a specific legal meaning). The vast majority of violent resistance is done by women against male coercive controlling partners, but charges are sometimes filed in these cases and they contribute to the patterns in the statistics. Unlike the coercive controlling partner, violent resistance is reactive and the intention is not to control.
  • Situational Couple Violence: This is by far the most common type of IPV, and is perpetrated by both men and women close to gender symmetry (although men still slightly higher). This generally results from the escalation of an argument between partners, but is not representative of chronic violence, intimidation, or stalking. Although it is serious and can be lethal, on the whole it tends to involve more minor forms of violence (pushing, shoving, grabbing), and is much less likely to result in serious injury. Fear of the partner is also not a characteristic of men or women in this form of IPV. Large-scale survey research, using community and national samples, account more for this type of violence and therefore report greater gender symmetry in the initiation and participation of men and women in partner violence.

So, yes, Lauren, you’re right that men are victims of intimate partner violence too. Both men and women commit violence in both heterosexual and same sex relationships. All of this violence does matter. But when you’re talking about systemic violence, violence rooted in fear and control, and violence that results in serious injury, the vast majority of assailants are men and the vast majority of victims are women. At least a third of all female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by male intimate partners (compared to 2.5% for men). On the whole, gender symmetry in IPV tends to be clustered at the lower levels of violence, as the statistics you quote do not distinguish based on severity, frequency, whether an attack was in self-defense, or if it was part of a pattern of fear and coercive behavior. Also add to this that men are more likely to call the police on their partner, more likely to press charges, and less likely to drop charges.

This does not mean that feminists don’t care when violence happens to men, or that they don’t want to see men protected from this violence, cause they do. However, given the realities taking place when you examine the numbers closely, it’s not surprising that most feminist energy addressing IPV is focused on women facing (coercive controlling) violence. Plus, consider the ways that IPV is still shaped by systemic, legally-enshrined patriarchy in this country. Until recently men had the legal right to beat their wives. In fact, as recently as the 1980s, police would delay responding to domestic violence calls, and often wives had no legal recourse to demand protection from the state. This logic about male dominance over women is not wiped from our history yet, Lauren, and it continues to shape the treatment of women by partners and by the state which is supposed to protect them.

It is also very important to add that your claim that men don’t have access to victims services is also incorrect. The Violence Against Women Act, which feminists championed in 1994, legally protects both women and men (in both heterosexual and same sex relationships) who are victims of domestic violence. And, the VAWA does offer male victims all the same services and protections that are available to women.

While there are many feminists who work on the issue of intimate partner violence, if you want to check out some more I particularly recommend the work of Rachel Pain and Dana Cuomo (both links will direct you to some of their work).

4. You say: There are more men raped in prison than women, but “feminists remain silent on the issue”.

The claim that feminists have remained silent on this is just plain false. First of all, feminists fought front and center to change the federal definition of rape to include male victims (and to include other forms of rape, like statutory rape), which it previously hadn’t. It was the Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. magazine that launched a campaign called “Rape is Rape”, culminating in changes to the old definition that didn’t include men. Second, feminists led the broad coalition advocating for the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, which works to protect all prisoners from sexual assault (the majority of whom are men). (Relatedly, you may also note that women and feminists have been at the forefront of challenging rape in the military, which also affects many men.) Prison rape remains a really serious issue that affects thousands, and is certainly something that deserves more attention than it currently receives, including among feminists. However, among those who are fighting on this issue, feminists are there and they are not silent. For more feminists working on issues of incarceration or detention (some specifically dealing with rape), try Angela Davis (2003, 2005), Dillon (2012), Gilmore and Loyd (2013), Jackson (2013), Lamble (2013), Puar (2007), Sabo and Kupers (2001), Sundbury (2005), and others.

5. You say: “Feminists place a blanket statement on all men that they are all privileged, and that all women are oppressed.”

This is a warped characterization of what feminists argue. Yes, feminists argue that being a male in a male-dominated society has particular privileges—whether it’s being paid more, having greater representation in seats of power, having your voice privileged in many spaces, or so on. But, feminists do NOT assume that all men equally benefit from these systems of privilege, nor to they assume that all women are equally marginalized. The complexity of privilege and oppression underscores why feminist turn to the notion of intersectionality (Hey! It is “Feminism 101”!). Intersectionality notably emerged from critiques of white feminism by women of color and Third World women, who called for a feminism that was more attentive to the way the race, class, colonialism, and other systems of power worked alongside gender. Again, not all women are marginalized in the same ways, and the privileges that come, say, with being wealthy or being white can play a large role in how or whether someone might feel oppressed due to their gender.

Feminists do NOT claim universal oppression among women. In fact, the assertion that all women are oppressed is one of the very issues that galvanized postcolonial feminists and feminists of color in their critique of second wave feminism. There had been (and to some extent still is) a tendency by white feminists to characterize women of color and Third World Women as universally oppressed by their cultures and their men, and thus in need of others (white feminists) to rescue them or to speak about them, or for them. This is what Spivak meant when she argued that brown women do not need white men (or women) to save them from brown men. If you want to learn more about this discussion about feminism and oppression, try checking out Gayatri Spivak’s article “Can the Subaltern Speak” or Chandra Mohanty’s “Under Western Eyes”. These insights are a cornerstone of what is generally understood as Third Wave Feminism, which you claim is about universal oppression.

So, yes, feminists do talk about the way that patriarchy and sexism overlap with other structures of race, class, sexuality, nationality to produce unique violences in women’s lives. But, as you can hopefully see, it is a much more nuanced argument than your characterization. (On the issue of privilege/oppression, you may also be interested in the wide writing of feminists who challenge the idea that men are natural perpetrators or aggressors and women natural victims. Here is one example. Another good source would be Clark and Moser’s (2001) book Victims, Perpetrators or Actors, as well as many of the others I mentioned earlier who write about gender and war.)

6. You say: “As a woman, I will almost always win custody in a divorce case.”

Again, you might look to the extensive feminist literature about gender to craft a meaningful analysis of why this occurs. Undoubtedly, the issue of women being more likely to be granted custody cannot be understood separately from the gender norms that assume that women (not men) are natural caregivers and naturally nurturing, or that assert their primary and most important role is motherhood. In contrast, in our society men have historically been thought of as the breadwinners and the productive citizens. Feminist have challenged these ideas for decades, since they profoundly restrict the options available to women, and contribute to the devaluation of women’s labor both in and out of the home (Mitchell et al 2003). Just a few examples of the impacts of this assumption (of women’s natural role is as the office party planningmothers) include: stigma toward women who don’t want to or cannot have children; the devaluation of work in the home such that it need not be paid or treated as productive; lower pay for women working outside the home (“her income is just to supplement that of her husband”); the characterization of women who don’t fully embody the motherly norms of nurturing caretakers as “pushy”, “overly assertive” or “bitchy”; or even the assumption within workplaces that women will be naturally good at domestic responsibilities, and are therefore are disproportionately expected to do domestic labor in the office, such as cooking, party planning, decorating, and cleaning. (We all remember Phillis, Pam, Angela and Meredith doing that work!) I could go on, but I’ll stop with the examples there.

Anyway, men who are invested in reshaping ideas about their male parental rights may be surprised to find that gendered assumptions about women’s inherent motherliness (which feminist critique) also carry over into how society perceives them as parents (think of the attitudes towards men who are stay at home dads). They may actually find that feminist goals align closely with their own, in terms of changing the gendered expectations about child rearing. Further, in terms of family policy, feminists have actually advocated for many policy changes that benefit men, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and paternal leave policies.

7. You say: As a woman, I will “actually have my rape and assault claims taken seriously.”

Lauren, how often do you read about rape cases in the United States? Do you really think that it’s fair to say that women have their rape and assault claims taken seriously? Really? Seriously, really? Women are consistently blamed for their own rapes (“she must have led him on”, “she shouldn’t have been dressed provocatively”, “she shouldn’t have been with him in the first place”, “she shouldn’t have drank so much” and so on). There is SO much documentation of women not being believed for their rapes that your claim here is actually really disturbing. This is particularly true for women of color, who are even less likely to be taken seriously. Here are just a few articles to reinforce what I’m saying: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. In terms of feminist efforts to address rape in the U.S., Title IX legislation which feminists have fought for on college campuses offers protection from sexual harassment and assault for all students, including men.

8. You say: As a woman, “I won’t be laughed at for not being manly enough.”

i need feminismYou’re right, in most instances, you probably won’t be laughed at for not being manly enough. But as a woman, you may be laughed at for being too manly. Crossing borders of accepted gender behavior (a man expressing femininity or a woman expressing masculinity) can be difficult for both men and women, and again, there are a LOT of feminist resources that will help give you the language, strategies, and support needed to confront and challenge the harms experienced by both men and women due to gender norms.

As a related caveat, however, if you’re a woman in a male dominated field like the military, policing, firefighting, etc then you likely will come up against the standards of “not being manly enough”. Again, turn to feminists to help understand this (e.g. women in firefighting, women in the military).

—————

Anyway, Lauren, I hope that helps clear up some of your issues with feminism. I also hope it will encourage you will do a bit more research on the work that feminists do and reconsider your position. If you want to learn a little more about ways feminism has helped men, here are one and two more sources on that for you. You might also find it useful to talk to some feminist men sometime about why they are feminists.

All the best,

A feminist

————

FOLLOW UP MAY 4, 2015: Lauren ended up replying to me after I wrote this letter, and asked if I wanted to do an online debate about feminism. We decided to do a call-and-response style discussion where we post questions and replies to one another. My contributions are posted on this blog, and hers are on her youtube account. The discussion is currently on-going. If you would like to follow alone, here is the progression of the conversation: 1) the announcement of the format for our discussion, 2) my first prompt for her, 3) her first video reply, and 4) my second post for her. We hope the conversation continues to be fruitful, and we both welcome you to follow along and participate in the discussion!

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References:

Cockburn, Cynthia. (2007). From where we stand: war, women’s activism, and feminist analysis. New York: Zed Books.

Cowen, D. (2008). Military Workfare: The Soldier and Social Citizenship in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Cowen, D. and A. Siciliano. (2011). Surplus Masculinities and Security. Antipode. 43(5): 1516-1541.

Cuomo, D. (forthcoming). Security and fear: the geopolitics of intimate partner violence policing. Geopolitics.

Daniels, Cynthia. (2006). Exposing Men: The Science and Politics of Male Reproduction. New York: Oxford University Press.

Davis, Angela. (2005). Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture.

Davis, Angela. (2003). Are Prisons Obsolete. Dillon, S. (2012). Possessed by death: the neoliberal-carceral state, black feminism, and the afterlife of slavery. Radical History Review. 112: 113-125.

Dowler, L. (2012). Gender, Militarization and Sovereignty. Geography Compass. 6/8: 490-499.

Dowler, L. (2011). The hidden war: The “risk” to female soldiers in the US Military. In S. Kirsch and C. Flint (Eds.), Reconstructing conflict: Integrating war and post-war geographies (pp. 295-314). England: Ashgate.

Dowler, L. (2001). The four square laundry: Participant observation in a war zone. Geographical Review 91(1/2): 414-422.

Enloe, C. (2014). The recruiter and the skeptic: a critical feminist approach to military studies. Critical Military Studies. No issue number.

Enloe, C. (2010). Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Enloe, C. (1989). Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics.Berkeley: University of California Press.

Enloe, C. (1983). Does Khaki Become You: The Militarization of Women’s Lives. London: Pandora Press.

Fluri, J. (2011). Bodies, bombs and barricades: geopolitics of conflict and civilian (in)security. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 36: 280-296.

Fluri, J. (2008). ‘’Rallying public opinion’ and other misuses of feminism’ in R. Riley, C. Mohanty, and M.B. Pratt. (Eds.), Feminism and War: Confronting U.S. Imperialism, London: Zed Books. Pp. 143-160.

Gilmore, R.W. and J. Loyd. (2013). Race, Capitalist Crisis, and Abolitionist Organizing: An Interview with Ruth Wilson Gilmore, February 2010. In J. Loyd, M. Michelson, and A. Burridge (Eds.), Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis (pp. 42-54). Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Goldstein, J. (2001) War and Gender, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jackson, J.L. (2013). Sexual Necropolitics and Prison Rape Elimination. Signs. 39(1): 197-220.

Jacobs, S., R. Jacobson, and J. Marchbank (Eds.) (2000). States of Conflict: Gender, Violence and Resistance.London: Zed Books.

Lamble, S. (2013). Queer Necropolitics and the Expanding Carceral State: Interrogating Sexual Investments in Punishment. Law Critique. 24: 229-253.

Laliberte, N., L. Dowler, K. Driscol-Dreickson. (2010). ‘Advances in Feminist Thought: Geography’s Contribution to International Studies In Political Geography: InternationalStudies Compendium’, C. Flint (Ed.), Malden: Blackwell

Loyd, J.M., M. Mitchelson, and A. Burridge. (2012). Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Mitchell, K., S. Marsten, and C. Katz. (2003). Life’s work: An introduction, review and critique. Antipode. 35(3): 415-442.

Mohanty, C. (2003). Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity.

Mohanty, C. (1988). Under Western eyes: Feminist scholarship and colonial discourses. Feminist Review. 30: 61-88.

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade, Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Robin L. Riley. (2008). ‘Introduction: feminism and US wars—mapping the ground’ in C. Mohanty, M.B. Pratt, and R.L. Riley (eds), Feminism and War: Confronting U.S. Imperialism. New York: Zed Books, 1-18.

Moser, C. and F. Clark. (Eds). (2005). Victims, Perpetrators or Actors? Gender, Armed Conflict and Political Violence. London: Zed Books.

Pain, R. (2015). Intimate war. Political Geography. 44: 64-73.

Puar, Jaspir K. (2007). Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Sabo, D., T. Kupers and W. London (Eds.) (2001). Prison Masculinities. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Sjoberg, L. (2013). Gendering Global Conflict, Toward a Feminist Theory of War, New York, Columbia University Press.

Sundbury, J. (2005). Global Lockdown: Race, Gender, and the Prison-Industrial Complex. New York: Routledge.

Tickner, J.A. (2001). Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post-Cold War Era.New York: Columbia University Press.

Wright, M.W. (2011). Necropolitics, Narcopolitics, and Femicide: Gendered Violence on the Mexico-U.S. Border. Signs. 36(3): 707-731.

Young, Iris Marion. (2003). The Logic of Masculinist Protection: Reflections on the Current Security State. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Yuval-Davis, N. (1997). Gender and nation. London: Sage.

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About Jenna Christian

Jenna Christian is a National Science Foundation fellow and a doctoral candidate in the departments of Geography and Women’s Studies at Penn State University. Her research engages feminist theory, critical geography, and critical race theory in the study of the US military, citizenship, education, social movements, and peacemaking.

369 comments

  1. “Feminists do NOT claim universal oppression among women.” Whoa there. You don’t speak for all feminists.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re definitely right. I was trying to speak broadly about trends in order to respond to Lauren’s claims, and tried to mention the diversity of feminism, but it’s a good reminder that I should have taken some more time to make that clear. And, perhaps this could be re-written as “Most feminist do not claim universal oppression among women.” Thanks for the reminder to make that clearer though. It’s an important point.

      Like

      • Jessica C

        Are you kidding me? “Most feminist DO claim universal oppression among women” That is like the cornerstone of third wave feminism, that women as a whole are oppressed. You are ignorant to ignore this.

        Liked by 4 people

    • As a second little note though, I wrote this article first as a personal way to vent on my blog. When it started to get more attention/circulation, and when Lauren agreed to a virtual discussion about feminism with me, you’ll see my announcement blog post speaks at much greater length about the issue of not speaking for all feminists.

      Like

      • Virtual discussion about feminism with you? Where can I find it?

        Thank you for writing this article! I wish more people would educate themselves on what feminism is and represents instead of assuming feminists are all man-hating, spinster-women that think they are the superior gender. Kuddos to you for starting a conversation about it.

        Like

      • Hi vd16, the discussion is all posted on this same blog. Just go to the homepage and the other posts are there. Unfortunately, I never got a reply from Lauren on the last post, so there were only a few exchanges.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on size of a pocket and commented:
    I think this is something that definitely needs to be read. I have debates with people (usually other women) about the agenda behind feminism. What I have found is that the person who is saying that they don’t agree with feminism, usually doesn’t know what it is.

    Like

  3. Ana

    Please make a video!

    Like

  4. Alison Quoyeser

    Jenna, thank you for your thorough and brilliant response to Lauren. Too bad her video has been shared so widely! Thank you for your great effort to combat the misinformation.

    Like

    • yeknomgod

      Sigh.
      Yes, her statements have no validity. Because you say so.
      But what if she says your suggestion that her statements have no validity itself has no validity?

      ?

      Cue the Keanu mind blown gif.

      Oppression is oppression is oppression.

      Like

      • Not sure of your point. Unless you just don’t like any debate about ideas in general?

        Like

      • yeknomgod

        My point is that the commenter doesn’t like debate, or doesn’t know what it is.
        Debate isn’t shusshing or shouting over your opponent. It isn’t referring to opinions and discourse as misinformation. It’s presenting the facts, shining light on the grey areas from varying perspectives, and engaging, as both initiating parties have made a fine effort of doing.

        This whole thread is a debate, and sometimes a good one. My hope is that more may someday find it more constructive to encourage good debate than to try to censor or encourage the censorship of opinions which don’t line up with theirs.

        But for now, watch Idiocracy. It stars Not Sure.

        Like

      • Marija

        Have we read the same blog post then? Jenna uses tons of facts, references and data to support her argument. “Debate isnt shouting at your opponent”? Who is shouting?!
        “It isn’t referring to opinions and discourse as misinformation.” It isnt. Thats what Lauren is usually doing. Funny how you dont address Laurens complete lack of references and non-existing sources for her claims, almost like you took sides irrespective of “facts and gray areas”.
        “It’s presenting the facts, shining light on the grey areas from varying perspectives, and engaging, as both initiating parties have made a fine effort of doing.” Can you read? That is exactly what this post did.

        Like

      • yeknomgod

        Wait, this post can read!? That’s amazing! Oh, you just don’t know how to write. Gotcha.

        Who said anyone was shouting? I can define and refine a term as I interpret it for others to understand how it’s meant if there is some sort of misunderstanding of such meaning. In this case, the commenter (seriously, can YOU read?!) was suggesting that is a negative thing for Lauren’s opinion to be heard and blanketing Lauren’s statements as misinformation. As I clearly wrote “(debate) isn’t referring to opinions and discourse as misinformation”. Additionally, I make it very clear to anyone who has the ability to absorb symbols through their eyeballs and decipher those symbols into meaningful words and sentences (again, ‘read’) that my statements are in regard to the comment, not the post. In fact, clearly written in simple words – “(Debate)’s presenting the facts, shining light on the grey areas from varying perspectives, and engaging, **as BOTH parties have made a fine effort of doing**.

        Now, sadly, you’ve just thrown yourself into the troll box of people who don’t read to understand, don’t know how to write or use punctuation (apostrophes – possessed by the English Language since the 1500s) , and certainly don’t offer any contribution, guidance, or even feedback on the issue itself and the debate of it. Instead, you have gone looking for some well-intentioned, perfectly innocent person to attack with your baseless spite.

        To be perfectly clear – the only side I take is mine. I defend the right of others to have their opinions, if stated in earnest and with seemingly good intent, to be treated as such. My comment was about the previous comment. Feel free to *read* the comments, find me elsewhere in there, and actually engage with me from a standpoint which invites mutual respect at the onset (before either person can even claim to know the slightest thing about the other), and I’ll happily engage in kind.

        But for now, you have shown limited ability to comprehend what you’re reading and form a properly-punctuated reply. Please feel free to try again. I’d rather discuss opinions than baseless insults hurled by unqualified judges.

        Like

      • Marija

        As it seems you havent addressed any of the assertions i made, and that you seem to prefer to drag the discussion into topics of apostrohpes, maybe you are at the wrong place.

        Commenting that debate isnt shouting seems nonsensical, unless someone was shouting. Now you ask ME who was shouting?! I dont know. Who were you thinking of?

        I did in fact offer some feedback which didnt seem to be comprehensible to you (i will assume that due to my lazyness in punctuation and the resulting lack of apostrophes, you are unable to interpret the scribbles which we organize in words, give them meaning and then convey a message. Im not even sure how apostrohpes hinder your ability to receive the message, but ill take your word for it).

        I seemingly misunderstood who you were replying to, as it looked like you were just clarifying your previous, rather vacuous post, where you were sighing, seemingly deliberately misunderstanding someones intention and then doing exactly what you accuse others of, namely writing a comment that: “certainly don’t offer any contribution, guidance, or even feedback on the issue itself and the debate of it .” I mean, how did you even manage to walk right into your own trap, so soon?

        But for now, since you seem preocupied with punctuation and due to the lack any content to your comment, ill wait until you actually, as you claim, start discussing opinions, rather than apostrophes. Cheers.

        Like

    • david

      Hi Alison, why is it too bad her video has been shared? surely the people sharing this video would represent people of similar views or people wanting a debate?

      Like

  5. Pingback: “Perchè non sono femminista”: una replica argomentata – Al di là del Buco

  6. Thanks , I’ve recently been searching for information approximately this topic for ages and
    yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. However,
    what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

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  7. Anon

    Conclusion: Narcissism.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Dear Kate Iselin, I am a Feminist; I am a Man | The Ambling Bristolian

  9. In the initial response, Jenna agreed that women win child custody battles most (an overwhelming amount?–it’s not specified).of the time. This is not true. In fact where men claim custody (which they do not in 90% of divorces), men win custody 60% of the time. Men in custody battles with women generally have more money and other resources and sexist assumptions about women (such as that women are deceitful) also play a part. There are many involved in legal custody work and advocacy work whom you can read for verification. One place to start is the research work: Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues which is an anthology of many people working in this area, including Mo Hannah, PhD and Barry Goldstein, JD.

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    • “where men claim custody”

      A custody battle is a costly affair. It’s trivial that men only try to get custody when their lawyer advises that there is a good chance to win. Since it’s up to the men to try to claim custody, there therefore is quite a selection bias in favor of men’s success rates.

      One also needs to take into account all the cases in which men would have wanted to have custody but didn’t even try to get it, either due to being unable to afford a lawyer or due to being chanceless because of whatever reason.

      Like

  10. Hey, Jenna, I’d like to know if you would let me translate this into spanish, cause I think it would help a lot of anti-feminism people to understand what feminism is about 🙂 of course I would get you the credit and I will link the original article.

    Like

  11. Natalie

    This isn’t just a great response is a fantastic introduction to feminism. Making this as a video (even just sat at a table) would be wonderful. But even better would be a series of videos about feminism. So many people dont understand how important it is still in everyone’s lives.

    Like

  12. Pingback: Por qué [no] necesito el feminismo - Parece amor pero no lo es

  13. people

    I post this for Lauren today: Thank you Lauren, for posting your video. Can you please show evidence of what you are exposing and, please, tell us the number of men raped by women, and the number of men that women (girlfriends, spouses) are killing every week in your country and Worldwide. Can you show us the number of men that committed suicide because they had no other way of escaping the violence that women generate over men. Besides, how many labor deaths, can you count, happened in labor spaces that are sustained by the money women spend for it. Also, can you name the last woman elected for president in your country, or the last one to be secretary of defense (have you missed the G.I. Jane movie).

    Like

  14. Reblogged this on anthropomagic and commented:
    When I first watched the Lauren’s video, it resonated in some ways with how I felt about feminism. Still, after taking a gender studies unit at my university, there were things she was saying that did not add up. Feminism is such a touchy subject, and is misused and misunderstood by many. This response is long, but on point and has the appropriate evidence. One thing I will always believe in is that man need to be part of fighting for equality as much as women.

    Like

  15. Lu

    May GOD BLESS you, Lauren, please ignore the narrowiminded feminists, who think only to defame you. You are right 100%. And can prove it. The only thing left to do is let evil and feminists devour each other. Thank you for the opportunity to share with you your thoughts

    Like

    • The only narrow-minded mouth is see flapping is yours, Lu, whoever you are. The women here are working to have a reasonable and adult debate. If all you can contribute is foul-mouthed insults, we don’t want or need you here.

      Like

      • yeknomgod

        Rude as Lu is, you’ve given weight to his/her argument. Women aren’t the only people here, are not exclusively nor entirely being reasonable, nor adult, and contribute a fair share of insults, though I don’t recall seeing any which were overly foul.

        Also, it’s a public forum, sooooo you really have no control over access by those you do or don’t want. Your dismissal is therefore hyperbolic and self-serving.

        Inclusion, communication, openness, kindness, patience, understanding – these things naturally lead those affected by them towards equality, fairness, and a good-natured mindset. Feeding hate to hate just makes it larger and more powerful.

        AKA – don’t feed the trolls… and stop hating/denigrating men.

        Like

    • Marija

      Dear Lu. i would completely agree with you on everything you said, if only you could be bothered to show how your claims are correct. Otherwise you re only setting yourself up for a failure in the same manner as poor lauren is constantly doing. So, care to show us what supports your assertion. dear Lu? Until then, so long.

      Like

    • Mark

      Yep agree 100%

      Like

  16. Lu

    To people, above. You’re a hypocrite and a whoremonger.

    Like

  17. Agree or disagree its the hate directed at Lauren I don’t get

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do not hate Lauren, nor have I directed hate at her or encouraged hate. In fact, if you look on, we carried on a respectful conversation with one another about the issues. I disagree with her profoundly, and I believe much of what she says is very harmful, but I do not hate her.

      Like

      • Marija

        In the beginning i thought you were wasting your time engaging in the discussion w lauren, as she keeps trying to sell her opinions as fact based claims. But now i root for you, as your engagement with her in this debate fully exposed her provisional and unsubstiated opinions, as she keeps claiming things without seeminly having no ability to grasp a concept of ‘evidence’ or even a ‘reference’. Im glad people like you exist.

        Like

  18. Martha Garcia

    Thank you for this note. I am pro-feminist but sometimes is hard to find the right argument for people who wants equal rights and faces videos like this one. However, I was not convinced by one of your major arguments: people fighting against any kind of segregation MUST fight agaist ALL sorts of discrimination. Not because of some moral standing, but because they will benefit from that fight. Yes, I DO fight for jews AND palestinian rights, even though I am a Mexican woman. Yes, I DO fight for immigrant rights as well as for native cultures’ rights. Of course, I DO fight for men rights because that is an integral part in the fight against male chauvinism.

    Like

    • I think there is a really important and big difference between expecting a movement to actively fight for every issue vs. expecting them to be supportive, stand in solidarity when asked, and not undermine other’s work/needs for justice. I do not think it is fair or realistic to expect a movement to activity fight for every issue (e.g. demanding movements against anti-black racism to also actively fight for all the issues of white folk, or lashing out against feminist movements for not addressing all men’s issues). By extension it is also not fair or productive to critique a movement when they don’t address all issues of injustice. It doesn’t make a movement less about justice just because its energies are directed primarily at one form of injustice. Activism is difficult, often done by organizations and individuals that are financially strapped, emotionally and physically exhausting, and extremely time consuming. Saying to a feminist group that is focusing on, say, sexual assault that their work is less valuable because they aren’t also working to address men’s suicide rates is not fair or productive. This is, in a simplified way, the critique that MRAs and Lauren lodge against feminism: your work is not about justice if your energies focus largely on XYZ injustices affecting women, and not equally on XYZ injustices affecting men. As I was trying to demonstrate: although there is very little feminist ideology or practice is antithetical or antagonistic to justice for men—and in fact a lot actually does actively and explicitly address violence and harm in men’s lives—MRAs and Lauren denigrate the efforts of feminist movements because their energies are disproportionately focused on issues and needs of women. This is an unreasonable critique, and frankly an extremely hypocritical one (although, I try to avoid the finger pointing at the MRAs about ‘practicing what they preach’ since I think, in the long run, pointing out this hypocrisy not going to help change the tone of the discussion). Anyway, I absolutely agree that men’s issues are connected to women’s issues. Feminists should not, and (I would argue) overwhelmingly do not encourage misandry or harm to men. But to argue feminist movements are somehow not working for justice because they focus their energy, resources, and time more heavily on certain injustices is an intellectually, ethically, and strategically questionable critique.

      In contrast, critique is warranted if a movement/activist campaign perpetuates other forms of inequality through their work, whether by exclusion or by espousing ideology that hurts others (e.g. when women of color critique racial movements for sexism; when US feminist movements fail to include the voices and needs of those who aren’t cis, hetero, white, middle class women; when LGBTQ movements are critiqued by LGBTQ people of color for the preference given to cis, middle class, white men; etc). This active or implicit undermining of other efforts for justice is not okay, and it’s not something that is supported by the feminist theory or practice that I ascribe to.

      Anyway, I agree with you that issues—and different forms of violence—are interconnected and it is ideologically inconsistent, ethically questionable, and tactically useful to see them as so. I do think it is fair to ask people who are fighting for justice to be mindful, supportive, and even to stand in solidarity with other movements for justice. This absolutely happens, and I am always happy to see more of it. Showing up and working in solidarity is something I try to practice myself through my scholarship and activism. I don’t think that’s really the spirit of what MRAs or Lauren are saying about feminism though, when they hurl critiques about feminists ignoring men (which, as I keep saying, is a tenuous argument regardless). I’ll leave it at that though, since I’ve already written more than intended. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      Like

      • Feminism as it has been practiced is not monolithic, obviously. So when someone uses the term feminism free of substantial context, we are dependent on cultural associations to determine what exactly they mean.

        Ultimately the argument devolves into a semantic one. It’s not a political question, it is a linguistic one. Symbols have meaning only through what is encoded and received from them. Feminism as it is understood by virtually everyone who does not have an academic background in the discipline of women’s studies, sociology et al, is a program of gendered advocacy. Nothing more, nothing less. Groups which have identified as feminist may have advocated for men’s issues. But that’s really not relevant to the question of what feminism is.

        You are taking a prescriptivist approach, claiming that most people are “wrong” about what feminism is. I don’t think that really holds together. The word feminism only means something in the sense that it means something TO PEOPLE. To almost everyone, feminism is exactly what Lauren Southerns describes in her video.

        And while I may have expressed that point in an oblique manner, it’s really just common sense. It’s hard to see what you’re doing here as anything but intellectually dishonest. You know exactly what she means. If you want to redefine what feminism is for the public at large, that’s not a topic for a debate, or for intellectual inquiry. It’s a topic for a PR campaign.

        Like

      • JustSomeEgalitarian

        I think there is a small, but important, point you are missing here about the critique Lauren and MRAs are making against feminism. Now, I agree with you on a lot of points, you seem like a pretty reasonable, fairly intelligent person, so i don’t understand how you could miss something that is this obvious. The thing is, of course if a group decides they’re going to work on women’s issues, they are under no ethical obligation to do anything but work for what they’ve claimed they’re working for. It’s not intrinsically problematic that feminist focus on women’s issues, I’d even go so far to say it’s expected (duh), but here is the thing; Feminism claims to be a purely egalitarian ideology, that they are fighting not only for women’s rights, but for men’s right’s, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, and on and on. That’s where we have a problem. You can’t say ‘Feminism is fighting for men’s rights'(bear in mind it’s often feminist who are protesting MRA meetings, no platforming speakers on men’s rights, and so on) and then complain that people are angry that you’re not doing that. If feminist don’t want to fight for men’s rights, that’s fine, just don’t claim that you are, be honest about it.

        On a side note, i don’t honestly see the point of these sort of debates. Pretty much everyone is for women and men having completely equal rights, the differences are in the details. The fundamental assumption that many feminist seem to make is that masculinity is leaned and not an innate part of biology. If this holds true then there may be some truth in the idea that by getting men to abandon some parts of their masculinity and becoming more feminine some of the current men’s issues will be relieved. However, if this idea proves to be false, and we push men to act more feminine (something that’s honestly been happening for some time now) we are going to see some huge issues arise. Forcing someone to be something they are not can seriously mess people up, and I have no doubt that it has the potential to cause major mental health issues. So from that other side of the fence, it looks like feminism is pushing this idea for the sake of women and not for men, and this is an idea that could potentially cause great harm to men. And besides all this, how is anyone supposed to seriously entertain the idea that feminism is pushing for men to be more open with their emotions when you have literally thousands of pictures of feminist drinking from mugs with the words “male tears” on them?

        The other typical contention is that women just aren’t oppressed in the first world anymore. This is pretty anecdotal, but i don’t know a single women in my life that feels oppressed. Women are legally required to be paid the same as their male counterparts, so in cases where circumstances are the same, and they’re paid less anyhow, there is legal recourse. They have every right afforded to men, and then some. Some of these issues Karen pointed to. I struggle to see a single way in which women could be considered oppressed, or even treated unfairly, in first world nations. Women get lighter prison sentences, they’re awarded custody in almost 80% of cases, they have more shelter and options available in cases of domestic abuse. Women are now over-represented and outperforming men in university, and young women are now out-earning young men in many fields. So yeah, I just don’t see what you’re fighting for. I understand, and respect 1st and 2nd wave feminism. There were very real issues and they did great work in addressing them, but those issues just aren’t there anymore.

        Last point here, let’s talk about rape culture! This is one subject feminism has way missed the mark on. I mean, they weren’t even aiming at the mark. They looked at the mark, turned 180 degrees and threw it that way as far as they damn well could. If you live in a first world country in the west, you do not live in a rape culture. You’ve average guys aren’t sitting around with each-other laughing about that girl they raped last night, In fact in most circles saying you raped a girl last night would either get you beat half to death, the cops called on you, or more likely both. The truth is, in our culture rape is considered to be one of the most heinous acts that can be committed. In many cases people consider it to be subjectively worse then murder (which from a purely objective standpoint is probably much worse). There is a reason people say things like (gamer culture example) “that boss just raped me!”, it’s because being raped is pretty much the worst thing that could happen to you. It’s said to convey that it couldn’t have gotten any worse. I keep hearing this phenomenally bad idea being circulated about teaching men not to rape. Well, guess what. Everyone know’s not to rape, rape is bad, we’re not supposed to do bad things. You can teach men not to rape until you’re blue in the face and you won’t see the statistics go down even a little bit. Here is the thing that seems to have slipped under your ideology’s radar. There are bad people in the world, and bad people, they do bad things, things which they already know to be bad. This is why many people try to teach women how to avoid getting raped, because, while it is not the ideal solution, it is the only practical one we have. Yet, for some reason, every time someone tries to convey these messages, they get called a rape apologist (blows my freakin mind). Feminist also seem to keep insisting that when women report rape they’re not taken seriously, or they were blamed based on what they we wearing, or if they were drinking and so on. I’ve never seen a single case of this in the US. I’m sure it’s happened, once or twice, and I can assure you that whoever did it was a sociopath who is not representative of men\people\society as a whole. So please, please, pleeeease.. .stop trying to insinuate that rape is something intrinsically connected to men or masculinity, it’s not. It’s just bad people doing bad things. Nobody is making excuses for it, nobody is blaming the poor boys and girls who are the victims of these bad people. We live in an imperfect world, and there are bad people in this world, so bad things will always happen. (side note, why did almost NO feminist speak up over the mass sexual assaults that happened on Cologne, except for to call anyone that did “Islamaphobic” All this talk about rape culture, and when you see the actual manifestation of an actual rape-culture you’re utterly silent. This says so much about feminsim, and it’s not good.)

        I honestly believe modern feminism, while well intentioned, is doing more harm then good. It’s diverting attention from what are very real and pressing issues in the world. All this attention on the wage gap between men and women… seriously? What about the wage gap between classes? It’s larger then it’s even been in recorded history and it’s as serious as a heart attack. Furthermore, it seem’s to become progressively more and more concerned with censorship for the sake of sparing people’s feelings and and correcting wrong-think. Did anyone else here see the poll Fox-News (seriously never thought is be behind fox news on something) on student’s at a college campus, asking students to sign a petition to ban the first amendment? Almost everyone signed it. My heart sank when i saw this, maybe I’m just to old to understand all this, but how can feminist, and it’s other ideological brethren, not realize how far down the rabbit hole they’ve gone when they will willing sign a petition to repeal the amendment that made it possible, that protected them when what they were saying wasn’t part the the current zeitgeist? But now that it is they would censor and shut-down all opposing ideas and voices of dissent.

        Liked by 2 people

  19. Pingback: On Sugar, Sickness, and Feminism (Or, Why Plato Hates Rhetoric) – smartslapped

  20. Elizabeth

    Thank you, really!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. In point 3, you say “men are more likely to call the police on their partner, more likely to press charges, and less likely to drop charges.” I was wondering if you had a specific source for this information? Looking through the other sources you cite in that section, I can’t find where they refer specifically to likelihood of calling police or pressing charges. Thanks!

    Like

  22. I found this blog interesting to read but I’m terrified of modern feminism

    Like

  23. adsfaf

    “To engage with a fraction of this literature, ” – smarmy full-of-yourself yuckface

    Like

  24. Marija

    Hey

    Im writing a reply to JustSomeEqualitarian, as I cannot reply directly, im replying to the button at the first comment in this tread:
    First of all I think you raise some legitimate questions here, and im replying to have a discussion. Im not after any kind of slander, only a good debate.
    Ill numerate my comments, in case you or anyone else wants to address any of them later on.

    1. You stated that “feminism claims to be purely egalitarian ideology” and “they are fighting […] for men’s rights, LGBTQ rights, racial equality and so on.”
    Ok, I don’t know if Jenna say feminism is purely equalitarian, if she did I disagree with her. Feminism first of all is not a cohesive ideology – we have a lot of fractions formed around different and sometimes opposite views, so ‘feminism says this or that’ makes little sense.
    Then, feminism started as a movement for WOMEN’s rights, not as an egalitarian movement, for obvious historical reasons. In my view feminism is a women’s rights movement. Fighting for women’s rights however would immanently include LGBTQ women, working class women, women of all races and so on.” This was historically not the case – starting from bourgeois feminism in the 19th century and the suffrage, women of this class were indifferent to the treatment of their maids and female servants. Continuing with liberal feminism – women of this view were and still are mainly preoccupied advancing their already privileged position, for example by demanding higher wages, privileged in comparison to the position of women who belong to classes, races and sexual orientation other than upper/middle, white and heterosexual.
    Finally, radical feminism although originating in the black movement (which still largely ignored womens rights, and then black womens right especially) was accused of being racially divisive, as it probably was at its inception in the 60s.
    NOT ALL WOMEN ARE OPPRESSED TO THE SAME DEGREE AND IN THE SAME WAY, and other identity aspects play a significant role, which feminism refused to adopt in its mainstream thesis. I think this is changing now, but Jenna pointed out Patricia Arquettes speech which again, showed complete obliviousness that there are women that don’t see themselves in the fight for advancement of rich, WASP, privileged and in this case Hollywood starlets. The way Arquette is oppressed in the film industry is radically different from the way indigenous Canadian woman may be.

    And then – fighting for womens rights and the recognition of womens agency as inherently human, and not only feminine (irrational, emotional, illogical, nurturing, caring) , inevitably raises a question of male agency and the cliché idea of masculinity (assertive, ambitions, resilient, fighter). The point is that women and men are HUMAN and both have a full range of these features and should not be denied or discouraged from them because some of those don’t fit into an idea of feminine/masculine dichotomy. That cliché idea is the one lauren is promoting btw in her video.

    Here I ll just refer to your claim that we want men to be more feminine – NO WE DON’T. The misunterpretation is so profound, that I wonder if its actually deliberate. We want both men and women to be allowed to express and exercise any feelings and behaviors that comes naturally to the individual, including women being seen as assertive and ambitious, and men seen as being able to be caring and emotional, god lord, because they are. Your assumption that it would be FORCING is shocking to me, because it sounds like you re denying that men can embody full range of emotions and behaviors as women.
    Im not familiar with “thousands of pictures of feminist drinking male tears” but the idea of mocking emotional faculty in men sounds revolting. I can see why you find that disconcerting. It is.

    2. Equal rights concept is a problem. Men and women have different biological functions and by that I mean mainly reproductive. How can we have ‘equal’ rights if women want to have a right for pregnancy/maternity leave? How can we have equal rights if women serving army need somewhat adjusted condition (equipment) due to menstruating, and again, possible pregnancy? How can we have same rights, if women cannot rape? And so on. The problem of equal rights is deeply problematic, and radical feminism is trying to change the way we see rights, as being corresponding to genedered needs, and not simply ‘equal’.

    3. I think women are oppressed everywhere in the world, in different ways. Legally in the west we have same rights. However legal rights don’t guarantee that we will be treated same. Women can be for example payed less even if that is against the law. They are payed less, that is evident, but it is unclear to which extent that is gender discrimination-based.
    Now some of the things you mention are true, lighter prison sentence for example. This goes back to the cliché ideas of women as weak and vulnerable (so they cant endure harsh sentence) and men as strong and more resilient, that lauren promotes. (Btw do you see how you keep bringing up problems, that lauren doesn’t seem to have any issue with, on the contrary, she wholeheartedly accepts them, and yet you consider you agree with her?). Similar case can be made for custody. For one, women are stereotyped as a priori more caring, and two, stereotypical masculine traits are somehow inferior when it comes to raising a child. Why? Even if we accept these stereotypes, what makes resilient and ambitious person more fit to raise a child than the irrational and weak one? Its gender prejudice, which again, lauren supports.
    When you claim that “young women are now out-earning young men in many fields” please provide some data on this. I didn’t know its “many fields” (how many is that? 6 or 58?) and I’d be interested to see which fields those are.

    4. The rape culture, as in tolerance and acceptance of rape is complex. Rape culture is still very much present (it has a long history, since the myth of how continent Europe was names, goes like this: a middle eastern woman Europe, destitute and stuck at a Greek island, was raped by Zeus, then she falls in love w him. You see how this portraits rape as almost a prerequisite for love?). I disagree that we demonize rapists and consider rape heinous. There is high tolerance for rape committed by UN peace keepers, NATO soldiers and other military personnel in conflict zones and humanitarian work, whose job is to protect people from such crimes. There is hardly any investigation in allegations, and there is a history of cover up within the NATO and UN missions. In Norway however where I live, rape sentence is much shorter than sentences for financial fraud, for example. And so on. So denying rape culture is highly controversial, so its good to be very specific where we de facto reduced tolerance and where we seem to have no interest in preventing the rape or punishing it.
    a) Now the Cologne – how do you consider this to be a manifestation of rape culture exactly? One person was raped. ONE. How is that a rape culture? I think this is a manifestation of how globalization and capital makes entire populations destitute, that then end up seeking refugee and are treated like animals for doing somehting which was not their fault.
    There are a number of actuall mass sexual crimes that are left unaddressed. In case of Cologne, this was in my opinion an attack on the system that keeps deepening the segregation between “Germans” and “immigrants”, and some kind of revenge by disenfranchised people who are hated and seen as pest by a large number of Germans, and are victims of hate crimes by ultra-nationalistic groups.
    The men who attacked women in Cologne knew very well that they will draw attention to themselves, this was clearly deliberate. I have an impression that some people in other traditions have a lot of contempt for the corrupt, profoundly dishonest western culture that imposes its false values on others in violent ways. This was an expression of very deep hatred towards the west that may or may not partly be rooted in the different ideas about gender in other places in the world, but it is in my opinion a consequence of globalization and its detrimental effect on parts of the world we dont even see. Besides this is also a security failiure, because all mass gatherings usually have a hightened security so what happened that police failed so terribly in Cologne, i dont now.

    Are you familiar that not long after, a number of middle easter refugee men gathered in demonstrations to publically condemn the attack? Im not sure how many media channels even reported on this. We call that a cover up as well then. The mass media covers up that muslim men protest against attacks on women.

    I also don’t know where the perpetrators come from. But lets say they come from middle east, because it seems like your idea of rape culture is something immanent to islam. In that case, ill remind you of mass rapes that were occurring during Woodstock, committed by non-muslim, American men.
    In Europe, in our recent history there were mass rapes occurring in Balkans, during the Yugoslavian war, of Muslim women by Serbs and Croats. There are mass rapes in India where majority of people are not muslim. And so on.

    b)The perception of rape is perhaps changing in the west, but only in some aspects, and not in any way fundamentally. I think it is clear that we still have very high tolerance towards it. The most obvious example is sex industry. THAT is the rape culture. Sex industry wouldn’t exist to any remotely similar scale as it is today, if we don’t accept the assumption that men HAVE TO HAVE SEX, and that they should be allowed to pay for a women’s body in order to satisfy own needs, irrespective of hers. The rape that occurs daily and generates massive capital, called euphemistically “prostitution” and “porn” is clear demonstration of embedded attitudes we have towards gender, sex and rape. A large part of the sex industry is legal, and there is significant political will to make entire industry fully legal and market driven. Talk about rape culture. Its mass rape culture.

    5. Now the wage gap. Bringing up the class difference is a deflection. Im a Marxist myself and there is nothing that engages me more than dehumanizing effects of capitalism, and the class inequality which is appalling, and growing in the west, yes. BUT ONE PROBLEM DOESN’T EXCLUDE ANOTHER. Feminism is not originally concerned with class, and there is a long tradition of strife between Marxist and feminists (e.g. Rosa Luxemburg was writing about that). Feminism is also not concerned with climate change, or poverty as such. Does that make it redundant?! There is indeed a fraction, Marxist or socialist feminism, which addresses both issues. Gender wage gap is not less of a problem, BECAUSE there is a class wage gap. One movement cannot address ALL issues. Feminism is not about environmental crisis either. Does that make it redundant? (There is however environmental feminism as well btw but the movement as a whole is preoccupied with women, and not class, environment or immigration policies).

    6. Banning first amendment is lunacy and since you are American, you should do everything to prevent that. Freedom of speech and press is two of the most important weapons against the totalitarian system (in America it’s the totality of capital which is the regime, other places its other ideologies). Yes, the idea is to disable any open debate and difference in opinion. That is the zeitgeist, and we should fight it with all we have.

    Like

    • Marija

      Edit: I didnt mean to say “women can not rape”, but “women do not rape” in general. (obviously they can and occasionally do? i dont know. but “can not” is wrong.)

      Like

  25. Mark

    Well I just don’t understand why people/ feminists ect are being so down on Lauren it’s her choice not to be a feminist as a female so are you not criticising her for making a choice as a female when this is everything feminism stands for

    Like

    • Hi Mark,
      Of course it is Lauren’s decision about whether she wants to be a feminist. It is, however, perfectly normal and healthy (and well within the ideals of feminism!) to engage in debates about important ideas. These ideas have real, material outcomes in the world and discussion and debate about them are a vital part of how we as individuals and a society make decisions about how our behavior. If this form of discussion didn’t matter, there would be no purpose to much journalism, to scholarly dialogue in academia, or to policy debate among political leaders. When Lauren argues publicly about her position on gender and feminism, she is entering an important public debate about ideas that have real, and serious outcomes in people’s lives. These ideas should be discussed, and challenged. I hope Lauren would agree with this point, at the very least.
      Best, Jenna

      Like

  26. arena

    she got me at the jail rape thing……140 thousand? Im still scratching my head over that one…lol…..i guess each for their own when it comes to criminals. Your in jail for a reason, be it RAPE/murder/DV/robbery/drugs etc…….lets just point out ‘if’ a guy who’s been raped in jail and he himself was in fact a rapist …..then I guess he can feel it on the receiving end…..no sympathy for any jail hog.

    Like

  27. david

    Hi Jenna (have to explain the email…attention grabber only) I just want to say its great to find people who are willing to debate and talk.(like you and Lauren are doing in your blog) I cant talk for everyone, no-one can, but not hating someone (Lauren) as described in a previous post, for having a differing view, well how do I put this, we need as humans to have more like you, as debate (especially on the internet) unfortunately seems to be breeding hate with our contemporary s. I do have a criticism though that I dont think you articulated your argument against laurens (feminist dont speak out against) in the early blog, personally listing books someone should read as proof, instead of arguments in those books, just isnt good practice, just my point of view. And yep, no-one deserves to be raped. I dont do social media much, i dont have facebook or twitter….but after coming across you and lauren I am glad there are people like you both out there, kind regards, David

    Like

  28. Bryan

    Im a guy and never seen representation from new feminist…..ever….never…..anywhere….

    Like

  29. Reblogged this on Sugar & Spice & Social Awareness and commented:
    I have been WAITING for this for what feels like forever. Lauren is a smart woman, but she is seriously misguided. This article is the response of my dreams and I’m so glad I’ve finally seen it. In case you haven’t seen the original video, it is included in the article.
    If you’re going to actively speak out against feminism, I think you at least owe it to your mother, sisters, aunts, cousins, female friends AND your father, brothers, uncles, male friends AND anyone who you know that doesn’t conform to normative ideas about gender (because feminism is about BREAKING GENDER NORMS and GENDER EQUALITY)… to read this and inform yourself.
    Remember, one woman’s comments do not speak for feminism as a whole, so don’t sit and tell me that because one girl once told you to “man up” that all feminists are evil. This article is based on a vast array of feminist literature, which is more representative of feminism as a whole than any misguided “feminist” you had a Twitter fight with.
    Don’t want to read the article and face logical arguments against your archaic opinions? Well, maybe you should sit back and evaluate why you’re so scared of feminism. Is it maybe that these changes would not exactly convenience you…?

    Like

  30. Pingback: Feminism and Hegel

  31. After reading the first two rebuttals I had to laugh that you had to go back to when feminism was actually relevant.

    Like

  32. Laura Southern is an activist troll in the spirit of Ann Coulter. It is difficult to tell where she is being serious and where she is making outrageous comments just for attention. The last point she made was “As a woman, I won’t be laughed at for not being manly enough.” The reason men who don’t live up to societies expectations of what it means to be a man isn’t because on an anti-male attitude, but because of misogyny and patriarchy. Women are viewed with less value than men, so when a man is too much like a woman he too is of less value, but often times when the situation is the opposite, and a woman is somewhat like a man, her value is raised to being able “to keep up with the boys.” The same can be said of misogyny being at the root of negative attitudes towards gay men and transgender women.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. JavAdv

    I did not know a lot of feminism before reading your reply, just the things I read there or heard over there. I’m still not convinced, but you have given quite strong arguments that made me think that lot of the info that’s out there is just too way bias in both ways, so people get misinformed as I was (still am, but you give sources where I can look up). Nevertheless, I think there are many “feminist” who are also misinformed and those are the ones that can twist the idiology and the ones that can lead the feminism to extremist idiology, because the opposite of what you say, they sound it to be a gender(women over men) supremacy outlook and I’d like to ask you what do you think about that? A lot of people (mostly women, of course) fighting and giving retoric that can misguide other people and their followers (of course, that apply also to men fighting feminism without knowing)?
    Anyways, I liked the way you replyed and I’m going to look for how she replyed you back.
    Regards.

    Like

  34. Reblogged this on alexpavlotski and commented:
    If you have an opinion on feminism, you need to know this.

    Wonderful and rare space where an academic meets popular misconception.

    Like

  35. Johanna

    Excelent! I live in a third world country where, sadly, A LOT of people agree with Lauren’s point of view just because they don’t really know or understand what feminism is and don’t even bother googling it. I think this might help me explain to those misinformated, so thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Pingback: After Watching This Video, I Thought I'd Never Call Myself A Feminist Again

  37. Mike

    You say: “Feminists place a blanket statement on all men that they are all privileged, and that all women are oppressed.”

    “This is a warped characterization of what feminists argue. Yes, feminists argue that being a male in a male-dominated society has particular privileges—whether it’s being paid more, having greater representation in seats of power, having your voice privileged in many spaces, or so on. But, feminists do NOT assume that all men equally benefit from these systems of privilege, nor to they assume that all women are equally marginalized.”

    And you’ve never talked to a feminist on youtube. All you do is speak on behalf of feminism in positive light, the truth of the matter is if you ask 10 women to define feminism and why it’s needed you’ll get 11 answers because there will be those that say feminism is about gender equality, there are those who cite it’s need based on a perpetual victim hood mentality akin Jew in 1930s Germany (though that’s admittedly from the newer online SJW faction of women who’ll be taking over positions of power soon) and there are those who at least have the honesty to admit that feminism is about empowering women. Unfortunately ALL these women who supported a gender based philosophy laugh and blank label people in Mens Rights Gropus as women hating pro rape sexists and few ever have the backbone to point out that while women who aren’t in STEM fields are usually because that’s not a field they’re interested in and almost any career women that women have shown interest in they have become the majority of new graduates in going literature and education, to law and science.

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  38. Pingback: The Powerful Need to Invalidate Social Movements | Spencer Huchulak

  39. Pingback: RAPED: A Male Survivor Breaks His Silence | alexpavlotski

  40. concerned cynic

    “Feminism has to be called feminism because women are the ones with the lower hand in society.”
    ME. ‘Lower hand’ is an assumption, not a fact. The status and power of people of both genders varies greatly by individual. People have agency, but reified abstractions like ‘society’ do not.

    “Everything is already centered around men…”
    ME. A facile overgeneralisation of a sort that I have read all too often in Second and Third Wave feminist writings.

    “…so to call it something else would be to invalidate the struggles women face.”
    ME. Those struggles are often HUMAN struggles affecting all persons, not just women.

    “The definition of feminism is equality of the sexes anyway.”
    ME. Feminism is as feminism does. The operational meaning of equality of far more difficult than radical movements appreciate. During the 1950s and 60s, procedural equality of the genders needed improvement. Second Wave equity feminists argued for a number of changes in laws and processes, and were mostly successful. Procedural equality does not guarantee equality of condition, which can be assured only by coercive state action that is completely contrary to the fundamental fact that human freedom is incompatible with a state that sets everyone’s pay and conditions of employment. This was tried last century, and the failure was spectacular.

    “If you associate femininity with female then you already have a problem because femininity is something found across all genders and is not exclusive to females themselves, it merely just has roots in them.”
    ME. What you say here verges on the specious. In practice and for most of us off campus, femininity is abstract noun very much connected to the anatomically female.

    “No one is making feminism just about women… did you read the article?”
    ME. The vulgar understanding of gender feminism is, in practice, very much about the alleged horrors of the female condition, and about increasing the economic and political power of women. The refined understanding of feminism you are advocating has little traction outside of the university classroom.

    “The author touches on how feminism is about men’s issues as well as women’s issues because it’s about equality of the sexes.”
    ME. Again, it is very easy for a social or political movement to assert that it is about one form of equality or another. It is much harder for such movements to actually understand the wellsprings of inequality and to address those wellsprings through concrete action. In my experience, feminists who take a close and honest interest in men’s issues quietly resign from the movement feminism. The best known case in point is Warren Farrell.

    “Also, your claim that gender issues aren’t prevalent among women nowadays is simply false.”
    ME. Many women quietly stand apart from the female victimhood narrative that imbues gender feminism.

    “You should… read up on feminist texts to get a better understanding of this entire situation because it’s not as biased as you make it sound.”
    ME. University texts on feminist and gender studies are the last place I would look for a better understanding of the reality of gender in the first world, because those texts do not include an honest examination of the masculine condition, especially that of weakly educated men. How many feminists have read the work of Harvard’s Claudia Goldin? Of Wendy McElroy? Finally, there is such a thing as women’s conservatism, a state of mind about which academia (other than Barbara Dafoe Whitehead) is silent.

    Like

  41. Why doesn’t this pseudo intellectual talk about white privilege and how it affects everyone else? Why doesn’t she speak about how abuse can happen regardless of creed or background? Why doesn’t she state how bad are the poor people in other parts of the world? Because like the staunch conservative she is, they’re living in hypocrisy.

    Like

  42. Claire

    I am a woman and find the word “feminist” insulting. Why? Well, because “western” feminism has become a circus act that is not even comparable to the lack of rights for women in developing and war-ravaged nations. Furthermore, was a bunch of crap this piece is-a reverse straw man argument that’s laughable.

    Allow me to explain modern feminism in the west: On one side you have the fat, unattractive, desperate-for-a-high -quality-man-but-can’t-get one hambeasts with shaved blue hair and body modifications, in addition to the frumpy, never-left-the-awkward-stage-of middle-school-and-now-in-college, whack jobs.

    On the other side you have the exhibitionist narcissists, like Kim Kardashian, Emily Ratajowski, and Alyssa Milano, who can’t keep their damn clothes on and maintain some class and self respect in any private areas of their lives. Both extremes make a mockery of what women have worked for over the last century and women are not supporting this. Feminism works more in your favor if you’re on Instagram and conventionally “hot” and looking for narcissistic attention and self worth via public strip teases. Feminism doesn’t work so great if you’re an angry, bitter, slovenly femitroll who can’t accept the fact that she can’t compete with more attractive women for the good men out there. Let’s be real. Stop with the exhibitionism; the breastfeeding selfies, the free the nipple, public birthing videos, public displays of menstruation, man hating tirades, triggered tirades, dressing like a prostitute and expecting not be called a prostitute, dressing like a fat prostitute and expecting not to be called a fat prostitute, expecting a man who is tall and muscular when you eat garbage, don’t exercise, and are obese, expecting a David Beckman when you are not a Victoria, hating on men who have their own preferences in women, which don’t include being fat, a whore, or a fat whore, hating on anyone who doesn’t agree and subsequently validate the you-should-love-me-no-matter-what-I-look-like-desperate- dater mentality of the femitroll landwhale or the don’t-slut-shame-me Instabitionist, who probably can’t read and is an idiot, but has a great ass and loves showing it off. Neither type of women should be acknowledged and neither type of women is desirable for wife material.

    The irony is that the femibeasts hate the hot feminists, and the attractive feminists don’t give a crap about the femitrolls because…why would they? They don’t have to compete with non attractive women. So, are you a feminist that needs validation and attention through nudity and sex appeal because you have nothing else to offer? Or, are you the feminist who is angry at the world that you’re just not hot?

    This new brand of batshit feminism has been rejected. Get over it.

    Like

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