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September 21, 2005

Comments

Christian J

Fascinating how feminists always try to absolve feminism of any responsibility, the original plan that they hatched many years ago have come to fruition.
The " all men are bastards" and " all womun are victims" has been totally accepted as common truth.

Feminism planned this and feminism is responsible for it.

But as womun/feminists normally do ! refuse to accept the responsibilty for their own action.

The Biscuit Queen

I really wish you would stop pretending to understand what the MRAs think. You keep getting all wrong, so embarrassingly wrong, that it just makes me laugh.

Except the feminist part. You did get THAT right.

Amanda

Mr. Bad, I only ban and delete for hardcore topic drift (aka, making every little thing about men's supposed oppression) and for using racist, homophobic, or sexist slurs, and usually even then only if those names are aimed at either me or Jesse or one of our commenters. I've banned maybe 10 or 12 people, and I swear for some reason about half of them were after Hurricane Katrina, which brought the racists out like crazy.

NYMOM

"Mr. Bad, I've deleted the most offensive part of your previous comment."

NYMOM said: Well why not go all the way and delete him permanently...

He contributes NOTHING good here and on other sites calls you every name in the book. He obviously has no respect for you.

Let me give you a tip Hugo...You are very smart in 'book learning' I'll admit that; but regarding people (men in particular) you seem to have a weak spot. Which is that you apparently can't see when you're just being taken advantage of by certain characters. Basically you appear to be giving this guy a forum to sprout off from and disrespect you left, right and sideways; plus denigrate everything you believe in at the same time.

Certain people look at kindness as a weakness and this Mr. Bad appears to be one of them. If he was respectful I could see you tolerating his dissent on every single issue you hold dear, but he's not even respectful...

AND btw, MRAs wouldn't tolerate this attitude of disrespect AND dissent on their forums for a minute...

My advice: Get rid of him.


The Gonzman

At the risk of being Blunt and curt, I'll be brief and succinct due to time constraints:

For decades, Hugo, (And "et al") your faction has taught that fish don't need bicycles. Well, it's coming around that the bicycles are figuring out that they look pretty silly being squired around by the fish as well.

I really don't see why you have a problem with that lesson being learned. It is, after all, the one that has been taught.

jaketk

AND btw, MRAs wouldn't tolerate this attitude of disrespect AND dissent on their forums for a minute...

true. they are willing to tolerate being called worse for the sake of having a discussion.

Mr. Bad

First, Hugo, if you re-read my comments re. Amanda's reponses to the writers at Salon.com, you will note that they were about Amanda's comments and not about her personally. In other words, I can say that Amanda (or anyone else) offered up what I consider to be a heaping pile of BS and not say anything about her (or them) as a person. You need to work on getting that kind of thing clear.

And again, I do think that what Amanda wrote is BS, just as much so as the commenters at Salon.com and frankly, except for the specifics of the content, exactly the same. Which is why I find the toleration of comments like "The guy who wrote the letter to Salon was an idiot, of course, but his kind of sniping is pretty commonplace. Very few people seem to be able or willing to look at dating as a RELATIONSHIP, in which both parties are going to have to compromise in order for either to end up happy." from the likes of BritGirlSF so ironic. She attacks the person but gets a pass, yet when I offer up an admittedly scathing critique of comments I've been referred to, you censor them even though they are similar in tone to the comments that I've just read based on your resounding recommendation. This isn't fair, but I suppose par for the course when it comes to feminist discourse.

Further, NYMOM devotes a whole post to attacking me as a person and you give her a pass. Ok, whatever.

And I will say it again: I just don't understand why you find Amanda's missives so insightful and worthwhile. To me they're mostly just temper tantrums laced with references to male and female genitalia.

I still say it's not men that are broken, and we don't need fixing, especially according to the feminist repair manual. As Gonz so eloquently noted, us bicycles have realized that we not only look really silly carrying around fish on our backs, we've realized we don't need those fish any more than they need us and that's what really chaps the likes of Traister and Amanda.

I think rather than whining about a perception that "there are no good men," etc., what all you folks should really be doing is asking us why we don't care whether or not women find us desirable. But then that would mean you'd have to listen to us and take what we say seriously, and I'm not sure that feminists et al. are really up to that task just yet. Maybe when you all get desperate enough?

mythago

Whoa, Amanda, did you and the former Mr. Mouse break up? I'm sorry.

Posts like these remind me that I apparently live on another planet, and a much happier one. "Women are unfathomable puzzles"? There is a "bona fide crisis in American masculinity" because there are a few men who aren't as dynamic or well-rounded as Rebecca Traister likes? Good grid, people, why are any of you heterosexuals when you get so much pleasure out of hate hate hate for the opposite sex, whom you assume to be nigh unto a separate species? Is playing a more adult version of boys-against-girls really that stimulating for you?

When I was younger and single, a drunk 'friend' cornered me and demanded to know why I had more guys interested in dating me (some of whom she had, herself, unsuccessfully tried to interest) when she was so much better looking than me. I was obliged to tell her that I just tried to be myself, instead of acting "like a girl", and that I treated men as fellow human beings, not as mysterious other-beings who needed to be manipulated and only dealt with through hints and mental games.

Hugo

Mr. Bad, the last part of your comment really intrigues me. I am curious to find out more about this movement to reject heterosexual relationships with American women. I'll tell you what: next week, I'm going to post on the subject, and open up the comments section to the MRAs. As long as you can collectively avoid clear-cut attacks on individuals, I'll let y'all post just about anything. Please don't start in on this thread; leave it to the topic at hand. But by Tuesday at the latest, I'll have a thread open for you -- and will restrain myself from censoring all but the most vicious of personal attacks. I'm hoping that at least some of your MRA friends will be able to participate civilly; I know I can count on it from you.

Until then, keep your powder dry.

MuleChewingBriars

Just answer NiceGuy's question, Hugo - He's pretty much thrown the gauntlet to you:

"You know what? I would completely renounce my web-site, disband this board, and consign all of my writings to hell if Hugoboy could just answer me this question without insulting the Taiwanese and Japanese women I've been with:

If I'm such a horrible individual who is mentally fucked-up and completely without any worth whatsoever, then how's it that when I go to Taiwan or Japan, the quality of my romantic life and the richness of my relationships improve by about a factor of fifty?

Seriously. Go ahead. Tell me how that works. Were these women morons? Were they unable to see that I'm the obvious piece of scum you claim I am? Seriously, I'm dying to know how the dynamics of this can work, pal."

Hugo

Mr. Mule, did I delete that comment? Was that on his forum or in my blog?

It's a good topic, and one I'll get to next week.

kate

whoa. and they say feminists are shrill.

i'm not going to get into the point-by-point refutation and sly insult game with this, because some of the posters here don't seem interested in dialogue per se. this will instantly be construed as me not having a leg to stand on, but it's really just that i'm at work and don't have the time. i do want to note, though, that i didn't say "men are afraid of feminists," "men are afraid of strong women," or "men are afraid of change." i was saying that it seems like *certain* men, when they make comments like the ones in this thread, are afraid of a number of nebulous and interconnected things, like the idea of feminism and the loss of respect and autonomy. and i don't note that pejoratively, because i think we're all afraid of things. fear in the face of something that confuses and frightens is natural, whatever it is. i'd just rather see us try to acknowlegde the fear that we all feel and figure out how to handle it, instead of masking it behind fighting stances and hard-line proclamations.

this whole thread is really interesting.

Mr. Bad

Hugo wrote: "Mr. Bad, the last part of your comment really intrigues me. I am curious to find out more about this movement to reject heterosexual relationships with American women. I'll tell you what: next week, I'm going to post on the subject, and open up the comments section to the MRAs. As long as you can collectively avoid clear-cut attacks on individuals, I'll let y'all post just about anything. Please don't start in on this thread; leave it to the topic at hand. But by Tuesday at the latest, I'll have a thread open for you -- and will restrain myself from censoring all but the most vicious of personal attacks. I'm hoping that at least some of your MRA friends will be able to participate civilly; I know I can count on it from you."

Darned awful timing there mon ami - I'll be out of town and stomping around the Great North Woods then, so I won't have internet, phone, and likely not even radio (except at night, when the stations I might get would likely be Russian). Still, I'll tell my associates about your offer and relay your wishes to keep the personal attacks to themselves. I can't guarantee that you won't have to do a bit of 'editing,' but I suspect that you'll find that most of us are quite civil.

I'll search the archives when I get back and am sure I will thoroughly enjoy what I find. And if you decide to wait a week or start this early, you know that you'll hear from me (although I think you already know where I stand on this issue).

Thanks for the olive branch Hugo - you're a gentleman, to be sure.

Hugo

Mr. Bad, I'll be incommunicado the week of October 3 -- so I guess it will have to be next week. If you'd like to email me your thoughts about why it is that men today are reluctant to date women, I promise to put them in the comments section right at the start of the thread. With, I hope, a minimal amount of "editing."

Happy trampin' in the woods.

The Gonzman

I'll speak for myself now, Hugo, and it's very simple:

The protest is not against women, per se, but against a family court system that regards us as nothing more than a wallet, and an optional afterthought to a family, easily replaced by just about anyone else. It allows - even encourages - a situation where we can be accused of the most vile crimes for a mere advantage in legal proceedings, where the accusation is as good as proof, where our rights to any due process are regarded as secondary, and where all but the most egregious false accusations are given a pass.

Let me ask you a frank question, Hugo: What tangible benefit does marriage give to me, as a man, anymore?

It has been secularized into a mere contract, so the spiritual and the legal are seperate.

I have no greater or lesser protections to my relationship with any children which might arise - and indeed, I escape the trap where children concieved adulterously are presumed mine, or declared mine by a legal fiction.

In many places, upon marrying, my proprty becomes half hers, even if she brought nothing into the relationship.

I have no obligation to support, or legal responsibility for the actions of, children which are not mine.

I can have companionship without a legal license to do so.

I can have intimacy without a legal license to do so.

I can have all the sex I want with or without a marriage license - indeed, without one, I could pursue who strikes my fancy. (Let me anticipate the objection - "*I* wouldn't put up with that, even if we weren't married." Granted. Many will.)

I have no protection against adultery - no-fault divorce has seen to that.

I do not become half responsible for bills incurred or bad finacial decisions of a wife.

With a little foresight and planning, powers of attorney, living wills, etc. I have no worry that my wife will suddenly turn into Michelle Schiavo and unplug me.

I could continue with this litany for a long time here, but I will forbear. The upshot is that marriage has become an unenforceable legal contract for men, and thus meaningless, except in the abstract. Even such things as "mutual trust" do not require a piece of paper filed with the county, and are in fact more meaningful as it becomes truly a two-way street.

You're absolutely right when you wrote recently that the cows and free milk analogy cited is shallow - and it is shallow because it is a cherry-picked, out of context, straw man set up by critics of the "marriage strike."

I'll leave it to you - find me a tangible and material benefit TO marriage - one that isn't offset somehow, or which has no chance of being found elsewhere, outside of it. I'd seriously be interested in hearing the case for it.

mythago

In many places, upon marrying, my proprty becomes half hers, even if she brought nothing into the relationship.

If you're speaking of community-property states, this is factually incorrect. Property you had before the marriage is your sole property.* The marriage is treated as a 'joint economic enterprise' and most earnings and acquisitions during the marriage are half yours and half hers. I'm oversimplifying it because there are exceptions such as inheritance, being able to change sole property to joint property and vice versa, and dividing up the value of businesses, but that's the basics.

You should also be aware that community-property laws are not male only. Your wife's earnings are also half yours, even if you bring nothing into the relationship.

I don't understand why you are trying to bait anyone into telling you why to marry. You list many disadvantages to marriage, which for you, clearly outweigh the benefits. I'm sure you're aware of those benefits; why ask someone to recite them when you have already decided they are not worth the drawbacks?

The Gonzman

Well, then, Mythago, we have ignorant judges who are dividing up property as "theirs" which was "his" before the marriage. Ya'll are fond of trotting out what the law says, and skipping how it gets applied.

And I'm well aware of how many women actually marry down. You'll just have to visualize my eyes rolling.

And as for (ahem) baiting, it's been a litany this past week, here and other places, of article after article after blog post about how men are immature and irresponsible commitment-phobes who have no direction and don't want to marry. Hugo seems to be inviting a discourse on this - he's requested civility, and I'm engaging him - I might add, civilly, since this is his sandbox.

Well, Myth, there's a second side to this, unless you're admitting that all this talk we keep hearing about dialog from the house opposite here is so much posturing and wind for a PR soundbyte. If it is, by all means, say so. I mean, it wouldn't suprise me.

stanton

Hugo, I believe you are very close to some valuable truths, but you can't seem to shed the blinders and look at the entire picture. Never mind the gross generalizations that you (and Amanda and so many others) make about your favorite bogeymen - the MRAs - while you simultaneously proclaim the diversity of thought and opinion among feminists. (Even your own
oversimplified list of the "five types" of MRAs should give you pause about such things, but apparently it doesn't.)
EXAMPLE: the men's rights movement says to men: "You're okay, it's those feminists who are at fault for your pain".
EXAMPLE: If there's one unifying battle cry among most men's rights advocates, it's this: "Men are okay as they are. We don't need to change! It's women who need to change, and they need to stop making unreasonable demands of us!"

While you may be able to locate some quotes from self-described MRAs who say such things, they are no more indicative of what MRAs in general are all about than the vitriolic spewings of a Dworkin or a MacKinnon, or the assininities of a Gilligan are representative of feminism. Sure, there are some feminists who defend such garbage, but it would be wrong to tar all feminists with that brush, in spite of these few foot-shooters.

I have resigned myself to this sort of inconsistency, and I know that MRA-types are guilty of it as well. It frustrates the hell out of me when those with whom I share some cherished values behave in this manner, and I guess I take a certain satisfaction in the fact that feminists do it every bit as much. (Truthfully, if the feminists stopped, and the MRAs didn't, that would be
most embarrassing, but there is no indication that either side is slowing down.) I have come to the conclusion that this behavior represents the defending of religious convictions rather than intellectually honest opinions.

My real problem with what you are saying in this post is in your elegant call on everyone to resist the tendency to surrender to entropy. This is great stuff! But then you shift the burden fully to the men. And men must heed the call of their sisters, and do what these enlightened beings "are calling us to do"? But men have no standing to call women to do anything at all? Hugo, on some level, you must see how hypocritical this is! I propose the radical idea that neither side possesses the collective wisdom to be telling the other what their collective work is. It boils down to a schoolyard-level squabble with no substantial content:

MRA: Feminists are bad because they are a-blah, b-blah, and c-blah, and they need to stop it!

FEM: That's silly and childish. And men have no right to criticize us.

FEM: And MRAs are bad because they are x-blah, y-blah, and z-blah, and they need to stop it!

I have no problem at all with calling men to accountability. In fact, it's what I do. But accountability is not blame. I just returned from staffing another New Mexico New Warrior Training Adventure. We took thirteen men through a process of touching their own shadows, and seeing their own worth. There was a transformation in these men that is totally beautiful to watch, and they all went home empowered, and with the support they need to be the men that they want to be, and now know they can be. And Hugo, it was done without laying the slightest bit of guilt on them. None. No shame, no blame, no demand for mea culpas. Nothing of the sort. Indeed, those things have no place in an empowered being, male or female.

IMHO, when blame of a target group becomes an indespensible part of an ideology, then that ideology ceases to have any real regenerative or transformative value for its members or for society.

jaketk

Kate,

I am curious, how can one respect a person whom you are unwilling to listen to? And I remain confused as to how something can be both nebulous and interconnected when the former implies there is no connection, and the latter implies that there is.

On this thread there has been plenty of opportunity for feminists to express their respect of men’s choices, but such has yet to happen. The choice is instead being chalked up to fear, though of what I am not entirely sure anymore, and insecurity. As I stated, one need not fear a particular group to take issue with one’s treatment by that group. I do not think feminists are afraid of men speaking about their frustrations so much as feminists do not wish to be challenged on any of the actions and/or changes that have been made in the last thirty years. Therein, they interpret any challenges as fear or a sign of intimidation. Men, as a whole, are not afraid of feminism, strong women, or change, so much as they do not wish to have their needs and feelings ignored nor do they wish to be blamed for every wrong. They have become empowered, or rather rediscovered their power, and have begun to voice their opinions. And since many men are simply saying and doing the same thing countless women have already done and continue to do (see the Salon article), would it not be fair to listen to them and take note, as you are supportive of men who listen to the complaints of women and change?

As for the lowering of my guard, I would say ask for that which you are unwilling to do. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The fighting stances will disappear when those who take them are no longer being attacked.

NancyP

I fully respect a given man's choices to seek short term fuck buddy women, or to get an "exotic" (submissive) immigrant or mail-order bride. Just don't expect me to put up with/ put out for this man. What other women want to do isn't up to me. If a very large percentage of American women don't fancy the exotic doormat role or the fuckbuddy role, that man may be reduced to paying for sex or wanking off in front of the computer. Law of supply and demand.

NancyP

Oh yes, and if a man doesn't like the fact that I am smart and independent, well, I feel no pain if he goes elsewhere - relief, rather! And if I don't have ten men in line for me, well, that's my choice too. As another and older "fish" saying has it, "There are lots of good fish in the sea" (Gilbert and Sullivan, The Mikado).

kate

jake said:

"I am curious, how can one respect a person whom you are unwilling to listen to?"

jake, i can't decipher this sentence. do you mean, how can one respect a person who is unwilling to listen? if that conjecture is right, and you're meaning me specifically, then i would say that i am listening - i'm here aren't i? :) the comments of this thread are pretty much responding to other comments at this point, we've moved away from responding to the original post, but i don't mind because it's interesting to me.

we're still circling around this idea of power and "empowerment": who's got it, who wants it, who is being denied it. in this epic power struggle, we lose track of the fact that (in my humble opinion) men and women want and deserve the same basic respectful treatment. jake notes:

"Men, as a whole, are not afraid of feminism, strong women, or change, so much as they do not wish to have their needs and feelings ignored nor do they wish to be blamed for every wrong."

I'm going to take a little license, and re-word that sentence for a moment:

"Women, as a whole, are not afraid of men having rights, men having a say, or change, so much as they do not wish to have their needs and feelings ingored nor do they wish to be blamed for every wrong."

It's two sides of the same coin. Yet we all get so entrenched, and suspicious, and paranoid, and when any man who likes to think about the idea of men's rights is a no-good, would-be-rapist, knuckle-dragging neanderthal and when any woman who likes to think about women's rights is a shrieking, man-hating femi-nazi harridan, what good is that doing anyone?

I am avowedly feminist. But I don't construe that to mean the advancement of women at the expense and denigration of men. The problem is that our culture would have you believe that.

The Gonzman

No, Kate, the problem is your forbears in your movement were decidedly anti-male. And they did advocate the advancement of women at the expense and denigration of men. Yet they are still revered by your camp. Steinem. Marilyn French. The list is legion. Some awfully hateful stuff out of there, Kate.

What are we supposed to think? Ignore the Confederate flag on the wall, the white hood on the hook, the pictures of David Duke and Adolf Hitler - or the equivalent thereof - and just believe you don't believe in, embrace, or revere that anymore? You don't really wear the white hood - it's just a trophy or something?

Mr. Bad

Hi kate, I appreciate most of what you say above, but when you write "I am avowedly feminist. But I don't construe that to mean the advancement of women at the expense and denigration of men. The problem is that our culture would have you believe that" you are incorrect.

The problem with the above statement is that our culture indeed not only seems to believe in "the advancement of women at the expense and denigration of men," it indulges in it regularly, every hour of every day. You might not see the insulting portrayals of men on television, in the media (e.g., the Salon article), on the web (e.g., Amanda's blog), and elsewhere, or you may choose not to see them or even deny them if you do see them, but this doesn't mean they don't exist. They do. And frankly, much of the reason why our society has taken this turn is due to the efforts of feminists and the complacency and inaction of women who like you say you don't conform to the maltreatment of men but at the same time don't actively speak out against it.

This is one of the things that I'm trying to get across when I ask that feminists et al. make a serious effort at actually listening to what we MRAs et al. are saying. I'm old enough to remember when Eisenhower was president, and I was one of those men who advocated for feminism in the 1960s and '70s, only to become an avowed anti-feminist and MRA later on in the '80s and '90s when I saw the betrayal that feminists and women in general perped on those of us who supported them in the early days of the Second Wave. It made me feel like a first-class sucker back then, and nothing I see to date changes my view of the modern feminist and her sisters. As a matter of fact, I see it only getting worse with each passing year, and at some point a person has to stand up and say 'enough is enough.'

Mr. Bad

Like Gonz says above. The only thing I would add is that the difference between MRAs and feminists is that the MRA-equivalents of Steinem, Dworkin, French, Solanas, et al. are soundly disavosed and disenfranchised once they are identified. Come on to Stand Your Ground sometime and see how many MRAs there give a "woo hoo, you go man!" for guys like Marc Lepine. You can't say the same thing about feminists for their icons, for example, Lorena Bobbit or Catherine Harris. At best you get humming and hawing, at worst you get fist-pumping and "you go grrrl!" And much of the time one hears apologies and excuses from feminists for that kind of thing coming from their leaders, past and present.

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