Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Or am I? How do you know I'm not one of those man-hating feminazis in disguise?
Well to be honest it's hard not to see a certain amount of self-hatred in some of the things you write. For instance, when Trump's notorious "grab 'em by the pussy" remark came to light and he tried to brush it off as "that's just how guys talk in locker rooms", there were various sportsmen on the news saying no, actually that's not how most of us talk, and when one of us does, his teammates will call him out on it. You disputed that - agreed with Trump, in other words! - and said in fact that that is just how men talk. I took issue with this and you decided that I'd been 'triggered' and it was very funny indeed. Which suggests a crucially important question: when you're going on about how irredeemably awful #YesAllMen are, are you including yourself? Because if you are, then it sounds suspiciously like you have a guilty conscience about your own mistreatment of women, which you're trying to ameliorate by persuading yourself that at least other men are no better. And if you're not, then it looks like a drastic case of white-knightery, 'performative wokeness' or whatever you might call it - rendered all the more silly by the fact that this place is the biggest online sausage-fest I've ever seen.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Mr Tea, its painful to watch how you keep doubling down and making yourself look worse with practically every post. I've been reasonable and tried to stick to the question in hand, but there you are again, digging up and misrepresenting old conversations in some desperate attempt to deflect away from this one and paint me as some sort of self-hating nutjob.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Tea, are you OK? Your ability to debate seems to be degrading on an almost hourly basis and your worst tendencies have become dominant. This isnt just my opinion either.

Worth reflecting on I think.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Tea, are you OK?
Ah, a nice bit of gaslighting. Classy as ever, droid. But actually I feel fine. Thanks for asking all the same.

OK, I'm going to explain, as fully as possible, why dogmatic feminism is fuelling misogyny, and then you, Benny and anyone else can tell me exactly where I've argued either from false facts or through unsound logic. Fair? Then I actually, really will shut up about it.

A few pages ago, Benny cryptically alluded to

the 'oh but but men suffer domestic violence too' crowd
which, if I'm reading this correctly, he supposes to necessarily be awful frothing misogynists. What actually is your problem with this "crowd", Benny? Is the implication that men aren't sometimes victims of domestic violence? Because the ONS says they constitute over a third of victims. Which is less than half, of course, but it's still hardly an insignificant number of people. And there's a wide range of serious social issues that specifically or predominantly affect men, such as depression and mental illness, addiction, homelessness, incarceration and suicide. The insistence that anyone who cares about these issues or wants to do something about them must be an 'MRA' and therefore the enemy becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it naturally alienates women and non-misogynist men until only the real misogynists are left.

To give an example: UK universities have blocked attempts by students to set up men's societies, along the lines of women's societies, which could have provided a space - a safe space, in fact! - for young men to receive advice, support and mentoring. They could have been a great way to encourage young men with problems such as depression, anxiety, or issues with self-image and self-esteem - of whom there are very, very many - to think in constructive and progressive ways about all sorts of things. Including, it hardly need be said, women. But they invariably face calls to be closed before they even start. The implication is either than men don't have problems - not real problems, like women have - or that they should man the fuck up, have a pint and a laugh and just get on with it. When in fact the idea that men don't have real problems is abundantly disproven by the gender split in statistics like mental illness, substance abuse and suicide, while the idea that men should just suck it up and deal with it sounds like exactly the sort of 'toxic masculinity' that feminists are - rightly! - always complaining about. The kind of emotional constipation that causes men to commit violence against each other, against women and all too often against themselves.

Now it's not possible to prevent men from associating together in spaces without women, but if they're prevented from doing so in above-ground, sanctioned places then they will do so in places that are underground and unsanctioned, and these will inevitably end up as absolute cesspits of misogyny - as in 4chan and some of the murkier corners of Reddit, indeed the so-called 'manosphere' generally. A good place to start in tackling this issue would be to listening to men's problems and taking them seriously, rather than - as dogmatic feminists of both sexes tend to do - trivializing or dismissing them.
 

sufi

lala
It's like someone who says very liberally "oh yes everybody is a bit racist really aren’t they?" then you ask them, "So would you say all white people are racist then?" and they go all quiet. :x:
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Im not gaslighting, its an honest question. You've been increasingly erratic over the last couple of years.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Now it's not possible to prevent men from associating together in spaces without women, but if they're prevented from doing so in above-ground, sanctioned places
Pubs, sporting venues, Dissensus? There are already innumerable places where men associate together in spaces without women. It's whether men take advantage of them to work through their problems, that is the question here. And ultimately, that's up to men, isn't it?

Of course men have problems, and no one has said otherwise (obviously. No-one trivialises men's problems, in fact just the opposite - the world is organised around men's problems wrt anger, fear and shame). It's just that their problems don't arise from being subject to a worldwide system of discrimination at almost all levels. It's a bit of a difference.

Gender split in mental illness. There is one, yep, it's just unsurprisingly the opposite to the one you're alleging: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-men-and-women
And yes, men do commit suicide more often, but they commit violence against everyone more often.

You're painting a bizarre picture of a wholly fictitious society where women have the majority of the power, rather than men. If men en masse want to change something, they can do so immediately. The point is, in many of the areas you mention, they don't. Which has precisely nothing to do with women. You're raging against the craziness of the rules that men have set up for themselves, rules to protect them from feeling, but which backfire spectacularly.
 
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john eden

male pale and stale
I went to a University (well Polytechnic, let's not get too overexcited about it) which was renowned for its radicalism. Despite this, there were still plenty of spaces and situations which were either male only or male dominated and unpleasant both for women in general university staff generally. Wednesday nights in the union bar were a safe space for all kinds of rugby wanker behaviour.

The idea that an additional all male space, in that situation, would have been a good idea is completely naive. The college had a well established pastoral care system which was geared towards treating all students who were victimised, traumatised or just needed someone to talk to.

I did more than many to challenge the sexist behaviour I witnessed and to support women to do the same. An all male space to do that is exactly what was not needed. The best way for men to challenge their own sexism is to talk to women about it. The best way for men to reinforce their sexism is to have all male groups.

Everyone knows that men have problems. By and large these problems are not caused exclusively by one gender group, are they? Whereas I think it's fair to say that quite a large proportion of the problems that women face are down to men. All of the women I know who have mental health issues have been victims of male violence or abuse. In fact most of the men I know who have mental health issues are also victims of male violence/abuse come to think of it.

None of the mental health supporters groups I'm aware of have set up all male groups. Why would they?
 

Benny B

Well-known member
With the ONS data - I can't find anything which records the gender of the perpetrators of domestic violence?
Don't really have the time to read and analyse huge government reports in detail, but let's have a very quick look at the 2014-15 Violence Against Women and girls crime report:

The report deals with DA (domestic abuse), rape & sexual offences, stalking and harrassment, forced marriage, honour based violence, FGM, child abuse, human trafficking and crimes related to exploitation through prostitution and pornography.

Over the past five years CPS records show that most (84%) victims of these crimes, where gender is recorded, are female, and almost all (93%) perpetrators are male.

This is the reason why the concept of VAWG exists at all, and might be more accurately called MVAWG (a term many prefer because it makes the bias even more explicit).

And remember, this is just the UK we're talking about here.

As the United Nations describes it: "Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and … violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men".
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
No-one trivialises men's problems, in fact just the opposite...
I've had exchanges on social media where exactly that has happened. It's not a fiction. And the dismissal and derision has most often come from other men - invariably educated, middle-class men who, I think, have had difficulty seeing beyond their own privilege.

Gender split in mental illness. There is one, yep, it's just unsurprisingly the opposite to the one you're alleging: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-men-and-women
And yes, men do commit suicide more often, but they commit violence against everyone more often.
OK fine, fair enough. Though statistics can only be based on diagnosed cases, and I think it's very probable that men are much less likely to ask for help in the first place. And the asymmetry in suicide remains, and in fact is even starker than I said before, closer to 4 in 5 than 3 in 4.

You're painting a bizarre picture of a wholly fictitious society where women have the majority of the power, rather than men. .
No, I've been at pains to stress that the problem is not "women" in general, or even feminism in general. I'm well aware that assumptions of male dominance, that fuel the aggression and rage that lead to male-on-male and male-on-female violence, are the flipside of the assumptions of male strength that contribute to the despair that leads men to do violence to themselves. If we had more female leaders, there would be a concomitant easing of the pressure for men to be strong and dominant, and everyone would benefit.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
The first bit - well, again, the point is that none of this happened because you (or whoever's problems were being dismissed) were a man. You weren't being targeted for being a man. It's not very pleasant of course to have your reality denied by anyone, but it's very different from denial based upon discriminatory attitudes upheld by power relations in society (of course maybe there was discrimination on another axis, and you do seem to be implying that there was some class element to it).

As to the rest,it's impossible to work out what your overall position is. "I've been at pains to stress that the problem is not "women" in general, or even feminism in general" doesn't preclude blaming an (actual or imagined) group of women for misogyny. I originally commented on the thread because you said "It also prevents you from seeing that it's your insistence that anyone who doesn't share your orthodoxy must be an 'MRA' and a misogynist, or a least a misogyny-apologist - a heretic, an infidel - is exactly the thing that's driving the anti-feminist backlash and this big resurgence in actual misogyny." I'm unclear on whether you still think this is reasonable or not, because it sounded/sounds terrible.

Relatively minor point, but more female leaders would only lead to the results you suggest, if the overall power balance/hegemonic attitudes shifted enough to allow women to be leaders on their own terms, rather than 'forced' (if they want to succeed) to adopt exactly the same characteristics as has typically constituted male leadership. It's a complex one though.

I've had exchanges on social media where exactly that has happened. It's not a fiction. And the dismissal and derision has most often come from other men - invariably educated, middle-class men who, I think, have had difficulty seeing beyond their own privilege.

OK fine, fair enough. Though statistics can only be based on diagnosed cases, and I think it's very probable that men are much less likely to ask for help in the first place. And the asymmetry in suicide remains, and in fact is even starker than I said before, closer to 4 in 5 than 3 in 4.

No, I've been at pains to stress that the problem is not "women" in general, or even feminism in general. I'm well aware that assumptions of male dominance, that fuel the aggression and rage that lead to male-on-male and male-on-female violence, are the flipside of the assumptions of male strength that contribute to the despair that leads men to do violence to themselves. If we had more female leaders, there would be a concomitant easing of the pressure for men to be strong and dominant, and everyone would benefit.
 
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firefinga

Well-known member
women to be leaders on their own terms, rather than 'forced' (if they want to succeed) to adopt exactly the same characteristics as has typically constituted male leadership. It's a complex one though.
What guarantees you that "their own terms" are in any way better? Maybe the core problem is "leadership" per se? What does typically constitute "male" leadership to begin with?

I am asking bc there are a lot of types of "leadership" ideas and concepts floating around (most of which have some roots in sociology and/or managment theory) and all of them - to me at least - appear in a way manipulative.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Relatively minor point, but more female leaders would only lead to the results you suggest, if the overall power balance/hegemonic attitudes shifted enough to allow women to be leaders on their own terms, rather than 'forced' (if they want to succeed) to adopt exactly the same characteristics as has typically constituted male leadership. It's a complex one though.
I think this is a good point that illustrates quite well the split between radical and liberal feminism A common misconception (which i've been guilty of propagating at times myself) is that feminism is all about 'equality' - but this is really a very liberal conception of feminism's main goal that isn't really in line with more radical forms of feminism which focus on (sex) class-based political analysis.

Really, its more about 'liberation' from male supremacy rather than 'equality' with men. There's quite a big difference.

Liberal feminism is generally much more popular with men than radical feminism, funnily enough.
 
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Benny B

Well-known member
What does typically constitute "male" leadership to begin with?
.
Male leadership typically serves to maintain male power. But if the entire system is set up to benefit men, having a female leader isn't likely to change that dynamic very much on its own.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
(of course maybe there was discrimination on another axis, and you do seem to be implying that there was some class element to it).
I think this was a case of middle-class people who're very, very into identity politics forgetting about the inequalities of wealth and class because it's just not really on their radar. I wonder if there was element of this when I mentioned in a post a while back that white boys from poor families have worse average school achievement and are less likely to go to university than kids from any other demographic, which Benny dismissed as a "typical Tea post". Now that fact does not cancel out, by any means, the relative paucity of women and non-white people among professors, judges or CEOs - in other words, it's not a denial of the privilege that comes with being white and/or male. But it does mean you have to look at the socioeconomic background of the people who stand a chance of achieving any sort of job like that in the first place, and appreciate that there is a dimension of privilege other than gender/ethnicity/culture.

All of which is not to say that identity politics should be forgotten about while the great task of overthrowing capitalism and abolishing class remains unachieved - just that it's good to keep the one issue in mind even while you're mainly discussing the other.

As to the rest,it's impossible to work out what your overall position is...
To be entirely honest, my position is not really clear even to me, and I admit I probably need to rethink some things. A big part of it is just the dissonance between a world which in many respects is getting more and more authoritarian and reactionary all the time, and the vast amounts of time and energy being invested by a great number of people into social activism of various kinds.

Relatively minor point, but more female leaders would only lead to the results you suggest, if the overall power balance/hegemonic attitudes shifted enough to allow women to be leaders on their own terms, rather than 'forced' (if they want to succeed) to adopt exactly the same characteristics as has typically constituted male leadership. It's a complex one though.
Yeah, I'm sure I've heard somewhere a variant along the lines of "to succeed in a man's world, a woman has to be more manly than the men" - something like that, anyway. Which is naturally an oversimplification but I think probably contains a certain amount of truth. It's notable that the two female PMs this country has had so far haven't exactly been great forces for progress (ahem). Which is a bugger, because it's not like we haven't got plenty of great female MPs.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Why are modern cars almost universally either bland-looking at best, if not downright hideous? Watch a film from the 40s/50s/60s - the flash cars are stunning and even the family runarounds have a charm that's pretty rare these days. Why can't manufacturers make cars that are as reliable/safe/efficient/easy to drive as modern cars but have a bit of aesthetic flair on the outside? I'm not wholly keen on unimaginative retro-fetishism but even if all the good ideas have been had already, they could do a lot worse than just copy the designs from 50-60 years ago.
En route to work this morning I found myself behind a Honda Civic with this year's plates on it, that looked a bit like it had been modelled on Judge Dredd's car. I mean, it was kind of cool, but at the same time it made me think of a film director in 1995 wondering what cars might look like in "the year" 2017. Sort of cartoonish. It did at least look a bit different from most of the other traffic, though.

honda-civic-hatchback-prototype-inline2-photo-666478-s-original.jpg
 
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