Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Transcript of "Hi, Danielle, nice to make your acquaintance..."






Hi, everyone, and hello Danielle Paradis. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for responding to Eric Duckman's challenge to debate him and myself as far as the question of whether feminism is hate. You seem like a really nice person, you seem really sincere and well-meaning, and I don't want you to think of this as a personal attack on you, because frankly, you just seem very nice.

But, there are a few things.

First, you open your video with the quote that everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts, and then you went on to say that you would, as a feminist, add "or her" to that quote. I agree. One of the reasons I do is that the primary architects of feminist theory--things like The Patriarchy, Rape Culture and the Patriarchal Terrorism Paradigm of family violence--those architects were primarily women, and they seemed to feel entitled to their own facts, or to something I'll call "selective facts". Given that, adding "or her"? That's a really good idea.

I would also agree with your assertion that a person would be hard-pressed to find any feminist who does not believe that women "have historically gotten the short end of the stick", that is, that women were historically uniformly oppressed by their gender, and men historically uniformly privileged relative to them.

So that's two things we can agree on, right off the bat. I don't think there's going to be a whole lot more that we're going to agree on, but at least there's that.

Now, I wasn't really surprised at how brief your video was. I mean, all it contained was typical feminist talking points framed as axiomatic, self-evident truths, the veracity of which you seem to feel no need to defend or substantiate. You just state them, and assume that any person would agree with both their accuracy, and the conclusions you believe they support.

Myself, on the other hand, well, I don't have 100 years of political activism and media representation of my position to fall back on, nor 50 years of the institutionalization of my viewpoints within schools from Kindergarten to university. So this response is going to be too long for one video. Because, you know, unlike feminists, I don't have the luxury of simply making a bald statement, and then moving on to the next one, without providing rational and empirical support for it. Without actually presenting an argument behind it. See, you can get away with saying, "X is X," without saying, "...because A, B, C."  I can't get away with that because my viewpoint isn't the one that's been swallowed hook, line and sinker by most of society.

So, in this video, I'm just going to address the first few points you made, and I'm going to have to leave the other points for other videos, because otherwise this is just going to run really long. What I'm going to try to do in this video is explain some of the reasons I believe feminism is wrong. Wrong about the power dynamics that underpin society (historically and today), and wrong about men's and women's relative positions in society (historically and today). Hopefully we will then be on our way to demonstrating why I believe feminism is based on hate.

Now, right off the bat, you launch into what is one of the most predictable feminist rebuttals to anything anti-feminism that exists: the question of voter rights. You claim initially that denying a person the vote places them in the position of a second class citizen, that not giving them a say over decisions that will affect them is subjugation, and because this was denied to women, it's subjugation based on gender. If this is the case, then ALL but a tiny percentage of men were in the exact same boat as all women were, through most of human history. In fact, the amount of time between universal male suffrage and female suffrage in the west amounted to a paltry one half of one percent or so of recorded human history.

So under your reasoning, all men but those in charge (under a monarchy) or the most wealthy (following democracy but before universal male suffrage) were also subjugated by their governments in the exact same way women were.

Now, if that government was headed by a woman, would those men have been subjugated based on their gender? I find it really problematic to assume that because a man is in charge or because a woman is in charge, that that person in charge is not going to care about the opposite sex. This is an absurd argument. It doesn't hold water.

On the other hand, even men with no say whatsoever, men who were subjugated by their governments by being denied the vote, bore a greater and more costly obligation and burden of responsibility to their communities and governments, and even to their families, than women did.

It's foolish to even entertain the question of "who had the shorter end of the stick?", during a period of history when men and women had very different sticks to carry, and when there was little to no option for anyone to choose a different stick. The end of the stick that men got may indeed have been longer than the ends of women's sticks, but the stick itself was heavier and more difficult to lift, by a long shot. And while I know feminism is largely anti-science, I can demonstrate that through a simple, biological argument.

When the conditions two animals are subjected to over an extended period of their evolution are very different, one of the easiest ways to determine who had things harder or more onerous is to look at what biology has to tell us. If we look at monogamous primates like marmosets, males and females live nearly identical lives. The only real difference between male and female roles in that species is that females gestate, give birth and lactate, and males don't. Males do, however, collect food, nurture and supervise the young, and are chosen as suitable mates by females based on how well they perform the exact same tasks performed by females. In fact, if you want to get right down to it, marmoset females choose males based on how good those males are at mothering.

And when you look at male and female marmosets, you can't really tell them apart--they're the same size and have the same muscle mass and density. Other than their reproductive organs, they're basically interchangeable, because they do all the same stuff, and they've done all the same stuff for a very long time. They are gender-egalitarians.

Now look at humans. Men have stronger skeletons, higher muscle mass, stronger muscles even controlling for mass, and more red corpuscles by blood volume, than women do. Would these differences exist if women's roles through history were remotely as strenuous, onerous or dangerous as men's? If natural selection pressures on women had been as severe and rigorous as those placed on men?

What our sexual dimorphism tells us is that men had to be capable of doing physically harder and more dangerous tasks than women did, consistently, all through our history as human beings, and that women were not subjected to this kind of pressure. If they had, they'd have evolved to be a lot more burly.

And what I find really interesting is that very little of that strenuous, dangerous work that men did was actually necessary to the survival of individual men.

I mean think about it for a minute--how much more work would it be to provide for a family than only oneself? I could tell you a thing or two about that--if the only person I had to take care of was me, I could live like a queen on a waitress's pay. I'd never have to put off buying something I wanted just because the people dependent on me would rather eat dinner tonight than see me in a new pair of shoes.

How much more work would it have been for a man way back when to provide for a wife less productive than he was, and several even less productive children, than to only provide for himself? How much less safe was he if he chose to protect a woman smaller and weaker than himself, who was often vulnerable due to pregnancy and childbed, and several vulnerable children, than if he was the only person he was responsible for keeping safe?

If men had not been prepared to willingly take on those burdens in order to spare women from them, guess what, Danielle? Women would have sturdier skeletons and bigger muscles than they do, because they'd have had to evolve those things in order to survive. I honestly don't know how it was that more men didn't do what the Buddha did, and just walk away from those burdens--I mean, that guy sure had more time to think about stuff and ponder the nature of the universe, sleep in and get himself fat as fuck once he didn't have a wife and kid to look after.

To further illustrate how men can enjoy higher status than women while simultaneously having more burdensome and difficult lives--you know, getting the shorter end of the stick, the worse deal, all that--let's look at an extreme case of a staunchly and severely patriarchal society--something relatively unheard of in hunter-gatherer cultures: The Inuit.

Now in most hunter-gatherer societies, gender roles are just as differentiated as in any traditional society. BUT, male and female roles usually commanded similar levels of social status, respect and admiration. This was not the case with the Inuit.

But one of the really striking ways in which Inuit societies differed from other hunter-gatherer societies was that in most hunter-gatherer societies, men and women brought in roughly the same amount of food--in fact, sometimes women brought in the larger share. Women may not have become dominant, or have higher status than men, because they weren't expected to risk their lives to bring in the food that they brought in, the way men were expected to in the act of hunting. But the Inuit were very different. Not only did men bring in more than 95% of all the food, they did so at extreme risk to their lives and health, under conditions more severe than the conditions almost anywhere else on earth.

Rates of injury and premature death by injury among Inuit men of the past were horrendous. I mean, here are a bunch of guys who were expected to go out in a damn kayak in -40 weather, and chuck spears at whales 200 times their size, or go out on treacherous ice that if you fell through it meant almost certain death to hunt seals, in order to bring home tons more meat than they could possibly eat by themselves, and share that meat with the women and children who got to stay home, safe and sound.

Now I'm wondering what you think would have happened if you'd convinced those men that their wives needed them like fish need bicycles. What would have been the result for women? What if you'd told those men that this woman and these children are not yours, they don't belong to you, therefore you don't have any right to dictate to them and neither do you have any responsibility to take care of them? Or if you'd said that women are every bit as capable as men, and they're men's equals in every way that mattered? What if you'd actually convinced those men of all that? Heck, what if you'd actually convinced Inuit men that women's work was just as important and prestigious as men's work? You think maybe a lot of men might have taken up sewing? 

You know, those men who could, if they wanted to, just go off on their own, club a baby seal every month or two, and do just fine, since chewing pelts into fur and stitching them into clothes isn't that hard, and they'd have plenty of free time to do it without all those extra mouths to feed? 

Do you think maybe those men would have chosen not to risk and sacrifice like Inuit men did, if all they got was the same rewards and status as Inuit women? Do you really think those men would have, or should be expected to, risk and sacrifice the way Inuit men did, for the same rewards and status as Inuit women? Do you think Or would they have said, "Hey, she's my equal, and she's her own person, and her kids don't belong to me either. Let her get her own food." Because you know what? That's exactly what I would have said, if someone had convinced me of all of that.

I mean, hasn't it ever occurred to you feminists that the most extreme patriarchies occur in the harshest living conditions?

Do you think those women would have been better off--you know, less oppressed--by being seen as equal to their men--equal and therefore in no need of men's provision or protection? You ever wonder what it might have been like to be a pregnant Inuit woman, out on the ice trying to find a seal to jab a stick in so she could eat? You ever think that maybe, just maybe, she might have been perfectly happy to trade something valuable in order to secure the cooperation and support that imposed such hideous costs and risks on him? That her survival in that environment was so dependent on him risking life and limb every time he went out, that she might have thought social status and personal autonomy were really small prices to pay in exchange for what it cost him to give her what she needed?

You ever wonder if marriage wasn't a way to force women to become slaves to men, and bear men's children and provide them with free domestic services, the way so many second-wave feminists portrayed it, but a way to force men to become slaves to women, to support women's children and provide provisioning and protection services to women? You ever wonder if just maybe it was BOTH?

OMG, I think I just blew my own mind...

You never stopped to wonder why the very idea of feminism only occurred to women when economic, political and technological development finally meant that trading places with men would mean trading UP instead of down? That idea probably goes a long way to explaining why feminism originated among the wealthiest and most privileged women first, dontcha think? I mean, even Mary Wollstonecraft was honest enough to call women's privilege exactly that in her claims that it should be eliminated. And I just don't get why she wasn't more popular among the working class women who depended on that privilege for their survival!

I don't know if you realize this, Danielle (being feminist and therefore anti-science as you are), but male provisioning and protection of females and young is a gift and a luxury that few females of any sexually dimorphic species have ever enjoyed. Just ask a female Bonobo, who gets to trade sex with every unrelated male in her community in return for foraging rights and male ambivalence toward her offspring--not for actual food or for assistance in caring for offspring, but for the right to do her own foraging in an area a male might actually prefer to have for himself, and the right to not have her offspring fall victim to competitive infanticide by a male who would rather she produce his kids than his brother's.

Because that's the way most of nature works, Danielle, and it isn't the way human society has worked for a very long time.

One of the reasons human women have been able to remain significantly weaker than men is because men were consistently subjected to more extreme and demanding conditions than women, all through history. And one of the reasons we don't have more in common with Bonobos--why we've become the most dominant and intelligent species on the planet, in fact--is because women and children benefitted from men doing that, from being subjected to those conditions. Because men, unlike Bonobo males, were actually willing to share the benefits and rewards of their harsher survival conditions with women and children, because women, unlike Bonobo females, were willing to individually trade something valuable in return for an individual man's investment.

And I know, the whole thing is so cold and uncivilized. Those Inuit men should have been willing to harpoon whales from a kayak and share the meat with women and children, and give their lives to protect women and children, without any expectation of any extra anything. They should have been willing to do it "Just because". For nothing. THAT would have been "fair" to everyone. It was "oppression" of women that Inuit men were granted higher social status, more respect and a few extra rights in exchange for doing a ton of really difficult shit they didn't need to do for themselves, but did anyway because women and children needed them to. And it was really "unfair" that women weren't given power in those societies, because hey, the one who doesn't have to risk anything, pay anything, or go out on the ice, should be given an EQUAL say in decisions that affect everyone in the community.

And you know, I think it's perhaps that feminist framing--the duty of a man to share his labor with women, to put himself between danger and women, to risk and pay for the benefit of women during a history where the risks and burdens of doing that were so very high (which is why women couldn't be expected to bear them)...that's oppression of women simply because men weren't willing to do it for nothing. I think that was the first red flag I had that feminism is based on sexism and hate. Because you kind of have to hate someone if you're going to tell him that his kind have oppressed women all through history by doing what was necessary--including dying--to keep women safe, sheltered and fed. You kind of have to hate someone to claim that the old system only existed to benefit men at the expense of women's enslavement, when that system is the only reason that women are still around, that women are not like the Bonobos. And it's definitely hate to say that women were not complicit in this system, that they have no responsibility for things working the way they did.But feminists do this all the time.

Like Hilary Clinton once said (and yeah, I'm paraphrasing), men have never been the primary victims of their own deaths in war. It's the women who are stuck still alive and raising the kids alone who are the primary victims of men's deaths.

If I claimed that a woman's husband was the primary victim of her death because he's left alive to look after the children alone, you'd call me a misogynist. And you'd be right.

And I know, it's not the same, because women have always had the short end of the stick, right? They've only gotten out of society what they were required to put into it, and that meant that they got less, and that's unfair. That verse in the Bible about women being obedient to their husbands if they wanted to stay on the right side of the man upstairs, that's unfair gender roles. But the several verses that admonished men that they were 100% responsible for the survival of their wives, their children, their widowed mothers, their unmarried sisters, and any other extended family members who could not be self-sufficient, if he wanted god to approve of him. NO! None of that was unfair. None of that was gender-biased. The Bible was only unfair to women. 

All men got was power. Just power. Cookies for having a penis, no other qualifications required.

You know, for three years I was the only thing keeping myself and three children alive and fed and with a roof over our heads and all of that. And you know what? It fucking sucks. Even now, even today, even in this easy world, it fucking sucks. And it would have sucked even more if this was still an era of manual labor and zero workplace standards, the way things were when men were expected to take on the burden of providing for women and children under The EEEVIL Patriarchy.

But anyway, let's get back to the vote, and how not having a say over decisions that affect you is subjugation.

As an aside, there's currently a campaign to lower the voting age in Canada to 16. Do you believe that Canadians between the ages of 16 and 18 are subjugated, Danielle? Do you support those efforts? If not, why not? How about Canadians *under* 16? Are they subjugated? Would you support efforts to expand the franchise to 14? Or 12? 

Do you assume that because children aren't allowed to vote, that the government has no interest in their wellbeing, you know, their safety, happiness and wellbeing? Do you even imagine that being true?

Regardless of that, the history of the expansion of suffrage is a lot more complex and nuanced than most feminists would lead you to believe. For instance, up until shortly before women's suffrage in the US, the system was not one of secret ballots. Because ballots were public in the early years of universal male suffrage, there had been numerous cases of employers coercing their male employees to vote the way they wanted, and there were real concerns about something similar occurring between husbands and wives, or fathers and daughters. There was a lot of worry that giving women the vote would be the equivalent of giving some unscrupulous men two votes.

On the other hand, if you look at a lot of political campaign propaganda from that time, you'll see a fair amount of "Ladies, tell your men to vote for soandso!" and a lot of stuff like that. I can't imagine with the comparatively minuscule campaign budgets they had back then, and the cost of paper and ink, that anyone would have wasted the resources to print posters like that unless women were seen as fully capable of influencing, or even controlling, their husbands' votes.

And I'm pretty sure you're not aware that some of the most famous suffragette leaders--such as Emmiline Pankhurst in the UK--weren't campaigning for universal female suffrage. What Pankhurst was after was "ten pound suffrage" for wealthy women, and the rest of the ladies of the UK could go fly a kite. How very noble.

It might also interest you to know that in 1917 at the height of WWI, when the US government began sentencing draft dodgers to death, a group of activists brought a constitutional challenge of military conscription. In the Supreme Court's ruling on that challenge, it stated:

It may not be doubted that the very conception of a just government and its duty *to the citizen* includes the reciprocal obligation of the citizen to render military service in case of need, and the right to compel it.”

So, the draft was ruled constitutionally sound and allowed to continue, because it was considered to be the reciprocal obligation of citizens in return for the rights of citizenship granted by government. Indeed, it was largely because of the huge sacrifice of men during the American civil war (some of them draftees) that led to men being offered universal suffrage in the US in the first place--it was deemed unfair to order a man to die for a country in which he had no say. It was felt that if men have an obligation--social or legal--to go to their deaths to protect society, they should really be allowed a say in what kind of society they were expected to protect. I have a hard time arguing with that kind of logic.


So maybe you can tell me, what did women owe society, what kinds of burdens and sacrifices were they expected to take on if necessary, often by force? Was it anything remotely on the scale of putting on a uniform and charging into enemy bayonets? Was it? Really?

In fact, a LOT of women opposed women's suffrage in the late 1800s and early 1900s--so many and so vehemently that it was pretty much the same afternoon that their opposition was overwhelmed by a general consensus among women that they did want the vote, that women actually got it. Why would any woman oppose women's suffrage, you might be wondering. Well, because citizenship rights and citizenship obligations had always gone hand in hand for men, and many anti-suffragette women were worried that might apply to women, too.

Oh, anti-suffragette women, you so crazy. Didn't you realize? Women get all kinds of shit without having to pay for it, not only on ladies' night.

Needless to say, the vast majority of men who fought and died in the Civil war, whether draftees or volunteers, didn't have the vote. The American men who were still alive after that war were given the vote as payment for past sacrifices, and in anticipation of future ones.You might also be unaware that at the time when that constitutional challenge to the draft failed, the voting age for men in the US was 21, but the age at which they became eligible for the draft was 18 1/2. The same goes for every US war for which there has been a draft, up until public pressure was placed on the US government over wounded veterans returning from Viet Nam without the right to vote--how embarrassing for everyone! Only at that point was the voting age lowered to 18.

Now I wonder how subjugated a 19 year old boy might have felt, bleeding to death on a WWI battlefield without the right to vote? I also wonder what that boy might have thought about the women campaigning for female suffrage safe at home, at the very same moment he was dying at the behest of his government, without franchise? And I wonder if he would have felt more or less subjugated, had he been drafted, or had one of those suffrage-crazy ladies shamed him into enlisting by handing him a white feather?

In Canada, 125,000 men were conscripted in WWI, 25,000 of whom were sent to the front lines of a war that killed 10 million men on all sides. Talk about the short end of the stick--ten million short ends of ten million sticks, to be precise. Our government was a little more sensible than those in other countries, and alongside the conscription legislation it enacted in 1917, it passed a law giving voting rights to all those currently serving in the military or who had served, even if they were under 21.

Good job, Canada! And while you, Danielle, are technically correct that women were given the vote in 1917, that vote was only given to military women, or to women acting as proxies for male relatives fighting overseas.

So even in Canada, military service was tied to the expansion of voter rights. 2000 military nurses (none of them drafted, mind you, but all of them admirable in their voluntary service and the sacrifices required for it) became some of the first women with the right to vote in Canada. The rest of us had to wait a whole 'nother year.

By 1920 and 1918 respectively, the governments of the US and Canada had extended suffrage to all white female citizens of voting age, despite women being subject to neither conscription, nor the social expectation, to sacrifice their lives in the service of their countries' decisions.

A second draft occurred in Canada during WWII, and conscription became a norm in the US in 1948, with the Selective Service Act (which remains in force today). Between 1950 and 1953, 1.5 million American men were drafted. Any of them between 18 and 21 would not have had the vote, even though their government was able to coerce them to serve.

In several modern, democratic nations, such as Norway and South Korea, military service remains a mandatory obligation of the citizen. Well, if that citizen is a man.

And what price did women have to pay, in terms of a citizen's obligation to government, to purchase their right to vote? None, you say? Oh yeah, that's right, only men had to purchase their citizenship rights--women just had to finally agree with each other that they wanted them, and then ask.

And in light of that, you know what's really awesome? Men have, at times, though not always, been exempt during a draft if they were married or had children, because drafting a husband or father was considered an unfair hardship to women and children, and was to be avoided if possible. One of the few ways a man could avoid his obligation to society--to die--was if a woman or child would have to help him pay that price. Yep, society sure was interested in giving women the short end of the stick, all right.

I also find it kind of amusing that you mentioned female suffrage in Kuwait. I'm sure you did that because OMG, 2005, right? However, Kuwait's status as a democracy has been consistently inconsistent since 1920, heck, even since their independence in the early 1960s. Moreover, after a very quick and cursory look at the information on that country, I learned that only Kuwaiti citizens are allowed to vote, and the majority of residents of Kuwait--you know, those who'd be affected by the decisions of the Kuwaiti government--are not technically citizens. Even naturalized citizens have to wait for 30 years before being eligible to vote.

Wow. That's a LOT of subjugation, about half of which is going to be male, but you only seem concerned with women, so of course you didn't bother to read further.

Hey, I have an idea--I think I'll read further and see if Kuwait employs conscription....

Wow, what do you know? It does! Kuwaiti men who are citizens are inductable at age 18, and oh my goodness, wouldn't you know it? The voting age in Kuwait is 21. So Kuwaiti men and only Kuwaiti men, can be coerced into giving their lives for a government they have no say over. How very...well, I can't exactly say it's shocking, now can I?

Interesting as well, is that the vote in Kuwait is actively denied to men currently serving in the military. That's right, you heard me. The very people who are risking their lives (by choice or against their consent) based on their government's decisions are explicitly denied a say in those decisions. How's that for subjugation?

Also interestingly, Bedouin volunteers in the Kuwaiti military often enlist because of promises that military service may result in citizenship, and the right to vote. I think this is what's called "pay before you play," and it seems to be what men have had to do right from the get-go.

I suppose what I'm trying to say with all of this conscription/political franchise talk is that the franchise, in its earliest days, was connected to military service. Even the very first women allowed to vote in Canada were given the vote in return for their own military service, or on behalf of their male relatives who were serving.

No, if it's your position that a person is subjugated by having no say over decisions that affect them, then it was men who could be required by their governments to die who would have been more subjugated than any woman by being denied the vote. The draft is a particular decision of government that has NEVER affected women as directly as it has men, and it only stands to reason that in countries where a legal or social obligation to put one's life on the line for the benefit of government or fellow citizens exists, that decision was considered important enough for those directly affected by it to be the first to be given a say. Eventually. Once a whole bunch of them had already died.

I also wonder if you might have considered the inverse of this equation as it stands now--that women today have a say in the decisions of government-- a greater collective say than men in many countries, due to sheer numbers. In any country with universal suffrage and male-only conscription, the female electorate as a unified bloc could conceivably unilaterally make the decision to send unwilling men, and only unwilling men, to their deaths. That's quite the moral hazard, when you think about it.

I'm sure you and your feminist sisters are going to get right on rectifying that--either by actively and tirelessly demanding an end to conscription and selective service in countries where they exist, or by vigorously campaigning to include women.

I mean, you feminists want equality, right? And inclusivity! Or do you only want those things in areas of choice and rights, and not in areas of obligation, expectation, responsibility and government coercion?

So, to reiterate:

Yes, though I believe that all feminists (and most mainstreamers, for that matter) honestly feel that women were historically second class citizens, things are a lot more complicated than that. Women may have been considered different citizens than men, but it's dishonest to use a term like "second-class". That term doesn't address the exemptions from the burdens and obligations of male citizenship that women enjoyed historically, and still enjoy today, or any of the entitlements they received through the enforcement of male gender roles.

The bulk of the "extras and bonuses" that men received--in legal rights and social status--were a result of the greater obligations they had to society, the higher price they were expected to pay in terms of protecting and providing for people other than themselves--especially women and children--and the fact that they were held socially and even legally accountable for other people's survival and wellbeing. None of these burdens were ones women were ever expected to carry. They were burdens women were entitled to expect of others, and they still are, and they would have enjoyed no such entitlement in the much harsher past had they been seen as the equals of men.

So when feminists insist that women got the short end of the stick compared to men, they're only telling half the story. And half-truths are more dangerous by far than lies, because they're easier for people to swallow--so easy, very few people have ever asked you feminists to support your own conclusions by addressing all the facts in the entire context, and not just the facts you cherry-pick.

My next video will address your contention that feminism isn't as powerful as the men's movement thinks it is, and in anticipation of that I want you to ponder this quote from Warren Farrell: "Men's greatest weakness is their facade of strength, and women's greatest strength is their facade of weakness."

And, if you're still listening, Danielle, if I haven't made you slam your computer shut in a huff, I guess I'll see you again in a few days when I post my next video.

44 comments:

  1. Thanks for the transcript, and thank you for the time and thought you put into your videos.

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    1. Finally men have some hope: http://manhood101.com

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  2. Thanks too for the time and effort you put in. Your videos are always awesome. Also your research and historic FACTS always win the day. With honest activism such as this, society will change for the better.

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  3. Saw the video first. Then saw this transcript. Excellent idea. The video had way too much useful information to keep it locked away in video format. Great job, GWW. Kudos!

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  4. "Now I wonder how subjugated a 19 year old boy might have felt, bleeding to death on a WWI battlefield without the right to vote? I also wonder what that boy might have thought about the women campaigning for female suffrage safe at home, at the very same moment he was dying at the behest of his government, without franchise? And I wonder if he would have felt more or less subjugated, had he been drafted, or had one of those suffrage-crazy ladies shamed him into enlisting by handing him a white feather?"

    This is a very powerful paragraph and puts a perspective on suffrage that I hadn't considered before. Imagining the view through the eyes of one of the young men who was a victim of the draft, without the right to vote, is a great way to shine a light on the hypocrisy of the "women were oppressed because they didn't have the right to vote" crowd.

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  5. Holy holy breathless stunning shock and appreciation! Kinda wanna laugh. Or cry. Or chop the living f**K outta some wood. As it happens, I'm at my office. So maybe later. Haha! Much thank you!

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  6. I thought I had most of feminism worked out of my system before I stumbled upon you, GWW, but you've actually shown me that feminism is much worse than I thought, even though I've been following feminism of today closely for a couple of years. I'm now completely free from any guilt that should fall on my sex, as a man, as of any so-called historical oppression. Not that I personally should feel any guilt regarding what people of the same sex as me do or have ever done through history, to start with, but it still feels good to cleanse out the last fumes.

    You're a remarkable person. I really admire your work. Of course it helps that you generally confirm my view of the world but the way you argue... You're really something. Thanks for everything.

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  7. Hi!
    Thank you very much for transcripting your videos. It helps a lot for someone who hasn´t got english as their first language.

    Also, thank you for being someone who actually puts some facts on the table and looks at things from a gender-passive point of view. I have a lot of feminist friends and when I was a teen I was even envolved in some feminist movements, but I always had the feeling that I was being unfair. I admit I´m not a hugely politicized person so I let feminism slide for a long while, until I found your videos. This is only the first transcript I read so I still have a long ways to go but thank you for finally exposing that nagging feeling I´ve always had at the back of my mind that feminism is utter bullshit.

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  8. Oh and one more thing, I know this is a stupid question but would anyone care to enlighten me on what exactly people refer to when they talk about "draft"? I gather it´s probably something to do with a law or with the jurisdiction system but I´m not really sure and I suppose this is a very important point on the discussions, I just wanted to fully understand it. Thanks!

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    1. It means military conscription. It developed along with the concept of mass citizenship, first in France after the Revolution AFAIK. All men between usually 17 and usually 30 were subject to it. It became the norm in continental Europe but never in Britain, where citizenship cam late too.

      For marginalized men such as African-Americans military service has usually been the path to whatever citizenship they did enjoy, both legally and culturally. Women never have had to pass this same test.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and it was compulsory. You could buy your way out, sometimes openly, sometimes corruptly, but it was expensive enough that it was a privielge only the elite enjoyed. For everyone else it was compulsory, and in time of war basically a death sentence. 19th and 20th century wars were run pretty incompetently in many cases, often due the malignant effects of chivalry. For instanace in WWI the British army refused to issue helmets, and this resulted in huge losses, because the leadership thought the whole idea not quite sporting.

      Delete
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  10. I honestly don't know how it was that more men didn't do what the Buddha did, and just walk away from those burdens--I mean, that guy sure had more time to think about stuff and ponder the nature of the universe, sleep in and get himself fat as fuck once he didn't have a wife and kid to look after.

    Many men probably did, although perhaps not willingly. Studies of maternal DNA suggest that about 80% of women reproduced, but only 40% of men. (http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/20/is-there-anything-good-about-men-and-other-tricky-questions/)

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  11. Hey, http://danielleparadis.com/2013/01/23/a-long-awaited-not-a-rebuttal-to-girl-writes-what/comment-page-1/#comment-145 .

    Do you have response...?

    Love your work!

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    1. Hi, I run by the handle Nastra and because GWW hadn't yet responded to her I went ahead and dissected it. It's mostly out of context quotations from the Bible, an appeal to Darwin, a failure to recognize variations within the same species, an attempt to reclassify exceptions as the rule, and other partial arguments. I question the actual extent that she researched her response before she posted it.

      Delete
    2. So, I just wanted to share that I made a post on her page rebutting her arguments and she deleted it. So I reposted it to my own blog.

      http://nastraurl.blogspot.com/

      Delete
  12. Hi GWW,
    Well written piece, content rich. Though would like to expand on some areas. In hunter-gatherer society the popular perception is that women bring equal or (at times) more food than men this is not necessarily true as the environment and topography have to favor it, such conditions are usually found in tropical rain forest where forest density is high, this provides for more quantity and possibly more variety of edible plant material. You will never be able to find rich diversity of flora in arid/ semi arid/ tundra (as you had described) or even in savannas.

    What women usually gather are tubers/ pith / leaves... and these are source of complex sugars/ starch but contain very little or no protein. Plant material being difficult to digest if consumed raw, which is the case in most tribal societies (cooking is rare except for leaching of toxins and direct /indirect roasting in fire) so the ratio of consumption to assimilation is low (i.e. low calorific value). Toxins present in sheath/ skin of these tubers (cyanides/ alkaloids) complicate the matter as they increase processing time and reduce biomass, the intricate knowledge about processing these foods is held by the entire community the men know as much as the women but is it the women who practice and teach the skill. Nutritive value of the meal is complete only if the fat and protein requirements are met and this is provided by the meat the men hunt. The assumption that women bring more food (volume) than men undercuts the fact, that without animal protein /fat the Calorific and Nutritive value of the diet will never be met (this is why you don’t see vegetarian tribes).

    Any trapper/ professional hunter will relate to the fact on how difficult it is to maintain a viable hunting territory. Depletion of prey, competing tribes, predators…. are just a few variables. If hunter doesn’t understand the ecological niche of the territory it will not be sustainable. This is ingrained in tribal knowledge. Just wonder how Germaine Greer in her lecture (rather verbal diarrhea) can say “men just sit around do nothing, maybe hunt! Women do all the work”. I wonder what has changed in a society to allow these kinds of statements go unchallenged, any anthropologist/ historian will tell you what a misconstrued statement that is.

    Another often ignored aspect is the Security that men provide against predators (men knew how to hunt/ tackle animals far better than women) and other warring tribes when they had to compete for meager resources particularly during drought. Without security gathering food by women will be difficult.

    So in any hunter gatherer society it was not just the risk involved in hunting but the indispensable need for it which shaped socio-cultural behavior.

    [In case of Inuit’s and other indigenous tribes of Arctic, the fuel (from blubber) and transport (kayak, umiak...etc) were derived from animal the men hunted. Most implements were crafted from the bones, so the without the hunt (men) you don’t survive.]

    Keep writing gww, you clarity and grit is appreciated…

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  13. I'm betting you used to call yourself a feminist until that logical, rational, truly-equal voice of yours got drummed out of the community on a tidal wave of violent screaming. :)

    The US military announced today that it's lifting a ban on women serving in combat roles, a ban that I didn't even know existed. I'm enormously in favor of it on paper (much like I am with feminism itself), because what I hear in the argument for lifting the ban is equality of choice, a critical component of true equality.

    However, as I am now able to articulate thanks to your assistance, this falls down for me because it does not provide equality of obligation. Women will still be exempt from any draft that might return, and women will still be required to be less physically conditioned than men, for the same job and the same pay.

    Equality is often touted as "equal pay for equal work," which in the abstract ideal becomes "equal reward for equal value." But what I find people often fight for is instead "equal reward for equal effort," which at its core reads "my failure is just as valuable as your success."

    As you pointed out in "Feminism and the Disposable Male," that's really unequal and hurtful when it comes from a movement that bases itself on gender equality. I'm fine with women choosing to pursue whatever they wish to pursue - but it is deeply hurtful and angering to have my value stripped away and dismissed on the grounds that it only comes from my being a certain gender and having been raised within a certain gender role.

    Yes, some of my advantages are purely evolutionary and I did nothing to earn them, but that can be said of any living creature. Many more of my advantages are the result of an upbringing that I had no power over and through which I suffered as much as any average scared, lonely child trying to figure out how to be what the world expects him to be. The rest of my advantages I earned through voluntary but painful sacrifice, and what I want to now scream in the face of people who talk about equality is that it's really okay for us to be equally *and differently* valuable individuals.

    Anyway, thank you for your writing - it helped me focus some thoughts that have been really bothering me, and to find my integrity within those thoughts.

    On a related note, if differing values are equal, then it follows that differing fuckings-over are equal - I'd love to see a post at some point that addresses the extremely real unfairness that women face in the tech industry in this country. The tech world is a very highly educated one, which means that a lot of people in it come from backgrounds where women were taught to be pretty instead of smart, therefore there is greater mistrust of a woman's tech skills than a man's (even among women, in some cases). I've seen women who were ace programmers be much more strongly doubted - and punished - than second-rate men, simply because of their gender.

    It sucks to own, but it's there, and I'd love to hear the take on it from someone who isn't going to just say "tech is a boys' club and all men suck, the end." I'd really love to hear ideas on how we can change that part of the culture. Technology is, by definition, applied science, and should therefore be the forefront of gender equality.

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  14. Hey GWW, first time commenter here. First off, congratulations on converting me from about a 20% MRA to about a 70%... keep at it and you'll have me fully persuaded yet. I’m tempted to hash out all of my remaining qualms right now, but I’ll try to focus, since that probably makes response more likely. Note, I am not trying to argue against what you say, but merely state how my interpretation of the same phenomena is both similar and different.

    Your evolutionary psychological analysis is really good (as good as any PhD in the subject I have read… I am an engineering grad student, so that is sizable but not huge), but as it is a speculative discipline by nature, I wonder if it is not a reverse-analysis. By that I mean, why not approach the application of gender roles as consequent of these biological differences rather than causing them, especially as society itself evolved into civilization with rule of law and decree from rule of strength. Strength still dictated men’s usefulness in war above women until, and then only arguably, the militaristic proliferation of firearms, no doubt you agree. My point in this is that the evolution of sexual dimorphism seems meaningless to a modern society where technology can eliminate most disadvantages, thus rendering those gender roles obsolete; whereas in the other direction, those gender roles are the consequence of natural instinct, it becomes silly to fight against the nature of the species.

    This is my primary divergence from your point of view, if I understand you correctly (I have watched maybe half of your videos), and hence why I say I am only 70% and MRA: I see no problem with gender roles. Ergo, there is no inconsistency to focus on domestic violence against females primarily in the face of gender equality on the subject, nor in the ongoing draft (although I am against it as a libertarian), nor on workplace accidents, etc. You are certainly justified in pointing out that feminists make crap up to ignore these instances, but they are not themselves problematic, because they are natural phenomena arising from respective biological instincts and traits. The translation of these roles into moral statuses gets feminists into a lot of trouble, but to be fair examples of real misogyny do exist just as examples of real misandry do, they are just not pervasive culturally as they like to pretend (seriously, rape culture? Yeah… because society is historically totally fine with rapists).

    I’d go on, but this is long enough already, just a couple of quick science questions with hopefully quick answers for anyone who happens to know:

    1) Has any study looked at the correlation of physical strength and psychological development holding other variables, like gender and socio-economic class, constant? My hypothesis here is that larger men will be more naturally assertive than weaker men (similar phenomena to the Stanford Prison experiment, with in this case physical dominance begetting psychological dominance), which would lead to a similar conclusion on the natural psychological development between sexual dimorphic psychologies.

    2) Has anyone done an actual study correlating gender role value with harsher living conditions? I like your hypothesis there, but I’m wondering if it has been done officially.
    Anyway, that’s enough of a wall of text for now. Thanks for the video/writeup, I hope you have the time to respond, GWW, of course anyone else is welcome to, as well.

    P.S. Thanks for your inclusion of Biblical gender role mandates for men. Since it is really impossible for a reasonable person to conclude the Bible, even the OT, is anti-women upon a thorough study of the matter, I am constantly confounded as a Christian at how often I see it proclaimed so.

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  15. *frown* You accuse feminists of making sweeping statements and then not backing them up, but then say "I know feminism is largely anti-science."
    ...this is different, how?

    Your argument that women's lack of rights were balanced out by their lack of responsibilities is a fair one. But, as a feminist, I think it is only fair that if women want equal rights, they accept equal responsibility. I am happy to do that, and so are all the women I know, feminist or not. I think not allowing women to make up their own minds whether freedom or lack of responsibility is more important to them is complete bullshit.

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    1. In all honesty it isn't that different. We all have our failings.

      The larger question is, as a feminist are you making an attempt on your own or within your community to take on those obligations. Do you know any prominent feminists attempting to persuade the women of society to at least take the step of adding women to the draft? To reference my response to Ms.Paradis if you see inequality and aren't doing anything about it then you really aren't for equality. Just like if you see a crime and do nothing you really aren't for the rule of law.

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    2. I cannot speak for Canada, but your comment is completely fallacious when it comes to rank and file feminists in the USA. Consider the equal rights Ammendment in the USA was defeated by a coalition led by Phyliss Schafly-a Havard educated attorney and stay-at-home mom who said that if the ERA Ammendment passed, it would have sweeping negative consequences for women. USA law currently allows women special legal status. They do not face conscription, they are given special rights in courts of law, they are given special rights via custody hearings etc. They are given Affirmative Action status even though they are the majority gender in USA society. They are given affirmative hiring status even though in government, they represent 66% of all employees. In the healthcare industry, they represent 96% of all employees and in education, they represent 94% of all employees. They are given special government grants and monies even though they represent 55% of all entrepenuers and are the majority of business supervisors and department heads. They represent 56% of the Judiciary. Women are given government funds for Child Rearing and they are never required to pay it back. Men on the other hand--once they sire a child--are required to financially sustain that child even when they have no direct input in the day-to-day rearing of that child--and they are hounded for the rest of their life to pay for the rearing of that child. Women on average live 10 years longer than men--but they retire at the exact same age, and are given the exact same benefits even though they live 10 years longer.
      I have never seen any feminist organization in the USA advocating for "equality"--LOL!!!! Are you sure we live on the same planet??? Oh and as this author eloquently mentions, no feminist has ever advocated equality by "demanding" that they be subject to the same conscription laws and policies that men are subjected to...by the way, I live on the planet Earth--what planet do you and your feminist friends reside on.

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  16. "Would these differences exist if women's roles through history were remotely as strenuous, onerous or dangerous as men's? If natural selection pressures on women had been as severe and rigorous as those placed on men?"

    Yeah, they might. Evolutionary biology doesn't work that way, shrewdly eyeballing visible features and coming up with plausible-sounding explanations. At best, that's a starting point for investigation.

    For it to go anywhere, you have to look at genetics. You have to look at variation. You have to look at the actual environmental facts. Did in fact tons of men fail to reproduce because they didn't have big bodies/beards/whatever feature you're focusing on today? This wink-wink nudge-nudge approach to evolutionary biology doesn't cut it.

    There are invariably many plausible-sounding evolutionary stories of how a certain feature came to be. At most one is correct. (At most, because sometimes the explanation turns out to be something you'd never thought of.)

    It is not the first time you make these lazy biological arguments. It's not the first time I call you out on it.

    Imagine if one day you could address an argument without resorting to ad hominid arguments.

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    1. >Imagine if one day you could address an argument without resorting to ad hominid arguments.

      GWW didn't make a single "ad hominid"(sic) argument in this video. Not one. Ad "hominid"(sic) arguments have nothing to do with speculative reasoning, which is all what you quoted is.

      >At best, that's a starting point for investigation.
      Which is exactly the point of speculative reasoning. Male and female animals look and behave differently in nearly every species of animals, and the main reason for this is, as you might've guessed, because the 2 sexes take on different roles. This is the default position. To speculate that this would somehow not be the case with humans requires extraordinairy evidence, and as such, the default position is most likely the correct one in this case.

      Your argument that "this wink-wink nudge-nudge approach to evolutionary biology doesn't cut it" would be completely fair if you were criticizing a paper, a thesis or research. However, this is merely speculation. Nothing more than that.

      Also, it's called ad-hominem.

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    2. In Raptors .....very few species of raptors are sexually dimorphic in color, females are larger....but both parents are invested in raising altricial young equally. In Species with precocial young, such as ducks, males have very little to do with the raising of young...and there is documented rape behavior in males. FYI

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  17. Commenting here for the first time, but I have followed your more or less groundbreaking videos on Youtube for quite a while. Just want to share this poster with you, from WW1. "A picture is worth a thousand words" as it is said:

    http://genusnytt.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/saygo.jpg







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  18. I loved this a lot. You are the best. Never stop existing, ideally.

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  19. A wonderful and dynamic presentation. But I have to mention a couple of points 1) Buddha was not fat, and while it is written that he gave up a lot, he received an enormous return in both fame and notoriety. 2) You make solid points, but Inuit culture--at least to our knowledge does not necessarily (nor do many indigenous cultures)see women's work as easy. They have mutually codependent gender roles--which are inculcated at birth--just like most societies. I really believe that neither could get along without the other. However this should not detract in any way from your overall point in which you state that men were just as " oppressed " as women. I have seen this on a first hand basis in dealing with the Amish. They have a very partriarchal society, but it is defacto ruled by women. Almost everything they do is focused on women and children. In Amish society men are literally the slaves in all but name. And while I agree with much of what you said, I think that men would not have it any other way.

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  20. I'm posting here as a first time poster and a first time viewer of your videos. Your thoughtfulness and thoroughness in your video are impressive.

    This video appears to be a very persuasive argument against certain arguments made by, possibly specific, feminists.

    There is something I find myself asking when I read all the way though the text of this on, perhaps it has already been answered in your other videos, setting aside rebutting someone else's view and your critiques of them or of how things have been in the past between men and women - what do you believe is the way things should be now?

    Do you believe that there should be complete equality between men and women in modern society?

    If so, what does that look like in your view - humans being more like the marmosets of your example?

    If not, how should things be unequal - perhaps you have another species other than marmosets in mind as an ideal?

    Do you believe that there is a place for defined "gender roles" in modern society?

    In the way you argue I sense a view, which I believe I share with you, that nurture ( the enculturation process ) and environment are more important that genetics in adult behavior.

    Am I correct in this assumption?

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  22. A couple questions. Why doesn't 'Western' feminism seem to much care about women in Muslim countries? Can the worst of Muslim countries be seen as 'patriarchies' in your opinion? For example, if a woman is raped, tells people she was raped and is then stoned to death for 'adultery', is that evidence of a 'patriarchy'? Would 'feminism' or at least woman's advocacy be appropriate in such a place?

    Well, feel free to focus your laser on me now. I know it's probably going to hurt. But I gotta know what you think.

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    1. Personally I would see those issues as what they are, human rights abuses.
      There is no need to break it down into gender, it's something that every right thinking person finds disgusting.

      Delete
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  25. Okay, so then let's talk about now. Women do not need men to reproduce. Furthermore, the population of the planet increases at three additional people per second, so reproducing is really not sane. Given that the climate is changing and the environment is in chaos, resourses are running out, and we are all in an endless war, what role do men and women play as distinct genders?

    As since you enjoy science we now have science attaching robotics to biological life, and biological life to science. In your quest for gender equality, do mention that you now compete with transhumans.

    Oh, and wars are now fought with robots.

    So you go to your fucked up job and support your kids. No one forced you to have them, and you ignored science and climate change and the increased wars for diminishing resources when you did.

    Seems to me the issue today is heterosexism, not feminism. The cult of heterosexism which endlessly breeds more kids onto a finite planet and makes up excuses when things go bad.

    As the ice caps melt, as fires rage, as drought spreads, as storm grow in intensity, you worry about feminism? I worry about heterosexism. It's time for you boys and girls to start wearing condoms, get vasectomy and tubiligations, and just stop it already. You're really fuckind things up around here!

    Heterosexism can be cured.

    Jim Ru

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    1. Why not be against breeding AND feminism which helps women breed without responsibility? I share your opposition to massive out-of-control human breeding.

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  26. I have a typo up there causing confusion. Science as attaching biological life to robots.

    I would ask, since robots are now doing the work that men did, do they now expect higher social status and more rights?

    Hope this blows your mind even further.

    jimisru@hotmail.com

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. Though I agree with you for 99% of your views, I have a small problem with some of your arguments; especially regarding perfectly symmetrical equality of the sexes goes. You are almost 100% correct that men’s work and women's work, in most cultures were very different - you are mostly referring to Greco/Roman and post-Greco-Roman times, and predominantly Eastern and the Eastern half of the Western peoples. Before Greece and Rome, and regarding the Western cultures of the Celts, Men and Women were roughly 90% equals in everything. They hunted together, warred together, ruled together. This fact has been almost written out of history, from the conquers - the Roman Empire then the male dominant Christian Church. We are now finding that women played an almost equal part in Celtic cultures with their male counterparts. Child rearing was the job of the entire tribe, both men and women equally. Yes, children were thought of as lessor beings than adults, but that was because they had so much to learn.

    Other than that, you are spot on! You Rock!

    Dea-shláinte do gach fir agus mná!

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  29. I've been watching your videos and I wanted to write in and thank you.

    I've always considered myself an enlightened gay male but I've never been able to align my thinking with feminism. Something didn't feel right about it, I thought maybe it just had to do with the language. Mostly though it just didn't describe the world I live in. one in which i've seen and experienced exactly the same amount of abuse and violence from men and women. In which women freely consider and choose carrers, and where my female family members can be strong and independent.

    I'm a nerd so when I don't understand something I research. So I researched feminism maybe there was something i was missing. When I couldn't find it I thought maybe i needed a male voice in feminism but what I found, i guess "did not feel informed by a male perspective" would be the polite way to put it. Then i tried MRA groups but what I found was a lot of hate and anger that I realy didn't posess or understand. Then I found you.

    So thank you. Thank you for presenting your ideas clearly and without hate so that i could absorb them. Thank you for being a woman fighting for a cause thats not yours beacuse i don't know if the message would have reached me if you had been a man (so much for enlightened huh)

    I needed to write in to tell you you've changed my thinking and possibly my life. I haven't felt this free since I cast off the shackles of the closet or Christanity

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  30. Once again well said, well researched and greatly illuminating. This is what happens when people do not consider both sides of an issue.
    Very early on, I really believed feminism (and feminists). It would not have occurred to me to put feminists assumptions into questions because my initial reaction was to agree with them without checking out where all of this came from. What happened, though, is that I started to disagree with feminism when I noticed several discrepancies between "feminism is all about gender equality" (y'know, the official party line) and what feminists themselves said about gender relations. Which was two different things. It became clear to me that hardline feminists do not care about men, and essentially see us as the enemy. Where's gender equality in that? To me feminism has descended into this: a ideological construct negating any and all opposition so that its more successful advocates can make a lot money out of, or simply give themselves a platform to spew out just about anything that pops into their heads.

    Cheers

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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!