On ‘street harassment’: What about the men?

Alok Vaid-Menon demonstrates exactly why feminists should not center men’s voices in our conversations about sexual harassment.

Alok Vaid-Menon, a “non-binary transfeminine poet,” is asking important questions about sexual harassment: namely, “What about me”? In an interview with German queer magazine, Siegessäule, Vaid-Menon was asked about the erasure of “trans and gender non-conforming individuals” from the feminist conversation around street harassment. He responded:

“The erasure of gender non-conformity from the street harassment dialogue doesn’t just hurt gender non-conforming people, it hurts everyone! What I need cis feminists to understand is that centering gender non-conforming people isn’t just about solidarity; it’s about challenging patriarchy more precisely and effectively.”

While not stated outright, what this really suggests is that feminists need to do a better job of centering men in conversations about sexual harassment and male violence. Feminists already center women in these conversations — “gender non-conforming” or not — so the only people being left out are men. And for good reason!

Women’s experiences of street harassment are rooted in ownership: that is to say, men are socialized to believe that women are things that exist for their consumption. But as so many men do, Vaid-Menon conflates “desire” with objectification and dominance. He explains:

“I am rarely, if ever, complimented by men on the street. I am spat on, laughed at, pushed and shoved, thrown trash at, et cetera. We can’t just talk about desire, we have to talk about disgust. Why should we have to be beautiful in order to be safe?”

While indeed males face bullying and violence at the hands of other men, equating this to “street harassment” (which really means sexual harassment, and is not at all gender neutral) and demanding women center those experiences in their feminism is a mistake. And to confuse that harassment with attraction is just plain dangerous.

Patriarchal culture has long defended everything from catcalling to sexual assault as some kind of compliment. Women are, we are told, so attractive, so beautiful, so desirable, that men simply can’t help but to harass, stalk, grope, and rape us. Women who complain about street harassment are often told they should “take it as a compliment.” Women who aren’t perceived as conventionally attractive are often accused of lying when they speak out about harassment or sexual assault. After Andrea Dworkin spoke out about her rape, she was not believed, primarily because she was not viewed as being attractive enough to be rapeable. The widespread misunderstanding that men sexually abuse women and girls because of “desire” erases the primary reason men perpetrate violence against women: dominance. Not “love,” not “lust” — dominance, power, and control.

In 2014, trans-identified writer Paris Lees proclaimed “I love wolf whistles and cat calls,” explaining, “I find a catcall rather appreciative.” It makes sense, if you think about it, that someone who grew up male would consider being “treated like a piece of meat” a compliment. This is exactly what men and boys are taught, after all. And considering how interconnected femininity is with objectification, it wouldn’t be an enormous stretch to wonder if Lees connects objectification with successful womanhood — “passing,” as it is sometimes called. If “passing” is the one and only goal, then yes, I suppose being objectified by men would constitute some warped kind of “compliment.”

By contrast, Vaid-Menon is most-likely harassed because he is of colour and a gender non-conforming male. That is to say, if he is being targeted on the street, he is not being objectified, but is rather being bullied by racist, homophobic men. But he doesn’t say this. Instead, he argues that he is harassed because “femininity is always made into a spectacle for public consumption and entertainment, offline and online.” This statement, again, implies that women are abused by men because they are “feminine,” rather than because they are female. But women who are not “feminine” are no less susceptible to rape, nor does being “beautiful,” as Vaid-Menon seems to simultaneously believe, somehow, keep women safe. (If he thinks appearing “beautiful” keeps women safe, he really need to start paying closer attention to what women are saying, and stop demanding we start listening to him instead.)

These kinds of comments are exactly why men’s voices cannot be centered in feminist conversations about street harassment: they don’t get it. While yes, gender non-conforming men should speak out against the harassment and abuse other men pile on to them, demanding feminists listen to and center their voices in the women’s movement means perpetuating male-centered notions about sexism. Indeed, the fact we are discussing “street harassment” as though it is gender neutral, rather than specifically misogynist — specifically a means for men to remind women they are vulnerable, rapeable, and to-be-looked at — speaks to this.

It’s difficult even to accept Vaid-Menon’s claims of harassment, as he continually claims women are responsible for it, refusing to name men as perpetrators at all, and because he conflates his experiences with the harassment women face at the hands of men. He is either misdirecting blame intentionally, in order to protect men, or he doesn’t understand what “harassment” is.

In 2015, in an interview with StyleLikeU, he complained that “an older white lady” demanded to know what he was doing in the women’s washroom. That he uses the “white woman” trope as a means to dismiss and vilify women who might question his presence in women’s spaces is revealing: Vaid-Menon doesn’t actually believe women are an oppressed class of people and he doesn’t believe men make all women feel unsafe. He is only concerned about his comfort. In other words, his male privilege and entitlement is showing, big time. (As is his allegiance to other men.) He adds, “I think when women see me, they’re trying to protect this category that they belong to.” Well yeah, what does he think feminism is about, anyway? (Hint: It’s him. He thinks it’s about him.)

That Vaid-Menon clearly believes a woman who questions his presence in a woman-only space equates to harassment destroys any credibility he may have had on this topic. Women question his presence, not because he is “feminine,” “femme,” or “gender non-conforming,” they question his presence because he is male, and because males are a threat to women. (Yes, even the ones in lipstick and traditionally female clothing.) That he blames women for “street harassment” and compares the legitimate questions a woman might have for a man in her space to the daily sexual harassment and abuse women experience from men, in both private and public spaces, is exactly why feminists should not center his voice in their movement. He doesn’t understand the way women fear men. He doesn’t understand how male power works. He doesn’t understand that women-only space exists for a reason. He demands solidarity from women despite demonstrating complete and total solidarity with other men, by protecting them from accountability. And for those reasons, he needs to respect that women are going to continue to have these conversations without him.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • feminale

    right. 50% of the population suffers under sex based oppression- you chose to join a subculture at about .03% of the population- and want to center your selves in the conversation…because male-entitlement, not feminism.

  • melissa

    ““non-binary transfeminine poet” LMAO wtf.

    • -Jane Don’t-

      I know, right? lol People are too obsessed with labels. I hate the phrase, “You do you,” but seriously, just be yourself and stop worrying about defining it. We’re humans, and calling yourself a “non-binary transfeminine poet” sounds pretentious and navel-gazing. Get over yourself!

  • anne cameron

    I’m nearly eighty years old. I have daughters, I have granddaughters. My plate is full just trying to work to improve the world and make it safer for them and for all other feminist women. If I saw this guy in a woman’s space I’d probably help evict him. I don’t care if he’s wearing lipstick and a dress and I’m not very interested in anything he has to say, especially if he is whining.
    Lipstick and dress or not, he thinks like a guy, and his demand to be heard is just too male. We’ve had their opinions forced on us for centuries and I’m not listening to them any more.
    Jeebus, some sad sacks will do and say ANYTHING just to get attention!
    Poor bugger is just downright pathetic.

    • -Jane Don’t-

      I hope I’m as badass and cool as you when I’m 80. 🙂

  • oh the hue manatee

    The main aim of gender as a social system is to entitle men to women’s servitude.
    Any man who demands women center them in anything is gender CONFORMING.

  • Tobysgirl

    Don’t complain about the cult of masculinity if you want to continue being a member of it! That’s the price you pay for your privilege. Putting on a dress proves you are a lesser male, and lesser males are legitimate targets in the cult of masculinity. Jeezums, men like to whine.

  • Bev Jo

    I always wonder how many girls and women men like this have harassed and sexually assaulted throughout their lives.

    By playing with and caricaturing how men tell women to look, he is oppressing us. But of course men always count more.

  • M. Zoidberg

    >>”For example: I am rarely, if ever, complimented by men on the street.”

    Yeah, because actual women fucking love unsolicited street harassment from men.

    >>”Also, I am often harassed by women – mostly white women. Street harassment isn’t just about enforcing men’s control of public space, it’s about policing the gender binary and actively disappearing gender nonconformity from the public imagination.”

    No, it’s about performing lady-face like the grotesque caricature of womanhood it is, and women being offended by it because it’s shallow and relies on oppressive stereotypes.

    Fucking men and their asses where their heads should be…

    • -Jane Don’t-

      Or heads up their asses….

  • Wren

    This fucking idiot says:
    “I am rarely, if ever, complimented by men on the street.”

    Oh yeah, cause every woman lives for compliments, amirite ladies?? Especially compliments from men!! How would I know my tits were sooooo sweet if I never heard “hey sugar tits.” What a sad empty life I would live without the unsolicited praise from men!

    “I am spat on, laughed at, pushed and shoved, thrown trash at, et cetera.”

    Oh, like women have never been followed, harassed and assaulted? Does he think this doesn’t happen to us all the time???….

    “Why should we have to be beautiful in order to be safe?”

    Well, there’s his answer!! Us beautiful women are TOTALLY safe in the big bad world!! HAHAHAHA!!
    [insert maniacal sarcasm]

    Also, he’s not dressed as a woman, but a little girl. I know of no grown professional woman that would where a goofy sundress, socks, and creeper shoes like that. I am not convinced that any harassment he gets is due to homophobia, but more like innate repulsion cause he looks like a pedo.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I get male commentary on my body almost every time I go out alone.

      And I am almost 50. I’m somewhat conventionally attractive, have big breasts, and I am small. I used to think that these things are why the harassment never stops.

      But that’s not it. I’m not beautiful, I am not young. Looks have nothing to do with it.

      If I am alone and a male decides that he has a good opportunity to put me in my place. THAT’S why they harass us.

      Besides, males are creatures that will rape 80 year old women and babies. And sometimes even each other.

      So that “beauty as protection” bullshit really put me off. Also, that’s a warning to women, that we need to practice beauty. For our own protection. Essentially, if we practice the beauty rituals of femininity properly, then dudes will leave us alone? Please.

      • Americus91

        It just hit me – they start young – the boys before they’re men. AND NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Because my own daughter has told me the POS boys at her school have made comments to her about ME – “You’re mom is HAWT” and singing that god awful song “Stacy’s Mom” – NOTHING HAS CHANGED. NOT ONE DAMN THING. And they make comments to her about her breasts, and her arms, and her legs. She see girls from school posting instagrams now in seductive poses in their underwear. 15 YEAR OLDS! Who are they doing THAT FOR??

        NOTHING HAS CHANGED. In fact things for girls and women haven’t gotten better they’re getting worse. I actually believed that BS but not anymore.

        I’m really pissed right now because I honestly didn’t process this fully until reading your post.

        I’ve been psychologically, emotionally, and physically abused by males my whole life – both when I looked totally crappy and dressed nice.

        It’s got nothing to do with it.

        And you’re right – elderly women in nursing homes have gotten raped.

        F-ing cowards. ALL OF THEM.

        Sorry for the rant -the anger just comes out of me in spurts.

        • Hekate Jayne

          Little boys are horrible, as a general rule. And they do horrible things, but patriarchal society encourages their awful behavior (boys will be boys) and they are socialized to be horrible.

          I had a 17 year old boy hit on me recently in a very aggressive manner. And he got very threatening when I shot him down repeatedly. He didn’t just wake up an asshole that morning, his attitude developed over years and is encouraged by other males. They purposely do it.

          And I understand the anger. I had a moment a few days ago about that Google thing. You know, how that fuckshit claimed we are lacking because of biology?

          Those same fucksticks will say that biology doesn’t matter in order to support ladymen that attack and harass us. Males simultaneously hold EVERY position and avoid responsibility for everything.

          They are straight up batshit, as a class. I have realized finally that every single thing that they believe and spout, they also believe and spout the exact opposite, at the SAME TIME.

          They do it on purpose, just so that we can’t ever be safe, comfortable, autonomous, or free. That will piss you off. That will do it.

        • ptittle

          It did change. Then it changed back even worse. Maybe next generation it will change back the other way even better.

          And pigs will fly.

        • melissa

          “In fact things for girls and women haven’t gotten better they’re getting worse.”

          Even just 5-8 years ago i was still thinking maybe its slowly but surely moving towards the better. No more though. From both sides of the political movement, the garbage on every side of the media-either news sources, pop culture, or social media platforms- its just a constant influx of confused, misogynistic garbage. There’s two kinds of dominant trends now with younger people its seems. Either you are tumblr style “woke”, buying into and peddling bizarre, incoherent, sexist nonsense, or you’re an anti-feminist that thinks misogyny is not real at all, and that those damn “feminazis” are ruining everything, and that women are just born subordinate in one way or another because “biology”/”nature”/”science”. Even gigantic Youtubers like PewDiePie with around 57,000,000 followers is suddenly posting bizarre anti-feminist videos defending men like the Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who said women are “smaller, weaker, less intellegent”(On fucking ‘Women’s Day’, at that) and therefore will of-course never earn the same as men. Same thing with the google memo guy. While the progressive media- however often just as sexist and nonsensical- rightfully criticize him, he becomes a star that’s merely being slandered by the loonie left, for gazillions of other anti-feminist/anti-SJW groups. And that growing group isn’t even the old school conservative Christians that used to invoke “nature”/”god” to make these deterministic arguments. Its a huge, diverse number of people. Now you have sexists of all kinds joining forces and hiding their misogyny behind pseudo scientific hogwash. Studies are already showing this generation has a stronger support for gender roles and hold more misogynistic views in certain areas than the last. More and more we’ll see the regression becoming obvious,while the left remains confused and the right rejoices. I’ve read some anti-feminists say how this is going to be the ” most “red pilled” generation ever..”, and i fear that they’re probably not wrong.

        • -Jane Don’t-

          “I’ve been psychologically, emotionally, and physically abused by males my whole life – both when I looked totally crappy and dressed nice.”

          My first job was working for my dad in road construction. I tried to look as disgusting as possible – no makeup, clothes that were 3 sizes too big, bulky flannels, etc. – and I still got hit on. By grown men. I was a teenager. The guys with our company knew better (though one actually asked my dad if he could ask me out, lol. Nope.), but guys from other companies were just gross and creepy. I could go on, but you know what I’m saying.

          It doesn’t fucking matter. Men just want to exert power over us, and I’m sick of it.

      • My Mugshot Is Irrelevant

        I have a theory that there are men for whom any woman between say, 10 and 70 is fair game. It doesn’t matter what they look like-they see a female amd their immediate instinct is to harass.

      • susannunes

        Yep. The reason men do this is to force us out of the public sphere. Women have no right being alone in the world. You don’t see it often any harassment of women accompanied by men. Women have to be out of their minds to think catcalling, etc., is anything other than sexual harassment and abuse.

        The LAST thing women should EVER do is wear makeup and all of that other femininity garbage which is designed to draw attention to themselves. Regardless, men have no right whatsoever to invade women’s spaces, including personal spaces, which verbal harassment does.

      • Wren

        “Also, that’s a warning to women, that we need to practice beauty. For our own protection. Essentially, if we practice the beauty rituals of femininity properly, then dudes will leave us alone? Please.”

        YES, exactly, he’s angry that he doesn’t get COMPLIMENTS cause he’s not pretty like us (which is not why we get harassed or assaulted, like you said), but we are told by him that we would be safer if we all were just eye candy!! Maybe he thinks we won’t get raped if we’re PRETTY!! Only fugly women get raped and it’s THEIR FAULT cause they shoulda looked better.

        For some strange or not so strange reason, I am so enraged by this that I can barely breath. This is the most vile, twisted, misogynistic filth I’ve ever heard. I just feel so much hate that these psychopaths get any air time at all.

        • Hekate Jayne

          Well, I get enraged because they already control everything, down to each individual uterus (in the US, anyway).

          I’m increasingly offended that they mimic us, claim that we are some kind of essence that they can just choose to be.

          Then they simultaneously claim that they woman better than we do, like it’s some kind of perverse competition, AND then complain when “being a woman” doesn’t work out like they wanted it to……….

          AND DEMAND that WE FIX IT.

          They can all fuck off. Sick of their bullshit.

        • -Jane Don’t-

          “I just feel so much hate that these psychopaths get any air time at all.”

          Same. Like, why is he famous? For dressing like an idiot?

    • catlogic

      His parody of what a little girl might – *might* – wear in dress-up is even creepier given he is at the very least a pedophilia apologist.

  • M. Zoidberg

    >>”[He] grabbed me from behind and rubbed his dick on me, gyrating and singing a little song about how I was giving him an erection..”

    I want to peel the skin off my body reading this… Fuck that guy with the Devil’s pitchfork!

  • Jessica

    Dear Men in Dresses,
    Get your own sex. Get your own sexuality. Lock yourself up in any gender cage you want.
    But for fvck’s sake get your own movement. FEMINISM is not for you.
    Sincerely not yours,
    Women.

    MtTs are just so lazy. Over indulged by parents and handmaidens. Sheltered from the real world where they are nothing special. This is why they react to radical and/or older feminists so negatively. We’re just mean mummies in their eyes. We treat them like adults and expect them to act like adults. So they throw mantrums.
    They went after “gender” and they were all fvcking welcome to it. But like typical narcissistic children, once they discovered we didn’t want it, neither did they.
    So they went after women’s biology and tried to impose their fvcked up unicorn science on it.
    They also went after women’s sexuality and their aim, to have it dominated by men’s desires, was crystal clear.
    The reason women can see through this charade is that we have been dealing with narcissistic men for our entire lives.
    These men in dresses are just more of the same.

    • Trond Kval Nordli

      You don’t have to be trans to wear a dress. We should celebrate men who wear dresses but doesn’t call themselves women, because these are people who actually defy gender stereotypes.

      • Zuzanna Smith

        I’m tired of celebrating men for no reason at all. A man picked up a stranger’s baby to help out, he’s a hero. A man made his own sandwich at work, let’s stop and acknowledge a feat. Ridiculous.

  • My Mugshot Is Irrelevant

    The reason men don’t compliment Alok on the street is becsuse he goes about dressed like a clown. I’m sure there are people with fetishes for clown like clothes and makeup; I doubt they are a significant percentage of the general population.

    • ptittle

      But why is a man dressing like a woman more clownish than a woman dressing like a man? (Which I do all the time when I wear track shoes, jeans or cargo pants, tshirt, sweatshirt, no make-up, no jewellry…)?

      • Zuzanna Smith

        Because femininity can be clownish, the exaggerated high heels, heavy makeup, etc. He could’ve chosen to dress like Tilda Swinton. But he decided on an ugly sundress and clunky boots. I guess to each his own, but sue me, he looks ridiculous.

        • ptittle

          So do we think women in exaggerated high heels, heavy makeup, etc. also look clownish?

          • radwonka

            Well kinda

      • bb

        I don’t really care less if men wear dresses. Whatever. But claiming to actually literally be female is just untrue. A dress does not a woman make.

        • ptittle

          agreed. absolutely.

      • Hanakai

        Well, for starters, purple lipstick coupled with smale shoulders and a hairy male chest simply look ridiculous in a spaghetti-strap sundress. Clownish.

  • Marla

    I was going to forgo commenting on this topic because really, shit like this is not worth the time until I read in his self-serving interview:

    This expands the scope of the work beyond ‘the public’, to understanding how femininity is always made into a spectacle for public consumption and entertainment, offline and online.”

    Okay, the question arises here. What work is he talking about? Can’t be the work of feminists who are tirelessly fighting against the third-wave “empowering” horseshit when it seems to me that is exactly what he after. I’m mean, I am confused over his words here. Femininity is public consumption to him? Or is it the public has no desire to consume his version of femininity? So he constructs a moral issue of his non-gender par excellence and wonders why women don’t understand that being a spectacle wounds him psychologically but at the same time he is creating that very archetype of himself.

    I apologize if I sound way off here but this gender binary/non/gender/binary/binary/gender (oh, I give up) is evolving into a religion in which there lies a conscious conflict between good and evil.

    “I need cis feminists to understand … it’s about challenging patriarchy more precisely and effectively.”

    So…”cis” feminist are to suddenly regulate and disassociate themselves and challenge the patriarchy under his rules simply because he wears a dress? For if feminist fails to engage in his “challenge” they are just as bad as the patriarchy itself? Sorry Charlie, I’m not going to fight his conflicting conscious values for him or any other male who wears a dress. Leave me out of your cult.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Yes, and his use of ‘white ladies’ is used to position women as dominant/privileged, i.e. not oppressed. Both ‘cis’ and the ‘white feminist’ trope was invented in order to convince the naive that men (especially men who have fetishized femininity) are actually the most oppressed and that women’s oppression doesn’t exist at all. It’s straight MRA shit.

    • Alienigena

      “…how femininity is always made into a spectacle for public consumption and entertainment, offline and online…”

      Really depends on the historical time period (Europe and North America) and culture … in Europe courtesans used to be the only women who wore makeup and actively drew attention to themselves. Most other women would have incurred the wrath of their families if they presented themselves in the manner of courtesans. Even in the modern era only certain women with certain types of bodies are acceptable. If you have an unacceptable body type you are supposed to hide it and yourself so that you don’t offend or inspire the ire of men and others. I remember seeing a theatre performance called “Moms the Word” where the end of one scene had one of the five women comediennes would run from the stage naked (it was in context, really wasn’t gratuitous it seemed to me). There were hisses and boos from some men in the audience because the woman who ran from the stage had obviously had children and had cellulite and was heavier. Just really irritating that these jerks felt comfortable enough to express those sentiments about a show that looked at women’s experiences as mothers.

      http://www.marquisent.ca/moms.html

      Alok really doubles down on the sweeping generalization about femininity and its presentation as if it was always thus and is always thus in every culture on the planet. A ridiculous narcissist. I remember being 15 years old and having unshaved (but not that hairy) legs when I was swimming in a local river (I and a friend were the only ones there). I had never had to shave before so didn’t realise what a crime I was committing until my friend sniggered at me and implied I was an idiot. Women face opprobrium about their appearance from men, women and children everyday why should he be exempt.

  • angry tardis

    I lost my first waitressing job in similar circumstances. I had to threaten my boss with a butcher’s knife to make him back off, I left and got a call the next morning to tell me not to come back. I did go back, with back up and demanded ALL of my past wages (the entire staff had been asked to take a pay cut while the owners got the place back on its feet about three months previously, I was 17 then so not so clued up). I got all my wages, thanks mom (the best back up ever) and the little slimy parasite couldn’t even look me in the eye.

    • Hekate Jayne

      Well, I kept the job. It was a big place, there would be 20 servers on a busy shift, and 5 or 6 managers. I managed to avoid him most of the time.

      But after I left, I was contacted by the company because a group of the waitresses complained about the harassment. I knew a few of them, and they gave names of women no longer there that they knew had been harassed to give statements.

      I gave a statement. Of course, I could because I had a job somewhere else. But he ended up getting fired. I don’t know if anything else happened.

      The one other manager that gave me a problem got fired while I was still there for something else.

      I was in my 30s. That is still my favorite job. But that’s because I get harassed everywhere by some dickfuck male.

      • -Jane Don’t-

        “But that’s because I get harassed everywhere by some dickfuck male.”

        I get hassled a lot too, to the point where I don’t even dress up anymore (as in, wear a nice day dress or something). Hell. I had some dude rev his engine at me when I was waiting for the bus. Who does that? And I’m not like, uber-feminine either, more androgynous b/c I have a super short pixie, but I’m petite. The day he did that, I had on ripped jeans, a band t-shirt, and a hoodie. We all know it doesn’t matter what someone wears, but my point is that I wasn’t like, dressed in some great outfit that would cause people to notice me, you know?

        Yeah, asswipe. Like revving your fucking engine at me is going to make me knock on your window and ask for a ride.

        But yeah. I’ve also had much worse, and it drives me crazy.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    I don’t think these people understand the meaning of “centering”. It’s just a buzzword they all use with no thought. Kind of like “inclusive” or “problematic”.

    • bb

      And “reclaim” is another one….

    • -Jane Don’t-

      You should REALLY check your privilege.

      (I’m totally joking.)

    • Omzig Online

      Don’t forget “conflating.”

  • fragglerock

    “The widespread misunderstanding that men sexually abuse women and girls because of “desire” erases the primary reason men perpetrate violence against women: dominance. Not “love,” not “lust” — dominance, power, and control.”

    I wouldn’t call it a misunderstanding so much as an intentional misrepresentation. That’s why men insist that sexual harassment is a compliment, that rape is committed because of overwhelming desire, that porn and prostitution have anything to do with desire or choice—because they want to obscure the fact that what’s inherent in each is “dominance, power, and control.”

    That’s why we need to correct people when they say that any of these things have to do with desire or attraction–no. It’s about control, plain and simple. Control and violence and coercion have been sexualized under patriarchy so that people don’t question them–making them easier to control. It’s abuse on a grand-scale. Women are gaslighted daily; not just by individual misogynists but by a misogynist media, medical establishment, and government. We’re gaslighted to believe that up is down and forward is backward and that if we question or disagree with any of it, we’re made to look “crazy.” It’s sick and downright twisted.

    • -Jane Don’t-

      Are men stupid? My mom told me since I was a kid that rape is about power. Hell, I remember her telling my brother at dinner if a woman ever asked him to stop, you always stop. ALWAYS.

  • Laura

    is there any way of being sure that wasn’t written by janani, the woman half of darkmatter?

    • Morag999

      Hmm, it may have been written by her. That may be where the “I was a little girl” part came from, because I don’t think Alok claims to be a woman/female. But they are/were a writing team, right? One voice? Still, it’d be interesting to find out if she wrote that garbage …

  • M. Zoidberg

    Just a light-hearted aside: Every time I see your avatar, I want cheetos.

  • -Jane Don’t-

    Oh my god I’m so sorry that happened to you. I’d give you a hug if I could (and it was okay, of course).

  • -Jane Don’t-

    Hello fellow Jane. 🙂 Yep, he did complain about no one wanting sex with him. As I read that article, I kept thinking he and the other transfeminine-whatever-whatever should have just fucked each other since no one would fuck them. Did he ever stop to think that his personality is the reason why no one wants to be with him? He’s immature indeed. Anyone who prances around and navel-gazes like him is pretty much a child emotionally. ME ME ME ME!!! I NEED ATTENTION!!!! What are you, a fricking 5 year old? Please, just shut up already; no one cares.

  • -Jane Don’t-

    I don’t give a shit if a guy wears a dress, but seriously, this guy looks like a complete idiot. He has no fashion sense whatsoever.

  • Tobysgirl

    The second time I went to San Francisco (1985) we saw a guy in a dress (ala The Cockettes) — you know, hairy chest, thrift-store dress — and no one was making any sort of fuss about it. Where does the dude with the poor fashion sense live? I can’t imagine anyone in SF or NYC taking the time to make fun of him. The only time I saw a mass of people (everyone, men and women were alike overwhelmed) in NY stare at someone was a fantastically gorgeous woman who strode down the street as though she owned it. No comments from any of the men, just stupefaction.

  • Morag999

    “I’m not going to ‘celebrate’ men doing ANYTHING LESS than completely refraining from abusing, raping and murdering us.”

    Same, same. I also give zero fucks about men thumbing their noses at society with something as superficial as their wardrobe. Especially when the act is so deliberately constructed, so studied, to draw maximum attention, outrage — even disgust.

    Males donning floral prints and frills, while skipping all the vital steps of becoming decent human beings who reject male supremacy and violence, are not agents of meaningful change. They’re just mucking about.

    It’s nothing but a short-cut to making a show of rejecting masculinity. A short-cut that leads nowhere. We know this because it’s been done forever and nothing really changes: men wearing lipstick and sundresses has done nothing to dismantle the gender system. Except in the most shallow ways — and even that might be too generous. Yeah, for decades now men and women are more or less allowed to “play” around with gendered fashions, to play dress-up and make-believe games. Big hairy deal at best; reinforcement of the system at worst.

    It seems it’s all for the worst. Along with the ascendency of gender identities, prostitution and pornography are flourishing, woman-abusers are still nice guys, rapists are still getting away with it, sado-masochism and pedophilia are just natural sexual orientations, and lesbians are bigots who should be hunted down because their love for women causes the murders and suicides of trans-identified males.

    Gender is not just trousers and skirts or blue and pink. It’s all that male violence against girls and women.

  • radwonka

    “complicated”
    “peculiar”
    “narrow”
    “spectrum”
    etc

    aka “it cant be defined, It’s too deep to be described”
    aka ‘thus there is nothing really oppressive! nothing can be clearly explained! but let me tell you how society works”
    aka gaslighting/control

    It’s not suprising that relativism and obscanturism are used to promote male supremacy. That’s why I always think that people who use relativism are bullies or abusers themselves. Whenever they use relativism, they blame the victim and thus victimize themselves (ie “but she is kinky! she followed me! It’s her agency! I’m not guilty and can’t influence/abuse others!”)

    and “kinky”… lol… only pedos sexualise little girls (ie “but little girls also want to have sex!”).

    The left is completely rotten. smh.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    The older I get the less I feel like “dressing up”, which was basically mandatory [or I felt that it was] when I was a teenager and in my 20’s. Now I am really wanting to cut my hair short and wear my own face, to be honest I’m astonished how hard it is to let go.
    There are some women in my office that wear zero makeup and they look so beautiful, I’m really envious that they feel so comfortable, sorry for the confessional!

  • Reiko Asiko

    french women feminists accept male transsexuals as women and they think that these male transsexuals are alowed to go in all female exclusive places

    also french women want to completely erase the word ‘femme’ because they want to say that all human males and females are ‘hommes’ because frankish and gaulois men of the nobility have compounded into the national french dictionnary that the human specie are ‘homme’ and not ‘femme’, since the 14th century

    (I don’t agree with them)

    • Eldalis Orlamonde

      What are you talking about? The trans debate is almost nonexistent in France (for now), even among feminists. It’s true some US-inspired activists started to talk a little about trans identity, but there was zero debate about trans people going to female exclusive places and so on.
      I think you’re confusing with Quebec feminism, which looks a lot more like liberal feminism but translated in French.

      French language uses “les hommes” (=men) with the meaning of ‘human beings’, with various other sexist grammar rules. Those rules are widely criticized by french feminists, and inclusive writing is a big debate too. It is not true that some people want to erase the word ‘femme’. And please, women are not responsible for the sexism of the languages.

      • -Jane Don’t-

        Your mention of sexist grammar rules makes me wonder how Spanish speaking countries deal with trans crap.

        • Stroke_Your_Own_Ego

          I’ve heard people in the queer cult replacing the word latino/latina with latinx. Don’t ask me how to pronounce that.

  • -Jane Don’t-

    I hope I can eventually not give two fucks… I’m getting better at it!

  • Stroke_Your_Own_Ego

    Lol!!! That thing must smack the shit out of her shins every time she takes a step! She looks like a pearl necklace on a velvet stand, only human sized.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    Lol, how does she keep her head up? Alok should try it though, he seems really lazy. Something tells me he gets laughed at a lot, which is the main reason he’s so upset.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    That is disgusting, how are people missing that a lot of transgenderism is the normalization of pedophilia by trying to paint children as consenting adults. “Queer, trans, peculiar, kinky, kind, mean, beautiful ugly,” wtf, you don’t even have to read between the lines.

  • rottenbone

    It is, but libfems are (very) mainstream in France. One “feminist” magazine that is pretty successful there is madmoizelle.com, who are usually perceived there as THE feminist french magazine. They have occasionally posted pretty good articles, usually about street harassment or explaining what patriarchy is in a rather clear way, but these are getting old. Now they publish always more garbage about how objectification is “empowering” if the woman chooses to objectify herself, or about how to make “feminist porn”. I even remember one article where they had linked to a Ted talk about “a story of reconciliation between a rape survivor and her rapist”. And their massage is growing always more mainstream in France: there is now a sex-ed channel for teenagers that encourages them to watch porn so that they can “explore” their sexual tastes and that kind of crap. All under the umbrella of feminism. I really hope I am wrong when I say that real feminism is dying there.

  • rottenbone

    I see what you mean, but I also have the impression that, sometimes, there is a sort of complicity between ordinary men and male transwomen, sort of as if they are implicitly saying to the latter: “good job, bro, now you’re gonna have the women’s fun things men can’t have” while claiming out loud how they fully accept the the transwoman as a woman. It’s a bit difficult for me to describe precisely this behaviour, it’s quite vague in my mind. Has anyone else noticed it?

    • acommentator

      Ordinary men are not saying “good job” to MtT. Ordinary men cannot fathom why someone would maim themselves in this fashion, or shoot themselves up full of hormones that don’t belong in their body.

      And ordinary men do not say that they believe MtT are women. Ordinary men don’t believe any such thing, and ordinary men feel no need to pretend to believe it.

      Ordinary men are completely gobsmacked at the entire Trans thing.

      I have a young relative who just had this surgery done a little while ago. He is a perfectly inoffensive young man, he is no kind of activist, he is not belligerent. He just needed some help accepting himself as he is. Instead, he found a surgeon willing (for a price, of course) to try to make him look a little bit like something he is not.

      No ordinary man can understand this stuff.

  • -Jane Don’t-

    Any time lady! 🙂

  • -Jane Don’t-

    Lol. Omg…..What? I love “statement” jewelry, but that’s ridiculous on so many levels…

    I did metalsmithing in college…That must be so heavy. I assume the baubles are constructed of sheet metal, not casted.

  • -Jane Don’t-

    But then we get called TERFS for stating facts…

  • -Jane Don’t-

    Probably, but it also depends on how a person carries themselves. I’ve seen women make jeans and a t-shirt look sexy as hell simply because of their aura. If you’re trying too hard – anyone – it’s extremely obvious. He is obviously trying too hard. I bet his self-esteem is amazing! lol

  • corvid

    Those pearls are perfect for clutching. Could get a really good grip on ’em.

  • Puppet of Putin

    “Because men as a sex hate women.”

    Curious — Is this a popular opinion?

    • Omzig Online

      It is not accepted by mainstream, if that’s what you’re asking. Why?

  • Stroke_Your_Own_Ego

    I’m glad your college had a sane course on gender, because my college (in the US) had only third wave-approved “woman and gender studies” courses.