Skip to content

The Feminist Oppressor speaks.

September 2, 2010

This post by Pepper turned me on to this post – and the plethora of comments that came after. While I don’t have time to read them all… yikes. Holy mother yikes.

Look. I realize that I am naive about why and how feminism became a dirty word. About the modern history of the feminist movement, and how it ostracized certain groups – and that, if I’d like to wax philosophical on feminism, I need to educate myself on this. I can certainly guess at how this was accomplished (hello, Sarah Palin’s Grizzly Bear Moms), and I can also see how hetero-males come to find feminism a dirty word (because clearly all feminists are bra-burning bitches who hate men).

With that caveat, I still think it’s ok for me to discuss what I (me personally – not for all womankind) feel about the term “feminism.” Among other things.

For me, “feminism” means that, as I define myself as a women, I would like women to be treated with equality. Because we’re not. That is the most simple of definitions, and, I believe, it is a basic term.

Take it from there as you will. Use it as a weapon as you will. Use it to define yourself/your cause/your outlook/you friends/your enemies as you will.

However  – perhaps realize that, once you define it further or use it further, your are getting away from the basic term “feminism” to begin something else. Which is the way the world works, because we all see things and do things and think things differently.

But. The basic term has not, in my mind, been altered. So, I ask you, why does “feminism” have to be a dirty word across the board for some? We are angry at those NYC Mosque-haters (term used on purpose for effect) for discriminating against all Muslims because of extremists… is it not possible we’re doing the same here, when we say:

Fuck feminism, fuck feminists and fuck their obnoxious entitled bullshit attitudes.And fuck all of you who think you did a goddamn thing for my daughter. MOTHERS did that, not you.

Ummm…. well. First, I feel I am entitled to some things – but I want them in equal parts – not more. That doesn’t make me a bad person. Just because I am closer to them, have greater access to them, does not mean I don’t understand that you deserve them as well, or that I don’t want them for you, too. Does not mean I do not understand that you don’t have them, does not make me less of an aware world citizen who understands her place and does her best not to take more than her share.


“I ain’t no saint / I help myself to what I need / But I help other people too.”

Second, while I supposed it matters where you live, but women who may or may not have been mothers actually did do something for your daughter. Would she like to vote? Would she like to go to college? Would she like a paycheck in kind with her male colleagues? Well, then.

I’m sorry, but insinuating that only mothers have made a difference for women in the world really bothers me.

What about women before children? What about women who choose not to have children? What about MEN for crying out loud??

But I’m digressing a little…



srsly, if the common definition for feminism to be treated equal to a man. im not interested in feminism. that is not the goal of the women with whom ive worked. 1/3 of black men are in the prison industrial system. i am working for a different world for my daughter.

Hmmm… Well. I don’t want a world where men OR women are subjugated, either.


Look. I get where these women are coming from: the place where people are battling together for basic human rights. I get it.

However, I do not see feminism as outside/better than of the fight for civil rights. Or gay rights. Or trans rights. Or basic fucking HUMAN rights – as in the right to feed myself, clothe myself, and get a goddamn education.

These movements should not sit around effing comparing which fight is more difficult, or more important, or has the biggest balls.

Look. First of all, I get that your shit is more difficult. I get that you are struggling for the basic human rights part. I do not in any way, shape, or form, mean to belittle your plights. Really really really really.

Second of all, just because I have always had my basic human rights, and more than that, handed to me since the day I was effing born, doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize with you. That I can’t… attempt to comprehend what you might be going through. I KNOW I cannot ever ever evereverever understand what you’re going through – because I have had my basic rights since day one.

But. These things do not make me obsolete. They do not make my struggles, my experiences, my life, my voice less than yours. They do not make my abilities and my motivations and my dreams any less important or significant in this grand fight that, guess fucking what, we are on the same effing side of. Regardless of if you define yourself as a feminist or think feminists are all dirty whores.

YES I know I cannot ever understand. YES I know I have things that you fight for every second of every day, simply because I was born with the right skin color and to the right parents in the right country. YES I know you are dealing with things I cannot possibly fathom. YES I understand there are so many things I do not, cannot fully understand.

But. I have experience discrimination.  I have friends who have as well. And, for the record, I wasn’t born with the “right” sexual proclivity – according to the straight world and, frankly, according to much of the gay community, too.

In addition. Are we saying that just because a person is white, male, and wealthy, it means he has nothing to say? Nothing to teach? Nothing to give? Nothing to contribute? That he is incapable of feeling basic human empathy- even if he can never understand?

So. I ask you. Should our differences define our relationship to one another? Should we use those things to keep dividing us, conquering us, encouraging anger between us? Should we keep focusing on the differences between us, using them as that which is most important?

Is this a goddamn pissing contest? Have we learned NOTHING?

We should see the strength in our varied experiences, our varied backgrounds, despite our differences. We should be walking in each other’s shoes, looking through one another eyes, listening to one another’s stories. What can we learn from each other? What can be gained from one another’s knowledge and wisdom? What can be amassed from our shared resources?


Instead of shouting “you’re the oppressor!” while posting about “revolutionary love”.

It is this language of this versus that that oppresses, even those with privilege and money. It divides us – creates us versus them. We are no better than the Mosque-haters, we are no better than the extremists, the worst among us who have no eyes, no ears. No hearts.


We can point the finger at feminism, say that the movement has ostracized so many… but if in the same breath, we blame someone else, or we define what the “right” movement is… we automatically ostracize anew.


What about women without children? What about transgendered? What about me, the white and privileged? What about MEN, for crying out loud??

How can we fight for equality, in any sense of the word, how can we be for anyone, when we can’t stop being against someone else??

Maybe I am just being really naive here. But does that really matter? In the end? In what is important and how we’re going to get this done?

We can’t possibly move forward if we don’t actually start listening, start discussing instead of yelling, start changing our minds…start seeing another point of view, start walking in another person’s shoes. How can we ask for forgiveness, or validate your anger and your oppression, if you’ve decided we don’t belong at the table? And, furthermore, the world is defined in haves and have-nots. Always has and always will. That is not my fault. But, you can choose to blame me for it, and decide I don’t belong in your world view, or you can engage me, and we can work together.

We can stop ending the discussion at “you’re white and privileged. You won’t understand” and start the discussion with “What can I teach you?”

Start forgiving. You talk of love? Then start fucking loving.

That kind of revolutionary love really would be something.

A comment from Lisa:

Stupid me. I had thought feminism, as I have cultivated it for myself, meant to radically transform the oppressive states of all peoples, beginning with women who are the overwhelming majority of poverty and violence.

I’m pretty sure that someone really awesome, say, uh bell hooks or Audre, or Gloria, that said something along the lines of:

The point of feminism is not for women to be equal to men. The point of feminism is not to lust after the dominating roles of ruling over others. The point is to unearth the systematic oppressions that keep us all locked and limited. It is about transforming power, ourselves, and our lives. And it begins with wo/men.

I do identify as feminist, with the understanding that I will have to spend a helluva amount of time disclaiming many attributes and notions of mainstream feminism. I believe there are multiple manifestations of feminism. I also believe in the power of not identifying as such. Cause, you know, the majority of women on this planet DON’T. And I’m pretty sure a lot of those women are pretty rad and amazing just as they are.

And anyone with the time to contribute to this site has the capacity to at least TRY to understand that enforcing and using the label “feminist” as either an equalizer or qualifier is one of the most elitist and ignorant actions that can be thrust upon someone who *chooses* otherwise.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    September 4, 2010 12:02 pm

    No Lisa, you are quite wrong.

    What is a feminist? – resentful, belligerent and quarrelsome. They are also usually ignorant and misinformed with weak self control. Feminists use to be called ‘men haters’ and ‘troublemakers’. They have always been around throughout human history and their main intent is to create ill will, bad feeling, and malice between men and women.

    The cause is the maternal instinct which regards men as either a mating object when in lust, or a potential danger to the family unit to be driven away when not, by making life as difficult as possible. The male equivalent – male aggression – is the pack hunting instinct. Throughout history this has resulted in armies and wars.

    Mature and well balanced people recognise the problems and control their instincts and emotions using basic social skills and practical common sense, something the feminist is very lacking in.

    Are you sure you really are a feminist Lisa?

    • September 4, 2010 3:36 pm

      I am quite sure Lisa knows who she is (I was quoting a comment from another blog), and I am quite sure I am a feminist as well.

      I respectfully disagree with your definition of a feminist. I know that I am not resentful, belligerent (although I have been that, on very rare occasions, but I blame bourbon, not my values), nor quarrelsome. I don’t think that I am ignorant (but this depends, of course, on the subject at hand), nor do I think I have weak self control. I definitely do not want to create ill will, or malice between men and women. Quite the contrary, actually.

      I do find men attractive, obviously, but I wouldn’t consider them a “mating object.” I certainly don’t find them dangerous. I find some men curious and confusing at time – frustrating at the very worst. But I find women curious, confusing, and frustrating at times as well. I have specific feelings toward individuals, not toward one gender versus another.

      I agree with you 100%: mature and well balanced people are self-aware and practice common sense. I do not agree that feminists are lacking in this at all. Some people are, certainly, but not all feminists.

      I have to ask you – why do you generalize feminists this way? Do you have further support for these views?

      • Dave permalink
        September 5, 2010 6:46 am

        Thank you for your courteous and gentle reply.

        It appears that we disagree in our definitions of the term ‘feminist’. This is probably the only thing we disagree on. While I must concede to you that your definition – based on the formal dictionary term – is the officially correct one, I argue that the practical and popular use of the term is closer to mine.

        If you could stop the misuse of the term feminist by the misandrists man hater, you would remove a great deal of dispute and bad feeling.

        With regards to equality, this is an idealistic principle that cannot be realised. And the theory that women, as women, have been treated any more unfairly than men in the past does not stand up to accurate historical analysis. The major social unfairness is not between men and women’s rights, but between the rights and power between rich and poor – and always has been.

        To seek ‘equality’ between men and women seems a barren quest, and if I were a women I would apply myself to something more worthwhile. something grand such as the prevention of wars for example, or perhaps something closer to home, such as the development of a set of formal social principles that would enable us all to ‘just get along’ with one another.

        I dashed this comment off so I am sure there are lots of errors!

    • September 4, 2010 11:03 pm

      This isn’t my blog, and nikki was quite polite in her response to your flaming bag of comment. But.

      Your de-facto gender binary is so questionable my cat wouldn’t eat it with mint sauce and a fish head on top. Your evo-psych is so ridiculous that…well, I don’t even have a metaphor for the wrong.

      That feminism makes you uncomfortable, and makes you feel hated, and makes you feel angry, is a symptom of having your privilege challenged. It’s a symptom of guilt.

      Protip: if every feminist you’ve ever met (if indeed you’ve actually met any) is belligerent and resentful towards you, it’s because you are incredibly privileged, and unwilling to imagine yourself as not privileged. We are not actually obliged to be nice about the systematic inequalities we face every.fucking.day.

      That nikki chose to be nice to you is a cupcake. Enjoy it, but realize that that is a Sunday treat and evidence of how big a person she is.

      Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. That women deserve to own their own bodies, their own labor, their own property, their inherent freedom, their vote, their country, their world. Feminism is the radical notion that these inalienable rights are not granted by our superiors to us, they are inherent in our humanity.

      So, it’s not about the men, actually, except insofar as the project of liberation aims to open up life to more than one kind of rigid masculinity. I know, that may be hard to imagine, but feminism is really not about the men.

      That you have a scared coping with the idea of equality is a symptom of the patriarchy fucking you over too. Welcome to how much THAT sucks.

      • Dave permalink
        September 5, 2010 6:12 am

        Your abusive post and foul language fulfils my expectations of a typical feminist.

        Thank you
        :)

  2. September 5, 2010 10:03 am

    Now Dave – if you’re going to say things that you know will make someone angry (let’s be honest here) then don’t be surprised when they are. That being said, I don’t find Pepper’s response abusive or foul.

    In all honesty, such a reaction is quite warranted, if you ask me. But I’ll come back to that.

    First – I can agree with you that if someone bitter and angry calls themselves a feminists and only spreads hatred, that is certainly unfortunate. However, as rational human beings, we know that the Islamic extremist who prays to Allah does not make all Muslims terrorists who hate Americans. We know that the few should not be used to categorize all – and I would argue that you allow some feminists (can you clarify who you mean? Specific people? Women you have met?) to define how you feel about all.

    Second – I am unclear on the “historical analysis” you allude to that says men and women have not been treated equally. I must disagree, although I am completely with you that much of the struggle for equality is between rich and poor. However, overwhelmingly, those that bear the brunt of this inequality are women - globally, they are paid less, work more, and experience poverty and violence much more than men. In my own experience, as a privileged white woman in the US, I have personally experienced discrimination (paid less, slower to move up in seniority, etc) – please see my post on that here.

    I urge you to read this well written summary of women’s rights (http://www.globalissues.org/article/166/womens-rights) that is filled with links, quotes, studies, etc, on which I would base my arguments. If you have information you would like me to read, please feel free to share.

    Coming back to my initial point about Pepper’s comment, if I may be so bold to think I understand where she’s coming from, I believe her ire is not only in response to some rather baiting language (again, let’s be honest), but also her frustration as a woman. This frustration is in response to the discrimination we do indeed face regularly, and understanding the oppression of women world wide. It is frustrating to hear our struggles be defined by the few that are angry and spread hatred, and it is further frustrating to have a man tell us about it – when it is clear he has very little experience with it (and is not a woman). It is additionally frustrating to have someone say those struggles don’t exist at all. On this point, that I think you are making, above all I disagree.

    Finally, there are things missed in what Pepper had to say, if you choose to only recognize the frustration and not her words. The feminist struggle is not about men – it is about women. Beyond that, it is about people. Beyond that, it is the struggle for equality we share with the poor against the privileged. It is about pushing back against societal constructs that we are faced with, realizing that much of the society we live in today benefits the few over the many – across genders, and across social class – and, whether we can see it or not, oppresses all.

    Again – I strongly urge you to read more, educate yourself more, continue to engage in conversation and discussion more, as opposed to making bold and baiting statements, and then, when someone is rightly pissed off, telling them “told you so” instead of addressing or listening to the points they make.

    • Dave permalink
      September 6, 2010 7:53 am

      I was not trying to provoke a response – I just stated my opinion.

      I did state in my original comment that feminists have weak self control. Pepper should develop self control and respect other’s opinions, even if she disagrees with them – and the fact that you find nothing abusive and foul mouthed in her comment fits you as a feminist more in my description than the official dictionary one, I regret to say.

      Your first point that there are different ‘types’ of feminists flies in the face of logic, when considered from my description of the feminist – since to be a feminist, you must display the qualities I described. Hence there is only type. However I concede to you, that under the very wide definition given in the dictionaries the word ‘feminist’ cover a wide range of different types of women.

      So we seem to be in agreement here.

      With regard to your second point – the feminist ‘historical analysis’. By this I mean the interpretation of social history by various feminist writers, which at times is hilarious in it’s biased inaccuracy.

      For example the presentation of slave like ‘confinement’ to the kitchen. In the past working and living conditions were such that the ‘confinement’ was a place of privilege and safety, and also, surprisingly, of power – since she who control the food supply controlled the family.

      The pay inequality does not stand up to independent analysis either, as men and women seldom do the same job, and when they do, they do it in different ways with different priorities and commitment. Where the job and manner of working was identical the pay – or rewards – were the same.

      The vote for women was part of an ongoing struggle not between men and women, but between powerful rich and oppressed poor. The vote for all was achieved by both men and women in a series of steps, of which the women’s vote was only one. Incidentally the antics of various feminists ( Mary Pankhurst ) just simply delayed the women’s vote as the rich and powerful were able to use their behaviour as an excuse not to extend the vote to women. These feminists were a confounded nuisance to those women and men who worked quietly and steadily to extend power to all ordinary common folk.

      I shall return this evening to read your links – with interest.

      Quote – This frustration is in response to the discrimination we do indeed face regularly – Unquote. What discrimination? That is not necessitated by practicalities and matched by similar discrimination against men. For example many years ago I spent two years as a National Health Service student state registered nurse but had to leave in the face of open hostility and aggression from a few powerful feminist sexists, who acted in the interests of practicality. With hindsight I realise that they were right. I tried radiography for a year but the situation was the same. Hence I returned to the electronics industry, where women were most definitely paid the same for doing the same job.

      So I ask again, what discrimination? That is not necessitated by practicalities?

      Finally I do realise that the feminist movement is about women and not men. How selfish! I have added that quality to my definition of ‘feminist’.

      I have noted your use of foul language in mistaken support of Pepper. Do you not think she should come up to your level, rather than you descend to hers?

      Must have lunch now – cucumber and tomatoes sandwich with half an apple swamped in ice cream and a free banana, swilled away with half a glass of water to prevent parasitic non-symbiotic bacteria producing acid that will de-mineralise my teeth and necessitate another extraction – although under the National Health Service the last one, done in a hospital, cost me only £3.50 for the hospital car park.

      If you really want equality take a look at the difference between the Brit Health service for the common folk, and the US. Perhaps you’re rich and don’t have to worry about such things.

      Thank you for your reply.

      • Sarah permalink
        September 7, 2010 2:08 am

        Hi,

        Dave, I think you should read this:
        http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#overemotional

        Sorry, I’ve got no time to discuss for now, but anyway: I’ll be back.

        Sarah

      • September 7, 2010 2:17 am

        Oh nikki, I do believe we could play patriarchy bingo with the mansplainin’! Perhaps a drinking game? What say you?

        I won’t even bother trying to debate on facts, because, interestingly enough, there are opinions that just aren’t worth a shit. The idea that discrimination is based in practicalities is one of those. If that is the foundation of your perspective, we literally have nothing to talk about, because every single thing that I believe to be true about humanity and the world is in direct opposition to your bullshit (Heavens! Clutch your pearls harder! I SWORE!).

        So, I’d much rather get back to your original post, which exists way beyond the debate about whether feminists are teh ebil, which is like Gender Problems -101.

        In Re: THE ORIGINAL POST AND PURPOSE OF THIS CONVERSATION! :D

        The intersection where feminism meets race is really full of fucking landmines, because, as you identified, white ladies catch shit too. And we can all feel the exhaustion of having to be the fucking teachable moment for your struggles. Of having to “prove” your own lived reality of oppression again and again and again.

        I think a rule of thumb for those of us with white privilege is to remember that we are definitely not owed an education in minority struggles– we need to be proactively learning about the struggles of WOC, of POC and people in the global south. We need to be aware of and engaged with the problems of feminism as a concern or movement that has been perceived as white and middle class. We need to be willing to re-examine our assumptions about these things, and always, always always keep in mind that feminism is not a club, or a tribe, and that the end goal is equality in all facets.

        So, I guess, I am ok with POC and especially WOC expressing anger at the failures of feminism.

        It seems that what happens for a lot of white, het, cis, middle class able bodied feminists, we HAVE in fact experienced exhausting awful shit-fuckery for existing whilst in possession of a vag and feminine gender performance. So it’s hard as hell not to get defensive when someone taps us on the shoulder with a meaningful critique (I SAID MEANINGFUL, DAVE).

        And then there is silliness like Mai’a’s posts. My cynicism tells me that it was a deliberate dunning of page views on their part, because mommies vs non-mommies is a hyuge roiling clusterfuck every time it comes up on a popular website. It shouldn’t be. My stance is that having kids or not is as personal as ones sexual orientation– it is not up for debate or discussion.

        That said, I think not expecting children to adhere to basic community standards is silly, and baiting. Realistically, even Mai’a would be alarmed/exhausted/enraged by failure to parent at some point. And the world is not child sized, because people do not spend the majority of their lives child sized, and it is just riii-donkulous to demand that everything be reshaped to fit a group in constant transition. So, safety, you know?

        And I think it was not handled well, by Mai’a when she herself was called out on the erasure of transmen’s and transwomen’s identities as parents– it was just sort of casually swept aside. Certainly, those communities that she identifies with (POC, the global south) have a fucking awful history of dealing with non binary sexualities, and since she herself (I think) identifies as genderqueer, it rings a bit hollow.

        On another note (my comments are like never ending breadsticks! I know, I know, at some point, you just want it to end!)

        I DO think that men can have a meaningful voice in feminism, provided they really, really, really listen. Like 97% listening, 3% actually talking. That means no smug “but I’m different!” malarky, no high horse, no nice guyism (hanging around pretending to be feminist or care about feminism in the hopes of–and the assumption of– a sexual reward), and no mansplaining what being a lady/woc/lbtq/mother is all about. It requires a massive exit from the water in which white/het/cis/able bodied middle and upper class men swim like fish. I imagine that it’s painful. I don’t really care. Your water has been suffocating the rest of us forever, so, yeah, do it right.

        A very privileged white dude can contribute a shit load as an ally, but only if he has battled the demons and culpability of his own privilege.

        Really, I think men in feminism face lots of the same difficulties that white/het/cis/able middle class women face with POC. We need to STFU, but also not fall prey to the oppression Olympics games that undermine unity and liberation.

        …and finis to my long comment of doom. As always, thanks for the conversation nikki!

  3. Dave permalink
    September 7, 2010 6:09 am

    Sarah, I am not trying to derail the subject –

    Feminism is base on the assumption that women are unfairly discriminated against in the organisation and management of society; and hence feminists behave badly – and give feminism a bad name – out of a sense of frustration.

    Quote – This frustration is in response to the discrimination we do indeed face regularly – Unquote. What discrimination? That is not necessitated by practicalities and matched by similar discrimination against men. For example many years ago I spent two years as a National Health Service student state registered nurse but had to leave in the face of open hostility and aggression from a few powerful feminist sexists, who acted in the interests of practicality. With hindsight I realise that they were right. I tried radiography for a year but the situation was the same. Hence I returned to the electronics industry, where women were most definitely paid the same for doing the same job.

    So I ask again, what discrimination? That is not necessitated by practicalities?

    Pepper – you are a true and genuine Feminist.

    • September 7, 2010 4:17 pm

      Who me? Gosh golly gee thanks!

      Sarah, you win the internets for that delightful link! <3! Of course privilege is like the proverbial ducks back, so, no luck there.

      Dave, we don’t actually owe you a long detailed list of proofs about our lived reality. In fact, the denialism that you are engaging in about whether or not discrimination exists is…discrimination? Congratulations, you are fully integrated into the patriarchy! Enjoy that party!

      We could linkstorm you til the computers take over the world, and you still wouldn’t be willing to “see” oppression, or discrimination. It’s all practicalities, hey?

      Yes, oppression IS very practical for the oppressor. It is eminently sensible, really, if you have absolutely no problem with causing abject misery.

    • Sarah permalink
      September 7, 2010 5:35 pm

      “””I’m not trying to derail the subject”””
      The real meaning of a message is half what is intended, half what is understood (ie what the emettor doesn’t know he said, meaning it or not, yeah, cultural bias, language bias, subconscious tendencies and all that…).
      You have chosen the definition of feminism which is a try to denigrate feminism by derailing its discourse, by denying the validity of this discourse by saying that feminist women are angry, too emotional and thus not able to be rational. This definition is part of the history of the winner, of the ruling class. Men. (Feminists want no ruling class, by the way). The truth is that you can say nice things and even be rational in a foul language, as much as you can say horrible things in a very polite manner. Anger and rationality do not exclude each other, except may be when affirming they do may arrange the dominant party.

      As Nikki, I think read more about the subject of feminism would help you. I know a blog especially written for people wanting to understand the ideas and concepts underlying feminism. I’m giving you a link to the ‘faq roundup’, as it is concise enough for you to quickly get a grasp of those ideas:
      http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/the-faqs/faq-roundup/
      There, you will find the basic definitions of concepts like “rape culture”, “gender gap”, “sexual objectification”, “slut-shaming”, “male privilege”, the so-called “reverse sexism”… this blog is addressing most of your questions, well, if question there was, as it seemed to me more of an affirmation. Oh, and don’t forget the issue of mansplaining Pepper is talking about. Which is to her and to me what you are doing here. Ahem, you say:
      “””Your first point that there are different ‘types’ of feminists flies in the face of logic, when considered from my description of the feminist – since to be a feminist, you must display the qualities I described. Hence there is only type.”””
      Well, I’ve rarely seen such a perfect example of mansplaining. How patronizing does it sound ! It doesn’t belong to you (nor to common sense, which I find very different depending on who’s talking) to define what other’s feminism is. Your experience of sexism does not define sexism. You have to inform yourself to discuss it. Else, well yes, all you will find will be mostly confrontation. It seems you don’t realize how offensive your comments are. Your answers also seem to show that you haven’t read Nikki’s post about the glass ceiling, no more than her link to globalissues.org about women’s right, no more than you managed to overcome your prejudice about foul language to try to understand what Pepper said. Oh, and, Pepper, I love the way you write !

      Please, have a look (google is your friend) at the statistics about domestic violence (most often best described as woman battering), and rape, and you will find that most people who can’t stand their own emotions, who are resentful, belligerent and quarrelsome, are men. I’d like to call your attention on the fact that I don’t use the expressions “control of the emotions”, “self control” et al. Well it’s because, like any sane psychologist will tell you, emotions are to be taken into account, recognized, acknowledged. Not controlled. Self control is a myth. Control makes people destructive toward others or themselves. Sane and balanced people live with their emotions, and love, hate, anger, joy, fear, confidence, etc… openly to themselves. (please don’t confuse hate or anger with revenge, the latter being a purely acquired, noxious and very complexe concept). Remember, emotions.

      Finally, ask yourself and read about the gender binary. Why aren’t men allowed to wear a light summer dress with pretty pink flower patterns on it ? Why do some women wear it ? Because they like it ? So why can’t men do it without being bullied ? Why can’t men wear it without being acknowledged as men ? Why do so much males need to be acknowledged as men and females as women ??

      Thank you Nikki for this post, sorry I’ve let myself go on this comment…
      After having read Pepper’s post in her blog, then the posts she provided links to, then your post, I have to say this brings me a great need to think. There are so much different spaces intersecting, races, sexes, genders, educational level, social level, that i have a hard time apprehending it all.
      Anyway, either you’re perfectly right or I’m as naive as you are, we have first to accept everybody as they are, for some themselves as they are, sometimes ourselves as we are, by learning and teaching from and to others, accepting we don’t know, letting others know what we know, gently, patiently, lovingly. That is revolutionary love !

      Sarah

      PS: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has” Margaret Mead

  4. September 7, 2010 5:25 pm

    Oh my – can’t respond or even read all this at present time.

    “Feminism is base on the assumption that women are unfairly discriminated against in the organisation and management of society;” – Yes.

    “… and hence feminists behave badly – and give feminism a bad name – out of a sense of frustration.” – NO. Some feminists may be behave badly, as might any individual of any cause/religion/group/etc. I’d say, all in all, our frustration has been productive. Further, I’d bet many of the women who would not be defined as “weak in self control” etc, would call themselves “feminists.”

    Finally, since I can’t read all comments just yet (on a business trip) – Dave: did you read the article I posted? What is your response?

    • September 8, 2010 1:06 am

      Sarah & Nikki thanks so much for reading, and for your intelligent, insightful commentary! I really appreciate being able to kick ideas back and forth like this :D

  5. Dave permalink
    September 8, 2010 5:14 am

    Sarah – thanks for that link which I shall be reading tonight.

    Quote Sarah – you haven’t read Nikki’s post about the glass ceiling – Unquote. No, I haven’t. I didn’t know of it’s existence. That glass ceiling exists for men too, if you’re not of the right type, with the right background, in an approved social situation, knowing the right people, etc etc. If the most advantageous positions are occupied by a few Alpha Men then it is because they are stronger, bolder, more aggressive and clever than women – and also, most men. For example, tennis players.

    However most of these Alpha Men have a wife who often exerts considerable – coooonsiiiiideraaaaaaable – influence on them, both directly and indirectly. So whether these positions of advantage are occupied by ‘Men’ is open to question – they are usually occupied by a partnership of a husband and wife. Hence the old wisdom of ‘behind every successful man is a woman’. And that, Pepper, is the way that the women of that era wanted it.

    The men had to go out and hunt, in a dirty and dangerous world, to provide some of the means for the women to empire build at home. For example, Margaret Thatcher, who removed herself from the labour force at the first opportunity by marrying a much older man with money, and having the one pregnancy, and then building a political empire for herself from home.

    Quote Sarah – Please, have a look (google is your friend) at the statistics about domestic violence – Unquote.

    If we look at the unreported violence we find that the overwhelming occurrence is of the woman assaulting her man. Not usually by direct physical attack but by a number of ways, such as throwing things at him, poking him, bashing him with objects, smacking him, treading on his feet with stiletto heels, making a meal for him laced with cooking soda, etc – but the main form of assault is on his emotions and self esteem with cruel remarks, often behind his back. I can sense Pepper’s amusement and approval here.

    The only reason that the odd brutal bastard (oh yes, I can use foul language too) who assaults his partner is noted statistically is because being stronger he causes obvious injuries that raise the alarm. But the answer for women here is obvious. Choose a man who is weaker and smaller and much older than you. When assessing a man ask yourself, ’Can I punch this person out?’. Take a look around you and see how many women choose this option. And if you’re a bit puny yourself don’t worry, there are plenty of puny men about.

    Emotions? I would say that emotions are to be taken into account, recognized, acknowledged and controlled – out of consideration of others, and civilised behaviour. But I think we have different definitions of the term ‘controlled’ here – and I would put ‘self control’. Furthermore it is easier for men to control their emotions as they are considerably simpler than a women’s. Women, due to their reproductive ability, are far more varied in their hormonal control and thus find it far more difficult to control – or perhaps, ‘manage’ is a better word – their emotions. Some men very unfairly take advantage of this to ‘upset’ women in any dispute.

    Quote Sarah – ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has” Margaret Mead’ Unquote. Mmmm?

    Nikkio4 – which article?

    I have noted the continual and shifty evasion of my question – so I ask again, what discrimination? That is not necessitated by practicalities?

    Come on Feminists, surely you can come up with at least three examples of discrimination?! After all the whole of the feminist movement is based on this injustice and the need for equality. If it doesn’t exist then the whole movement becomes just another hate group started by misandrist women.

    • Sarah permalink
      September 8, 2010 5:11 pm

      Nikki cited her post about the glass ceiling and linked to it on a previous comment (5 sept, 10h03am), which was the reason why I asked you if you read it. Do you really read what people write ? I’m not sure. All you seem to do is to half read others’ comments and then write yours, where you put blunt affirmations that show a complete misinformation about the subject. You ask a question, Nikki, Pepper and me give you some information and links where you can learn about the reasons of the existence of feminism and have some explanation about its theories. Then all you do is briefly dismiss all we have said and start again with more blatantly sexist affirmations. I thought I had clearly said it, and I repeat it: inform yourself, and we will be able to discuss.

      Please remember that all women are subject to this limitation in their professional life, whatever their race, skin color, background, or the people they know. So if we talk about all women and some men, that clearly is a discrimination against women. That is pure aristotelician logic.

      What you say about alpha men (note the lower case. I insist on its usage here) is a caricature of reasoning. Scientific evidence, please? The only point I may slighty agree with, is that men may be more aggressive. For one and only reason: they are educated to be that way. You said earlier that the idea that women were discriminated against didn’t resist to accurate historical analysis. Well, who made that so accurate historical analysis, and where could I read it ? I’m interested, as I love debunking funky logic elaborated by biased people ! Do you understand that all occidental history has been written by men, that, as yourself, have all been educated with the belief that women were virgin, mother or whore, thanks to the power of the christian religion ? That was what I was talking about when I told you about the history of the winner. Yeah, tennis players, yeah…

      You pretend to say that the wives of so called alpha men wanted that position ? I think women don’t especially want to be “behind” a successful man. A lot of them want to be successful too. Note, it’s alright as well to be a man behind a successful woman. And preferably, both are successful and don’t care who plays the role of the woman and that of the man. All possibilities are equally good. And science (neurobiology) has proved, as sadly the need was felt to prove it, than there’s no difference between the brain of a female and the one of a male at birth. Education creates all the differences, this is also proven. Science also proved that hormones had no influence in that process. As for strength, let’s correct the educational inequalities, and we’ll then see what happens. Body image and the beliefs a child has about her/himself have a lot to do in the way this child grows.
      There also less and less need for physical strength, and my real hope is males cease to grow into men, to instead grow into real human beings.

      I suggest you read this post about people working the most dangerous jobs:
      http://skeptifem.blogspot.com/2010/08/most-dangerous-jobs.html
      Also, who was behind who, talking about Margaret Thatcher and her husband ? Wasn’t she what you could call an “alpha woman” ?

      Where can I have a look at this “unreported violence” ? What overwhelms me is the lack of evidence of it.
      I don’t know what to do with your examples of women’s violence. Do you really believe it, or are you trying to illustrate Poe’s law ? You’re again opposing a stereotype against the reality, that of the statistics this time.
      I don’t say women may not be violent, I say men are much more often violent toward women.

      When I meet someone, what I try to assess is how that person does cope with emotions (ie mostly openness, or mostly control), then what can we bring to each other, then if she is a woman, how much would I like us to have sex.

      About emotions, you may call it whatever you want, control consists anyway in an insane
      repression of emotions. Something men are forced to do very early in life, to be conform to the role inherent to their assigned gender, by education and social pressure. Most, like you, end believing that their emotions are simpler than those of women. That you try to explain it with the hormonal differences, I find very amusing. I was born as a male, and know really well what hormones are, male and female, by having experienced it. What I can tell you is my emotions have not changed at all. Most trans women will tell you the same. Yeah, well, may be I just feel little better. But the quantity and complexity of those emotions have not changed, except maybe I cope better with it, by having learned to do it.
      I met an awful lot of men unable to cope with their emotions. This makes them really sensible to manipulation. This makes rapists and women batterers. All this because of gender roles. Learn to cry. Boys cry. That they don”t is a very, very cruel lie.

      Margaret Mead was a great anthropologist and writer. I loved this quote, which by the way was not destined to you. I have an idea of what you think about it, but frankly I don’t care at all and I won’t even try to explain where I found it, why, and why I wrote it here.

      For you to find an answer to your question, I suggest you go to the site named “My fault I’m Female”: http://myfaultimfemale.wordpress.com/
      All you have to do is to choose three different posts. Chances are that they will concern different types of discrimination or oppression directed to women. If you find one not fitting enough your criteria, then choose another.

      Discrimination necessitated by practicalities !! Laughable. Social discrimination is dictated by prejudice. Or may be are you talking about your practicalities ? The affirmation included in your question really shows that you are trying to defend what is called male privilege.

      I won’t answer to you anymore.
      Inform yourself.

      • Dave permalink
        September 9, 2010 1:31 pm

        Violence against men –

        Quote
        “ Dr. Martin Fiebert, from the Department of Psychology of California State University, has compiled an annotated bibliography of research relating to spousal abuse by women on men. This bibliography examines 275 scholarly investigations: 214 empirical studies and 61 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 365,000 ” Unquote

        Source Wikipedia

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence#Gender_of_assailant

        http://www.oregoncounseling.org/Handouts/DomesticViolenceMen.htm

        http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a718864576

        I did follow the links given but as I very unimpressed with the articles I thought it best not to criticise.

        I am sorry and do regret that you are getting upset about this communication so will cease any further posts.
        :(

      • September 11, 2010 1:14 am

        Oh Sarah, All I can say is:

        see more Señor Gif

    • Dave permalink
      September 9, 2010 4:44 am

      Well said Dave, I agree with you completely. Your accurate grasp of the situation is just wonderful.

      • Sarah permalink
        September 9, 2010 3:59 pm

        Dave, you forgot to tell us about the rest of the article:
        “””among various other flaws, the CTS is particularly vulnerable to reporting bias because it depends on asking people to accurately remember and report what happened during the past year. However, men tend to under-estimate their use of violence, while women tend to over-estimate their use of violence. Simultaneously men tend to over-estimate their partners use of violence while women tend to under-estimate their partners use of violence. Thus, men will likely over-estimate their victimization, while women tend to underestimate theirs.”””
        And it is seemingly not the only bias of this scale (CTS).

        Well, the other links lead either to an abstract which doesn’t say much, or to a website referring to dvmen dot org for information, on which I read that rape could not be considered as such inside marriage, that this was then normal sex. This and the reporting bias I cited first change the deal dramatically. And I didn’t look for other biases.

        One thing too, domestic violence is not all. Prostitutes know almost only violence. Rape happens everyday.

        I find you dismiss the readings I proposed you a little too easily. Arguments ?

        However, the point is not to say there are not violent acts commited by women toward men. Of course there are. But as I can read on onregoncounseling dot org, the main problem faced by men is that they can’t cope with their emotions. That, you call control. Women are supposed to deal with their own as those of their companion. That’s wrong. Men must learn to feel their emotions. Don’t blame women. Blame gender stereotypes. Women can be blue and men pink. Gender is a performance. An act. It is forced onto babies as a necessity, girls and boys. Yeah, boys too. They are forced by social pressure to deny their emotions.
        Also, don’t you find horrible that a drug destined to treat birth malformations is thought by some to be used to make better gender conforming girls ? That intersexed babies are for ages forced into one gender or the other by ways of surgeries and hormonal treatments ? (half the time, the “assignation” is erroneous and the suffering huge, btw) The societal constructs that are gender may have been useful in primitive societies, but now ? All they do is divide us. I don’t blame men, I blame gender differentiation.

        Oh, this is the first time I discuss online, though i’m a long time stalker on the net. I couldn’t leave so quickly without having a little fun ! So for my saying I wouldn’t answer, well, sorry, I changed my mind !

  6. September 8, 2010 4:24 pm

    Wow Dave! I did not know that you could psychically communicate with every living and dead woman that has ever lived and thus tell the rest of us exactly how they wanted things! MAGIC!

    Also- Nikki has given you links, Sarah has given you links, and yet, you keep refusing to click and read on account of them talking about things that you’ve already decided do not exist.

    See here is the thing, oh-he-who-holds-the-flail-and-mace-of-mansplanation– we know that you are arguing in bad faith. There is nothing that we can show or say that will disabuse you of what you already believe. Anything that we produce will be rendered de facto inadmissible in the court of Dave, because judge Dave has already decided the outcome of the trial.

    So why should we try to “prove” anything to you?

    You’re an MRA, as evinced by your hi-lar-ious assertions about domestic violence and the glass ceiling.

    You’re an extremely cruel minded person, as evinced by your repeated assertion that oppression and discrimination are based in practicality.

    You are a loss to humanity, but not our loss.

  7. Dave permalink
    September 9, 2010 4:31 am

    So I ask again, what discrimination? That is not necessitated by practicalities?

    • September 9, 2010 1:30 pm

      Dave: Here is a link to a general article on women’s rights globally:

      http://www.globalissues.org/article/166/womens-rights

      If you are interested in the global issues and discrimination to which we are referring, I urge you to read this. None of us have time to regurgitate the wealth of information here, in addition this article has a plethora of links, studies, quotes, etc so you can go right to the source of the information as opposed to taking our word for it.

      As for my experience, we are paid less and given more responsibilities. This is NOT for different jobs. We are expected to do the “secretarial” jobs – ONLY because we are women. Period. There is NO other explanation for it. I mean, at meetings an conferences, we’re asked to “take notes” or “grab coffee”. For a more general discussion of MY OWN experience and thoughts, please see my post here (there are additional links in that post that I encourage you to read):

      http://womenarefrommars.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/the-glass-ceiling-alive-and-well/

      Another example:

      http://womenarefrommars.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/penis-colored-glasses/

      I don’t think ANY of this is “necessitated by practicalities”. I am not entirely sure what that means – but that may be partly my fault, as I may have missed something. I think you mean that either women do different jobs (not true, in this case) or that they should do different jobs because they are different from men (e.g., in your opinion, have different emotions). YES women do different jobs sometimes – and this is part of the problem! The newsweek article I mention in the glass ceiling post makes this exact point. Further, women can and should be doing the same jobs as men – just as men can and should do the same as women.

      There is NO evolutionary/biological/sociological/psychological reason for anything less.

      PLEASE read those links to understand the discrimination we are discussing. Education first. It’s far far too much to put in a comment response, especially since it has already been discussed at length elsewhere – and it is easily accessed.

      • Dave permalink
        September 9, 2010 1:37 pm

        Thank you for the link which I will read this evening. As people are getting upset on this thread I will not post anymore.

        I genuinely like and respect women, and am sorry that my opinions have given offence, and upset others.

        Yours sincerely,

        David.

  8. September 9, 2010 1:14 pm

    Oh my! I leave you alone for a few days and look at what I come back to! Oh, how the world continues online, even when I have no access to it!

    There is so much here… so many comments that I find so interesting and well-put… how I adore intelligence!

    Regardless. Dave – I must acknowledge and validate your earlier point about men being discriminated against – especially if they choose the “wrong” position – e.g. a life that does not measure up to what society has determined to be “male”. How true this seems to me! And, on that – two points. One, I believe this is exactly what Pepper was referring to in her first comment, and what Sarah has elaborated on. The way in which our society defines “male” and “female” do not define who we really are, do not allow equality among us, and do not permit us to pursue our lives in the way we want to without discrimination. This is a general thought – to be expanded upon in any number of ways (e.g from a feminist POV, from a poor POV, from a male POV, etc – all would be valid and right and saying the same thing!). In this, I believe you, Dave, actually share more with us than you think. The other part you’re missing is that we know this, we fully believe it – and we’d prefer a different dialogue than the one that has transpired here.

    However, that brings me to point number two: I am not a man. I can only say the things I do above from the assumptions I have from my own life. I would never pretend that I know how your own discrimination feels, nor would I tell you it was invalid. Nor would I believe it is LESS of a problem than the discrimination I myself face as a feminist! I would instead prefer to have you tell me about it, elaborate on it, and then discuss with me how we are similar and how we can benefit from our shared stories, thoughts, feelings, and resources to encourage equality. I believe our battles are for a similar end, it is the terms we used (personally chosen and defined – not by other people, but by ourselves) to define our POV that differs, but that difference should not divide us. That’s the place people get lost – in my opinion.

    At this time, I don’t know if I would elaborate further. Honestly, I believe that sometimes there comes a point when you must realize that some people have already decided what they are going to hear, the “evidence” that they will entertain, and the conclusions they will come to. I don’t honestly see the point talking to a brick wall.

    That being said – there is a lot here I have SO enjoyed. I am currently on a train, so reading it thoroughly is difficult. Please forgive me for responding later – once again! (Pepper – I did see your comment to my actual post!)

  9. September 9, 2010 1:47 pm

    Dave,

    Please don’t misunderstand. I am fairly certain that I can say for all of us (although Sarah and Pepper are welcome to correct me) that we’re not at all upset. Quite the contrary – this has been a lively and intelligent discussion, and as Pepper pointed out, a meaningful one as well. What are your opinions and your values if you cannot defend them or discuss them?

    However, what is the point of an open mind if you cannot change it? That is the point we’re making. I don’t believe you’ll change your mind on anything, and neither will we. However, at the risk of contradicting myself, I think the evidence is on our side, either through actual studies the world over, or in our very own experience. It’s reality – whether you have experienced it yourself or not. I can’t convince you of this, and I can’t continue to try.

    That is not to say, and I am sure we are also in agreement on this point, that your thoughts and opinions aren’t important to the general discussion here. No one says men aren’t discriminated against, and no one is saying women can’t be violent and abusive. No one is saying that your experiences with some women aren’t valid – women can be vindictive and oppressive and manipulative (as can men). BUT – we are arguing that you can’t use those experiences to define the world. Look at the evidence, if you won’t believe me when I tell you my own experience.

    • Sarah permalink
      September 9, 2010 4:33 pm

      100 % with you. I found this conversation really interesting, and wasn’t the least upset. Passionate, well, yes, may be a little :-)

      Thank you Nikki

      Sarah

Trackbacks

  1. What gets me in the holidays spirit? GSAs. « Women Are From Mars
  2. I am thankful. « Women Are From Mars

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 617 other followers

%d bloggers like this: