Friday, 29 April 2011

My Beef with Modern Feminism...

...or my manifesto on female agency and gender equality:


Why am I writing this manifesto? It's simple. I believe that modern feminism (with the aid of its silent partner, chivalry) has done a huge disservice to women that's a mirror image of the disservice it's done to men, and that is fostering continued weakness and dependence in women, while placing a hideous and unfair burden on men.
According to modern feminism, all women are the default victims of male dominance--even if only by proxy. We are told non-stop by feminist organizations that we're afraid, we are oppressed, we are kept down, we are persecuted, we are victimized, and that there is nothing a woman can do on her own to get out from under this enormous, nebulous burden of fear and misogyny that is still an "epidemic" in our western society. We can only be liberated through things we are given--subsidies, incentives, a leg up, kid-glove handling, uneven application of the law, and hampering men with handicaps the way we do pro-level players in amateur games. Modern feminism casts all men as predators, but in doing so, feminism casts all women as prey. I am not prey.
I've always felt that it's not The Patriarchy, or men in general, who have oppressed women. What has always oppressed them has been their dependence on these systems. At one time, that dependence was enforced by law, social pressures and lack of opportunities, but that isn't the case anymore and hasn't been for decades.
But the mindset of feminism continues to be colored with the implication that men act, while women are acted upon. Men must make/take opportunities, while women must be given opportunities. Men must make their own way, while women must be guided and assisted through social programs and legislation designed to help them succeed--because lord only knows, they'd never be able to become scientists or engineers on their own.
And at the same time, men can never be victims of women. Even when women commit heinous crimes against men, the man is still almost universally cast as the villain--"She stabbed him? He must have been abusive/cheating/driven her to it." "She had an abusive upbringing." "She was disadvantaged."
And men are never allowed to seek help--"Your wife beat you up? Stop being a sissy." "Make your own way in life, lad, because no one's going to do it for you." "Can't get a job? Fucking deadbeat."
Life is pretty sweet for women these days--we have all kinds of career opportunities and earning potential handed to us, an artificially uneven playing field in all the jobs we actually want, daddy government to help us with our financial burdens, and punishments for female criminals that often amount to standing with your nose in a corner for time served, while blame for our behavior is shifted onto The Patriarchy. Men are still expected to buy us dinner, even when they earn less than we do, and if one dares to raise a hand against us, we have the monopoly on DV shelters and programs, and an application of the law that is almost always unbalanced in our favor. We have all the say in reproduction, from our right to abortion to the leeway to decide exactly how and how much the father of our children will be allowed or forced to contribute to their wellbeing. We've even seen due process almost completely done away with when it comes to accusations of rape and sexual assault.
Women have been elevated to the status of princesses, and men doomed to be servants and scapegoats. So why aren't we happy? Why aren't we satisfied with what we have? Why hasn't the feminist movement declared "mission accomplished"?  
Because women today, under a feminist social structure, still have not attained the elusive prize they long for, and which they can never win by the methods they currently employ. That prize is agency.
Under extremist modern feminism, there can be no female autonomy or agency because though we have freedom and opportunity, there is no corresponding expectation of self-sufficiency, accountability, or responsibility placed on women. And there can be no male autonomy or agency, because for men there is only self-sufficiency, accountability and responsibility, while freedom and opportunity is becoming a thing of the past.
If chivalry infantilized women, feminism does the exact same thing. Only instead of running to tell daddy/Sir Galahad about all those horrible brutes who are so very mean to us, we're supposed to run to daddy government.
But I have news for modern feminism. Some of us just aren't that interested in feeling like victims. Being victimized is something that happens to people, and is often completely outside our control. But we DO have a choice as to whether we see ourselves as victims, and choose to live our lives as victims, or not. Modern feminism wants me to feel like a default victim. And I am NOT a victim. Victims are passive. Victims are acted upon. Victims lack agency. That's not the way I will ever choose to view myself, and it saddens me that so many women have been convinced to see themselves this way.
Feminism is not about female empowerment. It was, at one time, but no more. Empowerment is the ability to stand up for yourself, to take care of yourself, to be active instead of passive.
And there can be no self-empowerment without personal responsibility and accountability. Sometimes that means accepting part--or indeed, all--of the blame when something bad happens. But women are so rarely held accountable for their actions and decisions and burdens to the degree they should be as human beings. If a woman can't be successful, it is because the business world is sexist. If a woman wakes up after getting black-out drunk at a party full of horny young men to discover she was violated, any hint that perhaps getting black-out drunk at a party full of horny young men is maybe not the smartest decision anyone ever made, means you're blaming the victim and you're an awful human being. If a woman takes five years off from the workforce so she can be a stay-at-home mom, and her re-entry into her career is less than spectacular, it's never because sometimes life comes down to making a choice between something you want and another thing you want more--it's because government/society doesn't do enough to help her.
When you constantly point at other factors as being completely at fault--the patriarchy, discrimination, sexism, even sexual predators--what you end up with is a whole group of people who may feel empowered, but they aren't, and subconsciously they know that they've been further disenfranchised on a deeply human level. If you are never held accountable for your decisions, you're being told that you're essentially as ineffectual as a child.
Empowerment is about owning your own shit, and that is the basis for agency. Agency is about more than rights and opportunities and freedoms--it's about personal responsibility and accountability and shouldering your own burdens. Agency is not only about having the power to succeed--it's about having the power to fail. To be the primary arbiter of your fate.
This is MY life. I am the architect of it. If I fuck it up, it isn't something that merely "happened" to me--I was an active participant in the sequence of decisions that led to the fucking-up. I may not live in a vacuum, but I have the power to respond to outside influences, and depending on how I use that power, I will succeed or I will fail. Help is appreciated, but not expected and never, ever required, even if that means the chance of failure will be greater, or I might not be as successful as someone else. 
My grandmother was born in 1909 to a family of 8 children, and raised in abject rural poverty. By the time she married, she was the manager of ladies' wear at a large department store. My grandfather worked in construction in the summer and as a rural mail carrier in the winter. They had three children in the first decade of their marriage, during which time, my grandmother took over management of the general store in her town and was eventually offered the position of postmistress. At a time when the glass ceiling was nanometers above the kitchen ceiling, my grandmother, with her grade 8 education, became a respected career woman. My grandmother had agency.
Women today, on the whole, do not have agency--what we have is not patriarchy, but it's still a system where we're told we need to be taken care of, and where we eat that line of bullshit as if it's ice cream. And as long as that's what modern feminism is about, the movement will never be self-limiting--because as much as we might wish it otherwise, rights and opportunities will always be finite, but there's no limit to the privilege one can demand. And make no mistake, modern feminism isn't about women's rights. It's about women's privilege. It may not look like privilege to everyone, but that's what it is.
That's not agency, it's an insult to women like me, and women like my grandmother was--a career woman born in 1909 who made her own opportunities just like any man raised in rural poverty would have had to, and who always, always owned her shit.

There's no greater empowerment than having earned your own success, on standing on your own feet and shouldering your own burdens, and even accepting your own failures. 
This is my shit. I own it.


32 comments:

  1. Fucking bravo. Well done. Just wanted to leave a comment to let you know that people *are* reading this. Keep it up, lady. You do us all proud.

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  2. This is the best thing I've ever read. Thank you.

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  3. What do you mean by “modern feminism”? What feminist writer(s) are you drawing from in your definition of this term?

    I’ve never been told by a feminist that I am afraid or victimized. I’ve been taught that I should be unafraid, but the patriarchal culture (which doesn’t ever mean “men in general” in feminist-speak) creates a dangerous environment for those who are outside the realm of patriarchal values and proscriptions. Furthermore, the patriarchally non-privileged (a group that includes women) are oppressed and, at times, victimized, but feminists work actively against that oppression and victimization.

    Feminists don’t believe “that there is nothing a woman [or patriarchally non-privileged individual] can do on her [their] own” to combat the operations of a defined (not “nebulous”) patriarchal culture that perpetrates systemic injustice against them. I believe they call it being an active feminist and it doesn’t include a solution that advocates being “liberated through things we are given.” I would also like to know what you mean when you say that feminists desire an “uneven application of the law” to achieve liberation? I have never heard of this concept from any feminist organization or conversations I’ve had with other feminists.

    When you say that “what has always oppressed them has been their dependence on these systems,” I agree with you. However, I really disagree that patriarchal systems have ceased to have an affect on the patriarchally non-privileged. Why do homophobia, racism, transphobia, classism, and other forms of discrimination still exist? Why do men earn more money than women? Patriarchal culture affects all of us, even those who may seem to be outside the jurisdiction of patriarchal culture (white men).

    I’m also not sure I follow your logic when you say that “But the mindset of feminism continues to be colored with the implication that men act, while women are acted upon .” I believe we’re culturally conditioned to see men as active and women as passive, but feminism doesn’t encourage this viewpoint to persist. Feminists see it as an effect of the way gender roles are constructed within a patriarchal culture. They don’t support practices where women have opportunities given to them because of their patriarchally non-privileged status. Feminists feel that the patriarchally non-privileged should have equal access to opportunities they’ve worked hard to achieve.

    Feminists also know and accept that men can be victimized by patriarchal culture. Patriarchy affects all individuals within our culture, and those who claim that men can’t be victimized by this culture aren’t feminists. Feminists don’t condone the perpetration of violence against any person, nor do they make excuses justifying violence against persons that may be more favorably placed in the patriarchal hierarchy.

    When you say that “we have all the say in reproduction, from our right to abortion to the leeway to decide exactly how and how much the father of our children will be allowed or forced to contribute to their wellbeing,” I disagree with you. If you pay attention to the news, you will see that several states are currently enacting legislation that directly interferes with women’s legal right to abortion and contraceptives . I can give you more links to such articles if you like. Furthermore, I would like to know how you found out that women now have the ability to determine the amount they receive as child support from the fathers of their children.

    You are also incorrect in saying that “we've even seen due process almost completely done away with when it comes to accusations of rape and sexual assault.” Where are you doing your research?

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  4. Don’t lambast feminism with unresearched assumptions. This kind of speech feeds anti-feminist rhetoric and confuses people who are interested in becoming feminists. If you wish to have an honest and productive dialog about feminism and the problems inherent in the system (because they do exist and they do need to be addressed), reach out to a real feminist or talk to me.

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  5. Amanda,

    I at first stopped reading when you wrote that "men earn more money than women". Someone once told me that I should never argue with an idiot, he'll just drag me down to his level and beat me with experience. But in some sort of morbid fascination, like when you see a train crash, I just had to keep reading.

    It is obvious that you only ever read heavily moderated and feminist-approved websites, because otherwise you wouldn't be running around insulting people like that and spreading the usual feminist lies.

    You're claiming that Girlwriteswhat is 'incorrect' when saying that due process is gone when it comes to rape accusations, then have the gall to ask "Where are you doing your research?". It is obvious that you haven't done any of your own.

    Of course, you then end it with telling Girlwriteswhat to talk to a True Scotsman or to talk to you on a closed forum you can censor, to have an 'honest and productive' discussion. Why can't you have an honest and productive discussion in the open? I must admit that I'm already assuming it is because you can't stand to have your viewpoints contradicted and your approved feminist sources scrunitised.

    You really should open your mind a bit, Amanda. And your eyes. Try to look for other viewpoints than the feminist one for a while, you might end up getting educated a bit.

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  6. boy do I like being marginalized by women. I can't be proud of my education, ability, talent and success because I'm a white male. Also straight. I'm so favoured by the patriarchy that anything I attempt to accomplish will never be on my own merits...

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  7. Hi, Amanda. I'd like to apologize for the delay in your comments being posted--they landed in my spambox, probably because you provided links.

    I do not paint all modern feminists with the same brush. I have much to thank equity feminism for, not least of which is my ability to support my children, and the freedom to openly write the books I choose to write without having to apologize for it. I'm bisexual. The feminist movement has done much to allow me to live the life I want in this regard as well, and make choices that are right for my own happiness.

    As far as some of my claims, yes, I believe modern feminism tells women they should be afraid of men. One need only look at how out of hand the "no means yes, yes means anal" incident at Yale University has gotten. A stunt designed to embarrass frat pledges by forcing them to engage in absurdly inappropriate behavior so they would look like idiots. There was likely an element of cock-blocking in it too--"Haha, let's just see you little shits try to get laid now."

    This pathetic exercise in idiocy is described by the complainants as evidence of a pervasive "rape culture", and contributing to a "hostile" learning environment. The frat members were undoubtedly hoping that passing women would pelt the pledges with rancid tomatoes, shout profanity, and ensure those pledges would never see the inside of a woman's bra until graduation. Women who are not already terrified of men and rape culture would have reacted with scorn and dismissal, rather than running to the authorities and demanding further protections put in place because they feel unsafe.

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  8. I'm sure you've read Andrea Dworkin's view that all heterosexual sex is rape, since there can be no consent for women under a patriarchal system. This is something I hear repeated over and over by non-academics, just laypeople. One feminist man recently blogged about his experience with submitting to anal penetration at the hands of his girlfriend (I'll try to dig up the link). In his post, he took great pains to explain how, through many discussions with his feminist girlfriend, he has come to understand that penetrative sex is "like being stabbed" and that for a woman, allowing a man to penetrate her is an act that requires the greatest trust one person can have in another.

    Seriously? Being stabbed? We've somehow moved beyond the ludicrous notion that consensual sex can NEVER happen so long as...what? So long as men represent more than 50% of the elected officials in this country? What has to happen before the patriarchy ceases to exist and I will be free to consent to sex with the man I love who has, apparently, been raping me for the last six months? Yet as ridiculous as this idea is, we've taken it a step further--sex now can be consensual under the patriarchy, but what I am consenting to is for my man to violently and brutally stab me. And apparently I'm such a delicate flower that my consent must be accompanied by the greatest level of trust one person can have in another. I guess I'm a blindly and naively trusting person, since I have in the past gone to bed with men on an evening's acquaintance...

    The problem with these ideas is not that they exist. It's that they are published and disseminated by people who self-identify as feminist, and there is little calling of bullshit coming from within the movement. Some of the most extreme feminists out there are the very women who head Departments of Women's Studies in universities, or write course materials for subjects like Domestic Violence law. This is understandable--extremists are passionate about their views, and they will find the greatest venue in which to exercise that passion. Where better to do this than in universities?

    As far as due process goes, one need only point to Title IX. Rape, domestic violence and sexual assault are criminal matters. They should be handled by the police, not universities. A university's involvement in such a case should be to dial 911 and let the criminal justice system take it from there. I would not object to temporary suspension of an accused student until the case either plays out *in a court of law* rather than a court of kangaroos, or until a full year has passed, to ensure the accuser and accused won't be bumping elbows in the same class. And provided that merely being accused will pose no further inconvenience to the accused should a court of law exonerate him.

    But feminists don't want that. They want the burden of proof in cases of on-campus sexual assaults to be decided by university officials based on a preponderance of the evidence--do you even know what that means? That means that if the board believes there is a 51% chance the guy did it, they have to censure him. They want this because 1 in 4 (or 5, depending on who you ask), women will be raped during their college career, and 40% of them don't report the assault. Making it easier and easier to have an accusation result in a finding of guilt will convince more women to report their rapes, the reasoning goes. But tell me, were the studies responsible for the 1 in 4 (or 5) canard or the 40% factoid based on a self-selecting sample? Another stat often cited by feminists is that a mere 2% of rape claims are false, though who knows how they arrived at that figure.

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  9. Here's how every case will go, based on preponderance of the evidence:

    She says: he raped me = 50% chance of guilt
    He says: I didn't do it = 50% chance of innocence
    A witness says: I saw them together at the party = 51% chance of guilt

    Bam! Guilty. Your university education goes down the shitter.

    To address your question, why do women still earn less than men, and to add a more down to earth perspective to the link you provided, I'm going to ask you a question: Could they pay you enough?

    Could they pay you enough to be a rigpig in Fort MacMurray? Could they pay you enough to spend 14 days of every 21 away from your family, sleeping in a bunkhouse? Could they pay you enough to do gruelling, heavy, physical work outdoors for 12 hours/day, 14 days straight in -40C weather in the winter and +40C weather in the summer? Could they pay you enough to go back to work after recovering from surgery to repair your crushed hand? How about it? Could they pay you enough to do that? They pay those men through the nose because if they didn't, *no one* would do those jobs. If they paid them as much as, say, a teacher--a job of arguably equal or greater importance--NO ONE would do those jobs. I wouldn't do them for the $100k+ per year they pay now. Very very very few women would.

    Feminists like to insist that we don't live in a vacuum. Given that, is it not reasonable to presume that factors other than sexism might impact pay levels for different kinds of work? Market forces dictate that jobs lots of people want pay less, while jobs that few people want or would be capable of doing will pay more. This means that teaching, a field which employs both men and women (though more women, for sure) and which requires a university education, pays less than than rigpigging, which requires no education and employs men almost exclusively.

    How about this stat? In 147 of 150 of the largest cities in America, single women without children earn MORE than single men without children.

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  10. But the same blanket pay gap statistic is trotted out over and over, a statistic that does not take into account the career/employment choices women tend to make once they start families. A statistic that does, indeed, exist in a vacuum. Modern gender feminism seems to have no room in it for biology. Despite the fact that women and men have different bodies, feminists refuse to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, there are *inherent* psychological differences between the sexes that, in addition to being products of socialization, are in part the result of biology, and that will affect the kinds of jobs and lifestyles we will want. Feminists seem to have forgotten we are animals first, human second.

    Things we are given: how about "women only" scholarships, educational grants and subsidies? We're currently outperforming men in post-secondary education, and yet we still need these? How about the lowered evidentiary standards of investigative boards at universities. How about DV shelters that cater only to women? Ever been a man who needs a safe place to stay when he becomes one of the people feminists refuse to believe exist? You know, the guy who's almost as likely to be assaulted and injured by his female partner as she is by him? Oh wait, you aren't a man, and therefore you can't possibly know what it's like to be one, just like no man could possibly understand how horrible things are for women.

    Oh, and to close, I went and looked at the contraceptive/abortion law info you linked to. Having to wait 72 hours rather than 24 for an abortion is "onerous"? Insisting on counseling for women who are making a huge decision that may affect how they feel for the rest of their lives is a bad thing? Why? And OMG, requiring doctors to inform patients of potential risks using data collected AFTER 1972?!!! Shocking. I know I get ALL my data from before 1972. Can't trust anything published since then... *rolls eyes*

    I would, as snarky as I've managed to get in this comment, like to thank you for being civil. I appreciate talking with feminists who don't try to shout me down (it's happened before), but I would like to call BS on one thing you said. In your second comment you implored me to "not lambast feminism with unresearched assumptions. This kind of speech feeds anti-feminist rhetoric and confuses people who are interested in becoming feminists." I am not an academic. I have no access to the papers cited in news articles so I have no way of judging for myself whether the methodologies used in a particular study are scientifically sound, and a feminist academic will always have more research materials at her disposal than I do.

    I do, however, pretty much remember everything I see or read, and I AM capable of drawing conclusions from that, rather than simply being told what to think. And this part of your comment troubles me greatly:

    This kind of speech feeds anti-feminist rhetoric and confuses people who are interested in becoming feminists.

    People will be "confused" by hearing opposing points of view? At what point did skepticism and questioning what we are told--whether by teachers, governments or religion--become a BAD thing? At what point did differing ideas and outlooks become something to be discouraged and even silenced, so that we might not "confuse" the masses into "wrongheaded" thinking? That someone in academia (in philosophy, no less) feels this way--that there is but one right way to approach a subject and one right way to think about it...that is scarier to me than any invented "rape culture" could ever be.

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  11. You know, it's funny that Amanda should choose to repeat the 'men earn more money than women' lie. Copy/pasted from her blog:

    Working toward an MA in Women's Studies at the University of Alabama starting Fall 2011. I'll be focusing on how gender and race impact art historical pedagogical methods, writing, and research practices. Until then, I'm still working at Starbucks.

    No doubt Amanda is going to be crying the loudest about gender pay equality when she gets her MA, still works at Starbucks and the guy who took the degree in law now earns a lot of money. Obviously the guy was oppressing her and still is and that is why she doesn't earn as much as the guy who studied the law.

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  12. Hi again, Amanda. I also wanted to address this comment you made:

    "Furthermore, I would like to know how you found out that women now have the ability to determine the amount they receive as child support from the fathers of their children."

    Your interpretation of what I did say, which was this: "..the leeway to decide exactly how and how much the father of our children will be allowed or forced to contribute to their wellbeing."

    It saddens me that not only is a father's *financial* contribution to his children the primary focus of family courts, it's the only contribution you--an self-identified advocate for equality--seem to consider that is worth any attention at all. Men have every right to feel like walking wallets sometimes...

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  13. Actually, NotAFeminist, I intend on pursuing a PhD in Visual Studies or Philosophy and becoming a professional scholar and artist. I'm also receiving the highest fellowship offered by my graduate institution to do this work. Also, I don't think men oppress me. Patriarchy oppresses me, but I fully intend on fucking with them too.

    Also, please remember girlwriteswhat's comment guidelines:

    "If you wish to be part of a discussion, try not to dismiss what I or a another commenter says out of hand. Yes, that means that some lines of thought or ideologies may not stand up to scrutiny (perhaps even my own).

    - Remember, ad hominem attacks diminish everyone involved. If you want to criticize anything, do so passionately and directly - but debate is about attacking ideas, not people."

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  14. girlwriteswhat,

    I want to thank you for your response to my comments. As I am currently under a heavy writing load, it may take me a few days to respond. I really enjoy the opportunity you have given me to bridge the gap between our differences. Also, I would love to check out some of your books (fiction or non-fiction?) if you wouldn't mind sharing the titles with your readers and I.

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  15. Also, please remember girlwriteswhat's comment guidelines:

    "If you wish to be part of a discussion, try not to dismiss what I or a another commenter says out of hand. Yes, that means that some lines of thought or ideologies may not stand up to scrutiny (perhaps even my own).


    You mean the same way you dismissed every argument Girlwriteswhat out of hand, even ridiculing her for going against the feminist status quo?

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  16. Hi again, Amanda, and I look forward to talking further with you. I'm fortunate in that I can allow parts of my life to fall to tatters when I become monomaniacal about something like this, but I understand not everyone is so lucky. :)

    I hope that all commenters here can manage to behave themselves, but again, I'm not going to censor comments unless they get REALLY out of line--say, pushing my right to privacy, etc. I've encountered a lot of anger in the MRA, a lot of it justifiable IMO, and I can't expect every one of them to be able to put that aside all the time, but out of respect for me that I believe I have earned with many of them, I hope the MRAs who choose to join discussions here will do so.

    I hope that you're not merely spending time on my thoughts and ideas out of a need to convert me to feminism. If you are, I will say that many have tired, and none so far have succeeded. (MRAs haven't managed to do that either.) I'm cursed with what my divorce lawyer described as a lamentable ability to see an issue from many sides. And given my sexual orientation and gender identity (a bit queer, really), I do find myself with a foot in both camps most of the time.

    I hope you'll spend some time here and at least think about some of the things I believe about feminism, equality and the reality we all have to live in. Because shit, men or women, we're all people, and we're pretty much stuck with each other, right?

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  17. NotAFeminist: Thanks for defending me, but please don't feel you have to. I'm no delicate flower. I can lob my own grenades if needs must.

    And I did only post the comment guidelines today, before Amanda first posted. If she wants to really talk about these issues, then I want to talk to her. Who knows? Maybe she'll listen, and even if she doesn't agree with what I have to say, maybe she'll at least concede that it's not insanity or an internalization of patriarchy for me to feel the way I do.

    MRA and feminism have one thing in common, and that is that they largely speak in echo chambers. No opposing viewpoints are indulged. Though MRAs are less likely to censor, they believe they are right with the same fervor that feminists believe THEY are right. Maybe there can be no bridging of the divide--but I hope not. And while I don't know that either movement will ever actively work alongside the other in common purpose, it would be nice if some understanding was achieved--and an acknowledgement that what feminism does will affect men, and what MRA does will affect women.

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  18. Girlwriteswhat,

    NotAFeminist: Thanks for defending me, but please don't feel you have to. I'm no delicate flower. I can lob my own grenades if needs must.

    Actually I'm not trying to defend you, I'm just really tired of seeing the usual Feminist propaganda and censorship tactics. When I saw the "women earn less than men" lie, I kinda had to respond.

    And I did only post the comment guidelines today, before Amanda first posted.

    I don't remember seeing them when I posted either, which is why I thought it was funny that Amanda was berating me for not following guidelines that didn't exist when I posted. Since I couldn't prove that they were added after I posted, I simply pointed out that she was a hypocrite. Works equally well.

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  19. Thank you for writing this. I've been pissed off at society and feminism for years because all I've heard is that men are evil, shouldn't be in charge and are responsible for everything wrong with the world.
    This is the first piece of writing that I've found that doesn't cause me to disconnect from the discussion because it's anti-men BS.
    As a man, I feel like society has told me "we're all equal here," and then left me out to dry because I'm a white male. I belong to no minority groups and no activist groups, and thus I'm part of an oppressive system and I'm getting what I deserve.
    Anyway, I appreciate what you've said because it's not about handicapping one side or the other, or pitting women against men or vice versa. It's about working with what we are given and trying to achieve our goals.
    That's the secret my grandparents knew, and theirs before them. It's the secret to success, I believe. And it is rare that someone will begrudge you for succeeding by your own sweat and blood.
    I am a bit naif with regard to the whole women's rights movement, but I think a lot of it has a lot to do with a change in language, beliefs and attitudes. There was a time when women were "owned" by men in the same way cattle were, but that does not mean they were viewed as cattle, nor does it mean that they were merely possessions. Perhaps it was a metaphor for how a man was to treat a woman in an agrarian society. He was to protect her with his life from those who would try to take advantage of her, he would make sure she would never go hungry, and that if she was lost in any way, a part of him would also be lost. He possessed her, and made most of the economic decisions, but his goal and desire was that they both prosper.
    And that works within a context where marriage is important, and dependence upon each other is important. But doesn't do much for the woman who wishes to remain independent for the rest of her life, and that is why I think the feminist movement was necessary. Beyond that, I fail to see much of a point to it, if our end goal is to be working together.

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  20. Wow ! I should have started here. This is great shit, indeed.
    That we never hear this side of the story is my main problem with feminism.

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  21. Women have been elevated to the status of princesses, and men doomed to be servants and scapegoats. So why aren't we happy? Why aren't we satisfied with what we have? Why hasn't the feminist movement declared "mission accomplished"?

    Women have not elevated, they have just degraded men instead.
    And if they are not satisfied with that they have is perhaps also because a princess would still want to be with a prince, and sadly feminism has actually only degraded men and elevated nothing.

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  22. Hmm. I think you're a bit misguided here. There are many different types of feminism alive and working "on the ground" so to speak, and I think it's a bit one-sided of you to say "modern feminism" as a whole is this way. Are you talking about socialist feminism? Liberal feminism? Anarcho-feminism? Chicana feminism? Etc and so forth. There are many different feminisms that cite "patriarchy"/male dominance as the main source of women's oppression, but certainly not ALL forms. Your argument completely flattens feminism into this one-dimensional entity ("modern feminism") that lacks complexity and certainly doesn't allow for the tremendous differences between feminisms in different regions of the world.

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  23. I'm sure she realizes that not all feminists or feminism's are the same. I am also pretty sure she is referring to the combined effects felt and observed by whatever combination of various types of feminism have resulted in what we see in our current society.

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  24. I do not know if you ever read this, but I thought you might find it interesting...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/magazine/22Paternity-t.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1355324731-3UUbAmn042D7Fz/4Ivs4Iw&_r=0

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  25. This is very well-written bunch of bullshit.

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  26. Thanks to competition, human has to try his best in order to survive.

    lifestyle definition

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  27. I agree with this wholeheartedly. As a woman, I felt embarrassed for my gender's entitlement more often than not.

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  28. Enough with this fucking feminist bullshit. You feminists got what you wanted. From women not being able to vote to women politicians, what else do you possibly want? I thought you wanted equality? It doesn't seem like equality anymore, it just seems like a religion. I'm also getting sick of people judging intelligence, knowledge and how they treat people in gender. Nowadays it seems that if a female attacks a male on purpose and if the male retaliates, the male is considered some demonic predator but if the female attacks a male for no reason, the women is considered somehow "innocent". This is bullshit. Why does it have to be judged on gender? I'm not against the whole women's rights thing, I'm against this feminist bullshit which has gone too far and needs to be taken care of.

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  29. Gender equality can only be achieved by starting to actually treat men and women as complete equals; women starting to view themselves as equal, and men starting to view women as equals. Research is pointing in this direction by making advancements in breaking down the "gendered brain" divide (the myth of a male vs. female brain, led in popular culture by Daphna Joel), so that's a step in the right direction. Also, all of the trigger-hounding PC women who feed into the brittle, damaged woman myth need to shut their faces. Women should stop buying ladies magazines because it fills their heads with nonsense about trying to "keep" your husband (rather than divorcing him if he's a sonofabitch), how to hold your attractiveness as first and foremost in life (rather than acknowledging that by and large it's an accident of birth). It's not about "taking back" the power, either. It's not about pity handouts and help and damsels in distress. It's about... as you said... owning your shit.

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  30. Thank you so much! I'm so tired of society calling me the villain just because of my gender or skin color. It hurts! The things they say I am, the monster they label me as, the way they blame me for everything. It makes me scared of myself! I mean I wear pink, I have plush toys, I write for cartoons! I'm basically the least dangerous guy on the planet, but when I'm walking alone in a parking lot and there's a girl around I still get afraid she'll think I'm some sort of predator just because I'm a guy! I'm so scared of becoming what they say I am, but I can never say anything because the moment I do someone will say I'm sexist. I feel so trapped never being able to talk about it, but just knowing I'm not the only one who feels this way makes me feel at least a little better. So thank you. For not telling me I'm the villain.

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Commenting policy:

All comments are welcome here. I refuse to censor points of view that differ from my own.

I recognize that I may be challenging the deep-seated beliefs of some people, and perhaps stirring up emotions in others. However, I would ask:

- if you care to respond to anything that I have said, please do not simply link to or quote some statistic. Do not simply regurgitate things you have been told are true. Think about what I am saying. Respond with an argument. Offer something from your personal observations, and explain to me how you feel your statistic is connected to your experience.

- If you wish to be part of a discussion, try not to dismiss what I or a another commenter says out of hand. Yes, that means that some lines of thought or ideologies may not stand up to scrutiny (perhaps even my own).

- Remember, ad hominem attacks diminish everyone involved. If you want to criticize anything, do so passionately and directly - but debate is about attacking ideas, not people.

Have at you!