It is 'all men': Our culture of predatory misogyny

You know how they are telling you that it is “not all men?”

That men like Jian Ghomeshi are a terrible exception and if we as men simply stand up and say we are not as bad as that, or that we are not rapists or do not beat “our” girlfriends or that we show that it is not men, generally, who are violent and abusive, but only “bad” men?

Well that is bullshit.

It is all men. We, collectively, and most commonly as individuals, are responsible for creating the conditions that not only facilitate Ghomeshi, but that ensure he will exist.

This is a very uncomfortable and inconvenient truth. It is all men and the society that they produced that allowed a misogynist, alleged serial abuser to rise to and feel comfortable within the halls of media and fame, despite the now known and clear indications that he was a predator all along and that many, many people could have done something about it but did not.

The people who knew did not care. He was famous. He was a celebrity in our eyes. He had very real institutional power. And so, as is increasingly clear, even though everyone on the inside seemingly either “knew” or had an inkling that he was a predator, no one did anything.

No one did anything.

And this does not at all surprise me. Despite all the protestations to the contrary, this is as old as male patriarchal power and is entirely predictable in a male supremacist “culture” of institutionalized pornography and prostitution and of male violence and sexual power as an accepted norm.

The very nature of systemic oppression means there are no “good guys.” We have all, especially as men, participated in the “locker room” or trash-talking objectification of women and in the creation of a culture and context in which a Ghomeshi would feel right at home.

All men know this if they are choosing to be remotely honest. The belief that men are entitled to women and the reality of porn culture and its degradation of women is a fact that every heterosexual male has encountered and lived in.

All men enable predators like Ghomeshi in a collective sense. They enable this by being the overwhelming percentage of sexual predators (to the point where female sexual predators are statistically insignificant). They enable this by being the overwhelming users of the oppressive institutions of pornography and prostitution.

We are told, by men and apologists for the “industry,” that pornography or prostitution are a “job” like any other when even a cursory trip through internet pornography or the racialized and marginalized facts about prostitution show that this is a total lie.

Violent, degrading, ugly pornography is the norm, not the exception. This is rather easily proven, but seldom acknowledged. Why we would anticipate that many men born of this culture of violent, degrading pornography would behave any differently when it comes to “real life” is mystifying to me.

The power relations that lead from a culture of pornography to Jian Ghomeshi are direct and clear except to liberals and the willfully blind. This is why he could claim to be a feminist while behaving as he did.

He was a “feminist” in male terms. Women’s “liberation” was refracted in his mind through his needs as a sexual predator and his needs as a man.

When men chose — and it is a  choice — to use and enable prostitution and pornography as some sort of “human right” or lifestyle decision divorced from its broader implications socially, they guarantee the perpetuation of violence against women and the objectification and commodification of women.

Given the fact that misogynist predators like Bill Cosby, R Kelly, Woody Allen and many others can continue to be famous, respected and embraced as “artists” despite the established reality of what they have done to women and girls, why would anyone be either surprised by Ghomeshi and his enablers or the fact that he got away with it for so long?

He got away with it because he was a famous and powerful man in a society that not only glorified him as such but that regarded his female victims as irrelevant chattel, as is so often the case with men in media, politics or business.

It is all men who allow this. We are responsible. Until we acknowledge and act on this fact another “famous” predator like Ghomeshi is simply a very short news cycle away.

Michael LaxerMichael Laxer lives in Toronto where he runs a bookstore with his partner Natalie. Michael has a Degree in History from Glendon College of York University. He is a political activist, a two-time former candidate and former election organizer for the NDP, is a socialist candidate for Toronto City Council in 2014, and is on the executive of the Socialist Party of Ontario.
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  • Good piece, reminds me also of Kourtney Mitchell’s writing on this subject. The best male allies don’t rehash what feminists have written time and time again. They go after the failure of men to police each other’s abuses of women.

  • You’re absolutely right, it is all men.

    The only missing component of this post is *why*; the answer is not simply that men are taught by culture and therefore haplessly complicit. It suits all of you to do so. Men enjoy the power, and the sexual satisfaction.

    You all benefit from the Jian Ghomeshis of this world, not just because it ensures men’s dominant status, but because other men’s terrorism of women lowers the bar for your qualification as a Good Guy to the absolute bare minimum. Even simple acknowledgement of how disgusting men are, with no other course of action, qualifies a man as The Absolute Best Man Who Really Gets It.

    Such a deep investment in the status quo means men are vanishingly unlikely to ever relinquish this state of affairs, but good on you for trying to talk them into it. Better than women wasting their time.

    • Ash

      “You all benefit from the Jian Ghomeshis of this world, not just because it ensures men’s dominant status, but because other men’s terrorism of women lowers the bar for your qualification as a Good Guy to the absolute bare minimum.”

      wow…well that hit me like a ton of bricks…

    • Valar_Morghulis

      It’s one thing to suggest that all men contribute to an atmosphere of predatory misogyny and another thing entirely to suggest that all men exemplify it, or that all men benefit from it, or that all men who contribute do so knowingly, or that all men who have ever contributed to this environment have necessarily done so more than they opposed it, or — in this case — that all men are “bad,” or (at the very least), that no man is “good.” If men who uphold the air of a culture they were born into can be dismissed as immoral, and women who decry feminism can be dismissed as the victims of internalized misogyny, who will remain to listen but those of us who hold your ideas above criticism?

      I think it’s fair to say that every man could benefit from listening to the concerns of women, examining our behavior and determining where it needs to be redressed; there is nothing to be gained from saying “I’m not one of THOSE men!” I get that.

      But I’ll be damned if I’m going to consider myself a “bad” man when I was brought up into this culture and somehow have enough wherewithal to recognize that, in a general sense, I am more privileged than women. Men like Jian Ghomeshi make it easier for me to stand out as a “good man” insofar as any male sexual predator makes it easier for me to navigate a world where 51% of the population never knows which of the other 49% is going to attack them, rape them or even murder them — which is to say, not in the slightest.

      And these comments! Seriously? I don’t exactly have a wall lined with gold stars because I see sexual predators as despicable; I just share something in common with the vast majority of humanity. Hell, honestly, it doesn’t even benefit me to be vociferously aggressive on Facebook groups where women are being openly slut shamed; at most, I get a handful of likes from a few outspoken feminists and metric fuck-ton of enmity from people who treat me like the only reason I disagreed with them was because I wanted to stick my penis somewhere it didn’t belong.

      I’m not even sure how to follow your logic on pornography. The majority of men like porn –> the majority of porn depicts violence against women –> the majority of men contribute to an industry of violence against women? What about men who prefer to watch porn that depicts violence against men? Or gay porn? Or porn filmed and produced by a young couple and a handful of models who all enjoy a niche fetish? Porn isn’t this monolithic industry, but if you want to have a discussion about how my Clothed Female Naked Male fetish is contributing to this unbearable atmosphere of predatory misogyny, I’m happy to hear you out.

      What’s most unsettling about articles such as this are the way that they detract from the behaviors, beliefs, sentiments, privileges and attitudes that comprise the very culture you decry and shift the attention back to this endless series of finger-pointing and blame-shifting. We were all — men and women — brought into this culture. Tell me what I can do to demonstrate this fact to others; show me how I can raise awareness of its existence; let’s come together and find ways to promote equality of gender, of sexual orientation, of race and religious belief (or the lack thereof!)

      If I’m going to dispense with my privilege, I see no reason to keep my shame along with it.

      • Mar Iguana

        “If I’m going to dispense with my privilege, I see no reason to keep my shame along with it.”

        Some day/lifetime, when you’ve evolved, you will see. By the way, “gender equality” is an oxymoron.

        “Tell me…show me” Not women’s job.

      • Non-PC RadFem

        “Hell, honestly, it doesn’t even benefit me to be vociferously aggressive on Facebook groups where women are being openly slut shamed; at most, I get a handful of likes from a few outspoken feminists and metric fuck-ton of enmity from people who treat me like the only reason I disagreed with them was because I wanted to stick my penis somewhere it didn’t belong.”

        First of all; you don’t do stuff because it “benefits” you personally or not. You do it because it’s the right thing to do, and yeah; news flash, doing what it’s right – in this backwards world – it is a thankless job. No one is gonna give you a cookie for it.

        Second: you get abuse just for expressing your views on facebook? Well, welcome TO OUR WORLD! Now imagine what you get on facebook and apply it to anything and everything you do, all the time, everywhere, it might give you an idea how pissed off and tired – us women are – of this kind of treatment.

        “I’m not even sure how to follow your logic on pornography. The majority of men like porn –> the majority of porn depicts violence against women –> the majority of men contribute to an industry of violence against women?”

        To answer your question in one word: YES!

        “What about men who prefer to watch porn that depicts violence against men?”

        Is that some kind of gay version of ‘what about the menz‘? Are you gonna equate male circumcision to Female Genital Mutilation next? Hm?

        But let me spell it out for ya; as a feminist I can’t care less about what men do to other men, that’s for your lot to sort out, IF you’re that concerned about it, that is, which I suspect you’re not!
        Us feminist have our hands full trying to better the lot for women, hence why it’s called ‘fem’inism instead of: let’s take care for any sod that needs help, regardless of sex.

        “What’s most unsettling about articles such as this are the way that they detract from the behaviors, beliefs, sentiments, privileges and attitudes that comprise the very culture you decry and shift the attention back to this endless series of finger-pointing and blame-shifting.”

        Wow! I’m impressed! Way to say a whole lot of nothing by using a big bunch of words! You should be a politician!
        But in the real world what you just said just translates as: blah!

        “We were all — men and women — brought into this culture.”

        Yeah… we’re all rought into this culture of class hierarchy, did you nod off when the OP mentioned the “male supremacist “culture”… or what?!
        JEE-EEZ!

        “[…] let’s come together and find ways to promote equality of gender, of sexual orientation, of race and religious belief (or the lack thereof!)”

        It all sounds lovingly egalitarian, now – doesn’t it? One minor flaw: gender is not equals sex* (*Sex= biological sex) So… it’s back to the drawing board for you!

        ….BTW, that last sentence of yours… just makes me kind of stabby.

        • Valar_Morghulis

          “First of all; you don’t do stuff because it “benefits” you personally or not. You do it because it’s the right thing to do, and yeah; news flash, doing what it’s right – in this backwards world – it is a thankless job. No one is gonna give you a cookie for it.”

          How would you know why I do what I do? I follow my own values for my own reasons.

          “You get abuse just for expressing your views on facebook? Well, welcome TO OUR WORLD! Now imagine what you get on facebook and apply it to anything and everything you do, all the time, everywhere, it might give you an idea how pissed off and tired – us women are – of this kind of treatment.”

          Completely missed my point, which was the that people like Jian Ghomeshi somehow make it easier for me is a deeply flawed notion. If I was hell-bent on being “the best guy ever who just TOTALLY gets it!” I’d lend my voice to places where it -wasn’t- welcome — for instance, places like FB groups where women are being slut-shamed — rather to than the millions of faceless masses who denounce rape. In no way, shape or form does the world see me as a better person because I think rape is a bad thing.

          “To answer your question in one word: YES!”

          So you agree that the logic used in this article is invalid, but you support it anyway? You realize that the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises?

          “Is that some kind of gay version of ‘what about the menz?

          No, it’s a demonstration that “pornography” isn’t a monolithic enterprise. I enjoy watching dominant women humiliate submissive men; in what way does this contribute to the same aura of “predatory misogyny” that allow people like Jian Ghomeshi to flourish?

          “Are you gonna equate male circumcision to Female Genital Mutilation next? Hm?”

          I believe it’s the direct equivalent to removing the clitoral hood, and I strongly believe we should stop acting as if circumcision isn’t a form of mutilation, but I don’t see how that’s relevant to this post.

          “Yeah… we’re all rought into this culture of class hierarchy, did you nod off when the OP mentioned the “male supremacist “culture”… or what?!”

          My point is that women are also brought up into this culture. Women also slut-shame, women watch porn, women engage in “locker room trash talk.” The same logic that’s used to condemn men for perpetuating the culture that we were born and raised into can be used to condemn women in much the same way.

          “It all sounds lovingly egalitarian, now – doesn’t it? One minor flaw: gender is not equals sex* (*Sex= biological sex) So… it’s back to the drawing board for you!”

          Is it? Huh. As often as I hear “gender equality” bandied about by feminists among various Facebook Groups, you’d think it would actually be a thing. That said, don’t radical feminists and gender feminists actually have a huge point of contention about this?

          “….BTW, that last sentence of yours… just makes me kind of stabby.”

          Yeah, well, that’s how I feel about this whole article.

          But no, you’re right; privilege is a highly desirable thing: being listened to and not being harassed on the streets aren’t exactly things I plan on “giving up” anytime in the near future. In fact, re-reading what I wrote, it really looks like I just let my haste and emotions get the better of me. Even the placement of my reply is all wrong.

          I just see this entire article as a pointless rebuttal to a pointless meme that does absolutely nothing to promote the interests of women, and I disagree, passionately, with its premises. The idea that all men contribute to an air of predatory misogyny is irrelevant when you consider that of those men, many of us have opened our eyes to the presence of social injustice and made a point of redressing those issues. The idea that we’re “all bad” because we all exist in a culture that continuously does this, is just false.

          • bella_cose

            Except that both of your comments proved the point of this article. You’re blinded by your privilege, and that means you are an ally to no woman. As that is the case, I have no problem completely dismissing everything you’ve said, because people like you rarely get it, so discussion is a waste of time.

          • Non-PC RadFem

            @ bella_cose: “Except that both of your comments proved the point of this article. You’re blinded by your privilege, and that means you are an ally to no woman.”

            True that! But I suspect it goes deeper than that. I get the feeling he’s fishing around in feminists blogs looking for his very own feminist dominatrix.

            Because that’s what we are, you see? FemiNAZIS, with SS, black figure hugging outfits and all, aren‘t we? /end sarcasm

            Men: it’s always about THEM, isn’t it!?
            Dog forbid they’d ever harbor a non self-centered thought focused solely on the plight of a fellow human being and not their own…

          • pbutterfly2000

            “I enjoy watching dominant women humiliate submissive men; in what way does this contribute to the same aura of “predatory misogyny” that allow people like Jian Ghomeshi to flourish?”

            In porn and in prostitution, submissive men order women to humiliate them because it’s their own personal fetish. So the subs are actually in control. It’s not different than any other kind of porn. Men are buying the fantasy that women are dominating them, but the fantasy still objectifies and humiliates the woman.

            “The idea that we’re “all bad” because we all exist in a culture that continuously does this, is just false.”

            No one said all men are bad. Just that most “nice guys’ are guilty of looking the other way when it comes to systemic injustice, and that they should look at themselves and learn how to be more observant and conscientious. If you read the article, it’s not saying that there are not nice men in the world. It’s about the dozens or hundreds of “nice people” (women included) that see men raping and abusing women and look the other way.

            I think that if you weren’t insecure that you may in fact be “bad” then you wouldn’t be offended. So why do you feel you are bad? Is there anything that you do that women tend to object to, besides your porn habit? Do you mistreat the women in your life? Have you been rejected because of it?

          • Non-PC RadFem

            @pbutterfly2000: “It’s not different than any other kind of porn. Men are buying the fantasy that women are dominating them, but the fantasy still objectifies and humiliates the woman.”

            Bravo! *clapping* And thanks for saving me the time typing something that wouldn’t be anywhere near as articulate as your version of it. 🙂

            “[…] they should look at themselves and learn how to be more observant and conscientious. If you read the article, it’s not saying that there are not nice men in the world. It’s about the dozens or hundreds of “nice people” (women included) that see men raping and abusing women and look the other way.”

            Exactly! How can anyone read this article and completely miss the vital point it’s trying to make?

            BTW; the answer to that question is frightening to say the least…

          • Non-PC RadFem

            @ Valar_spank me hard_Morghulis: “How would you know why I do what I do? I follow my own values for my own reasons.”

            Yeah, don’t worry, I thought that you made that abundantly and depressingly clear…

            “If I was hell-bent on being “the best guy ever who just TOTALLY gets it!” I’d lend my voice to places where it -wasn’t- welcome — for instance, places like FB groups where women are being slut-shamed […] {+ the rest]”

            Real life ain’t facebook, or as you put it: “FB.”
            Further; some of us aren’t even on the CIA/NSA/GCHQ monitored and controlled “FB.” Have a wild guess why…

            So forgive me if I’m not impressed by your ‘oh, so pro-femist activism’ in such a lame so-called social media AND governmental heavily monitored site.

            ^ And admittedly: that’s all I could take from that paragraph of yours, even after reading three times I still can’t make out what the main point was… and no, that’s not an invitation for you to clarify it. Thanks, but no thanks.

            “So you agree that the logic used in this article is invalid, but you support it anyway? You realize that the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises”

            [Oh… you’re gonna looove this one…]

            To answer your question in one word: NO!

            “No, it’s a demonstration that “pornography” isn’t a monolithic enterprise. I enjoy watching dominant women humiliate submissive men; in what way does this contribute to the same aura of “predatory misogyny” that allow people like Jian Ghomeshi to flourish?”

            Me and the rest of the fine ladies in here, I’m sure, are NOT interested in your porn preferences. (Seriously, we’re sick of hearing men talking about what kind porn they like)

            So you like ladies beating the shit out of men… uh?
            Hmmm… couldn’t that possibly be because you fetishized women’s lower status in society, and therefore you enjoy the reversal of that premise as kinky or whatever….*knocks head on wall repeatedly*

            “[…] but I don’t see how that’s relevant to this post.”

            Neither do I, it’s just that this kind of article, tends to attract the ‘what about the menz’ MRA’s and other assorted weirdo type crowds.

            “My point is that women are also brought up into this culture. Women also slut-shame, women watch porn, women engage in “locker room trash talk […]”

            And MY point was that if you even bothered to spend just a few hours of your manly important time into studying Feminism 101, you wouldn’t be asking this idiotic question on the first place. I’ll even throw you a bone here; what you’re referring to it’s been addressed by Feminists a billion times already; it’s called: internalized misogyny *wink-wink*

            “Is it? Huh. As often as I hear “gender equality” bandied about by feminists among various Facebook Groups […]”

            Again with the facebook!?…. *eye-roll*

            And the rest of your gibberish it’s just boring… so I won’t even bother to answer.

            *yawn*

      • marv

        “It’s one thing to suggest that all men contribute to an atmosphere of predatory misogyny and another thing entirely to suggest that all men exemplify it, or that all men benefit from it, or that all men who contribute do so knowingly, or that all men who have ever contributed to this environment have necessarily done so more than they opposed it, or — in this case — that all men are “bad,” or (at the very least), that no man is “good.””

        You are not opening your eyes to the bigger picture and how individual men function within a socially stratified society.

        http://feministcurrent.com/9823/part-of-the-problem-talking-about-systemic-oppression/

      • TL;DR

  • pbutterfly2000

    This is so true. Men are complicit through their silence and failure to try to enact change. I remember years ago, I went out with a few friends to a rather sordid gay nightclub. A girl who was with us brought her cousin, a grinning hulk of a guy who seemed mentally challenged. Well at some point this guy threw me into the bar’s small pool/ hot tub, grabbed me from behind, lifted me in the air, and proceeded to try to tear off my clothes. I was soaking wet and literally screaming and fighting as hard as I could to get him off me, terrified, and three of my straight male friends (one of whom was my boyfriend) just sat there and watched the show. Other men (mostly gay men) sat around and watched and laughed and sipped their cocktails. A few minutes later the girl cousin came back and tore the guy off of me, slapping and kicking him until he let go, and asking what the hell was wrong with him. It was astonishing to me that no one else thought or cared to do this except for her. I will never forget that feeling of being sexually assaulted in a public space and having everyone except the one woman present look at it as a form of entertainment. I berated all of the guys later about this incident, and they all just looked at me blankly and shrugged their shoulders. Another time I was almost gang-raped at party as a teenager, because for some reason all of the other women had suddenly left without me realizing it, including the girl who drove me there, and the men saw this as a rare opportunity. I would have been raped except that one guy had the courage to stand up to the other guys and make them lay off. So yes, ALMOST all men.

    But it’s not only men. It’s women too. Recently a girlfriend of mine was sexually assaulted by her boss in a hotel room full of other female employees, none of whom lifted a finger to help her. She was traumatized not only by the assault, but by the failure of the women in the room to help her. It was an employee trip to Las Vegas, where they’d all gone out drinking and she’d stayed in the room and gone to sleep early. They all came in drunk late at night and that’s when she was molested. So not only did they not help, they facilitated the assault by bringing the drunk boss into the room where she was sleeping.

    • Lee

      I had a really good friend drag me to a party (I didn’t want to go to, at all) at 17. She promised me she would not leave me, then disappeared, left me with a bunch of older people (21+) I didn’t know, except for a guy who tried to rape me at one point. It didn’t totally compute that he tried to rape me, despite the fact that he held me down and covered my mouth, etc. because no one believed me afterward and I thought I must have misinterpreted. I remember telling him, “At least use a condom, please, please, please.” I was miraculously rescued by a knock on the door… Well, at said party, where the only ‘friendly’ face was this guy, I ended up so ‘drunk’ despite only drinking one, not very strong, drink, that I couldn’t walk. No one helped me. Everyone saw. I was actually afraid of the women there. They looked down on me for not being able to maintain, (did I mention this guy made my drink??). My rapist went on to prison for raping an underage girl at some point after that. Everyone knew about the ‘rumors’ surrounding him — it was part of his ‘mystique’; yet no one did anything, either time.

      It happens all the time, in front of everyone. If you are female and have even breast-buds, you are fair game.

    • John

      “But it’s not only men. It’s women too.”

      Thank you for that. Good post.

    • David2

      Every single person man OR woman I know well enough to call a friend would have helped you.
      I was talking with a friend recently about this whole ‘not all men’ thing.
      We discussed that maybe that sentiment exists because most of us can’t even comprehend the creeps that are out there.
      It’s like I’m reading about an alternate universe. I’ve never even caught a tiny glimpse of that world.

      • EEU

        I’m so sorry, Lee and pbutterfly. Similar things have happened to me too.

        David, if you open your eyes and look around you more carefully you’ll see it for sure. I’ve been sexually assaulted in clubs several times. I don’t go dancing anymore because every single time I go I get sexually assaulted by at least a dozen men. Even though I haven’t seen rape in a club, sexual assault without penetration is extremely common. It’s normal, actually. If you’re female and you go to a club you are probably going to feel unwanted erections on your ass and you are going to be touched sexually, groped and harassed. Men sexually assault women in clubs all the time and call it ‘dancing.’

        • pbutterfly2000

          Women are also sometimes dragged into bathrooms at clubs and raped. It happened to a friend of mine.

          • EEU

            This is so fucking horrible. It seems to happen very often. That’s why women go to the bathroom in groups and never alone. Many have given up on going because shit like this happens all the time and instead of being a fun place to go to, it’s a battlefield.

      • pbutterfly2000

        How do you know what people would do? I would have assumed that my friends would have helped me. If you asked me hypothetically, I would have said that all three of the guys I was with would have been noble and tried to help me, but the fact is they didn’t. These were not “frat boys,” these were sensitive, educated soft-spoken artist types. So it’s not that they were trying tho be assholes, it’s that they were afraid of the big ape who was attacking me and didn’t know how to fight. Pure and simple cowardice. But there was also complicity there. They were so certain I could take care of myself that they thought they’d just let things play out. But the fact was that I couldn’t take care of myself. I was screaming and crying and much weaker physically than my assailant and they just sat there and watched because men are like dogs when it comes to an alpha-male exerting his power. Like dogs in a pack they submitted to his authority.

        This dynamic between men may be invisible to you, but it’s quite apparent when you’re a young woman trying to survive and everywhere you go there are rapists and people complicit with those rapists. A common example is, you’re at a party and all the men are hitting on you, some in ways that are offensive and unsavory and maybe even downright scary. Nothing you can do or say will get these men to leave you alone. But then your boyfriend comes up to you and puts his arm around you, and suddenly they all disappear. That’s how it works. At the party where I was almost gang-raped I ran like hell outside into gated off backyard so there was nowhere to go but up. I climbed a tree and got to the very top like a cat, and they swarmed threateningly around the base of the tree leering and getting ready for the kill like a pack of hyenas, when some guy came up and “claimed” me as his own. I had never spoken to this guy before, but his behavior was so forceful when he told them to back off that they instantly retreated. He sat with me for a couple of hours then until my friend got back. Have you ever seen that show the dog whisperer? That’s what it was like. In the case of my friend who was attacked by her boss in a room full of women, well, he was the boss. Similar dynamic, but with a different motive. She was a bubbly pinup-type blonde and I think they all hated her and felt she “deserved” it and was “asking for it” because of the way she looked. But also they were cowards and didn’t want to lose their jobs. We’re really not that evolved from apes when you think about it. Basic instincts are to sacrifice the maiden to appease the violent man.

        Only once was I ever with a man who yelled at another man who was bothering me. But that’s because this man was an alpha-male, and would not take shit from other men. It had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the man and the aggressive way he related to other men.

        It also plays out just in conversation. You can be trying to make a point, and no one will believe you or listen to you. But then a man steps in and agrees with you, and suddenly your opinions are validated. Sometimes I bring a man along in meetings just to sit there and say nothing, because just his presence gives me a certain credibility. Men keep looking at him and wanting for him to be the one they’re dealing with. They so obviously prefer to deal with other men.

        And think about it: this dynamic plays out every time a woman tries to get a job or accomplish anything in the world. The males have their bonding and primal signals and their way they want to help one another and prove their worth to one another, and the women are just irrelevant unless they are attractive to the men, in which case a woman might be hired just so they can look at her legs or flirt in the hall or try to get a date.

        Think of the responsibility of alpha-males. Any CEO of a company could refuse to let men speak disrespectfully about women in the workplace, and fire men that do. They could also hire women based on their qualifications rather than on their hotness. But hotness in a woman is not just important because she is attractive to men, it’s important because if she wears heels and makeup and smiles and seems anxious to look attractive she is “well-trained” enough in patriarchal law so they can trust her.

        Yes it is an alternate universe. A universe you’ll never know because you’re not a woman. But if you’re a little more observant it’s very easy to see all of this playing out in the real world.

        • pbutterfly2000

          It’s even worse when you yourself are doing the hiring. You first have to weed out all of the men who can’t tolerate working under a woman. That eliminates about 90% of them. It’s very obvious in their body language and the way they try to dominate you in the first conversation. And you still usually have problems with lack of credibility (not just with men, with women too). Sometimes you even have to revert to a helpless maiden routine to get a man working under you to listen to you and to not be threatened by everything you do and say. So it’s ten times a hundred more difficult to get simple things done. It’s so much easier to submit.

          • pbutterfly2000

            Plus the ways in which men indicate that women are owned by men is so pervasive. I get asked all the time “are you married?” And of course I always say yes (although I’m not married) because the question means, are you owned by someone. And if you say no, then you’re inviting predatory behavior. When men use lines such as “are you married” or “do you have a boyfriend,” they’re stating implicitly that all women need to be owned by some man, and that if you are not already owned then you are prey. The sex industry is built around such assumptions of ownership: “well he paid for her, so it’s okay.” The woman’s feelings or circumstances never come into it. It’s the same with the term “date rape,” which implies that the man had certain rights because he may have paid for her dinner and because she agreed to speak to him, and all of that makes him have a certain ownership of her that discounts the seriousness of the rape. All of those “nice guys” who just stand around and stupidly accept the status quo…I don’t think they are unaware that the system benefits them, and I think they like it that way. No one stops celebrities who rape, because each man has an inner fantasy that if he were to become an alpha-male at the top end of society, he would also want to be above the law. It’s the James Bond syndrome: certain men can rape and kill because they’ve earned the right to do so. Who’s to say that my nice-guy male friends weren’t surreptitiously excited by watching me get my clothes ripped off? I wouldn’t be surprised.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Right! Like you can’t just say “no, I’m not interested” you have to have already been claimed by another man. I hate it, but that’s still my response to strangers/men who hit on me “I have a boyfriend.”

          • bo

            Such a cynical world view, that every man who might find you attractive is a predator. Perhaps a guy is asking because he doesn’t want to interfere with what you already have? It’s not about ownership it’s about not involving oneself in a monogamous connections. All of the couples I know don’t live in a dark world where a girlfriend or wife is owned by a boyfriend or husband.

            I guess by that standard then would someone who hits on you after your boyfriend line be more feminist? Not wanting to subscribe you to property standards thinking you might be free to make your own decisions to engage in conversation boyfriend or not. They’re not accepting the status quo.

          • pbutterfly2000

            One can use the term “predatory behavior,” or one can say “courtship behavior” or “man-woman behavior” or “pick-up behavior” or “non-platonic platonic behavior” or whatever term you want to use, but whatever term you use it’s unwanted attention. But I do call it predatory if a man you don’t know at all who sees you in a supermarket or out in the street asks you if you have a boyfriend or a husband. What he is asking you to do is to lay yourself open to sexual advances from him when you don’t know him at all. Why would any sane woman do that? He is also saying that his main interest in you is sexual before you have even met.

            Yes OF COURSE I would respond better to a man who would engage me in conversation not caring whether or not I’m “owned” by someone else. DUH. You and I don’t see the status quo in the same way apparently. I own MYSELF. If I have a boyfriend or a husband is my own business. I’ll have a conversation with almost anyone who treats me with respect. Treating someone as if they are part of a meat market when they are out shopping minding their own business is not respectful, it’s insecure and desperate.

          • pbutterfly2000

            Of course it’s all contextual. If I was out at a singles bar or something then I would be putting myself in a meat market on purpose so the question would not seem predatory, yet it still conveys that man’s sense of women being owned. Anyway this was in the context of how you can’t protect yourself from unwanted sexual advances unless another man has claimed you. So far that’s the only way in my experience that men will ever back off – if another man orders them to, NOT if you tell them to go away. So even total strangers are invoking the invisible alpha-male who has claimed you in order to get permission to speak to you.

            It’s so interesting the way men operate. I would never go up to a man I was interested in and ask if he has a girlfriend. I would start up a conversation and try to ascertain if he was interested in me. If he showed no interest, then there would be no reason to ask. And there is a possibility that I wouldn’t like him anyway once I spoke to him, and that would be that. But say we had spent some time together and it was clear we had things in common, then I might ask, just to make sure I wasn’t getting myself into something I didn’t want to get into. But more likely I would wait for it to come up naturally in conversation, and I would only directly ask if things started to advance emotionally or sexually. Don’t you see how much less hubristic and more sane that is? Otherwise I am potentially scaring that man off by showing intentions towards him that are inappropriate to have towards a total stranger. Can you even imagine a strange woman approaching you with a question like that? You’re putting tomatoes in a shopping cart minding your own business and suddenly some lady is smiling at you and looking you up and down and saying “Excuse me, are you married?”

          • EEU

            Exactly. Everything you said is completely true. I’ve seen some men see women they don’t know on the street and say: “Hey, I really like you! Give me your phone number!” Complete strangers. Disgusting.

          • Non-PC RadFem

            @pbutterfly2000:

            “But I do call it predatory if a man you don’t know at all who sees you in a supermarket or out in the street asks you if you have a boyfriend or a husband. What he is asking you to do is to lay yourself open to sexual advances from him when you don’t know him at all.”

            I agree and disagree at the same time. I agree; unwanted attention by a stranger is always, well… unwanted! The problem stems from women not being able to do the same without prejudicial consequences.

            For example if a straight, open minded guy gets hit on by a gay guy at a guy bar, he might not mind it, or even feel flattered. But that’s because it’s expected of men – gay or otherwise – to engage on courtship behaviors and be the initiators, while women are not allowed to do the same. If we do: we’re sluts, desperate, pathetic, easy (etc). It’s the double standard that is the problem, not the ‘act’ itself.

            And I would wager that if either: both sexes are socially allowed to do the ‘courtship’ or alternatively; it would be equally unacceptable for both sexes to engage a stranger in a flirtatious manner, we wouldn’t have this problem on the first place.

          • David2

            That’s food for thought, thanks. It’s true that I’d like to think I and those like me would help someone in distress.
            But I’ve never been faced with that situation, of having to stop some beefy guy about to rape somebody.
            So I can’t say for sure whether I’d be brave enough or not.
            However something you mention disturbs me. That this complicity of otherwise nice guys is indicative that secretly they want to see your clothes get ripped off.
            Those of us who are decent people are not just pretending. It might be hard to believe but for many men, sex is not about power. Marriage is not about ownership. And we don’t fantasize about you being raped. There are genuinely good men, I know many.
            It’s not like we’re all secretly on the side of evil rapey men. And we’re not all secretly happy with the way the status quo works out in our favor.
            But given the guys who exist and the things they do, I can understand that kind of thinking.

          • pbutterfly2000

            David, it’s not that black and white. I don’t hate men or think that all men are bad. But I’m pretty sure that although those men didn’t want to see me hurt, they did get a secret thrill out of watching my clothes be ripped off, because they were young and curious about women’s bodies. Does that make them evil and rapey? Hardly. But it does make them young and sexually frustrated and deeply flawed. There was also another dynamic going on: one of the men was my boyfriend, and another was in love with me. Neither of them wanted to help, because they might have made the other one angry. That’s how men support each other and sacrifice women; not always intentionally, but because of inner loyalty to each other. That’s essentially what this article is about.

            But I disagree with you about marriage. Marriage IS about ownership. In good marriages it’s a benign kind of ownership, and spouses own one another equally. But I’m not talking about men being married and treating their wives like property, I’m talking about men looking at other men’s wives as someone else’s property, and not looking at women as if they own themselves. Women have traditionally been owned first by their fathers, then by their husbands. It’s been that way for a long time, and old traditions die hard. And I also disagree that men are not secretly happy with the status quo. Everyone in a position of power enjoys that power. That’s human nature.

          • David2

            Pbutterfly, the main thing that struck me about your reply was that historically women have been the property of their fathers, then their husbands (still are in some places).
            That’s a great point. I sometimes forget the context of these arguments. Here in Canada a guy can forget we’re on a trajectory away from that place in the past, not completely free of it. It’s not an unthinkable place we’ve never been. It’s our history.
            So to me the most important thing about feminism is that we’re trying to decide what the future will look like compared to the past, and the argument is about what that future will be.

            I still can’t agree that all men like the status quo. I like the part of the status quo where I’m not disadvantaged. But it wouldn’t hurt me if nobody was disadvantaged. I don’t need power over anybody. Other people having freedom too doesn’t bother me. I don’t understand how it could.
            I don’t wanna belabor that point though, it’s just my thoughts.

            Ah the last thing quickly is about that question, “Are you married”, and whether it means that a woman can’t own herself.
            I think you guys are reading way too much into that. Many times girls who are interested will ask a guy if he’s married or has a girlfriend. If somebody loves somebody else, they’re probably not open to your advances. Besides, asking “are you interested in me?” opens the door for, “no, you’re a loser”.

          • pbutterfly2000

            David these are not theoretical issues. They are women’s day-to-day lived reality. So no, the most important part about feminism is not the “history” or the “argument about the future.”

            You are so ignorant about what the status quo means and how that affects women. It has nothing to do with you personally having power over anybody. The very fact that your “universe” doesn’t consist of understanding the reality of battered, raped and abused women is one example of your privilege. By minimizing the existence of that “universe” you are contributing to the problem.

          • pbutterfly2000

            “Many times girls who are interested will ask a guy if he’s married or has a girlfriend.”

            Yes, when a friendship or relationship has already been established, when the man has already expressed sexual interest, and when he woman wants to find out if he is a player. Not as the very first thing she ever says to him. Plus men will feel crowded and invaded by the question too, especially if he is not serious about the woman. Seriously, men think this is a good pick-up line?

          • David2

            Ah yes. I too am part of the problem. Like the article says, if you’re a man you’re part of the problem.
            Well I disagree.
            I want to be a feminist and I believe in equal rights. But who I am, my privilege, my man’s viewpoint, means I’m part of the problem to you guys.
            Especially if I don’t think everything you say is entirely correct.

          • pbutterfly2000

            It’s not being a man that makes you part of the problem. It’s your blindness to systemic oppression, and your interpretation of feminism as a series of ideas that have no application to reality. It’s not like it’s that hard to see systemic oppression if your eyes are even partly open. How can you say you want to be a feminist when you are invalidating women’s stories with your alternate “universe” in which female oppression never happens?

          • “I want to be a feminist and I believe in equal rights. But who I am, my privilege, my man’s viewpoint, means I’m part of the problem to you guys.”

            Yes you are. And so am I. Do you see me whining about it on comment threads? No. Instead I listen and learn.

            So how about you shut the hell up and listen?

          • Dude, we’re just trying to explain to you how ignorant you are. I know what it’s like, I’ve been there! But I didn’t get better by whining and complaining that the women aren’t acknowledging your spechulness. You gotta shut up and listen to what they have to tell you. How else are you gonna know what they’re going through?

          • pbutterfly2000

            David all you are really doing on this blog is trying to get us to validate you as a good guy. That is really derailing the conversation. This is not about you personally as a man.

          • pbutterfly2000

            But definitely yes, your “man’s viewpoint” is part of the problem. Your man’s viewpoint is to casually minimize the oppression of others, because identifying men as a class of oppressors to which you belong is not flattering to your ego.

          • pbutterfly2000

            CONVERSATION IN WHICH DAVID IS PART OF THE PROBLEM

            Me and other women: These awful violent things happened to us and men were complicit in them because they just watched it happen and didn’t try to help.

            David: Really? That never happens in my universe. (Translation: you gals must be lying and/ or exaggerating, because most men don’t really behave like that).

            POTENTIAL LESSON LEARNED BY WOMEN: Don’t dare to report rape or you might be accused of lying.

          • David2

            Fine. I will shut up. Only the party line is allowed here.

          • David2

            No. Before I go, actually:
            The thing that bothers me most about this article is how unhelpful it is to the situation.
            It’s pure sensationalist clickbait, pandering only to hatred and antagonism. Just nonsense, fuel for more fire.
            A man scrolling through news links doesn’t see this as “we need to change ourselves if we want to prevent this kind of thing from happening.” He sees, “you are as bad as a sex offender.”
            And he knows that’s bs, so why should he care? It can only further divide people.

          • David – November 12th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

            “Fine. I will shut up. Only the party line is allowed here.” far

            Translation:

            “Oh poor me. All of these lesser humans refuse to help me deny my ignorance and won’t puff up my ego as per their biological destiny! I’m so unused to women who won’t ultimately cater to my demands and who own their own intellectual authority, I’m going to project my totalitarian notions of my own superiority onto them.”

            At the very least David, you’ve shown your misogynist hand fairly quickly and have also done us the favour of providing an object-lesson that proves Laxer’s point perfectly.

          • Dewey

            Replying to David because the reply button is mysteriously missing beneath his comment (was he banned?):

            David, David, David. The “party line” is legal, institutional and social injustices suffered by millions of women every single day of their lives. Would you argue with, say, a group of African Americans about the oppression they experience? And when they disagreed with your ignorant and uneducated opinions, would you imply that their trials and tribulations were a figment of their imagination? Really? Something tells me you, like most men, have a highly selective social conscience. If it benefits you to listen to the marginalized party and learn from them, you’ll do so. If it threatens your precious worldview and ego, those chronic whiners with a martyr complex can just fuck off. Am I right?

          • Meghan Murphy

            No not banned… After the threads reach a certain point they no longer thread… I think 10 is the max…

          • Dewey

            A man scrolling through news links doesn’t see this as “we need to change ourselves if we want to prevent this kind of thing from happening.” He sees, “you are as bad as a sex offender.”

            No, David, that’s what you see. There are men in this thread who have expressed their support for the author and have tried, in vain, to explain to others like yourself, who have chosen to interpret the article as a personal attack, why they’re wrong.

            You might find it beneficial to stop and examine those knee-jerk, overly emotional reactions. Guilty conscience, perhaps?

            By the way, this isn’t HuffPo. Where did you get the idea liberal dude-ism would go safely unchallenged here? This is fairly advanced feminism and you’ve got to have a solid background in feminism 101 to be prepared to take your allyship to this level. Clearly you bit off more than you were ready to chew. You seem to be stuck on Level Jezebel.

            Google “feminism 101”, read, learn. Come back when you’re armed with actual knowledge and insight.

  • Anonomega

    I am not resposible for the actions of individual men by virtue.

    I refuse to take any sort of gendered collective blame for the actions of men which I had nothing to do with and had no ability to prevent.

    I am not responsible for one or any mans sociopathic behaviour because I had at some point in time, thought about or talked about women in a sexual way.

    I am resposible for rape in any way because I like to masturbate to erotic deptictions of women.

    I am not responible for real forced sex because I am open to consensual sexual encounters where one party’s motivation is money.

    I refuse to apologize or be ashamed for having normal powerful sexual drives and attractions and no I will not completly repress and deny them.

    I am not entitled to womens bodies. That is, I do not have an all encompassing right to any physical sexual access to any individual woman. However, by no means does this mean that my sexual needs, the strength of my sex drive, and the pain of frustration are not to be regarded as any importance, nor does it mean that there arent some forms of sexual enjoyment I may indeeed ought to have a right to engage in.

    Good day to you

    • Anonomega

      “I am resposible for rape in any way because I like to masturbate to erotic deptictions of women”

      yeah I know…TYPO

      “I am NOT responsible for rape in any way because I like to masturbate to erotic deptictions of women”

      “HUUURRR DEEE HURRRRR HURRRR HE TELLING THE TRUTH IN FIRST ONE”

      There I typed the typical response for you so you dont have to.

      • Meh

        “There I typed the typical response for you so you dont have to.”

        Thanks, that was convenient.

        Oh, and BTW, we still don’t care about your doodle. Bye bye.

        • Ash

          lol amazing hey? everything always comes back to their dicks.

      • Sabine

        Methinks the man doth protest too much…

    • “I have a dick and I want to stick it into women who don’t want dicks stuck into them oh the pain I matter too!” Fuck you and the dildo you rode in on. I have a few male friends who are so damned decent good supportive dudes that they could leave you in the sand just by looking at you sideways. I also know several hundred women who could do just as good a job in our own womanly ways.

    • Lee

      My porn, my porn, my porn, my porn. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, What if you stopped justifying yourself, and just owned up to the fact that you don’t care about how what you ‘like’ affects other people?

      • Ash

        Exactly.

      • Non-PC RadFem

        Spot on!

    • lo

      “I am resposible for rape in any way because I like to masturbate to erotic deptictions of women.”

      Yeah you just want to continue to objectify women (objectification=dehumanization).

      “However, by no means does this mean that my sexual needs, the strength of my sex drive, and the pain of frustration are not to be regarded as any importance, nor does it mean that there arent some forms of sexual enjoyment I may indeeed ought to have a right to engage in.”

      There isn’t such a thing as “sexual needs”. And no, you’ve NO right to objectify women (calling objectification “some forms of sexual enjoyment” won’t change anything either, stop the drama).
      Try again.

      (and lmfao @ “my sex drive and the pain of frustration”)

      • Anonomega

        “And no, you’ve NO right to objectify women (calling objectification “some forms of sexual enjoyment” won’t change anything either, stop the drama).”

        I DO have a right…EVERY right to engage in what you call “objectification”. Its everyones right to enjoy their sexuality and their desires for other beings to some degree. They do NOT need permission to enjoy the attractiveness of another person (real or fiction) in a mental and/or (to some degree) visual way.

        You dont owe me your physical sensuality.

        I dont owe you my mental chastity.

        • lo

          So you admit you dehumanize women and yet think you’re not part of the problem… Seriously??
          BTW Objectifying a class isn’t a “sexuality” either.
          You tried tho.

          “(I think men in particular)”

          Yeah men suffer so much because they can’t use women as sex objects right? Bullshit.

          • Anonomega

            “So you admit you dehumanize women and yet think you’re not part of the problem… Seriously??”

            Dont put words in my mouth. I never admitted I dehumanised women. When I say I engage in what you have chosen to subjectivly define as dehumanization is not the same as saying “yeah i dehumanise women” No I do not dehumanise women.

            Admiring their bodies is not dehumanisation

            Having sexual fantasies is not dehumanisation

            So watching media that depict such elements is not dehumanization.

            Simple logic: focusing for a while on only one aspect of a persons existance =/= regarding them as an object existing only to serve you.

            And yes, admiring womens bodies and having sexual thoughts and fantasies about them is part of being sexual.

          • David2

            Some of what you’ve said before is suspect.
            But everything in this comment is inarguably correct.

          • amongster

            David, if you really wanted to be a feminist as you claimed somewhere else here you wouldn’t go around patting other dudebros’ shoulders for watching porn. But of course you don’t really want to be a feminist ally, you are totally comfortable in being the next NiceGuyTM who continues to defend any man before you even consider the words of women. Yuck.

          • bella_cose

            It’s only inarguable if you can’t imagine being sexually attracted to a woman while thinking of her as more than a hole with a heartbeat. That’s the problem. It’s actually possible to think of a woman in a sexual way without objectifying and dehumanizing her, but to do that you have to stop being lazy and not just buy into all the images of objectified women in our culture, and the whole porn narrative.

          • corvid

            Anonomega. You persist in failing to understand what is being discussed here. Please do yourself a favour and google “objectification” and try to really understand what this means. Pornography isn’t happening in your head, it’s a physical incarnation of men’s presumptuous and faulty “fantasies” into a real-life institution that harms and dehumanizes women in many ways. So men have fantasies, but these have nothing to do with women’s reality. Why should women be charged with acting out these fantasies onscreen regardless of the fact that they have nothing to do with women’s real sexuality and are actually profoundly painful and humiliating? We live in a misogynist culture and pornography reflects that by projecting men’s sexualized hatred onto women’s bodies. When men participate in this culture, THAT is what you are supporting with your money and with your influence. Continuing to fund a multi-billion dollar industry that exploits women, while women’s centres are being defunded and feminists are being bullied, is not evidence that you collectively love women. If you want to “admire” women, try stepping back and listening to what women have to say about how this culture affects us; make that admiration function on an intellectual and emotional level, just as we do for men. Try helping us to provide real alternatives for women who are economically coerced into being sexually exploited. Try accepting women as whole, complex people who aren’t simply aesthetic beings but thinking and feeling beings. Don’t stick up for the porn industry, believe me they don’t need your help.

          • David2

            Nobody addressed what his comment actually says. You all just continued to put words in his mouth and say ‘well, when you said x, you actually meant y.’
            Practically every argument on here has been like that.
            If I say, “I’m not so sure about this,” now I will hear, “There, you just admitted to being a porn addicted ignorant pig.”
            The slightest difference in view and suddenly we take on every characteristic you hate.
            I know my words will be twisted now. Let’s see what you can come up with.

          • corvid

            I did address what he said. Pornography is not equivalent to “being sexual”, but thanks to the porn industry men (and many women) have been trained not to be able to tell the difference. It is dehumanizing by nature. You aren’t getting this.

          • David2

            Hmm. Yeah the way it is right now much/most of it is dehumanizing by nature.
            I don’t think that’s to say that all of it is or that the Industry is necessarily all one entity.
            More importantly I think erotica in a broader sense does not HAVE to be dehumanizing, even if our most popular forms are at the moment.
            True the Porn Industry with capitol letters and no smile, doesn’t need anybody to stick up for it. But let’s not run too far the other way and become prudes either.
            People like having sex. People like watching sex. But there’s gotta be a better way to do it.

          • corvid

            It’s not as simple as “erotica vs. prudery”, that’s a thoroughly patriarchal dichotomy that misses the point. Advocating for a relational, non-objectifying form of sexuality is not “prudery”. Those weaned on mass media culture may find this a strange question to ask, but, why are we so attached to two-dimensional representations of one another? Particularly when the circumstances of their production are so mysterious. Our culture is so obsessed with prizing surface appearance and obscuring the mechanisms that produce it, this kind of thinking underlies all kinds of abuses and injustices, from worker exploitation to pornography.

          • pbutterfly2000

            Who do you think participates in the media you use to masturbate to? Prostitutes. Who are most prostitutes? Girls who ran away from home as teens and ended up on the street. How many of those girls ran away because they were sexually molested? 80-90%. How old were they when they left home? An average age of 12-14. How long did it take before they were recruited by a pimp and lured into prostitution after they left home? An average of 48 hours. How old were they when they were first raped at home? Many were were small children, under the age of 6. Did they suddenly, miraculously become empowered women making their own decisions of their own free will when they hit their 18th birthday? Or were they so drugged out and dependent on pimps by that time that they had few or no other options left? How many of them have a drug habit to erase the pain of their existence? How many commit or attempt suicide? What is their life expectancy? What were their chances of having a decent life after being held as sexual slaves in their own houses before even having a cognitive understanding of what was happening to them and what sex is? THIS is what you are masturbating to: images of abject slavery (not fantasy slavery, but REAL slavery) being filmed for your entertainment. Those fathers and other adult men who rape their children create the supply for the sex industry. You benefit from that supply when you watch pornography.

        • marv

          “I DO have a right…EVERY right to engage in what you call “objectification”. Its everyones right to enjoy their sexuality and their desires for other beings to some degree.”

          Are you intending to petition the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights at the United Nations to amend the Universal Declaration to include the rights of the penis too? Dick rights as human rights too? Sounds like the little guy in your pants is quite SPECIAL so he must warrant at LEAST charter protection to autonomous life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He is rebelling against being imprisoned inside those trousers most of the day. Release/sever him from captivity so he is free to visually objectify women with his one eye. It may have favourable repercussions for all political prisoners rotting in jails. The poor and oppressed throughout the world will be grateful for your campaign and its ripple effect. Be prepared for incarceration though by speaking up on this critical issue.

          • Mar Iguana

            OMG, I have seen the light. Penis rights are human rights. How could I not have realized this before now? Penises are people too, my friend. It’s only fair that they should have the right to vote, right? Since men have two heads, they should have two votes. It would solve all their problems. My apologies to the un-fair sex to have been so blind.

          • marv

            Genius! You are a far deeper thinker than I. If you forgive me for my denseness I will accept your apology as well. 🙂

          • Mar Iguana

            OK, I’m confused. I can’t forgive your denseness since you don’t have any. And, I wasn’t apologizing to you for anything. I wasn’t replying to your comment. Obviously, I’m confused about negotiating this reply-thread thingy as well.

          • marv

            “My apologies to the un-fair sex to have been so blind.”

            As a member of the “un-fair sex” I was poking fun by pretending to accept your facetious apology on men’s behalf. I love your sarcasm, incisive mind and full heart. Sincere regret for befuddling you. 🙂

          • Mar Iguana

            Thank you, marv, for the kind words.

      • Anonomega

        “and lmfao @ “my sex drive and the pain of frustration””

        Ask ANYONE who has attempted to completely repress and deny their sexuality, or even people who havent been able to have the sex they want and they will tell you that it does involve some degree of emotional/mental suffering. Anyone who says otherwise is either asexual or having plenty of sex they deem appropriate and have never had to worry about exercising extreme self denial.

        Again, this isnt about people being entitled to every single form of sexual satisfaction, but simply recognizing and respecting that for many people (I think men in particular) sex is a big bleeping deal.

        • Dewey

          It’s only a big bleeping deal to sex addicts. The rest of the world is perfectly capable of behavioral modification, even if the behaviors being modified are extremely pleasurable. A normal person will experience some degree of difficulty at first, and then it becomes habitual as new patterns of behavior supplant the old ones.

          Ask any reformed addict and they’ll tell you it’s possible to give up anything without dooming yourself to a life of misery. If you need professional help, get it. If a support group is more your style, join one. People who struggle to give up pornography have myriad channels of support if they want them. People who engage in unhealthy sexual behavior can learn how to derive pleasure from healthier forms of sexual expression. A good therapist can get to the root of the problem, help fix the impetus for acting out destructively, because our sexuality isn’t preprogrammed. Sexuality is a manifestation of internal conflicts, social conditioning and past abuses as well as personality and inclinations.

          Any person who insists they can’t change for the better is merely afraid of change.

        • Dewey

          Can’t believe I let the “men in particular” remark slip by unnoticed. You really think you’re going to come here spouting evo-psycho gender essentialist bullshit like that and then think you deserve to be taken seriously? What planet are you from?

          Kinsey put that myth to bed, the one that men are more sexual than women, decades ago, but thank you, embedded cultural narrative and the gaslighting man children who continue to invoke you, for letting that one continue to circulate unfettered.

          There are more male sex addicts and porn addicts, however. You guys do it to yourselves, you know. Regular porn use artificially stimulates libido, creating more desire than would exist naturally, and creates nutso fetishes via orgasmic desensitization to vanilla sex acts and increased need for novelty. Porn actually rewires the brain. When men say they “need porn” or they “need” any particular type of sex, that’s the damage done to your brain by consistent porn use. Cut out the porn and allow yourself time to deprogram and you’ll be positively shocked at the difference in your libido and proclivities.

    • Missfit

      ‘I am not responsible for one or any mans sociopathic behaviour because I had at some point in time, thought about or talked about women in a sexual way.’ Why do you use ‘sexual way’ for ‘trash-talking objectification of women’?

      ‘I am not responible for real forced sex because I am open to consensual sexual encounters where one party’s motivation is money.’ You mean prostitution? An industry based on the idea that women are commodities for sale. An industry that irredeemably causes trafficking, abuse and exploitation of women.

      ‘I am (not) resposible for rape in any way because I like to masturbate to erotic deptictions of women.’ You mean porn, right? There is no need to sugarcoat it with the words ‘erotic depictions of women’ (like you did with ‘sexual way’ or ‘consensual sexual encounters’), we know what you are talking about, we have seen porn, it’s all over the internet. Porn thrives on the sexualization of violence against women, on degrading women. This is part of the problem.

      You are part of the problem.

      This article is spot on.

    • What absolute dick sickness you must have to despise women so much and still hang around a feminist blog writing useless comments to yourself.

      You sound like a real self-loathing fella poorly painting on bravado.

      • Sabine

        “I am not responsible”…congratulations on well and truly proving the writer’s point.

    • Bla bla bla, everyone exists in a vacuum, I am not connected to society in any way, I’m not like any other man, #notallmen dot com, my penis.

      Does that about cover it, asshole?

      • Meh

        A thousand likes!

    • Alita

      I agree with you 100 percent.

      And, I am a woman.

      I see nothing wrong with porn or prostitution if it’s consensual. In fact, I love porn, especially the skeezy stuff set up to look non consensual.

      And, I know that women sexualize men and trash them as much as men do men. Same goes for whatever sexual organ bearing being the person is into.

      And I am not ashamed of any of that.

      Yet I still have a vagina the last time I checked.

      Wow, guess I should have been born with a dick.

      (⌒‐⌒)

      • “I see nothing wrong with porn or prostitution if it’s consensual. In fact, I love porn, especially the skeezy stuff set up to look non consensual. ”

        How do you know any given porn you watch was consensual?

        Answer: you don’t.

        And yet you still see nothing wrong with it. So your statement was a lie.

        “Yet I still have a vagina the last time I checked.”

        What does your external sexual organ have to do with how well you’ve internalized misogyny?

        • Anon

          Because legitimate pornography, by professional companies, is regulated with contracts and regulations, like non porn actors have.

          • pbutterfly2000

            Yeah, girls sign contracts to do a porn film often while under the influence of drugs. Because they have a contract, they are told they cannot change their mind and are raped and filmed being raped anyway. On the set their boundaries are violated in numerous ways that they didn’t agree to in the contract, but it’s all happening in real time and they’re drunk or high out of their minds so they have a hard time stopping it. But even if they scream “no” and cry and beg, that’s all really hot for the audience so they just keep going and filming. Later they have no legal recourse because they signed a contract. Plus, judges and lawyers all know that these women are whores beneath contempt, so they can’t be taken seriously in a court of law. But most would never even try because the reason they ended up in porn in the first place is because of a string of miserable circumstances of which very low-self-esteem and feeling undeserving of fair treatment is par for the course. Most porn actresses only ever do ONE porn film, after which they realize they were brutally raped and learn their lesson and flee from the pornographers. The ones that continue on to make numerous films are rewarded with the title of STAR. Of course this description doesn’t include all of the trafficked prostitutes living in actual slavery whose rapes and gang-rapes are filmed without their consent, euphemistically referred to as “amateur porn.” This is what you are jacking off to, Anonomega.

          • pbutterfly2000

            Or more accurately, most girls who are not already working prostitutes only do one porn film. These are girls who are lured in by shows that glamorize porn stars and want all of the attention, glamour and money. They sure do learn the hard way that there is nothing glamorous about being raped on film.

      • EEU

        ‘And, I know that women sexualize men and trash them as much as men do men. ‘

        WTF? What planet do you live on? Most women do not objectify men and make disgusting comments about men’s bodies.

      • Lee

        You’re unashamed, yet, you are trying to justify and prove that lack of shame to strangers. Why?

      • Meh

        A woman agrees with anonomega… AND SHE ISN’T BEING PAID FOR IT.

        The world just exploded.

        • Anonomega

          nah I think thats your head exploding.

          I know the fact that other people (and a woman no doubt!) could actually agree with me might be a bit too much for your head to contain…but try to cope.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Cut it out, Anonomega.

      • Candy

        “skeezy stuff set up to look non consensual”

        Have you ever considered why most porn in that genre is male on female? Kind of like in reality. Are women inherently this submissive to men to fantasize about being raped more often? Why it contains copious amounts of sexist slurs wielded at the women, but men are not called the same things? Kind of like in reality. Why men eroticize a depiction of a woman’s expressed “no,” tears and/or screams for him to stop more than a depiction of her enthusiastic consent? And considering dominance is linked to masculinity in our cultures, unsurprisingly men will often find this porn good for their egos. Have you considered that non-consent is a common feature of gonzo porn, and numerous ex-porn stars including Jenna Jameson have written about the rampant abuse of girls by producers who intentionally push them to psychological break on camera?

      • Candy

        And I forgot to mention, consider why porn of that nature has been on the rise as women have gained power. You could need see as much degradation and pain in the mainstream when porn was at its heyday. I have to add. I hope you’re not the sort of woman to lament rape jokes of any kind or to complain about sexist slurs. Because you would be a hypocrite.

        • Candy

          *see

          This was meant for Anita!

      • rstetradio

        check again.

    • Alita

      I wrote a longish comment saying I agreed with you, saying that I am a woman who rather enjoys porn, etc. That all humans sexualize whatever sex they are attracted to.

      Was a fair, thought out comment, and it was deleted.

      Guess I should say sorry that what genitalia I was born with don’t dictate my life?

      • Meghan Murphy

        No it wasn’t. You left it 20 minutes ago. I was on the bus. It was still in moderation. Your comment wasn’t offensive, just boring. Patience, please.

        • Alita

          Ah right, sorry that having a view that isn’t yours is boring . I’ll just continue being boring then and enjoy my porn and gravure idols, thanks.

          Like Shinozaki Ai, she is amazingly gorgeous and an utter sweetheart in person.

      • Meh

        We don’t care about your vag though 🙁

        Hey, here’s a suggestion! Try commenting on the actual content of the article rather than talking shit! Kthanks xo

      • Just keep repeating that you’re a woman in exactly that way women do. It makes you more credible.

    • rstetradio

      Oh, wow, I’m sorry. Didn’t realize this article was ALL ABOUT YOU AND YOUR NEEDS.

    • Babypie

      Just by reading this you can tell that he wears an unironic fedora

  • Andrew

    What utter nonsense. Saying anything about “all men” other than the fact that we have a penis is bound to be pointless hyperbole, but that’s what this site does best after all.

    I’m curious to know how the Samoan chaplain I had in the army, or a random guy in the Philippines has contributed to Ghomeshi abusing women?

    Socialism has had some great success when mixed with capitalism, but communism has never once turned out well in practice. Do you honestly think patriarchy theory even comes close to Marxian critique of capitalism as a catalyst for change?

    Capitalism is well defined and enforced by governments. Patriarchy is the same in some parts of the world, and getting rid of it has done wonders for the women in those countries, but every feminist wants that.

    You lot seem to want some kind of north Korea where Meghan Murphy gets to be the dictator and morality police. Count me out.

    If you have a problem with a particular culture, then say so, and give clear well thought out arguments and be prepared for counter arguments. The real world is a messy place. No dogma is going to fit everything.

    Talking about “all men” is about as worthless a drum beating, choir preaching, rabble rousing thing as you can say without saying anything at all.

    • Meghan Murphy

      *Approving this comment for the lolz

      • Naida

        I’d move asap to a country where Megan Murphy gets to be the dictator <3

        • Meghan Murphy

          Ha!

        • Ash

          Meghan Murphy for prime minister!

          • Meghan Murphy

            I would def rather be Prime Minister than dictator… “Dictator” isn’t exactly a very progressive position…

      • Andrew

        You have to admit Meghan that the hyperbole was off the charts this time?

        “The very nature of systemic oppression means there are no “good guys.” We have all, especially as men, participated in the “locker room” or trash-talking objectification of women and in the creation of a culture and context in which a Ghomeshi would feel right at home.”

        Really? I don’t. The few male friends I have don’t (I wouldn’t be friends with them otherwise).

        I see it all the time in advertising and culture that is foisted on me, but not so much in real life. Maybe I’ve just created a protective bubble. Who knows?

        Even as a teenager I never engaged in “locker room” talk about women. Despite what you think, I’ve never watched real porn or any porn for almost a decade. I always found porn that objectified women to be disgusting.

        Despite 50 shades of gray, I’ve never met or been friends with anyone like Ghomeshi. Maybe I’ve just gotten lucky there too. I’m not saying they don’t happen. If I knew a guy like Ghomeshi was assaulting women, I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut.

        I called the police in a town in another state to report my brother’s drunk driving because I was worried my parents would cover it up. Beating women is just as bad.

        I think we need to separate popular culture and real people. It’s one thing to judge advertising for being sexist, and another to imply all men are sexist from it.

        Nobody said anything in the case of Ghomeshi and far too many celebrities. I will never understand the woody Allen forgiveness and I refuse to watch his movies.

        But what about all the times someone DID say something and we just never found out about it because they weren’t famous and it wasn’t allowed to get out of hand? Celebrities don’t live in the same world we do. It’s why they never go to prison or pay their taxes, but celebrities are not most people.

        I’m defending anyone, but the hyperbole doesn’t help.

        • corvid

          “Despite 50 shades of gray, I’ve never met or been friends with anyone like Ghomeshi. Maybe I’ve just gotten lucky there too. I’m not saying they don’t happen. If I knew a guy like Ghomeshi was assaulting women, I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut.”

          Andrew. Do you think it’s lost on the women who read these posts that you’ve spent an inordinate amount of energy on this site supporting women’s “right” to have the shit beaten out of them if they “choose” to in BDSM? It blows my mind how liberals will compartmentalize reality to the extent they do. Just today I saw a local magazine running an article denouncing violence against women… but they advertise for pimps in their back pages! Stunning.

      • C.K. Egbert

        First you were a queen, now you are a dictator. Is this a step up or a step down?

        • Meghan Murphy

          Well, queens tend to be merely figureheads so I think my new ‘dictator’ position is quite the step up! Thanks Andrew!

    • Sabine

      It’s all gone straight over your head AGAIN…lolz is right!

    • Ash

      Then why you here, Brah? Just to come in and tell us how silly us feminists are…

      Glad to know about Meghan’s promotion to world dictator and world police – i didn’t know she has so much political power, wow! Who knew she could single-handedly control the lives of others through her small, online publication!? Amazing. *bows down to queen Meghan, lord of sexualities, police of dicks worldwide”

      • Meghan Murphy

        Meghan Murphy, DP (Dick Police).

        • Ash

          LMAO

        • Jessica

          lol’d harder than I’ve ever lol’d before in my whole life.

    • lo

      “Talking about “all men” is about as worthless a drum beating, choir preaching, rabble rousing thing as you can say without saying anything at all.”

      Stop being so apolitical: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/class

    • “What utter nonsense. Saying anything about “all men” other than the fact that we have a penis is bound to be pointless hyperbole, but that’s what this site does best after all.”

      Another duckhead who believes socialization doesn’t exist. Good job, moron.

      “You lot seem to want some kind of north Korea where Meghan Murphy gets to be the dictator and morality police. Count me out.”

      Count me in! She can’t possibly be more disappointing than Obomba or Hitlary. But where does she stand on worker self-government? If she’s a socialist dictator like Chavez, I’d totally vote for her.

  • pbutterfly2000

    And since you mention Bill Cosby, the same thing is going on in this interview with Tamara Green. The reporter who interviews her in this CBS clip is practically calling her a liar and a bitch who has no right to speak up. He really doesn’t get it. He asks her why she would come out and try to ruin this man’s sterling reputation, as if he can’t believe that some bitch has the power to take a man down in the public eye, no matter WHAT he has done. It’s the same story as always with rape; the woman is treated like the criminal for accusing the man. And of course with Woody Allen it’s even more disgusting how many people take his side.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/in-the-name-of-solidarity/

  • Thanks for this. Good for you!

    One thing that’s always a bit mysterious to me in discussions of male privilege is the concept that they’re benefiting from the system and, of course, want no change.

    I guess you could say they’re benefiting compared to solitary confinement. Or compared to what they do to the underclass. But that’s like saying a shit sandwich is better than straight shit porridge.

    Honestly, who wouldn’t rather live among friends than among slaves? Why is that a difficult concept?

    • “Honestly, who wouldn’t rather live among friends than among slaves? ”

      Men

    • vagabondi

      For example: I have a friend, a lesbian. She was in an abusive relationship at one time with a man who gained access to her by claiming he was trans. After, as a single mother suffering from PTSD, she was befriended by a Nice Guy, and is now married to him.

      IOW, this Nigel has ongoing sexual access and everything else that is implied by the word “wife,” he is fed and cleaned up after and so forth, as a direct effect of phony trans dude’s beating, raping, and gaslighting of my friend, and her trauma-bonding to men as a class.

      That’s how he benefits without having to go to the bother of being a rapist himself.

      • The #1 thing men are indoctrinated to want in a woman is submission (that’s why men are always attracted to young women). Of course they’d rather have traumatized women.

        • pbutterfly2000

          That’s the main complaint within the men’s rights movement – that women are not submissive enough. I came across this the other day – it’s a primer on how to wreck a girl’s self-esteem. Most men out there will probably insist that they themselves would never pull such things on their girlfriends, but I don’t think these methods of “taming” a girlfriend or wife are so rare.

          http://mattforney.com/2014/02/03/how-to-crush-a-girls-self-esteem/

  • “They enable this by being the overwhelming percentage of sexual predators (to the point where female sexual predators are statistically insignificant).”

    There’s plenty else here that’s arguable, but this point doesn’t make any sense. It’s roughly equivalent to saying “most dogs are pets, therefore all pets are responsible for dogs shitting in parks.”

    My analysis of crime statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics yields an offender proportion of just 0.4% of men. Even the survey reported here (http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2014/10/06/hookinguprealities/for-valid-sexual-assault-rates-were-better-off-asking-the-rapists/) yields an offender proportion of only 6.8% of men.

    If you want to pass guilt to the 93–99.6% of men who are not sex offenders you have to do it by way of saying that they are responsible for inadequate policing, punishment and restraint of offenders. The way you’ve phrased it is, unfortunately, totally fallacious and does your argument no credit.

    • Meh

      Ben, are you saying that Michael needed to focus his article on how men are responsible for “inadequate policing, punishment and restraint of offenders” rather than on how men constitute the vast majority of offenders?

      • One of the main things is that slips like these diminish the credibility of the argument and heighten the animosity of those not already convinced.

        More comment on policing would have strengthened the piece, I think. If men need to take more responsibility for reducing the incidence of sexual assault, the discussion does need to move at some point beyond culture change towards what practical measures can be taken to identify, monitor, and if necessary restrain the 0.4–6.8% of men (based on the research I’ve looked at) that are offenders.

        This is the part of “until we acknowledge and act on this fact” that remains mysterious. The action is the crucial thing. What evidence-based interventions are available that reduce sexual assault rates, and how can the 93–99.6% of men who are not offenders, with the support of women, participate in implementing them? I’d like to learn more about this.

        • Meh

          Yeah, I get what you’re saying. Those are great points.

          I’d be interested in some sort of initiative that incorporates both cultural change and practical measures (i.e., policing, etc). I think that focusing on ‘male culture’ is significant as it includes all men in discussions (rather than blaming them all, if you get what I mean).

          I don’t know of any specific programs that include men – more broadly – in tackling men’s violence against women. I know that there is an Australian initiative at the moment called ‘Our Watch’ that’s gaining some momentum. Looks interesting, but does not explicitly focus on the male perpetrators (which is the only criticism that I have of it. Otherwise it seems great).

        • Katherine

          #NotAllMen

          Yes, thank you, we’re aware.

        • “One of the main things is that slips like these diminish the credibility of the argument and heighten the animosity of those not already convinced.”

          So you’re trotting out “If you don’t make nice with your oppressors, you’ll never convince them that they are oppressors and that they should stop. Telling the truth is not a good strategy!”.

          Do you think we’ve haven’t heard that old chestnut before? As if saying “Excuse me sir, I don’t for a second want to make you feel responsible for anyone but yourself, but if you have a spare moment could you kindly think about the social and psychological implications of jacking off to “Barely Legal Asian Whore Ass Punishment”. Gosh, thank a bunch! You sure are a Great Guy™!” is going to help women?

          “What evidence-based interventions are available that reduce sexual assault rates, and how can the 93–99.6% of men who are not offenders, with the support of women, participate in implementing them?”

          Apparently you need to actually read the article. It’s not about heroic “interventions” it’s about quitting your everyday complicit sexist bullshit that enables predators like Ghomeshi and the men described in some of the comments here.

          • bella_cose

            Great comment, lizor.

            I can’t take any man seriously as giving a crap about violence against women unless he makes the connection to pornography, and denounces the use of it.

          • I will never play nice with my oppressor. Men who demand that are oppressors. I don’t have to pre package the shit lives women live in a pretty box with a bow. I just have to put the reality on the table.

            Plus, repackaging takes time, and that’s the whole point. Keep women involved in playing nice and nothing ever gets done.

        • Bea

          How about more shaming of men for using pornography, prostitution, strippers and the like, because that all contributes to the culture of predatory misogyny, as stated in the original piece?

          I swear, in the early-mid 90’s it wasn’t considered okay to degrade women like this. Then came The Man Show (I was so disappointed to see how many of my male friends, who I had thought were enlightened, embraced this show – I think they were relieved that it was “okay” to be sexist again. Again, very disappointing). And then came the internet, and free and plentiful porn for all. And then things really started to get ugly for women, leading to the horrific situation we have today. This is just my take, as someone who became a feminist around 1989, studied media theory in college (around the same time), and then watched all of this unfold.

          • Meh

            Absolutely.

            I think that people (mostly men) don’t see the overlap between prostitution/stripping/pornography and men’s VAW. It’s almost as if they’re two completely different things. That’s a serious part of the problem.

          • Anonomega

            That’s because they are two different things. Deal

          • corvid

            Please avail yourself of an internet search engine to find accounts written by women who have exited prostitution/pornography.

          • Anonomega

            (sigh) They dont represent everyone in the industry, and even if that was the case, theres still written and drawn porn, which doesnt involve real women, which destroys the “exited women” arguement as a blanket condemnation against all porn.

            next

          • “(sigh) They dont represent everyone in the industry,”

            Who said they did?

            “next”

            Yes, please move on to your next rationalization. You failed on this one.

          • Anonomega

            WTF are you taslking about I failed when you admited that these “exited” women do represent all women in the industry.

            you realise that supports my case?

            Look make another failed attempt to debunk with another derailing, pointless ad hominem attack and move on.

          • @ Yesterday Haze – November 9th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

            “I don’t consider writings and drawings “violence” from which one can be made “safe”, I reserve those highly charged terms for directly abusive acts and actual safety-from-abuse.”

            Ok, but they are speech and as MacKinnon has argued, hate speech. You choose to compartmentalize violence against women and others frame it as existing on a continuum.

            To say that violence exists on a continuum is not to say that all violence is equal; it is to say that it is related. You would like to categorize animated pornography and written descriptions of degradation and abuse as benign and allowable because no one had to perform those acts at the time the material was created. You say that to see those “fictions” as existing in a spectrum to both online abuse/threats and gang rape/rape murder as “unhelpful”.

            I, and others here, contend that believing that certain forms of representational hate speech are benign is unhelpful. This falls into the sort of thinking that proposes that men having access to violent porn will reduce rape. I think that this kind of “harm reduction” theorizing gets us nowhere.

          • Yesterday Haze

            (this conversation threading makes no sense to me)

            lizor said, “Ok, but they are speech and as MacKinnon has argued, hate speech. You choose to compartmentalize violence…”

            Ojectifying speech is not the same thing as an act of violence, and I never said it was “benign”, I said it was not violence. I said I would make a deal with Men to let them have their porn speech if they will end all their commercial sexual violence.

            It’s not harm reduction, it’s violence elimination.
            It’s a hypothetical.
            It’s not going to happen.

            “men having access to violent porn will reduce rape.”

            That is so NOT what I said, please re-read. I never said “benign” and I never said having written porn would reduce rape. I made a HYPOTHETICAL that if men like Anonomega insist drawings and words are synonymous with Pornography then let them have drawings and words IN LEIU OF having access to women’s bodies entirely. Anomomega knows written porn is no substitute for filmed prostitution.

            It’s not harm reduction, it’s violence elimination.
            It’s a hypothetical.
            It’s not going to happen.

            What is happening is that prostitution is being legally and culturally addressed without men’s misogynistic words and drawings being addressed. That is real. That is happening. That is what ending violence against women looks like in not-hypothetical democracies like Sweden, Iceland, and Canada.

            I’m not going to respond anymore to people who don’t offer one. single. example. of addressing men’s misogynistic words and drawings. Show me how men’s misogynistic speech has been in any way impeded by feminists and I will show you reductions in rape that have come from passing laws that did not mention “hate speech” or “objectification”.

          • corvid

            @ Yesterday Haze

            You said “…I will show you reductions in rape that have come from passing laws that did not mention “hate speech” or “objectification”.”

            Here is an excerpt from bill c-36 itself:

            “… the Parliament of Canada recognizes the social harm caused by the objectification of the human body and the commodification of sexual activity…”

            Where did they get these ideas if not from exited women and feminists?

          • corvid

            Yesterday Haze, would you demand that any other oppressed group quantify the ways in which, for example, white people not using the n-word (or any other racial or ethnic slur) benefits them? It is taken as a given by activists of all stripes that hate speech directly affects people’s lives. Would you ask other oppressed peoples to just accept the propaganda being spread about them in lieu of physical harm? Is that an appropriate bargain to strike?

            Telling women that addressing hate speech is frivolous or obstructs progress is not helpful. If you are trying to get the women here to enthusiastically endorse men consuming “all the written and drawn porn they want”, you will run into some resistance.

          • No one said they represented all prostituted women. So it doesn’t help your “case” at all. Do you understand, like, basic logic? Do you understand that in order to make a case you either need to provide evidence for your side or evidence against the other side? Hello?

          • I support men having all the written and drawn porn they want.

            Now that we’re agreed on written and drawn porn being synonymous with category “porn”, it should be no biggie for medically hazardous filmed porn to be abolished while a thriving industry in safe written and drawn porn continues for men to consume.

            Because, as you say, they are the same thing.

          • corvid

            The objectification of women is not “safe,” nor can it be said to be so in “written and drawn” form.

          • Yesterday Haze

            corvid, I think this is a case where purity/perfection is the enemy of progress.

          • corvid

            Give me a fucking break, Yesterday Haze.

          • corvid

            Yeah, being against the objectification of women is totally about “purity and perfection.” You got me. So all that written and drawn porn that posits women as utensils for men to use in pursuit of an orgasm, that idealizes and hyper-sexualizes women and basically carries all the same messages that “real” porn does sans the literal abuse of women in its production – being against that is ALL about PURITY.

          • Yesterday Haze

            Nope, no ‘fucking’ break for prostituted women in porn, and no fucking break for you.

            You go tell women being raped to make porn that their rapes will only be prevented when men stop drawing pictures of porn, I’m gonna be busy stopping the actual, real, still-happening-right-now rapes.

          • If you think drawn porn can have no effect on the male brain, you are deluded. Look up “guro” some time.

            (but seriously, don’t… not unless you’re actively seeking to have nightmares)

          • Yesterday Haze

            “sans the literal abuse of women in its production”

            Ding ding ding we have a winner!

          • corvid

            So you think men writing and drawing hate propaganda against women is going to stop rape and help prostituted women.

          • corvid

            Sorry for using the f-word. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard/seen second wave feminists blasted for being “puritanical” or the like, and it still gets my goat every time. I refuse to make nice with patriarchy and I will never compromise being anti-objectification.

          • corvid

            I don’t really understand your position. Why must this be an either/or situation in regards to stopping rape and helping prostituted women? Men have a culture of the objectification of women and it doesn’t stop at the egregious abuse of women in the live porn industry. The words that men write and the images they draw and render play right into the same attitudes, the same culture, that has them abusing prostituted women.

          • EEU

            Yesterday Haze, prostitution and pornography exist because men objectify women. Sexual harassment and assault exist because of objectification. We’ll never be able to stop these things if we don’t look at what causes the problem – men thinking that women’s bodies exist to please them and are therefore inferior.

          • corvid

            Sorry for the multiple comments. Language is so tricky sometimes, I shouldn’t have put the word real in quotation marks, of course what happens to the women in porn is real and horrific. I meant to emphasize the word but not take away from the fact that the primary reason for working to abolish the genocidal institutions of prostitution and pornography is on behalf of prostituted women, and they are the women that should be at the forefront of this movement. The physical reality of prostitution is obviously worse than a drawing or piece of writing, not disputing that.

            What I don’t understand here is the assertion that a “thriving industry in safe written and drawn porn” isn’t going to lead right back to prostitution. Keeping the paradigm of porn and prostitution alive is not going to resolve the situation. The word pornography is derived from the Greek for “a written description or illustration of prostitutes or prostitution” (that’s from Wikipedia). Was this sort of thing “safe” for women in ancient Greece, did its existence guarantee that women weren’t going to be raped/prostituted? How long before this writing and illustration gives men the jones to inflict their sadistic “fantasies” on actual women? Not long at all, I’d reckon.

          • All progress made on men’s misogynistic abuses has proceeded thus far without the obliteration of men’s written and drawn portrayals of women deemed objectified. Every single one.

            EEU, can you offer one example where men’s written and drawn objectifications have been addressed in conjunction with implementation of the Nordic Model, or passage of anti-rape laws, or women’s suffrage…Any of the dozen people who liked EEU’s post about how men’s written and drawn output MUST be addressed before progress can be made should feel free to offer their own examples of when such a thing happened.

            The passage C36 would never have passed because such objectifications have most certainly not been addressed in Canada. C36 is proof that we actually CAN stop rape without demanding absolute perfection in every expressed thought from the human beings called men.

            If as a group, Men agreed to only use written and drawn pornography from now on and forgo filmed pornography and the use of live prostituted persons, I would push you out of my way to shake their hand on that agreement. Sorry, but I would.

          • lo

            ” I’m gonna be busy stopping the actual, real, still-happening-right-now rapes”

            And how are you going to do that?

          • corvid

            Nobody is talking about putting legal sanctions on men’s written and drawn pornography. Nobody is demanding “absolute perfection”, we are discussing the many ways in which men objectify women and why this is wrong. You stated that written and drawn pornography is “safe”, I fully disagree.

            The purpose of this discussion and many on this website is primarily to critique. I believe the objectification of women is wrong, and I am stating that here. That is all.

          • “And how are you going to do that?”

            By passing laws like C36, etc.

            No one has offered an example of a time feminists addressed written and drawn objectifications either prior to or concurrently with other anti-violence laws.

            Perhaps our difference of opinion lies in the word “safe” used in my hypothetical example. In my example, all commercial abuses of women explicitly ends, but you’ve ignored that critical condition and un-hypotheticalled my hypothetical by suggesting written and drawn porn are not “safe” because they lead to abuse.

            I don’t consider writings and drawings “violence” from which one can be made “safe”, I reserve those highly charged terms for directly abusive acts and actual safety-from-abuse.

            Lumping all acts of misogyny from large-breasted women in comic books to daily brothel rapes under the one term “objectification” and equating them as you have done is not practically helpful. I don’t believe you mean any harm from it, but I hope you can open yourself to the possibility that such false equations put the most destitute and damaged victims in the same category as women whose pictures are photoshopped or actresses getting called fat in a gossip mag.

            It reminds me of when people use “sex work” to refer to everything from trafficked children through phone sex operators. I’m sympathetic to the emotional abuse phone sex operators endure, but there are people being raped to death.

          • corvid

            This is frustrating. WHERE exactly did I say that the reality of prostitution is equivalent to written and drawn pornography? I understand that prostitution cannot be lumped in with other types of violence against women because it is an institution and it is industrial.

            Men abuse prostituted women because they think of them as things to be used and thrown away. That’s the very definition of objectification. The purpose of talking about this is to challenge men’s thinking. I don’t understand why you are trying to turn feminists into the enemy of prostituted women.

            Have you consulted with exited women on the idea that men could be directed to consume only virtual pornography? I’d be curious to know what they think.

          • corvid

            So porn trumps women’s lived experience. Tell us something we don’t know.

          • Lee

            @Yesterday Haze, RE “sans literal…”

            Why draw women at all, then?

          • Babypie

            Even one instance of violence against a woman in these industries is too many. And if eliminating or better policing these industries is what it takes to make women (and some men/trans persons as well, who have faced abuse within the porn and prostitution industries) safe, then that’s what needs to be done. Do you think a human life might be worth giving up your “right” to jack off to porn/hire a prostitute?
            Because I do.

          • EEU

            This is a reply to Yesterday Haze. Men have been objectifying women for thousands of years. Prostitution, pornography and stripping exist because women are seen as things to be used and abused. I agree that we should pass laws like C36 to stop those industries. I’m also saying that we should also eliminate the root causes. Why do men think it’s perfectly okay do buy and sell women and jack off to their degradation?

            http://abolishprostitutionnow.wordpress.com/why-is-prostitution-a-violation-of-human-rights/

          • Meh

            No they’re not. Deal

          • Yea, because pornography is just fantasy, right? Please check yourself in a mental hospital, you lunatic.

          • Lee

            Porn wouldn’t be as much of a feminist problem for me* if the men were spread-eagle as much as the women, if the men were being ‘punished’ as much as the women, if the men were positioned in passive, subordinated, degraded, dehumanized ways as much as the women, if every time a man, as an aggressor, did XYZ, the woman turned around and did it right back, every single time. However, why anyone would view such porn as ‘fun’ or ‘erotic’, let alone compatible with respect for human beings, I can’t possibly imagine.

            *I would still have an ethical problem with treating people, any people, like absolute crap, so that numbed, empty, exploitative porn ‘consumers’ can dump their self-loathing, rage, misery and sense of powerlessness onto someone else.

    • Derrington

      Ben, men make the hate propoganda about women and children that eroticises hatred, they buy it, distribute it, groom themselves with it and act it out in homes across the world. Sexist attacks on women and children by men who as supremacists think they are above the law when it comes to women and children who are then treated by all men as being beneath the law. Rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, harrassment and intimidation are all forms of sexist hate crime and if you want further evidence of how prevalent gender hatred is go onto any feminist article and flip through the comments, youll find plenty of male practitioners of sexist hatred right in front of you with not a single male commentator speaking out against human rights abuses right in front of their noses. No wonder women and childrens levels of anxiety in this age are going through the roof. Living with psychos is very very unnerving.

    • “It’s roughly equivalent to saying “most dogs are pets, therefore all pets are responsible for dogs shitting in parks.””

      What nonsense. “Pets” does not constitute a collective category of humans, produced by and reproducers of a shared culture and possessed of moral agency.

      You’re playing the detached “logic” game and are attempting to decontextualize your responsibility for your own contribution, through your choices [to use porn? to make sexist jokes? to look the other way when sex crimes happen? __________?] to the current social conditions that enable rape and abuse.

      If you can’t grow up and step up then I think you should step aside and quit wasting people’s time with your empty explanations about “fallacy”. The real fallacy is your basic contention that you live in some bubble, unaffected by and unaffecting of, anyone else.

  • Ash

    Thank you for this great post, Michael. As usual, you nailed it!

    Really agreed with this “The power relations that lead from a culture of pornography to Jian Ghomeshi are direct and clear except to liberals and the willfully blind. This is why he could claim to be a feminist while behaving as he did.

    He was a “feminist” in male terms. Women’s “liberation” was refracted in his mind through his needs as a sexual predator and his needs as a man.”

    I have had encounters with “self-proclaimed feminist men” and have had my boundaries violated. To them, they were “super sexually liberal and fun feminist” and seemed to think feminism was a dating service? I’ve heard guys who call themselves feminists proudly tout going to strip clubs with their frat broz (no kidding!) declaring the strippers as “liberated” and “feminist.” This is like an easy way for men to behave like misogynists but still convince themselves they’re “feminists.”

    Really needed to read this post to put everything in context. Thanks again.

    • Dewey

      I’ve heard guys who call themselves feminists proudly tout going to strip clubs with their frat broz (no kidding!) declaring the strippers as “liberated” and “feminist.” This is like an easy way for men to behave like misogynists but still convince themselves they’re “feminists.”

      Just as alcoholics need enablers, sexists needs fun fems to validate their quasi-feminist philosophies. As long as they can point to one feminist who declares sex work as empowering, they believe they’ve got it all sewn up and are justified in defending their misogynistic practices.

      I swear third wave feminism has done more to hinder progress than patriarchy itself.

      • I absolutely agree with you. Third wave feminists are too busy trying to package women’s oppression in a pretty box with a bow to give to individual men without addressing the collective.

        They figure if they can get one man to see it ‘their way’ through appeasement and other self-deprecating strategies (like slut walks) that this is significant.

        Pretty packaging is the perfect way to lose the message.

        You don’t like rape culture? Well, you don’t call yourselves sluts to fight it. There’s a disconnect in the response. The response bears no resemblance to the initial injustice that it’s meant to counter.

        So, ‘Women who dress provocatively are asking for it’ doesn’t make sense if you respond ‘let’s all reclaim our ability to be sluts.’

        This also takes the pressure off the oppressor. It’s like liberal feminists don’t speak to him at all.

        • Non-PC RadFem

          @Mancheeze:

          Tell me about it! Third Wave Feminists (also referred to as lib-fems or fun-fems or pomo-feminists) are a disgrace to Feminism. It’s a slap on the face to our founding Mothers, their work, their sacrifice and their message.

          I fear that things like ‘Femen’ are the next step into corroding feminism even further. What sane feminist would flash their breasts or get naked just to make a point (?) < whatever their point is, because I have yet to hear one.

          It’s all slowly degrading into giving men what they want, one bit at the time, until it becomes the total reversal of what it was meant to be originally. Orwell would be proud. We feminists often talk about gaslighting all the time, and this one is like the ultimate ‘gaslighting’!

          They’re doing in in stages, it takes one generation or so to undo one huge chunk of the advancements achieved previously, each new generation forgets, moves on (more like; moves backwards actually) while cheering and patting themselves on the back and walking themselves orderly back into the oppression pen.

  • Ash

    Think it is telling that it is the male commenters here who are up in arms about this post…wonder why? another man calling you out for benefitting from things you don’t even agree with…that’s how patriarchy works, sorry brahz. Instead of rushing to state how you’re “not one of those guys” why not think about how you can make the world a safer place for women? How you can teach your male friends to treat women like human beings, not fuck toys.

  • pbutterfly2000

    Ben, you didn’t read the article very closely. “All men” does not refer to all men being sexual offenders. Here is a quote from the article:

    “It is all men. We, collectively, and most commonly as individuals, are responsible for creating the conditions that not only facilitate Ghomeshi, but that ensure he will exist.”

    Your statistics are bogus. How is it that 0.4-6.8% of men are sexual offenders, whereas 1 in 5 women are raped in their lifetime? Because most rape goes unreported. Why does most rape go unreported? Because women are afraid they will not be believed. Why is is that women feel they will not be believed? Because they watch what happens to other women who try to upset the patriarchal unspoken rule that women’s bodies are men’s property.

    Look at the interview that I posted earlier, where the CBS reporter more or less blames the woman who reports a sexual assault from 30 years before,even directly asking her why she would do such a thing. You’ll hear people defending Woody Allen all the time, easily buying the fantasy that Mia Farrow is a vengeful bitch who lied about what her daughter told her about daddy molesting her, despite the corroboration of psychiatrists and witnesses, and onlookers who were alarmed at the way he treated her. Everyone seems complicit in defending rapists, even most women (the way female celebrities defend rapists). Most people are uncomfortable about sexual assault and don’t want to think about it. In this way they perpetuate it. THAT’S what all men refers to.

    A gay male friend of mine had a neighbor in his building be arrested for rape (4 different women in two cities, with a rape charge that he was acquitted of in the first city), and my friend’s first reaction was that he felt sorry for him because he was a “nice guy,” and wondered if the women were lying to get back at him for something. My friend has no vested interest in picnic up women; he has merely absorbed the mainstream cultural values. He actually thought that it was women who knew each other and were cooking up some revenge plot against him, although clearly the women didn’t know each other and false accusations in rape are no more than other violent crimes. Can you imagine if someone told you their house was robbed or that they were stabbed and you instantly thought they were making it up? Why would you think that, unless you thought that being stabbed was something you should just have to accept and should shut up about? That’s how uncomfortable men are about rape. They will invent outrageous scenarios in order to deny its existence. They don’t want to think that their penis and their desires can be a weapon. But it’s not their penis and their desires that are the problems – it’s systemic injustice that makes them feel entitled to women’s bodies, so much that they are fine with using violence, threats, and intimidation to get what they want. It’s not about the penis, it’s about power.

    By the way, what about all of the uncompleted, the attempted rapes? Ask almost any woman, and she’s had a few or maybe A LOT of those. So the men trying to rape women are not responsible if somehow she was able to get away before being penetrated? Do you think those men think of themselves as rapists? Most rapists who complete the act don’t even think of themselves as rapists, and they are always shocked and astounded when caught. They usually don’t admit it even to themselves. Ask any woman who has been raped whether the perpetrator even admitted to being a rapist and apologized. If sexual assault on women’s bodies was not widely accepted as being totally fine, the sex industry would not even exist. Because once you really look at the sex industry, if you are not shocked and disgusted by the level of abuse that goes on then you have internalized the norm of female slavery to the extent that you really don’t see women as human beings.

    • hypatia

      Yes, and even within “consensual” sex, there’s a whole lot of rapey behavior happening. Every (het/bi) woman I know has had sex (a lot of it, usually) she didn’t want to have, because she felt she had to, or because it was easier than dealing with the repercussions if she refused, or because she was afraid of what might happen if she said “no.” Every (het/bi) woman I know has stories of just lying there and waiting for it to be over with, while the “nice guy” having sex with her completely ignores her distance, her silence, her lack of participation or enthusiasm.

      Look at marriage/sex therapists who recommended that couples set “sex dates” when they will have sex (which is always and only defined as PIV) whether they want to or not, the idea being that people cannot possibly have a healthy relationship without having x amount of PIV (and it never seems to occur to them that it might not be healthy for women to feel pressured or forced to have sex they don’t want or when they don’t want it).

      Whatever percentage of men qualify as “rapists” according to these studies, I guarantee you there are a whole lot more who’ve had plenty of sex that might not exactly be rape, but certainly isn’t entirely consensual, either.

      • corvid

        This is so spot-on. Based on personal experience, to be brutally honest, porn trains men to think that women are something they use to help them sleep at night, and so when they partner with a woman, she becomes a kind of stand-in for porn.

      • Missfit

        I heard a sexologist recently say that the number one sexual problem in women was ‘lack of desire’. Why is this viewed as a problem? I’m sure that what is viewed as the problem here is ‘lack of desire… to please men’, is that a woman does not enthusiastically consent to sexually service her man. The real tragedy though is that women’s immense erotic potential is shut down because of the model of heterosexuality that they are presented with, a male-centered model where : they have to please men more than men please them, they don’t feel beautiful enough, they try to resist men wanting to enact porn (hurtful or unpleasant acts) on them, they have negative experiences/feelings about sex from living in a misogynist society (this list is not exhaustive).

        • corvid

          Indeed! Men are the standard by which sexuality is measured. The message is this: “Not interested in being forced into constant PiV even though you love your partner but your body physically can’t handle it because male-centred “sex culture” understands SHIT ALL about women’s anatomy? Prude!! Your man deserves to go outside your relationship and endanger your life and health, oh and also he deserves to rent the bodies of prostituted women and have access to unlimited porn at all times because dicks matter more than women’s lives and safety obviously.” Gawd I hate this culture.

        • Chrissy

          I’m a urologist and an ob/gyn and that is actually the number one issue with men as well. I see a lot of patients both men and women who want to have more sex because that can be healthy for a relationship. I see lots of women who consider themselves to have a lack of desire but really they are suffering from dryness. With men it’s erectile dysfunction. So sometimes the desire is there mentally but not physically.

          • bella_cose

            I think when women lack desire for sex, it’s because they aren’t attracted to their partner anymore. Women always try to blame themselves, and think they suffer from low sex drive. I think a lot of the misunderstanding about that is because women are taught that they need security and intimacy for sex, and as long as they have that, they should be fine. Unfortunately, this is bull. Some women need that, some don’t. However, all women need to be physically attracted to their partners, and that often fades over time. They also deserve partners who aren’t selfish in bed so that they enjoy sex, and don’t feel like they are just there to provide a service.

            Also, I think avoiding sex because of physical issues is different from lacking desire for it.

          • Missfit

            The number one problem with men was said to be erectile dysfunctions. They didn’t say ‘lack of desire’ and they didn’t say ‘vaginal dryness’ for women. That is because it’s two different things. If the desire is there but the problem is only physiological, it is different than when there is no desire. In the latter case, the solution does not reside with applying lubricant, this actually sounds rapey.

          • Right. And if it does not involve a lubricated orifice and an erect penis, it’s not sex?

      • EEU

        I agree with hypatia. There are a lot more men who have raped or nearly raped a woman and got away with it. We live in a rape culture and many women blame themselves when they are assaulted, not the perpetrator. It’s important to point out that all men who have paid to abuse a prostituted woman are rapists.

        • “There are a lot more men who have raped or nearly raped a woman and got away with it.”

          Yes. And there are a lot of men who have raped women and do not think that what they did was rape. That’s how rape culture works.

          • EEU

            Exactly. Unfortunately that needs to be said over and over because too many people don’t get it.

    • “How is it that 0.4-6.8% of men are sexual offenders, whereas 1 in 5 women are raped in their lifetime?”

      Because sex offenders on average have more than one victim each. The study I linked to earlier (http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2014/10/06/hookinguprealities/for-valid-sexual-assault-rates-were-better-off-asking-the-rapists/) reports that violent offenders had committed an average of 5.8 rapes and non-violent offenders 3.2. While we can’t necessarily assume that these were committed against multiple victims, it seems reasonable to suspect that these offenders had more than one victim each.

      Assuming a 6.8% offender rate among men, an average of 2.94 victims each is sufficient to see 1 in 5 women raped in their lifetime. Note that this study does not require that the victims consider that they have been raped, or that they report it: it relies solely on the perpetrators’ description of their own behavior, so the phenomenon of underreporting is less relevant than it might otherwise be. This article (http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/01/08/the_enliven_project_s_false_rape_accusations_infographic_great_intentions.html) reports that the average rapist “stacks up six victims”—which would mean we only needed an offender rate of 3.3% to reach the often-cited 1 in 5 statistic.

      What this leads me to ask is, is it effective to focus on culture change, i.e., change of factors affecting all or most men, when what we want to stop (rape and sexual assault, for example) is done by a small proportion of men? On the face of it, it might seem that identifying the common characteristics of offenders and then developing interventions that specifically target men with those characteristics, or in particular contexts, may be more effective.

      There is also potential reason for skepticism of the argument that porn is to blame for sexual violence, if we look at long-term trends in rape incidence, which show a sustained fall since the 1970s that continues in the 2000s at the same time as porn was becoming more readily available on the internet. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#mediaviewer/File:Rapes_per_1000_people_1973-2003.jpg)

      None of this is intended to diminish the sense of urgency in reducing the incidence of rape, sexual assault, and violence against women more generally. On the contrary—it is simply worth considering that given the urgency of that task, we may consider that culture change is not our most effective instrument in achieving the reduction we want to see.

      • pbutterfly2000

        But you’re assuming that women are raped only once in their lifetime, whereas some women are raped over and over and over again, and they’re only counting one rape for each of these victims.

        • No. I’m not assuming that—one of the studies cited actually says that the average rapist has six victims.

          • Non-PC RadFem

            @Ben Hourigan:

            Whatever… It’s still male violence against women.

            When women kill-rape-dismember-behead-disembowel-skin-cannibalize men at the same or higher rates than men do to women… then, you’d be free to come back to us with your ‘statistics.’

      • pbutterfly2000

        And if you define rape as the lack of clear consent, then the number would be much higher than one in five – it might be four in five or five in five. (And also over and over and over again).

        • Actually, that’s not true either. The one in five and similar statistics are based on the Koss study and similar studies, which already define rape and sexual assault as lack of clear consent, asking women not if they have been raped, but if they’ve had sex when they didn’t want to. See Christina Hoff-Sommers, “Who Stole Feminism?” for (an admittedly unsympathetic) discussion of the methodologies.

      • corvid

        The fall in the rate of rape in the U.S. from 1973 to 2003 can’t definitively be said to be due to the availability of porn. What you’ve said is speculation. Women’s financial and social status changed over those years as well, as a result of feminist organizing.

        It’s difficult to find compilations of statistics on this issue without digging through a whole lot of information, but have a look at this site: http://www.sexassault.ca/statistics.htm
        Look at the miniscule rate of reporting various types of sexual assault. Look at the percentage of Aboriginal women who are sexually assaulted. Consider what women who have exited from prostitution say about their experiences, the coercion, the dissociation with their bodies. Consider that the many, many women who speak out here report that a high number of women they know have experienced boundary violations and sexual assault due to porn. Consider that many women are loathe to accuse their partners of boundary violation or assault. I can personally tell you that the vast majority of male-partnered women I have known have told me of having unwanted sex directly due to the pressures that porn culture puts on them. How on Earth can these things not be a “culture” problem? What possible reason is there not to identify this as a problem of culture apart from pure porn apologia?

        Women are being raped and sexually assaulted. There is no acceptable level of rape or assault. Is the practice of watching women raped, humiliated and objectified on a screen and normalizing this as “sex” a sane practice? The practice of shopping for women the way you pick up a pizza, men choosing when, how and where and in what way they want women…. men fetishizing every last inch of women and holding this up as a divine entitlement…. treating women’s bodies like something they eat at a Vegas buffet…. Is that sane? Do you really believe that men will indiscriminately rape unless a segment of women are sacrificed (prostituted) as human pacifiers? That is one of the most disgusting things imaginable. You are asking us to accept that we are sharing the planet with a bunch of psychos. We don’t want to believe that men are psychos.

        I am not a statistician but I wish to hell I were, so that I could do the kind of research that would lead to a better understanding of this issue from women’s perspective.

        • “can’t definitively be said to be due to the availability of porn.”

          Wasn’t remotely saying that it was—just that the rise in porn availability didn’t coincide with a rise in the rape rate, so it seems a long bow to draw to say that omnipresent porn availability and consumption (among men) caused an increase in rape and sexual assault.

          Unfortunately, there are no citations on the statistics page you linked to, so it is difficult to evaluate their accuracy or the soundness of the methodologies used to derive them. I agree that it’s difficult to find statistics on the issue, particularly ones that have clear citations attached, or show aggregate or trend data rather than crime statistics for discrete areas over a short time period.

          “There is no acceptable level of rape or assault.”

          I quite agree, and it’s why I think it’s important to explore and debate the issue rigorously.

          For instance, this study by psychologist David Lisak (http://ocadvsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Understanding-the-Predatory-Nature-of-Sexual-Violence.pdf), whose research has focused on rape and sexual abuse (perpetrators and victims) concludes that undetected rapists “share the same motivational matrix of hostility, anger, dominance, hyper-masculinity, impulsiveness and antisocial attitudes” and are not, contrary to some opinions, “committed … [by] a basically “decent” young man” but by “by serial, violent predators”. To rephrase, detected and undetected rapists are a small group of repeat offenders with a specific pathology, not “ordinary” men motivated by pervasive cultural forces. You aren’t sharing the planet with a bunch of psychos, but you are sharing the planet with a large population of ordinary men within which there is a small population of psychos who are next to impossible to rehabilitate.

          As a result, Lisak concludes that “Prevention efforts geared toward persuading men not to rape are very unlikely to be effective,” *and* that “Rather than focusing prevention efforts on the rapists, it would seem far more effective to focus those efforts on the far more numerous bystanders – men and women who are part of the social and cultural milieu in which rapes are spawned and who can be mobilized to identify perpetrators and intervene in high-risk situations.” (Men *and* women, note.)

          Now, there is some support there for the idea of culture change—but mainly in the area of encouraging and empowering men and women to intervene when there is a potential or completed assault. While there may be some issues of men closing ranks, this won’t always be the case, and there are other, non-gendered issues to address like the paradox that individuals are less likely to intervene when they perceive that numerous other people have observed or are aware of the wrong (i.e. at a party, within a large social group, in a highly populated urban environment).

          • corvid

            “You aren’t sharing the planet with a bunch of psychos, but you are sharing the planet with a large population of ordinary men within which there is a small population of psychos who are next to impossible to rehabilitate.”

            Then Ben, WHY are these masses of “ordinary men” doing so little to stop prostitution/pornography?

          • Anomega

            “You aren’t sharing the planet with a bunch of psychos, but you are sharing the planet with a large population of ordinary men within which there is a small population of psychos who are next to impossible to rehabilitate.”

            Then Ben, WHY are these masses of “ordinary men” doing so little to stop prostitution/pornography?

            Because corvid, to many men, and many women, even those who proclaim themselves feminists, all prostitution/pornography are not inextricably linked with rape.

            “Is the practice of watching women raped, humiliated and objectified on a screen and normalizing this as “sex” a sane practice? The practice of shopping for women the way you pick up a pizza, men choosing when, how and where and in what way they want women…. men fetishizing every last inch of women and holding this up as a divine entitlement…. treating women’s bodies like something they eat at a Vegas buffet…. Is that sane?”

            dont you think that the reason you think most men are rapists….maybe the problem is with you, with how you’ve chosen to interpret what goes on when men look at porn or whatnot? (yeah and I saw your posts condemning even looking at drawings…how facist can you get)

            I mean what to you is more “sane”? Men have to completely repress their sexuality and live like monks (expect maybe masturbating without fantasy…um, yuck?) We’re supposed to never look at what turns us on, no matter what the context? Flagellate ourselves for ever looking at or thinking about women and their bodies in a sexual way?
            Are we to keep our very real and powerful sexuality …dormant… until a woman oh-so-graciously finds us fuckable enough to basically give us permission to be a sexual being?

            If you think this is a ridiculous assumtion on my part about radfem demands, I’m sorry, I’m really sorry if I made an error, but enough reading of radfems, I cant see how they’d tolerate anything else.

          • corvid

            “I mean what to you is more “sane”? Men have to completely repress their sexuality and live like monks (expect maybe masturbating without fantasy…um, yuck?) We’re supposed to never look at what turns us on, no matter what the context? Flagellate ourselves for ever looking at or thinking about women and their bodies in a sexual way?
            Are we to keep our very real and powerful sexuality …dormant… until a woman oh-so-graciously finds us fuckable enough to basically give us permission to be a sexual being?”

            You are really dense, man. Seriously.

            Again: pornography is not something that happens inside your head!! It is a real institution with a host of REAL problems and feminists should be able to critique this! Nowhere did I say any of the things you are ascribing to me. I don’t give a shit about your masturbatory habits and what goes on inside your head. I honestly feel sorry for any of your future girlfriends for having to put up with your relentless, impenetrable porn apologist crap (I say “future” because you sound about 14.)

          • corvid

            OH! And just in case you MISSED my point upthread, allow me to quote myself here: “advocating for a relational, non-objectifying form of sexuality is not “prudery.”” Point being, people can be sexual, in a really satisfying way, without pornography. I know this because it’s part of my life, and part of my relationship, which is with a man BTW.

          • Missfit

            We don’t have to interpret anything about what is going on in men’s minds when they look at porn, we have seen porn and that is enough. Stop talking about undefined fantasies when we are talking about violence against women being sexualized, humiliation and subjugation of women being eroticized. This has become an inextricable part of porn. Pornography and prostitution prosper because of ordinary men as corvid said; it wouldn’t be the mutli-billion dollar industry it is without these large number of men (not only the supposedly small population of psychos). You can be a sexual being without a woman having to find you fuckable. You can masturbate all you want and have sexual fantasies. If you get off on misogyny though, that makes you a misogynist.

          • corvid

            Thanks Missfit. To put it another way, “pornography” means “pictures of prostitution.” A prostitute or prostituted woman is a woman who is made to do whatever men want her to do, regardless of her own safety, for money to survive. This is made possible by patriarchy, where young disadvantaged women have virtually no other option to make a good amount of money to support themselves and/or their children. The bedrock of pornography is a foundation of sexual lies about women that women are forced to act out, again and again.

          • corvid

            You know what else really chaps my hide about the way men respond to these debates? The fact that the vast majority of women live without consuming pornography and we haven’t exploded, have we. In fact, from birth, we’re told that not only are we not owed a sexual partner, but that we must self-improve to the point of insanity to even be considered a viable sexual partner to any man. We cover our faces with make-up in order to be considered normal and female, and if we fail to perform femininity properly (which is impossible to do!) then we feel worthless. The idea that our fantasies should be privileged over men’s reality, or even have any bearing on that reality, does not exist for women.

          • pbutterfly2000

            Hear, hear!

            So what would it look like for our fantasies to be privileged over men’s reality? How about wanting to be treated like human beings with valuable minds who deserve to be loved and honored for ourselves and our accomplishments and not just for our bodies and for our ability to be good servants? That seems to be a fantasy that has nothing to do with men’s reality.

          • Missfit

            Yep, the way these men talk is like they think we have no idea what an orgasm is. I never heard a less than average woman angrily whining about no hot man giving her the oral sex she feels she deserves. I am so fed up hearing about men’s ‘sexual frustrations’, like it’s the end of the world. Now that men are sexually overstimulated within porn world, it’s like their fantasies are eating them alive.

          • Mar Iguana

            “Now that men are sexually overstimulated within porn world, it’s like their fantasies are eating them alive.”

            If only that were the case. Unfortunately, their porn fantasies eat women and girls alive.

          • corvid

            Also it’s “fascist” not “facist”, and I don’t think you have any idea what that word means. It’s ludicrous that you would think it’s reasonable to call me that for suggesting that written and drawn porn is not “safe.”

          • vagabondi

            So if it’s “a small population of psychos who are next to impossible to rehabilitate,” and not the ordinary decent sorts of men at all ever, then all good men should support making rape a capital crime, right? So we can eliminate that small proportion of psychos from the gene pool?

            We can have this rape problem solved in a generation or two!

          • vagabondi

            Of course, you only need to think about that for about two and a half seconds to see that it would never work. Make rape a capital crime and from that day forward I can pretty much guarantee that there would never be another conviction.

            Because it’s not just a few psychos. Because damn near all men support rape culture, and all of them benefit from it.

          • Dewey

            First we have to replace all male authority figures in the justice system with women. And isn’t that one reason why men resist female leadership so vigorously? They’re terrified they’ll finally have to suffer the consequences of their actions!

          • I do support making rape a capital crime… But following the S.C.U.M. Manifesto, I would support women taking the matters in their own hands, so to speak.

          • Dewey

            Capital punishment for rape makes perfect sense. Any man capable of sadistically torturing a woman via sexual assault, or even just flagrantly ignoring a woman’s bodily sovereignty, is the kind of man who recklessly bulldozes his way through life creating psychological and social damage everywhere he goes. That’s the kind of irredeemable, fundamentally broken person who’s incapable of contributing to society in any meaningful way.

            So let’s get rid of these human bulldozers and make the world a better place for the non-rapey people. It would certainly take care of our overpopulation problem because, like you’ve said, it is in no way a small segment of the male population! Tell the colleges struggling to address the pandemic of sexual assault and the military with its well-documented and prodigious rape problem. Oh, and how about every woman I’ve ever known, all of whom have been either assaulted or had a near-miss. And all of them have been sexually harassed! Most of them never reported their assault to police and the ones that did regretted it.

        • ” Is the practice of watching women raped, humiliated and objectified on a screen and normalizing this as “sex” a sane practice? The practice of shopping for women the way you pick up a pizza, men choosing when, how and where and in what way they want women…. men fetishizing every last inch of women and holding this up as a divine entitlement…. treating women’s bodies like something they eat at a Vegas buffet…. Is that sane? Do you really believe that men will indiscriminately rape unless a segment of women are sacrificed (prostituted) as human pacifiers? That is one of the most disgusting things imaginable. You are asking us to accept that we are sharing the planet with a bunch of psychos. We don’t want to believe that men are psychos.”

          Yes. This. (And all of the other great responses to Ben H.! I just think this section really underscores it all.)

      • pbutterfly2000

        No woman that i know who has been raped has ever reported it to authorities or answered a statistical survey. Most women who are raped are too ashamed to tell anyone, because they think they will be blamed. Thus they won’t tell in a survey either, especially because someone (their husband perhaps) might be listening. Some women I know have been raped several times at different ages in diverse circumstances. The women who are raped most often and most brutally are outside of the sphere of surveys, because they are held in sex prison camps (brothels) and their rapes are considered either legal or else to be “not rapes.” Many of these women were raped as children and ended up on the streets and never really had a chance. One woman I know told me that women of her demographic (coming of age in the late ’60s in the art crowd) were raped constantly but that it was considered normal by everyone.

      • marv

        “What this leads me to ask is, is it effective to focus on culture change, i.e., change of factors affecting all or most men, when what we want to stop (rape and sexual assault, for example) is done by a small proportion of men?”

        Your point of reference is so confining it makes me shudder in disbelief. What about the vast numbers of women who are trained to consent to unwanted sex out of fear or rewards? Animals in the circus perform tricks too with fake exuberance for the same reasons. Maybe many of both groups even learn to love their subjugation.

        Then there are other forms of violence against women which contribute to an omnipresent climate of misogyny: sexual harassment, leering, battering, racism, poverty, sizism, disablism, war……

        Further, the very institutions that govern society are manmade: the state, capitalism, the military, religion, education, science, etc. These are forms of structural injustice that are the backdrop your narrow definition of sexual violence overlooks. Compartmentalization of the issues is myopic. Social life is a web in practice.

        Sometimes I think infants no more about the world than the learned and the clever.

      • marv

        Ben, porn is spirit murder. Sometimes it kills women’s bodies too through the hands of men or suicide.

  • I have to admit that I too am struggling with the notion of collective responsibility. Even though I am a female person living in this patriarchy, I do not hold myself responsible for the airhead women who work at Hooters (when they could have just as easily gotten another just as good job) and contribute to the problem. I totally blame them for their choice.

    So what am I missing? Collective responsibility for one’s sex is justified when one is a member of the privileged sex, but not when one is a member of the subordinated sex? On what basis?

    (Not being rhetorical or antagonistic here; I’m truly trying to understand this…)

    • Dewey

      Do you place equal blame on DV victims? Is the woman who stays in an abusive relationship equally culpable for her abuse? Why do women stay in abusive relationships? Why do women work at Hooters? Could it be that men have engineered a culture toxic to the young girls that are indoctrinated into it, and those toxic lessons will ultimately benefit men as a whole? So we blame the girls for absorbing the lessons, for embracing their role as a member of the sex class, when it is the girls who will suffer later on while the men sit back and reap the rewards.

      Makes sense to me.

      In case it wasn’t clear, the class with the power, the abuser, the perpetrator, is responsible for the harm they inflict and their complicit role in perpetuating it. It doesn’t matter if the victim says, “More please.”

      • I think the DV situation is different. Often women stay because they fear worse if they leave. And that fear is often well-founded. That’s why I specified the ‘attractive alternative’ for the Hooters example.

        I’m granting women some agency to resist indoctrination.

        And still, you’re equivocating “the class” with “the abuser” – collective with individual. That’s where I’m having trouble with justification.

        • EEU

          ‘Airheads’? Seriously? Why are you blaming women for being objectified and dehumanized by disgusting men? Why are you blaming women for the patriarchal conditions that leave them virtually no choice? Do you seriously think that they could just as easily find other jobs? Seriously? Seriously? Seriously?

          • Dewey

            That’s an excellent point. A man with a high school degree can make a pretty nifty living in the trades. What can a woman in similar circumstances do to generate a comfortable income? Hmmmm.

            I’ll give you a hint ptittle, it has to do with a culture engineered by men to ultimately benefit men, so what is a woman mostly valued for in patriarchy…?

          • I’m blaming them for allowing themselves to BE objectified, for applying for the job, KNOWING that that’s part of it. And yes, I do think, not always but sometimes, they could just as easily find other jobs.

          • pbutterfly2000

            I’m sorry, I really have to disagree with this comment. It comes from a place of class privilege and possibly also white privilege. Clearly you have never been in a position of literally having no other options.

            When I was nineteen and needed job while putting myself through college, I looked for jobs every day for two months without being able to find anything. I applied at McDonald’s, at a place called Jumbo’s Drive-In as a fry cook, at every retail outlet and restaurant. The only job I could get eventually was as a drink hostess in a Japanese bar, where i had to sit with the customers, talk with them, flirt, dance. It was disgusting. I realize now that It was a form of sex work, although the customers were not supposed to touch (although of course they did). This bar was the type that was a grooming place for girls who would become prostitutes. Every night customers tried to pressure the girls into prostitution, and to lure them to work at the other bars that were fronts for brothels. Some of the girls there did make the transition, lured by the much bigger money they could make at the brothels. They were usually girls with families in Japan or Korea they needed to support, or with children. I cried my heart out every night in the bathroom, drunk from the wine I had to drink to make my tips, fixed my makeup, and went back out to “entertain” the men. I worked until 2:00 every night, then went to school in the daytime with a hangover. I’m somewhat allergic to alcohol, so it was also very hard on my body.

            Do you think any of the girls working there were happy and would not have taken a better job if they could get it? I got my older sister a job in the bar where I worked as well. She was a single mother and needed the extra income. We became enemies during our time working there, and for many years afterwards, because that’s how patriarchy pits women against each other in competition. She never forgave me for being younger and more popular at the bar, as if the opinions and desires of those repulsive men could mean anything to her. But of course I made bigger tips as well, because I was so good at “acting.” We were all doing the best we could at that bar, and any woman who would look down on us as “objectifying ourselves” or “being able to make other choices” is not an ally of women and doesn’t know what she is talking about.

          • pbutterfly2000

            The valuable lesson I learned from this experience at the hostess bar (although it caused PTSD that I still struggle with) is that the whole world is conspiring to shuttle girls and women into being prostitutes. That the ONLY job I could get was a direct stepping stone to prostitution was astonishing to me, but my experience I fear is normal for girls with no connections and no money. Even recently this has happened, because I made a film that was a sort of cautionary tale about the hopelessness for women of living in patriarchy with all of the predators out there. But because I performed in the film, some people thought this was an opportunity to objectify my body or to see me as an ally of pornographers, and I got several offers to perform in pornographic films, which is totally ludicrous on so many levels. While the film is so clearly a commentary on the evils of sexism, men often deliberately misinterpret it and try to funnel me back into the role of prostitute! So first lesson learned: in the eyes of men, all women who seek jobs are prostitutes. Second lesson learned: all actresses or women who allow themselves to be captured photographically are prostitutes. Third lesson learned: all women who exist at all and are not physically repulsive to men are prostitutes.

          • pbutterfly2000

            …and with fat “feederism” fetishes, physical disability and amputee fetishes, and “old” fetishes, now even women who would normally be considered exempt are also prostitutes.

          • Anonomega

            So even having “fetishes” (attraction) to people who arent conventionally attractive, as well as even wanting to talk or dance with a woman, is now repulsive. I have a hard time readin stuff like this and feel that men are being condemned for having sexual feelings at all. For its no longer the question as to what desires and behaviour are rape, or on some continuum of “rape culture” but rather, what male sexual feelings and behaviour would your ilk consider acceptable, or even tolerable?

          • yes, patriarchy always puts a price on a female born body. MRA’s have admitted on the C36 hashtag that all men view women as all whores. the only thing to be negotiated is how much.

            The younger a girl is, even if she’s a minor, the more expensive she is.

            The older she is, the less worthy she is.

            Gail Dines says in this culture you’re either fuckable or invisible as a woman.

            I’m in my mid 40’s, becoming invisible, and I feel the pressure of men lifting from my tired shoulders. However, while it doesn’t make me as heavy I still feel the weight.

            Radical feminists will always feel that heaviness whereas liberal feminists will not. As long as liberal feminism can say this heaviness only affects individuals, a liberal feminist can ignore it.

            Oh and don’t get me started on transpolitics. That’s another diversion of patriarchy, another divide that stops women born women from coming together because we’re still too busy fighting men.

            I said on Twitter today, ‘I’m reading Woman Hating by Andrea Dworkin. God, imagine if every woman was as aware?’

          • Just Passing Through

            Amen to that!

          • Dewey

            Why are you blaming women for living up to the feminine ideal? Our society tells little girls that being sexy is the pinnacle of female achievement. They’re inculcated with this ideal through imagery celebrating female sexiness (NOT to be confused with sexuality) in every form of media and in the attitudes held by the men they admire. The messages are everywhere, encountered every day.

            If you want to argue against the juggernaut of social conditioning you’re just going to end up looking a fool.

          • hypatia

            ptittle, I spent part of my college years working as a server in an upscale restaurant that was in no way specifically geared toward titillating men and where the servers, both male and female, wore long-sleeved button-up shirts and long slacks. I spent every hour of every day at this job feeling like a worthless hunk of objectified meat because of the way that customers and management treated me (including regular verbal and physical sexual harassment), and there was nothing I could do about it without losing tips (my only source of income) and/or my job. I made enough money there to pay my rent and bills and buy books I needed, and there was not another line of work at the time that I could have qualified for that would have a) worked with my class schedule, and b) paid enough for me to get by.

            I suppose that some women who work at places like Hooters could quit and try to find jobs working at a place like where I worked, but why would they? Other than some superficial details, it’s all pretty much the same, and they might make more money at Hooters. And if those women are capable of doing the mental gymnastics that allows them not only to survive a shitty situation they can’t escape from, but also to convince themselves they feel “empowered” by it, why wouldn’t they do that? I was never good enough at lying to myself about the conditions I was stuck in to manage this, but I can understand the appeal. Instead, I had to live with full awareness of a feeling of powerlessness and self-loathing that grew with every shift I worked, and I wasn’t even a feminist back then.

            TL;DR: All women are objectified under patriarchal capitalism, whether they “allow” it or not, and regardless of whether they work at Hooters or somewhere else. How can you blame them for trying to find ways to cope with this shitty state of affairs?

        • Dewey

          True, fear is a powerful motivator. So is Stockholm Syndrome. Quick reminder: Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

          Women, born into an culture overtly and covertly hostile to their sex must learn to reconcile living in the patriarchy with their attraction to men (if het or bi, of course), their emotional ties to men, the necessity of living, learning and working beside men. It’s a huge mind fuck, maybe the greatest case of cognitive dissonance ever generated and sustained among a specific demographic, and not unlike a lifelong case of Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm Syndrome, if you’re remotely familiar with the psychology of DV, is common among DV victims.

          We do have a term for women who resist indoctrination: radical feminists.

          • Right. Some women do resist indoctrination. It’s possible. That’s my point. I grant women agency. At least some agency some of the time. I don’t think women are victims always or completely.

            Yes, points taken, a job at Hooters may be making the best of a shitty situation. But surely we can all think of women who have had alternatives to complicity with the patriarchy who STILL choose to be complicit. Those are the ones I blame.

            But we’re going too far afield here, I think, from the original post. (Recall, I was simply struggling with how one man can be responsible for another man’s oppressive act – not how he can be responsible for creating the patriarchy, not how he can be responsible for failing to speak/act out against the patriarchy – but how he can be responsible, directly, for another man’s act.

          • EEU

            I think the main point is that if he supports the objectification of women or any other sexist behavior, he is implicitly saying that rape, battery and murder are okay (because women are nothing but sex objects and exist to please men). Every single man who goes to a club and stares at a woman’s body and objectifies her, every single man who watches pornography, every single man who sexualizes and fetishizes women’s bodies and body parts is implicitly justifying vaw. That makes all men (or almost all men) complicit in violence against women. How many men do we know who are out there protesting against the objectification of women? None. If they are not actively fighting against sexism, then they are supporting it and complicit in violence against women. They are supporting sexist and misogynistic behaviors which allow vaw to happen in the first place. It is true that some women also support disgusting sexist attitudes (I used to be like that), but it’s ridiculous to blame the oppressed for being oppressed. We need to reach out to women with education, because I’m sure that if we offer them alternatives to patriarchal propaganda, they will change.

          • pbutterfly2000

            Women can resist indoctrination best when they are educated about what indoctrination is and how to escape it. Most women are not educated in this way. The mis-education of women about what is really going on is one of the goals of patriarchy.

            Women of lower classes tend to be least educated about what indoctrination is, but also their options for escaping it are fewer and sometimes nil. Making the best of shitty situation is often not only empowering for individual women, but is the only way they can survive.

            If women get more social rewards from being indoctrinated, then you can’t blame them for continuing to play along. This is a SURVIVAL strategy. Only privileged women who don’t need men for their survival have the drive escape indoctrination, or even the luxury to. You know, there’s that experiment where fish in a tank had a glass wall put up so they could only swim a short distance. After awhile the glass wall was removed, but the fish would not swim past the imaginary barrier. They would swim up to it then turn around and go back the other way. They had constructed the barrier in their minds, and it was as good as the glass. When women claim they have perfect agency when they “choose” to objectify themselves, if you look at their histories usually you will come across that glass wall. In many demographics, there is no other reality besides that glass wall.

            Very few women with real, viable other options go into prostitution. Usually it’s forced on women who are either underaged, runaways, or struggling to make ends meet in a system in which they and their children will starve otherwise. Usually they’re also being coerced into it at the same time by a controlling man they depend on for their survival.

            These are largely CLASS issues. Judging women for not resisting, in situations so horrible you could never dream of them in your privileged life, is bigoted.

          • pbutterfly2000

            Sorry, I was trying to reply to ptittle.

          • Dewey

            Women of lower classes tend to be least educated about what indoctrination is, but also their options for escaping it are fewer and sometimes nil. Making the best of shitty situation is often not only empowering for individual women, but is the only way they can survive.

            These are largely CLASS issues. Judging women for not resisting, in situations so horrible you could never dream of them in your privileged life, is bigoted.

            Hear, hear! Sing it, sistah! Woop woop!

          • Dewey

            Resisting indoctrination is a long, hard road. It’s far, far easier to remain safely ensconced in the delusion that things really aren’t that bad, that men can’t help themselves, that the status quo is the Natural Order of Things, and take solace in the myth that women’s sexuality is a potent form of power (though the exact opposite is true: men greedily extract it, shape it, and use it to their advantage like any other exploitable, finite resource). To shake off delusion is to alienate virtually every man on the planet, to carry the weight of the truth on your shoulders, and lots of other heavy, depressing stuff. Come on, I’m sure at some point in time you’ve flippantly trotted out the old axiom “Ignorance is bliss!” And we all grin like idiots whenever it’s invoked because we all know it’s true. Even if it doesn’t endow bliss, per se, it’s generally a more pleasant alternative than confronting reality.

            Why don’t we talk about some of the ways *you’re* letting down the team? Do you wear heels? Make-up? Most women capitulate to patriarchy to some extent; no woman survives patriarchy without giving in somehow, sometimes. Even if she’s an enlightened rad fem who knows better. Sometimes you have to pick your battles or sacrifice your sanity.

            And if you can’t begin to envision how one man’s actions can affect an unrelated man’s actions, you haven’t got any imagination. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you’re playing dumb for shits and giggles. I wouldn’t want to offend you by presuming you’re really that obtuse.

    • Ash

      It’s like saying “As a white person, I don’t like to be lumped in with all white people who have white privilege” when actually, ALL white people BENEFIT from white privilege whether or not they are racists or are purposefully trying to benefit from an oppressive system. As an individual white person, you can be totally NOT racist in your personal life but still benefit from a system that privileges whiteness. That is basically what Michael is getting at here, at least in my reading…

    • C.K. Egbert

      Basic premise: Men made the patriarchy, it benefits them, they continue to maintain it, so it’s their responsibility to get rid of it. By definition, to be of the oppressor class means to be endowed with social and material power, and to be subordinated means to be deprived of social and material power (on that axis of oppression, of course I’m aware of intersectionality). Thus, those who are given the social/material power on the basis of their belonging to the oppressor class have a responsibility to renounce that social/material power and fight against the structures which maintain their dominant position.

      Another dimension of collective responsibility is, of course, that even if men do not endorse male privilege they benefit from it (whether they like it or not). It is thus not enough to merely not do harm but to fight against the very conferment of privilege that harms the subordinate class.

      • I grant that power goes with responsibility, and those with the greater power have the greater responsibility.

        “Men made the patriarchy” – but men are also born into the patriarchy. Yes, they very quickly get the greater power and very quickly have the greater responsibility, as the privileged, but it’s the blame I’m having trouble with. They can be blamed for not using their greater power, for not taking responsibility, for not speaking up, for not acting (though I confess I have a little trouble with that when the man knows damn well he’ll be beaten to a pulp if he DOES speak up, if he does act)…but can they be blamed for another man’s oppressive action?

        • Lee

          If someone has real privilege, they have the power to speak up, to say they don’t agree to certain things, and be heardand, taken seriously. If they choose not to use that privilege, yes, they can be blamed for contributing to the status-quo, for taking the easy way out. Because, as a man, especially a man with privilege, you are much more likely to be in control of or have a say in the shaping of what status-quo is. Lacking the courage to stand up to rape jokes, actual rape, misogynistic views of women, soft sexism, etc. is the same as agreeing with those things (unless a man is truly hampered in some way real way as to not to be able to stand up to it).

        • pbutterfly2000

          I refer you back the story I told earlier, in which three male friends of mine and about fifteen male strangers stood by and watched while I was sexually assailed at a bar, and the one person who came to my aid was a woman who was physically weaker than everyone else. She clearly was not concerned about being beaten to a pulp. Often one word, one glance from a man is enough to stop another man, because his social standing is at stake, especially if that man is an alpha-male, but it really can be any male. I do think men can be blamed for not speaking up when they see oppression. What they are reinforcing is the belief that their male solidarity is more important than a woman’s safety or even her life.

        • Wait, you have no problem BLAMING women that “objectify themselves”, but can’t seem to blame men for the mess they perpetrate?

          Maybe think about why you are so stuck on blaming women but wanna give men a pass.

    • ” I do not hold myself responsible for the airhead women who work at Hooters (when they could have just as easily gotten another just as good job) and contribute to the problem. I totally blame them for their choice. ”

      What in the hell are you “blaming” them for? “Blaming” women for the decisions they take on how to deal with patriarchy is misogyny.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I don’t understand why you would assume women who work at Hooters are “airheads?”

        • I don’t assume that. She did.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I know! Sorry — I meant to respond to the ptittle 🙂

          • I think this may be her straw womyn of what feminists think.

        • I call a woman an airhead if/when she doesn’t understand/care that/how her choices contribute to the patriarchy. (And has the cognitive ability to do so…)

          • Meghan Murphy

            Well she may not yet understand or care… She may have been brainwashed into thinking it is empowering, which isn’t necessarily the same as being an ‘airhead’ — it’s more social conditioning… Or she may need to work there because that’s where she can make a living… Or she could be an ‘airhead,’ I suppose, but so could any man or woman working anywhere…

      • You have a broader definition of misogyny than I do!

        Do you NEVER blame a woman? For ANYTHING?

        • corvid

          This isn’t about just “anything.”

        • Mar Iguana

          That’s right, NEVER, for ANYTHING. Give it try. It’s very liberating.

        • My definition of misogyny is the same as yours: hatred of women for being women. It’s not my fault you’re unable to recognize blaming the victim as a form of hatred.

          • I don’t define all women always as victims. Perhaps that’s where we differ.

          • bella_cose

            Do you think you’re superior to women who take jobs at places like hooters? Even if you haven’t relied on your physical appeal to get by, I can guarantee you’ve done things that aren’t perfectly feminist. Women aren’t perfect, and some women lack awareness. While I often do not agree with other women’s choices, I’m going to put the blame where it belongs- on men as a class.

          • All women are victims of the patriarchy, correct?

  • Dominique Bernier

    Very powerfull! Thanks!

    Since you’re a former candidate for the NDP, how do you feel about the party’s position on the Bedford case? Do you have any explanation on the matter? I’m so confused and disappointed, and feel I have no option but to cancel my vote…

    • ArgleBargle

      I grew up NDP and was rock solid until the day I realized how much that party hates women. Good old Libby marching around the downtown eastside advocating the paid rape of native and other women. Too hell with the NDP.

  • Mar Iguana

    “A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who thinks all men are rapists?

    Rapists do.

    They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.

    Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.”

    “And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed? When you were silent?

    That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.

    You. The rapist’s comrade.

    And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, if that doesn’t make you want to throw up, if that doesn’t disturb you or bother you or make you feel like maybe you should at least consider not participating in that kind of humor anymore, not abiding it in your presence, not greeting it with silence…

    Well, maybe you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim.”

    http://www.liberateyourself.co.uk/survivors/you-are-not-alone-personal-experiences/to-all-those-men-who-dont-think-the-rape-jokes-are-a-problem/

    • Candy

      Would you mind linking me to the rapist study you talk about? 🙂

      • Mar Iguana

        Sorry, I don’t have links to those studies.

  • Hanane Khaled

    It’s all men and all the women who support the patriarchy by trying to ‘fix’ it instead of getting rid of it altogether. Good work, thank you.

  • river

    It is ALL men, and not just in the benefit department. You all abuse, batter, rape, sexually harass, sexually assault, touch when you’ve been told no, objectify, do your best to keep the BEST women out of your grad students, demonize older women especially, secretly revile lesbians, so much more than your lip service “benefits”.

  • corvid

    From Catharine Mackinnon’s “Only Words” in reference to pornography:

    “The message of these materials, and there is one, as there is to all conscious activity, is “get her,” pointing at all women, to the perpetrators’ benefit of ten billion dollars a year and counting.”

    We live surrounded on all sides by men’s elaborately staged projections of what they think we are. These lies precede our birth and they succeed us after we die. They come in all possible media formats. I have seen too many young women go insane, become addicts, and in some cases commit suicide in this environment. It burns me in the extreme that men will go to great lengths to defend what they perceive to be a harmless form of leisure entertainment, regardless of how many female bodies they have to climb over to do so.

  • Eric

    If all men are responsible for the culture of predatory misogyny, can they still be advocates for gender equality? The way Mr. Laxer and many of those who are commenting here have been talking, these two things seem to be quite mutually exclusive. I agree completely that men are a significant part of the problem, but as a man who feels very strongly about gender equality I feel put down by the repeated use of hyperbole; “All men…”. Because I am a man who has benefited from the privilege of my sex I have become guilty by association? Does it matter that I do not believe I deserve this privilege? I know I am not entitled to anything from society, and certainly not from women. Does it mater that I call myself a feminist because I believe people should have equal rights, regardless of their gender? However, because I am a man, I am not an advocate, but just another part of the problem. For an article that was undoubtedly meant to promote change, it has left me feeling hopeless.

    • What the fuck are you going on about. There is no such thing as “gender equality.” You might as well be advocating for square-circles.

      • I assumed he meant ‘sex equality’ – which could be possible if sex were, some day, inconsequential, if gender itself were eliminated.

    • Lee

      What do you have the power to do? What ways can you try to affect other men’s views? Unfortunately, women who speak up to men are not heard, even a fraction as much as men who speak up. Do you do that? Do you say to other men, “No, I do not agree,” in whatever way you can, when they throw out misogyny? If you have any power, with your friends or colleagues or neighbors or acquaintances, simply not placating them and agreeing to their misogyny, is what is being asked of you. If your neighbor says black people have lower IQ’s than white people, you can just say, “I don’t think those views come from an educated place (about IQ tests, for example).” If you don’t do that, yes, you can be held responsible for not speaking up, for being complicit. Your silence, your lack of even trying (if that’s your chosen action), is, yes, contributing, is seen as agreement. That is the point of the post.

    • marv

      “Because I am a man who has benefited from the privilege of my sex I have become guilty by association? Does it matter that I do not believe I deserve this privilege?”

      Acknowledging your advantages as unwarranted doesn’t change the fact that you retain them until you die someday. Having gained from the sexual division of women’s unpaid labor in the home is an example. It is the exploitation of wives and mothers.

      Comparatively, many white people oppose the invasion and occupation of Indigenous peoples’ territories by white men. By living on those lands though, empathetic caucasions receive advantages and opportunities they wouldn’t have enjoyed if colonization never occurred.

      Yes all of us men are responsible by association for patriarchy and its demise. White males also have the principal duty for eliminating its racist derivatives.

    • Dewey

      Wanting “equal rights” for everyone (Kumbaya!) isn’t the same thing as actively dismantling patriarchy. When most men say they’re pro-equality, what they really mean is women are entitled to equal pay and opportunities, but nothing else had better change. They might be anti-rape culture, too, but few are willing to make the personal investment required for ending it.

      It is pretty hopeless! But you can do your bit and stop being an Equal Rights Advocate. Start being a feminist ally, if you really care to change the status quo.

    • Mar Iguana

      Learn the important difference between the words “gender” and “sex.” These words are not synonymous, making “gender equality” an oxymoron.

      In patriarchal society, AKA Earth, the one thing (and I do mean “thing”) you are absolutely entitled to is women, who exist only to serve men. No matter what kind of hot mess a man is, he is told he is superior to any woman who ever existed; man’s favorite lie.

      Men are not a significant part of the problem. They ARE the problem. And, no, it matters not one bit that you do not believe you deserve privilege.

      You’re feeling hopeless? Welcome to our world. Now, run along and study Feminism 101 before barging in to whine, beg to be educated by women, then argue with them at every step, and irritate with stupid questions. Don’t come back until you get it. At this point, you don’t even know what “it” is and are embarrassing yourself.

    • Babypie

      If your feelings were hurt by this “hyperbole” of All Men, imagine what it must be like to be a woman. Stop making this about you. Instead of throwing a fit over this article, you should use it as inspiration to fight the patriarchal oppressors who give you a bad name. Stop making this all about you!

  • Chris

    While a I agree there is systemic cultural issue here that continues to allow men, especially men in high power positions, to get away with and even be supported in this type of behaviour this article is, frankly, bullshit. I know it has become the cool norm to demonize all men because we are all horrible human beings who would rape and abuse without hesitation if given the chance (that was sarcasm by the way).

    The only thing this type of trash talk does is reduce the number of allies out there among the male population who are disgusted that this behaviour is allowed to continue.

    I can tell you, had I known of this pig’s behaviour not only would have I turned him in, I would have kicked him in the mouth. Also, I have never engaged in the degrading locker room talk you describe and have repeatedly been the first to call other men out on it when I hear it, I could give a shit if they get angry at me.

    Finally, I manage a number of employees and the men I supervise know that sexism will not be tolerated.

    Anyway, nice work further polarizing an environment that more than ever needs more people working together.

    • Dewey

      Nice attempt at derailment!

      Tone Argument

      • bella_cose

        Thanks for the link. It sums up perfectly what I’ve tried to explain to people over the years, much more concisely than I ever could.

        I had a boyfriend a few years ago, who of course supported “equal rights”, which he thought meant he wasn’t sexist. Of course he would argue with me on every feminist issue that threatened his privilege, even denying that he had privilege. He used to tell me that it was my tone that made him disagree with me so much, and that I was too cold and clinical. However, I knew that was bull. Had I been emotional, he would have blamed me for that instead. Obviously, that relationship didn’t last.

    • @Chris,

      feminists do NOT polarise anything. This presupposes that things weren’t “polarised” as it is and that feminists had to come along and create this division between men and women.
      That is not the case. It is our systemic hatred of women that started everything. There wouldn’t be any need for feminism if we had actually managed to get our shit together several thousand years ago. And as far as I’m concerned, every single woman living in a misogynist society is more than justified in hating and blaming us with impunity, as a reaction to that profound misogyny, just like every other oppressed group is justified in hating their oppressors.

      And good job for being such a glorious ally. I’m sure it would look good on your CV, especially the fact that you come here and tell women how they NEED us as their allies. Protip: if we are turned away from feminism because women don’t cater to our sensibilities then it’s not women who are the problem.

    • Zhanghe

      “The only thing this type of trash talk does is reduce the number of allies out there among the male population who are disgusted that this behaviour is allowed to continue.”

      I find it disappointing that one (rare) article like this would suddenly turn men from wanting to better the world into the opposite. I read vegan articles demonizing vegetarians who eat eggs. It doesn’t make me stop being a vegetarian and turn me onto slaughtering animals to spite them.
      No one who truly believes in a cause is that easily influenced to turn against it because they read something that doesn’t pat them on the back for not being terrible.
      You don’t choose to do what is right because you get praised for it.

      • We all seek the approval of our fellow human beings, and we all try to imitate people in our in-group, because we are social animals. It seems to me that you’re arguing that we should not be, which is just silly to me.

      • “No one who truly believes in a cause is that easily influenced to turn against it because they read something that doesn’t pat them on the back for not being terrible.
        You don’t choose to do what is right because you get praised for it.”

        Great comment.

    • Zelda

      This is a thinly veiled threat. “If you say mean things about men, I will no longer support your cause of being liberated from violent male supremacy.” You are threatening women. Over something a MAN said. You are the problem.

    • Thanks for stopping by a feminist website to let all the feminists know what a white knight you are. Of course we have no proof that anything you say is true. But we do have good reason to be suspicious when any man starts trumpeting his “not-all-men”ness to us instead of focusing on making male spaces less hostile to women. Why aren’t you posting on a male-run website about how men should knock off the misogyny?

  • Sparky Jones

    With due respect, if one follows this line of reasoning, then all women too are complicit. If simple participation in a society where ills are present is enough to make one culpable, then ALL participants bear the same responsibility. This line of reasoning, while beguiling, is far too simplistic and frankly does not move forward a discussion that is critical for us each and all.

    • Actually women don’t benefit as a class from female oppression. Nice try at the “you’re just as bad as we are” fallacy, though. Run along now.

    • Nefertiti Bashira Muhammad

      Yes, everyone in complicit to a degree. What we are talking about is a “net” overall effect. A small amount of people are not complicit and a larger amount are. What we’re describing is the net trend which does not contradict the individual agency of some people. And we are ALL responsible no matter what our actions because the results of patriarchy affect everyone in a harmful way (even if the individual has little culpability).

  • Pingback: Part of the problem: Talking about systemic oppression | Feminist Current()

  • sheeti

    I’m a wanna-be feminist man (literally speaking, I like to be always trying improve myself in general–not because I like to pretend to be better than others, but mostly because I dislike myself and the human ability to be a shitty species made up of mostly destructive egoistical brats prewired for an ultimate sense of entitlement over everyone else and everything else in the surface of our wonderful rotating rock whose life we suck out faster than mold on a poor rotting fruit). I understand I’m generalizing, and I am gonna go out on a whim and assume that I’m wrong there are good humans in this forlorn planet. I’d go as far as to say that the majority of people I know at a profound and personal level actually fit this exception. Realizing my mistake I will take my original claim with a pinch of salt, as I do with this article and as I tend to do with all arguments that generalize and claim that an every single one individual that shares a trait (phenotypical or not) with one million shitty individuals will therefore be as bad despite of the individual story playing in his or her brain. Nonetheless, despite my microscopic hope for a small trace of goodness in humans, I believe that there are men who call out assholes, don’t watch demeaning porn (or any at all), and hate the “predatory man” attitude expected of males even in small things such as dating and refuse to even participate in the entire process, thus giving up the opportunity to “find love like TV and our genes say we must” just to avoid being a fucking alpha monkey that hits on women (love life would be so much easier if in the society norms women were expected to approach men instead of the other way around. There is nothing fun about holistically admiring a woman in all her fullness of who she is and how she thinks but being afraid to let her know for fear of being another shallow dude that hits on her because he has a dick and wants to “get it wet”). Ugh. Anyway, like I said, I don’t claim to not be another disgusting man. I am sexually attracted to women and that makes me a disgusting pig even though I have never had the desire to rape anyone and even things like consensual slapping, spanking and choking in sex (and even insulting or aggressive dirty talk) freak me out (sex should be an act of love and admiration for the other person, it should be focused on pleasuring the partner and not the self, although the latter is an inevitable byproduct of the first). Nonetheless, articles like this make me feel like a dick just for having one. Maybe I’ll never be able to call myself a feminist as long as I find women sexy. This also means that I probably won’t be changing the fact that I’ve been single for over 90% of my life, not for lack of “looks” or “talents” that women may find attractive, but for this huge circle of worthlessness and self loathing that only grows bigger the more I find out about our species, especially my gender, and how low we’re capable of being. Anyway, in short, for clarification: I disagree with some of the generalizations in this article. Nonetheless I still think men are all pigs, and if I try to better myself, it is out of a somewhat hopeless intent to not be as shitty so I can feel less bad about myself. So ultimately I’m an egoistical male human with an ulterior motive of wanting to feel somewhat special or worthy of this amazing super advanced virtual reality game we get to play until our time runs out and most of what we did was indulge or think about indulging (and some of us did do amazing things that left a legacy that lasted centuries and millennia, until the sun exploded and the whole solar system got fucked and everything got lost anyway). But oh well. I seem to digress a bit.

    • birgit3

      Patriarchy hurts everyone, especially women and children. One just has to look at Islam and Sharia law to see that even when men are supposed guardians they fall very short. Many men truly believe they are superior, which I don’t get, because I’ve never felt that anyone is superior over another, but that we all have our places in society. Anyhow, what we need to do is lobby the governments to abolish prostitution and pornography, and encourage an industry the shows how to respect and love another person. We need to show one another compassion and love, and also how to deal with those that are not that. We need a change and we need to be strong in that change because the tidal wave of resistance will be extremely powerful. As for you on a personal note: if you see or hear men being derogatory towards women, speak up. Let the women and men in your life know how you feel. 🙂

  • Jem Leav

    Wonderful article. Thank you. <3

  • Just Passing Through

    Wow this was so great to read and to realize it was written by a man gives me a glimmer of hope. I wish there were more men that could have this view…. sadly I know Mr.Laxer is a VERY small minority.