MEN’S MOVEMENT – Feminism is a men’s issue, Part III

Patrick Brown on 2013-12-04 at 1:07 am said:

I think the MRM is quite rightly concerned with feminism, because feminism has poisoned relations between the sexes. Men are considered inherently up to no good in everything we say and do, and I put the blame for that squarely on feminists and their “theories”.

That and their cultural conditioning. Fetishizing women and demonizing men was a big part of the Romantic Movement in the Anglosphere (sorry, Patrick), and that was the cultural matrix feminism arose out of.

He goes on to point to their traditionalism and denial of their own complicity:

They rely on older attitudes like the damsel in distress reflex and the obligation on to speak carefully when ladies are present, but “patriarchy” and “objectification” and “rape culture” are all their own work, and the product of academia, not random bloggers.

“Patriarchy” and “objectification” and “rape culture” are just embellishments and extensions on the traditionalism Patrick is calling out.

Something else is going on with this terminology. It is constructed so as to shift all the blame onto men and all of it off of women. The term “kyriarchy” is now after all these decades replacing “patriarchy” but very slowly and to not enthusiastic reception. Does anyone really think that a group of rich white women, benficiaries of thier privielged status, were going to name the system they supposedly wnated to overthrow (as opposed to just gaming for thier own advantage0 a kyriarchy? Bite the hand that fed them?

And when they talk about “objectification” it is always in a very selective way. They narrow it to sexual objectification and then cast that as something that only men do to only women. “Objectification” in fact represents a much deeper and more comprehensive insight, but acknowledging this would led down all sorts of unwelcome paths, where the many ways women objectify men would be explored. the same goes for “rape culture” first it is apprpopriated from the men who identified it and then it is cast in such a way as to erase male rape victims.

Feminism doesn’t have to do anything about men’s issues.

Except maybe stop lying about actually caring about them and about how it’s really the cure-all for mens problems.

But it does need to stop spreading hate and prejudice against men and our intentions.

And it may need a lot of help stopping, probably quite energetic help. Treating men like disposable instruments is fundamental to the psychological and economic underpinnings of the culture we all grow up in.

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  • teh Bastard formerly known as SWAB

    have you seen any of the femen stuff?

    http://femen.org/front/images/header/femen-sait-02.jpg

    how is this not a hate movement?

    yup, the sickle is marxist imagery and the testicles, presumable the “oppressor class.” –Men, but we’re all supposed to go along because yah! booobies….

    (nothing against breasts, I support top freedom, but I don’t support a hate movement that wants to limit freedom.)

  • Ginkgo

    SWAB, it’s not only a hate movement., it’s a rolling whorehouse. Haven’t you heard about their male boss pimping them?

  • teh Bastard formerly known as SWAB

    hehe…

    http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/54960/femen-mastermind-outed-man-who-calls-women-bitches

    these man haters need their Fraudtrelle’s and Huggs Scumbags…

    Patriarchy indeed–hateful womyn drawn to misandrist men who gladly throw decent , low status men under the bus.

  • Ginkgo

    “Patriarchy indeed–hateful womyn drawn to misandrist men who gladly throw decent, low status men under the bus.”

    That’s a very concise description of the Patriarchy.

  • http://danipettas.com Dani

    Looking at things in terms of kyriarchy I think is better framing because it’s less about gender. The lack of enthusiasm could be because it’s more challenging (and not as fun) to factor in things like social class than it is to just see men and frame it as patriarchy.

  • Ginkgo

    “The lack of enthusiasm could be because it’s more challenging (and not as fun) to factor in things like social class than it is to just see men and frame it as patriarchy.”

    I have a feeling it’s a lot more persona; than that. look at the backgrounds of prominent First and Second Wavers. The Second Wavers who won out and steered the movement all graduated from Ivy League and Seven Sisters schools.They all come from a buttload of privilege, and they exercised that privilege in the way they excluded or instrumentalized working class white feminists and non-white feminists of just about any background.

    “Patriarchy” allows them to accuse and sit in judgement over men; “kyriarchy” shines the light on THEM as members of the privileged elite. That’s the basis of their preference.

  • http://danipettas.com Dani

    @Ginkgo

    Thanks for pointing out the thing about the schools. I get the point about people’s elite status.

    I had in mind blogs and the media. I think the kinds of quick sensational stories of men slut-shaming or otherwise having ‘gotcha’ moments towards women works for a 30 second attention span. Patriarchy is a simple idea that’s easy to understand, with a simple plot and familiar characters.

    For example, a piece on Jezebel today is “Any Man Who Won’t Clean Is a Terrible Asshole (Or Old, or Both)” (http://bit.ly/1dr24pM). There’s a provocative headline, we already know what it’s going to say and who the players are before clicking. We know it won’t be mentally taxing… It’s like a soap opera… we have to click it.

    Then, people get ‘outraged’ over twitter and reinforce the narrative.

    A kyriarchy narrative is more complex, nuanced, doesn’t mesh as well with sensationalism. A ‘kyriarchy mansplainer’ is harder to construct than a ‘patriarchy mansplainer.’

    Plus there’s the point in the original post that kyriarchy also puts some women in a negative light. That conflicts with ‘women’s interest’ branding.

  • Ginkgo

    “A kyriarchy narrative is more complex, nuanced, doesn’t mesh as well with sensationalism. A ‘kyriarchy mansplainer’ is harder to construct than a ‘patriarchy mansplainer.’

    Plus there’s the point in the original post that kyriarchy also puts some women in a negative light. That conflicts with ‘women’s interest’ branding.”

    Thus it contravenes two provisions of Lady Privilege.

    Plus the problem with the kyriarchy explanations is it sounds too Marxist, old and fuddy-duddy. The Redstockings Manifesto insists gender and not class is the primary oppression. Class privilege is so last century.

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

    Aside (somewhat off topic, not really) —
    Has there been an “official” (so to speak) response to Jaclyn Friedman’s piece?
    Referring to this one: http://prospect.org/article/good-mens-rights-movement-hard-find

    I am interested in responses or reviews that you’ve read or heard of? Is there one you think is the best or most definitive?

    Thanks. Trying to “cover” this as ongoing thing/ideological dispute. Looking for good quotes especially.

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

    Since the root of kyriarchy is “kyrie” as in “Kyrie eleison” (Greek for “Lord, have mercy”), I always thought the psychological importance of the word “kyriarchy” was the concept that oppression goes “all the way to the top”–and the word even directly implicates the Church. I think the term reminds us religion/religious belief can be intrinsically oppressive and has historically been used to oppress others. Technically the word translates as “rule by a lord”–which could be a deity and not a person.

    Still, it IS categorized as a feminist concept by Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyriarchy
    It was a Filipina blogger, Sudy, who introduced the term to online feminism. It was after Sudy’s post (which several of us quoted, including Feministe and those “big” feminist blogs) that the term really “took off” in ordinary discourse.

  • http://danipettas.com Dani

    @DaisyDeadhead

    Diana Davison has responded to Jaclyn Friedman. The below link responds to the one from The American Prospect.

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/gone-with-jaclyns-wind/

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

    Thank you Dani!

  • http://paddybrown.co.uk Patrick Brown

    I don’t think “kyriarchy” is really any more useful a term than “patriarchy”. It’s just an attempt at a non-sexist euphemism for “patriarchy”. “Patriarchy” has no explanatory power because feminists define all societies as patriarchies and no attempt is made to distinguish a society that is a patriarchy from even a hypothical one that isn’t. “Kyriarchy” is arguably even worse because it basically means “rule of the rulers”, so all societies, real or hypothetical, are kyriarchies by definition.

    “Patriarchy” and “kyriarchy” both use executive government as a metaphor for how society works. But in most areas of life the civil law, in which multiple competing claims are negotiated or arbirtrated, primarily on the basis of precedent and who’s got a better lawyer, would be a better metaphor. Nobody’s in charge. There is no villain we can defeat, there’s only us.

  • Ginkgo

    “Kyriarchy” is arguably even worse because it basically means “rule of the rulers”, so all societies, real or hypothetical, are kyriarchies by definition.

    Patrick, the one advantage I see with the term is that it implicates elite woemn in the structure instead of allowing them plausible denialbility. “Patriarchy” allows ghouls like the Pankhursts to hand out white ribbons and then stand back and condemn for causing wars.

  • Crow

    @Patrick

    See, I tend to think that “Kyriarchy” is, first, way better than employing the outdated and simplistic “Patriarchy”; second, it is a far more flexible concept which is very necessary going forward. I’m not saying that one just has to use it as a term (and I totally get why people wouldn’t) but that it does hold a lot of discursive worth as an evolution of what has become a rather stagnant theoretical framework for discussing power dynamics.

    Kyriarchy is, at the core, no different from the concepts we saw in the ’60’s rebellions about “the man” and “the system”. In fact, it was “Patriarchy Theory” that entered the fray eventually and erased the complexities of how the whole social/political/economic structure is designed to benefit the top at the expense of the bottom.

    But specifically I’d agree that our society is based on a system of “precedent and who’s got a better lawyer” which is exactly what I hear when I think of Kyriarchy. The core of Kyriarchy is that that system of precedent and access to the better lawyer has to do with one’s place in the complex power dynamics which govern our lives. Wealthy? well, it’s pretty much based on you for your benefit. Not wealthy? it’s at your expense.

    Now toss in the smaller waves of age, gender, orientation, physical ability, mental illness, etc., and suddenly you see a system that is both solid at the core (class and wealth) while also flexible enough to take into account how the smaller aspects of identity and presentation also have an effect on treatment and success. Because that’s the whole point: you can’t create an entire, all-encompassing theory that is based on a singular axis of power (in this case: gender) because it is incomplete.

    In a lot of ways “Kyriarchy” is employed as a means to say “power is structured by wealth and political influence; power is also structured lesser in response to an individual and their identity”.

    Under Kyriarchy it’s an easy, easy argument to make that men get shorted in our culture, too. That’s why there’s some pushback from more ideologically cemented corners because it take the focus off the “only gender/sex” identity and places it back into a model where everyone can be simultaneously lifted and pushed down in different, differing ways.

    I don’t know if it’s the be-all-end-all, but it’s very useful. It also tends to see (in my strong opinion, rightfully) that class, wealth and power is the largest indicator of… well, power.

    Think of it this way: When abortion is illegal that creates burdens on women. Yet it doesn’t burden women seeking abortions the same way, depending on their power. When abortion is illegal, rich women have the ability to seek out either safe(er) under-the-table providers domestically or can travel wherever they need to to have the procedure legally and safely. We know what even middle-class women get under such a situation: coat-hangers and danger.

    Regardless of one’s stance on abortion, it’s a restriction that means little, in effect, for the rich while having immense effect on those who can’t charter private jets or have a quiet conversation with their boss about what to do when his mistress starts showing a little bump.

    And in the end it isn’t really about women as much as it’s about wealth and power. Sure, for the non top-2% of wealth owners it seems very much about it being a “woman’s issue” but that wouldn’t be the case if we lived in a society where we were all (for the sake of example) as wealthy and powerful as that top tier.

    And mostly, in my eyes Kyriarchy is an opportunity to expand the conversation. It’s a way to talk about all the stuff that many Rah! Rah! Social Justice Warrior-types pretend doesn’t really exist. “Patriarchy” is woefully small and incomplete, but Kyriarchy Theory isn’t that same single-issue beat-stick.

    I’ve found the easiest way to convince people that this whole conversation isn’t as simple as “men bad, women good” is to trot out the fact that oppression, opportunity and privilege work far more on an economic/wealth scale than on inherent aspects of one’s identity. The Herman Cain’s of this world (black and wealthy) have far, far more power than I do as a white, lower middle-class man. Herman Cain also gets racism against him (bad example, probably) but he’s hiring the same “best lawyers” and the precedents in the court room have been set not for white men to benefit white men, but for owners and the wealthy to benefit at the expense of everyone else.

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

    Crow, excellent comment, especially about Herman Cain… similarly, I find it difficult to listen to social justice-feminists that insist WOC are always and forever ‘on the bottom’… have they never heard the name Oprah? (Beyonce? Mrs Carter?)

    And NO, Oprah is no damn “token”–she was totally setting the agenda for many years, right down to which books were bestsellers and which movies were touted as watchable chick-flicks or decent family fare for the kids. She is also a (multiple) movie producer, actress, TV-network owner and magazine publisher, showcasing her favorite music and favorite celebrities… Calling Oprah a token is the biggest insult I can imagine. SHE WAS/IS ONE OF STYLE-MAKERS AND MORAL ARBITERS OF OUR CULTURE. Nobody cared about James Frey and the other fakes, until Oprah announced we should. Etc.

    I am reminded of a joke by Tina Fey on “30 Rock”–someone asked her religious beliefs and she shrugs: “I mostly do what Oprah tells me to.” (Very funny, but oh so true.)

    That is POWER and INFLUENCE.

    Crow: Think of it this way: When abortion is illegal that creates burdens on women. Yet it doesn’t burden women seeking abortions the same way, depending on their power. When abortion is illegal, rich women have the ability to seek out either safe(er) under-the-table providers domestically or can travel wherever they need to to have the procedure legally and safely. We know what even middle-class women get under such a situation: coat-hangers and danger.

    Regardless of one’s stance on abortion, it’s a restriction that means little, in effect, for the rich while having immense effect on those who can’t charter private jets or have a quiet conversation with their boss about what to do when his mistress starts showing a little bump.

    Excellent analysis, goes right to the heart of it. This is why Jesse Jackson and others who were once “pro life” changed their views, when they realized which class of women suffers under abortion laws and which don’t. You might enjoy my piece on Norma McCorvey: http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2011/01/on-roe-norma-mccorvey.html Even the lawyer who argued the Roe decision (Sarah Weddington), went and got her own abortion while arguing the case, meaning Norma stayed pregnant and her privileged lawyer did not.

    For me, sums up SO MUCH.

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

    As Kathy Griffin said about Oprah: “You know she chose the president, right?”

  • Ginkgo

    “Crow, excellent comment, especially about Herman Cain… similarly, I find it difficult to listen to social justice-feminists that insist WOC are always and forever ‘on the bottom’… have they never heard the name Oprah? (Beyonce? Mrs Carter?) ”

    This rigid insistence on POCs as being forever on the bottom is basically just more racist objectification. For the SJWs “those” people are assigned to a roel in thier mental universe and that’s where they stay. And they had beter know their place. It’s essentialist.

    “when they realized which class of women suffers under abortion laws and which don’t.”

    Story from my grnadmother, who was 20 in 1920 and enjoyed a lot of the flapper thing. Se recounted once how at some fancy affair she was talking to a doctor whose main practice was doing the monthly check ups for prostitutes – prostitution was legal in California at the tme and pretty carefully controlled – and he said he also arranged (or maybe performed; I can’t remember, it’s been 50 years) for the ladies as needed.

    The same principle was at work. These were women with resources and connections who could get this done as a part of doing business in the days before the pill and when condoms were considered kink. But a working class housewife with wto too may kids to afford and take care of already was just SOL.

  • http://tamenwrote.wordpress.com Tamen

    “Crow, excellent comment, especially about Herman Cain… similarly, I find it difficult to listen to social justice-feminists that insist WOC are always and forever ‘on the bottom’… have they never heard the name Oprah? (Beyonce? Mrs Carter?) ”

    Then perhaps this feminist commenter over at Ally Fogg’s blog firmly putting white women on the lowest rung might provide some variation: http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/12/09/just-dropping-by/#comment-17360

  • Adiabat

    Tamen: I saw that post. Lucy is becoming increasingly deranged over there. And I don’t mean that just as an insult; I genuinely think she is getting more unhinged by the day. The things she says and claims are so out of touch with reality. I don’t think the presence of Sirtooting has been good for her; it’s like they are competing over who can appear more mental.

    I don’t generally respond to her, as I generally assume even the other feminists are thinking she’s a bit crazy. I hope I’m not giving them too much credit.

  • Ginkgo

    carnation, Lucy an sirtotting are the Three Delusional Sisters over there. Ally has warned canration once and there is some chance he will see finally what people have been complaining about all these years with people like this and this mentality.

    “Then perhaps this feminist commenter over at Ally Fogg’s blog firmly putting white women on the lowest rung might provide some variation: ”

    Twas ever thus. This is the entire history of white feminism. When Shulamith Firestone put out the Redstockings Manifesto claiming that gender was the fundametal axis of oppression, only three years after the Voting Rights Act, the same year MLK was shot, when race riots were racking cities across the country, this is exactly what she was doing.

    Whatever else is going on, the white woman has to be at the apex of the empathy hierarchy. It is the fundamental morla imperative. Children, minorities, whatever, can all just go hang as far as these narcissisits are concerned. It is the deepest level in the pit of toxic femininity.

    Well maybe if, with all the benefits they enjoy,they are still so fucked, maybe it’s just time to give up on them as a hopeless project. Maybe it’s just time to pull the plug on these privileged eternal victims.

  • John D

    Responding to Tamen’s comment on 12-13 at 3:16am:

    Isn’t mentioning black female celebrities using the apex fallacy for our own purposes just as feminists do?

    Personally I wouldn’t use this tactic. As we have been telling feminists, the way to see what is happening isn’t to concentrate on the power-brokers, but to show the dregs at or near the bottom. This can be done through stats.

    Black men outnumber black women 4 to 1 or more in being murdered, homeless, committing suicide, incarcerated, low educational achievement.

    If you look at rate of being murdered per 100,000 it goes:
    BM 100, WM: 11, BW: 11, WW: 4

    WM have 3 times the risk of being murdered over WW. But black men have NINE TIMES the rate of being murdered over BW and TWENTY FIVE TIMES the chance of being murdered of white women.

    Before mention of the apex fallacy was made, I often called this the power pyramid. I recently made a very crude color graphic of a triangle with purple for men and rose (color) for women that shows how women tend to cluster in the middle, and men tend to cluster at the extremes.

    My plan is to use it in my own youtube video sometime soon on the oppression of men. If anybody would be interested in the graphic (even if only to spruce it up–it’s very crude) I can email it to them.

    Let me know.

  • http://the-black-fedora.blogspot.co.uk/ Richard Ford

    There is a thread of racial purity that runs through Femen that few comment upon. You will remember their first action was to protest against specifically foreign sex tourism. It seems that they had little problem with it as long as the men were blue eyed and blonde.

    Right now they proclaim one of their central goals to be ‘upholding the European beauty ideal’ which seems to mean (again) that the Arian look is more beautiful than any other.

  • IogSotot

    Functionally, is “kyriarchy” not just a rebranding? I don’t trust word choice to indicate what someone actually believes.

    I guess it’s less threatening to men whom one may wish to recruit into Feminism.

  • Crow

    @IogSotot

    I wouldn’t call it a “rebranding”, because the concept of Kyriarchy calls into question the central premise of “Patriarchy”: that it’s men for men and men men men.

    Since Kyriarchy is a shorthand way of saying, “a system where power is regulated and appointed by an elite who work to protect that power at all costs” which isn’t too far from a “common sense” approach. Kyriarchy is a way of vocalizing the process by which the ultra-wealthy deny power to others while grabbing whatever excess power may show up before any of the rabble beneath them can. It’s how bankers collude on interest rates and how Disney singlehandedly screws artists and creators of their royalty. It’s how we continue to defund services and education for those who need it most. It’s how a company can force employees to work on Christmas or Thanksgiving.

    It’s not a requirement to employ the word “Kyriarchy”, but it is far from a rebranding of “Patriarchy”. Under the idea of Kyriarchy, speaking about “men’s issues” makes absolute sense because the vast majority of men aren’t at Donald Trump levels of power and wealth. Men get shit on just as women do because none of us are wealthy and actually powerful.

    “Patriarchy” insists that that dude on the bus is putting you down because he’s a white man who’s taking up too much space at rush hour. “Kyriarchy” insists that the company with which the city contracts to provide bus service is putting you down because they cut the extra buses (for the sake of their own profit) and now no one gets to be comfortable at rush hour because you’re all packed in like sardines.

    And that’s always something that feels like a tightrope to me because I both believe in the “rightness” of Foucaultian postmodernism in terms of power and power relationships while also rejecting the “postmodernism+” approach of things like Critical Race Theory and simplistic “patriarchy” where there is an obsession with turning Foucault’s apolitical historic-philosophy into a fully moral system based on the very shifting and unstable power dynamics Foucault warns against.

    In fact, if one wants to employ “Kyriarchy” as a starting point you can make a decent argument for the fact that Feminism-as-institution is part of that same network of social/political power which creates the conditions for oppression because it becomes, under capitalism, interested solely in it’s own safety and propagation lest it lose that power it now wields over the social and political process.

  • http://www.blk-law.com/adirondack-business-law/ Lake Placid Business Law Lawyer

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