MISOGYNY – Cow

Have you ever wondered why “cow” is such a scathing insult when directed at a woman? Why would being called the name of the most maternal, inoffensive, nurturing creature on earth be taken for such an insult? We adore and pedestalize mothers; why is “cow” such an insult?

Have you ever wondered why the terms “girl” and “woman” are used to interchangeably in everyday speech?

Have you ever wondered why there is no female equivalent of “man up”?

Have you ever wondered why women so much more than men seem to be sensitive about age, and why talking about a woman’s age is so radioactive? Have you ever wondered at the plethora of skin-care products, and the hideous prices they seem to be able to get women to pay, and why all those products promise you ever-youthful skin?

Have you ever wondered why grown women aren’t affronted to be told you can’t tell them from their daughters?

Have you ever wondered at why articles on masculinity and manhood by feminists, especially female feminists, tend to sound like they are missing the point when they seem to conflate the two?

Genderitis – My definition of genderitis is the tendency to see and try to analyze everything solely in terms of gender. It’s a mistake. A lot of things we talk about as part of the “patriarchal” female role don’t really have to do with gender so much as they has to do with age, and in particular with youth being imputed to the female role.

I think this answers every question above. I think it is the principle that underlies every one of those examples. Womanhood is conflated with and indistinguishable from girlhood in this culture. “Man up” means “stop acting like a weak little boy” but “woman up” can never mean that because it refers to a distinction that doesn’t exist in the culture.

And this is also an example of how “gender is constructed.” This is a trend, not a permanent feature of Anglo femininity, and certainly not a feature of femininity in humans across all cultures and times. I have watched since the early 60s how youth has been emphasized more and more, to the exclusion of almost everything else, as the measure of femininity, so much so that any expression of adulthood – intelligence, physical strength, personal responsibility for harms that befall you, emotional continence – are disparaged in some way or other as “unfeminine” or “unwomanly”.

There really was a time when younger women tried to imitate the sophistication and worldiness of older women. There really was a time when grown women were ashamed to cry except maybe when a kid had died. Or at the opera. That was allowed. There really was a time when women didn’t chatter and giggle in public like high school girls. There really was a time when young American didn’t chirp when they talked. And somehow all that got cut out of femininity in our culture, the female gender role evolved away from adulthood.

Nowadays we associated stoicism with masculinity and theatrical emotionalism with femininity. That is an example of how gender roles are constructed rather than determined by biology.

2nd Wave feminism pushed back hard against this infantilization of women, but it failed for two reasons. One was that every other force in the culture was ranged against feminists. The youth culture of the 50s and 60s exalted eternal childishness (the Me Generation) and before that Romanticism had exalted spontaneity and authenticity and natural emotionality, with women as the purest expression of that. (This was the old misogynist trope of women as emotional rather than rational.) But in the 70s rationality was retrgrade anyway.

The second reason was an internal contradiction in 2nd Wave feminism. As much as feminists denounced chivalry, most of their demands relied on men’s chivalry towards women in general, and favoritism towards daughters in particular, to be achieved. Just as in the struggle for voting rights, no shots were fired, now heaps of bodies piled up in the streets, no artillery was used. The “fight” to get women into corporate life, to give them educational preferences and a whole assortment of other helping hands, was all very peaceful and bloodless. It was chivalry in action. 2nd Wave feminism failed and became 3rd wave feminism because in the end it refused to reject the patriarchy thoroughly enough.

Some things this proposal predicts:

Damseling – At bottom damseling is a claim to on someone else to protection as a right, as an entitlement. Insisting on a woman’s victimhood in every situation, or her greater victimhood in her situation vis-à-vis someone else’s victimhood, is going to be crucial.

Devaluing women’s responsibility – If women are regarded as eternal girls, then they are going to get the same leniency for misdeeds we show children. So we can expect to see women sentenced more leniently for the same crimes as men, we can expect to see them charged and prosecuted less often and we can expect to see their sexual violence explained away or ignored. When a woman rapes a boy, she’s not a rapist, no, no – he just got lucky!We can expect to see their domestic violence and child abused excused on the flimsiest and most transparent and formulaic, or even unproven of excuses. (See also Andrea Yates and a host of others, and Lorena Bobbit and another host of others.) It really comes down to designating women as powerless, regardless of whatever actual power they may really have.

Spontaneity and emotionalism and all those childlike things are going to be in the female sphere.

Physical smallness and frailty are going to be considered feminine virtues. Weakness in general becomes a feminine virtue: finickiness about eating, inability to do this or that physical task, emotional touchiness about criticism, always feeling under threat and a general learned (and effectual) helplessness are some examples of this. Fat is going to stigmatized, basically as defeminizing.

Manhood defined in opposition to femininity instead of boyhood – How often do we hear that gay-bashing comes out of misogyny? All the time. It’s doctrine. What if instead that explanation is itself misogynistic, what if the real energy behind gay-bashing was the failure to get the girl, the failure to go beyond boyhood, a disgust with weakness and powerless. How misogynist is it to equate weakness and powerless with femininity?

Granting of “rights” to women without expecting commensurate responsibility – The scare quotes are around rights because rights that someone else grants you are not rights, they are privileges dependent on someone else’s favor, and they keep you in a state of dependency. This may sound paradoxical but it isn’t; this is an indulgence of a parent to a child he is busy spoiling. So it should be no surprise that when (white, rich) men gave women given the vote without the commensurate draft, they were careful to give it to rich white women and deny it to black men – oh, the law gave black men the vote, but Jim Crow and the KKK took it back. Nothing like that was allowed when women got the vote. The men who mattered saw to that.

ADDITION: This all amounts to a structure that incentivizes and enforces hypoagency on women. Women do in fact operate with full agency in a lot of domains, but this designation of both forces them or at times others to cover up and deny that agency.

The misandry of this arrangement should be obvious – it puts men into the role of eternal servant-parent to an entitled class of perma-children, Tinkerbells who don’t ever have to grow up, but I want to focus on the misogyny of the arrangement here. I hope the misogyny of a gender system in which women are expected to be permanent moral minors is obvious too.

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  • dresq

    I wonder, where does this model account for the trope of the wife (or partner) as She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, railroading irresponsible man-children into adulthood through cajoling, force, and shaming? That’s a thing, at least in media.

  • http://www.genderratic.com Xakudo

    I have watched since the early 60s how youth has been emphasized more and more, to the exclusion of almost everything else, as the measure of femininity, so much so that any expression of adulthood – intelligence, physical strength, personal responsibility for harms that befall you, emotional continence – are disparaged in some way or other as “unfeminine” or “unwomanly”.

    Just had to say, I love that term “emotional continence” (and the natural extension to “emotional incontinence”). I haven’t seen it before, and it is such a perfect term. Just like urination and defecation, it’s not about refraining from displaying emotions, it’s about letting emotions out at the appropriate times.

    I know a lot of women who have excellent emotional continence, however. But yes, it does seem that emotional incontinence is more accepted in women than in men.

    And to take the analogy further, I think men are often expected to suffer emotional constipation. 😉

  • Ginkgo

    That’s real and it’s completely contradictory to this. They both exist and that’s part of the crazy-making business of gender in this culture. She-Who-Must-Be -Obeyed comes out of the Hearth and Home stuff inwrote about a few days ago.

    So what it comes down to is that unless a woman is in a superior position, she can fall back on this child-like state of dependency in which she is not really subordinate.

  • Ginkgo

    “Just had to say, I love that term “emotional continence” (and the natural extension to “emotional incontinence”). ”

    I didn’t invent it. I saw it years ago in a program about men who had been POWs under the Japanese, how one symptom of their PTSD often was “emotional incontinence”. Since they were British, it was quite an obvious symptom and quite stigmatizing.

  • gjdj

    Viewing women as children explains most gender issues.

    Children are considered precious (deserving of protection) and not responsible.

    It’s why women weren’t allowed to vote, go to war, handle their own business affairs.
    It’s why light violence (eg. spanking) against a wife was considered acceptable.
    It’s why husbands were responsible for the debts of their wife.

    It’s why women get lesser sentences for crimes. It’s why sentences are longer when a woman is the victim. It’s why we have concepts like alimony. It’s why we spend more on women’s health (even though women live longer). It’s why domestic violence against women is seen as so much worse than DV against men. It’s why we have shelters for women but not men. It’s why we see men as more capable and agentic than women. It’s why women find it harder to become leaders in business and politics. It’s why women aren’t expected to do dangerous jobs.

  • gjdj

    Not sure that “She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, railroading irresponsible man-children into adulthood through cajoling, force, and shaming” is completely contradictory.

    If society views women as quasi-children and men as quasi-parents then women have moral authority to shame and cajole men to man up and provide for them.

    Imagine a 14 year old who does all the housework, works a job, provides food and a parent who is unemployed, always drunk and a layabout. Society would see the 14 year old as needing protection and if he/she had the courage to call the parent out on their behavior society would view the complaint as legitimate.

  • http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com girlwriteswhat

    >That is an example of how gender roles are constructed rather than determined by biology.

    Fun fact: women have larger tear ducts than men do. That’s not a social construction, that’s an evolutionary adaptation that facilitates women’s ability to infantilize themselves to get cookies and protection. It may be that an expectation that women grow up is an active form of socialization, and that left to their own devices without external pressures to do so, they simply won’t. That is, the historical expectation that women “woman up” was an attempt to socialize away women’s biological natures. A greater tendency toward psychological/behavioral neoteny would certainly dovetail with women’s greater physical neoteny (including those larger tear ducts, which would not have evolved were they not of evolutionary advantage).

    I’d also posit that the current emphasis on an appearance of eternal youthfulness may be a byproduct of later marriages and marital instability. It used to be that women were married at the peak of their youth and attractiveness, and marriage was a permanent endeavor. Now, a woman might not marry until 5 or even 10 years after her looks and fertility peak and begin to decline (meanwhile, men their age have been gaining value through increasing career/social status), and marriages are not so permanent. A woman in her 40s can easily find herself on the market, and an appearance of youth can help her maximize her potential matches.

  • Ginkgo

    “Fun fact: women have larger tear ducts than men do. That’s not a social construction, that’s an evolutionary adaptation that facilitates women’s ability to infantilize themselves to get cookies and protection.”

    Yes, and produce more prolactin to get those tear glands going.

    There’s a lot of neoteny going around. Women tend to have larger eyes and smaller chins than men, juvenile traits. And here’s a twist – Western Europeans tend to show the same traits, male and female. Supposedly the larger eyes are an adaptation to low sunlight. This may play out in perceptions of femaleness or maleness, but it certainly does not extend to social dominance.

    The same applies to body hair. It reads either as a sign of maturity or maleness, to the dismay of Asian-American men.

    Welcome to the blog, GWW, and gjdj too!

    gjdj, you summed up the whole post in a fifth of the space.

  • debaser71

    AFAIK…Men have larger tear ducts. They don’t overflow as easily. I am unsure of the ratios but men are generally around 20% larger than women. I wonder how much larger male tear ducts are.

    I also think that crying is a holdover from infancy. This infancy crying is what drove the evolution. IMO. Remember humans are pathetic feeble infants for a long time. Crying is absolutely essential for survival. It’s no surprise that even beyond infancy humans still cry.

    I’ll add that breastfeeding and infant crying go hand in hand. A lactating mother literally starts oozing milk when they hear a baby crying. There are also chemicals in the tears that stimulate lactation.

  • dungone

    I don’t like this post so much, largely because it comes off somewhat one-dimensional in light of numerous alternative and complimentary explanations for everything being mentioned. “Cow” is a scathing insult because cows are fat, pastoral animals. That being said, not every piece of female privilege comes down to treating women like children. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes discrimination against men and special pleading for women are done just because. They need not involve any additional circumstances than the treatment of whites vs blacks, Christians vs Jews, etc.

    In real life, real juveniles are denied rights far more often than not, from having their genitals cut as babies to getting forced to fight wars while being denied a political voice. Often, such as when I hear reports of “women and children” being the victims of something or another, I see it as crimes against children being used to bolster special protections for women by boosting the apparent numbers of female victims, not as an initialization of women themselves. When humanitarian relief missions hand out food and water exclusively to females because they view them as more responsible than men, it’s not because the women are seen as children. And look into the way courts treat young renters versus landlords; versus the way they disregard building code violations until kids get killed in apartment fires. Many urban policies are selectively enforced in ways that particularly harm the youth, rather than protecting them the way women are generally protected.

    Furthermore, we can also explain a great deal of women’s advantages because we regard them as the noble class in our society. It would be a great oversight not to point out the way women’s fashion is an amalgamation of upper-class elite fashion trends from around the world. Clothing and jewelry that screams “I don’t have to get my hands dirty for a living.” The vast amount of consumer choice, design, and spending is directed by women. The deferential language and mannerisms we have for our treatment of women is often very pure and obvious – they are simply regarded as better, our “better halves.” Our relationships with women, including courtship, is a direct descendant of the culture of the royal court. How often do you see parents kissing their children’s hand? Do parents need to seek out an audience with their children and offer gifts to get anything in return? Children are vastly seen as benefiting from their parents’ care, whereas women who grant men access to their bodies are seen as doing the men a profound favor. Men are plebs, women are princesses. There’s nothing even subtle about that.

  • dungone

    Sorry – the spellchecker swapped out a word.
    “not as an initialization of women themselves.” was supposed to read, “not as an infantilization of women themselves.”

  • http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com girlwriteswhat

    Sorry, debaser. Meant to write “tear glands”.

  • Copyleft

    What about the opposing trend of little girls opting (and sometimes, culturally, being encouraged) to act older than they are? Maybe they’re all zeroing in on some optimum age range of late teens-early twenties.

  • Ginkgo

    dungone

    ““Cow” is a scathing insult because cows are fat, pastoral animals.”

    Which explains nothing except to repeat that it’s an insult specific to a certain culture. Cows are valued above just about every other creature in societies that depend on them. In ancient Ireland a cow was worth six femlae servants, simply because of the difference in economic value.

    “That being said, not every piece of female privilege comes down to treating women like children.”

    I totally agree, just a few posts upthread. This is not the Unified Field Theory of Gender, just a piece of it. some femlae privielge is inherited form the Mother role. And some is as you say, from the designation of women as the noble sex. Post to follow on that, that tries to explain a lot of aspsects of gender roles as borrowed from class differences.

    Copyleft,
    “What about the opposing trend of little girls opting (and sometimes, culturally, being encouraged) to act older than they are?”

    The older they are acting is nubile, not actually mature. Those tart shops, what are they called – Hannah Montana or whatever, are not about making little girls look like grand dames.

  • debaser71

    GWW said, “That’s not a social construction, that’s an evolutionary adaptation that facilitates women’s ability to infantilize themselves to get cookies and protection.”

    Just going to emphasize the word “facilitate” here. Because from here it’s far too easy for some people to think, “women evolved larger tear glands _in order_ to infantilize themselves” rather than this ability to infantilize is a by product of something else (in my mind this something else is breastfeeding).

  • dungone

    “What about the opposing trend of little girls opting (and sometimes, culturally, being encouraged) to act older than they are?”

    @Copyleft, indeed. I am quite tired of women proclaiming that only older, established men who own homes and earn 100 times as much as they do are on the same level of “maturity” as these wet-behind-the-ears damsels who expect free food and entertainment on a man’s tab. I am tired of women who have had a single boyfriend in their entire life who absolutely refuse to defer to older, more experienced men who have been around the block a few dozen times when it comes to romantic and sexual matters.

    What I notice is quite stark. I see women who submit to one another and regard each other as matriarchs at even the slightest sign of higher status, yet some of these same young women regard themselves as morally superior to their own fathers. Go read any random feministe thread to see what I mean.

  • Ginkgo

    “What I notice is quite stark. I see women who submit to one another and regard each other as matriarchs at even the slightest sign of higher status, yet some of these same young women regard themselves as morally superior to their own fathers. Go read any random feministe thread to see what I mean.”

    Now this is a really important observation with implications far beyond feminist threads.

    TB has said that most aggression is intra-gender. Certainly policing behavior is. certainly almost every form of competition is.

    Your observation also chimes with something a dog trainer told me. She said that with dogs there are two distinct hierarchies in every group, a male and a female one. A junior female will take all kinds of liberties with senior males – take favorite bones, come and sit down next to someone senior without permission – that she would never attempt with senior females, and the same happens in mirror image with junior males.

  • alas

    I got all excited to stumble on a website that had a more broad discussion between men and women and a more balanced view of gender issues than the hurt/lashing-out that often happens in exclusively feminist forums, but I was disappointed to note the still persistent stream of paranoia about women throughout this post and throughout the comments.

    A bone thrown to the reality of misogyny at the end of the piece doesn’t fix it– and to me seems to kind of prove the point: “… it puts men into the role of eternal servant-parent to an entitled class of perma-children, Tinkerbells who don’t ever have to grow up, but I want to focus on the misogyny of the arrangement here.” With that, he proceeds to end the piece, having focused entirely on the ‘perks’ for women of being baby-fied.

    Just because one explanation “would make sense” in some way (e.g. women’s fashion marking their role as ‘entitled’ non-physical laborers (as opposed to other reasons like sexual availability or an unbalanced burden of expectation on appearance)), doesn’t make it the correct one. The string of unfounded evolutionary psychology meandering should not be understood as anything beyond a disconnected exercise in science fictional imagining. Which is fine. Just not anything to base your worldview on.

    I don’t think it’s fair or useful to start with the assumption that women are trying to con men out of something, which seems to be where a lot of these points begin:

    – “That’s not a social construction, that’s an evolutionary adaptation that facilitates women’s ability to infantilize themselves to get cookies and protection.”

    – Why was everyone so quick to jump on board the false claim that women have larger tear ducts? (Was it because there is a tendency in this space to hold as an assumption that women are manipulative by nature, or otherwise adversarial to men?)

    I’m willing to approach this with an open mind. Is it necessary or helpful or true to life to BEGIN with the assumption that women are manipulating culture for some kind of gain? Am I missing something here?

  • alas

    PS- In American culture, cows are often considered graceless, dumb and slow moving. They’re also slaughtered for meat and enslaved for milking. It’s no great revelation that people (men AND women– would you dudes be honored to be called a cow?) don’t want to be called cows, or really most animals.

  • dungone

    but I was disappointed to note the still persistent stream of paranoia about women throughout this post and throughout the comments.

    So by all means, add your own view to the mix. But it kind of sounds like you want to see “fresh” ideas if they are not at odds with feminist orthodoxy. You can’t have it both ways.

    Just because one explanation “would make sense” in some way (e.g. women’s fashion marking their role as ‘entitled’ non-physical laborers (as opposed to other reasons like sexual availability or an unbalanced burden of expectation on appearance)), doesn’t make it the correct one. The string of unfounded evolutionary psychology meandering should not be understood as anything beyond a disconnected exercise in science fictional imagining. Which is fine. Just not anything to base your worldview on.

    Are you perhaps unaware of high-heels being worn by European royalty (kings – men) to signify their high status? Are you unaware that long fingernails were used in Asian cultures to signify wealth, to the point where elite members of society required servants to spoon feed them because they were unable to use their own hands? Evolutionary psychology has nothing to do with women’s fashion; these are all art historical constructs passed down to our culture from antiquity. On the other hand, the “sexual availability” of high heels and long fingernails, now that is something that requires some evo psych.

  • dungone

    Why was everyone so quick to jump on board the false claim that women have larger tear ducts? (Was it because there is a tendency in this space to hold as an assumption that women are manipulative by nature, or otherwise adversarial to men?)

    It wasn’t a false claim, it was a wrong word, and it was quickly rectified in the interest of accuracy without the help of feminist minders. GirlWritesWhat meant to say tear glands, not tear ducts, then corrected herself. I know so much about eyes that tear ducts and tear glands are synonymous to me and refer to “the thing where tears come from.”

  • debaser71

    alas said, “everyone” but I certainly did challenge the notion.

  • alas

    I hear you. I didn’t mean to suggest that your suggestion about the fashion of wealth and status was an evolutionary theory– probably should have separated that into paragraphs.

    Please don’t make assumptions about my devotion to feminist orthodoxy–a bit unfounded at this point, I think. Pointing out what I perceived as an unfair assumption underlying much of this conversation hardly constitutes an unwillingness to hear new ideas. And I’d still like to hear whether you think I’ve misunderstood something there.

    As for women’s dress, I certainly think you have an interesting theory. I’m just unconvinced that it means what you suggest it does. What is beautiful and fashionable has often been defined by the rich and emulated by the poor. Why assume that this is about anything more than beauty? And, as a woman, I guess I have trouble jumping on board with a theory that dressing up like a girl is something I do to express my royal power over men, rather than a fairly harsh expectation on my appearance from men and women alike.

  • Ginkgo

    Welcome to the blog, alas.

    ” but I was disappointed to note the still persistent stream of paranoia about women throughout this post and throughout the comments. ”

    Then you totally misread and missed my point. I am talking about gender roles, IOW about culture and socialization. Not about entire genders. You do understand the difference, don’t you?

    “PS- In American culture, cows are often considered graceless, dumb and slow moving. They’re also slaughtered for meat and enslaved for milking. It’s no great revelation that people…”

    Well, yes, cows are held in contempt in American culture. That was my point. And that’s an indictment of American culture, and of the way American culture constructs femininity, as fragile, delicate, dainty and childlike. It’s the source of fat-phobia, expectation of hypoagency and ageism against women. It is misogynist as hell, as are you if are trying to defend that formulation of femininity.

    “(men AND women– would you dudes be honored to be called a cow?) don’t want to be called cows, or really most animals.”

    Cow? No, men don’t want to be called by the name for the female of any species. Can oyu think of how often men call themselves soem variant of “bull”?

    If you think men don’t like being named after animals then you need to read http://www.genderratic.com/p/1545/meta-you-dont-know-me/ because you clearly know very little about men. Men name the sports teams they are on after animals – the Bulls! Men name cars they want after them. Many male names – Connor, Brandon/Brendan, Phillip, Wolfgang, Bjorn, Arnold, Tatanka Iyotanka, and the surname Singh – are animal names. It’s a worldwide pattern.

    “I don’t think it’s fair or useful to start with the assumption that women are trying to con men out of something, which seems to be where a lot of these points begin:”

    It will seem that way to you if you are more interested in mind-reading than in reading. You cannot identify my starting assumptions from this piece. You appear instead to be projecting your assumptions onto me.

    That women are often trying to con men out of something is not an assumption, it is often a valid conclusion based on what most men experience. That’s lived experience. It is also easier to observe if you are a by-stander. as a gay man I can clearly see this dynamic going on between straight men and women.

    “The string of unfounded evolutionary psychology meandering should not be understood as anything beyond a disconnected exercise in science fictional imagining…”

    I don’t know what this is in response to, and frankly this is why I doubt your reading ability. The whole article’s point is that all this is cuklturally constructed, and quite recently, only within the last couple of hundred years. That is as far from evo-psych as you can get, and frankly the fact that you rush to that reading suggests you are not coming to this with anything like an open mind.

    “Just because one explanation “would make sense” in some way (e.g. women’s fashion marking their role as ‘entitled’ non-physical laborers (as opposed to other reasons like sexual availability or an unbalanced burden of expectation on appearance)), ”

    Non-physical labor as an expalnation has more explanantory power when it comes to women’s fashions than appearanace does. Women’s fashions are silly and unattractive for the most part. The current fashion for stiletto platform shoes is the most recent example I can think of. They look like the kind of parody I seen done better in drag shows. But i ageree that no one expalnation covers all of this, and that applies to non-physical labor. However, can you show any female equivalent to Carhartt and Dickies?

    “I’m willing to approach this with an open mind.”

    That remains to be seen. You have so far shown no sign of that, so I doubt it. But if you try harder you may be able to convince me and the others.

  • alas

    Thanks but no thanks, gingko, I think it’s clear that this isn’t the space I thought it might be. I’ve checked out a few of the other articles on here and realized my mistake. Back to looking for a respectful space for dialogue on gender – I’ll skip the self-defense (“I doubt your reading ability”? “so I doubt it”? “try harder”? These condescensions are not necessary or helpful to any kind of safe, honest dialogue) and move on. Nothing to see here.

  • dungone

    As for women’s dress, I certainly think you have an interesting theory.

    Thanks, but I take no credit for the idea. I’ve encountered numerous discussions about this over the years. It’s not new.

    What is beautiful and fashionable has often been defined by the rich and emulated by the poor. Why assume that this is about anything more than beauty? And, as a woman, I guess I have trouble jumping on board with a theory that dressing up like a girl is something I do to express my royal power over men, rather than a fairly harsh expectation on my appearance from men and women alike.

    Royalty have often been trend setters, but the poor have emulated them to differentiate themselves from the poorer still. This isn’t particularly controversial, it’s a well known fact with many examples. Furthermore, women weren’t always dressing up as royalty. When women did manual work, they wore drab attire just like men. Rosie the Riveter wasn’t wearing a pair of heels, but moreover when women’s roles involved washing laundry by hand in rivers and cooking on wood-fired stoves, they could hardly afford to dress as they do today. It is, quite frankly, a fashion that was adopted from royalty to reflect women’s new roles in society.

    The common woman’s attire was very restrictive in the past, but this rarely had anything to do with being any more or less beautiful than men, nor sexually available. Look at the drab and un-sexy tennis uniforms of the past as just one example. http://www.4specialtytennis.com/tennishistory.html The clothing was highly impractical but it was not in any way refined. I think it’s pretty clear that in our own culture’s history and in cultures around the world, when men control what women wear, it’s usually to conceal sexuality, not highlight it, and it isn’t to make the common woman out to look like a princess. In an oppressive culture you’d see the hijab, not the miniskirt.

    Women do signal their sexual availability with what they wear, when they are free to do it, but this mostly involves more revealing clothing and some studies show that you can even tell what part of their monthly cycle they’re on by what they’re wearing. And that alone is evidence that women aren’t dressing because someone is forcing them to be sexually available because if that were the case, they’d be pressured to wear revealing clothing at all times, not just when they actually want to be sexually available. And yet, those signs of sexual availability don’t necessarily have anything to do with emulating royalty, which tends to happen all month long.

  • dungone

    @everyone – wow, well there you have it. A feminist.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/telaran JDCyran

    @Alas – “Respectful dialogues” don’t start with words like “persistent stream of paranoia about women,” “why was everyone so quick to jump on board the false claim that,” or to pre-define a conversation as “hurt/lashing-out.” They don’t make assumptions about the writers, as you quite blatantly did.

    If you are interested in respectful dialogue, you’ll have to engage in it. It doesn’t just mean, “people say things I think are respectful, and I can say whatever I want.”

  • Ginkgo

    “Thanks but no thanks, gingko, I think it’s clear that this isn’t the space I thought it might be. I’ve checked out a few of the other articles on here and realized my mistake. Back to looking for a respectful space for dialogue on gender – I’ll skip the self-defense (“I doubt your reading ability”? “so I doubt it”? “try harder”? These condescensions are not necessary or helpful to any kind of safe, honest dialogue) and move on. Nothing to see here.”

    And there we have the flounce. Come back when you’re a grown woman. We’ll be able to talk then.

  • http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Danny

    Speaking of things not being a social construction and women being lumped in with children.

    Ever noticed how in a lot of cartoons prepubescent boys are voiced by adult women? There aren’t too many males that could have voiced Bart Simpson in almost the exact same manner for nearly 20 years.

  • John D

    I actually can’t believe I’m saying this (I’ve spent the last 2 years arguing with incredibly insane to very calm intelligent and egalitarian feminists at tgmp), but I think there might be something to be said of avoiding the echo chamber effect that many misandric feminists boards cultivate.

    I don’t necessarily think anybody was rude, but I have often come on very strong assuming that the person I was arguing with was a misandrist (until they proved me wrong).

    Ideally (if we want more converts and don’t want to de-evolve to a small core of like-minded people having mental circle-jerks) it should work the opposite way: we all should treat newcomers like they are equitable peeps until they are proven wrong.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/telaran JDCyran

    @ John D – “but I think there might be something to be said of avoiding the echo chamber effect that many misandric feminists boards cultivate.”

    How about, instead of trying not to become an echo chamber, people here just talk about what they want to talk about (related to the topic), and people who feel like engaging in the conversation just come in and do the same? I don’t have anything against the bloggers personally, but I don’t want Genderratic to become like Feminist Critics, where the the goal seems to be about engaging in dialogue, but I sometimes feel like the policy is, and I’m exaggerating a bit, “Shh! Don’t say that quite so honestly, or we might scare the feminists away.”

    I think there is a diverse enough array of opinions here that becoming an echo chamber is unlikely. It’s not like Typhon and Clarence don’t constantly disagree, for instance (though that sometimes makes me tired), and Daisy, while she sometimes blows up in spectacular ways, almost always has something different and thought provoking to add.

  • John D

    I hear you JDC. Believe me, 6 months or more ago I would have never thought I’d be saying this.

    It just seems to me that sometimes it appears to me that there are people who are legitimately good-hearted (and concerned about equality for all)who have been swindled by the radfem movement.

    That is my perspective of Alsa. There are plenty of truly hateful people (like marcotte and others) who deserve being treated harshly, but from my perspective I saw nearly as much circling the wagons as I did dialogue with Alsa.

    I’m not necessarily saying anybody did anything wrong, I’m just saying we have to be just as mindful as others, *despite* our message being truly egalitarian and not a farce or being misled.

  • dungone

    @John D, Alsa came, judged, and left. It was a drive-by and there were plenty of red flags right off the bat. The first paragraph of her first comment already said that she was disappointed in this thread and all the comments in it. She threw in a couple familiar feminist talking points that recast female advantages into female oppression. On top of that, she implied that our group of participants swallows anything that seems to support our “disappointing” and “wrong” notions even if it’s wrong (apparently, the gaffe of tear ducts versus tear glands totally destroys GirlWritesWhat’s entire argument). I don’t think the wagons needed to circle. That raid went right off a cliff.

  • Druk

    @JDCyran: I totally agree that I don’t want Genderattic to become FC in the exact way you mean. That said, I am 100% behind FC’s approach to being critical of feminism. As one person said, the way feminists avoid that blog even after being treated with kid gloves is proof positive of how they refuse to let their ideology be challenged in any way.

    Does anyone think that alas is of “Alas, a Blog”? I assume so, but just wondering.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/telaran JDCyran

    @Druk – “Does anyone think that alas is of “Alas, a Blog”? I assume so, but just wondering.”

    The thought had crossed my mind, I have to admit.

  • http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com Stoner With a Boner
  • http://www.genderratic.com Xakudo

    @Alas:

    I got all excited to stumble on a website that had a more broad discussion between men and women and a more balanced view of gender issues than the hurt/lashing-out that often happens in exclusively feminist forums, but I was disappointed to note the still persistent stream of paranoia about women throughout this post and throughout the comments.

    I certainly hope you don’t decide to leave the blog. I can’t necessarily speak for the other two bloggers here (although I suspect they would agree), but I at least wish for this blog to have a diverse commentariate with a variety of views and backgrounds. It sounds like if you stick around, you might help to contribute to that. It would be a shame if people such as yourself decided to avoid the blog simply because it currently doesn’t jive with your world view. Disagreement and debate are a good thing, IMO, as long as they are done respectfully, and hopefully will help to change everyones minds in a variety of ways for the better.

  • http://www.genderratic.com Xakudo

    @Alas:
    Oh, and also:

    Just because one explanation “would make sense” in some way (e.g. women’s fashion marking their role as ‘entitled’ non-physical laborers (as opposed to other reasons like sexual availability or an unbalanced burden of expectation on appearance)), doesn’t make it the correct one. The string of unfounded evolutionary psychology meandering should not be understood as anything beyond a disconnected exercise in science fictional imagining. Which is fine. Just not anything to base your worldview on.

    I don’t think it’s fair or useful to start with the assumption that women are trying to con men out of something,

    For the record, I totally agree with you. I feel like this blog could use a little more balance. I need to post more. Heh…

  • http://www.genderratic.com Xakudo

    @Ginkgo:

    And there we have the flounce. Come back when you’re a grown woman. We’ll be able to talk then.

    Really? Really? Come on, man. Your response to her was snarky and disrespectful. Admittedly, her closing comment contained a bit of condescension as well, but:
    1. I can hardly blame her given your response, and
    2. It still had more respect in it than your comment to her.

    Now, I certainly can’t know if she would for sure have been a valuable commenter on our site. Perhaps she would end up being a condescending asshole. But perhaps she would have ended up being a really valuable and insightful person who could challenge us in useful ways. IMO her comments so far seemed to indicate the latter, as she seemed to be addressing us in good faith.

    I’m disappointed.

  • HidingFromtheDinosaurs

    Xakudo:

    From where I’m standing, her initial comment didn’t seem any less snarky or condescending than Ginko’s reply. A lot of those statement (particularly with that phrasing) needed something to back them up (as in an actual argument, maybe a quote or two) to be anywhere near “respectful” and there was nothing of the kind either in her post or in the thread. The response could have been handled much better than it was, but it’s no good pretending that her initial comment was anything less than a verbal attack, condescending, devoid of evidence and reliant on either ignoring or misreading large portions of the thread. It certainly wasn’t the kind of post that makes me feel like engaging in a dialog with its author, mostly because it leaves me with no faith that she would be at all respectful of anything said to her.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/telaran JDCyran

    @Xakudo:

    I don’t know, man. The “the still persistent stream of paranoia” thing, for example, is a good indication to me. Do you, in person, approach someone who you haven’t talked to before but you know is at least somewhat serious about a topic and start a conversation by saying you’re disappointed in how paranoid they sound? If so, how does that work out for you? My experience is that people only say that kind of thing not when they view someone else’s opinion as having a possibly legitimate difference, but rather when they think that person is crazy/spewing nonsense. The later comment about wanting to find a “respectful space” to talk about gender (while having entered with barely – if at all – disguised disrespect) only cements for me that, as I mentioned above, Alas was not looking for a respectful discussion, but rather for people to “respect” him or her while not having to reciprocate.

    Never mind the whole “I’ve checked out a few of the other articles on here and realized my mistake.” That should be evidence enough.

  • PostPatriarchalMan

    > I have watched since the early 60s how youth has been emphasized more and more, to the exclusion of almost everything else, as the measure of femininity, so much so that any expression of adulthood – intelligence, physical strength, personal responsibility for harms that befall you, emotional continence – are disparaged in some way or other as “unfeminine” or “unwomanly”.

    What has been emphasized along with youth is sexuality. The image and presentation of women in society has become hyper-sexualized. Youthful sexuality is one of the greatest feminine powers. But why has it become emphasized to the exclusion of all the others?

    I think the reason is feminism and the increasingly gender neutral society that it has produced. The mating instinct impels women to want to distinguish themselves as females to attract males. But today, the gender roles that allowed them to present as female in a variety of ways have largely disappeared. Women get the same educations and work the same jobs as men. The domestic and maternal realms that used to be the domain and power base of women is now viewed as a collection of onerous chores, to be outsourced or shared equally. The civic and communal societies that women used to run have largely disappeared. There is really nothing left that distinguishes women as female other than their bodies. Women themselves are driving their own hyper-sexualization by putting more and more resources into their physical presentation to distinguish themselves as females to appeal to males. And since female sexual appeal is necessarily youthful, this also drives the increasing female emphasis on youth.

    I read “The Awakening” recently – a late 19th century novel about a woman’s rejection of the gender roles of U.S. Southern upper class society. But what struck me was not her rebellion but the many ways in which the value of women was assumed in that society which no longer hold true in ours. The value of upper class women went far beyond their sexual appeal – in fact that was only vaguely alluded to. They had authority over their homes, children and servants and ran the social scene of the community. When women’s bodies were discussed, I was surprised to find that the description of a woman getting a bit stout and matronly was considered a good thing – something suitable to her role as a notable and powerful woman of the community. The value she had in her various uniquely female social roles outweighed the value of youthful sexuality – just the opposite of the situation today.

    I’m not suggesting that a return to late-Victorian gender norms is desirable. But it is worthwhile considering that along with all the positive gains from the emancipation of women, some things have been lost. Among those are unique social roles for women that gave them appeal that transcended the purely physical – as you put it, “expression of adulthood – intelligence, physical strength, personal responsibility for harms that befall you, emotional continence”.

  • PostPatriarchalMan

    @gjdj

    “Viewing women as children explains most gender issues.”
    “Children are considered precious (deserving of protection) and not responsible.”
    “If society views women as quasi-children and men as quasi-parents then women have moral authority to shame and cajole men to man up and provide for them.”

    That’s a very nice summary of a lot of issues.

    I also explains why women have traditionally been expected to be obedient and submissive to their husbands, just as children are to their parents.

    The exchange of submission for care is a common behavior among all social mammals that human female neoteny leverages.

  • PostPatriarchalMan

    I thought “cow” was an insult because they’re stupid.

  • HidingFromtheDinosaurs

    I don’t really like the jumping-off point for this post. The whole “cow” thing seems like it needs a much more thorough analysis (with evidence) before it can really be tied in to all of this. There are also a lot of points here that I don’t feel qualified to comment on.

    I do think it is true that women are encouraged to adopt childish mannerisms in our society and often never really mature as a result. I actually see the constant lamenting of men’s immaturity (often framed either in terms of “childish” hobbies or a failure to go out and be a big successful provider-type businessman) as a symptom of this, rather than a counterpoint. As Lewis (who is otherwise one of the last people in the universe you should look to for advice on gender) wrote in one of his more insightful moments, the desire to appear very grown up is among the “childish things” which must be put away in order to become fully mature.

    I do not know who is harmed more by this or if it matters, but I know that I don’t want to have anything to do with girls in women’s bodies. What Agatha Christie wrote about men in that respect holds true across genders: A child with the powers of an adult is a very dangerous thing. Besides which, women-children never have anything interesting to say.

    I am not terribly sympathetic to complaints about the oppression of fashion. I spend quite a lot of time trying to look sexier (mostly for my own benefit) and have an impossible time trying to find interesting men’s clothes of any kind (additionally, people sometimes become quite hostile about my nail polish). On the other hand, I know several women who spend a lot less time than I do in the bathroom every morning and hang out in sweat pants and T-shirts unless they feel like and have never seen anyone directing ire at this behavior. Honestly, I’m finding that bucking conventions when it comes to closing is easier than most people think, at least in one’s free time.

  • Copyleft

    I think many, if not most, women in our culture have in fact been raised with the understanding that they are somehow morally superior to men. The degree to which they recognize this as incorrect goes a long way in their ability to relate fairly and honestly with real men.

    Also, cows are great; they’re peaceful, sociable, and they never go on shooting sprees in crowded shopping malls.

  • debaser71

    “The string of unfounded evolutionary psychology meandering should not be understood as anything beyond a disconnected exercise in science fictional imagining.”

    is spot on! This is exactly how I feel about feminist theory. I’ll add that I get a bit saddened (maybe irked is a better word) when I see folk from the MRM do the same. This is why I tried to clear up a sort of fuzzy statement that could be misinterpreted.

    For what’s it’s worth…over the course of browsing my usual sites I noticed that GWW youtubes videos are being linked to! That’s awesome IMO. But there’s usually a caveat attached saying something about how the posters likes what GWW has to say but that when she talks about sociology and evolution…ummm, it’s not as solid. If I stumble on one of these again, I will link it.

    Just saying.

  • HidingFromtheDinosaurs

    Debaser:

    I agree that there’s way to much emphasis on evo-psych stuff on all sides of these issues. It’s not that big a field and there’s no way everyone who invokes it has the qualifications to be taken seriously. It’s not my field, though, so I don’t have a reliable way of differentiating good from bad and opt to just ignore everything that takes that line.

    I too have seen GWW videos popping up occasionally outside of spaces dedicated to gender discussion. They seem to strike a chord with a decent number of people.

  • Tamen

    Someone wondered if the commenter Alas came from the “Alas, a blog” blog. Perhaps some of the lurkers there. I read it sporadically and I can’t recall seeing any commenter called Alas there.

    I’ve also never seen Mythago nor Ampersand shy away from using their own nicks when commenting outside their blog.

  • Ginkgo

    Xakudo,

    “IMO her comments so far seemed to indicate the latter, as she seemed to be addressing us in good faith.”

    She semed to think she was addressing us in good faith, but in fact she was addressing us frorm the point of view of her own faith. Her

    As others have pointed out, her assumption of paranoia about women and then also her presumptious mind-reading are not a show of good faith, they are a show of speaking from a catechism. We’ve all heard it a million times, and isit doismissive and disrespectful. In fact these are not only the very trite and standard

    “1. I can hardly blame her given your response, and
    2. It still had more respect in it than your comment to her.”

    Really, really ? Calling people “dude” is your idea of respect? That’s really what did it for me. She has no manners.

    She started off accusatory and condescending and went downhill from there. It’s a damned shame Daisy wasn’t around to treat with her.

    She will become a useful contributor when she has had a few more experiences like this in other places and drops a lot of her puerile arrogance. If she really were capable of contributing here she would have had a litle thicker skin.
    If you want to see feminists who really truly want to engage on these issues, go the r/mensRights and for that matter r/FeMRA. It really happens. The diffenrence between their approach and alas’s will be immediately obvious.

  • Schala

    “But today, the gender roles that allowed them to present as female in a variety of ways have largely disappeared.”

    Hah, not. If that was true, trans people would be accepted without any problem at all. Especially trans women. No one would blink about transgender and cross-dressing people. No one would think twice (in a bad way) about concepts like gender fluidity, agender or bigender.

    This whole “we want to distinguish our sex from those other people” is pretty much entirely borne out of insecurity. Society makes a much bigger deal out of sex (the identity) than someone would normally make of it. Why in heck do they need to make the same item in blue and in pink nowadays (in my youth (I’m 30), only very-gendered items, like dolls, got that treatment, not Legos and bikes)? When I was younger, the frills coming out of the bike handlebars weren’t feminine. Everyone had them at some age. Came with almost all tricycles and 16 inch wheel bikes…Now I go to Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire, and see blue bikes without the frills, and pink bikes with tons of them.

    As if your kid needed to prove their sex to their potential mates when they’re 3! As if color-coded stuff was even a sensible way of going at it!

    It’s all extreme insecurity. Lest you be excluded from your same-sex peers (because other-sex peers are seen as “too different”, by even parents, so they can’t be judged as peers whose opinion about your inclusion matters). This insecurity comes from parents and is very quickly communicated to children, little boys getting their first haircuts as soon as possible, because of comments that he might be a little girl. Little girls dressed in pink, dresses and hosiery, because of comments that she might be a little boy.

    And it’s perpetuated into adulthood.

    Some people call it out, decide to do without, opt out, or “go their own way” expression-wise. I salute those people, who do not bend over in front of pressure to be a sheep (chances are a lot of people might be “somewhat close” to their pressured-to-be gender ideal…but not a chance they they’re exactly the same – ALL boys NEVER EVER wanting to wear skirted garments for example).

  • typhonblue

    @ Xakudo

    I’m afraid I don’t see it.

    I have never said women are to blame for the situations I point out. I don’t ascribe greater agency to women in the manufacture of these issues even if I do focus on men as victims(in part because I believe men are in more dire need of help right now and also I’m a bit flummoxed how to address female victimhood when I believe inflating female victimhood is the biggest issue women face.)

    I don’t see this in Gingko’s posts either.

  • PostPatriarchalMan

    “Hah, not. If that was true, trans people would be accepted without any problem at all. ”

    I’m pointing out that many of the social behaviors marking femininity have been diluted or have disappeared, leaving a much greater emphasis on physical sexuality as the primary marker of femininity. I would think this would make it harder for trans people, having to more perfectly physically conform to a body type opposite to the one they were born with.

    As an example of what I mean, take “Mrs Doubtfire”. In the movie a man successfully passes as a female housekeeper. He conforms to the social female role despite poorly conforming to the physical female image. But what if the social role of housekeeper went away and in order to pass as a woman he had to look like a hot babe instead? That would be harder to do.

  • Schala

    “As an example of what I mean, take “Mrs Doubtfire”. In the movie a man successfully passes as a female housekeeper. He conforms to the social female role despite poorly conforming to the physical female image. But what if the social role of housekeeper went away and in order to pass as a woman he had to look like a hot babe instead? That would be harder to do.”

    I’m seen as female without conforming to any role.

    Fun heh?

    I also don’t think I qualify as a hot babe. I’m probably not a 8/10 by any measure.

    You think to be taken as a man you have to look like Wolverine? Well, no, you don’t. You also don’t need a 60 day beard. Or to be a CEO.

    Being seen as your identified sex is easy: Be confident even if/when stupid people might question your societally-gendered choices (ie, hair length), meaning you don’t look afraid of their opinion, you’re free to ignore it, and generally don’t even care about it. The opposite of insecurity.

    I don’t need to wear pink and glitters with a super up-do to be seen as female. I’m also not a nurse, a secretary, a babysitter, a mother, a caretaker of any sort, etc. I happen to have very long hair, but I bet I could tell the difference with a guy with very long hair. It’s no problem if everyone, male and female, had very long hair, to me (as its not determinant). I have no appearance of facial hair.

    I occasionally wear skirts, but even when I don’t, I’m still seen as female. I have no big breasts. The two big things that people seem to judge sex at first glance with are body language and facial appearance. Don’t need make-up either. Voice can change their opinion if it seems very off with their first thought. Mine is simply androgynous, so its nothing either way.

    Also, in Mrs Doubtfire, Robin Williams’ character does conform physically to the image we have of old women, if a bit bigger than the average one. He had professional help from his cousins though. His voice might have given him off…but he’s a pro at voice-overs.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Nowadays we associated stoicism with masculinity and theatrical emotionalism with femininity. That is an example of how gender roles are constructed rather than determined by biology.

    Yeah… I have noticed if you get all businesslike on people (men OR women), that is tantamount to being a “bitch”–but I was raised to think it was simply professional.

    Great post, Gingko, and quite fascinating.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    PS: I just posted a bunch of old photos on my Facebook timeline… in particular, I posted one and wrote “I am posting this just to prove I got thin once”–everybody laughed about that and loved it.

    What I just realized is, its also one of very few photos of me in really “feminine” clothes. I had not really considered the connection before.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    girl: Fun fact: women have larger tear ducts than men do. That’s not a social construction, that’s an evolutionary adaptation that facilitates women’s ability to infantilize themselves to get cookies and protection.

    Not in all cultures… I have also heard this explained as an evolutionary adaptation to eye-makeup drying out the eyes. (Since in the non-eye-makeup cultures, the tear ducts are supposedly more equal-sized. Dunno if that is true or not.)

    I do think the rise of the holy WATERPROOF mascara is all about crying becoming more socially-acceptable, though… we didn’t have it when I was a teenager, so by God, you didn’t cry unless you wanted to look bad… so you just didn’t… LOL

  • dungone

    Not in all cultures… I have also heard this explained as an evolutionary adaptation to eye-makeup drying out the eyes. (Since in the non-eye-makeup cultures, the tear ducts are supposedly more equal-sized. Dunno if that is true or not.)

    @DD, it’s amazing to me that they would think that. Thanks for bringing that up. What a cockanany idea. Eye makeup causing an evolutionary adaptation? First of all, you don’t wear eye makeup on your eyeballs, so no, just no… Even if it happens to be true that there’s a correlation, the most plausible explanation for it would be the complete opposite – that women who evolved more infantile traits would wear eye makeup to accentuate their tears by having it make an even bigger, more pitiful, mess of things.

    This is going to sound really weird, but I can’t help right now but think of how many girls I’ve had sex with whose eyes were a total mess for having bawled them out earlier. God, this explains it! This is why I want a “real woman” and I’m just so sick and tired of these crybaby girls who force me to endure the sight of their dried up tears by the time they decide that they want to make love to me.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Dungone, check out whether they use the waterproof mascara, that should tip you off! LOL

    The TV commercials all have them in the rain and/or swimming, and we all know THAT isn’t the major situation they are concerned about.

    I didn’t see any of those Olympian swimmers wearing mascara.

  • dungone

    I’m talking about girls who become upset that one of their girlfriends said something mean, made them feel fat, or whatever, and so there’s countless social situations where as a man you’ve got to escort your crying girlfriend out of a room full of people, take her home and provide hugs until the tears dry, at which point her mood suddenly morphs into her getting horny and wanting to have sex. After which she either feels much better or she starts questioning whether or not your relationship with her is a “mistake.” Why? I haven’t the faintest idea why. I don’t like it when it happens and on a great number of such occasions I have felt put upon to provide sex that I didn’t really want to provide, given those types of circumstances. I wanted sex, but not that sex. You end up catering to the sexual and emotional needs of an adult-child and then get judged harshly for it, depending on whether or not you did everything exactly as she saw fit. There’s even this dangerous ability for crying women to transfer hurt feelings onto you, the man, as if the fact that they cried was your fault to begin with, since you were supposed to prevent it from happening in the first place (hence, now she needs a nicer pair of shoes than her girlfriend who made her cry).

    Well… as always, “not all women.” I’m just saying, “Oh lord, won’t you please send me a Mercedes Benz…”

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Dungone: I’m talking about girls who become upset that one of their girlfriends said something mean, made them feel fat, or whatever,

    Clearly, you are hanging out with girls who are too high-class. Come on down south, and you’ll get to see women punch each other out, in these same circumstances. My mother even went to jail for it. (seriously)

    It wasn’t until I married a man of a higher class (my first marriage), that I learned this wasn’t standard behavior from all women.

    Ever heard Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City”? My mother sang that song in her band, and she meant it. :)

  • dungone

    @DD, I’d prefer neither one if that’s alright. I appreciate someone who is confident and doesn’t take minor things to heart as either hurtful or offensive. There are other ways to solve problems than either crying or fighting about it. And yeah, I’m under no misconception that girls don’t get into some ugly brawls. Sometimes they’re the very same ones who cry about it later.

  • Ginkgo

    “Great post, Gingko, and quite fascinating.”

    You inspired it Daisy. I left a key piece out that coem out an exchange you and Schala had.

    I wish you had been around earlier.

  • http://www.genderratic.com Xakudo

    @JDCryan:

    I don’t know, man. The “the still persistent stream of paranoia” thing, for example, is a good indication to me. Do you, in person, approach someone who you haven’t talked to before but you know is at least somewhat serious about a topic and start a conversation by saying you’re disappointed in how paranoid they sound?

    Fair enough. I guess… dunno, it’s that her approach here didn’t seem that different from how I would expect many commenters (and bloggers…?) here to approach things on a feminist blog. I expect a certain amount of hostility from new-and-skeptical commenters, and I guess I had an auto-mental-filter operating because of that.

    On a second reading, I see how Ginkgo was indeed just delivering back to her was she delivered in the first place (sorry Ginkgo!). But I guess I’m still concerned that it’s going to be difficult to develop a diverse commentariate (and I’m skeptical that we really have as diverse a commentariate as we think) if we respond to reflexive hostility with reflexive hostility. I guess I’m just more of a “set the tone by example” kind of person rather than a “fight fire with fire” kind of person.

    Of course this is Ginkgo’s thread, so he can set whatever tone he likes.

    Really what I need to do is post more often, to maximize the chances that new commenters will appear on my threads. 😉

  • Valkina

    I am a bit late to the party.

    A excellent post Gingko.This is one of the big problems I have with to day female gender role.

    When I was in grade school and in high school many girls stop training sports,because it will make their body develop in unvented ways. Make there shoulders and muscle big ,and girls that dont care ore where natyrale that way vere made fun of o’re told that there will never have boyfriend.Because boys don’t like girls with big muscle (which sadly is somewhat theory).The same things happen with girls who were gifted in science.
    This is something that I notest.

    This is just some little event that caught my attention regarding this:
    Couple of weeks ago,I was in supermarket to buy some stuff.While i was waiting in line,elderly man in front of me ,started talking to young women from another line.Who was holding her shopping basket on the floor.He asked her polatli to pike it up,because people are holding food in them and floor is dirty.She replied that it is heavy and holding it is uncomfortable(and no i am not making this up).After that he told her that sach preeti young women like her self,shud be strong enuf to do it,if old man like hem self can.At that point she thank the for the compliment,and she started doing “I am a little freal women,you don’t want to make little freal women carry heavy stuff” routine.After that he left her to draw that thing all over the floor.When I saw this I had to look at her shopping basket,because I was pretty sure there are no’t selling bricks in here.
    The only thing in the basket:small bottle of water and 1/2L of milk.It probably did not veit an integer 1 kg.It is a miracle that basket did not leave an imprint on the marvel flor,because whoa heaven it was.But on the bright said she didn’t make her little son carry it.

  • Ginkgo

    ” But I guess I’m still concerned that it’s going to be difficult to develop a diverse commentariate (and I’m skeptical that we really have as diverse a commentariate as we think)”

    I agree with every point. Our commentariat does not cover the spectrum.However – diviersity is good, roadhouse promiscuity is not. When dungone and daisu used ot have their sniping matches they still always maintained a certain level of mutual courtesy. They both are very solid in thier positions but neither acts liek they have the Revealed Word or tries to preach ex cathedra, or talk condescendingly or in an accusatory manner.

    All that aside, I reacted rather than responded. Must try harder.

    I look at the diffenrece between how I reacted to alas and to zsulik on a thread of Typhon’s, and I have to say the difference was not in me. Zsulik said some really challenfging things, but these are the diffenrneces. For one thing everything he said made sense once oyu looked at it, he was clearly stating rational conclusions instead of operating out of a catechism, and he was unfailingly courteous. Tone does matter – you can say damned near anything if you keep a civil tongue in your head.

    I find the privilege inherent in someone coming in anywhere like the wonder child who can say whatever any way ti likes because ti is just so awesome and impresive and all tir teachers have always said so, to be intolerably grating.

  • John D

    @xakadu,
    I think I somewhat share your impression. To me alas (or alsa whatever) was abrasive and deluded maybe bordering hostile. But, what she got was antagonism.

    I see the MRM as much about consciousness raising (of both genders) of men’s humanity, pain and disposability and deprogramming the feminist borg. Antagonism isn’t going to work against a deluded drone.

    The antagonism should be saved for those advocates who are well versed in male misery and yet continue to willfully ignore it like Hugo and Marcotte.

    To my mind, feminism is filled with deluded women (and some men) who truly want to fight for equal rights and were mislead into believing that mainstream feminism was an equality-advocating ideology.

    You don’t beat a dog that pees on the carpet–you train her to stop.

  • debaser71

    I’ve said this before but IMO if one wants to help enact change it’s going to take people holding someone’s hand very gently and other people giving that person a figurative kick in the ass. For me personally, I especially like being upfront towards people who want to claim the moderate position. To me, that reeks of superiorty over everyone, and it needs a bit of tearing down.

    What I like about his blog is that it’s not heavily moderated but at the same time people aren’t going around saying foul things to each other. It’s harsh and nice. But, with that said, in my personal opinion alas was run out of here unjustly. But like I said (and here is where I am stopping talking about alas!) sometimes a good kick in the ass is just what a person needs. Like a harsh dose of reality that so many interent echo chamber feminists need.

  • debaser71

    Is there ever going to be an edit feature on this blog? Cripes.

  • Ginkgo

    “You don’t beat a dog that pees on the carpet–you train her to stop.”

    Very good point that illuminates the situation. I am a cat person. I expect a certain level of house training.

    John, I agree with you general point, but with this refinement – sometimes the process of enlightenment starts with a short, sharp shock. When you have a gender system that treats young women like they are made of glass and tells them they are all diamonds, you are confronting a deep level of entitlement and delusion. It takes a lot to cut the diamond.

    “But, with that said, in my personal opinion alas was run out of here unjustly.”

    No one told her to leave, debaser. She couldn’t stand the heat, so she got out of my kitchen.

  • http://www.genderratic.com Xakudo

    @John D:

    I see the MRM as much about consciousness raising (of both genders) of men’s humanity, pain and disposability and deprogramming the feminist borg. Antagonism isn’t going to work against a deluded drone.

    (Just for the record: although there are many MRA’s who participate at this blog, and views consistent with the MRM are frequently expressed here even by the bloggers, this is not an MRM blog per se. The blog itself is supposed to be non-partisan.)

    My motivation for a diverse commentariate is a bit different, and has more to do with self improvement. The world is a complex, inconsistent, and messy place, and I feel like being challenged by other people who disagree with me can help me gain a better and more nuanced understanding of the world. The times when I think I’ve got it all figured out are, in general, the times when I need the biggest kick from someone that disagrees.

    I’m all for consciousness raising too, of course. But I need to remain open to my own consciousness being raised as well, since it is extremely unlikely that I actually am right about everything that I currently think I’m right about (I mean, I might as well win the lottery then).

  • dungone

    @Xakudo, could it possibly challenge your worldview if a majority of the commenters here are non-feminists? It seems as though you’re being challenged by it. It seems to me that you don’t really know what you really want, exactly. As in, what would this place look like if it had “more” diverse opinions than presently? The Good Men Project? Feminist Critics? Something that does not yet exist?

    As it stands, this blog has a very unique balance, a sort of half-way point between Feminist Critics and A Voice For Men, where the bloggers often discuss brand new ideas, many of which are controversial and provocative. Maybe you would like this blog to be something different than what it is, but that doesn’t change the fact that a blog just like this is needed by many. I’ll wager that if this blog holds up as is, 10 years from now people will be referring to some of the bloggers here as progressive pioneers.

  • Ginkgo

    This is not an MRM blog. Remember when forweg swooped in, decided we were “fence-sitters” or some such designation, and swooped out?

    The real issue is that a lot of MRM positions are objectively pro-woman, especially the ones that give feminists the worst fits. That is a point Typhonblue and GWW keep making. This is the root of the problem that Daisy has in engaging with 3rd Wavers. She is pro-woman and they really only think they are, and they don’t appreciate her asking a bunch of probing questions.

    This is an issue that feminism as a movement has yet to address.