Category Archives: feminism
It’s Question Time again. I’ve been reading through Susan Faludi’s Backlash and her more recent book on men, Stiffed, as well as some of the discussion surrounding Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men and Kay Hymowitz’ Manning Up. Faludi, writing in 1991, obviously saw the 80s as a time of antifeminist backlash.
My question is how you would characterize the years since she wrote her book. A continuation of that backlash? A time of feminist resurgence, from the Riot Grrls up to Rosin’s predicted End of Men? A mixed period of progress and regression?
I’m wondering both what your general assessment of the situation is, and also what specific evidence you have — either hard data or personal experience — that underlies your overall view. This could be anything from data on employment segregation or the prevalence of rape to your sense of how media representations of women and men have or haven’t changed, or even how people you know have changed the ways they talk about gender. What do you think are the significant data points to look at?
The question isn’t just what has changed for women but what has changed for men as well — with my underlying question being: what if anything in the real world has changed that might be making the angry men we talk about here so angry? I think we can agree that most of their own explanations are bullshit, but could there be a grain of truth to any of them? Or something that they don’t see that’s far more compelling?
In the interest of spurring discussion and providing some data to work with, here are a bunch of articles responding to (or at least vaguely related to the issues raised in) Rosin’s End of Men, including a link to her original Atlantic article. In addition, here are some posts by sociologist Philip Cohen challenging many of Rosin’s claims, as well as more general posts of his on gender inequality. (Feel free to completely ignore any or all of these; I just found them useful resources.)
Don’t worry, it’s not a video BY an MRA. It’s a video ABOUT MRAs. A little cartoon, to be specific, by Scott Benson, who has this to say about it on his Vimeo page:
A quick editorial cartoon about the intersection of self-pity, entitlement, rape, territoriality, misogyny and fear of women. You see it all over the place online in the form of Men’s Rights Activists (of whom there are a few reasonable non-misogynists), Men Going Their Own Way, Pick Up Artists, and dudes touting the “Red Pill”, because The Matrix is a good movie. Look any of these up if you have the stomach for it. These are extreme examples, but watered-down forms of these ideas are everywhere.
In lurking their blogs and youtube channels for a while, I’ve noticed that beyond the standard patriarchal chauvinism there is this deep fear of women – what they will do to me, how they will reject me, how they will use me, how they are changing society in a way that does not favor me, how they are making men into something I don’t like, how they are making themselves into something I don’t like, that they won’t give me what I want, and that they won’t give me what I think is rightfully mine. This goes beyond fear of feminism- this is fear of women at its purest. And that, to quote a puppet, leads to anger and hate. It’s sad.
Naturally, Benson had to close the comments to the video because of, you know, too much MRA.
He wrote more about it all on his Tumblr.
I was alerted to the video by various people, including Cloudiah, which reminds me to remind you all to go look at Cloudiah’s excellent Artistry for Feminism And Kittens blog.
Mocking misogyny: It’s not just for the present day. Here, from 1915, a pointed parody of misogynistic anti-Suffrage arguments by writer/poet Alice Duer Miller. (Note to extremely literal-minded MRAs: She was not actually advocating that men have the vote taken away from them. Nor are we.)
Graphic via Roqayah Chamseddine (@iRevolt on Twitter).
As everyone reading this blog no doubt already knows, feminists have hailed the Pentagon’s decision to open combat jobs to women, which will allow women the same opportunities to serve as men. The decision is also a backhanded acknowledgement that, for all intents and purposes, women are serving in combat today already. (Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth lost both of her legs in combat in Iraq – but officially, what she was engaged in wasn’t combat.)
This Just In: Reddit MRAs don’t know shit about rape prevention, but still have strong opinions about it
So over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the top post at the moment (with more than 370 net upvotes) is a link to this image:
If I might hazard a guess: that’s because IT HAS YOU NUMBSKULLS.
Sigh. Let’s look at a little chart showing the striking decline in the incidence of rape we’ve seen in the last 30 years.
This is based on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey. Some have criticized the survey’s methodology and say that it undercounts the incidence of rape, but even if that is true, the trend is clear: Rape has declined significantly over the past three decades, and I think it’s fairly obvious that increased awareness and understanding of rape, largely the result of feminist anti-rape campaigns, has contributed significantly to this decline.
Naturally, those who tried to point this out in r/mensrights found themselves downvoted.
With all the assholery that I’ve been writing about lately, I wanted to highlight something that wasn’t assholish. That is, in fact, anti-assholish. And that’s comedian Jen Kirkman’s new tumblr blog: “MA’AM” – MEN AGAINST ASSHOLES & MISOGYNY, which she describes as “a place for men – not afraid to call themselves feminists – to write from their heart to help educate men who may still hold some sexist attitudes towards women.”
Kirkman started it a bit over a week ago after going on a sort of Twitter strike, frustrated by all the misogynistic assholes that kept popping up on her timeline.
Here’s how she explains it:
Sometimes I would get sad when I was batting away dozens of hate-filled things while in my timeline my male comedian friends were just joking along having fun – as we all should be. And I felt like I was alone on the playground and I wanted them to speak up for me. Not “beat up” the specific people attacking me … but I wanted my male comedian friends to write, in public, about things they have expressed to me in private about how much they feel for the women in their life who are still spoken to this way.
So far she’s gotten a lot of followers — she picked up a thousand in the first 48 hours — and a ton of submissions, some from fellow comedians (Greg Proops, Michael Ian Black), some from regular dudes, one from her dad.
The submissions are, I suppose I should say, a mixed bag. Some of the essays are great. Some are a bit mansplainy, or White Knighty, or otherwise a bit problematic.
But that’s kind of inherent to the project. Jen is challenging guys who don’t spend all day every day thinking about feminism, but whose hearts are basically in the right place, to stand up against the asshole misogynists of the world. And a lot of guys are responding to her challenge.
Oh, BTW, while we’re on the topic: Jen is also pretty fucking hilarious.
Here’s some of her standup:
And here she is narrating some Drunk History. (She really was drunk.)
I‘m feeling a bit poorly today, so in lieu of an actual post, here’s an old comic I found on a blog called Grottu. I’m pretty sure this is what our old friend NWOslave sees when he looks at the world.
Slightly more on topic, here’s a frame from an old romance comic; you can find a discussion of the somewhat, er, problematic story it’s from on Sequential Crush.
Oh, Reddit, where the demographics are so skewed that virtually every discussion amongst and/or about women ultimately gets taken over by dudes doing the old “what about the dudes” routine. It’s no secret that the TwoXChromosomes subreddit has long been overrun with MRAs and FeMRAs. And now it’s become pretty clear that the Feminism subreddit has gone MRA as well.
If you want all the details of the drama, here’s a thread in the subreddit in which the feminists who’ve stuck with the subreddit take on the MRAs and MRA-symps amongst the mods.
EDITED TO ADD: More links:
An r/feminism thread about the recent Captain Awkward posts about creeps that is, naturally, full of endless hang-wringing about the evils of “creep-shaming.”
(Thanks, Cliff, for the links.)
So WF Price and the rest of the fellas over on The Spearhead are doing a little bit of armchair psychoanalysis of the dreaded “male feminist” in general, and me in particular. It is fairly amusing stuff.
Price sets forth his highly original thesis:
If you observe genuinely feminist men, there’s something a bit off about them, and it’s tempting to chalk their feminism up to a result of some flaw or aberration in their character. Normal men (aside from those whose paycheck depends on it such as politicians and men who work for feminist-dominated institutions) simply don’t go in for feminism unless it gets them sexual gratification, but those days are pretty much over, so the remnants tend to be an assortment of freaks and guys who have a chip on their shoulder.
“But those days are pretty much over?” Evidently, Price thinks there was a time during which women were obligated to reward feminist men with “sexual gratification,” but that this is no longer the case. So “normal men” have stopped being feminists, or at least stopped pretending to be feminists.
So what are these freakish feminist men of today really getting out of it?