Monday, January 10, 2011

A failure of empathy: Misogynists respond to the Arizona shootings

One thing I am struck by again and again as I read the blogs and the message boards of the manosphere is how little basic human empathy I see there, towards women in general and towards feminists of both sexes. We see it in the routine references to women as "whores" and "cunts" and other terms that reduce them to their genitalia.

We see it in the profound lack of empathy for women injured or killed. You may recall my recent post about an MRA blog that basically celebrated the possible death of a missing Las Vegas dancer. The body of the murdered woman, Deborah Flores-Narvaez, has since been found. The news inspired a moderator of the Happy Bachelors Forum to start a topic entitled "Dirty skanky whore found dead."

And of course we've seen similar reactions to the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six others. While many in the manosphere responded to the shootings like normal human beings (displaying honest shock and horror) and others responded like typical internet paranoids (wildly speculating on how this meant the government would take away all our rights), there were others who found ways to blame women for the shootings or to twist the issue into one of men's putative oppression. On NiceGuy's MGTOW Forum, one commenter found an ingenious way to blame women for the shooting:

He [was] probably dumped by a girl and that's what started him on the road to crazy batshit loonery. I can't think of any other factor that could more quickly drive a man to violence than women.

Others complained that the news coverage was slanted by evil feminism. From the MGTOW proboards forum:

it pisses me off when i see all this outrage on the news and from the public knowing that if it was a congressMAN who was shot, everyone would be wondering what he did to deserve it.

this really shows you how society values women over men. and she's not even dead!

Over on NiceGuy's MGTOW forum, one member complained that Giffords was getting most of the news coverage and that the six others who were murdered in the attack, most of whom were probably men, were being ignored:

This is yet another example of how Femerica values female lives more than male lives. In the eyes of most Americans, men are less human than women.

The male judge gets a mention because he is a lackey for the interests of the elite. Even though he is dead, since he is a male, his death is presented by the media as less of a tragedy than the non-lethal shooting of a female politician with a good chance for recovery.

The death of the young girl was portrayed as third in line in terms of level of tragedy. By American standards, it was a tragedy because she possessed a vagina, but since she was not grown enough to be a full-fledged feminazi, her death was less of a tragedy than the non-death of the female politician.

It wouldn't be surprising if the four unnamed dead people were men. If they were men, they would be considered less human than the others. They are not even human enough for the media to investigate and name. Their death, by American standards, was a tragedy but less of a tragedy than the non-death of female politician.

This comment is jampacked with an assortment of bad assumptions. To correct the most obvious of them: Giffords has gotten most of the coverage because this was not a random murder, but an attempted political assassination. Gender has nothing to do with it. When people talk about the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, they rarely mention the three others who were also wounded that day. (Except for James Brady, and that's because he has gone on to be an influential gun control advocate.)

The male judge has gotten a good deal of attention, but isn't the main focus of the coverage because he was not the target of the assassination attempt. The girl has gotten attention because she was a child. The other victims were not named at first because authorities had not yet notified their next-of-kin. There were three men killed in the attacks, two women, and one girl.

Meanwhile, on this very blog, a regular antifeminist commenter who calls himself Random Brother has made clear that he doesn't extend basic human sympathies to feminists. Asking whether or not Giffords is a feminist, he explains:

I want to know if she has spent her whole career passing laws that harm men. I want to know this before I commit any sympathy to her. If she was a great politician who tried hard to help her constituents, was fair and just then she has all of the sorrow in the world from me. ...

If she was a typical politician, a bigot or a man hater, why should I care?

Setting aside for a moment the fact that there is precisely zero evidence that Giffords is any any way a "man hater": Because she's a human being?

Sadly, this failure of empathy isn't confined to the manosphere, as Marianne Kirby notes on The Rotund:

Empathy is, in its simplest form, the ability to acknowledge the thoughts/reasoning/emotions of another person as valid. It is, so to speak, being able to see where they are coming from even if you do not agree. ... Empathy is, I think, coming to the realization of our own humanity and the humanity of other people – we are all simply people. ...

[W]hen politicians depend on hate and violent rhetoric to stir up their followers, no good can come of it. ... It teaches them that these people who believe different things are “the enemy” – that they are a danger and must be eliminated.

Is it any wonder that some people reach a point where the literal elimination of those who are different becomes the end goal?

For a long time I labeled the MRA/MGTOW blogs I've put in my sidebar as my "Enemies List." It was a partially tongue-in-cheek reference to Nixon's famous "enemies list." But many people took it literally, and some (even if they didn't) worried that this kind of terminology could lead to precisely the sort of dehumanizing of the "enemy" I've been criticizing here. In the wake of the Arizona shootings, and after pondering several eloquent emails sent to me on the subject, I've decided to change my "Enemies List" to, well, a "Boob-roll." The American Heritage Dictionary defines "boob" as "a stupid or foolish person; a dolt." The people I write about may be -- at least in my mind --  wrong, and foolish, and sometimes hateful assholes, but they are people.

--

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*Yes, that was a Bioshock reference.

179 comments:

  1. It's very ironic how the meaning of empathy comes up when feminists commonly say "what about teh menz" when ever a male issue gets raised.

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  2. Nick, we've talked about that over and over. "What about teh menz" doesn't mean "fuck men's rights." It means "what about problem's in men's rights?" is not a solution for "how do we solve this problem in women's rights?"

    It's also completely ridiculous that you would compare "what about the menz", even if it WAS dismissive of men's rights, to a person not empathizing with the death or serious injury of someone else simply because that person is a woman, and therefore a suspected feminist.

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  3. I thought women said "what about teh menz" when issues get raised *out of context*.

    Woman, "MY sister got decapitated for not submitting to a rape."

    MRA "YOU NEVER talk about when I stubbed my toe while trying to kick my wife. It's not EQUAL."

    Yeah, that's not equal. Women's issues do not always need to include a nod to anything man related. It depends on the topic.

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  4. Before, I was an exalted "enemy" on the Futrelle enemies list, locked in a pitched battle between world views and philosophies. Now, I'm just a member of the "boob roll." Why, I've never been so insulted! I say bring back the enemies list.

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  5. I love how MRAs have convinced themselves that they are living in a female-dominated world. Its so bizarre and hard to understand.

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  6. There was a thread in Antimisandry 2 years ago (it was removed) started by fschmidt (the guy that created the co-alpha brotherhood) that said that American women deserved to be raped. The thread degenerated in a flame fest between men and women. One female poster explained that she was involved in the MRA movement since 4 years and she discovered that the MRA movement has nothing to do with men’s right or men’s issues it’s a victimisation movement by guys that cannot get laid and she compared it to the many minority rights movement that exist and that see their member as perpetual victims of society. She said that at the beginning she refused to admit it – women that are attracted to the MRA movement are socially conservatives and sexually experienced since they had been in relationships and expect male members to be like them – but at the end she had to accept the truth that most MRAs cannot get laid. And she explained that if there are threads like that it’s because of these guys are losers that cannot get laid.

    I've been reading shyness/dating forum since three years and it's always angry guys that have no success with women and cannot get laid that say things like that.

    It's also the reason why MRAs are fascinated by PUAs.

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  7. @nobody,

    It's also amazing how college educated, upper middle-class white women can portray themselves as victims of Western society.

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  8. magdelyn, If you think that's amazing, you don't know much about women's issues. Have you ever listened to a woman who entered a major not gender typical, like science, one of the sciences, or geology, something like that? And I wonder what you consider "upper" middle class? I would like to know because most women now a days barely give a nod to feminism. I wonder if you could give any amazing demographic/victim examples, or if you're just trying to be cute.

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  9. avp, I find it VERY VERY disturbing that the founder of the coalpha male site would say that about any human being. How could someone deserve to lose agency over their body? Under WHAT circumstance is this ok? In captivity, but even then, not THAT kind of agency does one lose. That this could even enter these people's MINDS is, well I'm speechless. It's VERY TELLING. What does this person think sex is, or bodies are? What? And this magdelyne posts her nonsense after this revelation? Come on. I know that all men aren't like that (I'm getting married), but how does even ONE MALE get that confused?

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  10. @booboonation:

    What, pray tell, about white college women's issues am I missing? Please tell me what is keeping women out of physics, chemistry, geology, mathematics? I am dying to hear your answer. Since urban women in their 20's out earn their male peers, and have done so for over a decade now; since they do much better at every educational level; since they attend college in disproportionately greater numbers, get more graduate degrees, live longer, commit suicide less (by a factor of four), what is keeping a sister down? Let me guess, "rape culture." Bah! The wage gap? If the argument wasn't so disengenous on its face, it would be worth mentioning that women spend the vast majority of discretionary income, resulting in a "vast transfer of wealth from men to women." Even social security is a program that redistributes income to women. Not to mention the one sided enforcement of title IX, a gender neutral statute that hasn't been used to investigate why girls are doing so much better in school. Yet, whoa, if so private universities are letting some boys with lesser credentials in to even out the population, whoa, then the office of civil rights has a problem.

    This very blog is a testament to the vilification of men. It attempts to dismiss legitimate issues by pointing to anecdotal baffoonery of some whack jobs. The plural of anecdote is not data. This blog takes a few nut jobs and attempts to slander a whole movement.

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  11. "This very blog is a testament to the vilification of men. It attempts to dismiss legitimate issues by pointing to anecdotal baffoonery of some whack jobs. The plural of anecdote is not data. This blog takes a few nut jobs and attempts to slander a whole movement."

    Outstanding summation.

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  12. Magdelyn, what you're saying does not make sense. Women are out performing men academically and more women are going to college. Yet women are still not represented in fields such a s physics, chemistry, and mathematics, and women are still not equally represented among equity partners in large law firms, and women are a small minority of ceos.

    What's keeping women out? Sexism. No, the difference cannot be entirely explained by personal choice. No, not even the wage gap can be entirely explained by personal choice. Furthermore, if a woman faces an environment hostile to her career progress, she may choose to focus on other areas of her life.

    If you want data on the wage gap, see other posts on this blog about that topic.

    Nothing on this blog vilifies men. This blog is about highlighting the rhetoric in the men's rights movement that is poisoning the movement.

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  13. avpd0nmmng said...
    There was a thread in Antimisandry 2 years ago (it was removed) started by fschmidt (the guy that created the co-alpha brotherhood) that said that American women deserved to be raped.


    What was EXACTLY said there? Feminists are often putting untrue words in your mouth.

    And why do you think, moderators removed that thread?

    About this thread here, well, 1 woman is glorified, another one - a girl of 9 is mentioned because of her parents, and a male judge is also mentioned.

    And what about the others, who are dead or injured? I have not seen any media cover yet about them. Just forget about them?

    About the victim, the female politician - regrettable she took threats against her and the attack of her office not enough seriously.

    Obviously she ignored the fact that being an US-politician is sometimes a dangerous job.

    Interesting that feminists avoid to talk about crime-prevention and I wonder why?

    Internationally USA is known for its crimes and its gun-culture. Nowhere else are so many men in jail than in USA.

    Nearby Mexico with over 30000 murder cases during the last years related to drugs and other illegal activities - often over the border into USA - should be another reason to be concerned about your own security if you are a politician talking with ordinary people in a supermarket.

    Politicians, businessmen etc. are a target for kidnapping and killing not only in USA - Like it or not, but this is the reality.

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  14. mag You're dying to hear my answer? You're ignorant of these subjects,and I told you that you are. You can do your own research, since you clearly don't like to think about these things on any real level. I also am not going to deal with you because you said that this blog testifies to men's villainy. So you just project and are very prejudiced and shockingly hostile to any talk of these issues obviously. What on this blog is not true? If this blog makes MEN look bad, I don't even want to live. If I thought all men were like these FREAKS I would have problems living another day.

    Not only that, but ALL women can care about feminism even if the movement only served the demographic that get roped into prostitution or sexually assaulted (which happens at all levels of society). I don't even see why you had to say "Upper" middle class. You think that any woman identified as feminist does so for selfish reasons? My life is fine. I just don't get your attitude or beliefs on any level.

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  15. @ David

    Let me see if I can grasp this. I need to have empathy for people who are actively trying to disenfranchise me? I need to have empathy for people who in every word, every policy, every utterance view me, as a male, as a defective, as an inferior, as someone suffering from "testosterone poisoning" as someone whose sexuality, aggresiveness, hell even film choices need "correcting" and I should show empathy for them? I need empathy?!?! When something bad happens to the aforementioned people who are actively disenfranchising me I have to put aside their politics and actions and pretend to be overwhelmed with concern form my enemies? Really? Fucking really?

    When Adolph Hitler bought it did jews feel empathy for him?

    If Jesse Helms had caught a bullet in his prime should African Americans have wailed for him?

    How about you show some fucking empathy for father's who aren't allowed to see their children, David.

    How about you and your feminut followers show some empathy for men who are living hand to mouth because of excessive child support and alimony payments, David.

    How about you and and the rest of the man haters show some empathy for the men falsely imprisoned on trumped up rape charges, David.

    The same place your empathy is for these people, well that's where my empathy is for some feminist.

    Random Brother

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  16. Dave, as a freelance writer, how much are they paying you to ghost-write this agitprop?

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  17. richard, how the fuck is Gabrielle Giffords disenfranchising you?

    Your vision of feminists as "people who in every word, every policy, every utterance view me, as a male, as a defective, as an inferior, as someone suffering from "testosterone poisoning" as someone whose sexuality, aggresiveness, hell even film choices need "correcting"" is utterly at odds with the feminism I and virtually every feminist I've ever met supports. It's a caricature, not a reality.

    As for the Hitler reference, well, that's what Godwin's Law is for.

    As for empathy for the falsely accused, read the work of Debbie Nathan, a feminist who fought against the "satanic ritual abuse" hysteria. Or check out the organization she's a part of, the National Center for Reason and Justice, which fights for justice for those falsely accused of sex crimes. It's in my sidebar as well.

    http://ncrj.org/

    Or fucking read what I've got in my further reading sidebar. I challenge some of the wildly misleading myths set forth by the MRM, but nowhere do I deny the real suffering of men.

    And show me some people in the MRM -- not the father's rights movement, which actually does engage in real activism, but the MRM -- who are actually doing anything about any of the issues they claim to care about -- that is, besides complain to each other online about how unfair everything is and what horrible bitches women are.

    Ernest, who is this "they" you're talking about? I'd like to meet them, as I'm currently being paid zip for doing this blog.

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  18. David: .....how little basic human empathy I see there, towards women in general and towards feminists of both sexes. We see it in the profound lack of empathy for women injured or killed.

    We are all equals, David.

    Where are all these feminists (of both sexes) who show basic human empathy to men?

    I do not talk about ordinary men who have a job and a trouble-free family life. - I talk about men who need help.

    Feminists do not even care about young boys accused for sexual harassment, old and sick men missing medical care, fathers who are victims of paternity fraud, men innocent in jail for not existing sex-crimes...

    -----

    The two examples of David are badly selected.

    1.
    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/01/10/general-lt-congresswoman-shot-world_8248919.html

    One is a politician, who was attacked because of her political function, nothing to do with her female gender.

    Unfortunately for her, she took threats and violent actions against her office not seriously, and she was talking with ordinary people without considering any security issues in a border town, Tucson, near to Mexico...

    Women who want to be politicians, CEOs etc. are exposed exactly to the same danger of crimes, like kidnapping and killing as their male counterparts.

    2.

    The other woman was a stripper for a cheap sex-show in Las Vegas, a city full with criminals. It was her own decision to live with violent thug boys.

    It was HER decision, and it is her risk if something is going wrong - nothing what MRAs, including myself, can do about it.

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  19. David: And show me some people in the MRM -- ..... who are actually doing anything about any of the issues they claim to care about -- that is, besides complain to each other online about how unfair everything is and what horrible bitches women are.


    So, and what is David doing, except complaining online, how bad all these MRAs are?

    What are YOU doing for poor women?

    And I am not talking about poor men, as I know you don't care about them at all.

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  20. Go with "enemy," Dave. The Biblical concept of Perfect Hatred is all the justification you need.

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  21. Fschmidt explicitly said that he knew a guy that kidnapped a woman to have a sex slave and he thought doing the same thing.
    ===============================================
    Robert Tashbook worked with me at Nextag. He worked in QA but was very creative. Nextag's original business model made no sense. Tashbook found the business model that made Nextag work. He realized that there was an opportunity to treat comparison shopping as an arbitrage business, taking the profit in the difference between the cost of buying ads and price that we could sell ads to merchants. If you look up Nextag, you will see that it was valued at $1.2 billion. What did Tashbook get for making Nextag so valuable? He is currently in federal prison for unlawful sexual conduct. He tried to kidnap a girl using the Internet to be his sex slave. While at Nextag, we never discussed our personal lives, so I didn't know this side of him, but I completely understand where he was coming from since I considered a similar option myself before deciding to try finding a girlfriend Mexico instead. Luckily for me, I had better judgement than he did. This side of Nextag's history is unlikely to make it into the popular media.
    ===============================================
    http://www.coalpha.org/Intelligent-men-I-knew-td2773539.html

    The admins of antimisandry didn't want their site to be TOSSed. Most web server have a TOS that forbid people to say things like that. Fschmidt started posting on love-shy.com and he, and other guys started flooding the forum with posting about rape and murder. Love-shy.com had a huge conflict with two other forums (whygodwhy.org and fstdt) and it was TOSSed and they had the find another forum.

    Some of the quotes of Fschmidt are still on fstdt:

    http://www.fstdt.com/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=71305

    http://www.fstdt.com/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=71363

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  22. If you wonder why MRAs (and many PUAs) hate women and believe that women are conspiring against men, it's because they have narcissistic personality disorder :
    http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/6-5-2002-19793.asp

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  23. "I've been reading shyness/dating forum since three years and it's always angry guys that have no success with women and cannot get laid that say things like that."---avpd0nmmng said

    Nice to see some joker in the crowd.

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  24. " . . .it's because they have narcissistic personality disorder."---avpd0nmmng

    The typical Ameriskank suffers from this in spades.

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  25. Sandy says:

    "Nothing on this blog vilifies men. This blog is about highlighting the rhetoric in the men's rights movement that is poisoning the movement."

    And then avpd0nmmng states not much later:

    " . . .If you wonder why MRAs (and many PUAs) hate women and believe that women are conspiring against men . . ."

    Uh huh.

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  26. Problem is I have met many of these MRAs in person at conferences where we were working on strategies to help men. They are from all walks of life, as are feminists. They are married and single, gay and straight, heavy and thin, black and white, male and female, liberal and conservative.

    If you do not like people calling feminists overeducated ugly dykes with hairy armpits who couldn't get a date in high school, then please do not attack MRAs with the similar insults. It is unproductive and childish.

    You will see few MRA's who condoned the violence in this political shooting. Just as you will find a feminist or two who will "you go girl" when some woman kills someone, you will find one or two men who will do the same. That does not mean MRAs as a group or even many of them condoned it.

    On the other hand, looking at the media treatment of the event and disecting it for sexism is NOT the same as condoning the act which is being reported. We are criticizing the media for bias, not justifying the deaths of the victims.

    On the site I frequent we have been discussing the complete distortion of the tackling of the shooter. The woman involved says she was already on the ground, and when the shooter was tackled down by two men she reached over and took the ammo magazine. The media has spun this to make the woman seem to have leaped at the gunman and wrestled the ammo to her actually tackling him alone. These are lies to make the woman appear more heroic than even she is comfortable with. She was an important part of keeping the shooter down and unarmed, but SO WERE THE TWO MEN. The woman herself gives most of the credit to the two men who physically brought the shooter down. We have to ask why the media is so invested in overplaying the woman and all but denying the men.

    None of these concerns means we are not praying for those victims and their families. They do not mean we are happy a politician was shot because she was a woman. You are putting words in our mouths and twisting intent. That is dishonest.

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  27. "The woman herself gives most of the credit to the two men who physically brought the shooter down. We have to ask why the media is so invested in overplaying the woman and all but denying the men."--- TBQ

    That's a very good question.

    Unfortunately, those here trying so hard to demonize MRAs aren't typically concerned about answers to questions like that.

    Great post, btw.

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  28. Much as they may claim to the contrary, the prevailing "but what about teh menz?" MRA techique here only proves David's point.

    When we protest against "but what about teh menz"-type comments, we don't mean to say that men's issues should not be discussed seriously and empathetically. Rather, it's an objection to the type of comment whose point boils down to denying empathy to women on the ground that it should always go to men, who are the more important sex. It's a type of comment, at the center of which there is the idea that the attempted assassination of a female politician by a man is an occasion to discuss the victimization of men by women -- just like violence by a woman against a man would also be an occasion to discuss the same thing; in other words, we should never, godforbid, express sympathy to a female victim of violence, because that somehow takes away from the more important victims of violence -- men. This goes back to that analogy I made a few days ago, to the story of Justice Brandeis' confirmation. People who see men as the default "sex" -- in other words, see only men as people, and women as chattel who exist for, and at the mercy of, people -- are outraged because they see any sympathy going towards any woman, under any circumstances, as unfairly taking attention away from men, who are the "real" people. Ask any reasonable person, without reference to gender: "Do you think that an attempted assassination against a politician by an extremist, coming on the heels of years of exceedingly violent rhetoric by a major political party, something that's very newsworthy?" The answer will, without a doubt, be "yes". But insert gender in there, and the outlook changes: MRA's see any media coverage of a violent act committed by a man against a woman, no matter what the socio-political context, as unfairly taking media coverage away from men, because in the minds of MRA's, "important" news coverage should only be about men.

    Also, it's cute how they blame Giffords for her own shooting by implying that she deserved it for not carrying a gun -- but don't apply the same argument to the male judge, casting him instead as victim of feminists, never mind that he was shot by a man. In other words, it's all the fault of Giffords, because she failed to protect herself, and failed to protect him.

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  29. Yohan-Gabby was trying to address the security concerns by having smaller events and doing so in places no one expects to have shooters just showing up.

    One cannot live in a bubble when one is an elected official like Gabby. You must be accessible to your constituents because they have the right to petition their government. When she is at an event like that, she is the government in person and to have cops standing around will have the affect of chilling a person's constitutional right to petition their government.

    Also, I live in AZ. It is not the wild west out here with OK Corral shootings every other day. Yes there is violence but Tucson is not known for this for a reason-even with the border having a lot of violence going on, it is on the Mexico side with the US side is generally peaceful.

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  30. David,

    You are a hypocrite. You called me a dick a few days ago. In your misandry and bigotry, you have reduced me to my genitalia in order to insult me.

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  31. "People who see men as the default "sex" -- in other words, see only men as people, and women as chattel who exist for, and at the mercy of, people -- are outraged because they see any sympathy going towards any woman, under any circumstances, as unfairly taking attention away from men, who are the "real" people."~ Amused

    Either you have just taken psych 101 or started in a women's studies course. The average person, and indeed the average MRA does not see women as less of a person. They simply want men to be seen as equal people as women. If this had been a congressman shot, we would have seen less coverage. Had it been a 9 year old boy killed we would have seen less coverage. Had only men disabled the shooter we would have seen less coverage.

    We value the lives of women more than men. This is shown to be socially accepted by such assumptions as "women and children first", negotiating female hostages first, the male only draft, and other chivalric practices. It is seen in media coverage showing sympathy for female criminals and victims, and distain for male criminals and victims. It is seen in how we laugh as a nation at genital violence against a man, and condone genital violence of male children, but (rightfully) show outrage at female genital violence. Wouldn't it show far more ...empathy...for people to condemn violence against women AND men?

    The actual practice of the majority of men is in direct conflict with your very acedemic, and removed from actual reality idea, that men somehow see us as less. Step outside your ivory tower and talk to some actual men.

    I have known many MRAs for nearly a decade. I
    can count on one hand the number of real misogynists I have come across. And those few were dismissed by my fellow MRAs and are not a part of the mainstream movement.

    Disagreeing with feminists does not make one a misogynist. Feminism is not defined as equality in our opinion, which is based on observing the actual actions of feminists. Thus disagreeing with feminism is in our minds a greater act of equality than being a feminist.

    Shaming people for asking to be treated equally is exactly what feminists claimed was so bad about men, and exactly what racists did to blacks. How is it better when you do it to men?

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  32. "You are a hypocrite. You called me a dick a few days ago. In your misandry and bigotry, you have reduced me to my genitalia in order to insult me."

    See David, this is why you should use gender-neutral terminology like "pedantic asshole" instead.

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  33. Wow. There really isn't a point reasoning with MRAs.... I've recently also come to the conclusion that a lack of empathy is really the main issue.

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  34. It should be very clear by now that David made those posts about those shootings with FULL KNOWLEDGE that connections to MRA's were weak or non-existent and FULL KNOWLEDGE that the majority of comments would NOT be 'sympathetic' so he could trumpet from the rooftops "Look how awful these MRA, (anti-fem) type (commentors) are!"

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  35. There's really no point in using reason on the internet, period, "theclementine." It's not like feminists are going to give up their ground and come to the middle to agree on anything, nor are MRAs going to give up any ground and come to the middle either. (Or ANY diametrically opposed groups - atheists and the religious, left and right, so on and so forth.)

    That's why you troll and make lulz.

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  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  37. The Bisquit Queen, women and children first does not show that we value the lives of women more than men.

    It is part of the traditional idea of masculinity: independence, bravery, sacrifice for others. Putting women and children first was a noble thing to do because a man's life was so valuable.

    It is also part of the idea that women are like children, weak and in need of protection.

    Therefore, it was noble for a man to sacrifice the most valuable of things, his life, to protect women, who were weak and helpless, like children.

    "Women and children first" was an ideal in an age when men owned their wives and children. There is little doubt that the lives of men were valued higher.

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  38. Also:

    1. You may have met a handful of misogynists, the rest of us have met many more in the MRA movement.

    2. No where on this blog is misogyny used to mean "disagreeing with a feminist."

    3. No where on this blog are pleas for equality shamed. Rather, misogyny is shamed.

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  39. Some drunk stoner who happens to also be a PUA shoots a woman in the face. Naturally he did this because he was a PUA and not because he was a drunk stoner.
    And leave it to David to spin a political assassination in which men were also targeted as another Polytech massacre.

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  40. It is a well-known tactic in feminist communities for men who disagree with women having rights to assume female handles and pretend to be women in order to lend themselves some kind of credibility.

    And yes, there are ways to find out.

    Just tossing this out there.

    I like how in the same thread we have someone saying "Ameriskanks" and how Giffords got herself shot by "not taking threats seriously" (kind of like how women "get themselves raped" or "get themselves pregnant," right?), and then we have someone claiming MRAs totally see women as people.

    I think there's plenty of evidence right here that women are not considered people by MRAs.

    Loads of politicians receive threats. Some are taken more seriously than others based on a lot of factors, but as anyone knows, when you receive threats you can't just hide in your house. And it's funny that this is what people are saying about Giffords because this is what women hear all the time. Basically, "Don't go out without your male escort (and if your male escort rapes you, we won't believe you)." Even if she'd had twelve giant security guys standing around her with machine guns and gotten shot anyway, she would be blamed for being outside of her house. Some men still consider women to be children who shouldn't be allowed to go out after dark or without their chaperone, and get what's coming to them if they do.

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  41. "It is part of the traditional idea of masculinity: independence, bravery, sacrifice for others. Putting women and children first was a noble thing to do because a man's life was so valuable."

    What? Suggested reading, although, you need at least a high school level reading comprehension go understand the arguments.

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  42. "It is a well-known tactic in feminist communities for men who disagree with women having rights to assume female handles and pretend to be women in order to lend themselves some kind of credibility."

    Because feminists NEVER assume male identities and post crap that makes MRAs look bad, right?

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  43. Dr. Deeze, why don't you respond to my argument instead of offering a tired link and an insult.

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  44. "Some drunk stoner who happens to also be a PUA shoots a woman in the face. Naturally he did this because he was a PUA and not because he was a drunk stoner."

    I read this comment and momentarily forgot whether I was in the Giffords thread or the Gunwitch thread.

    Although they all seem to end up as the same thing, anyways.

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  45. "Women and children first" was an ideal in an age when men owned their wives and children. There is little doubt that the lives of men were valued higher."

    Women lives have ALWAYS been valued more (due to the sperm-egg bottleneck).
    BUT being valuable and having control over ones own value are not the same thing.
    Not clearly making such a distinction is the reason men and women accuse each other of having always 'ruled the world'.
    The men think this because they see only the value of women but not their lack of autonomy.
    Women think this because they only see the control of men but not the man's expendability.

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  46. Boo, hoo, hoo sounds like the feminists are finding out what it's like to be treated like a man.

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  47. Sandy,

    Because the link THOROUGHLY handles your argument and hence was the point. Men did not put women and children first out of some stupid "nobility" which made men's lives valuable - men did it because men are (and, biologically speaking, always will be) the more expendable sex. All it takes is a simple thought experiment to confirm:

    Suppose you had two societies of equal size - 100 men and 100 women. One society loses 99 men and the other loses 99 women. Which one will be able to replace itself faster?

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  48. "The woman involved says she was already on the ground, and when the shooter was tackled down by two men she reached over and took the ammo magazine. The media has spun this to make the woman seem to have leaped at the gunman and wrestled the ammo to her actually tackling him alone."

    Jesus fricking pancakes, The Biscuit Queen ... where did anyone say that the woman tackled Loughner? I've read a lot of reports on the incident, and nothing I've seen even came close to suggesting that version of events. In fact everything I've read claims that the woman was on the ground, saw the cartridge, and grabbed it while the men tackled him.

    I've also never seen anything where the woman takes credit for anything she didn't do. Not that the media always portray events in the most truthful light, but seriously? Your revision of media coverage is breathtaking.

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  49. So I went through these comments and counted each one where *IMO* the poster demonstrates a lack of empathy. I counted ad hominem attacks, and negative personal characterizations of entire groups (e.g., "MRA's", "feminists") as empathy FAILs, along with dehumanizing language.

    22/49. Better than I expected. I'm not going to point to specific examples, because it's not worth arguing with people who operate via innuendo instead of rational discussion. But I will say that I counted empathy FAILs on both "sides" of this "debate".

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  50. "2. No where on this blog is misogyny used to mean "disagreeing with a feminist."

    3. No where on this blog are pleas for equality shamed. Rather, misogyny is shamed."---Sandy

    2) I've seen it happen on blogs like this and forums.

    3) Feminists aren't for equality, they are for female supremacy. You shame MRA and equate it with misogyny when you can.

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  51. "Because the link THOROUGHLY handles your argument and hence was the point. Men did not put women and children first out of some stupid "nobility" which made men's lives valuable - men did it because men are (and, biologically speaking, always will be) the more expendable sex."---Dr. Deezee

    You hit the nail on the head here.

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  52. So by this logic men should cease and desist aiding women in any way, as it signals to the women they are weak and assumes ownership by the man.

    BTW, had this happened the death toll would be much higher.

    If men stopped doing all the crappy jobs they do in order to help their families society would cease to function. Food, energy, waste removal, construction, road maintainance, machinery repair, fire control-all dominated by men and all dangerous jobs. We call it the glass cellar. Few of these pay particularly well, most are in harsh weather conditions, and many require outside of 9-5 work hours. ALso note these are the jobs feminists are NOT knocking down the doors to gain parity with men.

    You may want to stop with the "men helped because they were oppressing women and pushing their idea of self value" and just say thank you. I certainly appreciate men's contributions for what they are.

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  53. The media bias was mainly in the headlines, which is all many people read. Headlines which rarely mentioned she only assisted in taking the clip, one headline reading "Woman Wrestled Fresh Ammo Clip From Tucson Shooter as He Tried to Reload" He was no longer reloading as he was being wrestled to the ground by two men.


    "A 61-year-old woman wrestled an ammunition clip from the Arizona gunman as he tried to reload his weapon, it was revealed today.

    Patricia Maisch told of the moment she tackled Jared Loughner, stopping his killing spree outside an Arizona supermarket on Saturday.

    Loughner had allegedly just shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords through the head and murdered six other people including nine-year-old Christina Green, who was born on September 11, 2001."


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1345622/Arizona-shooting-Patricia-Maisch-stopped-Jared-Loughner-linked-American-Renaissance.html#ixzz1Aly0MkhK


    There was more to the article but only after a lot of pictures and ads. Most people only read the first bit, which was very misleading.

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  54. @Bee:
    "Jesus fricking pancakes, The Biscuit Queen ... where did anyone say that the woman tackled Loughner? I've read a lot of reports on the incident, and nothing I've seen even came close to suggesting that version of events."

    London Daily Mail
    January 10, 2011
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1345622/Arizona-shooting-Patricia-Maisch-stopped-Jared-Loughner-linked-American-Renaissance.html

    Second paragraph in the article:

    "Patricia Maisch told of the moment she tackled Jared Loughner, stopping his killing spree outside an Arizona supermarket on Saturday."

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  55. And men never really "owned" women as a widespread policy, just as "rule of thumb" was a carpenter's measurement term rather than some law which condoned wife beating. Most men and women were too poor to worry about gender relations. Everyone had to work very hard to keep from starving, and things like childbirth injury and death to women and farm/job/war injuries and death to men as well as a high infant and child mortality meant that ownership of each other was the last thing anyone worried about.

    Sure, some men had some advantages in the past, but SO HAVE SOME WOMEN. The have/have not line was not gender related, it was wealth related. Nice try.

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  57. Below is a quote from the sheriff where the shooting occurred. He mentions the gender of the woman who pulled away the gun's magazine. But he omits the gender of the others, who happened to be men, and they were the ones who actually physically subdued the shooter. I submit that the sheriff omits the gender of the men precisely because they are men. This is a common theme in our culture. Women are recognized as women for both their heroism and/or their victimhood, whereas men are recognized as men only for their alleged perpetration. This video explains the phenomenon:

    "Men Don't Exist"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZAuqkqxk9A

    On the video from the ABC News report, here's the quote from the sheriff, which occurs about 6 minutes or so into the video:

    "He unloads, and he's trying to reload when one of the individuals hits him over the head with a chair, two people grab him, and a lady grabs the magazine. And at that point he is subdued."

    Source of the ABC News video:
    http://abcnews.go.com/watch/world-news-with-diane-sawyer/SH5585921/VD55105820/world-news-110-tucson-shooter

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  58. The Daily Mail is not exactly a bastion of fine journalism. Nor is it a feminist mouthpiece.

    I did see a few early news articles that exaggerated what Maish did. I attribute this mainly to 2 things: 1) when something like this happens, much of the initial reporting is inaccurate because of the chaos surrounding the incident and 2) the idea of a woman, particularly an old woman, wrestling an ammo clip from a gunman is unexpected. In the world of news, the unexpected generally gets more attention than the expected.

    Is that unfair to the male heroes who tackled the shooter? Or to men in general? A case could be argued either way: the fact that people assume men will more likely act heroically in a situation like this could actually be seen as anti-female sexism.

    The heroism of Daniel Hernandez has certainly gotten a good deal of attention, as I think it should.

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  59. John, the reference to the male heroes as "people" could also be interpreted as an example of men being considered the "default sex."

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  61. @David Futrelle:

    "John, the reference to the male heroes as "people" could also be interpreted as an example of men being considered the 'default sex.'"

    So men being invisible is a sign of male privilege, whereas women being pedestalized and privileged is a sign of female oppression. Like I've always said, feminists sure have a knack for portraying the privileges of women as burdens, and the burdens of men as privileges. It's a deceptive ruse that the public eats right up, but nevertheless a deceptive ruse.

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  62. I'm sorry, John, but the notion that men in this culture are "invisible" is beyond ludicrous.

    Also, the notion of putting women on a pedestal is not a feminist notion. It is a rather traditional, patriarchal notion. If you support patriarchy -- and you do, right? -- then it seems a bit churlish to complain about this kind of female "privilege."

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  63. @David Futrelle:

    "I'm sorry, John, but the notion that men in this culture are 'invisible' is beyond ludicrous."

    It's not ludicrous. The notion that men are NOT invisible is what's beyond ludicrous. To illustrate why I believe this, I again point you to the following video:

    "Men Don't Exist"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZAuqkqxk9A

    If you disagree with me on this, then refute the points that are made in the above video, because they describe my perspective perfectly. If, however, you simply make a statement that my perspective is ludicrous without refuting the points in this video, then you concede the points that it makes which invalidate your view. Female suffering, female fear, and female heroism is given special attention as specifically female.

    "Also, the notion of putting women on a pedestal is not a feminist notion."

    So I assume that you would support the repeal of primary aggressor laws, which permit female abusers to avoid arrest for their own perpetration of domestic violence even in states where arrests are required? That sure sounds like pedestalizing women to me.

    Based on your supposedly anti-female-pedestalizing statement above, I also assume that you would support the repeal of the Violence Against Women Act too. After all, VAWA as written prohibits its STOP grants from going to any organization that isn't specifically devoted to *primarily* to violence against women in particular.

    Source:
    "Frequently Asked Questions on STOP Formula Grants"
    http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/docs/FAQ_FINAL_nov_21_07.pdf

    Page 3:
    Q: Can STOP funds support services for men?
    A: Yes. However, funding may only be directed to those entities whose primary focus is combating violence against women.


    Male victims of domestic violence are comparatively invisible under VAWA.

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  64. @David Futrelle:

    "If you support patriarchy -- and you do, right? -- then it seems a bit churlish to complain about this kind of female 'privilege.'"

    Patriarchy is a cultural system where fathers and heads of family clans possess authority -- along with its attendant responsibilities -- relative to their families. Patriarchy is not reflected merely by the fact that more men are in positions of leadership in today's society. If you want to get into a discussion about patriarchy, then first you should use more precise language to define your lexicon, because I reject the feminist interpretation.

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  66. No John, the feminist perspective of this is "what about teh menz".

    Patriarchy is supposed to be about male privilege. It always makes me laugh how feminists always try to present female privilege in the guise of patriarchy. Its friggin ludicrous at its best.

    In a feminist perspective, any problem either gender has all results to the fault of men. This is pretty much the core perspective from the majority of feminist who exist. To sit here and tell me that the feminist movement is not rampant of bigotry is a crack up. It's basically not calling a spade a friggin spade. A bigot refuses any responsibility from a gender even though it’s as obvious as bright as day.

    This even goes to the point of any failure a woman has in life such as career, it's the fault of men one way or the other. Patriarchy/men are used as a multipurpose scapegoat to avoid women having to take accountability and responsibility for their own shortcomings.

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  67. nick, I don't know what planet you're from, but feminism on this planet bears very little resemblance to what you've just sketched out here. Also, patriarchy does not mean what you think it means.

    I suggest you read up on these subjects before posting more idiocy. One good place to start would be Gerda Lerner's The Creation of Patriarchy.

    Here is a detailed summary of the book:

    http://mark.degrassi.ca/papers/ma/soc-family-kinship/gerda-lerner/creation-patriarchy.html

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  68. Dr. Deeze,

    No, "women and children first" was not "because otherwise how will we repopulate?" It was because women and children were weak, and the noble thing was to protect them. It is about the chivalrous idea of protecting those weaker than yourself.

    The link does not "prove" otherwise.

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  70. Also, note the phrase (and practice on ships) didn't emerge until 1852. Strange for a practice that is vital to the survival of the species.

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/women-and-children-first.html

    Furthermore, there are plenty of cultures where women and children are not rescued first.

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  71. "Captain Herndon's first order, 'Save the women and children!' was the test of this Christian heroism... Every man on board that doomed ship knew the captain was acting rightly."

    Heroism. Not following the natural order, but acting valantly, rightly, with chivalry.

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  72. Quick show of hand: who here is currently on a sinking ship with too few lifeboats?

    Anyone?

    Deezee?

    Uh oh. I'm afraid Dr. Deezee may have gone under. Another victim of chivalry!

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  73. No not chivalry, we would sacrifice Dr. Deeze because he will be of no use repopulating the new, post ship wreck, world.

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  74. chocomintlipwax said... how Giffords got herself shot by "not taking threats seriously" (kind of like how women "get themselves raped" or "get themselves pregnant," right?), and then we have someone claiming MRAs totally see women as people.


    This killing has nothing to do with 'women' and with the gender of the victim. It was a killing of a politician, gender irrelevant.

    The killing would have taken place, regardless if this politician has been a man or a woman.

    Any reference to pregnant women or raped women etc. is bare feminist propaganda.

    To question the basic necessity of crime prevention is hardly understandable.

    To presume that the female gender of a politician might protect her against an attack is bare nonsense.

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  75. David, instead of throwing me a link of some feminist claptrap which is just more rubbish of "everything is the menz fault", please explain in exact logical detail of how its patriarchy of what you were discussing with John.

    In your own words (not some feminist link about blaming men for everything) HOW IS IT PATRIACHY? Explain it all in exact logical detail. Make a good argument out of it

    Seriously, what you were discussing before with John is the very definition of idiocy. Its so fucking stupid and simplistic to blame such a scenario on patriarchy. Its fucking stupid and simplistic within its self to blame any form of female privilege on patriarchy. Really and truly, I don’t know either to be disturbed or amused at such feminist stupidity.

    You femiclowns need to face up to the fact that not every god damn thing that goes wrong in the world is the fault of men. For fucks sake, isn’t it clear enough that this feminist type of attitude is just pure evil bigotry?

    Its totally sexist beyond belief.

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  76. I personally love the arguments from 1912, they're lulzy.

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  77. Nick, I have officially given up on you.

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  78. What a great post. The example you set is awesome, showing that even when our heads are in the right place, reconsidering things never hurts. As reactions to the shooting in AZ have unfolded, I've tried to reexamine my own thoughts & feelings of anger and violence towards others. Those who espouse policies that end up harming society's most vulnerable? Those who tacitly (or explicitly) support sexual, physical, any kind of assault or abuse? Those who view others as less than human? They get my wrath up. But dehumanizing them the way they dehumanize others doesn't help... it doesn't help me be any happier, at any rate. Your post was a good reminder to reconsider even my tongue-in-cheek manifestations of said sentiment.

    Thanks for fighting the good fight... or... some less violent aphorism. Anyway, you do an impressive job.

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  81. David

    Give up on me all you want. Sometimes I just don't bother to reply from a response on here that I get as I just think feminists are too deluded with their bigoted agenda.

    Speaking of chivalry; let me point out the simple fact about chivalrous concepts such as the life boat situation.

    Society as a WHOLE created such ideas. It wasn't only men. It wasn't men holding a whip telling women that you have to have these privileges or else get punished. In fact, women DEMANDED AND STILL DO such ideas MORE SO than men. Why? Because it simply gives them privilege. Women had as much say over chivalry as men did and still do. So how can this be patriarchy when women simply demanded and had as much say over such privileges?

    Women are the first to shame men as for saying we are not real men etc etc if we won't give women chivalrous privileged treatment. On a sinking ship, do you truly think that these men want to give their own lives up more so or to the same degree as the women who want to be privileged to the lifeboat? I don’t think so. Put your self in a life and death situation and tell me how much fear you feel of dying such an awful death.

    To blame it all on the men just because men abided by such chivalrous ideas is just as insane as saying that objectification towards women is all the fault of women because many women encourage it to happen due to sense of female empowerment .

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  82. This feminist notion of men being privileged as somehow being the "default sex," I really have to challenge you on that, David. Are you actually trying to justify the idea that men should be consigned to a position that is even lower than what you call a "default" status, whereas women should be elevated to "special" status in order to correct some sort of injustice of male-favoritism? I mean, when men risk their lives subduing a mass-killer, they get ignored whereas a woman who merely picks up the gun magazine eclipses them and becomes a celebrity hero. To you this means that women are somehow valued less. Less! Or if a woman becomes the first to compete in some sort of competition, this alone affords her enormous attention even though the competition measures ability and honors the winner.

    Here's a picture of a woman being "oppressed" at a marathon a couple years ago. She came in 70th place but still made the front page of the Washington Post. I guess if she had been "privileged enough to be invisible" then she would have been equal to men. Or something. Check it out; this picture defines feminism so perfectly in my opinion:
    http://standyourground.com/images/postmarathon10-09.jpg

    We discussed this picture here on StandYourGround.com.

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  83. I'm not sure why the two tacklers haven't gotten attention -- maybe they wanted to avoid the media attention and have -- but certainly Daniel Hernandez has gotten attention. As he should have.

    No, I don't think men should be consigned to whatever low position you somehow have convinced yourself that I think they should be consigned to -- frankly, I don't understand what you're talking about. But somehow I don't feel horribly oppressed by a picture of the first woman to cross the finish line in a marathon.

    Do you get angry every time women's sports are shown on television, because, dammit, a man could easily beat Serena Williams?

    I mean, it's so unfair that men in sports are never shown in newspapers or on television. Oh, wait ...

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  84. nick: "Society as a WHOLE created such ideas. It wasn't only men."

    Huh. So perhaps you might want to ask this question about patriarchy:

    ""Once we abandon the concept of women as historical victims, acted upon by violent men, inexplicable "forces," and societal institutions, we must explain the central puzzle- woman's participation in the construction of the system that subordinates her."

    Does that seem like a reasonable question to you?

    Well, guess what? That's the central question behind the book I recommended to you either.

    Feminists don't define patriarchy as "men lording it over women and having all the advantages." They define it as a complicated system that women have participated in and to some degree have shaped from the beginning.

    But since you don't bother to actually pay attention to what feminists actually say on the subject, you're forever arguing against straw men (or women, as the case may be)

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  85. David, I have officially given up on you.

    (In this thread.)

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  86. David

    "Does that seem like a reasonable question to you?"

    ROFL hell no. For one, NOT all women are historical victims as not all men are historical victims from such ills that have happened. Secondly, not all men are violent towards women. In fact, only a small minority may be just as a small minority of women are violent against men in the old days and present.

    You femitwits really need to let it go.

    "Well, guess what? That's the central question behind the book I recommended to you either."

    "But since you don't bother to actually pay attention to what feminists actually say"

    Are you willing to listen to MRAs? Are you willing to read a book from Warren Farwell?

    I have no interest in feminist books as I already know its just another bigoted propaganda book about men are evil and men are the fault of everything thats wrong in the world.

    No thanks

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  87. I would love to know how many positive things the feminist movement says about men.

    Could you provide this info, David?

    Not just one example or a few examples, but a solid balance of how evil men are compared to what good men are from feminism.

    I would love to see the proof

    Come on David, prove to us that feminism is not a sexist, hateful, bigoted movement.

    If you can’t answer this, what does this tell us all?

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  88. Daniel Hernandez got attention because he is gay. He is therefore acceptable to the feminist movement. Straight men are not acceptable to the feminist movement unless they are basically neutered, groveling, and non threatening in any way.

    Random Brother

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  89. Nick, his quote said exactly that, we give up on the victim notion and examine female participation in the system.

    (I personally feel that's a false dichotomy, but we might end up in a semantics discussion if we explore that paragraph. )

    So, Nick, you may have been tired when you read that paragraph.

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  90. Also Nick, nobody is required to disprove a claim you make. If you make the claim you have to prove it. Also can you prove that MRA movement is not misogynist, what has the MRA movement done for women? Why don't they focus on the abuse of women? Why don't they care about what happens to women? Please explain this deficit in the movement. Also can you please prove to me that the bulk of MRAs do not consist of disgruntled abusers that are no longer propped up by the more enlightened segment of society and are now just bitter they can't lord it over the bitches?

    You need to disprove that MRAs are not DV abusers that are bitter. In fact there is evidence to the contrary, Many are convicted batterers. The fact is, that if I make the claim, I am the one that needs to provide evidence.

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  91. Like I said Sandy, you'd need at least a high school level reading comprehension to understand why nobility/chivalry are just cultural artifacts which underlie the true reason why it's women and children first. Only someone who is insanely deluded would argue that a class of people who are sacrificed in life and death situations are the "privileged" class.

    Booboonation -

    Can you prove the feminist movement is not misandrist? Why don't they care about what happens to men? Please explain this deficit in the movement. Also can you please prove to me that the bulk of feminists do not consist of disgruntled abusers propped up by the more "enlightened" segment of society but who are really just bitter hags that want to be like men?

    You need to disprove that feminists are not DV abusers that are bitter. In fact there is evidence to the contrary, many are convicted batterers.

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  92. Deezee, you might want to give that Gerda Lerner book a look too.

    And maybe read back a few comments to see why booboo asked all those questions in the first place. (Hint: it had something to do with a comment by nick.)

    richard: so the media is run by cabal of straight-male-hating feminists?

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  93. Dave,

    I thought booboonation was more than capable of fighting her own battles?

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  94. I answered this one on another thread here. WOW you are totally a pseudo intellectual chump if you think that people need to disprove other people's claims. OMG that is so funny. There is another post here with my answer to nick.

    Wait, OMG, no, this is hilarious. It's THIS THREAD. What's the first sentence of my post Dr. Deeze. ?

    I love this blog and both my fiancee and my boyfriend love it, too because I've been out of this other negative dynamic for awhile. I do sex industry and trafficking research. This is such a load off.

    Yeah, Dr. Deeze, can you just scroll up a bit? My post starts and ends saying that you don't DISPROVE other people's nutty claims. Egads. And what's this crap about fighting battles? What a cop out. Knock that off pronto. You just wanna slice of my time, I'm on to you.

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  95. As David can't answer me Booboonation, can you? On the fact that what good things feminists say about men compared to the negative things? Not just one or a couple of things. I mean a whole handful of things compared to the handful of negative things about men.

    If such a movement can't provide this; can anyone say bigotry and sexism?

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  96. Both your fiancée and your boyfriend? ;)

    It's called sarcasm, hun, with the point being (as it it usually is) that extremism exists on both sides of the fence. "Pseudo intellectual chump" is pretty funny coming from someone who has a barely comprehensible grasp on the English language. Half the shit you say is obfuscated by how you say it - for example, the sentence I picked out above implies that you have a fiancée AND another boyfriend.

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  97. Never mind, of course, that many have gone to great lengths to prove how feminism is a hate movement - casual dismissal of things you disagree with doesn't "disprove" anything either, my dear "pseudo intellectual chump."

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  98. Thanks, The Biscuit Queen, for the clarification. I've seen those headlines as well, and I agree that they were misleading. Thanks to John Dias as well; I hadn't seen an article that claimed what your linked article claimed. I'm more likely to agree with David, however, that early reports on big stories aren't edited and verified the way they should be. They're rushed out. Most of the early reports also said that Giffords had died. I just don't think that sloppy reporting equals a bias either way on the gender debate.

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  99. I just want to comment for a minute on that whole "women and children first" controversy. Aside from the fact that this guideline was limited to Western civilization, it never had the force of law -- so in every case where people needed to escape some disaster, it was always a choice on the part of those who were stronger and better armed, as to whether let women and children, or just children, or men and children escape first. True, according to traditional notions of "chivalry", a man who pushed a woman aside in order to escape first would be disgraced -- but only if someone saw it and lived to tell about it. And that goes back to what I've always said about chivalry -- that it's almost always about displays and token gestures, virtually never about substance. In the real world, grand displays of male gallantry usually persist only for so long as their costs are largely symbolic, but in situations where chivalry begins to entail real sacrifices and putting oneself in danger with no hope of a comparable gain, chivalric displays usually -- not always, but usually -- taper off sharply. In fact, in war, the idea that women's and children's deaths are to be especially avoided and are particularly tragic, is often a liability for women and children rather than an advantage -- for as we've seen, using them as human shields and propaganda tools is too common a political tactic in warfare. In short, when push really comes to shove, being female is no guarantee of preferential treatment, and the idea that in any natural or man-made disaster, women just sit back and pop bonbons safe in the knowledge that they'll be rescued, is utterly ridiculous.

    As to the rationale -- at the time when this idea was popular, women were safeguarded from harm for the same reason they were "safeguarded" from education, employment, and social and political freedoms and opportunities: to keep them available for reproduction and to service men. It wasn't so different from putting oneself in danger to protect an expensive piece of property, such as a house or livestock. And of course, the "rule" -- to the extent it was a "rule" at all -- benefited women only on condition that they lived up to contemporary expectations of female morality and behavior. So when MRA's declare that they won't "protect" (as if they've ever protected anyone in their lives) all those "skanks" who refuse to sleep with them or make them a sammich -- they aren't saying anything that hasn't been said before, for hundreds of years.

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  100. Amused -

    Are you trying to imply that this "chivalry" never had an effect? As this article points out, women had a 75% higher chance of survival (and children, hilariously enough, a 52% higher chance of survival) than men when it came to the Titanic disaster. (Women were so privileged that they out-survived children!) Your argument that men were protecting them to safeguard them for future servitude and reproduction doesn't make a whole lot of sense in a situation where men were generally trading their lives in order to save women.

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  101. Dr. Deezee: That was one instance -- one. As for more children than women dying, you are confusing a correlation with a cause. Children, by virtue of having a far smaller body mass and their biological immaturity, are more susceptible to hypothermia than adults. If having a body larger than a child's is a privilege, then men enjoy the exact same privilege.

    I never said that chivalry never had an effect -- for godssake, read before you respond -- only that its "effect" has been vastly exaggerated, and its less heroic displays (like not gratuitously calling women "bitches") have clearly been overpraised. To state that "chivalry" is exercised in each and every case and that women rely on chivalry to be completely safe from all harm in every conceivable set of circumstances is utterly absurd.

    Furthermore, what I was saying is that "chivalry" isn't "free" to women -- women ARE expected to pay a price, and the price is entirely too high. Giving up educational and career opportunities, foregoing economic self-sufficiency, and being reduced to the status of a breeding vessel and a chamber maid -- all because there is a chance, a very remote chance, you might be involved in something like the Titanic disaster, where a man may give up "his" seat for you -- seems like a terribly bad deal to me. YOU wouldn't take it, would you? When adjusted for the rarity of an event like that happening at all, the comparative chances of men and women of being involved in it AND dying edge closer together. But if a woman pays the appropriate price for chivalry, her chance of being irrelevant, belittled and lacking agency are about 100%.

    And by the way -- on 9/11, one of the secretaries in my firm was struck in the face and pushed aside as she was trying to get on the ferry and escape downtown Manhattan -- by two men who ran up behind her. They were assaulting others as well, and generally using their fists to cut through the crowd. (And please, please don't regale me with speculation about how they only did it because they were angry with the "oppressive feminist regime". Judging by their appearance, they were Wall Street brokers, the most privileged group in this country, hands down.) No, this doesn't mean men are brutes, and I know I cannot prove it happened (although let's be realistic, if I made it up, I could have made it far more gruesome) -- but it goes to show that for every example of "chivalrous" behavior, a counter-example can be invoked of a man whose thinking probably goes along the following lines: "Ahh, fuck it, my life isn't worth it. I hold the door for my mother, and that's good enough. Out of my way, bitch!" Or even something more simple: "Oh, no, we're all gonna die!! Nooooooooooo!! I don't care what anyone thinks about me tomorrow, I just want to live."

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  102. @ David

    David said: "richard: so the media is run by cabal of straight-male-hating feminists?"

    You believe that there is a patriarchy of evil men who have been working together to harm women pretty much forever, but a couple of media outlets working in unison is too much for you?

    Random Brother

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  103. "And by the way -- on 9/11, one of the secretaries in my firm was struck in the face and pushed aside as she was trying to get on the ferry and escape downtown Manhattan -- by two men who ran up behind her."

    Chivalry's been dead for a long time. What do you expect? That's "equality."

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  104. richard: as someone who's actually worked in media as a writer and editor for many years I have to say that, no, it's not run by a feminist cabal.

    Deezee: And chivalry was not always all it was cracked up to be. At least when it comes to that whole "women and children first" aspect of it:

    http://www.cbmw.org/Blog/Posts/Women-and-Children-First-A-Tale-of-Two-Ships

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  105. "it's not run by a feminist cabal"

    Political correctness is simply feminist influenced. As mainstream media is usually politically correct, I am sure there are plenty of feminist influenced people who pull the strings.

    "Deezee: And chivalry was not always all it was cracked up to be. At least when it comes to that whole "women and children first" aspect of it:"

    Chivalry has nothing to do with patriarchy. Feminists just use this as a ridiculous ploy to simply yet again place all blame on the male.

    Women would be the first ones to shame a man for not giving her such treatment. Exactly like the chivalry that prevails today. If a man is not willing to buy the woman dinner, many women would quickly jump at him and call him a cheapass. To call this patriarchy is comical

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  106. Dr.Deezee: "Chivalry's been dead for a long time. What do you expect? That's "equality."

    Chivalry was always an illusion, as I've explained. Better a dead illusion with equality, than a persistent illusion with oppression. At least that's the way I see it.

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  107. "Women would be the first ones to shame a man for not giving her such treatment. Exactly like the chivalry that prevails today. If a man is not willing to buy the woman dinner, many women would quickly jump at him and call him a cheapass. To call this patriarchy is comical"

    That's a bunch of nonsense. Traditional women -- not feminists -- expect preferential treatment. So you guys should stop talking out of both sides of your mouth: if you want a woman who adheres to Victorian values, don't whine about having to buy her dinner. If you want a woman who will not see you as a meal ticket, stop bashing feminism and women who pride themselves on being financially independent.

    That aside, if you are the one hosting an evening -- whether for a date, a friend, or a relative -- you are the one who should pay. If she hosts the date, she should pay your way. That's merely a simple rule of hospitality. And, in a relationship, it's natural for people to buy each other meals and presents. They don't have to be expensive, but that's just what people who like each other typically do for each other. Someone who takes meticulous care never to spend a penny towards his girlfriend's benefit or enjoyment IS cheapass; as she would be if she acted that way towards him.

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  108. Dave -

    Saying that "chivalry is not always all it was cracked up to be" is misleading, because the Lusitania wasn't really an example of a failure of chivalry per se. The reason chivalry did not take effect is because it is a learned, cultural behavior (like my other link, which I will quote from below, pointed out as well) and on the Lusitania, with 18 minutes to react, there wasn't time for these behaviors to kick in - pure, instinctual survival ruled the day.

    Since I don't think anyone bothered to read the Baumeister piece, below is his section on how and why males are more expendable than females:

    Any man who reads the newspapers will encounter the phrase “even women and children” a couple times a month, usually about being killed. The literal meaning of this phrase is that men’s lives have less value than other people’s lives. The idea is usually “It’s bad if people are killed, but it’s especially bad if women and children are killed.” And I think most men know that in an emergency, if there are women and children present, he will be expected to lay down his life without argument or complaint so that the others can survive. On the Titanic, the richest men had a lower survival rate (34%) than the poorest women (46%) (though that’s not how it looked in the movie). That in itself is remarkable. The rich, powerful, and successful men, the movers and shakers, supposedly the ones that the culture is all set up to favor — in a pinch, their lives were valued less than those of women with hardly any money or power or status. The too-few seats in the lifeboats went to the women who weren’t even ladies, instead of to those patriarchs.

    Most cultures have had the same attitude. Why? There are pragmatic reasons. When a cultural group competes against other groups, in general, the larger group tends to win out in the long run. Hence most cultures have promoted population growth. And that depends on women. To maximize reproduction, a culture needs all the wombs it can get, but a few penises can do the job. There is usually a penile surplus. If a group loses half its men, the next generation can still be full-sized. But if it loses half its women, the size of the next generation will be severely curtailed. Hence most cultures keep their women out of harm’s way while using men for risky jobs.

    These risky jobs extend beyond the battlefield. Many lines of endeavor require some lives to be wasted. Exploration, for example: a culture may send out dozens of parties, and some will get lost or be killed, while others bring back riches and opportunities. Research is somewhat the same way: There may be a dozen possible theories about some problem, only one of which is correct, so the people testing the eleven wrong theories will end up wasting their time and ruining their careers, in contrast to the lucky one who gets the Nobel prize. And of course the dangerous jobs. When the scandals broke about the dangers of the mining industry in Britain, Parliament passed the mining laws that prohibited children under the age of 10 and women of all ages from being sent into the mines. Women and children were too precious to be exposed to death in the mines: so only men. As I said earlier, the gender gap in dangerous work persists today, with men accounting for the vast majority of deaths on the job..."

    If men's lives are so valuable, like Sandy argues, why aren't our front lines primarily filled by females? Why aren't females serving in combat roles? If feminism is truly about equality, why aren't they lobbying for a 50/50, fully integrated military where females can share the burden of combat service equally with men? Why don't women have to register with the selective service when they turn 18, as men do?

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  109. Amused, I never said that feminists expect preferential treatment. My complaint is that feminists try to blame this on patriarchy rather than simply blaming it on women who have a poisoned sense of entitlement which they have 100 percent control over this mentality.

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  110. If a man is not willing to buy the woman dinner, many women would quickly jump at him and call him a cheapass
    Sure they would, as (and MRAs don't seem to understand this) not ALL women are feminists or believe that equal rights/egalitarianism for the sexes is preferable, many women want to retain "traditional manhood and womanhood" roles. To them, yes, he is a cheapass, and not only that, he is probably not going to make suitable "husband as protector/provider/head of the household" material. From what I've read, MRAs seem to want to hold fast to that dominant male authority/submissive, obedient woman hierarchy, so those are the women that they should be aiming for, not complaining about!
    On another note, I have dated men where I have offered to pay or, at the very least, offer to pay my own way, and that was seen as damn insulting in some cases, downright emasculating in others. Women certainly don't corner the market in hurling abusive insults at someone who doesn't fit their paradigm of how things ought to be. But in either case, neither should hurl abusive insults, they should just move on to finding a partner who shares their values.

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  111. And as Deezee was saying; it's funny how when women are privileged in an area, such as not being forced into combat against their will, there is a deafening silence from feminists who will protest against it. It's only important for feminists to protest against something when they feel males have a privilege

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  112. I don't know how many times in how many different forums I have seen this 'women not serving in combat' issue raised. And almost every time it is raised, the fact that feminists have been lobbying for YEARS to have women serve in the military and on the front line is pointed out. To that there is commonly a volley of insults aimed at women......their uselessness, laziness, inferiority, etc., ..... mainly coming from men and many of whom state that they are in the military, who are protesting AGAINST having women in the military because women are so incapable that men will get killed due to the fuckups of women. So convinced many men are of their superiority over women in every way that they are blinded to the fact that they are shooting themselves in the foot (no pun intended) over this issue every time. Deafening silence from feminists? They're too busy watching you shoot yourselves in the foot, no need for them to get involved. You are your own worst enemies! As Amused stated, "you guys should stop talking out of both sides of your mouth".

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  113. It's not just men who oppose it, but the actual women who've served as well:

    "Many Army women are puzzled when they see feminists in the media pushing to open up combat roles to women, because they are unaware of any military women who are interested in such roles.(1) These feminist activists accept the policy for men as the standard and seek to apply that policy to women. Thus they support making women eligible for the draft and assigning them to combat arms, even on a non-voluntary basis if necessary.

    Many Army women, however, believe that lobbying for compulsory service for women is regressive, and instead maintain that serving in the military and in a combat role should be voluntary for both men and women. When pressed to choose between the current exclusion of women from the combat arms and a policy that would assign women the way men are now assigned, women soldiers tend to support the status quo."

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  114. Pam

    We are aware of people not agreeing with women being in the frontline etc etc. But can you show come source of evidence where feminists actually protest at the fact why ONLY men are FORCED against their will into combat?

    Probably feminists have and I haven't seen it. Forgive me if I am wrong.

    My point was in my last post is that feminists only seem motivated to actually protest something when men are somehow privileged.

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  115. nick --

    Can you show me evidence of MRAs actually protesting draft registration? Not complaining about it online, actually getting off their asses and marching down to a recruiting center and protesting?

    Also, just so you know, men aren't being drafted in the US. Generally speaking there is not much anti-draft activism from anyone when there is no draft.

    Feminists are often involved in anti-war protests, and have been since the beginnings of feminism.

    Here's an example of a feminist who was arrested for protesting the draft:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=kpNarH7t9CkC&pg=PA365&lpg=PA365&dq=feminists+against+the+draft&source=bl&ots=WmAxwfOGpb&sig=syfIS6mO5DhvsXCho_9yxOrweuo&hl=en&ei=_FMuTeODM4WdlgfeqqiaCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=feminists%20against%20the%20draft&f=false



    Here's an example in Israel; the draft affects both sexes there, but it's not like the femininists there are only against the draft of girls/women.

    http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2009/04/feminists_in_is

    Feminist antiwar activism:

    http://womensstudies.homestead.com/antiwargroups.html

    http://www.barnard.edu/crow/archive/militarism.htm

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  116. "Can you show me evidence of MRAs actually protesting draft registration?"

    No I can't as I don't think they have. I am not an MRA myself so I wouldn't have a clue.

    However, I just find it amusing how feminists will jump up and down when its males who are being privileged but when its females being privileged, they don’t want to know about it

    You show examples of anti-war protest which is a totally different thing to the disparity of which gender is likely to get drafted

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  117. Secondly David, feminists act like the gender police and all. They always seem to want to be the primary voice of gender issues. For such a movement that acts in such a way is amusing when they are silent over female privilege.

    Secondly, it's funny how feminists constantly tell MRA's to stop complaining online and do something about it. It's ironic when 99 percent of feminists do nothing but complain online themselves. Only a small minority of feminists actually pull the strings to make things happen. I would not be one bit surprised that every feminist online who has thrown this at me would be a hypocrite.

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  118. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Judy Goldsmith are prominent feminists who, though not supporting conscription for either sex, pushed for conscription to include women if there must indeed be conscription. They also did not want such things as, for example, alimony being decided on basis of gender.

    But staunch ANTI-feminist, Phyllis Schlafly, wrote an article that included this:

    "While claiming to benefit women, the ERA would actually have taken away some of women’s rights. We based our arguments on the writings of pro-ERA law professors, among them current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The amendment would require women to be drafted into military combat any time men were conscripted, abolish the presumption that the husband should support his wife and take away Social Security benefits for wives and widows. It would also give federal courts and the federal government enormous new powers to reinterpret every law that makes a distinction based on gender, such as those related to marriage, divorce and alimony."

    Now, after reading the above, who is it that does not want equitable laws and legislation, and views "privileges" that women had/have as being their rights, feminists or anti-feminists.

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  119. nicko81m: ...funny how feminists constantly tell MRA's to stop complaining online and do something about it. It's ironic when 99 percent of feminists do nothing but complain online themselves ...

    Feminists were spoiled in the past. They could publish any hateful statement against men and nobody dared to say even a word against it.

    Times are changing. I see more and more anti-feminist websites coming up, not only in USA, but everywhere between Germany, India and Australia.

    Most men, but also more and more women, feel disturbed by all this hateful rhetoric coming from a few feminists, who are claiming leadership over all women.

    Men are talking back now to feminists, everywhere, not only online.

    Men are not ashamed anymore to file lawsuits against malicious women, demanding the same laws - they are gender-neutral and we all are equals - to be applied for them too.

    Other men give advice, how to avoid marriage, inform about problems many ex-husbands and fathers might face after divorce, talking about foreign women and even about expat to another country.

    Many men see the best solution to remain single and to ignore women in their own country due to bad laws and their excessive demands.

    The other important point is about who pays for feminism? Even Western countries are more and more unwilling, due to their financial situation, to pay for the expenses of a non-productive movement.

    Future of feminism does not look nice.

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  120. "Secondly, it's funny how feminists constantly tell MRA's to stop complaining online and do something about it. It's ironic when 99 percent of feminists do nothing but complain online themselves. Only a small minority of feminists actually pull the strings to make things happen. I would not be one bit surprised that every feminist online who has thrown this at me would be a hypocrite. "---Nicko

    They want to use men to do their dirty work via proxy, and if those screw up they blame those men, too and feel guiltless.

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  121. booboonation said...
    Also Nick, nobody is required to disprove a claim you make. If you make the claim you have to prove it. Also can you prove that MRA movement is not misogynist, what has the MRA movement done for women? Why don't they focus on the abuse of women? Why don't they care about what happens to women? Please explain this deficit in the movement. Also can you please prove to me that the bulk of MRAs do not consist of disgruntled abusers that are no longer propped up by the more enlightened segment of society and are now just bitter they can't lord it over the bitches?

    "You need to disprove that MRAs are not DV abusers that are bitter. In fact there is evidence to the contrary, Many are convicted batterers. The fact is, that if I make the claim, I am the one that needs to provide evidence."---booboonation said...

    You made this inflamatory and slanderous claim, and you provide zero evidence.

    Many are convicted batterers? What planet do you live on?

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  122. "Why don't they care about what happens to women?"---booboonation

    Being a feminist, you care nothing about what happens to men.

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  123. In the US, the fact that women are excluded from the draft was decided in 1981 after Congress reactivated the Selective Service from President Carter's request (which included a request to have women drafted.)
    Several men filed suit and multiple briefs were filed by women's organizations asking for the draft to include women.

    "In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court held that Congress's decision to exempt women from registration "was not the 'accidental by-product of a traditional way of thinking about females'" and did not violate the Due Process Clause. The Court found that men and women, because of combat restrictions on women, were not "similarly situated" for the purposes of draft registration. The Court also upheld Congress's judgment that the administrative and military problems that would be created by drafting women for noncombat roles were sufficient to justify the Military Selective Service Act."
    http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_251 The link is the oral arguments of the case.

    http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/getcase/US/448/1306.html This is the case itself.

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=u20026 This is the case regarding the Virginia Military Institute and having a male only admission policy.
    It also had multiple filings from women's organizations asking for the allowing of women in military institutions.

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  124. I've never seen anyone jump up and down demanding to be drafted. Women don't, but men don't either -- though MRA's and their pals here obviously imply that this issue should be the basis for denying women equal rights with men. People who join the military do so overwhelmingly for pragmatic reasons, and those who seek combat assignments do this for pragmatic reasons as well, since this is the surest way to promotion and success in one's career. As far as women in the military go, just this morning on NPR where was a segment that dealt with the problem of women actually being in combat, but not getting officially assigned to combat units -- in other words, putting out and getting no credit for it. In fact, this situation became increasingly common since World War I -- that women serve, but because it's not "official", it doesn't "count".

    However, all this is beside the point. As a feminist, I think equal rights should come with equal obligations, and people of both sexes should be registered with Selective Service. However, what is crucial here is that who is "forced" to serve in combat and who is "forced" to work in a dangerous occupation -- this is a giant RED HERRING. There hasn't been a draft now for nearly 40 years. Most men, and indeed, most MRA's, don't serve in the military, don't want to, and never will -- to say nothing of being in combat. Most men, and most MRA's, don't work in dangerous occupations. And yet MRA's demand that special privileges be extended to all men on the basis of what a tiny minority does.

    This, to me, is absurd and utterly unacceptable. Look, we could take a page out of Israel's book, where one's civil rights and liberties are contingent upon service for every individual separately. If you served in the military, you get rights. If you didn't, you don't. You don't get rights because your friend, or your brother, or some guy you read about on the Internet served, just because you look similar down there. If engaging in dangerous endeavors is to be the sine qua non of enjoying civil rights, then this should be on the basis of individual contributions, not gender. Truth is, if civic participation and civil liberties were ever made contingent on military service and/or dangerous occupations, then the overwhelming majority of men would be shit outta luck and in the same position as women. If you don't want to be denied civil rights simply because you aren't a soldier, a miner or a fisherman, then stop insinuating that women should be treated as subhuman chattel because our lives aren't dangerous enough. Merely having a penis doesn't put you in the same league with people who engage in dangerous occupations, and you aren't entitled to claim credit for what they do.

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  125. @Elizabeth, I have read the opinions in that case and a key point of dispute was the fact that women are banned from combat roles in the US (under federal law) and the draft is for the purpose of obtaining people to fill combat positions. This is what the issue of being "simularly situated" revolves around. The majority opinion argued that it was pointless and a waste of money for women to be forced to register when they were prohibited from serving in the necessary capacity, making the sex specific rules valid. The dissent held that notions of women being unfit to serve in combat were based on stereotypes and therefore were not valid reasons for gender discrimination in draft law. NOW filed a friend of the court brief supporting a removal of sex specificity in selective service.

    As to dangerous occupations, it is worth noting that dangerous occupations involve far higher pay than those available for people of similar backgrounds and educational levels who do not work dangerous jobs. It is not difficult for men to find jobs of comparable risk to women, they just would not receive the same level of pay as for working a dangerous job, but it is very difficult for a woman to get work in fields like mining or construction and reap the higher pay for the higher risk. Construction pays three to four times as much per hour as food service, men can work either, women generally can only work the latter. This contributes to the much higher rates of poverty for women.

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  126. Years ago, I was in the military and I distinctly remember that female personnel were subjected to a lower standard than males in their physical training (PT) competency tests. It's not enough for feminists merely to demand that women and men be equally drafted. In order to serve they should be equally qualified. The reason why the determination of qualification sets a lower standard for female military personnel is precisely because compared to males, they are less competent physically, and this lower competence is a reflection of their biology. If both women and men were equally obligated to serve in the military, there would thus still remain privileges and exemptions for women (and this would present a net liability to the security of the nation if such women were given an equal role in combat). Either lower the minimum PT standards for all military personnel (assuming that a lower standard would not negatively affect military readiness), or exclude women as less physically competent. If women are then excluded on that basis, then male authority over such women is justified, based on the male obligation to register (and the female exemption/privilege from registering) for the Selective Service.

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  127. As an addendum to my comment above...

    Feminists -- including the feminist author who David Futrelle is fond of citing, Gerda Lerner -- claim that men determine all the standards by which humanity is judged and evaluated. And so even an equal standard in the minimum physical training requirements for military personnel would inevitably be challenged by feminists as unequal, and by implication unjust, because it didn't measure and evaluate women by standards that are easier for women to meet. This is textbook feminism: lower the standard on behalf of females whether or not this lowered standard inures to the benefit of males, and call it equality.

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  128. John Dias -

    The standards are still much lower for women than they are for men.

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  129. John Dias: By that logic, women should have authority over men who are less qualified than they. Also men would have authority over other men, who are less qualified. Naturally, older men would lose their authority and civil rights, as well as men who were sick or disabled (including men disabled as a result of service, since they could no longer "protect" anyone). In other words, you confirm what I stated: that if military prowess is a prerequisite to full human status and enjoying civil rights, then most men would be relegated to the same subhuman status as women under a system like that. However, nothing in your comment justifies your apparent belief that a man, regardless of his personal qualifies, just because he is a man, should lord over "his" women, and even all women, just because some other man can bench press 90 times.

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  130. "Feminists -- including the feminist author who David Futrelle is fond of citing, Gerda Lerner -- claim that men determine all the standards by which humanity is judged and evaluated. And so even an equal standard in the minimum physical training requirements for military personnel would inevitably be challenged by feminists as unequal, and by implication unjust, because it didn't measure and evaluate women by standards that are easier for women to meet. This is textbook feminism: lower the standard on behalf of females whether or not this lowered standard inures to the benefit of males, and call it equality. "

    The benefit of males shouldn't be the only concern, especially since you deny that males are the "default" people. After all, men comprise only half of humanity. Women are not a narrow minority or a "special interest" anymore than men are, because we comprise half the human race.

    Now, as to standards. High standards, no matter how extremely high, are fine if they are rationally related to the objective. However, certain standards imposed solely for the purpose of creating a legitimate-looking ground for excluding people based on gender, race or class are bogus and should be done away with.

    I don't think reasonable physical standards in the military should be relaxed to accommodate women -- just like I don't believe that humanities and languages curricula in our schools should be dumbed down just because boys are "less verbal" than girls and therefore can't be bothered to learn a foreign language. But then, requiring fluency in a foreign language along with flawless pronunciation to get a job, say, as a doctor would privilege women without any good-faith basis for it.

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  131. In my opinion, having an exemption from the necessity to provide for one's own survival justifies one's subordination. But that's not the only justification in existence for authority. People who are in authority must not only demonstrate competence, but also assume obligations that subordinates are not subjected to.

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  132. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  133. Also, regarding educational standards:

    If a different teaching method helps one sex to more effectively absorb the necessary knowledge and skills that are required to meet a minimum testing standard, then by all means, a change in the teaching method would be warranted on behalf of such people. That helps people to meet the standard, rather than lowering the standard itself.

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  134. The physiological constraints women have as opposed to men is the only legitimate reason to bar women from long marches. They simply are not as muscular as men are and lose muscle mass faster.

    At any rate, the issue was that women were not asking to be drafted-yes they did ask. They were told no.

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  135. @Elizabeth:

    1. Women also cannot throw grenades farther than men. For example, in grenade training the army had to erect a grenade barrier wall to protect the female soldiers from the blast of the grenades than they could not throw far enough. This adaptation lowered the standard of safety, but it enabled the less-capable female soldiers to pass basic training. In an actual battle situation, such women would be endangering the lives of their fellow soldiers -- both male and female -- if they attempted to exercise such a basic task as throwing a grenade.

    2. Women never asked to be drafted. Feminist organizations -- thinking that they represent all women -- asked for women to be subject to the draft. I'm going to assume that you can't produce credible polling data that demonstrate that the desires of women in general were in harmony with the feminists in this matter of equal military draft obligations. Prove me wrong if you think you can.

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  136. Preliminarily, John Dias, nothing in your comments addresses my main point -- that is, that if this "ability to ensure one's own survival" (as YOU define it) is the prerequisite to having the full panoply of civil rights, then the overwhelming majority of men are not entitled to civil rights, since the overwhelming majority of men are incapable of ensuring their own survival according to the criteria that you've suggested. Furthermore, taken to its logical conclusion, your theory would mean that men are to be subordinated to women who are more capable than they are to survive -- again, according to your criteria; and that men's political and legal entitlements would decrease with age, due to waning physical strength. In other words, if your comments are taken at face value, they simply don't support the proposition that authority is to be assigned on the basis of gender, and that women are to be deprived of legal identity and civil rights simply for being women.

    The bigger problem with your argument, however, is that the criteria that you set for being in authority or being relegated to the status of property are wholly arbitrary. Why should those who have greater physical strength and endurance be the only ones with rights? Because they supposedly can ensure their own survival? I wouldn't be so sure.

    To begin with, even in a primitive world with simple tools, physical strength means nothing in the absence of intellect -- and intellect is spectacularly good at compensating for physical weakness. Therefore, I don't see why a muscular idiot should rule over a frail genius.

    More importantly, we don't live in a primitive world -- we live in a world where wars are increasingly technological, and physical strength is becoming less and less crucial. You may have the biceps the size of basketballs, but they won't ensure your survival in a technologically advanced world unless flabby intellectuals, who can't bench press for more than a few minutes, provide you with the technology that WILL ensure your survival. Your vaunted ability to survive in harsh climactic conditions is mostly attributable to modern medical science. In the Middle Ages, the number one killer of soldiers was dysentery, followed by other communicable diseases and exhaustion, with warfare being a distant third. Your ability to throw a grenade won't ensure your survival or anyone else's survival, if people, including women, most of whom can't throw grenades properly, won't keep coming up with new antibiotics to treat a variety of infections that may kill you. Perhaps it's those with the strongest brains, rather than those with the biggest muscles, that should lord over everyone else? Let's say, we'll limit the right to vote to people with PhD's and those with an IQ of at least 150.

    History also shows that at least over the last 500 years or so, wars consistently have been won by those NOT with the bravest soldiers or the most brilliant generals, but by those who have the most materiel. So perhaps everyone should be submissive to merchants, since their generation of wealth ultimately makes all the stuff that supplies militaries?

    All these are rhetorical questions. Substantive Due Process means that all human beings enjoy equal rights, not subject to arbitrary categories, and it is a principle in which I deeply believe. But asking these questions does demonstrate that it's not such an easy thing, determining what it takes to ensure one's survival. Ultimately, it's an interconnected world, and there isn't one person out there, man or woman, who can single-handedly ensure his or her own survival. And thus, it is a false criterion. Inalienable rights, remember?

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  138. @Amused:

    You're not debating in an intellectually honest manner, and simultaneously you are accusing me of doing exactly that to you. That's a typical rhetorical tactic that I have seen feminists employ, and it is meant to put their opponents on the defensive. It's actually quite manipulative in my opinion. I won't dignify your accusatory rhetoric with a response until you practice debating in a logical, non-manipulative manner.

    But I will offer this clarification of my own statements. Civil rights are bestowed by government policy, which stems from State authority. Patriarchal authority is not derived from the State (despite the fact that feminists claim that the State is an extension of patriarchal values). Some feminists have gone so far as to acknowledge the reality that patriarchal values are insulated from State control so long as intact families exist. And so this idea that I'm making a comment on civil rights is completely missing the point in my view. Within a family in which authority relationships are defined by common beliefs, reinforced through the family itself and other cultural institutions, authority need not be enforced through the barrel of a police officer's gun. It is enforced merely by the provider of the means of survival establishing his value to his family by repeatedly demonstrating the uniqueness of his provision and protection. This creates a cocoon of material and physical security within which nurturing and comfort can be provided. What disrupts the delicate harmony of this arrangement -- thousands of years old and tried and tested -- is the intervention of the State, manufacturing excuses to intrude into the private lives of people who choose to live this way. What you paint as civil rights are really just the excuse for the State to lord it over the population and impose various obligations on them. This phenomenon of government's heavy hand has only intensified under feminism, resulting in grave injustices that feminism has attempted to justify.

    No further debate by me with you will occur from this point onward, until I have confidence that you will not engage in further attempts to assassinate my character and until you start to engage my arguments solely on their merits.

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  139. Amused: History also shows that at least over the last 500 years or so, wars consistently have been won by those NOT with the bravest soldiers or the most brilliant generals, but by those who have the most materiel.

    This is not true, USA lost the war against Vietnam, which had significantly less materials than the USA.

    Today every corner of Vietnam is fully controlled by the Communist Party of Vietnam.

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  140. Okay, insert feminist to that statement I made.

    Feminist women did demand to be drafted, they were told no.

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  141. John Dias: I addressed your comments on the merits. Your character is of no interest to me -- and if I poured cold water on your apparent conviction that muscular strength is the be-all, end-all of survival, and showed you how other people, including women, assure YOUR survival by providing you with tools and conveniences that you (apparently) take for granted, your choice to take offense at that has nothing to do with me. A lot of people are deluded that they could survive if only society would leave them alone (and go away with all its conveniences, roads, electricity, running water, and modern medicine) -- but that's only until their first infection or serious illness; these people are wrong and so are you.

    Whatever you meant, as long as you are appealing to patriarchy and history, what IS intellectually dishonest is your refusal to acknowledge that patriarchy -- for thousands of years -- used political and legal institutions to sustain itself. In a patriarchal society, male authority over family has the force of law: women have little to no recourse against abusive husbands; men who kill or maim their wives suffer few to no consequences; and women are barred by law from getting a professionally useful education or pursuing gainful employment. At the same time, male obligations in a patriarchal society never had the force of law: a man had a moral obligation to support his family, but could not be compelled to do so; if his wife perished because of his failure to protect her, he would suffer no legal consequences whatsoever. Your suggestion that patriarchy in the good old days existed because the State didn't interfere is simply not true. Patriarchy fashioned legal and political systems, and to deny that is simply absurd.

    As for whether patriarchy should be practiced within a family -- that's up to each individual family. Of course, the woman in such a system is required to cooperate with her husband by rendering herself as helpless as possible. Also, to the extent that male authority in your theory is based on the "uniqueness" of his contribution to his family, I suppose she's supposed to be useless as well, and to remind herself daily how he would be just fine without her, but she would perish without him. Hey, people who decide to live this way don't bother me one way or another, but once they start brandishing their lifestyle as supposedly ideal, they expose it to examination and judgment. In any event, inasmuch as you demand respect for such arrangements simply because they exist, perhaps you should be a little less critical of other types of relationships, that aren't founded on domination and co-dependency, and where both partners provide what they can provide best without one lording over the other.

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  142. Yohan: This is not true, USA lost the war against Vietnam, which had significantly less materials than the USA.

    Today every corner of Vietnam is fully controlled by the Communist Party of Vietnam.


    Okay, it's not merchants then. Communist societies have more materiel by virtue of the State's ability to commandeer whatever it needs without pesky lawsuits and legislative debates. Perhaps it's communists who are best equipped to assure society's survival then.

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  143. John Dias: I've reread my earlier comment, and I honestly cannot find ANYTHING in it that can even remotely be construed as a personal attack. I therefore call your bluff: you couldn't rebut my argument, so you resorted to ham-fisted claims that I supposedly insulted you. All I did, was dispute your arguments. If you construe that as an insult in and of itself -- this is yet another manifestation of patriarchal entitlement; although no one likes to be disputed, men who subscribe to the notion that they should possess the entirety of public discourse take particular umbrage at being contradicted by women.

    You premise your complaint against me on my supposed misinterpretation of the term "patriarchy". I think my understanding of patriarchy is far more accurate than yours, but why take my word for it? Let's consult a dictionary. (Is Merriam Webster impartial enough for you? In case you have any doubts, "Merriam" isn't Miriam, but the last name of two men.) The dictionary defines "patriarchy" as "social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; a society or institution organized according to the principles or practices of patriarchy". So, we have societal organization and the involvement of the legal system on two counts: keeping wives subordinate and dependent and ensuring inheritance laws that favor males. So it seems to me, my approach to patriarchy as a social, legal and political system is consistent with how patriarchy is commonly understood, and your taking offense at me is therefore unjustified.

    You are, of course, free to define terms for your own purposes. But if you choose to define a term in a way that's significantly different from how that term is normally understood, it is your responsibility to apprise the public of your definition, before you start getting all riled up because others don't automatically define things the way you want to define them.

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  144. John, I fail to see any "character assassination" in Amused's comments either.

    Also, I note that if you read, yes, Gerda Lerner on the history of patriarchy, you can see that it has always been intertwined with and supported by laws and state power. Indeed, much of her work is based on analyzing such patriarchal laws.

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  145. David:

    When someone intentionally misstates the views of another in accusatory fashion -- then attacks those views as they would attack a straw man -- to me that is a roundabout way of attacking someone's character. To attack an argument on the merits, you should quote the statement of the person who you disagree with, then offer your commentary about it specifically. Then quote another statement, and offer your commentary about it, and so on.

    Finally, in Lerner's view, patriarchy as she defines it started in the Greek city states. But true patriarchy -- not the feminist definition which I reject -- began in the garden of Eden. I use the Bible as my source. Lerner also attributes patriarchy to the will of man, specifically naming Aristotle as its philosophical grandfather, as though authority over the family or family clan by the father has no other merit than the secular value the Greeks attached to it. Feminism is a secular belief system by its essence. In her book, Lerner has envisioned the tearing down of the family in her expression of what I consider to be a chilling Utopian fantasy.

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  146. People who are in authority must not only demonstrate competence, but also assume obligations that subordinates are not subjected to.
    That's probably true in many scenarios, but not all. The one who will become the authority and the one who will become the subordinate in, say, the household is bestowed at birth (or even before). A man does not have to demonstrate competence nor assume obligations in order to be seen as the head of the household, that's just naturally assumed because of his maleness. Sure, their female partner could pick up the slack in areas where they are deficient or shirk their obligations, but women have long been conditioned to do so in such a manner that it would not be seen as usurping the man's authority. His authority was unquestioned no matter what, he need not have demonstrated any competence to have had this authority assumed.

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  147. Pam -

    And now we have the opposite problem, where women are automatically assumed competent (winning custody of children in grossly disproportionate numbers despite evidence that suggests fathers make better single parents than do mothers) regardless of reason. Progress!

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  148. @Pam:

    "A man does not have to demonstrate competence nor assume obligations in order to be seen as the head of the household, that's just naturally assumed because of his maleness."

    Since authority is reinforced by competence, as well as cultural reinforcement, it is also destabilized by incompetence. If you lose the respect of the people for whom you provide and protect, there will be a lack of harmony in your family. Stop trying to paint male authority as abusive. Authority is justified both by competence and also the obligations of authority.

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  149. But true patriarchy -- not the feminist definition which I reject -- began in the garden of Eden.
    Using the Bible as the source, yes it did begin in the garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve fell from grace and were made to depart the garden. Patriarchy is a Fallen system, not a system under Grace.

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  150. I did not paint male authority as abusive. I painted it as something that is always assumed, not necessarily earned.

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  151. And now we have the opposite problem, where women are automatically assumed competent (winning custody of children in grossly disproportionate numbers...
    Because women are automatically assumed to be the primary caregivers, and that seems to suit most men just fine, at least while their marriage (or other co-habitating relationship) is intact. It's only when the cohabitating relationship is disrupted that the assumption of who should be the primary caregiver (thus given custody of the children) comes into question.
    I'm all for men being awarded custody of the children, and the woman paying him child support out of her earnings, if they are the primary caregivers.

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  152. @Pam:

    "Because women are automatically assumed to be the primary caregivers, and that seems to suit most men just fine, at least while their marriage (or other co-habitating relationship) is intact."

    Automatically assumed by whom? You really like the use of the passive voice, don't you? I detect a not-so-subtle accusation embedded in the above quoted sentence, as if you're saying that when women choose the caregiving role, they were somehow intimidated into it by the father. In fact, caring for one's children while financially supported by a provider is a blessing, and it is also a voluntary-accepted privilege.

    "It's only when the cohabitating relationship is disrupted that the assumption of who should be the primary caregiver (thus given custody of the children) comes into question."

    Why should it come into question at all? A continuing relationship between the child and both parents is vital to the interests of both the parent and especially the child. The fact that the providing father loved his former family by being away from them is not negated in any way by the mother loving her family by being the primary caregiver. Parenting time being split 50/50, or close to it, is perfectly justified because otherwise it is not usually in the interest of the child. An 80/20 arrangement of parenting time is, however, an entitlement that is expected by many mothers who are seeking to max out the amount that they expect the father to pay them in child support. That is what is an unjust expectation, namely the desire to financially profit from a family breakup. It is perfectly reasonable for a father to expect a substantial change in his parenting time following a divorce.

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  153. Automatically assumed by whom?
    Obviously the Family Courts for one, and in most heterosexual cohabitation relationships, even when both the man AND the woman work outside the home to provide a monetary income.

    I detect a not-so-subtle accusation embedded in the above quoted sentence, as if you're saying that when women choose the caregiving role, they were somehow intimidated into it by the father.
    You really like to detect things that I'm not intimating at all, don't you? What I'm saying is that when a heterosexual couple chooses to have a child or children (or haven't yet chosen but pregnancy is the reality of the situation), the underlying assumption is that it is the woman who will be the primary caregiver, and that underlying assumption, the 80/20 split, doesn't seem to faze most men at all while the relationship is intact - that's not intimidation on the father's part, it's complacency; dare I say that, for a large number of men, it doesn't even occur to them that they could or should take on a larger portion of that responsibility . What I'm saying is that men who are concerned with father's rights (in general, not just as in Father's Rights Activism) should be exercising their rights to play a larger "hands-on" role with their children not just only after the relationship has gone asunder.
    In no way do I diminish the importance of a child having a relationship with both father and mother, I think that that close to 50/50 split in parenting time should be strived for when the relationship is intact as well as not.
    That 80/20 split is not only expected by mothers (who, by and large, were doing the 80% all along) when custody arrangements are being determined, it's also assumed by the Family Court due to it being the predominant structure within intact relationships. If fathers start taking on a larger "hands-on" caregiving role, the Family Court may eventually catch on to that and then, perhaps, custodial arrangements will be more evenly split.

    The fact that the providing father loved his former family by being away from them is not negated in any way by the mother loving her family by being the primary caregiver
    The mother, in loving her family by being the primary caregiver, was/is also providing. Why is providing viewed in strictly monetary income terms?

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  154. Women also tend to take the role of primary parent whether the father wants it or not. They will often gatekeep: stating the rules by which the father may interact with the child and disapproving and rebuking the father if he breaks these rules. The rules are typically stated as being good for the child, but in many cases they are nitpicking and not about safety in the least. I have listened to my friends complain about their children being dressed inappropriately (a pink shirt with green pants), they were fed incorrectly (cereal for lunch), they were dirty (missed a bath) or dad was not spending quality time with the child (dad was watching cartoons with child). These dads were criticized for doing things differently than with mom, none of which were harmful to the child. Mothers (most mothers in my experience as a parent and as a former day care provider) gatekeep to some extent. Men do not become primary parents in many cases because they are not allowed to be. Mothers tend to be far more controlling than fathers in my experience. I have met one man who was a gatekeeper, but he was divorced father of a gatekeeping woman. (I thought he was bad until I met his wife-I was watching their children before school every day)

    Also, what would you say to a mother who wanted to stay home with her kids and the father wanted her to work.

    What would you say to a father who wanted to stay home with the kids and the mother wanted him to work.

    What if the mother assumed she would work and changed her mind once the baby was born?

    What if the father assumed he would work but changed his mind once the baby was born?

    I think the preconcieved notions of women being primary care parents and men being breadwinners is still a problem, just not the problem you think. I would say, if you think women have it so bad, would you be willing to switch roles? Would you be willing to have the assumed responsibility to pay for your family? You would have no choice but to work, even if your spouse suddenly decided to stay home. You would be seen by society as a dead beat if you did not pay for your ex-spouse to raise your children.

    Primary parent may provide love, but so does the working parent.

    Also, more women today are working than men, due to the recession hitting men far more than women. We will start seeing a change in the status quo, and it is not men who will be unhappy about it.

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  155. Oh, and Pam? I noted the same thing John did. You are not as subtle as you think.

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  156. Pam made no insinuation, and after being accuse dot if, made even clearer what she meant.

    Men do not become primary parents in many cases because they are not allowed to be. Mothers tend to be far more controlling than fathers in my experience.

    Do you have any evidence of this beyond anecdote? Obviously in some cases this is true, but I would imagine it happens the other way around more often, because fathers with patriarchal values tend to want to have final say over such matters, and because they tend to prefer more traditional man-works-woman-takes-care-of-kids family structures.

    My own admittedly anecdotal evidence: the patriarchal, misogynist, alcoholic father of a friend, who refused and still refuses to allow his wife to work. Maybe in John's logic this is a "privilege," but it was not one she had a choice in. (She could have gotten a divorce, I suppose, but then she would blamed for breaking up the family and seeking to "profit" be seeking child support by the MRAs.)

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  157. LOL!!! I'm not trying to be subtle, you and John are expecting innuendo and so are reading it into what I'm saying.

    Primary parent may provide love, but so does the working parent.
    Problem is, in patriarchal families, the working parent is seen as providing while the non-working (outside of the home for a paycheque, that is) parent is seen only as receiving. What the non-working parent provides for the working parent is devalued or taken for granted.

    I would say, if you think women have it so bad, would you be willing to switch roles?
    I have been the breadwinner, supporting a man who stayed at home. And guess what? People still viewed him as the head of the household...the boss of me.

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  159. @Pam:

    Both the primary caregiver and the primary breadwinner are providing and receiving. There is no dispute about that; both are valuable and crucial to a harmonious and stable family. Neither of them are useless, despite what the Hanna Rosen type feminists might say about the End of Men. But survival is a higher priority than comfort, which is why the breadwinner's role is slightly more crucial. You have also suggested that the efforts of breadwinners are less valuable than the efforts of caregivers, by insinuating that breadwinners are complacent despite the fact that unlike caregivers, male breadwinners are typically not empowered by their female partners with a choice between the caregiving or breadwinning role; the option itself to choose between caregiving vs. breadwinning is typically assumed by the mother to be her entitlement. The fact that a few women are the exception to this maxim merely only proves the rule.

    The breadwinning role is one where flexibility is minimal; one has to be at work on time, meet deadlines, follow someone else's schedule, meet others' expectations, cease work at a certain time, etc. The caregiving role is simply much more flexible, and much less stressful. I say this not to devalue it -- the industrialized West has a serious deficiency of nurturing qualities in my opinion and we need more caregivers who are biologically related to the families that they care for -- but it is true in my view that caregivers simply aren't under the same stresses as breadwinners. Therefore the caregiver's "shift" is justifiably of longer duration than that of the breadwinner in my opinion. So if the breadwinner gets home at the end of the day, it's not automatically his moral obligation to take on a second shift; he (or she) is providing the means of survival and should be honored and recognized for that. Likewise, he should honor and recognize the immense value and contribution of the caregiver in a mutually loving and, in terms of labor, similarly-yoked relationship.

    I resent the suggestion that a person who gets to choose their role -- because a provider has empowered them with that choice -- is somehow compelled or coerced into that role. It is reasonable to associate such an absurd suggestion with the tacit but intentional feminist implication that a patriarchal arrangement necessarily (or even typically) carries with it some undercurrent of violent coercion. That dogmatic mentality is what feminism is all about, in its vilification of stay-at-home moms, providing dads, and voluntarily-accepted patriarchal values. It's a "butt-in" ideology, which I oppose on that basis.

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  160. You have also suggested that the efforts of breadwinners are less valuable than the efforts of caregivers, by insinuating that breadwinners are complacent ...
    I suggested no such thing, nor did I "insinuate" that breadwinners are complacent, I stated that a large number of men who are fathers (I didn't stipulate breadwinner because it occurs even in situations where the man is not the sole or primary breadwinner) complacently accept the 80/20 split in caregiving responsibility. That was in reponse to your accusing me of insinuating that fathers intimidate mothers into accepting the primary caregiver role, yet another thing that I did not suggest or insinuate. I was not ascribing malicious intent to men assuming and accepting the 80/20 division of caregiving, but it DOES seem that malicious intent is ascribed to women in general, feminists in particular, and the Family Court when custodial arrangements, which often is simply mirroring the caregiving arrangements when the relationship is intact, are decided when a relationship has broken down. I was offering an alternative explanation to the seemingly widely accepted malicious intent theory of custodial arrangements.

    As for the desire to profit from a family breakup, a higher percentage of single parents are employed vs. unemployed, part-time or full-time, which tends to make me think that neither single mothers nor single fathers are living high off the hog following a family breakup.

    So if the breadwinner gets home at the end of the day, it's not automatically his moral obligation to take on a second shift; he (or she) is providing the means of survival and should be honored and recognized for that.
    It never has been the male breadwinner or co-breadwinner's obligation to take on a second shift, but it HAS (and, for the most part, still is) been the female breadwinner or co-breadwinner's obligation to take on the second shift. Folks on this very blog have pointed out that it was women who fought to have their working hours decreased back at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when women worked the same amount of hours as men in, for instance, the coal mines. The implication was that when women have to work the same amount of hours as men, under similarly grueling conditions, women are either incapable of doing so or will overwhelmingly choose and fight for the less taxing and grueling domestic chores, when the truth of the matter is that it was the women who were OBLIGATED to perform the daily domestic chores in addition to working outside the domestic sphere. The moral obligation, or not, to take on the second shift is not dependent upon breadwinner/provider role, it is dependent upon the sex of the individual.

    That dogmatic mentality is what feminism is all about, in its vilification of stay-at-home moms, providing dads, and voluntarily-accepted patriarchal values.
    I won't say that there are not feminists who vilify stay-at-home moms, I'm sure that there ARE, but the majority of vilification of stay-at-home moms that I have seen has come from MRAs...y'know, the ones who vilify working women for taking men's jobs away and, at the same time, vilify stay-at-home moms for being parasites.
    Feminism was and is all about attempting to dismantle institutionalized, NON-voluntarily accepted patriarchal values, which is NOT to say that, nowadays, patriarchal values are ALWAYS thrust upon someone non-voluntarily, as there are non-feminists who voluntarily accept those values.
    And, from the perspective that you hold, you will read suggestion and insinuation into all that I say, which makes it senseless for me to continue discussing this with you any further.

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  161. Pam:
    "Problem is, in patriarchal families, the working parent is seen as providing while the non-working (outside of the home for a paycheque, that is) parent is seen only as receiving. What the non-working parent provides for the working parent is devalued or taken for granted.

    Not true in many cases. In fact in terms of the basis for the idea of a patriarchal society, the Bible, the women is very much seen as contributing a great deal. If you look at Proverbs 31 it describes the ideal wife as actually quite productive. In modern marriages often the wife is not seen as recieving, but as giving up all her opportunities-she is seen as victimized by her choice to stay home. In modern families it is rare for a husband to have any say at all in whether his wife works or not. It is seen as controlling and abusive for him to have any opinion or say whatsoever, and contrary to your opinion, most men are not and do not want to be abusive. Like most female spouses, they love their partner and want them to be happy.

    I stayed home with my kids and did day care and dog training for over a decade. I considered it a great gift from my husband that I had the luxury to enjoy my kids while he had to go work. I was seen as nuts by other parents for feeling that way. The fathers were very surprised I felt that way, and the other mothers were offended that I refused to make my husband take out the trash and do laundry. This anectdotally suggests that people in my area do not feel a woman is recieving when she stays home with kids.

    Legally it is in the stay at home parent's advantage in custody cases because they are seen as doing all the child care work. This husband's job is not considered in terms of caring for the child, even though his paycheck is used for the child. Often you will see in mainstream media advice how to get a husband to help around the house, and the 'housework gap', the idea that men do not do their fair share, even if the wife stays home. Anectodally I can say that many women feel staying home is a full time job and expect to be relieved of that job when dad comes home, as though he has been at a fun thing all day and now has to work at home.

    "I have been the breadwinner, supporting a man who stayed at home. And guess what? People still viewed him as the head of the household...the boss of me."

    Not what I asked at all. Would you be willing to socially give up any choice whether to work ot not? Would you be willing to be seen as abusive for asking your spouse to work?

    You know, I was a member of a very strict born again Christian church where the man was seen as head of the home and the women were seen as equal in value but secondary in terms of final say of big decisions.

    I lived that way for a while, I spent time with families you would consider extreme. They were nothing like you discribe. The husbands were gentle and protective of their wives, and wives were loving and nurturing toward their husbands. Often the decidions would coincide with the wife's wishes. These people were seen as extreme "patriarchal" families, and they were loving, happy families.

    You describe cases which are abusive as if they were the norm. They are not. Most people see women as every bit equal to men, and many households go by the mantra "if mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy".

    I don't buy into your world view. It does not jive with my 40 years experience on this earth, 8 caring for other people's children. It does not pass the sniff test. I do not think that more than a small minority feel women are inferior and men are the "boss" of the house. I do not see it in main stream media, I do not see it in real life. In fact I see strong evidence that those men are vilified, suggesting not only is it not common, but it is actively distained socially.

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  162. @Pam:

    "The implication was that when women have to work the same amount of hours as men, under similarly grueling conditions [coal mines], women are either incapable of doing so or will overwhelmingly choose and fight for the less taxing and grueling domestic chores, when the truth of the matter is that it was the women who were OBLIGATED to perform the daily domestic chores in addition to working outside the domestic sphere. The moral obligation, or not, to take on the second shift is not dependent upon breadwinner/provider role, it is dependent upon the sex of the individual."

    Obligated, you say? Within the home? What, pray tell, would be the enforcement mechanism in your view for those women who failed to live up to their "obligation" to take on a second shift at home, in addition to a paid job? Are you suggesting that her husband would somehow force or coerce her with violence, or threat of violence, to live up to her moral obligations? What leverage could be brought to bear against such an obligation-shirking woman? I would like to know.

    In the paid workforce, an employee who refuses to meet his obligations can be fired. If, after being fired, he tries to gain access to his employer's payroll and pay himself despite having been fired, then violence against him will result. But if a stay-at-home woman fails to meet what you call her "obligations" within a patriarchal home, exactly how will it be enforced upon her that she must comply? Dirty looks? It seems to me that even now, after your strident denials, you are still implying that patriarchal relationships are necessarily violent or otherwise intimidatingly coercive.

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  163. Biscuit Queen wrote:

    "I lived that way for a while [male as head of household, with final authority over big decisions], I spent time with families you would consider extreme. They were nothing like you [Pam] describe. The husbands were gentle and protective of their wives, and wives were loving and nurturing toward their husbands. Often the decisions would coincide with the wife's wishes. These people were seen as extreme 'patriarchal' families, and they were loving, happy families."

    This is an important point to make. Within a marriage, even if the husband has authority over the wife they are still partners and it's in their interest to love each other. They need each other, emotionally and financially. They're life partners. Authority doesn't undermine that.

    Think about patriarchal authority vs. State authority. They're diametrical opposites. If the wife disagrees with her husband on a certain matter, she can try to persuade him and like BQ said above, she often gets her way. Contrast that with a citizen trying to reason with a police officer, who has no personal or familial relation to that citizen. He has no incentive to care, no spiritual or emotional incentive nor economic incentive. He just shows up and does what he's been trained to do. Yes, he has some discretion. But under feminists, even the officer's discretion is removed from him such as in DV cases (mandatory arrest laws, primary aggressor laws). If he was considering arresting you, your spouse, or one of your parents, not only could you not reason with him (unlike the wife in a patriarchal relationship who could reason with her husband), but also the officer's hands are tied by statute or department policy. Due to feminists, authority was first transferred from the husband to the police officer, then from the officer to the legislature. So if you disagree with the officer's decision, because of feminism what you're left with is the prospect of writing your congressman or filing a lawsuit. The wife in a patriarchal relationship is loved by her husband and much more likely to get a positive result on that basis compared to a citizen who must appeal to a source of authority that feminists have removed farther, and farther, and farther away from him.

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  164. Heh. ANY kind of arrangement would work wonderfully if it's between people who are loving, respectful and reasonable. Any kind of arrangement -- patriarchy, matriarchy, polygamy, polyamory. But it's silly to put the cart before the horse and to assume that patriarchy lends itself to making people appreciate each other. In the real world, people aren't always loving, respectful or reasonable, while unchecked "authority" (read: power) tends to corrupt them and to lead them to view those who are within their power as less important. Sure, a man who owns a woman can appreciate her services, but there is a world of difference between appreciating someone as an equivalent of a nice toaster and appreciating someone as a human being and an equal. In relationships where there is a substantial imbalance in bargaining positions -- and where one of the partners is deliberately disempowered and rendered incapable of independent survival by foregoing marketable skills -- taking advantage by one holding the power is especially likely, and I've seen it happen. "Authority" in the family also tends to make people tone-deaf to the difference between love and love substitutes -- and so there are still some industrialized societies where married women are forced by social expectations to use abortion as birth control, because their husbands are "entitled" to have sex in any way and in any time they want, but these husbands still consider themselves "loving" because they make up for it in jewelry. It doesn't happen in every single case, but contrary to the rosy "No True Scotsman" picture that Biscuit Queen and John Dias are painting, patriarchal relationships very often involve what I consider to be shocking mistreatment of women and children, and a disregard for their needs as human beings, to say nothing of their feelings. I don't care that these women consent to be mistreated -- I don't want their life just like I wouldn't want the life of someone who consents to any other kind of lifestyle that I consider to be harmful and self-destructive. Let them live as they choose, but to claim that their lifestyle is "superior" to a cooperative partnership, in which the partners stay by choice, rather than out of necessity, is absurd.

    And for the record, BQ, yes, I would consider the act of telling my husband to quit his job abusive. No, "abusive" isn't even the right word -- unthinkable. We could discuss it, we could mull over the possibility, we could do it if that's what he wanted -- but simply telling him to abandon his career is something I cannot imagine doing.

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  165. @Amused:

    FYI, in patriarchy that authority of the patriarch is superseded by the authority of the next higher-up in the family clan, until you get to the most senior, highest-ranking living patriarch. In the West we simply do not have that arrangement at all, and so I would strongly suspect your experience not to be informed by authentic patriarchy, but rather a patriarchal nuclear (i.e. self-contained immediate) family.

    By the way, what is the check on the State's authority? If absolute authority leads absolutely to abuse of authority, as you imply, then who is the check on the State's monopoly on violence? I suppose you'll cite the structure of the state (i.e. federalism, checks and balances, etc.) but in my view that merely avoids the question.

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  166. John, I find your utopian view of patriarchy rather chilling. If the state has no authority within families, then what happens if and when the "patriarch" within the family is abusive? What recourse do the victims of this abuse have besides appealing to the abuser himself?

    Also this:

    "Think about patriarchal authority vs. State authority. They're diametrical opposites."

    This may be the case in your ahistorical, imaginary vision of patriarchy, based (as you said before on the Gerden Of Eden, but in the real world that has NEVER been the case. Patriarchy and state power ALWAYS go together; specific laws lay out the rights and responsibilities of the patriarchs within their family and within society; specific laws restrict women and punish them for transgressions and imagined transgressions against patriarchal order.

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  167. John: "By the way, what is the check on the State's authority?"

    John, unless you are an anarchist, you must accept some form of state authority over the citizenry. In this country we have officials we elect; we have a constitution that spells out our rights; etc etc. If you disagree with the way the govt. exercises its authority in any arena of life, you have the right to protest/lobby/organize/elect politicians who agree with you in order to change this. American democracy is far from perfect, but states without much in the way of central authority (Somalia comes to mind) aren't exactly preferable.

    Also, how exactly is your vision of patriarchal power (outside the family, up to the top patriarch) NOT an example of state power, with the patriarchal apparatus the state?

    I'm sorry, but with this all you seem to have departed from the realm of reality into a fantasy world that bears little resemblance to how the real world has every worked.

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  168. @David:

    "If the state has no authority within families, then what happens if and when the "patriarch" within the family is abusive? What recourse do the victims of this abuse have besides appealing to the abuser himself?"

    I'll answer in 2 parts.

    David, unlike the feminist luminaries that you reference (such as Gerda Lerner), I recognize the reality that patriarchy began long before the Greek city-states. The feminist belief about patriarchy is that it is a human-made system that is designed to benefit a hierarchy of humans at the top at the expense of those at the bottom. The key is "human-made," as in a system of authority that is based on a human-made ideology (such as that of Aristotle). The feminist belief about the definition of patriarchy is therefore completely -- and essentially -- secular. Feminists describe hierarchical authority relationships in secular terms, because this allows them to paint authority figures (who are typically males) as self-interested.

    But if you look at the Bible, you'll see that all authority descends from a higher source until you get to God himself. The following may seem valueless to you if you embrace a secular view of the world, but hopefully it will at least enlighten your perspective about the argument that I am making.

    Even the tyrants of history are under God's authority and serve not despite God's authority but because of it.

    Ephesians 6:12
    "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."

    Those human tyrants themselves are under the authority of spiritual beings, who themselves answer to the highest earth-bound spiritual being, Satan:

    Luke 4:5-8:
    "[5]And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, [6] and said to him, 'To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. [7] If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.' [8] And Jesus answered him, 'It is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve."'

    Satan's authority is superseded by that of Jesus, the unique (Greek "monogenes") son of God. Jesus' authority is in turn superseded by that of the Father:

    Matthew 28:18:
    "And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.'"

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  169. [@David Futrelle, part 2:]

    So all authority descends from the omnipotence of the chief authority, Yahweh -- the chief patriarch -- appropriately referred to by Jesus as the Father.

    It was God who set men to be in authority over women. If then, a particular man assumes authority as the patriarch, then under God's command he is not an authority unto himself, but answers to authorities still higher than himself.

    At this point, you might attack my reasoning by saying that since the State is under God's authority, then all of its actions (including its atrocities) must somehow have the blessing of God. To that I would answer that God acknowledges that he is the source of all calamity:

    Isaiah 45:7:
    "I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things."

    Why would God impose calamity by allowing human tyrants to oppress people? Because in a future age, God will demonstrate his authority over those abusers of authority by judging all people, including authority figures -- whether human or spiritual -- for the harmful injustices that they inflicted during the history of Adam-kind. Thus, in the end, even the most die-hard enemies of God will see the order that God -- the chief patriarch -- restores to humankind, and they will freely admit not only that God was right and just, but will go so far as to swear allegiance to him (including you, David):

    Isaiah 45:21-23:
    [21] Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.

    [22] Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
    [23] By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: To me every knee shall bow,
    every tongue shall swear allegiance.
    '"


    Thus, authentic patriarchy recognizes that authority is not absolute except that of the Father of all creation. Everyone is under authority -- there are no exceptions. From the father to the priest to the king or president. Any one of these actors who deviates from his responsibilities to keep peace and order over the people who are entrusted to him will suffer judgment for it.

    If you call my perspective "chilling," then it is not me who you criticize but the one whose words my beliefs are based upon.

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  170. If you call my perspective "chilling," then it is not me who you criticize but the one whose words my beliefs are based upon.

    So I assume that all Christians who disagree with your interpretation of the Bible here, which is to say almost all of them, as few believe in this kind of absolute patriarchy from God on down, are also criticizing "the one whose words my beliefs are based upon."

    So if the state shouldn't intervene in domestic abuse, because the abusers will ultimately be judged by a higher power, why should they intervene when murders are committed, or rapes, or embezzlement, or any other crime? Why fight the Nazis in WW2 if they too will be judged?

    I'm legitimately trying to understand how your literally other-worldly philosophy applies in the here and now on earth.

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  171. John Dias: First of all, I DO have experience living in an extended patriarchal family, so I know what I am talking about. It's a horrible life -- for both women and men at the bottom of the hierarchy, but especially so for women. Patriarchy in the nuclear family is bad, and it's ten times worse in an extended family, where the "head patriarch" may only have met you for 10 minutes at some family reunion and doesn't know (or care) who you are as a person -- yet assumes that he knows what's right for you; or rather, he sees you as a means to his ends, not as a person. Women in such families have no identity. They are seen as mere servants and breeding vessels, and patriarchs treat them accordingly.

    The check on state authority in a democracy is voters' power to remove abusive politicians. And though you flippantly stated that pointing to the system of checks and balances is "avoiding the question" it really is not -- the three branches of government do act as checks against each other, and people who are aggrieved have multiple avenues of recourse. Unlike in a patriarchal family, where the only way out of an abusive situation is to leave. The very real recourse that exists against the abuse of State power is a hell of a lot better than your utopia in which the only recourse against an abusive "patriarch" is hoping he'll get punished by God in the next life; I bet it's very comforting to abused women.

    As for the Bible, I don't see its contents as "proof" that patriarchy is "natural" or superior to equality and cooperation. The Leviticus prescribes rules for how to treat one's slaves -- but that doesn't mean that we should have slavery. It has rules according to which a rape victim may be forced to marry her rapist -- but that doesn't mean that we should do this today. It has rules about banishing people with skin diseases into the desert -- and while that may have been practical in antiquity, we simply don't have that kind of society anymore, nor should. And in general, I get a kick out of how certain people pick and choose out the Biblical buffet of restrictions which laws they are to follow and which they may discard. Lord over women? Sure, sounds nice. Fast properly over Lent? Neh. Shame women who don't subjugate themselves to abusive husbands as harpies and sluts? Absolutely. Turn the other cheek? Umm, that's actually subject to interpretation: what is a cheek? what constitutes turning? when is a cheek "the other"? I've seen it too many times not to be cynical: people using religion as a justification to demand huge, painful sacrifices from others, while expecting only to reap the benefits, and offering nothing in return except something utterly nebulous and intangible.

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  172. @David:

    "So if the state shouldn't intervene in domestic abuse, because the abusers will ultimately be judged by a higher power, why should they intervene when murders are committed, or rapes, or embezzlement, or any other crime? Why fight the Nazis in WW2 if they too will be judged?"

    Where did I say that patriarchy should overthrow the State? You posed a hypothetical question which assumed that the State was non-existent from the outset, and wanted to know what recourse an abuse victim would have. The answer that I gave you was that there is an authority structure within patriarchy to punish offenses, namely the authority within one's blood line.

    As a matter of fact, this whole comment discussion (insofar as male authority, i.e. patriarchy, is concerned) started when I pointed out that authority is justified when the authority figure is subject to obligations that the subordinate is exempt from, and when the authority figure is competent to fill that obligation whereas the subordinate is not. In practice that could mean getting your arm blown off on the beaches of some foreign battlefield, such as military conscripts had to endure a couple generations ago in Vietnam, Korea, WW2, WW1, and so on.

    Lastly, aren't you aware that I am politically active? I do utilize the apparatus that is available to me under the U.S. Constitution, and my reason for doing so is to correct injustices that penalize men for being men, such as male victims of female-perpetrated violence who are arrested while the female perpetrator gets to go free. Yet somehow you have blasted my views as wanting to overthrow the government, make male abusers exempt from punishment and make male-perpetrated rape legal -- all lies. This an attempt to assassinate my character by misstating my opinions. The fact is that patriarchy is tried and true, over the course of thousands of years. Feminism's stated goal is to destroy patriarchy. It is feminism that is the utopian ideal. Your oft-cited feminist author, Gerda Lerner, wrote in her book that the feminist war to completely stamp out male authority in the family is thwarted whenever a two-parent family is created; she wrote that little patriarchies keep popping up because of the family itself. She herself articulated a utopian vision at the closing of one of the opening chapters in her book, "The Creation of Patriarchy." Leading feminist activist Gloria Steinem once wrote that establishing a communist utopia was too small for feminists, who instead set as their goal the overthrow of the whole patriarchy.

    Patriarchy clearly can exist alongside the State, or even under the hostile nose of the feminist-State as Lerner points out. Patriarchy is not a political ideology that seeks to overthrow governments. The reverse is true; feminism is the utopian ideology that seeks cultural revolution.

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  173. I'm not lying about your views or trying to assassinate your character. I was asking questions. I'm trying to understand them.

    I honestly still don't understand how your views on patriarchy relate to the real world.

    And I think your notion that patriarchy is "tried and true," or that it can somehow exist without the backing of state power, is wrong and naive. You have not given a single historical example of a society in which that was the case.

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  174. David,

    The real world existed before feminism came along. I'm just trying to get the excesses and injustices of government off of my back. It seems to me that in your view the government's increased involvement in people's private lives is justified so long as it cites protection of the vulnerable as the pretext for its power grabs. I don't prefer that course, and somehow my desire to be out from under the government's thumb is itself portrayed by feminists as a yearning for utopia. Yeah.

    If I were to cite an example of a society that exists just fine without extensive government intrusion, undoubtedly you would conflate that into a call by me to establish a theocracy. I'm well aware of the Futrelle playbook.

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  175. Ah, yes, the old Futrelle ploy of asking you what you actually believe.

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  176. people using religion as a justification to demand huge, painful sacrifices from others, while expecting only to reap the benefits, and offering nothing in return except something utterly nebulous and intangible.
    And isn't that what the Pharisees were doing, Jesus referring to them as an example, when He told his disciples, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant"

    Mention to Roman Catholics, for example, that Jesus said, "Call no man Father" and they'll quickly tell you that he was specifically referring to the Pharisees back in that time period; but mention how women being silent in the Church may have been time-specific/culture-specific (as it was the first time women, en masse, were allowed to participate) and suddenly it's "oh no no no, that's a FOREVER thing"

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  177. "Tried and true" isn't a valid justification for perpetuating an institution that's patently unjust. Many things can be described as "tried and true".

    Slavery is "tried and true". It was the first and only economic model for great civilizations for thousands of years, and look, even Ancient Rome, the epitome of greatness, had slavery!

    Incest is "tried and true". It was practiced throughout ancient Mesopotamia in great civilizations, also for thousands of years. Endogamy kept societies small and reduced both power struggles and the fragmentation of wealth. In fact, if you consult ancient sources, the idea of marrying within one's nuclear family seems to have been intuitive to people; for all that we now call incest "unnatural" it seems to have been the opposite for ancient people -- the most natural way to perpetuate their families. Why marry your precious little girl to some stranger, when you can marry her to her brother, and the family stays intact? If your cousin is a fine young man why not marry all three of your daughters to him? It was people vying for power who eventually began stepping in and making incest illegal, simultaneously with promoting the notion that it's disgusting. If it hadn't been for State involvement (and when I say "State", I also mean the coercive power of the Church), people would still be happily marrying their siblings.

    The theory of bodily humors is "tried and true". Aristotelian medicine was the gold standard for a couple of thousand years at least -- so much so that assholes who attempted to discredit it through such ungodly things as the scientific method were routinely persecuted by the Inquisition. Who cares about all this modern medicine nonsense? The idea of bodily humors is OLD, therefore it's right -- correct, John Dias?

    Absolute monarchy is "tried and true". Who needs this messy democracy nonsense in which (gasp!) women and liberals can vote, when great empires had benevolent kings who acted as wise fathers to their adoring subjects? And we know -- we KNOW -- they were all wise and benevolent.

    The list can go on for miles.

    (For those poor souls about to call 911, thinking that I am advocating incest, please familiarize yourselves with this first. Thank you.)

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