Before computers, workers just stared at their desks.
In their attempts to downplay or simply deny the Wage Gap between men and women, MRAs often turn to a study by the CONSAD research company that was commissioned by the Bush administration. According to CONSAD, their analysis
demonstrates that it is not possible now, and doubtless will never be possible, to determine reliably whether any portion of the observed gender wage gap is not attributable to factors that compensate women and men differently on socially acceptable bases, and hence can confidently be attributed to overt discrimination against women.
In plain English: we can’t prove that any of the wage gap is the result of sexism.
But that may be because CONSAD didn’t look in the right places, as Barry Deutsch, aka Ampersand, explains in a post on Alas, a blog that critiques the methology and the findings of the CONSAD study. Notably, he points out, CONSAD’s analysis ignores the issue of occupational segregation, which is at the root of much of the wage gap, as properly measured. And it ignores many other, more subtle kinds of discrimination:
When discussing direct employer discrimination, it’s more realistic to discuss elements like selective hiring, training, promotion ladders, and other things that are a good deal more complex than CONSAD’s vision of the labor market allows for. Given two equally able applicants for a $40,000 job, one male, one female – which one will employers tend to prefer? Once hired, who is more likely to get mentored? Who is more likely to be given the assignments that lead to promotion? Who is more likely to be perceived as doing good work, all else held equal? And if these factors mean that women are rewarded less than men for identical labor market participation, to what degree does that reduce women’s incentive to participate equally in the labor market? All of these are ways that sex discrimination actually happens in the marketplace — and none of them are detectable by by CONSAD’s methods.
There’s much more to his argument than this; I’d suggest reading the whole thing.
Men’s Rights Movement Claim: A high percentage — 40% or more — of rape accusations are false.
The Facts: This claim is dubious. The studies claiming these high numbers have been debunked. Better studies estimate the rate of false accusations as being in the single digits, generally in a range from 2-8%.
Here are some useful posts and papers on the subject. You’ll notice they don’t all agree with one another; It’s a complicated subject.
The reputable, methodologically sound reviews put the frequency of false reports in the single-digit percentages. There are people who, for propaganda reasons, keep saying that the incidence of false reports is much higher. They create these figures with biased reviews or intellectually dishonest mislabeling. … A new study … based on a review of every single rape allegation made to a US university police department — the study does not disclose which school — over a ten year period. The result: 5.9 percent false allegations.
Eugene Kanin famously found that 41%, or perhaps 50%, of rapes reported to police are false. Kanin’s study is both badly designed and unverifiable; more reliable studies have found that between 2% and 8% of rapes reported to police are false reports.
In the research literature, estimates for the percentage of sexual assault reports that are false have varied widely, virtually across the entire possible spectrum. For example, a very comprehensive review article documented estimates from 1.5% to 90% (Rumney, 2006). However, very few of these estimates are based on research that could be considered credible. Most are reported without the kind of information that would be needed to evaluate their reliability and validity. A few are little more than published opinions, based either on personal experience or a non-systematic review (e.g. of police files, interviews with police investigators, or other information with unknown reliability and validity).
The paper reviews recent research and notes that the most credible studies find “the rate of false reporting for sexual assault is in the range of 2-8%.”
NOTE: the link to the study on abyss2hope is broken. This one works. (It’s a pdf.)
[I]sn’t the rate of false rape charges an empirical question, with a specific answer that isn’t vulnerable to ideological twisting? Yes and no. There has been a burst of research on this subject. Some of it is careful, but much of it is questionable. While most of the good studies converge at a rate of about 8 percent to 10 percent for false rape charges, the literature isn’t quite definitive enough to stamp out the far higher estimates.
Myth: Women routinely make up allegations of domestic violence and rape, including to gain advantage in family law cases. And women use protection orders to remove men from their homes or deny contact with children.
Facts: The risk of domestic violence increases at the time of separation. Most allegations of domestic violence in the context of family law proceedings are made in good faith and with support and evidence for their claims. Rates of false accusations of rape are very low. Women living with domestic violence often do not take out protection orders and do so only as a last resort. Protection orders provide an effective means of reducing women’s vulnerability to violence.
Note: I think this paper lowballs the estimate of false rape accusations. See the YesMeansYes article above for what I think is a more reasonable take.
Myth: Women routinely make false accusations of child abuse or domestic violence to gain advantage in family law proceedings and to arbitrarily deny their ex-partners’ access to the children.
Facts: Allegations of child abuse are rare. False allegations are rare; False allegations are made by fathers and mothers at equal rates; The child abuse often takes place in families where there is also domestic violence; Allegations of child abuse rarely result in the denial of parental contact.
An article in the British magazine New Statesman, by Joanna Bourke, Professor of History at Birkbeck and author of Rape: A History from the 1860s to the Present (Virago, 2007). Excerpt:
[W]hat is the risk of an accused man being falsely accused of rape? Popular prejudices estimate that around half of rape victims are lying, but a major Home Office research project in 2000-2003 concluded that only three per cent of rape allegations were false. Indeed, contrary to the notion that men are at risk of being falsely accused, it is much more common for actual rapists to get away with their actions. Around four-fifths of rapes are never reported to the police. And only five per cent of rapes reported to the police ever end in a conviction. This is the lowest attrition rate of any country in Europe, except for Ireland.
None of this is to say that people aren’t falsely accused — of rape, and of other crimes — or falsely convicted. They are, and it’s a tragedy. Here are two groups that advocate for the the falsely accused and falsely convicted:
Here are links to, and brief excerpts of, some of the worst posts by Men’s Rights activists and/or antifeminists I’ve run across in doing this blog. These are not random comments by random MRAs; they are all by people who have a history in the MRM. In most cases, they are fairly prominent names, at least within the online MRA community. A few of these posts will be familiar to readers of this blog.
Lest anyone accuse me of taking quotes out of context, I urge you to read the originals. As you’ll see, none of these quotes are any more justifiable “in context” than they are here on their own.
If anyone out there has seen worse, please post a URL below. Conversely, if any of these posts have been publicly challenged by others in the MRM, I will happily post links alongside the original.
I am also taking nominations for a follow-up post, The Best of the MRM. Post URLs below.
In the name of equality and fairness, I am proclaiming October to be Bash a Violent Bitch Month.
I’d like to make it the objective for the remainder of this month, and all the Octobers that follow, for men who are being attacked and physically abused by women – to beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles.
And then make them clean up the mess.
Immediately after this quote, he claims he’s not “serious” about this, though apparently only because “it isn’t worth the time behind bars or the abuse of anger management training that men must endure if they are uppity enough to defend themselves from female attackers.” My post on the subject is here. Here’s another piece by Elam full of fantasies of violence against women.
Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.
This post from Roy Den Hollander, a lawyer and Men’s Rights activist best known for suing clubs that have “ladies nights,” suggests that men may have to take up arms to win their, er, struggle:
The future prospect of the Men’s Movement raising enough money to exercise some influence in America is unlikely. But there is one remaining source of power in which men still have a near monopoly—firearms.
And speaking of angry men and their guns, here’s a post from Citizen Renegade, a Pick-Up Artist (PUA) site popular with MRAs: Game Can Save Lives It’s about George Sodini, the misogynist killer who gunned down women at a health club a year ago. “Chateau” suggests that all would have been well if Sodini had learned how to be a Pick-Up Artist:
If Sodini had learned game he would have been able to find another woman and gotten laid after his ex dumped him. He wouldn’t have spent the next 20 years steeped in bile and weighed down by his Sisyphian blue balls, dreaming of vengeance. Game could have saved the lives of the women Sodini killed.
Actually, Sodini had taken at least one class from Don Steele, author of “How to Date Young Women for Men Over 35.” The comments to Chateau’s article are scarier than the article itself. For selected examples and commentary, see here.
[P]roperly owning a dog is excellent training for properly owning a woman. The behavior of dogs and women is eerily similar, and their relation to man testifies to that.
Like dogs, women need to be led. They *want* to be led. In fact, though they will never admit it, women want to be owned by their men.
Other MRAs don’t seem to be much interested in adult women at all. MRA Jay Hammers, a regular contributor to The Spearhead, has taken down his blog, but its worst moments live on in Google’s cache. Perhaps the worst of the worst: Age of Consent is Misandry. Key quotes:
Age of consent laws are designed to punish beta males. A beta male in his 20s, unsuccessful with women his own age who are infused with a sense of feminist entitlement and deride all but the top alpha males who take interest in them, who seeks companionship with a younger, sexually mature female who desires him, should not go to prison for acting on that which is normal male sexuality.
Females generally do not significantly mature mentally past puberty so it should always be illegal for any woman to have sex or it should never be illegal for any woman to have sex. There is no arbitrary age where females suddenly become self-aware, realizing the consequences of their actions, and stop seeking out alpha males. Thus there must not be an arbitrary age of consent for sex.
One of Hammers’ biggest defenders has been an antifeminist blogger by the nom-de-net of Schopenbecq, who is equally obsessed with the age of consent and what he sees as the superior attractiveness of teen girls. Here’s one of his posts on the subject, which argues:
The age of consent has always been central to feminism. In fact, it has been its primary driving force right from the beginning. The purpose of this website is not to campaign for a reduction in the age of consent from the present feminist age of 16. For one thing, there is little or no chance of that happening in this author’s lifetime. However, I have no shame whatsoever in stating my clear belief that the age of consent ought to be what it still technically is in the majority of major civilised nations – namely, 14.
In this post, he mocks any man who doesn’t think Heather Locklear’s 13-year-old daughter is hotter than Locklear herself:
Results of a poll on Schopenbecq’s site.
Here, he argues that feminism is a “Sexual Trade Union,” and seems to suggest that increasing the age of consent from 12 was bad thing :
Feminism exists as a defender of the selfish sexual and reproductive interests of aging and/or unattractive women. This is its entire raison d’etre, the reason it first came into existence with the social purity movement reformers of the 19th century, led by their harridan battle cry – ‘armed with the ballot the mothers of America will legislate morality’.
And legislate morality these pioneering feminists quickly did, even before they had won the vote. That is, they successfully lobbied for restrictions on prostitution, a rise in the age of consent from 12 to 16, or even 18, and the closing down of saloons where their husbands might mix freely with unattached young women.
Post-feminist women have been so indoctrinated by specious polemics extolling their (largely imaginary) talents, that they truly believe their ‘achievements’ are somehow self-determined. This is why the loss of their physical charms wreaks such havok on them. Having been nurtured on feminist pipe dreams, the cutting realization that their youthful ‘success’ was entirely due to sexual allure must be galling indeed. … Indeed, the staunch bitterness of middle-aged Anglo-American women can be entirely attributed to this realization:
It wasn’t your ‘talent’ and ‘intelligence’ that men admired: it was your sweet young pussy. That pussy-pass departed with your first wrinkle: live with it, bitch.
Big cities like London, New York and Sydney are jam-packed with beautiful foreign girls from Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia. They are sexy, fun, good company and they treat men like human beings. They have not had their minds poisoned by feminist hate-speech. … I urge all Western men to boycott Western Women if they can. Don’t date them, don’t marry them, don’t have children with them. Find yourself a nice foreign girl, and find out what women should be like. If anyone asks you why, tell them it is a protest against feminist ideology. Once enough men start boycotting them, women will turn away from feminism.
Henry Makow has gotten too loopy for most Men’s Rights activists to consider him as one of their own. But he remains one of the internet’s most influential antifeminists. Here are some quotes from his classic in craziness How the Rockefellers Re-Engineered Women.
Feminism is an excellent example of how the Rockefeller mega cartel uses the awesome power of the mass media (i.e. propaganda.) to control society. … Nicholas Rockefeller told [producer Aaron Russo] that his family foundation created women’s liberation using mass media control as part of a long-term plan to enslave humanity. ….
The hidden goal of feminism is to destroy the family, which interferes with state brainwashing of the young. Side benefits include depopulation and widening the tax base. Displacing men in the role of providers also destabilizes the family.
While women and children often lack the capacity to grasp the inner workings of authority, they still have an instinctual, positive response to it. Authority brings chaotic, aimless things, people, events and circumstances into a state of good order. … Masculinity is properly expressed in the form of authority.
You know what I said above about reading the originals? Don’t bother in this case.
Single mothers, rampant divorce, abortion and falling birth rates are part of the cancer that is destroying what is left of Western Civilization. But very few people (even conservatives) fail to realize that the inception of this cancer can be found in the passage of the 19th amendment.
I wrote about the piece, and reactions to it, here.
More Worst Of links to come! The Men’s Rights movement produces fresh awfulness each and every day.
EDIT: Deansdale’s Blog has weighed in on this Worst-of list and is surprisingly positive about the whole thing. Oh, not my post — he hates my post, and me — but the original MRA-n-pals posts. Elam’s “Bash a Violent Bitch” post? “What’s the problem with this article? Nothing, really. … Elam has some insightful observations about the nature of women in our contemporary cultures.” Roissy’s post about misogynist killer George Sodini? “What’s wrong with this article? Nothing.”And RamZpaul’s How Female Suffrage Destroyed Western Civilization? “There are valid arguments supporting his claim. It’s not PC, sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s automatically wrong.”
He even sort-of defends good old Henry Makow and his bizarre conspiracy theoryies:
Actually this is not so crazy. You don’t believe it, that’s fine, but show me why this is soooo unacceptable. He states lots of things: some of them obvious, some of them researchable. But it’s not so radical.
The only people he doesn’t defend? The Manhood Academy guys. Apparently saying horrible, horrible shit about women is perfectly acceptable in Deansdale’s vision of the MRM, but saying horrible, horrible shit about women while also calling other MRAs “manginas,” as the Manhood Academy guys do, is totally BEYOND THE PALE!!!
This is the first in what will be a series of “Further Reading” posts that will provide links and brief excerpts/summaries of posts, articles and books useful to critics of the Men’s Rights Movement. They will all be permanently listed in my sidebar. I will add more useful links as I run across them.
I’ve also started adding a series of pages that offer information and links rebutting more specific claims typically made by those in the Men’s Rights movement. These will also be permanently listed in my sidebar under the heading “Anti-MRM Info and Resources.”
Here are some useful general critiques of the Men’s Rights Movement:
These men’s rights activists, or MRAs, have long been written off by domestic-violence advocates as a bombastic and fringe group of angry white men, and for good reason. … But lately they’ve become far more polished and savvy about advancing their views.
A generally useful overview, with one caveat: Joyce considerably understates the amount of domestic violence that is perpetrated by women. See here for my thoughts on the subject.
Jezebel and Salon have pieces commenting on Joyce’s article. Amanda Marcotte offers some blunt opinions on the piece, as well as some reflections on her general experience dealing with MRAs.
In general, “men’s rights” is an anti-feminist and sometimes misogynist (woman-hating) backlash. Its analysis is wrong, its strategies are misdirected and sometimes harmful, and ultimately it does not serve men well. There are legitimate aspects to the issues it raises, but they will not be addressed when surrounded by its hostile and sexist agendas. … Feminism is a movement and set of ideas to which many men’s rights men show venomous and semi-hysterical hostility. … Men’s rights men in fact offer a bizarre caricature of feminism, a highly ignorant and selective misrepresentation.
While fathers’ rights groups often claim to speak on behalf of male victims of domestic violence, these efforts undermine the policies and services that would protect and gain justice for these same men.
Fathers’ rights advocates also: Make excuses for perpetrators; Act as direct advocates for perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of violence against women; Use abusive strategies themselves; Work to undermine and harass the services and institutions that work with the victims and survivors of violence.
More pieces by Flood and others on MRAs at XYonline.net.
The problem with the men’s rights movement is that they confuse men’s unhappiness with oppression. They assume that if men were in control, they would be happy, because patriarchal oppressors ought to be happy. Therefore, if a man isn’t happy, he isn’t oppressing. Newsflash, folks: Just because you don’t know you’re privileged doesn’t mean you’re not. Just because there are aspects of your power and privilege that you find alienating and burdensome doesn’t mean that you are any less a beneficiary of an oppressive system!