Another One Bites The Dust #feminism #againstfeminisms

Posted: July 16, 2013 in Blogging, Feminism, Freedom of Speech, internet, misandry, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

And another one’s gone! From Feminist Ideology. I was recently contacted by the blogger called Female Fed Up With Feminism. Like me, she is a woman who has used that precious right of women (and everyone else) everywhere, and changed her mind. Now that she has become ‘fed up’ with feminism, and seen its bias against men, and against honest open debate, she has decided to challenge some of the worst excesses of the gender politics ‘cult’. FFUWF writes:

‘I am a very proud non feminist female who has decided that it’s time to deal with the frenzy that is now going on in the media about how society is riddled with so-called ‘sexism’. I believe that things are much more complicated than that, and that the manner in which feminism is hijacking important issues is stopping us from having a mature and rational debate about many things.’

Also like me, the blogger is concerned about feminists’ tendency to attack  freedom of speech   in the name of combatting sexism.  And one of the outfits she finds most irritating and propogandist on the subject of sexism is that well known (to some of us) twitter account  and blog Everyday Sexism. If anyone has any ideas about how to challenge Everyday Sexism’s bullshit about men, women and gender, let us know!

I will finish by wishing this latest Female Fed Up With Feminism all the best in fighting her  ‘sisters’ . Don’t forget to wear protective clothing though – these debates can get very heated!

Comments
  1. Jonathan says:

    That’s fine of course, but she needs better analysis than this:

    “Feminism fails to deal with an important distinction when it comes to this term [equality] – the difference between a) equality in terms of both genders having the same rights and being entitled to the same amount of respect and b) both genders actually being the same. Well I’m sorry folks, but no two human beings can ever be the same.”

    No brand of feminism says we’re all the same. Indeed, essentialist/separatist feminism would be appalled by the thought. But in general, feminism says, backed up by science, that inherent human difference is (mostly) not dependent on gender – which is not the same thing at all.

    • QRG says:

      hi thanks for the comment. I am not saying I agree with every word of the blog I was just flagging up another woman becoming disillusioned in feminism.

      as for feminists being backed up by science in saying most human difference is not dependent on gender I disagree. Both feminism and much of science spend a lot of time reinforcing the gender binary and the differences between ‘men’ and ‘women’, ‘male’ and ‘female’. plenty of neuroscientiists still go on about the ‘male brain’ v the ‘female brain’ for example despite the mounting evidence against those concepts. and feminist tropes include ‘male violence’, ‘female anger’, ‘female objectification’, ‘crisis of masculinity’ etc.

      also as you say, separatist feminists love to make it clear they believe men and women are different. and this is pretty well all they do!

      • Firstly, many thanks to QRG for blogging about me – its great to have the support and become part of the community!

        Second, Jonathan, I fully appreciate your comment. I understand that the the nature/nurture and gender debate is a complex one. However, my own personal view is that many of the present arguments being made by the current wave of feminism are failing to distinguish between things that are gender specific and sexism. Not everything that is gender specific is necessarily sexist, however, I feel that this point is being willfully ignored and as a result a whole generation of girls are growing up believing that they are victims in a man’s world. If we could just accept that men and women’s attractiveness, sexuality and vulnerability on average simply function differently I think we could go a long way towards dealing with some very real problems that are out there in a practical way.

        I really do welcome any other arguments or comments you have – I want to encourage debate between both groups as I feel that this is the only way to be constructive.

        Best wishes

        Elena

        • hi elena thanks for dropping by. I am not even sure if its gender differences that feminists label as sexism. I think often its just ‘stuff men say and do’. whether or not women do and say those things too.

        • Jonathan says:

          Hi Elena

          Thanks for replying🙂

          Re “many of the present arguments being made by the current wave of feminism are failing to distinguish between things that are gender specific and sexism”: I have definite problems with various things that feminists say – things which QRG decries here and elsewhere – but distinguishing “things that are gender specific” isn’t one of them, because I don’t believe anything much is inherently gender specific. Our own individual genders arise in complex ways, of which nature and nurture are just parts – but if men and women as groups are gendered differently in any specific instance, I think the overwhelming reason for this is because we’re socialized differently. And that society perpetuates and enforces that difference as “natural”.

          For me, gender enforcement, gender stereotyping, gender roles mean that we aren’t allowed to be fully who we actually are or (perhaps more accurately) who we might have been. So our natural human difference is restricted by what society recognizes as valid for each of us according to our sex. My own interest in feminism largely arises from a personal rejection of that gender enforcement (because my own gender runs contrary to what society says it should be). And feminism itself, I think, arises similarly: as a counter-politics to gender oppression arising from such gender enforcement.

          What feminism actually means in practice, on the other hand, is another argument.

          Jonathan

          PS I posted here rather than on your own blog because I didn’t want to storm in argumentatively when you’ve only just started up. It’s easy to feel bludgeoned when people you don’t know are suddenly turning up and things get heated without warning.

          • QRG says:

            I don’t believe I (or anyone) has ‘a gender’. I think ‘gender’ describes the social relations within which this restrictive binary of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ is produced. I’m me not ‘man’ or ‘woman’, ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’.

          • Jonathan says:

            Whereas I do believe that people have gender. And I think your description is of a particular (albeit hegemonic) gender system. As for my own gender, it’s difficult for me to describe it within that system, because the system doesn’t recognize it as wholly valid. Probably “genderqueer” is the best word in that context: i.e. non-normative, or at least a refusal to define it.

        • Lyall says:

          It’s pleasing to see another voice Elena. I’ve followed you on twitter.

          I have observed anonymous feminists in the wild being curious about what puts people off feminism. This was left on my tumblr http://lyall.tumblr.com/post/55284109219/all-of-it

          Hi- I’m the anon who asked you the feminist question. Thank you for your response. I am just trying to figure out what parts of the feminist movement turn people away from feminism. Thanks again!🙂

          Astounding level of curiosity.

      • Jonathan says:

        By science I meant proper science😉 – as laid out in, for example, Cordelia Fine’s book Delusions of Gender. I think we agree about that much, don’t we?🙂

        • But feminists hardly mention Fine when they are writing and speaking.I think this is because they need the gender binary to exist. Man = bad Woman = good is feminism’s main tenet in their twisted faith.

    • Henry says:

      “I don’t believe anything much is inherently gender specific”

      So hormones play no part in personality & motivation? What about parts of the brain being differently sized and connected? Behaviours linked with these differences? Different speeds of learning to read? Body sizes? X/Y Chromosomes? Primary & secondary sexual characteristics? Different play styles between boys and girls? The fact that every parent who I’ve talked to seems to see a difference between their sons and daughters, whether they like it or not?

      The “gender is a social construct” idea was simply an undermining argument invented by feminists to suit their own agenda (occasionally). They assiduously undermine research on gender differences, whilst making outlandish claims for social conditioning based on f***-all evidence

      They listen to the selected evidence they like, and ignore the rest. In other words, business as usual in feminist “thought”. It has nothing to do with science.

      • Jonathan says:

        Hormones come later and mostly just have an exaggerating effect; i.e. they emphasize traits, rather than create them. Different sized brains and the way they light up under resonance imaging don’t imply different function and capability. Morphology is just that – X/Y, so what?

        All the rest can be explained by socialization: different speeds of learning to read, different play styles, etc. The fact that parents see a difference is irrelevant. Obviously they would because binary gendered difference begins at day one – from how we relate differently to children of different sexes, and in how they create gendered meaning for themselves.

        Actual research on gender difference is totally inconclusive. Never mind what a few studies purport to show. Meta-analysis (i.e. of all studies) shows very little inherent difference.

        As for “gender is a social construct”: that doesn’t mean people’s individual gender is socially constructed. It means that which we regard as gendered is constructed; i.e. we’ve “decided” this is female/feminine, that is male/masculine, and in doing so we make it so.

        What you or I think about feminism has fuck all to do with any of this.

    • HandyMan says:

      Jonathan. can you point to the ‘backed up by science’ research that suggests that inherent human differences are (mostly) not dependent on gender?

      I do home this is not opinion dressed as science…

      • HandyMan says:

        I mean, of course, peer reviewed papers.

        • Jonathan says:

          Research is plentiful and mostly shows nothing at all. Meta-analysis is more useful, which looks at studies en masse and draws conclusions. Anne Fausto-Sterling provides good coverage. Or if you want something more populist, read Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender, which summarizes work in this field. Yes, Fine has an agenda – debunking various “peer-reviewed” research – but that doesn’t mean she’s wrong.

      • paul says:

        Hi HandyMan, yes, as Jonathan says, Anne Fausto-Sterling’s work is superb. Another book I can’t recommend enough is Rebecca Jordan-Young’s Brainstorm. She went back to the beginnings of what she calls “brain organization theory” in the late ’50s and spent something like 13 years thoroughly analyzing about 300 core papers in the field. Her work is deep and sophisticated, and her conclusion is that none of the basic conclusions simply hold up. This one over here sort of correlates to that one over there, but that one over there needs a third one to be true for it to be meaningful; the third one isn’t true however, but relies on this other study over there to be true, but that other one is provisional upon these others over there, and there are definitional/conceptual problems galore. Anne Fausto-Sterling said of Jordan-Young’s work that it revealed this whole field is held together by bubble gum. And – I might add – a lot of wishful thinking.

        Definitely worth reading if you’d like a different perspective to the headlines…

        • QRG says:

          thanks for the refs Paul I’ll check out Rebecca Jordan

          • paul says:

            Great, I think it’s a pathbreaking book. Dense, but still quite readable.

            In the Preface she talks about one of the life experiences which ultimately led her to this work. She had been working in HIV and AIDS education and noticed every day that none of the definitions taken as gospel in our culture were helpful. So many people were coming in having had same-sex sex who would never in a million years have identified as gay etc. Although the book is mostly about the male-female brain question, there is also a chapter or two on the homo/hetero mess.

            Coincidentally, I got to see Anne Fausto-Sterling – whom Jonathan mentions – give a talk a few months ago. She was quite brilliant, and thoroughly accessible to non-scientists. The science of brain sex differences just doesn’t hold up at all.

    • fidelbogen says:

      Jonathan, if you are a feminist, please state this right up front. Don’t be a weasel.

      That said, why are you being deceitful with the word “gender”?

      You say “inherent human difference is (mostly) not dependent on gender..”. but I think you know damn well that “gender” is not the same as “sex”.

      Don’t you?

      So this makes you a double weasel.

      Doesn’t it?

      • QRG says:

        Hi Fidelbogen thanks for the comment.

        I think I’ve made it clear that like you, I disagree with J about feminism and certain aspects of gender formation. But I don’t think it’s fair to call him a ‘weasel’! God knows I can be rude about feminism and feminists, but I still want my blog to be somewhere people can have respectful discussions about these things.

        QRG

      • Jonathan says:

        Clumsy rather than deceitful. With “sex” and “gender” being used interchangeably so often, I sometimes get them mixed up them through… lack of concentration.

        Yes, what I meant was that inherent human difference is (mostly) not dependent on binary sex. I could make a case for what I actually wrote, but no, it wasn’t what I meant.

  2. QRG says:

    Hi Jonathan – maybe the system doesnt recognise your ‘gender’ because ‘gender’ IS the system! I think everyone is ‘gender queer’ because nobody fits this imposed and wrong binary.

    Gender in my view will never allow for the full variety of people’s self-expression so we need to smash it to bits.

    • Jonathan says:

      Wow – dare I say it? – that’s rather a radical feminist view of gender. Personally I take the (queer) view that gender is essentially a neutral thing, constrained by the gender system. But then, I’m not really sure right now whether these are much more than linguistic arguments disguising a disagreement about tactics. How is gender to be smashed exactly? I dunno. Smashing gender doesn’t seem very likely anyway, even if that was desirable. Undermining (the) gender (system) seems more promising to me.

      • Dear QRG and Jonathan,

        Sorry for having taken so long to come back to this discussion – I’ve been away for a few days!

        Once again I just want to say how grateful I am both for the support and for the fact that the criticism has been constructive. Jonathan – thank you for obviously thinking of my feelings; it took a long time for me to work up the courage to start my blog, mainly because I was terrified of becoming the subject of a witch hunt as happens so often when someone speaks out. I fully welcome comments like yours on my blog!

        I’m also really pleased at the debate that is going on here – it’s something I want to write an article about at some stage, but in summary my two cents are as follows:

        The issue of whether gender is or is not a constructed thing is is probably not going to be solved within any of our lifetimes, and nor is the ‘system’ (if you believe in it which I personally don’t) likely to be subverted or overthrown within our lifetimes either, as whole generations would need to be born and brought up in radically different ways before that happens.

        However, I believe that there is a clue in some of the things you were talking about Jonathan: I think that a majority of women and some men exhibit traits that are more usually associated with being female, just as a majority of men and some women exhibit traits that are more usually associated with being male. We all know women who, for example, are more assertive than your average woman might be and who therefore may end up in a more ‘bullish’ career, or just not experience many of the problems that other women often face. Conversely, we’ve all met men who may be slightly more ‘female’ in terms of general characteristics – I personally have watched many of these men not getting promoted or respected in the same way as other members of a group or team. In my opinion this issue is therefore about traits, rather than gender.

        Therefore, for me personally, this debate would be so much more useful if we really tried to analyse the way that certain traits function and affect the way in which their owners experience life. There are more practical ways that I believe we can address the aspects of this ‘system’ that really do have a negative effect on people’s lives if we talk about these traits. For example, one of the main reasons that I rejected feminism was that quite a few years ago now I joined quite a male heavy team in an industry where level-headedness, clamness and practicality were central to the nature of the work. However, as a female in my early 20s I was none of these things – no matter how well I got my job done the fact that I was emotional and sensitive stopped me from ever being respected. The point came when I was screwed over for a promotion that REALLY should have gone to me. They went out of their way to find an outside person with less knowledge of the job for the position – he was also male. I was devastated, and even made a complaint arguing that I had been discriminated against on the basis of my gender. However, as some time want by, I did a bit more watching. I actually saw plenty of females getting promoted, and men getting treated just the same way I had been. And then I realised – this was not about gender, this was about the types of characteristics that mean people will listen to, trust and respect your ability. As soon as I started working on those areas things changed – by modifying my behaviour I was promoted and made it to the top.

        I wish someone had taught me all of this at at school – practical tips like not becoming overly emotional every time something very good or very bad happens, taking steps to stay calm even in the most awful situations etc. Smart men and women have known this all along, but I was sucked into the lie that life is fair, and that everyone will only get reognised for their hard work and skill, rather than being judged on the general impressions that people draw from your demeanour and interactions with others. Of course, that is not fair, but it is practical, and can be practically applied by almost anyone if the idealists allow them to. Of course, we should always work on teaching people not to discriminate against individuals, however, sometimes we also need to change ourselves before we change the world.

        • Jonathan says:

          Hi again Elena🙂

          Okay, getting straight to it…

          The construction of our own gender on an individual level is clearly quite complicated, built up out of numerous variables: biology (to some degree), genetics (what we inherit from our parents), the local culture (i.e. our gender environment), the meanings we create four ourselves from that culture (which is not uniform), what our gender is allowed to be (enforcement by others), what we allow our own gender to be (issues of repression), and so forth. Trying to pin it down to this or that is probably foolhardy.

          Regarding the “system”, I meant that as in “the way in which something operates”, not as a massive conspiracy. The sociological term “community of practice” is probably better; i.e. a group with a shared way of doing things. In terms of gender, our (hegemonic) community of practice (which itself is made up of numerous smaller such communities) is that men are one category, women are another, that some things are male/masculine, some are female/feminine. And this community of practice constantly perpetuates itself by everyone’s participation in it. Because we’re immersed in our community of practice we assume, we operate on the basis that it’s also “natural”, that men and women are naturally, inherently and discretely different. But science indicates that this is generally not true, so our entire gender culture is based on a falsehood. The world is not really flat.

          Regarding the system being “likely to be subverted or overthrown within our lifetimes either, as whole generations would need to be born and brought up in radically different ways before that happens.” Actually, the gender system has already been modified enormously within our lifetimes. Feminism and gay liberation, for instance, have made huge gains in changing the rules of what people are allowed (according to their sex) to do and be. (Though this is always an ongoing struggle.)

          On this related bit: “we’ve all met men who may be slightly more ‘female’ in terms of general characteristics – I personally have watched many of these men not getting promoted or respected in the same way as other members of a group or team. In my opinion this issue is therefore about traits, rather than gender.” — Yes, it is about traits, but it’s therefore also about gender because traits are gendered. Here’s my own recent blogpost on that: http://malefemme.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/more-about-stuff.html🙂 . And from your own experience…

          “And then I realised – this was not about gender, this was about the types of characteristics that mean people will listen to, trust and respect your ability. As soon as I started working on those areas things changed – by modifying my behaviour I was promoted and made it to the top. I wish someone had taught me all of this at at school.”

          Can’t that then be seen as a gender issue as well? That female socialization hadn’t prepared you. You had to “masculinize” your own behaviour in order to progress. You already had the (human) traits required but were not encouraged to use them? It reminds me of the empathy studies where the women always came out on top (as expected, since empathy is regarded as a “female” trait) – until the men were offered $1 for every part of the test they got right, and then they suddenly scored just as well.

          Obviously gender is not the only relevant factor. Take class, for instance, and the public school system. It’s not just that kids who go to public schools are privileged, they’re also prepared for using that privilege. So that while privilege opens doors for them, their socialization prepares them to walk through those doors. Kids without that privilege and socialization are therefore restricted on two fronts. I guess that’s partly what you mean by “sometimes we also need to change ourselves before we change the world.” Returning to gender, it’s therefore not just about male privilege. Feminism has already opened doors and it’s up to women to walk through them, but female socialization often holds them back. In this regard, what QRG calls “victim feminism” isn’t really very helpful.

      • QRG says:

        @Jonathan re radical feminism and ‘queer’:

        You can say it yes but I think radfems are on the whole liars. they spout ‘social constructionism’ but actually are, as we mentioned earlier very essentialist and biologically determinist about gender difference. they depend heavily on the binary for if they are not ‘women’, or being a ‘woman’ is not special and natural and good (as opposed to being a man which is naturally bad) , what is left of their pernicious politics?

        as for the ‘queer view’ I dont think there is one but many of those. Foucault is different from Butler and Lacan who are different from Kokofsky sedgwick and Rubin and Bersani etc.

  3. HI!

    Sorry again for taking so long to reply – full time job and all that…

    Jonathan – there was NOTHING masculine about those girls who I copied – there is nothing masculine about me now. My whole point is that men and women simply have a propensity towards certain traits – eg women are more likely to get chilblains yet there is nothing inherently feminine about chilblains!

    My other point is that if there are many men and women who end up being less like their stereotypes (which there ARE!) then how can all the gender ‘socialising’ be as powerful as feminists claim? How were all of the feminists themselves able to escape from its evil clutches? What must be so ‘wrong’ with me and other people who are totally fine with the way things are and they way they were brought up? A lot of feminist ideology is very insulting to people like me – it tells me that I am some sort of perverse, mind-controlled construct because I don’t want to ‘break free’. I personally think it’s better to give people the tools to become what they want themselves to be without dredging through their childhoods first to look at all the ways that society and their families ensured they wouldn’t have a chance – placing responsibility on the whole world rather than the individual.

    Re the science – I believe it’s conducted by people who are incredibly biased and I just don’t believe it. Every time I look at Delusions of Gender I want to hurl.

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi again Elena. No worries about slow replies. I’m only able to reply relatively quickly because I’m sitting working at the computer at home, and at the moment I’m not too busy. But anyway…

      Jonathan – there was NOTHING masculine about those girls who I copied – there is nothing masculine about me now. My whole point is that men and women simply have a propensity towards certain traits – eg women are more likely to get chilblains yet there is nothing inherently feminine about chilblains!”

      I didn’t mean there was. Hence masculinize was in inverted commas. My view is that such traits are human traits, falsely regarded as gendered, and that men and women do not have an inherent propensity (as binary groups) towards any of them. As for chilblains, that’s surely to do with footwear?😉

      My other point is that if there are many men and women who end up being less like their stereotypes (which there ARE!) then how can all the gender ‘socialising’ be as powerful as feminists claim? How were all of the feminists themselves able to escape from its evil clutches? What must be so ‘wrong’ with me and other people who are totally fine with the way things are and they way they were brought up?

      It takes an effort and/or a powerful inclination to break with social gender rules. Some people’s need to do that is greater than others. Certainly there are a lot of people who will have such a need – there are a lot of people in the world. But as to why most people are fine with how things are gender-wise, that’s basically what my “Stuff” post was about. We’re fine because there we don’t feel particularly oppressed by gender. There are good things on each side of the binary gender divide, so the status quo doesn’t bother us enough to question it. My view is that those good things (on either side) anyone of any sex might (or might not) like (or be or do or whatever), but with socialization we learn to rule a lot of them out. So have we actually been oppressed by gender? I think, yes, certainly we have. Does that make us ‘wrong’? No, why would it? We are who we are, however we got there.

      I personally think it’s better to give people the tools to become what they want themselves to be

      But that’s the point: What we want ourselves to be is restricted by socialization. Who we might have been, what we might have wanted ourselves to be, if binary gender socialization was never there – who knows?

      Re the science – I believe it’s conducted by people who are incredibly biased and I just don’t believe it. Every time I look at Delusions of Gender I want to hurl.

      Delusions of Gender is a popular summary of science, not a scientific work in itself. Fine merely relates what’s wrong with other people’s science and why their claims don’t necessarily hold up. Yes, she has a definite agenda – she’s specifically set out to debunk those claims – but the points she raises are no less valid for that. Indeed, one of her main points is that a lot of such science is itself “incredibly biased” and unscientific. As to whether gender difference actually exists, her own conclusion isn’t that there is no gender difference, but that it’s much smaller than it’s purported to be, that we’re much more alike than we are different. In which case, it’s logical to ask, why do we base our society on a difference which isn’t really there?

    • elissa says:

      Hi Elena – you make an interesting point that I’ve personally made on numerous occasions, which tends to fall on deaf ears: many, many, men and women are very comfortable and happy sitting inside the supposed constraints of their gender.

      We can interpret the above in several ways: that we inhabit a Matrix type reality where delusion is rampant and what you don’t know hurts your psyche in incalculable ways, or alternatively, that most really don’t give a fuck, understand the pros and cons of their situation, but would rather spend their time focusing on the multitude of life’s matters as opposed to becoming a shapeless gender warriors fighting for fluidity at every chance.

      One of the anchors of free will is that we automate (by propensity or surety) certain behaviors. As an analogy – imagine if you had to continuously think about walking and how such a task could become easily overwhelming, taking away from your ability to exercise free will.

      • QRG says:

        Hi Elissa! Thanks for your comment.

        I see what you and Elena are saying But I think I see things a bit differently. For example, some of those people ‘happy in their gender’ also use their gender as a political weapon. Lots of feminist women feel secure as women and don’t campaign on more ‘gender fluid’ issues (and some are even transphobic) but they are still making gender into a battleground, and turning on another gender group – usually men. as I said to Jonathan I don’t think I (or anyone) can fight that kind of sexism/misandry/transphobia and indeed misogyny without questioning ‘gender’ altogether.

        But the counter argument that I sometimes find myself thinking against myself is, but wouldnt life be a bit boring without gender, gender difference, and even gender politics?

        • elissa says:

          Hi QRG….good point and I do agree that the weaponizing is very problematic. My concern is with attacking the structure of gender just to get at the political abusers – the idea of toxic masculinity espoused by the political weaponizers is aimed directly at traditional masculinity and femininity / many of which are but good people living their lives.

          On a side note, yet apropos: Hugo Schwyzer has indeed bitten the dust – for now, and Anthony Wiener style. Got caught sexting it seems….

          http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/07/male-feminist-hugo-schwyzers-early-retirement.html

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