Commenter Hogpunk contributed a comment in my thread about sons of feminists that I found so to the point that I asked if I could post it as an article, and he has graciously assented:
Gingko asked me for permission to post this comment I made on your blog; this is a cleaned up and very slightly altered version which I am more happy with.
I came to a lot of very similar conclusions that MRAs hold as a young boy, having grown up in a few different households. One of which was a militant feminist household. I became aware of the guilt I felt simply for being a man. I was also worried about being a man as opposed to a child as I was quite aware of the women and children first ideal, and how that protection was only temporary for me. This happened somewhere in my pre to early teens. I also noticed the uneven balance of power in the dating game as I approached sexual maturity (teens), particularly the double bind of the expectation to make the first move whilst also only being allowed to make that move if it is desired, whilst having to guess when that desire was present.
These realisations became semi-dormant throughout a lot of the rest of my teens as I was too distracted by my raging hormones to think clearly for a time, I also started to idolise women, I suspect as a result of being so incredibly infatuated with them. After that I finally escaped the madness of puberty somewhere around the age 17 or
18 it felt like I had taken a huge breath of fresh air and could think clearly again.
At this point I gained an interest in gender, specifically gender dimorphism as it seemed to me that the mantra of men and women being exactly the same except for their genitals didn’t make a lot of sense and I had always valued reality and truth very highly and firmly believed in an objective reality. I was primarily interested in physical differences as they couldn’t be confused with socialisation and I came to the conclusion that men were essentially built for work, but also very much disposable.
At this point I’m at uni studying comp sci, but I was mostly hanging out with people studying arts and social sciences, a lot of the debates I would have with them were over the virtues of objectivity vs subjectivity, social problems with the world etc. A few of them were (and still are) feminists and these are people I still consider my friends and regard them to be intellectually sound. But I found that whenever I broached the subject of male disposability with them, they would immediately steer the conversation away to another issue or outright ignore me. I was also less than impressed with the responses they had for my questions about exactly how women were at a disadvantage in the west in the ways they claimed (mostly I was referring to things like unfairness in work/education affecting women). Particularly as I had witnessed on my own course that there were very few women that were on it, but huge efforts to get women interested, and I perceived little interest in the vast, vast, vast majority of the women I met. Simultaneously I was very unimpressed by the behaviour of the few girls who were on my course, as they would regularly get the boys to do their work for them with the mere hint of sex as a reward (these guys by and large were not getting laid). And the fact that when they came to me with the same sort of nonsense I was willing to offer to help them become competent enough to do their own work they would just draw the conclusion that they could easily enough get another guy to just do the work.
At this point I’ve had a few girlfriends and am feeling fairly disillusioned with women as a whole, as they weren’t really the women feminism had promised me; capable, intelligent, self-reliant etc. with a few exceptions who to this day I admire for actually bothering to become awesome when they really have no need to.
Anyway, a couple of years down the line I’ve now concluded that men are disposable and questioned feminism a fair bit (although in a very soft way, I wasn’t exactly anti-feminist, more feminist skeptical) and I’ve been talking to people about these thoughts, and one day a friend points me to feminism and the disposable male, a GWW video, I pretty much agreed with it, and it also helped formalise a lot of the thoughts I had been having throughout my life. I especially realised that there was no way a man could get away with saying this sort of shit and that it could only really be delivered by a woman, which is of course completely fucked up and was an eye opener for me. I don’t really associate my identity as being a part of the MRM or MRA, but I am extremely sympathetic to its cause, and am fascinated by a lot of the writing on gender that comes out of it, in particular the stuff written by GWW and TyphonBlue.
- The Woman Card - May 2, 2016
- Frat boy bachelorettes and the invasion of gay bars - April 15, 2016
- “Not my kid….” - February 22, 2016
That whole thing about women in computer science gives me a terrible migraine. It’s pretty much agreed upon by all concerned parties that nothing actually stops women from joining the profession except their own bigoted stereotypes of men in that line of work. Yet feminists still twist it to somehow make women out to be the victims, because they can’t possibly cope with the idea of having those Revenge of the Nerds stereotypes applied to themselves.
“These realisations became semi-dormant ”
I still kick myself for not following the contradictions I saw in feminism at the same age. Unfortunately didn’t have an alternate source of information so just took it for granted.
“I was primarily interested in physical differences as they couldn’t be confused with socialisation ”
but but women weren’t allowed to play sports or have muscles!
“Particularly as I had witnessed on my own course that there were very few women that were on it, but huge efforts to get women interested”
imagine my surprise when I came across the 3-2 sex-ratio of college graduates and thence began the journey into feminism.
“as they weren’t really the women feminism had promised me; capable, intelligent, self-reliant etc.”
well don’t you see something wrong with the whole “strong and independent” schtick when the first thing these “strong and independent” women did was to move into men’s institutions? Their very oppressors…
What you said reminded me of an NPR article I read some time back: How Stereotypes Can Drive Women To Quit Science. It’s tangentially related to what you’re saying about women in computer science there.
That article is kind of enlightening, but it sort of goes off a little bit into pander land at the end when it starts talking about how “the problem is the stereotype” and that the problem isn’t “all in women’s heads,” which are not quite correct statements (and seem to be attempts to push responsibility for dealing with the perceptual problems away from the women who have them and onto others – unnamed people/groups in this case). Of course seeing discrimination that doesn’t exist and finding hidden meaning behind innocuous statements is all in someone’s head. If the discrimination isn’t there, and there aren’t really any hidden meanings (which the article indicates is the case in that particular study), there’s nowhere for it to be other than in their heads. But I digress…
As you mentioned, Dungone, part of the problem is women not wanting to suffer the same stereotypes that men suffer in computer science (and most sciences, really), but there is undoubtedly a bit of “Oh my god, what if I don’t meet the standards (that no one has actually set for me but that doesn’t matter) or fail and reinforce their expectations (that they don’t actually have)” followed by an indignant “and these feelings are righteous because I FEEL THEM. It’s their fault for stereotyping me” despite the fact that no stereotyping is taking place (and women who say there’s discrimination but haven’t ever been in or tried to go into computer science).
I am reminded of the discussion I often had when I was in college (I tell a lot of college stories, but that’s really the only place I ever encounter ardent feminists, other than online). The feminists who mostly comprised the Women’s Resource Center (which was oddly mixed with the LBGT center) often complained about how women “weren’t welcome in the sciences,” yet when asked how many of them had wanted to and/or tried to go into a science but were rejected or made to feel unwelcome, none ever said they had. They sometimes copped out and said, “if we had tried, we would have been.” It was always people who had never been in a (hard) science or math, never wanted to go into any, and spent most of their time in Women’s Studies, English/Literature or some other humanities or softer social science who complained about how horrible the sciences were to women, and how it was systemic.
Now, since college, I have heard some people deride women for being bad at science, but the people doing the deriding are most often other women, and in the cases where it isn’t, it comes from men who aren’t part of the field and who tend to be guys I have a hard time imagining anyone takes seriously about it (from personal experience: internet trolls, guys who’ve worked in a mill all their lives and don’t know anything about science, gamers who use curse words as every other word in a sentence , etc.).
It seems like the answer to getting more women into the various fields is for them to just fucking do it. As the article indicates (and I imagine this translates to most other sciences and computer science as well), the men involved don’t give a rats ass. They treat women just like they do other men (with some irregular exceptions which I don’t think have anything to do with systemic problems as opposed to just the coming from occasional man or woman who is an asshole for no particular reason); the same is true for things like gaming, as I’ve mentioned in other posts here.
The real obstacles seem to be that women, for the most part, either just don’t want to go into those fields or activities (which seems to be taboo to say, for some reason, but could very well be the case), or they’re** waiting for someone else (usually men) to fix the (non-existent) problems for them in that arena. I’m not really sure what more they can expect from men on that front. At the risk of being offensive, I have to say that it’s not really fair for them to expect men to change their diapers if they want to go into a science, to cheerlead them in a way they don’t cheerlead men, etc.. They need to just do it; the only thing that will get women into science is for women to go into science. The men aren’t stopping them.
As far as the stereotype, if it really is a big part of the problem, the main cause of is undoubtedly other women saying “The men all think you’re going to suck, and they’re naturally better than you, so you’ll have to work EXTRA HARD to succeed. They’ll be expecting you to fail and watching you constantly.” Because, you know, feminists often do say or imply things like that. The vast, vast majority of men do not.
** Obviously not all women think those things. Don’t think I’m generalizing this to all, or even most, women.
@Hogpunk Well said. Great to hear your willingness to question. That in some ways is the key to maturity. Good on you. If you are interested in the physical differences between men and women I highly recommend you read “Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences, 2nd ed” by Geary. It will boggle your mind with references to research that demonstrate these differences that the media never bothered to print. It’s a scholarly effort that fills nearly half its pages with references. Geary makes a point of separating his own conjecture and does a good job of presenting multiple sides to each issue. This gives the reader the ability to judge on their own. Great book.
Your closing thought–that certain truths about gender and feminism can ONLY be expressed by a women, because coming from a man they’d be automatically disqualified–is a telling one. The fact that this standard exists is ample evidence of how screwed-up our situation has become.
It’s a literal manifestation of the ad-hominem fallacy: “You’re only saying that because you’re a man. So you’re wrong and I can ignore you and your argument.”
@JDCyran, in the end who cares, right? I will put up with a bunch of trekkies for 130 grand a year. Not that there are any where I work. My female coworkers all love their job. They’re all married to wealthy men, live in nice homes, and have been welcomed back with open arms after their maternity leave. Bottom line is that women who are put off by a bunch of stereotypes are missing out on something good.
This is exactly the reason I haven’t dated an american woman for about 6 years. Not worth it.
@EquilibriumShift, I’m not a native-born American myself so I reserve the right to date whomever I want. But I’ll never stop giving American girls a chance providing that they’re willing to do the same. I know they’re good at heart, even if they’re the product of a badly thought out culture. I’ve realized something over the past few months about the women I’ve been in relationships with – that they’re far more miserable in their culturally induced dysfunction than I’ve ever been for having to deal with them. But it’s not my job to save them; they need to learn how to be happy and figure out what they want out of life.
But it IS your job to save them and make them happy! That’s the predominant theme of (modern, white, American) feminism–that men are obligated to reform themselves and the world to better suit women. Making women happy is not only your job, it’s your sacred duty; to question this is misogynist.
“well don’t you see something wrong with the whole “strong and independent” schtick when the first thing these “strong and independent” women did was to move into men’s institutions? Their very oppressors…”
It’s the ultimate dameseling, not only claiming to be in danger, but demanding that the dragon protect and provide for you.
“It’s a literal manifestation of the ad-hominem fallacy: “You’re only saying that because you’re a man. So you’re wrong and I can ignore you and your argument.”
I have seen MRAs use this on feminists in circumcision debates. It actually works on them, which is sweet, since it is false, as you point out.
@Copyleft, not if you drag it all out into the open. One of the really “amazing” features of the passive gender role is the sheer level of projection when they lecture men about how love will find us the moment we stop looking for it and just learn how to be happy just being single. It’s the most fucking ridiculous thing to say in light of the male gender role, obviously. However, nearly all American women live by this mantra, so they’ll never be able to disagree with you if you throw that right back at them.
Make them eat their own dog food. Because the thing is, it was never really true in the first place, as you say. There’s just so many women out there who wouldn’t know happiness if it hit them in the face – they are really just insecure, miserable creatures who confuse their profound sense of entitlement and superiority with actual happiness. That’s the societal sickness created by the passive gender role.
Ginkgo said: “It’s the ultimate dameseling, not only claiming to be in danger, but demanding that the dragon protect and provide for you.”
I love it! Well said!
And its insulting to our intelligence, especially when the damelsing entitlement behavior requires nothing in return for this protection from the dragon
dungone, Typhonblue calls that female hypoagency, and it is central to the patriarchyTM and to feminism and feminist assumptions – most but not all forms. It certainly is foundational to 3rd Wave feminism, and it shows in the way those people treat people like Daisy. Sooner or later she ends up rubbing them the wrong way because damseling comes so hard to her.
Came across this article from reddit’s men rights forum, and this was the final flipping point for me.
” You see, when this ideological disapprobation was directed at someone other than myself – when it was leveled at someone I cared deeply about – I finally had cause to stand up and take notice. As to why I did not have a road-to-Damascus experience when the feminist broadsword was aimed at my own juggler is a moot point. ”
namea nanka, that’s the next one coming up in this category. I have just asked for permission to use it.
Indeed they are. It’s just sad that cries of misogyny and complaints about “feeling unwelcome” when, in fact, very few men are unwelcoming in the sciences are not only are so often taken on faith, but feminists often demand that they be so, and that those demands are sometimes met in the forms of scholarships, ridiculous policies being enacted, men having to defend themselves against accusations with no evidence, etc.
There is still the potential to be unwelcome until you are part of the majority group–until you have the power to make others feel unwelcome.
There’s the potential to be unwelcome even when you’re party of the majority group. However, “potential” has nothing to do with whether someone is actually unwelcome. If people don’t feel welcome because they aren’t in the majority, despite those in the majority welcoming them, that’s their own problem.
“Indeed they are. It’s just sad that cries of misogyny and complaints about “feeling unwelcome” when, in fact, very few men are unwelcoming in the sciences are not only are so often taken on faith, but feminists often demand that they be so, and that those demands are sometimes met in the forms of scholarships, ridiculous policies being enacted, men having to defend themselves against accusations with no evidence, etc.”
It’s gynonormativity. These women are trying to gynonorm the workplace inot the home environment where they are used ot being lady of the house. it’s all about them colonizing men’s spaces and trying to impose their norms on them.
And those men’s spaces could be women’s spaces too, and they are, when women come in and assimilate to the norms that have developed organically in them in response to conditions. You see this in all kinds of sciences. Mary Haas, a giant in descriptive linguistics,i s one example that comes to mind immediately.
Could you elaborate? Not sure if you are saying Mary Haas colonized linguistics, or if she accepted the environment as what it was, rather than interpret it through the lens of “zomg, partriarchy”. I am unfamiliar with her, so I am curious.
FWIW, as someone involved in the sciences, who has never, ever tried to make it hostile to women, or honestly even had a thought that was hostile to a woman because she was a woman*, I take offense when the sciences are painted as some kind of wasteland of masculinity. Fully 1/3rd of the people in my graduate program in the hard sciences were women. They ran the gamut in intelligence level and competence, just the same as the men, and I NEVER saw or heard of any gender related dismissals of their work or value.
*Had plenty of hostile thoughts about women in the sciences because their ideas were stupid, but their ideas weren’t stupid becasue they were women, but because they had ignored/misinterpreted/denied/glossed/couldn’t explain over some hugely important piece of information. Plenty of men also did this, about whom I also had hostile thoughts.**
See how ingrained this stereotype is? I have to defend myself on a board dedicated to calling out bullshit tropes of female victimhood. I thought about deleting it, but decided to leave it up for educational purposes.
Gynonormity comes into play in industries that women actually want to be a part of, Gingko. In the 1980’s, close to 40% of college graduates in the field were women. Now it’s down to 20% and falling (some undergrad classes are at 10%). Unlike every other STEM field, this is one that was open to women from the beginning but it’s gotten worse.
Check out these articles: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/business/16digi.html?_r=1 and http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/giving-women-the-access-code.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Notice that recruitment for women in CS has gotten to the point where they are paying for every female freshman to travel to a national women in CS conference in Silicon Valley as well as severely watering down their course materials (trust me on that).
But no matter how much they water down the materials, they can’t change this:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34437233/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/geeks-drive-girls-out-computer-science/ The interpretation of this study is deeply flawed (there isn’t a single CS classroom in the entire world that is littered with Star Trek memorabilia and video games) but it does show the negative stereotypes that women have of men. It comes down to the very, very same hatred they have of Nice Guys ™ and Creeps. It’s fundamentally sexual and these women aren’t getting into the field because they’re rejecting the men in it.
Thanks for the links, those are interesting, informative reads!
Fortunately I am no longer involved in academic CS. I would probably not be able to handle a “reconstruction” aimed at driving out the nerds.
Hello there. Slightly odd comment from me. My online handle is also Hogpunk. The Hogpunk referenced above is not me and I just want to make that clear as this site comes up quite high on a Google search for my name. He is absolutely entitled to have the same username- I haven’t trademarked it or anything- I did trawl the net to try and make sure it was unique, but I obviously didn’t look hard enough so apologies for any confusion.
I fundamentally disagree with the other Hogpunk. I grew up in a pretty well female only environment and my Mum would proudly call herself a feminist- as would I. My experience of gender relations growing up in the UK is that, whilst great leaps occurred in the 20th century and we in the West are far better off than those in many other nations, feminism is entirely necessary and also benefits men.
The reason men are routinely excluded from child rearing and more often sent to prison is because of outdated gender stereotypes around the role of women in relation to being the only possible care giver. Fighting that outdated stereotype is precisely what feminism is about and it is what MRAs miss.
When MRAs bring up a field where men do measurably worse than women, to me, the answer to that disparity is always the same. It is caused by patriarchy and the answer is feminism. The second-wave feminism of the mid to late 20th century has yet to reach its full realisation- the gender gaps around work and home lives are still there and still need closing through societal awareness and occasionally government action.
Particularly as a non-integrationist gay man, radical third-wave feminism, which overlaps a very great deal with queer revolutionary thought, is a necessary and desirable thing to have in our society. Men, women and others need to be free to find themselves, not a pre-conceived notion of what their gender role has ordained they should be. This is a much more long term aim, one that the government should have little or no role in- I have always been more of a reformer than a revolutionary.
I am a man who likes having a beard, drinking beer and working with my hands. I am entirely comfortable in my masculine identity. The threat to me is not from women or feminism, it is from the remnants of a traditionalist patriarchal society that says I should also be incapable of giving care and should have a predilection for violence. I reject those parts of macho bullshit culture.
I am an individual and masculinity an being male are only a part of what goes to making me. So my message to the other Hogpunk, is that I am also Hogpunk, and I respectfully disagree.
Hogpunk 2: “My experience of gender relations growing up in the UK is that, whilst great leaps occurred in the 20th century and we in the West are far better off than those in many other nations, feminism is entirely necessary and also benefits men.”
So can you explain why the foremost feminist organisation in the UK, the Fawcett Society, alongside several other feminist organisations are currently trying to stop the government from introducing regulation which would see family courts adopt the “assumption of shared parenting” following separation?
This assumption will resolve many of the discriminatory practices men face in the family courts.
Perhaps you can also explain why the same organisations opposed the proposed changes for shared parental leave after the birth of a child? (Well, they opposed it until it was pointed out that the changes would also benefit women.)
It sure doesn’t sound to me that what men need is “more feminism”.
Welcome (Real) Hogpunk!
“It is caused by patriarchy”
We agree ….
“and the answer is feminism”
We disagree. Feminism is just anopther face of patriarchy. All its core assumptions – every last one – are patriarchal, or more
“Particularly as a non-integrationist gay man, ”
Radical feminism pronounced male homosexuality as inherently misogynist.
“radical third-wave feminism,”
Third Wave? There may be hope…
” which overlaps a very great deal with queer revolutionary thought,”
….good so far…
” is a necessary and desirable thing to have in our society.”
How about just going with queer theory and leaving the gender-privileging ideologies in the dust?
“So can you explain why the foremost feminist organisation in the UK, the Fawcett Society, alongside several other feminist organisations are currently trying to stop the government from introducing regulation which would see family courts adopt the “assumption of shared parenting” following separation? ”
If Dr Mindbeam could call mary Daly out as anti-feminist, maybe that’s what people needto do with the Fawcett Society and NOW and NARAL on these issues. If feminism is gender egalitarian, then there is no way these are truly feminist organizations.
Ginkgo: I’m currently arguing that over at Ally’s blog. All I’m getting is excuses for why they can’t do it. I can only conclude that feminism isn’t really about equality.
I saw that over there. The standard deflection is “I can’t police those other people?” when the real question is “why don’t you just reject them?”
You are getting nowhere with them, but believe me, this is the kind of thing that is bringing Ally himself around. Keep shining a light on the weakness of that entire construct and eventually it will tear like drapery hanging too long in a sunny window.
I am making sense over there aren’t I? Sometimes it feels like I’m not but I don’t think I can simplify things any more for them. I was mainly describing something that we all do, that’s just a fact of how we interact with society, yet it seems that I’m commiting heresy just pointing it out and saying it also applies to feminism and it’s there problem to sort out. Carnation in particular is his/her usual obtuse self.
Tbh I don’t care what they do, I just want them to stop moaning about how unfair it is that feminism gets treated like every other group. I’d also like nothing more than to the “reasonable ones” to be influential enough that I can factor them into my assessment from feminism. They just aren’t.
As for Ally, my opinion of him has taken a few knocks since he’s moved over to freethoughtblogs. I understand he’s having to tread a fine line to keep the feminists from mauling him, but he seems to be giving up a lot to do that. I argue more for those lurkers who may follow a link from one of Ally’s articles in the Guardian or elsewhere. Hopefully I’m making some sense to them.
“I am making sense over there aren’t I? Sometimes it feels like I’m not but I don’t think I can simplify things any more for them.”
You are making sense and that’s a big part of the problem. People hate having thier comfortable stereotypes and sexual mythologies. Do you seriously think people are convinced by the truth? The truth doesn’t convince people, it confronts them and that pisses them off.
Keep at it. They deserve the agony for being so ignorant.
“I was mainly describing something that we all do, that’s just a fact of how we interact with society, yet it seems that I’m commiting heresy just pointing it out and saying it also applies to feminism and it’s there problem to sort out.”
Yep. That is way too close to the bone for a lot of those people.
They are believers. Do you have any experience interacting with Fundametalists at all?
“Carnation in particular is his/her usual obtuse self.”
She has an agenda and I suspect some Cluster B personality issues.
Ginkgo: “Do you have any experience interacting with Fundametalists at all?”
I used to be quite heavily involved the atheist campaigns about 10 years ago and debated my fair share of fundamentalists.
My honest impression though is that the fundamentalists were more reasonable than the feminists I debate nowadays. At least after slogging it out for pages in the comments a fundamentalist will eventually admit that they don’t believe what they do based on any evidence; they believe it on faith. At which point I’d used to go “fair enough, just don’t try to change society based on nothing but faith”.
I’m afraid I had to get out of there. I used to enjoy debating fundamentalists on alt.atheism and talk.origins back when usenet was still a thing, and I learned a lot about logical fallacies and the scientific method, in particular the importance of falsifiability. FreeThoughtBlogs supposedly belongs to the skeptic community, so I expected a bit of that and boned up on it before I went over and commented. It turns out none of them have a clue about any of that. They are not skeptics in any sense of the word, they’ve just joined a gang that doesn’t believe in God.
“FreeThoughtBlogs supposedly belongs to the skeptic community,”
That captures it, Patrick. That captures it. They imagine they are sceptics, they call themselves sceptics, so that they can give themselves license to indulge in all kinds of dogmatism. It is just a Sly Inversion.
I go back now and then just to help out but it is clear that with a lot of them it’s just talking to a brick wall.
It shows the fundamental weakness of a lack of self-criticism and dissent; a group where numbers mattered more than discourse or content. It’s how all deconstructionists embed themselves – they “just here to help” and before you know it they run the tribe using the actual figures of said group as frontman hostage.
Entryism – “Women and minorities” being the example that springs to mind.
More on FreeThoughtBlogs. Their current thing seems to be passing on anonymous hearsay accusations of sexual misconduct, including one of rape by intoxication, by named (male) individuals at sceptic events. Atheist witch-hunters. Brrr.
They are going to fuck up and do it in some way that can be construed as publishing in the UK, and then the whole thing will collapse into the mayhem of a libel suit.