Check out my review of Michael Kimmel’s Angry White Men on The American Prospect

What you'll say to yourself if you don't read my piece right away

What you’ll say to yourself if you don’t read my piece right away

I‘ve got a nice long review essay on Michael Kimmel’s new book Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era up at the American Prospect. Check it out!

About these ads

Posted on November 20, 2013, in announcements, misogyny, MRA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 170 Comments.

  1. I’m aware that “they” has been used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun for years. It’s how I use it on academic papers (because I’m not sure if my professor would accept zie/zir/zirs). So I’m accustomed to using it as such. *shrug*

    Of course, if people request me not to use it, I’ll honor that request. So don’t worry talacaris, I’ll try to remember to use zie/zir/zirs instead of they/them/theirs.

  2. He does. I reckon she’d do it if she could, and the fancy took her.

  3. Yeah, talacaris, if you prefer ze, by all means! I’ve just only seen it used in singlet style.

  4. I’m quite partial to the singular “they”, myself; even Shakespeare and Jane Austen have used it, and the English major in me likes the fact that a commonly used non-gender-specific term has such a long (if unofficial) history. (I’m guessing that use was not so uncommon even then, regardless of what the prissy old “he”-purists may say.) Lots of my Facebook friends are using it, and I’ve been using it myself, casually, for as long as I can remember.

    I also must admit to being confused by the whole hir/zie/ze/zir thing, partly because it’s new and not fully standardized, and partly because I keep hearing someone speaking pidgin Dutch in my head whenever I see it. I can’t help it, and I’m not proud of the fact. Gotta work on that, I guess…I hope I don’t come off as bigoted if I muff it!

    BTW, does anyone recall that recent-ish news item about some high school kids who spontaneously started using “yo” as a non-gender-specific singular pronoun? I thought that was also interesting.

  5. Oh yeah, I heard about yo ages ago.

    One of the kids here uses ze/zer/zers. We know some GQ folks who would rather drop dead than be called ze, others who avoid they because of too many multi pals around, and so on. People have different preferences, and that’s okay.

  6. Ah, the joys of the confusing English language…I kind of envy the Swedes, who were able to easily make a third-gender/nonspecific pronoun for their language. And I can’t honestly say I blame anyone currently learning ESL who’s seeing all this pronoun debate and throwing up their hands in confusion. I often do, and I’ve been speaking it all my life, and even majored in it…

  7. Serrana that is the greatest
    That picture
    I died

  8. serrana – DAMN YOU AND YOUR PUNNINESS. DAMN YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!

  9. Serrana, you took a silly pun and you really committed to it. ::applause:: :-)

  10. “I kind of envy the Swedes, who were able to easily make a third-gender/nonspecific pronoun for their language.”

    “Hen” , which btw is a loanword from Finnish I think, is not so commonally accepted, and it has been great debate if it should be used. One common ridicule is pointing to the words meaning in English.

  11. “Ah, the joys of the confusing English language”
    I cannot see why this is more confusing in English than any other language that has traditionally used gender-specific pronouns (other than pronunciation, which is tricky in English if you’ve only seen the written form). Besides, this can make it simpler for learners whose native language doesn’t have gender-specific pronouns.

  12. “With significantly more women than men graduating from college, this trend is not likely to reverse itself.”

    It should ne noted that this is because middle-aged women are going back to school via community colleges. The Dept of Education found that boys are less likely to study, come to school prepared or do their homework, unsurprisingly this is associated with bad grades. They also found that the education disparity is income based, among middle class boys there is only about a 1% difference. Apparently boys have also improved their grades so this disproves the MRA claim that female teachers are inhibiting boys success in school. Females getting better grades than boys or having higher graduation rates is seen globally in many places like Kuwait or Iran where no one but an idiotic MRA would claim that women are oppressing men. Apparently girls getting better grades than boys isn’t new historically and in adult life this doesn’t seem to be hurting men since they still make more money.

  13. snork,
    LOL, there’s no “newbies” here. This isn’t a site where your opinions and voice are valued on seniority nor where the reining status quo has voice or authority over the newest members.

  14. In your article, you said “Over the last several decades, largely as a result of feminist activism, we’ve seen a dramatic change in attitudes toward and laws about date rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. We’ve also, not coincidentally, seen significant drops in all of these things.” But it’s not been established that violent and asocial behaviour only gets curtailed thanks to cultural changes. For example, in this article (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline) and associated studies, a persuasive link between lead in the environment and crime rates has been put forward, not coincidentally, in the same period in which you attributed some of these things to feminist activism. I think the reality of the evolution of mentalities is much more complicated than what you’ve written in your essay. Feminism definitely had its weight, but there might be a host of other variables, some we may not even think about identifying. Neuropsychology is complicated, and applying to whole societies and cultures even more so.

  15. I cannot see why this is more confusing in English than any other language that has traditionally used gender-specific pronouns (other than pronunciation, which is tricky in English if you’ve only seen the written form). Besides, this can make it simpler for learners whose native language doesn’t have gender-specific pronouns.

    At least English has gender-neutral nouns; I imagine it being even rougher to be non-binary if you spoke a language where every noun was either masculine or feminine.

  16. Manifold, it’s an interesting point, but are you aware of any large-scale lead abatement programs that could explain the drop in crime? There is obviously a pretty clear link behind the political campaigns feminists have waged and changes in laws, as well as a strong (but perhaps difficult to prove) link between feminist educational campaigns and changes in public perceptions. The link between those and a drop in the rates of harassment and crimes is a plausible one. In any case, I don’t think David was making the argument that feminism and the work of feminists was the only reason for those changes; merely that they were a significant factor. And you don’t seem to disagree with that.

    The link between lead and crime has come up here before, and I think there was pretty general agreement that it’s worthy of more research.

  17. I’m not completely disagreeing, of course. I think there are a factor (of course they are). I’m just not sure if it’s fair to only use feminist activism for the beneficial changes, as was done in the article. It would be like using the War on Drugs for the crime rate going down these last decades. Well, I’m all for letting feminist activism taking the most credit for policy changes. I’m just more weary about the whole cultural change thing. If something as common as lead can have such a drastic effect on our collective behaviour, and the fact our environment changed so much in the last century… It’s not documented at all, not even hinted at, but there might be more things out there that have an effect on how we act and see things.

  18. I think major cultural shifts are almost always caused by multiple factors. So it seems safe to say that feminist campaigns have had an impact of public perceptions of women’s role in society, but the pace of change also depends on a bunch of other stuff that was going on at the same time, particularly the various other civil rights movements that coincided with the Second Wave,

  19. Manifold, you might have a point if David’s piece were about violent behavior in general, but that wasn’t the subject. He was writing a piece about a book about angry white men, and his paragraph was about how certain men like to blame women for every little thing. His mention of violence was specifically violence and harassment toward women. If you read the whole paragraph you took that sentence from:

    What they are reacting to, I think, is more of a cultural dethroning of male entitlement. Over the last several decades, largely as a result of feminist activism, we’ve seen a dramatic change in attitudes toward and laws about date rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. We’ve also, not coincidentally, seen significant drops in all of these things. But what these changes have meant is a curtailment of certain kinds of male behavior that used to be considered normal. Men have to think twice before making crude sexual jokes in front of female coworkers; they can’t take advantage of women incapacitated by drink and pretend they don’t know it was rape. And all this makes some men furious.

    lead paint is completely irrelevant.

  20. To follow on from serrana’s point, domestic and family violence has different causes than violent crime of the armed robbery variety, so if you’re looking for the causes for either a drop or a rise in violence specifically targeting women that mostly takes place within families then it makes more sense to look at how perceptions of women’s role in society are changing, rather than poverty, lead poisoning, and the various other stuff that would be far more relevant when looking at some other categories of violent crime.

  21. D&D: Also, it is in the interest of the nation to privilege males of the majority ethnic/racial group, even if it fosters inequality. They’re the power base of your society – the most nationalistic and vigilante people and usually the first to react to competitive threats.

    That’s the first argument of extortionate criminals everywhere: “Be nice to us, or we will break your stuff.”

  22. instead.

    nah… mangos are offensive, to me, and some others. If I were waxing descriptive in an effort to be appoplecticaly purple in my prose and were using something vegetative to describe one of the poor fools who follow (and purport to believe) the ill-prepared, poorly cleaned, and undercooked tripe which is the fodder of the MRM, it would be to observe how much they put me in mind of the dark-brown slime which collects in the bottom of the vegetable crisper when one forgets to remove the lettuce before going on holiday and the power goes out during the fortnight of your absence.

  23. Mangos aren’t a vegetable, though that slime is nearly as bad as the shit that collects in my fluval.

  24. I did say vegetative.

    Animal/vegetable/mineral (fungi/protozoa)

  25. Vegetative now includes mangos?

    Well, I wasn’t going to make any vegetative state jokes, but this is just too good to pass up — if vegetative, treat me as you would a mango. (Though, I suppose you don’t think any part of a mango is useful and organ donor)

    That was funnier in my head.

  26. From the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary:
    vegetative

    2: relating to, composed of, or suggesting vegetation

    3: of or relating to the division of nature comprising the plant kingdom

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vegetative

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,788 other followers

%d bloggers like this: