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Are Street Harassers the REAL Victims of Street Harassment? One Men’s Rights Redditor says “yes.”

Not so fantastic, dude.

Not so fantastic, dude.

A new video from Vocativ features a number of young women describing the sexual harassment – from creepy catcalls to actual physical assaults – they and countless other women face on the streets every day; the unsettling video, in which one woman, a former beauty queen, recounts her own sexual assault on the Washington DC metro last year, has been seen more than 2 million times on YouTube in the eight days it’s been up. (I’ve pasted it in at the end of the post.)

Some of these viewers have been Men’s Rights activists, and a lot of them aren’t too happy about it. Not about the street harassment. About the women speaking up against it. Indeed, one new Men’s Rights Redditor by the name of liuetenantwaffleiron was so angered by the video that he sat down and wrote a 700 word rebuttal of sorts – which quickly won him dozens of upvotes from others on the subreddit.

He started off with a story of his heroic efforts to stand up against one of the evil sexy women in the video, and the terrible price he paid for expressing his so brave opinions on the subject on Facebook:

Dear ‘harassed’ in the provocative attire,

I need to say this, and I literally have nowhere else I can say it, so I figured I’d say it here, and to you. I was facebook unfriended today by commenting on the sexual harassment video that’s been going around that you’re in.

Unfriended. The horror!

You were the one who said she likes to “dress provocatively” but that you don’t want to “deal with it,” and who was carrying a hidden camera with her to document all her public ‘harassment’ you get.

This sounds like the worst “missed connections” ad ever.

I simply replied:

“Dresses provocatively; provokes.”

I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently we straight men can’t help but utter the words “baby” or “nice toes, ma,” or “I want to cum on your tits” or “pregnant pussy is the best pussycat” every time we’re “provoked” by a woman in a short skirt or a long skirt or pants and a shapeless sweater wandering into our field of vision.

On top of the instant shit storm that erupted at my insinuation that you ought not to have been surprised at the attention you intentionally attracted, I was subsequently unfriended by the poster, an industry colleague of mine.

Gosh, who would ever imagine that being a dick to a woman who’s getting sexually harassed could possibly cause you any problems in the work world? What an outrage!

On top of the despair I felt at not being able to say more than three words in criticism without fingertips shooting into ear canals, I tried to imagine who those ‘harassing’ men were who called out to you.

I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you. I was too busy crying, thinking of the terrible “despair” you felt when your dickish and completely unoriginal comment didn’t get you a standing ovation and a tiny little medal.

While a vanishing minority may truly have been confident about their romantic prospects with you, there’s no doubt that most knew that they didn’t stand a chance in hell. Yet, there you sauntered, dressed as sexily as you could, meticulously made up, flaunting that fact; Rubbing it in their faces that they would never have a chance at catching the eye of such a beauty, much less to speak with you, so much less to touch you.

Wait, you’re actually angry that you can’t automatically score a date with – or at least get a chance to grope – every single attractive woman you see? You’re going to have a rough time here on planet earth, dude, as there are literally billions of women out there who will never sleep with you or let you touch them.

Are none of these women allowed to wear clothes that you might find sexy? Or are they obligated to have sex with you if they do?

Would you really rather they dressed as drably as possible, with no makeup? Somehow I suspect that this would make you even madder.

Everything you do is seems to be to attract a man, yet when a man presumes to express that attraction, you’re offended to the core, and you demand that the rest of us be as well.

“Express their attraction?” What video did you watch, anyway? The men in the video I watched were doing a lot more than “expressing their attraction.” The woman you’re so angry at — the one wearing a short skirt and a hidden camera – faced what seemed like an unending series of leers and crude remarks from men as she walked down city streets. The women being interviewed described men “expressing their attraction” by groping and threatening them.

You are one of the most privileged people on Earth, and you dare to complain that some men don’t know their place, and won’t suffer your insults in silence.

Really? Because I watched that same video, and what I saw was a woman in her twenties getting endless harassment from men, some literally twice her size, for the terrible crime of … being an attractive young woman in public. How exactly is this a sign that she’s privileged?

I ask you: Do some men cross a reasonable line of decency? Of course they do. Some masturbate, and grope. Some do worse.

Oh, sure. Men might pull out their dicks, or shove you up against the wall on the subway, or you know, do that thing that starts with the word “r,” but none of this matters as much as the DESPAIR our manifesto writer felt when people on Facebook got annoyed at him for being a dick.

Perhaps its because they’re mentally unstable, or perhaps it’s because they’re so socially marginalized that they have no longer have incentive to behave civilly.

Huh. Apparently in the world of liuetenantwaffleiron — and a lot of other Men’s Rightsers — every guy who ever victimizes a woman has an excuse. They’re mentally ill. They’re “socially marginalized.”  It’s never, say, that these guys are, you know, entitled shitheads who think they’re entitled to women’s bodies.

To paraphrase West Side Story, they’re depraved on account of they’re deprived — of a woman’s body, something that doesn’t actually belong to them.

In the cases illustrated in the video, I’m certain that there was no possibility of any of them having any sort of equal relationship with you, or to the other women featured, and you know it.

Really? Even if this were true, so fucking what? You’re not entitled to have a relationship — equal or otherwise — with any woman who strikes your fancy. You’re not entitled to harass every woman you see who’s out of your league, or already hitched, or just not interested in your asshole “nice guy” self.

In the absence of incentive to try to win your favor and to respect you, and in the presence of your garish flaunting to them of your unavailable sexuality, I have no doubt that some even grow to resent you.

Yeah, we picked up on that already, genius. As did every woman in the video, who saw clearly that the actions of the men who harassed them weren’t driven simply by attraction but by resentment and rage and a desire to demonstrate power over women they knew weren’t interested in them.

Whoever these predatory males are, they’re not me. I don’t know them. I don’t know where I can find them.

Really? Because you sound pretty much exactly like “these predatory males.” Maybe you haven’t harassed any women – yet – but your little manifesto is filled with the same toxic mixture of aggrieved entitlement that helps to fuel this kind of harassment.

I doubt they’re reading these words, or watching your videos. I’m terribly sorry they cross the line into physical contact, and stalking, and god knows what else, but we’re NOT those guys.

I hate to tell you this dude, but you’re already thinking like a harasser. I mean, you’re writing a 700-word manifesto attacking a woman you’ve never met because she had the temerity to walk down the street in a short skirt and record the harassment she got.

Yes, dressing sexily is absolutely your right, as is walking in that “provocative” outfit down the street while expecting a certain degree of civility from your countrymen. However …

Somehow I knew that “however” was coming.

However – know that your message to us is powerless to change the behavior of the ‘creeps’ that will physically harass you, and assault you, and worse.

Really? Then why are you getting so mad about the video? Somehow I suspect that you realize this sort of video does give harassed women a certain degree of power, both by shaming those men who might not realize how terrible their behavior really is, and by helping encourage and empower women to hollaback, as they say, at their harassers.

Your insistence to wear what you wear, and act as you act – while absolutely within your rights – undeniably makes you a more visible target to those perverts and predators.

And an even more visible target to the creepy entitled assholes of the Men’s Rights subreddit, apparently.

You are determined to ignore one of the most important factors in avoiding harassment and assault because you have the gall to be offended that lower-status males might dare to approach you.

And you, dude, have the gall to be offended by a woman talking frankly about the harassment she gets.

Furthermore, your constant antagonism of their attraction to you gives them reason to resent you.

No, I’m pretty sure you’re responsible for your own resentment here, given that it stems from an unacknowledged sense of entitlement.

These two factors expose you to risk that you simply don’t need to take, and I refuse to feel any guilt for your misadventures so long as you act with such a sense of entitlement and such a complete lack of common sense.

Well, forgive me for feeling no sorrow if no woman ever wants anything to do with your whiny, resentful, bitter ass.

ps- First time posting. Happy to be here

You’ll fit right in. Your sense of aggrieved entitlement is already pretty well-developed.

That, and access to the internet, is really all you need to be a Men’s Rights Activist.

Here’s the video. TRIGGER WARNING for detailed description of sexual assault:

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Posted on August 6, 2014, in a new woman to hate, a woman is always to blame, excusing abuse, harassment, imaginary oppression, mansplaining, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, post contains sarcasm, rape culture, red pill, reddit, slacktivism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 336 Comments.

  1. StrivingAlly, it seems reasonably decent. It catches the guilt I felt when I flat out ignored dudes at bus stops because I really didn’t want to do the oh crud he’s hitting on me and I don’t want to do the polite thing but polite mode is already initiated because eye contact was made and dear ceiling cat get me out of this conversation!!! Dammit how do I say I really don’t want to trade numbers without being rude?! Crudcrudcrudcrud…. Bus, why did you have to be late TODAY!!!

    Not that that’d happen with every bus stop conversation. Out of 3 years of bus riding, that type of deal only happened every once in a while, but it was enough that I felt less rude ignoring the stuffing out of everyone than engaging in conversation on some days, because the benefits of a pleasant conversation with a stranger that day were outweighed by the risks of having to do the whole TRAPPED conversational dance.

    It’s not perfect, because dudes aren’t charities and my guilt over not donating to muscular dystrophy at the register every shoppingday shouldn’t be comparable to me not giving a cat caller a smile. It just feels comparable to me because I’ve had politeness jammed into my head as the way to interact with strangers.

    So, yeah… For everyone else YMMV for how good of an analogy it is.

  2. I’ve had random weirdos say creepy things to me a couple of times during my four years of college. It was extremely creepy, especially the one time that one of these men tried to follow me home. Luckily, nothing happened and I never saw the guy again. I guess in the minds of MRAs, I provoked this incident by merely existing…

  3. @ Haribo Lector:
    “But it’s a compliment! I’m saying you WOULD be pretty if you smiled!”

    So I’m not allowed to have a shitty day visibly? I can’t be sad, or worried, or merely thinking about my own life and not how I appear to others?
    I have to hide my emotions in order to visually please random men I encounter?

    …You’d be so handsome if you just…smiled..oh, THERE’s those pearly whites! What a pretty boy you are!

    *barf*

  4. kittehserf MOD

    Another one that has occurred to me (which I need to write about more fully some time) is comparison to those charity workers you often see on the street or in shopping centres, with the clipboards and the well-rehearsed pitches and the “Just want to chat!” opening.

    Occasionally they can become quite obnoxious with the guilt-tripping and resentment at being dismissed, which is completely at odds with the unsolicited approach.

    Heh. Last time one tried the “Sorry to bother you” opener I said “Don’t worry, you’re not going to” without breaking stride.

    For the analogy side … I’m not wild about it, because a charity actually has a good reason to be asking strangers for stuff. Men pressing their attentions on women in the street isn’t about them needing anything, or wanting to go out, it’s about control, about imposing themselves on us. With a charity, my feelings are “I’m sorry, but I am otherwise committed/not about to give anything to that cause/whatever.” With random men wanting my attention (which is very, very rare for me, I’m glad to say) there’s no sympathy, no “maybe another time,” no cause, no nothing. There’s no maybe, not ever. They can just fuck off and walk on legos forever.

  5. cassandrakitty

    I actually like your analogy, Dora. Sure, it’s not perfect from the motivation perspective, but the point isn’t the motivation of the people doing the harassing, it’s the effect on the target*. If you can at least start a previously clueless man thinking about the fact that hey, perhaps women do not like it when men do this, that’s a start. He may even say so to some of the men who he knows who aren’t going to give a damn if it’s a woman saying it!

    @ DJC

    Harassment that you get because people mistook you for a woman versus harassment you get when they know you’re a gay man, differences and (possibly? nobody ever thinks I’m a man so I don’t know) similarities is a perfectly valid thing to bring up during this conversation.

    And yep, as everyone is saying, street harassment is at least as much about power as it is about sex. Sometimes it’s about horrible men with no respect for women’s boundaries wanting to touch someone they think is attractive, but even in those scenarios there’s a power-over element, and it’s ridiculous to pretend that any man doing that doesn’t recognize that the cringing, closed-off body language, miserable and/or angry facial expression and general air of unhappiness and frustration and fear that most women respond with is not a sign that women like what he’s doing. So, anyone who sees that response and keeps doing it anyway is clearly indicating that at best they don’t care if they’re making women uncomfortable, and at worse making women uncomfortable is the reason why they’re doing it.

    *(Also, fwiw, I’ve had people selling tourist crap grab my hand/arm and try to pull me into their stores, so sometimes it can be a better analogy than you think – that’s only happened when I was wearing the “look, a woman who’s alone and/or with another woman and no men!” sign over my head)

  6. kittehserf MOD

    I was going to post about having been on the receiving end of what I’ll call male-directed harassment (by people who took me for straight), female-directed harassment (by people who took me for a woman) and gay-directed harassment, and the differences between them, but worried about annoying Ally by inadvertently using an outdated or incorrect term, only I must say I’m a bit put out that, even in the context used, “N_ H_M_” flies here.

    DJG, thank you; I didn’t know that term was one to be avoided, like slurs, and wouldn’t have twigged from the context.

    As for outdated terms, we all use them, or learn what current ones are, or what’s going to disturb or hurt people, and then stop using ‘em when we’re told that. It’s only when people go right on using them there’s any question, surely.

    And none of that changes that your experiences are real and you get to describe them, whatever other people’s terminology might be. They don’t get to frame your life.

  7. DJG: I missed it earlier, but please don’t feel like you can’t talk about your experiences.

  8. MRAs, the masters of projection, shown to be doing exactly what they like to accuse feminists of doing: manufacturing victimization.

  9. But it’s a compliment! I’m saying you WOULD be pretty if you smiled!

    a) No, it isn’t, and b) NOBODY OWES YOU “PRETTY”

  10. cassandrakitty

    So basically “you’re really ugly when you’re not smiling”. Nice!

  11. Aaack. Comment monster ate my last one before I could even finish it, so here goes again:

    But it’s a compliment! I’m saying you WOULD be pretty if you smiled!

    a) No, it isn’t, and b) NOBODY OWES YOU “PRETTY”.

    Also, any guy who tells me I would be pretty if I smiled deserves Teh Bitchface for not seeing that I’m already plenty pretty as is, and for being rude, and for not keeping his stupid bonersadz to himself. Pro tip: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR SAD BONER. YOU WANT TO BE SEEN AS AN EVOLVED MALE? FUCKING ACT LIKE IT, DAMMIT.

  12. But it’s a compliment! I’m saying you WOULD be pretty if you smiled!

    You know what? I am already pretty. I can say that (at least on the internet, but that’s another story) without shame. My self-worth is not tied to how pretty you think I am. I am pretty as heck whether I am smiling or not, and so are most of the people I know! So shove off, because you are not my mirror.

    Also, there’s a huge difference between wanting to see someone smile and wanting to make someone smile

    And your chance of making me happy is about nil in zero, so fuck off.

  13. kittehserf MOD

    And your chance of making me happy is about nil in zero, so fuck off.

    QFT!

  14. You know what? I am already pretty. I can say that (at least on the internet, but that’s another story) without shame. My self-worth is not tied to how pretty you think I am. I am pretty as heck whether I am smiling or not, and so are most of the people I know! So shove off, because you are not my mirror.

    Also, there’s a huge difference between wanting to see someone smile and wanting to make someone smile

    And your chance of making me happy is about nil in zero, so fuck off.

    Relevant.

  15. I was definitely not pleased to be told to smile by dome douche bag the time I had just found out that my grandfather died.

  16. cassandrakitty

    When someone tried the “smile, it might never happen!” line on me right after my mother died I told him that it already had.

  17. I only recently started passing as a woman. I was on the train recently, sitting across from a dudebro who was looking me up the entire trip. He tried chatting with me a few times, I turned up the volume on my music. Eventually he pantomimed for me to pull one of my earbuds out, and I can’t tell you why, but I complied without thinking. Must be my inner masochist.

    He does the guy nod thing. “Nice tits.”

    My response? “Nice bank account. Do I get access to it when we’re married?”

    He called me a whore and moved on.

  18. I was seventeen when I was told, “Smile, bitch!” by some dude in a red car as he drove by. I was crying and standing under a tree minutes after having seriously considered throwing myself into traffic. Really not fond of men who tell women to smile. We have our own shit to deal with. I’ll smile when I’m actually happy (or wanting to kick a printer…lol).

    Besides, men often take my smile (whether or not it was even directed at them!) as an permission to creep on me. So when a man tells me to smile, he’s basically demanding, “Invite me to sexually harass you”.

  19. I only recently started passing as a woman.

    Congrats! Sorry about the crap that comes with that some of the time, but congrats anyway.

    …My ex is a programmer.
    She said her fellow programmers, on the whole, act more like she had had part of her brain removed, and not gender reassignment surgery. O.o

  20. I have bitchy concentrating face – apparently I look like I’m really cross when I’m very focussed and problem-solving.* I was so pleased that the silly YouTube video came about about “bitchy resting face” because it was a meme everyone knew and I could use that as the basis for an explanation. Seriously, I’ve had co-workers come up to me and ask me what I’m upset about, if I’m okay, etc.

    * I think I must furrow my brow when I’m trying to problem-solve. Apparently this makes one look cross. I thought it was a relatively common thing to do; it was in the fiction books I have read – normally indicated a person was thinking. Omigosh, this makes me old-fashioned in how I physically show I am concentrating. Gah!

  21. kittehserf MOD

    Seriously, I’ve had co-workers come up to me and ask me what I’m upset about, if I’m okay, etc.

    Mum used to get that at work. I think I’ve had it a couple of times, maybe. I think these days I’d say “When I’m angry/upset about something, you. will. know.”

  22. I get that all the time. The corners of my mouth turn down, my brows are low set and don’t arch and I don’t have a super bubbly personality. All of which are highly illegal for women. Particularly in the US which is so obsessed with positivity and optimism.

    Now seems like a good time to plug Bright Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich again. I love that book.

  23. “Whoever these predatory males are, they’re not me. I don’t know them. I don’t know where I can find them,” says lieutenantwankleiron after a long rant about how harassers are probably just misunderstood.

    The MRA. Not THOSE guys (probably) but willing to excuse and enable those guys all the way.

    So much wrong about the ‘mental health defence’ he spouts, too.

    As someone already pointed out way up thread, mental health issues does not equate to harassing people. And, supposing someone is harassed and/or attacked by someone who really is severely mentally ill, is she supposed to shrug it off? Take one for the team? Say, “Oh, he’s the real victim here?”

    Personally I’ve always been too busy avoiding street harassers to worry whether they may have a diagnosis or not

  24. Whoa. I finished watching the War Zone movie that was linked a while back here. I grew up in the burbs and experienced a bit of cat calling in my teens, but in big cities there seems to be a gauntlet that women have to walk through! Yuck. The entitlement of the men in that film is so astounding that I cant’ even!

    Nowadays, I’m old, fat, NOT petite, and have a serious case of resting bitch face. I am grateful for all of this.

  25. RE: Haribo Lector

    But it’s a compliment! I’m saying you WOULD be pretty if you smiled!

    You MIGHT be pretty if you shut the fuck up. But I doubt it. :D

  26. Yeah, Twincats: Like you, I seem to have aged out or something. I got bothered and yelled at a lot when I was younger. Nowadays, I’m pretty invisible to most young men and most older men behave themselves around me.

    One sure fire way to get me to smile (cuz, I am a friendly person) is just to say something ridiculous or funny. Crack a joke or tell me a funny, crazy ,ridiculous (short) story.That works much better than ordering me to re-arrange my expression. And there’s a big difference.

    Cracking a joke is trying to brighten my day and is about trying to make me feel better. And even if it doesn’t work, I appreciate the effort nonetheless.Ordering me to smile is about the guy’s feelings and is deeply selfish.

  27. You MIGHT be pretty if you shut the fuck up. But I doubt it. :D

    Nah, the inner asshole always shows through.

  28. My harassment also started as soon as I hit puberty and it was so traumatic for me that I spent the next 20 years trying to be invisible to anybody that might even be remotely attracted to me.

    Wearing bitchface, gaining weight and wearing drab, foversized clothing doesn’t help anyway. It took me years to figure out it wasn’t about attractiveness, but about power. Power that men feel they must exert over females as young as ten or twelve years old, a thought that I find horribly saddening.

    This was/is my experience too. Reading this made me feel both happy (I’m not alone!) and depressed (because this happens to too many). Your advice for your sisters & niece is awesome; very friendly and strong. May I borrow it?

  29. Actually, I read a really good thing in one of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Alice McKinley books: the three Cs.

    “If it doesn’t make you Comfortable, it’s not a Compliment, it’s Creepy.”

    Man, I wish I’d had that as a kid! Alas, this is one of the last books, which came out just a couple years ago.

  30. It is sickening to see this. It’s fucking 2014 and we are still having to fight this war. To be honest, the “red pill” is winning the war.
    It is a fact that we let these people spread this hate because of a stupid allegiance to “free speech”. Very sad.

  31. RE: Blackadder

    To be honest, the “red pill” is winning the war.

    I highly doubt that.

  32. Likeliest way a stranger will get a smile and response out of me? By smiling and saying “Good morning/ Lovely day” or something like that, and keeping on walking. “I like your jacket!” or similar is good too, because I’m happy to get a compliment for clothing I made. It’s almost always women who pay those compliments, though.

  33. To be honest, the “red pill” is winning the war.

    Not hardly.

    And free speech is a good thing, it allows us to mock the shit out of them.

  34. If they were winning the war, there wouldn’t be Red Pillers or MRAs or whatever. They’re screaming because things are oh-so-slowly turning against them.

    They don’t give a fuck about free speech, quite apart from knowing jack shit what it means, at least in a US context (and with this lot, what other context is there?). They’re not interested in other people having the right to speak. Their only interest in speech is shouting down women.

  35. To be honest, the “red pill” is winning the war.

    Men still have most of the advantages in society. That is NOT a credit to the MRAs.

  36. @Blackadder

    It is sickening to see this. It’s fucking 2014 and we are still having to fight this war. To be honest, the “red pill” is winning the war.

    It is a fact that we let these people spread this hate because of a stupid allegiance to “free speech”. Very sad.

    Let me fix that for you:

    It is sickening to see this. Some people actually have the audacity to call us out for being misogynists. I hope men’s voices will prevail in the end.

    Also, free speech means whatever I want it to mean, and some people don’t deserve free speech. Because I don’t understand what it means to have such a right. Very sad.

  37. That was a completely unfair representation of what Blackadder said.

  38. Sometimes I feel like MRAs are winning when it comes to deterring women from reporting rape and sexual assault by infecting others with their false rape accusation propaganda.

    I have long thought that hate speech laws were too permissive in Canada, especially after the Supreme Court closed off an avenue of redress under human rights legislation. It’s not so much about misogyny but more about hate speech directed at racial and other minorities. Why should people have to live under an ever-present cloud of hatred that negatively impacts their quality of life? Honestly, I can’t see it ever ending unless there’s a legal crackdown on that shit.

    Take Stormfront, for example. That site is linked to 100 murders and it’s still putting money in the pocket of Don Black.

  39. I agree with marinerachel.

  40. Puddlegum: Go for it!

  41. Ally, you got that arse about face. Blackadder isn’t saying “yay the Red Pill”, zie’s lamenting that so much misogyny is still around.

  42. @Blackadder

    Sorry, I misread your comment. I assumed you were a troll.

  43. @kitteh

    Ally, you got that arse about face. Blackadder isn’t saying “yay the Red Pill”, zie’s lamenting that so much misogyny is still around.

    Yeah, I get that now. I was quick to assume that they were being misogynistic because of a mix of cynicism and bitterness caused by my dad saying really racist and misogynistic things to me today.

    :: repositions head ::

  44. For those of you who feel like the manosphere is ascendant, this assessment/reminder might make you feel better.

  45. I think the manosphere is losing the battle, becoming more and more marginal, and all their rageful lashing out is a sort of recognition of this.

  46. It it the “lone wasp in the car” scenario?

  47. @cloudiah: In addition, I think there are a lot of women, and also men, who would say “I’m not a feminist, but …” and go on to describe mainstream feminist beliefs. The anti-feminists have worked tirelessly to try to mis-define feminism — you know, angry, bitter man-haters who couldn’t get a man etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum. The intensity of the anti-feminist lying campaign seems to me to prove that they realize how bad their position is.

  48. Yeah, most people ,even if they don’t follow feminism or classify themselves as such have no issue with the true tenets of feminism. All the misogynist ranters have done is make the word feminism a bad word. The real thoughts behind the ideology have not been disturbed one bit. Which makes the FB page about not being feminists very interesting. These women say they’re not feminists but I’m willing to be if you ask them a bunch of questions about it without using the word feminism, the’yd support every statement.

    I was going through a period where I classified myself as not being a feminist bc I thought it was pretty much for upper middle class White women, with very cushy jobs. But I did believe all of the mainstream tenets of feminism.I still do. Now that there’s beginning to be much more recognition of intersectionality and the needs and wants of women with disabilities or WoC and Transwomen in feminism ,I’m having less of a problem with identifying myself as a feminist.

  49. There is a weird but interesting process: As Feminist Ideas enter the mainstream they are perceived as being common sense and no longer Feminist Ideas, so Feminism is perceived as being the subset of Feminist Ideas which have not yet made it into the mainstream.

    I would hesitate to be overly critical of the past history of the Feminist movement, though some criticism seems to be justified. The movement started as a group of middle and upper-middle class college-educated women who wanted to have careers, and this particular battle took most of their energy for a while. Anti-feminists tried to represent their desire for a career as implicit criticism of women who chose to be housewives. In fact, it is fairly difficult to explain why you don’t want to be a housewife without sounding critical of housewives, and opponents were always ready to exploit any poorly phrased explanation. The early movement WAS somewhat hostile to lesbians, but that was in large part because of the effort to discredit Feminists as merely bitter, angry lesbians. And a good part of their failure to be inclusive came from the fact that they had not yet figured out how to explain the benefits of Feminism to WoC etc. for whom well-paid careers were mostly not relevant (because they were not yet being given access to the education that would lead to such careers), and the additional fact that the opposition was constantly harping on the theme that WoC etc. should regard Feminism as a movement that had nothing to say to them.
    Feminism has always struggled against dedicated opposition that constantly tries to misrepresent its views, magnify its flaws, resist its expansion — and then announce its imminent death.

  50. Enh, I think the criticism of the feminist movement as racist and classist is totally justified. Just look at poor Ida B. Wells, who white feminists tried to sabotage and kick out for crusading against lynching. I don’t think they were doing that because they “had not yet figured out how to explain the benefits of feminism to WoC.”

  51. These women say they’re not feminists but I’m willing to be if you ask them a bunch of questions about it without using the word feminism, the’yd support every statement.

    In the US that’s true of the word liberal too. People won’t often call themselves liberal but if you just ask people their stance on the issues, the liberal stance is overwhelmingly popular. Most people want social safety nets, strong food safety and environmental protection, access to reproductive health care, well funded public schools etc. Yet the conservative movement has been really successful in making liberal a dirty word. It’s very frustrating because low information voters end up voting for Republicans and conservative Democrats who do the opposite of what the voters actually want.

    That turned into kind of an off topic rant. Sorry.

    Enh, I think the criticism of the feminist movement as racist and classist is totally justified. Just look at poor Ida B. Wells, who white feminists tried to sabotage and kick out for crusading against lynching. I don’t think they were doing that because they “had not yet figured out how to explain the benefits of feminism to WoC.”

    Seconded. As a white middle class cis-het feminist I’ll admit that criticism makes me uncomfortable sometimes. But it still needs to be said and people in my demographic need to just get over ourselves and listen to it.

  52. @LBT I was talking about the modern movement that began in the late 60s. Earlier Feminist movements had serious flaws that are blindingly obvious to us today, but you can look at them as the first tottering baby steps along a long trail. I think we have to be careful about criticizing people in the past by the standards of today — although, I’ll agree, lynching should have been an obvious evil. For example, Lincoln’s views on race are very backward by today’s standards, but he was certainly ahead of the curve in his own time. I often wonder which of the views we regard as obvious truth today, future generations will be amazed that anyone could believe such crap. I know that in the early part of my life I held some beliefs that I consider repugnant now. The only thing that gives me some hope for our species is the thought that perhaps, just as we seem to be more enlightened than previous generations, future generations will be more enlightened than we are. Feminism was not born whole and perfect, and like any movement it has had to struggle in order to grow.
    I don’t object to criticism of Feminism as having had elements of racism and classism, which is justified. What I object to is attempts to argue that because it wasn’t inclusive in the past, it can’t be inclusive in the future. People who make that sort of argument generally aren’t trying to improve Feminism, they are trying to kill it.

  53. I just found your website and love it. I discovered the madness that is the Manosphere about 6 months ago and just … wow. I can’t believe how backward some people are, in 2014.

    I always thought guys who harass women on the street do it BECAUSE they want to incite fear and discomfort. I remember when is was in college, living in a college town, this would happen to me a lot. I would just ignore it and pretend I didn’t hear anything, but it made me feel really uncomfortable. At the time I wondered how delusional a man must be to think that catcalling would cause a woman to feel flattered and go up and talk to him, but I think now that they do it just to get a reaction.

  54. I’m sorry to be posting on a thread that’s sorta dead, but I just saw this awesome comic from a link in r/AMR and it’s relevant and I wanted to share it:

    http://m.tickld.com/x/next-time-someone-says-women-arent-victims-of-harassment-show-them.

  55. That is awesome, sparky! Robot Hugs is cute.

  56. It’s a great comic. If you want to make yourself head-desk repeatedly, you can read the r/MensRights take on it here:

    http://np.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/2d5bom/feminists_prove_that_women_are_harassedby/

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