Should the MRM be more intersectional?

I’m beginning to think that the men’s rights movement could benefit from paying attention to how anti-male bias affects certain marginalized groups.

Think of the stigma surrounding relationships between black men and white women, compared to our (relative) indifference towards relationships between white men and black women.  In the latter case, we’re naturally inclined to see the white woman as a victim, not only because we view male sexuality as predatory and dangerous, but also because of our fear and distrust towards black people in general.  The black man’s identity as a male and his identity as a black person are intertwined.

We’ve addressed some of this directly in a recent post, though it’s come up a number of times.  To make a long story short, the MRM does actually do this.  Unfortunately, it’s hampered by the way men belonging to other marginalized groups have been socialized to blame any issues they suffer on their “acceptable” demographic in a way that precludes any analysis of gender as a source.

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

zerokku:

permutationofninjas:

zerokku:

/sigh

Do you think that men’s issues aren’t worth fighting for?

snip.

snip

We can’t do that until feminism is more a part of the solution than a part of the problem.

Do you really believe this?

That feminism causes more problems than it helps?

That depends somewhat on framing and context.  If we look at the net effects of feminism and its predecessors over the entire history of the movement, it’s a very complicated question.  However, if we limit ourselves to the recent and ongoing behavior of feminism within our particular scope, we find it hard not to suggest that it’s doing as much (if not more) harm as it is good.

I’m on board with the idea that social institutions are imperfect and with examining those imperfections, but this seems like a whole different level of accusation.

It’s not one we make lightly.

I don’t know what you’ve been exposed to, but for me, feminism has boosted the agency of female friends around me, given them a language to describe social pressures and why they are unjust (there are alternate languages for this, admittedly), released them from the illusion that photoshopped bodies are an acceptable standard to reach for through eating disorders, historically it’s given them the right to vote after that right was taken away, historically feminism straight up stopped Confucian-ethics-based gender segregation in China, and you know. It’s done stuff.

It’s also given us the complete fuckup that is the modern family court system, entrenched major aspects of the male gender role in law and public policy, pushed education reforms that have tanked boys’ academic performance, gutted due process in certain aspects of criminal law, severely damaged social perceptions of feminine agency, resolutely opposed efforts to address and help male victims of IPV/rape, and played a significant role in creating a whole slew of ongoing economic issues all the while expending significant energy demonizing men, arguing theories of social organization that make the Illuminati look tame, claiming to be completely powerless while functioning as the single most influential social movement in most first-world countries, and resolutely taking credit for any advances whether they had anything to do with it or not (that’d be voting, by the way, though a full discussion is beyond scope here) while happily disclaiming responsibility (or, you know, just saying “that’s patriarchy’s fault”) when they fuck up.

We’re glad feminism’s managed to help your friends feel good about themselves and better articulate their complaints regarding social pressures, but frankly the comparison is a no-brainer.

The Duluth Model and the Tender Years Doctrine don’t outweigh what feminism has done. I’m not erasing the dads and male criminals that might have been innocent, but I do contest that this is a problem that invalidates the movement.

As noted above, those are just the tip of the iceberg; besides them and all the other direct issues, we also have to include feminism’s constant opposition to anything resembling positive change or reform in any of those areas.

What you’re saying, in short, is that fathers and men unlucky enough to find themselves on the wrong end of the legal system (innocent or not) are simply acceptable collateral damage.  As people concerned with addressing men’s issues, that’s not a perspective we can accept.  Even if we could agree that the good being done by feminism outweighed the bad, that would still not be enough.  How could it be?  How could we support a movement that advances one group by throwing another one under a bus?  Certainly, feminists attempt to excuse such behavior by arguing men are unilaterally advantaged, but we’ve found such claims to be questionable at best and utterly fallacious at worst

By this argument, the U.S. Government sponsored slavery and there are still repercussions of that today. They definitely are more a part of the solution of maintaining liberty than more the problem though.

Does the U.S. Government continue to sponsor slavery?  Is it actively working to prevent slavery from being addressed?  Does it continue to advance views similar to those used to justify slavery in the first place?  Some SJW claims (and the occasional right-wing dumbfuck) aside, the answer to all three is largely “no.”  Rewritten to apply to feminism, the answer to all three is largely “yes.”  Therein lies the difference.

Sexism = Prejudice + ?????

antinahottub:

offmysideplease:

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

This was originally part of another post generally demolishing someone who was complaining about masculists.  However, this particular part deserved its own post as well.  This is basically quoted verbatim from the other post, with some minor change of framing.

Sexism = Prejudice + Institutional Power

[snipped]

Out of curiosity, do the moderators of the blog still agree with all aspects of this post? There’s a lot I disagree with, but a few points do stand out.

Perspectives do change over time (and our moderators are not a monolith either) but we do largely stand behind this post.

I find it particularly troubling that institutional power doesn’t exist to you. How do you frame oppressive systems at all if institutional power doesn’t exist? Even Marx didn’t go that far, and he was very, well, Marxist with his views on oppression and social justice. Heck, even Ayn Rand doesn’t go that far, and she was, you know. Randian.

Here’s the first problem, and it’s kind of a big one: you’ve misinterpreted our (my, in this case) comment about institutional power.  The comment doesn’t refer to the general concept of institutional power, but rather to the specific construction as used in the “power + prejudice” formulation.  I actually later clarified in this post here.

The issue is not really whether “institutional power” exists or not (it does), but whether it exists in the form required to justify the formulation.  In other words, the argument is that a) actual instances of institutional power do not fit the construction used in the “power + prejudice” formulation, and b) there’s no justification for placing the boundary of “sexism” at the point of institutionalization so the definition is being used to purposely manipulate the terms of debate.

But never mind about comparing you with people who go far.

Asides from the odd insistence on using dictionaries for social justice rhetoric (I would not use the dictionary definition of slavery for any college-level history course, I would definitely expound on systems of power, political hierarchies, economic motivations, etc), the idea of institutional racism/sexism is a well-established idea in the literature, and not dishonestly or subversively, for all that some people might overextrapolate (cakes cakey).

There’s a difference between treating such definitions (rightly) as the purview of a relatively specific and limited branch of academia and treating them (wrongly) as a well-validated, widespread and self-evident definition applicable to daily affairs.  It’s the difference between saying that “some physicists use a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings" and "everyone knows the universe is really made up of little tiny vibrating strings.”  It’s not just a limited concept which is debated within the scientific community, it’s also inapplicable to the actual situations being dealt with.  Yes, some academics use the “power + prejudice” definition, but it doesn’t have widespread validation throughout the field of social science and the people using it are mostly from a very particular (and, if you’ll pardon my saying so, often rather noxious) ideological niche.

Racism and sexism are also quite distinct phenomena.  They’re not interchangeable because their origins, functions and structures are extremely different.  This means that applying concepts developed for one to the other is inherently risky business, because the assumptions underlying the concepts and models may not hold in the new environment.  We’d argue that the “power + prejudice” definition is a particularly good example: while we wouldn’t necessarily validate it as applied to racism, the application of it to sexism is itself overextrapolation between dissimilar phenomena.

You’re absolutely right that appealing to the dictionary isn’t usually much good.  However, the post was originally repurposed from a response to someone, and reflects in part the tone of the original debate.  Some context: the issue was being “discussed” with someone who pretty much explicitly labeled the formulation as the “only” definition of sexism.  In response, we just pointed to several other definitions, in this case in various dictionaries.  While lack of dictionary inclusion doesn’t prove that a word or definition isn’t valid, it can certainly prove that a particular definition is in common use.  Regardless, we spent the rest of the post unpacking the definition and the reasons behind it; it’s not an argument we had any intention of standing on but rather a framing device for the rest of what we had to say.

I certainly agree that the “large black guy” within your thought experiment was acting out of racial prejudice. He is racist. But when we talk about it being impossible to be racist against white people, or when we talk about how it is impossible to be sexist against men, the failure is definitely not in the view of oppressive systems as acting along an institutionalized gradient.

We’d disagree.  It’s absolutely true that institutions can create, enforce and/or reinforce oppression.  However, it doesn’t follow that such systems target only one side of an oppression binary (in this case men/women, with trans* getting the short end of all sticks), or that such targeting is predicated on which group predominates in the institution.

In other words, we can certainly consider sexism (or racism) enforced by institutions to be distinct from many other (equally distinct) kinds of sexism and racism.  What we can’t do is then infer that sexism will only target one group, or that the group targeted would predominantly be women simply because men dominate most social institutions.  As the explanation post pretty clearly shows, such an assumption just doesn’t hold.

Mass media and public policy do a lot to drive white supremacy and male supremacy, which has trickle-down effects to the disparities of wages between races, between genders, as well as other parameters such as safety, STEM education, CEO representation, et cetera.

Yes and no.  For example, research has shown that little (if any) of the gender wage gap can be traced to workplace discrimination.  For that matter, one major study found that there was no evidence that women in management were promoted more slowly than men.  In other words, a man and woman entering the workplace on an equal footing are distinguished primarily by their choices.

With that in mind, you’re falling into a trap: single-variable evaluation.  You end up evaluating “success” based only on wage and position status, while ignoring things like family involvement, stress levels, and working hours.  You actually almost touch on it by pointing out safety, but you then don’t seem to address the fact that it obeys the exact opposite distribution as the others as to gender.  While there’s definitely a trickle-down effect, when we look at the whole picture (and all the variables involved) it’s much less a matter of male supremacy and much more a matter of differing pressures: men are pressured to earn as much as possible at whatever cost to themselves, while women are pressured to put their family life before their working life.

Neither of these pressures are terribly good, but can you see how it’s possible to frame them in two very different ways?  Focus on position and salary, and we can argue that it’s male supremacist because it allows men to climb the ladder while pressuring women to step off.  Focus on health, stress and lifespan and we can argue that it’s female supremacist, because it treats men as disposable while sheltering women.  While the true picture is definitely a mixture, we fall somewhat towards the latter interpretation because women largely share in the male benefits yet the converse isn’t generally true.

You haven’t posted anything like this recently. Mostly you’ve focused on the fact that in fact there is an institutional power acting against men as well, which I think is an odd direction to go if you still agree with this post (admittedly a year old).

It’s actually significantly older than that.  The post you’re seeing was reposted from the original PoN, where it was one of the earlier basics posts.  While our views have certainly changed some since this was originally posted, most of your qualms about it are based on misinterpreting our views (then and now) on institutional power and its effects.

In short, we’ve never disputed that men experience institutional discrimination, only the idea that we can reasonably infer the answers to questions of institutional discrimination and benefit from class membership and institutional composition in the case of gender.

Clarification?

Uuuerggh I wrote a really long response and then it somehow didn’t get saved so I have to re-write it, so sorry if this is really dry or I miss anything.

I noticed this wasn’t responded to and I wanted to give a crack, though I’m not affiliated with PoN. I point a lot to the usage of the term “male supremacy” so sorry if I do that a bit too much; I thought it went towards explaining why there seemed to be either misunderstandings, or mistakes, in what I think will be a very interesting conversation b/t the two of you.

I’ve never heard institutional to be conflated with legal before, so how do you justify that? You talk as if most people think of it in terms of legality, and a few unimportant outliers treat it as encompassing quite a bit more than that.

The legal system is the general system through which government influences society, and I think the vast majority of people think of government, this shared entity that controls society, when they think of “institutional.” They think of the most concrete institutions possible, not the most abstract, which enters into social theory that most people aren’t familiar with. PoN has never said that it’s only unimportant outliers who believe otherwise; they clearly embrace quite a bit of structural theory, including ‘privilege’ theory, they just believe in male and female privileges.

Did you just call liberal ideology noxious?

They didn’t claim this at all. They only said most of the academics and people they’ve seen use the “power + prejudice” definition tend to be noxious. Millions of people consider themselves liberals, many social science academics do as well, and among both the larger population of liberals and the social science academics a small minority use the power + prejudice definition. It’s not mainstream in ‘liberal’ discourse. To conflate the usage of one term with the entirety of liberal ideology, of presumably progressive ideology in general, which is being framed as the “good” ideology I presume though I may be wrong, is to make a serious miscalculation, presumably to paint anyone who disagrees with the definition as not progressive. 

I absolutely agree with your point on racism and sexism. Though I wish you’d say your views on racism and sexism here, as opposed to summarizing your not-views. Perhaps having some positivity towards what you view to be CORRECT about movements might alleviate the very well-established idea that you are anti-SJ (something I myself am suspicious about). It would also be enlightening, considering that a quick perusal of your page gives about 50 things you disagree with and one that you maybe, by implication, might agree with. There’s something very different between “This is wrong (so you can infer that is better)” and saying “That is right, and helpful, and here is how it is helpful (so you can infer this is worse)”.

Most people don’t believe in meta-narratives of all of  society couched in social theory. It’s not always helpful or useful compared to dealing with the issues themselves. With that said, from what I’ve seen PoN actually has indicated believing in a Gender Binary Kyriarchy that oppresses men and women equally, and trans* people much more. 

Honestly I really prefer PoN to a lot of other alternatives because it usually doesn’t posit one absolute meta-theory reality over all others in all situations, and rather is about fact-checking and pushing people towards reality and towards real issues. Having rigid ideologies tends to mean taking facts and using them to re-enforce the ideology and minimize issues facing groups not counted in the ideology, as opposed to being open to the facts themselves, the way I’ve seen PoN is. 

As for the anti-SJ suspicion, PoN has been trying to raise support for gender and sexual minority inclusive (male victims, female victims, LGBTQ+ victims), anti-rape, consent-based posters for awhile now, vehemently tried to shift people over to pro-choice views, and are associated with Just-Smith who tackles sexism against women quite fiercely on his blog, so they are clearly very pro-social justice, just not unfair, unequal brands of it. And obsessing over semantic labels is unhelpful in my opinion, when the person in question is clearly being very open-minded, very polite, and very factual in their discourse. 

I don’t think the institutional definition by necessity targets one group, so I don’t think this is a fault you can even imply to be attributed to it?

The power + prejudice argument of institutional sexism absolutely targets one group by design, otherwise the entire argument would be moot because sexism could occur to anyone. Unless the argument is that men have institutional power and cannot experience sexism, there would be no need for the power + prejudice, because if both sexes face institutional sexism then that means one isn’t oppressing the other, and then there is no reverse sexism, it’s just sexism. 

PoN’s definition from what I’ve seen is that institutional sexism exists but it’s enforced by everyone in society and creates expectations and privileges and disprivileges for everyone. 

So firstly I wasn’t really thinking of measuring success? But if I were, what is the trap again?

I think it’s a multi-fold trap. Putting male supremacy and white supremacy on the same shelf immediately suggests they are counterparts, when by any measure they are not. Since there have been and are many white supremacist societies with quantifiable statistics, we know that in white supremacist societies people who are not white have the short end of the stick from nearly every meaningful quality of life statistic, from social resources to life expectancy to disease to victimization from crimes and so on, many of which are distributed fairly evenly between men and women in Western society today, so putting them on the same shelf frames the discussion in a very misleading way.

The trap was to argue ‘male supremacy’ based on selective criteria for the “supremacy” part, and to put it on par with “white supremacy.” From another perspective it could be the other way around. Non-white people however do not have the same benefits or trade-offs from racism that men and women can accrue from sexism. 

Talking about parameters, even individually, would be useful for determining success, right? I mean, wages don’t make a person successful, but across-the-board lower wages WOULD make a demographic less likely to be successful.

But it’s not across the board lower wages. As PoN links to, when controlled for situations and education and hours the wages are the same; it’s the earnings that are not for men and women. As for your point, it depends on the demographic. Racially, it would be another conversation, but it wouldn’t mean automatically less “success” if that loss in individual earnings was in return for a longer lifespan, more social resources, and less chances of death on the job and so on. In addition, several studies indicate women are the primary decision-makers on where household funds are allocated, and control a majority of consumer spending. Considering many of the issues related to women’s success in the workplace are family-related, with women with children less likely to be hired according to one study that I admit I have not pored through yet, the inhibitions to workplace success are often linked to some benefit or trade-off. It’s different for gender/sex compared to across the board lower earnings for racial groups, who do not get such trade-offs. 

I would argue that calling it a a wage gap would be inaccurate so much as an earnings gap, one not couched in overt discrimination but choices, as PoN said and you take issue and I will challenge next.

The “choice” argument btw is invalid unless you can then go into all of those choices and prove that they aren’t also motivated by institutional sexism. It does make the issue more complicated than classic presentation, but doesn’t disprove anything.

I think calling it ‘invalid’ is extreme. You can never definitively prove that anyone’s choice isn’t the result of some structural element influencing them. It does disprove that the issue is overt discrimination against one sex, and I think part of PoN’s entire argument is that the sexism we have in society, and exemplified in the situation you and they are describing, is a two-sided in influencing everyone’s choices through institutional sexism. So it’s not just lower earnings; it’s women being encouraged to stay at home and pushed out of workplaces and powerful positions to have a family, and it’s men being pushed into working non-stop without breaks with less social and mental health resources for decades and to retire later and make capital and feed mouths. And it’s both being stereotyped from dealing with the crux of their problems. 

Furthermore, why would it be institutional discrimination or oppression influencing their ‘choice’ when the people in question choose less hours and less lucrative, high stress, high death jobs, and not when there are people who make the potentially influenced ‘choice’ to work more hours and more difficult jobs? I mean both men and women. You can look at either choice as being the advantageous or disadvantaged one. 

Later you say you largely believe arguments like this already, but I think the male supremacist argument framed it as if you didn’t.

Safety is even MORE important, arguably, because dying is pretty damn unsuccessful, even if you are only considering that parameter. PLEASE STATE SOMEWHERE THAT YOU AGREE WITH DYING BEING UNSUCCESSFUL.

I’m not sure what this means. Were you referring to overall safety, workplace safety? And are you suggesting it is the most important issue?

If you have a way to talk clearly about parameters and how they intersect by using statistics, do share, but talking about variables one at a time is fairly standard when you start a conversation, and is hardly me “falling into a trap”.

I think they already have explained their parameters. They look at the facts and see differing pressures creating a gender binary that oppositely affects men and women and trans* people the most, and believe calling it “male supremacy” is inaccurate and throws the conversation towards “males” being advantaged and pushed toward advantage, when statistics indicate they really aren’t. 

And of course I didn’t point out who the advantaged group was in every single parameter. I assumed you knew (and you do). Furthermore, you are so used to critiquing everything that it did not even occur to you that I might already know the gender distribution for “work safety”. Did YOU perhaps fall into a trap?

What trap would that be? You were arguing public policy and media support “male supremacy.” It would only be “supremacist” for men to have better workplace safety, as in for public policy and media to advocate for their supreme workplace safety among other things, unless you’re using a different definition for supremacy, which would be very confusing and mean that arguing in favor of it’s existence in the same sentence as “white supremacy” would have been another actual trap.

Really? No male supremacy? Golly! I think you fell into a trap.

Again, what trap? The colloquial definitions trap, by which someone assumes a word means what they have always heard it to mean? You could just as easily look at it as “female supremacy” for the reasons PoN made, and it’s still just as much of a distraction to gendering the discourse as one group being on top of the other when the issues are far too complicated for that and there are advantages on both sides. 

The two ways you framed are both based on institutional advantages, or in other words you are talking about institutional sexism in both cases. Yes, framing yay but you’re off topic and trying to convince me of stuff I already believe. Dat trap.

This is the third accusation of a trap that really doesn’t sound like a trap. Again, you argued “male supremacy.” If you already believe men and women face all these issues, why would it be “male supremacy” and not a more of an oppression system allocating advantage and disadvantage to both sexes? Do you mean that any institutional sexism would mean “male supremacy”? If you only mean that the media and public policy are advocating for a semblance of male supremacy, that men are strong and don’t need social resources and safety, and women need to be taken care of and not work long hours, etc, then I would argue that using the term “male supremacy” is misleading, because of the connection to “white supremacy.” I would argue that it frames the issues in a way that is inaccurate, that the sexism is removable if only the advantages given to men were removed, if their “supremacy” was dismantled, much like more unpleasant elements of patriarchy theory. Maybe that’s not what you mean, but it can feel framed that way. 

I don’t know what the last sentence meant either and hopefully PoN can clarify.

Again sorry if this was dry. I just droned it out after the tragedy of losing my other draft.

Long response loss is indeed a tragedy.

I will observe a moment of silence for your loss.

1. Maybe I’m out of touch with the majority of people. The legal + social is pretty mainstream in all communities I land myself in.

First, “legal + social” is completely different from “power + prejudice” (± institutional).  We’ll presume you actually meant the latter.  (“Legal + social” would end up including a lot more men’s issues than women’s issues, and turn the whole thing on its head.)  While more people nowadays use it due to its slightly-rabid promotion by certain ideologies, it’s still very much not in common use.

2. I’m not painting people. I just wanted to ask who they were calling noxious. Cynicism is useful, but there is such a thing as using too much too soon. They did mention an ideological niche, and I was specifically meaning “which niche?”

We’ve answered this in our preceding post.  If that’s what you meant, you really need to work on more accurately conveying things.

3. I don’t dislike the style of their blog; this is in the vein of things they could try since they asked for suggestions. Socratic dialogue is super helpful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also super frustrating.

It’s nice to have the occasional simple “I believe in this, this is awesome” than always “What do you believe and how did you get there?” I find blogs that are affirmative to be very nice, and don’t think that being affirmative/supportive necessarily prevents your ability to be critical.

This has also largely been answered in our preceding post.

4. Odd way to look at it. I’ve usually heard the argument as follows:

"Given that Power + Prejudice is a useful definition,

Given that men have some power in society,

Do men in fact have power in all places, such that sexism cannot apply to them anywhere?

No/Yes” - and this point is where disagreements start, not earlier.

Our stance, more correctly, is that “power + prejudice” is not in fact a useful definition.  The disagreement starts at the first line.

The power + prejudice definition is only valid on an individual and situational level.  In other words, it only works when we zoom down to the micro level and ask “did this particular prejudiced person, in this particular situation, have the power to do harm to this particular victim?”  That’s a pretty narrow range of usefulness to begin with, but it’s actually worse than that because we can skip over all the hemming and hawing by simply looking at the results.  Unlike any extrapolation from our guesses about who has what power, this is pretty much guaranteed to give us an accurate assessment.  It’s also much simpler, and less vulnerable to the biases and gerrymandering that so severely affect P+P±I’s common usage.

This applies equally well to what we’ve said about institutional power, so long as all aspects of the institution, perpetrator and victim are considered when looking at the results.  For example, a case where someone is backed by institutional power as we defined it will be identified as more severe, because the lack of potential remedy is incorporated into the judgment of the result.

In short, even when used correctly P+P±I is effectively useless.  What’s worse is that it’s very rarely used correctly.  Invariably, the user shifts from the individual to the aggregate, arguing absolutes and entirely losing the situational aspects that make it work in the first place.  This brings us to the last line, which for us is rather unequivocally “no.”

Because there’s such a limited range of legitimate use for P+P±I, and because it’s so susceptible to abuse, it follows that it should be discarded.

So to me, it can be a definition that doesn’t inherently mean uni-directional oppression, though in most cases the power is uni-directional, which causes uni-directional oppression. This is from the local populations I’ve been exposed to though. Again, maybe I’m haven’t touched “the majority of people” and you have molested more of them.

This is where our points above become important.  The definition may not inherently mean uni-directional oppression (and indeed when used correctly it most certainly does not), but it’s almost universally used that way.

Exactly! PoN uses the standard P+P or institutional definition of oppression, except they are very careful about who is really being assigned Power, for instance all people have degrees of power to enforce different types of expectations in gender. Based on recent posts, I’m confused about them being against this definition, if they use it. They seem to disagree with the immediate assumption that it is uni-directional…which is an assumption they make as well? Note that you also say this is inherent to the definition.

We’re against the definition because there are better tools for addressing its narrow band of validity, and using it even where it’s valid can unintentionally legitimize its use where it isn’t.  The unidirectionality across demographic isn’t inherent to the definition, but it’s an almost universal assumption in SJW discourse.  (Really, when you think about it, what use would it be to them if it wasn’t?)

5. Maybe this was dryness, but I don’t recall making this comparison.

If you’re talking about the earlier post, again I was pointing out how in instances of any kind of supremacy, social influences make a difference. That was it.

You really need to start thinking about what you write before posting it.

6. Your whole argument against “invalid” is that “it might be invalid, but hey it might not” which is pretty much what I believe, except that just saying “it’s choice” and using that to debunk or support a case is invalid. Which is what I meant. I don’t think I’m being overzealous here.

See preceding post.

7. I’m definitely supporting the idea that not dying is crucial to success. I don’t particularly care WHERE you die, I was just trying to get a basic point of agreement.

Again, see preceding post.

8. Also, those “differing pressures” you mentioned would be the “Power” that is “differing” dependent on the situation. Still adhering to the definition. I’m beginning to wonder if you are arguing FOR the definition and its proper usage, rather than AGAINST it, as you claim to be.

The definition can be end-run, and the proper usage is effectively nonexistent.  It’s simpler just to ditch it.

9. Male supremacy exists in the same sense that misandry and misogyny and female supremacy exist - as mentalities. Again, because I used it in the same sentence as “white”, you are afraid that I think it applies in the exact same way, but that sentence was just to show that social influences make a difference.

Nonetheless, you placed them together without taking the time to differentiate them.  Regardless, that doesn’t address the fact that the visible effects of “male supremacy” don’t bear out the assertion.

10. The trap, which you have fallen into as well, is just going off-topic.

From “the media can cause supremacy in the upper echelons of society, whether white or male, to trickle down into the lower levels of society where it can have various societal effects”, you extrapolate about half of your points against me, and PoN does the same. As a direct result, you don’t really talk about what I was pointing out as much.

I’m glad this sentence structure’s controversial nature has been brought to my attention, but my point was that Power + Prejudice is a workable and useful and not inherently limiting definition. A lot of the discussion was therefore trying to convince me of something I believe already, based on using “white” and “male” in the same sentence.

Not at all.  Our point is that despite near-universal male representation in the upper echelons of society, the effects we see do not empirically validate claims of overall socially normative male supremacist beliefs and ideologies.  This itself calls the validity of the “power + prejudice” definition into question, at least as it’s most commonly used.  Either it simply isn’t valid or (as we argue), or it misinterprets the nature of power (and institutional power) while being generally overextrapolated.

Your failure to grasp the implications of our point does not make it off-topic.

11. Yes, you did just answer your own question, and accurately represented my views for once (calling me a painter, honestly!). I do indeed use that term because I see it as interchangeable with others.

If you frame it as male supremacy, then advantages and backlashes of that supremacy have to be removed, a.k.a. military representation, pressures of being breadwinner, societal disdain (vs. concern for female) for male homeless, yadda yadda, for equality.

If you frame it as female supremacy, then you have to get rid of advantages and backlashes of that supremacy. Yeah females get protected and this is an advantage, so get rid of it for equality yadda yadda.

If you frame it as differing pressures for differing folks, then you equalize the advantages and disadvantages of each.

I’m using male supremacy because it’s the frame that requires least ideological level reworking when talking with libs. I can say how feminism needs to address the consequences of supremacy for males (we’re supreme, so we die more) too.

Again, you’re fine, excused both cuz you don’t know me and because apparently you were having a dry day. PoN though should know these views from context, previous discussion, etc.

The real problem here seems to be that you don’t understand how supremacy works.  Specifically, supremacy very rarely “backlashes” the way you seem to think it does: in fact, such backlash almost solely appears in the area of gender.  What might that tell you?  Well, to us it suggests that “supremacy” is a very bad word for describing it.

Sexism = Prejudice + ?????

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

This was originally part of another post generally demolishing someone who was complaining about masculists.  However, this particular part deserved its own post as well.  This is basically quoted verbatim from the other post, with some minor change of framing.

Sexism = Prejudice + Institutional Power

[snipped]

Out of curiosity, do the moderators of the blog still agree with all aspects of this post? There’s a lot I disagree with, but a few points do stand out.

Perspectives do change over time (and our moderators are not a monolith either) but we do largely stand behind this post.

I find it particularly troubling that institutional power doesn’t exist to you. How do you frame oppressive systems at all if institutional power doesn’t exist? Even Marx didn’t go that far, and he was very, well, Marxist with his views on oppression and social justice. Heck, even Ayn Rand doesn’t go that far, and she was, you know. Randian.

Here’s the first problem, and it’s kind of a big one: you’ve misinterpreted our (my, in this case) comment about institutional power.  The comment doesn’t refer to the general concept of institutional power, but rather to the specific construction as used in the “power + prejudice” formulation.  I actually later clarified in this post here.

The issue is not really whether “institutional power” exists or not (it does), but whether it exists in the form required to justify the formulation.  In other words, the argument is that a) actual instances of institutional power do not fit the construction used in the “power + prejudice” formulation, and b) there’s no justification for placing the boundary of “sexism” at the point of institutionalization so the definition is being used to purposely manipulate the terms of debate.

But never mind about comparing you with people who go far.

Asides from the odd insistence on using dictionaries for social justice rhetoric (I would not use the dictionary definition of slavery for any college-level history course, I would definitely expound on systems of power, political hierarchies, economic motivations, etc), the idea of institutional racism/sexism is a well-established idea in the literature, and not dishonestly or subversively, for all that some people might overextrapolate (cakes cakey).

There’s a difference between treating such definitions (rightly) as the purview of a relatively specific and limited branch of academia and treating them (wrongly) as a well-validated, widespread and self-evident definition applicable to daily affairs.  It’s the difference between saying that “some physicists use a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings" and "everyone knows the universe is really made up of little tiny vibrating strings.”  It’s not just a limited concept which is debated within the scientific community, it’s also inapplicable to the actual situations being dealt with.  Yes, some academics use the “power + prejudice” definition, but it doesn’t have widespread validation throughout the field of social science and the people using it are mostly from a very particular (and, if you’ll pardon my saying so, often rather noxious) ideological niche.

Racism and sexism are also quite distinct phenomena.  They’re not interchangeable because their origins, functions and structures are extremely different.  This means that applying concepts developed for one to the other is inherently risky business, because the assumptions underlying the concepts and models may not hold in the new environment.  We’d argue that the “power + prejudice” definition is a particularly good example: while we wouldn’t necessarily validate it as applied to racism, the application of it to sexism is itself overextrapolation between dissimilar phenomena.

You’re absolutely right that appealing to the dictionary isn’t usually much good.  However, the post was originally repurposed from a response to someone, and reflects in part the tone of the original debate.  Some context: the issue was being “discussed” with someone who pretty much explicitly labeled the formulation as the “only” definition of sexism.  In response, we just pointed to several other definitions, in this case in various dictionaries.  While lack of dictionary inclusion doesn’t prove that a word or definition isn’t valid, it can certainly prove that a particular definition is in common use.  Regardless, we spent the rest of the post unpacking the definition and the reasons behind it; it’s not an argument we had any intention of standing on but rather a framing device for the rest of what we had to say.

I certainly agree that the “large black guy” within your thought experiment was acting out of racial prejudice. He is racist. But when we talk about it being impossible to be racist against white people, or when we talk about how it is impossible to be sexist against men, the failure is definitely not in the view of oppressive systems as acting along an institutionalized gradient.

We’d disagree.  It’s absolutely true that institutions can create, enforce and/or reinforce oppression.  However, it doesn’t follow that such systems target only one side of an oppression binary (in this case men/women, with trans* getting the short end of all sticks), or that such targeting is predicated on which group predominates in the institution.

In other words, we can certainly consider sexism (or racism) enforced by institutions to be distinct from many other (equally distinct) kinds of sexism and racism.  What we can’t do is then infer that sexism will only target one group, or that the group targeted would predominantly be women simply because men dominate most social institutions.  As the explanation post pretty clearly shows, such an assumption just doesn’t hold.

Mass media and public policy do a lot to drive white supremacy and male supremacy, which has trickle-down effects to the disparities of wages between races, between genders, as well as other parameters such as safety, STEM education, CEO representation, et cetera.

Yes and no.  For example, research has shown that little (if any) of the gender wage gap can be traced to workplace discrimination.  For that matter, one major study found that there was no evidence that women in management were promoted more slowly than men.  In other words, a man and woman entering the workplace on an equal footing are distinguished primarily by their choices.

With that in mind, you’re falling into a trap: single-variable evaluation.  You end up evaluating “success” based only on wage and position status, while ignoring things like family involvement, stress levels, and working hours.  You actually almost touch on it by pointing out safety, but you then don’t seem to address the fact that it obeys the exact opposite distribution as the others as to gender.  While there’s definitely a trickle-down effect, when we look at the whole picture (and all the variables involved) it’s much less a matter of male supremacy and much more a matter of differing pressures: men are pressured to earn as much as possible at whatever cost to themselves, while women are pressured to put their family life before their working life.

Neither of these pressures are terribly good, but can you see how it’s possible to frame them in two very different ways?  Focus on position and salary, and we can argue that it’s male supremacist because it allows men to climb the ladder while pressuring women to step off.  Focus on health, stress and lifespan and we can argue that it’s female supremacist, because it treats men as disposable while sheltering women.  While the true picture is definitely a mixture, we fall somewhat towards the latter interpretation because women largely share in the male benefits yet the converse isn’t generally true.

You haven’t posted anything like this recently. Mostly you’ve focused on the fact that in fact there is an institutional power acting against men as well, which I think is an odd direction to go if you still agree with this post (admittedly a year old).

It’s actually significantly older than that.  The post you’re seeing was reposted from the original PoN, where it was one of the earlier basics posts.  While our views have certainly changed some since this was originally posted, most of your qualms about it are based on misinterpreting our views (then and now) on institutional power and its effects.

In short, we’ve never disputed that men experience institutional discrimination, only the idea that we can reasonably infer the answers to questions of institutional discrimination and benefit from class membership and institutional composition in the case of gender.

I notice I am confused. Mostly I guess I’ll be more careful, and I’ll just ask questions and post clarifications.

Frankly, you’re confused because you need to work on your reading comprehension.  Some of these are justifiable, but others really left us shaking our heads.  Unfortunately, a lot of them are just the same few misunderstandings being repeated in a variety of ways; as a result, our responses get shorter throughout.

1. Feminists apparently all use “institutionally” wrong. I don’t know whether to call you unlucky or me lucky, but I’ve yet to meet a feminist who gave me a definition significantly different from the one you presented. Also, I know you and just-smith point out the Apex Fallacy, and it’s a pretty big fallacy, but I’ve yet to meet an MRA OR feminist who commits that fallacy.

This really touches on a few different issues, so we’ll try to address them in turn.

The belief (held by many feminists) that the “institutional power + prejudice” definition proves that sexism against men is impossible requires some fundamental misunderstandings about how institutions and institutional power function.  Remember that definitions often carry a number of implied beliefs that aren’t directly stated, in this case about the ways institutional power manifests.

Any feminist who argues that men are better off based on the number of male CEOs, politicians or world leaders commits the apex fallacy.  Any feminist who argues that men have had it better because kings, tribal chiefs and religious leaders have historically been mostly men commits the apex fallacy.  Do you have any idea how much feminist theory rests on those ideas?

2. I’ve never heard institutional to be conflated with legal before, so how do you justify that? You talk as if most people think of it in terms of legality, and a few unimportant outliers treat it as encompassing quite a bit more than that.

Well, we’d start with how the legal system is inherently the preeminent social institution in terms of its ability to regulate people’s behavior.  The government maintains a monopoly on the use of legal force, and within national borders the justice system represents the primary manifestation of that force.

Regardless, you’ve gotten yourself hung up on an example and missed the actual message.  Our point is that there is a fundamental and important difference between power being exercised by a member of an institution contrary to its doctrines, and power that is exercised in accord with its doctrines (explicit or implicit).  In the former, even when the individual is using tools and power granted to them by the institution, they’re acting on their own and face censure if discovered.  In the latter, they act with the full weight of the institution behind them.

In other words, the existence of institutional power in an action or situation is entirely contingent on whether the institution itself, not just the actor, supports that action.

Let’s try another example, this time using university admissions.  Adam is a university admissions officer.  When comparing applications, he applies a lower standard to black, female, and Muslim applicants than to white, male, and Christian applicants.  University policy is that applicants should be evaluated independently of demographic factors like race, gender and religious identification.  Ben is also a university admissions officer.  When comparing applications, he also applies a lower standard to black, female, and Muslim applicants than to white, male, and Christian applicants.  However, unlike where Adam works, Ben’s university has a policy stating that black, female and Muslim applicants are to be given special consideration in admissions

Notice the difference?  Maybe not.  They seem pretty close, because both cases lead to very similar results.  The difference is in what happens when someone notices and speaks up.  See, when that happens to Adam his university investigates, he gets fired, and his employment prospects turn to shit.  When the same thing happens to Ben, his boss says “nice job, keep up the good work!”  In other words, when someone exercises their institutional position on their own behalf, a victim can appeal to the institution itself for restitution and recompense.  When someone exercises their institutional position on behalf of the institution itself, there is no avenue for recompense.  In real life, of course, someone can in certain cases appeal to a predominant institution like the government.  This is why we focused somewhat on cases of legality, because in those cases there is quite literally no higher body to appeal to.

3. Did you just call liberal ideology noxious?

No.  Most PoN admins, myself included, would consider themselves somewhere between liberal and centrist, plus or minus a touch of libertarianism with regards to certain axes of personal freedom.  The ideology we had in mind was more the combination of postmodernism, feminism, and dogmatic anti-intellectualism that tends to appear in such circles.

4. I absolutely agree with your point on racism and sexism. Though I wish you’d say your views on racism and sexism here, as opposed to summarizing your not-views. Perhaps having some positivity towards what you view to be CORRECT about movements might alleviate the very well-established idea that you are anti-SJ (something I myself am suspicious about). It would also be enlightening, considering that a quick perusal of your page gives about 50 things you disagree with and one that you maybe, by implication, might agree with. There’s something very different between “This is wrong (so you can infer that is better)” and saying “That is right, and helpful, and here is how it is helpful (so you can infer this is worse)”.

Personally, we find that our position can be pretty clearly inferred from the arguments we demolish, excepting times where we specifically hedge to avoid an argument or to close a line of inquiry.  (For example, in our prior post, we specifically avoided commenting on the issue of race to avoid potential derailment.)  Part of why we do things the way we do, though, is that our fundamental focus is on rationality and logic.  Simply telling someone “X is the way it is!” and bludgeoning them over the head with the clue bat, fact stick, and logic paddle isn’t really going to help because, at best, we’re handing them a fish.  Instead, we opt for a somewhat more Socratic method: point out where people have gone wrong, so that eventually they not only find their way to a correct answer but also understand how they got there, and develop tools to do the same on their own in the future.  Give an SJW a fact, they’ll be more accurate for a day, force that SJW to develop some basic reasoning tools and they’ll be a more productive contributor to discussions for the rest of their life.

In case this doesn’t make sufficient sense, once more to analogy!  Let’s say we have a kid.  The kid needs something for a school project, but oh noes!  It’s on the top shelf and they can’t reach.  Kid whines.  At this point we have two options: cave and grab it for them, or not.  If we get it for them, what happens the next time?  Well, they’ll whine again, we’ll get it again, and no progress has been made.  Repeat ad infinitum.  So we don’t.  Instead, we say “whining won’t get you anywhere.”  Kid keeps whining.  We could go get the kid a ladder, put it in front of them, and say “use the ladder to get it”.  That would work, right?  Well, not quite.  Kid doesn’t know where the ladder is, so the next time they’ll be right back to whining, except now it’ll be “get me the ladder” instead of “get me the thing on the top shelf”.  Again, no progress.  So instead, we try to lead them a bit.  We say “well, what do you think you could use to get up there?”  Kid thinks for a moment, and says “ummm….a ladder?”  We nod.  ”So where do you think a ladder would be?”  Kid thinks.  ”Ummm…not sure.”  ”Well, where do we keep all the tools?”  ”In the garage!”  ”Would a ladder be with the rest of the tools?”  ”Yeah, probably.”

Kid gets the ladder, climbs, gets what they need, puts the ladder back.  The next time, they don’t even mention it.  More importantly, because they were led through that though process, the next time they need a hammer they don’t come whining “I need a hammer!”, they think “where would a hammer be?  Oh, with the rest of the tools in the garage.”  It goes further though, because that same chain of reasoning extends all over the place; the spoon they need is in the kitchen with the other eating utensils, their mittens are in with the other winter stuff, and so on, and so on.  The kid hasn’t just gotten what they need for their project, or even learned how to solve a very specific problem, they’ve learned and exercised an entire thought process that can be applied to a wide variety of situations.

Sure, that’s all a very idealized explanation, and one framed in terms of child development (though in all fairness, considering the level of cognition demonstrated by many people we deal with that may not be so far off), but it’s nonetheless very important in understanding why we do things the way we do.

5. Wrt definitions, I’m again interested in what your own definition for sexism might be, and how it might be more useful than all those examples in the argument.

Our general working definition of misogyny/misandry is something like this.  ”The hatred, distrust, fear, contempt, dislike, or disregard of wo/men, usually manifested as discrimination, denigration, dehumanization, or a callous disregard for their health, safety and well-being.”  Our working definition of sexism is similar.

6. I don’t think the institutional definition by necessity targets one group, so I don’t think this is a fault you can even imply to be attributed to it?

Remember, that definition is pretty much the lynchpin underneath the arguments of the “there’s no such thing as sexism against men” crowd.  It’s hard to argue that the definition wasn’t intended to target one group when the whole debate would be moot if it didn’t.  What point is there to the definition, if not to argue that sexism against men can be ignored or recharacterized?

7. So firstly I wasn’t really thinking of measuring success? But if I were, what is the trap again? Talking about parameters, even individually, would be useful for determining success, right? I mean, wages don’t make a person successful, but across-the-board lower wages WOULD make a demographic less likely to be successful. The “choice” argument btw is invalid unless you can then go into all of those choices and prove that they aren’t also motivated by institutional sexism. It does make the issue more complicated than classic presentation, but doesn’t disprove anything. Safety is even MORE important, arguably, because dying is pretty damn unsuccessful, even if you are only considering that parameter. PLEASE STATE SOMEWHERE THAT YOU AGREE WITH DYING BEING UNSUCCESSFUL. If you have a way to talk clearly about parameters and how they intersect by using statistics, do share, but talking about variables one at a time is fairly standard when you start a conversation, and is hardly me “falling into a trap”.

There are a whole bunch of problems with this.  You, like most, chose parameters that lead to a result not representative of actual outcomes.  You immediately targeted factors where men largely succeed and argued that this demonstrated male supremacy, while mostly ignoring and avoiding factors that would contradict such an analysis.  You also grouped white supremacy and male supremacy together, when they’re entirely dissimilar phenomena in terms of impact, origin and method of action: comparing the effects of race and gender leads to a hash of similarities and disparities, not a similar pattern echoed across demographics.

Across-the-board lower wages (which, as we noted before, is not the case with regards to gender) might suggest lower levels of “success” for a demographic, but that ceases to be the case if, say, they happen to be comorbid with vastly lower levels of injury and death.  While we can certainly talk about the effects of individual parameters separately before combining them, that’s not what you did; you argued “male supremacy” based on a cherrypicked set of parameters that themselves didn’t bear out such a conclusion.  You have to be able to see how what you wrote looked, regardless of what you claim you intended.

As for death, you’re right that it’s pretty damn unsuccessful.  That’s our whole point!  Men’s greater success in some parameters is counterbalanced by lower success in others, making a claim of male supremacy somewhere between questionable and outright ridiculous.  If you’d followed up on this it wouldn’t have been a problem, but you didn’t.

Also, the choice argument is most certainly not invalid, so long as people who make the nonpreferred choice are not directly penalized for it.  Because women who make the same workplace choices as men seem to end up identically situated, we know that regardless of the actual choices women make those choices are relatively free within the working sphere itself.  In comparison, men who make similar choices to women are often severely penalized (presuming the choice is offered at all) and end up substantially worse-off than women; as a result, a choice argument cannot as effectively be sustained for them.

8. And of course I didn’t point out who the advantaged group was in every single parameter. I assumed you knew (and you do). Furthermore, you are so used to critiquing everything that it did not even occur to you that I might already know the gender distribution for “work safety”. Did YOU perhaps fall into a trap?

Not necessarily.  We made inferences from your language (“male supremacy”) which rather clearly implied a value judgment on the resulting outcomes.  While some of the variables you cited supported that language, the issue of safety did not; we just pointed out the contradiction.  It’s like saying “female supremacy has a trickle-down effect on things like bride kidnapping and virginity-based honor killings.”

8. Really? No male supremacy? Golly! I think you fell into a trap.

The entire point here is that you framed things in terms of “male supremacy” when the variables you mention don’t actually support that.  That’s not a “trap,” it’s either poor phrasing or you being ignorant.

9. The two ways you framed are both based on institutional advantages, or in other words you are talking about institutional sexism in both cases. Yes, framing yay but you’re off topic and trying to convince me of stuff I already believe. Dat trap.

Once again, our point was not that institutional sexism does not exist, but rather that it doesn’t work the way it would have to for the feminist-derived institutional power + prejudice analysis (and its resulting conclusions) to hold.  This is about the sixth time you’ve misinterpreted our initial point, despite our repeated attempts to explain it.

10. “[We dispute] the idea that we can reasonably infer the answers to questions of institutional discrimination and benefit from class membership and institutional composition in the case of gender”

Wut? I may be parsing the clauses wrong because of the two “ands” and the one “of”. Clarification?

Clearly.  Once again, there seem to be some issues when it comes to reading comprehension.  We dispute the idea that we can reasonably infer the answers to questions of institutional discrimination and benefit from class membership and institutional composition in the case of gender.  In other words, we don’t think we can reasonably infer the answers to questions of a) institutional discrimination and b) [institutional] benefit from [variables/predictors] a) class membership and b) institutional composition when dealing with cases of gender.

Seriously, it’s not that complicated.

antinahottub:

thatalbanianguy:

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

antinahottub:

antinahottub:

thefourthwavebegins:

un-punk:

I agree with Sasha Grey that porn is like McDonalds, it isn’t going away but like McDonalds we should all agree it’s great fun but bad for us at the same time. Like all vices, don’t dress it up like it’s some feminist empowering shite. gway

And like…

the industry IS exploitative.

[snip]

so no, i don’t think the issue is that we’re erasing successful, happy sex workers. they can give good advice to those who are privileged enough to take advantage of that advice. it’s far easier to erase those who have more limited means. 

and whatever else is going on with the worker’s happiness and agency, at the end of the day you are marketing human’s bodies based on sexual value.

i’d think that there’s something intrinsically wrong about that.

How is that any different from marketing humans’ bodies based on athletic value, or dramatic value, or aesthetic value?  What makes marketing sexual value so inherently different from the dozens of other similar things we do, things that by and large you don’t seem to take much issue with?

TW: Sex workers?

I would point out again that you are marketing away agency in a lot of cases, and again there’s the exploitative element, especially in countries with less regulation.

In sports, fashion, movies, and commercials, this agency isn’t lost. People train all their lives for sports or for show-business, they can’t get corralled into it when they lack money. I’m not suggesting that working in any industry involves 0 training, but it’s significantly easier to find someone who can have sex to finding someone who can model, who can act, who can sing, who can play major league sports.

There’s another argument, I suppose. I COULD concede that the stigma and the exploitation of sex workers is largely because of the stigma and reframing of “sex” by society as something private, something sacrosanct and with very specific guidelines on how not to violate that sanctity.

Therefore, I would in turn concede that if you got rid of stigmas involving sex, the difference would indeed diminish to basically “not much”.

However, if you do think that the problems with sex workers’ exploitation (again shifting focus away from people like Stoya) comes from social stigma and not by their employers, or some base ethical construct revolving around agency and free-will contracts, then you’re going to have to establish that.

Actually, based on what ive heard about porn, albeit from a second hand source, it is very difficult as they try and get the “right shot.” it takes a TON of stamina on both the woman’s and man’s part and is usually very irritating to the body parts as a lot of “professional” porn movies take many shots and often over an hour to make. Also you’re saying that most people are exploited when they go into porn. Got anything to back that up? Also you’re saying people dont choose to do athletics because of monetary reasons. There are ex football players who didnt like football but did it because they wanted to spread a message. You dont think football players are being exploited? You dont think a person with a P.hD. is being exploited by working at a McDonalds because there are no jobs in his/her field? Anyone and EVERYONE who works in a capitalist system is being exploited because they often produce more work than what they’re paid. So, like permuatitonofninjas said, who is to say that THIS sort of exploitation is worse than that other one? Purely because society deems it so?

The second half of your statement is mostly about how others are exploited in a capitalist system.

I agree; I’m against any sort of exploitation, and in fact one of my concessions is that part of the problem may be because “society deems it so”. Do you think that is the root of the problem? Again I don’t directly believe this but am open-minded to it, so if you believe that please expand your point of view!

This is what we’ve been trying to explain the whole time.  Sex work is not inherently wrong, bad, or exploitative.  However, combine a capitalist system with social attitudes preventing regulation, and you’ve created a situation where exploitation is practically guaranteed.  None of this is intrinsic to sex work: it’s created by people’s attitudes regarding sex and sexuality.

The first half requires my backup, and firstly I have to say that films are not mainstream for sex workers. Sex workers don’t have to be in films. This is actually a very 1st world notion. That said, I can’t back up claims with hard statistics.

You’re forgetting that the original discussion wasn’t about sex work, it was about porn.  Not all porn is video, but video in one form or another dominates the industry.

The Polaris Project has the best statistics for the U.S., and though they are worrying, they’re a far cry from definite evidence that the sex industry itself is the problem. A quick perusal of work in cities like Mumbai, Bangkok, Amsterdam shows that it’s a mixed bag of people who shorten their lifespans to financially support themselves and people who enjoy and feel empowered by the work they do.

Actually, their statistics really speak against what you’re trying to argue.  In five years, the Polaris Project noted a little more than 6,000 cases of sex trafficking, plus about 1,100 that they lacked information to classify.  Presuming similar ratios for unclassified cases, that’s about 7,000 cases in five years, or 1,400 cases per year.  Do you have any clue whatsoever how vanishingly small a number that is, in a country the size of the U.S.?  For perspective, that’s a bit less than one tenth of the homicide rate.

When looking at stats like human trafficking, we also have to start dividing up the “sex work” industry.  The mainstream porn industry is very different from the prostitution industry, and while it overlaps to some degree with both the market for exotic dancing/striptease/etc. is also largely distinct.  Returning to our original focus on porn, arguing that the mainstream porn industry is responsible for sex trafficking is like blaming the pharmaceutical industry for the behavior of Columbian cartels.  There’s little evidence to suggest that trafficked women are used in the mainstream (by which we mean “not already illegal”) porn industry, as we discuss in an earlier post.

Like all jobs, some people choose it and some people fall into it.  Disliking your work is not unique to the sex work industry.

My response to the OP is that the sex industry is in fact exploitative. To say it isn’t is false, and to say that “others are exploited too” is neither an argument for or against my response. I also posit that it is unique in the sense that it targets specifically sexual agency. I point out that successful, non-exploited folks who work in the industry usually acknowledge that they are the privileged within the industry, which is why citing them to say that the industry is “empowering” is also one-sided.

Then I offered (separately) my personal view that marketing bodies based on sexual value is intrinsically wrong and damaging to society, the first of which is just based on my own ethics. 

I am not trying to make a point that it’s worse than other types of exploitation, merely that we shouldn’t detract from the fact that it IS in fact exploitative.

The problem is the specific targeting of the sex work industry over other industries with similar track records.  You’ve repeatedly argued the uniqueness of sexual agency, but done nothing to back it up.  Saying “sex work is exploitative because the sex work industry has the same problems as other industries” is just as dishonest as saying “the sex work industry has no problems because some people in the sex work industry enjoy what they do.”

Specifically, I don’t think we have to mention the satisfied people in every problematic case to avoid over-generalization. I don’t think the omission is erasure. We don’t talk about the people who recover within a week from a mild depression when we’re trying to address depression as a public health issue, for instance.

Does that clarify my posts?

There is an enormous difference between saying “portions of the sex work industry are problematic” and saying “sex work is problematic.”  That’s what we’ve been trying to explain from the start.  Remember, the person we replied to didn’t simply omit non-exploited sex workers, they specifically barred them from discussion.  If that’s not direct erasure, what is?

By making generalizations about the sex work industry and erasing successful, empowered sex workers, people create a picture of the industry which defies the possibility of change or improvement.  In doing so, they invariably end up promoting the same attitudes that have allowed problems to exist in the first place.  People like Sasha Grey and Stoya might not be representative of the industry, but they’re most certainly representative of what the industry has the potential to be.  Erasing them guarantees that won’t become the case.

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

thefourthwavebegins:

un-punk:

I agree with Sasha Grey that porn is like McDonalds, it isn’t going away but like McDonalds we should all agree it’s great fun but bad for us at the same time. Like all vices, don’t dress it up like it’s some feminist empowering shite. gway

And like McDonalds, porn exploits its workers and treats them like shit. Woo. I actually like that comparison a lot. It’s more telling of our capitalist society and how we consume than about porn itself.

tagged: I’m using the ideal type of porn like I get that there are happy porn stars out there but a lot are exploited so don’t give me that but stoya is so successful I’ll roll my eyes at you

Saying you’re using the “ideal type” in tags doesn’t excuse your generalization here. You could’ve made this post less problematic by instead talking about how you need to pick and choose which producers you support. Porn is not inherently problematic or exploitative, and you really aren’t in any position to roll your eyes at anyone about this topic. By telling individuals who are empowered by something to not “dress up” that thing as empowering, you are erasing their experiences in order to better fit your skewed worldview.

and whatever else is going on with the worker’s happiness and agency, at the end of the day you are marketing human’s bodies based on sexual value.

i’d think that there’s something intrinsically wrong about that.

How is that any different from marketing humans’ bodies based on athletic value, or dramatic value, or aesthetic value?  What makes marketing sexual value so inherently different from the dozens of other similar things we do, things that by and large you don’t seem to take much issue with?

TW: Sex workers?

I would point out again that you are marketing away agency in a lot of cases, and again there’s the exploitative element, especially in countries with less regulation.

Bearing in mind that the discussion has expanded beyond porn (the original topic) to sex work in general, we’d like to note that many of our comments about porn can’t be generalized to things like prostitution.

All work represents the marketing of agency.  That’s literally how employment works: the worker offers the employer some portion of their agency over some period of time in exchange for some form of compensation.  (The employer’s equation is somewhat different and focuses on the marginal value of employment, but that’s not really important here.)  In some cases one or more of these may be somewhat modified or indeterminate, but the general formula stands.  For example, piecework will generally have indeterminate compensation (if working for a given time) or time (if handling a given number of pieces for set compensation).

Likewise, the level of agency marketed away may vary considerably depending on the nature of employment: while a fast-food worker may market away only basic agency during the hours of work, on-call doctors market away some level of agency well outside working hours, remote-site or travelling workers market away agency regarding where and how they live, athletes market away agency regarding fitness, soldiers market away agency related to personal safety, and actors may market away an extensive range of agency regarding everything from personal appearance to fitness, location, and public behavior.

Saying that porn “markets away agency” is completely meaningless, because the marketing of agency is characteristic of all employment.  Sure, this can be exploitative, especially in countries with relatively little regulation, but it’s in no way an issue unique or specific to sex work.

In sports, fashion, movies, and commercials, this agency isn’t lost. People train all their lives for sports or for show-business, they can’t get corralled into it when they lack money. I’m not suggesting that working in any industry involves 0 training, but it’s significantly easier to find someone who can have sex to finding someone who can model, who can act, who can sing, who can play major league sports.

You seem to believe two things: that the desirability of a career affects the amount of agency being marketed, and that the relatively low standards of the sex work industry (as compared to music, TV, film, sports) makes a difference.  We can’t see a lot of support for either of those beliefs.

Yes, some workers in those other industries get paid better, and those careers might be considered more desirable, but that doesn’t make a difference as to whether it’s acceptable for people to market that level of agency.  Also, you ignore the fact that there are places other than the top; how much do you think even a AAA minors baseball player makes?   At the low end, about $24K/yr, with similar demands as a major-league player making millions.  Were at least one of our admins is located, that’s only slightly more than minimum wage at a full-time job.  It only goes down from there, with single-A full-season players making about half that.  Other sports, film and music aren’t much different.  You’re committing the apex fallacy, and hard.

How many sex workers do you genuinely think are forced into sex work?  How many have a gun put to their head and get told “do this or I’ll shoot you”?  Probably a few, but on the whole a pretty tiny portion.  The vast majority choose sex work because it’s better than the alternative.  What’s the alternative?  That depends heavily on the situation.  Could be homelessness.  Could be flipping burgers.  Could be a low-end modelling gig that pays a lot less than being a high-class escort.  Could be working bit parts in TV and film rather than receiving awards for working in porn.  Who knows?  The point is that if sex work weren’t better than the alternative, people wouldn’t likely be doing it.  It might be shitty and demanding work, but who are you to deny them the option?  (Note: in general, this argument is much more applicable to porn than some forms of prostitution, where issues like addiction and coercion are much more common.)

There’s another argument, I suppose. I COULD concede that the stigma and the exploitation of sex workers is largely because of the stigma and reframing of “sex” by society as something private, something sacrosanct and with very specific guidelines on how not to violate that sanctity.

Therefore, I would in turn concede that if you got rid of stigmas involving sex, the difference would indeed diminish to basically “not much”.

Yes, that would be a correct conclusion.  Many of the issues in the sex industry today stem from the industry’s illicit nature and the accompanying lack of regulation.  That in turn is primarily the result of the stigmatization of sex, sexuality and sex work.  In fact, this is a significant reason why such issues are much less prevalent in the porn industry than in other sex work: its greater level of both internal and external regulation makes a difference.  None of this is helped by social stigmas against sex workers themselves, which inherently encourage exploitation by making value judgments regarding their worth as individuals.

However, if you do think that the problems with sex workers’ exploitation (again shifting focus away from people like Stoya) comes from social stigma and not by their employers, or some base ethical construct revolving around agency and free-will contracts, then you’re going to have to establish that.

Not at all; you’re shifting the burden of proof.  What we asserted in our first post was that “porn is not inherently problematic or exploitative,” targeting an improper generalization by fourthwave.  You responded by arguing that there is something intrinsically wrong with marketing sexual value, and we challenged you to prove your point by demonstrating a difference between sexual value and other types of body-intrinsic value.  Our core argument is that you (and others) haven’t demonstrated that porn or sex work is substantively different than other industries, or that there is something inherently wrong about marketing sexuality in the same way as physical prowess or beauty.  The burden of proof rests on you, not us.

The sex work industry certainly has its problems, we’re not going to deny that.  In many cases, it exploits and harms those working in it, and its relative lack of regulation affords great opportunity for malfeasance.  What we’re trying to point out is that it’s not the “sex work” part that’s the problem, it’s the “industry” part.  The issues within the sex work industry are pretty much the same as the issues outside it, but it ends up singled out because of attitudes like yours and an overall cultural climate of sex-negativity.

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

antinahottub:

permutationofninjas:

catseatyourturkey:

“‘Men get raped and molested,’ should be a whole sentence. If you have to tack on the word ‘too,’ then you’re using the experience of male victims to silence females instead of giving them their own space.”

(via goldenphoenixgirl)

Not sure if I’ve reblogged this before but it always bears repeating.

(via southboundtiretracks)

Basically why no one believes MRAs when they say they care about this shit.

This is a pretty blatant misrepresentation of what’s actually happening here.  Female victims of rape and violence get far more attention in society, and male victims of rape and violence are more or less ignored.  The “too” that’s appended is generally used to remind people that women are not the only victims.  People are trying to get you to acknowledge that fact.

To be fair, often times this phrasing is to silence or redirect the discussion. It’s similar to saying “not all men are like that” when feminism talks about rape culture, or rape jokes.

How often is this phrasing applied to a discussion that isn’t already erasing male victims?  If a discussion can be silenced, redirected or derailed by pointing out its erasure of male victims that discussion already has some very serious problems.

Sure, when you consider the lexical meaning, this is to remind people that men do not unilaterally engage in malicious misogyny, but in the context of male privilege, it often has the side effect of silencing the speaker, derailing the discussion, or at least providing some people an excuse not to listen.

You’re applying “context” that’s not there.  How does “male privilege” relevantly impact the situation?

Generally, the seemingly overaggressive female response is in direct response to this privilege. Men don’t think about these issues as often as women do, by virtue of being men (if it’s easier to flip the tables, then i’d imagine women don’t think about men’s issues as often as men do, by virtue of being women). This is why tacking on labels does in fact silence parts of the discussion.

Similarly, how often men think about these issues isn’t really relevant to the question at hand (and, indeed, the overall implications run counter to what you’re probably thinking).  We’re not sure exactly where you feel labels are getting “tacked on”.

I don’t think it’s a blatant misrepresentation at all. Especially the words “if you have to”, which honestly, you don’t, to get your point across.

When addressing a discussion that is erasing male victims, what verbiage would you have someone use?  Sure, it’s easily possible to work around the word “too”, but you and I both know damn well what the OP is referring to.  Let’s not kid ourselves.

How often is this phrasing applied to a discussion that isn’t already erasing male victims?  If a discussion can be silenced, redirected or derailed by pointing out its erasure of male victims that discussion already has some very serious problems.

^So…fight fire with fire?

Not at all.  The point is that the phrasing has no power to affect, let alone harm a discussion that isn’t already erasing male victims.

If a discussion is erasing male victims, that “too” is all too necessary.  If a discussion isn’t erasing male victims, that “too” isn’t going to make a difference, let alone cause any significant damage.

You’re applying “context” that’s not there.  How does “male privilege” relevantly impact the situation?

^Wording that gives men an excuse to not consider women’s issues is just as bad as wording that gives women an excuse to not consider men’s issues. “Women suffer from war too, when their husbands die” is a way to re-frame dead men as a woman’s tragedy. “Women suffer from war when their husbands die” is a separate, respectful, and true point.

Your example here is pretty bad, actually, because it doesn’t really mirror the situation at all.  As you yourself noted, the problem is the reframing of one group’s victimization as another’s, which is entirely different from “group Y also suffers from X.”  The context-appropriate equivalent to your example would be something more like “men suffer from restrictions on abortion too, because they may end up caring for unintended children.”  This is a legitimate point regarding the wider consequences of abortion restrictions, not a matter of reframing women’s issues.

See, we wouldn’t necessarily consider the first framing a problem, because it doesn’t inherently present a judgment as to magnitude or importance.  There is a difference between “women suffer from war, too” and “women are the primary victims of war” (as in the original quote).  If a discussion about war centers entirely on male victims and ignores the hardships faced by women, that discussion needs to be kicked because it’s erasing victims just as much.  Conversely, if the discussion were about, say, soldiers (universally male, at least at the time), it would indeed be unacceptable to bring the suffering of non-soldiers (regardless of gender) into it.  Do you understand the distinction?

Ironically, the only difference is in the magnitude.  In the case of war, we can genuinely argue that the suffering of men vastly exceeds the suffering of women, and that the types of suffering were very different and largely warrant separate address.  In the case of rape, we have increasing evidence pointing to similar victim pools, crimes and effects, suggesting that the level of suffering is much more equal.  This really makes the erasure even more reprehensible, especially when we consider the overall lack of resources for male victims.

Regardless, none of what you said actually addresses the comment we made about your invocation of “male privilege”.  We asked you how “male privilege” impacted the situation, and none of what you’ve said has demonstrated such an effect.

Similarly, how often men think about these issues isn’t really relevant to the question at hand (and, indeed, the overall implications run counter to what you’re probably thinking).  We’re not sure exactly where you feel labels are getting “tacked on”.

^Clarify. Clarify hard. Because having 50% of a population think or NOT think about an issue has a pretty big impact on getting that issue addressed. Lexical labels. e.g. “too”

As we mentioned above, an increasing body of evidence points to similar victim pools.  We would suggest that “men not thinking about these issues” is largely a consequence of the widespread and enduring erasure of male victims (not least of which at the hands of feminists) rather than a cause of it.  Regardless, that isn’t at all relevant to the question of whether it’s justifiable to use the word “too” when entering a discussion of rape that is erasing male victims.  Whether or not men are or aren’t thinking about such issues has no effect whatsoever on identifying that a given speaker, at a given time, is erasing male victims.

If you’re going to argue that “too” should be treated as a lexical label here, that’s fine.  In this case, it would convey the meaning that a prior speaker has erased male victims by making statements that apply to all genders, yet limiting their scope only to non-men.  Would you say it’s not justifiable to label such cases when dealing with them?  It’s a slight bit gentler than saying “fuck you and your victim erasure.”

When addressing a discussion that is erasing male victims, what verbiage would you have someone use?  Sure, it’s easily possible to work around the word “too”, but you and I both know damn well what the OP is referring to.  Let’s not kid ourselves.

^We both know damn well, yes, but recall that you and I have some very different experiences with feminists. In my world, when I respect them, if I bring up issues that I can prove to them exist, they care. And yes, they meet your standard of caring where they treat it with as much activism or lack of activism that they treat feminist issues with.

As you’ve acknowledged, we’ve had very different experiences.  In that case, do you also acknowledge that at least some of our experiences have been with feminists that don’t exactly match the feminists you’re used to in terms of inclusivity?  Do you acknowledge that many, perhaps even most continue to erase male victims, no matter how “respectful” we are?

If so, you’ve already conceded our point.  Sometimes, the “too” is necessary, which means the original post was wrong and our response holds.

In my world, I find that eliminating labels like “too” helps immensely with rhetoric, and I’m not offended when told to remove it, because it makes me sound less defensive, and because it doesn’t derail discussion from their points. They have points, I’m not commandeering their points and redirecting them at men. I’m bringing up a completely new point. To me this form of respect makes perfect sense because I assume a lack of insidious intent, and I do so correctly.

In our world, when someone makes a statement that applies equally to two groups yet extends it only to one, the solution is not to repeat what they’ve said a second time as though it’s a brand new addition to the discussion.  We deal with more than enough of that from the feminists who regularly “discover” issues the MRM has been talking about for years and in a blinding flash of insight realize they can be “fixed” by repeating the same behaviors that created and exacerbated them in the first place.  It’s not a practice we think should be sunk to.

Of course, this still doesn’t really matter.  The point is that the original post was problematic in some very clear ways, and needed to be amended or rewritten to correct that.

In your world apparently feminists just erase things. Regularly. If I experienced this then I would obstinately use the word “too” to protest their erasure of male victims. I can’t speak for you, but perhaps you assume insidious intent and additionally do so correctly. For me, they focus on female issues but are willing to delve into men’s issues. For you, they focus on female issues for the purpose of erasing men’s issues. I have yet to catch a glimpse of your world, and apparently you have yet to catch a glimpse of mine, even when we are speaking to the same parties.

Case in point, debigotizer. Case in point, this discussion about the usage of “too”. And having discussed a lot of issues with me, the case in points are probably unnecessary. You know what I’m talking about.

And for that difference, I can only say I’m truly sorry.

Between our admins, we have many years of personal experience dealing with feminists.  We’ve also got a pretty extensive knowledge base when it comes to the history and actions of feminism, and that’s before we start in on the academic end of things.  

We aren’t arguing that mainstream feminists set out to erase men’s issues, but rather that with the theory base mainstream feminists use it’s nigh-impossible for them not to.  They focus on women’s issues because at best they dogmatically believe men’s issues don’t exist (or are solely a product/side effect of women’s issues), and at worst they believe men actively deserve it.  There’s also, of course, a large contingent in the middle that simply don’t give two shits about the issues men face.  These may well be the most common: their overwhelming concern is to benefit women, and if that means men get stepped on, marginalized or simply ignored that’s just fine with them.

Again, though, that doesn’t even matter in the context of the conversation.  You’re generalizing where you shouldn’t and derailing, badly.  As for the last bit, we’re really not sure what you’re talking about.

If you really do think we’re mistaken in our judgement on Debigotizer, you’re welcome to take a look at her blog.  If you still think we’re mistaken in our judgement on Debigotizer….well, at that point you can pretty much fuck right off.

Greetings. Please excuse the passive-aggressive name, we are still looking for alternatives. We are two LGBTQ individuals who have seen Feminism used against us in all sorts of ways, and have been inspired by your blog to try something similar and challenge people who tread on us in the name of Feminism. We are fairly new and interested in getting others to help us out (and get some more perspectives), in case followers of yours happen to feel up to it. Thank you and you have our respect! — galleryofcisstraightfeminism

While this is obviously coming a bit late, we figured it was still worth posting.  We can’t necessarily vouch for the content, but any of our interested followers are welcome to take a look.

paperdemons:

permutationofninjas:

paperdemons:

permutationofninjas:

paperdemons:

permutationofninjas:

paperdemons:

Literally every traumatic event in my life has been due to a man. This is why it is impossible for me to give a single iota of a fuck about “misandry.”

We’re sorry you’ve suffered, but that doesn’t justify sexism, bigotry or hatred.

This post is actually pretty ironic in terms of timing: compare it to this one here, which entered our drafts on the same day.

I’m sorry that feminists hurt your feelings. Truly. That sucks and everything, but I cannot bow my head in shame about it when you turn your poor little hurt feelings into a political movement specifically to attack women.

See, that’s not what most MRAs are on about; it’s not so much their feelings that they’re concerned about, it’s the whole “promoting law and public policy that victimizes men” thing.

Likewise, you seem to have some difficulty differentiating between “feminists” and “women.”  Feminists are members of a social movement, while women are people who share a gender identity.  We’re guessing the distinction here was purposeful, though; you’re fully aware that MRAs tend to have a problem with feminists, not women, but also know full well that the feminist movement’s history of being generally awful makes it the exact opposite of a sympathetic “victim”.

I cannot and will not pander to your ego. Until you know what it’s like to be sexually harassed in nearly every job you’ve ever worked at, had women force you to kiss them/hold their hands/touch them when you’ve made it clear that the answer was NO, to feel how helpless you are when you fight for your life and have no one notice or bother to help when you are being groped or near tears, to feel like you are nothing but a body, to be violated sexually, to experience all of this MULTIPLE TIMES by the time you’re in your early 20s, I really don’t care if you think some things are unfair for men.

While we have no desire to minimize or erase your experiences, they’re neither average nor representative.  For the same reason, we’re not going to spend several paragraphs demonstrating, in graphic detail, how a whole variety of men’s issues are horrifically worse than what you’ve suffered.  Nor will we argue, on those grounds, that what you’ve suffered is insignificant, unimportant, unworthy of address, or unacceptable to complain about.

Why?  Because that would be wrong.

Because it’s easy to make demands when you are not actively being destroyed.

In that case, what can we conclude from the fact that men’s advocates face such opposition when demanding equality yet feminists, in comparison, face almost none at all?

First of all, you’re not sorry. Second of all, this post never said it was ok for me to hate men. It’s stating that I simply cannot find it in me to care strongly about men’s issues when women and other men are literally destroyed daily by men.

It’s pretty interesting how you use male victims as an excuse to not care about male victims.  That having been said, it’s not men who are destroying the lives of these people, it’s society as a whole.  What you’re doing is just blaming victims for being part of a demographic that also includes some of the perpetrators.  Should we not care about women because they support gender norms as well?  I hope not.

Sorry you’re not allowed to cry for fear of your masculinity being questioned, sorry there was ever a draft, but if you think these occasional disturbances are of any significance when you look at the plight of all women, no matter their origin, your demanding our compliance and that we add to our burdens your casual annoyances just so you can feel safe when you are making no effort to do the same for us, is petty. I cannot be bothered. It’s insulting, to be quite honest. BYE.

That’s a hell of a run-on sentence you’ve got there.  That being said, your labeling the draft, a systematic process of forced military service which has killed literally tens of millions of men over the last century a “casual annoyance” tells us pretty much all we need to know.

Tell us, what do you see as being the “plight of all women” in first world nations today?

Filed under this is how much MRAs care about other humansderailing a post I made about serious traumas that destroyed my lifein defense of their shitty feelingsand people wonder why no one takes them seriouslyhow dare youscumbags

While it might be more ideologically convenient and comfortable for you to pretend that otherwise, we do care about victims.  All victims.  Unlike you.

Shut the fuck up. You’re done. How fucking dare you. You are using victims for your ideological soapbox in an attempt to shut down an actual survivor. You should be ashamed.

Actual survivor?

What do you mean by that?  Because it’s almost certain that the person you’re talking to is one.

We’re not trying to shut down “actual survivors”, we’re trying to get people to notice a lot of them that society ignores.  If you honestly don’t realize that your active erasure of victims is part of the problem, then we are done here, because there’s really nothing more we can do.

Then why are you using your survival as a weapon against other survivors? Look, if you want to cope a certain way, that’s fine. But understand that you can’t silence other people who cope in a different way. We are all trying to recover together.

How have I used my personal experiences as a weapon in any way?  Similarly, how am I silencing anyone here?  Perhaps you’re projecting: there’s only one person who’s done either of those things in this conversation, and it’s not me.

I really don’t know where you’re getting my “active victim erasure” from because as I notes in my tags, the post was obviously not about male survivors who, while an existing part of our group, deserve a different discussion from the one I chose to initiate.

These victims are examples of misandry, which you apparently don’t care about.  There is no “different discussion” to be had here.  Men are hurt by the gender binary, just as other genders are, and are then erased and ignored, in part due to attitudes like yours.  Misandry is a problem, and ignoring it is not the solution.

Your repeated insistence that I “debate” with you is unsettling to say the least as you and I both know how frightening it is to be aggravated even after setting a clear boundary. We’ve been done and this conversation, which you chose to manipulate and take our of context, should have never started. Learn some respect and stay away from me on Tumblr and otherwise.

Where have I insisted that you “debate” with me?  How have I manipulated anything?  Please show me.  I’m trying to get you to understand that you’re hurting victims, and that it would be best if you stopped.  You can’t say that we’re “all trying to recover together” while shitting on half the people trying to recover.

theclitocracy:

Okay but if you go onto the Mens Rights reddit (I mean I don’t encourage this, my brain cell count just plummeted), and find their post discussing it apparently bots went through the survey and put all the same answers thousands of times. And it seems legit. So I mean I’m all for laughing at the fact that the people on r/MensRights are very very similar in a ridiculous way, but only if that’s true… which it probably is but this data is massively fucked.

First, we’d like to thank you for apparently being the only person to reblog this post with any level of common sense.

The issue you’ve mentioned (see the post here) is actually trivially obvious when you compare to their (relatively clean) results from last year.  Unless the subreddit exploded over the last 9 months with thousands of identical clones who’re all under-20 white male atheist strong conservatives who support marijuana legalization and nothing else, it’s pretty clear that the survey was sabotaged by a (probably feminist) asshole with a voting bot.  Most particularly, note a complete reversal in supposed political affiliation.  The prior survey was dominated by independents, with libertarians and democrats in similar numbers and republicans trailing at a measly 7%, whereas this survey is overwhelmingly “strong conservative.”

When we ignore the single anomalous vote pattern (and, with that in mind, consider the potential for other similar behaviors), the demographics seem reasonably congruent with the prior survey.

So is /r/MR really that homogeneous?  Well, sort of, something we can discuss using the prior survey.  The people on /r/MR are indeed pretty similar, but aside from gender they seem to be demographically representative of their countries and Reddit itself.  While it might seem odd that they’re mostly white, a quick look at the location demographics shows otherwise: 57% from the U.S. (~73% white), 13.5% from Canada (~86% white), 8.5% from the U.K. (~87% white), and 4.8% from Australia (~92% white).  Of the remaining 16%, the vast majority were apparently from various European countries which are (surprise surprise), overwhelmingly white.  So sure, the /r/MR crowd is mostly white, but only because they’re from countries that are mostly white.

They peak in the 18-34 age range, which is exactly what we’d expect from Reddit, and while somewhat above the U.S. average span the gamut of education.  They’re mostly (~70%) unmarried, which isn’t a surprise either: median age of first marriage for the countries in question ranges from 28 to 32, and about 56% of the population falls into the under-25 demographic.  They’re indeed largely (~60%) atheist, but this is likewise neither a surprise when looking at young people or Redditors.  Despite the paucity of Christians, there are about as many Jews, Muslims and Hindus as would be expected geographically, and the “Other” category isn’t possible to examine.  The only other truly unexpected result was the sexuality demographics, which showed a relatively high 20% as non-heterosexual.

To make a long story short, /r/MR is only as similar as we’d expect them to be based on their location and the makeup of Reddit as a whole.

While the surveys aren’t precisely analogous, it’s also possible to draw some comparisons between the old /r/MR results and the new results from /r/feminism.  According to the survey, /r/feminism has a slightly less extreme gender ratio, unsurprising considering the social prevalence of feminism.  The racial demographics are similar, and still strongly white.  Interestingly, blacks make up a similar portion than all other minorities combined, while in /r/MR they were the smallest group (in order of size, “Other”>Hispanic>Asian>Black).  If we remove them from both surveys the overall minority ratio comes out the same, which suggests a small-number skew.  (Basically, because the /r/feminism response pool was around 1/3 the size of the /r/MR one and very small in general it’s easy for small fluctuations to throw things off.)

The age range is very similar, and the responses on religion are comparable: very high atheism, high Christianity, with others trailing behind.  Oddly, while /r/feminism has a noticeably lower percentage of Christians they have a much higher percentage of Muslims, though again this runs into small-number issues.  Finally, /r/feminism shows a clear skew towards liberalism (70%), which compares to /r/MR’s more independent leanings.

However, the recent /r/feminism data can’t be fully trusted either.  While it’s unlikely there was significant brigading from /r/MR, it’s not unlikely that at least some people answered (or refrained from answering) in such a way as to purposefully skew the data in a direction they felt would appear positive.

Returning to the /r/MR survey, it’s pretty clear that a bare minimum of 2400 responses are the result of an automated bot.  According to the survey author, the responses seemed questionable even before that, and at this point we have to throw out the survey as a whole.  Let’s be honest, neither feminists nor SRSers are above such behavior, which is pretty ironic since all they’ve done is guarantee anyone with a brain will throw out the results entirely: either they were (arguably correctly) scared that the results wouldn’t fit their prejudices, or they’ve passed up a great opportunity to prove they do.  So yeah, nicely done on their part.

As for the rest of you who’ve uncritically reblogged this crap without bothering to check the numbers….how fucking dumb are you people?

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.

selenes-light:

permutationofninjas:

Unfortunately, your last point rather misses the mark because it discounts a second key difference between the MRM and feminism.  The MRM is, and always has been, a movement with a clearly-defined and limited scope.  It’s issue-focused, and has resisted the appropriative behavior characteristic of feminism.  What does that mean?  It means that the MRM doesn’t claim to address all the issues men face, only the ones they face specifically as men.  In other words, it doesn’t claim to address LGBT issues, or even the issues faced by LGBT men, but rather only those issues faced by LGBT men that aren’t faced by other LGBT people.  This naturally changes the tone of the movement, but it doesn’t mean MRAs don’t acknowledge those issues: they just feel they’re better dealt with by other movements.

It sounds like the MRM eschews intersectionality, which would be highly problematic if it’s important for an activist movement. For example, if it is complicit in white supremacy, it would inadvertently marginalize men of color.

A major criticism of mainstream feminism is that it tends to focus on the issues of upper-middle white cis women, which these mainstream feminists might themselves consider as “focusing on women as a group” — e.g., a lack of intersectionality — so I would have to consider this sort of criticism as applicable to the general MRM as well.

No, that’s not quite right, for two somewhat different reasons.

First, you’re misunderstanding the concept of intersectionality.  To illustrate, let’s talk about two common axes: sex and race.  When examining these axes, we can see some issues that are purely related to race, some issues that are purely related to gender, and some issues that appear only at the intersection of sex and gender.  In other words, some issues affect black people regardless of gender, some issues affect men regardless of race, and some issues affect only black men (but not black women or white men).

Intersectionality, at least in most sensible conceptions, refers to identifying issues that fall into the third category; indeed, that’s precisely what we were talking about when we said “those issues faced by LGBT men that aren’t faced by other LGBT people."  (To give an example, prohibitions on gay men donating blood.)  This entails somewhat a reversal of the common practice, which would be to dismiss those issues as “not men’s issues” because they don’t affect all men and “not LGBT issues” because they don’t affect all LGBT people.  Instead, we look at the issue (rather than the axis or demographic) and ask “do disparities exist between people who differ only in their demographic within its axis”  If the answer is “yes,” the issue belongs to the demographic.

Thus, returning to our example, we’d note that the issue affects men but not (usually) women, and LGBT people but not heterosexual people.  As a result, it’s both a men’s issue and an LGBT issue.  Looking at an issue like marriage equality, however, gives us a very different result: it definitely affects men, but it doesn’t affect men differently than women (it affects lesbians and gays in a similar way) so it’s not a men’s issue even though it is an LGBT issue.  This is, of course, a simplification, because issues often overlap in unusual and unexpected ways.  How we define demographics within an axis is somewhat flexible, but nonetheless many issues span multiple demographics within an axis.  Additionally, some issues affect individual demographics on multiple axes: for example, judicial biases.  Controlling for race, there are clear biases against men; controlling for gender, there are clear biases against blacks.  However, on top of this, the biases against black men are more severe than the sum of biases against blacks and men.  Thus, there is a gender component, a race component, and an intersectional component.

To make a long story short, intersectionality doesn’t mean a men’s movement has to deal with every issue faced by men.  For the same reason, a gender movement doesn’t (and shouldn’t) get involved in issues purely related to race simply because those issues affect some people of a given gender.  Not only is it problematic in terms of advocacy resources, it’s also appropriative, which moves into the second reason:

Second, feminism claims to address wider scopes of inequality.  Unlike the MRM, feminism has actively forced its way into LGBT and other spaces in an attempt to cement its status as the only acceptable equality movement.  As noted above, this carries with it a number of serious problems including a wide variety of appropriative behavior.  Speaking bluntly, there are a lot of LGBT individuals who are really sick of feminism’s intrusion into their spaces, especially where its myopic focus on women’s issues has led to the erasure of the issues faced by LGBT men and feminists claiming authority over their experiences.

This behavior widens feminism’s scope of claim from “women’s issues” to a whole slew of other demographics.  Because they’ve claimed to address those issues, they’re on the hook for them: it’s perfectly reasonable to slam them for failing to address (for example) LGBT issues, because they claim to address them beyond simply those that are also women’s issues.  Similarly, many feminists opt for a definition of intersectionality which is quite different from ours and encompasses all issues suffered by women regardless of whether those issues have any relation to gender.  Again, by laying claim to that wider sphere they take responsibility for it, and open themselves to criticism on that basis.

The MRM has, as we noted above, defined a much more narrow scope for itself.  Because it limits its claimsmaking to men’s issues, it’s no longer reasonable to hold them responsible for addressing all issues men face, only those issues men face that are in some way connected to their gender.  If it doesn’t contain at least some gender component, it’s simply outside scope.  While some people who subscribe to the “all issues anyone in the demographic faces” definition would argue that this represents a lack of intersectionality, we’d argue that such a perspective is entirely ignorant.

When looking at feminism’s history of (failing at) intersectionality, we see a very different pattern that you yourself commented on: feminists ignoring issues that are very clearly connected to gender because they didn’t affect all women, or didn’t primarily affect the upper-middle class white hetcis women who for a very long time made up the major body of feminism.  No matter how you slice it, that pattern isn’t evident in the MRM.  In fact, most of the core issues the MRM attempts to address affect men who are also members of other marginalized groups particularly severely.  Judicial bias, family law, criminal profiling, homelessness, dangerous workplaces, issues in the military, public education, violence….none of these things are primarily the issues of upper-middle class white hetcis men.  Ironically, it follows that for all the claims of feminism, the MRM is actually more intersectional on both a historical and ongoing basis.