Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Memo to angry dudes: Not all the women who hate you are feminists

Disdainful women: Not always feminists.
Given how much of their time they spend attacking feminism and feminists, manosphere dudes can be surprisingly incompetent at telling just who is and who isn't an actual, bona-fide feminist; they've got terrible fem-dar.

Case in point: Last Saturday, annoying social conservative polemicist Kay Hymowitz published a piece in the Wall Street Journal taken from her new book "Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys," in which she argues that young men today have degenerated into puerile pre-adults, led astray by an assortment of villains including, but not limited to, Maxim magazine, Comedy Central, Seth Rogan and, if the subtitle of her book is any indication, rising women. You may vaguely remember her first rehearsing this general argument in a similarly annoying City Journal piece a couple of years ago called "Child-Man in the Promised Land."

To point out a simple fact that should be evident to all but the most hardened manosphere misogynists: not everyone who says critical things about men is therefore a feminist. Indeed, many of those who say the worst things about men aren't feminist at all.

And in fact, as should be very clear to anyone who actually sits down to read her work, Hymowitz is no feminist. If the reference to "the rise of women" as a villain in her book's subtitle isn't enough of a clue, let me point you to several of the many articles she's written attacking feminism -- for example, accusing feminists of ignoring the precious wisdom of Evolutionary Psychology, going "AWOL on Islam," and just generally being "obsolete."

But the basic fact of Hymowitz' antifeminism seems not to have penetrated the consciousness of many of her critics in the manosphere, where her latest WSJ has produced a flurry of angry denunciations from dudes who take her stale tranditionalist bromides as the latest in evil feminazi-ism.

On Happy Bachelors she's derided as a "typical second-wave hag feminazi." On The Spearhead, one commenter dismisses her as "yet another smug, AA-promoted female token who can’t grasp what she and her feminist sisters have done to men." On MGTOWforums.com, yet another misguided commenter snidely asserts that  "Jewish feminists do not age well."

Blogger Rex Patriarch, meanwhile, proclaims her op-ed to be a "a typical feminist rant about how wonderful women are and what disappointment men have become," and accuses her of sour grapes:

That’s right ladies do us men a favor, go away and keep telling yourselves you don’t need any sour grapes.

You ladies are the ones that need to grow up and face reality. Wanting both the full benefits of feminism and marriage without any responsibilities is understandable. I would take that deal if I could get it too but since I can't I exercise my natural right to not participate in the stacked deck you have to offer. That deal means jumping through the endless and ever increasing hoops of expectations it's going to take to just get to the break even point in a sham marriage with an entitlement princess that western women have become.

Thanks but find some other sucker to be your jumping poodle, I will take video games instead.

As a fellow video gamer and something of an overgrown child-man myself,  I've got nothing against anyone offering a good sensible critique of Hymowitz' basic thesis; unfortunately, so far all I've seen on the topic from MRAs and MGTOWers have been little more than crude misogynist (and sometimes anti-Semitic) insults, most far cruder than the remarks I've quoted here. 

But here's a hint: you can't really offer much of a critique if you start off assuming that she's driven by an ideology she actually hates.

EDITED TO ADD: Speaking of good sensible critiques of Hymowitz, here are a couple from actual feminists. ECHIDNE of the snakes takes on Hymowitz' "extreme definition of masculinity," which seems to suggest that "Men can only be men if women remain girls." Meanwhile, Jill at Feministe notes that life is not really much like Judd Apatow movies and makes the point that what Hymowitz derides as "extended adolescence" is in fact "an intelligent and fair reaction to a new economy and new gender models."

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54 comments:

  1. At least according to one study, feminist women have a more positive view of men than non-feminist women. Seeing as how feminism is all about men and women just being equally-valuable people, rather than radically different species, it makes a lot of sense.

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  2. But, Dave, you just don't get it. Everything bad in modern life is the result of feminism. This woman is saying bad things about men. Ergo, she is a feminist.

    That's why it's perfectly plausible, according to this line of thinking, that Islam is behind feminism (or feminism is behind Islam, I keep getting it mixed up). Feminism is bad. Islam is bad. Therefore, they must be in league somehow. Because, you know, the bad guys all side with each other against the Superfriends, or something.

    (Except that the Superfriends are all manginas because they let Wonder Woman hang out with them--affirmative action at its worst, I tells ya.)

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  3. What struck me about this article is that the author didn't seem to bother offering any sort of solution. Her article was just complaining without any idea of how to fix what she sees as a problem.

    Although perhaps the solution is in her book - I haven't read it, and I probably won't. Does she come up with any ideas?

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  4. :::the Superfriends are all manginas because they let Wonder Woman hang out with them:::

    I'm seeing another t-shirt here.

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  5. MRAs have no idea what feminism actually is, so they can hardly be expected to identify a feminist. In their minds, feminism is just hatred of men, so any woman who says something negative about men must be a feminist.

    At least according to one study, feminist women have a more positive view of men than non-feminist women.

    Yep, and this is borne out by my personal experience and that of many, many people I've spoken to and read.

    Seriously, go eavesdrop on a group of conservative women bitching about their husbands. Before your ears start bleeding and you bite down on your cyanide tablet, you'll probably here plenty of comments about how men are simple-minded, don't understand complex emotions, only think about sex, and have to be prodded and/or manipulated into doing housework. In their defense, this may be true about the bulk of conservative men.

    But that sort of generalized man-bashing is rarely seen on that level amongst genuine feminists. That's one reason I only date feminists (far from the only reason, but it is nice to have a girlfriend who doesn't act obnoxiously shocked every time I remember our anniversary or ask for directions).

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  6. "she argues that young men today have degenerated into puerile pre-adults, led astray by an assortment of villains"

    Her observations are basically correct. But, like many women, she gets cause-effect mixed up.

    Men did not become infantile because women rose.

    The women rose because the men had become infantile.

    http://seanmaccloud.blogspot.com/2009/11/alpha-beta-gamma-omega-dynamic.html

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  7. But that sort of generalized man-bashing is rarely seen on that level amongst genuine feminists. That's one reason I only date feminists (far from the only reason, but it is nice to have a girlfriend who doesn't act obnoxiously shocked every time I remember our anniversary or ask for directions).

    QFT. Your experience is similar to mine. Feminist women are less likely to have the same seething resentment as women who have bought into traditional gender roles--less cognitive dissonance, for one. I've also found feminist women to be generally more amenable to the idea that sexism and patriarchal attitudes hurt men as well as women (though not equally nor in the same way, to be sure).

    Sometimes I think our MRA friends' only exposure to feminism was accidentally walking past a Women's Studies class in college. The thought of so many women in one place has given them nightmares ever since.

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  8. :::the Superfriends are all manginas because they let Wonder Woman hang out with them:::

    Of course, Wonder Woman is probably into alpha male bad boys. She'd never go out with Aquaman, even though he's sensitive and likes marine animals. Typical.

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  9. "Thanks but find some other sucker to be your jumping poodle, I will take video games instead."

    Aw come on WHY!? Why must you infest the spaces which I love!? As if we needed more misogynists mucking up video games!

    "Indeed, many of those who say the worst things about men aren't feminist at all. "

    Yes, this so much. Every time they complain about "cupcakes" or "entitled princesses" all I can think about are the many Conservative Republican woman that I've met over the years. The first people to call men simple-minded or want money from them have been those women. They are sooo far from feminist. If you tried calling them a feminist they'd probably slap you.

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  10. Why isn't this comment thread 90 comments long and about divorce and performance art?

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  11. Why isn't this comment thread 90 comments long and about divorce and performance art?

    LOL!! Give it time... Richard and wytch might not have found it yet...

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  12. Richard is still trying to calm down probably from my pointing out he needs to pay taxes to unwed mothers to ensure that someone is still alive to wipe his bum when he gets old.

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  13. CB: Everyone knows that Wonder Woman was a lesbian bondage enthusiast. (And, as these pictures show, she was a switch.)

    http://www.castlekeys.com/Pages/wonder.html

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  14. Feministe covered Hymowitz's article. Jill (the author of that post) and the commenters were, shall we say, less than thrilled.

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  15. For these guys, all women are feminists and are plotting against them.

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  16. More on Wonder Woman and the polyamorist bondage enthusiast who created her:

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=7921

    (Note: MRAs and MGTOWers should not read this article as it might make their heads explode.)

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  17. CB: Everyone knows that Wonder Woman was a lesbian bondage enthusiast. (And, as these pictures show, she was a switch.)

    http://www.castlekeys.com/Pages/wonder.html


    Wow. Just wow. From William Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman:

    Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world. There isn't love enough in the male organism to run this planet peacefully. Woman's body contains twice as many love generating organs and endocrine mechanisms as the male. What woman lacks is the dominance or self assertive power to put over and enforce her love desires. I have given Wonder Woman this dominant force but have kept her loving, tender, maternal and feminine in every other way.

    Marston is the original mangina! OMG, it's all true! That's it, I'm off to The Spearhead.

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  18. Marston also invented an early version of the polygraph machine. He was a pretty interesting character.

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  19. I don't look to activist, self-defined feminists to tell me who is or is not a feminist. For instance, when Naomi Wolf said some comments about Julian Assange and the purported rape situation, Ms. Wolf went from feminist icon to pariah. If you spend any time on the women oriented reddits, as David does, then he very well knows that any criticism of feminism stupidity is met with the argument that feminism is not monolithic. In fact, it is supposedly so diverse as to remove any real definition from the word. Whether Kay Hymowitz is a feminist is not for Mr. Futrelle to decide. If Ms. Hymowitz believes in equality of the sexes, doesn't that make her a feminist under modern orthodoxy? If it doesn't, then one's belief in equality is not enough, and actions speak louder than words - which is a dangerous double edged sword for self-defined feminists.

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  20. If Ms. Hymowitz believes in equality of the sexes, doesn't that make her a feminist under modern orthodoxy?

    Is there any evidence that this is, in fact, what Hymowitz believes?

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  21. Of course actions speak louder than words. Otherwise, we have to take Sarah Palin at her word that she's a feminist, and she's most certainly not.

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  22. Also, if a feminist is anyone who believes in equality between the sexes, and MRAs, etc. are against feminism, then it really is true that the MRM is just a thinly veiled excuse for good old fashioned male chauvinism. Who'd a thunk it?

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  23. magdalyn, I'm not the one who has "decided" that Kay Hymowitz isn't a feminist. She doesn't describe herself as a feminist, she devotes a lot of energy to attacking feminists, and, indeed, in one of the pieces of hers I linked to she declares that "Feminism is not simply suffering from a P.R. problem. It's just over. As in finished."

    So, yeah, not a feminist.

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  24. Hmmm...this little gem was on the Huff Post today from Phyllis Schlafly: "it would have taken away a lot of the rights and benefits women then possessed such as the right to be exempt from the military and the right of a wife to be supported by her husband."

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  25. I don't know if some of the MRAs who frequent this blog know who she is, Elizabeth, even though I have posted a comment about her (including a quote from her that is similar to what you have quoted) in the comments section of at least two, if not more, articles on this blog. And they accuse feminists of being willfully obtuse....

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  26. I think they tend to get mixed up on the goals of various women's groups.

    Might have something to do with their inability multitask. :p

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  27. Yeah, Hymowitz wrote an article making a similar case to this. It was Witchy's #1 piece of evidence of a vast feminist conspiracy (<--note a little sarcastic hyperbole there, guys, don't get your britches in a twist) to make men who are in their 30s and 40s and choose not to get married feel ashamed of their choices. I read the article. I wasn't too impressed. First of all, it pretty much describes my life and that of plenty of other women I know - not settling down, dating around, not having kids, not getting married - pretty much deferring "adulthood" as we are generally led to think of it for a decade or so. My workplace's web filter is blocking Feministe for some reason (but Youtube is okay??) but I'd really like to read that article, because it sounds like my response to the article: it just doesn't make economic sense to settle down and have kids in your 20s. Particularly if you're interested in obtaining more than a Bachelor's degree.

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  28. "Also, if a feminist is anyone who believes in equality between the sexes"

    No, feminists want affirmative action in the guise of an imaginary discrimination.

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  29. "feminists want affirmative action in the guise of an imaginary discrimination"

    This statement falls under the category of "not coherent enough to be analyzed for correctness," i.e., "not even wrong."

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  30. I'm pretty sure he meant "...in the name of [stopping] imaginary discrimination"

    But yeah, I had to look at that a couple of times, too.

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  31. hmm... actually,

    "...in service of [stopping] imaginary discrimination" would probably be the best way of phrasing that as a coherent thought.

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  32. And, meanwhile, feminists at Feministe are so disgruntled with the misandry of the Hymowitz article that they've written a follow-up post to the one I linked above...

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  33. It's not my fault that feminists are retarded. It makes perfect sense to someone with intelligence.

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  34. Nick, really, it wouldn't kill you to admit you used the word 'guise' improperly. No one would think worse of you!

    Though they might think worse of your decision to double down and defend your language mistake by insisting that everyone else must just be stupid or something.

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  35. Well Cactuar, feminists believe the conspiracy that ALL employers in multiple countries are paying women less than men. The biggest coincidence ever.

    I wouldn't put it past their intelligence :P

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  36. Hmmm...men are bombarded daily with the message that women are not as valuable as men are. And yet they are supposed to somehow ignore this when time comes to hand out raises?

    You yourself Nick get mad when a woman values herself above a certain Nick-determined point. You have absorbed the same message that all of these business managers absorb. However...the times, they are a changin' as women stopped accepting being devalued and have started demanding that you view us with value. It will take some time but then, so did getting the right to vote.

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  37. men are bombarded daily with the message that women are not as valuable as men are

    ahahaha I had a good laugh over this as I see the total opposite. Women's problems are deemed as more important than men's when it comes to political correctness. A man is likely to get laughed at and belittled about his manliness if he complains about male issues while women can complain about women's issues at any place and any time without being slammed down as social outcast.

    Who is more valued?

    Throughout history, women have been privileged to the lifeboat.

    Who is more valued?

    In the dating pool, women are valued more than men as the average woman will never have a shortage of attention while the average man likely in many to most cases will.

    Who is more valued?

    Women are pressured to not be too easy or not sell themselves cheap. Which is perfectly fine in a balanced and moderate perspective but society pushes women to take this concept way too far and abuse it to the point of superiority over men. Not being too easy or selling themselves cheap turns into "I am worth more than a male".

    If a male had the same level of narcissism in that perspective, he would get belittled and laughed at. Not to mention, labelled as a chauvinist. But not women noooo women can get away with chauvinism and not even be labelled as chauvinists even that a man would be deemed as one for doing the exact same thing.

    Who is more valued?

    Domestic violence against men get's taken less seriously with less concern compared to domestic violence against women.

    Who is more valued?

    More funds go towards women's health compared to men's health.

    Who is more valued?

    I can probably go on and on with this but this is enough. Women are obviously the most privileged gender and men are obviously the second class citizens.

    Feminists are flaming idiots to say that women are the second class citizens. Their pathetic stance is laughable

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  38. ahahaha I had a good laugh over this as I see the total opposite. Women's problems are deemed as more important than men's when it comes to political correctness. A man is likely to get laughed at and belittled about his manliness if he complains about male issues while women can complain about women's issues at any place and any time without being slammed down as social outcast.

    This perception of yours is born of a lack of perspective that arises from your misogyny. You seem pro-female bias when women ask for any rights or recognition at all. And obviously your complaints about men's issues aren't going to be taken seriously when your complaint is that you're being oppressed by women making choices for themselves and not submitting themselves to the ownership of men.

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  39. Triplanetary: Politicians, both Democrats and even Republicans talk about Women's issues,and never about Men's issues. That is a fact. BOTH liberal and conservative politicians sent only men to the front lines of war. Fact. They said "women and children first" in the titanic. If you think this is due to First-world american "misogyny", you are brainwashed,and probably beyond help. And boys were/are to submit themselves to the ownership of Women! their controlling mothers.

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  40. "Politicians, both Democrats and even Republicans talk about Women's issues,and never about Men's issues. That is a fact." That is because "men's issues" are simply called "issues".

    "That is a fact. BOTH liberal and conservative politicians sent only men to the front lines of war. Fact. " Please read up on the history of the combat ban for women and the Supreme Court case which upheld a sex selective draft. The rationalization for this is certainly not that women are precious, it is that they are seen as weak.

    "They said "women and children first" in the titanic. " Yes, because the titanic represents all human experience. Beside, it isn't actually true that women and children got priority seating. This was the captain's suggestion, but, once you control for the poor who were locked in the holds to drown, amoung the wealthy who actually had a shot at life boats, adult men were overrepresented on the boats. It is also worth noting that those who decided to put too few lifeboats on the ship were all men in the first place.

    Also, you have a really fucked up idea of raising children if you think being a child=being enslaved by your mother.

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  41. My great-grandfather ACTUALLY FUCKING DIED ON THE TITANIC, and I think the Titanic example is incredibly stupid and irrelevant.

    If you look at the sinking of the Lusitania a few years later, it was basically whoever could scramble off fastest who survived, which mostly meant young adults. Not much chivalry there.

    Also, these sinkings happened, you know a century ago, before women could even vote.

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  42. And boys were/are to submit themselves to the ownership of Women! their controlling mothers.

    Wow, somebody has mommy issues. My mother was overly controlling, too, but I don't take that as evidence of the matriarchy.

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  43. Also, from the Wikipedia article on Jacques Futrelle:

    His wife remembered the last she saw of him, he was smoking a cigarette with John J. Astor.

    Your great-grandfather was badass. That's like dying playing poker with Bill Gates.

    I don't intend to make light of his death, of course.

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  44. Yeah, Jacques was pretty badass in a lot of ways. He was also a early motor-car enthusiast, and drove in crazy and dangerous cross-country races, which sometimes involved him accidentally driving into ditches.

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  45. "Wow, somebody has mommy issues. My mother was overly controlling, too, but I don't take that as evidence of the matriarchy."

    But if the father rules the house hold, it's patriarchy, right?

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  46. "My mother was overly controlling, too, but I don't take that as evidence of the matriarchy."
    I do. "The hand that rocks the cradle RULES the world". The (power) resides with whoever, we as young kids, have to listen to! Our mothers, and kindergarten teachers, form the matriarchy. The hapless office guy/father who sits in a cubicle for 50 hours doesn't get to shape young lives. He just made a big mistake, in his choice...He tends to be either a protect-and serve object, or a chivalrous mangina...I say go home now, Mr. chivalrous mangina! And spend quality time with your kids! And don't get drunk at the bar instead! your kids could be on ritalin right now. Your idea of providing an economic security blanket for your family isn't working! Your wife will get bored of you, and take half your money, your house, everything! Leave your corporate crap job now! Free yourself before it's too late! Oh, the humanity!
    Why then does society, the major media, and radical feminists treat, a father telling family what to do, as evidence of the patriarchy? The people I hung around were obsessed with idea of men telling women what to do, saying that's baaad! But faced with the idea of men or women telling men what to do, they would clam up. Society can't have it both ways.
    Darksidecat said:
    "Also, you have a really fucked up idea of raising children if you think being a child=being enslaved by your mother."
    "Also, you have a really fucked up idea of raising children if you think being a child=being enslaved by your mother."
    I stand by that analysis of enslavement. I guess that that no adults that I know would like to go back to an age (2,3,4) where you have NO control over your life. And to have parents scream at you (for hours) and slam doors, (a long time) then use the silent treatment, because you were too bored to be in a store, at 3. How might this NOT lead to enslavement? Anyway, "child" submission is more real in America than "wife" submission, as there are NO LAWS that say a woman must marry, or be submissive to her husband, but the laws say a child must be submissive to their parents, the wife getting custody in divorce more often. I'll stick to my "fucked up idea" of raising children. I meet too many disfunctional parents.

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  47. Please do not raise any children. Thanks.

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  48. "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" is one of many quaint fantasies that patriarchal men make up as part of their constant process of privilege denial.

    I mean, I agree with a lot of your complaints about the way parents in our society often treat their children. But that's not feminism's fault; quite the opposite.

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  49. "Please do not raise any children. Thanks."

    QFT

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  50. Those are incredibly weak examples Nick. I will demolish them tomorrow after I get some sleep from my drive back to Vegas.

    Also, I saw a countryman of yours yesterday-a comedian named Jim Jeffries. He was a lot like you except he could actually make people laugh on purpose.

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  51. Nick:
    Women are obviously the most privileged gender and men are obviously the second class citizens.
    If you want to be a flaming idiot as you said you can believe that. To paraphrase CB: if women consider themselves to be of value, you assume that men have none. I had a better response but this sums it up much more neatly.

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  52. Feminist "icons" like Obama, Biden and Hillary Clinton are warmongers who send more troops to Afghanistan. They support bank Bailouts and Bush-era legislation like the Patriot Act. They are Okay with the death penalty being in most states. They support the war on drugs! This is NOT humanist, pro-equality action. If YOU support them, you do NOT support "equality." The hypocritical NOW organization pushes for custody for the mother in all situations, regardless of parental fitness. They made excuses for a mom who drowned her kids, going after the father, mostly. They've done worse things than that. If you support NOW, you don't support equality. The list goes on. Some of the earliest feminist "heroes" were racist, like Margaret Sanger. She talked about "inferior races". Wonderful. Others, like Christabele Pankhurst, tried to shame men into fighting in the war, with the white feather campaign. Yeah, I know the Non-feminists and Conservatives have done a lot of damage, too, the Bushes, and Mccarthy's. But if I had to write about all the bad, and the hypocricy of "Feminists" who endorsed patriarchal values like chivalry, and INEQUALITY, when it suited them, I would be writing posts all day.

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  53. Darksidecat said: "Please read up on the history of the combat ban for women and the Supreme Court case which upheld a sex selective draft. The rationalization for this is certainly not that women are precious, it is that they are seen as weak." I would rather be called weak, and live longer,than to be called strong,and have a short life. The reason doesn't matter much.

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