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Men and women

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Ok, I wanted to start a thread on this, because I've seen it brought up so often, and it never gets discussed properly. Obviously, women have had and still have to suffer in many situations a harder time than men, that's a fact, which I think we can all agree doesn't need discussion.

But say someone says something defending / could be construed as defending men, then there is a quick follow up of comments. Many of them sarcastic posts like 'Yea! Women are bitches and should go back to the kitchen' or something.

Now, I know I'm playing with fire here, but lets look at it. Feminism, is as Kermit's av used to (still?) says, the radical notion that women are people (in that, they deserve equal rights and opportunities as men). So, most of us would say we're feminists, or at least we believe in the feminist ideal.

But when things are biased towards women (for example of a thread going on atm, custody towards children), people defending men are often portrayed as women haters on here. I don't think it's fair imo, it's difficult to get a side of the discussion over because of entrenched views about the opression of women. In most circumstances in the UK at least today, women have a fairly good opportunity at getting the same things as men if they have the right skills etc.

A while back, I slagged off a popular feminist (Greer) who said in one of her articles that men were lesser beings, saying that in itself was sexist, and I got an earful on here. Like, feminists are untouchable.

So really, is defending men in a male dominated society really that abhorrent, or do people overreact because they want to fight for equality between the sexes so badly that anything that looks that it might get in the way is bad? Just speculating, btw, not suggesting.

I've also noticed the same thing to an extent with some gay rights activists (none on this board, thankfully), in that since gay's get a bad time, that they feel the need to put everyone down who isn't standing up for them, and it almost becomes a competition. Wouldn't like to be controversial, but look at brokeback mountain - it's an ok film, but would it have been so successful if it wasn't about gay men? (Ok, I know it was about overcoming prejudice, but my point is it seems people try to champion the underdogs, and end up going OTT to compensate)

I'll wait for someone to tell me, of course, women are stupid bitches and don't have a right to say anything, because that's what I'm trying to say, obviously. I just don't see why, if for example, someone thinks using the name 'women for justice' is undermining 'fathers for justice' who are appealing against the courts prejudice against fathers, when mothers for justice are just mums who lost their kids (nothing wrong with that, but they don't have a main political motivation, just want their kids back, and so really aren't the same kind of movement as fathers for justice), people think it is obvious proof that nothing has changed and women are still regarded as second class citizens.

eta: just noticed the mothers for justice thread is old :p, but my point still stands, look at the women's day thread, that nearly descended into a brawl...
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    So really, is defending men in a male dominated society really that abhorrent, or do people overreact because they want to fight for equality between the sexes so badly that anything that looks that it might get in the way is bad?

    No! Don't think defending men is a bad thing AT ALL....think they actually get a bad rap these days and spend a lot of time getting shouted down for the sake of apparent 'equality'.....which I think's really wrong.

    Equality should be about both parties getting equal opportunites and as such both parties should be treated with equal respect....to beat down men for the sake of supposed 'feminism' is just wrong (these same women complain that women have been treated the exact same way for centuries, so it's very hypocritical).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    your post (SB) is non offensive, and makes sense. what do you want us to argue about? :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I used to regard myself as having feminist leanings; women should have the same shot as men and are just as capable. But recently in my anthro class I read some essays written by feminist scholars and now I don't use that title anymore.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Replicant wrote: »
    your post (SB) is non offensive, and makes sense. what do you want us to argue about? :p

    You'd be surprised....wait til some 'feminists' get hold of this post...you'll see....:rolleyes:

    (EDIT: Sorry...that read wrong..have changed it to 'feminists'...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whats the relevance of posts that sarcastically say women deserve to be in the kitchen, usually with only a small comment (for example, a suggestion of positive discrimination). The comment could normally be debated normally, but with sex and sexuality to an extent, people imo often overreact! Why is it such a taboo? Because women have endured years of suffering, and still do? Surely, as HanHan said, we want BOTH parties to have equal respect and rights.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I used to regard myself as having feminist leanings; women should have the same shot as men and are just as capable. But recently in my anthro class I read some essays written by feminist scholars and now I don't use that title anymore.

    How come?

    I think feminism is about women having the same opportunities as men, and that's fantastic. I don't think any people except idiotic bigots would argue against that.

    I've noticed that one or two, one I mentioned in my original post (Greer) often say stupid, stupid things. I read one once that men shouldn't be the superior beings because they were genetically inferior (referring to chromosomes) and women were the 'better' form of human. Whether that's true or not is a debate for a geneticist / biologist, but it was scary that someone who said that kind of broad sweeping statement (in some ways, akin to people saying whites are superior to blacks, stupid statement backed up by nothing but emotion) actually had a lot of popular support, because the 'feminist' movement is very popular. [I say 'feminist' because I don't believe true feminism is about shouting down men]

    Although I've not yet met anyone on here who does it, IRL I know someone who's straight, but defends gay rights so viciously that she tells us if we don't remember certain dates or certain gay rights activists we are bigots. (us being me and my friends)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    How come?

    In many cases they moved their argument beyond equality of opportunity and moved to other areas. The one that comes to mind was one which clamed that using models for adds was sexist because it set an unfair standard of beauty. Sometimes I wonder if the people who write those essays remember that there are idealized images of men as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree, but I think that the people you talk about (Greer) are idiots as well as feminists.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think it's at all the case on here that when men (or women, as the case tellingly may often be) "defend" themselves or the actions of men are "defended" (against what exactly I'm not entirely clear) there are sarcastic follow-up comments or pooh-poohing of the fact that men have issues too. But I credit the overwhelming majority of people on here - and especially those with interest and input in such conversation - with more sophisticated opinions and debating skills than that kind of shit.

    In fact, the only jarring male/female (it seems wrong to contextualise it in that way but since that's the context of the thread) issue I've come across repeatedly on here is when someone wishes to celebrate something concerning women and women only (the Women's day thread that I thought was pretty shameful), or discuss a subject which is relevant to women in the vast majority of cases (rape, and in a different sense abortion) and people spring in with "what about men?". Well WHAT ABOUT MEN? WHAT ABOUT MEN? What about women, too? It is impossible to discuss an issue in the sole context of its effect on women on these boards and in many facets of life. It shouldn't be. It is impossible to discuss women's rights on here and in many facets of life without being branded a feminist as if it is a disgusting, dirty word, and without having to adhere to some irrelevant, possibly PC bollocks where we have to discuss its effect on men too in the name of fairness. Oftentimes they are different issues for men and women within the same broad issue. It's fine to discuss them both in one topic, but sometimes it truly is JUST about men or women in relation to the topic. But then I would say that because - as the lovely Stargalaxy puts it - I am a militant feminist. It's got to be common knowledge that I burn effigies of men as a nightly ritual.

    As for this comment...
    to beat down men for the sake of supposed 'feminism' is just wrong (these same women complain that women have been treated the exact same way for centuries, so it's very hypocritical).

    It is not the "exact same way", by any stretch of the imagination.

    I'm intruiged by the use of the phrase "beat[ing] down". Scary concept? Are women really "beating down" men? Are we talking about domestic violence then? Another topic which it is nigh-on impossible to discuss without the crowing of "it happens to men too" which on here often seems to be considered a salve to the entire problem or a justification. More often than not, though, it seems to be shoehorned in as a petty way to detract from serious problems effecting women. Or a knee-jerk reaction from certain people who seem to feel like they are being personally targeted when we discuss [male] rapists, abusers, menaces etc. It's possible that it's because a lot of the men on here are sensitive and broad-minded and they find it hard to recognise in their sex a remaining and staunch undercurrent of people who do NOT yet believe in or support the idea of women as [equal] people. That could very well be it, but it's still quite sad. Another thing worth mentioning is that a lot of the most negative and upsetting anti-women comments come from females, who either don't truly understand feminist concepts and thought... or who are so terrified of being painted as hairy-legged, braless Gretchen from central casting that they denounce all that is feminist and that should (imo) be inherently felt with huge passion and drive by all women. There are women in other countries, on other continents who would walk over hot coals for the rights that we have - it's poor form not to keep fighting for them to have the self-same rights and for ours to keep evolving along with men's. Anyway I'm a bit OT there... ;)

    Men still have the upper hand and the lion's share of success and assumed right in almost any given area of life in any given part of the world today. Just because we are vaguely approaching levels of gender equality in British life doesn't mean that we can rest on our laurels, there are women in the rest of the world who are still second (and that's being generous) class citizens. To still feel that these issues both home and abroad are pressing and important puts a person into the category of a militant aggressor for the agenda of women as supremacists when that's not the truth - or case - at all.

    The comment about waiting until some 'feminists' get ahold of this post speaks volumes about the attitude of anyone who has an interest in women's rights and their true equality. I find that really upsetting as someone who feels incredibly strongly about all aspects of women's rights and equality the world over, that to voice that feeling automatically pegs you as someone who wants to denigrate men's rights. That's the crux of the issue. It's feminists who are attacked on here because they aren't interested in furthering the cause of men over women - why should they be? Once we are truly equal then I'll be interested in that. Until then I'll be interested in obtaining equal status and complete respect for every woman in the world. If that ever happens then I'll surely devote myself to ensuring that it all stays nicely balanced, but until that becomes the issue I don't see why we should have to pretend that it is in the name of all that is PC and "polite".

    The issue with Germaine Greer is different to the other points raised, completely different. I admire and respect Germaine Greer, it's no secret. I don't follow her blindly, she is a polemicist and I haven't agreed with all her critical thought. Only extremists are going to agree with her views in full and to the letter. The entire point is that it's food for thought -- whether what it makes you think is that she is right or wrong (and, of course, to what degree). If she has drawn you into a discussion on the issues she is raising then she's done what she set out to do - if you're discussing what a pointless, vile, cruel, useless, up-herself specimen she is (as in the Steve Irwin thread that related to her) then it's way off the mark, pretty fruitless debate. Some people [the majority, really] are never going to like or respect GG. I consider it their loss as amid her most controversial statements she is an absolutely brilliant, strong women who uses her brain to form thought that is just out of this world to me. But we all glean our informed thought and opinion from different fonts of wisdom and that's the way it'll always be. I think a lot of people who read her work would find a lot of her thought is cohesive with their own, it's just not "controversial" or "vox-pop" enough to generate huge attention and focus completely out of context - as with some of her more... interesting assertions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What I can never stand is when people only go on about the rights of their particular group, as a reaction to another particular group. "Muslims are saying they're getting discriminated against. Quick, Christians, we'd better come up with some stories about how we're so badly done by. Quick Nadia, make sure you wear your cross on the outside on your flight today."

    I lump people who consider the aim of feminism to make women gain an advantage over men, in the same category as people who consider allowing immigrants to express their own culture as some sort of hostile act towards us "native" Brits. People who celbrate being white, just because there are people celebrating being black. People who moan about there being no marches for straight people, and how you can fly any flag except the English one. Retards, the lot of them.

    The few men's rights issues that there are, (Fathers For Justice, car insurance etc), I'm pretty sure proper feminists would be happy to support, if they weren't constantly used by nobheads as examples of why women can't complain about discrimination, because it happens to men too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some good points briggi :) and I agree with you, in general. In specifics though - and this relates to not just gender, but other topics as well such as racism etc. - sometimes there does seem to be an immediate 'oh my god' reaction to something that isn't 100% pro equality. It's not always, but I've noticed it before. I joked with a Kenyan friend - I said to her in a stupid way did she ride a camel to school in Kenya (to which she laughed) and a passing teacher grabbed my arm and started to tell me that was racism, to which my friend laughed harder... In some contexts, I suppose my comment wouldn't have been said had she not come from Kenya. So it wasn't 100% politically correct, but I knew my friend would see the funny side, so no offense was caused.

    I think sometimes, there can be an overreaction, (by the populus in general), to questions raised about equality in the opposite direction. I've had an earful about women's suffrage more than once when I complain that men have to pay much more for car insurance, whereas statistically (and I know my maths ;)) although men have more accidents / incur a greater cost, the simple fact you're a man doesn't make you a more dangerous driver (being a man makes you more likely to have an aggresive / overconfident driving style).

    As for the women's day thread, I do agree it was unfair to derail it (although, for the benefit of the doubt, let's say that was unintentional), but again why was there such a furor over it? Why is there such a defensive attitude of women's rights? If someone is openly racist, we will call them down - they are obviously in the wrong and get told where to go. But IIRC in that thread, as soon as there was one offensive post, there was a tenfold reaction as to why 'men can't stand to see women celebrate themselves'. I mean, generalisations aside, why not just revel in the glory of women and let it glide like water off a duck's back? I mean, it wasn't overtly offensive, just potentially antagonising, but in some way's (and forgive the somewhat dramatic example), it reminds me of the orange parades in N. Ireland, that one 'perspective' puts out a big dramatic thing, and someone so much as appears to not show 100% respect is leaped on for insulting their beliefs.

    Obviously, the thread wasn't there to stir up trouble, and I didn't mean the example like that, but the way that many people looked for the slightest hint of opposition and then pounced on it seemed like they were waiting for it. Not that I'm having a go :) this thread isn't about that. The main thing is, why are women's rights so hotly defended, disproportionately often in my opinion (as although they are very important, there are a lot of other issues which pass us by without as much emotion). Or, am I off the mark, and there is no major overreaction, it's a normal defence of the feminist movement.

    As for Greer, I suppose in a roundabout way she can be compared to fighting fire with fire. Causes upset, but also causes a lot of change. I know she was a catalyst that changed the attitudes of women with her books (which I personally haven't read), which is a commendable deed, but I would say from some of the things I've read she's written, that she's guilty of sexism herself, and as such I don't like to associate her with the feminist movement.

    I'm with stupid: do you think that men's right's issues are 'constantly used by nobheads as examples why women can't complain about discrimination'? I think women CAN complain about discrimination, but I wonder why there is such a defensive attitude. It's not JUST women's rights, there are a lot of issues that have hugely overreactive stances a lot of the time,

    We all want to live in world where everyone has equal rights, where there are no nuclear weapons, and where people are free to do and live as they choose. Well, we should all want that. And I think we're slowly moving towards it, if you compare us century to century (decade to decade the past 3 or 4 haven't been so good for us, with rich people having far more opportunities now than the poor).

    Out of interest, what did you all think of that apprentice episode where the women's team showed off a bit of cleavage and asked for free food to get ahead of the men's team (even offering kisses, I think), then Alan Sugar told them he thought it was wrong for them to act so unprofessionally and so took off some of their profits, and one of the women launched into a rant about how attitudes like that (that women could only succeed with sex) had made it harder for them to succeed, and she started crying and it was quite cringeworthy. I suppose some feminists would say that women should enjoy and use their bodies, but then some would say they don't need to use their sex to get ahead of men, like it's a competition... :confused:

    I've typed far too long, think I may go to bed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Shy Boy: You're dancing dangerously close to the fire dude! :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    The main thing is, why are women's rights so hotly defended, disproportionately often in my opinion (as although they are very important, there are a lot of other issues which pass us by without as much emotion). Or, am I off the mark, and there is no major overreaction, it's a normal defence of the feminist movement.

    I don't know why. Other than that there are people like myself who still feel very strongly that it's not a closed book, that complacency when people make seemingly innocent comments - and jokingly (or not) derail daft threads on internet forums - could actually start leading to a backward decline. If we can't completely fabricate (which is what happened, after all, it's not goverment-issue Women's Day or anything like that) a day to celebrate the achievements of women past and present and the changes they've made through strife and worse for woman than this particular time... well then either men are extremely threatened by women being championed and in the foreground or... they're just damn-well spiteful.

    I definitely see your point about defensiveness, but essentially - as threads on here often prove - it's a necessary defensiveness in my view. There's no doubt that those who believe in the continuing cause of women's rights are extremely devoted and determined, but they have to be. Even if they didn't have to be, isn't it more an admirable than a questionable thing that men and women feel so strongly about these rights and issues? Just because people on here maybe don't feel - or voice their feeling - that they are devoted to other causes as they are to women's issues and women's rights, it doesn't mean that they need to start dividing their time more fairly. It's just not fair to say that other issues pass by without people caring as much as they do about women's rights. People believe in and support what their own belief system gravitates towards, people have their own agenda of interest and want to debate the things they want to debate. It doesn't mean they don't care about diddly squat else, really. Another reason is that the "women's issues" we discuss are often some of the more emotive and sensitive issues up for debate on here, as many of us can contextualise them and speak of our own experiences. I know myself that I generally have a lot more to say about issues such as abortion, rape, adoption, IVF, women's rights abroad etc purely because they are the issues about which I'm best informed. It doesn't mean I - or anyone else - feels less for political prisoners, or cares less about taxes or what politicians are getting up to. I genuinely just know less about it, and would feel fraudulent debating it. I'm not sure why it's a sticking point for you that feminists are very front-and-centre about their thoughts and opinions, I think it's the way they've had to be in the past to be heard, and now it's an attribute of the cause. Or maybe you've just been [un]fortunate in coming across a lot of outspoken feminists in your time ;) But as long as there's still a need to defend and push their agenda forward you're always going to come across people like myself (and I'm just the tip of the iceberg).

    I think people who haven't read her extensively find it hard to comprehend why Greer IS a feminist, and such an important part of the feminist movement past and present. The Female Eunuch changed the world for women yet again. As I said, her books are known as "polemical bombs" and are meant to shock you and make you sit down and think about what you agree with and what you think she's said that's off and what's completely wrong. She's one of the foremost feminist academics and I don't really think that's debatable. Whether you like her or not is - as I said - another issue entirely. I don't know many people who do and that's their business. But I think it shows in a not altogether flattering light when women who haven't read Greer (or any feminist literature at all, really) talk about women's rights. Usually in the context of "we've got all our rights now, why are these fat bitches with their hairy armpits still trying to ruin men's view of womankind". Some people may have innate feministic knowledge, but in order to understand some heavy-duty reading and research still has to be done. Ah, I wish sophia was still kicking about....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Right, with regard to the Women's Day thread, I can't really add to IWS's comprehensive and magnificent post :)

    If it were a post about the achievements of black people on... say Martin Luther King day, it would be wholly unacceptable to every single person on here if someone immediately piped up "when do we celebrate white people's achievement day?". But it's up for debate whether it's ok to hurrah into a women's achievement thread and immediately comment about men being excluded? Light-hearted or no, it just speaks volumes to me about where we actually are.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote: »
    I don't know why. either men are extremely threatened by women being championed and in the foreground or... they're just damn-well spiteful.
    In saying this comment, you're reducing your argument to the kinds feminists are supposed to argue against: the all-encompassing, essentialist notion that all men are like this (and in a way you expect them to be). In essence, it's sexist. And in addition, you're supporting the point in ShyBoy's original post that men who defend men's issues are shits, and it's ok for women to denigrate men as 'idiots', 'spiteful', or 'insecure' because it's necessary to obtain equal rights. It's not necessary, and I'd never condone any gender based discrimination.

    We've already been through this point before, and I agree that women's right etc need to be defended, championed, maintained and developed, both home and abroad. That's a non-issue for me.

    But, your polemical stance (and of feminism more generally) on the position of women in society overlooks the very real fact that certain men's issues and rights are important (and they affect women as well). While white men have an advantage in very many sphere's of life, feminists always seem to neglect the fact that it is men who are conscripted to the army, that the majority of homeless individuals are men, that black, asian, latino etc men have just as few rights and representations as many women do, that men often lose out as far as parenting issues go, that men are the overwhelming majority of drug addicts and substance abusers, that men's mental health problems often go untreated because they're supposed to 'deal with it', that men's sexuality and presentation of self are becoming major issues within the media and within the male population more generally, that many men's actions are in fact a response to female suggestion/preconceived notions/expectations of what a man is supposed to do/be.

    Now men are very confused by women (at least in the west) because what typically seems to be the case is that 'women want it all'. They want to have the door opened for them, nice presents, flowers, sex when they want it, and to be treated like a lady (in general). They wish to keep the ability to slag men off, but want to be protected by any insults in their direction. In addition, they want to have the same rights as men. I don't have a problem with the rights issue (I really don't), but when men expect (or asks for) the same things (e.g. his girlfriend to get him a beer, a nice present, maybe have his significant other buy dinner) somehow this is sexist and denigrating to women cause they're not a slave, or they're looked upon as backwards looking and non-progressive. And woe betide the man who calls women a 'bitch'... But somehow you're suggesting that it's all ok for a women to call a man a 'dick', 'idiot' or 'men are lesser creatures'?

    You only have to look at the post on 'how to be a wife in the 1950s and 2000s' in Waste Time to see how far in the other direction women's views of gender roles (in the West, and I'm stressing this) have gone. Gender roles should be equally shared.

    Feminists also seem to forget it's not just men who try and bring them down. Phyllis Schlafly? The woman who single-handedly was able to turn around the Equal Rights Amendment act (along with a bunch of support from women) in the States.

    Now, by me posting this, you'll likely think I'm sexist and trying to keep women in their place, and it's not like that at all. I'm all for equality and moving forward for gender harmony.

    In the issues you raised (abortion, rape, adoption, IVF), you seem to say that these are issues which affect only women, and it's just not the case, not even in a small way. Adoption, abortion, and IVF affect men and women. Now, I realise the direct effect is on women, I'm not disputing that, but there is always another side to the story. These things (whether you want to admit it or not) do affect men as well. Unless you want to suggest that in a relationship in these scenarios it's only women who are going to be affected by the decision?

    Yes, rape is primarily a women's issue, and while men are responsible for the vast majority of rape cases, cutting them out of the equation, vilifying, or demonising is not effective. A number of trials in Africa and elsewhere are pushing forward a male oriented approach to reducing rape statistics by involving them. It's a step in the right direction, but many feminists decide instead to decry all men as rapists. How is this useful?

    I don't know how this will be received (I'm guessing not well), but I reckon I'm a male-oriented feminist. I see discrimination all around me, affecting both men and women, and I feel as passionate about addressing, confronting, and understanding discrimination when it affects men as well as when it affects women. Feminists seem to see discrimination as affecting only women, but I'm prepared to learn otherwise.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In saying this comment, you're reducing your argument to the kinds feminists are supposed to argue against: the all-encompassing, essentialist notion that all men are like this (and in a way you expect them to be). In essence, it's sexist. And in addition, you're supporting the point in ShyBoy's original post that men who defend men's issues are shits, and it's ok for women to denigrate men as 'idiots', 'spiteful', or 'insecure' because it's necessary to obtain equal rights. It's not necessary, and I'd never condone any gender based discrimination.

    No, I'm not. Basically because my comments about men being threatened or spiteful were musings on why they react that way to women being championed through a medium such as Women's Day... not musing on male-female relations in general. It is either spite or a reactionary feeling of being unnerved that would cause men to immediately shoehorn themselves back into any subject that solely concerns women being celebrated on an independently-created and curated solitary day of the year. Isn't it? Ok, maybe it isn't, I'd be genuinely interested to be enlightened and hear [from a man, or anyone else who thinks it doesn't stand up to scrutiny that women should be celebrated on a specific day] what the motivation really is.

    As for abortion, rape, IVF etc, maybe I wasn't clear. I wasn't saying - by any stretch of the imagination - that these issues do no effect men. My point was that it is impossible to discuss (on here, and in many other forums of life and internet) such issues with sole regard to the effect on women. To my knowledge there hasn't been one thread on here in which we've been able to discuss specific rape cases or the impact of rape on women generally without someone piping up that men are raped too. I think it's perfectly valid to discuss rape in relation to men as perpertrators in these threads, after all as you said that is one way in which we're looking at decreasing the incidence level. However, what's not helpful and what I am actually talk about is the fact that if we ever try and discuss women being raped by men someone has to bring up that men are raped by women, too. That is as may be (though incredibly rarely, of course) but it detracts from the topic at hand. It's as if certain men feel that they can't be left out of any discussion, and it's unhelpful to people who want to discuss the cases at hand and also the psychology/criminology of rape. Just as an example.

    Your comment that women [or feminists, specifically] "decry men as rapists" is unfair and untrue. It has been a stated theory in feminism, I think you'd be hard pushed to find someone who will argue against you in the "all men are rapists" debate, because it is simply not the feminist mantra that people like to believe it is. Very nice and succinct way to paint feminists as the man-hating, enemy cliche though. Very easy.

    With regard to abortion, it's absolutely unfair that men don't - and hopefully never will - have anything like a fair say in proceedings. But that is the way it is. The alternative is terrifying beyond belief. You're talking out of your arse if you're saying that I believe men don't have any involvement in such issues, but the pure biology of it means it is always going to be primarily a women's issue. Men can be as interested in the topic as they like - they should be - but it is always going to directly effect the woman. It's been said many a time on here before that it's somehow unfair that women bear the children. I'm not entirely sure what they expect the feminist movement to do about that.

    I completely understand and agree with your point about men's rights needing attention. It's not really debatable, they do. Men in certain sociological groups are in pretty dire straits, and it's not getting any better. On the contrary. But it's not the fault of feminists that people aren't standing up for men's rights. We've discussed this before I think and I never managed to quite gather my thoughts on it. But men seem to be fairly complacent about the way society sees them and the way it treats them. If they aren't prepared to stand up and take action and really examine the problems and the roots of those problems (yourself excepted, of course, as I think you're the first person I've heard address these issues... in a long time anyway) then they can't really feel badly towards other people who are standing up and being counted. I like to think most feminists are humanitarians in essence, and I think they are concerned for society at large rather than specifically furthering their own agenda in a completely blinkered way. But we all have our causes.

    I definitely comprehend the fact that if men rose up as feminists did/do then it would be seen differently, basically because men are generally still on top. But all that has to go to hell in a handcart if men want to see change. I would like to see the issues that blight the modern male addressed - the suicide rate, the drug problems, the familial strife you speak of. I would be willing to support their methods and ideas for change if only they had some. But yeah... going back to this complacency, it's definitely an issue. I'm not active in the kind of circles that would discuss men's rights... but then, maybe, that's because they don't exist :chin:

    I don't think women are all for women, I've addressed that before. Women can be a lot more destructive to progress than men, in certain ways. Being anti-feminism isn't restricted to males in the same way that being a feminist isn't restricted to people with ovaries.

    Of course feminists don't see discrimination as something that happens only to women, but it is discrimination against women that they are concerned with. Surely that's a huge distinction? Is there something wrong with that? Is it sexist to actively support and push women's rights while only giving thought to the rights and problems of men? Maybe so, I'd never really thought of it like that. I think your goals and aims of equality for all, for addressing all facets of discrimination and opression are very admirable. We should all really think in terms of everyone's rights and issues, but as long as achieving for women's isn't going against men's rights (or detracting from them) then I don't see how it is sexist or wrong to do just that. Is the implication that the more rights women accrue in terms of abortion (z.b) the fewer rights men have? I guess that'd be the case, but it doesn't have to be. That said of course, one of the main objectives of feminism being that women would have complete control over her own body. It's difficult to gauge, and weigh up one person's rights against each anothers.

    I could be wrong, but I think part of the derision and fear of feminism is that people wonder what feminists will do if and when they do reach that elusive and possibly mythical goal of "equality". It makes sense that people would think that, especially with the old adages about power. I expect the fear is that they will want to press on and become the men of old days, the supremacists. I don't think that's on any feminist's agenda except for the extreme fringe, but I think it's something that crosses men's minds from time to time... maybe understandably so.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As a guy, I'd feel nervous of trying to make a point on men's rights, because just as easily as feminists can be painted man-haters who 'want it all', a male rights activist is often called a woman-hater or misogynst. I don't know, it seems to me a bit like this:

    If someone says we should increase women's rights in this area, it is easy to shout down anyone who argues with them, because women have typically had lesser rights, it's tried and tested.

    If someone says we should increase men's rights in a certain area, then people who argue with them are the ones who have the easier time, because men have always had the better rights, and then the comments about 'men being unnerved by women' and things like that come out, which would be justified if it was a fair comment, but often the actual issue isn't discussed, and it comes down to a slanging match about men vs. women. And in the current climate, when a debate about rights comes about, it's often women who end up on top. I'm not saying that's not justified, but sometimes it may not be, but just following the general trend of 'more women's rights'.

    I mean, if today, one piece of legislation was to go through to champion women's rights and make them more equal, what would it be? Where are they discriminated against in law? To my knowledge, from a legal standpoint, they're fairly equal, except for the rights afforded by motherhood (eg. men don't get as much paternity leave / paternal rights).

    I get upset when (usually other women) call down women for being stay-at-home mothers, because they're conforming to men's desires. However much is wrong with society and the views on women and men, the nuclear family with two parents has been a fairly successful template for the past few thousand years. Of course, that's not to say it can't be improved - but can you imagine the social stigma attatched to a 'stay-at-home dad'? He'd be called jobless, a loser, rather than a full time parent. But to complain about that kind of thing, often results in petty name calling, that men have everything and are just scared of women gaining as much.

    I guess I'm a bit odd sometimes, when I was little I assumed men and women did have equal rights, and any place where I see a disparity I think it should be fixed. But our society as an average, seems to follow that championing women's rights is more acceptable than championing men's rights.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You'd only be branded as a misogynist for being vocal about issues relating to men if you were advocating a male agenda at the expense of women. Independently, no feminist would feasibly have a problem with a man or men being vocal about men's rights in the areas in which men's rights are negligible (eg. abortion) as long as they weren't campaigning for rights or allowances that would negate the rights or choices of the woman involved. If that makes sense.

    In what area do you think men's rights need to be increased then, ShyBoy? If you want us to discuss specifically rather than theoretically then we really need a basis for discussion.

    Feminism isn't about taking anything away from men. Ideally, men would stay as they were and women would become equal. Unfortunately as women gain more rights and a louder voice it seems to be having a bad impact on males in our society. I find it sad that men see feminist argument as their being shouted down, the crux of the issue is that women still don't have the rights and respect that men do in many areas of society. But there is a lot of resentment for the rights that women do have, and it is definitely causing problems for men. I feel for them, their role in society has been complete redefined in this generation, and it will continue to change. It's hard for anyone to adjust, especially when the scales have been tipped as severely as they have. But then, I'm also glad that that's the case. It's difficult for men but it's been difficult for women and now we have to reach some kind of new balance where people don't feel hard done by, or that their rights are being neglected or that they can't voice their opinions because they're a man. There are definitely undercurrents of anti-male sentiment, but that is not an attribute of mainstream feminism. Feminism has done wonders for women, I think men and all those who feel very strongly about male rights in certain circumstances would better serve their purpose by furthering their own agenda... rather than picking apart feminism and the agendas of those who feel strongly about women's rights.

    As for the stay-at-home dad, who exactly would be calling him a loser and looking down on him? Not feminists, that's for sure. Feminism is about role-sharing and gender equality, about having the freedom and choice to take whichever path you choose. Feminists don't believe that staying at home to care for children is unworthy, they just believe that it should be a choice. A choice that two parents come to together in accordance with what they both wish to do. A choice that is as valid as wanting to leave your kids in daycare as early as possible and both return to work and not be judged for it. It's all about elective decisions and the freedom to do so, for everyone :) There may well be a stigma attached to the stay at home Dad but it hasn't been attached by feminism, more likely by other men... and it's changing, everyday. It really is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yea, I wasn't having a dig at feminists briggi, I'd technically class myself as a feminist because I believe in equal opportunities and rights. Specifically, why are punishments for men in the UK law often harsher than those for women, could be one thing. But I meant this thread more of an open debate, the main thing being, how far have women in the UK got to come to have equality in the workplace, is it a matter of legislation, or simply changing entrenched social views now?

    If it's the latter, I think it's evolving by itself, as we become a better educated country, social standards move towards what we think, that women deserve equality. But, I think as a side effect of the idea of women having equal rights come to the forefront, a new ignorance of men's issues seems to be there.

    IIRC, and please do correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told that the group most likely to be raped was in fact young men. I think it was related to the amount of rape in prisons, but again this was something I was told, so I can't really be specific.

    And, when I said it was peculiar that people supported women's rights more than it's proportionate effect, what I meant, was why is this the case? Why in the UK, is it such a powerful and followed issue, possibly compared to other countries...?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There is still the 'glass ceiling' in the workplace for women quite alot. I find it hard to understand how women out perform men in school but men take over as soon as it comes to work.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote: »
    I think your goals and aims of equality for all, for addressing all facets of discrimination and opression are very admirable. We should all really think in terms of everyone's rights and issues, but as long as achieving for women's isn't going against men's rights (or detracting from them) then I don't see how it is sexist or wrong to do just that. Is the implication that the more rights women accrue in terms of abortion (z.b) the fewer rights men have? I guess that'd be the case, but it doesn't have to be. That said of course, one of the main objectives of feminism being that women would have complete control over her own body. It's difficult to gauge, and weigh up one person's rights against each anothers.

    (Forgive the selective editing but I see discrimination as an essential and integral part of life).

    The rest of that paragraph highlights for me the problems of addressing oppression (of any individual) with "rights".

    It usually results with at least one individual being oppressed in order to furnish those "rights" on the individual(s) originally suffering oppression.

    (For me, one is too many).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know much about Greer, maybe she has written some of the most relevant work on feminism ever. However, that absolute shite she wrote in that newspaper article has made me not want to even look at her work.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    I don't know much about Greer, maybe she has written some of the most relevant work on feminism ever. However, that absolute shite she wrote in that newspaper article has made me not want to even look at her work.

    Have you got a link ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Was that the one on Steve Irwin?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »
    Was that the one on Steve Irwin?

    No, it was the other one saying males where mutations or some shite. Not too fussed on that Steve Irwin one either.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Feminism, is as Kermit's av used to (still?) says, the radical notion that women are people (in that, they deserve equal rights and opportunities as men). So, most of us would say we're feminists, or at least we believe in the feminist ideal.

    That's a slogan designed to get the neive to think "oh, that seems reasonable, henceforth I am a feminist".

    Read some of the bile spewed out by the likes of Andrea "I want to see a dead man with a high heel sticking in his mouth like an apple in the mouth of a pig" Dworkin and Germaine "men are freaks of nature, my ideal partner is a woman with a penis" Greer and you will quickly realise the statement "feminism is the radical notion that women are people" (applicable only to pre-C20th feminism) is deceptively innacurate.

    Look at what feminists' favourite writers talk about - the need to raise girls like boys and boys like girls, denying incontravertibly inherent difference in psychology and evolutionary purpose; the 'evils' of normal male behaviour (such as 'objectification'); the need to "re-educate" society into androgyny; the invalidity of standard scientific procedure in the search for objective truth as it as a "male construct".

    Not quite just recognising women as "people"; more a programme for socially engineering society according to a delusional fantasy which rejects mankind as we always have been and always will be.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote: »
    That's a slogan designed to get the neive to think "oh, that seems reasonable, henceforth I am a feminist".

    Read some of the bile spewed out by the likes of Andrea "I want to see a dead man with a high heel sticking in his mouth like an apple in the mouth of a pig" Dworkin and Germaine "men are freaks of nature, my ideal partner is a woman with a penis" Greer and you will quickly realise the statement "feminism is the radical notion that women are people" (applicable only to pre-C20th feminism) is deceptively innacurate.

    Look at what feminists' favourite writers talk about - the need to raise girls like boys and boys like girls, denying incontravertibly inherent difference in psychology and evolutionary purpose; the 'evils' of normal male behaviour (such as 'objectification'); the need to "re-educate" society into androgyny; the invalidity of standard scientific procedure in the search for objective truth as it as a "male construct".

    Not quite just recognising women as "people"; more a programme for socially engineering society according to a delusional fantasy which rejects mankind as we always have been and always will be.

    and the decent cometh...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hmm, I think it's dangerous to say feminists are anti-men. It's true, whether it's because of a political agenda, a polecimal perspective (although I don't think it's necessarily justified, it's just a description really) or just because they're pissed off, some feminists, including scholars, do throw a bit of prejudice and in some cases even hate into their teachings. But it's right, and natural, for men and women to have the same opportunities.

    A man will never be a woman, and he will never be able to bear a child (unless there's some funky scientific experiment...). Just the same as a woman will never be a man, and won't be able to do... whatever it is makes men special (sperm, I guess..?). The main reason women have been oppressed is because of religion, the organised religions taught that women, although not necessarily 'lesser', were to be protected and shouldn't do 'man things'.

    Now that organised religion has for the main part lost it's sociological significance in the UK at least (my brother who's doing a politics and international relations degree says football has replaced it... lol), I expect attitudes to change. What I still can't understand though, is why in particular, women's rights is such a sore sticking point for some.

    I said to a friend once who said she wanted to kill everyone who didn't like gay people, that she was prejudiced herself against homophobic people (as in, people who didn't like them, not necessarily just people who victimise them - I have respect for people who because of their upbringing personally don't appreciate women / black people / gay people, but can put their differences to one side and be cordial and respectful). I think there is maybe a similar fear of sexism, that it's the work of the devil and should be stamped out.

    I personally am in quite a peculiar position. I would describe myself in some ways as affeminate, when I was younger my friends were girls, I used to spend time with them much more, they were much nicer etc. etc. - then I realised they could be just as rubbish as guys ;), and now I don't see why there is inequality, but do think sometimes from a social perspective, sometimes women are elevated, because although attitudes like 'this is a man's job, for a man to do' are dying out, attitudes such as 'women and children first' are imo still there. Not that I'm suggesting in a burning building we hold the women back for equality :p but more, it's still the norm (usually) for the man to pay on a date, I always like a girl who at least offers to pay half, but tbf in my experience when you look at the bill they don't often.

    Going back to the masculinity thread, I would feel less of a man, if I couldn't afford to pay. I mean, someone I know on here had an argument over a hotel bill where the girl didn't want to pay I think, and apart from one friend (where the roles are reversed and she pays for everything :p) I think a lot of people are like it.

    So I think the current UK attitude is: give women equal rights, invite them into the workplace, but it's still seen as a male role to provide and protect women (rather than stay at home and look after the kids while his wife earns money), which is wrong imo, but we can't change that through laws or boycotts or anything, it's got to be a change in beliefs, which as briggi pointed out is happening albeit slowly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you're putting far too much emphasis on social and religious reasons for inequality. Remember that both of these things are only created out of human's natural instincts anyway. I mean how many women claim to be attracted to the idea of their boyfriend being able to protect them, or being attracted to power and social status in general? It's not all socially constructed ideas, you know? Their are natural roles that people feel more comfortable in (like you said, the man being the provider). The important thing is to have the opportunity to take on any role you want whether you're male or female, and not have people's attitudes dictate to you otherwise. This doesn't mean that it's natural to have a 50/50 split in the number of certain types of jobs, because certain jobs do appeal to one sex more than the other for natural reasons, rather than simply social reasons. Like I said, the only important thing is that for any individual where this isn't the case, they are not judged in any way for it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I mean how many women claim to be attracted to the idea of their boyfriend being able to protect them, or being attracted to power and social status in general? It's not all socially constructed ideas, you know?
    But these roles are socially constructed, right from the get go. While these things may have a basis in biology, they're reified, concretised, and established through cultural and social norms of construction. There's no real relationship between having a penis and providing a family any more than having a womb automatically makes a woman want to have children and look after them. There are correlations, but correlations don't mean causation.
    The important thing is to have the opportunity to take on any role you want whether you're male or female, and not have people's attitudes dictate to you otherwise.

    I totally agree with this.
    This doesn't mean that it's natural to have a 50/50 split in the number of certain types of jobs, because certain jobs do appeal to one sex more than the other for natural reasons, rather than simply social reasons. Like I said, the only important thing is that for any individual where this isn't the case, they are not judged in any way for it.
    But I don't agree with this. Jobs are human constructs. It's not natural to want to be an architect, or a police officer, or a front-line army soldier. They are entirely created by humans. These are not biological constructs, but social constructs. As such, your argument is a logical fallacy. It's a non-sequiter, because you're so tied into the idea that gender differences are purely based in biological traits, and it's just not the case.
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