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April 11, 2005

Comments

bmmg39

"Misandry isn't seen as a problem because it is not a problem. That's the point."

This is either an example of a misandrist contending that misandry isn't a problem, or an example of someone who has a lot of learning to do in this world.

Gayle

Really? Do you cautiously look around before you get out of your car at night because you fear women may be lurking about? Are you constantly monitoring your surroundings because you don't know who might be out to hurt you just because you're a guy?

Do you fear the potential violence of women?

Gayle

Hello?? Are you out there?

This isn't about somebody saying something that might offend someone else. This is about the real world and how we have to live in it.

bmmg39

"Really? Do you cautiously look around before you get out of your car at night because you fear women may be lurking about? Are you constantly monitoring your surroundings because you don't know who might be out to hurt you just because you're a guy?"

Maybe, maybe not. What does that have to do with your ridiculous claim that misandry isn't a problem? Misandry and misogyny are part of the same problem.

"Do you fear the potential violence of women?"

Educate thyself. Women initiate domestic abuse against men just as often as men do against women.

teg

Really? Do you cautiously look around before you get out of your car at night because you fear women may be lurking about? Are you constantly monitoring your surroundings because you don't know who might be out to hurt you just because you're a guy?

Gayle, do you know how many men get killed do to violence vs how may women get killed do to violence? The ratio is over eight to one. But I bet that in your mind this constitutes misogyny.

Redneck Feminist (drumgurl)

Gayle, I have to disagree. Misandry does in fact exist. When a society has narrowly prescribed roles for women, it almost surely has narrowly prescribed roles for men as well. Take a look at people's attitudes toward a man who doesn't financially support his family as well as THEY THINK he should. Take a look at attitudes toward stay-home dads. Is that not misandry?

ginmar

"Is that not misandry?"


Yeah, I'm sure Nicole Simpson will be able to symathize.

Cathy Young, Wendy McElroy---these aren'tfeminists because they spout lies about women and about feminists. Why is that such a hard thing to understand? McElroy shills for Faux News and regularly spouts crap about how women are equal now, there's no wage gap, women aren't getting rapd, and so forth. Young's a bit more subtle, but the message is essentially unchanged.

It's funny, but after a while, descending through the thread, I could tell exactly who was posting after a while.

Dworkin's feminism wasn't pretty because sexism isn't pretty. All we got by being tactful and polite in making demands was more delays and whining. It also gave the sexists time to polish their act and act like they're moderate.

Bottom line, is until I see Camille Paglia and Katie Roiphe and any paranoid MRA getting denounced in the same terms as Dworkin has been on this thread, I'm just not that concerned about how hateful she supposedly was. When men hate women we cover it up. When women lash back, we suddenly notice.

bmmg39

"Is that not misandry?"

"Yeah, I'm sure Nicole Simpson will be able to symathize."

What does Nicole Simpson have to do with whether or not misandry exists? Women are oppressed; men are oppressed. Men abuse women; women abuse men.

"Cathy Young, Wendy McElroy---these aren't feminists because they spout lies about women and about feminists. Why is that such a hard thing to understand? McElroy shills for Faux News and regularly spouts crap about how women are equal now, there's no wage gap, women aren't getting rapd, and so forth. Young's a bit more subtle, but the message is essentially unchanged.
It's funny, but after a while, descending through the thread, I could tell exactly who was posting after a while.
Dworkin's feminism wasn't pretty because sexism isn't pretty. All we got by being tactful and polite in making demands was more delays and whining. It also gave the sexists time to polish their act and act like they're moderate.
Bottom line, is until I see Camille Paglia and Katie Roiphe and any paranoid MRA getting denounced in the same terms as Dworkin has been on this thread, I'm just not that concerned about how hateful she supposedly was."

Wanna see Camille Paglia and men's rights activists being denounced? Just check out several other threads here.

"When men hate women we cover it up. When women lash back, we suddenly notice."

This must be Opposite Day or something. You have it backwards. Men are the ones told not to complain, to take it like a man, to not be sissies, no matter what someone is dealing them.

Michael

Really? Do you cautiously look around before you get out of your car at night because you fear women may be lurking about? Are you constantly monitoring your surroundings because you don't know who might be out to hurt you just because you're a guy?

Do you fear the potential violence of women?

Not really but maybe I should. Women can (Surprise!) be violent too. Check out these DOJ Statistics...

2002 FBI Arrests:
OFFENSE: Assault
MALE 714
FEMALE 239

OFFENSE: Simple Assault
Men 1886
Women 370

* During 1994 men experienced almost 6.6 million violent
victimizations; women experienced 5 million. For every 3
violent victimizations of males, there were 2 of females.

* In 1994 for every 5 violent victimizations of a female by an
intimate, there was 1 of a male. Intimates committed over
900,000 victimizations of females and about 167,000
victimizations of males.

Yes.. Guys commit more violent crimes.. but by far, not all of them..

Redneck Feminist (drumgurl)

"What does Nicole Simpson have to do with whether or not misandry exists?"

Exactly. It sounds like ginmar's argument is that perhaps misandry exists, but misogyny is worse? I don't want to put words in his/her mouth, but that's what it sounds like to me.

But you know, someone always has it worse. Women in Iraq have it worse than women in America. So let's forget about American women's rights, because other women have it so much worse. Um, no thanks.

I'll admit that I'm biased, because I've always wanted to do "what the boys do", but was told that I couldn't because I'm a girl. And I had a physically abusive father. If I just went by my experience, I could make the case that misogyny is worse.

The thing is, I CAN'T CLOSE MY MIND to other people's experiences and call myself open-minded. I have to acknowledge that misandry exists, because it does. Things aren't going to be equal until we get rid of both misandry and misogyny.

Aegis

Redneck Feminist said:
I haven't read much Dworkin, so I don't know if that's what she thought. But that's what this guy told me she thought. Is that attitude misandrist? I think so. But to him, it wasn't because he believed he was hating "the system" that socializes men, and not men themselves.

Exactly. I have often seen racist attitudes veiled in the same way. "Oh, blacks aren't inherently violent, but their culture makes them that way." I see similar arguments sometimes on MRA boards that women in our society are encouraged to be narcissistic, manipulative gold-diggers with a sense of entitlement towards men. But of course, it's the fault of our culture.

The bias here rests not in the statements themselves. Perhaps a world could exist in which blacks were socialized to be violent criminals, or men were socialized to be chauvinists (i.e. a "patriarchy"), or women were socialized to be gold-diggers. In one of those three worlds, it would not be racism, misandry, or misogyny to point out those facts.

The bias exists in the way that someone could look at our world today, and believe that it is one of those three worlds. The bias also exists in the hyperbole and generalization required to forcibly superimpose one of those fantasy worlds over this one.

For instance, violence may be encouraged in certain aspects of rap, yet it would be false to assume that all African-Americans buy into those messages. Gold-digging, manipulation, and an attitude of entitlement towards men may be encouraged in certain aspects of female socialization, yet it would be false to assume that all (or even most) women are manipulative gold-diggers. Likewise, even though there may be some misogynistic/chauvinist messages in some aspects of male socialization, it is false to assume that all men are chauvinist pigs (let alone embracing of murder as Dworkin claims).

Such assumptions seem to rest on racism, misogyny, and misandry because they assume that members of those groups are homogenous, mindless receptacles for evil socialization pressures. I don't deny that people are heavily influenced by their culture, but that influence varies from individual to individual, and messages do conflict. Dworkin looking at porn and assuming that turns men into violent beasts who are contemptuous of women is as silly as someone listening to gansta rap and concluding that African Americans are violent criminals.

Aegis

yami said:
Other intellectually honest reasons we might have for passing over her flaws, just off the top of my head: because we have compassion for the trauma she suffered at the hands of men, because we think it should be obvious that we can admire her work on marital rape without partaking of her vitriol, because we don't think discussing the ways male socialization creates violent men is inexcusably misandrist*.

I beg to differ: compassion for the trauma that someone received is actually not an intellectually honest reason for passing over his or her rhetorical flaws. I may have compassion for an extreme MRA who has been screwed in divorce, but if he starts advocating negative attitudes towards women, then my compassion for him should not stop me from denouncing his rhetoric.

ginmar said:
Bottom line, is until I see Camille Paglia and Katie Roiphe and any paranoid MRA getting denounced in the same terms as Dworkin has been on this thread, I'm just not that concerned about how hateful she supposedly was. When men hate women we cover it up. When women lash back, we suddenly notice.

I agree that Camille Paglia is an essentialist, and that some of her positions could be interpreted as mildly sexist. But her most extreme statements pale in comparison to Dworkin, and I don't know how you can pretend otherwise! Dworkin is in far greater need of denunciation, so it doesn't make sense to demand that Paglia and Dworkin be denounced in the same terms.

Paranoid MRAs are another story. Consider them denounced, at least by me. We might differ on what exactly a "paranoid MRA" is, but I don't deny that they do exist, and are a problem.

P.S. I would like to applaud the contribution of stanton and redneck feminist to this thread.

P.P.S. Feminazihatematyr and feminism_is_hatred, I find that moderating one's rhetoric is usually best in discussions like this. Especially because some people here may not bother finding out what MRAs really say, but base their opinions on the few they encounter on sites like this. I find that in a discussion, I usually have a choice: either I can slam my opponent as hard as possible, or I can moderate my rhetoric try to bring people around to my side. I think the second approach is more constructive, and stanton at least seems to have succeeded in changing the opinions of some people on this site.

PG Werner

Mythago asks:

: I admit to not having read Strossen, Bright, and Califia. As I have stated before, I know that I am not as well read as many who post
: here. I don't have time to read anywhere near as much as I would like. I will go to these sources forthwith. Any suggestions as to
: which would make a good first read? Better yet, can you direct me to a title wherein Dworkin is addressed at length, by any of the
: above?

Susie Bright discusses Dworkin at length in several places, starting with a 1993 discussion with Erica Jong, titled "Better the Devil You Know". This can be found in her collection "Sexwise" (out of print, but easily found in libraries or super-cheap used copies), which also includes another essay, "The Prime of Miss Kitty MacKinnon". That essay has been reprinted here:

http://www.mit.edu/activities/safe/writings/mackinnon/prime-miss-kitty-mackinnon

Other writing about Dworkin can be found here:

http://www.susiebright.com/sexpert/dworkin.html
http://susiebright.blogs.com/susie_brights_journal_/2005/04/andrea_dworkin_.html

Hope this helps,
Peter

stanton

This thread is probably played out, and I regret that my PC was out of commission over the weekend, because I would have loved to continue participating here. There have been some interesting turns in the discussion. Yami had some very though-provoking things to say, as I have discovered is usual for her (even though we disagree on many things). The usual contingent of angry "ad hominists" have contributed their perspectives, sans references, as is usual for them. I keep expecting Redneck Feminist to give in to the conformist pressure and join the chorus, but she insists on thinking for herself. Very impressive. bmmg39 and Aegis commented with insight and authority, and were predictably ignored. All of these and more. And PG - thanks for the references.

Caitriona

stanton, you're not the only one who was out over the weekend. Seems we missed a lot.

Beste

Cathy Young pretty much sums up dworkin here and here .

Rachael

I've been following this discussion with interest...and let me say that I recently posted a comment to Cathy Young's website about her statements on Dworkin. She has been saying that feminism needs to disavow Dworkin, totally wash its hands of her, or be morally bankrupt. As a feminist who commends Young for taking a pragmatic and holistic approach to DV issues, I am still upset by mandated disrespect of ANYONE, especially such a complex and catalyzing figure of Dworkin: say what one likes about her, I know of no one in recent years whose passing has inspired the same level of quality intellectual debate...and I don't think feminism can "purge" her without dumbing itself down past repair, let alone whether it should be in the business of purging anyone. I put it all a lot more gently than this, but guess what happened?

The post was deleted. No public forum for this viewpoint will be granted by Cathy Young.

I am not really surprised, sadly, having faced this attitude before among revisionist feminists--for whom I used to have much more respect before I learned just how much enforced conformity and schoolgirl bitchiness about other women there is in that community. But as I said then, and as some people might have seen for five seconds, just who is imposing the conformity here, exactly?

Dworkin allowed, encouraged argument; the revisionists don't, by and large. I see them as the Norman Finkelsteins of the movement, engaged in an essentially illogical position: that is, becoming famous by saying the case is closed. It is intellectually dishonest to say the case is closed and thenceforth assure your bestseller. You would not have that bestseller if the case were closed. And we'd better know it.

stanton

Rachael: I am very disappointed that Young would do that. I am not a reader of her blog, so I don't know whether or not she makes a practice of moderating it. If she does not, then this calls for an explanation. If she regularly moderates the content, then it would be her decision which posts to keep and which to cut. Are there no dissenting opinions about Dworkin to be found there? Would you consider posting your comments here in Hugo's blog?

Perhaps you can answer a question for me. You are upset with Young for saying that feminism must disavow Dworkin. I have heard many feminists viciously disavow MacElroy, Young, Patai, Koertge, and others. Are you equally as upset with these feminists as you are with Young?

Redneck Feminist (drumgurl)

Rachael, it looks like Young responded to you! Check it out.
http://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2005/04/the_dworkin_whi.shtml#comments

Rachael

OK--can what I said about being cut. Maybe I chanced upon an outdated version of the blog, or whatever. It's plainly not true.

I'll respond to the rest of the two comments later--they deserve reflection. Except to say, plainly I don't think anyone in the community or anywhere else should be treated viciously, or disavowed. And I used to be more sensitive to the bad behavior on the radical side, until I learned just how bad it can get (especially behind the scenes) on the revisionist side. It's a different kind of nastiness. The radical side disavows in lurid political language, descended probably from all the political hyperbole that's become our common currency since Watergate. The revisionist side disavows in a way that is politically more moderate and personally more insidious--using words like "crazy," and taking the gloves off behind the scenes. In both cases there's some unreconstructed female gossipmongering at work but the revisionist side can remind me of every high school girl who bitched about the smart kooky girls being ugly and having no boyfriends. The radical side can remind me of the high school girls who spread ugly stories that weren't necessarily true.

stanton

Rachael: From your description, it sounds as if there is no integrity to be found anywhere within the feminist movement. Surely you are being a bit hard on them, no?

PG Werner

A followup on the Susie Bright on Andrea Dworkin writings if anybody's still interested. It seems that Bright just put together a PDF booklet of all of her writings on Dworkin and related topics. Details from her blog:

http://susiebright.blogs.com/susie_brights_journal_/2005/04/over_the_past_m.html

Rachael

No, I don't mean there is no integrity anywhere in the feminist movement. I love feminism and feminists. But it is made of human beings.

left da left

The Empress had no clothes, and it took a long time and some children of feminism to see it

Joe smith

Every single discussion of Dworkin includes the assertion that "she never said that all sex was rape".

The funny thing is I've yet to see a single person actually make the claim that she did say that.

If she had said that we could dismiss her as a nutter and go have lunch.

What she actually said is far worse:

There is never a real privacy of the body that can coexist with intercourse: with being entered. The vagina itself is muscled and the muscles have to be pushed apart. The thrusting is persistent invasion. She is opened up, split down the center. She is occupied--physically, internally, in her privacy.

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