Sunday, November 4, 2012

Where Is Feminism Taking Us?

There is a lot of talk on some of the blogs that I read about the horrors of feminism - from men and women alike. While it might be obvious to some readers, I think others might be surprised to know that I am very much undecided about whether or not I support feminism. The way I see it, there are two possible models for understanding the role of feminism in society, and I have yet to decide which one I subscribe to. Both agree about what feminism is trying to do - namely, homogenize or depolarize the sexes. They disagree strongly, however, about whether or not this is desirable.

Here is how I characterize the two models for understanding feminism's role in society:

Model 1 - Pro Traditional Sex Roles (Conservative in nature)
"The differences between the sexes exist for good reasons. Men by nature assume masculine roles as protector and provider, while women by nature assume feminine roles as child-bearer and nurturer. The two compliment each other well, and harmony is achieved when the two work together. The characteristics of the two are innate and can be denied but not changed."

I will refer to the proponents of this scenario as traditionalists.

Model 2 - Pro Feminism (Progressive in nature)
"The differences between the sexes do not exist for good reasons. While difference does not always equate to inequality, in many cases - especially historically - this has been the case, and women have typically been on the losing end of the disparity. The characteristics of the two sexes are largely socially constructed, or engendered (hence the term "gender," from the Latin "generare" - to bring forth). Because they are engendered, they are also changeable; and we should do what we can to strive for equality."

I will refer to the proponents of this scenario as feminists.

Here is my Pyrrhonistic rationale, which is more a case for the plausibility of the feminist world-view than the traditionalist one, which needs less defense since it has historical precedence:
  • While the traits of both sexes are certainly deeply rooted in the male and female psyche, or perhaps in the fabric of society, it isn't obvious to me that they are necessarily innate or eternal. The obvious difficulties that feminism has introduced could be symptoms of a species trying to bend against its nature, but they could just as well be growing pains on the path towards a better state of affairs.
  • Traditionalists can make a strong argument that there are undeniable biological differences between men and women, and that these differences have far-reaching consequences, making men and women very different. But it is at least thinkable that we could shed these differences through evolution over the coming thousands of years, especially if we begin to conceive children outside of the womb - which technology will almost certainly allow us to do within the next 100 years.
  • There is no question that men are less masculine than they were tens or hundreds of years ago, and women less feminine. But can this trend continue without a backlash or reaction? We are arguably seeing the inklings of this reaction the blogs that I referred to at the start of this post. This reaction could swing things back in the direction of extreme sexual polarity, which could persist, or else cause another reaction reinstating androgyny (at which point the cycle would likely continue ad infinitum).
  • It certainly is difficult to imagine an androgynous society, but it isn't impossible. There is no doubt in my mind that the human race has evolved as quickly as it has due to the intense pleasure of sexual intercourse. But who says sexual intercourse is a permanent fixture in society? As we learn more about the brain and continue to discover mind altering substances (which are being legalized by the places that lead social and political trends worldwide), is it so difficult to envision a scenario in which sexual pleasure is usurped by some other experience? Even if the sexual organs never evolve off of the body, they could simply become insignificant - relics of a previous stage of human development (like the appendix).

To summarize: is isn't clear to me that the feminist "utopia" is impossible or undesirable. Even if it would be arguably a worse situation than the one that the we are in now (or were in traditionally), I don't see why that would mean we couldn't end up there as a species. As far as I can tell, feminism could conceivably achieve its goals.

Now, all that being said, I think there is one important point left to make. It is a point that underlies every word written on this blog: regardless of where feminism may be taking us, there are certain ways that a woman can behave to take advantage of the current social-sexual climate. Changes in social norms occur very gradually, so that you don't need to be concerned about the opposite sex suddenly being unattracted to the things it finds attractive now. Given this, women have two options
  1. Support feminism (and ultimately androgyny) by aligning yourself with its goals: suppress your feminine qualities and emphasize your masculine ones, in an effort to further your career and the feminist cause.
  2. Take advantage of the male-female polarity that (still) exists by allowing your feminine qualities to shine through, since this (still) attracts men.
Ultimately, the point is this: Option 2 attracts men, Option 1 does not. So you can either support feminism in the hope of bettering the state of affairs in the future, or better your life now by finding love. Call me selfish, but it seems like an obvious choice to me...


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91 comments:

  1. Feminism has two parts.

    1) The increasing of female status and benefits over men.

    2) The increase of masculine female status and benefits over feminine female stats and benefits.

    It is a movement of masculine women to displace men and feminine women. I don't see why we should give such people an inch.

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    1. There really aren't very many unified goals of feminism. It's a disparate philosophy that many people with conflicting points of few prescribe too.

      Most people who consider themselves feminist merely want equality. The ones who don't I wouldn't really consider feminist.

      You are mistaking losing privileges for losing rights.

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    2. all the issues feminism targets are economic, and they try to screw up the social in order to address the economic.

      First, women as a whole are much less likely to understand or be interested in economics.

      The causes of poverty, are originated from the government, as always happens when you give a bunch of people all the power to prohibit voluntary interactions.

      Women are more unhappy now.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4WsRnxMZI8

      Before, they could stay home, and now they have to work just to get by.
      This is all due to inflation, and direct taxes. When people become more productive, the government just takes more.

      Also, women do not earn less. Statistics can be tricky, and you have to make sure you're comparing apples with apples:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwogDPh-Sow


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    3. Obviously either radically misinformed or a troll.

      Personally I'm easonably satisfied with the equality of different races and genders in this country. The places that need feminism now are countries like India, Pakistan, and Iran.

      I consider myself a feminist, because I refuse to have anything in common with a doormat.
      That said, I would like people with lower IQs to have fewer rights, specifically they shouldn't be allowed to breed, but that crosses all ethnic and gender lines.

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  2. "There is no question that men are less masculine than they were tens or hundreds of years ago, and women less feminine."

    Our lives are easier than they were hundreds of years ago, so it's only natural that both men and women think and act differently. I don't think you can make a comparison.

    The ideal view people had of masculinity has always been subject to change. Sensitive poet types have been going in and out of fashion for centuries.

    If you take a look at contemporary cultures that have seen little feminist influence (arabic culture, some asian countries) you will find the men behave in ways that we in the west would view as more feminine, not less. I would argue that, as women become more masculine, men don't become more feminine but society redefines what masculinity means.

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    1. "Our lives are easier than they were hundreds of years ago, so it's only natural that both men and women think and act differently. I don't think you can make a comparison."

      Our lives are easier because of the technology we created all long the way...therefore making each generation a little bit lazier! Think about it...with the internet, telephones, etc, there's no need to even 'go' into work (therefore no need to look and feel your best) when we can just work from home. Or how about something as simple as typing out a text message? Does anyone really know how to spell these days or is it just easier (a lazier way out) to use symbols, abbreviations and auto correct (heck, who even proof reads before sending a text?).

      Think about the farmers across the US...they get up when the rooster crows and go to bed when the sun goes down. They actually WORK for what they have. Or how about the illegal Mexicans 2-3 generations ago? They found their way to the states, worked their assess off to send money back home to provide for their families. Now think about this generation...we expect everything to be handed to us! And if its not...all hell breaks loose.

      Yes, life may be completely different then it was 1000s of years ago, however, that's due to what we have now to make our jobs, life, dealing with stress/family/work/life so much EASIER! To me, there's no excuses for that! We can work just as hard...but we choose not to do so...

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  3. I agree with your two options for women. Feminine women are more attractive to men. If you are a heterosexual woman who puts herself first then you should be feminine.

    The thing is though that women can have their cake and eat it too. We constantly hear about the wage gap. Most of this wage disparity is caused by different choices that women and men make. Men and women choose different fields, men work more hours, men work more dangerous jobs, men have more credentials (though that is changing rapidly). It isn't surprising that men and women aren't paid exactly the same. But people act like the wage gap is due to simple discrimination. At most a small percentage is.

    By choosing option 2, women help themselves. But they also help feminism - because feminists can then point to feminine women and say the only reason these women are not androgynous is because they are oppressed.

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    1. Different men are attracted to different kinds of things. Blah blah blah, averages, but that doesn't change that the world is huge, and people get turned on by all kinds of things. You should act in such a way as to attract the men you want to attract.

      The wage gap is due to complex discrimination. Women are often encouraged by a bunch of different things to pursue jobs that are lower paying, and women are expected to do more of the housework, child rearing and such. Furthermore then are loads of people like you claiming that "masculine career women" are unfuckable.

      That last sentence makes no sense.

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    2. "The wage gap is due to complex discrimination..."

      So you are claiming that women lack agency, that they can't themselves decide what they want, but are moved by evil forces in the society, like leaves in the autumn wind?

      Strange, why didn't that work on the Africans who were forced to slavery? Why didn't they just accept their role as slaves? Can it be that the slaves had an agency that women lack?

      Yes? Then the premise of feminism is false, and women are just were they deserve to be.

      No? Then the premise of feminism is false, and women are just were they want to be.

      Or to put more eloquently, listen to Girl Writes What!, starting from the 11th minute.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=N_iTV3cQFoM#at=676

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    3. a woman with the same credentials, working the same job is STILL, on average, paid less than a man. That is sexist and there is no way around it.

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    4. I think this is actually incorrect. Most studies seem to miss a key point in the comparison. they don't take into account the different job preferences of the genders, experience or working hours. A woman working in the same field with the same credentials, experience and length of employment is paid the same or in some fields slightly more on average than men.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-28246928/the-gender-pay-gap-is-a-complete-myth/

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  4. I also wanted to add that a large subset of MRAs actually are non-traditionalist. Specifically, they want men and women to be more similar. The big divide with feminists is that MRAs feel that men also have significant disadvantages in society (shorter lives, more likely to go to prison, more likely to be homeless, more likely to lose custody of their kids, etc.) These MRAs think that equal effort should be spent equalizing these outcomes for men, just as we spend effort helping women get into STEM fields or lead businesses or become politicians.

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    1. This is known as a false equivalency. While the patriarchy hurts men too, it hurts women more. And we spend plenty of time on men's issues, we just don't usually explicitly call them men's issues.

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    2. "While the patriarchy hurts men too, it hurts women more."

      I don't believe this statement is true.

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    3. 'men go to prison more'

      what has this got to do with mens rights, yes there are plenty of horrible women out there, but how has this got anything to do with mens rights? if a man goes to prison he has obviously done something wrong. and usually when you do something wrong you get punished for it. simple. and if you look at the statistics one of the most horrible crimes know to humankind it rape, and guess who the highest offender for that is?

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  5. To put it simply, I think every woman is entitled to decide which option she likes better, but you definitely explained both options very well. Great post.
    As for me, I am alright with making less money than a guy if it means he will hold the door for me and buy me flowers from time to time :) I think those little differences are worth the pay cut.

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  6. In my same-sex high school, girls had not a clue about what feminism was. The entire ethos of the school was that of two, contradicting ideas of feminism, being a career woman, usurping men's traditional roles (scientists, professors, government officials) veering closely to your 2nd model of feminism -embracing masculinity. However, the school also seemed to define feminism as a celebration of femininity- teaching "how girls learn best" (whatever that means)and obsessing over the female body and brain. I thought we were getting the most confusing hodgepodge of messages: "I know you're all going to be CEO's someday" next to "so ladies, whose going to bake cupcakes for next week's advisory?" It reminds me of your "act wholesome, dress slutty" theory, which you've noted is quite difficult to achieve perfectly. In this case what young women are getting is: "express femininity, but be able to do a man's job better than he does." However, I'm not sure that it's possible to strike a good balance. Successful careers are a product of masculine thinking - being analytical, cold, and decisive. I'm not saying that women are unable to do so, but I wonder if exercising those masculine traits affect us significantly in situations that require femininity. How easy is it to switch between those roles and be stellar at both? Sounds like a lot of work for a very feminine woman to assume a man's role and then switch back gracefully. No wonder we (as you say, wrongfully) think we impress men with our intellect and accomplishments. We have to be men for 8 hours a day to feel like we're worth something.

    These coming generations are going to be so sick of feminism and all of its varying definitions.

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    1. But, see, you're describing someone of the impossible standards that are placed on women, and that feminism is trying to do away with. Some women are good at baking, some women are good at being CEOs. We should have space for both.

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  7. slight correction to my above post:

    "No wonder we (as you say, wrongfully) think we impress men with our intellect and accomplishments."

    would be better expressed as:
    "No wonder we (as you've noted) wrongfully think.... "

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    1. I can really identify with what you've written.As young girls we are taught to be high achievers, this equates to pursuing professional career choices once only open to men. Society values those with masculine status jobs and behaviour way above women.It is hard to switch off and be feminine when qualities such as caring and nurturing are way down the line compared to being analytical, decisive etc.This is reflected in pay disparities eg nursery teacher, care worker vs banking etc.This means a lot of women being so in control that they can't open up to a man,they want to lead and cannot be vulnerable. This makes relationships almost impossible unless you're with a feminine type guy.

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    2. But this kind of stuff stems from society valuing men over women, and thus traditional masculine contributions over traditionally feminine contributions. Which is something that feminism is trying to fight.

      And there are plenty of men who have no problem with women behaving in a traditionally masculine fashion.

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    3. "And there are plenty of men who have no problem with women behaving in a traditionally masculine fashion."

      Right, the traditionally less masculine men.

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    4. "But this kind of stuff stems from society valuing men over women, and thus traditional masculine contributions over traditionally feminine contributions. Which is something that feminism is trying to fight."

      I have NEVER witnessed a feminist trying to fight this. Instead, the feminist approach is usually to push women into male-dominated fields. If feminists wanted feminine contributions to be valued, they would encourage women to take care of themselves, looking feminine, staying home with children, learning how to cook. These are feminine skills. But they do not - they believe women need to excel in masculine fields to "prove their worth". Modern feminists value masculine skills more than feminine skills, which is why they find it degrading for women to be referred to as emotional or less ambitious. Of course not all women are, but most. Feminists are more enemies to traditional, feminine women than chauvinistic men are.

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  8. You haven`t been reading your Deida enough Andrew there is a third option which falls closer to the traditionalist view but incorporates some of the feminist one as well:

    http://www.masculinity-movies.com/articles/the-three-stages-of-david-deida

    http://www.masculinity-movies.com/articles/newsletter-bonus-deida-iron-john

    http://www.masculinity-movies.com/articles/why-you-need-to-address-feminism

    http://www.masculinity-movies.com/articles

    Testosterone and estrogen will keep having it`s effects. You can not take a woman born with very, very high estrogen and low testosterone and make her as masculine as a man born with tons of it unless you put her on a sex change diet of hormone shots.

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    1. The stages Deida refers to describe personal evolution, not societal evolution; they explain how an individual (or couple) can change in their relationship with each other, not how men and women act within a society.

      Granted, society is simply a large group of individuals, but the forces that act on a society as a whole are often very different from those that act on each individual. I would need to be significantly more convinced before agreeing that Deida's third stage is feasible for society as a whole.

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    2. Hormones and their effects are actually very poorly understood.

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  9. An MRA that takes a Deida view is Pelle Billing:

    http://www.pellebilling.com/2010/10/mens-rights-manifesto/

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  10. So, feminism isn't really about erasing the sex differences, and I'm not sure why everyone thinks that. Feminism is more about letting people chose, making people free. If a woman wants to marry a man, clean his house and raise his children, fine, that's a good life choice for her. But it's also fine if she wants to go climb mountains or fight fires, or he wants to make dresses or whatever the hell it is people want to do with their lives. It's about getting everyone to but out of everyone else's business so we can all find where our happiness is. And part of doing that is loosening the strict gender roles so that people who don't fit into them can still find happiness.

    Just because something has a historical precedent doesn’t make it true.

    Can you prove these statements?

    “the traits of both sexes are certainly deeply rooted in the male and female psyche”

    “There is no question that men are less masculine than they were tens or hundreds of years ago, and women less feminine.”

    And you equate an androgynous society to a sexless one, which is baffling to me. Androgynous people still most certainly enjoy sex. But neither sexlessness or androgyny is a feminist goal, and I don't think our society is at all headed in that direction.

    So, I guess my point is that it doesn’t actually matter weather or not sex differences are innate or important or whatever. There are people who exist who fall outside of the norms. This is an immutable fact. It doesn’t matter that they are a minority, they deserve respect and the right to pursue their happiness. And feminism is trying to help them.

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    1. Do you doubt that in the wake of feminism the sexes are depolarizing?

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    2. Well, no, I don't really doubt that in the sense that different genders get along better then they used to.

      But that has nothing to with what I said, really.

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    3. Maybe I got it wrong, but I don't think "depolarizing" meant that we are not disagreeing anymore. It means we're becoming genderless.
      More and more women struggle to find men with a natural masculinity, apart from the obvious assholes. Most men don't find masculine career-women attractive.
      Depolarization is negative in terms of attraction, and as it is a consequence of feminism, it is relevant to what you said.

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    4. Well then, yes. I doubt every part of what Anonymous said.

      But even if I didn't it doesn't change my position.

      Feminism won't cause a genderless society. If one came about, a genderless society would not be a sexless society. Most Feminists do not want a sexless or genderless society. There are people who fall outside of the normative ranges of gender expression. These people deserve protection.

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  11. " But neither sexlessness or androgyny is a feminist goal, and I don't think our society is at all headed in that direction."

    Actually androgyny is the EXPLICIT goal of the swedish feminist state. They have educated specialists that are hired in schools and kindergartens in order to eradicate any trace of men being more masculine and women being more feminine than each other.

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    1. Proof, please.

      Also, I'm not Swedish. And Feminism is not some perfect, agreed upon organization. It's a basic ideology that sexism against women exists and is a problem.

      I can't speak for anyone but myself. But I can describe some basic trends in what I believe in what the feminists I know believe.

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    2. Jesus. I live in scandinavia. Everyone here knows this because it is said constantly in the press by government officials. Go read Pelle Billings english blog and you will find tons of proof. Go to the swish government website and try to find what they write about gender equity. As I said the swedish government has educated and hired tons of gender specialists who's job it is to make all the children gender neutral. I haven`t dreamt that, I live in Scandinavia.

      In addition most feminist classics and almost all feminist researchers internationally see masculinity and femininity as entirely socially constructed.

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  12. Damn autocorrect. Swedish not Swish.

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  13. I think that Feminism, in terms of women having "choice" is fine - certainly not all women are cut out for the traditional, biological female role, and they should have to choice to pursue whatever they want.

    Where Feminism hurts women, and is dreadfully wrong, is in the "have it all" idea. In other words, the idea that women should and can achieve both traditionally female and male roles. Here are the ways that this idea hurt women:

    1. Many of my girl friends from college (we are now in our late 30s) bought into the "have it all" idea. They finished college, went on to multiple graduate degrees, some even joined the military as officers. They never viewed this as an "instead of" type of choice - they were laying the foundation of "having it all". Once they finished their graduate degrees, medical internships etc, they had to establish careers and pay their loans. Now they are all feeling ready to add in the marriage/family half of "having it all" in their late 30s, and just now coming to the horrible realization that their natural fertility is going to be at 0 in the next 3-5 years. Ooops. They never planned to NOT have children and family, they just wanted to "have it all". They now are under high pressure to find a man, and pop out a baby before its too late. Problem is, men their age and older are taken. Those men in their late 30s and early 40s who aren't taken are either complete losers, OR they are highly accomplished and established (having been doing the same things of establishing grad school and careers) and the 'high value' men in this age range are choosing women in their mid-late 20s NOT women hovering at age 40. So, by the pure lie of the feminist "have it all" idea, many of my highly accomplished and intelligent girlfriends have accidentally cheated themselves out of the marriage/family half. Once the window of opportunity closes, it's slammed shut and there is no going back.

    2. The second way the "have it all" idea hurts women is in devaluing women who choose a traditional female role. Many of my same friends who are now living scenario #1 ridiculed me when I married after college and focused on starting a family in my mid-20s. When I chose to work only part-time in order to focus on raising my children, they'd ask me "what do you do all day?!" as if raising children and tending a home isn't a 24 hour / 7 day job. They'd say "you're not reaching your full potential" and pitied me, because I was academically gifted and "should have gone to law school". Well, now my children are in elementary school. I'm in my late 30s, with a fine husband and an established family. Looking into my 40s, I see graduate school and a career on my horizon, but I'm in no rush. It will always be there. I'll time it according to my children's developmental level. Now, many of my friends who ridiculed me in my 20s for "only getting married and having kids" envy me, many have even said as much.

    I feel really bad for women who don't get the timing right. I'm thankful that the Feminist idea of "choice" means that I can choose further education and career in the future. I'm sad for those women who try to follow a traditional male timeline and do all the education and career building in their 20s-30s. We are NOT biologically equal, and for women those are our prime years to attract a quality man and reproduce, at 40 a woman's fertility is down to about 5% of what it was in her 20s, while a man age 40 who has multiple graduate degrees and a great career is still 100% fertile.

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    1. Having a "choice" is not always a good thing. Check out a book called "The Paradox of Choice" by Barry Schwartz. He points out (and I have seen this in a lot of girls) that people can end up agonizing about deciding which path to take, rather than following (what used to be) a convention.

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    2. Fertility is a genuine, biological difference between men and women that cannot be ignored. The choice of having children and adjusting life choices accordingly, is significantly different for men than it is for women.

      The problem between "traditional" and "non-traditional" roles established in society is that even tendencies of both sexes might be suitable to perform duties that have been classically associated with one sex or the other. Successful leadership does not just require aggression, it also requires creativity and empathy --- even if that empathy is only exploited in order to understand how to manipulate or persuade others. Andrew argues that aggression is associated with masculinity and creativity is associated with femininity, but then why should we assume leadership is inherently masculine or feminine? The sciences require abstract creativity, too, nursing --- an occupation that was, for too long, associated with femininity --- requires emotional strength and quick, "take-charge" emergency responses, something generally assumed to be better handled by males.

      How can feminists be mostly wrong, if what the movement really pushes for is representation of females in power?

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    3. The other problem with telling women they can "have it all" is that they often find themselves actually DOING it all, without any help from their SO.

      I got married in my early 20s and had a baby right away. I worked 40 hours a week, cooked all the meals, cleaned the entire house, handled home repairs and yard work, and did all the parenting, including play dates, parent teacher conferences, extra curricular activities, etc. My husband contributed NOTHING towards household chores or parenting. Granted, he did work a full time and part time job, but he thought that his contribution to the marriage stopped there. Not to mention I was paying a larger share of the household bills as well. Needless to say I'm divorced now.

      I've heard from many other women that thought they could "have it all" - i.e. be mothers and have a career and that their husbands would pick up the slack in the parenting and housework department. Sadly to only find their assumptions were wrong.

      No, women, you CAN'T "have it all". Something is going to suffer, be it your career, your children, or the house, especially if you don't have a man that is willing to step in and help out.

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  14. There is more and accumulating evidence for the innateness of sex differences than you seem to realize. Also, androgyny is higher in non-Western societies, in some regards. Occupational segregation is higher in the West where women have more occupational choice. Also, I cannot recall the details, but apparently personality differences are greater in the first world between the sexes. I think you give feminism way too much intellectual credit. And give "the social construction of gender" way to much intellectual credit in your post. How about not the traditionalist view but simply an observationally accurate view with respect for personal freedom? It's not about natural roles, just observations of the desires and nature of normal people and the advice to accept reality and act accordingly when trying to achieve the life you want. ... You essentially do say that... But honestly, you give way too much credit to the idea of societal influence on human behaviour (not that it deserves none, mind you).
    ... I recommend The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker, for example. I dislike feminism for its condescension, censoriousness, inaccuracy, and power within public institutions beyond its agreement by the average person (about 75% of US women say they aren't feminists... They say agreement with the dictionary definition shows that women don't understand feminism, but I think the dictionary definition is inaccurate, and that's the point.)

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    1. "androgyny is higher in non-Western societies"

      I'd be curious to hear more about this comment.

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    2. "Anonymous" has contradicted himself/herself in this post. They give an example of cultural differences to support their opinion and then go on to express that they Andrew gives "way too much credit to the idea of societal influence..." Which is it, Anonymous?

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  15. Of course men and women are different in some ways; most notably, physically. It's the value assignment and classification of those differences, that's the problem.

    Maybe there's a third option, Andrew. Realize that de-sexualizing yourself will not help you attract potential partners who see sexual intimacy as a vital part of committed relationship, yet, not accepting societal dictation that states that male differences are superior to female ones or vice versa?

    All differences serve a purpose for humanity and society and are often complimentary, but society needs to serve our humanity and recognize this. Once a tradition, law, rule doesn't recognize that yes, women must bear children but that child-bearing perpetuates humanity (so maybe we should work around that?) then it's incompatible with what human beings need. It's not better or worse to be female, just different than being male. It's when an overwhelming representation of males in power and leadership positions fail to understand other perspectives, that society flounders. You can't knock feminists for trying to expand that base of perspective. If men were inherently "meant" to make everyone's rules, then they would have the reference of dual male/female perspectives, which they don't. Maybe the answer is only voting for inter-sex leaders.

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  16. Dear Andrew, when I was 13 I wrote a blogpost where I said I was a feminist. That comes up when you google me even though I am now 18. I am a feminist in the sense that I believe men and women should have equal rights and I'm sure most men would agree, however I'm worried that by saying I'm a feminist online I'm a turn off to guys because they get the wrong impression that I think women are better than men, that I don't believe in femininity and so on and in my case that's not true at all. I just believed and still do that men and women should have equal rights. Are feminists unattractive to men? These days I believe in gender roles and have very traditional views. I was only 13 when I wrote this, if that makes any difference. Do guys even google girls they want to date anyway? What advice would you give to someone in my stiuation who called themself a feminist because they believe men and women have equal value but believes in traditional gender roles?

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    1. I do Google girls sometimes, but it is almost always just to see if there are any pictures to remind me what she looks like, not to dig up history on her. In fact, I don't think I have ever did a web search for a girl's name.

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    2. why men don't do that search thing like women ? not important for men ?

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    3. I think some men do though? On some pages like Linkedin, you can see "people who viewed this page also viewed" and I've seen exes of guys I've been out with here, the guy being my only link to her. So guys have obviously looked my name up and clicked on results. I've also experienced guys saying things on dates which made me realize they've gone through my Facebook profile.

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    4. Owww I thought men don't care with social media stuff of women in their life. Not stalker like women.

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    5. I think they "stalk" just as much. Otherwise why would they be so eager to add you on facebook? Or notice right away when you've deleted them. Of course it varies from man to man and woman to woman but I've never considering "stalking" to a be primarily female thing.

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    6. Men stalk. My brothers stalk every girl they have any interest in. And just last weekend I was visiting my brother and his friend met a girl at a bar. The next day the first thing he did was to borrow a laptop to see if her pictures were as cute as he remembered her being.

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    7. So it's just about the pictures, not about if the girl is seeing/talking to other guys, etc.?

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    8. I think the maximum a guy would so is to check a girl's relationship status on Facebook. The important thing is the photos. If he notices she is in a relationship or seeing another guy in the process, then it's tough luck.

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    9. What if some of your Facebook pictures aren't great/you look better in real life than you do on the internet?

      Delete
  17. Could you do a post on how a girl can make herself more feminine please?

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    1. I don't advocate women trying to "make themselves" more feminine, I advocate trying to be authentically feminine.

      Delete
  18. This is one of the most biased, sexist post I think I've ever seen- feminists aren't about androgyny or favouring masculine women over more traditionally feminine women,or suppressing femininity. It's about promoting equality for ALL women with men- as Turtle said, "Some women are good at baking, some women are good at being CEOs. We should have space for both." And suggesting that women should use

    "Ultimately, the point is this: Option 2 attracts men, Option 1 does not. So you can either support feminism in the hope of bettering the state of affairs in the future, or better your life now by finding love. Call me selfish, but it seems like an obvious choice to me..."

    Oh my god. So the only way a woman could possible better her life is by manipulating her femininity for the sole goal of attracting a man? The only significance of feminism is how it relates to attracting male attention? I find this pretty disgusting.

    By the way, it's interesting how few pro-feminism comments there are on this. Are you just deleting them? How about a bit of balance?

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    1. No, I haven't deleted any comments. I don't think there are many feminist readers - at least not ones that would be upset by what I've said.

      "So the only way a woman could possible better her life is by manipulating her femininity for the sole goal of attracting a man?"

      I didn't say that; I just said "better your life BY finding love." There are other ways to better your life, of course. Love happens to be one of the more important ones for most people though.

      Delete
    2. "In early feminism Virginia Woolf championed androgyny as a strategy to combat the unequal status of men and women. Later feminists have questioned the use of androgyny as a solution to male and female difference, believing that it does not take into account the way in which gender differences are imposed upon people. Some feminists argue that the figure of the androgyne in cinema (for example, Marlene Dietrich or Greta Garbo) is the transgression of masculine and feminine dress and mannerism codes.

      Contemporary feminists, such as Catherine Clement, have claimed that the androgynous figures of myth and religion are a means by which the dominant masculine order can use femininity on its own patriarchal terms. Androgyny often appears in contemporary feminist theory within work on cross-dressing, masquerade and film."

      http://www.encyclopedia69.com/eng/d/androgyny/androgyny.htm

      Anyway, never mind that if the aim is to shame feminists. If you want to see true sexism, take a look at THIS:

      "WIE: Which brings us to another question I wanted to ask you. Sally Miller Gearhart, in her article "The Future—If There Is One—Is Female" writes: "At least three further requirements supplement the strategies of environmentalists if we were to create and preserve a less violent world. 1) Every culture must begin to affirm the female future. 2) Species responsibility must be returned to women in every culture. 3) The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately ten percent of the human race." What do you think about this statement?

      MD: I think it's not a bad idea at all. If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males. People are afraid to say that kind of stuff anymore.

      WIE: Yes. I find myself now thinking that's a bit shocking.

      MD: Well, it's shocking that it would be shocking."

      http://tinyurl.com/bhs45rf

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  19. Andrew, I consider myself a feminist because I believe in equal rights. But people call me feminine all the time -I don't really think there's a contradiction in being feminine and believing women should be able to go to school, be protected under law, etc (human rights). It wasn't until I saw this post that I ever became exposed to the idea that feminism wants androgyny, I don't really think this is the universal goal of feminism even though some feminists might want it to be..I certainly don't! As such you can't really 'stereotype' feminism if you know what I mean, it sort of has no universal goal anymore.

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  20. i felt like I wrote this post myself and in fact I have written things like this. It is amazing that someone else thinks so much like I do. AMAZING! And the idea of having children outside the womb is also interesting, they are developing it. Formula, birth control and artificial wombs will be the tools that feminism needs to succeed. Formula turns a man into a woman and birth-control and artificial wombs will make women into men. Making the sexes interchangeable and we will VERY VERY VERY slowly evolve to be more gender neutral.

    Without these three tools though; it is all impossible.

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  21. I wrote this post in response to this article.. i think lol

    http://homesweetrijswijk.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/feminism-without-science-fails/

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  22. "There is no question that men are less masculine than they were tens or hundreds of years ago"

    Actually, this is exactly the problem that feminists are trying to highlight.

    Our idea of what society used to look like compared to now is entirely based on a subjective intake of information that comes from contemporary entertainment, propagated ideals of past generations or contemporary hand-picked historical retellings.

    None of the above are indicative of what the average person was like, and therefor we shouldn't ever assume that we know what a man or woman should "be like" or how they "used to be." How can we know what the average peasant truly felt like and behaved in medieval times? And how can we know that the average man from the 60s truly behaved as if straight out of the male cast of Mad Men? We don't, and we never will.

    So long story short: assumptions, assumptions, assumptions. What we think we know is subjective, and probably very inaccurate. If you still don't believe me, read this quote about teens:

    “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

    Socrates wrote that. Q.E.D.

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  23. Ohmygosh. There is so much confusion and misinformation on this page it's unbearable. Please please please go look for yourself to find out what feminism is and the goals of it.... Because the goal of feminism is NOT androgyny. Not at all.
    And for God's sake, find out from a published book or a requitable source written by a feminist, not a blog or webpage written with uninformed opinions and hateful prejudices.

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  24. Feminism is not necessarily about depolarizing the sexes. To me feminism equates to economic, political, and social equality between the sexes. In addition, feminism promotes respect for women by rejecting sexual violence and discrimination. Its definitely possible to be a feminist while still being feminine.

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    1. completely agree, yet andrew does not seem to get this. i wonder why women should be taking a mans advice on sexism against women anyway, as most men don't actually care as it doesn't affect them

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    2. Actually I completely get that, and I completely disagree that you can have the KIND of equality you suggest without depolarizing the sexes.

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  25. Men are obsessed with maintaining their power.

    I would never ever ever ever date a man who is NOT a feminist. Whoever wrote this page is very miseducated about feminist or is a misogynist. Feminism means equal rights. I would never date a man who doesnt think women should have equal rights. Those men are chauvinists.

    Men that hate feminism hate equality and hate the fact that men can no longer order women around like slaves and use women without consequences for whatever they want. Lets face it, men have had the upperhand over women for most of human existence and most arent apt to give it up. They want all the perks and benefits from women without the responsibility.

    What I love about feminism, is that men say they like that women are expected to work now (cant have any goddiggers around can we?) and that women can have sex earlier now without as much judgment as before (more sex for me? YESSSS) but they hate other aspects of feminism that take power away from men.

    Bottom line about all men: Men are selfish and think about themselves more than they think about others.

    Everytime I look at men disputing feminism all I see is "selfishness for the win." Men have an "a la carte" approach to feminism and using evolution to describe sexes...they pick out and back up the points that HELP them and dismiss/disvalue the points that DONT help them.

    I love it when men use "evolution" as an excuse to be obsessed with looks and sex and to act like a selfish pig...yet tell me Im wrong when I say women are just as evolved to prefer money and status the way they prefer hotness. Why? Because THEY arent rich or have status so that means they cannot get as many women/ Yeah I studied evolutionary biology and psychology for 5 years...there is just as much evidence to support women have evolved to prefer money and status the way men do with looks...cant have it both ways boys. Bottom line: men can do this because they still have the majority of the power. Ever hear the comedic line "if men had babies, thered be an abortion clinic on every corner?" YEP.

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    1. "Men are selfish and think about themselves more than they think about others"

      If you actually believe this, you will never have a good heterosexual relationship.

      And I see nothing wrong whatsoever about with women preferring men who are richer or more powerful or more famous than me. It sucks for me, but it is perfectly fair.

      Delete
  26. "Feminism promotes respect for women"


    That dear is why men find feminism "horrific"
    It is "horrific" because most men today DO NOT THINK women should be respected and think women are inferior and should be hot lookin' baby makin' cookin' cleanin' machines. They do not think women should have equal rights socially. I have met a few men who do really believe politcally and economically we should be equal...its the social equalness that men struggle with...they dont want to give up that power.

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  27. When I first started reading your blog I thought some of the things that you were saying were very regressive. But I keep coming back to these ideas because there is a lot of truth in them and we *are* seeing a backlash to feminism.

    Did you ever see this interview with Laird Hamilton's wife, Gabrielle Reece? I think she makes a couple of poor choices in her wording, meaning I don't think they represent what she is trying to say overall, but I'm curious what you think about what she says in relationship to your ideas on feminism.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/13/gabrielle-reece-laird-hamilton_n_3071594.html

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    1. I really don't want to go on and on about myself on your blog but to give you some background... I'm 48 and find what you're writing about fascinating. Most of my life I'd say I was an unintentional feminist. Regarding looks, I was all - take me as I am, which meant, I don't make a big effort because changing myself for someone else would be compromising myself. But eventually I learned that what I thought I wanted in a man and a relationship was more of an intellectual idea than what was aligned with my true nature. So presently, I am rethinking these concepts in their entirety and leaning more towards what you, the young guy says, than what my mature feminist women friends would say.

      Delete
  28. I am not a huge reader on feminism, but I do believe it to be a logical response to living under a patriarchy so long. What I find interesting is how much people can down feminism without realizing how many different culture models there are in this world, or even how many native american ones there were in this country before we made them disappear, and be vain enough to assume the one we now follow is perfect.

    for example; some native american tribes prescribed to very gender-norm models, like the men hunting and the women staying home and doing all the food, sewing, etc, which would've been a lot more work back then w/o machines and such. but both sexes did these activities in groups. In America it became so that while men went out and worked many women stayed home alone. and you wonder why this model eventually failed..what a stagnant life to live. especially if you were raised your whole life to value your women-ness and motherhood over any other thing or activity.
    I can remember watching an episode of mad men, which is a very layered show you have to be alert to really get the best of. Joan's husband was complaining endlessly on how he might not be good enough to get the doctor job he wanted, even after all his hard work. Eventually saying "it's just not fair" to which then Joan smashes a vase over his head. symbolizing how selfish he was sounding, to even have the choice to be a doctor and still complain ( and being whiny and ungrateful/not thanking her after she had a fresh dinner for him)

    I dont think I could ever date a guy who was "super against" feminism because it would just be strange. makes me think of when bill o'reilly went off on women being presidents saying they would be on their period in office and be emotionally messed up (thats the kind of shit that pisses me of...as if genocide (native american), atom bombs, and all the other gov atrocities haven't been the rsult of a majority male government?) thats another thing I don't understand....blogs like yours, they always say how well male and female compliment eachother, but step into the real world and everything needs to be run my when because women couldn't handle it. always saying how womens emotions balance out mens tendency to be more logical. wouldn't it LOGICAL to have more women in power positions to balance this then?

    it just kind of confuses me how angry some men get about feminism...feminism is not about creating a matriarchy, it is about lessening the patriarchy, thats how I always viewed it. any feminist knows a matriarchy would be an equal opposite, and even for women if would have it's negative due to the inbalance, just as men experience some (but less) negatives from the patriarchy.

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  29. Male and Female roles are changing like what has happened to tattoos. At one time they were bad-ass and were 'earned'. Nowadays everyone has them and they're a muddled fad....

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  30. Back before time began, when I was in my late teens, I believed and still believe that feminism and humanism are interchangeable. As a female, feminism allows me to be whatever I want - including being in beauty contests, posing for cheesecake, and supporting the legalization of prostitution. This gets me in hot water, but I am not here to support any dogma. I'm here to live my life.

    When it comes to having it all, however, I can honestly say I was sold a bill of goods. My mother had a right to a house, and to stay home and raise two children. Now we are mortgaged and credit carded to our yin-yang just trying to stay afloat. If I lose my job, as I did, the whole thing unravels. That's not progress to me.

    There is also a certain kind of dude who wants to build the dream with you; do you mind putting up the down payment on the house? Mind if I move in? Could I borrow.....you got it.

    This is the future, and it sucks.

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  31. i don't personally like nor dislike feminism per se. what really grates me, is something i consider an extension of it - the PC culture. it is evil, twisted, devoid of any purpose other than to show how "civilized" we've become.

    absolute bullshit.

    it is a vision of the world so constrained, it is painful. it is like a fairy tale world where every fucking one is supervised by a nanny state, and treated as children. highly detrimental to society, when adults are not seen as responsible any more, and excused of facing accountability for their actions because it is a "fair" society.

    this is the feminist measure of control. you did wrong, your parents will be prosecuted.

    patriarchy simply was based on much simpler tenet - every one is responsible for their own actions, and no one is above the law. do wrong, and measures will be taken to ensure it will not happen again.

    either way, by simply looking at cause and effect, both models are flawed.

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  32. For those women here who believe feminism is about equality, I will reproduce an argument I had with another feminist on another blog about this exact statement and whether it is true or false.

    I will reproduce each comment one after the other. Some parts might get a bit repetitive but rather than edit it down and risk being accused of changing the context or any other sort of manipulations, I figure it's best to put the whole thing.

    A word of note also, not all of these posts were made/answered/replied to in chronological order, but the general gist of the argument is still made.

    Also if you ask why I didn't distill the argument I made down into one simple formula rather than posting out this entire exchange that's because I'm fairly certain that If anyone would argue against such a simplified formula they would use the same sorts of fallacious arguments that the feminist/progressive I'm arguing against used and which I exposed as fallacious. Thus by printing the whole exchange out you get to see how such counter-arguments the feminist proposed were fallacious.

    The whole argument can be found in the comment section of this blog post.

    http://www.returnofkings.com/8034/5-ways-to-emasculate-a-man

    chris: "I guess I can assume you'd be OK with some gay guys putting their fingers up your asshole and jerking off on you while you're passed out, then taking pictures of it and spreading it around to everyone you know."

    That's not the issue he was arguing.

    Equality is about men and women having the same social and legal rights and privileges.

    If a group of men fondling and masturbating on an unconscious woman is rape and unacceptable, yet a group of women fondling and masturbating on an unconscious man isn't rape and isn't unacceptable, what do you have? Unequal social and legal rights and privileges between men and women with women having the higher social and legal rights and privileges compared to men.

    The issue you brought up was about equality between homosexuals and heterosexuals.

    The outrage a lot of men in the manosphere have I think is a product of feminists picking and choosing what legal and social rights they want to be equal with while retaining those social and legal rights were inequality favours them. What does this produce, inequality in social and legal rights in favour of women.

    (Do I think a man aggravatingly raping a woman is worse than a woman aggravatingly raping a man? Yes. But that's because I accept that men and women are different and hence granting them unequal social and legal rights and privileges is just. I am consistent in my thinking. Feminists aren't. Feminists propound equality in theory but deliver inequality in practice because they are an evil and hypocritical ideology.)

    Ratatatat: Where have feminists supposedly ever argued:

    a group of women fondling and masturbating on an unconscious man isn't rape and isn't unacceptable
    ...or is that just something you made up?

    ReplyDelete
  33. chris: A person's actions speak loudest.

    Feminists NEVER address the norm in the culture above. They never advocate, agitate or proselytize against it. But they will do all that and more for the opposite situation.

    Another one feminists NEVER address is reproductive rights for men. If a woman conceives, she can; abort, adopt, abandon, raise on her own or with coerced support from the biological father or community.

    A man conceives he can; do whatever the woman wants.

    When men have the reproductive CHOICE to determine their parental responsibilities after conception, the same as women, then you will have equality in reproductive rights. Only one feminist I know of has ever argued for this and her reasoned and consistent thinking on this issue has been shouted down and out by the gender feminists in academia.

    http://www.salon.com/2000/10/19/mens_choice/

    "Some maverick feminists agree with this view. Karen DeCrow, an attorney who served as president of the National Organization for Women from 1974 to 1977, has written that “if a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support … autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice.”

    Yet, by and large, feminists and pro-choice activists have not been sympathetic to calls for men’s reproductive freedom. “If there is a birth, the man has an obligation to support the child,” says Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center. “The distinction with respect to abortion is the physical toll that it takes on a woman to carry a fetus to term, which doesn’t have any translation for men. Once the child is born, neither can walk away from the obligations of parenthood.” (Actually, a woman can give up the child for adoption, often without the father’s consent, and be free of any further obligation.)

    Indeed, on the issue of choice for men, staunch supporters of abortion rights can sound like an eerie echo of the other side: “They have a choice — use condoms, get sterilized or keep their pants on.” “They should think about the consequences before they have sex.” (The irony is not lost on men’s choice advocates or pro-lifers.) Yes, some admit, it’s unfair that women still have a choice after conception and men don’t, but biology isn’t fair. As a male friend of mine succinctly put it, “Them’s the breaks.”"

    Ratatatat: When men have the reproductive CHOICE to determine their parental responsibilities after conception, the same as women, then you will have equality in reproductive rights.
    I suppose that will happen when men start to carry babies as women do. Sorry, but it is the woman who carries the baby for ~9 months. She is always going to have the final say so as to what happens - as it should be. Women are not baby making slaves to men in that regard. I don't think you have thought through the logic as to the fundamental reason why the law is logically asymmetrical. It is like you think pregnancy affects men the same way it affects women. It differs in very pertinent and physical ways that are simply too unavoidable to ignore.

    Secondly, are you going to answer my question above or are you just trying oddly to change the subject?

    ReplyDelete
  34. chris: "I suppose that will happen when men start tocarry babies as women do. Sorry, but it is the woman who carries the baby for ~9 months. She is always going to have thefinal say so as to what happens - as it should be. Women are not baby making slaves to men in that regard. I don't think you have thought through the logic as to thefundamental reason why the law is logically asymmetrical. It is like you think pregnancy affects men the same way it affects women. It differs in very pertinent and physical ways that are simply too unavoidable to ignore."

    What you are arguing here is that men and women are different and therefore should have unequal social and legal rights and privileges Yet feminism is based on an equality of social and legal rights and privileges between women. This is a contradiction.

    "Women are not baby making slaves to men in that regard."

    Nor should they be. Neither should men be labour-making slaves, pack mules for women and her children, children they never consented t having.

    " It is like you think pregnancy affects men the same way it affects women. It differs in very pertinent and physical ways that are simply too unavoidable to ignore."

    I'm not arguing women should be forced to have children, what I'm arguing for here is men have the same CHOICE to abort their parental and financial responsibilities, the same as women do, anything less is unequal.

    " I don't think you have thought through the logic as to thefundamental reason why the law is logically asymmetrical."

    I have thought through the logic, I have clearly set it out in every post.

    1) Feminism is about women and men having the same social and legal rights and privileges.

    2) Women have the social and legal right to choice when and where to end their financial and parental responsibilities after conception.

    3) Men don't.

    4) Thus we have an inequality in social and legal rights and privileges between men and women in this instance.

    5) Feminists don't give a shit about this inequality, therefore one must infer that feminists aren't pro-equality, they are pro-inequality in favour of women.

    "Secondly, are you going to answer my question above or are you just trying oddly to change the subject?"

    I did answer it, it was the first paragraph I wrote.

    Now you might say, "mwraaagh!i said show proof of a feminist makignt hat exact argument other wise your prior argument is false!"

    Well first off, my prior argument was that feminists argue for the condition of inequality in favour of women, that condition will be satisfied if feminists only agitate in favour of removing inequalities that disadvantage women and never in favour of inequalities that advantage women, which is the general case.

    Furthermore, your reasoning used in your above post, arguing for unequal social and legal rights and privileges is in itself evidence of that general case.

    Ratatatat: I did answer it, it was the first paragraph I wrote.
    No. That is not an acceptable response. You are merely trying to argue that because "feminists" argue for asymmetrical legal consideration towards pregnancy, then they must think the exact same way about "a group of women fondling and masturbating on an unconscious man isn't rape and isn't unacceptable". You have done nothing at all to support that ridiculous argument.

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  35. chris: FFS Post Dammit
    My original assertion was that feminism wasn't about equality, which I think I have proved in argument.

    I did provide an example of inequality about rape, but I declined to follow up on establishing the truth value of that example since the effort expended to establish such truth was rather high. Thus I switched to the example of reproductive rights as the effort expended to establish the truth value of that example was much lower.

    The fact that I switched which examples I went on to prove in the bigger picture doesn't really matter.

    If my argument retained soley to the rape examples than yes, my decision not to establish it's truth value would be problematic, but that was not my argument. The rape example was merely used to attempt to elucidate my initial argument that feminism isn't about equality in social and legal rights and privileges between men and women. Due to the fact that this argument is a universal claim to equality the mere fact that I choose not to prove the truth value of one counter-example to it doesn't matter as long as I can come up with another counter-example which I do prove. Which I did with the reproductive rights example.

    Ratatatat: I'm not arguing women should be forced to have children, what I'm arguing for here is men have the same CHOICE to abort their parental and financial responsibilities, the same as women do, anything less is unequal.
    If that were the case, would you ever use protection during casual sex? Responsibility has to start somewhere. Right? You can't just get a girl pregnant and then say - oops. Ma bad. And then walk away with her left to raise the baby or abort it (maybe you throw her some cash), simply because you are on record against the live birth.

    Logically leaving the ultimate choice to the woman is a way to make sure men who do not want babies are more responsible at trying to take reasonable measures to prevent conception in the first place.

    And before you say the woman has responsibility, that is a given - as she will be the one who has to go through the birth or abortion, which has its own costs - mental and physical.

    If men were able to have the final say on whether an abortion occurs, then men would be absolved of every consequence to their action while the woman goes through all of the trouble. There has to be some give and take to the law.

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  36. chris: "If that were the case, would you ever
    use protection during casual sex? Responsibility has to start somewhere. Right? You can't just get a girl pregnant and then say - oops. Ma bad. And then walk away with her left to raise the baby or abort it (maybe you throw her some cash), simply because you are on record against the live birth.

    Logically leaving the ultimate choice to the woman is a way to make sure men who do not want babies are more responsible at trying to take reasonable measures to prevent conception in the first place.

    And before you say the woman has responsibility, that is a given - as she will be the one who has to go through the birth or abortion, which has its own costs - mental and physical.

    If men were able to have the final say on whether an abortion occurs, then men would be absolved of every consequence to their action while the woman goes through all of the trouble. There has to be some give and take to the law."

    Don't you find it ironic that the exact same arguments were used against the legalisation of abortion? Read the Salon article I linked.

    And all of this doesn't change the fact that feminism isn't about equality between men and women in social and legal rights and privileges All you are arguing here is that such differences in legal and social rights and privileges are necessary.

    Ratatatat: Not only are they necessary, but they are unavoidable. Therefore using them to demonstrate supposed inequality is futile. If the rules were the opposite, they would still be unequal (in favor of the other side) and there is no practical middle ground.

    I think that is what makes the argument so pointless. For the lions share of law, gender equality is achievable and practical.

    chris: So feminism isn't about equality in social and legal rights and privileges between men and women?

    (Just say yes....)

    Ratatatat: Why don't you ask a feminist? I think feminism is about equality. I just don't view it as some sort of absolute.


    chris: I'm asking you.

    Don't you have an opinion?

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  37. Ratatatat: I think it is about equality. I just don't think it is absolute in the sense you are taking it. I don't think it is presented as such either.

    chris: If it is not universal, then it is not equality, because equality is binary.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_equality

    If it is not equality, then it is inequality.

    Thus feminism is about inequality.

    MY LOGIC UNASSAILABLE!!! RAWR!!!

    Ratatatat: If 99% of the mission is dedicated to equality and 1% is not able to attain equality due to its nature, then you cannot claim that the entire group is about inequality. It is a blatantly false conclusion.

    chris: Uhh no.

    If it is not universal, then it is not equality, because equality is binary.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_equality

    If it is not equality, then it is inequality.

    Thus feminism is about inequality.

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  38. Ratatatat: What you are arguing here is that men and women are different and therefore should have unequal social and legal rights and privileges Yet feminism is based on an equality of social and legal rights and privileges between women. This is a contradiction.
    I think you are being a bit naive. Nobody - feminist or otherwise is arguing that there is no physical/biological difference between men and women. The law should apply equally - except where these notable distinctions take place and are germane to the laws at hand. It would be ridiculous for a man or a woman to argue that men should have the final say as to a fairly common biological function that goes on in a woman's body - that is specific to being a woman. You are looking for some kind of contradiction that nobody who has any basic logical sense would argue against.

    chris: "I think you are being a bit naive. Nobody - feminist or otherwise is arguing that there is no physical/biological difference between men and women."

    But they still argue for equal social and legal rights and privileges between men and women.

    "The law should apply equally - except where these notable distinctions take place and are germane to the laws at hand."

    Hence men and women should have unequal social rights and privileges in some instances. Hence contradicting the earlier (universal) statement for equal social and legal rights and privileges between men and women.

    My, and I believe alot of people in the manospheres anger is over the fact that where such inequalities are allowed to exist in social and legal rights and privileges they are to women's advantage and men's disadvantage. Yet in all instances where such inequalities in the social and legal rights between men and women are to a man's advantage they are under assault by the feminist establishment. If you start from a position of inequality, where each side has rights and privileges that the other side does not, and you only seek to remove the advantageous rights and privileges of one side, then you aren't in favour of equality, you are in favour of inequality favouring the side of those whose unequal advantages in rights and privileges you do not remove.

    "It would be ridiculous for a man or a woman to argue that men should have the final say as to a fairly common biological function that goes on in a woman's body - that is specific to being a woman."

    I am not arguing that. Women should have the final say in abortion. Instead, what I am arguing is that equality in reproductive choice in this instance can be achieved by giving men the option to remove all financial and parental obligations and rights should they choose to do so before the continuation of the pregnancy It is called a "paper/financial abortion".

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  39. Ratatatat: Hence men and women should have unequal social rights and privileges in some instances. Hence contradicting the earlier (universal) statement for equal social and legal rights and privileges between men and women.
    It is an exception, but not one inconsistent with logic.

    chris: The logic is right there, of course it is inconsistent.

    1)Universal claim.

    2)Particular instance negating universal claim.

    3)CONTRADICTION

    Ratatatat: If I am not mistaken, the "Universal claim" is your own construction.

    chris: Then you agree that feminism is not about equal social and legal rights and privileges between men and women, because the only way for such a statement to be true is for it to be universal.

    Ratatatat: No. I don't agree. I don't think a single reasonable exception invalidates the general idea. You can't (without reason) yell "fire!" in a crowded theater, but you still have a general right to free speech.

    chris: "I don't think a single reasonable exception invalidates the general idea."

    In logic it does.

    Ratatatat: No. It doesn't. Not if the general idea at hand is a rigid straw man of your own creation.

    chris: It is basic logic, A single counter-example contradicts a universal claim.

    But I have to say, I'm glad you finally agree with me that feminism isn't about equality.

    It shows great courage and intellectual character on your part. I'm proud of you.

    Ratatatat: The universal claim in this instance being a straw man.

    I disagree. I think feminism is about equality, but I am no feminist. I am not exactly sure what one is. I like women and I think they should have the same rights as men under the law in most instances.

    chris: "I like women and I think they should have the same rights as men under the law in most instances."

    Thus in other instances they will have different rights. Hence inequality.

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  40. Ratatatat: In those instances there will always be inequality as when two people of different genders in a pregnancy dispute who may have a conflicting interest, one will win and one will lose. It is a moot distinction. There is no way to have absolute equality unless you can come up with something. Do you suggest transplanting half of a fetus into the belly of a man or something? I am open to your suggestions as to how such "equality" can be practically achieved in a way that does not bring inequality right back in.

    chris: Equality of choice with respect to whether one is obligated to take up financial and parental responsibility. Men having a one off chance once being notified of the pregnancy to have a "paper/financial abortion". This would achieve practical equality in reproductive choice between men and women.

    "who may have a conflicting interest, one will win and one will lose."

    Be careful, you're heading to the dark side here. There is no such thing as right and wrong only power! and all that stuff.

    Ratatatat: So if a man doesn't want the responsibility to be a father, he just signs a piece of paper and perhaps pays some money. What about the real and potential physical damage to the woman? What about the emotional problems/pain? The loss of work regardless of whether she decides to keep it or not? I can't help but think you are just shifting around the inequality and possibly creating a situation that leads to many more abortions and perhaps much more bastardy.

    chris: Those exact same arguments can also apply to men who have no say in whether a woman aborts his baby but they don't seem to hold water there.

    Also, she could always just adopt the kid off.

    And it still doesn't change the fact that she has choices of her autonomy that the man doesn't, and she can legally enslave him into servitude for 18 years, something he can't do to her.

    " I can't help but think you are just shifting around the inequality and possibly creating a situation that leads to many more abortions and perhaps much more bastardy."

    Actually I think it would lead to less abortions and bastardy.

    And who says bastardy is a bad thing. As a bastard I take offence at that!

    (You do realise all of your argument here also reduces down to "the end justifies the means?")

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  41. chris: "Feminism is about the legal and social equality in rights and privileges between men and women."

    The statement is only a strawman if I misrepresent the opponents position

    The only way for me to logically misrepresent the opponents position is for feminism TO NOT be a universal claim to equality about the legal and social equality in rights and privileges between men and women.

    Thus proving my point.

    It either is a universal claim or it isn't.

    And the thing about universal claims to equality is something can ONLY be equal or unequal.

    Ratatatat: No. You have a basic misunderstanding of logic. A strawman is an argument that there is no evidence a person has made, it has nothing to do with the negation of that argument - one way or the other.

    chris: I'm going to go by the definition presented in wikipedia as it's an open source for everyone to observe.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man#Structure

    The straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern of argument:

    1)Person 1 has position X.

    2)Person 2 disregards certain key points of X and instead presents the superficially similar position Y.

    3)Person 2 attacks position Y, concluding that X is false/incorrect/flawed.

    What I am arguing is that in order for Person 1 to have Position X, it has to be something other than Position Y (which is my initial argument).

    Now Position Y is a universal claim as to equality. For Position X to be something other than Position Y it can't be a universal claim as to equality.

    Now the logical concept of equality is binary. Something is either equal or unequal. Even just a little but unequal is still unequal. And there is no such thing as a little bit equal, it's still unequal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_equality

    Thus for Position X to be something other than Position Y, and Position Y is a universal claim to equality, then Position X must be something other than a universal claim to equality, and since logically speaking equality is binary, Position X must be a claim to (some instance of) inequality.

    Which is what I've been arguing all along.

    Thus the only way for you to prove your argument that my claim is a strawman is to demonstrate that the position I'm misrepresenting is something other than universal equality between men and women, which is what I've been arguing all along!

    Ratatatat: Considering we have demonstrated that what you call "universal equality" is not even possible, I consider the entire point to be moot.

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  42. chris: Just say, "feminism is not about equality" and I will stop and agree with you.

    chris: Or better yet say "feminism is about inequality favouring women."

    chris: Then you agree with me that feminism is not about equality between men and women in social and legal rights and privileges.

    I'm proud of you. Come here and let me hug you!

    chris: "Yet feminism is based on an equality of social and legal rights and privileges between women."

    Should be

    Yet feminism is based on an equality of social and legal rights and privileges between men and women.

    Ratatatat: Most social and legal situations have nothing to do with pregnancy. If a man litters and is punished then a woman should be held to the same standard for committing the same offense under the law, however, pregnancy by its own nature is asymmetrical in the most simple fact that men do not bear children. It would be foolish to argue as if the distinctions between men and women would not be significant in that case. I have never seen any feminist argue that woman and men are physically exactly the same and significant differences such as pregnancy should be ignored - that does not mean that a woman does not have the same Constitutional rights as any man would have. Don't be ridiculous.

    chris: But that is unequal and contradicts the statement of feminism being for the social and legal equality in rights and privileges between men and women.

    Again from above;

    "My, and I believe alot of people in the manospheres anger is over the fact that where such inequalities are allowed to exist in social and legal rights and privileges they are to women's advantage and men's disadvantage. Yet in all instances where such inequalities in the social and legal rights between men and women are to a man's advantage they are under assault by the feminist establishment. If you start from a position of inequality, where each side has rights and privileges that the other side does not, and you only seek to remove the advantageous rights and privileges of one side, then you aren't in favour of equality, you are in favour of inequality favouring the side of those whose unequal advantages in rights and privileges you do not remove."

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  43. Ratatatat: Again, the "universal statement" is your own construct. I would prefer that you quote a real feminist argument instead of your own to begin with.

    Secondly, the subject of pregnancy is something that cannot be treated equally as one person has to physically carry the child and the other does not. The fact that it is a reasonably exceptional case does not negate the viability of the argument that men and women should be treated equally under the law in most or perhaps every other instance.

    chris: Thus you agree that feminism is not about equality between men and women in social and legal rights and privileges. Instead it is about inequality.

    Ratatatat: It is unequal in one sense - as it should be - that does not invalidate the rest of it as you seem to believe.

    chris: In logic it does.

    Ratatatat: No it does not. By that reasoning, there would be no freedom of speech, because we cannot libel/slander someone or that all men are not created equal - because we are not all the same. These are rhetorical generalities - and I might add - your own construction.

    chris: Rhetoric isn't logic. In fact, since the time of ancient Greece, rhetoric has been maligned as the tool by which sophists mislead the masses. Glad to see you coming around to the manosphere point of view.

    I'm proud of you.

    Ratatatat: No. I don't agree with you. Sorry.

    chris: Look it's not your fault.

    Open up to me. Let me love you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtkST5-ZFHw


    Ratatatat: I don't watch random youtube videos. All of your posts appear to be an attempt to obfuscate the fact that you never backed up your apparently false assertion from my original question. Thanks for playing, but I am pretty sure it just isn't going to happen at this point.

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  44. chris: Then you've never lived.

    chris: My original assertion was that feminism wasn't about equality, which I think I have proved in argument.

    I did provide an example of inequality about rape, but I declined to follow up on establishing the truth value of that example since the effort expended to establish such truth was rather high. Thus I switched to the example of reproductive rights as the effort expended to establish the truth value of that example was much lower.

    The fact that I switched which examples I went on to prove in the bigger picture doesn't really matter.

    If my argument retained soley to the rape examples than yes, my decision not to establish it's truth value would be problematic, but that was not my argument. The rape example was merely used to attempt to elucidate my initial argument that feminism isn't about equality in social and legal rights and privileges between men and women. Due to the fact that this argument is a universal claim to equality the mere fact that I choose not to prove the truth value of one counter-example to it doesn't matter as long as I can come up with another counter-example which I do prove. Which I did with the reproductive rights example.

    Ratatatat: And I am saying that you are trying to hard to point to an obvious and accepted exception to try to disprove the larger point that is apparently valid - that women should be largely treated as equally under the law as possible, paid the same amount for working the same job and not treated badly from a social perspective. I don't think you have done anything to take away from that overall message, which I think is worthwhile and definitely about equality.

    chris: I agree with all those messages. Women should be largely treated as equally under the law as possible, paid the same amount for working the same job and not treated badly from a social perspective.

    (In fact, you could probably characterise me as an equity feminist.)

    What I am arguing per se is that feminism is not about equality. And there are instances were feminists will push for (or not against) unequal social and legal rights and privileges that are unfair to men.

    Ratatatat: I disagree. I think your proposed change to pregnancy choices would be unfair to women. There is no position in my opinion that would be completely equal to either. I should also note that fair and equal are not interchangeable words.

    chris: So feminism isn't about equality?

    Ratatatat:Solely in regards that single exception, that might be a fair statement, but it would be erroneous to claim on the whole.



    You'll note that throughout the exchange, several times I got him to admit that "feminism is not about equality", but the whole experience was like pulling teeth.

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