A One Sided Debate

Since it seems Curiosetta is unwilling to participate in a discussion, I guess I’ll just post my rebuttal.

First, I’d like to just take a moment and explain why the comments that sparked all this pissed me off so much.  There are some crazy people with extreme views that go around and snipe at people online, usually hiding behind anonymity.  Those trolls are annoying but most readers can look at those comments and see that they’re just crazy and extreme and disregard them.  Those types of trolls don’t bother me, they’re more sad than anything else.

No, the people that bug me are the ones with extreme views that are smart enough to incorporate legitimate issues with bullshit misinformation or ridiculousness.  These people piss me off because when you question them they fall back on the nugget of legitimacy.

I’ll give you an fake example.  “Texting and driving is extremely dangerous.  Only uneducated idiots from Colorado text and drive.”

If someone argues against the inflammatory (and stupid) ‘uneducated idiots from Colorado’ part, the original commentor can pull out stats about how dangerous texting and driving is and obviously anyone who disagrees with them is pro-death.  They’re essentially relying on one part of their argument being close to inarguable to lend legitimacy to their whole statement.

That’s what pissed me off about Curiosetta’s comments so much, a couple nuggets of real issues surrounded by misogynistic, sexist, and frankly backwards statements.

I agree that there are very real issues, inequalities that affect men, that should be addressed in a logical, rational manner.  Absolutely.  (Just like there are very real issues and inequalities that affect women and everyone else.)  And, yes, it’s far less socially acceptable for men to bring these issues up.  It’s unfortunate but true.

Those are the legitimate nuggets in Curiosetta’s comments…

However, included with those comments are things like this:

Hence patriarchy’s slogan “women and children first”

First, I’d love to know where that ‘slogan’ came from because I can’t find it on Google anywhere.  Second, that’s somewhere between inaccurate and ridiculous.  The word patriarchy comes from Greek, pater-father, arko-rule, meaning “The rule of the father”.

Wikipedia:

Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold primary power, predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property; in the domain of the family, fathers or father-figures hold authority over women and children. Many patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage.

If anything, patriarchy’s slogan would be “men first”.  Women and children?  In history, many patriarchal societies treated women and children as property that could be bought and sold.  “Bride Price”, anyone?  It wasn’t that long ago that it was legal for a man to beat his wife or children, he owned them.  And that’s not just ancient history, there are patriarchal societies today that still treat women and children like property.  I could go into human trafficking here but let’s not wander too far.

“Women and children first,” is an honorable concept and something I believe in quite firmly myself… but it has nothing to do with Patriarchy.

There’s plenty more I could say on that topic but let’s continue.

A feminist man feels superior to women because he feels women can’t afford to disregard women’s issues and women’s rights, but men can.

I’m not even sure how to rationally reply to that because I’m not sure it makes sense but I’ll give it a shot.

A feminist male thinks women’s issues are valid and therefore feels superior to them?  I think that’s what Curiosetta was trying to say here.

Well, before I go further I’m going to say that I’m not specifically a feminist male, nor am I a Male Rights Activist…  I believe that all people deserve absolutely equal rights no matter what.  Some would say that is ‘feminist’, that they argue for equality for everyone.  I’m not sure that I agree with that general assertion, but for the sake of the conversation let’s just say I’m a feminist male.

I think everyone should have the same rights and opportunities.  Period.  Male, female, all the various shades in between.  Everyone.  There are inequalities on all sides of social issues that need to be addressed.  Simply recognizing inequality doesn’t equal a superiority.  I’m not superior to anyone, I recognize that not everything is equal (just like both Curiosetta and I both do with men’s issues) and would like to work for a more equal future.  For everyone.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to say that men who disregard women’s issues feel superior to them?  That women’s concerns aren’t worthy of attention or that men’s are more important?

Continued:

On top of this feeling of superiority, he also feels ashamed to be a man, imagining (after a lifetime of feminist propaganda) that men have somehow oppressed women throughout the ages by insisting that men do all the dirty, dangerous, backbreaking, manual labour, fight all the wars, provide an income for their families, invent and install the technology that empowers women and enables women to earn money in comfortable indoor environments doing non-manual labour jobs where they basically delegate work to working class men via phone and email etc etc etc. In feminist narrative all of this is defined as ‘the oppression of women. And for this crime feminist men believe they owe women penance, in the form of more resources, more protection and a status of having more legal rights than men. Feminist men believe they can AFFORD to pay this penance because feminist men believe they are, as men, superior to women and more privileged – despite having less legal rights and despite having the status of society’s evil doers.

Mixing shame and oppression just muddies the water here.  I can’t claim to know how all feminist men feel, nor what their motives are, but that’s really besides the point.

It’s not feminine propaganda, women HAVE been oppressed throughout the ages in many places all over the world, or has anyone forgotten that even in the United States they had to fight for the right to vote?  I’m sure back then many of the politicians arguing against womens’ right to vote had comments much like Curiosetta’s.  Men do all the work, have the bad jobs, fight the wars, take care of the women… why do women want to vote, just let the men handle things like politics… sigh.

Yes, women were oppressed in many ways for many, many years.  There are still plenty of places around the globe where women are oppressed today.  So pretending that isn’t/wasn’t true is simply factually wrong.  That’s like those people that claim the holocaust never happened, it’s simply factually wrong and saying otherwise (however often) won’t change that.

In one of the other comments Curiosetta had this to say:

I agree. Patriarchy (in the sense of traditional gender roles) place women and children at the heart of society in order to protect them from harm.

One might view this as society restricting women’s freedoms. But when it is done to ensure women’s safety, comfort and wellbeing it is hard to argue AS FEMINISTS DO that this represents the SYSTEMATIC OPPRESSION of women.AKA ‘patriarchy theory’.

More often than not women in the ‘patriarchy’ were (and to an extent still are) restricted from going to war, working down mines, putting out fires, constructing roads and buildings, policing the streets, trawling the oceans etc etc… Such restrictions can hardly be called ‘oppression’ when the majority of women have no desire to do these things.

Um… I’m pretty sure that’s still called oppression.  It doesn’t matter whether the ‘majority’ of women have no desire to do those jobs or not, preventing them from making that decision for themselves is oppression.  It’s not complicated, removing any person’s right to make a choice for themselves is imposing someone else’s will on them.

Let me put it another way, if my daughter walks up to me someday and says she wants to be a Marine on the front lines of battle, I’d be terrified.  Terrified in the same way I would be if I had a son say the same thing.  But I’d also be proud and back her 100%, just like I would a son.  Curiosetta would take away her option to even apply?  Why?  Because that’s a man’s job?  If that’s what she wants to do she should be able to make that choice.

Let me put it another way, I have a sister who’s a firefighter.  Fuck yeah, she’s a badass.  She works twice as hard as the guys (because she has to fight the stereotypes about females in the field), is in just as much danger every single day, and gets the job done just as well as any of the men.  Curiosetta think she shouldn’t be allowed to be a firefighter?  Why not?  If she can make the physical requirements and wants to do it she should have that option.

When I was in the military I worked with quite a few women who were just as good at their jobs as any man.  In my job we weren’t carrying rifles, but if I had to kick down doors I wouldn’t care whether the person at my back was male or female.  I’d just care that they were reliable and good at their job.

Curiosetta thinks, what, all women should be forced to take ‘safe’ jobs?  Argues that’s for their own good, that that is what ‘Patriarchy’ is all about… but that’s the same oppression that’s been forced on them for centuries just with a spin.  It’s for their own good.  Yeah, that’s bullshit.

In the Middle East there are countries where women are forced to wear head to toe coverings and have a male escort every time they leave the house.  You know what those men say?  It’s for their own good.  That way the women won’t get raped or assaulted.  Those are the same kinds of places where women can’t go to school or drive a car.  Or are sold to be some guys fifth wife.

That’s patriarchy, not “women and children first”.

Yes, there are some men’s rights issues that need to be addressed, custody, divorce, rape, etc.  Absolutely.  And it’s a shame that society is less open to discussing them.  But using those issues to try and legitimize Patriarchal Propaganda is bullshit.

.

P.S.  Curiosetta claimed that I called him/her an anti-feminist in my previous post and that was one of the reasons that he/she didn’t want to come have a conversation.  That’s incorrect, nowhere in the post did I say anything other than we had a “back and forth” on the third party’s post.

Furthermore, Curiosetta had this to say:

By framing my (and other’s) rejection of feminist ideology as automatically ‘wrong’ you have just defined feminism as a cult.

Um… also incorrect.  Nowhere did I say that rejecting feminist ideology was ‘wrong’.  I did say that I’ve seen some groups that post anti-feminist memes, comments, and stories, and that I had little to no respect for them.  That wasn’t because they were anti-feminists, in those cases it was because most of their arguments were either stupid or thin and their methods were more poisonous than helpful.  I don’t like trolls.  I was objecting more to their methods than anything else, though I suppose I could have clarified that more.  If someone gives me a valid argument stated rationally I’ll give them respect, if they just spew propaganda and act hateful they won’t get any.  And that goes for every group, not just supposed “Men’s Rights Activists”.  I’m just as hard on everyone.

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13 thoughts on “A One Sided Debate

  1. I feel like I’m part of a studio audience. Id is Bill Maher, Curiosetta is Ann Coulter. Now I think I’ll wade in here as Mo’Nique.

    Kidding.

    Id, I agree with your thoughts about patriarchy, for sure. But Curiosetta has made some other important arguments that are worth weeding through, imo.

    I’m trying to form my thoughts into coherent sentences so I hope to make enough sense to present an opposing view without sounding too unintelligent.

    I see Curiosetta’s other points as an issue of male guilt. What I understand her saying is, feminist males often operate from their collective guilt which means they already identify themselves as part of the “in-group.” To me, her point is clear. Feminist men would not feel that collective guilt unless they saw themselves as superior in the first place. She argues the duality of men feeling superior yet also not being or doing enough. That’s a thought I think bears discussing. So yes, they do and say things that they feel women can’t which in many ways mirrors the rationale behind patriarchal societies. Again, I’m talking about rationale not its actuality.

    (Can I just take this moment to say that I really am a screaming feminist? Kthx.)

    And I think she brings up a curious paradox for me. In that men can be oppressive even as they are claiming (and trying) to be feminist. I see it all the damn time. Eg. Here, let me NOT open the door for you in deference to your ability to open it for yourself but promote you over my less qualified golf buddy? Pft.

    While there are most definitely flaws in even that argument, I’m not a fan of arguing for absolute equal rights. Women studies 101: equality vs equity. Which could be a different topic for another day.

    And no, you didn’t actually say rejecting feminism is wrong. But, in my perspective, your arguments implied that. And quite frankly, I would agree with that implication. Feminsm is about discussion, deliberation, wading through the muck in hopes of creating a world world without violence and hunger. It’s not cult like, nor is it accusing others of misrepresenting the antagonistic behavior of other men. Like all paradigms, feminism needs to shift from time to time. The most recent concern I have is about all these major federal grants given to help traumatized girls when in fact, it’s boys who need just as much help if not more. As sons of traumatized veterans, teenage boys take the brunt of interpersonal voilence in the home and have little to no resources that will help them address their experiences. But I think that it’s because of feminism that we’re able to recognize and reconcile so that change can be made.

    Curiosetta, I hope that we can go further in our discussion. I’d like to know if I read you right and what your thoughts are about what I wrote?

    I can’t stand emoticons. Like seriously can’t stand them. But if I could choose to write a new one for this conversation, it would be an olive branch. 🙂

    In other news, Id, what did the hurricane say to the coconut palm tree?

    • You know, I think I saw that episode. I’d rather be Jon Stewart than Bill Maher but I get where you’re coming from. 😉

      And, yes, hungover but still writing coherently. (I think)

      Issues of shame, guilt, and superiority are tricky ones to debate because those are such individual, subjective things. I’m sure there are plenty of feminist men that feel shame, guilt, and/or superiority, or are simply in that clique to try and get laid. But none of those things are directly connected to recognizing inequality or injustice. In my opinion (it’s all subjective), people who recognize inequality or injustice are less likely to feel superior to someone because they’re empathetic. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes (or trying to) doesn’t necessarily mean you feel superior to them, just that you’re trying to see things from more than a singular perspective.

      Again, this is all subjective, but guilt isn’t a necessary part of being a feminist male. I grew up with four sisters, and I have a daughter, me wanting all those women to have every opportunity in the world has nothing to do with guilt. It’s about respect, love, and appreciation. Extending that thinking/feeling out further, all people should have equal rights. For me at least, guilt has nothing to do with it. Guilt may play a role with some feminist men but it isn’t a prerequisite.

      Some men being oppressive while claiming to be feminist doesn’t surprise me, but again we’re getting into individual people versus generalizations. There are people in every group that say one thing while actually doing something else, intentional or not.

      You’re right, the implication in my previous post was that rejecting feminism was wrong. That wasn’t my intent, which is why I mentioned in this post that I could have clarified my rationale on that. It was the methods, not necessarily the message that I was objecting to.

      What did the hurricane say to the coconut tree?

      • Oh, yeah. Jon Stewart. I repressed the memory of him…it hurt too much saying goodbye. Let’s have a moment of silence.

        Ok. I need to clarify. I agree with every word you have ever written in your entire life. Or at the very least, this post. And by every word, I mean, most. And by most, I mean parts. You’re right, talking emotions and intent can get tricky and we can go back and forth
        about that forever. And there was one paragraph I wrote that my got tricky. Kudos for trying ( I just said “kudos”).

        What I was trying to do is explain how I understood Curiosetta and hopefully continue this discussion. ( which meh, I’m getting over it since she’s not writing back). (Yeah, I called her a she). (What if she’s a he and I’ve become fodder for her next comment?) We can only hope.

        “Hold on to your nuts, this is gonna be one hell of a blow job”

      • I stopped reading after you said you agree with everything I’ve ever written.

        Kidding.

        I got where you were going with the ‘superiority’ thing and there’s something there that could be interesting. I think the problem I have with your/Curiosetta’s comments in that vein is the term ‘superior’, something else might be better. Maybe ‘better represented’ or something along those lines in regards to the men thinking about their position in society vs womens’.

        Honestly, I’m a little surprised that no one has called me out for my “women and children first” position. Getting into a debate about that would be difficult because it implies a lack of equality, feeling protective of women. That would be a sticky conversation, glad no one has brought that up yet.

        Yes, it’s disappointing that Curiosetta hasn’t deemed to take up the other side of the conversation. Not much to do about it though.

        And that is a good joke. 🙂

  2. “Women and children first.”

    and

    “In feminist narrative all of this is defined as ‘the oppression of women. ”

    Just a quick comment for now because I don’t have much time, but if patriarchy actually worked the way curiosetta seems to think it does, there would have been no feminism in the way we know it. I guarantee you there are many men out there that see their role as a self-sacrificing protector with a duty and obligation to put the needs of their families before their own, and good for them. I also guarantee you that there are many more men out there that have abused the inherent balance of power in a patriarchy and abused / mistreated / raped women and children. In this reality that we live in, the only way to keep women safe from that prospect (as much as “safe” can be guaranteed) is to not allow men in general that power over them.

    People don’t fight to change a status quo that’s working. To borrow a phrase from Elle Woods: “Happy people don’t shoot their husbands.” And happy women don’t start a feminist revolution.

    • Arrrgh – I really should just stop trying to use bold and italics for emphasis. This is seriously the fifth time in a row that I’ve mucked it up. I’ll just go back to using occasional CAPS I guess as OBNOXIOUS and JUVENILE as that looks.

    • Exactly. Over and over throughout history, even in western cultures, women have had to fight for basic human rights. Feminism would never have become a thing if that weren’t true. And that feminism is still a big thing just shows that there are still issues that need to be worked on. If everyone was happy with the current status quo feminism wouldn’t be such a hot topic any more.

  3. Oh gosh, I’m glad that you’ve responded to him. I just imported a lot of old blog posts (i’ve moved from another platform to wordpress) and this person has been leaving the same type of comments on my page to where I’ve blocked the username.

    Sometimes when somebody has a problem with feminism it’s because their lives depend on the oppression of women- I think that may be why Curiosetta is so bitter.

    • It drives me nuts when I see comments like that. A mix of topics that deserve rational conversation all twisted up with improper logic and flat out BS. It’s just too bad that Curiosetta wouldn’t come over and chat. That would have been fun.

      In my experience, the people who are really bothered by something are those who are threatened by it. And the people who feel the most threatened are those that are already insecure for some reason. If someone feels secure in themselves, their beliefs, then they generally don’t have those over the top reactions to things. Insecure people and groups though, they’re the loudest. Just look at some religious groups and their reaction to the Supreme Court decision over marriage. They see it as a threat to themselves even though it has nothing to do with them. I think that’s why Curiosetta says what he/she says, insecurity.

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