Tag Archive | Feminism

More Feminist Facepalm

So I went back and checked the comments on the link in my last post, and found an interesting discussion. A commenter by the name of ‘Josh’ posted this:

Jesus….What a bunch of hypocritical feminist garbage. It seems like I can’t go a day without seeing some post about how women/gender roles are marginalized in some way under the banner of equality. As a male, I’d get absolutely torn apart if I raged about how people said insensitive things to me in my life, but the amount of white knighting in these types of blogs is absurd. Perhaps people just don’t want to confront the antagonists because it isn’t worth it to them.

What you’re calling for here is not equality, it’s to be put in a special class, protected from all wrongdoing; to be praised for being awesome, but not in any way that can be associated with a “traditional” female gender role. It’s the whole I’m special, and unique, and strong, and independent,blah blah blah blah.

The reason that the term “Wife Aggro” exists, is because it happens; it happens a lot, or at least enough that any gamer can know precisely what it references even if they never heard the term before. The fact that some women rage about this stuff all day long, is exactly why women have the stereotype of being irrational, hyper-emotional people. Do you understand that if you just carried it as a banner, then no one would have ammunition against you?

I get it if the term doesn’t apply to you, and I guess you have the “right” to be offended by it, but I also have the right not to care about your feelings. Throughout life people will slam you with insults, trying to see if they can get under your skin and make you crack. Apparently, they’ve won because this sob-story is exactly what people want.

I’m in 100% favor of equality for women & other gender groups. In fact it’s my number 1 social issue these days. If we ever get to that point, I’ll be very very happy.

However, all of the “advances” women have made towards equality will probably start to go away.

Those amazing women athletes in the Olympics, will now be competing co-ed with their male counterparts – let’s see how many get in.

Those awesome tech-jobs you get when a company isn’t “diverse” enough to qualify for corporate incentives may be reduced. Take a look at a comp sci program and tell me how many were women. In my case, it was exactly 1%. That means that on average there should be 1 female from my school employed in the tech sector for every hundred men. You might call that an atrocity; I call it math.

Additionally, we can stop parading PMS Gaming Clan around MLG like they are something special, When I used to play with them in the Xbox days, our clan would routinely destroy them, so maybe we should get sponsorship deals to be “pro” gamers too.

If what you really want is to be treated fairly, the answer is simple.: Be good at what you do, grow a tougher skin, and stop expecting handouts (socially, & economically). Once you agree to bear the same burdens, you’ll get the same respect, but not any extra.

Now IMO, Josh has some good points, although his tone could use a lot of work. But instead of a response, Aro posts this:

Yeah, what a non-response. So after this, Josh posts again. Except he doesn’t, because this is how it reads:

[ I am an idiot with deficient reading comprehension skills who is nevertheless grateful for the opportunity to win fabulous prizes for being a sexist asshole. Thanks, Aro! ]

– Mod-Edited for clarity. Have a nice day!

How rude. How condescending. How trivial. But despite all this, I’m going to respond seriously to Aro, because an intellectual smackdown is just so…fun. So I responded with this:

Ok Aro, I’m back. Remember me? Hi. You probably won’t let this comment go through, but I’m going to try anyway. I don’t really care if anyone else sees it, as long as *you* see it.

So two things. First, I see you (or one of your mods) have edited Josh’s comment below. Now, you do have a right to decide which comments to allow on your site and which to reject, but that isn’t what you’ve done here. Instead, you’ve edited Josh’s comment to make it insulting towards him (for ‘clarity’, apparently). How would you feel if you posted a comment somewhere, and a mod edited it to read, “I am a bitch who needs to get back in the kitchen”? Probably wouldn’t be too amused, I’m guessing. The point is that two wrongs don’t make a right. If you don’t like what Josh said, why not just delete it? Sure, Josh’s previous comment was antagonistic, but stooping to his level doesn’t solve anything.

Second point, and the main reason I’m back here with another comment. I’m going to be critiquing this “derailment bingo” thing on my blog, on the premise that most if not all of these don’t actually count as a derailment, and may be valid points. I challenge you, for the sake of intellectual honesty, to check out my blog in a few days when I’m done writing it, and at the very least acknowledge that such a disagreement exists. Whether you want to spend time responding to what I write is up to you. But you owe it to your readers to let them know that your side isn’t the only one, and to let them make up their own minds about who’s right.

It got through alright, but just like Josh’s post, it was, erm, heavily edited:

[ I am the MOST DISAPPOINTED dudebro, because if there’s anything living at the top of the rape culture food chain has taught me, it’s that I have a RIGHT!!!1 to a woman’s attention, even in her own personal space, even when she has explicitly said that I am unwelcome. ]

– Mod-edited for length and clarity.

She then responded to her own retcon of my post with this:

Your creepy concern-trolling sexist bullshit is not fucking welcome. This is MY SPACE, and you were already disinvited a week ago. Pushing my personal boundaries is not edgy or cool; it’s fucking gross.

I owe you nothing, and this is the last time I will allow you to engage. My readers already know there’s “disagreement,” because what you call “disagreement” IS FUCKING SEXISM.

And now my comments aren’t even going into the mod queue, they’re just being automatically deleted. I’m going to destroy that ignorant bingo card.

The Feminist And The Facepalm

So before I write anything new, here’s a conversation I just had with an online feminist. The article:

http://www.dragonsworn.net/the-trouble-with-wife-aggro/

Me:

“Wife aggro” is meant to be a joke, you all need to chill out, seriously. No one thinks wives actually “aggro” on their husbands. Complain about something worth complaining about.

Aro:

Can you prove conclusively that no one thinks wives actually aggro on their husbands? Because I can prove conclusively that there are people who do, because otherwise this phrase would not exist.

But that doesn’t matter, because whether it’s a joke or not doesn’t change the fact that the term is sexist and exclusionary.

Me:

No, I can’t prove that, because it wasn’t meant to be taken literally. It’s like if I said “no one like chocolate milk mixed with pickle juice”. Obviously, there’s bound to be a few people who do, but the point of the statement is to point out an overwhelming majority.

And by the way, it does matter whether it’s a joke or not. Humor is sometimes offensive, that’s what makes it funny. I laugh hardest at jokes about groups I belong to (white, male, lower middle class, overweight, atheist). So does anyone else who has a normal sense of humor. Routinely, black people laugh at jokes about black people, old people laugh at jokes about old people, poor people laugh at jokes about poor people. They’re funny *because* they’re offensive. Making light of injustices committed against oneself is fine, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Aro:

So this is some 101-level stuff, but it’s a beautiful day and the kid’s asleep so I’m feeling magnanimous.

The reason why “offensive” jokes about straight white men can be funny is because that group enjoys the privilege of power. Those jokes are not used to oppress or harass because by definition in this country they do not suffer systematic and institutionalized oppression.

Additionally your examples all miss a very important point: context matters. A black joke told by a black person to other black people is very different than that same joke told by a white person.

In this the context of this particular panel in this particular place, the phrase/joke/whatever “wife aggro” tells women that they aren’t invited because they are the cause and need to be fixed.

Words matter. They mean things. These words mean that I and other women like me don’t matter, and that’s wrong.

Me:

Two things.

1) I, a white guy, tell black jokes to my black friends all the time. And they laugh. Know why? Because they know it’s a joke. They also make white jokes, and I laugh. Because they’re jokes. I also tell jokes about women to my female friends, and vice versa, and we all have a good laugh. Maybe I’m just lucky to have friends that aren’t constantly looking for something to be offended by. As for me personally, I don’t enjoy any privilege of power at all. I’m just a regular everyday normal guy. So are millions and millions of other straight white men in the world.

2) You’re right – words do matter, and they do mean things. But you’re wrong about *what* they mean. Jokes aren’t meant to oppress, they’re meant to make people laugh. If someone (somehow) is using a wife aggro joke out of context to oppress women, yeah he’s doing something wrong. But the guy telling the wife aggro joke isn’t at fault, the guy doing the oppressing is. Jokes are just jokes. It’s ok to laugh at them.

Aro:

As I said: CONTEXT MATTERS. You’re talking to your friends, about your friends. You have assumedly a long history together. You know the nuances and the mannerisms that create context. You don’t, I bet, go seek out a group of black strangers and tell them racist jokes that you might be comfortable sharing with your black friends. CONTEXT. Likewise, this is a group of strangers in a male-dominated, notoriously female-unfriendly space. Maybe it’s a joke to their friends; I don’t know these men, they don’t know me, I don’t think it’s fucking funny.

I’m not searching out things to be offended about. It’s right there. Right there in the title. WIFE. AGGRO. Right there. This isn’t a scavenger hunt.

Like I said, this was 101-level stuff, and I’m sorry that you’ve misunderstood. Here’s the thing: yes, you do enjoy the privilege of power because you are a white man. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s not your fault. There’s nothing you can do to change it, because it’s the way the world works. But it’s THERE. It will always be there. Check out John Scalzi’s The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is to break this down more for you.

Me:

I just read the article you linked, and it’s a bad analogy – because “straight”, “white”, and “male” are far from the only factors which influence how easy one’s life is. For example, I’m also genetically cursed with looks on the the low side of average, I’m genetically predisposed to both alcoholism and heart disease, and contrary to the article, I’m actually bisexual. A healthy, good looking black woman born into an affluent family is going to have far more privilege than me, despite our respective skin colors. Privilege comes from the totality of what we are, not from a few basic traits. But you know what? I don’t complain about my disadvantages, because I don’t care. Me, you, and everyone else has things that grant them advantages and things that grant them disadvantages. The distribution isn’t always perfectly equal, but since it’s genetic, there’s no point in complaining about it. Instead of pointing out how everyone besides you has all these privileges, why don’t you tell them all it doesn’t matter, and do whatever the fuck you want in life anyway? Maybe it will be a little harder for you, but life isn’t all roses, and in the long run overcoming disadvantages will make you a better person anyway. Think about it – right now, instead of writing posts about white male privilege, you could be practicing programming, or training for the olympics, or something like that. Do you want to succeed, or do you want everyone else to fail?

Anyway, no, I don’t walk up to random people on the street and tell racist jokes, but I don’t walk up to random people on the street and tell *any* kind of jokes. I leave random strangers alone. But white comedians tell black jokes to audiences with black members (and vice versa). If someone doesn’t enjoy the jokes that are being told, fine, they’re free to leave. But have you ever seen what comedians do to hecklers? You stand up and complain about something as innocuous as a lame joke, and you get *destroyed*, because no one, especially the person telling the joke, likes people with strong senses of entitlement bitching that things aren’t going their way when they could just move on.

Aro:

If you actually read all of Scalzi’s article and THAT was your takeaway, then I’m afraid we have nothing further to discuss.

Me:

It’s fine if you think I’ve misinterpreted the article, but refusing to explain my mistake, and refusing to address what I’ve said, just reflects poorly on you. Shutting down the discussion is never a good idea.

Aro:

http://derailingfordummies.com/complete.html#educate

Me:

Sorry, but that’s not gonna fly. I’m not some little beta “please educate me so I can better learn to respect you” loser. I was arguing my case, and *you* declined to respond to my points. To quote Monty Python, “Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.”

So once again, you’re free to respond to what I’ve said, but refusing to do so means that you forfeit the right to claim an intellectual victory here. If you’re ok with that, then so be it. Also, to everyone else: I noticed that my posts are getting minus ratings, while Aro’s posts are getting plus ratings. Perhaps some of you comment raters would like to speak up and explain *your* thoughts on the matter?

Aro:

Look, friend. Your future comments can just sit in the moderation queue until you learn some reading comprehension skills. It is not anyone’s job to ~~~educate you~~~ on your ~~~mistake~~~ and I am not your dancing monkey. I don’t give a shit that you think my failure to continue trying to beat it through your thick white man head that your perspective is perhaps slightly different than that of mine and other commenters here is some kind of moral victory for you; if what you need in order to sleep better on your big fluffy manpain pillows is to tell yourself that you’re ~~~intellectually superior~~~ because some woman on the internet isn’t willing to give up her free time to hold your hand and say the same thing over and over and over and over and over to jump through your tautological hoops, then feel free!

And just so your precious feefees stop hurting, I’ll let you know that all of my comments get a default +1 through IntenseDebate so I don’t have to sit in my own mod queue. Nothing personal.
—————————————

So, a few thoughts about that last comment. First, ok, Aro’s comments get a default +1. But that doesn’t explain the many +/-2’s on these posts. And while I wasn’t aware that I had “feefees” (whatever those are), they’re certainly not hurting. My last comment was a challenge to lurkers to share their thoughts, nothing more.

Anyway, it seems rather obvious to me that Aro has some sort of problem with both men and with disagreement (for reals, check out all the vitriol there). What Aro needs to come to terms with is that when something is posted online, no matter what it is, it’s going to be critiqued. While it’s not her job to educate me, it *is* her job to defend what she’s written. Maybe my point about privilege being the result of many complex factors is wrong, but until she (or someone else) responds to it, there it stands.

Now it’s time for me to go lay my head down on my big fluffy manpain pillows, and try not to have a nightmare about Aro’s bizarre tilde fetish (See that? That was a joke!)

Fem Versus Fem

Ethika Politica has just published an article titled “The Real War on Women—Followed To Its Logical Conclusions”. I am going to be extremely critical of this article, dissecting it piece by piece in severe detail, so first a disclaimer: I am a feminist. I mean this in the sense that women should have the same social, political, and economic opportunities and responsibilities that men do. I do not mean this in the sense that women are in any way better or more deserving of anything than men.

There is no denying that there is a War on Women, in not only this country, but throughout the world. One cannot turn on their TV, read a newspaper or magazine, or even check their Twitter feed without seeing the violent verbal assaults on females that are taken for granted.

I deny it (and I’ll be returning to this topic in a moment). To make a comment specifically about things like Twitter feeds, yes, there are violent verbal assaults on females that are taken for granted on some parts of the internet. But there are also such things directed toward men, Christians, atheists, muslims, buddhists, hindus, jews, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, moderates, anarchists, homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, asexuals, punks, goths, emos, nerds, geeks, dorks, jocks, preps, whites, blacks, indians, asians, teenagers, and the elderly. People who make such attacks are called trolls. Their entire goal is to get a rise out of the group they’re bad mouthing. Don’t feed the trolls!

And, consequently, the phrase, “War on Women” has been being strewn about like condoms at a public middle school.

If the strewing about of this phrase is supposed to be a bad thing, you’re only contributing to the problem. And while someone in middle school having sex isn’t a good thing, if they’re going to do so, it’s better for them to do it with condoms than without.

What is the “War on Women”? Whether it’s the commonly accepted misogyny in the media, the promotion of birth control, or the repression of it, the referring to women in the public eye as “MILF’s”, “cunts”, or “prostitutes”, or even the low blows about their weight or appearance; you name it, and whichever you believe it is, it’s there.

This is just defining the “War on Women” into existence. What if I believed that it consisted of nothing more than the sale of chocolate to women? Bam, there it is. A war. Her examples also don’t work – just look at all the public outrage directed at people like Rush Limbaugh and Dom Imus. When public figures refer to women in a disparaging manner, society rails against it, not accepts it.

But these few more recently witnessed attacks on women are merely the wages of the real War on Women, a one-sided war which has been fought for years, and whose army has no intention of surrender.

Yeah, ok. I’ll go get my fatigues and combat boots. Has the author not noticed the rise in popularity of women like Hillary Clinton?

Femininity, not just femininity, but true femaleness, in its purest, most natural, genuine form, is being attacked. It is downright hated.

I missed the biology lesson that talked about a One True Femaleness (TM). Perhaps you could enlighten me?

Real life-giving, life-affirming, God given femaleness is being ragingly stamped out, and those who posses this trait (females) are punished and forced to change. Under the guise of equality with men, those who claim to advocate better, or equal, treatment for women, are actually not treating them equally to men at all. They are treating them worse.

Oh. I guess this is about how God apparently intended all females to have similar personality traits which are distinct from all men. I’ll call all the female kung-fu practicioners and tell them that they’re behaving counter to how God wants them to behave – being loving and caring all the time, no matter how much enjoyment they might get out of competitive physical activity. The author can pay my medical bills when they kick my ass for being sexist.

Notice how with regards to our Armed Forces, for example, even the most conservative of narrators will never neglect to say, “… Our men and women in uniform…” when addressing the topic. Women. Women. Women are being enlisted into the armed forces in droves, and are told that they can serve just as their male counterparts do.

Because they can serve just as their male counterparts do. Or do you think that no women are just as physically capable as men are?

But if this is the case, why are the women immediately turned into men in order to be acceptable for the position they seek? Why are they de-feminized?

They’re…not? News flash: women in the military have breasts, vaginas, and ovaries.

Why are they put on the Pill? Why are they forced to dress in drag? Why are they required to turn off all sensitivity and nurturing instinct?

No women are “put on the pill”. No one is forcing them to take it. They choose to. Regarding sensitivity and nurturing instinct, have you never read any of the numerous stories of soldiers comforting dying comrades? And why in the world do you think military fatigues count as “drag”? Would you rather that female soldiers be allowed to wear long, flowing skirts or dresses that would hinder their movement in vitally important combat situations? What do you have against pants? Do you have the same objections to kilts?

Why, after inflicting both physical and psychological pain on themselves in an attempt to ensure their safety by being “one of the guys”, are they still threatened with misogynistic treatment, and even rape?

While such things are of course horrible, its not the military’s policy to do this – individuals are to blame for the recent military rape scandal, not “the military”. But it should be pointed out that military women aren’t trying to be “one of the guys”, but “one of the soldiers”.

I’m not saying that many women cannot outperform men physically. They can and they often do.

That’s good, even though you seemed to imply that earlier.

But why must they? When did it become so taboo for a woman to simply say, ”Sure, I can do that, but I’m not going to”?

It’s not taboo at all! Women say this all the time – look at all the women not in the military, not in sports, etc.

Society tells women that they can do anything a man can do—if they become like men.

There’s tremendous variation in personality type, intelligence, and physical ability in both men and women. There is no “like men” or “like women”.

Women in the Armed Forces are just one example of society’s overlooked and accepted War on Women. Civilian women are just as victimized, but in a different (yet still the same) way. In order to obtain and retain approval from society they are dead set on being the polar opposite of the physically adept, and consequently, forced masculinized, women mentioned above.

Ok, so if a woman is physically adept, it’s wrong; and if she’s not, that’s wrong too? What are women supposed to do?

They have decided that they will be “women”, or at least, what society says women should be. They are reared to please a man (and I use the word “man” loosely), and simultaneously, are taught to “do anything they want”. As it turns out, though, women can only do anything they want if they are man pleasing while they do it.

Perhaps the author was taught this way, but if she was, she’s the first example I’ve seen. None of my female friends are anything like this. I have no clue where this idea is coming from.

These women too, are forced to forgo their femaleness. They are put on the Pill without question, and told that they are now “feminists”.

Again, no one is being forced to take the pill.

Exactly how shutting down the very essence of femaleness, her reproductive system, which is so pivotally different than a man’s, is feminist is still utterly baffling to me. Again, she has been masculinized. She has had her cycles made into a mere caricature of their once perfection, or removed completely,

Perhaps the author enjoys bleeding every month, and not being able to have sex without worrying about an unintended pregnancy, but there are women who don’t enjoy these things. News flash: women like sex. Second news flash: women don’t enjoy bleeding. Third news flash: women don’t like unintended pregnancies.

and has been told that she must also be a ready and willing masturbation tool for whatever stray man she happens to be fostering at that point and time. Society not only expects this of women, but prefers it. How is this not an assault on women?

What??? This is so ridiculous I don’t even know how to respond. See the first news flash above: women like sex.

Not only is her pesky femaleness now in check for the convenience of men (i.e., society), but she is also a worker. A very hard worker. She will not fall ill every month and need to take to her bed to care for her body.

I’ve never seen any example of a woman taking time off work, or “taking to her bed” because she’s on her period. Also, a woman being a hard worker is good, because anyone being a hard worker is good.

She will not usually become pregnant, but if she does, rest assured she will continue standing for eight hours a day at a cash register or stocking shelves. She won’t breastfeed or bond with her child, and she won’t ever simply stay home and rest.

Ever heard of “maternity leave”?

There’s another crucial part of femaleness that is regularly under attack: Breasts.

Oh noes – hide the breasts, they’re under attack!

Breasts are another strikingly female, and even outwardly visible sign of difference from males.

Except for women who have small, or even almost nonexistent breasts. And except for men who have large breasts.

All female mammals basically have breasts.

And no female non-mammals have breasts. So citing non-human animals at all seems irrelevant.

They have a way to nurse their young, culminating their own sexuality and reproductive cycle.

Males can lactate too, you know (although they usually don’t).

Women’s breasts have had more emphasis placed on them by society than ever before, but not in a good way, not in the way that honors life and the breasts’ ability to nurture it. Instead, due to rampant pornography, they have been reduced to a mere caste of breasts. They, in all of their plastic, nonfunctioning glory, now exist to remind the female hating, un-masculine men  that they are still technically men, as they possess male genitalia, and therefore aid in enough of a hard-on for the “man” to satisfactorily jerk-off in his basement.

An attack on pornography. I’m not surprised. News flash: many men (including myself) greatly prefer natural breasts. Second news flash: many women enjoy pornography. Third news flash: most men (and women) masturbate in the bathroom or bedroom, not the basement.

Breast implants have been wildly popular for years with women who feel they need to please men by as closely resembling a mannequin as possible.

I’d just like to suggest here that the author actually talk to men about what kind of woman they like. Cause this is silly.

Here’s the brilliant twist, however, that really gets me: While women are flocking to have their breasts artificially augmented, those with naturally large breasts are flocking to have theirs artificially reduced, touting the phrase “back problems” right and left.

Mello AA, Domingos NA, Miyazaki MC. Improvement in Quality of Life and Self-Esteem After Breast Reduction Surgery. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 19 September 2009.

Conclusion: Both self-esteem and quality of life significantly improved after breast reduction surgery.

O’Blenes CA, Delbridge CL, Miller BJ, Pantelis A, Morris SF. Prospective Study of Outcomes after Reduction Mammaplasty: Long-term Follow-up. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery February 2006;117(2):351–358.

Conclusions: The long-term results of reduction mammaplasty indicate that this procedure is an effective method to reduce or alleviate both physical and psychological symptoms associated with macromastia. This study shows that this procedure should be covered under Canadian medical insurance plans.

Science is fun, isn’t it?

This detestment of life and womanhood does not even stop at human women. On the contrary, female animals, because they have no rights, no voice, and no impetus to fight back, yet are indeed still female, are a prime target for the hatred and violence geared toward women.

Here is where the author goes on a rant about the atrocities committed toward animals – but oddly enough, only female animals. She doesn’t mention all the male cows, pigs, and chickens that are routinely slaughtered for our consumption; nor does she mention the bulls artificially masturbated for impregnation purposes; nor does she mention the castration of other bulls, turning them into steers. She even writes: ” Their lives are misery manifested, and they experience this because they are female.” (emphasis mine) While there may be a good case for vegetarianism or veganism (and I think there most certainly is a good argument for at least reform of food production facilities), the author is merely co-opting arguments for their practice in order to support her unrelated position.

It is a war that goes much deeper, and is far more evil, harmful, sexist, and which has an intense desire to not only demean, but destroy, all females.

This is a comment near the end of the article which I find perhaps the strangest in the entire article. Men like women, why would we want to destroy them? And men want women to like us, so why would we want to demean them? I can only conclude from the tone of this article that the author wants to shift this supposed war on women in the other direction, and wage a counter-war on men. But that’s counter-productive, and just as bad as the war on women would be, if it existed. Here’s to real equality.