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MRAs demonstrate their complete ignorance of feminist history, part 9742

Er, that’s not quite how it happened (Click for larger version)

By David Futrelle

I found the meme above on the front page of the Men’s Rights subreddit today, with 82 upvotes (and counting). It’s a pretty good illustration of the standard story MRAs tell themselves about feminism: Once upon a time there was Good Feminism, it was modest and polite and didn’t ask for much. But then along came Tumblr feminists with their purple hair and they ruined everything!

While some MRAs in the Men’s Rights subreddit thread do take issue with the blatant historical inaccuracies of this meme, the enormous popularity in MRA circles of this narrative about feminism — which bears about as much resemblance to actual feminist history as the Men’s Rights movement does to a legitimate civil rights movement, which is to say none — reveals how little the typical MRAs actually know about the movement they pretty much devote all their time to denouncing. Not that their complete ignorance of feminism keeps them from having many very strong opinions about it, which they would like to tell you about at length.

Of all the dumb things in the above meme, their weird sanitized fantasy version of 2nd wave feminism amuses me the most. Hey MRAs, go take a look at Sisterhood is Powerful or the Redstockings online archive, or something.

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GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
3 years ago

@mildlymagnificent

I’m always discouraged by the number of young feminists that are hypercritical about the foremothers of the “second wave” without having the slightest idea of what struggles were going on at the time. They raise Monday-morning quarterbacking to a high art form.

As an example, everyone today fashionably hates Betty Friedan for being lesbian-exclusive, without understanding that one of the first battles the feminist movement had to win was to defeat the charge that they were just a bunch of lesbians who were bitter because they couldn’t get a man. (At that time, there were very few out lesbians who were willing to explain that that wasn’t the reason they were lesbians.) There were plenty of people who wanted to strangle feminism in its crib, and the women who fought for its survival were very brave people. Yes, they made mistakes — they were human beings, unfortunately.

The first group of feminists were mostly young well-educated women who wanted to have careers. (At the time, it was common for a young woman to apply for a management-track job but be told, “All our girls start in the typing pool.”) Their concerns were inevitably skewed to the particular problems they had. And whenever they did try to broaden the movement, people went around telling working-class black women that “those rich white girls don’t care about you.” Divide and conquer.

As to the trans issue, there wasn’t one back then. The only really visible trans person was Renee Richards, and the big issue was whether she (who had been a large, powerful man but a mediocre male tennis player) should be allowed to compete as a woman pro tennis player, where her testosterone-engendered muscles would give her a significant advantage. Trans is always going to be a problem for traditional feminists, since mainstream feminist thought has always regarded gender as a social construct with little or no biological reality, whereas trans theory is based on the belief that gender is so real that you need to change your body to conform with your personality. (I personally regard myself as not having a gender at all, since I choose not to conform to either traditional pattern.) In any case, discrimination or violence against trans people is totally indefensible and despicable.

I think it is also possible to believe (as many feminists have traditionally believed) that sex work is almost always exploitative of women, but to understand that under the present economic system it may well be the best choice available to many women. People (mostly men) who profit off sex work should be censured, but not the women who do the work.

PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Mildlymagnificent,

But we do know what she thinks now. We have her words.

And they are toxic.

Z&T
Z&T
3 years ago

@ Citizen Rat, Re Punk, Alt, Glam and what have you –

Yes, us too 🙂

Me and my usual drinking buddy, and we were just listening to some tunes and I remembered –

Debbie Harry.

Thought of this song –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_WLw_0DFQQ

There are no words, to describe this.

FANTASTIC!

KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
3 years ago

@ Tov01

In general, a Japanese school name will have three parts:
-the first part indicates whether it’s public or private.
-the second part is the actual name, commonly based on location.
-the third part indicates the type of school (elementary, junior/senior high, college, vocational or specialized, etc)

For example:

Tōkyō Toritsu Mizuho Nōgei Kōtōgakkō

-Tōkyō Toritsu means the school is run (ritsu) by the Tokyo Metropolitan government (Tōkyō To).
-Mizuho is the name of the school, in this case for the town it’s located in (Mizuho, in western Tokyo)
-Nōgei Kōtōgakkō indicates an agricultural (Nōgei) high school (Kōtōgakkō), which in Japan covers US grades 10-12 or Fifth and Sixth Forms in the UK.

This is not an absolute rule. Many private high schools, especially those that combine junior and senior high school or are affiliated with a university, will use different patterns, and of course name shortenings abound. However, it is a fairly standard form.

As for Mahoutokoro, given its location on South Iwo Jima (Minami-Iōtō in Japanese), it would likely be named something like Kokuritsu Minami-Iōtō Mahō Gakuen (Kokuristu meaning a public school run by the national government, or in this case the Japanese Ministry of Magic; Minami-Iōtō for the location; and Mahō Gakuen for Magic (Mahō) Academy (Gakuen)).

In a strange land
In a strange land
3 years ago

As another older lurker here I have to support the criticism of Germaine Greer. I belong to the generation following her who were strongly influenced by her work.

She hasn’t made transphobic remarks once in passing. It’s persistent and widely reported in Australian media at the least.

I admire her early work but her recent contributions to public conversations have been hugely problematic. From telling our female Prime Minister to wear different clothes to disguise her “big arse” to repeated statements that trans women are “not real women” All live on our national broadcaster.

I understand the respect her work has garnered but I need to balance that with the lack of respect she shows others.

Tov01
Tov01
3 years ago

@KindaSortaHarmless
Thanks for indulging me. I always find this kind of stuff fascinating.

Zatar
Zatar
3 years ago

Kereea:

“–Tend to get angry if a man calls himself a feminist since only women can be feminists (no, really, several say this) and thus men should have to identify as “feminist allies” only”

I mean, I’m a pro feminist dude and I don’t entirely disagree with this. I do think that men who want equality face very different (and often smaller) struggles.

Roberta Loblaw
Roberta Loblaw
3 years ago

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina,

Yyyyyes, Trans WAS an issue in the days of Second Wave Feminism. It would have been ‘an issue’ whether or not it was engaged by feminists. However, it certainly was. It was typically answered with various degrees of hostility, from Gloria Steinem’s accusations of “surgical mutilation” to Janice Raymond’s “The Transsexual Empire: The Making Of The She-Male” where she says “All transsexuals rape women’s bodies” and accuse trans people of being Frankensteinian creations of patriarchal surgeons intended to colonize women’s identity. It was a hot topic, and the Second Wave, by and large, was very strongly in opposition to transgender. Mind, as early as 1970, there was an enormous where the lesbian and gay communities were forcing trans people out. There’s a lot of history there of the period that you’re missing. Start with reading the work of Susan Stryker. There was a lot of good work done in the second wave. However, some of that ground was gained at the expense of the more marginalized. I’ll leave it to each individual to decide the good or bad of this.

Further, your characterization of transgender theory is so reductive as to be poppycock. Certainly, you can find those who believe, as you say, that gender is so real they need to surgically alter their bodies. Others choose not to, recognizing gender as a social construct, while others adhere to the notion of the construct, but alter their bodies for their own comfort. Some deal with it, as surgery is beyond their means. There is so much of the transgender experience, historically and today, that you’re unaware of, if not ignoring. If it’s the former, good news! You can still educate yourself!

A. Noyd
A. Noyd
3 years ago

Tov01 says:

Now I’m curious. How would a Japanese school be named?

(Disclaimer: I’m a fan of Japanese fantasy, but I’m not in any way Japanese, so take this with a grain of salt.)

Mahoutokoro is supposed to be a particularly ancient school, but the name seems to sound like it’s from the Edo period to a lot of Japanese people. Typical Edo period schools were named for something of local or moral significance, or they just stated what you’d learn there (so I guess “mahō” works in this instance). Then it would end in a suffix that identified it as an institution of some sort. Common ones were “-kan”, “-dō”, and “-jo”. I’m not sure of the particular connotations of each suffix, though.

Note that “-jo” is the Chinese derived way to pronounce “tokoro.” So if you just change the “tokoro” to “-jo” to match the Chinese-derived pronunciation of “mahō”, “Mahō-jo” could fit the conventions of that time period. It wouldn’t really work for anything older. On the other hand, schools were regularly renamed, so an older school could have been given a more modern name at some point.

However, the biggest problem is that Rowling’s choice lacks any kind of whimsy. Why would Japanese wizard society follow the most stolid, literal-minded conventions of Japanese muggle society? Surely they would name the school after something mystical. There are already places all over Japan named after mystical things.

The school could take the suffix “-an” which indicates a hermitage or tea-house. That would have the right mystical, reclusive, and traditional flavors and would be ironically understated for a larger institution. (Heck, the entrance to the school could be a little tea house which magically opens up into a massive school grounds.)

If this school is supposed to be on a remote island in the southern seas, perhaps a name like Shiranui-an would work well. Shiranui are ghost lights appearing over the sea in the folklore of Kyushu. It would mean something like Hermitage of the Mysterious Lights. It would be amusingly self-referential, since everyone at the school would know they themselves are the source of the mysterious lights.

NickNameNick
3 years ago

I wonder if they’re aware of just how exclusionary First and Second Wave feminism was, given many of those involved cared more about benefiting white cis-gendered women than just about anyone else. That’s not to say either movement was illegitimate or failed to accomplish anything – far from it – but it’s always rather telling to me that it’s the Third Wave, easily the most inclusive and intersectional of the bunch, that is rabidly demonized.

It’s more telling given how hostile those same MRAs are towards racial justice or acknowledging that transgender individuals legitimately exist. They’re fine as long as white cis-gendered individuals feel comfortable and aren’t called out for their bigotry, which only proves that – despite the lip service they may pay – they couldn’t give less of a shit about beneficial social changes. They like the status quo and would rather no one ever rocked the boat to get shit done.

I’ve had a lot of annoying conversation with such people, who claim they’re all for social change – only to then dismiss all the methods to enact such. They seem to assume such changes just happen naturally over time, even though I’m pretty sure no social issue just went away after a period of time. Official slavery didn’t simply cease to exist one day out of the goodness of the slaver-owners’ hearts, but because people actively tried to abolish it and kept doing so until it happened.

NickNameNick
3 years ago

BTW, KindaSortaHarmless & A. Noyd:

Love your posts on Japanese nomenclature – hard not to, as something of a Japanophile. As Tov01 said, it’s very fascinating.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@mildlymagnificent

There’s no way of knowing.

The link is to things she said in 2015. If that’s her current attitude, I cannot imagine that it was different in the 70s or would have been in an alternate 70s with more trans visibility.

@Jesalin

Screw this, anyone who wants to defend or rationalize terfs can go to hell.

This.

@Grumpy

As to the trans issue, there wasn’t one back then

Two Thousand Fifteen, asshole.

KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
3 years ago

@ A. Noyd

I really like the name Shiranui-an, and the idea of the entrance to the school being a teahouse. It’s kind of like how the entrance to Diagon Alley is that quintessentially English institution, the pub.

=8)-DX
=8)-DX
3 years ago

@Roberta Loblaw

Others choose not to, recognizing gender as a social construct, while others adhere to the notion of the construct, but alter their bodies for their own comfort.

As best we can tell, even in a “genderless” utopia, there would still be people suffering from dysphoria/body dysmorphia in relation to their sexed bodily characteristics and which would require surgery/HRT to alleviate. Recognition of gender as a social construct doesn’t remove some people’s need to physically transition, just as recognition of biological sex as a social construct doesn’t mean individual body parts/aspects of biology aren’t sexed in objectively measurable ways.

So I’d shy away from assuming transness is always gender-enforcing or necessarily requires gender to be inherently biological.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
3 years ago

PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic

But we do know what she thinks now. We have her words.
And they are toxic.

Absolutely.

And it’s totally bloody aggravating, infuriating, that someone as intelligent and talented as she is now, and has always been, is so resistant to perfectly reasonable and sensible development of knowledge and attitudes.

Does she really think that attitudes that formed on the basis of _seriously_ limited knowledge when she was less than 30 should remain firmly in cast iron (stone’s not tough enough, it can be carved and sculpted) all the way to death 60 or more years later? She’d be the first to criticise others for remaining ignorant, for clinging to prejudice and bigotry, for not learning and developing over several decades.

Apparently she feels immune to any such necessity within herself. (Perhaps that’s the problem. Maybe she can’t allow herself to admit – to herself – that she was ever ignorant. Which is a prime failing for an academic, I’d say.)

PreuxFox
PreuxFox
3 years ago

@GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina

whereas trans theory is based on the belief that gender is so real that you need to change your body to conform with your personality.

You and I have had this conversation before. I’ve already told you that you are significantly misunderstanding what being transgender is. It has nothing to do with personality, and most trans people do not think it is necessary to medically transition.

I value your experience and thoughts, but if you are going to continue to hold with this complete misapprehension of what it means to be transgender, I might suggest you leave alone the topic since you aren’t making any attempt to understand it. You don’t see me trying to teach astrophysics to anyone, I leave that to the astrophysicists.

Jesalin
Jesalin
3 years ago

And it’s totally bloody aggravating, infuriating, that someone as intelligent and talented as she is now, and has always been, is so resistant to perfectly reasonable and sensible development of knowledge and attitudes.

Does she really think that attitudes that formed on the basis of _seriously_ limited knowledge when she was less than 30 should remain firmly in cast iron (stone’s not tough enough, it can be carved and sculpted) all the way to death 60 or more years later?

Are you bloody serious? So she’s only a vile, toxic terf due to limited information, (relative) youth and personal stubbornness?

I have no words. Or rather, I have lots of words, it’s just that very few of them, right now, are very polite.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Agent of the FemiNest Collective; Keeper of a Hell Toupee, and all-around Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Agent of the FemiNest Collective; Keeper of a Hell Toupee, and all-around Intergalactic Meanie
3 years ago

Going back to the original graphic for a moment…is that figure in black supposed to be Darth Vader (as some here have already suggested), or a dormant volcano god(dess)/spirit? Because that’s what that last pic reminds me of – a mountain with eyes.
comment image

Maybe this gal as Darth Volcana? XD

Tov01
Tov01
3 years ago

@ Redsilkphoenix

I rather like the idea of the “4th wave feminist” being the volcano goddess from Moana.

comment image

KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
3 years ago

@ Jesalin

I forget what it’s called, but there’s a kind of cognitive bias where people tend to favor the first bit of information they learn about something over later bits. I think it was described to me as a variant of confirmation bias: the first bit sets the baseline, and primes the mind to favor data that supports it and disregard data that does not.

Not to mention people who fail to understand how science works using the argument that “science was wrong before” to justify ignoring new data that would challenge existing viewpoints.

SkuldeKrusher
SkuldeKrusher
3 years ago

Do you wonder if misrepresenting the history of feminism makes them feel safer? Feminists can be dangerous!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ kindasortaharmless

there’s a kind of cognitive bias where people tend to favor the first bit of information they learn

That’s “primary regency effect”.

Must confess only know that because Scildfreja just told me about it in another thread.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
3 years ago

@Roberta Loblaw

Thanks for that rebuttal, yours is a much calmer tone than mine would have been.

This is why I try to avoid labels like “toxic” for individual people who haven’t grossed physical boundries — someone will feel challenged by association with their school of thought and the conversation will likely become a quarrel that only widens the ideological gulf.

I’d prefer to say that people got it wrong in all the usual ways they do when there’s a lot of high tension politics involved. Doesn’t make them either saints or sinners, but their works should be read with an ever increasing dosage of salt or eventually be kept to footnotes.

One thing I really resented about @GrumpyOld s post was the victim blaming on trans folks. With the famous shoe throw by a trans person in stonewall street 1969 as a result of continued repression, ones has to wonder how much more “out there” trans folks would have to have been to avoid criticism of hiding in a closet. Also there was Lili Elbe and the first (fatal) “sex reassigment” in Germany 1930, who had even writen a book prior to her death. Around the same time there where drag balls in harlem. Compare source, especially regarding Christine Jorgensen 1952 . So yeah, I can accept that some activists might have overlooked trans people, but I do believe that it was a willfull exclusion (not neccesarily from malice but from ideological purity) on the part of the larger movement. It definetly didn’t need tumblr or Caitlyn Jenner to become aware of trans folks.

Leo
Leo
3 years ago

I’ve tried to learn trans theory but yet to really see any I was able to follow – it can be confusing because different people seem to use terms like ‘gender’ in different ways. Having asked a few trans folks about it and got differing replies, I think it seems like some disagreement is reasonable?

@NickNameNick
I don’t find third wave any better at intersectionality, worse often enough as theory is less unified. It too frequently fails by leaving class, even race, out of the equation, or treating it as though it justifies an injustice (eg. poor brown people join in the army as a defence of the military, rather than looking at the circumstances behind having few good job options and the impacts of American imperialism) rather than something to change in itself. I absolutely do not trust any wave on disability rights issues. When there is an issue, it’s usually down to weak analysis rather than any one specific time period, though.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

@Leo

Having asked a few trans folks about it and got differing replies, I think it seems like some disagreement is reasonable?

How about you let trans* folk tell you their experiences and believe them? Why the fuck do you need to agree with someone on what their life is?

*reads rest of Leo’s reply*
Ohhhh, you’re an anti-feminist. Why should we give a fuck what you think?

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

@kupo

remembered the nym, so I looked thru my emails. Last 2 times @Leo was here, she argued that Yiannopolous’ abuse wasn’t actually abuse and that it’s better to ignore nazis than protest them. I seem to remember her being relieved of both notions eventually, but fuck if I’m digging thru to find out. Yep, similarly disinclined to care what she has to say…

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

Edit: I meant the abuse Yiannopolous suffered, not the abuse he perpetrates…

Leo
Leo
3 years ago

@Kupo
No, that isn’t it at all! I mean I did do precisely that, let trans folk tell me their experiences, and it seemed that there was some disagreement between *them*. Maybe disagreement is the wrong way to put it, but different ideas about what being trans means etc. Which made me think that it’s reasonable for there to be differing views. That seemed like it made sense, other marginalised groups don’t necc. see things the exact same way.

Of course I’m not an anti-feminist, a specific criticism related to intersectionality, a ‘could do better’ is not an anti-feminist viewpoint, and it’s so often the case with political movements just in general. Socialists too often fail to include feminism. It happens unfortunately, more cohesiveness is needed all round.

@Axecalibur
About Yiannopolous, I don’t fully recall, but I am sure that denying abuse was never my point. I might have asked about his age at the time for clarification (age of consent under UK law), and understood that the power differential was an issue regardless (I think I might have been unsure whether a Priest counts as someone in authority under law, as would a teacher). That was just to try to be sure I understand the type of situation he had been referring to in his comments. I overall felt that, much deserved as a downfall was, it shouldn’t have come about that way, and felt a certain sympathy that, though his comments could be harmful, they were coming from his experience, maybe a coping strategy.

As for the Neo-Nazis/other Republicans, this was specifically on the topic of Berkeley, and was a very specific tactical question (how best to deal with them in such situations), not simply political. Other posters (Alan Robertshaw iirc — who like me is British, I did say I think we might be getting cultural wires crossed, and asked for more explanation of the situation in the US) had also discussed whether the use of force is an effective strategy or not. I felt it was unclear that it would be effective, and that it might place people at very serious risk. I did not refer only to the use of force against confirmed Neo-Nazis, as the demo was ostensibly for ‘free speech’ – we know how dishonest that claim is, but it doesn’t mean everyone does. I think maybe people were, really understandably, upset and scared at the time, and so reacted more strongly – it’s a pretty mild comment to suggest that maybe physical confrontation is best avoided if it’s possible.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

@Leo
My point is this: you wouldn’t expect two cis people to describe their experience of being cis the same; why would you expect two trans* people to experience being trans* the same? Maybe we’re saying the same thing here, but it came off to me that you’re looking to categorize trans* people in some way.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

@Leo

I am sure that denying abuse was never my point

Well, you literally said ‘his experiences were not abusive’ and that it was ‘confusing’ that he labelled himself a victim

I think I might have been unsure whether a Priest counts as someone in authority under law, as would a teacher

That, you did

I think maybe people were, really understandably, upset and scared at the time, and so reacted more strongly – it’s a pretty mild comment to suggest that maybe physical confrontation is best avoided if it’s possible

Don’t do that. You weren’t reacted to “strongly” cos we were hysterical. You can’t come in and say what you said, while admitting not to know what the fuck you’re talking about, and act like we were the ones being irrational when we yell at you

Leo
Leo
3 years ago

@Kupo
I think we are pretty much saying the same thing here, yup. : ) Not looking to categorise.

@Axecalibur
Can you quote what I said in full, please? I’m genuinely sorry if I had the wrong end of the stick on the Yiannopolous issue, but if I said ‘not abusive’ I think I’d have meant ‘doesn’t meet the legal definition’. I think it would be confusing as to how he felt about it if he used the term ‘victim’ as he seemed to be saying there wasn’t anything wrong with what happened. He was being condemned for supporting pedophilia, so it seemed relevant whether he actually was or not.

I absolutely did not say nor imply in any way that anyone was hysterical, I said that it was understandable people were upset and scared. I was worried myself, that’s why I said what I did in the first place, I didn’t want anyone to get hurt or killed by some Neo-Nazi thug. Others made the same suggestion and did not get the same reaction. It’s a pretty standard, reasonable statement when talking about tactics and use of force, most people would feel it better to avoid getting into conflict and using force if possible – while it doesn’t make them right, it does make it the kind of thing one might reasonably say in good faith, and it’s not a horrible statement to make.

If I express doubt it’s in the sincere wish for clarification. I was/am willing to consider alternative perspectives.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

@Leo

Can you quote what I said in full, please?

Hold the fuckin L! Fine:

Milo is British, as am I, and stated he was 17 at the time as far as I’ve seen? (though confusingly then describes himself as a victim) The might be a legal thing I’m missing but it wasn’t statutory rape, was it? Even if there’s one of those ‘age of consent higher for same-sex acts’ things, while it would then be a crime, then I’d be more inclined to say the law is wrong, there. Or do Priests count as someone in position of authority, like teachers? (which would make sense)

^Just part of the comment, but notice no mention of it being confusing on account of his general demeanor. No, you seem to consider it confusing, cos you’d assumed it was legally OK. Which is 8 different kindsa nonsense, and brings me to…

if I said ‘not abusive’ I think I’d have meant ‘doesn’t meet the legal definition’

Not sure why you made that connection in the first place. Bit odd. Just cos something is legal doesn’t make it not abusive. Beyond that, and I’m not gonna quote this directly for the sake of convenience, you, at 1st, said it wasn’t abusive. Then, in a subsequent comment, you said it was, but still disputed whether it was illegal. Therefore, I’m led to believe that you didn’t believe legality was the arbiter of abusiveness. Again, hold the L

Listen here, fam. It’s generally a bad move to ascribe intent to yourself from months ago. You keep saying what you think you meant. Not only does the record not support you, but it really doesn’t matter what your intent was. You fucked up, you admit you fucked up. Fix your ideas or fix your communication skills. The L. Hold it

I absolutely did not say nor imply in any way that anyone was hysterical

You implied it pretty heavily actually. When you say that you were reasonable and everyone else was reacting strongly cos they were scared and upset, the implication is that they wouldn’t have been so strongly reactive were they not so emotional. Implication made…

Leo
Leo
3 years ago

Thank you. Ok, that looks a lot different in context. Look at all the question marks and the qualifying statements (‘The[re] might be a legal thing I’m missing’) that acknowledge uncertainty. That doesn’t show someone who is dismissing abuse, it shows someone acknowledging the person’s own account of what they experienced, seeking clarification and trying to be careful that they understand the situation – after all, there had been the question of whether Yiannopolous had indeed defended paedophilia or not. The legal question comes into it because of the statement made about it having been statutory rape (sexual abuse was what I meant above, by abusive), which I was uncertain whether it had been legally. The age of consent is 16 in the UK (that’s maybe actually a fairly big cultural difference). I do not think that legality is the only arbiter of abusiveness, but if Yiannopolous wasn’t underage and saw it as consensual, it’s not automatically easy to be sure what the situation was, though I certainly see an issue with power dynamics (didn’t I say that?). In saying ‘confusingly’ I did not intend to imply it was Ok, but that the situation is unclear. Maybe this will help clarify: Do you feel it’s definitely always abusive if it’s a relationship between an adult and an of-age teen? I’m not sure I really know the answer to that one, although my feeling is still that adults should not be sexually/romantically involved with teens.

I have a pretty decent memory, so I’d probably remember my intent at least if not exact wording, and the record supports me in that respect. It’s clarification seeking, not dismissive.

I can’t really change my ideas unless I understand the issue.

You implied it pretty heavily actually.

That’s not my implication. There’s a big difference between a) acknowledging that people might have understandably been upset and scared, which is a valid feeling, and that might affect how they react in the moment, and b) calling people’s feelings ‘hysterical’, which is just dismissive and invalidating. The former offers a chance to hopefully smooth over any misunderstanding, with feelings acknowledged – as I said, I was worried by the situation, too, which was why I was moved to post. It’s not a matter of one person being reasonable and others not, but that our feelings can affect our behaviour for all of us. I also noted that it wasn’t just me, but that other posters had discussed similar ground.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
3 years ago

@Leo
I don’t want to have a part in that Milo discussion, but, assuming you are just a pedantic person (who isn’t these days) instead of a troll, here’s my take on the whole gender thing:

Yes, trans folks have lots of different oppinions on sex / gender, just like cis folks and one should acknowledge that. However, if we keep it there and do not strive to discuss a unifying theory of sex that describes most of us and analyzes and informes our practice then we vote to leave discussion to the most potent rumors (which usually flat out denies that trans is even valid) or elevate compromises born from social pressure to the state of nature.

As (mostly able, white, cis…) women have already been trough all that hazzle, can we please at least start there and acknowledge the social side of the problem instead of only listening to a select few voices of trans people who just so happen to fit incredibly well within a social binary view of sex that claims to be biologistic?

Leo
Leo
3 years ago

@Lyzzy
Careful, rather than pedantic, I hope – after all, don’t serious issues deserve to be treated seriously? Especially when they’re often very sensitive issues? There’s really no reason to think I’d be trolling about it.

On the gender issue, I’m not 100% sure what you’re saying tbh, but can see the idea that a unifying theory would clarify, at least, at least. IDK. : /

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
3 years ago

@Leo
I’m not currently a good judge of people’s prose so I won’t try to interpret the connotations of small textual statements in the larger context of this community and a very touchy issue. All I can say is that I know the struggle of writing sympathetic to the audience, authentic to one’s beliefs and clearly at the same time. To put it more bluntly, your readers generally don’t have the context of your experiences and will normally not go to great lengths to discern it, especially when you (as can happen by accident) seem to simultaniously open up a lot of ideological battlefields with standard anti-feminist talking points.

Regarding the gender/sex discussion I favor a multifaceted analysis that acknowledges the harsh realities of sex, childbirth and carework, the societal utilisation thereof, the need for bodily autonomy, some aspects of evolutionary theory and economy but also a lot of sociology (race, gender, ableism, class, large scale groups dynamics). This would help unite individual struggles for justice that currently get played out against each other.

One of the bigger problems I see with this is less in it’s complexity (humans are good at that) but more in our mode of hierarchical communication which is so ingrained in most of us, that it turns a whole discussion on truth and justice into some sort of slugfest.

Leo
Leo
3 years ago

@Lyzzy
While I’m aware I can inadvertently sabotage the clarity of my own writing by throwing in too many clarifications (actual OCD), I’m generally pretty careful with writing, my degree is an English one.

I referred to ‘American imperialism’ in my opening post and the impact of the intersection of race/economic class on opportunity, that is not a standard anti-feminist talking point (anti-feminists be all ‘we white dudes fight in wars to protect our wimminz, why u no grateful!’). Nor are disability rights, and attributing the main issue to ‘weak analysis’ rather than to lack of care or outright malice is also very different to what an anti-feminist would do. I have indeed however seen lack of care on disability rights from other feminists – it shouldn’t be a big ask to listen to someone mentally ill if they ask that political opponents not be called ‘mentally ill’ and that statements like ‘they should be sectioned’ not be made, especially with a clear explanation that it adds to stigma having been given. I think there’s the odd bit of privilege blindness, too, no reason feminism should automatically be immune to it, the aim is to try to overcome it. I still see that as linked to weak analysis, with a stronger one, they’d see all the threads of the different, interrelated, issues.
In general I do think there’s an issue sometimes where comments on what a justice movement could maybe do better on, are taken as opposition to that movement.

I think with intersectionality being pulled off right, there’d be no need for those struggles to be (seemingly) played out against each other. : )

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
3 years ago

@Leo
I don’t know what to tell you, it can be hard to follow an argument against ones feelings and you really raised some flags for potential troll. I’m glad you aren’t really one. Also, I’m German and my English is far from perfect.

It too frequently fails by leaving class, even race, out of the equation, or treating it as though it justifies an injustice (eg. poor brown people join in the army as a defence of the military, rather than looking at the circumstances behind having few good job options and the impacts of American imperialism) rather than something to change in itself.

This hard to parse sentence, which I wasn’t the intended recipient for anyhow, can but does not seem to have to mean that class and race are interwoven burdens to opportunity. On my first few reads it rather suggested that imperialism was bad, that some obstacles to employment for poor black people existed and that both class and race could be part of that reason without clearly stating either. The “class, even race” further suggested “possible troll”.

I absolutely do not trust any wave on disability rights issues. When there is an issue, it’s usually down to weak analysis rather than any one specific time period, though.

I agree. We have to figure out a way for disability rights that is not pure paternalism (maternalism?). Ideally this would also prevent isolation of disabled or disablealized groups.

anti-feminists be all ‘we white dudes fight in wars to protect our wimminz, why u no grateful!’

Nah, those are the easymode anti-feminists. The better ones are generally like “We do all the hard thinking and work so you beauties can shop for trinkets”, “I am a real learned scientist who believes in women’s equality, but they are just not ready yet (even though you might be an exception)” or even “This is a secondary contradiction in capitalism which we must fight first”.

Nor are disability rights, and attributing the main issue to ‘weak analysis’ rather than to lack of care or outright malice is also very different to what an anti-feminist would do.

Sadly, this too is a standard marxist argument.

I have indeed however seen lack of care on disability rights from other feminists – it shouldn’t be a big ask to listen to someone mentally ill if they ask that political opponents not be called ‘mentally ill’ and that statements like ‘they should be sectioned’ not be made, especially with a clear explanation that it adds to stigma having been given.

Absolutely and I’m sorry that you had to endure this rubbish.

Regarding criticism and peoples tolerance thereof I think I really like your hopeful last sentence:

I think with intersectionality being pulled off right, there’d be no need for those struggles to be (seemingly) played out against each other. : )

I hope so too 🙂