Monday, 3 October 2011

Can we redefine the terms, please?

And I don't mean changing Patriarchy to Kyriarchy, and leaving the ladder of the rest of society relatively unchanged, with males enjoying privilege and women suffering "benevolent sexism".

I mean changing the words with which we examine the complex interaction of society and gender roles, the oligarchical structures depending on us plebes' subservience, etc etc.

Under the feminist treatment, we talk about rights, freedoms and oppression. When we look at gender relations in this way, we get a very "women on the bottom" picture:


  • Men had the right to earn income and own property
  • Women did not generally have a right to earn income or own property. This lack is defined as an oppression.
  • Men had a right to be in authority over women (and children) and money in marriage
  • Women were under men's authority, and were therefore oppressed
  • Men were free to bang floozies all they wanted before (and often during) marriage without social outcry
  • Women had to be virgins until marriage, and faithful within marriage, and were therefore oppressed sexually
  • Men had a right to sex within marriage
  • Women were sexually objectified, therefore oppressed
  • Men had a right to a clean house and dinner on the table
  • Women were seen as domestic slaves
  • Men had freedom of movement
  • Women did not have similar freedom of movement, and were therefore oppressed

But when you redefine the terms a little, and make them about obligations and entitlements rather than rights and oppression...well, when we look at the base unit of society, the family:

  • A man had an obligation to earn income
  • A woman had no such obligation
  • A man had an obligation to provide for his wife and any children of the marriage
  • A woman had an entitlement to a man's financial provision

Wow! Net gain for Team Woman! Let's delve a little deeper, shall we?

  • A man had an obligation (social and legal) to be accountable for provision for his wife and children, and maintaining family finances (if all the money got spent on booze and fast women, he was the one working extra shifts to compensate)
  • A man therefore had an entitlement to authority over his wife, children and marital finances, including property
  • A woman had no such obligation of accountability (if all the money got spent on spa treatments and subscriptions to fashion magazines, her husband was stuck working extra shifts to compensate), therefore, she had no entitlement to authority over finances
  • A woman was thus obligated to defer to her husband in financial and important matters

Huh. You mean when someone is responsible for the financial wellbeing of other people, they're the one who has the say in how the money is spent?

  • A woman had an obligation to provide her husband with children if she could (sex)
  • A man had an obligation to provide his wife with children if he could (sex) 
  • A woman had the (biological) entitlement of knowing that her children were her genetic progeny
  • A man was entitled to have all the sex he wanted before marriage, and to engage in extramarital sex without much social censure
  • A man had no biological entitlement to know that the children of the marriage belonged to him, yet he had a legal obligation to provide for children born into the marriage (whosever they were)
  • A woman therefore had an obligation to remain faithful, so her husband would know he wasn't paying to put the milkman's babies through private school

Um....this actually seems too close to call. Tie game!

  • A man had an entitlement to freedom of movement
  • A woman had an entitlement to the protection of her husband
  • A man had no such entitlement from his wife, but was obligated to die to protect his wife, if necessary
  • A woman had an obligation to abide by her husband's restrictions on her movement, so that his safety would not be needlessly put at risk
  • A woman had an entitlement to share her husband's income
  • A woman had an obligation to perform domestic labor in return for sharing her husband's income
  • A man had an obligation to provide his wife with a living until her death, if he could

So, to recap, in a different way:

  • A man had an entitlement to freedom of movement. He also had an obligation to keep himself safe
  • A man had an entitlement to authority over his wife. He also had an obligation to keep HER safe
  • A man had an entitlement to domestic comfort provided by his wife. He also had an obligation to provide her with food, shelter, clothing, and all other material necessities out of his own paycheck
  • A man had an entitlement to virginity in a bride and fidelity in a wife. He also had an obligation to provide for all children born into the marriage, his or not
  • A man had an entitlement to authority over his children. He also had an obligation to protect those children
  • A man had an entitlement to earn income. He also had an obligation to earn income, whether he married or not
  • A man had an entitlement to control any assets of his marriage, including those his wife brought into the marriage. He also had an obligation to keep the entire family afloat, increase their holdings (if any), and would be held solely socially accountable if he failed
  • A man had an entitlement to be provided with children, if his wife could do so (sex). He also had the obligation to provide for and protect his wife until her death, even if said death occurred long after the children left home, or long after any sexual congress between them ceased, and even if there were no children

Now let's look at how it went for women:

  • A woman had an entitlement to the protection of her husband. She also had an obligation to defer to his authority
  • A woman had an entitlement to be provided for until her death or her husband's. She also had an obligation to provide him with domestic labor, and with children if she could (sex)
  • A woman had an entitlement to share in the social and financial status of her husband. She also had an obligation to hand over any of her own assets into his control
  • A woman had an entitlement to be provided with children (sex) and to provision for those children. She also had an obligation to ensure her children actually belonged to her husband
  • A woman had an entitlement to protection for her children. She also had an obligation to cede authority over those children to her husband
  • A woman was entitled to basic provision (from society or extended family) even if she never married. She had no obligation to earn income
  • A woman was entitled to basic protection (from society or extended family) even if she never married. She had an obligation to abide by societal restrictions with respect to keeping herself from endangering others by endangering herself


Again...at this point, things aren't really looking that onerous for women, when you consider the entitlements they got in return for their obligations. While feminists have always argued that men "got more", they've never really looked at it in terms of different obligations (most importantly, personal accountability and accountability for others) that were expected of men and women, and different entitlements being derived from those obligations. Women "got less" because their obligations and accountability were less, their responsibility was less. Men "got more" because the buck stopped with them, whether that buck consisted of a sack of coins or his blood.

And this isn't even going into what men owed society. The obligation women owed society consisted of the obligation they owed their husbands--to be wives, mothers, housekeepers, etc, or to be as small a burden on society or family as they could manage. What men owed? Economic output. Military service. Often financial provision for extended family--unmarried or widowed sisters, aging parents, etc, before the days of national pensions, health insurance, 401Ks, income assistance, and unisex office jobs. 

Was it restrictive? For sure! Did history miss out on some serious contributions women might have made if they were not crammed into this very strict, very confined little box? Oh yes. Does this model remotely fit the world we live in now--a world of safe public transit, a social safety net, daycare subsidies, service industry jobs galore, birth control, formula, and a multitude of modern conveniences? Fuck no. Was any of it a cakewalk of privilege for men? I don't fucking think so.

But the impossibility of a different kind of bargain for the majority of women and their children until very recently made it very, very important to society to uphold this system of obligation/entitlement, and uphold it for everyone. The truth is, until the last 100 years or so, most women could not have lived a life of children and public sphere work, independent of a man (and not all can today, realistically). Because of this, men's obligation to provide for women and their children had to be ruthlessly enforced. And the only meaningful way to enforce those obligations in men was to not allow them to become entitlements for women.

And then the nature of work--both in the home and outside of it--changed, feminism descended, and where are we now?

Women have no real obligations--neither to society nor to men. They have no obligation to remain faithful in marriage, no obligation to remain married if they don't want to, no obligation to provide a man with sex or children within marriage, no obligation to bear any children conceived therein, no obligation to become fully self-supporting afterward. No obligation to maintain their children's relationship with their fathers if it becomes inconvenient or annoying.

Only entitlements. The entitlement to share in a husband's social and financial status, and to a share in his income--even after a marriage ends. The entitlement to not have to earn income if she chooses.

And there are NEW entitlements for women that never existed under patriarchy. The entitlement to not be expected to be a virgin on her wedding day. The entitlement to stray without penalty, the entitlement to divorce without penalty, the entitlement to abort a fetus without even informing her husband or partner, the entitlement to child support and alimony, and the entitlement to move with the kids out of state if that's where the new boyfriend wants to live. The entitlement of an unmarried woman to a man's financial support for an illegitimate child (back in the day, that entitlement came with a corresponding obligation of marriage or it didn't come at all). An entitlement to demand her husband help with domestic labor and child care, even if she doesn't work outside the home.

And men?

Still socially obligated to be the primary breadwinner, still socially obligated to share his social and financial status and any assets with his wife, still obligated to share those assets and provide for a woman even after she's no longer his wife, in many jurisdictions still obligated to provide for children DNA testing proves were conceived through his wife's infidelity, still obligated to earn income or be called a deadbeat, and apparently still obligated to provide sex to his wife or he's gonna pay out of pocket.

In the US, he is still obligated to serve in the military if his government sees fit, and still obligated to be self-sufficient or end up in the gutter. He still has a socially enforced obligation to generate more income and economic activity than he requires to meet his basic needs.

And what about what women owe society?

No obligation to serve in the military, no obligation to put more (or even as much) into the economy than she takes out. No obligation to the taxpayer who subsidizes her education as a doctor or lawyer by actually, you know, remaining in the workforce full time over the long haul to help pay back the cost of her training and serve society. No obligation to earn a self-supporting income if she's unable, or can find a man who'll do it for her.

Yet she is still entitled to society's provision (through a multitude of women-targeted income and social assistance programs), and still entitled to society's protection no matter how foolishly she behaves (VAWA, the new sexual assault rules on campus), or how badly she behaves (google any female offender and you'll find criminal accountability for women is at patriarchal levels and not going anywhere).

Women have a "right" to serve in the military (while for men in the US it remains an obligation that hangs over their heads the moment they turn 18), a right to earn income and spend it as they see fit (and then become burdens on the system in their old age), an entitlement to an education whether they're going to do anything with it or not, an entitlement to disproportionate government assistance with their health care needs.

Women now have no obligation to do anything that is not in their own interest. You do what's right for YOU, sister! And yet all of society--including any men they've been more than tangentially involved with--has an obligation to them. An obligation of protection, provision, acceptance and tolerance, no matter how poor women's choices might be, no matter how badly they fuck up, no matter how selfish they are, no matter how much they harm others. The good women and the bad, the productive and the burdensome, all enjoy these entitlements if they so choose. Feminism has done nothing more than free women from any obligation, while simultaneously expanding their tally of entitlements.

And yet feminism seems to have no interest in freeing men from their obligations, does it? Financial abortion for men is pooh-poohed the moment anyone mentions it, even though this option is fully open to women through unilateral abortion, adoption or abandonment. There are giant, free, government agencies whose only purpose is to extract men's (patriarchal) financial obligations to the mother/child unit, while no similar agencies exist to enforce any obligation on the part of women to maintain a father/child relationship. 

200 years ago, we could not grant women an entitlement to earn income without removing the income-earning role as a male obligation--and without that male obligation, perhaps 2% of wealthy, educated women would have found work in a barrister's office, while the other 98% would have been mining coal with babies strapped to their backs. But now? The world has changed just enough to free women from any obligation toward anyone but themselves, while keeping their entitlements virtually untouched and actually increasing them.

And who pays? I mean, entitlements aren't free, right? So who's paying for all this?

Well, all of us. And if these entitlements were equally available to anyone, regardless of their gender, this would be just peachy, wouldn't it? But they aren't. And those to whom none of these patriarchal and more modern entitlements apply are now paying for them through a disproportionate cost of obligation.

The more I look at it, the more I realize women have never had it as bad as feminists believe they did, and no one has EVER had it as good as women in the west do today. They receive left right and center, from society, from government, from men. And the only person they owe any obligation to is themselves. Pretty sweet deal.




19 comments:

  1. Very well argued. Now that we know the problem, what do you think we should do about it? I mean, in a day-to-day, practical way that won't end with violence against men or women?

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  2. Hi, I said I will translate into Romanian some of your articles. I have just translated this one (can be found here: http://vilo13.blogspot.com/2011/12/feminismpatriarhat-hai-sa-redefinim.html).

    Best regards,
    Lucian Vâlsan,
    Cluj Napoca, Romania.

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  3. GRW,
    1) I am from the Atheist community, and discovered your blog sometime after elevatorgate created a schism in our movement. When I read up feminism 101 about an year ago, I bought into the ideology and started calling myself a feminist. But frequent manufactured feminist controversies in our atheist movement made me realize that something's wrong with it and it's anti-common sense.

    First off, I must say that your blogposts that I have read so far are highly informative and insightful. Your earliest posts "my recovery from sexual assualt" and "Why I am doing Men's rights" are intense and reveal a very strong person. My tip of the hat and AliG style RESPECT for that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ1rSywlm7U

    I am from India and living in the US now. The traditional system is alive and kicking in India, although modernity has kicked-in in a big way in the cities, and people (including me) are caught between the two and confused but unaware of it. Interestingly, the left in India seems to have bought into the feminist idea several decades ago, and has even brought in anti-male legislation in the early 90's and many men (and their parents) have paid the price dearly, not knowing what hit them and how it has come about.

    2) Coming to this post, its a brilliant one. I recently started reading 'The Myth of male power' and the Stage1 type of marriages (role-mates) and Stage2 marriages (soul-mates), understood male disposability quite well, and everything started falling in place.. and it also explains the steeply rising divorce rates in India now. but I was still unable to understand certain aspects.. like restriction of female movement (in Islamic societies say), and restriction of female sexuality (burqas, female genital mutilation and more). Looking at things as entitlements and obligations clears up these questions. This one in particular below hit me like a ton of bricks.
    A man had no biological entitlement to know that the children of the marriage belonged to him, yet he had a legal obligation to provide for children born into the marriage (whosever they were).

    India being a highly conservative society, I really didnt have much idea about female promiscuity until I came to the US, and watched some Jerry Springer, as well as read some evolutionary psychology and anthropology findings. Fast forward to today, I am reading about Hugo Schwyzer's own disgusting article 'I may have a son, but I’ll never know for sure' on AVFM, and the old traditional controls on promiscuity all make sense.

    Damn.. modernity has now provided the possibility of GENUINE liberation of man and woman from their traditional roles.. and instead of gathering facts/knowledge, feminism has taken us in the wrong direction. Damn again!

    3) AS AN ASIDE, NOT MEANT TO RUFFLE ANY FEATHERS: There is an interesting parallel between feminists and a very small segment (I think) of atheists.. one thats not well informed. Just as feminists think that men have conspired to oppress women, this segment thinks that religion was a conspiracy cooked up and foisted on people for social control. But luckily science has helped us understand that humans are innately wired to perceive agency (its called HyperActive Agency Detection) behind natural phenomenon, and history has unearthed enough information to piece together a great thesis of evolution of religion. Thus religion was no conspiracy..people willingly walked into it.

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  4. Welcome, Astrokid. And no worries about ruffling feathers. I've come to realize over my own investigations that most social phenomenon exist to serve a purpose, because if they didn't, competing societies would have naturally selected them out of existence. A population with common laws *and common beliefs* will usually be more cohesive than one with only common laws, and religion did that for a long time. And yeah, I know there's a biological component to faith--I read an article ages ago about scientists having discovered a gene common to people with extremely strong faith (a gene I apparently lack, lol).

    It's a terrible mistake on the part of feminists to see patriarchy as a destructive, oppressive system. It was a successful system, and if it was not the most successful, given the nature of the world (no birth control, very few safe, easy jobs, no baby formula, etc), it would certainly have been out-competed by better systems.

    But you see this bias in how feminists measure everything--to them, economic power is earning power (women lag behind) rather than spending power (women drive 80% of consumer spending), instead of seeing both as power. Seeing traditional marriage as sexual servitude where a woman is completely dependent on a man's money, without seeing it as financial servitude where a man is completely dependent on a woman's body for his reproductive agency.

    And I constantly hear them berate men by saying, "If you just spent 5 minutes thinking about what it's like to be a woman!" (Their heads explode when they realize they can't say that to me, heh.) But at the same time, I don't know that a single one of them has ever completely put themselves inside the perspective of a man, yet they feel entitled to co-opt and define men's problems for them (and their answer is always, "what would help men is more feminism", haha).

    And when you look at the costs, OMG. Afghanistan has a rigid patriarchy because that's all they can afford. Women want safety--we hear feminists whining about protecting women all the damn time, but you can't give women the level of safety they'd have in a harem guarded by eunuchs while they're participating in a culture of binge-drinking and casual hook-ups. The costs of trying to do that are staggering, and soon, even the wealthy west will not be able to bear them.

    Sigh.

    Anyway, welcome to reality. It kind of sucks here, but at least it's solid. :)

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    1. They can't possibly put themselves inside the perspective of a man until they have a man's level of testosterone. At that point they stop calling sex a "desire" and recognize that it's a need. At that point they marvel at the self-control men have, because with all that T coursing through their veins, they want to jump everything that moves...

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  5. Have you read any Warren Farrell? He's been onto this for some time... http://www.warrenfarrell.com/

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  6. GWW, One thing I notice is that the feminists on their blogs reject MRAs by claiming that their feminism is not like that. for e.g even manbooz refers to this one.. Imaginary Feminism

    Anything said by anyone calling themselves a feminist can be assumed to be true of anyone else calling themselves a feminist. Some random thing Andrea Dworkin said in 1973 is tattooed on all IF’s chests backward so they can read it in the mirror. All IFs simultaneously subscribe to the beliefs of Valerie Solanas, Catharine McKinnon, Betty Dodson, Phyllis Schlafly, Twisty Faster, and that person who wrote those weird articles about Firefly.
    They also reject the recent Agent Orange findings at AVFM by saying "OK.. somebody in the radfem hub board said some vile things.. but thats minority and every movement has such.. but your reaction to that is hateful!! by exposing their names on the internet".

    So one wonders where exactly they have defined their own version of feminism.. what the core principles are.. the feminism101 site hides under very benign statements such as "feminism is the movement to gain social, political and economic equality".
    And for Patriarchy, they do seem to be aware of historical underpinnings of the system, but seem to slyly slip in oppression in there somehow. And throw in more verbiage such as "intersections with kyriarchy".

    What is Patriarchy
    Not all men are Patriarchs. A Patriarch is a man who has special power and influence over not just his family but also in society, due to privileges gathered through intersections of age, wealth, achievement, lineage, patronage and the exploitation of others as these attributes add to his place in the elite social hierarchy.
    Non-elite men do not generally actively conspire with Patriarchs (although they may aspire to become one): the patriarchal pattern however means that subordinate men are ranked above subordinate women in the traditional socioeconomic hierarchy from which Patriarchs skim the cream, meaning that men (as a group) benefit more from the injustices of Patriarchy than women do (as a group). This does not mean that superordinate women (by virtue of lineage/wealth) do not have concrete advantages and social privileges compared to subordinate men – this is where the intersecting rankings and dominations of the kyriarchy come in.


    Is there any one place online where they have specified there core beliefs?

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  7. GWW,
    Never mind about my previous question. I have read some more and see that their obfuscation is a common strategy, and their NAFALT is a common strategy. You seem to have made a recent video about it as well.

    A man had no biological entitlement to know that the children of the marriage belonged to him, yet he had a legal obligation to provide for children born into the marriage (whosever they were).
    I just wanted to leave an interesting video Re: paternity fraud here, from manwomanmyth.com. Its truly incredible that ~10% of children are being raised by duped fathers. wow! Ancient cultures must have had this insight into the natural instincts of both men and women and worked out the patriarchal rules appropriate for their times.
    Note: The documentary says that men cant unilaterally ask for paternity tests. Damn.

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    1. @Astrokid "The documentary says that men cant unilaterally ask for paternity tests."

      So make it part of any prenuptial that paternity tests will be part of the marriage contract.

      A paragraph that runs something along the lines of

      By the act of marrying ______________ the woman ______________ has assented to paternity tests for all children born during the time of this marriage and up to one year after the marriage ends.

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  8. "Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison." -Tim Allen

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  9. Hello, GWW. I have been following your videos for a while and got interested in your blog on here.

    I always grew up with so many questions like these.

    -Why are there tons of women's hospitals but only general hospitals for men?

    -Why do men have to sign up for the draft and not women?

    -Why is it not that big of a deal when a man dies or is poor, but a huge, publicized deal when a woman dies or becomes poor?

    -Women and children first?

    -Why, in health class, are we learning about how much domestic violence women face, and act like men don't face the same?

    -Why is gender studies usually about the oppressiveness of men and the hardships of women? About the bad traits of men and the good traits of women?

    -If men are so conspiring against women, why have I not heard of these plans? When did they send the memo? Where is this anti-woman KKK?

    -If men commit so much of the crime, why are we not asking "Why the gender discrepancy" and "How do we solve this?" Instead we say "This is why women need to protect themselves against men."

    I thought I was the only one asking these questions, and I was taught that questioning the acts of feminism or the oppression of women was blatant misogyny. Then I found you (And the good men project).

    You don't even need statistics to prove many of your points. It's just a matter of changing how you view things. With a simple manipulation of algebra, all the pieces fit together.

    But then on top of that, you DO have stats. Which just reinforces it. The logic is undeniable. But people deny it because we're raised to pity women and mistrust men. The only difference between men's issues and women's issues is that women are allowed to talk about theirs.

    Thank you so much for bringing a female voice into these issues!

    http://jonathanese.blogspot.com/

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    1. More or less old post, but I have to say I agree with you in the violence part. In my country, there recently was a hideous case of a woman who was raped and then killed by impaling her with some sort of wooden stick, and that brought a rash of marches and expressions of disgust.
      Of course what happened was barbaric, inhumane and disgusting, but the thing is men are killed every day, and no one bats an eyelash, and there's never been a march to demand the end of violence against men.

      And now we have a bunch of campaigns to stop violence against women that usually paint men as violent aggressors, and the violence against men is never discussed and sometimes it's even denied that it exists.

      The important part is that there are many men here who are starting to see things in other ways, as evidenced by a recent article in a magazine that's geared towards men, which included a whole edition titled "Yes we can" (using the spanish pronoun nosotras, which is the female form of we).

      One of the articles was about a woman recalling a story about rape and violence, and a couple men have answered citing the figures that show that violence against men exists, and that there are areas when they are not favored, like work-related deaths and suicides.

      So far there hasn't been a lot of answers, except for a woman who considers that the fact that men are calling this and other similar articles "a conspiracy against men" and defending themselves, proof that there "machistas" (not sure of the translation for that word, maybe chauvinists?) and that they only think of women as sex objects and only think about sex and only enter that magazine because it regularly features pictures of scantily clad models.

      It was saddening and scary to feel the hostility and hate that emanated from her short post.

      So in closing, I'm glad these issues are being discussed in my country (Colombia) but sad at seeing the usual reactions here (you're a misogynist, you're a rapist, you don't care).

      PS. GirlWritesWhat, I don't know if you read comments on old posts, or even if blogger lets you know, but if you read this, I think an idea that might be worth of a video or post is the idea of feminicide. I don't know what's the situation in North America, but here it's been discussed and apparently is a law that exists in several south and central american countries. To me it's something that's telling us that a woman's life is more valuable that a man's life. A woman who was cited in a newspaper article said something to the effect of "[feminicide] is not a simple homicide".
      So apparently a man dying is a SIMPLE homicide, while a woman dying is a horrible earth-stopping event (both are horrible earth-stopping events, of course).

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  10. It's rather interesting that you bring up the little-known fact that historically, any children a woman has while married are the legal financial obligation of her husband, period, even if it cannot be proven they're his. There were ways of arguing why that was the most just moral order (you wouldn't want men divorcing women and being able to just unilaterally declaring "those aren't my kids"), but the fact that the law generally read that way is often forgotten. A man could in fact be CERTAIN a child was not his, but too bad most of the time (although proof of adultery on her part might be grounds for divorce, you'd need strong proof and it's still not sure what the child's status would be).

    In this age of genetic testing we forget all that stuff. For example, last I heard (December) there's still a case where a Michigan man has ABSOLUTELY PROVEN that he is the father of a child that he is not allowed to see or speak to, because the laws in Michigan are still structured that way:

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/michigan-law-prevents-biological-dad-legally-staking-paternal/story?id=15179560#.T7FFsMX-2k4

    I actually know one man, a good friend, who is raising a child he is 99.9% sure is a result of his wife's infidelity. He decided that, in the end, it doesn't matter, he loves the boy and he just will never bring it up. One wonders how many of the men of history did the same. We'll never know for sure will we?

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  11. I cvan still remember when I hit my 30's how the flavour of conversation among the women I knew changed. This was a group of brash, self confident late feminism women. This was also a group of women who had spent their lives since puberty enjoying endless attention and capitulation from the men around them while ceaselessly criticizing and belittling them. These were women who felt they were always allowed to have anything they want, that it is their right.

    so having hit the age where people think about marriage, babies, the future etc., every single one of these women all started wondering did they want a career or not, did they want children or not, did they want to be a stay at home mom or not, did they want to live in a suburb or city.

    I realised that for all the lip service about equality, this group of women, grown up several generations into feminism, still fully expected every modern or traditional option to be open to them(or often a mixture of both), still fully expected that men had obligations to them, and expected all decisions were theirs to make, and mens to meet.

    I really started to notice how different a man wondering about his percieved or real options and choices was from a woman doing the same.

    As a man, I had the (right) assumption that if i didn't find a good job my marriage options would be limited or i wouldn't be able to marry at all--i was very hyperaware of this and anxious. I assumed I would be taking on financial obligations. I assumed my future wife should be free to make any choices she wanted and it was my responsibility to accommodate, if i was to be a good husband.

    Again, the peer group i am talking about are educated, politically active, lefty, counter culture types. yet the men in the group understood that our selves and obligations were rooted somewhere in the fifties while our lives and opportunities for happiness or security had become much more precarious. and none of us felt confident; we'd spent our lives been ridiculed, held in contempt while still being told we were powerful and a bane on women and society.

    we did look like opposite world. loud brash women whose interests and desires were the focus and timid apologetic men being attentive.

    i realize this sounds like hyperbole, and it really wasn't--whether we were a typical lot or not.

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  12. Yup, Pretty sweet deal. So why would you go and fuck it up for yourself by writing about it?

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  14. You address the issue of what is expected from men versus from women and how it wasn't necessarily worse for women than for men as far as the things society demanded from them, but the feminists still have a point that, regardless of the rules in the society, the raw physical power and economic power is always still held by the men. That seems to be the root problem for a lot of feminists.

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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!