Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Dialogue between a Feminist and myself.

"But fundamentally, it's not a movement to disempower men, it's aiming to empower women."

Are you sure? I can tell you that there's an awful lot of feminists who have argued the opposite. They argue that men have power that is unequal, and that power needs to be reduced so that equality results. This is often done through quotas, for example.

If you look at a situation where men and women compete for something (like a job), but men tend to win more often, then substitute a reserve 50 % of the seats for women, but have women and men compete for the remainder, it's hard to see how that isn't disempowering men.

" It is a movement based around trying to achieve equality for all sexes and genders."

Then it would care equally for all, instead of only those it identifies as female. And as someone who grew up in the 1970s as part of a feminist household, marching in WEL rallies, where women and men, girls and boys, were supposed to be equally important, equal members, people with different bits but fundamentally the same inside, I would say it started off more or less in that way. It certainly isn't that way now.

And I have to point out inequality was always there, not as an extremist position, but right at the core. Take WW1. Very few men were allowed to vote; the elites held onto it, and they weren't letting go. Men were forced to go march and die in the sucking mud and choking gases.

Women weren't.

It was raised at the time that this wasn't just. Women would be given the vote, and yet didn't have the same responsibility to die for the nation? Men were put to death for refusing conscription? A deal was made, and the White Feather movement was born.

Feminists got the vote, in exchange for helping shame men who resisted the pressure to fight. They would not *have* to do any service. They could volunteer.

Nothing has changed. Women are still not forced into dangerous situations. They can choose to go. But in the US, by law, the right to vote is tied into military service (and a few other things). And when the question "why isn't conscription universal?" is raised, I have yet to see one Feminist deal with the matter properly.

We conscript black people, white people, people of irish descent, people of Samoan descent, christians, atheists, left handers, right handers, and nowadays, gay and straight people, all of whom can fill a body bag - just so long as those people are men. Women are immune.

"However, I think there can definitely be hostility towards men in these spaces"

Well, yes, feminist fiction about exterminating men has been popular since the 1960s (c.f. Even Neo-Nazis aren't that open about their hostility towards the objects of their hatred. And things like the so-called "female sperm" are met with responses like "one step closer to killing you off".

Works like "The Vagina Monologues" even have section about the use of female pedophilia as a tool to vaccinate females against heterosexuality; the so-called "good rape".

And it's hardly alone. I was shocked when I was at Sydney Uni, trying to decide if I should do Women's Studies, to find not one, but two books on the shelves of Feminist literature, that advocated women sexually stimulate their infant daughters as a way of achieving that goal. One of those books was on the reading list of the time.

I can't imagine the outrage that would result if a man wrote the equivalent of that filth, let alone had it as part of a course of formal study at the most prestigious University Australia can offer.

"men and boys certainly do face sexual violence as well. None but the most fundamental are trying to say that this isn't true. "

In which case "the most fundamental" is the majority of Feminists. I have arguments constantly as to whether or not men can even be raped, let alone as to how often. In the US, for example, "Rape Culture" documented the prevalence of male rape victims, and the fact that they were blamed - "they deserve it"

The victims were prisoners.

How did Feminism respond? By co-opting the term, and erasing the male victims. The idea that the primary victims might be male was intolerable.

And how mainstream is the erasure?

Here is a gov't sponsored campaign. I don't know if it's changed, but for years it put out the message that men were predators, women victims, always. "Don't be that guy" - with no acknowledgement of the possibility that guys were victims or females victimisers.

As someone who was a friend with a girl who was raped by her female friend, and found absolutely no acknowledgement within the legal system, and no support from Feminists, I can say that happens in Australia, too.

To a degree, the same applies to domestic violence. In Australia, men cannot get free legal advice, for example. I can't recall if there's any shelters offered, but it's certainly far less than is proportionate. Men are openly mocked if they complain, and so they keep silent - and then the statistics show few cases where males are victims and females are perps, reinforcing the notion that this is always the case.

"These issues deserve to be discussed, but realistically, when you go onto a feminist website and bring these things up, you are going into a space created solely for women to talk about womens issues, and you are making the discussion about men. "

This isn't a 'Feminist website'. Besides, echo chambers are dangerous. If you never hear a voice that challenges you, how do you know you are right? Groups that only hear reinforcing voices wander into dangerous, and often violent, delusions.

"So they definitely do care" about their kin, yes. But if they are conditioned to value males less than females, they are unlikely to advocate for the same protections for their sons as for their daughters - and they might care for their husbands up until they divorce them and are able to legally alienate them from any benefit to parenthood.

When girls were doing worse than boys in school, it was an outrage. Mothers were up in arms. So the system was changed, and now boys do substantially worse in education. The mothers... are mostly silent. (Boys are stupid) (masculinity is toxic) - Girls are Amazing!

If Feminists cared about their sons as much as their daughters, they have managed to hide it very, very well.

So, ok, maybe all those Feminists are not 'true Feminists', or maybe Not All Feminists Are Like That - but the ones who are are in power. And they are certainly doing their best to silence dissent.

(this guy shouts a lot but he makes good points)

This has gotten to the point where a bill to outlaw antifeminism was proposed in the EU. I would be imprisoned and treated as a terrorist for simply saying "Feminism is wrong". For a movement that supposedly has no organisation, it certainly has a lot of political power.

Hilariously, in a perfect example of doubletalk, it is called “The European framework national statute for the promotion of tolerance” (discussion:

"the frustration vented upon them is a cumulative frustration"

Calling for the extermination of all men is just 'frustration'? Pulling fire alarms and assaulting people is just frustration? Was what happened to Erin Pizzey's dog .. do you know who she is? Do you know what they DID?

"A whole movement should not be dismissed based on the actions of its most fundamental members"

This is the rationale used to justify the lack of protest when websites like Jezebel advocate violence towards men (

In which case, we shouldn't criticise the Nazis, because only a few, a handful, really, did those bad things - and all the nice people attending rallies and singing cheery songs are innocent. Most had no idea about the Final Solution.

The same could be said for movements like Stalinism and Maoism. Movements that resulted in millions and millions being exterminated. The nice people at the bottom let the nasty people at the top decide what the movement stood for. They don't get to wash their hands of it and say "We are not all like that".

When organisations like NOW have immense political power, when people like Mary Koss can influence the US gov't to protect females from appearing in statistics as rapists (, when women like Hilary Clinton can appear in Feminist magazines and Feminist websites as someone who people should vote for BECAUSE she's a feminist (and have a fair chance of success)..

Then I look at all that and I shake my head .. feminism doesn't need to be a monolith to be organised, any more than the trade union movement did. There are feminist lobby groups, there are people in power who are 'Like That', and they are unopposed by Feminists and that is *wrong*.

The leaders of a movement dictate the face of the movement. The silent, acquiescing majority can be as nice as they want - they have rendered themselves impotent and irrelevant, until they speak up and say "no, no, NO, you do not represent us, you do not speak for us".

So here's a challenge. Challenge those who would speak for you. Do *better*.

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