Men Bleed Too- the Incoherent Outrage of Men’s Rights Activists

Sophie Long writes about the issue of men’s rights and how they articulate themselves on social media.

There has been a recent upsurge in the number of disgruntled men taking to social media to loudly proclaim that they too suffer. They too suffer domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, and a range of other injustices. They are determined to let the world (for that, read women) know that they suffer, and that they demand change.

  
And this in itself is a reasonable project. All violence should be revealed, rejected and transformed, so that no one, regardless of gender, endures such harm. For example, the fact that around 30% of women report they have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a partner is cause for global outrage and collective action.

Men’s Rights Activists however, have adopted a bizarre set of strategies to achieve what they proclaim is equality, but what appears to be the further denigration of women’s struggles and all that entails.

Much of the rhetoric produced by these groups- such as the Twitter handle ‘Men Have Rights Too’ centres upon highlighting individual cases of injustices against men – yet also – cases of what they feel are female transgressions. One story points to how a woman who ‘cried’ rape kept her job after the case against her male boss fell apart.

Another notes a male suicide, following “feminist pressure” to ban International Men’s Day from his university. The subtext of course being that women – and for that read feminism– is a collective plot designed to disempower, degrade and humiliate men.

A host of examples are offered by way of evidencing that, “the world, the law, and rights – favour women”. Paternity rights are often invoked as a means of illustrating just how oppressed men are when it comes to sharing the right to care for their children. Men argue that they suffer unfair court judgments and have to spend more time and money than women to ensure they can see their children. For this, women are to blame.

Seems logical, doesn’t it? A couple separate, the female party is granted full custody of the children, whilst the father has to struggle to see his children at all– it’s only right to blame women in this case. Maybe if you’ve been in a coma for most of your life – or never read a book – or just openly hate women – then this is a logical conclusion to reach.

Otherwise, this is a critically flawed apportion of blame. Why do women win custody more often? Because of the naturalised gender norms which assume women are natural caregivers. The same norms which mean that women in workplaces can be perceived as either warm or competent, but never both.

Women are raised to behave in certain ways – to take up less space, to talk more quietly, and to care for others. Similarly, men are expected to show less vulnerability, to have successful careers – and occasionally, as fads demand it – grow huge beards to win the admiration of other lumberjacks.

A brief glace at any of the gender studies literature would inform MRAs that gender equality will not come about by defeating the ‘other’ – women. But instead by destabilising the gender norms which demand that masculinity means strength, purchasing power, and an absence of weakness. And subsequently critiquing and troubling the assumptions that ‘femininity’ is a fixed set of qualities.

If men don’t have to be bearded, high-earning, Vulcans, and women don’t have to be well-groomed, empathetic mothers – who ‘loses’ in that scenario? Only those with an interest in perpetuating such fixed binaries.

Further to this, those in the positions of power, i.e. those able to radically reform the gender status quo – are mostly male. For paternity cases, we look to judges. How many judges on average are female? As of mid-2014, it was around 25% in England and Wales. Don’t blame women for unequal power structures.

MRAs have every right to highlight the real problems of unequal childcare disputes, male suicide and increasing health problems. Where they might re-divert their energies, however, are either towards transforming the norms which bolster this state of affairs- or towards the men with power who can meaningfully affect change. For this – and for everyone else who pursues equality – they are welcome to join the feminist movement.

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  • Bryan Scandrett

    Protect the women and children from the rude words while men are disposed of.
    The ethics of a feminist. (The new f word.)
    Female power, female protection, male subjection, male disposability.
    Learn to process male rage Trix. Get used to it.
    We have walked away from servitude to the holey mother. We have taken our walk of shame and that whip doesn’t hurt us any more.
    You can’t hurt us any more.
    Your judgmental shaming has no effect.
    We serve no more.
    Your rules, rule no more.
    Chivalry is dead.
    Your plantation is dead because men have a voice now.
    Buh-bye ‘ladies.’

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Your posting, David, deserves to be answered fully on a day when I’m not tied up with travel and work, but I’ll try and answer a few of your points anyway.

    Of course the problem is the reifications, speaking of men and women in broad terms will always create distortions. In reality there are individual men and women, formulating how they think about their life opportunities from their personal experiences, and this means we could argue this forever, quite properly going to particular the experiences of one person at a time. But the MRA is a collective group, as are “Feminists” so perhaps the best short answer would be to refer back to some local history of similar group relations. Back in the early 1960s Catholics suffered serious endemic discrimination in Northern Ireland. Of course there were middle class Catholics in professions, and within the safe middle classes I grew up in it was possible for my Unionist cousins to think that this was simply a problem that Catholics had to work through and deal with. Theirs was a similar approach to discrimination issues as where you say “The problem comes, though, when what is considered a slight by so many women, men experience routinely and, growing up, simply had to learn to ignore them and, as adults, simply no longer notice.”

    The implication was that Catholics simply had to work around these things, an assumption that some very real glass ceilings were not there. That Catholics (and in your case women) were simply acting like children and taking slight at something others more adult could absorb and grow around.

    But this was not simply a problem of “over sensitivity”, for serious constraints on Catholic equality actually existed then that required redress through legislation, and even today, if discrimination may be slipped past legal constraint, it will still occur in certain portions of our community. Similarly, despite equality legislation, discriminatory and demeaning attitudes to women are still rife through our society, and simply cannot be dismissed with the disingenuous suggestion that women simply need to “toughen up and take the ribbing”. What we really require is a genuine respect between both genders, but this cannot simply be rooted, as you appear to imply, in a conformity the particularly male values of “taking it on the chin”. As long as women are generally belittled and insulted (at best), and even raped without redress (simply take the trouble to look at how hard it is to make abuse or rape charges stick) I find no problem with angry and oppressed women claiming a “patriarchy” as (quite correctly) a cause of their personal ills. Yes, there are other causes that may effect both genders, but the particular residual discriminatory attitudes to women are clear to any man who willing to empathise sensitively with women’s genuine perceptions of how men treat them in every day life. You cannot tell people to suppress their life experiences and simply conform to what may be convenient to your personal conveniences.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Some actually do.

  • Shar

    The Guardian article you link to is a 5 year old report by the “men’s rights campaign group Parity”. I’m inclined to think that statistics from a non-ministerial UK Government department will be more impartial than those provided by a men’s rights campaign group.

  • Pete

    So you don’t think a higher suicide rate is a “tough problem”?

    A non-existent gender pay gap that evaporates once you control for confounding variables is obviously more important…

    Why does feminism never shut up about the “gender pay gap”, and yet stay mysteriously silent on the “gender school exam grade gap”?

    Or how about introducing some quotas to ensure a higher proportion of women in prison? Feminists love calling for quotas to fix unequal representation…

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Forget these political labels such “Feminism”, Pete, and actually look dispassionately at how women are treated, and ask yourself if you would wish to be treated in that manner yourself every day. Forget all the politics, all the slogans, all the ideological issues and simply look at the actual daily expereinces of these other human beings without trying to score points against them. Since the 1930s virtually everything has been incresingly framed into class wars, gender wars, income wars, ets, etc. Forget all that and simply look at the daily attitudes of other men to what are fellow human beings of a different gender.

    You mention suicide (I don’t think I did). I know of many people (quite a few from what would be quite simplisticly called “privilidged backgrounds”) who have killed themselves over inter-gender abuse, some sexual, some simply from life-long agressive and distructive put downs within families who worshiped the boys achievements and were violently critical of their girls lives. This is a massive issue that deserves much more serious and introspective understanding than the crude “spin to win” sound bite treatment most commentators are giving it here.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’m shocked, Granni, at the sheer level of agressive mysogeny that has appeared here in what appeared to me to be a perfectly reasonable article.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Did he not give examples? “(e.g. Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir, Martha Nussbaum etc) ”

    There are many more perfectly raesonable feminist writers………..

  • Jeff

    No, if it was biased, it would have found the majority of victims being men. Like feminists do. The National Statistics says that half of victims are men.

  • Jeff

    Feminists have already been caught falsifying domestic violence research. The same can’t be said for Parity. False equivalence. Meanwhile plenty of objective studies confirm that men are half the victims. You can apologize for DV all you want but the facts won’t go away.

  • John Collins

    Is it not an established fact that men are less likely to report violence perpetrated on them by women and less likely to be taken seriously when they do report it.

  • Jeff
  • Jeff

    Has Parity ever been caught doing anything like this?
    http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/V74-gender-symmetry-with-gramham-Kevan-Method%208-.pdf
    No? Then STFU.

  • Jeff

    I’ve already debunked the claim that crime surveys detect all of domestic violence.

  • Bryan Scandrett

    Feminism has a wall of enraged men, women and children to deal with.
    Deal with it.

  • Shar

    I see from your recent flurry of responses that you’re not actually here for a debate. Regurgitating links you picked up on A Voice For Men, and mixing in insults (“thugs”, “STFU”) is not debunking. It’s just time-wasting.

  • hugh mccloy

    What is needed is a change the the law;
    Mediation: tired and tested failure without the child having rights in law.
    Legal aid for cases that should not be in a court in the first place is a massive waste of public money, not counting court costs, social services..

    Where else in a open democratic society do we have secret courts that can operate outside of human rights legislation.

    Quite simply if this discrimination was based on religion, sexuality, skin colour or mums being denied there would be national outcry, while men might hold top positions there is the general view that the man must take it on the chin and be quiet when he is wronged. And now men speak out and that has made a few people unhappy.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Even changing the law requires some level of legal advocacy. To me changing a law on paper for one wont change the mindsets of judges, lawyers, juries when it comes to enforcing it, yes you could sue and make a legal challenge but I’m sure you are intelligent enough to realise you can’t solve a problem with the same problem.

    To go back to the main topic it is men who are making these judgements primarily, if not men then women who must also be challenged for having compassion for their own species.

    Having something in the law that simply says equal custody cannot generalise nor standardise an answer for the multiple number of case centric disputes.

  • hugh mccloy

    Equality is treating people the same, you either have it or you don’t, children don’t have that in regards to their parents and special courts are setup to bypass a child’s human rights and yet the country stays deaf and blind to it. The same secret courts that are used to strip kids into care, it says a lot when mothers groups went to MRA over forced adoptions.

    The law is what the law is regardless if its men overseeing it or not and dont forget the main antagonist Dame Butler Sloss, the high Court Judge, SHE could have but did not intervene in changing family law.

    Its all civil law, a contact case is basically suing the mother and payment is a contract of hours to spend with the child. That contract can be broken over and over again with no recourse, if the law states that a child does have a right to social contact on an equal basis that will put an end to these endless court cases.

    Many countries around the world have equal parenting laws, it is not a radical new idea, it’s about creating laws that coincide with social change.

    Maybe I think differently than others, 18 months through these courts and helping countless other dads has given me a perspective maybe others don’t see.

  • Granni Trixie

    Try telling the civil rights movement that equality is “merely a sheepskin”.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Just because these countries have equal parenting laws doesn’t mean they are enforced, doesn’t mean there are no disputes with them, doesn’t mean parents will play fair with them, and certainly doesn’t put to an end of the misery and fears of giving up your child to someone else for someone else especially if hypothetically the relationship broke down over a breach of trust or a perceived failing in childcare.

    A court isn’t going to enforce recourses breaches without evidence even if one party is sure that they happened, a court isn’t going to criminalise someone over spending too much time with their child even if it dis tastefully hurts the other parent, the police and justice system won’t have all the resources to oversee the parents playing fair nor to stop parents from dirty tricks.

    The system is limited and its hands tied and so the letter of the law is not going to solve and fix these problems and issues. The law is only a framework it can’t fix a parenting arrangement. Relying practically on the courts for fairness won’t stop parents competing with one another for more time with their child. Men and Women both have a great capacity for selfishness.

    Even witthin the letter of such a law, parents who accept the child’s right to equal access, a near rigid 50:50 law would not put an end to the court cases because you would also have two parents wanting different 50-50 arrangements, say one wanting a child 3.5 days a week and the other wanting it every second week, or another 6 months a year.

    The only surefire way of getting 50:50 is if both parents agree to it and commit to making it work. Trying to engender the issue one way or the other won’t help that.

  • hugh mccloy

    You will find they are enforced, but rather than enforcement you see a social acceptance because that is the law, close to 4000 contact cases a year in Northern Ireland that would drop with equal parent laws. Look at Australia and who opposed the change in family law.

    To be fair on you though I don’t think you get at all how the family courts work given your summary there

  • Jeff

    I already debunked all of your claims. I admit that I am not very cordial with bigots.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I think most people agree with just custody in theory, I’m simply saying there are legitimate complications to why a rigid 50:50 rule may not be practical, and if it is not practical to occur in all cases making it a right discriminates against cases where 50:50 is completely impractical.

    How would a 50:50 right to child access deal with an issue where one of a child’s parent has to relocate to say a different city or country?

    What about income, what if a parent cannot afford to look after a child or cannot afford to meet a child but still wants access rights?

    What if a parent’s circumstances change through illness or disability.

    With 50:50 guaranteed as a right, you enforce a situation where either both parents having equal access or parent/parents having no access. A court that does other wise and exercises its own discretion against this right would be breaking the law.

    A father could lose all rights to access because he cannot make 50:50 work as they may have no other legal alternative but to give full custodial parenting rights to the mother in these cases.

    A father who is poor, disabled or out of reach would still face a court terminating their rights to access without his consent. Where is the ending of discrimination in that?

    The fact that the law cannot guarantee 50:50 access to either the father or the mother should not be taken to mean that it discriminates against men.

    Belgium comes close to getting 50:50, but I think due to impracticality not just child welfare concerns they cannot make 50;50 an absolute right.

  • BASTA!

    Merely saying that a particular feminist is “perfectly reasonable” does not make it so. Note well: I did not ask him to name some feminists and claim that they are reasonable. I asked him to name some reasonable feminists. That’s a big difference. All of his examples are in fact hate ideologues who believe in the Patriarchy Theory. To be specific, they are hate ideologues because they believe in the Patriarchy Theory.

  • BASTA!

    Are we speaking about rights or cultural factors? Stop shifting the goalposts. Further, if you want to discuss cultural factors, are you ready to have an unbiased discussion about that, or are you only ready to recognize:

    1) those cultural factors that harm women, and
    2) those cultural factors that make it harder for men to be like feminists want them to be (i.e. being a SAHD while she has a career)?

  • BASTA!

    Avuncular Arm detected.

  • BASTA!

    You seem to work under the assumption that being “a man willing to empathise sensitively with women’s genuine perceptions of how men treat them in every day life” is the right thing; that it is a morally mandated way to be.

    I do not share this assumption. I do not feel obliged to offer women the empathy that women seldom offer to me. I do not feel obliged to dutifuly pay attention to every residual discriminatory attitude to women while discriminatory attitudes to men are far from residual.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    That’s quite”enough” of that BASTA! WHY is Patriarchy Theory a hate ideology.

    Are you trying to say that our broad social culture has not been assembled primarily by men for men? Really?

    I’d be very interested to hear just how the past two millennia have actually been won,an orientated……….please tell…….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I quote: “This is a massive issue that deserves much more serious and introspective understanding than the crude “spin to win” sound bite treatment most commentators are giving it here.”

    It’s always interesting to find those who disagree actually illustrating exactly what I’m saying in a response. “Fino all a vittoria………”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Have you ever begun to wonder, BASTA, even just a little just why you are finding women “discriminatory” and “unempathic”? Me? I don’t seem to.

    Attitude, perhaps? This “anche se tutti, noi no!” approach can be very macho and confrontational……………

  • BASTA!

    Your sorry attempts at shaming and moral grandstanding is what’s confrontational. This is what causes people like me to confront you. Your insinuation that such people are confrontational is pure projection.

    Congrats on getting me to look that Italian phrase up though. You should do the same.

  • hugh mccloy

    Again you are showing a completely uneducated view of what equal parenting actually is.

    You are coming up with the same nonsense that was put to bed a long time ago in the political arena

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Seriously, Basta, I’m a trained Jungian analyst. I’m being flippant above, yes, but you should look past the affront you feel to discover why the response you are affronted by may have occurred in the first place. Look not only at how women act in a way you may find disturbing, but at the reasons why they may be acting in that way. This is the only way that anything may even begin to change for the better.

    Oh, and if my “insinuation that such people are confrontational is pure projection” why are you admitting to actual confrontation on your part in the sentence immediately before? But it’s not your confrontational approach to me that really matters, it is your need to default to an aggrieved position with regard to strong self-assertive women that really needs to be addressed more analytically.

  • BASTA!

    Are you trying to say that our broad social culture has not been assembled primarily by men for men? Really?

    Our ancestors’ broad social culture has indeed been assembled primarily by men, but not particularly primarily for men.

    Our broad social culture cannot be said even that about, as it has been thoroughly disassembled by feminists over the last three generations.

    I’d be very interested to hear just how the past two millennia have actually been won,an orientated……….please tell…….

    First show me why the past two millenia are even relevant. Nobody lives that long, so the way society was structured before, say, your grandparents were born has negligible effect on your situation, compared to the effect of whatever happened from that point on – and feminism is precisely what happened.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Our ancestors’ broad social culture has indeed been assembled primarily by men, but not particularly primarily for men.”

    This is simply untenable. If you examine custom and law, both entirely favour men. It is impossible to sustain a serious argument that the social culture developed over time has been in any sense even handed towards women.

    “Our broad social culture cannot be said even that about, as it has been thoroughly disassembled by feminists over the last three generations.”

    Perhaps the simplest example of this might be to look at any collection of poetry, say, edited over the past hundred years and look at how many “significant” poets are women. And consider that this is a field of endeavour in which women have now had some purchase over some centuries. When you go on to consider government, the professions and science, even in recent times the numbers are significantly disproportionate in important areas. Is this because women are less talented or able than men? Rather it is because the mores of how our society functions are still almost exclusively “male” in character, something developed across two millennia and all the more powerful for being an unconsciously ingrained “normality” hallowed by long usage over centuries. No matter how many laws attempt to balance this out in our present age, these old unconsidered automatic habits of thought and behaviour are so instinctive that unless a woman presents herself in culturally “male” terms she is still at a profound disadvantage in her life and career. But to grasp this simple fact you really require some empathy, and to look at these things with as much genuine objectivity as you may muster.

  • BASTA!

    Seriously, Basta, I’m a trained Jungian analyst.

    This is supposed to impress me?

    Look not only at how women act in a way you may find disturbing, but at
    the reasons why they may be acting in that way.

    Why?

    This is the only way
    that anything may even begin to change for the better.

    Nope, it isn’t, and neither is placing Jesus Christ on the throne of my life.

    Oh, and if my “insinuation that such people are confrontational is pure
    projection” why are you admitting to actual confrontation on your part
    in the sentence immediately before?

    Erm… because “confronting someone for valid reasons” and “being confrontational” are distinct notions and admitting to one does not constitute admitting to the other?

    But it’s not your confrontational approach to me that really matters, it
    is your need to default to an aggrieved position with regard to strong
    self-assertive women

    Pulling things out of thin air, eh?

    that really needs to be addressed more
    analytically.

    Go ahead. I think I have enough popcorn.

  • BASTA!

    If you examine custom and law, both entirely favour men.

    That is complete bullshit. Not even an argument, tenable or untenable. Just pure unadulterated bullshit.

    Perhaps the simplest example of this might be to look at any collection
    of poetry, say, edited over the past hundred years and look at how many “significant” poets are women.

    Dominance of men among the highest achievers is fully explained by the flatter bell curve. Focusing only on the highest achievers is therefore a statistical manipulation. You are doing it knowingly.

    When you go on to consider government, the professions and science, even
    in recent times the numbers are significantly disproportionate in
    important areas.

    The assumption that more men than women as heads of state, in governments and in representative bodies equals favoritism towards men – this assumption is something you need to prove before you can use it as an argument. Case in point: Justin Trudeau. Bonus: if he screws up, feminists can still blame everything on a man!

    When you go on to consider government, the professions and science, even
    in recent times the numbers are significantly disproportionate in
    important areas.

    Define “important areas”. For me the homeless, suicide victims, those who don’t live to the retirement age, soldiers KIA, people denied access to their children are all “important areas”, and yes, the numbers are significantly disproportionate there. See? Your definition of “important areas” is hereby shown to have been purposely crafted to prove that women have it worse and men are universally privileged. This is the hateful fraud called feminism.

    Is this because women are less talented or able than men?

    Actually, yes. While all men are not more talented or able than all women, if you only consider people who can at all be described as “talented” and “able” (say, the top quartile of “talent” and “ability”), then men will be significantly overrepresented. They will also be overrepresented in the bottom quartile, but you will ignore this fact, since it cannot be productively used to support the narrative of undeserved male privilege maintained at the cost of women, i.e. the Patriarchy Theory.

    unconsciously ingrained “normality” hallowed by long usage over centuries. No matter how many laws attempt to balance this out in our present age,
    these old unconsidered automatic habits of thought and behaviour are so
    instinctive

    You are trying to get me to start believing in ghosts. You will not succeed.

    she is still at a profound disadvantage in her life and career. But to grasp this simple fact you really require some empathy

    Oh. That changes everything. Everything! You are a Trained Jungian Analyst after all, so your words must be true. You are bound by a very strict ethics code, so you would never ever apply cheap pop-psychology to insinuate that your opponent in a discussion lacks empathy, and therefore is wrong (and also an unworthy and inferior human being if not outright a heartless monster). No, when you say, or even hint, that I lack empathy, then that’s a honest diagnosis. I am really an unworthy and inferior human being if not outright a heartless monster. Can I go crawl under a rock and die now?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    BASTA! you are not my patient, unfortunately, so the only code I’m bound by is to help you as one human being to another, which is what I’m attempting to do. It’s evident from everything you are writing that empathy, certainly empathy with women, is not one of your things. This does not make you a monster (your term), simply someone without empathy. I entirely recognise that all this denial of the gross imbalances in our society evident in your reply must have some inceptive source. I’d wish you every luck in finding out what this may be at some point.

  • BASTA!

    BASTA! you are not my patient, unfortunately, so the only code I’m bound
    by is to help you as one human being to another, which is what I’m
    attempting to do.

    No, that’s not what you are trying to do. You are just trying to “prove” me wrong with a protracted and ineptly disguised failed attempt at shaming.

    It’s evident from what you are writing that empathy, certainly empathy with women, is not one of your things.

    No, that is not at all evident from what I am writing. You are making this up.

    This does not make you a monster (your term), simply someone without empathy.

    Since the premise is factually incorrect, this conclusion is meaningless.

    I entirely recognise that all this denial of the gross imbalances in our
    society evident in your reply must have some inceptive source. I’d wish
    you every luck in finding out what this may be at some point.

    It’s funny how you completely overlook that in my reply I enumerated several gross imbalances in our society that I consider to be very real. Cura te ipsum.

  • BASTA!

    It’s always interesting to find those who disagree actually illustrating exactly what I’m saying in a response.

    It’s all in your head.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    BASTA! Have you ever come across the concept of psychological projection?

    I’d really leave it to others perhaps reading who have not signed up to hate Feminists to themselves interpret the significance of the contradictions in what you are saying. And remember, to convincingly argue any point it is necessary to explain just why you are saying “no” to something.

  • BASTA!

    There are no contradictions in what I am saying. You are only saying there are.

    Plus, I have explained why “women have it infinitely worse” is bullshit. You simply ignored my explanations, and you are saying they were not given.

    I have also explained why I don’t feel morally bound to offer empathy to women (which, by the way, doesn’t mean I never do offer empathy to women). Just as in the other case, you simply ignored my explanations, and you are saying that they were not given.

    Actually, you seem to have completely stopped addressing my points a few exchanges ago, and focused exclusively on my alleged defectiveness instead. This tactic is very typical of feminists.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Keep digging, you’re doing all my work for me by not even recognising that you are simply saying “no” and making utterly unsupportable assertions instead of discussing the points I’ve been raising.

  • Pete

    “Forget these political labels such “Feminism”, Pete.”

    Forgive me, but perhaps you should have made the same point to this article’s author? I am responding to an article with the label “Men’s Rights Activists” in the title.

    “Actually look dispassionately at how women are treated, and ask yourself if you would wish to be treated in that manner yourself every day.”

    I honestly do not see much difference in how women are treated and how men are treated. Anyone can bring up silly little examples from everyday life to illustrate any point they wish to make. Eg, at work when a nurse told me that she thought she had more right to a seat than the other staff members present since she was a woman. Does that mean that men are systemically discriminated against every day? No, of course not.

    “You mention suicide (I don’t think I did).”

    Right, so despite the suicide rate being objectively higher in men, you are somehow trying to spin it into a women’s issue, by quoting some (admittedly very sad) anecdotal examples. I mean, really?! The unbiased statistics clearly show that the suicide rate is higher in men. Is it a competition? No, of course not. But if people are going to say that men “have it easier”, then it’s a relevant consideration to make.

    It is clear from your writing style that you aren’t stupid, but the viewpoint you are taking on this is utterly bizarre.

  • John Collins

    Seaan
    Have your ever studied the Brehon Laws . They were quite fair to women, in that they could divorce their male partners, because they were either impotent or too fat to perform, among other reasons.

  • BASTA!

    The “points” you’ve been raising for a while are just allegations of my defectiveness. It is sufficient to just point out that you are doing it; it doesn’t merit a point-by-point rebuttal. Also, I did address your actual points. You haven’t addressed mine since.

    And what exactly is that “work” you think you are doing?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed I have, and am well aware of how they describe a very different approach to social order. I’m particularly interested in how the strong Feminist movement within Irish Ireland viewed their Gaelic culture through these laws.

    Have you encountered Alice Stopford Green’s “The making of Ireland and its Undoing”? Her description of an Ireland in the middle ages blending its cultures into a naissant Renaissance culture alongside other European nations, just before the Elizabethan dispossessions was one of the most important books of Irish Ireland thinking before WWI.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    BASTA!, you obviously do not understand the difference between simply stating opinion over and over and actual logical argument in support of that opinion. Your responses to the points I put forward are simple “refutations” employing undigested opinions, not actual arguments against what I’ve stated. You are entirely free to disagree with me, yes, but should you wish to argue your reasons for disagreement properly, you require “proofs” and you need to put these forward in arguments in support of the positions you hold on these issues, not simply throw up a stone wall “no” along the lines of “That is complete bullshit. Not even an argument, tenable or untenable. Just pure unadulterated bullshit.” This was in response to my statement that “If you examine custom and law, both entirely favour men.” Now it is entirely a truism of all cultural historians that in matters of social status and in financial matters law has through some thousand years made women simply the possessions, the chattels, of their menfolk, with all the effacement of life opportunities that that implies. This has residues in both law and in habitual male thinking even today, after long decades of attempted redress. If you have clear understanding of why this is not so, an understanding based on some historical evidence that has escaped all modern historians as to why this is not actually so, perhaps you would be so kind as to put it forward to argue a logical case for your position. Instead you simply state your bald opinion that I am wrong, without argument. If I were to respond with careful argument, you could simply go on stating that I’m wrong, over and over, without proofs. So I’ve begun to look at why you feel you need to do this instead.

    The only point at which you even begin to do anything more than simply say “I do not agree period”, is when you suggest other categories of disadvantaged:

    ” For me the homeless, suicide victims, those who don’t live to the retirement age, soldiers KIA, people denied access to their children are all “important areas”, and yes, the numbers are significantly disproportionate there.”

    That such areas of disadvantage exist does not however “prove” in any way that women are not disadvantaged. Indeed women experience all these problems also. And it is a quite erroneous assumption on your part to claim that I do not recognise such suffering, but we were discussing your loathing of Feminism, and I was attempting to understand motivation in a situation where such motivate appears to be so unconsciously driven that it does not provide you with logical reasons that you might use to argue a case.

  • LF

    I disagree. She quotes old fashioned gender norms as the reason women get custody more, however, NOW opposes nearly every shared parenting bill presented by any state government. Which directly invalidates her claim since there are groups trying to create change being actively opposed by national groups of women. What we see in reality is: I want equality when it suites me, I want preferential treatment when it doesn’t.

    She points to age old inconsequential facts. More men in power. Let me ask, who elects them? More women vote. So, with men in power exercising their power for men, wouldn’t we have a Violence against Men Act when the DOJ and CDC studies show domestic violence victims to be nearly equal across gender? Even the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma tabulating data from “Over 200 studies have found about the same percentage of women as men physically assault partners, and that the risk factors and
    motivations are mostly the same as for men.” Was it not two Women’s studies professors that provided data that contradicts nearly every study by actual aggression professionals worldwide that provided the basis for VAWA? The same study which was deemed flawed, biased with leading survey questions?

    Wouldn’t those same men give men reproductive choices like women have? The same women that won the right to abortion using slogans like “every child a wanted child” stating that paternity shouldn’t be the penalty for sex and contraception failure? But surely they can understand why it is wrong to force paternity on men for sex and contraception failure and every child should be wanted right? Former president of NOW, Karen DeCrow, said it best: Justice therefore dictates that if a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support. Or, put another way, autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice. Unfortunately, feminism has changed from the days of actually wanting true equality. Back to my initial hypothesis: I want equality when it suites me, I want preferential treatment when it doesn’t.

    The problem is that the pendulum swung a little too far… I’ll avoid feminism and its hate of men.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sophie Long is just a PhD student, I’m unaware what she wants, she clearly hasn’t said she opposes shared parenting in law. but her opinion isn’t carrying any weight in legal channels. More women are voting, women are a majority in society.

    If men are the ones who are the major obstacle to shared parenting, surely Father’s Rights and the generalised terms Men’s Rights are at odds with one another.

    I think she is totally right in saying that male judges aren’t impressed if a father thinks hating feminists is going to change anything. It’s like believing you can get a job by getting angry at women on benefits.

    Whatever the formal law is people won’t be happy, but the only real alternative to a formal law is anarchy, and there really is no protection to anyone with anarchy, especially not for children who don’t have the political and legal skills of adults.

    Advocacy groups who want a fair law don’t need complainers wanting their own designer parenting laws, obliging legal professionals to abandon any and all jurisprudence. 98-99% of custody battles end with shared parenting, it may not be 50:50 but it is shared,1-2% would include denial of any parenting access from people who either don’t agree to share their child including cases where mothers who disobey the courts and force the courts to transfer the child to the father and parents who are violent and demand the law to work on their own terms.

    This has nothing to do with abortion, a mother cannot legally claim a child to be part of her body or a threat to her physical health.

  • LF

    Regarding father’s rights, there are numerous groups focused on that and I think the MRA and Father’s rights group at least agree (from my research) on the issues facing men with respect to parenting.

    However, groups like the National Parenting Organization are more effective than MRAs because they are focused and don’t come across with such bitterness and anger. I think the general dislike of feminists is because they actively oppose the movement when studies show that outcomes are much better for the children. Even pointing to countries that have long been held as shining examples of equality by feminists, these countries almost all have shared parenting and their outcomes (as well as legal expenses) are much better. I think Sweden had 5 custody battles in the entire country last year. It may have been another Scandinavian country though, I don’t have my notes.

    However, I would be interested in your 98-99% number. Shared parenting means equal time with child. Some states get around this by calling it joint custody, but that is misleading. No matter how you slice it, four days a month is called a visitor in a child’s life – not shared parenting.

    I agree it has nothing to do with abortion, I was using the fact that women have the choice to be a parent, men do not. Her claim was that men were in power so we should see laws that benefit men more or at the expense of women. Which to my knowledge, we do not. However, we see laws that benefit women over men and some at the expense of men (e.g. we have to pay equal amounts for health insurance even though our utilization and risk for utilization is much lower which effectively subsidizes women’s health insurance).

    Thank you for your well reasoned response!

  • BASTA!

    Allright, Xmas over so here we go.

    First, quit lecturing me on what I do or do not understand about the culture of discussion, arguing, and supporting one’s views. You are in no position to do so after several posts in a row focusing 100% on alleging my defectiveness and 0% on the subject matter.

    I am reluctant to discuss past injustices because I don’t consider them very relevant to current times. I will however dissect your argument from that line because it provides a fine example of how feminist demagogy is constructed:

    Now it is entirely a truism of all cultural historians that in matters of social status and in financial matters law has through some thousand years made women simply the possessions, the chattels, of their menfolk, with all the effacement of life opportunities that it implies.

    Desperate appeal to authority aside, now that you qualified your previously unqualified statement with “in matters of social status and in financial matters”, it is no longer equivalent to your original statement. You are shifting the goalposts. As far as your argument itself is concerned, this is a fine example of feminist demagogy: rigging the criteria. You choose those areas in which women used to be disadvantaged, and use this to argue that women used to be disadvantaged across the field. When one looks at other areas, your connect-the-dots-I-chose-not-to-erase picture falls apart. The right to life itself vs. “life opportunities”, i.e. not being expected to be conscription ready, is one big thing you omit. Another is the various legal constructs that made the husband criminally responsible for his wife’s wrongdoings and debts. There’s certainly more, but as I said, this is not my area of expertise, as I don’t consider the remote past particularly relevant to here and now.

    This has residues in both law and in habitual male thinking even today, after long decades of attempted redress.

    I do not accept the “residues” claim, and the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that those residues are as pervasive and relevant as you maintain they are. Meanwhile, the residues of “women are precious, men are expendable” thinking are very much present in law, as evidenced by VAWA. Before you say that VAWA’s gender specificity is OK because women are more affected by DV (with some men being affected too), let me quote your own response to my enumeration of issues that overwhelmingly affect men (while also affecting some women):

    That such areas of disadvantage exist does not however “prove” in any way that women are not disadvantaged. Indeed women experience all these problems also.

    If it is OK for VAWA to be gender specific because the fact that women are more affected by DV counts, then the fact that men have shorter life expectancy and are more affected by combat deaths, workplace deaths, suicides and parental alienation should count too. If the latter doesn’t count, then the former must not count either, and statistical differences in victimization cannot be used to argue that VAWA is just. One way or the other. It is impossible to reconcile with egalitarian principles the position that disproportionate impact of a social issue on a particular group only counts into the assessment of that group’s social status when it is the right group.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    While I’m delighted that you appear to have begun to attempt to address particular statements, the character of your response can still be summed up in “I do not agree with you and in my opinion, I am correct in not doing so.”

    I’ll answer the few points that require a response. “Residues” would really require a few thousand words to even begin to unpack, but I’ll try one simple image. You have not invented the language you speak daily. It is inherited, and its use daily colours your attitudes unconsciously. Endless examples can be found, for example “Mankind” and “Businessman” flag social attitudes that are frequently simply seen as a set of “given” attitudes. When you are actually sensitised to this you would begin to notice just how ingrained “appropriate” traits and behaviour are within language usage. The attitudes these engender still seem so “naturally” a part of social organisation that most people simply act on them without noticing.

    And you are constructing something of a strawman regarding this person you are arguing against who somehow believes that men do not suffer in any way. The entire society we function within is built on numerous forms of exploitation and oppression, and men have their own problems in this regard as other aggressive males exploit them also to acquire money and power. As Sophie says above “All violence should be revealed, rejected and transformed, so that no one, regardless of gender, endures such harm.” Men suffer too alongside women from this social inequity developed along paternalistic hierarchal lines, and Sophie quite clearly points out in her article that in the childcare issue, for one thing, men are in fact suffering from ingrained patriarchal attitudes that assume women to be “carers” rather than men. Patriarchal advantages for some men inevitably create disadvantages for others. To escape their own male disadvantages they should be striving against all unfairness and inequality of opportunity, not crudely targeting women and feminism for consequences that are in themselves expressions of a world that has lost the ability to empathise since the Thatcherregan Revolution. Viewing the ongoing emancipation of women as a rather simplistic seesaw of winners and losers does not actually help anyone.

  • BASTA!

    “Residues” would really require a few thousand words to even begin to unpack

    Thanks for sparing me those then.

    but I’ll try one simple image. You have not invented the language you speak daily. It is inherited, and its use daily colours your attitudes unconsciously.

    Endless examples can be found, for example “Mankind” and “Businessman”
    flag social attitudes that are frequently simply seen as a set of
    “given” attitudes.

    Languages are beautifully complicated and quirky, so yes, endless examples can be mined to prove just about anything. For example “żałosny dupek” means “pathetic asshole” in Polish, but since Polish nouns are inherently gendered, this masculine noun phrase has no feminine counterpart. The whole concept of “pathetic asshole” is inexpressible in Polish in reference to a woman, except with a circumlocution. Given a man with the particular set of character flaws thus described, and a woman with the same set of character flaws, only the man’s pathetic assholery can be directly ascribed to him within the confines of Polish grammar.

    By the way, you do know that the English word “man” was gender neutral for way longer than it wasn’t?

    men have their own problems in this regard as other aggressive males exploit them also to acquire money and power.

    Yeah, all evil comes from males. No female is ever aggressive or greedy.

    Men suffer too alongside women from this social inequity developed along paternalistic hierarchal lines

    Again, men as the source of all evil.

    in the childcare issue, for one thing, men are in fact suffering from
    ingrained patriarchal attitudes that assume women to be “carers” rather
    than men

    Actually nope, they are suffering from institutionalized attitudes of family court judges educated by feminist-dominated academia, but you are doing a funny thing here. You describe various factors and phenomena that disadvantage men and tack the adjective “patriarchal” on them, and hocus-pocus, where “they are disadvantaged” was a blink ago, now it is “they are implicated in the causation of their disadvantage”. That’s how the Patriarchy Theory works. “Patriarchal” is an empty word that serves exclusively as a memetic vector for the “men are bringing it on themselves” narrative.

  • JoeDisqus56

    Is there gonna be a party when AVFM falls out of the top 100,000 websites? It’s not too far off. On a separate note, are any of you people not sexually baroque? You should change the name to a voice for the sexually hilarious.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Happy New Year BASTA!

    Yes, I’m doing a “funny thing” but only if you wish to consider the world as discretely polarised rather than forming one continuous “gestalt”. Men suffer equally under attitudes formed under “Patriarchy” because these attitudes engendered by a long centralisation of authority in discretely masculine characteristics that enforce a hierarchy that oppresses all in the interests of the strongest. Men are not the source of all, evil, but paternalistic attitudes that suppress empathy and affection as “weaknesses” in favour of highly polarised strident masculinism are, pretty much. We are all a mix psychologically of male and female characteristics to a greater or lesser degree and the psychological suppression of these characteristics to favour one of these “identities” will always cause damage.

    “By the way, you do know that the English word “man” was gender neutral for way longer than it wasn’t?” You will really have to unpack that rather more. Oh, I’ve heard the argument that “man” referred to both genders in Saxon times, the “Wer” and “Wif” argument, but this formulation does not stand up to any serious scrutiny by unbiased scholarship. Wikipedia explains this quite well:

    “The term man (from Proto-Germanic *mannaz or *manwaz “man, person”) and words derived from it can designate any or even all of the human race regardless of their sex or age. The word developed into Old English man, mann meaning primarily “adult male human” but secondarily capable of designating a person of unspecified gender, “someone, one” or humanity at large (see also German man, Old Norse maðr, Gothic manna “man”).”

    The word may have been applied to the common concept of humanity but in using the term that implied primarily “adult male human” it is being employed in an exclusive sense where its meaning implied that the proper “type” of humanity was in essence male, the gender capable of rational thought, just as God himself was, and that the female was a sub-group of humanity with less aptitude for intellectual effort (Adam’s rib, to be exact). If you check out the usages of the term “man” in Latin (“Vir” from the same root as the Saxon “Wer”) and for mankind “Homines” they are perfectly gender specific in meaning, with this explicit aspect of exclusion for women as being included within the type for the species. This is what the term “Patriarchy” means ( far from an “empty word”) and the invisibility for some of us of the judgement values implied for the exaltation of men over women is in itself proof of its pervasive power even today.

  • BASTA!

    Yes, I’m doing a “funny thing” but only if you wish to consider the
    world as discretely polarised rather than forming one continuous
    “gestalt”.

    Spare me the philosobabble. It neither impresses nor convinces me.

    Men suffer equally under attitudes formed under “Patriarchy” because
    these attitudes engendered by a long centralisation of authority in
    discretely masculine characteristics that enforce a hierarchy that
    oppresses all in the interests of the strongest.

    Read(*): men are doing it to themselves.

    Men are not the source of all, evil, but paternalistic attitudes that
    suppress empathy and affection as “weaknesses” in favour of highly
    polarised strident masculinism are, pretty much.

    Read(*): men are not the source of all evil. Maleness is.

    (*) By “read” I mean that this is how your rhetoric is understood by the many. I further maintain that this understanding is the intended hateful propaganda message in this rhetoric, while the more subtle understanding that pretends to discern between “men” as a group and “cultural masculinity” or whatever contrived term you invent is just plausible deniability. The latter is a decoy you present to the educated and influential, while simultaneously describing “patriarchy = collective male guilt” as an ignorant simplification in order to put the educated in a bind: “we cannot denounce this as hate propaganda lest we appear simple minded”. Clever move. In truth however, “the concept of patriarchy = men are the source of all evil and are exclusively to blame for all their suffering” is not a simplification. Instead, “the concept of patriarchy men are the source of all evil and are exclusively to blame for all their suffering” is a dummy.

    Regarding the language thing, why did you choose to address my side remark instead of my main point – that you are picking your Sapir-Whorf cherries? As an example, I picked a cherry from my first language just to show you that with enough dedication, or enough resources to hire a well trained exegete, anything can be proven with this technique. The beautiful complexity of language will never cease to provide layers upon layers of quirks, inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies, 99% of which are “invisible” to everyday speakers. What is your response to this?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    BASTA! You continue to set up straw men to tilt at. If you were to examine what I was saying, rather than keep slapping testosterone fuelled “NO” responses, that simply underline my points, we might get somewhere.

    Certainly it appears that should anyone not simply slavishly agree with you, they become the enemy. If you could perhaps approach the idea that the culturally sanctioned vision of maleness whose last ditches you are defending so aggressively is simply a rather pernicious construct that limits the potential for empathy and understanding in us all, we might have the grounds for a discussion. And it would perhaps help if you were to begin to realise that simply slapping down terms like “philosobabble” may let of steam for yourself and ease the testosterone pressure a little, but does nothing to genuinely further discussion.

  • BASTA!

    If you were to examine what I was saying, rather than keep slapping testosterone fuelled “NO” responses

    Physiology shaming now?

    Certainly it appears that should anyone not simply slavishly agree with you, they become the enemy.

    No, those who spew hate propaganda against my demographic are the enemy by definition.

    If you could perhaps approach the idea that the culturally sanctioned
    vision of maleness whose last ditches you are defending so aggressively
    is simply a rather pernicious construct that limits the potential for
    empathy and understanding in us all, we might have the grounds for a
    discussion.

    I approached this idea, examined it up close, found it to be a steaming pile of hate ideology, and turned away. This happened more than decade ago. You are telling me that the ideas about masculinity that comprise the patriarchy theory are conducive to empathy? Bullshit. Patriarchy theory and the “toxic masculinity” concept you are trying to sell me are both devices of demagogy, the purpose of which is to dam any possible flow of empathy towards men. You are almost literally telling me that a cat is a mouse’s best friend.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you, BASTA! for illustrating the points I was attempting to make, if perhaps only unconsciously on your part.

  • BASTA!

    You were unconsciously attempting to make some points on my part? That’s rich.

  • Anne Claude

    Name three who weren’t kicked out of feminism.

  • Kevin Breslin

    How can you be kicked out of feminism?

  • Anne Claude

    Karen DeCrow, former President of NOW, was. Read up on her fall from grace. Her sin: she advocated for equal rights for men.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I would call Karen DeCrow a puritan feminist if feminism does mean supporting equality. Again though you are blaming feminists (specifically female ones) for the actions of men. Blame the men responsible for the action of male legislatures.