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NAWALT: Not All Women Are Like That

20 May

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Kelsey McKinney has a post up at Vox exploring why the “Not All Men” meme has taken off as of late.  Typically, she seems utterly unaware that “Not All Women” has been circulating for years, and the clever feminist interpretation is simply a rip-off of a man’s work.  Le sigh.

 

Let’s explore a little history. Most of this is Kelsey’s writing – I’ve just fixed her pronouns to reflect NAWALT.

 

Over the past few weeks, the meme “not all women” — meant to satirize women who derail conversations about men’s rights by noting that “not all women” do X, Y, or Z sexist thing — has exploded in usage: But it would appear that not all women (and not all people generally) are fully caught up on the meme, where it comes from, and the point it’s getting across. Here’s a brief history of the term, and why it’s taken on such resonance lately.

 

1) What is a woman?

 

Might as well start here. A woman is an adult female of the species homo sapiens. To clarify, “adult” here does not mean someone who’s able to pay their own rent, or treat others with respect. Adult simply means that this female has gone through puberty and is no longer a girl.

 

Some additional notes about women:

 

A woman is someone who expects to be paid the same as a man for doing less work, less well.

 

A woman is someone who interrupts a man when he tries to discuss an issue that pertains to men and boys.

A woman expects her husband to provide her with resources.

 

pretty

 

What’s that you say? Not ALL women expect to be paid the same as a man for doing less work, less well? Not ALL women interrupt men when they want to discuss issues that pertain to men and boys?

 

Thanks for pointing that out. You’re who this meme is about.

 

2) What is “Not all women”?

 

Let’s say a post is written on the internet about how women do not listen to men when they speak about issues that pertain to men and boys and interrupt them more often than they interrupt women speaking about issues that pertain to women and girls. At a blog or site of sufficient size, it’s practically inevitable that a commenter will reply, “Not all women interrupt.”

pigs

 

This phrase “Not all women” is a common rebuttal used (most often) by women in conversations about men and boys in order to exempt themselves from criticism of common female behaviors. Recently, the phrase has been reappropriated by men’s rights activists and turned into a meme meant to parody its pervasiveness and bad faith.

 

3) How did “Not all women” start?

 

 

The exact origins of “not all women” are muddy at best. “Not all women” may be a shortened version of “Not all women are like that” or NAWALT, which appears regularly on any sites devoted to exploring issues that affect men and boys from the perspective of …. men and boys.

 

 

4) What’s so bad about “Not All Women”?

 

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When a woman (though, of course, not all women) butts into a conversation about a men’s issue to remind the speaker that “not all women” do something, they derail what could be a productive conversation. Instead of contributing to the dialogue, they become the center of it, excluding themselves from any responsibility or blame.

 

“Not all women.” Fine. But pointing out individual exceptions doesn’t help us understand or combat behaviors that really are mainly committed by women, from small things like interruptions up to domestic violence and rape. Not all women beat their partners, but people who beat their partners are mostly women. Pointing out that you’re not one of them doesn’t help us figure out how to understand and deal with that problem.

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5) Wait. So how is “Not all women” different from “femsplaining”?

 

Femsplaining is a term used to describe an explanation that is given in a condescending, patronizing tone. Though a man could be guilty of femsplaining, the idea originated from women talking down to men in order to explain things, often things the men in question understand better than the femsplainer does. Amanda Marcotte is a good example of femsplaining.

 

The “not all women” interruption could be considered a subset of femsplaining, because it attempts to redirect a current conversation in a way that privileges women’s’ perspectives over men’s. Also, like femsplaining, it’s rude.

 

6) How does “Not All Women” fit into the history of men’s right’s activism?

“Not all women” is just the latest iteration in a long tradition of MRAs pointing out the ways in which language can be used by women to defend practices that benefit them and harm men.  “In the best interests of children” is commonly used to deny men the right to shared custody, for example.  The way we think and deal with gender gets expressed in language — and that includes, say, interrupting someone with a corrective “not all women.”

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Some analysts, like Sara Mills, have drawn a distinction between two forms of sexist language: overt and indirect. Overt sexism is embodied in hate speech, when a person is actively trying to hurt someone because of their gender. Indirect sexism includes things like gender stereotypes, misandrist humor, and conversation diversion. Mills argues that overt sexism has been driven underground, only to create an environment where indirect sexism flourishes. And derailing tactics like “Not all women” are a prime example of indirectly sexist language.

 

7) So what can I do?

 

You can try not interrupting, because interrupting is rude, and use that time instead to think about whether or not injecting “not all women” is going to derail a productive conversation. You can start by recognizing that some conversations are truly not about women and participating in those conversations requires you to set your ego aside and consider the world from a perspective you may not be used to considering.  You can contemplate the idea that women may in fact be the recipient of privileges that have come at the direct expense of men. You can acknowledge that there are some important rights and freedoms that men do not have and that there are responsibilities and obligations that apply only to men and not to women.

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The MHRM is a place that welcomes all, so long as everyone understands that the discussion centers around the needs of men and boys, and that women will be criticized in ways that might  make them uncomfortable.  Responsibility, agency and culpability will be discussed.  Women will be assumed adults capable of that conversation. And that might make some women feel a sad.

 

blame

Boo fucking hoo.

 

Welcome to being a grown-up.

 

Better late than never.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

 

 

 

Hanna Rosin says we are witnessing the end of men! Oh yeah? How about we look at the facts?

7 Jan

hanna

Let’s get Hanna’s motivations clear right from the get-go, shall we? Hanna Rosin is not interested in equality. She is interested in dominance. Female dominance. Nothing more, and nothing less. From the author’s own website:

I come from a long line of matriarchs, women who either ruled over their husbands, or ran away from them. My mother is an intimidating figure. She has always served as the neighborhood watchdog, taking on bullies and running the co-op board with an iron fist. If you met her, it would be obvious why I was open to possibility of female dominance, because she embodied it long before it became the defining trend of our era.

Hanna acknowledges that female dominance is a central part of her understanding of how the world works, and that female dominance has become the defining trend of our era. Well, kudos to Hanna for at least being honest.

Hanna has been on a crusade to prove female dominance for some time now. In her original article, published at the Atlantic, she mused that “[f]or years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women?”.

What if female dominance is inevitable?

Her recent article at Time Magazine lays out five reasons men are slated to be the oppressed sex – five ways in which men are complete and utter failures:

Men are failing in the workplace

The traditional household is vanishing

Men are increasingly subjected to violence from female partners

Working and middle-class fathers have become non-existent

Men have become feminized

Let’s take these one by one.

Men are failing in the workplace?

And what workplace would that be? The one that keeps our infrastructure up and running?

Statistically speaking, 100% of power plant operators, distributors and dispatchers are men.

91% of the nation’s electrical engineers are men.

97.6% of electrical power line installers and maintenance workers are men.

95.5% of water and liquid waste treatment plant and system operators are men.

95.9% of aircraft pilots and flight engineers are men.

98.4% of aircraft mechanics and service technicians are men.

91.9% of computer network architects, who design and implement all our computer based communications systems are men.

94.2% of radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repair technicians are men.

93.4% of garbage collectors are men.

78.2% of all workers in production, transportation and material moving occupations are men

82.4% of all industrial production managers are men

97.5% of all extraction workers, providing the raw materials to run our economy are men

Transportation, energy, communications, water treatment, resource extraction and waste management. Those are the things that provide us with a little something called civilization as we know it, and they are overwhelmingly provided by men.

While it is true that the manufacturing sector has taken a hit in recent years, the United States remains the world’s largest manufacturer, with a 2009 industrial output of $2.33 trillion. Its manufacturing output is greater than Germany, France, India and Brazil combined.

70% of that total workforce is male.

Primary metals manufacturing? 85.6% men.

Apparel manufacturing? 68.3% women.

So ladies in manufacturing are basically just sewing clothes?

How shocking! How surprising! How very housewifely!

What are the ladies doing in the workforce anyways? Most common job categories for women in 2010?

Secretaries (96.8% women)

Nurses (92% women)

Primary and elementary school teachers (81.9% women)

Cashiers (74.4% women)

Nursing aides (88.5% women)

Retail sales (51.9% women)

Retail sales managers (44.1% women)

Waitresses (71.6% women)

Maids (89.9% women)

Oh ladies. Thunderous applause. Doing all the same work in the paid market that you used to do at home. Progress!

Well, maybe the future will be different!

The top ten industries by annual average employment growth between 2Q09 and 2Q13:

Information Services

Support Activities for Mining

Educational Support Services

Technical and Trades Schools

Oil and Gas Extraction

Computer Systems Design

Management and Technical Consulting Services

Other Schools and Instruction

Ambulatory Healthcare Services

Employment Services

Educational support services? Maybe. Ambulatory healthcare and employment services? Okay. Sure. Women will dominate! But IT? Computer systems design? Mining support? Oil and gas extraction?

Ahahahahahahahahahaha!

Yeah. Right.

Hanna Rosin, you are full of shit. Women aren’t excelling in the workplace. They are doing all the same housewifely jobs they’ve always done.

The traditional household is failing?

Gee, I wonder why? Women are out in the workforce doing their housewife gig, neglecting their children and partners and are deeply, deeply unhappy as a result.

They file most divorce proceedings, have more mental health problems and express greater dissatisfaction with their lives.

But let’s blame men for that, shall we, Hanna? What women need is to be more dominant. To rule with an iron fist. Oh, except that women in traditional marriages are much happier.

Men are increasingly subject to violence from female partners?

It’s just sickening that Hanna sees this as a good thing. There is no question that it’s true, but how on earth can it ever be a net positive? Hanna links violence to women’s sexual confidence, which is deeply disturbing in and of itself.

Women are becoming more sexually confident, and something Camille Paglia has been waiting for, more aggressive and violent in both good ways and bad.

What Hanna is not taking into account is that women get away with hitting partners because the men are taking it. For now. How long does she expect that state of affairs to last?

Suzanne Venker puts it nicely:

It is a dangerous thing to create a society of angry men. Feminists have no idea what a can of worms they’ve created — and what it’s about to do to our nation.

Working and middle class fathers are becoming non-existent?

Again, it’s just sickening that Hanna thinks millions of children being raised without fathers is proof that women are dominant and men are obsolete. Children raised by single mothers do poorly on every imaginable scale. They have more emotional problems, experience more stress, are more likely to grow up poor, they have lower educational achievements and experience way more behavioral problems than children who grow up with married parents. Depression, suicide, drug abuse, jail and psychiatric medications are all more common in populations of children raised by single mothers.

The absence of fathers from the home is proof that women are stupid, heartless and profoundly unconcerned with their children’s well-being. If that’s dominance, I’ll pass, thanks.

Men are becoming feminized?

Which men?

64% of men do not wear any fragrance of any kind. Only 23% of men wear cologne daily. And cologne is hardly some arty-farty invention of middle class ladies.

80% of household spending is controlled by women. That 20% leftover is being used by men to “feminize” themselves? Bullshit.

Top Ten Things Women Enjoy Buying:

Handbags

Shoes

Summer dresses

Concert tickets

Jeans

Jewellery

Little black dress

Chocolates

Underwear

Beauty products

Top Ten Things Men Enjoy Buying:

Watches

Spirits

Apple Gadgets

Televisions and A/V equipment

Gifts

Dates and relationships

Life experiences

Sports

Gambling

Cars

It’s interesting that the lady list has only two things that could ostensibly be shared with a partner (concert tickets, chocolates), while the men’s list contains almost ALL shareable items. The preference for gambling, cars and sports doesn’t suggest the sissification of men to me.

Keep dreaming, Hanna. Men are becoming the gentle kittens you would like them to be? Don’t be fooled. Just because men can be and are very often gentle, kind and giving to women doesn’t mean they will always be that way.

Here’s an idea for you: let’s claim that men are obsolete and worthless, like a map of a flat earth or a woolly mammoth snare, completely ignore the fact that they run the entire economy and make possible every service industry by doing the hard, shitty work, slap the shit out of them at home, take their children from them and then call them sissies.

How long do you think it will take before you discover that men are not only far from obsolete, they are faster, bigger, smarter and stronger than you?

How long will it take before they decide they have had quite enough of your shit?

How long, Hanna, can you live without water, power, communications, transportation or sewage treatment?

Obsolete?

I don’t think so.

Obviously people want social calm, but if you do not let clever and ingenious people participate, there must be some dormant volcano that will erupt, sooner or later.

Lech Walesa

Hanna and her ilk think the revolution will be the triumph of feminism and the utter domination of women.

I wouldn’t count on it.

Not for one second.

Lots of love,

JB

The circumcision “debate” is missing the point: adults can do whatever they want to their genitals. No one gets to carve up a baby’s hoochie!

20 Sep

 

Lots of new folks here, which is great to see, but please be advised:  do not waste your time explaining how girl’s bodies are so much more precious than boys and how male and female circumcision cannot be compared.  To me, you’re arguing that slavery was better for women because they got to be mammies and really, that’s not so bad, is it? 

 

Do. Not. Waste. Your. Time.

 

I will not publish those comments. 

 

Cutting up a baby’s genitals is barbaric.  Full stop.  The whole idea makes me just want to puke.  What are we, fucking stone age cretins imagining that wild creatures inhabit the wind and monsters lurk in the dark?

I have nothing against genital mutilation, per se.  Pierce them, tattoo them, cut them, shred them, go to town with a cheese grater on them for all I care.  It’s your body and your choice.

my choice

Where have I heard that phrase before?

Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern takes on a group he calls “Intactivists” for their supposed denial of sciency facts.

For doctors, circumcision remains a complex, delicate issue; for researchers, it’s an effective tool in the fight for global public health. But to intactivists, none of that matters. The Internet is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, where human reason leads the best ideas to triumph. There are plenty of other loud fringe groups that flood the Internet with false information, but none of them has been as successful as the intactivists at drowning out reasoned discourse

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/09/intactivists_online_a_fringe_group_turned_the_internet_against_circumcision.html?wpisrc=flyouts#

Let’s see just what Mark is talking about, shall we?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released its new Technical Report and Policy Statement on male circumcision, concluding that current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks.

…only 1 of the arguments put forward by the American Academy of Pediatrics has some theoretical relevance in relation to infant male circumcision; namely, the possible protection against urinary tract infections in infant boys, which can easily be treated with antibiotics without tissue loss. The other claimed health benefits, including protection against HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, genital warts, and penile cancer, are questionable, weak, and likely to have little public health relevance in a Western context, and they do not represent compelling reasons for surgery before boys are old enough to decide for themselves.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2896

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So, baby boy dinkies can get infections, which can easily be treated with antibiotics.  No tissue removal required.  I wonder how the AAP recommends treating strep throat?  By their logic, a tracheotomy ought to do it, huh?

The other benefits?  Hacking off a baby’s foreskin can help prevent HIV, genital herpes, genital warts and penile cancer?

Well, aside from the penile cancer, aren’t the aforementioned things you acquire by fucking? How many baby boys are out banging that cute chick from swimming class?  If you’re mutilating an infant in the hopes of preventing the spread of HIV, I think you may have jumped the gun a little.

Babies don’t have sex.

And penile cancer?  It’s pretty uncommon in the West, and rarely seen in men under the age of 50. Again, that is a stupid justification for cutting a baby.

Whether circumcision results in reduced sexual pleasure really doesn’t concern me.  Getting sidetracked by that debate obscures the point:  if an adult freely chooses to surgically remove his foreskin, then the risk is his to bear.  A baby cannot make the decision to cut away part of his flesh, and no matter what the consequences for his pleasure, his basic right to bodily autonomy has been violated in a way that should strike almost all of us as a completely and utterly horrifying.

Who takes a knife to an infant?

girls

And of course, when the infant in question is dressed in pink and sports frilly bloomers, we all respond in EXACTLY that way. Cutting an infant girl’s genitals is barbaric and criminal.

The main reason I am even addressing this so-called debate is because of this double standard.

Feministe: In Defence of the Sanctimonious Women’s Studies Set has a piece about those damn mouthy men who insist boys deserve the same basic rights as girls to NOT have their genitals sliced off, and it’s kind of stomach churning to read the commenters who get all shrieky about how cutting a girl is SO MUCH WORSE than cutting a boy.

Every time female genital cutting is mentioned on Feministe — every time — someone from the “intactivist” community shows up to derail the conversation and make it all about the alleged horrors of male circumcision.

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/09/18/how-intactivists-are-ruining-the-debate-on-circumcision/

Alleged horrors?

Alleged?

Are you fucking kidding me?  A surgical blade is used to slice off the skin that protects the end of an infant boy’s penis, usually WITHOUT ANAESTHETIC.

circumcision

Does this picture make you flinch? What part of that is not horror?

Part of the feminist response is ignorance – they just don’t know what is involved in male circumcision, but part of it is the ugly truth that a whole lot of feminists really don’t give a fuck what happens to infant boys, and some are probably even gleeful about the pain little boys endure having this barbarous act carried out on them.

Getting into debates about the specific outcomes or consequences of circumcision lets the main point slide under the bloodied waters:  you either believe in the right to bodily sexual autonomy or you don’t.

There is no reasonable argument to be made that women deserve to reach adulthood with their genitals intact and that boys do not.  Arguing about the degree of cutting, or effects on sexual pleasure or disease prevention or any other aspect of this kind of mutilation is a way to divert attention away from the fact that CHILDREN’S GENITALS ARE BEING MUTILATED.

My advice to intactivists is to stick to the point:

uncut

Every child should be protected from a blade taken to their crotch, full stop.  And every adult has the right to do whatever they like to their crotch.  If you want to cut your genitals as an expression of your faith, go right ahead.

When you’re 18.  Make the choice yourself.

Arguing about what forms of mutilation are acceptable is like arguing about which people it is acceptable to enslave.

Slavery is acceptable or it is not.

Cutting up babies is acceptable or it is not.

When anyone argues that it’s okay to cut boys, but not girls, that tells you a whole lot about that person and how they feel about boys and men in general.  Couching the argument in terms of degrees or rationales or outcomes is pure sophistry, designed to draw your attention away from the fact that women’s bodies belong to women and men’s bodies belong to everybody.

Cutting little boys is the first step in getting them to understand they are mere utilities.  Something disposable, and they should get used to it.  They will be thrown into trenches, jails, dirty, shitty  difficult jobs, and one bedroom flats should they be foolish enough to marry and then face the “fairness” of divorce courts.

Let me clear here:  anyone who tries to argue on this blog that cutting girls is just ever so much worse than cutting boys will be banned.  Cutting infants  is a sick, disgusting, medieval practice and I am not amenable to any discussion of why it should continue.  Perhaps that will result in no comments at all. That’s fine.

My purpose today is to shine a light on the fact that the “debate” about circumcision grants women bodily sexual autonomy automatically, while claiming that men have no such right or need.

And that is bullshit.  Any discussion of infant genital mutilation should center on one topic and one topic only:  bodily sexual autonomy.

baby body

If men can be denied the right to bodily autonomy based on faith, then why can’t women be denied the same right? Abortion should be outlawed based on the faith of the pregnant woman’s parents?  Selective service should be outlawed based on the faith of the male draftee’s parents?

Well, that’s one way to make sure all the rich folks convert to Quakerism, isn’t it?

yarmulke

Orthodox Jews follow a rule that requires them to keep their heads covered.  The men wear a little hat called a yarmulke or kippa.  Lots of Jewish men have decided that there are plenty of ways to observe their faith without following an ancient ritual that singles them out and makes their personal beliefs public.

And holy moly, didn’t the whole fucking world just adapt and move on.  I could spend several thousand words describing which ancient laws we have decided are not worth observing any more, and yet religion still maintains a stranglehold on most people’s lives.

http://www.humanistsofutah.org/2002/WhyCantIOwnACanadian_10-02.html

Whatever.  I don’t care.  Believe what you like, just don’t try to govern my life based on beliefs that have no evidence to support them other than faith.  I require a little more to go on.

So let’s say we outlaw genital cutting until children have reached the age of consent.  How many Jewish men will choose to undergo the ritual as an expression of their faith?  Yeah, probably about the same number that continue to wear yarmulkes.

Give adults the information and choice and you will see this cruel ritual cease to exist almost immediately.  Because it IS cruel and stupid and ugly and pointless and medieval.

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Feminists say “hey, MRAs, you don’t need a movement because we’re fighting for all the same things you are.  We’ve got it covered”.

http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/solution-mra-problems-more-feminism/

Oh really?

Circumcision is a perfect litmus test of just how much faith we can put in that claim.  You either support the right to sexual bodily autonomy.

Or you don’t.

There is nothing else to debate.

Is it your body, and your choice?

Or only your body and your choice when you’re a woman?

That’s a little far off the equality mark, isn’t it?

And of course, that’s exactly the point.  Feminists aren’t arguing for equality.  They are arguing for special privileges and protections that apply only to women and girls.

Yeah, well, fuck you feminists.  Put your money where your mouth is.

Protect little boys as well as little girls.

I’ll wait here for the day that happens.

field

Crickets.

Still chirping.

What a surprise.

Lots of love,

JB

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