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A Voice for Men's Alison Tieman: Winning women the vote was “Feminism's first act of female supremacy.”

I don’t often write about Alison Tieman – the eccentric FeMRA videoblogger known better as Typhon Blue – in large part because, well, have you ever watched one of her videos? Her arguments and assertions bear so little relation to what the rest of us know as reality it’s as if she lives in some weird inverted world of her own making.

It’s rather difficult to address the arguments of someone when virtually everything she says is wrong – logically, historically, morally – in some fundamental way.

But I’m going to have a go at her latest video anyway, because, well, it’s only 4 minutes long, which will make unpacking its fractal wrongness a little less of a daunting task. Also, there’s a kitty in it.

In the video, Tieman, in the guise of “Professor Hamster,” makes the startling claim that Women’s Suffrage was “Feminism’s first act of female supremacy.”

How, you might wonder, does equality at the ballot box count as “female supremacy?”

Well, according to Tieman – one of A Voice for Men’s self-proclaimed Honey Badgers – it’s because women (at least in the US) don’t have to register for the draft.

This is an old argument of hers, based on the strange belief that voting rights for men in the United States are contingent on them signing up for selective service, something that’s not, you know, true. She seems to be confusing the United States with the fictional universe of Starship Troopers, in which “Service Guarantees Citizenship.”

In any case, because suffragettes didn’t demand to be drafted when they demanded the vote their demand, Tieman concludes that they weren’t seeking equality but supremacy.

Never mind that at the time the notion of women being drafted would have struck the general public as absurd.

Never mind that when draft registration was being considered for reinstatement in 1981, the National Organization for Women sued to have registration expanded to women as well, because not requiring women to register would relegate them “to second-class citizenship by exclusion from a fundamental obligation of citizenship,” as the New York Times summarized their position.

Ultimately, over NOW’s objections, the Supreme Court ruled that registration could be restricted to men only. The all-male Supreme Court; the court didn’t get its first female Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, until later that year.

For all of the hullabaloo, the requirement that men register for the draft is an essentially meaningless “obligation.” The draft is a dead issue in the US, about as likely to be revived as Jarts.

Tieman goes on to note that “female suffrage enabled women to vote for wars that only men had to fight in.” In fact, as anyone who’s paid any attention to real world politics knows well, women are consistently less likely than men to support war.

Tieman’s arguments about women’s suffrage are just bizarre. It’s when she starts talking about the civil rights movement that she moves beyond bizarre to offensive.

Throughout the video, she contrasts what she sees as the good and humble civil rights movement with the “privileged” and “entitled” suffragettes; it’s a strange and backwards argument, at odds with historical reality, and one that insults not only the suffragettes but our greatest civil rights heroes as well. “During the civil rights movement,” she proclaims,

black moderates believed that black people needed to EARN their civil rights. Extremists at the time believed that blacks people should receive their rights by virtue of being human beings. …

Minorities felt they had to earn their rights and often had to make enormous sacrifices in war prior to even having their requests for rights considered reasonable. Women felt they were simply owed. …

Minorities approached suffrage from the usual mentality of people who are actually oppressed: We have to earn everything, including citizenship rights. Whereas women approached the issue of suffrage from a mentality of privilege and entitlement: We are owed our rights.

Where even to start with this jumble of wrongness?

Let’s start with her most basic misapprehension, that human rights are something that have to be earned. In fact, the basic premise of human rights is that we have certain rights because we are human beings. This isn’t entitlement or extremism; it is the fundamental basis of democracy.

You would think that someone who calls herself a Men’s Human Rights Activist would have a better understanding of the rudiments of  human rights.

In the Declaration of Independence, you may recall, Thomas Jefferson famously proclaimed “that all men are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” He didn’t say they had to earn these rights; he said that they were born with them.

Granted, it took quite some time before this sentiment applied not only to white men but also to women and African-Americans, but this had nothing to do with anyone “earning” rights; it had to do with the fact that some human beings were seen as more human than others.

When Martin Luther King made his case for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, he harked back explicitly to Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence. In his most famous speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in 1963, he declared

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. …

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

This was not the first time he had made this argument. In a 1957 speech also delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he declared that

The denial of this sacred right [to vote] is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic traditions and its is democracy turned upside down.

So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind — it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact — I can only submit to the edict of others.

It’s our humanity, not a signature on a selective service registration form, that entitles all of us to the right to vote.

If the Men’s Rights Movement wants to campaign to end selective service registration, go for it. Just don’t pretend that this has anything to do with the right to vote. Or that demanding basic human rights is a sign of “entitlement,” much less “female supremacy.”

Also, maybe lose the stupid hat?

Below, a song that kept popping into my head as I tried to make sense of Tieman’s most peculiar views. Well, the chorus anyway; the rest of the lyrics don’t really fit.

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damselindetech
6 years ago

” The draft is a dead issue in the US, about as likely to be revived as”

As? AS? What? Don’t leave us hanging, David! As likely to be revived as New Coke? The American Economy? Richard Nixon’s political career? Zombies? IS IT ZOMBIES, DAVID?!!

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

Poor kitty.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Tieman goes on to note that “female suffrage enabled women to vote for wars that only men had to fight in.”

I’ve never actually seen, “Should the United States declare war on a foreign country? Yes [ ] No [ ]” on a ballot.

Extremists at the time believed that blacks people should receive their rights by virtue of being human beings.

Yes, those extremists, thinking that black people should not have to live in terror of lynching, or that their status as equal taxpayers should bring them equal benefits. What radicals they were, making such unreasonable demands.

Of course, it’s utterly ahistorical (and seemingly a uniquely white perspective) that black civil rights activists were meekly asking for their rights, you know, if that’s okay, I don’t mean to put you out or anything, but it would be swell if you could see it in your heart to stop treating black people like shit. The civil rights movement was, overall, physically non-violent, but that doesn’t mean the rhetoric was mild.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

The fact that Tieman doesn’t see human rights as inherent to all human beings says more about her than anything else.

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago

Do these feMRAs realise that reversing women’s suffrage would remove their own right to vote, not just the feminists’, and that they’d also lose their podiums to spout derp from (and that sweet sweet attention and ad revenue) as a result?

BelleChatonne
BelleChatonne
6 years ago

@damselindetech, I kind of assumed he left it blank intentionally, as if to say it was so unlikely as to have nothing to which to compare it.

But then, he could have meant zombies. Maybe zombie cats?

vaiyt
6 years ago

Racist POS is racist. There really isn’t anything to say to someone who thinks only White Massa can grant rights to minorities if they dance well enough. [rest of comment removed by DF]

bodycrimes
6 years ago

That woman is very strange.

Tabby Lavalamp
6 years ago

I… That… She… Nope. Nothing.

tinyorc
6 years ago

So many people who hold up the civil rights movement up in direct comparison to the women’s liberation moment do not seem to understand that BLACK WOMEN EXIST. Honestly, it’s such blatant erasure to pretend that there was no intersection between suffrage and civil rights.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

Extremists at the time believed that blacks people should receive their rights by virtue of being human beings.

I figured that the MRA were confusing their unearned privileges with rights, but I never really expected any of them to make it explicit.

Kakanian
Kakanian
6 years ago

Should they not campaign to have the draft struck from all law or something…?

Also I remember that somebody thought that the draft was a good idea and would reduce the likeness of the US getting involved militarily, because certainly citizens would protest being shipped off to meaningless wars.

xyz
xyz
6 years ago

I’m repeatedly floored by how well these MRAs display the aspie traits of faulty logic and mind blindness.

http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2011/mind-blindness-affects-moral-reasoning-in-autism

It’s easy for me to laugh or be horrified by their beliefs but is there any way to help them?

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

” The draft is a dead issue in the US, about as likely to be revived as”

As? AS? What? Don’t leave us hanging, David! As likely to be revived as New Coke? The American Economy? Richard Nixon’s political career? Zombies? IS IT ZOMBIES, DAVID?!!

…as that sentence?

Kane Thari
6 years ago

Oh, I understand. We didn’t earn our basic human rights, so we don’t deserve them….wait. What?

anonny
anonny
6 years ago

Racism 101: when discussing African-Americans, erase African-American women. They don’t exist for Ms. Tieman. For her the Civil Rights Movement had none, just men fighting in wars to obtain the vote. Yes. Offensive as well as clownish.

The MRA Big Lie strategy is to attack all the achievements of feminism, including the most indisputable ones, by announcing it ain’t so. It’s all empty provocation. She doesn’t believe it herself. She’s chuckling right after she turns off the tape. She’s a troll.

ikanreed
ikanreed
6 years ago

“We’re an EQUALITY movement”
“Women shouldn’t have the right to vote”
“We oppose gendered selective service”
“Feminists aren’t inclusive!”

What was that middle one again?
“We oppose gendered selective service?”

Always worse with the MRAs. Always.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

And all rights only exist in the US. There are those of us who live in countries who do not have the draft.

Oh wait. Doesn’t that mean that her “argument” is dead in the water in our countries?

Shhh don’t tell her that the only reason NZ has a professional military is to ensure that we women get our neverending supply of bonbons, scented fucking candles, and hard chairs. That’s how we choose which countries we will support on UN missions: the ones that are the key manufacturers of these items. We’re also close enough to the Antarctic that we’re on a first name basis with all the penguin whores.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Add the US civil rights movement to the long list of things Typhoid Blue knows nothing about but feels comfortable blathering on about.

Bad history makes me so mad.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago
pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

LOL thanks @fruitloopsie. My only answer to that argument is that being the baker of the cookies normally means one gets an early shot at eating them. I guess that suggesting that a man bake cookies is misandry (although my partner purchased a box of cookie mix and keeps talking about how he’s going to bake a batch – we keep doing other things, and forget, he does bake nice cookies).

If the main issue that a person has to deal with is that they are down the list for being offered a cookie, they have a pretty soft life.

thermonictriode
6 years ago

They have to oppose the heck out of allowing women into the military, because it’s their trump card. If they couldn’t scream about teh mens being FORCED to die in wars (which are all fought at the behest of eeeeevil women), they’d be left with firefighters. And that’s not as much fun.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

In NZ, our police tend to die more frequently than our military, and taking organisational size into account, the police death rates are still higher. Women’s representation in Police is relatively low, but is being addressed proactively: http://www.neon.org.nz/census2010/police/ There is only one police force/jurisdiction in New Zealand. We also have female firefighters, and there are no “no women” barriers to any roles within the military – military women are welcome to try out for NZSAS.*

* NZSAS recruits from inside the military, so all applicants are existing military personnel.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Why do MRAs always think feminists are dying to send men off to war. Every feminist I know is pretty anti war. Have they not heard of Code Pink? Or the history of mother’s day?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I hate how ignorant reactionaries are about MLB Jr (the only civil rights leader they know about). They think that he was a moderate because he was for nonviolence. Nope. He was a radical.

Barbara W (@JBW1993)
6 years ago

I’m sorry, but her ramblings don’t make any sense to me.

Puddleglum
6 years ago

The worst part about this screed is that she isn’t even American. Why is she going on about this?

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Pally girl
A man baking cookies. we are one step closer to the ultimate utopia, the Matriarchy. This pleases the Fempire.

Wwth
“Why do MRAs always think feminists are dying to send men off to war.”

I think they don’t want to admit that the majority of wars are started by men. Stating anything horrible that was caused by men is misandry. I mean I know women have done horrible things too, it’s just history. Well that is my guess anyway.

cloudiah
6 years ago

In other ahistorical nonsense, GamerGaters are oppressed natives being colonized:

https://twitter.com/Ash_Effect/status/517764342658256896

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Yes, my viscous attack is molasses.

oraclenine
oraclenine
6 years ago

I just cannot ever get over how badly they want to believe they are the REAL victims here.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

David, possibly a poor choice.

The Jarts. They are at walmart. Zombie Jarts! (In fun primary colors)

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

Go with zombies. There’s absolutely no scientific basis for zombies.

http://www.cracked.com/article_15643_5-scientific-reasons-zombie-apocalypse-could-actually-happen.html

I mean 5. There are only 5 scientific reasons zombies are coming.
Maybe go with new Coke.

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago

“I’m repeatedly floored by how well these MRAs display the aspie traits of faulty logic and mind blindness.”

No way. One of the defining traits of Asperger’s is a logical and analytical mind, and MRAs wouldn’t understand logic and analysis if you explained the concepts using flash cards and picture books. They’re just reactionaries.

magnesium
6 years ago

So in Alison Tieman’s Wacky World of Misandry, people get to vote on whether or not their country goes to war? That is awesome. I wish Canada in the real world had that option. The part about how only white men are human enough to be born with human rights sounds a little disturbing, though.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

I’m repeatedly floored by how well these MRAs display the aspie traits of faulty logic and mind blindness.

Am I the only person disturbed by this statement?

It’s easy for me to laugh or be horrified by their beliefs but is there any way to help them?

I don’t want to help them. They think they are entitled to my help, but actually they are not.

beshemoth
6 years ago

Intersectionality! In comic form!

http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=356

(ahem. Sorry if this isn’t as relevant as I imagine it is)

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

We should get rid of selective service registration. And wars.

Signed,
A feminist.

DJG
DJG
6 years ago

Why not let only women vote for 130 years or so? Some women would probably end up on the wrong side of the discussion of who qualified as a woman, but otherwise it seems less impossible than it felt when first typed – or perhaps just that’s just my habit of being able to talk myself into finding a lot of things doable if I think about them for five minutes.

samantha
6 years ago

Ya know, sometimes my anger with the FeMRA’s outweighs, by a good deal, my anger with the MaMRA’s. If these women think that when the Great Masculist Revolution wins they will be seen as the True and Good women and will be fully franchised, they have another think coming. If they and their masters succeed in taking away women’s right to vote and make us legal chattel, they will just be, at best, a slightly higher-in-value type of chattel.

That is, if they escape being hunted down by their “sisters.” (checking to make certain that my pea shooter and water pistols are loaded and ready to go)

How stupid and craven can they be?????

samantha
6 years ago

@Shaun DarthBatman Day

http://www.cracked.com/article_15643_5-scientific-reasons-zombie-apocalypse-could-actually-happen.html

Curse you, Shaun. You must be a ZOMBIE! I went and read…oh, the HORROR!!!

Oh, wait…maybe THAT’s why MRA’s…

Bless you, Shaun!

magnesium
6 years ago

Also, I feel it’s obligatory to point out that Tieman is Canadian (ugh, why are there so many assholes in my country), where men are not required to sign up for any draft. Although, maybe in Alison Tieman’s reality, they are.

Shaenon
6 years ago

Not only did feminists fight for women to be included in the draft, they fought for other duties of citizenship many people consider onerous, most notably jury duty. There’s a reason the movie is Twelve Angry Men and not Twelve Angry People: it was written in 1954, when women were either not allowed or not required to sit on juries in most states. Amazingly, it wasn’t until 1975 that jury service became mandatory for women in all 50 states.

Most people aren’t clamoring to get called for jury duty, but feminist groups consistently argued that women should take on the same social duties as men. Here’s a good overview in Ms. magazine: http://www.msmagazine.com/summer2004/justverdicts.asp

trydye
trydye
6 years ago

@xyz

Can we avoid the ableism? It’s enough to deal with when people keep claiming MRAs are “crazy” or sociopaths despite their kinds of behavior being perpetuated by many neurotypical people but, well, as someone with autism, it gets REALLY REALLY ANNOYING when people claim that any sign of social awkwardness is somehow automatically indicative of a person having some form of autism. (4chan will call you an autist for anything and everything, to the surprise of no one.) Assuming that MRAs have some form of mental condition is massively disrespectful to neuroatypical people who aren’t/try not to be massive jerks…and runs the risk of letting neurotypical people off the hook for their actions because “well, they didn’t SEEM like a sociopath!”

nykerim
nykerim
6 years ago

I usually don’t comment on the site as there’s many smart people here and I’m not all that eloquent and probably wouldn’t contribute much, however, seeing self-hating women like Alison willing to degrade themselves like this for attention of the worst type of men rubs me very much the wrong way (read evokes disgust and anger).

I was going to go comment on her video originally, but decided against it as using facts and logic (two words they are unable to comprehend as is evident from by their constant misuse of them) on MRAs is equivalent to talking to a wall.
By ‘black people had to prove themselves’ she means mean they had to prove to whites they weren’t filthy, subhuman apes. The fact that she seems to think this is the way it should be speaks volumes. It’s just so adorable how she never explicitly points out to whom are these ‘minorities’ supposed to be proving themselves to, because if she did she’d be admitting to existence of white male privilege and that would just make MRAs penises melt and heads explode.

It’s also very telling that vast majority of people in their so called human rights movement (I’m using the term movement very loosely here) seem to support the notion that some humans are more human and deserving than others by virtue of being born a pale, heterosexual human with a penis.

TLDR: fuck you Alison Tieman, and the ridiculously entitled boys you pander to.

samantha
6 years ago

@Shaun DarthBatman Day

By the way, did you read the one about Mike the Headless Wonder Chicken? I laughed…I cried…I was moved.

grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

I feel it’s obligatory to point out that Tieman is Canadian (ugh, why are there so many assholes in my country)

I live on the prairies, so, not really surprised by the number of assholes in our country. Canada is not really the liberal paradise that we get press for (anyone else remember residential schools? The last one only closed in the 1990’s). Somehow, we just have really good PR. Totally undeserved PR.

Also, I sincerely apologise.

beegees
beegees
6 years ago

If only we could go back in history to hear the cries of “No taxation without respresentationkilling other humans that rang out over Boston harbor all those centuries ago.

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