Good guys and bad guys

We have to let go of a comforting illusion — that there is some bright line between men who rape and men who don’t rape, between the bad guys and the good guys.

I am not as abusive as Harvey Weinstein, nor as narcissistic as Bill O’Reilly. I’m more respectful to women than Donald Trump, and not as sleazy as Anthony Weiner.

Judged by the standards set by these public reprobates, most of the rest of us men appear almost saintly, and therein lies a danger. The public disclosure of these men’s behavior — from the routinely offensive to the occasionally criminal — is a good thing, and all those who have been harassed and raped should continue to speak out.

But we should not let the most egregious cases derail the analysis of how a wide range of men’s intrusive and abusive sexual behaviors against women (as well as against girls, boys, and vulnerable men) are so woven into the everyday fabric of life in a patriarchal society that the intrusion and abuse is often invisible to men.

Pause for the required disclaimer: Not all men are rapists. To acknowledge that sexuality in a culture of institutionalized male dominance (a useful shorthand definition of patriarchy) takes place within a larger framework of male domination/female subordination is not to accuse all men of rape.

Another required disclaimer: Not all sex in patriarchy is rape. To take seriously a feminist critique of patriarchy and men’s violence is not to suggest that intimate relationships can never reflect mutuality and equality.

But we shouldn’t ignore how we men are trained to understand ourselves and to view women. In a society in which masculinity is routinely understood as the ability to dominate (think about how the phrase “be a man” is usually a challenge to assert control) and in which sexuality is defined as the pleasure that men obtain from women (think about what men mean by the question, “Did you get any?”), we might want to do more than denounce the behavior of the most abusive men and ask about how all boys and men are socialized into that masculinity and sexuality.

So, not all men are rapists. Not all sex is rape. The majority of men do not rape. Many couples have loving sexual relationships. But consider these other categories:

  • Men who do not rape but would be willing to rape if they were sure they would not be punished.
  • Men who do not rape but will not intervene when another man rapes.
  • Men who do not rape but buy sex from women and believe that payment gives them the right to do as they please.
  • Men who do not rape but are sexually stimulated by pornography featuring women in situations that depict rape-like acts.
  • Men who do not rape but find the idea of rape sexually arousing.
  • Men who do not rape but whose sexual arousal depends on feeling dominant and having power over a woman.

I shouldn’t need to repeat myself, but just in case: These men are not rapists. But should we take comfort in the fact that the men in these categories are not, in legal terms, guilty of rape? Are we advancing the cause of ending men’s violence against women by focusing only on the acts legally defined as rape?

We have to let go of a comforting illusion — that there is some bright line between men who rape and men who don’t rape, between the bad guys and the good guys. That doesn’t mean all guys are bad, or that we can’t distinguish between levels of bad behavior. It means that if we want to end men’s violence against women we have to acknowledge the effects of patriarchal socialization, and such critical self-reflection is rarely a pleasant task, individually or collectively.

I will be happy if Weinstein goes to jail and if O’Reilly is never allowed back on television. I will be happy if women win lawsuits against Trump and if I never read another news story about Weiner.

But just as important as the consequences for individuals, the cascading stories of routine abuse should lead both conservatives and liberals to embrace a radical feminist analysis of men’s violence against women and a critique of the sexual-exploitation industries (prostitution, pornography, stripping).

Does the culture avoid radical feminist critiques of this violence and exploitation out of fear of where such critical self-reflection leads — the recognition that the routine nature of sexual assault and harassment is a product of our culture’s taken-for-granted assumptions about the sex/gender system and patriarchal sexuality?

If we decide not to talk about patriarchy because it’s too challenging, then let’s stop pretending we are going to stop sexual violence and harassment, and recognize that, at best, all we can do is manage the problem. If we can’t talk about patriarchy — if we can’t face the myriad ways that we men are socialized to seek domination in sexuality and everyday life — then let’s admit that we are giving up on the goal of a world without rape and harassment.

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men. He can be reached at rjensen@austin.utexas.edu or through his website, robertwjensen.org.

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  • Gundog

    We have a son due in less than two months and there has been an ongoing discussion of how we are going to channel all that male energy to healthy outlets and raise a successful, well-adjusted man. I at least have experience being a man to draw on, I can’t imagine trying to raise a son as a single mother with no positive male role models like so many kids are today.

    • Kiwipally

      Many male partners of mothers aren’t positive role models either.

    • FierceMild

      You might want to stop with the “all that male energy” talk or you’ll end up undermining yourself before you even begin. Lots of kids are highly energetic. Little boys are not more energetic then little girls until they’re encouraged to be so and the girls are encouraged not to be so. Sometimes it’s just personality. But energy levels aren’t dependent on sex. My daughter has a short haircut and unending energy and I’m constantly being told she’s “all boy”.

      I’m not trying to be a jerk. It’s just that the gendering if children is more relentless and intense then you might expect. Most parents give up by the time toddlerhood is reached with a shrug and an “I guess it is just innate after all.

      • Missy

        Ugh that must be so horribly frustrating to hear people call your daughter a boy just because she doesn’t conform to gendered characteristics assigned to girls by the patriarchy. I had short hair when I was little too, and I was way more hyperactive than my brother, and I remember whenever someone referred to me as a boy I would get extremely offended. I was a girl, how dare they call me a boy! Even at such a young age I defied gender socialization because even then I knew it was sick and wrong. It’s just so infuriating to me that so many grown adults still prefer to conform rather than fight and incite a real change with the goal of ending gender, (and in turn patriarchy as a whole), once and for all.

        • Alienigena

          “…she doesn’t conform to gendered characteristics assigned to girls by the patriarchy…”

          I find this so strange. When I was a young child (under age 5) pixie cuts for girls were all the rage. These cuts were almost equivalent to brush cuts for boys. There are pictures of myself and my siblings (one male, one female) with very short haircuts, but my sister and I are in dresses. We actually look like Midwich Cuckoos (novel by John Wyndham, made into a few movies, one in the 1990s), because we were all white blondes. Scary. I think society has become more obsessed with strictly defining what is feminine and masculine, and apparently long hair is feminine, at this point in history. That was not always the case.

    • Hanakai

      I agree with FierceMild about stopping with the “male energy” meme. Humans have human and mammalian energy produced by a cellular metabolic process involving ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the sole source of energy for all human metabolism. The processes of ATP synthesis are the same in male and female humans. It is the same energy and from the same source, so stop perpetuating the erroneous notion that males contain some special and superior male energy. Energy is energy.

      As to your main question, why would you want to raise a “successful well-adjusted” man? Why would you want a boy to be well-adjusted to a pathological racist sexist culture, a culture and ethic that is destroying the world? Why would you want a boy adjusted to the “alpha male/he who dies with the most toys and money wins” view of success? Vow instead to raise up your boy to be a decent, fair, kind-hearted, responsible, competent, loving, healthy, joyful, free, happy man. If you succeed, you will make him something of a misfit, but also a leader, a model, the next step in the evolution of man.

      Humans are an imitative primate. Much of the time, children will pay no attention to what you say. But they will watch what you do with the keen eye of a hawk. The way to raise great kids is to love them fiercely, hug them a lot, let them know you love them, praise them and their efforts, and model for them what a good a decent person is and how a good and decent person acts. Treat the women in your life with respect. Show that you value women and girls for their hearts and minds and goodness. Teach the girls and the boys the same — teach them all to sew and do dishes and do yard work and turn on the furnace and use tools and make repairs and to run and climb and to comfort a child and to love an individual of another species, an animal, show them how to be kind and tender and fierce and wild, teach them their place in the web of life and nature. Teach them to honor women as the givers of life and to honor themselves as the protectors of life. In a sane culture, men are the allies of women and the protectors of life.

      If you are a father, stay away from porn. Do not ogle women. Do not refer to women with derogatory sexualized slurs. Treat the women in your life with respect, listen to them, take them seriously, treat women decently, show your children that you value to the input of women and consider them your moral, social and intellectual equals. Teach them that every act matters and will reverberate in their world and universe and either makes the world better or worse.

      My two cents.

      • Tobysgirl

        This just about says it all!
        The one thing I would add is not to tell children they are super special just for being alive. Children need to be praised for their efforts to master their world, the sewing and repairs and activities you mention, not praised for simply existing. And they need limits. Life without limits and consequences is very frightening and at the same time teaches children they are entitled. I have seen so many crunchy types where I live think it is somehow oppressive to socialize their children, and this notion has everything to do with how obnoxious most males are. Across all socioeconomic classes male children are taught they have a right to expect someone else to do everything for them up to and including wiping their asses. When our exchange student asked me why he should learn to do laundry — he had a mommy who did absolutely everything for him to the point he hated it — I asked him if he wanted someone else to wipe his butt for him, that washing your own clothes was equivalent to wiping yourself. He learned to do laundry. I am very good at grossing out teenagers, an excellent skill if you have children!

    • Independent Radical

      In response to “channel all that male energy to healthy outlets and raise a successful, well-adjusted man”, I’m going to go a bit further than FierceMild and say that you have the wrong objectives all together.

      You seem to assume that male dominance is a deviation from the norm. The point Jensen is making, in part, is that male dominance is the norm. Rape is considered bad, but many behaviours approaching rape are considered acceptable (e.g. consuming pornography, aggressively pursuing casual sex, playing graphically violent video games that simulate rape, sadomasochism, etc.)

      To be “well-adjusted” to our society is to be adjusted to a brutal patriarchal culture. I would want my male child to be horrified by it.

      I also don’t think being “successful” is a good thing to aspire to either. Success is not a measure of moral worth. Donald Trump is successful, but he’s not someone any boy should emulate.

      Any male child I raised would end being the kind who gets beaten up for being a “wimp” or a “whiny bitch” by the “well-adjusted”, “successful” men, because he doesn’t tolerate brutal violence and misogyny. Obviously, I don’t want that to actually happen, which is why it’s so hard to raise gender non-conforming children and why most boys do conform to masculinity.

      What we really need is not a change in parenting, but a change in the culture, so that aggression isn’t valued to begin with. At the very least, we need to form communities devoted to resisting gender, so that children who are raised to reject it aren’t isolated.

      • Gundog

        As I said to another reply I use “well adjusted” and “successful” to mean not part of that culture. My child(ren) will never get the impression from me that simply having more than everybody else is success. Success to me is fulfillment and balance in life.

        Boys conform to masculinity because it is a successful survival strategy. And some parts of masculinity are great. Look at all the gender archetypes in history, stories and religious texts. Those exist because those traits benefit society. Because society is so rapidly changing, those archetypes have to be updated or asterisked. It’s going to be quite the job.

        • FierceMild

          “[S]ome parts of masculinity are great.”

          Which parts, exactly, of masculinity are great? I’m trying to see where you’re coming from here.

          “Look at all the gender archetypes in history, stories and religious texts. Those exist because those traits benefit society.”

          They don’t benefit society. They benefit men. There is no portion of gender archetypes that doesn’t benefit men at the expense of women. Especially the religious ones.

          I’m not sure which archetypes precisely you mean, but I can’t think of a single one that doesn’t follow that rule.

          • Missy

            Exactly. What has masculinity brought that was so great other than great destruction, great suffering, great sorrow, etc…? Just like femininity which is enforced on women, masculinity is a social construct created to benefit men and is the root cause of the worst problems that plague women and the world as a whole.

            As for religious texts and HIStory, I don’t think I need to even elaborate how laughable it is for someone to claim these writings or traits that develop from them benefit society when men just use them as tools to oppress women and to maintain their unnatural dominance of the planet. Yeah, masculinity is a successful survival strategy for males alright, especially since the violence, entitlement, and arrogance tied to masculine traits and roles allows men to continue to feed off of women’s energy like parasites.

        • marv

          Affirming FierceMild’s sentiments. We have to stop celebrating any partiality to masculinity in history and the present. God stories are a reflection of it too. We exalt the end of gender in this space and the gods that accompany it.

    • Blazing Fire

      [Continuing from my previous reply:]
      Abe Lincoln’s mother & a lot of such mothers of leaders had raised their kids alone, and have done it well.
      We see many jobless husbands who violently take away any money their wives earn from multiple jobs, and drink or gamble. It would have been better for the kids if that “father” was NOT around.
      Year after year, when our board exam results come out, the news papers used to carry one or the other news about a state-wide top ranker from a poor background whose mom was widowed or abandoned (or perhaps managed to escape from a violent husband – the media won’t mention it that way) who worked very hard to feed & educate her kids – one of whom got the state-level rank – which is a very good job.
      A mother would be more likely than a man to identify any degrading stuff that a child must be shielded from, in order to grow into a half-decent human (you can see many more women object to porn and even its “soft” (!?) variants, while most men insist that it is all just fine – so, if you think the “father” would be a better person to raise the son into an acceptable human, you’re totally wrong). It is more important for the child to be kept AWAY from evil influence (and all “energy” would automatically flow into not-so-evil channels), than it is to do some billion-dollar research (which, according to you, only males are qualified to do) to invent some brand new play-things to “channelize” male energy. That is exactly like the big-pharma corporates pretending to do research to invent a patented magic-pill to prevent/cure obesity (or like a fly-by-night firm selling an exclusive “superfood extract” for the same purpose), while what is really needed is to AVOID junk, AVOID forcibly-grown food (and AVOID unnecessary pharmaceuticals too) and hence automatically eat natural, seasonal, fresh food.

  • Zoë Lafantaisie

    Thank you so much for speaking out Robert.

  • FierceMild

    Substituting money for sexual desire (or consent if ou must) is rape. Person A does not want sex with person B, person B gives person A the means of sustaining herself or avoiding a beating from her pimp and then he has sex with her despite knowing she would not fuck him if she had a choice.

    How is that not rape, please? Is this the one scenario in which money cleanses the transaction?!

  • Jani

    I would add that being followed on the street, or being the target of a voyeur, or having sexually explicit material posted through your door, or photographed covertly and intrusively (upskirt being the obvious example) in is also a rape, of a woman’s personal space, her psyche, her privacy and her dignity. Leering from cars, catcalls, all that kind of ‘low level’ harsssment is still on the continuum of unwanted sexual predation.

    The reach of pornography and the extent of its use has been one of the most toxic influences on society in respect to the status and safety of women in my lifetime. In the UK where I live, more rapes are reported and there are more convictions for rape even though most rapes are still not reported. The number of convictions for ‘revenge porn’ is increasing. The statistics show an upward trend regarding ALL sexual offences no matter how you look at it. Some may say that women are more likely to report a rape, but successful prosecutions are still a pitifully small percentage of the total reported. If rape is reduced to ‘harmless fantasy’ where do you think we will end up? We already have young women growing up on internet porn who talk of “consensual violence” FFS! Sorry, but when I came of age in the post-pill era just before AIDS became a very real threat, NOBODY I knew ever mentioned being choked, slapped, have their hair pulled, called a slut or bitch or whore. If men think violence is part of sex, and women grow up seeing sexualised violence as ‘normal’, where are we heading as a society?

    Just one thing I want to add. These descriptions of Weinstein’s behaviour were so fucking porn-y I couldn’t help but wonder about how it all read like the script of a porn video. He was actually living it for real, like he was living the dream on behalf of the pornsick losers who don’t have access to these young beautiful actresses. Porn culture is rape culture. It’s so fucking obvious.

    • fragglerock

      Yes!

    • Sashimi73

      Great connection. It sounds just like porn.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      I was thinking today about how I would feel if I had a daughter, as a person who’s aligned with radical feminism. Normally, there are many misogynistic reasons that most fathers are so protective of their daughters when they are dating. But I think it’s proof that men are totally aware of how horrible they really are. They know the thoughts they have thought about women and how they themselves have treated the women in their lives. They project that into potential suitors, but the fear is really what’s inside of themselves.

      And I’ve admitted on here before that I’m just as guilty of horrible thoughts and behavior that in my past. Now I am constantly questioning my own thoughts and my own actions in an attempt to check my own male privilege and whatever erroneous beliefs I might still hold that carefully mask misogyny. I am desperately fearful for women and girls in our society because nearly all of men’s deplorable behaviors is so fucking normal. So much of what is expressed in men (especially in popular media) is actually sociopathic, narcissistic and outright sexual assaulting. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I just want to confirm that as a man I do completely agree with you.

      I agree with Jensen in that most men do look relatively tame when you have horrible people like Trump and Weinstein. But the bar is set far too low for us men. It’s time that the bar be set so much higher. Women are suffering from this and men just keep benefiting.

      • Tobysgirl

        And what’s key in your comment is CONSTANTLY QUESTIONING. This is the only way any of us can alter our mindsets — it does not come easily.
        Years ago radical feminists made the point that they have more respect for men than other women do because they EXPECT MEN TO ACT LIKE DECENT HUMAN BEINGS. I think this is still a valid point. Because of male violence women have learned to expect men to act like vicious babies and they can only take their revenge through passive aggression which alters nothing.

      • mail_turtle

        But why suggest that women cannot effectively do anything about it? I believe that if privileged men *and* women stop over-consuming (which is based on the exploitation of people, animals and nature), stop voting for war-presidents who love selling weapons, and start sharing more with the people who really need the money, the world would change for the better very quickly (because like you said, it would set a new standard for what is considered normal).

        • Robert Gonzalez

          Maybe my negativity is creeping into what I write. I don’t know. I feel quite hopeless sometimes and in other moments very optimistic. I’m not really sure what the answer is. I agree that our exploitation of this planet (people, animals, resources, etc.) needs to stop. I think that our current form of capitalism is out of control and our consumerist habits ridiculous.

          But I also have to agree with what Hekate Jayne said in another thread: we’re stuck. I don’t personally know what we can do. Maybe I’m just not intelligent enough or just too depressed (I suffer from anxiety and depression). I feel like, realistically, it’s going to necessitate an enormous catalyst to get us off of our collective asses. I’ve noticed that about our species as a whole. It seems like things have to get really awful in an obvious way for men (because women suffering is not obvious enough) before anything substantial is done. Climate change hasn’t been enough. Animal die-offs aren’t enough. No, it needs to be something that strikes especially privileged men.

  • Hekate Jayne

    From the post:
    “….then let’s admit that we are giving up on the goal of a world without rape and harassment.”

    When you say “we” in this phrase, I assume that you mean males. And I am not waiting for males to admit this. It is painfully obvious that males love to rape women, they love the fear that they cause us, and they have no intention of stopping. Why would males stop doing something that they enjoy and love so much?

    And this is GLOBAL. As we can see with the shitsack from Egypt, encouraging males to rape women.

    Every time a dude claims to “grab pussies” and gets elected president, we know that you love rape and rapists.

    Every time women say that we are sick of being assaulted and males say BUTWHATABOUTMENZTHO, we know that you are derailing because you love rape and rapists.

    When women bring attention to males that have violated us and you crycry WITCH HUNT, THO, you are inventing a diversion for us to be forced into addressing so that you can continue to rape, because you love rape and rapists.

    Males love to rape, and their male government and justice system makes sure that they get away with it. The male media and law enforcement immediately blame the victim, saying that she caused it with her slutty clothes, or her behavior, or because she wasn’t a virgin.

    Male systems keep women from coming forward not only with threats of being blamed, but also by letting even rapists found guilty go, because males don’t want to “ruin his life” over “20 minutes of action”. And the conviction rate is abysmally low, in the single digits.

    And we are never believed. Male systems always believe the males, and the males always say that consent was given. Or they didn’t know that it is rape to fuck an unconscious woman. Or they thought that 4 year old girl was a grown woman. Or they were “confused”, because they thought that they had the (male given) legal right to fuck their ex wife whenever they wanted. Or martial rape can’t happen because “I do” is blanket consent over the entire course of marriage.

    Males may pretend to be concerned and to want to stop all of the sexual violence directed at us and maybe you believe them. But I don’t. Because whenever dudes are all “but we are totes going to figure it out, tho! We just can’t figure out how to stop groping/raping/harassing/assaulting women! We are going to read books and go to rehab! We are trying so, so hard, looking at charts and going to seminars, because not raping you is SO CONFUSING! We just can’t figure it out!”

    Women haven’t given up on securing some personal safety, we have no choice but to try. But make no mistake, males can’t admit to giving up on something that they never even did, lol.

    Males rape because they like it, they want to, and they can, and their male systems all work together to insure that they can continue to rape us with little or no consequence. That is just observable reality. The male lie that they really, really want to stop rape is just more male bullshit and diversion so that they can continue on. Males like to try to make it seem so confusing, so hard, so difficult! When it is really simple.

    • Missy

      Very well said! I love reading your comments, BTW. You’re so unapologetically blunt and radical, and most importantly, you aren’t afraid to speak the necessary truths about men and the patriarchy. More women need to speak up the way you do, it’s the only way that we’ll ever see actual progress in women’s liberation and finally be able to hold men accountable for their depraved actions against us and our sisters.

      • Hekate Jayne

        Thank you for the kindness, sister.

        I am not afraid, most of the time. My anger overtakes the fear.

        I absolutely understand staying quiet, though. I am privileged in that I can say whatever I want because I have nothing to lose.

        • Missy

          I definitely agree, and I really believe that replacing fear with anger is the best and fastest path to liberation for women everywhere. I wish every woman was in a position to be able to stand up for themselves and express their anger and disgust of patriarchal norms and male entitlement. It’s long past time for women to reveal their fury of the injustices done to their sex on a daily basis all around the world. Get angry, sisters. Heaven knows our anger against the male is justified.

          • Hanakai

            For the most part, I do not see that anger is a useful emotion and I would not advise women to go around in a constant state of anger. While I understand that there is much evil and injustice that give rise to rage, anger hurts the body, mind and spirit of the person who is angry. Anger triggers the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. Fear, excitement and anxiety also trigger this response. In anger, the adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

            The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that go with recurrent. frequent, constant or unmanaged anger cause harm to many body system. Among the health problems linked to anger are: Headache, Insomnia, Increased anxiety, Depression, Hypertension, Stroke, Heart Attack. The body can handle occasional hormonal floods from anger, but it is not a mental state to cultivate. Simply put, anger is a negative emotion and it is not salubrious to wallow or revel in negative emotion.

            Interestingly, in Tibetan cosmology there is a type of anger that need not always have negative bodily and karmic effects. I have forgotten the name of it for now. But basically it is a quick purifying anger that courses through one and becomes transformed into a great passion for justice and making things right. If one must get angry, let it be of this transformative kind.

            So, my counsel would be, Get angry, but get over it into something usual. Get smart, get wise, get powerful, get vision, get organized, take action, dance, chant, make new religions and belief systems, play, work, change the world.

            On the other hand, do what you want and what makes you happy. You have the power of sovereignty over yourself.

          • Missy

            Yeah I get that, but what I meant is not to be angry all the time but to become angry as a response to misogynistic situations. Like if a man tries to intimidate or even physically attack you and he has you trapped so you are unable to run away, the first reaction should be anger instead of fear which will cause the adrenaline burst and strength you need to protect yourself. Or in the case of casual sexist comments, instead of being passive and leaving that behavior unchecked, speak up for yourself and all woman-kind and let men know their misogyny will not be tolerated any longer, that there are women out there who aren’t afraid to stand up to their BS.

        • Tobysgirl

          I call it being privileged to say whatever I want because I live outside mainstream society. I’m aging, disabled, can’t work, and the older I get the less I care whom I offend. I’d really like to be able to fight the trans creeps openly but living in a rural area it does not really come up.

    • Jessica Morgan

      That “we” would also include the women who uphold prostitution and pornography. When pressed about the bottom line most admit that they essentially don’t see elimination of sexual violence as a goal, and are more concerned with at best “harm reduction” through legalization and regulation, or at worst merely capitalizing off sexual inequality. Despite this they still feign outrage when sexual abusers are outed on their liberal feminist platforms.

  • Wren

    “…men are trained that it’s essentially okay to have sex with women who won’t enjoy it or will regret it later as long as they aren’t technically breaking any laws…”

    Since you seem to have some insight (I’m not being facetious, this is an interesting post), how is it that men are able to enjoy sex with a woman knowing that her consent is transactional, or regrettable, or even coerced? How can a man find this erotic unless he is, for lack of a better term, a sociopath??

    “Basically, all men should be taught this: at least until our society is more egalitarian, sexual pleasure should be sought with a) a consenting partner b) who, as far as you know, will also enjoy the experience for itself and not anything else they get out of it and c) will be, as far as you can predict, happy about having given their consent in retrospect.”

    Are you saying that men cannot come to an awareness that sex should be ethical without direct education? Is it not in men’s nature to be kind and concerned for the welfare of their closest intimate partners? Is it that they need to be educated in sexual ethics, or is the problem that boys and men ARE educated into believing that violent, coercive sex is what a man does?

    In essence, if boys and men were not educated by porn and porn culture, might they instinctively KNOW that sex is about love and respect?? Because I’m tired of hearing how we need to TEACH men about healthy sex, when we could just as easily stop teaching them that rape is fun.

    • Gundog

      “how is it that men are able to enjoy sex with a woman knowing that her consent is transactional, or regrettable, or even coerced?”

      As a man, I have no idea. The thrill in dating for me was always the flirty interaction. I think sociopath may be a correct answer for all the Johns and punters out there. Also, look at gay male culture. There is no female check on inhibition so you have transactional anonymous sex, extreme fetishization, and high risk activity. Most dudes might just be fucked.

      “In essence, if boys and men were not educated by porn and porn culture, might they instinctively KNOW that sex is about love and respect??”

      Would it be a relevant analogy to look at how men regarded sex before the 1960’s and porn culture started? If it is, its not particularly hopeful.

      • FierceMild

        “Would it be a relevant analogy to look at how men regarded sexism before the 1960’s and porn culture started?”

        I’d say not because that was also pre women’s liberation movement. Men didn’t need to tittikate themselves by imagining women as degraded and beneath them because women were demonstrably beneath men in every public sphere. We couldn’t even have our own checking accounts in the 60s. There was zero threat to the dominance of men. In fact, I think the popularity of porn surged when it did as a response to the societal gains made by women.

  • Americus91

    I have a daughter and I hear you. I not only fear for her regarding sexual assault – I will fear for her any time she she’s involved with a male. We live in a culture that heavily promotes a book like “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” – instructing women on how to be just right for men. A lady in the street but a freak in the bed. Then the dude gets rewarded with a TV show to educate us ladies on how we’re supposed to act to be treated right!

    It’s ALWAYS up to US and if it goes wrong it’s ALWAYS our fault. We get mistreated? It’s because we’re a doormat and and unworthy of respect. We stand up for ourselves? We’re a nasty bitch. We have to get it juuust right for the men.

    They’re all entitled to the perfect woman don’t ya know? And if they can’t get one they’ll take one by any means necessary. Or they’ll break one down by any means necessary.

    But a book such as “Why Does He Do That?” about angry and controlling men? Not nearly as well known or popular. Funny that!

    • Sashimi73

      Well I’m going to check that book out now.

    • Alienigena

      It amazes me that so many women want to modify their behaviour in these ways. Are there no natural born nerd women who just don’t have the capacity to be a dream girl – don’t have the attention span or enough patience or the personality? I personally could never sustain enough interest in the kind of relationships that I see most men and women engaging in. And quite frankly they sort of disgust me. Just being honest. The amount of fakery and self-deception required to maintain such relationships just seems gargantuan.

      Some of us just are not ‘wired’ to be that interested in romantic relationships. I have always known my energy levels were finite (chronic illness from childhood) so I can’t waste it on things I myself don’t really value. I value relationships and connection with people, but not romantic relationships.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t think Jensen is looking for ego-stroking… There are a lot of men who read FC (there are more women in the audience, to be sure, but still a large number of men)… I think it is important for men to speak out about this kind of stuff and Jensen has done exactly what you suggest, in his work: speak to men.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      I’ve often said that Robert Jensen is one of the only other men that I’ve heard from that actually seems to understand feminism. And he’s not afraid to say what is wrong with us as men in very simple terms. He appears to question both his own White privilege and male privilege, regularly. Basically, with most men, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I always feel that’s inevitable that I’ll be disappointed by something they’ll eventually say that reveals their actual misogyny. Robert Jensen hasn’t done that and I’m grateful that he appears to be a real feminist ally.

  • Domination is a multitasker, applicable to every aspect of socioeconomic life.

    A clear view of its head sharpens our focus on its tentacles.

  • FierceMild

    Love this take. My husband was shocked at the relentless onslaught of gendering when our daughter was born. It’s not that he didn’t believe me; it’s just more, earlier, and more intense then any reasonable person could expect. It’s hard to see our own socialization. Really hard.

  • Alienigena

    “It would appear that woman are to blame for everything, while men get away with everything”

    Look at how quickly Kevin Spacey was dealt with by the media and the Internet Outrage Squad (IOS). Because his victims were male and somehow it is so much worse when boys and male adolescents are sexually abused than when women and girls are abused. How many women accused (and the accusations go back to the 1980s in case of Weinstein) Cosby, Weinstein, etc. without concrete action being taken to sanction the individuals in question? The moral indignation of the masses falls a little flat when you consider how many women try to talk about their experience with family, friends, colleagues, police, etc.. Women who accuse men of sexual violence are frequently dismissed as overly sensitive, mentally ill, or just malicious.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    You believe boys are just born with “roughhouse nature?” I call bullshit on that. I never had that sort of nature as a boy. I have also known plenty of little girls (like my niece) that demonstrate “roughhouse nature” more than boys I’ve known.

    And what are you referring to when you say “…one of those things that if you haven’t been a 14-20 year old male, you probably won’t understand.” You should do your best to explain this abstract male knowledge only you know of from being a teen male.

    You’re sounding a bit mansplainy there, Gundog.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    I don’t like referring to men as monsters (a la Weinstein in the press) or “strange creatures.” It makes it easier to give us a pass because we just are that way or because those that do horrible things are the rare few among us.

    And, again, what exactly are you talking about when you talk about male adolescence and “crazy things?”

  • Hekate Jayne

    I can tell you from experience that little girls have the energy forced out of them.

    Things I heard repeatedly from about age 4:
    Stop running!
    Settle down!
    Be quiet!
    That is not very ladylike!
    SSHHHHHHH! Not so loud!
    Sit pretty!
    Don’t get dirty.
    Don’t climb trees.
    Stop laughing so loud!
    Don’t get your clothes dirty.

    And on and on and on. Being told to be quiet, be “ladylike”, be dainty, sit down, sshhhhhh, stop running, stop playing, stop, stop, stop, stop, sit down and cross your legs, be “feminine”.

    But it is one of those things that you would have to be raised as a female to understand.

    To watch boys being encouraged to be physical and strong. We are repeatedly told to sit down and be quiet. Because when we are forced to do that, it not only teaches us to be passive, but it makes “male energy” look even stronger in comparison.

    • melissa

      “Because when we are forced to do that, it not only teaches us to be
      passive, but it makes “male energy” look even stronger in comparison.”

      Such a good point.

  • Alienigena

    “the cascading stories of routine abuse should lead both conservatives and liberals to embrace a radical feminist analysis of men’s violence against women and a critique of the sexual-exploitation industries (prostitution, pornography, stripping)”

    The problem is that the majority of male violence against women comes from family members, respected community leaders, people in positions of trust (doctors, religious figures, psychologists, etc.), acquaintances, and even male friends. So, this notion that men in general just need to embrace a radical feminist analysis just doesn’t make sense to me. If our fathers, brothers, caregivers, and partners don’t acknowledge their abusive behaviour, and society is complicit by encouraging individuals to provide cover for these men, I don’t think acknowledging male violence in more public spheres will do much to end the vast majority of male violence. The ‘family’ (I like to think of it as the mafia in miniature) is so sacrosanct but so much abuse occurs within its bounds. And people rarely talk about that abuse. My own mother (a few months before her death) talked about her brother trying to rape her sister when they were all children living at home. I was just astounded when I heard this because this man was hyper-religious and seemingly mild mannered, though he had some odd beliefs. His grandchildren and children just seem to worship him. Families are unbelievably unhealthy places for a good number of women and girls. And it just seems to be assumed that family members are expected to ‘circle the wagons’ when untoward things occur. The concepts of honour and shame apply today as they did in the past and across cultures. The fact that my mother expressed disgust at evidence of incest in neighbouring families (her family lived in a small farming community) in her younger years but never talked about this incident in her own family until well into old age tells me a lot about the integrity of people in families (there is very little of it).

    • melissa

      ” My own mother (a few months before her death) talked about her brother
      trying to rape her sister when they were all children living at home. ”

      WTF… I’m so sorry.

      It already grosses me out to no end that rapey incest themes porn is so huge right now, but to think of how they all mimic real world horrors women are quietly going throw everyday makes me freaking genocidal sometimes. Yeah, not holding my breath for the average, seemingly “nice” men to suddenly embrace radical feminism, SPECIALLY not today where when not encouraging, we’re making a mockery out of women’s suffering at the hands of men.

      • kfwkfw

        Very true. It’s anything BUT jack off material for Alienigena. How can men become so DISCONNECTED so as to find everyday horrors for others to be arousing for their split second jizz. What a privileged position they are in. What depravity.

    • Tobysgirl

      My reply to Robert Jensen was that it is wrong to focus entirely on men’s SEXUAL exploitation of women. Men exploit women every day in every way possible, and the majority of people don’t even think of much of it as exploitation. Yes, sexual exploitation is part of it but it is not the entire picture. The mental processes that go into the never ending exploitation would take years to root out even if men were willing to work on themselves, a process I have not noticed occurring.
      Today on Meghan Kelly’s show on NBC she interviewed a LA Times cartoonist who drew an unflattering picture of Sarah Sanders, Trump’s spokesperson, with comments on her looks and clothing. He apologized, but obviously had no conception whatsoever that this is his MENTAL state, for which one cannot apologize. It is a huge project to alter one’s thinking and I seriously doubt this man has spent five minutes reviewing the way he thinks about women (he’s one of those turds who claims to be women’s ally).

  • Hekate Jayne

    Has anyone seen the story in the New Yorker about Weinstein?

    From the article:
    “Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies “target,” or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally. He also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.”

    Link to article:
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/harvey-weinsteins-army-of-spies

    I wonder how many other powerful, rich males have used their money and position to silence women with intimidation and threats.

  • Missy

    I know what you mean, everything today HAS to have gender assigned to it. And it’s only this bad because of the trans cult that are full of dick equipped males desperately trying to take over women’s identity and biological reality.

    As for the short haircut, I did start growing my hair out when I was about 8 and have kept it long since, but having short hair throughout my early childhood not only prevented tangles and tears, but a lot less hassle for my parents and I’m glad they weren’t the kind to buy into that social gender crap which demands little girls to have long hair. The only complaint I have is that they got my hair cut in a style called a mushroom cut which made it look like someone plopped a bowl on the top of my head and trimmed around it! (>_<)

  • susannunes

    That has everything to do with socialization. It has nothing to do with biological differences.

    Most males are not hyperactive. You are completely conflating a medical issue with psychology, and that is garbage.

    At birth there is NO difference between male and female brains. NONE. ZIP. You are peddling debunked “brain sex” as well as the evo psych b.s.

    Sex roles are NOT biological, got it? They are IMPOSED on both sexes in order to make them “complementary.” They are poison.

  • Cassandra

    “A masculinity focused society has led to an unbelievably high standard of living for both men and women.”

    No, it hasn’t. That’s MRA nonsense.

    Women are by far the poorest population the world over. There are millions of women who have an unbelievably poor standard of living, and “masculinity” is the cause.

  • Hekate Jayne

    See, this is why I believe “nature” over “socialization”.

    Gundog has repeatedly made the case that boys are energetic, and can get in trouble because they have male biology that is out of control, so we must teach males to be able to control this unwieldy, male force.

    I certainly don’t think that gundog is a woman hater and I am not judging him personally. But the fact is that women here are saying that people should just be treated as individuals, no matter what their biological sex, and he keeps insisting that males have some innate “energy” but must be leashed.

    And what I hear when dudes say those things is a WARNING. They are warning us that there are males that are going to be unable to control that innate male urge that he calls energy, but I think of as potential violence.

    And these ideas are coming from a male that is an ally posting on a radfem site.

    I don’t know if he is right, or not. But I do know that none of us is foolish enough to ignore the warning.

  • Danny

    I think you’re the one who needs to do some researching, mate. There is no such thing as “male brains” and “female brains.” Google it. Actually, I’m feeling generous, I did it for you:
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151029185544.htm

    Also, when you discuss behavior such as ability to concentrate or “roughhouse nature,” you cannot attribute everything to biology, because behavior is impacted by other factors, such as socialization. This is a major flaw in your reasoning.

    “I believe men and women have biological differences that assert themselves into general personality, and that ‘toxic masculinity’ and gender roles are not simply all patriarchal conditioning.” Sorry to be blunt, but this is bullshit. Masculinity and gender roles are entirely social constructs, they are not biological. Seriously, you haven’t put an iota of thought into this, have you? If you were correct, masculinity and men/women gender roles would be universal across all cultures, but that clearly isn’t the case.

    You need to read some books.

  • Hanakai

    The biological differences are trivial in infancy and childhood, they become slightly more pronounced in puberty, and it is only during pregnancy that women begin to diverge more fully from men in a biological sense.

    No, there is no “male brain” or “male personality.” That is just more sexist bullsh*t to perpetuate the patriarchy and the ideology of male supremacy. The female brain is just as capable of understanding quantum physics as is the male brain. And the male brain is just as capable of empathizing with a frightened small mammal as is the female. It is a matter of learning and culture, not of biology. Get a clue.

    Believe me, we understand men. We have heard no voices except for men for the last 6,000 years and we know all about the experiences of maleness from literature, movies, TV, wars, male violence, rape and the forcible removal of women’s voices from history.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Yes.

    And this is the time when boys try to look up our skirts or down our shirts.

    And when we go to an adult, we are told that “boys will be boys” and “if you ignore him, he will stop”.

    This is how we discover that boys have automatic rights to our bodies, and that we don’t have the right to say no. Or that when we say no, that it does not matter. Lie back and think of england.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Our experiences should be similar. We should have the same opportunities, the same education, the same treatment.

    Males get preferential treatment and it comes at a cost to us. I don’t have to explain this to you because you already know.

    If you teach your son that he has some biology that is going to make it difficult for him to “contain his energy” or however you want to put it, he is going to understand that he has a pass for shitty behavior.

    I wish that you could just recognize his strengths and weaknesses and teach him that his behavior is totally his choice and always in his control. I know you won’t do that. Because you obviously feel like you had “energy” or whatever that you had trouble controlling.

    Male society agrees with you, though. That’s part of the privilege of being male. Shitty male behavior is not the male’s fault, and a lot of times, it is a woman’s fault. It is a great gig if you can get it. And males do.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Masculinity being wonderful is based on femininity being shit.

    Courage, bravery, leadership, loyalty are “masculine”?

    Yeah, they are masculine in that those traits are assigned to males via the masculine gender role. And women are punished for exhibiting those traits, because we are supposed to be weak, scared, cowardly, petite, dainty little flowers that males can demonstrate their courage, bravery, etc. on/to/at.

    Has it ever occurred to you that women have those traits, too? Why are those masculine traits? So women displaying those traits are masculine?

    Oh, wait. In history, and the time of knights, women were property. And property, being an object (for male use), isn’t able to have personality traits.

    Thank God the males were all brave, loyal and courageous, though.

  • Danny

    “A masculinity focused society has led to an unbelievably high standard of living for both men and women. This neo-marxism crap that everything is about power is wrong.” I’m beginning to think you are a lost cause. Seriously, this whole comment is so asinine.

    What you call a “masculinity-focused society” also came perilously close to wiping out most life on Earth in nuclear war. And that high standard of living you’re so proud of? It’s a result of exploiting, raping, and plundering the natural world, genocide, enslavement, theft, and war crimes.

  • melissa

    “leadership, loyalty, courageousness”

    I don’t see how that’s anything unique to boys or men. If your daughter was a leader, loyal and courageous is she “masculine”/manly? Or less of a girl/woman? Also male/female archetypes in major world religious tend to be strongly patriarchal/hierarchical. There’s nothing “neo-marxist” about having an issues with romaticizing narratives of male dominance and female subordination. This has always be antithetical to feminism.

    “A masculinity focused society has led to an unbelievably high standard of living for both men and women.”

    Speaking of high standards of living,currently there’s an inverse correlation between between most patriarchal,lowest ranking countries in gender equality and social development, national well being, peace etc. Just saying.

  • Missy

    The male privilege/entitlement is strong in this one. If he teaches his future son the garbage he’s been spewing here about the so called different psychological traits and “energy” between the sexes, there’s little hope of the boy growing up to be anything but another typical entitled/privileged parasitic man. I know this is harsh, but the truth is harsh.

  • Tobysgirl

    “I don’t particularly like men but I don’t particularly like a lot of women. Unlike others I can’t claim to love humanity universally.”
    Every person I’ve ever met who loves humanity actually does not seem to like human beings! Loving humanity is not in the least challenging as it’s so theoretical, but interacting with actual people is often extremely challenging and tiresome.

  • Tobysgirl

    The man who logs our woods has a son (seven years old) who amazes his teachers. He is calm to the point of serenity. Know why? BECAUSE HE SPENDS LOTS OF TIME OUTDOORS just like all children should. Why do boys appear to have roughhouse natures? Because no one is expecting them to learn to clean, cook, wash clothes, etc, skills all children need to learn. Watch the ad on TV where the boy “helps out,” makes a mess, and the parents clean up the mess. Ask how many women here “helped out” and weren’t expected to clean up a mess if they made one.

    • Hanakai

      Exactly. What I see is that so many kids these days are suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder. That is why they are so neurotic.

      I was fortunate as a child to be raised surrounded by Nature, which was big enough to absorb our wild and untamed and roughhouse child natures.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Agree agree! You all are so wonderful and smart <3

  • FierceMild

    Yes

  • Womble Bananaroom

    put all the dodgy people in the van and be done with it. sick of arseholes and enablers.

  • FierceMild

    That is a point to consider for a certainty.

    From my point of view I can’t reconcile calling it nature, because that seems to put male violence in the category of inevitable unchangeable fact. It turns rape into a natural occurrence like a hurricane or quicksand. I can’t accept that, I can’t live with that, I just don’t believe that.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I am not arguing that males are innately bad.

    I am saying that we should believe them when they tell us that they are innately bad.

    I have said many times that I really don’t know why so many of them are violent because it really doesn’t matter. I certainly don’t think that 100% of them are evil. And I swing back and forth between socialization and nature.

    But when males insist that they are violent, like they consistently do, then that is the issue that we need to meet head on.

    • Missy

      I just read a really great post that I’ll share here. It’s by a radfem blogger that goes by the name “shamelesslyunladylike” who articulated the argument of nature vs socialization really well.
      “I see this nature x conditioning on my dash all the time and I gotta
      ask, does it even matter? We are naturally inclined to do a lot of
      things, like taking a shit wherever and whenever we feel the urge to, or
      physically assaulting people who piss us off, and we manage to control
      these urges. We also manage to learn extremely complicated and nuanced
      rules of social interaction that aren’t natural at all, for example, I
      have an urge to walk away from my boss when she is boring me, but I
      force myself to stay because there are social consequences if I don’t.
      Doesn’t matter if men are naturally rapey brutes or if they learned to
      be, bottom line is that they choose to remain this way because it’s
      beneficial to them. Nature or conditioning, humans have the capacity to
      overcome both. Men treat us like crap because they want to.”

  • Hekate Jayne

    My husband has no close male friends for that very reason.

  • Womble Bananaroom

    i think society needs to instigate a global quarantine on all toxic and harmful people. a disease this damaging and with such legacy needs a cure pronto.

  • FierceMild

    I concur. There would be no point in demanding better of men if meant weren’t capable of better. Also, if men were just naturally this way rape would be perpetrated in broad daylight, in public, right in front of everyone as soon as a man got an erection. It isn’t, which is evidence of planning and of choice. If it were simply nature, men would punch their wives in the face in the supermarket and break their children’s bones in church, but they don’t. They wait until no one can see, which is clearly an act of self-control.

  • Womble Bananaroom

    aw grumpy man maybe you can tell him to smile and go put some makeup on so he’ll look pretty for you.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Males choose violence against us. Every time, as a class.

    They can’t stop rape. Or domestic violence. That is just too tricky.

    But they can put males in women’s prisons. And women’s rest rooms. And on our sports teams.

    They can start wars and raise taxes. But they can’t vote for us to have equal pay or reproductive freedom.

    Males choose violence every time. But we can’t address it. Because we can’t acknowledge that they are choosing it. Because that is too man hatey.

  • FierceMild

    I think the gender train is losing steam, honestly. The hardest hit kids are high schoolers now. I have a niece in high school and she told me she’s the only kid in her freshman class (at a private alternative education school) who will say that they’re straight. Every single other child is trans, or bi, or a-gender. Not even homosexuality will do anymore. That was the beginning of the school year (so like, months ago? Which is basically? Like, literally not even now), now she’s considered edgy and cool and analogue for being heterosexual.

  • Womble Bananaroom

    be sure to raise battle ready warriors

  • Hekate Jayne

    And now I give you the slow clap.

    For the best post ever.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Then we are stuck, aren’t we.

    We are stuck in the cycle of males insisting that their nature is bad.

    And then we tell them that they can choose their behavior, to which they say it is their nature. And their systems uphold that by enabling males to avoid responsibility because male lives should not be ruined by their nature, that is just so difficult for them to control.

    No matter what we say, or how we respond, we get told by males that it is their nature.

    The only way that we can address male violence is to avoid them. What other choice are we being given? We beg, we plead, we give birth to them, raise them, love them, give them free labor in all manner of ways. We marry them, fuck them, do their fucking laundry.

    And they never stop. They aren’t giving us any choice. But they never really have.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      I see what you mean and most days I do feel very negative about all of it. I have to come to this website to sort of recharge and find hope in the words people write on here. I believe that radical feminism is the only thing that can give us actual change.

      I wrote in another thread on here that it seems like the human species is one that procrastinates. We need fire under our asses to get things done. And it’s only when the most privileged ones (men) are feeling the heat that we actually see something happen. Right now men are sitting very pretty on top of the shoulders of just about every other living thing on the planet (that includes women). And I fear sometimes in my most pessimist moments that there really isn’t anything short of complete disaster that will allow for the realignment of society to a significant enough degree to destroy the patriarchal systems in place. But then I think of WWII when men returning home put women right back in their formerly held places.

      The optimist in me wants to believe that something like that isn’t necessary. But sometimes I just don’t know. I do know (as I’ve said in other threads) that I was able to change. And I didn’t have to go through a disaster for it to happen. I just came across very strong women like you that weren’t willing to take my male excuses.

    • Cassandra

      But they don’t let us avoid them! The minute we try to get away from them or have anything that “excludes” them, including our fucking locker rooms now, they figure out a way to break it down. We are not allowed to get away from them.

      • Hekate Jayne

        And at some point, when we say no, and males ignore us, then we figure out a way to fight back. As a group.

        My biggest fear is that we are going to hang onto this hoping/explaining/asking tactic until it is too late.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank YOU all for being here! xx

  • FierceMild

    Hmmm, I term that Resting Douche Face, artistic differences. Kind of nature/nurture in miniature?

  • Robert Gonzalez

    Hekate, I love your input and I love your honesty. Honestly, I love you as a person. I don’t even know you personally but I appreciate your sharing of yourself through what you’ve written. I can tell you that your words have a strong impact on me, even if I’m only just one man. And although I know it won’t make much of a difference, I do want to apologize for everything you’ve experienced because of men.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    I do understand. I just think sometimes that we deserve to be hurt for all that we have done and revenge would seem righteous. But you’re correct, we need the violence to stop; we need male violence to end.

    • FierceMild

      Male suffering won’t balance female suffering. As a group, we don’t buy into the concept of restorative violence. We’re too grounded in reality for that.

  • Blazing Fire

    I agree that biology plays a role in behavior, but the nature .com paper talks about mice. Yes, in general, the mice research can be extended to humans after necessary adjustments if needed, but in this specific arena (aggression – towards females specifically), IMHO, male mice & male humans are like cheese & chalk respectively, probably because human males are pack animals unlike mice, and it is more rewarding for them to co-operate with other males to create a system hostile towards females & hence ensure an easy, never-ending supply of females. This is in contrast to the mice & other animals in the research which compete with other males over space, but don’t normally attack females (unless those few specific neurons were stimulated electrically, as the paper said). This is my personal opinion & I’m not a scientist. But still, looking around, seeing men ganging up against women in all ways, I somehow don’t think there is a straightforward connection between lab animals & humans (in this arena atleast).

    Probably Jane Goodall’s observations would be more relevant, since she observed societies of apes. I haven’t read her research either, just heard about it in a nutshell. But it is very massive & includes observations of ape societies over atleast 55 years – and should be much better than papers that are churned out every alternate day. And the status of females in many ape societies wasn’t great – there were femicides too. That looks a bit more like our species than the relatively honest rats & mice.

  • Missy

    Yeah and just watch when a woman makes a “man bashing” joke, even a mild one like “why do men whistle when they’re sitting on the toilet? Because it helps them remember which end they need to wipe.” Just watch them explode in anger, some even violently, but yeah, we’re the humorless bitches. Typical hypocrisy of the male. Men can dish it out but they can’t take it.

    • Jani

      Hehehe!!! Men also have a very weird relationship with their arseholes, have you noticed? Whether it’s farting jokes, setting fire to their farts, they’re so fucking infantile.

      • Missy

        Yup. No matter how old they get their mental age pretty much stays stuck at around age 10. They throw the same kind of temper tantrums as little kids too (mantrums). Nothing but selfish, spoiled, and entitled children that expect women to wipe their asses for them from birth until death.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I was at my local farmers market a few years ago, shopping and I had stopped to talk to a friend of mine who was a seller.

    This random male walks up and says “ooohhhhh, ain’t no good eber come from wimmens talkin’ to each other”.

    Why is this acceptable? To walk up to women for no reason and be a dick? And our only acceptable response is to giggle or something?

    I told him to shut up, and my friend and I started laughing because damn. He was just astoundingly stupid.

    Shockingly, our response ENRAGED him, lol. Which made us laugh even more, since we were standing in a crowded, public place.

    So, he goes into a really, really long screed, about how his ex wife left him (also SHOCKING, lol) and he started saying horrible things about her, very loudly. At some point, we had stopped laughing and just stared at him.

    When he eventually wound down, I said “dude. We don’t have time or inclination to your random misogynist outbursts. Bye bye, now.”

    He very obviously had no idea what any of my words meant, since several of them had more than one syllable, lol. So he did like this huff and puff shuffle, kind of waving his arms around, making a short series of grunts and mad breath buffs.

    To which my friend looked at me as said “looks like somebody needs a dictionary”. And that set us off laughing again. Then he finally walked away, lol.

    How overly emotional and sensitive can dudes be, that they have made a world in which they can be shitty to ALL of us because they are mad at one woman? I mean, I hate males as a group, but I don’t approach random males and tell them about it, lol.

    Yet, they have reversed it, and claim that we are the irrational and illogical ones.

    • Cassandra

      His initial words to you are the sentiment behind what’s happening with gender identity legislation, but I know that you know this. Gotta point it out for lurkers who may not see the common thread.

      • Hekate Jayne

        Part of it that was so funny was that he was hiding truth behind some kind of male charm or humor or something.

        Fierce says downthread that males could absolutely know us, if they wanted to.

        They don’t want to know us, though, do they? They never have. If they know us, then they will know that we are individuals with strengths and weaknesses, dreams, talents, fears, hopes, hobbies, abilities, etc.

        But that does nothing for them. Forcing us to be the narrow, bland, set of servitude that they feel entitled to is what they want. That it sucks away our entire life doesn’t matter to them. They created our existence to be a prop, a tool, to make their lives easier. To give them free time.

        They don’t like us talking to each other, which is why they want access to us all of the time. You are absolutely right.

        I wrote a while back about male writers and how they write women. I can always tell when a female character on a tv show or in a movie was written by a male. Because those women are always cartoonish with the way that they act and the things that they say. Those women say what males think that we would say and act how males think that we should act. And it looks nothing at all like us. The Bechtel test is a thing for a reason.

        And with trans, and the pronouns. Males have gotten worse, really, because not only do they want to erase our voices, but they also want to control our thoughts, and call it “identity”. We must validate them! Or we kill them!

        • FierceMild

          I’ve been thinking about this more today. They mock our stories and refuse to fear them because it ruins their comfort to see how narrow is the scope we are permitted. The stories of women’s lives show the beastly selfishness of men that’s why they can’t bear to hear them.

    • Missy

      Ugh! Seriously, men like that asshole are just too stupid to live.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    “If I give men who claim to be allies a funny look (wait and see look), maybe they should reflect on that, and consider what inspires that look and that attitude rather than calling me man hating.”

    YES! That right there. YES. We men almost always give ourselves the benefit of the doubt in all situations. There is no societally given reason to even question ourselves. We are seen as the apex form. If a woman gives us a strange look then clearly she’s a “bitch.” If a woman turns us down on a date, surely they are the ones that are missing out on “good dick.” I still remember how idiotic I was when I was first confronted by a radical feminist. She would tell me her concerns and I would immediately spit out what has since become a personal joke to me “But! NOT ALL MEN!” I would try my best to shut her down because of some internal fear that her words would somehow limit the privilege I was used to.

    As a male I’m convinced now that the majority of male violence (mass shootings, rape…pretty much ALL violence in the world) is generated by men involved that perceive some loss of their birthright male privilege power. Of course they don’t want to think about a woman being right about all of it, because then they would stand to lose some of their power, and for men that is a nearly intolerable feeling. Some would much rather destroy the source of that discomfort than face the prospect of letting go of what they’ve always known to be true.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I absolutely love Valerie Solanas.

    She had a crystal clear view of patriarchy and males as a class. And males absolutely hated her for it.

    And that makes me love her even more.

    She was honest and angry and she didn’t try to hide it. And she was punished for it, by males and even some women.

    Because if there are 2 things that males hate in us, it is honesty and (especially) anger.

    • Missy

      She was extremely insightful and just plain brilliant. The S.C.U.M. Manifesto is a must read for all women, even the “not all menz” types because this woman was able to articulate into words exactly what men and the parasitic patriarchal systems they’ve created to benefit them while oppressing women is all about. I wish so much that all women could be like her and refuse to submit to the tyranny of men and patriarchal gender roles. The world would be a far different (and much better) place since men would be FORCED to change their violent ways, and evolve into civilized beings.

  • FierceMild

    So true. We don’t want revenge we want revolution.

  • FierceMild

    The reason that the term privilege is used is because the position of men is not simply an elevated position relative to nothing and no one. It is a position elevated specifically above women. We couldn’t even bring everyone up to that position because it requires an underclass to do the laundry, make the dinner, raise the children, scrub the toilets, etc.

    There is no way to elevate the whole of humanity to the position of he-who-is-served because there would be no one left to be she-who-serves. That’s why we say ‘privilege’ because it absolutely is “having something extra.” And the specific extra you have is the coerced labor of half of the human race, namely women. That’s why Radical Feminists don’t want equality with men – we don’t want to become oppressors ourselves, we want your foot off of our necks.

    • Missy

      Exactly. I hate when people say that the feminist movement is about equality. It’s not about equality, it’s about liberation and revolution, and was specifically designed for biological women only.

      Liberating women from patriarchy is the first step to shaping society in a way where half of humanity isn’t reduced to property and used as personal sex slaves and incubators by the other half. By claiming that the sole goal of feminism is equality opens it up to other groups invading and taking over, turning it into a free-for-all which we have already seen has happened with the whole trans thing and other males who demand inclusion and want women to do all their labor for them. That’s where radical feminists come in, the ones actively working on bringing back the core concepts created by our incredibly strong and resilient foremothers who wanted nothing more than for women to be seen and treated as the human beings we are, complete with the human rights and liberties we deserve.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Males hate our anger. It scares them.

    We aren’t allowed to be angry. That is why I encourage women to feel and show their anger.

    I don’t think that translates to being angry all of them time, lol. I do have other things to do.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I am not patriarchal beautiful. I mean, I don’t have a hump on my back, I don’t look like I just crawled out from under a bridge or anything.

    But I am almost 50. While I am sure that there are some dudes that would find me attractive, these “compliments” are not real compliments.

    It is a reminder that I am to be looked at. To be (pleasantly) looked at, but not heard.

    As is evidenced by the reaction when those assholes heard me.

    It seems that I have lost the male approval of that dude. SADZ, I tell ya.

  • Danny

    I just wish I had discovered radical feminist analysis years ago. I have so much more to learn and understand, so much more self criticism and re/de-socialization to do. And I know it will be a perpetual effort. But on to your question, which is very interesting and brings up something I haven’t thought much about.

    I have very few close friends, male and female. This was the case before I became aware of radical feminism, so I can’t attribute my small pool of friends to my changed/changing mindset. And I don’t feel loneliness, I guess I am ok without having many friends. That said, I do share your husband’s aversion to being around men in general. I tend to keep most of my male co-workers and acquaintances at a distance and don’t go out of my way to socialize with them. Some of that is due to a lack of shared interest between me and most men I am acquainted with, but certainly the way they talk about and view women keeps me away. I am worthy of criticism here, too, because if a male colleague or acquaintance makes a misogynist comment, I tend to avoid confronting them and instead resolve to stay away from them in the future. I understand that this is the easy way out, and I need to build the courage to call out men on their misogyny even if it makes me uncomfortable. I’m working on it. Sorry, I feel like my answer is rambling, but I felt the need to point out that my avoidance of socializing with men is not just due to their general behavior. I have to own my share of the blame for lacking courage to stand up and call them out.

    Again, my apologies for the long-winded answer to your simple question. I sometimes struggle to articulate my thoughts into words.

    • Missy

      You could start with body language and facial expressions. That’s the way I began with calling out discrimination when I was too timid to vocally protest. If someone made a sexist or racist or homophobic comment, I would automatically tense up and radiate a coolness which would clearly display that I was offended by what was said, and usually that was enough to shut that shit talk down.

  • Danny

    Damn. FierceMild, this is a superb comment. Very challenging and thought-provoking. I am saving it somewhere that I can see it and re-read it often. There’s a great deal of wisdom in there to digest.
    Thank you.

  • Danny

    I don’t have the patience or stomach for this anymore.

  • Missy

    And thank YOU for articulating it so well. I know it’s often difficult to find the right words that will impact the person reading it the way you want it to, and you definitely achieved it with this post.

  • Hekate Jayne

    My husband would never claim to be a feminist.

    He acts like a human being should act. That is it.

    He fails at masculinity. His kindness is routinely mistaken for weakness. He works at a job where he has contact with a lot of males, and I think that they perceive him as weak.

    But they would never challenge him. And I know that it is because of his size and his look. He is over 6 feet. And he is really scraggly looking, with a beard that is dangerously close to a ZZ top situation.

    Do you know males measure manliness with beards? I had no idea. But apparently, if a dude can grow a full on beard, it be MANLY. Males have entire, really long conversations about it. So odd.

    But I live in a red state in the south. I think that you might live around here, but I can’t say the state for anonymity reasons.

  • Hanakai

    Yuck. I teach children to love animals, to pay attention to animals, to learn from animals, to treat them with respect.

    We do not need to kill animals to survive. I have been a vegetarian since age 3 and am much stronger and healthier than most 18-year-olds. Vegetarians live longer and have healthier bodies. We are what we eat and why would anyone want to take into their bodies the energy of slaughtered slave animals, or the fear of slaughtered wildlife?

    Yuck. I hate those who kill and harm animals. Hate, yes, hate.

    • Missy

      Since age 3?! I was 13 when I became a vegetarian and I thought that was a young age to make that decision.

      When I was 14, this idiot uncle of mine found out I was a vegetarian and went off on me about it, telling me I was too young and he got angry at my parents for allowing it. I’m in my 30s now and still a vegetarian so obviously I hadn’t been too young to make such a serious decision for my own diet and lifestyle.

      • Hanakai

        Yes, I went vegetarian at age 3. We lived on a small farmstead surrounded by nature and all the animals, wild and domestic, were my friends and teachers. When I learned that what the adults called “meat” involved the murder of animals, I was done with it, no way did I want to eat the muscles and tissues of my dear friends. I did not even know the word vegetarian then, I just said, I am not eating any dead animals, don’t put that on my plate.

        I also had experiences where my vegetarianism made adults angry and crazy. One time adults even tried to force-feed me meat. They should have known better — my resolve was strong and my self-defense to being man-handled was savage. So, they only tried that once.

        What’s funny is that I would talk to my friends’ kids about animals and their mistreatment and where meat comes from, and not infrequently, a child would then announce that they wanted to go vegetarian. This usually did not increase my popularity with adults. C’est la guerre.

  • Hanakai

    This is all taught. Go look at a 7th grade class in China where the boys and girls take their studies seriously. Americans are totally indulged. Spend time in a culture where the alternative to education is spending your life looking at the hind end of an ox as you plow, and see how seriously those boys and girls take education. There’s none of this “adolescent boys can’t concentrate” nonsense.

    Americans have a very distorted view of reality in part because they do not travel and know nothing of the world outside.

  • Missy

    Agreed, but there are certain things that we should express real anger about, like when women are told we should be expecting to be victims if we were to walk alone at night and blamed if we are attacked. It’s sickening how tolerated that BS is. It’s one thing to advise caution as we all should be since there’s tons of crazy people, (mainly men), out there, but that the focus is primarily on women facing sexual assault if she dares to walk alone at night is infuriating. How about focusing on stopping the f**king rapists? One of the most effective ways to combat rape is to actually punish the bastards, and when I say punish I mean castration, or at least locked up for the rest of their sadistic, pathetic lives. If the legal system isn’t able to provide us the justice we deserve then women need to learn to take it themselves and stop being socialized to be so passive and helpless in the face of danger.

  • Missy

    My dad laughs at that joke, but I know if I were to post it on social media, I would be greeted with rape and death threats which is the typical reaction of today’s generations of spoiled, entitled little boys encouraged to be violent against women who dare to insult the delicate male ego.

    • FierceMild

      My husband laughed so hard he choked.

  • Missy

    It’s depressing that we actually have to worry about such things. Men are far too unstable and get away with harming women and children far too often.

  • Missy

    I really wish that the vegan diet would be more considered everywhere so there would be far more variety. Animal products are in way too many foods, even foods they don’t have to be in. Where I live it’s hard enough to find vegetarian food, and even harder to find anything strictly vegan. I try to eat as vegan as possible, and the tiny selection available to me is beyond frustrating, (I never have time to cook so I have to rely on quick microwavable meals).

  • Missy

    Oh stop with that already. There is a enormous difference between gender and sex. The sex of a person is biological, but there is nothing biological about gender, it’s strictly a social construct created by the men with the most power in patriarchal societies. In order to dismantle patriarchy we must first tackle and destroy the myths that give it power, and the root lies in gender roles assigned to both women and men with women, of course, deliberately given the short end of the stick then told the blatant fabrication that it all has to do with our biology.

  • FierceMild

    It depends on my goal. If I think an individual is reachable i’ll behave in the way I believe most likely to impact his or her personal viewpoint. This could be quiet rational argument, appeal to a sense of justice, or letting them glimpse the passionate outrage their behavior evokes in me. Sometimes a simple and polite request for better manners will be sufficient. Sometimes I’ll ask them to explain exactly why a joke about rape or domestic violence is funny as if I honestly didn’t understand it.

    If what’s going on is a dynamic situation that is making a woman or group of women uncomfortable I leverage male socialization against the men by mocking them and belittling them into silence (the most expedient way of stopping their mouths). This will not work for everyone anymore than a fistfight would work for everyone. It works for me because I have a pugnacious nature, I am quick verbally, and I can make people laugh. Being laughed at in public is a man’s worst fear. When faced with it at the instigation of a woman he will almost always choose to save face by shutting up.

    I don’t know if this is at all the sort of thing you were asking. Honestly I think you have to find a way that’s a genuine fit for your personality. Like Missy said, she exerts herself on the conversational atmosphere. I have a (male) friend who is aces at that method largely because he has no sense of silence as awkward which leaves the other person or people floundering.

  • FierceMild

    Honestly the face thing generally is just because a person has a wider face and a smaller mouth. That cues angry to our ape-brains. I have it (but the angry thing is also totes accurate for me, so go figure) and so does my husband (he looks a bit like you would expect a violent convict to look and he has never in the whole course of his life offered violence to another living creature).

  • FierceMild

    My outlook is far more influenced by Locke, Stuart Mill, Whitman, and Wollstonecraft then Marx, Engels, or Hobbes. The majority of our difficulty as I see this is rooted in two things 1) scale and 2) acceptance of exploitation.

    There is a physical upper limit to the scope of human ethics. We can and will respond to outrages we can see in our own communities (I am aware we don’t always do that now, but I think that is partly due to a global view and partly due to normalized systems of oppression). I would advocate a community unit size, where a community unit is a self-sufficient and self-governing group of people, that exceeds neither it’s land base nor the ability of its members to know most of their fellows at least by sight. These economics work. It only became untenable when men insisted they be the sole property owners and that women be counted not as fellows, but as property. The goal then became not peace and plenty, but the amassing of wealth. Native American tribes used this basic concept in a variety of ways as suited their specific wants and needs. We could as well. Some groups still divided certain jobs or duties by sex, others chose different solutions. For example, one group of Native Americans only permitted men to serve on the council, but they also only permitted women to elect men to the council. Always remember that an equitable society builds no monuments.

    The point about exploitation works this way: if you will tolerate the abuse (from a labor perspective) of your mother and your grandmother and your sisters you will easily expand that rationalization to other groups. If it is good enough that mom should scrub toilets, clean vomit, and remain penniless, propertyless, and without standing in the community (no, lip service to “the hardest job” does not count as community standing) then why shouldn’t it be good enough for black people, short people, tall people, lazy people etc. etc. etc.?

    No able-bodied person’s body chores (cleaning themselves, their personal environment, or their clothes) should ever systematically fall to another. This is the root of all abuse. The care of each person’s body is her (or his) own responsibility. This means food, drink, cleanliness, comfort, sexual satisfaction, clothing, and anything else you can think of. There is no possible division of labor that gives the bodily care of one person to another person and retains equality. This is how slaves are made.

  • kfwkfw

    lol… True for me as well.

    Anger is an emotion…it needs to be felt, but kept in check. Women are socialized to keep it in check way too much…we will watch our basic rights be violated before getting appropriately angry and that’s how abuse happens. That’s where “consent” becomes bullshit. The word “socialized” is a bigger word than we give it credit. It’s what allows the unthinkable to be possible…women accept abuse, men get away with it. Socialization is our script.

    For instance, I’m just now feeling anger at the correct things. My values haven’t been in line with my true self until recently, thanks to my father’s abuse, control & gaslighting and me going to therapy to analyze all that. Just now, I see why I should be angry at my dad with the same level of anger that I naturally give to my router fucking up. This coincides with me giving myself a break, not hating myself, not doubting myself, etc. (thanks to therapy). I don’t feel anger towards him naturally because I was brainwashed all through my vulnerable childhood years into thinking his behavior was not anger-worthy and that I am probably wrong anyway. I’ve got the challenge ahead of me of testing out my beliefs to see if they are in line with MYSELF, and no one else.

    I’ve read & heard that anger is easily expressed when hurt is evoked…culturally, we don’t like to express hurt (cry? pussy.), but anger is acceptable. So if I’m angry, I try to ask myself, what I feel hurt about and I analyze that. In all these cases of injustice against women…we feel hurt because we empathize so completely with these women & each other. It’s righteous anger. So long as justice rarely prevails, we’ll all still feel angry and it’s ok.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Glad to have you here!

  • Topazthecat

    Jews had every rational justified reason to hate the Nazis back,black people had every right to hate white racists back,and women have every rational justified reason to hate most men back! Most men hate women for no rational reasons,and what is so incomprehensible,is that they are born from and nurtured by *women*,and most women have been kind to most men,their sons,husbands,brothers,fathers and to men in general even though most men hate them for no rational reasons for 1000’s of years and have been treating women with discrimination,and violence for this long,and women never did anything to deserve to be hated and victimized by men.So it’s acceptable for most men and the whole male dominated society to hate women for no rational justified reasons,but it’s not acceptable for women to hate men back? That only is the case of course in a sexist,woman-hating male dominated society.

  • Hanakai

    When I see beards on men, my reaction is he is of Taliban mind. Do not trust them.

  • Hanakai

    I am mostly vegan, but having lived on a small farmstead, I know that one can get eggs without torturing chickens and that it is possible to have happy chickens running around, happy to go into their house and nests at night, safe from predators, happy to get fed, happy to run around with their chicken friends during the day, eating bugs and plants.

    I totally get that agri-business horribly tortures animals and I would not eat anything coming from a tortured or enslaved animal.

  • Hanakai

    Do you have any clue how ignorant you reveal yourself to be?

    It looks to me that you have not taken Biology 101 or basic anthropology or Child Development & Psychology.

    And no, sex roles are not universally the same. Duh. There has been wide diversity among human cultures ad wide diversity as to how labor and roles have been divided.

  • Wren

    Right. It’s not that I’m blaming women for men’s behavior, far from it, and it’s not that I’m concerned with being a peacemaker of any sort. In fact, if I could get away with it, I would maim and mutilate any angry misogynistic man so as to be assured he would no longer be capable of inflicting violence. Unfortunately, I have no interest in being incarcerated (that is how I see “the whole picture”) so I keep these thoughts merely in the realm of my imagination.

  • Missy

    Wow… the ignorance continues. You have made several posts here preaching about biology yet you’ve proven that you don’t even have an elementary level of understanding about it. So to start you off, I’ll link you to this site for kids: http://discoverykids.com/articles/are-humans-considered-animals/ Hopefully it’ll help your denial of reality issues but I doubt it.

  • Hekate Jayne

    That post was edited after I replied. The post that I replied to was 2 sentences.

    I can’t figure out why a woman would attempt a lame put down directed at me, especially since I don’t interact with that person at all.

    Hopefully she feels better about herself.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I never think of nature as being inevitable. But it seems like inevitability would be the default for nature.

    That was my mistake. I should have been more clear.

  • Hekate Jayne

    And to compare his face to female genitalia seems really grossly misogynist.

    The male created field of psychology says so, tho.

    Yeah, that isn’t disturbing at all.

  • Topazthecat

    Here is an important recent big study internationally including in the US
    Kids Believe Gender Stereotypes By Age 10

    http://time.com/4948607/gender-stereotypes-roles/

    http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(17)30355-5/fulltext#

    • canadianmom5

      Those are interesting. Looks like a worldwide problem.

      • Womble Bananaroom

        doesn’t just look like it, it is.

    • We’re told sex and gender are separate things, but wouldn’t one sex’s gender have to reflect the opposite sex’s preferences if anybody expected to successfully attract the opposite sex?

      And those sexual preferences wouldn’t be the product of social construction, unless you think that homosexuality or transsexuality is a choice. If you did, then you and religious conservatives who think they can “deprogram” homosexuals would agree.

      Sexual preferences have a biological basis and aren’t chosen. Since they aren’t, gender similarly wouldn’t be chosen, even if it is cultural and socially constructed, since it would have to reflect the biologically rooted sexual preferences of the opposite sex.

      • Missy

        Read some radical feminist literature and educate yourself.

      • Audrey Black

        We’re told sex and gender are separate things

        We’re not merely “told,” they actually are separate things.

        wouldn’t one sex’s gender have to reflect the opposite sex’s preferences if anybody expected to successfully attract the opposite sex?

        That is one nasty non sequitur. So that’s a big NO, it doesn’t “have” to by any means. We, as in most people, are naturally attracted to the opposite sex. Gender role enforcement is about male power, not attraction.

        The reason that you see this “reflection of the opposite sex’s preferences” playing out in the world is because people of both sexes have each been assigned opposite extremes of the full range of human characteristics, which the opposite sex “makes up for,” thereby creating a very lopsided and dysfunctional dynamic and a deep imbalance in society. People are discouraged from really expressing themselves in order to fit into these boxes and these ‘preferences’ are learned: if you’re taught to be dominant and in control then you’ll likely prefer submission, and vice versa. Patriarchy 101.

        The rest of your comment is rendered moot.

      • marv

        More irrational talk. There is a biological beginning to attraction but it is socially distorted by patriarchal structures. Women and men incorporate gender preferences all the time through constant bombardment from culture. Men’s relationship to the planet also started out as non dominating. Look what men have done to the earth via economic and governing systems. This requires political scrutiny not biological determinism.

  • ExceptionallyAnonymous

    (To Hekate Jayne and Tobysgirl)
    I have been reading the comments (which sometimes can be just as or even more interesting than the article), and I have really enjoyed the parts about having nothing to lose.

    I am a student in the UK. No career, no degree, no nothing yet. But I try to talk. I say try, because I am tired. I get physically and emotionally tired from repeating the same things all over again. Sometimes I wanna shout, well if you don’t care about me trying to help you at all, I’m fucking off (honestly if you’re a woman and don’t like feminism at least have the decency not to undermine my work which would help you as well!)! Why do I make the effort if all I get is insults thrown at me? I have no support from my closest friends in helping me to speak out. Perhaps they will comfort me, but they rarely thank me for saying the things that HAVE TO be said. Luckily I have one, relatively far, friend which often does. She keeps me going. Sometimes when I see the people who like my posts on fb, people with whom I never speak nor I knew were interested in feminism, I feel rewarded as well. I think about Gail Dines when she says that we must not let ourselves be distracted by “white noise”. I think of Andrea Dworkin. She’s gone through it all for all of us. You can definitely say what you want. That is in fact the least you can do.

    But the problem lies in self-censorship. Self-censorship is the beginning of the end. It’s insidious and well rooted and hard to remove. But the more quiet I keep, the more things mount up in my throat and I end up shouting.

    But then again I would need to be heard. This is why I mentioned that I study in the UK. It’s not censorship but muzzling. They just won’t allow to open your mouth.

    I am on a year abroad in Italy now. I thought language would be a barrier to the queer invasion. I was completely wrong.

    I am afraid when I see the words “feminism” or “gender” now. I am afraid to engage with the feminist groups here. I am afraid that there are anti-feminists in feminists clothing behind every “feminist” organisation. Most of the time my fears are proven to be true.

    Academia is corrupt. The movement is corrupt. The literature is. It’s a pandemic. Wherever I look I see anti-feminism.

    Intellectually, academia has been my biggest disappointment: all the girls are veiled or “non-binary/ genderqueerdiscopop”. I cannot pick modules because the teacher who is sooo feminist frames her essay questions with “sex work”

    I am used to that. We all are. But if at least they could call it as such. That is all I am asking for. Feminism is all I have. I like socialism, I love secularism, but unfortunately women are rarely welcome. Feminism is what has helped me get though my fascist high school. At least I had that against everyone else. But now they are scraping me of that.

    I am so angry because wherever I look I see absence of thinking. I don’t even ask people to agree with me. I just ask them to think for themselves.
    Who benefits if women are in prostitution?
    Who benefits if women are veiled?
    Who benefits if feminism because so likeable to everyone?

    Anger is a razor’s edge. You must stay careful and light, otherwise you’re cut for good. Yet it is all too easy to be tired and let go. Cut for good.

    I should be revising right now (lol) but I can’t. I cannot stand reading about the massacres women go through and then read other women defending it. It drives me insane. But then again, whenever patriarchy needs to legitimate itself, it sends in the women. How do you defend porn? You only advertise female directors (there is no more Hugh Hefner today, it’s all Erika Lust). How do you defend misogynist political Islam? Send in the educated cute veiled girls. How do you defend prostitution? Send in the dynamic prostituted women.

    This is me all the time. I swing between the acknowledgment of patriarchy and the pain, physical and emotional. I know I am lucky because women go through much much worse, but see? Patriarchy is a race to the bottom. With the Damocles sword upon our heads it forces us to comply and contend ourselves.

    Now, I need to stop and get back to work 😛 . I am grateful I at least have this platform to have this kind of late night monologues that make it all more bearable.

    Thanks to the community.

    • Hekate Jayne

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings, it is hard to admit personal pain, and feeling worn out and tired. It is hard to admit feeling defeated.

      It would be one thing to fight a system, and have the fight be all of it. But with women, we aren’t just fighting oppression, we are simultaneously carrying the oppressors on our backs, aren’t we? We are raising their kids, doing their laundry, getting paid less for doing identical work, listening to their catcalls, being berated for the sin of being female, and we do all of this while propping their sorry asses up.

      The fact is that we keep the world moving with free labor that comes with plenty of blood, sweat and tears. No wonder we get so fucking tired.

      It is absolutely emotionally exhausting to fight the exact same fight that we should have already won. Abortion and “ladybrain” are 2 examples of fights that were settled, MORE THAN ONCE. Yet we have to reprove them, and lots of others, over and over again.

      It is ok to feel defeat, to get tired, to want to give up. I wish that I didn’t understand what you mean, but I do understand very well. We all do.

      And that is when I watch dog videos on YouTube, lol. And bats, which are really just sky puppies with wings, lol.

      But I also know, and I also accept, that this fight is not going to be over in my lifetime. Which, ironically, is why I keep on fighting. My hope and greatest wish is that your humanity, dignity, and autonomy will be recognized by the time that you reach my age. I don’t have daughters, but many of our sisters do. And if we can’t win it for you, then I hope that we can do it for all of the little girls. So that they can have the life that we all deserve, but never get. The safety, the security, the opportunities that we have never fully enjoyed, and the little bit that we have had that is being stripped away.

      So please know that you are not alone. I Am grateful for the opportunity to support you (and all of our sisters), even if it is just a few words over the internet. We all need that sometimes.

      We hear you. We understand. And I am so glad that you are here. Sending you solidarity from a sister in the southern USA. 🙂

  • Blazing Fire

    Yup. Guess what they are inserting themselves into now? As if pretending to raise daughters wasn’t enough, they are ramping it up to a whole new level:
    I happened upon this yesterday (was reading an article about improving memory, when this link appeared in the side. The title was intriguing, so I opened it, and was totally “oh no.. whhhaat”:
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/curious/201711/letter-dads-daughters-sexual-misconduct-epidemic
    Seems dads must educate their daughters about [guess what..], AND that they are the better persons than the girls’ mothers to educate their girls on that topic…. Oh no…
    The author of the article seems to have authored a book on how everyone should let the dark side of themselves also grow, rather than trying to be like what their good side is (I’m writing from memory – it is in the author’s profile at the end og the article – I didn’t want to visit that page again now)

    On a side note, look at what all “solutions” come out of the male mind for the issues facing women..

    • Hekate Jayne

      Oh my fucking god.

      But what do we expect? Psychology is a male created and dominated field, and these are the dudes that created penis envy. And my personal favorite, the belief that women that have been victims of sexual violence need to get over it and find a way to continue to be sexually available to dudes.

      Psychology is nothing but male domination in a deceptive form.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Men don’t get to decide what women want and expect of them.”

    What on earth does this mean?? I mean, surely women want men not to abuse or rape them, yet this happens constantly. If women had so much control over men’s behaviour, don’t you think their behaviour would have changed by now?

    • Missy

      Exactly. This dude is the typical denial of reality in order to take the blame and responsibility off of men type.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Women can’t “impose” anything on males.

    Governments are overwhelmingly male, as are legal and law enforcement systems, and media. Business and corporations are overwhelmingly male owned and controlled.

    Males own and control the majority of everything on earth. Including women.

    We expect basic human decency from you. Which you can’t achieve at even the lowest levels.

    Your male reversal would be funny if you weren’t so patheticly transparent.

  • Womble Bananaroom

    money should be given for something of value and not have an intrinsic ‘value’ of it’s own.
    https://youtu.be/F4eGTY6RWeg

  • Hekate Jayne

    Well, I agree that only a few males can really be influenced. This is not only my lived experience, but it is also easily observed.

    And when we recognize it, we are called man hate-y, angry, crazy, demanding, etc. All in an attempt to shut us up.

    I understand about your dad. But make no mistake. You absolutely CAN change the world. Even if it is just for a moment, in a single place, and even if it is for just one other woman. I know because I have done it, and other women have done it for me. Some of them are right here.

    I hope you can see this. It is a really short YouTube of a bat (aka sky puppy)eating a banana.

    It might be the most important video on all of the interwebs. Enjoy!

    https://youtu.be/xekkEakrQDc

  • marv

    It’s instructive how some commenters wouldn’t make the assertion that white dominance “reflects the social incentives and disincentives that” black people impose, as the origin of racial inequality. When it comes to women’s oppression rational analysis from men doesn’t present. Sexist double standard.

  • Hekate Jayne

    The weak and inferior are often defensive.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Men don’t conform to what women want… Men act with impunity and women are socialized to put up with it. Yes, our culture has romanticized masculinity and inequality, so many women learn to be ‘attracted’ to ‘masculine’ men, but that is not the same as women ‘deciding’ what men should do and who they should be.

  • marv

    Au la contraire. Men and women are sex classes. Globally, meen dominate women systemically through sexual harassment, battering, rape, murder, prostitution, porn, religious precepts, household and workplace divisions of labor and income, under representation in governance and economic power/wealth….

    Wealthy white women are sexually objectified by poor and rich men of any color. All classes of women are measured for their sex appeal, emotional labor and fertility by all men. You benefited by the unpaid domestic and waged labor of your mother as a class subordinate to you. You are socialized to not see it and you don’t want to see it, deriving your self concept from it both unconsciously and deliberately.

    Face it. You are a mother fucker and a sexual objectifier like the rest of us men born in a patriarchal society,

  • marv

    It’s not about determining exactly what is natural or political. War, for example, is unethical whether men are partly born violent or not. What matters is doing the right thing: replacing patriarchal structures and conduct. You have a ‘cock’amamie fear that women’s liberation will lead to a dystopia different from the one we dwell. You’re clinging to a rigid ideology with bloody fingernails. Chill

  • marv

    Uninformed. The goal isn’t gender equality, women having what men have (though they deserve it). It’s abolishing the whole hierarchical system of patriarchy, including pornstitution, marriage, the nuclear family, capitalism, colonialism, race classes.

    You seem to have some understanding of economic classes and how workers are subservient to capital. Workers did not invent capitalism or control it. They influence capital when they resist and demand fair working conditions. Women play that kind of role when dealing with men individually and as a class. They sometime win concessions and frequently don’t. This is not imposing the masculine role any more than a wage increase causes the capitalist order. When workers and women gain progress capitalism and male supremacy remain the law of the land with a few reforms.

    If you are serious about changing any of this you have to let go of ‘dick’tating what you see on reality and let reality determine what you see. Your fixed ideas are blocking understanding.

    You have taken up too much of the moderator’s time. Donate to compensate her free labor over exploiting her. http://www.feministcurrent.com/about/donate/

  • Blazing Fire

    >> I don’t think the masculine role has any other origin but women’s expectations and preferences.

    So, you mean to say that women “expected and preferred” to be beaten up, to live in terror inside their homes, be robbed of their savings and/or salary, murdered and then slandered of having affairs, stalked on the street, raped at any age and never getting justice & getting shamed instead?

    [Edit: Oops, sorry, I just saw the same argument has already been put forth upthread, and had received a pathetic, deluded reply – that if women expected decent treatment, men would have given it, and the fact that we aren’t getting it “proves” that decent treatment is no what women expect.
    Please feel free to remove this redundant comment:) Thank you!]

  • Blazing Fire

    This! This!……. omG, soo perfectly true, and sooo well said! 🙂

  • Hekate Jayne

    Lol, that is a funny joke.

    Psychology is the male “science” that tells women who have been sexually victimized by males that they need to “heal” so that they can get back to being sexually available to other males.

    I mean, why? Why is it necessary for any sexual violence victim to get over her attack so that she can get back to fucking dudes?

    They are also the male system that institutionalized women back in the day at the word of a father, husband, or other male family member. Psychology said that women should marry and have kids, otherwise, they be crazy! Crazy spinsters!

    Psychology has historically been used by males to oppress us and to force us to do their bidding.

    Males find my husband to be all kinds of wrong, since he doesn’t perform “masculinity”. So for psychology to accuse him of emulating female genitalia on his face (lol) is not surprising. It is a male system, after all.