You should add sources to your posts — Anonymous

Much of the time, we do; we always make sure to do so when we’re citing specific studies, for example.  In some cases, however, people can easily look up what we’re talking about through Google or Wikipedia, and so adding sources would be a waste of time for everyone involved.

Do you have any posts in mind?

-DJ

digitalversatiledoom:

For some reason I found myself in the anti-feminist tag and some of the posts just made me really sad…

I can understand why some people hate radical feminism on tumblr. I’ve seen a lot of posts that are utterly ridiculous by women (and men) who just hate men, and that’s not right.

However…

Feminism is about women and men being equal. Equal. No gender is better or worth more than the other(s), everyone gets the same pay for the same job, everyone should feel safe when walking home, no one should be raped, etc.

Feminism is not intrinsically about equality.  It’s a movement that often claims to be about equality, sure, but feminism’s actions often send a very different message.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that even though there is abuse on both sides it is mostly women who are affected by everyday sexism.

Are you so sure that it’s mostly women who are affected by everyday sexism?  Men make up a vast majority of prisoners, the homeless, workplace deaths and victims of violence, yet pretty much nobody cares.  Meanwhile, when women are hurt a substantial chunk of our society rises up in righteous indignation, so long as it’s not somehow related to religion.  Like others, men are stuck in an incredibly restrictive gender role, and virtually every extant Western example of people being denied actual, legal rights based on their gender involves men.  We’re not saying men are discriminated against more, but we are saying you can’t be so certain about women being the unambiguous primary victims.

Seeing other girls post that there is no need for feminism Western societies because “we’re all treated the same here” is kinda disappointing to me. Obviously, there are way worse things happening to women in third world countries but why does that mean we can’t change things here as well? Why is it one of the other, y’know?

People can fight for gender equality without being feminists.  When people are “against feminism,” that doesn’t necessarily put them in opposition to equality; in many cases, what they oppose is the questionable tactics and methodology common within the movement.

A recurring argument anti-feminists seem to use is that “feminists are victims who crumble as soon as a man makes a comment about her on the street”. Just because I want the right to not be stalked home at night by a stranger in a car, cat-called, sexually harassed, or groped when I walk to work doesn’t make me a victim. Just means I have personal boundaries.

If and when this argument is used, the antifeminist in question is probably wrong.  In such cases, you’re welcome to send them our way.  This having been said, feminism has had serious issues with exaggerating and misrepresenting situations that simply do not warrant it.

Before you go on another rant about the horrors of feminism… read some articles or books about it. Not tumblr posts. People who are radical-anything are usually taking something reasonable too far. Feminism isn’t bad. We don’t hate men. We don’t hate other women. Everyone should be equal and happy and do whatever the hell they want with their lives, whether it’s baking for your boyfriend/girlfriend or stripping or engineering or whatever. Just be cool to eachother.

/rant

It’s feminism that we have to thank for the Tender Years Doctrine (the original source of most custody disparities), primary aggressor policies (legally justifying unilateral male arrests in domestic disturbance cases), the Duluth Model (which entrenched an ideological view of domestic violence which erased male victims), the de facto elimination of due process in cases of rape (from the removal of corroboration and mens rea requirements to often-misused rape shield laws, one-sided anonymity provisions and unprecedented evidence admissibility expansions), and even a couple of (albeit unsuccessful) attempts in the U.K. to have prison terms for women abolished altogether.

Look at feminist gender violence activism.  Pick a campaign, any campaign, and what you’ll find is the erasure of male victims, the erasure of female perpetrators, and a complete lack of functional intersectionality.

Look at the 1 in 4 campaign.  Look at “Men can Stop Rape.”  Look at feminist influences on the rape laws of India and Israel.  Look at the behavior of feminist academics like Mary Koss and Hugo Schwyzer.  Look at the treatment of activists and academics like Erin Pizzey, Murray Straus, Donald Dutton and many others.

Obviously not all feminists are bad, but these are clear examples of areas where feminism is to blame for exacerbating gender issues.  Antifeminists aren’t necessarily against you: they’re against your stance and your movement, and rightfully so!  Before you go on another rant about antifeminism….start by trying to learn a little about it.

andi-sz:

“Brendan Rex, a 28-year-old who flew down from Manitoba, Canada, to attend the event, confided that he lost his virginity at the age of 14 when a woman climbed on top of him and had sex with him while he was drunk and unconscious. “It kind of took me a few years to come to terms with the concept that I had nowhere to go,” Rex said. “Then about six years ago I kind of realized that there were a lot of other people like me; it’s not uncommon for men to be sexually abused, it’s not uncommon for men to be sexually abused by women. But because there’s this lack of knowledge, there’s this lack of community — you’re completely isolated. You have no one to talk to who understands this.””

What I Learned as a Woman at a Men’s-Rights Conference,” Jessica Roy

And Rex, I have great empathy for you as a human being and as someone who has been assaulted.

Good to hear!

But no one is filming the rape of teenage boys and sharing it on public channels with the full knowledge that nothing will be done about it.

The very clear implication here is that this kind of thing is happening to women.  The problem, of course (for you, anyways) is that it isn’t: we dare you to name one instance of this happening in which the public didn’t immediately respond in outrage and the perpetrators weren’t punished in the court of law.

You speak of a lack of knowledge, and a lack of community. Consider that almost everyone in America witnessed the Steubenville rape through national coverage - and yet for us? For female victims? There is STILL no community. We are no more credible as victims than you are - and as Steubenville proved, even proof means nothing.

Right, because the boys involved weren’t promptly arrested, charged, and eventually convicted.  Oh, wait, that’s exactly what happened.

There are literally dozens of organizations set up specifically to help female victims, and that’s without getting into the government services and funding.  Rape victims face a pretty shitty situation, yes, but in terms of getting acknowledgement, help and eventual justice, women remain vastly ahead of men.

Mainstream culture does not take rape seriously, period. But show me a dude who believes in protecting little boys from Catholic priests and I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that you’re also showing me someone who thought the young women in Steubenville got “what was coming to her.”

So, to turn that around, what you’re saying is that anyone who thinks the young woman in Steubenville didn’t deserve what happened to her probably feels it’s perfectly fine to throw young boys under the bus.  Damn, that’s cold.

It’s about power. And it’s about who has credibility.

You need to build on these statements.  (And by “build,” we mean “say anything useful whatsoever.”)  Are you implying that men have dominance in all situations and levels?  By relating these two statements, are you implying that power leads to credibility?  If so, instances were men don’t have power would be problematic for your argument and oh, wait, look at the thing you’re quoting which presents a perfect example of exactly that.

This is not the Oppression Olympics but this is why I have a problem with the men’s rights movement as a whole. Our situation’s are not comparable. The ways the systems disadvantages us are not comparable. There is no global concept of misandry - it does not exist. As I type my spell-check here on Tumblr isn’t even acknowledging it as a fucking word.

Not the Oppression Olympics?  It normally isn’t, but that’s exactly what you’ve just tried to make it: you’re so focused on female victimhood that you completely dismiss the problem of rape as experienced by men.

Tumblr not recognizing a word doesn’t mean that the concept doesn’t exist, and frankly the dictionary argument is so common it deserves a fancy Latin name.  We’d also suggest some caution: remember, spellcheckers don’t recognize “intersectionality” or “transmisogyny” either.

The problems men face are not due to hatred of men - they are due to the burdens placed on them by a womanhating society that believes women incapable of heavy lifting. The toxic attitudes (espoused by both men and women) produce a hatred of woman and a hatred of the men who fail at masculinity.

We call this rhetorical technique reframing the issue.  It is worthwhile to note that Western society is relatively flexible in its gender roles, at least compared to many other societies and cultures.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s maybe somewhere in the middle, and while we still have quite a distance to go but….”womanhating”?  Really?  You can stop with the loaded language; it’s not even accurate even in most of the more extreme cases.

Setting that aside, though, even the extent to which Western society is restrictive in terms of gender roles still doesn’t support your argument.  See, Western society is actually pretty supportive of both men and women who stay within their assigned roles: it likesmasculine men and feminine women.  This is often sucks for the individual because people of all genders pretty well hit the spectrum of masculinity and femininity, but it’s nonetheless consistent.  How does society treat men and women who step out of these roles?  It depends on how far out of line they are…but even you must agree that society is more lenient on women displaying masculine traits than it is on men displaying feminine ones.

yiffiess:

dont assume im thinking this is real or not. I would like some argument points on why or not you agree? alright, let me share my point!

everyone knows misandry is a load of bullshit and isn’t even real. Cis men really have nothing to fear day to day. 

Men are the overwhelming majority victims of violence in nearly every category worldwide.  According to the United Nations they make up nearly 80% of homicide victims worldwide, are the majority homicide victims in 193 out of 203 countries, and in at least one developed country represent 80% of people who have suffered a violent attack by a stranger.

Men suffer both rape and domestic abuse at equal rates to women, yet are completely erased in most campaigns and policies relating to those subjects.  Indeed, men have far more to fear day-to-day than women, yet receive virtually no gendered support to alleviate what represents a truly massive inequality in violent victimhood.

Furthermore, judicial bias against men is so commonplace as to often go unremarked, and as a result men make up a vast majority of prisoners in nearly every nation on earth.

How, then, is misandry a “load of bullshit”?

The other day, I asked about “is transMISANDRY a thing?” I think it can sound pretty ridiculous but listen wait.

Transmisogyny is still something I am trying to 100% understand, but I do understand it is the hatred of trans girls and trans women? 

Of course, I brought this up a couple times and was told transmisandry cannot be a thing because I am not getting hate for being a BOY! Well, I can argue with that. I get constant hate for being a boy? Because, one, cis people and truscums do not believe I am a real boy. I cannot be a trans boy to those people? 

I honestly think that transmisogyny is worse than transmisandry, but I still think transmisandry is something that happens? pls gimme ur viewpoints and why you see that way! I rly wanna hear people’s opinions on this

Here, we actually agree with you.  While trans men face a different set of issues than trans women - although they both face transphobia -  they’re still discriminated against in unique ways.

For one, they are erased from health care studies, leading to an information black hole on their health issues.

Expelling Radicals: A Guide For Feminists

coeur-de-porcelaine:

cunicular:

permutationofninjas:

We often talk about how radicals have tainted the feminist movement.  Most feminists aren’t willing to even admit that there’s a problem, but the few that do tend to ask a simple question: “how do we fix it?”  This is for you guys.

Being completely, brutally honest, our opinion is that for the most part feminism has long since passed the point of no return: the problems are so deep in the movement that “salvaging” it would probably look more like “burning it to the ground and starting again”.

However, if we had to give suggestions, they would be this:

  • Retake control of feminist academia.  It’s one of the biggest reserves of bigotry, it’s been a sanctuary for radscum, and it’s creating much of the….academically suspect research that the bigots in the rest of the movement feed on.  It also creates bigotry in people who aren’t themselves bigots, just ignorant of the facts.  Commit yourselves to finding accurate information and getting accurate results, even if those contradict the things you believe.
  • Revisit basically everything you think you know about how our society works.  Most of what you guys (think you) know is the product of the aforementioned radicals.  This includes about 90% of the statistics that most feminists “just know” are true.  Rapethe wage gapdomestic violenceglass ceiling, you name it, there are serious problems with the existing research.  Some things, like the “rule of thumb” and “Super Bowl Sunday” anecdotes are outright myths.
  • Call out the radicals when you see them.  When radscum hold a conference, or vent their bigotry in public, they do more damage to your movement than pretty much everyone else put together.  Even most of the nastier MRAs do genuinely want equality, they just default to tactics similar to the earlier waves of feminism because the MRM is now where you guys were then.  Radscum, not so much, and they taint everything you claim to stand for among the general public.  A handful of nutballs managed to pull together almost a hundred people for a screaming, angry mob to protest Warren Farrell, one of the least objectionable guys in existence.  Don’t tell me you can’t do better for people who are far, far worse than even the the worst lies regarding Dr. Farrell.
  • Start cooperating with MRAs, and understand that they’re going to be pretty damn suspicious of you for something between “a while” and “forever”.  Your movement has done horrible damage to the causes they’re fighting for, and that means you’ve got a hell of a stigma to work off.  The biggest contribution you can make to this is the point above.  MRAs will be a lot more willing to work with you if it feels like you’re working with them.
  • Stop putting them in charge of large chunks of your movement.  Look at the history of the leadership of NOW if you don’t believe me.  It’s a problem.

Put these all together, and you’ve denied radfems their refuge in academia, rejected their research and “statistics” where inaccurate (that is, most of the time), stopped letting them walk around unopposed, worked with other people seeking equality to demonstrate your commitment to it (trust me, they won’t stick around for that), and denied them leadership positions pretty much anywhere.  They won’t be able to keep claiming your support when every time they speak they have to do it over a chorus of “you don’t support us”, especially when they can no longer claim academic or organizational legitimacy and actually have to pay for their own expenses.

If you can genuinely say that you (or your feminist organization) works (and ideally succeeds) at all of these, we have no quarrel with you.  We may think you’re idealistic, but you’re no longer part of the problem and may actually have the capacity to be part of the solution.

Wow yeah lets get rid of the women in feminism and replace them with men, not just men, but men from part of a fucking hate group for women.

Is this real? What the fuck?

ITT: permutationofninjas, an anti-feminist MRA, tries to appeal to feminists to dismantle feminist activism by exploiting tumblr libfems’ misunderstanding of radical feminism.

We aren’t talking about radical feminism (the school of thought), we’re talking about radical feminism (feminism involving extremist rhetoric and behavior).  Much of the former falls into the latter, but there are plenty of radical feminists who you’d describe as “libfems.”

For fuck’s sake, Warren Farrell ihas his own damn tag on wehuntedthemammoth, and amon other things says deep down women really want to be raped.  But he’s one of the least objectionable guys ever, according to MRAs…which is pretty telling about what MRAs truly are and what ”equality” is to them. 

Frankly, it’s not worth the bother to respond to anything from the site formerly known as “manboobz.”

edit: can’t believe I left out the best. 

BEFORE DATE RAPE…WE CALLED IT EXCITING! Laws against rape are just putting men in jail who were trying flirt and court women!

In spite of our prior statement, this particular example stands out as emblematic of Futrelle’s usual bullshit.  Despite claiming to provide context, he ignores virtually everything that could have been important or relevant and completely ignores the surprisingly numerous times Farrell has clarified the intended meaning of the passage.  In the process, he repeatedly pries the worst possible meaning from the text even when it’s trivially obvious that it wasn’t the intended one, even going so far as to repeatedly attack an entire section based on his clear mischaracterization of a simple analogy.  This is entirely typical behavior from Futrelle, and one of the main reasons he’s so popular with people like you.  What a surprise.

If you want us to actually do anything other than laugh at you, how about trying for a source that’s at least remotely credible.

Is misandry and racism towards whites real? — Anonymous

artemissoteira:

I feel like this depends on how you define the terms. By your definitions, yes, sure, they exist.

It’s first important to remember that these aren’t just our definitions, they’re common-use definitions that have arisen naturally.  There are some, like you, who wish to redefine terms to suit their ideological ends, but in the end we have to call that what it is: they’re co-opting existing language that already belongs to others, not the other way around.

But we who disagree with you are using the terms in context of societal oppression. Are whites oppressed? No. Are men oppressed? No. Can there be prejudice against them? Yes.

Could you give an explanation of your definition of “oppression” and “societal oppression”?  Under your definition, do you believe that women are currently oppressed in the First World?  How about in the United States?  Do you believe that Afrikaners are currently oppressed?

By your definition, does oppression require an “oppressor class,” and if so, can you define what you mean by that term?  Can the oppressor class itself be oppressed?

But the terms “racism” and misandry’s conjugate “misandry” are commonly used by already existing communities to refer to experiences of oppression.

Could you explain what you mean by “‘racism’ and misandry’s conjugate ‘misandry’”?  You’re not quite coming through.

Regardless, if we’re understanding you correctly this calls back to our earlier point: these words have preexisting definitions already in common use.  You are doing the co-opting, not the other way around.

It’s my opinion that to use those terms for the experience of oppressORs fundamentally undermines the ability of the oppressed to speak about their experiences. It sidelines them, particularly when people jump in on discussions of women’s oppression to talk about prejudice against men. Things that are not parallel and not relevant to the discussion. Parallelling the two asymmetric situations devalues those who experience oppression and robs us of the ability to speak on that oppression with the terms that have come to be accepted — regardless of the dictionary definitions of those words, which may indeed support what you are claiming.

Does belonging to a particular race or gender mean that you can’t be assaulted, murdered, or suffer institutional discrimination?  Speaking personally, I use accepted common-use language to describe discrimination against others.  Does that at all alter my ability to describe what happens to me as a POC trans woman?

The use of this language does not preclude derailing.  And, while derailing can definitely be harmful, even you must admit that discussions on women’s issues often fail to be intersectional and inclusive.  Oftentimes, the plight of men is similar, relevant, and parallel to the plight of women, and this is not acknowledged nearly enough.

You say whether racism oppresses someone or not is irrelevant, but that’s not how the broader social justice community uses the term.  We don’t talk about racism as separate from oppression; racism is a form of oppression. Racism against white people, in that context, cannot exist.

Sure.  However, the way the “broader social justice community” uses the term is also not how the “rest of the world” uses the term.  You can play the “wider group” game if you want, but it’s really not going to work here.

At this point, it might be more profitable for you to just acknowledge what you’re doing for what it is: an attempt to control the terms of the debate in order to manipulate people’s emotional responses.  ”Racism” (just like all -isms) comes with connotations and emotional impact.  By attempting to force people from certain groups to use different terminology, you attempt to delegitimize their claims without having to address their content.  In short, the goal is to force them away from the commonly accepted vernacular, and in doing so open an avenue for attack on their argument.

It’s not a bad tactic, but it’s also certainly a dishonest and underhanded one.

Prejudice against white people, sure, but that’s an entirely different issue. There’s no structural oppression against white people reinforced with the bloody slaughter and/or enslavement of our people for centuries.

Are you really ignorant of the Afrikaaners?  The Barbary slave trade?  The entire Ottoman empire?  If you wish to remain ignorant to historical oppression against your people, be my guest, but don’t try to spread your ignorance to others.

To use the same word distracts from the discussion of the oppressed.

How?  Please tell me.  How?  It doesn’t for me!  If it distracts you, that’s your problem, because everyone else seems to be doing just fine.

permutationofninjas:

To put it bluntly, yep.

To put it less bluntly, racism is defined as discrimination/prejudice towards someone’s race. Whether or not this oppresses someone is irrelevant. As for misandry, it means ‘the hatred of/contempt/prejudiced towards men.’ Since this site already displays that kind of behaviour proudly, as do others offline, yes, misandry exists.

There are enough spaces for white people and for men. Shouldn’t this one, if nothing else, these words which are currently in use as a forum for discussing oppression, be left to us?

Again, that simply isn’t what you’re asking for.  What you’re asking for is for others to change their language to suit your wants.  If you really want that so badly, you’re at least going to have to come up with a better justification, because this one makes no sense whatsoever.

efaston:

Feminists be like:
Hey guys, check out these ridiculously damaging attitudes to women from CNN, leading politicians, schools, the judiciary, employers, the general public, police, doctors, and people women have to deal with any time they go outside.

Men’s rights dudes be like:
Hey guys, check out these ridiculous attitudes to men on a blog post I found.

Men’s rights activists be like:

Hey guys, check out these these ridiculously damaging attitudes towards men throughout society and government which lead to things like bias against men in court, erasure of male victims of violence and assault, and complete ignorance of the problems men face.

Feminists be like:

Hey guys, check out this song I found offensive.

Men are victimized at an institutional level, just as other genders are.  Do you not think that these problems should be solved?  Do you not realize that erasing and minimizing these issues is just going to make it harder to fight for gender equality?

sassdorki:

I don’t think it’s possible to fight for too many causes at the same time.

What do you mean by this?  Are you seriously trying to say that people should all be required to fight for the same cause, and no others?

Take feminism for example. 

Men can’t stand when it’s not about them. They need MRA. 

Like, yes, I understand the men have feelings, but can we focus on the feelings of the main party right now? They’ve been oppressed so long.

Yes, yes, not all men, we get it. It is true, but the point is the women right now. How can anything be done when we’re like Yes this about women, but then not all men

No one will listen to the truth and problem at hand. Like let’s focus on the people that need it right now.

The MRM doesn’t exist because “men can’t stand when it’s not about them.”  It exists because men, like women, are victims of societal discrimination.  In the case of men, this involves a slew of issues such as biases against men in the legal system and the erasure of male victims of violence and assault.

Women aren’t the “main party,” and haven’t really been hurt by the gender binary any longer than others have.  If you genuinely want to play Oppression Olympics, though, should we just ignore cis people to focus on trans issues?

Men are already protected. Women are not. Don’t silence the victim.

It’s funny that you’re saying men are “protected” while women aren’t, because one of the biggest issues for men is that they’re not protected nearly well enough in comparison to women.  Men make up a vast majority of prisoners, the homeless, workplace deaths, and victims of violence and murder, yet pretty much nobody cares.  Meanwhile, when women are hurt a substantial chunk of our society rises up in righteous indignation, and so long as it’s not in some way related to religion that includes both sides of the political spectrum.  It’s also somewhat funny to see you saying not to silence victims, because that’s exactly what you’re trying to do right now; you’re flat out saying that men shouldn’t talk about the societal problems they face because you care about other problems more.

just when did gender identity become so important? maybe it's because i've lived under a metaphorical rock all my life, but all this stuff about binaries and the lack thereof and whatever is totally new to me. — Anonymous

simonmarrell:

permutationofninjas:

It’s possible you’re using a different definition of “sex” than we are, which may be confusing the issue.  If you’re referring purely to the unambiguous physical characteristics that make up sex without including any elements of categorization, what you’re saying makes sense.  However, at that point we’d argue that you’re oversimplifying and ignoring the overall issue. […] And yet these original distinctions didn’t come from activists, they came from legitimate medical researchers.  How is this trying to “fool nature”?

The question of sex isn’t that hard to define.  The example of AIS is a good one.  The developing fetus “misses” the instructions to become male.  While the genes are indeed indicative of being male, basically all other sex characteristics are female.  There’s too many sex characteristics for any one person to be 100% male characteristics, 0% female (or vice versa).  But the vast majority of people fall so close to being clearly in one group or the other it presents a very clear categorization.  How close?  Only about 1 out of about 33,000 fall outside these very clear categories. Furthermore, we see this same classification throughout the animal kingdom.  It clearly has an origin that is based upon some natural process, not some arbitrary interpretation.

Yes, there is clearly natural process involved, which is why there is such a clear bimodal curve in terms of sex characteristics.  The socially constructed aspect is how we as a society categorize people based on those characteristics, which characteristics are used and how they’re weighted, and where the resulting lines are drawn between categories.  None of these lines are “natural,” because there’s no need for nature to draw them; nature just lets things work out on their own.

Human genetics certainly seems to specify two sex archetypes (not one, three, five, or any other number), but those come with considerable variation.  The human element comes in when we (people, not nature) start defining the boundaries of “normal” variation and categorizing people outside those boundaries.  Few people display 100/0, so some level of variation is “normal,” but where is the line drawn?  Is it 95/5?  90/10?  80/20?  That’s not nature, that’s not biology, that’s not genetics, that’s social process.  Likewise, what about someone sitting at 51/49?  At that point, which characteristics we use (and how we weight them) can easily tip things one way or another, but at that point we also have to ask whether such a classification is even meaningful.  Again, that’s not nature, that’s not biology, that’s not genetics, that’s social process.

We’re not sure where you’re getting 1 in 33,000 from, but from what we can tell that’s very far off.  At least five different conditions generally considered to be intersex conditions (Klinefelter’s, AIS, CCAH, LOCAH and vaginal agenesis) each occur at rates far higher than 1 in 33,000, and at least some estimates have placed the frequency of genital normalization surgery at around 1 in 1,000, vastly higher than what you suggest.  That having been said, you may be setting a significantly higher bar for “ambiguous or non-standard” than surgeons.

I would posit that viewing sex as socially constructed is simplifying the question.  Nature provides us with a very clear distinction.  That doesn’t mean that’s the best way to classify people, nor that our social norms should be bound to it.  The social aspect of sex, which is complicated and where cultural history and personal understanding become relevant, is there to address what sex means.  Sex itself is a very clear, largely unambiguous classification.

The issue is not whether sex is a visible phenomenon, nor even whether human biology is set up for sex-differentiation or how many sexes should be expected.  Those are all entirely settled questions, without any significant scholarly debate.  The corner cases, on the other hand, are not, and that’s where the answers are really most important.

permutationofninjas:

Gender identity (or, rather, gender itself) became important when scientists in a variety of fields began to draw a distinction between sex (biological dimorphism) and gender (psychological and behavioral dimorphism).  This first arose from medical research on intersex people (people whose biology doesn’t strictly conform to the male/female binary), but then spilled over into a number of other fields.

Basically, scientists noticed that the ways people feel and behave don’t always correspond to social stereotypes of what they should based on biology, and that socially-appropriate behavior for a given sex can vary considerably across different cultures and time periods.  From this, they concluded that gender is to some degree “socially constructed,” meaning that the biological attributes and differences composing sex (including any tendencies and predispositions that come with them) are given extended meaning by society rather than having meaning pre-included.  This can be seen from the way definitions of masculinity and femininity vary across cultures, and how different cultures treat those who fail to conform by virtue of being intersex (and failing to fit into the standard male/female dichotomy) or by violating the social norms attached to their sex and its assigned gender.  In turn, sex is also socially constructed, because while the individual characteristics (genes, physical structures, hormones) are largely unambiguous, our interpretation and the meaning we give them isn’t.  For example, in most Western cultures there is a strict sex binary: you’re male, or female, and if you don’t fit into one of those boxes that’s a problem which needs correcting.  In some other societies, however, intersex people are identified as a “third sex” and given their own box.  Rather than being “anomalous,” they’re simply “different,” a progression that can be seen today in the acknowledgement of many modern physicians that intersex people may be rare, but are nonetheless normal and don’t require any correcting.

This reasoning can likewise be applied to gender.  Just like most Western societies draw a strict line between “male” and “female” leaving no space in between, they draw a strict line between “men” and “women” and associate those categories explicitly with the corresponding sexes.  That’s the “gender binary,” which is called that because there are only two mutually-exclusive options.  The problem is that gender is even more complicated than sex: hormones aren’t visible, most people don’t see you naked in daily life, and most people also leave matters of biology to doctors and other medical professionals.  On the other hand, gender is socially displayed and encompasses almost everything we do, not to mention being far flexible and changeable than biology.  The reason this has all come to the forefront is two main groups, transgender activists and feminists, who take issue with it for similar but distinct reasons.  For trans* people, the binary is a problem because many trans* people directly cross it, but effectively all significantly violate it.  With this comes the interrelated phenomenon of “non-binary” people.  While some will strongly defend it, in large part they simply seem to represent cases where (not unreasonably) a person doesn’t want to deal with the restrictions of either gender role, nor the social fallout of accepting a role they’re likely to contravene in a number of ways.  Feminists, on the other hand, take specific issue with the supposedly restrictive nature of the feminine gender role.  They target the gender binary because of its perceived effects on women, and focus largely on expanding on the acceptable range of gender expression for women.  This has a number of problems, not the least of which being their frequent reinforcement of the (equally restrictive) masculine gender role and the binary itself.

To summarize, gender identity and the gender binary have become increasingly important because people are more aware of the implicit restrictions society places on people based on things like sex and gender, but also of how arbitrary and irrelevant those categories can be.

The medical research lead to progress from the long-held ideas that only a few particular characteristics determined sex, and that gender and sex were identical.  A penis or vagina alone does not determine sex.  Neither does genetics.  Not bone structure, not brain activity.  The breakthrough was that all these things together DO very clearly define sex, with some more and some less understood exceptions.  The social significance is that we finally understood that sex-indeterminate individuals arise out of otherwise entirely normal biological processes.

Medical research identified the complexity of the sex-differentiation process and obsoleted the idea that a one-factor test could effectively determine sex.  In addition, it identified and distinguished sex and gender as different and partially independent characteristics.  The end result of this process, among other things, was a better understanding of how sex-indeterminate individuals come to be.

However, you are still completely ignoring the role of value judgments in the definition of sex.  Even with clinicians using a multitude of different characteristics and tests, there is still a human element present in the definition (and often application) of those tests which inevitably inserts an element of social construction.  One way or another, at some point a doctor had to say “this sex characteristic is more important than that one.”  It’s still human beings drawing the lines, no matter how complicated or precise the lines get, and their hand is influenced by the social world in which they live.

sadlipoetic:

permutationofninjas:

sadlipoetic:

permutationofninjas:

sadlipoetic:

permutationofninjas:

[snipped]

Let’s look at it from another angle though, the problems in the feminist movement are a really good reason NOT to get behind the MRM. The MRM will only harbor more bigots and sexists as it grows. The egalitarian types in the MRM won’t can’t deny the ass holes(I have witnessed some disgusting behavior from MRAs and feminists alike mind you)the title of men’s rights activists any more than egalitarian type feminists can cry NAFALT and make the misandrists disappear. Of course none of this is relevant to you if you are an MRA who is not inherently anti feminist and simply want both movements to get along. Which is fine but I really wish people wouldn’t lump egalitarians up with MRAs because they aren’t interchangeable and many egalitarians do not want to be associated with the term.

We’ve actually discussed two different aspects of this argument previously here and here.  The short answer is that the MRM and feminism are very different, particularly in terms of organization.  The MRM is self-critical in a way that feminism isn’t, and has much stronger roots in empiricism and data-driven advocacy.  Most importantly, it has largely avoided the Marxist and post-modernist leanings which have characterized so much problematic feminist ideology.

A second issue is that a huge number of the people who are labeled as “MRAs,” aren’t.  No, this isn’t just another permutation of “NAFALT,” nor is it a “No True Scotsman” argument.  In NAFALT, the point is to argue that the behavior of some subgroup (whether minority or majority) shouldn’t reflect on the image of the group as a whole, and that people can’t hold the wider group responsible for their actions done in its name.  A “No True Scotsman” is used to retroactively exclude otherwise viable examples by inserting a retroactive premise regarding group membership, rendering the argument circular and begging the question.  Both of these are very commonly used by feminists, but also appear frequently in the more general social justice community.

Here, however, the label of “MRA” is being applied by others to people who neither self-identify as MRAs, nor have any connection to the movement.  In short, it’s being used as a combination of a shaming tactic toward the individual and a smear campaign toward MRAs in general.  This behavior takes a variety of forms, from the banal to the ridiculous: on one hand, any anonymous hate or criticism towards a prominent feminist is usually attributed to MRAs regardless of any evidence (or, for that matter, whether the feminist managed to piss off a large and vitriolic chunk of the internet, *cough* Anita *cough*), on the other we see groups like the SPLC trying to label a mass murderer an MRA based on the fact that he once took a pickup artist class.

The reason feminists can’t cry “NAFALT” and make the misandrists disappear is that the misandrists are embedded in every level of their movement.  Indeed, they have a strong influence on the overall actions of the movement, and there are virtually no efforts by those “egalitarian-type feminists” to remove them or deprive them of power and influence.  After all, why would they?  Even most moderate feminists still take full advantage of the misandrists: they provide a scapegoat for feminist misbehavior, they produce a never-ending stream of questionable academic research, and they can get their hands dirty in a way that moderates can’t without damaging their credibility.

The egalitarian MRAs can’t deny bigots the label, but they can deny them power and influence.  They can self-police.  They can speak out against bigotry even when it comes from people who call themselves “allies.”  And the funny thing?  An awful lot of them do.

Kay but that’s not the reason feminists can’t deny misandrists the title of feminist.

No, that’s a completely separate issue.

It’s because feminist is a self label. And so is MRA. I’ve witnessed egalitarian feminists policing feminism. Saying that feminists or MRAs consistently do or don’t self police or that either behaves one way or another more often is largely generalization.

Of course it’s a generalization, but that doesn’t make it invalid when we’re addressing the situation at a movement level.

MRAs CANT deny misogynists the title of MRA. Even if you consider MRA an adjective rather than label, because misogynists can rally for men’s rights and therefore be MRAs.

No, they can’t, but we don’t claim they can.  What they can do is deny them power, influence and purchase within the movement, the exact opposite of what feminism has done.

It is exactly the same thing as NAFALT. I don’t see how you’ve actually disputed that?

No, it’s not.  NAFALT is “don’t judge my movement just because my movement is bigoted.”  This is “don’t judge a movement based on others’ inaccurate labeling of people who are not and do not claim to be a part of it.”  In NAFALT not only do the bigots label themselves feminists, they’re widely accepted within the movement.  On the other hand, the people we’re talking about don’t accept the label, nor are they involved with the movement in any capacity.

Basically, we’re talking about the purposeful labeling by others of misogynists as MRAs in an attempt to make the movement look bad.  We’re not arguing that they’re not “real” MRAs, we’re pointing out that they’re not any kind of MRA.

You can not predict or prevent self labeled or active MRAs from partaking in the behaviors you have deemed to make the feminists different from the MRAs. And even if they don’t display the same tendencies and behavior patterns as feminism it can and will be problematic.

No, we can’t.  That doesn’t make a difference, though.  Neither does it make your criticism here founded.  We may not be able to predict or prevent MRAs from behaving in such a fashion, but we can note from an observational perspective that by and large they do not engage in such behaviors.

But I think maybe you’ve missed that I’m against gender labels for equality movements altogether, I don’t need proof that an inherently bad thing pans out badly in the eyes of those who don’t think it’s inherently bad in order to stand against it.

But I’m sure your argument stands for those who’s problem with feminism lies with it’s behaviors rather than the principle of its behaviors.

We haven’t “missed” it so much as we don’t consider it relevant.  Your stance doesn’t change a thing when it comes to the validity of your arguments, because you haven’t yet successfully asserted or defended that stance.

You are so confused about what we are even talking about. My argument was not that MRAs do anything as a group. It was that the movement can and will be misused.

Every movement that has ever existed has been misused.  That isn’t enough to justify abandoning them all.  Movements should be abandoned when their misuse becomes a clear trend, the rule rather than the exception, and begins to derail the overall work or impact of the movement.

I have seen SELF LABELED MRAs displaying misogynistic attitudes and extremely flawed logic and arguments. The community is not without philosophical issue and if you think that it’s inherently any better than feminism than I really don’t know what to tell you or where you are coming from.

"Inherently"?  No.  Practically, yes.  The conditions in which the MRM exists and was created in make it less likely to “go bad” than feminism, in part because it’s developed in the shadow of a movement which has provided a stellar example of precisely what not to do.  The problem here is that you’re drawing a false dichotomy between “perfect” and “bad,” which in turn leads you to incorrectly equate “imperfect” (the MRM) with “awful” (most modern feminism).  There’s room for shades of grey: neither movement may be perfect, but that doesn’t mean that they’re equally problematic.

But the MRA is much less influential and respected than feminism and you can not discount that effect on how much of what it is we can see and predict. You can’t judge the MRA against feminism because they simply aren’t even on the same level.  But just as a can judge the feminist movement on what I see from feminists I judge the MRA based on what I see from people who call themselves MRAs. And they are toxic and problematic and they DO misuse the movement.

As the MRM grows, it will likely change.  If it changes enough, and in the wrong ways, that may eventually justify its abandonment.  However, our judgments regarding the MRAs we’ve dealt with run largely counter to yours, and we can pretty well guarantee that our experience with them outweighs yours by at least an order of magnitude.

But my assertion is literally just that gender bias is bad for an equality movement no matter what that movement does or has done. Because it can and will be misused. You still have made no argument against it whatsoever and continue to ignore what I’m saying entirely while you amuse yourself with whatever imaginary conversation you are having.

Do you really think focusing on certain kinds of inequality automatically makes you biased?  Is that really your assertion?  None of your arguments had anything to do with that idea at all, and that idea is so stupid that you’ll have to pardon us for not realizing that it was your entire point.

It was you who responded to me first,

Actually, no.  It’s you who reblogged us first (unless you happen to also run browsingmymind).  Not that it matters, of course.

and yet you are completely trying to change the issue we are discussing so that you can argue a different stance than one I ever asserted at all. I don’t even know what you think My point was. And you just admitted you literally consider my entire stance irrelevant to the conversation. Even though this conversation is in response to that very stance.

We’re arguing against what you’ve actually said, not what you think you said.  The fact that you seem to be confused about what you have written is entirely on you.

And you are really confused about the point of my statements about feminism and misandry where if you legitimately think that that’s a separate issue. Do you honestly think that being able to deny the title works different for feminists than it does for MRAs?

We don’t.  Please reread our responses and come back to us.

I am talking about MRAs misusing the movement and that has been abundantly clear from the beginning yet you continue to claim that because feminists mislabel misogynists as MRAs that that somehow means that self labeled MRAs won’t be misogynists or misuse the movement.

That’s not what we’ve been arguing, and if you actually read our responses, that would be clear.

You keep trying to pretend I at some point was talking about misogynists being labeled as MRAs when that was something you where trying to bring into a conversation it was never relevant to.

The original conversation was about two things: individuals being labeled as MRAs, and NAFALT.  You then butted in talking about misogyny within the MRM, while apparently thinking that you were talking about inherent flaws in gender-focused movements.  Everything that we’ve been saying has been completely relevant.  Your responses, less so.

ms-steeleyourman:

rotmeat:

permutationofninjas:

[snipped]

I’m also majoring in sociology (I’m dual-majoring in sociology and gender studies) and I want to second the fact that the SJW definition of racism/discrimination isn’t used in an academic context - or at least, not commonly enough that I’ve ever seen it in sociology (though I believe I did once come across that definition in a gender studies class, the professor wasn’t necessarily endorsing that view, just presenting the argument for discussion). The basic definition I was taught was that racism = unwarranted prejudice or discrimination, often based on stereotypes, that may be direct or indirect, and may be personal or structural.

I think most sociologists would stress that we’re making an analysis at the level of social groups, not individuals, however, and some whites may be worse off than some blacks, so in that sense it’s completely contrary to the SJW definition, which typically overgeneralizes and oversimplifies the principle.

The (extremely basic) definition I found on a sociological dictionary online pretty much mirrors the common one:

http://sociologydictionary.org/racism/

vs 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/racism

The About.com page also seems to make the point that anyone can discriminate, though it does add that some forms of discrimination are obviously more harmful or prevalent than others:

http://sociology.about.com/od/Ask-a-Sociologist/fl/Whats-the-Difference-Between-Prejudice-and-Racism.htm

A more nuanced (and dry) discussion about discrimination that’s more typical of what you’d get in a non-introductory sociology class is here:

http://edu.learnsoc.org/Chapters/5%20major%20sociological%20topics/9%20discrimination.htm

Suffice it to say, the SJW definition of “racism = privilege + power” is incredibly oversimplified compared to what you’d use in sociology.

Just trying to bring up what I learned in my fucking sociology class this year. But I’m so glad my opinion is ao fucking fascinating to everyone

Look, we’re going to try to break this down as much as we can for you in the hopes that it will make some kind of sense.  First, it’s not that your opinion is particularly interesting, it’s that we actually care about educating people.  Also, seeing someone walk into the Dunning-Kruger effect face-first is just painful.  (Just to be clear, we’re responding to ms-steeleyourman.  Rotmeat did an excellent job, and we’d recommend the last link to followers interested in a more detailed look.)

You posted a long and rambling monologue with an impressive array of spelling, grammar and formatting issues.  It contained no evidence to support the claim you were making (nor even a reference to it), and consisted mostly of you repeating the exact same thing over and over.  We called you out on it, pointing out the lack of evidence and doing out best to point out the flaws in the overall logic for good measure.

At that point, what did you do?  Did you go “whoops, clearly I fucked up and should think things through a little more carefully before running around condescendingly trying to ‘educate’ people”?  Nope.  You doubled down, coupling an appeal to your own authority with some impressive leaning on some very informed writing ability.  (You know, if ever there were a time to proofread a post, that would have been it.)  On top of that, you quite literally didn’t respond to anything we actually said while accusing us of having nothing to say.

Finally, you got snapped at, by one of our admins who is (while not an expert) vastly more qualified than you to comment, and has a particularly familiarity with these areas of theory due to his ongoing advocacy.  On top of that, a very nice passerby dropped in and gave a rather gentle and detailed explanation along with several sources that would help you to better understand the issue.  That was rather nice of them, wasn’t it?  Maybe you should thank them for that.

At that point you’ve got responses from not one but two people who actually have some accredited experience, and you’re pretty clearly in the wrong.  Your response?  ”OMG guise, I wuz just trying to show off this thing I lernd at college this year!!”  (Okay, okay, your spelling and grammar were actually okay this time.)  Thing is, there’s a big difference between “trying to bring up what I learned in class” and spewing out a long and condescending diatribe aimed at teaching people a “lesson,” then not even bothering to hit the “spellcheck” button.  Seriously, fail.  All you had to do, at literally any point in this process, was go “whoops, I messed up.”  You didn’t.  Hell, you still haven’t, which is pretty much why we’re writing this in the first place.  Is it really that hard to admit that despite getting a decent grade in an introductory sociology course you’re still sometimes wrong about stuff?

You fucked up.  It happens.  Learn from your mistakes….it’s worked out pretty well for us.

A, W, U, and N — Anonymous

iamnotamuffin:

A. If you could get away with one murder in your lifetime without any legal, social, or emotional repercussions, would you kill someone?

I probably would, but they’d have to be a huge scumbag that the world is better off without anyway.

W. The men’s rights movement, legitimate cause or laughable, and why?

I disagree with MRAs, because men’s rights is basically the social norm. But I think a lot of MRAs would change their minds if explained to what feminism actually is.

U. If you were old enough and not in a situation where it would be inappropriate, would you sleep with one of your (past) school teachers/professors?

Nope

N. What was the worst nightmare you ever had?

It’s hard to narrow down, but occasionally i’ll have nightmares about seeing friends/family getting murdered or dying and those always freak me out for a few days

How are men’s rights basically the social norm?  Just as others are, men are stuck in an incredibly restrictive gender role, and virtually every extant Western example of people being denied actual, legal rights based on their gender involves men.

Why do you think MRAs would change their minds if someone explained feminism to them?  First off, are you really entirely ignorant of how many MRAs used to be feminists?  For that matter, do you really think that MRAs are entirely unfamiliar with what feminism “really” is and does?  Do you have any idea how arrogant and patronizing you’re being?

The vast majority of MRAs know exactly what feminism is, and a surprisingly large portion of them used to be feminists themselves.  The difference is that they don’t judge feminism based on what people like you say, or what various different feminists claim feminism is, they judge it based on the visible results: the impact feminism has.  Unfortunately, judging feminism based on its behavior tends not to paint a pretty picture.

That’s not their fault.

The MRM isn’t inherently against feminism, but looking at feminism’s general failure at intersectionality with regards to men, constant attacks on anything remotely resembling men’s issues being addressed, and general flair for academic dishonesty and fact-fudging, can you really blame MRAs for getting a bit hostile?