Perverts In Public Places

I was eavesdropping on two guys at the laundromat the other day. One man was describing the challenges of navigating public places “nowadays”. He related being at the supermarket and needing to use the restroom. He said he had just walked in when a little boy entered the restroom. So the man walked out. He explained that all men are suspects these days, and a sue happy person can get away with anything. When he walked out of the restroom the boy’s mother’s said, “Thank you”. He nodded but said nothing. What do you say?

What’s the psychological effect on boys raised in a world where all men are considered deviant and suspect?

The man could have driven the point home by saying to her, “Ma’am, just remember that the boy you’re raising will grow up to be a rapist and a pedophile. Even if he never touches anyone, even if he’s the most respectful and gentlemanly man out there, still the general public – people like you – will look at him as a rapist and a pedophile. Is this the world you want for your son?”

 

I’d like to say this is an overreaction. But it isn’t. Sometimes it takes the form of corporate policy, such as airlines disallowing men from sitting next to children. If a similar policy were applied to Muslims on planes the outcry would be deafening. But feminist websites such as Jezebel.com support discriminatory policies against men. (Jezebel is the same feminist website that promotes domestic violence by women against men.)

I’ve even heard fathers say they’re concerned about taking their own children to the playground. Indeed, Australia has gone so far as to ban young children from staying overnight at their divorced dad’s home. The rationale is the best interest of the child, despite the fact that a mountain of social science data shows that such policies are in the worst interest of the child.

Scientific American recently reported that fathers are much more critical than previously assumed, especially in the early formative years. Outcomes are much worse for fatherless children, including drug use, criminality, teenage pregnancy, poor educational attainment, etc. But NOW’s New York branch discounts such findings and encourages the myth that father’s aren’t important.

One justification for viewing all men as potential rapists and pedophiles is Schrödinger’s Rapist, which asserts that because a woman can’t know which man is or is not a rapist she must be suspicious of all men. And the author does have some good tips about how men can make women feel more comfortable, such as not walking too close to someone.

But another blogger asks the uncomfortable question, “Does it matter if Schrödinger’s Rapist is black?” and shows how racist the argument is in that context. In other words, Schrödinger’s Rapist is an elaborate and (sometimes) politically correct justification of profiling.

I became a male feminist 23 years ago when I entered college. I have not wavered in my belief in women’s equality, my opposition to sexism, and my belief that historically women have faced far more sexism than men, much of which continues today.

But I can no longer call myself a feminist.

Because I believe in equality.

The above examples of misandry (man hating) don’t come from patriarchy, they come from feminism.

But I am not a men’s rights activist either, because they too often promote hatred of women, or at least tolerate it.

I thought the upcoming International Conference on Men’s Issues was sunk when the organizers claimed that the Detroit Hilton required $25,000 for security due to alleged threats of violence from conference opponents.  But they raised the money (and then some) in less than 24 hours. When the Hilton continued its pressure, they quickly found a new venue.

This movement has momentum. That’s what happens when men are literally told to go to the back of the airplane.

If feminists want to counteract the misogyny in the men’s rights movement (MRM), feminists must first counteract the misandry within feminism. Unfortunately, I don’t think feminism is up to the challenge.

The only way to move forward is to take feminism’s points about women’s equality and combine them with the men’s issues the MRM raises sans misogyny and misandry, thus creating a new and true equality movement.

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “Perverts In Public Places

    1. Thanks for the compliment on my writing style. Making overly broad statements is something I’ll need to pay more attention to. As for the MRM, misgyny is not universal, but there are websites such as return of the king, reddit forums, that I think cross the line (though a voice for men is more often than not mischaracterized by its critics).

      1. Tell me why you believe that Return of the Kings is misogynist, or at least expresses misogynist sentiments. Feel free to use contextual quotes. I’ve just taken a first look at their website, and am still gathering information. Maybe the answer to my request might be an article on your blog? My initial impression is not that they are misogynists, but simply sloppy thinkers.I’m holding that judgment in reserve for a final decision after having delved into it more profoundly. The result will probably be an article on my own blog. Also, give me a sense of what Reddit groups (another place that I don’t really hang around on) that demonstrate what you consider to be misogyny with a few choice URLs. Each might be it’s own article. I can see myself doing a “review” article on a number of sites given time.

  1. It’s likely that my definition of misogyny includes things yours does not (considering your comment that there’s nothing wrong with hating). Most of Jezebel’s content is disrespectful rather than overtly hateful, but I still label them misandrist, and I apply the same standard to the Kings.

    Mocking women with eating disorders: http://www.returnofkings.com/21313/5-reasons-to-date-a-girl-with-an-eating-disorder

    Shaming women: http://www.returnofkings.com/21177/20-things-women-do-that-should-be-shamed-not-celebrated

    Admittedly, the subreddit mensrights doesn’t have many items such as this theredpill discussion about Asian women, which brings up a host of stereotypes: http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/28srlp/asian_women_is_it_them_or_is_it_me/ Though there are threads in mensrights, such as this one blaming female victims of domestic violence: http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/28r12m/do_womens_choices_make_domestic_violence_a/

    1. It’s likely that my definition of misogyny includes things yours does not (considering your comment that there’s nothing wrong with hating). Most of Jezebel’s content is disrespectful rather than overtly hateful, but I still label them misandrist, and I apply the same standard to the Kings.

      O.K., cool. So, can you narrow your definition of misogyny down tight? The thing about such labels, whether it be misogyny, or misandry, is that that they are both quite loose. Wikipedia starts off this way: “is the hatred or dislike of women or girls.” dictionary.reference.com gives us “hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.” There are a bunch more. I often use “define ” as a good tool for multiple definitions. One can, impartiality allowing, extend the equivalent definition kind as applied to men.

      Here’s my stance: there’s nothing wrong with a feeling, feelings are an emotional state, based often on upbringing and life-experience; no two people share the same. What matters is not a person’s internal state, but the actions that they take. So long as an emotion or though is limited to one’s skull and body, no harm is done. Whether it be misogyny, or misandry, or gynophily, or androphily makes no difference. Feelings are feelings, they are limited to one’s body. Actions have consequences and change the world. Actions based on any of the above are what matter.

      In order to say that misogyny or misandry are wrong, one would have to demonstrate that an internal experience universally leads to an action that affects other humans. Feelings do not matter. Actions do, regardless of any mental or emotional driver.

      One assesses actions based on two factors. The first, is a vague moral distinction, the second is on a practical effect based on the former. The former is typically assessing “is harm done” upon which is based the second.

      It’s not what you feel, but what you do that has an impact on others. This is the crux of “morality.”: What effect do I have on other sentient beings? The general question is: “do my actions do good and avoid harm?” or is the inverse true?

      I really appreciate that you’re having this conversation with me, it’s a very important one. Please give me say, 3-5 days to read the articles mentioned, and give it some skull-sweat, and I’ll give you a thoughtful response. I welcome any comments you may have in the meantime.

      1. If there’s a common theme that recurs here, it’s my tendency toward vague definitions, or rather offering impressions without first offering a definition. One reason for blogging is to have my thinking challenged, without which one’s thoughts become a broken record. So yes, this has been a good discussion.

        As aside, I’ll not that your definition of morality appears utilitarian, which is fine, but it’s also a larger debate. I have to think more about it.

      2. /me nods, same here. It’s nice to have people agree with you, but after a while one really hopes to find someone that will gently poke holes in one’s blind spots. As far as my definition of morality being utilitarian, perhaps so. If you mean Utilitarian using the philosophical term, I’m not sure, I don’t know enough about philosophy to say, but on a more general level, I certainly try to remain practical. It’s hard enough to get the human species to act in a consistent and kind way, the notion of attempting to police another’s heart is far beyond my measure or ambitions.

      3. Maybe consequentialist rather than utilitarian in the strict sense. The issue with outcomes as the sole measure of morality is in this dilemma:

        A hiker is hanging from a cliff. An archer shoots an arrow at him to finish him off, but misses. The hiker grabs the arrow and pulls himself to safety. Bystanders think the archer is a hero – until they learn his true intentions, then they think he’s a villain.

        Of course, hating someone without any intent or attempt to do harm doesn’t cover this, though Christian morality (personally I’m an atheist) claims that hating another is immoral. It’s one of these things humans will debate till the sun goes supernova.

      4. I’ve learned something new today. I keep learning small bits of philosophy, slowly, but there’s so much ground to cover and so many other equally important subjects to learn.

  2. In response to your response to “Tell me why you believe that Return of the Kings is misogynist, or at least expresses misogynist sentiments.” You’ve provided links that demonstrate examples of what one might think of as misogyny.

    Mocking women with eating disorders:

    Why do you believe that this article is misogynistic? What if the terms were reversed? Is this article rude, crude without compassion, selfish and ignorant? I think so. Let’s reverse the roles. The same level of ignorance applies when the sexes are reversed. Return of the Kings, in this article aren’t guilty of being misogynist. They are guilty of being insensitive and rather childish.

    Shaming women: http://www.returnofkings.com/21177/20-things-women-do-that-should-be-shamed-not-celebrated

    Misogyny is the hatred (passionate dislike) or contempt for women. Mockery is not misogyny. Mockery is not misandry. Does this article address all women or those that behave in particular ways? Were an equivalent list made of men and our stupidities, would you hold it as misandry? What if each of these points, regardless of sex, were made by a comedian that could deliver the lines well? Chance are that we’d all laugh. I would, at least.

    Admittedly, the subreddit mensrights doesn’t have many items such as this theredpill discussion about Asian women, which brings up a host of stereotypes: http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/28srlp/asian_women_is_it_them_or_is_it_me/

    Our question at hand: “Are (some) MRA’s (generally) misogynistic?” You’ve offered examples of what you believe might be a clear and definitive example that would support the affirmative.. While this is found on what is apparently a men’s oriented board, I see no connection between two things: 1: MRA’s or 2: misogyny. The guy is asking “Why do I end up with so many Asian women, is it me, or some other cultural factor?” I don’t see misogyny there unless you consider the question “Why do I end up with so many bisexuals in my life?” to be so as well.

    Though there are threads in mensrights, such as this one blaming female victims of domestic violence: http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/28r12m/do_womens_choices_make_domestic_violence_a/

    If one reads this article, it does not blame female victims of domestic violence; it asks if they are to blame. Don’t you think it’s a fair question to ask as part of solving the issue? Wouldn’t it be a fair question to ask if we were addressing male victims of domestic violence?

    Failure to agree with the Radical Feminist narratives is not the same as being misogynistic.One can completely agree with the Radical Feminist narrative and be a raging misogynist as well. There are a couple very practical ways to get out of this trap. One is the consistent habit of thinking in terms of role reversals as a means to see and potentially eliminate unconscious role association. Another is to decide that one shall think and act as impartially as possible. I get women to move my furniture, then cook for them 🙂 Another, which I find to be quite useful is something I gleaned from Steven Covey: “Seek first to understand before being understood.” In the end, I opine, there’s no good reason for the so-called “battle of the sexes” when by most indications what we’re dealing with is a more generalized empathy gap. There are issues that affect the sexes differently, this is true. They should both be addressed passively by culture, and actively by the individuals that make up that culture.

    Them’s my 2 cents.

    1. I haven’t yet offered a concrete definition of misogyny or misandry. You have. Dishonest debaters capitalize on vagueness, so at this point I can only offer why I felt like these are examples of misogyny. But I really need to nail down what I mean by the word, and I’m working on that.

      I felt that the eating disorder article was misogynistic because they are making fun of women struggling with a health threatening issue, one most often the result of what women perceive (correctly or incorrectly) to be the result of male standards for female beauty.

      Reversing the gender roles, it is still feels hateful. I feel the same way about any mockery. Of course, this could be personal: I’m not in the habit of mocking people, but if I did it would be from hatred. Perhaps I’m wrong to assume other people do this for the same reason.

      True, the pattern of dating only Asians by itself isn’t misogyny. Some responses contained gender and racial stereotypes such as, “This may be why they’re attracted to you: safety & security is job #1, stereotypically. Asian girls are attracted to providers (again…)”. But, that isn’t a hateful stereotype, though it’s crude.

      The domestic violence thread contained statements such as, “So a preference for violent men is deeply ingrained in many (but not all) women”. I interpreted that as blaming the victim (as well as being a half baked theory with zero evidence).

      The fact that I obviously go with my gut reaction instead of defining my terms and then testing my reaction against those terms is an obvious flaw in my approach. Once I correct that I may end up with my original conclusion, or I might decide I was wrong.

      Lastly, you wrote, “Failure to agree with the Radical Feminist narratives is not the same as being misogynistic”. I agree with that, and I don’t think disagreement equals hatred. Or if it does, I’m a misogynist because I’ve criticized feminism in my blog.

      1. The following is not a definition, but an example of what I consider to be an expression of flat out misogyny. See the thread started by Peter Nolan. here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBASkbs1D08

        Janet,
        you western women are DEEPLY EVIL PEOPLE. And do not think that one bullshit video like this is going you buy you man-hating bitches one piece of credibility.

        Where were YOU when I was suicidal? Where were YOU when I called for women to be held equal before the law.

        Take your lies and your crocodile tears and shove them up your arse. I despise women like you. I really do. And you are going to be the subjects of the most horrific of backlashes in the history of humanity.

        Try reading my essay….Western women are deeply evil people. You do not fool me you man hating bitch.

        I am quite pleased to say that this man disclaims being an MRA, due to his belief that “MRAs are fucking losers.”

        I’m not in the habit of mocking people, but if I did it would be from hatred.

        Neither am I, but you have a really big nose.

        Or if it does, I’m a misogynist because I’ve criticized feminism in my blog..

        *GASP!* You horrible, horrible person! 🙂

  3. I don’t really care what you call yourself (as long as it isn’t “feminist” – since that contributes directly to hate), but why do you think men in the MRA are more likely to be angry with women? To take an example from your story was the woman at the bathroom a feminist? Men are increasingly angry at women because women often treat men like shit. And they ought to be angry, but I think as part of a movement like the MRA they have more chance of seeing that as political rather than taking it personally. I think MRAs and anti-feminists are the best chance to _avoid_ a general meltdown of the relationship between men and women. Because men aren’t going to just take this shit forever, and at the moment the only other voice, and the voice that is dominant about sex in our society (ie feminism) teaches that men and women are at war. So how will these issues be framed? Will they be framed by feminism and it’s men vs women war? Will they be framed by anger and resentment by ordinary men who do not see this as politics? Or will it be framed by the MRAs / anti-feminists in terms which are not sexist? You seem to think the anger is generated by the politics. The anger is generated by real life. The politics are a way to diffuse the anger and direct it at those responsible, not all women.

    1. I don’t know if the woman was a feminist or not – the man I was eavesdropping on didn’t say. My post didn’t explain whether anger comes from life experience or from politics, but I’d guess more often it’s the former.

    1. Thanks for the link. Francis Roy has pointed out the same thing, needing to distinguish between MRA, Red Pill, and MGTOW. The difference with the latter seems clear, but how would you describe the difference between MRA & Red Pill?

      1. I don’t know what people mean by “red pill” other than as a general marketing term that has the general sense of “seeing reality for what it is.” Men’s Rights Activists are, by definition those that are active in promoting the legislation of rights for men that are available to women (such as reproductive rights) and ensuring the impartial application of existing laws for men. If we’re speaking purely of the two forums, I have naught to say on the matter, as I’m not familiar with them.

      2. Hi Eldritch,

        First off, let me say that the discourse between yourself and Francis has been refreshingly intellectually honest. I’d love to see more of this sort of thing go on everywhere when discussing the MHRA generally. We do have a tendency to coddle some circle-jerkish comments I think, partially because we’re still small and growing and the “personal is political” for many of us at this stage.

        As to the difference between Red Pill and MRAs, it’s useful to describe what their general focii are.

        Red Pill people’s general philosophy can be rendered down to “The society you live in is what it is. First you have to accept reality as-is, then work on yourself to be better prepared to succeed within society as it is.” While I personally have some issues with the foundational elements of RP thinking (I’ve seen a strong tendency for RPers to ‘essentialize’ complex human interactions into statements like “Women are x, women do y, because women think like z”, and more than a few references to the efficacy of ‘Dark Triad’ behaviours) the core is one of self-improvement. RPers thus heavily focus their efforts inward.

        Men’s Rights is primarily concerned with equality of access and opportunity for men, primarily in terms of legal equality and then in terms of social acceptance. Most attention is paid to areas where men are clearly disadvantaged by the governmental or social structures that effect us, eg. male disposability, gender-specific criminal sentencing disparity, deep anti-male bias in family law, gender-specific educational opportunity disadvantages, all-men-are-potential-monsters-and-rapists, etc. MHRAs are thus heavily focused outwards.

        Of course, an MHRA can be an RPer and vice versa, the two aren’t mutually exclusive although there’s tension in some of the foundational presumptions (MHRAs generally believe it’s possible to change the law and society to make for a more equitable society, RPers tend to consider the status quo as something more or less out of their control)

        I hope that clarifies some things.

    2. Return of Kings has articles where they state they are NOT mra

      Thanks for that, I hadn’t read that page. As a tangent, one of the reasons that I can’t take the site seriously is the high quantity of absurd statements that RoK makes, such as this one (from the same article):

      The goal of a business is no longer to turn a profit, the end of a university is no longer to share the truth – the goal is everywhere always ’celebrating diversity.’

      Even if the writer was merely being hyperbolic, the sheer nonsense of such a claim, and such claims liberally interspersed throughout the site reduces their credibility to next to nil, placing them on the level of a teenager or a young 20 something’s ignorant and arrogant rantings.

Comments are closed.