Okay, we are officially into the “Uccellina has much to say and too little time in which to say it” territory. I will try to address as much I can for now.
“Why do feminists always assume all MRAs are conservatives?” I’ve noticed the same thing you have, Serin – that MRAs have a broad range of political opinions on issues other than gender and feminism. Their opinions on those issues, however, may safely be deemed conservative opinions. Therefore I feel secure in labeling websites devoted to MRA “conservative websites.”
Regarding menarebetterthanwomen.com – while I think the site itself is clearly parody, many of the commenters take it seriously.
Andrew – one thing I’ve observed is that when people say they “believe that there should be an organization that is a spokesperson for all of men in this society,” they usually do not include gay men in that category. Would your ideal MRA movement fight for gay men’s rights too? While I agree that there are far too many black men in jail, I think this is evidence of a racist and classist system and, as I mentioned before, of the damage done to men by cultural definition and enforcement of “masculinity”.
Rob – “[wage-gap studies don't account for] the AVERAGE woman working 10hrs a week less than men, nor . . . women taking time off for having children (averaged 5yrs out of career)” I think it’s important to consider the factors behind the choices we make. If women take five years out of their careers to have children, or work ten hours less per week, these things hardly happen in a vacuum. I suspect such statistics reflect necessity more than choice; if more men took more responsibility for childcare, I think you would see a distinct shift.
“Women lawyers don’t marry waiters, but male lawyers do marry waitresses” – those are the stereotypes, sure. But to me this says more about how our culture measures the value of a man as opposed to the value of a woman than about individual dynamics. Women don’t have to be educated or high-earning, they just have to be pretty and pleasant. Men don’t have to be pretty or pleasant, but they should be smart and rich. These expectations hurt everyone, male and female.
“[T]he link between feminism and communism has been so solidly established . . .” I’m never particularly impressed by the old feminism=communism cliche. First of all, feminism – particularly in the last twenty years – has made a concerted effort to concern itself with classism and racism, as they are inextricably linked to sexism. Second of all, if the language of oppression is so abhorrent to MRAs, why have they adopted it for their own use? (See previous post). I think the proper response to the rhetorical spectre of communism in a discussion of feminism is, “that’s just a red herring.”
CLAF - “I find it astounding that feminists can conclude that they speak for all women.” Where did I say I was speaking for all women? I’ve re-read my post, and I just can’t find it. But I will say that feminism certainly represents women’s interests better than MRAs do. “Why do feminists think MRAs are going after all women?” I don’t think they’re going after all women individually, but I do think they’re going after the rights and interests of women as a class.
Khankrum - You are clearly suffering from a lack of irony in your diet. Please see the website of the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, which basically states that the group is challenging a particular decision by the WA Supreme Court that denied same-sex couples the right to marry based on the “‘legitimate state interest’ [that] allows the Legislature to limit marriage to those couples able to have and raise children together.” So now WADoMA has proposed that, consistent with the above decision, procreation should be a requirement for legal marriage.
Absurd? Very. But there is a rational basis for this absurdity. By floating the initiatives, we hope to prompt discussion about the many misguided assumptions which make up the Andersen ruling. By getting the initiatives passed, we hope the Supreme Court will strike them down as unconstitutional and thus weaken Andersen itself. And at the very least, it should be good fun to see the social conservatives who have long screamed that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation be forced to choke on their own rhetoric.
“It has not come to all out Gun battles yet. But our Harper’s Ferry moment is coming.” And in that Harper’s Ferry moment when you take up arms and go out to battle, which side will you be on, Khankrum? The radical abolitionists’ or the slaveholders’?
Mom - Thanks! You shameless feminist hussy, you.
Istoute - I addressed your number 1. above, so I won’t here. Regarding 2., Standards of Beauty. People often conflate Patriarchy with Men, but that’s a false equation. Patriarchy is a system under which we all live and in which we all, to greater or lesser extent, participate. So the fact that women are running the advertising campaigns is not actually a counter-argument to anything I have said.
Regarding objectification of women, and leaving aside your claim that models aren’t victims because they make good money, I disagree that if you weren’t turned on by advertising images, that “something would be wrong with” you. First, I suspect a lot of men don’t get turned on by department store ads or cosmetics commercials, though I suppose I could be wrong about that. If you’re talking about images in pornography, I think if you weren’t turned on by them, it might mean that you were bothered about the greater implications behind the images. Or it might mean you need a different type of porn. I don’t know you, so I’m unwilling to guess.
Interesting that you ask what kind of message that sends to a pre-pubescent boy – what kind of message, exactly, do you think pre-pubescent girls get when they see such images?
Your “3) Fathering”: I think it is a strange contradiction of the MRAs generally that they advocate more “traditional” roles for women, yet fight for custody of the children in divorce situations and/or relief from child support payments. If women are encouraged to stay home and not be career-oriented, how are they supposed to support their children when divorce occurs? If “providing is parenting,” as you say, then in divorce situations men should feel comfortable with the parenting rights they have been exercising up to that time, should they not?
I think the solution to your question about how men should learn nurturance lies in the way we raise our male children. If people allowed men their vulnerability and stopped mocking kind men as “feminized” or secure men as “manginas”, then perhaps they would be better prepared to be equal parents.