Memo To The Feminist Movement

Dear Feminist Movement,

When you discuss male privilege, stop saying “men are overwhelmingly less likely to be raped,” “men don’t have to deal with disbelief of their rapes” or, God forbid, “men can’t be raped.”

The largest study of the number of men who have been raped is the National Violence Against Women Survey, which you may recognize as the source of the “1 in 33 men have been raped” number. Unfortunately, the National Violence Against Women Survey asked people if they had ever been penetrated with their consent, but did not ask people if they had ever been enveloped without their consent. That’s right: according to NVAWS, a cis woman cannot rape a man with her vagina.

An erection is not consent, any more than lubrication is consent. Saying yes is consent. NVAWS is, as far as we know, massively undercounting the number of male rape survivors.

Given the methodological problems with other estimates of how many men have been raped (they generally have small samples of college students), we essentially do not know how many men have been raped.

And that’s where the whole “people don’t disbelieve men!” thing comes in. In most people’s minds, there is a Real Rape– a virtuous, straight, white cis woman, not dressed like a slut, who had a stranger jump out of the bushes at her and rape her, while she fought him off and sustained injuries. Everyone opposes that kind of rape. However, it is somehow Less a Real Rape, somehow Kind Of The Survivor’s Fault, if the survivor was promiscuous, or queer, or Hispanic or black, or a sex worker, or trans. Or if the survivor wore skimpy clothing, or got drunk, or flirted with the rapist, or was too frozen with fear to respond, or was threatened into submission, or dissociated in denial. Or if the rapist was the survivor’s girlfriend, or boyfriend, or spouse, or fuckbuddy, or pickup at a club, or friend.

Or if the survivor was male.

So when you put down “rape” on your list of disadvantages of being female, you are supporting rape culture.

Stop it.

Sincerely,

Ozymandias.

P.S. Commentariat, you are allowed to criticize feminists on this thread. Run wild.

This entry was posted in noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz, rape culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

360 Responses to Memo To The Feminist Movement

  1. machina says:

    Well part of the problem is definitions. If the WHO define rape as “physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – even if slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object” and the FBI define it as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will” then it’s not surprising that feminists define it similarly.

  2. Antongarou says:

    Yes, it is surprising. It is surprising because I expect better from a movement who fought long and hard against problematic laws, such as the famous exclusion of marital rape, to do better then organizations who work within the system and thus change way more slowly. I expect better from a movement that wishes freedom for all genders and that rightly decries the fact (female) rape victims are silenced and accused for what they suffered. Why is it wrong to ecpect it from them?

  3. Thank you for this. I know fandom means nothing to a lot of people (I’ve been disabled for a while and house-bound, so my world at the moment is pretty limited to the internet) but it makes me angry when self-proclaimed feminists answer the debate of “why is it that men getting raped in fanfiction a kink but women getting hurt a squick” with “Because it never happens to men in real life and this is our revenge”. It’s like they don’t even listen to what they’re saying.

  4. FW says:

    I see so many people who don’t seem to understand that continuum you described – basically where society views sluts as un-rape-able because ‘slut’ is seen as always consenting, and men are seen as un-rape-able because men are seen as always consenting. It’s the same problem on a gendered continuum, and you can’t fix one end of the scale if you ignore the other end. “A ‘Real Man’ would never say ‘No'” is the underlying notion, and it puts us all in a world of pain. So much of ‘feminist theory’ teaches that crap, and so many feminists take it as gospel – it’s just frankly mind-boggling to me that they can’t see the problem.

  5. GudEnuf says:

    Questions to answer before claiming “men are overwhelmingly less likely to be raped.”

    Are you including prison rape?
    Are you using a gender neutral definition of the term rape?
    Can you point to any studies that surveyed men AND women, asking them the same questions, which found women were more likely to report being raped?
    Even if the majority of rape survivors are women, should we act as if ALL the survivors were women? Should we say things like “rape is a crime against women” if we wouldn’t say “murder is a crime against straight people”?

  6. Daran says:

    The largest study of the number of men who have been raped is the National Crime Victimization Survey, which you may recognize as the source of the “1 in 33 men have been raped” number. Unfortunately, the National Crime Victimization Survey asked people if they had ever been penetrated with their consent, but did not ask people if they had ever been enveloped without their consent. That’s right: according to NCVS, a cis woman cannot rape a man with her vagina.

    I think you’ll find that it is the National Violence Against Women Survey that found that one in 33 men had suffered a completed or attempted rape. The NCVS is an annual survey, the figures from which vary from year to year. How rape is operationally defined by NCVS is not clear to me.

  7. Schala says:

    This is offtopic, but there isn’t an open thread so I’m not sure where to put this.

    I skimmed through the comments (because really, most don’t even make sense), but read the post. Trigger warning for hatred and nonsense.

    This thread http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/can-there-ever-be-an-alliance-between-transgenderism-and-radical-feminism/

    Btw, I don’t think they are representative of feminism, or feminists. Those are obviously long-gone cases you can’t ‘save’ in any kind of way. Tinfoil hats people are probably more sane.

  8. Daran says:

    Should we say things like “rape is a crime against women” if we wouldn’t say “murder is a crime against straight people”?

    More to the point, we couldn’t say murder is violence against men. Probably more straight people are murdered than gay because there are more straight people. That doesn’t mean that straight people are at greater risk. But men are at much greater risk of murder than women.

  9. Daran says:

    P.S. Commentariat, you are allowed to criticize feminists on this thread. Run wild.

    No, please don’t run wild. Instead make reasoned, reasonable, on-topic, and above all justifiable criticisms of feminism.

  10. Jim says:

    “P.S. Commentariat, you are allowed to criticize feminists on this thread. Run wild.”

    Okay, but not without praising them first. Feminists are why we are even having this conversation.

    However: what Antongarou said. The problem is patriarchal thinking among feminists. Valuing female bodies over male bodies? Chivalry – patriachal to the bone. Denying that men cam be victims of anything? Machismo – patriarchal to the bone. (Frankly the calling the kyriachy the Pratriachy is based on patriarchal assumpitions, so it’s patriarchal to the bone too.)

    Feminists need to examine their doctrines and assumptions for every trace of patriarchal thinking, and eliminate it. That would be the real gender equality they have been preaching for so many years.

  11. “So when you put down “rape” on your list of disadvantages of being female, you are supporting rape culture.”

    This is so utterly true. I really don’t know where the ‘ahh, but women get raped’ people are living, or what reality they’re seeing.

    The US probably differs by state, because you’re annoying like that, but here in the UK, legal rape is oral, vaginal or anal penetration with a penis (transmen’s penes count, for the record, and women can still legally rape if they’re transwomen). I know ‘cos I’m a law student and I recently had to read a couple of pages of misogynist, misandrist, rape-culture inducing academics that had me shaking with rage for hours.

    And that was just the FEMINIST ones.

  12. midnight says:

    Even if the majority of rape survivors are women, should we act as if ALL the survivors were women?

    For me, this is the central questions. Establishing how many men as compared to women have experienced rape/ sexual violence can be important in a societal context. However, to me it is much more important to acknowledge that irrespective of the exact numbers both men and women are raped and that all victims of rape deserve access to resources that acknowledge their specific needs. From what I can see, this is not happening for male victims of rape.
    In the end society needs to realize that every victim counts. Yes, it can be important to acknowledge that members of certain groups are more likely to be the victim of certain crimes/ form of violence than members of other groups (for example, seeing data on how much more likely trans women and men are to experience violence was a huge eye opener for me). But in the end a society that does not try to help all victims really has an empathy problem. (To be fair, though: While it is especially disappointing for me if fellow feminists don’t realize that men can be raped, and not only by other men but also by women, most men I know are not willing to consider this, either… maybe because society in general tends to stereotype men as always in control and because it can be damn scary to realize that one might be the victim of a specific crime at some point in one’s life.)

    Feminists need to examine their doctrines and assumptions for every trace of patriarchal thinking, and eliminate it. That would be the real gender equality they have been preaching for so many years.

    I agree. I think the problem is that gender stereotypes – other than, for example, racial stereotypes – are quite ambiguous in nature. Yes, women have been seen (and sometimes are still seen) as weaker (in more than the physical sense), less competent, less suited to be leaders, etc. but they also have often been seen as kinder, less violent, and less likely to hurt others and therefore as people needing and deserving special protection. Case in point: Both women and men tend to prefer female therapist, at least partially because they assume that women are more empathic. And I know plenty of women (I am not sure how many self-identify as feminists) who are actually quite reluctant to give up the more positive parts of the female stereotype.

  13. Schala says:

    Both male and female therapists tend to be transphobic, so it’s not much comfort to me that someone imagines they’re supposed to feel more empathic towards me while kicking me metaphorically. I tend to not like any therapist who hasn’t proven, to me personally, that they are trustable, competent and knowledgeable or willing to learn. Haven’t seen one.

  14. f. says:

    Schala, I certainly hope that is changing with a new generation of therapists. I actually know two trans* individuals who are studying to become therapists, partly because they had mixed experiences and they want to be able to help others who are in the process of transitioning. Total badasses, both.

    As for the main issue… every victim counts. Period.

  15. fannie says:

    “Memo to the feminist movement”?

    I find it strange that this article is a memo to the feminist movement when the statistics you mention, and that I would agree are problematic, are put out by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. That bureau is not, to my knowledge, part of “the feminist movement.”

    Just seems cheap and easy to bash Teh Feminists when, like, 93% of the rest of non-feminist society thinks that rape is primarily a women’s problem. I hope a memo goes out to them too.

  16. midnight says:

    Hm… not sure, but was this in some way aimed at me? Because in that case I do not quite get where I implied that male or female therapists are not transphobic, or how having more male therapists would solve the problem of transphobia in the mental health community. Therapists are after all not necessarily less prejudiced than other people.
    Also, while usually not intending it, mainstream therapist often say things that border on victim blame. That’s one of the hazards of a) focusing on the individual and b) believing in a rather narrow definition of cognitive therapy (or, actually, behavioral therapy).

  17. Feckless says:

    @Daran

    The NCVS is a crime survey and frames the questions as such (“have you been victim of a crime”) as both male and female victims of rape (also DV) often don’t see their victimisation as a crime this study undercounts male and female rape victims. Males even more so, because you can’t rape men dontchaknow /s

  18. aliarasthedaydreamer says:

    @fannie: But the feminist movement is doing a lot of the anti-rape activism and spends a lot of time talking about rape as a gendered problem. They drive and advocate for a lot of rape policy, and so they’re probably a really good place to stick the lever for world-movement. But yes, you’re right, the rest of the world needs to hear this too — and the perception of rape as a thing that happens to women is not new and not from the feminist movement. It’s just something that didn’t get questioned.

  19. jlandrith says:

    Great posting Ozy.  Many of the points you raised are things I’ve either had directed at me by certain feminists or witnessed on blogs, advocacy sites and in the real world.

    It is infuriating how often (almost unfailingly) that whenever male survivors are mentioned, stats showing how female survivors exist in greater numbers MUST also be given.  It is fascinating to me that those who decry “what about teh menz” with regard to discussions about violence against women don’t see the hypocrisy in their own use of female survivors stats with regard to discussion dedicated to male survivors.  Apparently, it is ALWAYS relevant to mention that there are OH MY GOD SO MANY MORE female survivors than male survivors, but even a casual mention of male survivors in a reverse setting often yields condemnation, mockery and outright abuse.

    Ugh.

    Another recent observation was related to the promotion of slutwalk events.  Whether you supported the walks themselves or not, a lot of organizers (many admittedly not survivors themselves) felt it necessary to constantly beat the drums over what male rape survivors don’t have to endure in denial and abuse vs. female survivors.

    Double ugh.

    Finally, there is the I HAVE A VAGINA SO I IS EXPERT ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE meme present within some facets of feminist thought.  On more than one occasion I’ve been condescended to, contradicted and even outright mocked by some feminists with regard to survivor advocacy efforts.  Apparently, my experience as a survivor and my work with multiple survivor and prevention organizations is trumped by my penis.  Possession or abscence of that bit of flesh determines one’s ability to speak coherently and with empathy for survivors.  At least that seems to be the current rule amongst some feminist gatekeepers.

    Triple ugh.

  20. Tamen says:

    I’ll run wild in the other direction this time and lavish some praise on this one feminist who demonstrated that she reads and listen to what men (and women) have said about how the everpresent need by some feminists to inject that “women are raped in far higher numbers (and that men are by far the most common perpetrator)” into any discussion about male rape victims irks and hurt. This post was heartening. Thank you Ozy.

  21. @fannie The point is that as people who have spent enough time thinking about gender issues to take a forceful and coherent position on them, we ought to know better.

    And do I think the unidirectionalists will drop their loaded and misleading rhetoric on rape? Not for a second. It’s all they’ve got and thus, in their discourse, everything becomes rape… or misogyny, or both.

  22. Kita says:

    As a feminist, I think it’s interesting that you directed this “memo” to feminists, not just generally everyone. If there’s ANYONE who’s actually heard the “whataboutthemenz” arguments, it’s feminists. I feel like this is yet another attempt to get feminists to say OMG YES WE KNOW, MEN CAN BE RAPED, IT’S SUPEREVIL AND BAD, JUST LIKE THE RAPE OF WOMEN.

    I feel like this is important – that essentially, you’re bringing the same problem up over and over again to feminists, and often, when this argument is made, it’s not made in appropriate context, so it gets extremely tiring to have someone tell me AGAIN that I’m doing feminism ALL WRONG. Especially considering the fact that I HAVE been advocating for victims of rape – wherever they may fall along the gender continuum.

    Yes, the definition of rape needs to be changed within law enforcement agencies, I’m totally on board with that. Now can we get more momentum towards actually DOING that instead of blaming feminism for it?

    As a side note, if we keep playing Oppression Olympics, we’re seriously not going to go anywhere. We’ll get bogged down in “no, men are more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence” and “no, women are more likely to be killed by intimate partner violence” or debating the one in six or one in four rape statistics. How helpful is that, really?

  23. Schala says:

    @Kita

    We don’t mind if no one says who is more likely to be victims, as long as it’s not transformed into a “thus only they need services”. We want gender-neutral, or gender-balanced (and would be nice if co-ed even existed) services, for DV, for rape, for other things.

    Co-ed could help with the transphobic attitudes of current service providers. Also, abusers are not necessarily of the other sex, and triggers are not necessarily based on being or looking like the other sex (yes, not opposite).

    Vancouver Rape Relief opposed trans women’s presence as counselor, officially based on the lack of experience being raised as a girl, non-officially based on her looking “too much like a man”. But butch women who work there get a pass on looking like a man, because they’ve been assigned female at birth. Double standard much? Caused by a single sex policy and obsession with blaming maleness, and associating trans women with maleness. (VRR is not typical AFAIK).

  24. Schala says:

    VRR is not typical for a service provider (again AFAIK), but is typical for radfems who are anti-trans.

  25. Kita says:

    @ Schala – I want victims services for everyone as well, I’d say fighting against that makes you a sexist.

    However, I don’t know if “gender balanced” resources make sense, if one group is making more use of services – let’s turn the example on it’s head and say more men are coming forward for rape counseling – that doesn’t mean there should be an equal number of counselors available for men and women, but that it makes sense to budget and allocate more counselors for male victims. However, this does NOT mean that you should eliminate the counselors for female victims altogether.

    There are a lot of complexities to offering co-ed counseling and services, mainly that I believe that it’s appropriate to have single-gender safe spaces if users need and request them. However, I think we focus much too much on single-gender services, and mixed gender providers and counselors and so on could be incredibly healing and useful.

  26. Glove says:

    jlandrith: “Another recent observation was related to the promotion of slutwalk events. Whether you supported the walks themselves or not, a lot of organizers (many admittedly not survivors themselves) felt it necessary to constantly beat the drums over what male rape survivors don’t have to endure in denial and abuse vs. female survivors.”

    I can see that the Slutwalks may not have been as inclusive as they could have been, as has been pointed out by many people (men, poc, the trans* community, LGBT community…).

    But I also think that the Slutwalks focussed on a very specific issue, namely, the issue of clothing and rape. I think it is fair to say that this issue would be faced more by female rape survivors than male survivors (male survivors face different stigmas, as this blog has tirelessly sought to get out there). Terms like ‘slut’, ‘ho’ or ‘slag’ are gendered, and when used to apologise for rape, they are targeted at female survivors, or those who wear clothing typically described as ‘feminine’.

    So it was probably a bit of a mistake for the Slutwalks to have tried to envelope many issues surrounding rape rather than its one focus, as that quickly leads to lack of inclusivity. However, my experience with that particular movement was actually quite positive (I’m based in the UK) and the message was, I felt, quite unified. I wrote about it on my blog, here’s the link instead of making this post even longer…http://inthenameoflovex.blogspot.com/2011/06/inside-slutwalk-movement.html

    So, basically, I see what you’re saying about lack of inclusivity, but I never encountered people ‘beating the drum’ about how male survivors had to endure less (except on the issue of clothing, which is more an issue for female survivors).

  27. Schala says:

    Gender-balanced can be on a per-need basis, not necessarily 50/50, but you need to do outreach for that, and outreach towards male victims of anything at all, except maybe male war veterans (and even then, only if judged appropriate, like PTSD about bombs, not about being raped by the enemy), has been dismal.

    We don’t hear about battered men’s shelters, and if you ask most people, they’ll think that male victims of DV or rape are wimps, deserved it, are abusers themselves, or the rare one who acknowledges that what happened to him was actually abuse, but was let down (ignored, laughed at, etc).

    Serious work needing to be done here. Probably starting with funding being seen as zero-sum and males being seen as not-victims.

  28. Schala says:

    Clothing on males is not going to be used to justify rape, it’s going to be used to justify assault, armed or not, because you should’ve known better than go outside in the street with make-up, a skirts, a dress, high-heels etc if you’re not seen as a cis female.

    I have the privilege of avoiding all that with no effort at all, through sheer luck and they-can-fuck-themselves (I don’t care about what the neighbors might think) attitude…but I’m still incredibly anxious in a social setting if not with someone I’m rather familiar with (then I can focus on them, not the thousands of people around me who could, on a bad day, be threats, but who are likely harmless at that moment).

  29. Thatpirateguy says:

    I haven’t seen that behavior in the wild ozy but it would frustrate me to no end to have my experiences invalidated and ignored again. The grand jury doing nothing for me so many years ago was quite enough thank you very much.

  30. Jim says:

    @Kita
    “As a feminist, I think it’s interesting that you directed this “memo” to feminists, not just generally everyone.”

    Did you read Antongarou’s comment above? Feminists make sweeping claims about advocating gender equality, so that’s the bar they set for themselves – and that’s why the post is addressed to them. MRAs don’t make those sweeping claims, they just insist on gender equality and call feminists on it when they backslide. It’s like two knives grinding against each other to sharpen each other.

  31. Glove says:

    Schala: “Clothing on males is not going to be used to justify rape, it’s going to be used to justify assault, armed or not, because you should’ve known better than go outside in the street with make-up, a skirts, a dress, high-heels etc if you’re not seen as a cis female.”

    I agree. But I was talking about Slutwalks, which were about rape rather than physical assault.

  32. ozymandias42 says:

    Mod note: I think we’ve jumped on Kita and Fannie enough now to make the point. No need to dogpile people who are honestly contributing to the blog and make this a more hostile environment.

    Daran: Oops. Thanks. Brainfart. Editing that now. 🙂

    Schala: We’ve actually planned to start weekly Open Threads… I think the first one is going up this Friday.

    fannie: Well, it was prompted by several independent instances of Tumblr feminists whom I otherwise like mentioning “women are raped!” as an instance of male privilege, so I decided to turn my FUUUUU– into a blog post. 🙂 I have higher expectations for feminism, as a movement, mostly because it so often gets it right that when it gets it wrong I’m just like “No! Stop that! I know you know better than this, feminism!”

    Kita: I agree. My ire was specifically directed at feminists who erase/marginalize male rape survivors, simply because I do expect better of them. And, you know, if you’re advocating for male rape survivors (or even just not erasing the existence of male rape survivors), you are not the people this memo is directed to.

  33. ozymandias42 says:

    And I do think, on the topic of Slutwalks, it’s important to have some time for issues that primarily concern women involving rape. The clothing issue will come up more for female survivors than male survivors; slut-shaming in general happens far more often to women than men (which is not to say it doesn’t happen to men, the same way that virgin-shaming sometimes happens to women). Of course they’re going to privilege female experiences on that issue.

  34. Jim says:

    At SM

    “The US probably differs by state, because you’re annoying like that, …”

    Hey, Europe varies even more by state, and even more annoyingly! At least our Germans and Czechs and Poles and Italians (and Russians and Mayans and Japanese) all speak the same language. When y’all gonna get yo shit together, at least to the level of ….oh, I don’t know….Nigeria or India? Forget China; the time for that level of integration passed 1,5400 years ago. C’mon now!

    “I know ‘cos I’m a law student and I recently had to read a couple of pages of misogynist, misandrist, rape-culture inducing academics that had me shaking with rage for hours.
    And that was just the FEMINIST ones.”

    Well those are the only ones there’s any hope for. Either you can appeal to their professed principles – haha, I know, lawyers and all that – or else you at least have something to shame them with. Once the grades are in.

  35. Jim says:

    1,500 years. Pardon the slight exaggeration above. It just seems like a long time, I guess.

  36. Feckless says:

    @Ozy, not sure if I am going offtopic with that one, I read an interesting sutdy on slut-shaming which might fit in well here:

    In contemporary society it is widely believed that men are socially rewarded for sexual activity, whereas women are derogated for sexual activity. To determine whether a sexual double standard exists, both undergraduate (n = 144) and Internet (n = 8,080) participants evaluated experimental targets who were described as either male or female and as having a variable number of sexual partners. Targets were more likely to be derogated as the number of sexual partners increased, and this effect held for both male and female targets. These results suggest that, although people do evaluate others as a function of sexual activity, people do not necessarily hold men and women to different sexual standards. -> http://feck-blog.blogspot.com/2011/03/slutty-studs.html

  37. jlandrith says:

    To clarify, (which seems to have been missed) my point about the Slutwalks had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with inclusivity. My issue was solely related to the use of rape myths to make a claim that men had it easier when it comes to shaming and disbelief. I made no such case for inclusivity. I take issue with the blatant minimization practiced by some in their discussions of Slutwalks, particularly on Twitter. It cannot be that hard to make a case for the movement without making it seem like male survivors have it easy compared to female survivors with regard to shaming. I get the clothing reference, but the Slutwalks were about ao much more than one asshole cop’s idiocy and far exceeded that initial statement.

  38. Jim says:

    “And I do think, on the topic of Slutwalks, it’s important to have some time for issues that primarily concern women involving rape.”

    I think on the topic of slutwalks, it’s about time for the snark about privileged middle-class white women, attention whores and all that other sniping to level off and shrivel up. If people think some action is in their best interest, that’s their call.

    Attention whores my ass – isn’t getting attention for your issue what demonstrations are for?

  39. Skidd says:

    As a feminist, I think it’s interesting that you directed this “memo” to feminists, not just generally everyone. If there’s ANYONE who’s actually heard the “whataboutthemenz” arguments, it’s feminists. I feel like this is yet another attempt to get feminists to say OMG YES WE KNOW, MEN CAN BE RAPED, IT’S SUPEREVIL AND BAD, JUST LIKE THE RAPE OF WOMEN.

    I think you’re missing that this is directed at those feminists who use the concept of “male privilege” to minimize rape of men. In those cases, feminism is going backwards for men, not forwards.

    Feminists have a distinct advantage over masculists: People know they exist and they listen to them. As masculists, we rely in part on feminism – feminists have a voice that male advocates don’t really have. We point out what flaws we can see so that feminism can be a better movement for all.

    Like it or not, and despite how much masculists would like to be publicly acknowledged, feminism is THE gender equality movement to the public. Masculism lacks the political power feminism has, full stop.

    And when you google something like “male privilege” and the second thing (after wikipedia) to come up is Amp’s male privilege checklist (which asserts the above as well as “as a man it’s very unlikely that I will be a victim of domestic violence”), well, as a movement that is tied to feminism and piggybacking on some of it’s work; we see a Problem.

    Would the feminists here be opposed to a female privilege list that includes things like “As a [cis] female I am much less likely to be a victim of violent crime unrelated to sex”?

  40. Skidd says:

    Mod note: I think we’ve jumped on Kita and Fannie enough now to make the point. No need to dogpile people who are honestly contributing to the blog and make this a more hostile environment.

    Whoops, was writing that last comment of mine in a txt file and didn’t see this until after I posted. Sorry ’bout that.

  41. Jim says:

    Hit the damned post button too soon.

    Where the privilege about slutwalks does come in is that threats to young white women tend to trump everything else in the public mind. Remember the summer, the whole frickin’ summer, that Natalie Holloway disappeared? Fox flogged that for four months. ‘Cause Lord knows no black women, no young white men or anyone else got kidnapped or murdered that whole time.

    That’s the privilege that has to stop in this, so yes [white] women will feel like it’s a zero-sum game, a lessening of interest and concern when the concern and the recognition of all victims are equalized out. Let’s hope it only feels that way and doesn’t actually turn out to be that way.

  42. Kita says:

    @Jim – because MRAs are honest about not advocating for gender equality – “MRAs don’t make those sweeping claims” it’s okay for them to spend your time and effort calling out those who do? If that’s the case, then the movements aren’t as related as I’d thought, and should have nothing to do with each other.

    @Ozy – I agree regarding Slutwalks. Equality doesn’t mean that our issues are identical, or are tackled using identical methods.

  43. Kita says:

    @Skidd, “I think you’re missing that this is directed at those feminists who use the concept of “male privilege” to minimize rape of men.” Citation needed?

    “Would the feminists here be opposed to a female privilege list that includes things like “As a [cis] female I am much less likely to be a victim of violent crime unrelated to sex”?”

    I don’t think so, but then we get into a discussion regarding privilege – can you, as the privileged person, call out the less-privileged person? I don’t think that’s really what unpacking privilege is about.

    to the mods – thanks for watching out for me, I know commenting on this thread particularly will get a little intense, I’ll watch my sanity points and duck out if things get wacky.

  44. Schala says:

    “I don’t think so, but then we get into a discussion regarding privilege – can you, as the privileged person, call out the less-privileged person? I don’t think that’s really what unpacking privilege is about.”

    Not sure what is meant there.

  45. aliarasthedaydreamer says:

    Kita: While I don’t want to follow this thread for too long, I’m not as sure as I once was that “privilege” is a meaningful concept in the gender domain. Both genders are granted certain advantages in their own domains. If a person wants to stray outside the domain of their assigned gender, they find themselves at a disadvantage. As I read more about the way gender works, I’m increasingly convinced that it’s an interlocking system that screws everyone, rather than a hierarchical one.

  46. AllSaintsDay says:

    @Skidd:

    I think you’re missing that this is directed at those feminists who use the concept of “male privilege” to minimize rape of men. In those cases, feminism is going backwards for men, not forwards.

    If you’re correctly interpreting the intent of this part of the post, then the FAQ

    For clarity and in order to succeed at our mission, here at NSWATM we do not use the following problematic shorthand:
    “Feminists” for “the subset of feminists who are misandrist or otherwise bad”

    is highly relevant.

  47. typhonblue says:

    @ Skidd

    “Would the feminists here be opposed to a female privilege list that includes things like “As a [cis] female I am much less likely to be a victim of violent crime unrelated to sex”?”

    If there is evidence that supports it that doesn’t suffer from methodological flaws. But then, what the hell does pointing out stuff like this do but make it ‘us versus them’.

    Why not create a ‘gender symmetry’ check list that points out how both sides are negatively impacted by a dynamic?

  48. AllSaintsDay says:

    @Kita

    I don’t think so, but then we get into a discussion regarding privilege – can you, as the privileged person, call out the less-privileged person? I don’t think that’s really what unpacking privilege is about.

    I could be wrong, but I feel like that’s contrary to the notions of this blog, especially given the description of privilege on the FAQ. Both women and men have (that kind of) privilege in various ways, and the important thing is to identify and correct for it, not to concern with who has more or who’s doing the identifying. (Sorry if I’m piling on again.)

  49. Skidd says:

    I don’t think so, but then we get into a discussion regarding privilege – can you, as the privileged person, call out the less-privileged person? I don’t think that’s really what unpacking privilege is about.

    Not sure if you’re aware I’m female (I pick a gender neutral handle on purpose), but that’s besides the point. By and large, I don’t believe in the concept of one-way oppression by males of females. If gender privilege exists, both males and females have oppressions and privileges. It’s not unidirectional. The system sucks for everyone.

  50. Jim says:

    “I don’t think so, but then we get into a discussion regarding privilege – can you, as the privileged person, call out the less-privileged person?’

    This is an important point (wrong i think) and it applies in many areas besides gender. “The” privileged person? “The” less-privileged person? How is a prvilege binary going to be any more valid than a gender binary or any other binary?

    Privilege is relative and that means it is going to be situational. White privilege exists, but it doesn’t exist in Tokyo, or in El Paso or Honolulu or even in LA for that matter, at least not in the same way as in exists at Harvard or Yale or on Wall Street. The same goes for gender privilege.

  51. Skidd says:

    If there is evidence that supports it that doesn’t suffer from methodological flaws. But then, what the hell does pointing out stuff like this do but make it ‘us versus them’.

    Why not create a ‘gender symmetry’ check list that points out how both sides are negatively impacted by a dynamic?

    True! I hate the battle of the sexes as much as anyone. I’m merely reflecting on a possible reverse of the original concept and wondering how women and/or feminists might view that data. I’ll admit, playing devil’s advocate from time to time is a thing for me. Heheh.

    I like the idea of the symmetry checklist a la Ozy’s Law. We all need to move away from this notion of one-way oppression and notice how things affect both groups. To take a line from that male privilege checklist, “As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters.” — while at the same time those boys are shunned if they prefer playing with dolls or dress-up.

    We need to examine how stereotypes affect everyone in both positive and negative.

  52. Glove says:

    Regarding Slutwalks, here’s the info on their UK Facebook page :

    “This group was set up in solidarity with our Canadian sisters after a Toronto police representative claimed women would stop getting raped if they “stopped dressing like sluts”. We believe this is wrong – the only thing that causes RAPE is RAPISTS.

    We want to claim back the word “slut”. We want to stop victims being blamed, and blaming themselves. We want to fight sexual stereotypes, and the stereotypes surrounding sexual assault. We’re ANGRY about the way the victims of sexual violence are treated and perceived and we want to change this dramatically.

    This is NOT about hate. We will not tolerate hatred of any sort – we want to use the word slut in a positive and empowering way. Sexual assault is not an issue that just concerns women, and we want all our male allies to know they can join us on our march. If you’re male, female, somewhere in between or nothing at all we need you.

    We will be marching in Birmingham in the next few months. Watch this space. We CAN change the perception of sluts and victims, and we WILL. ♥ ”

    jlandrith: “I take issue with the blatant minimization practiced by some in their discussions of Slutwalks, particularly on Twitter. It cannot be that hard to make a case for the movement without making it seem like male survivors have it easy compared to female survivors with regard to shaming. I get the clothing reference, but the Slutwalks were about ao much more than one asshole cop’s idiocy and far exceeded that initial statement.”

    Maybe, but I hope that if you were worried the movement as a whole was as messed up in its views as these Tweeters, that might allay your fears.

  53. superglucose says:

    Though I do have to say the worst thing isn’t “Men can’t be raped” but “Men aren’t raped” or the worst fucking paradigm at all: rapists are men.

    No, dear, rapists are rapists. One of my friends? *SHE* was raped by her *GIRL*friend. Saying that rapists are “men who” or ever hinting that “most” rapists are men or that rapists are men in any way gives women a free pass on rape. They can say “lawl it wasn’t rape ‘cuz I’m a woman.” Which is like the worst thing ever.

  54. Kita says:

    Regarding privilege: to me, it involves privileging one aspect of life over another. For example, if we’re referring to races, we’d say Caucasian was privileged over African-American in the US. If you believe there is such a thing as patriarchy, you have to believe that (overall, not in specific instances) men are privileged above women solely based on gender.

    I don’t want to go too far into it, as I don’t want to hijack this comment thread, Maybe another post on privilege is needed, or I’ll chime in on an open thread? Thanks for the discussion thus far.

  55. Daran says:

    Would the feminists here be opposed to a female privilege list that includes things like “As a [cis] female I am much less likely to be a victim of violent crime unrelated to sex”?

    There are already a plethora of such lists.

  56. kenshiroit says:

    I admit I find the GESY (Gender Symmetry) model much more plausible and realistic than the unidirectional model (witch actually doesent make much sence). More we digg, more we find similar suckage and “enjoyments”. So imo the traditional patriarchal idea is much more closer to a forced ideological leap, at least to some points.

    About male rape, beliving the traditional model (male super privilege) dismissing or erasing male victims as group (because of privilege) is a obbligatory step, since women are the oppressed and subjugated group logically they are the ones who are in need for help. Men, not that much.
    That’s the reason I despite the patriarchal model (IMO it is a ideological abomination) and I support any changes that is necessary to remove it.
    GESY (gender symmetry) is the right way, because all victims regarding gender, are equal, and all regarding group deserve help and support. And thats IMO is the only human way possible. I may be wrong tho.

  57. G says:

    @Emmeline

    I always felt that both male and female rape in fan-fiction/Literotica are part of sexual fantasy (Ravishment). I don’t know what “feminists” say that “it’s about revenge-Never happens anyway”. I’m not denying that any have said that (I have never come across them myself), but it’s clearly not where they should have taken the argument. As what they are saying suggests, they are clearly daft.

    Interestingly, Fan-fiction/Erotic lit. seems to be one of the few places that acknowledges that male rape is indeed possible.

  58. Gaius says:

    Important bits of information on rape:

    I cannot (regrettably) cite the source on this, but I recall reading once that most male rapists have great difficulty maintaining erections during the act of rape, and often have to pause to get themselves back up.

    Likewise, I also read a statistic (again, I can’t cite it) stating that over 90% of rapes are a product of either the desire to hurt someone, the desire to control someone, or the desire to take vengeance on someone.

    Let me repeat that: hurt; control; vengeance.

    Combine that with the statistics on male erection during rape, and it indicates that rape, in itself, is not sexually motivated.

    Rape fantasies are, generally, fantasies of loss of control in a sexual situation or rough sex. TO an extent, they ECHO rape, but they do not approach the violence of rape.

  59. superglucose says:

    Rape is not about sex. It’s about control, like Gaius said. Rape fantasies are *also* about control: specifically, the fantasy of raping someone is the fantasy about having complete control over the sexual encounter regardless of what your partner has to say… and the fantasy of being raped is the fantasy of having absolutely no control over the sexual encounter.

    Both fantasies are, in my opinion, entirely valid forms of sexual expression (and really are just an extreme form of S&M) as long as they are acted out between *consenting* individuals. This may sound contradictory but the word “fantasy” is important. To say that I am a rapist because I have that fantasy is to say that I am a murderer because I have played HALO… I’m also not *actually* a 4’8″ Tiefling necromancer from Thay who studied under Zass Tam… nor will I ever cast “Circle of Death” or “Magic Jar.”

    It’s an important distinction to make: that the fantasy is NOT CONNECTED with the actual event, and the vast majority of normal human beings are able to have a fantasy (be it rape, revenge, murder) without enacting on it

  60. Xakudo says:

    @Ozy:
    Awesome post. Thanks much.

    @Gaius:
    Those are very important points. Yes, rape is typically about control, hurt, etc.

    I believe there was also a study (or studies) done on the attitudes that rapists had about sex, and it found that people that view sex as a gender-oppositional thing and as a means of control in relationships are far more likely to be rapists. (If someone can find the study(ies) I’d be grateful–perhaps they are the same ones you are referencing, Gaius.)

    Honestly, that explains a lot of why women that intentionally use sex as an incentivising force to get their partners to do things have made me intensely uneasy in the past. They’re using sex as a means of control and power, which isn’t so far from the typical mindset of rapists. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it’s many of those same women that make up the population of female rapists (pending actual studies, of course).

    (To be clear, I am not at all talking about not wanting to have sex when you are upset with your partner. I’ve been there myself, and that’s perfectly normal and very healthy. I’m talking about people that intentionally and strategically use sex/withholding sex to manipulate their partners, and view that as normal and okay.)

  61. IDiom says:

    @superglucose, not to be too pedantic, but it’s Szass Tam, also using Charm Person/Monster or Dominate does not make anything consensual.

    But joking aside, I concur with you on every point you’ve made. Well said @Gaius and @superglucose.

  62. Jim says:

    Kita, I agree with that and I think we are really pretty much on the same page, based on the way you phrased that.

  63. Daran says:

    Hi Kita. I note that several other guests have responded to this comment in particular, and I’ve read of Ozy’s admonition above. Nevertheless, I beg you and her to induge me a shot, as I have some points to make which I don’t think have been addressed in the other replies.

    As a feminist, I think it’s interesting that you directed this “memo” to feminists, not just generally everyone. If there’s ANYONE who’s actually heard the “whataboutthemenz” arguments, it’s feminists. I feel like this is yet another attempt to get feminists to say OMG YES WE KNOW, MEN CAN BE RAPED, IT’S SUPEREVIL AND BAD, JUST LIKE THE RAPE OF WOMEN.

    Unfortunately saying “WE KNOW, MEN CAN BE RAPED…”, etc another time, or another hundred times, doesn’t solve the problem, if in the next breath the feminsts go right back to talking about rape as though only women were victims.

    Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. The topic is “Sexual Violence in Conflict”, yet male victims, who are up to half the total might as well not exist as far as this post is concerned.

    Acknowledging male victimisation when challenged to do so, doesn’t fix the problem, especially if the acknowlegement is a dismissive and condescending “yes, yes, PHMT…”. Setting up ghetto discussions about male rape, or even whole blogs, doesn’t fix the problem as long as male victims remain invisible outside the ghetto.

    I feel like this is important – that essentially, you’re bringing the same problem up over and over again to feminists, and often, when this argument is made, it’s not made in appropriate context, so it gets extremely tiring to have someone tell me AGAIN that I’m doing feminism ALL WRONG.

    It’s not my place to say whether or not you are doing feminism all wrong. You are doing gender-egalitarianism wrong if you perpetrate or accept a culture in which victims of one gender are visible, and victims of another are invisible. I don’t know you, so I can’t say for certain whether or not this is what you are or have been doing. But feminism, broadly, does do this, and the fact that you do not appear to see a problem is not a good sign.

    I did not write this comment to bash you, or denounce you. I don’t think you’re evil. The purpose of this comment is to explain the problem to you, in the hope that, as someone engaged in “advocating for victims of rape – wherever they may fall along the gender continuum”, you will make sure that those victims who, because of their gender are typically excluded and erased in the general advocacy for rape victims are visibly included in yours. (Visibility is important. You might know that by “rape victims” you mean to include men, but if you don’t make it clear to those you are talking to, they have no way of knowing.) If you are prepared to go further, and challenge the exclusion and erasure of male victims in the advocacy of others, then you will be a true ally indeed.

  64. Danny says:

    P.S. Commentariat, you are allowed to criticize feminists on this thread. Run wild.

    Oh no I’m going to give them the benefit of that doubt. I want to work on my Ahabing (yes I refuse to call it Moby Dicking). But first…..

    fannie:

    Just seems cheap and easy to bash Teh Feminists when, like, 93% of the rest of non-feminist society thinks that rape is primarily a women’s problem. I hope a memo goes out to them too.

    It doesn’t seem that cheap when Teh Feminists are the ones that regularly claim to be The Ones that are fighting for equality for all people. How can you fight for equality for all people when you start off ignoring almost half of all people? And besides they don’t seem to have any problem pointing out how rape harms women so why do they have such a hard time even acknowledging that it harms men? You’d think that The Ones that are fighting for equality for all people would be able to manage that. Hell I’d be fine if they just never spoke of it (when with their claims of being The Ones I’d still let them pass on the grounds of “Yes it happens but we aren’t talking about that.”). But to actively downplay it? That’s just dirty.

    Now that that’s out of the system….

    I’d like to add something else to this:

    When you discuss male privilege, stop saying “men are overwhelmingly less likely to be raped,” “men don’t have to deal with disbelief of their rapes” or, God forbid, “men can’t be raped.”

    I’d also like to add that they should be mindful of their usage of “With the exception of prison rape…” (which if I’m not mistaken is used in a lot of male privilege checklists).

    superglucose:

    Rape is not about sex. It’s about control, like Gaius said.

    I’ll agree with that. The thing is no matter how sexually liberated we are as a society sex is still a very personal, intimate act. Sure you have people who have no problem having sex for audiences of having their sex recorded and sold but most people still like to keep their sexual business to themselves. And that is a big part of what rapists are after. They want to violate their victim in one of the most intimate and personal ways possible.

    While there is some “I want to have sex with you whether you want to or not.” in the mind of a rapist I think there is a lot of “I am going exercise my control over you by violating you in one of the worst ways possible and there’s nothing you can do about it.” in that rapist’s mind as well. And one of the worst ways possible to violate someone is to force them to perform an act that holds a very personal and private meaning to them. (Even if the victim in question were a porn star that has had sex with hundreds of people it would still be a horrific violation because unlike those hundreds of people who were consensual partners that rapist is not a consensual partner.)

    But speaking of male rape victims can someone help me out with this?

    11. How important an issue is the rape and sexual abuse of adult men by women?

    Why: Excluding pedophilia and homosexual rape, both of which are clearly important issues, how frequent and important is female on male sexual abuse? Some men’s rights groups would have us believe that whenever we talk about the rape of women we should include the rape of men equally.

    My Take: Every act of sexual violence is to be taken seriously. But this idea that somehow in heterosexual gender wars that discussion of rape of men by women should get equal time is just fricking insane. The numbers are not equal. Rape is predominately an issue where men rape women. That does not mean all men are rapists or should be treated as such. It does mean that, as men, we need to step up to figure out why other men rape women.

    How in the world does “how important of an issue is the rape and sexual abuse of adult men by women?” end with “we need to step to figure out why other men rape women”? And this is on a site about men where this is happening.

  65. G says:

    @Gaius and @Superglucose

    I’m not so sure if those are directed at me-since I initially brought up rape/ravishment in Erotic Lit. But, yes, I know that.
    I was responding to this supposed debate posted by Emmeline (one of the first 5 comments)—> “why is it that men getting raped in fanfiction a kink but women getting hurt a squick?”
    I would have answered neither is “squicky” since they are both part of Ravishment fantasy.

  66. superglucose says:

    @G: I’m just bringing it up in general. Personally, I have both fantasies and am slowly coming to the realization that I’ll only ever have the opportunity to enact one of them (the one where *I* am the victim).

    @Idiom, incidentally I banned Enchantment and Abjuration since I figured it would make sense for her master (not Szass initially) wouldn’t want her to have access to Dominate/Charm effects nor the magical ability to resist them. She travels in the company of Drow and finds their cruelties… tame and uninspired. “Oh, you kill any man who doesn’t bow to a woman? *Yawn.* Get back to me when your master forces you to kill your own familiar just to see if you lose your magical abilities.”

  67. superglucose says:

    @G (again) also the only eroticisms I find truly “squicky” are those that involve mutilation or fecal matter. I’m pretty much up for anything else, though would *prefer* to avoid major pain.

  68. AllSaintsDay says:

    On the “rape is about power/control” thing, I have to say that I feel (with no hard evidence to back it up) that it may be true for conventional rape, but not for modern definitions of rape. If someone is coercing a significant other into sex, I have a hard time seeing it as being about hurt/control/vengeance. Or if it is, it’s about “control” for the purposes of “I want to control my getting laid,” a la “The War Between the States was about states’ rights.” where only one right was worth seceding for.

  69. AllSaintsDay says:

    (Just in case it’s unclear, by “conventional rape,” I mean “conventional definitions of rape.”)

  70. Cheradenine says:

    @AllSaintsDay, according to Hines’ Predictors of Sexual Coercion Against Women and Men: A Multilevel, Multinational Study of University Students, gender hostility is a significant factor in predicting rape within the context of existing relationships, suggesting that your gut instinct, while a reasonable guess many people would make, might not in fact be accurate:

    Participants included 7,667 university students from 38 sites. Results showed that the relative status of women at each site predicted significant differences in levels of sexual victimization for men, in that the greater the status of women, the higher the level of forced sex against men. In addition, differences in adversarial sexual beliefs across sites significantly predicted both forced and verbal sexual coercion for both genders, such that greater levels of hostility towards women at a site predicted higher levels of forced and verbal coercion against women and greater levels of hostility towards men at a site predicted higher levels of forced and verbal coercion against men. Finally, sexual revictimization occurred for both genders and across all sites, suggesting that sexual revictimization is a cross-gender, cross-cultural phenomenon.

  71. AllSaintsDay says:

    That’s fair enough. I wasn’t trying to say NO UR WRONG, but just that my personal perception combined with the history of rape studies to only count, like, RAPE rape (gag) made me guess that. The abstract still makes me dubious, but I’ll have to read it to see.

  72. superglucose says:

    I wanted to add a definition about a rapist knowing that he or she was in fact a rapist… but then I realized I don’t know if that’s the case or not. I think there are definitely cases of people who rape others simply by not knowing better… as weird as that sounds. Not many, for sure, but my current gf had been raped because though she repeatedly said “no” she eventually gave in and said “yes” every single time. Her boyfriend at the time *may not realize what a douche he was being.* Similarly my first girlfriend was asked to give her bf at the time a handjob, and though she said she didn’t want to, she did anyways. When he asked if he could finger her, she didn’t say “no” though she wanted to, she said “yes.” Then she resented him for it.

    This isn’t to excuse the actions of either (though truth be told, I find no fault in the guy in the second anecdote: the girl said “yes” and the guy acted accordingly, pretty much all you can do as a guy is assume that the girl means “yes” when she says “yes.” It’s like prosecuting statutory rape if the minor claimed to be over 18 in an establishment only open to over 18… do I really need to check the ID of everyone I’m having sex with to verify their age? What if it’s a fake ID? This is only in reference to some stupid-as-fuck billboards around my city that said “She said she was 18 is not a defense!”) but it’s just food for thought. Can we really blame someone for doing wrong if they don’t even realize they’re doing wrong?

    It all gets stuck in my head and I’ll admit I don’t want to think about the times that I’ve had sex with someone where maybe they didn’t want to but I was very persuasive and said the right thing and is that rape? Just the very thought of it makes me all depressed, makes me feel dirty, and want to go dump a toaster in the bathtub.

    And then there’s the question of what exactly *is* coercion. Isn’t a relationship largely coercion at first? Isn’t it convincing someone that they should date you? Is that rape? What if you convince them that they actually want to have sex with you without threatening? What about prostitutes… you’re offering them money, wouldn’t that be rape by coercion?

    I think that society has a *long* way to go before it’s ready to deal with rape, and I think that’s really, really, really unfortunate. I would much rather if the people (mainly feminists) dealing with rape and education tossed aside the negative (and therefore inefficient) method of teaching. “Fathers, teach your sons to not rape!” How about instead, “Parents, teach your children that everyone has boundaries and that boundaries are to be respected. Teach your children that they should expect and anticipate their own boundaries to be expected much as they must respect other’s boundaries as well.”

    I feel like specifically with rape, there will *always* be that percentage of society: the sociopaths and the psycopaths who just need to hurt someone. I don’t think we’ll make any headway fighting that group (nor do I think anyone thinks that group is even remotely acceptable). But the rest of the rapists out there *probably are not bad people* and just need to be educated as to how good people behave.

    On the men’s side of things, I think that the first step is redefining “manly.” To start that, how about manly men are respectful, dignified, and have integrity?

  73. typhonblue says:

    @ Danny (quoting a feminist site on rape)

    “It does mean that, as men, we need to step up to figure out why other men rape women.”

    Has that guy considered that maybe there is a connection between the sexual abuse of men and the (relatively few) men who go on to sexually abuse women?

    To be honest I’m a little suspicious of some male anti-rape activist’s motives regarding their advocacy. Often they sound more like they’re interested in maintaining their ‘saving-the-damsel-in-distress’ fantasy then educating themselves about the statistics and the dynamics.

    A large amount of adult rapists of women reported having been victimized as teens by adult women. To me that’s not surprising. I believe that rape is a *learned* behavior and the required ingredients include a gross violation of personal boundaries, a society that marginalizes and ignores male victims of sexual assault, a society that promotes the idea of hyper-agency in men–in this case a man who responds to being victimized with aggression is more manly then one who responds with self-reflection and an acknowledgement of vulnerability.

    “Finally, there is an alarmingly high rate of sexual abuse by females in the backgrounds of rapists, sex offenders and sexually aggressive men – 59% (Petrovich and Templer, 1984), 66% (Groth, 1979) and 80% (Briere and Smiljanich, 1993). A strong case for the need to identify female perpetrators can be found in Table 4, which presents the findings from a study of adolescent sex offenders by O’Brien (1989). Male adolescent sex offenders abused by “females only” chose female victims almost exclusively.”

    http://www.canadiancrc.com/Female_Sex_Offenders-Female_Sexual_Predators_awareness.aspx

    @ superglucose

    “Just the very thought of it makes me all depressed, makes me feel dirty, and want to go dump a toaster in the bathtub.”

    I’m of the opinion that a normal, healthy human being reacts to being told/accused of/feeling like they are a ‘rapist’ with a lot of the same emotional damage as sexual abuse creates. That’s why, IMHO, these ‘men can end rape’ and ‘men are responsible for rape’ and ‘all men would rape if they could’ etc. memes that make men take disproportionate responsibility for the sexual abuse in society (absent any solid evidence that this is even accurate) is monstrous and ugly. It’s, literally, sexual abuse in and of itself.

    “On the men’s side of things, I think that the first step is redefining “manly.” To start that, how about manly men are respectful, dignified, and have integrity?”

    I think that the best step to take for men is to stop defining ‘manhood’ via super-agency. And start developing the idea that masculinity isn’t something that can be revoked if a man is vulnerable.

  74. ozymandias42 says:

    Superglucose, I think everyone (or a very significant percentage of people, at least) has cases in their sexual past in which they did not pay as much attention to consent as they should. I certainly do. It’s because rape-culture narratives that devalue the importance of consent show up a lot more in our culture than respectful views of boundaries and negotiation, so a lot of people end up doing things that are consensually dubious. The solution here is not to beat up yourself, the solution here is to fight the rape culture. 🙂 This is, of course, much more easily said than done…

    Typhon, I’ve seen those stats too, and they’re shocking. It seems like an infinite loop of rape… some people who were abused go on to abuse. I hope someone comes up with an appropriate treatment. 😦

    One quibble: it’s not really a “small percentage” of men… Lisak found that 6% of men will admit to forcing women into sex in anonymous surveys. That’s almost ten percent, which is not small.

  75. G says:

    @superglucose

    Cool! I also have the fantasy of being both the victim and the…”ravisher”. I’ve been fortunate enough to try both with the same guy. I hope you find someone willing to let you try out your full fantasy one day too. This will sound strange–I prefer being in total control but I’m better at being the “victim”<—Yeah, I know…WTH does that mean? It simply means acting it out comes hard for someone like me. I'm not the type of person most people would perceive to have this type of sexual fantasy. I'm actually rather mousy-so it's hard for my partner to take me seriously when I get to have my way with him.
    Also yeah, Scat and Snuff are very disturbing and squicky to me. I understand where it comes from within BDSM-I just avoid it at all costs.
    (Also-Sorry if this is derailing!)

  76. Xakudo says:

    @Ozy:

    Lisak found that 6% of men will admit to forcing women into sex in anonymous surveys. That’s almost ten percent, which is not small.

    Can we say that 60% is almost 100%, then? 😉

    I agree that 6% is larger than one might expect. But that’s 1 in 16-17 men, whereas 10% is 1 in 10 men. A significant difference.

  77. typhonblue says:

    @ Ozy

    “One quibble: it’s not really a “small percentage” of men… Lisak found that 6% of men will admit to forcing women into sex in anonymous surveys. That’s almost ten percent, which is not small.”

    Did they think to ask women?

  78. aliarasthedaydreamer says:

    @typhonblue: Yeah, it’s a pretty well-understood phenomenon that most people who are violent have in the past been the victim of sustained violence, for both genders. It’s one of the huge reasons that anti-rape and anti-bullying activism are important

  79. G says:

    I’m just going to throw this out there.

    We exist in a society where the majority of the human populace are women-but language and sentence structure still treats women as an exception to the norm (As far as I know English does…) Rape survivor spaces are a rare exception. Food for thought, It doesn’t seem that anyone likes to treated this way.
    It bugs me when I visit sites about rape (feminist sites or otherwise) and it phrases everything as if only women get raped by men. I am not sure what the numbers are concerning male rape victims by females/males or females raped by other females. But I think the language and the dialogue on these sites should become more inclusive. If feminists fight for gender neutral language, I think they should practice what they preach.

  80. typhonblue says:

    @ G

    “We exist in a society where the majority of the human populace are women-but language and sentence structure still treats women as an exception to the norm (As far as I know English does…)”

    The linguistic roots of Man are gender neutral. Men used to be werman and women wifman. But somewhere along the way men lost their ‘uniqueness’ and became generalized. You could see a number of implications in that, some of them very unpleasant for men.

    ” I am not sure what the numbers are concerning male rape victims by females/males or females raped by other females.”

    Here are some stats that are at least evocative if not definitive:

    * Almost 3% of men reported forced sex and 22% reported verbal coercion in a romantic relationship in the last year. Almost 2.3% of women reported forced sex and 25% reported verbal coercion. From: Predictors of Sexual Coersion. http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID45-PR45.pdf

    * 95% of sexually abused youth in correctional facilities reported being abused by female staff. From Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities, 2008-09 http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/svjfry09.pdf

    * Among inmates reporting staff sexual misconduct, ~ 65% reported a female aggressor. From Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2008-09 http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri0809.pdf

    * 50% of homeless youth reported being sexually abused by a female. From It’s Not What You Think: Sexually Exploited Youth in British Columbia http://www.nursing.ubc.ca/PDFs/ItsNotWhatYouThink.pdf

    From the report on inmates, here are a few highlights:

    * Female inmates in prison (4.7%) or jail (3.1%) were more than twice as likely as male inmates in prison (1.9%) or jail (1.3%) to report experiencing inmate- on-inmate sexual victimization.

    * Sexual activity with facility staff was reported by 2.9% of male prisoners and 2.1% of male jail inmates, compared to 2.1% of female prisoners and 1.5% of female jail inmates.

  81. Danny says:

    TB:
    Has that guy considered that maybe there is a connection between the sexual abuse of men and the (relatively few) men who go on to sexually abuse women?
    Considering that most people don’t my money says no. For some reason when a guy is raped (as a child or an adult) no one cares. Whether they think he “got lucky” or “its not as bad as what happens to women/girls who are raped” or something else I”m not sure but it just doesn’t register as a serious problem.

    Oh but rest assured that guy goes on to develop feelings of hate and resentment towards women and rapes one out of some twisted sense of balance or revenge THEN all of a sudden people care and will find every excuse they can scrape up to avoid actually trying to find out why they did it. Entitlement, male privilege, misogyny, etc… anything that lets them avoid looking for and confronting the real cause and continue on their rants about patriarchy and whatnot.

  82. G says:

    @typhonblue
    I’m slow tonight, I’m not drawing any distinct unpleasant implications. If you don’t mind my asking, what do you think that implies?
    And thank you for the stats. It seems prevalent enough of a problem to not be disregarded as it stands.

  83. typhonblue says:

    @ Danny

    “Oh but rest assured that guy goes on to develop feelings of hate and resentment towards women and rapes one out of some twisted sense of balance or revenge THEN all of a sudden people care and will find every excuse they can scrape up to avoid actually trying to find out why they did it.”

    Again, it’s that agent/object dichotomy. It’s extremely difficult for people to conceive of men being acted upon instead of acting.

    This socialization is very beneficial to men when it comes to inventing new branches of knowledge, music, writing, understanding calculus and anything else that requires gobs and gobs of agency. Also beneficial in terms of everyday happiness and taking charge of your life to achieve it which requires moderate agency. Not very beneficial when it comes to dealing with being made a victim of someone else.

  84. typhonblue says:

    @ G

    “I’m slow tonight, I’m not drawing any distinct unpleasant implications.”

    That men lost their specialness or an identity unique to them and became generic.

    Which might start to explain the origin (or maybe it was a symptom?) of heroic masculinity or the association between hyper-agency and masculinity.

    Men have to *do* something to earn an identity unique to them. Maleness is replaced with doingness.

  85. G says:

    @Danny

    If I may but in…

    “Oh but rest assured that guy goes on to develop feelings of hate and resentment towards women and rapes one out of some twisted sense of balance or revenge…”
    “Entitlement, male privilege, misogyny, etc… anything that lets them avoid looking for and confronting the real cause…”
    …That seems like the real cause to me…Not particularly male privilege, but it is a sense of entitlement and it is definitely misogyny.

  86. Jared says:

    It seems pretty obvious that people abuse members of the same gender as them sexually, physically and emotionally, a lot. This kind of puts paid to the notion of creating a “safe space” for women by creating female only areas.

    All other situations aside, it makes me see red when I hear of DV shelters will not provide refuge for the teenage sons of battered women. Even when they “organise alternative lodgings” they’re splitting up an already traumatised family and denying a young boy support at a time he probably needs it the most for no gain. Hell, it actually makes those families more vulnerable to predators within the shelter system.

  87. Danny says:

    G:
    …That seems like the real cause to me…Not particularly male privilege, but it is a sense of entitlement and it is definitely misogyny.
    And are we going to pretend that those feelings of entitlement and misogyny just came from nowhere? Sure in a lot of cases its a matter of upbringing but bear in mind a lot of men who are rapists/sex abusers reported they themselves were victims of similar crimes.

    Sure we can pretend that its the sense of entitlement and some manner of misogyny that led to them committing those crimes but wouldn’t it also be worthwhile to pay some attention to the notion that maybe if they weren’t victimized in the first place (which would require taking sex crimes against males seriously) or at least said male victims had networks of support to work their way through the pain/trauma of what happened then maybe they wouldn’t commit those future crimes against women?

    What I’m trying to get at is that it does no good to blatantly ignore sex crimes against males but then all of a sudden get all outraged and up in arms when those males attack women/girls later on.

  88. Darque says:

    I think it’s appropriate to get outraged and up in arms when anyone attacks anyone. The problem is not that some people are getting outraged over women getting raped, it’s that some people are not having a similar reaction when it comes to men.

    You probably already agree with me Danny, but: I figured I’d just post this because I feel strongly that no matter how badly someone has been treated, it never justifies their mistreatment of others.

  89. Danny says:

    Thanks for the clarification Darque.

    To put it shortly when little Johnny was raped by Aunt Sarah no one believed him and no one helped him. But when he grew resentful and came to hate women and raped Susan later on in life some of the very same people that didn’t listen to him when he was raped by Aunt Sarah before are leading the charge against him raping Susan.

    Maybe if they had cared about Johnny then as they care about Susan now they might have provided him with the proper networks of support and actually prevented what Johnny did to Susan later in life.

    Bear in mind what I’m proposing here isn’t going to cause rapes to suddenly drop to 0 overnight but I think it would help a lot.

  90. G says:

    @Danny
    Searching for a sense of balance (by involving innocent others) and actively searching revenge is an example of entitlement. And “hate and resentment towards women” is the very definition of misogyny.

    “Sure we can pretend that its the sense of entitlement and some manner of misogyny that led to them committing those crimes…”
    …That is exactly what happened though…It’s not pretending. Read what you wrote over again.
    “…but wouldn’t it also be worthwhile to pay some attention to the notion that maybe if they weren’t victimized in the first place (which would require taking sex crimes against males seriously) or at least said male victims had networks of support to work their way through the pain/trauma of what happened then maybe they wouldn’t commit those future crimes against women?”
    I believe most people who commit crimes do so because they feel that have justifiable reasons (from Illegal Immigration to people who hustle drugs or mug others to Hitler). The scenario you are putting forward is credible-but it’s not a unique instance of psychological criminal behavior. People act in ways that they feel are right even if it seems obviously wrong to the rest of us. So what I mean is that we can extend that train of thought to all criminal behavior. Misogyny is misogyny, even if he had a “justifiable” reason to be a misogynist.

    I’m in agreement with you that male survivors should not be ignored…But I disagree with this notion that a victim of rape should not incite outrage when they go on to rape or abuse others.

  91. G says:

    “Bear in mind what I’m proposing here isn’t going to cause rapes to suddenly drop to 0 overnight but I think it would help a lot.”

    Okay, agreed…

  92. 6%… which is almost 10%… which is almost 14%… which is…

    Howbout it’s just six-fucking-percent?

    It does go the other way too… the trans population that is anywhere from 1-5% depending on definition and willingness to present becomes less than a tenth of a percent with some fiddling.

    Numbers matter… percentages when fiddled by a point one way or another become millions.

  93. @Danny

    You raise an interesting point on the resentment and cycle of violence bred by denying survivors access to networks of support… being a survivor who was gendered male by the general public at the time of her assault, I know what you mean.

  94. f. says:

    @Danny, as far as I have been given to understand many people who are abused later end up victimizing others. I’m not sure exactly what our society is supposed to do, besides try to end as many cycles of abuse as possible, right where they are now.

    There’s also this whole interesting theory about how people who have survived abusive relationships are often only capable of seeing the world in terms of the “roles” of abuser, victim and rescuer: http://psychcentral.com/library/id88.html I consider the ideas contained within to be fairly flawed (especially the idea that each role contains a seed of useful, constructive action one can take…) but when it comes to cycles of abuse I think it can be helpful to consider how and why people might shift from victim to perpetrator.

  95. Tamen says:

    G:

    But I disagree with this notion that a victim of rape should not incite outrage when they go on to rape or abuse others.

    Who exactly have put forward this notion here? Pointing out the hypocrisy of people ignoring/denying male victimization and the same people being very vocal about female victimization and pointing out the possibility that actually doing something for the male victims may reduce their resentment which by human nature can be cast to wide can only be good for all parties and this is in no way like arguing that we should stop caring about female victims! Why do so many people think this is binary?

    Danny: From your comment:

    How in the world does “how important of an issue is the rape and sexual abuse of adult men by women?” end with “we need to step to figure out why other men rape women”? And this is on a site about men where this is happening.

    My theory is that this happened because the writer know that they are supposed to care about male victims, but they are unable to actually empathise with male victims – at least not empathise near enough as much as they empathise with female victims.

  96. CG says:

    I’ve been lurking round here for a while; I don’t usually comment and a post this personal is difficult, so be nice. However, I have mixed feelings about this; because I can’t speak for the US, but at least in the UK, the legal definition of rape IS penetration. Now I think the law is an absolute disgrace and should be changed. But until it is, I am slightly uncomfortable with telling men that they have been raped, rather than sexually assaulted (which they *legally* have been), simply because as a survivor (of assault, not rape), I felt so much safer and more secure once I understood exactly, legally, what had happened to me. Even if it wasn’t the validation that what happened to me was awful (I knew it was awful. I didn’t need to be told.), I had at least the sense that I knew where I stood. I think I’d feel the same way about telling a woman she’d been raped within a marriage before 1991 (again, in the UK): she needs to know that you think she has, but she also does need to know that legally, she hasn’t – because the confusion felt over how to classify one’s experience is real and people should be told how it is classified by the state – and I don’t really know how I would balance telling someone those two things, but I do think it needs to be done.

  97. Zyzle says:

    Slightly OT but it does put me in mind of a Guardian article from a few months back about wartime sexual violence against men.

    [Trigger warning; very graphic survivor accounts]
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/17/the-rape-of-men

    What struck (frankly horrified) me most about this is the way the aid agencies down-play the violence against men;

    Dolan points to a November 2006 UN report that followed an international conference on sexual violence in this area of East Africa.

    “I know for a fact that the people behind the report insisted the definition of rape be restricted to women,” he says

    and
    Her study cites a review of 4,076 NGOs that have addressed wartime sexual violence. Only 3% of them mentioned the experience of men in their literature. “Typically,” Stemple says, “as a passing reference.”

  98. f. says:

    @Tamen, people of all genders having a strong concept of how consent works is pretty much how we are going to get to rape being rarer, I think. And if someone’s “no” has been ignored, and they haven’t been able to work through that, I believe it’s quite possible they may go on to mistreat other people.

    Needless to say, this statement is gender neutral… if a woman believes that she doesn’t have the right to say no when she was drunk, for example, she might think the same thing when she takes advantage of a male friend who is incapacitated. And the cycle goes on.

  99. superglucose says:

    @G,

    You’re a lucky girl 😦 The girl I’m with now has too many trigger issues with regards to that to really do anything about it and I’m really uncomfortable as to how I’m supposed to ask someone to let me “rape” them 😛 I’m just hoping that some day I’ll let her take me totally and utterly 😀 Plus I’m not going to lie that it’s easy to take a girl seriously if she’s gonna make me do things. I like when women take charge in bed… not every time but yeah definitely some (or most) of the time 😀

  100. superglucose says:

    Oh also if you wanted to continue this conversation you can totally email me… it’s my display name @gmail.com

  101. Tamen says:

    f:
    Exactly, it is gender neutral.The increasing problem which I see as emerging in the studies Typhonblue has mentioned is I believe caused by women’s increase in sexual agency and sexual assertivness (which in itself is a good thing mind you) have come without any emphasis on women’s responsibilities towards ensuring consent from their partner. This of course translates into increasing rates of women victimizing men.

    A good examples of this is the one-sidedness of the discourse around consent and alcohol – the only thing women and men learned from that was that men shouldn’t take advantage of women who are too drunk to give meaningful consent. And important lesson indeed, but the opposite situation were just not mentioned or even cast aside as “impossible” for a wide range of reasons. Women not learning and being told this will have a higher risk of raping men than women who have heard and learned this. And, no, women by large don’t already know this, because they’ve been told it’s “Impossible”.

    I personally don’t consider any woman who are dismissive of men raped by women to be safe.

  102. Tamen says:

    I just wanted to clarify one point. The last sentence is about the notion/concept, not about for instance any one particular allegation.

  103. noahbrand says:

    Based on some of the comments I’m seeing here, I have a question:

    If I were to do a post about the tricky emotional and gender issues involved in erotic fantasies or role-plays involving nonconsent, who here would enjoy or be comfortable commenting on it or participating in a conversation about it?

  104. elementary_watson says:

    The thing about Danny’s point was, as far as I understand it, that men who were sexually violated as kids, don’t get any help to work on their traumata and then later become rapists themselves is that their deeds aren’t fueled by *society* telling them that it is okay to be a misogynist or feel entitled to sex, but by their own *individual* experiences no one cared about. A man who hates all women because he was sexually abused by some as a child is *not* evidence that society/men in general hate women, with the rapist just displaying a more extreme degree of that tendency than other men.

    I would also like to make a guess: That the subcultures where female consent to sex with a man is seen as very negotiable are more narrow than the subcultures where male consent to sex with a woman is extremely negotiable, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the correlation between former abuse and a tendency to ignore other people’s sexual boundaries is weaker for women than for men.

  105. Hugh Ristik says:

    There have been some studies that ask women about sexual coercion towards men, like this one on a German sample:

    Almost 1 in 10 respondents (9.3%) reported having used aggressive strategies to coerce a man into sexual activities. Exploitation of the man’s incapacitated state was used most frequently (5.6%), followed by verbal pressure (3.2%) and physical force (2%). An additional 5.4% reported attempted acts of sexual aggression. Sexual abuse in childhood, ambiguous communication of sexual intentions, high levels of sexual activity, and peer pressure toward sexual activity were linked to an increased likelihood of sexual aggression. (full text)

    So, 1 in 50 women in this sample reported physically forcing men into sex, while 6% took advantage of intoxicated men. That’s not dramatically different from the findings on men (though of course, the studies are on different populations, and we really need a study comparing men’s and women’s attitudes in the same population).

  106. f. says:

    @Tamen, I think that’s exactly right. I also wonder how to deal with the fact that many men don’t have the cultural scripts to articulate sexual assault against them as “kind of a weird night” or things like that. Clearly everyone has a right to define their own experiences, but I sometimes get the distinct feeling that a few men I know don’t know how to talk about these things without turning them into a “hilarious joke” about that time they met a particularly sexually aggressive woman, or something. Our whole language around this issue is incredibly stunted and overly gendered in ways that have nothing to do with reality.

    @Noah, I’d be comfortable with the type of discussion you are talking about, but I doubt I’d be particularly insightful as that issue is not really “complicated” for me. I’d be interested in knowing why it’s complicated for others, though!

  107. f. says:

    Oh and Tamen, I completely agree that anyone who is dismissive of rape victims, male or female, has a huge red flashing “AVOID” sign above their head from the time I hear the remark. Men are not as socialized to assess women as potential predators, as vice versa, but I do imagine female rapists use some of the same strategies male rapists do: Plying victims with alcohol or seeking out someone who is already too drunk to resist, offering to help someone get home and then taking advantage of them, trying to make it seem as if they are owed sex, etc.

  108. Zyzle says:

    @noah I think that would be very interesting. My personal take on this (I’m vastly over simplifying for the sake brevity) is that there is no such thing as “thought crime” and just because someone fantasises/role-plays about certain sex acts (I don’t think this limits to non-consensual acts) doesn’t mean they would (or even be willing) to actually engage in them.

  109. elementary_watson says:

    @f. I’m not sure most female rapists (if we take the feminist definition “sex without consent”) really have strategies about how they commit those rapes; my guess is that most rapes by females happen because of the thought process “well, I’m feeling lonely/horny/tipsy/bored right now, so this guy’s getting lucky,” with no thought about whether the guy in question wants to “get lucky” or not (and ignoring/dismissing the guy’s “no”, if he initially does refuse the sex).

  110. Clarence says:

    Ahh, the old “plying victims with alcohol” trope.
    Tell me, are they forced to drink it?

    Taken to extremes, this kind of stuff asserts that serving a guest a glass of wine at dinner voids consent. It also can lead to situations where an inebriated person practically throws themselves on someone else and yet is absolved of responsibility for their actions if the other person is not equally as inebriated.

    There’s a few brightline rules:
    A. Don’t give someone alcohol or drugs without their consent or knowledge
    B. Don’t mess sexually with someone who is passed out

    But beyond that, however scummy it may be, it isn’t rape.

  111. f. says:

    @Tamen, I’m not so sure about that. I’m sure that female rapists use the things you’re saying to justify their actions, definitely. But I would be awfully surprised if there weren’t a small population of female repeat offenders, analagous to the male ones discussed in research by people like Lisak. People who wouldn’t say “I’ve committed rape” but who will answer questions about committing nonconsensual acts with “yes”. Sure, there is some reason in their minds that what they’re doing is not rape and they’re not rapists, but they can articulately describe what they are up to and what patterns they follow.

    @Clarence, whatever… “Plying someone with alcohol” is for me a “I know it when I see it” type of thing. You can take the idea in an absurd direction if you like. But I’ve seen men do it to women and vice versa. As a bartender, I have an eye out for that type of behavior. It is distinct from serving someone a glass of wine with dinner. That’s all I have to say about it because I’d rather not get off topic.

  112. Tamen says:

    No, I for one don’t intend to have a “blood alcohol content” scale where the one with the highest blood alcohol content is the victim.

    Someone inebriated who throws themselves on someone else are not a victim of anything else than poor judgment and they may indeed end up being perpetrators themselves.

    Don’t mess sexually with someone who is passed out is an absolute standard which should be and in most if not all places are against the law. But I believe there is a period before passed out where one is unable to give meaningful consent. When the person is lethargic, can barely move and only utters guttural noises are one example where the person is not passed out, but I would assume that they are not able to give meaningful consent. How much one chooses to err on the safe side here is a matter of personal ethics and even though I don’t want to set a level outside passed out as a legal standard I will argue that people ought to have a higher ethical standard on this.

  113. Clarence says:

    Memo to the feminist movement:
    It’s not good PR to have the leader of the largest shelter and feminist group in Sweden be a downright misandrist:

    http://forrettindafeminismi.wordpress.com/
    “cc” to get the English language translation. And the second documentary is more damning than the first.

  114. Clarence says:

    f:
    Just like “pornography” is “you know it when you see it”, right?
    I presume then, you monitor everyone’s drinking?

  115. Tamen says:

    f:

    Sure, there is some reason in their minds that what they’re doing is not rape and they’re not rapists, but they can articulately describe what they are up to and what patterns they follow.

    Of course, any sentient being can recount what actions they do and what they think their motivations are. What is lacking is any social narrative telling them that what they do are morally wrong.

  116. f. says:

    @Clarence, monitoring everyone’s drinking and making the occasional decision as to when someone has had enough is part of the job. That’s why they pay me the big bucks (ahem, not really). It’s also why the owner specifically prefers for us to open a tab for each customer, so there is a tally of what they’ve had to drink. If there is a thread about alcohol and sex I would be happy to elaborate on some of the situations I’ve observed.

    @Tamen, that’s what I meant – rape between any genders is, in my opinion, not often the result of misunderstandings about consent. It’s that for whatever reason, someone feels justified in ignoring nonconsent. Narratives like “men always want it” are rape apology, which actual rapists use as apologetics for their actions. I think we are basically in agreement on this…

  117. SpudTater says:

    @Clarence: enough with the hostility. Plying with alcohol is a well-established rapist tactic, and I’d trust f’s experiences as a bartender in spotting the subtle difference between this and mere generosity.

    I understand that you want simple rules for when something is and is not rape, but unfortunately there will always be shades of grey. Laying down boundaries like you do above only invites serial rapists to take advantage of technicalities in order to get away with what they do. “Oh, I didn’t rape him — I never forced him to drink anything I put in front of him, and he was still conscious when I had sex with him” might be technically accurate, but to me that sounds like rape.

    This is why we have juries, and not just a system of ever-more-intricate laws. At some point, it just comes down to a judgement call.

  118. debaser71 says:

    Rape culture?

    And don’t send me to ff101.

  119. f. says:

    Oh, also I don’t know if Cheradenine is still reading, but dude, you are a research machine. Thanks for bringing up relevant studies. I personally always find them very helpful.

  120. Tamen says:

    debaser71: Ozymandias gave this definition in a comment on that Shakespear post:

    “the bunch of cultural attitudes that tend to lead to Western culture’s astonishingly high rate of rape of people of all genders.”

    Which is a gender neutral term definition. I tend to see it as the set of attitudes which increases the risk of rape. Examples are: The expectation that women who lead a man on is obligated to put out, the expectation that no man will ever turn down sex and so on.

  121. Cheradenine says:

    f., thanks! But to be fair, the credit should probably be shared out amongst a lot of contributors. Sometimes (especially if I’m writing an article) I do go out and research, but, a lot of the time I just keep an eye out for people posting links, like typhonblue or Hugh did above, and then I file them away for future reference. I’m not sure, but I think I first found Hines’ study via one of the FC crew.

  122. Credit says:

    “the bunch of cultural attitudes that tend to lead to Western culture’s astonishingly high rate of rape of people of all genders.”

    Does Western culture actually have a higher rate of rape than elsewhere in the world? Or is it just more acceptable to talk about and research?

  123. Daran says:

    f:

    Clearly everyone has a right to define their own experiences.

    One would, indeed, wish that this was clear. But then, over and over in feminist spaces, we see things like this, in the specific context of a discussion for male survivors of sexual abuse, Richard Jeffrey Newman said:

    One of the things that feminists will rightly insist on when men want to be part of what I will broadly call “the feminist conversation” (though of course it is quite a bit more than a conversation), perhaps especially when that conversation is about sexual violence, is that the men in question should acknowledge, take responsibility for, and be willing to be held accountable for, their own male privilege and the male privilege that men have as a class, even when the individual man in question might not share in some aspects of that privilege.

    So, according to RJN, men do not have the right to define their own experiences, at least, not if they want to take part in “the feminist conversation”. Rather it is feminists who define that experience, while the role of the men to simply acknowledge it. I and I’m sure a lot of other male survivors would happily tell RJN where he can shove his “feminist conversation”. Unfortunately, in a world in which victims of one gender have the privilege of visibility, and access to resources, while those of the other do not, ignoring the gatekeepers to recognition and services isn’t a viable option.

    RJN is not alone in his views. It’s a common feminist trope that men should “acknowledge their privilege”. I do appreciate that many of the feminists who participate here don’t do this. I just wish we could see feminists dissent from it more often in places other than here.

  124. Jim says:

    Daran, in reference to RJN, I think TB is saying something here:
    “To be honest I’m a little suspicious of some male anti-rape activist’s motives regarding their advocacy. Often they sound more like they’re interested in maintaining their ‘saving-the-damsel-in-distress’ fantasy then educating themselves about the statistics and the dynamics.”

    I think every male feminist is at risk of White Knighting, given his cultural conditioning. It may not be there, he may have overcome that conditioning, but it is probably the default setting. A lot of the only-men-can-prevent-rape narrative is white knighting pure and simple. It arrogates all the agency to men and denies it to women.

    I think the younger a male feminist is the less likely his is to have had this conditioning, as the culture changes, so there is hope. Basically I suspect any male feminst of my generation and Hugo’s.

  125. f. says:

    @Daran, I see why the dynamic you are talking about is hurtful. Personally I do my best not to perpetuate it, because I know it is unhelpful and extremely triggering to men who have experienced sexual assault (among other things). I think some feminists have a tough time distinguishing between people who honestly don’t necessarily share a basic positive attitude toward equality, and people who are uneasy with feminist orthodoxy on stuff like male privilege. Does that make sense???

  126. Jim says:

    “Does that make sense???”

    Ha! Captures it in a nutshell. To me the distinction between people who can make that distinction and those who can’t tells me who is capable of participating in these discussions.

  127. Daran says:

    Jim (^quoting TB”)

    Daran, in reference to RJN, I think TB is saying something here:
    “To be honest I’m a little suspicious of some male anti-rape activist’s motives regarding their advocacy. Often they sound more like they’re interested in maintaining their ‘saving-the-damsel-in-distress’ fantasy then educating themselves about the statistics and the dynamics.”

    I do not care what motivates RJN. His motivations are irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. What matters is what he does. RJN’s maleness is significant in that it qualified him to start (and act as moderarator in) a thread by and for male survivors. I agree that his maleness must play a role in how he comes to his views on these matters. (For example, while a female survivor might be unaware of her own privilege in respect to her visibility within society, RJN has been adversely affected by this social dynamic, and consequently some other explanation than lack of awareness must account for his inability or unwillingness to recognise his and other men’s disprivileged condition.) But again, why he thinks what he thinks isn’t something that concerns me.

  128. Schala says:

    @Daran

    Finding out why people do what they do is what I do for fun in my off-cycles (when not thinking actively, when day-dreaming).

    Believe me, not-thinking takes conscious effort, hot milk half an hour before, or being very drunk.

  129. Jim says:

    “I do not care what motivates RJN. His motivations are irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. What matters is what he does. ‘

    You are contradicting yourself. If you care what he does then you care why he does it it. Simples. The first implies the second, the second demands the first. People are not mindless robots and their actions are based on their mental and emotional lives.

    “But again, why he thinks what he thinks isn’t something that concerns me.

    It seems incoherent to be discussing cultural constructs like gender while denying the roles of cultural conditioning on the behavior of participants in the culture.

  130. Daran says:

    I think some feminists have a tough time distinguishing between people who honestly don’t necessarily share a basic positive attitude toward equality, and people who are uneasy with feminist orthodoxy on stuff like male privilege. Does that make sense???

    It makes sense, but at the same time, I do think you’ve smuggled in assumption, which is that the “some feminist” has a basic positive attitude toward equality which other people either do or do not share. But if she perpetuates and sustains the gender-inequality in victim visibility, by discussing sexual abuse as though it only happened to women, how good is her attitude toward equality?

    Oh sure, she thinks she’s doing the right thing. She has good intentions. But doesn’t everyone?

  131. Jim says:

    There we agree, Daran. Good intentions or motives do not mitigate bad actions based on them.

  132. Daran says:

    You are contradicting yourself.

    No I’m not.

    If you care what he does then you care why he does it it.

    No I don’t.

    Simples. The first implies the second,

    No it doesn’t.

    the second demands the first.

    No it doesn’t.

    People are not mindless robots and their actions are based on their mental and emotional lives.

    That’s true, but that doesn’t mean I have to care about them.

    It seems incoherent to be discussing cultural constructs like gender while denying the roles of cultural conditioning on the behavior of participants in the culture.

    I’m not denying anything. I just don’t want to go there. What I want to talk about is that harm caused by RJN and his ilk when they demand that male survivors deny their own experience as a precondition to be allowed out of the ghetto and into mainstream discussions on the topic.

    Not only is talking about RJN’s mental states a distraction from this important topic. Discussing them has the potential to actively undermine the substantive point. What if RJN, who has direct access to his own thoughts were to read this discussion, and think “these people are talking rubbish about my thoughts, therefore I can dismiss everything they say”? A lot of feminists do that anyway. I don’t want to give them even more reasons to do so.

  133. Daran says:

    Finding out why people do what they do is what I do for fun in my off-cycles (when not thinking actively, when day-dreaming).

    Me too, which of course, contradicts what I’ve just been saying. So allow me to clarify: Exploring people’s mental states is something that should be done in dialog with the person concerned.

  134. ozymandias42 says:

    Daran, Jim, Schala, talking about RJN’s mental state is entirely off-topic.

  135. typhonblue says:

    @ Daran

    “I do not care what motivates RJN. His motivations are irrelevant as far as I’m concerned.”

    Maybe I care because I find that attitude promoted by men and internalized by women to be incredibly misogynist and damaging.

    @ Zyzle

    “What struck (frankly horrified) me most about this is the way the aid agencies down-play the violence against men”

    It’s like a reverse Holocaust. Instead of deciding who we hurt, we decide who we help.

    And if we’re going to have a hierarchy of worthy victims based on some arbitrary physical trait how can we, as a society, laud our supposedly ‘superior’ morality over other cultures and times?

  136. tracy says:

    In the about page for this site, it goes into this whole description that feminists are not all one group of people. I was all excited. Sweet! I get to hear about important issues from a masculinist perspective. Yet in this post and throughout the comments, people repeatedly refer to feminists as if they are organized group with a common set of beliefs and values. I tried, I really did, but the bashing is driving me away.

  137. Jim says:

    “Daran, Jim, Schala, talking about RJN’s mental state is entirely off-topic.”

    Yet your entire post addresses what feminists say or don’t say. Mental states drive speech. Attitudes and beliefs drive speech.

    And guess what. Feminists didn’t invent this misrandrist narrative you denounce, they inherited it. From men. TB is right. The mental states of men are what set up this mess.

  138. Titfortat says:

    “Oh but rest assured that guy goes on to develop feelings of hate and resentment towards women and rapes one out of some twisted sense of balance or revenge THEN all of a sudden people care and will find every excuse they can scrape up to avoid actually trying to find out why they did it.”(Danny)

    This struck me right between the eyes(no pun intended). When the violence(mine) came and was directed at other men, it was, many times, accepted. At times, it was even rewarded in the sense of “you go get em”, “they had it coming”. Nobody wanted to, or was even willing to address where it may have been coming from. The interesting part is the fact that had my abuse been sexual violence I could have easily directed it at the opposite sex and we all know what would have happened then. I am still confounded why if rape is considered violence that it has a special place in our judicial system? Can someone explain to me the difference between beating someone to an inch of their life and raping them?

  139. typhonblue says:

    Speaking of compassion apartheid:

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/13/california-may-send-thousands-of-female-prisoners-home/?hpt=hp_t2

    California has to reduce it’s prison population. Guess which gender gets its non-violent offenders released first?

  140. G says:

    @ Noah
    Sure. I would be comfortable. Should be interesting.

  141. typhonblue says:

    @ TitforTat

    “Can someone explain to me the difference between beating someone to an inch of their life and raping them?”

    I really don’t think you can draw as clear cut a distinction. Particularly since that kind of intimate violence can be sexual.

    However, rape mimics and poisons an act that most people expect to be a big part of their lives whereas getting beaten doesn’t. But then getting beaten does cause a person to loose basic trust in almost everyone they encounter.

    Personally I dislike ranking abuses.

  142. typhonblue says:

    @ Compassion Apartheid and releasing non violent offenders.

    Imagine the outrage if they’d decided to discriminate based on any other physical variable. Race? Sexual orientation? Ethnicity?

  143. Titfortat says:

    Personally I dislike ranking abuses.(Typhon)

    So do I, even though I feel like Im in the back of the bus when it comes to abuse.

  144. Jim says:

    “California has to reduce it’s prison population. Guess which gender gets its non-violent offenders released first?”

    There was a similar proposal in the UK. Harriet Harman or some such suggested it. It died quietly.

  145. typhonblue says:

    @ Titfortat

    “So do I, even though I feel like Im in the back of the bus when it comes to abuse.”

    I feel that way due to the gender of my abuser. And many victimized men feel that way because of *their* gender. And no one should because it fucking sucks.

  146. Kenshiroit says:

    Tracy; at least its constructive critics toward certan bahaviour present between some feminist who also are politically eloquent. If you are not like them, then the critics are not toward you 🙂

  147. elementary_watson says:

    @tracy: I would like to hear where you stand on the issue, and what your reasons are.

    Let’s just break it down to the basic questions:

    a) Is it okay to put an item “rape is no problem for men” on a Male Privilege Checklist (MPCL)?

    b) If you don’t think it is, do you think that a majority of MPCL-compilers shares this view and acts accordingly?

    c) If not, is it okay to call them out for it?

    (By the way, I wouldn’t want to conflate MPCL-compilers with feminists; I guess one could just talk about MPCL-makers without talking about their standing in the *cough* feminist movement.)

  148. Jim says:

    What comment are you last two responding to? Was it pulled? How did it disappear?

  149. Kenshiroit says:

    jim; its not pulled, its still there, look for the user TRACY. Just scroll up.

  150. Xakudo says:

    @Noah:
    I would enjoy that, though I’m not sure how much I would have to contribute myself.

  151. Jim says:

    Ah, there it is.

    @Tracy

    Here is a post about rape victims, RAPE VICTIMS, who get erased and humiliated and retraumatized and then destroyed when they act out. And this is a structural and institutionalized oppression of them, implemented through various kinds of discrimination listed in the post.

    And what do you have to say about it? You manage to make it about you.

    “In the about page for this site, it goes into this whole description that feminists are not all one group of people. I was all excited. Sweet! I get to hear about important issues from a masculinist perspective. Yet in this post and throughout the comments, people repeatedly refer to feminists as if they are organized group with a common set of beliefs and values. I tried, I really did, but the bashing is driving me away.”

    Oh, you are being “driven away” You poor, fragile, little thing! Sniff, sniff. What are those stupid boys throw rocks at them compared to what you are suffering here?

    You tried, you really tried. Bullshit.

    Mods, is this the kind of self-styled feminist commenter you are worried about driving away?

  152. Lamech says:

    “Mods, is this the kind of self-styled feminist commenter you are worried about driving away?” … Really, really? She brought up a goodish, but slightly nitpicky point. People in thread are referring to feminists as a monolithic group. That should be the case. You should specify “just those self-proclaimed ‘feminist’ ass-hats who do [ass-hatty thing]”

    @Tracy: People are using feminist for a common flavor of feminist, what they belive to be a common flavor (observation bias does wonders here, or even just one specific feminist they read once, and then getting lazy. Its not universal anti-feminism. For crying out loud Ozy is a feminist!

  153. tracy says:

    @elementary_watson

    a) Is it okay to put an item “rape is no problem for men” on a Male Privilege Checklist (MPCL)?
    No, it’s not ok. Rape is about controlling another person. It’s used to silence and shame people among other things. This happens to both genders and the fear of rape is real for both genders.

    b) If you don’t think it is, do you think that a majority of MPCL-compilers shares this view and acts accordingly?
    I’m not sure what to answer here as it is a complicated topic. On one hand, people tend to forget about male rape in part because it doesn’t get a lot of publicity and there are strong societal pressures to stay mum about it. I think this is wrong and damaging to men and women. I always thought it was stupid that a man, but not the woman, could be charged for rape even though both of them were drunk and technically could not consent.

    On the other hand, I’ve found a fair number of men who don’t understand how rape is used as a tool specifically against women and how women often change the way they live because they are so afraid of the stigma attached to being a rape victim. That doesn’t mean that men don’t suffer similar horrors when they are raped. But I don’t think it’s fair to expect every person to go into the entire lesson every time they discuss the topic. I also don’t feel qualified to talk about the times when rape is used as a tool specifically against men. I don’t always succeed, but I try my best to talk in gender neutral terms about rape victims and acknowledge the many forms of rape unless I’m specifically discussing how I as a woman feel about how rape is treated in my society.

    c) If not, is it okay to call them out for it?
    Calling out individuals, rape awareness and victim advocacy groups who diminish the importance of the issue of male rape is fine. Making broad statements about feminists, especially when the blog’s about page acknowledges that there is a wide range of opinions within the feminist community, just detracts from the overall message in my opinion.

    @Jim, you sure do make a lot of assumptions. I’m about the victims of rape as well, including male victims of rape. I’m just saying that bashing feminists takes away from the important message of the group. But feel free to keep making assumptions.

  154. tracy says:

    @elementary_watson Also, where can I find these lists so I can leave appropriate comments that this is not cool?

  155. typhonblue says:

    @ tracy

    Let’s go at this another way.

    Let’s list the feminist organizations that don’t minimize male rape victims?

  156. Jim says:

    “But feel free to keep making assumptions.”

    I referenced your own words. Your words, not assumptions. You on the other hand claim to “be about the victims of rape”. How nurturing. Except of course when something hurts your feelings. Then those take precedence. And that’s not an assumption either, it’s an observation of your behavior here.

    And then you move on to this:
    “On the other hand, I’ve found a fair number of men who don’t understand how rape is used as a tool specifically against women…”
    which Ozy specifically refers to above, and I quote:
    “So when you put down “rape” on your list of disadvantages of being female, you are supporting rape culture.”

    Disgusting behavior.

  157. tracy says:

    @Jim So we can’t acknowledge that sometimes rape is used as a tool of control in a specific way against a particular gender? The fact that I was repeated threatened with rape in middle school because I was a girl doing boy things doesn’t mean anything? I didn’t say rape is only used against women, you again are assuming too much.

  158. Xakudo says:

    @Jim:
    I feel you are being unfair to Tracy. She sounds to be sympathetic to the issue, and considers it important, but does not appreciate having feminism monolithized given that she herself (I presume?) identifies as feminist and is equally against the things critiqued in the OP. I do not think these things are mutually exclusive.

    And, ironically, I can sympathize with her primarily due to my experiences on feminist blogs, with similar things being thrown at me. Ehem…

    @Tracy:
    I think it is appropriate to address feminism as a whole in the same way it is appropriate to address “society” or “culture” as a whole. When we talk about our society having certain problems, we do not intend to suggest that every person in our society has that issue, but rather that it is a common and prevalent problem.

    The same spirit is true, I think, in addressing feminism in the OP. Clearly there are numerous feminists like yourself and IIRC Ozy (the writer of the OP) to whom the critiques do not apply. But it is nevertheless a prevalent problem within feminism. And given feminism’s goals of gender equality, and given that it is generally seen as the gender equality movement by most people, it is particularly disturbing seeing these attitudes within it, and it is thus particularly critique-worthy. Similar, perhaps, to how if the civil rights movement had within it a prevalent problem of racism against asian people, it would be worth specifically critiquing it, even if culture-at-large also had that problem.

  159. tracy says:

    @Xakudo I personally have issues using the label of feminist to describe myself because of the reactions of many people, including some of the ones here. I tend to be far more balanced in favor of equality, although I feel that sometimes egalitarian attitudes will not result in equality due to built in inequities in the system. In this case, I think giving more attention overall to issues of male rape is important because we’ve failed to address them in the past and too many people have it in their minds that rape == men raping women. I wish the article had a list of some of the feminist organizations that minimized male rape so I could write letters to them.

    However, because I do favor gender equality and for some reason my society views that concept as a big thing instead of self-evident, many people call me a feminist. In my opinion, the problem with phrasing the article in this way is that it just feeds the overall belief that all feminists are angry, men-hating women. I would be just as upset if someone came on here and started judging masculinists by what the MRAs say.

  160. abyssobenthonic says:

    @f,

    I think some feminists have a tough time distinguishing between people who honestly don’t necessarily share a basic positive attitude toward equality, and people who are uneasy with feminist orthodoxy on stuff like male privilege.

    For a certain subset of feminists (generally of a more activist/movement bent), there’s a very good reason to have a tough time distinguishing between people who don’t share a basic positive attitude toward equality, and people who are uneasy with feminist orthodoxy on, e.g., male privilege is that it’s to their benefit to conflate the two. By saying that having reservations about male privilege doctrine is tantamount to opposing all the progress made by feminism in the past century at least, one shuts down debates about that doctrine (because who wants to be tagged with that?). One also enlarges the “enemy” (and, speaking for myself, I would characterize negative attitudes toward equality as “the enemy” (perhaps in a sense analogous to that, as a Red Sox fan, the Yankees are the enemy: I’d like to see them defeated on the field… it doesn’t mean that I think Alex Rodriguez or the Steinbrenners or Joe from Yonkers need to die)) and moreso, gets an “enemy in our midst”, which tends to accrue benefits to the leaders of the movement as more people pay more attention to them and will respond to their calls. There’s also the basic fact that it’s never a good thing from a warrior’s perspective to be perceived to have won: who needs the warrior then?

  161. Skidd says:

    Perhaps I am odd in that I see “Feminism” and “Feminist Movement” as being different from “All Feminists”.

    I can say that clearly Mormonism is homophobic or that Libertarianism is classist — that doesn’t mean all mormons are homophobic or that all libertarians are classist.

    The Feminist Movement has a problem here; but not all feminists have that problem. It’s just some of the facets of the philosophy need to be re-examined.

  162. Titfortat says:

    The fact that I was repeated threatened with rape in middle school because I was a girl doing boy things doesn’t mean anything?(Tracy)

    Tell me how this is different than any other threat of violence for being different or vulnerable?

  163. superglucose says:

    @Noah, I’m totally down.

  164. CG said: “I’ve been lurking round here for a while; I don’t usually comment and a post this personal is difficult, so be nice. However, I have mixed feelings about this; because I can’t speak for the US, but at least in the UK, the legal definition of rape IS penetration. Now I think the law is an absolute disgrace and should be changed.”

    I agree with you there – it is a disgrace, the laws should be changed. No one should be subjected to minimization at the hands of those charged with protecting them and seeking justice on their behalf.

    CG said: “But until it is, I am slightly uncomfortable with telling men that they have been raped, rather than sexually assaulted (which they *legally* have been), simply because as a survivor (of assault, not rape), I felt so much safer and more secure once I understood exactly, legally, what had happened to me.”

    Why? Why is it necessary to throw the state’s backwards and harmful definition in their faces when validation and understanding is so much more humane? What this does is validate that definition and reinforce the minimization that a very neglected and maltreated survivor community suffers regularly. I don’t understand why this is so necessary to you.

    CG said: “Even if it wasn’t the validation that what happened to me was awful (I knew it was awful. I didn’t need to be told.), I had at least the sense that I knew where I stood.”

    That is fine as a personal choice, but defining the experiences of others FOR THEM, is a giant problem for me. The problem I have with this is confusing legal processes with reality. The legal world is highly detached from the everyday life of most people, regardless of where they live. Rape is rape, regardless of whether a particular government decides to recognize it as such. Why the need to reinforce that backwards definition? I don’t see the value in reinforcing the minimization they wrongfully receive at the hands of the state. That doesn’t seem very compassionate to me. It is one thing to say that the state doesn’t recognize something, it is quite another to validate it through a “reality check.”

    CG said: “I think I’d feel the same way about telling a woman she’d been raped within a marriage before 1991 (again, in the UK): she needs to know that you think she has, but she also does need to know that legally, she hasn’t – because the confusion felt over how to classify one’s experience is real and people should be told how it is classified by the state – and I don’t really know how I would balance telling someone those two things, but I do think it needs to be done.”

    Explaining the law to someone who WANTS TO KNOW is one thing, but reinforcing antiquated and minimizing legal processes where it is not needed or welcomed is quite another. I fail to see how insisting upon the use of legal definitions to define human behaviour helps to support survivors who are others treated poorly or outright ignored. This is akin to telling someone they weren’t really driving since they don’t have a driver’s license. Legal definitions don’t change reality, they just give a great deal of politicians, lawyers and judges something to talk about. Given that the overwhelming vast majority of survivors do not report anyway, exactly how is it helpful to ensure that they know they are not really rape survivors in the eyes of the law. That strikes me as more than a little unnecessary and somewhat cruel.

    The only way to change these ridiculous and antiquated notions is to stop buying into them and stop reinforcing them. That starts with asserting that words in the real world (not the legal world) actually have meanings and that politicians are not the harbingers of change for such definitions.

    Orwell wept.

  165. Daran says:

    Jim, refering to tracy:

    Mods, is this the kind of self-styled feminist commenter you are worried about driving away?

    For God’s sake, Jim!, when you made this comment, tracy had made one – count them – one contribution to this thread, and you jumped all over her.

    Maybe tracy is ineducable. But I don’t see how anyone can tell that from just the one comment she’d made. If you drive her off with an immediate hostile response, you’ll never find out. And neither will the rest of us, who might have wanted to try to engage with her.

    You’re behaving like Aych!

  166. Daran says:

    In the about page for this site, it goes into this whole description that feminists are not all one group of people. I was all excited. Sweet! I get to hear about important issues from a masculinist perspective. Yet in this post and throughout the comments, people repeatedly refer to feminists as if they are organized group with a common set of beliefs and values. I tried, I really did, but the bashing is driving me away.

    Hi tracy. I’m not a moderator here, but I am at Feminist Critics, and I can tell you that it is simply impossible for Ozy and the other mods here to police the commentary so as to ensure that every point is expressed in the manner in which they would wish. The moderators here will act to curb the more egregious violations. But if you are at all serious about wanting to learn about important issues from an authoritative masculist perspective – by which I mean from the men affected by those issues – then you need to recognise that you will hear things you don’t like. It is, after all, much the same in feminist spaces where people repeatedly refer to men as if they are an organised group with a common set of beliefs and values. If it feels like we’re “bashing” feminists to you, then perhaps you can see why so many of us feel that feminism is all about “bashing” men.

  167. Daran says:

    tracy:

    Calling out individuals, rape awareness and victim advocacy groups who diminish the importance of the issue of male rape is fine. Making broad statements about feminists, especially when the blog’s about page acknowledges that there is a wide range of opinions within the feminist community, just detracts from the overall message in my opinion.

    It is an observable fact that there are some things which are 1. commonly expressed by feminists in feminist spaces, and 2. rarely dissented from by other feminists. It this combination of common expression and rare dissent which I regard as establishing a consensus which can be legitimately attributed to “feminists” and “feminism”, even though there are individual feminist who do dissent.

    It no more reasonable to demand that critics confine themselves to criticising individual feminists and feminist organisation, than it would be to demand that feminists cease their critique of society at large.

  168. superglucose says:

    This thread caused me to meet someone amazing. GO NSWATM!

  169. elementary_watson says:

    Tracy, thank you for responding (in a way that reinforces my notion that it would be better for this site to just drop the F-word altogether and talk about the problematic behaviours, not the label the people who display this behaviour identify with).

    Googling for “Male Privilege Checklist” gives you lots of links, the (probably) most famous one being at amptoons, here is the link .

  170. CG says:

    @ James A. Landrith Jr.
    “That is fine as a personal choice”; um, wow gee thanks for validating my own personal choice as to how to get over assault. That should kind of, you know, go without saying, but I think I probably just phrased myself quite badly, being nervous and all, so I’ll extend you the courtesy of assuming you did too. Similarly with “Orwell wept”: I really am sure you didn’t mean it to, but it does ring of that tactic of a couple of university professors of mine, where they drop an airy intellectual reference in order to try and intimidate you into thinking ohgodwhatcouldipossiblyknowaboutorwell. Hasn’t worked on me since first week at uni, but it might’ve silenced someone a bit less bolshy, and you seem nice, and not like you’d have wanted to do that. (ps: I think “you need to understand the system in order to beat it” is omnipresent in depictions of the shadowy government dealings of Big Brother etc.! But that’s probably a discussion for a different blog =) )
    Anyway, what I was trying to say, more specifically, that a survey like the one in the post, if it is to include rape by women, which is a totally legit choice for the survey, should probably include a little note saying “rape as defined here – sexual assault according to UK law” or something, (er – phrased better than that. But I’m in a hurry) just because perhaps one of those people will try and report, and finding out at a police station must be, well, crushing. Or in case of any other situation where “reality” as you see it intersects with government regulation. Feel free to disagree, but please don’t think I was trying to define people’s experiences for them. I know plenty of people who have similar stories to me, and they call it anything they want, and I like that.

  171. noahbrand says:

    Mods, is this the kind of self-styled feminist commenter you are worried about driving away?

    Yes. Yes it is. And you’re why.

    I mean, since you asked and all.

  172. SpudTater says:

    Jim: Stop being a dick. Seriously, that was totally uncalled-for.

    Tracy: I agree; the perceived monolithic nature of feminism is a big problem. It would be awesome if one of the authors could write or link to a brief 101 post about various flavours of feminism; liberal vs. prescriptive; first, second and third waves; sex-positive vs. anti-pornography…

    Everybody: further, can we stop equating “woman” and “feminist”, please? I’m male, and I identify as a feminist. (Not an MRA, and not a masculist — although I’m mulling over the latter.)

  173. CG said: “um, wow gee thanks for validating my own personal choice as to how to get over assault. That should kind of, you know, go without saying, but I think I probably just phrased myself quite badly, being nervous and all, so I’ll extend you the courtesy of assuming you did too.”

    I was not referring solely to how you chose to get over a personal assault, but how you insist on telling men who’ve been raped that it is actually legally only sexual assult as if that were somehow related to your own healing. How you deal with the related trauma to sexual violence you’v experienced is your own business, but insisting upon using minimizing language for male rape survivors is quite another issue. You made it clear that you find it very important to make sure male rape survivors are told they’ve been sexually assaulted, not raped under the law.

    CG said: “Similarly with “Orwell wept”: I really am sure you didn’t mean it to, but it does ring of that tactic of a couple of university professors of mine, where they drop an airy intellectual reference in order to try and intimidate you into thinking ohgodwhatcouldipossiblyknowaboutorwell. Hasn’t worked on me since first week at uni, but it might’ve silenced someone a bit less bolshy, and you seem nice, and not like you’d have wanted to do that. (ps: I think “you need to understand the system in order to beat it” is omnipresent in depictions of the shadowy government dealings of Big Brother etc.! But that’s probably a discussion for a different blog =) )”

    The meaning of that statement is obvious given the prior reference to allowing governments to define words for us and tell us how we get to define our own experiences. If you have issues with intellectual references based on somoeone else who gets under your skin, that is an unrelated issue and has nothing to do with me. I’ve been involved in civil liberties coalitions, legal cases (to include one that went to the U.S. Supreme Court) for over a decade – to include privacy issues. 🙂

    CG said: “Anyway, what I was trying to say, more specifically, that a survey like the one in the post, if it is to include rape by women, which is a totally legit choice for the survey, should probably include a little note saying “rape as defined here – sexual assault according to UK law” or something, (er – phrased better than that. But I’m in a hurry) just because perhaps one of those people will try and report, and finding out at a police station must be, well, crushing.”

    If you read what you said earlier, this is much clearer and actually does express a different meaning. What you said earlier is easily interpreted as a desire and need to tell men who’ve been raped that it is actually sexual assault under the law. As a male rape survivor, I can’t tell you how many times women (including some feminists) will get in our faces to make sure we know our experiences are less severe using legalistic definitions. At times, it seems like some people view it as sport to be able to minimize male rape survivors using the law. It is so unbelievablly minimizing and wounding to constantly hear that what happened wasn’t raped and to use government as an excuse for such abuse. I missed any mention or reference to a survey in your prior comments. Thank you for clarifying now.

    CG said: “Or in case of any other situation where “reality” as you see it intersects with government regulation. Feel free to disagree, but please don’t think I was trying to define people’s experiences for them. I know plenty of people who have similar stories to me, and they call it anything they want, and I like that.”

    As a male rape survivor of a female rapist I define my own experience as rape and I label her a rapist – as she truly is given her action. No one else, regardless of government affiliation gets to tell me I have to call it otherwise. I never reported as it wasn’t even illegal then. I don’t need to be told constantly that the law didn’t view it as rape. I already know that she gets a free pass and from some people – an ‘atta girl’ for striking back at men in such a way.

  174. dungone says:

    Jim had valid points. Let’s for one second put ourselves into the shoes of a male rape victim reading Tracy’s comments. She managed to erase male rape victims by using a politicized definition of rape (i.e. a tool specifically designed by “men” to be used in the oppression of “women”). Doesn’t that kind of put us in a bind, then? We can either drive away male rape victims, or drive away some feminists by criticizing feminist views that erase male victims. I think that, given the memo, we are supposed to be siding with male victims over views that erase them.

    The truth is, Tracy is right in one respect:, there are certain factions for whom rape is a tool used to manipulate and control women’s behavior. But that tool depends on erasing male victims of rape in order for it to work in the first place. Is someone saying that men should wear the hijab because men can be rape victims, too? No, because male victims have been erased. That’s how this works. It’s odd that a feminist would claim to be different from other feminists and have a problem with people criticizing feminists, yet that same feminist espouses the very views that are being criticized. Yes, not all feminists are the same.

  175. tracy says:

    @dungone Jim pulled one line out of a larger point and, like you, said that I was erasing male rape victims even though I mention that there are male victims of rape repeatedly in my comment. If that’s what you read out of a multi-paragraph answer, that says a lot more about you than it does me. And no, it doesn’t require erasing male victims in order for it to work. Telling a girl that she will be raped if she continues to do boy things and having adults tell the girl that she should know better because she’s a girl doesn’t erase that that the threat of rape is used against boys and men to keep them in line as well. But in this case, it was used specifically because I was a girl and adults turned the other way with the excuse “boys will be boys.” I should be able to tell my story too.

  176. debaser71 says:

    Tamen said, “debaser71: Ozymandias gave this definition in a comment on that Shakespear post:

    “the bunch of cultural attitudes that tend to lead to Western culture’s astonishingly high rate of rape of people of all genders.”

    Which is a gender neutral term definition. I tend to see it as the set of attitudes which increases the risk of rape. Examples are: The expectation that women who lead a man on is obligated to put out, the expectation that no man will ever turn down sex and so on.”

    Thanks. I didn’t know it was discussed here. Ozy’s definition is better than the one I read at ff101 but I still have issues with the term “rape culture”. Mainly that “culture” seems like the wrong word to use. Culture describes the attitudes, values, activities, etc of a group. So when you talk of “rape culture” what group are you talking about? If you mean frat boy parties, then maybe I can agree that rape culture is a legitimate term. But if you mean Western society as a whole, well, I think to use the term “rape culture” is quite the stretch. A leap I am unconvinced of taking.

    And note, how “rape culture” is defined differently in different places. Ozy’s is sort of the soft version of the more radical feminist definition at ff101. I can’t ignore that. The term “rape culture” has a lot of negative baggage. (And yes I can see how Ozy is trying to change that. Good.)

    So, I realize that this thread is a memo to other feminists, but it is also a comment about men. And most of the discussion I enjoyed reading ignored the “rape culture” sticking point entirely. This is good. IMO it shows how people can talk about issues without falling back on bagged laden terminology.

  177. dungone says:

    @Tracy, my point of focus was on things you have said since then and are, in fact, saying even now. Jim may have spoken up a little too early, but his comments were prescient. I’m not sure if you understand how you are erasing male victims, so let me be clear. It’s not because you have failed to acknowledge that male rape exists, it’s because you are taking it one step further and saying that it’s actually something fundamentally different for women and that men just don’t understand how much worse it is for women. Is that what you would like to say to male rape victims? That they just don’t get it? Here’s what you said a little earlier that informed my response:

    I’ve found a fair number of men who don’t understand how rape is used as a tool specifically against women and how women often change the way they live because they are so afraid of the stigma attached to being a rape victim.

    The thing is, Tracy, I’m pretty sure they do understand it. At least the people here in this thread understand it; Jim understands it, Ozy definitely understands it. You’re a little bit late to the party if you want to explain this to the readers here… but here’s the thing. Read the memo again.

    So when you put down “rape” on your list of disadvantages of being female, you are supporting rape culture.

    Stop it.

    What I want you to understand is that when you say that men (including male rape victims) need to understand that rape is a tool specifically against women, what we understand is that this is done by erasing male victims altogether. You can’t have one without the other. In other words, by raising awareness about male victims as Ozy is doing in her memo to feminists, we are ipso facto fighting back against the use of rape as a specific tool used to control women, as well. So I understand what you’re saying and what’s more is I agree with you, but I feel that you, as well as a whole lot of other feminists, are only getting half of the story by talking about rape as if it were two different things depending on the victim’s gender. They’re not different things, in fact, rape is the same no matter who it happens to: the psychological damage is the same, the social stigma is just as powerful, and the victims deserve to be treated with dignity and receive the help they need in order to put the pieces of their lives back together.

    Don’t you understand that by ignoring the actual damage caused by rape and focusing on how it is used as a tool to oppress, you’re turning it into a political issue in the gender wars, which is one fight, and ignoring the actual victim advocacy, which is a completely separate fight? I have a question. Would you prefer it if we lived in a society where, if a woman got raped, people would tell her, “atta girl! You’re a real woman now!”?

  178. tracy says:

    @dungone Then perhaps asking for a clarification would be better than assuming I meant that rape was different for women than for men. In my life, I’ve been told repeatedly by people, who in this case happened to be men, that other people never threaten girls or women with rape as a means of silencing them. When I try to explain that yes, they in fact do, I’ve been attacked by others for not also talking about men and how rape affects them. I never said rape or the threat of rape was a disadvantage of being female. That implies that I believe that it is only used against women, which I don’t believe. My entire comment said that. Instead, Jim assumed that I am a feminist and took part of the comment out of its entirety.

    I just said that in my life experience, I have been targeted with threats of rape because I was female, because they thought the shame of the act or at least being labeled a slut would cow me into doing what they wanted. That is not the same thing as saying it a disadvantage of being female. Boys and men are often threatened with rape for the same reason, even if the labels used are different.

    But people in this thread have also pointed out that the reactions to rape can differ along gender lines. That often, women are asked what they were wearing whereas men have their masculinity challenged or be told it’s impossible that they were raped. We should be able to talk about these reactions and how they make us feel without creating a gender war and without assuming that the sharer thinks rape itself is a disadvantage of a particular gender.

  179. Jim says:

    “@Jim So we can’t acknowledge that sometimes rape is used as a tool of control in a specific way against a particular gender? ”

    Of course we can. It’s absolutely true.

    But that’s not what you said. What you said generalized that in an explicitly totalizing way, and one that plays into the male privilege meme that Ozy specifically warned you against. thatw as my point.

    Question for you Tracy – one survey showed that 95% of male inmates in juvenile detention facilites had been sexually assaulted by female staff. Every boy in those places must have been aware of the threat to him personally. How were these rapes being used as a tool of control?

    Daran, you are defending rape apology. Stop it please.

    “Jim: Stop being a dick. Seriously, that was totally uncalled-for.

    SpudTater, stop being a twat.

    There. Do you like that any better? Using “dick” as a pejorative is unacceptable. Both usages are unacceptable. Misandry coming from a man is still misandry.

    @Noah
    “Yes. Yes it is. And you’re why.
    I mean, since you asked and all.”

    I suspected as much. So rape apologist misandrists are who you are trying to attract to the conversation? Quite the masculist there. Then again, maybe you are speaking only for yourself, since Tracy’s comment ran directly agianst Ozy’s adominition.

  180. dungone says:

    @debaser, I have the same sort of hesitations about the term as well and I like your observation that most of this thread has managed to discuss the issue and everyone made all the points that they wanted to make about it without having to rely on a specific feminist term. I think the term itself is a side issue for this memo, though, and because the memo itself is addressed to feminists, I see it as an exceptional case where the use of their own terminology to address that audience is actually a good thing. What Ozy is doing is closer to a full-out attack on the term itself in so far as the feminist movement understands it, since she is eliciting all that baggage that the term entails while simultaneously saying that they are wrong, their definitions are mistaken. OTOH If this memo was directed at MRA and was chock-full of problematic feminist lingo, then in that sort of memo we wouldn’t be able to get to the message until we unpacked the baggage that came with these sort of terms. But here, I don’t think it hurts.

  181. ozymandias42 says:

    Jim, I believe Tracy didn’t speak as carefully as she could have, but she doesn’t seem misandric. She agrees with you on most of the actual issues: that men are raped, that men and women both experience denials of and disbelief in their rapes, that women experience rape as a tool of control of some behaviors (appearance) and that men experience rape as a tool of control of other behaviors (prisons). Stop attacking allies.

  182. tracy says:

    @Jim But if you read that total of my comment, that is what I said, although perhaps a bit poorly. I never said all instances of rape were attempts at control. I never said rape is only used against women or that women are the only ones who suffer from it. I never said that rape was a disadvantage of being female. You assumed from the start that I am a feminist, you seem to have strong opinions about feminists, and I feel that colors how you read the words that I write.

  183. dungone says:

    @Tracy, like I said, I understand, and you keep telling me (and others in this thread) that they don’t. Yes, I understand how threats of rape are used to subjugate people (of both genders, for what it’s worth). Once again, though, you are focused on making a point about how rape is different for women because of some special circumstances that happen sometimes in our culture and you’re dismissing male victims because of one specific anecdotal line of argumentation that you say has been used against you in the past, but that isn’t being used here. Does it really matter if your life experience has shown you that sometimes people argue in bad faith, when here and now no one is dismissing women’s experiences? This memo is asking for solidarity by calling for a recognition of all of our varied experiences as part of a problem that’s much bigger than any single one of us or any one particular gender, but you seem to have a problem with that. You are pretty much doing the very same thing to men that you have just described as having been done to you – no one is doing that to you here, so can we get past it now? Like I said, we understand.

  184. dungone says:

    @Tracy, incidentally I find your tone very condescending when you presume to tell me that I should have asked you for a clarification. You don’t have the authoritative perspective here, so any disagreement with what you wrote doesn’t signify that the other person has a reading comprehension problem. Unlike most other feminist spaces, this blog is open to men’s input, so you shouldn’t respond to men the way that many women respond to men who critique them in those spaces. Isn’t that what you claimed you were hoping to find here, in the first place? A masculine perspective?

  185. tracy says:

    @dungone And I find it strange that you assume a condescending tone and that I meant that someone had a reading comprehension problem rather than I may have messed up and spoke in a way I didn’t intend. I also find it strange that you call me out on this but don’t say anything to Jim for this number:

    “You poor, fragile, little thing!”

    When people would rather purposefully misrepresent what I said instead of asking for clarification, then yes, I will call that out. Why is it when I do something like that, it’s condescending, but Jim can call bullshit all day? And again with the assumptions. You have no idea whether or not I go to feminist spaces.

  186. dungone says:

    @Tracy, I think Jim was wrong when he said that. A lot of people have called him out on it. But, point taken. Aside from his tone, however, I still agree with Jim and think his comments were prescient. I got the same vibe from your apparent demeanor and felt that you were bringing a lot of a specific kind of baggage into this discussion. I don’t think you’re inarticulate at all, actually, and I felt that the baggage itself was the problem and a lot of people are all too quick to write that off as if it wasn’t a problem. In that sense I got the same vibe from you that Jim seems to have picked up on when he reacted to what you wrote. Beyond that, we are all pretty much in agreement aside from tone, terminology, hair splitting, and a few red herrings. Carry on…

  187. Daran says:

    Jim:

    one survey showed that 95% of male inmates in juvenile detention facilites had been sexually assaulted by female staff.

    No it didn’t. It said that of those youth inmates (both male and female) who reported sexual contact with a member of staff, 95% had sexual contact with female staff. (This figure includes those who reported contact with both male and female staff). The proportion of male youth who had had sexual contact with staff was 10.8%.

  188. Skidd says:

    @dungone Then perhaps asking for a clarification would be better than assuming I meant that rape was different for women than for men. In my life, I’ve been told repeatedly by people, who in this case happened to be men, that other people never threaten girls or women with rape as a means of silencing them. When I try to explain that yes, they in fact do, I’ve been attacked by others for not also talking about men and how rape affects them.

    This is one of those times I understand the whole “what about teh menz” thing. I think everyone here does in fact realize that rape can be different for men and women. We get that much.

    But in this instance, in this space, we’re talking about men. How they are threatened with rape if they don’t meet certain “male criteria”. How they feel marginalized when it comes to discussion on rape. You DID come in here with a very confrontational, accusatory post, and yes, actually, Jim IS being called out for making assumptions.

    …But you keep bringing up rape of women (though we all acknowledge you support male rape victims, too). It’s frustrating to those people here who have all too often, when bringing up the topic of rape of men, are told to sit down, shut up, PHMT, but we’re talking about women. There are hundreds of blogs and places on the internet to discuss that. I’m sure we can find you links if you want. 🙂

    Let’s not get into a debate about how people worded themselves and get back to the topic at hand: erasure of men as victims in feminist literature.

  189. Jim says:

    “Tracy,

    “You poor, fragile, little thing!”

    That you was generic, although it obviously would like it was aimed at you. It was aimed at the white women’s tears tone of your comment. You found it personally insulting though, so I apologize to you for that.

    “In my life, I’ve been told repeatedly by people, who in this case happened to be men, that other people never threaten girls or women with rape as a means of silencing them. ”

    And that’s a filthy, horrible thing to tell you or any other girl. It’s another tool of control along with the rapes and the fear of rapes; it’s implanting the fear that you won’t be believed and so you are truly alone and maybe even defenseless against that threat.

    @Daran,
    “The proportion of male youth who had had sexual contact with staff was 10.8%.”

    Well that’s better than such a hor rific rate; good. still horrible though. 10% is still quite enough to cow a population. Look up the original meaning of “decimation” and the context of its use.

  190. Schala says:

    The Master in Dr Who ‘decimated’ the Earth’s population in season 4 of the reboot, by asking the Toclafane (literally future amoral childish humans, in killer-spheres) to literally kill off 10% of the population.

  191. Schala says:

    But then the Doctor retconned the year’s event, including this 10% killing and memories of any of it happening, save for a few witnesses. They only saw him kill the US president.

  192. typhonblue says:

    Hm… well I’ve also been threatened with rape. (Not that I really felt particularly threatened, just sort of disgusted that someone would stoop that low.)

    I’m sure if female bullies could make a credible threat of rape against men, they would. But women raping men isn’t a credible threat. Not because it doesn’t happen, because it does. Not because it isn’t devastating to male victims, because it is. But because in our cultural ‘narrative’ women’s sexuality is a universal good that everyone should be blessed to have bestowed on them. Whereas male sexuality is degrading, damaging and filthy.

    In our cultural narrative rape isn’t bad because of a lack of consent but because it’s done with a penis to a vagina and peni are horrible weapons of torture or vile vectors of sin and vaginas are pure vessels.

    In a society where a vagina is seen as something that oozes blasphemy all over whatever it envelops*, women raping men will become a credible threat.

    * As a matter of course, rather then during specific times of the month. After all a threat of a woman raping a man doesn’t become credible if she adds ‘because I’m on the rag.’

  193. Daran says:

    Jim:

    Daran, you are defending rape apology. Stop it please.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  194. Jim says:

    “The Master in Dr Who ‘decimated’ the Earth’s population in season 4 of the reboot, by asking the Toclafane (literally future amoral childish humans, in killer-spheres) to literally kill off 10% of the population.’

    Decimation was used in the Roman legions on units that held back during battles. They would form the troops up and go down the ranks killing every tenth man. The threat of decimation was an effective way to get them to make a real effort.

  195. Jim says:

    “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

    You keep making that clearer and clearer.

    This is what you are defending her on, my primary criticism:
    “On the other hand, I’ve found a fair number of men who don’t understand how rape is used as a tool specifically against women…”
    which Ozy specifically refers to above, and I quote:
    “So when you put down “rape” on your list of disadvantages of being female, you are supporting rape culture.”

    Anyway, that’s old business and she has said straight she didn’t mean to erase or dismiss rapes of males, whatever the words may have said. That’s good enough for me.

  196. Daran says:

    Well that’s better than such a hor rific rate; good. still horrible though. 10% is still quite enough to cow a population. Look up the original meaning of “decimation” and the context of its use.

    I know where the word “decimation” comes from.

    Of that 10.8%, more than half reported no “physical force, threat of force, other force or pressure, or other forms of coercion, such as being given money, favors, protections, or special treatment”, so it looks to me as though a fair amount of it was consensual. It’s still misconduct upon the part of the staff, of course.

  197. tracy says:

    Of that 10.8%, more than half reported no “physical force, threat of force, other force or pressure, or other forms of coercion, such as being given money, favors, protections, or special treatment”, so it looks to me as though a fair amount of it was consensual. It’s still misconduct upon the part of the staff, of course.

    Can an inmate give meaningful consent to a staff member at a juvenile detention center?

  198. ozymandias42 says:

    Mod Voice: Stop dogpiling on Tracy, she has made it clear that she agrees with the general consensus here on rape and simply misspoke.

  199. Daran says:

    In a society where a vagina is seen as something that oozes blasphemy all over whatever it envelops*, women raping men will become a credible threat.

    * As a matter of course, rather then during specific times of the month. After all a threat of a woman raping a man doesn’t become credible if she adds ‘because I’m on the rag.’

    Which contradicts your point. In our culture, some people view vaginas as oozing blasphemy all over whatever they envelops some of the time, but don’t consider women raping men to be a credible threat at those times. In fact, I rather think some people, and some subcultures view vaginas as oozing etc., all the time.

    Women with oozing vaginas are not seen as a rape threat because 1., women are viewed as incapable of overpowering men by force, and 2., men are assume to be always willing to have sex. Consequently, the threat that oozing-vaginaed women are seen as posing to men is that of corruption-through-seduction, not of rape.

  200. @tracy

    I am a feminist and a conservative, the really left-wing anachronistic kind who couldn’t get a gig doing either…

    I constantly have to spend time delineating ‘my conservatism’ (society is an organism, maintain class peace and general equality, make sure the sentence for economic failure isn’t privation… the rights of the state before the right of someone to squeeze the poor, etc.) from ‘conservatism’ as it is understood by most yahoos in tri-corner hats or those gawking, jaw dropped, at the yahoos in tri-corner hats.

    It’s a pain in the ass… but because people who call themselves conservative are often seen worshipping wealth and those who get it through unethical means, I owe it not just to the reader but to conservatism, to explain how my conservatism is different, while correcting, instead of blaming people who see the conservative-identified power structure and then say conservative.

    When we can have professional gender-egalitarian feminists in positions of power to combat the Julie Bindels and Germaine Greers and Janice Raymonds… then you and I will have to stop explaining that our feminism is not their feminism.

    It would be nice if some people here would acknowledge that they’re including Julia Serano, who wrote Nice Guys finish last in the pro-sex compilation Yes means Yes in the same breath as Janice Raymond, a well-connected academic who has spent the last thirty-five years trying to wipe trans women off the face of the earth, when they just say ‘feminists’.

    But at the same time then, we can’t say, “feminists believe in gender equality.” That may be a warm and fuzzy you equate with your personal conception of feminism, but it’s not universal.

    Basically, when someone makes a generalization, respond with evidence, and undermine their perception of that generalization… even if you don’t convince them, your words do have an effect on other people watching… that’s why I debate trans-misogynistic radicalfeminists (as divorced from actual radical feminists) on their blogs… so that people will see a counter argument, even if the original poster isn’t convinced.

    To wit: Suck it up and get diggin’

  201. Jim says:

    “….so it looks to me as though a fair amount of it was consensual. ”

    Sheesh. Power differentials? People in physical custody? Children preyed on by adults? What part of that has anything to do with consent?

  202. Daran says:

    Can an inmate give meaningful consent to a staff member at a juvenile detention center?

    It is necessary for several reasons, but particularly to protect inmates from abuse of power, to prohibit any sexual contact by staff. However this doesn’t mean that every such contact is necessarily an abuse of staff power. Sometimes people have sex with each other because they both want it, and for no other reason. Inmates and staff at detention centres are no different from anyone else in this respect.

  203. Daran says:

    Jim we crossposted, but I think my reply to tracy covers it.

  204. tracy says:

    “….so it looks to me as though a fair amount of it was consensual. ”

    Sheesh. Power differentials? People in physical custody? Children preyed on by adults? What part of that has anything to do with consent?

    That’s what I don’t understand. We have statutory rape and rape when one or the other party is inebriated or under the influence of drugs. imo, it should be considered rape, or at least a crime, if one of the parties is an inmate at a juvenile detention facility and the other is a staff member. The power differential there is too great for me to feel comfortable that meaningful consent was provided.

  205. Schala says:

    @Valerie

    Ever had a talk with Julian Real? I’m the Sara he said was anti-feminist, anti-lesbian and racist.

  206. The power differential there is too great for me to feel comfortable that meaningful consent was provided.

    This. Even if it were just the fact that the staff denied peer-sexual-access… (again, another reason why assigned-sex segregated facilities can be cruel and unusual)

  207. Jim says:

    “The power differential there is too great for me to feel comfortable that meaningful consent was provided.’

    Yes and now let’s take it a step further into grayer areas, where general cultural conditioning weakens a person’s power to revoke and thius to give real consent. I am personally a little clearer on how the Real Man narrative does pressure guys into feeling we has no way out, and I can see how raising a girl to always be a pleaser could do the same in an encounter with a manipulative user. Do you see some more on the female side?

  208. SpudTater says:

    THHAAAAAARRRRR SHE BLOWS!!!!! Harpoons ready!

  209. typhonblue says:

    @ Daran

    “In our culture, some people view vaginas as oozing blasphemy all over whatever they envelops some of the time, but don’t consider women raping men to be a credible threat at those times.”

    Actually this supports my point.

    When I said ‘oozing blasphemy’ I didn’t mean literally. I meant figuratively.

    To put it another way. What’s the word for men who have had sex too many times with a woman who was menstruating?

    What’s the word for women who’ve had sex with men too many times?

    Having sex with a menstruating women isn’t seen as causing a man to loose sexual value in the way having sex with a man is seen to cause women to loose value.

    It’s that idea that penises somehow damage women that cause many people to view rape as bad. Not issues of consent.

    And that’s fucked up.

  210. tracy says:

    Jim, if that was aimed at me, I know about how gender roles force men into sexual situations they don’t want and feel powerless to say no to. In this particular case, even if the boy or man in question felt he had a way out, I still wouldn’t feel comfortable that he was in a position to give meaningful consent.

  211. Jim says:

    I got that you got that. I was asking how this same dynamic works in women’s lives. I know a woman generally has more latitude to turn men down than a man has to turn women down, but not always – I am wondering what in the culture works to negate that for women, or what in a particular woman’s upbringing. I know that it happens because I have run across comments from women where they said they felt trapped into allowing sex to go forward. I’m wondering what is setting that up for them.

  212. AllSaintsDay says:

    @Jim: Two answers I’ve been given before to that are “She’s a bad person if he buys her dinner and she doesn’t repay him with sex.” and “She’s a bad person if she leads him on and then doesn’t give it up.”

    @anyone who was planning on answering Jim’s question:
    I’d be interested in the answer too, but I’m particularly interested any that have force from something besides “She’s a bad person…” in the way that for men, you’re actually defective for turning a woman down, in addition to the fact that you’re an ass for turning her down because you made her feel ugly and undesirable (exact words I was once told).

  213. dungone says:

    @Jim, depression comes to my mind. Some women lose confidence and have a hard time maintaining boundaries when depressed. Money comes to my mind as well. Other things too, I’m sure… I have quite a few misgivings about the choice of words used to describe some of those situations, which seems to be a language that blames others for one’s own problems. It’s bad enough to end up in a relationship with a depressed woman where you bend over backwards to make her happy. But then the relationship falls apart because of her depression and if you try to save it you run the risk of being accused of making her feel trapped. Same with a woman who chooses you because you’re a success object but then when she wants to leave you, her own lack of financial footing works against her. How about younger women who brag about how much more mature they are than their male peers and go for older, more experienced men only to end up feeling powerless? It’s a double bind, basically.

    Before anyone objects and tells me I’m crazy for thinking this way about common usage of the word “trapped”, read this excerpt for a review of Eat Pray Love I found on a self-help site:

    Another huge responsibility many Americans forget to take ownership of is THEMSELVES! I would like to invite you on a journey through author of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert’s life as she transformed her life from a depressed, trapped housewife to a culturally rich and recharged spiritual guru.

    As readers of Eat, Pray, Love are first introduced to Liz, she is a sad Manhattan woman, trapped in her recent marriage, literally crying on the bathroom floor night after night, weeping over the circumstances life has currently abandoned her with.

    And read another take on the movie:

    She has no redeemable qualities whatsoever… she leaves the marriage she’s in because she feels trapped, quickly starts another relationship with another man and leaves (because she feels trapped) and then barely survives a third relationship (which she almost left because she felt trapped.)… we’re supposed to sympathize with a woman who displays open vitriol towards the typical way of life and then travels the world on a whim because she wouldn’t be complete without those experiences… We can’t just put aside everything and travel because we feel trapped. We have responsibilities and obligations. Working through those problems is what makes us complete human beings. Avoiding them entirely is what children do.

  214. tracy says:

    Most of the reasons I know of are applicable to either gender:
    * A desire to keep one’s significant other happy. I know the myth is that men are always available but having been married for 8 years, I know from experience this is not true. We each go through times when we aren’t interested or our interests don’t line up. But if I push him off too much, I feel pressure to have sex with him anyway. (Please don’t read into that that I don’t love my husband or that I don’t enjoy sex with my husband, because I do)
    * No idea when I’ll get sex again. There is a myth that women can have sex whenever they want. I’ve talked to a fair number of women about this and we pretty much all agree. It’s not true. Maybe women who are highly desired by men don’t have this issue, I admit I don’t have a lot of serious hotties in my friend group when I thought to ask the question. Women often have to work within the confines of societal expectations of gender, especially the believe that women should be pursued not be the pursuers. Thus, we’re often limited to whomever hits on us unless we break out of this mold.
    * Power differential. Have sex with me or you won’t get this job, I’ll evict you, your husband won’t get the steak he really wants.
    * Hormones. We act like men are the only ones who have times of extreme desire to have sex. In my experience, this isn’t true. While there will always be variation, a lot of women I know are just as horny as men. We just feel forced to hide it more.

  215. Amused says:

    Jim: What makes you think women have a greater latitude to turn men down?

  216. Skidd says:

    Saw this in my reddit surfing. Can you imagine some of these comments being directed at a girl in this position? God, it’s sickening.

  217. Skidd says:

    BTW, I’m “justskidding” there in the comments, and I linked him to 1in6 right away. I just cannot get over the terrible comments. Ugh.

  218. Oh internet, how full of stupid can you get? *sighs*

  219. Jim says:

    “Jim: What makes you think women have a greater latitude to turn men down?’

    First the scripts that inhibit men from turning women down;
    – Gay-shaming
    – Failure shaming
    – Accusation of lack of chivalry – it’s insulting to reject her, to hurt a woman’s feelings, etc.

    Then the scripts available to women to turn men down
    – “CREEP!”
    – “Do you really think you’re man enough for all this?” and associated shit testing. The icy stare of disdain
    – Random male white -knighting in the vicinity form complete strangers.

    I think these are quite undirectional. I am pretty sure that a 25 year-old man calling a female peer “creep’ for approaching and not leaving would be laughed out of just about anywhere. I know I am missing a lot, but these are the big thre on each side that come to mnd.

  220. typhonblue says:

    @ Skidd

    Here’s another ‘Holy Shit!’ comment from that thread:

  221. tracy says:

    @Jim I could come up with a list of extremes too. I gave a whole list of reasons why women might feel pressured to say yes even if they wanted to say no. And if you haven’t heard the language used sometimes by a man angry that a woman turned him down, you should keep an ear out.

    In college, a number of my male friends totally turned down and made fun of girls that came on too strong. And their friends didn’t make fun of them for it.

    Do we have any evidence of the great sex shortage? Or is the real issue that the women these men want to have sex with don’t want to have sex with them so we are assuming then that all women won’t have sex with them?

  222. Daran says:

    Do we have any evidence of the great sex shortage? Or is the real issue that the women these men want to have sex with don’t want to have sex with them so we are assuming then that all women won’t have sex with them?

    Quoting from this post:

    There are an awful lot of people on the net who are describing similar experiences to mine. Overwhelmingly they are male. Women frequently talk about the difficulties they have in finding suitable partners, but rarely, if ever, have I heard a woman say that she reached the age of thirty or forty without ever having the opportunity to have any partners at all. Additional evidence that this is basically a male problem can be seen in the existence of several industries that cater to (or exploit) different elements of the problem and which are overwhelmingly targeted at men. Pornography and prostitution, phone sex and services that offer a “party on the phone” and the like (which is a clear pitch toward a more general social deficit, rather than a merely sexual one). And of course, commercial PUA teaching.

  223. Lain says:

    I definitely believe that there are issues that need to be addressed in the “expectations” that are still held for men. A man being abused by a woman is hardly taken seriously. This is a problem.

    Not to mention little things, like the literature. There are all kinds of campaigns telling women and girls they are beautiful and fine just the way they are. I have no problem with this, but where are the campaigns telling men they are fine just the way they are? They don’t have to be muscled sex addicts just to be seen as normal? I work at a book store and a woman came in asking for a book on bodies/puberty for boys. There was an entire section for girls, and none for boys – and I was able to find one book out of maybe fifty titles. This disturbed me a great deal.

  224. @Lain

    That’s a very good point. You know what I find disturbing? That I post on forums where mentioning that would be a fucking heresy… that I have friends who want to believe that society has an extra special hate-on for womyn… it bugs me.

    Though to be sure… I would’ve like to have some agency in stopping that disaster of a first puberty before it started.

  225. Jim says:

    “@Jim I could come up with a list of extremes too. I gave a whole list of reasons why women might feel pressured to say yes even if they wanted to say no. And if you haven’t heard the language used sometimes by a man angry that a woman turned him down, you should keep an ear out.’

    That’s about what I was thinking too. No, don’t think I’ll keep an ear out for all that – I think I’ll be satisifed with taking your word for it.

    “I work at a book store and a woman came in asking for a book on bodies/puberty for boys. There was an entire section for girls, and none for boys – and I was able to find one book out of maybe fifty titles. This disturbed me a great deal.”

    Lain, there is a whole literature about that stuff – maybe not the physical side of male puberty and manhood, but the whole emotional and social side. In fact that used to make up a big part of the Classical curriculum, for centuries and centuries, to the point that maybe it wwas a little too dominant. The Iliad, the Odyssey and whole lot of old favorites. Funny how none of that is taught anymore. Maybe the overwhelmingly female teaching corps doesn’t quite know what to do with it.
    And funny thing; it speaks to girls too. When “Troy” came out

  226. Jim says:

    some of the most appreciative audiences were young women. And it wasn’t “That Brad Pitt, he’s so dreamy!!!”. It was “It’s interesting to see a story where the men act according to honor”, i.e internalized peer pressure – maybe it’s a revelation to see the male version of the pressures they face themselves.

  227. AB says:

    @Jim:

    “Then the scripts available to women to turn men down
    – “CREEP!””

    Yeah right! Listen, if there’s anything most men agree on, it’s the prevalence of male victimization by hysterical women making false accusations against them. Creep-shaming like the kind you’re engaging in (by implying that women just use that word with impunity when they’re not interested in a man, because it’s certain to be accepted) is extremely common, and you’re not showing any female advantage by demonstrating it.

    Women face a difficult double-bind, because the image of them as untrustworthy and prone to making big deals of out little things is not only extremely prevalent, but also not recognised, even by supposed egalitarians like yourself. Thus, people make a huge deal out of it when a man is unjustly called a creep, but they don’t think for a second about the times where women are shamed for calling men out on legitimately creepy behaviour (or just reject men they find creepy).

    If I was to list it as a male privilege that men could act as creepy as they wanted and harass women with impunity, in the certainly that any complaints would be written off as baseless accusations, you and others would label me as a misandrist in a heartbeat, yet you have absolutely no qualms about listing CREEP! as a scrip that’s just generally available to women, and not for a moment consider that many of them find it very hard speaking out even when they’re subjected to legitimately creepy behaviour.

    I recently had a conversation with a male friend and his girlfriend, where the girlfriend and I for the first time talked about a guy in our mutual surroundings who is extremely creepy to women. I knew how he was, she knew it, eventually even the boyfriend knew it, and yet we also all knew that just calling him out on it would be socially unacceptable. It was a real breakthrough that we could even talk about it (and only because we were two women vs. only one, very progressive, man), and at the end, the girlfriend had tears in her eyes and thanked me for giving her the vocabulary to explain just why the guy’s behaviour made her feel so unsafe. To experience that, and then come back to a message board culture where guys offhandedly remark how women are easily able to call guys creeps is a strong reminder to me that feminism hasn’t gone far enough.

    “- “Do you really think you’re man enough for all this?” and associated shit testing.”

    Make up your mind. Shit-testing is about wanting someone to try harder, turning people down is about wanting them to go away. Inadvertently, your own choice of words shows why it’s actually not easy for women at all. As I said in an earlier paragraph, women are often assumed to be untrustworthy and not capable of correctly judging when a man is bothering them – hence why, even in a supposedly feminist space, you can get away with portraying the word creep as more of a case of a woman using insults against an innocent man, rather than a case of her legitimately being made uncomfortable by a man.

    Also, I have heard plenty of men shame for women their lack of sex appeal and “associated shit-testing”. In fact, it’s among the most common insults against women, only rivalled by the accusations of sexual promiscuity. Considering how much women are supposed to be attractive all the time, it has been my experience that women are more likely to give up quickly if the guy directly questions their validity as potential romantic partners, because it’s a more significant insult and women don’t have a script telling them that men are just shit-testing them and saying no when they mean yes, and that they’ll come around if a woman pursues them long enough.

    “The icy stare of disdain”

    Interesting, considering this quote: “If it’s a disgusting woman (.) I mean just a platonic kind of friend but a disgusting woman (.) you gotta make a face if they’re sort of implying something then they’ll probably get the picture”, from a study about guys’ attitude towards indirect rejections. He clearly expects a woman to understand that she’s not getting sex merely from the way he looks at her, and he’s not alone. As I said above, at least men aren’t assumed to say no for the lulz. They might be seen as weird and gay for rejecting sex (though a good deal of the time, the woman will also see herself as not good enough), but in some situations, I’ll take that risk over having my resistance being construed as shit-testing.

    “I think these are quite undirectional. I am pretty sure that a 25 year-old man calling a female peer “creep’ for approaching and not leaving would be laughed out of just about anywhere. I know I am missing a lot, but these are the big thre on each side that come to mnd.”

    English is not my first language, so forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m going to presume you mean unidirectional (operating only in one direction) rather than undirectional (not indicating any direction). And I’ll suggest that the reason you see it as going only one way is because you don’t look at comparable female experiences, or perhaps look at the wrong female experiences.

  228. Or is the real issue that the women these men want to have sex with don’t want to have sex with them so we are assuming then that all women won’t have sex with them?

    Tracy, I have repeatedly tried to get my chronically-alone guy-friends hooked up with women (by their request only)… and my friends are NEVER good enough… too fat, too old, too religious, too woo, too left, too right, too whatever. (One was summarily dismissed for having more sexual experience than the guy did! That was a new one on me. Another was dismissed for already having a child. Etc.) Upon close inspection, these men turn out to have, um, VERY high standards. The women are willing, but the men don’t find them good enough. Too much Hollywood, no woman is allowed to have an extra ounce of fat these days.

    I’d say its happened at least a half dozen times now, and I started to discern the PATTERN. Finally gave up, and all of them are STILL dateless and alone. (sigh)

    Like the overly-picky women, they are alone for a reason.

  229. AB says:

    @Lain:

    “Not to mention little things, like the literature. There are all kinds of campaigns telling women and girls they are beautiful and fine just the way they are. I have no problem with this, but where are the campaigns telling men they are fine just the way they are? They don’t have to be muscled sex addicts just to be seen as normal?”

    That’s funny, my experience is the exact opposite. I see male protagonists who’re neither muscle-bound, handsome, or addicted to sex , it’s just considered so normal that no attention is drawn to it. One of my male acquaintances once told me how happy he was with stories where it wasn’t always the most handsome guy who got the girl. Of course, by “got the girl” he meant “got the pretty girl”, which is just so normal it’s not even necessary to say. I, on the other hand, has to look a lot father for stories in which the male love interest is considerably more attractive than the female protagonist (then again, I also have to look a lot farther for female protagonists to begin with, especially in stories made for both sexes).

  230. AB: Also, I have heard plenty of men shame for women their lack of sex appeal and “associated shit-testing”. In fact, it’s among the most common insults against women, only rivalled by the accusations of sexual promiscuity.

    My favorite example of this — you are sitting by yourself, minding your own business… man comes up and asks if he can sit with you, like at a bar, cafe, fast food place, Starbucks or something. (The wedding ring, the book you are reading, all of it means nothing, if he is determined). You are polite, maybe say, I’d rather not, or say you are leaving soon (which you weren’t, but now you have to!)… There is no good answer to that, except let to allow him to sit there and start running his mouth to you and ruin your afternoon of peace and quiet. (and I have allowed it, on occasion, if too tired or unwilling to argue… so I know what comes next: life story, highlighting his wonderfulness, followed by an offer to go somewhere else)

    If you say no, “you’re a dog/bitch/fat cunt/stupid slut anyway”–smiles/leers, moves to next table and tries the next female. I have never encountered this scenario without an insult delivered at the end, despite how nice I tried to be. Hundreds of times; the number accumulates over decades! And all I was doing is sitting there, minding my own business. AND I’M OLD! I am just thankful that I am no longer young and being harassed *every single second*, as I used to be…

    (And I’ve always been a somewhat big girl, I can only imagine how it must be if you are considered conventionally attractive by society’s standards.)

  231. Schala says:

    “I, on the other hand, has to look a lot father for stories in which the male love interest is considerably more attractive than the female protagonist (then again, I also have to look a lot farther for female protagonists to begin with, especially in stories made for both sexes).”

    Consider that, if he was too pretty, it would be seen as him being gay, or him competing with her – thus bad. So men are plain because if they care too much about their appearance (ie they need to naturally be good-looking) then it means they’re gay.

    I’ve seen it before, guy has pretty and long hair, girls comment about how good-looking it is, and how they’re jealous of it…and then consider him as probably gay.

  232. AB says:

    @Daisy Deadhead:

    “I’d say its happened at least a half dozen times now, and I started to discern the PATTERN. Finally gave up, and all of them are STILL dateless and alone. (sigh)

    Like the overly-picky women, they are alone for a reason.”

    I’ve noticed the same pattern. Though the fact of the matter is that as long as culture dictates a male approach, women will get more in contact with men who’re attracted to them, but less in contact with the men who’re attractive to them. That alone will skew the numbers. But even without that, the number of times I’ve heard men complain about how the attractive women they’re chasing are shallow for judging them by their looks, would in itself be enough to tell me that the penchant for unreasonable demands is genderless.

  233. Schala says:

    And on the other hand, there is the subjectivity, that men consider themselves ugly, and most women, when asked, only consider a few men to be really good-looking physically. While the standard to reach ‘pretty-level’ for a woman is lower. Most men consider most women (in general, barring age differences, because that tends to have generational stuff) to be good-looking, at least, more than they are themselves.

    So in short, it’s not that men are not attractive, it’s that they consider themselves and are considered by a somewhat majority…to be less attractive than women as a whole. Like if the average wasn’t a 5/10 for both sexes, but 3/10 for men and 7/10 for women.

  234. AB says:

    @Schala:

    “I’ve seen it before, guy has pretty and long hair, girls comment about how good-looking it is, and how they’re jealous of it…and then consider him as probably gay.”

    Perhaps it’s an American thing. From what I’ve seen, the women who like pretty men vastly outnumber the women who don’t, especially when we’re talking about unmarried women.

  235. Schala says:

    About the ageism, much of it seems to come from “eww old people”, with “old people” representing anyone 5-10 years above you, regardless of your own age (though I guess it tapers of in 60s).

  236. Schala says:

    Prettier than them men?

  237. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “To experience that, and then come back to a message board culture where guys offhandedly remark how women are easily able to call guys creeps is a strong reminder to me that feminism hasn’t gone far enough.”

    So what, in your opinion, is an appropriate insult for men to call women who are making them feel uncomfortable?

  238. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    ” I see male protagonists who’re neither muscle-bound, handsome, or addicted to sex , it’s just considered so normal that no attention is drawn to it. ”

    And it’s not possible for the men watching it to recognize it as the ‘wish fulfillment fantasy’ that it actually is?

    Also what’s rarely mentioned as that even these so-called ‘average’ guys have absurd levels of agency and impact on their environment. More then any normal man could ever hope to have. Thus they are modelling a type of agency that doesn’t exist in reality.

    An impossible ideal by any other name.

  239. TB: So what, in your opinion, is an appropriate insult for men to call women who are making them feel uncomfortable?

    “Damn pushy girl!” once worked on me better than any insult. I hadn’t stopped to think that yes, I was being a damn pushy girl. I stopped bothering him, and I realized he was not “playing hard to get” but was actually annoyed. (If men are sexually available every second, as I was taught they were, no such thing as “too pushy” of course… so I had to learn this the hard way.) No comments about weight, age, sexuality, etc were necessary. Just right to the point.

    “You are being too pushy” might make her blink, for the same reason I did (“I thought men loved that!”–she is probably thinking, confused) –but it makes the point that the behavior is unappreciated at that point and is not a personal judgment on her whole self.

    I have tried “you are being too pushy” on men, and they think its some flirty repartee or something: “Oh you ain’t seen nothing yet, babe!” etc etc.

  240. AB says:

    @typhonblue:

    “So what, in your opinion, is an appropriate insult for men to call women who are making them feel uncomfortable?”

    That would depend on the level of discomfort and the reasons.

    “And it’s not possible for the men watching it to recognize it as the ‘wish fulfillment fantasy’ that it actually is?”

    Perhaps, but I’ll take the word of actual male humans over yours any time, at least as long you don’t provide anything but speculation about what they feel. I’ll also be careful about discounting the positive effects of wish fulfilment fantasies.

  241. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “That would depend on the level of discomfort and the reasons.”

    You just offered a long dissertation on why women shouldn’t be judged for using the word ‘creep’. If there was an equally gendered word for men to use on women who make them feel uncomfortable, why should they be judged for it?

    “Perhaps, but I’ll take the word of actual male humans over yours any time”

    Men have actually told me that they can tell the difference between the fantasy of ‘the below average schlub gets the girl’ and the reality of ‘the below average schlub generally doesn’t get a girl much less the girl.’ Some have gone so far to say they find the whole construct insulting. In other words, in their mind, the homely husband is the punchline to a joke on all men having less sexual value then women.

  242. typhonblue says:

    As for the picky men… it sounds like they’re probably hiding social anxiety behind pickiness. Afterall if you’re convinced you’re going to get nothing, you might as well go after the best nothing you can get.

  243. Jim says:

    “Creep-shaming like the kind you’re engaging in (by implying that women just use that word with impunity when they’re not interested in a man, because it’s certain to be accepted) is extremely common, and you’re not showing any female advantage by demonstrating it.”

    She can use that tactic, he can’t – advantage to her. Simple.

    “Make up your mind. Shit-testing is about wanting someone to try harder, turning people down is about wanting them to go away. Inadvertently, your own choice of words shows why it’s actually not easy for women at all. ”

    Actually based on your wording, that gives the advantage to the woman, because she can make him “work harder” befroe she tunrs him down. It’s still all up to her. and anyway, it’s called “shit testing’ for a reason – it’s a tst, and she can decide any time when he has faield it, so really it’s just a passive agressive way for her to get rid of him – she can just say he falied and that’s his fault.

    “As I said in an earlier paragraph, women are often assumed to be untrustworthy and not capable of correctly judging when a man is bothering them – ”

    your saying it does not make it fatc. and it alos doesn’t make it relevant. What is relevant is that it isn;t what the mane thinks of her decision-making capacity that counts.

    “…hence why, even in a supposedly feminist space, you can get away with portraying the word creep as more of a case of a woman using insults against an innocent man, rather than a case of her legitimately being made uncomfortable by a man.”

    Two things – apprently you take feminism to men female chauvinsim or female advocacy. That’s self-serving and unfortunate, but that’s your right. The bloggers don’t acpet that menaing, and more to the point, have explicitly said this is a masculist blog.

    Yeah – unidirectional.

  244. AB says:

    @typhonblue:

    “You just offered a long dissertation on why women shouldn’t be judged for using the word ‘creep’.”

    No I didn’t, I just said that if you’re going to present it as an injustice when someone is unfairly labelled a creep, you should also acknowledge that it is an injustice when someone is unfairly condemned for calling someone out on creepy behaviour. And on a similar note, if you want an accusation of rape to be a serious matter which people should be condemned for making without a reason, you should also be able to see why falsely accusing someone of lying about being raped is also a serious matter which people should be condemned for.

    “If there was an equally gendered word for men to use on women who make them feel uncomfortable, why should they be judged for it?”

    Creep is not gendered. Just because it’s much more common for men to pursue women, including when it is unwanted, more common for men to be told that women’s resistance is meaningless, and more common for both men and women to feel physically intimidated by men, doesn’t make the word itself gendered. That would like claiming that a father who called his sick daughter “A brave little soldier” was sexist for basically telling her that she’s brave like a boy, instead of teaching her that girls are brave too. Just because most soldiers are male does not make the word inherently gendered. Not to mention that I have heard guys calling women creepy plenty of times before.

    “Men have actually told me that they can tell the difference between the fantasy of ‘the below average schlub gets the girl’ and the reality of ‘the below average schlub generally doesn’t get a girl much less the girl.’”

    I never talked about schlubs (I’m not even sure of the meaning of the word), I was talking about all the male characters who weren’t the most handsome but were still portrayed sympathetically.

    “Some have gone so far to say they find the whole construct insulting. In other words, in their mind, the homely husband is the punchline to a joke on all men having less sexual value then women.”

    Who talks about husbands? I’m talking about hiring Shia LaBeouf to play the lead in the Transformers movies instead of a guy with more impressive looks and charisma. Or making the female price in Sky High end up with the boring ‘nice guy’ protagonist instead of the much better looking (and nicer) ‘bad boy’, which was what my male acquaintance referred to.

    I’m talking about male characters in general, not sitcoms. Of course protagonists who aren’t there to be made fun of usually have some kind of impressive quality about them, but at least in the case of men, they’re not as unanimously presented as only being worthy of screen time if they have a perfect figure. It’s not exactly rocket science to figure out that if you see more variety in the body types of characters who’re the same sex as you, and see more of your sex being presented as accomplished in areas not relating to appearance, it’s not quite as obvious that you would get self-esteem issues for not looking good enough.

    Naturally, with the increased focus on the male body, there will be more and more men concerned about their appearance, and it’s definitely an area worthy of attention, but the scope of it is a relatively new phenomenon (I just saw a rerun of Glee where one of the guys asks another when it became normal for guys to be judged on their bodies like girls), so it’s not surprising society hasn’t caught up yet. Seriously, sometimes the situations of the different sexes are just different, and treating it that way is not some sinister attempt at oppression.

  245. Jim says:

    “Creep is not gendered. ”

    It is, AB. take our word for it. It’s like “asshole’ – not overtly gendered, but gendered in usage. “Dickhead”, “pussy” – as in “weakling” etc are overtly gendered. The others are just part of a covert class in the language and culture.

  246. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    If you say things like:

    “hence why, even in a supposedly feminist space, you can get away with portraying the word creep as more of a case of a woman using insults against an innocent man”

    You are indicating that you believe a woman’s use of the word ‘creep’ cannot be legitimately questioned or judged. In fact the effect of the word ‘creep’ on men or the unilateral right for women to proclaim men ‘creepy’ is rarely discussed or analyzed IMHE. The first time I ever thought about the issue was after reading Clarisse’s essay on the topic.

    And, also, if you’re holding this blog up as a standard for acceptable discussion on feminist blogs… I think you need to expand your sample size.

  247. AB says:

    @Jim:

    “She can use that tactic, he can’t – advantage to her. Simple.”

    He can use it and she can too. She faces both more risks and more rewards, but both can use it.

    “Actually based on your wording, that gives the advantage to the woman, because she can make him “work harder” befroe she tunrs him down.”

    How on earth is that an advantage in rejecting people? If you want someone to go away, it is always an advantage to NOT have your rejection taken as encouragement.

    “It’s still all up to her. and anyway, it’s called “shit testing’ for a reason – it’s a tst, and she can decide any time when he has faield it, so really it’s just a passive agressive way for her to get rid of him – she can just say he falied and that’s his fault.”

    Why would she test him if she just wanted him to go away? And how exactly can she decide to end it if he wont take her word for it when she’s not attracted to him? And please tell me, as a man who apparently knows all about what a woman can with a man, what would suggest I tell a guy he failed my ‘shit-test’? Because so far, I have never met a single woman who knew how to do it, except by using methods you have deemed sexist.

    “your saying it does not make it fatc. and it alos doesn’t make it relevant. What is relevant is that it isn;t what the mane thinks of her decision-making capacity that counts.”

    And if you actually believe women commonly lie about their interest as a form of shit-test to make men try harder, and that they frequently call men creepy even though theyhave no legitimate reason, aren’t you confirming right now that you don’t believe women’s expressed feelings are trustworthy?

    “Two things – apprently you take feminism to men female chauvinsim or female advocacy. That’s self-serving and unfortunate, but that’s your right. The bloggers don’t acpet that menaing, and more to the point, have explicitly said this is a masculist blog.”

    I simply take feminism to mean not automatically taking a man’s side. There are plenty of women who’re told that they don’t have the right to decide that they’re not in the market of buying until they’ve heard the sales pitch, because their feelings are too unreliable. There are plenty of women who’re told they’re attacking innocent men if they speak up about a behaviour which makes them uncomfortable. There are plenty of women who experience being automatically disbelieved when they truthfully tell about a sexual assault.

    But in your world, there exist only women who can easily get away with using insults so severe they cause all men to slink back in shame, and women who’re arrogantly denying sex to deserving men, and women who baselessly accuse men of sexual misconduct at the drop of a had and are always met with unconditional sympathy. That you can get away with making these implications on a board moderated by supposed feminists makes me wish the rest of the world was merely half as accommodating of women as feminism is men.

    To put it shortly: Calling someone a creep is not a tactic always available to women and never to men. The idea of a ‘shit-test’ makes it HARDER for women to reject men, not easier. Men are just as likely, if not even more likely, to be able to discourage women by means of icy stares and insults. You’re not taking women’s experiences into consideration when listing their so-called advantages (one has already told that she was easily rebuked by a man, but that she has been unable to similarly rebuke men, and I’ll second it). And all your examples of how women can reject men are either ineffective or will put the woman at risk of harassment and violence, and frequently both.

  248. Schala says:

    I wish there could be more shows that are not sitcoms and soaps, that don’t have singing all the time, yet touch this kind of thing.

    I won’t watch Glee because constant singing would make me and my boyfriend become insane.

  249. AB says:

    @typhonblue:

    “You are indicating that you believe a woman’s use of the word ‘creep’ cannot be legitimately questioned or judged.”

    Not at all, I just don’t think it’s fair to assume that the behaviour which prompts the use of the word is always acceptable, or that calling someone out for that behaviour is always easy. I also don’t believe someone’s account of a sexual assault cannot be legitimately questioned either, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s fair to assume they’re lying without proof of it, or to not take it seriously when someone is falsely accused of making it all up, both of which is extremely common.

    “In fact the effect of the word ‘creep’ on men or the unilateral right for women to proclaim men ‘creepy’ is rarely discussed or analyzed IMHE.”

    Actually, compared to the unproven (or actually, disproved) claim that women supposedly have a unilateral right to call men creepy even if they aren’t, it has received plenty of attention.

    “The first time I ever thought about the issue was after reading Clarisse’s essay on the topic.”

    That’s funny, that was the article which convinced me that men are often trying to delegitimise women’s opinions opinion by portraying them as hysterical bigots. Or rather, the comment section did, and I think it did for Clarisse too, judging by her reaction. Most of these guys weren’t saying “Yeah, she could just have said she wasn’t interested, then I would have left her alone, she didn’t have to call me a creep”, they were saying “Yeah, women just use it to justify rejecting men they have no right to reject”, which is plenty of creepy for me.

    They reminded me of really rude Turkish shop and restaurant owners (no offence to Turkey, it is a wonderful place in many ways) who kept following you around and shouting at you to visit their store, and then spent the hovering over you while you were there even after you said you would like to just go around and look for a while. The worst part was when employees of roughly 12 restaurants all tried to get us to eat there and give us their card when we decline, and one of them directly asked, if we already had his card, “Then why don’t you come and eat?!?”.

    It’s one thing to make an offer, it’s another to suggest that people are obliged to take it, or explain to you why they don’t. It was also kind of a double-bind, because at one hand, we were made to feel rude for not even bothering to take people’s card, and on the other, we were made to feel rude for taking people’s cards without any intention of eating there. And yes, it was creepy in an entirely non-sexual way. It reminds me a lot of how these guys basically expected women to justify not being interested in spending time with them. They seemed to see the whole creep-thing as more of an excuse, and imagined that if women were properly shamed away from using the the term, they would have no reason to reject men.

    Incidentally, we did end up eating at one of the restaurants – the one where the first guy who came out to meet us immediately backed away, held up his hands, and said “I have no card for you!” 😉

  250. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “That you can get away with making these implications on a board moderated by supposed feminists”

    We’ll see how long the bloggers retain their ‘feminist’ cards. Aside from that, this is the *only* feminist blog on the net that allows men’s point of views to any great extent. That’s it’s niche, if you hadn’t noticed.

    “makes me wish the rest of the world was merely half as accommodating of women as feminism is men.”

    Have you spent any time at any other feminist blogs?

    AB, if you’re really interested in some insight into the ‘male rejection’ experience, I highly recommend Norah Vincent’s book _Self Made Man_. Really fascinating read.

  251. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “That’s funny, that was the article which convinced me that men are often trying to delegitimise women’s opinions opinion by portraying them as hysterical bigots.”

    I didn’t read the comments. I’m sure there are some guys who do this. But this strikes me as an incredible generalization.

    Also doesn’t your defence of the word ‘creep’ also hold for the use of ‘hysterical bigot’?

    Thus:

    “Not at all, I just don’t think it’s fair to assume that the behaviour which prompts the use of the word(creep, hysterical bigot) is always acceptable, or that calling someone out for that behaviour is always easy.”

  252. Hugh Ristik says:

    @tracy,

    Do we have any evidence of the great sex shortage? Or is the real issue that the women these men want to have sex with don’t want to have sex with them so we are assuming then that all women won’t have sex with them?

    One line of evidence that would lead to a sex shortage (from men’s perspective) is that women are more sexually selective than men. If we paired any random man and woman, he would be more likely to want sex with her, than she would be to want sex with him.

    Another line of evidence is Bob Altmeyer’s research on Canadian college students. In the 2007 data he discusses in the preview of his book (a fascinating read), he discovered that by age 19, more women had sexual experience than men:

    More females had done the various acts, from the breaststroke on, than males had. (With one exception: having an orgasm from oral-genital stimulation was a tie.) The guys this age who got into the game got in at the same age, for each event, as the gals did. But a lot of the fellows were still standing on the sidelines, as they were at those seventh grade parties. Barely half of the men had experienced intercourse by the time of this survey compared with 73 percent of the gals. Say, what? […]

    So whom did the women have sex with their first time, if it wasn’t the guys in their high school class? The answer: they got it on with older fellows, while guys their age took lots of cold showers. And about half of the men were still taking them, virginity-wise, in college!

    In a few years these 19 year-old males will probably have chucked their innocence to the same extent that the women had by 19. But when all is said and lost, the average age of “losing their virginity” will be noticeably higher for the men. The women in the 2007 study had considerably more sexual experience than the men with whom they graduated from high school. It also took the guys a little longer to go from 0 to 60 (20 months) than it did the women—which is telling because only the fastest guys got to 60.

    The women had more sexual experience than men in almost every category! Women were receiving more oral, and having more sex (73% non-virgin women vs. 50% men). Yet the women enjoyed sexual activity less when it did happen:

    Be this as it may, scanning the “Mean Liking” columns in Tables 2-1 and 2-2 makes it clear who had more fun skipping from stone to stone developing a sexual history: the men. They enjoyed every one of the new adventures more than women did, usually by hefty margins. If you think this simply shows men enjoy sex a lot more than women do, I warn you that this too appears to be an endangered stereotype. Instead, the women’s lower likings suggest that whenever they took the “next step,” many experienced a downside that took some of the thrill out of it— especially first intercourse. Again, we’ll revisit this in Chapter 6.

    […]

    If you consider just the women who had received an oral-genital orgasm and also had had intercourse, 55 percent of them experienced coitus first. Thus most of these women had sexual intercourse, with all its implications, before they were ever set off orally by a guy. By contrast, 73 percent of the sexually active men had the oral-genital orgasm first. Overall, one gender seems to be putting out more (and sooner) than it’s getting in return: the women.

    I wonder women were experiencing less enjoyment? Physiological reasons? Pain? Pressure? The older guys they were dating acting like douchebags?

    The women also had more relationship experience:

    But this shoots our stereotypes about satyric men and self-suppressing women to smithereens. How can this be? Well, there’s this thing called romantic involvement. To some extent, as you may know, being in love can lead to sex. (It especially works when the other person loves you back.) About half my female students were involved in a romantic relationship featuring sex when they answered my survey, compared to about a third of the guys. And many of the gals were enjoying their second or third such relationship, while most guys in love were still crashing around in bewilderment in their first. Thus the women will inevitably be ahead sexually if love’s got anything to do with it. Gals start falling in love sooner than guys their age do.

    Or, young women can get into relationships where love might occur, while fewer young men can. In this population, there is a sex and relationships shortage for young men, because the women their age often prefer to “date up” with older and more experienced guys.

  253. Kenshiroit says:

    AB ‘Perhaps it’s an American thing. From what I’ve seen, the women who like pretty men vastly outnumber the women who don’t, especially when we’re talking about unmarried women.’

    I agree to that this most be a american thing. Because I noticed the same thing. I know some pretty boys, and lot of girl are crazy about them…uuuh he has brown eyes, see beautyfull long hair, wow musclesss….in one occasion when me and my Sicilian friend was out and clubbing,a girl approached him, assking him if she could caress his hair (he has long dark hair). Lot women I know, they say directly they are visual, on both men and women! Finally at least two girls i know have topless guys calendars in their bedroom.

    Schala: ‘About the ageism, much of it seems to come from “eww old people”, with “old people” representing anyone 5-10 years above you, regardless of your own age (though I guess it tapers of in 60s).’

    The funny thing I notice when im out for work or clubbing (im a DJ) is a lot of young guys go crazy with older women, and about men, so long they are attractive age doesent matter (I have a friend who is 40 good looking and athletic and he has absolutely no trouble with young girls, although he refuse the under 30’s).

  254. Jim says:

    “He can use it and she can too. She faces both more risks and more rewards, but both can use it.’

    Apparently I am not making my point clearly enough. It has nothing to do with risks. My point is that “crep” is toothless when a man uses it on a woman. It is exactly the inverse of “slut’ – a woman calling a man a slut is not insulting him effectively.

    Here is a difference though. The creep meme has legal ramifications where the slut meme does not. It enables the demonization of men around children. The slut meme does not have that efect on women in the legal system.

    ““makes me wish the rest of the world was merely half as accommodating of women as feminism is men.”

    AB, this one is laughable, I have to tell you. Thanks for a laugh on a Monday.You have proven yourself well enough here that it doesn’t damage your credibility, but if this one comment were all I had ever read from you, you would have no credibility with me. For a start go look at the uses of “mansplaining”, and then the uses of “male privilege” as a silencing technique.

  255. Hugh Ristik says:

    @AB,

    I simply take feminism to mean not automatically taking a man’s side. There are plenty of women who’re told that they don’t have the right to decide that they’re not in the market of buying until they’ve heard the sales pitch, because their feelings are too unreliable.

    I don’t automatically take the man’s side. For instance, I don’t agree that women are obligated to hear a man’s sales pitch before deciding. I don’t expect women to need to justify rejecting men; that would be ridiculous. Yet I still have a problem with some usages of the word “creep.” Even if women have good reasons to use it, it’s still a gendered slur that is used in response to a wide swathe of behavior, not all of which deserves to be stigmatized.

    “Creep” is kind of like the word “bitch.” I’m sure the word “bitch” is useful for men (and women!) to point out behavior by women that either abusive, aggressive, or causing discomfort. But that’s a wide swathe of behavior that’s all being lumped together, and it can unfairly get conflated with other behaviors, like female assertiveness, because it’s so vague. The fact that some people find “bitch” a useful word to protect themselves from objectionable behavior by women doesn’t make it stop being a misogynistic slur. Likewise, the usefulness of the word “creep” (I use it myself!) doesn’t make it stop being a broad and vague misandric slur.

    There are plenty of women who’re told they’re attacking innocent men if they speak up about a behaviour which makes them uncomfortable.

    Yes. There are some people who will accuse women of always being unfair when they point out male behavior that makes them uncomfortable, perhaps using the word “creep.” I think we both disagree with that attitude. Yet that doesn’t mean that women aren’t sometimes being unfair. Can we agree on that? If so, then it will be possible to discuss the conditions under female criticism of male advances is fair, or unfair, and what the relative proportions of those occurrences are.

    On the other hand, perhaps you’ve just never seen any female criticism of male advances, or accusations of creepiness, that you consider unfair, which is why you have trouble understanding the perspectives of some men (and women) on this subject. I will second the recommendation of Norah Vincent (on this subject, though perhaps not on others), who writes:

    On dates with men I felt physically appraised in a way that I never did by women, and, while this made me more sympathetic to the suspicions women were bringing to their dates with Ned, it had the opposite effect, too. Somehow men’s seeming imposition of a superficial standard of beauty felt less intrusive, less harsh, than the character appraisals of women.

    The women I met wanted a man to be confident. They wanted in many ways to defer to him. I could feel that on many dates, the unspoken desire to be held up and led, whether in conversation or even in physical space, and at times it made me feel quite small in my costume, like a young man must feel when he’s just coming of age and he’s suddenly expected to carry the world under his arm like a football. And some women did find Ned too small physically to be attractive. They wanted someone, they said, who could pin them to the bed or, as one woman put it, “someone who can drive the bus”. Ned was too willowy for that. I began to understand from the inside why Robert Crumb draws his women so big and his diminutive self begging at their heels or riding them around the room.

    Yet as much as these women wanted a take-control man, at the same time they wanted a man who was vulnerable to them, a man who would show his colours and open his doors, someone expressive, intuitive, attuned. This I was in spades, and I always got points for it. But I began to feel very sympathetic toward heterosexual men – the pressure to be a world-bestriding colossus is an immensely heavy burden to bear, and trying to be a sensitive new age guy at the same time is pretty well impossible. Expectation, expectation, expectation was the leitmotif of Ned’s dating life. …

    Dating women as a man was a lesson in female power, and it made me, of all things, into a momentary misogynist, which I suppose was the best indicator that my experiment had worked. I saw my own sex from the other side, and I disliked women irrationally for a while because of it. I disliked their superiority, their accusatory smiles, their entitlement to choose or dash me with a fingertip, an execution so lazy, so effortless, it made the defeats and even the successes unbearably humiliating. Typical male power feels by comparison like a blunt instrument, its salvos and field strategies laughably remedial next to the damage a woman can do with a single cutting word: no.

  256. AB says:

    @typhonblue:

    “AB, if you’re really interested in some insight into the ‘male rejection’ experience, I highly recommend Norah Vincent’s book _Self Made Man_. Really fascinating read.”

    I’ve read some excerpts and interviews, and what struck me the most wasn’t that the experience of an outsider who’ve never been expected to do all the approaching before found it absolutely terrifying, because that would be what I already expected, but rather that she was successful. She describes several dates, and even several times where she had to reveal her biological sex to the women she were dating, because they were about to get naked.

    I was recommended the book by one of the guys who constantly talked about how easy it was for women to get sex, and how most men existed in an eternal purgatory of unfulfilled needs, and how only alpha-males had any chance with women. I had to tell him that, considering that Norah Vincent made for a very short, effeminate, and not very attractive man, who furthermore was often suspected of being gay, and that she still managed to get multiple women to bed, her experience actually contradicted his claim.

    “I didn’t read the comments. I’m sure there are some guys who do this. But this strikes me as an incredible generalization.”

    You can look up my final comment on the article for a longer explanation. It’s the second to last one, right below a guy who is ‘exploring the crisis in masculinity’ and has a blog which (according to himself) is for all people interested in sex, but is focussed solely on porn for straight men, and right above Clarisse agreeing with me and saying that the comments have made her feel tired, cynical, and depressed, it should be easy enough to find.

    But basically, I think it’s very hard for women to assume the best of men if they experience that their right to make their own decisions about who to spend time with is under attack, and that the attackers are not strongly condemned or disapproved of by other guys. And, to quote “I feel sorry for the men it affects, but in my mind, ‘no’ will always trump ‘yes’, and protecting yourself from unwanted advances will always take precedence over making the person doing the advancing feel good.”

    “Also doesn’t your defence of the word ‘creep’ also hold for the use of ‘hysterical bigot’?”

    Bigot yes. Hysterical is a bit more difficult because, like dick or pussy, it is directly tied to a sex. And even without the sexist history, which I’m intimately familiar with through my study, and the fact that I’ve heard guys claim that only women can be hysterical, while I have yet to hear anyone claim that only men can be creepy, many of the girls and women I’ve heard referred to as creepy (Lady Gaga, some ghost in a dress, a weird old woman with lots of cats, the little girl from The Ring, Holly Pervocracy) also didn’t strike me as being labelled that way for being masculine.

    On the other hand, men seem to only be called hysterical if they behave in a stereotypically female way. A man who simply goes berserk might be as emotional and out of control as the guy who starts screaming and crying because he sees a spider, but only the latter will commonly be referred to as hysterical (a woman will, in my experience, commonly be referred to as hysterical no matter what). So when someone refers to someone as creepy, the most obvious meaning I’ll take from that word is that the person in question is making someone feel unsafe, whereas calling someone hysterical have connotations of telling them they’re behaving like a girl.

    Hysterical is also, again in my experience, more often used to unjustly dismiss people (say, someone is upset about something, and rather than address the cause, their opponent will try to imply that they’re just being hysterical). It is also considerably easier to replace with less loaded words, whereas creepy seems to be the only word currently covering what it covers (since I’m not an English speaker, I could be wrong, but it’s so useful I’ve found myself using it even in Danish, because no similar word can found). So I’m a lot more ambivalent about it.

  257. Lain says:

    @ Daisy Deadhead: “I, on the other hand, has to look a lot father for stories in which the male love interest is considerably more attractive than the female protagonist (then again, I also have to look a lot farther for female protagonists to begin with, especially in stories made for both sexes).”

    That is a very valid point, and I have the same problem — although I would argue that a lot of teen books lately are about that – plain girls getting with hot (usually supernatural) boys. The issue for me is that boys are not reading these books.

    Perhaps I should expand a little.

    I have this theory that the “devaluation” of femininity in general (things considered feminine traditionally) greatly contributes to some of the bad attitudes that continue to exist toward women. Some things are “for men” and some things are “for women”, either implicitly or explicitly. Things that are supposed to be for “both” usually default to male – and things that are “for women” are basically considered to be of NO interest to men. So basically, things like characters in stories and books – default to “men.” Books about body image, fashion, relationships, emotions, well-being are almost always (or at least the majority of them) “for women”.

    This instance with the puberty books came not long after I witnessed a father tell his young son to put down a book with all female characters because it was “for girls.” (BTW this was the book the boy was interested in; doesn’t even strike me as particularly “girly”: http://www.kidzworld.com/article/22959-smile-graphic-novel-review) This bothered me *a lot*. The message is that it’s fine for girls to read stories with only boys in them, but not the other way around?? That’s pretty messed up, in my opinion. I mean, I realize that people tend to relate to characters that are like them, but it was about dentists for crying out loud. Just because it has a female protagonist and mostly female characters (you’ll notice most stories, the female characters are outnumbered and often secondary) — it is “for girls.”

    This attitude extends to things like jobs – where we see so few men in child care, secretarial work, or teaching (the majority of male teachers work with older kids, not with the little ones). Women are now allowed to be “masculine”, more or less, but are men allowed to be feminine?

    My theory is that if we could teach boys to embrace some of the things typically considered “feminine”, if we could help young boys (and girls!) see that “girl world” is actually not so different from “boy world”, and being girly, feminine or doing “girly” things is NOT a sign of weakness , — then maybe it would help make a tiny bit of difference.

    So….as a very long explanation, that is why I was disappointed to see so few books for boys in the sort of self-care/emotional//self-reflection category of books for young men.

  258. Lain says:

    ** I should also add that “rape” is one of those things that gets attributed as “happening to men” and “violence” is “for men”, more or less. So it’s not just books and movies I’m talking about here, and it’s negative for both genders in different ways, just in case that wasn’t clear.

  259. Lain says:

    Crap, I mean “happening to women” x.X

  260. kenshiroit says:

    AB: look for ‘forklædt som mand’ thats the Danish title.

    About that book I have to admit I was surprised that some women did not reject her when she exposed herself with her real gender. It made me think if women look for some specific qualities that cross gender than focusing exclusively on the opposite gender. BUT WHAT DO i KNOW???

  261. kenshiroit says:

    oh sorry for the caps….

  262. Jim says:

    “On the other hand, men seem to only be called hysterical if they behave in a stereotypically female way. ”

    Called hysterical, yes. When men act hysterical in stereotypically male ways, we are called berserk (and you are tright to equate the two states.) You are exactly right about what it takes for the term to apply to a man’s behavior.

    “My theory is that if we could teach boys to embrace some of the things typically considered “feminine”, if we could help young boys (and girls!) see that “girl world” is actually not so different from “boy world”, and being girly, feminine or doing “girly” things is NOT a sign of weakness , — then maybe it would help make a tiny bit of difference.”

    Lain, we have to be careful with this. In cultures where men get to do a lot of things we call feminie in this culture – esthetic enjoyment for instance, emotional closeness with men – the effect is to make women superfluous to men except for reproduction. Yeah you have a wife, but she’s for sex, and it hardly matters if you’re facing her or not – it’s your male friends who you have your enmotitonal connections with.

    And that’s hardly the end of the world for women, to be emotionally marginalized from men, but there is an actual downside for women; unless women come out and become economically important – take on male work against active and real male resistance (the kind of physical violence and intimidation that kept blacks out of union job of decades, not the “hostile workplace” resistance that women faced in America) they risk being effectually marginalized in that society.

  263. AB says:

    @Jim:

    “Apparently I am not making my point clearly enough. It has nothing to do with risks. My point is that “crep” is toothless when a man uses it on a woman.”

    I suggest you ask some women who’ve been called creeps before judging. I know I would feel ashamed and embarrassed if someone called me a creep (depending on the context of course), and considering that Holly had a post on her blog about how she used to creep people out, it’s obvious that she doesn’t consider it toothless in regards to women either. The thing is, since men are more likely to approach women and women are more likely to try to passively to get a guy to approach, women end up doing most of the rejecting and so we don’t really have a script for women about how to react when they’re rejected, or how to spot rejection in the first place. And none of us can really know all the implications of this.

    You seem to assume that this means there simply are no ways for men to reject women, that women will happily and systematically ignore men’s indicators of interest, or lack of same, in favour of the idea that they are always irresistible and that men are always up for it. But in my reality, for every girl who ignores a guy’s indicators of disinterest because she considers them irrelevant, there are several who are extremely conscious of the fact that by pursuing a guy, they’re already failing at the whole femininity-thing, and who sees being rejected by a guy even after you throw yourself at him to be the ultimate humiliation. For these girls, being called pushy or creepy, and being told to go away, will not be seen as the insignificant chatter of a guy who doesn’t know how much he wants them yet, it will send them crying to the bathroom.

    And while women might not have a script telling them to be aware of when a man rejects them, they also don’t have a script telling them to actively ignore men’s rejections and dismiss them as meaningless. Women are not told that men will frequently fake interest when not interested, fake disinterest when they’re interested, and basically make women’s lives miserable and confusing because they can. The way the shit-test meme is used discredit the validity of women’s motivations, feelings, their ability to express themselves, and their sense of what’s good for them, can make it insanely hard for women to reject a man without resorting to threats or violence, and it’s ridiculous that you present this as something which makes it easier for women to reject men.

    “Here is a difference though. The creep meme has legal ramifications where the slut meme does not. It enables the demonization of men around children. The slut meme does not have that efect on women in the legal system.”

    Actually, the main difference is that one word describes something legitimately negative and the other doesn’t. Saying that someone is creepy means that they’re eerie, frightening, causing fear, etc., and it would be justified if they were actually eerie, frightening, causing fear, etc. Saying that someone is a slut implies that they’re bad/wrong for having a lot of sex (or alternatively, for being female), and no matter how much sex the person in question has, that’s not fair to them, because there is nothing inherently bad about having a lot of sex.

    Also, the slut meme has legal ramifications too. It makes it considerably harder to be taken seriously in cases of sexual harassment and assault, it can be used to paint you as an irresponsible parent, and it can hurt your career. I believe Hugo Schwyzer had an article noting that one of his female colleagues was fired for working as a stripper while he, ironically, was allowed to continue despite having sex with his students, and whatever you personally think of the man, that’s a serious injustice.

    “AB, this one is laughable, I have to tell you. Thanks for a laugh on a Monday.You have proven yourself well enough here that it doesn’t damage your credibility, but if this one comment were all I had ever read from you, you would have no credibility with me. For a start go look at the uses of “mansplaining”, and then the uses of “male privilege” as a silencing technique.”

    My point is that for people who’re supposed to be better than feminists, the posters here don’t really act like it.

  264. kenshiroit says:

    Jim :In cultures where men get to do a lot of things we call feminie in this culture – esthetic enjoyment for instance, emotional closeness with men – the effect is to make women superfluous to men except for reproduction.

    How does metrosexuals and pretty boys fit into your description?

  265. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    I think Norah was a fairly tall woman so she made for at least an average size man. As for being unattractive, here’s a photo:

    http://transnews.exblog.jp/2574970/

    I dunno. ‘He’ seems pretty attractive. Acting ‘gay’ may have allowed her to ‘disarm’ the women she approached; in fact PUAs use it as a pick up technique. Finally, being a woman may mean she had more confidence in her approaches then average; after all it wasn’t like not being successful with the ladies meant feeling like less of a man.

  266. typhonblue says:

    Incidentally the article I posted a link to gives a pretty good example and summation of how men’s issues are viewed by the mainstream:

    “Attending a retreat with her men’s group, she’s detached enough to ridicule the tribal drums and plastic swords wielded at the retreat’s climactic “spirit dance,” but she still buys into the movement’s victimography and faux-purgatory nonsense.”

  267. Schala says:

    “But in her makeshift man drag, she found that the same stoop-sitters and bodega loiterers didn’t stare at her. “On the contrary,” she says, “when they met my eyes they looked away immediately and concertedly and never looked back. It was astounding, the difference, the respect they showed me by not looking at me, by purposely not staring”

    I disagree with what she says here.

    Being ignored is not respect. And if you like (positive) attention, you really need to be funny.

  268. Schala says:

    Positive attention as a man. By the way.

    For positive attention as a woman, I wear whatever that looks somewhat feminine, and go outside where there might be people. There you go, attention.

  269. kenshiroit says:

    typhonblue ‘Acting ‘gay’ may have allowed her to ‘disarm’ the women she approached; in fact PUAs use it as a pick up technique’

    hmm I dont know, the gay trix can backfire badly, so you have to be skilled in using it (how to use it, when and on who and for how long) otherwise things can go wrong, pretty fast.

    I think she was simply confident since she as a woman knew how to relax and talk to another woman. And to more clearly read her bodylanguage and signals. Than the average guy.

  270. Schala says:

    “”I passed in a man’s world not because my mask was so real, but because the world of men was a masked ball,” Vincent writes. “Only in my men’s group did I see these masks removed and scrutinized.””

    Man card and all. Masquerades.

  271. Schala says:

    “I think she was simply confident since she as a woman knew how to relax and talk to another woman. And to more clearly read her bodylanguage and signals. Than the average guy.”

    She was a lesbian woman. That’s specific experience with women.

  272. kenshiroit says:

    schala: men wear maskes, women wear maskes.

    He may seem to be the perfect prince, but then he is a frog. She may seem to be the perfect hot babe, but then she remove her fake nails, her fake hair, her push up, her corsette, her high heels…and u end up with a totally another person O_O

    I know highly stereotypet, but take this as a joke 😀

  273. kenshiroit says:

    ‘She was a lesbian woman. That’s specific experience with women.’

    see that was a kinda of a turn off for me. I would really love to see this experience (a woman in the “secret” world of men as a man) from a het woman perspective. That would have been super interesting.

  274. typhonblue says:

    Hysterical versus Creepy being gendered.

    Here are some results from google:

    “hysterical woman”: 210,000
    “hysterical man”: 44,8000
    “creepy woman”: 64, 200
    “creepy man”: 582,000

    82% of the gendered references to hysterical were directed towards women. 90% of the gendered reference to creepiness were directed towards men.

    If hysterical is gendered, then so is creepy. They are, in fact, entirely comparable insults. Except that creepy is seen as more of a reflection on a person’s morals and potential criminality then hysteria, which is more about a person loosing themselves to their emotions.

  275. Lain says:

    Jim: “And that’s hardly the end of the world for women, to be emotionally marginalized from men, but there is an actual downside for women; unless women come out and become economically important – take on male work against active and real male resistance (the kind of physical violence and intimidation that kept blacks out of union job of decades, not the “hostile workplace” resistance that women faced in America) they risk being effectually marginalized in that society.”

    I don’t quite get how this would make women marginal. Are you implying that, basically, if men can do all these things then what do we need women for? That’s kind of how it sounds, and that’s exactly the kind of thinking I would hope to combat by teaching men to see women as human beings and equals, and certain things traditionally considered “female” as actually just normal parts of human experience, and not spheres of weakness.

    Which cultures exactly are you referring to? I can’t speak for much other than my own culture; “Western” culture. In certain other cultures the gender boxes often look quite different from ours and they face different problems, each of which would need far more examination than I can put into words here. I don’t think that, in whichever cultures this is supposedly happening, women are marginalized because men appear effeminate to us. Women are marginalized because they, their spheres and their work are still devalued, just that those spheres differ from our own, and what is considered “acceptable” behaviour for each gender varies from culture to culture, but I would say a lot of the same still applies.

  276. Jim says:

    “How does metrosexuals and pretty boys fit into your description?”

    Do you remember what Mao Zedong said when someone asked him what he thought of the French Revolution (in about 1935)? He said it was too soon to tell. That’s my answer on metrosexuals. It’s early yet.

    But I can say from what I have observed among gay men, that women can become fashion accessories, like this years fashionable toy breed of lapdog. (“Isn’t she fabulous – not like that insufferable bitch last year!”) A gay man needs a woman for nothing unless he wants a surrogate mother for a child. He doesn’t need her for housework, for fashion sense, for decorating his home, for any social interaction, for any emotional intimacy – other than his mother of course, but she is hardly in the same class as women women, of course – and so he is free to have a real friendship untainted by any dependency. Or none at all.

  277. Jim says:

    No, we aren’t all as horrible and dismissive towards women as to treat them like a fashionable breed of pet – I was exaggerating for effect.

  278. Lain says:

    ** I should most certainly add that I am talking about straight, straight cis males and females in general here. I just realized with some horror that I’ve made some pretty sweeping statements and I apologize for that.

  279. Jim says:

    “Which cultures exactly are you referring to? I can’t speak for much other than my own culture; “Western” culture. ”

    I observed this in spending time with Arab men years ago, and I hear a lot of the same kind of things form guys coming back from afghanistan. If you look at Classical Greek culture, friendships between men are much more important in men’s lives than are thier relationships with the women in their lives. andrew sullivan has writen about this a lot.

    “I don’t quite get how this would make women marginal. Are you implying that, basically, if men can do all these things then what do we need women for? That’s kind of how it sounds,…”

    Yes, basically.

    “…and that’s exactly the kind of thinking I would hope to combat by teaching men to see women as human beings and equals, and certain things traditionally considered “female” as actually just normal parts of human experience, and not spheres of weakness.”

    Well what you have to watch out for is appropriation or recovering the activities and leaving the people behind. How many decades of white people loving black music and imitating is it going to take for us to start seeing black people as anything more than a problem? See the problem? Once humans invented cars, what did we need horses for anymore?

    Anyway, allowing ourselves as men all the areas of “weakness” you refer to will have the primary effect of healing our relations with each other. And frankly I consider that central. Treating woemn decently comes next, because for one thing they can take care of themselves and we should not be central to their lives either. The women our lives who matter, who really are central, are our daughters and mothers and sisters, and our wives too if they truly make the commitment, and our co-workers too. We are all human together, But you can’t give what you don’t have.

  280. AB says:

    @Hugh Ristik:

    “I don’t automatically take the man’s side. For instance, I don’t agree that women are obligated to hear a man’s sales pitch before deciding. I don’t expect women to need to justify rejecting men; that would be ridiculous.”

    For you perhaps, but it’s nonetheless the reality for many women, and despite all the talk (including from you) about how PUAs are so much better than feminists at getting men to stop being misogynist, I have yet to hear any of them (including you) coming down hard on men who think a short but polite rejection is an unacceptable behaviour for women. In fact, PUAs were the ones who coined the whole shit-test meme as a rationalisation for their unwillingness to take women on their word.

    “Yet I still have a problem with some usages of the word “creep.” Even if women have good reasons to use it, it’s still a gendered slur that is used in response to a wide swathe of behavior, not all of which deserves to be stigmatized.”

    What proof do you have that it is gendered? It doesn’t have a gendered root, like the way hysteria comes from Greek for uterus, bitch refers to a female dog, pussy refers to the female genitalia, dick refers to the male genitalia, and sissy comes from the word sister. It is not used exclusively of men. The women who’re called creepy are not implied to be butch the way men who’re called sissies, pussies, bitches, hysterical, etc. are implied to be effeminate. The only way it’s gendered is that women more often report being frightened or severely uncomfortable by a man (i.e. creeped out) than vice versa, but I’m pretty sure you’d also be able to find negative feelings that men more often express about women than vice versa.

    “The fact that some people find “bitch” a useful word to protect themselves from objectionable behavior by women doesn’t make it stop being a misogynistic slur. Likewise, the usefulness of the word “creep” (I use it myself!) doesn’t make it stop being a broad and vague misandric slur.”

    Except that creep does not have the gendered roots that bitch has, and is not exclusively about men. And even if it did, what do you suggest? For most men, it’s not the word that matters, it is the fact that some women are uncomfortable around them and feel unsafe in their presence, which according to these guys is the equivalent of racism. Changing the word wont change that, because we’re still back to the question of how much women are allowed to choose to avoid men they don’t feel comfortable with.

    Most of the guys arguing against the use of creep are acting like the people who claim that they acknowledge that racism might exist, but because they’ve been unfairly labelled a racist by some filthy niggers, it means the word itself is oppressive. And yes, that analogy is deliberate, there is a strong correlation between behaviours such as claiming women are unfair if they reject men for the sole reason of not being interested in them, and finding the use of ‘creep’ to be sexist.

    “Yes. There are some people who will accuse women of always being unfair when they point out male behavior that makes them uncomfortable, perhaps using the word “creep.” I think we both disagree with that attitude. Yet that doesn’t mean that women aren’t sometimes being unfair. Can we agree on that? If so, then it will be possible to discuss the conditions under female criticism of male advances is fair, or unfair, and what the relative proportions of those occurrences are.”

    Of course. But that’s very different from blindly stating that the creep meme is a one-sided advantage, without taking into account how often women are portrayed as unreasonable and hypersensitive, how little credibility they’re often afforded in these regards, and how often men (perhaps women to, but I don’t have personal experiences with it) will make excuses for it and blame it on social awkwardness and deliberate malice on behalf of the person being creeped out. It’s like saying black people have the advantage of more easily being able to call white racist without taking into account how often blacks are accused of playing the race-card (which, from my experience with American culture, is quite a lot).

    “On the other hand, perhaps you’ve just never seen any female criticism of male advances, or accusations of creepiness, that you consider unfair, which is why you have trouble understanding the perspectives of some men (and women) on this subject. I will second the recommendation of Norah Vincent (on this subject, though perhaps not on others)”

    This reminds me of a quote from my father, from when he was a student of religious history: One of the problems with trying to understand a foreign culture is that once the researcher has gotten close enough, has lived long enough in this culture to truly get it, they’re often so entrenched in the thought-process of said culture that they’re no more capable of explaining it to outsiders than the natives are.

    From what I can tell (and I’ve read that passage before and had the exact same thoughts) Norah Vincent feels a lot. She feels inadequate, she feels judged, she feels powerless, she feels too easily rejected, and she makes no excuse for it, not even a little “you might not understand, but that was how it felt for me”. In that way, she’s a lot like many men I’ve met, so used to being taken seriously and not having to justify themselves that they just say what they feel and consider it a fact (since they’re men and therefore not emotional, not prone to shit-testing, not inclined to make a big deal out of small complaints, and just overall so much more reasonable).

    But truth be told, she doesn’t actually tell anything concrete. She doesn’t explain why the women’s demands are unreasonable or inherently more confusing than men’s, she doesn’t explain how the ways the women rejected her were hurtful, or how their acceptance of her was humiliating (from what I can tell, it seems she didn’t think they invested enough emotion into it?), or why their interest in her personality felt intrusive. She doesn’t give a single example of any concrete sentence or action from a woman, or even just get into how those straight women were different from the lesbians she dated (which makes me wonder how much her attitude and expectations played a part). She basically spends four paragraphs saying “Picking up women is like a sport for men, and women are the judges. This is unfair”.

    I can only judge what Ms. Vincent has described as actually happening, not what she felt during dates she never tells about. And from that, the most powerful message I get from her book is still that the guys who claim it’s impossible (or even hard) for anyone but alpha-males to get sex are full of shit. And I knew that already.

  281. AB says:

    @typhonblue:

    “I think Norah was a fairly tall woman so she made for at least an average size man.”

    She’s 5’10, which is ½ inch shorter than the average white man in the US, so not that all, but not small either.

    “As for being unattractive, here’s a photo
    I dunno. ‘He’ seems pretty attractive. ”

    That’s a modelling photo (and one of her as a woman). She’s clean shaven on the image, but most of her time she wore a fake stubs. Her problem, at least to me, is that she’s not particularly masculine, but all the guys I have seen pull off the effeminate prettyboy look has had considerably less chubby faces, and has accentuated their prettiness with long hair and clean shaven faces, which she, for obvious reasons, couldn’t.

    “Acting ‘gay’ may have allowed her to ‘disarm’ the women she approached; in fact PUAs use it as a pick up technique.”

    Which again disproves the idea that women only go for macho alpha-males. I won’t rule out that she had some advantages, but I feel confident in saying that if acting like a ‘real man’ is an almost impossible ideal for men to live up to, and if it’s the only way men can ever hope to achieve women’s attention, and if all the undue pressure on men is solely because women (as so many guys claim) make unreasonable demands about a masculinity which they could never live up to themselves, then there’s no way a freaking woman, lesbian or not, with no previous experience living up to these unreasonable male demands, should be able to get into bed with women in less than a year.

  282. Paul says:

    “She’s 5’10, which is ½ inch shorter than the average white man in the US…”

    Well, crap.

  283. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “there’s no way a freaking woman, lesbian or not, with no previous experience living up to these unreasonable male demands, should be able to get into bed with women in less than a year.”

    I don’t think that necessarily follows. First of all she will have had some experience approaching women (and she readily admits it was easier to do as a lesbian then as a man) and she’ll not be dealing with the potential of feeling like _less of a man_ if she’s rejected.

    Your conclusion relies on several premises.

    1) That being raised a woman was a severe deficit in attracting women.

    2) That ‘real men’ are going to be automatically better at being attractive to women.

    Let’s imagine that the ‘real man’ ideal is a mosaic. He’s rough and burly when he needs to bring home the bacon; he’s suave and sensitive to a woman’s moods when he’s seducing her; and he’s patient, giving and stoic in a relationship. (Plus a number of other things I won’t go into.)

    Any one guy can be any one of these things fairly easily. But a real man has to be all three. Norah Vincint may have shown some unusual ability in the ‘seduction’ category–possibly because she was a woman not despite it–but she never did have to attempt every other category _all at the same time_.

    In fact you can replace the mosaic with one commandment: ‘SuperAgent Man(tm) fulfills all the needs of his woman with ease.’

    PS. If you want to talk about why I think this framing also functions as a form of mental foot-binding for women, I would love to oblige.

  284. AB says:

    @typhonblue :

    ““hysterical woman”: 210,000
    “hysterical man”: 44,8000
    “creepy woman”: 64, 200
    “creepy man”: 582,000

    82% of the gendered references to hysterical were directed towards women. 90% of the gendered reference to creepiness were directed towards men.

    If hysterical is gendered, then so is creepy.”

    Since many of times I’ve seen women referred to as either hysterical or creepy, it has been with the term ‘lady’, I decided to do some searching on that term, and the equivalent male ones:

    “creepy lady”: 244,000
    “creepy lord”: 6,660
    “creepy gentleman”: 2,360
    “hysterical lady”: 14,500
    “hysterical lord”: 1,340
    “hysterical gentleman”: 92

    Interesting how a google search depends on your choice of words. Not to mention it’s impossible to see the context (someone could be hysterically funny). But more telling, trying with a word we all agree is gendered:

    “sissy man”: 323,000
    “sissy woman”: 7,950
    “sissy boy”: 1,790,000
    “sissy girl”: 186,000

    Looking at this, around 91.6% of the references to sissy were directed towards men. Does that mean sissy is a derogative reference to men, like bitch is to women, faggot is to gay men, dyke is to lesbians, and nigger is to black people? I hope most people here can agree that the word is most definitely a slur referring to women, not men.

    What makes a word gendered is not who it most often refers to. The search “brave man” gave over 5 times as many results as “brave woman”, and yet I don’t see people here suggest that brave is a gendered word, even though it is clearly used more about men than women. If more men behave in a way people find brave, or more men are in situations where their bravery will be noticed, or the expression “a brave man” is considered more iconic than the female equivalent, then that’s just the way it is. We can aim to change society, but unlike phrases such as “a real man”, the word is not problematic (or even gendered) in itself.

  285. Skidd says:

    The way I understand the word creep is that it’s a very, very mild insult to women. Most just laugh it off or could be proud of themselves for it. Pushing boundaries for women is seen as daring, bold, exciting and new – this is your Lady Gaga. On the other hand, when I see men get called creepy – I tend to see an expression not dissimilar to being kicked in the nuts. As a word, it has a helluva lot more impact on men.

    I think she was simply confident since she as a woman knew how to relax and talk to another woman. And to more clearly read her bodylanguage and signals. Than the average guy.

    Man, I’m a girl and I’m absolutely terrible at reading other women. I don’t fit in well with other women, and I am awful when it comes to some body language. There’s no special thing that comes with being raised female or having XX chromosomes as some sort of built-in translator, only being around a lot of other women (which I wasn’t, save for my mom, for my formative years.) If I had sisters, perhaps it would be different.

  286. AB on Norah Vincent: considering that Norah Vincent made for a very short, effeminate, and not very attractive man, who furthermore was often suspected of being gay, and that she still managed to get multiple women to bed, her experience actually contradicted his claim.

    BINGO! YES… something bothered me about the book and seemed weirdly contradictory, but could not put my finger on it. Thanks for pointing this out.

  287. Skidd says:

    Re: Norah Vincent
    I wonder what her wardrobe was like while she was in the dating sphere during her project? Going by that picture, she appears very “elite” and well-off, with nice clothes and giving off a very… “CEO” air. (Same for this picture: http://www.crossdressing.pl/pics/pic_norahvincent.jpg ) — This is just as big of a role in attracting women as having the right masculine-looking facial features. Probably a lot larger role than having perfected muscle definition.

  288. “Acting ‘gay’ may have allowed her to ‘disarm’ the women she approached; in fact PUAs use it as a pick up technique.”

    Why would this be attractive to women, if women only like masculine men? See, I think it is also about wanting men who are deemed sexually “safe”; some women also tend to throw themselves at priests, in my observation. (But they aren’t the most macho fellas either.)

    Or is it the “challenge”? In any event, it doesn’t seem like the turn-on is masculinity.

    Interesting conversation, yall!

  289. AB says:

    @typhonblue:

    “I don’t think that necessarily follows. First of all she will have had some experience approaching women (and she readily admits it was easier to do as a lesbian then as a man)”

    That has no bearing on the idea that men have to be alpha-males in order to have sex. She has no experience soliciting sex with the kind of women who supposedly want an alpha-male, which would be straight women (and no kidding it’s harder, she’s not approaching women who would normally be attracted to her, she’s doing it as duty rather than a pleasure, she’s in disguise, and it’s very likely she dated under different circumstances as a lesbian – I certainly don’t recognise much of what PUAs describe as the normal dating circumstances from my own life).

    “and she’ll not be dealing with the potential of feeling like _less of a man_ if she’s rejected.”

    Again, not relevant to my point, which was the alleged impossibility of non-alpha males to attract women. If women feel better about men who’re not overly nervous, that’s hardly an unreasonable demand for a macho-man.

    “Your conclusion relies on several premises.

    1) That being raised a woman was a severe deficit in attracting women.”

    Of course, that’s the whole theory I think she’ debunking. If being sexually successful with women is not achieved by seeing them as people, being interested in them friends, identifying with them, or being able to relate to their experiences, but is instead achieved solely by being an alpha-male, appealing to a near-universal evolutionary female instinct for wanting the manliest man possible, as many PUAs and other sexists suggest, then she should have failed miserably every time.

    She may have learned some male mannerisms and adjusted her behavior to be closer to what women who’re attracted to men like, but ultimately, she never succeeded in portraying the testosterone filled alpha-male who smash all enemies and provide meat for his harem who had no other function than to be his personal prostitutes, nannies, and domestic servants (which are the only biological roles the pop evo-psych used my many PUAs leave available to women) that women are supposed to want.

    “2) That ‘real men’ are going to be automatically better at being attractive to women.”

    I personally don’t think so, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard how all the pressure on men to be manly is ultimately because of women.

  290. AB says:

    @Jim:

    “A gay man needs a woman for nothing unless he wants a surrogate mother for a child. He doesn’t need her for housework, for fashion sense, for decorating his home, for any social interaction, for any emotional intimacy – other than his mother of course, but she is hardly in the same class as women women, of course – and so he is free to have a real friendship untainted by any dependency. Or none at all.”

    And incidentally, many women report having really good experiences with gay men.

  291. typhonblue says:

    @ Daisy

    “Or is it the “challenge”? In any event, it doesn’t seem like the turn-on is masculinity.”

    Maybe because ‘traditional masculinity’ ultimately isn’t a turn on? This would tie into game theory and the idea that a traditional man does not make for a sexy man. The idea of ‘traditional masculinity’ revolves around being sexually subordinate in a relationship with a woman, ex. the man has a need that the woman fulfills.

    A sexy man, however, is not sexually subordinate to a woman because he has something the woman wants which he won’t necessarily give to her (thus he’s ‘dangerous’). Gay men provide part of that equation. Ambiguously gay men even more. Men with ‘options’ work too.

    This makes ‘attractive masculinity’ almost an oxymoron. To be masculine a man must be always eager; but to be sexy he has to be aloof.

    It’s the madonna/whore double bind for men.

    Must be pretty frustrating to try and walk that thin line.

  292. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “Again, not relevant to my point, which was the alleged impossibility of non-alpha males to attract women.”

    I don’t think Norah was successful with traditional pick up. She ended up going after less mainstream women through online ads. (And still experienced a lot of rejection.)

  293. AB says:

    @Skidd:

    “The way I understand the word creep is that it’s a very, very mild insult to women. Most just laugh it off or could be proud of themselves for it. Pushing boundaries for women is seen as daring, bold, exciting and new – this is your Lady Gaga. On the other hand, when I see men get called creepy – I tend to see an expression not dissimilar to being kicked in the nuts. As a word, it has a helluva lot more impact on men.”

    Understand it as you want. Some women are very sensitive about being called creepy, some men cultivate it. The term itself is not gendered. The word ‘creep’ originally referred to the movement (to creep and crawl, to creep up on someone), and ‘creepy’ of the feeling of something creeping over one’s skin, usually from fear. It also doesn’t refer to anything particularly masculine or feminine, nor do it change its meaning depending on which sex it is applied to, whether it’s a man or a woman, being creepy still means being unsettling and scary.

    You could also say that it is a much bigger insult, or a more serious accusation, for a woman to accuse a man of scaring her than vice versa, because we don’t believe women are as intimidating as men and we expect men to feel less fear. That doesn’t mean we should abolish the term scary, it means we should apply it more equally when doing so is fitting.

  294. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    ‘The term itself is not gendered.’

    Creep is definitely gendered. Look at my post examining how it’s applied to men nine times more often then women.

  295. Uncalledfor says:

    (* Not attempting to scale the wall of text, just tapping on one brick. *)

    AB: In fact, PUAs were the ones who coined the whole shit-test meme as a rationalisation for their unwillingness to take women on their word

    As a matter of straight terminology I don’t think this is correct. AIUI the term “shit-test” was invented to explain, or at least categorize, the unintuitively contradictory behavior so often seen from women: they ask a man for something, and then reject him (to some degree) exactly because he complied with the request. I think most men start out being perfectly willing to take women at their word — it’s easier, after all — and are only driven to conceptions like the “shit test” after having witnessed too many obviously contradictory behaviors for that to be tenable.

  296. AB says:

    @typhonblue:

    “This makes ‘attractive masculinity’ almost an oxymoron. To be masculine a man must be always eager; but to be sexy he has to be aloof.

    It’s the madonna/whore double bind for men.

    Must be pretty frustrating to try and walk that thin line.”

    No offence, but Norah Vincent pretty much destroyed that theory too. She described herself as extremely nervous and made a big deal out of how women had all this power and she didn’t, and I don’t recall her describing rejecting women or having women chasing her, so obviously it wasn’t her aloofness that enabled her to get laid.

    “I don’t think Norah was successful with traditional pick up. She ended up going after less mainstream women through online ads. (And still experienced a lot of rejection.)”

    I don’t think most people, men or women, are successful with traditional pick-up. But PUAs describe their theories as universal, and most sexually frustrated guys (including PUAs) talk about the general impossibility for men to get sex because of the unreasonable standards set by women which means only alpha-males have any hope. I’ve never doubted the lack of validity of their claims, but I have been rather surprised at how often the guys who complain the most about how men can’t get sex recommend me a book about a woman managing to achieve this alleged impossibility in less than a year.

  297. AB says:

    @typhonblue:

    “Creep is definitely gendered. Look at my post examining how it’s applied to men nine times more often then women.”

    Look at my post explaining how, according to the same terms, ‘brave’ is a gendered word and ‘sissy’ is an offensive term for a man.

  298. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “Look at my post explaining how, according to the same terms, ‘brave’ is a gendered word and ‘sissy’ is an offensive term for a man.”

    And maybe they are?

  299. Schala says:

    @Uncalledfor

    And this is visible in the meme that says women want the bad boy, then change him into a nice guy…then find him boring, because he’s too docile. Imagine that.

    So it’s a double-bind.

    I prefer to avoid people who work under this model, altogether. Either they learn better, or bye bye. Because mind games I have Sudoku for.

  300. Schala says:

    “But PUAs describe their theories as universal”

    Lately I’m in a less cynical mood, so I’ll say it’s 60-70% of the West (if I was more cynical, I’d say 95%) that works under this model. So if you’re not seeking the outliers outright, good luck finding those outside of it. They probably hang out with them, too.

  301. AB says:

    @Uncalledfor:

    “As a matter of straight terminology I don’t think this is correct. AIUI the term “shit-test” was invented to explain, or at least categorize, the unintuitively contradictory behavior so often seen from women: they ask a man for something, and then reject him (to some degree) exactly because he complied with the request.”

    That’s not contradictory at all. At least not is you’re like a typical man (no offence) and thus says very little and expects women to guess your thoughts and put them into the right context. What I guess you’re talking about, is the tendency for some women to behave in a way which can be construed as making demands of the men in their lives, and of trying to change them, and yet lose interest if the men prove too accommodating. Did I guess right?

    “I think most men start out being perfectly willing to take women at their word — it’s easier, after all — and are only driven to conceptions like the “shit test” after having witnessed too many obviously contradictory behaviors for that to be tenable.”

    I doubt it, most of the men who believe in shit tests (at least as a uniquely female phenomenon, which is ironic considering how much PUAs engage in the same behaviour) don’t listen enough to women to even know which words to trust. Every PUA type guy I’ve met (i.e. the “Why don’t I get more sex? Women owe me more sex!” type, which is usually the kinds who become PUAs) have had his own elaborately constructed theory about women before he’s ever experienced a woman losing interest in him (mostly because there was never any interest to lose), whereas I know several guys with girlfriends who don’t seem to have a problem just taking women on their words and holding them responsible for it.

    Of course, my experience could be the exception, but so far, I have not experienced anything contradicting it.

  302. AB says:

    @typhonblue:

    “And maybe they are?”

    Which ‘they’?

  303. AB says:

    @Schala:

    “Lately I’m in a less cynical mood, so I’ll say it’s 60-70% of the West (if I was more cynical, I’d say 95%) that works under this model. So if you’re not seeking the outliers outright, good luck finding those outside of it. They probably hang out with them, too.”

    And again, even this was true, it doesn’t explain how so many guys claim that men never have a chance of getting sex (not just having to settle for sex with women who aren’t mainstream and don’t look like Barbie, but not having a chance of getting sex with women, period) unless they’re alpha-males, and yet this decidedly non-alpha crossdresser manages to locate several of these women and have sex with them.

    Not to mention that if Norah Vincent really stayed away from mainstream society and sought out only outliers, how much does her book actually say about men in general? And why do so many men relate to her experiences in dating if the people she were dating operated under a completely different model?

  304. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “She described herself as extremely nervous and made a big deal out of how women had all this power and she didn’t.”

    She described this in the context of _public approaches_ in which she had no success. Again, she only had success with women from her online personals ad. Most likely she was more comfortable in that setting.

    Also the idea that a *woman* could be uniquely qualified to seduce other women is not inconsistent with the idea that traditional masculinity requires near impossible standards from men.

    Finally, PUAs may be saying that masculine behaivor is what seduces women but they are promoting a tautology. In their mind masculine behavior is whatever attracts a woman therefore…

  305. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “Not to mention that if Norah Vincent really stayed away from mainstream society and sought out only outliers, how much does her book actually say about men in general? And why do so many men relate to her experiences in dating if the people she were dating operated under a completely different model?”

    AB, Norah engaged in at least two types of approaches. She approached women in public places and she answered online ads.

    She had distinctly different experiences from each. Mixing them up is not helpful.

  306. Skidd says:

    Look at my post explaining how, according to the same terms, ‘brave’ is a gendered word and ‘sissy’ is an offensive term for a man.

    Sissy IS an offensive term towards man. It’s stripping his precarious state of manhood away. It’s literally a pejorative. (First line of wikipedia for Sissy: “Sissy (derived from sister; also sissy baby, sissy boy, etc.) is a pejorative term for a boy or man who violates or does not meet the traditional male gender role.”)

    I don’t think the word “Brave” is particularly gendered, though. I don’t think anyone thought twice about Pixar naming their new princess movie “Brave”. But brave isn’t an insult, it’s an accolade.

    Creep is similar to “asshole” in some ways, both are predominantly applied to men. (Though asshole has the near-synonym “Jackass” which is literally gendered in the same way “bitch” is).

    But looking at Urban Dictionary definitions, count how many specifically mention it’s a term for men:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=creep

  307. Uncalledfor says:

    AB: “That’s not contradictory at all. At least not is you’re like a typical man (no offence) and thus says very little and expects women to guess your thoughts and put them into the right context.”

    Note, for the record and eternity, that statements of the type “women do X” are not, in fact, logically refuted by statements of the type “men do something just as bad or worse”. For the benefit of our readers who may be new to logic.

    BTW: your conception of the “typical man” does seem rather steeped in hatred and vitriol; you must have attracted some real winners over the years. Just sayin’.

    “What I guess you’re talking about, is the tendency for some women to behave in a way which can be construed as making demands of the men in their lives, and of trying to change them, and yet lose interest if the men prove too accommodating. Did I guess right?”

    No, it’s much simpler phenomenon than that. The prototypical example is, that a woman makes a request of a man, which might be arguably or marginally, but not obviously, unreasonable; after which she will treat him more favorably if he refuses than if he complies. Simple classics include the woman asking her date to hold her handbag while she goes to the ladies’ room, or asking him to fetch her a soda after they’re both seated before a movie. The conclusion is that she asks, not because she wants actually whatever that is, but just the opposite: she wants to see him to push back and refuse. Remember, the punishment for a man being too compliant is vastly more severe and immediate than that for his being too rude or offensive. The name for the category, IIRC, comes from the simple description, “She give him some shit, just to test whether or not he’ll accept it.” Clear enough?

    Interested readers can learn more from this post

    http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2011/03/21/relationshipstrategies/why-we-shit-test/

    and the ensuing, epic-length comment thread at Susan Walsh’s blog; one observation is that essentially all of the female commenters recognize and acknowledge the phenomenon without question, and most go on to defend the practice in practice. It’s a real eye-opener.

  308. @AB

    Who the fuck calls someone a lord? You’re looking for gentleman and to a lesser extent dude and guy.

  309. kenshiroit says:

    AB: ‘makes me wish the rest of the world was merely half as accommodating of women as feminism is men’

    is this a joke? Trust me AB, you dont want to wish that. Seriously

  310. AB says:

    @Skidd:

    “Sissy IS an offensive term towards man. It’s stripping his precarious state of manhood away. It’s literally a pejorative.”

    It also refers to women, not men. Using it about men is all about comparing them to women and indicating that they’re lesser beings because of it. The same goes for pretty much every female insult, they’re always considered more offensive if applied to a man.

    “I don’t think the word “Brave” is particularly gendered, though. I don’t think anyone thought twice about Pixar naming their new princess movie “Brave”. But brave isn’t an insult, it’s an accolade.”

    I also don’t think the word “creepy” is particularly gendered. I don’t think anyone thought twice about calling the little girl from The Ring “creepy”, which 207,000 google references to: “Creepy girl” the ring, pretty much confirms.

    If the word itself does not refer to something gendered, and if it can be used about both sexes without people raising an eyebrow and without associating the target with a certain sex (and if you want to prove that creepy does that, explain to me how that little girl was butch), then it’s not gendered, even if most of the people who’re described using said word are of a certain sex.

  311. AB says:

    @Valerie Keefe:

    “@AB

    Who the fuck calls someone a lord? You’re looking for gentleman and to a lesser extent dude and guy.”

    Take a look at the post you’re criticising again. I’ll make it easy for you and quote the relevant part:

    “creepy lady”: 244,000
    “creepy lord”: 6,660
    “creepy gentleman”: 2,360
    “hysterical lady”: 14,500
    “hysterical lord”: 1,340
    “hysterical gentleman”: 92

    As you can see (and should have seen the first time), I used both of the male equivalents of lady, lord and gentleman, because I figured that if I only used one, no matter which, someone would tell me I got it wrong and that the obvious equivalent was the other word. Seems like I can’t even avoid that if I use both words. And incidentally, it turns out it actually is more common to call someone a lord than a gentleman if you’re referring to them as creepy or hysterical.

    But whatever you want to complain about, the point was that the choice of words has an effect, there are more entries on “creepy man” than “creepy gentleman/lord”, but more entries on “creepy lady” than “creepy woman”. And again, no one has yet to explain how calling a woman creepy in any way is referring to her as less of a woman and more of a man.

  312. @AB

    Among other reasons, it’s because women are more frequently separated by class…

  313. Cheradenine says:

    “Creepy Lady” can’t be compared to “Creepy Guy” that way. AB mentioned The Ring, and that explains why: “Creepy” has multiple meanings, and when applied to “lady”, “girl” etc it almost always means spooky or supernatural, but when applied to “guy” it almost always takes on the meaning being discussed here (which I guess could be summarised as “making you feel uncomfortable by their presence due to some combination of disgusting appearance and behaviour suggesting sexual misconduct”). You can see this clearly if you Google Image Search:

    Creepy Lady by Celyne
    Creepy Lady by xreaper

    A/S/L Creepy Guy
    Hella Creepy Guy
    Untitled creepy guy

    And, of course, there’s RandomCreepyGuy.com.

    Now… can anyone explain to me what any of this has to do with Ozy’s post?

  314. Thomas says:

    Re the question if creep is gendered. Julia Serano describes the underlying dynamic in her Nice Guy essay :

    “The truth is that rape culture is a mindset that affects each and every one of us, shaping how we view and respond to the world, and creating double binds for both women and men. I call this phenomenon the predator/prey mindset, and within it, men can only ever be viewed as sexual aggressors and women as sexual objects.[…]

    Because of the predator/prey mindset, when a woman does act in a sexually active or aggressive way, she is generally not viewed as a sexual aggressor, but rather as opening herself up to being sexually objectified by others.”

    This dynamic explains why creep is gendered. If women are mainly seen as sexual objects, hence passive, they can hardly act creepy. It also matches my experience that sexually predatory woman often get not called creepy but slutty instead. In feminist circles slut is often used synonymous to promiscuous woman. Someone who likes sex, sleeps around, is open to sexual adventures etc. which is obviously ok. But I’ve also seen it (and done it myself) that women who pretty much sexually harass men get called sluts.

    When I was 16 a girl, a total stranger, at a party groped me and forcefully kissed. Then I literally flew from her to the men’s room. My friends and classmate watched the whole scene. In order to save my face, after all I rejected a very obvious come-on, I told them that I don’t want to get involved with a slut like her. The problem was actually not that she was seeking a casual sexual encounter. The problem was she had her hands under my shirt before she even said a single word to me. Still, I did not call her a creep, I did call her a slut.

  315. kenshiroit says:

    Thomas: ‘ Because of the predator/prey mindset, when a woman does act in a sexually active or aggressive way, she is generally not viewed as a sexual aggressor, but rather as opening herself up to being sexually objectified by others.’

    True, and perhaps is also linket to the “patriarchal” culture, where women outside the procreation/care sphere are seen as natural hopeless incompetents. Not worthy to pay to much attention let alone take them seriously.

  316. AB says:

    @Uncalledfor:

    “Note, for the record and eternity, that statements of the type “women do X” are not, in fact, logically refuted by statements of the type “men do something just as bad or worse”. For the benefit of our readers who may be new to logic.”

    Never said it was, just that it’s very hard to argue against “women do X” when the speaker does not identify which women, or specify what X refers to, or explain how it relates to the current conversation.

    “BTW: your conception of the “typical man” does seem rather steeped in hatred and vitriol; you must have attracted some real winners over the years. Just sayin’.”

    Not really, I just spent a lot of my youth surrounded by guys who would routinely pretend to be interested in something other than sex (sometimes going as far as to explicitly talk about how they didn’t have sexual motivations) towards all the girls they wanted sex with, while simultaneously complaining about girls sending ‘mixed signals’, and not see the contradiction. So I decided already then that as long as men are unfairly considered to be logical in their reasoning and straightforward in their approach, I won’t expect them to put much effort into explaining or justifying themselves, but I won’t pretend their explanations automatically make sense just because they were guys.

    “No, it’s much simpler phenomenon than that. The prototypical example is, that a woman makes a request of a man, which might be arguably or marginally, but not obviously, unreasonable; after which she will treat him more favorably if he refuses than if he complies.”

    Haven’t observed the phenomenon, and I don’t believe it’s halfway as common as you claim. Not to mention that this is the kind of behaviour most PUAs and PUA-types I’ve spoken with seems to be wildly attracted to, so I’m not sure how much of it girls trying to appeal to them or the guys seeking out such girls themselves.

    Also, your definition of shit-test is different from Jim’s, and since this whole line of conversation started between him and me, you’re not exactly convincing me of the validity of the term by changing the definition to something which suits your claim better. Take it up with Jim with instead, I think both your definitions are sexist and useless but I’m not going to argue against it until you can actually agree on a more concrete argument than “it’s all women’s fault”, which is the only thing your definitions have in common.

    “Remember, the punishment for a man being too compliant is vastly more severe and immediate than that for his being too rude or offensive.”

    Now you’re contradicting even more people on this site. There has been so many claims about how the male role is all about servitude, and how women constantly make all these unreasonable demands of men which men are forced by society (i.e. women) to comply with, and how women can always shame men who’re too rude or offensive for them. But now you’re telling me that men are punished for obliging women instead. I realise there’s a double-bind somewhere (though no man has ever bothered to tell where it is), but it’s can’t simultaneously be true that men are forced into unconditional servitude and that they’re respected and rewarded if they stand up for themselves.

    “The name for the category, IIRC, comes from the simple description, “She give him some shit, just to test whether or not he’ll accept it.” Clear enough?”

    Kind of like the men who use negs and other PUA techniques to test a woman for compliance? Clear enough, but it doesn’t explain why it’s considered a female trait when men are the ones who’ve made it into a sport, and started communities for the purpose of exchanging experiences and making formal theories about how to best do it.

    “Interested readers can learn more from this post”

    That website is horrible! I read the “A Father’s Loving Advice to a Teenage Daughter” and I’ve rarely been more grateful for my own father. And in regards to the post you linked to, I have to resist the urge to say “And that’s why the USA will not get a female president any time soon”. And I still disagree with them – being attracted to someone who stands up to you without being domineering or abusive is completely natural and common for both sexes (though more for women than men). Testing people to see how they react is also very common, again for both sexes.

    And honestly, a lot of it seems like after-rationalisation. The woman quoted in the article doesn’t say anything about wanting the guy to ignore her temper tantrum, in fact, it sounds like she stormed out as an attempt to make him come after her and make amends. That she later found out she actually preferred it when he didn’t act clingy or needy, give her time to calm down, and didn’t escalate the conflict, doesn’t really tell us anything except that she discovered a new preference. But the author of the article immediately decides that her REAL wish must have been to have him not come after her all along, and the woman herself is equally eager to attribute her actions to a vagina-related strategy which bears no resemblance to how she described her feelings in the actual situation

    What I found interesting is that the woman never described any motivation to shit test. She does not state that she deliberately provoked the fight for no other reason than to test the guy, in fact, she sounds like she was genuinely upset. She also doesn’t describe any hope that he wouldn’t come after her, in fact, she describes herself expecting him to come after her and waiting for it, not hoping against all hope that he was one of the guys who would refuse. Instead, she attributes all her actions to a subconscious need which fits men’s expectation of her.

    I’ve experienced it pretty often that women’s behaviour is used to justify presenting them as irrational and unreasonable. So while I have heard several guys openly and unapologetically claim to want women who can stand up to them, I have no doubt that a woman wanting/expecting a guy to do something, and then meekly accepting it when he doesn’t, has a good chance of being used to discredit her agency and emotions. So I’m not the least bit surprised if she constructs an elaborate theory about how her vagina made her do it.

    But the actual behaviour (if not the explanations for it) is pretty gender neutral. Men will often lose interest in women who try too hard to please them. Even The Rules talk about how not to seem eager or needy and not giving him everything he wants right away. From what I heard, Neil Strauss shit-tested a ton of women before he found the one he ended up hooking up with, which, incidentally, was also the woman who didn’t react favourably to all his shit-tests (e..g when he tried to use a freeze-out to get her to have sex with him, she just rolled over and went to sleep). But for some reason, women are the only one getting blamed for it and told it makes them untrustworthy.

  317. Schala says:

    “But the actual behaviour (if not the explanations for it) is pretty gender neutral. Men will often lose interest in women who try too hard to please them.”

    Define too hard?

    Some seem to have an incredibly low threshold for “trying too hard to please me”.

    While personally, if my boyfriend wants to please me, he can go ahead. I’m not asking for it, I’m not expecting it, but it won’t diminish my attraction if he actually does it. Because I don’t play mindgames, and don’t need ‘tingly feelings in my vagina’ to be attracted.

    One would think that marriage per interest were more stable because people in them didn’t need to be as interesting as James Bond for 50 years straight to not get a divorce.

  318. AB says:

    @Schala:

    “Define too hard?”

    Not sure what you mean, but yes, it is a common behaviour and it is not justified to atrribute it solely to women, as is usually done.

    “Some seem to have an incredibly low threshold for “trying too hard to please me.

    While personally, if my boyfriend wants to please me, he can go ahead. I’m not asking for it, I’m not expecting it, but it won’t diminish my attraction if he actually does it. Because I don’t play mindgames, and don’t need ‘tingly feelings in my vagina’ to be attracted.”

    That’s great, but why do you need to explain it? Especially when you didn’t seem to feel that need when the behaviour you claim to not participate in was ascribed to women. Exceptions always exist, in both sexes, and plenty of people don’t appreciate mindgames as much, but the fact of the matter is that if you choose to, it’s very easy interpret the techniques of Cosmo and The Rules (often criticised by female feminists and men of all kinds) as a natural female response to male shit-testing, for which men are ultimately responsible.

    When telling about how to not always answer the phone, The Rules might as well have said “Men will often call women they’re interested in as a form of shit-test. If you immediately take the phone and don’t hang up for hours, he’ll know you’re not capable of standing up to him, and thus also not capable of providing him with the support that men depend on women for. While he might seem eager to get you to respond, in reality, he secretly hopes you wont take the bait. And remember, just because he doesn’t hang up, it doesn’t mean he actually wants to continue the conversation – the whole thing is likely a shit-test to see if you will take the initiative to end it”. The book itself might be kinder to men in it’s language (at least in some instances) than those offering similar advice on dating women, but a lot of the advice seems geared toward situations where men are shit-testing.

    I have no doubt that The Rules work on the kind of men its readers want to attract, just as I’m sure The Game works on the kind of women its readers want to attract. They’re both about competing to not show too much interest in the person you’re interested in, because both sides are mostly interested in people who don’t show interest in them. A lot of people will claim that the behaviours and preferences attributed to them are wrong, but you can’t argue with results.

    Yet somehow, it has become accepted to attribute this (non-gendered) behaviour solely to women being unreasonable, making ‘shit-tests’, prompting people like Uncalledfor to conclude that it is ultimately women’s fault when men don’t respect what they say, because the men only react to women’s contradictory behaviour. In contrast, men are still mostly free to claim that members of their sex are straightforward in their behaviour, honest about their preferences, easily understood, and non-contradictory.

  319. Schala says:

    “That’s great, but why do you need to explain it? Especially when you didn’t seem to feel that need when the behaviour you claim to not participate in was ascribed to women.”

    Because I know I’m not representative of anything, except maybe trans women who are aspie and geeky. An extremely small subset who has avoided much of the brainwashing of society possibly out of principle (and this can be very detrimental to your social popularity, as in make you be extremely isolated popularity – but sense of genuineness is stronger than desire for acceptance, for some reason).

  320. Adiabat says:

    AB: Since you’re so adamant to tell native speakers how they use their own language do you have a response to Cheradenine above. After all, her point pretty much makes all your contributions here irrelevant.

  321. Adiabat says:

    I once had a heated argument with a French housemate of mine because when she wanted me to do something for her she would say “you will” instead of “will you”. I pointed out that the way she was saying it was rude but she was adamant that it wasn’t and that I was wrong regarding how my own language worked. Fun times.

  322. Jim says:

    Yeah. Back to Ozy’s post. Over at FC Stoner With a Boner posted this link. It’s more of the kind of thing she is denouncing.
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=100827&sectioncode=26

  323. Paul says:

    Wow. Gallop seems to embody the very worst aspects of the feminist movement. “It doesn’t count when i do it, because i’m a woman.” I think it’s interesting that the people who accused her of harrasment were women and the only reason their cases got dismissed was because of a very patriarchal attitude- It was determined that they were already in a “romantic relationship.”

    Cuz, you know, you can’t rape your wife and you can’t sexually harrass your girlfriend.

  324. Clarence says:

    To be fair, that article that SWAB pointed to was from 1997. Of course that was about the time I was starting to lose my “feminist” self-label, in part due to crap like that. I’d say by 1999 I had given up on feminism as a movement.

  325. Jim says:

    1997 – That just shows how deep-seated and persistent the problem is that Ozy is addressing.

    “Gallop seems to embody the very worst aspects of the feminist movement. ”

    But I doubt you’d find many feminists who would say she had any feminist grounds for her sophistries. That was a long time ago, but I bet you could dig up some pretty scathing feminist denunciations of her behavior and her bogus justification of it.

    Yeah there is that stuff in the movement. The feminist movement does not have any mechanism to purge that kind of stuff, or that kind of person. Too bad for the movement. It could have used a Stalin back in the 80’s. That would have spared us the excesses of the 90’s. Oh well. That still doesn’t mean Gallop’s shit is feminist or represents feminism.

  326. Clarence says:

    Gallop doesn’t represent feminism?
    I mean I could buy that she doesn’t represent the views of all feminists, that’s quite obvious. Nonetheless, she has had considerable institutional power within the movement.
    Her Wikipedia page has the information that she founded a women’s studies program. She’s been in the movement a very long time, since at least the early 1980’s. One could try to conjure her away , but it’s people like her that helped make our sexual harrasment law what it is.

  327. AB says:

    @Schala:

    “Because I know I’m not representative of anything, except maybe trans women who are aspie and geeky. An extremely small subset who has avoided much of the brainwashing of society possibly out of principle (and this can be very detrimental to your social popularity, as in make you be extremely isolated popularity – but sense of genuineness is stronger than desire for acceptance, for some reason).”

    When Jim and Uncalled for both made some, imo unjustified and contradictory, claims about women shit-testing, you did not respond. When I made the argument that common male behaviour can just as easily be construed as shit-testing, you felt the need to state how different you were for not doing any shit-testing, even though my posts were about men and you don’t appear to be one. Why do you think that is?

  328. Jim says:

    “When Jim and Uncalled for both made some, imo unjustified and contradictory, claims about women shit-testing, you did not respond. ”

    AB, an argument is not unjustified or contradictory simply because you can’t be bothered to follow it or because it conflicts with your presuppositions.

    @Clarence,
    “Gallop doesn’t represent feminism?
    I mean I could buy that she doesn’t represent the views of all feminists, that’s quite obvious. Nonetheless, she has had considerable institutional power within the movement.”

    Well that’s why I didn’t address the issue of how representative she is. Feminism seems to be too amorphous for questions of representativeness or authenticity or purity to even arise. People like her are a real problem for a movment that wants to appeal to the broad public. Her type of special pleading is a real embarrassment. But I see a course correction in blogs like this one. Here you have a group of young feminists rejecting not just Gallop’s self-serving pervarications, but her whole underlying gender mythology. And you see this blog attracting readership and notice. That counts for a lot more, in my mind, than fierce denunciations and heated arguments over What Is Real Feminism. These people are making it pretty clear where they come down on that question.

  329. Schala says:

    “Why do you think that is?”

    No idea. All I know is that I’m too different from the norm to count as the norm, for anything. I’m not representative. I have no idea about how common shit-testing is, and frankly, would probably get depressed hearing the answer (you know, this whole “other people are so stupid, and they’re the majority, weeee!”)

  330. AB says:

    @Jim:

    “AB, an argument is not unjustified or contradictory simply because you can’t be bothered to follow it or because it conflicts with your presuppositions.”

    No, but it is contradictory if it contradict itself. First, you argued that shit-testing was a way for women to reject men. When I pointed out that shit-testing is actually done to people you’re interested in, not people you’re rejecting, you changed your argument to say that shit-testing was just an added bonus for women to get to play with men before rejecting them, which does not have any bearing on the easiness of rejecting them.

    You furthermore made the claim that women could at any time choose to inform the man that he had failed the shit test, and considering that I have yet to meet a single woman who knew the secret code-word for “this rejection is real and should be respected, you don’t have the liberty to conclude it’s just a shit-test”, or a single man who understood it, and that other women on this site have told about their experiencing rejecting a guy only to have him tell them they didn’t mean it, I think such an assertion demands proof.

    @Schala:

    “No idea. All I know is that I’m too different from the norm to count as the norm, for anything. I’m not representative.”

    I was asking more about why you chose to answer my posts instead of the others, since mine were dealing with men. I can’t figure out if you’re making a counter-argument, backing up my point, making a whole new point, etc.

  331. Clarence says:

    AB:
    Perhaps you could argue with Susan Walsh, or tell her that what she did wasn’t a shit test.
    http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2011/03/21/relationshipstrategies/why-we-shit-test/
    You might want to argue with her, as you seem rather ignorant of the concept.

  332. AB says:

    @Clarence:

    “AB:
    Perhaps you could argue with Susan Walsh, or tell her that what she did wasn’t a shit test.
    You might want to argue with her, as you seem rather ignorant of the concept.”

    Perhaps you should follow the discussion instead of making ignorant and snide judgements about my supposed ignorance. I commented on that link two days ago.

  333. Clarence says:

    AB:
    Actually, you totally failed to respond to Susan’s account of how she treated the crying boy, and since that is what I consider the main part of that post, I don’t consider that you responded to that post at all.

    But then you are disgustingly consistent: I’ve never seen you call a woman on bad behavior ever.

  334. Clarence says:

    I also like how you responded to the other girl in Susan’s posts realization that she liked not being able to stomp all over the boyfriend by basically attributing false consciousness to her. You can’t even accept women’s OWN WORDS about what they think of things if it goes against your ideology. Since you don’t do something- or so you claim- and neither do any of your friends, it must not happen ever.

  335. AB says:

    @Clarence:

    “I also like how you responded to the other girl in Susan’s posts realization that she liked not being able to stomp all over the boyfriend by basically attributing false consciousness to her.”

    No, I took her discovery that she preferred a boyfriend who could stand up to her at face value. To quote from the post you’re misreading: “That she later found out she actually preferred it when he didn’t act clingy or needy, give her time to calm down, and didn’t escalate the conflict, doesn’t really tell us anything except that she discovered a new preference.” I think it’s pretty obvious that I say that she discovered a preference, since that’s exactly what quoted text says. But there is a difference between discovering that you like someone who stands up to you (Newsflash! My boyfriend likes me for the exact same reason! OMG, he must be a woman!), and deliberately making tests for people to pass. The claims I wont accept are:

    1: That she was not upset at all during the argument, but solely pretended to be upset to see how he reacted.

    Since she herself does not say anything about the fight not being genuine, I will instead take her word that it wasn’t. It wasn’t a test to see how he would react, it was just a fight, just like a cigar is sometimes just a cigar. I see no reason to analyse deeper when that makes enough sense in itself. That his unexpected reaction turned out to be something she likes is, as you said yourself, a REALISATION, not something she had planned from the beginning.

    2: That she hoped he would not come after her when she left.

    She doesn’t talk about her hopes, she only talks about her expectation, which, in her own words, was that he would come after her. Taking her word for her own expectations, taking an action (storming out) which she is certain will result in a specific reaction (going after her and asking if she is alright) makes it likely that she was hoping for the expected result, since taking the action to provoke would otherwise be pretty meaningless.

    So what she did was imo, not a shit-test. She didn’t test anything, at least not any more than most people subconsciously test each other to see what they can get away with. And that’s exactly my point, there are so many men who react more favourably, and become more obsessed with a woman, if they don’t get to do everything they want. Guys in my country call it ‘modspil’, meaning both non-hostile opposition (an opponent on a different sports team will frequently be called a ‘modspiller’, while an opponent from a hostile army will instead be called a ‘modstander’) as well as the mutual stimulation and inspiration that the parties in a debate (ideally) provide for each other. Are the guys who hold modspil as an ideal shit-testing too?

    “You can’t even accept women’s OWN WORDS about what they think of things if it goes against your ideology. Since you don’t do something- or so you claim- and neither do any of your friends, it must not happen ever.”

    I never said it didn’t happen, ever. Just that it wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and that men engage in similar behaviours which makes it sexist to attribute it al to women. Oh, and that Jim’s and Uncalledfor’s definitions were contradictory.

  336. Jim says:

    “Oh, and that Jim’s and Uncalledfor’s definitions were contradictory.”

    They just aren’t.
    Definition: Shit test – a test intended to determine how determined someone is.

    You seem to think it is contradictory for someone who wants a relationship with someone to reject that person. Why do you assume the rejection is always sincere? If a rejection is insincere, not a real rejection, it can easily be used as a test to dertmine somene’s determination in pursuing a relationship.

    In fact this is a traditional test that martial arts and spiritual masters reportedly used in the past.

  337. AB says:

    @Jim:

    “They just aren’t.
    Definition: Shit test – a test intended to determine how determined someone is.

    You seem to think it is contradictory for someone who wants a relationship with someone to reject that person. Why do you assume the rejection is always sincere? If a rejection is insincere, not a real rejection, it can easily be used as a test to dertmine somene’s determination in pursuing a relationship.

    In fact this is a traditional test that martial arts and spiritual masters reportedly used in the past.”

    And Uncalledfor’s definition is to appear to be interested, making promises to get a man to do something, and then dumping him for doing it. So where your definition is about making a man try harder, his definition is about making a man stand up for himself and refuse to to jump through hoops to get the woman.

  338. Clarence says:

    AB:
    It’s obvious you never read most of that post or you are deliberately avoiding parts of it. Nothing to say on Susan’s story about how she told the depressed football player he should stay up until he heard her favorite song? I mean, surely you’d agree THAT was a “shit test” right, or would you rather just continue to talk about the incident that introduced that post, not the personal confession that makes up the bulk of it? After all, THAT WAS a shit test if it was anything, even though it was one at an unconscious level.

    As for the incident you keep making all your arguments about it, it’s possible that was an unconscious shit test as well. According to the story, after all, she had acted like that more than once in the past and always ended up getting her feeling validated in one way or another, but THIS TIME it was different. It’s possible it was not a shit test, I’ll grant you that, but of course I can be fair about these things while you have yet to take Susan’s account on at all.

  339. Clarence says:

    AB:
    Oh, by the way, I can function in 3 types of relationships:
    A. Equalist
    B. Separate spheres which I could subdivid into
    1. I have more spheres where I have the final say
    OR
    2. She has more spheres where she has the final say.
    In short, I’m hardly some guy who runs screaming from “strong women”, though I would say there is a difference between being self assured and standing up for ones self and being argumentative and bitchy. Nor do I need to be in a Captain /First Mate model where “my woman” is always submissive and docile, which is where I think you believe the majority of us benighted americans subside.

  340. kenshiroit says:

    Clarence, on a short note, I have to say that at this present date, I havent yet bein able to meet a guy who is afraid of strong women. But I have met plenty of women who dislike that role.

    I dont know, either is the “male panic” over rated or in my particular geopgraphic cultural reality is that kind og guy a rarety? who knows….

  341. AB says:

    @Clarence:

    “AB:
    It’s obvious you never read most of that post or you are deliberately avoiding parts of it. Nothing to say on Susan’s story about how she told the depressed football player he should stay up until he heard her favorite song? I mean, surely you’d agree THAT was a “shit test” right”

    Of course it’s a shit-test (at least if you use that word). Though honestly, I wouldn’t date a guy who would do that just for a picture of me either, not because guys like that aren’t manly, but because they’re dangerous. They don’t make me feel less safe because they’re not macho enough to protect me, they make me feel less safe because they tend to be emotionally unstable. Also, they rarely have interesting input in discussions because they don’t want to disagree, and they often act like a co-dependant lump.

    But anyway, my argument has never been that shit-tests don’t exist, merely that they are not specific to women the way people here make them out to be, they are also not as universal as many people seem to presume, and often, the behaviours which are claimed to be shit-testing (when women do it) are just an expression for the completely normal wish for a partner who is their own person. Will you answer some questions of mine in return?

    If a man’s interest of a woman increases after she only sparingly returns his calls and make sure she’s the first to hang up when they talk, would you say his calls could reasonably be construed as shit-tests?

    How about when PUAs are advised to act in a certain way towards women to test their reactions before deciding which one to hit on?

    Where does Jim’s interpretations of shit-tests as insincere rejections fit with your model of shit-tests as requests which the woman does not want the man to oblige?

    To how big a degree is a man justified in ignoring a woman’s spoken statements on the grounds that she’s probably shit-testing and doesn’t really mean it? Which kinds of remarks and expressions do you consider acceptable to conclude are just shit-testing? Do you think it’s fair to ascribe a lesser credibility to women and their stated wishes than to those of men, on the grounds that men are not contradictory in their wishes and don’t shit-test?

    “As for the incident you keep making all your arguments about it, it’s possible that was an unconscious shit test as well. According to the story, after all, she had acted like that more than once in the past and always ended up getting her feeling validated in one way or another, but THIS TIME it was different. It’s possible it was not a shit test, I’ll grant you that”

    She did not at any point mention that she tested him, so I think it’s pretty amazing that you’re only going to admit it’s possible it’s not a shit-test. Most people unconsciously test boundaries, but that doesn’t mean it’s shit-testing. Also, I don’t see the female angle on this, despite all the women on the site trying to make sense of their emotions in relation to their sex. I’ve never gotten good results with a guy by always catering to his whims either. The first dating advice I read even said that adjusting yourself completely to a guy would just make him less interested.

    “Nor do I need to be in a Captain /First Mate model where “my woman” is always submissive and docile, which is where I think you believe the majority of us benighted americans subside.”

    I don’t believe that (though a lot of Americans do seem to think it’s the optimal model), I’m just commenting that in my country, it is quite common for guys to express a wish for girls who can give them ‘modspil’, and that they’re often lauded for it, and considered all mature and reasonable. But when American women express what seems to be a similar preference for independent men who can stand up for themselves, they appear to either be considered unreasonable, or used to prove some pop evo-psych point about women needing protection.

  342. Clarence says:

    “If a man’s interest of a woman increases after she only sparingly returns his calls and make sure she’s the first to hang up when they talk, would you say his calls could reasonably be construed as shit-tests?”

    Nope, since shit tests are a test to see if one can bully another either psychologically, physically, or sexually.

    “How about when PUAs are advised to act in a certain way towards women to test their reactions before deciding which one to hit on?”

    Certain types of PUA compliance tests could be considered shit tests. Like the negative form of the “neg” for example. However PUA’s and men in general , even, are advised to “act confident” as the number one rule. That cannot be considered a shit test.

    “Where does Jim’s interpretations of shit-tests as insincere rejections fit with your model of shit-tests as requests which the woman does not want the man to oblige?”

    No definition I’ve ever seen of shit tests couches them as insincere rejections – “insincere rejections” would be, per Mystery, part of “Anti Slut Defense”. This is typically encountered upon escalating to sexual encounters. Not all girls do this and the concept of “anti slut” defense is beyond this comment.

    “To how big a degree is a man justified in ignoring a woman’s spoken statements on the grounds that she’s probably shit-testing and doesn’t really mean it? Which kinds of remarks and expressions do you consider acceptable to conclude are just shit-testing? Do you think it’s fair to ascribe a lesser credibility to women and their stated wishes than to those of men, on the grounds that men are not contradictory in their wishes and don’t shit-test?”

    See above. A response would be very long. I will say quickly, however, that body language AND tone of voice can help distinguish.

    As for the rest, she probably didn’t know what she had done or was doing, so that she claims no conscious testing isn’t determinative. See Susan’s experience.She had to figure it out years later.

  343. Uncalledfor says:

    Another chance for me to recommend Miguel Bloomfontosis at Emporiasexus (who is not paying me, BTW, but probably couldn’t afford it anyway):

    http://emporiasexus.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/ethical-pick-up-artistry-and-the-shit-test/

    It’s a short and to the point piece following on Clarisse Thorn. He mentions another classic shit-test, that of the “phantom boyfriend”; money quote:

    A young man begins talking with a woman at a party, and soon thereafter she mentions “my boyfriend” even though she is single. Why would she do this? … Third – and some feminists will insist this never happens – she may be testing the man to see how he reacts. An effective way to screen out tiresome nice guys in favor of the more ethically adventurous bad boy is to say you’re already attached.

    This is not, of course, identical to the dynamic in the examples I named earlier, but they’re really the same idea. In the earlier example, the woman makes a marginally unreasonable request of a man, which she doesn’t really want, but is testing to see if he shows independence (or self-centeredness) by refusing. In the phantom boyfriend example she’s testing to see if he shows independence by being undeterred after being informed/warned of said BF. In the once case the “correct” move by the man is refusal and in the other case it’s action — this superficial difference may have lead to AB’s persistent confusion — but what both have in common is that (i) the woman says something she does not actually believe, not to communicate honestly but rather because (ii) she wants to test that the man is sufficiently self-directed/self-centered for her taste, which he shows by disregarding her stated preferences.

    Miguel phrases it somewhat differently, that detecting shit-tests for what they are is a marker for social intelligence:

    you could argue – convincingly, in my opinion – that a young man is more socially competent if he understands that a woman’s “boyfriend” may or may not exist, and that such knowledge entails emotionally understanding a white lie.

    Anyway, I hope this clarifies the concept a bit, for those who may still need a little help. 🙂

  344. Druk says:

    she wants to test that the man is sufficiently self-directed/self-centered for her taste, which he shows by disregarding her stated preferences.

    I hope the young men that understand this also understand that “passing” such a test is not at all in their self-interest.

  345. AB says:

    @Clarence:

    “Nope, since shit tests are a test to see if one can bully another either psychologically, physically, or sexually.”

    How is “I have a boyfriend” a shit test then? Also, would be fair then to say that the wish for a partner who is not co-dependant is gender-neutral?

    “Certain types of PUA compliance tests could be considered shit tests. Like the negative form of the “neg” for example. However PUA’s and men in general , even, are advised to “act confident” as the number one rule. That cannot be considered a shit test.”

    But if a shit-test is about making requests to see if the other will oblige in order to weed out the men who can’t stand up to the woman, isn’t that the opposite of compliance tests, which are usually to ensure that the chosen target is of the kind who can’t stand up to the PUA?

    “No definition I’ve ever seen of shit tests couches them as insincere rejections – “insincere rejections” would be, per Mystery, part of “Anti Slut Defense”. This is typically encountered upon escalating to sexual encounters. Not all girls do this and the concept of “anti slut” defense is beyond this comment.”

    And yet Uncalledfor, whose definition you defended, has just made the claim that saying you have a boyfriend in order to weed out all the nice guys who would respect that and move on is a shit-test. This is pretty obviously an insincere rejection, making it clear that she’s unavailable, and yet she wants the man to pursue her. How does that fit with your claim that no definition shit-tests includes insincere rejections?

    “As for the rest, she probably didn’t know what she had done or was doing, so that she claims no conscious testing isn’t determinative. See Susan’s experience.She had to figure it out years later.”

    If she did not do it consciously, how is that different from a guy who calls a woman often, acting as if he wants her to talk to him, but then lose interest when answers too readily and talk too long, or a guy who ends up falling for the woman who doesn’t return his calls above all the more accommodating women he’s dated?

  346. Jim says:

    “And Uncalledfor’s definition is to appear to be interested, making promises to get a man to do something, and then dumping him for doing it. So where your definition is about making a man try harder, his definition is about making a man stand up for himself and refuse to to jump through hoops to get the woman.”

    So I have to jumpt though hoops for you to be consistent with some other person? Sorry if you want the world to be that simple for you.

  347. AB says:

    @Jim:

    “So I have to jumpt though hoops for you to be consistent with some other person? Sorry if you want the world to be that simple for you.”

  348. AB says:

    Sorry, that quote should have a ‘?’ at the end.

  349. Jim says:

    My point is tthat it is I can’t make any sense of your obsevation that my comments and uncalledfor’s are contradictory or inconsistent with each other.

  350. AB says:

    “My point is tthat it is I can’t make any sense of your obsevation that my comments and uncalledfor’s are contradictory or inconsistent with each other.”

    Your definition of a shit-test is a dishonest rejection where the woman will reward the man for still chasing after her. His definition of a shit-test is a woman wanting a man to do something for her, and then rejecting him if does. Yes, they’re both of the “women are lying bitches and men are just innocent victims of their evil schemes” variety, but the concrete example Uncalledfor gave was of a woman storming out and then rewarding the man for not following her, whereas your definition was about women rewarding men for chasing after them even in the face of a no. In your scenario, the woman wants the man to show how much he wants her, trying even harder to gain her approval, whereas in Uncalledfor’s scenario, the woman wants the man to show how little he’s willing to do for her and little he needs her approval.

  351. Clarence says:

    AB:
    “I have a boyfriend” isn’t a shit test. It’s an insincere rejection if she wants him to pursue, or possibly a (depending on if true or not) lame excuse if she doesn’t.

    What do you mean by “co-dependent”?
    As for your last two questions:
    If a guy is “acting” then he is consciously doing something is he not? If he “ends up falling for” a woman who is different from the others he has dated that might mean he respects her ability to have boundaries even if he wasn’t particularly “testing” in any way, shape, or form the other woman or even if he was. In short he could have been subconsciously testing the other woman or he could have just stumbled on a woman who was different than the others and discovered he liked that.

    Complience testing is not the same when done by PUA’s as when done by women. Women tend to use it as a form of shit-testing, PUA’s tend to use it as a form of gauging interest on the part of the woman as many if not most women are not used to doing any kind of sexual or romantic favors for men that they are not in a relationship with.. PUA does NOT claim sexual symmetry in mating behaviors and thus does not assume that, on average, a technique will be used for the same purposes amongst the sexes. And to be honest, as someone with a biological degree I wouldn’t expect sexual symmetry in mating behaviors as that would imply humans weren’t the products of evolution.

  352. Clarence says:

    poke

  353. Jim says:

    AB, that’s a good summary of our two differing uses of the term.

  354. Clarence says:

    I have a post in moderation.

  355. ozymandias42 says:

    Unless someone comes up with a half-decent explanation about what shit tests have to do with the feminist movement’s problematic language around rape, might I suggest that you guys take this to the Open Thread?

  356. Jim says:

    I have a better idea, Ozy. It has gotten pointless and boring anyway, and as you point out, is way off topic.

  357. Pingback: a rant: making jokes about cancer, etc. « The Writings of Leda Harlowe

  358. Jesus_Marley says:

    I realize I’m probably resurrecting something long dead here but I’m new here and felt like contributing.

    @G –
    “I believe most people who commit crimes do so because they feel that have justifiable reasons (from Illegal Immigration to people who hustle drugs or mug others to Hitler). The scenario you are putting forward is credible-but it’s not a unique instance of psychological criminal behavior. People act in ways that they feel are right even if it seems obviously wrong to the rest of us. So what I mean is that we can extend that train of thought to all criminal behavior. Misogyny is misogyny, even if he had a “justifiable” reason to be a misogynist.”

    WRT to this particular thread, I wonder if any consideration is given to the thought that, young Johnny, having been raped doesn’t necessarily grow up to rape out of a sense of entitlement or animosity but rather as a direct result of having his own personal boundaries so grossly violated that the very concept of what normal society views as consent is now alien, having been perverted by their own experiences. I speak of this from a similar point of view. While I was not one to grow up and commit rape, my own views of consent all through my teen and young adult years were horribly skewed as a result of my own rape when I was 12. I essentially did not understand that my body was mine and that I was allowed to say no and have that respected.
    What I am trying to get at is that it is very possible that some people who commit rape, may not truly understand the idea of bodily autonomy or consent, having had it ripped from them by another. In my case, it was internalized, but in others I can see it being externalized. Please understand, that this in no way justifies the act of rape, but as was stated before, perhaps if the resources were in place to acknowledge and treat these people for their own traumas before they grow up to commit rape, it would ultimately reduce the incidents.

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