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Ozymandias asks: Who cares about Men's Rights?

The Who does not care (about its equipment)

Great post by Ozymandias on her blog on the subject of “Who cares about men’s rights?” (Answer, Ozymandias, for one.) She offers a devastating critique of the Men’s Rights Movement and a critique of feminism I think I half-agree with as well.  (She critiques feminists for not caring enough about men’s issues and responding to them with “but what about the menz” mockery; I think she’s got a point, but the fact is that lots of feminists do in fact work on behalf of men and men’s issues, from feminists involved in fighting for men and women falsely accused of sex crimes to feminist shelter workers who work on a regular basis to help male victims of abuse.)

Anyway, you should pop on over and read it.

It’s being discussed all over Reddit as well.

The post also inspired a debate on the old “chicks only want to date jerks” thing, which she’s broken out into a separate post.

EDITED TO ADD: And now The Spearhead has noticed the post.

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Pam
Pam
9 years ago

The light treatment of female teachers who sexually abuse their students is deplorable. However, it stems from a sexist culture that says males want sex all the time. In that kind of climate, a male victim is an unthinkable concept.

Hell, I’ve seen it remarked (by some MRAs on MRA blogs/sites) that the notion that females can be sexual predators (thus a need to demand harsher treatment of females who sexually abuse males) is a feminist myth driven by a hatred of male sexuality. If I could remember the names of the commenters and the sites that they posted at, I’d copy and paste their remarks here.

Johnny Pez
9 years ago

NWOslave shaded his eyes as the lights suddenly came up in the room. Through the glare, he could make out a squad of men in the black jumpsuit uniforms of the Trilateral Commission Security Police. Each was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, and all of them were trained on him.

The only sound was a slow clapping sound. As NWOslave’s eyes adjusted to the light, he saw a long mahogany table in the center of the room, with a single seated figure at the far end. The chair was facing away from him at first, but it slowly pivoted until he could see an elderly man. He was still clapping his hands in a slow, sarcastic rhythm.

NWOslave had no difficulty recognizing the clapping man. “George Soros, I presume,” he said.

Soros finally ceased clapping and said, “Congratulations, Mr. Slave. I admire your determination and resourcefulness in making it this far. The New World Order could use a man of your abilities. If you were to enter my employ, I could make it worth your while.”

“No deal, Soros,” NWOslave snarled.

“What a pity,” said Soros, as he began stroking a basenji dog by his side. “You could have been a very valuable source of information regarding the American resistance cells. I’m afraid you force me to resort to, as you Americans say, enhanced interrogation techniques.”

NWOslave found himself seized by two men and forced back onto a steel operating table and strapped down. A woman in a white lab coat wheeled over a complex multi-armed machine, each armed tipped with a surgical scalpel or a hypodermic syringe. The woman pushed a button, and the machine sprang to life, each arm moving into position over his body.

“Do you expect me to talk, Soros?” NWOslave sneered.

“No, Mr. Slave. I expect you to die!”

Spearhafoc
9 years ago

I don’t buy that story at all. What would Lord Soros (blessings and peace be upon him) want with a buffoon like NWOslave? It just lacks verisimilitude.

speedlines
speedlines
9 years ago

Stop that, you’re turning him on.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

Johnny wins the Internauts! 😀

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
9 years ago

Not bad, Johnny. I would replace “die” with “suffer in exquisite agony until the appropriate safe word is uttered.” I’m not sure Ian Fleming would approve, though.

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

@Spear, but “pedestalized” is no listed in dictionary.com! And blog is! I know words and language evolve but… just adding -ize onto the end of every word is a crappy and unimaginative way to do it and I am going to complain about it. *pouts*

NWOslave
NWOslave
9 years ago

Holy shit Pez, that was actually funny.

Plymouth
Plymouth
9 years ago

Ah, yes, sit-coms, that bastion of feminism.

God, I hate sit-coms. Nearly all of them derive at least 75% of their humor from stereotypes that I just don’t find funny.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

Johnny Pez now officially has his own trophy named after him :3 Like the Lester B. Patrick trophy xD It’ll honour the recipient’s outstanding and continued service to spreading humour and snark among MRAs. :3

The Johnny Pez trophy! :3

Also my infectious nature continues xD As this and last nights little imaginative (or Amiginative :3 ) tete a tete proved 😀

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

“Ah, yes, sit-coms, that bastion of feminism.

God, I hate sit-coms. Nearly all of them derive at least 75% of their humor from stereotypes that I just don’t find funny.”

If it affects men, it has to be caused specifically by feminists to be cringe-worthy or worth putting remedy to?

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

She was being sarcastic.

darksidecat
darksidecat
9 years ago

I want to point out that the paternalistic protectivist attitude Schala cites is predicated on women conforming to sexist stereotypes, and on being very privileged on other axis of social oppression. Look at the rape thread-a woman’s eligibility for protectivist crap hinges on her following incredibly brutal and restrictive and often self contradictory gender roles. But, it also only generally applies to white, cis, hetero, able bodied, rich, first world women. I think Soujourner truth put it well in her 1851 response to that kind of notion:

“That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?”

I also dispute this point: “It’s more of a “it’s the only thing they’re good for” (being strong, competitive etc) which also means that if they’re NOT good at that, they suck.” Look at the images we have of intellectuals and other socially powerful people-these are male dominated images. No one really goes on about how Bill Gates sucks because he isn’t good at sports, or about how Obama would be a more valuable president if only he learned how to bowl. While I agree there is more of a social expectation for men to have ability and willingness to do violence, there are plenty of other social activities for which men are given value, and, again, women are disrespected in those areas as well.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

Bill Gates probably was teased for not being good in sports, but once he struck it rich, he was made. Status through money.

Obama’s status through having a unique and extremely influential political position.

But yes, it only works for conventionally not unattractive, generally white, preferably young, cis (or passing as cis), higher than working class, and not prostitute to be protected by many men.

Just like men in power are rare. Comparably speaking, CEOs represent a tiny portion of the population. Governors and even deputies, also.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

And I read somewhere that feminity was aristocracy-like and masculinity was working-class-like.

It might not be a perfect analogy, but it certainly seems to fit certain things. Like how studying and being ‘bookish’ is seen as more feminine, while working manual labor (blue collar) is seen as more masculine.

klopbop
9 years ago

@Ami Angelwings: If I may be a total fanboy for a second here, you are an amazing person. You’ve been through so much, and treated like crap by so many people, but you still have so much love and forgiveness for your fellow person (and angels and cats too, I assume!). You are a role model, seriously, and I admire the openness and sincerity of your heart. Okay, I am done embarrassing myself. At least on that topic.

@Schala: While I agree with you, one of the things that I’d like to point out about Homer Simpson is that he always tries to do the right thing in the end. Yes, he’s not very smart, he’s kind of a terrible parent, but he loves his family, and he is what I would consider to be a fundamentally good person. Most of his flaws can be attributed to the Rule of Funny (it happens because it’s funny, not because it’s good). I agree that there is a formula for sitcoms – dopey husband, snarky wife, smarmy kids. It’s a model that should probably be changed for many reasons.

Gender norms hurt everyone, if they don’t fit into them. Little boys shouldn’t have to hold in their emotions to be good, little girls shouldn’t have to sit quietly and observe. We shouldn’t be virgin-shaming anyone (and I freely admit that this happens, and I do think men get more shit about it than women do), or slut-shaming, either (and I think women get far more of this). It seems that for every gender limitation, there’s an equal and opposite one for the other. Men cannot be emotional, women cannot be logical (as if those things are opposites, which I do not think they are); men must be aggressive, women must be passive,etc. etc. These affect people in different ways, depending on how hard you bump up against the limitations of your gender. I don’t see why we can’t work on breaking down these roles for the good of everyone – if men are encouraged to be more sensitive and caring, they will be more socially accepted in roles of childcare; if women are encouraged to be more spatially-minded and “logical”, they can advance in STEM fields. Not every person wants to do that, of course, and that’s perfectly fine, too.

Amused
Amused
9 years ago

Some of the things on Ozy’s list really need to be looked at in context. For example, the fact that fewer men than women graduate from college is a problem, but exactly what kind of problem? I suspect, for example, that the greater availability to men than to women of highly secure, very well-paid jobs that don’t require a college degree may have something to do with it. Also: Is the difference more or less the same across all fields, or do male graduates still outnumber female ones in fields that lead to lucrative careers? The trend towards the proliferation of Mickey Mouse college degree only serves to muddy the waters; if there are virtually no men with Bachelor’s degrees in Secretarial Arts, while male MBA’s still solidly outnumber women in that field — which gender really has a problem here?

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
9 years ago

^^ Highly secure jobs that don’t require or at least encourage a college degree? Pretty sure those are extremely rare for both men and women.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

I second MRAL. I’m not sure where you can find highly secure “I’m insured consistent work until I retire, with the same employer, doing sensibly the same thing, or better” that don’t require any education…

Cashier, waiter, wrapper, floor-person in a retail store? Or maybe minimum wage in a warehouse or manufacture? Minimum wage with no benefits as a videogame tester (though they do ask for gaming passion – or else you would be bored to death working there)?

Amused
Amused
9 years ago

Schala: Construction jobs, for one. Moreover, you are misstating what I said. Lacking a college degree doesn’t mean you can only work minimum wage jobs. There are jobs that do require a good chunk of vocational training — but not a college degree — that lead to secure and well-paid positions. You know, all those dangerous jobs that MRA’s always bring up.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

Actually, writers, artists, radio hosts, scientists, doctors, even tradespeople, etc etc etc are all things men can do and be praised for it or be seen as worthwhile… it’s hardly CEO/athlete or nothing… as teens, some of the coolest ppl in my school were guys who were writers, or good at video games, or dance, or acting, or good at XYZ in XYZ genre (and yus HS does suck for a lot of ppl, as so many of us rly know from firsthand exp 🙁 but it’s not the rest of life : )… and once you LEAVE school, it’s even more open… there are a LOT of experiences and ppl out there… I’m hardly an expert, but I’ve seen this in working in computers, working in the trades, working in a research lab, sports journalism, and social work where I’m currently at… even if that’s how it seems to some in theory, that’s not how it is in reality… : if you’re saying women are lucky cuz if we’re narrowly pretty (and fit certain other ideals of acting) it’s great and for men it’s nothing or CEO… that’s not true 🙁 As Klopbop points out, we need to get rid of gendered ideas in GENERAL, incl discouraging boys and girls from doing and feeling and acting in certain ways, and “boys will be boys” crap that justifies bullying and violence, and ideas of thinness, beauty, etc in girls, and etc etc, but life is way more complicated than “a girl is (fairly narrowly) pretty, she has the world, a guy has to be a CEO/Athlete or he’s garbage” : (my life would be awesome if it was… but then a lot of guys lives would be awful if it was too 🙁 )

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

First well paying job that does not require a college degree that comes to mind: mechanic.

Second? Politician.

darksidecat
darksidecat
9 years ago

“And I read somewhere that feminity was aristocracy-like and masculinity was working-class-like.
It might not be a perfect analogy, but it certainly seems to fit certain things. Like how studying and being ‘bookish’ is seen as more feminine, while working manual labor (blue collar) is seen as more masculine.”

That’s utter crap. And I say that as someone who grew up very poor and went to an expensive private university on scholarship. Poor women are expected to do labor-low paid, low respect, menial labor-with lower wages on average than then poor men. Work is not seen as masculine, everyone works in poor communities. Anti-intellectualism in poor communties is generally against both genders. While the dynamics of drop outs vary across poor communities (girls drop out more in rural areas, boys drop out more in urban ones), intelligent educated girls and women are still expected to defer intellectually to their male peers and a granted very little respect. The girls who do well and get degrees still only make as much as their male counterparts with high school diplomas (factory and construction jobs pay far more than service and caretaking jobs). Despite the fact that women in poor communities tend to be more educated-they are not given much respect for it.

In upperclass cultures, academics are not seen as un-masculine. And, again, girls and women are expected to defer to men who are equally or less educated than them on intellectual matters. Take a look at discussions of women in math and science, of the percentage of professors who are women. In the upperclass, where education is seen as status building, women tend to be less educated than men and less respected for it even when they are not.

You description of labor, education, and gender roles sounds more like an upperclass romantization of what the poor behave like rather than an actual analysis of the structures of poor communities.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

“That’s utter crap. And I say that as someone who grew up very poor and went to an expensive private university on scholarship. Poor women are expected to do labor-low paid, low respect, menial labor-with lower wages on average than then poor men. ”

I never said poor women weren’t expected to do this. But they’re seen as less feminine for it. And men seen as more masculine for doing manual labor that isn’t sewing. Like lumberjack.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

“The girls who do well and get degrees still only make as much as their male counterparts with high school diplomas (factory and construction jobs pay far more than service and caretaking jobs).”

Factory jobs usually pay minimum wage, with no tips and no union.

I’d have loved a service or caretaking job, when I was younger. But apparently, since I had a penis, I was only good enough to babysit my own younger brothers (I’m the oldest of 4). Nobody else asked for my services.

I knew any professional caretaking job was definitely going to be a very very uphill climb, so it was off the list from the start. And retail politely told me “we only hire women”. So I went in factories, to get fired for not performing enough – because having a penis doesn’t make you magically strong enough to do heavy lifting. I got fired from 3 of those 5 jobs.

Then I went on welfare, and haven’t worked pre-transition after that. I transitioned and have only had one job since. As a videogame tester. Min wage, no benefits. It was majority men working there, but they had no issue with women being there or being hardcore gamers (a sort of requirement for being a tester – you need to “endure” 7-8 hours a day of the same game, possibly for months).

The reasoning for not giving benefits to testers is that there is a lot of demand for the job, since it’s seen as a very easy job where you just play. It’s not that, and there is a high turnover rate – but they’ll never keep their good employees if all they offer them is a fun job with abyssal conditions only someone living with parents could accept.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

Waitressing is considered less feminine? who knew? Being a retail clerk is considered less feminine?

Also, I have worked in retail/restaurant and other types of jobs like that and men had no problem being hired. They just could make more money across the street at the construction site (Arizona.)

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

“Waitressing is considered less feminine? who knew? Being a retail clerk is considered less feminine?”

And being a prostitute is also considered less feminine, who knew?

I’m serious there.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

Actually that is a surprise Schala.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

Falling into “want it all the time territory”, as prostitution is sometimes viewed, makes them equal to men, for many – thus not feminine at all.

This attitude is reflected in victim-blaming attitudes reserved for prostitutes and attitudes towards trans women as always being prostitutes (because they’re “really men” and thus “want it all the time”*).

*Blanchard and Bailey explicitly capitalize on this.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

I literally have never heard that Schala. I do not know any transpeople outside of on here so I have no clue as to why anyone would expect a transgender would want to have sex all the time, any of the time, or none of the time.

I thought they would just be like everyone else-some would have high sex drives, some medium ones and others are asexual or low drives.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

Read articles about trans women being found dead, and immediately assumed to be prostitutes, with their male names used and their transition over-emphasized.

And Blanchard assumes in his research that women can’t have fetishes, it’s “common sense”, so he dismisses all his patients with GID as “really men” since some get aroused while dressed as women. And ‘real women’ never find themselves sexy to the point of arousal you know…

Bailey went in strip clubs and with a sample of 12 trans women, decided that they were “especially suited for prostitution”, based on being assumed to have a liking meaningless sex, “like men do”. And be unable to form meaningful relationships (nothing to do with transphobia, mind you).

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

So you are blaming us for the fact that there are idiots out there? How is that helping anything?

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

I’m not blaming you, I’m saying prostitution is not considered feminine, and backed my argument why.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

Since the first thing that pops into most human’s minds when you say “prostitute” is a woman this is an odd assertion for anyone to make.

The first article I found was very sad but makes no mention of her occupation.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

We seem to have a different definition of what is feminine. Or masculine I suspect.

My brother Pierre looks masculine, not because he was assigned male at birth, but because he has visible facial hair and big muscled arms.

So it’s not evident that “some occupation is mostly done by women, therefore it increases status or perceived worthyness of women who do it”.

The assumption is that men want sex all the time, and women don’t really. So a man who tries to sell sex will not get a big market, unless he’s very very good looking or good in bed. That’s the perception anyways.

And “Johns” are sometimes perceived as losers who can’t woo women, therefore have to buy it, and women filling that niche, to make money.

Personally I think most of that is bull. But perception drives the market it seems.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

Uh yes, but it still does not explain why being a prostitute is considered masculine. I mean it explains why you might think that (I guess.)

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

Wanting sex all the time IS considered masculine, but that’s an attitude, not a person. To the extent that this is applied to prostitution, they will be considered much less feminine, possibly more masculine, than other women.

It’s sort of like “less is more” natural make-up. It’s more feminine the less visible it is. If too visible or too clownesque, you pass for a drag queen, even if you have ovaries. And a drag queen is considered less feminine.

Actually I heard a trans guy using that ploy to pass as male, ingenious if a bit hard to find logic in it.

I also read a transgender fiction story called G11 Mistaken Identity, and the author did consider, in her writing, that girls (all underage in there) who put a more sexy and less gracious facade had less female souls than others. As if it was overcompensation for a lack of a sense of being female. At least that’s how I read it.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

But the vast majority of prostitutes are not doing it for the sex. They are doing it for the money.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

“Chairman’s aggressive pronouncements that transsexual women are really either (i) sex-obsessed gay men who are especially suited for prostitution, or else are (ii) sexually paraphilic men who are obsessed with fetishistic forms of masturbation. ”

From Lynn Conway’s site, speaking of J Michael Bailey, and what he wrote in his 2003 book, The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-bending and Transsexualism.

See the ‘especially suited for prostitution’ is a pronouncement that even if you do it for the money, you don’t MIND the job as much. I worked as a tester for the money, but I liked the job, too. Too bad recession hit them badly.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

Oh and a note to add:

Most journals who are the least bit sensationalist, including Le Journal de Montréal, the highest-selling Montréal daily newspaper – will speak of trans women by saying “transsexuel” in the masculine form. You know, as if trans women were seen as transsexual men. Which is probably the case in many ways, for those newspapers.

Irks me just more than a little, especially since they speak of trans women only once per 3 months, when one is outed to the press for doing something like modeling, sueing the government, or being in a known music group in the province.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

Got the quote

“Gay transsexuals are boy crazy.” p. 178

” – – – her ability to enjoy emotionally meaningless sex appears male-typical. In this sense, homosexual transsexuals might be especially well-suited to prostitution.” p. 185

darksidecat
darksidecat
9 years ago

“Factory jobs usually pay minimum wage, with no tips and no union.” Not true. Even the lower end of the scale is slightly higher than minimum wage

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Assembly_Line_Worker,_Factory/Hourly_Rate
http://www.indeed.com/salary/Factory-Worker.html
http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/factory-worker-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm
http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/search/q-factory+worker

The federal minimum wage is over a dollar an hour less than even the low end range of those figures

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/wages/minimumwage.htm

Also, caretaking wages for childcare workers counts as an exempt category in many circumstances. The state pays about $3 and hour for private childcare workers (where the parents are income eligible). Not to mention the huge amounts of caretaking work that is flat out unpaid.

Look, it is a crap job market and no low income worker has it made. Yes, things like disability or trans status make it even harder. But the fact is that one average, wages for male dominated jobs in lower income communities are higher, and men have more average net worth within these communities. It doesn’t mean that poor men don’t still get the shit piled on them as poor people, but it does alter the motivations for spending money and time to get a degree. Yes, these are generalizations and there are factors that complicate these issues. For example, a young man who went to my highschool, a C student, was in a severe car crash that made him physically unfit for any sort of factory or construction labor. Immediately, the expectations from teachers and from community members took a 180. He was no longer expected to get a diploma and go to the factory, he was constantly pushed to go to college. They didn’t suddenly start thinking his tattooed self was feminine, what they started thinking was that an education was an absolutely necessity because he would not be able to work “a man’s job”.

On another note, it baffles me that you do not think transphobia is involved in the prostitution study you mention, as the “researcher” presumes trans women are gay men and that they are more like gay men than like women. The stereotypes of gay men as inherantly more woman-like are slipping in here, as are assumptions about gay men as sex workers. The homophobic assumption of gay male promiscuity also plays a role, as does the notion of gay male prostitution. The clients here are presumed to be gay men, not hetero men (as one would expect if one acknowledged trans women as women sex workers), or hetero women (as one might expect if one acknowledged that a homosexual transsexual woman is a lesbian). The transphobic assumption of trans woman as man does not posit her as a hetero man, it posits her as a gay man, and that assumption is loud and clear in those quotes. Honestly, are you reading that as a suggestion that lesbian trans women will have great success with hetero (or queer) women clients? Because that is absolutely not the impression it gives me. Face it, the stereotype of men who are sex workers is that they are all gay, with male clients. Look at the discussion of the first legal male prostitute in Nevada, his sexuality (he is hetero) comes up nearly every single time. The reason that men as prostitutes are given less flack for adopting a female profession is not so much about stereotypes about men’s sex drive as it is about them being perceived as gay-and gay men are often seen as “fit” for many feminine stereotyped professions (gay man as hairdresser, dress maker, nurse, etc.). Transphobia that posits trans women as men often then throws a big dose of homophobia at them as well.

darksidecat
darksidecat
9 years ago

David, I have a long, link heavy comment in moderation-just a heads up.

Kave
Kave
9 years ago

We have this thing with our kids, once you are 15 you work at a job at least 15 hours a week and take care of your personal needs (clothing etc). Three out of four have worked at the same Burger King and they all enjoyed it.

Our youngest, a sixteen year old boy last month made 2500 in commissions through a sales job that I was very against him taking. If Burger King was good enough for you brother and sister as their first job….

Even today if you have a gift for gab and social skills you can make good money.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

“Schala, where are those quotes from? J. Michael BAiley?”

From his 2003 book about bashing gay men and trans women.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

“On another note, it baffles me that you do not think transphobia is involved in the prostitution study you mention, as the “researcher” presumes trans women are gay men and that they are more like gay men than like women.”

It’s not a study really, unless going into Chicago gay bars and speaking to trans women who work there as strippers is a study.

He presumes that maleness is something that can never be lost, amazingly aligning with radfems. He presumes that maleness predisposes to an attitude that meaningless sex is good.

“The stereotypes of gay men as inherantly more woman-like are slipping in here, as are assumptions about gay men as sex workers. The homophobic assumption of gay male promiscuity also plays a role, as does the notion of gay male prostitution. The clients here are presumed to be gay men, not hetero men (as one would expect if one acknowledged trans women as women sex workers), or hetero women (as one might expect if one acknowledged that a homosexual transsexual woman is a lesbian).”

Gay men as inherently NOT woman like, you mean. He makes a clear distinction, which is the old “women don’t like sex for it’s sake, but men do” and makes it into “if you like sex for its sake, then you must be a man”.

He does make a link to the gay male promiscuity assumption, except he assumes ALL men would do that, if only heterosexual women didn’t block heterosexual men from having sex every waking hour with gatekeeping.

The clients are not presumed to be gay men – he was a client, he strongly identifies as straight, and is married. He described one of the trans women in details that could rival erotica literature, obviously attracted to her, though he denies it a paragraph later.

By the way, this was a gay bar, so I’m not sure who goes there, besides gay men and trans women. And transphobic researchers. I’ve hardly gone in bars before.

“The transphobic assumption of trans woman as man does not posit her as a hetero man, it posits her as a gay man, and that assumption is loud and clear in those quotes.”

Yes, he posits her as really essentially a man, because it fits his ideology, yet he is still attracted, as a straight man. He wants to deny trans women an essential quality that only comes with being born with a vagina, that isn’t oppression (he’s not feminist, so he probably cares only marginally about that), but something about her inherent purity – that a male doesn’t have, comes tainted.

Add on this: http://www.princeton.edu/prok/issues/2-2/pink_frilly.xml

And you have the conservative reasons for transphobia: It hurts their own self-identification’s basis. Their own basis for finding worth in their sex. “Because its immutable, fixed, and certain (after this period of questioning it when 3-4)”

I’d say male prostitutes are perceived as gay because it is widely assumed that women don’t generally NEED prostitution to have sex. I can’t know if it’s true or not, but it’s widely perceived that women can get sex easily if they wanted, and that they want it less than men generally – which is probably faulty reasoning. Having more narrow standards doesn’t mean wanting it less.

Schala
Schala
9 years ago

Yes Bailey is an asshole, that’s pretty clear for most people who he researches, but apparently not the people that pay him or trust his bullshit views. He did make it ‘popular’ to say “Gay, straight, or lying” and denying bisexuality even exists in men.

My point was that people sometimes do think like he does, that prostitution = liking sex. Heck prostitutes might think that themselves genuinely, and that’s fine. The problem is when we associate “liking sex for it’s own sake = maleness”, and then “maleness = less feminity” or maleness and wanting it all the time = can’t be raped, you can only have thievery committed against you, or something.

It’s not that I agree with the attitude, but that it exists. Or maybe you have your own theory of why the general contempt, even by half of feminism, for sex workers.

darksidecat
darksidecat
9 years ago

@Schala, I would say that anti-sex worker feminists (different in scope than anti-trafficking feminists, because those are distinct issues, I am using sex worker here to refer to consenting adult workers) are anti-sex worker in a more paternalistic way. An anti-sex worker rad fem does not place the sex worker as the villain, but rather as the victim. The sex worker is viewed as being a slave (sometimes this is literally the term used). Look at these fairly recent statements by Catherine MacKinnon (not a fan personally, but she is a fairly big name in the rad fem circles) http://www.apneaap.org/news/media/pressreleases/oldpressreleases/prostitution-sexual-exploitation-not-work-catharine-mackin
It is a formulation that works fairly well in dealing with sex trafficking, particularly with child sex trafficking, but not with sex work. On the flip side, you have some third wavers who go overboard in the opposite direction-seeking to support sex workers so much that they ignore issues of trafficking and complicated economic and social realities around certain populations ability to find other gainful employment. Still, I think that saying rad fems hate sex workers is an oversimplification-they tend to oppose criminilization of sex workers and support very harsh penalties for clients, they tend to support access to therapy, shelters, etc. Yes, when dealing with consenting sex workers rather than trafficking victims, this can involve paternalism and denial of agency, which is a problem, but it is not really accurate to say that anti-sex work feminists view sex workers as deserving of contempt.

As to trans women in gay bars, that really doesn’t happen, at least not if you are defining gay bar in the narrow sense (sometimes “gay bar” refers to all LGBT bars, sometimes it refers to only gay men’s bars). Gay bars, dyke bars, trans bars, queer bars-in some rural areas these may all be the same building, but in urban spaces that is often not the case. Trans women are rare in gay specific bars, and relationships between gay men and trans women are not overly common in western countries. I would presume that an establishment that routinely has trans women strippers is likely not a gay bar, but rather a trans or queer bar. While I am not very surprised that a homophobic transphobic researcher fails to point out the complexities of LGBT/queer spaces, but I suspect he probably knows the difference between a space where trans women go to meet cis men and a place where queer men go to meet queer men. My suspicion would be that this is not a gay bar at all, or even a mixed space queer bar, but rather a trans specific space that doesn’t much involve gay men at all.

It is difficult for me to speak as to this specific writer’s brand of gender theory, but I think I am getting a good idea of what type he is. Purity, intense sexual desire, etc. are not masculine per se in this view, but rather they are not the realm of “good girls”. The virgin-whore dicotomy is invoked in an intensely literal way. Trans women and gay men therefore are seen as making “good” whores because they are bad girls by default. It is not that promiscuity is the sole realm of the masculine, it is that feminine promiscuity is seen as at once powerful and threatening and distinct in character from masculine promiscuity. As odd as that idea may seem, I think it is one borne out historically as well:

“Only during the enlightenment does the image of the syphilitic shift from male to female, and with this shift comes anohter: from victim to source of infection. Already in the high Middle Ages, woman was shown as both seductive and physically corrupt….Female beauty only serves as a mask for corruption and death…” (from Sander L. Gilman’s excellent piece “The Iconography of Disease” 1988).

The “fallen” woman, the “filthy slut”, the “ruined woman”, to be “despoiled”, “pure virgin”, “sexual purity”-sexuality outside of restrictive traditional hetero marriage is seen as dirtying and corrupt only for feminine sexualities, not masculine ones. It is because gay men and trans women’s sexualities are seen as not masculine that their promiscuity is seen as dirtying them, as “turning them into whores”.

Damn, that is one long essay….sorry for that.