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douchebaggery Jared Loughner MRA violence against men/women

>A failure of empathy: Misogynists respond to the Arizona shootings

>

One thing I am struck by again and again as I read the blogs and the message boards of the manosphere is how little basic human empathy I see there, towards women in general and towards feminists of both sexes. We see it in the routine references to women as “whores” and “cunts” and other terms that reduce them to their genitalia.

We see it in the profound lack of empathy for women injured or killed. You may recall my recent post about an MRA blog that basically celebrated the possible death of a missing Las Vegas dancer. The body of the murdered woman, Deborah Flores-Narvaez, has since been found. The news inspired a moderator of the Happy Bachelors Forum to start a topic entitled “Dirty skanky whore found dead.”

And of course we’ve seen similar reactions to the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six others. While many in the manosphere responded to the shootings like normal human beings (displaying honest shock and horror) and others responded like typical internet paranoids (wildly speculating on how this meant the government would take away all our rights), there were others who found ways to blame women for the shootings or to twist the issue into one of men’s putative oppression. On NiceGuy’s MGTOW Forum, one commenter found an ingenious way to blame women for the shooting:

He [was] probably dumped by a girl and that’s what started him on the road to crazy batshit loonery. I can’t think of any other factor that could more quickly drive a man to violence than women.

Others complained that the news coverage was slanted by evil feminism. From the MGTOW proboards forum:

it pisses me off when i see all this outrage on the news and from the public knowing that if it was a congressMAN who was shot, everyone would be wondering what he did to deserve it.

this really shows you how society values women over men. and she’s not even dead!

Over on NiceGuy’s MGTOW forum, one member complained that Giffords was getting most of the news coverage and that the six others who were murdered in the attack, most of whom were probably men, were being ignored:

This is yet another example of how Femerica values female lives more than male lives. In the eyes of most Americans, men are less human than women.

The male judge gets a mention because he is a lackey for the interests of the elite. Even though he is dead, since he is a male, his death is presented by the media as less of a tragedy than the non-lethal shooting of a female politician with a good chance for recovery.

The death of the young girl was portrayed as third in line in terms of level of tragedy. By American standards, it was a tragedy because she possessed a vagina, but since she was not grown enough to be a full-fledged feminazi, her death was less of a tragedy than the non-death of the female politician.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the four unnamed dead people were men. If they were men, they would be considered less human than the others. They are not even human enough for the media to investigate and name. Their death, by American standards, was a tragedy but less of a tragedy than the non-death of female politician.

This comment is jampacked with an assortment of bad assumptions. To correct the most obvious of them: Giffords has gotten most of the coverage because this was not a random murder, but an attempted political assassination. Gender has nothing to do with it. When people talk about the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, they rarely mention the three others who were also wounded that day. (Except for James Brady, and that’s because he has gone on to be an influential gun control advocate.)

The male judge has gotten a good deal of attention, but isn’t the main focus of the coverage because he was not the target of the assassination attempt. The girl has gotten attention because she was a child. The other victims were not named at first because authorities had not yet notified their next-of-kin. There were three men killed in the attacks, two women, and one girl.

Meanwhile, on this very blog, a regular antifeminist commenter who calls himself Random Brother has made clear that he doesn’t extend basic human sympathies to feminists. Asking whether or not Giffords is a feminist, he explains:

I want to know if she has spent her whole career passing laws that harm men. I want to know this before I commit any sympathy to her. If she was a great politician who tried hard to help her constituents, was fair and just then she has all of the sorrow in the world from me. …

If she was a typical politician, a bigot or a man hater, why should I care?

Setting aside for a moment the fact that there is precisely zero evidence that Giffords is any any way a “man hater”: Because she’s a human being?

Sadly, this failure of empathy isn’t confined to the manosphere, as Marianne Kirby notes on The Rotund:

Empathy is, in its simplest form, the ability to acknowledge the thoughts/reasoning/emotions of another person as valid. It is, so to speak, being able to see where they are coming from even if you do not agree. … Empathy is, I think, coming to the realization of our own humanity and the humanity of other people – we are all simply people. …

[W]hen politicians depend on hate and violent rhetoric to stir up their followers, no good can come of it. … It teaches them that these people who believe different things are “the enemy” – that they are a danger and must be eliminated.

Is it any wonder that some people reach a point where the literal elimination of those who are different becomes the end goal?

For a long time I labeled the MRA/MGTOW blogs I’ve put in my sidebar as my “Enemies List.” It was a partially tongue-in-cheek reference to Nixon’s famous “enemies list.” But many people took it literally, and some (even if they didn’t) worried that this kind of terminology could lead to precisely the sort of dehumanizing of the “enemy” I’ve been criticizing here. In the wake of the Arizona shootings, and after pondering several eloquent emails sent to me on the subject, I’ve decided to change my “Enemies List” to, well, a “Boob-roll.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines “boob” as “a stupid or foolish person; a dolt.” The people I write about may be — at least in my mind —  wrong, and foolish, and sometimes hateful assholes, but they are people.

If you enjoyed this post, would you kindly* use the “Share This” or one of the other buttons below to share it on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or wherever else you want. I appreciate it.

*Yes, that was a Bioshock reference.

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John Dias
9 years ago

>@Pam:Both the primary caregiver and the primary breadwinner are providing and receiving. There is no dispute about that; both are valuable and crucial to a harmonious and stable family. Neither of them are useless, despite what the Hanna Rosen type feminists might say about the End of Men. But survival is a higher priority than comfort, which is why the breadwinner's role is slightly more crucial. You have also suggested that the efforts of breadwinners are less valuable than the efforts of caregivers, by insinuating that breadwinners are complacent despite the fact that unlike caregivers, male breadwinners are typically not empowered by their female partners with a choice between the caregiving or breadwinning role; the option itself to choose between caregiving vs. breadwinning is typically assumed by the mother to be her entitlement. The fact that a few women are the exception to this maxim merely only proves the rule.The breadwinning role is one where flexibility is minimal; one has to be at work on time, meet deadlines, follow someone else's schedule, meet others' expectations, cease work at a certain time, etc. The caregiving role is simply much more flexible, and much less stressful. I say this not to devalue it — the industrialized West has a serious deficiency of nurturing qualities in my opinion and we need more caregivers who are biologically related to the families that they care for — but it is true in my view that caregivers simply aren't under the same stresses as breadwinners. Therefore the caregiver's "shift" is justifiably of longer duration than that of the breadwinner in my opinion. So if the breadwinner gets home at the end of the day, it's not automatically his moral obligation to take on a second shift; he (or she) is providing the means of survival and should be honored and recognized for that. Likewise, he should honor and recognize the immense value and contribution of the caregiver in a mutually loving and, in terms of labor, similarly-yoked relationship.I resent the suggestion that a person who gets to choose their role — because a provider has empowered them with that choice — is somehow compelled or coerced into that role. It is reasonable to associate such an absurd suggestion with the tacit but intentional feminist implication that a patriarchal arrangement necessarily (or even typically) carries with it some undercurrent of violent coercion. That dogmatic mentality is what feminism is all about, in its vilification of stay-at-home moms, providing dads, and voluntarily-accepted patriarchal values. It's a "butt-in" ideology, which I oppose on that basis.

Pam
Pam
9 years ago

>You have also suggested that the efforts of breadwinners are less valuable than the efforts of caregivers, by insinuating that breadwinners are complacent …I suggested no such thing, nor did I "insinuate" that breadwinners are complacent, I stated that a large number of men who are fathers (I didn't stipulate breadwinner because it occurs even in situations where the man is not the sole or primary breadwinner) complacently accept the 80/20 split in caregiving responsibility. That was in reponse to your accusing me of insinuating that fathers intimidate mothers into accepting the primary caregiver role, yet another thing that I did not suggest or insinuate. I was not ascribing malicious intent to men assuming and accepting the 80/20 division of caregiving, but it DOES seem that malicious intent is ascribed to women in general, feminists in particular, and the Family Court when custodial arrangements, which often is simply mirroring the caregiving arrangements when the relationship is intact, are decided when a relationship has broken down. I was offering an alternative explanation to the seemingly widely accepted malicious intent theory of custodial arrangements.As for the desire to profit from a family breakup, a higher percentage of single parents are employed vs. unemployed, part-time or full-time, which tends to make me think that neither single mothers nor single fathers are living high off the hog following a family breakup.So if the breadwinner gets home at the end of the day, it's not automatically his moral obligation to take on a second shift; he (or she) is providing the means of survival and should be honored and recognized for that.It never has been the male breadwinner or co-breadwinner's obligation to take on a second shift, but it HAS (and, for the most part, still is) been the female breadwinner or co-breadwinner's obligation to take on the second shift. Folks on this very blog have pointed out that it was women who fought to have their working hours decreased back at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when women worked the same amount of hours as men in, for instance, the coal mines. The implication was that when women have to work the same amount of hours as men, under similarly grueling conditions, women are either incapable of doing so or will overwhelmingly choose and fight for the less taxing and grueling domestic chores, when the truth of the matter is that it was the women who were OBLIGATED to perform the daily domestic chores in addition to working outside the domestic sphere. The moral obligation, or not, to take on the second shift is not dependent upon breadwinner/provider role, it is dependent upon the sex of the individual. That dogmatic mentality is what feminism is all about, in its vilification of stay-at-home moms, providing dads, and voluntarily-accepted patriarchal values.I won't say that there are not feminists who vilify stay-at-home moms, I'm sure that there ARE, but the majority of vilification of stay-at-home moms that I have seen has come from MRAs…y'know, the ones who vilify working women for taking men's jobs away and, at the same time, vilify stay-at-home moms for being parasites.Feminism was and is all about attempting to dismantle institutionalized, NON-voluntarily accepted patriarchal values, which is NOT to say that, nowadays, patriarchal values are ALWAYS thrust upon someone non-voluntarily, as there are non-feminists who voluntarily accept those values.And, from the perspective that you hold, you will read suggestion and insinuation into all that I say, which makes it senseless for me to continue discussing this with you any further.

The Biscuit Queen
9 years ago

>Pam:"Problem is, in patriarchal families, the working parent is seen as providing while the non-working (outside of the home for a paycheque, that is) parent is seen only as receiving. What the non-working parent provides for the working parent is devalued or taken for granted.Not true in many cases. In fact in terms of the basis for the idea of a patriarchal society, the Bible, the women is very much seen as contributing a great deal. If you look at Proverbs 31 it describes the ideal wife as actually quite productive. In modern marriages often the wife is not seen as recieving, but as giving up all her opportunities-she is seen as victimized by her choice to stay home. In modern families it is rare for a husband to have any say at all in whether his wife works or not. It is seen as controlling and abusive for him to have any opinion or say whatsoever, and contrary to your opinion, most men are not and do not want to be abusive. Like most female spouses, they love their partner and want them to be happy. I stayed home with my kids and did day care and dog training for over a decade. I considered it a great gift from my husband that I had the luxury to enjoy my kids while he had to go work. I was seen as nuts by other parents for feeling that way. The fathers were very surprised I felt that way, and the other mothers were offended that I refused to make my husband take out the trash and do laundry. This anectdotally suggests that people in my area do not feel a woman is recieving when she stays home with kids. Legally it is in the stay at home parent's advantage in custody cases because they are seen as doing all the child care work. This husband's job is not considered in terms of caring for the child, even though his paycheck is used for the child. Often you will see in mainstream media advice how to get a husband to help around the house, and the 'housework gap', the idea that men do not do their fair share, even if the wife stays home. Anectodally I can say that many women feel staying home is a full time job and expect to be relieved of that job when dad comes home, as though he has been at a fun thing all day and now has to work at home. "I have been the breadwinner, supporting a man who stayed at home. And guess what? People still viewed him as the head of the household…the boss of me."Not what I asked at all. Would you be willing to socially give up any choice whether to work ot not? Would you be willing to be seen as abusive for asking your spouse to work? You know, I was a member of a very strict born again Christian church where the man was seen as head of the home and the women were seen as equal in value but secondary in terms of final say of big decisions. I lived that way for a while, I spent time with families you would consider extreme. They were nothing like you discribe. The husbands were gentle and protective of their wives, and wives were loving and nurturing toward their husbands. Often the decidions would coincide with the wife's wishes. These people were seen as extreme "patriarchal" families, and they were loving, happy families. You describe cases which are abusive as if they were the norm. They are not. Most people see women as every bit equal to men, and many households go by the mantra "if mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". I don't buy into your world view. It does not jive with my 40 years experience on this earth, 8 caring for other people's children. It does not pass the sniff test. I do not think that more than a small minority feel women are inferior and men are the "boss" of the house. I do not see it in main stream media, I do not see it in real life. In fact I see strong evidence that those men are vilified, suggesting not only is it not common, but it is actively distained socially.

John Dias
9 years ago

>@Pam:"The implication was that when women have to work the same amount of hours as men, under similarly grueling conditions [coal mines], women are either incapable of doing so or will overwhelmingly choose and fight for the less taxing and grueling domestic chores, when the truth of the matter is that it was the women who were OBLIGATED to perform the daily domestic chores in addition to working outside the domestic sphere. The moral obligation, or not, to take on the second shift is not dependent upon breadwinner/provider role, it is dependent upon the sex of the individual."Obligated, you say? Within the home? What, pray tell, would be the enforcement mechanism in your view for those women who failed to live up to their "obligation" to take on a second shift at home, in addition to a paid job? Are you suggesting that her husband would somehow force or coerce her with violence, or threat of violence, to live up to her moral obligations? What leverage could be brought to bear against such an obligation-shirking woman? I would like to know.In the paid workforce, an employee who refuses to meet his obligations can be fired. If, after being fired, he tries to gain access to his employer's payroll and pay himself despite having been fired, then violence against him will result. But if a stay-at-home woman fails to meet what you call her "obligations" within a patriarchal home, exactly how will it be enforced upon her that she must comply? Dirty looks? It seems to me that even now, after your strident denials, you are still implying that patriarchal relationships are necessarily violent or otherwise intimidatingly coercive.

John Dias
9 years ago

>Biscuit Queen wrote:"I lived that way for a while [male as head of household, with final authority over big decisions], I spent time with families you would consider extreme. They were nothing like you [Pam] describe. The husbands were gentle and protective of their wives, and wives were loving and nurturing toward their husbands. Often the decisions would coincide with the wife's wishes. These people were seen as extreme 'patriarchal' families, and they were loving, happy families."This is an important point to make. Within a marriage, even if the husband has authority over the wife they are still partners and it's in their interest to love each other. They need each other, emotionally and financially. They're life partners. Authority doesn't undermine that.Think about patriarchal authority vs. State authority. They're diametrical opposites. If the wife disagrees with her husband on a certain matter, she can try to persuade him and like BQ said above, she often gets her way. Contrast that with a citizen trying to reason with a police officer, who has no personal or familial relation to that citizen. He has no incentive to care, no spiritual or emotional incentive nor economic incentive. He just shows up and does what he's been trained to do. Yes, he has some discretion. But under feminists, even the officer's discretion is removed from him such as in DV cases (mandatory arrest laws, primary aggressor laws). If he was considering arresting you, your spouse, or one of your parents, not only could you not reason with him (unlike the wife in a patriarchal relationship who could reason with her husband), but also the officer's hands are tied by statute or department policy. Due to feminists, authority was first transferred from the husband to the police officer, then from the officer to the legislature. So if you disagree with the officer's decision, because of feminism what you're left with is the prospect of writing your congressman or filing a lawsuit. The wife in a patriarchal relationship is loved by her husband and much more likely to get a positive result on that basis compared to a citizen who must appeal to a source of authority that feminists have removed farther, and farther, and farther away from him.

Amused
9 years ago

>Heh. ANY kind of arrangement would work wonderfully if it's between people who are loving, respectful and reasonable. Any kind of arrangement — patriarchy, matriarchy, polygamy, polyamory. But it's silly to put the cart before the horse and to assume that patriarchy lends itself to making people appreciate each other. In the real world, people aren't always loving, respectful or reasonable, while unchecked "authority" (read: power) tends to corrupt them and to lead them to view those who are within their power as less important. Sure, a man who owns a woman can appreciate her services, but there is a world of difference between appreciating someone as an equivalent of a nice toaster and appreciating someone as a human being and an equal. In relationships where there is a substantial imbalance in bargaining positions — and where one of the partners is deliberately disempowered and rendered incapable of independent survival by foregoing marketable skills — taking advantage by one holding the power is especially likely, and I've seen it happen. "Authority" in the family also tends to make people tone-deaf to the difference between love and love substitutes — and so there are still some industrialized societies where married women are forced by social expectations to use abortion as birth control, because their husbands are "entitled" to have sex in any way and in any time they want, but these husbands still consider themselves "loving" because they make up for it in jewelry. It doesn't happen in every single case, but contrary to the rosy "No True Scotsman" picture that Biscuit Queen and John Dias are painting, patriarchal relationships very often involve what I consider to be shocking mistreatment of women and children, and a disregard for their needs as human beings, to say nothing of their feelings. I don't care that these women consent to be mistreated — I don't want their life just like I wouldn't want the life of someone who consents to any other kind of lifestyle that I consider to be harmful and self-destructive. Let them live as they choose, but to claim that their lifestyle is "superior" to a cooperative partnership, in which the partners stay by choice, rather than out of necessity, is absurd.And for the record, BQ, yes, I would consider the act of telling my husband to quit his job abusive. No, "abusive" isn't even the right word — unthinkable. We could discuss it, we could mull over the possibility, we could do it if that's what he wanted — but simply telling him to abandon his career is something I cannot imagine doing.

John Dias
9 years ago

>@Amused:FYI, in patriarchy that authority of the patriarch is superseded by the authority of the next higher-up in the family clan, until you get to the most senior, highest-ranking living patriarch. In the West we simply do not have that arrangement at all, and so I would strongly suspect your experience not to be informed by authentic patriarchy, but rather a patriarchal nuclear (i.e. self-contained immediate) family.By the way, what is the check on the State's authority? If absolute authority leads absolutely to abuse of authority, as you imply, then who is the check on the State's monopoly on violence? I suppose you'll cite the structure of the state (i.e. federalism, checks and balances, etc.) but in my view that merely avoids the question.

David Futrelle
9 years ago

>John, I find your utopian view of patriarchy rather chilling. If the state has no authority within families, then what happens if and when the "patriarch" within the family is abusive? What recourse do the victims of this abuse have besides appealing to the abuser himself?Also this:"Think about patriarchal authority vs. State authority. They're diametrical opposites."This may be the case in your ahistorical, imaginary vision of patriarchy, based (as you said before on the Gerden Of Eden, but in the real world that has NEVER been the case. Patriarchy and state power ALWAYS go together; specific laws lay out the rights and responsibilities of the patriarchs within their family and within society; specific laws restrict women and punish them for transgressions and imagined transgressions against patriarchal order.

David Futrelle
9 years ago

>John: "By the way, what is the check on the State's authority?"John, unless you are an anarchist, you must accept some form of state authority over the citizenry. In this country we have officials we elect; we have a constitution that spells out our rights; etc etc. If you disagree with the way the govt. exercises its authority in any arena of life, you have the right to protest/lobby/organize/elect politicians who agree with you in order to change this. American democracy is far from perfect, but states without much in the way of central authority (Somalia comes to mind) aren't exactly preferable. Also, how exactly is your vision of patriarchal power (outside the family, up to the top patriarch) NOT an example of state power, with the patriarchal apparatus the state? I'm sorry, but with this all you seem to have departed from the realm of reality into a fantasy world that bears little resemblance to how the real world has every worked.

John Dias
9 years ago

>@David:"If the state has no authority within families, then what happens if and when the "patriarch" within the family is abusive? What recourse do the victims of this abuse have besides appealing to the abuser himself?"I'll answer in 2 parts.David, unlike the feminist luminaries that you reference (such as Gerda Lerner), I recognize the reality that patriarchy began long before the Greek city-states. The feminist belief about patriarchy is that it is a human-made system that is designed to benefit a hierarchy of humans at the top at the expense of those at the bottom. The key is "human-made," as in a system of authority that is based on a human-made ideology (such as that of Aristotle). The feminist belief about the definition of patriarchy is therefore completely — and essentially — secular. Feminists describe hierarchical authority relationships in secular terms, because this allows them to paint authority figures (who are typically males) as self-interested.But if you look at the Bible, you'll see that all authority descends from a higher source until you get to God himself. The following may seem valueless to you if you embrace a secular view of the world, but hopefully it will at least enlighten your perspective about the argument that I am making.Even the tyrants of history are under God's authority and serve not despite God's authority but because of it.Ephesians 6:12"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."Those human tyrants themselves are under the authority of spiritual beings, who themselves answer to the highest earth-bound spiritual being, Satan:Luke 4:5-8:"[5]And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, [6] and said to him, 'To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. [7] If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.' [8] And Jesus answered him, 'It is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve."'Satan's authority is superseded by that of Jesus, the unique (Greek "monogenes") son of God. Jesus' authority is in turn superseded by that of the Father:Matthew 28:18:"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.'"

John Dias
9 years ago

>[@David Futrelle, part 2:]So all authority descends from the omnipotence of the chief authority, Yahweh — the chief patriarch — appropriately referred to by Jesus as the Father.It was God who set men to be in authority over women. If then, a particular man assumes authority as the patriarch, then under God's command he is not an authority unto himself, but answers to authorities still higher than himself.At this point, you might attack my reasoning by saying that since the State is under God's authority, then all of its actions (including its atrocities) must somehow have the blessing of God. To that I would answer that God acknowledges that he is the source of all calamity:Isaiah 45:7:"I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things."Why would God impose calamity by allowing human tyrants to oppress people? Because in a future age, God will demonstrate his authority over those abusers of authority by judging all people, including authority figures — whether human or spiritual — for the harmful injustices that they inflicted during the history of Adam-kind. Thus, in the end, even the most die-hard enemies of God will see the order that God — the chief patriarch — restores to humankind, and they will freely admit not only that God was right and just, but will go so far as to swear allegiance to him (including you, David):Isaiah 45:21-23:[21] Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.[22] Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.[23] By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: To me every knee shall bow,every tongue shall swear allegiance.'"Thus, authentic patriarchy recognizes that authority is not absolute except that of the Father of all creation. Everyone is under authority — there are no exceptions. From the father to the priest to the king or president. Any one of these actors who deviates from his responsibilities to keep peace and order over the people who are entrusted to him will suffer judgment for it.If you call my perspective "chilling," then it is not me who you criticize but the one whose words my beliefs are based upon.

David Futrelle
9 years ago

>If you call my perspective "chilling," then it is not me who you criticize but the one whose words my beliefs are based upon. So I assume that all Christians who disagree with your interpretation of the Bible here, which is to say almost all of them, as few believe in this kind of absolute patriarchy from God on down, are also criticizing "the one whose words my beliefs are based upon." So if the state shouldn't intervene in domestic abuse, because the abusers will ultimately be judged by a higher power, why should they intervene when murders are committed, or rapes, or embezzlement, or any other crime? Why fight the Nazis in WW2 if they too will be judged? I'm legitimately trying to understand how your literally other-worldly philosophy applies in the here and now on earth.

Amused
9 years ago

>John Dias: First of all, I DO have experience living in an extended patriarchal family, so I know what I am talking about. It's a horrible life — for both women and men at the bottom of the hierarchy, but especially so for women. Patriarchy in the nuclear family is bad, and it's ten times worse in an extended family, where the "head patriarch" may only have met you for 10 minutes at some family reunion and doesn't know (or care) who you are as a person — yet assumes that he knows what's right for you; or rather, he sees you as a means to his ends, not as a person. Women in such families have no identity. They are seen as mere servants and breeding vessels, and patriarchs treat them accordingly.The check on state authority in a democracy is voters' power to remove abusive politicians. And though you flippantly stated that pointing to the system of checks and balances is "avoiding the question" it really is not — the three branches of government do act as checks against each other, and people who are aggrieved have multiple avenues of recourse. Unlike in a patriarchal family, where the only way out of an abusive situation is to leave. The very real recourse that exists against the abuse of State power is a hell of a lot better than your utopia in which the only recourse against an abusive "patriarch" is hoping he'll get punished by God in the next life; I bet it's very comforting to abused women.As for the Bible, I don't see its contents as "proof" that patriarchy is "natural" or superior to equality and cooperation. The Leviticus prescribes rules for how to treat one's slaves — but that doesn't mean that we should have slavery. It has rules according to which a rape victim may be forced to marry her rapist — but that doesn't mean that we should do this today. It has rules about banishing people with skin diseases into the desert — and while that may have been practical in antiquity, we simply don't have that kind of society anymore, nor should. And in general, I get a kick out of how certain people pick and choose out the Biblical buffet of restrictions which laws they are to follow and which they may discard. Lord over women? Sure, sounds nice. Fast properly over Lent? Neh. Shame women who don't subjugate themselves to abusive husbands as harpies and sluts? Absolutely. Turn the other cheek? Umm, that's actually subject to interpretation: what is a cheek? what constitutes turning? when is a cheek "the other"? I've seen it too many times not to be cynical: people using religion as a justification to demand huge, painful sacrifices from others, while expecting only to reap the benefits, and offering nothing in return except something utterly nebulous and intangible.

John Dias
9 years ago

>@David:"So if the state shouldn't intervene in domestic abuse, because the abusers will ultimately be judged by a higher power, why should they intervene when murders are committed, or rapes, or embezzlement, or any other crime? Why fight the Nazis in WW2 if they too will be judged?"Where did I say that patriarchy should overthrow the State? You posed a hypothetical question which assumed that the State was non-existent from the outset, and wanted to know what recourse an abuse victim would have. The answer that I gave you was that there is an authority structure within patriarchy to punish offenses, namely the authority within one's blood line.As a matter of fact, this whole comment discussion (insofar as male authority, i.e. patriarchy, is concerned) started when I pointed out that authority is justified when the authority figure is subject to obligations that the subordinate is exempt from, and when the authority figure is competent to fill that obligation whereas the subordinate is not. In practice that could mean getting your arm blown off on the beaches of some foreign battlefield, such as military conscripts had to endure a couple generations ago in Vietnam, Korea, WW2, WW1, and so on.Lastly, aren't you aware that I am politically active? I do utilize the apparatus that is available to me under the U.S. Constitution, and my reason for doing so is to correct injustices that penalize men for being men, such as male victims of female-perpetrated violence who are arrested while the female perpetrator gets to go free. Yet somehow you have blasted my views as wanting to overthrow the government, make male abusers exempt from punishment and make male-perpetrated rape legal — all lies. This an attempt to assassinate my character by misstating my opinions. The fact is that patriarchy is tried and true, over the course of thousands of years. Feminism's stated goal is to destroy patriarchy. It is feminism that is the utopian ideal. Your oft-cited feminist author, Gerda Lerner, wrote in her book that the feminist war to completely stamp out male authority in the family is thwarted whenever a two-parent family is created; she wrote that little patriarchies keep popping up because of the family itself. She herself articulated a utopian vision at the closing of one of the opening chapters in her book, "The Creation of Patriarchy." Leading feminist activist Gloria Steinem once wrote that establishing a communist utopia was too small for feminists, who instead set as their goal the overthrow of the whole patriarchy.Patriarchy clearly can exist alongside the State, or even under the hostile nose of the feminist-State as Lerner points out. Patriarchy is not a political ideology that seeks to overthrow governments. The reverse is true; feminism is the utopian ideology that seeks cultural revolution.

David Futrelle
9 years ago

>I'm not lying about your views or trying to assassinate your character. I was asking questions. I'm trying to understand them. I honestly still don't understand how your views on patriarchy relate to the real world.And I think your notion that patriarchy is "tried and true," or that it can somehow exist without the backing of state power, is wrong and naive. You have not given a single historical example of a society in which that was the case.

John Dias
9 years ago

>David,The real world existed before feminism came along. I'm just trying to get the excesses and injustices of government off of my back. It seems to me that in your view the government's increased involvement in people's private lives is justified so long as it cites protection of the vulnerable as the pretext for its power grabs. I don't prefer that course, and somehow my desire to be out from under the government's thumb is itself portrayed by feminists as a yearning for utopia. Yeah.If I were to cite an example of a society that exists just fine without extensive government intrusion, undoubtedly you would conflate that into a call by me to establish a theocracy. I'm well aware of the Futrelle playbook.

David Futrelle
9 years ago

>Ah, yes, the old Futrelle ploy of asking you what you actually believe.

Pam
Pam
9 years ago

>people using religion as a justification to demand huge, painful sacrifices from others, while expecting only to reap the benefits, and offering nothing in return except something utterly nebulous and intangible.And isn't that what the Pharisees were doing, Jesus referring to them as an example, when He told his disciples, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant"Mention to Roman Catholics, for example, that Jesus said, "Call no man Father" and they'll quickly tell you that he was specifically referring to the Pharisees back in that time period; but mention how women being silent in the Church may have been time-specific/culture-specific (as it was the first time women, en masse, were allowed to participate) and suddenly it's "oh no no no, that's a FOREVER thing"

Amused
9 years ago

>"Tried and true" isn't a valid justification for perpetuating an institution that's patently unjust. Many things can be described as "tried and true".Slavery is "tried and true". It was the first and only economic model for great civilizations for thousands of years, and look, even Ancient Rome, the epitome of greatness, had slavery!Incest is "tried and true". It was practiced throughout ancient Mesopotamia in great civilizations, also for thousands of years. Endogamy kept societies small and reduced both power struggles and the fragmentation of wealth. In fact, if you consult ancient sources, the idea of marrying within one's nuclear family seems to have been intuitive to people; for all that we now call incest "unnatural" it seems to have been the opposite for ancient people — the most natural way to perpetuate their families. Why marry your precious little girl to some stranger, when you can marry her to her brother, and the family stays intact? If your cousin is a fine young man why not marry all three of your daughters to him? It was people vying for power who eventually began stepping in and making incest illegal, simultaneously with promoting the notion that it's disgusting. If it hadn't been for State involvement (and when I say "State", I also mean the coercive power of the Church), people would still be happily marrying their siblings.The theory of bodily humors is "tried and true". Aristotelian medicine was the gold standard for a couple of thousand years at least — so much so that assholes who attempted to discredit it through such ungodly things as the scientific method were routinely persecuted by the Inquisition. Who cares about all this modern medicine nonsense? The idea of bodily humors is OLD, therefore it's right — correct, John Dias?Absolute monarchy is "tried and true". Who needs this messy democracy nonsense in which (gasp!) women and liberals can vote, when great empires had benevolent kings who acted as wise fathers to their adoring subjects? And we know — we KNOW — they were all wise and benevolent.The list can go on for miles.(For those poor souls about to call 911, thinking that I am advocating incest, please familiarize yourselves with this first. Thank you.)