Guilty pleasures.

We all have them. Some of mine include: preventing aggressive drivers from merging into my lane ahead of me, lip syncing to my iPod, mirror dancing (often along with the lip syncing), and, of course, blogging when I should be doing other things.

But for a really guilty pleasure, I read conservative websites. Specifically, I read Men’s Rights Activism sites and blogs, and have ever since the eensy-weensy shitstorm that erupted on my blog a few months back. I don’t comment on them, but I read them. And I do not lightly dismiss them.

I’m interested in these sites for several reasons, not the least of which is the sucking vacuum created by the absence of logic in most of their arguments. I also enjoy the back-slapping atmosphere of boyish camaraderie, and the grammatically adventurous venom unleashed on dissenters. But beyond these small pleasures is the voyeuristic fascination of finding out how these people think, and how they interact when they’re in groups of like-minded people. My point is not to expose these Men’s Rights Activists and anti-feminists as hypocritical and misogynistic – they accomplish that all by themselves. What I find much more interesting is the systematic co-opting of the language of oppression. Affirmative action is discrimination against men. Fathers, no longer the unchallenged masters of their families, are denied rights. The Violence Against Women Act destroys families and discriminates against male victims.

Feminism, they say, is a cult of victimhood. And yet the anti-feminists have codified their own list of victimization. The Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics is a perennial favorite on MRA sites. Examples of the “shaming language” used by women/feminists against anti-feminist men include such phrases as “You’re bitter!” and “You need to get over your anger at women,” to which the author proposes the response should be “Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice.” The inverse is not considered valid, however; “angry,” “bitter,” and “bitchy” women are not expressing “legitimate emotion,” but are simply angry, bitter, and bitchy.

Another section of the Catalog addresses the “Charge of Invirility (Code Lavender)”

Discussion: The target’s sexual orientation or masculinity is called into question. Examples:

* “Are you gay?”
* “I need a real man, not a sissy.”
* “You’re such a wimp.”

Response: Unless one is working for religious conservatives, it is usually of little consequence if a straight man leaves his accusers guessing about his sexual orientation.

Despite the above, “Code Lavender” is frequently found on MRA blogs when male commenters dissent from the party line. One response to a self-identified pro-feminist man’s comment reads in part:

I can only imagine what kind of mother you had or lack of..

I don’t know how old you are but if you start going through life this way and being “buddies” with various girl friends who will just “love” the way you validate what they see on “Sex in the City” then you might as well be Gay even though you claim you are not.. I says this because no normal woman will be sexually attracted to you and any left over ones that you manage to get a mercy f*** from are just basket cases looking for an instant co-dependency with you.

If you choose to be some woman’s “whipping boy” then that’s your call.

The above also falls into the author’s category of “Threat of Withheld Affection (Code Pink)”, of which the author rightly says, “This is an example of the logical fallacy “argumentum ad baculum” (the “appeal to force”). The accuser attempts to negate the validity of a position by pointing to some undesirable circumstance that will befall anyone who takes said position.”

The “Charge of Misogyny” is listed as a shaming tactic, as to which the author says “One may ask the accuser how does a pro-male agenda become inherently anti-female (especially since feminists often claim that gains for men and women are “not a zero-sum game”). ” This response, of course, assumes that the agenda is pro-male and not anti-female, a claim not entirely supported by the popular MRA website menarebetterthanwomen.com, or the rhetoric in this list of definitions. A partial excerpt of the latter:

Femhag
The Suppressed Truth:
Noun
A particularly vile and older breed of feminist.
Hideous and appalling to look at, this particular brand squawks the loudest, often followed by impressionable youngsters, all too willing to buy into the misandric claims and assertions.
Femhags find maintaining relationships difficult, if not impossible, and so take their frustrations out on innocent men who have an aversion to their smelly armpits.
They can be found in positions of power- such as in politics, women’s organisations or as college/university lecturers. These professions are particularly appealling to the femhag because they give her a seemingly legitimate platform to spew her misandric lies and hatred.
Note- the femhag doesn’t always have to be old, as she could be one of the growing number of modern females who have elderly, haggered faces and drooping tits- often with more sagging flesh than pumped up breast tissue, thereby giving a cows udder look to them.

Nope. Nothing misogynistic about that. Nor about this, from eternalbachelor.blogspot.com:

Women are the ones who have to sell themselves to us; us men don’t need them. We can defend ourselves, support ourselves and do our own ironing too. By delaying marriage until their looks have gone, by whelping illegitimate bastards, by slutting around, by being so obnoxious and self-centred, not to mention successfully demanded outrageous anti-male bias in the divorce courts, women are the ones who have chased men away from marriage. If women really are happy being old, single, childless and slaving away at their “careers”, then fine, but if not – and I doubt many are – they’ve got a lot of work to do before us men find them in anyway tolerable, let alone irresistable.

These blogs and websites represent a surprisingly large chunk of internet voices (though not as large as, say, blogs devoted to Star Trek), and they are, for the most part, very, very angry. The CDC, hardly a feminist organization, has a fact sheet on what they term “Intimate Partner Violence”. Risk factors for being abused include

  • being female (!)
  • for women, having a greater education level than their partner’s
  • dominance and control of the relationship by the male.

Risk factors for being a perpetrator?

  • Anger and hostility
  • belief in strict gender roles (e.g., male dominance and aggression in relationships)
  • desire for power and control in relationships
  • dominance and control of the relationship by the male.

I certainly do not mean to suggest that any of the bloggers or site-administrators listed above are abusers themselves. But they are part of and feeding into a culture of anger and violence against women. I read their blogs because, as individual screeds, they amuse me. But I do not dismiss them, because as a collective voice of aggression and hostility, they bear watching.

127 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    miss kendra said,

    i prefer startrek bloggers.

    i have nothing smart to say about this, because mean people scare me.

  2. 2

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    I’m with Miss K. Additionally, smart people scare me. So when smart people (by this I mean you, Ucc), and mean people (all those people you talked about) blog about something that I understand emotionally but can’t speak about intellectionally, I just wanna stick me dumb ol’ head under a pillow and scream.

    But you make a compelling argument, so YOU GO, GURL!

  3. 3

    uccellina said,

    Thanks, Monkeygurrl, but you’re full of shit. You are smart. Sorry for making you want to scream. Writing this post kind of made me want to scream too.

  4. 4

    Frank said,

    You’re my hero!

    XO

  5. 5

    ecclescake said,

    Okay. Guilty pleasures? If I spent any time reading those blogs I would splutter with so much indignation I would short out my laptop. Even reading your post got my hackles raised. Not even a little bit of pleasure.

    What is it with these people-I-mean-douchebags that they label women as illogical (used as an example of how women are inferior), yet when their logical fallacies are pointed out their only response is “you must be a man-hating bitch”? Knowing that these dudes somehow think it’s reasonable to deride 50% of the population makes my skin crawl. How puerile is it to condemn someone for not being the way you want her to be?

    Ack! I’m getting polemical! Good post; thank you for tying this in to violence against women. But, ooh, you should have come down harder on them.

  6. 6

    nora said,

    I look at those sorts of sites too and occasionally get really masochistic and watch a few minutes of Fox News. But sleeping late is a much better guilty pleasure in the realm of these things.

  7. 7

    Mom said,

    If it weren’t for people like this, where would the comedians get their material? I”m not sure which is a more bizarre feature of American culture: men who think they are literally god’s gift to the world or those contestants on American Idol who howl, warble, and screech – and then get miffed because they are not catapulted to instant stardom. Then again, the very existence of A. I. is pretty bizarre in itself.

    The former category is, of course, much scarier. But perhaps the two are linked. We seem to have a never-ending need for public validation. Some people feel entitled to that validation and choose a scapegoat to explain their exclusion from fame, or at least from respect.

  8. 8

    Kate said,

    Delurking to say it’s not just an American phenomenon. We have plenty of the wacky MRAs over here too. (Says someone who’s had a couple of nasty virtual run-ins with them.)

    You’re right that we shouldn’t dismiss them. But I do think that Internet has been kind to them — given them a wider voice than perhaps they actually have in the wider community. Certainly more legitimacy and more power in preying on the vulnerable, anyway.

    (Ps, love a good blog which combines knitting and feminism.)

  9. 9

    Rosanna said,

    Woot!

    Time for thinking of things to give up to Lent. I vowed to give up toast last time… did not work.

    Guilty pleasures are always fun.

  10. 10

    uccellina said,

    Welcome to new commenters! Stick around. Maybe there’ll be more cake.

    Kate – You’re right, the internet has certainly given them a larger voice; it is, after all, an awesome tool for social networking and organization. That’s part of what worries me.

    Rosanna – Give up toast? Why on earth would you want to do that? Toast is one of life’s great pleasures.

  11. 11

    ether_medius said,

    I honestly feel sometimes that heterosexual men do need some sort of collective gender representation. It’s becoming a cloudy topic where gender no longer has a black-and-white definition. It’s a spectrum, and everyone on all ends of it are calling for rights and claiming oppression. It’s human nature and that’s part of life — but “men” are becoming lost in the mix and I feel like a re-definition would be an order.

    However, as the author points out — there is some absolutely morbid representation out there.

    Intellectually I do find the battle rather pointless. There are good men out there, but I think they’re too busy leading perfectly happy and constructive lives. It’s easy to get frustrated with the symbolisms, double-standards, and mis-representation — but society doesn’t have a high opinion of anyone. If it doesn’t apply to you, then it doesn’t matter — and I think that’s why all the good men are rather quiet.

    … but that’s not to say that the slobbering primitives out there don’t need a good time-out. ;)

  12. 12

    uccellina said,

    Ether-Medius,

    “I honestly feel sometimes that heterosexual men do need some sort of collective gender representation . . . “men” are becoming lost in the mix and I feel like a re-definition would be an order.”

    From the above, I would infer that a re-definition would exclude gay men from the category of “men”. I am curious; how would such a re-definition work? Who gets to decide what a “man” really is?

    And what’s wrong with the gender-as-spectrum model? I can never figure out what is so threatening about this.

  13. 13

    [...] Ucellina put up a good post a couple days ago about her guilty pleasure of lurking on right-wing websites– and while I agree it’s good to be informed, I think that that sort of thing tends to mess with me more than it empowers me. Chris Shinn once said in an article about one of my heroes, Jon Stewart, that he worried that Stewart encourages cynicism. The more informed I have become, the more cynical I have been about some things– and I will concede that cynicism softens some of the real pain I feel about the state of the world. Maybe it is good for my stomach muscles but not so good for the world. [...]

  14. 14

    K. said,

    Hello! I’m one of the authors of the websites you link to, actually, one of the comments that appeared on it.

    Even being involved in the MRA type groups, I have to admit, alot of them can be, and are, just as bad as the feminist blogs. Unfortunately, these blogs focuse usually on one gender and one idea, and that’s why you get such weird posts. I’ve lately started changing my ideas because people give me so much input about it.

    I’ll be reading through your blog for the next while. Glad that something that appeared on my blog could help make a point on yours.

    Happy writings and Valentine’s Day!

  15. 15

    uccellina said,

    Hi K.,

    Would you be willing to tell us more about the evolution of your ideas? How did you come to the MRA world in the first place, and what has changed since then? I would love to know.

    Hope you had a great V-Day!

  16. 16

    K. said,

    Thanks uccellina, I had a great V-day. I dont’ have a boyfriend, so I invited 4-5 friends over for a dinner party. I hope you had a great V-day too!

    I got into the MRA blogs and such after seeing blogs like “bitingbeaver” and such, where they’d go to lengths to write entries on who are rapists etc. I’m finding that some of them that just focus on the American side are usually a little hate filled, since some of the authors have gone through rough divorces, aren’t allowed to see their children, etc. The ones that focus on foreign brides are usually written by people who live in that country, so it’s nice to read something more light hearted and escapism instead of perpetual hate.

    It’s a bit too hostile for me sometimes, but I’m starting to think that women with serious problems are using Feminism to mask them, and that the women in media are making it acceptable behaviour (just like being “thin is in”, not healthy). Almost like PeTA is raising children to hate their own parents for eating meat. More or less, feminism is less of a movement and more of an excuse now.

    Hope that helps!
    -K

  17. 17

    uccellina said,

    K. – Interesting perspective. I haven’t found the foreign-bride blogs to be much less hate-filled than the rest of them, but I admit I’ve only regularly read a couple of them. Funny you should raise PETA as analogous to feminism, as only recently a PETA video was decried as incredibly sexist across the feminist blogosphere.

    But I digress. I don’t quite understand your statement that feminism is “less of a movement and more of an excuse.” I agree that it is less of A movement; in the last forty years, feminism has developed many divergent voices. Some feminists prioritize labor issues, some race, still others family life. Some women who call themselves feminists wear high heels and makeup – others say those women aren’t feminists at all. Like any other movement, feminists disagree with each other from time to time. But I think that two things remain consistent: 1. The awareness that women as a class still encounter systematic, institutionalized oppression which is experienced by individual women in myriad ways, small and large, every day, and 2. The desire to change that fact.

    Actually, your “thin is in” reference is a good example of that institutionalized oppression, which tells women that their self-worth should be based on their appearance.

    Keep reading here! I value your input.

  18. 18

    K. said,

    Uccellina- Oh fascinating link on the PeTA campaign. I’ve never been fond of those nutbars, especially explotation. I have my own theories that they’ve actually filmed group members comitting that abuse to get sympathy for their cause.

    Sorry if I’m a bit unclear. It’s very much like how someone with an eating disorder will become “vegan” so people see it more socially acceptable than anorexia. The women who represent feminism in my government (Canadian) are very much like women who have a disorder, but use feminism to disguise it. We’ve had people start petty smear campaigns and such because they feel “opressed” and they’re “not earning enough money” etc. (I’ve heard this is because women work an average of 10 hours less than a man a week, which would explain the “pay gap”).

    We had a feminist group here try to change the national anthem because it had a line saying “In all our son’s command”! I would hope that they would be more concerned with actual issues that impact women and not petty jab’s at men like that. It’s a 150+ old anthem, it wasn’t created with the intent of opression, but out of pride.

    I think the thin is in was created by the media to sell more. Sell more diet pills, more self help books, more new age religions. It’s more or less just another marketing campaign. Many men I know actually detest women that thin, so I don’t know who’s making up such campaigns.

    Have you seen the new dove campaigns for True Beauty? Those are really excellent.

    Personally, from every man I talked to, I’d rather have society base my self worth on my appearance instead of what men have to go through, which is being drilled in their heads that they are too stupid, a potential rapist or “opressive”. I know one friend who told me that women used to treat him so badly for just being an “opressive man” that he’s given up and become a jerk so he can get laid. His outlook on love is now just power struggles that you have to find a way to dominate so you can get into bed. It’s very sad.

    Of course I’ll stick around, it seems pretty civil around here :D

  19. 19

    uccellina said,

    K – “(I’ve heard this is because women work an average of 10 hours less than a man a week, which would explain the “pay gap”)”

    Do you have a citation or statistic for that? “I’ve heard” isn’t exactly persuasive evidence. The U.S. federal census in 2004 found that the wage gap exists even between men and women who work full-time, year-round. The GAO did a study which found that women often did work fewer hours, but concluded that “working women are penalized for their dual roles as wage earners and those who disproportionately care for home and family.”

    I agree that there are more pressing issues than the wording of the national anthem, but I also feel that sexism has a cumulative effect, and words matter.

    “I think the thin is in was created by the media to sell more.” True to a degree, undoubtedly. But the media chose to prey on women’s insecurities about their appearance in order to sell more. If women’s self-worth wasn’t so wrapped up in appearance, the media would have nothing to work with there. I do like the Dove ads, yes.

    And I believe that sexism damages men, too, but I see it differently. You cited a study on your blog earlier that found that men experience domestic violence too. Reading through that page, I found this part very interesting:

    Having been abused by a woman, the men felt that they had failed to achieve culturally defined masculine characteristics, such as independence, strength, toughness and self-reliance. As a result, the men felt emasculated and marginalized, and tended not to express their fears, ask for help, or even discuss details of their violent experiences. During the interviews, the abused men repeatedly expressed shame and embarrassment.

    The cultural expectations that “men should be men” and “women should be women” hurt everyone.

  20. 20

    John Dias said,

    I’m a men’s rights advocate who believes in filming/recording women behaving badly (abusing/threatening him, falsely accusing him), so that a man who points out her behavior cannot easily be derided as the cause of her actions. You may feel justified in making macro-assumptions about men and women in general, or about MRAs as a whole. But when it comes to individual cases (not mass movements), men who film their partners aggressing will do well to substantiate it with such footage. Otherwise, the presumption of guilt (justified or not) always goes against them in any legal or criminal action.

    Check it out:
    http://www.dontmakehermad.com/

    I now expect to be ridiculed. Go ahead, my site is not meant to persuade. It is meant to inform and equip those who would be interested in fending off false allegations.

    John Dias

  21. 21

    uccellina said,

    I’m all for people protecting themselves from domestic violence via videorecording, if such recording actually helps. If my above comment doesn’t make it perfectly clear, I’m unilaterally opposed to DV. Someone close to me was threatened by his ex-wife with a kitchen knife – I know perfectly well that DV goes both ways, and when men experience it, I hope the system takes their claims seriously.

    It’s not a simple issue, unfortunately. The leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder. 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner in 2000. Regardless of the frequency by gender, it’s all unacceptable.

    I’m sorry I can’t help you in the ridicule department – I make it a point only to ridicule people who attack me first.

  22. 22

    You’re full of crap, you didn’t even offer any real arguments against any of the blogs, just a load of groundless accusations.

    Anyone with logic will be able to see your post for what it is. A post with no real points to it. A waste of bandwidth.

  23. 23

    A said,

    Ah, U. Thanks! Not only are your posts intelligent, subtle, witty and worthwhile, but they attract such interesting comments. (Of course, interesting is a broad term – you should pardon the expression.)

    Also, it’s been a tough week and I needed a good laugh – thanks to comments 21 and 22, that need has been fulfilled as well.

    *sends virtual slice of cake as token of thanks* (unsatisfying but less messy)

  24. 24

    uccellina said,

    A – thank you! Always glad to entertain.

    Feminist-Scum – Oh noes! I am defeated by your crushing reason and irrefutable argument!

  25. 25

    Yep, my argument of you claiming Fred’s glossary of terms is sexist without explaining why it is sexist is pretty stupid. Femhags like you scream mysogyny all of the time, yet when you even attempt to point it out, you come out with examples which makes no sense.

    I’ve given countless challenges to feminazis on Fred’s blog to find mysogyny on his blog, and none have succeeded. One guy called Rudy even browsed his blog for 7 hours to find mysogyny and found nothing. Pretty embarrassing. You’re no better.

  26. 26

    Oh, and I’m gonna challenge another feminist. How is Fred’s glossary of terms sexist by the way? Come on, I’m fascinated to know.

  27. 27

    uccellina said,

    If you don’t believe that the use of the names “femcunt,” “femhag,” and “mangina” are misogynistic, or that insulting a woman’s appearance in order to discredit her position is misogynistic, then honestly? I’m not sure how much help I can be to you.

    Also, I hate to break this to you, but Rudy’s blog is really, really obvious parody. I wouldn’t take anything he says to heart, if I were you.

  28. 28

    feminist_scum said,

    Femcunt, femhag and mangina are terms to bash feminists, which can be a man and woman. There for it isn’t sexist, by the definition of the word sexism. I’m afraid you’ve just gone and pointed out another example of non sexism, just like every one else.

  29. 29

    feminist_scum said,

    As for Rudy’s blog by the way, he briefly came out of parody mode, and cried on my blog about sexism, and pretty much got owned and ran away.

  30. 30

    uccellina said,

    I’ll break this down a little further for you: using the name of a woman’s body-part as an insult is sexist. It implies there is something inherently bad about that body part. I don’t know how much clearer I can make it.

  31. 31

    feminist_scum said,

    No it isn’t sexist. It’s about as sexist as calling some man a dick head.

    I could call you a cock, and you could say that’s sexism against men, well guess what, it all depends on how the person who recieves the comment takes it.

  32. 32

    feminist_scum said,

    Basically, if I call a woman a pussy, and she takes it as an insult, then that means she’s the one who is sexist by your logic as she considers being a pussy a bad thing.

  33. 33

    K. said,

    No! I lost my comment! Drats.

    anyways, I’ll try to find the stats for you again, but my school work is catching up to me (alot of painting to get done). I’ll try in a week or two when I have my break to deliver the goods. :D

    From a business viewpoint, hiring a mother or a potential mother is very risky. Maternity leave is an entire year of lost wages to them, and various sick days and family days taken so the mother can take care of her kid is also lost time. Hell, even I would hire men over women for certain jobs. Alot of women are more suited to jobs that aren’t office work too, like daycares, culinary, multitasking stressful jobs that are more to do with your hands and your heart then how ruthless you can be when merging with another company. There are women who will sacrifice alot for their job and people they work with, but risks like that might not be safe for businesses. I’ll also try to find you a link for this, but there was a new’s article about how they wanted to instate a law where a woman can be hired on monday, get pregnate on tuesday and then take maternity leave on wednesday. Scary!

    As for the thin is in, doesn’t having a good appearance make you more suseptable to being noticed more? It’s a little biological to me; the prettier you are, the more likely a man will take notice of you. The media does exploit it mercilessly, but it’s really up to the person being targeted to respond to it.

  34. 34

    uccellina said,

    F-S – I think you know that calling a woman a pussy is insulting because the intent behind it is to insult. I’m going to refer you to the comments policy now, because your tone is at the third-grade level and rapidly dropping.

    K – The maternity-leave issues you mention could be largely resolved if men and women took more equal roles in childcare, and workplaces were more family-friendly. Also – “women are more suited” for jobs in daycares and culinary occupations? Huh? And re: the “good appearance make[s] you more [attractive]” – the idea that thin is more attractive is hardly natural or universal. It’s cultural.

  35. 35

    verlch said,

    Fck ll f y fm-fg cnts p th ss nd cm ll vr yr fckng fc!! spt n ch n f yr mthrs grv nd pss n yr fthrs. G fckng sck y mns dck r ck hm sm sppr nd d wht y r sppsd t d s lwclss sknks. n thr wrds, FCK Y!!! dts!!

  36. 36

    uccellina said,

    Hi Verlch! Consider yourself disemvowelled. And banned.

  37. 37

    NHY said,

    Hello,

    I’m owner of one such MRA blog, not any of the ones mentioned in your posts, feel free to drop by mine anytime http://anirishmanagainstfeminism.blogspot.com/ and please, be constructive, I recently had to deal with on a rather shallow minded woman on my blog.

    Firstly, I suggest you check this post out from the counter – feminist, if you haven’t already; http://counterfem.blogspot.com/2007/01/for-feminist-readers-introduction-to_31.html

    Now thats out of the way, I’ll say this;
    As K has said, a lot of these guys who are MRAs have gotten burned BADLY in one way or another. Some through several failed relationships, others through a bankrupting divorce, others are dismayed at how society has literally taken a nose – dive in countries especially effected by Feminism and so on.

    And trust me, we have some lunatic MRAs around just like Feminism has its loonies as well! Most of us still love women, its feminism and how it has impacted on society that we have problem with!

    I’m taking a huge risk of by posting this as no doubt some MRAs who will see this may very well view me as a traitor but its a risk I’m willing to take.

    Once again, your more than welcome to go to my blog and state your case.

    NHY

  38. 38

    Serin said,

    Two questions:

    1. Why do feminists always assume all MRAs are conservatives? Last I checked, conservatives sucked up to feminists just as much as liberals do (if for different reasons). VAWA was renewed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Republican president. One thing I’ve noticed about MRAs is the wide range of political opinions we hold. While there’s a strong segment of conservatives, there’s many more libertarians, centrists, and other political affiliations.

    But I guess it’s so much easier to lump everyone into the same label if it keeps you from having to think.

    2. Since when has Men Are Better Than Women been an MRA site? That’s like calling Adam Carolla an MRA because he was on The Man Show.

  39. 39

    Andrew said,

    Hey everyone,

    Like K, I will say up front that I am also an MRA. Before I continue, I also want to say why I am an MRA and that, if I am not attacked just because of the label that I have, I would like to have a intelligent and well-reasoned dialogue with everyone here.

    The reason why I am an MRA is not because I am angry at women and want to get back at them. The reason why I am an MRA is because, in a basic sense, I believe that there should be an organization that is a spokesperson for all of men in this society. This is idealistic of course and the practicality always deviates from the actual theory, but at the core of it, underneath all of the radical hubbub the loudest supporters state, I believe this is what feminism also strives to attain.

    I also want to say there is mistrust and anger on both sides. There are women who have been very hurt and betrayed by the men in their lives and there have been men who have been very hurt and betrayed by the women in their lives. It is a two-way street and that is all what I am trying to suggest. With that being said, I also believe that people on both sides use the MRA organization and the feminist organization to turn their personal woes and heardache and mold it into a political statement. But, nevertheless, there are some real and valid arguments that MRA’s do make, and whether you accept them or not is up to you, but there are logical and rationally minded people in the group who do want to strive for a world where male abuses done unto women and women abuses done unto men are all but eradicated. With that being said, try not to look at the most radical aspects of the movement and see the legitimate message we are saying: the wrongs that are done unto men are of equal concern as the wrongs done unto women. If you recognize this fact, then we are not so different than you think.

    The reason why I am part of the MRA movement, then, is because there needs to be a group that looks at male causes. And, I am not just talking about “white” male causes. I am talking about black men, asian men, latino men, you name it. Since I live in the U.S., we’ll say men all over the U.S. from every ethnical, economic and social background. Here’s one thing I am actually looking at right now: why is it, that there is a decline in black men attending college, when the numbers of black females in college are higher…significantly higher in fact? And, in actuality, the sad thing is that there are more black men in jail than they are in college. The majority of people who are in learning-disability programs are also black men. Don’t take my word for it, there are articles all over google (“black men”, “college” “statistics”) or another search engine, or you can even check the census.

    Of course, race is an issue for this, but what about gender? Well, what the literature does show is that in the elementary level, female teachers greatly outnumber male teachers. Why? Because the pay is less but with the less pay, there are other perks, such as summer leave. And what does this have to do with gender? Everything. Being a teacher is not a “masculine” oriented job, not because men don’t want to be a teacher, but because, for better or for worse (I think it is for worse, overall) men are still looked upon in our society-from women as well-as the main breadwinner. If a job doesn’t pay well for men to support their families, men won’t take the job. And because young black men (who very well often grow up in single-family households) often do not come to know a male rolemodel, either in their family or in their classroom, and establish a male “rolemodel” on the streets-as in a gang.

    One thing MRA’s say is that men need a postivie male romodel in their lives in order for them to develop into a mature and hardworking individual. I believe it is essential that (short of abuse) that a child needs both parents and, in the classroom, they also need to have a strong and healthy male rolemodel that will encourage them to strengthen themselves into healthy individuals.

    Another thing is domestic violence. Here is what’s out there. There are about 3,000 or so researched empirical evidence that conclusively suggest that violence in a relationship is a perpetrated by men. However, there are also about 300 or so empirical tests that have been conducted in the past ten years that suggest it is perpetrated on equal grounds. I won’t go into the whole technical analysis of the tests that were conducted, as it would take too long, but there is “archival” data (police reports, hospital visits) and the data that is extracted from the CTS (conflict scale tactics). Now, I don’t know the answer to this question, but I will just one thing: I believe that both sides need to be heard and not shunned. I definitely don’t laugh or sun the fact that a woman is being abused and I won’t shun or ignore the fact that there is research out there that states a man can be abused as well. The first thing that has to happen is for the denial to disappear.

    And well, this is just the gist of it and there is a lot more I can talk about, but I will leave it here for now. But this is the basis of MRA research-it’s not much different from feminist research, but I do want to show that not all arguments are baseless accusations and that there are some very real and very dedicated people out there. Thank you and hope to hear what everyone has to say!

  40. 40

    Rob Fedders said,

    uccellina,

    The reason why many people from the MRM are so hostile towards feminists is because no matter how many times they plop down the irrefutable evidence in front of feminists, it just gets ignored and the yammering goes back to screaching about “oppression” or something.

    Just like your conversation further up in regard to the “Wage Gap” and other forms of “oppression.” How many times do people from the MRM have to put this link down from the Equal Pay Act of 1963 http://www.eeoc.gov/types/epa.html to illustrate that there is something else going on with the “pay gap” than discrimination? As in, if I were a woman and could even find an employer to pay me $0.76 on the dollar, I would jump to take it just so I could sue the pants off my discriminatory employer and retire on the windfall. And how many times do people have to explain that if the feminist claims about $0.76/$1.00 were true, then why wouldn’t every employer hire ONLY women and pocket the extra cash himself? Wages are one of the largest expenses in any business, and the difference between paying 10 people $20.00/hr to paying 10 people $15.00/hr comes to over $100,000/yr. Do feminists really believe that there is some patriarchal conspiracy in which an employer will fork out $100K a year just out of loyalty to some secret men’s patriarchy club?

    Please.

    The pay gap difference is based on several different factors. The most important to notice is that it is based on an aggregate sampling of men’s and women’s LIFETIME earnings. The only qualifier is a 32hr work week, and it makes no distinction between the AVERAGE woman working 10hrs a week less than men, nor does it take into account such things as women taking time off for having children (averaged 5yrs out of career) nor does it take into account that the AVERAGE woman tends to retire at a younger than men. Most of these differences are based on CHOICES people make and NOT oppression. Let’s not even get into the psychological differences between men & women’s regard to work as well as the sexual-attraction differences via employment men know they must meet in order to attract women… Women lawyers don’t marry waiters, but male lawyers do marry waitresses etc. etc. says a lot about the differences between how men & women may view the importance of their careers.

    To then take the sum of each gender and portray the difference as patriarchal oppression, rather than for what it really is, would make those foisting this fable on society guilty of a discriminatory crime against a targeted group (hate crime) – given that feminists are pressuring government continually for Affirmative Action (communism) which is pro-woman/anti-male.

    Do you think that Hillary Clinton didn’t know this when she proposed the Pay-Check Fairness Act to the New York Senate? She’s running for President and has an army of people researching everything before it even comes out of her mouth – these things are no accident. The refutation against the $0.76 argument is one that has been around for DECADES and is soundly proven to be propaganda… yet it is still harped on by feminists, the media and ESPECIALLY feminist politicians… WHY?

    After continually refuting the same argument over and over again… only to hear it over and over again – often from the same people – and you wonder why some people in the MRM are spit-swearing mad? (BTW, for every MRA that you wish to illustrate having a big mouth and trash talking women, I promise you I will find you a quote from a PROMINENT feminist spewing forth male-hatred. Lol, and if I went online, I could find a hundred feminists spewing far worse vitriol about men than what you’ve read from MRM sites. Men haven’t cornered the market on sin you know).

    Read more on the pay-gap with these links.

    http://www.eeoc.gov/types/epa.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male-female_income_disparity_in_the_USA
    http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba392/ba392.pdf
    http://www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2004/0922.html
    http://www.iwf.org/issues/issues_detail.asp?ArticleID=515

    If those 5 aren’t enough, let me know and I’ll get you another 50.

    In fact, if you take feminist ADVOCACY research out of it, and look at independent researchers on most of the issues of feminism, the whole movement pretty much falls flat on its face.

    Most MRA’s don’t even know where to begin. We have been putting forth these arguments time and time again… and not just on the pay-gap, but on rape figures, parental rights, DV figures, the Duluth Model, the list goes on and on and on… and… MOST of us who are really angry have gotten that way because we have already spent years trying to be polite and discuss these issues WHICH ALSO AFFECT US but everytime we even questioned the feminist party line we received a massive rash of screeching and hatred for being misogynist, supporting rape & dv and so on and so on…

    While there are a few real wingnut MRA’s out there, like MikeeUSA – who everyone bans & cusses down because he does advocate violence (something which feminists DON’T do to bloggers like “Dead Men Don’t Rape” nor did they do with Andrea Dworkin & her repeated calls to KILL men – which were celebrated as empowering, btw.)

    So yeah. We’re mad. We tried to be nice, and feminists portrayed us as misogynists for just disagreeing… in the meantime more anti-male laws were passed… The sites you linked on this thread are a bunch of MRA’s that are thoroughly pissed off at the years of being spit in the face by feminists for even daring to speak up in our defence – and we don’t care anymore and WE ARE ANGRY. But even then, feminists don’t listen, so the language is going to get worse.

    Btw, you do know that I can pull out direct feminist quotes illustrating that feminist’s cry of “oppression” comes directly from Frederick Engels “Origins of the Family” and you do know that I can provide you with evidence showing that feminism purposefully implemented the “patriarchal oppression” cry for the EXACT same reason as Marx cried “class oppression”, don’t you? It is EXACTLY the same except that class has been replaced with gender. It’s called divide and conquer. Patriarchy is a feminist creation used as a tool to divide the genders and destroy the nuclear family. (& I can provide you with hundreds of direct quotes from prominent feminists stating such, if you doubt me)

    But then again, the link between feminism and communism has been so solidly established, you would wonder why people who try to point it out with solid evidence get shouted down as being a “misogynist” for even pointing it out and asking “what’s going on here?”

    Why, it’s enough to motivate a guy to start up a blog that is NOT friendly to feminists and to get REALLY nasty in his criticisms about said supremacist movement.

    Have a nice day.

    Rob Fedders – Don’t care if you think I’m a Misogynist

  41. 41

    I find it astounding that feminists can conclude that they speak for all women. MRA blogs are not normally interested in attacking all women (at least, that’s not the stated purpose.) There are a number that express an awful lot of anger and they end up going after all women. Regardless, most MRA’s aren’t interested in attacking all women; they are working to discredit feminism. Unfortunately this often must take the form of exposing gender-bias in the judicial system-which normally ends up sounding something like “Child-rapist gets only three years!” or some such.

    Nevertheless, what exactly gave feminism carte-blanche to believe that it was representative of all women? Conversely, why do feminists think that MRAs are going after all women?

    In answer to the latter: We aren’t. We’re going after feminism for attempting to destroy men’s lives and relationships. Feminism has made the situation for men entirely unacceptable, and MRAs have decided to take a stand against it.-Something feminism claims that it did in the 1960’s. Most of us however, have come to the conclusion that this is not what feminism did at all; rather that feminism actually has been working for no other purpose than to destroy men, and there is strong evidence in favor of this.

  42. 42

    Khankrumthebulgar said,

    I am not sure if this will be posted. But here goes. What really upsets Feminists is that Men are finally showing up to the Gender War. One which was Started by Women by the way. As a 50 year old Male, Twice Married. Father of Five children, and a Grandfather. I have watched Women go from demanding not to be treated like Sex Objects. To declaring they are Vaginas. Most amusing to see the insanity exhibited by our Western Women.

    Feminism is the Theory, Lesbianism is the practice. Feminism has morphed into a Gender Hatred Movement. Men will no longer be silent, nor will we allow ourselves to become Women’s Wage Slaves. Men have been forced to adapt to the changes in our culture. Men are refusing to Marry, have children, and even date Western Women. Love has been replaced with cynacism and suspicion. This is the goals of the Feminist Movement.

    Now we have the Gays in Washington State putting up a petition to annul Marriages that don’t produce children within 3 years. Fathers by the Millions have been removed from their Families, presented an invoice, and threatened with Prison if they don’t pay up. Get accustomed to Men showing up and expressing their anger. It has not come to all out Gun battles yet. But our Harper’s Ferry moment is coming.

  43. 43

    Mom said,

    Keep up the good work, Uccellina.

  44. 44

    Nabeshin said,

    “The awareness that women as a class still encounter systematic, institutionalized oppression which is experienced by individual women in myriad ways, small and large, every day”

    Help, help! I’m being repressed! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!

  45. 45

    istoute said,

    Wow! All the MRAs showed up at once!

    Ok, for the record, I am an MRA sympathizer. I’d love to join your ranks, fellas, but I’ve encountered too many misogynists and rabid anti-marriage advocates. Keep evolving and you’ll gain full public acceptance one day. I do consider myself to be an anti-feminists/egalitarian. Feminism, to me, has been high jacked by radicals who push a socio-political agenda at all costs.

    There are many interesting, intellectual comments on this blog which I’d like to respond to. :)

    Uccellina, you and K. were debating on the wage gap, standards of beauty, and male involvement with child rearing.

    1) Wage Gap: So far, all the information I’ve seen about the wage gap comes from the International Labor Organization (ILO). According to their records, women earn 76 cents for every dollar a man earns. While this is a significant gap, we must look at what data these researchers did gather and what they did NOT gather.
    ILO gathered information on total earnings for all individuals and then divided them according to sex. This figure includes all professions for both sexes. They did not gather data about discrimination in the work place. No interviews with women about perceived discrimination, employers about hiring preferences, etc. Nothing. So what are feminists basing their conclusions upon? Patriarchal Theory.
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S., men work an average of fifty times longer under full time employment compared to women. They also make up 90%+ of all work related injuries and deaths. Men are more likely to take dangerous jobs that pay more: coal miners, steel workers, construction workers, police men, fire men, etc. Yesterday, on my college campus, I saw a person suspended 60 feet in the air spraying down windows. I’d gamble on that person being a man. Furthermore, American women take an average of 10 years out of the workforce to take care of children and sick family members. Lastly, women are more likely to seek jobs in the social services areas, with flexible schedules, and part-time employment. All of these factors contribute to women, on average, making 76 cents to every dollar a man makes. This arguement was first proposed in “The Myth of Male Power” by Warrne Farrell, I believe.
    In short, it’s the choices women make, not gender discrimination, that are responsible for the wage gap. In an article by Glenn Sacks, he makes mention of a study that controlled for the above confounding variables and found that women actually make 2%-5% of what men make. If you want to trump this percentage up to gender discrimination, fine. I’ll back you, but let’s be completely honest about the issue.

    2) Standards of Beauty: This one has always interested me. As K. said, most men don’t find these anorexic models attractive. Their only assets are their tits, gorgeous faces!, and air-brushed perfection. As a man, I can personally testify that these models have no legs, hips, or arms, and that’s just gross. But who pushes these images onto women? By and large, it’s women. Women CEOs make up the majority of all women’s magazine leadership. Truthfull though, our young girls are not being persuaded by these images. Psychologists have studied the effects of advertising extensively and have consitently found that PARENTS and PEERS are more powerful influences on children than ads, particualarly for teenagers. If we are to combat the anorexia/bulemia problem in America, and the entire Western world, women must stop modeling the behavior that causes it (i.e., excessive concern about body fat). Your young daughters are watching their mothers, aunts, and girl-friends become over concerned about their body fat and ads in magazines.
    Instead, teach our young girls the truth. Girls NEED body fat to stay healthy. It’s perfectly normal for a girl to get 24% body fat during puberty. If you want to combat excessive fat, point out the long term health benefits, healthier hearts and more powerful joints. These young women need women to model correct behavior. This belief that your will is weaker than advertising will only perpetuate the problem. The majority of people are not that weak.
    K. also mentioned, in post 33, that thinness is part of natural physical attraction. This is true. Am I talking about the thinness modeled by the glamour queens of SHAPE? No. As previously stated, women during puberty should rise to about 24% body fat while men should drop to 14% body fat. These are lean figures. Radically excessive body fat percentages should be discouraged. I once listened to a feminist speaker put up and image of the cartoon character Cathy and proclaim, “This is the image of the average woman”. No, it’s not. Cathy is a overweight women. It’s an indicator of poor health and men are naturally not gonna want such a woman and will seek healthier mates if they can. This principle goes for women as well. We all want healthy mates.
    On a personal note, I’ve always been confused by feminists’ proclaimations about sexual objectivity. As a man, I’ve seen these images of women, the full breasts, the sexual positions, and have been turned on by them. This, of course, is perfectly natural. If I wasn’t turned on, then something would be wrong with me. Advertisers capitalize on our innate biology to sell their product, to make them more appealing. These models aren’t victims. They make more than I earn in 3 years! Yet I’ve been given the impression that feminists believe there is something wrong with this; that I shouldn’t be turned on by such images. That such urges further the “exploitation” of women. I ask everyone reading this to take a moment and imagine the impact such a message has on a young, pre-pubescent boy. What effect could that message have on his growing sense of self as a sexual being?

    3) Fathering: Uccellina mentioned in post 34 that men and women need to take more equal roles in child rearing. I have not researched this area extenssively, but I’ve read figures which lead me to believe that there’s not much more we can do about that. Glenn Sacks mentioned in one of his articles on “deadbeat dads” that men assume 75% as much parenting as women in the home. He also mentioned that while women work an average of 11 hours more in the house, men work an average of 14 hours more at work. Really, the question boils down to what you consider parenting. To many MRAs, breaking your back at work so your family will have food to eat, water, electricity and a roof over their heads IS parenting, but men are denied the right to claim such behaviors when the debate arises. Providing should count as parental behaivor.
    I’ve also read articles by Cathy Young which address the interesting topic of maternal chauvanism. Addmittedly, there are no studies that I know of which attempt to gather data on the subject, but it is an issue that must be considered. To what extent do women believe that nurturing is the woman’s role? How many enjoy it when their husbands fail at parenting? How many subtlely sabatauge their husbands by not letting them learn how to take care of the child the same way they had to learn? How many women believe they are more nurturant, or more capable of nurturance, than men? If women are not willing to let go of some of their domestic power than men can’t become equal parents.

    Wow! I have way too much time on my hands. :) I look foreward to reading responses to this post, especially from K. and Uccellina. Take care everybody.

  46. 46

    Andrew said,

    If political organization is going to come into the picture, I am a centrist Democrat.

    MRA’s take up the battle against feminism as an ideology, because as an ideology, they have certain viewpoints towards certain subjects that are damaging to women included.

    Here is another example. Unfortunately, the literature on this subject is rare because no one wants to talk about it, but the subject of false-rape accusations are rarely talked about in the women’s movement. It has been mentioned (by Susan Brownmiller in the 70’s, I believe) from some FBI statistic that false rape accusations represent approximately three percent of all rape cases. The first thing I believe needs to be said is that more studies need to be conducted on this (just like on the subject of female violence) not because there is a “backlash” in our society, but because if more studies aren’t done, then the problem can’t improve itself.

    And now here is the problem if more research isn’t done on this topic. If more research is not done on this (and we don’t have any data on the amount of false-rape accusations), we won’t know the numbers to be able to lessen the amount of said reported incidences through general awareness on the topic. It is in the women’s movement best interest if there actually is synthesized data on this topic because everytime a woman falsely lies about being raped, it sets in doubt a woman’s truthfulness everytime she reports the crime. I’m not afraid that she will be afraid to report it, but the legal system will not want to hear it, because remnants of cases such as the Duke case will tie up the justice system. So, the questions we should be asking is “what does the data say about false-rape accusations?” and once we find that out “How much will we be able to curb it?” A woman lies about being raped, not because she has power, but because she is powerless and believes this is the best way to control the relationship or to improve her status in society. However, by doing so, she damages every other woman who has a legitimate claim to bring forward to the court systems.

    The Duke rape case set up some lessons that I feel we can’t ignore. One, being that there is still corruption within our justice system, with the performance displayed by Mike Nifong and his reluctance to drop the case when the DNA evidence came back (and yes, there are an equal amount of currupt men and women in this society, an important thing to note). Another is the question of whether you need to shield the names of rape suspects, or to put it more succinctly, when it is the appropriate time to release the names of both the accused and the accuser?

    What I personally believe is that this was a fallacious claim made by the accuser (whether for economic reasons or other, I am not sure). While I believe for the future there should be moral and legal sanctions in place to curb these occurrences that doesn’t jeapordize legitimate cases of rape, I believe for this time, the men who were involved should have their lives restored and an apology to be printed on national newspapers (and not on the last page mind you, but on the front cover or very near it) for everyone to see.

    Anyway, I think i’ve said enough. I’ll wait for other people to say other things :)

  47. 47

    Andrew said,

    By the way, excellent response istoute! I completely agree with you.

  48. 49

    uccellina, I’m not posting this time to argue with you over the definition of feminism. We could go around in circles forever debating that. What I will say is that if you found my tone childish, then I apologize. I invite you to take a look at my blog. It is not anti women, it is pro good women, and against feminism.

    I take offence to the way you blast some MRA blogs like Fred X’s, because we share a lot of the same idea opinions, and to be honest, I don’t see the likes of him being sexist at all. If I did, I wouldn’t link to him.

  49. 50

    Mom said,

    My understanding of feminism is that it criticizes inequality and calls for a redistribution of power and resources so that they are more equally shared, not that any gender should rule over the other. And references in some of these MRA responses to “good” women versus bad requires explanation. Who gets to decide what a good woman is? Or a good man? The question comes back, in part, to sex roles. Uccellina is asking us to think about the significance of men’s work within the household. Of course earning an income is an important aspect of caring for children, but it’s something that either parent can do, just as child care is something that either parent can do. One problem arises when we insist that there’s something innate in women that says that they can’t do a wide variety of jobs – like firefighting, for example, or medicine or even construction. Another problem can be seen in those two-working parent households, where men (some, not all) assume that their workday is done after they come home, while the woman must extend her workday to include cooking, cleanup, laundry, etc. without her partner’s help. Arlie Hochschild calls this the “second shift.”

    My next point has to do with the idea that there’s something “natural” about preferring thinness. In fact, standards of beauty are culturally based and vary widely around the world. If you look at the history of beauty within our own country, you’ll find that we preferred much fleshier women only a few decades ago; and if you go back to the 1890s, much rounder still. So these things change. And I agree that women are often complicit in setting unhealthy standards, though I also agree that women’s self-esteem is much more dependent upon how they think they look. And men know that – or else some of the MRA bloggers would not make all kinds of derogatory comments about women’s bodies.

    Finally, a lot of harm is done when people extrapolate from personal experiences (bitter divorces, custody fights, perceived unfairness in settlements, difficulties in living up to standards, etc.) to assume that all women or all men are out to “get” the other.

  50. 51

    A said,

    Perhaps we can extrapolate something from some of the MRA folks’ spelling skills?

  51. 52

    istoute said,

    Dear Mom from post 50,

    I’m glad you decided to share your thoughts with us. They’re a perfect example of feministic reasoning which, I hope, will allow me to shed some light on an MRAs interpretation of your words. I completely agree with your concluding paragraphy by the way. :) We shouldn’t be at each other’s throats. We should work together and be empathic and humble enough to listen to each other.

    Ok. Let’s get started. :)

    1) The Second Shift: You mentioned that Uccellina asks us to consider men’s work within the household. Fair enough. As I mentioned in my previous post, women do work more in the home, even if they do have full- or part-time jobs. But this does not minimize nor negate the familial contributions made by men outside of the home. Here is where feminists and MRAs have to reach some common ground. When you look at the data, men and women have reached more egalitarian roles both within and outside the home. Will there ever be a perfect balance, 50/50? No. And really, who cares? Feminism’s goal is an androgynous society, correct? Who cares who’s doing more than the other so long as they’re both putting in “equal” contributions? As mentioned in my previous post, women put in 11 more hours at home compared to men’s 14 hours at work. Men are assuming 75% of childrearing. These are averages for the U.S.. I think it’s safe to say that men and women are contributing equally in the child department. Lastly, we mustn’t forget about maternal chauvenism. Women must be willing to give up some power at home and allow men to assume more equal roles in the house. One of the biggest issues with MRAs is custody, and you have to ask yourself why that is. Men want to be with their children. We want to spend time with them, love them, nurture them, watch them grow.
    You made mention that women can do certain “male” jobs like construction work and firefigher. This is true. I guess you might have gotten confused and believed I was trying to support “sex roles”. I think women can do this work, assuming they are capable of meeting the requirements. These jobs are notorious for their physical demand and, quite frankly, the average woman simply cannot compete. Granted, the differences in size between the sexes has drastically changed over the past 20 years. These guys today are so small! But these jobs will attract certain individuals who are more capable of performing the job (i.e. highschool football players who don’t want to go to college). If a woman is big enough to perform the work, then more power to her. Let her be a construction work, or a coal miner, or a firefighter.

    2) Standards of Beauty/Thinness: You mentioned that standards of beauty are shaped by our culture, which is true to a certain extent. However, this claim completely ignores the other half of the equation: nature. To what extent does NATURE affect our cultural standards? Mom, you mentioned that women fifty years ago were portrayed as much more….hefty….compared to today’s models. Again, I’d like to point out that in my pervious post I mentioned that it’s natural for women to have more body fat compared to men (24% vs. 14%, respectively). Even if we look at paintings from the Renaissance we can see that women have always been fatter, and men appreciate this. We don’t mind a little fat.
    I must reiterate that men don’t find “twiggy” attractive. Advertisers play on our biological desires to make their products more appealing. Men are more attracted to the faces, full breasts, tight skin, and sexual postures of these models. Not Their Body Fat Levels. If you put chunkier women, with the same assets, in their place men won’t know the difference. Furthermore, all young people are more influenced by their parents and peers than by advertisements, even though we’re bombarded 24/7. Women, especially mothers, must stop fretting over their body fat because they’re modeling neurotic behavior.

    Ok, it’s getting late for me. :) This blog is turning out rather nice. I’ll be back later to read comments. Peace.

  52. 53

    istoute said,

    Dear A,

    You made a rather interseting comment:

    “Perhaps we can extrapolate something from some of the MRA folks’ spelling skills?”

    MRAs have know for some time that the educational system has failed our sons for the past 15 years. I’m sure others are able, and willing, to go into further detail than I, but it’s widely know now that, while women have performed worse than men on math and science tests, men have always performed worse than women on literacy tests. In fact, the gender gap has always been greater for literacy tests. Yet we have heard little demand for government programs and funding to help our failing sons. This is particualarly confusing because feminists are supposed to push for gender equality. Why wouldn’t they consider the plight of our son’s worth fighting for?

  53. 54

    uccellina said,

    Istoute – and everyone else who left lengthy comments in this post – I responded to your original points here.

    Also, Istoute, you mentioned in your first comment that your figures on women’s and men’s respective household and paid work time were “mentioned” in “an article on ‘deadbeat dads'” by Glenn Sacks. Now you cite these figures as “data.” Could you please provide a link to this article, or at least give some indication of how Mr. Sacks came by his “data”?

  54. 55

    Andrew said,

    “My understanding of feminism is that it criticizes inequality and calls for a redistribution of power and resources so that they are more equally shared, not that any gender should rule over the other.”

    There is no such thing as power being “equally” shared. There may be “roadbloacks” in place that “prevents” a person from attaining his/her full potential (i.e. a company only hiring white workers), but lack of opportunity is different from lack of outcome. There is a huge difference between allowing the playing field to be equalized (everyone has a chance to succeed, I think we all agree on this), compared to forcing the people who have power to forcefully give it up so that another group can have power, regardless of their credentials or regardless if they are competent and can get the job done. I don’t agree with the latter.

    Maybe it is just me, but I’m the type of person who likes to earn things and achieve my place. In general, If a group says that we need to level the playing field by “moving” power from one group to another in the name of “equality”, I get suspicious, mainly because in the end it is a smokescreen, another ploy, and there are certain individuals who want the power through a different type of manipulations anyway. When it all comes down to it, life is a game of power. Power over your emotions, power over other people, power over situations, power over your well-being. There will always be people who will compete against other people in the game of power, whether taking power by force or subtly trying to take it away from another person depends on the individual. No one likes to feel powerless because then they feel miserable. When you see this, when you come to understand this concept, then you won’t be fooled by the doublespeak messages or the “freelunch” speal such as “equality” where everyone would be equal that some people employ. There is no free lunch; there never was and there never will be.
    I know you were just stating the tenants of the women’s movement, but I have to say that they are off on this account. Yes, you can have equal opportunity…but you can’t have equal outcome.

  55. 56

    istoute said,

    Sure thing, Uccellina.

    http://www.glennsacks.com/are_american_husbands.htm

    All the information is there and I’m pretty sure Glenn’d be willing to give you the links to the sites where he got the information. Most of the work already cites the various areas where Glenn got his data. Pretty good read. :)

    I hope that helps, Uccellina. I look forward to chatting with you in the future.

  56. 57

    A said,

    isoute: read – ASCD publications; School Library Journal; BookList; Marc Aronson; Bracey; and some writings I know you’ll really enjoy: AAUW publications.

    As it happens, I work in a public school and am a teaching librarian. I spend much more of my time on working with young men, trying to meet their needs, spark their imaginations, and get them to read (yes, I carry lots of magazines, books, etc. supposedly aimed at boys) than I do with young women. It’s not an easy task, particularly when I hear often, and vociferously, from Dads who think reading is not for “real” boys.

    Since my state is already rated number one nationally in reading (by a number of measures), meeting AYP is a mandated challenge. If nothing else, practicality would dictate that we reach those boys who are not realizing their potential. We have a huge amount of federal funding riding on it.

    (Btw, be careful with statistics: generalizations tend to ignore actual children. Many boys are wonderful students; many girls are not; many girls are wonderful students…you see the danger? In my school, we look specifically at each and every single child in all areas of achievement – or lack thereof. In our state, esseentially each school does this. True, not every school in the U.S. or world does – but increasing are trying hard, given the resources that actually make it to the school level. Some of the statistics you quote are perfect examples: men are assuming 75% of childrearing? Since it happens I know a rather large number of families in my various capacities, and not one of them has a man assuming that level of childrearing, it makes me a bit curious about your source.)

    Mom: oh, the perils of exercising your considerable intellect! the woes of depending on empirical research! I’m sure a glance at your cv would make the dialogue even spicier!

  57. 58

    istoute said,

    A: Thanks for the suggested reading. I’ve just finished browsing the AAUW publications website. Why are students only encouraged to talk about sexual harassment (primairly addressed as a women’s issue)? I know, I know, men can be sexually harassed too, but how many do you think come forward?

    As for statistics, I guess you weren’t curious enough to investigate the link I posted in number 56. That’s the article with the 75% statistic. As for generalizations, people use them all the time. The entire human race depends on them to navigate life (i.e. heuristics). I believe that you understand how your life experiences can’t be gereralized . What percentage of fathers in the U.S. “…think reading is not for ‘real’ boys”? Be careful with statistics? That’s some pretty sound advice you should pass on to domestic violence advocates.

    Your personal experiences as a teaching librarian (what is that btw?) are reassuring to me; but I’m curious, how much funding is provided for these young men? What’s that compared to the funding pushed to schools who’ve “feminized” their curriculum? My issue with feminists not supporting the plight of our young men is a criticism of their past, not present, actions. Young men certainly don’t receive as much attention in the media and public eye when academic failure is the subject. The point I made in my last post still stands, however: the gender gap has always been greater with literacy than math and science. Feminists, the champions of gender equality, of leveling the playing field, have consitently failed our sons. I imagine some will wonder, “Why didn’t men stand up for their sons?” Good question, but it misses the point. When feminists announced that they stand for “gender equality”, men naturally assumed they’d be included in their considerations. They haven’t. Feminists have always focused on the plight of women and young girls even when it was men and young boys who were really suffering. These observations have been based off life experience (something you can appreciate, A) and the life experiences of many MRAs.

    Uccellina: I’ve just finished reading your response, again. It was not as much fun reading your response as I thought it would. Apparently there is more ground which must be breached if we are to understand each other. By the way, I would like to reiterate that I’m and egalitarian and was raised on feminist values. I hope this fact will help smooth out any feathers I might ruffle. Here goes. :)

    Let me begin with Standards of Beauty. You begin with mention of the the Patriarchy. I completely understand that the Patriarchy is a set of cultural beliefs and standards and that both men and women subscribe to them. However, I disagree with you that the Patriarchy exists in today’s society. Patriarchy’s principle method of “oppression” was actually the limitation of choice. In this regard, men were no more “oppressed” than women. What most feminists don’t understand is that providing for one’s family, breaking your back working all day, being aggressive and assertive, these were gender obligations; just as staying home with the children, cooking meals, cleaning house, and other domestic duties were gender obligations. Have there always been men and women who’d rather be performing the tasks of the other gender? Yes! Thanks to feminism, men and women can now do that, yet change has been slower for men than women (i.e. men are still vilified, by men and women, for staying home with the children instead of working). I’d briefly like to mention that women still choose to marry up as opposed to marry down. This is particularly true for women with college degrees. As a man, I have never experienced this so called “male privilege”. I have seen scholarships I can’t aquire because of my genitalia. I have seen jobs go to lesser qualified candidates because of genitalia. I have seen by father try and sue his company for harassment, only to be told by the best lawyers in town, “if you were a woman or minority you’d have a chance”. It is far more constructive to talk about societal standards and attitudes as opposed to some mythical giant in the hills.

    Models are not victims. They choose to live that way and that’s all anyone can ask for: a choice. As for being “turned on”, if by that you mean getting an erection, then the answer is no. Is our interest and attention peaked: yes. Again, this has to do with natural sexual cues (full breats, tight skin, sexual postures). Neuropsychologists have discovered that high levels of certain dopamine strains (D5 I believe) cause women to assume sexually receptive postures. This is a replicable finding and verified by both sexes. Images in pornography are not oppressive because, again, these women have a choice. Are there some cases where women actually or percieve they don’t have a choice? Of course. We don’t live in a fairy tale. Do the majority of women in porn believe they are oppressed? I suspect not. There are many women who simply enjoy sex. There are many women who’d prefer to make $300-$1000 an hour as opposed to minimum wage working as a secretary. If I could qualify for such work, I’d certainly give it considerable thought. Advertisers capitalize on our innate sexuality to sell their products. In this regard, men are no more “victimized” then women.

    “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?”

    I’m afraid you’ve completely missed my point with this statement. I wasn’t talking about young boys viewing these images. I was talking about their reactions to listening to feminism’s “sexual objectification” arguement.

    Now let’s talk about fathering. Most of your comments touch on the topic of family court law and practice. This is an area where I haven’t done extensive research, neither do I have much experience in this department. I’ll try my best to sum up the MRA position.

    First, providing is not something only men can do. If we were living in an aggrerian society that’d be qualitatively different. I for one would like my wife to take at least a year off from work to take care of the child. That’s at a minimum. These formative years are very important and “breast is best”. However, the sexes should feel free to switch roles as per their own life choices. Present child custody/support trends and standards do not allow for this. If anything, they cement the “traditional” sex roles more firmly. You made mention in your response that men should be fine with “providing” for their children through child support. There is a massive qualitative differnence there, Uccellina. In the faminly context, men are providing for their children but they can come home everyday and spend time with them. Present practices deny men their natural right to be with their children. I know you favor the “nurture” side of the development arguement. Ask yourself: Shouldn’t we teach our children that the sexes are equal by allowing them equal time with each parent? The love between mother and child is no different than the love between father and child. Fathers have natural parental rights that are not being respected.

    You touched on the issue of child support. They can be broken down into two categories: child support levels and reproductive rights.

    I’ll begin with child support levels. First off, they are not that high. After listening to all the clamour by MRAs I’d expect they’d be much higher but they aren’t. Granted, I used a child support calculator that didn’t include alimony. The real problem naturally occurs when we get closer to poverty levels. I calculated child support for a man making $10,000 a year in Texas. Most outstanding childsupport arrerages are owed by men below the poverty line. It came out to a scant $158 a month. That is very low. However, a man’s take-home pay for each month is only $625 a month! How is anyone supposed to live off of only $467 a month? Is it any wonder they fall behind on payments? I guess food is one of those things they’re expected to forego. Now I understand that women in poverty suffer too. Lord knows it’s got to be harder for a single mom to raise a child in poverty; but there are numerous federal and state programs which offer help for these women. None exist for men and they’re hounded when they fall behind on child support.
    I remember another article written by Glenn Sacks in which he mentions the Fatherhood Act of 1999. It was a program designed to help non-custodial fathers living below the poverty line so they could get on their feet and meet their child support requirements. The National Organization for Women opposed this bill and succeeded in knocking it down on the grounds that it discriminated on the basis of sex. Which is true. We shouldn’t allow sexist laws to come into being. That being said, NOW fully supported VAWA even though it discriminated on the basis of sex, but I’m getting off track.
    Men love their children and are happy to provide for them. It gives them a sense of pride that women can easily understand. The problem arises with “visitation time”. Men hate being forced by the state to provide for children they can’t be with. Non-custodial mothers, few that they are, know exactly how that feels.

    Next in line is the topic of reproductive rights. Men have only one right: the choice of intercourse. Women have many more rights including the right to an abortion, adoption, or abandonment at a hospital or firestation. But let’s get serious about this topic. It may have started out as reproductive rights but it’s truely about the choice of parenthood. As it stands, women are given sole responsibility over the parental choices of two adults. This is not right and it’s legal discrimination. Men are saddeled with child support obligations by the state for a choice they were not given. Again, the choice is the adoption of parenthood, a life altering choice. It’s more the denial of this basic human right, rather than the child support itself, that enrages men. What’s the big deal anyway? If a man were given the right to forfeit his parental rights and obligations, women wouldn’t be stuck with the baby. They’d still have the choices available to them (abortion, adoption, abandonment).

    My hands are starting to hurt. I’m not too pleased with this post. It’s not as well written my other one’s. I guess it’s such an emotional topic for me. :) You’ll pobably have some questions, Uccellina. I look forward to continuing this discussion.

  58. 59

    Mom said,

    From post #55:

    “There is no such thing as power being “equally” shared. There may be “roadbloacks” in place that “prevents” a person from attaining his/her full potential (i.e. a company only hiring white workers), but lack of opportunity is different from lack of outcome. There is a huge difference between allowing the playing field to be equalized (everyone has a chance to succeed, I think we all agree on this), compared to forcing the people who have power to forcefully give it up so that another group can have power, regardless of their credentials or regardless if they are competent and can get the job done. I don’t agree with the latter.”
    “Maybe it is just me, but I’m the type of person who likes to earn things and achieve my place”

    Let’s talk about power. We do not all agree that everyone has a chance to succeed. To get gender out of the way, let’s just consider class. Would you say that a young man from, say, the played-out coalfields of West Virginia, the slums of Harlem or the back country of the northern Adirondacks has the same educational opportunities as the child of parents making over $100,000 a year who themselves went to Ivy League schools? These contrasts abound in our society. A child whose parents can afford private educations or who can live in neighborhoods with good public schools has a far better shot at getting into college – any college – than a kid who goes to school hungry, or who is homeless. Can poor children succeed? Yes, but they need far more drive and determination, as well as a fair bit of luck, than their more affluent peers. We do not all start out from a level playing field.

    So now the question is this: how do we change such inequality of opportunity? Well, programs like Title IX for women in sports have done a lot to expand the range of teams and sports in which women can participate. What about affirmative action? Affirmative action does NOT mean giving the job to an “inferior” candidate. What it means is that ALL THINGS BEING EQUAl (apologies for the caps – don’t know how to italicize here), a female or minority candidate should be given extra consideration. That means that the minority or female candidate with credentials that are just as good as those of the white male candidate will have an edge. This is done to correct an historic imbalance. Until quite recently in our country, all kinds of minorities were routinely excluded from jobs and educational opportuniites. When my father was admitted to a highly prestigious university in 1925, he was one of a tiny handful of his ethnic group to be admitted. The university (and others of its ilk) wanted to make sure that not too many of that group could attend and “pollute” its social composition.

    Members of minority groups – and women – who get these opportunities today have had to work very hard indeed to get where they are. And even then, their minority status may continue to disadvantage them. Many women will tel you about the ways in which they have not been taken seriously on the job, or the ways in which they have been harassed, demeaned or simply ignored. Now granted, everyone feels that way at some time. But there’s considerable evidence that men in historically male professions often feel threatened by the presence of female co-workers.
    And by the way, teaching used to be a male profession. The few women teachers were not allowed to marry. If they did, they often lost their jobs. When women began to enter it, men began to perceived it as occupying a more feminine domain and began looking for other work. This did nothing to help wage levels. This is also an excellent example of how patriarchy oppresses men. Those men who want to teach are often made to feel effeminate -not by the women in their lives, but by their fathers, brothers, and friends. Ditto for nursing (also once a male profession).

    Enough for now.

  59. 60

    “Affirmative action does NOT mean giving the job to an “inferior” candidate. What it means is that ALL THINGS BEING EQUAl (apologies for the caps – don’t know how to italicize here), a female or minority candidate should be given extra consideration.”

    And yet, affirmative action conveniently ignores the nature of the job its self, and whether or not a certain person is actually suitable for the job. Affirmative action also seems to be very selective about which sorts of jobs fall under its gaze. When a job is relatively easy and high-paying, such as in the private sector, affirmative action is all over the place. But when a job is difficult, or demanding, affirmative action is nowhere to be found. I doubt very much that there are more than a handful of female artillery or armor officers. Affirmative action doesn’t seem too keen about sending women to die in Afghanistan or Iraq, or preforming dangerous maintenance on high-voltage transmission towers, or harvesting Alaskan snow-crab. These relatively low paying jobs or highly dangerous jobs don’t seem to be attractive to many women. Have they been historically excluded, or is it that in many cases, women just can’t do the job?

    I’m quite confident that in the military profession, women are entirely capable of climbing the ladder, if they have what it takes. In the Canadian Forces at least, the military provides everyone with the same opportunity regardless of background. The military will even pay for a person’s education up to and including the PhD level-provided that they have the desire. Yet the general staff is almost composed entirely of men-as well as most of the officers. The opportunity is present, yet overwhelmingly it is men who take advantage.

    I can only therefore conclude based on evidence that I’ve seen with my own eyes, that women either don’t have what it takes to reach the upper echelons of the military, or they aren’t interested-yet the opportunity exists, and is as balanced as possible. Affirmative action is garbage.

  60. 61

    Mom said,

    The answer to your question is yes, women have been historically excluded from many of these jobs. There are women in commercial fisheries, including the crab, tuna, swordfish, shrimp, cod and others, but their numbers are small because the fishing industry as a whole has not welcomed women. Actually, the Pacific northwest has a relatively high number of women in fishing. In Scotland, on the other hand, women are considered bad luck on boats. In places where women have been welcomed, such as parts of northwestern Portugal, women have been very active in the industry for a long time. There’s lots to read on this subject, if you’re interested.You’ll find women in mining, fire-fighting and other dangerous occupations, as well. By the way, death in childbirth has always been a serious risk for women but they have taken it anyway.

    And there are many women in the US military, including many who have died or been maimed in Iraq.

    As for low-wage jobs, these are often the only ones that women can get. Read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickled and Dimed, for a start.

  61. 62

    uccellina said,

    Istoute: “It was not as much fun reading your response as I thought it would.”

    Gosh, I’m sorry about that. I’ll try to be more fun in this response.

    “Patriarchy’s principle method of ‘oppression’ was actually the limitation of choice.”

    Here we agree. But it’s a mistake to assume that your choices are made free of context, and patriarchy is still the context in which we are choosing. When a woman goes clothes shopping, her options are limited by what the clothing industry has chosen to design for women. When she wears the clothes she has bought, people judge her by them because she chose to buy them – yet her choices were constrained by a sexist system.

    “I’d briefly like to mention that women still choose to marry up as opposed to marry down. ”

    Assuming that’s often true (and I can think of many women I know personally for whom it is NOT true), you’re still not looking at why women would choose that. Le contexte, Istoute, est tout.

    “As a man, I have never experienced . . .”

    And as a woman, I have experienced . . . but the plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” and as important as our personal stories are to us, they are not persuasive arguments.

    “Advertisers capitalize on our innate sexuality to sell their products. In this regard, men are no more ‘victimized’ then women.”

    . . . except that advertisers capitalize on male hetero-sexuality by offering up women in sexualized positions, the cumulative effect of which is to feed into certain social expectations of what women should be.

    “’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?’
    “I’m afraid you’ve completely missed my point with this statement.”

    I don’t think I have, actually. Your point is that young boys will be made to feel shamed by the feminist argument that they shouldn’t feel aroused by pornographic imagery. My point is that young women receive messages from finding the Playboy stuffed under the bed or seeing Hustler on the magazine rack – women should be sexually available, women should be built like [x], women should always have their lips slightly apart to indicate their readiness, etc. Compared to the damage done by pornography to young women, I admit, I’m less concerned about the shame a young man might feel when he reads an article arguing that those images demean women. Many children enjoy pulling the dog’s ears, too, but I don’t worry about the shame they’ll feel when I tell them to knock it off because they’re hurting the puppy. I want them to learn that their actions have consequences for others.

    I completely agree with you that there is a “massive qualitative difference” between providing monetarily for your children and actually spending time with them. You’re the one who said “providing is parenting,” and I was taking your argument to its logical conclusion. I do not believe that “providing” is enough to make a good parent-child relationship. “Men hate being forced by the state to provide for children they can’t be with. ” I cannot, however, comprehend the argument that just because one doesn’t live with one’s children or get to spend as much time with them as one would like, one is somehow freed from the obligation to support them.

    Regarding the abortion issue: this has been discussed ad nauseam on other forums. All I will say here is that it is unfair in the first place that women are the only ones with the ability to incubate a fetus and carry it to term. Because this fact is what it is, the decision of whether or not to bear a child must be up to the woman. I know this won’t make me more popular in the MRA set, but men who do not want to risk the possibility of paying child support must either refuse to have sex with women with whom they do not want children, or take more responsibility for birth control.

    Upon re-reading, this probably wasn’t any more fun than my first response.

  62. 63

    istoute said,

    Uccellina, you were absolutely right. This was not that fun to read. Oh well. Let me respond.

    First, I’d like to say that I’m suprised at the subject matter you focus on. Honestly, I’m pleased that you have left untouched many of my contentions which I consider to be very important and relevant to MRA issues. I hope this means you don’t completely disagree with my position and that we have much more in common than most feminists and MRAs believe. :)

    You spoke of concext in which decisions are made and alluded to the cultural values of the “patriarchy”. I agree with you in principle. However, we must admit that the values of the “patriarchy” are not so absolute because, if it were, women would never have been able to break free. But what is most important is what you and I mean by “choice”. I imagine that you believe that the clutural values of “patriarchy” create a cognitive framework, a cerebral environment, in which certain choices are made or rejected based on those values. When I speak of choice, I refer to physical and legal limits imposed upon the individual by society. Now, the physical and legal limits imposed upon women by the “patriarchy” have been abolished. The attitudes which supported them have been diminished and exposed for what they were. In essence, the “patriarchy” no longer exists in contemporary society. I’m sure you’ll list the comments of many sexist MRAs, but let’s not judge our respective philosophies based on our more radical members. I’m certain you don’t want people judging all feminists based on the sexist writting of Andrea Dwarkin. As far as beliefs and attitudes go, you and I have no right to impose our beliefs upon another person. It’s the inherent right of all human beings to believe as they wish, though harmful philosophies will have harmful natural consequences. Nor do we have the right to create laws which try and curve the attitudes and beliefs of the public through punishment. Yet this is what feminism has consistently done, much as the Catholic church imposed legal restrictions upon other religions to wipe them out. What concerns most MRAs is the feminist focus upon women. So absolute is this fact that most feminists won’t listen to a social issue without asking, “What about women?”. Context is just as important with feminism as it is with “patriarchy”. In the context of feminism, the historical privledges of men are viewed as a debt upon them and used as an excuse to ignore their present concerns.

    As for your hypothetical with the young girl shopping, that has more to do with supply and demand. Yes, cultural beliefs are important factors of demand; but, as we have already discovered, every human being has the right and ability to reject popular cultural values and craft their own. What should we do? Ban those shirts? Ironically enough, not too long ago there was a shirt on sale here in the U.S. which said, “Boys are stupid! Throw rocks at them!” This shirt was the company’s best selling girls’ tee shirt. What part of the “patriarchy” encourages women to assault men? Seriously though, what’s wrong with anyone wanting to be sexy? If it’s young pre-teens then I completely agree with you. These young girls don’t need to be wearing spaghetti strap shirts. But if they didn’t sell then companies wouldn’t make them. As I have stated before, if these girls are chasing these images and ideals then it’s because of the influences of parents and peers. Again: human beings have the power to reject beliefs and adopt others. All that is needed is reason and logic (and experience).

    Is the belief that women are inherently inferior still prominent in our society? Perhaps, in isolated pockets throughout society. Is it so prevalent that it lead people to craft sexist laws? No. At least not in the U.S.. This is what I mean by the “patriarchy” being dead. Choices are not made in a vacuum, but they are certainly not made in the “patriarchy” either. Whatever remnants may exist are supported by both sexes. This is why I mentioned that more women still choose to marry up than down. Clearly this is an ancient patriarchal attitude, but I mention it make an illustration. I have often heard that successful women have trouble finding suitable men. Usually these claims end with the phrase, “They’re just threatened by a successful woman.” Actually, it may have more to do with them not looking at all the eligable bachelors who earn less than they do.

    I’d like to back-track for just a moment to address a comment of your which I overlooked. You mentioned that advertisers “offer up” women as sexual objects for men. Here is an instance where the context of feminism puts space between us. These women are not being “offered up”. Again, this is nothing more than advertisers capitalizing on innate sexual cues to appeal to customers. This not an example of the “patriarchy” trying to degrade women, or make them appear to be inferior, or try to weaken their self-esteem. We must not forget that men are “objectified” as well in advertising. I rarely hear feminists call for equality in this department. If it’s objectification that we’re trying to stop then it shouldn’t matter which sex is being effected.

    Let’s move onto fathering. You said that you followed my comment to it’s logical conclusion, but you actually illustrated the prejudice that feminism has created about fatherhood (i.e. that it’s unnecessary). If following my statement leads anyone to the “logical conclusion” that men should be happy paying for children they can’t see, then this reveals a bias in that person. How exactly is providing for one’s children in a family context the same as providing for one’s children in a divorce context? It isn’t. The reason I raised this point was to draw attention to the way we devalue the contribution of fathers to their families. Divorce courts focus on the primary caregiver. I’m about to graduate with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Family and Child Development. I know how important emotional connection is for the health of the child. What I disagree with is the intrinsic values we put on nurturing and providing. Providing, a very necessary obligation and responsibility, is just as important as nurturing regardless of sex. Yet the family courts do not recognize it as so. This is a problem that must be rectified and that’s why I raised it in the first place.

    Finally, we reach the segment that deals with abortion. First, I must say I find it rather distrubing that you’d consider it “unfair” that women alone have to bear children. Biology is not fair or unfair. Fair and unfair are matters of justice, not biological evolution. It hurts like hell when testicles are injured, but that doesn’t mean I look down at my testes and regard them as a hinderance. Second, I’m not saying that men should have the right to tell a woman what she should do with her body. It is her body and it is her right to have an abortion or not. However, as I mentioned in my previous post, that’s not the issue. The issue is the choice of parenthood which is not legally protected for men as it is for women. Worse, the woman is given full power over the man. This is unacceptable, unethical, and unconstitutional. You said that men who don’t want to have a baby should either be more serious about birth control or just don’t have sex. These are sound reproductive choices, but women have and addtional reproductive choice (abortion) and two parental choices (adoption and abandonment) in addition to men. Carrying the baby to term does not give women the right to sole choice over the parental fate of others. This implies that there is something inherently superior in pregancy and women; and if we are to live in an androgynous society we must remove ALL road blocks.

    The reason this is such an issue for MRAs is because there have been instances where the woman lies about infertility or contraception use to have a baby. I’m reminded of an article that Glenn Sacks wrote in which he mentioned the “Lies and Scruples” survey. There are numerous methodological flaw with this surve. It was done out of a magazine so it’s not representative; but it did have some interesting findings. Over 5,000 women responded to the survey. 50% reported that they would LIE about contraception to get pregnant even if they knew their significant other didn’t want a child. Present choices for men, or their lack there of, leave them vulnerable to unhonorable women such as these. The men of the world deserve to be protected. While I’m sure this happens very rarely, it’s still a serious concern that should be given serious consideration. I’m personally in favor, if anything at all, having a gradiated child support table with a cap of $500 dollars per child (I’m speaking for my state here). Too many women are turning casual sex into cash-flow sex and that has to stop. Two thirds of all divorces are initiated by women. Who really has the fear of committment?

    Now I’d like to talk about something I think you and I can both agree on. Clearly, children do better in households with two parents. Children are not only expensive, but they’re emotionally and physically draining. This burden is much easier to bear with two parents present. What is desperately needed now is family counseling to ensure that these children have solid homes to grow up in. The majority of abuse in neglect occurs in single-mother homes and, at present, 33% of newborns are being resigned to that fate. The batterers and abusers of tomorrow are being raised in broken homes and we have to do something about it.

    Another thing you and I agree on is the inherent equality between the sexes. Just in case you’ve forgotten, I’d like to remind you that I’m an egalitarian. I believe in the wisdom of Sandra Bem when she said, “It’s more important that we think of personality traits as opposed to ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’.” We must be prepared to identify prejudice wherever it exists and determine if it’s detrimental to members of our society. Even if they’re based of philosophies we’ve embraced for years.

    The belief that men and women are equal is widely recognized and accepted in our society. It’s fact. Most of the “oppression” that feminists see today isn’t oppression at all. Usually it’s natural consequence or biology itself (i.e. advertisement and “unfair” pregnancey). The bottom line is feminists have to respect the life choices of others. What people believe is their own business so long as they don’t physically hurt others or put up legal interference.

    That’s way too much writting. Hope to hear from you soon, Uccellina.

    P.S. Would you like to exchange e-mail addresses so we could carry these conversations beyond this blog? :)

  63. 64

    A feminist's Nightmare said,

    “not the least of which is the sucking vacuum created by the absence of logic in most of their arguments.”

    yeah, having a couple university degrees, and having attended one of the top Universities in Canada recognized in the world, let me tell you that most female students in my classes were extremely light headed, and it was ten times worse if they have been brainwashed by a woman’s studies class. In the same way, when I support the men’s cause on MRA blogs, i’ve been accused of being a “gender-traitor”, simply dismissed, so where is the logic in a feminist argument? Completely inexistent.

    “My point is not to expose these Men’s Rights Activists and anti-feminists as hypocritical and misogynistic – they accomplish that all by themselves.”

    AHA, the same can be said for Feminists blogs : Feminists also expose themselves as being ANTI-WOMEN, yes you read me properly, anti- women, so feminists are not only misandrists, they are also misogynists, and with my own life experience I would say women are thousands of times more hypocrite than all the male population put together.

    “Feminism, they say, is a cult of victimhood. … “angry,” “bitter,” and “bitchy” women ”

    Gee those boys are damn right, I can’t stand having female friends, most of my good friends were guys, why? cause i can’t stand bitchy whining femhags, and i am not the only woman thinking this way, look around you, there are many of us, and the numbers are growing.

    “and they are, for the most part, very, very angry. ”
    So are feminists even worse, So where is equality if feminists have the right to be angry at men, but men are not allowed to be angry at feminists?
    Yes I use the term fminists, because most of those MRA guys are pissed at ALL women, but only at what they call feminists, femhags, feminazis. Many of them, or at least some part actually dream of the REAL woman. A feminist is not a real woman. A feminist is something wishing for a penis. Heard about the Freudian notion of “penis envy”?

    “The CDC, hardly a feminist organization, has a fact sheet on what they term “Intimate Partner Violence”. Risk factors for being abused include

    * being female (!)
    * for women, having a greater education level than their partner’s
    * dominance and control of the relationship by the male.”

    yeah right another feminist lie, real risks of abuse is to being addicted to abuse and subconsciously looking for a partner whom can by a potential abuser. I have a greater education than my husband, I have NEVER been abused. oh, and i’m a female, so does this mean i have two chances out of three for being abused?

    “I certainly do not mean to suggest that any of the bloggers or site-administrators listed above are abusers themselves. But they are part of and feeding into a culture of anger and violence against women. ”

    Perhaps but you are certainly implying it and assuming there is culture of anger and violence against women which does not exist. Actually it is the other way around. Men are often as much if not more abused by their female counterparts, but of course the numbers are not public or inexistent cause our society refuses to acknowledge this fact. LOok at the rape cases for example which are thousand of times over inflated. So don’t you call that violence? Physical or psychological?

    I believe it is feminism more than MRA’s who are feeding into a culture of violence by victimizing all women, WE women, do not ALL feel victimized, angry and sexually unsatisfied feminists do by perpetuating a myth.

    “I read their blogs because, as individual screeds, they amuse me. ”

    I can say the same for feminists blogs, they retardedly stupid and arrogant, promoting victimhood and hate against men. And they are so stupid that they also amuse me, sometime to the point where i need to roll my ass on the floor.

  64. 65

    Writer2 said,

    Oddly enough, I don’t actually recognize very many real men in the vast majority of the pro-MRA responses above. I see a lot of really bad spelling and writing — perhaps that’s the price of open honest expression. I also see alot of pseudo-argmentation, referencing to facts and various data, statistics and all sort of empiricist grandstanding. And among a few, there’s simply the cheap pride in taking shots and name calling. What I don’t really see enough in evidence is heart, regard, empathy or a sense of shared human enterprise.

    It doesn’t take a whole lot of common sense to figure out that men have dominated women for a very long time and in most matters. Perhaps that explains the deep resentment as some men are found stripped of their historic advantage lately, required now to account for themselves, to treat women as equals, to balance out their public triumphalism with some sustained private investment into affairs of the heart and affairs of the family. I, for one, take deep pride in doing all sorts of household chores like cooking, cleaning, laundry, vacuuming, spending time watching Sesame Street with the kids and changing the cat litter. I would include changing diapers, but unfortunately I got my child seven years too late and was spared dealing with that. When some folks (above) throw around statistics like men doing 75 % of this or doing 11/14ths of that, I just have to wonder why they think it necessary to count. Sounds like they are looking for bonus points. Or maybe they resent that some women have finally had enough and are looking to equalize a long historic imbalance. You know what? Being part of a family, raising kids, dealing with a spouse in an equal relationship (i.e. power sharing — yes, it can be shared) is hard work. But it’s fun, too, a give and take, filled with love, uncertainty, tears, joy and no expectation or requirement that your efforts will be blessed with a star and certified. Get used to it, guys. Women have gotten used to it for centuries.

    I don’t get the anxiety, the anger, the terror that the world might actually end up being a place where people are more equal than it used to be. Handling that takes a real man, not someone posturing behind an MRA blog.

  65. 66

    uccellina said,

    Istoute – “Now, the physical and legal limits imposed upon women by the “patriarchy” have been abolished. The attitudes which supported them have been diminished and exposed for what they were . . . Is the belief that women are inherently inferior still prominent in our society? Perhaps, in isolated pockets throughout society. Is it so prevalent that it lead people to craft sexist laws? No. At least not in the U.S.”

    If that were the case, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion. South Dakota recently tried to ban abortion. We’ve only just won OTC status for Plan B. And I need only refer you to the comments on this post to cast doubt on your assertion that the attitudes supporting sexist legislation no longer carry any weight.

    “Nor do we have the right to create laws which try and curve the attitudes and beliefs of the public through punishment.”

    Laws regulate actions, not thoughts. You can still think anything you like; it’s when you act on it that it becomes legally actionable.

    “Ironically enough, not too long ago there was a shirt on sale here in the U.S. which said, “Boys are stupid! Throw rocks at them!””

    Ironically enough, that t-shirt was designed by Todd Goldman, also the author of such delightful slogans as “Vagina: the box a penis comes in.” At least he’s an equal-opportunity asshole.

    “How exactly is providing for one’s children in a family context the same as providing for one’s children in a divorce context? It isn’t. ”

    No, it certainly isn’t. But just because it isn’t the same doesn’t mean you don’t still have to do it. And I’ve already told you how I think we could encourage boys to become nurturing men, so that they wouldn’t have to be relegated to the status of “provider” and thereby disadvantaged in the custody system.

    “Finally, we reach the segment that deals with abortion. First, I must say I find it rather distrubing that you’d consider it “unfair” that women alone have to bear children”

    I raise the spectre of fairness because that is the argument that I have heard advanced over and over by MRAs regarding support of children that they would rather not have had. It’s not fair that men can’t either make a woman have an abortion or opt out of child support. They forget that women’s bodies are not theirs to regulate, and therefore they may not determine whether or not she carries a pregnancy to term. It’s not fair to men that women alone can bear children; if men had the option of pregnancy, they would have more say in the outcome of that pregnancy.

    “Present choices for men, or their lack there of, leave them vulnerable to unhonorable women . . . there have been instances where the woman lies about infertility or contraception use to have a baby”

    Present choices include condoms and vasectomies, both of which have very low failure rates. Soon, you’ll have a male contraceptive pill, too. Men leave birth control entirely up to women, absolving themselves of responsibility, and are surprised that, “very rarely” as you say, they get burned by this.

    A Feminist’s Nightmare: “yeah, having a couple university degrees, and having attended one of the top Universities in Canada recognized in the world . . . so where is the logic in a feminist argument? Completely inexistent . . . women are thousands of times more hypocrite . . . I have a greater education than my husband, I have NEVER been abused . . . numbers are not public or inexistent cause our society refuses . . . LOok at the rape cases for example which are thousand of times over inflated. So don’t you call that violence? . . . feminists blogs, they retardedly stupid . . . to the point where i need to roll my ass on the floor.”

    A Feminist’s Nightmare, let me simply say that your name reveals a slightly inflated ego.

  66. 67

    a Feminist nightmare said,

    uccelina..
    yeah whatever, as you prove out, feminists dismiss anything with their back of their hands if they do not like it.
    By the way if you ask any person knowing me, i am perhaps one of the least egocentric person around.
    Right now, i am simply so pissed at feminism that i am simply one of these women raising against it. So hopefully you will soon be able to visit of the new blogs of women against feminism around here.

    I am simply plying with my name right now, to see what pleases me. I known withing the MRA circle as FEM 25, I bet those guys prefer ” A Feminist’s Nightmare” to a simple “Fem 25″. I should ask for their advice, what do you think? Men are great in giving all kinds of great advices, they are way better than female friends. They have better tastes in clothing, in food, they can think better and give better advice on different life issues, etc.
    oh yeah, guys are great.

  67. 68

    A said,

    isoute: we could quibble about your use of “investigate”. I looked at the link briefly: I found few sources that could be considered empirical – and I want to see a methodology statement, data, etc.

    Mind, I’d accept first-hand anecdotal data – didn’t see that either.

    These exchanges, mildly amusing though they may be, have used up the time I have for leisure/play for now. In my position, I have to outperform my male counterparts to ensure my job survives the budget process – and that takes up a great deal of time. Securing funding for books requires constant vigilance. Would that I had the approval rating of the football team!

    Please don’t take the “mildly” too personally. This would be far more amusing if so much weren’t riding on the misperceptions and inaccuracies; if struggling against the current structure of power weren’t so exhausting; etc. etc.

    I’m sure the egocentricly-named feminsit nightmare would be happy to keep up the chatter.

    U & Mom: congratulations on being far more patient and persistent teachers than I. You put me to shame. I will slink back to working on an instructional piece for my little clients with the distinct feeling that I’m wimping out.

  68. 69

    fidelbogen said,

    Here is a brand new “MRA” blog, written by a woman, of all the crazy things….!

    End of the Road

    Go ahead, read it! And then bookmark it.

  69. 70

    uccellina said,

    Fidelbogen – took a quick look. Obviously I’ve been completely wrong this whole time! Thanks for helping me see the light with this trenchant and authoritative link.

    /snark

  70. 71

    fidelbogen said,

    Hey A, I have a suggestion. . . . [snip]

  71. 72

    uccellina said,

    Fidelbogen – When snarking at other commenters, please endeavor to do it with brevity.

  72. 73

    Mom said,

    Thanks for the kind words, A. At a certain point, arguing the same points over and over with no apparent effect does get wearing.

  73. 74

    A said,

    Mom: really.

    U: If I valued Fidel’s opinion, I’m sure I’d be devastated. Thanks for the verbal vasectomy on my behalf!

  74. 75

    istoute said,

    “…arguing the same points over and over with no apparent effect does get wearing.”

    Believe me, Mom, MRAs know exactly how you feel. I must say, this has been an eye-opening experience into the zealotry of feminist conviction. While our back-and-forths were personally helpfu, Uccellina, they’ve done nothing for but convince me of the unethical behavior and reasoning of Feminists. For showing me the path NOT to follow, I wholely thank every feminist here. The socialistic logic used to justify reverse discrimination is appauling and, quit simply, un-American. Since most feminists have difficulty listening to the dissenting views of men, I’d like to leave with you, in my last post, the words of a woman whose philosophy concisely captures the anti-feminist perspective.

    “The intrinsic theory [of morality] holds that the good resides in some sort of reality, independent of man’s consciousness; the subjectivist theory holds that the good resides in man’s consciousness, independent of reality.

    “The objective theory holds that the good is neither an attribute of ‘things in themselves’ nor of man’s emotional states, but an evaluation of the facts of reality by man’s consciousness according to a rational standard of value. (Rational, in this context, means: derived from the facts of reality and validated by a process of reason.)….An objective theory does not permit context-dropping or ‘concept-stealing'; it does not permit the separation of ‘value’ from ‘purpose,’ of the good from beneficiaries, and of man’s actions from reason.

    “….The intrinsic theory and the subjectivist theory (or a mixture of both) are the necessary base of every dictatoryship, tyranny, and variant of the absolute state. Whether they are held consciously or subconsciously–in the explicit form of a philosopher’s treatise or in the implicit chaos of the echos in an average man’s feelings–these theories make it possible for a man to believe that the good is independent of man’s mind and can be achieved by physical force.

    “If a man believes that the good is intrinsic in certain actions, he will not hesitate to force others to perform them. If he believes that the human benefit or injury caused by such actions is of no significance, he will regard a sea of blood as of no significance. If he belives that the beneficiaries of such actions are irrelevant (or interchangable), he will regard wholesale slaughter as his moral duty in the service of a ‘higher’ good. It is the intrinsic theory of values that produces a Robespierre, a Lenin, a Stalin, or a Hitler….

    “If a man believes that the good is a matter of arbitrary, subjective choice, the issue of good or evil becomes, for him, an issue of: my feelings or theirs? No bridge, understanding, or communication is possible to him. Reason is the only means of communication among men, and an objectively perceivable reality is their only common frame of reference; when these are invalidated (i.e. held to be irrelevant) in the field of morality, force becomes men’s only way of dealing with one another. If the subjectivist wants to pursue some social ideal of his own, he feels morally entitled to force men ‘for their own good,’ since he feels that he is right and that there is nothing to oppose him but their misguided feelings.

    “Thus, in practice, the proponents of the intrinsic and the subjectivist schools meet and blend. (They blend in terms of their psycho-epistemology as well: by what means do these moralists of the intrinsic school discover their transcendental ‘good,’ if not by means of social, non-rational intuitions and revelatiosn, i.e., by means of their feelings?) It is doubtful whether anyone can hold either of these theories as an actual, if mistaken, conviction. But both serve as a rationalization of power-lust and of rule by brute force, unleashing the potential dictator and disarming his victims.” (Ayn Rand, “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal”, 22-23)

    Feminist philosophy is chop full of intrinisc and subjectivist theory of morality. The notion that the primary caregiver is intrinsically more important, and necessary for optimal development, has been the justification for it’s use in family court. Subjectivity has become the norm of feminist laws pushed in legistaltures at all levels; and has been used to justify the subversion of individual rights of others. More than 50% of all temporary restraining orders are issued because the accuser “feels” threatened. People accused of rape are denied their Constitutionally protected right to face their accuser because the experience might be “too traumatic” for the accuser.

    Young boys, thanks to Title IX, are told that their intersts are contingent and inferior to the interests of girls. I was shocked to discover, after reading this article (http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/cgi-bin/iowa/issues/rights/article.html?record=34), that “a boy does not have the right to try out for a girls’ team if there are more boys playing sports at your school than girls”. Here we have legally sanctioned sex discrimination imbeded in a law designed to wipe out sex discrimination in education. Hypocrisy is the only word which describes this position, and it is based on the subjective notion of “historical injustices”.

    While books can be written about the immoral behavior behavior of radical feminists I will not waste my time trying to discuss these issues anymore with this crowd. You have proven to me just how tryannical, and dangerous, the radical feminist mindset is. The day feminists resume their fight for the individual rights of women they will find more support, and I’ll be there beside them. Until that day, feminist activists will be opposed. You have all lost your way and need to review your philosophies. Everyone, man and woman, is entitled to the freedom of peaceful action and the fruits thereof. Everyone, man and woman, is entitled to produce whatever they wish. Affirmative action is designed to correct the historical injustices faced by women and minorites. A “debt” is owed to these individuasl in our society. When will this debt be paid off? How much money must these “classes” make from affirmative action? How many jobs must be passed over? How many years must pass? Affirmative action laws never address these questions because these are subjective laws. Who is the arbiter of the duration of these laws? What are the qualifications of such individuals? The truth is there are none because of the subjective nature of these laws. The only entity in a free society that has the right to use physical force is a government based on objective laws. Subjective laws, in the hands of government, have been the backbone of every tyrannical, facist, socialistic society. ALL of these societies have failed because they fail to protect the individual rights of their citizens.

    There is a reason that your numbers are dwindling and will continue to do so. There is a reason that just as many people consider it an insult to be called a feminist as those who embrace your philosophy. Feminists have actively sought to deny the individual rights of everyone, man and woman. Title IX illustrates this perfectly. The number of persons allowed to partake in sports must be proportionate to the gender division of the student body. If more boys than girls want to play sports, then the individual rights of those boys are denied. They are forcefully prevented from playing because their wishes are contingent and subservient to the wishes of girls. The only way to rectify this is to pressure young girls to play sports even if they don’t want to. Whether girls are unfairly pressured to join sports or boys are unfairly denied, the individual rights, the right to make independent choices and control one’s destiny, are undermined for both sexes. Who are you, feminists, to be the moral dictators of our society? What are your “qualifications” to occupy such an occupation? What gives you the right to assume such power? The answer is: nothing. It is only your blind thirst for power and control which drives you and that you justify with slogans like “gender equality”.

    If you want to fight your gender war then do so with your own money, not tax dolars. If you want to live in a socialistic society, then leave America and found your own. This country was founded on the premise of individual rights and all the wealth, industry, and products thereof are a result of the entrepreneurial spirit protected by our Constitution. You have no right to slip in, like a theif in the night, and claim those resources for your own use. You have no right to ride on the back of greatness and assume the role of driver. Grow up, feminists. Grow up!

  75. 76

    uccellina said,

    “The socialistic logic used to justify reverse discrimination is appauling and, quit simply, un-American.”

    Considering that most of the MRA commenters here are Canadian, that might not be your strongest argument.

    I would address the rest of this comment, particularly its oh-so-erudite imperative for feminists to “grow up,” but you’re not actually listening.

  76. 77

    istoute said,

    Actually, Uccellina, I have listened. I have listened my entire life. It is you who haven’t listened. You have attacked tiny portions of every post I have made and never once presented an entire arguement which refutes my claims. If you were expecting me to fall back on feminist heuristics then you were sorely mistaken. The broader issues you have left untouched. I can only assume you are incapable of creating a solid, logical arguement against my position, and rely on rhetoric and broad generalizations based on isolated instances and anecdotal evidence to support your position.

    Feminists do need to grow up. You need to open your eyes and see they unethical behavior of other feminists. Affirmative action: sexist, racist discrimination. Title IX: sexist discrimination. Family courts: biased against fathers. If you aren’t prepared to decry such action then you are a coward. You have chosen to listen most to the voices of those MRAs whom you consider to be “misogynistic” and use them as a standard of measurement for all MRAs. Rather than listen to our grievences, you, like so many feminists, write us off as “men who are frightened by womens’ empowerment.” While we have laid before you objective evidence and arguement against the injustices brought about by feminist arguements, you have focused exclusively on those pieces which offend your personal views. Repeatedly in my posts, when addressing the issue of abortion, I made it clear that I was talking about PARENTHOOD. The choice of becoming a PARENT. Somehow, and consitently, you spun this position into “MRAs want to tell women what they can do with their bodies”.

    “They forget that women’s bodies are not theirs to regulate….”-post 66.

    I have listened, Uccellina. You have not. You’ve scanned all of our responses and asked, “Where are the women?”, as is so common with feminists. The issues are no longer solely about you. Feminism may be for everyone, but it’s focused on women and turns a blind eye to the opinions of men, and women, who don’t agree with them. Such totalitarain thinking cannot sustain a democracy. If it didn’t work for patriarchy it won’t work for matriarchy.

    “Mutual respect between the sexes” doesn’t need feminism anymore.

  77. 78

    uccellina said,

    “You have attacked tiny portions of every post I have made and never once presented an entire arguement which refutes my claims.”

    Might you be forgetting that you were responding to something I wrote?

    “You’ve scanned all of our responses and asked, “Where are the women?”, as is so common with feminists. The issues are no longer solely about you.”

    Really? I was under the impression that my original post was about MRAs. My most recent post is about male suffering under patriarchy. I haven’t actually written about women recently. But thanks for reminding me – I’ll be sure to get to that soon.

    Actually, as I re-read the comments in this thread, it’s kind of fascinating to note the insistence with which some commenters shifted the conversation to an attack on feminism, rather than address the points made in the original post.

  78. 79

    istoute said,

    The only way men suffer under patriarchy is by having legal responsibility for the actions of other human beings forcibly placed on their shoulders. This is a violation of the individual rights of men.

    “Where are the women?”

    As for this comment, I appologize. What I meant to say is, “What about the women?”

    No one has the right to tell another human being what to believe, which is what I’ve tried to convey the entire time. I would have come right out and said so but this is the first time I’ve ever had the chance to debate a true-blood feminist and my arguements are not tailored to your mindset. For the record, I was responding to what you and K. were discussing. I was never interested in discussing your piece.

    This experience has opened my mind though. Thank you for that.

    Have a nice life.

  79. 80

    A said,

    “No one has the right to tell another human being what to believe…”

    “This experience has opened my mind though.”

    Interesting approach to QED. Congratulations, again, U, for elegance and grace under pressure as well as your give and take.

    Should you be lurking in the area, istoute, reread that phrase: give and take. (unlikely.)

  80. 81

    istoute said,

    A, your childish manner is pathetic. It’s been my experience that people who resort to personal attacks do so because they cannot think of anything constructive to say. Your childish manner is appauling.

  81. 82

    A said,

    Excuse me? That was a personal attack? My dear, you have not seen a personal attack, nor would I stoop to such in this venue. I had thought constructive suggestions for research-based reading done by credentialed professionals, coupled with really mild conversation were worthwhile. Evidently I was incorrect.

    With respect to an “attack”, this is as close as I will come: I am comfortable and confident in my intellectual pursuits; I will continue to make attempts to build a consensus for fairness and justice. I do not think this exchange would be worth the time or effort to continue.

    Fare well.

  82. 83

    [...] A Bird’s Nest: Reading The Anti-Feminist Blogs Check out her follow-up post, as well. [...]

  83. 84

    feminazi said,

    Have you notice how mra’s are obsessed with women in general, and controlling women in particular? Contrast that with the vast majority of feminist writing, which concerns itself with empowering women to have control over their own lives.

    I haven’t seen one mra yet that is based on anything other than misogyny at it’s core. When I first noticed the rise of these mra sites I was initially concerned, viewing their existance as evidence of a rising backlash against women’s equality.

    Upon second perusal however, I can smell the fear of an animal whose death is imminent – at least here in the US. With their last breath they are attempting to infect another generation with the virus known as misogny. Death has not yet occured, however, and so we must remain vigilent in our attack to isolate and exterminate it. Most women in the world alive today still live under a partriarchal idealogy, and much work on their behalf is left undone.

    I see people confused about modern gender roles, and in their haste to avoid uncomfortable topisc are eager to write off 6000 years of systematic oppression as a fluke. I wonder both at their eagerness to do so, and the reasoning and motivation behind it. I have not yet refined my thoughts on this, but I suspect the answer will be distressing to almost everybody.

    Incidently, I’ve pointed out misogny on Fred’s blog before, and my comments mysteriously never show up. Seems like when someone does take the time to point out the widespread non-logic on mra sites, those refutations are NEVER acknowledged, or posted to the site. Wonder why?

    From Andrew: “we are saying: the wrongs that are done unto men are of equal concern as the wrongs done unto women.”

    That’s like saying we’re a little bit hot, so we should talk about that rather than the fact that some people are on fire.

    Women have had the legal status of cattle for 6000 years, and still do in many parts of the world. If fairness is the goal they claim, then the actual degree of harm and more importantly -the reasons for that harm occuring in the fist place- must be acknowledged before anything else. Mra’s are insisting we atutomatically believe every anecdote of men’s suffering without critical analysis; but yet every single fact, statistic, and study put forth by feminists over the years is somehow magically a lie, according to them.

    Mra’s demand for themselves what they are not willing to extend to others. This blatent hypocrisy is the problem which must be overcome before any other subtopic is considered. The mra’s do not see this because their only pupose is the further subjegation of women. The slave master always insist the slave enjoys slavery, was designed by God for slavery, and it is their priviledge to treat the slave well. When the slave master finally realizes slavery is wrong, there is no more talk of justifying slavery, and no more talk of controlling the slave’s behavior.

    When the mra’s stop talking about controlling women’s behavior, that will be signal they are ready to be equal.

  84. 85

    feminazi said,

    My first blog ever, now open. Dumb comments deleted automatically.

  85. 86

    Rob Fedders said,

    Rob complained that he was not allowed to post the same comment twice, and that I had initially approved the one he left on the “less-read” post. So I’ve moved it here. But I will not approve duplicate comments. – Uccellina

    Well, it’s all a good laugh around here at Cuckou’s Nest, but I wonder why Uccelline shy’s away from answering to those she challenged. She does say she frequents their blogs… hmmm… What’s up? Can’t handle the heat if it’s not in your kitchen? You’ve pissed off a lot of people, cuckou bird – why do you shy away from answering?

    http://no-maam.blogspot.com/2007/02/what-is-marxism-and-how-does-it-work.html

    http://no-maam.blogspot.com/2007/02/all-gender-wage-gap-arguments-lead-to.html

    http://lndavout.blogspot.com/2007/02/bird-twitters.html

    http://fredxblog.blogspot.com/2007/02/moron-against-antifeminism.html#links

    No-one is scared of you, your feminist logic, nor those who back you up with unsubstantiated irrationality. Why do insist on sitting in the cuckou nest all of a sudden?

    Do you always pick fights and shy away? Is this how feminism is going to make the west great?

    Is this what we should expect of feminists in politics and in the military?

  86. 87

    uccellina said,

    Rob – I wrote a post on my own blog, and no MRA supporters came to address it for four days. Most did not arrive until a week later. I did not go to MRA blogs and challenge their authors to come over to my place for a debate simply because I had written something about them – that would have been picking a fight. If they felt my arguments were worth addressing, they came over here to discuss them.

    For the most part, I have not commented on the posts you link above. One might infer from this that I did not feel they were worth addressing. Or perhaps that I simply had other things to do.

    And thanks for calling me a “cuckou.”

    “The cuckoo she’s a pretty bird
    She sings as she flies
    She brings us glad tidings
    And tells us no lies”

  87. 88

    Rob Fedders said,

    Lol!

    You’re a bird alright, Uccellina!

    Please, keep giving us ammo! People like you are anti-feminist’s greatest allies!

    We can yammer on about people like you for days, months and years… but until a useful idiot comes along to prove our point…, well, you’ve made it all worth while!

    Not talking about MRA’s screws you, but talking about us screws you even more!

    I don’t envy your politically charged, supremacist stance.

    But, without people like you, where would “mra’s” be?

    Hats off to you pusillanimous feminists!

    http://no-maam.blogspot.com/

    You come back now, ya here?

  88. 89

    uccellina said,

    “People like you are anti-feminist’s greatest allies!”

    That’s good, because punctuation clearly isn’t.

    Now, if you’re done with the attention-seeking, I think most of us have moved on.

  89. 90

    Rob Fedders said,

    Btw, I linked this response to your comments as well… is there a reason why it got deleted?

    http://faithandsociety.typepad.com/faith_and_society/2007/02/a_rotten_egg_in.html

    Lol!

    Revisionism!

    MEN, always save your comments to a feminist blog!

  90. 91

    uccellina said,

    Clearly, you’re not yet done with the attention-seeking.

    Honestly, if I had any intention of revising your comment (the deletion was accidental), don’t you think I would have deleted the entire thing? Rather than put up with this nonsense?

    Now we’re done, ‘kay?

  91. 92

    Me said,

    Guess what Rob? Nuts like you just fuel the feminist fire…good job…keep it coming…

  92. 93

    Me said,

    oh here’s an enraged irrational nut that seems to be everywhere…he seems so driven by illogic and emotion…isn’t that what they accuse the WOMEN of?

    http://verlch.blogspot.com/

  93. 94

    julie said,

    Hi. I am just another female in this big, wide word but I do have something to tell you.

    I am now promoting the men’s side. The men’s side must grow because we need to balance the genders. We need to care for men also at every level. I, as a feminists, thought we were balancing the genders towards equality and we did. But many of us know we have gone to far and need ‘check and balance’ because we had boys as children. OK, so life is not perfect. So some men are violent and out of control. But so are the females. We have now created a money machine where we need the support for women to pay our wages. So we lobby for women but we don’t have a counterpart. We don’t have men doing the same for their gender. And we are causing unbalance. I realise now that men are different and that they don’t act as us. They don’t want to complain and hold banners and walk the streets as victims. No, they want to be masculine. I have, as have some other feminists realised we raised our boys to be men and not dependant men. Women are dependant but men are not. We allowed our boys to be taught by older men and not feminists because our boys are precious and they wanted to take risks and be masculine. We are softies to our boys.

    We will never be 0% of deaths for women nor children. I work in a community group for single parents. For one, I can’t get support for men unless they have anger management issues. I mean, men really are being beaten from women but we can’t help them. I will never forget one interview I did where a woman beat up her husband for complaining. I didn’t step in for I feared I would also get beaten. There is no law for men who get beaten by women. The police apologised saying they can’t help. That is terrible. I now write to polititions about this because it is unfair to have laws to portect women but not for men.

    Also I can’t get support for women that want to deal with their anger. I sort of can but in a very minor way. It is as if women are not allowed to speak up as child bashers nor child molesters nor bashers of men.

    Please, if you have time check out my site because I must stand up and try to balance the genders. It is really tough to take billions of dollars away from women’s groups because we rely on it yet we have no funding at Government level for men’s support. Things really have swung the other way. I don’t know where you live but you should ask community groups that work with both genders how they cope with men. They don’t. Men are left to the streets. We can cater for women and children but not men. Is that fair?

    Thank-you for reading my comment.

  94. 95

    Mamonaku187 said,

    Interesting post!

    Unfortunately, like many a feminist blogger, you have not addressed any of our issues with anything remotely resembling substance.

    “Risk factors for being a perpetrator?

    * Anger and hostility
    * belief in strict gender roles (e.g., male dominance and aggression in relationships)
    * desire for power and control in relationships
    * dominance and control of the relationship by the male.

    I certainly do not mean to suggest that any of the bloggers or site-administrators listed above are abusers themselves. But they are part of and feeding into a culture of anger and violence against women. I read their blogs because, as individual screeds, they amuse me. But I do not dismiss them, because as a collective voice of aggression and hostility, they bear watching.”

    Hmm… yes it does look like you are using “shaming language.”

    Dismissing our legitimate objectives to the Matriarchy by comparing us to abusers.

    Nice!

    However, your criteria could just as easily be compared to violent women who abuse. Just change men to women, and there you have it!

    And we know that women abuse at the same rate as/more than men do.

    Proof be here.

    http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

    I won’t take up too much of your time.

    I do hope that you watch us carefully, as we MRAs bring more men AND women over to our side.

    The days of women like you ignoring us, shaming us, and riding roughshod over the rights of men and children are over.

    Get used to it… we have not yet begun to fight!

    Thank you for reading.

  95. 96

    Mamonaku187 said,

    * Dismissing our legitimate objectives*

    So sorry, I meant objections.

    Have a nice day!

  96. 97

    uccellina said,

    From an article by the professor, Martin Fiebert, whose bibliography you cite above:

    We’ve all learned to be wary of statistics, and Fiebert says studies abound on the subject. He notes, however, that those suggesting men are also frequent abuse victims should not be used to minimize the threat that women face from abusive boyfriends or spouses.

    Besides, no one laughs at abused women. But abused guys?

    “That comes from the culture of patriarchy,” Fiebert says. “In Western society, [men were] in charge of the family, and the economics and the power of the family. Therefore, when it’s demonstrated that the person in position of power doesn’t have the power, it’s an area for ridicule and humiliation.”

    Which, of course, is kind of what I was getting at here.

  97. 98

    [...] cuz as Silligirl knows its only the most important awesome day of the year. I happen to know Uccellina took it off on general principle, and I fully encourage the rest of you to do the same forever [...]

  98. 99

    Days of Broken Arrows said,

    Let me get this straight — just because a bunch of men complain on their blogs you insinuate they will be “abusive.” Yet you have a link to a woman who calls herself “Bitch PhD.”

    Translation: Women can behave any way they wish, but men should be put in a straightjacket. Perhaps you also believe men are “dirty” and women must be “chaste” and women don’t really enjoy sex. Your logic sounds like the old Catholic party line.

  99. 100

    uccellina said,

    Your critical reading skills, they astound me. Truly, they do.

  100. 101

    mark said,

    Anger and hostility? And angry about what exactly? I’m curious, is this to imply that said potential perpetrator is having a perfectly happy and functional home life and suddenly this person becomes angry for no reason at all other than he’s lost control? Even if that were the only reason, who doesn’t want control over their life? You are confusing control with dominance. You are also implying this individual is of a caveman intelligence. What about an intelligent man who has lost control over his home life because of a typical wife who has radical and irrational moodswings who makes threats to call 911 and make a false charge of domestic violence if you don’t comply with her demands? Can you explain all of this please?

    In addition, these are risk factors for being a male perpetrator of domestic violence. Would you please list the risk factors for a female perpetrator of domestic violence?

  101. 102

    uccellina said,

    Mark, your questions are answered in the fact sheet linked above. Do your homework.

  102. 103

    mark said,

    No they are not and you need to pay attention to the questions and need to answer them. The real problem is that you are incapable of answering the questions because you know you and your arguments are of no substance- pure fluff and you cannot compete or argue with a man on an even playing ground- that terrifies you & so does rationale and reality. I’ve never been on one of these silly femarroid blogs before- but it’s so easy to see now why women never accomplish anything of any true significance- because you are cowards & mentally challenged.

  103. 104

    uccellina said,

    I love it when commenters prove my points for me. Thanks for stopping in, Mark!

  104. 105

    mark said,

    Riiight. I ‘proved’ your point. Actually you’ve proved my point that you are too frightened to answer the questions and that is nothing short of pathetic. You must be new to debate- or else you would know that type of cutesy (non) response is tired and passe & makes your fear incredibly transparent in your reluctance to answer my questions. These types of cutesy non-responses may impress your peers, but not mine. (I’m going back and forth to another blog- copying & pasting my posts and your responses & I can tell you that you are getting some very hysterical responses- didn’t know you were a comedian, did you?)

    One last chance, ‘Ms.’ Answer the questions- too scared? Or is it that you are incapable? Go ahead, please prove me wrong:

    “Anger and hostility? And angry about what exactly? I’m curious, is this to imply that said potential perpetrator is having a perfectly happy and functional home life and suddenly this person becomes angry for no reason at all other than he’s lost control? Even if that were the only reason, who doesn’t want control over their life? You are confusing control with dominance. You are also implying this individual is of a caveman intelligence. What about an intelligent man who has lost control over his home life because of a typical wife who has radical and irrational moodswings who makes threats to call 911 and make a false charge of domestic violence if you don’t comply with her demands? Can you explain all of this please?

    In addition, these are risk factors for being a male perpetrator of domestic violence. Would you please list the risk factors for a female perpetrator of domestic violence?

  105. 106

    uccellina said,

    “it’s so easy to see now why women never accomplish anything of any true significance- because you are cowards & mentally challenged.”

    Yeah, you’re really worth debating, troll.

  106. 107

    Uccellina, I have yet to see any example of illogical argument on the part of MRA’s.

    Your posts are just amused comments, a means to riff on dissent, as entertainment to you and your regular readers who agree with you.

    I don’t see much debate going on here. You posited, they replied, and now you ridicule.

    That isn’t debate.

  107. 108

    TiredOfIt said,

    Uccellina, you are correct in that there is anger within the MRAs. Rather than being ‘amused’ by it, you should find a cause. What these gentlemen are trying to communicate to you is that the anger is about the inequalities of the legal system. The MRA people here are trying to show you the ‘injustice’ while you focus only on the ‘anger’. It would be like someone saying to Martin Luther King Jr. to stop being ‘so angry’. It is entirely appropriate to get angry about injustice. Since you do not yet see it as injustice, I am sure it sounds ‘silly’ to you.

    In your original post, you said, “What I find much more interesting is the systematic co-opting of the language of oppression.” In other words, you express interest not in the content of MRA’s discontent but only in HOW they say it, the ‘language’ they use. The only reason why MRA use the language of ‘oppression’ is because they believe they are oppressed.

    Feminism has roots in the philosophy of Rousseau. As you know, Rousseau believed that society is an artificial creation (feminism holds that sexuality is a social construct). This is contrary to Locke who believed that society was natural. In Locke’s words, our rights are derived from Nature. Life, liberty, and property didn’t come because legislators made laws. To the contrary, life, liberty, and property existed before legislators made laws in the first place.

    If the Lockean premise is correct, which it most likely is, Feminism has inflicted an artifical system on sexuality that was once natural. It is not coincidence that the nations where feminism is the highest concentrated that birth rates are down below replacement levels. The Duke Lacrosse Case should be a good illustration of an illegal injustice. The fact that the U.S. Congress is creating laws that makes it more difficult for men to marry foreign women should point out the statistical trends of declining marriage rates, and men preferring to go to great lengths (learning new languages, traveling across oceans) to find a ‘natural’ woman.

    The biggest victims of feminism are women. They are not taught about their natural biological clocks and think they can easily get pregnant (with a high stress job to boot) in their mid-30s. They are taught that being a good wife is ‘failing’ in life.

    MRAs love women. If we hated women, why would we travel the world, learn new languages, and all just for women? MRAs despise feminists (who can be male as well as female) who want to ensnare society in artificial systems.

    MRAs are emancipating women. Feminists have only enslaved women. As Lockean philosophy is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence (which fought against the artificial systems of King George), MRAs seek to free men and women from the artificial systems of Feminism.

    If Feminism is about freedom, then why does it exercise itself in law? Freedom is about removing laws, not adding new ones. Slavery and discrimination were not ended by laws; they were created by laws in the first place.

    If Feminism is so wonderful, why doesn’t it exist as a voluntary system to live under? Why throw yourself at the legislative palace and force everyone to live under your ‘system’? MRAs just want to be free. We don’t care how you live your lives; so why do you care about how we live our lives?

  108. 109

    Matt said,

    These discussions never achieve anything because of the famous saying ‘the map is not the territory’.

    People perceive their reality based on their experience, and anything that contradicts their reality just won’t register.

    Feminists and MRA’s generally have a strong sense of their reality, which is why their is so much shaming and abuse thrown about, no one likes someone to interfere with their reality, especially when it is so strong!

    Some guy who has just gone through a bitter divorce with a completely narcissistic women, is going to have a very different sense of reality than someone who was abused by her father and then married an abuser (which seems to happy often).

    See I think feminists actually feel let down when they go out in the world and they don’t meet their Prince Charming, confident, dominant(but not domineering), in control (but not controlling), humourous, charismatic etc, the list goes on, but read a romance novel and you’ll get my drift. Their disappointment is then projected onto all men.

    Try having an equal relationship with a woman and you’ll find no one is happy. Women are only attracted to men that lead. They won’t admit this though. Thats why communism was a failure, equality is impossible. We’re now different from any other packs animals like wolves, with a quest for power to maintain our own survival.

    The MRA men would call this guy a thug, they don’t like the fact that a women’s attraction to a man has nothing to do with his morals. They often get used when they end up in the beta male provider role, as they’ve never learnt how to be the alpha male lover, who gets all the respect and choice from women he could ever want. They liked the old system before feminism because women were tied to the beta male provider because they couldn’t in fact earn their own wage, even though they weren’t that attracted to him. The MRA men have a great sense of honour and fairness, which is not translated in the real world because of how women act purely to get a child with the best genes and anyone with money to support it-even if it means committing paternity fraud.

    Heck even the law now encourages women to use men as walking wallets (men they marry basically).

    Anyway I’m not expecting anyone to take any of this seriously, you’ll be too busy arguing over DV stats, or wage differences. Stats that were carried out by people who wanted to make sure that their sense of reality was not destroyed, hence how very few of them are even remotely objective.

    I’ll let you get back to your circular arguments, they remind me of a dog chasing its own tail.

  109. 110

    julie said,

    Matt, you make total sense to me.

  110. 111

    uccellina said,

    Matt: “I think feminists actually feel let down when they go out in the world and they don’t meet their Prince Charming, confident, dominant(but not domineering), in control (but not controlling), humourous, charismatic etc, the list goes on, but read a romance novel and you’ll get my drift. Their disappointment is then projected onto all men.”

    1) Totally negates the existence of feminists who have happy, egalitarian heterosexual relationships/marriages.

    2) Totally negates the existence of lesbian feminists.

    3) Totally negates the concept of women as rational actors.

    You’re three for three!

    “The MRA men have a great sense of honour and fairness, which is not translated in the real world because of how women act purely to get a child with the best genes and anyone with money to support it-even if it means committing paternity fraud.”

    4) Totally negates the existence of women who don’t want children.

    5) Totally negates the existence of women who have no interest in deceiving men in order to get children.

    Make that five for five. Wow!

    “Try having an equal relationship with a woman and you’ll find no one is happy.”

    I’m going to guess you’ve never actually tried this.

  111. 112

    Matt said,

    Thanks for your comment Julie, I read your earlier post and enjoying hearing a perspective that is much more balanced and less reactionary and hostile than many feminist and MRA comments.

    Thanks you as well for your comment Uccellina. Its always pleasing to read someone else’s take on the world, I shall carry on reading your blog to try to get more insights into why feminists hold the views and ideals that they do.

  112. 113

    mark said,

    “Try having an equal relationship with a woman and you’ll find no one is happy.”

    I’m going to guess you’ve never actually tried this.”

    I have. Several times & have seen countless other men try it as well and can confirm that the statement he made is correct 99.9% of the time.

    “4) Totally negates the existence of women who don’t want children.

    5) Totally negates the existence of women who have no interest in deceiving men in order to get children.”

    That is all nice and politically correct, but the problem is, as in every other area of life, political correctness is a very distant second in the priorities of an intelligent person’s life. The number most important goal for anyone is survival.

    A woman may tell you she doesn’t want a child, yet as any experienced man will tell you, what a woman says and what she actually does has little if any connection.

    If a woman has no interest in deceiving a man in order to get children, how is a man supposed to know this? Again, you cannot rely on a woman’s statement that this will be true. Will she have a pretty smile? Pretty teeth? A pretty face and a ‘sweet’ demeanor? Will she be from a ‘good’ family? I have met women in my life that I would never have dreamed the depths they sank to achieve their selfish goals.

    The problem for men is the fact that the legal system facilitates women in virtually any evil endevour, throwing the entire question of what is right and what is wrong in the eyes of the law into a tail spin- at least when it applies to a woman. This is the problem that virtually all men’s groups are addressing.

  113. 114

    Matt said,

    Mark:yet as any experienced man will tell you, what a woman says and what she actually does has little if any connection.

    Agree with you 100% Mark.

    I didn’t bother arguing because in Uccellina’s mind women are these perfect creatures and all men do all day is to sit around and think how to supposedly ‘oppress’ and ‘ruin’ womens’ lives, rather than get on and enjoy their own lives.

    Ask any man who’s been in relationships and he’s likely to have received any of the following: manipulation attempts, guilt trips, lack of respect, his girlfriend trying to control him completely. I found this post that suggests this is completely instinctual:
    http://ulrich-inferno.blogspot.com/2007/02/of-feminists-and-puas.html

  114. 115

    uccellina said,

    I know it’s too much to ask that people at least skim earlier comments before making unfounded assertions, so I will just cut and paste some of what has been said previously here. Since it obviously needs to be said again.

    Comment 43: “a lot of harm is done when people extrapolate from personal experiences (bitter divorces, custody fights, perceived unfairness in settlements, difficulties in living up to standards, etc.) to assume that all women or all men are out to “get” the other.”

    Comment 62: “And as a woman, I have experienced . . . but the plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” and as important as our personal stories are to us, they are not persuasive arguments.”

  115. 116

    mark said,

    “I know it’s too much to ask that people at least skim earlier comments before making unfounded assertions, so I will just cut and paste some of what has been said previously here. Since it obviously needs to be said again.

    “Comment 43: “a lot of harm is done when people extrapolate from personal experiences (bitter divorces, custody fights, perceived unfairness in settlements, difficulties in living up to standards, etc.) to assume that all women or all men are out to “get” the other.”

    Comment 62: “And as a woman, I have experienced . . . but the plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” and as important as our personal stories are to us, they are not persuasive arguments.”

    Your tone of total and complete condescention speaks volumes in how you regard men. Too bad for you that constant inflation of your ego does not replace actual intelligence. You are addressing a well educated man who does not need motherly nattering, which would make you of little or no value in a heterosexual relationship with an educated man. You, on the other hand, need to learn the difference between generalizations and cultural trends.

    You know, I do wish I was wrong & that the sorry state of our society and of female/male relationships was simply down to just “my” own personal experience- bad experiences that have colored my perception of the world. But of course that is not the case, as we see the dismal divorce statistics, and the insane divorce laws that facilitate them- women ‘cashing’ out and extorting men- the stories bombard us everyday in the news, children imploding because they have been raised by single mothers- and all of it because of Feminism. Is there any area of American life that Feminism hasn’t turned to fecal matter?

  116. 117

    uccellina said,

    “Your tone of total and complete condescention speaks volumes in how you regard men.”

    Oh, I disagree. I think it says something about how I regard certain commenters.

    “You are addressing a well educated man who does not need motherly nattering, which would make you of little or no value in a heterosexual relationship with an educated man.”

    Quick! Someone notify my husband!

  117. 118

    Mom said,

    I’m not sure why I’m bothering, here, since the “MRA side’ is so committed to indignant, rather than considered responses, but what the heck. The teacher in me cannot resist.

    Let’s try considering, once again, the context of anger. Many of these posters make reference either to personal experience, to perceptions of others’ experience, or to websites that attest to the iimpossibility of gender equality and to trust between men and women. Even more significant, I think, is the thread that reduces the outcome of such bad experiences to fights over money and children. Comments in this thread then frequently turn to ad hominen attacks on Uccellina, on feminists, and then on women in general.

    There seems to be enormous difficulty with separating the particular from the general. Yes, some women are abusers; yes, some women are exploiters; yes, some women behave abominably. Why must this be interpreted in terms of the “nature” of women and extrapolated as inevitable?

    Why not think about the larger setting in which both men and women, whether feminist or not, must contend with financial difficulty, social isolation and the lack of appropriate government support for families?

    Contrary to those who argue that people behave according to instinct and “natural law,” I will argue, as a social scientist, that our behavior is learned and heavily conditioned by the culture in which we live. Any course in introductory anthropology will demonstrate the possibilities of other cultural models. Examples of societies where men and women regard themselves and their work in a non-hierarchical way do exist. There is nothing natural about male dominance, just as there is nothing natural about women wanting children (we are taught to do this and as U ponts out, some do and some do not) or about women expecting men to provide for them. And lest anyone rush in with claims about man the hunter and our evolutionary psychology, let me point out that in many hunting societies, women gather at least as much food, if not more, than the men bring home. In other words, both sides bring in “income,’ and women do not instinctively seek out the man with the best hunting skills. And married as well as unmarried mothers have worked “outside” the home – in too many contexts to count to sustain their children, without expecting a Prince Charming to rescue them. Most women are realists, after all.

  118. 119

    John Dias said,

    “Mom” wrote:

    Why not think about the larger setting in which both men and women, whether feminist or not, must contend with financial difficulty, social isolation and the lack of appropriate government support for families?

    Truer words were never spoken. I would like to know your take on the latest news item that fathers’ advocates are now discussing both online and in traditional media: the story about the woman who owns a pizza shop putting on her pizza boxes fliers of men who are behind in their child support payments, to shame them into paying.

    Here’s a broadcast of that. (Requires the Windows Media player)

    When the advocate for the fathers’ position (opposing the pizza box campaign) tried to highlight the fact that penalties and arrearages in child support add up to make satisfying the debt impossible, he was talked over. The woman running the pizza box campaign said that if it’s the law, they have to pay it, and that’s that — otherwise, they shouldn’t have had kids. Her opponent had pointed out that even in cases where the court has legal authority to ratchet down child support payments (such as in the case of the father’s temporary unemployment, or disability), it is rare when this happens. The woman also implied that men who are behind in their child support payments don’t want to see their kids, an implication drawn from the fact that they’re late on the payments but without further substantiation.

    I have read this thread and noticed that you have elucidated the problems of women in the workplace, in the home, and in the general culture. It’s good that you are looking out for the interests of this set of human beings, but I fear that you are not looking at all human beings. If the difficulties of fathers have not been explored. It is implied that fathers want to take off and leave both their children and their ex wives in dire economic straits, never to visit their kids. Custody and visitation are related to child support payments; the more a father is involved in his kids’ lives, the more balanced the child support obligation will be between mother and father. Note that balance in the financial obligation also reveals a subtle benefit for children: both parents will play an equal role in the lives of their kids, post-divorce. Shared parenting is a healthy thing for most kids, and yet there is no presumption of shared parenting in most state laws (Iowa is the lone dissenter). So in a custody battle, where women are likely to fare much better, fathers tend to lose because they have embraced the breadwinner role (and you have acknowledged the value of this). Because fathers have embraced this valuable role pre-divorce, their kids are punished for it post-divorce by being denied equal parenting time with their fathers. Fathers are then racked with the maximum in child support and alimony payments. Already they were kept apart from their children all day while they worked; now they’re working all day with the same (or greater) economic burdens, and the bond between their kids is weakened.

    We need sympathy for the kids and fathers in these situations. Kids are being raised without sufficient benefit of a father in their lives; I’m sure that as a sociologist you can attest to the vast literature that is available about the social benefits of actively involved fathers.

    We need sympathy for fathers who are trying to make child support payments on low incomes. Pre-divorce, a low income or difficulties in employment or due to low wages meant that the family would roll with the punches, but stay together. Post-divorce, there is no such adaptation in the eyes of the courts. The law gives them discretion to lower child support payments to appropriate levels during times of economic difficulty. Why then is it assumed that fathers are deadbeats when the courts are slow to act in this regard, or refuse to do so? There is a certain rigidity and politicization about the issue of child support, custody, and visitation that ignores the plight of fathers. Your call to tread all human beings with humanity, support for families, and to recognize financial difficulty resounds in light of these facts.

    MRAs may be abrasive sometimes, that is true. But they happen to believe in much of what I’ve just said above, and their means of expression do not invalidate the above points. In the video link I posted above, the woman said that if men don’t like the way they’ve been treated, if it’s unfair, they should change the laws. That seemed like a concession to me; if she recognizes difficulty imposed on fathers by the law, why is she so gleeful about demonizing men who are behind in child support payments, rather than finding ways to make it easier for them to catch up and stay current (such as equal parenting time, more easily obtained downward modifications in child support, and supporting the ability of child support obligors to more easily find and keep jobs, such as retaining their driver’s licenses)?

    Yes, seeing the financial difficulties of all humans necessarily encompasses seeing the difficulties of men and fathers. To date you’ve focused much on women and mothers. How about some equal time?

  119. 120

    Mom said,

    John,
    I think what we have here is a case of selective reading. You say that I don’t address the plight of men, yet what I have clearly done is to talk about the socio-cultural factors that affect families, not women alone. I watched the video and noted that the presenter made the point that not all deadbeat parents are men – that all parents have an obligation to support their children to the best of their ability. To the claim that support payments are too steep for low-skilled men to handle, I would answer that a child’s basic needs Must be met- that’s obviously non-negotiable. The resident parent has no choice but to use any and all means to do this. By basic needs I mean food, shelter, safety and clothing. Beyond that, one would hope that a child has access to reasonable toys, books, etc. Many mothers in poverty must turn to welfare because they cannot a) get jobs that pay the rent and b) afford child care. They scrimp and borrow to get by. I hardly see them as gouging their chldren’s fathers for luxuries, do you?

    Having one’s face on a pizza box is shaming, no doubt. But in a world where community pressures have broken down, where close social networds no longer compel people to fulfill basic social obligations, that’s what may be needed.

    Let me reiterate: some women are exploiters and abusers; some women use custody and visitation as weapons. But these are not the majority and their existence does not negate the larger social problem. Those men – and I do not say all men because many, perhaps even most men are wonderful, committed fathers, who do not make every effort to sustain their offspring are irresponsible or worse, must be called to account. And the same goes for their female counterparts.

  120. 121

    Steve said,

    Writer2 said,: (It doesn’t take a whole lot of common sense to figure out that men have dominated women for a very long time and in most matters.) You are WRONG about men. MOST men have NOT “dominated” women. Most men had worked long hours at dangerous jobs to support their families. Many men got themselves killed in wars, and sheltered women from this reality. They, on average, lived shorter lives. They do not have the historical advantage that you claim. Men have passed laws benefitting women, that shows men in the U.S. have treated women as equals. Men have invented medical technologies, telephones, planes, otherwise we would all still live in caves. Working-class poor white men, black men, latino men, etc, have not always been treated as equals. Unlike men, Women got the vote without having to be eligible for military service. And Writer2, you don’t get to decide what a “real man” is! A real man would stand against man-stereotyping statements, by anyone, and would not declare masculinity to be broken at all. A real man does not automatically validate all feminist statements, and be a self-sacrificing dolt.
    You said: (I don’t get the anxiety, the anger, the terror that the world might actually end up being a place where people are more equal than it used to be.) I’m saying: Discrimination disguised as equality is not to be cheered. I don’t get the anger of females AND males toward the important role men have had in this world for centuries. If you have the guts, reply to my words. We can debate the REAL history of gender later on.

  121. 122

    trevg said,

    The arguments will go on forever,well NOT quite.I world wide storm is brewing ladies.Peak Oil scenario will make itself felt from about 2010 onwards. All the biased thinking that exercises small areas of feminista brains will surely come to nought. It will evaporate in the chill wind of reality.
    Cue..Oil resources will reduce at approx 3% pa and it takes 5 times the resources to build replacement technolgy-We’ve hardly begun.
    Society (un-prepared for this by materialistic absorbtion) will have to reconfigure.Do you see the picture.Men will be the only ones to do this; B/S will not suffice.
    We have long memories of how women cared about men in the family,society,schools and courtrooms etc etc.
    Most of these blog comments illustrate the gap between natural allies of the past-give or take a few mistakes on both sides.
    Co-operate..or go down the drain
    Simple.

  122. 123

    MZR said,

    Feminism seems to be pretty useless to me because so many of the issues they are discussing are not womens issues but rather human issues. They don’t need to be looked at from the angle of how they affect women and they don’t need to be grouped into feminism. Each and every one of the particular topics which are being discussed should be discussed on their own, without any bias from an established system of thought (like feminism), or they won’t ever be analyzed objectively. Rather than spending 100% of your effort on feminism and splitting it into issue A, B, C, and D why not put all of your effort into a particular issue and make sure it is dealt with in a way that is fair to all, without trying to make it fit your previously established feminist beliefs. I doubt what I said means anything to you because its pretty abstract but its how I feel.

  123. 124

    Steve said,

    Uccellina said: “I certainly do not mean to suggest that any of the bloggers or site-administrators listed above are abusers themselves. But they are part of and feeding into a culture of anger and violence against women.”
    This is totally hypocritical of feminists everywhere: Their movement has fed into a culture of anger and violence against men!! Andrea Dworkin, Germaine Greer and many others have made statements that support or fuel violence against men. Yet why does society consider male anger to be wrong, but female anger to be right? Uccellina, Don’t be the kind of person who can dish it out, but can’t take it. And Feminists in general have NEVER been in favor of equality, partly that would mean equal responsibilities, in addition to equal rights. Equal responsibilities men females being drafted into the military. It would mean doing the dangerous jobs men have done forever. It would mean accounting for any deadbeat moms, as well as deadbeat dads. The real “rising backlash” has been against MEN’s equality. If the same things that were said about non-whites that that stated about men, people would call those statements racist.

  124. 125

    [...] my “guilty pleasure” of fisking “Uccellina” as I deal with a little rotten egg of hers … “But for a really guilty pleasure, I read conservative websites. [...]

  125. 126

    [...] don’t mean to get off topic, but this woman mentions Eternal Bachelor in this entry on this [...]

  126. 127

    [...] we are going to cherry-pick comments on blogs the way Uccellina does, let’s not overlook her defenders’ use of Code [...]


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