Feminist Discussion Post 1: Feminism, the devaluation of the feminine, and men

feminist man - Version 4

(This post is the first in a week long discussion between Lauren and I about feminism. The discussion emerged after Lauren posted a video about why she is not a feminist, to which I wrote an open letter to Lauren in response. Lauren and I then agreed to take part in this call-and-response style discussion, in which we post questions/prompts for one another to reply to. Lauren will post her response on youtube in a day or so, at which time she will also pose a question to me (which I will reply to on this website). You can learn more about the backstory and format of the discussion here, where I also explain my approach to the discussion.)

Hi Lauren,

It was hard to settle on a single question to start with, but I suppose we have a few rounds of this ahead of us, so here goes.

The question I ended up settling on kind of expands on ideas I wrote about in my original reply to you. I’m hoping that you can engage with some of the feminist ideas about masculinity and femininity that I described in my response, and address why you see these ideas as being oppositional to the project of making men’s lives more livable. Before I get to the ultimate question, however, I want to elaborate a little more on what I mean.

One of the main ideas that I tried to convey in my original post is that feminism helps us understand and confront not only the violences and inequalities facing women, but also the problems facing men. I tried to describe this in terms of the ways that gender norms (which feminists challenge), also work to entrench ideas about what it mean to “be a man”. These ideas contribute to some of the deeply harmful conditions in men’s lives, which you raised in your video. Included among these are the expectation of strength, stoicism, and suppression of emotion, which help shape which labor fields men occupy, how men are often taught to respond to emotional distress, and how society responds to them when they fail to fully embody masculine norms (e.g. by being a victim, by being nurturing, by not being the primary breadwinner, etc).

Perhaps another way that I should have described this, is that feminism doesn’t only challenge the way the misogyny devalues women, it also challenges the way that misogyny devalues that which is deemed feminine. (Here is a great article about this from the perspective of a feminist man). Feminists often address the devaluation of the feminine by critiquing, challenging, and breaking open gendered binaries in order to create new possibilities for being and acting in the world. Here is just one example of this:

  • Rational/Emotional: The characterization of women as emotional, and thus irrational, goes back for a long time in history. This discourse has played a role in the medical treatment of women (e.g. the invention of female “hysteria”), the treatment of women in science (see Sandra Harding’s work), the lack of recognition of emotions as a site of knowledge (here you see the operation of another gendered binary: objectivity/subjectivity), the way that women are characterized in the work place and when running for public office (e.g. the focus on whether Hillary’s emotions will make her unfit to lead), the exclusion of women from combat, and more. Many women can attest to the ways their expressions of emotion are used to characterize them as  “crazy”, and to dismiss their voices and valid arguments about their worlds. This discourse, which treats emotions as feminine, irrational, and undesirable, also in turn makes emotions something that men are taught to suppress. This disregard for emotion impacts how men are expected to behave, to deal with emotional, psychological and physical injury, to interact with others, and to labor in their jobs. The fact is, however, that men are emotional, men need emotions, and this feminization and devaluation of emotions hurts men.

There are many more of these binaries that feminists challenge, including: man/woman, productive/reproductive, objectivity/subjectivity, rational/emotional, mind/body, public/private, political/personal, culture/nature, active/passive, perpetrator/victim, protector/protected, and global/local. I could elaborate a lot about this, but for the sake of brevity, hopefully you can go back and see where I already allude to these in my previous post (e.g. productive/reproductive in terms of breadwinning and caregiving; feminists challenging victim/perpetrator narratives). If you want, I’d be happy to elaborate more on this in another post.

The point I’m trying to make is that when feminists fight for the revaluation of the feminine and for the breaking down of these binaries, they are also opening up terrain for men to express emotion, to buck norms of masculinity that route them towards harm, to claim a role in childrearing, and to be treated fairly when they are victimized. Even the very binary of male/female can be broken open when we examine (as feminists like Judith Butler do) how the presumably natural characteristics of sex and gender are in fact deeply social, and thus open to change.

So, all this build-up was to set up this related set of questions:

With so many of the harms you point to in your video being fundamentally shaped by the very gendered binaries that feminists challenge, why don’t you see feminism as a project that improves men’s lives? Don’t you agree that a project that challenges the devaluation of femininity would also help to address many of the harms men face? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to look to feminists as allies rather than opponents?

Now here, I just want to note that the topic of how to be an ally and how to act in solidarity is already really prevalent in feminist activist and scholar communities. The role of white people in on-going Black Lives Matter protests is just one example of the continued need to engage in discussions about solidarity and voice, and feminists (and particularly feminists of color) are active in these debates. Feminists often talk and debate on issues of how to create solidarity across difference and how to hold each other accountable in being better allies. When feminists challenge one another to be better allies, however, it’s usually premised on improving a movement that is already so deeply invested in equality and which already has so many tools to understand and confront the ways that power operates through gender, race, class, and sexuality. In this regard, I’ll agree there is room to talk about improving feminist allyship for men experiencing particular harms (male rape victims being a good example). This is not to say there aren’t feminists doing this work though, because, as I have argued, there are many feminists speaking on issues affecting men. Your assertion that feminists are silent is unfair and inaccurate. There is always room to improve though, and discussion and critique is undoubtedly part of how feminists challenge each other to do so. In fact, talking about this would be deeply in line with existing internal debates about allyship among feminists. In these discussions, feminists may also have some very valid questions about how men’s rights groups act (or don’t act) as allies to them as well, and they might point out the stakes for women when men’s groups dismiss, diminish, deny, and derail real valid struggles to improve women’s lives. So, maybe the real heart of the issue is: How can we improve allyship and build solidarity between feminists and men (who may or may not be feminists themselves)? How can we do this without disregarding or ignoring the real and powerful work feminists are already doing? And, how can we do this without dismissing feminism itself, which (I really hope you see) presents so many tools for addressing the harms done by restrictive gender norms?

I know that’s more than one question, but I hope it makes sense why I place them together. I look forward to hearing your first response.

All the best,

Jenna

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36 thoughts on “Feminist Discussion Post 1: Feminism, the devaluation of the feminine, and men

  1. Personally, I don’t care if woman call themselves feminists or not, it is meaningless, because at the end of the day, we are all humans and part of this world… you all claim you want to make this world a better place, but yet, Anyone with half a brain knows this divide and conquer issue is outright stupid, when it all about control over others lives, one way or another. I am sure many will still want to claim the out-dated gender issue as them against us and claim woman are oppressed in Canada…. Ya right, everywhere you go in this world, you run across people who are evil, while others are good loving people, kind and give a lot of their time and energy to their community’s to make a better world. The one thing that really makes me sick to death of hearing is how feminists are discriminated against and no one understands their point of view. hogwash, so i thought i would do some serious research on this issue, and what i have found by those calling themselves feminist are truly out to lunch. Anyone who looked at this issue can see for themselves that second wave feminism is not about equality, never was and never will be… and has progressed further now down a rabbit hole… It is Cultural Marxism being repackaged as Third Wave Feminism and is the new order of the social engineering tool, that seeks to eradicate free speech and the ability to engage in honest debate.

    The politically-correct goal for ‘equality’ between ‘men’ and ‘women’ is not achievable. It is absolutely impossible. It will never be found. It will never be discovered. It will never happen. The very search for ‘equality’ between ‘men’ and ‘women’ is fuelling a never-ending war between ‘men’ and ‘women’. The more aggressive and energetic is this nonsensical search for ‘equality’ between ‘men’ and ‘women’ , the more aggressive and energetic will be the war (i.e. the hostility) between ‘men and ‘women’. Marxism hijacked feminism to undermine Western culture. Feminism is abused as another ‘us-vs-them’ agitation strategy. And until that stops, nothing will come forward as true equality.

    You see this is the problem with people talking about feminism and so called ‘equality’, that shows it is a loaded and ‘highly contested’ concept of what is politically correct. So when people, “humans” point out that feminism today is nothing but third wave feminism, are falsely accused of whatever is made up by those so called feminist to down grade the real political issues face humans… Meanwhile, what is called {Equality Now}, you see things from feminist groups and governments that fund things like this, “End violence and discrimination against women” and yet when men have violence and discrimination used on them, it is ignored by government and feminists and the media alike, as i sure don’t see funding for men’s issues or health issues. Because no one really wants to see true equality, because those lobbing groups like it that way, just as governments and the media does. Feminists want to control your language. Feminists want to tell you how to talk. And their not alone. They got a lot of company in this country. There’s a lot of groups, a lot of institutions in this country and the media and government who all want to control your language. An it does
    not take a lot of imagination to piss off a feminist. Feminists abuse Government tax payers funding, and how feminists use cherry picking in so called government research. A good example is the federal government and
    feminist groups being taken to court and sued for slander, defamation and putting out a hit list on men, as see in this court case,

    http://www.fathers.bc.ca/Court.aspx or
    http://www.fathers.bc.ca/Court/Judgment.aspx or what was said in the Canadian House of Commons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YC2oYBy-mw

    When feminism is questioned with their violent actions as seen here in 9 video clips ( Watch Militant Radical Feminist Disrupting the Public Forum with Senator Cools in Vancouver B.C. on the Issue Of “Hidden Side of Family Violence”

    So at the and of the day, it’s not rocket science to see how the public is hoodwinked to buy propaganda under the guise of dividing people in this world… Let hope our younger generation is more wiser to not be part of a movement that wants to control them and their lives.

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  2. Linking something titled “Feminism Was Created To Destabilize Society, Tax Women and set up the NWO” as a source sort-of just destabilized any credibility you were hoping to achieve. Sorry, Lauren’s rhetorician.

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    1. huh?

      EDIT: Sorry, S. I didn’t see Art’s videos in my comment moderation feed so I thought you were calling me Lauren’s rhetorician. Hence my confusion. Please disregard my “huh” 🙂

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    2. S, first off I am not Lauren’s rhetorician, I don’t even know her…. so in other words you have no answers to the facts in your face, just as I would expect from those who lack any attention skills in wanting to learn anything. This is why feminism is a big fail in today society, but nice to see you had no answers on the other video’s or why young men don’t want to get married to women anymore

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      1. Sorry Art, when I moderate comments through my email (as I’ve been doing the last couple days), the videos aren’t visible. I didn’t know they were even there until now (hence my confusion about the comment from S). If I have time after addressing Lauren’s reply and will return to address some of your concerns.

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  3. So, feminism in its first wave, was a noble cause needed to change social views on women under the law. They achieved the vote and equal rights legally under the law.

    Second wave feminism attacked workplace and education inequality. They also challenged society once again in the areas of self ownership like abortions.

    In Canada, a woman has the exact same rights legally as a man. A woman can make exactly the same wage in employment as a man. A woman who is physically capable can do the same jobs as a man.

    So what about third wave? Ok, what about it? What equality has third wave achieved… other than the destruction of what it means to be a man for the sake of female dominance.

    Rape culture has become a joke. When attempting to talk to a woman you’re attracted to becomes akin to sexual assault, things have gotten out of hand. Yes, there are assholes that just don’t get it and take it too far but we already have protections against these crimes. Feminism hurts men because they criminalize the act of seeking a mate.

    Trying to remain relevant by saying there are women around the world without rights is fine. So, what are you doing to help them? Go to Saudi Arabia, or petition your MP to stop giving money to dictatorships. Hillary Clinton takes money from dictators but third wave feminism supports her because she has a vagina.

    In the end this is all bullshit and a complete waste of our time. Lauren said she believes in equality for all humans and feminism is only for women. You can spin your nonsensical opinion however you want. Any critically thinking rational human can see right through your pretentious, unsubstantiated blabber. Getting upset because a female isn’t for female dominance just decreases your credibility. Give up before you embarrass yourself even more.

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    1. Sean:

      Third wave feminism is about understanding that women are not a homogeneous group. It was a reaction to second wave feminism’s presumption of a white, middle-class, heterosexual perspective on feminism that overlooked the fact that women who are minorities in terms of race, socioeconomic status, or sexuality face vastly different challenges to equality.

      I think you’re misreading the idea of feminism as a quest for dominance. Having equal legal rights doesn’t mean that there is actual equality. Just because a woman *can* make the same amount of money as a man doesn’t mean that companies actually *do* pay equally across gender. In fact, there is a well-documented gender gap in pay, even if you hold all the other important stuff (e.g., age, experience, level of education) constant.

      A couple of links illustrate these points:
      http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/04/14/the-gender-wage-gap-in-eight-charts/
      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/14/on-equal-pay-day-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-gender-pay-gap/
      http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/03/Graduating-to-a-Pay-Gap-The-Earnings-of-Women-and-Men-One-Year-after-College-Graduation-Executive-Summary-and-Recommendations.pdf
      https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/04/14/five-facts-about-gender-pay-gap
      http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2014/04/07/women-earn-less-than-men-even-in-woman-dominated-jobs/
      This isn’t just speculation, and it’s not a waste of time. There is reliable hard evidence that backs up the existence of a persistent gap in pay.

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    1. I never got a reply after my last post, so I assumed Lauren moved onto other things. I have some other feminist articles I’ve been working on that I’ll be posting in the coming weeks, but I doubt Lauren will be back.

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  4. Jenna, I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. I also commented on Lauren’s video respectfully and with facts, but received no reply.Lauren seem adamant that she wanted to focus on current issues, so I was wondering if you are planning to address feminist issues in a global context. I grew up in Olympia, in the Riot Grrl movement. I am sad to see these critiques about Third Wave Feminism because they are so inconsistent with my personal experience and with the ideas I was exposed to. We were the first generation of middle class American women to really have access to travel and global experiences, which shaped the concepts of Third Wave feminism as I knew it. I have many friends who are Indian and Third Wave Feminism resonates with the individuals who care about women’s rights in other countries. I hope you do discuss that at some point. I look forward to reading more from you.

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    1. Definitely. My own background is more in global politics as well. My master’s work was with a social movement in a West Africa, and more current work draws links between everyday experiences of young people in Houston and the geopolitics of war and peace internationally. This is part of why I was disappointed when Lauren said she wanted to discuss the wage gap haha. Oh well. Yes, I’ll deal with some postcolonial feminism and global feminisms at some point though! Thanks for the kind words!

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  5. Hello Jenna,
    I have only recently found your blog and I’ve been really appreciating all of your citing of feminist literature. I am currently involved in creating a work of feminist theatre and engaging audiences is a discussion of their own relationship to feminism and gender politics. One of the biggest things is finding ways to talk about feminist issues with people who are turned off by that language. Your discussion with Lauren Southern has been very interesting as an example of that interaction. Thank you 🙂

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  6. Hi Jenna,
    The conversation between you and Lauren is fascinating. The feminist movement has created a huge blow-back with men. Have you ever heard of MGTOW? This stands for men going their own way. Here is a two part article about why men are totally walking away from women. Am I an expert in relationships? I don’t think so but I can tell you that I have been married for 29 years, had 4 children 3 girls and 1 boy all grown and two of my four children are not going to have children because of the possibility of a split family.

    Part 1:
    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014/12/04/the-sexodus-part-1-the-men-giving-up-on-women-and-checking-out-of-society/

    Part 2:
    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014/12/09/the-sexodus-part-2-dishonest-feminist-panics-leave-male-sexuality-in-crisis/

    Here is a video link to a MGTOW situation that I hope you will have empathy with:

    This is really sad Jenna, this is not cool. Why? I feel sorry for men and for women.

    Here is two more:

    http://www.savethemales.ca/001904.html
    http://www.henrymakow.com/theres_a_place_for_possession.html
    http://henrymakow.com/000441.html

    I like your site and best of luck in exploring all of the options.

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  7. I have tons of admiration for you Jenna Christian! And I thank you for taking this debate out in the open like this, for your brilliance, your huge patience, your ample knowledge of our history and your great intelligence. THANKYOU! I know I couldn’t do this, and that many of us (who completely agree with you) simply couldn’t find the energy to even begin to reply to such depressingly mis-directed anger, and astounding amounts of mis-information.

    It is so easy to see from the ad hominem attacks + the irrelevant arguments proliferating here (as they usualy do, when ignorance and prejudice is met by intelligence and rational argument) that anti-feminists have no leg to stand on. Even though they have the whole of the (multinationals’ owned) media-created culture behind them.

    I’m 50 years old and I know that the luckiest thing that ever happened to me, for which I am always more grateful, was that I spent my 20s surrounded by radical feminists. So I came of age in a world full of sassy, very intelligent women with huge hearts (who faught for justice relentlessly – and yes, absolutely, justice for everyone), who demanded very high levels of self-honesty and awareness and way above normal standards of intellectual rigor. And I just thought that was normal 🙂

    My heart bleeds at seeing the massive confusion young people live in today. Or older people, for that matter, who soaked up only the feminist-hating, feminist-ridiculing and totally distorting propaganda backlash that our massively successful movement provoked. A massive mind-fuck very deliberately – and very expensively – created by the 1% to keep us all in our place. And it was winning, for a while … but seeing things like this out in the open – and brave warriors like you Jenna – give me hope :)) Thankyou.

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  8. If you always claim that feminists were for gender equality, please show me the feminist protests against movies like “40 days and 40 nights”. Has there ever been something like a public outrage against ’40 days and 40 nights’? A movie, in which actually a man was raped by a woman to make him losing a bet (which was not having sex for 40 days). The “happy end” of the movie was the fact that he was forgiven by his new girlfriend for being raped.
    Imagine this movie in the reverse gender role…. a comedy movie in which a woman was raped for fun would be broadcasted all over the world.
    It’s a very common belief amongst feminists that if a woman looks good it is not a bad thing if she rapes a man, or it even doesn’t count as a rape. Maybe you first should give a thought about this issue before defending or trivializing feminism.

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    1. I’m not familiar with the video you’re talking about, so I can’t speak to that directly. I can say that I don’t find the rape of men funny. I can also say that I have literally NEVER met a feminist that argued “if a women looks good it is not a bad thing if she rapes a man, or it doesn’t count as rape.” Seriously, if you are meeting feminists that are making that argument, they are an extreme fringe minority. This is by no means a prevailing attitude among feminists. Honestly, it’s not even representative of a fraction of feminists. I think there is a problem with society at large of dismissing rape of certain groups of people, men included, but I don’t see this as a problem embedded within feminism. In fact, quite the opposite. Feminism, for me, has helped me become more attuned to these types of things when they occur, and have helped give me language to recognize, describe, and confront those problems. I can’t think of a single feminist I know who would be comfortable with a scene like that. Certainly, if I saw this in a video, I would not be okay with it.

      Now this being said, as I describe in the article, it is unfair to dismiss all of feminism for not addressing all issues pertaining to men. Would you dismiss those working for the equality of black people in the U.S. because they haven’t also addressed x, y, or z issue that is affecting white people? (I hope not). Similarly, I hope you wouldn’t dismiss efforts of feminists to address some of the unique issues affecting women simply because they are not also addressing every single instance that impacts men. While feminists do quite a lot more than Lauren (and perhaps you?) seem to believe they do in confronting violence and inequality in men’s lives (as I document in the article), many do focus more on violence and inequality in women’s lives. Doing so does not mean they believe men don’t experience rape, pain, trauma, or inequality, or that they don’t care when this happens. It also doesn’t mean that feminists are against equality.

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      1. I was talking about an American comedy which was translated in many languages and broadcasted all over the world shown in cinemas a few years ago. Just as an example how easily something which in the reverse gender role would be unimaginable can be turned in a comedy.

        I also could mention the TV series Paradise Hotel which was broadcasted by a Danish television transmitter. It was a show in which a group of single young men and women competed for being elected by the audience to stay in a luxury hotel. There was an episode in which a boy (maybe about 18 years old) lay on a bench while he was drunken and asleep. When two girls arrived, one of them asked: “Should we rape him?” and the other one replied: “Yes, why not.”. While one girl started to snog him the other unfastened his belt and began to prepare him for having sex. This happened while he was passed out and asleep. In my opinion it doubtless was rape, even though the female rapists didn’t apply a lot of violence. This episode was broadcasted as if this was something funny. The audience mostly consists of young people. A men’s right activist wrote a letter to the producers and published the conversation online. Guess what the director of the filmmaker company replied… quote:” We admit that the word “rape” is a bit hard in this context but we shouldn’t compare male rape to female rape. Most men probably would like to be raped by two pretty young women.” I find such a statement as disgusting as this part of the episode itself and the fact, that there were no consequences for the filmmakers. It exactly shows the society’s attitude about male rape.

        In this case, I neither think feminists are to blame for producing such a film nor can I see an evidence of a feminist conspiracy which could be to blame. Though, one fact should be mentioned: Not one feminist organisation made something like a protest against this film, not in Denmark where the film was broadcasted and not in the place where it was produced. Imagine the worldwide protests against such a film if it was produced in the reverse gender role. By continuing to focus on women’s concerns I don’t believe that the men’s civil rights will improve. To claim that men could do more to fight for their rights is a lame excuse because even feminists know that this is not so simple to realise unless men’s rights organisations get more support. Feminists have seats in the parliament, they have organisations which are equipped with millions of Dollars, they have the mass media on their side, so they almost have endless possibilities to do something. Just blaming men for not doing enough is very doubtful as long as men’s right activist groups don’t get any support. If feminists chose to be selective and support mainly women, they at least should make sure that “masculist” organisations have the same political and financial possibilities to do this job.

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  9. WHAT is it with these people?? It nauseates me no end to see this kind of crap. The people who keep saying that if feminists don’t look after men’s interests, then they are condoning everything bad that happens to men too. WTF?
    It’s like the furore over the #BlackLivesMatter campaign … within hours some ignorant whites started the #AllLivesMatter tag … sooo pathetic!
    Hope the photo works … cos this guy totally got the point (although I doubt any of the whiners will)

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  10. I bet the people who complain about what feminsts DON’T do, aren’t doing anything either!
    And wouldn’t it make more sense for MEN to organize themselves to campaign against films like 40 days and 40 nights, anyway? IF it really bothers them that much ….

    … which I doubt very much. I think the truth is more like that MUCH more than that film or any injustices towards men, per se … what REALLY bothers some people is that there are some women in this world who DARE to put other women first. And they are strong, opinionated women, to boot.

    And they hate that PRECISELY because that is such a big poke in the eye for patriarchy – which relies, totally, on women taking care of men – from taking care of their egos to their children and dirty socks – and being as meek and grateful about it as possible. We don’t even notice it … until we see women who DON’T do that. Then we think they’re bitches, of course.

    Thank God there are some amazing feminist MEN out there, who are getting the whole point about not expecting only feminist women do all the wok – especially with regards to educating men about sexism (and how it harms them too).

    This is just a small collection of feminist men fighting against the mis-information about porn (trying to protect MEN against the harm that porn does to them) – http://en.permaculturescience.org/english-pages/1-peoplecare/6-the-scientific-model/the-human-mind/about-oppression/sexism/pornography#TOC-Male-Allies

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    1. You seem not to be very informed about the truth. I have never seen a man who expect women to do all the work or even taking care of men. Sorry, but that’s ridiculous.

      One of the problems certainly is the fact that men are expected to show strength as well as being invulnerable. This often leads to public ignorance towards male victims of any kind of violence, especially if the perpetrator is female. Maybe another problem is that male victims are hesitant to defend themselves because they fear that they could be looked as the perpetrator if they do so, which makes the situation even worse. In our society, men are not encouraged to fight for their rights when they are mistreated by a woman.

      For sure, this leads to some double standards for which not only feminists are to blame for. On the other hand, this phenomenon is well known for decades and feminists well know that hardly anybody will do anything against this situation. They actually had the possibility to change something but they hardly do anything because it’s against their policy to support people who don’t belong to the group of the original movement.

      What would you say if there was an accident in which somebody was badly injured and a doctor who walks past this person says: actually I could help this injured person, but I think he/she has never been my patient so I don’t care if this person bleeds to death…. Such a situation would remind me of some feminists who, by helping a lot of women since the 1960’s, gained a lot of power in the media and in politics but now they continue to ignore that men have the same demands. Just because they don’t belong to the classical group of people who began the movement.

      There are examples of men right activists who really try to do something, but it’s not that easy to succeed in anything unless they are widely supported. One of the best example was a Canadian MRA (men right activist) who established a shelter for abused men and their children without any financial support from the state or any humanitarian organisation. He had to sacrifice his private fortune for this project until in the end he had to commit suicide after a financial ruin. This happened while feminists in almost every first world’s country nowadays have a lot of political power, leading positions in the mass media, international organisations and a lot of financial funds to do anything. So, in my opinion arguing that it’s not a women’s concern is a very lame excuse for staying passive, because feminists nowadays are in a position in which they could do anything, while MRA simply don’t have the same possibilities yet.

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  11. I won’t bother to answer the ‘feminists nowadays .. could do anything’ because it’s so totally ridiculous (I’ve never heard of feminist organizations having any surplus income, but know of many battered women’s shelters and rape lines that have had to close down due to lack of funds)

    I’ll focus on the – equally ridiculous but more interesting – idea that feminists are somehow to blame for men having it so hard, in the rape department.

    You (and others) say, “Not one feminist organisation made something like a protest against this film”…

    And although I did explain above, you’re still completely missing the point am making.

    First of all NOBODY consciously expects women to take care of people, we just (happen to) think that they’re bitches when they don’t – which not the same level of consciousness, but exacty the same pattern.
    And do keep the links coming, they keep proving that point brilliantly.

    The whole point of ‘raising awareness’ of sexism (and racism, homophobia, etc.) is that they are mainly UNconcious prejudices. They are just ‘how things are’, we never question our deepest ones, and they are very typical, common. Meaning it is UNusual for people not to have them, as they are like viruses we’re all infected with from a very young age.

    It is only when logical contradictions arise (like your protest about feminists not also looking after men’s interests) that we can see these common prejudices, and (perhaps) have some hope of raising consciousness about these issues.

    So, yet again, I would like you to notice (with different examples than the AllLivesMatter silliness, above)
    that we (strangely?) NEVER hear things like:

    “not one anti-racist campaigner has mentioned his support for the rights of white people!”
    (or anti-racism campaigners working for gay rights – would be equally stupid)”
    or
    “not one anti-poverty organization has raised their voice to protest against the oppression of the rich!”
    (or disabled rights, whatever …)

    Or WOULD you say that makes sense?
    Let’s assume you’re not that silly, so, is the point really that difficult to understand?
    Wasn’t the picture above of those great tweets fairly self-explanatory?

    Yet you think it makes perfect sense to say:

    “Not one feminist organisation made something like a protest against this film!”

    And am trying to point out – why on earth should they?

    The same as
    **the anti-racist campaigners focus on racism – towards BLACK people, not white people,
    **and anti-poverty campaigners focus on the interests of the POOR, not the rich,
    ** gay rights activists focus on the interests of their community, not heterosexuals,
    ** and disability activists don’t care a hoot about the rights of able-bodied people
    ** it IS actually perfectly ok for feminists to focus on women’s rights, and let men’s rights to others
    (unless .. you expect them – unlike all the others – to have to play ‘mom’ somehow)

    And note that 99% of campaigners for social justice of any kind are volunteers, so if feminist women (or men) don’t wish to focus on men’s rights, it’s simply because it’s not their passion, it’s not what they WANT to do, and they have usually NO time to do even as much of their chosen work! Who the hell are you to ‘volunteer’ them or criticize them for NOT doing the work YOU are not doing??
    If you think it’s important, great – go DO it!

    And IMAGINE how much more time and energy all those MRA*s would have on their plate IF they did’t spend half their time bitching about feminists! Maybe they can’t get their campaigns off the ground because they’re not actually focusing on the right things?

    * (I had to look up MRA & found this great definition – voted by members – from the Urban Dictionary, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=MRA)

    The fact that there is no support for the men’s rights campaigns you refer to is maybe a great indication of the lack of passion or interest it raises with MEN? Because men do in fact have much higher disposable incomes than women (still, today), so why not blame more of THEM for not caring?

    Jenna has INCREDIBLY PATIENTLY pointed out a whole ream of documented cases of feminists SPECIFICALLY fighting for male rights, AND has pointed out that feminists work tirelessly to dismantle precisely the ‘male has to be butch’ culture which your article even admits to being the prime culprit! And there is NO group who has worked more tirelessly, for more decades to bring that culture down, than feminists.

    Yet so many people think it ok to direct their anger at injustices perpetrated against men (in huge part still by men) towards feminists? Of all people!? It’s truly pathetic.

    The only answer for this completely nutty phenomenon is precisely the sexism (against women) that feminists are fighting: somewhere in the cultural subconscious, which we all carry, the idea of a woman who puts women first is deeply, deeply offensive. Thanks for helping prove that, yet again.
    If you don’t see it still, am sure others will.

    It’s called horizontal hostility, ok, and it’s sinking the energies of people who could be working more effectively for a more just world, together. Horizontal hostility happens when your rage at some injustice (like men being raped and nobody caring much) is directed against your colleagues and even your (real) allies, instead of toward the actual culprits. Either because you are confused about who the real culprits are or because taking on the real culprits is just too scary – so you go pick on less frightening targets.

    In the case of rape, of men or women, the real culprits are actually the whole rape culture we live in (also known as patriarchy – rapes people, other species, the earth… whatever it can), and in particular the pornography industry, which totally glamorizes rape – and which more young women, as well as men, are falling victims to) That rape culture from the pornography industry then seeps through to the advertizing industry, until we’re all taking it in.
    And guess who are the ONLY people studying this in depth and working to stop it? Feminists!

    ….
    Note that each of those examples above is clearly the ‘other side of the coin’ and ALL of these liberations will ALSO benefit the white people, the heterosexuals, the rich and the able-bodied, ultimately … only those people rarely move on these issues simply because it is not THAT pressing for them. They get the easy side of the deal, period. Same as men – if they were that bothered about it, more of them would JOIN with feminists or do the complementary work – work that you blame feminists for not doing.

    You’re just blaming feminists for ‘not doing’ something you imagine they SHOULD be doing. Why?
    There is no rational answer, really, given that feminism IS, by definition, the fight for the rights of women – which in great part actually does benefit men too, mostly by questioning precisely the culture of masculinity that traps men and devalues women – as Jenna has so patiently explained. And (also very patiently explained by Jenna, previously, with many references) although many feminists HAVE, in fact, also given particular attention to men’s issues, the FOCUS of Feminism is and always has been the liberation of women. Period. Sorry if you don’t like it.

    Try go telling, say, some gay activists they should show a lot more care – publicly – about poor heterosexuals and let us know what happens?

    Like

  12. In one point you actually do the same what you blame men’s right activists for: It seems to bother you (and some feminists) that there are men in this world who dare not to be gentlemen enough to put the women’s interest as their first priority. Because men are taught to be gentlemen, once they don’t follow the ladies first policy, they are impolite.

    So, the conflict is: men should fight for their own rights and as soon as they begin to do so (e.g. by becoming an MRA), it’s a bad thing.

    Yes, I absolutely agree, men should do more to defend their rights, of course it’s not only the women’s job to struggle for men’s rights (although I would appreciate more women to realise the importance of men’s rights). And yes, I know that many MRA’s organisations are not very efficient in doing something for men’s rights due to an inappropriate behaviour of some members. I know this is a problem that has to be fixed. But on the other hand, in the link you inserted about MRA’s, those who defame all men’s right activists are not better at all. Nobody who made such a negative comment about MRA groups suggested any alternative organisation which focuses on improving men’s civil rights. It’s always easier to defame a movement than finding an alternative. As I already mentioned before, there are men’s right activists who seriously try to do something, one of them was driven to suicide after a financial ruin. Unfortunately no one of those feminists who also struggle for men was able (or willing?) to help him raising some funds for his project, although it was the only shelter for abused men in the west of Canada.

    Quote:
    “So, yet again, I would like you to notice (with different examples than the AllLivesMatter silliness, above)
    that we (strangely?) NEVER hear things like:
    “not one anti-racist campaigner has mentioned his support for the rights of white people!””

    Well, it always depends on the current situation. If we look at South Africa, maybe 20 years ago, the anti-racist campaigners had to focus on racism towards blacks, because then they were mostly affected by racism. But time has changed, nowadays we see an increasing number of white South Africans who live in poverty, who are physically abused, there are white farmers who were expelled from their own property. Evidently whites are becoming increasingly affected by racism, so it only makes sense to focus more on racism towards whites.

    Thus, we can say the same about campaigns against sexism. Maybe 100 years ago, when in most European country women even didn’t have the right to vote, it was absolutely reasonable to focus on sexism against women. Now, after a century, the situation has changed, at least in Europe and North America, so I don’t think that it’s wrong to focus more on sexism against men. I think it’s a positive sign that women nowadays are expected to take more responsibility in our society. Taking responsibility means to recognise other people’s concerns and helping to find a solution.

    It’s the same in the economy: Small companies normally just focus on their own interests. They just mind their own business. As soon as a company is growing into a market leader position, the company has a lot of responsibility towards stakeholders beyond their business. They have to mind their role in the society, they have to take responsibility towards the environment, etc. The same applies to political movements or charity organisations. The more influence they have, the more they are expected to think beyond their own interests.

    A lot of men certainly are interested to do more for men’s rights; however, it’s not so simple if there hardly is any organisation which is efficient in achieving any progress. You cannot blame a boy of doing nothing against male rape if he has no opportunity to change anything. No baby boy will be prevented from being genital mutilated just because feminists didn’t invent circumcision. As long as women could be mothers of boys they have some responsibility to support men to fight for men’s right. Of course, men also should learn to accept help from women instead of showing to be stronger.

    I think it would be the best solution if we could turn the feminist movement into a humanist movement, so that we finally could stop this gender- specific competing ideology.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Danuta Shearer
  14. Lauren’s video was flawed and completely illogical. Not to mention that she carefully picked out the easily attacked points you mentioned to answer. Oh and she did not reply. Yet people still call her a genius.

    Liked by 1 person

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