The Guardians of Tone

Women's Anti-Suffrage Association

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I was tipped off to this excellent essay by a reader (thanks, bbk, even if it was unintentional!) and since it got buried in the comments on the other thread, I wanted to call special attention to it. It’s about the virtues of anger, specifically with reference to the feminist movement, but it contains some valuable lessons that are applicable to atheism and other progressive social causes as well.

The one thing that absolutely terrifies a prejudiced majority is anger, no matter how righteous or how justified, from any oppressed or marginalized group. That’s why any member of such a group who does express anger for any reason whatsoever will immediately be tarred with the standard, well-worn insults used to belittle and dismiss the speaker’s concerns and equate their passion for justice to irrational insanity.

We should all be familiar with these labels by now. Feminists are crazed man-haters; atheists are rude venom-spewers who want to tear down the harmless beliefs that give people comfort; gays and lesbians are perverts and sex fiends; and heaven help you if you’re a black person running for office who dares to suggest that maybe the treatment black people receive is somewhat less than fully equal. That’s why Barack Obama only won the presidency by being one of the coolest and most conciliatory presidents in American history, and even so, the right-wing noise machine still writes attack books with titles like The Roots of Obama’s Rage. (When a black person with some connection to Obama did express anger at something, the soundbites, predictably stripped of context, circulated in the media for weeks.)

The guardians of tone always stand ready to demonize any member of a minority who displays anger or passion, no matter how well-founded it is in actual, ongoing injustices. The only way to avoid their slanders is to bend over backwards to be mild and inoffensive, not rock the boat, and not make the majority in any way uncomfortable. You’ll get bonus points if you’re a member of the group in question who’s willing to affirm popular prejudices and piously wag your finger at activists for being too zealous or “extremist” – Fox News and the Templeton Foundation, to name two, will richly reward their useful pawns. Religious apologists, also, will fulsomely praise atheists who publicly wish they were believers.

The reason why they do this is obvious: because a movement led by its least ambitious, most conciliatory members isn’t going to get anything done. The guardians of tone are really the guardians of popular prejudice, concern-trolling for all they’re worth in an effort to prevent us from making anything more than cosmetic changes. They counsel us to be meek, to be mild, to be small and bland and inoffensive, because that makes it much easier to ignore us altogether. Suzanne Moore’s essay argues that feminism has, in part, fallen victim to this:

Nowadays, saying bad stuff about men is not how feminism conducts itself. We all lurve men. We are all smiley for fear of being labelled man-haters. And what is the result of this people-pleasing, ultra-feminine, crowd-sourced sexual politics? Sod all. Reasonably sitting around waiting for equality while empowering oneself with some silicone implants does not really seem to have worked wonders, does it ladeez?

Conversely, the way to rouse large numbers of people into action is to get them angry, to make them aware of the evils that are being committed against them or in their name. Anger motivates people, and when properly directed and focused, it makes them unignorable. The guardians of tone know this, which is why they try to belittle and disperse it. A reform movement lacking any tangible sense of anger at the injustice it’s trying to end is like a person without a circulatory system. Of course, those who most visibly embody that progressive anger come in for the most demonization:

God, how I miss those troublesome women like Andrea Dworkin and Shulamith Firestone. They may have been batty as hell but they had passion. And balls. They were properly furious at the horrible things men do to women. Who in their right mind, male or female, isn’t?

And possibly my favorite line from the whole essay:

We need fire in our belly for this fight, not a bleedin’ gastric bypass.

This doesn’t mean that a successful progressive movement has no room for diplomats, or for other “polite and smiley” advocates. On the contrary, we need people who can represent us to the existing power brokers. But diplomats by themselves are like people stranded on a melting ice floe, negotiating for a few extra moments of footing. They offer no reason to change the status quo. When diplomats are backed up by a passionate, angry and motivated crowd tugging furiously on the far end of the Overton window – that’s a combination that can achieve a lot. Diplomats of any stripe are far more effective when they can credibly claim that, if you won’t deal with them, the alternative is unleashing the dogs of war.

That’s why, when it’s justified by outrageous unfairness, we atheists and progressive activists should get angry – in a focused way, at the people who are responsible – and ignore the squawks of the guardians of tone and their well-paid pawns. They only want to silence us, and we don’t answer to them. And if we follow this advice and let our passion guide us, the day will soon come when these officious cultural enforcers will be cast down for good.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • penn

    This was a great eye-opening essay. I never realized how universal the “why do you have to be so angry?” charge is against minorities. It should also be noted that anger from the majority is not treated the same way. Rick Santelli’s rant about the losers who had lost their houses was treated as the righteous anger of the people by most of the traditional media. The same is true of most the anger and hate spewed by right-wing blowhards and tea partiers (e.g., What if the Tea Party was black?). White male anger just doesn’t represent the same kind of threat to the status quo.

  • mikespeir

    That graphic is a keeper.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    We are all smiley for fear of being labelled man-haters.

    And, as predicted she was labeled a man-hater, as was I for not finding fault with her essay and not agreeing that she’s the most horrible person to ever walk the Earth. Ebon, I suspect you will also be called a man-hater.

    penn,

    White male anger just doesn’t represent the same kind of threat to the status quo.

    Because generally the white male anger that is portrayed and perpetuated is the kind that is specifically in defense of the status quo. It’s very similar to when religious people get all angry about losing their special privileges in favor of equality.

  • Alex Weaver

    And, as predicted she was labeled a man-hater, as was I for not finding fault with her essay and not agreeing that she’s the most horrible person to ever walk the Earth. Ebon, I suspect you will also be called a man-hater.

    The label “man-hater” is one that should never be used. The vast majority of instances are used to marginalize and dismiss women who make people (males who benefit from the status quo and women who are emotionally invested in the boat not being rocked) uncomfortable by criticizing real injustices, and I’ve found that the minority of self-identified “feminists” who seem to genuinely hate all male humans also hate women who disagree with them on anything at least as much.

    White male anger just doesn’t represent the same kind of threat to the status quo.

    Because generally the white male anger that is portrayed and perpetuated is the kind that is specifically in defense of the status quo. It’s very similar to when religious people get all angry about losing their special privileges in favor of equality.

    While I’m sure that there’s a massive difference in degree, I’ve found as a white male, even in settings where my atheism isn’t an issue, that I get a response much like what Ebon describes whenever I challenge the status quo on anything. I don’t know if “people who care about whether things are just or reasonable” is perceived as a cohesive minority (though perhaps we should try to fill in the gaps to make one?)…

  • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ Lou Doench

    This link was proffered during a lengthy, although quite tame after all, flamewar over at Slacktivist.
    http://www.derailingfordummies.com/
    It definitely touches on how accusations of “anger” are used by the privileged to further marginalize the “other”.

  • Eric

    Great post, and great original article. There needs to be a mix of mix of firebrands and diplomats. And we should never forget that sometimes diplomats can sometimes be very effective.

    I do have one question about the graphic: “…wanted by every Socialist, every IWW, and every Mormon…”?? Did the LDS church at that time back votes for women? Seems like this could go either way. Western states like Wyoming and Colorado did have womens suffrage very early on, and there were more Mormons out west, but I must say that I find Mormon feminists in the early 20th century to be an odd concept. Perhaps thats just my unreflective prejudice, or perhaps the author of the ad is just making things up. Anyone know?

    Also, the argument that a supposed (perhaps real?) majority of women who didn’t want to vote would be oppressed by being given the vote just doesn’t seem to hold up. If someone was given the vote and didn’t want to vote, she could just not vote. Where’s the oppression?

  • Mrnaglfar

    Maybe my experiences differ from others, but I rarely find angry people to be sensible to talk to or read. I say that because it seems the case is often that the angry party is so thoroughly convinced of how great and right they are they’re often unwilling to consider examining the possibility they might be wrong. I don’t often see people who feel unsure on an issue getting fired up about it. Needless to say – since most people are quite often wrong about almost anything imaginable – confidence often isn’t a good thing.

    Emotional investment in an argument has absolutely no effect on it’s truth value. If someone passionately believes that evolution never happened, or that the vaccines cause autism, I don’t care about their balls; I care that they’re wrong. It also doesn’t matter whether the person upset is a minority or part of the majority. Logic and facts do not care about who the speaker is, even if human psychology does.

    I happen to agree with the sentiment that the woman writing in the original article is annoying and – colloquially – likely a complete bitch (and to head this off, no, not a bitch because she’s a woman, but bitch in the sense of being a generally unpleasant person to be around). I’m going to bet she holds to a number of the following view points, if not all of them: she probably sees (male) sexism in almost everything whether or not it’s present, probably looks down on many women and doesn’t feel they have the facilities to manage their own lives (to the author’s satisfaction, anyway), and probably doesn’t accept (human) evolutionary psychology in any form and feels the research is just done by awful sexists trying to maintain the status quo.

    While that’s just the tip of views I feel she’s likely to hold, the more troubling point is that – when it comes to people like that – there is no arguing with them. Alternative view points will simply not be accepted; to entertain other ideas would make her a traitor to the cause.

  • http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com chanson

    I love that they mentioned the Mormons!

    It’s an interesting historical point, and illustrates the fact that societies can’t be simply, linearly ordered in terms of being “more feminist” or “less feminist.” Some are better on some points, and some are better on others. Yes, the Mormon polygamists are/were very strictly patriarchal. Yet, the Mormon territories were early adopters of female suffrage and higher education for women. It was related to polygamy in that some of the most influential women in the territory had to be more independent (financially and emotionally) since the rich, powerful men had more wives than they could support.

    It’s really interesting, though, to see that the folks in the East used that as a strike against female suffrage! It makes a kind of weird sense though: if the Mormons allowed women to vote, people in Massachusetts might lump suffrage and polygamy together as being two facets of the perverse Mormon attack on womanhood…

  • Alex Weaver

    Maybe my experiences differ from others, but I rarely find angry people to be sensible to talk to or read. I say that because it seems the case is often that the angry party is so thoroughly convinced of how great and right they are they’re often unwilling to consider examining the possibility they might be wrong. I don’t often see people who feel unsure on an issue getting fired up about it. Needless to say – since most people are quite often wrong about almost anything imaginable – confidence often isn’t a good thing.

    A thought for you: anger makes a good engine, but not a good steering wheel.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Yeah, Alex, that’s pretty much what I had in mind. Anger may be correlated to someone’s ability to persuade – likely though their confidence level, which may also hinder their openness to actual discussion over just shouting – but is uncorrelated with the accuracy of what they’re trying to convey.

  • jemand

    I also thought Mormons wanted women to be able to vote because they believed they could get all Mormon women to vote to legalize polygamy (probably accurately, since they brainwashed them from birth in that mindset, too).

    But… I don’t even KNOW what IWW stands for. Can someone enlighten me?

  • http://www.WorldOfPrime.com Yahzi

    IWW = International Workers of the World (also called the Wobbilies). They were true Socialists, possibly even Communist.

  • Sarah Braasch

    Loved the essay. And, I loved your comments, Ebon.

    I share the author’s outrage over the pathetic state of the feminist movement in the US. We are losing our abortion rights! Where is the response from the women’s rights groups?!

    And, I chalk up most of it to religious apologetics, obscurantism and cultural relativism.

    No one is going to give women their universal human rights. We have to demand our rights, take our rights, and be willing to defend our rights. (I am only advocating for non-violent measures.)

    The best thing a woman can do to advocate for her own human rights as well as the human rights of all women everywhere is to reject religion.

    And, this skewed and horrific idea in the US that everyone gets a say in everything and that to reject someone’s viewpoint on anything is undemocratic. Ridiculous.

    No one gets a say in my humanity. I don’t care, nor should I have to care, if my idiot next-door neighbor thinks I’m a sub-human sex slave, because his imaginary sky daddy tells him so. And, I don’t care if my idiot next-door neighbor has a whole bunch of equally stupid friends who agree with him.

    This is why I want to try to do away with the moral majority.

    But, I hold women accountable as well. If you’re not willing to stand up for yourself, then you are complicit. I decry the idolization of victimhood, which is all the rage in the US.

  • http://blog.oldnewatheist.com/ jim coufal

    Does one need to be angry to be forthright? Does one need to be angry to speak truth? Does one need to be angry to speak up? I think not.

    Also, there are many ideas thrown around herein, but are any of the empirically backed?

  • furtive friar

    I agred with most of the author’s message in that essay, but there were a few things in there that irked me.

    Apparently I snapped: “Because men do horrible, horrible things”. She was alarmed.

    That was bad of me wasn’t it? A little sexist?

    Uh, yeah, it is quite sexist, and that’s not a good thing. I’m not saying she had to launch into a high level discussion of the fundamentals of feminism with her young child, but come on.

    Yet the men who have sex with young, frightened, addled girls choose to do so. Such sex, we are told, is about power. [...] and of course it makes me wonder about male sexuality. [...] To say these things is not to say all men are rapists. But some are.

    It makes her “wonder” about male sexuality? Wonder what? Whether all males are secretly rapists on the inside, utterly driven by and unable to control our sexual desires? Describing men so broadly and unfairly is just as bad as doing the same to women.

    That said, I did agree with a lot of what she had to say. It reminded me of Greta Christina’s blog post where she described the necessity of anger in atheism (and any other social movement).

  • Alex Weaver

    Does one need to be angry to be forthright? Does one need to be angry to speak truth? Does one need to be angry to speak up? I think not.

    Are you even marginally interested in why other people have come to the opposite conclusion? Also, I find the following sentence ironic given the unsupported assertion at the end of the above.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com MissCherryPi
  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    @Eric:

    I do have one question about the graphic: “…wanted by every Socialist, every IWW, and every Mormon…”?? Did the LDS church at that time back votes for women?

    That was a surprise for me, too. There was considerable discussion of this in the original Boing Boing thread where I got the graphic from, and I learned some interesting stuff from reading it. chanson mentioned one reason for it in this thread, and jemand brought up another. There was also a third: to some degree, the LDS church as an institution supported women’s suffrage as an attempt to demonstrate to the world that Mormon women weren’t downtrodden and oppressed, as they were commonly portrayed in anti-Mormon literature.

    Also, in regard to that graphic: Although the issues have shifted, isn’t it amazing how little the arguments in American politics have changed in the past hundred years? In 1915, voters were urged to “protect women” and “maintain the family” by voting down women’s suffrage. In 2011, voters are urged to “protect marriage” and “maintain the family” by preventing same-sex couples from getting married and breaking up same-sex families. It seems like when the advocates of bigotry are defeated on one issue, they just pull up stakes, decamp to a new pet cause, and resume promoting hate and prejudice using exactly the same arguments and rhetoric as before. Does it ever end?

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    What caught my eye about the advertisement was the names of the two women who allegedly headed the Women’s Anti-Suffrage Association of Massachusetts. Mrs. John Belzh (at least that’s what it looks like) and Mrs. Charles P. Strong. It’s like they couldn’t even conceive of women having a public identity independent of their husbands.

  • Alex Weaver

    It’s like they couldn’t even conceive of women having a public identity independent of their husbands.

    In fact, at the time, it was exactly like that.

  • bbk

    What an odd, weird, post. And an odd, weird discussion.

    On anger: Of all things, of every possible angle that could possibly be inferred from a disagreement with that obnoxious, ugly little essay, the dead last thing that I could see someone taking away is that it’s the anger that made it so disagreeable. Anger? Ebon, my dear friend, I have not the slightest problem with anger. And it’s supposed to scare and intimidate me? Oh my…

    But are we talking about the same Suzanne Moore, who, due to a disagreement over Germaine Greer’s apparent lack of firebrand feminism, used her post at The Guardian to falsely accuse Greer of getting a hysterectomy? To that, Greer responded by saying that Moore had “hair bird’s-nested all over the place, fuck-me shoes and three fat inches of cleavage.”

    Right… that’s the angry Suzanne Moore we’re talking about. And, undoubtedly, this righteous anger reflects great credit upon herself and upon all of feminism. The very kind of anger that gets people to look up and take notice of these women and their identity politics. Except that I don’t think so. And it doesn’t intimidate me, either, but rather makes me laugh.

  • bbk

    Do you know what is scary and even intimidating? It’s not Moore, it’s not that female bigot Dworkin, it’s none of those ridiculous little people. It’s everyone else. It’s people like you, who can read the sexist trash promoted by their ilk and then tell me with a straight face that there is nothing sexist or bigoted about it. That it is justified and, what’s worse, that it’s necessary. That, I must say, is scary. It’s the fact that people take their shit seriously and proclaim that these hateful, despicable writers are some kind of heroes. It’s the fact that they teach Dworkin in college as if she were a worthy intellectual. I mean, could you imagine what the reaction would be if they did that with any other ignorant bigot, for example Rush Limbaugh?

    It’s this Twilight Zone where these women are taken seriously and defended vigorously by people who then want to sound sincere when they say that not all feminists are man haters. Yes – they’re not all man haters – but you’re not helping! Anyway, that’s what’s really scary about all of this.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com MissCherryPi
  • bbk

    MissCherrPi, okay, what is so relevant about that didactic anecdote? Are you sure, beyond a doubt, that that is exactly how the show went down, and that this is really what men think?

    When I read your quote, I noticed two things. First, Tannen seems to be under the impression that as long as she asked 5 of her friends if they agree with her, then it absolves her of all responsibility for being offensive to others and means that it is not she, but they who are unreasonable for having been offended.

    And just like that, she transitions to the most ridiculous, outer-worldly anecdote she could have come up with to highlight how women are reasoned, logical, and right while men are a bunch of fumbling simpletons who can’t recognize the folly of their own answers. All that, and without having even mentioned what it was that the show was talking about, lest we be allowed to judge for ourselves!

    So that’s what I notice about that passage, but in the greater context of what Tannen might have been talking about, I’m not sure what point it proves for her nor how you believe it to be relevant here. I hope you explain it a little more, as I already have an opinion of how it’s relevant.

    To me, it betrays a great irony. In these gender wars, the people who play identity politics keep accusing the other side of having a corrupt nature such that because of their sex, race, and position in society, they are liable to do certain reprehensible things. And just a few blog postings ago, there was a sizable contingent of readers who felt that it was laughable for an organization to claim that they tried very hard to find female speakers, because if it was true then they would have succeeded as surely as the sun rises in the East. But here, it’s okay for this woman to claim that she asked five colleagues if her book was offensive and that proves that she tried very hard?

    And the man in the audience who couldn’t seem to recognize the untenable position he was in, how about that? Here we have an author, Suzanne Moore, who was inspired to write an article in response to her own daughter who rightfully pointed out that she was holding onto a sexist position where she plasters a horrific photograph of a vile, hateful woman and spews venom at men for a few unhinged paragraphs. And yet – no one recognizes that there’s something wrong with that! Especially not her – not even when her own daughter points it out, let alone other feminists (Germaine Greer).

    So, I guess it’s only wrong when men do it? Of course not – that’s ridiculous. I’m sure you don’t mean that.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Sharmin

    Thanks for writing this. I was thinking about something similar recently: the difference between justified and unjustified anger, specifically in debate about equal rights for LGBTQI people. On one side, there are people who have a good reason for their anger, namely the fact that they are being discriminated against. On the other side, there are people who are angry because they can’t bully other people around and force them to follow their religious beliefs. And yet, people in the media will actually treat this second group as if they have a valid point, which they don’t, and as if their concerns are valid, which they aren’t.

    On the topic of equal rights for women, there are women who may be resentful at all men for the way they were treated by some men. (I don’t always agree with every claim of discrimination, and sometimes think a person may be laying the blame on the wrong person.) However, I think that in general (as a society) the bigger problem is that too many people think it’s okay to give partial rights to women, instead of full human rights. Claims of discrimination get automatically dismissed. People assume that their religion’s rules for men and women are “inherent differences” instead of acknowledging that growing up in the religion may have played a role in how their sons and daughters act. Whenever a women or other minority gets a job (e.g. in the government) people start talking about how it must have been due to affirmative action, no matter how greatly qualified the person was. Reproductive healthcare issues that affect women are treated as though they are less important, with people actually thinking that a woman should die rather than have an abortion for medical reasons. I could go on, but I’m sure everyone here is familiar with all of this.

    @furtive friar (comment #15): I agree with you in that I agree with some of the things in the original artilce and disagree with others. (I think should have added a qualifier, saying that there are certain men who hurt women, instead of generalizing.) I was also reminded of Greta Christina’s post.

    Tommykey (comment #19): This is one of the things that angers me the most. Even today, we see this happening. It upsets me that women who have benefited so much from feminism (being able to vote, get an equal education, work outside the home, etc.) side with their religious leaders, favoring discrimination against women in the home and in their religions. They try to claim that feminists are being unfair to them, when they’re the ones telling all women that they have to live their lives one way. I’ve heard arguments from conservative religious women saying that they think the different rules for men and women in their faiths is really a way of “respecting” women, which I think is ridiculous.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com MissCherryPi

    The anecdote is relevant because Tannen’s work is not bombastic at all, and yet she is accused of hatred. The most famous example she uses to illustrate gender differences in language is this one:

    A married couple was in a car when the wife turned to her husband and asked, “Would you like to stop for a coffee?”

    “No, thanks,” he answered truthfully. So they didn’t stop.

    The result? The wife, who had indeed wanted to stop, became annoyed because she felt her preference had not been considered. The husband, seeing his wife was angry, became frustrated. Why didn’t she just say what she wanted?

    I’ve read some of her research and she focuses on different communication styles that men and women typically have. She doesn’t say one is better or worse, but she does suggest that our cultural ideas about gender roles might influence these differences – for example women are more likely to qualify their statements, whereas men are more direct.

    Her story rings true to me because of my own experiences. Just as some people erroneously suggest that talking about race is racist, Deborah Tannen was accused of man hating for being a woman talking about men.

    And the man in the audience who couldn’t seem to recognize the untenable position he was in, how about that?

    He could given a substantive response but he didn’t. If Tannen was saying “Men are stupid ogres who are incapable of human emotions.” I’m sure he would have pointed it out.

  • bbk

    He could given a substantive response but he didn’t.

    But that’s an anecdote and there’s no reason to believe it ever even happened. Yet it was carefully selected precisely for the purpose of conveying what you just said. That’s the problem. It’s not that there was a man in an audience somewhere that said something, it’s that you’re using this recycled anecdote to make a point about men.

    A married couple was in a car when the wife turned to her husband and asked, “Would you like to stop for a coffee?”

    “No, thanks,” he answered truthfully. So they didn’t stop.

    The result? The wife, who had indeed wanted to stop, became annoyed because she felt her preference had not been considered. The husband, seeing his wife was angry, became frustrated. Why didn’t she just say what she wanted?

    This type of anecdote is certainly common and true in my experience as well. And I know that research has been done in various forms that affirm it. But we’re talking about simple, positive observations here that we can all agree on.

    I think where I see a lot of men being offended is in the normative statements about what should be done to remedy the situation and how the entire matter is framed. What we have in a lot of cases is a feminist who will set out by saying that women are discriminated against by sexist men and then point to this type of anecdote. And then they point to men and say that men have to change their nature, that it is by necessity their own fault for not being able to communicate through implicit overtures, assumptions, body language, and whatever else. That’s offensive. Clearly, you’re not saying that, but you would be remiss if you tried to claim that it never happens. It is, after all, the entire basis of the “Women are from Venus Men are from Mars” style of identity politics. I’m not accusing you of partaking in that – just asking you to entertain the possibility that in the grand scheme of things, it would be rightfully offensive to men and we shouldn’t accuse them of whining if they speak up against it.

    But here is what most people, male or female, don’t consider about. I can’t let your anecdote go without pointing out that the male versus female distinction in your anecdote is capricious, and in fact drawing that distinction within the context of equal rights is downright deceiving. Why? Because what if there were two women driving in the car? Is it completely inconceivable for the same exact scenario to have occurred? Because it does! And it’s even more troubling than coffee breaks. For example there’s a woman in my life who had a female boss and when a new position at work became available, she had talked about it with me for weeks and I implored her to ask for it but she insisted that no, her boss would rightfully come out and offer it to her. It wasn’t until other women were already being interviewed for the position that she took my advice asked her boss about it – and got the job. So please, think about the very characterization of these anecdotes as a man sitting in a car with a woman and ask yourself if that’s really the most productive, earnest way of looking at the problem.

    Yes – it has to do with gender roles, but mothers’ religious attitudes and female bullying is possibly an equal if not even greater issue for society to cope with. Yes there’s sexism from men, but if that’s the only way you can look at it – to the point where people throw atheists under a bus and accuse them of sexism just because the accusers are incapable of seeing any other possibility – then it’s just going to be a fruitless, tribal game of identity politics that never solves anything.

  • Nathaniel

    bbk, the fact that you have such a instantaneously and highly defensive response says a lot more about you than the author.

  • Sarah Braasch

    Actually, bbk, I would have thought you would have been more amenable to this author’s position.

    I think she is calling out women much more than she is calling out men.

    She is telling women to take responsibility for securing their own rights.

    She is calling out women for being complicit.

    I feel like she is saying — stop blaming men. If you want your humanity, if you want your rights, take them. Don’t compromise; don’t settle for anything less than the full recognition of your humanity.

    She is telling women to get angry and get vocal and get into the streets and get into the courtrooms.

    She is telling women to act instead of just accepting the status quo and blaming men for their sub-human status.

    She is decrying the sorry state of feminism.

    I would have thought that you would have appreciated that.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com MissCherryPi

    It’s not that there was a man in an audience somewhere that said something, it’s that you’re using this recycled anecdote to make a point about men.

    No, I’m using as an example about how when someone challenges the status quo, a member of the group in power will frequently make an argument that they’re just haters. It doesn’t have to be men, it could be whites, straight people, Christians, cisgendered people, whatever.

  • Mrnaglfar

    I think she is calling out women much more than she is calling out men.

    She is telling women to take responsibility for securing their own rights.

    She is calling out women for being complicit.

    Partially. The larger problem I infer is that the author will only be happy with women choosing their own path in life so long as it agrees with the author’s personal political views. But let’s not pretend like Moore isn’t so close to the edge of flat out blaming men for pretty much everything that she shouldn’t be wearing a safety harness.

    It doesn’t seem to be enough that women have the choice to pursue whatever they want in life to Moore; women need to make the choices Moore wants them to, or their choices aren’t good enough.

    Basically, I don’t think she thinks very highly of women’s abilities to make their own decisions

    Moore strikes me as the type who would look down on women who wanted to get breast implants or enjoyed them. She would probably look down on women who would choose sex-work. Maybe even women who enjoy wearing make-up, going shopping, and dressing up. She specifically mentions knitting too.

    Moore seems to have a vision of what women should be, and any women that don’t live up to Moore’s vision basically lack the facilities to run their own lives and make the right decisions for themselves. What some women want isn’t correct. They need their firebrand sisters to tell them what they should be doing.

    The majority of her article wanders from one random statement to the next, with little cohesion tying it together (I can only speculate as to the accuracy of some of her statements). Whatever you want to call this article, it damn sure isn’t an “excellent essay”. Perhaps angry, unstructured rant would be a more accurate description.

    It’s also wildly sexist. If you heard the phrase “because black people do horrible, horrible things”, you’d rightfully decry that as a racist statement. Just because “black people” is replaced with “men” doesn’t alter the fact that it’s a bigoted thing to say.

  • Sarah Braasch

    Mrnaglfar,

    I hear what you’re saying, but the problem I have with your position, and what makes this such a difficult subject, is that the concept of choice is hardly black and white. It is decidedly gray.

    Mrs. Duggar is working on her, what?, 20th child, but what does it mean to say that this is her choice when she was probably brainwashed from birth to believe that the only way she can please God and secure her position in Quiverfull heaven is to happily submit to sex slavery.

    I was one of these women. I was raised in a cult with the central tenet of female subjugation. And, I espoused the virtues of such a scheme. I had been brainwashed.

    But, I tore myself away, and, yes, it was an incredibly difficult and painful and ongoing process.

    Is it fair that I expect all other women to do the same?

    Is it fair that we don’t expect these women to stand up for themselves and, more importantly, for their children?

    What does it mean to choose in this context?

    I do judge them.

    Especially the mothers who then brainwash their daughters and expect them to submit to sex slavery as well.

    Especially those who live in a secular, liberal, constitutional democracy with a state police force and the law on their side.

    This is what is wrong with feminism in the US.

    Feminism has sold us the idea that we can’t hold these women accountable for their actions. And, that it is bigoted and sexist to hold these women accountable for their actions or to question their “choices”.

    I do hold them accountable.

    I don’t much care if they wish to sell themselves into sex slavery, even though I feel sorry for them, and I appreciate the fact that they were brainwashed as children.

    But, I hold them accountable for not standing up for their children. Especially their girl children.

    We have no other choice.

    Women have to take responsibility for themselves, for securing their own rights.

    What is the alternative?

    We have already seen what happens when we leave it to men to secure our rights for us, to protect us.

    The problem isn’t that there is something that is innately wrong with or bad about men.

    The problem is that human rights violations always follow power differentials.

    The problem is the power differential.

    Power differentials are always bad and always lead to human rights violations.

    If women had an excess of power and men had little or none, women would oppress men.

    If you want to give away your own power, your own rights, so be it, but you don’t get to give away your children’s rights. And, I am going to judge you and hold you accountable for giving away your power.

  • monkeymind

    I think the piece was written in response to this which makes it seem a bit more focused, at least to me.

    Mrnaglfar:

    It doesn’t seem to be enough that women have the choice to pursue whatever they want in life to Moore; women need to make the choices Moore wants them to, or their choices aren’t good enough.

    Guess I missed the memo where respecting a woman’s right to choose meant we had to respect all choices made by all women equally.

  • Mrnaglfar

    what does it mean to say that this is her choice when she was probably brainwashed from birth to believe that the only way she can please God and secure her position in Quiverfull heaven is to happily submit to sex slavery.

    That’s a rough position to speak on, since I see little way of determining what counts as evidence of brainwashing as compared to evidence of personal preference, even if those preferences are shaped in part by those around us. Brainwashing implies there was some “true” self that went away somewhere. Would she be a different person were she raised in a different setting? I would suspect so, whether the degree of those differences would be large or small. I just wouldn’t call one of those possible personalities any more “true” or any less “brainwashed” than the others.

    But of course I hold people accountable for their actions. You broke away from a community; Mrs. Duggar may have not (I don’t know the specifics of her story). You both had the choice to do so or not, no matter how difficult or easy that choice may be for one person or another. Staying with a community is just as much a choice as breaking away.

    If you want to look negatively on the choices of another, by all means. I know I do all the time. I think having 20 children is disgusting (then again, I think having one child is off-putting).

  • Mrnaglfar

    Just to add on a little, the issue I have is the extent of that judgmental nature. I differ with Moore on many of things we choose to either judge negatively or not, as well as the extent to which we judge those things negatively. Moore seems unhinged in that judgmental nature, and her confidence in how totally right and awesome she is is overblown.

    And she seems to be a sexist, which just adds to all that.

  • http://kagerato.net kagerato

    O_O Honestly, I would not have expected such a lively comment thread on what I originally read as a pretty uncontroversial post. (Though it seems the main tension is over what Moore wrote, rather than Ebon.)

    Also, the argument that a supposed (perhaps real?) majority of women who didn’t want to vote would be oppressed by being given the vote just doesn’t seem to hold up. If someone was given the vote and didn’t want to vote, she could just not vote. Where’s the oppression?

    Precisely, Eric. Isn’t it astounding that anyone was convinced by such a facile argument as made in that ad? Isn’t it all the more astounding that anyone today is still convinced by very similar illogical arguments based on much the same emotion, prior investment, and bias?

    I’m going to bet she holds to a number of the following view points, if not all of them: she probably sees (male) sexism in almost everything whether or not it’s present, probably looks down on many women and doesn’t feel they have the facilities to manage their own lives (to the author’s satisfaction, anyway), and probably doesn’t accept (human) evolutionary psychology in any form and feels the research is just done by awful sexists trying to maintain the status quo.

    There’s only one small issue with that, Mrnaglfar. Nothing in the linked article actually supports any of those claims. One other thing: evolutionary psychology typically is garbage, promoted by people who have a shallow understanding of evolutionary biology, human psychology, or both. Read PZ Myers sometime if you’d like to see some of the claims evolutionary psychologists are willing to make without corresponding evidence.

    It makes her “wonder” about male sexuality? Wonder what? Whether all males are secretly rapists on the inside, utterly driven by and unable to control our sexual desires? Describing men so broadly and unfairly is just as bad as doing the same to women.

    Well, she doesn’t provide anything in particular, furtive friar. If anything, the best criticism of that article is that it’s not nearly precise or specific enough, about the problems or the solutions. I don’t think it’s fair to assume from lack of information, however, that her view is “all males are secretly rapists on the inside”.

    There was also a third: to some degree, the LDS church as an institution supported women’s suffrage as an attempt to demonstrate to the world that Mormon women weren’t downtrodden and oppressed, as they were commonly portrayed in anti-Mormon literature.

    That is a truly bizarre usage of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, Ebon. Yet somehow I do find it plausible that some Mormons would try to use the suffrage movement that way.

    What caught my eye about the advertisement was the names of the two women who allegedly headed the Women’s Anti-Suffrage Association of Massachusetts. Mrs. John Belzh (at least that’s what it looks like) and Mrs. Charles P. Strong. It’s like they couldn’t even conceive of women having a public identity independent of their husbands.

    @Tommykey: It was very common, even toward the mid-20th century, for a wife to be addressed by her husband’s name in that manner. Many people seem to find this surprising nowadays, though it doesn’t surprise me in the least.

    Do you know what is scary and even intimidating? It’s not Moore, it’s not that female bigot Dworkin, it’s none of those ridiculous little people. It’s everyone else. It’s people like you, who can read the sexist trash promoted by their ilk and then tell me with a straight face that there is nothing sexist or bigoted about it. That it is justified and, what’s worse, that it’s necessary.

    You might want to quote something in particular so we can discuss it, bbk. Ranting at phantoms never accomplished much.

    In these gender wars, the people who play identity politics keep accusing the other side of having a corrupt nature such that because of their sex, race, and position in society, they are liable to do certain reprehensible things.

    Who is and where did they say that? Also, I don’t remember seeing any bullets fired or bombs dropped.

    I’ve read some of her research and she focuses on different communication styles that men and women typically have. She doesn’t say one is better or worse, but she does suggest that our cultural ideas about gender roles might influence these differences – for example women are more likely to qualify their statements, whereas men are more direct.

    @MissCherryPi: I’m not sure something like explicit versus implicit should be reduced to a vague and almost euphemistic phrase like “different communication styles”. It’s often the difference between being understood and being ignored, as I hope the example was meant to show.

    Also, with the available evidence we can safely make a much stronger claim than that our cultural ideas might influence such differences. They do influence them. Strongly, almost completely.

    I’ll also go out on a limb and state that it’s by no means coincidence that women are socialized to have only passive, implicit communication available to them. In terms of power and capacity to express oneself, there’s no comparison between explicit and implicit. They’re worlds apart.

    I think where I see a lot of men being offended is in the normative statements about what should be done to remedy the situation and how the entire matter is framed. What we have in a lot of cases is a feminist who will set out by saying that women are discriminated against by sexist men and then point to this type of anecdote. And then they point to men and say that men have to change their nature, that it is by necessity their own fault for not being able to communicate through implicit overtures, assumptions, body language, and whatever else.

    @bbk: I essentially see your point (though I still don’t see where someone is making that argument). It’s true that in various instances people fail to take a holistic view of the situation and create all kinds of trouble and misunderstanding by thinking that a two-party relationship can be unilaterally solved with one party altering the other.

    However, that doesn’t imply that many men somehow become blameless because some or most women don’t behave in the way they expect. When another person, regardless of gender, behaves in a way you don’t understand, it’s also the responsibility of the puzzled party to investigate why that is and try to do something to resolve it.

    In other words, it’s not fair to simply demand that women act in a very explicit, forward manner all the time. If there was no resistance to that, society would have changed a long time ago.

    I think she is calling out women much more than she is calling out men.

    She is telling women to take responsibility for securing their own rights.

    She is calling out women for being complicit.

    I feel like she is saying — stop blaming men. If you want your humanity, if you want your rights, take them. Don’t compromise; don’t settle for anything less than the full recognition of your humanity.

    She is telling women to get angry and get vocal and get into the streets and get into the courtrooms.

    She is telling women to act instead of just accepting the status quo and blaming men for their sub-human status.

    She is decrying the sorry state of feminism.

    Moore may be saying that; it’s a little vague. However, you, Sarah, are saying that and I agree with you.

    This is what is wrong with feminism in the US.

    Feminism has sold us the idea that we can’t hold these women accountable for their actions. And, that it is bigoted and sexist to hold these women accountable for their actions or to question their “choices”.

    I do hold them accountable.

    I don’t much care if they wish to sell themselves into sex slavery, even though I feel sorry for them, and I appreciate the fact that they were brainwashed as children.

    But, I hold them accountable for not standing up for their children. Especially their girl children.

    We have no other choice.

    Women have to take responsibility for themselves, for securing their own rights.

    What is the alternative?

    We have already seen what happens when we leave it to men to secure our rights for us, to protect us.

    The problem isn’t that there is something that is innately wrong with or bad about men.

    The problem is that human rights violations always follow power differentials.

    The problem is the power differential.

    Power differentials are always bad and always lead to human rights violations.

    If women had an excess of power and men had little or none, women would oppress men.

    If you want to give away your own power, your own rights, so be it, but you don’t get to give away your children’s rights. And, I am going to judge you and hold you accountable for giving away your power.

    Absolutely. I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com MissCherryPi

    Also, with the available evidence we can safely make a much stronger claim than that our cultural ideas might influence such differences. They do influence them. Strongly, almost completely.

    I’ll also go out on a limb and state that it’s by no means coincidence that women are socialized to have only passive, implicit communication available to them. In terms of power and capacity to express oneself, there’s no comparison between explicit and implicit. They’re worlds apart.

    I would agree with you, but I don’t know enough about linguistics to say if that’s beyond the scope of the discipline.

  • Mrnaglfar

    PZ is a blowhard that can’t tell his ass from his elbow when it comes to evolutionary psychology.

  • Nathaniel

    PZ is a blowhard that can’t tell his ass from his elbow when it comes to evolutionary psychology.

    I,for one sir, am blown away by your sparkling logic and undeniable chain of reasoning. Truly you are a paragon of science.

  • Mrnaglfar

    I’m not about to spend the hours required to go back and find something stupid he said, and then write a lengthy rebuttal just because someone seriously suggested I read his blog to educate myself about psychology.

  • Nathaniel

    If PZ is truly such an ass when it comes to evo psych, then it shouldn’t take more then 10 or so minutes to google something from his blog. Far be from me to tell you how to spend your time though. Just don’t expect me to come around to your position with you know, evidence.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Fine. Here’s a quick example:
    http://www.epjournal.net/blog/2011/01/myers-critique-of-ep-strong-language-but-weak-tea/

    I could add more, but I feel it’d be a waste of my time.

  • Alex Weaver

    How did this discussion degenerate into yet another round of Evo Psych’s Wounded Pride?

  • Nathaniel

    Well, if it comes down to dueling articles, how about this one?

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/evolutionary-psychology-for-the-masses/

    Unless of course, you feel it would be a waste of your time.

    As for your article, I feel it glosses over a number of issues. The problem of small sample size used for sweeping claims is waved aside, with a healthy dose of “other people do it toooo!” The fact that it was two single studies that were used to support the four rather decisive and inflammatory claims doesn’t bode well either.

    Here is something which highlights pretty much every problem I have with evo psych:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article2294539.ece

    In the article, it describes rather breathlessly a study which claims to have discovered why women prefer pink. You see, women were the gatherers part of the hunter-gatherer part of the equation, so they preferred pinks and similar colors because that is how berries are colored. Thus preference for pink is nestled somewhere in women’s genes.

    Funny thing is, just a century ago, pink was a boy’s color. It was close to red, so it was strong and manly. Blue in contrast was calm and nurturing, and therefore feminine. Its amazing how fast our genes can change.

    And every time I read about a evo psych study that just came out, its crap like that.

    Oh, just before the edit button turns off, here’s another one: http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailybeast/11716_whydopeoplecry

    Apparently, the reason women cry is because it kills mens’ boner’s. And here I thought they cried because they were upset. Which brings up the question: Do men cry to cock block other guys?

  • Alex Weaver

    Nathaniel: I don’t want to fuel this digression more than necessary, but for me, the one thing I’ve noticed about evo-psych is that any time anyone expresses skepticism about a particular evo-psych claim (especially ones about gender or racial differences), supporters of evo-psych – usually without supporting that claim or addressing the counter-arguments, and always with such support or addressing as a side-note at best – respond by accusing the speaker, either explicitly or implicitly, of dogmatically denying that a biological influence on human behavior is even possible and of an emotional commitment to “political correctness,” the idea of a “blank slate,” or something like that. In fact, the weaker the evidential support for the claim, or the more devastating the criticism, the more likely this canard is to be trotted out.

    Scientists, I’ve noticed, don’t generally do this.

    Creationists do it all the time – in fact, “scientists are unwilling to consider the possibility of design” is one of their stock arguments.

    While it doesn’t deductively follow that evo-psych is as bankrupt as creationism, this particular similarity ought to give everyone pause. Is this how people argue when they have the facts on their side? Or is it more what you’d expect from people who are promoting what they really really WANT to be true, or at least, who really really want what they expect to be the results of convincing everyone else that what they’re promoting is true?

  • Mrnaglfar

    A few quick points:

    Just linking to an article does not mean that article is correct. I normally don’t bother linking articles because blogs are (largely) worthless and their authors as ill-informed and full of bias as anyone else.

    On a related note, Coyne botches evolutionary psychology just as bad as PZ seems to, which is unfortunate because his why evolution is true book is otherwise excellent. It reminds me of the scene from the dead poet’s society where Robin Williams instructs his students to “rip it out”.

    And yes, that second article you linked to about preferences for colors sounds like garbage. There is garbage in every field of research because not all researchers are particularly good at their job. Evolutionary psychology is no different. There’s also a great deal of brilliance.

    Of course, what I linked to already dealt with that issue, so your bringing it up again makes it clear you didn’t really take the time to digest what I posted in the first place before you staggered off to write your reply,provided you read it at all. That’s another reason I rarely bother to post articles: there’s little point in doing so if you’re not going to read them and actually consider the points expressed therein.

    And judging by your presentation, your education on the subject comes primarily from the pop-media and not from the primary literature, the connection between the two often being tenuous at best. An education of that quality amounts to about worthless to slightly worse than worthless, since it could lead one to think they actually have an education.

    Alex, what I said above this would seem to apply to you to. In the interests of not bothering with this anymore since it’s not liable to do any good, I’ll skip on any further replies.

  • bbk

    @Sarah Braasch,

    Generally that’s a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t sound complete. Yes – she blames women, but for what? Apparently, for not working hard enough to avenge the horrible crimes committed by men. It boils down to the same thing. Not that the article lacks more overt sexist comments made directly against men.

    @kagerato

    I’ll also go out on a limb and state that it’s by no means coincidence that women are socialized to have only passive, implicit communication available to them. In terms of power and capacity to express oneself, there’s no comparison between explicit and implicit. They’re worlds apart.

    Precisely, which is why women should work as hard as they can to overcome this socialization. Not because it’s about one party changing the other, but because these are powerful communications skills that should be learnt by all. It’s not just about communicating with men, but also with each other and to be able to take on even the simplest of leadership roles when part of a group. There’s just more of an argument to be made for why it’s good for women.

    However, that doesn’t imply that many men somehow become blameless because some or most women don’t behave in the way they expect.

    It shouldn’t be about blaming anyone. People should just learn from each other and that is all. It’s in the best interests of men to communicate well with men as well as with women.

  • Nathaniel

    Well, aren’t you just a peach. Nice implication. I couldn’t have possibly read the article. After all, If I did I would have agreed with it. And if I did, I am obviously to stupid and biased to understand it.

    And, seeing as I am currently majoring in psychology at a respected liberal arts college, I have run across a bit of source material in my day.

    If the shit to diamond ratio really is nothing to worry about when it comes to evo psych, it shouldn’t be to hard to come up with a few examples of the good stuff. I managed to find my articles in less than ten minutes. Surely you can do the same.

    But of course, you are simply too important of a person to deal with pop culture plebes such as us. I understand. After all, you are Mrnaglfar. We should know to take you at your word by this point.

  • Alex Weaver

    After all, you are Mrnaglfar.

    …would this be a bad time to ask how that’s meant to be pronounced? :P

  • Alex Weaver

    And judging by your presentation, your education on the subject comes primarily from the pop-media and not from the primary literature, the connection between the two often being tenuous at best. An education of that quality amounts to about worthless to slightly worse than worthless, since it could lead one to think they actually have an education.

    You know, “We have all this awesome research that totally proves we’re right! [But not where you can see it. Just trust us]” is a pretty common one from the creationist camp too…

    Just sayin’.

  • http://superhappyjen.blogspot.com SuperHappyJen

    I’m just going to go around being myself, no angrier or meeker than I am naturally. I have no respect for religion but have enough respect for people holding beliefs not to have a temper tantrum about it. And I’ve managed to fit into my sexist gender roll quite nicely being a SAHM, I’m annoyed that we still make .70 on the dollar, but since I don’t work I’m delighted to be a woman and not a man trying to be a stay at home dad.

    A few years ago I made a point of telling people I was an atheist, even criticising obviously false religious beliefs when they come up. I was pleasantly surprised at how much nobody cares.

  • http://kagerato.net kagerato

    Robert Kurzban, Strong Language But Weak Tea

    This article is hardly a strong response to the criticisms levied.

    (1) It starts by dismissing the small sample size objection. “But, but psychology and sociology do it too!” That’s not a defense. That’s criticism of psychology and sociology.

    When the sample size is so small as to have substantial doubts on its population relevance, that absolutely does make the study ‘tainted’ or not relevant.

    (2) The difference between a subjective stimuli and objective stimuli is in whether you have properly controlled for other probable influences on the agent’s perception or interpretation of the stimulus itself. That is, in science, you don’t just ask people what they think and take the answer at face value. You search for what is causing their behavior by eliminating interfering factors.

    (3) Making a statement about what behavior actually does, in reality, is entirely distinct from stating that this behavior has a evolutionary cause. That you can infer some functions from the form or structure of an entity says absolutely nothing whatsoever about whether it has a direct evolutionary cause. And to deflect the obvious, whether something has an indirect evolutionary cause is an utterly meaningless question to ask. All behaviors are at least indirectly linked to evolution, as life itself is.

    (4) That organisms take different risks depending on their internal state and the environment is merely self-evident. That is completely general and provides no support at all for the actual hypothesis being debated. To connect it in even the most abstract manner would first require showing that the differential risk-taking was actually beneficial to survival (at least on the scale of populations). This is only the case when the estimates of risk and reward are typically determined correctly. Even if you show that much, it’s still absurdly general and does not do anything to directly support the given hypothesis.

    (5) He either doesn’t know about or doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of “culturally conditioned behaviors”. That phrase is not jargon. This is simple ignorance and wanton disregard for reality.

    (6) The conviction or certainty is in presentations of findings and media publication surrounding evolutionary psychology. It is obviously not in the formal papers, because the researchers are not foolish enough to make a mockery of themselves from the outset. This fact, however, says nothing at all about how strongly the researchers actually believe in their conclusions or how strongly they promote them to the media and the public. Either way, the determination that there “may” be a relationship between two variables is not science. Science seeks knowledge of how probable the existence of a relationship is. We don’t need to do any research to make the excessively weak claim that there may be a connection between any two arbitrary items.

    (7) Deflecting criticism by saying “well, not every paper is like THIS!” is unconvincing and uninteresting. It’s the task of the investigator to present the evidence of good research, not demand that everyone else study it in detail from the outset. Researchers are the one making the questionable claims, and they must prove their worth.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Oh for fucks sake.

    (1) All that requires is more replication with larger and other populations. I don’t think anyone in the field of evolutionary psychology – or any other field – would not want to extend their research to larger populations, despite the considerable effort and obstacles that stand in one’s way. Researchers typically aim for getting as many subjects as possible (once you balance that against how much work it will take to do so). This is in no way a fault of evolutionary psychology specifically. That same (possible) issue extends to pretty much every field of research that exists. So it’s a criticism of science in general, yet is only used selectively in the case of PZ. Part of the reason PZ is a blowhard.

    Of course, that was well dealt with already in the link, so I need to ask why you feel the need to raise it again?

    (2) Of course there can be issues with self-reports. I avoid them whenever possible, even if they can be a necessary evil at times. That’s not a criticism of evolutionary psychology specifically. That’s a theoretical criticism of a methodology that – I assure you – almost every researcher is aware of.

    (3) So all behaviors have a connection to evolutionary causes, but you can never infer whether they have evolutionary causes?
    If what you’re trying to say is that byproducts are different from adaptations, or that phenotypes are the product of genes and environment, that’s fine, but I need to ask why you’re telling me that?

    (4)Relevance?

    (5) I think he draws the usual learned/innate and cultural/evolved distinction that most of us have abandoned, but it’s hard for me to tell.

    (6) Congratulations. You’ve discovered the media isn’t good at accurately presenting science findings, nor are people much good at figuring them out for themselves. The media is not the evolutionary psychology academic community, so why even bother raising this point?
    You’re also seem to have figured out correlation isn’t causation, but are having a dickens of a time figuring out that the “may” applies to the causation part. Either there’s a relationship between the two variables or there isn’t. Whether there’s a direct, casual relationship is normally where the “may” steps in, since that’s far more difficult to determine.

    (7) So it’s my burden to give you a full list of every good paper out there to disabuse you of your preconceived notions of a field apparently drawn from pop-media and not from the primary literature in the first place? Give me a fucking break. I’m not going to hold the hand of every person that formed opinions about an entire field of research before even looking through a decent sample of the primary literature. I’m also not about to be blamed for their own laziness and bias.

    Really, all of this leads to me to the conclusion that you’re either not a serious academic on the subject yourself, or you’re a particularly bad one. There’s nothing new or insightful in the presentations here. It just sounds like people spouting off about things they know about.

    Can we be done with this now? Or is there another psychology undergrad who wants to come out and explain why they’re an expert?

  • Mrnaglfar

    *things they don’t know about.

  • Nathaniel

    Its really simple. We are not asking you to list every single study you like or think highly of. Just two. Is two too much for you? It wasn’t for me.

    Now granted, I am no expert, but to put it bluntly, who the fuck are you then?

  • bbk

    @MissCherryPi

    No, I’m using as an example about how when someone challenges the status quo, a member of the group in power will frequently make an argument that they’re just haters.

    And so that explains how a poor anecdote turns into a broad brush… Okay, that might be a pertinent word of caution to the group of power, but it also has no bearing on the truth and I hope that we can figure out the truth from the substance of what people are saying instead of by their identity. In this case, we can actually look at that journalist’s article as it was written and then decide whether or not a charge of sexism and hatred is warranted. No need for anecdotes of what sometimes happens. There are also anecdotes of people wanting impossible things, of people who lie and distort the truth to try to get their way, of people who demonize their enemies whether more powerful or less, and of pretty much a broad range of behaviors that we could throw out here to say whatever we felt like about the comments in this thread.

  • ildi

    bbk:

    And so that explains how a poor anecdote turns into a broad brush… Okay, that might be a pertinent word of caution to the group of power, but it also has no bearing on the truth and I hope that we can figure out the truth from the substance of what people are saying instead of by their identity. In this case, we can actually look at that journalist’s article as it was written and then decide whether or not a charge of sexism and hatred is warranted. No need for anecdotes of what sometimes happens.

    Oh, like this comment you made?

    But are we talking about the same Suzanne Moore, who, due to a disagreement over Germaine Greer’s apparent lack of firebrand feminism, used her post at The Guardian to falsely accuse Greer of getting a hysterectomy? To that, Greer responded by saying that Moore had “hair bird’s-nested all over the place, fuck-me shoes and three fat inches of cleavage.”

    Yeah, because wikipedia sure is accurate, and an anecdote from 1995 is so relevant to what she states in the article referenced in the OP…

    Btw, according to an article on the publication of The Whole Woman in 1999:

    Suzanne Moore, whom Prof Greer attacked in 1995 for her “hair bird’s- nested all over the place, fuck-me shoes and three fat inches of cleavage”, admitted: “If Germaine attacked me for my writing, it would be far more worthy than to attack me for my shoes”. The attack was in response to Ms Moore’s comments on an inaccurate report that Prof Greer had a hysterectomy at 25. The latter told the Telegraph yesterday it was “stupid and hurtful” to suggest she didn’t want kids. “It’s pretty painful when you have spent a goodly part of your life struggling to have children, to have this young woman – who is lucky enough to have two children of her own – suddenly announce that I had myself hysterectomised at 25 because I didn’t want kids. How could she be so stupid? I think that level of incomprehension is inexcusable in someone who calls herself a feminist.”

    Ms Moore remarked yesterday: “Germaine’s womb is the centre of her universe, but it isn’t for me.” But she added: “It’s always reported that we had a spat: people want a catfight. Obviously I was upset by what she said, but none the less, I have a lot of admiration for her. She’s absolutely right in saying that women need to be angry and that not everything is OK, and she’s absolutely the person to write passionately and polemically on it.”

  • bbk

    ildi, your point? Are you trying to prove that these are serious journalists who don’t “cat fight” in the public forum? What you seem to have provided is a perfect example of the over-sensitized assumptions-based-on-assumptions that often fill the gender wars – and you’ve given us the perfect example to show that it also happens strictly between women. It’s a perfect counterpoint to MissCherryPi’s car ride anecdote. But thanks for the additional background on these personas. And you’re right – I do attempt to do background checks on public figures before I go ahead and lend them any of my support or accuse them for being a hateful bigot. I’m not about to agree with every hypocrite who ever opens his or her mouth just because they sound “righteous”. I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

  • bbk

    On the topic of equal rights for women, there are women who may be resentful at all men for the way they were treated by some men.

    I’ve heard this one many times. How far do we want to take it? So if a man is a sexist, does that mean that a woman must have mistreated him? The solution to sexism would be simple, then: have women treat men better. Does that make any sense? How about the possibility that there are KKK members who are resentful of all blacks because of how they were treated by some blacks? Honestly, do we really care why someone is a hateful bigot? Is there really something righteous about it?

  • bbk

    ildi, perhaps I was too quick to dismiss your comment without addressing the heart of it.

    It might need to be pointed out that there is a difference between an anecdote and a pertinent description of the actual person you’re talking about. An anecdote is when you use a story or testimonial about an anonymous, unrelated event in order to prove a point about the thing that you’re talking about. This is information about the actual people being discussed here and the type of disagreements they actually have with one another as they shout from the rooftops that any woman who isn’t as angry as they are is an enemy of True feminists such as themselves. Any way you slice it, it doesn’t portray these individuals as reasoned, sensible adults with which it’s possible to have a productive discussion. And it really goes a long way towards dispelling the multiple suggestions in this thread that the only possible reason why someone would be offended by what they say is because they’re afraid of those who speak truth to power.

  • ildi

    Are you trying to prove that these are serious journalists who don’t “cat fight” in the public forum? What you seem to have provided is a perfect example of the over-sensitized assumptions-based-on-assumptions that often fill the gender wars – and you’ve given us the perfect example to show that it also happens strictly between women

    Really? Clarifying your inaccurate anecdote from 1995 is the perfect example that this happens strictly between women? Well, in the narrowest sense you’re right in that “cat fight” is “by definition between women, and is a way of trivializing women’s arguments. Did you actually read the quote from the article? Did you notice that the whole point was that: a) Suzanne Moore did not accuse Germaine Greer of having a hysterectomy out of the blue, she was responding to an inaccurate report that she had had one. Poor research, yes. “Cat fight,” no. b) Moore was saying in 1999 that people are still bringing this up because they want a catfight, and that she admires Greer despite preferring to be criticized for her writing rather than her shoes. You’re bringing this up in 2011 as evidence that she’s a hateful bigot? c) You only apply “read the article for its content, not who wrote it” when it’s not feminists writing? d) How is it not “cat fighting” when men accuse Ann Coulter of being a “tranny” rather than call her on her hateful rhetoric?

    But thanks for the additional background on these personas. And you’re right – I do attempt to do background checks on public figures before I go ahead and lend them any of my support or accuse them for being a hateful bigot. I’m not about to agree with every hypocrite who ever opens his or her mouth just because they sound “righteous”. I don’t see how that’s a bad thing

    Cutting and pasting an inaccurate anecdote from wikipedia is your idea of a background check? Got it.

    It might need to be pointed out that there is a difference between an anecdote and a pertinent description of the actual person you’re talking about.

    From your favorite source: An anecdote is a short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person. It may be as brief as the setting and provocation of a bon mot. An anecdote is always presented as based on a real incident involving actual persons, whether famous or not, usually in an identifiable place. Do you have anything other than this inaccurate anecdote from 1995 to assume that “hateful bigot” is an appropriate label?

    This is information about the actual people being discussed here and the type of disagreements they actually have with one another as they shout from the rooftops that any woman who isn’t as angry as they are is an enemy of True feminists such as themselves.

    Hmmm, this sounds like as much of a strawman as accommodationists have of Gnu Atheists…

  • Entomologista

    Bingo!

    This was a great post. What’s disappointing is that the comments have been taken over by anti-feminist concern trolls. It’s so ironic when dudes mansplain about how to be a good feminist. It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.

  • http://kagerato.net kagerato

    Still, bbk, the fact that some feminists are angry with society, each other, or themselves isn’t any kind of address toward the actual points made. It’s not convincing to dismiss someone on that basis, regardless of how unreasonable or insensible you feel they are being.

    In various ways I think you are drawing unwarranted conclusions about other’s views. For example, in #59, I don’t see how the quote at all implies that said women are justified in carrying malevolent feelings towards all men. All it really says is that there’s typically a significant cause of such feelings; that is, the transgressions being raised at not baseless.

    Beyond that, I don’t see how #58 is actually responding to what ildi said. The criticism was that you’re being hypocritical by judging a public figure by their identity, rather than their argument. For instance, by digging back fifteen years to talk about an incident that very few would even remember.

  • bbk

    @ildi: yes, I have it, if you actually read the thread and the “inadvertent” thread where I originally posted Moore’s article as an example of a bigoted, sexist, anti-male piece. Other people have also pointed out some of the passages in this article that are incredibly sexist, as did I in the other blog post and did not find necessary to restate here. Also, from the other thread, I pointed out exactly how sexist and bigoted these “rightfully angry” women that she admires really are:

    Dworkin:
    “Under patriarchy, every woman’s son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman”
    “Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men’s contempt for women”
    “All personal, psychological, social, and institutionalized domination on this earth can be traced back to its source: the phallic identities of men.”
    “Men are distinguished from women by their commitment to do violence rather than to be victimized by it.”
    “Only when manhood is dead – and it will perish when ravaged femininity no longer sustains it – only then will we know what it is to be free. ”

    Please, please, actually read my comments before making weird accusations based on anecdotes about how “only some men who are sexist” ever have a problem with statements such as those above and in the article itself.

    Regarding anecdotes: your description of an anecdote is wildly misleading and incomplete. You are making some very provocative false equivalences and I’m wondering about your personal commitment to honest debate. You are actually comparing something that Moore did and saying that I am not allowed to bring that up, but you’re saying that it’s perfectly okay for someone else to say “well, a random person in an audience once said that women can’t say bad stuff about men” and therefore that’s who you are if you disagree with Moore – while ignoring the actual substantive things that have been pointed out about what Moore said, did, and endorsed. And what’s even more ironic? You’re quoting something that I said that you object to, but you’re claiming that when I quote what Moore said, it’s “anecdotal” because it’s… oh for crying out loud…

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com/2011/01/26/some-thoughts-on-the-state-of-the-union-address/ MissCherryPi

    I hope that we can figure out the truth from the substance of what people are saying instead of by their identity.

    When Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States, Senator Jeff Sessions questioned her repeatedly about whether or not her experiences as a woman and a Latina would cloud her judgment. And yet white men nominated to the same position are never questioned as to whether or not their experiences as white men would cloud their judgment.

    It’s the same reason atheists frequently know more about the Bible than Christians, while most Christians do not understand atheist arguments or apologetics very well.

  • bbk

    For instance, by digging back fifteen years to talk about an incident that very few would even remember.

    I didn’t know there was a time limit? I did not dig back for this at all, this is what comes up when you search for Moore right now, today. So unless there’s something more recent that would compel us to believe that her opinion about anything has changed in the last 15 years, which there’s not, I don’t see why I can’t use it against her. As Greer said, “All she had to do was ring up and say, ‘I am sorry. I was misquoted’ or ‘I was drunk’. Anything! She said nothing”

    Still, bbk, the fact that some feminists are angry with society, each other, or themselves isn’t any kind of address toward the actual points made.

    You’re completely right on this, but for some strange reason I have never actually said anything of the sort. As I said, I have no problem with people being angry. The idea of detractors having a problem with the anger itself is actually a strawman that was brought into this blog post through various anecdotes and mis-characterizations, not through anything that anyone posting on this blog has said, let alone me. What I have a problem with the things people say that are not true.

    In #59, what I had rightly pointed out is that if someone is lying or demonizing someone in a tribalistic manner, in other words when they are being a complete bigot, then it does not matter if their anger has an underlying cause. We don’t need to justify that type of mob-hit mentality. Nothing prevents them from being angry in a truthful manner that we can address. So my problem was with the assertion that when men are bigots it’s because they’re just bigots, but when women are bigots it’s at least partly because of men.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com/2011/01/26/some-thoughts-on-the-state-of-the-union-address/ MissCherryPi

    Honestly, do we really care why someone is a hateful bigot? Is there really something righteous about it?

    Yes. Hatred backed up by a hierarchical system embedded in our culture and our institutions is more powerful and thus capable of doing more damage that “man-hating” or “reverse racism.” If we could change these systems, we would see less bigotry.

    Hugo Schwyzer a (straight, Christian) white man wrote this:

    There isn’t a single term in English that you can use that attacks me for being who I am. Put bluntly, the word “cunt” has more power to hurt than the insult “prick”; the word “nigger” more power to hurt than the word “honky”, the word “faggot” more power to hurt than the word “straight.” Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” — indeed, if I happen to be a privileged white male using Western European languages!

  • Mrnaglfar

    @62

    You can take your talk of “mansplaining” and bingo board and shove them up your ass. That’s the exact type of sexism I’d hope we all want to get away from. It’s not productive, and it makes you look like a moron, metaphorically high-fiving whatever clique you’re trying to impress, rather than making an actual point.

    @65

    Relevance? Whether some white man is a bigot has no impact of whether Moore is being sexist. Whatever the impact of Moore’s sexism (ranging from absolutely none to a tremendous one), it doesn’t change that it is sexism.

    I also can’t tell if you’re trying to disagree with the statement, but it sounds like a perfectly reasonable statement to me.

  • bbk

    It’s the same reason atheists frequently know more about the Bible than Christians, while most Christians do not understand atheist arguments or apologetics very well.

    And also why some men know a lot about feminism. There’s no question about Sotomayer: the conservative Republicans who used her race and sex to question her judgement were bigots.

    But, look at one of the comments above. “It’s so ironic when dudes mansplain about how to be a good feminist.” See? The opinions of men don’t count because a “mansplanation” is not worthy of the same consideration that a real “explanation” would deserve.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com/2011/01/26/some-thoughts-on-the-state-of-the-union-address/ MissCherryPi

    Relevance? Whether some white man is a bigot has no impact of whether Moore is being sexist.

    BBK made a reference to “identity politics” and I don’t know what he means by that. Everyone has an ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and we are all influenced by those things.

    I also can’t tell if you’re trying to disagree with the statement, but it sounds like a perfectly reasonable statement to me.

    Schwyzer? Yes, I think he makes sense there, and I was pointing it out to BBK because it looks to me like he thinks that just ignoring systemic inequalities and condemning “all sides” is a good strategy. It’s not.

    Also, wrt mansplaining, who said women not allowed to point out things that men do that perpetuate sexism?

  • Mrnaglfar

    it looks to me like he thinks that just ignoring systemic inequalities and condemning “all sides” is a good strategy. It’s not.

    Wait a second; are you implying we should only call out sexism or racism on the basis of the sex or race of the speaker?

    Also, wrt mansplaining, who said women not allowed to point out things that men do that perpetuate sexism?

    Women are more than welcome to point out sexist behavior of anyone – or at least what they perceive as sexist. When it’s done in a sexist fashion itself, I’m going to call bullshit.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com/2011/01/26/some-thoughts-on-the-state-of-the-union-address/ MissCherryPi

    And also why some men know a lot about feminism.

    Oh, I see what you did there. You compared the situation of atheists in a majority Christian country to the situation of men where the feminist movement exists.

    45% of Americans said that they would be willing to vote for a qualified candidate who happened to be atheist.

    I couldn’t even find a poll for the number of Americans who would be willing to vote for a qualified candidate who happened to be a male. Us feminists really have done the job. It is not positively unfathomable that a man could be elected to public office. Entomologista! Check off another box on the Bingo card!

    There’s no question about Sotomayer: the conservative Republicans who used her race and sex to question her judgement were bigots.

    I don’t want to talk about bigotry as plain mean spiritedness. I want to talk about why certain assumptions that lead to disadvantages for some groups are so pervasive, and what we can do to change them.

    See? The opinions of men don’t count because a “mansplanation” is not worthy of the same consideration that a real “explanation” would deserve.

    That’s not what mansplain means. The term was coined in response to this article about a woman who was an authority on a topic and a certain man at a party kept going on and on to her about this book on the topic she had to read. When she tried to point out that she was actually the author of said book, he ignored her and kept talking.

    Then. Thousands and thousands of women commented on various blogs discussing the article saying that the exact same thing happened to them. A similar phenomena is women who say they will suggest an idea at a meeting, everyone will ignore it and then a man will suggest the same thing and suddenly it’s on the agenda.

    For some reason (*cough* patriarchy *couch*) men’s voices carry more authority than women’s. Some men – explicitly aware of this or not, can be quite condescending in the way they talk to women. A mansplainer is not a man explaining something. He’s doing it in a patronizing way, to a woman, because of his privilege ignores the possibility that the woman might have more knowledge on the topic than he does.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com/2011/01/26/some-thoughts-on-the-state-of-the-union-address/ MissCherryPi

    Wait a second; are you implying we should only call out sexism or racism on the basis of the sex or race of the speaker?

    A person subject to a prejudice has a unique perspective that a person who is not subject to said prejudice doesn’t have.

    It’s like that whole post about when my godfather was saying grace. As a theist, I couldn’t easily empathize with why Ebon was upset. But that didn’t mean his concerns were invalid. Religious traditions really are set up to exclude non-believers. I just don’t have to think about that fact, and rarely do, because I never felt excluded by those customs.

  • bbk

    Yes. Hatred backed up by a hierarchical system embedded in our culture and our institutions is more powerful and thus capable of doing more

    Begs the question. Iff there is indeed a hierarchical system embedded in our culture and institutions that belongs to one race/sex and privileges them above all others, then hatred backed up by that system (as opposed to alternative explanations) is more dangerous.

    Whether or not you recognize “reverse” discrimination or not largely depends on whether or not you believe that such a system exists. If it does not exist then there is nothing “reverse” about it.

    Feminist theory isn’t really a great explanation for why discrimination exists and it’s just too easy to modify it without requiring any special evidence. Consider how Patriarchy morphed into Kyriarchy as the number of non-white-male minority groups grew under the feminist movement. When it turned out that everyone was a bigot against everyone else, they tried to make the hierarchical model fit by adding an infinitely recursive, indefinitely re-entrant dynamic quality to it that purportedly can still be traversed back to white men at the throne. Except that now you need to perform some sort of Taylor analysis to do it.

  • Mrnaglfar

    A person subject to a prejudice has a unique perspective that a person who is not subject to said prejudice doesn’t have.

    That doesn’t answer the question I asked. Do you feel we should only call out sexism or racism on the basis of the sex or race of the speaker?

    A mansplainer is not a man explaining something. He’s doing it in a patronizing way, to a woman, because of his privilege ignores the possibility that the woman might have more knowledge on the topic than he does.

    So if a black person tries to explain something to a white person in a patronizing fashion – ignoring the possibility the white person might have more knowledge on the topic than he does – would you call that “blacksplaining”? Or if a woman tries to explain something to a man in a patronizing fashion – ignoring the possibility the man might have more knowledge on the topic than she does – would you call that “womansplaining”?

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    people who demonize their enemies whether more powerful or less

    Why does it seem that certain people are only concerned with this when they think other people are doing it, or is calling all detractors “Man-haters” not demonization?

  • bbk

    I don’t want to talk about bigotry as plain mean spiritedness.

    Huh? If Sotomayor was applying for a job at Wal-Mart and they asked her those questions, there would have been a lawsuit!

    Are you saying that this was just mean-spirited because of what it implies about men not being allowed to have an opinion on feminist issues? I’m not sure where you’re going with this.

    That’s not what mansplain means.

    Thanks for the info. Now I think it’s a thousand times more sexist and bigoted than I had ever imagined and I know that it’s not just a knee-jerk, spiteful remark made by one or two bigots but a widespread, purposefully created word intended to denigrate men. And that it’s based completely on negative anecdotes about men. Who wants to hear a few stories about femdrivers? I’m sure I can dig up a few “factual” anecdotes.

    And funny that I seemed to have used it the wrong way… because I only used it exactly the way I have ever seen it used in practice. Anytime a man substantively disagrees with a feminist, mansplain. Not when he ignores him or her or steals an idea, but when he actually listens to what is being said and says that it doesn’t sound right. It’s always used in conjunction with the related claims that men can’t talk about sexism against women because they’re not women and that men can’t talk about sexism against men, also because they’re not women. Accordingly, sexism is a phenomenon only detectable by women while men are only capable of mansplanations.

  • bbk

    Why does it seem that certain people are only concerned with this when they think other people are doing it, or is calling all detractors “Man-haters” not demonization?

    Maybe because you’re not listening, but I can only offer that up as the most plausible explanation. You’d have to do some soul searching to really answer why you think that (emphasis mine).

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Oh the irony (x2).

  • bbk

    Okay I’ll bite again. Because “man-hater” is not an intentionally derogatory remark.

    For example, “All personal, psychological, social, and institutionalized domination on this earth can be traced back to its source: the phallic identities of men,” is a statement that could quite rightfully be described as man-hating. First, the statement is not true. Second, it’s one of many such statements by a person who is pretty adamant about blaming all of the world’s problems on men, who believes that even consensual sex is rape – all of it, and who believes that the only solution to every problem in the world is to completely eliminate all men.

    The reason it’s not a derogatory remark is because it can be used accurately, as it would apply to Dworkin or Moore and it is not a word that inherently disparages someone because of their identity (i.e. feminazi) nor a word that explains ignorance as a trait particular to one sex (mansplanation). If you wish, you can be a man-hater too. Nor does the use of this word constitute a wide brush that applies to “all” detractors, even the ones that we’re not talking about (i.e., Ebon posted Moore’s article as as an example of an “excellent” piece and I specifically disagree with that).

    Now, go read some Dostoevsky to get in touch with your sense of irony and stop being such a hipster.

  • ildi

    Also, from the other thread, I pointed out exactly how sexist and bigoted these “rightfully angry” women that she admires really are

    If someone has linked to the other thread, then I’ve missed it. You seem to have missed this quote from the referenced article (also quoted in the OP):

    God, how I miss those troublesome women like Andrea Dworkin and Shulamith Firestone. They may have been as batty as hell [emphasis mine] but they had passion. And balls. They were properly furious at the horrible things men do to women.

    Let’s see, then furtive friar cherrypicks a quote:

    I don’t like the jargon “sex workers”. We are all sex workers these days, unless we are celibate, as we are all encouraged to pursue lifelong sexiness. Most young women are endlessly groomed to be desirable after all. Yet the men who have sex with young, frightened, addled girls choose to do so. Such sex, we are told, is about power. To have sex in a car with a heroin addict is very cheap indeed. It goes on day in and day out, and of course it makes me wonder about male sexuality. As does the use of rape as a weapon of war. To say these things is not to say all men are rapists. But some are. To not say them does not make it stop.

    Notice that f. f. leaves out the part that men having sex in a car with a heroin addict being a commonplace event makes her wonder about male sexuality. Also notice how she says she is not calling all men rapists, but f. f. has missed this:

    It makes her “wonder” about male sexuality? Wonder what? Whether all males are secretly rapists on the inside, utterly driven by and unable to control our sexual desires? Describing men so broadly and unfairly is just as bad as doing the same to women.

    How do you go from is not to say all men are rapists to whether all males are secretly rapists on the inside?

    Other than that, all I see is your comments calling the article venomous and hate-filled.

    Regarding anecdotes: your description of an anecdote is wildly misleading and incomplete. You are making some very provocative false equivalences and I’m wondering about your personal commitment to honest debate. You are actually comparing something that Moore did and saying that I am not allowed to bring that up…

    Funny, I have the same reaction to reading your emotion-based rhetoric. I think you’re confusing the meme “the plural of anecdotes is not data” with an anecdote, which is defined as I presented above. You were trying to say that this anecdote is representative of Moore being a hate-filled bigot. It would help if your anecdote was actually true. You are “allowed” to bring up anything you wish, as long as it is accurate. Moore did not accuse Greer of having a hysterectomy. If you think that exchange defines Moore as a journalist, then I suggest you look it up and report back to us why Moore called Greer out on having a hysterectomy at 25 (mistakenly, as it turns out).

    I skimmed through your comments again, and this caught my eye:

    And then they point to men and say that men have to change their nature, that it is by necessity their own fault for not being able to communicate through implicit overtures, assumptions, body language, and whatever else. That’s offensive.

    Once you’ve defined women’s communication style to your own satisfaction (with your own anecdote thrown in about the woman who couldn’t ask her boss for the job), you turn right around and say:

    Precisely, which is why women should work as hard as they can to overcome this socialization. Not because it’s about one party changing the other, but because these are powerful communications skills that should be learnt by all. It’s not just about communicating with men, but also with each other and to be able to take on even the simplest of leadership roles when part of a group. There’s just more of an argument to be made for why it’s good for women.

    So, the way women tend to communicate is ineffective and women should just learn to communicate more like the way men tend to? Got it.

  • ildi

    You can take your talk of “mansplaining” and bingo board and shove them up your ass. That’s the exact type of sexism I’d hope we all want to get away from. It’s not productive, and it makes you look like a moron, metaphorically high-fiving whatever clique you’re trying to impress, rather than making an actual point.

    I’m sure you get just as fired up with righteous indignation when someone links to atheist bingo

  • bbk

    They may have been as batty as hell

    Is that some sort of surveyor-symbol apology? I don’t know anything about these women being batty as hell, but I do know about them being pig-headed sexists. What was so batty about them? Did they wear funny clothes or bring weird gifts to Moore’s kids’ birthday parties? I didn’t miss this part of the quote, but actually, I was flabbergasted by how she dismisses all the bigoted things that they ever said as being “batty”. But true, virtuous, and fully supported by herself and her “all the terrible things men do” approach to feminism.

  • Em

    There’s a difference between “this is a thing that happens commonly enough to have a term for it” and “every single man ever does it.” If you can’t point out patterns, then the suffragists would never have been able to point out that male voters – not every single one, but a lot of them – were the ones who were denying women the vote and condescendingly telling them that it was for their own good. How is it sexist to point out that there are enough men being sexist in similar ways that maybe they, I don’t know, are putting themselves in identity boxes and/or are somehow influenced by seeing other guys behave like that their whole lives even if they don’t realize it? People are also influenced by current fashions, sometimes without realizing how much influence there is, and no one thinks that’s a controversial idea. (We didn’t all get “bell bottoms are ugly” genes in lockstep or have a meeting about it, so a majority of us just “somehow” decided the same thing at the same time… without being influenced by others at all? Yeah, right.)

    And I’m quite baffled by the idea that straight white able-bodied women noticing that other women also sometimes experience discrimination, in similar though not always identical ways, is some sort of devious plot.

  • Em

    This is one reason I like Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. He’s clearly angry about all the discrimination and lynchings etc., but is able to channel it through logical arguments. And he’s able to note that some white people are great and helping the civil rights cause, and some black people aren’t, but also point out that despite individual exceptions, this was a system set up by white people, for white people, at the expense of black people, and all the qualifying statements about how other people can be bigots too wouldn’t change the fact that most white people had more rights and power than most black people at the time, and used that power badly. And pointing that out wasn’t creating the problem.

  • ildi

    Is that some sort of surveyor-symbol apology? I don’t know anything about these women being batty as hell, but I do know about them being pig-headed sexists. What was so batty about them? Did they wear funny clothes or bring weird gifts to Moore’s kids’ birthday parties? I didn’t miss this part of the quote, but actually, I was flabbergasted by how she dismisses all the bigoted things that they ever said as being “batty”. But true, virtuous, and fully supported by herself and her “all the terrible things men do” approach to feminism.

    So now you’re coming up with your own idiosyncratic definition of batty? Having batty ideas doesn’t count? Did you miss that they were mentioned in the article as an aside because of their passion, not their ideas? You don’t think that using rape as a weapon of war is one of the “terrible things that men do?”

    What was that you were saying about a personal commitment to honest debate?

  • bbk

    If you can’t point out patterns, then the suffragists would never have been able to point out that male voters – not every single one, but a lot of them – were the ones who were denying women the vote and condescendingly telling them that it was for their own good. How is it sexist to point out that there are enough men being sexist in similar ways…

    Good question. And the answer is because that sort of ignorance has nothing to do with sex. Women are the same, even if the circumstances aren’t always the same. Remove the gender-war bias and pick a word that’s not inherently pigheaded. Then we’ll be okay.

    For example, a very prominent feminist claimed that men who are falsely accused of rape, who are falsely imprisoned and whose lives are forever ruined by the stigma of the accusation actually “learn a valuable lesson”. In other words this injustice is good for them in the grand scheme of things. I hear this idea repeated by women on a fairly regular basis.

    As I infamously brought to light about the suffragists, they were also heavily aligned with the Prohibitionist movement. Why was that wrong? Because they felt that it was “good for men” to ban alcohol, which was primarily consumed by men and the source of many grievances about alcoholism from women.

    Or how about the issue of “ladies nights”? Once in a while a man will go to court to fight against this form of sexual discrimination, but very few have been successful. I don’t really care, except when I come across a representative from a feminist organization who scoffs at the idea and claims is that ladies nights are actually “good” for men. Really? So it’s good for men to pay a higher price for the “privilege” of going to some bar to spend their night buying drinks for prissy girls and listening to horrible dance music? What it actually sounds like is that men don’t have a choice to enjoy nightlife at the same price that women pay to enjoy it.

    I have heard women say that it’s “good for men” to have to pay child support without enjoying equal parental rights because “men don’t want kids anyway”. I have heard women say that it’s okay for men to be subject to the draft because “they start the wars anyway.” I have heard women say that it’s perfectly fine not to do anything about the fact that men die earlier than women because “they drink and smoke and don’t go to doctors.”

    The point is, women are just as ignorant as men. And the type of thinking that convinces women that ignorance is particular to men is sexist no matter how many anecdotes you back it up with or what insidious “patriarchal” power structure you attribute it to.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Did you miss that they were mentioned in the article as an aside because of their passion, not their ideas?

    That’s it; I’m invoking Godwin’s Law

    Hitler had passion and balls, yet I doubt Moore would admire him, so I assume that Moore admires those women for other reasons. I’ll take a stab in the dark and guess it’s because of their ideas; ideas probably something along the lines of “men are the source of all the world’s pain”; Ideas that are wrong.

  • ildi

    Good question. And the answer is because that sort of ignorance has nothing to do with sex. Women are the same, even if the circumstances aren’t always the same. Remove the gender-war bias and pick a word that’s not inherently pigheaded. Then we’ll be okay.

    Are you trying to say that sexism only exists in the minds of women?

    …very prominent feminist claimed that men who are falsely accused of rape, who are falsely imprisoned and whose lives are forever ruined by the stigma of the accusation actually “learn a valuable lesson”

    citation, please.

    I come across a representative from a feminist organization who scoffs at the idea and claims is that ladies nights are actually “good” for men.

    and

    I have heard women say that it’s “good for men” to have to pay child support without enjoying equal parental rights because “men don’t want kids anyway”. I have heard women say that it’s okay for men to be subject to the draft because “they start the wars anyway.” I have heard women say that it’s perfectly fine not to do anything about the fact that men die earlier than women because “they drink and smoke and don’t go to doctors.”

    My, my, you’re just chock-full of anecdotes, aren’t you?

  • monkeymind

    ” Iff there is indeed a hierarchical system embedded in our culture and institutions that belongs to one race/sex and privileges them above all others, then hatred backed up by that system (as opposed to alternative explanations) is more dangerous.”

    If, bbk?

  • bbk

    Anecdotes are good at one thing – they neutralize other anecdotes! Same level of citation required, so please don’t hold me to a higher standard than you hold your side of the debate. So where can I see the transcript of that show where the man in the audience called the author a man hater?

    Comins argues that men who are unjustly accused can sometimes gain from the experience. “They have a lot of pain, but it is not a pain that I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. ‘How do I see women?’ ‘If I didn’t violate her, could I have?’ ‘Do I have the potential to do to her what they say I did?’ Those are good questions.”

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,973077-6,00.html#ixzz1CeuD2rw0

    I take back what I said about the specific woman I had in mind being a “prominent” feminist, but I will say that it’s a prominent, commonly held opinion and I’m surprised if you hadn’t come across it before. For example, here is a prominent feminist expressing essentially the same view:

    “Politically, I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated.” — Catherine MacKinnon

    And finally,

    “Let’s face it: ladies nights are not actually for the ladies – they’re about men, for men — so why he’s complaining about that I don’t understand.” – Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women

    PS, the particular man she was referring to seems like a nasty piece of work, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that she’s also wrong.

  • bbk
  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    I’m really enjoying reading the back-and-forth in this thread. I think I’ll read something by Andrea Dworkin next – I want to see for myself what she has to say that’s got bbk so terrified.

    Or how about the issue of “ladies nights”? Once in a while a man will go to court to fight against this form of sexual discrimination, but very few have been successful.

    Hahaha! Oh man. bbk, you poor, oppressed soul. You’re not this guy, are you?

  • Mrnaglfar

    With regard to the “ladies night” issue, I’m reminded of this: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/tonsorial-discrimination/

    The comments there are typically either, “No, the price of the cut is dictated by the average amount of time and product it takes to do a job for men or women”, or “Women having to pay more for equal service is, of course, 100% sexist.”

    The real question I’d have is whether the same people who think that it’s sexist when the price difference isn’t in favor of women are consistent as to whether they think price differences in the favor of women are.

    It’s a valid question that won’t be answered by snarky comments.

  • bbk

    Uh, no, I’m not that guy, I don’t even go to nightclubs… but thanks for asking? The articles aren’t very flattering to him. But like I said, that doesn’t make Terry O’Neil sound any less ignorant. That’s why I brought it up.

  • bbk

    Mrnaglfar – some places have also made it illegal for dry cleaners to charge higher prices for pressing women’s clothing even though it is more intricate.

    Personally, I think that me paying $25 for a 5 minute haircut whereas a woman paying $75 for a 30 minute haircut makes me feel like I’m still overpaying. And some salons try to avoid the issue by charging based on the length of hair, but I still think it leaves something to be desired because you don’t actually have to learn how to cut men’s hair in order to get a license.

    Generally, I tend to see it as pure demand-based price discrimination, so I was trying to limit my point to just the statements made by the president of NOW, which were stupidly wrong from the standpoint of someone who claims to fight for equal rights for women.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com MissCherryPi

    Begs the question. Iff there is indeed a hierarchical system embedded in our culture and institutions that belongs to one race/sex and privileges them above all others, then hatred backed up by that system (as opposed to alternative explanations) is more dangerous.

    What was I thinking? Of course, we live in a total meritocracy. No rich people ever get ahead because of family connections. No minorities ever get discriminated against because someone in HR thinks they have a funny name. We are all colorblind. And none of those hateful stereotypes every have an impact on anyone’s success.

    Feminist theory isn’t really a great explanation for why discrimination exists and it’s just too easy to modify it without requiring any special evidence.

    Why isn’t the fact that it does exist enough for you? Furthermore, why would the entire movement of feminism have to justify its existence to you?

    Consider how Patriarchy morphed into Kyriarchy as the number of non-white-male minority groups grew under the feminist movement.

    So, the white feminists should have just ignored all that racism and homophobia in their ranks? All of those Black women who were trying to explain intersectionality should just have been ignored. What great organizing tips!

    Are you saying that this was just mean-spirited because of what it implies about men not being allowed to have an opinion on feminist issues? I’m not sure where you’re going with this.

    No. I’m saying that trying to frame bigotry as just an awful personality quirk like refusing to shower is not helpful. We have to go deeper than that if we want to stop it. A good predictor of a straight person’s stance on gay rights is whether or not they know an out gay person. Male politicians with daughters are more likely to be pro-choice than ones without.

    Accordingly, sexism is a phenomenon only detectable by women while men are only capable of mansplanations.

    No one said that.

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com MissCherryPi

    That doesn’t answer the question I asked. Do you feel we should only call out sexism or racism on the basis of the sex or race of the speaker?

    No. But I think that context matters. That’s why I posted that quotation from Hugo Schwyzer. It’s not always an equal playing field.

    So if a black person tries to explain something to a white person in a patronizing fashion – ignoring the possibility the white person might have more knowledge on the topic than he does – would you call that “blacksplaining”? Or if a woman tries to explain something to a man in a patronizing fashion – ignoring the possibility the man might have more knowledge on the topic than she does – would you call that “womansplaining”?

    No. What you are talking about is being uppity.

  • Entomologista

    Go here and educate yourself: Check my what? and What is male privilege? and Aren’t feminists just sexist towards men?. In fact, bbk and mrnaglfr should just read the whole Feminism 101 blog from beginning to end.

  • bbk

    Here’s the best description that I could find on Dworkin – it’s a eulogy.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/04/18/the_misdirected_passion_of_andrea_dworkin/

    “Andrea Dworkin is dead. Maybe feminism won’t live again until it has exorcised her sad ghost.”

    Sadly, I don’t think it has. Contrary to Moore’s lament, the entire world seems to have adopted the view of our society as a “Rape Culture”.

    Ebon, if you want to read Dworkin, why not start here:
    http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/MichLawJourI.html

    Male dominance means that the society creates a pool of prostitutes by any means necessary so that men have what men need to stay on top, to feel big, literally, metaphorically, in every way; and yet men are our standard for being human. We say we want to be human. We say that we want them to treat us like human beings. In a male-dominant society, men are the human beings. I want to point out to you that we use the word human metaphorically. We are not talking about how men act. We are talking about an idea, a dream, a vision that we have, of what a human being is. We are saying that we do not want them stepping on top of us; we are also saying implicitly that they are not a good enough standard for what being human is because look at what they are doing to us. We cannot want to be like them because being like them means using people the way that they use people–for the sake of establishing one’s importance or one’s identity. I am saying that in part men are mythological figures to us when we talk about them as human beings. We are not talking about how men really behave. We are talking about the mythology of men as arbiters of civilization. This political movement involves understanding that the human qualities that we want in life with each other are not qualities that characterize the way men really behave.

    That’s a whole speech full of this. A handful of quotes could never really do her any justice. I have read some of her books out of a macabre curiosity and it’s always the same. From this particular speech, what I can gather is that she hates everything about men – if I see a world where men cherish a woman’s companionship and define their personal identities based on a woman’s approval, she sees a world where men aren’t human and any woman who approves or rewards them is herself a prostitute.

    Anyhow, good luck on pouring over her work, Ebon.

  • http://www.facepunch.com/member.php?u=298989 Jeep-Eep

    How is it not “cat fighting” when men accuse Ann Coulter of being a “tranny” rather than call her on her hateful rhetoric?

    I’ve always hated that line myself. Aside from anything else, I don’t like thinking of it as possibly having been male at one point in time.

    I prefer to think of it as some kind of genderless abomination of hate and hideously poor fashion sense

  • bbk

    Entomologista, I hope you know that I read all three, most of them a very long time ago, and with great interest lest I ever find myself taking on a position that I couldn’t support.

    Have you read Dworkin? I’m talking about her and about Moore in particular, although there are many others. And I’m talking about all the otherwise reasonable people who make unconditional excuses for bigotry when it comes attached to a righteous cause. In that context, the educational materials that you provided here ring hollow because I am not claiming any of those things that they purport to address.

    All of these websites mention or link to reverse discrimination, but the way in which it is used here is a strawman and ignores the original meaning. Originally, it was a claim made against Affirmative Action as it pertained to college applications and job promotion by people who felt that they did not have a fair opportunity for advancement due to the quota system. It’s original use, right or wrong, was limited to how the government applied laws and in principle had nothing to do with members of a minority group being able to effectively discriminate against the majority. I can’t tell who started using it the way it is commonly used today, to describe any discrimination faced by a majority group, but it seems to have been a mixture of both feminists who denied that discrimination against men exists and petty racists who didn’t understand what a false equivalence is. At any rate, everyone who uses the term to try to prove anything is, at this point, completely wrong.

    The term turned into a strawman when these sorts of websites came out and started claiming that it is simply impossible for a woman or a person of color to be a bigot because that would mean that it’s a claim of reverse discrimination. So it’s possible for white women to be racist bigots against black men, and it’s possible for black men to be bigots against Asians, and thus the whole Kyriarchy, but if anyone were to ever to point out that women are oftentimes bigoted against men, the tormented mechanisms of Kyriarchy get dropped and replaced with pained explanations of how Reverse Discrimination means that it’s completely impossible for men to be disadvantaged in any meaningful way.

  • http://GodlessPoetry.blogspot.com Zietlos

    Aww, bbk got comment 100… I was waiting to snatch it up.

    I gotta say, I love you all. I realize without a real name and a face behind each statement, people tend to forget who each other are, but still, on most arguments, Cherri and bbk are in total agreement and often jointly deconstruct the arguments of “outsiders”.

    And yet the frustration I read in this thread, on both sides, as a internet troll, it makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside.

    Cherri, keep fighting for women’s rights. bbk, make sure they don’t swing the pendulum completely. That way, no one wins, which is really the point, after all, we don’t want a side to win, since it means they have more rights. When it is truly equal, everyone feels they’re being completely and painfully gipped.

    Tehehhehehehehe…. It’s so funny when the little words on the screen fight.

    For the other listeners, here’s a really fun activity: Replace all instances of the wronged party (in a post-by-post basis) as “atheists” and related words, and every instance of the empowered party as “Christians” and related words. It is hilarious, like watching two apologetics get completely verbally tongue-tied.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Why isn’t the fact that it does exist enough for you?

    Because knowing why sexism and racism exist is a key element in combating them. You can condemn a tumor all you want, but unless you understand how it works you won’t do a very good job at treating it.

    Also, since you have no problem with calling out the sexism or racism of anyone, no matter their identity, will you join me condemning Moore and her sexist rhetoric in that essay of hers, or do you feel she actually isn’t being sexist?

  • Mrnaglfar

    And as for the “Feminist 101″ links, I too have read them. I think they’re trash.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Cherri, keep fighting for women’s rights. bbk, make sure they don’t swing the pendulum completely. That way, no one wins, which is really the point, after all, we don’t want a side to win, since it means they have more rights. When it is truly equal, everyone feels they’re being completely and painfully gipped.

    Screw that. I want the side fighting for equal rights to win. It’s pretty apparent which one that is in this case.

    Although I wish you had gotten comment number 100 Zietlos if it meant that is would have spared us from yet another character assassination and demonization based on really bad reading comprehension.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    ildi,

    If someone has linked to the other thread, then I’ve missed it.

    The comment thread in question is here specifically starting with this comment in regards to the article. Of course, it probably won’t be that illuminating since it’s pretty much the same stuff repeated here.

  • bbk

    What was I thinking? Of course, we live in a total meritocracy. No rich people ever get ahead because of family connections. No minorities ever get discriminated against because someone in HR thinks they have a funny name. We are all colorblind. And none of those hateful stereotypes every have an impact on anyone’s success.

    Are you familiar with the Historical Fallacy? The Wikipedia example is great – if you look at a finished loaf of bread and try to figure out how it was produced, you might be tempted to think that air was one of the major ingredients. But that’s a failure in the analysis. You would never write a bread recipe that called for a cubic foot of air, perhaps, unless you were thinking like a feminist. That’s because when feminists look at a society that exhibits a high degree of injustice, they instinctively conclude that injustice is one of the major ingredients.

    Thus, Patriarchy, described as the system of oppression against women perpetrated by men, needs to come into existence in order for the creators of a society to add it as one of the ingredients. Never mind that there are no such creators, either, which in this case has been identified as the powerful members of society, the white men. But white men didn’t create society any more than God created life, so they couldn’t have added the ingredient of Patriarchy, either. Rich people who benefit from their wealth were no more responsible for their wealth than poor people for their poverty. The argument for the necessity of Patriarchy is no different than Hoyle’s argument for a Creator where he likened the theory of evolution to a tornado in a junk yard creating a car. Simply, we don’t need a “hierarchical system embedded in our culture” in order to explain why rich people are rich or any of the other outcomes you brought up. A scientific view of the world doesn’t need that any more than it needs God.

    It’s only when you drop these notions that you can start to address all the conflicting evidence that feminism is simply incapable of explaining. At least, it can’t explain them without resorting to bigotry, which is what it so often does.

  • ildi

    Thus, Patriarchy, described as the system of oppression against women perpetrated by men, needs to come into existence in order for the creators of a society to add it as one of the ingredients. Never mind that there are no such creators, either, which in this case has been identified as the powerful members of society, the white men. But white men didn’t create society any more than God created life, so they couldn’t have added the ingredient of Patriarchy, either.

    First of all patriarchy is defined as a form of social organization in which the father is the supreme authority in the family, clan, or tribe and descent is reckoned in the male line, with the children belonging to the father’s clan or tribe.

    The key element to this definition is descent is reckoned in the male line; i.e., who controls reproduction? Do women control reproduction, or do men control it by controlling women? So, yes, men did create the social organization of patriarchy as a way to maximize control of reproduction, which leads to the oppression of women as a part of being controlled by men for purposes of guaranteeing their progeny. This doesn’t mean a committee of men met and brainstormed on the best way to make bread…

    I see, OMGF, that you pretty much covered the same ground with bbk on the other thread, to no avail.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    I see, OMGF, that you pretty much covered the same ground with bbk on the other thread, to no avail.

    Yeah, I visited bbk’s fantasy land and I didn’t even get a stupid t-shirt…I got insults instead.

  • bbk

    ildi, you just said nothing that actually constitutes an argument. I’m wholly unconvinced. And by the way, your previous posts are so full of errors and mis-characterizations that, as much as I would love to respond to each and every single remark in order to correct it, I have to apologize to you because I simply just don’t have the sheer amount of time that it would take. But I’ll try to pick up from here.

    Do women control reproduction, or do men control it by controlling women? So, yes, men did create the social organization of patriarchy as a way to maximize control of reproduction

    Does this, in your opinion, constitute a logical argument? You’ve just committed the Historical Fallacy, immediately after it had been pointed out to you. A reasonable reader would interpret this as a confirmation of the thought process that I described in my last comment .

    This doesn’t mean a committee of men met and brainstormed on the best way to make bread.

    You really failed to understand what a misreading of history is all about. I honestly don’t know where you even come off saying something like this, but it gives me some idea of the competency of the person I’m dealing with when I respond to you. As a matter of fact, a “committee” of feminists did indeed “meet”, via intellectual discourse, and brainstormed on the way our society must have come into existence. They did this after the fact, by looking back at history and committing innumerable errors of judgement. That’s the whole point! They saw air in the bread and assumed that the cooks must have added it. This has absolutely no relevance to whether or not the cooks themselves were dumb enough to have tried making bread by puffing air into a ball of dough. That’s why it’s a Historical fallacy, in case you missed the big hint from the name of what it is called.

    I see, OMGF, that you pretty much covered the same ground with bbk on the other thread, to no avail.

    OMGF participated in that thread in so far as to give play by play accounts of the state of my penis while not-so-subtly trying to deflect attention away from his sycophancy.

    To understand sexists like OMGF, I suggest reading this article in Psychology Today
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rethinking-men/201010/why-some-people-have-issues-men-misandry

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Yay! I’m a man-hater and a sycophant now as well as a sexist! I can’t wait to tell all my friends.

    Dude, when even Ebon decides that you’re so ridiculous that you aren’t worth more than mockery it might be time for some self-reflection.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    BTW, didn’t I ask you to back up your accusations in the last thread? Oh yeah, you failed to do so, quite spectacularly. Now, here you are again hurling accusations at me and not backing them up. One who claims to be concerned with intellectual honesty would surely have an issue with that, except you seem to only be concerned with it when you can try and attack others for it…which seems to be what I pointed out above. Thank you for proving my point once again.

  • bbk

    No. I’m saying that trying to frame bigotry as just an awful personality quirk like refusing to shower is not helpful. We have to go deeper than that if we want to stop it. A good predictor of a straight person’s stance on gay rights is whether or not they know an out gay person. Male politicians with daughters are more likely to be pro-choice than ones without.

    I still don’t understand where you’re coming from or going with this. Does this still have a connection to the bigotry from Republicans against Sonya Sotomayor? How does saying that she experienced bigotry akin to likening bigotry with not showering?

    Perhaps I’m confused because it seems a little ridiculous that you even brought this up. Are you saying that Sotomayor shouldn’t preside over cases involving white men, and hence men shouldn’t be allowed to “mansplain” any issue where it is purported that women know best? Or is this about having it both ways? Sotomayor can judge cases involving majority men, because the alternative is bigotry, but women who claim that men are incapable of using their own jurisprudence on female matters are not bigots, that such a comparison makes light of the serious issue of bigotry? I think this is what you are basically saying here. I don’t like it.

  • ildi

    Does this, in your opinion, constitute a logical argument? You’ve just committed the Historical Fallacy…

    Only if you assume that when we see the results “patriarchy” we don’t see the steps through history, archeology and anthropology (and evo psych) that went into the baking of patriarchies and muffins (matriarchies). Are you really going to argue that controlling reproduction is not a key driving force for the human species? That would make us unique.

    They saw air in the bread and assumed that the cooks must have added it.

    They saw air in the bread which made people gassy, so they went back to evaluate the recipe to see what caused air to form in the bread, and are trying to tweak it. However, people who like airy bread want them to just take a Tums.

    (I understand that you’re getting more and more vituperative and ad hom because I’m touching a nerve…)

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com/2011/01/26/some-thoughts-on-the-state-of-the-union-address/ MissCherryPi

    Because knowing why sexism and racism exist is a key element in combating them. You can condemn a tumor all you want, but unless you understand how it works you won’t do a very good job at treating it.

    I think it has to do with why people hold irrational beliefs in general. Amanda Marcotte gave a talk on this at Skepticon.

    Also, since you have no problem with calling out the sexism or racism of anyone, no matter their identity, will you join me condemning Moore and her sexist rhetoric in that essay of hers, or do you feel she actually isn’t being sexist?

    She was using hyperbole in a way that she admits was sexist.

    That was bad of me wasn’t it? A little sexist?

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com/2011/01/26/some-thoughts-on-the-state-of-the-union-address/ MissCherryPi

    Patriarchy, described as the system of oppression against women perpetrated by men, needs to come into existence in order for the creators of a society to add it as one of the ingredients.

    No. Partiarchy harms just about everyone. Strict gender roles harm men. And whether it was put there on purpose or the reaction from the yeast or baking powder, it still exists.

    I still don’t understand where you’re coming from or going with this. Does this still have a connection to the bigotry from Republicans against Sonya Sotomayor? How does saying that she experienced bigotry akin to likening bigotry with not showering?

    I’m saying that when people, like you, bbk, say “Oh Jeff Sessions was just a hateful bigot. What an asshole, pay him no mind.” It makes racism and sexism worse. You are only calling out the malicious behavior, which while wrong is a symptom of a bigger problem – White men are seen as the default in the USA and no one would ever question that they have points of view influenced by their race and gender. Of course they do! Just like everyone else.

    Are you saying that Sotomayor shouldn’t preside over cases involving white men, and hence men shouldn’t be allowed to “mansplain” any issue where it is purported that women know best?

    No. Senator Sessions was implying she shouldn’t preside on cases involving racial or gender issues because her experience with those things biases her. He never thought about whether a white man’s experiences with race and gender could bias him, a deep but curable ignorance – not a personality flaw.

    Sotomayor can judge cases involving majority men, because the alternative is bigotry, but women who claim that men are incapable of using their own jurisprudence on female matters are not bigots, that such a comparison makes light of the serious issue of bigotry?

    No, I never said that and I don’t know where you are getting that from. Men or women can fairly judge issues of sexism, as long as they take into account the influence their own gender may have on their perspective. For example, Justice Ginsburg was appalled that the other (all male at the time) justices didn’t really seem to understand why forcing a 13 year old girl to be strip searched for no reason was a really awful thing to do. She didn’t say that means only women can be judges, but that both male and female perspectives are needed. If any of those justices had thought for a minute about what their teenage daughters or sisters were like at that age, she probably wouldn’t have had to say anything.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    No, I never said that and I don’t know where you are getting that from.

    He gets it from the same location that he’s been getting everything else from – his ass.

  • monkeymind

    You really failed to understand what a misreading of history is all about. I honestly don’t know where you even come off saying something like this, but it gives me some idea of the competency of the person I’m dealing with when I respond to you. As a matter of fact, a “committee” of feminists did indeed “meet”, via intellectual discourse, and brainstormed on the way our society must have come into existence. They did this after the fact, by looking back at history and committing innumerable errors of judgement. That’s the whole point! They saw air in the bread and assumed that the cooks must have added it. This has absolutely no relevance to whether or not the cooks themselves were dumb enough to have tried making bread by puffing air into a ball of dough. That’s why it’s a Historical fallacy, in case you missed the big hint from the name of what it is called.

    Dude, we don’t need to speculate on how the bread was made because we have the fucking recipe.
    Read Leviticus, read the Koran, read all the explicit laws and rules that kept women from owning property and seeking higher education. We know who wrote those laws and rules. It didn’t just happen.

    Even now right here in the US, where you apparently imagine all vestiges of this overt, intentional system of unjust discrimination have vanished without a trace, little girls are being indoctrinated that their highest calling is to serve their husband as lord and master.

    Check out this book by Debi Pearl: Created to be his Helpmeet. It contains some really whack stuff about staying with an abusive husband, yet it’s #30 on Amazon list of books on Christian marriage. That’s just on Amazon, there must be thousands sold through Christian bookstores.

    Debi’s husband, Michael Pearl has written a book that is nothing less than a manual on how to physically and psychologically torture your children into unquestioning submission. That’s patriarchy all right, right here in River City.

  • bbk

    I’m saying that when people, like you, bbk, say “Oh Jeff Sessions was just a hateful bigot. What an asshole, pay him no mind.” It makes racism and sexism worse. You are only calling out the malicious behavior, which while wrong is a symptom of a bigger problem – White men are seen as the default in the USA and no one would ever question that they have points of view influenced by their race and gender.

    I actually see what you were getting at now. And believe me, this was far from obvious. But I see an opportunity for some common ground here. First, let us agree for a minute that I have no ideological imperative to explain the existence of an underlying system of discrimination, so I have no reason to apply the term “bigot” in a selective way so as to emphasize that there is an underlying mechanism that creates one type of bigotry but not another type of bigotry. What I want to say is that there is no such thing as a good bigot, so if it happens to be Dworkin and everything that she had gone through in her life, it’s still every bit just as bigoted as Jeff Sessions. What I would like you to recognize is that, contrary to your feelings about the matter, the burden of proof is on you to change my mind, to provide a substantive and compelling case for why a framework built around male domination should be used as a lens through which to interpret the cause of all the hate in the world. So we can perhaps agree to disagree on this – I don’t have to be a feminist, in which case you have to accept that from my perspective a bigot is a bigot is a bigot – just that.

    In turn, I will offer up to you that there are very powerful undercurrents that drive the hatred and bigotry in very particular and predictable directions. The difference in opinion between us is that I believe that there are alternative explanations which I feel are superior to the explanation put forth by feminists. They account for all bigotry without resorting to special pleading. They don’t excuse ugly people such as Dworkin just because she happens to be a bigot for the “good guys”.

  • bbk

    (I understand that you’re getting more and more vituperative and ad hom because I’m touching a nerve…)

    No, you’re not touching a nerve, and either way this wouldn’t prove you were right, as is sometimes claimed.

    Only if you assume that when we see the results “patriarchy” we don’t see the steps through history, archeology and anthropology (and evo psych) that went into the baking of patriarchies and muffins (matriarchies).

    You actually don’t, as these steps have never been described without also committing the same exact fallacy along the way. Moreover, it introduces a bigger set of problems for feminism when you try to wade through old books and ancient superstitions in order to make your case. First of all, there’s a very special kind of analytical fallacy that you’re adding on top of what you already have. It’s called “presentism”, or the Historian’s Fallacy (not to be confused with the Historical Fallacy). It’s the idea that we can’t use our modern expectations to judge whether or not a past decision was right or wrong. How do you know, given that the Bible is one of the few ancient books that hasn’t been destroyed by savages, that ancient societies were as savage as you are led to believe from the Bible? What makes you truly believe that modern society is based more on Lyda and the Swan than on Hypatia and the Library of Alexandria? There’s just the slightest possibility that past societies were much more egalitarian, given the facts of life they were faced with, than the modern society from which you judge them. Progress, oftentimes, is a mere illusion, a superiority complex that we have in our present time as we look condescendingly at our ancestors. At any rate, you’re left with mere speculation to make your case, at best, and you can’t deny the fact that your version of events could have more to do with your own personal bias than with what really might have happened. What you’re saying proves something, for the most part, proves nothing.

  • bbk

    @monkeymind, my las response to ildi can easily double in response to you (the part of your comment that was valid, as opposed to the parts that were merely inflammatory).

    Furthermore, I submit to you that you have to deal with the fact that Christianity was imposed on the world against its will. A Visigoth, after all, is where the word “bigot” came from. All of your points are perfectly valid for why organized religion has been detrimental to women. Yet it has been equally detrimental to men – again, Christianity was a favored religion of Roman dictators due the subservient values it instilled in its male subjects, especially in the military. You’re making a compelling argument for why Christianity and its cousins are the enemy of women and the root cause of much of the sexism and bigotry in our society. You’re failing to make a compelling case for Patriarchy.

    The distinction matters. You have to justify how women support Christianity in even greater numbers than men, while they purport the manner of their oppression to be rooted in the evil nature of men. You have to justify how Andrea Dworkin allowed herself to become a tool of right-wing religious fanatics who used her to help them pass unconstitutional censorship laws. There’s actually whole lot of things that you have to account for if you want to support the theory of Patriarchy as the mechanism of our oppression.

  • bbk

    pay him no mind

    This spectacular job of paraphrasing deserves a special highlight. No amount of twisted logic will ever move me to accept the idea of exposing a bigot as the worst possible type of human being is tantamount to paying him no mind. You can dig through everything that I have ever said and I can turn over all of my personal correspondence and anything else where you might otherwise find evidence of me saying that we should ignore bigotry and you won’t find an example of me saying this – you won’t find it. What a baseless accusation!

    Ironically it is you, MissCherryPi, who says “pay her no mind” when you ignore the thick, dripping hatred and bigotry emanating from Moore and her heroines. You seem to be upset that I detest bigotry more than I detest Patriarchy, because I believe that the latter is nothing more than a bogus theory. That is the only reason why you’re paraphrasing me to make it sound like I’m sweeping bigotry under the rug. No, I’m not sweeping it under the rug. But you have not once in this thread looked at what Moore or Dworkin and said that yeah, that’s just not right. Not once.

    No. Partiarchy harms just about everyone. Strict gender roles harm men

    Please, spare me the concern. We both know that the “solutions” that feminism offers for men’s problems are a joke. Isn’t it feminists who say that you can sympathize, but not empathize, with a marginalized group? How hypocritical is it for feminist women, even through their unabashed bigotry, to say that they know the solution to all of men’s concerns: make it okay for men to wear pink. They have few applicable solutions for men, so feminists simply deny that the rest of the problems exist. Hierarchical feminism does not acknowledge the possibility that women can be privileged over men, without special pleading. They relegate any injustice faced by men to “they did it to themselves.”

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    dripping hatred and bigotry

    Prjection much?

  • monkeymind

    bbk, I need to do none of those things. Most organized religions are patriarchal, so there’s no contradiction there. I never claimed that men are never oppressed in patriarchal systems. I am not being “presentist” in noting that a whole system of de facto and de jure rules prevented women from fully participating in economics and government until relatively recently.

    It’s you who have to explain why you’re here debating about “Ladies Nights” instead of taking on the Christian neo-patriarchs advocating father-rule.

  • Mrnaglfar

    I think it has to do with why people hold irrational beliefs in general.

    I’d venture it has a whole lot more to do with groupishness in people, on top of their being actual differences between men and women in a number of traits, combined with people’s tendency to treat unknown others as token representations of their groups. (That it has to do with some people just being wrong should go without saying. Why people are more likely to form some wrong ideas over others is a far more interesting point)

    The former effects what kind of information we’re liable to accept and from what sources. It also makes us think more positively about our own groups (and by extension, more negatively of others) and can reinforce ideas, among many other things.

    The latter tendency – treating an unknown individual as if they were a mean representation of their group – isn’t actually that bad of an idea, given that the alternatives are all less useful: Treating an unknown individual as if they weren’t a mean representation of their group is bound to lead one to be less accurate (on average), and treating an unknown individual as if you had no information about them whatsoever won’t get you anywhere (i.e. treating a baby girl the same way you treat an adult man the same way you treat an elderly woman makes no sense).

    Of course, it should go without saying that doing so won’t always make you correct in your assessments, it’ll just make you incorrect less often. So useful, but far from fool-proof. However – if I’m correct in my assessment – knowing the correct underlying mechanisms and understanding their function would better allow us to alter them in beneficial ways.

    She was using hyperbole in a way that she admits was sexist.

    Moore also seemed to have little problem with her sexism. Telling me that she admitted what she said was probably sexist is not, however, an actual condemnation of what she said. We’ve both acknowledged that sexism in anyone should be condemned, and we both seem to have acknowledged that Moore was acting in a sexist fashion. Will you now join me in saying that this was less an “excellent essay” and more “angry sexism”?

  • bbk

    Hah! I’m not debating Ladies Nights – I don’t care about ladies nights! But for anyone who still retains a sense of irony that hasn’t been dulled by their own ideology, they would have noticed the sheer, insurmountable contradiction inherent in the response from NOW. So let me spell it out for you: the president NOW, an organization fighting for equal wages for women, thinks it’s dandy and good for men to have to pay higher prices than women do for various aspects of their social life.

    And for crying out loud don’t forget the reason I brought it up in the first place – it was in response to a commenter who claimed that the term “mansplanation” is far from sexist because women never speak out of ignorance as if they know better than anyone else what’s in the best interests of men. Don’t be a dolt, it’s unbecoming of you even if your moniker is monkeymind.

    Again, lest you forgot, here is the “take away” quote that made this example relevant:

    “Let’s face it: ladies nights are not actually for the ladies – they’re about men, for men — so why he’s complaining about that I don’t understand.” – Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women

    Why didn’t they just say they had “no opinion”, like they did when the question was whether banning pornography was unconstitutional?

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Apparently, some people didn’t read the comments at the haircut thread.

  • bbk

    But like most superficial pro-woman practices, it’s actually not. The goal of Ladies’ Night is to attract more females so that they will act as decoys to attract male customers. Ladies’s Night treats women not as valuable customers in and of themselves, but as mere objects to be used as part of a marketing strategy to attract the *real* customers.

    Okay, now that we have all read the comment from the other website, please use the best of your twisted logic to explain how this is in the best interests of men – as opposed to a sexist strategy of exploitation. Remember, the president of NOW has made it her organization’s official position that Ladies’s Night is of great benefit to men and therefore worthy of their endorsement – apparently she is even okay with the idea of using women as tipsy decoys to lure in men. This is going to make my day…

  • Mrnaglfar

    @128

    Or I just don’t agree with the sentiments of the comment. I suppose you ruled out that possibility already.

    The goal of Ladies’ Night is to attract more females so that they will act as decoys to attract male customers.

    That’s generally the main idea, yes. However, the women are “attracted” to the ladies night because an identical good/service is being offered to them at a lesser (or no) cost because of their gender.

    Ladies’s Night treats women not as valuable customers in and of themselves, but as mere objects to be used as part of a marketing strategy to attract the *real* customers.

    Is this the part where we’re all supposed to put our fingers in our ears, cover our eyes, and pretend that there aren’t tons of women who go out to bars and clubs with no actual intention of buying a drink themselves because they know either their partner or random guys intent on hitting on them (or both) will buy them their drinks for the night?

    If men actually are more likely to part with their money for drinks – for themselves, their friends, or other women – then I really fail to see the problem with the business model.

    So yes, we get cheaper alcohol, but we get it at a higher price – the loss of individual identity and the assumption that we will therefore be sexually available.

    I didn’t know women surrendered their identity when they walked into a bar having a ladies night. I think I never knew that because it doesn’t fucking happen. And believe you me, whether it’s a ladies night or not at a bar, men will be hoping the women there are sexually available.

    And all this is coming from someone (myself) who has absolutely no problem whatsoever with ladies nights. My main question is whether the same people who condemn women having to pay more for their haircuts are also the same people who would condemn a ladies night.

    I suspect not.

  • bbk

    Most organized religions are patriarchal, so there’s no contradiction there.

    You’re right – circular logic is beyond mere contradiction. Let’s see if I can set this straight. Patriarchy exists because most of religions nicely accommodate the definition of Patriarchy, which in turn are fully encompassed by the practices of those religions. That doesn’t give us a great idea of whether or not Patriarchy could actually exist by itself.

    You’re also trying to pull something similar to ildi did when (she or he?) thought she would correct my definition of Patriarchy:

    First of all patriarchy is defined as a form of social organization in which the father is the supreme authority in the family, clan, or tribe and descent is reckoned in the male line, with the children belonging to the father’s clan or tribe.

    Notice something peculiar? This is the definition for the lower-case ‘p’ version of patriarchy, not the Patriarchy as it is defined by feminist theory and for which I offered a more appropriate definition. The lower-case patriarchy is not necessarily sexist – only through a presentist gaze can you say for sure that a patriarchal society is necessarily sexist. We can’t say for sure – especially had you removed religious superstition that was revered by both sexes – that the concessions made by men and women in a subsistence civilization to organize in a certain way were any less apropos for the general benefit of everyone involved than our current preferences are for us. You haven’t overcome the Historian’s Fallacy, you just swapped out the value-based definition of Patriarchy with the civic definition of the word. You are very far from proving that Patriarchy exists or that it is needed to explain anything.

  • bbk

    I didn’t know women surrendered their identity when they walked into a bar having a ladies night.

    They surrender it to Lady Gaga.

    Or maybe it’s Katy Perry now…

  • monkeymind

    I refuse to prolong the stupidity of this discussion. I care that girl children are still being indoctrinated into believing they are second-class citizens. I will join with whomever seems like they have a plan for putting an end to it, and avoid people like bbk and Mrnaglfar who just want to waste everyone’s time.

  • bbk

    I refuse to prolong the stupidity of this discussion.

    So you’ll shut up?

    And yeah I know – I’ve got you beat because I’m going to join anyone who has a plan for bringing about world peace and giving every little girl a pony. I heard that in a pageant once so it must be right…

  • Mrnaglfar

    I care that girl children are still being indoctrinated into believing they are second-class citizens. I will join with whomever seems like they have a plan for putting an end to it, and avoid people like bbk and Mrnaglfar who just want to waste everyone’s time.

    Go do that then and stop wasting our time here, and by all means, avoid people like us who raise the question as to whether those plans are actually any good if that’s what works for you. Just go sign up for the first thing that initially sounds right to you and your – what I can only assume is – vast expertise on the subject.

    I’d rather have a good plan, but maybe that’s just my patriarchy talking…

  • ildi

    First of all, there’s a very special kind of analytical fallacy that you’re adding on top of what you already have. It’s called “presentism”, or the Historian’s Fallacy (not to be confused with the Historical Fallacy). It’s the idea that we can’t use our modern expectations to judge whether or not a past decision was right or wrong.

    You’re confusing historical analysis with what we do with that analysis. Historian may want to avoid being judgmental of past decisions in order to be able to conduct an objective analysis, but it doesn’t mean those decisions were good for everyone even in their time, or that we have to approve of or live with the consequences of those decisions.

    How do you know, given that the Bible is one of the few ancient books that hasn’t been destroyed by savages, that ancient societies were as savage as you are led to believe from the Bible? What makes you truly believe that modern society is based more on Lyda and the Swan than on Hypatia and the Library of Alexandria? There’s just the slightest possibility that past societies were much more egalitarian, given the facts of life they were faced with, than the modern society from which you judge them. Progress, oftentimes, is a mere illusion, a superiority complex that we have in our present time as we look condescendingly at our ancestors.

    Do you know anything about history? The Bible is one of the few ancient books not destroyed by savages? What a load of bollocks! Progress is an illusion? Where do you get this stuff? Some societies were more egalitarian than others; it just so happens that the ones from which modern western civilization took root were not.

    The lower-case patriarchy is not necessarily sexist – only through a presentist gaze can you say for sure that a patriarchal society is necessarily sexist. We can’t say for sure – especially had you removed religious superstition that was revered by both sexes – that the concessions made by men and women in a subsistence civilization to organize in a certain way were any less apropos for the general benefit of everyone involved than our current preferences are for us.

    How deliciously po-mo of you! You can pretty much say the same thing about slavery. Oh, wait, no, slavery wasn’t necessarily racist; Slavery as defined by the civil rights movement as the oppression of blacks is a presentist interpretation of history.

    it was in response to a commenter who claimed that the term “mansplanation” is far from sexist because women never speak out of ignorance as if they know better than anyone else what’s in the best interests of men.

    It would be much easier to take you seriously if you didn’t keep badly misrepresenting what people say.

  • ildi

    civil rights movement replace with abolitionists

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    It would be much easier to take you seriously if you didn’t keep badly misrepresenting what people say.

    ildi, meet bbk. :) As I learned from long and tedious experience, he’s not arguing with you, he’s arguing with someone in his head. Anything you say that doesn’t fit that person’s script just gets ignored or rewritten somewhere in his mind to match what he thinks feminists believe.

  • ildi

    …he’s arguing with someone in his head.

    Also, the projection is strong with this one.

  • bbk

    @Ebon, come on admit it you love my company. You love it, you know you do! Just when you thought you’ve thought of everything and life settled down to a predictable pace, then I come along and point out that you’re doing it all wrong :)

  • bbk

    “it was in response to a commenter who claimed that the term “mansplanation” is far from sexist because women never speak out of ignorance as if they know better than anyone else what’s in the best interests of men.”

    It would be much easier to take you seriously if you didn’t keep badly misrepresenting what people say.

    I’m listening, internet. Speak to me. One more chance to tell me why “mansplanation” is not sexist against men.

    How deliciously po-mo of you! You can pretty much say the same thing about slavery. Oh, wait, no, slavery wasn’t necessarily racist; Slavery as defined by the civil rights movement as the oppression of blacks is a presentist interpretation of history.

    Looked at your other comments, but this one is by far the most interesting. Yes, in fact I can say the same exact thing about slavery! At least the same thing that I said, not the nonsense that you’re trying to say. And you know why? Because slavery came first. Racism as it pertains to black slaves, especially the particularly nasty brand that Americans invented, was developed by the slaveholders to justify the status quo of an existing institution. Isn’t that neat?

    We could probably spend days talking about all the different concepts of slavery that have been developed by slave-owning societies, but there’s enough variation even in American history. Do you know what an indentured servant is? They’re people who went into contractual slavery and many of them were white. Early on, indentured servitude was one of the main forms of slavery for both blacks and whites. And curiously enough, there have been a few blacks who have held slaves.

    It wasn’t until the chattel style of slavery became widespread and the African slave trade became the primary means for whites to obtain slaves that the colonies racialized slavery and actually made it illegal to own whites. That didn’t happen until the 1800′s. It took about 50 years for society to degrade to the point where the Confederate states made the inferiority of blacks a central tenet in their slave-holding rebellion. And contrary to what you may believe, things got even worse for blacks, in terms of racial hatred, even years after slavery was abolished. The widespread terrorism against black communities really came into full swing after slavery ended, including and perhaps especially in the North. It wasn’t until 1912 that Woodrow Wilson fired black supervisors and segregated the government. He and his wife were fond of their “darkie” jokes and laughed at the fact that the only blacks in the white house were the servants. They went so far as to appoint white ambassadors to places like Haiti, jobs that until then were traditionally given to blacks.

    So the racism that you know of today, the racism you learned about from Martin Luther King, is exactly the sort of phenomenon that came as a product of a centuries-long decay of civil society. So thank you, really, for bringing up a great example of how the forward march of “progress” can itself be an illusion created by people looking at history with a narrow perspective.

  • ildi

    Because slavery came first. Racism as it pertains to black slaves, especially the particularly nasty brand that Americans invented, was developed by the slaveholders to justify the status quo of an existing institution. Isn’t that neat?

    …It wasn’t until the chattel style of slavery became widespread and the African slave trade became the primary means for whites to obtain slaves that the colonies racialized slavery and actually made it illegal to own whites. That didn’t happen until the 1800′s. It took about 50 years for society to degrade to the point where the Confederate states made the inferiority of blacks a central tenet in their slave-holding rebellion. And contrary to what you may believe, things got even worse for blacks, in terms of racial hatred, even years after slavery was abolished. The widespread terrorism against black communities really came into full swing after slavery ended, including and perhaps especially in the North.

    What’s really neat is how willing you are to make things up out of whole cloth to support your internal narrative. (By “neat” I mean pitiful.) It’s rather a waste of time to try to have a reasoned discussion with someone who plays fast and loose with the facts.

  • bbk

    What’s really neat is how willing you are to make things up out of whole cloth to support your internal narrative. (By “neat” I mean pitiful.) It’s rather a waste of time to try to have a reasoned discussion with someone who plays fast and loose with the facts.

    I’m sorry, but I took my version of history from college professors and books by real historians. Did you take yours from your grade school teacher?

    I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you actually back up your nasty little claims. I’ve bothered to provide more reference material, quotations, etc., than anyone else here to actually demonstrate that I’m not just “making stuff up whole cloth.” So at this point if you still want to be a little prick about it, why don’t you provide a link to something other than a cut-rate feminist website to try to actually back up your own ideas.

  • ildi

    I took my version of history from college professors and books by real historians

    The same ones from which Michele Bachmann (the founding fathers didn’t rest until they eradicated slavery) learned her history?

    I’ve bothered to provide more reference material, quotations, etc., than anyone else here to actually demonstrate that I’m not just “making stuff up whole cloth.”

    Links, yes. Links when you’re making stuff up, no. When you’re called on them, you ignore them and move on to the next rant. However, you have proven by your whole-sale misinterpretations and idiosyncratic definitions (not to mention out-and-out lies) that your imagination is quite febrile; have you tried your hand at fiction?

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    That’s generally the main idea, yes. However, the women are “attracted” to the ladies night because an identical good/service is being offered to them at a lesser (or no) cost because of their gender.

    In order to bring in men…women are used as bait in that scenario. Of course, it demeans both men and women to certain degrees, but let’s not pretend that it’s all benefit to women and detriment to men to have situations where women are used as objects to lure in men.

    Remember, the president of NOW has made it her organization’s official position that Ladies’s Night is of great benefit to men and therefore worthy of their endorsement – apparently she is even okay with the idea of using women as tipsy decoys to lure in men.

    Except that’s not what she said…at least not in the quote you gave. Again, you are terrible when it comes to reading comprehension. If you can’t deal with what people actually say then you have no right to cry about intellectual honesty, because you don’t have it. As Ebon rightly pointed out, you’re arguing with some demon in your head. You need to cut it out. If you can’t do that on your own, then seek professional help, but your obvious hatred is showing and doesn’t look good.

    I’d even venture further than that. You’ve complained about the fights and taunts from other kids while growing up because they looked down on you for being an immigrant, but I bet what hurt the most was the girls that turned you down, wasn’t it? So, you joined the military to be a manly man and prove that you’re a manly man, even though you got your little heart stepped on by girls that weren’t interested in you. And, now you’re lashing out at all those mean, nasty women who wouldn’t give you the time of day – I mean, they must all be lesbians and man-haters, huh? You’re pretty pathetic.

  • Nathaniel

    But hey, its not like there is a problem with women in the atheist movement. If they could just stop being stuck up, bigoted, sexist bitches we’d welcome them with open arms, right bbk?

  • monkeymind

    OK, I feel somewhat stupid for jumping into the “someone is wrong on the Internet” game, especially after forgetting to put an adjective before the word “plan” in my flounce-off above.

    However.

    ildi, bbk is not actually wrong in claiming that full-blown racial justifications for chattel slavery emerged after the African slave trade was established economically. Why is this surprising? Sometimes belief is used to rationalize atrocious behavior, as in African slavery, and sometimes belief drives atrocity,as in anti-Semitism. Why is it surprising that ever more elaborate theories of racial inferiority would be needed to shore up and justify the economic exploitation of slaves and ex-slaves as ideas of “inalienable rights” and equality spread through the European population?

    No, what surprises me is that bbk thinks he has scored some kind of victory by pointing this out. Does it make racism somehow less real? Would it have mattered to a black kid growing up in the 1930′s which came first, the chicken or the egg?

  • bbk

    ildi, OMGF, and Nathaniel, you are offering me nothing but ad hominem attacks, misreadings of what I wrote, and no effort to even try to comprehend the things that I’m saying that put into question your entire little theories about how the world works. You, my friends, don’t strike me as people who really love knowledge or thought. But I’ll try to move past that, ignoring the inane accusations, on and maybe educate you a little bit.

    So here we go. Firstly, I want to reiterate why this is relevant. It’s relevant because it showcases the presentism inherent in the view, “slavery is racist”. Does racism exist? No question about it. Was racism used by slave owners? Of course. But does that mean, as is implied, that the primary cause of slavery is racism? Well now… Let’s ask Howard Zinn, shall we?

    This helps explain the stern police measures against whites who fraternized with blacks.

    Herbert Aptheker quotes a report to the governor of Virginia on a slave conspiracy in 1802: “I have just received information that three white persons are concerned in the plot; and they have arms and ammunition concealed under their houses, and were to give aid when the negroes should begin.” One of the conspiring slaves said that it was “the common run of poor white people” who were involved.

    In return, blacks helped whites in need. One black runaway told of a slave woman who had received fifty lashes of the whip for giving food to a white neighbor who was poor and sick.

    When the Brunswick canal was built in Georgia, the black slaves and white Irish workers were segregated, the excuse being that they would do violence against one another. That may well have been true, but Fanny Kemble, the famous actress and wife of a planter, wrote in her journal:

    But the Irish are not only quarrelers, and rioters, and fighters, and drinkers, and despisers of niggers-they are a passionate, impulsive, warm-hearted, generous people, much given to powerful indignations, which break out suddenly when not compelled to smoulder sullenly-pestilent sympathizers too, and with a sufficient dose of American atmospheric air in their lungs, properly mixed with a right proportion of ardent spirits, there is no saying but what they might actually take to sympathy with the slaves, and I leave you to judge of the possible consequences. You perceive, I am sure, that they can by no means be allowed to work together on the Brunswick Canal.

    The need for slave control led to an ingenious device, paying poor whites-themselves so troublesome for two hundred years of southern history-to be overseers of black labor and therefore buffers for black hatred.

    So let’s put on our reading comprehension skills cap (h/t OMGF) and consider the way someone who actually understands history sees it. We see here the forward march of racism in the institution of slavery and in American culture. We start out with examples of poor whites and slaves helping one another out, joining together to revolt against rich landowners. We see how the Southern slave owners were afraid of whites who were sympathetic to the plight of the slaves. Clearly, racism still existed – but racism wasn’t where slavery came from. As Zinn wrote,

    The United States government’s support of slavery was based on an overpowering practicality. In 1790, a thousand tons of cotton were being produced every year in the South. By 1860, it was a million tons. In the same period, 500,000 slaves grew to 4 million. A system harried by slave rebellions and conspiracies (Gabriel Prosser, 1800; Denmark Vesey, 1822; Nat Turner, 1831) developed a network of controls in the southern states, hacked by the laws, courts, armed forces, and race prejudice of the nation’s political leaders.

    “Overpowering practicality”, in other words, powerful business interests, is what had brought about slavery. It was only through an evolutionary process, throughout the lifespan of the institution, that slave owners figured out how to make even poor whites complicit by hiring them as the overseers and through religious teaching (Zinn goes on to describe this). So racism and slavery grew together, they strengthened each other, and most importantly, it benefited rich landowners and the textile industry.

    So, ildi, how’s that Bachmann for you? Howard fucking Zinn. I also suggest you pick up a book or two by James Loewen, as I could have also easily quoted him. Both of these liberals have, in various places throughout their work, challenged the assertion that you find so unbelievable – this pernicious little idea that history, specifically American history, is this sort of forward march of progress.

    Progress is an assertion that results from a simple-minded, presentist view of history. And it leads people like you, and feminists in general, to come to incredibly wrong conclusions. Slavery was racist, therefore racism causes slavery, therefore racists invented slavery, and since whites were the slave owners, white society must have been racist in order to invent the institution. This is more or less how a presentist would look back and interpret what happened even though that’s not the case. Anyone with a long view of history would find it more important to address the incredibly harm caused by powerful business interests throughout our history rather than to espouse a divisive “us vs them”, “majority vs minorities” view of the world.

    And it’s this same presentist way of looking at the history of sexism that gets feminists to view gender as a “men vs women” issue instead of as a “power vs weak” issue. It leads you to the wrong answers, and I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is.

  • monkeymind

    bbk, what’s your point? Should blacks not have gotten angry about racism?

  • ildi

    bbk is not actually wrong in claiming that full-blown racial justifications for chattel slavery emerged after the African slave trade was established economically.

    The implication being that racial justification was first used for the African slave trade. The Bible (you know, that rare ancient document that wasn’t destroyed by savages) goes on about enslaving other races but only using your own people for indentured servitude. Races aren’t always defined by skin color (see Irish). Part of that whole tribal patriarchy that oppresses those of lower status…

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Wow, reading comprehension tips from the guy who went from someone saying that they admired the guts of Andrea Dworkin although also calling her batty to claiming that it meant that the author unequivocally endorses every single word that Dworkin ever uttered. And, that same person that took a quote from the NOW president wondering why some MRA guy was so upset about ladies night and turned it into her claiming that NOW endorses ladies night whole-heartedly and makes it the official position of NOW, as well as meaning that she’s “okay with the idea of using women as tipsy decoys to lure in men.” As well as all the other examples of people saying innocuous things which have been turned into him claiming that the person is saying, “I hate men without exception and you’re a jerk.” Dude, seek professional help.

    ildi, OMGF, and Nathaniel, you are offering me nothing but ad hominem attacks, misreadings of what I wrote, and no effort to even try to comprehend the things that I’m saying that put into question your entire little theories about how the world works.

    Well, not to belabor the point, but the obvious projection here is palpable and is very important. You’ve gone beyond the ridiculous and pretty much are only worth mockery at this point. I’m not engaging in ad hominem, I’m engaging in outright mockery. You seem completely unable to honestly engage people here so I feel you deserve no better. When you stop with the strawmen and BS arguments and start actually dealing with what people are saying and also knock off the sexist crap, maybe you’ll be worth an actual response.

  • bbk

    No, what surprises me is that bbk thinks he has scored some kind of victory by pointing this out. Does it make racism somehow less real?

    I hope that upon reading my last comment, you see the importance of making an accurate assessment. You yourself understand that racism grew as slavery evolved, but you still see this as inconsequential. So what, you say, it doesn’t matter does it? Don’t you think, and I’m just going to let my inner socialist out for a minute, but don’t you think that the American educational system would prefer to instill in us a view of slavery as an institution of white vs black rather than, in this present day, to avoid having to teach children that they should question the motives of powerful, wealthy Americans? If you don’t blame slavery on racism, then the inevitable outcome will be that Americans will on the whole stop trusting the rich.

    Sexism, likewise, is a deflection from reality. Rich, powerful interests will pit men against women – they will send off the men to die in war and keep women from having a voice.. perhaps not because they’re women, first, but because they’re 50% of the population who, through their own experiences, would be incredibly sympathetic to the poor. But when it comes time to teach history, we’ll all learn a lesson about how men love to oppress women, how there is this hierarchy that, no matter how little sense it makes, leaves men at the throne and women at their feet. There’s no other alternative explanation, is there? Even if people like Andrea Dworkin are certifiably insane, bigoted, and wrong, there is a movement out there that is ready to carry them on their shoulders. Why do you think that is?

  • monkeymind

    Ildi, gotcha. “We’re god’s people and you’re not” is always a trump card, even if the Others are not that different in ethnicity. See 30 Years War, etc., etc.

    Religious justifications for slavery– we are benevolently bringing those heathens to christian lands where we can “save” them– were prevalent early on. Pseudo-scientific racism only became important after it was important to have scientific explanations for everything. And, as bbk points out, the thing that the powers that be feared most of all was an alliance of poor whites and slaves/ex-slaves. So it was important to drive that race-based wedge. Why bbk thinks this makes racism less problematic is beyond me.

  • bbk

    The implication being that racial justification was first used for the African slave trade. The Bible (you know, that rare ancient document that wasn’t destroyed by savages) goes on about enslaving other races but only using your own people for indentured servitude. Races aren’t always defined by skin color (see Irish). Part of that whole tribal patriarchy that oppresses those of lower status…

    Again, ildi, you’re suffering from a rather debilitating presentism. The Bible also says that you should get stoned if you wear clothes from different materials at the same time and I’m sure that at some point this will be brought back out to prop up some sort of post-nuclear-apocalyptic society. But, just as Howard Zinn wrote in The People’s History, religion itself wasn’t used for the expressed purpose of creating a racialized slavery until after slavery was already racialized, and it was used as a tool to control poor whites even more than blacks or to make rich men feel good about themselves.

    If you remember back to my prescient remark about indentured servitude, it was both blacks and whites who went through indentured servitude, and even free blacks could own slaves, when slavery in America was still new. Wouldn’t the Bible have prevented this, if people were actually paying attention to what it said? You’re really mixing up cause and effect here.

  • bbk

    And, that same person that took a quote from the NOW president wondering why some MRA guy was so upset about ladies night and turned it into her claiming that NOW endorses ladies night whole-heartedly and makes it the official position of NOW, as well as meaning that she’s “okay with the idea of using women as tipsy decoys to lure in men.”

    Or, maybe, your own comprehension skills are not deft enough to detect satire and your own intellect not clever enough to “connect the dots”. But that’s just a hypothesis – I’m not making the accusation. If you knew anything about NOW, you’d know that they view men’s equality as a dangerous joke that often leads them to behave in a very hypocritical manner. They wouldn’t support male activism even if they had to put aside their own principles to do it. First, if NOW views ladies nights as detrimental to women, then they should have at least said so and maybe wished the hapless MRA lawyer the best of luck in his pursuit. But having been given free publicity by the national media, the only thing they found fit to do with it is to mock the MRA guy and scoff at him for being a fool. And this isn’t unprecedented, but in keeping with how they typically behave on matters of gender equality. So yes, that’s basically their official position as reflected through their actions. But you would actually need, you know, some slightly refined comprehension skills to figure any of that out. In the end, they could have just said “Bring it on, it’s only good for women anyway. Maybe it will prevent some bathroom rapes by NFL players,” and still gotten a few jabs at men without showing their absolute disregard for equality.

  • bbk

    ildi, let’s do a mental exercise. Let’s say that the US government could effectively seal its borders against the slave trade (made illegal in 1808 but continued unabated). Or let’s say that African nations organized early on and made it difficult to obtain slaves without huge loss of life and materials for the slave merchants. Do you believe that American slave owners would have still given up their white slaves and dragged out the bible to justify racialized slavery? Do you think that the slave owners gave up white slaves because they felt sorry for their fellow white race or because they were scared to death about the poor white population that surrounded them and needed to create a wedge in order to pit these people against each other?

  • http://kagerato.net kagerato

    bbk, you’ve done a splendid job as court jester.

    Bravo, bravo.

  • bbk

    @monkeymind

    Why bbk thinks this makes racism less problematic is beyond me.

    Racism needs to be fought by making racists aware that they are being used against their own best interests. Otherwise it will never really go away, because once someone feels superior over “the Other” it’s very hard to let that go, even in light of the most eloquent calls for justice and equality. Unless you have a better solution? It seems like progressives haven’t been very effective at stopping the rise of the Tea Party, as artificial and insipidly stupid as the whole ordeal has been. So maybe it’s time for a new approach?

    Fighting racism or sexism on the premise that “racists/sexists are bad people” doesn’t work. You won’t convince anyone that they’re bad. You’ll only convince them that you’re an idiot, and they’d be closer to the truth than you are. That’s why Dworkin and Moore are idiots, absolute travesties in the fight for equality. And that’s why feminism isn’t really about equality or the truth, but about furthering the identity politics of us versus them. And that’s why it’s important to talk about the true causes of injustice, so that we can all understand the real mechanisms that create injustice, so that we are better able to counteract it.

  • bbk

    bbk, you’ve done a splendid job as court jester.

    The court jester was often the most intelligent courtier and the only one who could speak the truth to the king without having his head cut off. I guess I’ll take that as a compliment.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    bbk rant from #155 – blah blah blah, you can’t understand stuff because the people in my head told me what NOW really wants to do and unless you know what my demons say you’re stupid and can’t understand the sarcasm and subtle undertones of how much all those stupid women hate men – blah blah blah

    Seriously, get some help.

  • Mrnaglfar

    In order to bring in men…women are used as bait in that scenario. Of course, it demeans both men and women to certain degrees, but let’s not pretend that it’s all benefit to women and detriment to men to have situations where women are used as objects to lure in men.

    They offer a good/service for lesser or no cost to women. That benefits the women; it is the benefit to women that is intended to draw them in. There being more women there is seen – by men – as a benefit for them, at least indirectly. Whether it actually is better for men in practice varies. It’s not a detriment to men, I wouldn’t say, but it is most certainly a benefit to women.

    If it wasn’t a benefit for women, women would have no incentive to show up.

    Returning, however, to the main point: Are the people who would condemn one practice based on sex when it doesn’t benefit women (i.e. women having to pay more to get their hair cut because they’re women) the same people who will condemn another practice based on sex when it does benefit women? (i.e. women having to pay less to get into or drink at a ladies night)

    I suspect that answer is often a ‘no’, judging by the NOW quote. As bbk correctly pointed out, NOW could have easily have said “yes, ladies nights are sexist practices that should be opposed”. But that’s not what seems to have happened. In fact, people seem to quick to rationalize why the two situations are totally different (see below)

    And to the rest of the people here talking about the rationalizations for slavery or sexism, you’d do well to bear in mind that people are often quite wrong when expressing – consciously – why they feel what they do, or why they did what they did.

    A classic example involves presenting a scenario to people along the following lines:
    A brother and sister are away on vacation together. One night, the brother and sister decide it would be fun to try and have sex together. She is on birth control, but to be safe the brother uses a condom as well. They both enjoy the experience, but decide they won’t do it again. They don’t tell anyone else about it, and sharing that secret brings them closer together

    When subjects are asked “is what they did wrong”, many of them respond in the affirmative. When they are then asked to give the reasons why they feel it was wrong, they say things along the lines of “if a baby is born it’s at a disadvantage” or “what they did will hurt each other emotionally”. When you point out to the subjects that conception isn’t possible and both siblings enjoyed the experience, the subjects don’t actually change their appraisal of the situation, they just stop trying to justify it.

    Another example of this is that if you present subjects with four pairs of identical stockings and ask them to choose which one they like the best, they will indeed select one and start making rationalizations for why they liked it (they liked the material, for instance, despite the fact that the stockings are all the same). Turns out, people are just more likely to select the pair of stocks that happens to be all the way to the right, for whatever reason.

    The point to bear in mind from these examples is that people frequently rationalize their behavior in way form or another consciously, and there is no reason to assume those rationalizations are accurate descriptions of why they did what they did. As I recall above, another commenter had pointed out that you can’t just take self-report answers on a survey to reflect accurately whatever you are asking about. It’s funny how that same criticism all the sudden becomes ignored on the basis of convenience.

    For anyone who wants to read about the subject more, I’d highly recommend the book (even though I haven’t finished it yet) Why Everyone (else) is a Hypocrite, by Robert Kurzban (the same guy I linked to above when talking about why PZ is a blowhard). It’s remarkably readable and reasonable so far.

  • ildi

    Do you think that the slave owners gave up white slaves because they felt sorry for their fellow white race or because they were scared to death about the poor white population that surrounded them and needed to create a wedge in order to pit these people against each other?

    Your version of reality is truly fascinating, bbk… you’ll be shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, to find out that indentured servitude (while sucky) is NOT the same as slavery; and further, that involuntary servitude was banned at the same time as slavery! (I.e. Thirteenth Amendment in 1865.) Slave owner aristocracy afraid of the poor whites? Not as afraid as you are of uppity feminists trying to take away your rights, I suspect.

    You know, this has been fun, bbk; I’m relieved to find out that it’s not certain feminists with whom you have an issue, but rather that you were able to demonstrate through your magical alternate historical “facts” and analysis that sexism and racism are not the problem, but rather a cabal of overlords pitting the oppressed against each other, or some such… Problem solved!

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    They offer a good/service for lesser or no cost to women.

    The cost is that they are objectified and treated as bait – weren’t you paying attention?

    If it wasn’t a benefit for women, women would have no incentive to show up.

    In a culture such as ours, many times people act in ways that serve to perpetuate things that may not actually be good for them. Witness how many poor people vote rethuglican.

    Are the people who would condemn one practice based on sex when it doesn’t benefit women (i.e. women having to pay more to get their hair cut because they’re women) the same people who will condemn another practice based on sex when it does benefit women? (i.e. women having to pay less to get into or drink at a ladies night)

    Not in every case, no, because it’s not a black and white sort of thing. Affirmative action policies definitely serve to help certain classes of people based on sex, race, etc. But, those practices aren’t derided because they are useful in helping to overcome the institutionalized biases and practices that have made people into second class citizens. You can’t generalize like you are trying to do.

    I suspect that answer is often a ‘no’, judging by the NOW quote. As bbk correctly pointed out, NOW could have easily have said “yes, ladies nights are sexist practices that should be opposed”. But that’s not what seems to have happened. In fact, people seem to quick to rationalize why the two situations are totally different (see below)

    Read what she said once again. She’s giving a throw away quote in response to a ridiculous MRA idiot being ridiculous. Of course, she did note that ladies night helps men, which you could attribute to the reasons that have been listed here or you can be as uncharitable as possible and decide that it’s because she’s a man-hating slime who only wants to benefit women and kill all men.

  • Mrnaglfar

    The cost is that they are objectified and treated as bait – weren’t you paying attention?

    I was paying attention. You, apparently, weren’t, because I said nothing of the associated costs. All I pointed out was that offering drinks for lesser or no cost is – in fact – a benefit, irrespective of other costs.

    The added assumption you’ve tacked on is that women are objectified at any greater level than they otherwise normally would be in a bar or club setting not hosting a ladies night. An assumption I think is far from demonstrated.

    In a culture such as ours, many times people act in ways that serve to perpetuate things that may not actually be good for them.

    “Such as ours”? As opposed to the cultures where people don’t do that?

    Not in every case, no, because it’s not a black and white sort of thing. Affirmative action policies definitely serve to help certain classes of people based on sex, race, etc. But, those practices aren’t derided because they are useful in helping to overcome the institutionalized biases and practices that have made people into second class citizens.

    Affirmative action is a racist/sexist policy; it’s just a socially acceptable one, just like having men and women play on different sports teams is socially acceptable.

    It’s the classic dilemma people are going to face: Either treat two different groups the same and end up with different outcomes, or treat two different groups differently to try and achieve the same outcome. In the former case, the treatment isn’t sexist or racist, in the latter case, it is (hinging, of course, on how well one can do that. After all, it’s not always even logically possible – let alone probable – to be able to treat two different situations identically).

    She’s giving a throw away quote in response to a ridiculous MRA idiot being ridiculous.

    Just to be clear: The MRA guy is opposing ladies night, is he not? If the practice truly is sexist (it is), why is what the MRA guy doing considered him being an “idiot being ridiculous”?

    The point is about either consistently opposing sexism versus only opposing it when it benefits you. I think there’s a good reason it’s called the “National Organization for Women” and not the “National Organization for Opposing Sexism”. Maybe because NOOS doesn’t roll of the tongue as nicely.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    I was paying attention. You, apparently, weren’t, because I said nothing of the associated costs.

    IOW, you’re trying to strip the context of the situation so that you don’t have to deal with it.

    “Such as ours”? As opposed to the cultures where people don’t do that?

    Really? We’re doing that now? We’re going to criticize based on a turn of phrase instead of the content?

    Affirmative action is a racist/sexist policy; it’s just a socially acceptable one, just like having men and women play on different sports teams is socially acceptable.

    It’s an acceptable policy for most people because of the reasons I outlined, among others. Again, you’re avoiding the issue.

    Just to be clear: The MRA guy is opposing ladies night, is he not? If the practice truly is sexist (it is), why is what the MRA guy doing considered him being an “idiot being ridiculous”?

    For the same reason that you seem to think it is sexist…because you’re claiming it is sexist to men for not being treated like objects. It is sexist to both men and women for the patriarchal gender roles that are imparted onto both sexes. The MRA d-bag only cares about men and is a sexist lout to boot, and that’s why he’s ridiculous.

    The point is about either consistently opposing sexism versus only opposing it when it benefits you. I think there’s a good reason it’s called the “National Organization for Women” and not the “National Organization for Opposing Sexism”. Maybe because NOOS doesn’t roll of the tongue as nicely.

    It’s NOW for the same reason as we have groups like the NAACP. I suppose you think they’re a bunch of raging racists just as the NOW feminists are man-haters? C’mon, you’re better than bbk aren’t you?

  • ildi

    C’mon, you’re better than bbk aren’t you?

    You forget, OMGF, this is someone who compared Dworkin’s polemic to Hitler’s “final solution”…

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Good point ildi.

    It also occurs to me that we have a quote from the president of NOW (not their official spokesperson) without actually knowing the question posed or the situation in which it was given. She could have been eating at a restaurant and didn’t want to be bothered, or coming out of a long day of work and made a flippant remark. Either way, nothing in her remark is sexist or problematic. Regardless of all that, bbk and Mrnaglfar would use that remark to tar and feather her, to denounce her, her whole entire organization, and everyone in it as raging sexists and man-haters, to perpetuate stereotypes and inequality. This behavior has spoken volumes about the people engaging in it.

  • bbk

    The cost is that they are objectified and treated as bait – weren’t you paying attention?

    Really? You’re saying they can’t help but go to into a bar if it’s free to them… but they really don’t enjoy the experience. And that’s why they keep coming back week after week… You are a genius. You should become an economist, if you aren’t one already.

  • bbk

    You forget, OMGF, this is someone who compared Dworkin’s polemic to Hitler’s “final solution”…

    That’s astounding, coming from someone who just called me a liar.

  • Mrnaglfar

    you’re trying to strip the context of the situation so that you don’t have to deal with it.

    So should I just assume you’re trying to strip the context of the situation so you don’t have to deal with the fact women are being offered an identical good or service strictly because of their gender?

    Whether it makes them happier or not when considering other things is entirely unrelated to the fact of the sexist treatment.

    It’s an acceptable policy for most people because of the reasons I outlined, among others. Again, you’re avoiding the issue.

    I suggest you read my comment again, especially that part about whether to try two different things identically or not and the various outcomes you’ll get.

    Some people are more focused on the treatment in some situations, others are more focused on the outcomes. That balance help determines which sexist/racist policies and opinions are considered socially acceptable or not.

    It is sexist to both men and women for the patriarchal gender roles that are imparted onto both sexes. The MRA d-bag only cares about men and is a sexist lout to boot, and that’s why he’s ridiculous.

    The MRA guy probably only does care about men, same way NOW probably only cares about women. That’s kind of in their titles.

    This should be an easy matter to settle. If you think that ladies nights are harmful to women (which you seem to) AND they price-discriminate based on gender (read: are sexist practices – which they are), AND you don’t think either is good, I would expect YOU to oppose ladies nights on legal and ethical grounds. If they’re harmful to women, I would expect NOW to join in the cause to stop them and not avoid doing so because other people who are trying to stop them don’t see eye to eye on other issues or have different motivations for doing so.

    But that’s not what happened, is it? I’d like to hear what your take on why NOW didn’t issue a statement opposing ladies night, or just no statement at all.

    It’s NOW for the same reason as we have groups like the NAACP. I suppose you think they’re a bunch of raging racists just as the NOW feminists are man-haters?

    They’re groups that represent people on the basis of their race or gender. I get that much. I understand that said groups have had the short-end of the stick historically on many social and legal issues.

    However, now that (legally, in terms of the rights guaranteed to them) both groups of people are on equal footing with white males(though outcomes are not always equal, the reasons for which involve more than white, male sexism, I assure you – though it does play a role), trying to advance the interests of a group strictly based on race or sex is racist or sexist. Just like the MRA. If they are more generally concerned with stopping racism or sexism no matter the source or victim, that is not, and in my mind, a worthy goal.

    Here’s a for instance: Let’s say that neither blacks, nor women, had the right to vote in America. Would you consider it a good idea for black people to start a movement to allow black people to vote, but be mum on the issue of white women’s ability to vote, or vice versa?

    I recall there being some news a time back that despite inter-racial marriage once being illegal, the black community turned out in wild opposition to same-sex marriage. That’s why I would rather oppose all forms of bigotry, not just thinking of it as something white men do to women and non-whites.

    Regardless of all that, bbk and Mrnaglfar would use that remark to tar and feather her, to denounce her, her whole entire organization, and everyone in it as raging sexists and man-haters, to perpetuate stereotypes and inequality.

    Oh, and fuck you, you ignorant, presumptuous asshole.

  • Mrnaglfar

    You forget, OMGF, this is someone who compared Dworkin’s polemic to Hitler’s “final solution”…

    This sounds like the “mansplainer” crack. It just reeks of you trying to give your clique a little high-five and show them how loyal you are.

    Either you have no reading comprehension skills, or you selectively failed to use them because they stopped suiting your point all the sudden.

    I pointed out that Moore doesn’t seem to just admire those women because of their passion and balls, else I assume she admires Hitler for the same thing, despite his “batty” ideas. Unless Moore does admire Hitler for his passion, because she thinks passion is always a good thing. I presume she also doesn’t admire a man with a passion for hurting women just because he’s passionate about it, even if she disagrees with his goals.

    No – I suspect she admires Dworkin for a much different reason. Her excuse is likely little more than a bad rationalization, along the lines of the examples I gave before.

  • ildi

    That’s astounding, coming from someone who just called me a liar.

    Well, color you astounded, then. Maybe you can turn to that rare ancient document that wasn’t destroyed by savages for solace.

  • monkeymind

    ildi:

    The implication being that racial justification was first used for the African slave trade. The Bible (you know, that rare ancient document that wasn’t destroyed by savages) goes on about enslaving other races but only using your own people for indentured servitude. Races aren’t always defined by skin color (see Irish). Part of that whole tribal patriarchy that oppresses those of lower status…

    I don’t think we’re really disagreeing – the historians bbk is so badly garbling and misappropriating are just making the point that skin color racism had to be socially constructed. Co-opting poor whites into the racist system wasn’t something that had to be done by secret cabal, it was just the typical divide-and-conquer stuff.

    Anyway, just to go back to the original braindropping from bbk that started this digression:

    The lower-case patriarchy is not necessarily sexist – only through a presentist gaze can you say for sure that a patriarchal society is necessarily sexist. We can’t say for sure – especially had you removed religious superstition that was revered by both sexes – that the concessions made by men and women in a subsistence civilization to organize in a certain way were any less apropos for the general benefit of everyone involved than our current preferences are for us.

    Your response:

    How deliciously po-mo of you! You can pretty much say the same thing about slavery. Oh, wait, no, slavery wasn’t necessarily racist; Slavery as defined by the civil rights movement as the oppression of blacks is a presentist interpretation of history.

    was absolutely spot-on. The fact that skin-color racism and the system of chattel slavery in the South co-evolved socially does not mean that slavery was not racist!

    Saying that prohibitions that keep women from voting, owning property,or getting an education were done for the “benefit of everyone involved” is exactly like the slaveowners who protested that their “darkies” were better off on the plantation.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    If anyone has wondered why I let these threads go on and on and on (and believe me, I’ve wondered that myself), it’s because occasionally, in the course of debate, someone will post a comment that’s so incredibly revealing of the mindset that lies behind it, it more than justifies all the ink that was spilled before it came along. This is one of those comments:

    However, now that (legally, in terms of the rights guaranteed to them) both groups of people are on equal footing with white males(though outcomes are not always equal, the reasons for which involve more than white, male sexism, I assure you – though it does play a role), trying to advance the interests of a group strictly based on race or sex is racist or sexist.

    Let’s just think about what lies behind this remark. I really love that “legally” parentheses, because it hints at some degree of awareness as to how genuine this alleged equality is. Let me sketch out some of those facts that were only hinted at, and in the process, expand on the thought process that I think might have gone into this comment:

    Yes, women make up only 17% of Congress, 15% of seats on Fortune 500 company boards, and 23% of college and university presidencies, and less than that at doctoral-granting institutions; yes, women are still subject to sex trafficking, forced marriage, honor killings, genital cutting, and other violent infringements on human rights and dignity, even in developed countries; yes, even an internationally famous actress can be assaulted and threatened with death by her own family members for not conforming to gender norms; and yes, the right to safe and legal abortion is constantly under siege in places where it isn’t already banned entirely, and there are lawmakers right now who are trying to deny raped women the right to an abortion if the rape wasn’t “forcible“. But never mind that, NOW refuses to devote exactly 50% of their time and effort to opposing ladies’ nights at bars, which shows what hypocrites they are!

    The way that MRAs have made this their hill to die on proves that they’re really much more devoted to finding something, anything, to nitpick about the actions of feminist groups, rather than admit that those groups have a real and legitimate cause. Because that, of course, would lead to the uncomfortable implication that everyone, including the speaker, should support that cause; and some people, for reasons best known only to themselves, consider this a conclusion to be resisted unto death and will come up with any rationalization, no matter how transparently ridiculous or self-serving, to avoid it.

  • Rollingforest

    I’m going to state my opinion here, but it is very important that no one assume that I agree with bbk or anyone else on any other particular point. For pretty much everyone, I agree with some of what they’ve been saying and disagree with other parts. Don’t blame me for something someone else said.

    It was commented near the top that declaring a feminist that you disagree with a “man hater” is unfair in most cases. It seems to say “You are a woman so I don’t have to listen to you.” Similarly, saying “you don’t understand because you’re privileged” is also unfair because it is basically saying “You are a man so I don’t have to listen to you.”

    In regard to ‘mansplaining’ I remember a debate on a thread a while back about whether the word ‘bitch’ was a derogatory term against all women or if it only referenced that one particular woman that you view as arrogant and self centered. Some people said that we should consider what people think when they hear it, not what its official meaning is. Well, if that’s true then some feminists should be considerate to the fact that most people are going to translate ‘mansplaining’ as ‘man explaining’ which seems to mean that men can’t be trusted to explain anything, which would rightfully be declared a sexist way to think about men.

    Now, even if you say that we should ignore what most people think and focus on what the word really means (that the particular man is explaining things in a sexist way), it also should be noted that the word ‘mansplaining’ seems to be used all too often whenever a man disagrees with any feminist (see comment #62). Whatever you think about what bbk said (and I don’t agree with all of it), the fact is that she accused him without listing any proof to back up the claim. It is an example of demonization where witch hunting replaces any serious debate.

    If a person is sexist, then prove them sexist. If a person declares “you have disagreed with this particular feminist, therefore you are sexist because no one is allowed to question anything that this particular feminist says” it seems to me that it is usually the first person who is being sexist because they don’t even try to defend their beliefs and just think the worst of the person of the other gender.

  • Rollingforest

    In regard to Ebon’s post, yes I think there is sexism in politics (people hate Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin far more than they hate Obama or Bush). The lack of females on fortune 500 boards and college presidencies is disturbing, though with females gaining the majority of college degrees, that may not be true much longer.

    It should be noted, though, that forced marriages, honor killings, and genital cuttings, when they happen in Western countries, are almost always caused by someone from a non-Western culture (including the attack on the actress you mentioned). Even sex trafficking, which some Westerners participate in, is illegal and prosecuted in the West. Thus, the world is very patriarchal, but Western culture is very much less so.

    Most people realize that bars have ladies nights because that’s what men want (chicks that they might be able to date readily available). And most people realize that women’s haircuts cost more because hair cutters assume that they’ll take longer and women are often less willing to take the cheaper route that men are when it comes to appearance. Only on threads like these will these topics normally come up.

  • bbk

    was absolutely spot-on. The fact that skin-color racism and the system of chattel slavery in the South co-evolved socially does not mean that slavery was not racist!

    And I agree, but you’re not following along with what I’m saying. Slavery became racist; white racism did not cause slavery. That’s all, no other difference. But it’s the difference between listing air as an ingredient in bread versus yeast. It’s the kind of thing that’s important if, say, you want to keep racism from ever being used to control people ever again, but might not be so important if all you’re trying to do is blame the results for causing themselves and telling everyone to play nice from now on.

    Saying that prohibitions that keep women from voting, owning property,or getting an education were done for the “benefit of everyone involved” is exactly like the slaveowners who protested that their “darkies” were better off on the plantation

    Here, again, you’re misreading what I said. What I said is that by the time the rules were codified, they were nothing more than a reflection of what was already happening for a long time. That’s not to say that there weren’t gender roles, but that some of those gender roles could have been more like trade-offs than outright oppression of one sex over the other. And that isn’t to say that sexism couldn’t have been fomented for nefarious reasons, for divide and conquer. For example, during the rise of the American labor movement, employers would display propaganda posters all around their factories that extolled the virtues of marriage and family life. So while Betty Friedan may have lost her marbles staring at another housewife from her kitchen window, the real target that resulted in her own oppression may have actually been her husband and workers in general. And the benefactors were the rich – both the men and their wives. But without this meddling from the rich who were looking out after their own interests, there’s actually some slight chance that both men and women could have had more choices and be happy whether they chose traditional relationships or not. I mean, if the poor were left to their own devices, things could have easily been like the ships bound for colonial Australia where the women got on for free and disembarked as the wealthiest persons on board – with enough to buy property and start businesses. Not everything was all about oppression for everyone all of the time.

    The overall point is, as I have been saying all along, that the notion of Patriarchy is pretty ridiculous on the whole. It looks at the outcome and says that the results are the reason why things are the way they are, then it tries to look for evidence to justify itself.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Yes, women make up only 17% of Congress, 15% of seats on Fortune 500 company boards, and 23% of college and university presidencies, and less than that at doctoral-granting institutions

    What makes that percentage of women different from the rest of the women in the population? If more women want to run for office, start a business, or anything else, what’s stopping them for going for it?

    We’ve been over this: simply listing percentages of people doing something is not definitive proof of sexism being the cause of all, or even most of the issue.

    yes, women are still subject to sex trafficking, forced marriage, honor killings, genital cutting, and other violent infringements on human rights and dignity, even in developed countries; yes, even an internationally famous actress can be assaulted and threatened with death by her own family members for not conforming to gender norms

    And men are far more likely to be murdered, assaulted, put in jail, and be homeless. I’m not going to argue any of those listed issues are OK because they’re all awful. They just have nothing to do with what legal rights each sex has.

    But never mind that, NOW refuses to devote exactly 50% of their time and effort to opposing ladies’ nights at bars, which shows what hypocrites they are!

    Who said 50%? I didn’t. A simple statement would have been OK. Even NOT making a statement would be better than the one that was made.

    There’s no arguing those things are bad. There’s also no reason to oppose them only in the case of women. If you want to oppose genital cutting, then oppose it in men as well as women (I know there’s a difference in degree, before any moron tries to raise the point. The underlying logic of not cutting a child’s genitals at all is what I’m talking about). If you’re going to oppose assault, don’t just oppose it when the woman is a victim and the man is the perpetrator; oppose it across the board. Don’t just seek to empower members of one race that’s low on the economic scale; extend efforts to poor people of all stripes.

    Even more to the point, precisely none of what you said actually deals with whether the practice in question is sexist or not. Whether it’s socially accepted sexism with a noble goal and good intentions is a different question entirely.

  • bbk

    Most people realize that bars have ladies nights because that’s what men want (chicks that they might be able to date readily available)

    Both of your comments were a breath of fresh air, but just FYI, the states of California, Maryland, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Jersey, and possibly some others already made it illegal. So not quite everyone realizes it… epecially when they realize that it violates existing Human Rights laws.

    And you know, considering that the sales of alcohol in the USA add up to at least $160 billion a year (in 2005), it’s possible that this discrimination does add up.

  • bbk

    The way that MRAs have made this their hill to die on proves that they’re really much more devoted to finding something, anything, to nitpick about the actions of feminist groups, rather than admit that those groups have a real and legitimate cause.

    You’ve made a very powerfully worded (even if not fully accurate), poetic plea for us all to give up equality and fight for the betterment of women alone, and I almost bought it until you got to this part. Then I thought, wait a minute, I already do support all of those legitimate things. I’m far from an MRA activist, but I have given money to charities that benefit girls in developing countries, stood up for women in the military, marched for breast cancer, and even have joined with women in solidarity at Take Back The Night rallies… even though Dworkin started those… and even though it was the deception and malice that I witnessed at TBN that got me to look into who this Dworkin person was and whether or not I should really trust everything that I hear from feminists about right and wrong.

    As a matter of fact, I care about women deeply. And I can tell you that I personally know a dozen other men who might actually give a rat’s ass about women’s issues if only they hadn’t had their children stolen from them by some pretty cold hearted women. When they hear the word feminist, all they can picture is a vicious bigot like Dworkin. So I care about women’s issues a great deal and I would like to help you understand why equality actually isn’t supposed to be measured on a sliding scale.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Really? You’re saying they can’t help but go to into a bar if it’s free to them… but they really don’t enjoy the experience. And that’s why they keep coming back week after week…

    Once again you demonstrate that you are perfectly unwilling to actually deal with what other people say.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    So should I just assume you’re trying to strip the context of the situation so you don’t have to deal with the fact women are being offered an identical good or service strictly because of their gender?

    Holy crap, what is this, second grade? “I know you are but what am I?” isn’t a very compelling rejoinder.

    I suggest you read my comment again…

    No need since you’re still not dealing with the issue. Your question was basically a false dichotomy, which I pointed out.

    The MRA guy probably only does care about men, same way NOW probably only cares about women.

    Not even close.

    I’d like to hear what your take on why NOW didn’t issue a statement opposing ladies night, or just no statement at all.

    #167

    However, now that (legally, in terms of the rights guaranteed to them) both groups of people are on equal footing with white males(though outcomes are not always equal, the reasons for which involve more than white, male sexism, I assure you – though it does play a role), trying to advance the interests of a group strictly based on race or sex is racist or sexist.

    A) I don’t agree that everyone is on equal legal footing
    B) Even if they were, there still exist inequalities within our society – saying, “Well, you’re a sexist because the law treats you the same and I don’t care whether you actually get the same treatment in effect or not,” is a load of crap.

    Would you consider it a good idea for black people to start a movement to allow black people to vote, but be mum on the issue of white women’s ability to vote, or vice versa?

    Actually, there were analogous fights during emancipation within the various movements for equality in this country. Nevertheless, you’re painting an all or nothing scenario. Either I fight against all injustice everywhere or else I’m a racist/sexist/etc. Stop with the bullshit.

    That’s why I would rather oppose all forms of bigotry, not just thinking of it as something white men do to women and non-whites.

    So, we’re playing the strawman game too now?

    Oh, and fuck you, you ignorant, presumptuous asshole.

    What? Because that’s not what you’re doing? You’re saying that NOW is a bunch of sexists that only care about women, but I should eff off and I’m an ignorant and presumptuous a-hole for pointing it out? C’mon, give it a rest.

    I pointed out that Moore doesn’t seem to just admire those women because of their passion and balls, else I assume she admires Hitler for the same thing, despite his “batty” ideas.

    Wow, that’s some pretty spectacularly bad logic. Moore admires them for their passion at defending feminist issues. Duh. It doesn’t mean that she has to agree with all their words, stances, etc. It also doesn’t mean that she has to love Hitler, but your attempt at smearing her with Nazism is duly noted…again.

  • bbk

    Moore admires them for their passion at defending feminist issues. Duh. It doesn’t mean that she has to agree with all their words, stances, etc. It also doesn’t mean that she has to love Hitler, but your attempt at smearing her with Nazism is duly noted…again.

    “Wow, that’s some pretty spectacularly bad logic.”

    Dworkin was a mentally disturbed woman who tried to convince others that consensual heterosexual sex was a hate crime. That’s all she cared about. She created a generation of political lesbians and did more to ruin the image of feminism and drive away men and women from the movement. So what passion is there to admire? A passion for hate? You might as well admire the “passion” of Jack the Ripper or anyone else who is “passionate” about anything if all you’re going to do is admire a bigot like Dworkin because she happened to be passionate.

    And seriously, Bill O’Reilly couldn’t surpass you on the “they’re calling us Nazi!!!!” tirade.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Seek help.

  • ildi

    And I can tell you that I personally know a dozen other men who might actually give a rat’s ass about women’s issues if only they hadn’t had their children stolen from them by some pretty cold hearted women.

    Is it because being treated badly by one woman invalidates the idea that such a thing as “women’s issues” exists? Or is it that the one woman who treated them badly is representative of all women? Do you give them little speeches about not buying into sexist generalizations? Maybe your logic is that your personal anecdote of “a dozen” constitutes data that women are oppressing men? The options seem endless…

    And seriously, Bill O’Reilly couldn’t surpass you on the “they’re calling us Nazi!!!!” tirade.

    (psst, bbk… it’s Bill O’Reilly who constantly compares his political opponents to Nazis…Sounds like your grasp of current events is as accurate as your grasp of history…)

  • monkeymind

    The way that MRAs have made this their hill to die on proves that they’re really much more devoted to finding something, anything, to nitpick about the actions of feminist groups, rather than admit that those groups have a real and legitimate cause.


    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our MRA dead

  • bbk

    Is it because being treated badly by one woman invalidates the idea that such a thing as “women’s issues” exists?

    No, it’s because they’re busy trying to get their kids back! And they know that when legislation gets sponsored to support equal rights for fathers, the one thing they can count on is that feminist organizations will “devote exactly 50% of their time” to loud, angry media and letter writing campaigns that are full of distortions and character assassinations. They can’t in good conscience support organizations that will fight tooth and nail to keep them from having a life with their very own children.

    Do you even realize the irony here? One of the motivating issues faced by Suffragists that moved them to fight for women’s rights was child custody. Yet this is the very thing they oppose for fathers. How the pendulum has swung! You scoff at every major men’s issue as if they weren’t important, even though the vast majority of them are the same exact issues that used to be at the heart of the feminist movement. That’s why they don’t support feminists.

    (psst, bbk… it’s Bill O’Reilly who constantly compares his political opponents to Nazis…Sounds like your grasp of current events is as accurate as your grasp of history…)

    Yeah, but, ironically, BillO gets his knickers in a bunch when somebody makes a legitimate comparison to fascism. Which is what certain groups of people here are doing… on the one hand they call anyone who disagrees with them a sexist and a “mansplainer” and then they contort legitimate analogies that did not imply that anyone is a Nazi and try to twist it to make it sound like that was the case just so they can have a little strawman to beat up on. Especially when the comparison starts off by invoking Godwin’s Law, which should be a clear indication that the writer is just trying to make a ridiculous analogy to show how ridiculous the other side is being.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Holy crap, what is this, second grade? “I know you are but what am I?” isn’t a very compelling rejoinder…No need since you’re still not dealing with the issue.

    It’s frustrating, yet amusing, when people can’t wrap their mind around the idea that they’re being inconsistent in what views they are expressing. Given that you seem to have a hard time understanding what bbk and I write, I can understand why you seem to think we’re not dealing with an issue.

    She could have been eating at a restaurant and didn’t want to be bothered, or coming out of a long day of work and made a flippant remark. Either way, nothing in her remark is sexist or problematic.

    She could have been doing X or Y. She could have been in a bad mood. She could have been suffering from a passing psychotic break. You have no reason to assume your proposition is the case, yet you do because you seek out any explanation you can that is supposed to relieve her of responsibility.

    The remark itself is not sexist. The sexism part is in the premise that she seems uninterested in speaking out against sexism that isn’t happening to women.

    If what you said you actually believe – that ladies nights hurt women, regardless of whether you think they’re sexist against men (they are) – why do you not just say “Yeah, I don’t like the ideas of ladies night”, or “NOW should oppose them for the following reasons… ” or even “NOW shouldn’t have made the remark that way made”? Why are you trying to bend over backwards to justify that inconsistency?

    A) I don’t agree that everyone is on equal legal footing

    Name a right that excludes a race or gender. I can’t wait to hear this one.

    Even if they were, there still exist inequalities within our society – saying, “Well, you’re a sexist because the law treats you the same and I don’t care whether you actually get the same treatment in effect or not,” is a load of crap.

    I never argued that there aren’t inequalities, despite equality before the law. The second part of the sentence is – as seems to be your norm – not exactly an accurate picture. I DO care whether people receive different treatment based on their sex, which is the whole reason I’m pointing out that these organizations DO just that. If the goal here is to combat sexism in all cases, I’m behind that. Somehow, because I don’t view sexism as something that happens to women and not men, that causes you no end of grief to the point where you feel the need to denounce my character, despite knowing nothing of it.

    Actually, there were analogous fights during emancipation within the various movements for equality in this country.

    I didn’t ask whether something like that actually happened, I asked YOU if you YOU thought it would be a wise idea. Stop deflecting.

    You’re saying that NOW is a bunch of sexists that only care about women

    Either they care about an issue – whether it involves sexism, racism, violence, poverty, etc – when it happens to anyone, regardless of their gender, or they don’t. In the case of the ladies night issue, it’s clear from that statement they aren’t always consistent. I’m sure – given that they are humans – that’s not the only issue they’re inconsistent on.

    Here’s their websites’ description of their organization: taking action for women’s equality since 1966

    That seems to say – in no uncertain terms – their organization’s prime goal is see that women, specifically women are of equal status with men. Is that first statment somehow better than “taking action for everyone’s equality”?

    Moore admires them for their passion at defending feminist issues. Duh. It doesn’t mean that she has to agree with all their words, stances, etc.

    Even though their passion was driven by them being generally wrong or emotionally unhinged about an issue (i.e. All heterosexual intercourse is male rape). Batty, as some would say.

    If someone is passionate about defending evolutionary psychology, but they get so much about it wrong, I don’t admire their passion. I would get the impression they’re ignorant on the subject and overwhelming confident in their abilities, despite lacking them.

    But hey, if she can admire someone who was being a bigot just because that bigotry happened to be in her favor sometimes, that’s politics for ya. Just like how you seem willing to defend (or even not consciously recognize) Moore’s bigotry.

  • bbk

    Oh, Ebon, and how could I forget the glaringly obvious?

    You say we don’t support the legitimate fight for women’s equality, and then you rattle off a whole bunch of things that are religiously motivated oppression to atheists who speak loudly against religion. You have an atheist blog, and a really great one at that due to it’s focus on humanitarian issues. But you fall flat on your face when you really try to dictate the terms for how the entire community should approach these issues. Maybe, if it’s worth the effort just to prove the point, I can introduce you to an atheist man who is fighting to regain custody of his son from a violent, drug abusing mother and you can tell him straight to his face in real life that he is morally obligated to support feminists.

    And you’re so high and mighty about doing everything your way that you don’t see that “feminist issues” are often not only at odds with men, but also with the people of color and gays that you also claim to support. Take childhood education: we have given all of our attention to helping young girls match boys in math comprehension but we have done nothing to help boys match girls on reading comprehension. And who suffers the most from this failure to recognize the problem? Black boys, and by extension, the entire black community. Minority boys are the most poorly served group in our educational system, with the lowest performance and highest drop out rates. How about our prison system? Men make up 90% of the prison population – and the majority of them are minorities – those same boys that were failed by our educational system, and most of them for crimes that women commit in equal numbers but hardly ever go to jail for. So these boys eventually get turned into farm animals in a prison system whose main function is to let a few nasty corporations pull a profit off the taxpayers and bolster the census of small, regressive conservative districts that are the very enemies of men, women, and minorities. And are you against the death penalty? Have you ever actually met a death row inmate who was exonerated? Every single one of them is male, and a great deal are minorities. It’s a men’s issue that feminism can never hope to address, as the only thing the feminists have contributed to is the erosion of due process for alleged crimes are against women. Meanwhile, Dworkin, the woman you seem to know so little about, has herself made false rape allegations that were so over the top that even her man-hating husband became emotionally detached (her words) and even her feminist allies couldn’t believe her. Have you ever been to a Take Back The Night rally? I’m just wondering, because I doubt it. And lest I forget gays – adoption is harder for gay male couples than for lesbian couples – that very sort of “double” hardship that you think only applies to women. I don’t even understand what you mean by minorities – it’s almost as if you think all of them are female, with the way you think we should approach the issue.

  • Mrnaglfar

    I don’t even understand what you mean by minorities – it’s almost as if you think all of them are female, with the way you think we should approach the issue.

    In the present discussion, gender because a salient group, whereas race did not (as much).

    Though in the US, women aren’t a minority group. That would make men, according to some theory, a privileged minority.

    Fancy that.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Blah. * Became

  • http://kagerato.net kagerato

    This is the Thread that Never Ends
    Yes it Goes on and on My Friends
    Some People Starting Posting Not Knowing What it Was
    And They’ll Continue Posting Forever Just Because
    This is the Thread that Never Ends [...]

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    It’s frustrating, yet amusing, when people can’t wrap their mind around the idea that they’re being inconsistent in what views they are expressing.

    Seriously? You’re completely focused on a single aspect of the idea of ladies night while I’m looking at the whole thing, but I’m the one at fault here?

    She could have been doing X or Y. She could have been in a bad mood. She could have been suffering from a passing psychotic break. You have no reason to assume your proposition is the case, yet you do because you seek out any explanation you can that is supposed to relieve her of responsibility.

    Really? The whole entire point is that you don’t know what the circumstances are, but you’re more than willing to throw her, her organization, and everyone in her organization to the wolves and denounce them all, but I’m the one who is seeking any explanation for something? Please. What she said was innocuous and you and bbk are the ones seeking any excuse to attack.

    The sexism part is in the premise that she seems uninterested in speaking out against sexism that isn’t happening to women.

    You haven’t spoken out against ageism in this thread even though you’ve had plenty of opportunity to do so and we’ve been talking about “isms” so therefore you must hate old/young people. Once you realize why that statement doesn’t work, perhaps you’ll realize why your argument is bunk.

    Name a right that excludes a race or gender. I can’t wait to hear this one.

    Self-determination. Look at all the laws put in place to force women to carry pregnancies to term. But, it’s neither here nor there…

    I never argued that there aren’t inequalities, despite equality before the law.

    Then you agree that your previous point is weak.

    I DO care whether people receive different treatment based on their sex, which is the whole reason I’m pointing out that these organizations DO just that.

    Oh really? Are you saying that they treat men and women that work for them differently? Oh wait, I see, you’re claiming that because they advocate for women’s right and equality for women that they are sexists. Hey, whatever.

    Somehow, because I don’t view sexism as something that happens to women and not men, that causes you no end of grief to the point where you feel the need to denounce my character, despite knowing nothing of it.

    Wow…no one here has said anything close to this. You’ve been listening to bbk’s demons, haven’t you?

    I didn’t ask whether something like that actually happened, I asked YOU if you YOU thought it would be a wise idea. Stop deflecting.

    The implications of your stupid question were rather clear and I called you out on it. If getting to the root of your question and heading it off at the pass is deflecting, then so be it.

    Either they care about an issue – whether it involves sexism, racism, violence, poverty, etc – when it happens to anyone, regardless of their gender, or they don’t. In the case of the ladies night issue, it’s clear from that statement they aren’t always consistent.

    No, it’s not clear, and that’s what I’ve been pointing out. It’s only clear to you because you want any excuse to denounce them – which seems rather at odds with your high-minded and lofty rhetoric, which I don’t actually believe.

    That seems to say – in no uncertain terms – their organization’s prime goal is see that women, specifically women are of equal status with men.

    Yes, they seek equality for women with men…you obviously have a problem with that – I’ll let that speak for itself.

    If someone is passionate about defending evolutionary psychology, but they get so much about it wrong, I don’t admire their passion.

    Well, that’s you, and it gives you no license to denounce others who don’t hold the same opinions.

    Just like how you seem willing to defend (or even not consciously recognize) Moore’s bigotry.

    I’ve yet to see anyone actually point out any bigotry with the possible exception of something that she herself fully admitted was wrong. Please cite what she said in the piece that is so incredibly wrong that it leads you to denounce her, Dworkin, NOW, and every other woman.

  • bbk

    I just heard myself say “Oh my god…” The conflation, it burns! The more you try to clarify not-so-subtle distinctions, the more convoluted his retort becomes. Has anyone ever seen The Blob? That’s what it reminds me of. OMGF’s mind will eventually consume the entire planet with something similar in consistency to Yoplait. And on that note, I’m peacing out from this thread.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Nice projection. You won’t be missed.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Seriously? You’re completely focused on a single aspect of the idea of ladies night while I’m looking at the whole thing, but I’m the one at fault here?

    For the purposes of discussing sexist price discrimination, yes, I am focused on the sexist price discrimination. What costs and benefits that sexist price discrimination carries is irrelevant to whether it is, in fact, sexist price discrimination.

    Whether you think throwing a baseball around is fun or not has no logical bearing on whether you are actually throwing a baseball around. Clear yet?

    The whole entire point is that you don’t know what the circumstances are, but you’re more than willing to throw her, her organization, and everyone in her organization to the wolves and denounce them all

    Whatever you think her circumstances for making the comment were has no bearing on whether there’s a logical consistency in applying a principle of opposing sexism or there isn’t.

    You haven’t spoken out against ageism in this thread even though you’ve had plenty of opportunity to do so and we’ve been talking about “isms” so therefore you must hate old/young people.

    If you asked me about age-related discrimination and I said it was wrong for people my age to be discriminated against, then turned around and said it’s OK that people who aren’t my age to be discriminated against, or if I only seemed to fight for discrimination as it applied to me, then yes, you’d be on totally solid group to point out my application of opposition to age-related discrimination is being selectively applied.

    Look at all the laws put in place to force women to carry pregnancies to term

    That would be a fine example, minus one point: Men cannot possibly have abortions, so, by definition, they can’t have that right.

    AND – no less importantly – my official position on abortion last time I discussed it here on DA was that women should be allowed to have an abortion basically up until the time they give birth. It was Ebon who was of the opinion that past (was it the second trimester?) women should have to carry the fetus to term. Maybe you can take it up with someone who actually insists women should have to carry the pregnancy to term.

    Then you agree that your previous point is weak

    No, I don’t.

    Oh really? Are you saying that they treat men and women that work for them differently?

    No, I’m not.

    Oh wait, I see, you’re claiming that because they advocate for women’s right and equality for women that they are sexists. Hey, whatever.

    No, you don’t, because, no I’m not. It’s about the selective use of ‘equality’

    If [not answering a direct question, and raising an unrelated point, then not answering it again] is deflecting, then so be it.

    Fixed that for you. Yes, that is precisely what deflecting is.

    It’s only clear to you because you want any excuse to denounce them – which seems rather at odds with your high-minded and lofty rhetoric, which I don’t actually believe.

    If you have actually convinced yourself that I’m not actually opposed to sexism – since you don’t trust me when I say I am – and have also convinced yourself I’m just looking for any excuse to denounce a group – since my only goal is to denounce NOW – then I can see why you’re so confrontational about the whole thing.

    It’s also pretty interesting – and not all that surprising – that I’m sure you would be oh-so-happy to point out when you feel a religious individual does the same thing you’re doing. Congratulations; you display the same bias you fight against in others when it suits your cause. Have fun being a hypocrite.

    Yes, they seek equality for women with men…you obviously have a problem with that – I’ll let that speak for itself.

    No, I don’t.

    Are you getting why I told you to go fuck yourself before yet, or are you still assuming all your characterizations of my points are spot on and I’m a giant liar?

    Well, that’s you, and it gives you no license to denounce others who don’t hold the same opinions.

    I already have a license to do that; it’s called free speech. In fact, I can denounce whoever I want.

    I’ve yet to see anyone actually point out any bigotry with the possible exception of something that she herself fully admitted was wrong.

    She doesn’t say it was wrong. She asked if it was, rhetorically. Then she follows it with a passage suggesting she doesn’t care whether it was or not and the rest of the essay is giant rant about awful men are.

    I suppose recognizing one own’s bigotry and then not caring about it is at least a step in the right direction.

    Here’s how it could have read:

    Apparently I snapped: “Because men do horrible, horrible things”. She was alarmed.

    That was bad of me wasn’t it? A little sexist?
    Yes; yes it was. I was being bigoted and I regretted saying it. It’s individuals that do horrible things, not their entire gender. We need to be careful to avoid that kind of sexism mindset, lest we become the very thing we think we’re fighting against

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    For the purposes of discussing sexist price discrimination, yes, I am focused on the sexist price discrimination.

    You prove my point, thx.

    Whatever you think her circumstances for making the comment were has no bearing on whether there’s a logical consistency in applying a principle of opposing sexism or there isn’t.

    You’re claiming she’s sexist for not saying what you wanted her to say. Perhaps she’ll consult with you before making any more statements.

    If you asked me about age-related discrimination…

    You still haven’t denounced it, so using your logic you’re an ageist.

    AND – no less importantly…

    Actually, it’s completely unimportant what your personal stance on abortion is. The fact that women’s bodies are legally bound when men’s are not is an inequality.

    No, I don’t.

    Is this a Monty Python sketch all of a sudden? If you can’t figure out how you shot your own argument in the foot, too bad.

    Fixed that for you. Yes, that is precisely what deflecting is.

    Nice try, but intellectually dishonest of you.

    If you have actually convinced yourself that I’m not actually opposed to sexism…

    Your stance is virtually indistinguishable from rethuglicans and racists/sexists who claim that there’s no need to fix a society that is already equal in all ways for men/women/blacks/whites/everyone and denounce all organizations that try as the “real racists.” Why would I believe you when your arguments are no better or different from their’s?

    It’s also pretty interesting – and not all that surprising – that I’m sure you would be oh-so-happy to point out when you feel a religious individual does the same thing you’re doing.

    What, pointing out that you’re arguing for inequality is doing what religious apologists do? So noted. Thanks for playing, but you’ve gone off the deep end now. Also, see above.

    Are you getting why I told you to go fuck yourself before yet, or are you still assuming all your characterizations of my points are spot on and I’m a giant liar?

    Yeah, it’s crystal clear that you’re trying to fight inequality by belittling and attacking the people who are fighting for that very same thing…oh wait.

    I already have a license to do that; it’s called free speech. In fact, I can denounce whoever I want.

    Actually, that part is right, although it makes you a judgemental prick and full of shit.

    …the rest of the essay is giant rant about awful men are.

    Try actually reading the OP before opening mouth and inserting foot. And again, just because she didn’t say exactly what you wanted her to say doesn’t make her racist/sexist/etc. How arrogant of you.

  • Nathaniel

    NOW’s has many big issues to deal with, including rape, pay gaps that cost women hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime, increasingly insane abortion restrictions, a culture condones sexual assault as the women “asked for it.”

    MRA groups big issue? Ladies night.

    Clearly women have the easy path in our society.

  • Mrnaglfar

    This is the last time I’m going to bother responding to you, since you have so thoroughly mired yourself in your hypocritical quagmire that it’s about as effective as reasoning with a wall.

    Also, because you refuse to answer any questions that are inconvenient for you and would expose just how inconsistent you’re being.

    Just like how other people on the thread will admit what Moore said was sexist, agree that sexism should be fought, no matter the source or the victim, but stop short of actually denouncing what Moore said. They’ll deflect, make bad excuses, bad rationalizations, even call her bigoted essay “excellent”, and if someone actually will denounce her, it will only be after so what amounts to the intellectual work of pulling teeth.

    You’re claiming she’s sexist for not saying what you wanted her to say

    No, I’m not. I’m saying she’s displaying sexism by opposing sexism selectively by gender.

    You still haven’t denounced it, so using your logic you’re an ageist.

    I never made a statement about ageism, nor did I campaign against it only for a particular age group, so no, that’s not using my logic at all. That’s using your fantasy of what my logic is.

    Why would I believe you when your arguments are no better or different from their’s?

    You can’t be bothered to read what I’m saying or listen to what my points are, so I guess I can’t expect you to believe me or figure out what my views are if you aren’t even going to bother to listen to me.

    What, pointing out that you’re arguing for inequality is doing what religious apologists do?

    What you’re doing is akin to someone who says that adopting a belief in evolution is akin to saying “everything should be morally permitted”

    What you’re doing is clearly not limited to the religious groups of the world. It’s a human tendency. You seem to have a paranoid fantasy about what my views are, and no amount of reasoning with you will seem to do the trick because you’re not actually willing to listen.

    Yeah, it’s crystal clear that you’re trying to fight inequality by belittling and attacking the people who are fighting for that very same thing

    I forgot; everyone who says they’re fighting for equality (so long as they agree with your view point, of course) can never do something sexist, and are completely committed to the principle of opposing sexism on all fronts, which is reflected by everything they say and do being devoid of preferential treatment for one group or another. Just like I assume you have no sexist views, and would always oppose sexism, no matter the source or the victim, because sexism is wrong.
    And of course, people like me are just evil. We’re just out to get those do-gooders and make sure society remains an unjust place….oh, wait.

    Actually, that part is right, although it makes you a judgemental prick and full of shit

    The irony is too delicious. Because I have the nerve to judge someone elses position, YOU judge me as a prick and full of shit. In fact, you appear to have been judging me this whole time. Perhaps the most glaring example of your hypocrisy yet.

    It’s comparable to how the people (and there are many) on this thread that chronically mischaracterize the opinions of others complain that other people are “unfairly straw-manning them”, since we all know that straw-manning is bad, and surely, none of the people on “your side” of the debate would ever do that. Or maybe they would and you just wouldn’t call them out for it, because you’re a hypocrite.

    I’m fairly certain it will fly by you, unacknowledged.

    And again, just because she didn’t say exactly what you wanted her to say doesn’t make her racist/sexist/etc. How arrogant of you.

    Yeah; for thinking she said something sexist (and that sexism is wrong) is arrogant of me. And this guy, too:

    I’ve yet to see anyone actually point out any bigotry with the possible exception of something that she herself fully admitted was wrong.

    But that guy isn’t arrogant. I’ll bet that guy even considers himself less hypocritical than the population in general, if he considers himself hypocritical at all.

    I also think it’s funny that guy considers it a possible exception. Yeah, she isn’t a bigot, except when she possibility admits (kind of, but doesn’t seem bothered by it) she is.

    But hey, so long as she’s on “your side” of the debate, it doesn’t really matter what she thinks or why she’s there. Since I’m not on “your side” of the debate, it actually doesn’t really seem to matter what I think either, since you’re all to quick to tell me (incorrectly) what I think, not trust what I tell you, and not be willing to accept anything to contrary.

    And people accuse bbk of arguing with voices in his head instead of the people here. This irony is so delicious, I’m going to go blend it up into a delicious, delicious shake.

  • http://www.facepunch.com/member.php?u=298989 Jeep-Eep

    Shorter Mrnaglfar and bbk: MmmPHHM MMMpHS! MMPPPHSSSSS GMRRPHS! MMHS mmhhhph ErmmpH! [Foot-Breath]

    And I liked Mrnaglfar too. Pity he’s a MRA who waves about the frayed remnants of his phallus in our faces and calls it an arguement.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    I’m saying she’s displaying sexism by opposing sexism selectively by gender.

    And you haven’t backed it up. Saying, “C’mon, you know she’s sexist” doesn’t constitute backing it up.

    I never made a statement about ageism, nor did I campaign against it only for a particular age group, so no, that’s not using my logic at all.

    You could have denounced ageism when it was brought up, but you didn’t? Why not? I can only assume it’s because you’re bigotted towards older/younger people. I mean, that’s what you’re doing to NOW, isn’t it?

    What you’re doing is clearly not limited to the religious groups of the world. It’s a human tendency. You seem to have a paranoid fantasy about what my views are, and no amount of reasoning with you will seem to do the trick because you’re not actually willing to listen.

    I forgot; everyone who says they’re fighting for equality (so long as they agree with your view point, of course) can never do something sexist, and are completely committed to the principle of opposing sexism on all fronts, which is reflected by everything they say and do being devoid of preferential treatment for one group or another. Just like I assume you have no sexist views, and would always oppose sexism, no matter the source or the victim, because sexism is wrong.
    And of course, people like me are just evil. We’re just out to get those do-gooders and make sure society remains an unjust place….oh, wait.

    Oh wait, indeed. You do realize that the first paragraph up there clearly demonstrates what you did in the second paragraph, right? The projection is strong with this one.

    The irony is too delicious. Because I have the nerve to judge someone elses position, YOU judge me as a prick and full of shit.

    If it makes me judgemental to point out that you are being so, then so be it. I’ll be intolerant of intolerance and not make any apologies for it.

    Yeah; for thinking she said something sexist (and that sexism is wrong) is arrogant of me.

    For thinking that she is sexist (not said something sexist) because she’s not saying what you think she should say is arrogant.

    I also think it’s funny that guy considers it a possible exception. Yeah, she isn’t a bigot, except when she possibility admits (kind of, but doesn’t seem bothered by it) she is.

    I see, so if a woman says anything in here whole entire life that can be construed or misconstrued to be sexist, then she’s a raving sexist that should be denounced for the rest of her life and drawn and quartered and any organization she works with should be denounced part and parcel. Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.

    And people accuse bbk of arguing with voices in his head instead of the people here.

    Well, yeah, because it’s rather obvious. That you’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid is rather obvious too.


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