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OPINIONS

A discussion on feminism

I believe in recognizing and realizing the equality of women and men. According to some, that would make me a feminist. And yet, it is important to differentiate theory from reality. In theory, feminism is about equal rights. In reality, however, a decidedly different picture emerges – a picture wherein the notion of equal rights for men is often ignored or even mocked by the modern feminist movement.

I never understood the feminist rejection of men’s rights activists. The fundamental goal of the men’s rights movement is to ameliorate discrimination against men in society, a goal surely in line with the theoretical definition of feminism. And men’s rights is not an arbitrary movement: while women are surely worse off than men in many facets of society, there are definite areas in which men are disadvantaged compared to their female counterparts.

Prominent examples abound. Take the criminal justice system, for instance: for the same crime, controlling for criminal history and other background factors, men receive sentences that are 63 percent longer than women’s, according to a 2012 University of Michigan Law School study. And while females are often portrayed as harmed by America’s education system, the data tell a different story. According to a 2008 multinational study, American girls outperform boys in reading more than boys outperform girls in math. And in some Nordic countries, girls outperform boys in reading and math. This gender gap is present in the university setting, too. While the absence of females in certain college majors is well publicized, women earn 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in the US overall.

Either females are intrinsically more intelligent than males, or males are being discriminated against in the education systems of these developed countries. Decades ago, the opposite was the case, and feminists placed blame on the system and cried foul on any suggestion of innate differences in intelligence. Is it so wrong for men’s rights activists to call attention to the inequalities emerging today?

And I have yet to mention a significant area of concern for many in the men’s rights movement: family policy and law. One such issue is child custody laws, which men’s rights activists accuse of favoring mothers. Another is alimony: only in 1979 did the Supreme Court declare it unconstitutional for a state to have a law that required husbands, but not wives, to pay alimony upon divorce.

Flash forward to now, and although women increasingly bear the burden of financial support in divorce cases, the vast majority of divorce cases still involve the male having to give alimony to the female. This disparity becomes a problem when we consider the fact that current divorce law is derived from centuries-old notions and customs and that, until recently, little attention has been focused on reform.

Given these and other inequalities, some bloggers have adopted use of the term “female privilege.” This term is a clear reference to the widely-acknowledged concept of “male privilege,” or the unearned advantages given to men on the basis of their sex. While I believe in male privilege, including female privilege in our discourse surrounding gender issues is necessary to complete the picture. Indeed, the two concepts are highly interrelated; one oft-cited example of male privilege is that a male can shirk his fatherly duties without being derided by society, yet the sexism behind this privilege also accounts for males being discriminated against in child custody cases.

Some feminist bloggers criticize the notion of female privilege because the female “privileges” are rooted in sexism – the fact that females are excluded from the military draft, for instance, is on account of women being deemed incapable of the demands of war. Yet if we apply the same logic to the male privilege checklist, we see that many of the “privileges” listed are rooted in sexist assumptions of men being less nurturing and warm than women.

Other feminists criticize the notion of female privilege because, as one blogger put it, the “status quo for men is one which grants them status and power in both the public and private spheres, whereas the status quo for women is one which limits their power to the much smaller, and more specific, domestic sphere.” Yet this argument takes a decidedly middle to upper class perspective. While competitiveness – one status quo trait for males – may be of benefit to an educated male climbing the career ladder, it is harmful in a context where people must compete, say, to sell drugs.

Even if we focus on the middle-class male, it is useful to examine just how much power the status quo grants him. Take the example of a married couple that has their first child. The status quo drives the female towards the domestic sphere to raise the child. Since she now works less, if at all, the husband must work more to maintain their previous financial standing. Throw in the additional financial burden of the child, and the male must work even more. The status quo thus forces him into working longer hours at a job that he may not enjoy but remains in due to its high pay. Is that power? On paper, perhaps it is. But in reality, the status quo forces males (and females, I should add) to forfeit control over their lives in order to fulfill their traditional gender roles.

What I hope to convey with this piece is that we must draw more attention to how males are harmed by the system if we are to realize a society where men and women have equal status, rights and privileges. We must critically reflect on how sexist assumptions regarding the traits and “proper roles” of males and females serve to negatively affect both sexes, albeit in different ways. We must realize the fact that the same traits that lead to a high status male in one context can lead to jail or death in another. There are many nuanced discussions to be had, and the feminists who ignore or reject interests of men are doing a disservice to their proposed cause.

What pertinent issue do you want to see Adam tackle next? Email him at adamj11@stanford.edu.

About Adam Johnson

Adam is a senior from Illinois. He is majoring in Biomechanical Engineering, although his intellectual interests span dozens of departments. This is his second year writing for the Daily (you may remember him from his work last year on the Editorial Board). Outside of writing, Adam enjoys acting, skiing, making music, and thrift-store shopping.
  • sarah

    I feel that a lot of the issues you mentioned are not necessarily direct affronts on men so much as evidence of the phrase “patriarchy hurts everyone.” The criminal justice system and the military draft are both evidence of the notion that women are weak, emotional, and helpless. The fact that men are expected to give more in a divorce, “have to” work outside the home, and sometimes denied child custody are all the result of the notion that women are better as parents and men are better as providers, something problematic for BOTH genders. It has yet to be determined why there are more women attending higher education than men (though I would not be surprised if it is to compensate for the sexism that makes it more difficult for women to succeed). At the same time, you should keep in mind that though women are attending college more, they are being paid less and are highly underrepresented in leadership positions.

    The reason feminists tend not to like MRAs is because most of them are just sexists hiding behind pseudo-civil rights. They are not interested in an inclusive discourse surrounding issues of sexism; they really just care about reclaiming the extreme privilege they held 100 years ago. I’ve seen men’s rights activists threaten to rape and beat women online, promote domestic violence, fail to acknowledge rape culture–to the point of arguing against the conviction of rapists, and encourage completely avoiding contact with women. These are the rule, not the exception. So, no, I don’t take men’s rights activists seriously. In my experience, most of the men who are for gender equality and are concerned about men’s rights actually identify as feminists.

    I feel like you are just trying to emphasized the importance of understanding sexism from a broader perspective, which is completely valid, but your delivery was lacking.

  • Jonnylives54

    This is the fundamental mistake of feminism, the presumption that these ‘generations of male-centric society’ were a paradise for men. While men did enjoy what you might consider ‘privileges’ throughout history, they were bundled with an equal amount of burden and responsibility. The toil of labor, the costs of war, the risk of new venture, the sacrifice for community and family, the sublimation of desire, all of these costs imposed on men in exchange for these ‘privileges’. Now, the feminist response to this is that men are ‘victims’ of this so-called patriarchy, without acknowledging the benefits that women have extracted over the epochs from this very same system. Women’s ‘third-degree burns’ are a joke compared to male suffering. We live harder, shorter lives, trapped on one side by historical/evolutionary expectations and on the other by a matriarchal oppression that seeks to invalidate our struggle.

  • Jonnylives54

    This post is fairly indicative of the type of response you can expect from feminists. If you dare question their sexist ideology—no matter how calmly or rationally you present your argument—you’ll be labeled an MRA rapist (who are ‘the rule, not the exception’). This sort of pejorative, close-minded assault is meant to silence opposition and squelch debate, but fortunately there are men like Adam who won’t abide this kind of libelous rhetoric.

  • sarah

    I was referring specifically to self-labeled men’s rights activists and the MRA movement, whom Adam directly mentioned. In no way was I stating that Adam, or anybody who promotes a wider range of gender discourse, was any of those things. I also did not say call MRAs rapists; jumping to conclusions about my intentions and exaggerating my statements while criticizing me for “libelous rhetoric” is extremely hypocritical. I apologize if that was the impression that I gave, but I still stand by my statements. A quick perusal of a self-proclaimed MRA website will confirm them.

  • Arxces

    If I understand correctly your arguments are:
    1. Women have been overlooked as humans, have been an oppressed group, and therefore require a specific class of rights.
    2.Both women and men face inequality, but women face a greater barrier to basic rights.

    For the first limb, the narrative of the historic oppression of women by men is simplistic and inaccurate.

    One common argument is the historical lack of women’s suffrage. However, not all men were allowed to vote either; non white men, those without property of a certain value, and slaves could not vote either. In fact women gained the franchise ahead of blacks, native americans, and poor men. Moreover, as the Supreme Court has noted on several occasions, the Draft is a legal obligation arising out of constitutional rights, foremost of which is representation (i.e. men’s suffrage is purchased with an obligation to inflict and suffer violence).

    Another common argument is that women lacked political power. This is untrue. Prohibition was passed before women had suffrage. It was largely brought about by activism by ‘dry’ women’s groups, who were concerned with the negative effects alcohol had on their husbands, brothers and sons.

    One last argument for this limb is that women were the property of their husbands or fathers. This is inaccurate. Men were the guardians (i.e. ‘parent’) of women, or the trustee to a beneficiary. Women were infantilised but were no more oppressed than children or beneficiaries to a trust. Men controlled her property but were obligated to support her. This obligation persisted even when the property was spent, and even if it was spent by her, and even if she was separated from him.

    And even if, for argument’s sake, there was this historic oppression, would the best way of tackling it be additional special rights, or applying the existing rights to women equally? And even if it existed, does the systemic oppression of women exist today. Certainly the indicators are favourable for women today: women form the majority of voters, college graduates, small business starters, heads of household finances, etc. Men on the other hand form the majority of the unemployed, workplace fatalities, victims of crime and violent crime. On a per hour basis, controlling for qualifications, experience, career path, the wage gap disappears. In fact, single childless women out-earn their equivalent men.

    For the second limb, I will keep it brief since this reply is too long. What is the quantum of rights? How is it possible to assess who generally has the greater barrier? Certainly I have offered many items above which seem to indicate that women are doing well today. But I would not be so bold as to make an assessment as to who has the greater barrier.

    Human rights activism is not a zero sum game. Men’s rights is not redundant, and does not take away from women’s rights. On the contrary, men’s rights is necessary and vital towards achieving equity. Adam Johnson correctly pointed out a myriad of men’s problems. Feminists insist that feminism provides the solution to these problems, yet it has not delivered on that promise. In light of feminism’s shortcomings in this regard, there is need for a movement that addresses the problems of men.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-Weaver/1000416614 Kris Weaver

    Feminism may be a hate movement, but much like not all racists are in the KKK not all male haters are feminists.

    For starters: Men who ditch their responsibilities for a child financially are mentally, emotionally and very much physically crucified in America. Men who simply can’t be a father because their ex’s gatekeeping and parental alienation are equally subject to severe emotional abuse from society.

    While on the other hand women can have an abortion, adoption or give custody to the father and simply walk away. Over 40% of mothers who do not have custody of their children are deadbeats, while only 10%(pre-depression/recession rate) of non-custodial fathers are “deadbeats”; and the funny thing is almost half of that 10% really are dead, most of the rest are disabled, homeless or damn near homeless.

    This article, while even though a step in the right direction, is woefully ignorant to the point of damn near being bigoted, given the sheer depth of literature available on Men’s Rights issue’s.

  • Arxces

    A man has the OBLIGATION to work more to provide for the baby he created (or at least he signed for on the birth cert). This is called child support, and it can even exceed the father’s paycheck.

    Absentee fathers are more common than absentee mothers because custody is granted more often to mothers. And women initiate 70% of divorces. Many of them take out restraining orders against the father or cause alienation between child and father. Thus often the father is absent because he is unwelcome.

    The stigma for a man choosing to leave or being made to leave is to be called a ‘deadbeat dad’ by family, society and the media. The stigma for mothers who leave may possibly be worse, but only because she is seen as the rightful parent, and single fathers face a lot of stigma in parenting circles (think playgrounds, playdates, schools parents associations).

    Mitt Romney is a douchebag and an idiot. But social scientists and criminologists have long known of the correlation between single motherhood and social problems in their children such as higher likelihood to commit crime, especially violent crime, incarceration, dropping out of school, unemployment, depression, suicide, underage pregnancy, etc. We know correlation is not necessarily causation. But something needs to be done about single mothers, whether it is blame or support.

  • Arxces

    False analogy. The holocaust is a fact. Discussions on feminism deal in opinion.

  • Arxces

    It appears to be researched, judging from the links provided. Perhaps you would care to rebut with some facts? Or are you going to do a Fox News of your own and level unfounded accusations?

  • Arxces

    I agree with the sentiment, but come on, let’s not generalise and use ad hominem.

  • http://twitter.com/shaenongarrity Shaenon K. Garrity

    Shame isn’t always a bad thing. When one behaves shamefully, one deserves to feel shame.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-Weaver/1000416614 Kris Weaver

    Women have never been an oppressed group in western civilization(Western as in our Ancestors the Germanic peoples that conquered the Romans[Latins] and the Celts). They have never known hard labor, fear of death or bodily injury or the horrors of war(white women for the most part). During the 1800’s if a man cursed infront of a woman he would of been arrested on the spot. Heck Swedish women during the time of the mighty Vikings where the only ones by law(which is what privilege is private law) where able to own a key to the door of the home.

    Look at gender dynamics: if a man displeases his wife she can either a) demand he sleep on the coach or b) demand that he leaves the house. And it has been that way for decades. Really, it is increasingly delusional and kind of pathetic to keep repeating the gynocentric lies about the notion of “male privilege”. The only thing that has existed in history has been “male responsibility” and “male suffering”.

    But heck male hating bigots will keep repeating their lies while ignoring all the men who died on the seas to bring women sugar, coffee and tea during the colonial era, to all the men who died in the coal mines to ensure the homes of millions of women where kept warm throughout the year.

    It truly is a great scam our Western Matriarchy is. The Matriarchy in times past gave men just enough of an ego boost and control over certain decisions(or rather control to rich men) that they glad-fully accepted their slavery.

    When a few million women have died on the field of horror, in the mines or on the floors of industry and are homeless by the hundreds of thousands then we can talk “oppression”. In fact, anyone who claims white women where ever an oppressed group is nothing more then a white supremacist, as it was white supremacist segregationists who had women inserted into the Civil Rights act(something which one could argue utterly destroyed the African American community and is responsible for their current suffering). If you look at a history book and look at the plight of the average person it is plain to see it was the average man, not the average woman that was oppressed. As defined by Bing dictionary:

    1.

    dominate harshly: to subject a person or a people to a harsh or cruel form of domination

    2.

    inflict stress on: to be a source of worry, stress, or trouble to somebody

    Where the men who where forced to work to support their families or the women who chose to stay at home being “oppressed” as defined in definition one? Keep in mind the reason why I say women in the past chose to be stay at home parents is due in part to the Mothers of the Republic women’s Rights movement that fought for the right to be stay at home moms. They are the ones who created that social norm by stabbing Men’s Labor Activists in the back(who where aiming for everyone to work but less).

    And look at definition two. Did women spend any amount of time worrying about their husbands? Prohibition say’s otherwise. You see, after women got the right to vote prohibition was their first political action. Now why did they support prohibition? Because it annoyed them that their husbands spent all their free time after work drinking. Never once did a single one of them ever ask “what is driving my husband to drink”, or wonder what the effect of a man seeing other men around him die every other day in the coal mines or factories of 19th and 20th century America.

    But men were left to worry constantly about the welfare of women even to the founding of our Republic. Even women who had mental illness where cared for(Emily Dickinson is a prime example, she was extreme an agoraphobic to the point she never really left her humble cottage and was cared for by relatives and neighbors. After she died her poems where found and the Country wept and not having the chance to celebrate such a writer in life).

    Heck look at the sheer number of esteemed writers from the 1800’s who where female. The only way the concept that “women where oppressed” can make sense is if women felt oppressed because they where not equal to the very rich, top of society. That mindset reveals how truly ignorant and shameless anyone who tries to claim that women where oppressed truly are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-Weaver/1000416614 Kris Weaver

    With all do respect, over 40% of non-custodial mothers are deadbeats. Pre-Depression, only 10% of non-custodial fathers where “deadbeats”, and half of those really were dead.

    And what imaginary stigma is their for women to leave their children. Heck millions of women have had abortions, gave children up for adoption, walked away from husband and children, left children at fire-stations trashcans or dumpsters, hell some women even murdered their children to get away from the responsibility of it and what does society do? Ohh right they find a way to excuse it.

    While a man on the other hand, it doesn’t matter if the male was 8,9,10 or 12 years old and raped by a much older woman, it doesn’t matter if the man is quadriplegic and raped by a nurse(the guy was required to pay child support, couldn’t afford his apartment after his disability got gutted and was stuck in a state hospital where he died of an infection). Heck it doesn’t matter if a man is both disabled and homeless, he is still expected to pay.

    Please, Please, Pretty please with cherries ontop find evidence for me that society en mass demonizes mothers who walk away and gives fathers a pass.

    P.S

    It is utterly dishonest and down right nasty to try and claim that “men just walk away”, when there is ample evidence that women file the overwhelming majority of divorce cases, and apply for PFA(Protection From Abuse) orders to maintain control of the house and children. Plus, the rampant tolerance of Gate-keeping and Parental Alienation in our culture to make such claims belies either a weak intellect or is a symptom that someone is so utterly bigoted that to lie about things which are easily proven a matter of fact isn’t a burden on their conscience(assuming they have a conscience).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-Weaver/1000416614 Kris Weaver

    Like the AAUW wouldn’t lie, ohh right the AAUW lied through their teeth in the early 90’s about the “Girl Crisis” that began the war on boy’s. But please trust a hate group known for publishing fraudulent reports to suit their agenda.

    To cite a hategroup is to publicly admit that you are a bigot. But I may be too harsh, after all once a person develops certain positive notions towards a group or idea they are less likely to vet the source and the history of the source.

  • Adam Johnson

    Thanks for your comment. I had a lengthy response to this but it got deleted accidentally.

    Anyways, I basically said that I devoted 100 words in the piece to mentioning challenges women face. While not the focus of my piece, it need not be, as most of my readers are already quite aware of the figures and arguments you cited above- the feminist propaganda machine (that is responsible for the mass usage of the misleading 70 cents per dollar figure, among other statistics) ensures that.

    I also brought up rape, and how if I could write a more lengthy version it would have been discussed. The numbers tell a story of women being victims at a far greater rate than men. And yet, returning to the thesis of my piece, this does not mean we should ignore men in discussions of rape victims; there are unique challenges that many male rape victims face, including a lack of knowledge or desire to report the incident to anyone and the sexual doubt that may ensue (for straight males) from being assaulted by a male perpetrator.

    Feminism does not escape guilt-free here; while many feminists are pushing for more attention to be given to male rape survivors, others perpetuate the binary ideology of male perpetrator and female victim, even if that is not the intent. It’s like talking about love but leaving out any mention of same-sex pairs; while perhaps not malicious, it perpetuates damaging norms and beliefs.

  • http://twitter.com/BattyMamzelle Cate Young

    “The status quo thus forces him into working longer hours at a job that he may not enjoy but remains in due to its high pay. Is that power?”

    In this case, the aim of feminism would be to encourage paid maternity AND paternity leave, to relieve financial burdens such as these, as well as to make circumstances easier for working parents in general (corporate sponsored daycare etc). But the main issue is that usually, when that first child is born, and someone has to stay home to care for him or her, the person with the higher paying job will continue to work. WHO DO YOU THINK THAT USUALLY IS?

    Stanford. Never quite an Ivy.

  • http://twitter.com/BattyMamzelle Cate Young

    Custody is generally not granted to a parent who has voluntarily decided not to be in a child’s life. Cart before horse there honey.

  • http://twitter.com/BattyMamzelle Cate Young

    The problem you seem to be having is that you, like many well meaning MRA’s are arguing against strawman arguments. Any actual feminist will tell you that they understand and appreciate the challenges men face. One of the tenets of feminism is that the patriarchy hurts both women AND men. The rigid gender roles that constrict women? They constrict men too, and we get that. (Gay panic anyone?)

    The biggest issue that feminists have with MRA’s is that anyone who is paying attention will see that ALL, as in every last one, of MRA’s legitimate concerns (custody, male rape acknowledgment etc.) are covered by feminism. MRA’s seek to divide, while feminism seeks to unify. That is not to say it doesn’t have it’s problems. It obviously does, but strawman arguments help no one.

  • http://twitter.com/BattyMamzelle Cate Young

    I can link to wikipedia. Does that count as research? Your point?

  • http://twitter.com/BattyMamzelle Cate Young

    “The toil of labor, the costs of war, the risk of new venture”

    Oh, my bad. I didn’t realize that up until recently women weren’t allowed in open combat, because male lawmakers said so.

    Oh wait…

  • Jonnylives54

    Right, women are really beating down the door to engage in combat. They want access to the jobs and status, but you can bet you bottom dollar that when the draft in reinstated, they’ll be nowhere to be found. This is the essence of modern feminism: rights without responsibility.

  • ZimbaZumba

    “MRA’s legitimate concerns (custody, male rape acknowledgment etc.) are covered by feminism..”

    Not wishing to seem sarcastic, but do you really think that? Do feminist campaigns confirm the truth of that statement?

  • Jonnylives54

    The biggest issue that MRAs have with feminists is that they cherry-pick a couple of issues on which they agree and classify them as ‘legitimate’ and a product of the ‘patriarchy’ while completely ignoring the broader scope of their ideals. The movement seeks to completely dismantle the massive legal and cultural framework of female privilege that advantages women at the expense of men.

    Men seek the complete reproductive freedom that women enjoy. This means male financial abortion, mandatory paternity testing, and the male birth-control pill.

    Men wish to redress the massive disparities in health and educational outcomes. This will require a substantial redistribution of resources away from women and toward men.

    Men want justice and equal rights in the legal system, not just in custody and marital matters, but in all aspects. Sentencing disparities, domestic violence and sexual assault law, as well as judicial resources all favor women at the expense of men. This must end.

    These are only the tip of iceberg. MRAs are also interested in combating the constant cultural demonization of men by feminism. So you see, there really is little common cause. If there are true believers in gender equality, then they should leave the feminist movement and join with these brave men, as some notable ex-feminists have.

  • Jonnylives54

    I think feminism needs to come to terms with the consequences of free choice. More women-than-men will choose a nurturing role with children and more men-than-women will choose to work longer hours under difficult conditions in higher-paying occupations. You can ‘encourage’ otherwise all you want, but tens of thousands of years of evolution and the gender roles they’ve produced cannot be overcome with wishing.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the issues of men, in terms of masculinity, rape etc., need to be addressed. I hear you. I agree.

    Since you want to work towards gender equality, I suggest you celebrate the idea (if true) that your readers are aware of issues women face today, instead of resenting that as a sign that they do not care about men.

    Not just feminists forget the less than 5% of male rape victims – the general public also tends to push the issue of rape away as a “women’s issue”.

    Instead of infighting, let’s recognize that we have, at heart, the same goals, and respectfully consider how to work towards gender equality for both genders.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the issues of men, in terms of masculinity, rape etc., need to be addressed. I hear you. I agree.

    On the issue of male.birth control, this nytimes article details why it hasn’t happened yet: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1829107,00.html. Relevant: “The biggest hurdle that I’ve encountered in trying to share this information is a sort of knee-jerk reaction that men aren’t interested in these kinds of contraceptives and that women won’t trust them to take them.”

    In order to counter this reaction, we need men and women to feel able to trust each other. Currently, assumptions about masculinity (http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men.html) get in the way. To move towards a better relationship between men and women, let’s start by finding ways for MRAs and feminists to work together. The very problem right now is that we don’t feel like we can, in terms of our lives, and in terms of activism.

    Instead of infighting, let’s recognize that we have, at heart, the same goals, and respectfully consider how to work towards gender equality for both genders.

  • Anonymous

    In fact, feminists may be more aware of the male rape victims, and other issues faced by men in general, because they have done the research. Bottom line is: we hurt the movement towards gender equality by fighting amongst ourselves. Let’s all direct our argumentative energy to changing the rest of our culture, instead of at potential allies.

  • Pause.

    What? I don’t think that PJMedia is really an objective resource either. I linked to the actual text of the findings of the study. You’re free to actually look over the methodology and numbers and indict the findings on substantive grounds, but I don’t think that saying “one fringe blogger in the history of ever called the AAUW a ‘hate group’ in the 90s and a five MRAs have linked to it since and therefore everything is bigoted and about creating a war on the boys!!!!!” is a particularly productive method of advancing a balanced dialogue.

    Unless there’s actually a legitimate body that considers them a hate group that’s not represented on google…? In which case a link, rather than your polemic, might be nice.

  • Peggy McIntosh

    historical oppression of women is also a fact, but what do i know.

  • Peggy McIntosh
  • Peggy McIntosh

    when you minimize other people’s burdens and compare them with your own, you hurt feelings. please also recognize that you are not speaking to every hateful feminist you have encountered when you engage a woman who is trying to point out a woman’s perspective in this debate.

    we recognize that men bear “toils of labor,” but put your big boy pants on.

    “a joke compared to male suffering?” homie, it isn’t suffering if you do all the work and in exchange, you get your just deserts, get to call the shots. it’s paying your dues. women of history toiled just as hard in the arenas into which they were allowed, but were excluded from positions of power, in their own households and outside. let your sisters have a decade to shine without making them feel guilty.

  • Jonnylives54

    That’s just it. They want to ‘shine’ and have access to power without the costs. That is the fundamental injustice of feminism.

  • Jonnylives54

    Ah yes, that evil oppressive man, slaving away all day, selling his time to provide for his family. How dare he expect something in return?

  • Peggy McIntosh

    i didn’t cite anything because i figured most folks can find Census.gov. here are some nice articles with charts derived from census data: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2253421/1-3-US-children-live-father-according-census-number-parent-households-decreases-1-2-million.html; http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/25/fathers-disappear-from-households-across-america/?page=all. i can write you an email explaining how to use Census’ American Fact Finder thingy to verify their numbers, if you like.

    15 million US children, or 1 in 3, live in fatherless homes, compared with 5 million in a home without a mother.

    sorry to have come across as “utterly dishonest” and “down right nasty.” didn’t mean to hurt feelings. my own feelings were a bit damaged at the time. i’d suggest this article to you, to explain how most women feel when they read an article like this one: http://weeklysift.com/2012/09/10/the-distress-of-the-privileged/

  • Peggy McIntosh

    i’m not sure what you mean by “costs.” i don’t think you read the whole article, or you wouldn’t think i’m attempting to attack here :/ sorry to have offended you & that we can’t engage properly to find common ground.

  • DavidByron

    I’m an anti-feminist, and I would say that feminism is a popular hate movement, with the outsider or target group being men. In other words “feminists hate men”, although it’s a shame that the word “hate” here causes so much confusion. It does not refer to the emotion, but to political hate. A tribalist reaction of antipathy, fear and contempt for the outsider. Feminism has always been about attacking men, and not equality. An anti-feminist is an anti-hate advocate, who specialises in feminism (as opposed to say white supremacism).

    You say, “I never understood the feminist rejection of men’s rights activists”. That is a key question and you shouldn’t just throw it out there and then forget about it. If feminism is indeed about sex equality then attacking men, would be as astonishing among feminists as cannibalism is among vegans. Well, we all know that many feminists, and the most prominent among them, have constantly run down men. In fact the central ideology of feminism (“the patriarchy”) is a conspiracy theory that is a vicious attack on the character of men as a group. Men are oppressors. Men selfishly run society for their own benefit and to keep down women. Men are violent towards women. That is what bell hooks says in “Feminism Is For Everyone”, a book she (ironically) wrote in large part to dismiss the charge that feminists “hate men”.

    I said feminism is a popular hate movement to differentiate it from unpopular fringe hate groups like the modern day KKK. Few people remember that the KKK in their day (in the 1920s) were very well thought of and popular in the sense that feminism is today. Times have changed for the better and now we recognise that their ideas were prejudicial. As a society we need to recognise the same prejudices in feminism. It should not be a hard thing to tell the difference between political hate and equality, but we are in the habit of constantly excusing feminism for it’s obvious faults. That needs to stop. This prejudice causes real harm.

    Those who disagree with this hypothesis about the nature of the modern feminist movement, and instead claim that feminism is about sex equality, need to explain why it is that there are so many “cannibal vegans” in their movement, and why so many of them are recognised leaders. The anti-male attitude is widespread within the movement (a glance at some of the comments in the thread here illustrates this).

  • Jonnylives54

    The very idea of ‘privilege distress’ is ludicrous. In the example in the linked article the man is given two choices: give up his ‘privilege’, or lash out in distress. That dichotomy is false.

  • Peggy McIntosh

    as to the comment on stigma, this didn’t post an hour ago. stigma isn’t something that i think you can adequately support with a “study,” although i found several that surveyed participants, more of whom said mothers should never leave their children. i won’t belittle you with a “let me google that for you” link.

    i also wasn’t making any assertion about financial support of a child, as you jumped to with discussion of “deadbeats.” i was talking about physically being present and providing child care, which is evident from the census numbers. women who leave are vilified for doing so.

    my assertion is based on the overwhelming absence of men
    writing about taking jobs apart from their children, while many abound
    for women in the same situation. most focus on the stigma of women
    leaving their children. this one, for example, among a slew of others
    http://www.salon.com/2011/03/01/leaving_my_children/

  • ?

    The majority of women in the world are not upper class white women free from hard labor, fear of death, or the horrors of war.

  • Wow

    Please show on the doll where the feminist has touched you

  • Um..no

    WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ?

  • IReallyBelieveThat
  • John

    ………what.

  • E

    To clarify I think the author and 50% of those who left comments should really take Shelley Correll’s Sociology of Gender course, because I think that will clear up a lot of the zingers people have been flying around. Primarily, I think the claim that the gender wage gap is “feminist propaganda” should REALLY be looked into. The discrimination inherent in the gender wage gap is much deeper and subtle than simply blatant discrimination. The gender gap exists primarily, because work fields dominated by women for example nursing and primary education are consistently devalued. The key point here is that this is no reflection on the actual value of the work, but who’s performing it. A primary example of this is dentistry. In Europe dentistry is a female dominated field whereas in the U.S. it’s male dominated. As it stands European dentists make much less than American dentists. There’s no difference in skill only in the gender makeup of that field. Further more women are far less likely to negotiate and ask for raises than men are due to oh yeah socialization. Then to top it all off, the burden of childcare far more often than not lands on women and taking off a year or two to be with their children sets them back enormously in potential earnings and promotion. The gender wage gap is complicated, but then again SO IS FEMINISM. Really, yo take the damn class…..

  • Sophia

    Sidenote: the point the author made that women and men college graduates make roughly the same (93 cents to the dollar LOOK AT THAT EQUALITY) when they first enter the job market is valid. However, let’s look down the road fifteen years later and I guarantee there will be a disparity in earnings much larger than that initial 7% snub.

  • anonymous

    Ok, the national department of labor has a great study on this you should totally read it. Turns out its not because men are cheating women out of their salaries. And the AAUW study is widely discredited. Their initial study literally averaged male to female earnings with zero controls and claimed women were systematically paid less.

    Men and women enter different fields. In those fields they have different work habits. Newsflash, there are women out there who want to get married and be housewifes. They work while they’re single but don’t really care about their jobs. A man and woman may both work in advertising but they’ll surely put different hours in, depending on their ambition. Even in similar fields men often choose specialties that earn more, men are much more willing take physically difficult jobs and dangerous jobs. Males make up 93% of workplace deaths. Why don’t we close the occupational fatality gap too? Should we have women in coal mining dinners?

  • Anonymous

    Because majority of men have been upper class white males who actually enjoyed the benefits of “The Patriarchy”

  • ZimbaZumba

    Perhaps they should work harder? That’s what is being said to boys failing in education.

  • Commentator19

    ok but tbh this is one of the first articles about Men’s Rights Activists that I really think “gets it right.” I don’t necessarily agree with the term “female privilege” but that’s really not his main focus, it seems — rather, I think framing sexism not only in terms of how it hurts women, and not only in terms of how it hurts men, but in how it hurts all genders, is actually really constructive.

    An important thing to keep in mind is that this isn’t some MRA coming into female spaces demanding that his opinion be heard. It is an opinion piece in the school newspaper, which SHOULD be an open forum for an all-inclusive debate on relevant issues. I think it’s important that we respect all-inclusive spaces if we have any expectation of others respecting women-only (or any other) safe spaces.

    Feminists are much more likely to make real change if we have allies in the currently dominant group — in our sexist society, that would be (straight/white/able-bodied/young/cis) males. If we can point out reasons why those men are personally affected, perhaps we can expand the reach of feminism and gain more ground on really important issues.

  • All for equality

    What about the burden of proof in rape cases? Right now, if a woman cries rape, the man is guilty until proven innocent.

    Read the book “Who Stole Feminism” written by Christina Hoff Sommers

    I’m a male at Stanford. A lot of times, when I bring about the question that a woman might have falsely accused a man of rape, I am labelled a misogynist. I am told that a woman can never lie about rape

    The 2% false rape claim is exagerated. 5-8% of rape claims are false, another 10% are true, the rest are not clear.
    Thus, by using the logic of the 2% false rape claim, one could apply the same flimsy logic and conclude that 90% are false simply because 10% are true. This ignores the scenarios where people genuinely don’t know from the evidence gathered.

    look at this stats
    http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/1o74n7/facts_and_statistics_about_false_rape_claims_a/
    And look at some of the stats from Christina Hoff Sommers book on who stole feminism

    I am daily afraid, that hurting a woman’s feelings accidentally can lead to a false rape claim and I will go to prison.

    Society has encouraged women to think of regretting a sexual decision as rape.

    A prominent feminists once said that men who get falsely accused from rape can gain from it.

    Also, women are allowed to repeatedly falsely accuse males and are only taken to jail after doing so repeatedly. This is entirely unfair. Even then, they only get a tiny fraction of what a convicted rapist get.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2358759/Leanne-Black-finally-jailed-FIVE-false-rape-allegations-ex-boyfriends-years.html

    one reason I am considering leaving the United States after graduation is due to the misandric laws

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