In her post “Assholes Come in Two Flavours: Male and Female” Typhonblue outlined the rim of the issue* by flipping the genders to show how outrageous the young woman’s sexism was.
Let’s look at this now as an example of female privilege in a little more detail and list the ways it is. Note how in each instance these forms of privilege are embedded both cultural and institutional structures of society.
And by the way, being female is not enough to give you access to female privilege in a case like this. You have to be white and you have to be cis to get this to work for you, and being the right class and being pretty definitely help. Intersectionality doesn’t just apply to oppression, it also applies to privilege.
And note how almost every instance of this privilege depends on men’s action or inaction to exist. You can blame a woman for using it, but you can’t blame her for creating it.
Excerpting from commenter JDCyran’s account:
A particularly fiery and antagonistic girl was berating the hell out of this boy who had beaten her at a game of Magic.
(including calling him a pussy and grabbing his shirt). He let it go on for a long time
Double standards – this woman acted this way only because she knew she could, only because she knew he would never respond or be allowed to respond in kind.
Gynonormativity – she was in a male space but expected female treatment, as we will see as we go along, and when she didn’t get it, she insisted the men present act according to her norms, and when that wasn’t done to her satisfaction she summoned help from outside to enforce those norms.
Female immunity – by almost any legal standard this woman committed assault and suffered no legal repercussions.
…trying to talk to her, even apologizing for having won(!!), but he eventually, loudly, called her a bitch.
Well she figured wrong, but in the end she turned out to be right anyway. It turns out that goaded hard enough, a man may actually turn and give back a tiny bit of the shit that a woman has been slinging at him. But watch has happens later.
And she[lost] it. She immediately started crying, which embarrassed the guy, who was obviously already close to tears himself, further, and came to us to demand, through her dramatically wracking sobs, that he be removed from the premise for being sexist and because she felt threatened by his anger. We told her that we would not, obviously, because we had witnessed what was going on, that she was provoking him, and thus had her removed instead.
Damselling – she resorts to crying as a pressure tactic. She expects the men present to come to her aid and protect, like good little white knights. And by the way, this is a pretty abrupt transition for it to be genuine, going from rage to tears so quickly and with such perfect timing. And if it wasn’t genuine, she must have expected some benefit to putting on such a performance.
Double standards – she could turn on a flood of tears in response to this situation, which stressed at least as much, as we will see – and he couldn’t.
Double standards – she can use her display of emotion as an appeal or pressure tactic to get the men present to intervene on her behalf.
Double standards – she can use gendered insults like “pussy”, which is at least as insulting as “bitch”, but he had better never presume to equality in reciprocating with the same level of insult to her.
Male disposability – the guy’s embarrassment and emotional upset count for nothing at all in this incident.
We ended up talking to the guy, too, telling him that, even if someone else was getting way out of hand, it would have been better to let us know so we could have dealt with it.
but the women’s resource center actually staged some small pickets in front of the store holding signs that said things like “unsafe for women” and “Welcome back to the ’50s. Men Only!”
We had several encounters with the group for a couple of weeks (it blew over relatively quickly, thankfully), and when we tried to explain what happened, we got many of the above arguments. To them, she should never have had to fear a man calling her a bitch, even if she antagonized and provoked him using gendered insults and was physically attacking him.
Double standards again – does anyone doubt these same demonstrators would have had absolutely no problem with women-only spaces?
Female immunity – these “several encounters” amount to harassment. A men’s group doing the same thing would surely have gotten at least one visit from the police after the first “encounter”.
Damseling – in this case not the aspect that confers a right to protection, but the aspect that confers higher status – it is heinous to call a lady a degrading term like “bitch” no matter how acceptable it is for her to call a man a “pussy”, and that’s just a function of their differing statuses.
And notice how these other men regulated on the guy, not the woman.
To bring the example back in circle to the original quote there, no amount of reasonable, intelligent discussion would have solved that. There was no way, at least that I could determine, to convince that group that she was in the wrong at all. We couldn’t offer advice, such as, you know, not starting fights, because then we were blaming her for having a part in what happened. Anything less than declaring the guy a monster and prostrating ourselves before them wouldn’t have done anything (and I’m not even sure that would have satisfied them).
Victim privilege – the men were proscribed from saying anything to the rage monster because that would be “blaming the victim’, a heinous non-no, and of course victims can come only out of a designated victim class. Victim privilege is a form of damseling.
This recaps the double standards and damseling we have pointed out. See how her expectations point back to her sense of privilege arising out of culture and institutions.
And if anyone can see more points of female privilege that I missed, thanks for pointing them out to me.
*Sorry, couldn’t let that one go by.
- The Woman Card - May 2, 2016
- Frat boy bachelorettes and the invasion of gay bars - April 15, 2016
- “Not my kid….” - February 22, 2016
My Dearest Beloveds –
Part one – There are lots of things I’d like to say about this so I think I’ll break them up over a few posts. Since my time is limited now I’ll start with technological protection.
Trigger Warning: the following comment details ways in which people can proactively protect themselves from harm. Feminists in particular are advised to fuck off, since such protections can smack of “victim blaming”, and of course we can’t have that, no ma’am.
Men and zeta women are people of agency (capable action), and as such we rightly scoff at the claims of victim-blaming made by perpetual cookie-craving victims in favor of actually doing stuff to protect our wallets and ourselves from aggressors.
The technology now exists to record one’s actions and experiences 24/7 in the form of tiny cameras and microphones. It is expensive, but should one ever get into trouble, having a solid record of the actual events and one’s part in them could be a personal life-saver as well as a way to turn the tables and destroy rapists, damsels and false accusers.
The on-camera lies of the lying liar “creepy bitter grrrl” are the latest example of this – see GWW’s video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Jz63_lGuSE&list=UUcmnLu5cGUGeLy744WS-fsg&index=12&feature=plcp.
The Elevatorgate fiasco might have gone completely differently if there had been an A/V record of it – say, don’t most major hotels monitor their elevators for security? I wonder if a record of that horrible incident still exists somewhere.
Additionally, GPS Ankle Monitors (usually used for crinimal defendants) are becoming available for use by private citizens who wish to protect themselves from false accusations from feminists by providing ironclad 24/7 positional data – you couldn’t have abused her in Poughkeepsie if you were chilling in King of Prussia at that time. (about $7-$10 per day).
Loss of privacy? A bit, but well worth it if your life is on the line. The joy and satisfaction of hammering feminists with their own lies is more precious than rubies.
Female sexual syndicates – it’s socially acceptable for women to self-organize into activist groups that champion causes of their own choosing. Whether their cause is justifiable or not, they are rarely questioned, let alone denounced, publicly. Just the fact that they organized means that it must be something very important and unfair to women as a whole. Their voices are seen as important simply because they are from a female persuasion, so people no longer use any sort of objective standards to evaluate their claims.
I’ve been thinking what else could be missing in some of the ideas pointed out here, since Ginkgo asked. I think that they are all valid arguments from an ethical standpoint. But that begs the question – why limit it to ethics?
I could make just a strong of a case that all of these so called female privileges are actually logical fallacies that are upheld by our society. We have appeals to authority, ad hominems, special pleading, appeals to consequence, pitty, fear, ridicule, wishful thinking, hasty generalizations, guilt by association, and just about every other sort of logical wrong under the sun all contained within a widespread mode of thinking that leads people to hold ideas that are simply untrue. These are logically indefensible points of view long before they become social injustices and ethical wrongs. We are literally looking at an entire social dogma built up on the shaky foundation of the availability heuristic.
OT but I thought it might interest people here:
A study finds women reach top executive posts faster than men:
We don`t have a glass ceiling we have a glass elevator:
Fair Warning: I’ve been known to hold my friends and allies to higher standards than my enemies, making me a pain in the ass. Feel free to ignore me.
It always bugs me when people say that a gaming space is a “male space”. Gaming, as a hobby, is overwhelmingly populated by men, but it is not restricted to men. Women who enter gaming spaces, in order to play, are generally treated as “one of the guys”; That is, with the same respect as anyone else. As those spaces are competitive, that often comes with a side of “you must prove yourself to get respect”, and “You’ll have to push your way in to get a shot at proving yourself.” But these things are equally applied, independent of sex.
A very small number of women enter these spaces hoping to exploit the lopsided sex ratios. They are then horrified to discover that they don’t get special attention just because they are the only woman in the room. They take offense at being required to prove themselves, and wonder why they have to fight to get a turn, rather than have one handed to them. There are two negative outcomes from this:
First, the report from the woman to outside is that gamer spaces are full of misogynist trolls. Second, the report from the gamers to other gamers that women entering the gamer-space are likely to be attention-seeking, rather than actually interested in gaming. Now when geek women enter, they have a hurdle of having to prove that they really want to play, rather than just seek attention. Now the space does have some misogyny.
It’s an ugly cycle, overwhelmingly hurting those who are already socially marginalized.
This is not why video games are considered a male space per se. It’s considered a male space because men use it to get away from the social pressures that they feel everywhere else to confer various privileges upon women. But don’t portray it as what it’s not – the only reason that those gamers don’t immediately drop everything they’re doing and wait hand and foot on the women who enter into these spaces is because the few women that do enter are hardly the pinnacle of female sexual prowess. They walk in with a soap box and expect the men to treat the objects that they place on it as the Pantheon of femininity. These same exact women would never act that way in front of high status men, or even slightly higher status.
It seems simpler to me to assume that the men who play games do so because they enjoy playing games. Not everything needs to be a flight away from toxic gender roles.
I do think you have a good point about the expectation of being able to dominate, because of gamers’ conventionally low status.
Right, that is the case. But they would enjoy it far less if they had to abide by societal standards for masculinity within that space. Which, first and foremost, would preclude them from being able to play games in the first place – just work, work, work.
“It always bugs me when people say that a gaming space is a “male space”. Gaming, as a hobby, is overwhelmingly populated by men, but it is not restricted to men. Women who enter gaming spaces, in order to play, are generally treated as “one of the guys”;”
EGR, you just explained it to yourself! “One of the guys” – as long as they adapt to the norms of that space, which are male. It’s exactly like the adaptation a man makes when he teaches at the elementary level. The norms there are “female” there because those are the norms that work with young children. They may are may not be inherently female, but they are functional, so that’s what you go with.
And believe me, an elementary school is a completely female space, and the males there are reminded of that at every turn.
There’s a confusing circularity to the terms. 🙁 Are gamer norms male? Are teacher norms female? Or are they just the norms that work in that space, which coincidentally happens to be segregated?
Given a norm in gamer-space, how can I tell if it’s the norm because that’s the norm that works best with games, or because most gamers are male. Given a norm in teacher-space, how can I tell if that norm is there because it works best with young children, or because most elementary school teachers are female.
It is not at all clear to me how to tell if a norm is caused by the underlying activity, or if it’s caused by the sex of the participants. Clearly, claims that math is patriarchal are bizarre, but beyond that, it’s hard to tell.
Actually, I’m confused by your example. You say both that the norms are functional, not really female, and that it’s a female space and you are reminded of it at every turn. Can you unpack that a bit? Where is it functional, and where is it feminized?
(Holy shit, Guys, People are Complicated)
Yeah, I kind of made a hash of that. It sounds circular when actually it’s helical.
The norms that function best in a stituation get associated wth the people active in those situations, and then those people adopt those norms and become identified with them, and the norms with them. And then they take tese norms inot new situations.
So what techniques that work with kids get identified as female, because that’s who works with kids, and thenwomen pre-adapt, thier gender identity develops, to inscorporate these norms. Where you fix the point of origin is ultimatley idle. The insistence on a definite poiont of origin for anything is essentialist.
It’s the same with gaming. Gaming came out of miltary board games originally, – Pegasus, First Battle and others way back in the early 80s – which were designed to replicate battle conditions as closely as possible. Did men invent those conditions, di they arise by natural development, did men adapt to them, did the male roel incorporate these norms, did male gamers come pre-adapted to gaming – yes, all of it. Can a woman adopt those norms? I can’t see why not.
@EGR, I’m willing to concede that anything which isn’t outright hostile to men can serve as a “male space” for the sake of argument. The reason it’s a “male space” isn’t because it’s in any way biased in favor of men, but because men do rely on it for a sense of normalcy. I’ll argue that even male-only members’ clubs, indeed male sexual syndicates that very much had a pro-male agenda, were actually very necessary social institutions at a time of White Feather campaigns and when a man who had been battered by his wife might just get paraded on a donkey. http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/dom/george94.htm Then you had the women’s movement shutting down the saloons via Prohibition, and on and on. When you have female sexual syndicates systematically trying to shut down anywhere that men are liable to feel safe from external social pressures, then I infer from it that this is a male space.
I never really got into chess, but I feel like there are more differences between chess, wargaming, miniatures wargaming, roleplaying, and live-action roleplaying, than between majority-female and majority-male groups in these hobbies. I know that chess and wargaming tend to be majority male, while roleplaying can go either way, and gaming tends to be more accessible to aspies than most other social spaces tend to.
I have read a few essays on types of gamers and approaches to gaming. I don’t recall any useful contrasts between male gamers and female gamers; what seems most useful was one essay which contrasted competitors, socializers, and dreamers. [historians would be closest to dreamers].
“When you have female sexual syndicates systematically trying to shut down anywhere that men are liable to feel safe from external social pressures, then I infer from it that this is a male space.”
dungone, that is probably a reliable test for whether or not a space is male. I also like you terms “aamle sexual syndicate” and f’female sexual syndicate” Do you mena by these that membership is predicated on a person’s ses, not that they are out looking for sex?
“I never really got into chess, but I feel like there are more differences between chess, wargaming, miniatures wargaming, roleplaying, and live-action roleplaying, than between majority-female and majority-male groups in these hobbies.”
Marja, I bet that is true. Think of the differences between the mindset and the skills you want for chess as opposed to go.
I see what you’re getting at now. I’m not concerned with determining the “true origin” of the norms, but I am concerned with people who come in to a culture and say, “the norms in this place are male norms, and, as a woman, I feel excluded. You should change your norms to be more comfortable for me.” (For some reason, I never hear men saying that about spaces with female norms.)
My natural reaction is, “if you want to join this group, you have to adopt our values.” And that’s a lot easier to sell if I can claim that the norms are naturally arising from the activity, not from the male-ness of the other participants. In this case, (source-)essentialism serves as a defense against outside manipulation, which is phrased in (gender-)essentialist terms. A thorny problem indeed.
I feel there are two oddities here. The first is the cultural assumption that if more than three men are together, misogyny is on the menu. Whatever the alleged agenda is, the real agenda is complaining about women. I’m not going to say that doesn’t happen, but it’s far from the most important item.
The other oddity is the alignment of “men’s space”, “women’s space”, and “safe space”. The marketing on women’s spaces are that they are safe spaces, where a woman can get reassurance/help with the problems that vex all women. But a men’s space doesn’t contain that kind of safety. Many men’s spaces tend to center around competition. They are safe, in that it is safe to fight as hard as you can to win, and you won’t be chided for taking it too seriously, or not giving others a chance. But they are not places to get help with your problems.
I’ll agree wholeheartedly to this. This is why it bugs me when people try to make these groups a new front in the gender war.
On another note, it drives me crazy when people talk about online video gamers as being hostile to women. They’re hostile to everyone. Calling video games a “men’s club” is bizarre, because there are lots of men who avoid that group because of their hostility. Like me. We can call this the law on non-gendered social bullying: If your rude behavior is chasing away lots of women, and lots of men, too, it’s probably not misogyny, you’re just an asshole.
“The Elevatorgate fiasco might have gone completely differently if there had been an A/V record of it – say, don’t most major hotels monitor their elevators for security? I wonder if a record of that horrible incident still exists somewhere. ”
Yeah that really bugged me about the whole deal. There are very few spaces that would be safer than an elevator. There WILL be a recording and their is a convenient button you can press to summon emergency services and its in a public thoroughfare. If the guy was to attack in public, unless you expect people to intervene*, best case scenario is the police are summoned and someone gets a good record.
*Which means you have an incredible sense of entitlement if you expect civilians to come running to lay their lives down for you. If people did that as a rule, there wouldn’t be a kidney or liver shortage. Oh and untrained civilians intervening in an attack from a violent criminal is a terrible idea anyway.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I think the whole situation could have been solved by summoning the police and having the girl arrested. Assuming the police would do their job (always questionable), people would have suddenly become a lot less willing to support the now criminal. And you could have asked the police for help when dealing with the so called “supporters of this violent criminal, who really, really scare you, and you think could be armed”.
Just because someone’s arrested doesn’t make her a criminal. Or because someone’s beaten and/or groped and/or raped by the cops without being arrested. Just because the courts are conviction mills doesn’t make her a criminal. It makes the criminal justice system criminal.
Video games are to competition what toy soldiers are to the Marines. They might emulate a competitive environment, but in the end there is nothing of any real value at stake, it’s generally just fun for those who are into it (I’m not). They are, in fact, a safe space, because for those who use it to hone their competitive as well as collaborative skills, it’s a safe way to gain an understanding for the type of harsh reality that men actually have to go out and face in the real world. As a “safe space” for men, they offer plenty of room to bend the rules, take ridiculous risks, fail repeatedly, and generally be free of restrictive social constraints – for better or worse. Women, generally speaking, don’t seem to value that kind of environment in the least. They’re generally sheltered from discomfort in the real world, so they want the same protections in the video game world. Feminist reactions to gaming culture reminds me of the Southern Belles who took their little picnics out to the hillsides surveying the first battles of the Civil War to watch their gentlemen-callers prove their manhood, only to never return again.
I mean that it’s a self-organized group of individuals who look after their own interests in a gender-exclusive manner. I’d consider something like an all-male country club where businessmen go to make business arrangements with one another as a male sexual syndicate, but not a male-only military draft. Feminism definitely counts. I think that male versions are almost universally derided, whereas female versions are almost universally lauded.
“Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I think the whole situation could have been solved by summoning the police and having the girl arrested. Assuming the police would do their job (always questionable), people would have suddenly become a lot less willing to support the now criminal.”
Marja is right, an arrest does not a crimial make, but I still think the civilians would have backed off and not come to her defense, and this would have at least tempered their take on the situation.
And I agree, Lamech, that expecting total strangers to bail you out of a situation you have fomented shows a very swollen snese of entitlement.
“*Which means you have an incredible sense of entitlement if you expect civilians to come running to lay their lives down for you. If people did that as a rule, there wouldn’t be a kidney or liver shortage. Oh and untrained civilians intervening in an attack from a violent criminal is a terrible idea anyway. ”
Oh, you mean like this person? http://www.reddit.com/r/TwoXChromosomes/comments/11n7kt/the_post_titled_how_to_explain_harassment_to_men/c6nxots
(warning biiig long textwall)
“Just because someone’s arrested doesn’t make her a criminal.”
Well, true. I should have put scare quotes around that. The point wasn’t her criminal/non-criminal status, but how people would react, and in general people look poorly upon arrests regardless of how the actual proceeding turns out. (See, OJ, Casey Anthony, people accused of rape but not convicted…). Its not the nice thing to do, but an arrest of your opponent really helps your case.
@Paul: Exactly like that.
Paul, that thread wasn’t quite as ignorant as I expected. Hmmmm. But there sure was a lot of entitlemtn going on and the usual “I’m a little small woman; do you think I’d provoke a big old scary man?” nonsense, as if someone that size is totally on her own in this society defending herself physically.
“Its not the nice thing to do, but an arrest of your opponent really helps your case.”
viz. the stratgeic use of TPOs in divorce cases.
The biggest change I’ve seen the new focus on gender issues in the gaming community is to make it a much less safe space for neuro-atypical men. The focus of these activities has overwhelmingly been on scapegoating the socially awkward and inept and the men who find themselves in ‘low status’ positions. There’s a lot of virgin-shaming going around, and with much more bite behind it than in the past. I can honestly say, in the aftermath of recent changes, that there really aren’t safe spaces for me to act naturally in anywhere anymore (and keep in mind, this is coming from someone who never trash-talks or does any of the other things generally complained of). I wonder if any of the women making these complaints can say the same.
The medical name for my condition is now used as an insult in these communities. Imagine if calling someone a “woman” meant the same as calling them a “stupid whore”. That’s what it’s like.
“The medical name for my condition is now used as an insult in these communities. Imagine if calling someone a “woman” meant the same as calling them a “stupid whore”. That’s what it’s like.”
Can you round some of those articles up, the ones you find most egregious, so I can see what else the authors have published? I’d like to see if they have ever condemned ableism in anyone else, if they pretend to some kind of social justice posture, that kind of thing.
It’s not so much the articles, it’s just the way everyone talks now. No one talked like this two or three years ago, but now it’s inescapable.
The people who write articles are always more focused on just the “30 year old virgin living in his parents’ basement” archetype. You see it referenced and scapegoated in almost every article that purports to deal with gender issues or dating in gaming communities. Take, for example, that Sarkeesian person. Several of her pieces on objectification and over-sexualization take time to point out the male gamers these images are targeted to as unattractive losers (she has more than once pulled up images from the Big Bang Theory and said “male gamers, who look like this”), with the implication that this makes images of women created to appeal to them especially egregious (as someone who diets, works out, and takes care of his own appearance, I take great offense to assholes passing off that old stereotype as fact and then claiming to be a legitimate part of the community). The lonely, unsuccessful virgin archetype is made to shoulder the burden for any sexist remarks against women that occur in online gaming spaces, with the reasoning that their failure to be financially or sexually successful (which must, of course, be all their own fault) has made them angry, bitter misogynists who must be shunned and punished.
The upshot of all this is that the influx of women into gaming and the increasingly vocal actions of women and women’s groups to alter the culture and environment surrounding gaming has forced men in the gaming community back into more strict expressions of their socially-assigned gender roles, which means a lot worse treatment of ‘undesirable’ or ‘lower status’ men, and a lot less leeway for non-normative social interaction.
In the end, the result is that the new Halo is reported to be implementing a system to dispense lifetime bans for misogyny, but no one cares how much it hurts that “aspie” is now a damning insult on forums and often an excuse to dismiss anything someone says out of hand. The crusaders to end discrimination are only capable of noticing one type of it, and they can’t imagine that anything else could be important in comparison or that it could hurt as much.
Hiding: I don’t play Xbox or Halo, so it wont affect me either way, but my understanding is that its not just misogyny but all discrimination. And that calling someone a bitch mid-game wont get you banned, (this would be impossible to prove I think) it’s sending them threatening PMs or following them from game to game.
The reason articles are framing it the way you state is to generate controverys and click-farm.
Thats my understanding anyway.
Hello, I would really love for an article to be made about if the sexism in America is worse than circumcision, I think circumcision has a part in sexism but is not worse my boyfriend opposes. I would love to hear your thoughts as you seem very well read on both subjects.