Ozy’s Law

Ozy and I were talking over what we’ve learned from hashing gender issues out on this blog, how writing about things has clarified our thinking, what answers we’ve been able to glean, what we’ve learned from discussing these matters with others, and we noticed a very specific and predictable pattern. Any theory or ideology that is based on a big and usually bullshit generalization about women invariably carries with it an unspoken corollary: a big and usually bullshit generalization about men. And vice versa.

Try this out on some of your favorite misogynist and misandrist tropes, it’s fun. Men are all slobs… women should be keeping house. Women need to cover up their bodies or they deserve to be raped… men are animals who commit immediate rape at the sight of cleavage. Women are all gold-diggers… men are only valuable for their success and money. Women are only valuable for their looks… men are all shallow. I can keep this up all night, ladies. (…men like dumb sex jokes.)

Based on this, we are proposing a rule of thumb that we’re calling Ozy’s Law: It is impossible to form a stereotype about either of the two primary genders without simultaneously forming a concurrent and complementary stereotype about the other.

Or, more simply: Misandry mirrors misogyny.

This isn’t to say that in any given case, the misandry and misogyny are necessarily equivalent. Sometimes they are, other times one or the other definitely predominates. But they’re always paired. Often they’re just an unspoken assumption, something people are taking for granted as axiomatic. The problem is that it’s possible to question one half of an unspoken assumption without even really examining the other half.

Thus, you get women who (rightly) complain about the wage gap without seeing how men are made into “success objects”. You get men who complain about the stupid-manchild-husband trope in media, without seeing that it always comes with the humorless-killjoy-wife trope. You get people unable to see past their own sense of grievance to look at how the system that’s hurting them is hurting other people.

Feminism has been having this problem for a while, and is only starting to engage with it. More and more feminists are realizing that men’s issues have gone undiscussed for a long time, and are too intricately bound up in women’s issues to be ignored any longer. This is evidenced by, for example, the existence of this blog and the many incoming links to it from prominent feminist spaces. I think that’s a good trend and one to encourage, especially given how, if we’re taking Ozy’s Law as true, most feminism has been effectively blind in one eye. A lot of ugly stuff and a lot of pain has gone unnoticed by a movement dedicated to unpacking and examining the stuff that used to go unnoticed. That’s not good, but at least it’s starting to change.

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Noah Brand is a mysterious figure with a very nice hat.
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52 Responses to Ozy’s Law

  1. noahbrand says:

    Oh, and the obligatory Futurama joke:

    Ozy’s Law is like Ozy’s love! Widely applicable to both men and women!

  2. Danny says:

    I’m sure there are people on both sides of those presumptions that are very glad that people are starting to figure this stuff out, I know I’m one of them.

  3. Amnesia says:

    Okay, here’s one. Women are too emotional… Men don’t care as much.

  4. superglucose says:

    @Amensia, more accurately, “Women are too emotional, men are apathetic and emotionless.”

    I won’t lie that hearing alarming statistics (most universities have programs that are encouraging women to get a higher education and 60% of their undergrads are women, how “violence against women” is an issue and men need to teach their sons to “not hit girls”, and the hooplah over every woman presidential candidate or judicial nominee) quoted by feminists is what really made me just not enjoy being around people who were feminists. Especially when someone *flat out told me* that egalitarianism is not the goal of feminism.

    There’s still that little twitch in the back of my mind. “Feminist? Uuugh hell no.” It’ll probably be there until I forget I ever had it which may be never, but there are definitely people who call themselves feminist who make that little voice grow.

  5. Danny says:

    Also I think there is at least one other thing worth bearing in mind. With the big revelation that oppression runs both ways in terms of gender there are bound to be a lot of people who are not going to come running to join the conversation (if that snipe post from Shakesville a few weeks ago that might have been about this place is any indication). A lot of folks are going to be carrying grudges. How do we address said grudges (http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/2011/09/dannys-law.html)?

  6. Jim says:

    The SR thread was a great example. Every misandric trope in SR implies and is based on an equally.

    “Feminism has been having this problem for a while, and is only starting to engage with it.”

    This is going to be a real soul-searching process. There are serious impediments to this effort within core doctrines of feminism.Some will help. Rape culture in particular appears to be ready for duty. It’s just that the conclusions it leads to when it is applied equally are going to be very hard for some feminsits to accept. But that is not a probelm with rape culture.

    “if we’re taking Ozy’s Law as true, most feminism has been effectively blind in one eye. A lot of ugly stuff and a lot of pain has gone unnoticed by a movement dedicated to unpacking and examining the stuff that used to go unnoticed.”

    Blind in one eyes implies not looking at all. That has not been the problem. Feminists have looked at men’s issue, and the problem is they have seen what they want, they have seen what fits their worldview or doctrinal bias or whatever, regardless of what they were actually looking at. That’s how we get “homophobia is misogyny, is femmephobia, etc.” This is an example of the things I said would be hard – decentering women’s issues in gender discourse, decentering female perceptions in gender discourse, deprivileging feminism in the analysis of gender issues.

    Have at it.

  7. Avgad Yavor says:

    Isn’t that just Newton’s third law of motion?

    (“To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions.”)

  8. Alexei Andreev says:

    This is simply mind-blowing. Thank you, this is why I read this blog!

  9. Kenshiroit says:

    Yes I notice that to, feminism slowly, whery slowly are accepting that also cis-men are oppressed, and they are turning toward men. It was about time and I may add, i dont understand why it toke them so long time. I applaud them, but the criticism toward feminism still stands, and its not because of malice, or some kind of grudges, but simply because the timid steps are still to few, and what has been done uintill now in this direction (not talking about the blog) its simply not enough (to few to late).

    Not only a rethorical revolution is necessary, but also a cultural (changing the terminology, eliminating misandrist element and memes still so prevalent…and accepting that men are just as vulnerable as women are to societal prejuges just to name some ) and strong ties of collaborations between MRM, masculists and feminist….perhaps merging it into one movement with specialiced brances ect…

    Anyways, good job and carry on in the right direction 🙂

  10. Pingback: Life’s complicated, part II: Gender « asexual curiosities

  11. OirishM says:

    First post here – and this is why I love this blog.

    Well done for putting this observation down succinctly – I noticed this with regard to one particular example recently where a Westminster MP (a fundamentalist Christian) rather naively suggested that the whole teen pregnancy issue could be solved by simply teaching girls to say no. As I remarked at the time, it’s hard to figure out which gender she despises more – females, for imposing a status on them as the gatekeepers of all things sexual (and implying that they should only being saying no, at least until married etc. as that’s what good Christian women do, har har); or males for being so apparently incapable of making proper decisions they get absolved of all responsibility on whether to have sex or not.

    This post has shown me though that this problem is present in more issues than that particular one – and I can sympathise with superglucose about that reticent feeling to get behind feminism when it seems that some branches of feminism just aren’t that interested in true egalitarianism. However, this blog seems like a good step in the right direction.

  12. Glove says:

    I think that this post articulates something that many feminists might feel but be uncomfortable to examine, so kudos. However, just to add my thoughts and pick all your brains, I wonder whether you think it’s more important to encourage feminism to look at men’s issues, or whether it’s better to promote and encourage masculist writing/thinking? Feminism and masculism, as you point out regularly, are complementary, but sometimes I wonder if you advocate ‘gender egalitarianism’ above those two movements? In my ideal world, feminists and masculists would do their thing, get equal amount of attention and importance attached to their work, and encourage one another, helping where appopriate. But obviously if you said the word ‘masculism’ at the moment, you’re gonna get a lot of blank faces; so should masculists be using feminism to promote their cause because it is a more visible movement?

    Loving the work you’re doing on NSWATM, and I recommend it to every feminist friend I meet 🙂

  13. nmlop says:

    Great post!

    I read a ton of feminist blogs, and I have to disagree with other commenters that feminists are unable to see how our sexist culture hurts men too. Unfortunately, what I’ve observed isn’t much better – a lot of people who do see how the culture hurts men say more or less, well, of course patriarchy hurts men, it’s just that the way it hurts women is worse and more important, and if men would just help us fight sexism against women then sexism against men would disappear too. Which as this post points out, is not very helpful or accurate.

    That’s part of why I often enjoy blogs with a particular angle rather than broad feminism, like sex-positivity and equality, or racial equality as well as sexual equality, etc. Like, if a blog’s angle is about how society makes problems for women, there’s certainly a lot to talk about. But if a blog’s angle is sex-positivity, then the “women never want sex and are gatekeepers / men are horny constantly and want sex with all women no matter what all the time” dichotomy isn’t just victimizing women, or isn’t just victimizing men, but is clearly a messed up situation that’s the result of a sex-negative culture.

    I’ve only been awake for about half an hour… so sorry if this isn’t super coherent!

  14. fannie says:

    “Or, more simply: Misandry mirrors misogyny”

    I can buy that. That mirroring is probably inevitable whenever a society constructs male/female and men/women as “opposites.” Whatever women are, men are supposedly the “opposite,” and vice versa.

    Although, it has been my experience that many feminists do actually discuss how sexism and stereotyping hurts men. How feminists do so often isn’t appreciated by many MRAs, however. But that’s probably a whole other conversation…

  15. Amphigorey says:

    “….if we’re taking Ozy’s Law as true, most feminism has been effectively blind in one eye.”

    Huh. That hasn’t been my experience with feminism at all. Maybe if you’re restricting yourself to second-wave feminism, but what I see in feminist spaces is that pretty much everyone agrees that the patriarchy hurts men too. I have seen every single one of your examples discussed in other feminist spaces.

    Though I have seen this same thought expressed before, I think you’ve hit on a really useful way to frame it.

  16. Tamen says:

    Amphigorey:
    The problem with quite a lot of the “patriarchy hurts men too” statements on quite a few feminist spaces is the obligatory addendums that “but it hurts women more”, “but almost all perpetrators/rapists are men” and the way that statement often is meant as an tool to end that avenue of discussion: Yes, patriarchy hurts men too, enough said about that let’s get back to the scheduled program.

    When it is used as lip service it is recognized as lip service. Unfortunately sometimes it’s being misunderstood as lip service when it perhaps weren’t meant as such, but a willingness to engage the issue rather than to shut down that part of discussion would go a long way in avoiding any such false negatives.

    When I first encountered feminism the paroles I encountered were “equal pay for equal work”, “no means no”, “equal opportunities”, “women can do the same as men can”. All things which are egalitarian and which I agree with. If anyone had asked at that time (and I had thought a man could be a feminist) I would probably have identified as a feminist. But then something happened to me which made me wonder why “no means no” always were about women’s no meaning no. men’s no were not even mentioned. I was also told that “men oppress women”. So, even if I agreed with the egalitarian paroles and acted accordingly still my mere existence oppressed women as all men oppress all women. We have compulsory military service where I live and feminist teachers who were pushing the socializing as a reason for gender differences really hard flipped-flopped back into good old fashioned gender essentialism when pressed on whether women should also have compulsory military service. These things add up over time and when one of the main feminist blogs now posts an article saying that “no means no”, but if you’re a man then your no probably means you’re a misogynist I find it hard to put much trust in an “patriarchy hurts men too” without more substance.

    This blog, although I’ve disagreed with some posts and comments from the contributors/moderators – even to the point that I wondered whether it was safe for me to comment here, at least puts in the effort to provide more substance than just “patriarchy hurts men too”.

  17. Danny says:

    Amphigorey:
    Huh. That hasn’t been my experience with feminism at all. Maybe if you’re restricting yourself to second-wave feminism, but what I see in feminist spaces is that pretty much everyone agrees that the patriarchy hurts men too. I have seen every single one of your examples discussed in other feminist spaces.
    As Tamen says the big turn off is pretending that chiming off “patriarchy hurts men too” is not going to cut and is basically lip service when talking about the things that harm men. I’m sure there are some spaces out there somewhere that can actually talk about the way men are harmed without nearly always falling back on disclaiming that women have it worse (as if they are going to forget their dogma if they don’t repeat it every so often).

    And it really doesn’t help that in my experience the feminist spaces that can actually have these conversations seem to be in the minority.

    In fact I’ll share with you what I see when I read a feminist chiming off the “patriarchy hurts men too” lip service. After seeing it tossed about so freely I now read it as “(okay okay yeah) patriarchy hurts men too (there I said it now be quiet and let’s get back to helping the real victims, women)”.

    nmlop:
    I read a ton of feminist blogs, and I have to disagree with other commenters that feminists are unable to see how our sexist culture hurts men too. Unfortunately, what I’ve observed isn’t much better – a lot of people who do see how the culture hurts men say more or less, well, of course patriarchy hurts men, it’s just that the way it hurts women is worse and more important, and if men would just help us fight sexism against women then sexism against men would disappear too. I read a ton of feminist blogs, and I have to disagree with other commenters that feminists are unable to see how our sexist culture hurts men too. Unfortunately, what I’ve observed isn’t much better – a lot of people who do see how the culture hurts men say more or less, well, of course patriarchy hurts men, it’s just that the way it hurts women is worse and more important, and if men would just help us fight sexism against women then sexism against men would disappear too.
    I’ll give you that. Its not that they don’t see it, they just don’t seem to want to acknowledge it (for fear of losing some of that Zero Sum I guess).

  18. Feckless says:

    @nmlop: “if men would just help us fight sexism against women then sexism against men would disappear too.”

    Collateral benefit it seems…

  19. Skidd says:

    Huh. That hasn’t been my experience with feminism at all. Maybe if you’re restricting yourself to second-wave feminism, but what I see in feminist spaces is that pretty much everyone agrees that the patriarchy hurts men too. I have seen every single one of your examples discussed in other feminist spaces.

    The thing is, PHMT is basically used as a phrase in the same way “what about teh menz” is: “get back on topic, let the men work on men’s issues, we’ve got our own”. It’s a bit of a frustrating sentiment. Even use of the word “patriarchy” implies, to me (though I know it isn’t meant this way), it’s your own fault, too bad, so sad. Kyriarchy is a better term overall, I find.

    One can say “Patriarchy hurts men, too” all you want, but refuse to discuss the many myriad ways it does, but acknowledging a problem and brushing it off as unimportant and childish to be concerned about is pretty uncomfortable (compare http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0331/p16s01-lihc.html to Dawkin’s comments during Elevatorgate [summed up as quit whining about feeling uncomfortable and go fight REAL oppression]).

    Brushing everything off as inconsequential whining hurts the cause, and even more frustratingly I’ve found that most feminists will only accept a masculism based on their ideals while repeating the phrase “well, men need to deal with that issue themselves”.

    In my short time here, I’ve noticed the commentariat is rather good about taking in perspectives from ALL sides and ALL walks of life. When I brought up women’s size issues in the Height thread and apologized for pushing women into the issue, others told me it helped with their perspectives and was enlightening. And I don’t see that same attitude towards embracing men’s experiences and perspectives in a lot of feminist spaces as being healthy to discussion.

    I’ve thought about the concept of a forum where there was both a space for men’s issues and one for women’s issues, and another sub-forum where all could talk about the interplay between the two without calls of PHMT, ‘splaining, and centering discussion on one gender or the other. Or even a forum with sub-spaces for all sorts of movements with a place they could discuss all those issues both separately and together. But I am an idea sort of person and fall apart when it comes to putting things together. Heheh.

  20. The assumption that women are parents and men are breadwinners hurts both men and women.

    Not quite Ozy’s Law, but not unrelated: When the general cultural assumption was that women are sexual beings and men are Above Such Things, this was used to justify sexism against women (though often also men). When the general cultural assumption was that men are sexual beings and women are Above Such Things, this was used to justify sexism against women (though often also men).

  21. nmlop:

    Unfortunately, what I’ve observed isn’t much better – a lot of people who do see how the culture hurts men say more or less, well, of course patriarchy hurts men, it’s just that the way it hurts women is worse and more important,

    I don’t always see it as “worse”. In a number of cases it’s “we’re here to talk about sexism as it affects women” — which does kinda look like “more important” but I think is intended as “more relevant.” Of course feminist spaces are going to focus on women.

    and if men would just help us fight sexism against women then sexism against men would disappear too.

    Well, someone who means this is wrong, but I imagine it’s not infrequently a clumsy and woman-focused way of saying — or context-influenced way of understanding? — “if men and women would fight sexism in general then sexism against men would disappear.”

    The point of Ozy’s Law, by my reading, is that misogyny and misandry are not opposite problems. In fact, they’re branches of the same problem. When you fight one, sincerely, you will almost inevitably fight the other.

    fannie:

    I can buy that. That mirroring is probably inevitable whenever a society constructs male/female and men/women as “opposites.” Whatever women are, men are supposedly the “opposite,” and vice versa.

    That’s part of it (I’m trying to purge the phrase “opposite sex” from my vocabulary). I think part is also that if women (men) are so awful, men (women) who aren’t separatists must be awful too, for being not just able to tolerate them but willing and even eager to interact with them.

  22. AllSaintsDay says:

    I feel like there’s at least two significantly different versions of this. One is capability/responsibility-oriented. “Women are better at cleaning; men are slobs.” is complimentary towards women and demeaning towards men, but benefits men a ton by shoving the responsibility away.

    The other is saying that men and women are at either side of a golden mean: “Men are out of touch with their emotions; women are overly emotional.” That isn’t really complimentary towards anyone, and doesn’t make a “Group A has to service Group B at _____” situation. (Or, rather, it makes it heavily both ways.)

  23. Danny says:

    Hershele Ostropoler :
    I don’t always see it as “worse”. In a number of cases it’s “we’re here to talk about sexism as it affects women” — which does kinda look like “more important” but I think is intended as “more relevant.” Of course feminist spaces are going to focus on women.
    The difference is when the conversation goes from talking about sexism as it affects women to actively denying/minimizing/downplaying/ignoring sexism as it affects men. If it were just “we aren’t talking about that right now” (in regards to sexism against men) or “this is more relevant to us” (in regards to sexism against women) I bet the hostility towards such spaces would not be as bad as the fairly prevalent “that doesn’t happen!/its not as bad as what happens to women!/”what about teh menz?”/”there is no such thing as sexism against men because men have institutional power” (am I the only that’s ever wondered how the point of talking about institutional power is not to blame individual men but institutional power is the exact thing a lot of people try to invoke when trying to prove that there is no such thing as sexism against an individual man, much less on an institutional level) etc… that goes on now.

    Well, someone who means this is wrong, but I imagine it’s not infrequently a clumsy and woman-focused way of saying — or context-influenced way of understanding? — “if men and women would fight sexism in general then sexism against men would disappear.”
    Considering how many spaces go and redefine sexism as being only male against female I don’t put much faith in this. If it was just about fighting sexism in general then why argue so hard against the general definition of sexism (instead of constantly insisting on trying to add “institutional power” to the mix in an effort to deny the existence of sexism against men)?

    The point of Ozy’s Law, by my reading, is that misogyny and misandry are not opposite problems. In fact, they’re branches of the same problem. When you fight one, sincerely, you will almost inevitably fight the other.
    Again if that’s the case then why actively deny the existence of one while constantly highlighting the other? I’m not trying to accuse you of this. In fact I agree with what you say here. But like has been said many times here before activist movements are not a monolith and it would disingenuous to act like the things I’m (and other people) pointing out don’t happen.

  24. I think the point is simple. I can immediately understand “Misandry mirrors Misogyny”. I mean, I could say that If I were a girl, I could record videos of myself rubbing my bits, and make a pretty penny online from it. But that immediately plays into the stereotype of the insatiable male perma-horn-dog. Not that I’ve recorded videos of myself “pulling my chain” so to speak, because of being caught up in the inverse, of not knowing whether there are women out there that want to see that.

    Added to the fact of me being 15st (over 200lbs) in weight, and having ever-so-slight body issues (Crikey, I’m a mess all told…) And you can see how I’m not likely to be the next pr0n king.

    Which is probably entirely off-topic, so let’s steer back on course.

    I’ve occasionally thought that if I was a girl, I’d be the most manipulative, conniving Bitch-hell-queen on the face of the earth, and go through men, women and whatever else to get entirely what I want. This also plays into a stereotype, that women in “society” are honourless and dog-eat-dog, while the brotherhood of man stands together, fights together, and never leaves a man behind. Which makes them susceptible to pressing enemy fire, and thus less tactically advantageous.

    Again, off-topic.

    The point is, I get that bad Ideas about women lead to bad Ideas about men. And I just wanted to post something. I do that sometimes…

  25. Wolf says:

    This is something I’ve said for years and I”m almost annoyed someone else got the law named after them first 🙂

    I’m glad someone’s talking about it, though, because this is something feminism *has* to start addressing, for purely practical reasons: because misogyny and misandry are linked this way, it’s just not possible to end the oppression of women without aggressively attacking the oppression of men, too.

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  27. Meerschaum (Keith) says:

    Yes, Yes, and Yes!

  28. Fibonacci says:

    Well, what can I say.
    Yours is the first feminist blog, out of hundreds I’ve seen, to even *consider* this issue. Indeed, most feminism has effectively been blind in one eye.
    The existence of this blog is evidence that a few feminists have started to realise it. But the utter lack of others that are willing to say it without following up with “this happens but women always have it worse” (and that is for the ones that even mention it), I think, is evidence that the feminist movement is not waking up any time soon. That’s sad.

  29. noahbrand says:

    @Fibonacci: I can only tell you what I tell everyone who thinks most feminists wouldn’t agree with what we’re doing here: Feminist blogs continue to provide a majority of our incoming links, and they are overwhelmingly positive, supporting and agreeing with what they see here. So while I understand that your hypothesis is honestly come by, the data we’ve got simply doesn’t support it. Which is, I think we can agree, good news. Always nice to learn you’ve been giving a movement too little credit, rather than too much. 🙂

  30. Fibonacci says:

    @noahbrand: “Feminist blogs continue to provide a majority of our incoming links, and they are overwhelmingly positive, supporting and agreeing with what they see here”
    But a majority of your incoming links is still a minority of feminist blogs worldwide. And a very small one.

  31. Hugh Ristik says:

    @Noah and Fibonnacci,

    Maybe there is no contradiction. Like Fibonacci says, this blog considers a lot of issues that general feminist discourse is blind to. On the other hand, based on what Noah says, it appears that the blog gets positive reviews from feminists.

    Potential explanation: A lot of feminists actually do have views closer to NSWATM (or they are open to those views)… they just don’t actually voice these views very much. I hope that NSWATM will continue showing other feminist blogs that it’s possible to consider men’s issues and misandry without being dismissive, and without having to hand in one’s feminist card.

  32. Danny says:

    Hugh:
    Potential explanation: A lot of feminists actually do have views closer to NSWATM (or they are open to those views)… they just don’t actually voice these views very much. I hope that NSWATM will continue showing other feminist blogs that it’s possible to consider men’s issues and misandry without being dismissive, and without having to hand in one’s feminist card.

    That or they’re treating it like a grassy knoll.

  33. Fibonacci says:

    @Danny: I’m not familiar with that expression. What do you mean by that?

  34. Danny says:

    I must have paid way too much attention to the movie Clueless.

    In the movie Clueless (about 1995, Brittney Murphy’s first major role if I recall) there was one point, after Brittney’s outcast character had become the IT girl on campus, asks a guy (that she expressed interest in before becoming popular), “Shouldn’t you be on the grassy knoll over there?”

    As in a place that has its value…as long as what goes on over there stays over there.

  35. monkey says:

    Well, the “grassy knoll” historically refers to the place from which the alleged second assassin shot JFK. I’m not sure what the scene from Clueless was getting at.

  36. monkey says:

    Actually, now that I remember it, the “Grassy knoll” in Clueless was just the name for the place where the stoners hung out. So I’m not sure it really fits your purpose. The guy that Tai (Murphy’s character liked) was one of the stoners.

  37. Fibonacci says:

    @Danny: An argumentative ghetto of sorts? They might well be treating it as such.
    Another possibility is that other feminist blogs apply the same 80/20 rule that is applied here, and masculism just happens to be within that 20%.

  38. YmcY says:

    Don’t worry everyone. Historical inevitability, because Hegel says so! 🙂

    Or to put it in more scientific terms: There is only one actual reality (hopefully). So theories about reality held by reasonable people (as opposed to the determinedly self-deluded) have to converge on the truth, eventually.

    Masculism to me pretty obviously seems part of the truth. Feminism can’t work properly until it taps in to the other parts of what is wrong with the gender picture: for men, trans, queer, etc etc. So, eventually, it will. That’s why a feminist started this blog, that’s why feminists read this blog, and that’s why masculism should eventually become part of the core of feminist theory.

  39. Fibonacci says:

    @YmcY: I’m not doubting that it SHOULD, I’m doubting that it currently IS.
    Oh sure, it’s nice to have feminist masculists (or rather: gender egalitarians), even better if they are female because they will get more credibility within the feminist movement, but they are still a small minority.

  40. Danny says:

    mokey:
    Actually, now that I remember it, the “Grassy knoll” in Clueless was just the name for the place where the stoners hung out. So I’m not sure it really fits your purpose. The guy that Tai (Murphy’s character liked) was one of the stoners.
    Because Murphy’s character was fine with Tai (played by Becken Mayer)….as long as he stayed in his designated area. Noah says the place gets lots of incoming links and praise from feminists. But it doesn’t seem to be that way (at least to myself who frankly only feels safe reading a few feminist blogs these days). Now I’m not trying to say that Noah is lying because frankly he has access to the traffic numbers of this place and I don’t. However to someone that doesn’t have that info it can leave you wondering where all those links and praise are.

    So by “grassy knoll” I wonder if the feminists that are coming in on those links are think highly of the place as long as the material stays here and doesn’t wonder off too far.

  41. Fibonacci says:

    @Danny: You might well be right. I found this feminist blog by way of a link on the Men’s Rights subreddit, not by any reference on any other feminist blog.
    And as I already mentioned, most of those either ignore male issues, or just mention them in passing immediately following with “but women have always had it worse, so let’s move on”.
    So yes, either those issues are treated as a “grassy knoll” as you said, or they are ignored for the “greater good” (?) that this blog is feminist after all.

  42. noahbrand says:

    I’m pretty sure Hugh Ristik’s got the right of it. Most feminists see this kind of discussion and go “Huh, that makes sense, hadn’t really thought about that.” This kind of gender analysis is within their bailiwick, but not really their specialty. Ozy and I are feminists, lord knows, but we’re doing a slightly different kind of work than most. Feminism (particularly second-wave feminism) has too often had a problem with inclusivity, and we’d rather be bell hooks than Betty Friedan. (And certainly rather either than an asshole like Gail fucking Dines.)

  43. monkey says:

    @Danny:
    it’s been a long time since I saw Clueless, but I believe the line “aren’t you supposed to be on the grassy knoll?” (which I could have sworn was said by Cher, not Tai – who BTW was Murphy’s, not Meyer’s character) was said because he had cleaned up and given up smoking weed.

    In any case, I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t the intention of the screenwriter to make some comment about “staying in your place.”

  44. Danny says:

    Cher said it earlier in the movie to Tai but what i’m talking about is later on when Murphy’s character became popular she turns around and says it to Tai, despite showing interest in him earlier in the movie. And in that context I certainly take it as a “know your place” comment.

  45. monkey says:

    Murphy’s character is the one named Tai. Breckin Meyer’s character is named Travis. And like I said, the time I remember it is when he has cleaned up and is no longer on the Grassy Knoll

    In any case, I think it’s not a good phrase because to the majority of the population, the term refers to the JFK assassination.

  46. Danny says:

    Eh I got the character names mixed up (but that line is used twice in the movie, once by Cher and once by Tai, both to Travis). I guess Im just weird like that.

  47. illannoying says:

    In short: This. All of it. Good.
    On feminism: I can’t help but feel that the feminist community is a perfect test case for the social change they claim they want to effect. You have a lot of well-meaning people who are too wrapped up in Being A Feminist to realize that they’re an active contributor to culture, even if that means going against an idea or person that has been stamped FEMINIST. Not at all unlike fandoms where pecking order is based on who has best memorized canon.
    Although I don’t know if that’s better or worse. Instead of a gaggle of misandrists, you have generally good people with a huge self-imposed blind spot, and who have allowed the extremists to wrest control of the movement.

  48. Jo says:

    illannoying:

    “Instead of a gaggle of misandrists, you have generally good people with a huge self-imposed blind spot, and who have allowed the extremists to wrest control of the movement.”

    Something like that, yes. I remember from my youth how very sensible people just to the left of the political middle avoided criticizing the communist dictatorship in the Soviet Union to any large degree, and those just to the right of the middle avoided criticizing the “right-wing” dictators in Latin America. I got a sense of a primitive “don’t give them an inch, or they’ll run you over” defensive reaction. Very, very unproductive as I see it. But a very common reaction pattern in humans. At least two successful and popular schools/tools in psychotherapy (Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Therapy) derive much of their success from being careful to avoid eliciting this general group of reactions. The trick (VERY simplified) is to not tell people what you think they ought to change (which elicits the defensive reaction), but to ask them questions that guides them towards getting the idea themselves that they want to change these things.

  49. Jesus_marley says:

    After I read this I let out a huge sigh of relief. All I can think is Finally someone else “gets it”. I think I’m really going to like it here.

  50. Pingback: Misogyny and Misandry go hand in hand… | Just Nenad

  51. Tal says:

    Hi,
    This post is spot-on what we were trying to say in our Hebrew feminist blog.
    Can I please translate this into Hebrew and publish on our blog, with due credit and trackback, of course?
    Tal

  52. noahbrand says:

    @Tal: Sure, feel free. And thanks for asking. 🙂

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