Question Time: Backlash, Frontlash, The End of Men?


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.)

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on May 11, 2013, in antifeminism, david has questions, feminism, further reading and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 800 Comments.

  1. Brz, you’re not mystifying, you’re sexist, bloviating asshole. Learn the difference.

    we know exactly what you are, and don’t much like it

  2. Brz This is what this is all about, finding a way to “cut close to the bone”, “to touch a nerve”, doing with me what you try to forbid everyone to do on you, “boundaries-crossing”.

    Nope. It’s that I think you are liar. One of the things I think you are lying about is who you are. Maybe you are french. If you are, you managed to convince everyone here that you aren’t. It’s not me. It’s you.

    I don’t care about hurting you. I don’t care about you, qua you. I care that the person who presents himself here as Brz is a disingenuous ass. You pretend to engage. You pose questions,and then; when challenged on them, you bob and weave about how you are/aren’t french. It’s been the schtick you pulled from the get go.

    You don’t have any basis to say, “oh, my english is so poor”. Because it isn’t. You lied. You have an in depth grasp of some pretty esoteric ideas about male/female relations; from an obscure corner of the internet. Their jargon gives you no pause; though it’s confusing to many an english speaker,and trips of the inhabitants of MRA/PUA fora.

    You adopted over the top stereotypical expressions, in the vein of what farcial representations of the French are supposed to be like (straight out of Monty Python).

    I insult your frenchness because if you are French the ways in which you pretend to be stupid, and the vacuity of your attempts to be clever are an insult to the french.

  3. If Brz is french, or has even spent time in France, then I am the queen of England.

  4. Maybe you are french. If you are, you managed to convince everyone here that you aren’t. It’s not me. It’s you.

    AHAHA, you all keep accusing me of being not French all the time with ridiculous pretexts (the most funny one is the “cheese and surrending” : no French has ever seen an episode of the Simpsons, no French has ever seen American making jokes about French, in fact, no one in France knows what are the American stereotypes about French people) , almost each time I say something and it’s all my fault, I’m so disingenuous and sneaky that I managed to convince you that I wasn’t French… while trying to prove (providing evidences that should have been seen as reasonable by a non-paranoid mind) that I was French…

    I love this one : reasonable, coherent, non-hysterical, just like you.

    Anyway, I start feeling tired by this little game, you refused to acknowledge in total bad faith that you’ve accused me wrongly of having ill-interpreted the quote of the interview, as for me, It’s just clear that every accusation coming from you is unfounded and that you do it on purpose, it’s apparently your way of arguing with people: accusing them of being disingenuous, invent things they’re supposed to have said and when your accusations are challenged, accusing them of something and again and again,…

    Keep amusing yourself doing that if it please you.

  5. Buzz, nothing about you is amusing, or interesting, or worthwhile, no matter what country you’re from. Congratulations?

  6. It’ll be amusing if we can work him around to arguing that the fact that he sounds like a French stereotype rather than an actual French person is actually proof that he is French.

  7. CassandraSays

    Dude, we don’t care if you’re a boring French person or a boring American, the key issue is “boring”. Now get lost.

  8. Anyway, I start feeling tired by this little game, you refused to acknowledge in total bad faith that you’ve accused me wrongly of having ill-interpreted the quote of the interview, as for me

    You are lying again. I did admit I was in error when I used the word elide, I should have said you misrepresented the article (which you didn’t actually try to refute: all you said (of substance) was, “he said mothers”, when the context was plainly the role of mothers, i.e. motherhood, [BTW, your affections of poor english are back… this is the sort of shit which causes people to disbelieve you. It’s not that we don’t believe a non-native speaker can be fluent, it’s that you pretend, sometimes, to a lack of fluency which other occasions betrays to be false).

    It’s not that you were so sneaky, or disingenuous (per se) it’s that you are either not french, or too stupid to avoid looking not french.

    My way of arguing people is to address the things they said; and how they said them. Your way seems to be making bullshit statements, and then attacking the comments people make about your method of argument; ignoring the substantive replies as if they never were.

  9. It’ll be amusing if we can work him around to arguing that the fact that he sounds like a French stereotype rather than an actual French person is actually proof that he is French.

    Look, I found a portrait of him.

  10. The program for this site is screwy. I’m still trying to get the hang of this WordPress thing. Also, the thing with SpukiKitty was with my alternate Outlook account but I want to use exclusively my Gmail. Perhaps I can merge the two on here. I should rename myself SpukiKitty. I’ll do that now. I’ll simply replace the name “Julie” with “SpukiKitty” in the reply form thingy, bellow.

  11. Brz, I don’t care if you’re a sentient fungus from Planet Blorzok-5 you’re still a loser.

  12. WordPress does have a fondness for messing nyms. It does that to me and I’m using the site direct, ie. from a pc and not via mail.

  13. “Brz, I don’t care if you’re a sentient fungus from Planet Blorzok-5 you’re still a loser.”

    Okay that made me squawk!

    If only he were, we might be able to send him back.

  14. And there’s a BIG BLUE BUTTON that says “REPLY”. How can I be so stupid? Oh, I’m SpukiKitty again. Now, Kittehself, how do I change the icon on my posts? I want to put my own Spuki-tastic icons up.

  15. My usual catchphrase for reactionary weirdos is “Ship them to Pluto”. But since Brz is from a planet of my own conjuring, I’ll have to arrange something else.

  16. ah, a new insult. I’m also, among other things, a loser now, how cute.

  17. Howdy, Space-fungus! You’re back!

  18. Well Brz, calling you a loser is simpler. Though you remind me of what fish shit looks like after being broken down by a biological filter — slimy, gooey, stinky, brown shit.

    Alien fungus is also good.

  19. CassandraSays

    You’d think he could find a domme and pay her to insult him rather than begging for insults here. Cheapness impresses no one!

  20. Spukikitty, if you click on the avatar it’ll take you to the Gravatar site and you can make an account (it links to Google and stuff) and put your own pic in.🙂

    Also, improved pic from Fawkner this a.m. (Do actual work? Nah, it’s Friday.)

  21. No, I’m not begging for it and I’ll never be until you ensure my enthusiastic consent!

  22. 0/10 for attempted wit.

  23. Trying to mock consent politics by equating conversation with sex isn’t doing you any favours on the “creepy rape apologist” front, Brz.

  24. CassandraSays

    Are negative points a possibility here? Because I think that someone who finds the very idea of consent laughable deserves -100/10.

    And also no sex, but I get the feeling that the women around Brz are already taking care of that.

  25. Negative points are definitely a thing.

    At first I thought you meant points in the sense of “You have a point” or “What’s the point?” and the whiny mosquito being in the negatives that way.

    Both senses apply, I think.

  26. Brz: Trying to co-opt the concepts of feminism/social justice only works if you understand it.

    Since you don’t, it just makes you look ridiculous (as I said earlier, you don’t seem to be averse to ridicule). If you check the banner, it it says “Misogyny [we] mock it”.

    You are a misogynist. You chose to post here. You continue to choose to post here, even when your presence has been declared unwelcome by pretty much everyone (I can’t think of anyone who has said they would be grieved by your departure, and I’d be amazed to see anyone who said they wanted you to stay. It’s sort of like the large number of people who doubt your frankish origin).

    So you have consented (enthusiastically) to being mocked.

    Logic fail 100/100. Understanding of the social habits of the local community fail 100/100.

    Fail at subversion of the language of social justice/feminism to attack same 1,000/100.

  27. Indeed. The fail is so epic that it deserves it’s own Cecil B. DeMille movie!

  28. Somehow I doubt “loser” is a new insult, Brz.

  29. minor in French

    “Nobody in France knows what the American stereotypes about French people are”
    Just like nobody in America knows the French stereotypes about American people, right?

    “no French has ever seen an episode of the Simpsons”
    That statement is *blatantly* untrue, and so much so that it’s laughable.

    All signs point to the fact that many French people love Les Simpson (especially because it pokes fun at those American stereotypes, I’d say).

    In fact, if you search “Les Simpson” on Facebook (not “Les Simpsons” – that’s the Quebec version), you’ll find an unofficial like page that has over 1 million likes. That’s a pretty large proportion of the French population if you take into account that it’s an unofficial like page and not everybody in France has a Facebook or advertises their TV preferences on Facebook.

    “No French” my butt. T’oh!

  30. *SHA-ZING*!

    Pure win, minor in French!

    Brz is about as French as Ghengis Khan!

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