Here is what thinking aloud looks like when you LIKE men and masculinity

17 Sep

 

manflu

 

manflu2

Trigger warning: evolutionary psychology and the benefit of the doubt

 

I saw these two images posted on my Facebook feed and although I’ve seen them before, this particular trope always pisses me off, so today I am go to ramble out a theory that I admittedly have not thought about really carefully, but I want to demonstrate how my thought process works and how I am influenced by a positive view of men and masculinity. I generally begin with the assumption that there is always a good reason for why men act the way they do. I don’t start from a position of mocking or derision or just plain disrespect.

 

Manflu is a thing in my house, absolutely. What feels to me like an irritation hits my husband like a fullblown episode of pneumonia and the plague combined. I take an Advil and keep going, and he is in bed feverish and moaning. At no point do I think he is exploiting me or pretending or weak or being childish – he is sick.

 

So here is my pet theory for why illnesses hit men and women very differently. For most of human history, we have not had skyscrapers and bullet trains and smart phones. Life was, as Thomas Hobbes puts it, “nasty, brutish and short”. Women, for the most part, stuck close to home tending to domestic work, and the dangerous work like hunting or building or extracting resources or manufacturing was left to men. Both of these roles are vitally important. When a woman gets hits with a cold or flu virus, her work is necessary, but not particularly demanding.  Cooking, cleaning, keeping the baby fed and warm and watching the older children – it can all be done under the duress of a fever and bodily weakness. It won’t be done up to usual snuff, because she is sick and weak and feeling like shit, so don’t expect gourmet meals and a floor you can eat off of, but her work still gets done, as it must.

 

That is how it works in my house to this day. I get through these little bouts of illness without a huge amount of fuss or stress.

 

barn

But when men get hit with the same virus, that bodily weakness has much bigger implications. Men generally do the rough work as part of a team – hunting, barn raising, collecting giant rocks to make the foundation of a house. A man who is weakened in any way puts the whole team at risk.  His body is programmed to react much more dramatically to that weakness and to send him to bed where he can recover without putting anyone else at risk.

 

There is no risk in the modern world, for the most part, but our brains still react as if we are back on the savannah, avoiding lions and patching up our grass huts.

 

Is any of this plausible? I think so, but then again, I have just come up with this idea now.

 

My point, which I know all the trolls will miss entirely, is that when you like men and care about them and don’t think of them as assholes avoiding their responsibility, it is not that hard to explain their actions and behaviours in a positive way. You can let men be men and still be able to empathize with how they experience the world, without in any way disparaging or taking something away from women.

 

That seems to be the main conversation that has shifted in our culture. Men and women are different, and it’s really not that big of a deal. Those differences complement each other and turning the experience of a virus into a competition is just a shitty, mean-spirited, asshole thing to do.

 

So to the women who posted those manflu photos? Stop being such assholes and go take care of your man. He’s not doing anything wrong.

 

Woman Taking Care of Ill Man Lying in Bed

 

He’s sick.

 

Stop being such a bitch about it.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

 

 

 

The Double Standards and Bootlicking of @mychalsmith and @feministing

14 Sep

 

This article originally appeared at feministing.com.

 

I’ve made a few corrections, based on the very simple idea that losing a fight you started doesn’t make you a victim. The truth is that men rarely hit women, unless you hit them first.

 

 

tiger

tiger

car

Here’s a sure-fire way to know that you hate men: when an incident of intimate partner violence in which a woman beats a man with a nine iron gains national attention and every question or comment you think to make has to do with his behavior, you really hate men. Like, despise.

 

There is no other explanation. There is no “I need all the facts.” There is no excuse. You hate men. Own it.

 

stupid

 

Now, you probably don’t believe you hate men. You probably honestly think you’re being an objective observer whose only interest is the truth. You are delusional.

 

We have this problem in our discourse around the most important challenges we face where we feel we have to be “fair to both sides.” But sometimes, one of those sides is subjugation and oppression. If you’re OK with legitimizing that side in the interest of “fairness,” you’re essentially saying you’re OK with oppression as a part of the human condition. That’s some hateful shit.

MRM-4-213x325

 

Violence against men doesn’t deserve a “fair” hearing. There should be no justifications offered, no rationalizing, no equivocating. Violence against men should be intolerable. But every time we are called upon to collectively denounce that violence, there’s a section of the choir that starts singing from a different set of sheet music.

 

“Well, I don’t believe she should have hit him, but he also shouldn’t have…”

 

“Hitting men is wrong, but …”

 

“He has a responsibility to his family…”

 

“He stayed with her, so obviously he’s condoning that behavior…”

 

“It’s none of our business what happens between…”

 

“What did he expect?”

 

Hate. It’s all hate. Because if you can look at the history of men being beaten and battered into silence and second-class citizenship, their lives thrown away in wars women are protected from, and still ask if they are at all to blame for the violence visited upon them, there’s nothing else to call that.

 

cemetary

 

There is a tendency to judge the actions of those with the least amount of power the same as those with more power and then ask, “Isn’t that what equality means?” It’s a clever rhetorical evasion of the issue. Equality is the goal, but to pretend that we actually exist as equals right now is to ignore reality. Like it or not, we all carry history with us in our personal interactions. The history of violence against men is one where men’s bodies are a battleground in a struggle for power. Punches, kicks, weapons, and the threat of death have been used to assert dominance and deny men autonomy, at home and out in the rest of the world.

 

How are men denied autonomy? How are their bodies used? The most common way is to deny them the right to choose parenthood. Their money, their lives, their bodies are nothing but instruments to be used at the sole discretion of women. And just to remind men of how disposable their bodies are, every single one of them, upon turning 18, is required to sign a document acknowledging that they can be discarded like trash at the whim of the government. Women have never been required to acknowledge their bodies or their lives as something that can be disposed of in service to a greater good.

 

If you think violence against men is funny, or not worthy of consideration or somehow less important than violence against women, you hate men.

 

It’s that simple.

 

There, feministing. I fixed your stupid piece of shit writing about hate for you.

You’re welcome.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

A response to Amanda Marcotte

13 Sep

salon

 

First of all, let me preface this by stating how honored I am to be included on a list of women as prominent and talented as Christina Hoff Summers, Phyllis Schlafly, Cathy Young, and the Politichicks. Do I belong on that list? Absolutely not. There is only one reason I made it: I have spanked Amanda on my blog repeatedly and it clearly struck a nerve. I have had a small amount of media coverage, but nothing to warrant being included with these other incredibly influential and powerful women whom Amanda doesn’t wike!

 

baby6

 

Demonstrating the typical indifference of feminist writers in the media, Amanda took her personal feelings and turned them into an article. If Amanda was truly interested in profiling the most widely disseminated women in the men’s rights movement, she would have put Karen Straughan, who has video views numbering in the millions on YouTube, or Erin Pizzey who is an internationally recognized advocate for men affected by domestic violence or the HoneyBadgers who reach thousands of listeners weekly through their radio show on the list.

But she didn’t.

She put Janet Bloomfield at number 5.

This was personal, and I only have two words for Amanda:

 

thanks

 

You just gave me the exposure it would have taken me years of diligent work to get otherwise.

 

Let’s look at Amanda’s piece a little more closely. I am “supposedly” the PR rep for AVfM. And here we have the typical feminist approach to journalism – don’t bother with anything like facts or research. It would literally have taken one mouse click to get to the AVfM Masthead where my position is listed pretty clearly.

masthead

 

And I’m pretty sure her little slam at my effectiveness broke the irony meter – uhm…Amanda….you put my name in Salon! Goodness, what if I sucked at irritating feminists and goading them into publishing my name far and wide? I also love the links to David Futrelle, where he argues that pictures of male genital mutilation are abusive – but not the mutilation itself. And the second link to Jessica Valenti? Priceless. The whole point of those quotes, done in the spirit of Poe’s Law, was to make sure lots and lots and lots of people get a chance to see Jessica in her darling t-shirt.

 

For those of you interested, that is how Jessica responds when men attempt to discuss issues that affect them negatively: you know, things like suicide, homelessness, poverty, unfair child custody and family courts, a broken education system, the elimination of due process in campus rape trials … nothing terribly important.

 

tears

 

Amanda, you’re the best! Thank you so much.

 

Amanda goes on to speculate about why anti-feminist women might care about half of all human beings.

 

What makes some women so nasty toward other women that they would actively work to deny women equal rights, or even access to healthcare and basic safety?

Women already have equal rights – in fact they have MORE rights than men. Remember that Futrelle link to male genital mutilation? Yeah, that’s legal to do. FGM may occur but we rightly consider it a barbaric practice and a criminal act. Women have the right to be protected from a knife cutting off parts of their genitals. Men do not.  Hey, Amanda, did you sign a draft card when you turned 18? Just asking…. And can you choose parenthood, Amanda? Of course you can, and you personally oppose a man’s legal right to choose parenthood. You wrote an article about it, filled with nothing but scorn and bullshit.

 

WOMAN

equal

FEMINIST

Let me make this absolutely clear, fighting against feminists, who are standing in the way of equal rights does not equal hating women. Woman is not a synonym for feminist. Get over it. Very few women identify as feminists, and you are a big part of the reason why.

For some, it’s religious conviction. Some like to imagine they’re somehow special and better than all other women. Some enjoy the easy attention they get from sexist men by bashing women and others enjoy the financial perks of being the woman who is willing to speak out against feminism.

Yes, many religions believe in equality. I am personally an atheist but I have no problem with others who are motivated by religious feelings, as long as they do not attempt to deny others X Y or Z based on their religion.

You’ve politely called us attention whores. How charming. What many, many of us are is mothers – and we want a world in which our sons have just as many rights and protections as our daughters. We want our sons to have the same respect and opportunities as our daughters. And we don’t just want that for our children, we want it for all children.

Financial perks? You must be fucking kidding me. There are no financial perks to being anti-feminist. The very small amount of money I have been able to generate with my writing has been paid directly into the AVfM PayPal account, and that will continue to be the case until we are talking dumptrucks of money.

 

But regardless of their reasons, female misogynists are putting personal gain ahead of the health and wellbeing of average women, and for that they should be held just as accountable as men who attack the equal rights of women.

 

Please remember it works both ways. Feminist misandrists are putting personal gain ahead of the health and well-being of average men, and for that they should be held just as accountable as women who attack the equal rights of men. Hint: you’re one of those women, Amanda.

 

And you will be held accountable.

 

account

Sooner than you think.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

 

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