The false "Facts" of the MRA movement.

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thaluikhain:

Bentusi16:
And men are viewed as inferior child raisers.

Whats your point? That gender roles exist?

See this is what I don't get. You seem to say gender roles are automatically bad, but what replaces them? What does getting rid of them actually do?

Er...what?

Why must there be a set of arbitrary gender restictions?

Getting rid of them gives people the freedom to follow them, or not, as they choose, rather as demanded by societies view of their gender.

Surely rules on what people can and cannot do without much basis in reality are a bad thing that should be removed?

Do they have no basis in reality?

I'll try to avoid an appeal to tradiation here but I think it's worth asking why these roles formed, why they stayed around so long, and why we haven't abandoned them even today.

And what really happens when you get rid of them, honestly? Realistically I don't think anything will be different then it is right now because...well frankly because you can't abandon them because people won't. It's a bit of a utopian arguement.

Bentusi16:
Do they have no basis in reality?

I'll try to avoid an appeal to tradiation here but I think it's worth asking why these roles formed, why they stayed around so long, and why we haven't abandoned them even today.

Because people are slow to change. You'll note that not all culture will gender roles have the same ones, which you'd expect if there was real basis to them.

Even if it was the case that genders tended to be better than others at things, that doesn't mean that all members of a gender are better than all members of another gender at that thing, which is what current roles would apply.

Bentusi16:
And what really happens when you get rid of them, honestly? Realistically I don't think anything will be different then it is right now because...well frankly because you can't abandon them because people won't. It's a bit of a utopian arguement.

Oh, I don't see them going away any time soon, but progress can be made, albeit slowly. Gender roles are less strict than they were in the past, it seems reasonable that things may improve in the future.

thaluikhain:

Kakashi on crack:
Men are disposable in today's society- Only men have to fight in wars.

Evilthecat has gone over this at great length, including in this thread, and I suggest you go read what he's said, but to summarise: no.

Men dominate dangerous jobs because women are seen as inferior, not worthy/able to participate.

Now I'm not an MRA and I haven't got the time to read this entire thread but I think I know what you're referring to an I have one gripe with it.

evilthecat:
To phrase it in a real example, men don't willingly join the army because they've been brainwashed to view themselves as expendable. They don't try to keep women out of the army because they subconsciously see themselves as inferior to women and regard women's lives as more valuable than their own. The kinds of horrific violence and discrimination we see against women in the army suggests that, if anything, the opposite is true. Men join the army because they see themselves as fundamentally superior, because they see themselves as more able to "perform", which includes being able to absorb the risk of military service. Military service grants men considerable rewards in terms of respect and admiration, but more importantly in terms of allowing the display of a kind of extreme, violent, dominant masculinity which is highly desirable and rewarding. It carries with it a kind of presumed competence which impacts not just on the perception of men in the army but also on the perception of men as a whole. A society where only men can join the army, in a society where only men are seen as physically and psychologically capable of enduring danger and risk, a society were only men are seen as able to make tough decisions and a society where men are seen as brave enough, if necessary, to lay down their lives is not a society where men are hated and maligned. It is a society where men are supremely exalted.

I was under the impression the part in bold was what discounted the army from the male expendability professions. Professions dominated by men that are undesireable, dangerous, could be performed by females and (the key point for my gripe) are thankless.
For example, nurses would fit under this "death profession" catagory if it weren't for the fact that they are afforded respect and admiration for their work, meaning it isn't thankless.
The same applies to the army.
So it doesn't really work as an example of male expendability being completely non-existent.

And this brings another, rather more simple question to mind. Why not both?
Societies and cultures are incredibly complex things, is it not possible that both the phenomenon of male expendability and patricarchy could exist at the same time?
I see no reason why they have to be mutually exclusive.

Smeatza:

And this brings another, rather more simple question to mind. Why not both?
Societies and cultures are incredibly complex things, is it not possible that both the phenomenon of male expendability and patricarchy could exist at the same time?
I see no reason why they have to be mutually exclusive.

Probably because the argument is only ever brought up to contest the claim that there is or ever was a patriarchy.

Smeatza:
I was under the impression the part in bold was what discounted the army from the male expendability professions. Professions dominated by men that are undesireable, dangerous, could be performed by females and (the key point for my gripe) are thankless.

There are a few professions, like garbage disposal or sewer work, which are constantly brought up in this argument and which are both physically demanding or dangerous and somewhat maligned, but that's not because they're "expendable roles", it's because they involve dealing with substances or duties which most people try to avoid.

In reality, there are very few roles entailing a high degree of physical risk which are not, in some way, rewarding. Bear in mind that "reward" doesn't mean "thanks". Just because noone is going up to crab fishermen or truck drivers or heavy industry workers and thanking them for doing the job they do doesn't mean there's no reward inherent in these positions. The reward comes in terms of the ability to display a particular type of masculinity, one which may not be formally recognized as valuable but which is nonetheless quite desirable.

One thing which may be confusing this issue is socio-economic class, because class has a massive impact on what kind of masculinities are obtainable, desirable and rewarding to men. In many "traditional" working class cultures, being a heavy industry worker, doing a hard or dangerous job and being willing to absorb the risks of that job genuinely was a source of prestige. Indeed, one genuine "issue" with men today is that contrary to the expectations of many young working class men these types of careers are increasingly unobtainable, leaving them in a bit of a limbo.

You say that being a nurse grants "respect and admiration", so why aren't these men studying hard for degrees in nursing? Is it random coincidence? Also, the reason nursing is increasingly respected is arguably because it's increasingly professional and, more importantly, increasingly gender neutral. In the past, when nursing genuinely was a "women only" career, nurses were often treated as window dressing, or worse as a dating agency for male doctors. It was not a particularly rewarding profession, and in some ways still isn't.

mecegirl:
That is just the reality. I don't see how anyone can look at the percentage of men vs women in our governments and see anything else. Or the percentage of male ceo's vs female ceo's.

Some people would refer to this argument as the "apex fallacy" (a term coined comparatively recently by a forensic psychologist named Helen Smith) referring to it being fallacious to use a small subset of a group at an extreme position to presume something about the group as a whole. If you look at the concept of the so-called "apex fallacy" for what it is, you see that it is just a specific case of fallacy of composition (A has trait B, A is part of group C, therefore group C has trait B as a whole.)

generals3:
Take self imposed diversity policies. Whether or not

companies will try extra hard to hire women will barely affect my parents generation because they have already been through the recruitment

process decades ago and they've evolved inside the company under passed policies. Who is being affected by it? People like me. People

who have been raised and growing up in a far less gendered reality (at least when it comes to employment). When people talk about male

privilege and the advantage of being a man in the work place all I can think of is "What advantage? The one of being put on the lower priority list

because of self-imposed quotas?".

I have a nephew in his teens that is not too terribly far off from moving from "which schools should I send my SAT scores to" to "how the hell do I pay for this?" who I suspect will quickly realize that his being white and male will have a detrimental effect on his ability to get scholarships.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
Hell, the internet collectively lost it's shit when some guys got punished for

making unprofessional dongle jokes at a trade show- we know that unprofessional sexual behavior is not just tolerated by men in the military, it's

tolerated widely across our society.

Yes, the internet lost it's shit because a woman overhearing a mildly inappropriate joke in a private conversation got someone fired over it. Bonus points since she's clearly not too concerned with the use of inappropriate humor at the event aside from jokes made in private conversation, since she was playing Cards Against Humanity later at said event (If you aren't aware of this game, it's basically an offensive version of Apples to Apples). The internet shit storm around her was probably a strong influence on her being fired in turn, given she had a public/customer facing position so strong negative PR tied to her couldn't have been good for business.

Agema:

So you might think, and so some feminists might not. I think they get to argue and campaign for their case without being automatically treated

like they're out to disadvantage men. On the day you can prove them wrong rather than just believe it, then you get to say that.

Sure thing, there's no reason to take everything that comes out of a feminist's mouth as being out to disadvantage men. Until it is (and sometimes, it is).

I could also argue that the KKK has helped out widows of members, given out scholarships on occasion, and wanted to adopt a highway (did they eventually get approved for that?). I can agree that all of those are good things to do. That doesn't mean I agree with their underlying philosophy (protip: I don't). Al Qaeda has funded hospitals, not liking everything else Al Qaeda is involved in doesn't mean I have a problem with hospitals.

nyysjan:
I feel sorry for Earl Silverman, seems he tried to help those in need and could have used more

help from society, but his misfortune, failure or death are not the fault of feminists or feminism, and trying to use his death as a rallying cry

against those who try to give women equal rights, is a disgusting thing to do.

Her position there was essentially that his death was intimately connected to his inability to get attention drawn to his issue, and being unable to keep running his shelter (only one like it in Canada) running as a result. Ultimately a big part of why he failed was tied to the premise that men are only perpetrators and women are only victims of domestic violence, and GWW was suggesting that everyone that accepts and reaffirms that myth holds a tiny shred of culpability for creating and nurturing the social environment that made what he was doing so contentious in the first place and ultimately led to his suicide.

I'm going to link something to you. It's an anecdote, but it asks a question that seems relevant to the topic. Read the article (despite where it's posted), and ask yourself what the right answer to the bolded question repeated through the anecdote should be. Then ask yourself what it actually is. Then ask yourself how those answers would be different if we gender-flipped the article.

http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/domestic-violence-industry/when-a-girl-hits-you/

MuffinMan74:
Ah yes, when it happens to men it's "privilege" when it happens to women it's "benevolent sexism".

Great place to invoke a piece of standard social-justice logic, and bring up the concept of privilege-blindness. "Benevolent sexism" is a way to make "privilege" not be "privilege" because they can't see their privilege as privilege, and too many arguments rely on their not having "privilege."

Mr F.:
The main point of this was that quite a few of the arguments used by MRA's are based on false data. Which is a problem.

The arguments made against them in the OP are based on false data or on fallacy. A good example is myth #2, which is countered by making points about a specific study and declaring that study to be frequently referenced. This ignores any other studies supporting the same position (of which there are several frequently referenced, and several more not referenced as often, as discussion of that particular topic tends to involve a lot of goalpost shifting).

DevilWithaHalo:
An MRA is merely an advocate for men's rights. I fail to see why this is so evil to so many people.

Because a lot of the underlying rhetoric and arguments of certain ideological viewpoints (and public policies they've encouraged or effectively created) are built upon premises that a lot of MRAs disagree with. Then add a healthy dash of in-group bias.

evilthecat:

One thing I think we just need to accept before we can have any possibility of moving on with this discussion is that violence between men and women is not symmetrical, and that the fact that very little evidence exists regarding their symmetry is not a feminist conspiracy to oppress men but is actually the result of broad behavioral trends.

After you move the goalposts enough that eventually becomes true. As I recall in the last thread on the topic it went from "it rarely if ever happens to men", to "It doesn't happen to men often enough to be worth spending any resources on", to "but it's more severe when it happens to women", to somewhere else after a study got posted showing that the male:female ratio was fairly stable regardless of which category of severity you were looking at (domestic violence homicide rates, maybe? I'll have to dig up the old thread I guess).

evilthecat:
Is having a penis irrelevant to the chances of you killing or injuring someone through domestic violence?

One's genitals are largely irrelevant to most things one does that aren't influenced by hormones, the manner or manners in which one might choose (or be forced to) to have sex (as those fairly frequently involve the genitals of one or both parties), or a desire to pee standing up. That first one does however effect the distribution of things like height, weight, upper body strength, facial hair, and baldness across the population. Which is not to say that there aren't exceptions, but there certainly are trends.

thaluikhain:

Something of a false equivalency there. FGM is generally more severe than male circumcision, about which doctors are still arguing if there are health risks, and done on children without their consent in a higher proportion than male circumcision.

The severity thing is a false-false equivalency, as even the least severe forms of FGM (in terms of tissue removed or altered) are treated negatively (typically involving things like blanket banning all varieties thereof, from infibulation [WHO type III] all the way down to "nicking") using logic involving bodily integrity and bodily autonomy that ultimately should apply to boys as well as girls.

thaluikhain:
If a woman decides on a labiaplasty, a man on circumscion, or either to get covered in tattoos, that is their choice. Forcing that on children, however, is another issue altogether.

Male circumcision is very often performed on infants. No one is arguing that an adult shouldn't be allowed to have whatever unnecessary surgery they want performed on their genitals (at least regarding circumcision -- not sure how feminists feel about an adult woman choosing to be subject to FGM of some variety, I'd assume they'd be OK with it because agency and bodily autonomy seem like they'd be more important than FGM being evil).

Schadrach:

mecegirl:
That is just the reality. I don't see how anyone can look at the percentage of men vs women in our governments and see anything else. Or the percentage of male ceo's vs female ceo's.

Some people would refer to this argument as the "apex fallacy" (a term coined comparatively recently by a forensic psychologist named Helen Smith) referring to it being fallacious to use a small subset of a group at an extreme position to presume something about the group as a whole. If you look at the concept of the so-called "apex fallacy" for what it is, you see that it is just a specific case of fallacy of composition (A has trait B, A is part of group C, therefore group C has trait B as a whole.)

There are more men than women in Governmental positions of power. There are more men than women in economic positions of power. There are more men than women in religious positions of power. This points to the fact that men are preffered in positions of power. Assuming that women are not actually less able to fulfill these positions, this indicates a bias against women, aka sexism.

I cannot see a fallacy of composition in this argument.

Stephen Sossna:

Smeatza:

And this brings another, rather more simple question to mind. Why not both?
Societies and cultures are incredibly complex things, is it not possible that both the phenomenon of male expendability and patricarchy could exist at the same time?
I see no reason why they have to be mutually exclusive.

Probably because the argument is only ever brought up to contest the claim that there is or ever was a patriarchy.

"Only ever" seems a bit extreme.
But even if that is the case, it doesn't answer my question. What makes the two concepts incompatible? Because from where I'm standing it doesn't look impossible that they could both be factors in this particular problem.

evilthecat:

There are a few professions, like garbage disposal or sewer work, which are constantly brought up in this argument and which are both physically demanding or dangerous and somewhat maligned, but that's not because they're "expendable roles", it's because they involve dealing with substances or duties which most people try to avoid.

In reality, there are very few roles entailing a high degree of physical risk which are not, in some way, rewarding. Bear in mind that "reward" doesn't mean "thanks". Just because noone is going up to crab fishermen or truck drivers or heavy industry workers and thanking them for doing the job they do doesn't mean there's no reward inherent in these positions. The reward comes in terms of the ability to display a particular type of masculinity, one which may not be formally recognized as valuable but which is nonetheless quite desirable.

One thing which may be confusing this issue is socio-economic class, because class has a massive impact on what kind of masculinities are obtainable, desirable and rewarding to men. In many "traditional" working class cultures, being a heavy industry worker, doing a hard or dangerous job and being willing to absorb the risks of that job genuinely was a source of prestige. Indeed, one genuine "issue" with men today is that contrary to the expectations of many young working class men these types of careers are increasingly unobtainable, leaving them in a bit of a limbo.

That all makes sense, and I can believe it's a factor (perhaps the major one) in this issue. But the only factor? I still can't see anything that's incompatible with the idea of male expandability.

evilthecat:
You say that being a nurse grants "respect and admiration", so why aren't these men studying hard for degrees in nursing?

These men aren't studying at all. Truck driver, garbage man. These are not careers that require a more than a high school education.

evilthecat:
Is it random coincidence? Also, the reason nursing is increasingly respected is arguably because it's increasingly professional and, more importantly, increasingly gender neutral. In the past, when nursing genuinely was a "women only" career, nurses were often treated as window dressing, or worse as a dating agency for male doctors. It was not a particularly rewarding profession, and in some ways still isn't.

Oh of course, but that was hardly unique to nursing. And they were still idolised, especially in times of war.

Smeatza:

Stephen Sossna:

Smeatza:

And this brings another, rather more simple question to mind. Why not both?
Societies and cultures are incredibly complex things, is it not possible that both the phenomenon of male expendability and patricarchy could exist at the same time?
I see no reason why they have to be mutually exclusive.

Probably because the argument is only ever brought up to contest the claim that there is or ever was a patriarchy.

"Only ever" seems a bit extreme.
But even if that is the case, it doesn't answer my question. What makes the two concepts incompatible? Because from where I'm standing it doesn't look impossible that they could both be factors in this particular problem.

evilthecat:

There are a few professions, like garbage disposal or sewer work, which are constantly brought up in this argument and which are both physically demanding or dangerous and somewhat maligned, but that's not because they're "expendable roles", it's because they involve dealing with substances or duties which most people try to avoid.

In reality, there are very few roles entailing a high degree of physical risk which are not, in some way, rewarding. Bear in mind that "reward" doesn't mean "thanks". Just because noone is going up to crab fishermen or truck drivers or heavy industry workers and thanking them for doing the job they do doesn't mean there's no reward inherent in these positions. The reward comes in terms of the ability to display a particular type of masculinity, one which may not be formally recognized as valuable but which is nonetheless quite desirable.

One thing which may be confusing this issue is socio-economic class, because class has a massive impact on what kind of masculinities are obtainable, desirable and rewarding to men. In many "traditional" working class cultures, being a heavy industry worker, doing a hard or dangerous job and being willing to absorb the risks of that job genuinely was a source of prestige. Indeed, one genuine "issue" with men today is that contrary to the expectations of many young working class men these types of careers are increasingly unobtainable, leaving them in a bit of a limbo.

That all makes sense, and I can believe it's a factor (perhaps the major one) in this issue. But the only factor? I still can't see anything that's incompatible with the idea of male expandability.

evilthecat:
You say that being a nurse grants "respect and admiration", so why aren't these men studying hard for degrees in nursing?

These men aren't studying at all. Truck driver, garbage man. These are not careers that require a more than a high school education.

evilthecat:
Is it random coincidence? Also, the reason nursing is increasingly respected is arguably because it's increasingly professional and, more importantly, increasingly gender neutral. In the past, when nursing genuinely was a "women only" career, nurses were often treated as window dressing, or worse as a dating agency for male doctors. It was not a particularly rewarding profession, and in some ways still isn't.

Oh of course, but that was hardly unique to nursing. And they were still idolised, especially in times of war.

Small point of order: Getting a truck license is actually quite difficult, as you have to pass a special test and have a certain numbers of driving, as well as different qualifications for different sizes and types of truck. You also have to get another license if you carry hazardous materials.

College education is not the be all and end all of knowledge or measurement of intelligence. It's just a piece of paper, and as Occupy X has proved, a useless one.

And the average salary seems to be ~40-50k a year, which isn't terrible at all, especially for someone who is young and single. http://www.truckingtruth.com/trucking_blogs/truckermike/2011/02/my-2010-salary-finishing-up-my-second-year-behind-the-wheel http://www.indeed.com/salary/Truck-Driver.html http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/truck-driver-salary-SRCH_KO0,12.htm

Bentusi16:
Small point of order: Getting a truck license is actually quite difficult, as you have to pass a special test and have a certain numbers of driving, as well as different qualifications for different sizes and types of truck. You also have to get another license if you carry hazardous materials.

Would any of that require more than a high school education though?

Bentusi16:
College education is not the be all and end all of knowledge or measurement of intelligence. It's just a piece of paper, and as Occupy X has proved, a useless one.

I don't think anyone is saying it is. I was talking explicitly about higher education.

Bentusi16:
And the average salary seems to be ~40-50k a year, which isn't terrible at all, especially for someone who is young and single. http://www.truckingtruth.com/trucking_blogs/truckermike/2011/02/my-2010-salary-finishing-up-my-second-year-behind-the-wheel http://www.indeed.com/salary/Truck-Driver.html http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/truck-driver-salary-SRCH_KO0,12.htm

Interesting, I was not aware of that. But how does that work out with the hours they work?
I can see that the first link mentions he only gets 4 days off every 4-5 weeks. And once you're on the job you can't leave it, one is effectively working 24 hours a day. I don't think the wage is that great when you bare that in mind.

Smeatza:

"Only ever" seems a bit extreme.
But even if that is the case, it doesn't answer my question. What makes the two concepts incompatible? Because from where I'm standing it doesn't look impossible that they could both be factors in this particular problem.

It depends a lot of how you frame the isse. Of course, saying that the biological "expendability" of men has informed society is perfectly reasonable. But that isn't the same as saying "society views men as generally expendable". Take the popular "women and children first" rule. At it's core, it does seem related to the fact that for the survival of the species, the survival of women and children is a key issue. But what may have started as a protection for women went to overprotection, women deserve rescue beame women need rescue. Sinking with your ship and dying for your fatherland aren't sufficiently explained with "expendability", there is complex systems of pride and honor behind that, too.

Trying to explain the structure of 19th century society by tying everything back to the "biological expendability" of men is ignoring a whole lot of context.

Schadrach:
After you move the goalposts enough that eventually becomes true. As I recall in the last thread on the topic it went from "it rarely if ever happens to men", to "It doesn't happen to men often enough to be worth spending any resources on", to "but it's more severe when it happens to women", to somewhere else after a study got posted showing that the male:female ratio was fairly stable regardless of which category of severity you were looking at (domestic violence homicide rates, maybe? I'll have to dig up the old thread I guess).

I think you have a very twisted recollection of that thread and should probably dig it up.

Firstly, the difference in intimate partner homicides is huge. The number of women killed by current or former sexual partners is several times that for men in virtually every country where research has been carried out. Furthermore, the rate of hospitalization and serious injury is similarly higher.

Secondly, the ratio is only approximately equal in any form of DV if you only count short-term timeframes. In lifetime prevalence studies, women almost always report more domestic violence than men. We'll get onto why this might be later.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the severity of DV experiences was generally more nested for women than for men, meaning women had often experienced several different forms of violence whereas men tended to experience single isolated incidents which could be quite severe when they arose (death threats, being threatened with a weapon, etc) but would not lead to a prolonged pattern of abuse. Similarly, frequency for men was also much lower, meaning men were less likely to experience the same form of violence more than once.

Now, I'm not going to say that if someone threatens you with a weapon that's not very, very serious, but it's not as dangerous for you as if someone is doing it every week. Violence against men by women tends to be about isolated bursts of anger or frustration during domestic arguments, which is not acceptable but also not very dangerous. Violence against women by men, however, is much more likely to be part of a long-term pattern of controlling, manipulative and abusive behavior, and that's the type of domestic violence which is really dangerous. It routinely leads to deaths, it often involves a wide range of violence including sexual violence and possibly threats to children and other vulnerable people.

The problem is that it can be genuinely hard to tell the difference between a couple having an isolated row which has turned nasty and a very dangerous pattern of abuse coming to a head.

Now, perhaps it's a little clearer why lifetime reporting for women is generally higher, but let's make it even more obvious. When quantified, women's reported experience of fear and intimidation during violent encounters tends to be much, much more pronounced, and that's very significant because it entails a kind of control. People who engage in systemic or routine domestic violence (not always men, but more often men) tend to be seeking control over their partner, and in the case of men that control is far less likely to be effective. Because of this, men are far more able to leave abusive partners, far more able to curtail or stop a partners' violent behavior and far more able to resolve situations without needing to involve the authorities. That's not to say all the time, but certainly far more often than women. Men are undereporting the lifetime prevalence of domestic violence, not because they're "ashamed" (they report just fine in short-term studies) but because the incidents themselves are less memorable and have less effect on men or their lives.

Those are just some of the asymmetries.

Schadrach:
One's genitals are largely irrelevant to most things one does that aren't influenced by hormones, the manner or manners in which one might choose (or be forced to) to have sex (as those fairly frequently involve the genitals of one or both parties), or a desire to pee standing up.

Unfortunately, in our society, this is not true. The type of genitals you possess are likely to affect your life in a staggering number of ways, it also presupposes your behavior in a staggering number of ways. If you join an internet dating site, the chances are you will be the one to write to women. Why? Because you have a penis. That is nothing to do with hormones, nothing to do with karyotypes, yet it is still something which exists, which is quantifiable and real.

I should also point out that you're undermining your own argument by engaging in this kind of derailment. If your genitals have no effect on you beyond the purely physiological, then how exactly is it possible for "men" to be treated differently or discriminated against?

evilthecat:

That is generally true, because feminists themselves tend to be women.

Ultimately, none of us actually has the ability to look at an issue from the perspective of someone else, and that includes people of the same sex. One thing which intensely annoys me about "men's rights" groups I've encountered, for example, is the claim to speak for all men while actually only speaking for a particular stratum of heterosexual, "gender-normative" men. Thus, I don't feel that "looking at things from a man's perspective" is necessarily very useful or very important, or that it should be particularly comforting to those men who are somehow enveloped in it.

I don't believe there's some kind of esoteric truth about men (or women) which can only be spoken by a man (or a woman), I think what we should be very wary of is claims to universal knowledge about men or women, whether those claims actually come from men or women, or from feminists or MRAs.

Can't say a lot except I agree.

One thing I think we just need to accept before we can have any possibility of moving on with this discussion is that violence between men and women is not symmetrical, and that the fact that very little evidence exists regarding their symmetry is not a feminist conspiracy to oppress men but is actually the result of broad behavioral trends.

It would be very nice and neat if we could simply conclude that men and women were equally violent and that men and women caused equal numbers of social problems, but we can't. The relationship between masculinity and violence, and between masculinity and instrumental forms of power and control, is incredibly tight. Our prisons are full of men. Our armed forces are full of men. Even our full contact sports are full of men. Now that's not the same thing as saying there are no women in prison, no women seeking to join the armed forces and no women who enjoy contact sports, but it is not some random coincidence that the numbers of men in these arenas vastly outstrip the numbers of women, neither is it the result of some kind of conspiracy by women.

Now, a common MRA mistake, again, is assuming that masculinity is something men just "are", which makes talking about male violence without presenting violence as something inherent to men extremely difficult. Thus, we are forced into this position of assuming that male violence against women cannot be treated as a particular problem lest we "insult" men by implying that they are inherently violent, and thus we must also treat all attempts to deal specifically with male violence as "discrimination" against men, rather than as a reaction to a specific and very serious social problem.

Feminists, however, don't generally see people as inherently anything, at least not on the basis of what dangly bits they have. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between.

However what I think many people (including myself) share is a reluctance to treat very different situations and very different problems as the same thing in order to service a convenient narrative that women and men are "just as bad" or "just as victimized" when it comes to interpersonal violence. That's not to say that specific forms of violence against men by women don't matter or even that they shouldn't be taken more seriously than they currently are, merely that we should not conflate very different things in order to claim that there is somehow an equal and opposite reaction in gendered violence.

Well, i'm not saying they are the same. There may be quite some differences. However I think we can agree that such type of abuse can harm anyone, men or women. My issue is that the debate is so one-sided on that aspect an entire group of victims is being overlooked and consequently there is a lack of understanding of their issues. This makes it extremely hard to actually address it. And there are also sometimes symmetries (which are also overlooked). For instance, the battered women syndrome is also present among certain male victims. Having a gendered name for said "syndrome" doesn't help open people's mind to the idea men can suffer from it too and that it needs to be looked into.

But what angers me most is when certain feminists try to simply dismiss female on male domestic abuse. I once read a little article written by a prof on a feminist website. She literally said that women on men DA was "insignificant". And to make it worse she however said that man on man DA is a growing issue (I have a hard time believing more gay men suffer from DA than straight men. Maybe in percentage but in absolute numbers that seems far fetched). And she didn't even mention woman on woman DA. (Which is actually bad for lesbians, mainly since i've once read a study lesbian couples tend to be the most violent ones). There seems to be an idea going around some feminists that women can't abuse (or to very very very low levels) and that claim isn't backed up by facts. Sure there are studies which show that men on women abuse is more severe than vice-versa but that doesn't mean that women barely abuse. I think this notion is actually, ironically, largely based on preconceptions.

Actually, you really, really do.

The only reason you can even use the word capitalism, the only reason you can describe what it does, the only reason you can look at the society you live in and see it is because certain fairly elite uses of the term in economic theory have penetrated into popular consciousness. Moreover, if you sat down and seriously read about capitalism, you would understand its functioning, and the motivations of both its proponents and its detractors, to a far greater degree than me or any other lay person who had never picked up an economics textbook.

Again, I'm going to ask. What do you imagine feminism actually is beyond the impact of certain books on society?

It is the impact of activism. Sure the activism may have been influenced by books. Not claiming otherwise, but it's not those books which are writing petitions or protesting. Reading those books would most certainly help understand "why" feminists advocate what they do. But ultimately what matters is looking at what they do (if the goal is determine their impact and not motivation).

And sure, picking up economics books will help understand (I guess my example wasn't that great since i had to pick up many for my studies) the issues related to capitalism. However they are not always needed. The financial crisis and its link to our capitalistic system can be understood without reading the basics. (Or maybe I think so because I have the basics in my mind). However to make a more appropriate example, if you look at politicians. When they advocate laissez faire capitalism. Do you need to have read dozens of books to understand it may adversely affect poor people because it will result in less welfare programs? If we truly needed to have extensive knowledge of these things to understand them i would argue very few people are fit to vote because their votes are all based on ignorance. Now off course the more extensive your knowledge the more subtle effects of certain policies you'll able to foresee and understand. But to have a gross understanding of what is being advocated you rarely need to go read the whole library.

Is that a right anyone has?

Yes and no. I guess the right would be described as being able to charge someone with rape when forced to have sexual intercourse. Unfortunately that is now being restricted to those who are being penetrated.

Is having a penis irrelevant to the chances of you killing or injuring someone through domestic violence?

Maybe not. But than we might as well advocate racial profiling.
I don't think people should be punished for the wrong doings of others belonging to their "group".

So while getting ready for bed I thought of something:

One of the reasons for the backlash about the loss of gender roles or the destruction there of is maybe because women will always have one clear gender role that is enforced by biology/reality. The role of the mother. Even if it's only the pregnancy itself, it's a role that only women can fulfill.

Whereas society may be breaking down male gender roles the role of 'the mother' is impossible to remove. Unless we move to some kind of test-tube baby society where sex for procreation is outlawed and eugenic cloning is the byword.

I think calling men the 'expendable' gender is false, but we could call men the 'interchangeable' gender.

Bentusi16:

One of the reasons for the backlash about the loss of gender roles or the destruction there of is maybe because women will always have one clear gender role that is enforced by biology/reality. The role of the mother. Even if it's only the pregnancy itself, it's a role that only women can fulfill.

Whereas society may be breaking down male gender roles the role of 'the mother' is impossible to remove. Unless we move to some kind of test-tube baby society where sex for procreation is outlawed and eugenic cloning is the byword.

"Mother" can reflect several ideas. Indeed, we do differentiate forms of motherhood. You can have a biological mother, a stepmother, a foster mother, an adoptive mother...

Clearly therefore, the concept of motherhood and mother is not restricted to birth: it also reflect child-raising. These tasks can be performed by anyone else, male or female. Thus whilst only women give birth, I'd question whether much of what we mean by motherhood is actually female specific as you make out.

generals3:
Well, i'm not saying they are the same. There may be quite some differences. However I think we can agree that such type of abuse can harm anyone, men or women.

I agree..

generals3:
My issue is that the debate is so one-sided on that aspect an entire group of victims is being overlooked and consequently there is a lack of understanding of their issues.

..but I disagree with this.

For one, I don't really understand what the "debate" is meant to be in this case. We have a lot of very difficult-to-dispute evidence about domestic violence. Governments and NGOs now spend millions gathering it. The days when it was only feminist academics going out and gathering evidence on their own are long gone, they only ever did that because noone else was interested. Unless you want to know something incredibly specific, the policy research will be so much better funded and produced than anything an independent researcher could ever come up with.

generals3:
She literally said that women on men DA was "insignificant". And to make it worse she however said that man on man DA is a growing issue (I have a hard time believing more gay men suffer from DA than straight men.

Firstly, domestic violence doesn't just mean intimate partner violence (that's why we specify IPV when talking about it). Any violence which goes on primarily in the home is domestic violence, which means violence by family members, parents, children, roommates or housemates and the like is also domestic violence. Male on male violence doesn't just mean gay men.

Secondly, be careful you're not equating raw prevalence with severity. As mentioned, it is often the intent behind violence, rather than merely having suffered a violent incident, which constitutes the greatest risk. A person who is violent in order to establish control over their partner or family members through fear is far more dangerous than a person who is violent one time out of frustration or hurt feelings. That's not to say both can't have quite serious consequences, but the latter is much easier to deal with.

generals3:
It is the impact of activism.

Activism being merely the political expression of ideas from books.

generals3:
However they are not always needed. The financial crisis and its link to our capitalistic system can be understood without reading the basics.

Only because certain ideas once confined to books have crossed over into popular culture and general understanding.

So yes, we all understand a little bit about capitalism because ideas about it have helped to create the world we live in. That doesn't mean there is a separation between capitalism as written about in books and capitalism that exists as an idea in people's minds. The latter comes, ultimately, from the former. Perhaps a simplistic or perverted understanding of the former, but again, ideas in activism don't spring from nowhere.

generals3:
Do you need to have read dozens of books to understand it may adversely affect poor people because it will result in less welfare programs?

No, I don't, but if a king in the 16th century tried to explain to his subjects that he was going to encourage laissez faire capitalism would they understand what he meant by that?

Again, people don't spontaneously generate knowledge. Even as late as the 19th century, most women were not particularly aware of the state of being unfairly "oppressed" relative to men. At some point in the 20th century that changed. This coincides fairly neatly with the development of new theories about human nature and subjectivity (among them, the kinds of feminist theory we would recognize today). These things may have had enormous social impact, but they began as mere ideas, ideas which were transmitted primarily through writing and became so significant that they eventually filtered into popular consciousness.

generals3:
Yes and no. I guess the right would be described as being able to charge someone with rape when forced to have sexual intercourse.

Assuming of course that the definition of rape is being forced to have sexual intercourse. Most of the time it isn't, and neither would it be hugely practical or fair to have it mean that.

I think there's a legitimate argument about whether we need a specific definition of rape at all, but even then it's not going to mean that performing one kind of sex act is necessarily the same as performing another. For those of us who live in common law systems, that difference is going to be highly significant at least for the forseeable future.

generals3:
Maybe not. But than we might as well advocate racial profiling.

We certainly allow racial profiling (at least in the US and the UK). It's controversial, but it's not currently seen as an infringement on anyone's human rights provided it is carried out in a way which is aimed at tackling specific problems and is not simply motivated by discrimination.

I feel like there needs to be some clarification on the MRA stance on domestic violence. Of course, I can't speak for other people, but this is generally the impression I get when I listen to most of the more serious profiles that are asociated with the movement.

First off, the reason MRAs bring up the symmetry of domestic violence is not to say that there's an absolute 50-50 ratio, and therefore no one suffers more or less than anybody else. (Even though suffering is a subjective thing in and off itself.) What's being challenged is the preconcieved societal notion that men in relationships are inherently violent on the basis of being men, and that women are inherently victimized on the basis of being women. By pointing to the statistiscs, it's very easy to disprove this notion. Women are physically weaker, and therefore can't inflict as much damage (unless they use some kind of weapon) on their spouse. This is true. However, there's also the belief that just because of men's greater strength and therefore greater ability to defend themselves, they can't be victimized. This would be true in a fight between two martial arts professionals. The one with the greater ability to defend and attack would be victorious and therefore not the victim. Yet this is not relevant to interpersonal relationships.

It could be argued that the physical nature of abuse, while being serious in and of itself, is not it's sole purpose. As Dr. Warren Farrell describes it, violence is an act of powerlessness. It's meant to diminish the recepients feeling of control in favor of ones own. It's the feeling of powelessness on the side of the person being abused that's inherently traumatic about it. And it's this feeling of powerlessness which the abused child in turn takes with him or her to adult age and is likely to take out on his or her spouse or child. The abuser has learned from a young age that this is the only way in which they can feel in control. The fact that women are more likely to suffer severe bruises and also death are serious consequences, but it's not the core issue. When statistics also point to the fact that women are more likely to abuse their own children than fathers are, it becomes very difficult to argue that this is a gendered issue the way it's been promoted.

tobbAddol:
I feel like there needs to be some clarification on the MRA stance on domestic violence.

I think all the positions on domestic violence being straw-manned in this thread could use clarification, but I appreciate you trying.

tobbAddol:
What's being challenged is the preconcieved societal notion that men in relationships are inherently violent on the basis of being men, and that women are inherently victimized on the basis of being women.

And that, on its own, would be a great thing. Indeed, the very basis of feminism is that there is no inherence to many of the attributes which men and women display, that these attributes are societally created and can thus be changed through social action, and that these ideas about violence, risk-taking, control, authoritarianism and so forth are imposed upon men and women rather than emerging fully formed from the state of possessing a penis or vagina.

However. Large numbers of MRAs, even relatively eloquent ones, do not tend to believe this. They believe that male and female "roles" (and the fact that thinking is still grounded in "roles" is another problem) stem from some innate "essence", whether phrased in terms of biological determinism or pseudo-Jungian "deep masculinity" nonsense, and thus view the societal challenge in terms of acknowledging and catering to the "inherent" masculinity of men, rather than seeking to change those practices which are detrimental to women.

Alternately, or perhaps as a result of this, many MRAs have great difficulty acknowledging the basic statistical reality than men are more violent. In truth, you can't cut this any other way. The relationship between men and violence is, as already mentioned, deeply, deeply ingrained. MRA thinking seems to have great trouble accepting this, because to them acknowledging it would be implying that men are "inherently violent" or "inherently abusive" when actually nothing of the sort is meant. Why would the fact that men are more violent in our society constitute a statement that men are inherently more violent? Is everything that happens in our society an example of what is "inherent"? I'm not going to answer that question, because to many MRAs the answer appears to be yes. That is a big problem.

tobbAddol:
Women are physically weaker, and therefore can't inflict as much damage (unless they use some kind of weapon) on their spouse. This is true.

No, it isn't, and this seems like a very key point to grasp before you start making this argument. Not all women are physically weak. Not all men are physically strong. When men are physically stronger than women, and they often are, then I agree that needs to be accounted for in decision making, but if your argument is based in essentialism then you may as well acknowledge that those societal notions are effectively correct, because I don't see how your argument avoids it. Someone who can inflict physical pain and trauma on you can also control you to a far greater degree than someone who can say nasty things about you.

Again, I am only too happy to advocate for men who genuinely do live in fear of their wives, girlfriends, mothers or whatever. What I'm not going to tolerate is you erasing those people from existence in favor of positing a whole new category of men who beat their wives into pulp and yet are somehow victimized.

As usual, the problem with Warren Farrell's argument is that it is based on the idea that the only "oppression" comes from socialization, and thus that everyone can be considered equally oppressed because everyone is subject to socialization. That men who are violent and controlling in relationships are just as "oppressed" by the need to be violent and controlling as the women whom they abuse and control. Of course, the problem is that Warren Farrel never actually considers what oppression does and simply assumes it's one concrete thing which either exists or doesn't, but then there is a reason he hasn't been peer reviewed since the 70s.

tobbAddol:
When statistics also point to the fact that women are more likely to abuse their own children than fathers are, it becomes very difficult to argue that this is a gendered issue the way it's been promoted.

This is not hard.

Which gender spends the majority of time caring for children in our society?

Contrary to popular belief, child abuse is seldom about sadism or sexual paedophilia. Sometimes it is, but in the grand scheme of things that's very rare (particularly, I should add, among women). The most common forms of child abuse are essentially examples of bad parenting. They are excessive or violent attempts to discipline children, they are physical or emotional neglect caused by a failure of parental responsibility. They are stifling, controlling or manipulative behaviours which the abuser sees as in the child's best interests.

Another "societal notion" we have to deal with is the idea that women are inherently caring, nurturing or suited for raising children. The fact that this is not true, that many women are terrible parents does not necessarily equate to women being equally likely to engage in controlling or coercive violence against intimate partners.

In short, of course it's a gender issue. How can any difference between the genders not be a gender issue?

evilthecat:

I think all the positions on domestic violence being straw-manned in this thread could use clarification, but I appreciate you trying.

And I think many of us do appreciate the staunch defence of feminist ideas.

tobbAddol:
What's being challenged is the preconcieved societal notion that men in relationships are inherently violent on the basis of being men, and that women are inherently victimized on the basis of being women.

And that, on its own, would be a great thing. Indeed, the very basis of feminism is that there is no inherence to many of the attributes which men and women display, that these attributes are societally created and can thus be changed through social action, and that these ideas about violence, risk-taking, control, authoritarianism and so forth are imposed upon men and women rather than emerging fully formed from the state of possessing a penis or vagina.

However. Large numbers of MRAs, even relatively eloquent ones, do not tend to believe this. They believe that male and female "roles" (and the fact that thinking is still grounded in "roles" is another problem) stem from some innate "essence", whether phrased in terms of biological determinism or pseudo-Jungian "deep masculinity" nonsense, and thus view the societal challenge in terms of acknowledging and catering to the "inherent" masculinity of men, rather than seeking to change those practices which are detrimental to women.

Alternately, or perhaps as a result of this, many MRAs have great difficulty acknowledging the basic statistical reality than men are more violent. In truth, you can't cut this any other way. The relationship between men and violence is, as already mentioned, deeply, deeply ingrained. MRA thinking seems to have great trouble accepting this, because to them acknowledging it would be implying that men are "inherently violent" or "inherently abusive" when actually nothing of the sort is meant. Why would the fact that men are more violent in our society constitute a statement that men are inherently more violent? Is everything that happens in our society an example of what is "inherent"? I'm not going to answer that question, because to many MRAs the answer appears to be yes. That is a big problem.

I think the degree to which our gender affects our nature is an interesting question (and I personally don't assume we know the answer yet) but I think it's a distraction for our purposes. Essential or not; it doesn't really matter where the differences between men and women come from for our purposes here. We should acknowledge that gendered trends exist, and we should accept that we should be treating people equally regardless.

Someone who can inflict physical pain and trauma on you can also control you to a far greater degree than someone who can say nasty things about you.

Physical strength doesn't have all that much to do with determining the ability to control someone in a relationship. This isn't a bar-room brawl; psychology plays the biggest role. And there are plenty of ways to overpower someone stronger than you, especially if the victim has been trained since childhood not to fight back against the gender of their assailant, and especially if the assailant is clever about it (using weapons, destroying property, hitting when and how they're weakest, using the prejudices of police or friends as threats of force).

Again, I am only too happy to advocate for men who genuinely do live in fear of their wives, girlfriends, mothers or whatever. What I'm not going to tolerate is you erasing those people from existence in favor of positing a whole new category of men who beat their wives into pulp and yet are somehow victimized.

I'm glad we agree on this. Because the latter position is ridiculous, of course, and the former state-of-affairs is abominable and those men receive very little honest support from other sources.

I don't think it'd be too fruitful to respond to your (strange-seeming to me) views on Warren Farrell; let's just focus on what we think right here and now.

Regardless of your opinion of the theorising from the MRA community; to me at least the core issue is simply thus: male-and-female unilateral violence is not even close to the only form of IPV, yet it is the only kind that gets any attention from charities and government campaigns. Other forms of IPV are mostly just mocked, or simply ignored. And this just doesn't help victims.

Do we agree on this too?

Cheers!

evilthecat:
However. Large numbers of MRAs, even relatively eloquent ones, do not tend to believe this. They believe that male and female "roles" (and the fact that thinking is still grounded in "roles" is another problem) stem from some innate "essence", whether phrased in terms of biological determinism or pseudo-Jungian "deep masculinity" nonsense, and thus view the societal challenge in terms of acknowledging and catering to the "inherent" masculinity of men, rather than seeking to change those practices which are detrimental to women.

The stance of the average MRA is that gender roles are BOTH socialy and biologically constructed. As opposed to the extremist feminist view of claiming biological differences doesn't exist.

evilthecat:
Alternately, or perhaps as a result of this, many MRAs have great difficulty acknowledging the basic statistical reality than men are more violent. In truth, you can't cut this any other way. The relationship between men and violence is, as already mentioned, deeply, deeply ingrained. MRA thinking seems to have great trouble accepting this, because to them acknowledging it would be implying that men are "inherently violent" or "inherently abusive" when actually nothing of the sort is meant.

MRAs have no trouble accepting this. People are well aware that men commit more violent crimes than women do. What's being contended is that men are more violent TOWARDS WOMEN, especially in the home.

evilthecat:
No, it isn't, and this seems like a very key point to grasp before you start making this argument. Not all women are physically weak. Not all men are physically strong.

This is completely irrelevant. On average men are stronger, women are weaker. You can claim some freak occurences, but an exception doesn't make it less of a rule. If you want to discuss differences between genders you're going to have to accept generalizations. It comes with the territory.

evilthecat:
Again, I am only too happy to advocate for men who genuinely do live in fear of their wives, girlfriends, mothers or whatever. What I'm not going to tolerate is you erasing those people from existence in favor of positing a whole new category of men who beat their wives into pulp and yet are somehow victimized.

That's just a weird straw man argument. No one's claiming to want to erase someone from existance or claim that men who beat others are victims. Quite the opposite. But mens psychological history need to be taken into account just as much as womens when dealing with those issues. It's the only way of finding a solution to the problem, rather than simply blaming masculinity and leaving it at that.

evilthecat:
Which gender spends the majority of time caring for children in our society?

Even controlling for that, it holds true.

evilthecat:
Contrary to popular belief, child abuse is seldom about sadism or sexual paedophilia. Sometimes it is, but in the grand scheme of things that's very rare (particularly, I should add, among women). The most common forms of child abuse are essentially examples of bad parenting. They are excessive or violent attempts to discipline children, they are physical or emotional neglect caused by a failure of parental responsibility. They are stifling, controlling or manipulative behaviours which the abuser sees as in the child's best interests.

So what? I don't think I ever said anything to contradict that.

tobbAddol:
MRAs have no trouble accepting this. People are well aware that men commit more violent crimes than women do. What's being contended is that men are more violent TOWARDS WOMEN, especially in the home.

So...men are more violent, but only to other men (and non-humans I guess), and this doesn't affect violence towards women?

thaluikhain:

tobbAddol:
MRAs have no trouble accepting this. People are well aware that men commit more violent crimes than women do. What's being contended is that men are more violent TOWARDS WOMEN, especially in the home.

So...men are more violent, but only to other men (and non-humans I guess), and this doesn't affect violence towards women?

Men are twice as likely to be the recepients of violent crimes as women are. (This includes rape.) They're also thrice as likely to be murdered. Most men commit the acts of violence, yes. But they're also mostly violent towards other men. Looking at the statistics, men are less violent in the home than they are outside of the home.

tobbAddol:

thaluikhain:

tobbAddol:
MRAs have no trouble accepting this. People are well aware that men commit more violent crimes than women do. What's being contended is that men are more violent TOWARDS WOMEN, especially in the home.

So...men are more violent, but only to other men (and non-humans I guess), and this doesn't affect violence towards women?

Men are twice as likely to be the recepients of violent crimes as women are. (This includes rape.) They're also thrice as likely to be murdered. Most men commit the acts of violence, yes. But they're also mostly violent towards other men. Looking at the statistics, men are less violent in the home than they are outside of the home.

I question the statistical rigor here.

thaluikhain:
Why must there be a set of arbitrary gender restictions?

There isn't actually a set of gender restrictions in modern western society, but stereotypes are going to exist until the human brain can evolve past the point where it makes snap decisions with little information beyond the immediately apparent (which was necessary to not die in past ages).

Knight Templar:

tobbAddol:

thaluikhain:

So...men are more violent, but only to other men (and non-humans I guess), and this doesn't affect violence towards women?

Men are twice as likely to be the recepients of violent crimes as women are. (This includes rape.) They're also thrice as likely to be murdered. Most men commit the acts of violence, yes. But they're also mostly violent towards other men. Looking at the statistics, men are less violent in the home than they are outside of the home.

I question the statistical rigor here.

Murder rates: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf

Violent crime: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv09.pdf (This study doesn't include murder as a violent crime, so according to this men are about 20% more likely to be the victims. It's worth noting that men are still slightly less than twice as likely to be recepients of "aggravated assault" than women are, whereas both men and women are pretty much equal on "simple assault".)

tobbAddol:
snip

I was referring more to your interpretation of them, which was a bit thin as a response.

Well. You can interpret it any way you want. I'm just quoting the studies. Of course the amount of violence in a society is going to affect women. I'm only saying it affects men more. So claiming women as victims and only women is a bit of a one sided argument. If anything it would show that society tends to shield women from violence to a greater extent than men.

thaluikhain:

Bentusi16:
Do they have no basis in reality?

I'll try to avoid an appeal to tradiation here but I think it's worth asking why these roles formed, why they stayed around so long, and why we haven't abandoned them even today.

Because people are slow to change. You'll note that not all culture will gender roles have the same ones, which you'd expect if there was real basis to them.

Even if it was the case that genders tended to be better than others at things, that doesn't mean that all members of a gender are better than all members of another gender at that thing, which is what current roles would apply.

Bentusi16:
And what really happens when you get rid of them, honestly? Realistically I don't think anything will be different then it is right now because...well frankly because you can't abandon them because people won't. It's a bit of a utopian arguement.

Oh, I don't see them going away any time soon, but progress can be made, albeit slowly. Gender roles are less strict than they were in the past, it seems reasonable that things may improve in the future.

So let me ask: Why are gender roles inherently bad?

Bentusi16:
So let me ask: Why are gender roles inherently bad?

thaluikhain:
Getting rid of them gives people the freedom to follow them, or not, as they choose, rather as demanded by societies view of their gender.

Surely rules on what people can and cannot do without much basis in reality are a bad thing that should be removed?

But how is "all men and women should do everything to an equal amount" any different from "men and women should do different things to different amounts"?

It seems the former is just as much shoe horning your own values onto others as the latter. If you accept that people have different interests it shouldn't matter whether some people of a certain gender prefer to do different things to a different extent.

tobbAddol:
But how is "all men and women should do everything to an equal amount"

Out of interest, who said they should?

People who consider gender an exclusively social construct, and therefore something to be done away with at every cost. Of course there are different extremes to this, but it's very much in line with how many politicians and especially gender studies "experts" view these issues.

I'm all for equality of opportunity for everybody. But it shouldn't be done at the expence of peoples own ability to chooce.

tobbAddol:
The stance of the average MRA is that gender roles are BOTH socialy and biologically constructed. As opposed to the extremist feminist view of claiming biological differences doesn't exist.

It's very easy to pick an arbitrary middle ground in an argument and then claim that anything which deviates is "extreme". For example, I accept that the world is both flat and three dimensional, as opposed to the "extreme" view that the world is round.

Unfortunately, back in the real world we have to go on evidence, and the evidence does not support the position that "gender roles" either exist as the kind of monolithic entities you're claiming or are biologically determined. The normative feminist position is thus not that biological differences between the sexes don't exist (they do, because sex is defined through anatomical differences) but that their existence does not demonstrate the existence of predetermined behavioral roles. In essence, why are biological differences between the sex important to the discussion? Where is the evidence for that?

It's all very well looking at the edge of a map and positing that dragons must live there because they could live there and noone would know, but if you want to prove it you need to go out and find one. Common-sense credibility is not evidence.

tobbAddol:
MRAs have no trouble accepting this. People are well aware that men commit more violent crimes than women do. What's being contended is that men are more violent TOWARDS WOMEN, especially in the home.

And there's plenty of evidence on that. It shows that domestic violence is not symmetrical, and that the consequences of domestic violence for women are overall more severe than those for men. I don't know why any argument still exists around this point, beyond the irrational belief of some people (like Warren Farrell) that symmetry must exist because men and women must be equally oppressed because the social condition of men and women cannot be located in actual human action by men and women but must be located in the vague social generalizations under which they grew up.

tobbAddol:
This is completely irrelevant. On average men are stronger, women are weaker. You can claim some freak occurences, but an exception doesn't make it less of a rule. If you want to discuss differences between genders you're going to have to accept generalizations. It comes with the territory.

It's very relevant when you misrepresent generalizations as essential rules, particularly when the fact that they are not essential rules is actually kind of critical to recognizing that men can be victims in the same way as women, which of course they can.

tobbAddol:
That's just a weird straw man argument. No one's claiming to want to erase someone from existance or claim that men who beat others are victims. Quite the opposite. But mens psychological history need to be taken into account just as much as womens when dealing with those issues. It's the only way of finding a solution to the problem, rather than simply blaming masculinity and leaving it at that.

Look, it's really very simple.

* Despite a rough equality of prevalence (albeit only in certain types of studies, but I think I already covered this) the behavior of men and women as groups in relation to domestic violence is not symmetrical.
* This asymmetry is not simply a question of outcome (although that's very important) but also manifests in the type of violence. Violence against women, for example, is considerably more likely to be sustained rather than incidental, and is more likely to include sexual violence.
* This fact is difficult to explain in terms of sociobiology, since the vast majority of men are not violent in this way, since the prevalence of violence varies enormously across social and cultural boundaries, and since beliefs regarding violence and the role of men seem to have a huge effect on the likelihood of violence.

Thus, it is (or should be treated as, for want of evidence to the contrary) a gender issue. It is an issue of masculinity no matter how you swing it, unless you want to propose that men are "naturally" predisposed to certain types of violence?

But I also don't see how recognizing the psychological or socialized underpinnings of abuse (which are fairly obvious, the need for power and control in intimate relationships doesn't come from nowhere) necessarily offers a "solution". What does offer a solution, actually, is recognizing that this is not an inherent fact of male identity and that we don't have to tolerate it. It can be changed, it can be controlled, it isn't a normal or healthy way to behave, it isn't simply an expression of some deep masculine billy goat spirit, or some biologically determined harem complex. By blaming masculinity (or rather by blaming aspects of masculinity which are socially harmful) we actually do more to enable men to be human beings than shrugging our shoulders and coming out with some boys will be boys psychononsense.

tobbAddol:
Even controlling for that, it holds true.

Citation needed.

tobbAddol:
So what? I don't think I ever said anything to contradict that.

Okay, so how does it result in this not being a "gendered issue"?

It clearly is a gender issue, because it is based in gender differences.

tobbAddol:
Men are twice as likely to be the recepients of violent crimes than women. (This includes rape.)

Citation needed on the second point.

tobbAddol:
Looking at the statistics, men are less violent in the home than they are outside of the home.

So because men are hugely, hugely violent to other men, they are less likely to be violent to women?

Here's a question. Why are men violent to other men?

Honestly, you seem to be contradicting yourself with every other sentence. You're somehow trying to justify labeling domestic violence as a gendered issue by claiming it's an inherently male problem. Yet it's not about gender. It's about masculinity being "bad". And if we simply tell men to be less masculine, they'll also be less violent... And women being violent doesn't count because... well, "it's not the same".

Makes my head spin.

evilthecat:
So because men are hugely, hugely violent to other men, they are less likely to be violent to women?

No. I never claimed there was a causal link between men being more violent to each other and the fact that they're less likely to be violent to women. But sure, there's probably some correlation there. Men might be more inclined to get into a violent situation in order to protect a woman, for example.

evilthecat:
Here's a question. Why are men violent to other men?

Why is anybody violent to anybody?

tobbAddol:
Honestly, you seem to be contradicting yourself with every other sentence. You're somehow trying to justify labeling domestic violence as a gendered issue by claiming it's an inherently male problem.

What does offer a solution, actually, is recognizing that this is not an inherent fact of male identity and that we don't have to tolerate it.

Yet it's not about gender. It's about masculinity being "bad".

By blaming masculinity (or rather by blaming aspects of masculinity which are socially harmful) we actually do more to enable men to be human beings than shrugging our shoulders and coming out with some boys will be boys psychononsense.

And if we simply tell men to be less masculine, they'll also be less violent...

Amazingly enough nothing found in his post saying this. Nowhere do I see him saying that we just TELL people this.

And women being violent doesn't count because... well, "it's not the same".

This asymmetry is not simply a question of outcome (although that's very important) but also manifests in the type of violence. Violence against women, for example, is considerably more likely to be sustained rather than incidental, and is more likely to include sexual violence.

Makes my head spin.
[/quote]

No wonder you didn't actually quote most of his post. Yours looks rather silly if we actually take the time to check your accusations versus what he said.

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