Feminism 101b – What about the men?

Or, what about teh menz? as it’s more frequently called.

This follows on from The Arb’s guest post about mansplaining, as it is a) a jargon term within feminist spheres, somewhat like mansplaining and b) is another facet of male privilege with regard to women, and specifically feminism.

So, what does it mean?

Well, in essence, the phrase normally refers to a discussion, usually in a feminist forum/environment, where women are talking about an aspect of inequality/discrimination, and a little male head pops up and says, ‘But men suffer that too!’

It can be anything. Rape, domestic violence, education, health, employment. Whatever the topic, even if one man suffers from something, it is valid to derail the discussion and talk about men instead. Not about women and their continued oppression, but we must talk about the men. Because they are more important. And equality means everyone, right?

There is no argument that men do suffer from patriarchy. The difference is, men also gain and have always gained from patriarchy. Women, as a social class, do not.

Feminism is trying to redress a historic imbalance. Men are not in that position. They are not the underclass.

Some random anecdotal examples of men saying they are being victimised:

Employment

Years ago I read on a forum a post by a white working class Brit who was complaining that it was increasingly difficult to get work in his chosen trade. Printing. And there was lots of publicity about equality for women but it was really unfair that he, as a man, was struggling to find work. Because you know, employment was his entitled right. And he wasn’t getting those rights. Therefore, something needed to be done to look after the men. [See the references below about how hard done-by men are regarding employment]

Health

We hear about the high rate of young male suicides, but in fact in the UK it’s older men who have the higher rate of suicides. The rate for female suicides is consistently lower than the male rate.

What about heart disease? Traditionally labelled as a male illness. Yet, this article says it kills more women than men, but it has traditionally been underdiagnosed in women for cultural reasons.

When women talk about health issues, it’s not relevant to start quoting statistics of higher male suicides if we are discussing underdiagnosis of heart attacks in women. Not. The. Same. Topic.

Education

Boys’ academic results fall behind girls. It’s no good trying to help girls if they perform better than boys. Shock! Horror! The system is wrong! Do something. Not: girls might possibly be more intelligent and/or more studious than boys.

Shakesville (link to short but succinct post below with other links) sums it up nicely.

and “women earn far more bachelor’s and master’s degrees than do men” (a pointless observation as long as women still need at least one degree more than their male counterparts to make as much money

Yup. At my level as Assistant Director, I was the only one with two degrees. None of the men had them. Including medics and accountants. Yet, there were also women below me who also had two degrees. Academic qualifications don’t mean shit when it comes to employment.

Plenty of links below explaining WATM. If you only read one, read badreputation, this quote comes from there:

“Women perform 66% of the world’s work, earn 10% of world’s income and own 1% of the world’s property.” What about the men? Fine. Let’s reverse that for a new quote:

Men perform 33% of the world’s work, earn 90% of world’s income and own 99% of the world’s property.

They also suffer much less domestic violence, rape, genital mutilation, sexual shame, sex trafficking, and have far more control over their lives and bodies. Their options for work aren’t limited, they are not considered to automatically have a duty to represent their whole gender if they reach the top of a profession or political office, and aren’t scrutinised as mercilessly if their partner does.

Sums it up nicely.

But, just in case, let me say it again. Men in society have power and privilege. Women (as a class, rather than the minority number of women leaders of state, or CEOs, etc) do not.

So, when women talk about the major issues they face, eg the list from badreputation above, it simply isn’t appropriate to say, well men have problems too. It reads like an attempt to invalidate and derail genuine problems that women face. Please, don’t do it. We are pushing a rock uphill as it is. ‘How can I help?’ would be much better than whining from a position of (often white) male privilege. Or mansplaining.

A final quote from vagenda:

Men still aren’t oppressed. Men still aren’t the real victims. Men’s problems – and they can be big problems – are still experienced from within a societal and cultural context of indisputable privilege. We are portrayed as incompetent buffoons around the house because it maintains the legitimacy that housework is a female thing (we’re rarely shown being useless at sport or business or flying space shuttles are we?).

Thanks to Madalyn, whose post reminded me I was due to write another fem 101 post:

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” -Gandhi

An excellent resumé:

https://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/phmt-argument/

A humorous but accurate British pov:

http://vagendamagazine.com/2013/11/the-penis-perspective-but-what-about-teh-menz/

Short and sweet:

http://www.shakesville.com/2009/05/but-what-about-menz.html

Very good:

https://badreputation.org.uk/2011/03/24/but-what-about-teh-menz/

A kiwi perspective:

http://thehandmirror.blogspot.com/2013/02/what-about-teh-menz.html

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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90 Responses to Feminism 101b – What about the men?

  1. @RSitM

    Ooo, nice follow up. 🙂 Have you started the comment countdown clock? I’m feeling optimistic today, and give it at least an hour before the defence squad shows up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In terms of no comments, longer? Because people want to say they are feminist, or at least supportive, but when it comes down to it … it’s not actually what they (or the menz) want.

      There was a comment either directly in a post, or maybe as a comment, on one of those links that referred to ‘I’m a humanist not a feminst’. Must hunt it down as I think that’s an important one. It’s totally denying feminism, and just wishywashying around in 3rd or 4th wave mire 😦

      Like

  2. Another valueable post for me Clouds. Thank you. ❤

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      • Lol…yes. One of my own fumbling struggles is figuring out WHERE the swinging social-pendulum should rest. I’ve always “thought” it should be dead-center, but I’m finding MANY /some who don’t want it there. :/

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        • Actually this isn’t a post about swinging 🙂 It’s really about respect for space. A dead centre only applies when there is an equilibrium. It may have escaped your notice but there is an imbalance.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Obviously an imbalance going back many many centuries. Goes without saying my Friend. ❤

            Now, the question is… what are all of us going to do about it, eh? "Strength in numbers.!”

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        • Professor, did you see my fish tank comment on my post? It is not really a unique analogy, just my version. I think a new fish tank would be better than a set pendulum.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, and I liked it! Great image-analogy for a boy who is tactile and visual. 😉

            My pendulum imagery was reflective of reactionary words/swings that I perceived in my fumbling; certainly not to undermine the fish tank. However, seeing that I don’t do very well in 2, 5, 10, or 100-gallon tanks… can we guide all the Aquates(?) into the oceans? And I’m truly not implying I’m marginalising the equality-problems, but acknowledging the serious need for expansive equality, millions of bigger unlimited fish tanks for the millions of fish varieties? ❤

            And thank you for your patience with me Madalyn. (says nervously with glistening persperation) o_O

            Liked by 1 person

          • I agree. We need oceans worth of space. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • OK. Let me try and use plain words. (ie trying for one syllable, an exercise in itself)

            This post writes on how men take topics and turn the point to their pov.

            So, when you write about your views and where you think things should sit, that’s already left the main point.

            It is not about teh menz.

            Now, while I see your view, your post shows that men like to turn things round to be about them. Yes?

            And your change to the fish tanks and to change it, just does the same. Even more.

            OK, I’m sick of one syllable, but the point of my comment is that, your opinion about feminism isn’t actually very helpful. Not just yours but loads of other people too. What you have done here, is to take an informative post, probably not read the links – you already said on MMJ’s that you didn’t read the Vance post she linked to, and complained about links as not being human – and put your point of view on it. That is called not listening. That is what. Men. Do. All. The. Time.

            A better response, instead of giving all of us the benefit of your huge male wisdom, including naturally, expanding on Madalyn’s fish tank, would have been to try and read the links, understand a little and display some of said understanding, rather than telling us all about you and your pov. Feminism is not about the menz. If you truly want to understand and support women could you possibly take yourself and your ego out of it for at least a short while?

            Liked by 1 person

          • My reply is below and new to justify back to the far left.

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          • I do look at new comments but thanks for informing me.

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          • They all come up anyway so you didn’t need to tell me that.

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          • (refuses to be baited again) Silence. ❗

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          • You misinterpret ulterior motives where they don’t exist. Not all women are the same Professor. I was explaining that you don’t need to tell me you have written a comment because it comes up anyway and, of course, I rush to answer your comments. Mostly. Nearly as fast as I rush to answer CS!

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          • Good. Please remember.

            Liked by 1 person

          • In this case it’s about men, but as an animal hierarchical power structure it’s about whomever has the control (yes, I know, always men.) But we can also take your point and apply it to Christians in the west, Mullahs in the middle east, Maoists in China- and so forth.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Okay, so I didn’t bring this up earlier because you seemed to be nearing the end of your rope, but it has been bugging me all day. My analogy quite literally stated that saltwater fish will complain about the tank water not being salty enough while other fish are dead or dying from salt exposure. Your reaction to this was to suggest oceans. Oceans! You suggested literal salt water, professor.

            It may seem that I am being too literal with figurative language, but I can’t stop thinking about this. It is so indicative of the circular feeling these conversations have had. Vance did a similar thing with an analogy of his own. This is why we say there is a lack of listening, this is why it feels like there is a language barrier. Just something to think about.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I liked it, I’ve not heard of it, but sounds like a variation on dismantling the gender binary.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Going through your links…really excellent stuff. Thank you.

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  4. “This post writes on how men take topics and turn the point to their pov.”

    Yes. True.

    “So, when you write about your views and where you think things should sit, that’s already left the main point.

    It is not about teh menz.”

    Alright. I’m chewing on this part. Listening then processing.

    “Now, while I see your view, your post shows that men like to turn things round to be about them. Yes?”

    No. May I correct the understandable inaccuracy?

    “And your change to the fish tanks and to change it, just does the same. Even more.”

    I disagree. The previous misunderstanding has lead to another here. My sincere apologies Clouds. 😦

    “OK, I’m sick of one syllable, but the point of my comment is that, your opinion about feminism isn’t actually very helpful. Not just yours but loads of other people too. What you have done here, is to take an informative post, probably not read the links – you already said on MMJ’s that you didn’t read the Vance post she linked to, and complained about links as not being human – and put your point of view on it. That is called not listening. That is what. Men. Do. All. The. Time.”

    The “That is called not listening.” is inaccurate again. Sorry. 😦

    “A better response, instead of giving all of us the benefit of your huge male wisdom, including naturally, expanding on Madalyn’s fish tank, would have been to try and read the links, understand a little and display some of said understanding, rather than telling us all about you and your pov. Feminism is not about the menz. If you truly want to understand and support women could you possibly take yourself and your ego out of it for at least a short while?”

    Wow. Really? And yet if I open my mouth/reply… it is all maligned more. All I need to say at this point is… I’m sorry for the misunderstandings. I only need human feedback from my thoughts and feelings shared. 😦

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    • Check that… “I only need human feedback FOR my thoughts and feelings shared to know/monitor my progress.” Sorry and thank you. 😦

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    • Now. Let’s do this nice and slowly because I’m obviously struggling to explain adequately. I lack your teaching skills.
      Let’s look at your responses. They are telling me, with the exception of your first response, that everything I have written is wrong. Yes?
      You’ve couched it in pretty words but we have:
      1) chewing
      2) inaccuracy
      3) misunderstanding
      4) inaccurate
      5) and … what you say is maligned.
      Now, while I understand your readily self-admitted ignorance on these matters and would seek to help you explore hidden depths, a little self-education from someone who claims to enjoy learning wouldn’t go amiss.
      Further, in discussions about feminism, it really isn’t good form, however you try and slipppery word your prose, to tell the author she is wrong.
      I am not saying you shouldn’t make your replies all about you because I know you like to do that. I am however, saying that is a classic example of male behaviour, and you have done so with your comments.
      Finally, I asked you on Madalyn’s exactly how you wish to learn about feminism. Clearly you aren’t interested in links, although you often provide them on your blog. Or do you not want to learn? Merely to be told your intentions are great but you need a little help with your practical skills and that you are getting there? Your southern politesse cuts no ice with me so please don’t disguise your ignorance, wilful or otherwise, with grovelling sycophancy.
      So this is your human feedback. Could do better. Intellect and intelligence seem to be there but motivation and interest are lacking.
      Now, how else can I help you in your desire to understand and support feminism?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I recognize this one difference Kate. I don’t seem to have as much (near as much?) difficulty progressing with other Feminists as I do you. I could speculate as to why, but doing so will only expose my head and/or heart here to another round of sniper’s barrage by you. And by the very fact that you’re baiting me again here… I cannot win…even WHEN I simply note (courteously & with some human regard) this silent emoti = ❗ doesn’t work; it seems nothing does.

        And I’m sure you’re going to turn this around on me, again, claiming that’s what I’m doing. 😦

        I really really want off the hampster’s wheel. Please?

        Liked by 2 people

        • They may be younger than me, less radical, possibly previously or currently religious (lets not get into Christian feminists!) or just submit. Tough shit sweetheart. I don’t.
          Let’s get one thing clear. There is no baiting. I am doing my level best to explain simplistic feminism and you accuse me of baiting?
          Do you know how far off the feminist stratosphere you would be exploded for suggesting that?
          Or … are you baiting? Because. Don’t. Oh wait, you predicted that. Now why? Maybe you actually realised you were.
          Now, as JZ asks on religious posts, I will repeat my question yet again, once on MMJs and once on here, now once more.
          How do you wish to learn and understand about feminism? How can I help you?
          Hamster’s wheel? You’ve never been a woman darling.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I genuinely believe you and I Kate together cannot go any further on this today. Please allow me to learn about Feminism elsewhere, all the links, yours included, other dialogues/discussions, books like Bell Hooks I’m reading, etc.

            Thank you, however, for your efforts. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • You don’t like being told what to do, do you? I should have realised. You want to rule conversations, close them down, and basically exercise control. Sure. It’s ended. But don’t try for the last word or I will delete it. You NEVER answered my question, and you had three chances, so I’m genuinely left wondering about your interest/commitment/support. Buenas noches cariño.

            Liked by 2 people

    • It’s interesting. Kate’s initial reactions almost never align with my own, but when I read them I almost always completely understand where she is coming from. Our styles differ, but I get what she means.

      I’ve seen many of your interactions with Kate. And Victoria. And myself. I get that links are impersonal, but if you really want to learn, then the effort should be made. If you had clicked, you would have found personal blogs with comment sections. The human touch is there for the taking.

      “Listen” has become a loaded word. I’m trying to figure out a new way to explain what I mean. Let me try this: listen without immediately thinking about how it affects you. That’s been my strategy with issues of race.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you Madalyn. Truly. All of it. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I recognise that. And that of all our mutual interractions on the blogosphere I am more radical than other women (and men). ‘Twas ever thus. I like your moderate style. Like Ruth’s. It doesn’t suit me.
        And sometimes we need different styles to achieve our means. Omelettes and breaking eggs comes to mind.
        I chose the links carefully. Read some, discarded lots. Thought there was a suitable variety and the commentary too.
        I spent years learning about feminism, and the internet changes it yet again, although not that much. It’s really not that difficult to learn about. If the interest is there. But men – and women – who say, yeh I’m interested and then drop out until the next blog post, aren’t really interested at all. So why not say so? At least be honest.
        I accept that it is easier to learn about anything from someone with whom we have built up a relationship over the internet. But, to explain everything becomes a 5000 word post and not a less than 1000 one. So, links are sometimes necessary. And I read all links before I post them, and the comments on them too. I put time into it, and I find it unkind to suggest links lack the human touch when I spent hours finding appropriate ones.
        Listen. I think your phraseology still really means STFU. Nicely put, but not that different.
        The problem is accepting privilege. Men. Don’t.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I fully agree with the needing different styles. I realized the need for a variety of expressions when I became an atheist. Some need mean, some need nice, some need somewhere in between. All the types are helpful to someone.

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          • We need people like you to bridge the gaps 🙂
            Just as we need the deconverts to make that same bridge, because people like me who were never remotely Xtian can’t do it.
            And the truth is, I’m older than most of my blogpals, and it honestly gets boring as hell repeating the same old thing.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. You should expand this focusing on the use of language because you can do that better than most.
    In the process, consider this text from Philip Agre:
    “A simple example is the term “race-baiting”. In the Nexis database, uses of “race-baiting” undergo a sudden switch in the early 1990’s. Before then, “race-baiting” referred to racists. Afterward, it referred in twisted way to people who oppose racism. What happened is simple: conservative rhetors, tired of the political advantage that liberals had been getting from their use of that word, took it away from them.

    A more complicated example is the word “racist”. Conservative rhetors have tried to take this word away as well by constantly coming up with new ways to stick the word onto liberals and their policies. For example they have referred to affirmative action as “racist”. This is false; it is an attempt to destroy language. Racism is the notion that one race is intrinsically better than another. Affirmative action is arguably discriminatory, as a means of partially offsetting discrimination in other places and times, but it is not racist. Many conservative rhetors have even stuck the word “racist” on people just because they oppose racism. The notion seems to be that these people addressed themselves to the topic of race, and the word “racist” is sort of an adjective relating somehow to race. In any event this too is an attack on language.

    A recent example is the word “hate”. The civil rights movement had used the word “hate” to refer to terrorism and stereotyping against black people, and during the 1990’s some in the press had identified as “Clinton-haters” people who had made vast numbers of bizarre claims that the Clintons had participated in murder and drug-dealing. Beginning around 2003, conservative rhetors took control of this word as well by labeling a variety of perfectly ordinary types of democratic opposition to George Bush as “hate”. In addition, they have constructed a large number of messages of the form “liberals hate X” (e.g., X=America) and established within their media apparatus a sophistical pipeline of “facts” to support each one. This is also an example of the systematic breaking of associations.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Are you on your ‘how to write blog posts’ horse again? 😀 but thanks for that comment.
      Well, you have read some of my previous posts on language, so I don’t want to bore long-standing readers eg you with things they have read before. But yes I will consider another linguistic post.
      In respect of Agre’s words, I think the way conservatives turn words around is skillful. I read, but lost and could no longer find the reference, that political correctness was at some point a reference to right wing thought, yet it suddenly ends up being a derisive term for all attempts to end discrimination for any minority group.
      The hate example can be compared with anger. Angry feminists. Angry atheists. It’s an interesting one. (As a feminist and an atheist I am very rarely angry, certainly not about either of those two topics)
      Anyway, I’ll ponder that, you have given me some ideas, so thanks. The Arb has offered to write another guest post for me, so I’m looking forward to that one next. On male privilege 🙂
      Of course, if you have time on your hands (!) you could always write a guest post on male homosexuality and feminism from your perspective. That would be interesting.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My perspective on homosexuality and feminism? Not enough time for a decent post, but enough for a detailed comment.
        Just two weeks ago a fifteen year old boy was thrown from a tall building to his death in Deir ez-Zor, one of Syria’s larger urban centres. His death sentence was dictated by an ISIS Sharia court. His crime? He was raped by senior commander, Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi. The latter’s punishment for being a rapist was to go on a mission to Iraq.
        The explanation and justification for this monstrous injustice is Patriarchy, the traditional variety. It goes as far back as ancient Greece and Rome where a man who “allowed himself to be penetrated by another man” could lose his citizenship. Rape included. So the young man in Syria was murdered because, in the patriarchal view, he allowed himself to be treated as a woman.
        This odd interpretation of facts is unusually common all over the world, not just in ISIS controlled regions of the middle east. As a gay man I’ve lost count of the times heterosexuals have asked me: “In your relationship, who’s the boy and who’s the girl?” That question is used to ascribe value to the individual according to traditional gender roles. If one answers boy, that means one is the superior specimen: masculine, provider, virile, mows the lawn, fixes things around the house, drives. And that leaves the other gender role to the other guy who people assume cooks, cleans, irons, spends money, watches soap-operas and depends on the superior being for his survival.
        The ultimate fight for all minority groups should be and should have always been feminism. It’s the only struggle which genuinely subverts the patriarchal system. All others have had to, in one way or another, submit to the conformist, hierarchical standards of WMCD (white-male-christian-dominance.) In fact, gay rights have come contingent on the adoption of those values. In the past 20 years the great LGBT battles have been about being allowed to be in the military, bourgeois marriage and having one’s homosexuality ignored/overlooked rather than respected. That means we’re allowed to be gay, as long as we emulate the lives of middle-class conservative heterosexual couples- adopted babies and all.

        Liked by 1 person

    • “You should expand this focusing on the use of language because you can do that better than most.”

      To Mr. Merveilleux —

      This I feel is an excellent suggestion! One question though, please… 🙂

      *In the meantime Mr. Merveilleux, in my humble opinion you’ve given a splendid example of WHY interaction (two-way or multi-way) includes, listening, reading, speaking, writing, LANGUAGE (and its origin/evolution), body-movement, facial-movement, tone, inflection, all wrapped in mutual respect, usually being composed in insufficient time or consideration with some human flaws mixed-in. Thus in some cases uncommon patience from all parties is truly golden. The last applies to me in greater amounts because exceptional writing has never been my bed-partner. :/

      Liked by 2 people

      • Here we go again. You do not get a personal free pass. It is. Not. All. About. You.

        uncommon patience from all parties is truly golden

        Uncommon lack of discrimination from patriarchal society would be truly golden too.
        Now, for the fiftieth millionth time, can you stop whingeing because you are behind the game on feminism. Not. My. Fault.
        Your writing has nothing to do with that. Try studying feminism like you did scripture. I’m sure your writing would be good enough if you put in that amount of effort. Professor.

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        • Are you still upset and annoyed with me Clouds? Is it personal? Is it something we should take off-line to resolve? 😮

          In the meantime…This reply is to merely address what you’ve stated about me here. Nothing to do with me. Everything to do with your comment-reply. Clear?

          “Try studying feminism like you did scripture.”

          That portion of my life took around 15-years studying. I’m very willing to do the same with Feminism. Have been doing it. But you already knew I’m doing it. Yet…?

          “I’m sure your writing would be good enough if you put in that amount of effort. Professor.”

          Well, if you mean that genuinely then thank you (I think?) for the tiny encouragement, but I don’t feel you meant it as encouragement. But I could be wrong. 😉

          “Here we go again. You do not get a personal free pass. It is. Not. All. About. You.”

          By returning here, giving my subjective, flawed, and yes indeed “behind the game on feminism” position (you constantly remind me about now 16-million times)… doesn’t really demonstrate a Con for a “Personal Free Pass” as it does a returning student WANTING to graduate, and do it well. But it takes time doesn’t it? Students must listen, yes. Students must read, yes. Students must complete their homework, yes. But you know Clouds and I know that it isn’t just the responsibility of the Student. A teacher is just as important. Do I need to list what makes a Teacher excellent, a Master, a Motivator? That is not a question intended to annoy or insult. Please don’t take it that way.

          Yet that introduction, to me, places everything following in derision and counter-productive LANGUAGE. I think it would make most students (not me…yet) want to perform poorly or drop-out with a grade of “Incomplete.” But I could be wrong. 😉

          “Uncommon lack of discrimination from patriarchal society would be truly golden too.”

          Couldn’t agree more with that! And I clearly do not need a 17-millionth repeat of HOW to start or be a part of the Yellow-brick road, doing it, BUT I do appreciate the exellent exemplorary Teachers and their exceptional motivating methods… to one day mold me into a valuable Feminist ally.

          However, if even my attempts of saving-grace between us here are boiling you more and near futile, though I do not want to give up, or drop-out of the class, or get kicked-off campus 😉 … I will gracefully take my leave, my suspension and save us unnecessary aneurysms. However, I WOULD like to ask Mr. Merveilleux my ONE question first! 😉 😀

          With respect, Professor.

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      • Which part of that was a question? Said I with great mutual respect 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • LOL…it was first asking permission to ask. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • You have one’s permission 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you Sir.

            In light your excellent point about language and your description of what you meant, of which I’m in total agreement… I wanted to ask… Is it enough to be simply heard?

            Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t think so. Heard and understood are such different things. I imagine as a professor you know the difference well.
            Heard is only a viable option once there are sufficient levels of education so that individuals can sort through information and have the capability to discern what is or isn’t reasonable. Even then, there will be outside interests influencing the discussion/debate.
            Take Yale and their alleged Velazquez painting. Meetings, studies and even a conference have been held. The top tier of experts dismiss the painting as not being a Velazquez- yet Yale specialists insist on their position 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yes. I like that answer because it is not or was not what I had fully expected. It is more. But had you not allowed me to ask the question, my own knowledge, or direction could have gone awry, yes? If yes, then how best (in general terms of course) does a student know how they are progressing?

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          • In my experience progress is a disturbing and uncomfortable process. It requires giving up the comfort of what we know and expect.In that sense whenever I’ve had to admit a mistake or failure, there was progress.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Another fine answer. Thank you kindly.

            To be fair here, I’ve had to admit mistakes or failures, several times on Feminism. Will likely have to do more. And to be MORE honest, I’ve learned I do need to ask more humble questions and give much less feedback — my own feedback/POV that I didn’t intend as “Mansplaning” but for progress-checks, grades, performance marks, test-scores. 😦

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          • Mansplaining is natural to us, men. It even comes naturally to some women. The trick is being able to identify it ourselves.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Yes indeed. Thank you Merveilleux for your time here to indulge me. I really do appreciate it. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • You know that technically mansplaining is not done by women, given that it is invariably men talking over women to vaunt their superior knowledge.

            In practice, women may well be patronising, condescending, and if they are buying into patriarchal role models you could make the argument that might be mansplaining. However, if you look at Arb’s definition on his previous mansplaining post on here, splaining might perhaps serve better. Don’t confuse the Professor. Please!

            There is a difference between ‘I’m a man and I know better’ (by virtue of being a man) and ‘I’m a clever woman and I know better’ (by virtue of being clever). I simplify but you get the idea.

            Like

          • I meant women like Faust who support, excuse and justify the subjugation of women 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • Hmm. I think that comes under religiousplaining or homophobicsplaining.

            Like

  6. Ruth says:

    This is a very thought-provoking post. I’m still slowly working my way through the links. It’s a lot to wade through when you include the comments, but well, well worth it.

    Like

    • Thanks Ruth. Feminism is just not an easy topic to discuss. But, at least people are willing to discuss it. I think. Without writing a two thousand wordcpost, I don’t see how to present other perspectives without providing links. Depends on the level of interest I suppose. I nearly always read links, because otherwise, when someone has provided them, I’m coming at something without being fully informed. Plus, when people take the time to find a link and add it to a blog post, or comment, I think it’s reasonable to respect that and read their suggestion.

      Whatever!

      Like

  7. Actually, some women do benefit from the patriarchy.

    If you’re a woman who fits the stereotype of what men want, if you’re pretty you will get better treatment than men. I constantly got discriminated against in the military because the women were more appealing to the commanders. Of course, women who don’t fit the stereotype don’t get anything – the one religious and the nerdy girl got nothing because they weren’t sexy enough.

    Do people really mention male suicides when people talk about female heart diseases? They are so far apart.

    The thing is, there are times to point out that men suffer equally from the same problem if it is true. If both sexes suffer equally in a given context, then the problem doesn’t target women. Of course, some use it to derail discussions – when we talk about catcalling, it doesn’t matter if you feel it will hinder your flirting with random women.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some men, well most men. And some women do indeed benefit from the patriarchy.

      Men who benefit, do so, because they are men. Simple as that. Women who ‘benefit’ do so because they play the game and abide by the rules. To the disadvantage of every other woman in society who doesn’t. And is it really benefitting to get so-called preferential treatment because one is pretty? What happens when the looks fade?
      Lets turn this one around. How many women can say they have been discriminated against because a man was better-looking? They can be the shortest fattest ugliest SOAB under the son, not to mention less intelligent and they can still get preferential treatment.

      Interestingly, what you are doing here is the point of the post. You are saying (I think) that you have suffered discrimination at a personal level. Which is basically WATM. Because we need to consider you. As a person.

      But this isn’t about individual men and their trials and tribulations in life. This is about how women, as a class, are continually oppressed. Simple as that.

      With ref to your personal discrimination, most women face that. Every. Day. Women who benefit from patriarchy do so either consciously or unconsciously. I’m sure I did when I was younger based on appearance. But only so far. I needed brains plus qualifications plus experience plus looks to even get to the same place as some men.

      Yes, some women play the patriarchy because it is the ruling system. And because it is all they know. Rhetoric and survival are very different.

      Mostly, both sexes don’t suffer equally from the same problem though do they? There is a tiny difference with one sex having the upper hand, and the other being treated as the underclass. Individual examples that don’t fit the norm hardly invalidate the situation for fifty per cent of the population.

      And thanks for revisiting to discuss feminism 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • The Patriarchy is a system that has roles for both men and women. The people who benefit in this system are those who fit these roles. Yes, a man who fits the role get better treatment than a woman who fits the role.
        It doesn’t change the fact that men who don’t fit this role do get discriminated against in various places (Of course, dear MRA’s don’t talk about this but then again they’re only considered with fighting feminism).
        No, this is not WATM. This is merely pointing out that male privilege isn’t so freely distributed. If for most of my life I saw women generally getting much ahead of me, it’ll be rational to doubt that current society is only hostile towards women.
        We benefit and lose in different fields. It’s much easier to be a woman socially (At least based on personal experience) but yes, the risk of sexual violence is higher.
        Regarding problems that the sexes face equally/unequally – I know only of those they suffer unequally.
        Basically, the system’s preference are far deeper than Men or Women. The system has a more specific preference and it’s hostile towards anyone who doesn’t fit. It’s not enough to just be a man.

        Liked by 1 person

        • OK, lets agree that men benefit more than women.
          But, most men do fit the role, because, well, they are men, and have that implicit, or explicit, advantage.
          What you are doing is taking it to a personal level. From a male point of view. Not relevant. Feminism is about a societal/class issue. Not well, I think this, and I experienced that. We are talking about a group of people that have been perpetually discriminated against for centuries. If one man has had a raw deal, then it’s not actually relevant when women have been regarded as property, had no legal rights, no financial rights etc over many years, and in non-western countries, still don’t have those rights. I don’t need to tell you this, because you know this.
          Easier to be a woman socially? What does that mean? And what benefits does it bring? Pray. Do tell.
          Of course “it’s not enough to just be a man.”
          What part of ‘what about the men’ do you not understand? You do realise your comment has been about your male viewpoint about discrimination you have suffered and that you perceive men continue to suffer, don’t you?
          It is, a very good example, of ‘what about the men’.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I’m gonna need a stronger option than ‘Like’ for this one.

            Liked by 2 people

          • “But, most men do fit the role, because, well, they are men,” – I don’t know why they fit the role. I don’t know if the role is biological or a social construct. However, yes, a lot benefit or else they would’ve changed the system a long time ago.

            “We are talking about a group of people that have been perpetually discriminated against for centuries.” – Be wary. We are talking about the 10’s right now, not the past. Many women were born into rights with a lot of the fight for equality already done for them. Discrimination in the past doesn’t equal discrimination now. The Holocaust doesn’t mean Jews are discriminated against right now.

            It’s very important to be specific on what time we’re talking about.

            I agree about non-Western countries. It’s a sickening problem.

            “Easier to be a woman socially?” – In my experience, women don’t suffer from isolation like males do. They didn’t have it when I was in the military. In social groups they’re often centers of attention. I never heard them complain about being alone (But I heard plenty times about men who were horrible).

            If you think my comment was just WATM, then I’ll rephrase my two main points:

            – The Patriarchy doesn’t simply benefit men and harms women. It puts two roles for these sexes and elevates ANYONE who conforms to his right role. However, the male role is more highly valued.

            – WATM can be relevant if, talking about a certain problem (Apples falling from the sky) it can be proved men and women suffer from it equally. If I prove apples fall from the sky fairly equally on both men and women, then it’s not a feminist issue. However, if I prove that apples only eat women and don’t men, and this is a case where women as a whole suffer, where women are a target and it’s therefore a feminist issue.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The definition of feminism is the belief that people should be equal regardless of gender. Wherever the apples fall, they are apples feminists care about.

            Yes, patriarchy hurts men. That isn’t what this post is about. You came and talked about men, thus WATM.

            Like

          • Well, this post did talk about men. I also didn’t talk about men. My main point was who are the specific people the patriarchy benefit.
            We should also be wary of any technique that shuts down discussions. Saying WATM can be a nice way to write off an argument, but feminism was a movement that question assumptions and challenged them. We must use it as a way to promote discussion, not shut it down. Don’t become dogmatic

            Like

          • I am not shutting down the conversation, I am attempting to keep it on topic. If you can’t see how you took it off topic, then read it again–along with the links.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I generally don’t mind off topic. But going off topic about the men, on a feminist post, that then talks about men’s discrimination? I think it needs to be mentioned, so thank you, as it is what the post talks about.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’ll answer both your last comments here.

            First comment

            Whether men benefit due to biology or social construct isn’t the point, for now. They do.

            Indeed, advances have been made by previous feminists that have led to a better position for women, but not an equal one. Women continue, even in so-called egalitarian western society, to be discriminated against. Are you suggesting there is no discrimination? Or, do you not see it? A straight question.

            Mass murder of people during the 1930s/40s isn’t directly comparable with the systemic oppression of women throughout history. But, I would say that Jewish women are certainly discriminated against. Their religion has very set roles for women which place them in an inferior role, which often includes a school uniform, ie long skirts and/or a pinafore dress, flat shoes, and a hairband or cap to keep their sensuous hair under control, just to give one example.

            Fine. We are talking about now. But those who don’t know their history etc …

            I’m trying to keep away from personal experiences in these discussions because I don’t think they are helpful for objectivity, so I’m not providing a counter anecdotal argument.

            – The Patriarchy doesn’t simply benefit men and harms women. It puts two roles for these sexes and elevates ANYONE who conforms to his right role. However, the male role is more highly valued.

            Agreed to some extent. But (there is always a but), it harms women more than it harms men. Homosexual men are often lumped in with women however. It only elevates women who play by the rules. And some of us don’t like those rules. Nor does it elevate women, as a social class, as much, or as far, or as often, as it elevates men. Conclusion: patriarchy is damaging towards women as a class.

            WATM can be relevant if, talking about a certain problem (Apples falling from the sky) it can be proved men and women suffer from it equally.

            In which case it is unlikely it would be a feminist-specific issue.

            Second comment

            Well, this post did talk about men. I also didn’t talk about men.

            It’s somewhat difficult to discuss discrimination, oppression, patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny without occasionally mentioning men. Note though, men as a societal group rather than individuals.

            I think you did talk about your individual experiences however, in the military, saying that you felt men suffered more social isolation then women and that you were discriminated against in favour of pretty women.

            In essence, as Madalyn says, it’s a good example of WATM. That’s not shutting down discussion. This post is explaining – or attempting to explain – a phrase used in feminist circles, which is when men derail a conversation by talking about them and the discrimination they face. Which, to me, is what you did.

            I have a question for you, BITJ. When you started commenting, had you read the links I provided? If you did, did you agree or disagree with the main content of the posts?

            Liked by 1 person

          • “Are you suggesting there is no discrimination? ” – No. I think we still live in a fairly patriarchal society where the Hetero-Male is the dominant point of view.

            “But, I would say that Jewish women are certainly discriminated against. ” – This is pretty off-topic since it discusses discrimination within Jewish society. Abrahamic religions are definitely sexist towards women, yes.

            ” patriarchy is damaging towards women as a class.” – A better way to phrase my point is that an individual woman can benefit more than an individual man (If she plays by rules and he doesn’t). However, the general rule is that the Patriarchy is against women. The role of women is considered more inferior.

            My personal anecdote was evidence for my claim that there is a way to benefit from the Patriarchy while being a woman. I think there’s another word for such benefits – benevolent sexism, no?

            I think the phrase can be relevant depending on how it used. I gave a few examples of when someone can pull a WATM and prove a certain issue doesn’t target females. I also gave earlier (I’m pretty sure) when men ignore completely the issue women face and worry how it’ll affect them (The response to articles about catcalling: “If you talk about this we wouldn’t be able to flirt with you!”).

            I haven’t got the time to read the links :c

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks BitJ.

            Well, you did mention Judaism. Off topic or not, as this is a post about feminism, it seemed reasonable to mention the position of women in Jewish communities (I live in a Jewish quarter). But yes, we can agree that the big three are all sexist towards women. Which accounts for an awful lot of the world. Hence there continues to be sexism and discrimination.

            Thanks for your continued participation in these discussions, we can agree on some things, although not all. That’s a start. Appreciate your visits.

            Like

  8. @BitJ

    “I haven’t got the time to read the links :c”

    But strangely enough you do have time to share text walls of your very important opinion.

    *lolsob forever*

    Liked by 1 person

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