Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
Thread Closed 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
10-05-2016, 03:45 PM
Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
The question of equality of sexes in society is a major subject of struggle and work in our society. If our modern expression and understanding of equality stems from Humanism, the specific philosophy that devote itself exclusively to the equality of sexes was named feminism. It's born out of the recognition of the servile and inferior status of women at large in their society and the movement that took to the streets (and the Academia) to promote women's right. Of course, like most perpetually changing human concept, there is very little in common between the feminism of the early 20th century and feminism of the early 21st century. Their only point in common that remained unchanged is its desire to see men and women as equals in all spheres of the society be it in education, work, family, social spaces and politic.

Yet it's reasonable to ask if this noble intention was truly upheld. Does feminism help gender equality or as it left men out of its equation; even consciously worked against gender equality by attempting to reverse social structure and established women as the new «stronger sex». Or, did it attempted to fulfil its ambitions and helped men's rights too? More importantly, how does modern feminist schools of thought grade itself under this criteria?

In my opinion, modern feminist schools of thought are indeed upholding its intention of pressing for equality of sexes with very little doubt. In my opinion modern feminism is characterised by the following theoretical characteristics.

1) Intersectionality (AKA the idea that hierarchical relationships in society and social identity have multiple levels of interactions and expression)
2) Critique of patriarchal social structure and cultural expression (AKA critique of structure that favors or directly placed in position of power men and its expression)
3) A cosmopolitan approach (AKA that take into account racial minorities and diverse social classes)
4) Focus on transgender and non-heterosexual identity.

The combination of all those aspect can produce a theoretical framework that can also find, analyse explain and attempt to solve numerous issues concerning men's rights. Thanks to the combination of those 4 characteristics, it’s evident that despite men's relatively privileged position in society compared to women, they are far from being exempt of disadvantages in certain context and situation. Modern feminism schools of thought thus all have the tools to help men's rights.

Yet, there all isn't as bright and shiny and when observing feminists publications. Men's right are rarely if ever mentioned. When they are it's usually as a side note, never central. While it's true that feminism has mentioned talked briefly about men's right issue like domestic violence against men mostly to attack «male essentialism» like in this particular case (see link below). It also tackled the same philosophy when treating of men mental health issues. Yet it has remained silent on most affair concerning men's right and a plethora of pages on even minor (yet not insignificant) issues of women rights. I explain this phenomenon by the fact that feminism is born out of women's right movements in a society where men were outrageously in a superior position. Now, with the gap between both sexes closing rapidly, this bias is getting concerning and has fed anti-feminism and conspiracy theorists. For this reason, I can't say that feminism makes very good figure when it comes to defending men's rights. I could barely give to modern feminism a grade higher than C-. It does provide sound theoretical foundation to help men's rights cause and did touch the subject (even if very, very tentatively). But in loses major points because of its silence on the issue, which is a huge loss opportunity, and a few mistakes and elements that do hold genuine sexist belief despite their professed feminism.

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
Find all posts by this user
[+] 3 users Like epronovost's post
10-05-2016, 05:05 PM
RE: Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
Does feminism help gender equality or as it left men out of its equation; even consciously worked against gender equality by attempting to reverse social structure and established women as the new «stronger sex». Or, did it attempted to fulfil its ambitions and helped men's rights too? More importantly, how does modern feminist schools of thought grade itself under this criteria?

Forgive for just copy-pasting but you have stated the premise of the debate very eloquently.

I enter here as a proponent of the Men's Rights Movement( MRM) and an Anti-Feminist, two positions often held together but not necessarily linked, one does not automatically lead to the other.

In my opinion it has not lived up to its intention and has at times actively worked against the rights of men, either unintentionally and at times intentionally, either from dogmatic application of feminist theory, the influence of Marxist theory on it and how categorising Men as a Class vs. Woman as a class has led to it at times being highly adversarial, and treating social rights as a zero-sum equation.

1) Intersectionality (AKA the idea that hierarchical relationships in society and social identity have multiple levels of interactions and expression)

On this I agree it is important to take into account differences in societal standing and how that affects everyone. This has however also led to the creation of what is colloquially known as the "Progressive Stack", a hierarchy of oppression and is used to both elevated minorities and denigrate mainly men, in the interests of not turning this into an essay I'll provide examples and sources in a followup post, as will be the case for future points.

2) Critique of patriarchal social structure and cultural expression (AKA critique of structure that favors or directly placed in position of power men and its expression)

While this may have the case historically, in the modern day this is not as simple. It at best minimizes the social influence of woman, and at worst posits that they hold no power. I do not believe it to be wholly unfounded, it needs a deeper look into the basal assumptions of Feminist Theory, and possibly reassessment of it.

3) A cosmopolitan approach (AKA that take into account racial minorities and diverse social classes)

Not a completely bad idea, but also not completely good. Overly focusing on a minority can lead to the ignoring of issues faced by the majority.

4) Focus on transgender and non-heterosexual identity.

In principle I have no problem with it, being non-hetrosexual I certianly benifit from this, but this again ties into point 1 and 3 and I will further explain in follow up posts.

I would have to grade Modern Feminism at an F, especially on Universities and Academia, not just because of its silence on the issues men face, but because of the culture of coddling it has produced.

I think the most visible examples of this would be the cancleing of International Mens Day celebrations at the behest of the Feminist Society on Campus, with the college administration then issuing this tweet as a means of rationalization: [Image: 2E97BB0900000578-0-image-m-4_1447927572425.jpg]
That the response to a call for a men's officer on that campus was met with derision and a call to " carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man" .

And of course the by now infamous Shirt Gate, because a shirt he wore, that his female friend had given to him, was more important than his scientific achievement.

Without reform pushed from both outside the movement and from within it will continue to fail at its stated task.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
[+] 6 users Like Blackhand293's post
10-05-2016, 06:44 PM
RE: Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
An explanation of the Progressive stack :

In this stack the importance of identities are ranked in descending order, race is more important an identity than gender, just as the oppression is ranked in descending order (racial oppression is worse than class oppression). Furthermore, each of these stacks have within them more stacks, the positions of Privileged and Oppressed:
[Image: image-of-expanded-progressive-stack.png?w=723]

However, an issue for the progressives is that because many of them have Marxist influences of some form the dichotomy of Bourgeois and Proletariat, or in this case Privileged and Oppressed, must be satisfied. Therefore in their minds the positions of power are, excuse the pun, black and white; there is no grey zone. Oppression is top-down, no question.

This has lead to such things as an Equality officer Bahar Mustafa, standing up and declaring that she simply cannot be racist to white people, she cannot be sexist to men because she is a 1.) A person of colour in this case of arab decent, 2.) a woman.

This being after acused of rascism and sexim after banning striaght white men from an anti-racism event. 1.

It leads to a situation where The Huffington Post made a video telling white feminists to shut up. They argue that white feminists are privileged over non-white feminists because of their skin-colour and the related privileges that come packaged with it.

As to the culture of coddling, one needs to look no further than the very recent events at University of Massachusetts, where people like Ms Cristina Hoff-Sommers, Milo Yannopoulos and Stephen Crowder where invited to speak and protesters attempted to shut them down, because they disagreed. The meme of Trigglypuff was born from that, where a campus activist was screaming that Ms Hoff-Summers was a rape apologist and promoted hate speech for simply disagreeing with her beliefs.

There are now "trigger warnings" in law courses at Oxford University, in classes teaching about Rape Law and Violence trigger warnings in law

University of California–Merced hosted a “teach-in” to explain that a student who went on a stabbing spree before being killed by a campus police officer did so because of his masculinity – and definitely not because of Islamic extremism — despite the fact that he a photo of an ISIS flag was found among his belongings.
Masculinity not Terror

A lecturer at North Carolina State University will reportedly be docking students’ grades for using “sexist” language — such as the word “mankind.” The college administration also defended such actions, full article here

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
[+] 5 users Like Blackhand293's post
10-05-2016, 07:18 PM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2016 04:55 PM by epronovost.)
RE: Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
I think we can both agree that the feminist movements, like many other movement for equality, has issue from time to time with some of its element when it comes to the communication of its idea and concept. I also think we can both agree the most obnoxious, and sometimes contestable, publications and actions from feminist movements are those linked to student activism. In fact, I would say that much of the exasperation and complaints of a large body of the population toward movement for social justice and equality (not just feminism, but as a famous one it faces a lot of critique) isn't directed directly at feminism itself but more at student activist who have the tendency of being extremely vocal, motivated and militant. This lead them to accomplish great things very fast on many occasion, but also leads them to say with great confidence lots of idiocies and misrepresent their own side. Nothing has more conviction and confidence than a partially informed person to paraphrase Mark Twain. I would also dare to say that media reporting of feminists (or other social justice issues) can be rather poor. Some more cynical than me would say that most modern media platform are better at misinformation than information for news outlet are more interested in selling copies or gaining visitors than reporting the truth. Plus, the fact that social justice issues are complex subject makes them inherently difficult to vulgarise. Social sciences, like natural sciences, faces issues in the way they are reported by mass media.

In the case of your two examples, your sources do report the news in very different terms than some others. In the case of the York university, according to two different British newspapers, closer to the source than the American and poorly judged Breitbart journal, the celebration were indeed cancelled, after a panelist and organiser of the celebration was removed following controversial posts on women bias in recruitment and promotions in universities backed with studies that were widely debunked. He received stiff criticism from his peers, some students and is own boss and later retracted his comment. He then proceeded to give a new angle to his position and seeked to shift the public attention from hiring bias favorable to women to men mental healthcare issue. Because of the incident in question, the celebration was cancelled but not because of feminists like many mentioned both in comment sections and some newspaper, but because it was believed that supporting this particular men speech could damage the university reputation. While I do agree it was a bad decision from the head of the university to cancel it in such a fashion, a decision which was contested too, it wasn't done to appease feminist, but to prevent damage to the university reputation because, as mentionned earlier, of the wild claim that was presented by the panelist in question. You need to keep in mind that Dr. Lee attacked directly his own university, its administration and his peers with very little convincing arguments to backup his statement. It would have been surprising for him to be allowed to talk, even if he was correct, due to potential damage to the university reputation. In his particular case, he didn't even had sound support for his opinion. Yes, a letter signed by 200 student, teachers, post graduates was the ignition point, but the final jab was delivered by the university administration that condemned and retorted to his comments that he later withdraw.
All in all, this particular event reeks more of miscommunication and bad press within York University than feminism attempting to block men's right activism. The angle of Dr. Lee wasn't the best to present in the context of those celebration and he should have fact checked his own thesis more carefully. On a side note, mental healthcare for men would have been a much better subject than an alledged bias in York University hirring policy where men occupy around 75% of the teaching and administrative chair despite lower diplomation in the population.

As for the «shirt gate» (love the name BTW), we can both agree that wearing that shirt on TV wasn't the most brilliant fashion choice, but the reaction does demonstrate that it's a lot easier to talk about fashion than science. Yet, while overblown, the criticism on his clothing was just but his scientifical achievement still awesome Tongue. It doesn't need to be one or the other. You can be a great scientist and wear sexist or innapropriate shirt.

PS: I woud like to post a reply to your second post tomorrow if you don't mind waiting for me. There is again, a lot of material to cover.

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
Find all posts by this user
[+] 3 users Like epronovost's post
10-05-2016, 08:15 PM
RE: Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
Feel free, it took quite a bit of time to write those out and the debate isn't going anywhere. Just a point of clarification on the article regarding the cancellation, I sourced information from both left and right wing media, in this case Breitbart and The Daily Mail. Both of which site the open letter written to the university.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
[+] 1 user Likes Blackhand293's post
11-05-2016, 03:39 PM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2016 09:07 AM by epronovost.)
RE: Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
Before I start to discuss your second post, I must mention that I was a bit surprised. A lot of elements mentioned in it seem to have very little, to no link, to the subject of our debate in my opinion. For example your very first section talking progressive stacks has nothing to do with intersectionality or even feminism at large. It’s a concept developed by the Occupy Movement, an anti-capitalist pseudo-revolutionary movement, to organise and enhance the diversity it’s of authorised speakers in an effort to truly represent the 99% (the 1% being composed in fact and in their imagination of mostly WASP). Intersectionality is opposed to any form of hierarchy of the defining labels of a person since it defeats its very purpose to study how identity can be fluid and a person can suffer different form of discrimination and oppression at different levels depending on his or her circumstances. The very idea of hierarchizing them is very tempting to human being (we hierarchies almost everything and everyone given the chance) and several have attempted to do so, but they have failed to make consensus, amongst other thing, because you cannot quantify «oppression and discrimination». That's why, outside of the Occupy Movement, pretty much nobody uses or even think about progressive stacks. Because of this, I don't think progressive stacks have any pertinence to our conversation. The fact that Bahar Mustafa mentioned that she cannot be sexist or racist due to her status as a women and Arab isn't linked to progressive stacks or intersectionality, but to a different use of the word sexism and racism sometimes (which also covers different usages for the word discrimination and oppression) employed in gender study and sociology. Basically she is using those two terms in a different fashion than the general public. I guess we can talk more on that later.

The worst offender in my opinion isn't progressive stacks, but your mention of «Trigger Warning» through an article from the National. So called «Trigger Warning» have, again, nothing to do with feminism per say, not even its most radical and insane branches. «Trigger Warning» are born out of the bureau of censorship to warn people about violence, sex and vulgarities. You might even call it a conservative Christian concept more than anything else. «Trigger warnings» are common in pretty much all piece of media from television (The following program contain scenes of [insert stuff] viewer discretion is advised), movies, video games and even some books. In the context of a classroom, it also has application. For example, I always warn my student of History of the 20th century when I start to talk about the Holocaust because I will present the 1955 documentary Nuit et Brouillard. If you are a human being, watching this movie in a darkly illuminated room can be a difficult experience (I recommend it to you if you haven't watched it yet). The idea of warning people when you are talking about a subject that can be shocking isn't new, neither completely stupid even if sometimes it can be bothering, but to paraphrase Jean Paul Sartre hell is living with others. To return to the subject of «Trigger Warning», warning students when you are going to present real cases of rape (and if you are teacher who want to leave a strong impression, you won't present a pretty one) warning students and allowing them to leave should they think they can't handle it isn't a bad idea. No, lawyers don't necessarily need in depth knowledge of rape laws and status since most lawyers and judges don't even work on criminal cases (or even present before a court). In all cases, this particular point, despite being interesting, has absolutely no bearing on the subject of our discussion.

Finally your point over the sanctioning of «sexist» words like «mankind» to describe the whole of humanity, while touching feminism closely, isn't really pertinent either to our subject. In no way a teacher choosing to sanction a word like mankind because it's believed to be less correct, or even sexist, than humankind represent a problem to men's right. The same thing applies to male and female when talking about human persons since some believe it’s a form of dehumanisation considering the words male and female are used to describe animal of that specific sex and people usually take offense at being treated like animals. While I personally don't care about the usage of the word mankind, I am forced to admit that humankind is a better term to describe the whole of humanity because it sound more inclusive. While I disagree on the idea of using male and female when talking about human is dehumanising, I would find it so if one uses pretty systematically men to describe men and female to describe women (or vice-versa). Finally, I must mention that as a teacher, I reserve myself the right to set my own criteria of evaluation and if I want to enforce more rigor in my student writing style, especially in the context of a gender study class like for the two examples you have presented, I would do so in such a fashion. No matter your personal opinion on the subject loosing points for using the word male instead of men or mankind instead of humankind has no impact on men's right and in the case of men vs male might actually improve it in certain circumstances. On those specific points, you are, in my opinion, conflating various social justice activism and especially issues on student activism and media reporting on them.

I would like to mention that most the newspaper articles that you have used so far: The National Review, Breitbart Journal and the Daily Mail are both very conservative (especially from a Canadian perspective) and populist newspaper. The Huffington Post and USA Today offer a very wide range of political views in their editorials, but are known for their sensationalist vibe (especially the Huffington Post who sometimes rely on click bait articles) despite being less populist and presenting longer, more nuanced articles. I would like to tie this in to the point presented on the first paragraph of my second post. I do think that such presentation of feminist (and social justice issues) by populist and sensationalist newspapers from all political inclination (populist liberal newspapers are barely more than barely funny snarks against conservatives) does great disservice to feminism and men's right activism by putting them in confrontational situation all time while they aren't fundamentally opposed to one another. It creates false controversy and is generally a waste of time.

Now moving one to your point about feminism placing masculinity as a central cause for an Islamist terrorist attack. That, somehow, simply being a man can make you into a terrorist. That radical Islamism isn't a cause of terrorism despite its core message of violence, xenophobia and authoritarianism. Your article, from the National Report, based its news from a flyer and the opinion of College Fix a news outlet dedicated to higher education news with a right wing editorial stance (they even made a bad pun with it). You can find both original articles at the end of my post, College Fix had a much better article than the National Report. Both report the news like if it’s some sort of attack on men while it should attack Islamism. That men are horrible simply because they are men while to their eyes it’s evident that this terrorist attack was motivated by radical Islamism. Yet, simply using the partial quote from the College Fix articles, the feminist speaker who was delving into the psychology of mass murderers did an excellent job at presenting an issue of men's right in a feminist perspective and more precisely, attacking «male exceptionalism» which is pervasive in our society. Men are, according to her (and me), pressured by society to behave in a certain way: to be strong, clear headed, successful, defiant, risk taking, independent and rational. When a men fail to meet those expectation he is first victim of his own failing being weak, emotionally confused, unsuccessful, meek, anxious, dependant and/or irrational which are all clear disadvantages in a competitive and productivist society like ours. In addition to this, men who fail to meet the expectations of «male exceptionalism» are re-victimised by society who always have tools to enforce conformity either to allow its members to develop in the «proper way» and push back into the fold or eliminate those who didn't. Thus a man lacking already several traits that would have made him live happily in our society is further marginalised, denigrated and attacked instead of being helped. You simply need to look at the victims of bullying violence amongst men to see that those who are victims of it have a lack in one or several core characteristics of «male exceptionalism». It also highlight two other problems, the first one is that men who are in those situation have very little recourse since asking for help goes against social expectations for men thus marginalising them further and the fact that men are more prone to act of violence directed toward others (higher criminality and murder rates) while women are more prone to violence against themselves (higher suicide attempt rates and self-mutilation rates). I personally find vocal men's right activists very quiet to men’s issues with crime. While it’s true that crime rates are falling steadily, especially for crime committed by men, there is very little time spend discussing the root cause of this form of social violence. Feminists rarely talk about men's right issues, but when they do, it’s usually to highlight this particular issue, present the need to shift our social expectations and it is harmful to men’s right to ignore those recommendation. Men’s higher tendency to commit violent act against others gives us an image of violent, uncaring and selfish brutes. It’s one of the reason why in popular media and court men are judged more harshly and portrayed more often as villains. In my opinion, this speaker presented an important issue for men's right. She defended them instead of pointing the easy answer of «it’s all the fault of radical Islamism» like the National Report and College Fix did despite the fact that most shrinks who have worked to rehabilitate those Islamist terrorists think that radical Islamism isn't such an important cause for their violence, especially in the case of converts or those who grew up in the western world, but more frequently a legitimisation tool for it. I took the liberty of adding some links on the subject of the root causes of terrorism and mass violence at the end of my post even if it isn't linked to the subject of our debate. I apologies for the digression.

Finally on the case of the now infamous «Trigglypuff» and the lecture of Cristina Hoff-Sommers. Here are several fact that need to be remembered. First, Cristina Hoff-Sommers is a feminist just like «Trigglypuff». Despite the fact that she's been called anti-feminist numerous times, according to a strict definition of the term, and her own work and words, Hoff-Sommers is still a feminist. She frequently talk about men's right and tackles inequalities between men and women from a men perspective unlike most feminists, but she is still a feminist and does talk extensively about women's rights especially abortion rights and the inconsideration of women's work in society. Hoff-Sommers is disliked up to the point of hatred by most feminists for a few reasons. First, she's a right wing, libertarian; a very rare thing in the feminist movement largely dominated by far left people. Second, she opposes governmental actions on gender issues and especially positive action and discriminations, a favored tool of many feminists organisation like the Status of Women Council. She also opposes the most of the analysis on patriarchy and power relationship between genders. Yet, she is still a feminist and, despise her loathing of it, she might even be considered a Modern Feminist. She does uses intersectionality in her work to both defend women's rights, men's rights and criticise certain positions of more mainstream feminism. She does analyse genders relationship in a power perspective, frequently arguing that Marxist influence on mainstream feminism lead it to build system that would give women more power than men in society at large than simply provide vehicle to equality. Cristina Hoff-Sommers is a case of a feminist criticising other feminists and I think this is inherently positive even if I disagree with her on most point. As for «Trigglypuff, she was obviously in strong disagreement with her for various reason that I am afraid were never made really clear due to the rather unintelligible nature of her speech at the precise point. She was, from my point of view, subject to a crisis of hysteria, a not so rare occurrences in situation of stress from people with relatively poor social skills. I have yet to read a clear essay coming from this person on the subject of feminism and more particularly her critique of Hoff-Sommers work, so I can't even comment on that and how her newfound celebrity can affect men's right positively or negatively. Her attempt at blocking the presentation is obviously inappropriate, but not the idea of manifesting against it outside of the conference room. She's entitled to her opinion and manifestation of it just as much as Cristina Hoff-Sommers. Unfortunately blocking access to conferences, work place, shops or buildings is nothing new or unique to feminism. In fact it's a common non-violent form of protest used extensively by anti-racist groups like Black Lives Matter, anti-capitalist groups like Occupy Wall Street (which had for ambition to the said street), Unions and ecologist groups like Greenpeace. Since I have no clue as to what «Trigglypuff» was opposing in Cristina's speech I cannot comment on her potential impact on men's rights (or women rights by that matter). While I do think that the quasi systematic blocking by feminists group of men's right activists conferences in university ground is detrimental to men's right, I think that many men's right activists share a portion of that blame for inviting some of the most controversial and divisive speakers possibly imaginable to talk about the most divisive subjects. Considering the problem of image that men's right activism has, especially compared to feminism who had about 80 more years to establish itself, presenting more nuanced and less divisive men's right activist to show a better side of the movements and perhaps even a debate amongst men right activists to show it isn’t monolithic either, they do are as diverse as feminists, in my opinion would largely reduce this kind of problem. It would also improve the situation of men's right much better than reducing it to an endless game of opposition and conflict between two movements with similar goals.


Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
Find all posts by this user
[+] 3 users Like epronovost's post
15-05-2016, 08:56 PM (This post was last modified: 15-05-2016 09:01 PM by Blackhand293.)
RE: Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
Apologies for the long wait for response, but life tends to get in way sometimes.

We seem to be arguing past each other in some of our posts. The issue is multifaceted, has many contributing factors and will not have a simple explanation. The PR problem of feminism has been created not by the public but by feminism itself, its seeming need to control speech and thought and an inability for the movement to realize when it has gone too far.

This may be a long post

Here is my contention:

1)Conservatism is a political stance, often holding views such as economic protectionism, smaller government, less excessive spending of tax money. It often goes hand in hand with religiosity in the US but that does not mean the one follows from another. Denying somethings validity because it does not conform to your political leaning is rather worrying.

2) Political Correctness, is wielded like a club with all the finesse of sledgehammer, has primarily been used to alter words like fireman, chairman and so forth, declaring them to be sexist due to not including woman in it, or having the word man in it, i.e. mankind.

Ignoring the way the words came to be and the organic nature of languages. The language must be controlled but, and here is the kicker, words often used by feminism often as a means of shutting down conversation : MANsplain, MANspread, MANslamming, these are not sexist under the selective criteria of feminist discourse.

Additionally when asked how does FEMinism include men if the word is specifically gendered towards woman, the criticism is ignored.

It is your prerogative to encourage your students to expand their vocabulary, to better structure their sentences and so forth, the reason i used that example was to demonstrate how feminism has a problem with language that is does not like, whether it be actually sexist or just stated to be so on the basis of containing "man".

3.) Contrary to what you stated, prominent Feminists have repeatedly linked "Toxic Masculinity" to act of violence such as shootings. This ideological expression is one way feminism has harmed men, continuously being told that toxic masculinity is the root of all problems men face, yet when a woman does something extreme how often do you see the phrase Toxic Femininity thrown about?

Case in Point :How rare are female child killers?

All too often the root causes of such things are dismissed if its a man as it does not conform to the prescriptive feminist theory.


4.) Feminist Critical Theory is flawed. It is prescriptive, not descriptive of reality. Operating on the Oppressor/ Oppressed dichotomy of neo-marxist philosophy. it has made it harder for men, as has been demonstrated with the Duluth Model, where when the actual experiences did not bare out, the model but was pushed though regardless because it conformed to the expectations of FCT.

When new research and meta analysis of the previous research was done and it was found reality did not conform to the prescriptions of FCT, and that female perpetrators are more often seen as victims
Gender Symmetry in Domestic Violence
The role of Suspect Gender

5)This dichotomy, created in FCT, is often sited as a justification of hating your oppressor, thus excusing anything you do in your pursuit of what you deem to be end goal, in this case equal rights. Dehumanization makes it much easier to attack a target, and that is often done to those who would oppose the overreach and excess of MF. Men are seen as the acceptable victim, the one its okay to hate.

Case in point, Gregory Allen Elliot. A man accused of criminal harassment, for for disagreeing with a feminist. In the Trail it was bought to light the campaign of online harassment they perpetrated, and claimed they were justified in their actions.

Another, the wide publication of the identity of men accused, not even charged or convicted, of a sexual offense, as far as i could tell the feminist opinion of this is that it will harm woman somehow if they are granted anonymity before legal proceedings. The seeming push by feminist writers and activists to alter Due Process laws in cases of sexual assault, purposely to protect woman.
We can't stop rape if we prize men's reputations over women's safety
Anti-Feminist Victim Blamer in my own backyard
Why giving men anonymity in rape cases is a bad idea

5)When criticisms are made towards feminism, more often than not, if made by a man will simply be dismissed as sexism, because he has male privilege, and if he is heterosexual its strait privilege and if he is white its white privilege, or a combination of all three.

Similarly to that article on the Huffington post, where white feminists where decried for having white privilege and should listen to the black feminist, the progressive stack you so casually dismissed in action.
The most derided group

The progressive stack did not enter the occupy movement until the involvement of feminist activists.

Identity Politics as played by feminists in the media, in academia and on campus harms both men and woman, and feminism as a whole. It is the neo-marxist feminist critical theory in action, where what you are has become more important than who you are. Actions mean nothing Identity above all, smash the meritocracy!

I would hardly call some of the protests by feminist activists peaceful. They don't entertain any discussions on campus that challenge their narrative as was shown in 2014 with the constant disruption and eventual pulling of a fire alarm in University of Toronto, because a Professor there wanted to give a lecture on Men's Rights issues as an example, and at Rutgers and University of Massachusetts.

Its this utter intolerance of anything that contradicts the narrative that is harmful to men's rights as they can't even speak of them on campus with out some form of censure . Trigglypuff has become the modern face of feminist ridicule, the example pointed to that shows how people see feminist activists, intolerant of ideas, likely to throw a fit if challenged and unable to articulate their position.

Advocating for quotas because a prescriptive theory tells you men and woman are identical except for the sex organs, and thus a 50/50 split is mandatory but only in fields that are not predominantly female mind you, is harmful to both men and woman. It imposes the tyranny of soft expectations on woman as standards would be lowered if needed, privileges granted because of sex says that you do not want equality of opportunity but of outcome. A double standard remains unfair no matter who it benefits.

Discrimination in favor of one group in binary means you discriminate against the other.

Further the whole Kafka Trap often employed by feminists: You support equality? Then you must be a feminist! Oh your not a feminist, you misogynistic scum, why do you hate woman?

That itself does nothing to aid your cause, or the position and precipitation of feminism.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
[+] 5 users Like Blackhand293's post
24-06-2016, 11:25 AM (This post was last modified: 24-06-2016 08:32 PM by epronovost.)
RE: Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
1) I didn't rejected you position because it was conservative, but because all the sources supporting it were from populist, sensationalist, conservative newspaper. It makes your support weak because these newspaper, much like the liberal ones, are very bad at reporting news in an honest, clear and nuanced fashion as I demonstrated. Furthermore, a plurality of political opinion is important when analysing a social phenomenon to avoid ideological trap in the second source treatment of an event (that's what media do and in the case of the newspapers you quoted they even are a third source). It bias your perception because they are a bad sources of information on complex issues, not because they are conservative. Getting your news from liberal tabloids is just as bad like I mentioned earlier. Feminism is like climate change. Using tabloids and internet forum to inform yourself on it isn’t a good idea, there is enormous chances you will be misinformed. As for progressive stacks, I found no mention of its existence outside of the Occupy Movement and no mention of any feminist organisation using it in their own rally or conferences. Neither did I find any traces of the name of the school of feminism (or group) from which the idea would originate. Your argument of it being a feminist invention seems to be impossible to verify and rather strange considering that the most important stack in this system is race and not gender. That’s why I brushed it aside so easily. Some feminist might have liked the idea, but it doesn’t make it a feminist idea not more than feminists liking ski makes it a feminist sport.

2) In my opinion, your argument entire argument on language is flawed by misunderstanding of pretty much everything from the origin of the word feminism, to the development of language and why some teachers in gender study class would require some of their students to use more correct terms. First, feminism has some interest in language because language communicate ideas. Like with all philosophy, defining terms is the very first thing you need to do. Feminists have talked and pressured to have some words like fireman, chairman, or other like so to be changed because, unlike before, women were starting to be fireman and chairman. The term fireman became in usages in a time where fighting fire was solely a man activity. They were no woman firefighter or they were so rare it was pretty much unknown. Now, there are more and more women in this domain. Those words were becoming inappropriate to describe reality since fireman or chairman implies a man while it could very well be a woman. It was also believed that adding a gender to a job title could reinforced the conception that certain jobs were for a certain sex. While this idea has some foundation and has been found to affect the perception of the general public concerning those jobs, especially amongst children and teens, the effect of gender neutral language is almost impossible to calculate and remains highly controversial.

As for mankind, it can be used in two ways. The first one to describe all men and another one to describe all of humanity. Womankind, is never used to describe all of humanity. Thus, using mankind, assuming that it implies all of humanity, while the word humankind exist is to me an error. The fact that the word man used to describe all of humanity while it’s no longer the case in the English language should also reveal a lot about this argument. Words and word forms can and do become anachronistic over time. Man is good example. It used to describe all of humanity with wer to describe men and wif to describe woman in the old English language. Wer and wif fell out of usages and man remained. Normally, language evolves pretty «organically» following usages, but sometime, Academia and other political pressure changes it in a more radical way. That’s how nigger fell out of usages or a new grammar was both developed in French and Spanish. In French, language can be highly political thanks to the existence of the French academy. Neologism are coined rather frequently, changing the way we speak. There is nothing spooky or new with what feminism is doing with language today. In fact the idea of a gender neutral pronoun is over 200 years old and find support in some 17th century texts including the KJV apparently. Saying that it’s not good because it’s not natural would constitute a fallacious appeal to nature. It’s a question of what word describe best a reality. In no way is making word used to describe a group gender neutral is an attack on men (or women). To some it’s an annoyance, but it’s in no way dangerous to men’s rights. In fact, it might help men in careers traditionally reserved to women if we are to believe the two sources above. After all, feminist have also requested gender neutral terms for words with women in it like stewardess who became flight attendant or motherhood who is now replaced by parenthood. No, feminism doesn’t have «a special problem with man» but with gender specific terms, or gender specific forms, used in words to describe both men and women.

As for the word feminism/feminist, it has quite a history. It’s a translation from the French word féminisme. In French feminism and féminisme don’t have exactly the same definition. Féminisme, directly translated, describe the movement and study for the condition of women, their rights, social status and relationship with power in a perspective of gender equality. The term became synonymous with equality of sexes, because it was the objective of the very first feminist, improve women conditions and critique their place and role in society to achieve equality. No, feminism makes no sense in a society without equality struggles between genders or in a matriarchal society. If you wonder why feminism talk so little about men’s issue, it’s because historically it was completely centered on women’s rights and condition since the idea of gender equality was birthed within those movement, not in society at large. The great democratic revolutions of the early to mid-19th century purposefully ignored women’s right and status. Its philosophical architect like Jean-Jacques Rousseau or John Locke weren’t proponent of sex equality. In the case of Rousseau, he was about as sexist as a Taliban. His books l’Émile and Sophie on children education are impressively sexist even for the time. The objective of feminism, though, included both men and women and technically, men’s right activism was born from feminist circles to achieve the same objective but from a men’s right perspective to compensate for the lack of attention from traditional feminism to their specific issues. Modern feminism has made a move to change that separation of feminism and men’s right activism by questioning the foundation of their separation in the first place, gender norms and its cultural expression and that’s when conflict started between paleo-feminist, traditional feminist, modern feminist, men’s right movement and neo-reactionary movement on gender rights truly began.

There is also a problem of «trade mark». Equalitarianism already existed to describe an early form of communism pushed by Louis Leblanc for example (pre-Marx), Humanism described a 16th century philosophical movement, gender equality movement lacked a bit of punch and isn’t very catchy while failing at catching its most extraordinary feature; the fact that it was centered on and pushed by women, a group of people who, during feminism early infancy, was considered too stupid to make the difference between reality and what they read in books of fiction (no shit, some actually thought it was the case).

Feminism came to be the one used and remember because before the 70’s nobody really started to question seriously gender role from a masculine perspective. Feminist are attached to the word feminism because it links them to a rich history of civil struggle, philosophical development and research more than a century old. Furthermore, some, like me, fear that discarding feminism as a label would make it easier for those against equality of sexes to dismiss the work of feminist intellectuals. Finally, with the rise of the men’s right movement, it help reminds us that, while feminism has an objective that transcend the barriers of sexes, it’s a movement born and centered on women rights. It explain this focus of feminism on women’s rights, position and issues. Has I mentioned in my very first post, the fact that feminism touches so little to men’s right and struggles is a weakness. But, the epistemological tools developed by it, as well as its intentions, makes it pertinent and helpful to men’s rights. In fact, should we discard completely feminism, those of us in favors of gender equality, would also have to discard the men’s right movement for if gender equality cannot be achieved only from one perspective, it cannot be achieved by the other one. It’s my wish and hypothesis that feminism as we speak is transforming and splintering itself to become a movement concerned by both men’s and women’s right status. We will have to wait 15 to 20 years to see what feminism will look like at that point.

As a side note to the Kafka trap of feminism. The definition of this term in English, supported and upheld by most dictionary, is that feminism is a movement and ideology that support and promulgate sex equality. Yes, if you are a proponent of gender equality, you are technically a feminist in the wide sense of the term, just like if you don’t believe in ant deity, you are an atheist in the wide sense of the term. Of course, you are free to use another label, more precise, to describe yourself, but it doesn’t make you less of a feminist. Since the term is so wide, it does encompass a wide spectrum of ideologies and «visions» of gender equality from Christian/Mormon feminism to Transfeminism passing by Amazon Feminism, Womanism to Trans Excluding Radical Feminism. All of these schools of thought have a different vision of gender equality, not all of them bear the signature marks of modern feminisms, yet they all are forms of feminism (even if some of these schools are in direct conflict with others). If you aren’t feminist, one can reasonably say you are sexist much like if you aren’t atheist, you are by definition a form or another of theist. It’s a valid position when you are employing the widest definition of the term.

Finally, yes feminism has a problem with the words mansplain, manslamming and manspreading. These are vulgar words and just like mention in your own articles about the objection to the use male, female, mankind, it was also mentioned that the same teacher wouldn’t tolerate slurs to describe men (and she had seen some and so did I in my own experience). They have a certain use, in the sense they can be used to rant or joke about certain sexist or stupid behavior like some men talking with assurance and authority on subject they know very little like female contraception and menses; rough sex and sexually humiliating practice; or simply taking a lot of space in public transport for some unknown reason. All these things do happen in a semi-regular fashion and can be used somewhat appropriately in a friendly conversation.

Can they be used to shut down a conversation or dismiss a critique without listening? Of course, women are people, they can be assholes just like they can be nice. But then again, a fringe of men’s right activism popularised words like feminazi, mangina, cockhold (or simply cock) and beta-male who are just as much used to shut down conversation (or have a good laugh at someone else expense). Most of those words target specifically men, but I think that decrying men’s right activism as a whole as men hating would be a bit silly (for its reactionary fringe though, I think the argument is valid and it’s also true for fringe group of feminism). Finally none of those words are specifically feminist. It’s not because they are used by women in most occasion to mock men that they are feminists. I find ironic that you wrote an entire paragraph on «the culture of cuddling and trigger warning» to then flip around and accuse feminism of hating men because some women, who might not even all be feminists, used a few words to laugh, a bit uselessly and cruelly I admit, at men or shut down unpleasant conversation. Every single group has its little words to shut down conversations and their opposition. There is nothing new or special about this and arguing that, for feminism to be laudable, it needs to be devoid of all sort of negative behavior like this from its proponents would constitute a Nirvana Fallacy. Furthermore, judging feminism by the behavior of some feminist does constitute a form of Ad Hominem argument since you critique the messenger and not the message.

3) I think you misunderstood my position and that of feminism in my precedent post on the issue of violence and masculinity. «Male exceptionalism», what you refer as «toxic masculinity» is indeed considered a cause in violence and criminality with good reasons, especially in regard to what psychological study on violence have found out (I refer you again to my link from the psychological journal) and it’s specifically because feminism critique it that it help men’s rights. «Male exceptionalism» feeds an enormous amount of negative stereotypes for men and create a situation of extreme victimisation for men who refuse or fail to meet its pre-requisite, re-victimisation that enhance marginalisation and increase potential for physical violence. Feminism doesn’t critique «male exceptionalism» without offering a solution either. It critiques it so that the idea of a man having issues with its central characteristic isn’t re-victimised by society while trying to help himself; that those who refuse or simply don’t match expectations aren’t rejected to the margin of society where their situation becomes even worse. It mention the importance of a network of support for men and especially tries to brake the shamming vicious circle that surround men trying to deal with mental health issue or any other form of weakness.

Pointing out a flaw in men’s social expectation and representation isn’t an attack on men, it’s an attack on a form of masculinity and mankind cannot be reduced to the simple representation and expectations we have of them. Men are much more diverse and complex than our cultural vision of masculinity and even more than what «male exceptionalism» would make them. Criticising «male exceptionalism» or even normative masculinity isn’t attacking men, it’s, in my opinion, the opposite. It’s defending men against a social convention that empowers them in normal circumstances, but harm them and reduce them when they are marginalised by society. In the case of violence and crime, men who commit or are victims of crime are harmed by this toxic form masculinity. It reject on them the entire fault of their crime instead of putting it in relation with their psychological and social background and even worse, those who are victim of crimes are belittled for their incapacity to defend themselves or because they are in a traumatised state, especially if the perpetrator is affected by prejudice of weakness like it’s the case for women, teens and, in some circumstances homosexuals. Men are expected to be strong, independent and in control of their emotions and lives, when they fail significantly in any of these area they suffer both from their own failings and from social derision. This explain, amongst other things, the lower level of denunciation of abuse perpetrated against them and lead criminalised men to be judged more dangerous to society solely based on their sex. Again, men are supposed to be strong, independent and in control of their emotions and lives. This makes them appear more dangerous should they turn those qualities against society.

Feminism, especially modern feminism as always been critical to the point of brutality to gender roles and behavior. Yes, unlike your assumption, feminism has been very critical of toxic femininity up to the point that one of the central conclusion of Simone de Beauvoir in her book the Second Sex, a pillar of feminism, was that for gender equality to be achieved, the idea of femininity would have to be discarded (both the good and the bad). Women violence against their own children is largely explained by psychiatry due to the identification of a women’s children as a part of herself, an extension of her own body and in an even more twisted way an extension of her mind. Women who are physically violent or abusive toward their children are known to have very little self-estime, little contact with society and sociability issues. In this, they aren’t different than violent men. Their only crotch that gives them a sense of purpose or a sense of authority is their family. Thus, when they crack and turn to violence their first victims beside themselves is their children. Those mothers frequently think they have a «symbiotic» relationship with their children. They view them, wrongfully, as extensions of themselves on which they base their hope and reject their faults instead of independent living beings.

Feminism address this issue by criticising the idea that a good women must be a mother and that the crown jewel of women’s achievement are her children. It used to (and still is to a lesser degree) how woman are perceived in our society. A women should be a caring mother. Feminism want to force women to discover that there is a life outside of their family and break this «symbiotic» relationship with their children has sole provider of self-worth. That they are not condemned to be mother first or even mother at all. The numerous attack of feminism on motherhood, especially in its most toxic form, is one of the central reason why many of its critique, especially in religious circles, state that feminism actually hate women because it seek to destroy femininity which express itself, especially in Christianity, through motherhood (kitchen, church and kindergarten). You can read on The Psychology of Female Violence: Crime Against the Body by Anna Motz if you are interested on the subject. Its available free online (read pages 15 to 35 for the portion about violence from women against children). Basically modern feminism is serving the same medicine to men than it did to women 40 years and more ago (and still does). It seek to brake the concept gender exceptionalism.

Feminism attacks gender roles and representation, which it considers as a social construct that is harmful for a democratic, just and fair civilisation. To an uninformed person or a newspaper who aims for a more punchy articles to sell itself, it’s easy to «forget» that feminism draw a fundamental difference between the social construct of masculinity and femininity and actual men and women. Considering the negative impacts of both concept on men and women, feminism is helping men and women rights when it challenges it and propose solution to get rid of the gender exceptionalism that surrounds them so that the values, skills and attitudes men and women are taught aren’t normative but based on their unique psychological and social needs.

4) On to the case of the Feminist Critical Theory. Yes, it’s largely based and inspired by Marxist Critical Theory of Class Struggle, because both are interested in the same thing. The power struggle between the groups at the base of society to explain political, economic and social evolution of human society. If the Marxist Critical Theory of Class Struggle is invested in studying the groups based on their political and economic power, the feminist one based it simply on gender. The FCT (for short) study the power struggle between the two sexes for humans are a social species and has such we hierarchize pretty much everything. Describing it has a simple binary struggle between the oppressor and oppressed class isn’t false. Fundamentally, in any hierarchized society you can only belong to either of the two class, the one that after all the struggles finds itself with the most power and can shape society with the greatest ease (the oppressor) and those who have to make best of it and sometime suffer from it (the oppressed). Yet qualifying it of binary is also extremely misleading and simplistic. This resumé of the FCT (and by extension of Marxist Critical Theory of Class Struggle), forgets very important detail for example that a dynamic of oppressor/oppressed isn’t unilateral, it’s a struggle with both groups acting on the other. The oppressor isn’t all powerful and the oppressed isn’t powerless. If such was the case, according to Marx, society would stagnate. There would be no struggle at all. It also treat the society only at a macro-level. That’s where intersectional studies and micro-powers comes into play. These allow to explain and understand the roles and position of marginal and non-conformists like criminals, queers or simply people who don’t fit in their «stereotypical boxes». Thus, while men were (and still somewhat are) the oppressor class in FCT, not all men benefited equally of this privileged position and neither were they in control of all the sphere of society. In the same fashion women were not all subservient and the most cunning amongst them even managed to rise well above their station. This particular nuance is extremely important for our particular brand of patriarchal system which was based on a foundation that weaken non-conformist and marginalised men and not so much non-conformist and marginalised women. Since this patriarchal system has been shut down and now rolls on simply on inertia the situation has been exacerbated.

The three bases of our patriarchal system was a strong segregation of sexes both in terms of work, values and education, «male exceptionalism» and its mirror «female exceptionalism» and racialism (to explain why our particular system wasn’t universal). «Male exceptionalism» pushes men to develop the correct psychological, social and physical tools to take positions of power, respect and authority in society. It enforce the idea that, not only should a men be in such a position, but that it’s his natural position. «Female exceptionalism» pushes women to develop the correct psychological, social and physical tools take subservient, caring and supporting positions in society. Both sexes «complete one another» to form a productive and orderly society. This is what Islamism, for example, calls «Sex Complementarity» which is supposed to replace gender equality. Since all society enforce conformity to their social structures, all men or women who largely failed or refused to «fit in» those stereotypes faced various form of discrimination and marginalisation which in turn put them at greater risks to develop mental health issue, social isolation, criminalisation and victimisation. Women who failed to conform were those who were trying to seize position of power, respect and authority or who were simple bad at being subservient, caring and/or supportive. Most of the systematic discrimination, or sexism if you prefer, against women in the traditional western society was against women who were trying to ascend in the social hierarchy and obtain position of power, respect and authority. That’s why we can say that women were the oppressed class. The marginal were those in position of power, respect and authority. On the other side of the spectrum, marginal men were those who either failed or refused to take position of power, respect and authority. Because being failing to conform to social structure is punished by society, sometimes in a very direct fashion, marginal men find themselves in a very difficult situation, perhaps even worse than those normative women. They are both in situation of reduced power, respect and authority and belittled, ignored or even further attacked because of it while women in similar position are rewarded and considered excellent wives.

Does this means that if men occupy both the highest and lowest position in society that the traditional patriarchal society was actually gender equal all taken into account? Absolutely not. Societies are good at enforcing social codes and structure. For every marginal men there were hundreds of normal men and the same was true for women. Arguing that because those occupying the very worst position in society were men, thus the system doesn’t favor men represent an Apex fallacy. Just like describing 16th England has a matriarchy because it was ruled by a queen would be laughable. She was an historical oddities and pretty much all other positons of power (from nobles ones to peasants ones) were held by men. Furthermore, within society, marginal persons are capable of creating their own microcosms. We traditionally refer to it has organised crime. This is where marginal people flock to obtain position of power, respect and authority without conforming to society at large. Organised crime, was and still is, the most sexually segregated sphere of society with the crippling majority of its movers and shakers being men and women pushed to subservient roles. So, if men were judged more harshly than women by the criminal justice system due to the fact that they were perceived (wrongfully) has «naturally more dangerous and difficult to rehabilitate» and more frequently ignored when they found themselves in situation of extreme vulnerability where does feminism impact start to affect men differently?

Feminism is largely responsible for braking the modern western patriarchal social system. By removing the legal barriers that prevented women ascension in society, it allowed a good number of them to seize position of power, respect and authority more easily. In turn, those women gave an example of what women in general could achieve and with the support of various feminist organisations, mentality started to change. Now, women can vote, be elected, be judge and jury members, obtain loans and mortgage without signed authorisation from their father, brother or husband, work full time, are legally guaranteed to be paid the same amount for the same job, have access to higher sphere of education, can become police officers and even soldiers. Of course, all is not well and done and while these gains are extremely impressive on paper, reality is a bit harsher and women generally still struggle more in general than men from the same socio-economical background to reach the same objective because of lingering stereotypes, covert curricula, remains of social conventions, family-work conciliation, etc. Feminism was centered exclusively on women’s right for a large portion of its history and is three times older than the men’s right movement. Has such, if lots of energy was spent to improve the living conditions of women in general and especially more marginal ones, very little has been done comparatively speaking to help marginal men. The particular situation of marginal men is also more complex since it’s interweaved with criminality, anti-social behavior and poverty. While feminism strived to help women who weren’t in such a hard situation and gained quick result in the upper middle class portion of society. Only recently has it started to turn its eye on poorer women and men in general. This created a situation where the state of women’s rights improved drastically while those of men remain relatively unchanged. The loss of a privileged status in society can give the illusion that you are being placed in a situation of inferiority even if technically such is not the case. Your average conformist men doesn’t have it harder than your average conformist women. Where the situation gets worse thought is for marginal men who remain just has ignored has before. While marginal women’s situation is improving theirs remains just has low. The justice system is still harsher against them and charity work dedicated to help them much less numerous while the social construct that help normative men to obtain easily good standing in society are useless to them or even harmful.
This leads us to domestic violence and feminism. Does feminism created a situation in which men victim of domestic violence were going to be ignored or even confused for the real culprit? Unfortunately no. It was already the case well before the idea of domestic violence being a crime was developed. Men were already expected not to be victims of domestic violence in the distant past. In fact, it was even a men’s prerogative (and still is in several cultures) to beat his wife or children to discipline them and it wasn’t considered as violence. Did some women were violent with their husband and children in the past? Of course they were, but no men worth his salt would admit being scared or even beaten by his spouse and nobody would come to his help. A men being beaten by a women was a terrible humiliation even if rationally speaking it’s neither exceptional nor unexpected in many circumstances. This particular prejudice still hold true from time to time. A men in such a situation would not only receive only very little help, but would be the laughing stock of the town. What feminism is guilty of thought is to not challenge this particular myth and even, unwittingly support it in various situation.

For example, feminism has quickly attacked domestic violence for it was the form of violence that affect women the most and it’s still the case (remember that feminism was born from the women’s right movement). Most of its models to explain and «cure» domestic violence are thus centered on domestic violence from men to women and not from women to men, women to women, men to men or bidirectional domestic violence (which is actually very common in light to moderate cases of domestic abuse). This reinforced the situation of isolation of men being victims of domestic violence and abuse by providing help and support to only half the victims or so. Again, it’s only rather recently that men victims of domestic violence are being considered. But, I shy away from declaring that feminism make the situation even worse for men in this situation since without feminism domestic violence could not even have been challenged at all and criticism of «male exceptionalism» can break a vicious circle. If men victim of domestic violence were largely ignored in the past, they are being treated and considered more and more actively thanks to the effort of several men’s right groups and most notably thanks to the gay community. On the other side, feminist models of domestic violence have helped some men: the batterers, who, despite their position, also needed help to become more productive and happier member of society. Batterers might be in position of power over their spouse, it doesn’t mean they are in better position than men (or women) in healthy respectful couples (on the contrary) and rehabilitating them so that they can live and enjoy nonviolent couple relationship is no small service and an arduous task.

This is particularly evident in the case of the Duluth Model of power and Control. This model designed in the mid 80’s is probably the most widely used and most famous of all the models to rehabilitate men who batter their wives. The Duluth Model is frequently presented in a dishonest fashion by some of its critique. It isn’t a model designed to explain or describe domestic violence in general. In the own word of the Duluth Foundation, «it’s a model designed to represents the lived experience of women who live with a man who beats them. It does not attempt to give a broad understanding of all violence in the home or community but instead offers a more precise explanation of the tactics men use to batter women». The Duluth model, being born before the intersectional approach was developed and before micro-powers started to be extensively critiqued and studied, suffers from several glaring flaws in my opinion that affect negatively men’s rights and the perception of society toward domestic violence. Thankfully, new approaches and models to counter domestic violence are being developed by various feminist schools (and a few men’s right activist groups) and are starting to be implemented as we speak. Strictly speaking, The Duluth Model isn’t a product of modern feminism which started around the mid 90’s 10 years after the model was designed.
The Duluth Model is based on an incorrect observation. The two researchers who developed it confused the consequences of domestic violence (a climate of fear and control) with its motivation. Note, that they recanted this in the early 2000. This is a case of mistaking the map for the territory. It completely undervalued the importance of past traumatic experience in childhood, mental illness, lack of socialisation and substance abuse has root cause for battering. Can a desire for power and control born out of jealousy, anxiety, lack of self-estime, etc. be a cause of domestic violence? Yes it can, but it would be false to say it’s the cause of domestic violence or that it’s even a common one (especially in cases of light to moderate level of domestic violence). Since the Duluth Model is very popular and treat only men batterers, it gives the false illusion that batterers (and by extension men in general) are violent by design more than by «accident» or due to traumatic experience. It paints them in an overly negative light and can hamper the rehabilitation process, but also perpetuate the myth that only men batter. It paint with a too wide and simplistic brush the complex interactions underlining domestic violence, a complexity that the study of micro-powers and intersectional studies can help uncover thankfully. This model has also been proven to be unreliable when used on member of other community and needed to be modified extensively. The fact that there is no program for woman batterer is also an issue and slant perception of domestic violence. The way misinformed individual talk about the Duluth Model, what it is and what it does also help feed the myths on domestic violence and feminism since some critique over-emphasis some aspect of the Duluth Model like its reach and application.

On the other side, the Duluth Model does describe and explain in detail all the various tools and technique employed by batterers to hurt their spouse. This allows both the victim and the batterer to understand that they are far from being the only one in their situation, facing similar challenges and circumstances and that it’s possible to explain and solve their problems in a constructive way. The Duluth Model can also boast to be rather efficient and cost effective. While its extremely difficult to assess the exact efficiency of this particular batterer program due to challenges associate with the small sample size, difficulty to obtain a matching control group, the therapeutist skills and experience, men who only partially complete the 12 week long program, etc., most studies on the subject (one of which you can find at the end of this post) have found that the Duluth Model does yield positive results more readily than incarceration, community work, 12 steps program against violence and couple therapy. It truly help men achieve a healthier lifestyle when it comes to their relationship. It also happen to be rather cheap to implement. If resources to treat the victims of domestic violence are rather scarce, the resources to treat batterers and help them extricate themselves from their situation are even scarcer.

Considering both the good and the bad, does modern feminism in general is hindering or endangering men’s right? I would say it hinders men’s rights, but neither is modern feminism really helping men all that much. They are mostly ignored by feminism on this issue until the last 10 years. Feminism did help massively in the criminalisation of domestic violence, have developed tools to study it and solve it, implemented programs to help batterers and have recently started to critique one of the root cause behind the underreport of domestic violence amongst men. All these elements are clearly positive for men’s rights. On the other end, men suffer from poor exposition and unequal distribution of the funds to help victims of domestic violence, feminism has ignored their position for a long time and help, a bit unwittingly, feed the myth that only men can batter. I would say that modern feminism stands beside men who suffer from domestic abuse and is mostly helpful, but I would agree that in the past, especially during the 70’s and early 80’s, feminism was unhelpful to men suffering from domestic abuse.

5) On to your critique of feminism and the legal system surrounding rape case. Modern feminism tries to address several problems linked to sex crimes in society. Its subject of actions are the following: the underreporting of sexual crimes (especially harassment), the lack of support to its victims by the justice system, myths and negative attitudes surrounding rape and the cultural background/phenomenon that favors and perpetuate those myths and attitudes surrounding rape and sexual violence. Of course, not all schools of feminism have the same attitudes and strategies to address those issues and it’s important to recognise those differences which explains why some debate surrounding sexual violence or sexualisation can become so heated within feminism.

Your example on most feminist opposing measure protecting the identity of people accused of raping or sexual harassing is in direct link to those same feminist trying to make easier for people who suffered from sexual crimes to report them. According to several survey around 1/6 women who suffered from a sexual crime will report it. For men, the situation is even worst. Only 1/14 would do it according to the same surveys. One of the main reason for this worrisome situation is linked to the fact that victims of sexual crime fear they will not be believed, that they will face a barrage of criticism and even if they are believed, the perpetrator might not be condemned because of lack of evidence. Protecting the identity of persons accused of sexual crime could give the impression that the culprit is more protected than the victim while it shouldn’t be the case. Furthermore, I question how you could do such a thing in realist circumstances. Keeping the identity of victims secret is already pretty difficult especially in a highly publicised affair. For the accused it would be even more so due to our tendency to «lynch» person accused of crimes in the media.

Finally, it would be giving a special rights to those accused of sexual crimes that all other persons accused of different crimes don’t. After all, even politicians and celebrities accused by the population or a private citizen of various crimes from murder, corruption, fraud even war crimes see their names published even if they are far from being formerly accused by legal authorities. If you do it for people who are accused of rape or sexual crimes, you should do it for all the others. I hardly see here a problem for men’s right since men are even less likely than women to report a sexual crimes committed against them. Thus, they need twice more help to come forward and any measure that could possibly improve the situation is welcome.

What could be criticised in my opinion in those articles is the fact that men are portrayed has the perpetrator of rape and women has their victims. While women are more often than men victims of sexual crimes than men and men more often guilty of such crimes is not really debated, there is a significant number of men who are victims of such crimes and women rapist. In fact, men, being less likely to report sexual crimes committed against them, are underrepresented as victims in law enforcement agencies statistics. While it’s estimated that 15 to 25% of the victims are men, the reality would see them at around 30 to 40%. This gynocentric presentation, not uncommon in feminist blogs and articles, is more troublesome than the actual content of these articles. As I mentioned earlier, gynocentric point of views are one of the greatest weakness of modern feminism when it comes to men’s rights and the central reason why I graded modern feminism lowly (C- is a pretty low grade).

If we make abstraction of the vivid and overly emotional reactions following highly mediatise sexual crime stories, feminism has never really pushed to alter due process (at least not in most western country). The most frequent changes to our criminal court system on sexual crimes investigation can be resumed as following: present cases of sexual crimes before a judge (and jury) who have received a special formation on sexual crimes to debunk certain myths and attitude for example that sexual arousal is synonymous with consent, that victim emotional state can be a good indicator of her/him telling the truth or that a person clothing can incite rape. Currently, those formation already exist, but aren’t widely available neither mandatory. Feminism also called for a tightening on the rules that allow the presentation of a defense based on «implied consent». This method, usually used as a last ditch defense, consist at pretending that the culprit was convinced that the victim was consenting to sexual intercourse. Many jurisdiction allow the use of a defense of «implied consent» without prior mention to the court and authorisation. While this defense can and is viable under numerous circumstances, in others it’s nothing more than a way to bully a victim in retracting her complaint to avoid facing humiliating questions and see her reputation besmirched. Finally many feminist also ask for the right of a victim to witness without being confronted directly by her accused aggressor, for example by having the accused watching her witnessing via video instead of in person, to prevent intimidation and reduce post-traumatic stress. All of these can be questioned of course, but would apply as much to men than women and could, depending of the exact wording and application of those changes, significantly help victim come forward and find justice while simultaneously not threatened the right of the accused. Again, the devil is in the details and again there isn’t a «unified» singular position of feminism on this issue.

6) Finally, in response to your last paragraph I happen to be rather surprised that you view feminism has impervious to critique be it by white men or anybody else. Your comment on feminist critical theory (on which I disagree) is almost a copy paste of the critique formulated by Hoff Sommers in one of her book and she happen to be feminist herself. You also happen to participating on a debate/discussion on feminism at my invitation and I also happen to be a feminist just as much as Hoff Sommers or the now ridiculed Trigglypuff. While the University of Toronto experiment huge conflict surrounding the formation of a men’s rights group and an already established feminist organisation, this situation isn’t universal at all. In fact, after making a short press review on this specific situation, it seems this is a conflict that escalated surrounding the creation of a men’s right organisation on campus. The problem stems from the fact the organisation would have ties with a known hate group and harbor some person who vocally and vehemently oppose gender equality. Of course, all this is at the level of conjecture, the men’s right group, while not denying outright contact with the hate group, has condemned some of their positions as well as denying any opposition to gender equality. On their side, several member of the said feminist organisation have replied that they saw their activity perturbed and received threatening emails and their web page vandalise with various forms of threats. Members of the men’s right group complained about the exact same thing. All in all, the situation in this university resemble more a nest of hornets than anything else, a flame war in which nobody is willing to back down under threat of looking like a fool or weak.

In others area, men’s right group didn’t face has much problem and have even managed to present specifically to a feminist crowd their ideas and concerns. I put one example in the link bellow, but this example much like for the situation in Toronto is simply anecdotal and doesn’t represent truthfully the situation in all Canadian universities neither a fundamental problem with feminism or men’ right activism. The reason presented by the feminists in Toronto to oppose the creation of a men’s right group aren’t based on feminism, but on the fact that they fear threats and consider it could foster violent individuals and serves has a platform for radicalisation more than anything else due to its ties and rhetoric. Good information are scarce on this subject and I fear most of the climate of hostility in Toronto isn’t based on feminism or men’s rights, but on misinformation, rumors and petty human dispute more than anything else. It’s very probable that both party are reading news and rumors that only feed their fears and misconceptions. I do agree with you on the fact that such behavior is harmful to feminism and men’s right, but in no way does it engage all feminists (or men’s right groups) nor does it innocent this specific men’s right group from all critique and, more importantly, it has absolutely no bearing on the capacity of modern feminism to influence positively (or negatively) men’s right. The situation in Toronto is a storm in a tea cup.

On your argument that white men are the most derided and hated of all groups and that being a strait white men can be a risk to be ignored or insulted, I can present three points. The first one is purely anecdotal and should be taken with a truck load of salt. As a strait white men feminist activist who did taught a class in on the history of the family in a college for half a semester, I never faced such sort of behavior. I regularly bath in «feminist territory» but never really faced discrimination from inside those groups. I explain this situation by the fact that my first action when I come into a group that look, think and live very different lives than mine is not to talk about myself or give my opinion on what they should do or think, but to listen, learn and gain a measure of trust before presenting such opinion or talking about myself. Being polite and respectful is the key to earn a lot of respect and trust and in turn being able to share your opinion and critique in my opinion. In my opinion, many people no matter their sex or ethnic group have forgotten this very simple reality. People might shut you down, not because they disagree with you or refuse to hear criticism, but because they are completely uninterested in hearing YOUR criticism because they don’t know you, don’t trust you and don’t like you. If you experimented such discrimination, I am very sorry you had to suffer through that, but I would be force to ask if you truly think that your attitude, timing and method wouldn’t be a better cause for explaining you being shut down than a potential fundamental rejection of criticism by an ideology.

My second point concern directly the survey you have linked to provide some substance to your claim that white men are more hated than any other. This entire study has been conducted using a method of analysis using an intersectional grid to present the multiple level and various experience of racial discrimination. Or, to put it more simply, it borrowed a modern feminist theoretical model to build this experiment and its analysis. Thus, the very existence of this study, if you consider it useful to men’s right, actually prove that modern feminism can help by providing useful methodological tools.

My last point is also connected to your statistical study. In its conclusion, it does mention a key point. The opinion on those surveys are strongly affected by the desire of the people who answered it not be labelled racist or sexist, because these are character flaws. They have literally answered this survey by saying what was expected of them not what they really thought about the subject. While yes, according to this survey white English men are the most despised group in England, they also happen to be the group with the highest social position on average. It also happen to be the group that faces the smallest amount of actual prejudice for, has mention in the conclusion of this survey, people are very hypocrite when it comes to racism and sexism. Most people only pay lip service to cosmopolitanism or feminism and then reproduce, consciously, or, more frequently, unconsciously racist and sexist behavior. Internalised bias have more power and are much more frequent that externalised bias and your survey, because of its nature and objective, only explored externalised bias. White strait middle class men face racial and sexual discrimination on semi regular basis in society, but the form of discrimination they face is rarely oppressive. It's, most of the time, an expression of resentment at their relative higher position, not designed to keep them down. Think of it like the issult a bullied person throws at its bullies. It doesn't reduce the power or the status of the bully, but it does hurt his feelings and stimulate a push back.

This leads me to an important question. At the very beginning of this debate I proposed to grade modern feminism on its capacity to help men’s rights. I graded it C-. This represent a passing grade, but a low one. I explain my reasoning by demonstrating that men’s rights are actively defended by feminism by criticising the Western patriarchal structure and demonstrating how it could hurt men or reduce them and how the epistemological tools of modern feminism could be used to explore, study and enhance men’s condition. I believe modern feminism lose lots of point because of a too gynocentric point of view and sometime overly simplistic vulgarisation work that feed misconceptions. You graded it F. The lowest possible grade that implies absolutely nothing redeeming or possibly positive for men’s rights. Are you willing to reconsider a bit your position? If yes, what would be the single most important point explaining your change of position and if not, what would you be the single most important flaw modern feminism has that hinder men's right.

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
Find all posts by this user
[+] 1 user Likes epronovost's post
24-09-2016, 04:45 PM
RE: Blackhand293 and epronovost on «Can Modern Feminism help men's rights.»
After several attempts to communicate with him in the past two months, it seems that my debate partner has desisted himself without notice or warning. To any administrator/moderator, please close this thread. To Blackhand293, thank you for the chat and read you around!

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
Find all posts by this user
[+] 1 user Likes epronovost's post
Thread Closed 
Forum Jump: