Tag Archives: Jessica Valenti

Karen Straughan wants to know how to create a society that is forced to care about men. I have some ideas…..

12 Mar

Updated to add: my Facebook feed shows that the video is from that crazy RazorBladeCandy guy who dedicated five hours of his life to describing how much I hate men and wish to enslave them. Apparently he is obsessed with Karen, too. 

Karen’s comments are still gold and worth reading. 

 

 

 

karen

 

Someone posted a link on my Facebook page to comments the fabulous Karen Straughan made on a video on YouTube. I didn’t watch the video, so I don’t specifically know what she was responding to, but I found her comments to be very interesting. I’m going to reprint them at length and then try to answer her question.

This is Karen talking:

Here’s why I attack feminism: feminism bills itself as a progressive movement, yet it employs traditional conservative tropes in order to achieve its ends, and characterizes its appeals to the traditional as “progressive”.

 Actual conservatism (whether you agree with it or not) is more honest. It says “women are incapable of X, therefore women need protection from Y, and men must provide that protection”. Feminism says “women are every bit as capable of X as men, but men are monsters whose agenda is to keep women subordinate, therefore women need protection from Y”.

 Traditionalism says that sex is something men do to women, therefore rape is something men do to women. Feminism says that sex is something that men and women do to each other, but because of the malicious and malfeasant “Patriarchy” and all the men in charge of it and benefitting from it, rape is not just something men do to women, but a conscious process by which all men keep all women in a state of fear. Also, because of the political context, yada yada, it’s just not the same when a woman forces a man to have sex. Yes, we think men and women are equal, but it’s still different, because reasons, most of which have to do with how men created a system that oppresses women for the benefit of men.”

 Conservatism said “women are temptresses, and it is a man’s responsibility to not succumb to the seductive nature of women, and if he does, then he’s at fault for defiling his own purity, oh and we’ll probably make him marry her.”

 Feminism says “women are helpless victims with no sexual agency even though they should be allowed to climb random guys like fire poles and grind on them because how dare you shame her for expressing her sexuality, and it’s a man’s responsibility to not succumb to his own predatory and rapey nature, and if he does, then he’s a rapist and needs to rot in prison.”

 Both ideologies hold men more to account than women. Both ruthlessly exploit conservative ideas about men and women. But only feminism says that it’s about treating both genders equally.

 When we are fighting feminism, we’re often also fighting conservatism. But I’m sorry, a shotgun wedding is less bad than 20 years in prison. The acknowledgement that women are “temptresses” (that is: women have sexual agency) is better than the assertion that a woman in an abbreviated latex dress and stripper heels shouldn’t have to endure the “male gaze”. The claim that women are dependent on men and should be appreciative and respectful of the men they’re dependent on is better than the claim that women are independent and need men like fish need bicycles, while women rake in 75%+ of available government benefits that are funded disproportionately by men.

 Marriage, even to a harpy, is better than being impoverished paying child support to a harpy who accused you of DV and got you jailed for it and who won’t let  you see your kids, and who has you thrown in prison for non-payment because your DV record got you fired from your job, and then claims that she’s all about “equality” between the sexes. I’m sorry, but it is.

 Feminism is traditionalism dialed up to 11. When we fight feminism, we’re fighting extreme traditionalism. Moderate traditionalism can wait.

She gets attacked pretty harshly by commenters who feel one must address feminism and traditionalism as mutually complicit in a culture that refuses to care about men. Karen goes on the explain her position a little more clearly:

I think perhaps my biggest beef with feminism is that it has convinced society in general that society hates women and has always hated women, when in reality all societies have largely served women. And they’ve essentially said that men created these societies that hate women for their own benefit and privilege.

 This is a smear on the characters of men that I have a great deal of trouble tolerating, and even more so because it is not remotely true, and I doubt it has ever been true.

 During the suffragette era, there were political cartoons that showed a sweating, distressed male politician sitting between two pretty young women, one wearing a sash that said “suffragette” and another wearing one that said “anti-suffragette”. Back when universal male suffrage was enduring its birthing pains, the UK put the question to women: do you want the vote? 70% of women said no. Yet Cenk Uygur acted in our interview as if there was no way male politicians would have given women the vote were it not for the suffragettes committing acts of domestic terrorism. He ignored the fact that women themselves opposed women’s suffrage, and that this was a major reason why women got the vote later than men. So literally, a government listening to women was a government that was oppressing them.

 I guess what I’m getting at is that both traditionalism and feminism require that men provide for, protect, and sacrifice for women. Traditionalists call that loving women. Feminists call that hating women. This is why I oppose feminism first and foremost–all feminist roads lead to misogyny.

 As for going back to traditionalism, I don’t think it’s possible. The toothpaste is out of the tube. As George RR Martin wrote once, the cow’s been milked, there’s no squirting the cream back up her udder.

Then Karen goes on to ask the million dollar question:

I never said traditionalists accept an individual man for what they are. I said “do X, Y and Z and you’ll get respect.”

 The difference between traditionalists and feminists is that they both demand you do X, Y and Z. Traditionalists will respect you for it. Feminists will spit on you for it.

 You can do what you want. I can understand why you’re upset with me. But I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not going to say there’s some world where you won’t be required to do X, Y and Z. I’m only saying that if you manage to do that, you should be respected rather than shit on.

 Like I said to some in this thread, show me an alternative. The alternative depends on convincing society to care about men as much as they care about women. So show me how to make society do that. Show me it’s possible. Show me a society in the boonies in Nepal that made that work, even on a small scale. Show me that it can happen, on a visceral, emotional level.

 Traditionalism is bad for men. Feminism is worse. If you were forced to choose between them, which would you pick?

Show me the alternative. How do we make society care about men as much as they care about women? Both Karen and another commenter mention the possibility of artificial wombs – remove women’s reproductive powers and suddenly the playing field gets a whole lot more level. There is something Matrix-like and creepy about the idea of gestating babies in machines, and obviously, that requires a massive amount of technology.

2012-02-23-artificial-womb-300x263

Instead of eradicating women’s reproductive powers, perhaps we should be considering making men’s reproductive powers equal to women’s? Birth control technology for men would go a long way towards achieving this, but we could affect this change tomorrow by changing two laws: 

  1. Reproductive rights for men
  2. Legal presumption of shared custody

I’ve written before about legal parental surrender and allowing men to walk away from children they have contributed genetic material to, just as women may do, but having given the issue more thought, I am convinced that will only lead to increased hatred of men, not less. For a law surrounding reproductive rights to create a society that genuinely cares about men, the law needs more bite. It needs as much bite as the reproductive rights women currently enjoy.

No human child may be born without the on going and affirmative consent of the adults involved.

Gender neutral and perfectly clear. To give birth to a child without the explicit consent of everyone who contributed genetic material should be a felony and the child should immediately be seized and placed for adoption by the state. In the beginning, to be sure, we are going to end up seizing a lot of babies under equal reproductive rights, but it will not take long for reality to sink in: make this choice and you will suffer for it.

And note that no one will be forced into abortions they do not want. If a woman falls pregnant with a child the father does not consent to, she will not be forced to abort that child. She is free to follow her conscience and give birth to that child. She will not be allowed to keep it, but she may give birth to it. Marital status will make no difference. If you do not have the consent of the father, the infant will be seized.

The most immediate effect of a law like this is that a market for male reproductive services emerges. A 35-year-old woman that no man on the planet has consented to reproduce with has a choice: she can pay a man to consent to parenthood. His consent means that he is obliged to support the resulting child so his fee will be:

Child support + ongoing expenses over 18 years + premium for looks, intelligence, height, etc.

That could be a very sweet deal, and men will suddenly be rather valued by women who choose to forgo any efforts towards attracting men into a mutually beneficial pair-bond.

jess

Wanna be a bitch? Have at it. If you want kids, you will pay for it.

There’s step one in creating a society that values men: bring their reproductive value up to the same value as women’s by prohibiting the use of their genetic material without explicit consent.  Now on to step two: the presumption of shared parenting. Just as men and women are afforded equal reproductive rights, so too shall they be accorded equal parenting rights.

The genetic offspring of two individuals is the rightful custodial responsibility of both equally. 

Wanna break up your relationship? Have at it. But you will not take the children with you.

This also creates a market. Let’s say a woman whom no man has consented to have a child with desperately wants children. She will have to prove her worth to the man by parenting his existing children brilliantly. This is gender neutral, of course. A man who wishes to have more children will also have to parent a woman’s existing children very well to prove his worth.

Both of these laws instantly provide men with something they currently lack under feminist acknowledgements: worth. Of course, men are inherently worthwhile as human beings – I am simply highlighting the fact that feminists ascribe them no worth, and describing that truth, as Karen notes, is not endorsing it.

Women have gotten away with shit from time immemorial because we have the babies. No society can live without us. It is the sole source of our value and always will be. A society in which all women are brilliant engineers and not one of them will have children is a dead society.

Let’s give men the same value.

 

No human child may be born without the express and on-going consent of the adults involved.

The genetic offspring of two individuals is the rightful custodial responsibility of both equally. 

Well, what do you think?

Reproductive equality is the key to making a society that cares about men as much as women. Equality leads to more equality?

Yep.

Lots of women ain’t gonna like that. Tough shit.

Lots of love,

JB

 

 

 

 

Do Feminists Like Big Government Because They Have Daddy Issues?

15 Jan

big government

 

Here is the podcast I did with the Libertarian Republic earlier today.

 

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/feminists-like-big-government-daddy-issues-podcast/#.VLgaf9LF-Sp

 

 

Let’s compare two feminists and their hopes for 2015

6 Jan

new year

 

Jessica Valenti is a professional victim, perpetually whining over the most trivial bullshit she can come up with, simultaneously screeching that men should stop everything they are doing and help her confront the horrors of wrapping Christmas presents and buying tampons, while blaming men for all the problems in the world. Help me, you violent, rapey, drunk assholes!

 

Cathy Young is also a feminist, although she can’t be a very dedicated one, as she still embraces patriarchal constructs like facts, logic and reason. Unsurprisingly, she is disliked by a lot of feminists, and even made it onto a list of women attacking women’s rights!!! The catfighting between whiny, harpy, bitchy moaners and rational, evidence-based, factual feminists  has never sent more fur flying!

 

catfight

 

Let’s look at these two and their hopes for the New Year.

 

Valenti gets off to a hate-filled bigoted start filled with contradiction right out of the starting gate.

 

Women and men need to do something about feminism in 2015: not just say that they are feminist, nor just share a few articles about feminist issues, but take concrete actions to make the world a better place for women and girls.

[Emphasis mine]

You hear that men??? Get off your asses right now and make the world better for women! And girls! And women, you can get off your asses too and make the world a better place for other women! And girls!

 

Fuck men and boys! Who cares if the world is better for them or not? Lol!

 

Cathy, in an affront to feminists everywhere, recognizes that women in other parts of the world needs some very basic rights, but when it comes to the United States, the struggle is for gender equality. Cathy privileges neither men nor women.

 

Do we still need feminism in 2015 and beyond—and if so, what kind? Advocacy for women’s basic rights clearly remains an urgent issue in many places around the world. Even in the United States and other advanced democracies, a movement for gender equality still has valid issues to address. Here are a few guideposts to keep such a movement from turning irrelevant, toxic, or both.

 

Jessica then goes on to bemoan the horrid, stupid, violent, frightening, monstrous men with guns running amok shooting up women willy-nilly! Ban the guns! From the men! Domestic violence is unidirectional! Women never shoot their husbands, and certainly not to avoid a messy divorce, amirite?

 

The intersection of gun and intimate partner violence also needs to be at the forefront of feminists’ minds in 2015. Last month, a Philadelphia cop Stephen Rozniakowski was arrested for killing his ex-girlfriend, Valerie Morrow, who had a protective order against him. Jason Down of Oregon had protective orders filed against him by three different women – including his ex-girlfriend Cassie Wagner. After Wagner ended her abusive relationship with Down, she was shot and killed in her home. Wagner has been charged with her murder.

 

Most women who are murdered by their partners or exes are killed using guns. The rate of these killings is so high that, according the Violence Policy Center, women are more like to be killed using a gun than “all other means combined”. It’s not enough that men convicted of domestic violence aren’t allowed to have guns. Those who have restraining or protective orders against them should also have to surrender their weapons and be banned from buying guns.

 

Modus operandi for our Jess – ignore all facts and evidence that suggests intimate partner violence is not only mutual, but women are more likely to throw the only punches. But lol! They’re hitting men, so who cares! We’re only making the world better for women and girls, remember?

 

dv

 

Cathy has a disconcerting tendency to see all the humans as inherently valuable, and cannot prevent herself from caring about men and boys in addition to women and girls. If this were Salem, Cathy would be burned at the stake for heresy.

 

stake

 

Equality should not mean that men and women must be identical in everything—it should mean treating people as individuals regardless of their gender. Too often, the debate about biology and gender pits dogmatic denial of any innate behavioral or psychological differences between the sexes against broad Mars-versus-Venus stereotypes and claims that traditional sex roles are nature’s way. It’s entirely possible that even absent any gender-specific social pressures, women would be much more likely to become full-time parents, nurses, or kindergarten teachers, while men would be much more likely to become CEOs, professional athletes, or engineers. But while many differences in personality traits and cognitive patterns may be innate, they are tendencies, not absolutes. Flexibility is part of human nature, too; and, just as many feminists exaggerate the role of socialization, many conservative critics of feminism underestimate the impact of cultural biases. We can work to reduce such biases and ensure that nontraditional choices are not stigmatized or discouraged—without demanding 50-50 parity in everything.

 

The other side of sexism must be recognized. Former Jezebel editor Lindy West has argued that such “men’s rights” problems as unequal treatment of fathers in family courts or bias against male domestic violence victims are rooted in patriarchy and that feminism is already addressing them. Unfortunately, facts say otherwise. On these and other issues, feminist activists and commentators have tended to side with women, oppose measures to help men, and promote women-as-victims, men-as-bad-guys narratives. Such double standards need to be confronted.

 

Jessica turns her attention to the genuine, life-altering and devastating effects of people being mean on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, calling for a HugBox in which women are never challenged, confronted, questioned or otherwise treated like adults. She wants some serious technology to carry out her censorship program, because the tools right now just aren’t working. You report someone for offending you with a different opinion, or someone who has the nerve to tweet you your own words, and sooner or later, Twitter figures out no abuse occurred and the whole cycle starts again.

 

But violence and harassment against women isn’t just a problem in “real life.” We must hold companies like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook accountable for the abuse and harassment that happens on their platforms. GamerGate and a US supreme court case addressing online hate speech put to bed any questions about the ubiquity and awfulness of online harassment. Until social media platforms are forced to take hate speech seriously, we’ll be stuck with a point-and-click band-aid instead of real change. A start? Let’s see these companies put serious dollars behind tech solutions, and work with harassment experts on the best way to implement them.

 

Cathy, on the other hand, is more concerned about problems in the real world, but she still stubbornly refuses to embrace the hate and just blame men for everything.

 

The personal is not always political. Men behaving badly to women in personal relationships—unless such behavior has social and institutional support—is not necessarily a gender issue. Neither gender has a monopoly on insensitivity, rudeness, manipulation, dishonesty, or entitlement. What’s more, policing relationships in the name of ideology—for instance, trying to dictate how people should express consent to sex—is always a bad idea. Let us by all means have a conversation on changing sexual norms; but this can be done without using coercion and penalties to enforce someone’s version of healthy interaction, or focusing almost exclusively on male mistreatment of women.

 

A narrative is only as good as its facts. From “women earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar for the same work” to “one in five college women are sexually assaulted by graduation,” a number of statistics commonly used by women’s advocates have withered under scrutiny. So have some recent tales of alleged misogynist infamy, such as the University of Virginia gang rape and cover-up or the supposedly sexist firing of New York Times editor Jill Abramson. Too often, the feminist response to such debunkings has amounted to declarations that the big picture matters more than specific facts and figures. But the big picture had better be made up of accurate details. Campus rape certainly happens; so does workplace sexism. But addressing real problems requires solid research and reporting. We badly need more of both when it comes to gender issues.

 

For Jess, the issue is simple: men are assholes and the best way to show them what jerks they are is to pay women more and men less because vagina and equality.  And if Hillary loses it will because voters hate women.  Jess recommends the radical step of writing a strongly worded email to someone somewhere who will do nothing, but you can feel smug anyways.

 

These issues are hardly the only ones that require more focused action. Campus rape, domestic violence, street harassment, abortion restrictions, unequal pay and access to childcare are as important as they were last year, and, with Hillary Clinton probably running for President again, sexism in politics will likely rear its ugly head just as it did in 2008. If you tweeted about feminism last year, this year consider sending an email to your elected representative in support of a policy about which you care.

 

Understandably frustrated with trivial feminist bullshit, Cathy has a few more practical and concrete activities in mind. And of course, she keeps asserting that key issues affect all the humans, and the ones with penises matter, too. If Cathy had a penis, she would probably get castrated by the sisterhood for her dogged insistence that men are humans worthy of equal consideration.

 

Trivial pursuit is not the path to equity. Feminism is now battling the alleged scourge of men who take up too much space on public transit by spreading their legs? Not only is this selective male-shaming (social media users quickly noted that female riders are guilty of different-but-equal sins), it is also a comically petty grievance that could suggests the aggrieved have no real issues. Half of successful advocacy is knowing to pick one’s battles.

 

The biggest unfinished business of gender equality in the West is “work-life balance” and caregiving. This point was eloquently made by Judith Shulevitz in a recent New Republic debate on feminism’s future. Whatever role discrimination may play, childbearing has a major effect on gender disparities in career achievement. Even women who are satisfied with these trade-offs often feel the conflict acutely. But this tension is not just a women’s issue. In a Pew poll last year, almost as many working fathers as working mothers (50% versus 56%) said it was it difficult to balance work and parenthood. Overall, twice as many fathers as mothers—46% versus 23%—felt they spent too little time with their children.

 

Like many feminists, Shulevitz sees mainly government solutions. Others would counter that the flexibility and creativity of markets and civil society offer far better answers. But this is the kind of debate people should be having in the big tent of a true equality movement.

 

Cathy’s argument can be summed up with the following quote:

 

The perception of pervasive, one-sided male power and advantage can create a disturbing blindness to injustices toward men—even potentially life-ruining ones such as false accusations of rape. A true equality movement should address all gender-based wrongs, not create new ones.

 

Jessica Valenti? She summed up her own argument quite nicely:

 

everyone

 

If all feminists were like Cathy Young, I would have no problem with feminism at all. Unfortunately, the vast majority are like Valenti. They don’t care about anything other than themselves. They can barely make other women a priority, never mind men and boys.

 

Cathy Young might be a feminist according to the dictionary, but judging by her actions, she’s not.

 

She’s a men’s rights activist.

 

Welcome aboard, Cathy. Feel free to man-spread all over the damn place.

 

sofa

 

There’s room for everyone!

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

 

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