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  • Thursday, September 21, 2006


    Feminism and Masculism, Part III: This Time It's Personal

    I can't help but share my continuing and charming exchanges with Masculist Man in the comments of this post. I wrote them up as a post yesterday. Alas, the pleasure of intelligent give and take, argument and counter-argument, seems rather thin between us. He probably views me as a dupe, hoodwinked by the feminist conspiracy, blind to the truth of the masculist perspective. Still, I'm proud to be a "gender traitor" since it's one of my most appealing qualities.

    So, Masculist Man said:
    Demiorator's comments in "".

    "Perhaps you are right and reading the book you recommend will change my perspective. I am doubtful because all the "masculist" material I've read contains conclusions based on data easily shown to be factually incorrect. Please note how carefully I've worded that last sentence. It is only based on my direct experience with the writings and my own research
    into statistics presented in these writings."

    I've found a lot of feminist propaganda to be "factually challenged" to use one of your PC phrases and it has been refuted by a lot of masculist writers. Do you know who Dr. Warren Farrell is? He is probably the only man to ever hold the title of president of NY NOW and he even sees the situation that men are in and not of they're own making either. A lot of masculist writings that are not the author's opinions or reflections are facts and we do back up those facts for our detractors to examine for themselves,if they are going to honestly do it.

    "It's true that I presented no substantial arguments in my last post but, again, read it carefully and you'll see I did not call you names. I note that some of your points about the "entitlements" of women seem highly conjectured opinion not congruent with my personal experience or knowledge."

    Yes,you did. You basically incited hatred by comparing me to racists,which I am not and you also tried to tar me with "hatemonger" brush that you liberals love to broadly paint people who disagree with your views of the world. I base my arguement on women having this power and my source of this information is from the book "The Myth Of Male Power". My evidence is not is not subjective so don't get that impression. Just what masculist sites have you been visiting?

    "Generally, the masculinist view has struck me more as a thesis in search of substantiation rather than an obvious, easily proved, truth. Perhaps I am failing to appreciate the validity of the argument because of my feminist-leaning bias. Perhaps. But a few of your statements totally contradict crime statistics I'm familiar with. "Women are also more violent with men while men are conditioned to treat women with respect no matter how said women act."? I'd love to see your statistical evidence for this statement."

    Yes,your feminist bias is very apparent as is my masculist bias but then again I'm upfront about hence my handle. Like I said,what masculist information are you having trouble with? Yes,our FACTS will contridict FEMINIST LIES but isn't that the purpose of truth. To not only inform but clear away the lies and distortions as well. I've seen misandry in commercials such as a soap commercial,a major brand,that depicted men as apes thus being less than human (isn't this what the nazis did to the jews,the dehumanization process). There was the Geico radio commercial that depicted the woman as more informed than the man and there are a lot of commercials that take this formul
    His comment was truncated there by the software; I'm not editing his words. My reply was also truncated so I added the last two intended words in brackets. I don't think that's a misrepresentation. I said:
    *sigh* This exchange seems to be spiraling into nasty territory but let's keep going.

    I did *not* call you a racist. I said what you wrote *reminded* me of racist screeds. Your litany of what feminists and women had done to men seemed based on information not obvious to me. Without some supporting documentation, I'm afraid it just looks like so much hot air, not a valid argument. The loudest shouter is not always right.

    In the post above that I was talking about, when I mentally replaced "women" with "mud people" or "Jew", it reminded me *exactly* of such literature. Am I calling you a racist? *No.* Is it an unfair comparison? Yes, but there's a reason this example sprang to my mind: What you were saying sounded so irrationally prejudiced, so unsupported by the world I've seen, and so unsubstantiated by my reading, that comparison was the closest I could come in my experience.

    I wasn't familiar with Dr. Warren Farrell until you brought him up here. I did look up some reviews of the book you mentioned (pro and con) and read through the bibliography. I saw a few titles among his sources that impressed me but many of them are mytho-poetic or psychological rather than factually based. To judge whether his conclusions are good, I need to know whether his sources are good. If I get a chance, I'll look at it.

    The question to me isn't whether *some* men have experienced injustice for being men; injustices happen all the time regardless of gender (or class or race). For me the question is: Do men as a group face constant injustice *because* they are men? I don't see it.

    Am I brainwashed by the feminists? Possibly, but nothing you've offered here has been very convincing or persuasive. You just say things like "My evidence is not is not [sic] subjective so don't get that impression." That's not an example of an argument or statement of fact. That is empty rhetoric, bald declarations without substance that I can see. Give me some substance. Don't just *tell* me to read the book, give me a *reason* to read it. Dr. Farrell may have presented evidence but *you're* not passing along any of that.

    "My feminist-leaning bias" wasn't a hypothetical; I *do* have a feminist-leaning bias. I was admitting it. I've been member of a feminist publishing collective. The compliment I treasure most is when a feminist called me a "gender traitor". So I'm unlikely to just roll over when you refer to "feminist lies". I want proof. I won't just take your word for it, particularly when I see what appear to be obvious distortions or misstatements.

    I've undoubtedly insulted you with this rebuttal but you also insulted my intelligence with your rather rabid denounciations of women without offering the slightest concrete evidence.

    I've posted our exchanges to my blog under the title Masculism and Feminism, Part II with some [additional commentary.]
    So what have I learned from this fruitful exchange? That my patience can wear thin in this kind of back and forth. My comment about "racist screeds" was not intended to bait Masculist Man but, of course, it did exactly that. It would have done the same to me if someone had said it to me. But I couldn't help noticing the similar nature of the prose: the scapegoating, the lack of rational causes and effects (to me), the rage. These are all there. Do some feminists do the same thing? Shockingly, I'd say yes. But, at base, I can see the rational for feminist rage. I just don't see it with masculism. Masculism still strikes me as men who have been thwarted in some way, their gender power challenged, and that makes them mad. Really, really mad. But anger does not a philosophy make.

    I also see a bit of misdirection (in the stage magic sense) going on with some of the "facts" I've seen masculists use. In the process of attempting to look at information from the perspective of how it reflects on men's experience, there can be a willful denial of women's experience. So when these masculists note that, historically and until relatively recently, almost 100% of all military casualties in war have been male, a converse experience might be that the civilian casualties are predominently female and children. It could also be argued that, for whatever reasons, many of the military men chose to be there; the women and children did not. I'm sure the masculists will point to society's pressures on men to perform certain roles which is why men enter the military in the first place.

    I'm not trying to set up a hierarchy of "who is more oppressed than who." Yet I tend to see women's oppression as palpable and quantifiable. Generally, I see the masculists complaints as being about avoiding personal responsibility for their actions and blaming women for their problems on the most specious and tenuous grounds.

    It might be strange for my readers to know that, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was part of the "men's movement" which was essentially the ancestor of masculism. This was before Sam Keen and Robert Bly turned out books on "men being men together," drumming and grunting in the woods, and getting in touch with your inner hunter. When I was in the men's movement, it was a progressive, pro-feminist movement. It was about finding ways to stop oppressing women, personally and socially. Like the feminist movement in the sixties, there was a lot of "consciousness-raising" group work, trying to dismantle sexist attitudes and finding ways to work with feminist women without perpetuating toxic gender roles. I dropped out of participating when a new influx of men began focusing on their anger, distant fathers, and men's "natural" aggression. I saw the seeds of masculism at that time and wanted no part of it. I considered it a retrograde tendency, a nurturing of sexism and oppression.

    So masculism considers itself an antidote to feminism, a revolution against some fantasy of dominant women but I have to say it looks just like the old sexist ways done up in different drag.

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