The false "Facts" of the MRA movement.

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Super Not Cosmo:
Well you should use that new fangled searching engine thing (I think it's called "The Google") the kids are all in a rave about and look up Bobby Sherrill and Clarence Brandley. Sherrill was a Lockheed Martin contractor in Kuwait that was held hostage opposing Iraqi forces. The night after he was released and returned home he was arrested for defaulting on a 1400 dollar child support bill. Clarence Brandley was wrongly convicted of murder and upon his release a decade later the state hit him with a 50,000 dollar child support debt. By federal law (The Bradley Amendment), neither of these men could have their child support arrears modified or eliminated for the time it was impossible for them to have made the payments.

What exactly do you have against providing your own citations? When making claims or telling news stories it is and has always been proper etiquette to provide the citations yourself. And nobody ever disputes this unless they either can't provide sources, or can't provide any that are reliable. When you're making a persuasive speech you don't tell your audience to Google such and such article, you cite the article and news organization yourself. When making a research paper, you don't write a note to your peers saying they should Google something, you do it yourself. In every other situation where you claim to have a cite-able fact, you cite it yourself. Even if you're just telling your friends a crazy story you saw in the newspaper, they're going to want to know what paper.

You aren't proving anything by not doing your own research, apart from giving a strong indication that you aren't completely sure if you can find the sources yourself. If it's a game of research chicken you want, then I'm afraid either way you're going to come out not looking credible.

Lilani:
What exactly do you have against providing your own citations? When making claims or telling news stories it is and has always been proper etiquette to provide the citations yourself. And nobody ever disputes this unless they either can't provide sources, or can't provide any that are reliable. When you're making a persuasive speech you don't tell your audience to Google such and such article, you cite the article and news organization yourself. When making a research paper, you don't write a note to your peers saying they should Google something, you do it yourself. In every other situation where you claim to have a cite-able fact, you cite it yourself. Even if you're just telling your friends a crazy story you saw in the newspaper, they're going to want to know what paper.

You aren't proving anything by not doing your own research, apart from giving a strong indication that you aren't completely sure if you can find the sources yourself. If it's a game of research chicken you want, then I'm afraid either way you're going to come out not looking credible.

I have multiple reasons actually. The first being that the phrase "citation needed" is thrown around on most forums, this one included, in much the same way the phrase "Nuh Uh!" is thrown around on an elementary school playground. The only difference is the language is a bit fancier. I stand to gain little by firing back with "Uh Huh!". I find it's most often used when people are unwilling or unable to dispute whatever is put in front of them so they just respond with "citation needed" and move on.

Secondly, I'm not here to jump through anyone's hoops. We are on an internet forum that's hidden away in the basement of a video game website not writing our thesis papers. I'm not going to bust out a bibliography for all my posts. Don't have the time or effort or, most importantly, the desire to do such a thing.

Thirdly, those that do jump through hoops just get more hoops thrown in front of them. Go look around, even in cases where people cite all their sources and put everything in a nice little package then the next go to move is to attack the source or some such thing and so on and so on time without end and such. So I just opt not to jump at all.

Fourthly, It's generally an exercise in futility. When it comes to political topics on the internet most people are so set in their ways already that no amount of proven facts or statistics is going to change their minds. You'd most often times have an easier time getting blood from a rock than you would changing someone's mind on the internet that disagrees with you politically. That's just the way it is. If I'm going to spend my time doing or attempting to do near impossible things there are far more exciting ways to do it.

Finally, I already know that the information I post is good. If other people wish to dispute it or disprove it I certainly welcome them to do so if they can or wish to. Most things can be either verified or disproven in a matter of seconds. If anything I post is factually untrue then it should be relatively quick and easy to disprove.

At the end of it all people are free to take it at face value or ignore it or whatever. I'm certainly not here looking for approval. Rather this is just something I do to waste time on breaks or during slow times at work or when I get a bit of extra time at home.

Super Not Cosmo:
I have multiple reasons actually. The first being that the phrase "citation needed" is thrown around on most forums, this one included, in much the same way the phrase "Nuh Uh!" is thrown around on an elementary school playground. The only difference is the language is a bit fancier. I stand to gain little by firing back with "Uh Huh!". I find it's most often used when people are unwilling or unable to dispute whatever is put in front of them so they just respond with "citation needed" and move on.

This does happen sometimes, but others here have posted the sources of their information, you haven't. You're the only one who seems to be unwilling to do this.

Secondly, I'm not here to jump through anyone's hoops. We are on an internet forum that's hidden away in the basement of a video game website not writing our thesis papers. I'm not going to bust out a bibliography for all my posts. Don't have the time or effort or, most importantly, the desire to do such a thing.

Then why bother arguing about facts in the first place? There are plenty of discussions to be had here that don't have to involve facts.

Thirdly, those that do jump through hoops just get more hoops thrown in front of them. Go look around, even in cases where people cite all their sources and put everything in a nice little package then the next go to move is to attack the source or some such thing and so on and so on time without end and such. So I just opt not to jump at all.

That's sort of what a debate is--a back and forth exchange of ideas and opinions.

Fourthly, It's generally an exercise in futility. When it comes to political topics on the internet most people are so set in their ways already that no amount of proven facts or statistics is going to change their minds. You'd most often times have an easier time getting blood from a rock than you would changing someone's mind on the internet that disagrees with you politically. That's just the way it is. If I'm going to spend my time doing or attempting to do near impossible things there are far more exciting ways to do it.

Again, that's sort of the name of the game around here. If you don't want an exercise in futility, don't argue something over the Internet in the first place. Nobody's saying you have to debate, but if you're going to play you may as well do it right.

Finally, I already know that the information I post is good. If other people wish to dispute it or disprove it I certainly welcome them to do so if they can or wish to. Most things can be either verified or disproven in a matter of seconds. If anything I post is factually untrue then it should be relatively quick and easy to disprove.

If that's your attitude about it, then don't be surprised other people don't want to hop through the hoop you haven't even bothered to hold up.

Super Not Cosmo:

Mr F.:
To be fair, I doubt it happened at all,

Well you should use that new fangled searching engine thing (I think it's called "The Google") the kids are all in a rave about and look up Bobby Sherrill and Clarence Brandley. Sherrill was a Lockheed Martin contractor in Kuwait that was held hostage opposing Iraqi forces. The night after he was released and returned home he was arrested for defaulting on a 1400 dollar child support bill.

1400 dollars is 895.48. It is not that much. Also, I would assume (Just assume, mind) that a Lockhead Martin contractor would be able to afford a 900 pound bill. Oh, and that any sane man would simply put the support he has to pay on direct debit. Also, the only reference I can find is on an MRA website, the link to the proof has since died. Wikipedia is only linking over to right wing talking heads and associations such as the MPA (Military parents association) which is rather interesting, considering a story like that would get into the New York Times.

Strangely, just about every single article references both of them. One then the other. Only wikipedia points out that Clarence Brandley was never made to pay the money.

Find better cases. I will not trust any information on the dude who had to pay 900 pounds (Oh my fucking god! 900 pounds!) as I cannot find a real source.

Clarence Brandley was wrongly convicted of murder and upon his release a decade later the state hit him with a 50,000 dollar child support debt. By federal law (The Bradley Amendment), neither of these men could have their child support arrears modified or eliminated for the time it was impossible for them to have made the payments.

I believe you get money for wrongful incarceration, money which would be used to clear said debt rather quickly. Plus I find it hard to believe that it is that simple.

*wikis*

After being released from jail, he apparently agreed in 1993 to make the back payments, but subsequently hired a lawyer to contest the payments for the time during which he was in prison and the state of Texas did not attempt to collect the child support.

He was forced to pay child support!

No, no he fucking wasn't. He agreed to pay, then hired a lawyer to state that he should not pay and the State did not force him to pay. He then unsuccessfully fought a 120 million dollar lawsuit against the state. Sounds like a legal snafu more than anything else. He was not arrested for not paying, they did not attempt to make him pay.

Also, prison is not kidnapping.

I fail to understand why one would not simply have the support payments going as a direct debit from your bank account or, when given the choice upon returning to the states, a man would chose prison over paying up 900 pounds. Both of these cases sound far more complicated than you are letting on.

Yet I say again, as I did originally, I accept that there are issues. However, I also think that the only way we can deal with them is by working together, that the Patriarchy that most MRA's refuse to believe exists is also the route of most of the problems men have to deal with and both sides lose out by saying "Well, I won't help you with your shit because you are not helping me with mine.'

MRA's should not exist. Seriously. If you are all for equality and hate feminism, why not found a movement for equality? Thats simple enough to answer: Being insular and close minded is far, far easier. Blaming the otherside for not helping you out is far easier than helping each other out.

See, this is why you ask for citations.

Because when the sources are lacking it can be assumed that things are bullshit. Google ONLY brings up MRA websites, no major news stories, no talking heads, a few conservative websites etc. Sorry man.

Your two examples are of:
A) Something that I am struggling to believe due to a lack of evidence.
B) A legal snafu of a man owing 50,000 dollars, that he doesn't have to pay, as a result of his imprisonment.

Go find a better example of your point please.

Why is it that the MRM is criticised for criticising feminism, while feminism is not criticised for criticising the MRM in the same way?

(Both sides campaign and do activist work, just the MRM is a smaller and comparatively newer movement).

It strikes me that many of the complaints levelled at the MRM wouldn't leave feminism looking in a great state either if consistently applied.

Oirish_Martin:
Why is it that the MRM is criticised for criticising feminism, while feminism is not criticised for criticising the MRM in the same way?

(Both sides campaign and do activist work, just the MRM is a smaller and comparatively newer movement).

It strikes me that many of the complaints levelled at the MRM wouldn't leave feminism looking in a great state either if consistently applied.

Because MRA's aren't as much "criticizing" feminism as they are slandering, misinterpreting and just outright hating on feminism. The majority of the self-labelled MRM/MHRM/MRA-groups are not doing very much at all besides providing a way for angry men to be angry at women in general and feminists in particular for such things as "being whores", "emasculating men" or "not putting enough effort into looking good for men".

Meanwhile, while there certainly are feminists that hate on the MRM but they are a lot less common within the larger communities of feminists than the feminist/woman-hating MRA's are within the MRM. Both sides contain some bad eggs, they are just a lot more prevalent in the MRM and have more prominent positions than the bad eggs in feminism does (seriously, find me one contemporary feminist that consistently spews out as much hateful bile as Paul Elam).

Gethsemani:

Oirish_Martin:
Why is it that the MRM is criticised for criticising feminism, while feminism is not criticised for criticising the MRM in the same way?

(Both sides campaign and do activist work, just the MRM is a smaller and comparatively newer movement).

It strikes me that many of the complaints levelled at the MRM wouldn't leave feminism looking in a great state either if consistently applied.

Because MRA's aren't as much "criticizing" feminism as they are slandering, misinterpreting and just outright hating on feminism. The majority of the self-labelled MRM/MHRM/MRA-groups are not doing very much at all besides providing a way for angry men to be angry at women in general and feminists in particular for such things as "being whores", "emasculating men" or "not putting enough effort into looking good for men".

Which is a pretty tired stereotype. How can you make this claim without presenting any facts? This is no different to that claim that feminists are emasculating men or have issues with their appearance. I don't think this is true in general, or worth writing off the entire movement for, but it certainly exists to some degree within the movement.

As for slandering, misinterpreting and hating on feminism - let's not pretend that feminism's response to the MRM hasn't contained any of these, hmm?

Meanwhile, while there certainly are feminists that hate on the MRM but they are a lot less common within the larger communities of feminists than the feminist/woman-hating MRA's are within the MRM. Both sides contain some bad eggs, they are just a lot more prevalent in the MRM and have more prominent positions than the bad eggs in feminism does (seriously, find me one contemporary feminist that consistently spews out as much hateful bile as Paul Elam).

Ok, so "some" feminists do this but that isn't a reason to write off feminism - but "some" more MRAs do this but that IS a reason to say the MRM shouldn't even exist? (For arbitrary values of "some"). What precise proportion of bad eggs is necessary to invalidate a group's existence, and why?

I'd call Amanda Marcotte about as reactionary and hateful as Paul Elam - that said, a lot of his most egregious stuff is blatantly written for effect, he even explicitly telegraphs it as something he doesn't actually believe - of course, if you've already decided that TEH MRM IS EEEEBIL then of course that will just get interpreted in the worst possible way. But I'd someone whose schtick is explicitly jokey in part over someone who is in every respect as hateful but apparently serious.

When people draw arbitrary lines in the sand that just so happen to leave their group entirely untouched while utterly writing off the group they just happen to oppose, I'm inclined to call bias. Both sides criticise each other because they both see the other as a threat, and many of their members can't conceive that their "side" could ever possibly be doing anything wrong. The former is not unreasonable if possibly mistaken in both cases, the latter is foolish. Both engage in this daft behaviour, however - write one movement off for it and you cannot do the opposite for the other without being inconsistent.

My point isn't to say this behaviour is acceptable - it isn't - simply to point out that people saying "the MRM shouldn't exist because bad behaviour x" haven't got a leg to stand on. There are elements within the MRM that are behaving no worse than elements within feminism are - and the rest of the argument reduces to "this much bad behaviour is fine (conveniently leaving the movement I identify with in the clear), this much is completely unacceptable (conveniently leaving the group I oppose totally condemned)".

Oirish_Martin:
Why is it that the MRM is criticised for criticising feminism, while feminism is not criticised for criticising the MRM in the same way?

(Both sides campaign and do activist work, just the MRM is a smaller and comparatively newer movement).

It strikes me that many of the complaints levelled at the MRM wouldn't leave feminism looking in a great state either if consistently applied.

Because the MRM is a backlash against feminism, and nothing much besides. Feminism does more than attack the MRM, which isn't actually a right's movement.

Yes, most complaints leveled at the MRM wouldn't make feminism look good if they were consistently applied (which more or less they are anyway), but most complaints leveled at reactionary or bigoted groups don't make groups they are applied to look good.

thaluikhain:
Because the MRM is a backlash against feminism, and nothing much besides. Feminism does more than attack the MRM, which isn't actually a right's movement.

Again, how much is "not much" and "more"? This is the same vagueness I pointed out earlier. The MRM does do other things than pontificate. Its commentary isn't simply feminist criticism - though I don't personally consider that a problem in and of itself, there's lots there to criticise and criticism is often valuable. It has already been pointed out that they do work about setting up men's shelters, which is a legitimate need. MREdmonton has tried to host seminars about male suicide that were iirc derailed by feminists hurling abuse and illegally setting off the fire alarm (speaking of which, show me an MRA group doing that).

You're judging a group that is effectively fledging for not doing enough. Well, no shit. I bet feminism was pretty weedy and ineffectual when it got going, no thanks to the massive amounts of opposition thrown their way, so why not belatedly shut feminism down because it had period during its existence where it wasn't doing "enough"?

Yes, most complaints leveled at the MRM wouldn't make feminism look good if they were consistently applied (which more or less they are anyway), but most complaints leveled at reactionary or bigoted groups don't make groups they are applied to look good.

So then by implication feminism is also reactionary and bigoted, no? At least in part? So again, why not shut feminism down because of this?

I get that people often have their own subjective (and frequently arbitrary) standards about how much of a certain behaviour is too much - I don't identify with feminism because IMO there's "not enough" focus on men's rights, and I don't identify with the MRM as there's "too much" misogyny. What I've never done though is use my subjective and often arbitrary standards to claim that a movement has no right to exist in the first place the way some are doing here.

To say nothing of the fact that people also seem to be saying that a group shouldn't exist based on what they are saying. Doesn't that trouble anyone?

Oirish_Martin:
You're judging a group that is effectively fledging for not doing enough.

No, I'm judging it for not being particularly interested in doing anything, beyond attacking feminism. Not criticising it, or trying to improve it or replacing it with something better, but simply to give reactionary elements some pretence of a reason to oppose women's rights.

Yes, there are actual advocates of men's rights who do good and important work. But this is, on the whole, despite the antics of MRAs, not because of them.

Oirish_Martin:

Again, how much is "not much" and "more"? This is the same vagueness I pointed out earlier. The MRM does do other things than pontificate. Its commentary isn't simply feminist criticism - though I don't personally consider that a problem in and of itself, there's lots there to criticise and criticism is often valuable. It has already been pointed out that they do work about setting up men's shelters, which is a legitimate need. MREdmonton has tried to host seminars about male suicide that were iirc derailed by feminists hurling abuse and illegally setting off the fire alarm (speaking of which, show me an MRA group doing that).

MREdmonton has tried to host seminars about male suicide that were iirc derailed by feminists hurling abuse and illegally setting off the fire alarm (speaking of which, show me an MRA group doing that).

Is this really the way to go? Do you really want us to start a mudslinging match where MRA-proponents find stuff like that done by feminists and feminists and anti-MRA people point out things like "RegisterHer"[1]. Or maybe the fact that A Voice for Men considers Tom Ball an MRA hero and even re-posted his "manifesto" in their activism section, suggesting MRAs go through with what he suggested. What did he suggest? Firebombing court houses and police stations. AVfM has since removed that particular manifesto, and not a minute to soon, but it still widely available in the manosphere.

How about the part in an AVfM fundraiser where Paul Elam openly states that: "Progress for men will not be gained by debate, reason or typical channels of grievance available to segments of the population that the world actually gives a damn about. The progress we need will only be realized by inflicting enough pain on the agents of hate, in public view, that it literally shocks society out of its current coma." (look for yourself, they even framed it in a nice red box). This isn't a call to help men, this is a call to hurt feminists and those opposed to the MRM.

We could be mudslinging like this for a few pages. I personally think it is pointless. The difference is that you'll be struggling to quote mine Amanda Marcotte, while I'll be able to just zip onto pretty much any MRA website and find some of the MRA's most ardent proponents and beloved front figures saying some really nasty shit or doing something of really dubious morality (such as mixing up people they don't like with real convicts).

[1] an index of actual female convicts that committed crimes against men mixed with women whom the MRAs feel have committed "gender crimes" such as being feminists, false rape reporting, often without proof it was an intentional act, or, in the case of Catherine Heigl, making a joke at her own expense about how neutering dogs is the best thing she knows since she can't cut the balls of real men, in an ad campaign to get people to neuter their dogs. These women have their personal information revealed because: "By posting public profiles of these offenders, we offer an important "on the record" service aimed at keeping the public informed of threats in their community. We also include in our listings, individuals who, while not criminals themselves, have proven to be a significant part of the apparatus for fostering, enabling and exacerbating this particular set of social ills."

Gethsemani:

Oirish_Martin:

Again, how much is "not much" and "more"? This is the same vagueness I pointed out earlier. The MRM does do other things than pontificate. Its commentary isn't simply feminist criticism - though I don't personally consider that a problem in and of itself, there's lots there to criticise and criticism is often valuable. It has already been pointed out that they do work about setting up men's shelters, which is a legitimate need. MREdmonton has tried to host seminars about male suicide that were iirc derailed by feminists hurling abuse and illegally setting off the fire alarm (speaking of which, show me an MRA group doing that).

MREdmonton has tried to host seminars about male suicide that were iirc derailed by feminists hurling abuse and illegally setting off the fire alarm (speaking of which, show me an MRA group doing that).

Is this really the way to go? Do you really want us to start a mudslinging match

You've already done that - you've started it with your vague comparative language, and when you asked me to find someone like Elam.

And I would say actual physical opposition trumps mean words! any day.

where MRA-proponents find stuff like that done by feminists and feminists and anti-MRA people point out things like "RegisterHer", an index of actual female convicts that committed crimes against men mixed with women whom the MRAs feel have committed "gender crimes" such as being feminists, false rape reporting, often without proof it was an intentional act, or, in the case of Catherine Heigl, making a joke at her own expense about how neutering dogs is the best thing she knows since she can't cut the balls of real men, in an ad campaign to get people to neuter their dogs. These women have their personal information revealed because: "By posting public profiles of these offenders, we offer an important "on the record" service aimed at keeping the public informed of threats in their community. We also include in our listings, individuals who, while not criminals themselves, have proven to be a significant part of the apparatus for fostering, enabling and exacerbating this particular set of social ills.".

(So when women make jokes about mutilating men, LOL J/K?

When men make jokes about mutilating women, it's hate?)

As regards the overall point - so they lump feminists in with criminals. How is that any different to how feminism treats the MRM? How is that any different to when feminists call criminals MRAs even when they don't identify as them, or when they try and tar by association with people like Breivik and Lepine?

Once more - this is no worse than how feminism treats the MRM.

Or maybe the fact that A Voice for Men considers Tom Ball an MRA hero and even re-posted his "manifesto" in their activism section, suggesting MRAs go through with what he suggested. What did he suggest? Firebombing court houses and police stations. AVfM has since removed that particular manifesto, and not a minute to soon, but it still widely available in the manosphere.

And there are plenty of feminists who still claim Solanas' manifesto was "satire". Comparisons to Jonathan Swift were made. They wish.

Again, you are not presenting anything here than cannot be levelled at feminism.

How about the part [url="http://www.avoiceformen.com/a-voice-for-men/avfm-seasonal-fundraiser/"]in an AVfM fundraiser where Paul Elam openly states that: "Progress for men will not be gained by debate, reason or typical channels of grievance available to segments of the population that the world actually gives a damn about. The progress we need will only be realized by inflicting enough pain on the agents of hate, in public view, that it literally shocks society out of its current coma." (look for yourself, they even framed it in a nice red box). This isn't a call to help men, this is a call to hurt feminists and those opposed to the MRM.

It is a call to help men, technically. The logic might be completely fucked, but the clue is in the phrase "Progress for men". And as for the pain reference - I'm more than sure people will insist on treating this as a direct threat. Which seems consistent with his overall tone of simply getting attention for issues he feels aren't being taken seriously.

Again though, not all MRAs are Elam, just like not all feminists are Solanas.

Any time you want to be consistent, start.

We could be mudslinging like this for a few pages. I personally think it is pointless. The difference is that you'll be struggling to quote mine Amanda Marcotte, while I'll be able to just zip onto pretty much any MRA website and find some of the MRA's most ardent proponents and beloved front figures saying some really nasty shit or doing something of really dubious morality (such as mixing up people they don't like with real convicts

I'll be fine and dandy and will accept your overall point as soon as you justify your arbitrary and subjective standards of "how much" negative stuff in a movement means it no longer should exist, or should be subject to radically different standards than the group you adhere to.

Good luck with that, by the way. Such a thing cannot be done, so it is indeed a pointless discussion.

thaluikhain:

Oirish_Martin:
You're judging a group that is effectively fledging for not doing enough.

No, I'm judging it for not being particularly interested in doing anything, beyond attacking feminism. Not criticising it, or trying to improve it or replacing it with something better, but simply to give reactionary elements some pretence of a reason to oppose women's rights.

I would argue that they are doing so - even elements of AVfM. They are criticising what they see as elements of patriarchy within society (though they don't call it that) that harm men - and in many cases feminism has not helped these matters when it has engaged with it, and may even be still trying to benefit from it. Why then would they not point these things out? Maybe they're wrong, but so what? That is not reason for a group to not exist.

And again, they do not simply engage in criticism - it has already been pointed out that they do other things. Which you now seem to be outright ignoring.

I do wonder how many people here actually read AvFM on a regular basis, or are they just uncritically swallowing what David Futrelle and the SPLC have lifted from them?

Yes, there are actual advocates of men's rights who do good and important work. But this is, on the whole, despite the antics of MRAs, not because of them.

Isn't this just a no true Scotsman? What if these erm..."advocates for men's rights" self-identify as MRA? Or is such a thing impossible to you?

Oirish_Martin:

You've already done that - you've started it with your vague comparative language, and when you asked me to find someone like Elam.

And I would say actual physical opposition trumps mean words! any day.

Protesting is physical opposition, but hardly comparable to openly calling for acts of terrorism or assault on those of an opposing view.

Oirish_Martin:

(So when women make jokes about mutilating men, LOL J/K?

When men make jokes about mutilating women, it's hate?)

One might consider context. Such as that Catherine Heigl has a reputation of being a demanding bitch with very specific standards. And that's pretty obviously what the ad makes fun off.

Oirish_Martin:

As regards the overall point - so they lump feminists in with criminals. How is that any different to how feminism treats the MRM? How is that any different to when feminists call criminals MRAs even when they don't identify as them, or when they try and tar by association with people like Breivik and Lepine?

Nice false equivalence there. For one, I've yet to see an offender register made by feminists that lists rapists alongside MRAs. It is also entirely worth noting that Breivik himself self-identifies as an MRA and his manifesto borrows heavily from the Spearhead in particular when it enters the part about women. So yeah... It isn't really tar by association.

Oirish_Martin:

Once more - this is no worse than how feminism treats the MRM.

Show me the "Anti-feminist offender registry" and a contemporary feminist calling for violent action against anti-feminists and you might be having a case. As of now, you really don't.

Oirish_Martin:

And there are plenty of feminists who still claim Solanas' manifesto was "satire". Comparisons to Jonathan Swift were made. They wish.

Last time I checked no one is really sure what exactly the SCUM Manifesto really is. Solanas might have been dead serious, she might be satirizing or she might have been trying to make a gender reversal, like the Swedish acting group that made a play out of the SCUM Manifesto suggested. You know, the same acting group that AVfM posted a $1000 bounty on for anyone who could come up with their personal information and then kind of vaguely said that if someone used that information to attack the actors then AVfM would be ok with that, because staging a play is much worse. story here.

Oirish_Martin:

Again, you are not presenting anything here than cannot be levelled at feminism.

Except, you know, the SCUM manifesto was written in 1967. That's about 20 years prior to third wave feminism. And you have yet to show me any evidence that feminists engage in these levels of abuse and aggressive rhetoric. The most you've done so far is name drop Amanda Marcotte, who's not even on the same level as Paul Elam.

Oirish_Martin:

It is a call to help men, technically. The logic might be completely fucked, but the clue is in the phrase "Progress for men". And as for the pain reference - I'm more than sure people will insist on treating this as a direct threat. Which seems consistent with his overall tone of simply getting attention for issues he feels aren't being taken seriously.

Yeah... If I urge people to hurt other people for me, that's incitement no matter if I was just being provocative or sincerely meant it or not.

Oirish_Martin:

Again though, not all MRAs are Elam, just like not all feminists are Solanas.

Sure they aren't. Unlike Solanas he's not drawing much flak from his own crowd and is even seen as an important front figure. Also, once again, you only need to get onto either of the three websites I linked to to find many people echoing similar sentiments to Elam.

Oirish_Martin:

I'll be fine and dandy and will accept your overall point as soon as you justify your arbitrary and subjective standards of "how much" negative stuff in a movement means it no longer should exist, or should be subject to radically different standards than the group you adhere to.

Good luck with that, by the way. Such a thing cannot be done, so it is indeed a pointless discussion.

Ah, so you are setting me up for a rhetorical trap and dismiss any argument besides the one that fits into your trap as irrelevant. Classy stuff.

Gethsemani:

Oirish_Martin:

You've already done that - you've started it with your vague comparative language, and when you asked me to find someone like Elam.

And I would say actual physical opposition trumps mean words! any day.

Protesting is physical opposition, but hardly comparable to openly calling for acts of terrorism or assault on those of an opposing view.

Pain =/= terrorism or assault. Again, that Elam quote can certainly be construed as a threat if that is someone's intent.

Oirish_Martin:
One might consider context.

That would be a first. Funny how context suddenly comes up when it's women telling jokes about cutting up men, isn't it?

Could there possibly be come context to the Elam quote, or is it DEFINITELY A THREAT because you've already decided the MRM shouldn't exist?

Oirish_Martin:

As regards the overall point - so they lump feminists in with criminals. How is that any different to how feminism treats the MRM? How is that any different to when feminists call criminals MRAs even when they don't identify as them, or when they try and tar by association with people like Breivik and Lepine?

Nice false equivalence there. For one, I've yet to see an offender register made by feminists that lists rapists alongside MRAs. It is also entirely worth noting that Breivik himself self-identifies as an MRA and his manifesto borrows heavily from the Spearhead in particular when it enters the part about women. So yeah... It isn't really tar by association.

No, he doesn't self-identify as MRA. And even if he did, so what? Solanas and modern radfems identify as feminist. This is nothing but tar by association. Or are you arguing that one asshole means the movement is wholly bad? Again, both groups can be written off by that logic.

Show me the "Anti-feminist offender registry" and a contemporary feminist calling for violent action against anti-feminists and you might be having a case. As of now, you really don't.

Have you missed the hoohah against trolling feminist campaigners going on in the UK? People are calling for arrests over tweets? Just because it isn't in the precise form of a registry doesn't mean the same attitude isn't there.

You want modern hate against men? Try radfemhub.

Last time I checked no one is really sure what exactly the SCUM Manifesto really is. Solanas might have been dead serious, she might be satirizing or she might have been trying to make a gender reversal, like the Swedish acting group that made a play out of the SCUM Manifesto suggested. You know, the same acting group that AVfM posted a $1000 bounty on for anyone who could come up with their personal information and then kind of vaguely said that if someone used that information to attack the actors then AVfM would be ok with that, because staging a play is much worse. story here.

What was the point of the Scum manifesto play? Was that satire too?

And please don't tell me that no-one has ever called for Elam to be doxxed and identified.

Oirish_Martin:

Again, you are not presenting anything here than cannot be levelled at feminism.

Except, you know, the SCUM manifesto was written in 1967. That's about 20 years prior to third wave feminism.

Oh, sorry, wrong wave, that you just happened to mention now. Magically makes it not feminsm, even though you still call it feminism. Whatever. Goalposts moved, I suppose. Should feminism have shut down in 1967 then because of Solanas?

As I said, you want modern stuff? Radical feminists like those on radfemhub.

And you have yet to show me any evidence that feminists engage in these levels of abuse and aggressive rhetoric. The most you've done so far is name drop Amanda Marcotte, who's not even on the same level as Paul Elam.

Bullshit. I have not simply mentioned Marcotte, I've matched everyone one of your examples with examples from your own side. All you are left with is this "well you do it more!" argument.

And even if I'm wrong about all of this - so fucking what? Why does some larger degree of assholery mean the MRM should just not exist? There is some degree of assholery in both groups - why is feminism's level of assholery fine, but the MRM's means it has to entirely shut down? No-one has answered this point yet, instead they just seem to want to talk about Paul Elam. The MRM is not just Paul Elam, who you seem to be fixating on. What makes feminism, the group you just happen to belong to, which is not short of its own assholery, the benchmark for all other assholery? This is in-group bias, pure and simple.

Yeah... If I urge people to hurt other people for me, that's incitement no matter if I was just being provocative or sincerely meant it or not.

True even when feminists do it? Go look under the misandry tag in tumblr some day.

Sure they aren't. Unlike Solanas he's not drawing much flak from his own crowd and is even seen as an important front figure. Also, once again, you only need to get onto either of the three websites I linked to to find many people echoing similar sentiments to Elam.

As ever - how much is "much"? How "much" flak, specifically, does Elam need to draw before the MRM is no longer written off, according to your as-yet unspecified standards?

Oirish_Martin:

I'll be fine and dandy and will accept your overall point as soon as you justify your arbitrary and subjective standards of "how much" negative stuff in a movement means it no longer should exist, or should be subject to radically different standards than the group you adhere to.

Good luck with that, by the way. Such a thing cannot be done, so it is indeed a pointless discussion.

Ah, so you are setting me up for a rhetorical trap and dismiss any argument besides the one that fits into your trap as irrelevant. Classy stuff.

It's not my fault all your examples of bad behaviour exist on both sides and all you are left is arguing "you do it more". To say nothing of the fact you haven't produced any kind of quantifiable standard to show why one group engaging in such behaviour should be nonexistent but the other is totally acceptable.

You have set yourself up for failure because your argument is inconsistent and incoherent.

Oirish_Martin:
-the snip-

Since I am not really in the mood or physical health to continue a conversation where my arguments are being either willfully misconstrued or strawmanned I am really just making this post to let you know that I am out. Maybe some day you'll realize why Solanas is still a controversial figure and a water shed among feminists, even 46 years after she published the SCUM manifesto.

I am not the person to show it to you and this is not the time or the place.

Gethsemani:

Oirish_Martin:
-the snip-

Since I am not really in the mood or physical health to continue a conversation where my arguments are being either willfully misconstrued or strawmanned I am really just making this post to let you know that I am out. Maybe some day you'll realize why Solanas is still a controversial figure and a water shed among feminists, even 46 years after she published the SCUM manifesto.

I am not the person to show it to you and this is not the time or the place.

And Elam is arguably similar among MRAs - plenty of them are keen to distance themselves from him. Once again, he is not the movement.

The fact that you admit she is still a watershed means that it is hardly a matter consigned to the past, so it is not irrelevant that she is pre-third-wave.

If there is one question I would like an answer to (from anyone), it is the one I have kept coming back to -

There is some degree of assholery in both groups - why is feminism's level of assholery fine, but the MRM's means it has to entirely shut down? ... What makes feminism, the group you just happen to belong to, which is not short of its own assholery, the benchmark for all other assholery?

Again - how much is "too much", and why does this make it acceptable to expect a movement doing "too much" to not exist?

oreso:
There's quite a few reasons for this that aren't related to men keeping the ladies down.

So what?

Who ever said this issue had anything to do with men keeping the ladies down? Again, one reason noone takes MRAs seriously is that a lot of them don't seem to understand the issues, or at least don't seem to understand how they apply to the modern world, and this is a good example. Labour laws have advanced enormously since the 1970s, it's much less possible now to overtly discriminate in employment practice without facing legal challenge, which is not to say it never happens but it's not the real issue or the real debate any more. We won that one, this is round 2.

oreso:
Women tend to make different life choices that also effect their abilities to be promoted.

..and women's ability to be promoted also effects the life choices. If your boss is going to stick you in a dead-end admin job because he assumes you're going to go off and raise kids, what are you going to do when kids pop out and you're still stuck in a dead end admin job aged 30. What is your point here?

This isn't the 1970s when mother stays home and bakes cookies, women have careers now. They have enormous control over when and how they have children, and many are choosing to defer having children as long as possible in order to have a career. This is the major reason why there is a population crisis in most of the developed world, the economic effect of which has only been held back by mass immigration.

Unfortunately, in most jobs in our society, it is not possible to have a career and to also be a primary childcarer, and it also not possible to work flexibly enough in order to share childcare responsibilities. This has the effect of forcing women out of full time employment. This is a major, major problem which governments are going to have to tackle, because the current system effectively punishes families of for having children by forcing one of them (almost always the woman) out of the labour market.

The functionalist presumption that everything that occurs in society is the result of consent is another reason why MRAs are not taken seriously. The choices you make will be limited by the choices available, and frankly peddling the idea that women do not want to have careers is absolutely stupid at this point in time. They clearly do. Furthermore, the idea that career and childcare represent an either/or choice is a relic of the now-defunct era of the "family wage", a concept which hasn't existed for decades and is frankly unworkable at this point in time.

oreso:
As far as I remember, if you look at the pay gap for unmarried women, it isn't there.

No, it's there.

It's very small (about 6%), however, because unmarried women tend to be younger. Again, we are not talking about women actually getting into the labour market any more, we are talking about overall earning potential. Young people tend to have shitty, low-end jobs. The difference is that men get out of those jobs and into more senior jobs as they get older, while women tend to stay in the shitty jobs forever.

oreso:
It's interesting because it's largely ineffective though. The countries with the strictest rules for promoting women also have the largest paygaps, at least in Europe.

Again, that is a myth. Eurostat produces quite detailed figures on this, and you can look them up. There are some surprising statistics when you compare countries in Europe, such as many of the Eastern bloc countries actually being extremely equal. What you have understand, however, is that much of this is due to measures taken to exploit women's labor under communism, and the lack of impact of the family wage. What it actually shows is the degree to which wage disparity is not just a product of "women's choices" (as if those choices are free choices made in a vacuum) but are actually tied to working conditions.

As for "ineffective", one of the main points I was making, which you seem to have overlooked, is that these "strict rules for promoting women" only apply to a very small number of jobs at the top. With board appointments, we are literally talking about a few hundred people each year, out of a total population of 5 million (in Norway). The reason these measures exist is not because getting women into those jobs will get millions of women into better jobs, but because those jobs tend to carry enormous influence within the sectors they represent, and tend to be highly entrenched in their attitudes towards promoting women. Again, noone is suggesting any kind of blanket application of affirmative action, and again, assuming that they are is like punching smoke. You're not going to hit anything because there's nothing there.

Schadrach:
So, basically, it's discrimination if we consider the amount someone is working (or the consistency thereof) as part of their advancement?

No.

It is however discrimination if we structure our entire working lives on the principle that you cannot play a meaningful role in raising children and work and then simply expect one class of person to always forfeit their career because of they're the ones who squirted the thing out from between their legs.

This is something which, if you had the slightest genuine interest in "men's rights" you would realize is highly significant to men, because it is also the primary cause of "discrimination" against men in the family courts, in the childrearing professions and in the policing of child abuse and other crimes against children. It is also, for many men, an enormous barrier to personal fulfillment and happiness as well as being a major factor in mental illness and suicide among men.

Edit: Sorry, I'm in a bad mood and I didn't mean to take it out on other people like that, so I've toned down the more personal bits of the post. I have no reason to believe you aren't sincere in your belief in "helping" men, I just don't think it's possible without an actual framework to explain why and how men actually need helping.

Oirish_Martin:

And Elam is arguably similar among MRAs - plenty of them are keen to distance themselves from him. Once again, he is not the movement.

So do tell, do you not consider A Voice for Men a significant part of the MRA movement? I often see that site tossed out by MRAs. What sites, if any, do you consider a significant part of the movement?

Master of the Skies:
So do tell, do you not consider A Voice for Men a significant part of the MRA movement? I often see that site tossed out by MRAs. What sites, if any, do you consider a significant part of the movement?

I couldn't say how significant it is, nor do I think it's necessarily a monolithic movement. The sites I frequent most regularly that are run by self-identified MRAs seem to have far lower traffic than AVfM. The others are either feminist sites with some MRA commenters or sites that don't have an official alignment but are feminist-critical. There are also indivduals whose names seem to come up a lot, like Warren Farrell, and Karen Straughan (GirlWritesWhat) seems to be popping up more often.

There seems to be a bit of convergence of the above MRAs on /r/MensRights, but I could be wrong.

Oh this subject again....great. Is it me or does it seem like MRA/Feminism is a subject(at least in this particular case) that has been beaten to death? Seriously, its one thing if there was an actually story to debate over, but these kinds of threads have been done to death. That said....

glad to see that someone else realizes that both sides have their strawman and P.R. issues.

Now then...

Agema:

Super Not Cosmo:

You have men who are being forced to pay child support for children they can prove with DNA evidence aren't theirs. You have men who coming home from being held hostage in a foreign country arrested the day after setting foot again in the US for failing to pay child support while they were being held hostage. You have men who are having their biological children given up for adoption and, even though they want to raise their child, the courts still rule to give it to the adoptive family. You have men who's lives are destroyed day in and day out by false rape claims. You have men who lose everything in divorce because the courts choose to ignore valid prenups.

I'm sure all these things have occurred. But are they common things to occur, or more just rare (even one-off), anecdotal cases?

I can't speak on the issue of DNA evidence cases, but apparently many states here in the US have outdated laws on alimony that are in serous need of being updated. For example:

Gethsemani:

Oirish_Martin:
-the snip-

Since I am not really in the mood or physical health to continue a conversation where my arguments are being either willfully misconstrued or strawmanned I am really just making this post to let you know that I am out. Maybe some day you'll realize why Solanas is still a controversial figure and a water shed among feminists, even 46 years after she published the SCUM manifesto.

I am not the person to show it to you and this is not the time or the place.

Do yourself a favor and instead of focusing on vile people like Solanas, just answer the question that Oirish Martin has been repeatedly asking through out this entire thread; "How much horrible behavior of a particular group is too much?".

evilthecat:
I have no reason to believe you aren't sincere in your belief in "helping" men, I just don't like it's possible without an actual framework to explain why and how men actually need helping.

I think a one issue these days is that more than a few people aren't aware that the MRM isn't the only game in town for 'helping' men, and that the Men's Rights Movement formed from an ideological division (over feminism, in case some people failed to pick that up) in the old Men's Liberation Movement leading it to split into the MRM and the Pro-Feminist Men's Movement.

Helmholtz Watson:

Agema:
I'm sure all these things have occurred. But are they common things to occur, or more just rare (even one-off), anecdotal cases?

I can't speak on the issue of DNA evidence cases, but apparently many states here in the US have outdated laws on alimony that are in serous need of being updated. For example:

I do not consider YouTube clips remotely reliable and do not even watch them, on the grounds any halfwit crank can spew out an ill-considered diatribe, and many of them do.

Nevertheless, I would not surprised that there are significant problems in alimony and custody cases; these are frequently valid areas of complaint for men in many jurisdictions.

I am more skeptical of the other claims.

In one of those cases, it's mightily unfortunate for an individual to be arrested just after they've got back from being held hostage, but it's nothing to do with gender. It's to do with the fact that if the police have a warrant to arrest, they are supposed to do so at the earliest opportunity. How the suspect has been inaccessible to them and what the charge is are neither here nor there. Most obviously, for instance, they'll arrest anyone who has been incapacitated through medical trauma when they wake up for any crime.

Overturning a pre-nup pretty much relies on the fact there is a problem with it. Not being any sort of expert in the requisite law (and living in a country where they cannot be legally enforced anyway), I cannot say much more. However, it seems to me more likely in such cases that the pre-nup is in some way flawed. And whilst a court might make an iffy decision, few bad ones survive the appeal process.

When father contest their child being sent to adoption and lose, here again we need to know what's going on. Are they fit fathers? Did they in some way surrender legal rights to the child? Is there a problem in legal rights to children, or are these actually reasonable legal decisions for the circumstances in the cases?

We've had a large debate about false rape claims already. No-one provided anything but a couple of anecdotes that it "ruined lives", with no meaningful context of what its like to be falsely prosecuted for any other crime, or much substantial evidence of how often really happens, and so on.

It is aggravating to see many of these claims made, and substantially nothing else to defend it. The problem with many of these things is we often hear about them as sob stories, and not just that but one-sided sob stories told and published/fowarded by people with invested interest in it being one-sided. The irony is that to read through any general criticism of feminism, this is precisely the standard sort of stuff that feminists are accused of. Everyone can play on the same level playing field feeling free to chuck around bullshit they don't believe they have to substantiate, but we might sneer when they take a moral high ground as if they didn't.

Oirish_Martin:

I do wonder how many people here actually read AvFM on a regular basis...

Almost certainly very few, which is just as well.

Most people are arguing gender here not out of fundamental interest, but because their vague, weak world view based on minimal knowledge has been disagreed with. It's about intellectual pride and competitiveness rather than a real desire to for the cause itself. Liberally add in confirmation bias, reinforcement theory and attitude polarisation, so vague and weak belief turns into entrenched, strong belief. But such vanity is still not going to drive people to donate their time, effort and money to charities, pressure groups or keeping up with activist news.

Agema:

Oirish_Martin:

I do wonder how many people here actually read AvFM on a regular basis...

Almost certainly very few, which is just as well.

Most people are arguing gender here not out of fundamental interest, but because their vague, weak world view based on minimal knowledge has been disagreed with. It's about intellectual pride and competitiveness rather than a real desire to for the cause itself. Liberally add in confirmation bias, reinforcement theory and attitude polarisation, so vague and weak belief turns into entrenched, strong belief. But such vanity is still not going to drive people to donate their time, effort and money to charities, pressure groups or keeping up with activist news.

If this is truly applied to both sides on this debate, then I would agree with you.

Oirish_Martin:
Oh, sorry, wrong wave, that you just happened to mention now. Magically makes it not feminsm, even though you still call it feminism. Whatever. Goalposts moved, I suppose. Should feminism have shut down in 1967 then because of Solanas?

There's been a lot of talk about Solanas here, so let's clear things up.

The great shame of the 1960s women's movement (or more precisely, specific organizations like NOW) is not that Solanas was one of them, because she wasn't and she never felt she was, but the fact that they used her while simultaneously treating her awfully.

Certain sections of the women's movement were only too happy to wheel out and exploit "Valerie Solanas the revolutionary" when it suited their cause, while also obscuring, silencing and speaking over "Valerie Solanas the mentally ill woman completely under the power of one man with whom she was irrationally obsessed". In reality, it's not clear at all where one ends and the other begins, but the latter is almost certainly more important in understanding Solanas' life and actions.

She never identified as a feminist, and had she done so she would have been a terrible feminist because her life fell so far short of the standard expected, even then, of a feminist consciousness. But she wrote a book which (however she meant it, which is also unclear) is actually incredibly insightful in some ways, particularly in illustrating the experience of women in the 50s and 60s.

Remember, most of the arguments in the book are inversions, often very literal inversions, of serious and respected arguments regarding female inferiority, particularly the conservative Freudian account of "female psychology".

Oirish_Martin:
Again - how much is "too much", and why does this make it acceptable to expect a movement doing "too much" to not exist?

I don't think there is nearly as much intellectual diversity within the men's rights lobby as there is between all the positions which have been classified as "feminist". You can't really talk about a "feminist movement" any more, because feminism is not a political body and hasn't been for decades. It's a cultural event to which people have responded in a huge number of ways. To use an analogy I used before, it would be like saying Star Wars is a bad film because some Star Wars fans beat up some Doctor Who fans at a convention.

Part of the problem is that Men's Rights position remains fundamentally mired in the logic and theory of 1970s (both in its perception of society and its perception of "feminism"), and seems to have great difficulty dealing with the modern world. Even comparatively nuanced people associated with the men's rights lobby, like Warren Farrell, are still wheeling out ideas which would not be out of place in the 1970s, but which academia itself has (correctly) left behind. In order to be socially relevant, you need to engage with the world, not retreat from it into a little bubble of internally consistent but ultimately inadequate social theory.

The same criticism could be applied to many feminists, but it could certainly not be applied to all feminists.

evilthecat:
There's been a lot of talk about Solanas here, so let's clear things up.

The great shame of the 1960s women's movement (or more precisely, specific organizations like NOW) is not that Solanas was one of them, because she wasn't and she never felt she was, but the fact that they used her while simultaneously treating her awfully.

Certain sections of the women's movement were only too happy to wheel out and exploit "Valerie Solanas the revolutionary" when it suited their cause, while also obscuring, silencing and speaking over "Valerie Solanas the mentally ill woman completely under the power of one man with whom she was irrationally obsessed". In reality, it's not clear at all where one ends and the other begins, but the latter is almost certainly more important in understanding Solanas' life and actions.

She never identified as a feminist, and had she done so she would have been a terrible feminist because her life fell so far short of the standard expected, even then, of a feminist consciousness. But she wrote a book which (however she meant it, which is also unclear) is actually incredibly insightful in some ways, particularly in illustrating the experience of women in the 50s and 60s.

Remember, most of the arguments in the book are inversions, often very literal inversions, of serious and respected arguments regarding female inferiority, particularly the conservative Freudian account of "female psychology".

That might go some way to explain the "it's satire" arguments I see today, I suppose, which still feels like some kind of similar exploitation of her and her ideas to me.

The other thing that undermines that particular argument for me is the fact that she did actually end up violently attacking men. To bring back the comparisons to Swift that I've seen, it'd be like if Swift did actually going on a baby-eating rampage after publishing A Modest Proposal. Maybe it was satire, maybe it wasn't - their subsequent actions are going to cast a fairly long shadow on that.

I don't think there is nearly as much intellectual diversity within the men's rights lobby as there is between all the positions which have been classified as "feminist". You can't really talk about a "feminist movement" any more, because feminism is not a political body and hasn't been for decades. It's a cultural event to which people have responded in a huge number of ways. To use an analogy I used before, it would be like saying Star Wars is a bad film because some Star Wars fans beat up some Doctor Who fans at a convention.

There's that "as much" vagueness again. I really appreciate that you've provided a far more fleshed out argument here, but this is still the same kind of vagueness I've been picking people up on before.

A lot of the divisions I see between different sets of issues, particularly in this arena of gender issues, seem to boil down to differences in degree, not principle. And I'm very wary of who is drawing the lines between how "much" a particular problem appears is acceptable and how "much" is unacceptable. This is why I place so much stock in differences/similarities on principle rather than by degree.

Part of the problem is that Men's Rights position remains fundamentally mired in the logic and theory of 1970s (both in its perception of society and its perception of "feminism"), and seems to have great difficulty dealing with the modern world. Even comparatively nuanced people associated with the men's rights lobby, like Warren Farrell, are still wheeling out ideas which would not be out of place in the 1970s, but which academia itself has (correctly) left behind. In order to be socially relevant, you need to engage with the world, not retreat from it into a little bubble of internally consistent but ultimately inadequate social theory.

Is feminism all that better though? Koss' questionable 1 in 4 stat I see wheeled out pretty prequently, and that's mid-80s. That's a stat rather than a theory, perhaps, if you are referring to Farrell's views as a whole rather than individual ones.

And again, maybe that stat is not wheeled out by academics, but that only speaks to me of a possible disconnect between academic feminism and feminism on the ground. I am finding myself more inclined to the academic side of things, but if it isn't going to affect the feminism I see going on around me day-to-day, then to some degree it seems kind of irrelevant to me.

As arguments go, however, "MRM's ideas make it irrelevant" I would at least accept as a reasonable argument, even though I'm not entirely sure it is so irrelevant. It is better than insisting it fails or shouldn't exist because of unspecified degrees of "how much", so thanks for that.

evilthecat:

oreso:
There's quite a few reasons for this that aren't related to men keeping the ladies down.

So what?

Who ever said this issue had anything to do with men keeping the ladies down? Again, one reason noone takes MRAs seriously is that a lot of them don't seem to understand the issues, or at least don't seem to understand how they apply to the modern world, and this is a good example. Labour laws have advanced enormously since the 1970s, it's much less possible now to overtly discriminate in employment practice without facing legal challenge, which is not to say it never happens but it's not the real issue or the real debate any more. We won that one, this is round 2.

Okey. ^_^

oreso:
Women tend to make different life choices that also effect their abilities to be promoted.

..and women's ability to be promoted also effects the life choices. If your boss is going to stick you in a dead-end admin job because he assumes you're going to go off and raise kids, what are you going to do when kids pop out and you're still stuck in a dead end admin job aged 30. What is your point here?

This isn't the 1970s when mother stays home and bakes cookies, women have careers now. They have enormous control over when and how they have children, and many are choosing to defer having children as long as possible in order to have a career. This is the major reason why there is a population crisis in most of the developed world, the economic effect of which has only been held back by mass immigration.

Unfortunately, in most jobs in our society, it is not possible to have a career and to also be a primary childcarer, and it also not possible to work flexibly enough in order to share childcare responsibilities. This has the effect of forcing women out of full time employment. This is a major, major problem which governments are going to have to tackle, because the current system effectively punishes families of for having children by forcing one of them (almost always the woman) out of the labour market.

Agreed. No disagreement here.

The functionalist presumption that everything that occurs in society is the result of consent is another reason why MRAs are not taken seriously. The choices you make will be limited by the choices available, and frankly peddling the idea that women do not want to have careers is absolutely stupid at this point in time. They clearly do. Furthermore, the idea that career and childcare represent an either/or choice is a relic of the now-defunct era of the "family wage", a concept which hasn't existed for decades and is frankly unworkable at this point in time.

That's not what I'm arguing for. But sure, bash it down. That would be stupid to say. In general, women (more than men) might want to prioritise taking personal care of their children over forwarding their career, but that's not the same thing as saying they don't want careers.

It's very small (about 6%), however, because unmarried women tend to be younger. Again, we are not talking about women actually getting into the labour market any more, we are talking about overall earning potential. Young people tend to have shitty, low-end jobs. The difference is that men get out of those jobs and into more senior jobs as they get older, while women tend to stay in the shitty jobs forever.

I've seen different research to you (perhaps just a different period or region). But okey.

oreso:
It's interesting because it's largely ineffective though. The countries with the strictest rules for promoting women also have the largest paygaps, at least in Europe.

Again, that is a myth. Eurostat produces quite detailed figures on this, and you can look them up. There are some surprising statistics when you compare countries in Europe, such as many of the Eastern bloc countries actually being extremely equal. What you have understand, however, is that much of this is due to measures taken to exploit women's labor under communism, and the lack of impact of the family wage. What it actually shows is the degree to which wage disparity is not just a product of "women's choices" (as if those choices are free choices made in a vacuum) but are actually tied to working conditions.

I'm not sure I understand your point here.

I agree that comparatively unregulated working conditions lead to a higher average wage for women. I think this is for a few reasons though: a pregnant woman is little drain on a businesses if it isn't forced to pay maternity leave, so young women might be more attractive options than they are in regulated countries. But, this probably leads to less women going back to work after having children, if the company isn't obliged to keep a space open for them. No doubt other factors contribute too.

Even these unregulated countries are unequal in terms of job roles though, even if the paygap is smaller: while women occupy a very high percentage of office jobs, all the dangerous jobs are still taken by men. Though I should say that my own experience here is Ukraine, and it may well be different elsewhere.

As for "ineffective", one of the main points I was making, which you seem to have overlooked, is that these "strict rules for promoting women" only apply to a very small number of jobs at the top. With board appointments, we are literally talking about a few hundred people each year, out of a total population of 5 million (in Norway). The reason these measures exist is not because getting women into those jobs will get millions of women into better jobs, but because those jobs tend to carry enormous influence within the sectors they represent, and tend to be highly entrenched in their attitudes towards promoting women. Again, noone is suggesting any kind of blanket application of affirmative action, and again, assuming that they are is like punching smoke. You're not going to hit anything because there's nothing there.

That's good at least. Your proposed sexism only applies to a few people :) I still disagree with sexism in principle though. I don't believe anyone should be promoted based on their gender, and maintain that this demeans the efforts of others, as well as devaluing the efforts of the person promoted. It's saying to women "You aren't good enough to get the top jobs without help".

While I'm willing to accept that culture plays a role, I maintain that the problem also has some simple mathematics behind it: As an average: women tend to cost businesses more, and they take more time off. If we want to correct this, the state will need to shoulder the extra costs, and perhaps even provide benefits to a company if their employees take time off for child care. (This of course would be done in a completely gender neutral way: the child carer can be male or female.)

Edit: Sorry, I'm in a bad mood and I didn't mean to take it out on other people like that, so I've toned down the more personal bits of the post. I have no reason to believe you aren't sincere in your belief in "helping" men, I just don't think it's possible without an actual framework to explain why and how men actually need helping.

That's cool, man! We're all here to help. As long as we're still listening to each other, and maybe willing to read each other generously, that's the main thing.

Cheers!

oreso:
That's good at least. Your proposed sexism only applies to a few people :) I still disagree with sexism in principle though. I don't believe anyone should be promoted based on their gender, and maintain that this demeans the efforts of others, as well as devaluing the efforts of the person promoted. It's saying to women "You aren't good enough to get the top jobs without help".

Alternatively, it's acknowledging that various industries have tended to have decided that women aren't good enough to get top jobs without help.

It's all very well to say that people shouldn't be promoted based on their gender, but it is happening. Ignoring it won't make it stop being a problem.

oreso:
While I'm willing to accept that culture plays a role, I maintain that the problem also has some simple mathematics behind it: As an average: women tend to cost businesses more, and they take more time off. If we want to correct this, the state will need to shoulder the extra costs, and perhaps even provide benefits to a company if their employees take time off for child care. (This of course would be done in a completely gender neutral way: the child carer can be male or female.)

Assuming that maternity leave isn't countered by paternity leave (which it isn't in many places)...how much maternity leave does the average women take compared to her whole career. 1% perhaps?

Oirish_Martin:
If there is one question I would like an answer to (from anyone), it is the one I have kept coming back to -

There is some degree of assholery in both groups - why is feminism's level of assholery fine, but the MRM's means it has to entirely shut down? ... What makes feminism, the group you just happen to belong to, which is not short of its own assholery, the benchmark for all other assholery?

Again - how much is "too much", and why does this make it acceptable to expect a movement doing "too much" to not exist?

I don't have much to contribute to the thread other than to note that you're correct in saying there's a real double-standard in the way feminism and MRAs are viewed (in progressive, left-leaning, fem-friendly cyberspace at least). Feminism has successfully branded itself the perpetual victim, the voice of and for the downtrodden minority, and therefore not subject to the same reasoned scrutiny that the rest of us face - a PR trick that some religions have recently been pulling to much the same effect.

It's fine, apparently, to pull all manner of tone-trolling and circumstantial ad-hominems on MRAs. They're misogynists! Angry virgins! Rape apologists! They're a reactionary movement so we don't need to listen to them! What's more, some dude who may have identified as an MRA once did something bad!

Now try that kind of stuff against Feminism: "Feminists are man-hating lesbians who are invested in diminishing male rape victims. They're a movement which has its roots in promoting the interests of straight white middle-class women so we don't need to listen to them! What's more, Valerie Solanas tried shooting Andy Warhol!" - before you'd finished speaking you'd already be getting drowned out by wailings of "Strawman! NAFALT! Read the literature or shut up!"

Good game, Feminists. Well played. You're undoubtedly "winning". But let's not pretend for one second that there's a respectful dialogue being encouraged, or that equality is what's being striven for. These double standards have got to be examined and removed before meaningful progress can be made.

Oirish_Martin:
If this is truly applied to both sides on this debate, then I would agree with you.

It does apply to both sides, but not, I suspect, in equal degrees.

I'm aware that you don't think degrees are sufficient. I think on matters like this they mean a lot, because sometimes the distribution of data with ranges for two groups is far more important than the ranges they span. For much the same reason that I wouldn't call the two data sets 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,9 insignificantly different.

Oirish_Martin:
That might go some way to explain the "it's satire" arguments I see today, I suppose, which still feels like some kind of similar exploitation of her and her ideas to me.

I don't think the exploitation of her ideas is a problem. I don't think there ever is an "authentic" voice in the SCUM manifesto, and I don't really think there ever was. The cultural impact of the book rests entirely on the effect it has had. To those early women's movement activists, it articulated an anger they felt very keenly.

However, what I think is important is that, unlike those activists, we don't forget who Valerie Solanas actually was. She had quite a severe mental illness, she lived a fairly horrific and dysfunctional life and she became violently obsessed with one man. Certain elements of the women's movement, in their efforts to create a mythology around the SCUM manifesto, ended up selectively erasing everything about its author which they didn't like or which undermined her credibility, when actually these aspects of her are probably quite important to understanding her actions and writing. Case in point.

Oirish_Martin:
The other thing that undermines that particular argument for me is the fact that she did actually end up violently attacking men.

She attacked a man (and his colleagues) with whom she had previously worked with on several occasions, whom she was having a disagreement with and accused, without much justification, of trying to steal her work. On her release from prison, she continued to stalk that one man, to the point that she was sent to a psychiatric hospital.

I think the women's movement, again, bears a heavy burden in politicizing that action, and forgetting that it was also a very personal move undertaken by someone who was subsequently diagnosed with severe psychiatric problems, and who clearly had an unhealthy obsession with the person she set out to kill.

A lot of these actions have become heavily fantasized about in relation to the SCUM manifesto, when in fact I think you can also see it the other way around. The SCUM manifesto is not a revolutionary text by a woman who lived by its creed, it is to a large extent the fantasy of an extremely unwell woman who seems to have had real trouble distinguishing between reality and her own fantasies. I think when you appreciate it as such, it actually becomes much more useful.

Oirish_Martin:
And I'm very wary of who is drawing the lines between how "much" a particular problem appears is acceptable and how "much" is unacceptable.

My opinion is that if something is unacceptable it's unacceptable, but if two things are dissimilar one of them being unacceptable does not make the other unacceptable. Mary Daly has said, done and written some things I find revolting. She's also written some things which I find genuinely insightful even if I don't necessarily agree with them. Warren Farrell has said some things I find highly objectionable, that doesn't change his importance as one of the first wave of scholars to seriously problematize the relationship between masculinity and men in the 1970s.

This is why I think the notion of "cultural events" makes more sense than the idea of "movements", because feminism in particular is not something anyone in this society has had the option of not reacting to. Even the most extreme and committed anti-feminists have had to adopt various feminist understandings themselves in order to mount an effective critique of feminism. Again, it's like Star Wars. We all tend get the pop culture references because they're repeated so often that we're often aware of them even if we haven't actually seen the films. That doesn't mean we're all part of the same group or category of human beings who can be given a thumbs up or thumbs down at will.

The problem with "men's rights" is that the term implies various things which are actually quite exclusive, because it suggests that the only problem with men is that they are not given the acknowledgement, respect or perks they deserve. The argument, in essence, is that men are powerless when virtually every measure of how society itself is structured suggests the opposite. In this sense, the idea of men's rights is not just intrinsically anti-feminist, it's also very difficult to sustain. Men aren't sent off to fight in wars because men as a group are powerless and expendable, and yet men's rights relies on the assumption that they are, that everything that appears to "harm" men is the result of active discrimination against men. This is a consequence of still being grounded in 1970s role theory, where the only form of "oppression" comes from failing to meet the random expectations of "society".

Now, there are other men out there, in academia, activism and straddling the line between both, who very much care about increasing men's happiness and agency. The problem is that it's very hard to imagine those men's ideas as compatible with a project of "men's rights", because men's rights fundamentally implies that men are oppressed in this kind of horizontal fashion, which just doesn't really mesh with reality in my opinion.

Oirish_Martin:
Is feminism all that better though?

Sometimes no..

..but often yes.

And again, I don't agree with the idea of "movements". I don't think there's a magic point where a shitty statement becomes strong enough to drag down a good or worthwhile statement. I think we should always be looking at what things do, not who said them. The problem, as far as I can see, is that the people who are saying good or worthwhile things don't tend to count themselves as men's rights activists, probably for the reasons above.

thaluikhain:

oreso:
That's good at least. Your proposed sexism only applies to a few people :) I still disagree with sexism in principle though. I don't believe anyone should be promoted based on their gender, and maintain that this demeans the efforts of others, as well as devaluing the efforts of the person promoted. It's saying to women "You aren't good enough to get the top jobs without help".

Alternatively, it's acknowledging that various industries have tended to have decided that women aren't good enough to get top jobs without help.

It's all very well to say that people shouldn't be promoted based on their gender, but it is happening. Ignoring it won't make it stop being a problem.

I'm not saying we ignore it. But I reject quotas as a valid method for the reasons given above. Just because some sexism might be happening in some businesses, doesn't mean we should enforce sexism in every business.

oreso:
While I'm willing to accept that culture plays a role, I maintain that the problem also has some simple mathematics behind it: As an average: women tend to cost businesses more, and they take more time off. If we want to correct this, the state will need to shoulder the extra costs, and perhaps even provide benefits to a company if their employees take time off for child care. (This of course would be done in a completely gender neutral way: the child carer can be male or female.)

Assuming that maternity leave isn't countered by paternity leave (which it isn't in many places)...how much maternity leave does the average women take compared to her whole career. 1% perhaps?

I would imagine it varies enormously. If you hire 50+ year-old women, then it'll be 0%, if you hire 20-25 year olds it might be as much as a quarter if they want a big family. Even if paternity leave exists and is equal to maternity leave (which I enthusiastically support of course), it is still far more likely for women to choose to take it. Businesses know this.

These laws do vary so it might apply differently in your region, but here's an example I heard (paraphrased): "If I hire someone then I'm not allowed to ask them if they plan to have children. But if they do, they can take up to a year off per child. While they're off, I need to hire and train someone else to do their job, then fire them again whenever the parent wants to come back. Oh, and I'm paying taxes for them this whole time they're off! I'm a small business, if two employees do that, then I'm broke! And now they're a year behind on their career, but they'll never do overtime now, and they'll be taking more sick days to care for their kid, and I'm still expected to promote them above their more dedicated peers!"

All I'm saying with this example is that before we start imposing sexist quotas which will do nothing but breed resentment, we should make child rearers not financially detrimental for a business to hire, and since it's mostly women who choose to stay at home to raise a child, this will benefit them and help close the wage gap some. Fix the numbers first, so that the state and not businesses shoulder these extra costs, then we'll know what remaining cultural bias we need to worry about.

Cheers!

I usually don't get involved with this but take a look at those CDC numbers.

Men forced to penetrate numbers are almost the same number as women raped. The reason for the discrepancy in male rape vs female rape is simply the definition. Some may argue that forced to penetrate isn't rape.

Personally I'd say sex without consent or a state where they can't consent is rape. It doesn't matter if the person is penetrating or being penetrated, but the federal definition of rape is being forcefully penetrated.

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