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Oh look! “Trigger-happy” protesters are planning to shut down the Detroit conference promising “things could get ugly”.

29 May

 

joel

 

Everybody, stand back!  The intellectual powerhouse who goes by the name Joel Reinstein is hosting a Facebook page called STOP the “International Conference on Men’s Issues!”, and you know Joel is a badass motherfucker when he pulls out the ALLCAPS!

 

Before you go over there with your misogyny and patriarchy hanging out all over the place messing up the throw cushions and doilies, be aware that “Misogynists’ comments and posts will be deleted. Threats and harassment will be screencapped and reported to relevant authorities.”  Joel means business.

 

Advance warning:  this kind of misogyny will not be tolerated:

 

FBJanet

I posted it more than once and was continuously deleted, because the sheer vitriol and hatred in that was unbearable to someone as delicate and sensitive as Joel.

 

Some of Joel’s supporters seemed at least marginally willing to engage in debate about specific issues but Joel took the hardline and deleted comments that failed to toe the MRA=WomanHater line, leaving all the supporter responses up, so that the threads became incoherent.  Like this one:

 

  • Sarah Gray Safe haven laws are gender neutral, and it does *not* absolve the abandoning parent of their responsibilities.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray Women are legally required in all but two states to reveal the fathers identity and notify him if she wants to adopt out.
Men should keep track of their sperm, they can always contest an adoption because fathers have rights.

3 hrs · Like

Samuel Molnar Guys, this isn’t a dialogue. Don’t get it twisted. We want to get the sexist abuse-apologists to stfu and gtfo. So dont come here looking for dialogue.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray No, women cannot unilaterally choose to have no responsibility got a child that actually exists.
When a woman has an abortion there is no child that needs support.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray Safe havens most certainly do. Every effort is made to find the parents.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray Funny how sticking up for the rights of children and their fathers is construed as not caring about men.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray Men can leave babies at sage havens too.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray Other than forcing a woman to have an invasive medical procedure. If pregnancy took place outside of women’s bodies entirely, I would agree with the general concept.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray No, a man can drop off a child at a safe haven without having legal custody.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray Giving men special rights is bullshit, that’s why.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray If MRAs stopped blaming women for their (sometimes valid, but not caused by women or feminists) problems, they might be more effective in their quest for equality.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray I am correct about safe haven laws. They are gender neutral.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray If the woman agrees to such a procedure, I guess she could do that, but that’s not what is being proposed for “choice for men”, where the man opts out of supporting a child that exists while the woman has all the responsibilities.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray Men should keep track of their sperm then.

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray Because “discussing these issues” involves blaming women, encouraging the abuse of women, and denying much of reality.

3 hrs · Like

Geoffrey Hughes Gee Alison, a more perceptive commenter might just get the idea they were not wanted and go elsewhere

3 hrs · Like · 1

Sarah Gray I’m not sure what your point is. We don’t have artificial wombs, and ending a pregnancy is distinct from removing a viable fetus to an artificial womb

3 hrs · Like

Sarah Gray If men are concerned about that, they should keep track of where they put their sperm.
Safe haven laws are gender neutral.

3 hrs · Like

Geoffrey Hughes Well, Alison, that sure sounds rough. Maybe you should go make your own page where you’re the moderator and you can apply your own rules of moderation.

3 hrs · Like · 1

Sarah Gray So? That sounds like a good reason for men to use birth control every time no matter what a woman says.

3 hrs · Like · 1

Sarah Gray Read up on the laws, they are gender neutral. It has nothing to do with legal custody.

3 hrs · Like · 1

 

 

Of course what they deleted was me actually reciting the law to them, verbatim, about safe havens, which is apparently misogynist and far too harsh for their sensitive brains to contemplate.

 

Can I really keep my baby a secret?

Yes, you can keep your secret and keep your baby safe. The Illinois law says that as long as you don’t harm your baby, you can hand your newborn (30 days old or younger) to personnel at any hospital, police station or staffed fire station in Illinois for adoption with no questions asked.

 

No one will ask your name. Your baby will get medical care and be adopted into a loving family. You can even provide anonymous medical information, so your baby will grow up with a medical history.

 

Sarah also refuses to believe that Safe Haven laws are used generally by mothers, even when they are written as gender neutral, which is not the universal case at all. In four states (Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, and Tennessee), only the mother may relinquish her infant.

The National Safe Haven Alliance explicitly identifies mothers as most likely to surrender newborns under these laws, no matter how the law is written.

The whole discussion should just engender (ha!) a giant eyeroll, no?  Obviously it is going to be the mothers who surrender newborns with no further legal or social responsibility – how on earth could a father take a newborn and surrender it without the mother noticing? I can’t find any examples at all, because they don’t exist no matter how gender neutral the laws are written.

 

The safe haven conversation, in which the fact that women do indeed have the right to legally surrender a child after it is born was proven, combined with a private conversation I have been having with the Amazing Aetheist has led to me a new understanding of how feminists (and often MRAs including myself) see key issues: oppositionally rather than inclusively.

 

And that is a problem, perhaps our biggest one.

 

Sarah, and other feminist protesters see an issue like the right of men to choose parenthood as an attack on their own right to choose parenthood. Literal legal equality is perceived as an attack on their own special status, so statements like “giving men special rights is bullshit” and “because “discussing these issues” involves blaming women, encouraging the abuse of women, and denying much of reality” doubly ironic.

FBRights

 

FBDicussing

 

The only way they can counter the dissonance is to deny they have special status in the first place, which is simply not true.  No one is saying women should not be able to choose parenthood – the argument is that since women can in fact decide if they will be parents, why can’t men?

 

Pick any issue, and this seems to be the dominant approach:  pointing out that men can and are raped by women does not deny that women are raped by men.  It simply highlights that rape can be and is committed by both men and women with both men and women as victims.  How does noting that fact encourage the abuse of women?  It encourages accountability, to be sure, but what about accountability is abusive?

 

I myself have railed heartily against the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign in which all men are treated as rapists, but perhaps a more strategic approach would be to treat everyone as a potential rapists and to make all students sit through lectures in which consent is explained? Make women understand when they are in fact being rapists, as well as men.


ICMI Threats 1

 

It didn’t take long for the protesters on the Facebook page to start alluding to vague and not so vague threats.  One of the earliest posts on the page was by a man named Eduardo Guzman (Russ Tiller) who wrote “these people make me trigger-happy”. He only got four likes though.

 

FBLikes

 

Guzman also put forth the suggestion that the only way to properly protest was to “storm the conference” and bemoaned the fact that his inability to meet the cost of a ticket is the only reason he will not be attending.

 

FBStorm

 

Guzman’s own page links to two sports: motorcycles and Gabby Franco, an Olympic markswoman.  Hmm.  Interesting.  Wonder if the protesters are worried about that?

 

FBGabby

 

There was concern expressed for hotel employees in case they got tear-gassed, too.  My.  That’s quite a protest you’re planning if it involves tear-gas.

 

ICMI-Teargas1

 

Another protester, Emma Howland-Bolton is apparently planning some sort of staged event that will …. I dunno – be fun I guess?  Wonder what that will be?  Maybe another staged attack like the one that “happened” at Queen’s University?  That worked really well.

 

FBEmma

 

 

Other protesters are warning that things could very ugly and it won’t be a dance party.

 

FBDance

 

 

There is also some curious funny business going on with moderators claiming that they are not deleting comments, but rather that MRAs and those that question the protest are in fact deleting their own comments in an act of cowardice and fear, and yet when moderators accidentally delete a protester’s comments, they openly admit to deleting any and all comments that are not strictly supportive.  It was pretty serious, too.  The commenter who was accidentally deleted had her faith broken, her trust shattered! She was cruelly silenced!  I hope she didn’t get #PTSD from the experience.

 

FBHurtfeelings

 

So, I guess the takeaway is that democracy is alive and well?  Nothing says First Amendment quite like trying to prevent voices you don’t like from speaking and vigorously silencing all internal dissenters at the same time.  The Founding Fathers would be ever so proud, but they were all men, weren’t they, so screw them anyways.

we the people

 

I hope the protest goes well for our FB friends.  Sounds like it will be a riot.  Storm the ramparts, folks!  Tally-ho!

 

We’ll be over here, eating cake.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

 

How do people respond when the domestic violence victim is a man? They laugh.

26 May

 

 

 

This PSA by anti-DV organization Mankind just about says it all.  When a woman is mildly assaulted in public, people step in and put a stop to it.  When a man is much more violently assaulted, people laugh.

 

No really.

 

They laugh.

 

 

Good thing misandry doesn’t exist, right?

 

Pop Quiz:  What would happen if the man fought back?

 

Ha ha!  Just kidding.

 

He would be arrested of course.  For domestic violence.

 

Now there’s some equality for you.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

NAWALT: Not All Women Are Like That

20 May

grey

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”?

 

big red

 

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.

slap

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.”

joke

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.

draft

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

 

 

 

 

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