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

NEW-ERA-HULK-ANGRY-SNAPBACK-ANGLE
Or any other time, either, I’m guessing,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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beegee
beegee
6 years ago

Thank you very much for all the support. Hugs right back at all of you. I would absolutely appreciate any advice.

I think part of my problem with people supporting me is that I don’t have a job. This part isn’t really his fault. I had a full time job when my oldest was a baby but bf’s schedule and mine clashed, and since we worked shift work it was impossible to find good childcare. I was forced to call out of work constantly. He was furious if I asked him to call out, as his job was downsizing, and was afraid of being laid off. Since I was pumping to breastfeed, and failing at it, and was going to be fired anyway because I was always calling out of work, I decided, with his support, that I should quit. And then the economy crashed, and it was pretty much impossible to find part time work around his hours. It’s still really difficult because those types of jobs are getting enough applicants that they tell me they only want people who can work whatever hours. And then the bf, and my mother, and others, tell me that if I work during his hours that it doesn’t make financial sense because he can make more with overtime than I can all week. So I haven’t had a good work history over the past several years, but its not because I haven’t wanted to work! I think people act as if he earns the money, that he should control all the money, and that if I want any say that I should fin d this mythical job that doesn’t interfere with his job at all and that I’m lazy and deserve it if I don’t.

Mostly I realize that I’ve been making many of my decisions based on “we” when he’s been making many of his decisions based on “me”. He’s a good man in many ways, but he just seems to have this basic distrust of women. So no more “we”, I’m downregulating him to a roommate that I happen to have kids with. I’m not going to purposely be a jerk, but I’m focusing on me and my kids now.

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

How did we get talking about anti-semetism anyway?

You brought it up; you tell us.

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

@beegee

Him saying he doesn’t want to marry you because if you get divorced you’ll take all his money is a crock. Here in Australia being de facto (as you definitely would be after having lived with him for years) gives you the same status regarding finances as being married. So don’t let him fool you that everything belongs to him. He seems to think it does, but he is selfish and wrong. Hopefully, the law is not too different where you are. Obviously you should check into it – don’t just assume you’d walk away with nothing/little.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

MEZ: being a tiresome pain in the ass isn’t a bannable offense, but admitting to trolling usually is.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Kate,
No. Just…no. You displaying authentic emotion is not rejecting his gift of your happiness. That’s like saying that if I don’t laugh at jokes I don’t think are funny, I’m rejecting his gift of laughter. I think you are saying that if you are sad, you are rejecting him or slighting him in some way*. He wants you to be genuinely happy? That’s cool. We all want the people we care about to be happy and healthy for their own sake. We often do things just to see them smile. That’s great.

That is different from requiring someone to smile for your personal pleasure. While it is important to find your relationship mutually gratifying, that does not mean that your partner was put on this Earth to amuse, please or entertain you. If you are sad, frustrated or angry, that’s not always just a “mood”. That’s a human emotion. Maintaining a jovial affect is not the same as being happy.

Consider what you are telling women with depression when you tell them it is their job to be happy. It’s pretty cruel.

No, you don’t want to be crabby all the time. Yes, you want to keep your crabbiness from catching and making the whole house feel prickly. Maybe that’s all you mean. I may be misunderstanding. There is nothing wrong with trying to cheer eachother and keep eachother’s spirits up. However, sometimes when we love eachother we allow eachother space to be human in, whether that pleases us or not.

You said specifically that it is a “woman’s job” to be happy in order to make everyone else happy. So you think his anger or sadness is fine, but not feeling certain emotions is your “job”? I get that you like the idea of you as the Angel of the Hearth and if that role makes you happy, it’s none of my business. Just don’t tell all women they have to dig it too.

Me personally? I like the retro cocktail hour / happy housewife vibe. But I like it because I find it fun, not because it’s my job.

I also notice you said he was “respectful”. I’m not sure that is the same as “He respects me”. I’m dubious just because of the “It’s a woman’s job to be happy” thing. Why isn’t that his “job” too? How do you think that works in gay and lesbian relationships?

I’ve had women tell me how happy they are in the kind of relationship you’re in. One friend told me for years how awesome it was, then ended up fleeing her husband with police protection and hiding at my house because it turned out that she had been miserable and emotionally abused with the threat of physical abuse hanging over her for years. She had been isolated, denied medical treatment and confided that it had been 10 years since she last felt love for her husband. So now, I’m incredulous when women tell me that they are happy to be the Stedford wife of an MRA type.

Maybe you are happy. If so, I hope you two are together forever and that every year brings you more satisfaction and joy. I don’t want to tell you that your relationship needs to be the way I think is best. That would be ridiculous. If you aren’t happy though, I hope you don’t wait as long as my friend did to get out.

*Ew ew ew…that just reminded me of the girlfriend-bot from Buffy “Crying is emotional manipulation”.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Oh ffs

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

If somebody is a bigot he or she will always be able to look for and find some excuse to justify the hate. All it takes is one feminist getting strident about something for a misogynist to find his excuse to hate feminists. One guy I encountered on another site said he hated feminism because his college classmate who was a feminist got mad at someone for holding the door for her. That’s all it took. One obnoxious teenager discredited the entire movement in his mind.

There’s no amount of perfect we can be that will appease the misogynists into liking us. That’s why your argument is ridiculous. That’s why you are in fact blaming the oppressed for their own oppression.

The reason the MRM has gained steam in the past decade is not that feminists have suddenly become awful. It’s because social media has given misogynists a place to gather and express their hatred anonymously.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

*Ew ew ew…that just reminded me of the girlfriend-bot from Buffy “Crying is emotional manipulation”.

If Buffy was airing today, you just know Warren would be men’s rights redditor.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@cassandra

I met one (a dude, of course) who splained that I wasn’t allowed to call myself a feminist if I wasn’t willing to do sex work. And that was the last time we met up for coffee.

christ, what an asshole.

@Bluecat

He’s a violent bully (I still remember the taste of blood in my mouth when he punched me in the throat),

Oh fuck ow. INternet hugs, if you want them. Your brother sounds terrible.

@MEZ

::sigh::

Okay,

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

You’re missing the huge point about IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER YOU’RE LENDING CREDIBILITY TO YOUR OPPRESSORS BECAUSE THEY STILL SHOULDN’T BE OPPRESSING YOU! FFS.

I was talking about the Germans, not anyone else.

Yeah. That whole country, full of people. You didn’t explain what you meant by ‘did we assume all Germans were bad people’ so I made an assumption. If you don’t want people to do that, try clarifying your shit. It’s not that hard.

The point was, hate groups take advantage of vulnerable people who are afraid. If you guys want to believe that everyone that gets manipulated into these situations is “a terrible person”, well that’s on you.

And I don’t give a rat’s ass if they’re afraid. If you’re joining a hate group willingly, you’re still a horrible person.

Did I specify that I was only talking about the West? Maybe I did….

Yeah, silly me, assuming you weren’t excluding half the world…

Small mistake of wanting some sort of explanation = screeching mob = I don’t care about your feelings, I’m not your mommy = bullies.

Kiddo, you’re mistakes are far from small. I’ve fucked up here, and I’m sure plenty of other people have, but we don’t all double down and keep blaming marginalized people for hate groups, so we tend not to get yelled at as much. FFS.

Also, you are so convinced the whole ‘I’m not your mommy’ thing is bullying. It’s kind of pitiful, really.

@Kate

nd if I am in a bad mood for something external to the relationship, its being a very bad gift recipient, at the very least.

Um, no, because people are allowed to have feelings outside their relationship? They’re human beings with more than one dimension. I mean, I don’t want to tell you you should be doing something you don’t want for your relationship, but I hope you get why other people may not want to follow your example.

@weirdwoodtreehugger

If somebody is a bigot he or she will always be able to look for and find some excuse to justify the hate

BAM. Yes. There are some people you can never be gentle enough to, when asking them not to be hateful.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

weirwoodtreehugger,

Actual lines from the show:
Katrina: “How could you say you loved me, and do that to me?”
Warren: “Because you deserved it, b*tch!”

I will now imagine every internet misogynist as a skinless undead guy at a keyboard.

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

There are some people you can never be gentle enough to, when asking them not to be hateful.

The standard word for that is abusers.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Although I’m an asshole for giving up and trolling them yesterday, you can’t just hand-wave away people getting caught in the “cross-fire”.

Hey, at least you’re finally being honest. There’s no “caught in the crossfire” involved with your behavior though – every time you’ve been called out it’s because you were saying awful things, or because you were giving someone dangerous advice that could harm them. You can try to cover that up with as much righteous indignation and manipulative bullshit as you like, but as you can see from the responses so far, a lot of people aren’t buying it.

@beegee

It sounds like you’re on the right track. Men using money, plus the societal assumptions that go along with being the breadwinner, to control women is so common that it’s not that surprising that a lot of the people around you might not even realize how shitty he’s being. He is being shitty, though, and it really does sound like he’s been doing his best to make sure that you stay un/underemployed so that he’ll be able to stay in control. Whether it comes from paranoia about women’s supposed evil natures or insecurity or whatever doesn’t really matter – if it’s making you miserable and you want out, you have a right to get out. Do what’s best for you and your kids, and if some people don’t like it, too bad for them.

I’ve seen lots of women end up in the situation you’re in right now who’ve had the same revelation about what the pattern in their life is and how unhappy they are with that pattern, and getting out of that situation is hard as hell, but you can do it.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

beegee: Adding my hugs and good wishes to the others. Your bf is an asshole. He’s making it so you can’t work, but is also completely controlling the income. It sounds like he’s trying to keep you and the children totally dependent on him. Yes, definitely do what’s best for you and your kids. You’re not lazy and you don’t deserve this.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

@contrapangloss

He has advocated for old men being willing to tell young men when they are being idiots.

He’s said men need to form real friendships and be willing to be emotionally vulnerable with other men, instead of confiding in women (because they are less threatening, or seem like comforters) and then getting angry when the women don’t solve their problems.

He thinks that the most dangerous thing for young, angry men is when they only get behavioral feedback from other young, angry men. He thinks being a male mentor, and a positive role model, is the most important thing he can do for young men today.

This reminds me of what I read in Susan Faludi’s ‘Stiffed’. She’s comparing/contrasting 2 different companies who closed, one a shipyard and one a more corporate place. The shipyard had a system of mentorship; new employees were paired with an older employee and they had a father/son relationship. The corporation was not like this. Anyway (I am destroying this story, sorry) when the shipyard closed, the men cried together, worked together to close things down, took real pride in what they’d done there even though they were upset and angry. The corporation… the men who were laid off, mostly middle management, were also angry but got no support from within the company, and many started blaming the usual suspects for their situation (women, immigrants, etc).

Mentors, real genuine friendships – makes a big difference.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

MEZ:

FFS.

No. There is no way that for an oppressed group to act that will “lend credibility” to the oppressors. There was no way that the Jews in 1930’s-1940’s Germany could have acted that would have prevented – lent less credibility – to the Nazis. There’s no way for POC to act that would lend less credibility to the KKK and racists. And there is no way for feminists and women to act that would lend less credibility to misogynist. Because that’s not how hatred and prejudice work. It’s irrational. And if a person is going to hate a whole group of people and blame them for their personal failings, then, yes, that is a personal moral failing on the part of that person, and that person is responsible for that. If a person is so filled with hatred that they join a hate group, then that is a moral failing on the part of that person, and they are responsible for their actions.

What weirwoodtreehugger and Marie said.

And this argument? That the oppressed somehow “lend credibility” to their oppressors? It’s bullshit. It’s pointless, and it’s wrong. It takes focus off of the personal responsibility and agency of the oppressors and places it on the oppressed group. It’s not the oppressed group that needs to change, it’s the oppressors.

Are we talking about circumcision or not?

We’re not, and we weren’t until you brought it up.

And that’s kind of the point. You came in here saying that feminists are driving men to the MRM because they’re – what – not concerned with, not sensitive enough to men’s issues? That feminists get really fucking annoyed when men come into feminists spaces and derail the discussion with “what about the men?” Just like you did here.

Small mistake of wanting some sort of explanation = screeching mob = I don’t care about your feelings, I’m not your mommy = bullies.

Well, that’s a neat trick there. People getting annoyed at having to answer the same questions, provide the same explanations, over and over and over again is bullying. (And, you know, I’ve never seen people “mob” someone who asks a genuine question). And expecting members of the oppressed group to provide patient and gentle explanation on demand of any member of the dominant group – who could also, I don’t know, Google shit, it is the Information Age, after all – is bullshit. It’s expecting the oppressed group to be deferential to the dominant group. It’s valuing the time and the feelings of the dominant group over the oppressed group.

Glad I was entertaining for you guys

You’re not. You’re tiresome.

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
6 years ago

Pecunium wrote:

I am male. I am circumcised. I don’t remember it. I so don’t remember it that when I first encountered the idea I misunderstood it (having not known anyone who wasn’t circumcised), and was convinced I wasn’t, because no one had cut the end of my dick off.

(TMI)

For a long time in my teens and early 20’s I couldn’t understand why circumcision was invented in the first place, since there seemed to be very little skin to cut off. It seemed like a weird creepy ritual that nevertheless made no real difference on how your penis looks or works. Naturally, I didn’t expect to be circumcised, because it’s “not done” in my culture (other than in few cases of phimosis, but nobody ever talks about that), and surely, there would be some visible scar tissue?

Gradually, it became more and more evident that my foreskin was not of “normal” length. I started wondering about that, and eventually had to ask confirmation from my mother. Now, we’re somewhat open on body issues, but the prospect of circumcision seemed shockingly alien to her. I concluded that I must just have naturally very short foreskin.

What was the point of this story? Maybe it irks me when intactivists tout long foreskin as universal natural male condition. I still think ritual circumcision is wrong, mind you.

Also, I’m God’s True Chosen People.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

@Kate

Tracy: I look at it like this. If someone is doing their best to make our relationship a happy one, its a real gift. And if I am in a bad mood for something external to the relationship, its being a very bad gift recipient, at the very least. I need to be cognizant that I am rejecting someone else’s gift to me when I do not appreciate their efforts to make me happy.

This confuses me. Busband and I have been together for 17 years, loooooong time. He’s my best friend. I’m his. We’re a team, partners. He needs me, I’ve got his back and vice versa. So – if one of us is in a bad mood due to something external, like a crap day at work for instance, the other a) doesn’t take it personally and b) genuinely wants to hear about it and soothe, or just be there as support, or whatever the other person needs.

To me, it sounds like you’re saying that being in a bad mood is somehow rejecting your husband’s efforts to make you happy and I can’t quite wrap my head around that. I mean, part of the ‘gift’ I give to Busband (and he gives to me) is emotional support. When he’s unhappy about something in his life, I’m there to help and/or support him in whatever way he needs. To empathize, you know?

The greatest gift in our relationship (for me, anyway) is that he is someone I can be my genuine, weird, bungled self with and he loves me no matter what. I think people can and should structure their relationships in whatever way suits them, but I’m interpreting what you’ve said as sort of the opposite and it doesn’t sound all that healthy to manage your emotions according to someone else’s wishes so as not to make them feel uncomfortable or ‘rejected’. If I’m off base here, let me know but can you see where I’m coming from?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

It seems like a lot of intactivists have hit upon circumcision as the one thing that must have caused all their problems, and therefore they believe that if it hadn’t happened those problems would go away. Thing is, a lot of the things they cite as being related problems seem not very related? Or at all related? Like, erectile dysfunction occurs both in men who’re uncut and men who’re cut, so clearly if you have ED circumcision can’t automatically be assumed to be the cause. Ditto a terrible sex life in general, self esteem issues, and so on. I’ve also noticed that a lot of them blame their mothers, which again seems odd because what about the fathers, and why are we supposed to assume they had no say?

I think you can oppose circumcision as the default within a given culture without buying into intactivism as a movement, because it seems to have a lot of the same angry-unhappy-men-looking-for-the-one-thing-to-blame dynamic that the MRM does.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

If somebody is a bigot he or she will always be able to look for and find some excuse to justify the hate. All it takes is one feminist getting strident about something for a misogynist to find his excuse to hate feminists.

Right? I mean, just in the last week, we had “women oppress men by being sexy” and “women oppress men by not being sexy” posted here. People don’t become misogynists because a woman or women or feminists are mean to them; they simply use those things to justify their preexisting misogyny. See, for example, RandomPester and his “one of you misquoted me therefore all feminists are delusional” rant.

The reason the MRM has gained steam in the past decade is not that feminists have suddenly become awful. It’s because social media has given misogynists a place to gather and express their hatred anonymously.

But also, feminists have been accused of being awful all along. There are anti-suffrage posters that use the exact same caricature of a castrating, man-hating woman we’re still accused of being. Men have been claiming to be mistreated by the very existence of feminism since before the word existed.

Look, Mez, I actually agree with you that sometimes people get dogpiled here and sometimes it seems excessive, but I don’t buy that that makes us responsible for the MRM. Just no.

Actual lines from the show:
Katrina: “How could you say you loved me, and do that to me?”
Warren: “Because you deserved it, b*tch!”

The thing she “deserved”, in this case, was being accidentally murdered to prevent her from escaping when they tried to rape her (which Warren initiated because she broke up with him). Just thought I’d throw that context out there, because IMO it just amplifies the comparison to MRAs.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Speaking of skinless dudes that would be Men’s Rights Reditors…..

http://www.themonstercompany.co.uk/shopimages/products/normal/MMH0284-Hellraiser-W.jpg

Warren and Uncle Frank would have totally gotten along….right up until Frank needed a snack.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I wanna see him put his hand on the box.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Creepy dude/possibly Satan: What’s your pleasure, Sir?

Redditor Frank: My pleasure? Oh, it’s writing about how awful women are on Reddit and trying to put some sweet PUA moves on my niece.

Creepy dude/possibly Satan: Oh yeah, this box is definitely for you.

Skye
Skye
6 years ago

Nthing Tracy’s 11:42 comment.

I was miserable for a ling time after my father died. While I know it hurt my husband to see me in such pain, he never took it as an affront to him. Why should he? He would have been hurt more if I had pretended everything was fine only to keen while alone. In my experience, problems don’t go away because they are ignored, neither do feelings.

Skye
Skye
6 years ago

Beegee, also offering support & hugs to you.

I agree with the other poster about checking to find out what finances you may be entitled to. ‘Common law’ marriages exist in many places as far as division of property goes. You may want to ask for help at a domestic violence center. Financial abuse is abuse and they could probably help (especially with explaining laws in your area/pointing you to someone who can).

freemage
freemage
6 years ago

On FGM/CMIC (Cosmetic Male Infant Circumcision) comparisons: There aren’t any. Even in the ones that MEZ wants us to believe aren’t as bad, such as “just the clitoral hood” being removed.

Start with this investigation: How many women who have not suffered FGM ~require~ clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm? I’ve read just enough of the literature to know it’s significantly higher than zero.

Now, how many non-circumcised men ~require~ direct stimulation of the foreskin to achieve orgasm? As an uncut fellow, I can, in fact, assert that this generally is not a problem. I’ve spent a good many years figuring out different approaches to orgasm, and there’s a host that require no stimulation of the foreskin or the head; I’ve never heard of research indicating that this is a common issue, either.

So, we have two bits being removed sans consent. This is bad. However, one of those bits has a mandatory role in a significant portion of the population’s sexual health; the other seems, at most, to be an adjunct to sexual pleasure. Comparing the two is completely borked, even before we get into percentages. About the only place where CMIC comes in ahead of FGM as a problem is in that it affects a greater percentage of Americans, specifically. But it affects them far, far less.

If you really want to make a comparison between CMIC and something that targets women and has been discussed by feminists, there is, in fact, a valid comparison–douching. Both are unnecessary for the vast majority of the population; in a miniscule portion of the population, there are medical reasons for both, but blanket performance of the procedure over the entire population produces other side-effects in a marginally greater segment of the population than those who are helped by it. (That is, the side-effects of universal douching or CMIC are more common than the conditions that are alleviated by either of these, at least in the West; in Third-world living conditions, where hygiene and condom use are less commonplace, CMIC has a greater positive impact.)

While CMIC is involuntary, while douching is a ‘voluntary’ cultural artifact, it’s undeniable that cultural forces play a far greater role in women’s lives, due to the patriarchal culture we live in–to an extent, it’s sometimes difficult to pin down how much agency women, especially young women, are able to exert without feeling like they’re violating the norm. There aren’t regular commercials urging parents to get their little boy circumcised–but there’s a steady barrage telling young women that there’s something innately wrong with the baseline state of their bodies, and that sticking scents and chemicals up there that mess up the bacterial balance is somehow a good thing.

TL;DR: CMIC is wrong like near-universal douching is wrong; FGM is wrong like… fuck it, there’s very little that can be compared directly to FGM, so it’s JUST PLAIN WRONG.

Kate
6 years ago

@ Lea: Yeah, I think sometimes as skilled as we can be at writing, its an inferior form of communication and meanings do get lost no matter how clearly we try to explain. I’m sorry to hear about your friend. That is not a good position to be in at all. My ex-husband is an alcoholic, and I understand some of that placating behavior that occurs. It is not a healthy way to live at all.

@kitt and Tracy: No, the other person shouldn’t take it personally. That’s not what I’m saying. Seventeen years? That’s wonderful!

Well, thanks for letting me join in the conversation. I have to go, but happy weekend and happy early Mother’s Day to the moms 🙂

MEZ
MEZ
6 years ago

TL;DR: CMIC is wrong like near-universal douching is wrong; FGM is wrong like… fuck it, there’s very little that can be compared directly to FGM, so it’s JUST PLAIN WRONG.

Are…you serious? Tell me you’re trolling tell me you’re trolling TELL ME YOU’RE TROLLING.

Quick anatomy lesson;

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

b. And here’s a less meaningful anatomy lesson since you seem to be mistaken; they never remove the whole clitoris. The clitoris is huge and extends deep inside the body of the woman. Not that this changes anything, as I’ve never thought that chopping off the entire head to my clitoris without anesthesia would be anything but bad and do anything but bad things to my sex life, but the more you know.

in Third-world living conditions, where hygiene and condom use are less commonplace

Yes, 3rd world men can’t be expected to wash under their foreskins before sex. Trufax.

…(The male foreskin)… seems, at most, to be an adjunct to sexual pleasure.

The foreskin’s “job” is to protect the sensitive skin of the rest of the penis from getting calloused by constant rubbing and bumping. While removing the foreskin can temporarily increase the sensitivity of the penis (which isn’t of much benefits to infants), over decades this lack of protection can have a deadening effect even if it doesn’t lead to complete sexual dysfunction. But I will explain this more later! With statistics!

Is MGM as sexually damaging as female circumcision? Obviously not the more extreme forms. But I’ve been thinking about what some of the women here have said, and I’m prepared to admit that I’m wrong about the amount of sexual damage done by the less extreme forms as well, not that I ever thought it was good for sex. It’s something that I’ll do more reading on.

If you really want to make a comparison between CMIC and something that targets women and has been discussed by feminists, there is, in fact, a valid comparison–douching.

Holy shit, what’s in this douche that it permanently amputates part of my genitals? Granted I’ve never douched because I know it’s bad for my PH, but damn, I just always thought it was only saline solution and fragrance.

There aren’t regular commercials urging parents to get their little boy circumcised–but there’s a steady barrage telling young women that there’s something innately wrong with the baseline state of their bodies, and that sticking scents and chemicals up there that mess up the bacterial balance is somehow a good thing.

Well, I’ve never personally seen a commercial for douche, EVER, but that’s besides the point. Despite every major medical group saying that routine circumcision is not medically necessary, some doctors and society at large sell circumcision to parents. Why not; circumcision is a multimillion dollar industry. Which is more convincing…. a tv ad with a clear angle or your entire culture?

The rest will go under a trigger warning, for a brief surgery description.

[graphic description of tying down commenter here and circumcizing him removed by DF]

In return, you can give me a douche without anesthesia. Sound good?

MEZ
MEZ
6 years ago

That was longer than I thought. I will get those statistics-tomorrow. I don’t have to drive an hour to get behind a paywall to engage in an argument I’m feeling is meaningless this time. Also, I cut this out, maybe I should have left it in. I thought it would prompt “cool story bro” responses. It’s not important, but maybe it’ll explain my POV on this a little bit.

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

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

So now we’re responsible for random arguments you had with other feminists in the past? Damn, I knew you had a talent for holding grudges, but who knew they were transferable?

katz
6 years ago

…How did douching get into this?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I think we’ve become the official outlet for every issue that MEZ has ever had with any feminist anywhere. Kind of makes sense why she gets so pissy when people say “I’m not your mom” now, huh?

MEZ
MEZ
6 years ago

I am sorry about the derail.

I thought it was a good example of what was being discussed in the thread before me- why some men feel more comfortable in the MRM. All I can see in intactivism is MRA-types, and it drives me fucking nuts. Now that I’ve come down off my obstinate asshole high I feel bad for trolling yesterday as well.

katz
6 years ago

I am sorry about the derail.

And that’s why you’ve been going at it for two days.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

Gah, I see MEZ is back, and as tiresome as ever.

b. And here’s a less meaningful anatomy lesson since you seem to be mistaken; they never remove the whole clitoris. The clitoris is huge and extends deep inside the body of the woman. Not that this changes anything, as I’ve never thought that chopping off the entire head to my clitoris without anesthesia would be anything but bad and do anything but bad things to my sex life, but the more you know.

Stop being intentionally obtuse. It’s been pointed out that removing only the hood isn’t done often, and removing some of the clitoris is usually done. The clitoris extends deep inside the body, but I imagine that doesn’t matter because good god, I can’t reach most of my clitoris. massive TMI coming on, but I tend to only use the outer part I can reach when masturbating, and if it was removed, it’d be a fuck a lot harder to masturbate.

Also, please read Pencunium’s post, since he a) adressed your points and b) is a better person to respond to them, seeing as how he mentioned he had been circumcised.

some doctors and society at large sell circumcision to parents. Why not; circumcision is a multimillion dollar industry. Which is more convincing…. a tv ad with a clear angle or your entire culture?

Yeah, cuz vagina’s being nasty and icky (and needing to be douched) hasn’t been ingrained in our culture at all. *eye roll*

h, so you’re not circumcised? I’ll tell you what. I’ll tie you down so that you can’t move, and flip a coin over whether you’ll get adequate pain control or if I’ll decide that it’s too risky and you’re too young.

Cute how you totally ignore the person who was circumcised responding.

And good god, stop responding to people like you want to do violent things to them (that description, directed at someone, wtf). Can you try not to be a terrible human being for once.

That was longer than I thought. I will get those statistics-tomorrow

Better idea, tomorrow just don’t come here, and leave us all alone.

MEZ
MEZ
6 years ago

@katz

…How did douching get into this?

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

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@MEZ

I thought it was a good example of what was being discussed in the thread before me- why some men feel more comfortable in the MRM. All I can see in intactivism is MRA-types, and it drives me fucking nuts. Now that I’ve come down off my obstinate asshole high I feel bad for trolling yesterday as well.

So… you’ll be leaving? Please say yes.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

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

Are we supposed to care?

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

And good god, stop responding to people like you want to do violent things to them (that description, directed at someone, wtf). Can you try not to be a terrible human being for once.

Seconded.

katz
6 years ago

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

This is you off it?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

And good god, stop responding to people like you want to do violent things to them (that description, directed at someone, wtf).

Yeah, pretty obvious that I don’t care for this person in general so take this with plenty of salt grains, but that seems like a step into bannable territory to me. Way, way too much detail and way, way too much pleasure taken in the idea of physically torturing a person for the terrible sin of disagreeing with you.

MEZ
MEZ
6 years ago

@cassandra

Are we supposed to care?

Nope.

@Marie

And good god, stop responding to people like you want to do violent things to them (that description, directed at someone, wtf). Can you try not to be a terrible human being for once.

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

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@MEZ

You were directing it at someone, (you described “I do x to you”) and you seemed to take a disturbing amount of pleasure in it. It was very creepy. If freemage (that’s who I think you were talking to) isn’t bugged by it, I’ll back down.

@cassandra

Yeah, pretty obvious that I don’t care for this person in general so take this with plenty of salt grains, but that seems like a step into bannable territory to me.

I agree.

MEZ
MEZ
6 years ago

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

a). Babies remember, even if it’s not a conscious memory. Every experience influences how their brain forms.
b). Even if they really didn’t remember, causing someone pain because “they won’t remember” is wrong. I don’t even want to make an analogy here, because any single one I would make would be horribly triggering.
c). Just because he’s learned to live with it, and maybe isn’t bothered by it, doesn’t mean it’s ok. If I found a woman that said FGM is ok because it didn’t effect her life, I would still think doing it to children is wrong.

katz
6 years ago

If anyone would like something else to chew on, a troll just showed up at Feminist Borg.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

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

The reverse, however, is depressingly common.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I hope freemage wasn’t too creeped out, but even if he wasn’t I’m not convinced that makes it OK.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@MEZ

Did you even read what he wrote? Go back and re-read it.

b). Even if they really didn’t remember, causing someone pain because “they won’t remember” is wrong. I don’t even want to make an analogy here, because any single one I would make would be horribly triggering.

nobody is saying it is okay you are battling a strawman.

@cassandra

yeah, I don’t think it was okay either. But I’m probably not going to waste my energy arguing over it with MEZ if he’s okay with it.

MEZ
MEZ
6 years ago

I agree, reading about the procedure in explicit detail is very disturbing. That’s literally what they do, I put it under a trigger warning for a reason. Guess I made it too personal, I wanted him to see, front and clear, what happens during a circumcision. To really identify with it, and to realize that it was something more than douching.

I got ZERO pleasure. I wouldn’t circumcise a paramecium, never mind another person. I think circumcision is disgusting, remember?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

@ Marie

Yeah, if she doesn’t instinctively get why that was crossing the line it would probably take a whole lot of effort to explain it in a way she would understand, and I’m not inclined to put in that effort with someone I’d rather just not deal with in the first place.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@MEZ

. Guess I made it too personal,

No shit.

Now can you fuck off, and not bother us anymore?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

BTW, anyone who is feeling a bit creeped out, there’s brain bleach in the other thread.