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Author Topic: The Masculine Mystique
Sa'eed
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The Masculine Mystique.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/20/the-masculine-mystique-inside-the-men-s-rights-movement-mrm.html

quote:
For the past decade, the Men's Rights Movement has been gaining traction on the Internet—and growing ever more radical in its attacks on feminists. R. Tod Kelly explores whether a movement where moderates are marginalized can ever break into the mainstream.

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Lyrhawn
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I think "Men's Rights" is an odd turn of phrase, because legally there are very few things that men really need to do in order to achieve parity from their point of view. In other words, I can only think of two or three instances where women have a legal advantage over them. That article lists most of the legitimate ones, involving divorce, custody, and sexual/domestic violence. The only thing I thought was missing was a focus on men's mental health, which is yet another vastly underreported problem that requires a great deal more study and attention, as we're many years behind where we are with women on that issue.

The MRM as described in that article seems to totally miss the point if they think feminists are their greatest obstacle. I think there IS a problem with how women view men, part of which is men's fault, and part of which is the media's fault. Women tend to take any male complaint and respond with a smirk. I've encountered enough myself to know there's something to it. There's this kneejerk "really? YOU are going to complain? Try being a woman!" response that I don't totally understand. It's as if when a man complains, some sort of zero sum game logic kicks in, like if we pay attention to a male problem it somehow lessens the importance of a female problem. So they get defensive and lash out. It's also difficult, I think, for women to see male problems as legitimate because they focus so much on all the inequalities (of which there are many more) that women suffer from. So to them, the scale makes it seem like men shouldn't complain at all.

But problems are problems, and men suffer a lot of the same ones that women suffer from. The problem is that men rarely have a forum to discuss them. There is a national conversation about men happening right now, but it generally seems to devolve into "STOP RAPING WOMEN!" which isn't particularly helpful. At the end of the day, we don't know what we want from men, and that's a conversation that needs to be had. What influences are there in our society that are making men what they are?

We live in a society where men feel just as pressured to look and act a certain way thanks to visual media as women do, but that fact is rarely acknowledged, or when it is, someone generally feels compelled to say "but men control the media!" as if that means anything. Men might have a majority control over what goes into magazines and into the airwaves, but it's not like we all got together at a meeting and decided what all men should be like. It's not men vs. men, it's men vs. the 200 guys in charge of this crap. The same as when women's fashion is dictated by female designers. Men need to be able to talk about this stuff, and while I think fathers and sons can make a lot of progress there on their own, ultimately the tribal power of peer pressure among friends of both sexes is what ultimately determines what they'll do, and that's often dictated by what they see on TV and in magazines.

We're having that conversation about women. We point out when a woman is gratuitously naked on screen, like the constant buzz about how females pose in posters for comic books. But no one ever questions the fact that Captain America was a short, scrawny kid with glasses that was only made into a sex symbol super hero by taking a cocktail of performance enhancing drugs to become a huge, muscly wonder. Or the fact that Hemsworth, Evans or Taylor Lautner have to work out dozens of hours a week and consume an unholy amount of food and shave their bodies like they're wearing wet suits in order to look the way they do. None of that is normal, and much of it is impossible for a regular guy to achieve. But much the same way that women feel compelled to look a certain way, young men feel it as well. Acknowledging and pointing this out would go a long way towards bridging the gap between the gender parity groups on both sides.

Both men and women should be working together on these issues instead of treating each other like the enemy. But most of all, they need to stop blaming each other.

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scifibum
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I have a hard time taking the privileged half of any binary division and being really concerned about the particular challenges they face.

If the problem is unrealistic body ideals, it's about 80% (probably more) a problem for women, and the rest for men. So it makes some sense to describe this as a problem that affects women, and if we need to expand that out to include men, we can - we can then describe it as a [gender not specified] *problem*. We don't need to call it a *problem for men*. Because it isn't. It's much *better* for men than it is for women. Men enjoy a privilege relative to women, in this regard. And to pretend it's equally a problem for men is silly, IMO.

I do think we need to pay attention to particular situations where men are given short shrift *compared to women*. They are the ones you enumerated in your first paragraph. But I don't think "men's rights" is a helpful label here. Because a *custody* decision is not about the *rights of the parents.* It's perverse to frame it that way. Maaaaaybe there are some inequities in divorce that need to be addressed. I doubt there are if you treat custody separately. And when it comes to domestic violence, men simply do not have it worse than women. So sticking up for the men, in particular, seems like a nonstarter. Maybe the problem is coming up with a sufficiently snappy label for the particular subset of problems experienced mostly by men.

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Rakeesh
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I guess I simply have much less respect for my gender's concern over our privilege than you do, Lyrhawn. I feel as though you're attributing a whole lot of fair-minded, rationally egalitarian thinking to our broader gender and criticizing aspects of our treatment-which would be more apt, to my mind, if your level and rigor of thinking were something other than a rare exception, and hardly a rule.

Discussions often 'devolve' to 'stop raping women!' for a bunch f reasons, but perhaps encase someone has recently heard for example a rape joke to which no man objected. Many women treat rights discussions as a zero sum game in response to exactly that attitude by men-and not just common conversations and men either, but people in power.

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Lyrhawn
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I'll address your second paragraph first. I think that's an odd way of looking at things. It seems to equate to "their problems aren't as bad, so they aren't worth paying attention to." I hope I have that wrong. Actually your first paragraph sounds like that too. As I said, I don't think "Men's rights" is a helpful label either, for a lot of reasons. But I'm a little perplexed on what seems like a rather "meh" attitude. Sure, men don't have it NEARLY as bad as women in domestic violence cases. No one says they do. Does that mean it's not something worth addressing?

As for your first paragraph, I don't know where you pulled that 80% figure from, but it strikes me as ridiculous. Why is it not a problem for men because it's not AS MUCH of a problem for women? Are the only people who have problems the ones who have the worst possible version of those problems? That's bizarre to me.

Body image problems are in SOME ways a bigger problem for young men and boys than young women and girls, because while young women are more likely to attempt suicide, young men are more likely to be successful in their attempts, making it a much deadlier mental health issue than it is for young women. Furthermore, incidents of steroid and other damaging supplements use among young teenage men has skyrocketed in the last decade as young men do serious harm to their bodies in the search for the perfect body. Being young and unattractive isn't easier just because you're a boy. I think for a lot of young men it does get somewhat easier as they get older, but many will suffer from self-esteem issues all their lives.

But it's not something we ever talk about. It's not something we're supposed to complain about, and it's never something we point out on TV, because a hot buff guy isn't sexual exploitation, right? It's what we all want to be! It's super manly and powerful! Except that's what girls are thinking when they see a skinny girl with big boobs, that's what they want to be, because it's held up as the ideal. It's the same thing, it's just a double standard we've convinced ourselves is somehow advantageous for males.

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Rakeesh
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Also, I'm surprised like scifibum to see domestic violence as an area where women have a legal advantage over men. I mean, I'm interested to hear the reasoning, but without having heard the argument for that proposition, women are the victims of sexual and physical violence at vastly higher rates from men, rather than perpetrators towards, because...?

I get that this is very frustrating to you. You're getting tagged by association, not just by the gender generally but MRAs in particular. I suppose I think the focus needs to be more in basic humanity right now with respect to us dudes, rather than a focused leveling out. The teeter totter is still very slanty.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I guess I simply have much less respect for my gender's concern over our privilege than you do, Lyrhawn. I feel as though you're attributing a whole lot of fair-minded, rationally egalitarian thinking to our broader gender and criticizing aspects of our treatment-which would be more apt, to my mind, if your level and rigor of thinking were something other than a rare exception, and hardly a rule.

Discussions often 'devolve' to 'stop raping women!' for a bunch f reasons, but perhaps encase someone has recently heard for example a rape joke to which no man objected. Many women treat rights discussions as a zero sum game in response to exactly that attitude by men-and not just common conversations and men either, but people in power.

I had a whole thing typed out but I feel maybe I should take a step back. I'm not claiming to speak for men as a gender, nor do I think I necessarily represent the male gender as a whole. A whole lot of men are misogynistic pricks, and I'm not just coming at this from the point of view that society owes men a redress of their grievances and that's it. Society (men AND women together) owe men a national conversation about what role men should play, as equal partners with women, in a truly gender equal society. Right now I don't feel like that is what's happening, and I feel like it's too easy to write men off because of the vocal jerks and the fact that we still need to do so much for women. But their concerns are just as important as women's. They might not be as numerous, but to those who genuinely, truly suffer from problems we tend to write off, like those I've discussed here, we owe it to them to pay more attention.

It may be that in the grand scheme of things, the problems men suffer from and the problems women suffer from require a dramatically different level of attention, since there are so many more problems for women. But just because men's problems might only be 20% and women's are 80% doesn't mean real people aren't suffering, and that they don't deserve our attention or compassion, it doesn't mean their problems aren't serious. And that's already the impression I've gotten from scifibum. 'Men's problems? Puh-leeze. Come back to me when you have something serious to say.' I think that's a terrible attitude, and I think it needs to change. I think everyone is equally deserving of attention, and I think we don't even know the full scope of problems young men suffer because we've spent decades studying women and very little time studying men. All we can do is wring our hands and say their problems are under reported because no one ever actually spends time or money trying to find an accurate report.

I should clarify that most of the problems I'm referring to are more about young men and boys. They don't have any power, and they don't have advocated in their corner the way young women and girls do.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I'll address your second paragraph first. I think that's an odd way of looking at things. It seems to equate to "their problems aren't as bad, so they aren't worth paying attention to." I hope I have that wrong. Actually your first paragraph sounds like that too. As I said, I don't think "Men's rights" is a helpful label either, for a lot of reasons. But I'm a little perplexed on what seems like a rather "meh" attitude. Sure, men don't have it NEARLY as bad as women in domestic violence cases. No one says they do. Does that mean it's not something worth addressing?
Sure, it's worth addressing. I think though that the reason it's not worth going much beyond that yet is the reason for the periodic, narrowly focused unfairness: because over time we discovered that left to our own devices, without some very serious legal and cultural (police cultural, that is) leaning in one way....well, more women are beaten and raped by their partners throughout their lives. Which is *also* a problem, and even though the solution involves unfairness, and even though it's given much more attention, that doesn't change the fact that n spite of any unfairness, in this particular struggle women are getting a major...well, frankly in spite of the unfortunate phrase, a beating.

How cnncerned *should* women be for fairness to men on the issue of domestic violence when, when an instance occurs, it's much more likely that a woman has been serially abused than a man unfairly handled by the system?

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Also, I'm surprised like scifibum to see domestic violence as an area where women have a legal advantage over men. I mean, I'm interested to hear the reasoning, but without having heard the argument for that proposition, women are the victims of sexual and physical violence at vastly higher rates from men, rather than perpetrators towards, because...?

I get that this is very frustrating to you. You're getting tagged by association, not just by the gender generally but MRAs in particular. I suppose I think the focus needs to be more in basic humanity right now with respect to us dudes, rather than a focused leveling out. The teeter totter is still very slanty.

I mixed that one up in my paragraph. What I meant to say was that they have a legal advantage in the sense that the law often does not even recognize crimes against men in cases of domestic or sexual violence. The legal definition of rape itself does not include a woman raping a man unless she does so with a penetrative object. So if a man is too drunk to consent, his consent is implied, because dudes never say no! (that's the social aspect of it in addition to the legal aspect). That's an area where the law needs to be revised so that men have equal coverage to women, where currently they have a lesser status. The same is true of men in domestic violence situations where A. Men report their abuse at much much lower rates than women. B. Have fewer resources at their disposal even if they were willing to do so.

I think your hangup is that you're focusing on incidents. Yes, women are victims of domestic abuse and sexual crimes at higher rates than men (though for sexual crimes...there's a surprising amount of parity in places you wouldn't expect, like schools). But men have fewer legal resources with which to avail themselves after such an incident.

I feel like the snap response from people is going to be "that's just not as much of a problem, so we don't need to address it." But how do you think the victims would respond to that attitude? Stamping out a problem entirely is very difficult, but it's even harder when you don't even have the tools on hand to begin working on the problem.

Edit to add for your last post: I sort of already addressed this, but yes, I get that there's a numbers disparity, and I agree that requires a disparity in the level of response as well.

Let me make this clear, in case there's a misunderstanding: I am not suggesting that all men's and women's problems require EQUAL time spent solving them. Greater problems require greater effort. My issue is that a lot of men's problems seem to be getting NO effort whatsoever. The blase "well, women's problems are bigger" argument isn't used to put MORE attention on women's issues, it's often used as a reason to put ALL attention on them. I'm saying if, even if we're using scifibum's magic numbers above, if that's 20% a men's issue, where's the 20% of effort spent solving it?

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scifibum
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Lyrhawn, my view is that it's probably counterproductive to try to address things as issues for men in particular when men enjoy a relative advantage when that issue is looked at as a whole. I'm not against addressing the problem, but I'm against framing the problem as a MEN's problem, unless it's necessary. And I don't think it's often necessary.
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Samprimary
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quote:
But perhaps the biggest obstacle that the MRM creates for its own mainstream viability is its tendency to rely on highly dubious claims. A good example is their commentary on the lack of a commercially available male contraception pill. The reason the male pill is not widely available, they argue, is that powerful women want to be able to father children without their partners’ consent in order to capture financial assets. “It has been gender ideologues who unilaterally deny men access to basic birth control technology women have enjoyed for a half-century,” Hembling declares, noting that Brazilian researcher Dr. Elsimar Coutinho has already developed such a pill. Hembling neglects to mention, however, that the testing of Coutinho’s male pill was abandoned in 1998 because the active ingredient, gossypol, was shown to produce extreme side effects—including sterility for men and permanent damage to the uterine lining in women. In addition, its effectiveness at reducing sperm count was unpredictable.
sounds about right
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Lyrhawn, my view is that it's probably counterproductive to try to address things as issues for men in particular when men enjoy a relative advantage when that issue is looked at as a whole. I'm not against addressing the problem, but I'm against framing the problem as a MEN's problem, unless it's necessary. And I don't think it's often necessary.

Then you would agree the male portion of these cross gendered issues deserves more attention as part of the broader effort?

I'm fine with that in general, because these are problems that negatively affect both genders, though it may require a different response tailored to men and women specifically. And like I said, I'm also fine with a disproportionate response, even a wildly disproportionate response. But by and large there is a zero response. Not only is there no response, but many things that are problems for young men and boys aren't even widely recognized as problems.

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Heisenberg
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If a woman slaps herself or puts bruises on her neck and calls the cops, tells them a man did it, that man is going to jail. I had a woman almost do this very thing to me, and she only backed down and didn't call the police at the very last moment when I revealed that I had recorded her telling me what she was going to do. Looking back, I wish I had just let her call the cops; she's no doubt gone on to do the same thing to other men.

I don't really think that the same can be said in reverse. Whether it's because of the law or because the of bias in the cops doesn't really matter.

Now, of course most domestic violence calls aren't fake. But a few of them are. And like Lyrhawn I'm not inclined to just write them off and ignore the problem entirely because the problems of women in this area are greater. It's a little like how when we talk about voter restriction/verification laws on here purely in terms of how it hurts blacks and other ethnic minorities, when in fact those laws affect all poor people equally and there are poor white people, even if they don't make up the same percentage of the total white numbers as poor blacks do the black population.

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Jeff C.
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I haven't read a single line of anything in this thread except for the title, so let me just say this:

Guys rule and girls drool!

[Razz]

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Reticulum
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The most effective method of attraction is to be cute, as Women cannot resist cute things.

People will die for beauty, but they will kill for cute.

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Sa'eed
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This piece has been described as being a Men's Rights manifesto.

http://www.singularity2050.com/2010/01/the-misandry-bubble.html

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Sa'eed
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20/20 was supposed to run a special on the manosphere this past friday but they chickened out at the last minute.

This would have been the tenor of their episode.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/women-battle-online-anti-women-hate-manosphere/story?id=20579038

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
This piece has been described as being a Men's Rights manifesto.

http://www.singularity2050.com/2010/01/the-misandry-bubble.html

More like an alt history anti-women screed.

I might agree with 5% of that, but it's so buried in anger and bull that it'd be hard to endorse even that 5%.

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Reticulum
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Well, considering that within American Society Women now have more jobs and education, Men are becoming less financially able to protect their own rights.

Consider that.

If Women have rights, then don't Men? If along with rights goes responsibility, then should we not consider that with Women's Rights comes Women's Responsibility and that with Men's Rights comes Men's Responsibility?

Or do people just want rights but no responsibilities?

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
This piece has been described as being a Men's Rights manifesto.

http://www.singularity2050.com/2010/01/the-misandry-bubble.html

More like an alt history anti-women screed.

I might agree with 5% of that, but it's so buried in anger and bull that it'd be hard to endorse even that 5%.

I got this far!

quote:
All of us have been taught how women have supposedly been oppressed throughout human existence, and that this was pervasive, systematic, and endorsed by ordinary men who presumably had it much better than women. In reality, this narrative is entirely fabricated. The average man was forced to risk death on the battlefield, at sea, or in mines, while most women stayed indoors tending to children and household duties. Male life expectancy was always significantly lower than that of females, and still is.
Nope! I'm afraid you are mistaken my dear sir!
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Reticulum
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http://newscastmedia.com/harvard_study.htm

Consider that Harvard says that 70% of domestic violence is committed by Women against Men before we jump to jump to extremes on EITHER side.

As a Man that has been the victim of domestic abuse by a Woman, it saddens me that more do not speak out or report what has happened to them.

But hey, just ignore me because what I'm saying doesn't support your worldview.

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BlackBlade
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Reticulum: Doesn't the fact the highlighted section is "Admitting they committed violence" somewhat problematic? How many people man or woman are going to openly say, "Sure I slap my SO around, so?"

The fact remains that there are way more shelters for battered women than for men, and not because nobody wants to sheltered batter men, there just aren't nearly as many.

Emotional abuse I'll grant, and women can certainly be physically violent. But I think to argue that men are the *real* oppressed class is I think a meme I won't be sharing.

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Sa'eed
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This book seems interesting.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/019537410X/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3H52XOS2C26YB&coliid=I3U1OHLMB9JW5M


quote:
In Is There Anything Good About Men?, Roy Baumeister offers provocative answers to these and many other questions about the current state of manhood in America. Baumeister argues that relations between men and women are now and have always been more cooperative than antagonistic, that men and women are different in basic ways, and that successful cultures capitalize on these differences to outperform rival cultures. Amongst our ancestors---as with many other species--only the alpha males were able to reproduce, leading them to take more risks and to exhibit more aggressive and protective behaviors than women, whose evolutionary strategies required a different set of behaviors. Whereas women favor and excel at one-to-one intimate relationships, men compete with one another and build larger organizations and social networks from which culture grows. But cultures in turn exploit men by insisting that their role is to achieve and produce, to provide for others, and if necessary to sacrifice themselves. Baumeister shows that while men have greatly benefited from the culture they have created, they have also suffered because of it. Men may dominate the upper echelons of business and politics, but far more men than women die in work-related accidents, are incarcerated, or are killed in battle--facts nearly always left out of current gender debates.

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Sa'eed
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
This piece has been described as being a Men's Rights manifesto.

http://www.singularity2050.com/2010/01/the-misandry-bubble.html

More like an alt history anti-women screed.

I might agree with 5% of that, but it's so buried in anger and bull that it'd be hard to endorse even that 5%.

I got this far!

quote:
All of us have been taught how women have supposedly been oppressed throughout human existence, and that this was pervasive, systematic, and endorsed by ordinary men who presumably had it much better than women. In reality, this narrative is entirely fabricated. The average man was forced to risk death on the battlefield, at sea, or in mines, while most women stayed indoors tending to children and household duties. Male life expectancy was always significantly lower than that of females, and still is.
Nope! I'm afraid you are mistaken my dear sir!

Why is that mistaken?
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Sa'eed
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So often MRAs are accused of wanting to return to the 50s or some such, but a significant portion of them hold traditionalism in contempt as well. This guy is absurdly articulate and argues that traditionalism is another form of feminism. He starts talking after the 8 minutes and 30 seconds chat show segment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_b8Gs6WoW0

He uses some adult language.

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Lyrhawn
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Blackblade -

Yeah, it was the "supposedly" that set off my alarm bells. I made it past that paragraph, but by the end of that paragraph I was already turned off.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Why is that mistaken?
give us your absolute, most sincere, best guess.
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Sa'eed
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Man cheats on his wife. Divorce ensues. He only gets his children a weekend a month, has to pay alimony and child support.

Woman cheats on her husband. Divorce ensues. The husband only gets his children a weekend a month and has to pay alimony and child support.

This is why Men's Rights Movement exists.

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Shanna
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Can we just pretend that Sa'eed isn't participating in this thread?

Speaking as a woman, my issue with MRA and other such movements is that it tends to either barge into feminist discussions or worse, blame feminism as the cause for its issues.

If women are discussing the unrealistic female body images in the media, it really isn't the time for men to jump up and say, "Well we have it bad too!" Its not to say that male body image isn't worth dealing with, but not by barging into a discussion about women. If a minority group is addressing issues and trying to raise awareness and come up with solutions, it feels like hijacking to have the majority jump in with their personal concerns.

If a group of people of color are having a discussion about aggressive stop-and-frisk campaigns, then don't you think it would be offensive for someone who is white to chime in and start talking about police harassment in their community.

I think there's a tendency to want to say "Well, don't you think this is a problem that all people face" which can really appear to be an attempt to diminish the serious problems that were initially being addressed. Haven't we all been in a position where we're telling a story about something tragic that happened to us, maybe we were in a serious car accident, maybe we spent a week in the hospital, and someone chimes in about how they got hit a few years ago and got whiplash.

You can't just say 'pain is pain.' I think there's a danger is trying to equivocate issues. The minority group comes out of the discussion feeling steamrolled and the majority group is dismissed as bullies, regardless of how valid their claims are.

I think its seen as an easy way gain attention, to jump on women's issues to bring up how it affects men.

Developing awareness and getting people involved isn't going to be easy. The feminist movement has decades under its belt and they've been fighting some of these battles since the beginning with no end in sight. I would really hate to see valid issues affecting men dismissed because its trying to hijack the work done by the feminist movement. Its not going to gain them any female allies and it makes it fertile playground for the anti-women individuals who are just looking for an easy audience for their misogyny.

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stilesbn
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Unfortunately it's impossible to talk about men's rights without someone interjecting how bad women have it.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Unfortunately it's impossible to talk about men's rights without someone interjecting how bad women have it.

Dude you're totes right. This happens just as often and just as rudely. Total equivalence.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Unfortunately it's impossible to talk about men's rights without someone interjecting how bad women have it.

Dude you're totes right. This happens just as often and just as rudely. Total equivalence.
That was a little unnecessary.
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Rakeesh
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If mine, then certainly also yours.
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stilesbn
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On a message board talking about MR where it has been said multiple times that women have it worse therefore it shouldn't be discussed.
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BlackBlade
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stilesbn: I hear you. It is jarring to want to talk about inequality of the sexes in regards to men, and have the whole conversation shutdown because women have a greater catalog of problems.

It's somewhat akin to saying, "I'm struggling to find a job, and it sucks, I need to support my family." and then being told, "Wow, the white cis-male can't find a job. Why don't you go complain to the black single mother who drives your kids to school?"

But I think as much as I agree there are specific places where men are discriminated against, we have no business trying to frame the *magnitude* along side women's inequality. Or lecture women on changing how they treat men at an institutional level, when there are *so* many more problems with how men treat women as a group.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
This piece has been described as being a Men's Rights manifesto.

http://www.singularity2050.com/2010/01/the-misandry-bubble.html

More like an alt history anti-women screed.

I might agree with 5% of that, but it's so buried in anger and bull that it'd be hard to endorse even that 5%.

I got this far!

quote:
All of us have been taught how women have supposedly been oppressed throughout human existence, and that this was pervasive, systematic, and endorsed by ordinary men who presumably had it much better than women. In reality, this narrative is entirely fabricated. The average man was forced to risk death on the battlefield, at sea, or in mines, while most women stayed indoors tending to children and household duties. Male life expectancy was always significantly lower than that of females, and still is.
Nope! I'm afraid you are mistaken my dear sir!

Why is that mistaken?
Well, for starters there was a *rule* in the military put in place by *men* that specifically banned women from the battlefield.

Or did men put that rule in place at the urging of their spouses/girlfriends who *really* wanted to do the dishes instead of crossing the Potomac?

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Sa'eed
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There are many reasons why women have historically been forbidden from combat/military. The most obvious is that men are disposable in a way women are not, as a simple fact of biology (sperm is cheap and eggs are expensive.) It's less a demographic disaster for a culture/society/civilization to lose many men in war than it is to lose many women. Another reason is that women are physically weaker. An army comprised of men and women would have historically led to a disaster vs an army comprised of men. Another reason is the complications that mixing men and women would have produced on the battlefield, like the women falling in love with their commander, the commander doing the same, other people getting jealous, and so on. And what to do with female soldiers who end up pregnant? Just let them go home? Or should they have been given forcible abortions? Indeed, even today female soldiers getting randomly impregnated presents a problem to the U.S military.

And yes, there's the fact women never wanted to fight in wars anyway. Much better to let other men do that business, even if it means their sons or fathers or brothers or husbands being involved in it. At the end of the way the women folk could just continue sitting around and let themselves get impregnated by the winners.

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Heisenberg
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Now, see, sometimes I think you make half of a good point, Sa'eed, but the problem is you always have to show this ridiculous bias that turns even people who might be willing to listen with an open mind against you.

The example here is you saying that the womenfolk historically just "sat around" while the men went off to war.

I don't think that that was ever really the case. Do you? Really? Pretty much anyone who wasn't very wealthy had to work very hard until relatively very recently, and that included the women.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
, like the women falling in love with their commander, the commander doing the same,

Why are you assuming the male is the commander?
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stilesbn
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I wasn't really trying to draw equivalence between men's and women's rights only between how often, percent wise, the discussions get shut down. To be certain it happens much more often where we are talking about women's rights and someone says "What about men's rights". Say that happens 70-80% of the time. The greater volume of women's rights discussions means that it happens a whole lot more often. Of the few men's rights discussions I've seen the inverse happens every time or 100%. So men's rights get shouted down less often, but it happens every time a discussion pops up.

It would be nice if we could talk about each proportionately and without taking away from the other but the polemic is too strong.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
And yes, there's the fact women never wanted to fight in wars anyway. Much better to let other men do that business, even if it means their sons or fathers or brothers or husbands being involved in it. At the end of the way the women folk could just continue sitting around and let themselves get impregnated by the winners.
Not only do you lie, you smugly accuse the entire gender throughout history of selfish cowardice. Nice! Yeah, it's definitely a uterary conspiracy that keeps MRAs down, and not frequent blossomings of distasteful misogyny and dishonest history. Case in point: not all women everywhere have shunned warfare and soldiering. That you would offer such an absolute exposes your ignorance and bias. But for the sake of argument (how often that phrase gets used with you!) let's assume it was true that historically women simply didn't ever want to be soldiers.

Fast forward to the present and you discover that when a society doesn't carefully weed out that desire throughout their upbringing, some women DO want to be soldiers! Shocking. Lemme also register my contempt with your misogynistic lying when you factor in that women have served in the military, and as cops and firefighters, and have risked their lives and died in service to their communities and nations. And you say they'd much rather send their sons and male family to die instead.

Nauseating. Continue speaking loudly and proudly your affiliation with MRAs, please.

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Marlozhan
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Hell, this isn't a zero-sum game. Why can't we just talk about the ways that men are negatively affected by our culture AND talk about the ways women are negatively affected, WITHOUT having to argue about who has it worse and thus distract from the needs of either side? It isn't a competition about who has it worse. It is about facing the facts within a complex society.

Women are disadvantaged in more ways than men because of unbalanced gender roles: fact.

Some men, even if in the minority, have their rights violated as well: fact.

Helping both sides doesn't have to disadvantage either side. In fact, by definition, equal rights should help both sides. Humans are so prone to the scarcity mentality: everything has to be a competition, someone has to lose every time someone wins.

I want our society to treat women better and I want it to treat men better.

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Sa'eed
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Fast forward to the present and you discover that when a society doesn't carefully weed out that desire throughout their upbringing, some women DO want to be soldiers!

They don't mind serving because the military absurdly holds their hand and only sends men on the truly dangerous missions, though no doubt many a woman contributes by driving trucks behind safe lines and whatnot.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22452.pdf

Page 11.

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Shanna
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You might as well stop before you give yourself a heartattack. No one thinks you have anything worthwhile to say on the topic.

Gotta say, this does make me feel sorry for anyone seriously trying to raise awareness for men's issues. Uphill battle when you got people like Sa'eed amongst the ranks.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Fast forward to the present and you discover that when a society doesn't carefully weed out that desire throughout their upbringing, some women DO want to be soldiers!

They don't mind serving because the military absurdly holds their hand and only sends men on the truly dangerous missions, though no doubt many a woman contributes by driving trucks behind safe lines and whatnot.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22452.pdf

Page 11.

So all the women who lobby and agitate for front-line traditional combat roles for women in the infantry, they're what..looking to marry sexy alpha commanders or something? Ugh. I know you can lie better than this, Clive, we've seen you do it. Even by your own standards your argument fais before you finish the first link-if what you were saying were true, we *wouldnt* be seeing continuous efforts to integrate women further into the military, by women.

As an aside, for someone whose courage consists of whining to demand respect for misogyny, your sneering at women in the service is as cowardly as has come to be expected of you here.

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Sa'eed
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quote:
So all the women who lobby and agitate for front-line traditional combat roles for women in the infantry, they're what..looking to marry sexy alpha commanders or something? Ugh.
Strawman. Yawn.

quote:
Even by your own standards your argument fais before you finish the first link-if what you were saying were true,
You mean the argument you made up and then attributed it to me?

quote:
we *wouldnt* be seeing continuous efforts to integrate women further into the military, by women.
The push happens because they know that the military will always put men first in dangerous situations. No feminist complained that too few U.S female soldiers were killed in the last dozen years.
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Rakeesh
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So you haven't stated that women will fall in love with commanders, have sex to escape combat, and seek desperately after alphas? Wait. You've made all of those statements. No strawmen at all, yawn as you like-you're simply lying.

quote:
The push happens because they know that the military will always put men first in dangerous situations. No feminist complained that too few U.S female soldiers were killed in the last dozen years.
So they're not just selfish cowards, they're also liars. But you totes aren't a misogynist or anything. Right. Just curious, though-done a lot of putting your safety in jeapardy, have you Clive? I just want to get a handle on how deep your bravery runs when you scorn the cowardice of others, because I'm sure you're a font of courage and self-sacrifice.
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Sa'eed
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Having women on the front lines is unacceptable for a million different reasons. Feminists know this, which is why they can agitate for it because they know that the military will not let it happen in any meaningful way, at least to the extent that female casualties proportionately equal male casualties. And you have to address female soldiers having pregnancy as a "get out of combat" card. What's your solution to this?
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Lyrhawn
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I have two points of view about women in the military.

1. As an observer of American culture, I can't say that women serving in combat seems like a very important thing that women are fighting for. I never hear much rumbling about it as a major issue, but when you ask women serving in the armed forces, I know plenty who agitate for it. I also know that pregnancies tend to spike right before a deployment, so I think it goes both ways really. But I'll also say I've never met a women who was willing to right to have women added to selective service. I'm sure they're out there, but I've never met one. I'm not so sure this is about women, per se, so much as it is individuals who currently carry something of an advantage in the "not getting killed" department who think there are other things worth arguing for before they get to that. Can't say I blame them.

2. As an historian, the argument that women don't want to be in combat is ridiculous. America was really the only country in World War II that did not allow women in combat roles. British and French women served in front line capacities. Russian women flew night bombing raids for heaven's sake, and the air war was the deadliest aspect of combat in WWII. Nazi soldiers called them the Night Witches. They also served as frontline soldiers. Women in the German, French and British forces served as anti-aircraft gunners as well.

Women not fighting in wars is a uniquely American thing, not because women themselves didn't want to fight, but because American social mores sequestered them into non-combat roles.

Besides, I would argue that in the modern era, there really is no such thing as a non-combat role in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. We usually relegate women to roles like driving trucks and what not, but with IEDs and ambushes, driving those trucks has become one of the most dangerous jobs in the wars. It's how Jessica Lynch was attacked and captured.

I'd also add that plenty of militaries around the world have multi-gender integrated forces and retain by enthusiasm for service and a deadly edge. Israel being the best example that I can think of.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
stilesbn: I hear you. It is jarring to want to talk about inequality of the sexes in regards to men, and have the whole conversation shutdown because women have a greater catalog of problems.

It's somewhat akin to saying, "I'm struggling to find a job, and it sucks, I need to support my family." and then being told, "Wow, the white cis-male can't find a job. Why don't you go complain to the black single mother who drives your kids to school?"

But I think as much as I agree there are specific places where men are discriminated against, we have no business trying to frame the *magnitude* along side women's inequality. Or lecture women on changing how they treat men at an institutional level, when there are *so* many more problems with how men treat women as a group.

I don't think it has anything to do with framing the issue in comparison to women's issues. I'd be perfectly happy not discussing women at all when it comes to some of the problems men suffer from in society. I know there are some men out there who can't get through this conversation without demonizing women (in fact, some people in this thread cannot do that), but the conversations that I personally have with people usually go right to where stilesbn is talking about.

Let's say I'm watching a commercial or read an article and comment about how this isn't fair to men, I'm almost always shouted down immediately by a woman who says I shouldn't complain because women have it so bad. And I didn't even bring up women!

The thing is, it's not so much that people are saying "yes, we recognize that men have problems, but I think we should put a pin in some of them while we work on bigger issues." I could respect a position like that. The position seems to usually be "Men don't have problems, and even if they do they should just man up and take it because we're suffering way worse." They're using their own plight not to argue for disparity of attention, but to shut down discussion entirely.

As for lecturing women on how to treat men, well, I don't think we should be lecturing women, per se, but I think we should be having conversations about it. We need to decide as a society what a new gender equal society will look like, and that needs to be a conversation, rather than the reverse where women are just lecturing to men about how it's going to be. I'm not saying that's what women are all doing, but I think there's a perception out there, and that's why many men claim to feel victimized, simply because they feel like they don't have a voice in determining their new role in society, even if they admit a new role needs to be formed. And I say this, because ultimately women are only setting themselves up to fail if they want men to be equal partners and they want to remake gender roles in society but they never actually have that conversation with men about it. Because men are going to act out, much like we're seeing with the Misogyny Movement.

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