On Feminism

As actual evidence of discrimination against women disappears, feminists become more creative about finding excuses to maintain their victimhood status. Whether it’s complaining about how men sit, the comments of a random cop in Canada, or a shirt a guy wore on TV, their complaints just get just sillier as Western society and becomes more and more feminized.

Meanwhile, where they can’t find actual problems, they make them up: hysteria about fake rape crises on college campuses, for example, and misleading statistics about a supposed “earnings gap.”

At the same time, evidence of the toll on men and boys continues to mount:

The vast majority of teachers in elementary school are women, and boys suffer from it:

Meanwhile, even as fathers are spending more time with their children than ever, divorce courts continue to give custody to women: according to the US Census Bureau, mothers get custody after a divorce 82.2% of the time. Given that 50% of marriages end in divorce, and women initiate divorce 70% of the time, perhaps it’s not surprising men are getting increasingly leery of marriage. Particularly for men who have heavily invested themselves in their marriages and children, the consequences of divorce can be devastating. This study, for example, found that men were 9 times more like to commit suicide after a divorce than women.

More children than ever are growing up in fatherless homes, a situation that increases risks for suicide, drug addiction, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, and going to prison.

Meanwhile, feminists only up the ante: arguing not only that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” but that being male is a birth defect, for example, and that manhood should be abolished, and men should be reeducated. Feminists rightfully condemn men who hit women, but their attitude toward women who hit men is somewhat different:

Women are perhaps right to take this attitude: there are few repercussions for a woman who hits a man. Despite the fact that men and women are equally likely to resort to violence in intimate relationships (and more likely to hit when there’s only one person doing the hitting) women are rarely arrested for hitting men, and when they are, they’re much more likely to get their cases dismissed outright, or to get a lighter sentence.

For example, when Lucie Slater - apparently a pop-star in England - beat her boyfriend so badly it “It also caused severe blood loss and permanent nerve damage to his face,” her ultimate sentence was “a suspended sentence, a two-year supervision order and 120 hours of community service.”

There is a price, though, for all this male-bashing (literal, and figurative). More and more men are simply opting out of long-term relationships with women. Women say it’s because men are childish, and need to “man-up”. There is another possibility, though: perhaps men are simply looking at the risk/benefit ratio of marriage, and deciding it’s not worth it.

A record share of Americans have never married, for example, and the problem seems to hit women in the thirties especially hard:

All of this will have no effect on feminists: feminism is about have choices without accountability. But the reality is that feminism has consequences, and it hurts not just men, but women and children too.

I have many of my own issues with feminism, particularly the fringe members of the movement, but I think it’s a specious argument to paint such a large movement in such broad strokes.

Frankly, yes, some, perhaps even many, feminists take offense at stupid things. But it’s naive to say that, because discrimination against women is disappearing, that there aren’t still legitimate points of discrimination to be brought up.

There’s a lot of issues with education, and frankly, I think it’s silly to make education an issue of gender politics because these issues affect both genders. Part of the reason that women are getting more college degrees is because of the types of jobs men and women are pushed towards. Men still disproportionately do dangerous jobs, blue collar work, physical labor, and many of those just don’t require degrees. At the same time, women are much less likely to pursue STEM jobs and instead are likely to pursue jobs like education and child care, etc. I think both men and women would be better off if we could reduce gender disparity across all of these jobs. If there were more women in STEM jobs and more men in education, maybe some of these issues facing men and women would improve.

This is a big issue, but again, I don’t see this as a particularly gendered issue. Violence in relationships hurts EVERYONE. Women are, in general, at greater risk of very real danger, men are much less likely to report it or be believed. Hell, speaking as someone who was IN an abusive relationship where my girlfriend hit me and I didn’t even really realize just how fucked up that was until after the relationship ended, I don’t see this as a gendered issue precisely because we need to encourage anyone in an abusive relationship, men or women, to seek help, get more people taking these reports seriously.

And, frankly, divorce law needs updating, in general because many of those laws are holdovers from decades ago when family dynamics, and marriages themselves were different. And these issues affect both genders equally because those kids being screwed are both boys and girls, and both genders benefit from having both parents actively participating in raising them. That is, it’s not a men’s or women’s issue, it’s an issue about children and mental health growing up.

Other than perhaps the most obnoxiously extreme feminist would say that manhood should be abolished. That is the phrase that I think detracts from any legitimate criticism of feminism.

Again, violence in relationships hurts everyone, it’s not a women’s or men’s issue, and pointing out a case like this, there’s probably a dozen others of men who did similar stuff to their girlfriends. But regardless, I still don’t see it as a gender issue and something that men and women should, ironically, be fighting over whose situation is worse. Yeah, I’ve been there and it sucked for me. Also, despite the fact that I’m one of the least aggressive people you might ever meet, because I’m big and muscular, some women who’ve been abused are just implicitly intimidated by my presence, and that hurts me too. And, perhaps worse of all, are how violence in the home that’s witnessed by kids or even happens to kids affects their state. There’s no winners in violence in relationships, just losers, and focusing on solving men hitting women or vice versa doesn’t help.

Gender politics might be part of the reason that people are opting out of long term relationships, but I seriously it’s the driving cause. Marriage just isn’t what it used to be. Relationships in general aren’t what they used to be. Part of this, I think, is a good thing, in the sense that it shows that men and women are meeting on more equal grounds. In the past, a lot of women weren’t able to support themselves and to a certain degree needed to marry to survive. Men had an advantage in this regard so they had no disincentive not to marry. Now it’s more of a negotiation and, so, it’s going to lead to fewer long term relationships as a result.

That’s not to say there aren’t issues with this, particularly when it comes to raising children. I also think our current more casual attitude towards relationships makes it easier for a lot of people to just give up rather than put in some hard work to mend things, aside from the affect on kids, causes some economic issues between legal battles, cohabitation, health costs, emotional/mental issues, whatever.

Regardless though, the whole idea of relationships are changing now and, again, it’s not a gendered issue because it takes BOTH genders to make one work for a heterosexual couple–and obviously it doesn’t make any sense to blame a gender not even in the relationship for a homosexual one–and when it doesn’t work, both parties suffer.

All in all, I think my point is that men and women should be allies on pretty much any issue that affects one gender or the other disproportionately because, besides the fact that it’s just the moral thing to do, there’s usually other complications or hidden costs involved that hurt the other gender. I’d really like to see all this feminism vs MRA stuff just… stop.

This again, Linus?

Another thread in which LinusK passes up the chance to actually engage with feminists about feminism, and rather takes down straw-man “feminism” scoured from various corners of the internet? Oh joy!

In case you’d like to engage, LinusK, your assertions and criticisms about feminism don’t apply to me or most of the feminists I know. What you’re attacking isn’t the feminism that I support.

There are people alive today who lived in a time when women in the US could not vote. The US wasn’t lagging far behind other countries or anything, either. (And there are still places where women do not have the vote). My point being that feminists didn’t make this shit up and that it’s not ancient history.

Is patriarchy over? Is this a post-patriarchal world yet/already? No, but it’s also not a world in which feminists have had no successes, not a world where women have made no progress.

Social equality movements in general seem to be awkward about acknowledging that as they accomplish things, the problems they originally complained about lessen in severity—because they don’t want to say “It’s not as big of a problem now” lest they lose the ear of egalitarian-minded righteous citizens.

If anyone wants to discuss the extent to which a laundry list of feminist complaints about sexual inequality are no longer current or applicable, I’m amenable to having that discussion, but only with people who will first acknowledge that yes, the situation as identified by feminists in the 1960s and 1970s (and the 1860s and 1910s and so on as well) did exist, that they were right to rise up against it, that yes society was sexist, society was patriarchal in nature, that women were oppressed.

As far as I’m concerned, patriarchy-deniers are of the same stripe as holocaust-deniers and not worth wasting time and breath on.

It’s the Great Feminist Conspiracy, Charlie Brown!

It sure would be nice if a feminist would start a thread on Feminism, wouldn’t it?

In what demonstrable way has feminism injured or othewise negatively impacted you, LinusK?

<Not holding my breath>

It’s not a zero sum game. Men are not victims because more women want to go to college. If a guy wants to go to college, have at it.

I’ve been a maie for 54 years, and it’s really not so bad. I don’t feel like a victim, and if something bad happens to me, I deal with it.

I don’t think this picture is painted quite correct.

Only people with property could vote. Many many many men could also not vote.
Women with property could and did vote.

A gentle suggestion: before folks post in this thread, you may wish to consider reading the previous thread on the subject. It might help you decide whether a post here is productive.

This touches upon one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to discuss feminism online. The definition of the word seems, to me, to be shifting ever more rapidly. The impression that I get, is that there are lots of old-school feminists who are simply losing touch with what the movement is turning into.

Take Laci Green, for instance. She’s a feminist who holds that anyone who has sex with someone who is too drunk to drive (ie. someone who has had 2 beers or 1 [sub]1/2[/sub] glasses of wine) is a rapist. She espouses a version of feminism, particularly as it relates to consent, that would probably seem quite extreme to many of the feminists on this board. Should she be viewed as representative of feminism? I don’t know. But should she be viewed as more representative of feminism than, say, you or camille? In my opinion, yes. Because she has one and a half million YouTube subscribers and a quarter of a million Twitter followers and you, presumably, do not. Sites like Jezebel may be derided as “extreme” by some of the feminists on this board, but Jezebel still gets over 11 million unique hits a month, so how “extreme” can they really be?

Like it or not, movements are defined by their loudest voices. As the older generation of feminists are dying off, fading into obsolescence, or, as in the case of Germaine Greer, being pummelled for misogyny by these so-called “extremists”, a newer and considerably more militant and dishonest group of feminists are taking their place. They comprise the so-called “3rd wave” of the movement, and they are (to use a word they’ve worked very hard to popularise) “problematic”. They base their arguments on dodgy statistics, they deflect criticism with wild accusations of misogyny, they espouse double standards, and there seems to be no shortage of genuine man-haters among their numbers. Look at the comments on the Jezebel thread LinusK linked to. There are hundreds of them, and they’re simply disgusting.

LinusK may not be attacking your version of feminism, but that doesn’t mean he’s building straw-men. He’s attacking a perfectly valid version of feminism which is espoused by an ever growing number of people who might well look at you and accuse you of being irrelevant and out of touch.

He’s also alleging we’re hurt by this, not just accused of being irrelevant and out of touch. I’ve been accused of worse, and I can handle it. [My wife and I have had sex many times when we were both too drunk to drive, but it really doesn’t bother me if some crazy on the internet says she raped me or I raped her.]

With all due respect, who cares what you can handle? There are women in the construction industry who can evidently handle the misogyny they encounter there. Does that mean misogyny in that industry isn’t a problem worth tackling?

And as comforting as it might be to dismiss Laci Green as just another internet crazy…well, as I said, 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, 250k twitter followers. Crazy or not, she certainly isn’t fringe.

I don’t know too much about Twitter or YouTube, but I assume following does not mean agreement.

I guess feminism is a bit like the weather, everyone wants to talk about it but no one will do anything about it. I have been exposed to all types of feminism over the years, from those objecting to the sale of Playboy in the college bookstore to those who think all sex is rape. Whatever. If there is a particular initiative that seems unwise or unfair, then by all means oppose it. Opposing “feminism” seems a bit amorphous.

Interesting how the OP can’t discuss issues about men’s rights without framing it as an attack on feminism. If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect that his interest in these issues extends only so far as they can be used to criticize a philosophy he doesn’t like, and absent that context, he doesn’t care about these issues at all.

First we have to agree on what a “feminist” is.

We do? Who the hell are we to decide on the ultimate/singular definition of “feminism”? Do we all have to agree on the definition of “Christian” before someone calling themselves one talks on the subject?

Well, we certainly can’t trust the feminists to do it. Apparently they’re terrible people, according to all of LinusK’s threads.

It goes with feminism like it goes with any other movement. 1) started out fresh and courageous; 2) then it mature and influential; 3) then it became old and stale without new ideas and increasingly preoccupied with determining how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Stick a fork in it, this one is dead and done.

Btw. Feminism is over, the battle is won. Time to move on