Domestic violence expert Lundy Bancroft: Men’s Rights philosophies make angry and controlling men even worse.


Or any other time, either, I’m guessing,

Lundy Bancroft is an expert on abusive relationships and the author of Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds Of Angry and Controlling Men, a book I’ve found very helpful not only in understanding abusers but also in understanding the behavior and “activism” of Men’s Rights Activists.

In a recent post on his blog, he warns about the ways in which “Men’s Rights” ideologies can justify, and made worse, abusive behavior from men who are already abusive, or who have abusive tendencies.

In the post, entitled “The Abuser Crusade,” he writes

When a man has some unhealthy relationship patterns to begin with, the last thing he needs is to discover philosophies that actually back up the destructive aspects of how he thinks. Take a guy who is somewhat selfish and disrespectful to begin with, then add in a big dose of really negative influences, and you have a recipe for disaster. And the sad reality is that there are websites, books, and even organizations out there that encourage men to be at their worst rather than at their best when it comes to relating to women.

It’s not surprising that a philosophy rooted in male entitlement would appeal to men who already feel pretty entitled – and often quite bitter that the women in their lives, not to mention the world at large, doesn’t seem to regard them as quite so deserving of adulation as they think they are.

As I’ve mentioned before, I used to think it was unfair to label the Men’s Rights Movement “the abusers’ lobby,” as many domestic violence experts have done, because I felt that the movement did raise some issues that MRAs at least seem to sincerely believe reflect discrimination against men. But the more experience I’ve had with MRAs, the more I’ve begun to see the Men’s Rights Movement not only as an “abusers’ lobby” but as an abusers’ support group, and an abusive force in its own right, promoting forms of “activism” that are little more than semi-organized stalking and harassment of individual women.

It’s not that every MRA is literally a domestic abuser, though I wouldn’t be shocked to find domestic abusers seriously overrepresented in the Men’s Rights ranks; it’s that the Men’s Rights movement promotes abusive ways of thinking and behaving.

In case anyone had any doubt about which groups Bancroft is talking about, he gets specific:

Some of these groups come under the heading of what is known as “Men’s Rights” or “Father’s Rights” groups. Their writings spread the message that women are trying to control or humiliate men, or are mostly focused on taking men’s money. They also tend to promote the idea that women who want to keep primary custody of their children after divorce are evil. The irony is that we live in a country that has refused to pass an amendment to the constitution to guarantee equal rights for women; yet some men are still out there claiming that women have too many rights and that men don’t have enough.

Bancroft also warns about groups preaching a return to patriarchal values:

Other groups don’t use the language of “rights”, but promote abusive thinking by talking about the “natural” roles of men and women. These groups teach, for example, that men are biologically programmed to be the ones making the key decisions, and that women are just naturally the followers of men’s leadership. These philosophies sometimes teach that men and women are just too different to have really close relationships.

In the end, Bancroft urges women whose partners are picking up new philosophies that seem to be making their behavior worse rather than better to start researching the subject themselves, and reaching out to other women in the same situation, in order to better understand what their partners are getting into — and defend themselves against it.

I’m curious how many readers here have had personal experience with men who’ve embraced Men’s or Fathers’ Rights philosophies (or any of the varieties of backwards Manosphere philosophies), or who know of women whose partners have.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on May 6, 2014, in all about the menz, entitled babies, evil women, excusing abuse, father's rights, misogyny, MRA, oppressed men, patriarchy, playing the victim and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 630 Comments.

  1. cassandrakitty

    Oh, the other thing she’s kind of reminding me of, though again, not nearly as cute or funny.

  2. MEZ is done here. The violent comment directed at freemage was the final straw. Is is really that hard to make a point without resorting to violently threatening language directed at an individual? Apparently it is. Go derail discussions somewhere else.

  3. Kate,
    I’m glad you’re happy and in a better place now.


    I thought of another fictional guy would, though covered in skin, would still make a perect Men’s Rights Redditor.

    Mr. Gone.

    Julie: You, however, have a problem with women.
    Mr. Gone: [scoff] How perceptive… did you figure that one out when I kidnapped you, or tied you up with leather straps? OF COURSE I’VE GOT A PROBLEM WITH WOMEN!

  4. RE: contrapangloss

    I feel for certain men’s issues, and I hate the ‘but my hurt is bigger than your hurt, so shut up about your problems and deal with mine’ things that occasionally crop up.

    Here’s the thing. I’m an educator. I go around and constantly explain Multi 101 to folks. This is part of my life, I am mostly used to it, and I am generally totally okay with doing what I do. Sure, sometimes, I really have to bite my tongue when I hear yet another iteration of, “Are you dangerous? Because everyone knows multis are axe-murderers…” But it’s my topic, and I’m the educator, so I smile big and gently explain that there has never been a multi serial killer, and only one high-profile criminal who’s been proven multiple in all of recorded history, and I cite statistics, and then I go scream into my pillow at night.

    Mammoth is the one place pretty much anywhere that I feel okay just saying, “No. You don’t get to ask me this shit.” So sometimes, these newbies who get crossfired are doing the equivalent of coming up to me and INSISTING that I explain that I’m not an axe-murderer to them RIGHT FUCKING NOW or I’m a meanie who doesn’t care about their feelings or sense of safety. Also, they might throw in how they knew this multi once who was a total asshole, so I’m under an onus to prove I’m not like that.

    Replace ‘multi’ with ‘women’ and you basically have a bunch of the folks who get fried here. Only multi, at least you have the excuse that there’s not a lot of info about it. Women and feminism have tons. So yeah, of course we’re going to get pretty annoyed about having to educate. Mammoth ISN’T an education space. It’s a mockery space.

    RE: katz

    Is anyone else reading Saga?

    I tried, but I’ve had to swear off Brian K. Vaughn for his penchant for “rocks fall, everyone dies” endings. Plus, Saga just really didn’t do it for me.

    RE: MEZ

    Now that I’ve come down off my obstinate asshole high I feel bad for trolling yesterday as well.

    And yet, you are still here.

    RE: Robert

    I’ve never seen an online discussion by men on discouraging circumcision derailed by feminists who come in and demand “what about the women?”

    I can’t believe I never noticed this.

  5. cassandrakitty

    The funny part being that they seem to think feminists are Cenobites.

  6. cassandrakitty

    OK, that made no sense with the comments in between. The Cenobite thing was in response to Lea.

  7. THANK YOU, David. I just emailed you about that, so ignore it, you’re way ahead. :)

  8. Thank you, David. I was pretty grossed out by the, “No, you ARE traumatized by this! I’m going to MAKE YOU realize how traumatized you are by this by going into it in DISTURBING DETAIL!”

    I know some sexual assault survivors who did not see their assault as hugely traumatic. I may not understand this emotionally, but I’m not going to try and FUCKING TRAUMATIZE THEM to prove my fucking point. Only in some way this is worse because unless MEZ has a dick, she doesn’t have any business claiming any authority on the subject.

    MEZ, congratulations. You’ve grossed me out.

    RE: Lea

    OMG MR. GONE. The Maxx was one of the first comics I ever read! It inhabits a special place of adolescent nostalgia for me! Sam Kieth = awesome.

  9. I realise this is probably a bit late, but this jumped out at me as needing translation:

    I would go away faster if people managed to get my arguments right

    In plain english this means, “I wouldn’t have to argue if you were willing to agree with me”.

  10. cassandrakitty

    We can finally move on now? Awesome. Happy dance, everyone.

  11. LBT, that’s totally fair.

    My apologies if I’ve ever made you feel like you had to be in teacher-mode, here. It doesn’t sound fun. :(

  12. A few weeks ago, I was talking to my younger son’s therapist, and mentioned something I’d read in a pro-circumcision piece – advocating it on the basis of ‘he’ll wonder why his penis doesn’t look like his father’s.’ How on Earth would that happen, I wondered; I myself have no idea if my father had a foreskin or not (odds are no, but still). She replied, with exquisite tact and diplomacy, “well, Robert, there are all sorts of families.”

  13. cassandrakitty

    I guess if the kid bathed with the dad they might notice, but I’m not sure why dad couldn’t just explain it away as adults looking different or something.

  14. ‘he’ll wonder why his penis doesn’t look like his father’s.’

    And maybe his father will just tell him the truth. That Dad had a piece removed because it was the custom long ago when Dad was young and that the kid could choose for himself, once he was a grown-up, whether he wanted to do the same or not.

  15. I’ll tie you down so that you can’t move, and flip a coin over whether you’ll get adequate pain control or if I’ll decide that it’s too risky and you’re too young. (I’ll get to you Howard).

    Wait, if MEZ is banned that means we’ll never find out what she planned to do after she got back to Howard. We’ll never know if she was going to post a cogent point that contributed positively to the discussion at hand, or make an uncomfortable comment about Howard’s penis. Probably the latter, but we can’t be ever be certain of that.

    If it amuses you guys, I’ll tell you guys what partly inspired my opinion. I was in another feminist group, at another time, and from what I remember some other feminist had suggested/agreed to a compromise where a drop of blood would be ritually draw from a girls clitoris to satisfy the custom of “becoming a woman” that female circumcision represents to some cultures. She was being roundly ripped to shreds for this suggestion. Even one drop of blood was too much. I don’t remember specifically how male circumcision got brought up, (it wasn’t me), but I do remember that I left disgusted. It was basically like the argument from above; male circumcision is analogous to douching.

    I love how she provided an origin story that explains her current role as Anti-Circumcision Feminist Woman. At another time, she was just a regular citizen until one fateful day the Joker murdered her parents she was disgusted by what feminists said about male circumcision during a discussion of FGM. Now she patrols the internet in search of feminists discussions about FGM anything and derails them with her male circumcision truth bombs, in order to prevent bad feminists from driving slighted men into the arms of the MRM. A hero’s job is never done, especially one trying to save feminism from feminists.

  16. cassandrakitty

    I guess we should at least have given her a cape as a gift before she left.

  17. Hi, brooked, how are you? Been a while. :)

  18. ‘he’ll wonder why his penis doesn’t look like his father’s.’

    And maybe his father will just tell him the truth. That Dad had a piece removed because it was the custom long ago when Dad was young and that the kid could choose for himself, once he was a grown-up, whether he wanted to do the same or not.

    So often with sex/genital-related stuff, people act like “just explain it to your kids” is somehow not a viable option. But seriously, what’s so hard about this?

  19. Why does it even have to be that complicated? People look different in all sorts of ways. This is just another of them.

  20. @cassandra

    So basically MEZ is the feminist-hating feminist blog troll equivalent of PETA, and she’s going to attempt to shock and horrify everyone into agreeing with her.

    that’s shockingly accurate. :P


    thanks for banning her.

  21. Maybe she’s still lurking

    Or maybe hawkward.

  22. RE: contrapangloss

    No, you’ve been perfectly decent! And frankly, I’m kind of accustomed to educating wherever I go. (I think now enough people at Mammoths know that I don’t have to do it so much but then again, that whole kladle clusterfuck was a while ago…) If any of the baby Mammoths wonder what the hell I’m on about HERE YOU GO.

    RE: Robert

    I’d read in a pro-circumcision piece – advocating it on the basis of ‘he’ll wonder why his penis doesn’t look like his father’s.’

    *snarky face* Well, my dick doesn’t look like my father’s, but seeing as I’m trans, I don’t think anything can be done about that. Somehow, I’ve managed to endure life while knowing this fact.

    Also, seriously, what the hell is MEZ’s fucking DEAL? She’s fucking preaching to people with penises about how they should feel about them. I mean, I’m against circumcision, but I’m not going to go around saying, “I WILL GET TO YOU.” I mean, Jesus, try to sound more like a Saw villain, Christ.

  23. cloudiah: You are in New York? Ping me.

  24. re wasabi: most of what is sold in the US/outside Japan isn’t really wasabi, but rather horseradish, food coloring and just enough wasabi root to make it legal to say, “wasabi powder”.

    Real wasabi is a related, but much less aggressive, somewhat floral/earthy flavor. It’s also (so I am told) different when freshly grated as opposed to powdered.

    A friend of mine was going on about how Wasabi is so much more potent than horseradish. I averred that it wasn’t so very different. We were at a party, at my house. At the party (a barbecue) we had just opened a jar of grated horseradish. He decided to prove to me that it wasn’t so bad.

    He dipped a full-load into a Frito’s Scoop and popped it into his mouth, and I got to see a Tex Avery Cartoon in real life. His face went red, his eyes popped, and then shrank into his head, and he emptied the bottle of beer in his hand.

    I calmly dipped a fair bit into a chip, ate it, and then did it again.

    My grandmother’s house had been a horseradish farm. I grew up eating it on buttered bread.

  25. Just going to repeat my thanks from before. Unfortunately I don’t live in an area where there’s common-law marriage, so I don’t know what I would get in a breakup. I’ve been thinking of going to therapy because I’ve been pretty depressed lately and I’m starting to get far too angry at things that don’t deserve anger. I don’t want to leak anger onto my kids or the people around me.

  26. Mez: Gee, I wonder how entire blocks of decent normal people end up part of hate groups. I wonder how this sort of manipulation has repeated throughout history.

    Nawwwww, can’t be it! Hate-groups are only filled with “bad people”. I bet all Germans are bad people.

    sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm.

    The fuck is your point here?

    Because I don’t see anyone saying all men are bad. I also don’t see how the idea that the victims of oppression need to be nice to the oppressors helps anyone.

    Why are their hate groups? Because some people hate. How do they gain/remain powerful? Because idiots don’t call them out for being hateful. Because fellow travellers say, “they may be wrong, but they aren’t completely wrong and “those people” aren’t grateful enough for the good things which happened. All they do is talk about the bad things,” yadda, yadda.

    You know, the way you are doing with the MRM.

    I was obviously making fun of the idea that people join hate groups because they are bad people and not because they are manipulated.

    No*. Your point was that people join hate groups because the people they feel wrong them (e.g. proto-MRAs and women) aren’t nice enough. That makes them angry and the hate group fuels the anger. You aver that should the target of their ire be nice, they will see the error of their ways.

    This is bullshit.

    *and if you read “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” you will find more evidence of your errors; even if the book wasn’t the groundbreaker it was ballyhooed to be. It was just the first real analysis of that aspect done in English.

  27. Magpie (long time no see): My friend didn’t fall into the MRM. He was tempted, but had people who didn’t let him walk alone; and kept him from being led down the garden path.

  28. MEz: How did we get talking about anti-semetism[sic] anyway?

    You introduced it, the same way you introduced circumcision, and those nasty black folks who caused the KKK.

    My point was about lending credibility to your oppressors, not being at fault for your oppression.

    Bullshit. Bigots gonna bigot. People who are bigoted will take the least scrap of, “evidence” and use it to prove the targets of their hate deserve it.

    The law made it worse to have crack cocaine than it was to have powder. So a lot more blacks end up in prison. Then the KKK, etc. go on about how “blacks are prone to crime”. That also means there is a greater percentage of women who are raising children alone/without men, and that shows they are all harlots.

    Because bigots gonna bigot.

  29. MEZ: a). The clitoral hood is the foreskin of the clitoris. LITERALLY. The clitoris and penis are homogolous.

    Homologous is not identical. Removing the clitoral hood reduces (dramtically) the ability of women to enjoy sex. That, in fact, is the fucking point. Removing the foreskin doesn’t. It is argued that men who have been circumsised enjoy sex less. This is hard to prove.

    It’s not hard to prove that even the least traumatic forms of FGM make sex unpleasant; not merely less wonderful (and, from personal experience, I can say sex while circumcised is pretty good, even when it’s less than wonderful), but downright unpleasant.

    Since the declared purpose is to make sex unpleasant so women won’t do it willingly (and so won’t be “unfaithful”). That also means the desired end state of FGM is to make all sex a form of rape.

    The foreskin’s “job” is to protect the sensitive skin of the rest of the penis from getting calloused by constant rubbing and bumping

    Their is no way to prove what the, “job” is. One can as easily argue the point of the foreskin is to make it easier to penetrate an unwilling woman, because the smegma acts a a lubricant.

    Well, I’ve never personally seen a commercial for douche, EVER, but that’s besides the point.

    Never? Where the fuck have you been hiding? Not only have I seen lots, I’ve seen them in the past few years; and I watch practically no television anymore (thank goodness for streaming and DVDs).

    Freemange said that circumcising boys was no worse than girl’s douching.

    Liar. He said the relative merits of the two were more equivalent to the discussion.

    If you are going to pretend people here are misrepresenting you, it might behoove you to be accurate when attempting to relate others words.

    Obviously I don’t want to do violent things to him. That’s a literal description of a circumcision procedure.

    More bullshit. Have you ever been present at a circumcision? I have (more than one, actually). My little brother (21 years my junior) is also circumcised. They used a pederson clamp. He wasn’t tied down. The doctor put it on, and a few says later it fell off, with the forskin.

    So far as could be seen, it wasn’t painful.

    In jewish practice the child is being held, not tied down.

    So, in short, you are full of it, and the graphic nature of your fantasies tells me more about you than I wanted to know.

    Oh, and Pecumium’s argument is that circumcision is okay because babies don’t remember and children don’t understand what circumcision is or is not.

    My argument was a rebutle to your claim of direct memory, and to the idea that it does irreparable harm.

    a). Babies remember, even if it’s not a conscious memory. Every experience influences how their brain forms.

    And… the issue is one of harm. I have done myself much more grievous harm than the pain of my circumcision is likely to have caused.

    Because (having studied psychology), babies can’t ascribe cause, intent, etc., to the pains they feel. From the POV of an infant the pain which comes of slashing their faces with the razor blades they keep at the end of their fingers. If a cat claws a baby it hurts much the same as circumcision (i.e. it is a cut). It may even be worse, because cat’s scratches are prone to festering.

    If you want to make the argument; you need those statistics you promised.

    b). Even if they really didn’t remember, causing someone pain because “they won’t remember” is wrong.

    Good thing that wasn’t the argument. The question is one of relative harm, and the faiures of feminism because they don’t make as big a deal about male circumcision as they do about FGM.

    Again, it behooves you to be intellectually honest when presenting others arguments.

    c). Just because he’s learned to live with it, and maybe isn’t bothered by it, doesn’t mean it’s ok.

    Good thing I didn’t say that. I in fact didn’t say a fucking thing about my personal opinions about the subject. I spoke to the idea that circumcision is comparable to FGM (see above why it’s not).

    I got ZERO pleasure.

    I don’t believe you. I will grant, arguendo that writing it didn’t, per se give you pleasure. I do think, however, you took pleasure in the idea that you made him (and others) squirm.

  30. Ach… I am sorry if my replies to Mez are tedious; given the (blessed) banning.

    I am not sorry for making them; as I still think the points needed making.

    And Mez, if you are haunting the thread; you deserved worse than you got. You are an asshole; and you take pleasure in being dishonest, and in attempting to hurt others.

  31. Whoa yes, I hadn’t even thought of the first-world side of it. It’s even more of a thing, since apparently the guy doing it talks about how money and flash cars and so on make you happy. ::eyeroll:: But to come to the conclusion that “being in the moment” is a consistent way to be happy just sounds like a really, really privileged – naw, stuff it, blinkered – view, which seems unaware that horrible or just miserable things happen to people even in the first world on a daily basis.

    I watched the video, and… ugh.

    I kept waiting for him to mention at least the fact that several ancient philosophies have specifically promoted ‘living in the moment’, but I was doomed to disappointment. I freely acknowledge I’m not an expert on every philosophy, but one of the big principles of buddhism is called ‘mindfulness’, of which a large component is paying attention to the moment. And I’m also fairly certain that at least one Taoist text advocates a version of mindfulness – some part of my brain says it’s from the Tao Te Ching, but my brain gets fuzzy when I’m trying to remember something I haven’t read in over a decade, and it was a translation at that – so I may be totally wrong about it.

    So this isn’t exactly what I’d call a grand new insight into human nature thanks to science (though it is always good to get verifiable data!). I can’t tell if the dude actually thinks he’s reinvented the wheel, or is shamelessly stealing from other cultures without even a mention of where he got his inspiration.

  32. Dude didn’t even acknowledge how old the idea of living in the moment is?

    I am shocked, shocked I say. ::eyeroll::

  33. @Kitteh A belated hi back. I just adopted two rescue cats after a few years of pet-free living and happy as hell about that. Sounds like your jaunt to the States went well.

    Haven’t been on the site for a while, returning only to see a troll get weird, implode and sent off with a vintage pecunium’s lengthy post excavation. You can go home again!

    @pecunium. I’m glad you challenged MEZ’s bullshit claim that babies are traumatized by direct memories of their circumcision. Some babies get seriously injured and all babies get sick, and can suffer a lot of pain as a result. They get over it and forget it happened.

    Here’s a recent article about infantile amnesia:’-memories

  34. Robert:

    A few weeks ago, I was talking to my younger son’s therapist, and mentioned something I’d read in a pro-circumcision piece – advocating it on the basis of ‘he’ll wonder why his penis doesn’t look like his father’s.’

    This argument would make a little more sense if it was about a boy comparing himself to other boys (or even porn performers), which I guess would be more likely in mainstream US culture? But then, it’s really about validating circumcision as a family tradition, and validating the father’s own circumcision.

  35. I just adopted two rescue cats after a few years of pet-free living and happy as hell about that.


    I’ve been wanting a third kitty for a while (can’t afford to, alas). I hope there will be pictures of your two!

  36. The amount of people claiming that removing healthy genital tissue isn’t comparable to removing healthy genital tissue is /really/ fucking horrible.
    What the fuck are you people doing on a feminist and egalitarian site?

  37. Arian, GTFO. Our arguments are far more nuanced than that, and maybe you would agree if you actually took time to read the damn thread. We’ve had this argument within countless pages of comments already and there is no reason go in circles just because you don’t get what we’re saying.

  38. Do I smell a dirty sock?

  39. I wouldn’t be at all surprised, WWTH. Might be time to drop David a note.

  40. … which I’ve just done.

  41. Yeah, seems a little too coincidental. Is MEZ to be our circumcision troll, then? She could at least be more entertaining. That’s all we ask.

  42. The days when trolls varied their boring/gross schtick with unintentional hilarity seem to be gone, alas. Mikey tried his best with his SPINSTERS! but even then, he got stuck on repeat pretty quickly. But this one? Not a single thing to recommend her trolling efforts. Walls o’ text are so yesterday.

  43. cassandrakitty

    I will be very surprised if MEZ doesn’t try to sock at least once.

  44. Tedious derail is tedious.

  45. girlscientist

    @LBT: People call you an axe-murderer? How unfair! After all, you only ever murdered one axe, and it was tiny!

    (Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I hate it that you have to deal with that, and I wish you didn’t have to)

  46. Word from the Dark Lord is that this one doesn’t seem to be a sock.

  47. Yep, might be a bit more inclined to take troll’s comments on social justice more seriously if zie wasn’t using a racist dogwhistle for a nym.

  48. @ titianblue
    Are you talking about that asshole MEZ? I googled the nym because I was wondering what it meant, and I didn’t see anything racist, even at urban dictionary. I’m curious, what does it mean?

  49. @Beegee, nope, I’m talking about @arian

  50. Might referring to “Arianrhod”, in which “Arian” means “silver” (if I recall correctly), but given the types we get around here, and given their initial lazy comment, it’s probably not worth giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  51. I think Arian is some deliberate misspelling of Aryan.

  52. According to Google/Wikipedia, Arian could refer to any of a number of completely innocent things (including a Christian theological movement and the adjective form of the zodiac sign Aries). I think the speculation on the nym is a little hasty.

    OTOH, given the way “egalitarian” has been poisoned by misogynists, I do rather resent Arian lumping us in with them.

  53. It’s pretty amazing that a fresh false circumcision equivalency troll found its way here. It’s not like the original post mentioned it. It’s like trolls have a special sixth sense and they know every time their favorite topic is being discussed somewhere.

  54. RE: Kittehs and moldybrehd talking ‘living in the moment’

    Mindfulness was actually a big part of my treatment regime in Loony Daycare, and it was most invaluable to me during the Bad Years of homelessness and mental illness. For me, at least, it was invaluable.

    When things get really, really bad for me, I try and focus on surviving the moment. Whether it’s curling up in a ball and crying, or distracting myself with art, or whatever, I try and focus entirely on that. During the Bad Years, I know it sounds horrible, but I HAD to lock up all my good memories, because if I allowed myself to remember and focus on how good things could be, I knew I wouldn’t survive. I had to adapt, even though I was adapting to something horrible.

    It wasn’t fun, but it kept me alive and kept me focused on getting out of my shitty situation. Dissociating might’ve been more pleasant, but I wouldn’t have been able to get out so good.

    RE: Arian

    You’re late. Read the goddamn thread, chowderhead.

  55. LBT – gah, once again, I am so sorry for all the shit you’ve been through, and I’m glad that mindfulness has helped you.

    I wonder if surviving the moment even came into the thinking of Mr Not Very Scientific Survey Dude? He’s on about being _happy_ by focussing on the moment. They don’t seem related things, to me – using the same tool/method, yes, but not at all the same situation.

  56. Children of the Broccoli

    Arian: by that logic a labioplasty (reduction of the labia for cosmetic purposes) is the same thing as castration. You can’t oversimplify things that much and expect us to take you seriously.

  57. “egalitarian” Hardly. This is a site for mocking misogynists. We tend to be feminists. We tend to various stripes of less conservative politics (running the gamut from moderate Democrats to various stripes of anarchist).

    We have any number of characteristics (atheists, theists, christians, muslims, jews, agnostics, pacifists, veterans, vegetarians, omnivores, teetotalers, drinkers, men, women, young men, young women, vulgarians, punctilios, pedants, cooks, cat lovers, dog lovers, parents, people who never want children).

    We also tend to some pretty ruthless logic. We don’t believe bleating that “x is as bad as y” makes it so, and false equivalence is bullshit.

    So, put up (i.e. give us some evidence for your claims… there are pages of comments, I’m sure you can find one direct quotation to support your accusation), or shut up.

  58. cassandrakitty

    It’s like trolls have a special sixth sense and they know every time their favorite topic is being discussed somewhere.

    My theory is that Google offers some sort of super seekrit service marketed at trolls that alerts them to any possibility of shoehorning their pet topic into conversations.

  59. Here’s a recent article about infantile amnesia:’-memories

    Why did that study have to involve torturing mice? Why couldn’t they have tested whether mice remember where to get treats or something?

  60. katz: I suspect the researchers would reply that trauma affects the brain differently than positive feedback, and so needed to be studied specifically.

  61. There’s something very un-serious about somebody telling us that we need to take issues of violence and violation of autonomy seriously AND BY GOD I WILL THREATEN YOU WITH VIOLENCE AND VIOLATION OF AUTONOMY UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THAT

    My brother is pretty pro-male-circumcision-as-a-baby. Because after complications from an injury he was circumcised at an older age, and it was hellish.

    There’s not much in the way of numbers and logic in that argument. But it’s very hard to say anything after he says that.

  62. Yeah, a family member of mine was circumcised in adulthood after multiple childhood infections. He chose to circumcise his son to prevent him from having to go through that, which seems reasonable to me.

  63. RE: Kittehs

    I wonder if surviving the moment even came into the thinking of Mr Not Very Scientific Survey Dude? He’s on about being _happy_ by focussing on the moment. They don’t seem related things, to me – using the same tool/method, yes, but not at all the same situation.

    I can sooooort of see it? I mean, I’m generally happiest when I’m focusing entirely on what I’m doing, because it means if I’m unhappy doing that thing, I will realize it and work towards doing something else. (Note that this can take years, and maybe never happen, but I’d rather try to do something more enjoyable than just pretend that change is impossible and continue not thinking about what I’m doing.) But then again, I’m a dissociative, so not spacing out is vital for my health and long-term happiness.

    RE: katz

    Why couldn’t they have tested whether mice remember where to get treats or something?

    Freemage is right. In humans, at least, trauma makes permanent changes to the brain that apparently are different from other responses. It’s probable that mice are similar. That said, I too am repulsed by torturing animals.

    RE: Howard Bannister and emilygoddess

    Eek, I hadn’t even thought of that. I would never, ever want to be circumcised myself, but hubby was as a baby and has told me he’s unbothered by it. If it works for him, I’m not going to complain. (That said, we mutually decided that if we ever have a baby with a dick, we won’t do it unless there are health complications like what y’all mentioned.)

  64. if we ever have a baby with a dick, we won’t do it unless there are health complications like what y’all mentioned


  65. cassandrakitty

    In general I don’t have strong feelings on the circumcision issue, but one thing that I don’t understand is why, in any culture where pretty much everyone is going to have it done, they’d wait until the boys are 10-ish to do it, like they do in say South Korea. That just seems like the worst possible timing – still too young for the recipient to make the decision for themselves, and it’s not like their opinion is being asked, but old enough that they’ll definitely remember it and that it may well overlap with the period during which spontaneous random erections are a thing, which really does not seem like it would be fun if one was recovering from surgery. I’m not saying that I think that routine infant circumcision is a great idea, but surely if you’re going to have it done to most kids anyway and you’re not going to give them a choice then doing it when they are too young to remember is the kinder option.

  66. LBT – I’m thinking of focussing vs mind wandering in banal circumstances, like being at work; that’s not something one has a lot of choice about doing, and I think Mr Survey is silly to conclude that focussing on something like that, something you do all the time just because you need the money, is going to make you happier (general you here, obvs). He seems to be drawing far too general conclusions when people’s characters and circumstances vary so hugely, and that’s just in the everyday situations, not the dreadful ones he seems to have ignored (no surprise in his self-selecting survey).

    I just really side-eye stuff like this that comes across as some random person telling me how to be happy.

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