« Quick reaction to the show, and John has a blog | Main | Profeminists, Christian Men's Groups, and Men's News Daily, updated »

January 24, 2005

Comments

La Lubu

Also craic, you contradicted yourself when you brought up religion and the state; our separation of church and state was and is instituted through our government. You view this as being a positive development, yet view antidiscrimination laws as a negative, why?

craichead

Forgive me, I'm a little tired and not explaining myself too well.

I view separation of church and state as one of the most important foundations of a free society. In many civilizations religion is morality and meaning and I was just trying to draw out the similarity between that and the use of civilization for the creation of other types of meaning.

Separation is not instituted through government since it is a mandate for government to stay out of it.

I think you and I view the purpose of government and the nature of rights and freedoms differently. I view them very much as part of enlightenment tradition and the fact of being laws of Nature -- ie we're born with them and the only ethical business of government is to protect them.

I think where we're getting off base too is that you think I feel it's OK to discriminate -- as in refuse to employ -- a qualified person based only on that person't gender. I don't. What I don't believe is the leap that follows that that says certain groups should be represented in a certain proportion. I don't find a rational or compelling basis for that and that is where I see civilization and culture turning on its head.

Also, I think that it's somewhat possible to breakdown the value of each gender -- to a limited extent -- with regard to the culture, society, civilization view. By that I mean if one loosely uses the terms matriachy and patriarchy to distinguish terms of value and power, the way I see it is we live in a patriarchal civilization, but a matriarchal culture and society.

This is why within our civil institutions, more positions of power are held by men, but at the same time -- at the societal level, men's lives seem to have less value and at the cultural and societal levels women (even moreso than children) are at the center of the family unit.

Amanda

La Lubu, to make it simple: It's not cool pointing out that women are oppressed. It resembles pointing out how workers are exploited, and that's also a big, fat, bummer.

La Lubu

Where do you draw the line, craic? Was Jim Crow OK? How does it serve the interests of humanity, or society, or a nation, for one group of humans to have to curtail their full range of human abilities...not for the greater good of society...but to accomodate the bigotry of others?

In other words, why should others, in the public sphere, be allowed full range to express their bigotry by using their collective, insitutional power to deny fellow citizens their full rights, and full opportunities for human development? Why must those of us on the losing end of the equation have to sacrifice ourselves for another's bigotry? What advantage does bigotry offer humanity as a whole?

Look. You see a difference between jailing and unemployment, because this is an academic exercise to you. This is my life. Some people want to open their own businesses. That's great. I'm not one of them. I just want to work. If I have the qualifications, I should have the job...even if the person offering the job believes that men need jobs more than women. The judgement should be on qualifications, not anatomy. And yes, if we need government to enforce antidiscrimination laws, so be it. If you want to be a bigot, be a bigot in private. Once you enter the public sphere (like by opening a business), you have to treat full-fledged human beings like full-fledged human beings, not like second-class human beings.

Don't give me the "it's too hard" line of crap about starting a business. If I were a teacher, and it was legal to not hire female teachers, would you recommend starting my own school? If I were a surgeon, and it was legal to not hire female surgeons, would you recommend starting my own hospital? And if so...with what? And how? When opportunities are denied, it perpetuates the system of discrimination.

La Lubu

Thank you so much for that clarification, Amanda! I should know better! ;)

zuzu

First I think there's a big difference between sending someone to jail and not giving them a job. One occurs through gov't the other does not.

Except the government does not exercise its power solely through criminal sanctions, so your analysis is flawed. Government acts through incentives and penalties. Incentives can be grants, programs, tax breaks, licensing, contracting, etc. Penalties can include the withdrawal of any incentive, plus making available civil penalties for breach of certain laws.

Anyone who wants the culture to work things out seems to forget that the culture creates the government. And the government, in times past (and in certain areas, in the present) actually codified discrimination, which was a reflection of the culture. And the reason this could happen was that women and minorities had no voice in government.

La Lubu

Your right craic, I have a different view of government than you. I firmly believe that for a government to be legitimate, it has to protect the rights of all, not just a select few.

You seem to take the view that those of us who want full human rights should not be politically active, should not run for office, or require our elected officials to be accountable to us, and pass and enforce laws that respect our rights as equal citizens....but that we should instead beg, cajole, and pray that someday we will be accepted as equals by those in power.

Power does not work that way. Begging and scraping never got anybody their human rights. Fighting and agitating have, and do.

And fighting and agitating are more fun, too! ;)

zuzu

Also, Craic? Your push for the withering away of the state sounds a little ... Marxist, if you know what I mean.

craichead

Lalubu

Here's what I wrote in the previous post:

"I think where we're getting off base too is that you think I feel it's OK to discriminate -- as in refuse to employ -- a qualified person based only on that person't gender. I don't. What I don't believe is the leap that follows that that says certain groups should be represented in a certain proportion. I don't find a rational or compelling basis for that and that is where I see civilization and culture turning on its head."

Did you miss that part?

La Lubu

No, I didn't miss that part, craic. I'm still waiting on your explanation on why I should be denied equal opportunity based on my gender. "Government" didn't make me a good electrician; I did that. What government provides me with is a form of redress for not receiving equal opporutnity, that I should be entitled to as a citizen.

You haven't yet explained to me why someone else's bigotry should trump my rights as a citizen to participate fully in this society, which of course includes the avenue of employment.

craichead

"Except the government does not exercise its power solely through criminal sanctions, so your analysis is flawed. Government acts through incentives and penalties. Incentives can be grants, programs, tax breaks, licensing, contracting, etc. Penalties can include the withdrawal of any incentive, plus making available civil penalties for breach of certain laws."

Government ALWAYS acts through coercion -- where else do they get their power?

Sure they offer incentives, but where does that money come from? It comes from the labor of others and is obtained through taxation. If you think gov't doesn't always act through coercion, then stop paying your taxes for a while because you don't believe in the Iraq war and see what happens. My guess is they'll acto through some sort of coercion.

"Anyone who wants the culture to work things out seems to forget that the culture creates the government. And the government, in times past (and in certain areas, in the present) actually codified discrimination, which was a reflection of the culture. And the reason this could happen was that women and minorities had no voice in government."

Republican (the form not the party) government like ours is designed to be limited in such a way as to minimize the impact that culture can have on its individul constiuents. I guess my view is that if people are being denied rights guaranteed to them -- like with Jim Crowe, or today with the right to be a parent -- that those rights should be enforced rather than having more laws regarding other things.

In the end our relationship with our rights and our gov't then becomes contractual rather than inalienable.

craichead

"No, I didn't miss that part, craic. I'm still waiting on your explanation on why I should be denied equal opportunity based on my gender. "Government" didn't make me a good electrician; I did that. What government provides me with is a form of redress for not receiving equal opporutnity, that I should be entitled to as a citizen.

You haven't yet explained to me why someone else's bigotry should trump my rights as a citizen to participate fully in this society, which of course includes the avenue of employment."

I never said that. If you read my post again I said you should have redress.

Let me ask you this: If I won a restaurant and I refuse to serve George Bush, should I be allowed to do that? If so, why? If not, why?


craichead

"Also, Craic? Your push for the withering away of the state sounds a little ... Marxist, if you know what I mean."

Actually, no. Marxism is a collective that manages the entire economy and way of life.

A withering of the state is libertarianism

La Lubu

I hate George W. Bush. But regardless, if you or I own a restaurant, we should not be able to arbitrarily refuse service to any person willing to pay, provided they are not breaking any other laws (example, W sits down and orders a burger, he gets served. W sits down and fires up a cigarette in the nonsmoking section, refuses to put it out, and throws his glass of water at the server saying, "make me put it out"...then he doesn't get served, the police get called).

Why? Because a business is in the public sphere. Once you enter the public sphere you have the obligation to treat the public as full-fledged human beings. You can revert back to your personal prejudices in private. So, W gets served in the restaurant, but if he showed up on my doorstep expecting to be fed he'd get a hearty "F**K YOU!" instead. My home is not the public sphere.

You can't really outlaw bigotry. Laws can be instituted that mitigate the effects of bigotry. In other words, there are teachers I had that thought it was a waste of time for women to attend college, and said so. But they did not have the power to keep me from attending.

bmmg39

I have listened to the online version of the Sacks show and have several comments. Glenn has a rather sarcastic tone, and the show at first might seem to be the ambush type, but I think that as time goes on one gets the sense that he tries to be fair and point out where he agrees with the guest. I shall try to be fair, as well:

1. It was suggested that "most young men" feel a strong desire to control women, view pornography (described as part of the "male culture"), and to deal with women on their terms only. Stereotypes hurt us all and this one is a textbook example. People have this idea that women and girls just want to hold hands and talk, and only have sex in order to submit to or reward men and boys, who are horny bastards and only have "one thing" on their minds. Well, guess what. I'm a 32-year-old dude, and I have NEVER pursued a sexual relationship with ANYONE. I'd much rather hold hands and kiss on the cheek than engage in more sexual pursuits. A number of people, online or in person, have ridiculed me or looked askance in my direction over this, and, yes, folks, many of these people were females who thoroughly enjoy sex (and sometimes pornography) and suggested that I need to see a physician. [rolls eyes] This business of pigeonholing everyone from one gender or another is mere Mars/Venus psychobabble. Men are from EARTH. Women are from EARTH. Each person is unique; that's how we are different. It has nothing to do with which set of genitalia we possess.

2. It's self-serving logic to suggest that men who control women are evil, but women who use manipulation to control men are only acting defensively because men (all together now) "have all the power." Obviously, if men can have their children taken from them (while still having to support them financially), and only men are told to sign up for selective service, then they clearly do NOT have "all the power."

3. Are many women raising their children on their own? Yes. Some fathers merely don't wish to be a part of their children's lives, but many do wish to do so but are not ALLOWED to do so (see above).

4. Ampersand correctly pointed out that women's gains and men's gains need not be a zero-sum game. I shall point out, then, that it is the view of many misandrists that it IS a zero-sum game...which is why, when someone stands up for men, (s)he is instantly accused of being a misogynist (Hugo has done it himself). MRAs are often accused of holding an "us vs. them" mentality, when many people here show that mentality themselves.

5. Hugo continually says that MRAs "misprescribe the cure" for their ills. The goal of MRAs is to combat anti-male (AND anti-female) sexism. The sexists we take on are sometimes male and sometimes female, and there's nothing wrong with pointing a finger at those who practice sexism.

6. War was discussed, and Hugo said that, while men are most of the combat fatalities, men are the ones sending them off to die. When Glenn pointed out that women like Margaret Thatcher have also engaged in war, Hugo suggested that she's merely a woman with "male types of behavior." This is another self-serving, circular, sexist argument.

7. Hugo mentioned "what the men's rights activists call 'women's violence.'" When a person physically attacks another person, just what, exactly, do YOU call it?

8. Hugo said that male-bashing is often just a legitimate expression of anger and pain. Okay, then: is FEMALE-bashing just a legitimate expression of anger and pain? Remember: you can't have it both ways.

9. We MRAs are equally sick of gender roles. In fact, we welcome feminism over those "traditional" women who believe it is the job of men to hold the door for them (without women having to return the courtesy), pay for all dates, let them go first all the time and even sacrifice their lives for them in case of emergency. And we're equally sick of the "selective equality" people who demand equality when it suits them and "the old-fashioned way" when THAT suits them: "equality until the dinner check comes," if you will. But, yeah, we wish to do away with gender roles immediately.

10. Hugo stated that the problem isn't that the family-court system needs to be fixed, but that men need to be better fathers. Um...do a little research, please.

11. Hugo also said that family and fatherhood should be a man's top priorities, not economic well-being. Great. Now will you just convince those women who yell at their husbands to get that promotion, make partner, "or else"? And the women we're hearing about on dating websites who actually include a salary minimum for any prospective boyfriends?

craichead

"Why? Because a business is in the public sphere. Once you enter the public sphere you have the obligation to treat the public as full-fledged human beings. You can revert back to your personal prejudices in private."

Could you explain this a little further?

If the police want to search a business, do they need a warrant? If not, why not?

La Lubu

If the police want to search a business, they must have a warrant, because they must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. In our legal system, a person (in this case, the business owner) is assumed to be innocent, and must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by the state.

craichead

But if it's property that falls into the public sphere, why do they need a warrant or a crime for that matter?

At what point is the line drawn between public and private?

If someone comes to a restaurant that requires a jacket, why can they be made to leave? It's the public sphere so mandating certaind clothing is infringing on my rights and freedoms, right?

craichead

BMMG-

I also had a big problem with #10. I felt it was incredibly dismissive regarding the intense pain that so many people experience in divorce. I've known so many men who've been excellent fathers whose lives are made miserable by the state.

And there again is the problem. It's so often presented as a male/female dilemma -- that women somehow have this power in this arena which simply isn't true. It's the state that has the power, the gov't just uses her as a diversion from what's really going on which is basically unbridled power.

La Lubu

Again, it is the presumption of innocence of a crime that is the salient point here. If you own a restaurant, you are obligated to serve paying customers who behave themselves, but you are not obligated to open your financial records, your wallet, your closet, or your meat locker to your customers....whereas if the police had reason to believe you were involved in a crime, all of those private areas are up for play.

Now, I think restaurants or clubs that have silly dress codes are just....silly, and I don't patronize them. However, in their defense, anyone can put on a jacket, or in the case of "too cool" clubs, hip clothing. Sex and race are a different matter.

Actually, (and maybe one of our hot legal eagles, like zuzu, around here can answer this), don't places that have restrictive practices get around the law by calling themselves "private clubs"? Private clubs can legally discriminate. And I can legally call attention to their bigotry and inherent pus-baggedness.

craichead

I guess that's where I'm misunderstanding. I thought property was either private or it wasn't.

La Lubu

Nope, there are degrees of privacy. I hate having my picture taken, but when I step out in public, other people have the right to take my picture. They don't have the right to invade my house to take it, but if I'm walking down the street, they do.

Your hypothetical restaurant customers have the right to sit down and be fed. They don't have the right to examine your records or count your butt-hairs.

If a cop pulls you over for speeding, he usually won't have the right to search the contents of your car. If there is fresh blood smeared on your trunk hood, and fresh blood dripping from your trunk, you'll probably be detained until the warrant arrives.

Just as we have a system of checks and balances for government, we have a system of checks and balances for our right to privacy. Our individual rights have to be balanced with the greater good of society...and therein lies the rub. Different sets of folks have different ideas about such things. Hence, the need for laws.

Unless of course, you want to return to the days of might makes right? Take matters into our own hands? If someone pisses you off, just shoot them? ;)

Xrlq

Cathy Young has good piece on the hallucination you call "male privilege."

djw

craichead: "withering away of the state" is a Marxist concept, and profoundly and decidedly not a libertarian one. It was what Marx (very wrongly) suggested would happen after a socialist government had ruled for a while.

For libertarians, the idea that a state would ever just 'wither away' is laughably naive. From a libertarian point of view, state power is "sticky," once a state gets involved in something, it tends pretty strongly to maintain or expand that role, unless there is a pretty remarkable political effort to roll it back. Libertarians might wish for the state to wither away, just as feminists might wish for patriarchy to wither away, but both are pretty convinced (correctly, in my view) that neither of those institutions is going away without a socio-political tidal wave.

djw

Furthermore, if you seriously think property only comes in two flavors, I'd strongly recommend sitting in on a few lectures in a first year property law class. And while you're at it, read some Marx, too, if you're gonna bash him. He's perfectly bashable; do it right.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Regular reads

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2004