If feminism is about equality, why do feminists oppose equality?

6 Mar

equality

Women, feminists argued, are equal, except when they are special and then equal doesn’t count and is unfair and won’t everyone please remember that men suck? In 2001, feminists refused to even sit at the table with men to discuss men and women sharing, equally, the responsibilities and decisions involved in parenting.

What is the rationale behind opposing equality? Men suck. That’s what feminist opposition to equality boils down to. How do men suck? Let us count the ways.

 

New post up at Thought Catalog. Special shout-out to Prentice Reid, who did all the research.

 

Chapter 20 might be delayed. I’m live-blogging the men’s rights Hunger Strike in India over at AVfM. I know what happens, I just have to find the time to actually get it down on paper.

 

Kidding!

 

I’m lazy.

23 Responses to “If feminism is about equality, why do feminists oppose equality?”

  1. M3 March 6, 2015 at 20:58 #

    New post up at Thought Catalog > Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

    Uhhh, Houston. We have a problem here.

    Like

  2. JudgyBitch March 6, 2015 at 20:59 #

    Hmm – let me take a look

    Like

  3. JudgyBitch March 6, 2015 at 21:01 #

    Fixed that, thank you!

    Like

  4. M3 March 6, 2015 at 21:04 #

    Anytime JB

    Like

  5. that1susan March 6, 2015 at 22:54 #

    I absolutely agree with you about child custody, as I’m sure you already know.

    As to India, it seems like it must be a completely different kettle of fish and feminism must therefore be its own unique thing there. I’ve read a very mesmerizing book on Hinduism, and I must say, the more I try to learn about this country, the more I realize that there’s so much I just don’t get.

    Like when the female medical student was brutally raped and murdered a few years ago, and the initial response of law enforcement was to suggest banning women from being out after certain hours — but somehow, after apparently centuries of the Indian police doing next to nothing about rape, the masses had suddenly had enough and started screaming for death to the rapists.

    It seems like respect for physical space, bodily integrity, and personal agency don’t mean the same thing there as they do in the U.S. — thus girls and women get raped a LOT, and some girls are sold into marriage at age 9 and stuff — but then when something horrendous enough happens, the crowd snaps and turns on the criminals that they normally give a free pass to — and even goes wild and murders possibly innocent men who’ve simply been accused of a crime.

    But I’m guessing that the women divorcing their husbands, hanging them out to dry, sending them to prison, and denying them access to the children are mostly from the wealthy classes? It’s hard to imagine Indian women in the poorer classes pushing their loving, non-abusive, hardworking husbands out the door. It looks like divorce there IS on the rise, but India still has the lowest divorce rate in the world.

    I realize I’m coming across as totally ignorant here, and possibly racist, in spite of the fact that I’ve made some concerted efforts to understand what’s going on in this country. Maybe I need to read up more on the evolution of feminism there to get the bigger picture.

    http://www.indianlink.com.au/whats-responsible-for-rising-divorce-rates/

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  6. David Spektorov March 7, 2015 at 02:25 #

    testing

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  7. David Spektorov March 7, 2015 at 02:29 #

    OK Test complete. Judgy, I have an issue, after years of Feminist BS, I now have a major insecurity about my masculinity. And its majorly embarrassing but I have developed an fear of Lesbians, because seeing them triggers my feelings of insecurity. Im just so scared. What makes me unique and good as a man as opposed to a Women. I just don’t know.

    Like

  8. Tyler March 7, 2015 at 17:10 #

    As usual, good comment, thanks for sharing it. As to it possibly being racist…..

    *steps on a small soapbox*

    Forming categorical judgments is just something humans do, a feature not a bug. This pattern recognition helps us in MANY ways, historically and presently. Like any evolved tool, it’s useful but imperfect. But in our modern, post-civil-rights-movement times, our society has this massive cognitive dissonance when that pattern recognition is applied to culture (not race, since the vast majority of ‘racist’ statements are actually referring to a culture held by the majority of that race). In all other matters, when we mistakenly infer something about a category of something, we acknowledge the mistake, correct it (or not), and move on, not much worse for wear. But make a misjudgment about a cultural group, and suddenly you’re evil to your core.

    Here’s an example:

    Say you assume that hardware stores don’t have any gardening supplies other than maybe tools for it. I mean, it’s right in the name: ‘hardware’ store. Plus, you’ve seen hardware stores that had no gardening section at all. As it happens, many do carry potting soil, fertilizer, etc. The cost of your misjudgment is you don’t get the advantage of going to the hardware store near you, and instead seek out a gardening store further away, and pay a little more for your supplies since it’s a smaller store and can’t survive on small margins. Also, the hardware store loses your business. If someone pointed out your mistake, you’d feel silly for a few seconds, go there for your gardening needs thereafter, and no one is going to call you a piece of shit for the mistake.

    Now say you assume that members of black ‘thug’ culture are inherently violent and uncivilized. After all, it’s in the name: ‘thug.’ And you’ve heard stories on the news about violent things being done by black men and women dressed that way. As it happens, most simply wear the cultural kit as a community thing, and are perfectly decent people. The cost of your misjudgment is that you miss out on associating with people dressed that way, and don’t meet some people in that culture you would have gotten along well with. And, they don’t get to meet and make friends with you in turn. But if you tell anyone about this avoidance, you are branded as a racist, full of hate, and you will almost certainly have people wish violence upon you.

    See how fucked up this is?! This is why I have no patience for race-baiting grievance mongers, and why I love the 80’s approach to race relations and hate the current one. In 80’s movies, the view was that misunderstandings about black culture were just that — misunderstandings — and not fucking hate crimes, so their approach was to forgive and show the truth of themselves, not punish and indoctrinate you with ideologies. Look at the vibrancy and the relative lack of a chip on black characters’ shoulders in movies of that era (Spike Lee notwithstanding).

    My point is, the question ‘am I being racist’ is almost always best answered ‘no,’ and is really asking ‘am I mistaken in my interpretation and judgment of the information available to me,’ since that’s what the term means nowadays anyway. Disclaiming and giving yourself the penalty of the doubt is just blood in the water for the brand of social justice warriors that want to rule social discourse through shame. For your sake, and for all their future targets, starve the bastards.

    *steps off soapbox, noticing it seems much bigger than when I stepped onto it*

    Like

  9. that1susan March 7, 2015 at 17:53 #

    “My point is, the question ‘am I being racist’ is almost always best answered ‘no,’ and is really asking ‘am I mistaken in my interpretation and judgment of the information available to me,’ since that’s what the term means nowadays anyway.”

    Yes, this is the question — and I think it’s probably true that I’m mistaken in a lot of my interpretations and judgments about the situation in India. I’ve tried to do a little more research on the topic today, and don’t feel any better informed. 😦

    Like

  10. nrjnigel March 7, 2015 at 20:51 #

    What I think this shows is that we are mistaken to assume that all societies are the same or even similar. And of course this is the problem with feminism
    It assumes itself universal when it is really just about western bourjouse women .

    Like

  11. Greg Allan March 7, 2015 at 22:46 #

    Indian feminists have the game stitched up.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Activists-join-chorus-against-gender-neutral-rape-laws/articleshow/18840879.cms

    As I understand it the situation AFTER India’s new laws came into play about two years ago is as follows…a male victim of another male CAN report a crime but it is a victimless, morals based crime only. Such a victim would run the risk of being charged with the same crime as the perpetrator because they can be deemed to have participated in an immoral act. A male abused by a female has nothing to report. It is simply not a crime.

    I can’t fathom the protests. Decades of feminist rhetoric could easily sway one to believe that feminists would back gender neutral laws to the hilt. Unfortunately India isn’t the only instance. Same thing in Israel a couple of years earlier. States in my country of Australia saw vigorous, but fortunately unsuccessful, protests to similar amendments a bit over a decade ago. Not long after that the inclusion of male victims in my state’s rape crisis network’s services caused even more furious objection from the same areas. Echoes of those resentments are still there years after the fact. It just defies me personally that anybody could actually protest against gender neutral laws.

    Like

  12. Tyler March 7, 2015 at 22:57 #

    Actions speak louder than words. For the people opposing those gender neutral laws, it’s not about equality or even morality, it’s about power.

    Like

  13. that1susan March 8, 2015 at 00:08 #

    After reading the article, I wonder if this is really because of the uniqueness of Indian culture. Apparently they’re saying that if their legal system recognizes that a woman can rape a man (and of course they can do so), then this means that if a woman is raped by a man, and reports it, he can turn it around and say that she raped him, and she can get convicted of the same crime.

    Even though I know that women can and do rape men and it’s every bit as much of a crime if that happens, there are usually a lot of extenuating circumstances that make a female-on-male rape possible, whereas most men are physically capable of overpowering a women — so if a woman presses charges for rape and then the man turns around and presses a counter-charge, I realize the police would have to listen and take down his report, but surely a counter-charge like this wouldn’t fly in the U.S. without good evidence (but I keep learning more and more scary stuff about our justice system, so I don’t even know).

    But in India, what I’ve learned about their police and legal systems thus far is not at all reassuring. This is a country where someone in leadership thought the solution to the rape problem was to make it a crime for women to be out after a certain hour. And who knows but what the police would just see a gender-neutral law as the solution to a big headache for them, and start telling any and all rape victims, “Well, dearie, he can just say you raped him, too, and we can lock you both up, or you can shut your mouth and go home and forget all about it.”

    Did anyone else read the Guardian article “My boyfriend ‘sort of’ raped me. But I didn’t break up with him” by Monica Tan? I tried to skim through a couple pages of the comments just to see if anyone had made mention of the reverse situation, but from what I could see, no one did (but there were literally pages and pages and pages of comments, so maybe someone did somewhere). Her and her boyfriend’s birth control method was early withdrawal, and one time when they had sex after a fight, he decided to come inside her without her consent and was really proud and gleeful about having done so.

    And of course it’s rape to force your partner to risk a pregnancy against their will (or to trick them into it by allowing them to think you’re using protection when you aren’t) — it’s rape whether the person doing it is male or female. And maybe part of the reason the writer hesitated to call it a full-out rape was that many of us know, or know of, at least one woman who decided she was ready to have a baby when her partner wasn’t, and just quietly went off whatever birth control method she was using and made the guy a father against his will.

    I can’t even demonize the one woman I know of who did this — what she did was horrible, but she wasn’t a bad person. She got married at 19 because she was head-over-heels in love with some guy she’d just met in college — a guy who was frank about not wanting kids, and I guess in the throes of all the feelings of the moment, she thought their love would be enough for her to not need kids…

    But fast forward some months into the marriage, after they’d moved back to his family’s home in the middle of nowhere, where I don’t think there was even a town — they just ran a feed store on the highway. They were living the life he loved, the life he’d been honest about wanting to live, but the romance had worn off and she was getting tired of just interacting with him and his dad and whoever happened to come in and buy feed. So she went off the pill and didn’t tell him, and had one baby, and a couple years later she had another.

    Common sense would say, why on earth do that when you’re still young and could find a guy who’d be thrilled to have kids with you? Divorce is painful, but if you realize you’ve made a big mistake and are lucky enough not to have brought any kids into the situation, just make the difficult break and move on. Problem was, it took her some years to be able to get out from under the iron grip of the religious sect she’d been raised in — a sect that didn’t allow for divorce and remarriage — so she felt like this was her one shot at marriage and she did what she felt like she needed to do to make it bearable.

    That certainly doesn’t excuse her behavior. It just is what it is.

    Of course, she eventually did divorce and remarry, and I don’t think her ex had any interest in the kids he never wanted so I guess it was a fairly clean break. But rotten all the same.

    So, if I can’t dehumanize my friend’s friend who committed rape because she felt like she was caught between a rock and a hard place, maybe I need to try to be more understanding about what’s going on in India. Because of all the gender-based abortions there, there aren’t enough brides to go around.

    And I suppose that with a lot of the growing educational and career opportunities for women, many of the males from the “untouchable” class are tormented by the sight of all these beautiful, successful women who would never give them a second glance, moving freely out and about the city and enjoying life. I’m guessing that, with the dearth of females, it’s probably easier for the women in their own “untouchable” class to marry up and move out of that class than it is for the males.

    The brutal rapes and murders are still just as inexcusable, but I realize I don’t understand enough about what it’s like to grow up completely destitute and never have any hope of improving your situation — and seeing that with more educated middle or upper class women entering the workforce and taking jobs that used to be just for men, your prospects as a poor male are just getting slimmer and slimmer. It’s not an excuse to attack anyone, but maybe some unbalanced types have never learned how to deal with their rage in a healthy way.

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  14. Greg Allan March 8, 2015 at 01:01 #

    It isn’t only India though is it?

    “Apparently they’re saying that if their legal system recognizes that a woman can rape a man (and of course they can do so), then this means that if a woman is raped by a man, and reports it, he can turn it around and say that she raped him, and she can get convicted of the same crime.”

    Women never lie about rape but men always do.

    Just how many excuses do you wish to make for this?

    “Even though I know that women can and do rape men and it’s every bit as much of a crime if that happens, there are usually a lot of extenuating circumstances that make a female-on-male rape possible”

    You are a rape apologist.

    Like

  15. that1susan March 8, 2015 at 01:50 #

    “Women never lie about rape but men always do.”

    Do you really believe this? I certainly don’t, and I’ve never said anything of the sort.

    “You are a rape apologist.”

    When I used the term “extenuating circumstances,” I wasn’t saying that anything made it “okay” for one person to rape another. I was saying that a woman typically isn’t strong enough to just force herself on a man; so it would seem bizarre to me if every time a woman reported being raped, the man accused of raping her would be able to make a decent case for saying that he was really the one who was raped.

    Maybe you missed the part where I said that any man making such a report should still be listened to?

    Like

  16. Jason Wexler March 9, 2015 at 17:53 #

    Susan, I have a small semantic disagreement with you on this point. I think it’s a dangerously slippery slope to claim that sabotaging birth control (yours or your partners) constitutes rape. I am not saying it isn’t a terrible thing to do, it is, but I think if we call it rape, that opens up the door for all sorts of other things to start being called rape… “the wrong person asks you out… Rape”; “a person asks you out more than once, after being told no…. Rape”; “the sex was disappointing… Rape”; “the relationship didn’t turn out the way you hoped… Rape”. I get where birth control tampering is somewhat more serious than the disappointments and aggravations I described, but calling it rape contributes to the diminished view people have of rape, and conversely may cause people to view it as being trivial and absurd like the merely annoying “non-Rape Rapes”.

    On the other hand whether or not birth control tampering ought to be illegal/criminal is probably up for more debate. My concerns would be standard of evidence, how does one prove that the birth control was tampered with; and secondly does it just become another tool for women to punish men (especially if the standard of evidence is low for women accusers and impossible for men accusers). In the “perfect world” many of us hope for, in which both sexes have maximum reproductive freedom, punishing tampering is mostly moot since the aggrieved partner has no responsibility for the consequences (women can abort and men can disavow financial obligation).

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  17. that1susan March 9, 2015 at 20:23 #

    Jason, I can understand about not wanting to identify anything and everything as rape, but sabotaging birth control definitely feels to me like a violation of a person’s sexual and reproductive autonomy. But of course it would generally be impossible to prove; even in the article I cited, I don’t think the writer could prove the conversation really happened if her boyfriend denied it — and since failure to withdraw does happen accidentally with many men anyway, without his admission that it was intentional, there would really be no case.

    Most people wouldn’t be willing to admit to birth control sabotage on a witness stand, so barring a case in which there were several secondhand witnesses because the criminal was fool enough to go around bragging to all of his or friends — no case. So this issue is more of a moral issue than a legal one.

    But regarding the better society many of us are hoping for, in which men enjoy the same reproductive freedoms women do — freedom from legal responsibility doesn’t mean that everyone would feel free when faced with an unwanted pregnancy. I, for one, couldn’t bear to have an abortion, or to carry a baby for nine months, give birth, and then hand that baby to someone else to raise. I also don’t believe that the majority of men would be really happy knowing that a little piece of them was growing up without their love and support.

    So even though I support reproductive freedom for both men and women, I do so knowing that the majority of us are not capable of emotionally aborting or signing away the way the bond that forms when we realize that our own life choices have set another life in motion.

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  18. Jason Wexler March 9, 2015 at 23:09 #

    Susan, discussions of reproductive freedom always get a little weird for me. I am a pretty exclusively gay man, so I can’t reasonably expect to ever find myself in a situation where my reproductive rights are being violated. I am also a perpetually single guy which means I have no real possibility of becoming a parent, which is disappointing to me since I wanted to be a dad so desperately, when I was still young enough for it to be a viable option. So I have some pretty deeply ingrained jealousy issues, when it comes to seeing people becoming parents, or rejecting parenthood. Particularly when some of the more questionable women that can get discussed on this board are brought up; I frequently find myself fighting the urge to introduce mandatory abortion as a concept.

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  19. that1susan March 10, 2015 at 13:43 #

    I understand, Jason. It does often seem like it’s way too easy for the completely wrong people to become parents, and way too hard for some people who’d be awesome parents.

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  20. Matthew Chiglinsky March 19, 2015 at 05:40 #

    What’s not to get? They’re a bunch of vicious, brutal animals with very little respect for human dignity. Rape isn’t much different from murder.

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  21. that1susan March 19, 2015 at 10:35 #

    I know rapists are vicious and brutal — but India is quite diverse. And of course, many Indians were horrified by the rape and murder of the young medical student — but it’s like the legal authorities there have gone from one extreme to the other — from just ignoring rape victims and wanting to penalize them for being out after certain hours, to being ready to automatically cage and be brutal to any man who has anything bad said about him. I guess it’s not a place for moderation or well-thought-out responses to problems. And I’ll bet their prison system isn’t all that different from ours when it comes to who ends up in there — largely men from the poor, “untouchable” class. 😦

    Like

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