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a voice for men a woman is always to blame antifeminism antifeminst women creepy empathy deficit entitled babies erin pizzey evil ugly women mansplaining men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA paul elam PUA radfems oh my rape rape culture red pill victim blaming

Men's Rightsers offer innovative new theory about rape and feminism. And by "innovative" I mean horrifying.

elam2020ps
Paul Elam: “Dworkin’s problem wasn’t that she was raped. Her problem, and I mean all along, was that she wasn’t.”

There’s a post on the AgainstMensRights subreddit today highlighting a comment from a  Men’s Rights Redditor that offers some, well, interesting theories about why feminists are “obsessed” with rape and abortion, even though he thinks they are very ugly.

Actually, in his mind, it’s because they are very ugly, and secretly wish someone would be attracted enough to them to rape them.

Sasha_ 3 points 1 day ago   I can't help noticing that many of these women protesting so vehemently about rape seem to be...well I don't really know how to put it; but if they're rape victims then there must be some very odd rapists in the US; because some of those women are clearly about 15+ stone in weight and there're not what one would describe as 'traditionally attractive' - unless one's particularly attracted to scary she-beasts.  It does make me wonder whether some of these women are motivated by sexuar frustration? A great many female feminists seem to be quite unhealthily obsessed with rape in a disturbingly-obsessed way.  It goes right across the board really - feminists are always banging on about rape and abortion. It's as though half the time they're obsessed with being 'ravished' - and God knows half the books women read seem to be rape-fantasises like that 'Twilight' nonsense - and the rest of the time they obsessed with killing the results.  The more I think about it, the more I think that feminist are really quite creepy.

I’m sure there are MRAs out there who would like to dismiss his posting as the ravings of a random Redditor. Sadly, it’s not. Despite the terribleness of his “explanation,” or perhaps because of it,  it seems to be a common one amongst Manosphereians and Men’s Rightsers.

Indeed, in one notorious post a couple of years ago, A Voice for Men founder and all-around garbage human Paul Elam — probably the most important person in the Men’s Rights movement today — offered a much cruder version of this argument. [TRIGGER WARNING for some primo rape apologism. I have bolded the worst bits, and archived the post here in case Elam decides to take it down, as he has been doing with some of his more repellant posts].

.

.

.

Isn’t it more than just a little fascinating that underneath all this hoopla about rape is a whole lot of women who, when thinking about some guy pinning them down in a kitchen and forcing a hand up their blouse, generally tend to do so with their own hand or a vibrator between their legs? …

And isn’t it also interesting that the most rape obsessive morons on the planet also happen to be some of the ugliest morons on the planet?

Consider this. If rape awareness was a religion, Andrea Dworkin was The Fucking Pope. The 300+ lb. basilisk of man-hate had a face big enough and pockmarked enough to be used to fake a lunar landing. Her body was roughly the size and shape of a small sperm whale.

And she thought of little else in her life other than rape. The subject drove almost everything she said and did.

She even claimed to have been drugged and raped in 1999 in Paris, an accusation that was never proven and which came under a great deal of scrutiny, apparently for damned good reason.

C’mon people, Dworkin’s problem wasn’t that she was raped. Her problem, and I mean all along, was that she wasn’t.

Oh, it gets worse:

Like a corrupt televangelist who only shuts up about sexual purity and morality long enough to secure the services of a five dollar hooker, Dworkin was the poster child for “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

Or, in other words, she was obsessed with rape, quite possibly even creating the illusion it happened to her, precisely because her worth on the sexual market was measured in pesos.

Dworkin wanted to be raped, which in her mind meant being sexually desired, but didn’t have the goods to make that happen so she made a career of hating both the source of her rejection, men, and the source of her competition, attractive women.

In the end, the most narcissistic of all Men’s Rightsers concludes that rape is all about female narcissism:

The concept of rape has a lot of utility for women. One, it feeds their narcissistic need to feel irresistible. Two, if feeds their narcissistic need to feel irresistible. That level of irresistibility is the pinnacle of a woman’s sexual viability and worth. And for a whole lot of women, sexual worth is the only self-worth they know.

A Voice for Men’s domestic violence mascot Erin Pizzey seconded Elam’s argument during an appearance of hers last year on Reddit.

If you’re referring to Paul’s statement that many or most women fantasize about being taken, I’m sorry but that’s the truth. That doesn’t mean they want to be raped, but it’s a fantasy I think almost all women have. And I think he went on to say that feminists like Andrea Dworkin who were and are so obsessed with rape are really projecting their own unconscious sexual frustration because men don’t give them enough attention. Andrea was a very sad lonely woman like this

This is an “insight” that many other manosphereians keep reinventing and announcing to the world. In a 2013 post, for example, the “Red Pill” blogger and sometime Return of Kings contributor who calls himself TheMaskAndRose offered a very similar take on the subject.

Feminists are ugly women. They are fat, old, masculine, aggressive, hateful, sociopathic, unattractive, or any combination of those things. Attractive women tend not to be Feminists, so I encourage you to think about why that’s the case. So keeping in mind that they’re not the type of women who normal men desire or pay any attention to, here’s my theory:

Rape culture is the ugly woman’s rape fantasy.

I think the true heart of a rape fantasy is narcissism.

I think it’s about the idea of saying NO to a man, over and over, but he throws caution to the wind and gives into the animal instinct to just overtake you–because you’re so attractive, so beautiful, so alluring, so irresistible that he just can’t help himself.

It’s about being wanted, more than anything else. Wanted so badly that a man would risk throwing his whole life away just for the chance to put his penis in you.

So, since Feminists and unattractive women generally don’t have men paying any attention to them at all–at least not the sexual kind of attention they crave but won’t admit to … they instead cast themselves in the role of heroine in a cultural narrative whereby men think they’re just so fucking deliciously hot that they can’t wait for the chance to rape them.

They project that insanity onto the world around them, and voila–“rape culture.” A world full of scary men so overtaken with lust and desire for these fat, ugly, manly cow-beasts that you never know when one of them is going to risk his career, family, money, and life outside of prison just to have sex with you.

There is, of course, a much simpler explanation for why feminists tend to be “obsessed” with rape: because it happens all the fucking time.

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cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

@ Kittehs

I did describe one ex as having the personality of a Golden Retriever when I first met him. He turned out to be a pretty good boyfriend too.

thebewilderness
6 years ago

I don’t prioritize the maintenance of your illusions over womens lives, GOM. You will have to tend to them yourself without the silence of women to assist you.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

alaisvex – if it is, I’m battling with morbid curiosity: do I want to know, or not?

😀

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I’ve never done choking during sex but my friends and I played the choking game when I was teenager. We definitely didn’t know what we were doing and it’s lucky nobody was harmed.

On men who don’t respect women’s boundaries, I don’t know if they can change. What I do know is, I wouldn’t stick around to find out. If a man displays one red flag, I’ll never trust him. I can’t and won’t feel bad about that. My own sense of safety is more important to me than male feelings.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

cassandra – awwww!

Makes me think a groodle would be a good dog personality for boyfriend material: smart and mellow.

Big puppy-dog happy smiles don’t hurt, either.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

WWTH:

On men who don’t respect women’s boundaries, I don’t know if they can change. What I do know is, I wouldn’t stick around to find out. If a man displays one red flag, I’ll never trust him. I can’t and won’t feel bad about that. My own sense of safety is more important to me than male feelings.

This. Maybe he’ll change, but it’s too high a risk to stay around and find out.

Heh – dogs/boyfriends, a certain person is all “What, after I make the effort to purr and everything, now it’s dogs?” in the background.

thebewilderness
6 years ago

GOM, did you seriously tell her to shut up so you could maintain your illusions about your fellow men? D00d, not kewel.

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

Gotta agree with cassandrakitty here. I was so sure that I’d gotten through to another one of my exes (well, really, more like a rapist who talked me into a relationship so that I could pretend that what had happened was okay and not really rape even though I was having nightmares about it) with my talk about respecting boundaries and recognizing discomfort and reluctance in other people. So when he got into another relationship, I assumed that everything was okay. Then she dumped him and started face-booking me, talking about all the awful things that he’d done to her and how she’d realized that when he was talking about crazy I was for reacting badly to what he’d done and for breaking up with him after only a week that he was misrepresenting the situation with us to her. He hadn’t changed. If anything, he’d gotten worse. Oh, and he also told me that his first girlfriend broke up with him because she “couldn’t handle the fact that they’d had sex.” Clearly a pattern of behavior for this guy.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that women laughing at men during sex isn’t happening in mutually satisfying relationships. These include a emotional attachment to the person.

And if we’re talking one-night stands, with randoms, who cares? I can’t talk to this point though.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Not only that, was that MegaFucks graphic aimed at me for having the temerity to burst some cherished illusions? Classy.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

FWIW I read GOM’s ‘let me maintain my illusions’ as joking (unsuccessful and oblivious though it was), not meaning it, and the Megafucks as a random pic insertion, not an attack. I could be wrong.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I’ve gotten giggly during sexy times before. I’ve always explained that’s it about me and my impulses not laughing at him though. There’s something silly and absurd to me not so much about sex itself, but the kissing and groping. I guess it’s a good way to weed out insecure manbaby types.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

@ pallygirl

I’ve laughed with men during sex, because sometimes sex is funny. Laughed at, no.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that women laughing at men during sex isn’t happening in mutually satisfying relationships. These include a emotional attachment to the person.

Except when he farts, of course. Because farts are there to be laughed at. 🙂

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

@pallygirl

Laughing with men during sex can happen in mutually satisfying relationships. It’s part of the fun.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Oh yes, I have laughed during sex too, but it is always *with* and not *at*.

GOM’s point was strictly laughing *at*. That is what I was addressing.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

The Atwood quote really is the best response to “but the wimminz might laugh at us and that’s far worse!”

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

Which makes me wonder, too, if some dudes (I’m not talking about you, GOM) register any laughter from a woman as laughing at them and not with them.

… which in turn would kind of rule them out as any fun to be with in any context.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Would she be as amazing if she wasn’t Canadian? Discuss.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Eeeek!

I start actually paying attention to my day job, and come back, and we’re talking about choking and stopping blood flow to peoples heads!

Anyone lurking: DON’T TRY IT.

It only takes 4.5 pounds of pressure to cause a backup of blood in the jugular vein, potentially causing ruptures in finer blood vessels in the brain that get overloaded by backed up, oxygen deficient blood. 5.5 pounds of pressure can damage the carotid artery. I’ll get to that more in a bit. But, in context, that’s way less pressure than it takes to form a bruise. Chokes don’t need to leave bruises to be deadly.

I can’t endorse chokes, at all.

If you must do that kind of thing, be ready to call 911 immediately, and be damned well aware that it could kill you or your partner. Because it can. Really, really, really easily.

Seriously, I highly recommend NOT GOING THERE.

Choking can kill in a lot of ways.

First, there’s the obvious. Obstructing the carotid artery results in hypoxia in the brain. Your brain cannot use other methods for generating ATP like muscles can. It needs oxygen. People can live without oxygen to the brain for a little bit, but there’s a reason choking causes unconsciousness so quickly.

But, that’s just the obvious. There are more things that can kill.

Choking can also cause the heart to have arhythmias because if you choke hard enough to compress the carotid, you’re also compressing the carotid body, which can slow the heart, cause arrhythmias, and even cause cardiac arrest. Which is clinical death.

The risk of a heart attack remains elevated for over a half hour.

Oh, yeah, and you don’t have to have a bruise, because it only takes 5.5 pounds of pressure to compress the carotid.

There’s even more fun stuff!

Remember that 4.5 pounds of pressure in the jugular vein stuff? If any vessels do get damaged, brain bleeds can build up enough pressure to kill if not detected in time. Like, if you ever feel the worst headache of your life in the month following getting chokes, get thee to the ER and an MRI stat… because that headache could be a deadly bleed that needs to get fixed.

Even if the damage doesn’t happen in the brain, slow internal swelling of the throat can still occur without obvious external bruising or swelling, causing a secondary and delayed breathing obstruction or blood flow obstruction. Also, the body will try to heal ruptures in the veins using clotting factors. If those clots break loose, they can get stuck elsewhere, potentially causing something symptomatically and essentially identical to a stroke.

Oh, yeah, and have I mentioned the pulmonary edema yet?

I think I’ll mention the pulmonary edema. For non medical people, pulmonary edema means fluid gets built up in the lungs. The whys are a little more complicated, but pulmonary edema caused by strangulation (even ‘light’) can take up to two weeks to manifest.

Pulmonary edema is not good.

So, in recap:

Strangulation can cause unconciousness and death, really, really easily.
Death is not always immediate, and can occur minutes, hours, or days after.

Choke holds increase risks of fun things like:
Cardiac arrest
Pulmonary edema
Brain bleeds
Strokes
Delayed airway obstruction similar to what happens in severe allergic reactions.

And, all of these can happen, I remind you all, without external bruising.

I can hunt down the links and citations for interested parties, but the short answer is, DON’T DO IT.

PSA over.

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

Thank you, contrapangloss, for giving me scientific validation for my feelings and keeping me from feeling like there’s something wrong with me for being opposed to things like that. Seriously, choking seems to be popular nowadays. At least I keep hearing about it.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Thanks from me too for laying all that out so I don’t have to be on the receiving end of the sniffy looks of “ew, a radfem, look at her ruining our good time” disapproval for once.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

Curious, isn’t it, how supposed “sex positive” so often turns to disapproval of someone simply not wanting to do a particular thing, or pointing out that it’s harmful. Since when is it positive to give blanket approval to things because they happen to get some people’s rocks off? That’s no more positive than the shift from “you can’t say yes” to “you can’t say no” was actually sexual liberation, as far as women are concerned. It’s just rehashing the former, with added risk of abuse when it comes to stuff like this.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

*rehashing the latter. Sentence, I borked it.

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

This. Maybe he’ll change, but it’s too high a risk to stay around and find out.

Remember there are only three options when you’re looking at people who might or might not change in some important way.

They could stay the same.
They could improve.
They could get worse.

Obviously staying the same or being worse are out of the question if the behaviour or attitude are unacceptable. However, improvement can be substantial or partial. If it’s partial, is it enough or not enough improvement to make continuing or restarting a relationship with them?

So the odds are something like 5 out of 6 that whatever troubles you about a potential or former partner is still a dealbreaker.

(People do change. The problem for the rest of us is whether any change is in the right direction in the first place, and if so whether it’s far enough.)

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

Scary thought, isn’t it, that something that’s a dealbreaker – or close to one – is as likely to get worse, as to get better.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I mean, if you buy a lottery ticket there’s a chance you might actually get lucky and win some money too, but a. the odds are not in your favor and b. a lottery ticket can’t decide to choke you on the assumption that hey, you might like it, and if you don’t why are you being so boring?

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

@kittehs

I think that the sex positive community really does try to stress consent, but they spend so much time trying to convince people that taboo forms of sex aren’t evil or wrong that they end up jumping down the throats of people who just don’t have any interest in doing certain things. Furthermore, I think that they’re concerned that by saying that some things (like choking, as contrapangloss explained so well) are too risky to worth trying, they’ll be opening up the door to objections to other things. They think that they have to approve pretty everything in some way and can’t pass a safety judgment on individual things (again, like choking).

GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

@Pallygirl: I was thinking of the Atwood quote when I wrote the “laughing at” men line — I was going to mention it, then decided that probably everyone here knows it and would get the reference. I hope that many or most happy people laugh WITH their partners during sex. It is always appropriate to laugh AT sex — Whatever it was that designed it had a very weird sense of humor.

I felt that Cassandrakitty was essentially stating that there is no hope for men (I did not say men specifically, that was her interpretation; I said people, or at least meant to) to grow and change. In my opinion (which I am quite aware is only one of many possible valid opinions) that is an unnecessarily pessimistic (and even deterministic) view. I would like to think that some people do have the capacity to grow and change. If that is not the case, then there is not much point to anything. I enjoy WHTM greatly most of the time but I am interested in finding out ways to help people who do bad things to see their errors and to change if possible — I know it’s not within the scope of WHTM, which is primarily for mocking not correcting offenders, but I am not going to accept the idea that the only reason that people act badly is because they are unalterably evil. For the record, however, I thoroughly agree with the proposition that women should avoid men who are boundary violators at least until they demonstrate that they have changed, but being a man that is not my call either one way or the other.

As to the Megafucks thing, it was something that my wife AIMed me and I foolishly decided to pass along at this point — we have had numerous discussions here about how Paul Elam & Co. fail miserably at graphic design — so I took it as a chance to take a swipe at them. Then I read today’s thread and realized that it would have gone much better there. This thread was undoubtedly a bad context for it. I apologize to Cassandrakitty for the poor juxtaposition — I did not mean it to apply to her in any way.

Sometimes I wish people could forget that I am a man and treat me as merely an opinionated person, whose opinions are offered to be agreed or disagreed with like anyone else’s. I like to try to understand how men and women think differently about things based on their different experiences in society. I can draw on my own experiences as a pro-feminist man for most of the male part of that divide, but since I am not a woman and have not experienced life as a woman would, when I try to work out in my mind how something would look like and feel like if I were a woman, I inevitably am going to get some things wrong. Since this group seems to be particularly interested in gender-related issues, I have often written things here in the hope that the women here will tell me whether or not I seem to be on the right track.

I had a long drive this evening and was thinking about the Aaronson article and Arthur Chu’s response in Salon, which seemed to me to make a very important point: that nerdy men’s fear/feeling of rejection by women is not due to anything women do but is rather something that occurs inside their own heads, as a result of their own insecurity. Likewise, it seems to me, men’s fear of being laughed at by women and their need to be in control at all times is due to their own insecurity and not due to anything women do. I was thinking back to my own adolescence, when I had profound feelings of being rejected by girls (of course I never asked anyone to go out with me), and I realized that the girls I knew then had been almost without exception kind and friendly to me and had really given me no reason to think they would reject me — it was other guys who taunted and humiliated me. (A couple of my classmates told my wife at my 40th reunion that they would have gone out with me, but they knew I was too shy to ask — so it was ALL on me and my insecurity.) Before this evening, I had never put all this together.

So I began to think that the real problem is the enforcement of toxic masculinity by the male adolescent peer group — you see that very well among the gamergater types — the way guys who don’t conform to the group expectations are virgin-shamed, called cowards, sissies, pussies, manginas, pussy-whipped etc. And then the nerds blame women for something they ought to blame on other guys. But I felt that before I proceeded onward I should try to get the opinions of some women I regarded as enlightened and trustworthy as to whether I was correct in my conclusion that the majority of women were unlikely to laugh AT men who were sexually inexperienced an/or awkward as long as they were willing to deal with women as equal partners in sexual exploration. Because it’s that false belief — the fear that women are just dying to find reasons to laugh at them — that lies behind a lot of bad male behavior.

I am hoping that David will do a post on the Aaronson/Chu topic. I would expect an enlightening discussion.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Reading is fundamental, dude. You should try it some time when you find your knee starting to jerk.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

alaisvex – it’s like they’ve forgotten that some things are taboo for a damn good reason, because they’re harming other people. Have they fallen for the slippery slope argument, or what? It’s like the opposite of the fundamentalists’ approach: instead of “allow gay marriage and people will be marrying underage crocodiles!!!!” it’s “Say fantasising about incest or children is bad and next thing you know LGBT people will be locked up again!”

They also seem, from what I’ve seen, mighty reluctant to question things that are just reinforcing the status quo, and would rather be all “Yay empowerment!” about shit that isn’t changing women’s status one iota.

GOM – for whatever it’s worth, I enjoy your contributions here even if I disagree with them.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Sometimes I wish people could forget that I am a man and treat me as merely an opinionated person, whose opinions are offered to be agreed or disagreed with like anyone else’s.

Then stop coming here and mansplaining stuff to us, particularly stuff like

Many men are afraid that if they aren’t in total control women won’t respect them, or if they are awkward or indecisive women will laugh at them.

Women don’t need to be told what we are likely to think or feel, particularly by men, and particularly when men treat us like we’re completely interchangeable in our thoughts and feelings.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Also, the opinions that you have are formed based in part on the fact that you are a man and that has an impact on how you experience the world. An impact which is obvious in every single sentence that you write. That’s not a wrong or evil thing, but it is a thing, and asking women to pretend it doesn’t exist is ridiculous.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Seriously, this is like me going to a site where people are discussing race issues and saying “can’t you just forget that I’m white? I’m just a person with opinions”. Everyone would be side-eyeing the hell out of me, and many people would tell me exactly what a jackass I was being. And they’d be right to do so.

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

GoM,

Cassandrakitty was saying that she didn’t feel like sticking around someone who’d exhibited abusive, misogynistic behavior to see if that person would change for the better quickly enough to not hurt her further. She wasn’t (I don’t believe) saying that people couldn’t change, just that she wouldn’t give a second chance to someone who’d been abusive because that someone might very well fail to change for the better.

Kittehs,

Yeah, I think that that’s the issue. They want to break taboos on things that can be done safely and ethically, but they don’t see when taboos shouldn’t be broken, and the next thing you know, they’re asking us to feel sorry for pedophiles because they can’t help having their urges and should be rewarded for not acting on them.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Actually a big part of what I was saying is that the trope that an abusive man can change is a. very common, b. very rarely true, because most abusers don’t want to change, and c. extremely dangerous, because it puts pressure on women to stay in harmful situations, and leads to people around them having more sympathy for the poor hapless abuser who wants to be better, really he does, than for the victim. This is not something that we should have to shut up about because talking about it makes one man feel depressed.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

GOM,
The thing is, we can’t ignore that you’re a man. As a man, you’ve been treated differently your life than women have and that inevitably colors your opinions. You have the luxury of thinking about the prospect of misogynists changing. We sometimes don’t because in the interest of self preservation we have to expend our energies identifying and annoying them. We don’t develop our opinions in a vacuum. This stuff isn’t a thought exercise for us. It’s crucial life stuff. I know you mean well but I think you sometimes forget how high the stakes are for us. That’s privilege for you. It’s as much about what you don’t have to worry about as it is about the things you are given.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Also, if your area of interest is helping young men overcome negative cultural programming, go talk to young men about that instead of telling feminists to shut up about the negative impact that programming is having on the women and girls who have to deal with those young men.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Ninja’d as usual.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

@GoM, I also like your contributions for the most part.

May not always agree with them, and whatnot, but I’m glad you’ve stuck around. To be honest, you say a lot of things my dad does…

…but, sometimes this isn’t quite the right place for that discussion, you know? Sometimes those discussions are best left for the 14 hour road trip. Have you thought about doing any mentoring programs? My dad kind of reached a similar conclusion when me and him started talking about toxic masculinity when we were road-tripping through Canada so I could move cities.

His conclusion was that the best way he could help keep young men out of trouble was by mentoring and being a substitute ‘dad’ type figure so they could see what healthy relationships and ethics and what not were.

Not the only solution, mind, but it was one of the ones we could actually agree on as something workable.

Plus, it gets him a chance to indoctrinate another generation of potential engineers…

@Pallygirl: I don’t think he was trying to tell us what women think, so much, with the thing you quoted. It read to me more as a “Young men often feel/think this way”.

I agree that we’re totes not responsible for their feels, and we’re not responsible for coddling his feelings either, but I think his point was more of “young bro-culture is really negative for young men, because young men convince other young men that these things are happening”. I don’t think he was saying or expecting that we’d be interested in being all the bros ‘mommies’ and fixing the bro-culture for him.

Least, I didn’t read it that way…

I could be off.

Aaand, that got long quick.

Can I just throw out that I really really like you and Cassandrakitty, too?

I like all of you.

So much.

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

cassandrakitty,

You’re right. GoM seems to be operating in the abstract, where of course people can change! But then there’s the reality, where abusers rarely do change and even more rarely do change with respect to the person whom they’re currently abusing and where the abuse victim should stay with the abuser because, hey, he (I don’t know if the same claim is often made about female abusers?) can change and deserves a chance to change with the abuse victim and where the abuse victim stays with the abuser in hopes that he/she will change. And you’re right that stressing the narrative that people (usually men, since I don’t see people making this argument about female abusers as much) can change is harmful to abuse victims everywhere. They need to hear that abusers almost never change for the better because they don’t want to.

Also, I have to wonder, if you’ve been abused by someone in the past, should you, if you safely can, warn people with whom they later get involved? I personally feel that that’s the right thing to do, but I also recognize that in a lot of cases, it’s not possible or safe to do that and that in cases where it is possible, your warning will probably fall on deaf ears.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I think that getting into mentoring and pointing the negative patterns that one has noticed out to young men who’re starting to get caught up in them would be a far more useful thing to do then pointing those patterns out over and over again to feminists who already know that they exist. We’re not the people who need to hear that stuff, the boys are. So go tell them.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Oh, hey! Cassandrakitty ninja’d me with the “Go talk to young men” thing!

Because, yeah, not really safe for us to do the saving misogynists from themselves thing, for the most part. But a lot of older dudes? Who actually have fairly feminist attitudes? And have the whole “not going to be in danger from misogynistic behavior thing” going for them?

Pretty likely to be powerful.

Ninja’d, again.

Cassandrakitty, you rock.

gilshalos
6 years ago

Well, I love this site for many reasons.

A) I get to find out about toxic sites without reading them.
B) Cat pictures/stories
C) Books!
D) Finding out other people have the same interests that are regarded as wierd.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

alaisvex – and isn’t it a curious thing, that it’s praise for men who “can’t help” wanting to hurt other people, yet women who say we’re not interested in something being done to us are somehow in the wrong.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

@ alaisvex

If there’s a way for you to do so that wouldn’t compromise your own safety then I’d say yes? I wouldn’t call it an obligation, because a victim’s first obligation is always to themselves and helping other people has to come second to that, but if they can do it, and they want to do it, then I think it’s a good thing to do. Particularly if the abuser is part of a greater social group that you’re in and you can see that if you don’t tell people what they did then they’ll do it again to other people in the group.

I also think that, again, the men who know that behavior isn’t right need to take a greater responsibility for pointing that out to other men. I know it’s easier to say “this is terrible, I wish boys weren’t brought up to think this way” to a mostly female audience that you know is probably going to be receptive, but that’s not where men can do the most good as allies to women. If they want to help then their role lies in confronting other men about their negative socialization and helping to change it, because those men and boys will listen to other men far more readily than they’ll listen to us.

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

It is curious indedd, kittehserf. It is curious indeed. Granted, if there were ways to help pedophiles suppress their interest in children, I’d be all for it because it would certainly help children, but I’m not for being against shaming pedophiles.

And cassandrakitty, that seems sensible.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

GoM, if you need some idea on mentorship programs, I’m sure I could dig up some local recommendations for your area! Or more national groups.

Do you have any particular skills or hobbies? Sometimes going the ‘trade’ route works, really well.

🙂

I’m glad this blog helped you think about things in a different way, and I’m excited for your realization, and I totally get sharing exciting realizations because their exciting and kind of missing your target audience…

… so if you need help finding a target audience for making change-y type things with this new (to you) drive induced epiphany, (instead of kind of grating on the folks who’ve already gone over everything a ton and are like “We’ve heard this pet theory on how X causes X a thousand times before”), feel free to ask!

Because, yeah, all of us have heard this one, a lot.

But I’m excited for it being new to you!

But, yeah, it’s only really fun to think about the first time, and then the 20th time it kind of gets old…

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

So I was reading along in the background because it’s been a long day, and at the risk of seeming like I am piling on, which I am not trying to do (I’d rather see this as a potential teachable moment, since GOM said he was looking for our perspectives), I thought I’d offer my thoughts.

I’ve been very impatient with a lot of supposed male allies lately, because as good as it has been for them to see things like #yesallwomen and gamergoggle and the Rolling Stone debacle, and then have their epiphanies which allow them to finally viscerally understand things that we’ve been telling them for years, it is also EXHAUSTING and frankly disheartening to have to sit there and listen to people who claim to have been feminists for a long time suddenly “discover” things that women have been telling the world for years. It really does come down to that cartoon that was posted the other day, with a bunch of folks sitting around the conference table and the chair saying “that’s a great idea, would one of the men here like to restate it so that we can discuss it?”

The thing is GOM, I believe that you consider yourself a feminist and that you come here in good faith, and I’m happy for you if you are having your epiphanies, but very little of it is news to any of us really, and you have a tendency to be really condescending in the way you respond to many of the women who post here. We can’t forget that you are a man who has lived his whole life with that privilege because even if you hadn’t identified yourself as such, your writing just drips with it. You lecture and scold other posters on how we are doing everything wrong, from congratulating someone on getting engaged to whether we are allowed to foreground our perceptions and personal safety if it happens to bum you out.

Sure, okay, you’re just a person with opinions. But the thing is that you write as if your desire to share those opinions and thoughts and epiphanies is more important than anything else. More important than respecting the knowledge that comes from women’s lived experience of the situations you are just now learning to think about, more important than respecting people’s need to preserve their physical and psychological safety by resisting cultural myths about gender roles, more important even than just wishing someone well on having taken an important step in their lives. It’s always about you, your new discovery or understanding, your desire to maintain illusions promoted by those cultural myths, your perspective on the history and meaning of social practices like engagement or marriage. And the gender dynamics of that are pretty straightforward.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

(Points up)

This. Dealing with men who haven’t gotten over the social programming the leads to them seeing centering themselves as a totally reasonable thing to do is exhausting, even more so when they expect us to ooh and aah over things that are revelations to them that most of us had noticed by the time we were teenagers. Adding “can’t you just pretend I’m not a man?” just demonstrates how poorly they actually understand the social dynamics at work. If you weren’t a man you would have learned not to act like this a long time ago.