Against Feminisms

Posted: April 28, 2011 in Blogging, Feminism, Uncategorized
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When I make my case against feminism, whether it be in a reasonable, rational manner or an exasperated, angry tone, I am challenging the basis of ALL FEMINIST THEORY. People say to me, ‘you can’t generalise like that’ ‘feminism is not a monolithic group’ ‘there are many branches of feminism’ ‘feminism is a broad church’ ‘feminism is not a  club’.

People such as these bloggers have taken offence at my sweeping generalisations about their precious ideology which apparently I am cariacaturing unfairly and simplistically.

http://cubiksrube.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/fem-vs-fem/#comments

http://stavvers.wordpress.com/

http://footstepsinthedarkzine.wordpress.com/

http://toomuchtosayformyself.com/2011/04/20/an-occupational-hazard/

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/04/27/racism-is-exhausting/

So here is my rationale for why I oppose ALL and EVERY FEMINIST THEORY.  If you are a feminist but do not subscribe to any of these assumptions/beliefs, then let me know. But I expect there is not one feminist who doesn’t broadly speaking accept these tenets:

1) Feminism is based on an assumption that overall, men as a group hold power in society and this power, damages women as a group.

2) The above assumption, no matter what feminists say, relies on a belief in and a reinforcement of the essentialist binary view of gender (i.e. that male v female men v women masculine v feminine are real and important distinctions. That is how feminists justify their belief that ‘men’ hold power over ‘women’)

3) This means that in order to present these assumptions as ‘fact’, men are demonised by feminism as a whole. Feminism is, by its very nature, misandrist. e.g. concepts such as ‘rape culture’  and ‘patriarchy’ and ‘violence against women and girls’ and  ‘the male gaze’ and ‘objectification’ rely on making out men are not decent people, in general, as a group. To be accepted as decent human beings, the onus is placed by feminists onto men to prove their worth, and to prove why they differ from the (socialised or innate) ‘norm’ of dominant masculinity.

4) The focus on men’s power over women in ‘patriarchal’ society ignores other divisions between people and is essentially, ‘heteronormative’. It makes out the division between heterosexual (cis) men and (cis) women is the one that is dominant in society, and the one that is most important for feminist analysis/critique. So feminist theorists such as bell hooks and Julia Serano and Beverly Skeggs, even when they are referring to other divisions such as ethnicity, class and transgender identities, are still relying on the reification of the man v woman binary to support all their arguments about gender.

5) Feminism does not allow for these above challenges to be made to it without it having a hissy fit or banning its critics from websites/fora or saying ‘but you don’t understand’ or ‘feminism is not monolithic’. Feminism cannot stand up to critique.

6) Feminism is based on self-interest. The adoption of a feminist analysis of women in society is presented by feminists as in women’s interests.  This is why feminists are able to look with contempt and/or pity on non-feminist women. As if they are somehow not valuing themselves as women and as people.  But making a whole political ideology out of self-interest of a particular group in society, is, in my opinion, conservative and selfish.  When feminists mock people who ask about men’s discrimination with their ‘whatabouttehmenz’ taunt, they are mocking women who think and care about others, and men who think about and care about each other and themselves. So feminism expects women to be selfish and men to be self-less. And people who do not or will not fit into the binary, to not exist at all.

Comments
  1. Claire Khaw says:

    Read the anti-feminist blog of someone who dares to give her name.

  2. Loz says:

    One of my main issues with feminism is not that men hold power in society (this seems to me to perhpas hold some water – shoot me!) but the complete lack of agency given to women by many feminists. It seems to me that there is much more negotiation and power exchange evident in contemporary society (and historically) than feminists give credit for.

    • well yes that’s an irony that the quest for women’s power involves denying women’s agency. because we are ‘victims’ of ‘the patriarchy’. It is contradictory. we are victims but we are also part of this struggle to overthrow the male elite. ..

    • Travis says:

      Perhaps the fact that women lack agency which is encouraged by feminism and our society, is why men appear to have more power. Which than is a personnel choose for women and creates the illusion of Patriarchy.

    • concerned cynic says:

      Agreed. My mother used to say “men hold the power, women influence that power.” My wife has a phrase: “pillow talk.” In my coarser youthful days, I would talk of the Power of Pussy.

      Who coined “hypoagency”? GirlWritesWhat perhap?

      The industrial revolution, and the shift from status to contract, did disempower women somewhat. But women eventually got the right to vote, and the %age of women getting meaningful educations rose dramatically. The relative importance of mining and dirty manufacturing declined. Career opportunities beyond teaching, nursing and secretarial work opened up. Women came to understand their fertility and their bodies much much better. We live in a golden age of female agency. But you would never know it from listening to the radfems.

  3. aloenicepig says:

    When I’ve suggested feminism victimises women and perpetuates a patriarchal society, I’ve been shot down in flames. I believe in equality for all regardless of genitals no ~ism required. I must be a rare woman who has never experienced this man-led society and who has never suffered due to owning a vagina.

    • Marc says:

      “I must be a rare woman who has never experienced this man-led society”

      That’s because The Partiarchy ™ doesn’t actually exist.

    • You’re not the only woman, I’m another such woman for a start. Oh, and my sister is too so that’s at least three of us lol

    • concerned cynic says:

      I am fully confident that the vast majority of Americans and Canadians have a great deal of respect for your vagina and your vulva. And that’s how it should be. The place where your children will begin their life journey is a sacred one.

      Many women complain that their intellects, and competence at housework and in the workplace, are not respected. This was a majority of the women with whom I went to college 40 years ago. Via social media I have discovered both baby boom women and their daughters who say they have no issues with their female condition, and who blame most of the unhappiness they’ve experienced on their own immaturity and bad choices.

  4. elflojo84 says:

    Oh man, so much to agree with, so many of my pet hates of feminism right there! Two points especially I have been banging on about to anyone who’ll listen for what seems like decades:

    1) “Feminism is a broad church”. I hate this fucking expression. It makes feminism meaningless. As you point out, either feminism has identifiable features which make it “feminism”, or it is an utterly meaningless label. Yet ANYTHING you criticise feminism for, it’s adherents will point out that that criticism cannot be applied to feminism across the board because it is a “broad church”. To continue the metaphor, it’s not just a “broad church”, it can encapsulate anyone, of any religion or no religion, from an atheist through a bhuddist to an Islamist. What is the point of an “ideology” which cannot be defined with references to any ideological viewpoint??

    Feminists often use a two-faced definiton of feminism. First off, they will tell you “a feminist is someone who believes in female equality”. I quote my recent response on a CiF thread (“The Unlikely Feminist”, if you care) to that:

    “That makes pretty much everyone a feminist then, in this country anyway. It’s not even a political position, it’s just a given in the same way that “no-one should be discriminated against for the colour of their skin” is a given. So I don’t see why a word is necessary or useful to describe this default position, instead we have words to distinguish the exception (sexist / misandrist / mysogenist), much like we have the word “racist” but we don’t have a special word for the other 99% of people.

    Only, most people who believe this do not call themselves ‘feminist’, and many people calling themselves ‘feminist’ do not appear to believe this. So as far as I can see this definition does not stack up with how the word is used in the real world.”

    The sneaky bit, is that they conflate this very broad (and very common) “women are equal” belief with the much more specific precise views of them and their co-feminists. For example, on prostitution. If they, personally, believe that prostitution is always exploitative, they call that a “feminist issue”, therefore by disagreeing with it you are not merely disagreeing with the assertion “prostitution is always exploitative” but with the assertion “men and women are equal”.

    2) The etymology of the word. If “feminism” is not bigotted or self-serving, then why is it called feminism. To use my favourite little snide aside, “Anything called “feminism” must either be a bigotted ideology, or a misnomer”. In many cases it is merely a misnomer (WRG I think we discussed this on Graunwatch once with reference to male feminists?) which doesn’t really bother me – people who genuinely are not self-serving or bigotted about it I do not think should call themselves feminist, but it isn’t that significant if they do. But the fact is, the huge majority of those who identify as “feminist” merit the name – ie, they are bigots, in one or more of the ways you set out above.

  5. typhonblue says:

    Feminism teaches that women are victims, at its core.

    Unfortunately I rather don’t like identifying as a victim. In fact if you show me a problem that women face that I also face I prefer to see it as an isolated challenge then as proof of my identity in the essentialist category ‘victim of the patriarchy’.

    What can I say? I’m against the ‘distressed damsel’ traditional gender role for women and the exploitation of ‘distressed damsels’ for the benefit, power jockeying and legitimizing of political groups and their aims.

  6. OY VEH says:

    LOL what a surprise. A tap-dancing misogynist is also pro-racism. Shocker!

  7. Lucy Cage says:

    Hmm. I am a feminist and the reason I say that I am is that the women being equal part – even though the majority, though certainly not the entirety of the population of this country by any means, might ‘believe’ in such a thing – has not yet happened. And until it does etc… (‘Believe’ is a pretty meaningless term in this situation, anyway, all things considered.) In broad, binary (and flawed) terms, women as a group are not politically, socially, economically or culturally equal to men as a group; that doesn’t mean men don’t suffer under the current system too, or even that some men don’t suffer more than some women in some areas, or that in some areas some women are not more privileged than some men, but as a broad generalisation I believe it holds true. Learning about feminism as a kid opened my eyes to all kinds of injustice and bigotry: the principle of equality for women led naturally on to the principle of equality for all.

    The word ‘feminism’ itself is flawed: it was coined donkey’s years ago, before those that wrote about such things took it upon themselves to consider gender and sexuality with much more than a cursory glance and so it certainly *does* appear to promote bias in favour of women (and so therefore, maybe, implicitly at the expense of men) and to encapsulate the binary view of the world that you rightly critique. But I am not going to nitpick endlessly about terms (like, cough, some, er, feminists spend their time doing): feminism what we have to represent the ongoing project towards equality, and I do mean equality of everyone, of all orientations and identifications.

    I’m not particularly impressed with the way some women who call themselves feminists speak about and act towards men; nor with their appropriation of the word ‘feminism’; nor with the patronising attitudes or any calls for control, censorship, prudery or protectionism. I am still a bit boggled by what happened on the Cath Elliott blog and by the brave new world I seem to have found myself in. But I cannot see a better way of expressing where I stand at the moment. Maybe all labels are inherently flawed. They certainly lend themselves to the sort of generalising “they”-ing and “we”-ing that I loathe and which makes me distrustful of the worth of what is being said.

    For what it’s worth, I’d very much hope that *my* feminism (ha! Now I’m appropriating it!) is not misandrist, heteronormative, self-interested or above criticism: if it is, I’d be up for talking about it!

    • typhonblue says:

      I’m wondering if you make the connection between the attitudes of many feminists–women need special protections–and how it stymies the promotion of a belief in ‘true equality’.

      Also, I disagree that comparing the oppressions of men and women is measurable.

      Men may achieve more but they are also considered worthless if they don’t. Women may achieve less, but they are not considered worthless if they don’t.

      The dynamic is too complex and interconnected to be reduced down to measurable quantities. Incidentally, if it is a measurable quantity then there must be some sort of equation that feminists are using to come to a greater than conclusion. What is this equation? How are the various
      ‘oppressions’ weighted?

      • Lucy Cage says:

        Well, the truth is that *some* inequality is measurable with statistics. The fact that wages given to women in ‘women’s jobs’ are lower than those given to men in comparable jobs or indeed, sometimes, in identical positions; the lack of job promotion in certain fields because of (usually unspoken, sometimes explicit) attitudes towards women; incidence of violence against women simply for being women such as domestic abuse and rape; how motherhood works against women in various ways that fatherhood does not work against men… Of course men suffer in ways that are particular to their being men as well and of course ‘women’ (as a broad and horribly generalised group) may be more cynical or scornful about ‘men’ (as another broad and horribly generalised group) these days in ways that they may not have been twenty years ago, but woman are also more likely to suffer financially, socially, mentally and physically from the effects of institutional and personal misogyny than men – particularly white, middle- or upper-class men – are from the effects of misandry.

        • hi lucy thanks for stopping by!

          I think we both handled ourselves well on Cath’s blogpost. You especially.

          I think with ‘statistics’ the problem is feminists are very selective with which stats they choose to prioritise. Gender binary for me is a kind of ‘arbitary’ way of showing who suffers more in society. So if we use ‘male’ and ‘female’ to define who suffers more we come up with arbitary results. women get paid less. Men don’t live as long. Women are more likely to be raped. men are more likely to commit suicide. women are more likely to die giving birth. Men are more likely to be imprisoned.

          It becomes random.

          • Lucy Cage says:

            Well, thank you, Quiet Riot! I appreciate the compliment. And I also very much appreciate you making me think and challenging my assumptions, even if I ultimately cling on to some of them. Challenge is always a good thing. Disagreement doesn’t scare me; I don’t know why it reduces others to such fury. The only thing I really can’t bear is outright hatred towards one group of people, and although you do the “grr feminists” thing which I don’t like other people doing when they talk about “grr men”, I don’t see blind hate in your comments.

        • typhonblue says:

          I’m going to address just one part of your post.

          “incidence of violence against women simply for being women such as domestic abuse and rape”

          So are incidences of domestic abuse and rape against men perpetuated because they are men?

          There are stats out there that suggest DV is equal opportunity and strongly suggest that rape may be as well. In other words, there is equivalence between female-on-male victimization and male-on-female victimization.

          Parity in domestic violence:
          http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm
          Parity in sexual violence in relationships: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID45-PR45.pdf

          Admittedly because I have an intense antipathy to painting women as victims–thus removing their agency–I am quite inclined to believe statistics that find women equally capable of violence and men equally capable of being victims of violence by women.

          Before you automatically find fault with these stats, ask yourself why you’re supporting the assumption that women are uniquely victims in these areas?

          • Lucy Cage says:

            “There are stats out there that suggest DV is equal opportunity and strongly suggest that rape may be as well. In other words, there is equivalence between female-on-male victimization and male-on-female victimization.”

            Yes, I know, but I can’t help but doubt the soundness of those statistics. The reason why I am supporting the assumption that women are – not uniquely but more frequently and usually to a more serious extent – victims of domestic abuse and rape is because that is my experience of the world; I know many women who have been raped and abused and beaten up by their partners; I don’t know any men who have been. So if the statistics reflect my experience of the world, they obviously seem more valid to me!

            I also know that my trans friends are in an even more precarious and dangerous position as far as violence/sexual abuse goes but my white male middle-class friends certainly seem to be in pretty much the safest position you can be in in this society in that particular area; they don’t have to worry too much about getting into situations where they will be sexually bullied.

          • typhonblue says:

            @ Lucy Cage:

            “Yes, I know, but I can’t help but doubt the soundness of those statistics.”

            Based on your life experience? There is an obvious selection bias to what you personally experience in your life.

            “but my white male middle-class friends certainly seem to be in pretty much the safest position you can be in in this society in that particular area”

            In my experience the fact that most people consider ‘white men’ to be invulnerable is something that works to mask the things they are damaged by.

            My husband has been subject to two attempted rapes by groups of women. I know several men who either have been raped or sexually assaulted.

            You would probably consider all of them ‘invulnerable’ due to being ‘white, male and middle class’ and they likely would pick up on that and never feel comfortable telling you about their experiences.

            In the last few decades what feminism has done is made women feel more comfortable divulging their experiences of domestic violence and rape(although women as victim has always been a strong refrain in our society, so this progress was relatively easy). Because men are still shamed for being victims, they don’t disclose, particularly to women. Particularly to women who aren’t emotionally open to the possibility of ‘white middle class males’ being victims.

            Even more reason to trust an anonymous survey then your own personal experience.

            Also, if you think about it, having an equal chance of being a victim of either physical and sexual abuse but being completely silenced about it by society really tilts the ‘oppression’ ledger towards men in this particular instance.

          • elflojo84 says:

            Lucy, I take exception to your use of the phrase “because they are women”. I don’t think either rape or domestic violence happen to the victim BECAUSE they are women. It’s not like a race-hate attack, or a homophobic murder, a man is not saying to himself “I hate women; I’m going to find a woman, any woman, to take my anger out on”. If a man rapes a woman it isn’t simply an expression of hatred towards women, it’s more complicated than that. If a man hits his wife, it’s PERSONAL, it’s to do with the dynamic between those two. I’m not saying that makes it right, but it’s an enormous logical step from “man hits woman” to “man hits because she is a woman”> It may be true in some, even many, cases, but it isn’t fundamentally true of domestic violence.

            The fact that both types of violence affect women disproportionately (which I do believe, by the way) does not mean they are a “women’s issue”; that the gender is a factor is important in terms of understanding the dynamics, and the motivations, but primarily they are issues which affect people.

            Nice to see a self-proclaimed feminist happy to engage, by the way. I hope that doesn’t sound patronising, but it really is depressingly rare. Good to meet you.

          • typhonblue says:

            @elflojo84

            “The fact that both types of violence affect women disproportionately (which I do believe, by the way)”

            I’m curious why you believe that?

          • concerned cynic says:

            Erin Pizzey may be correct when she asserts that both genders are broadly equal in their capacity to inflict violence on each other. We don’t see women’s violence against men, because most violent women are in the underclass, and hence off the educated middle class radar.

            I am sceptical that women are as sexually violent with men, as men are with women. Sexual violence against men primarily takes the following three forms:
            * Male on male anal rape (a major horror of prison life);
            * Underclass mothers getting high or drunk and molesting their sons (Stephen Sondheim has gone public with his claim that his mother molested him);
            * Male infant circumcision. In this regard, tens of millions of Americans, and of well-educated Jews, live behind blinders.

            “Men don’t have to worry too much about getting into situations where they will be sexually bullied.” Ms. Cage, I most definitely have been threatened, bullied and assaulted many times in my life. I am very confident that what I would not have experienced any of this had I been born a woman. Women are victims, you see, while men have to man up.

          • I’m curious as to why the idea of women-on-women violence is never considered. If women are really a group of victims (and I agree with typhoonblue that we aren’t, I like to think of each person as an individual who has made certain decisions based on what is available to them, i.e. agency), what percentage of violence has been perpetrated by women to other women? Personally, I know that the majority of the abuse I’ve received in my life has come from other women, much of it psychological bullying and torture, but also physical and sexual violence too. I went to an all girls school, where my female teachers, teaching young women, held all of the power. I was smacked by a female teacher in my mixed sex primary school, which whilst it was only the once, corporal punishment has been illegal in Britain since before I was born (1992). I have vivid memories of many supply teachers, but one that sticks out was a youngish Australian woman who went on and on about sexism and was incredibly mean and dismissive of the male students, but doting to all us girls.

            At another school, a mixed sex school, I knew someone who had to leave because she was being physically bullied by boys at her school. These boys had no interest in doing it, other than to impress another girl who absolutely hated my friend.

            I can’t extend my experiences and say that they are overwhelmingly true of all women in all society. But my experiences of (a) knowing myself as a woman and (b) my experiences of other women, particularly in ostensibly women-only environments, have led me to the conclusion that women are as capable of nastiness, close-mindedness, irrational bullying and aggressive behaviour as any man I’ve met. It also seems weird that I’ve had all these poor experiences of other women, from a very young age, and yet I’d most likely be told it has nothing to do with gender. So you can have lots of bad experiences, and link those people by their genitalia, but only if that genitalia happens to be a cock.

            Rather, the media seems to tell a tale of ‘women really are made out of sugar, spice and all things nice’ and men are horrible, disgusting creatures who are responsible for every instance of abuse a woman may suffer.

            I’m also sorry to bring up so much personal stuff, but I recently had a bit of a tearful time with my partner and realised that these experiences affected me much more than I have wanted to let on in the past, possibly because (much like men) I’ve had to ‘man up’ and accept these experiences and move on with my life – addressing them impossible because, as women, and probably in many instances girls who’ve grown up to be really decent people, I don’t know them anymore, I can’t say, but I honestly feel that if they were all men then I could easily take this to the press and get a wad of cash for my life story, no questions asked. In fact, I once confided in a (now ex) friend whose life was consumed by being a radfem who assumed when I said I’d been sexually abused by a family member, that it was my father. Who it was not.

            I just don’t get it. It doesn’t seem to make any logical sense to downgrade how much of a complete cunt someone has been in their actions because they have vagina.

        • Andrew Harris says:

          I realize I’m jumping into a 2 year old discussion, but I would like to point out that there ARE studies that have shown that the wage gap is closing rapidly.

          You also failed to mention, as do many feminists, the following fact:

          Men work more hours than women do, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact they work, on average, .7 more hours per day than women do. Do the math.

          .7 hours per day amounts to roughly 182 hours per year, or a full 4 1/2 weeks’ worth of work.

      • A wise woman once said, “Women are sex objects. Men are success objects.”

      • Ellen says:

        Men may achieve more but they are also considered worthless if they don’t. Women may achieve less, but they are not considered worthless if they don’t.
        that’s because women aren’t treated as contributing members of society in the same way men are. I don’t see the fact that women are given lower expectations for what they can achieve as a sign that they are less oppressed than men.

      • concerned cynic says:

        “Men may achieve more but they are also considered worthless if they don’t. Women may achieve less, but they are not considered worthless if they don’t.”

        A pithy example of why I am a Typhon Blue fan. I reached the same conclusion 20-30 years ago, in the following words. A man is as he does; a woman can just be.

      • concerned cynic says:

        “Men may achieve more but they are also considered worthless if they don’t. Women may achieve less, but they are not considered worthless if they don’t.”

        In these two sentences, Typhone Blue has conveyed a lot more wisdom then you will hear in a 3 day international conference of movement feminists.

        Women have always been noted for their common sense. That tradition persists into our time, thanks to Typhon, to Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, to GWW, to Quiet Riot Girl, to hundreds of mothers I interact with on Facebook.

        People, just look at the gender breakdown of suicide rates. If that isn’t a dead canary in the coal mine, what is??

      • concerned cynic says:

        “Men may achieve more but they are also considered worthless if they don’t. Women may achieve less, but they are not considered worthless if they don’t.”

        I reached this conclusion decades ago, in reaction to the university feminism I saw all around me. I would love to read the reactions, in a 1000 words or less, of several dozen self-identified feminists to those two sentences.

        Most men are not very smart, not very interesting in bed, not very good at expressing themselves. Their value is little more than impregnators and bacon bringers. Nowadays, 70% (30%) of AA (white) babies are born out of wedlock. Rates that high cannot be explained by seduction and abandonment. Rather, millions of women want to be pregnant but disdain marrying the man who impregnates them. As for the provider role, this century in the USA, average wage growth has lagged productivity growth by 12%. This historically unprecedented decline has put millions of married American men and fathers in a very bad light.

    • Lucy Cage says: April 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      “…I am a feminist…”

      “…The word ‘feminism’ itself is flawed…”

      Just about says it all really….

  8. Angel H. says:

    What does Thurston’s video (http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/04/27/racism-is-exhausting/) have to do with this? You didn’t even leave any comments on that post. Is there something you disagree with in that particular post or are you just disagreeing with Feministe just because it’s Feministe?

    • I just ‘left’ feministe and that was my parting gift. I didn’t intend it to relate to that post I just put my link on the most recent post where I thought people may see it. I haven’t read that post.

      • Angel H. says:

        Okay, I understand. It’s just that associating posting that link and saying that it’s an example of why you disagree with feminists might not give the impressions you meant for it to give. (See Oy Veh’s comment above.)

  9. Helen says:

    I think the notion of having a label to encompass so many different people’s ways of approaching gender dynamics is always going to be misleading and problematic. I also don’t like the fact that most online dicussions about gender inevitably turn into a boring over-analytical debate about the definition of feminism. How distracting, and what a waste of energy.

    All this fuss, over a label.

    • Lucy Cage says:

      Yeah, my heart is with you on that. Even when I am the one getting into the pointless discussions… There are so many more worthy battles to be fought, injustices to be challenged, arguments to be countered. I actually don’t care nearly so much what people want to call themselves or me if what we agree on is that people should be treated as equals regardless of gender, identity, sexuality, race, etcetera, etcetera.

      • Helen says:

        I do get into those discussions too sometimes but never online as it feels never ending. But even then if my offline friends don’t understand that feminism really can be as simple as believing in equal opportunities and rights for both genders then fine, at that point I don’t think it’s worth discussing any more because it’s hogging our attention.

        I think being over-analytical/academic about certain things sometime misses the point – this blog post I do not agree with because I identify as a feminist but am often speaking on behalf of men. And you know what? It’s not that rare to find feminists who do that. I reject all the points made here. I couldn’t even get beyond the first one…

        1) Feminism is based on an assumption that overall, men as a group hold power in society and this power, damages women as a group.

        But it’s not that simple. Some men in some circumstances have a power advantage, and likewise in some circumstances some women hold the power. Men>women is too simplistic, and to carry that idea in your head when looking at a situation then you might risk looking for misogyny where there isn’t any.

        • Lucy Cage says:

          “And you know what? It’s not that rare to find feminists who do that.”

          Yes, you’re right. That’s why I’ve been so astonished by what I’ve found by digging around in the feminist online world lately, because my feminist friends (of all genders/identities) offline are not like that at all! I’m sure we’d be told (again) that we have “a long, long way to go”, but we manage fairly well out in the world, talking and thinking and questioning and interacting and STILL being feminists, even while acknowledging the complexities of the situation.

          • If you two reject the premise that overall, ‘men’ have ‘power’ over women, then either you aren’t feminists, or you are feminists who are pretending that you don’t prioritise women in your struggle.

            e.g. ‘gender violence’ – when you discuss campaign about that do you focus on violence against women and girls?

            gender and work- do you focus on women’s inequality e.g. ‘the gender pay gap’?

            families and children- do you focus on issues affecting women e.g. reproductive rights/maternity leave etc?

            If you reject the idea that men have power over women, which feminist campaigns/priorities do you subscribe to? I can’t think of any.

          • Lucy Cage says:

            I suppose it boils down to this for me: I’m with you if you see the world made up of individuals who are equally deserving of human rights and should equally protected from harm; I’m against you if you think some people are lesser beings on the basis of who and what they are. That’s it. Never mind weighing up greater or lesser hurts, if you start telling me who I am, what I am capable of, how I can think or act according to what genitalia I possess, then I will challenge you on it. (That’s where the feminism comes in: I’m also of the opinion that no-one should be discriminated against/judged/treated differently according to their social status, class or racial origin, but the impulse is from the same root.)

            If everyone in the world thought all humans were equal, there’d be no need for any isms anymore. But they don’t.

          • @Lucy Cage says:
            April 29, 2011 at 9:20 am:

            Lucy, I completely agree with you here: if you start telling me who I am, what I am capable of, how I can think or act according to what genitalia I possess, then I will challenge you on it.

            The reason I do not call myself a feminist is that “Feminism” as an online movement (less-so offline) takes the stance that this type of discrimination doesn’t happen (or doesn’t happen often enough, or doesn’t happen with enough aggravating factors) to men.

            To fisk what you said, here’s a line-by-line:
            “if you start telling me who I am = You aren’t a real man if you don’t …”

            “if you tell me what I am capable of = You aren’t able to raise a child without a woman in the house”

            “how I can think or act= As a straight man (real man), you can’t compliment other men on how they look or be physically affectionate with them”

            The above things are actual social pressures I have felt on specific and numerous occasions.
            I juxtapose that with the experiences of women my age who I can discuss these things with and find that the number of areas where women are told similar things is completely out of whack.

            Lucy, I don’t doubt that your personal experiences have shown you that feminist emphasis on women’s issues is appropriate. I don’t blame you for that.

            I DO blame you if (and I’m not sure if this is the case) you lock arms with a movement that systematically denies my reality to be true.

          • Helen says:

            @QRG

            “If you two reject the premise that overall, ‘men’ have ‘power’ over women, then either you aren’t feminists, or you are feminists who are pretending that you don’t prioritise women in your struggle.”

            I prioritise whoever is the the disadvantaged on in any particular situation. And it’s not always a clear divide based on gender. I reject the notion that overall men have this magical power over women, the reality is so complex and multifaceted. In most social situations no one is “in charge” but all genders contribute to a problem, unless we’re talking about the heavily misogynistic legal system in certain parts of the Middle East. It depends how far you cast your net. I’m fairly international about my feminism.

            I’m not interested in the pay gap debate, it confuses me and I’d have other interests. I concern myself with human rights cases (very clear cut ones) rather than social problems.

            I work on issues specific to the immigrant communities in London. These are ones that disproportionally affect women, but also sometimes men too. I am interested only because I am a woman. It’s as simple as that. Things like forced marriages and FGM. I spent the majority of last year volunteering with charities that dealt with these issues. Those charities never expressed the view that these problems do not affect men either, and never turned away male clients.

            I do believe that some feminists realise that discrimination also happens to men, but it’s hard to hold that view in debates online. Too many people see it as an afront to their right to be angry women.

            That’s just illogical. You can be angry about things that affect women AND angry about things that affect men too. If you’re so bloody obsessed with the female side of life then you’re missing the point – we need men on board when we discuss gender issues and human rights! Urgh.

      • Travis says:

        Now I am no expert, but should human beings be more concerned with fighting Oligarchy, rather than warring about sex.

        Is that not the real oppressor in any society?

        • concerned cynic says:

          Your opinion is that of nearly all leftists before, say, 1965. The success of Occupy This n That suggests that we may be headed in that direction in the future. It is laughable to speak of male power” when tens of millions of men are making little more than minimum wage or simply cannot find a job. Tens of millions of men are functionally illiterate, and can do little more than father children.

  10. Clarence says:

    I’m heteronormative, and I’m proud.

    That doesn’t mean I’m anti-gay, but it does mean two things:
    1. I oppose all radical sexually relativistic philosophies.
    2. Any philosophies that do not deal with the fact that the majority of men and women will remain either primarily or exclusively attracted to members of the opposite biological sex is doomed to failure.

    I read this blog because:
    A. It’s fascinating
    B. I agree with QRG about 60 percent of the time
    C. Once in awhile I learn something.

    • Lucy Cage says:

      What does “I oppose all radical sexually relativistic philosophies” actually mean?!

      • Lucy, I think I know what Clarence is referring to:

        Some of the more radical feminists believe (oh jeez it feels icky just typing it) that heterosexuality is a construction of the patriarchy. They use this truth to validate a propose gender segregationist society where men are separated from women and women live together giving sexual pleasure to each other to fufil their needs. Only a handful of men would be kept purely for sperm purposes.

        And because EVEN I WOULDN’T BELIEVE MYSELF IF I SAW THIS COMMENT, here’s the link to one radfem debating it:
        http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2007/11/17/kiukus-post-about-separatism/

        I am totally on the same page as Clarence – completely heterosexual but in no way anti-gay. I had a conversation with a lesbian friend-of-a-friend in college who was pretty convinced that by becoming a lesbian (can you “become” one? WTF) she had overcome societies pressures to tell her who she should be attracted to.
        There is a aspect of truth to that – being gay and coming out has to be difficult. I wish it weren’t so. I also wish we wouldn’t assume everyone is straight.
        But the way this woman spoke about it, she felt she was BETTER than heterosexuals because of it. As if I, as a man, couldn’t get hot and bothered over another man, I was weaker than society. WTF?

        So that’s the type of mentality I think Clarence is railing against.

        As a side point, Lucy – Since the likes of QRG, Clarence, I and others believe that feminism is founded on an incorrect premise, we are not suprised, nor do we marginalize these types of views that SOME EXTREME feminists hold.

        For instance, I am an Atheist – and when a Christian lady in Texas says that God told her to drown her infant daughter – I don’t doubt that she really thought God told her to do it and I use it as a political/rhetorical tool to speak out against people who claim that “God spoke to me.” Same type of extremist politics.

        • I think a lot of well some-gay men and women think they are ‘superior’ to heteros stoners. Yes lesbians can be the most ‘superior’ because they are superior to heteros and men! I will find some quotes from gay men and do a post on it it is an interesting subject.

        • I believe he said “heteronormative”, not heterosexual. All labels that don’t really matter, however in my humble beliefs “heteronormative” equates to homophobic git.

  11. Lucy Cage says:

    @typhonblue:

    Not “invulnerable”. I didn’t ever say “invulnerable”. In fact, I think I have been pretty careful to say that men as a group are not invulnerable and some men are very vulnerable indeed.

    The reason why women have been seen as victims of attacks/abuse/violence is because, traditionally, they have been. They’ve had centuries of servitude, being treated as chattels not equal human beings, being beaten and raped and killed, purely because of their gender. It doesn’t all just vanish completely because we have an equal opportunities commission on the case. Or, indeed, because masculinity is apparently in crisis. Across the globe women are still not treated as equal citizens. It’s not imaginary, this oppression, it’s political, cultural, engrained.

    “You would probably consider all of them ‘invulnerable’ due to being ‘white, male and middle class’ and they likely would pick up on that and never feel comfortable telling you about their experiences”.
    That’s pure speculation on your part about the relationship between me and my friends. Many of my male friends are in men’s groups and we debate this stuff all the time; they are quite aware of the pressures men face these days, the crap that they have to deal with and the difficulties of expressing ‘shameful’ feelings/experiences.

    ‘Victim’ is a problematic word, because although it properly denotes the one against whom a crime has been committed, it also has masses of cultural baggage. I don’t want to close my eyes to the abuse that women still suffer just because that might mean they are being seen as ‘victims’ as well as victims.

    • typhonblue says:

      “The reason why women have been seen as victims of attacks/abuse/violence is because, traditionally, they have been.”

      I disagree.

      I think this premise is fundamentally flawed and also historically inaccurate.

      It sees depredations visited on women and assumes that men purposefully subjugated women with the intent to do them harm.

      It is simplistic, reductionist and, ultimately, indefensible. Because we can’t know for certain what men’s motives were throughout history.

      I also think it is a smokescreen for what really is holding women back: Reducing women to moral objects.

      • Lucy Cage says:

        I don’t really care so much about unpicking motives or intent as about the fact that women were legally, physically, culturally, theologically, treated like objects in the West through out much (most? all?) of history and that needed to be changed. They weren’t even second-class citizens; they weren’t citizens at all.

        Yes, I’m sure that the ideology of the time would have allowed individual men to rationalise violent or oppressive behaviour towards their wives or servants as natural, benign, all part of God’s plan, blah blah, rather than cruel or violent subjugation, much as the ideology of the present day rationalises all kinds of abusive institutional behaviours to different groups of people, such as bullying trans people for using the *wrong* toilet…

        • typhonblue says:

          “Yes, I’m sure that the ideology of the time would have allowed individual men to rationalise violent or oppressive behaviour towards their wives or servants as natural, benign, all part of God’s plan”

          Do you mean like dying so that women might be saved?

          >They weren’t even second-class citizens; they weren’t citizens at all.

          Even if they weren’t citizens, no ‘oppressor class’ in history has considered it their universal duty to provide for and protect at the potential cost of their lives the under class.

          The dynamic is simply not the same.

        • Omti says:

          “I don’t really care so much about unpicking motives or intent as about the fact that women were legally, physically, culturally, theologically, treated like objects in the West through out much (most? all?) of history and that needed to be changed. They weren’t even second-class citizens; they weren’t citizens at all.”

          You know that most men weren’t treated a bit better? You also know that most people were to poor to really restrain womens mobility?
          That men had no respect of women in the 19th century is no wonder since most women in HIGH SOCIETY were nothing but useless damsels in distress that could look good and go to balls.
          Men didn’t realize that correlation isn’t causality and assumed that since women behaved stupid they were stupid in general.

          In the end most people were treated like crap, the men had maybe a bit more freedom than women, but they had way more risk too. If you want better lifes for people, and less discrimmination and more freedom, call yourself and egalitarian, a liberal or a socialist. Feminism is a female supremacy movement and has lost all credibility for fighting for egality.

          • concerned cynic says:

            500-1000 years ago, most couples worked the land, and the economic contribution of women was about as important as that of men, when you consider that the end product was not filling a grainery, but putting food on the table. Other couples wove cloth, worked leather, and so on. Not many men worked occupations from which women were excluded. These included soldiering, merchant marine, building construction, quarrying, woodcutting. Women were excluded from white collar occupations, but so were the vast majority of men. At any rate, few households were supported by desk work.

            The industrial revolution lowered the status of women, by creating many occupations that were dirty, dangerous, and required considerable strength. Or they required a technical education of a kind that most women found distasteful, and from which women were largely excluded. Women worked in textile mills or did domestic service (throughout the 19th century, the largest single British occupation). Thus the stay at home wife and mother emerged, historically a way of life reserved to noblewomen and other female heirs. Women strove to find a husband to support them throughout adult life.

            Thus emerged the world of Austen, Dickens, Thackeray, and Trollope, in which a large fraction of married women were idle trophies. Women who failed to marry lived with a married sibling and helped with household chores. Because women did not contribute to the industrial revolution, and nearly all women saw factory work and mining as dirty and degrading, many men began to patronise women as people of limited capability. Up to now, I have been sketching the economic and social realities that underlay the founding manifesto of American feminism, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.

            The Victorian-Edwardian world that denied women the vote also denied the vote to men who did not pay a minimum of property tax each year. First wave feminists did not challenge this fact. In fact, when Sylvia Pankhurst announced that she wanted universal suffrage for all who were 21 years of age or older, regardless of gender, her mother Emeline disowned her. Emeline led a 15 year struggle to get women the right to vote in Parliamentary elections in the UK. Her followers frequently resorted to vandalism, arson, and mob assaults on policemen. A number died violent deaths. But Emeline was no socialist radical; she detested the idea of giving working class women the vote.

            The industrial revolution is dead. Most jobs are now white collar jobs requiring people skills
            and literacy. The typical woman finds it easier to find work than the typical man. The most rapidly expanding sector of the labour market is health care, where women excel. Soon, 60% of college graduates will be women. 150 years ago, dying in childbirth was very common. 150 years ago, every time a married woman had sex, she was risking her own life, or the life of the child she might conceive. Today infant mortality is uncommon, and maternal mortality is unheard of. Women are in complete control of their fertility, with abortion on demand stepping in to the breach where contraception fails. Hence feminism strikes me as beating a dead horse. Feminist intellectuals are like generals busily planning to refight the last war.

    • typhonblue says:

      To illustrate my point.

      How much time do you devote to analyzing the ‘victimhood rhetoric’ of feminism for verifiable accuracy as opposed to just assuming it is correct?

    • elflojo84 says:

      “The reason why women have been seen as victims of attacks/abuse/violence is because, traditionally, they have been.”

      That really isn’t true! Throughout history, men have been the victims of violence far, far more often than women. Men have always fought the wars, died for the tribe / country / whatever. Men are far more likely to get into a fight outside a pub. Men are more likely to be murdered. Men are much more likely to take a punch protecting a woman, more than that it is actively expected of them, even if the woman started the argument and is in the wrong – defending the honour of women, often violently, has been an expectation put upon men for centuries and still today.

      I don’t deny that violence against women tends to take different forms, but claiming it is more common is entirely false.

      • typhonblue says:

        “throughout history, men have been the victims of violence far, far more often than women.”

        In some ways I think the gender binary is based on female security. The more violent the society, the more excluded women are from it.

        That’s not to say that it’s a unequivocal benefit to women but that the dynamic is not entirely to women’s detriment.

        • elflojo84 says:

          Interesting. Im not sure I entirely agree, though, I’m thinking of rape of women as part of the “spoils of war” which seems to have been a common theme throughout human history. I suppose that is a bit different though. Within a society not at war with another one (or with itself), a more violent culture will tend to go hand in hand with that violence often taking the form of defending women, the same dynamic I mentioned previously which still holds true today.

          Chivalry is one of those things which feminists often conveniently ignore isn’t it? If I’m out with a female friends and a man is aggressive towards her, I’m expected to step in and protect her, even take a punch if necessary. QUite right too, and I’d be pretty unimpressed with any man in that situation who didn’t, but it never gets factored into their “who is the most oppressed” equations is it?

          • typhonblue says:

            >Im not sure I entirely agree, though, I’m thinking of rape of women as part of the “spoils of war” which seems to have been a common theme throughout human history.

            I’m going to try to locate some statistics on the rate of rape of civilian men in war-ravaged areas.

            From what I remember they were shocking. Something like 70-90% of men were sexually assaulted.

            Here’s an analysis of one(although I’m not sure if it found the same rate as some of the others):

            http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2009/06/02/about-half-of-liberias-adult-victims-of-sexual-violence-are-men-rp/

          • concerned cynic says:

            Sexual violence towards men who loose a war takes forms different from what conquering armies do to conquered women. In order of increasing severity, there is stripping men naked and humiliating them (the USA did this in Gulf War II), anal rape, forced circumcision (the Turkish army loved doing this to Armenian men), and castration (common in African tribal conflict). It is possible that in Third World conflict, men fare little better than women.

      • Lucy Cage says:

        I didn’t say “and men have not”…
        Women have been seen as victims because they *have been victims* of the particular types of violence relating to the institutional, political, legal misogyny that really needed to be changed. Injustice isn’t OK because it is matched (to whatever extent) by other injustice. And you’re right of course that men have more commonly been victims of other types of violence.

  12. elflojo84 says:

    Typh:

    Re: “I’m curious why you believe that?”

    I guess it’s a hard one really, but most rape statistics I’ve seen seem to point to women suffering more, more rape convictions when the victim is female, etc. I fully agree with the point you make about reporting, that men are less likely to report rape because of societal expectations, but even so I don’t think this accounts for all of the gap in figures. DV is more complicated, I gather many, even most, abuisive relationships are reciprocal, but I say “disproportionately affected” because in most hetero relationships the male is physically stronger, adn there is a moral difference between hitting someone you are stronger than and hitting someone you are weaker than.

    Anyway, I don’t really want to derail this way, because my point still remains that it doesn’t matter – as I said, the victims of rape and DV are people, I could be proved entirely wrong about both the above assertions but it wouldn’t fundamentally change the morality of either act.

  13. Clarence says:

    Lucy Cage:

    I think Typhon knows what I mean, because even though I love her, even though I’m a fan of the Canadian Inkstress ;) we’ve had a spat or two over this.

    Basically, Typhon and from what I think I understand QRG believe that sexuality is far more fluid for men and women than I do. I think some of this in the past was partly a misunderstanding between us in that I believe that bisexuality can have a preferred direction and once that’s factored in I think my explanations for things hold up as well as Typhons do, if not even better. My view is that there are basically three types of sexual orientations among people : strict gay, bisexual with a preference, and straight. I think Typhon is more like there’s a total continuum all the way down so instead of distinct groupings it’s just a bell curve. This implies to her that most men are really “bisexual”, with a strong culture component dictating what they find attractive, whereas I would say that most men will never find other men sexually attractive.

    I think that about sums it up. If I’ve misrepresented you, Typhon, I’m sorry , and it wasn’t intentional.

    • Lucy Cage says:

      Thank you for the explanation, Clarence!
      I don’t know how one could totally, objectively, unpick how much of a sexual identity is or is not culturally constructed while we still live under that particular cultural norm. I tend towards fluid continuum rather than definite, boundaried groupings, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a philosophy; more of a hunch!

    • One word…”Kinsey”

      Really? Three strict types of sexuality? Out of curiousity, in what category would you place transgendered, transexual, or intersex persons?

  14. writerJames says:

    On my blog, you said:

    “If you reject all the numbered points that I attribute to feminism, then I respectfully suggest that you are not a feminist.”

    I appreciate your respectful suggestion, and concede that it could very well be as simple as that. Maybe the sum of my ideas doesn’t amount to feminism. It could be the case that, if you compare the tenets of feminism to the things I believe, there’s not much crossover, and I would be inaccurate to describe myself as a feminist – much as I would be inaccurate if I decided to call myself a Hindu (while still believing what I currently do).

    But this only works if the word “feminism” means the particular thing you say it does. And while I don’t doubt that you have a great deal of historical precedent on your side, and that your characterisation of many feminists is entirely accurate, there are still a non-trivial number of people out there using the word who mean something else by it.

    Lucy Cage up there might be such a person. I generally approve of what she said, and one line summed up some things I’ve been trying to say, better than I’ve said it:

    “For what it’s worth, I’d very much hope that *my* feminism (ha! Now I’m appropriating it!) is not misandrist, heteronormative, self-interested or above criticism: if it is, I’d be up for talking about it!”

    Possibly she’s not a feminist either, by your respectfully suggested criteria, but she introduced herself as such. She’s another person who can apparently do things like respect men’s rights and reject victimisation of women, and call it feminism.

    Now, that might be practically the complete opposite of what some other feminists mean by it. And the term may have basically been rendered as meaningless as elflojo84 describes, by the fact that it’s such a “broad church” it can encapsulate almost any wildly diverse ideas. But while a sizeable chunk of people identify their “feminism” as something that rejects heteronormativity and misandry – possibly falling into elflojo84′s 99% that shouldn’t *need* a label – it seems to over-simplify things to reject ALL FEMINISM because of failings that some of its adherents wouldn’t recognise.

    Yeesh, when my brain decides it’s not in the mood to be concise, it just does not happen.

    • Lucy Cage says:

      Yup, I was coming to similar sorts of conclusions… but I am going to hold on to ‘feminism’ as a term for where I am – despite being told by other feminists recently that maybe I shouldn’t – because it fits best. And because I still meet enough people in my daily life who think women are lesser beings that it is still, depressingly, a battle worth fighting. Not over and above the battles for other injustices, which I’d very happily take up arms on behalf of too, but it is my own particular battle.

    • Helen says:

      I agree with this, actually you pretty much said what I was trying to in my last comment (above) but far far more eloquently. Excuses: it’s 4 am and I’ve had some very nice tequila. :D

  15. Clarence says:

    writer James:

    I respectfully suggest you look at what types of activism are carried out by the organizations that purport to represent feminism and what their platforms state. Anyone can call themselves a Roman Catholic, for example, but does such personal choice of terminology really mean much of anything when pretty much all power is vested in some guy at Rome, and he can reject you by his lights?

    Same with feminism. Supposedly it’s about equality. In the western nations its hard to see any legislation proposed by the feminist representative bodies that really fits that description.

  16. Lucy Cage says:

    “Nice to see a self-proclaimed feminist happy to engage, by the way. I hope that doesn’t sound patronising, but it really is depressingly rare. Good to meet you.”

    Ah, good to meet you, too!
    I can’t help bristling when people make statements about what all feminists do or think, and I’m probably going to keep on disagreeing about the statistics on rape and DV, but you’re all very nice and reasonable and I haven’t been called a troll or a de-railer or the enemy or tiresome once! Which makes a change. :-)

  17. Thanks all for your comments.

    James- you are into ‘evidence’ and ‘logic’ etc. why not address the numbered points on my post and just tell me one by one if you agree with them or not?!

    Then you might be more concise and also to the point! :D

    I did write this for your benefit after all.

  18. 2020 says:

    It is healthy and necessary to have our assumptions challenged especially in my case as I have this tendency to dive head first into things without thinking of the long term effects, posts like this help me gain perspective so thank you.

    However I pretty much agree with Writer James and Lucy regarding this matter, going by your rational I wouldn’t class as a feminist ether but I know at least a couple of feminist spaces on line that would out right reject it and the definitions of words have been known to change over time, maybe those sites you link to represent a dying breed of feminism (perhaps a complete restructuring is in order I don’t know), maybe it will start to become more inclusive and expansive the more people like you and Lucy question and challenge the dogmatic principles of the movement.

  19. Trigger Warning:Derail, Derail I say—I am not posting in response to any of the above comments but on Quiet Riot Girl’s excellent article. ;)

    Is feminism a philosophy, a political movement, a bunch of angry women (and pathetic men who want to sleep with them)…….

    Well, on threads where I’ve seen rational people try to debate the moral majority, they get dismissed as mansplainers or worse.

    It is like watching an Atheist debate a bunch of rabid Christians.

    If it is a philosophy, there are axioms or postulates that it is based upon. I think what QRG did was point out the postulates that most feminists believe without question. And anyone who does is dismissed with the banhammer and cynical words.

    Really, if they wanted Gender Equality, that’s what the movement would be called, not feminism. It’s like “white Power”–it ain’t good for anyone outside of the movement.

    • Helen says:

      This for me is the only catch I can think of when adopting the f word. My preference is for using terms like human rights or gender equality too, but the f word has become like a fashion and some people stick to it religiously – however within that are many feminists who ARE by definition gender equalists, they’ve just adopted a lop-sided label.

      Confusing.

  20. [...] stonerwithabonersays: April 29, 2011 at 2:26 am [...]

  21. Mr. Divine says:

    I’ve just taken a break from the party downstairs (can’t you hear the music?) and would like to say what a great argument you presented. You’re right when to comes to power relations. It isn’t just a binary male and female; all sorts of forces are at play.

    Don’t you want to pay a return visit and ask for the music to be turned down?

  22. Jenn says:

    Hey, QRG, I took up your challenge over at my blog. I am NOT linking to my new blog from the feminist blogosphere or they’ll all be over there all screaming at me about my currency having no value and stuff. So take a look via your stats (I’m giving you a click so you can find it).

    I just did the first bit, cause I’m going to be late for work otherwise and as you know I’m very long-winded. I’ll try and do the rest later. As a card-carrying feminist, I just thought you’d appreciate someone taking on your challenge, man to man! And not frazzled schoolmarm to wayward potential rapist girl.

    • Hi Jenn

      I have read your post but am having probs with blogger so can’t leave a comment.

      Yes I know what you mean. I have another online friend who says in the de Beauvoir sense I am a ‘feminist’. But a word changes its meaning over time and I see no point in identifying with a term that for just about everyone, really means the things I have listed above.

      Also though I love de Beauvoir and understand the context she wrote in, I think I am still less ‘feminist’ than she. Or you. Because I know the ‘feminine’ gets demonised/belittled in culture/identity. But I don’t think it is totally possible to separate that from being a ‘woman’. And you are a woman and identify as such and so I could still suggest your ‘feminism’ is linked to your ‘identity’ and your self-interest.

      I also think De Beauvoir makes out that the ‘masculine’ is kind of straightforward and in a dominant position in culture which I dont think is true.

      I don’t think de Beauvoir is the chief destroyer of the gender binary. That’s probably what I am saying most. To reject the binary I find it most logical to reject a term/philosophy that focusses on one aspect of that binary over the ‘other’.

  23. Hi lucy- I get your points but I don’t quite believe that you don’t prioritise women in your struggles for equality.

    I have read your blog and your comments on Cath’s blog and I haven’t seen you stand up for ‘men’ or ‘men’s rights’ at any point. e.g. when I talk about The Guardian and cif I can’t fail to mention how all the articles on gender are from a ‘feminist’ ‘pro-women’ ‘anti-men’ stance. This is one reason why the comments seem so ‘misogynist’. The commenters I think are pissed off with the feminist journalism in the Graun.

    • I am saying that you are still a feminist according to the definition I have given! If you weren’t I don’t think you’d identify as ‘feminist’.

    • Lucy Cage says:

      But I *do* prioritise women in my struggles for equality! That’s where I am coming from. It’s what I know. I am not prioritising challenging the discriminations rent boys in Baltimore face or the discrimination against trans people in rural India or the racism that black people in the British army have to contend with, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think those are serious issues or that anyone who is working towards equality shouldn’t show solidarity with those who are suffering injustice.

      I can’t dole out my support equally because I *am* most interested in unpicking the sexism that I have experienced and notice in the world around me. This is a battle that still needs to be won, so I am fighting it, just as you are choosing to make your commentary around gender studies. Until women are not belittled, restricted, judged, threatened, attacked, killed *because* they are still, in some ways, treated as lesser beings in this society, I will continue to make that my priority. If you’ve read my blog you’ll know I write about music, particularly about women in music: doesn’t mean I don’t like film or poetry or that I don’t appreciate male musicians! I’m just picking my battles.

      I have, as I mentioned before, friends who work in men’s groups; I don’t agree with them about everything, but I can see their need to prioritise that work over working with young women or refugees or teenage parents; they focus their time and energies on supporting local young working-class men, who have no-one else looking out for them and often find themselves in really shitty situations because of who they are and where they were born. I’m not going to question those older men’s need to do that work, simply because I see the injustice meted out to women as well. We work with what we know.

      • ‘I’m just picking my battles.’

        Yes. And I am saying I disagree with feminism’s battles.

        This isn’t about ‘gender studies’ it’s not academic. I am fighting too. Against feminism. Hence the title.

        • Bewildered says:

          Excellent reply ! Honest,consistent & clear-headed. I am very impressed. Just the right approach to get out of this Orwellian nightmare.
          The best gift you can give a woman is a strong dose of ‘Typhon Blue’, it will get rid of all the demons in her mind and truly free her

          • concerned cynic says:

            Sadly, I suspect that a great many educated women are not ready to take Typhon’s message and dry wit on board. Typhon and GWW are like a light footed and deft scouting party, that is 300-500 miles ahead of a slow and ponderous army on the move.

            GWW should really really write a book. It would be to feminism what Hayek’s Road to Serfdom was to Marxism.

      • I was about to cheer you on here – but then I thought for a second.

        If you are going to concentrate on women’s rights, why-oh-why would you bother putting “gender equality” as part of your mission statement?

        Why not just say “human rights with a concentration on women’s rights?” At least that way you’re not putting MEN on the other side of your justice scales.

        • typhonblue says:

          “Why not just say “human rights with a concentration on women’s rights?” At least that way you’re not putting MEN on the other side of your justice scales.”

          The other problem I have is this…

          If you’re advocating for women how do you know when your advocacy goes beyond ‘equality’ to ‘supremacy’ if you don’t have a clear understanding of the other side?

          If a woman’s advocate said, ‘I advocate for women and I support men advocating for men because they understand their issues best and I defer to them when discussing those issues’ I think that would be a lot more sensible and less prone to potential abuse.

          • this still relies on the gender binary. I want to smash the binary not argue about who supports women and who supports men.

          • @QRG

            Honest question: do you want us to stop using terms like men and women? Would you prefer terms like “human with penis, testicles, breasts and feminine features seeks human with vagina, no breasts and masculine features (body hair a big plus) for sex on weekends” instead of “preop transman seeks preop transwoman for sex on weekends”?

            Second question:
            If we get rid of gender binary, what do we replace it with? Gender analog?

            Honest questions – I realize they could sound incredulous but I assure you I’m not. I’m just fascinated by what a post-genderbinary world would look like.

          • Schala says:

            @Easily Enthused

            Actually, your example reads as “pre-op trans woman seeks pre-op trans man”. You might have the two confused. A trans woman usually was born with a penis attached, and a trans man, with a vagina (exceptions do happen).

            “Second question:
            If we get rid of gender binary, what do we replace it with? Gender analog?”

            You’re confusing “binary” with “digital”. My monitor has digital and analog settings, which are binary I guess (one or the other).

            It can be with genitals and expression/rights/restrictions not having any bearing on each other, so that guys in dresses and girls with Bruce Willis haircuts are both seen as normal. I’m using guys and girls in my example, but obviously, in such a world, it wouldn’t matter. It only matters in telling you how it would be then.

            And also, in that world, changing genital configuration and hormonal make-up would be seen as a body modification on the same level as tattoos and piercings (albeit with more health risks, until we get something better than pills/injections for hormones). There would be no need for sex mentioned on the birth certificate, and doctors won’t be handicapped by not having prior knowledge of your genital configuration…asking when relevant instead, would be nice. And ER situations with comatose patients with situations exclusively tied to sex are so hypothetical as to be meaningless.

            Then maybe people who have XXY syndrome would not be railroaded into testosterone-or-bust kind of treatment, where them identifying as female makes them 10 times worse than trans women to doctors and their parents. Also much harder to get actual treatment from doctors, to get estrogen for example.

            Because they think that, in intersex cases, they can “convince you” (even though it’s been demonstrated to work 0% of the time with trans women), that it’s your upbringing that’s responsible for not making you “manly enough”.

            “Would you prefer terms like “human with penis, testicles, breasts and feminine features seeks human with vagina, no breasts and masculine features (body hair a big plus) for sex on weekends” instead of “preop transman seeks preop transwoman for sex on weekends”?”

            You shouldn’t need to put so much information on the front. Put a picture, a short description that’s a bit less clinical, and contact or have people contact you. That’s on meeting websites like OkCupid or FetLife. Then you can mention how much you like a sex partner’s body hair, or how you like squeezing breasts, prefer extremely long hair, or want to make braids with your/their facial hair. Whatever is your interest.

          • Ellen says:

            QRG:
            “this still relies on the gender binary. I want to smash the binary not argue about who supports women and who supports men.”
            You want to smash the gender binary, and yet you choose the monicker “Quiet Riot Girl,” so that your readers first judgement of you is entirely based upon your gender. I find that ironic.

  24. well eventually Id like us to not need the terms men and women. But we do at the moment (and maybe always will)

    what I meant was. if you are basing a whole political ideology on your campaigning for the rights of either ‘men’ or ‘women’ you are reinforcing the binary.

    If I had to say what my gender politics was I’d say I support everyone’s full participation in society, including women, men, and anyone who identifies as neither of those things.

    • Ellen says:

      again, if you want us to not need the terms men or women, why do you use the term girl in your name? Are girl and boy different for you (not a sarcastic question, seriously asking!).

      • HI Ellen thanks for your comment! yes it is ironic that I am quiet riot girl. But sometimes I call myself ‘quiet riot boy’ – eg on twitter, or more generally, just QRG. I also use my name – Elly- which is a woman’s name.

        Despite my ‘female’ oriented name I often get accused of being a man! So I think I am doing my bit for smashing the gender binary.

  25. Clarence says:

    Schala:

    Ridiculous. I’m interested in fertility.
    Once THAT can be changed, then one can start thinking of a post sexual world.

    • Schala says:

      So your only reason for existence, not driven by instinct, but by yourself, is to have some child?

      1) The drive for reproduction-itself is something I wouldn’t die for. I’d die way before dying in order to get some descendant. It’s not like I’m THIS afraid of death that I’d forever regret not giving birth in any kind of way (I’m infertile as male, and as female – and have always been). I find it rather puzzling that people gamble their existence solely on having progeniture EXIST. As opposed to, taking care of said progeniture.

      2) People are selflish, which includes children you eventually have, which may include a tendency more towards pro-egalitarian than against it, depending on how they are raised. Being raised in capitalism tends to make someone more selfish. Because apparently screwing out others is how you make money – and apparently, otherwise you’re broke.

  26. Clarence says:

    Schala:

    Much as I like you, you are an evolutionary dead end. You’d never have been here in the first place unless two people who constitute that hated “binary sex” thing hadn’t gotten together.

    Any philosophy that doesn’t take reproduction into account when talking about sex is..incomplete at the best, most likely stupidly wrong at the worst.

    I’m not saying don’t try for something better or new, I’m saying you can’t have a complete account of sex without including reproduction in it.

    • Schala says:

      @Clarence

      …7 billion people, and going higher.

      We’ll call you when we’re about to die off.

      If you want to take reproduction into account this badly, it’s easy to point to non-hermaproditic animals and their reproduction.

      Most animals NEED to reproduce, or their entire race dies off. Now, if all humans die off, it probably won’t be for lack of reproduction, but it also will not prevent it (if the Earth explodes, I could have 8 kids that it wouldn’t matter).

      Binary sex is not “hated” as much as it’s useless to me. Yet until it’s completely irrelevant to everyone, I’ll identify as being definitely on one side of it. The female side.

      My parents probably didn’t get together on the basis of binary sex. As much as hookup culture would want to deny it, most people don’t have sex with every member of the sex they’re attracted to (and gay men don’t want to jump everyone they see, and bisexual people are not going to cheat with everyone they meet). They have criteria beyond this. And not simply “be tall”.

  27. Clarence says:

    Schala:

    I’d say the real “purpose” of sex (assuming anything can be said to have a purpose in a possibly Godless cosmos) is evolution. Supposedly more genetic variation was enabled via the process of sex.
    I can very easily believe that there is a purpose for the life and intelligence in the Universe even if we don’t know what this purpose is. I can also easily believe there isn’t. But it’s a big important question, that goes rather beyond what your personal preferences about reproduction are.

    • Schala says:

      I believe a more Buddhist line of thinking about purpose. And it sure doesn’t care about evolution. It only cares about the soul attaining enlightenment, through multiple incarnations.

      And I don’t believe one of those lessons should be “Sometimes the system fucks up so badly, you have to hit the reset button.” And if I didn’t transition, I’d hit that reset button frantically, you can be certain.

      Basically, I think you put too much stock in visible genital organs present at birth, and that this is YOUR personal preference.

      We are far beyond the “we have sex ONLY to have kids, everything else is abomination (including masturbation and oral sex)”. So pretending we’re still that backwards (if we’ve ever truly been at this level, and not just pretended to be) in linguistics doesn’t do us any favor.

  28. Clarence says:

    Schala:

    A personal religion is a personal religion. It’s not really an argument that can be made to support a philosophy , nor is it an observation.

    As for sex and reproduction, well, let’s just say everything piggybacks off reproduction. Literally everything, from masturbation to gay sex, to trans people, to asexual people, to Genghis Khan and his 8 percent genetic share of men in Europe.

    Reproduction is important, indeed, it’s the most important reason for sex, it’s why sex exists in the first place. That doesn’t mean its the ONLY reason for sex, other things have came along from pleasure to bonding, but they came along after, and they don’t exist for people who do not exist.

    In my opinion any philosophies that cannot deal with empirical realities are useless and thus extreme philosophies of gender, esp those that would denigrate or ignore the reproductive aspects of sex are dead ends and tell us nothing very useful.

  29. Schala says:

    “In my opinion any philosophies that cannot deal with empirical realities are useless and thus extreme philosophies of gender, esp those that would denigrate or ignore the reproductive aspects of sex are dead ends and tell us nothing very useful.”

    Funny that gay and trans and intersex people that didn’t reproduce didn’t eradicate that “gene” from the gene pool. So they’re not dead ends – they reoccur on a regular basis, and are carried by heterosexual cissexual people. Whatever causes non-reproductive behavior and identity, exists and is passed on through everyone – not only the atypical. It’s just not always ‘expressed’ in everyone.

    For example. I have blue eyes, but my parents have blue-green and brown eyes. Neither of them have my color. Yet they pass on the gene that causes blue eyes, and it was expressed in my case.

    X-recessive genes that don’t cause infertility get passed on almost infinitely. X-recessive genes that do cause infertility are passed on less – but they’re never eradicated because the mutation is also spontaneously occurring. For example, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, an intersex condition.

    • Schala says:

      Also, you seem to view evolution and reproduction as a means to an end. But life sees it as an end in itself. There is no goal for life. It will self-replicate until it can’t, period. No goal, utopic best state of things, best race, best function.

      We assign a goal, but there is none for life itself.

      The soul may have a goal. But that’s for you to know. The soul isn’t part of life as much as it’s required by it for life to have a conscience. Otherwise, it’s no different from robots. Exactly all the same.

      No rebellion, creativity or need to embellish things without a soul.

      Non-human animals seem to be opportunistic more than us…but that’s apparently just an illusion – we’re just as screwed up “I got mine, now screw you” mindset. We invented capitalism, after all. What social services exist to help the poor and such – are not capitalist doctrine.

  30. Clarence says:

    Schala:

    Ironically, my personal philosophy is , in many ways, the opposite of yours.
    I don’t believe in a soul. I’d be presently surprised if we had one. Nor do I need a soul to possess free will, at least not the kind of soul you seem to imply with your belief in reincarnation.
    On the other hand I do think intelligent life may very well have some purpose in the universe. Imagine for example, if a God desired to create other Gods?

    You wonder about gay genes and all sorts of things like that. I don’t deny they can have a purpose, I’ve not cursed the existence of any unusual or minority sexualities. But that’s the point: you bring a gay person into this world by having sex. You bring a transexual person into this world by having sex. You bring a an Adolf Hitler or a Gandhi into this world by having sex. And if we ever get past sex it will be because we have the technology to completely replace it and control it, and by that we’d be able to replace a sperm and an egg and totally reprogram the cells of a person to express whatever sex/gender traits we want. And of course at that point we will truly control our own evolution and who knows what wonders and horrors we will produce?

    • Schala says:

      “On the other hand I do think intelligent life may very well have some purpose in the universe. Imagine for example, if a God desired to create other Gods?”

      If it’s possible to come out of life forms themselves, then:

      1) There probably are many already (Occam’s Razor says if you think something requires aeons, and it’s possible we’re not alone – someone else did it first). And there was never “a” god at the beginning.

      2) The soul is more likely to possess such powers when enlightened, not say Time Lords being born into their power without any work.

      “And if we ever get past sex it will be because we have the technology to completely replace it and control it, and by that we’d be able to replace a sperm and an egg and totally reprogram the cells of a person to express whatever sex/gender traits we want.”

      And until this arrives, we must hammer tooth and nails into kids and teens and adults alike that sperms and eggs matters, more than anything else about sex (the act, the category of genitals).

      It’s empirically more heavy as time goes on, in proof, that trans men and women are this way biologically speaking, determined at birth by a certain part of the brain (BSTc), that remains unchangeable throughout life, regardless of transitional treatment or lack thereof (it also doesn’t change if you take prostate cancer treatment, which uses anti-androgens). Saying trans women are “male” is not describing them, it’s prescribing for them, and imposing a genital beats brain theory (which fails in practice, since conversion rates through “therapy” are in the order of… 0%).

      And if that means you end up with females who can produce sperm and males who can produce egg, comfort yourself with the fact that people care very little about the *biological* category in humans, but a lot lot more about the *social* category. But they equate the two.

      • Schala says:

        People only use the immutability post-birth of the biological category (at least it’s immutable in their minds) to validate saying that the social category is immutable by definition. Thus they can create imaginary stability in their world order, where the Sun rotates around the Earth.

  31. Clarence says:

    Well I might argue that there is a difference between the sex of your brain and the sex of your genitalia. After all, right now if you were to say, bonk me on the head, I theoretically could go insane and just happen to think that I’m a female and I’ve always been female even though via history, morphology, hormonal profiles, sex organ presentation and the ability to make sperm it’s quite obvious I’ve always been male, and thus , simply because I think I’m female makes me no more female than thinking I was Napoleon would make me Napoleon.

    As far as I’m concerned if you can make sperm you are male, if you possess eggs you are female. If you do neither or do both (though I don’t think there’s ever been a true human hermophrodite) you are neither.

    People with the type of brain you have just talked about as well as people with unusual chromosomal combinations have legitimate claims to be outside the normal sexual binary. However, that doesn’t mean they can take the parts of them that fit into the mainstream sexual binary and redefine those parts as part of the other sex.

    Biological sex may not be everything but for the vast majority of the people in the world it is their reality and they are perfectly happy with that.

    • Schala says:

      My problem is more that they’re also perfectly happy to deny I exist, am female, or for some – even count as human.

      “People with the type of brain you have just talked about as well as people with unusual chromosomal combinations have legitimate claims to be outside the normal sexual binary.”

      You just compared it to “being bonked on the head”. Believe me, they tried to do a lot more than just shock therapy to “make people stop pretending they were the other sex”, electroshock, lobotomy, excessive hormones (testosterone for trans women), coercive therapy to the extreme, and even in young people. Many were teens at the start of this “treatment”. Doesn’t work – because it’s not behavior. You can modify behavior all you want. Might induce PTSD and aversion to things because of treatment…but the behavior will most likely be avoided…but the identity? Never.

      • Schala says:

        I also don’t want to be a third sex, or third gender. It’s unsupported in any Christian-influenced country. In countries where there was no such influence, missionaries made sure there was, and now they treat that category as non-existent, to be derided, and outsiders think they are gay men (trans men are always forgotten in this, it seems).

        So yes, pardon me for identifying as female, not pseudo-female.

      • Clarence says:

        Schala:

        I did not deny any of that. All I managed to do was show that it was also possible to think of a situation where someone was actively deluded in their perceptions either due to injury or illness, nothing else. When Caligula got that fever and went mad, he thought he was a God. Obviously, it goes without saying that he was not. So simply because someone thinks something does not make it so. People without a brain injury or illness can indeed be “intersexed” and I did not deny this. I merely wished to show that, taken to an extreme, perception is not always reality, and I would deny that merely thinking I’m female absent any other hormonal or physiological marker whatsoever gives me a claim to BE female. You have at least some claim.

        By the way: fuck the religious bigots who made many of our laws with a rusty nail.

        • Schala says:

          You can entertain the possibility. The religious ones can’t. They think it’s pure delusion, and that the “cure” is a shrink and very long therapy, not hormones or surgery.

          And some trans-related shrinks are not helping at all, promoting theories about trans women being ‘really gay men’ or ‘perverted heterosexual men who get off on the sexual fantasy of being women’. Those were already stereotypes, but now they want more, they want to put the scientific stamp of approval on their stereotypes.

          J Michael Bailey is notorious for trying to ‘prove’ those theories, plus theories about how gay men are all feminine, but hate that in themselves so deny any feminity. How you can recognize gayness by lisp and swish…and he calls himself a scientific.

          On TV, if someone sounds stereotypically gay, sure. But TV is stupid, pandering to the Homer Simpsons of the world. In real life, it’s like trans women, you can’t “spot” most of them.

  32. Clarence says:

    By the way, Schala I understand and sympathize with your not wanting to have those who belong to mainstream sexuality define you in one way or the other. My only problem with you is that at times it seems you want to redefine the sexual world on your terms which to me is no more legitimate than those who would deny your humanity or your choice to present as the sex that you do.

    If I had the scientific knowlege and the power to make you in all ways a perfectly “normal” male or a perfectly “normal” female down to totally naturally grown organs, chromosomes, hormones and brain would you take it? Are you happy the way you are now? You seem so to me, so why do you hate the category of boy and girl?

    • Schala says:

      I’d be a perfectly ‘normal’ female if you could.

      Which would probably make me less of an outlier in thinking. Less sensible to men’s rights, male-male bullying.

      I’m both not happy the way I am and would only be somewhat more happy with surgery done. There is a good within the bad thing, and that is the unique perspective I have about gender roles, upbringing, and the bullshit that people assume is immutable by divine decree. (Like that boys shouldn’t cry, or show any emotions, be physically very strong etc)

      Not happy because I get treated like shit, and have to take pills until I die, or I get menopause big time. And that’s eventually going to kill my liver. I can live with the genitals if I have to (even though I’m anorgasmic and infertile)…but not the M on IDs.

      My anorgasmia seems to be tied to something very weird: I’m over-sensitive.

      When I give a blowjob to my boyfriend and he cums, and I continue for a while – eventually he tells me it’s too much sensation, and I stop.

      Well I get to that point very very easily, but no orgasm, no ejaculate either, obviously. So I never masturbated. I still don’t. It’s not pleasure exactly…it’s over-tickling to me.

  33. I admittedly did not read the comments above as they are quite lengthy and there is a three year old tearing around the room as I type.

    You asked that any feminist who does not adhere to the above tenets should let you know.

    On point one, I think that men (as a group, not as individuals) and, more importantly, RICH men hold the power in society, but that is an oppression to people. I don’t think it is the maleness that counts so much as the socioeconomic status. Women with extreme wealth are equally oppressive, as are LGBTI individuals of any sex.

    On point 2, there is no disagreement whatsoever. The dichotomy in interpretation of power is pervasive and damaging, not to mention untrue.

    In point three I am assuming that the use of the quotes is to indicate the negative connotation that is associated with both patriarchy and objectification, as the vast majority of Western cultures are indeed patriarchies. This is not a matter of debate, but a simple reality. We disperse property, assets, and wealth through the male line. The vast majority of women who marry men take the name od the male. No negative connotation intended here, just general information. Would a matriarchy be any better? My guess would be no.

    I agree on point four, but disagree on bell hooks. She does have a tendancy to push the binary too much, however I think she is one of the few older Feminists who would acknowledge that men can indeed suffer as men and that gender nor sex should be points of contention.

    I agree with number five. The majority of feminists I know will argue until blue in the face and do not recognize that theirs is a theory among many, but rather they think they have cornered the market on productive thought and change. In fact, they can be more judgemental in my experience than many of the MRAs and right wing extremists I know.

    Read point above for point six. In addition, it also seems that while many feminists want to rid themselves of any discrimination that makes life difficult, they want to hold on to what makes things easier for them. Door holding and paying on dates, they want to keep. I have had that argument many MANY times with young feminists especially.

    Last but not least, while I do claim Feminism as a belief foundation, I also recognize that my opinions are based more on Queer Theory than on Feminism, but Queer Theory owes it roots to the late third wave of Feminism.

    • thanks for taking the time to reply!

      I would, based on that interesting analysis, suggest that you are indeed a feminist and I reject your ideology!

      as for queer theory owing everything to third wave feminism, I strongly disagree and would actually suggest that third wave feminism owes something to ‘queer theory’ and the history of queer literature/literary theory and postmodernism/post structuralism!

  34. Not completely owed, but the roots are there. If not for ACTUp, Queer theory would not have found its voice in modern politics and academia. Not to mention that I have yet to locate the Queer Theory class that is not placed in a Women’s Studies or Women and Gender Studies program. They were the first to give Queer theory that voice. Thus the reason I feel that the roots are in thrid wave feminism.

    Completely agree on the converse of that, though.

    • my version of ‘queer theory’ is different to yours I think and goes back to Foucault, probably back to Freud. It didn’t have a name but I think once it got a name it got a bit spoiled.

  35. Clarence says:

    D Lynn Thompson:

    If the US is a “patriarchy” due to the continuation (and not even by force of law) of a few cultural artifacts from back when it arguably WAS a real patriarchy, perhaps you can explain why fathers continually come in second best in terms of family law?

    In a patriarchy, I dare say, men would be the default in custody, would have some say over their wives reproduction, and wouldn’t be so easily relegated to the roles of walking wallets and weekend daddies.

    • I agree Clarence. any belief in ‘patriarchy’ means someone is a ‘feminist’ that I don’t share common ground with. as I said in my bullet points above!

    • Clarence, I completely agree that men need more considerations in law when it comes to custody, as well as the social benefits. If a man wants to stay at home with his children, he is lazy, while a woman is a ‘full time mom’. I think that is a Men’s Rights issue that should certainly be addressed.

      However men having a say in reproductive rights is a major stretch. If a man wants to take responsibility for a child that is unwanted by the mother, then that’s just dandy, but I can say from experience that once that man is no longer in the home, all bets are off. True that it is not the case with all men, but it is with a great many. In my personal experience divorced husband wanted nothing to do with the children, including but not limited to financial responsibility and visitation. So much so that I disolved any financial responsibility as an attempt (bribe if you will) to get him to maintain some sort of visitation (he now visits them once a month instead of twice per year). So I do admittedly have personal bias in that respect.

      Point taken on the patriarchy. Perhaps it may be better said that we live in the remnants of a patriarchy? Where much privilege remains, but other has receded?

      • Schala says:

        “However men having a say in reproductive rights is a major stretch. If a man wants to take responsibility for a child that is unwanted by the mother, then that’s just dandy, but I can say from experience that once that man is no longer in the home, all bets are off.”

        I think he’s talking about the option of legally opting out of fatherhood before the birth of the kid – since he can’t decide to abort or give in adoption. The mother can use condoms, the day-after pill, abort, give in adoption – and all those make her free of legal ties or obligations to the child. Yet if he didn’t want to have the kid, he gets told “then you shouldn’t have had sex” – which is ironically what women were told in the 50s (don’t be a slut and you won’t have ‘those problems’).

  36. QRG,

    The Queer Theory of which I speak is the movement that developed from the AIDS epedimic in the 80′s. The group ACTUp formed from a group of LGBT individuals with the support of NOW. The group worked to force the hand of the NIH and the US government to advance the health rights of gay men in particular and then LBT through time. As a result of their work, Queery Theory is now in its infancy as a political ideology and adolescence as a movement.

  37. [...] Elly is not a feminist. She has objections, which she lists and explains clearly, which she claims encompass “ALL and EVERY FEMINIST THEORY” (emphasis hers). I still maintain that she makes unfair assumptions about how everyone uses the word – there’s nothing to stop an activist group getting together for whom “feminist theory” means “cake” – but the concerns she’s raising are important ones, and are far from being alien to the history of feminism. [...]

  38. Fidelbogen says:

    The following website is well worth reading if you haven’t already been there:

    http://gynotheory.blogspot.com

  39. Nina says:

    1) I think that men don’t hold power as a ‘group’ but hold more positions of power as individuals at the moment. This doesn’t damage women as a group, it raises questions about the society that we’re living in: why are more men in those positions? Why are less women in those positions? Why are those numbers disproportionate if gender isn’t binary because surely that should make the opportunity for power relatively equal? If gender is perceived in a binary sense but is not actually binary how do we change the perception and equalise it? How should that interact with feminism? How do we address the disparities that society creates in terms of the biological functions of the female and male bodies in terms of reproduction (because if we don’t do that then a societal binary does exist for any child bearing people)?

    2) Masculine v feminine is definitely a false opposition but male v female is more complicated, not because one holds more sway than another but because of the stucture of our institutions and the assertion that monetary capitalism is the system we have to live under.

    3) All of these points are valid in some way. Radical feminism demonised men in order to lower their status so that feminism could assert women as equal (that has not been abandoned by some contemporary feminists). It is arguable that in the 1970s this was important because there was such a disparity between male and female status. Most of the attention required in 2011 is about affording equal rights to women and men rather than allowing women to attain the status of men (in most cases now anything on those grounds requires a change in law that is conceivable if not attained).

    Patriarchy is a fancy pants way of saying there are more biological men in positions of power than women which is true if you understand parliamentary positions and the highest paid business jobs to be positions of power.

    I have a problem with distinguishing between forms of violent assault and winding them up in to an issue that is about the defence of all women.

    6) Feminism is an extremely introspective thing and it suffers from that. Where it should be fighting practical battles, raising funds so that women who have a real and obvious pay disparity can take legal recourse, campaigning so that men can stay at home with their children on leave, ensuring that people get an equal chance at power regardless of their biology (whether they’re cis or not) there’s a lot of focus on outraged reaction. I think that’s a result of a society that is media led and consequently obsessed with response rather than action and it disappoints me. When all that stuff with Ken Clarke was happening no feminists stood up and suggested that reducing sentencing was good but perhaps violent assault should be exempt, the focus was on rape cases in the most uncomplicated, superficial sense. It’s clear that feminism has a problem at the moment. What I want to know is whether you think what I’ve said here is problematic? (You’ll have to forgive my emphasis on parenting, it’s just that the legal facilities available to men and women who have kids is the easiest way for me to express the way society lays on the gender binary. It doesn’t matter to me whether that binary is accurate or not when I’m treated differently to my child’s other parent who is a man and it’s not good for him or the children to be potentially excluded from child rearing and I don’t see a way to look at it apart from this notion of two genders. Now obviously for people without children that’s not so important unless they want society to escape from that binary categorisation of gender and then it’s got to be a concern for them too because it’s already effecting subsequent generations of people).

    I’d call myself a feminist but I think the position I take is complicated and highly critical of a lot of the discourse that I’m seeing online and in the press because it feels to me as if there’s a constant abandoning of issues that truly effect people in favour of issues that it’s easy to get angry about. There’s no problem with campaigning to ensure the Police collect evidence in rape cases but that happens a lot less than you might expect considering how often rape is discussed in feminist circles.

    I think I’m also a little critical of your position because sometimes I feel you simplify things in to an anti-stance without giving a heads up to the fact that your position wouldn’t exist without prior feminist thought (in a practical and ideological sense) but more immediately because you’re making statements like “1) Feminism is based on an assumption that overall, men as a group hold power in society and this power, damages women as a group.

    2) The above assumption, no matter what feminists say, relies on a belief in and a reinforcement of the essentialist binary view of gender”

    when we know that the essentialist binary view is already a prevalent, working view of gender that needs to be addressed regardless of feminism and that it is best addressed by tackling the differences in the way that men and women are treated. Now a lot of feminists are not taking the best action to tackle that and an awful lot of them do believe in that binary but if you don’t take a view that promotes women as of equal weight in society as men (which to me is a feminist view) on what ground do you launch yourself to fight that when we’re living in a country with more male lawmakers, MPs, Lords and CEOs? Because either you’re promoting the view that the binary exists societally, is false and needs to be tackled because it’s putting people in stupid positions that don’t suit them or you’re pretending that the false construction isn’t being promoted every day across the board. Having said that I think you take a position of real equality between the genders that is more relaxed and honest than a lot of current feminist discourse.

    I hope this reads as less garbled to you than it does to me. I had to really go over it to make sure it didn’t seem fighty (self editing is evil).

  40. Elise says:

    Interesting… I was wondering whether you disagreed with all feminism, and how that was possible. Now I know. And it’s true that nowadays when I disagree with feminists but feel the need to add, “I’m a feminist,” I don’t think it means much more than, “I’m self-interested.” I’m not sure, however, if I want to give that up. Secondarily, I’ve held Paglia’s *explanation* of historical male domination in my mind for a long time now (since reading SP at a young age, when I was forming my adult worldview) – not necessarily believing it unquestioningly, but giving it credence. So the idea that this does *not* exist is a totally new one for me. So let me get it clear: do you think that at *no time* women and men were socially unequal, or that they aren’t *now*? Because I would probably agree on the latter (in the West, at least), but historical inequality seems empirically correct. Or perhaps I’m still not grasping the argument.

    • I think the gender binary has been of great symbolic significance throughout most of human history. But in terms of actual social inequality I do not think the division between ‘men’ and ‘women’ is nearly as important as people, especially feminists, have made out. If you lived in the middle ages and you were a poor farm labourer, the fact you had a dick would have been of no socio-economic advantage to you whatsoever.

      • Elise says:

        I think you’re probably right – that’s it’s been a “soft” inequality that’s been exaggerated when compared to class or race. I think most people other than late 20th century feminists will admit that, too! But, late 20th century genuine dyed-in-wool classic liberal that I am, I believe in the full human rights shebang, to its full logical extent…. even when that extent seems decadent to me. Or maybe I’m part classic liberal, part libertarian.

        “The full human rights shebang” remind me to never try to describe my intellectual/philosophical approach when I haven’t gotten out of bed yet.

      • I completely agree with you and was, in fact, ranting about this yesterday. It seems that Feminism (note the capitol ‘f’) leaves a gap in the study of those that do not fall in the middle and upper class systems. Women in the workforce may have been new to the middle class in the 50′s and 60′s, but they were an age old necessity to the lower and working classes.

        Perhaps, if you have time, you would be willing to read some Feminist literature that does recognize these differences. I would suggest Meridel Le Sueur’s “Salute to Spring” or Grace Paley’s “The Pale Pink Roast”.

      • Ellen says:

        Actually, it would be an advantage, since it meant that you could make money labouring in your farm, instead of relying on others to financially support you, Well, this is true of married women. Adolescent women and widows could accumulate property, but married women could not. So, in other words, a man could have property in either situation, while married women lost all of their property rights upon the wedding. So, yeah, I think his dick mattered.

  41. Alas, the thing that I’d posted that the link was to seems to have been eaten by the interwebs, leaving me looking somewhat foolish. It was this :

    “But the man and the woman will advance with the same step, the same heart fortified by love, toward their natural destiny, the community of anarchy. But man and woman enter thus arm in arm, the face of one shedding its radiance on the face of the other, until they reach the garden of Social Harmony. But the group of the Human Being, the dream of happiness realized, the animated picture of the future, the harmonic tones and the radiant glory of equality offend your ears and dazzle your eyes. Your understanding, distorted by petty vanity, makes you see in posterity a man-statue erected on a woman-pedestal, a man-patriarch and a woman-servant.”

  42. Thanks Nina and Blindcyclists I will read your posts properly and respond!

  43. [...] Artikel einer Frau gegen den Feminismus machte in einigen Blogs die Runde (via): So here is my rationale for why I oppose ALL and EVERY [...]

  44. [...] “Against Feminisms” –a great article as I have said in various place [...]

  45. congrats on the TGMP article.

    I left a comment, it’s in moderation, don’t know if it’ll get past the censors…

    I did post it on my blog though, for posterity. ;)

  46. figleaf says:

    “that male v female men v women masculine v feminine are real and important distinctions.”

    Hmm. Guess that depends on your definition of “real.” For instance no “one way” street really only works one way. Not even streets that have been one way for longer than any of us have been alive. I demonstrate with possibly embarrassing regularity. But never while cops are present because despite the entirely artificial distinction of “one way streets” they’ll nevertheless give very real tickets.

    Most feminists are doing the social equivalent of calling bullshit on arbitrary “one way” gender designations. Many of which existed long, long before feminism.

    Yet you’re blaming feminism.

    Nice!

    figleaf

  47. figleaf says:

    “I expect there is not one feminist who doesn’t broadly speaking accept these tenets”

    Also, I don’t agree with a single one of your six tenets, and neither do most of the feminists I spend time with. And yet, despite being so wrong that not a single one of those tenets accurately characterizes us you’ve got the gall to tell me we’re therefore not feminists?

    It’s like if you were to say 1) religion is all founded on monotheism, 2) all religion can be traced back to the first five books of the Old Testament, 3) virtually all religious people obey the pope in some way or another, 4) those who don’t obey the pope obey the Orthodox Patriarch, 5) every religious person wants to convert non-believers to their religion, 6) the small handful of religious people who don’t obey popes or try and convert people sacrifice chickens in their back yards. And then you were to say “I expect there is not one religious person who doesn’t broadly speaking accept these tenets.”

    Listen, champ. Even though I agree that it’s inconvenient for people who need really big labels for everything because they only want to write with spray paint, there are, in fact, multiple and sometimes contradictory kinds of feminism, just like there are multiple and contradictory kinds of religion. And conservatism. And democracy. And for that matter boats, toasters, and underwear!

    Seriously, you sound like one of those clowns who says that Islam is fundamentally about killing all non-believers and then, when confronted by someone who points that most Muslims don’t believe anything of the sort, says oh if they don’t fit that tenet then “with all due respect” they’re not really Muslims.

    Let’s try this as the sole tenet of feminism instead: “feminism is a movement to end sexism exploitation and oppression.” That has two singular advantages over your tenets. First, it’s a tenet proposed by an actual feminist instead of an evidently deeply-committed anti-feminist, second, it says nothing at all about female supremacy, it says nothing about how only women can be victims, it says nothing about how only men can be oppressors, it says… well.. basically nothing you and Rush Limbaugh insist, in “no true Scotsman” terms, it has to be or it doesn’t count.

    Boom. You’re suddenly a feminist.

    figleaf

  48. hi Champ. Do you think we do not live in patriarchal society then? So that gender inequality affects both men and women at similar levels but in different ways? So you campaign on men’s behalf as much as women#’s? and for people who identify as neither?

    If you do. then I don’t think you are a feminist.

    • figleaf says:

      No, of course I don’t believe we live in a patriarchal society. I just believe we live a social system derived from a family, clan, or “house” based hierarchy wherein the best interests of any individual family member, male or female, was and to a large extent is secondary to the interests of the family as a political and economic entity. I believe that historically and, in parts of the world, contemporarily, the way contracts are made between families was through marriage that’s consummated and “sealed” in offspring. Since the notion of “blood” relationship was critical to the making and keeping of contracts it was vitally important to insure that offspring of conjoined families really was the “legitimate” offspring of the two families, and with that in mind it made as much sense to make certain impositions on one sex at the expense of the other. This in turn showed up in two ways: first, by impounding women a family or in-law family could insure she didn’t have sex with anyone but her designated husband, and second by impounding women it suddenly became possible for families to make access to those women for not only marriage but companionship, romance, and sex contingent on personal male sacrifice.

      Oh wait, actually that’s patriarchy! I don’t like it. It fucks up men. It fucks up women. To the extent it benefits anyone at all it benefits a very small number of people. (Consider former Vice-President Dick Cheney — a consummate patriarch

      That of course has nothing at all to do with your highly-rigged tenets of feminism so by your account my activism on behalf of men, my intense focus not only on gender inequality but gender roles and sexual stereotypes, my campaign on men’s behalf even more than on behalf of women, and my frequent acknowledgment of people who either don’t identify as or else aren’t identified by others as neither all make me not a feminist. Which, of course, makes your definition as wrong as saying if it doesn’t have a tiny paper parasol in it it’s not an alcoholic beverage.

      Yes, I get that you think I’m not a feminist. You probably don’t think I believe in democracy either since I don’t own slaves, don’t have a powdered with with a little pigtail, and don’t write with a quill pen.

      Your problem is that you’ve decided that anything that’s feminism is ipso facto bad, and therefore anything that isn’t bad by (your) definition can’t be feminism. Doesn’t work that way.

      If I can throw you a bone I will agree that if you can point out any cartoon villains who adhere to your six tenets probably think they’re feminists. I doubt you’d like it though because while you’d want to make them poster children for feminism I’d just say they’re really crap feminists.

      figleaf

    • I’m a Feminist and I do that. Life sucks for men too, just for different reasons. Why can I wear pants but men can’t wear skirts (without assault or ending up on peopleofwalmart.com)? There is certainly a great deal more to it, but that is the condensed version.

  49. figleaf says:

    “I do think you’re a feminist. You are showing all the signs of being one!”

    You mean expecting consistency across ideas and not just areas you have a snit with?

    Let’s see… “Its meaning is created through usage. And the more people use it, the more meanings it will accrue.”

    Wonder who said that?

    figleaf

    • no it was more your attitude.

      Feminism is a political dogma. Metrosexuality is an aspect of gender/sexual identities. The struggle over meanings for those two things is very different.

  50. There is a parallel thread at Feminist Critics discussing patriarchy….

    one thing I stumbled onto that may be interesting:

    “For Marxists, the root cause of all forms of oppression consists in the division of society into classes. For many feminists, on the other hand, the oppression of women is rooted in the nature of men. It is not a social but a biological phenomenon. This is an entirely static, unscientific and undialectical conception of the human race. It is an unhistorical vision of the human condition, from which profoundly pessimistic conclusions must flow. For if we accept that there is something inherent in men which causes them to oppress women, it is difficult to see how the present situation will ever be remedied. The conclusion must be that the oppression of women by men has always existed and therefore, presumably, will always exist. Marxism explains that this is not the case. It shows that, along with class society, private property and the state, the bourgeois family has not always existed, and that the oppression of women is only as old as the division of society into classes. Its abolition is therefore dependent on the abolition of classes, that is, on the socialist revolution. ”

    http://www.socialistappeal.org/faq/feminism.html

    ——–

    Figleaf, I saw you defending Hugo Schwyzer and “Jill” somewhere else….

    I can definitely understand that someone can be close to another that isn’t a blood relative. In fact I felt closer to my dog who wasn’t even the same species than most of my blood relatives.

    However, what you seem to not point out is that it is wrong to use deception, even if that deception isn’t lying as witholding the truth. This is something that many feminists have taken issue with Mr. Schwyzer.

  51. I am not a Marxist by any means but I did find this an interesting read:

    “The oppression of women did not always exist. In fact it is a relatively new phenomenon in historical terms. It arose with the division of society into classes and the emergence of class society some 6,000 or so years ago. Prior to that, in the period described by the American anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan as ‘primitive communism’, neither classes, the state, private property nor the family existed. There was no domination of man over women, or man over man. As there was no surplus created, only enough to survive, there was no exploitation, which only emerged with the development of the slave empires of Mesopotania, Egypt, Greece and Rome.”

    —–

    “Both Morgan and Engels were indebted to the German Bachofen, whose book, Der Murrerrecht (Mother Right), provided a history of the family based upon the myths and legends of the past, which showed that women were held in high regard within the clan system. In this primitive society, sexual relations were based upon primitive mating, where conception was thought to have occurred through divine intervention. Primitive mating went through a variety of changes, reaching a phase of group marriage based on kinship. Under these circumstances, a child’s biological father was unknown, and so the line of descent was traced through the mother. This was the only way it could possibly be traced. This gave women their pivotal role within society, and determined the matriarchal character of the clan.”

    —–

    “However, children, who belonged to their mother’s clan, could not inherit from their father, being of a different clan in which his property had to remain. So with the new wealth came new contradictions. As Engels explained: “Thus, on the one hand, in proportion as wealth increased, it made the man’s position in the family more important than the woman’s, and on the other hand created an impulse to exploit this strengthened position in order to overthrow, in favour of his children, the traditional order of inheritance. This, however, was impossible so long as descent was reckoned according to mother-right. Mother-right, therefore, had to be overthrown, and overthrown it was.” As Engels adds, this act constituted “the world historical defeat of the female sex.”

    http://www.marxist.com/origins-womens-oppression.htm

    perhaps if you accept this worldview, “Jill’s” actions are justifiable. I still find it dishonest…..

  52. Now I’ve stated these points a few other places, so at the risk of being redundant…..

    One thing many feminists rightly point out is that is is mostly men in positions of power-androcracy. (I think Lori Adorable and Clarence scrambled over that a hundred posts ago…)

    What they then do is conflate that with the idea that men as a class have more power over women as a class and oppress them. Well, the “average” man may have little more (if any power) above the average woman and there are measurable things where men are at a disadvantage-for example shorter life spans. There is also the “mancession” at least in the US. As far as the “wage gap”-20 something women in large cities are out earning their male peers…..

    I was trying to bring out this idea as I believe it is something taken from the marxist idea of a ruling class oppressing a worker class, however changed to two genders….

    Now I was blown away by this quote that I found at Amanda Marcotte’s Pandagon of all places:

    “One of the worst crimes of kyriarchy is that it stunts the imaginations of people who buy into it. They become unable to conceive of a relationship that doesn’t involve domination in some sense. The key link between anti-feminism and and anti-immigrant sentiment is that they both depend on viewing society as a zero-sum game—in order for one group to gain in influence and respect, everyone else has to lose. If women gain more freedoms, they must be taking them away from men; if immigrants get jobs and homes, they must be stealing them from natives. If you’re not on top, then you must be on the bottom.”

    Comment #31: David Paul on 07/28 at 08:48 AM

    http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/misogyny_and_terrorism

    Anyways the commenter was posting in regards to the shootings in Norway but still managed to describe very articulately one of the major problems of concepts such as patriarchy and kyriarchy…..

    • thanks stoner I will read and follow those links!

    • yes but I am anti-feminist, but not anti-women. I don’t see women’s gains as a threat to men. I see them as a positive.

      • I probably should’ve stated that I thought David Paul’s statement was critique of the system of kyriarchy…

        Even though his views might be close to 180 degrees of mine, I thought his critique of the system was great….

        Same problem happened when I quoted Thaddeus Blanchette on Feminist Critics, probably need to give more background stating why I like a specific quote.

        So I took it to mean that when someone uses a system to measure the world, they get skewed results… Wether that someone is a feminist or an anti-feminist, they get skewed results by looking at everything with a black and white worldview….

        When one sees the world in black and white terms–ie women are oppressed and men are the oppressors then they create a skewed view of the world where “male suffering” is not possible…..

        I think then it would also work in the reverse view of someone such as Brevik….

        So I guess the best thing is to look at things from more than one angle and avoid black and white/good vs. evil simplemindedness…. Not accusing anyone here of that, just using this space as a notepad to clear up some ideas out loud so to speak.

      • Why are you against Feminism. I pointed out the upper case ‘f’ earlier, but realized that the implication may not be understood by everyone. Explanation is not intended as condescension, so please forgive if this is already known. Feminism (upper case) is the theory and study of, feminism (lower case) is the practice. This whole upper/lower case thing is a goofy distinction made in academia (Biology vs biology, for example).

        • D. Lynn Thompson,

          Unsure if you were addressing QRG or if you were addressing me.

          I think that any system that creates a skewed view of the world can potentially be harmful….

          I think that the video below shows that there is a great deal of misandry against men out there and if it was a man laughing about another man chopping off his wife’s breasts, there would be a huge blowback against the sponsors, television channel etc….

          I also find that many Feminists online can be bigoted and will shut down debate with terms like mansplaining and accuse anyone who disagrees of being a misogynist….

  53. oh, and it might be of interest what the 44rth wealthiest woman in Britian (according to the great wiki) thinks of “male suffering.”

  54. I’m a passionate feminist but I don’t uphold any of these beliefs you listed. I also find the terms such as ‘rape culture’, ‘the male gaze’ and ‘objectification’ to be silly, offensive, and deeply damaging to the cause of feminism. I’ve been blogging about it tirelessly for over two years.

    Feminism is not about men holding power over women. It is about the essentialist understanding of gender limiting the lives of both men and women and oppressing men and women EQUALLY. Ergo, departing from this essentialist view of gender will eventually liberate men and women. Equally.

  55. [...] from blog to blog, I alighted on a post called “Against Feminisms.” “Oh, curious,” I thought and decided to check this website out. I [...]

  56. Jonathan says:

    > If you are a feminist but do not subscribe to any of these assumptions/beliefs, then let me know. But I expect there is not one feminist who doesn’t broadly speaking accept these tenets:

    Okay then… as a feminist… taking your assumptions/beliefs in order:

    1) Yes and no. Men as a group clearly do hold more power than women – in the sense that people with power are more often men than women – and that power imbalance perpetuates itself in numerous ways. But it doesn’t mean that women are without power. In any case gender-based power is not isolated but is dependent upon many other factors, such as wealth, class, nationality, race, sexuality, etc. And sometimes women have more power, both individually and as a group. I’m just stating the obvious here, aren’t I.

    2) Definitely not. I think essentialist binary views of gender are bullshit at every possible level. (I do think “masculine” and “feminine” are real distinctions but that these qualities are inherent in the human population as a whole, not split along gender grounds; i.e. masculine-male and feminine-female do not inherently correlate.) I agree that some feminists often implicitly reinforce a binary view of gender, by rendering men (as an entire group) as “other”, as oppressors – but this is just politics – lazy rhetoric – not feminism.

    3) No. Again, I think this arises from politics rather than feminism. The demonization of men comes about from the switch, by a lot of feminists, from a natural justice agenda to the minutiae of personal relations between men and women – and feminism has been far less effective because of it. Inevitably so, because if you rail against half the human race en masse, most people just think you’re a nutter. For instance, yes, some feminists might well like men to prove their worth, but how many men really give a toss about that?

    4) Yes. I agree it’s heteronormative, and that it’s the one feminist critique most focuses upon – and this can be more than a little boring. I don’t know that you’re right about Julia Serano though. Her main battles tend to be with reactionary feminists and scientists, rather than bothering about the binary. (Beverly Skeggs and bell hooks I’ve never read.)

    5) Yes indeed – lol. Except that I’d qualify it again and say, “feminists do not allow…” etc. But hissy fits are true of lots of people. Any open comments section on any news website (such as the Guardian’s CiF) is full of people shouting stupidly at each other whatever the subject (I’ve done the same myself), and if they had the power to ban each other they probably would.

    6) Yes. Feminism is at least partly based on, or motivated by, self-interest. As a gender-non-conforming man I use feminism in my self-interest as well. Is that conservative and selfish? I don’t know. It’s not binary in my case though, not in any essentialist state. (But yes, “whatabouttehmenz” can be very annoying.)

    Well, there you are. I doubt I’ve convinced you even a little bit – but even if I have, please don’t stop writing about feminist misandry (actually “sexism” is a perfectly good word too). Complacency and lazy thinking always need to be challenged. I love Guardian Watch as well :)

  57. ardvarc says:

    Continuing from Twitter:

    Firstly, I would ask you: what do you consider to be the point of feminism? What is the end goal and why?

    Secondly: there is indeed a lot of (apparently) blind hatred of men associated with feminism. Why do you think this is the case? A product of irrational hatemongering by feminist firebrands, or something else?

    • Hi ardvarc
      thanks for commenting.

      I don’t think feminism has an ‘end goal’. It deliberately makes demands that are impossible to meet – e.g. an end to sexual violence. So rather it functions as a kind of ‘lobby’ movement to produce short-term results – e.g. criminalising sex work, censoring people’s expression on gender issues, making men feel bad about being men.

      Why is there blind hatred of men within feminism? I don’t know. I don’t know why any group hates another, simply because of their bodies or their sexuality.

      • Jonathan says:

        @ ardvarc: “Firstly, I would ask you: what do you consider to be the point of feminism? What is the end goal and why?”

        From Chambers Dictionary (1993 edition): feminism /fem’in-izm/ n advocacy of women’s rights, or of the movement for the advancement and emancipation of women.

        The point is obvious. The end goal — equality between the sexes at every possible level. This seems to me to be a matter of simple justice and should be supported for that reason alone. But I also think that supporting women’s emancipation, on the grounds that gender isn’t and shouldn’t be a barrier to anything, furthers my own emancipation as a man on the same grounds.

        @ QRG: “I don’t think feminism has an ‘end goal’. It deliberately makes demands that are impossible to meet – e.g. an end to sexual violence. So rather it functions as a kind of ‘lobby’ movement to produce short-term results – e.g. criminalising sex work, censoring people’s expression on gender issues, making men feel bad about being men.”

        Feminism doesn’t make any specific demands. Feminists make demands. And feminists have different priorities. Feminists think other feminists’ demands and priorities are wrong. Feminists squabble amongst themselves and tell each other they aren’t real feminists. It was ever thus.

        Yes, some feminists are certainly interested in: “criminalising sex work, censoring people’s expression on gender issues” and so forth. Other feminists are seriously opposed to those aims. As for “making men feel bad about being men”, my response would be: “good luck with that”, “knock yourself out”, or something similar.

        @ both: “Secondly: there is indeed a lot of (apparently) blind hatred of men associated with feminism. Why do you think this is the case? A product of irrational hatemongering by feminist firebrands, or something else?” “Why is there blind hatred of men within feminism? I don’t know. I don’t know why any group hates another, simply because of their bodies or their sexuality.”

        I’m glad you said “associated with feminism” and “within feminism” this time, rather than just “feminism”. Yes, some feminists probably do hate men and probably see this as justified by righteous anger. Well, personally, I think feminist anger is understandable so, when confronted with it, I’m willing to suspend my own anger to a certain extent. But only to a certain extent. Faced with unrelenting anger – from someone who is unwilling to concede any ground whatsoever – after a while I just think “fuck off”. Sometimes it’s as Orwell said about socialists (and Christianity): the worst advertisement for feminism is its adherents.

  58. P says:

    Hmm. Well I do consider myself a feminist but I think the stuff you listed is mostly problems of the previous centuries, except for certain parts of the world today. Our problems are mostly about equal pay for equal work in some cases, and getting more women in “men’s jobs” and men in “women’s jobs”. Sexual harrassment and violence is a real problem, too, and women happen to get more of it than men. Not gonna write an essay on the phone, but yeah, I’m a feminist and I don’t really consider the points you listed important to me in my social environment.

  59. Kyla says:

    I’m going to talk about point 1, because, honestly, I didn’t understand points 2-6.

    If we look at government bodies, company boards, church hierachies etc. etc. most of what you see will be an ocean of suits and ties containing male bodies. So what, you cry, men are just people too! What does it matter if they are in the top positions? Well, no it doesn’t matter much to me, it’s obvious from this vision that few women are doing what is necessary to penetrate these upper echelons. Why? Lots of reasons, I am not going to try and give them because I don’t know what they are.

    So men and a few women are making decisions, making laws and directing the money through all the little tubes that make the world spin. So far, so peachy. What if some of those people, decided to make changes that meant that women, only women, were suddenly feeling the pinch in their freedom purse? You might say that is impossible, that would never happen, none of these people would do that or even be ALLOWED to do that. You’re asserting that no one is a misogynist or makes sweeping statements about women as a gender and that no one with power is like this. I think this is naive. Men (and women- strange women who are misogynists too) in power have the power to affect the rights of women.

    Who is going to point out these inequitous changes and make them put it straight? If we don’t call them feminists, what do we call them? Do we amalgamate all activist groups into one big one to avoid giving them a name? Wouldn’t the admin be unmanageable to say the least? Who I say, who?

    • typhonblue says:

      “Women (and men- strange men who are misandrists too) in power have the power to affect the rights of men.”

      Yep. It doesn’t matter the gender of the person in power, it matters the philosophy that they adhere too.

      You just legitimized the men’s rights movement in a sentence and explained how ‘men in power’ does not equal ‘men advantaged as a group.’

  60. I’m the person from twitter who about 40 mins ago told you I’d reply here. I’ve taken your points in order, for ease.

    1) You use ‘assumption’ purposely, I feel, to create a sense of fallibility. As if the supposition men are dominant is based on bias pulled out of thin air. I think this ‘assumption’ is legitimate. Just how the ‘assumption’ that ethnic minorities are disadvantaged in the West is also a legitimate assumption. There is no equation to determine who on average is standing on the pedestal but to expect such is fatuous: if I were to say people on average prefer eating apples than cow manure you’d probably believe me: because it’s legitimate and we know so from lived experience. Of course what I’m not saying is men do not feel the force of oppression; they most certainly, unequivocally and indubitable do. But the assumption men are, overall, dominant in society? Yeah, I buy that one; because it’s true from my lived experienced, millions of others and I wouldn’t hesitate to also say yours. Moving on…

    2) Hmm, kinda. I believe in a sex binary (or trinary): as in, penis and vagina (or neither), sure. And I certainly believe that society ferociously propagates a gender binary. I don’t agree that being a feminist necessarily entails reinforcing gender binary, however. Personally, I believe that we need to rid ourselves of the gender binary as it creates the gender roles, expectations and hence oppressions (of course, on both sides). I see your point though. My acceptance of 1 entails that I believe there is a group of people (who mostly have penises) who have dominance over another group of people (who mostly have vaginas). This is a sex binary, however, which is a legitimate biological distinction. Gender binary is different. By personal aim is to contribute to ridding us of ‘masculine-feminine’, ‘men-women’ etc as these binaries are part of the problem. So no, feminism does not entail a reinforcement of gender binary: although, of course, there is a fair emphasis on sex binary, but so there should be! If you were fighting for equality between people of colour and white people you’d expect some discussion using the dichotomy to help identify the problems. I see no problem here.

    3) Feminisms that demonise men are ill-founded and miss the point; I concede. What feminism ought to be about is recognising oppression is complementary: women are seen as omni-maternal, men seen as the complementary breadwinners: all thanks to gender roles and expectations. This bias systematically leads to a disproportionate amount of fathers losing custody of children because mothers are seen as the better parent for children. We need to fight both assumptions of gender binary to defeat the problem, of course! You may now ask why not be an ‘equalist’ instead of a ‘feminist’ if I also fight against male oppression. My answer is this: women need to remain vigilant. It is simply not the case that we have achieved real equality; in many respects (not all, of course, but many) we are still the underdog. This of course you may disagree with which is your prerogative but I truly think a disagreement here is tantamount to saying people of colour and white people are on equal footing: it’s simply not true. While men’s rights are crucial, we ought not to forget why we are fighting for gender equality in the first place: women’s oppression. And we must not forget that, actually, we have not even won that fight yet. So, I’m a feminist.

    4)This is factually not true of third wave feminism in many respects. Intersectionality is the doctrine that feminists ought to recognise gender divisions are not the only contributing factor to oppression. We’ve already got this one covered. Yes it took feminism long to realise this but I don’t think a focus on gender in and of itself is a real criticism. And I think the fact that feminism is acknowledging intersectionality is definitely a step forward.

    5)In all honestly I must say, feminism really is not monolithic. The third wave is too vast to be described by ‘mono’ anything.

    6)As I explained above, there is a focus on women because we are still the underdog: statistically and anecdotally. I think it’s because of feminism (and its failings) that we are becoming much more conscious of male oppression. When we found the glass-ceiling, we then looked down and found the glass-cellar. This, however, transcends mere disagreement and verges into the category of offensive: “But making a whole political ideology out of self-interest of a particular group in society is, in my opinion, conservative and selfish”. I’m sorry but no. Harvey Milk and Martin Luther King were self-interested but because they were oppressed. Feminism is self-interested in many respects because inequality amongst the genders is still a real and living issue. And oppression against women is alive and well. As I said, oppression against men is rearing its ugly head but I think acknowledging that the sea saw is somewhat unbalance only takes a quick look into our political systems, are culture of humour, the stats for victims of domestic/sexual abuse (although unfortunately domestic abuse against men is on the rise), our courting culture, gender roles and biases, expectations: the list is endless! I’m an equalist, of course, but I’m a feminst because oppression against women is still a disproportionate problem. Just how I’m a LGBTI activist because oppression against the community is disapproportionately against LGBTI and it doesn’t take an ‘oppression equation’ to realise this.

  61. [...] Well, I was at Clarissa’s Blog reading a critique of Quiet Riot Girl’s Against Feminisms. [...]

  62. [...] need to talk about bummingAboutWhy Feminism Is Wrong About Patriarchy by Typhon BlueAgainst FeminismsMaking Boys ‘Bad’ – Misandry Strikes [...]

  63. Hi QRG, since you pointed me back here from Twitter, thought I’d explain where we disagree. Then next time it comes up I’ll point you back here and we can agree to differ.

    It’s a perfectly reasonable explanation of why you, personally, don’t want to think of yourself as a feminist. But you sent me here

    going through your bulletpoints

    1) Feminism is based on an assumption that overall, men as a group hold power in society and this power, damages women as a group.

    No, it doesn’t have to be based on this assumption, although I accept it very often is. Feminism could be based on an assumption that there is structural, systematic discrimination against women of a different nature to structural, systematic discrimination against men.So it could be other social forces holding power, not “men.” Marxists feminists like Lindsey German would probably tell you that the ruling class holds the power, not the male gender. Selma James would probably say it forces of cultural socialisation or something woolly like that.

    Anyway, I should point out that even feminists who do believe in simplistic patriarchal theories are not necessarily misandrist. They could like and love men but hate the system that accords gender roles and power (as they see them.)

    2) The above assumption, no matter what feminists say, relies on a belief in and a reinforcement of the essentialist binary view of gender (i.e. that male v female men v women masculine v feminine are real and important distinctions. That is how feminists justify their belief that ‘men’ hold power over ‘women’)

    It doesn’t rely on it at all. All it requires is a recognition that the dominant society (or a significant part of it) believes in a binary view of gender and acts unjustly upon that belief, false or not. If society were to arbitrarily decide that people whose surname begins in the second half of the alphabet were to be deprived legal and democratic rights, one could point out that it is ridiculous because it is an entirely false premise and social construct, but that wouldn’t make the discrimination any less real or less worthy of challenge – it wouldn’t make it untrue that alpha-mus hold power over nu-omegas in practical terms.

    3) e.g. concepts such as ‘rape culture’ and ‘patriarchy’ and ‘violence against women and girls’ and ‘the male gaze’ and ‘objectification’ rely on making out men are not decent people,

    No,this is deeply, deeply wrong and, ironically enough, I think you slip into out and out misandry of the type you’re accusing feminism of. Those concepts rely on making out the men who do those things are not decent people. There is no need for it to be generalised to all men, and some feminists are quite good at clarifying that. Also,in this paragraph (also your GMP piece iirc) it is *you* who is associating rape culture, VAWG etc with masculinity. Fuck off with that Elly, seriously. Rape, harassment, violence, domination are in no way essential to my gender and I spend a considerable chunk of my life trying to detach the associations. Saying campaigns against violence against women are de facto anti-man is saying that violence against women is part of masculinity. I’m not having that. Rape is a crime against a woman and also a crime against masculinity. Same for all the rest of it. Violence, harassment, abusiveness, whatever, is not decent behaviour. The people who do it are not decent people. I have no problem condemning them for it and trying to prevent the behaviour, however I can. That doesn’t make me a self-loathing man-hater.

    4) The focus on men’s power over women in ‘patriarchal’ society ignores other divisions between people

    That’s not a logical necessity at all. Someone could be primarily engaged with economic class dynamics or race dynamics, see all of their politics through that lens, and yet still identify as feminist by any definition. Most Marxist Feminists and anarcho-feminists would be utterly baffled by this claim. Yes, a lot of feminists do ignore (or downplay) other power dynamics but it is by no means a logical necessity that they do so. Their politics can still be entirely coherent if they do not.

    Finally, and as with the last one above your numbers (5) and (6) are commonly true in practice but quite obviously don’t need to be true, politically.

    Now after all that I should say, it is a perfectly decent list of reasons as to why you don’t call yourself a feminist. I disagree with some of it but hey ho.

    What it does not do is rebut the claims that “‘feminism is not a monolithic group’ ‘there are many branches of feminism’ etc You haven’t done that at all.

    Nor, to go back to our Twitter chat earlier tonight, have you demonstrated that feminism is by definition and necessity man-hating and misandrist. Not by a long chalk.

  64. Derek Banks says:

    The patriarchy and I use this term liberally was formed merely because of a human’s biological set up, it wasn’t about dominating women it was about survival of the group.

  65. [...] from feminism and was writing as an anti-feminist” for example in my controversial essay, Against Feminisms.So what changed? And why? My rejection of feminism (and its rejection of me) is not just about [...]

  66. [...] (som har Ph.d i Genusteori) kritiserar inkonsekventa resonemang inom “feminist theory***” Där används  såväl oklara siffror som rena lögner för att rättfärdiga feministiska [...]

  67. concerned cynic says:

    @lucy cage:

    There is a lot of male-male rape in prisons. One boy I knew in my teen years revealed to me that he was raped by a middle aged group leader supervising a weekend camping trip.

    Women on male DV is bizarre in your experience. That’s also true of me. But I spent my 20s living on the edge of the great black slums of Chicago and Chicago. And there I learned of the horrendous revenge women could take on their boyfriends while they were drunk or high on crack. I was surprised to discover that women doing and dealing drugs could take sadistic pleasure in raping a teenage girl with a dildo. I had thought that women caregivers did not take indecent liberties with the boys in their care. I have repeatedly in recent years that such incidents are not rare at all, especially when Mom is on welfare and intoxicated. A major American artist revealed in the 1990s that his mother repeatedly violated sexual propriety in her dealings with him when he was a teenager: he is Stephen Sondheim.

    We agree that trans women have to be very careful. But I have been very surprised to read, starting this year, that some feminist cis women can be very rejecting of trans women.

    White middle class males often have settled uneventful lives. But so do their mothers, sisters, and spouses. To understand gender issues in western societies, one has to step out of the middle class comfort zone.

    My life has not been settled and uneventful. I have lived all my life in fear of male rage and violence. Years ago, a woman assaulted my wife and baby. When I intervened, she assaulted me. When I paid a visit to this woman 10 years later, she took me in for 24 hours, then out of the blue made a false complaint to the police that I was a trespasser. Several years ago, I was assaulted by a man while his wife looked on and did nothing to stop him. I am a white gentile male in my 60s, whose great mistake was being a good student who values the arts. I am not gay at all, but I strongly suspect that many men silently assume I am gay.

    Much of the power of women goes beyond the scope of this post, as it consists of the power to lie and be believed, the power to manipulate, to frame situations so as to elicit sympathy, to convince others that one is a victim. Very often, when I am in public with my spouse, people we meet talk to her and say nothing to me. I might as well not exist.

  68. Peter Olsen says:

    Seriously, I applaud you. It’s about time that those of us who oppose this hateful ideology take off the masks and come out of the woodwork. There are no ‘good’ and no ‘bad’ feminists. There are only feminists, and feminism is a religion of hatred against men. Plain and simple.

  69. Jay says:

    “People say to me, ‘you can’t generalize like that’ ‘feminism is not a monolithic group’ ‘there are many branches of feminism’ ‘feminism is a broad church’ ‘feminism is not a club’.”

    This is actually a very serious problem with feminism. What the hell is feminism?

    For any topic A, I can find feminists saying A is terribly sexist, and feminists that exclaim how empowering A is.

    How can any political stance, philosophy, science, religion, or organization stand for so much and yet refuse to take responsibility of acknowledge those stances?

    Oh, those are anti-sex feminists, I am sex positive.
    Oh, those were second wavers, I am a fourth waver.
    Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, not all feminists are like that, I refuse to take responsibility for that, you’re just a misogynist.

    It’s all a clever strategy and it works to make it quite literally impossible to argue against feminism.

  70. concerned cynic says:

    1) This is wrong simply because many men have no power and command no respect.

    2) Gender is indeed more complicated than a simple dichotomy of male and female.

    3) Radfem undoubtedly demonises men as a group. This is an instance of the injustice known as stereotyping. I do not go so far as to say that “Feminism is, by its very nature, misandrist.” Radfem is misandrist, but many feminists do not buy into the radfem wing.

    4) Feminism encourages us to overlook that differences in education, income, wealth, class, religion and most important, educational attainment, are immensely important and powerful points of friction among human beings. I say this even though I am not at all a Marxist.

    5) Agreed.

    6) “…making a whole political ideology out of self-interest of a particular group in society, is, in my opinion, conservative and selfish.” Agreed. The driving force behind feminism has been an easier life for women. When feminism began in the 1960s and 70s, an important ethical watchword at the time was that it was immoral to be married and not make a significant financial contribution to the household budget. SAHMs were condemned as parasites, little better than kept women. Before 1970 or so, feminists disdained accepting alimony in childless divorces. Both norms vanished from feminist discourse for the same reason: they delegitimized a pleasant life, namely that of being supported by one’s spouse.

    7) There are legitimate feminist issues raised by customary practices in the Moslem world and South Asia. The single worst one is the explosive rise of honour killing, whereby a young woman’s father and brothers arrogate to themselves the role of judge, jury, prosecution and executioner with regard to alleged “crimes” against reactionary norms of sexual propriety. Feminists in the First World slight these horrors by making mountains out of molehills.

  71. […] In 2010 I began writing a blog, using the pseudonym Quiet Riot Girl. I have been a participant in a few online communities over the years, and I have always enjoyed the way they give us the opportunity to play with our identities, develop personas and explore ideas and practices we may not have done under our “real names.” But when I created Quiet Riot Girl, I had no idea just how life-changing my explorations would be. I was still a feminist when I started blogging (and tweeting) in 2010. As a critical feminist, I was aware how divided and sometimes incoherent feminists are on important issues such as sex, economics and bodily autonomy. But I was a “sister” nonetheless. If you take a look at my first QRG Blog you will see how clearly I identified as a feminist back then. But only a year later I had completely split from feminism and was writing as an “anti-feminist,” for example in my controversial essay, Against Feminisms. […]

  72. HavingMyDoubts says:

    I just read your article: “Leaving the sisterhood: A recovering feminist speaks” and a few articles on the net against angry feminists… I wanted to email/contact you because your article really encouraged me to stand by my values. Just recently, I got into an internet argument about the school dress code in college. I said that the statement was gender neutral and it was just manners for everyone to look appropriate for school. Something I assumed (but am horribly mistaken) to be very basic about relating to others… Oh boy I was wrong. I got a lot of support but I got a lot of hate as well and words put into my mouth.I was suddenly anti-feminist, i was a misogynist, that I didn’t know how to respect people even though I consistently told them that their points are valid. I was trying to make a point beyond feminism and all these “feminists” deemed it to be anti-feminist. To be honest, I am a feminist (I support equal treatment regardless of gender, even for men!), I read all those articles on rape culture and “patriarchy”. I found the argument to be pointless, incommensurable since I and my challengers were talking about different things. And I was on their side to begin with! They were just so angry that they just imposed on me what they wanted to impose and didn’t listen to at all what I said which were considerate of their views. After the whole issue (I’ve conceded, my notifs have quieted down), however, I started to doubt my feminist-ness, and I felt bad. Did I really care about women and men? Am I victim of wrong social constructs just because I challenged feminism? Why do I feel bad if my perspective on gender equality is not the same of the mob-feminist? Upon reflection I felt that I support the goal of feminism (just for everyone to be equal), but not their assumptions and theories. Your article comforted me and urged to be more critical of the “sisterhood”. I felt bullied and wondered if a part of my womanhood was lost because of how I challenged feminism. Thank you for enlightening me. Just really, thank you.

    • Hi HavingMyDoubts

      Thank YOU for your heartening and well considered comment.

      If the ‘mob-feminist’ and indeed the ‘feminist mob’ are piling on you as an individual online then that can be intimidating. If you want to chat to someone who respects where you’re coming from do feel welcome to comment again or email me. Also I find most of the commenters here on my blog very good to talk to and intelligent. My email that I share online is quietriotgirltwitter@gmail.com

      Thanks

      QRG

    • concerned cynic says:

      You, like many people, are an equity feminist. Nearly all political movements pay lip service to equity feminism, much of which is the law in First World countries. Equity feminism has had important victories in the past: female suffrage, ending of all male university education, opening all careers to women. Disagreement with equity feminism is mostly confined to austere religious circles.

      The people who savaged you are gender feminists. A common verbal touchstone of gender feminists is believing that women are an oppressed class, and that the oppressors are something they call “the patriarchy”. Another verbal touchstone is talk of “rape culture”. The gender feminist “makes a career” out of being a woman angry at the way “all women” are supposedly treated. The way my parents generation would describe gender feminists was to say “they always have a chip on their shoulders”. Many gender feminists last century were lesbians, simply because they believed that being heterosexual amounted to “sleeping with the enemy”.

      Gender feminism sprang up in the 1960s, in the writings of Robin Morgan (founder of Ms magazine), Marilyn French, Gloria Steinem, Valerie Solanas, Kate Millet, Germaine Greer, and Shulamith Firestone. Gender feminism was an important social movement, 1965-1990, and has experienced something of a resurgence in social media, since about 2005 or so.

      Gender feminism has male supporters. I believe that they are mistaken, but please do not sneer at them as traitors to their gender. They are probably in an intimate relationship with gender feminist women. Decent men tend to feel strong loyalty to the women they cuddle in bed, and this is normal and desirable, even if that noble sentiment sometimes takes men down misguided paths. Also, the writings of gender feminists can have intellectual appeal to men dissatisfied with the present social order. Gender feminism has attracted strong disagreement from the Men’s Rights Movement, and from women, some of whom are ex gender feminists.

      The dichotomy between gender and equity feminism is due to Christine Hoff Sommers, an equity feminist and the mother of sons, who decided 25 years ago that gender feminism is a sinister social movement. My view is that the only way the goals of gender feminism can become realities, is by a tyrannical state that dictates what occupations will pay and who gets what job. Gender feminism can become a reality only by putting on jackboots. A gender feminist world would not make optimal use of men’s talents and abilities. The economy would stagnate or even decline outright. The proportion of children raised by single mothers would rise, as would the proportion of antisocial males. A gender feminist nation would eventually collapse, in a way similar to the disintegration of the USSR and Maoist China.

      Gender feminism is too angry, too intellectual, and too anti-male to have much traction among everyday women. A vulgarisation of gender feminism that does have traction is the Gold Uterus Complex:
      http://www.shrink4men.com/2011/05/17/does-your-wife-or-ex-wife-have-a-golden-uterus-complex-15-characteristics-of-the-golden-uterus/
      Another real world manifestation of gender feminism is the Duluth Model:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duluth_model

      Erin Pizzey, who had some gender feminist inclinations as a young woman and who founded the British Refuge movement, the first network of urban shelters for battered women, decided after some years that both genders were more or less equally guilty of domestic violence. When British gender feminists got wind of her change of heart, they made her feel so unwelcome that she and her children fled her native UK for a number of years. It is my understanding that Pizzey’s memoirs are an important document in the ongoing critique of gender feminism.

    • concerned cynic says:

      ” Upon reflection I felt that I support the goal of feminism (just for everyone to be equal), but not their assumptions and theories.”
      There are bad ways to reach valid conclusions; gender feminists can be guilty of this when they reach equity feminist conclusions. Decent people can reason their way to deplorable conclusions; feminists can most definitely be guilty of this as well.

      Another aspect of gender feminists is their firm belief in “those who are not with us are against us”. You either buy into the entire gender feminist programme, or you are a reactionary whore for the patriarchal interest.

      • Abba says:

        Thank you so much concerned cynic. Al you posted clarifies things so much. Apparently, the gender feminists in my school have become more vocal–persecuting female candidates for our school election for doubting the existence of women oppression because she’s confident about being the only woman in the top 3 positions. It’s really gotten crazy here. I plan to read more about this to ground my opinions in things.

        Thank you so much, I will always know that I have friends here in QRG’s blog. :)

  73. nellie0224 says:

    This is awesome! Just doing a bit of anti-feminism surfing and I think you strung these together really well! ^.^

  74. QGR-
    l love your 6 points, which I think nailed it. I’m not so happy with the counter-ideology you seem to be constructing.
    1. But first by way of introduction: I am a retired quantitative social scientist,I am a civil libertarian and a progressive. I think any admissible ethics can be summarized as practical egalitarianism, in the sense of developing each person to his or her full potential. Debating these ultimate values would not be very interesting.
    2. It seems to me that both your view and the feminist view you critique suffer from essentialism. Feminists assume that the female condition is (for highly contested reasons) essentially different from the male condition, with a few exceptions. You write as if you think the male and female condition as such are essentially the same, with a few exceptions.
    3. Most quantitative social scientists are far more antiessentialist than you are. We see most non-reproductive simple characteristics (whhether biological or social) as exhibiting a broad range of variation that typically has more overlap than difference between XX and XY chromosome pairs. (“Overlap” is a statistical concept that means just about what you think it means.) (XXY and XXX and XYY individuals please forgive me.)
    4. However compounding characteristics tends to amplify differences. Name enough different characteristics, total up a score, and you can distinguish XX from XY with reasonable reliability.
    5. It does not follow that differences can be ignored. In matters of politics and policy. We as a race are incapable of taking all individual characteristics into full account. Instead it takes a lot of strategic choices in political ideology and program design to devise categories that efficiently benefit certain groups. It is OK that some or most of these choices benefit one or the other chromosome pair. What is not OK is systemic bias toward one pair. This is especially true for movements such as feminism that seek to benefit one pair while excluding the other pair from programs they also need (e.g. violence shelters).
    6. On a new topic, I have little patience with the nitpicking arguments and counterexamples offered against your six principles. Granted you are not (as far as I can tell) a quantitative social scientist, if you were you might have said:
    A. There is no such think as national feminist organization or a selection policy used by a feminist publication that rejects all 6 principles. (At least to my limited knowledge, this is true. I have seen no counterexamples offered on your blog.)
    B. At the level of individuals who consistently describe themselves as feminist, no more than 10% reject all 6 principles. Depending on how you probe the answers, I suspect it’s under 2%. (Pure gut reaction–I have no data on this, but I have done a number of surveys and polls, I usually try to the predict the results, and I am rarely totally surprised.)
    7. I am tired of people who say it all depends, without giving a full account. The point is, if you call yourself a “feminist” you are aiding and supporting a movement that harbors a lot of reactionary ideas.

    • QRG says:

      Hi thanks for some interesting comments. Not sure I agree with this:

      ’3. Most quantitative social scientists are far more antiessentialist than you are. ‘

      when it comes to gender I have found ‘most quantitative social science’ to be biased and based on assumptions as much as any qualitative research. I value all methodologies and approaches but neutrality is not a quality of any human being, however quantitative they may be!

      as for my ‘essentialism’ about humans – I don’t think we are all ‘essentially’ the same but I don’t think our difference is best conceptualised in a binary of two types based on what we think we know about the chromosomes of the members of those two groups. I think gender is a social category not a biological one, too.

  75. QRG-
    1. Essentialism and bias are unrelated ideas. Whether or not social scientists are biased, they tend not to be essentialist.
    2. Bias is a complex notion. If you say every one is equally biased then the notion becomes worthless. If you say having any assumptions at all is a bias, that belief is about the worst bias I know of. You have to make assumptions to proceed in any endeavor.One way that scientists control bias is by stating clearly what their assumptions are. Another way is by allowing any assumption to challenged by other scientists, hopefully leading to a showdown on the supporting data. Most people are biased in the sense that they often fail to do either of these things.
    3. I understand that you recognize variability and do not make formally essentialist statements. However your political and policy biases all seem to be essentialist: you resist the practice of defining rough-and-ready binary oppositions so we can get on the business of delivering politics or services. There is nothing innately wrong with having programs aimed at women; they is plenty wrong with aiming programs at women without providing corresponding programs for similarly situated men. Gender segregation is a pragmatic decision: I think there is strong evidence that it is counterproductive in education, for example. However a good argument can be made for segregating domestic violence shelters by gender.

  76. Concerned cynic-I don’t appreciate your bigotry against men, as in:

    “Most men are not very smart, not very interesting in bed, not very good at expressing themselves. Their value is little more than impregnators and bacon bringers.”

    • concerned cynic says:

      The same is true of women; except that young women are more willing to grant that their bedroom performance has capabilities of improvement ;)
      My point is that a great many men simply don’t have what it takes to be a part of a supposedly oppressive patriarchy. In the present day social order, they are victims, not dominators. Gender feminists are completely blind to this.

  77. In the context of the 6 points, someone needs to point out some of the valuable and legitimate work feminists have done despite their anti-male bias.

    1. They provided detailed and original analysis of misogynist language (but not misandrist language).
    2. They analyzed social mores that oppress women in the workplace.
    3. They passed laws against discriminating against women.
    4. They supported an immense insurgence of women into college, graduate school, the professions, and upper middle class jobs (though at the same time, men are falling too far behind in this kind of achievement–a worrysome development.)
    5. They provided a reasonably clear description and critique of traditional gender roles.
    6. They helped open up some space for some men to take on more feminine roles (though not nearly enough space to support full equality).
    7. They have put open social misogyny (but not misandry) on the defensive.

    I’m sure others can add to this list.

    Feminism is a kind of distorted egalitarianism–it produces good as well as bad outcomes. The worst consequence of the 6 points is not damage to men, but rather to women: the gender revolution seems substantially stalled by a white male backlash that I think could have been mitigated by feminists (as well as by other progressives).

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