Author Topic: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!  (Read 98160 times)

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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #465 on: August 15, 2012, 03:55:09 pm »
But I don't know how that means that a man, listening to a woman, empathetic and intellectually understanding of a situation, is unable to 'truely understand' well enough to be an effective part of Feminism. I don't if that's what's being suggested, but I suspect something similar to that is what's being conveyed.

I certainly didn't mean to suggest that men cannot truly understand enough to be an effective part of feminism. What I was trying to point out (poorly, it seems) is that a man's intellectual, empathetic understanding should always take a back seat in feminist discussions to the actual lived experiences of women.

I think back seat might be a poor word choice there.*

Experience and empathy are not the same thing. They shouldn't need to compete for the drivers seat. Discussions about experience should be discussions about experience, discussions about "how to fix it" or "support" should provide an equal playing ground. An empathetic guy should be able to listen and modify their position if someone says "I understand what you're saying but in my experience..."  When we're discussing solutions, though, inclusion seems preferable to exclusion or discrimination.



* I swear I won't make some comment about getting in the back seat with a feminist experience  :argh!:
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #466 on: August 15, 2012, 04:06:23 pm »
Also, just to reiterate, if we are trying to look at things from an evidential perspective, the Webster 1913 etymology of the variance "pussy" as a derogatory term derived from "pursy" occurred only in that single edition and was removed from subsequent editions, and has no other support. It seems like a funny thing to latch onto so hard, and reminds me of when in the early 1990's it was common for grrrl power chicks to latch onto the widely-repeated piece of (erroneous) folklore that "Cunt" was actually derived from Sumerian "Kundi" and means "Goddess".

FYI, erroneous and invented etymologies are typically removed from dictionaries when further research finds no support for them. A typical red flag for an erroneous or invented etymology is when there are no other sources or references, and the entry is removed from subsequent editions rather than being adopted into subsequent editions and other dictionaries.

As I mentioned, it was incredibly common for dictionary editors of that time to "pad" their content with inventive etymologies in order to create a selling point for their dictionary.

This probably explains the "cunt is derived from the same root as cunning or ken" thing that I saw some years ago, and can't find now. Thanks.  :)
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #467 on: August 15, 2012, 04:10:13 pm »
Being oppressed is traumatic and obviously terrible. But it also can have the effect of turning people sour and seeking revenge. This is fact, and nobody is above it. See: ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY. Being oppressed does not lend itself to giving a balanced view of the situation even if that oppression ends. Whole nations of humans have formed for the specific purpose of seeking revenge for oppression - and they do it, and they're no better than their oppressors were, but they don't see it, because their ability to be fair has been violated and destroyed by the original oppression.

I'm not saying feminism is necessarily going to go down this path, but it's possible (and you can't really say it's impossible without being self-righteous and just plain wrong). So it seems to me that feminism needs detached, outside opinions and observations in order to keep that possibility in check.

Saying things like "men don't/can't understand" or "a man's view is inherently inferior or inadequate" or that it must "take a back seat" to a woman's opinions is evidence of that counter-oppressive possibility.
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #468 on: August 15, 2012, 04:10:34 pm »
But I don't know how that means that a man, listening to a woman, empathetic and intellectually understanding of a situation, is unable to 'truely understand' well enough to be an effective part of Feminism. I don't if that's what's being suggested, but I suspect something similar to that is what's being conveyed.

I certainly didn't mean to suggest that men cannot truly understand enough to be an effective part of feminism. What I was trying to point out (poorly, it seems) is that a man's intellectual, empathetic understanding should always take a back seat in feminist discussions to the actual lived experiences of women.

I think back seat might be a poor word choice there.*

Experience and empathy are not the same thing. They shouldn't need to compete for the drivers seat. Discussions about experience should be discussions about experience, discussions about "how to fix it" or "support" should provide an equal playing ground. An empathetic guy should be able to listen and modify their position if someone says "I understand what you're saying but in my experience..."  When we're discussing solutions, though, inclusion seems preferable to exclusion or discrimination.



* I swear I won't make some comment about getting in the back seat with a feminist experience  :argh!:


THIS well said.
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #469 on: August 15, 2012, 04:15:24 pm »
I don't read ANYONE in this thread bashing Feminism, big F.  What I see are some expressing that any strain or version of feminism, little f, that is practiced to exclude men because they are men and don't have the experience of being women, is a strain that is probably too insular for it's own good.

Who is advocating the exclusion of men and will anyone with that point of contention quote the offending suggestion so it can be clarified or defended?

Well, here's one:


The only thing I would add is that in my experience, the best male allies are the ones who come in knowing that they're going to have to earn trust from some feminists and just, you know, quietly do that instead of whining about how Really Really Nice They Are, Why Are You Oppressing Me With Your Mistrust.

To everyone who agrees with the above statement:

I am not fucking required to gain anyone's trust.  I am required as a biped to be an eglatarian, defined as "all human beings are equal and to be judged - when judgement is necessary - according to their individual merits".  I do not require that anyone trust me for me to do that.  I am not joining a club, or even an organization.  Your or anyone else's "trust" is meaningless in this context.  I am an elgatarian because it is the right thing to do.

So, you know, fuck this "alliance" business.  I am going to do what works, which is to set an example, and not tolerate inequality in my workplace, the crew I run, my family, my home, or my social circle.  Alliances lead to dominance games, and it's become fairly self-evident, at least in this group, that this becomes counterproductive and requires a uniform. 

So you can take your trust requirement and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.  I'm not doing this for you, and I do not require the approval of other feminists to be a feminist.

And if that's not good enough, then too fucking bad.

There are other examples upthread.  I can get into them, if you like.

Right. I thought the meaning of that quote was fairly clear based on the context it was posted in, but in case not, let me restate my position.

Men who come into feminist spaces should not immediately expect, nor feel entitled to, the blind faith or trust that they will be a Good Male Feminist* from the get-go.

Even restating that, considering my statement was "the best male allies", which well and truly allows for the participation of men in feminism, I'm really unclear as to how this is evidence of my advocation the exclusion of men.

*There's an interesting discussion to be had around the fact that we hold cis male feminists to a higher standard than pretty much anyone else, rightly or wrongly, but it's probably a discussion for another thread.

I'm taking issue with "male allies" or even "allies".  Either you're an eglatarian (in which case "allies" is a useless term) or you're not (in which case you can't be allies, because there's nothing in common to ally over).

I am a "CIS male".  This is utterly irrelevant as to whether or not I am an elgatarian.  And I don't see any "feminist space".  I see people who want to be recognized as people and/or who recognize other people as people.  There is no "space" here to enter.  There is no territory upon which to infringe.  You are, or you aren't.  Nothing else matters.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #470 on: August 15, 2012, 04:18:51 pm »
Oh and Roger, i think most of the last 2 pages were referring to P3nt's take on it, rather than you.  You are a decent guy and it SHOULD be the default position, but in my experience, it's not always the case.

And I think you're working off of false positives, here.  In my experience, 80-90% of men are what you would call "decent"1.  The ones who AREN'T are the ones who get noticed.


In certain situations, a false positive is better than the outcome of failing to spot someone who is dangerous.  It sucks to be the false positive, for sure, but if it's a choice between reading someone too harshly, or not reading a fucking asshole harshly enough, I'm sorry I had to bail on the hidden decent person, but the asshole doesn't usually overtly advertise his assholeness. If it comes down to my basic survival and well being I'm going to act on the false positive.

http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

This article pretty much explains why.

As I said, caution is always advisable...But looking at the balance of any group as "probably swine" is a trap.
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 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #471 on: August 15, 2012, 04:20:38 pm »
Does the intention of these things matter? Theyre both opposing prejudice using parody or humour, but do they ultimately just buy into the existing structures? Or is it just too easy to lose control of the message once it goes into the wild?

Oh hey, this reminds me of something I was going to say earlier in the thread, but I forgot. I come from a land down undah, and I think it would be fair to say that most high schoolers here have no real understanding of the incredibly complex and fraught racial relations in the United States. I mean, sure, we learn about the Civil Rights movement in history and To Kill a Mockingbird is usually taught in English at some level, but a lot of that more insidious stuff we really have no clue about.

Anyway, when I was twelve or thirteen, one of the many trends in our high school became to use the word "n***er" as a synonym for "steal". And in, "Oi, you n***ered my eraser!" or "I totally n***ered this eyeshadow from the chemist". Now, were we consciously and actively saying 'black people steal and that's why this is a valid comparison'? Fuck no. Most of us had never even heard the word used in a derogatory manner towards a black person; we certainly weren't aware of the power the n-word has in the States. We were ignorant little morons who thought we were being edgy. And a space alien who was dropped into my third form science class who saw someone grab my pencil sharpener off my desk and heard me yell "stop n***ering my stuff!" would come to the reasonable conclusion that "n***er" means "take with asking permission" with no cultural context for comparison.

None of which changes the fact that I think about it now and want to smack 12-year-old Signora quite hard in the back of the head. I guess my point, if I haven't lost it, is: sure, contextually, what we were saying was not an active message of hate, but that doesn't change the fact that the language we were using was hateful and oppressive.
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #472 on: August 15, 2012, 04:21:11 pm »
Also, it occurs to me that the "CIS" thing is worth exploring here, as it fits in nicely with the original topic.

CIS makes no difference at all.  Gender orientation is utterly meaningless, as is anything else, in determining whether or not someone believes that ALL people are equally human.
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 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #473 on: August 15, 2012, 04:23:51 pm »
So back to vex's point...when a man confronts these ideas, it seems like what is being asked of him is to act entirely counter to his nature.  To ask a man to change certain views that are deeply rooted is asking a lot...I guess you'd have to be a really strong man to be able to confront one's own fundamental assumptions. And it CAN be done, but I doubt in a mass amount.

With that in mind, it seems that the direct approach can only take a culture so far.  I think a real effectual change comes through slowly nipping away at the structure and tweaking this idea here and destroying that injustice there. Kind of like the parable The Camel's Nose In The Tent.  Now I agree that Feminism does do that, but it also tends to alienate men who matter by setting up an opposition.  The men who matter are ALL men, not just the few who think for themselves.


This is why I get wound up whenever feminism comes up. It always comes down to - I'm a dumbfuck who can never possibly understand because I was born with a dick and privilege and my whole brain comes with built in misogyny and, although that can never change because I'm, y'know, a male, I'm in the wrong and damn well should fucking change. Even though I can't. It's like - what the fuck do you people want from me? I need to grow a uterus before you'll quit complaining at me?

And all I end up do is yelling "For fucksake - innocent until proven guilty. Just fucking trust me already!" but there's no way to yell that without coming across like an asshole and part of the problem and reinforcing the fact that men just don't get it. Can never get it. So it always comes down to this - feminism is a conversation for women, directed at men and that's a fucking shame, cos it's never going to work and shit really does need to change. A lot of us can see that, if you'd just give us a bit of credit.

Whether it's intentional or not, feminism make men feel like they're being attacked and (if you understand men at all) that is not conducive to change. Quite the opposite, in fact. That's going to make them dig in their heels and put up more barriers.

The many, many, many men who are joining the feminist movement and identifying as feminist, and the many many men who are joining the anti-rape-culture movement, don't seem to agree with you, so it is more than a bit possible that your reaction does not represent or define the reaction of men as a whole.
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #474 on: August 15, 2012, 04:30:15 pm »
"Hey there, I see that you're currently victim to the horrors of Auschwitz. I can imagine how that must feel for you. While not a resident myself,  I am going to tell you all about Auschwitz as the local authority on Auschwitz. What's that? No, I think you're wrong about that detail. Why does that upset you? How come your side of the Auschwitz yay or nay argument is the best and I have to listen to you? If you want your situation to get better, you need to be more respectful towards people who aren't in Auschwitz when they explain Auschwitz to you.What do you mean I can't be an official Auschwitz ally if I go about misrepresenting Auschwitz and insist that the interpretation from within is somehow invalid?" to expand on the already fairly dangerous comparison.

Roger, I'm not reading that into it at all. Maybe I'm more familiar with the positions being represented here and there's a miscommunication I'm reading past. Comparing quotes of statements to those of replies and interpretations is a bit beyond the capabilities of my phone, but the thread reads like "men can absolutely be helpful and involved but cannot be primary sources on the experiences of women", "hey, fuck you for excluding me."

ANNNNND... Godwin.  :horrormirth:

This begs the question whether contemporary feminism is for everybody, as people or claiming, or just women? Everybody wasn't in Auschwitz.
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #475 on: August 15, 2012, 04:35:31 pm »
Yes but can men join as equals, intellectually and otherwise? Or are men expected to join as foot soldiers and solidarity trophies, expected to place their own beliefs and experiences and ideas on a lower level than women's? If that's the kind of joining I would have to do, then no thanks. I understand that the experience of being a woman can only be had by women (though there's some wiggle-room there), but a heartfelt understanding and empathy with women can be had by anyone, and anyone can have valid observations and ideas about how to improve things. It turns a lot of men off even trying, and turns a few of them against feminism, to just say, "lol you're a man what do you know."
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #476 on: August 15, 2012, 04:36:20 pm »

To everyone who agrees with the above statement:

I am not fucking required to gain anyone's trust.  I am required as a biped to be an eglatarian, defined as "all human beings are equal and to be judged - when judgement is necessary - according to their individual merits".  I do not require that anyone trust me for me to do that.  I am not joining a club, or even an organization.  Your or anyone else's "trust" is meaningless in this context.  I am an elgatarian because it is the right thing to do.

So, you know, fuck this "alliance" business.  I am going to do what works, which is to set an example, and not tolerate inequality in my workplace, the crew I run, my family, my home, or my social circle.
  Alliances lead to dominance games, and it's become fairly self-evident, at least in this group, that this becomes counterproductive and requires a uniform. 

So you can take your trust requirement and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.  I'm not doing this for you.

And if that's not good enough, then too fucking bad.

There are other examples upthread.  I can get into them, if you like.

As to the bolded bit...

You're already riding the correct motorcycle as an ally as far as I am concerned. YOU already get it, and you aren't demanding cookies for being decent, which is awesome.



1.  Can't see the pic.

2.  I don't want a cookie.  I just want to be a better person than I used to be.  This requires that I be an eglatarian, because the way you make monsters is this:  You convince young people that "the enemy" is a subset of a group that isn't actually human.  This means that it is okay and even admirable to do rotten shit to those people.  The ONLY way to escape this sort of conditioning or potential conditioning is to establish and maintain the view that all people are in fact equally human, no matter what or who they are.
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- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #477 on: August 15, 2012, 04:36:52 pm »
Yes but can men join as equals, intellectually and otherwise?

Join what?
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #478 on: August 15, 2012, 04:40:50 pm »
Oh come on Spags, this was a really good conversation... let's not ruin it before 50 pages!!! :D

I keep seeing layers in the conversation of people talking past each other. The women are making some excellent points, the guys are making some excellent points... but both sides seem to be misinterpreting the intent behind those points (in my opinion).

First off, I have to say that if I had lived my whole life being treated differently because of my race, sex etc that would feel pretty shitty and I would be pissed off about it. So full points to the girls as to why this is an intense issue.

Secondly, if I go through my day thinking people are equal and treating people as equal and then some person says "Well, you say curse word X and therefore are a misogynist and are coming from 'privilege'" then I'm gonna get defensive.

In my opinion, its probably better for the health of this debate to recognize both of these points. The women might yell a bit louder or make some insulting remarks, because they've been abused by society. Anyone coming out of an abusive situation tends to yell pretty loudly about it, even if its not the best tactic for convincing other people. The guys might be a little defensive, especially if they are told subjective opinions as fact "If you say cunt/pussy etc you ARE a misogynist", "If you aren't a woman you CAN'T understand...", simply because they feel like they're being attacked and lumped in with the knuckle dragging, male monkeys that embarrass the hell out of the rest of us guys.

Cain said e-Prime would be useful in this and I think he's right. (though I didn't want to say it since me and e-Prime comments turn threads into hours of drift.)

But, lets compare:

"If you say cunt/pussy etc you ARE a misogynist"

"If you use cunt/pussy as a slur, you appear misogynistic to many women."

The first is an opinion, being presented as fact. The second is fact being presented as fact.

That being said, I think especially here in this debate that getting defensive and digging in your heels as a guy isn't really useful. I may get shit on for this (and I hope not because I'm not trying to be misogynistic here) but if you're dealing with people that have been abused, you gotta make some allowances for behavior. Women have been abused, they're pissed, they might say shit that sounds like angry accusations and might even hurt, but FFS, let it go. Read through the anger and see what they're trying to say. I for one have been enjoying the hell out of this thread and the earlier one. It's really made me focus on a topic I hadn't paid much attention to previously.

Rat is riding the correct motorcycle. Unfortunately it tends to get frustrating in a discussion about feminism that when feminists talk in broad terms, it is seen as a broad attack, when the kind of dudes who actually want to engage with feminism by and large are not the assholes who would pull some kind of egregious shit see it as an attack. We do not automatically assume that all men are like this.   If you aren't That Guy Women Need to Avoid, by and large we are not addressing you.

It's a situation that comes up time and time again. Having to make the disclaimer time and time again however often seems to derail the conversation, and slow it to a crawl.  I try not to get snarky or angry or frustrated, but these conversations are the meat and bones of women's lives. I can count six women that I know without even thinking for more than 30 seconds who have been either raped or sexually abused. I can count 2 men in that time also. All of them knew their attackers and either never said anything, or did and weren't believed. I can't count even one conviction in those people. It's also not out of the realms of possibility that I know more who haven't made me privy to their past. That creates the culture of fear and mistrust, and why I said a false positive is better than the worse alternative.  That said, I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I don't feel I can brush off red flags in behaviour or attitude.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Ti-gkJiXc

Jay Smooth does it right.
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Re: Oh Noez! What about Teh Menz? -Patriarchy isn't a dude's friend EITHER!
« Reply #479 on: August 15, 2012, 04:42:25 pm »
"Hey there, I see that you're currently victim to the horrors of Auschwitz. I can imagine how that must feel for you. While not a resident myself,  I am going to tell you all about Auschwitz as the local authority on Auschwitz. What's that? No, I think you're wrong about that detail. Why does that upset you? How come your side of the Auschwitz yay or nay argument is the best and I have to listen to you? If you want your situation to get better, you need to be more respectful towards people who aren't in Auschwitz when they explain Auschwitz to you.What do you mean I can't be an official Auschwitz ally if I go about misrepresenting Auschwitz and insist that the interpretation from within is somehow invalid?" to expand on the already fairly dangerous comparison.

Roger, I'm not reading that into it at all. Maybe I'm more familiar with the positions being represented here and there's a miscommunication I'm reading past. Comparing quotes of statements to those of replies and interpretations is a bit beyond the capabilities of my phone, but the thread reads like "men can absolutely be helpful and involved but cannot be primary sources on the experiences of women", "hey, fuck you for excluding me."

YES! Thank you, Paes!
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