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Question Time: Backlash, Frontlash, The End of Men?

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It’s Question Time again. I’ve been reading through Susan Faludi’s Backlash and her more recent book on men, Stiffed, as well as some of the discussion surrounding Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men and Kay Hymowitz’ Manning Up. Faludi, writing in 1991, obviously saw the 80s as a time of antifeminist backlash.

My question is how you would characterize the years since she wrote her book. A continuation of that backlash? A time of feminist resurgence, from the Riot Grrls up to Rosin’s predicted End of Men? A mixed period of progress and regression?

I’m wondering both what your general assessment of the situation is, and also what specific evidence you have — either hard data or personal experience — that underlies your overall view. This could be anything from data on employment segregation or the prevalence of rape to your sense of how media representations of women and men have or haven’t changed, or even how people you know have changed the ways they talk about gender. What do you think are the significant data points to look at?

The question isn’t just what has changed for women but what has changed for men as well — with my underlying question being: what if anything in the real world has changed that might be making the angry men we talk about here so angry? I think we can agree that most of their own explanations are bullshit, but could there be a grain of truth to any of them? Or something that they don’t see that’s far more compelling?

In the interest of spurring discussion and providing some data to work with, here are a bunch of articles responding to (or at least vaguely related to the issues raised in) Rosin’s End of Men, including a link to her original Atlantic article.  In addition, here are some posts by sociologist Philip Cohen challenging many of Rosin’s claims, as well as more general posts of his on gender inequality. (Feel free to completely ignore any or all of these; I just found them useful resources.)

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Catfish
Catfish
7 years ago

Isn’t “female cow” a little redundant? Cow always refers to a female of a species (bovines, elephants, crocodiles…) Male cow on the other hand, is an oxymoron. Male cattle are bulls.

Or was that part of the joke?

(I seriously see this often enough not to be able to tell when it’s intentional :’D )

Fade
7 years ago

///d’oh!

It was not part of the joke, I just suck on terminology. Like I said, I did zero research XD

Brz
Brz
7 years ago

I long ago learned that anyone who actually says “Case closed” in an argument is doing it because they know their argument won’t stand up to scrutiny.

True, I’ll keep that in mind the next time a feminist argue that white men can’t be oppressed because feminism 101.
Anyway, I haven’t read the thread, I honestly don’t give a fuck, you’re a lost cause, I’m a lost cause, that’s alright. You’re all Calvinist puritan fucks who always try to convince the rest of the world that you’re anything else than Calvinist puritan fucks and the more you try, the more Calvinist puritan fucking nonsense you produce. It would have been OK if you didn’t try to export your Calvinist puritan bullshit. We really should have killed this Calvinist puritan bullshit before some lunatics decided to make it flourish on the other shore of the Atlantic ocean. But you’ve created blues, let it be the only American contribution to history, the country which had created blues, because the rest is complete bullshit, you’re ideas are complete puerile bullshit, you’re model of society is total bullshit, all of what you’ve created is complete bullshit except blues. The rest of the world can forgive you all for all that crap if you would produce more blues and less pseudo-communist but really Calvinist crap. Thank you.

Fade
7 years ago

Arg, brz is still going on the same shtick.

no one says white men can’t be oppressed. We just say they can’t be oppressed ON THE BASIS THAT THEY”RE WHITE OR THAT THEY”RE MEN

i did not understand the big long paragraph, though

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Arglebargle rage, I forgot to be French again, also rage, and did I mention the same points I’ve said eleventy billion times before? Rage!

Thank you.

Aaliyah
7 years ago

Brz and Joe are so fucking annoying that I almost wish Tom Dane was back.

Fade
7 years ago

I can’t remember Tom Dane.

Should I count myself lucky?

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Calvinist Puritan bullshit = 2
Calvinist Puritan fucks = 3
Calvinist crap = 1
Other uses of bullshit = 4

And one each “pseudo-communist” & “lunatic”

Goodnight guys (except Brz, he can join Joe in the land of “fuck off”)

Fade
7 years ago

night argenti

Brz
Brz
7 years ago

This is why I keep going here : it’s the only place where I can hide my feelings while expressing them bluntly.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

“Calvinist puritan fucks”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA

That’s not the side I take in the Wars of Religion, or the English Civil Wars for that matter. Calvin-as-he-was would be right up there with Knox and Luther for having cacti shoved down their drawers as far as I’m concerned.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Pretty sure that the only word in that phrase that he understands is “fuck”.

trtina
trtina
7 years ago

I just read the article that joe posted. So far in my observations it’s men doing the mocking of other men.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

“Pretty sure that the only word in that phrase that he understands is “fuck”.”

Fersure. I’ve spent the better part of thirty years reading about those three arseholes and how their sects tore up chunks of Europe and the idea of anyone here, or feminism in general, being linked with them is perversely amusing. Somehow the Whining Mosquito doesn’t come across as having a French perspective in dragging up Creepy Calvin’s name.

Brz
Brz
7 years ago

I would appreciate if Kittehserf could explain to us why hating on Calvinists doesn’t come across as a “French perspective”, I’m sure it would be fun.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Talking as if current feminists and the original Calvinists or Puritans were the same is fucking stupid, that’s why. There’s no common ground.

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

@Catfish:

And I must also add: women who say they “hate men” rarely mean that they hate all individual men as individuals for no particular reason other than the fact that they are male. What this usually means that they hate the system (patriarchy)
A lot of oppressed groups can say something similar about their oppressors.
When the oppressor says they hatproblee the oppressed groups, it gets a wee bit more problematic because of the power imbalance (and the motivations behind it quite often come into play).

I largely agree with everything you wrote, but I take a bit of issue with this last piece. I was fairly recently in a Facebook discussion about this very issue – whether it’s justified to say you hate men because as a woman you’re oppressed by the patriarchy, and… I’m just against it. Yeah, people who talk like this usually MEANS “hating the patriarchal society” rather than “hating actual individual men just because they happened to be born of a certain gender”. But then DON’T SAY YOU HATE MEN. Because WORDS MEAN THINGS. If you wanna express your hatred for the patriarchy, fucking say you hate the patriarchy, not that you hate men.
Also; saying it’s okay for members of group X to hate group Y because group Y opresses group X so easily veers into an uncomfortable “pat the poor little X:ers on the head”-territory. Like, X are weak and oppressed and not dangerous or anything, and therefore it’s okay for them to hate people. I think there were a lot of this going on in male reviewers giving favourable reviews to the theatre monologue of the SCUM manifest that was played on a Swedish theatre a little while ago (can’t say anything about the actual play since I haven’t seen it, but lots of male favourable reviewers rubbed me the wrong way for this very reason).

I know you weren’t defending this terminology, just describing it and what it means, but I still felt like I needed to give my two cents on the matter.

howardbann1ster
7 years ago

Ally Fogg? Ally fucking Fogg?

Congratulations – you just trashed an article by pretty much the most moderate, pro-feminist and conciliatory voice in the popular media re. men’s issues.

Mmmmnah.

He just started writing for Freethoughtblogs. I read some of his stuff. Can I just say I am giving him a massive side-eye right now, and wondering what the hell he’s doing writing for that blog network, and what the hell they were thinking taking him on?

Conciliatory?

Pro-feminist?

No. Nope.

Thanks for playing, Joe. But, really, is this what you’ve got?

Catfish: No. Just no. Individual women can’t be misandric. It’s not a thing.

They can dislike or even actively try to hurt men.

But that’s not misandry.

Ugh.

@Brz: Dumbass. Calvinism? In France? Like, where John Calvin did missionary work? Fucking wiki this stuff, you are sounding less and less and less French by the second.

Catfish
Catfish
7 years ago

@ Dvärghundspossen

I agree, nobody should ever say that if they don’t mean it. I’m also very glad that you pointed out the problems with this when I failed to do so myself.

In fact, I think it’s a pretty horrible idea to phrase your words in a way that is extremely easy to turn into or mistaken for hate speech. (And not just in the “out of context” way).

Catfish
Catfish
7 years ago

I was living under the impression that misandry can also mean simply man-hatred – which certainly is a thing, albeit I don’t think it’s common at all. I could be wrong. I keep hearing that misandry-not-a-thing explanation a lot, but always sort of thought it only applied to systematic hatred/oppression.
Of course the balance of power makes it really hard for a “misandrist” to act upon it in any meaningful way, so.. yeah.

I think I just got it ? xD

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

The problem is similar to the one of using ‘racism’ just to mean any dislike of somebody of a paticular skin color. A black person hating a white person has no societal consequences, no ability to oppress. Conflating the two meanings allows the kind of ‘waah, reverse racism’ whining that Rush Limbaugh loves to indulge in to creep in, and treats it as if it were just as valid a usage.

So, no. We reject it out of hand, because, dammit, it’s not equivalent, it’s not even close.

Of course the balance of power makes it really hard for a “misandrist” to act upon it in any meaningful way, so.. yeah.

I think I just got it ? xD

Yes, you did. 😛

Fade
7 years ago

@Dvärghundspossen

I dont know (re: hating men). I mean, I don’t say it, but one of my friends does, normally when she’s po’d at men acting entitled, which while is a side effect of the patriarchy, feels more personal than normal patriarchy stuff. So I don’t really begrudge her it? *shrugs*….

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

@Fade: I actually do think she should say that she hates “SUCH men” or something like that, rather than plain “men”. Although I don’t call out my friends all the time, it’s impractical and would be exhausting to keep policing what they say if you understand what they mean anyway. I do think it’s more important to be careful with how one expresses oneself on the internet though, where loads of people can read it.

Regarding whether racism against white people exist or misandry exist and so on – some people use these words to only mean hatred which is backed up by a larger system, others to mean any hatred individuals have towards people belonging to a certain group. I actually don’t care how people use words as long as we agree that
1. Women can hate men as a group, blacks can hate whites as a group etc.
2. The above has a completely different dynamic than men hating women, whites hating blacks etc. When the oppressors hate the oppressed it’s to justify their oppression, when the oppressed hate the oppressing group it comes from an attempt to defend your sense of self-worth (although I still don’t think it’s RIGHT to hate people merely because they belong to a certain group, as pointed out above).
3. It’s whites and men who are in power, not blacks and women. (and so on for other groups.)

As long as everyone agrees on 1-3 I really don’t care much exactly how people use their words. Perhaps people who use words like “misandry” or talk about rasism against white people in 99 % of the cases are douchebags who don’t get points 1-3, but in that case, it’s these points that need to be stressed, rather than policing their choice of words.
I just feel that focusing on the words they use misses the point, and might confuse some readers (if we’re talking internet discussions) who might be like “but certainly there exist people who hate men?” in response to someone who goes “there’s no such thing as misandry, only misogyny!”.

pecunium
7 years ago

Fade: males are gelded, and then the steers are killed for meat. Some are kept as bulls, and some are kept as, “teasers”.

They are mutilated, so they can’t actually have sex. They are not gelded. The purpose is to make the cows more aroused, so they will be more receptive to the bull.

Amusingly, a lot of them figure out how to have sex (despite the mutilation), and so they “cuckold” the rancher.

pecunium
7 years ago

(and the one’s kept as bulls and teasers aren’t gelded. I phrased it poorly).

pecunium
7 years ago

You’re all Calvinist puritan fucks who always try to convince the rest of the world that you’re anything else than Calvinist puritan fucks and the more you try, the more Calvinist puritan fucking nonsense you produce.

No. We are fans of consent. That this interferes with your ability to get away with rape is a feature, not a bug.

That you think we are followers of a long dead frenchman, well that’s you being ignorant. This is no surprise.

We really should have killed this Calvinist puritan bullshit before some lunatics decided to make it flourish on the other shore of the Atlantic ocean.

Well… you had the chance, but you let him go to Geneva. Not our fault.

But (as per norm) when you are upset you revert to your native level of English. For verismilitude you might want to work on that; it’s blowing the illusion.

pecunium
7 years ago

Fade: I dont know (re: hating men). I mean, I don’t say it, but one of my friends does, normally when she’s po’d at men acting entitled, which while is a side effect of the patriarchy, feels more personal than normal patriarchy stuff. So I don’t really begrudge her it? *shrugs*….

I do. Words mean things. Men is a class. I, for example, hate cooked spinach (with the sometime exception of spanokopita). Because I hate cooked spinach I have lots of people who (despite my specifying, “cooked”) won’t include fresh spinach in my food.

How much more confusing if I said, “I hate spinach”, without qualifiers; but only when I had someone try to serve me cooked spinach?

pecunium
7 years ago

Howard: @Brz: Dumbass. Calvinism? In France? Like, where John Calvin did missionary work? Fucking wiki this stuff, you are sounding less and less and less French by the second.

No… it’s where Jean Calvin was FROM! Calvin was French, not Swiss. He is one of the “gifts” of France to the world (like Napoleon), which we might have been better off without.

Fade
7 years ago

I get “men is a class”, but I do not like the comparison of spinach to men. One of those things can’t hurt you w/ unexamined privilege; the other can.

katz
7 years ago

Wait, what? We’re talking about Calvinists now? I guess it’s more original than Nazis, but what does that have to do with bloody anything?

pecunium
7 years ago

Fade: The issue is how our use of language shapes our thoughts. Putting all of a class into one’s framing of specific aspects of portions of that class is a bad way to manage things.

Falconer
7 years ago

Ooh, are we having a contest to find out who can name the group least germane to the topic? ‘Cause if so, Bauhaus! Dvergar! Dadaism!

pecunium
7 years ago

Falconer: Contra-antidisestablimentarianists?

Bagelsan
7 years ago

Fade: The issue is how our use of language shapes our thoughts. Putting all of a class into one’s framing of specific aspects of portions of that class is a bad way to manage things.

What if one or more aspects of that class are so overwhelmingly negative that they do, in fact, outweigh the positive aspects? And what if those aspects were nearly universal among the class? Wouldn’t it be accurate to say “I hate [class]” then? At worst it’s rounding up, slightly.

Falconer
7 years ago

Falconer: Contra-antidisestablimentarianists?

That word goes in so many circles I’m dizzy before I hit the fifth syllable.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Contra-antidisestablimentarianists?

Wouldn’t those just be disestablishmentarians? 😀

Brz
Brz
7 years ago

I’ve never understood why you keep accusing me of not being French : if you click on my username, you’ll find a blog written almost completely in French (apart from a quote from an Arabic poem) and owned by a guy who strangely also use “Brz” as an username, I’ve once posted here a link to a French article where there’s a comment written by a guy who also strangely happens to use “Brz” as an username and write in French things that I said here, I often quoted and translated French authors here, I wrote here a comment in French in response to another French commenter …
If you want more proof, there’s a “Brz” who once wrote a comment on a French feminist blog (and who has been banned immediately from this blog after this) and who also happens to share my opinions. There’s also another Brz who wrote a call to throw frozen dolls at feminists on another French blog where he seems to have left comments from time to time : he left for example, a call to disarm Americans completely” because American clerks can’t read a French passport, I remember having talked about my experience with CVS clerks and French passports here.

It would be pretty odd if there were so many different Brz on the Internet who happen to say the same kind of things I say here, but I’m sure that you’ll keep accusing me of not being French (which is a strange accusation: why someone would pretend to be French if he weren’t?) in order to dismiss everything I say (he lied about being French = he’s likely to lie about everything else).

Anyway, It is very telling about what are your rhetorical tools (you’re always try to find a reason to discredit people who don’t think like you rather than arguing with them, even if the pretext is puerile) as it is telling about your lack of rationality: no wonder that you’re unable to acknowledge that the big patriarchal system which is supposed to oppress women and privilege men doesn’t exist if you’re not able to acknowledge that a guy who says he’s French and provide evidences about this is, well,… French.

Although, as you say, keep fucking that particular chicken if it please you: you’ll just keep looking even more dumb than you really are.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

katz: “Wait, what? We’re talking about Calvinists now? I guess it’s more original than Nazis, but what does that have to do with bloody anything?”

Because Brz the not-Frenchman thinks being against rape and for the idea that women are people has so much in common with being a radical Protestant with a fondness for the idea of predestination and, oh, civil wars, desecrating tombs, decrying fashion as sinful and so on. Extend it a little and you include that other arsehole Knox, author of The Monstrous Regiment of Women. (Yes, it was the three queens in power he was getting his drawers in a bunch about, but somehow writing a polemic like that doesn’t quite sound like something even the most proto of proto-feminists would do.)

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

If you want more proof, there’s a “Brz” who once wrote a comment on a French feminist blog (and who has been banned immediately from this blog after this)

Oh my god, Brz…

I don’t care if you’re french or fake or not, that has to be the funniest thing I have ever seen. “And when I go other places, they ban me. I guess what I’m saying is you guys here have low standards. Anyway, can we talk about me some more?”

You have hideous ideas and are a misogynist. Stop hating women, stop defending people who advocate terrorism, just stop. You’re awful. (but hilarious!)

pecunium
7 years ago

Brz: We did argue with you (in this thread, in resonse to your inane reference to Jean Calvin). You didn’t engage honestly. Right down to those of us who speak French seeing that your interpretation of French articles was, to be generous, a bit loose.

You might be french. What we are mocking you for is the slipshod way your story is written.

Why would someone claim to be something they aren’t? I don’t know. Ask SteAL, or Pell, or Catwoman/breadmold.

What I would surmise is that someone who wanted to be able to claim an outside perspective, and so imply a greater awareness (being outside the phenomenon) might choose to do it.

But such a person suffers problems if they encounter someone who knows the parent culture they are claiming. Your assertions about life in Paris, at odds with the experience of those here who have also lived there.

Your use of English… inconsistently bad. Your explanation of why/what you are doing in the states, vague; and inconsistent. Your explanation of what has happened to you (inability of clerks to recognise a french passport) out of keeping with experience.

Your affected chauvinism… out of keeping with any french person I have known in person (which numbers about 50, over the course of 30 years).

Your in-depth familiarity with the straw-feminism of the American MRM.

So, even if you are french, I don’t believe you are being honest.

And that, mon ami, is what makes us say, “he’s lying about something, which (in addition to the obvious falsity of most of your claims) impeaches everything you do.

You have an agenda; and it looks as if you are hiding large parts of it.

katz
7 years ago

Well yes, that’s what the old school Calvinists were, but a) they had absolutely nothing to do with feminism (both being separated by hundreds of years and being totally ideologically unrelated) and b) Calvinists are A Thing now, so it’s patently odd to use the term decontextualized to refer to an obsolete meaning, like using “hipster” to refer to a jazz aficionado.

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

no wonder that you’re unable to acknowledge that the big patriarchal system which is supposed to oppress women and privilege men doesn’t exist

….for seriously?

Brz, what’s the ratio of female to male political decision makers in your home country?

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

@katz: so, you’re saying this is just like every other term and idea the MRM gets hold of? That they barely understand the original idea, are twisting this beyond all belief, and refuse to let go no matter how counterfactual they sound?

Because that’s just what I expect of them, of course.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

“Contra-antidisestablimentarianists”

*goes digging* Anti contra proferentem — ridiculousness seen in a legal brief (opposing counsel was intentionally shoving their heads so far up their asses I’m amazed they could still walk straight)

Kittehserf
7 years ago

katz, that’s what made me laugh about it. Brzzzzzzz’s pairing of Calvinist with puritan dumped it right back into the 16th and 17th century context, and he didn’t come back and say “I’m talking about Calvinists now!” because that would undermine his whole “feminists are killjoys” idiocy. (He’s evidently never heard of sex-positive feminism either.)

I can’t say I’ve ever heard of current-day Calvinists being in the news for being radically unpleasant, unless there’s any connection between them and US fundamentalists – I know nothing of their antecedents.

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

For folks who can read a PDF: this report by the World Economic Forum, while not perfect, does a good job of sketching out the current state of gender equality across countries.

Something you notice real fast; even in liberal, progressive places where they’ve taken active steps to try to close the gender gap, they’re not there.

France falls two places this year to take
the 48th position, primarily because of a drop in the
wage equality indicator; the country ranks last overall on
the perceived wage equality survey indicator.
However
France also ranks among the top 10 in the world in the
educational attainment subindex, showing a competitive
advantage in developing an educated female talent pool.

I can’t imagine why any French feminists would ban Brz when he denies there’s any patriarchy in effect in France.

katz
7 years ago

@katz: so, you’re saying this is just like every other term and idea the MRM gets hold of? That they barely understand the original idea, are twisting this beyond all belief, and refuse to let go no matter how counterfactual they sound?

Kinda sorta. In this case he’s mostly just being random and grabbing something that he’s got the idea will make him sound French.

cloudiah
7 years ago

More in the WTF department: http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Japanese-mayor-Wartime-sex-slaves-were-necessary-4512784.php

“To maintain discipline in the military, [wartime sex slavery] must have been necessary at that time,” Hashimoto said. “For soldiers who risked their lives in circumstances where bullets are flying around like rain and wind, if you want them to get some rest, a comfort women system was necessary. That’s clear to anyone.”

katz
7 years ago

I can’t say I’ve ever heard of current-day Calvinists being in the news for being radically unpleasant, unless there’s any connection between them and US fundamentalists – I know nothing of their antecedents.

You haven’t? Well, here’s a child sex abuse scandal. And there was this cultish church discipline incident. Fun fact: I attended both those churches.

Brz
Brz
7 years ago

Right down to those of us who speak French seeing that your interpretation of French articles was, to be generous, a bit loose.

Ironically, it might turn out that it’s you the one who lies: I suspect you of not really being able to understand French because none of the comments I wrote I linked to contain an “interpretation of French articles”.

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